Guess where I just returned from? I'll give you a hint:
It's the home of the Chrysler Building, which you see in the photo to the right. It's also the home of the Empire State Building, which I (along with hundreds of other tourists) was standing atop to take these pictures.
Although it's not the tallest building in the world anymore, the Empire State Building is still plenty high.
And the view, as you can see, is spectacular. It just boggles my mind how many people live and work in New York City. Nothing but concrete and glass, as far as the eye can see. Quite impressive, but my farmgirl heart was longing for expanses of grass, forests, and fresh air as I jostled my way through the crowds of people in the tower and on the streets below.
I can tell you right now, I would never, E-V-E-R attempt to drive in NYC. I would seriously, undoubtedly have heart failure or, at bare minimum, a major panic attack. Especially when (not if) I accidentally hit a crazy pedestrian who would aggressively dart out in front of the vehicle like I saw so many times during my short visit. I'm amazed more people don't get killed crossing the streets, the way the taxi drivers speed through intersections and the hoards of people spill out into the road even when they're not supposed to. CRAZY!
But I didn't go to NYC just to take in the view or analyze tougher-than-nails taxi drivers and nerves-of-steel pedestrians.
I went there to officially become a textile designer under the Benartex label. Yep, my efforts these past 3 or 4 years to design fabric and become acquainted with the wonderful world of quilting have finally culminated in a contract, and I'm so thrilled!
It was great to meet the Benartex team, and they were so good to work with - this is going to be a very fun and rewarding experience for me, and hopefully for them too! Benartex is launching a new branch of their company, one that will cater to the younger, more contemporary look, and I'm proud to be a part of it. I got to see some of the other new designer's works already in production process, and it's really great stuff - so be on the lookout! Although the more traditional quilting fabric will always be the staple of Benartex, it's exciting to see them offering more contemporary designs to meet the needs of "younger" tastes as well.
I wish I could show you my first line, but I have to keep it under wraps until it gets much closer to Spring Market timeframe. My fingertips are fidgeting to post some pics, but I must restrain myself.
This first line is actually a complete departure from what I had been working on for the past year, ironically enough. After slavishly learning Illustrator and creating a complete line to present to companies at the last Spring Market, at the last minute I also included some examples of my monotype collages in my portfolio and that's what garnered the most interest. So that's what we're going to pursue first, and if all goes well it's going to be GREAT! If I do say so myself. :-) Here's hoping you all think so too!
So here are more pics of the interior of the ESB (because I didn't think to take a single picture of the Benartex office or people, silly me). I'm not sure of the relevance of these plaques (they say Heating, Masonry, and something else that I forgot and can't read) but I'm sure they have a story. The building was gorgeously appointed in the Art Deco style, with sleek marble and shiny metal everywhere. Very fun to visit.
Look! A mannequin parade! Only in NYC. These lovely ladies are "strolling" down the middle of the street. See? I told you the pedestrians are crazy here. :-)
When my meetings with the terrific people at Benartex were done, I hopped on the bus and bid adieu to New York, but we will meet again - and next time, hopefully I'll get to go to the Met, Central Park, and see the musical Wicked. I really, really want to see/hear that show. I was in a hurry to get home because 1) it's not too much fun to be a tourist solo, and 2) Steve had been holding down the fort with our 3 loud and rambunctious kiddos all by himself for 2 days straight and he was at the end of his rope. Fortunately that rope had not harmed anyone under the age of 9, but I didn't want to press my luck (wink).
Before I left, I jokingly warned Steve that he would probably be worshipping the ground I walked on by the time I returned, and I was right: one of the first things out of his mouth was, "Honey, I worship the ground you walk on"...followed by something like "my threshold is 0.5 child. I'm a half-child dad...and I'm ready to go back to the office. Right now. Even if it's 9:00 at night." Suddenly that dreaded office job is a lot more attractive...funny how that works. Not that I would want to trade places with him for a minute - I missed my noisy munchkins immensely, and even though their loud shenanigans drive me crazy, I wouldn't have it any other way. Besides, I can't stand office work... or any type of 9 to 5 job, as a matter of fact. And I'm very grateful to Steve for being willing to take some days off work to care for our children while I went to NY.
It's a healthy thing to be able to escape SAHM life once in awhile - I was able to regain a bit of sanity with so many quiet hours to myself, Steve was able to experience life as a stay-at-home parent for a couple of days (he appreciates what I do all day, every day, much more now), and now that I'm back I can appreciate being at home with my li'l darlings a lot more. A win-win situation all the way around - at least from my perspective! Steve might not quite agree...but he's been a great sport.
This parting shot of NYC was taken from the bus, after we had driven through a very long tunnel which took us under the water and into New Jersey. Farewell, New York, it was fun! And now it's time to go fall asleep to the sound of chirping crickets and cicadas instead of honking taxis. Aahh, it's good to be home.