Travel. Hmm. Just when I think the lugging of suit cases and waiting in airports is going to drive me nuts I realize how much I love what I do. These trips interrupt life in a way I never saw coming and yet, they are filled with the joy of newness. People and the places they share with me are the driving force and I marvel at the amount of kindness that I find along the road.
Kaffe once said that when we travel our eyes are open wide as we move through unfamiliar places and this is a truth. I often talk about how as we prpgress through life we limit new in our lives and in an effort to avoid feeling old I try always to stay open to new...different...unusual.
Last Tuesday I arrived rather late in Nashville. I grabbed my three 50lb bags from the luggage belt and unable to secure a trolley proceeded awkwardly to the outdoors where I was immediately engulfed in sweltering humidity. As I made my way wonkily to the car I started to feel frustration and then just started laughing at how ridiculous I must look in my groovy Kantha coat bent over the bags and scurrying along like a trendy bag lady. It was in that moment I wondered if I loved or hated my travel experiences...and then...and then the world opened up to show me the truth.
I landed in the world of Anna Maria Horner. I was swooped into a place of color, human warmth and beauty that immediately said home is anywhere in the world where real people are living. It was an experience to learn that the beauty I find in her words on her blog reflect a real place full of love and creativity. It was real and then being engulfed took on a new meaning. I have known Anna Maria for a long time now but spending time in her home and at her shop was a real experience I will treasure forever as one of friendship and discovery of the heart.
First, there are gorgeous examples of creative life everywhere. A simple bowl of crayons beckoned to be smelled and in the process brought the joy of childhood back to me. How wonderful do Crayola crayons smell? ! And how simply beautiful are they sitting in a bowl...so handy for when you want to color!
And then there are the children. I had the pleasure of a morning alone with Roman. He took me through the paces of outdoor and indoor activities. When he asked me to play a video game I said I don't know how. His reply sent me spinning into happiness..."Well, trying is always good!" How simple the truth is and when stated by a 7 year old, even better. I sat down and had a go. I have a special affection for children and young people that aren't afraid to reveal themselves to adults so meeting the Horners was a treat. Each one is a treasure chest of expression.
I loved the swirl of ideas present in the room and displayed throughout the house. Frames, tacks and benches held handmade things everywhere begging a close inspection. I was even treated to a song session by Nico which was mind blowing. He stood alone and sang songs that made me remember what it was like to be young and frustrated by the world...looking for companionship...questioning...answering...all the important things...and so handsome!
And then there is the woman herself...a model for admiration. Normal, fun and chatty cover talent bone deep as well as intelligence. There was no peeling back of image to reveal something different from what I expected and in that there is relief. She is who she is and she is marvelous. It was so easy to move in this world and be a part of something wonderful. The shop, Craft South is full of creative spaces and invitations to try craft.
A carefully curated collection of fabric would satisfy shoppers of all purpose from quilts to clothes. As a shop owner I admired the flow of ideas from one craft to another. Bags, skirts, dresses, knitwear, knitting, tapestry, cross stitch...you name it the kits and materials were at hand. It is organized, tidy, beautiful and inviting.
This is a design esthetic that appeals to me as it blends tradition and modern seamlessly. The palettes are perfect and the organic flow of design is approachable. There is a happiness here that begs discovery, inspection and participation.
Then there were the people of Craft South. They gathered from near and far for the workshop and lecture. It was a fun and rewarding experience to work with women keen to grow in their process. I was so busy chatting and working with the women of Craft South that I forgot to take many photos of the fun things happening on the walls.
It is certainly a challenge to manage so many human lives. I watched in awe as this family moved through the paces of full days. My heart grew over and over again surrounded by the meaning of home. Heart felt thanks go out to all the members of the family for including me in their routine.
And then it was time to move on to Toronto. The committee for the Quits at the Creek quilt show which is on this weekend treated me to a day of touring Toronto. On the agenda was the Toronto Textile Museum...wow what a treat that was for a textile enthusiast! Then we went to the art gallery to see...
After filling the mind with visual treats we visited The Workroom for a taste of Toronto patchwork and more. Here we found another space built for creativity with spaces to sew and inviting materials to sew with! Not enough time to play but lots to remember about this space.
We still have four days of workshops here in Toronto. The trunk show last night was animated and fun and the workshops are sure to be the same. I guess I have to say that although there's no place like home I am finding the feeling of it on the road and loving the community of quilters. Thanks so much to everyone that contributes to making me feel at home in the world! Enjoy! k