Monday, March 31, 2008

Getting Down and Dirty

Thank goodness for sunshine!  I think someone was watching out for my state of mind and delivered the first day of Spring when I most needed it.
Yesterday I spent the whole day fighting with my computer.  I had recently bought Microsoft’s most recent version of Office for the Mac and was all excited to draw up the diagram for the Toybox children’s quilt that so many of you asked about at the Quilter’s Anonymous Show.
Well - I don’t think I ‘m alone when I say I wish they wouldn’t mess with a good thing!  Last week I spent quite a bit of time drawing the quilt diagram and writing up the construction notes.  Saved it, moved on to something else and came back to put the finishing touches on it yesterday.
Lo and behold, the colors of the quilt diagram and all changed - willy nilly, no rhyme or reason.  What used to be red was now lavender, what was blue (to resemble the marble fabric) was now white with little blue polka dots.  
Needless to say, I was ready to throw things and my husband looked for places to hide.  This morning I remembered that I hadn’t junked my old version of Word and am almost back on track.
However, in the meantime I woke up to sunshine this morning . . . lovely!  We’ve been needing it.  It snowed here in Belgium too, the week after Easter.  Yes, I know Easter was early but snow that late?  Yuck.  Except it looked so pretty.
So after a bit of housework, another hour of Toybox and reading my emails - I headed outside to weed for the first time this year.  It was lovely and one thing led to another when I thought it was a good time to clear off my potting bench and found 100 daffodil bulbs and quiet a few tulip bulbs that never got planted.  Yikes.  They were actually sprouting and one was nearly ready to bloom.  
What the heck - into the ground and various pots they went.  It will be fun to see how many materialize and if we still have daffodils in June . . .
Now, it’s back to that computer . . . for a good fight until the Toybox pattern is complete

. . . wish me luck
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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Where have I been?

So, once again, it’s been ages since I was able to update the blog.  I did keep something of a journal though - but was on the road constantly for about six weeks.  Property hunting, moving, packing, opening and trying to stay sane - you can read all about it in the following journal entries.

4th February
2008 - Monday
Arrived in Seattle last night, met with Patti today.  She’s taking the month off to prepare for her daughter’s wedding so today we concentrated on the hand-over.  Questions, answers and to-dos.  Began the hunt for the new office space.  Need to get over this jet-lag.
11th February
2008 - Monday
Spent the rest of last week down with the flu.  Not what I needed.  Am somewhat reconciled this morning as I’ve found the location of the showroom!  I’m very excited and feel like it ticks every box on the list.  Enough space for a small showroom and office space for Patti to work.  Great light!
15th February
2008 - Friday
Axel arrived today, flying directly into Portland for the wedding.  I know it’s only been a couple of weeks but it sure is nice to be on the same side of the world.  Sometimes I wonder how we ever managed all this to’ing and fro’ing.
17th February
2008 - Sunday
Jessica’s wedding today.  It was truly beautiful.  The ceremony was lovely and the reception happy.  Axel and I kept the kitchen going, taking care of the buffet and trying to keep hungry guests happy - they were truly a hungry crowd.  Must be those starving medical students.  We’re both exhausted and I can hardly feel my feet, but we drove back to Bellevue tonight.  Trade the rental car tomorrow for a van and start moving into the showroom.
18th February
2008 - Monday

Emptied the “shop” storage unit.  The first of four storage units that we need to sort, organize, throw out and pack in order to ship all of our personal belongings to Belgium. Began moving everything into the new office today.  And the sign went up!  Yippee, an official “P&P lives here” sign!  It feels real.
22nd February
2008 - Friday
Amazing!  The first day of the Open House for our new show
room is behind us.  Everyone’s reaction was wonderful and their comments made it all worthwhile - "wow - it's really bright in here", "i love the lighting", "it has the same great feel that peacock and periwinkle always had in that little house", "it feels so homey", "there are some great fabrics in the clearance corner", "hey - did you see that??", "it’s nice to have you back" 
23rd February
2008 - Saturday
It’s official - PEACOCK & periwinkle has re-launched!  It’s been a bumpy few years but it’s clear that opening a showroom was the right idea.  Even if it’s only open one Saturday a month.  
Am absolutely exhausted but it feels good.  Finished off the evening by having a wonderful meal with Dave and Sharon McCallum.  Their new DVD “Fantastic Featherweights” are nearly ready and they gave me an advance copy to preview.
24th February
2008 - Sunday
Staying in bed ALL day seemed like the thing to do today but a slow start was nearly as good.  Met up with John for “breakfast.”  It turned into a four-hour brunch full of every topic imaginable.  And a nice walk in the crisp sunshine.  I wish somehow that we lived nearer, but it seems that will likely never happen.  We took a picture - surely the first of the two of us together after 20 long, wonderful years of friendship.
25th February
2008 - Monday
Enough rest for the weary, began what feels like the insurmountable task of sorting, packing, organizing and making decisions on what will go in the container of our personal belongings being shipped to Belgium.
28th February
2008 - Thursday
Lectured for Quilters by the Bay in University Place.  Shared some old and new samples of working with silk and went through the entire pre-washing process.
29th February
2008 - Friday
Picked up my nieces and nephews and headed to the Nicholson’s. 
Oi vey, it was a full house!  11-year old wisdom, followed by FOUR 8-year olds (triplets plus my niece) and a 5-year old “I can do that too.”  
I know I’m a glutton but I love ‘em all!  Group overnight, bike-riding, lunch, skateboarding, 4-square (Jacob taught me how to play again) and dinner!  
3rd March
2008 - Monday
The packing continues as we get ready for the movers to come on Wednesday.  We’re looking at a 1/2-container.  20’ x 8’ x 8.5’.  Yikes, that’s 1360 square feet, amazing to think we have so many belongings.  I’m most excited about having my entire stash and sewing supplies in one place.  Watch out world - I plan on quilting!  Too bad, we didn’t take pics of the container packing - maybe we’ll remember when it reaches the house in Schellebelle.

6th March
2008 - Thursday
Axel flew back to Belgium this morning, it was hard to let him go and I longed to be stepping onto that plane with him.  I’ve been here 4-1/2 weeks and it’s been packed full of moving, shifting and organizing.  I’m ready to wake up in my own bed in my lovely house in Belgium, listen to the birds singing, pad downstairs for a cup of coffee and walk through the garden.  
Instead I got up and headed to the showroom to pack the van for the Evergreen Piecemakers Retreat in Renton.  Ok - so I got over it and had a great weekend!  Number one goal, design a great kids quilt using the Toybox Collection.  I think I did ok . . . need to add a border top and bottom and we’re there! 

14th March
2008 - Friday
First day of the Quilter’s Anonymous Show in Monroe.  Another 10x20 booth, it’s exhausting to set-up and this year I did it alone except for a couple hours of generous help from  Jennifer who it turns out is married to the brother of my best high-school friends, Kristin and she’s a quilter!  The biggest question / announcement this weekend was our new showroom!  Everyone was excited to hear all about it.  Well, we finally came up with the best description - 
“We are an on-line shop with a local showroom!”

The booth was bright and eye catching - helped by the Block Party Quilter’s Raffle Quilt designed by Lisa Jenni - we sold pins, patterns and tickets to benefit their guild.  The Amish-inspired 9-patch top intended for our bed hung next to it  Lisa and I are talking about future collaborations . . .
This show is always a blast as so many of our local customers attend.  It’s a weekend full of hugs, laughter and yes, sometimes even tears.  
This year I’m staying in Monroe with “I’ve always wanted to get to know you better” friend, Jodi.  What a blast!  I’ve been very blessed in my lifetime to find a few kindred spirits that you knew you needed to spend more time with and that you know it doesn’t matter how often you get together.  We laughed and cried until the wee morning - primarily because her first husband’s last name was “Horrible.” 
17th March
2008 - Monday
Eeeks, there’s so much to do.  My flight is at 6pm tomorrow night.  Unpack the van and put away as much as possible in the showroom.  Last minute good-byes.    Piles of little jobs - and, oh yeh, pack my suitcases.  
20th March
2008 - Thursday
Arrived back in Belgium today.  It’s so nice to be “home.”  Too tired after the past six weeks to even think about unpacking.  Usually I have it done and nearly everything put away before bed-time.  My hand project is coming along nicely.  Needing a small project to unwind with in the evenings I started just after the Evergreen Piecemakers Spring break.  Our silk dupioni and hand-dyed cottons from Judy Robertson.  It’s destined to hang above the sofa . . .

So that covers 6 weeks and I hope you’ll agree this helps close the gap a little.  I’m looking forward to a few weeks of settling in and piece and quiet before the container arrives in Belgium.  Plus developing our showroom and website.  Am sure it won’t be as much relaxing as I’d like but there are always the garden and handwork to distract me when my brain starts to get muddled.
In the meantime, it feels good to be a little more caught up . . . next . . .      Jovita

And please do leave a comment - it’s nice to know you stopped by.  I heard from so many of you during my visit that you were reading my blog, but I had no idea . . .


1 Comment $manage-tooltip$
Yes, we are reading your blog, Jovita.  Hey I recognize that picture of your and Axel!  What a wonderful evening we had with the two of you.  Our paths have crossed many times over the last 3 years and a wonderful friendship has been formed.  Looking forward to seeing you again in the fall and in the meantime, we will read about your European adventures.
Many blessings to you and Axel,
Dave and Sharon McCallum
Featherweight RX
Burlington, WA
Monday, April 28, 2008 - 04:02 AM
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