Category Archives: Books

Business Book Club -The Magnolia Story

A few months ago I joined the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals and a benefit of being a member is that I get to participate in a monthly book club featuring business books. I’ve only been a member long enough to read two books and last week, the book club discussion was on The Magnolia Story which is the story of Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s uber popular show, Fixer Upper.

I’ve been an and off again fan of the show for a few years. I really think I’m mostly just a Chip and Joanna fan. I have long loved the playful way they interact with each other while flipping homes around Waco, Texas. If you’ve never watched the show before, it’s quite addictive. Together they help a couple find the home of their dreams which in the beginning of each show looks like a horrible choice! They strive to find the worst house in the best area of town and then through Chip’s carpentry skills and Joanna’s unparallelled design skills, they flip the house, within budget, into a dream home.  All the while, Chip and Joanna tease each other and make you want to be their best friends!

The book takes you through the early years of their relationship when they first start dating up to the current situation where they have landed this show and it’s crazily popular and their farm  is pretty much now a tourist destination. I was enamored with their story but I struggled at first to make connections as to how this was a good business book. While I was interested in their love story and how they got married and have four children, I was really trying to find the meat of their success story.

It was actually in hindsight that it came together for me. Family is the focal point of every decision this couple makes including business decisions. As I mentioned, they have four young children and have made the decision not to travel and to only work in the Waco area. When their real estate and design business took off, it was word of mouth in the Waco area that kept them making money. People saw how Joanna decorated her small store and soon they asked if she could help them with their home decor. The design side grew and grew with Joanna really learning as she went along. She didn’t have any type of degree in design. She had previously worked in her dad’s Firestone tire store.

Chip was a risk taker from day one. As a young man he had an entrepreneurial spirit buying up small homes around Baylor University. He would fix those up and rent them out to college students. Joanna would help him get the home looking nice and then sadly for her, Chip would rent it or sell it and then buy up another one! Sad for Joanna because she got attached to the homes and thought she might like to live in them for awhile. This wasn’t Chip’s style and she knew she had to go with the flow because that was how they managed to stay afloat of their bills. They just barely stayed ahead and sometimes not so much. In the end, the risk taking paid off but it was scary for them.

The underlying theme in the book was consistent effort and hard work all balanced by love of family. They had a strong support system and a team of employees who liked helping them because they were good, honest people. Millions of people enjoy watching the show because this theme carries through. There’s nothing fake about them.

I think it ended up being a great business book that reinforces balance, hard work, risk taking, and consistency. You have to show up and do the work to the best of your ability and keep learning your craft. Integrity and craftsmanship matter.

Do you watch this great show? What are your thoughts? Have you read the book?

You can find the book on Amazon at the link below. It is an affiliate link.

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Thursday Happenings And A Tip

Happy Thursday! It’s a grey one here today. We’ve seldom seen the sun this week and it’s beginning to take a toll on me. I sure hope tomorrow is bright and sunny! Until then, it’s good napping weather!

I stopped by the quilt supply shop last week and I saw this book on the shelf. I have wanted this book for about a year because I love the quilts on the cover. I saw the author, Kathy MCNeil, on an episode of The Quilt Show and I was intrigued with her method. I decided to finally purchase it and I can’t wait to try any one of these pretty wall hangings. The book comes with a cd where Kathy demonstrates her method. I haven’t watched it yet, but soon.

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While I was finishing up my project for Quilter’s World this week, I saw a tip on the Handiquilter Facebook Page that was a huge a-ha moment for me! The black, plastic, side clamps on my long arm constantly get caught on the machine’s carriage. It’s very annoying and I have sometimes  not used the side clamps because of it. However, you really need them to help with the tension of the quilt. So some smarty pants came up with the idea of attaching the side clamps to a strip of fabric and then pinning the fabric to the quilt. The black plastic part is far enough away now from the machine that it doesn’t get caught! Brilliant! Genius! Bravo!!!

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My planner came on Sunday and I have it all set up and it’s working out wonderfully for me. It’s the DayTimer binder with a magnetic closure. This is the desk size one which is about 5×8.

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The inside cover has a space for your business card and some pockets, a pen loop, and a zippered pocket.

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The beginning pages are the monthly view calendars.

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The next section is where it all happens! It’s the daily pages and it has two pages per day. So the left side has the prioritized daily tasks, an expense and mileage tracker, the daily appointment schedule. The right page has a space for writing daily notes and also has a quote. I am loving the two per page daily thing. I should mention that these calendar pages are the Franklin Covey ones not the DayTimer ones. I like the flow of the Franklin pages better. Also, only half the year fits in the binder. So the pages come in two packages – Jan to June, July to Dec. I still use my phone for all scheduling so I don’t mind that only half the year is at my fingertips on the paper planner.

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The back section of the planner has more pockets, a note pad, and a plastic business card holder.

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I do feel this is the right system for me at this time. I like prioritizing and time blocking so this is perfect.

One more thing to show you all! At Christmas I picked out a new clock for the wall in back of my long arm machine. It’s helpful to me to be able to look up and see how much time I have left before I have to pick kids up or make dinner. Being a huge fan of photos, I just adore this clock!!!

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Each hour holds a photo and I can swap them out all year long. I currently have room for one more at 7 o’clock…I’ll need to choose one for that hour. Anyway, in a few months, I’ll switch them again! I ordered this from the Lakeside Collection catalog. They have a lot of neat things.

If you haven’t joined the Quilt Cabana Facebook Page, please do! Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=quilt%20cabana%20patterns

I know many of you are on both my personal page and this business one. In the interest of productivity and my sanity, I’m going to be backing off the personal page a bit. My feed is full of politics and negative energy that is starting to wear me down a bit. I’ll be concentrating my efforts on the Quilt Cabana page and also on Instagram. You can follow me there, my name on Instagram is quiltcabana.
Let’s connect in a positive, fun, and quilty way!

Have a great day!
Sandi

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Friday Post & Flash Sale

Happy Happy Friday!!!!!!!

It’s snowing here and it’s very cold seeing as we woke up to cold air coming out of our heat vents! I’m pretty sure I didn’t set the heat to 62 degrees when I went to bed last night. Hoping the repairman gets here in a hurry this morning. It looks like this which isn’t bad but makes me feel even colder.

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This week I’m still working on Frozen Makeup Bags for the craft fair in December.

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I’m running in to a little snafu as stores seem to be sold out of this Frozen fabric. My intention was to bring 12 to the fair with me to sell alongside my patterns but I’ve already sold a few and I’m not quite sure I’ll be able to get more fabric. Tomorrow I’m heading to the Fabric Place Basement to visit the Boston Modern Quilt Guild for the first time so I’ll check there for it. I ordered some online at Joann’s and got notification that the order was canceled because they didn’t have it. I’m also awaiting an order of zippers…so a bit of a standstill at the moment.

I am happy to say that I’ll be delivering 10 more Comfort Bears to the police station as they get ready to head into the holiday season.
It makes me happy to know that they have something comforting to offer any child under duress.

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While I was pricing items for the craft fair yesterday, I flipped through Little Quilts For Big Occasions and started thinking about how fun it was to design these projects and what a great book it would be for kids as well as adults. The designs are holiday themed and timeless so I decided to put the book on a flash sale this weekend for 20% off in the Quilt Cabana Patterns Shop . You can purchase it for $7.95 Here are some great photos of the projects that I borrowed from the Leisure Arts website. I’m going pull out my Thanksgiving one and hang that up today. These are all about the same size so once you choose a spot in the house to hang them, you can just switch them out holiday to holiday.

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I know many of you own this book already and if you do, pull it out and make one these wall hangings today…there’s plenty of time before Thanksgiving and Christmas to get those ones done!

Sandi

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Plugging Along & Another Deal…

How are you all doing today? This is quite a busy week around here with school finishing up and an upcoming play for Lindsey this weekend. She is in two performances of Godspell. I’m looking forward to it as I know it will be fabulous!

Last week I took advantage of Southern Fabrics $2 charm pack deal and purchased April Showers. I have decided to go with a Window Pane 9 Patch quilt made with the charm squares. Torie recommended this quilt tutorial and I will work on it on the Featherweight this week. Click the link below to see the tutorial video from Missouri Star Quilt Company.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZfnR8K9rCs&feature=kp

Here are the charm squares being laid out while I figure out a decent configuration for the 9 patches.

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As it turns out, Southern Fabric is running another charm pack deal. This time it is a $2 Weeds Charm Pack by Me & My Sister for Moda. It looks like a lot of red and black colors in this pack. The code to use is weedscharm80 Here is the link:

http://www.southernfabric.com/Weeds–Charm-Pack-22220PP-by-Me-and-My-Sister-for-Moda_p_4627.html

This week I’m still working on my niece’s T-shirt quilt. I have the top done and I’m in the process of quilting it now.

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I finished reading this book last night. I picked it up in Hawaii in August and I kept “saving” it until the right moment when I could “savor” it!

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It’s a wonderful book about the history of not only traditional Hawaiian quilting but also contemporary Hawaiian quilting. I enjoyed it very much and will go deeper into it in an upcoming podcast episode.

That’s it for today…time is short and the to do list is long!

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Tater Tots & A Book

Last night Lindsey made us dinner and it was fast and delicious. The recipe was from my 5 ingredient cookbook and it was called Tater Tot Bake.

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We tweaked the recipe to omit the peas because no one (aside from me) will eat peas! Here is the recipe. It was warm in our tummies on such a cold night.

1 or 1.5 pounds ground beef
8.5 ounces can peas (drained) or 1 pound frozen bag of peas
8 ounce package of cheese slices (we just layered American and Provolone from the deli)
2 cans cream of chicken soup or cream of mushroom
32 ounce package frozen tater tots
2 cloves fresh garlic (optional)-we did’t have it on hand so we didn’t do this

1. Brown beef in a large skillet. Drain off drippings.
2. Grease a 9×13 baking pan. Place browned beef in bottom.
3. Add peas, cheese and then soup in that order.
4. Top with tater tots
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.

I have something else for you today as well…I downloaded this book on Kindle and it’s free right now. So far I’m about 20 percent through it and it’s very good. You might want to check it out while it’s free. Double check the price before downloading, sometimes books are only free for a few days.
CLICK HERE TO ORDER
book pic

The description is as follows:
After getting fired from her most recent dead-end job, 23 year old Silvia Greco is broke and forced to move home to her father’s house in southern New Jersey. But she can’t sit around and mope too long, as she is immediately drafted into helping her mother plan a party for her younger brother’s high school reunion.

Getting her feuding Italian-American family together will not be easy as they haven’t been altogether in over 6 years; some members are not speaking to other members; and the parents of this family are newly separated. Getting the gathering to be a peaceful one will also be challenging as most of their past gatherings have been strife-filled.

Frank, the patriarch, is a judge, a drunk, and a bad cook. The mother, Donna, is a neurotic intellectual. The eldest, Angie, married rich and devastated her father by moving away to north Jersey. Silvia’s older brother, Cosmo, is a brilliant and talented underachiever. Her younger brother, Vince, is a super ambitious do-gooder.

Then there is Silvia: Energetic, idealistic, and restless, striving to bring her family together in hopes of saving them from becoming families that her parents come from in which members despise each other. She is sure that if they can all be in the same room where they can look into each other’s eyes that they will remember that they do love each other.

But are her well-crafted plans and tireless efforts enough to get them to go to the party? Can she bring them together and save them all?

Have a great day!
Sandi
Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? There’s still time to make this mini quilt and even get ready early for St. Patick’s Day…

Full Hearts
CLICK HERE TO ORDER

Lucky
CLICK HERE TO ORDER

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