Sunday, January 24, 2016

Longtime Friends

Hi, friends!  Happy new year to you!  It turns out that 2015 wasn't the most prolific blogging year for me, but perhaps I'll have a bit more to say in 2016.  I hope your new year is off to a good start.

 My year has started off just beautifully, with some lovely special events and, most recently, a visit from a longtime friend.  You probably know my fellow Twelve by Twelve quilt artist Terry Grant, yes?  Her blog And Sew it Goes is always inspiring and a pleasant look at life in Portland, Oregon.  We realized that we're probably known each other for over 10 years now, but we've spent just a little time together in person.  So we started talking about Terry popping down for a visit, and this past week she was here for a few days.

We discovered, as we had on our last visits together, that we can talk and talk without running out of things to say.  We seem to have an endless supply of stories to share and interests in common.  We covered art, quilts, family, parenting, marriage, moving to new cities, knitting, past careers, favorite books, favorite tv shows, cats, horses, strange foods we've eaten... you name it. (Terry won the "strange foods" story.  I've never eaten guinea pig, but she has.  Ask her to tell you about it.) And frankly we could have gone on and on.

We took a day to go see Berkeley, which Terry had never seen, which of course required a visit to New Pieces and Stone Mountain and Daughter, both fantastic quilt shops.  We cruised the boutique shops on 4th Street in Berkeley with an especially fun visit to the Crate and Barrel outlet to look at the bargain Marimekko fabrics there.  We drove around the UC campus a bit (which isn't really drivable, but Terry did get to see some of the main buildings and the tower) and ended up at a favorite dining spot, Skates on the Bay at the Berkeley marina.  We dined on wonderful seafood louie salads while gazing across the bay at the San Francisco skyline and had a wonderful time. 

The next day was very rainy, so we had a quiet and mostly indoor day.  We lingered over morning coffee and talked, talked, talked.  Terry mentioned that she'd been wanting to learn how to make books, so we decided to have a spontaneous book-making lesson and started on coptic stitched books. Here's Terry learning how to tear watercolor paper for pages to get a pleasing deckled edge.

You can see Terry's blog about making books, as well as a picture of our finished books, here.  Terry was also quite kind about braving the rain and mud to take Miss C to her riding lesson (yes, horseback riding continues despite rain), and then we had a cozy dinner back at home of mexican tomato soup and a southwestern-style salad.

Saturday was our day to explore Healdsburg, and we were glad that the sky was gray but dry for our strolling about. We popped into my favorite local quilt shop, Fabrications, where Terry found some of the shirting fabric she loves to use in her quilts. We'd planned to eat at Rustic, the restaurant at the Francis Ford Coppola winery which is always fun to visit, but after touring the shop and the fun movie memorabilia on display, we determined that the restaurant was too noisy and crowded and we retreated to a local mexican restaurant for a far more relaxed experience.  And then it was back to Portland for Terry, and back home to real life for me.

It's kind of amazing, this internet world.  We can make friends and develop deep friendships even when we can't spend a lot of in-person time together.  You can get a good sense, for the most part, of someone's personality from online interactions, don't you think?  It was such a nice experience to spend that time with Terry.