Thursday, April 26, 2007
Good Morning to everyone out and about,
I'm home, I'm home, I'm home, I'm home... It was very teary having my last day at school and saying goodbye to people (especially my Kalinah who has been the other pea in the pod with me for the last three years... that's her on the left in the photo with me), but now that I'm back in my lovely little town I feel ten pounds lighter and am settling right back into my "small town" rolls and routines again: breakfast with Grandma, a visit to our fabulous little library, check out how the Red Sox did last night (they won, by the way...of course they did!) and then into the shop to work until it's time for project night with my girls.
It's NOT a nice, toasty 80+ degrees out today... more like a wet, moldy, gray, mediocre 50 something. But, after those "April Showers" we got a week ago I'll take it. It's good sewing weather, anwyays. Speaking of sewing.... I would like to take this opportunity to announce that starting May 30th (the Wednesday after Memorial Day) Alewives wil be hosting a "Sewing Lounge" every Wednesday night from 4:00 to 8:30. What's a sewing lounge? It's when anyone can come in and use our resources (our tables, our cutting mats, rulers and rotary cutters... even our machines) and work on their project du jour. It's also a great time to get advice on things like binding, get caught up on class homework, pick out fabric for a new project (we're very helpful/opinionated that way) or just hang out with like-minded people and set time aside to get things done. I'm really looking forward to Sewing Lounge, especially as the weather gets warmer and the days longer. And, hey, we're always here working on stuff anyways, so we may as well make it official. So, like I said, beginning May 30th, you can count on the store being open every Wednesday until 8:30 and our staff being available to you... and it's all completely FREE!!! Also beginning Memorial Day, our hours will switch over to "Summer Hours" and we will be open 7 days a week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday we will be open from 10:00 to 5:00, Wednesdays and Fridays are our "late nights," and we will be open from 10:00 to 8:30 and Sundays we will be open from 12:00 to 5:00. How's that for convenient? See, we listen to you guys...
See you again soon!!!
Posted by Rhea Butler at 7:25 AM
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Hello one and all,
I taught my last class at Cambridge Quilt Shop last night. It was so much fun to teach those ladies... I had an exceptionally wonderful group and I miss them already. I have a little tear in my eye this morning. So thank you, Paula, Joan, Laura, Lisa, Elizabeth and Maria, for making my last class at CQS such a nice note to leave on. I'm very proud of you all!!!
At school yesterday we all went to the Transportation Building, which is a good 20 minute walk away, for lunch. Along the way I took pictures of every cliched Boston landmark we came across. It felt good to get that out of my system. Let's see... I've eaten at Cheers, ridden on the Swan Boats, shopped at Faneuil Hall... all that's left before I go is to take a ride on the Duck Tours, and I plan on crossing that off the list when I come back for Graduation, which for some reason isn't until May 9th.
Anyways, I'll go get some work done now... enjoy the virtual tour of Boston... the Magnolia Trees and Cherry Trees are amazing right now! Did I not go to school in a most spectacular setting? I WILL miss you, Boston (sometimes). This is my Swan Song (pun INtended) to you...
Posted by Rhea Butler at 6:20 AM
Monday, April 23, 2007
It's going to be a balmy, gorgeous 80+ degrees in Boston today, and yours truly is down to her final four days at Butera. Now that the end is so nigh I feel a little nostalgic, but, nah... mostly I'm soooo beyond ready to get out and do my thang. Boston is still buzzing about the Red Sox' sweep of the Yankees. It took me a whole hour to calm down last night, but if I get to talking about the Red Sox I'll never stop so I'll just say that every once in a while it feels good to be a Red Sox fan: Watching the games with my Mom until the wee hours will always be one of my favorite memories, even when I'm old and gray. Especially on weekends when they WIN!!! And... I heart Jonathan Papelbon. I like it when he takes a deep breath and stares down the batter and goes to what I like to call his "Icy Place." Okay, I'm really done this time.
The other highlight of the weekend was taking advantage of the mahvelous weather and doing a little photo shoot. The balcony at the house is a perfect place to photograph big quilts, even if it is a three-woman (minimum) operation. We shot photos on Sunday, when the store is supposedly "Closed," but people always visit us anyways. For the record, I love it when you guys do that!!! I call it being "Un-officially Open."
Saturday was B-A-N-A-N-A-S!!! Between the crummy weather over the past week and the whole Gas and Oil thing over the past few years and trying to be good and frugal I think everybody just went nuts and needed to get some color out of their systems and onto their skin and sewing machines. And we're starting to see the "Snowbirds" come back again, so welcome back to all of our friends from away. My friend Jessica (who is not a Snowbird, but one of us local-loco gals) came in to finish her Amy Butler "Weekender Bag." I have to say, she did a wicked snazzy job... The bag looks like a million bucks and it's done up in her very own hand-dyed silk (You should definitely check out her silk jewelry... it's amazing!!!). When it was all done we went outside for a little "catwalking." She really got into the posing...check out those boots!
The other photos are of my friend Michaela's very own "Basket Weave" quilt that she made up in Heather Bailey's "Freshcut" fabrics. The kit and pattern and fabrics are available at the shop AND she's going to teach it as a class in the very near future. Is it not the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? I told her it's so pretty it breaks my heart... and that's the truth!!!
And speaking of Michaela, I'm off to PaperSource to buy envelopes for her wedding invitations. I've got your back, Chaela... a Custom quilt for me and Custom invitations for you!
Enjoy the gorgeous day!!!
Posted by Rhea Butler at 6:38 AM
Friday, April 20, 2007
A joyful hello to everyone out there. I'm so happy the sun is out and it's in the 60's but it feels more like the 70's and I swear all of this warmth and sunshine is good for my soul. And, I've been running around town all day with Mom and my little 9 year old sister Johanna in tow. We've done so much today and plan on doing more... and of course 4 o'clock is the unofficial kick off of the weekend with project night. All of the gals will be there except for my Gracie-Girl (Who works hard for the money being a nurse) and we'll have a hoot.
One of the things Johanna and I did whilst running around was to take pictures of the Alewives House. Our handyman, George, was there with one of his helpers peeling old wallpaper. I've always heard Kaffe Fassett say how much he liked the way wallpaper looked as it was being stripped and now I see exactly what he was talking about. There were three layers of wallpaper in just one of the rooms: the top layer was a pretty blue and white geometric medallion, the middle layer was a terra cotta colored damask pattern and the bottom was teeny, tiny little orange lines. Fascinating... the top two layers looked kind of neat together, but the bottom layer (the teeny, tiny little orange lines) was hideous.
George also asked me the question that every girl longs to hear at least once in her life:
"What would you like me to build in the closet?" Instantly, my mind filled with visions of shelves and hangers and cabinets and neat little organization-y things. Just like all those photo shoots in magazines. Or like one of those scenes in a movie where with a wave of the magic wand glitter sweeps across the screen and all of a sudden the barren room turns warm and alive and glamorous and furnished. Good old George: every Quilt shop should have one. He helps me hang up quilts and changes light bulbs and dispenses Buddha-like advice. I always say he's our very own "Eldon," from "Murphy Brown."
Anyways, enjoy the pictures of the Alewives House "sous construction..." It won't look like that for much longer. Pretty soon I'll be all moved in and throwing a huge shindig for all my friends. As Johanna and I sat in the sun out on the balcony looking at paint swatches, watching the traffic by the store, dreaming of closets and paint chips and house-warming parties, it was very easy to be happy.
Talk to you again soon!!!
Posted by Rhea Butler at 11:39 AM
Thursday, April 19, 2007
There is honest to goodness blue sky and sunshine outside my window on Beacon St. this morning. I'm a little confused, though, because I haven't seen it for so long. So, I'm counting my "Lucky Stars" for a little good weather in my life. And speaking of Lucky Stars and Blue Skies... (insert shameless plug here)..., I just happen to have my Lucky Stars quilt top done up in lovely blues to show you. The pattern is by Atkinson Designs and it's one of my favorites: we have kits at the store and a class in the near future taught by yours truly.
In other news, Mom and I are almost ready to start painting the rooms in the "Alewives House." We have a lovely "Tiffany" blue color in mind (naturally) for the front room and a leaf-y green for what will be my bedroom. And on top of the paint jobs there will also be some really cool "HGTV" type stencilling going on. Very graphic. Very "fabric store." And it's something we can actually do oursleves so I'm psyched to get that project up and running.
Tomorrow is supposed to be a glorious spring day and I plan on using the natural light to take lots of pictures so I'll have oodles of new stuff to show you all. In the meantime, as my good friend Sue G. says... "Tally-HO!!!"
Posted by Rhea Butler at 7:10 AM
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
This is the first of what I hope will be many, many posts. I have to confess that I haven't got this whole blog thing figured out yet but I might as well start somewhere, n'est-ce pas?
The whole purpose of this here blog is to keep you informed of all the goings on in my life as it relates to the shop. As it says in my profile, I work at Alewives Fabrics in Damariscotta Mills, Maine, and I truly believe that it's the best place in the whole world. It's certainly MY favorite place to be. As my Mom says (and she just happens to be the owner of said establishment): I have an unhealthy obsession with the store. But I say, how can it be unhealthy when I always feel so calm there? And I'm not the only one. One of the most common compliments we get from our customers is that it makes them happy to come into our store.
I think there's definitely more to this. I know Quilting and Sewing is a (mostly) relaxing hobby, and certainly being around fabrics and color makes people happy as well, but I also think that our particular building contributes to the feel-good vibe. Our shop is in a huge red barn with a cupola on top and huge glass windows in the front. Having such an old-fashioned, wide open space that is also filled with natural light is a rare find. We're so lucky to be there. I always loved going there when I was a little kid... it just felt "neat," and I think that feeling rubs off on the people who shop here, too. But enough waxing nostalgic... I still have 6 days left in graphic design school and I should probably be doing something along those lines. And be sure to visit our website (www.alewivesgallery.com)... we just posted ALL KINDS of new classes!
Talk to you again soon!!!