Archive for July, 2013

Website Gets Face Lift

This way to my "new" website! has been updated and re-designed! I’m very excited for you to see it.

Since it’s always hard to proof your own work, I need YOUR eyes. Here’s the deal. I’ll give you $1.00 store credit on orders this month for every error you find first. Click around and tell me if I’ve got typos, spellos, parts of pages that just look strange, glaring errors, or links that don’t go where they should.

Here are the rules:

  • Report errors in a comment to this blog post only. (Click the word comment to comment).
  • Be the first one to report it. (Read previous comments first.)
  • Tell me how to find the error. The web page has a nifty thing at the top of every page that tells you where you are in the site, or just copy and paste the URL (  ) in your browser window in your comment.
  • Errors in grammatical style don’t count and neither do the pages in the Gallery section showing student/reader quilts and projects or “Amy & Jack in Kazakhstan,” or anything in the blog.
  • You’ve got until Friday midnight to find the errors. After that you’re just being nice.
  • I am the final judge as to what is an actual error and what is a cute Ami-ism.

I’ll moderate the comments as fast as I can, as I pack for 4 guilds in Houston next week, help the AAQI volunteers upstairs, and try to make sure Steve doesn’t throw away any good stuff during his garage/backyard clean-up.

Not into proofreading? How about a 15% discount on purchases that total more than $35 in the new STORE? Discounted/clearance items don’t count, nor does my hand-dyed clothesline. Use the coupon code FACELIFT (not case sensitive) until the end of July. Yes, you can combine “typo money” with the discount. I’ll revise the invoice when I process your order.

Thank you for your help! Suggestions are always welcome. Put those in the comment section too!

Thank you for your help! Your eagle eyes found a bunch of errors for me and I am grateful. I will tally the “finder’s fees” and email the proofreaders so they can go shopping.

July 11, 2013 at 11:41 am 225 comments

Rocks, Podcasts, and a Facelift

On the way home from Ann Arbor where our daughter lives, we pass a small open area just after an overpass and before the train station. It’s on the right hand side of the road. There’s really nothing there except some busted up concrete and a bench. It may not even be a real bench, just something you could sit on.

Instead of sitting there, somebody started stacking pieces of concrete. When I first saw it, I kind of noticed it and kind of not. Things flit in and out of my head so fast I hardly notice. The first time we drove by there were only one or two pieces on top of each other. On the way home the next time a few more. “Odd” registered on my radar, and that’s about all.

When I taught for the Thimble & Thread Quilt Guild in St. Louis, MO last month, Program Chair Cindy Neville shared a favorite website of hers called

GravityGlue photo

The website, along with a blog and FaceBook fan page belong to Michael Grab and the art of stone balancing. Click the ABOUT section of the web page and watch the video. It’s a slow start, but the sound of the rushing water is very pleasant. Read about how and why he does this and then scroll back up to the video to see how the stack of rocks is progressing. The photography of Micheal’s “installations” are amazing, powerful and serene all at the same time. (Yeah, I’m hooked.)

As soon as I saw the image of the rock piles in Ann Arbor popped into my head. Click!

A2 Gravity Glue?

Tell me if you don’t think these are somehow related. I think there is someone in Ann Arbor who is Gravity Gluing! Am I right?

So what? I love these little gems of fellowship. Imagine you’re out in the real world, not at a quilt show or anything. You look up and you see someone wearing a patchwork vest or carrying a quilted tote bag. Doesn’t your heart beat a little faster? You may not know them from Adam, but you’re kindred spirits just the same. There’s a thread (literally, sometimes) of common interest and shared experience that draws us to one another. We are social animals after all. You may not run right up the the person and ask, “Do you quilt?!” but you might, depending on how many non-quilting family members are around to roll their eyes at you.

Now I’m hoping I see somebody stacking concrete chunks the next time we drive home from Ann Arbor. I’m going to roll down the window, wave, and shout “NICE ROCKS!”

I rarely remember to listen to this National Public Radio news quiz when it airs on Saturday morning, but I download the podcast every week. It’s my favorite. If you’ve never had the pleasure, take a listen for yourself. This was the show that aired on June 22 I think. It was particularly entertaining.

I usually listen to the podcasts in bed with ear buds. This is both good and bad. Either I laugh out loud or fall asleep. I’m just hoping that I don’t laugh in my sleep as that would be very odd. And no, I’ve never turned over and strangled myself with the cord from the ear buds, nor have I had any trouble sleeping with them in my ears.

I have had trouble listening to podcasts while sewing . I just stop sewing and sit there, entranced.

I’ve been wanting to update for almost two years. The editor is so old it is no longer supported. Tech support just laughs when I call. Well, I just took the plunge, somewhat accidentally. Very Helpful Dan walked me through it and before I realized what I had done, I was upgraded. No turning back now. Sink or swim.

Tweaking it has taken days. I’m not ready for the “reveal” just yet, but in a few days I’ll be asking you to head on over with a red pen to the NEW version and help me find all the busted links, misspellings, and other embarrassments. If you can’t ask your friends, who can you ask?

Meanwhile, in the comment section below, please share whatever you hated about the OLD site (above), still up and running until I finish the re-design. That way I can make it disappear with the update. Or, tell me what you liked so I won’t get rid of it.

One of the things I want to add to my newly designed website are links for “social media.” So here’s today’s poll. If I missed one, please write it in a comment below.

Thanks for reading, voting, and commenting!

Have a great weekend,

Ami Simms

PS: Here’s the photo Uncle Bud sent of the New Mexico landscape in 1958.


July 5, 2013 at 11:57 am 85 comments

Ami Simms

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