Saturday, November 03, 2007

Houston 07 - Day 1 Recap & Happy Birthday to me!

After a 5:30 flight from Newark, I hit the ground running. I hooked up with Teresa and Wendi, two guildmates, and we headed over to the show. Due to some logistical snafus, we got in about 15 minutes late (less time for shopping!) Because I have less time here than usual, I have tried to be methodical. Before I left home, I made a list of things I wanted, (trust me, this is not the total list), and when I got here, I noted on my dancecard (a dancecard is a sheet that salespeople use to let them know when, where and with whom they are meeting) the booths I wanted to visit. Of the 18 rows, I only got through 6, but among them, I did meet with the Tom Pfeiffer, the President of New Joy (midarm frame), and I spent a considerable amount of time spending the $300 Superior Thread shopping spree I got when I bought my Juki TL98Q.

The best part of the day was a meetup, which Teresa and I promote (but did not start, we just picked up the ball and ran with it) of African American quilters. Basically, this started as a way for the African American Quilters Group from Yahoo! to get together in real life, but we figured, we should just be our friendly NY selves and invite every African American we saw at the show! It is great to mingle, and frequently, people meet new quilters from their area. We had a group of 55 yesterday. Are we not fabulous?

I attended three lectures: Textile Sketchbook, which gave some exercises for creativity; Bodysmart Quilting, which offered exercises for body safe quilting: 45 minutes of sewing, 15 minute break with water, walking and stretches; and Artcloth 2007, which featured amazing fabrics, all starting from a piece of white cloth.

We returned to This Is It! Houston for a just like your Momma cooked it meal, and I came back to my room and went to sleep! I usually get up around 5 or 5:30, and that means I was up at 3:47 a.m. today! My body will be really confused by the time I get back to NY/NJ, with the hour's difference in time, plus daylight savings starting tomorrow.

It is officially my birthday, and I would be remiss and trifling if I did not thank all of the people who have made me the happy, content, creative person I am. First up is my Mom, who, even if she thought what I was doing was weird/strange/stupid, let me go my own way if I wasn't harming anyone. Next is Ron, who is supporting me, both literally and figuratively, while I explore my creative Zen; then, all my guild friends, online and off, who are a treasure trove of creativity; my non-quilting friends, who have sometimes become quilt widows when I can't get together like I used to, and a special thank you to Kaaren, a generous artist who never fails to tell me I am more talented than I think I am.

Believe and begin!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Vitae Interruptus

I am reactivating my blog after a crazy couple of years that had several high impact speed bumps. Having become unemployed since July 1, I turned to my creative side, and have toggled my own Restart button. I originally started this blog as a way to document my trip to the International Quilt Fest in Houston in 20005, and I am resurrecting it in 2007 for the same purpose with a promise to myself to keep it going for 28 days. With a laptop, blogging daily from IQF should be easier, and nowadays is a rare day that I am not tapping my own muse.

I have never considered myself an artist. Creative, yes. I have made my own clothes and home dec accessories for years; I have produced wedding cakes that have withstood a hot summer day in NYC; my cooking is legendary amongst my friends. I have never been able to think of myself as an artist. Even my stick figures suck. About ten years ago, my grandmother gave me a quilt and I have since found another outlet for my creative ventures. This lead me to art quilts and dyeing, as well as longarm quilting, all for my own creative pleasure. If I can help someone else, I am happy to do so.

I have been blessed to be surrounded by several groups of creative quilters. I am a member of FOUR guilds, and several Yahoo! groups. As for the guilds, two are large, two are small, two are "ethnic". I frequently host quilting sessions at my church, and rarely do I get to my own work, but I am happy to see others bringing their projects to completion. My favorite quote is a description of me in a nutshell, and reflects my connection to mentoring: "The best gift you can give a man is not to share your riches with him, but to reveal to him his own." -Benjamin Disraeli. Thus in sharing my treasures with you, I hope you will in turn, find something in them that inspires you to discover your own. Believe and begin!