Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Home after a Month on The Road

What a busy month I have had.  First, there was the drive to Houston by myself.  That is always an adventure.  Priceline and Travelocity have become permanent apps on my phone.  I got to Houston right before they were closing the gates the day before set up and was able to park my trailer that stayed in the same spot the entire time I was in Texas.

Market was great, I met with many magazine publishers.  I signed four contracts with Quiltmania, the French version, so I'm pretty excited about that.  I'm hoping that the 2 new distributors I talked to follow up with orders.  I met with many Quilt shop owners, fun ladies from all over the world.

Festival was crazy busy.  Sandy made the quilt show not quite as joyous as it usually is, but I can understand the concern I saw on people's faces as they talked about home and what awaited them.  Most East coast attendees had to bug out a couple of days early or be stuck in Houston an extra four days.

I have pictures and will share more in the next couple days....have to get back to Gobble, Gobble preparations.

The FABSHOP Bunny Hop is going on and Rusty Crow Quilt Shop is a first time player, come find the bunny on my site. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Just keep moving....

October 2nd?  Really?  I want it to be a joke, but at the same time I'm so excited that October is here.  I'm working like a crazy lady trying to get stuff done, but some things are slipping by and I can't help it. 

The quilt shows this fall have been a lot of work, but fun hanging out with my favorite fellow vendors.  I will be at the Simi Valley show this coming weekend, then I have one more small guild show before I leave for the Houston show.

The days have been long and hot here in Southern California.  I don't know how people who live in this kind of weather more than 2 weeks do it. I'm too spoiled to live anywhere else.

I will be teaching the Rag Rug method at Cotton & Chocolate Quilt shop in Thousand Oaks this Friday 10:00-3:00.  Hope I see some familiar face.

Have a great rest of the week. Shawn

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hot Days in August

Summer has finally arrived here in San Diego County.  We have been in the mid-80's all week.  I know many quilters in the mid-west would love weather like that, but we aren't use to the stickiness that comes with it. 

So with every fan turned on, and every piece of paper under something heavy, I've been cranking out customer quilts.  Looking at my show schedule the next few months has me about to say that I won't be taking on any Christmas quilts this year. 

If things work out the way I think, we will be heading to the World Quilt Show Florida IV after Houston.  That means, I won't be coming home to reload, so I have to take enough stock to supply two big shows.  Most of you who have seen my trailer and the mess I made at setting up a booth can attest to how much stuff I bring. 

The thought of having to pack and ready enough for two out-of-state shows is a bit overwhelming but possible. 

I hope all of you are enjoying the summer of 2012.
Use sunscreen. Shawn

Saturday, August 4, 2012

New Website, Long Beach is over, Houston is Looming

Rusty Crow Booth - Before
It has been a week since we were super busy at the Long Beach Quilt Show.  This is my booth before ....So many bins and so little room or so it seems most of the time.  I'm always looking for displays that I can pile more stuff onto.

I moved my stuff into the booth, Wednesday night until they kicked me out.  Then returned to the scene of the crime, Thursday morning at 8:00 am and worked until they opened the doors and let the preview quilters in. 

Thursday afternoon, Alicia came bringing pizza & salad and helped finished setting up for preview night.  
This is the booth after 9 hours of work.

Rusty Crow Booth - After

In the middles of getting the booth prepped, we have boxes and bins everywhere.  I really try not to touch anything a million times before it's in it's place.  The powers to be with the microphone announce that they need the aisle cleared because the have to roll out the carpet.  Then it's a mad dash to get the empty's either stashed away under the tables or out to the trailer that is now parked in Santa Ana at Alicia's house, Oh Yeah!! So instead we are jamming them into my truck.  

Anyway, Preview begins and I don't look up much from my Rag Rug demo-ing until it's time to go.

Long Beach was a great show.  Lots of familiar faces, which was so fun.  I met Lisa Bongean and her husband, Nick from Primitive Gatherings.  Their booth looked great as always and was miles longer than mine.  Someday, I will be a big girl with a big booth.

The new website is up and slowly filling up.  I loaded my show calender into it today.  Which made me look ahead at next year's calender.  There are a couple of big moves that some of the shows are doing, which will knock out some shows for me.   I'm not a franchise yet!!!!!  One show at a time....

So this week, between taking care of Mike's billings, emails, and orders, I have been on the Gammill most of the week.  I have a pile of quilts that have to be done in the next 10 days. 

So thanks to everyone who came and said hi at the big show.  We will definitely be back next year.  Maybe, our booth will be a little bit longer too.......

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Working like a crazy lady trying to get everything ready for the Long Beach Quilt Show.  I have never vended there before, so I'm over-preparing if that is possible.  I have tons on new wools schedule to arrive on Tuesday, so I will be cutting into the evening.  We are on the road on Wednesday.  Mike and Alicia, (The Batty Lady) are going to be helping me out this weekend.

Jared, our college graduate, has landed his first real career-type job.  Keeping my fingers crossed for him.  His first day is Monday.

New website is suppose to be up on Monday, but I'm thinking Tuesday is more like it.

If you do make it to the Long Beach Quilt Show, please stop by and say hi!!!

:) Shawn

Monday, June 25, 2012

My Active Kindness Day 1

I don't know why, well, yes, I do.  I was/am feeling a bit overwhelmed by what I know needs to be done in the next couple months before my Fall Quilt Show season starts.  Patterns need to be finished, others need to be created, taxes need to be filed.  The paper work MONSTER has completely held my office in siege-mode still January, is still happily occupying and I'm afraid multiplying as I type.

On a high note, my kids are doing great, which is why I know that all is really ok in the world. 

But that aside, I was really feeling down, and I don't like getting like that.  It's non-productive, depressing and I eat crap that I shouldn't.   So as I'm driving to Costco today I was thinking about how to pull myself out of my self-imposed slump. 

Whenever our kids complained about being whatever, bored, not happy, sad, ....  I would tell them, "Go do something nice for someone.  You will always feel better about yourself when do for others."  Now, granted when they were little, I was forever hopeful, that would mean clean bedrooms or a swept floor.  But I digress.

So with that little chant in my head, I parked the car and headed into Costco.  Not 10 steps away, I see a handicapped man just about finishing loading his car, so I asked if I could take his cart back to the store.  He smiled and thanked me.  Instantly, I felt better.  

Now, I know that wasn't world peace or a blood transfusion. But, I'm afraid that if I hadn't been actively seeking out someone to be kind to, I might have walked past him.  Typcially, my head is filled with the list of things that need to be pick up, stop and get gas, bank, post office, and all thoughts of chores or stresses that fill our minds and blinds us to others.  I'm not proud of that, just acknowledging my truth.

I have to tell you.  A little mental switch popped in my psyche.  I had a great rest of the day.  Later that afternoon, we had a construction crew asked if they could pay us to park some truck and pile some dirt on our property while they do some water pipe construction in our neighborhood.   Mike is happy, they are grating some of our property that he has been wanting done for a while now.
Happy, Happy, Happy!! 

So I'm going apply this,  "Active Kindness" idea into my routine tomorrow.  
Keep you posted on "MAK" 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

This has been a week without a quilt show, so I'm trying to get back into the groove of getting other stuff done.  I quilted a couple of quilts for a customer and got some new fabric on the website. 
I have to start thinking about shopping for a new dress for next week.  Our son, Jared is graduating from Pepperdine University next week and we so excited for him.  My Mom is flying in for the occasion, she always cooks while she is here, so I will need to do some food shopping.  Mike is always happy when shes here.  Real Dinners.

I have four new quilt patterns draw out, so I need to start pulling fabric and getting those started.
Link-A-Dink is done, just have to sit down in front of a computer long enough to get it written.
Last year was kind of my ode to the Churn Dash, this year is more Ode to the Boys.  Quilts that you can do for guys, more a fabric choice than a pattern.  But patterns can lend themselves to working with guy-like fabric and that is my goal this year.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I'm so Grateful

So with all the stuff around that we can complain about, and trust me, I have a lion's share in just my little world.  I want to take a breath and bend a knee in thanks to God, the universe, my family and friends.  There is so much in my life that I'm so grateful, I don't know what I did to deserve all the goodness and love that I have from the people in my life. 
Rusty Crow Quilt Shop and Patterns has been a dream of mine for a long time.  I have been working, developing my point of view with fabric, driving the miles, and cutting so many yards of fabrics that I could do it in my sleep.  Everyday, I get a call or an email from a customer or a shop with a question or an order.  It is beginning to feel like it's really "REAL" to me.

I want to thank all of you who have spoken to me privately.  Brit is making progress, but this is a road that has a lot of twists and bends in the road.  We will just continue to love on her.  All children are precious, doesn't matter how old they are.  Count on the good stuff.  I do.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I like Funky Monkeys and stuff that doesn't bite back

Opening a new box from a fabric company is little Christmas, you know what you asked for, but until you see it in person it's always a bit of a mystery.   Funky Monkey and Brannock & Patek's Woven Basics arrived this week. 

Yesterday was a hard day, enough said.  But I love the fact that I got so many calls and notes about Brit.  Mike and I love you all.

So this morning I decided to start it out with something that always makes me smile, fabric that I haven't had before.   Now, I have had Sock Monkeys and the Socks in my Quilt show Booth and on the website for years, but I never carried the Sock monkey fabric.  It seemed to bright for my booth, and it didn't seem right to give the silly monkeys a expresso-stain dunk in the sink.  But I get asked all the TIME do you have sock monkey fabric??????

Well, I relented and ordered all the brown, red, and cream based Monkey fabric.  Of course, it doesn't hurt it comes from my FAVORITE manufacturer MODA!!! Can I get an AMEN??

I'm working on several new patterns that I hope will all be ready for Houston or sooner.  One pattern I'm calling Link-A-Dink is a new guys quilt that I'm hoping that the wovens will work with.  I'm really looking forward to working with brushed cottons again, it's been a while.  So forgiving, who cares if the checks and plaids don't line up perfectly?  I don't, part of it's charm.

I'm in Quartzite, Az at a quilt show this Friday and Saturday.  I have never been there before and I'm not to sure what to expect.  Hopefully, quilters in the desert like brown, butterscotch looking fabric.  I will let you know.   Hopefully, the hotel will have internet.  I'll post pictures of the show.  


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's the "in-between" that will get you.

When I started this blog, I thought ok, I'll keep friends and quilting fans up-to-date on whats going on the in the Rusty Crow World.......and everything in-between.  I didn't think the in-between would land on us like a falling star. 

2012.   The new year was to bring greatest change and joy to all of us.  My little quilt business is growing, my patterns are starting to be noticed, I have a couple of articles coming out this next year.  Mike is feeling better, the surgeries are just scars now, not the constant pain that had been his silent partner for so long. Our children, are doing well.  Brooke is building her clientele as a stylist, Jared is graduating from Pepperdine in April and anxious to find a job in the computing world.  But most exciting of all was that our oldest daughter, Brit was having a baby in January.

God must really keep himself amused when he reads our thoughts, our plans and all those things that we deem so important.  So when life rolls along and then over us, we get up sputtering, wondering what the hell just happened.

With all the glory and hope that a new life brings to us, the world and the smile that must be on God's face at the sight of that new baby, we are in such pain.  My heart is breaking away is little pieces and I don't think I can pick them up fast enough.  Brit is in the hospital with postpartum.  It came on slow, picking up steam each day until she couldn't take it anymore.

As parents, we are standing by hoping that the professionals will find the right medicines and therapy to help our daughter.  It is so early in this journey that I don't even know if we are on the right road.  I spent yesterday with that precious little girl, giving her all the kisses and hugs that her mom will give her one day soon I hope.

So here I am, in the in-between part of life that hurts.  We will know joy again, I have to believe.  The in-between part can't last forever.  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ya-Ya-hood fast approaches

As a long-armer, I have often made fun of those quilters who came to me with emergency baby quilts.  The idea that you knew for 9 months that little bundle of joy was heading your way and nana didn't get on the ball and make that quilt until the baby was crowning made me laugh.

Well guess what!! Our oldest daughter, is having a baby and she called yesterday and said, "I'm one and a half centimeters dilated.  I can have Marley any minute".

I have a Wednesday night quilting class that has been meeting for years.  They are more support than students, and teach me more than they could ever learn from me.  Any hooey, we are catching up last night, first class of the new year, talking about the holidays.  I mention the call.  They all look at me, and ask, "So do you have a baby quilt done?"

No, but I have the fabric.  I had bought a bundle of fat quarters from the first sock monkey line Moda ever put out.  I have been saving it all this time.  One of my Friends, Patty brought this new magazine, Better Homes, Sew Scrappy Volume Two.  A quilt in there is called, "Peach Cobbler" by Pat Sloan.  Super cute and it looked FasT!!! 

So six quilters, 3 hours, beer and lemon sugar cookies and we had a baby top done.  I stippled the snot out of it the next day.  The Wonder Women from the night before had made green dots, so I was able sew on the binding and the hand work that night.  Below, I have included some photos of our work in progress and our finished product!

With love, support and quilter unity, my new, first ever granddaughter, Marley Isabella will have a darling Sock Monkey quilt from her Ya-Ya and friends.

I now know how there can be a Baby Quilt Emergency, lesson learned.