Sunday, December 4, 2011

Well Hello! You guys must think I'm either lazy or don't care, but I do. I have been working on new 18" blocks and Susan is working on the king version of the beautiful rose colored quilt shown. This is the lap version. We have been hoping to have all of this online by the end of the week, but now, I'm not sure. We were also going to film, but that too has been impossible.
Our move to Colorado was exhausting to say the least. Fortunately we had a lot of help, but it took us about 5-6 weeks to actually get most of the boxes unpacked. Our goal, (which we did meet) was to get the offices set up first; then work on the house and get the kitchen and our bedroom and bath unpacked. The rest could wait, and it did!
From what I can tell in looking at other people's Blogs, folks have a tendency to be pretty honest about what is going on in their lives, and as that is somewhat my nature, at least it shows that we are not immune from everyday problems, and sometimes they are big enough to cause monster stress, as our move did.
The home we are living in is leased at the moment, however we hope to purchase it in the fall. We are in love with the house and never thought of any problems, but we leased it from Georgia, and although Susan and Molly came and looked at it, it's different leasing, as you do not tend to have building inspectors come, etc. We have been here 8 weeks as of yesterday.
Now that may seem like a long time, but when you are working, filming, trying to unpack and get settled, it really flies by. Robert was the first who began to get sick about 3 - 4 weeks ago. He went to the doctor with a huge sinus infection that antibiotics would not touch. It never really went away. I can't believe anyone wants to live on antibiotics as it destroys your immune system, so he finally went to see an allergist in Durango. I started to get headaches, which is very unusual for me. Then Molly began getting severe sinus headaches. Everyone had a symptom of some kind except The Incredible Hulk, but he can't talk, so we really don't know.
To make a long story short, we hired the best contractor in the area to come over and look at the house, and what they found was mold, mushrooms and really disgusting spiders all over the crawl space in the basement. It was determined that Robert has a mold allergy, and they gave him an anti-fungal which has helped his sinus infection. I guess the rest of us are also allergic to mold as well. This was a pretty good infestation of the stuff, and fortunately the owners have been great and the contractors begin working tomorrow to get rid of the mold and seal off the room. We have to leave the house for 8 hours on Tuesday which isn't a big deal as I have yet to get all of my Christmas shopping done so we will just go shop and visit friends in Durango. The contractors come in with the HazMat suits (not sure if that is spelled right). Looks like something out of the movie "Outbreak", and Robert wants to ask them if they will be able to find the Monkey!! No one will understand that if you haven't seen "Outbreak".
I am working on getting my stress level way down as it seems that when it rains it pours. So hopefully things will return to normal by Thursday. We've had a pretty decent snow storm. Looks like about 8-10 inches and it's still going.
Is everyone ready for Christmas??? My lifelong friend is coming on the 14th to stay with us for 2 weeks through the Holidays so everyone will have a Newsletter and new designs before then. I guess I had better finish these patterns and get my body into the kitchen!! Baking is next on my list of things to do!

Monday, November 7, 2011

And why does Pam Bono have a BLOG you say - right? Well, I have been working pretty hard as we are getting ready for another Newsletter with some great new designs and a pre Holiday special type of thing with quick and easy things to make for gifts. That is coming in about a week. We have also been trying to film new videos, but our camera decided to be temperamental, so we had to get that straightened out. It seems that there are not enough hours in the day for me, but I am happy. I have my work, and I have the great love of this place called Colorado that just would not stop being a part of me, no matter how hard I tried.

The new design is Robert's "Intersection" which was a twin sized quilt and we have developed it into a king. Its really BEGINNER, and I like it. Hope everyone else does too. I never know, but it's easy and the pattern will have both sizes. Writing directions, Susan and I doing graphics, and tomorrow we film all day again because the first ones did not turn problems that now seem to be solved.

I feel very blessed. I woke up this morning, looked out my bedroom window and saw the beautiful Buck above about 20 feet away from me in the snow. If you have trouble seeing him, he's in the center of the photo with his neck stretched upwards. He was about a 3 point Mule Deer buck, and then there was another right after him. We ran for the camera and were able to get this one shot. I am grateful. What a great way to start my hectic day.

Our first snow was very pretty. About 3" - 4" but a good start. The photo with the sun trying to peek through was taken from our front window. The mountains are obscured by clouds, but look at the beauty in the trees and the sky.

And last but not least is "The Incredible Hulk" himself in what he considers to be HIS YARD! I now remember how much he loved the snow. He was running and jumping and burying his little head in it. He is having a great time. Our adobe home has an adobe wall with mexican tiles in the wall and it surrounds the back yard. Behind the yard is all National Forest land for miles and miles. I am thankful to be here and a part of all of this beauty every day.

I am grateful for my team and their creativity and their caring. I am in love with this house and it's artistic character that brings out the very best in me. I read something the other day that really caught my eye and because of the experiences I am having every single day, I want to share this with all of you:

"A life that manages to link up the beauty inside with the beauty out there, that manages to somehow serve the beauty that is loved, is a life that has found meaning." From Heron Dance Art Studio.

What is the beauty you love? Share it with me.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Today I am playing with Orchids, and it is fascinating because I had no idea there were so many different varieties. I go into the grocery store and they always have gorgeous ones. Lowe's had them in Georgia. Tons of them, and I bought a plant, knowing full well that I do wonderful things with house plants that do not bloom, but bring a blooming plant into my home and it dies within 10 days! It is an interesting phenomenon that I do not understand. Because the last one I bought in Georgia, after a week, looked so pathetic, I ended up giving it to my daughter-in-law, who for some reason or other can make any blooming plant bloom 10 times more than any normal flowering plant should. After a week's hospitalization at her house, the Orchid looked gorgeous. She did end up with quite a few blooming plants that way, and now I have given it up.

So I figure if I can't grow them, I might be able to draw them and create interesting blocks out of them that hopefully other Orchid lovers will enjoy!
These are 12" blocks that I am preparing to put on Pam's Club, and I am wondering if I should offer them in 12" and 18". I sketched out an interesting framed looking wall quilt and am wondering if that is the way to go - or just let the talented quilters out there do whatever they want with them!
There is nothing that I enjoy more than dabbling in different fabrics, so I had fun with these. Several different fabric companies are represented in these blocks.
Last year I became acquainted with Wilmington Fabrics, and I just love them. Interesting patterns that give movement to a design and lovely colors. So look for these soon.
I am actually taking the weekend off to finish unpacking the final boxes sitting around this house, so that I no longer feel like I am living out of a suitcase or a box!
The high point of today came when 7 Mule deer were grazing in my front yard, one was a little 2 point buck and I grabbed my camera and ran for the window before The Incredible Hulk had a chance to bark and scare them off!
Boy! It's good to be home! Inspiration everywhere I look!

Friday, October 21, 2011

I posted these photos on my Facebook fan page when they came in today and I am using them again tonight to give you my thoughts on what makes a great looking quilt. This was made by Melissa Staib. The design is called Lily Pond and the emphasis is really on the dragonflies in the design that I originally did. When I designed it, the original quilt was executed with a Robert Kaufman Collection that I was working with at the time to coordinate with my Initially Yours line, therefore, I didn't have a lot of room to play with different fabrics. I stuck with the combination that I had chosen to begin with to create a "look" for the entire collection.
Melissa posted on my Facebook page that she wanted the quilt to be bright, cheerful and yet feminine. Well, she really accomplished it.
If you look only at the one block, you can see the leaves of the flowers, however when the blocks are joined together, the leaves form hearts. Melissa played up the flowers, which is the bright and cheerful and the dragonflies give the quilt its soft feminine look. And yet, when placed on a bed, the overall effect will be stunning, as the dragonflies form a circular effect.
The fabric choices here just do not get any better. I like to see a quilt that is well balanced. By that I mean colors that are carried from one element to another. On this quilt, Melissa has carried the pink in the flower into the dragonfly wings, yet in a bit lighter shade. The blues, although she used different fabrics blend beautifully, and the overall effect is stunning.

Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder, and what appeals to me, may not appeal to everyone, but I do not like to have to hunt for a design in a quilt. That is my personal taste, and many would not agree with it.

Everyone has their own sense of what colors "speak" to them, and one person who might like this in purple would be on the right track if that is what makes that person feel good. You have to feel good about what you are making, and in my opinion, not just make something to say "I made it and I got it done in a weekend!" That is the artist inside of me, and that is the way I think, which doesn't necessarily make it the "law of good quilting and design". This piece of work, to me, is as close as you can get to creating something that you can show off and be proud of. It certainly could be a ribbon winner in a show if I were one of the judges! Congratulations Melissa Staib. I think you have done a smashing job!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Well, it's been a while I know! We have unpacked when we have been able to and have the kitchen set up and the dining room. Bathrooms are sort of done but there are boxes sitting unopened all over my office waiting to go onto my book shelf. All quilting and design books of some kind or another. I have been very determined to keep my priorities straight as I am one of those people who has a huge problem living in clutter, but I wanted to get new designs to our members - and non members and get my first Newsletter from Colorado out, which is going out to everyone in chunks. We are testing a new server, so we don't want to overload.
I thought it might be fun to share a few of my decorating adventures with you as I love to decorate and haven't had adequate time to do what I want to do, but it will get there!
I swear, realtors have special lenses on their cameras to make things look longer and larger than they really are. I am sharing two photos with you that I had to work with before we moved. The one on the top shows the living room and goes into the dining room. Santa Fe, Adobe homes have massive posts that are generally dark, rough hewn wood with accents of the same type of wood and the same style in different areas of the home. I love that look, and really wanted to utilize it.
Because we now really live in the forest, I wanted to use as many natural accents as I could with my decorating. The photo beneath the top picture shows a portion of the dining room that has an enchanting window looking into the kitchen. This too was taken by the realtors. The first thing I noticed when I looked at the photo in Georgia were all of the pots hanging in that window. To me, it spoiled the effect of being able to look into a brightly decorated, friendly kitchen. When we got here and I saw the flagstone wall in the kitchen with a charming small wood stove, I wanted people to be able to see that from the dining area.
I took snapshots last night of what I did with that area to improve it and add some of nature in the process. Now these are not the greatest snapshots in the world, but it gives you an idea.
I am a bargain hunter, - have been for years. I have quite a few baskets that I really like and boxes of dried and natural looking flowers in every shape and color. I just happened to find one of those boxes and dug right into it.
Robert and I have a lovely antique ice box that we have had for at least 40 years, and it fits right in with our Southwest style, rustic furniture. Those two styles of furniture are really a good mix as both show the lovely wood grain.
The first day that we began to unpack, Susan put the little green tea kettle in the window and I built around that. We have unwrapped two framed pieces of art, and the one hanging above the ice box is one of my favorites. It is the only piece of honest to goodness true art that Robert and I have ever purchased, and it is an artist from Taos by the name of Ed Morgan. It is actually an embossed Indian, putting on his moccasins with just a touch of silk paint in defining places. We purposely chose a very rough looking frame for the piece. The photo does not do it justice, but when we unpacked it we couldn't believe the effect that it had in that spot, as the inside edges of the frame are gold, and the yellow walls just made it "pop". I didn't think I would like the yellow walls, but I really do.
Now, from both directions you can see into the kitchen as I framed the window ledge with old wine bottles (one antique one from a rummage sale) and some round, decorative pieces made from large seed pods found here and there in our yard years ago when we lived in Durango. The wooden deer were a Christmas gift from some friends, and the antlers look wonderful near the dark, wooden window frame.
I have picked up natural touches in the few places that I have had time to decorate, and am relishing every spare moment that I get to complete it and finally see the end of boxes!!
This home is not as large as the homes we have had in the past, but we are in love with it. The stove in the living room is gas and has logs and flames when turned on. It throws some powerful heat and I am thrilled with the insulation in this house. It stays warm and toasty when that stove is on.
It's cozy and has huge windows all over the house, which I love. I like to look outside and be a part of natural things and wildlife. Fortunately, my office has two windows, one very large that faces the mountains.
I guess my husband summed it up the best after the first 5 days. He said: "I haven't felt this kind of peace in 25 years!" I second that one!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Continued from September 19, 2011 post..........The end of the story may be lengthy, but I will complete it tonight.
1995 brought many changes to our lives, most of which were traumatic. Her return in the fall, that I had looked forward to for so long was not at all what I expected. She was the peaceful slice that remained in my life at that time, and I yearned to see her young. A lovely daughter walked behind her as she approached me from the hillside. How did she sense my stress and despair? I'll never know, but I believe that she felt the disturbance in my once peaceful inner being, as she immediately swung around and chased her young to the top of the hillside where she remained.
This did not change our unique bond, as she returned to me, and allowed me to put my arms around her, somehow sensing that this silent gesture was my need for her comfort and friendship. And it remained so, throughout that winter and into the spring of 1996. Our daily quiet walks together, crusted snow crunching under our feet, and always watching her lovely child standing on the hillside waiting for her mother to return to her. I was never allowed to touch, or approach her little girl, and I respected the unanticipated protective side of this kindred spirit beside me. It was a time of grief and sadness for me, and difficult to comprehend why her young was kept at a distance.

My life and part of my history as a designer must now come into play to explain the turmoil that had come to be in my existence during this period of time. My husband and I had worked for many years to build our business so that we might pursue our dreams and fulfill our destiny. The hard work had paid off as I stood on the deck of my new home in Colorado on October 3rd, 1985, beholding a beautiful double rainbow across our little valley. A tremendous feeling of accomplishment swept over me. I had produced the art that was born within me and was part of my identity in a way that I had never imagined when I began painting water colors in my late teens.
I was introduced to crafts by friends, thus beginning my journey into quilting and designing. Drawing, and then stitching out the motifs in my head, and seeing them come to life was one of the greatest gifts that could have happened to me, and I marveled that I was earning a good living creating from the depths of my imagination.
I had teamed up with Better Homes & Gardens magazine in the early 1980's, producing a Transportation Quilt that made the cover of the magazine in July of 1981 and was a monumental success. It was the beginning of the huge triumph that we experienced for over 14 years, designing and manufacturing not only for the magazine, but for Better Homes Craft and Book Club as well. I designed, and Robert, my husband, manufactured my designs. His creative side emerged during this time and we generated everything from quilting patterns to cross stitch, candlewicking, and any craft that was popular during the 1980's through the mid 1990's, but it proved to be a fatal mistake and a good lesson for later in my life.
The bulk of our work came from the Book Club, and I was kept very busy producing all of the models for photography and then the instructions that were all produced by my hand, as computers were just making their debut in the marketplace, but had yet to reach my realm of production.
Although Pam Bono Designs was on every color front sheet that Better Homes printed after photographing my models, we were never allowed to place any contact information about our company on anything that we produced for them, which included both kits and patterns. Little time was available for me to pursue other clients, nor did it enter my mind to do so, as I felt very secure with this giant company, even though my work was all on a sub-contract basis.
Each month I had a phone "meeting" with the people that I worked with in New York, and decisions were made regarding what I would produce in the coming weeks. The designs were completed, sent to New York for photography, during which time I produced the patterns and instructions. Soon the purchase orders followed for the kits or patterns. Although it kept us very busy, we did find time to enjoy our home and our life in the place that we loved.
After 14 years it was over as abruptly as it had started. The "Powers That Be" had gone into the offices in New York, unannounced, and fired everyone as they did not feel that the Book Club was profitable any longer. Kits and patterns were no longer offered in the magazine. The Book Club was sold and I found myself without an income and without any contacts with other possible clients. We had a son in college and our second son would soon be graduating high school. Fortunately we had a "nest egg" that stretched out for 18 months while I searched for other ways in which to market my work.
The loss went deeper than the income, as I felt that I had lost the vocation that I truly loved, and had put my heart into for so many years. Had I taken it all for granted? I was too close to the situation to be able to step back and look at the positive potential.
We hung on as best as we could, and it seemed as though I hit one brick wall after another. Fall of 1996 had come and she was back, but this time with a beautiful little male who reminded me so much of her brother. He strutted and pranced in our yard showing pride at a very young age. Although she hustled him to the top of the hill when I appeared, I just had to give him a name as I stood at our living room window every day and watched his performance. I named him Jack.
As things went from bad to worse, we were forced to sell our beloved little home at the top of the hill where I had stood on my deck so many times and watched the cowboys move their cattle to and from the high country, and had marveled at the beauty of the rainbows. This had been so much a part of my inspiration. The colorful inspiration that went into every design that I had rendered or put my hand to. The loss was devastating.
To this day, I don't know how she knew that we were leaving, but she knew. Still keeping her young at the top of the hill, she followed me around like a dog every time I appeared, and the love between us would remain in my heart forever. I had no gift to give her the day before we were to leave, but she gave me her complete affection that day, and it will remain with me as long as I live. We stood in the driveway together, my arm around her while she gazed up at me. I spoke softly to her and she reached up towards my face to rub noses.
Suddenly she stepped aside, moved her head in a gesture, and I saw Jack running towards me. I was frozen to the spot as he approached and stood before me. Reaching my hand out slowly, I touched the silky hair on his beautiful little head as he arched his neck upwards to rub noses. My journey with them had come full circle. No greater gift had ever been bestowed upon me. No unconditional love had ever gone this deep, nor would it ever again. She had given me the only gift that she had, and that gift was her baby.

I feel no sorrow now, although it took years before I could tell the story without tears. The experience taught me many things, one of which was self reliance, and the other was never to give up my dreams, which I have yet to do. My husband and I, and now with our assistant designer, Susan have authored many books, and have built a website to fulfill our independence and to teach quilters, and those who love crafts, the best possible ways to achieve success and build skills so that they may produce work that they are proud of.

So many remarkable things were experienced with this special loved one in my life who was a great teacher for me and for my family. She was a gift, and she was a miracle. There is not a day that passes that I am not grateful to have had her in my life, and to have experienced and learned what happens when you love a place so much, and connect so deeply with nature, it has a way of giving that love back to you in ways that you never imagined.

Her name was Webster, and she was a Mule Deer in our beautiful State of Colorado. She never did quite grow into those huge ears!!

Monday, September 26, 2011


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hi Everyone! Well, the best intentions don't always work. We have 5 days to pack the rest, which includes the office. Up very late and have to get up early.
If the story does not get finished here, it will in Colorado. I think we are winding down and the last step is the office! UGH!

And the Incredible Hulk is completely freaked out! If you move a piece of furniture he gets upset, so you can imagine.............!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Continued from last post.................
Her return in the fall of 1994 brought unexpected visitors. She appeared again with her older brother, who only stayed for a few days each fall and then left to join his friends who roamed the lower slopes together for a short period of time during this season. Our son, Dallas was home from college for a brief time, and watching me with her brother was always of great concern for Dallas. Her brother was now very large, and very masculine, but the concern was for naught, as he had kind eyes. Fear of him never entered my mind as I was familiar with his expressions, and could discern his willingness to greet me, even for a few days. Unlike Mama Cass, and despite his stature, he always reached his huge head out towards me to rub noses; then walked proudly away. It was this gesture that has remained with me all of these years.
She had brought other friends with her, and the yard was filled with them and their young. She and her brother were the only two who remained from the original family, and the others showed no signs of wanting any human contact. They did not scatter when I walked into the yard to be with her, but they had an air of indifference, and always walked away slowly when I approached. Our mutual attachment had not changed, and I respected the independence of the others, and was pleased that she was with her own kind and not alone.
She was 3 years old now, and had filled out from the rich summer that had surfaced and bloomed after the huge snow, producing ample food. Our days together were well spent, and once again the peacefulness had returned to our small world, as we watched her lead her new friends to the hillside where they rested every afternoon, overlooking our pasture, in the warm sunlight.
In November while working on a project in our garage, we heard a loud bellow, unlike the scream that had penetrated the silence when her mother died, however significant enough to send us running to the garage door to assure ourselves that everyone was safe. Having lived with their silent nature for so long, we were aware that any sound meant distress or pain. There, next to the house we witnessed what few had ever seen (according to our doctor). She had found a mate and the process was far from quiet. My husband and I looked at each other in awe, and quickly returned to the garage and closed the door.
The time was approaching for her to leave. I had done my homework, and learned that her baby would be born sometime in May. I was as excited as a soon-to-be grandmother, and looked forward to holding her offspring in my arms. Walking beside her down the driveway, I could see movement in her growing belly. I stopped and she looked at me, tilting her head. I placed my hand on her stomach and felt the shifting activity. A magnificent new life would soon be born, and I wished that I could be there to see it.
Our parting that spring was a time honored pattern, just as the springs before had been, only this time I watched her go from the porch steps. She looked back once, and disappeared into the forest with her friends.
A feeling of anticipation overcame me, and looking out at the melting snow, I breathed in the scent of the pines, knowing that I had a beautiful summer to fill my days. Double rainbows, and the flowers that I loved on the tops of the mountains that we climbed in our little red jeep. The roaring rivers as they tumbled over the rocks, and the mist that sprayed my face when I stood close to the breathtaking waterfalls. There were designs to do for my work, time to be spent with my family, and the ever present love for this place called Southwest Colorado.
To be continued...........

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Post Continued from last night...........
There was a foreboding wind that October of 1993, and the Aspens shed their leaves earlier than expected. Our fall expeditions on the 4-wheel drive trails came to a halt, and we stocked up on wood for our stoves.
Our family had yet to experience a harsh winter in Durango, as a drought had plagued the area for several years, leaving the Christmas season without snow on several occasions. We knew little of what was ahead or how to prepare for it.
I anticipated their arrival, but did not envision seeing them for a few more weeks. Much to my surprise, they stood in the yard, looking at the house as I looked out the living room window, with my morning coffee. They were a matriarchal society, with the elder female heading the lineage. She always stood on the front walk, close to the steps when they materialized, and I ran for my jacket and descended the front stairs. We called her Mama Cass, and I noticed how thin and drawn she looked. She had as close a relationship with me as her status would allow, never touching noses, nor sanctioning any physical contact what-so-ever. She stepped back, enabling me to see the entire family.
She was there before me, fully grown and winsome. All of the gangly appearance of a young female had vanished, but I recognized her immediately. We approached each other slowly, the anticipation of the first touch apparent. The ritual began as I bent down to rub noses with her. As we looked at each other, I put my arm around her and we walked together towards her mother, who had brought her new, young twins. They wore their winter coats early, which provoked a few suspicions in my mind. From past experience, I knew that it would take a while before I would be fully introduced to the twins, and I wondered how they would respond to me. Their mother was as warm and loving as ever, having been the first to make physical contact with me six years earlier. Through the chill of that first day, I watched them rest on the hillside, and ventured outside more often, just to be near them in tranquility. I photographed the twins, and rubbed noses with each family member as I came near them.
Several weeks passed and the snow began. A special part of the day was set aside to spend time with them, my concern growing for Mama Cass. As I walked out in the yard one morning, I noticed the twins standing with their grandmother and older sister, yet their mother was missing. I trudged up to the top of our hillside searching for her. A gunshot rang out, and then the most harrowing scream I had ever heard. A hushed existence was all I had ever known of them, and a scream was so out of character for their kind that a chill ran through me, and instinctively I knew that the twins, and my beloved friend had lost their mother. A sorrow overwhelmed me, and I put my arms around her and held her to me.
Sleep was difficult that night, and I shared my grief with my husband as I lay in his arms. He too had come to love them. They were a part of our existence throughout the winter months, and I pondered whether I had been with them so often that I was beginning to take them for granted.
Apprehensive about what I might find the next morning, I ventured out to see Mama Cass, the twins and their older sister standing together on the hillside that I had ascended the day before. The others in their family group were nowhere to be seen. Anxiety overwhelmed me as I watched them together at the top of the slope, and then they disappeared into the forest without one glance in my direction. Sorrow engulfed me. There was nothing ordinary about this vanishing. No explanation that made any sense to me. I walked back to the house, carrying the burden of this loss upon my shoulders as the snow begin to fall, and did not stop for days on end.
Six weeks had passed. Each morning I looked out our living room window, expecting to see them, but they were nowhere in sight. Our driveway had now been plowed three times, the third requiring a large tractor with a snow blower, just so that our car and the UPS truck could get through. The drifts were at least 6 feet tall, and impossible to distinguish much of anything, except for the hillside where they always appeared. I feared the worst. I would never see her again, nor would I be able to initiate a bond with the twins.
The UPS truck came into view one afternoon, and the driver knocked at our door to inform us that one of our treasured friends was dead behind a 6 foot snowbank in our driveway. We threw on our boots and coats and tromped through the snow to find Mama Cass. She had come home to die. The only permanent place that was home in her heart. It was a tribute to me, and to my husband as well. We understood, and as best we could, we performed a proper burial.
My worst fear had surfaced as she was nowhere to be seen. The twins were gone, and Mama Cass was no longer with us. The loss was overwhelming. Our loving friends who had been in our lives every day of every winter season had ceased to exist, and I wondered how I would get through the long winter days ahead without them......without her.
Another week passed, and I had disciplined myself to stop looking for her. Another snow had engulfed our yard, and I went out to shovel a path to the car. As if an unknown entity had tapped me on the shoulder and directed me to look up, I stood erect and gazed at the hillside. She walked down slowly, the snow slowing her passage. With tears streaming down my face, I lifted one foot after the other to reach her. No rituals were performed on that day as I held her in my arms. She was home and that was all that mattered.
Our doctor later explained that Mama Cass, as head of the family knew that death was imminent and had taken the twins to be raised in a different family, and had then returned home to die. It was an amazing set of circumstances and the remainder of that winter of 1993 was spent with my friend walking beside me in the snow, rubbing noses and giving an unvoiced love to each other.
To be continued.............

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Continued from last post..........
She continued to grow through that first winter, and we were together several times a day. I could now put my arms around her and hold her, and pull any unwanted intruder from her lovely coat and silky ears. The trust and bond between us became stronger as the winter began to blow away with spring winds that always whirled in a frenzy at the end of March and softened into gentler breezes as the end of April approached. They all rested on our hillside in the warmth of the afternoon sun, their tranquility and contentment a part of the landscape. It was a piece of the beauty of this place that I loved so much, and never a day passed that I did not give thanks for it.
Walking into the yard one day, early in the spring, she approached me slowly and stood at a distance for a moment, rather than advancing in her normal, friendly walk. The gaping wound showed immediately, and I realized without a second thought that she needed medical attention. I dashed for the house while she stood in the yard waiting for my return. Having called the appropriate doctor, who was aware of my experiences with this amazing family, I reappeared with medication that I was directed to use. The doctor had warned me that this sort of treatment, no matter how firm the bond between us was, would most likely not be allowed. Squeezing an entire tube of medication on my hand, and speaking to her softly, we touched noses, which was part of our daily ritual and communication. The medication was applied quickly. She stepped back, but not as abruptly as I had anticipated, and walked towards her mother. My fear of losing her forever was quickly eased when she looked back at me, took a few steps towards me and returned to her mother. I understood the thank you that I had received, even in the silence, as our communication was on a unspoken level. The medication was applied once a day until I was satisfied that no infection had set in, and she was safe.
It was time for her to leave with her family for the summer, and she had left her heavy winter coat behind. Their departure was never announced, as silence and calmness were a part of their being. Their withdrawal never left sadness within me as I understood their unspoken reasons, and looked forward to their return after every leaf of the golden Aspens had fallen in October.
To be continued..........

Thursday, September 15, 2011

It's amazing what you find when you pack to move. The movers are loading the trucks on the 29th, so we are really pushing to get things done. So many things that I am packing remind me of my home. Southwestern candles everywhere, scrapbooks of the La Plata County Fair, my friends, and my sons when they were in 4H. I suppose that subconsciously we planned it this way, but didn't realize it at first. On October 3rd, 1985 we pulled into our driveway with two moving trucks in Durango, Colorado. On October 3rd we will pull into our driveway in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. It makes me wonder where 26 years have gone, and it seems that some of the things that happened to me there happened to another person.
I believe that if you are connected to something so strongly, and in tune with it deep in your soul, miracles come from it. They may not be recognized as miracles when they happen, but they are, and I know that they are drawn to you when you become one with your surroundings. You draw them to you without realizing it, and it may take years before you do recognize them for what they truly are.
Every night after a long days work I will write this post until I finish it, and then it will be closer to the time that we will be leaving. There were so many events from the very beginning that I look back on today, and am thankful for how fortunate I was to have experienced them. Some little ones, like seeing a double rainbow the second day we moved into our new home in 1985, and watching the cowboys drive their cattle down from the high country along our road. For someone who always loved the west, these were personal, small miracles. The big ones came a little later.
She was about 6 months old the first time I saw her. I had already formed a bond with her grandmother, her mother and her brother, but she was different. Her hair was almost black, and it was silky. Her eyes were blue, which is an unusual combination. Later they turned brown. She showed warmth towards me from the beginning. There was not the usual, awkward period that takes the time to gain trust for one another. She was wild, and she was free, but a part of her had connected to me so strongly that we communicated on our own level. Speech was not necessary.
To be continued............

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Robert and I have spent the day packing. Today was spent packing small things around the house and smaller pictures from the walls. I am fortunate enough to have framed pictures of 4 generations of one side of my family, including the marriage license and photo of my great, great grandparents, and Robert has a photo of his dad (Sicilian) as a young man and let me tell you, he looks like his name should be "Carleone!"
I had a good time because I realized how many times I go into a certain room and feel comfortable because the things I like are in that room, but how much do I really pay attention to them? How much do you pay attention the the things that surround you? I collect pottery, and although I don't have a large collection, I have some pieces that I have always enjoyed. The small bowl that I took a snapshot of was purchased probably 10 years ago. I don't even recall where I purchased it, but it must have been a private gallery as it is signed on the bottom. Now this piece was in my small 1/2 bath on the main floor of the house, and I had all kinds of decorative soaps in it, therefore the design was hidden. When we were packing the items from that room, I took a good look at it and fell in love with it all over again. Silly? Maybe. Maybe not! I get inspiration for designs from all kinds of things and today I connected what had drawn me to the piece and what it had inspired.....what else, but a quilt. I love the little quail on the piece and at that time had wanted to create a "Folk Art" looking quilt, and the quail really charged my imagination batteries and an entire quilt emerged.
This quilt is traveling the UK right now in the Championship shows there, and the photo doesn't really do Mary Nordeng's gorgeous quilting justice as she quilted the most incredible feathers on it that I have ever seen, but I thought I would share it and encourage you to have a good look around your house once in a while. It's amazing what you might find to jog happy memories - no matter how small it is! The quilt is called: "Birds Of A Feather".

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hope everyone sticks with me for about 4 weeks. This week I had a Newsletter to complete and then our server crashed with too many hits. I guess that's good news - right?
Quilting is a huge thing that makes me "tick", but it is the designing, choosing fabrics and seeing people happy with the designs that does the trick for me. I like the designing part the best. It used to be the sewing, but I'm at the computer so much now, that the designing gives me a break from all of the other things involved with running a business and hoping that things go well on a daily basis.

My writing, (which I have had little time for) is becoming more and more important, and I sneak a little in here and there. What constitutes a Miracle in my opinion is what I am writing about now, but it will have to wait until I get to Colorado and get settled.

This post is about me too, and the things that really "move" me emotionally. I guess this says a lot about my thoughts and feelings, so I will share this little story. Robert and I have had English Bulldogs for over 30 years. We lost one last year. Each time, it gets harder, but it doesn't stop us. The Incredible Hulk will be 9 years old on the 17th of this month, and thankfully he is doing very well.

One night I was working on a Facebook post and one of the side ads caught my eye. I think Facebook knows everything about everyone, because I continually have quilting and Bulldogs floating by me when I'm on Facebook, and oh yes, Barry Manilow! I clicked on the ad, and it was Bulldog Rescue of St. Louis, MO. Now, Robert and I grew up in St. Louis, met there, and married there. It was in 1985 that Colorado became our home. So it was the combination of the words "Bulldog Rescue" and "St. Louis" that made me click on it.

I'm no good at reading about abused animals. I can not fathom how anyone can abuse an animal, but they do, and fortunately there are wonderful people out there that do help. The Bulldog that caught my eye was a gorgeous white one who looked a lot like the one we lost last October. I read the story about him, and that night I had trouble going to sleep. It just haunted me, and I kept wondering over and over about him until tonight. This story has a happy ending folks!

His name is Harley, and at the age of 2 he developed "dry eye". Now this condition was easily treated by just putting two drops of medication in each eye twice a day. The people who owned him, just didn't care enough, or take the time to do that, so consequently, Harley went completely blind. He was rescued by St. Louis Bulldog Rescue and they have worked with him for months. He finally got to know the pleasure of playing with toys, which he had never been exposed to before. These wonderful people worked with him until he could find his way around in his surroundings and go up and down two steps on a lead. They were working on finding Harley just the right home, and every night I thought about him before I went to bed. The right owners had to commit to putting drops in Harley's eyes twice a day, and had to learn how to help him find his way around his new home.

Tonight I went back to Bulldog Rescue Of St. Louis website just to see if Harley had gotten a home. I took a couple of screen shots of him with his new family, and I swear he is smiling! The Hulk smiles - we've all seen him do it, but we just can't catch it on film. There were two wonderful pictures among several that really touched me, and I wanted to share them with you tonight, as it was a joyful experience for me. Even an animal does not have to see to experience love, and feel warm hands upon him, and peaceful voices surrounding him.

I'm happy for you Harley! Your sure deserve the very best! Congratulations to St. Louis Bulldog Rescue too!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

And you thought you had just joined a really active quilting BLOG - right? Well, it will get better after our move. Robert is packing my stash of books that will go in my office and I am working on the 7th block for our Mystery Block-of-the-Month, which I will post on Facebook when we have it online. Wanted to get this done now, because the closer we get to the end of the month, I will have NO TIME!
I have got to share this with my quilting friends because I really think that folks our age are prey for anyone out there that can possibly pull any kind of scam. Now this one is something new that I have never seen, and we learned something today.
We have several items that we do not want to haul back to Colorado, so I put them on Craigslist. I don't know how many of you have Craigslist in your area, but it's a big deal here in Georgia. I had never heard of it until we moved to Georgia. You have to know Robert's sense of humor to appreciate this, but about 10 years ago, we vacationed in Idaho, and I fell in love with a log bed. Now this is not an ordinary log bed, so I am posting a photo of it. It's completely Alder Wood and completely hand crafted. I was never in love with log beds until I saw this one because I considered it a piece of art. To make a long story short, I had it shipped to Colorado, and it was a pain in the neck to put together, but we did it! Robert never gave any opinion about this bed until we got it up and in place; then he tells me: "This makes me feel like I am in a refugee camp, reaching my hands between the posts begging for rice - please give me some rice!" I offered to sell it but he stuck with it all of these years.
We saw no way that it will work in the bedroom in our new home, and Robert was delighted, so I put it on Craigslist a couple of days ago to sell it. NEVER PUT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS ON CRAIGSLIST! I didn't know that, but now I do. So you can call me naive!
I started getting these emails from people who wanted to buy it. One woman wanted it shipped and was sending a cashiers check (with enough to cover shipping) and promised payment by courier. Two others wanted to send payment (cashiers checks - all of them) and wanted our name to put on the check, our address (where to have the bed picked up), our CELL PHONE number and that was about all. Well, I figured the first lady was pretty safe. None of them asked for any information that would have given them a chance for identity theft. That kind of information we do not give out. So - name, address and phone - right?
Robert called our bank and we read some of the warnings on Craigslist - so this is the scam:
They send you a cashiers check (which I always thought was safe) and they get the item. You do not have any personal information about them up front. They do not call you on a normal phone (caller ID), they just send the cashiers check, have the item picked up and then.........about 10 days later, when it's too late, the bank finds out it's a phony cashiers check and your bank charges YOU! Someone out there is going to tell me we were dumb not to know that you could get phony cashiers checks, but our bank verified it, and that was one I really didn't know about.
Obviously we are not even thinking of selling to these people, but its just a new one I haven't heard of and it's something that should be shared with as many people as possible. So the refugee bed may go home with us, but at least we are more knowledgeable.
P.S. I still think the bed is a work of art!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I do hope that everyone excuses my failure to post on my BLOG. I am fielding emails and trying to get some sort of sanity to what I am selling in a moving sale and what we are packing. We have about 26 days left and we are beginning to panic!!
For those who are members of Pam's Club, we have a ton of people who are not that familiar with how websites work, and have had little exposure to computers. When you join the Club, you select a USERNAME and PASSWORD. There is a reason for this. Almost every website (including Amazon and E-Bay) require usernames and passwords. Every time you come into the website, you type in your username and password at the very top of the page and click on LOGIN. I do NOT mind helping those of you who can not remember your username and password. We can look it up for you, and there is a place to click on if you have forgotten your username and/or password. The problem is, that most people do not read it, or they could re-set their username or their password easily. It is just like every other website that requires usernames and passwords.
We are getting raves about the Club, and many "Thank You" emails, and it just gets better and better. Susan and I are planning a series of videos as soon as we are settled in Colorado once again. I DO NOT want people who have joined to go away frustrated because they can not LOGIN. This is always because they have either forgotten their username or password. I would prefer an email (if you do not understand how to reset it) asking for assistance. You are missing so much, and that is frustrating for me.
We have worked very hard on this club, and the people who are active members just love it.
Many of the emails that I receive are from people asking "Why don't I get member prices when I purchase something from the Store?" It is because you are not Logged in. The Club has no way of recognizing that you are a member unless you put your username and password at the top of the home page and click on LOGIN.
Do not be embarrassed to ask for help. I would prefer that you do that, rather than just walking away.
Now, I'm on my way to sign a bunch of books, prepare for a trunk show in McDonough, GA tomorrow and then start packing!!
For those who have asked about our son Dallas, YES, Dallas will still be doing all of the film editing, and we are hoping that our entire little Bono family can visit us in Colorado next summer!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

This has been a wild week for me, so I took a little break a few minutes ago to look at different quilts that people are making who are my Friends on my person Facebook page. This ladies work was just begging for me to say something about it. I wish the photos were bigger, and I hope that she writes to me. Her name is Margaret Lee Charlton, and she is from Adelaide, Southern Australia. The photo of Grandmother's Flower Garden is the first one that I saw. It is hard to tell from the photo how she did this, (which I would love to know), but it looks like the border has crochet mixed with the patchwork.
I just have to say what I adore about these quilts. The sampler quilt, is obviously appliqué, but the scallops using the large floral print are so effective, it just brings this to life. I adore her color selections. Her quilts are dramatic, yet they have a softness to them that just makes you feel very peaceful. All of the right fabrics in all of the right places. Margaret, I am really impressed. You should be very proud of your work.
In beginning to pack for our move, I have an entire room full of my quilts that are in huge trunks from many, many years. The highest compliment I can give to Margaret is that I would be glad to trade one for either one of hers! Really stunning! (I don't expect her to take me up on this!)
Give me your feedback on what you think makes these so outstanding!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I get many emails every day, and a number of my fans often forward things to me that they feel that I will enjoy. I am in the middle of answering a ton of emails, but I just got this one, and this one really got me as I have recently had a conversation with my son regarding the important things in life that can be learned from animals if we pay attention to them. I received this from Pam Hill. The beginning was in small print so I am writing that out; then I will copy the rest. It would be interesting to see how many people agree with me that animals are wonderful teachers.

It is not known who replied, but there is a beautiful soul working in the dead letter office of the US postal service.

Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey.. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God,
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.
I hope you will play with her.. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her You will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.
Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it.. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, 'To Meredith' in an unfamiliar hand.. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, 'When a Pet Dies..' Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,
Abbey arrived safely in heaven.

Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away.
Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by..

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I'm easy to find, I am wherever there is love.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Good Morning, Good Morning! I was actually able to finish a pattern last night and get Edith Choiniere's French workshop and patterns online. I did not have fun with the French. Edith did a great job translating for me but when you don't know what you are putting out there for people it's a little scary.
Right now I have absolutely no design time and have dozens of ideas running around in my head. Robert started packing our movies last night. I had no idea how many we had. Good Grief! Anyone know what you do with VCR movies? I would think it would cost a fortune to have them put on DVD. I have a few that are real treasures, like the unabridged version of "Dances With Wolves". We still have an old VCR player.
The little pattern I finished last night was taken from a collection I did years ago, but I loved one panel of it, so I doubled the size, added place mats and it's a happy little table runner. Not great for this time of year, but hey, who says you have to give just winter things as Holiday gifts? I was pleased with the outcome.
The next chore is to get folks over here to help us pack what we consider to be "unpackable", like all of our framed art pictures, lamps and lamp shades. Actually so many things we have came from the west, and some are strange shapes. I also collect pottery and have some really unusual pieces I have picked up here and there over the years. I like surrounding myself with creative things that are handmade, and western art.
I am getting ready for a Newsletter on Sunday night with a fabulous offer to non members of Pam's Club and our members will get it FREE too! Also a great deal on our Big Book!
This weekend I am going to be a PACKING FOOL! I do hope this is the last move. Enough is enough!

Monday, August 15, 2011

New in the life of Pam Bono.....too much! Have had several people email me about the castle wall quilt in an old out of print book, so Robert and I have spent the weekend reconstructing the pattern, which is a lot of work, but I'm getting there. Working on graphics now. This design is SO CUTE for the "Princess" craze that is going on right now for little girls. Our granddaughter, age 4 loves all of the Princess products, and the design I refer to here is actually her play mat in her room. It's a design that I did years ago for Better Homes & Gardens. I think everything has a cycle. Personally, I really like the idea of bringing the wonderful Disney movies out for these little minds. The world of Fairy tales and "Happily Ever After" never hurt me. I think it develops dreams and dreams develop imagination!
Look for a Newsletter later this week with a wonderful surprise for our Club Members and for non Members as well. Fabulous new collection. I can say that because Susan designed it and I just love it. It's not simply for the Holidays. It can be used all winter long.
56 days before we leave for Colorado. 56 days and COUNTING!! I sound like ET...........HOME! HOME! HOME!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Well Hello! You all are probably saying "Why did she start a BLOG?" My intentions are good, but I didn't anticipate a move as quickly as it has come, and it's creeping up! We already have the moving truck reserved, people in Georgia to load and people in Colorado to unload. So much involved with a move! The Incredible Hulk has developed a skin problem on his back (hot spots), so we have been back and forth to the vet. Anyone knowing a home remedy for hot spots, I'm sure open to it. Nothing worse than a bald Bulldog!

The other thing I have been doing is preparing to introduce a new designer from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Edith Choiniére and I have been friends for a very long time. Edith is the one who brought our Remembrance Poppy quilt to the Royal Canadian Legion. At the time, I had no idea what a fabulous artist she was, but I sure know now.
I love to introduce new talent to the marketplace because, to be perfectly frank, when I do go to shows, I walk through and see the same old thing over and over. I often wonder if people don't want something a little different.
Susan and I tried paper piecing once and didn't care for it, but Edith has made me change my mind. She achieves a curved look with paper piecing and her style is very elegant. We just put her workshop online last night in English, and the French version will be on in the next couple of days. Her patterns are online now in English in our Store, under E-Patterns and then Guest Designer Patterns. We will also be introducing her E-Book of her gorgeous Geisha quilt design soon. I am putting a photo of her Multi-Purpose Bag on this post. I have one and I have to tell you that not only is it functional (I've never seen so many pockets in my life), but I constantly have people coming up to me and asking "Where did you get that?" It's fabulous for a plane or traveling by any mode of transportation. The designs speak for themselves. So I hope everyone takes a good look at them. I am so proud of her work.
I don't know how many people are interested in what someone like me goes through to move, but I will try to keep posting. I have to tell you that we will have our entire team back in Colorado, which is FABULOUS! Susan, - of course, and Molly will be with us again. My wonderful photographer, Chris Marona has beaten the diagnosis they first had regarding a very dangerous form of cancer, and he is doing great. I can't wait to see all of them. Robert and I are getting excited. I don't even care if The Incredible Hulk gets "Skunked!"

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hello everybody. If I am absent here and there for a day or two it is because we are beginning to prepare for our move and also keep everyone in Pam's Club supplied with new designs before, during and after our move.
I did want to post this quilt. I have posted Carol Moellers quilts before, but this one is special. It is called "Cripple Creek Columbines". I am adding some of Carol's letter as I feel it is so inspirational for everyone. This lady has a very busy life and yet relaxes by quilting and creating.

From Carol's Letter:
Hi Pam, I just wanted to get back to you. I am so very excited. Cripple Creek Columbines has been juried into Houston. I also have been asked to make a mini quilt for the IQA Charity Auction. I am so very honored to have been asked.
I just enjoy quilts. I am not doing this to try to create a business or trying to promote anything. I just love quilts and the creativity it allows me to express. Quilting helps me let go of difficult situations that happen at the clinic. It is my outlet, to relieve the sometimes stressful and sad days. It makes me happy to make quilts.
The part I cherish the most, are the wonderful people I have met in the last two years. Some of them I have became friends with over the internet and some of them I have met in person. We have kept in contact via phone, email, and Facebook. We make plans of when to meet up with each other at quilt shows. I met two wonderful friends for the first time at the MQS show in Overland Park, KS. One of the ladies is from England, another is from Norway.
I live a very busy life with helping my husband with our two veterinary clinics but I always find time for people and quilts. When I make a quilt it is more than just making a quilt. It is a story to capture something special. You have touched my life and it was a wonderful honor for you to blog about my quilt, and special friends (Tim & Michelle), so here we go again. A special quilt to cherish this moment. The quilt will be based off your pattern "Daisies in the Cabin". Since I have a love for animals this quilt will have a woodland St. Nicholas appliquéd on the top of it with woodland friends. These woodland friends are actually people who have taken the time to touch my life. You will be one of the special woodland friends incorporated in the quilt. I am going to enter it in the International Quilt Festival of Ireland in the Christmas exhibit. When I saw "Daisies in the Cabin" it had the perfect Celtic background look I was hoping to find. It had the woodland theme, with the log cabin blocks. It is just perfect!!!! It will be done in very muted shades of fabric. Very subtle and soft. Then St. Nicholas with be in the foreground with his woodland friends. You will be the first to get to preview this quilt when I get it completed.

Thank you so much for taking the time to care and notice. I am a quilter who is inspired by people. My quilts are about the people who touch my heart with their kindness.

Take care and have a wonderful day Pam!!!

Hugs, Carol

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hi Everybody! Thought I would post this on my BLOG because everyone on my Facebook pages gets to see it too. The last week has been pretty hectic for me. We are THRILLED with the response and kind letters we are receiving about Pam's Club. Keep it up you all because I'm sure going to need you and we are going to be putting new additions on continually.
I have an important announcement which may not surprise too many of our fans who have known us for a very long time. Robert and I are moving back to Pagosa Springs, Colorado the first part of October. Don't worry, the website and all of your emails will be in good hands during our 1,600 mile move - but it is a permanent move.
Despite the great love that we have for our son Dallas and our adorable little grandchildren, our hearts are in Colorado. We are Colorado. We want the opportunity to spend the rest of our lives there and have our grandchildren come out and visit us and show them what true beauty, wildlife and peacefulness is all about. Susan and I want to put Chiara and Logan on Aztec (Susan's pony) and buy them cowboy hats!!
I am attaching some photos of our new home. For those who are not familiar with Santa Fe style adobe homes, this is what we love. It's hard to tell much from the photo of the home, but it is 3,000 sf. on 5 acres which backs up to national forest land. The lot next to us is 17 acres and is pine forest and vacant. The entire front of the house is a wall of windows overlooking the San Juan mountains. There are deer in the yard, my adorable little Abert Squirrels, coons, Elk, an occasional bear and probably some skunks for The Incredible Hulk to chase. He will NEVER BE ON A LEASH AGAIN! He will be free to smell all of his favorite things and we will be right with him. I will walk out of the door and smell the pines and be very, very grateful. Hulk can sit at the front windows and look at all of the chipmunks that he used to bark at - and the deer!
Our entire team from Colorado will be back with us. Susan, of course, who is like a sister. She is responsible for finding this home for us. Molly will be back with us - we have missed her so very much. All of our dear friends are there, and there are plenty of airplanes for our family here in Georgia to fly on and be with us as the house has plenty of bedrooms.
We were targeting the end of April, but when Susan found this, and the opportunity presented itself, we grabbed it.
In October, you will, once again receive Newsletters with continual photos of Colorado and the wildlife, Durango and the area that is so very important to us. We may even end up with a Bulldog puppy......who knows!
I can't thank all of you enough for your support and the lovely emails I am receiving. Every single one of you are deeply appreciated.
Love & Hugs!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sorry I have missed posting. Our Newsletter is going out in different groups making sure that the new upgrade we put on the Membership side works correctly, and it is......Hooray! I have been fielding people who forget their Usernames and Passwords, so for our members, write it down in a notebook or keep it near your computer. We want everyone to enjoy the new things we are putting on.
You know, anyone in this country right now is scared, including us! I also think the more you watch the news, the more scared you get as the media has a way of making it even worse than it is. I guess I'm an optimist, but I believe everyone will get through whatever happens. I have never posted anything like this, but there really needs to be drastic changes in this country in my humble opinion. The people we elect to represent us appear to me to be caring only for their party and getting re-elected. Robert and I talk about this often with our friends. Roberts thoughts in this: Make a flat 10% tax for everyone across the board and quit subsidizing the big corporations that are making huge profits. This way the very rich would not have all of the tax shelters that they seem to have and would pay their fair share.
American jobs are going overseas, craftsmanship in this country is becoming a lost art. The interest rate on credit cards is horrible and nothing is being done to reduce that, but boy, do they hit everyone with getting more and more credit cards - especially the young people! It sit here at my age and see all of this and it makes me very sad.
For my quilting friends out there.......we have more foreign memberships than American. These memberships are from all over the world: Spain, France, S. Africa, Australia, Canada, Brazil, England, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, etc. It has just amazed me. I know you are all scared, but Americans need to support Americans too.
We are attempting to do our part by giving you new ways of doing things so that you spend less on items you do not need to do certain techniques, along with hundreds of patterns and discounts. This isn't a sales pitch, although it sounds like it, but it's disturbing to me to see more people from other countries than my own - and there are a lot of them!
Keep quilting - all of you. Do what relaxes you and makes you feel good. If everyone panics, it won't do anything! Keep a stiff upper lip! Hugs to all of you!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We are running a short promotion (as everyone does) as a membership type of incentive to join our club. We are giving a FREE Angler 2 for new members from one specified date to another (August 15th, 2011). Today, I am going to speak my mind. There are days that I am to the point where I have no clue what to do to please people or what on earth they expect. I am in the middle of sending out our Newsletter, and I received this comment from a member:

Sooooo....the people who joined first are left out in the cold without an Angler 2? Great way to reward us.
I honestly don't even know the amount of patterns we now have in the club that are FREE to members for a small fee of $39.95 for an entire year, as we continue to add and add and add + a 60% discount on the patterns in our store. I just added 9 more the other day that are FREE to members. I do know, however, that we also just added five new videos to save people time and money who have how many rulers for $19.95 sitting in drawers that are never used?
Would I write this to another designer in the industry who has a sale from one time to another? NO! Would I write this to L.L. Bean who I might have purchased a sweater from yesterday - and today they had a sale on the same item I purchased yesterday? NO!
Hopefully BLOGS are a place where you can get personal feelings down on paper. I have no clue how to please people like this. I do not think that anyone is exempt right now from what is going on in this country with the economy. I understand the economy is not good in very many countries right now.
If anyone, as a human being, who has a business they have to work at from 9:00 a.m. until midnight 24/7 has any clue about how to please people like this........please tell me!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

It occurred to me today when I was working on my Newsletter that I would love to get feedback on HUNTERS STAR. When Susan was doing research for her new techniques that do not involve any Triangle-Squares, she came across hundreds of traditional blocks that could be accomplished so easily with her technique. This one just happened to be our favorite because there are so many variations and so many ways you can turn it, color it to make it look completely different.
Susan studied the blocks and did what we call the "blow aparts", and I chose the fabrics and did the actual patterns, which is the way we work as a team when she designs something special.
In studying all of the blocks, and looking at a lot of videos, which we normally do not do, we could not believe some of the laborious ways that people put these blocks together. Rulers, templates, paper, drawing lines. I guess our main question was "WHY?"
I think we both would be interested in knowing how each of you have put this block together, and what you went through to accomplish one of the most popular blocks that we found.
We had fun with this one. Susan on her end (in Colorado), turning it, placing it in different ways to get the variations, and me (in Georgia) finding fabrics that worked to emphasize the beautiful arrow shapes that form such a wonderful star.
I would actually love to make a quilt for myself from this one. 15 of my quilts are traveling the UK right now and many are in my trunk show, so we change quilts frequently on our bed. I would like to have one that STAYS THERE!