Saturday, January 10, 2004

Back in the swing of things...

This morning was the first Saturday morning back in our usual routine of getting up and out the door by 8:15 to head for Saint Pat’s Family Center. I wasn’t teaching the Circuit Training class this week, so I got my workout in first while Nick waited with the girls until they headed into the pool at 9:00 am. Bethany came out at 9:30 and showered with me and we managed to get the hair partly fluffed dry with the blow dryer before Erin came out at 9:45. They both headed into gymnastics at 10 for an hour while Nick went up to take the circuit class from Denise while I watched the girls in the gym and worked on some stitching. By 11:30, everyone in the family had had at least one workout and everyone’s hair was clean too!!

The only thing is... it is FREEEEEEEEZING out. I don’t think my fingers have been warm at all this week unless I have them wrapped around a mug of tea! Even my stitching feels slower than usual.. thank GOODNESS for quick model stitchers like Dani, Beth and Juls... or I would be in a TOTAL panic!!

I’m off to speak with a seamstress this afternoon because I have decided to get a little help with my costume for Nashville... My sewing machine is being a bit temperamental and as Nick said the other day “how much is your time and sanity worth??” Sometimes trying to do everything yourself just isn’t worth it.... so we’ll see what she quotes and then I can decide

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Fire and Ice...

It is SO ironic that as I am putting the finishing touches on the first of my elemental dragons... Fire... and have been looking at ways to use these charts to help others around the world, that a disaster should hit so close to home. Late Monday afternoon, one of my fellow “bus stop moms” came home to find her parents herding her boys out of the house as flames began to burst from the roof line. Somehow something smoldered in their chimney and, despite the fire department coming once to check the house, burst into flames later in the day. Most of the upper floor and attic are totally destroyed, and there is quite a bit of water damage elsewhere. Since all 5 of them moved in with her brother’s family, whose home is even closer to ours than hers, many of us took up food, spare clothing etc. What else can you do when tragedy hits but respond as a community? Isn’t this what I hope my neighbours would do for me if something happened at our house?

Today, the temperatures have plunged into Wind Chill warnings and bitter cold. I don’t think that I have had warm hands or toes since I first crawled out of bed. Tomorrow is supposed to be even more bitterly cold, but after that... I hope things warm up a bit for a photo shoot... If not, I will be finding a studio space to rent or hiring a professional to shoot the Runekeeper model..

I’ve enjoyed the feedback from stitchers about how to best use the Elemental Dragons for charity purposes. I really feel the need to somehow encourage people to not only enjoy what they are stitching, but also think about how they could also help others in tiny ways. Imagine that each one of us helping one another is like one more tiny X added to a design that makes the world a better place instead of an X that has to be “frogged” (Rip-it,-Rip-it).

Since so many stitchers outside North America pointed out how hard it is to find truly International organizations (like the Red Cross), I think I have come up with a solution that works for me. When each elemental dragon is posted, I will put a list of ideas for places to donate on the website... but then let each stitchers decide for themselves. I’m not going to try to “force” people to be generous. I also know that there will be some stitchers who choose not to donate anything to any cause, but I think that will be better than making it a chart which can only be obtained with a contribution. Somehow that will make the chart even more tempting to those who continue to abuse copyrights and share or post patterns illegally. I’m working on the wording that will appear on the chart itself, but I think there will be room in there to put down some ideas of causes.

I can remember looking at a campfire this summer and thinking just how beautiful and terrible Fire can be.... that something to bring warmth, cook food, act as a beacon in the darkness (that scene in Return of the King where the beacon fires were being lit game me goosebumps!!) and much more can also destroy...

Monday, January 05, 2004

Ahhh.....Back To Just Me and My Thoughts...

It was a wonderful and relaxing holiday season... which is probably why I posted so few blogs... I was just too busy having fun with my family! But as much fun as it was not to wake up to an alarm clock or be tied to much of a schedule, I am still glad to have the house back to being quiet and getting some work done.

I really wonder if I could work in an office anymore. I have become accustomed to the silence behind the clatter of keyboard and mouse, the soft tunes I might tuck on in the background when I am designing and just being able to get lost in my work.

With Nashville only a month away, it is hard not to give in to panic as my “to do” list grows, but I learned long ago to eat that elephant in small bites... so I just concentrate on getting things done one at a time!!

Today I am printing out covers for A Dragon’s Tea Party on one Mac while I polish up the final layout for our Runekeeper Saga on the main computer. Even though the press bill on this one is going to be on the edge of my comfort zone, putting together a beautiful book with story and stitching is quite fun. The framed piece looks so wonderful and I can’t wait to have a sunny, non-windy day (without the -22 wind chill today) to photograph the piece on our back deck. Sunlight really does bring out the sparkle in the braid the way you can’t do unless you have LOTS of studio lights. Photos never really do the model justice, but at least you can try to make it as close as possible. One of the thrills that I had stitching other designers patterns was that it always looked SO much better in real life than in the photo, so you had that joy of falling in love with the design that your fingers were itching to stitch all over again!