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Samples of the Alice Panel
I have had a few samples made up using both the Cotton Sateen fabric and the so soft Fleece.
The colors are beautifully bright and the fleece really is baby Soft.
Torrie and her daughter came over and gave their snuggle test and it got lots and lots of snuggles.
Order from my website: http://kimberlysimpson.biz
Remember: Wholesale prices available. Just email me.
Changes In Kwan’s, a home based business
Kwan’s Crafts began quite awhile ago. To me, it was just yesterday. But now I am a Grandmother so time has passed.
My Mom, and three friends, Jackie, Isabelle and Eloise first started this little enterprise in the 1960’s in the basement of our house. I don’t know who came up with the idea. I just remember when they would gather in the hobby room and I would hear endless hours of happy voices and laughter. Their big plan for success was to take dried flowers and other small objects and put them in to a resin mold. Once dried, the discs became mobiles that were hung in windows. Every window in our house were adorned with these mobiles. Whenever we would drive anywhere Mom had her scissors and old phone books read to clip and press anything she saw that she thought she might use. I still have found old phone books, underneath something heavy that would press and dry the flowers. They all felt they had hit the big league when a store in Aspen,Colorado began to sell their art. Now Mom could take frequent trips to Aspen to go visit The Tom Thumb Gallery, and see their artwork. Most of the time I would go along with these very enthusiastic ladies. Lunch, and shopping and checking in with the Tom Thumb became a regular routine.
I am not sure when this phase of Kwan’s drew this a close. I think everyone’s families were growing up and other interests came along. But in the 80’s I was starting my family and along came a new Kwan’s Crafts idea. I have always loved sewing and crafts. I even took a sewing machine with me to collage. In the 80’s appliqué was becoming very popular and with that and quilt designs I officially launched my version of Kwan’s. Mom was equally enthusiastic about this new version. My daughters never knew what it was like to wear just a “plain” shirt. If it did not have a design already, I would sew one on. This seeped out to many of their friend’s wardrobes as well. Mom and I and Tiffany and Suki were walking billboards, displaying my latest designs. Mom and the girls would now trek with me to all the Quilt and Fabric stores where I was hopeful to sell my wares. I don’t think I ever topped the enthusiasm that everyone got when the original Kwan’s was discovered by Aspen, Colorado. But I got in to a whole new world, one I never invisioned, the Internet, the Global Community.
Native American Jewelry
Growing up in the western United States, I have always been aware of the beautiful Native American Art. My favorite has always been their jewelry. Driving between Grand Junction and Phoenix we would stop at what were called, Indian Trading posts and look for treasures. During the 60’s and 70’s the look of this jewelry was definitely “in”. Once I became a Mom in the 80’s I could not wear what I used to love to wear. Little hands could pull and twist off necklaces and bracelets. Even ear rings were not safe. For a period of years I lost track of whether the jewelry was in or not. Baby bottles and baby toys were as far as I could think. Fast forward twenty some years and I have begun seeing on the internet beautiful pieces of Indian Jewelry. Often times worn in multiples. Not just one necklace but several. The look, to me, is so fun and refreshing. So out comes my treasures. Whether is is to the store or out to dinner I have rediscovered what I used to so love to wear. I have also discovered some less expensive, similar jewelry that is equally fun to wear. To me it is about color and the weight of the jewelry worn. Lots of possibilities. I have even come across some amazing silver beads that can be used to make necklaces. My Mom went through a time that she was making jewelry. Her tool kit is no doubt still here someplace. A tempting thought.
Let’s see, when I was 10, I thought I would grow up and be a ballerina. I watched all the programs on TV, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and others. I just knew I was destined for this role.
I tried valiantly to be this image of perfection. I had some of the requirements, long legs and slim body. But real talent, that was needed for this very disciplined life – now as a Grandmother, a million light years away, it does not even bother me to say, not even close. So, I learned how to reinvent myself at the age of about 12. I had a short dream of being a horse back rider in some Wild West show. I had the horse, that I loved dearly, but once again my talent for this was also lacking. The positive side, I learned what athletes gymnasts, dancers, equestrians are. And a very helpful survival skill was learned; the necessity in life of being creative in reinventing ourselves.
I went on from this dream, to another, to another. Each time quite certain this would be my life’s calling. I look back now and marvel at the things I did not put in my dream pot. Things that now I would tell my Granddaughter are lofty ambitions. Careers in medicine and science to help heal our planet. Engineering to design a planet that we can all live on and leave to the future generations to love and cherish. I am quite sure Skyelar, my grand daughter will be far more grounded in the real world when she sets her goals.
But I did learn that life is about reinventing at almost every step. We can choose our thoughts to take us on to another exploration. We can choose to try to find the positive or we can sink into darkness. Many things are out of our control and yet can destroy us. I remember reading the book, “Why bad things happen to good people.” This was a very low point for me. But fortunately for me, the little girl inside me, who, along with her good friend, was asked to leave the Church Choir, for being too much of a giggler, would surface and say, I just don’t want to hate, or be mad at the world. Like Martin Luther King would say, “hate is too big a burden to bear.” Before Martin Luther King, I was impressed by Anne Frank, expressing she still felt that humanity was still basically good. This in the midst of pure evil.
Each day we hear about some new evil striking our fellow human beings. Each day I say, “let me be an instrument of peace.” I know the vast, vast majority of us are wanting the very same thing. We need to take our reinvention challenges as a chance to look for, and at, worlds we might never have known, and see how we might add our creative genius to make it better.
Playing with Photo Filters
Quilts that inspire
The tale of a wonderful dog, Jumper
My Dad and I picked him
out of a litter at the animal shelter.
He was probably a sheepdog.
When he was a pup
he could jump off the floor
into my lap.
We named him Jumper.
And he could run, too.
He was fast.
I loved to watch him run-
he’d spot the school bus
and run to meet me,
his black and white fur rippling.
He was loving and affectionate,
not vain at all.
There was no guile in him
and he showed me an example
of social success;
be happy to see people.
But his speed I loved most,
and his love of speed
when his legs moved so fast
they blurred underneath him.
And his sympathy-
when I suffered at school
I’d come home and he’d be there
And he was a protector-
I’d been swimming in a pond
and when I climbed out of the water
a rattlesnake coiled up
there on the bank.
Turning to retreat fast
back into the water
I saw a blur leaping
like some kind of spirit
landing on the sand
between me and the snake.
It was Jumper
attacking and killing
and getting bit.
It’s no wonder some philosopher said,
“The domestication of the dog
is the greatest feat
of the human race.”
I held my dog in my arms
while Mom drove us to the vet,
and in a few days he was back running-
running fast, fast across the field,
meeting me when I got home
from being taught civilization in school.
I felt him- his nose and face in my hand,
his tongue licking me.
Steve Jackson is an internationally published poet.
His poems have appeared in The Salmon(Ireland),
the California State Quarterly and a multitude of
“An Affair in the Valley” Amazon.com
Steve’s Memories, “Rock n Roll”
Steve Jackson has been in the music business since the 70’s. I want to share today one of his stories.
It is about meeting Kris Kristopherson.
I used a bit of poetic license in the story
to try and enhance what I felt about him.
I’ve never heard anything bad about him.
In LA in the 70’s
i was in his dressing room
with some people
and some guy came up to him
telling him about a woman
in Nashville who was in straits
and Chris said,
“Well I bought her a washing machine..”
or something like that.
Another time I saw him leave
a 100 bill as a tip for a bartender.
Leigh worked with him once
and said he was a “No nonsense, straight shooter.”
He had a big country hit in the 70’s
“Why Me?”, a religious song that
crossed over into pop and was in the top 10
best selling pop songs for that year.
(“Why me Lord, what have I ever done
to deserve even one
of the favors you gave?”)
His second album cover is a double exposure
of him with him standing there
and the double exposure silhouette kind of whitish like a soul.
He was almost shy and curious in his attitude to me
and his wife Rita Coolige was the same way.
They both seemed to sense I was in pain
and wanted to fix it.
One guy, a song writer in LA, all agitated
and obviously a bit deranged
came up to him and told him how hard it
was to get a break and find someone to buy.
Kris patiently listened to the guy
and finally after a few minutes said
in a kind of patient drawl-
“Well you can contact Howard such and such(can’t remember the name)
in Nashville, I don’t know if he still does,
but he used to listen.”
Steve’s book, “An Affair in the Valley” is on Amazon.com
Quilts that inspire
My Grandmother was of the era that loved to wear mink. When I came across it among my Mother’s things I wanted to do something with this beautiful fur. We don’t wear real fur anymore, so what to do with this was my challenge. I have a friend that told me she had been making teddy bears for people out of their old furs. What a wonderful idea! We can still admire this mink in its new form.