Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I was seeking an interview with a textiles designer when I first heard of the Dublin Horse Show at the Royal Dublin Society (RDS). This designer had difficulty fitting me into her schedule as she explained she was crazy busy trying to get ready for the upcoming Horse Show. Not being local to this event, I niavely, inquired, "oh, how interesting, that you show horses too!"

You can imagine my embarrassment when it was quickly revealed that the "Horse Show" is so much more than horses, jumps and hay. The Dublin Horse Show, indeeds caters for everyone with an exhibition of crafts and antiques, a diverse range of shopping among exhibitor booths.

Now, a good few years later, although sure to be a good showcase, the horse show is the lesser of the excitement for our crafts in Ireland. In conjunction to the Horse Show, each year the RDS holds their RDS National Crafts Competition. It is a juried showing and involves more than €28,000 is prize winnings.

In fact, in 2010, Cork-based quilter, Mary Palmer, scooped the overall show prize, as well as three other winning placements. The talent and beauty that is entered into this show is incredible.
In creative circles one almost always hears about the stellar crafts being created in County Cork. There are several textile groups that flourish in this area. Each year, I am delighted to see the latest textile entries from this talented bunch. It is my own personal reunion of unmeasured inspiration.

As I sat in our meeting yesterday, it was overwhelming to think of the immense talent and ambitition that filled the room. Most attendees were representatives of guilds and associations. Everyone from woodcutters to feltmakers, to lacemakers to goldsmiths. A tighter niche, though equally well represented, sub group makes up the working committee for the RDS National Crafts Competition. The purpose of our meeting was to open discussion for feedback and suggestions from the craft community as a whole. It was impressive. The RDS is to be commended for holding such a prestigious competition and the craft organisers around the table, hugely commended for the efforts put forth by all the entries and supporters.

Entries in photo format are to be in by 8 May. We await the many talented artists.

Are you one of them?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Proofreading Pays It Forward

We are currently looking for office staff. Since Lauren's gone to college, it's Dermot and myself holding down the fort. And it's busy.
We are always looking for sales staff for selling advertising.

Recently we hosted several advertisements for the openings on job sites.

What amazed me is the amount of responses filled with typos, spellings and poor writing. If I'm not mistaken, the number of poorly constructed responses is increasing. Why?

In my past life, I have been a substitute teacher and in my schooled life, I'm a technical writer. Both have a penchant for teaching others. So when I review responses to job postings, I am eager to alert the person to their mistakes. There was a time I would open every email and every CV. At minimal, I send a confirmation of receipt every time.

Now, if there is one wrong spelling, a lowercase that should be uppercase or a glaring typo, I simply delete the email. One button and it possibly changes the direction of someone's life. I feel some guilt.

As a result, my own emailing and texting has become sharpened. Friends or colleagues frequently get abbreviated, noncapitalised, unpuncutated responses, saving my time--but possibly increasing their time in deciphering my message.

Now, the time I save deleting poor responses, I pay that time forward by composing better responses in my own communication.

Oops! Time's up and there's still a heap of CVs to review.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Creative Potholes

Winter rains have made the texture of our country's roads a patchwork vision, but these weathered potholes take a toil on our vehicles.

Which is why I loved this snippet reporting from Paris earlier in 2011.

Kudos to the creative concerned citizens, like this 'yarn bomber' who knits to improve her surroundings.

New Year's Resolutions

Who or what helps you keep your new year's resolutions?
We endure our triumps and of course, our forgets. Rather than call them failures, I call them forgets--that is what happens: we forget what we resolve to do in January by the time February's Valentine sugar cookies hit the table. That's just life.

Are you using technology to track your resolutions? Lucky for us, I have a fairy Googlemother. Instantly, upon search engine wish, Keep It Real: 8 Services To Make Your New Year's Resolutions Stick appears on my screen. Fairy Googlemother knows all.

What I found was websites offering accountability aids for resolutions and smartphone apps for tracking life goals. All inspiring and most free, are these tools used by all, some, most or just the overachieving personal coach?

Despite the bells and whistles of technology, I find myself not quite ready to enlist and decide to resolve with incremental steps that when combined, result in a greater balanced achievement for me. For simpler life solutions, I found these fun resolutions. With the resolution Smile More topping the list, who wouldn't succeed in these goals?

Back with fairy Googlemother, I wish for patchwork app or websites to increase my sew time or perfect my quilting stitches. Nothing particular to those tasks was granted, but quilting aids such as Easy Quilt or BlockFab were revealed and available for download.

In our latest Irish Quilting issue, read quilting resolutions that are more traditional and true to turning over the stitched leaf of the new year. Remembering to achieve that goal of finishing UFOs (one a month?) or equal opportunity stash buster (if the fabric is still ugly, it's not cut into small enough piece) is still key.

I share these same goals and yet, I've managed to post-resolve: Download and Experience a Quilting App.

Any suggestions for which quilt app I should try?

Happy New Year!