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" Easier to sew than you could  
possibly imagine! "
Me on the plane!  Still working!   The trouble with being a designer is that you always have one more idea. And you want to create them all !  But time constraints are always an issue.  I have to work EXTRA hard at finishing  - or mostly finishing a design before I begin the next one.  

This was my Host Becky (right)-with her sister Vergie who graciously opened her home to both myself and my sister.   After we arrived in Houston,  I set up shop in her home for all of those last minute details. My sister was horrified,  but a girls gotta'do what a girls gotta' do !!!   And as any business owner  knows, there's always one more thing to do!  This was my first trade show and de-spite having  worked  non-stop for a year, the TO DO list was as long as ever!  To her credit  Becky  was very good natured and let me use her very expensive Bernina for all of those last minute details. She then graciously helped me  to measure and  then surged all of my table covers!
The day was finally here!  My sister Amy- (who put her life on hold  to come help me) and I flew in a few days early to get acclimated and spend a little R & R  before our 10 day stint began.  I was hesitatingly  able to sneak away for a few hours the day before the show to make a test drive to the Convention Center.  I had been designing for 10 years and this had always been my goal.  I  was  finally  here!
good pick, either one, or the other of us would say "NO...we can't stop here, .there's a house.... or a store ....or.... its groomed!  We can't take that one... If we do we'll get arrested!!!  Of course there were brush trees on the sidelines,  but one would have to navigate and "muck about" through the swampy areas to get to them,. Not  that  you  could  see  the "swampy areas" mind you... but we soon learned about them when we went to cut  a   l o v e l y   tree, wherein my sisters foot disappeared into a quagmire of muck!  Simply disappeared!!  So much for our   "l o v e l y   tree" !!   Then as we were driving, we must have had an hour long conversation about Alligators.  "I don't know......they live in Florida.....and Texas is on the same level as Florida, right?   or is' it lower?" ... "I think its called the Meridian -  Is it  on the same 'meridian' as Florida?"    "Is that the right word?"..... " "Who would have though Texas was swampy! " .....  "I've never 'heard 'of Alligators in Texas.-have you?" ......  "Did you know Texas was swampy? I thought Texas was a Desert...... with Cactus!....... Didn't you?  " "Hmmmm.... why did I think  Texas had Cacti?  !" . Well  Florida is swampy and they have alligators  there so.oooooo   "..... NO..... DON''T STOP HERE....WE MIGHT GET EATEN........!! "

      We finally found it.!!!! A perfect little tree who seemed like it didn't belong to anybody......on ground that didn't want to swallow us up!  We drove for hours just to get our suitable little specimen.  By this time it was dark,  -  even then we held our breath as we hacked away!  Our beautiful, albeit somewhat desperate looking specimen  was one -  lone   little   tree  - standing guard like a good little solder over his-and only his - plot!  We were positive that someone was keeping it for some special tree purpose!  So we hacked away fast and furious and hid our "find"  the back seat - positive that its owner was watching.  "UGH!  How can people be criminals.  This is way too much stress!!!!"
     We soon recovered though, and quipped  about   "at least getting to see the burbs!!"   Now my sister is convinced  that she wants to retire in good ole'   primped and pruned- cut and groomed   Texas!  Not me !.  I like my trees wild! Hey Y'all gotta' come to New England and see our Trees  !!!!
Since booth space was limited,  we came up with the bright idea to place the Grizzlies in a tree.  NO PROBLEM... just go and cut a tree, right?.  WRONG!   Little did we know that , unlike Connecticut where trees grow wild and you can take a quick jaunt to a road....any road....,and cut a tree,  EVERYTHING in Texas is groomed, primped and pruned!  What  we thought would take about 15 minutes turned into an all day ordeal!  Every  time  that  we  thought  we  had  a
Despite having one tiny space, 8 HUGE animals and 2  opinions, we managed to get the booth set up.  Its no easy task to squeeze  8 or 9  GIANT toys into a 10 x 10 space without completely engulfing the little guys.  Meanwhile... Brilliant me... decided to save money on shipping.. so I decided to un-stuff the large bears before I sent them with the intention of re-stuffing them before setup. (that's when I learned the inevitable law of nature.....that every task takes 4 times longer that you think it will!   What was I thinking!!!!   
   Quilt market was over...... then the  F E ST I V A L  began.....       
But he wasn't the only one...!
hummm ....  doesn't look too hard to make....
OOPS!  She caught me!!
You're so.ooo cute! I Just want to eat you  up!! 
This little girl  spied Jumbo Bear from 20 feet away. she broke loose from her mother.... took off like a shot  and bolted straight into the booth then unhesitatingly plopped down nestling right into Jumbo Bears arms.  She sat there  enamored completely engulfed by this giant!  (Pic to left)   I  laid him down for her so she could catch a ride!  And that she did!
We finally got the booth all set up....and  thankfully  the customers weren't complaining!
And Sleepy was getting his share of lovin'
But all good things must come to an end.    'Till we meet again...... Bye Bye !!
And this little girl soon followed !  It was quite the LOVEFEST!
But all that Huggin' and Lovin' was just too much for my Fellow Booth neighbor to take.  So before we packed it in and said our good-byes  Jumbo got one last  GREAT  BIG  BEAR  HUG !
And Sleepy Bear had his share of action as well....
And this, I must say .....................is how we all felt at the end of the last day of our 10 day ordeal!
International Quilt Market Houston

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