Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wow! Memorial Day is almost here. And you know what that means… a pair of new flip-flops and a fresh tube of self-tanning lotion! And, its also time to make plans for summer vacation. Of course, some of you organized people are way ahead of me and already have reservations at the beach and a new swimsuit. Buying a bathing suit is on my “top 10” list of the most painful things you can’t avoid. You know… right up there with having a root canal, if you get my drift! Anyway, back to where I was going here…
This last Friday night I was invited to speak at the “girls’ night out” dinner planned by the energetic ladies at the NLR Methodist Church. The event was titled “Summer Destinations” and there were 17 hostesses who each decorated a table for 10 in a vacation destination theme. So clever and so much fun to walk around the room looking at the tables and visiting with all these super-creative women! The table where I sat had a Washington D.C. theme in guess what colors? One of my favorite tables had an Irish theme with small collectable cottages and beautiful place settings featuring plates painted with scenes from the Irish countryside. All the tables had party favors, too. The hostess at the Irish table made crocheted dishcloths in green and white yarn and tied them to the chair backs with shamrocks and ribbon. Such a different and cute idea! Here are some cute, colorful dishcloth from Leisure Art's Kitchen Basics in Cotton, aren't they fun? Take a look at some of the fantastic tables!
The local department store (no name-dropping) had a fashion show with lots of sassy resort wear and lots of fabulous accessories. Oh, those shoes and purses!! Good thing I only brought “MILK” in my purse… you know: “Money…ID…Lipstick…Keys” HAHA! No credit cards! One of the door prizes (there was a fight over this, really!) I brought was a DVD, available on the LA website called The Creative Party Guide, filled with awesome tips and ideas including (my favorite) how to transform your garage into an elegant party space. Who knew?! I also gave a quick demo on how to create a quick and easy dessert pedestal. You can see this idea in our latest leaflet from Gooseberry Patch Fresh From the Farm (Coming Soon). There are some fantastic recipes in this book, too! And don’t forget about having a get-together for all the families in your neighborhood. Have a “Happy Camper” party in the backyard with hiker’s lunches wrapped in a bandana and tied onto a stick, s’mores over the fire pit and paddle ball party favors from Gooseberry Patch Fresh From the Farm (Coming Soon)!
So… Hopefully you are still reading this and want to know where I fit in amid all this excitement? Well somewhere between the sparkly sandals and the travel bingo, I gave a short (but REALLY exciting, trust me!) talk about “stay-cation” entertaining. You know. A party where you take a vacation without leaving the driveway?! I set up some quick and easy “tablescape” ideas (designer talk for centerpieces!) and talked about entertaining the easy way. Best idea: have a buffet and let your guests bring some of the food! One of my tablescapes was a “Vegas Buffet Baby” party.
One of the door prizes (there was a fight over this, really!) I brought was a DVD, available on the LA website called The Creative Party Guide, filled with awesome tips and ideas including (my favorite) how to transform your garage into an elegant party space. Who knew?!
I also gave a quick demo on how to create a quick and easy dessert pedestal. You can see this idea in our latest leaflet from Gooseberry Patch Fresh From the Farm (Coming Soon). There are some fantastic recipes in this book, too!
And don’t forget about having a get-together for all the families in your neighborhood. Have a “Happy Camper” party in the backyard with hiker’s lunches wrapped in a bandana and tied onto a stick, s’mores over the fire pit and paddle ball party favors from Gooseberry Patch Fresh From the Farm (Coming Soon)!
So, have fun this summer. Whether you are near or far, stay safe. Use lots of sun block and visit my blog again for more crafty and fun ideas!
Patti Uhiren, Special Projects Deisgner
Monday, May 24, 2010
That probably started with the Schoolhouse on Thursday afternoon. I flew in very, very early so that I could get over to the convention center in time to see a few of the afternoon sessions of Schoolhouse. The afternoon before the show many designers and companies sponsor a 30-minute session to tell shopowners about the new products they have coming out. It's always a lot of fun because everyone's excited to be there and to have a chance to hear from a favorite. Here you get to see new fabric lines and hear from the designers, see the quilts for new patterns and techniques, find out about new tools and you might even be lucky enough to get a great sample to take back home. Two of our designers that I managed to catch, Carrie Nelson from Miss Rosie's Pattern Company and Pat Sloan, had cram packed rooms for their sessions. Carrie was showing off her new books (as well as an upcoming fabric line with Henry Glass) and Pat was debuting a new rotary cutting system (rulers, cutters, and mats) that she designed for Sullivans.
After the excitement of Schoolhouse, I was ready to touch base with old friends and to meet new ones at the show. I started when the doors opened and nearly closed the place down. In nearly every case, edging into each booth was a challenge because of the crowds, but what a great problem to have! In between I met with Carrie and Pat as well as Barb and Mary from Me and My Sister. They were all set to do book signings in the Checker booth. I also saw Amy Hamberlin from Kati Cupcake and Amanda Herring from The Quilted Fish, two of our newest designers who'll have books out soon (and already have their own fabric lines!). Kristine Poor from Poorhouse Quilt Designs was also there, exhibiting at her first market, and it looked like things were going well! I snagged just a minute to talk to Delores Storm from Lakadaisies who had a full house. I know that means great things for her upcoming redwork books. And I bumped into Linda Lum DeBono in the aisles (we usually find each other on airport shuttles for some reason) and visited Lazy Girl Joan Hawley while she did a demo on her new zipper technique for her fabulous bags (as well as the benefits of the iPad just for me) in the Checker booth. On the way home, I realized I missed a few friends so I'll be sure to visit them first in Houston. It was a busy show and being unable to chat for long because your booth is busy, busy, busy is such a great thing! (Click on the links to visit each designer's blog to find out what she thought about Market).
I also had a chance to meet a few people that might be interested in books...always exciting, but we'll have to wait a while to see how that turns out. Oh, and of course...it IS a quilt show! You can't forget the quilts. It seems like I always save those for last at Fall Quilt Market and end up running through them on the last day at the last minute. At this show, they're up front and center, difficult to miss! This one's called "Spring Field" by Akiko Kawata.
Friday, May 7, 2010
My sincere thanks to the Connecticut Press Club for honoring "The Wrapping Scarf Revolution" with a First Prize Award for Nonfiction-Instructional. Judged by members of the Delaware Press Club, the annual contest was celebrated at the 9th Annual Awards Dinner last night at Quattro Pazzi Restaurant in Norwalk.
The highlight of the evening (other than winning!) was listening to a talk by Pulitzer winning playwright Donald Margulies. His speech was fascinating and full of gems of wisdom that he normally reserves for his undergrad students at Yale. At one point, he talked about his Broadway debut which he claims was a "debacle" and when I asked him to elaborate on that, it turns out that what happened to him was what happens to so many of us when we compromise too much and lose our original vision.
Like all successful people, he picked himself up, dusted himself off and moved on to eventually win the Pulitzer prize for his drama, "Dinner with Friends".
Thanks to everyone who has helped my little green book get off the ground and and a big shout out to Leisure Arts for fully supporting my original vision for the book. Happy wrapping everyone and cheers to all our successes and dusted off failures!