Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pril blumen

I can remember back to my university Marketing class, hearing story after story about how a company cannot simply take one marketing strategy and apply it everywhere. Several businesses learned the hard way and one tale that stood out was about the Chevy Nova in the 70's... it took a while to catch on that perhaps their car was not selling so well in Mexico because "No-va" in Spanish means "no-go".

So, needless to say, I have learned that not everyt
hing that works in the States also works here in Germany. Each person is influenced by their surroundings, things in their own culture that affect the way they see things... even right down to fabric!

I just recently got in the new collection "Pretty Bird" from Pillow & Maxfield for Michael Miller and let me say, I really love these new to the scene designers... the friends design team really adds a playful, bright, and cheerful twist to each of their fabric collections, and though I say it about every fabric collection that I get in, my fingers are itching for this one.

But a recent conversation helped me to see the collection in a new light. I'm sure that there are some commercials or advertising from when we were children that one immediately recognizes and remembers and connects one thing with another... "mmm, mmm, ...good" (Campbell's soup)... "hey, Mikey likes it!" (Life cereal) "I'd like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony..." (Coca-Cola)... just a few for me.

... so the new fabric collection for my friend was a bit of a nostalgic blast from the past from an advertising campaign of a dish washing detergent company that, to promote their brand, included funny little retro stickers that one could stick to EVERYTHING... I think I might have even found one in our old kitchen before we remodeled.

So, what I randomly picked because I fell in love with the fantastic design, just happens to remind another of a childhood memory about dish soap...

... here's to celebrating the joys of different cultures!

Monday, October 25, 2010


A few weekends ago, I decided instead of a lonely weekend home alone, that I would pack the little one up and we would travel to be with my husband while he was working. Following him lead us out into the country, where the land is flat and one finds little more than fields and forests. Somehow the air is fresher, the quiet is more still, and one can sink into a deeper sense of awareness and reflection. Sometimes the simple way of life in the country can be an adventure for me... especially in a country that I have only called "home" for just a few years.

Sunday afternoon, with it's clear and crisp fall weather, lured us into the forest for a mushroom hunt. Wicker baskets in hand and stroller in tote, four generations set out to scour the forest floor for a few tasty treats for our evening meal. I would probably have to say that mushroom hunting is not so common for families in the States, but for many who call the countryside home in Germany, it is a wonderful yearly fall tradition.

For my husband it is the wide open flat fields filled with grains as far as the eye can see that speaks to the most inner part of his soul, but for me it is the forests that remind me of home. Somehow canopies of lush trees that fill the air with hearty, wooded aromas bring me to a place of inner peace. The tall pines were almost speaking, welcoming us as they creaked from swaying back and forth ever so slightly with the soft wind. Birds and other creatures create their own music and one is ever anticipating that glimpse of some great creature making it's way through the forest.

We even stumbled onto a big patch of "Fliegenpilze" (flying mushrooms) with their vibrant red caps that warn, that despite their beauty, of the danger that could follow should their enticing offerings be consumed. I have seen these funny little mushrooms, known for their red caps and white dots, over all here, certain that they were linked to some kind of folklore or fairytale that is well known in Germany. I really would really love to hear more stories about them! (Hint, hint...)

There is something so absolutely fulfilling from gathering from the land that which nature has provided and using it to sustain life... and oh, what a tasty treat it was!

What fall traditions are especially close to your heart?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall Musings

A friend on mine e-mailed me recently wanting to know if I had gotten her e-mail since I had not replied back. In short, choppy, to the point sentences I explained to her what has had me so occupied the past several weeks, which had also delayed my response to her. When I saw it all written out, actually in black and white, it hit me how much I have been doing and that I have been doing it at full speed on just fumes.

My body and emotions are ready for the slower season that I know is coming up. Fall and winter seem to almost force one into a semi-hibernation stillness. I guess if we never had that coming down time, that often coincides with cold weather, we would all continue along at the busy "places-to-go-and people-to-see" summer pace until we could go no more.

One part of me rejoices at the colors of fall, the crisp freshness of the air, and slower pace... the other side of me wishes and longs for, despite the fact that I accomplished more than I realized, just a little more time... a little more daylight... more of a sense that I got something done instead of just spinning my wheels.

What is it that drives us to ever be in motion, to always be on the go, striving to accomplish more and more... making the most of each waking moment? I am one that has the tendency to go until I can go no more. But on the other side I do know how to relax, have fun, and forget about the stresses that lay behind.

Reds, oranges, purples, and gray... I am ready for you. Contrasts of cold and clear, it is nice to see you again. Stillness... I am waiting.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Quilt Market Sale!

So I thought I would let you all in on just one of the many things that has been keeping me busy these days... we are preparing for our 2nd Quilt Market Sale on Still Water Designs, October 7 - 17th!

There are so many new things in the shop, new collections, patterns, books...
one of the things that I am most excited about adding is the new book from Amy Butler, "Style Stitches"... talk about more "bang for your buck", instead of buying one pattern, this one includes 12 really fantastic purse patterns not to mention superb and inspiring photography.

After the sale, this is the pattern that I am planning to make... we'll have to see what fabric is left over! I love the shape and I am enjoying making and using bigger, stylish bags. Be sure to check out some of the other really fun patterns included in Amy's book.

With all that being said, I thought I would give my blog reading customers a little "incentive" for the upcoming sale... so, if you decide to pop over to my website this week and buy something, let me know in the comments section that you read about it here and I will include a little "extra" something for you. Can't wait to hear from you!
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