Quilters and Vendors and Lectures, Oh My!

This is a little late in coming. Honestly, I had planned to post this Monday, but what can I say? I'm just lazy! You probably already knew that, so I don't feel too bad. Anyway, last week I accompanied my mother-in-law to a quilt festival in Birmingham (not the one in Alabama).

I'd like to say that I spent every waking hour looking at quilts, shopping, taking classes, and generally having a quilt-tasticly good time. Don't get me wrong, I did have a good time. But, I was a little overwhelmed, causing me to hole up in the hotel room most of the time. It turned out to be incredibly productive on the reading and writing front. Plus, I did grow a pair and ended up taking pictures of quilts and buying random things from vendors. I even stood in front of people to help my mother-in-law show her quilts!! (Shameless plug time: http://www.bellabellaquilts.com/home.html)

I took some pictures at quilt show of some absolutely amazing quilts. I'm not putting them all on here, because I don't have room. But, I've picked some of the ones I loved (and making sure to credit the quilter!!). I tried to add the credit on the images themselves, but since they appear kind of small, I'm also adding the credits directly below each quilt with the quilt's title. Enjoy!

"Heat" by Ferret Fabrications

"Second Spring" by Jenny Bowker

"Bushfire Sunset" by Lisa Walton & Nic Bridges

I can't take my mind off this damn song...

Seriously. I am currently listening to The Blower's Daughter by Damien Rice for, I think, the 10th time in a row. It's sad. I have a song obsession, much like other obsessions I seem to be forming. If you haven't heard it, listen to it now:

A Choral Version (that happens to be gorgeous)

I previously blogged about music that was true in its musicality and lyrics. This is one of them. It brings so many emotions out, and images flash in my head when I listen to it. I think I will play this a lot when I'm writing. It definitely conjures up scenes that I would like to write.

Anyway, I like it so much, I just blogged about it. Thanks for the ladies over in AW for making me stumbling onto Damien Rice!

In Guide We Trust

We just got back from a 3-day weekend trip to Scotland with Gavin's parents. It was great fun. We started out in Manchester, driving through the Lake District on the way to Helensburgh. Luckily, I wasn't driving, so I actually got to enjoy the scenery in the Lake District. It was beautiful, and I'd like to go back (as a car passenger) to take some of the back roads. The sun was out on Friday when we drove through the Lake District, so every British person alive seemed to be there. We tried to go to Beatrix Potter's farm, but realized too late that it would be flooded with people, and we wouldn't be able to get a ticket. This was after sitting in a queue while waiting for the ferry across the lake.

By the time we got across the lake, we were all quite hungry. Fortunately, Gavin brought along the Good Pub Guide 2009, so we had no problem locating a good place to eat, drink, and be merry. We've used the guide three times to find places to eat, and all three times it has delivered. The food was excellent, and Gavin said the beer was great! So, from now on, we won't doubt the guide.

After that, we made our way to Helensburgh to meet with some of Gavin's dad's friends who had been vacationing in Scotland. We ended up having an excellent Italian meal and going to sleep quite late!

The next morning, it was raining and yucky, so we decided to forego a drive into the Highlands and settled on a trip to Culross instead. That turned out to be an excellent idea, as the first property bought by the National Trust for Scotland is there. In fact, almost the entire 16th century village has received funds from the NTS to help refurbish the beautiful buildings. We walked through the "palace" and had a guided tour of the village.

We then drove to Bannockburn, where Robert Bruce led the Scots in a decisive victory over the bloody English! :) It was neat, but we didn't get to spend too much time there, as we were a little late. However, we managed to take pictures in some chain mail. (I'm the demon-eyed b***h in the middle).

We went back to Helensburgh, had dinner with Gavin's cousin and her husband, and then went to sleep. This morning, I woke up to this:

Needless to say, it was a great weekend!

You Make Me Smile

Continuing the theme of titling the blog posts with lyrics from Blue October, this post is about my husband, Gavin, one of the nicest people I know. [Gush]

Yes, I know he's good looking. You don't have to tell me. But this isn't about how handsome he is, it's about how nice he is. Now, this is definitely unusual, because I am not an overly gushy female. Seriously, I'd much rather be teasing him and making fun of him for stupid stuff, but he was just too nice this morning.

Case in point, he cooked me breakfast and brought to me while I was still laying in bed reading my book. See, he's really nice. It wasn't even just cereal...he COOKED eggs and bacon with toast. And they were good eggs. The bacon was perfectly crispy, and he used real butter on the toast. YUM!

If that wasn't just the nicest, he brings me coffee in bed most mornings! Yes, I'm lazy, and I sit there in bed reading for an hour. He doesn't even care. He just brings me coffee with a smile before he leaves for work. He's truly nice.

So, here's to Gavin. [raises glass of sparkling water] No one could ask for a better husband.

Note: Shortly before this post was typed, Gavin, the nicest person ever, banished me to the bedroom, because my typing was too loud. It disturbed his trying to review journal articles. But, see, I was so moved by the rest of his niceness that I am still posting this. But, for good measure, I'm throwing in a picture of him in his kilt. Woohoo!

Is That Seat Taken?

The title of this post is intentionally misleading. It's actually part of the lyrics to a song that I am listening to while I type this. Can you guess which song??

It's raining, I don't feel particularly great today, and I'm sitting in the flat by myself, so I decided to listen to some music. I have a few albums I tend to play over and over again, the one I'm listening to right now is one of them. Unfortunately, these songs are pretty depressing. Probably not a good listen for rainy weather, but oh well!

Sitting here listening to music, the lyrics in particular, got me thinking about a conversation I had last night with a friend about music. (Side note: This would be a mini-conversation had while I was sitting at the computer typing away on a message board...so if the friend reads this...sorry again for being such a bad hostess!!!) He asked us if we liked songs because of the music or lyrics. I instinctually said, "Both!" That's mostly true. The songs I'm listening to right now, I like because of the music and lyrics (wait, isn't that a movie?).

Typically, I like music that moves me, which could be from the lyrics or the music. But, if the song has great lyrics and bad music, I tend to not like it as much. I need a good combination of the two. However, if it has bad lyrics and good music, I can overlook the lyrics. It's the music that moves me, and the words just add to the music. Cool, huh? I've always been like that. I found myself almost crying several times while singing in a concert, because the music was so beautiful, even when the words were in Latin and I hadn't a clue what they meant. :)

That's it. Boring post. But, well, they can't all be great! So, (if anyone actually reads this), do you like songs for music or lyrics or both? What kind of music do you like??

(Song I was just listening to: Congratulations by Blue October w/ Imogen Heap)

Edit: So, I'm adding this little part, because I continued Blue October and came across "18th Floor Balcony". I've heard it before, but I never really listened to the lyrics. I think this would fall under the good lyrics, good music category. I found myself actually picking a scene that played out what the lyrics were saying. I may have to use this in my writing... See, music can be really moving!