Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Quilt Market experience that we aren't likely to repeat

The simple fact that it has taken me precisely 2 weeks and 2 days to share my Quilt Market experience speaks volumes about what went into it, what it was, what it wasn't and how much time it takes to recover. I know that I am not really sharing photos that you haven't already seen elsewhere (provided you're into that sorta thing), in fact many of these aren't even my photos, but borrowed from my pal April (thank you!).

This year I was so happy to have my mama join me for the first time. I mention this because I always like starting with the good news. Having her with me was definitely the goods news. It is more typical for her to be at home caring for the kids while we (Jeff and a rotating group of employees) are working the booth trip. Fall market always falls near Joseph's birthday. I can typically be back home just in time to celebrate with him on the actual day, or pretty close. But this time it fell smack dab in the middle. This fact, plus wanting my mom to join me, plus some cockamaimee idea that we can handle a lot inspired us to make this market a whole family trip. Unfortunately not the whole family, as Juliana is tucked safely into college. But all available offspring from birth positions 2 through 6, ages 12yrs to 18 months, boys, girls, cranky, happy, you name it, if they live in this house, they came. As we say around here, the whole fam damily.

The trip out involved some peoples flying, some peoples driving, and on the way back it was mostly the reverse, so that every kid got a plane ride. Also, Jeff and I, who drove both ways, could have a rotating group of whiny kids in the not very big cab of the truck that Jeff's dad let us drive but that he thought maybe should be looked at before we go because there could be some sort of grumble, grumble, issue with it, grumble. But off we went (without having the truck looked at, which wasn't MY plan) pulling a Uhaul trailer full of my booth, and our big boys, 12 and just about to turn 11, nestled into the not very big cab of the truck. (I should interject the word cozy here because it should be included but I haven't found a factual way to use it in the description of the trip or the truck yet, but doing such, albeit synthetically, might help my mental state, and eventually my market memories. Where was I?) I would say the trip was pretty smooth and uneventful the first evening of driving from about 6:30pm until about 1:00am. The next morning we headed out after a brief hotel stay, a good breakfast and all was going great until the Uhaul blew a tire somewhere around Texarkana. In fact, right before that I was thinking how ahead of schedule we were and that we should be at the convention center by about mid day and have all of the booth structure up by the close of set up at 8:00. I was wrong about that. We instead spent about 3 or 4 hours repairing a tire (two tires actually, because they weren't the right kind of tires so we had to put the same wrong tire on the other side of the trailer to balance the first wrong tire, so I think that actually two wrongs might make a right) during which I just sat in the not very big cab of the truck and handquilted one of my quilts. I was glad that it wasn't worse, I guess, that it wasn't dangerous and that Jeff is very manly when it comes to side of the road car situations and all that.

This story is getting more detail-y than I thought. I think this is why I put it off.

We didn't get to set up at all that day but rather arrived around 8 or 9pm, just in time to rent a van, and pickup the rest of the kids, Mom, and Alexia (good worker bee) from the airport. It was so good to see the rest of the brood after traveling for two days. We had a very late meal at the hotel and I got my second night of not-great sleep, knowing that we only had one day to put up the whole show, teach my schoolhouse class in the middle of it and salvage what I thought would be fun evenings spent with the family.

I need to interrupt this prose with a bullet point format:

* Set up went smoothly in some ways, screwy in others
* I felt a day behind because of that tire
* I still feel a day behind because of that tire
* My booth contract was for a standard 10'x20' booth, which has 3 walls
* My booth display was created to have 3 walls, due to previous bullet
* My actual booth space at the convention center was a corner with 2 walls
* I had words to say to people about that
* If I had known they were going to give me a corner space, I would have either designed a two wall booth, or thought of some really gorgeous and inventive and promotion driven way to design the back side of the 3rd wall that faced the aisle so that I would not be baring the constructed guts of my booth to the unsuspecting and kind quilt market attendees, but rather using the 8'x10' wall space in a useful, beautiful way
* I thought to pack a fat quarter of all of the new fabrics in my suitcase before I left
* I also thought to pack a sewing machine
* The above 3 bullets + Alexia produced a large pieced, and I'd have to say, rather swanky fabric drape for the outer side of the 3rd wall
* During schoolhouse I thought that maybe my tongue was tied into a knot because there were words that wouldn't come out all the way
* Everyone smiled anyway, then we got back to the booth
* By late in the evening all the booth needed was flowers
* Flowers shouldn't be such a big deal, but for me they are
* I'm sorry about that
* I have a favorite place in Houston to go get flowers so I thought that we should all go together
* A family trip of sorts
* Maybe we could eat too
* It was late
* Too late, really, for a family trip to get flowers and a bite to eat
* I could not let my vision of work + family seamlessly working out beautifully go
* But there was that tire
* And the wall
* And the lost day
* And then there was the fact that we went the wrong way to my favorite place to get flowers, which may or may not have to do with my ability to use the direction thingy on my new phone, this is up for debate, nevertheless the situation produced a very very long trip to get flowers and arriving there just 5 minutes before my favorite place to get flowers was about to close and also produced Roman running out of sitting-in-a-rented-van-waiting-for-dinner-2-hours-past-his-bedtime patience
* This means he screamed his head off for about 30 minutes in the car
* I cried harder than Roman
* The rest of the night involved me going to bed with Roman, without dinner, and the rest of the family eating another very late night meal at the hotel (and it could have also possibly involved Jeff insisting that I eat, me insisting that I sleep, him getting me a meal anyway, waking me up to eat it, me refusing to eat it cause I'd already fallen asleep and was not happy to be awake, then not being able to sleep only to get up at about 2am to eat the (stupid) cold salmon while sitting on the hotel toilet with the door shut so I wouldn't wake anyone up. Maybe.)
* My husband takes very good care of me
* The flowers were beautiful
* In the days that followed, said husband also had the golden opportunity to take care of the truck at a nearby dealer once it started making some unfriendly noises
* $2000 and several shuttles from the hotel to the dealer with most of the kids in tow later, Jeff also managed to get the repaired truck back that would hopefully make it home
* We made it home

In summary, the 3 actual show days involved me smiling, talking, chatting, sharing and getting to say thank you for the booth, the work, my fabric, my patterns, my ideas, my art. Sharing those days with my mom was memorable. Sharing the evenings with my family was welcome, but the children were always all a little weary from being plucked out of their normalcy, Jeff always worn from trying to keep them all entertained without driving himself mad, and me always feeling a little bad that I couldn't let the vision of mixing this all up go. If we weren't aware of how much is too much to take on before, I think we may have an inkling now. Its hard to quantify all the benefits of appearing at market each season to share what I'm working on with retailers, but I know that it has become an inherent part of my process that I would struggle to let go. Bringing the whole family along, I think I can let go. The fact is that it is the only time I get to put it all together physically, in a setting or a staging of sorts, wherein I relish, absorb and understand a little better all that I have been working at. Its my show and my work. My pleasure and my pain. I love each of my little bozos, and my husband bounds more for humoring my dream of trying to make it all work at once. Whew.

If I could leave a frosted brownie at the end of this little ditty to reward you for making it all the way through it with me, I would.
your pal, Anna


  1. What a trip !!!!! You really are a super woman....with two wrong tires !!!!

  2. I can taste the brownie now! Really!

  3. From one who has also envisioned peaceful harmony under similar circumstances (well, I'm not a world famous fabric/pattern designer and I've never been to quilt market) I can appreciate how you wanted to surround yourself with those you love most during such a culmination of all your hard work and such an expression of you. What fond memories for you kids in their later years. . .

  4. oh.

    That sounds like my childhood family vacations of yore. The ones we embellish and laugh about now, but that weren't very funny at all then. Glad you all survived!!

  5. Anna--bullet points for you:
    -Good for you for trying to find that balance of work and family
    -Good for you for recognizing what doesn't work :-)
    -Your booth was amazing
    -Your flowers even more amazing
    -And your fabric--to die for!

    Maybe the brownie could be you telling us more about those flowers? What a gorgeous arrangement. I'm such a flower idiot. I would love to know how to achieve a beautiful arrangement like that!

  6. This was lovely...........
    Bless Your Heart and You family!

  7. the flowers DID look beautiful...

  8. My goodness, what an epic adventure! And exactly how I imagine trying to do anything with 5 people of the smaller variety might go :)

  9. so what you're saying, basically, is... you're human? ;)

    thank you for sharing with us.
    as sorry as i am to hear your much anticipated trip was so very challenging, it is really good to hear that a mother and artist i admire so much still has "days like that".

    you're fabulous!

  10. why, oh why, do we envision these schemes of harmony when we are dealing with real people. real people and real life and real unforseen and unavoidable obstacles? and why do we have such a hard time letting go of such schemes? and when i say we, i really mean i.

    the part with you eating cold (stupid) salmon in the bathroom at 2am felt like part of my life story. but husbands like that are amazingly priceless. (i speak from experience)

    we also had a flat tire issue not too far from texarkana in mid-october with three littles in tow. hmmm. . .

    and our names are pretty similar. double hmmmmm. . .

    so glad you were able to have your mama with you!

  11. Good heavens. I would have sat down to cry halfway through if it had been me and probably lost it completely not much further along...

  12. I'm sorry it was such a stressful experience. I wasn't able to go to market, but I attended the quilt show the following week. I've already purchased some of your Crush fabrics, and they were everywhere at the show. I hope it doesn't deter you from coming back to Houston next year!

  13. Anonymous1:22 PM

    We were at the market, and I must say that my mother and I LOVED the fat quarter wall.. =] So somewhere in the midst of you probably having a panic attack, we found it very helpful in selling your fabric to have a wall of fat quarters =] I love reading your blog.

  14. oh lordy! i hope you are getting some good rest, anna. and that joseph had a nice birthday in the midst of all that.

  15. You should be able to eat all the brownies for that trip! I sometimes think it is hard to go places with my three kids - I can only imagine. Your booth came out lovely!!

  16. Oh my! We lived in Texarkana for 9 months and my husband always says that the only good thing to ever come out of Texarkana is our second child. ;) haha Thank you for sharing the experience. You have a wonderfully supportive husband! Consider yourself blessed! (Actually I'm sure you already do)

  17. I am sorry you had such a hard time of it. I grew up in a simular family where family trips were planned around conventions. I don't think any of our trips were what my mom had in her mind either but for us kids, they were great adventures.

  18. So honest, so great. You make me feel better about the times I try to do too much.

  19. well, heck - that side wall was an afterthought? The very side wall that I appeared to be strangely drawn to constantly like it was magnetic or something despite intending to not walk down the westminster aisle AGAIN for the 300,000 time? The same side wall that I had to touch all the time? The wall that is etched permanently into my brain as my most favourite wall of quilt market?
    Well, that was one amazing afterthought! The booth looked beautiful, your mom is the sweetest lady! And that wool/tweed skirt you were wearing one day - I haven't stopped thinking about it and how much I want it (sorry, that sounds slightly wrong).

    ps - the flowers were, indeed, beautiful

  20. Your adventurous spirit and sense of humor are awe inspiring. I'm glad things are back to "normal" for you now. Just in time for the holidays. ;)

  21. Love your honesty! But I'm sure nobody could even tell you were frazzled - from everything I've read about QM, you were just a peach!
    And if it helps at all - your booth was simply gorgeous!

  22. Oh, bless you for being so honest! I think this will encourage many people (myself included), and I hope it was cathartic to get that all out there. It's easy to walk by the beautiful booth and photograph the flowers and not know. It's good to remember that it's all hard work and trying to make the right decisions and one day at a time and all that -- no matter where you are in your career. Thank you. :-)

  23. you seem so perfect and beautiful and creative, it's just so refreshing to read this REAL LIFE story. i laughed, i cringed, i loved it. thank you for being so wonderfully, creatively, self-reflectively, beautifully real.

  24. Good on you for trying it out - live and learn! I've had a few of those days where I'm crying louder than the kids!

  25. Angel2:40 PM

    Your fabric, your blog, your patterns... I love it all! I could not imagine you not sharing it at market! I would of LOVED to of seen it but unfortunately, even though I live here in Houston and would never miss it, I am simply a girl, sewing on a machine, asking for inspiration. Would love to get in and see this part of the show. Oh well, thanks for the pictures. You have a lovely family.

  26. I am so thankful for your hard work. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE your fabric and I can promise you that all of your work is not in vain. I own the entire set of IC. My gift to myself because I fell in love with it from the very moment I saw those red, white and blue pants.

    Us women think we can do it all. That's what makes us so awesome :)

  27. I would never have known that the wall was a last-minute addition. It looks amazing.

    Thanks for the brownie!

  28. Oh my gosh, I'm exhausted just reading that - and I didn't live it! Sounds like an...ummm...adventure? As the mother of a boy Roman's age, I especially felt for you on that part. Now go take a nap.

  29. Thank you
    The booth looks beautiful in the pictures.

  30. Seriously. You're amazing. Heart you, your fabric, your fabulous blog writing and the fact that you don't stop to think about your limit! It's perfect! xo

  31. Oh, how painful - it sounds like every trip I take anywhere .... almost - except with all the added extra pressure of the quilt market!!! I can't imagine the stress - enjoy that you are done with it and can be home again!

  32. Oh, you poor thing. I have the urge to pat you (but my hands are too full of imaginary brownie. Plus, you don't even know me and also you are not really here, so that makes it a bit more challenging,no?) Well, lesson learned, huh, and at least you were brave enough to try. Glad you get six months off to recover from that one!

  33. I LOVE that you went from prose to bullet points! Good for you!

  34. I love that you had a dream of work and family blending together beautifully! It's hard though and I appreciate your picture of reality that happens behind the magic of Market. So glad you all made it home safely and that you are starting to recuperate!

  35. thank you for this, thank you SO MUCH for this. I drove cross country TWICE last year with my (and I have 9) kids either flying, driving, or us mixing things up enough to leave everyone very confused.
    *VA (through lovely TN) to TX
    then we moved to Texas (which is home but we've been gone for most of 20 years).
    It was wonderful, HARD, and crazy and this post helped me realize that other insane people with large families do the same.
    I just loved this and I hope the craziness doesn't keep you from the next quilt market because I'm doing my best (now that I'm in TX) to get myself there!

  36. Too funny! Well, probably not funny for you, especially at the time. There were five of us growing up, and I can safely say there were some similar moments we had to that. Lots of memories though!

  37. Sometimes I have problems 'letting go' of things and push too far as well. Although I don't know that I would have said it as gracefully as you did! Maybe that's just the two weeks of processing, but still kudos to you!

  38. No brownie needed.

    I love a good story, and this was a doozy, pulling some of the same experiences out of my past with my little family (all grown now).

    Thanks for the memories. . . and your talents and stories.

    Elizabeth E.

  39. You should write a book--a kinda Erma Bombeck sorta book. Oh wait--I think that's what this blog post is. (;0)
    Laughed because I remember trips like that!

  40. Pat yourself on the back honey.. You pulled off a STUNNING booth that was the wrong size, most of us would of cried and left then..Way to go sticking it out. Thank you for your stories.. we ALL love them!!! You should write a book about parenting and running a business and buying flowers! Heck you could even throw in a road side emergency chapter too :) We all loved it.

  41. Well, your booth turned out gorgeous. It has a real his and hers feel to it. I LOVE the spools of fabric.

  42. Потрясающая красота!
    У меня дух перехватило !
    Я всегда с радостью захожу в твой блог !
    Катя из Сибири

  43. Oh I would have cried too from the stress and dissapointment of it all... so sorry that it didn't turn out as you had envisioned. The great news is that you have a loving, supportive husband, kids who will happily wave goodbye to you for your next trip to market, and a fan base that would have given you a huge collective hug and shoulder to cry on if we had only known.....

  44. anna marie,
    i'm a huge fan. i love your work, your blog, your fabrics, your heart, all of it. i was in nashville a few weeks ago at textiles and fabrics?, shopping for some of your lovelies and the girls there told me you came in with the baby sometimes to shop/teach. they bragged on how wonderful you are but then i already felt like i knew that.
    then there was the post about juliana. i have a story kinda like it but in some ways not at all the same and it touched me. your writing, your mother-love, i felt proud to me a mother and proud to know you, even if through the computer.
    and then there's today. there's something profound in what you communicate here that i'm not sure i can even fully understand. the loneliness and even the humanity of art. that it finds its' completion in the beholder and that its' more than the sum of its' parts when it is shared.
    i have that same ache most days as i homeschool and cook and craft and write. striving, hoping, praying that through the chaos of it all, i somehow manage to teach them to notice and love the best things. that flowers matter. that life is a beautiful mess and that sometimes the thing we want most eludes us.
    your life is such encouragement to me.
    thank you. for living it so well and for sharing it so freely.
    with much love and grace,

  45. You work so hard. You take on
    SO much. A friend of mine met you there and said you were "the nicest person there". How do you do it? I would be total wreck.

  46. Thank you for always sharing the whole process!

  47. CindyG8:09 PM

    Did your Mama survive? :)

    Now that would be some good reality TV! :)

  48. Oh my goodness... what a journey.

    You are a superstar! I don't know how you do it all, and still remain standing.

  49. Anna, so it isn't just me that thinks 'let's take the kids, how bad could it be?'

    Over-Tiring for them

    Cuddling with soft skin

    Eating 'stupid salmon'

    You did it. You'll probably do it again. Because the memory of pain fades. And you'll likely get a better truck to drive next time.


  50. Monica N10:25 PM

    Oh how I love the real-life recaps! Glad you made it through the struggles... the pictures look amazing. One of these days I've got to figure out how to sneak in to the Market, but until then I'll settle with attending the public show. If you ever need free help from the locals, just say the word. I'm sure more than one of us would jump at the opportunity.

    - Monica in Houston

    PS - I've got to know who your fave florist is!

  51. Your booth was gorgeous. You are such an inspiration to me, as a new mom trying to figure out how I can be a creative professional and still a great mom. I would give you a hug if you were here, even though you don't know me.

  52. Didn't even need the brownie, but thanks for offering it! You did good.

  53. You are amazing, your writing is amazing, your art is amazing and I am just so thrilled to vicariously get to be your 'friend' and listen to these wonderful tidbits. I just got my shipment of innocent crush yesterday and it is sitting, lovely and folded in my sewing room waiting for the holidays to pass so I can once again pretend I know how to sew.

    Thanks for sharing your talents!

  54. Your booth is/was gorgeous, but I love your recap even more. There are so many bloggers who paint their lives as 100% rosy perfection, and frankly, sometimes it's a little demoralizing to read. Thank you for sharing a reality we can all relate to. It makes you even more of an inspiration.

  55. Your booth looks so great and no visiter would ever know/see the story behind (except it is told).

    Thank you for that humorous insight.

    Humor is the button, that prevents our hat (collar) off bursting.
    (Humor ist der Knopf, der verhindert, dass uns der Kragen platzt.)

    Joachim Ringelnatz
    german writer


  56. Oh you wonderful, crazy, mad, super woman!
    I do know that feeling of wanting to have all your good exciting bits of life at one place, in one time.

    Kids at quilt market (or any show - we took our 2 on a two-day drive and a week long market event last year... Though I must admit it all went so much more smoothly than your event/s. Except for my cousin/baby sitter getting into a pretty terrible, hospital-bound, motor-bike accident the day before we needed her help!).

    Your stall looks beautiful, as do you. Your smile shining through it all.

    I'm glad you all made it home in one piece, and still talking to each other....

  57. Dang. I think everyone has already said all the wonderful things I was thinking.
    so....I don't know why I still want to post something, maybe more for an acknowledgment for myself that this is truly great writing, truly great transparency, and a picture of life at it's fullest, most insane, most rich, precious, and best.
    cheers to an authentically shared experience.

  58. What a talent you have...not just for designing fabric and gorgeous patterns. Not just for having beautiful children, but for your fun writing style. I felt like I was right there with you and the family.
    It will be a talked about treasured memory for years to come in the Horner household.

    Gorgeous booth!

  59. I don't comment often enough on blogs, but I just had to let you you know that your post made me smile. Not in a laughing-at-you way, but in a laughing-with-you way. I am so happy to hear that I am not alone in this world of great expectations involving the collision of work and family. I don't have a fabric line and don't make it to quilt market, but I am 100% positive, that if I did, the trip would have gone precisely the way yours did. Because that is how things go with me, too. All.the.time. Your booth was beautiful...3rd wall constructed at whim and all.

  60. I feel your pain. Fantasy family life often does not overlap with reality, but we all survive. Maybe a condo in Galveston immediately after quilt market while a hired hand drives the booth home?

  61. Anonymous7:46 AM

    You lived to tell the tale and you had beautiful flowers and your booth looked incredible, as did you!


  62. Anonymous7:53 AM

    one more thing .... THAT QUILT!! Between the two chairs! I have all the fabric, I need the pattern!! (please, pretty please?) Will you be making one? I didn't see it on your site and was just wondering.

    Hopefully you can relax, get a pedicure, a facial, go to sleep early for a whole month then maybe you'll have time or energy for a pattern.

    Thank you for always inspiring.


  63. It obviously wasn't a ZEN experience, but it had ROAD TRIP written all over it. I think what actually happened is that you made memories - the kind of memories that bring you and your entire crew (those still in diapers, braces, school, and those that had chosen to be there) closer together. It will make Christmas Eve all the better. I enjoyed reading the post - even if there is no brownie. Thanks for sharing. Carolina

  64. Margie that is the gathering flowers quilt pattern and available at my shop! (and a bunch of other shops!):) Anna

  65. I dread a trip to Costco with only two kids, I give you big props.

  66. Mmm. Brownie. Yum. Thanks!

    Your booth was beautiful anyway, despite the problems. Congratulations for that!

  67. I'm eating that frosted brownie now. It's mm mm good. Yes, life with kids out and about is hard, especially out-of-state. Especially when there's lots of work to be done and there are plenty of nerves anyway. At least you survived to tell about it! I love all the beautiful pictures.

  68. What are all the spools of ribbon? Something new? All lovely and beautiful!

    Thanks for sharing!

  69. hmm brownie... I was given a surprise brownie today, so good. That trip sounds crazy, wouldn't it be lovely if things worked out the way we planned!

  70. Anna, thanks for keeping it real! Cold salmon in the bathroom, ugh! Sometimes a girl needs to be alone in a hotel room of her own!

  71. We mamas get these *ideas* in our heads. The daddys get these questionable looks on their faces that say - well it could work. They go along with us because sometimes we pull off some pretty incredible stuff.
    But it's a damn good story in the end, always! And the kids won't ev-a be forgettin' how hard mom and dad worked that weekend!

  72. I'm going to bullet-point, too!
    + Love, love, love the booth
    + You are a wonderful mother to care so much about your family
    + Your husband is awesome and a vision of what all husbands and fathers should be
    + I have a quilt front for you that I took from the sewing day and have taken forever to sew up
    + I want my own Innocent Crush!
    + It makes me think of the song "Velveteen" from one of my favorite bands, The Kidneytheives.
    + I want to come sew again and this time I promise to talk less :)

  73. Anonymous12:33 PM

    Oh, Anna! I met you there... your poise and beauty
    was so inspiring:-) I left wondering how in the world you
    do all that you do. My four kiddos make me feel like
    I can barely get outta bed most days, let alone
    It's comforting to know that you really are human!!!
    Thank you for that post!
    (sis to VenusArt)

  74. A husband like yours is the dream I have not let go of.

    Also, I am reading early in the morning, without my glasses, and every time you wrote "tire" I misread it for a split second as "fire." With all your trials, at least nothing burst into actual flames, right? ;)

    Well done, family!

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  76. Thanks for this post. What great pictures from the show. You must have had a wonderful time!

  77. "All frustration is the result of unmet expectation"... it's a quote from a teacher I've used MANY times as we raised our family. Letting go of the picture is hard to do, but I'm getting better!

    Thanks for sharing the joy in the journey, and the other stuff too!

  78. You and your husband are very brave people, that's all I can say. I'm exhausted just reading this!

  79. The booth is utterly fantastic!

  80. I just wanted to thank you for that utterly honest post. I made my husband read it. "See, hon, I'm not the only crazy one!" (Crazy is good, especially for one as talented as you..) I can absolutely relate to not letting go of a notion of the seamless integration of work and family. And I'm certain if I tried tried it to that magnitude it would involve plenty of tears and triumphs. But thanx for your wonderful work...always an inspiration. And now that it's over, I'm sure you and your family will always treasure the memories of the trip.

  81. Anna,
    'Whew' is right. Glad you all made it safe and sound. Your booth was beautiful!

  82. No, I think that you're the one who deserves a big brownie. Wow! It sounds like quite a quilt market experience. BTW your booth looked marvelous. :-)

  83. Your booth looked awesome!!! WOW! LOVE those flowers, too. Good job! ;)

  84. You made me both laugh and cry reading this! Glad you survived (and it looks like it was gorgeous anyways!) You are so amazing.

  85. I got watery eyes when I got to the part about poor Roman crying and you joining in. I wondered how you did it with your family...I've got 3 and couldn't imagine the stress level. All the work you do, is amazing and glad you survived!!

  86. Jennifer7:54 PM

    oh my goodness. I think I love you. I at least love your blog :-) your words. Your openness and willingness to share. I am honored to read your story. Just wish I was a better sew-er ...

  87. This story made me cry. Thanks for sharing. I love it b/c I, too, am creative and a mother, and this caper is something that I would drag my family through as a result of passion for both -- wanting to do my best at my job and also wanting to spend time with my family.

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  90. Hey booth is very interesting.Thanks for sharing!!

  91. Anonymous4:34 PM

    Well you were all on the same floor of the hotel as us and I couldn't tell anything was other than fine! And your booth looked great so the improvising and smiling and chatting did the job. Hope you are well rested now!

  92. I always fall into that trap. The lovely picture of a VonTrappish family being a part of XYZ experience. My kids are helpful, compliant and quiet with the whole experience being fondly remembered by my kids in their adult years-blah-blah-blah. The real picture usually has me breaking up at least one fistfight, a lot of shouting, a large mess to clean up and them telling me they NEVER want to do XYZ again. But there is always hope, right? Anyway, your booth looked great (even without one wall) and your fabrics even moreso!

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