I have not updated this blog since mid-September, and it isn’t because I haven’t had much to write about. On the contrary, I have so much to write about…beyond quilting. (And yes, I’ll get back to focusing on textile arts, but for right now I have a lot of other things on my mind.)
I am hyper-focused on launching Crafting a Life, LLC, a media and retreat business that I will base out of my newly acquired digs in Napa. The issue is, I am going to have to exercise something that I am horrible at: patience. I’ll akin this construction process to the slow cloth/ slow stitching movement. This is slow building, which means I have to enjoy the process. (I am trying very, very hard but it isn’t easy!) I envision the end result so clearly in my mind: after a day of creating (with a lunch-time hike thrown in), sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch, stitching and taking in the views, and later collectively cooking poolside on a cool California evening. I am also trying to devise a program for children, too, and that has been a lot of fun drafting a mini-sewing and quilting curriculum together.
When I am a bit further along, I will post pictures and share more details, but in the meantime, Judy Coates Perez posted this behind-the-scenes blog of the photo shoot from September.
Since I am horrible with a hammer and a nail, right now I’m working on a lot of the boring business-y stuff to cross off my list: meeting with lawyers, website peeps, and insurance folks.
I am also trying to do something I am not very good at: slowing down and enjoying some time off. When I went to Quilt Festival (which was so fantastic this year) several people came up to me and told me how relaxed I looked…and they’re right. I feel a sense of calmness, purpose, and focus that I haven’t felt in a long while.
I hosted an impromptu party when many were in town, which was so much fun…
And I invited some former co-workers from Quilts Inc. who have since chosen different work challenges but wanted the opportunity to reconnect with their quilting friends.
We took a lot of photos that night but this is one of my faves:
This past weekend I flew back to the Bay Area for some meetings and to visit my grandmother, but took in some downtime too. A must in the Valley is this little restaurant in Calistoga, the Calistoga Kitchen. If you order the grilled cheese sandwich, the cheese is melted literally into the slices of sourdough bread. I think it was the naughtiest thing I have ever eaten, and the ambience outside was pretty terrific, too!
I also spotted four community tag olive trees that cracked me up. The first of four, the “I Want Less” tag tree:
The “One Thing I am Grateful For” tag tree (more populated with tags):
The “Past Loves” tag tree, also well decorated:
I loved this past love in particular:
And “The Best Decision I Made Was” tag tree:
My favorite response:
While at Quilt Festival, I visited with my friend Wendy Richardson of Quilt Tapestry Studio. I bought up the rest of her over-dyed Napa fabric and would like to give one yard of it away to a randomly selected responder to my question below, inspired by the Napa tag trees:
Question: What has been the best decision you have ever made?
I’ll keep this open through this Thursday night and randomly select a winner.
**Blog update 11/17/14**
Giveaway winner: Congrats to Craftygoofy49! I will email you for your mailing address. Thanks to all who answered…I LOVED reading them. 🙂
Oh Pokey… hands down the best decision I ever made was “to always listen to myself”. by “self” I mean my heart… really listen… no matter what ANYone says.
What has been the best decision you have ever made? Well, aside from answering the phone, when you called me from Cloth Paper Scissors magazine…..and marrying my husband….it was deciding to try to make it as a full time artist. That was back in 1998.
One of the best decisions I ever made was To recognize that condo living was not for us and to move back to a real home three years ago, with a wooded yard and lots of room for my kids and grandkids to stay when they visit.
Other than marrying my husband. Taking the profits from selling my silver coins. ( I got $1,300 for every $100.) and buying a Viking Sewing Machine. I went on to become a Viking, New Home, Bernina Dealer. I started quilting.. Entered my 1st contest in 1993. Winning the Judges Choice (Karen O’Dowd) in the Hoffman Challenge for the quilt called the Smithsonian Phantom. Which is now owned by Karey B.
All the best in your new venture!
Meditation has been the best decision. Now I just need to get back to it! My parents lived in Napa for 34 years (or more). It is a beautiful place.
Hi all, so far I’ve had two voicemail messages left. Just so you know, it looks like you get three minutes to record your message. So, if you’re long-winded you might want to set up a timer or call back to expand on your expounding.
the best decision I ever made was going to ArtFest for my 60th birthday an jumping feet first into the world of art. I have grown so much and made so many special friends. This year I sold three paintings. I am so blessed
The best decision I ever made was to marry my husband. We were young, but it has been beyond wonderful!
Back in my college days I seldom read writing this good. You display a lot of knowledge without being intimidating. Your attention to detail is superb. You make clear-cut points on which I can concur.
Retiring early, to pursue my passion for quilting!
I took a chance on long distance love with my now husband. 🙂
Leaving my first husband and going to graduate school. That led to a great career and time to quilt.
The best decision I ever made was NOT using my plane ticket to move to Scotland (from Canada) and accept my (how husband’s) proposal of marriage! It has led us through many life stages together with dogs and kids in tow!
I’m so enjoying reading your blog posts Pokey. It looks like you live in heaven.
The best decision I ever made was to go to college. I love learning.
The best decision I ever made was to Create. It started with painting, then jewelry followed by quilting. I found I am the happiest when I am quilting. Quilting has allowed me to be my true me.
To follow my heart.
The best decision I ever made has been to retire after working 45 years straight and toss my alarm clock!!
other than the usual of having the best husband (we both give each other lots of freedom to pursue our own interest) …. joining a teaching Textile Art Guild where I’ve met great friends and learned so much.
A friend had tried for months to get me to meet a guy her hubby worked with…I finally gave in. Married him 2 years later.
The best decision I made was to scrap writing the Masters’ Thesis and get a real job in publishing. I was hired by Dan Gookin, who started the … For Dummies series of computer books. I met my husband-to-be, Andy Rathbone, one of the occasional feature writers, at the young computer magazine, too. Then Dan asked Andy, my new husband, to co-write PCs for Dummies with him. Then Andy proposed Windows for Dummies. The rest is history. We are still happy 23 years later, and not worrying too much about full-time employment gives me time to Art Art Art!
To dive into art quilting- my designs, colors, and ideas!
One of the best decisions I ever made was to join my local quilt guild (Gun Barrel Quilters Guild). In addition to having the opportunity to learn and grow as a quilter, I’ve made the most awesome friends – my quilting family.
To quit my job!
I’ve never seen or heard of a tag tree before. What a fantastic idea!!! I think the best decision I’ve ever made (after marrying my husband) was to invest my time in my children by being a stay-at-home Mom. Lots of great memories for all of us and I think I have helped to contribute four good people to the world!
My best lie decision was to live life serendipitously……or maybe it wasn’t a decision? Maybe it just happened! Anyhow it is right for me.
Should say life not lie!
The first was marrying my husband in 1968. The second was taking early retirement in 1996. I have never regretted it, and often wonder how I ever had time to work!
The best thing I have done in recent years was to finally decide to trust in myself and my creative abilities, cut way back on hours working only for money not fulfillment, and invest that time in my art. It’s been a wonderful year! Hope your retreat center continues to go well, it’s a marvelous idea.
A close call between deciding to finish college in my 30s and making the decision to retire a year earlier than planned to focus on planning /building our retirement home and prepping my current one to sell. Although retirement isn’t until March 2015, the decision has been made and I feel free. Had I not completed my education, I wouldn’t be able to retire as early as I am.
Best decision was to take a chance and get married again. My husband is a wonderful guy and supports me in every way. Besides that it was to start following my heart and begin creating again after many years of 10 hr days and single parenthood. It brings me such joy”
Taking a risk and believing that love can be forever
To get into quilting – especially into teaching quilting classes!
CORONEL:ESTAS NOTÃCIAS SÃƒO DE ESTARRECER A OPINIÃƒO PÃšBLICA. COMO O TSE VAI PERMITIR TODA ESTA TRAPALHADA, ESTE Ã‰ UM DOS MOTIVOS QUE EU TENHO MEDO SOBRE AS PESQUISAS SOBRE A DILMA, TUDO ISTO PODE SER UMA ARMAÃ‡ÃƒO. PORQUE NÃ“S VAMOS TER QUE ACREDITAR NAS URNAS ELETRÃ”NICAS E NO TSE?
Hola Mactans:Me hiciste pensar en cuÃ¡nto tiempo hace que no visito el mar.Lo sentÃ siempre como una fuente de energÃa.(AdemÃ¡s de regalarnos un poco de chatarra).Lo he disfrutado, gracias mi amigo.
My best decision was to have my two children. They are the greatest.
Love the Napa Valley – visited once a number of years ago.
Quiting smoking and taking up running.
selling my motorcycle and using the proceeds to take a trip to Italy
The best decision I ever made was becoming a mom! My daughters and granddaughter are the loves of my life.
The best decision I ever made was moving to the Pacific Northwest, hands down! I moved from Texas to Washington state twice. The first one was interrupted by a temporary disabling car wreck…I thought I was finished with that adventure until I turned 40 and realized it was now or never. Nineteen years later I have never looked back.
Retire early and find my arty side that I didn’t know existed.
I think I have made several really good decisions but the best one I believe was to follow my heart in 1983. It lead to breaking up with someone, learning a new sport which led me to meet my now husband. Best thing ever.
To go to a cathedral window quilt class in the Paramas NJ mall with my mother-in-law in the mid 70’s… Never did finish the block but it lead to a lifetime of daily quilting:-)!
The best decision I ever made was marrying my Hungarian Sweetheart. Our 50th wedding anniversary is coming up this May and we are off to Hungary to celebrate!
Making a decision is not my strong point but when I quit smoking, that was really one of my best decisions!!
Ah what a very special gift. May you be guided by the P E A C E of your brilliance a you journey along your path creating a new footprint that we may all enjoy!
The best decision I have made included walking away from a program inwhich the adminstrator had miss guide control issuses and embracing a program that my skills are appreciated daily and the students lives are changed every moment of time : )
The best decision I made this year was to focus on bringing my sketches outta my sketch book and turning them into a block of the month quilt pattern. I am recovering from Lyme disease and could not quilt because of it but I could work on my patterns (slowly and on Good Days) so that kept me from letting the challenges of Lyme get to me.
in the quilting world it’s been asking the best question (in my view) ever, “what if” and then running with those possibilities. And a very close second, “so what if?”
My best decision was to retire and fo more quilting. Sandy Brede email@example.com
My best decision was to transfer my sewing energy from clothing to quilting. This enabled me to become much more creative.
My best latest decision was to learn how to rock climb. I’ve made some wonderful creative friends and have an incredible bond with my daughter who challenged me to climb.
Best decision was to divorce my first husband, after 20 years. Eventually, it all led me back to my art, where my heart now lives and thrives!
Sent from my iPad
The best decision I ever made was to do what I want to do without waiting for outside approval.
Best decision was to marry my high school sweetheart. We just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary, surrounded by quilts.
I don’t think I have made the best decision yet! Perhaps aside from marrying my dear husband, it was our decision to relocate and put our retirement life on a track to find more fun and fulfillment.
two pivotal decisions, to marry my husband and raising my daughter. Those decisions have led me to places and people I would never have dreamed of before. How wonderful to hear about your project in Napa. We are building in Sonoma county right now and on a similar path. I look forward to being “neighbors” and taking advantage of your workshops. Best to you, Pokey:-)
The best decision I ever made was to listen to my own intuition.
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2014 23:16:32 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marrying my best friend.
Marrying my husband.
Thank you for sharing your exciting journey.
My best decision was to become a nurse, a decision that has helped me grow, helped others, and is a decision that I have never regretted.
My most recent best decision is retiring this past June. I have been very busy and not had enough time to quilt but once winter is here and I am trapped inside I hope to get more sewing accomplished.
To take all my past artistic abilities and pour them all into quilting. I’ve been quilting for 3years now and have won some really meaningfull awards.
Great post and I’m glad your friends noticed you’re relaxed. Napa is a wonderful community.
Best decision…..buying a longarm! The therapeutic impact has been far less expensive than drugs, hospitals and shrinks!
Best decision I ever made was to exercise more. Can’t believe the change in my energy and mood….thanks for he giveaway! Good luck in your new adventures!!
To quit my job two years ago next month. I now have time to quilt and do fiber arts
Best decision…Be fearless. I struggle with patience too. It’s hard not to with the pace society sets for us. Glad to hear all is well and moving right along! ?
After many years as a city planner and real estate specialist, I had the opportunity to return to the high school classroom as the art teacher. I had 20+ wonderful years of opening new worlds for my kids. When my seniors graduated in 2005, I reluctantly graduated into early retirement because of my husband’s health. I frequently see my grown up students at the grocery store or local Starbucks and always welcome their hugs and family updates. Now I teach various aspects of design and techniques to my wonderful friends in quilting. What a great life.
Marrying my husband, Jim, December 26, 1968!
The best decision I have made in a long time was clear back in 1976……a single Mom of three teen agers…..I made the decision to go to Italy to summer school thro the University of Washington summer school……I had my ex husband and his new wife take responsibility for the kids…..and off I went. I traveled for 15 days before classes started……and that was an eye opener for me. The one that was always in control……wasn’t!……and I found myself getting in and out of some really wild situations and met lots of interesting people……and managed to get to Rome the day before classes only to have been pick pocketed……The summer class was in a small hillside village…..from early Estruscan days….and I found myself living with a family…..and this time I was a 37 year old kid!……The family embraced me in many ways……and so did the small village that we were in…….and I found myself being taken care of just like I had been doing for my own kids……I did not realize how that shift in parenting made such a difference to me…….I missed my Italian family a lot when I returned home. The next summer I took my daughter to visit “my family”….and then did the same thing with the boys…..and in the end I bought an 800 year old house……mortgaged my home in the states to do it!……and was able to live a fairy tale life in the summers…..and make some wonderful friends that became my “really, truly family”……a good decision for me at just the right time.
The best decision I made was when I retired from work. I have been quilting my days away since then. Elaine
Sent from my iPad
Do it !
The next best decision I’ve ever made has to be deciding to repurpose half of our basement into a dedicated sewing/quilting area. (Second only to choosing to give birth to two wonderful daughters of course!)
Starting my own business supporting people to realize their creative potential in Textile arts.
My best decision by far was to answer a personal ad in the lonely heart column and meet and marry the man of my dreams who wrote that ad and become “mom” to his four children ranging in age from 3 to 23. 🙂
Pressing the “SEND” button! I am a ‘fraidycat when it comes to showing my art quilts to others. It was on my bucket list to just once enter the Houston Quilt Festival, without anxiety or expectation. Online entry is just like sending a picture to a friend I told myself, no pressure. I barely made the deadline as it was, really close to midnight, overthinking every bead and stitch. But I did it! Submitted my entry, off it went. It did not surprise me when I heard nothing on the notification date and I was still happy I had taken that plunge. Two weeks later, I was told to check my Spam folder and there was my Golden Ticket to the best time of my life! My husband (and biggest fan) and I went to Quilt Market and saw my quilted place setting was at the head of the table of the “What’s for Dinner?” Exhibit. I was speechless. That whole market weekend took on a Cinderella feel after that moment. I met all but two of the quilting rock stars on my list (you and Cheryl Sleboda) and everyone was so kind and generous and so encouraging. I could not stop smiling! I may never press that send button again, but I am so very glad I did.
Best decison: taking a quilting class. Which led me to giving quilts to people going thru loss of loved ones or illness.
“The healing quilts”
The best decision I ever made: To believe in my dreams.
It would definitely be BOTH of my divorces…
The best decision that I have made was to give birth to my daughter at age 37. Life changing experience to say the least.
We moved away from familyand our closest friends. it has been hard, but good for my children and even better for my marriage. It is still hard, but i believe that it was the best decision we have made.
Retiring early to focus on crafts and art.
Besides marrying Tim? The best decision I have made since was to live each day to the fullest and keep the little stuff little.
Letting go. That’s a hard one, but I’ve had to do it, more than once. I love reading your blog. Good luck and thanks for the giveaway.
The best decision I have ever made was to move from the past, no matter how hard it is to give it up, and move forward, no matter how scary that might be, and to do it with confidence and excitement.
To decide at age 40 what kind of old woman I wanted to be, fit ,active , healthy, young at heart , medication free and never to go down stairs like an old lady , now I am almost 80 and I did it!
The best decision I make every day is to let Jesus be in control of my time and actions. He gives me so much peace and joy!
In my 2nd year of college I decided to take only 4 classes per semester and to graduate in 4 1/2 yrs after my 2nd learning disability was discovered. I finished my major on time w/my classmates and by staying in school another semester was able to take additional marketing courses (my major) and land an internship in a corporate buying office that turned into a full time job when I graduated and lead me to a wonderful career I had not expected.
Dedication to my creative needs fueled with dedication to my family…in that order….best conscious decision…and giving myself permission to make that decision….I have ever made!
Moving to the UK!
Marrying my husband, and having my children!
Best decision I ever made finally listening to me and no one else, jumping with both feet and falling in love with your brother! 😉
Awwww! Hi Crystal! Davy has spoken very highly of you! I can’t wait to meet you! Thanks for watching out for my little brother. 🙂
My best decision was to marry the man I loved!!!!
To go back to school in my 50’s. New job and new challenges improved my self confidence so much.
To give my left kidney to my sister! mumbird3(at)gmail(dot)com
my best decision was to retire and spend a lot of time with my sewing machine.
My best decision was responding to a post-it I found on my truck from a former co-worker. The post-it stuck through a 20-minute 80 mph trip down the interstate and 6 days in my driveway (2 with rain) before I found it. We call it the magic post-it note. I’m truly in love for the first time at 51 years old. Magic indeed!
So far the best decision I’ve ever made was consenting to be the President of my quilt guild two years ago. This month’s meeting will be my final one as Prez, and it has been a lot of fun and a wonderful learning and growing opportunity.
Having my children
Besides marrying my husband and having kids, I would say my travels overseas before I got married. While I wouldn’t trade my current adventure for anything, we are a lot more limited in our travel these days both financially and logistically. Someday we will travel again with our twins!
Trusting my instincts. Thanks for the chance.
Quitting my job, leaving my boyfriend and apartment to go home to take care of my mother who was dying of Ovarian Cancer. Priceless time and cherished memories!
To marry my husband :).
Like a few others above, my best decision was to marry the man I now share a name and family with. He was an answer to my prayers many years ago and continues to be a blessing each day. We’ve been married for 31 years and it only gets better!
The best decision I ever made…yoga. Opened myself up to take in life and art!
After two failed marriages, trying again a third time . . . Twenty-two years and counting!
The best decision I’ve ever made… to follow God! 🙂
Loved the update and the great photos, especially the tag trees! I am looking forward to your new retreat.
The best decision I ever made was to fight ovarian cancer at 49 yrs old with all I had. I celebrate 16 years on the 17th of November.
The best decision I ever made was deciding that it was ok to forgive myself for past mistakes and to follow the heart where ever it takes me.
Instead of staying home, I went to the bowling alley. .. where I met my husband 24 years ago.
Aside from the man, of course… The best decision I ever made was to leave a stifling but uber stable job for a more chancy position. It went against every well-meaning advisor’s unsolicited advice and turned out to be the best decision I ever made. #lifealtering.
Best decision I ever made was to take the money I won in a lawsuit, which was enough to buy a one way ticket to Japan, and hope I made enough each month in my teaching position to survive. Not only did I make enough, I was able to travel and have experiences people only dream about. This when I was 48 years old. Yes, stepping off the ledge can be exhilarating!
Sent from Samsung tablet
What a wonderful new venture you are creating! I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. The best decision I ever made was leave the business world and go into teaching. I love it!
Best decision was to simplify my life.
It sounds cliche but, hands down it was having our two kids with my best friend and husband.
I woke up one morning when I had just turned 40, and decided never to “just settle” again. It led me to a new life as a single mom of two terrific kids, and to time for my creative side. I retire soon, and have more than enough creating to last me for two lifetimes!
my best choice/decision ever was in 1972 to have my baby. I was unmarried, underemployed,etc. & my mom offered to pay for an abortion if I wanted. Never even considered anything but having my little girl…she’s been a joy & a hassle sometimes, but is my best friend ,;and the mom of my 2 wonderful granddaughters. only thing that could be better was if any of them sewed or wanted to inherit my fabric and craft collection!
For our anniversary last year we toured the Canadian Rockies and got to stay at the Fairmont at Lake Louise. It was absolutely breathtaking and magical. Truly an awesome memory for both my husband and me. It was a great decision!
Moving in with my boyfriend Dave and then marrying him 7 years later. We have been tog. since 1993 and he supports all of my art and quilting projects. We go to Henderson Ky. to see my quilts at the JJ Audubon Museum opening tomorrow night.
I think the best decision I ever made was to follow my dreams. It took a long time to come to this decision. My dreams are to follow my creative self. Since making this decision and outlining a plan I have given myself permission to explore and learn. I am basically a. Quilter but this does encompass many types. I love surface design and stitching on my projects.
The breast cancer fundraiser ideas major limitation of the body, which won the
I never win anything, but I wanted to congratulate you on 1,000 followers. One question though, how did you do it? get so many people to follow your blog?Stay Blessed,Brandy
I think I remember this time in your life.(you are the admin., right?) You have aylwas been an extremely innovative and creative person. I don’t remember you pulling too many weeds, though. But thats’ ok you had a heart for the greenery and now you are developing your passion! Good for you!