Material Obsession closed for the holidays last Saturday. Before the door even shut behind me I had turned my mind to family and friends, sadly neglected during the hustle and bustle that is the end of the year schedule. It always seems so unfair that school comes to an end, summer starts, the holiday party season swings into action and all these wonderful things that should be savoured on their own happen on top of each other... just when we all need a well deserved break but so it goes.
So...See the tree...see the tree that sat in the corner patiently waiting for attention for 10 days..see the tree get decorated at long last! It took meeting my long lost cousin Cassie and her boyfriend Chris to get it done. Please note the obvious absense of my boys during the act of decorating the tree. They were around and I think I could hear a sigh of relief that I had someone to play with while decorating the tree.
Cassie has been visiting Chris here in Canberra for the last few months while he finishes up university for the year so we just got to meet before she left to go home.
Cassie is a delight. I can't believe she got to be 22 before I could meet her but that is one of the sad things about living overseas. It was a happy thing that she visited and we immediately felt a family connection. For one thing she very much resembles my Aunt Nancy in appearance as well as being a creative gal and she has my mom's eyes. She is off to get her Masters in Creative Writing upon her return to the USA. As you can see, although we only had a few hours to get to know one another I had her doing hexagons before she could escape. We met, had a chat and as soon as there was a window of opportunity I had reeled her into the sewing room and had her on the quilting line! At last, a quilter in the family. I had a quiet laugh when I opened my fabric cupboard as I could feel her eyes widen and I knew she would be hooked..Latest report is that she and her mother have been looking around the area for a place to start quilting in Raleigh, NC. Know any good spots??
Meeting Cassie was special experience riddled with all kinds of human emotions. It is one thing to be caught up in the motion of our lives while doing our own thing as individuals. It is another thing to feel the connection of family...to know that despite the distance and the uncommon factors, there is a connection. It made me curious about the other members of our family that I never see.
Upon close inspection of this photo I have also decided I look more like a Gowland than a Mannes. Sad as I always wanted long red curly hair. jipped.
Now meet Bill, one of my best friends from the "old days" and he has also arrived for a visit. Bill is my best link to the past as well as a best friend. He has traveled to Australia to visit us many times over the last 20 years and each visit is full of fun and laughs. Sometimes he comes on business and since he is in the music promotion business that means he sometimes comes with Jason Mraz (yes, THE Jason Mraz, songster extraordinaire!) who he has managed for over 10 years. This time he just came to relax since being around our family is just soooooooooo relaxing...one might wonder what he is thinking but we are glad he is here.
It means we break out of our routine. We enjoy Sydney and do touristy things and relaxing things. So we started with going out to dinner on Saturday night. Hmmm. It sounded good until I looked in my closet and realised my clothes are about fabric and not about candle light. Anyway, I got comfy and we headed out. Half way through the night Bill got a message, looked up and said, "Kath, the night is about to change." Another old friend was in town and working the Bon Jovi tour and he had invited us to the after show wrap party at The Ivy.
Ok ladies...The Ivy is a place I have only heard stories about from "young" people. It was an absolute hoot to go there in my hand made Amy Butler skirt, wrapped in my scarf from Istanbul with work all day hair and my flat shoes. Lets face it, if I knew I'd be shaking hands with Jon Bon Jovi (yes! I got to meet that hunky guy and he is still gorgeous!) I might have worn something a bit...well...what? What does a "MATURE" aged woman wear out in the evening? I certainly wouldn't have been wearing a shorter than short tighter than tight skirt with super high heels like all the young'uns that surrounded me. We had had a few glasses of a very nice wine at dinner and I will admit now, quietly, amongst friends that I was absolutely cracking up inside the entire time. Just like the old days, backstage with the wrist band that said all access. HA. I could see wonder in the eyes of those we passed...wonder at who's mom I was! Despite the relaxed attire, despite the wrinkles around my eyes, despite the pounding music, blinking lights and the cross dressers...despite the very late hour for one so responsible as me...despite it all it was a night that kept me laughing for days.
Nothing but a laughing memory now. Wrist band off...like the glass slipper... and back to reality.
We headed off to the Gap and Watson's Bay for lunch on a very windy day. It is always nice to have the boys along enjoying themselves as you can see here....
Sam, who will be 15 in a week, will look back at this time of his life and wish he hadn't been so camera shy as there will be fewer than few photos with his face. Mystery boy endured lunch with the "grown ups" chatting away. It is hard not to look across the table and remember the days of being dragged off to lunches and listening to the grown ups. He perked up when he heard that one of the guests was the engineer at the The Strokes concert he went to recently. It was a lovely day and one I wished he was enjoying just a bit more.
Nice hair on a windy day.
It would appear that the big boy doesn't like getting his photo taken either. The fear of seeing their faces on the blog is too great for such coolsters. We ended the afternoon at the Intercontinental for coffee. The boys sat (rather slid off the seats in their slouching, fidgeting manner) while we decided what else to do this week.
We did document the day with one photo of the three of them. Proof that they exist...It was fun to drag them away from the computers, gym routines, rollerblading skate parks, beaches and friends that occupy their summer days.
It is the same for me. I have had to step away from the routine and try to focus on real life. Interesting...very interesting. I have managed to start the Lollipop Tree block for this month and to periodically run into the sewing room to pick up a bit of applique but really, if the truth be told, this week has been about shut down and out to spend time with my family and friends. No talk of colour or movement in design. No talk of the latest shipments of fabric.
Now, thanks for coming along all year to all things Material Obsession. I have enjoyed your company, quilts and stories. Thanks to those that come into the shop and those that only join us on the computer screen. It is nice to be connected to family and friends. Much happy joy to you all over the next few days of sharing peace and love...food, wine and hugs. love, k