Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Has anyone seen my XML.dll file?

The error message clearly says "Set up XML.dll is missing from computer" and I want it back.

Where could it possibly have gone and who would have taken it? The good Lord knows that I NEVER delete anything from my computer, I rarely trash the emails I receive let alone something as scary sounding as a XML.dll file. All I wanted to do was upgrade my Corel program. It should have been as simple as inserting the pretty little disk into the correct drive and listening to it whir as beautiful things happened, but it wasn't.

This whole thing started two days ago and I have once again been sucked into computer hell. I've installed, uninstalled, booted, rebooted, trashed, fixed, dialed help lines, allowed people to remotely walk their fingers through my electronic files and I am now, 2 full days later, exactly where I started - only worse off. Things have been trashed that I now have to re-install just to get back to the sorry state I was in two days ago pre-upgrade attempt.

Then the following invitation popped into my email:

"We are pleased to announce that Bill Gates, Co-Chair and Trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Chairman of Microsoft Corporation will be a keynote speaker at the annual WIRED Business Conference, occouring in New York on May 3, 2011.

yadda, yadda, yadda,

Price $1895 - for lunch or possibly dinner, the invitation doesn't really say.

It is almost worth it. If I knew for sure that there would be a question and answer period I could fly to NY, attend the event and ask Mr. Microsoft himself why the heck these things always happen to ME and demand he restore my watchamacallit file! I would probably be taken out in handcuffs.

The invitation says that Martha Stewart will also be there. Maybe I can just get Martha to slap him upside the head?

All kidding aside, if I had the time to make a trip to New York, it would have been to see this:

A definate WOW in the quilting world.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Where Have I Been?

Several people have asked.
More than a few have insinuated that I am way behind in my blog posting.
True, but I have been busy.

We will be vending at the Quilt Festival in Cincinnati Ohio in April.
Working a show of that size requires hours of planning and cutting and folding and printing and planning and packing and planning and wondering if you are planning correctly.
Then you have to pack what you have in bins and pile it all up and wonder if you have enough.... or too much. Don't forget the samples that have to be made and quilted and bound and packed. Then you have to have drapes and carpet and tables and chairs and table drapes and fixtures and a plan to make it all fit.
Click here for more information on the show:

While you are at it, you have to make samples of everything you are taking and I like to remake samples so that the fabrics in our kits match the samples we have on display. We publish our own patterns so I can "easily" change the photo on the front of the pattern. That only requires that I make a new sample, set up the lighting, take the photo, do the editing and insert it on the page before we print. Our wonderful Xerox printers have been behaving like spoiled kids recently. Turn your back on them and something rotten happens.

Naturally this NEVER happens when the Xerox Tech is standing here and I am trying to explain that the paper jams ALL THE TIME.

Then there have to be new patterns and samples made so that we have something "new" for the show. It doesn't matter that this is the first year for this show and almost everyone attending would never have seen our usual booth set-up, we still have to have something NEW. I added a few pillows to our button pillow line, including this Happy Birthday project.

In addition to prepping for the show, I was the featured speaker at the Quilt Guild in New Wilmington PA earlier this month. The meeting is in a great college town located about an hours drive from my store, but I have always found it better to leave extra early - like around noon - to get there in time for the evening meeting. If you happen to get there early, there is a great outlet mall located nearby and you can spend some time looking around until the meeting is ready to begin. I have twin grandchildren due later this spring and the Carters store and I became great friends. The best part about shopping for grandchildren is that you don't have to try their stuff on in front of a three way mirror!

We also have a new BlockWatchers Club that started this month. As part of the fun, I have decided to digitize the applique blocks for those club members that have embroidery machines. Fun, fascinating, but not foolproof. It takes a ton of test stitching to get everything the way you would like it. There is no better way to learn to digitize than to jump right in and give it a try. I have managed to digitize and test sew the first 8 of 24 blocks for this project. Not being one to sit around watching a machine sew, I powered up not one but two BERNINA 830's and had both embroidering at the same time. Those grandchildren I mentioned, are both getting embroidered quilts too.

Lauren, our oldest daughter and her husband are expecting the twins and they requested monkeys and giraffes for the babies room. I have finished two quilts, one green/brown/gold with monkey faces embroidered on it for baby boy and one in all shades of yellow with giraffes embroidered on it for baby girl. Both are backed with Oh So Soft from Moda and I have just a little bit of binding to hand stitch to be completely finished. Then I am going to start on the quilts that Grandma wants them to have!

Meanwhile I also completed samples for our newest pattern Five Easy Pieces. It is the perfect showplace for those large bright funky prints - but being in Grandma mode, I couldn't resist making a baby version too. Instructions for both are in the same pattern. We backed the baby version with cherry red Oh So Soft and added a layer of batting too. If feels absolutely luscious!

Did I mention that "we" are doing a complete redesign on the website? Actually I have hired a pro for this job, but it is my responsibility to tell her exactly what I want. Not an easy task, but it is going to be amazing when it goes live. I can't wait! It also requires a complete re-write of almost everything, changing the format I use for the newsletter. Yep, the spring newsletter that I just finished, printed and mailed has to be changed and re-done to fit the new format. Maybe we will start that process with the summer newsletter.....