November Racked Up On RAOK

RAOK WINNER:

Congratulations to Lisa Tice of North Glenn Colorado! Lisa is the winner of our RAOK contest!

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I greatly appreciate all those that participated in spreading a little thoughtfulness to someone during November.  We received many wonderful RAOKs such as:

Paying for someones coffee at WAWA

Collecting shopping carts in a local GIANT parking lot

Taking donuts to the nearby bank for the tellers

Handing out umbrellas to those walking along the street while it was raining

Those are just a few examples of the acts of kindness I received. I was in awe of all the selfless acts people were willing to do over the past month.  Yes, many of us complete RAOKs anonymously and quite often, but doesn’t it just put a smile on your face reading about the generosity of others?  Isn’t it refreshing to read about the positive deeds occurring in the communities where we all reside?

Bottom line KINDNESS is KINDNESS regardless how it is accomplished!

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Priceless Advice

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As a child, student, parent and professional we have all been provided with guidance, and advice on how to find our way along the different paths of life.  “It’s not about winning”, “More working and less talking”, “Practice what you preach”, and “You gain more out of the mistakes you make than the success you achieve”.  I am sure they all sound familiar and will remind you of phrases heard from your past.

When I first began long arming I would look at feathers, admiring their beauty and wishing I could allow them to float across my fabric.  My biggest challenge was obtaining uniformity.  The perfection I yearned to portray on my quilt never made an appearance.  After struggling with this technique for quite some time I decided to pose my situation to an online forum.  I asked my million dollar question, “How does everyone get their feathers to look the same, mine all look different.”  I stared at the empty screen, and after several seconds an answer popped up.  The words scrolled across my monitor screen would forever change my way of designing.  The million dollar answer was “Why would you want them to be the same?”  That short sentence would be a HUGE  “Aha” moment for me and would be carried on forever in my way of quilting.   

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During my classes I can often be heard telling my students  “Don’t let anyone tell you there are rules.”  Designing opens a pathway to forgoing rules and encouraging our uniqueness.  Dare to be different, and dare to show the world you.  There isn’t always a right way, or a wrong way, but there is YOUR way.

Do you have an important piece of advice that has played a significant part of your quilting journey?  If so I loved for you to share it with me.

Now That We Are All Stuffed

 

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I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  My wishes for you were that delicious family recipes were eaten, a breath was taken to push work thoughts aside, and most importantly moments with those dear to you were shared.

But now it is the start of the HUGE buying weekend..images-17

Retail – my way of life for many years.  Black Friday – a ginormous day for any merchant planning on coming out of the red.  This meant I geared up for that crazy day when one would witness mass chaos beginning at 7 a.m.  Have you ever seen grown adults have temper tantrums? Have you observed mothers negotiating over a product and willing to pay 5 times the sale price in order to walk out of the store with that “item of the year”.  One would think the day would pass by quickly, on the contrary it felt as though Black Friday was a never-ending day.  Restocking shelves, advising customers, and keeping a smile across my face was more than difficult. When I chose to leave the retail industry, Black Friday was one aspect of this profession that didn’t have me shedding a tear.

Black Friday, what to do?img_6895 So many choices and knowing I have an extra day added to my weekend is priceless.  What should I do? Is it a movie day, a quilting day, or do I consider venturing out to the mall?  Ah, the mall idea is a no go.  There aren’t sales HUGE enough for me to consider stepping into the Black Friday madness.  But a cup of tea and my laptop might have me online shopping just a bit.

Speaking of online sales:  **Don’t forget to take a peek at my 15% Holiday Sale today through Monday!

 

Tell me what you do the day after Black Friday.images-22 Do I have any brave Black Friday Shoppers out there? Or maybe some of you take a day to relax? The decisions are overwhelming aren’t they?

It Wouldn’t Be Thanksgiving Without…

 

 

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Cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie and we cannot leave out TURKEY. We all have at least one part of our holiday meal that is a tradition and is served at every Thanksgiving dinner.  Those dishes that have our mouth’s watering all afternoon as we anticipate the first bite and the small taste of heaven that fork brings; or not.  For our family it was creamed onions.  I giggle as I look back on this one particular Thanksgiving moment.  At the time I was in high school and my grandmother would be joining us for the holiday.  As my mother, sister and I slaved away in the kitchen for the feast, that would be devoured by relatives within 10 minutes, my grandmother swept over the array of food and inquired why she did not see “the creamed onions“.

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What my grandmother did not realize was that although we presented her lovely creamed onions at EVERY Thanksgiving meal, it didn’t mean we necessarily enjoyed them.  This year my mother bravely chose to skip the creamed onions.  My mother may have won the battle that year, but my grandmother would win the war.  Nan ventured out that Thanksgiving and traipsed all over town.  She invaded any open deli, grocery store, gas station, and pharmacy in hopes that one merchant might possibly sell those amazing creamed onions.  Her mission was unsuccessful, and the creamed onions were absent from our Thanksgiving dinner (I secretly smiled). BUT you bet your bottom booty there were creamed onions every year going forward, like them or not!

So what is the one food that has always been present during your Thanksgiving gathering?  Is it a traditional entre or side that you anticipate with thoughts of “YUM” entertaining your mind? Or maybe you are quickly reminded of how you will need to bypass that one Thanksgiving “will not be excluded” dish.

I cannot wait to hear all the Thanksgiving loves and loathes that have been, and are, a traditional experience!

Oh I forgot to mention tomorrow this quilter will be diving into her “MUST HAVE” mashed potatoes and corn, but I am sure creamed onions will be found somewhere on the table!
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#BFSBCMSale

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15% REPEAT..REPEAT 15% OFF THE ENTIRE SITE.  YES WE SAID ENTIRE SITE!

Don’t you hate it when you’ve been holiday shopping, after being five deep in line you finally drag yourself the register.  It’s painful, and frustrating but for our lovely quilters it doesn’t have to end in such a sad scenario.

We feel your pain so we are rolling into the upcoming BIG weekend with a sale to get you excited about spending money.  And why not start by treating yourself; there is nothing wrong with a “To: Me/From: Me” gift.  Perhaps there is a friend, boss, relative who could also reap the benefits of this sale.

Our “Black Friday/Small Business/Cyber Monday Sale” begins Friday the 25th  through Mondaythe 28th!  But I’ve been known to start early…. so check out the website!

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This little sample that Bethanne Nemesh made is quite stunning.  She used the ProPebbles rulers for all of those beautiful circle designs.  They as well as the rest of the Quilter’s Groove Line of rulers are 15% off.

The center is an exquisite example of her Nemeshing technique which is explained in her book.

Bethanne is also having a 15% off sale this weekend so make sure you stop by her site….  WhitearborQuilting.com .

  

Hop aboard the #BFSBCM train and take advantage of this amazing sale going on Friday through Monday November 28th, 2016.  Skip the Black Friday crowds, the Small Business chaos, and Cyber Monday traffic by shopping with Lisa and Bethanne.  You might just have time to quilt a thing or two before the holidays!

**Please note each business will be shipping their own products.  We cannot combine products and ship from one site. IQuilt products are sold independently and cannot be included in the 15% off sale.

SHOP, SAVE and SMILE!

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Back Away from My Quilting ________

Don’t Even Think About It!

We all have at least one.  That prized quilting possession that we treasure; we actually might inflict bodily harm on someone if our studio went without it.  images-16There are various reasonings behind our strong feeling of contempt towards the idea of any type of  theft (even temporarily) of certain items.  Maybe it’s a decoration in your studio, perhaps it’s a quilt that you have designed, a favorite tool you use, or it could be your domestic/long arm machine that you waited so long to obtain.  And again by no means does this have to be ONE thing.  Heaven forbid you have fallen in love  with more than one part of your quilting world.

 

Anyone who  follows my blog knows that one of my prized possession is my Karen Kay Buckley scissors.  It has been made very clear that you don’t touch my Karen Kay Buckley scissors!  In case you haven’t viewed my rare moment of insanity I have included it for your entertainment pleasure.

The above video has scarred Drea.         image-1-2       She now comes up to me prior to cutting anything with fear in her eyes and poses the qualifying question “These aren’t Karen Kay Buckley’s, are they?”  I think even if she knew they weren’t Karen Kay Buckley scissors she would still ask on the remote chance I had fallen in love with another pair of scissors.  Highly unlikely, silly girl!

b7cb0d582378393769eefdf026dc8f41-1What is it that you find of extreme value in your studio?  Or that MUST HAVE when you quilt? I need to be reassured that I’m not the only one that has neurotic quilting issues.

 

Tis the Season to Receive

Giving, giving, giving, let’s forget we are on receiving end too, right? Monday we talked about giving, now it’s time to discuss the topic of being the recipient during  the holiday season.  I know since many relatives and friends know that quilting is my way of life they often impart on me gifts with a “quilting” theme.  And why wouldn’t they? If you knew someone in your family, or close friend shaped their world around fabric wouldn’t your gift ideas possibly be:  JoAnn Fabric gift cards, a tote bag with their company logo, or coffee mug with an adorable quilting quote? Heck YES!

 

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Do any of the items above look familiar?  Have you received any holiday gifts that are similar?  I am not ungrateful and I truly appreciate those that take the time out of their busy schedule to think of me, but have you felt you’ve been put in the “Quilter’s Gift Box” when it come to gifts?  The box that only has you receiving gifts pertaining to threads, and needles?  Please don’t  get me wrong, I’m not locked in the “Quilter’s Gift Box” let’s just say that the lid has, on occasion, been a little hard to open.

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Now that you have had time to think back on what Aunt Sally or Cousin Kate gave you as a present in the past for Christmas, or the holiday season, I am going to ask you to share what you have received.  Do you typically receive gifts in genre of quilting? If so what is the craziest or silliest item you have received? What present has meant the most to you?  Inquiring minds want to know! What presents are found elgantly wrapped under a quilter’s Christmas tree?

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What is the Quilter’s Idea of Giving?

Thanksgiving will be here in just about a week and a half .  Once we devour turkey, mashed potatoes and all the Thanksgiving fixings it will time for the self-induced  tryptophan coma. We eventually need to revive ourselves and return to reality which will have us joining the hustle and bustle of the December season.  The month of December is about giving; giving gifts for teachers, family and friends.  We spend endless hours searching and selecting that special item for all those on our list that expresses the sentiment “Happy Holidays, I have this well thought out gift for you”, and inwardly we have the thought of “Moreover, I am thrilled I didn’t break the bank finding the perfect gift”.   We desperately try to make the holidays a win-win for both those giving and those receiving!

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The internet has made it extremely easy to click a few buttons, fill your virtual cart and then in a mere minutes those on your “to buy for” list can be eliminated.  However, being in the quilting world I know many of us out there are going full steam ahead trying to put the final touches on our homemade gifts to those we love.

 

images-12So now that the clock is ticking and we will be, if we aren’t are already, hard pressed to get our holiday plans in order; I am intrigued to hear what your holiday gift giving items include.  Are you still in the throes of finishing a quilting project to be wrapped as a christmas present?  If you do enjoy sharing your quilting projects this time of year are they table top runners, tuffets or placemats? Or is there something else specific you create to share?  Maybe you choose not to give anything related to quilting as a gift during this time of year?  Please let me know, and trust me it is quite alright to leave a comment such as “Oh Lisa I haven’t even thought about the month of December”.  It would nice to have someone relieve a little bit of my procrastinating guilt!

Vending 103 The Do’s and the Don’ts

 

DO Remember It’s All About The People!

img_3572People, people and more people! Without connecting with others whether it’s individuals stopping by with “Flat Lisa”, students, new customers, old friends and other quilters; my passion for this craft would not continue to thrive!  Anxious thoughts of money spent on vending could have interfered with precious interactions I made with those around me.   Whether we chatted about  my blog, the humorous video on quilting scissors, or the types of projects people were considering; focusing and embracing the conversations that were brought forth is what made Houston vending so spectacular!

 

 

DON’T Send 50 Bazillion Boxes of Product to the Booth 

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Those visiting Booth 1323 weren’t interested in purchasing mass quantities of rulers, they instead were focused on essential and EASY directions towards beginning a project.   So I have mentally noted that I will definitely reduce the amount of inventory I have shipped to the vending arena in the future.  Should this “happen” to slip my mind I am quite sure Drea will kindly remind me since she will be the one assisting me with unpacking all those lovely brown boxes.  I think she may be getting the short end of stick on this vending experience.  The saying “Less is More” can be heard regarding many different occasions.  Applying make up (thank goodness I like the natural look), Christmas decorations (hello, believe it or not you can over stimulate the driver cruising by that’s blinded by all the blinking, colored lights trimming the house, trees, mailbox, lamp-post, and bushes), and lastly packing for a trip (Houston comes to mind as I stuffed my bag with clothes, and toiletries that could have kept me staying for three months) are examples of hearing that phrase.   LESS is MORE pertains to vending after you disappointedly observe that the mass  amount of products you imported into your booth doesn’t sell.

Do Consideration Bringing an Alternate

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Poor Judy, after trying to rally through the day food poisoning got the best of her, and she was out of commission for a day or two.  She felt extremely guilty not being able to help me in our booth; but her greenish complexion was not going to gain booth 1323 any new customers (nothing personal Judy).  In order to avoid another scenario like the invasion of food poisoning in Houston, we both felt including an alternate on next year’s venture might not be a bad idea.  Ya just never know when or how that extra little person might be beneficial.

 

 

DON’T Sweat the Small Stuff

images-4Our displays could have been shorter, the amount of product we had shipped to Houston could have been less, and my suitcase could have been lighter had I not packed sooo many doggone clothes.  The list of would’ve , should’ves could be rather lengthy if I wanted to take the time to reflect about all the little things.  But why? At the end of each day Judy and I didn’t really have complaints (well maybe Judy did have a legit right to complain about having to deal with food poisoning).  However, I had many things to smile about, and really why sweat the small stuff?  Nothing ventured, nothing gained and I am blessed with all that my quilting life brings me each day.  If I am gonna sweat anything, it’s going to be the HUGE things in life!

 

 

A 1:1 with the Non Quilter

I’ve introduced Drea to the Quilting Language; and daily she is picking up the verbiage.  As she digs deeper into the ins and outs of my business I thought it would be interesting to obtain a “non quilter’s” (aka Drea) insight on what she feels about this craft.  Did she have any preconceived notions, and most importantly what has my newest member of the quilting world learned?

img_4171I appreciated the fact that she gave much consideration before providing me with her thoughts and feelings on the selected topic.  I am quite certain there was a little intimidation stirring within that little red-head of hers.  Drea may be a newbie but she is a smart cookie. Knowing that this little discussion was for my blog post, the idea of defending herself against quilting clients, friends and mentors wouldn’t be on Drea’s top 10 things to do.  More importantly,  this conversation was among her and her boss (ME), the one who hands her a pay check every two weeks.  Yes, I was silently sending the vibes of “Take your time Drea and speak carefully!”

Did she have any preconceived notions of the word “quilter”?

Yes she did.  Prior to stepping into my studio she had envisioned minimal modern technology.  The word “quilter” brought to this “non quilter’s” mind a rather large table, chairs, needles, threads, and an enormous amount of fabric.  In other words Drea depicted a small dark room that could be showcased on the televised show Hoarders.  Okay maybe not that small and cluttered.  Drea was in awe of the size my long arm machine and the space it required.  My “rulers” were not only a mathematical puzzle to her but her eyes widen when I demonstrated how one would be used to create a curve on a piece of fabric.  img_9266Maybe I am being a little dramatic, but in all seriousness she was taken back by what my business and craft incorporated. Rulers, templates, techniques, etc. the list that shredded her “idea” of a typical quilter was lengthy and her notion had been shot to pieces.

 

 

 

In Drea’s words:

“Yes Lisa, you are a “quilter”, but you are so much more than that word conveys.  You, in my eyes, are an artist.  Some artists utilize brushes, paint and canvas.  Your brush is that of an incredible long arm, those delicate threads become your paint, and the fabric you choose, from your tiny stash, transforms into your canvas.  As with any artist, each “quilter” is unique.  No two quilters can replicate the exact design.  Even implementing new techniques and tools the end result will vary; each individual will design a masterpiece that has been drawn upon from their own style and vision.  I can accept the word “quilter” but just realize that, in my eyes, all those that take part in this quilting arena are talented in a way I had not fathomed.  I may be a “non quilter” because there will never be a long arm, or spools of thread in home, but I am honored to be a small part of what takes place in your studio.

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After we concluded I put my pen and paper down feeling energized.  I strive daily to touch and educate those wanting to learn this business and craft.  Upon taking in what my red-headed assistant has learned, as one who doesn’t have the desire to quilt (nor should she ever try), yet can appreciate and see the gift those quilters out there possess was overwhelming.  I surmised that I would keep Drea on board and hope that as she travels outside my studio she will enlighten all those other non quilters she encounters.