Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Visitors and Travel

Well I thought I had a post started.... about a week or so ago.... but alas... must have been snatched by that pesky computer gremlin, (which I hope has been excised by taking a very old copy of Photoshop off).

I have been busy!!! Very, very busy. And I will be busy for the next week or so... and then I hope things start to settle down and I can begin a routine that has me focusing on "I Have a Notion" as my primary goal. So what has kept me from it?

On September 2 I collected 2


friends from South Africa at O'Hare International Terminal and then the fun began. We spent the next 3 days playing in the Chicagoland area. A ''quilt store" (only one of my friends was a quilter), and the rest of the stops were landmarks and traditional touristy things. We did not make it to Willis Tower, aka Sears Tower (birds eye view was not high on the list), but we did the North Shore south bound driving in, visited Navy Pier, took a 
Lake Cruise, the Chicago Cultural Center, Cloudgate, Buckingham Fountain, considered the Field Museum, walked along the waterfront, some of Michigan Avenue, and a bit of the downtown area streets as we walked everywhere after parking the car (about 6 miles). The following day we took it very easy and went to the Chicago Botanic Garden for a day of tranquility, (although many others thought to do the same thing as well).








On our way back to N Kentucky we stayed on the
smaller highways and avoided the Interstate. There is a small well established Amish town called Arthur, which we also stopped in. Once home we spent a few days.... visiting around town. Since I live on the Bourbon Trail of Kentucky, we made a trek over to the Makers Mark distillery for the the tour and to see the Chihuly Art Glass exhibit. We explored quilty things and some golf things... One of the quilty things was a visit to New Albany IN to see the "Form not Function" exhibit at the Carnegie Museum. One word Spectacular!!!

On September 12 we headed over to Paducah for the first annual Fall Show! We arrived after a meandering drive through the Land

Between the Lakes with enough time to beat the crowd at Hancocks of Paducah Fabrics!!! We spent a few hours looking and choosing just the right fabrics. I brought
some home too!!! We spent the next 3 days looking the quilts, visiting vendors and exploring Paducah. It was my first time with more than one day so I was able to see all the venues and antique stores, along with the Museum and the waterfront.

After Paducah we parted company, me for home and they were heading to O'Hare via the Great Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains. From the pictures they have posted, Mother Nature has given them a glimpse of fall color too.

I had a blast hosting and returning the favor to visitors that showed and shared so much of their South Africa with us. Can't wait to do it again...Travel home safely my friends I will miss you.

Next.... a few pictures of the Fall Paducah show. As Always, more later!  Beth

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Struggles....

Time!!! Do you have enough? Do you have times when you seem to have all the time in the world and other times where no matter how you.... rearrange the demands you don't have enough? Sometimes it is a big thing and other times it is many many small things. Sometimes at the end of the week do you wonder how you got it all done?

One of the fellows my husband used to work with called the small
things 'Time Thieves'. Little things that eat up lots of your time and attention in small almost unnoticeable chunks, that add up to hours at the end of the week.

We all experience the little ones... emptying the dishwasher, picking up a room, feeding the dog, answering a phone call that extends by 15 minutes.... giving some attention to a family member that just needs a little comfort or a sounding board. I bet you can name a few too and at the end of the week wonder where all you time went?

And there are the regular big ones... work for a paycheck and then there is housework, and family duties oh and let's not forget sleep. All suck up an enormous chunk of our available time, not to mention energy.

At my house we seem to be grappling with a few of the bigger ones. Bandit, the 10 month old puppy has needed a little adjustment. He is a dog bred to be aggressive, (not necessarily mean, but not a fraidy cat either). He was not understanding his place in the house and certainly forgetting what the word NO meant in regard to him. So off to the breeder, for some
more stringent training than the regular obedience that we already completed. This is taking about 17-20 hours a week, but in the end Bandit will be a better dog and we of course will people and all be on the same page.



Added to the dog woes... my computer has been acting up... regularly for months but I just couldn't figure out where the problem was. The computer was shutting down, or the program I was in (usually Google Chrome) would freeze and I would have to restart, or after restarting the computer the program would not start so restart the computer again. I think I have it worked out now. It appears to have been caused by an Anti-Virus/Internet Security update/upgrade that was loading a .dll or other startup directive... where it cause interference with another program, possibly even Windows 10. But my computer has behaved itself for 24 hours now, without a restart, which lately is a record.

So where was all this going you ask... well my time has either been used up or not allocated well enough, and I seem to be behind in all areas.... and for me it won't get too much better until the end of September. The for most of the month I get to play hostess...  a little time back in Chicagoland, some time showing off Kentucky and a trip to Paducah for the new Fall Show. I am so excited about this opportunity, and of course, I will post about that a bit later.

In the meantime, check out www.ihaveanotion.com... I have started to update the stock and some of the prices. So far Books, DVDs, Fabric/Kits and Stabilizers have been sorted. Check them out, some are pretty good bargains if it is something you need.

As always, there will be More Later-
Beth and Bandit

Monday, August 21, 2017

Theme of the Day

Hello Friends! 

Life here on farm (ha don’t I wish I had a farm!) is going full speed ahead, in a direction other than planned of course!

I want to share a couple of experiences… I had this week which all have a theme.

#1. I have a vacuum cleaner, only 2 years old. As anyone with dogs or kids knows, they occasionally need to have some attention, especially the area of the brush roll. So I settled in to deal with this machine. Thinking like most vacuums I have had, I’ll just take the cover off and clean out the area brush roll/belt area. After removing the screws (9), and a Google search for the how to get the cover off, I finally called the company. First thing the guy says to me is, "if you have removed any screws you have voided your warranty". Big deal, it’s already out of warranty and needs attention. Next he says they don’t make them to come apart. That if you need to replace the brush roll or belt, they sell you a brand new head at $70 plus S/H! How is that good for me? For the landfill? Longevity of a vacuum? Would I recommend this product to friends and family or would I buy another-not a chance. I have a Hoover that is 15 and still works great and I can still buy just the parts I need for it.

#2. I bought a new phone about 4 or 5 weeks ago. Just recently released. It stopped working while charging. Like FROZE to a brick of unresponsiveness. Took it to the store… After more than an hour I came out with my old phone activated (the Sim Cards have gotten even smaller so the Sim Card from the new one would not fit old one, they waived the activation fee) while I wait for the replacement phone to be sent to me. The phone that died was inspected like I had done some damage to it and wanted something for nothing. You would think they might look up our record with the company…. And see that we don’t make complaints and pay the bill on time… We are the ones they want to keep not alienate with distrust and skepticism. We won’t even discuss the skipping me in the que for assistance. 

#3. I also had an issue with some food… coffee, the life blood of early risers. I like a particular brand and I get it from a big box store. For the last 6 months or so, I have asked, complained, suggested, or pointed out (to the powers that be) that the store is having a stock problem… Finally, in our house we were out… not a bean left in the jar, it was time for some coffee. At the store not a single bag of either blends we prefer were on hand. I stopped at Customer (no)Service, for a stock update, shipment expected on the 6th. I had to come home without coffee, and what is worse make a trip to another store for a bag of ‘make do’ until I figure out a new coffee. As I came in door I spied my computer and though… I wonder if the company knows that this store chain is having a problem, or if it is just my store, since I was getting nothing done from the bottom up… what about the top down. So I called them. It was an amazing conversation. I was promised 2 bags would be sent to me right away, and what is more…. The Operations Manager called later that evening from his personal cell to discuss the difficulty I was having and to try and figure out where the problem might be. He also told me to contact him back if I had any other issues or concerns. 10 days later I sent him a picture of the coffee display, stating that nothing had changed…. And the store was still out of the coffee.


So where was all this going? What is the theme? Do you have a guess? Did you say customer service? What makes a happy customer? Kelly knew and I am going to try to carry on in her tradition. Friendly Customer Service with a SMILE!

More Later- Beth

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Good Morning Quilters!

While you don’t see much happening at the I Have a Notion store, there is so much going…. I don’t know where to begin to tell you about it and I am more than sure you don't really want to hear about it. I have been on the Internet for a long time, but mostly from the finished front side (stores and blogs and information pages) but have never found the need to spend much time on the backside. What an education!!!

In addition, while attempting to scale the mountain of things I don’t know I have been visiting with a dentist. I have had so many experiences with dentist that were not so favorable, that I now go over the edge with anxiety, that it takes a day or two to get my equilibrium back. I will have a few more visits over the next year…. You know those pesky fillings from our childhood… I have a few that need to be replaced.

Speaking of Childhood, here in my neck of Kentucky the kids are back in school already. I grew up in California, and Labor Day was the marker that summer was over and we had to buckle down inside for the next 9 or so months (we never had snow days or conversely we didn't have any “too much sun” days either!!!)

I have a quilt that I titled "Childhood Memories". For me it depicts the freedom and wide open spaces of being a child in the summer.
Childhood Memories


I made it for a Guild Challenge in 2015. The challenge issued was to use the pinwheel block (already constructed by the challenge committee) on the front of the quilt, and we were not allowed to alter it. I knew the minute I saw it, that I wanted it to be a 3 dimensional “Pinwheel” that turned on my quilt like the little ones we had as children on a stick. As a child I saw them as pointless and requiring too much work to make them spin (running) if there wasn’t a strong breeze blowing. 

So what marks the end of summer for you? I am always interested to hear other perspectives… especially if you live where it is different than where I have lived.

Thanks for stopping by and checking in, as always More Later!!!

Beth

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Hello Ladies, Gentlemen, Quilters, Sewists, Shoppers and Gadget Guru’s!!!

Thank you Kelly for the introduction. To say that things have not gone quite as planned is an understatement. The Internet in all of its confusing states has decided that what ‘was’ there is…. Not. I apologize if you are finding it to be inconvenient.

So…. While I try and scale the mountain of things I don’t know and file them among the little that I do know, let me tell you more about me and maybe some of my vision, and in return please comment and tell me some of the things that you love about Kelly and I Have A Notion!!!

Linzi and Bandit... the dogs
As you know my name is Beth Hunter. I currently live in Kentucky, and just passed the 2 year mark at this address. I have a husband and 2 dogs… and we have moved a lot. Quilting has been my connective tissue whenever and wherever I have moved. I know quilters around the world both in real life and online. Quilters are, by nature a warm friendly and sharing community and I want that at I Have A Notion. I want to share some of what I have learned, help other quilters find what they need to progress and create their vision, and create a community of joy and friendship.

My quilting endeavors began around the fall of 1986 when I joined a quilting guild. At that time I lived in the small community of Paradise, California. The guild had nearly 100 members and the average age of the members then was 60-65. I was considerably younger (by half), and I loved all those ladies like family. I learned to hand piece and quilt with cardboard templates and a pencil and the rotary cutter was just becoming the THING. The using a sewing machine came later for me.

My quilting took a short detour, when I was mistakenly diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, so I stopped almost all stitching for about 10 years. There were a few moves in California, and then we moved from Southern Cali to Nebraska in 2002. Once in Nebraska (Grand Island) I decided to take up quilting again! I had to let go of much of the handwork and use a machine more…. I of course joined a guild and had a fabulous time with those ladies too. I am still in contact with many of them these days. Since then I have moved many more times and made many many many many more friends, one of them is Kelly!

I first found Kelly and I Have A Notion via the blog and would read every installment, about the products, her guilds and friends, Mr. McSteamy, the kids and of course the flamingos. Kelly and I have kept in contact over the years via email. We have some shared experiences, I blogged about one here, from when I was living in South Africa. Feel free to poke about on that blog… if you want… I have shared much of my QUILTY life and connections there as well as my foray into photography, but for just pictures there is also a Flickr  page.

My quilting style is whatever interests me at the moment… although I have moved a little away from traditional quilts to more ART… I love to play with thread.

Until everything is sorted out… I can be reached at baquilter@live.com or by phone at 270-900-4564

Please stay tuned and be patient …. Because as I always say;




There will be more later!!!  Beth

Monday, July 24, 2017

New Owner at I Have A Notion (IHAN)

As all of the regular IHAN blog readers know, the past few years have dealt me more than a few serious challenges.  I've been told what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.    I'm thinking without practicing, I should be able to dead lift a thousand pounds or at the very least be able to hold my own in a good brawl with wonder woman. (The mental picture of that makes me laugh so hard I almost just wet my shorts...LOL.)

I have some wonderful news to share   There is someone whom I believe has all it takes to carry        I Have A Notion forward creatively and with lots of inspiration.

Beth Hunter and I with a packed U-Haul
 2017 in Ohio

Beth Hunter is the new owner of I Have A Notion, I Have A Notion blog, trademark and yes all that inventory.

I met Beth through my blog back in 2010. We developed a friendship.  I have had the pleasure of visiting her home in two states but sadly not when she lived in Sough Africa.  Beth is a wonderful quilter, thread painter and  a new long arm quilter as well.  She has known I have been interested in sharing the blessings that have come from being the owner of I Have A Notion  and I have passed the baton to her.

You know I would never leave one of my babies with anyone I did not trust and believe could improve on what I've accomplished thus far.  Beth is honest and isn't shy about speaking her mind and I believe you will enjoy learning more about her and from her.

The words Love and Joy don't even come close to my experiences since starting I Have A Notion in March of 2009.  The people I have met and gotten close to have been by far the GREATEST treasure.   You can't imagine how many people have added beauty and strength  to  my life and I would have never known them or met them if it were not for IHAN.  It has been a privilege and pleasure to have been of service to so many of you who have read my blog and have been faithful customers.
Mary Jane and I at the Lake House in PA 2009

I would be greatly remiss if I didn't mention Mary Jane Ehlich, as she was my inspiration, my teacher, mentor and dear friend who took my hand and encouraged me in my adventure with  I Have A Notion.  It seems she had a special quality to bring out the best in me as she did so many others in her lifetime.  Mary Jane never wanted  credit or recognition for her help and would only allow me to refer to her as MJ on the IHAN blog.   She gave freely of her knowledge and spent countless hours sharing with me her gifts and talents  As I take my last bow here....just know, if it were not for Mary Jane, I would not have had this amazing privilege nor the courage.  Thank you again Mary Jane for all you did for me and I Have A Notion.

 I encourage all of you to continue to support I Have A Notion as you know I will.

With much appreciation and gratitude,

Smiles,
Kelly

PS...My new e-mail address is Jax07Fam.Kelly@gmail.com




Monday, February 13, 2017

Time for Borders

This is the wonky charity quilt I made to help keep someone warm and get me out of a rut.  I made the border separately and will add it later today.  This was a great stash busting project.  Naturally I'll be glad to see it finished and get on to using up other fabrics in my stash. 

Check out the gift Aaron brought me from his neighborhood romp.  He hid it behind his back and popped it out like it was a bouquet of flowers.  Melted my heart for sure.

Hope you have a wonderful surprise in your day as well!

Smiles,
Kelly

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Spirit of Love

Before you read further, please know I am aware there is false news everywhere.  I did my due diligence and searched to learn this man is a real person and he has an address in the same city as the article states.  Suffice to say, this story appears to be real.

Please read the story of Mohamed Bzeek, the only foster parent in LA county who accepts terminally ill children.

I read this today and thought to myself, this is the true spirit of love and Mr. Bzeek is not he first person I have met that embodied this spirit.

What many of you don't know about me is that I was a Case-manager and Psychologist and  had the extreme pleasure of serving the developmentally disabled community.  I met people who embodied the spirit of real love and acceptance and served others with dignity and honor.

Know these people exist and they are not super-human....they are just simply living out their truth. That "truth" is we all matter, we all count and we are all important. 


Kelly

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Out of the Mouths of Babes

A few days ago, I was annoyed by the vehicle in front of me that could not decide what to do. I said “please turn” out loud. Once the person turned (thankfully), I turned left so as to have no one in front of me while driving home. 

Aaron noticed my annoyance and said, “Call in an aerial strike.”


 Zach responded with, “Car eliminated. Continue with your safe driving.” 

I laughed out loud. Thank God for kids who understand!


Disclaimer:  I know everyone gets annoyed every now and again so don't leave a shaming comment...it was all in good humor I promise...we would never hurt people purposefully.

Giggles,
Kelly

Monday, February 6, 2017

Perrysburg's "Flamingo Family"

Elijah Johnson has made a video and the stars of the show, The Flamingos!




I loved what Elijah has done to share the story of the Flamingo Family.  The wind was blowing the day I was interviewed and I was trying to focus on looking at Elijah and not at the camera....wish I had smiled.  Thank you Elijah for focusing on the positive in our neighborhood.


Smiles,
Kelly

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Charity Quilting....Getting Out of This Rut

I've been in this deep rut and I'm working to get out.  With much encouragement from friends I decided to sew.  When Beth suggested I sew something new and I thought she was nuts.  I have so many UFO's how could I start something new?  Then Rosemary/Waldo offered to make a charity quilt and insisted I make one too.  Karin continually sends me photos of her projects that are inspiring and finally a miracle occurred....I started to sew.

Note to self: When in a rut, one can not always see clearly or know what may be helpful, consider trusting your friends. 
I just paper pieced this wonky twin quilt top.  Initially I used paper Waldo gave me as the foundation and then I noticed that a cheap tearaway machine embroidery stabilizer worked perfectly (very little need to pick at tiny pieces of paper that can get stuck).  I highly recommend the cheap tearaway stabilizer and of course shortening the stitch length.

I used the Westminster 2 /12 inch strips I  won a few years ago.  I thought the bright fabrics might bring some fun to a person who is in need of cheering up with a free warm quilt.


So many scraps remain I decided to try piano keys along the border.  The width has not been decided yet but the photo above is just a trial to see how I like it.  What do you think?

On the subject of what do you think.....do you like or love your washer and dryer?  We are in need of both and I have to say we have been highly dissatisfied with machines for quite some time. 

This is the front of our washing machine.  It is a Kenmore Catalyst Cleaning Action King Size Capacity Plus Quiet Pak 4.  We bought at Sears approximately 8 years ago.  It has required 4 or more repairs in the past 8 years (not cheap to have a repair person to the house).  The power button wore down rather quickly and that was disappointing as well.

The heating element on the dryer has gone out and I recognize it can be replaced but the machine has been repaired once before.  Repair bills are now very close to the purchase price of a new machine.  

One problem with shopping local stores is the machines are not plugged in and you can't test them before purchasing.  No one tells you how quickly the buttons break or if there are secret re-set codes that are only provided to the service repair people.  

We once had a man come and push a few buttons and the washer began working again.  When it broke later, Rick had to pay to get the codes from the internet.  Other times a code would not suffice so we phoned a repair company.

My question to you is, do you love your washer and dryer?  If so, can you tell me briefly what it is you really like about yours and the brand/model you purchased? 

We have reviewed Consumer Reports and we did then when purchasing the Kenmore's 8 years ago.  This time, I'm going with a friends advise....I trust my friends to tell me what they honestly think.  

What happened to the good ole days where things were actually built to last and there were no secret codes requiring purchase?

Superbowl Sunday....I hope your team wins!  I have no team....but I thoroughly enjoy the 1/2 time show!

Smiles,
Kelly




Monday, January 16, 2017

A Surprise That Made Me Smile

Ya just never know when something will arrive in your e-mail that will tickle you.  This morning I took the time to open an e-mail from Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts.  I have lost contact with Edyta and her husband Mike over the past few years.  That's what happens for me when life bangs on my hood, I retreat.

This is what I discovered inside the e-mail:



What a delight it was to see Edyta again and tickled to see she is making videos.  I'm a visual learner so videos work wonders for me. 

Given my distress over recent events in my life, I have had little desire to create or sew.  I have done some hand stitching on my little hexies however.
I was working on this piece while Mr. McSteamy drove.  Hexies make a wonderful car project, or so I was told by Mary Jane...that's who got me started.  I'm so glad she didn't encourage me to do base jumping....ya know I would have done it...LOL.

Speaking of Mr. McSteamy, he has taken pity on me and spent several hours putting things away in my sewing area.  I know he wants to see me  get back to sewing so he cleared a path for me.  I'm guilty of just setting things down and walking away when I'm "retreating." 

On Saturday afternoon McSteamy was in his woodworking shop and he caught a glimpse of me sitting down to a sewing machine.  I'm sure he thought he was hallucinating...but nope...it is true...I turned on a sewing machine. 


Now sure if you recall how crazy I am about fleece socks.  Yes, during the cold winter months I'm a huge fan of wildly colorful fleece socks.   I've had this pair sitting on a pile in my sewing area for 2 years just because the side seam had come out.  Your eyes have not failed you, they sat for TWO years because of a simple side seam!  One seam is perhaps not worthy of accolades, however each journey begins by taking the first step, right?

Occasional Smiles,
Kelly

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