Entries in Me (5)


Hello, my name is ...

With the recent launch of my pattern shop and impending book release, I've had a few raised eyebrows about my last name and how to pronounce it.  Believe me, I tried really hard to convince my husband to take MY last name.  But my grandfather was Albanian and my maiden name was only slightly less ... er ... problematic ... for (most) North Americans.  So for those of you who are curious I'm re-publishing my first blog post from Feburary 14th, 2011 where I address the matter of how to say my name without hurting yourself.

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Before your head explodes, here's how you pronounce it:

... kinda sorta.  At least that's how I say it. 

Lemme 'splain.

First Name – no, I didn’t go through a rebellious phase where I had my name legally changed just to be obnoxious.  It’s always been this way.  (Even Margaret Atwood questioned me about that at a book signing in 1993.)

For years I wished I had a name that people would automatically know how to spell - like Jane or Barb or Lisa. 

I’d say “Kristyne with a K” but they’d have CH written before I got to “with a K”.  So they’d change the C to a K, making my name start Kh.

And then it went down hill from there. 

Over the years I learned to just start spelling. To all erasers out there, “You’re welcome.”

Last Name – (can I buy a vowel please, Pat Sajak?)  I love my husband.  Very much.  He’s from Poland.  I’m not.  He can say our last name properly.  I can’t.  Even after 16 years of marriage.  And I'm fully aware that when I do try to pronounce it correctly, I look like a baboon doing kegels while lip-syncing to the Beatles "Hey Jude".

So I don’t. 

And you probably shouldn't either. 

Unless you're Slavic.  Or a linguist.

Just call me Christine ...

with a K. 

I'm good with that.


More About Me

I've been blogging for a little while now, talking mostly quilting & motherhood ... and being an occasional bad driver

I should qualify that last thing by saying I've never hurt myself or any one else with a vehicle.  I've just damaged my vehicle(s).  And my husband's.  And maybe my dad's. 

And maybe my neighbor's truck.  (Dude, he shoulda KNOWN better than to park at the bottom of an icy hill in the winter in Canada ... just sayin'.)

Oh yeah, and maybe my sister's brand new car.  Word to the wise ... if you're driving through the mountains, go AROUND big rocks that have fallen onto the highway - not OVER them.  Boulder vs. oil pan ... guess who's gonna win.  That might seem obvious now, but it wasn't so much when I was going like 90kph (55mph) very early one morning ... maybe ... (sorry, Sister!)

But there's more to me than just quilts and insurance claims.  I embroider.  Yep, I do.

So why haven't I mentioned this before?  Well, last summer (2010) I kinda messed up my hand by embroidering WAAAAAY too much.  (One WOULD think embroidery is safer than driving ... unless you've met me.)

I ended up looking like this for a few months ...

I know.  Super attractive, right?  I felt sorta like this ...

... just without the cool.  (But it does get you out of doing dishes and stuff for a little while!)

And then after a cortizone injection (for De Quervain tendonitis if you're curious), I looked like this for a few more months.

Only slightly less ridiculous. 

After months and months (and months) of physio ... and by the way, I was my physiotherapist's very first embroidery injury - an honor I mention with great pride ... my hand is almost back to normal. 

But I have to be very careful.  No more sitting on my butt for 10 hours straight with a needle & thread in hand.  I'm having to employ things like "balance" and "moderation" in my daily activities.  (Yuck.  Hate those words.  Have I ever mentioned that I'm also sometimes a little immature?)

So back to being careful, I still get into trouble if I spend a few evenings in a row watching an entire season of "Weeds" on DVD (for example) while doing this ...

My hand was very cranky for a few day's after all that cutting. 

(And my mouth needed a bar of soap!  Sheesh.  "Showtime" (not HBO, my bad!) tends to bring out the sailor in me ...)

But never mind that.

The reason I'm bringing up the embroidery thing is because if you happen to stop by tomorrow, I don't want you to think you came to the wrong blog when you see this ...


The Cost of Vanity ...

is measured in fabric? 

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Have you ever gone on an extended vacation for oh, I dunno, let's just throw a number out there ... say, 43 days ... for example.  But you forgot to pack this seemingly insignificant little device that lives quietly in your medicine cabinet in the bathroom.

After about a week, you realize this beauty accessory was left behind and the internal argument begins.  See, you've bought cheap tweezers in the past and over the years you've established a general policy, that for such things, either invest in the good stuff or don't bother. 

But good tweezers are about $10.  And you go through life comparing the price of just about every non-essential purchase to the cost of fabric - in this case, 3 or 4 fat quarters.  You reason that you already have a perfectly good pair at home.  Why buy another pair and be stuck with two?  Because graying hair aside, there is NO WAY you're EVER going to forget to pack them again.  What a waste of ... fabric, right? 

So I pose the question to all you hard core fabric lovers:  would YOU be prepared to spend most of your vacation looking like the love child of hers

and his

for the sake of fabric?

Now I'm not admitting anything here, but let's just say my husband values personality over looks.  ;)


Winter Pinks

How does this Canadian chase away the frigid winter blues?

First she replaces the boring brass buttons of her favorite pink wool cardigan with these pretty vintage rhinestone ones.  Never mind that the button holes are too small ... happiness isn’t always about being practical.

Next she asks her mom to please knit her warm pink mittens.

Then she suggests to her husband that this soft pink scarf would make a nice Valentine’s Day gift.

And finally, she puts lovely blushing ranunculus blossoms on her mantle.

(Artificial, schmartificial ... these won't die!)  How do you cure the winter blues?


"Thank You, Laura Ashley"

I’m a home body.  And I don’t get out much socially.  But this past weekend I went to dinner with some friends – a special group that boasts an English Masters student, advertising account manager, kindergarten teacher, neonatal respiratory therapist, flight attendant and … me.

About every six months or so, one of us will shoot out a reminder email that we’re due for a get together.  Then we spend a week coordinating schedules to find a date that’s a month or two away.  We rarely manage to get all six of us, but we lucked out this time.

Our history goes back some 20 years when we were young sales associates at a Laura Ashley store.  Our mutual love for the Laura Ashley brand is what we had in common.  Our time spent working together led us to becoming friends.  And despite our shop closing 10 years ago (and most of us leaving our jobs before then) we Laura Girls have maintained a great friendship.

Over the years we’ve shared in the success of graduations, praised new jobs, celebrated two weddings (three were child brides, and we’re still rooting for you Chica!), had several house-warmings, rejoiced at nine baby showers and mourned at four funerals.

When we get together we do all the usual things:  reminisce about the store, the other people we worked with, the customers, the products (don’t kid yourself, if we ever decided to get rid of all our Laura Ashley treasures – and that would NEVER happen – it’d be one sweet garage sale!).  We lament how the Laura Ashley of the 90’s is gone forever.

We share photos & stories, catch up, laugh/cry about how the aging process is affecting us, sympathize over difficult situations and just enjoy being in each other’s company. 

We all – husbands included – find it remarkable and pretty special that a part-time job at a little store so long ago could have forged such a long-lasting bond among six girls.

I think of myself as a Laura Girl because of how much I loved the style.  But I call myself a Laura Girl because I’m a proud member of this select little circle of friends.

If it’s true that you can judge people by the company they keep, then I’m deeply honored & humbled.  Thank you ladies for keeping me in your lives.  I love you all.