Thursday, March 23, 2017

Really Random Thursday, 3/23/17

So. Where was I? Oh, yes. When last I wrote, I was at a quilting retreat put on by the local quilt shop, Quilters Paradise. It was such fun and I actually got something accomplished. Jennifer always makes place cards for us.
The quilt shop gives us a few little things. One was a journal with the cover that looked like a vintage pattern. Isn't this cool?
Usually we stay at the cabins which are part of the resort where the retreat is held. However, a good friend, Marilyn, attended the retreat for the first time this year. She has a beautiful cabin just down the road, and that is where we stayed this year. We sure hope she attends every year from now on, as her cabin seemed so luxurious.
Mark had remodeled the kitchen quite a few years ago--just when high-gloss white cabinets were available. It still looks so clean and modern.
She has a beautiful view of the lake.
The retreat ends about 2 p.m. on  Sunday afternoon. However, this weekend, snow was in the forecast for Sunday. In the years we have been fortunate enough to have snow during the weekend while we are sewing, it is like being in a snow globe. However, I'm a fair weather driver. I was hesitant to think about driving home on Sunday in the snow, so I bailed and drove home Saturday night. Marilyn sent me pictures of the cabin from Sunday morning--a virtual postcard.

But I was happy to be home when I received these pictures.

At both retreats, I gave a trunk show of my solid quilts. It was such fun. I'm always shocked to say that public speaking is fun, as I have spent my entire life actively avoiding public speaking of any type. However, when the topic is something you are passionate about, it seems to make all the difference in the world.

Some of the quilts I showed:
 Neon Ninja Star
 Amish Charm
Under the Big Top
This is always everyone's favorite.
Animal Planet (on loan from grandson, Gabriel)
Aftermath of the trunk show--

One of the few known pictures in existence of me with a microphone in my hand.
Kona Color Card

Our group--we had such fun.
L to R: Jennifer, me, Marilyn, Vicki, Dotty, Jullie

My 2008 Honda Pilot, purchased in January 2008, turned over to 62,000 miles.
We went to Morgan Hill, California, not too far from Santa Cruz, a couple of weeks ago so Mark could ref a game. It was such fun. I don't normally get to see him in action.

Time with these two is always fun. Snack time at the bookstore is even better.

My brother lives in Washington, D.C., and one of these years Mark and I want to go during cherry blossom time. However, D.C. has nothing on us when it is time for the fruit trees to blossom.
Aaron and Christa recently moved to a new house. It was a little stressful for a few days as they had to be out of their house on a Saturday but didn't get keys to the new house until late the following Tuesday afternoon. They seem to be settling in nicely. I found this on the whiteboard calendar in our laundry room, written by Charlotte.
It has a pool too. The water sure isn't warm yet, but that didn't stop the kids from jumping in that first afternoon.
 Some neighborhood mallard ducks seem to enjoy the pool too.
Snack time with Gabe.
Snack time with Charlotte.
You might remember that people have a hard time spelling her name correctly. We were both impressed with the guy at Starbucks. He got it right without asking. We had to document it. We think he must know a Charlotte in real life.

My friend, Elizabeth, googled "medallion quilts" the other morning. This is what showed up in her search and she shared it with me--my Marcelle Goes to the Circus quilt!!
Do you ever feel like this?
The clouds the other night were so beautiful.
Don't forget--it's not too late to go to Instagram and comment on @tokodots and @liveacolorfullife for a chance to win a set of notecards:
My final thoughts:
The reason is because:

Great cross stitch pattern by Elise Ross of Spruce Craft Co.--she has instant downloads here.

Check back tomorrow. There just might be some March Madness mayhem going on around here. :)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Name Game (a special edition) and a giveaway: Tokodots

One of the things I love most about social media is the unexpected connections you make.
This one started years ago when I started following Rita of Red Pepper Quilts. I have been a huge fan of hers and over this time, we have had several great email conversations. When she started posting her work on Instagram, of course I followed her there as well, along with countless other fans.
Some time last year, she posted pictures of a quilt she had made, and cited her inspiration as Jan Burgwinkle. Rita inspires so many of us, so naturally when she gave the name of someone who had inspired one of her quilts, I wanted to check out this person!
Jan has a fabulous Instagram account (as well as a blog), and I have had such fun going back through her feed. Being a grandmother myself, with uber adorable grandchildren, I noticed this cute little boy who popped up frequently in her feed. Somehow, Jan's pictures finally led me to her daughter, Molly Lam.
Molly sells her designs in her Etsy shop, Tokodots. If you are a quilter, you will fall in love with her designs. If you are not a quilter, you will fall in love with her bright images and clean lines. Don't be surprised if you want to buy one of everything!!

In addition to introducing Molly and her work, I thought it would be fun to have a special edition of the Name Game.

1. How did you choose the name, Tokodots?

Tokodots came out of a play on words in Japanese.  I came across a really rare word in my days as a Japanese interpreter (tokowaka) and my Japanese co-workers told me that I must have misheard it because it wasn't a word that any of them knew.  It was a proud moment when I found someone who could explain its real meaning, and I was reminded that I should trust my instinct.  The toko- part basically means "always" so paired with dots it made a lot of sense for me, and reminded me of a proud moment in my previous professional life. 
2. Were there other names you considered, and can you share them with us?

I wish I remembered more of the names I had thrown around, but one that sticks out is Dot Days.  I'm definitely glad that I didn't pick that! 
3. Now that you are known by Tokodots, are you happy with it, or do you wish you could change it to something else?

I couldn't be more happy with the name.  I'm sure it's confusing to some people, but I love that Tokodots is unique and often starts an interesting conversation about Japan and the world when I meet customers in person. 

After placing my first order, an idea started percolating. I contacted Molly, asking whether she would consider allowing me to use her designs to make a series of mini quilts. I was thrilled when she said yes. I have the fabric already chosen, so look for my part of the collaboration to start unfolding over the coming months.
However, the thrill of interpreting Molly's designs into fabric didn't come close to matching my excitement when she asked if she could turn one of my quilts into a design for note cards.

She chose Delta Breeze, one of my most favorite designs. Ever.
Here is Molly's interpretation. Aren't they fabulous??

I might have ordered over a dozen sets myself. :)

And now you have a chance to win a set for yourself! Molly and I are hosting a giveaway on Instagram beginning tomorrow, March 22, and you have two chances to win--leave a comment on Molly's account, @tokodots, and also on mine, @liveacolorfullife. The giveaway will be open until Friday, March 24, at 11:59 p.m. CST.

I hope you will have a look at all of Molly's fabulous designs in her Etsy shop (you can read about the Delta Breeze notecards here). Not only does she have sets of note cards available, she also has individual cards and art prints suitable for framing. Her series of origami prints has really captured my heart--wouldn't those make great mini quilts? Hmmmm....

I hope Molly and I have many more collaborations in the future.