Monday, January 31, 2011

Rudy's Determination

One of my favorite movies is Rudy. The movie is based on the true story of a young man who is determined to not only go to Notre Dame and gain a college education, but is also determined to play football for Notre Dame. Everything that could be against him, is, but he overcomes every obstacle and is triumphant. If you've never seen the movie, rent it, on second thought, buy it. It's a movie that is worth seeing over and over.
I just returned from a ski trip to Colorado. We had a wonderful time. The snow was great, a little too much at times. There were a number of avalanches. Sadly a young man was killed while doing some back country snowboarding. He was found, with his dog by his side.
I had every intention of posting my weekly feature, Rectangles, Squares, and Circles. I took everything with me, had my husband take the photos one morning and yet when I got back in the evening, I was just too tired. At this point, you are probably wondering where the reference to Rudy comes in as I obviously didn't have his determination with my posts. I will make up for my laziness this week and catch up on those posts.
While I was in Colorado, I noticed on Facebook that BurdaStyle was sponsoring a contest, Are You The Next Sewing Star? What you were to do is download a pattern for the Charlie Bag, make the bag and do a 3 minute video of yourself. The winner gets to do a spot on the new television program, It's Sew Easy. I thought the contest sounded like a lot of fun, but I was in Colorado with only a laptop. Then I saw a commercial for the movie Rudy along with a clip. As I thought about it, I knew that Rudy wouldn't let any obstacle get in his way. So now, how could I make this happen? I didn't know anyone with a printer, but by asking questions, I found out that there is a library in Fraser, CO, lovely I might add, and you can use their computer and printer. The copies were only 10 cents each. Great. So the first hurdle I was able to cross. But now I needed a sewing machine. I could go to Denver, but I couldn't get down the mountain. The locals were saying that they had never seen it as bad as it was. At one point, Berthoud Pass was closed for two days, and even once the pass was cleared, it wasn't a good idea to venture into Denver because no one knew when the next avalanche would happen. Then I remembered that there is a small fabric shop in Grandy which is about 20 miles from Fraser. So off I went. There I met Lorene Linke. Such an interesting woman. She owns The Fabric Nook and has for about the last 35 years. She also taught Home Economics at the high school in Granby. She and her husband own a ranch about 20 miles out of town and with all of this, she was able to raise 7 children. An incredible woman, to say the least. I told her what I wanted to do, and before I was able to get my entire story out of my mouth, she said yes. Another obstacle overcome. Now I was getting excited, but I still needed to make the video. It just so happened that a friend who lives in Fraser for the winter season had received a video camera for Christmas and just happened to have it with her. Wow!! She was very excited about helping me. By now the time was growing short. The deadline was on Monday, the 24th, I only had Saturday to get this done. On Saturday morning, as luck would have it, we were having another snow storm, but I was determined. Off I went to pick up my friend and managed to get stuck going up the hill to her house. Once we got the car out and were loaded up, we were off. As we were driving down highway 40, the winds were howling, snow was blowing, at one point we could only see the hood of the car. My friend asked if I was comfortable driving in this weather? I told her that we were in it now whether I was comfortable or not. We made it to Granby and had such a lovely morning. I ended up making three bags. They take all of about 10 minutes to make.
Lorene's shop is such a delight. Not only is it her fabric store, it's her studio. On the back wall of the shop she has flannel boards where she works out her quilt designs. She has 26 grandchildren and is in the process of making a quilt for each child. I asked if she would adopt me.
At this point you would think that I would have accomplished the task, but no. Now I had to put my submission together. I had to download my video to YouTube. I needed a high resolution picture of myself and a resume. Thankfully, I had a picture of myself on my camera that Threads Magazine had used. I don't know if it's a high resolution photo, but I thought that if it was good enough for Threads, it should be good enough for Burda Style. Finally, I had everything together. As I read about how to submit everything, it said, email submissions[at]BurdaStyle[dot] com. I understood that a portion of the address should be @BurdaStyle.com, but I needed more than that. I tried everything I could think of, and every time the email would bounce back to me. I couldn't believe it, I had managed to overcome every obstacle and here I was at the very end and I couldn't send it out. I decided to wait for my husband to come back, I had looked at this for far too long and was too upset to even think any longer. After a few tries, my husband suggested that we try submissions@BurdaStyle.com. It worked. I was so happy. I can't even explain how happy I was. We went out that evening for a glass of wine and some dinner. No one carried me off the football field on their shoulders, but I was so proud. I stuck with it and did it, against everything. Now who knows whether or not I'll win, but at this point I feel that I won. I have not watched the video. You are welcome to view it if you like. The link is www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmzCKAeGYhY.
Once it was all over, thoughts began to creep in that I will not even repeat here as I would rather not give them any power. Then I remembered an audition I did when I was 14 years old for the DuPage Youth Symphony. I left the audition thinking that I had completely bombed. A few weeks later a letter arrived, not only did I make it, I had won first chair. Incredible. This picture is from the highest point on the Winter Park mountain. It's called Panoramic, and that 's just what it is. You really feel that you are on top of the world. A nice reminder to never give up. There's so much more than what is just in front of you.
If you would like to get the free Charlie bag pattern, go to http://www.burdastyle.com/, become a member. Once you have logged on, go to the blog and then click on competitions. Click on "Are You The Next Sewing Star." From there click on the script and then you should be able to find the pattern.
This is one of the 3 bags that I made. I gave one to Lorene and the other to my video friend.
They fold up into this neat little pocket. Once it's unfolded, it's great for your purchases. Great to take on vacation for those extra purchases. They also make great thank you gifts and a nice little hostess gift as well. As I said before, they take no time at all to make, so you can make up a dozen or so and have them on hand anytime you need a little gift.
I think I am going to rename the bag The Rudy Bag!! Enjoy.

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