Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Quilting Without Obligation {the community}

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Welcome if you have made your way here from another link or blog!  I also happen to be guest posting today...

If you have been a reader here for awhile you have probably read my take on Quilting Without Obligation. In the year since I wrote the original series of course some things have changed... I have grown, you have grown, new trends have surfaced, and probably the most exciting change is that there are more new quilters in our crafty community!  But even with these changes the underlying theme remains the same for me.

I Quilt Without Obligation.

without obligation to a certain designer...

... fabric line...

... a trend ...

... the popular crowd ...

... a sponsor ...

... a label ...

My only obligation is to myself and the people that I love.  And when it comes to quilting, my only obligation is to the quilts I make and all the quilt-type things that make me happy.  Pretty simple.

There have been a lot of discussions around blogland as of late in regards to quilting, quilting trends and why we quilt.  Some have been very positive, some very interesting, while others have turned quite negative. 

As I watched one thread of comments turn more and more negative I found myself thinking:

 I wish there was a way to tell who the nice quilters are...  the quilters who are inclusive... who embrace new quilters... who quilt for themselves... who focus on the positives that our hobby offers... who aren't perfect and aren't afraid to show it... who are they?

I wish there was a quilting community effort to be more inclusive, encouraging, and positive!

I guess that might sound silly but what I'm really after are the quilters who do their own thing without obligation; for the art of quilting.  Now, "without obligation" will mean different things to different people.  I made my list above but I'm curious, what does your list look like??

Very similar to Rossie's Process Pledge, I thought it would be fun to make an individual statement if you are on board with quilting without obligation.  If you are in feel free to add your blog link below... it's super easy! Just click the blue "add your link" button and follow the instructions. :)

I would also love to hear your comments on what "without obligation" looks like in your own quilting life. 

And if you would like, you are welcome to grab the badge as positive statement and a personal reminder of who you are as a quilter.  You can find the badge over there on the right side of my blog... just copy and paste the code in the box on to your own blog.

I'm really excited to see where this community effort goes because even though we are all different, I hope that we can agree that quilting is not a contact sport...

If you have any questions about adding your link or the badge just comment or email me!





60 comments:

Caroline@ToffleCraft said...

I think this is a wonderful idea and when I read your post it gave me the confidence to experiment and try. Thank you and go you :)

Jessica said...

I think this is a great idea. I popped over from Ally's blog.
Sometimes it is hard not to get caught up in the debates that are going on and the hype that surrounds different products. This reminds us to take a step back and remember why we do what we do.

SewHappyGeek said...

I totally agree. Life can be quite hard so I reserve my little corner of the blogosphere for kindness and support. I don't really 'get' the animosity some seem to have for Quilters who use precuts, do modern quilts, etc. Doesn't matter what you use for fabric, cutting it up and sewing it together precisely is hard work! No one should ever attempt to belittle someone's quilting efforts. we are all in it together, right?

QuiltyGirl said...

We may have been reading the same parts of the internet. ;)
I also felt sad by all of the negativity...

I still struggle with quilting without obligation. But I'm working on it. And I love the thoughts that you provide. They motivate me!

Jennifer Rodriguez said...

Oh you betcha! I went into this community with that attitude, I will gladly pledge it.

I'd love to add that,
I quilt without obligation to one up my fellow quilter.
I quilt without obligation to history.
I quilt without obligation to the "right way"...

Jamie and Shane said...

Thank you SO MUCH...I actually added to the above conversations, and asked if anyone just used plain FABRIC to quilt anymore...(or, heaven forbid, old clothes!) It seems like EVERYBODY is so concentrated on the newest line, and I feel a little "removed" from the whole thing. I love your blog, and will GLADLY embrace this new idea of yours. Thanks for having the courage (yes, I do believe it took courage to "break away" from the "popular kids") to bring this up. I feel it will be a great bonding tool for many people who have felt somewhat alienated from this community.
Hugs from Arizona

Bec said...

Yay for Quilting because we LOVE quilting!! xx I'll for sure add your button my friend xx

Leanne Harvey said...

I just love to quilt. I teach and I love to share my passion to anyone who'll listen. People just need to be nice!! it's not that hard.
I quilt with obligation
xo

Amelia said...

Great post Jennifer!! I just left this comment on Cindy's blog and thought I might copy it here because it applies perfectly to you and your post too ....
"Quilting and creating and blogging about it makes me feel good and that's why I do it! People like yourself and others in the blogging community have been so kind to me have helped me feel comfortable to continue blogging. I read a post recently by another blogger on a similar but different topic and the comments from other bloggers really got me feeling that there was something wrong with what I like and how I quilt and made me feel bad for others that might have felt singled out. Since then I have been thinking a lot about it and have decided that I cannot let my self esteem be based on what other people think or like or dislike - I have to be true to myself ... buy fabric because I love it, use a particular pattern or quilt using a particular technique because I love it, blog frequently or infrequently as the case may be depending on time I have and how I am coping with life and if I have anything to blog about.
Sorry about the essay but thanks for this post!! I feel better already :)"

Here's to quilting without obligation!!

Vicky said...

Yay for quilting without obligation! When I quilt I'm all over the place in designer, fabric type, style, skill. It makes the creative process so much more fun and exciting when you don't have a box to stick to!

The Nifty Stitcher said...

Jennifer - I agree with your sentiments and I always quilt without obligation. I do it just because I love it - its a way of life!
I'd love to have your badge for my blog.Thanks.

Kiera said...

I'm so thankful for this. I've read some of the posts you mentioned. I'm so happy for a supportive community. As a beginner quilter, I need all the encouragement I can get. As women we should be there to support and lift up one another...not judge! Thanks for this!

karenfae said...

great post! I quilt to satisfy myself and hate it when the "quilt police" tell me I am not doing something "right"
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

Catherine said...

Thank you for this. I'm a new quilter and I just do it for fun. I can't afford a lot of 'designer' fabrics but quilt with what I can get my hands on, for those who I love. I was starting to feel like I was a 'bad' quilter. But I'm not. I quilt without obligation. Thank you! Catherine

Sel's Quilting Blog said...

I think the only obligation a quilter should be under is the obligation to enjoy what they're making, whether it's scraps, shirts, bedsheets, JoAnn's yardage, or the latest fashionable craze.

And possibly the obligation to the person receiving the quilt: that it be something they like.

Personally I'm one of those "contemptible so-called 'quilters'" who doesn't actually quilt her own quilts. For me, "not quilting" is my "quilting without obligation". I get my quilting done with a lady out of town who has a computerised long-arm machine that does the most gorgeous patterns that I could never replicate by hand or machine.

I'll grab a badge! :D
http://seldear.blogspot.com/

randi said...

i couldn't agree more!

lately i have felt like i have followed too many of the trends, and have left behind "me" in my quilting and sewing. "what do i want to sew" becomes "what would people like to see me sew" too easily! i am completely ready to get back to "me". making what i want, when i want, how i want. i really don't care what the "crowd" is doing!

also, i want to be more encouraging to other quilters. too many people feel like their creations aren't "worthy" of bees or swaps or even blog posts! i want people to know that it all counts and you never know when someone will be encouraged by what you made!

Stray Stitches said...

I totally agree! Thanks for stating it so well.

Deb said...

I don't have a blog but quilt without obligation. I quilt both easy and harder projects, and make them for those that I love. Doesn't really matter what others think, what's important is that I like to quilt.

Christie, Describe Happy said...

Great thoughts and I am smiling at the thought of being a proud quilting individual. For me quiliting without obligation is doing what feels right to me. If that means mixing vintage and trendy and batiks, then so be it. If it means making the same pattern for several gifts, then so be it. I am also going to stay true to projects that I want to do. No pressure or drama here and proud of it! Grabbing a badge!

Amber said...

Thanks for the great post! I'm going to quilt without an obligation to get something done in a certain amount of time. I don't have a designated sewing space, I use our dining room table. Which means it takes forever to make any progress, what with the constant getting out and putting up of supplies. And I'm okay with that. I'm still creating, at a manageable pace for me, and enjoying it in the process. So what if I only complete 2 quilts a year? At this stage in my children's life, I'm luck to get anything done! I refuse to feel bad about my lack of productivity any longer!

Deanna said...

Just started my journey as a quilter less than a year ago--and honestly didn't realize there was any other way to quilt! So,'without obligation' has been, is, and will always be how I quilt. = ) Thanks for the encouragement.

Elsa said...

I was having this discussion with my local fabric owner yesterday.
I love the art of quilting, the entire process and that is exactly what it is for me. A Process. Picking out the fabric, deciding what to do with it and getting started. I've used entire lines and other times I've mixed it all up. I love the quilters I sew with.
I'm grateful to those who came before me with their knowledge and those who will come after me with their fresh ideas and ways of doing things.

bloominworkshop said...

I agree. I don't understand why people get so worked up over a hobby. A hobby is supposed to be done because it's fun, because we enjoy it. I recently blogged about Soul Quilting, quilting for the pure joy of it.

Teresa said...

I ran across your blog through Stash Manicure and just love your post about quilting without obligation. We all are so unique in our tastes and abilities and should not be compared to others. We all need encouragement! To me, there is plenty of room in the quilting world for any kind of quilt and quilter. Thanks for promoting the positive!!!

Amanda said...

Amen!
Also, I linked to you, and quoted your list. You can see the post here;
http://mckeearts.blogspot.com/2011/04/i-quilt-without-obligation.html
But if you'd like me to take it off I will. And, I signed your list and added your button to my blog. I think this is a great idea. I don't like walking into an ambush...and sometimes it feels that way when some people talk about how they quilt. So, I'd like to know who the nice ones are. :)

Poppyprint said...

Here I am! I'm a nice quilter! I'm sorry that you have been unable to find an inclusive, supportive quilting community (from your previous posts I understand that your LQS is NOT the place you'd find it, sadly). In real life, everyone I know who quilts and is a part of my community is kind, generous and inclusive. The online scene is different - there is competition, desire for recognition and a lot of defensiveness.

Unfortunately, I think the blogging community forgets that there are hundreds of thousands of quilters out there that never read blogs, do their own thing and could care less about what's 'popular'. I inhabit both communities and my personal mandate in both is to encourage and share.

I'm not going to grab your button, but here's why; I don't feel the need to identify myself as someone who quilts without obligation because it wouldn't really be true for me to say that. I've created a small retreat business, I swap and I teach. Those are all obligations I choose because I thoroughly enjoy, and am greatly inspired by, them!

I get where you're coming from and I hope you find your happy place (and people) Jennifer!

Jen said...

Great post! I feel I quilt without obligation, but then think again and maybe I quilt with obligation too. I make lots of quilts for others. Matter of fact, out of all that I've made I only have one for me, one for my husband and one for my youngest. So with that being said, I'm constantly quilting for others. Not to sell, but to "give". So I find myself falling under deadlines and I sort of hate that, but then again, I need those deadlines...it forces me to sit at my machine and sew.If I have nothing that "has" to be sewn by a certain date, I find myself never sewing b/c life gets in the way. So though I feel I quilt w/out obligation, a little obligation helps me too! Speaking of which...I have about 4 baby quilts and a fundraiser quilt that are all due in about 4 weeks! Yikes!! I only have the top done for ONE!!! Guess it's time to get to that machine!!

Shannon said...

I love this idea. I went to the "negative" post about bumb quilting, I did not read very much before I quit reading and moved on. I have not been quilting long but I want this to be a positive thing for me. I LOVE IT!! I will not make this a competition nor will I make anyone feel bad for their choices. If you love what you are doing then that is all that matters so long as what you are doing does not hurt anyone. It is sad that people would need to make others feel bad. I am putting your badge on my blog. I quilt because I can and I want to, enough said!! Thank you!

ktquilts said...

Yay team!!! I like it best when other peole are not limited by my bias!
I just don't subscribe to negativity. The nice thing about using a reader, is that I can unsubscribe when I need to. And we all should when we feel it is needed. I hope that I encourage those who read what I blog over. Still a little amazed (and humbled) that other people care what I am sewing!

Heather A said...

I've probably always been the type of person to not get caught up in what, to me, are sill debates but now, not only am I not caught up in it, I shake my head sadly over it. What a waste of time to be talking about the "dumbing down" of quilting and who is doing it right and who is doing it wrong.

Most of us have good reason to know that in the big picture of life why not let people just do what gives them pleasure if it's not hurting anyone else. Be happy, for God's sake, and let other people be happy, too. Delight in and be inspired by "different".

Of course I have my personal favourites in terms of blogs, fabric lines, colours, designs, etc. but that doesn't mean I don't fully appreciate everything from wonky to precision, traditional to modern, simple to complex, amateur to expert, patterns to originals, Heather Ross to American Jane, and ALL the colours of the rainbow in their varied combinations. I find it all fascinating and worth rallying behind.

Jennifer, your blog is a gift and I appreciate it for that. I have no expectations of you and am just happy that you do what you do and share it with the many who are happy to follow along.

I, too, blog for myself and for those who love me and if anyone else cares to follow along or find some useful information on my blog, I love that. But my blog is my gift to myself (because pharmaceuticals have messed with my memory).

Quilts have a humble beginnings type of history and I don't think we should forget that. And some of those historical quilts are amazing in their amateur, wonky, functional beauty. It's an insult to all quilters to even consider "dumbing down" as a topic for discussion.

suemac said...

I read your original post. I agree. I quilt for family and friends. I am fairly new to quilting and my quilts are not perfect. My family doesn't care. They are happy that I made something just for them. In fact, I have not finished the quilt for my middle son and he is bugging me because he really wants to get it on his bed to cuddle under.

piece peace said...

Awesome! I am all in. I am proudly displaying the Quilting without Obligation button on my blog and have a blog entry regarding it. You rock!

Laura said...

I'll be sure to add your button too. I'm a new quilter - only a year - but from the start I've shunned the idea of "quilt police," LOL! I do things my way and hope it's not always the most difficult way! I learn what I can from QWEs but am not obligated to one fabric line, label, competition, group, etc.

Briawna said...

I'll be honest, sometimes I struggle to quilt to sell on my etsy shop and quilt what I love. I only buy fabrics I love, but the patterns I use are sometimes what i think will sell and not the ones I love to make. I'm working on creating the balance because I think the quilts I sell should be the ones I love, right?! Thanks for helping me find the balance.

One thing I can say about "the right way", I am a fabric snob. This is not because I think I have to be a brand name supporter, but rather because I think if you're going to spend the time and money to make a quilt, it should last and not bleed or fade after the first wash. But I love all quality fabrics equally. :-) But I don't think there's a right way to quilt. Just my two cents worth.

Anonymous said...

I love it!!! I'm just a blog reader, and a no reply reader at that. Your badge is my new seal of approval for all bloggers with a conscience. Here's to helping all quilters stay focused on the joy a quilt can bring, from pulling a treasure from the stash to watching someone cuddle it for the first time!

Rose said...

I have discovered that it is far easier to quilt in my own home, whenever I please, using whatever pattern I want, than it is to go to classes, quild meetings, etc. Everyone has become so competitive, judgemental and opinionated that I am enjoying my own company more and more.

audreypawdrey said...

I love the idea of building up a positive and supporting community of quilters, and I also want to quilt without obligation-unless they are obligations I have chosen like for swaps or gifts. I don't want to make a specific pattern because it is cool but because I love it. Thanks for reminding me that others feel the same way.

LindaSchiffer said...

You said it better than I could! Thanks ... and thanks for the button for my blog.

:) Linda

Venus de Hilo said...

Wonderful! I've grabbed the badge code and will post up on my blog tonight (I'm stealing time from "work" mode to comment here), although I wouldn't say I quilt entirely "without obligation."

I embrace the obligation do my own thing, in my own way, and to respect others who do the same. My blog is where I share my creative process and product, and I feel an obligation there to do more than just show off a finished piece. By explaining why and how I have done things a certain way, where I've ignored the pattern or "rules" and where I've used traditional guidelines or techniques, I hope to encourage others to stretch their creative wings as well.

Eva said...

I'm more of a garment maker, but I think for me the important distinction is, there are a lot of ways to do everything and none of them are wrong. Some of them might be more historically accurate, some of them might be easier to do or easier to teach, some of them might take less fabric or time, some might take different equipment. I would never tell someone I was helping with a project that what they were doing or what they wanted to make was wrong.

In my mind 'no obligations' doesn't mean that you have no goals. It means that your goals come from your heart and reflect only the things you love and want to create. You should only be constrained where you want to be constrained and you should never be afraid.

Live a Colorful Life said...

Wow, Jennifer. Thank you so much for adding a link to my post of yesterday. I'm completely honored. Your guest post for Randi was awesome today. Let's each pledge to do what is right for US and then turn around and be kind to other creators (not just quilters) who are doing what is right for THEM. I have made amazing friends through this blogging community, and count you as one of those amazing friends. You have been a help and encouragement to me on many occasions. Thank you for your friendship and inspiration!

Amber said...

Amen, sister! All the negativity has really been bumming me out and making me self conscious. Like being judged by the older cool kids in school. And really, isn't it like the equivalent to telling a child their artwork sucks because they didn't color inside the lines, or used markers in the crayon coloring book or painted a tree pink? We need to encourage everyone to express their creativity and keep trying! Anyone who wants to quilt should quilt because it's an awesome hobby, and I'm so glad I finally found a passion for something!

Kelsey said...

For me, quilting without obligation means I work on what makes me happy, regardless of if anyone else likes it. It's all too easy to start thinking about your project in terms of how well they will show on your blog, if it's on par with current trends and thus will help draw traffic, etc, but that can lead to you losing your own creative voice, and creates a lot of stress.

It's supposed to be FUN. :)

Rachel said...

I agree, sometimes people take hobbies waaay too seriously. I am involved in quite a few hobbies and there are always some people who just think of it as a life or death situation. I quilt without obligation, I have 25 unfinished quilts and 5 finished ones, I have never bought one whole line of fabric, and I rarely use a pattern. But I would finish quilts, and I would buy a whole line of fabric, and I would use a pattern. It just depends on what strikes me. Don't try to boss me around because I will probably just do the opposite of what you say anyway. :)

For the record, I also blog without obligation. Sometimes I go on hiatus for months at a time, but when I come back I never apologize for being gone. My blog is my blog, and I love it, but it's not my life.

Cheers!
Rachel
http://www.DewberryLane.com

PS. Your goodies on on their way!! I included a little extra something as a thank you, I hope you enjoy. :)

MariƩ said...

I have been quilting for 30 years and found great friends and wonderful people within the quilting community. It is a pity that some quilters make new quilters feel unwelcome. I am sorry for that and offer my apologies. People tend to get set in their ways. New quilters bring a lot of positives to the quilting world. Your enthusiasm, fresh look at things and innovative spirit really let us oldies look with new eyes at our wonderful craft. I think the reason some people get so up tight is that quilting is not merely a hobby. For some of us it is our LIFE. Please do not become cross with us and leave quilting, in the long run you can teach us so much!(Sorry for my incorrect link- it is because I am from a previous generation that I made the mistake with mu URL)

emedoodle said...

Awesome! :) I quilt without obligation. I blog without obligation, and I'm planning on starting an etsy store without obligation. I figure if I enjoy it then I'll do it. If not... lol.

Suzanne said...

Quilting because you love to - nothing wrong with that!

eamylove said...

At this time, I'm blogless, so I can't link with you, except in spirit! Amen, sister!

Rachel said...

Fabulous post! I've added my link to the list and will be putting the button on my blog too.

Angie said...

Thank you for this!! I love the idea of getting back to the positive. So many of the posts I've seen have been negative, even when the intention is to be positive. (Does that even make sense?) I think bickering back and forth is never good. This, however, is fabulous. I've linked and will be grabbing the button, too.

Oh, and my obligation? To the person I'm making the quilt for. That's it. I want them to love it and, in it, see my love for them. :)

Hands Sew Full said...

Yay! I finally figured out how to make the button get onto my blog! I am trilled to post this because I have been very moved by all the negative "chat" lately on quilting. It makes me sad to think that quilters have "clicks" just like grade school! The "haves" and the "have not's" almost. Your quilting story makes me cry every time I read it. I don't know that I could do what you did but I am so blessed just to have heard the story so that it may cause me to THINK about what I choose to do. I quilt with NO obligations: to fabric lines, designers or the shop it was bought in, to groups or guilds. I am free to choose a "Dumb" pattern or a "brilliant" one....either will keep a homeless person warm at night or warm the heart of someone feeling alone or hurt. I quilt because I LOVE. It is a means of expression for me and I like it that way. Thanks.

Nadine said...

Wonderful ! I have been waiting for so long for such an initiative, and you've really put the words on my feelings. THANKS Jennifer!
I've grabbed the button,
put it on my blog,
will post about it,
and I subscribed to your blog
... well actually I think I took the whole package, HeeHee ;>)

Waving from my little corner of the world,
XOXOXOXOXO
NADINE

H2Ogirl said...

<3

Sunnybec said...

Hello, I have just found your blog and read with interest your post. I am fairly new to quilting I only started last August so "still finding my feet" I love the quilting community and was a little bit shocked when I started reading the negative posts. I quilt as and when I can, I post as and when I can, I do have a life to lead and if that doesn't include quilting so be it. Quilting is my hobby, I will never win any awards, but that is okay by me - I am a late starter so will never make a career out of it. Reading your post was lovely. I have your button on my blog now www.linda-living-the-dream.blogspot.com. I have also become a follower.

Lois said...

I have enjoyed your blog and your sharing. I have thought a lot about views posted. When I first began quilting it was a hobby and creative expression and was rewarded by appreciation as it was 1976 when it was just coming on as hobby and rotary cutter came on scene around that time. It was state and local fairs and small quilt shows that allowed quilters to share their talent outside of family or those who recieved a quilt. Now it has evolved into a big money business. It has also birthed professional quilters and professional quilting machines and just look at the sewing machines. Rewards and acknowledgments are prizes of $10,000. Magazines for quilters are in abundance. I think all this gives a person cause to feel if you are not in professional status you are not a "quilter". Not so! I think blogs have been wonderful for quilters to laugh and learn and share. Someone wanted to know how to tie a quilt and I could post the process that was quick and easy. How cool is that? Blogs allow us to come into each others homes and share our work and dreams and I love it. New quilters bring fun, excitement, eagerness and new ideas. This is benefit to all. I am not professional like the majority of people I love quilting and learn from mistakes and love sharing new ideas and sharing in what people are doing and how they are growing. My quilts are for use and warmth and love and sometimes for decorating my home. I have never been a trend follower so my quilting without obligation has been my way since I began quilting. Love to all. Lois

Erica said...

I love quilting without obligation! I very rarely use patterns and if I do I usually alter it some way. I let the fabric guide me to what to do with it instead of buying fabric for a pattern. I have had people tell me my fabric choices won't work together. Then when they see the finished quilt they love it. :-)

Karen said...

I have been a quilter since 2000.
Happily I enjoy making quilts. I make the quilts I want to make. I do not feel the need to have my quilts judged. I do not need a ribbon to enjoy what I do. I enjoy looking what others sew no matter the item. Its all fun. I like trying new projects, ideas, suggestions. That is what keeps it fun. Isnt that what its about, friends, creating, and giving.

Kate said...

Thanks to you I've just discovered that I'm a "quilter without obligation"....
It's nice to know that my quilting, sewing, and stitching just for the pleasure of it is ok and that many others do the same.
Cheers, Kathy

Jacinta said...

I stumbled upon your blog while sitting on the couch feeling poorly with a cold and it lifted my spirit so much. I have been sewing since I was 6 years old. I think it is in my blood as my Mum quilts and both my Nannas quilt/sewed. I have copped a lot of flack from friends and work colleagues for sewing/quilting because it hasn't always been cool but I have always risen above it because it truly makes me heart sing. I love the designer fabrics but cannot always afford them and in the end who cares if it is designer or not. Once it is cut into little pieces you can hardly tell. If it is made with love then that is all that matters. I quilt without obligation because it is in my heart and it makes me happy. Thank you for bringing this to the forefront so that people know and acknowledge that it is okay to quilt for no other reason than it makes your heart sing.

Library Gal Quilts said...

I have to say, I was googling information for the Pfaff 4.0 and found your blog. Then I was curious about your side button QWO. I so wholeheartedly agree with the ideas you present. It even goes further in my nearby quilting community. We have had a giant blow up between quilt stores. People taking sides, people swearing never to go to this store or that store and lots and lots of bad vibes. It is just the saddest and most infuriating thing. I happen to be very well acquainted with both shop owners who are at odds. It is just doing one thing to me...keeping me from being a "free quilter" as in free to do what the heck I want when I want. I so love quilting. I love to collect fabrics that I love and I acknowledge the economic problems that are going on in the quilting storefronts these days. A yard bought someplace else, means the bottom line at the other store is down. I recently joined a group that seems unconcerned with all this drama and shop where they want and talk openly about sales, ideas, and other things that you can't mention around the groups at the two stores. It is quite refreshing. I will add your button to my blog and that's enuf said! thanks!

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