Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Time For A Change

Lately, looking in the mirror I have had the feeling that it is time for a change. Someone needs to do something with my "look". I have had the same hairstyle, same make-up routine, same everything for a few years. Ok, maybe more than a few years. Someone requested a head shot of me the other day and I found my "publicity photo" in a file on my computer - the file was dated 2006. Is anyone thinking "stuck in the mud"?
I've checked around and it looks like I am in charge of the situation. I'm not sure why. I've proven over and over again that I am woefully unqualified in the hair and make-up department. Lindsay our youngest daughter performed with several professional choral groups as she was growing up. One required that the girls wear their hair in a French braid for all performances. Ouch. That meant that before every occasion Lindsay and I would both go into the bathroom armed with brushes, combs, spray, pins, clips and ponytail holders. We stayed there until one of us began to cry. There was a 50/50 chance on who would come to tears first. I can triple braid bias strips, macrame with my eyes closed, knit, crochet and weave but I can't braid hair and keep it from sliding all over the place.

My attitude toward having my hair done is exactly the same as going to the dentist, I just do it more frequently. My job in the dentist chair is to open my mouth and spit on demand. Reasonable expectations for someone with my qualifications. In the hair salon I willingly tilt my head up or down move from the styling chair to the sink and back as required. If I wanted to be more involved than that I wouldn't bother to seek out a professional.

My dentist doesn't look in my mouth and ask me how he should handle installing a new crown or replacing a filling. Why does Sara my stylist want my input if something should be a little shorter here or there. I haven't a clue! She is the one with the comb and scissors. Those of you that see me in person on a regular basis are now thinking "That explains a lot" aren't you?

In my half hearted attempt at finding a new "style" I mentioned to Sara the stylist that I was up for a change. Her response was "What did you have in mind?". Change Sara, change is what I had in mind. I have no idea what options are open to me. Just because I point to a look that appeals to me, doesn't mean I have the hair that will make it work on my head. Apparently it is my job to provide Sara with some visual aids.

The other day I popped in a DVD to keep me company while I was sewing. The movie was "Somethings Got To Give" with Diane Keaton. I like that movie. I love the beach house in that movie too, but that is beside the point. As is my opinion that she chooses the wrong guy at the end of the movie. My point is that I like her look in that film. I don't have the sparkling eyes or the award winning smile that she has and I could never wear white from head-to-toe without spilling something on myself, but I think I could pull off that hair. And heaven knows I'm a "turtleneck kind of gal".

The plan was to let Sara the stylist know I had found my new look. I would probably have to explain to Sara who Diane Keaton is. I'm not sure she knows any famous people over 50, but she does read People magazine. That was my plan.  The next time I found myself in Sara's chair I would be asking for the "Diane Keaton" do.

I was up late a few days later - still sewing - and Diane Keaton was a guest on The Tonight Show. Ackkkk! What happened to the soft, beautifully styled, sophisticated yet understated somethings-got-to-give Diane? Who replaced her with Goth, leather clad, black nails, fishnet stocking, poker straight hair Diane?

What if I ask for one and get the other? What if my ineptitude with a round brush means that no matter what I do I end up looking like Tonight Show Diane?
I think I will stay stuck in the mud a little longer.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Quilt Sampler - again!

The spring issue of Quilt Sampler Magazine arrived today!  

You probably know Sampler as the magazine that features 10 fabulous quilt shops that are located all across the United States and Canada.  This issue actually features 11 - and the eleventh one is US!  We are the Encore Shop, the "where are they now" shop that they chose to check-in on for this issue.  It is very exciting!

Way - way - way back in 1997 when we were a very young shop, with just 3 years in the business our phone rang.  At that time it was Heidi Kaisand that called to tell me that we had been chosen to be featured.  I didn't believe her and it took several minutes for her to convince me that she was who she said she was.  From that moment on our business became a pretty wild ride.

I've had the pleasure of working with the Editors of American Patchwork & Quilting, Quilts and More and Quilt Sampler over the years so it wasn't a huge surprise when Jennifer Keltner, Editor of APQ called last fall.  However I wasn't expecting her to tell me we had been chosen to be the Encore Shop for this spring issue.  Immediately my brain began to whirl.  The photo shoot was scheduled for October, when the shop displays feature fall colors, leaf prints, holiday fabrics are on the front fixtures and there are ghosts and snowmen all around the shop.  To make the photos look seasonally appropriate we had some shifting to do!

In my world it goes without saying that in order for something to become clean and organized something else is going to become dirty and disheveled.  Getting the shop ready for the photo shoot was no different.  First we shifted all of the holiday fabrics to the shelves facing the back of the store.  Those are the red holiday tags you see dangling in the photo.

Next we collected all of the spring/summer quilts we could find and I called in a few extra from my designer friends.  It was like hanging my own private quilt show.  With tons of husband help to do the high ladder work it only took a few hours to arrange things and get everything hung.  The shop had to be looking good from every angle, because you never know where the photographer will choose to take the shots.  What I think looks great might not appeal to them.  For example, I loved this shot (without the step stool) but the Editor thought it looked "too workroom".

On the day of the photo shoot Tatiana the photographer, her assistant and the editor set-up the shots while we pretended that nothing special was going on.  It is fun to watch them work and see what appeals to the magazine eye and what works better in reality.  One of the things we love about our shop is the SIZE.  Compared to most we have massive floor space, lots of room for customers to move around and not feel claustrophobic.  In the magazine world photos of floor space is a big no-no.  Lots of time was spent deciding how to make us look spacious without showing too much floor.

Once they were finished there was nothing else to do but wait, keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.  Well, nothing but submit our project and instructions.  All of the Sampler Shops are asked to design something original for the magazine.  As the Encore shop I was asked to provide something small to feature.  I chose to update our Three Pocket Tote.  I added a new elastic closure and chain handle and made not one but three versions for them to showcase.  I also chose to quilt the fabric myself - on the Handi Quilter instead of using pre-quilted fabrics.

Now the issues have arrived, the shop and our project looks great and we get to celebrate and share the issue with you!