Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Time is Here!

When the temperature changes I get a little moody, I am a warm weather girl by nature and could easily live on the beach on a deserted tropical island. But I love Christmas and all that comes with it. I just finished decorating my home inside and out. When I was putting up the twinkle lights on my white picket fence the neighbors walked by and scolded me for being late this year. They said they count on me to bring the holiday feel to the neighborhood when I put up my outside lights. That was so sweet. For 26 years I have been in charge of the outside lighting. Joe usually gets stuck working lots of overtime when the weather turns cold. He works for the gas and electric company. I am pretty mechanical so I love to figure out where to place the cords and how many strands of lights I can get on one extension cord before it blows. Then the thrill of figuring out which loose bulb on the strand is causing all the problems before I give up and just buy a new strand.
I seriously had thoughts of not decorating this year. There is a sad feeling in the world this year. The economy is the worst its been in 50 years. There is greed and evil all over the news. I think the greed makes me the sickest.
Then I remember a story about my grandfather Hopkins. He was a wonderful grandpa. During the depression he owned a grocery store in Decatur, Illinois. It was hard times for everyone but by owning a grocery store my grandfather and his family (my dad) never had to worry about food. But that didn’t stop my grandfather from leaving bags of food on the porches of families in need. He did this all year long. That is just what you do, you think of others. So I did, and then I realized how much I love Christmas. I love the music, I love to decorate, I love sweet family times but most of all I love the meaning of Christmas. I love to know that 2,000 years ago the world was changed because of the birth of a special child in a manger during really hard times. And that is why we have Christmas today.
From my family to yours, have a Merry Christmas and try to remember the true meaning of the season.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Teaching at IQA Houston

It has been a wild few months. I feel like I am just now caught up on my beauty sleep.

I had a manicure and pedicure last week for the first time in years. I all most fell asleep in the chair. I highly recommend the treatment. Next week, I am going to try a facial. I know, what has gotten into me?

Well, I think it’s all this hard work, doing what I love. When you are privilege to be working at what you love, you sometimes forget to stop and take a breath. It’s like I can’t get enough. To be able to create is so thrilling and fun I never want it to end. Joe is anyway reminds me to eat. Probably so I won’t get grouchy at him.

This was the first year teaching at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. What an experience. I walked into the teachers’ lounge that first day and there where all my favorite teachers. To think I was there with them. My teaching supply’s had not arrived yet, because someone was a little busy teaching allover to look at her calendar and get thing sent in time. I knew they would arrive because I had to pay the big bucks to make sure they did arrive in time. The IQA staff was fabulous and so friendly. They helped me with everything. Thank God because I needed it.

Friday was my Cone flower class. It was full with 26 students from all over the world. Wow! Great class, except when I returned from lunch, I left the room key in the door and someone took it. You sign your life away when you get the room key and of course my room I had only one key. After class Peggy and I spent hours digging through the trash tearing the room apart looking for the key. It took us hours. That night I missed the SAQA reception that I had reservation for. This was only the beginning. Late that night about 2 am I hear a lot of noise from the adjoining room. It was Halloween night so that is to be expected. At about 4 am I am awoken again by a loud bang of a door closing and then screaming and banging on my room door. The person was screaming to be let back in his room but had miss took my room for his. his room mate was not waking up. This went on for awhile. He was banging so hard that my door was moving. I was so scared. I called security for assistant. Finely his friend let him in the room where they proceeded to yell at each other for another 10 minutes. It was a great night.

Next day very tired, I waited to be let into my room. Still can’t find the key. I set up the room. Today we are doing a new pattern I design for Houston, the Yellow Daisy. It’s a little more challenging than most patterns, but is so cute. Class is full again with 25 students. As we were getting to know each other and setting up, the “teachers pet” from the next room, comes in and tell me to “keep it down”. They can’t hear in the next room. Funny! But wasn’t she in my class yesterday and had a little attitude with me even then? I tell her to inform the teacher that she may want to speak up a little bit more. I still can’t find that key. Maybe she knows where it is?

Before lunch break I received a visitor to my room. This was the very balls-z woman that told me on Preview night a couple of years ago “That my stitches where S—t.” Not crap, but S--t ! To my face! I won 2 awards’ that year. What more could a girl ask for. She just wanted to come back and inform me that I need a new sewing machine and hoped she hadn't hurt my feeling back then. I told her that when the money tree brings in a new crop of $$$ I will certainly up grade. Not every one that wins at Houston has a fancy machine. Some of us our on a budget and have to earn the money. It seems that everyone just wants to help. I found out later that she also told Hollis Chatelain that her binding was S--t.

Remember the movie with Jack Lemon “The Out of Town-ers”? Well this week I felt like I am now in the sequel called ,"The Out of Towner II." I again had to wait to find someone to lock up the room and was to late and too tired to make the Silver Star banquet. Alex Andersen was receiving her Silver Star. She has had a big impact on my quilting life and yours to. She is the number one quilter that has brought the Art of quilting to the main stream and put a young, hip face on it. It was cool to quilt because Alex. We all owe her a lot, especially me.

So the question is. Should I teach again next year at Houston with all the drama and problems? You bet! It’s the most wonderful quilt show in the world. And if you haven’t been, you need to go. It’s like living inside an art museum and fabric mall for a week. You get to eat, drink and sometimes sleep quilting in all its wonderful forms. Are you kidding!!!!! Yes, I will be back teaching next year.

Oh and by the way, they never found the key and they charged me $50.