Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Current World View

I've been hibernating.

Betcha' been wondering since the Quilt Rambler has been silent for awhile (grin). I know that's out of character and I do appreciate those who have inquired. I'm still alive and kicking, kickin' back!

Yep, this is my current world view - enjoying my hammock in the back yard. Wish I could say this has been an every day occurrence since MQS, but of course I did have to get back to work... I have, however, tried to make it my world view and am working hard to make this my state of mind.

Sometimes we just need to pull back and relax (recuperate). We live in a very busy world that is "on" 24/7. Emails, cell phones, text messages, busy schedules - we are constantly in touch with anyone and everyone - and can do it instantly! This can unknowingly lead to stress or burnout and takes a toll on our bodies, mental health and yes, even our spiritual lives get ignored (not to mention family). Sometimes it's time to pull back and take time to regroup.

That's what I did the weekend after returning from MQS - I purchased a hammock and actually utilized it the entire weekend reading a very good book The Schwarzbein Principle II The Transition. This book talks about improving your metabolism and regenerating your hormones through a healthy diet. Over the weekend in my hammock, and some 500 pages of reading, I learned all about adrenaline, insulin, and cortisol and how my lifestyle of always being ON was catching up with me. Time to make some changes!

So a visit to my local farmers market was the first thing on my agenda! I've been working on eating fresh veggies and fruit and limiting processed foods...ah, but that's what summer is all about anyway right?

It really felt good to take a weekend off to reflect, relax, and enjoy my backyard. I had every intention of doing a follow up blog from MQS and sharing photos of all the wonderful people that I put a face to - those I know through blogville or longarm lists, but alas, I just didn't get around to it (my dad once cut out little circular disks and printed round toit on them then gave them to family and friends so we'd all have no more excuses not to get around to it, whatever that it was, we all had a round toit in our pockets!)

I do want to at least share a photo of the A-team These were my partners, my co-workers, my friends in the A-1 booth...and yes, what happens at MQS stays at MQS (grin)! Needless to say, we had fun in our booth!

To the far left is Victor, he's one of the voices you hear when you call the home office. Victor is a jack of all trades, he helps in the office as well as in the back working on machines, getting them shipped, etc. This was his first show and he did great working with the public! Next to him is Kim Stotsenberg, she's the author of "Just Leaf It" a fabulous technique workbook for longarm quilters. She has an A1 and is a national teacher, helping us out in the booth (and she was my roomie for the week, and yes, we stayed up way too late talking! She talks as much as I do, so you can only imagine!). In the middle is me, first timer to MQS (grin). Next to me is Brenda Janovy, our A1 dealer from South Dakota, she's just great. Period. She knows her stuff when it comes to these machines, she's great to work with, and my new best friend (grin) If the three of us had roomed together it would have been a week-long slumber party with no one getting any sleep! I'm looking forward to working more shows with Brenda. Just wish SD wasn't so far from TX! On the far right is another one of our handsome A1 home office fellows - that's Justin, he's the machinist who helps build the A1's one at a time. We are talking quality workmanship here folks. He's also a new fantastic quilter...when he wasn't helping in the classroom or talking to a customer about the A1 he was doodling on the machine. Justin just wowed everyone with his feather puffs, did I mention that he quilts one handed in non stitch regulated mode? oh and he's also the son of our owner Stewart Plank who isn't pictured. ... so that was our gang for the week. It's hard to think that's been several weeks ago, we certainly had a blast together, and I certainly needed my hammock when I got home! It's wonderful to go, but oh so wonderful to come home.

So what's been going on in the meantime? Glad you asked....

Had a little honey-do project this past week...if you've been following my blog for any length of time you may remember that we are Ike Survivors - hurricane Ike knocked down my carport support beams in Sept 2008 (among other things), they were replaced sometime the following spring, but didn't get painted until this past week. Sometimes things just take awhile to get done...but they are done now and the front door got repainted to boot! Thanks honey!

My youngest son said something to my mom, who was visiting this past week, concerning how I tend to over commit to too many projects and then seem to always enlist the rest of the family to help me out with completing them...well, it was his turn to help his momma! Yes, somewhere between the hammock and catching up on customer quilts there was a short visit with my mother and I enlisted both her and my son to help me recover a rocking chair...

I inherited two of these masterpieces several years ago when my grandmother moved into assisted living. I grew up being rocked in these chairs (after my mother before me), and later rocked my children when we went to visit...the chairs are circa 1935 - wish they could talk! Oh the stories they'd share! I posted this photo on facebook and my cousin shared her memories with these same chairs. Yep. True heirlooms.

My grandmother had them recovered many years ago and it was time to give them a fresh look again... especially since I found a bolt of fabric that matched the rest of my living room that I'd redone a year or so ago. It was just meant to be (grin). (I'll try to remember to take photos of the curtains, quilt and wall hanging that makes up the rest of this room...)

No, I know nothing about upholstery, but how hard could it be right? Take the old cover off, use it for a pattern and there ya'go.

Never that easy, just ask my son whom I enlisted for this task (grin). Taking off the old fabric wasn't easy. Goodness they must have invested a fortune in upholstery tacks and stables.

It was interesting what we found inside. I'd never thought of what makes a rocker a rocker, have you? (grin). Check out the old springs in the seat - or what about this stuff coming out the back?

My son commented that it looked like pine straw (which is in abundance in East Texas where these chairs originated). My good friend Trish explained to me that it's called horsehair, and was used a lot in furniture prior to foam and modern materials. I've since learned that it's still in
use today but is a very expensive upholstery item. Trish shared that it wasn't really horse hair, but the by product of cleaning/stripping Spanish Moss...hum... All I knew was I didn't know how to replace it, so we left it intact as much as possible.

After pulling off the first layer, which was the newer upholstery job, we decided that the original bottom cushion would best be left intact. At least we think it's the original - we didn't take it down any further to see if there was anything else underneath. So much for trying to get a pattern. I just had to wing it.

But then again, that's typical of how I do stuff. Just jump right in and figure it out as I go.

Got the backing stapled on and decided to add a little modern fluff to the back to make it sturdier. That's what quilters do with left over poofy poly batting (grin).

One down, one to go. Mom was just here for a day (two nights but one day) so this was all we accomplished on the chairs. Not all we accomplished during her stay - we made another visit to the farmer's market, went out to eat at the Kemah Boardwalk (she misses fresh seafood) and did just a little shopping...Yep, we cram a lot in a short visit. Never a dull moment around my house!

Did I mention that after she left I made a run to JoAnn's for upholstery tacks to finish off the backing real pretty like? While there I found books on upholstery - imagine that! I bought a couple to read up on before I do the next rocker, who knows, there's probably an easier way - but then again, that would take all the fun out of it wouldn't it??

So know ya'know what the Quilt Rambler has been up to these past few weeks. Resting, reading about health and nutrition (and the need to rest more), watching "honey" do his projects while enlisting the rest of the family to assist with mine, and somewhere in between working on customer quilts and taking time out to sit in my hammock while eaating as many of my healthy meals outside as possible. (Have I mentioned how much I love berries!)

Time to celebrate summer! I hope to keep my current world view status for quite a while. And hope you will join me in taking time to rest, reflect, rejuvenate and enjoy life!


Anne-Lise at Rag, Tag, Bobtail said...

Those blackberries look sooo good. So does the rocking chair - good job!

Susan Loftin said...

Great job on the upholstery! Keep up with the healthy life style. That's something we all need to do but often times don't.

Vicki said...

chair looks great. My husband is painting the house. gives him something to do sence he retired. got to keep them busy.

WandaQuilts said...

Good job all around! The chairs are true treasures! I love 'orange glow' cleanser and polish for the wood, old furniture drinks it up and the scent is nice to boot!

Zlaty said...

I envy your hammock! Enjoy it!

The berries look so fresh! I am trying to eat more fresh foods as well!

Have a great day!

martusmedia said...

LOL, only you could make all that interesting to a geek like me! Before I knew it I read the whole thing. Be blessed!

Dwain said...

Karen what a great job on the rocker!! If you see anything in the books that might help me with my dining room chairs, let me know which book and I will order it.