I finally got to Puyallup after not making my first, early morning, flight because of some family issues and hopped on a late flight on Friday night. Although I was planning to rent a car, my guardian angel, Janet York, picked me up at the airport and took me to the hotel where I crashed.
This is Janet — my hero!
Across the parking lot of the hotel where I’m staying (and my view) is the Bethany Baptist church.
They share their parking lot with Denny’s!
Hell, dude, who wouldn’t consider becoming a Baptist with a set-up like that!?!
Meet Jennifer of Patchwork and Pacifiers!
On Saturday morning, Jenn, came by my hotel room to interview me for her pod-cast/blog. What a sweetie. I had a great time chatting with her about the magazine, the fabric, the banned issue, and all kinds of stuff. I hope you’ll take a listen to it (I’m actually afraid to hear it myself. I say all kinds of shit that usually ends up getting me in trouble somewhere or with someone! LOL). I joked on the pod-cast that we were in our underwear. As you can see we were not.
Here’s Jennifer (with her clothes on) in my hotel room as she sets up her equipment. Of course, Housekeeping started knocking right in the middle her interview! It never fails. If the interview’s a rockin’ don’t come a knockin’!
Check out Jenn’s website by clicking here and keep an eye out for her pod-cast featuring — moi!
Meet Mary Sharpe!
Later that morning, I finally got to meet my Internet pal, Mary Sharpe, from Buckley, Washington who came to pick me up for lunch. Mary and I have been on-line buddies for about 14 years. Mary is a very talented needle-worker (her cross stitch is spectacular and she’s now an aggressive fabric buying quilter). She, and a group of about 18 rebels from an AOL cross stitch room met in the early 90’s on-line, and have spoken just about everyday since! Now that I’m travelling, I get to meet some of my longtime Internet friends face-to-face. It’s weird, because you “know” them well but you don’t really “know” them at all. So it takes some adjusting to put a body on the fantasy.
I met Gina from Little Rock on her trip to New York. Auguste from Brooklyn. Brenda while I was in Dallas. Claire when she and her husband Steve visited New York from their home in England. Now, Mary from Buckley. Our buddy, Val, and her family will be visiting New York from their England home in April, so I’ll get to meet them, too! Can’t wait.
Here is one of Mary’s cross stitch pieces. It’s one of the more fabulous cross stitch pieces that I have seen in my lifetime – some of it done “over 1.” I wish you could see it because the photo does it no justice. Get this: It’s sitting on the floor in her sewing room! I could murder her! She has cross stitch all over her house and she changes it seasonally.
This is downtown Buckley, Washington. You can’t see them in the pic, but gorgeous snow capped mountains are all around us!
On our way to lunch at the Hometown Restaurant in downtown Buckley, Mary and I stopped into the Buckley thrift shop. How could I pass that up?
I was drawn in by a bird-themed embroidered quilt that was in the window. But at $65 bucks, I passed on it. It was OK but not unique. The batting was barely there. It was tied (and not well). Martha Stewart designed a very similar knock-off, and the price wasn’t negotiable. Even as I write, I don’t have my usual bout of not-buying regret.
I picked up these books (3/$4.00) because you know I’m a whore for old quilt/crafting pattern books. I just love them and, collect them. I always find inspiration in old out-of-print books and magazines.
Now, cupcakes, I don’t crochet. I’ve tried, but am a crochet-LOSER! All I really want to learn is how to crochet a Granny Square (which I can never learn). I’ve even taken a class and couldn’t get it — of course my teacher was fresh-off-the-boat Korean and barely spoke English but I was all thumbs nonetheless. But wouldn’t you know that I LOVE this crocheted Barbie bridal gown pattern that I found so I bought the damn thing. You KNOW how daddy loves him a Barbie.
Take a look at the other hideously-wonderful crochet dress patterns that are available. And there are a ton of, what I call, Barbie Cupcake Gown patterns that had been printed. Look out, eBay, Pappy’s on the prowl.
Next, Mary and I had lunch at at a little diner, The Hometown Restaurant, who, I SWEAR, had THE best biscuits that I’ve ever tasted. Like AIR! Surprise, but I even ordered an extra one after they took our plates away!
Our waitress (and owner) told me that one of the tricks they use with the biscuits is that the slice them an lightly grill the innards before serving. It works! But you can’t just lighten up a heavy biscuit that way, they have to be good to begin with.
Mary had the biscuits and gravy, which she ravedabout. Now, I’m a little chubby (HA! don’t I wish), and I can drink gravy like Diet Coke, but gravy on biscuits? Blech! I had the scrambled eggs.
Mary lives in the mountains in Washington about 20-minutes from Puallup (but she grew up in Seattle). So it’s damp up there. I wanted to show you a picture of one of her fruit trees (no comment, pulleeese). It has weird, yet strangely beautiful, moss growing all over it from the dampness. It is freaky but really pretty in person (and I love the icy green of the Spanish moss).
Because she’s in the woods, there are a lot of deer on her property. Look how the deer “topiaried” her trees! LOL
I also snapped a pic of Mary’s kitchen wall paper. It’s vintage but I think it would make great fabric! I love the ‘pen and ink’ drawing with the added color. It’s so 1970’s but works so well in ’09!
What an amazing sight. There is a shitload of things to do, see and buy here. If you’re living in the USA, you MUST plan a trip here for this annual event! I may consider coming back next year. Not to lecture — to SHOP! I was very impressed!
Even before you get into the huge mini-city, there are fabric vendors in big tents on the street! Sweeeeeet!
First of all the fairgrounds are huge and the expo is held in several buildings – buildings full to the brim with fabric and notions and sewing machines and all kinds of stuff for OCD’s like us! Celebrity sightings everywhere. I ran into Libby Lehman!
I know Nancy Zieman was there. I talked to famous designer, Lorilie.
There are literally miles of vendors . . .
As I said, the Expo is like a little city full of many buildings that are full of sewing and quilting stuff. Shit, man. Ain’t no place in New Jersey like that!
The fair grounds are as far as the eye can see … here are the outside wall of just one side!
My lecture took place in an auditorium with 800 seats, divided by a runway! About 300 seats on this side and 400 on the other!
There was even a camera operator who filmed the entire talk that I gave and would give close-ups of the quilts I showed. Just what I needed — adding 10-pounds to my already ample butt. Sheesh!
Kaye Wood at Expo
As it turned out, the organizers coerced quilting legend, Kaye Wood, to introduce me to the crowd. Kaye freaking Wood! Me! Kaye Wood introducing Mark Lipinski. I can’t can’t tell you how honored I was. To have, really a legend, like Kaye introduce a hack like me almost brought me to tears (I was close as it was — I had to sh0w 800 ticket buyers how much weight I’ve gained and what I look like without Photoshop). Having someone of that stature in the industry take the time to introduce me, was a humbling experience. Of course, Kaye and I have always just “clicked” but I thought it was very generous of her.
Here’s the end of the line for autograph signing . . . It’s my favorite part because I love meeting new people. My only regret is that we can’t go out for margaritas and chips and have a few really intimate laughs! I got to meet a lot of the left coast Pickle Posse! I love those Pickle kids. They are ALWAYS a lot of fun and laughs!
This Could Fall Under “Too Much Information”
My buddy Mary drove me to the airport on Sunday morning for my trip back to Newark. She picked me up at 5 AM and we were off to SeaTac with lattes and conversation.
At the airport, Mary dropped me off in front of the Continental doors. When I got out of her big old van, I heard a zipper sound but didn’t think much of it. I went to the back of the van and pulled my luggage from the back and headed into get my boarding pass and some breakfast.
I stood in line with the masses until I got to the ticket counter and got my seat assignment and hoisted my big suitcase over the counter for the attendant.
Next, I got in the security line. Lucky me. My ticket was chosen for extra screening, which included a body pat down from hot, young Mr. TSA. No problem. I was on my way.
I took the shuttle to my area of the airport. I stood in line and had breakfast in an airport buffet-style restaurant. Then I went book shopping and notebook shopping. Picked up a couple of bottles of water. Then found a muffin shop. I bought a few sweatshirts, and walked all around the airport trying to kill time. You see, I had screwed-up the departure time and so I had two hours to kill rather than just one. Shopping and walking around the airport shops always makes the time fly.
Finally, I went to my gate, walked around until I found a seat, plugged in my laptop and played a little computer solitaire. Soon my row was called and I got in the long line to board the flight.
When I finally got to my seat, 20-C, TWO FULL SHOPPING/EATING/WALKING HOURS LATER, and as I loaded my computer case in the overhead compartment, I instinctively reached behind me to check that my wallet was still in my back pocket and . . .
Shit! Oh my God! OH MY FRICKING GOD!
Jesus, Mary and the saints!!!
That zipper I heard was a rip from my the wasitband on my jeans all the way down the side of my back pocket.
OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! I WENT COMMANDO THAT DAY! OH MY GOD!
My entire bare-ass was hanging out the back of my jeans for HOURS!
OH MY GOD!
The woman who was sitting in the asile seat behind me, got some kind of view,
. . . just like the hundreds of people who might have been walking behind me!! OH MY GOD!
I quickly took off my Lands End sweater (thank goodness I was wearing a sweater) and tied it around my waist to cover the rip. OH MY GOD!
Next, I texted Jeff in New Jersey an SOS from my seat…but my other jeans were in my suitcase UNDER ME, in the very airplane I was sitting in!
Five-plus hours later, in the Baggage Claim area, Jeff showed up to claim me. I, of course, was hiding in the corner far from the other passengers. I couldn’t look anyone in the eye!
But, snow cones, always thinking of you, I had him snap a few pictures of the damage, right there in Baggage Claim (of course the poor guy was laughing so hard he was crying – very subtle, Jeff – yeah, verrrry under the radar). You may go blind if you scroll further! What a day. What a life.
I changed my pants in the parking lot of the Newark Airport. Who cares? Everyone had seen my ass anyway and it’s still not as bad as having to look at Donald Trump’s hair . xoxom