(shyly peeking my head over my computer screen wondering if anyone is still here…)

Oh what a whirlwind few months it has been, my friends. I think when caught in a whirlwind, sometimes you just have to let go of some of the things you’re trying to hold on to as you spin and twirl or you won’t survive the storm. Once the whirlwind ebbs, you can go look for the things you dropped, brush them off and carry them with you again. At least, that’s what I hope. This blog was something I just couldn’t hold onto through the craziness that was my spring and summer this year. I had to let it go. But now that the winds of change have calmed (well, sort of – but I’ll get to that) I can dust this blog off and pick it back up.

Did that analogy make any sense what so ever? It did in my head.

I’m not quite sure where to begin in the retelling of my spring and summer. So. Many. Things. Have Happened. There is any number of ways I could covey what was. I could bullet point by area of importance: family, home, crafting, the gardens, work and school. Or I could by the months; April, May, June, July, August and now. Oh has it been so long? I could share it all in pictures, but all you’d need do is visit my Instagram feed to see into my days that way.

It’s silly, but, I’ve been away from the space so long, I’m not sure what you’d want to know anymore.

Thinking that makes me remember what I this place truly is to me and that’s a place to hold my memories. I frequently fear I’ll lose my memory and lose all the specialist of moments that I’ve experiences (which is why I take a bazillion photos) and I feel like this is a place I can hold the words that go with the pictures to look back on down the road. I love going into the archives here and seeing the kids grow, my work evolve, and our lives change.

So, let’s start there. My memories from this summer.

The KIDS

  • Jacob moved on from 11th grade and began his last year of high school. We visited several colleges through football camps and my Dad came along for the ride. He got this license on the second try and hung out with friends more than he was home.  We had some growing pains this summer too. It’s so hard to let go and let him be the almost-adult he wants to be.
  • Andrew went from freshman to sophomore without a hick up. He continues to love his school and missed his teachers this summer. It was a rather boring summer for him, to be sure. He’d wake about 11am, roll out of bed and make some breakfast, bum around the house playing video games, ask what was for dinner a million times, and then watch movies with Jacob until the late hours of the night.
  • Lauren finished up elementary school and eagerly awaited the start of middle school. She started asking to go buy school supplies in early July and begged to go on vacation daily. She had countless sleepovers with her girlfriends and loved drama camp. It was the first summer in a while that she didn’t have an injury! No head butts from careless campers, no broken teeth from trampoline bouncing, no broken wrist from backwards relay races… she survived unscathed.

The HOUSE & GARDEN

  • This was the summer we had the garage done. N’uf said.
  • It was the summer of grilled pizzas. We made them at least once a week.
  • Our garden struggled. The majority of our tomato plants died from septoria mid-season. The jalapenos were plentiful though and we stuffed them with cheese and grilled them almost as often as we made grilled pizzas.
  • And then we had the driveway done too. And now the exterior of the house should be good for about 5 years. Then we’ll see about a new roof.

The CRAFTING

  • For as busy as we were, I knit a lot and sewed some too. Knitting calms me. I’ve gotten to the point where I can stockinette without looking at my needles and stitches. So, I just stitch away as we drove to colleges, or as I sat listening to meetings.
  • I made 2 shawls, a couple of hats, and a sweater.
  • I sewed a tunic, a shirt and a dress. The dress was a smashing success and I love it. The others are waded up in the bottom of my closet.
  • I made a bit of jewelry here and there as deadlines called, but I haven’t touched my torch. I daydream about melting glass, but it isn’t like my other crafts. I can’t torch while I watch TV or when I’m on a conference call. It’s a commitment. Sometime soon I’ll find a couple hours to devote to it again. I wonder if melting glass is like riding a bike?
  • My Christmas crafting started last week.

The JOB & EDUCATION

  • When last I blogged, I mentioned my nerves about school. Turns out those nerves were warranted. The two classes I took this summer were intense, especially the English class. I packed the work of a full 15 week course into just 6 weeks. I cried a lot, busted my ass, and pulled off an A. I will never take another class like that again. I’ve learned my lesson! I do not need to stress myself out like that. I want to enjoy summer, not spend my nights glued to my laptop wondering if I’ve missed something.
  • Work has been a roller coaster. The book market is general is changing – constantly – and we’re adjusting to stay ahead. It means I’m in a constant state of change and always learning new things (did I ever tell you LEARN is my word for 2014?). Co-workers have come and gone. Books have come and gone. Authors have come and gone. And I’m still here! Oh how I love my job… I love working with artists on their road to becoming authors. I wouldn’t mind less behind-the-scenes paperwork that goes into book production, but I’ll take it if it means I get to see the concepts being developed come to life.
  • Because of all the change happening with work, I’m not taking a fall semester class. I’ll see where I’m at in November when it’s time to register the spring semester. So many classes left to take just to get my 2-yr degree. Ugh. It feels and is years away. I still have so much self doubt swirling around that.
  • This summer I decided to let go of my Color Canvas article in SBS Wire magazine. The last issue you can see my work in is the Oct/Nov issue currently on newsstands. I hope you like what I made. Three years, 18 palettes, 18 projects and I felt I was ready to be done.
  • I was able to attend TNNA, Quilt Market and Bead & Button this spring and had so much fun playing, er I mean working, with kindred creative spirits in person. My next “work” trip will be to QuiltCon in February.

And US

  • We celebrated the 20-yr anniversary of our first date.
  • We got to go on just-the-two-of-us outings, sans kids, a bunch of times. I loved it.
  • We still have beer-o’clock whenever we can.

There you have it. How I – we – spent our summer vacation. I’m sure I could go on, but these should be enough things to spark my thoughts when I think back on this summer. I can’t promise when I’ll post again, but I hope to. I’m excited to share with you all the goodies I’ve been working on as Acquisitions Editor. The books I’ve acquired are going to start to release soon and I can’t wait to talk about them. I want to do author interviews and make projects from the books and share it all with you here.

How does that sound?

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Sunsational

April 4, 2014 · 1 comment

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Seriously, y’all, I need to work on taking out my “big” camera. These grainy low res camera phone shots are killing me.

It would seem spring has finally arrived round these parts. Which is to say Rochester’s version of spring has arrived. On Lauren’s birthday on Sunday we woke to a fresh 8 inches of snow and then by Monday it was warm enough that I went for a run outside. The week was so completely saturated with bright blue skies and overwhelmingly hopeful sun. Today is dark and rain will be arriving by this afternoon, tomorrow there will be snow flurries again. You see, Rochester style spring in full effect.

Lauren is officially eleven and the party she planned was a blast. Her friends have such fantastic personalities. They are all so kind and funny and inclusive of others, it’s awesome to see them together and I’m so happy Lauren has such a great group of supportive peeps in her corner for middle school next year. Indeed, middle school, crazy right? That little two year old peanut that used to draw names out of a bowl to give away free beads here on the blog will be starting middle school come September. She’s still little for now though. She lost two teeth this week, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday.

Ron wants to rearrange the living room to open it up in anticipation of having the back door open more for grilling on the deck and being in the back yard. I’m struggling with where things should go in our space. We have too much stuff. This-can’t-go-there-because-of-that-or-that-can’t-go-here-because-of-this-ness is plaguing me. I love to rearrange furniture so this really shouldn’t be that difficult. I’ll keep thinking on it. And, I don’t know about you, but for me, thinking on things like this make me look at every room more critically and I suddenly think our house is a disaster and needs a major purging and deep cleaning. I dare say it needs a spring cleaning, which is just reinforcing the notion that spring is really here.

My copy of 1000 Beads (Lark 2014) arrived this week and had me rather contemplative. I was thinking a lot about the time when the artist call went out and how inadequate I felt about my work. Ultimately, I didn’t submit any images for jurying. I wouldn’t say I’m regretting not submitting, but I thinking it is interesting in retrospect when looking at where I am now. The beads in the book are just amazing and it’s wonderful to see so many familiar names honored. Well done, my friends. Seeing these goodies (of all media: glass, polymer, paper, metal, etc.) made me yearn to sit at my torch melting glass again. It’s been so long since I’ve done it. Alas, it will be longer still until I have the chance. My torch is unreachable at the moment with all our garage stuff being stored in the basement for the pending construction that’s going to start in May. All in due time though, I just need to be patient. (Which is not one of my strong suits. Ahem.)

Anywho… I have a research paper to write this weekend for my Media Studies class. I haven’t written a research paper since 1996, so this should be interesting. Gulp.

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