Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Daddy's little tax deduction...

Yes, it's true. I'm afraid that this past Monday, April 14th, I turned another year older. This birthday was actually a bit of a milestone for me, as it marks my 10 year anniversary into the cuh-razy world of quilting and sewing and fabrics.

How did it all happen? I wandered into Alewives with my friend Amy and we were bound and determined to make our own shoulder bags, regardless of the fact that we had absolutely NO CLUE what we were doing. And when I say NO CLUE, I mean NO CLUE. I didn't even know how to thread a machine. I thought bobbins were something you went fishing with, and I thought $7.95 was the price for a whole bolt of fabric. That is, until Maia Hart (The store's previous owner and the gal who hired me) informed me that $7.95 would only get me 1 yard of fabric. Whoops. Silly me. Well, for some crazy reason it came out that Maia needed someone to work at the store and I needed a weekend job and the very next week I was given a key and began work on my very first quilt: a pink and green "Log Cabin." Ten years later I still have the key, the quilt and the job. I've got a little tear in my eye just thinking about it now...

Over the years, my life has been changed dramatically because of the store. Everything good in my life I have because I started working here 10 years ago.

For example (ahem, ahem):

• First and foremost, my knowledge of quilting and sewing.

• My AMAZING group of friends is made up almost completely of people I met through the store. Usually because I was their teacher and they were in one of my Turning Twenty classes. I always said that when I saw another young person in Maine, it was like seeing a Unicorn: this mythical creature that you didn't believe actually existed. But they do exist, and they started coming out of the woodwork over the last few years. This past Christmas, I went to a party at my friend Erica's house. Erica was one of my "Turning Twenty" girls. My other friend, Kristine (another Turning Twenty girl), came up alongside me and she said "Everyone at this party is here because they went to Alewives. This is the house that Rhea built." And I guess I like to think that's true.

• I found my teeny, tiny little hole-in-the-wall graphic design school because one of our fabric salesmen gave me his old design school brochures. Otherwise, I would have NEVER found a school like that and been forced to go to some big, bad institute of higher learning where I surely would have been lost in the shuffle. Nobody wants to be lost in the shuffle!

• I got my first apartment through a customer at the store who alerted me to a spot that would be opening up in her building. That was a great first apartment, and now, 10 years later, I have a HOUSE because of the store (conveniently located within oh, say...20 feet of the front door of Alewives). The commute is killing me...not.

• I met my boyfriend Oliver (and this is a TRUE story) because he came into the shop. You would think that a Quilt Shop would be a very unlikely place to meet a man, but meet a man I did when he came in to buy felt for the flags on his ice-fishing traps (of all things!!!) and he's been in my life ever since. I think I truly snagged him when he saw my impressive domestic skills with the needle and thread ;)

• And finally, I have a GREAT, very rewarding, very fulfilling job to this very day because I wandered in here all those years ago. Who knew that I would still be here? Not me, that's for sure, but here I am and here I shall stay.

And to prove that things really do come full circle, my friend Amy (the other gal who wandered into Alewives with me 10 years ago) now lives in Boston. I saw her Dad just the other day for the first time in many, many years.

"Rhea," he said. "How are you, what are you up to these days?"
"I'm good. I'm working at Alewives," I replied
"Oh, you're not RUNNING that place yet?" He said sarcastically.
"Actually," I said, grinning, "I am."

And that's the truth!

Happy Birthday/Quiltiversary to me: let me know how YOU got into sewing and quilting. When, exactly, was it that you "Drank the Kool-Aid?"

Hope you all got your taxes done!!!


Daddy's little tax deduction

(AKA Rhea)


Unknown said...

Happy Birthday! I was going to call Monday, but I got the frikken' stomach flu Sunday, and have been living in my bathroom.

So, from one tax gal, to another, Happy Birthday

Liz said...

What a wonderful story to start my day with, over scrambled eggs and coffee! Happy Birthday, Rhea Rhea!