It seems so long ago - the middle of January, but a lot happened that day and it has affected me - sort of hit me on my creative button. My friend came to see me, drove all the way down to North Little Rock from Searcy, Arkansas. We had been together only the Thursday before, at our friend Jim's house in Morrilton, AR., but Pat looked at my 'show & tells' and decided that she had things in her Studio that I needed. Rug hooking things, so on Saturday she came to see me and brought treasures. It was about 10:30 in the morning.
I went out to greet her, I was so excited that she was here, and helped her unload her car! Yes, she brought that many treasures. A large pink gift box tied with a man's tie, a huge ugly black suitcase, and arm loads of other boxes and baskets. I thought she was only bringing me a couple of things - a wool cutting tool and some ties. Boy, was I suprised.
Pat is a story teller. Her stories unfold like the petals of a rose as it blooms. She loves to start at the beginning and 'bloom her story'. I know that so I love to just sit back and listen. I knew we would get to every last 'petal' (each box, basket and suitcase). And so she began.
She showed me the large 'pink box' first. Inside, folded neatly in foot thick stacks were ties - bou'-cou's of men's ties. Oh! Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy! More fodder for my 'basket mill'!!! The ties were from her daughter's Father-In-Law and Pat had determined that she would never use them and that I would. Correct assumtion! I am using them!
Next, we opened the big, ugly, black suitcase. Also, full of ties. It was like Christmas. I should have counted them but I did not. There were many, many ties though and I loved them.
Then on to all the othere treasures, the books she brought about rug hooking, five different hooks, canvases, large and small, wool, and lots of other goodies.
Then on to the small box, which Pat explained was from our dear friend Sharon Heidingsfelder. That made what was in the box even more special. The box was ragged, worn, really tattered and heavy for its size. Inside was a wool cutter, a must have for serious rug hookers, and several different sized blades. Really! Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy! What a wonderful gift! EC and I were both 'over the moon'! These cutters are not cheap and this one was a very substantial cutter. Since I've only just started learning how to hook, this was a fabulous beginning to my latest soroie' into the world of hooking. What a generous gift! But, Pat assured me and EC that it was only going to waste at her place and it was in need of a good home where it will be used. I think I can take care of that.
Before the day was over, EC had taken it apart and oiled and cleaned every bit of it and all its attachments. Again, I am a fortunate Chic! Good friends and a good Husband!
It has been some time since Pat had been to my home so she wanted to see what I had been up to. My baskets are everywhere, the dinning room, living room, bed rooms, entry hall, my bathroom, I love them and put them on every surface - unlike my Quilts which I keep layered on one bed. The baskets are different - they just beg to be displayed and I oblidge them.
We looked at the Quilts that I have in progress - probably six or seven - they litter my sewing room like the baskets do the rest of my house. Pat loved what I am doing with my most current piece and encouraged me to get it finished and I will - once I settle on a backing for it.
While we were looking at some of my baskets (and this is the reason for this post) Pat said "You know these would only be better if you put some beads on them - embelished them in some way."
A seed was planted.
Since Pat's visit - the following Monday I drove off to North Platte, Nebraska and what I had intended to be only a three day visit when I planned it, turned into a two week, mad-cap, jam packed, adventure filled, almost coast to coast, unexpected joy-ride of a trip. I had only planned to go on January 31st, go to my Granddaughters school on Feburary 1st for Grandparents Day and then back to North Little Rock on the 3rd.
Well, things change and stuff happens!
My DIL had to have knee surgury scheduled for January 22nd and I thought she needed someone to take up the slack for her (she's a practicing attorney and has three of my Grand Babes ages 10, 12 and 15 to chaffuer and tend to) so I volunteered and thus began the adventure.
It seems that Cassidy, the 12 year old needed a new horse and a suitable one had been located in Virginia. Leslie, my DIL, woke up from her surgery at about 3p.m. in the afternoon and booked airline tickets for four (for herself, Cassidy, me and Jackie, Cassidy's riding coach) from Denver (4 hours west of here) to Washington D.C., secured a rental car, and made reservations for a cottage at The Inn at Kelley's Ford in Remington, Virginia! All I can say is 'those drugs she had for the surgery were really mighty!' Anyway, my three day trip grew and grew.
We can talk about the details of that on another day - I said all that to say all this - when I left home I took the ties that Pat had given me, thinking that I could take them apart while I was away, during my spare time. Silly me, what spare time? There wasn't any and that's a fact!
When I finally got back home I went right to bed, it seems I had contracted some horrible illness that hasn't fully turned me loose but I have managed in the past few days to begin some creative endevors. The seed that my friend Pat had suggested had started to grow. While I have been sick - on the days I felt like leaving my bed - I wrapped cording with the ties that I had taken apart on the day before I left home. I wrapped 400 feet and decided it was enough to make a couple of really nice baskets. Well, I made one and I love it. It is dark and rich looking. I had several baskets made from ties that EC had given me and ones that I had collected over the past 25 years from yard sales and and such.
I had made one that included the tie that EC wore for our first wedding. That makes that basket even more special and I chose it to embelish along with the new one I made from the ties that Pat gave me.
Now, I think they are truly wonderful all thanks to a tiny seed planted during a visit from a friend.
Ideas come from unusual places - I just wanted to memorialize this one.
We'll talk later.......
Carol Ann - Quilter/Basketeer