Meet Pat

Video (Meet Pat) -

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had about 25 people, friends and family, together at my house. (this is just half of the happy group) It’s kind of hard to believe that we are just around the corner from another new year. In spite of all the “doom and gloom” and dire predictions on the news, we still have much to be thankful for. Yesterday, surrounded by my family, I felt very fortunate indeed.. and I am still doing what I love to do . . . quilling. You would think that after 35 years, I would be tired of quilling, but I’m not. There is always another challenge. This summer I quilled lots of wedding invitations, some are pretty routine, but I even enjoy doing those. I can just “veg out” while I am making roses or the dozens of teardrops for flower petals. I still get a kick out of seeing a design come together.

Often, people ask me where I get the ideas for my designs. Sometimes they come easily. You just look at it and there it is, other times it can be a real challenge. A customer will call and say “I have a wedding invitation, but it’s kind of different . . . I don’t know what you will be able to do with it”. There’s the anticipation of waiting to see what it will look like. I had one like that this summer. The shape and size of the invitation was anything BUT routine; a horizontal, long, and narrow invitation and it was a beach wedding! So I just started making shapes and sea shells and then finally figured out how I was going to put it all together. I actually loved the finished piece and wished I had made a copy of the invite so I could make another for a sample. I did take a picture though, even though purples aren’t my favorite colors, I absolutely love the way they all work together.

Another piece that ended up being a challenge was a floral bouquet I did that was going to be given as a gift to the leader of a Bible study group. There was a deadline and we did everything over the phone and emails. Because it was long distance, it really became a challenge. I was only doing the quilling which is kind of unusual. Usually I determine the size, cut the mat, do the framing etc. The mat was going to have a Bible verse in calligraphy that went all the way around the mat. The calligrapher did the verse so the mat had to be horizontal in order to read the saying, so all of my plans for long graceful flower stems went out the window. Fortunately, I made the flowers but didn’t start gluing anything down until the very last minute. So the bouquet became a basket of flowers since there was no room for stems. The finished piece actually looked quite nice although I didn’t get a picture of the mat with the calligraphy. Inspiration comes in many forms

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Things are back to normal

Just in case you are wondering what that strange sound is coming from northern Connecticut  . . . it’s me cheering because the problem with my blog has been resolved. I started this blog because so many quillers were contacting me with questions about teaching, framing, matting, selling their work etc. that I thought the blog would be a way to put all of that information out there for anyone who might be interested. I’ve put up 78 posts with reference materials and features I’ve done on other quillers; including pictures of their work and links to other quillers, my web site, and free patterns etc. I’ve had such a wonderful response to the blog so naturally I was devastated when that warning popped up. Thankfully some of my readers alerted me to the problem right away. Then the whole nightmare process of figuring out “what went wrong” began. I thought I would share this with you just in case you ever find yourself in this position.

When I saw the RED warning at the top of my blog (which is hosted by Google), I was directed to Webmaster Tools. The web master tools suggested that my site was “suspicious” and might contain “malware”. Unfortunately, Google didn’t tell me where the offending malware was located on my blog. I went through all of the comments and did find one that was “strange”, I deleted it immediately; but that did not solve the problem. Google suggested that I quarantine my blog, but I was unable to learn exactly how to do that.  I did end up getting professional help because I was so “lost” trying to clear the whole thing up (after all, I am a quilling artist NOT a computer expert). After much research, I found a site called  Google had made references to them in several of its “help” articles and apparently they have been written up in several computer magazines. They did a  ”security report” which rated every link on my site and found the culprit. I then ran for the offending site, and sure enough it told me that this site was hosting malicious software which had allowed it to act as intermediary for the infection of 37 other sites (including mine). I have deleted all references/links to that site which apparently had also been “hacked” by another site which had infected more than 1800 sites. I will now run any links through Google’s safe browsing diagnostic before I put it up on my site. I have contacted the other quiller who was hacked to let her know what has happened. I can’t even tell you how many hours I spent on this problem, but the good news is that no one else was affected; the offending link has been removed and Google has given the “all clear”.  Now I can get back to writing about quilling!