Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Well, we made it to Chicago and back and had a wild ride in the middle!! Once again, we saw old friends, made new best friends and are trying to regroup! We were very happy to have Midge on the Artgirlz team and we were all amazed to experience the mix of energy from our combined forces! There was so much going on at any one moment that we are still catching up on stories. We talked with magazine editors, tv producers, online hostesses, distributors, store owners, acquisition big shots, and most importantly our loyal supporters and "old" customers from all over the place! There is nothing more heartwarming than hearing that we have nudged someone along their creative path!!

I continue to be inspiried by the young designers that are out there writing books, looking for work and doing tv and generally bringing a freshness to the scene. We were lucky to run into Traci Bautista, Katie Hacker, Candie Cooper and Margot Potter.

The garden needs lots of work with weeds growing, Japanese beetles munching away...but the lilies are beautiful, the bees are very busy, baby angelicas are all over the place, the fish and frogs seem to be happy in the pond. Sue and Al checked the bees last night. There are so many of them and we don't want them to swarm. We are beekeepers driving without a license, so we have to call one of our mentors today for advice. We had the joy and privilege of tasting the honey right out of the comb!

Back to work! Hi Lennis!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Another Monday morning at Artgirlz Nation. We will be finishing up packing and all preparations for CHA today so that we can celebrate Allison's Birthday tomorrow! Happy Birthay Big Al!! As part of that preparation, I wanted to get a few more samples of our new wool felt kits up for the world to see.
The Christmas Tree contains the cone with wool felt beads and a second pack of mixed beads for additional color and texture. Of course any number of sequins, ribbons, trims, presents and embroidery can be added to the mix!


Sue and I traveled in Africa in 1994 and '96. While in Kenya we were privileged to hook up with and spend most of our time with a very interesting Kenyan family. They worked as ambassadors, representatives in the government, writers and entreprenures. Our hostess Sophia Odero worked with street children offering food and guidance and with widows, helping them develop skills and micro businesses.

Four years ago we received a call from a young man who introduced himself as the son of one of our favorite Kenyan friends (far left). We offered words of wisdom for survival in the US and sent bits of cash for college fees. A couple of years ago we were heartbroken when we learned that his mom had died. So it was with great pleasure that we headed out to Portland to actually meet Pamela's beautiful son Myque and attend his wedding over the 4th.

After an introductory breakfast with the groom we went to help him check things off of his "honey do" list. Under the sure guidance of Myque's brother Elijah (seen above right with girlfriend Tana), we spent the next two hot, laugh filled days, chopping up the ingredients and cooking the post wedding rehersal Kenyan feast...and we finally met Abby, the Bride!!

We were very excited to reconnect with Joseph Otieno, who as a teenager in his family home in Nairobi, gave us his room as a landing zone. He filled us in on family news and promised to send greetings to his mom who is working in Afganistan. Hope to meet up with him when we head to Houston for Quilt Market/Festival! The wedding was beautiful, the food was perfect, the cake was the best I've ever tasted.

We were thrilled to meet Myque, his brother Elijah and friends and to observe their love and respect for each other. They are loving, smart and very funny young men and their mom would be very proud of their journey into the world!! We miss them madly!

The other great part of our trip to Portland was spending time with our host David Fones! We met David on our journey thru the craft industry and were very excited that we would be able to drink coffee in his kitchen, read on the porch, study his garden and neighborhood and enjoy his personal guidance around town (which we loved)!! My sister was afraid we wouldn't come home from the land of organic mindsets, art, gardens, gardens and more gardens, light, warm, mosquito free evenings, amazing mexican food...

Part of our Portland tour was a look at the Chinese Gardens with their amazing stone mosaic walkways.

And then there was VooDoo Donuts..

We had heard about this joint on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, that was aired on the travel channel. It was immediately put onto our Portland list! After the relaxing greenery of the Chinese Gardens we trotted down a couple of blocks and there it was! On the left is the "Dirty Bastard"...a lovely raised donut with chocolate frosting, crushed oreos, and a drizzle of peanut butter. Yes, we actually consumed it...and here is Sue enjoying a bit of maple frosting and bacon on an oblong raised dough ball...It is probably a once in a lifetime event!

We had a great trip and are very grateful to David and Lyle for sharing their home and special adventure filled automobile...and we are grateful for the twists and turns that led us to Myque and Abby's wedding.

On to is a view from 35,000 ft....

Saturday, July 14, 2007

We are in our usual pre-show state. Lists of things to do...catalog sheets with our new kits and beads. Stitching up new outfits, working on hair do's, samples, website, blog, and garden. We have been tweaking our new kits that are pretty cute I have to say! There will be Trees, Elves, Snow People and Witches...and and endless number of characters that can be made up by mix and matching felt beads and Artgirlz charms!

We had a great trip to Portland and want to share some photos and stories about that adventure before we head out to our next one!

Back to the garden!