Thursday, March 27, 2008

More Dick and Jane Fabric to reveal!

I designed these Dick and Jane fabrics early last year. I almost forgot about them!

They will be released next month and will be revealed at Spring Quilt Market in Portand, Oregon in May.
When I designed the other Dick and Jane fabric, it was based from the 1950s. This new collection is based from the 1960s.

Here's a few more:

Sunday, March 23, 2008

i am home.

I wanted my vacation to last a lifetime. But now that it's over. I'm happy and relieved that my life has outlasted my vacation.

Instead of driving down south like last year, my traveling buddy from Dallas and I flew into the Ontario Airport and rented a convertible for -- guess how much for four days?

Thought about it? Have your answer? Ok. It was all in total, after taxes, $86 dollars. CoOOooOOl, huh? Such a lovely bargain.

And we stayed at such a wonderful place, too. I felt sad to leave.

If you've ever been to Palm Springs before, then you're well aware of the Old Las Palmas area where all the older celebrities such as Liberace, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, Dinah Shore, Sammy Davis Jr, Zsa Zsa Gabor and all the rest of them have lived. A lot of new celebrities have homes there, too, such as Lillie Tomlin and Cher and a dozen of others.

The retro pink motel we stayed at is hidden behind hedges and gated away at the very entrance to this wonderful mid-century neighborhood overlooking the San Jacinto Mountains. We took a walk around the neighborhood one warm evening and we happened upon Liberace's home up for sale within a block from the motel.

Brenda bought some really cool chairs at the 111 Antique Mall in Palm Springs . . . just up the street where we were staying. I'm sitting on one of them testing them out. And they are so wonderful!!!

She also bought this lovely fountain at the Modern Store in the same shopping center, which she also shipped to her home in Dallas....
I wish I could tell you all the comical situations we got ourselves in. But I would need an audio button to express it better. I need the accents. The voices. The fluxuations.

It was fun. And funny. And warm. And relaxing.

We returned home to spend Easter morning at Matt's mom's house. (His childhood home) which is located next to the author Jack London's estate. (author of Call of the Wild). It's the home he grew up in Glen Ellen. His grandfather is the late Ernie Smith who was a huge talent and celebrity of sorts and also taught author Jack London how to swim the breast stroke! I wandered through London's horse stables which is on Matt's family's estate and imagined how it was way back back when. My nephew Tyler swings on the rope swing in front of Jack London's stables and Chelsea cuddles an abandoned lamb that Matt's mom found rescued on the side of the highway and is raising her by bottle-feedings. Her name is Rosie.
(middle photo is from The Bancroft Library Portrait Collection)

This photo is taken of my family (minus) Caleb who's going to UC Irvine and had to stay back and work. Chelsea is also living there in Irvine but got to get away for this lovely weekend. Sweet, sweet wonderful week.
Happy Easter! (and. we miss you caleb!)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Going South

I'm going south for a week to bask in the sun and enjoy all the things one enjoys while on vacation. I'll drop in next week! Meanwhile, you all have fun and make the most of your week.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Guilt, I was never meant to carry

I was sitting inside an auto shop waiting for my car's oil change when I saw Becky walk past the window.

I instantly recognized her. She looked the same as she did back in the 4th grade.

My family moved across town that year and I started a new school in the middle of the school year. It wasn't easy being the new kid. Becky arrived about a month later. And it wasn't easy for her either.

The kids in class were terribly rude, nicknaming her The Human Can Opener and Bucky Becky because of her protruding overbite. I always made it a point to be kind to her. But that's not what I was remembering when I saw her walk past the window.

I thought of recess.

I was slapping the red rubber ball against the side of the school wall as if playing two-square with the wall.

"Watch out Becky! You better get out of the way!" I said.
Wack! WACK! wack! "You better mooOoooove!" I would shout to her.

Wack! wack! Wack!
I hit the ball over and over again. Wack! wack!

She sat there on the bench in front and didn't move.

All of a sudden, the ball hit her in the face breaking her glasses.
I froze. Scared and ashamed.

In my 9th grade yearbook Becky can still be seen sporting the same glasses with the white tape holding them together.

Watching her walk past the auto shop, I sat there in the cold plastic chair paralyzed with fear and shame.

I talked to some friends later about this incident of seeing Becky and how I wished I was brave enough to run out to the parking lot and ask her to forgive me for hitting her in the face. And how small I felt that I didn't do it.

They listened with their foreheads all scrunched up in little thin wrinkles arching around their brows while feeling the pain surrounding all this.
"Well, maybe Shawn, you'll have another opportunity to run into her again..."

"Yeahh. Maybe!"
i replied, not really believing.

. . . . . .

Several weeks later, I'm in a discount store to pick up a few supplies when I saw Becky stocking shelves!
I am not scared anymore. I walked up to her and said, "Hi Becky!"

She turned and instantly recognized me, too.

"Hi Shawn!"

I reminded her of our 4th grade recess when I accidentally hit her in the face with the red rubber ball and broke her glasses.

".... I know you don't own those glasses anymore, but I would still like to pay you for the money you were out back then. I owe you restitution for my wrongdoing..."

She just stared at me for a long while and said, "Shawn. You have been feeling guilty over this all these years!? You never hit me in the face. That was Dina! Don't you remember!? I'll never forget it!"

I stood there stunned, relieved and listened.

"You were nice to me. I trusted you. You were careful around me. I knew you had good aim and you would never hurt me and that's why I didn't move."

She gently grabbed my arm and said, "Shawn that was never your guilt to begin with. You were never meant to carry it."

I walked out of that store feeling warm and relieved that I had the opportunity to say hello and ask for forgiveness.
But I also felt sad that I had carried that burden for a lifetime.

As I drove home, I turned the music off and just listened to my heart.

I wondered how many other times, I have carried guilt that was never mine.
I thought of various situations and realize it has been way too many times. I'm on a learning curve. I can't say I've learned all about this now because of this situation because I haven't. But I want to. And plan to.

This lifetime, though too short, is too long to carry burdens that aren't our own.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Measure twice. Cut once.

The sacred rule: Remember to measure twice. Cut once.

I need to measure four or five times. I just keep measuring until the measurements repeat themselves. Sometimes I do it on the second try. Other times I need to measure maybe six times over.

It doesn't matter to me. I don't tire of it.

I keep measuring.

I've measured with a yardage stick and also with a measuring tape and with a ruler. I have even measured with my feet. Heel over heel. One, two, three, four, five ... and a half a shoe.

I add it up. I write it down. 136 inches. I measure the same wall again. 154 inches.

Measuring isn't easy for me. I measure again. 134 inches plus two thin lines after that. What is that? 2/16th? I think we count all those thin lines and that's the bottom fraction. Then we count how many lines from the left and that's the top fraction.

Sometimes I wonder how I've gotten so far in life with my vast intelligence.

All my measuring is because I'm going to replace my old kitchen cabinets and counter tops. But somewhere I got it in my head to also take down the wall that divides my dining area to the kitchen as well.

Tomorrow morning at 9, I'm having someone come over to tear down the wall. Then afterwards I will pick out cabinet facings and look at granite. And then when I'm through, I want to go on a picnic and sit outdoors and feel the warm sun drench my face.

I've worked long hours this week and want to just relax and soak life in. It's going to be a good day.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Back in the Day . . .

I wonder if this was a big seller....