Wednesday, February 26, 2014

ARTCRANK's Best Bike Stories of 2013

In mid-January I saw a tweet saying, "Wanted: Your Best Bike Story From 2013." Intrigued, I did a little looking around and discovered that the bike-art poster show company, ARTCRANK, was gathering bike stories for their end of year best bike stories lineup. The requirements were simple, "Write ±100 words about your best bike story from the past year." That seems easy enough, I thought. But then I noticed the deadline was less than a week away. I must have been in a "can't do it" mode because I almost immediately told myself I didn't have many super rides in 2013 and didn't have time to write a story in the few days before the deadline anyway.

But the best bike story idea stuck with me and I mentioned it to my writer friend Leslie (check out her Winona Media blog ) over coffee one morning.  Leslie basically told me I needed to write something and submit it. I told her I had no clue of what to write. She suggested I look at my blog posts from 2013 to see if I could use one as a starting point.

Hmmm, I thought. I could at least check out my past blog posts and see if there was anything I could work with. I left my coffee meeting that morning with a promise to Leslie that I would submit a story to ARTCRANK.

So I looked through my 2013 bicycling blog posts and found one titled "Funnest Bike Ride Ever!" Oh yes! That was a great ride! I thought. The blog entry was long, though, at about 1,400 words but I got into an "I can do it" mode and got to work to make the story much, much shorter and suitable for ARTCRANK.
As a writer, I found it an interesting exercise to take a long blog entry and rework it for a non-blog market AND cut it down to something much shorter. It was hard work but in the end I was happy with my story and submitted it to ARTCRANK by the deadline. They published my story and a bunch of others at: http://artcrank.com/features/best-bike-stories-2013

I've read all of the stories and enjoyed them all. I have a few favorites, like the story by Brianna Prahl and her 4 year old daughter's first bike race, but I think they are well worth reading so please check them out! Mine is near the end of the lineup of stories. Or, you can just look below the picture of me riding my Salsa Beargrease fatbike, Bear, and read my story right here!

If you are interested in comparing my ARTCRANK version of my best bike ride story with the original, click here to read the original post.
Best Bike Story of 2013 by Myrna CG Mibus - as published on ARTCRANK
Seldom would a ride with mosquitos, mud and a flat tire be considered a best ride. Yet, a laughter-filled trail ride last June was just that.
From a guy who just bought a mountain bike to one who raced the Tour Divide, a spread of riders took off for the trails from our gathering point at Milltown Cycles in Faribault, MN that night. We soon hit single track more challenging than any I’d ever ridden. Early on a steep uphill stopped me in my tracks. One rider, too close, decided to pass and rode ahead.
Talking, riding, laughing, we twisted through the woods on single and double track. Had I known the ride would be so challenging I would have stayed home. But at the back of the pack we had a blast, and I forgot to be scared.
At a stop to regroup I noticed a hiss. A flat. Dozens of mosquitos slapped, lots of help changing my tire and we were riding again.
As we neared the end of our ride, I realized that with all of the challenges, this ride could have been one of my worst. Yet, because of the laughter and fun people, it was my best.
Almost back, mud puddles begged me to ride through them. Smiling at the prospect of finishing off the ride in mud-splattered style, I obliged.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

And we have a Finding Harmony Winner!

And now for the moment you have all been waiting for - the winner of the Finding Harmony book giveaway is Sheri Strachan. Congratuations Sheri - Pamela Fagen Hutchins, author of Finding Harmony is going to send a signed copy of the book directly to you!
Sheri will get her own copy of Finding Harmony in the mail soon!
I love how things work out as though they are meant to be and when I discovered that Sheri won the book I was pretty excited. Why? Well, hang on and I'll explain...

When I drew Sheri's name as the winner of Finding Harmony, I could tell from Sheri's blog that she lived in a town near me here in Minnesota. But, because Sheri's name is Sheri and her blog is called Sandi's Entertainment (more on this below) I couldn't figure out who Sheri was exactly. When I contacted Sheri to tell her that she won the copy of Finding Harmony, she wrote back and said that we'd met before. I remembered meeting her right away! We met through Sheri's husband, David, who introduced us when we were all at local bike shop some months ago. Sheri and I talked a bit and decided we should go on a bike ride sometime (we still have to make that happen!). Little did I know at that time that Sheri had a blog and would happen to find mine as well and enter my book giveaway contest!

Okay, so why did I get excited and say that Sheri winning the book was meant to be? Well, first I think it's cool that Sheri happened upon my blog. Then, you may recall that I mentioned in my post about Finding Harmony that I met Pamela through bicycling. I wouldn't have even known about Pamela and her books if it wasn't for bicycling - and I wouldn't have met Sheri if it wasn't for bicycling - and Sheri wouldn't have won the copy of Finding Harmony if it wasn't for bicycling - and I just think that bicycling connection is kinda cool!

Back to talking about Sheri's blog - Sandi's Entertainment. I'm so glad I found Sheri's blog! The full name of her blog is "Sandi's Entertainment: Random thoughts about stuff to amuse my sister." Sheri wrote that she started the blog because "My sister wants me to write a blog so she has something to amuse her on a regular basis. So I thought I'd try." The blog posts cover topics from recipes to make to lefse making to sweater knitting to good books to read - and more! Sheri has a good sense of humor that comes through in her blog posts. I'm quite certain she has managed to entertain her sister through her blog - and I'm certain she will entertain you, too, if you read it. Check out Sandi's Entertainment for yourself and see!

Click on this image to visit Sandi's Entertainment

Thanks to all of you who entered the drawing for the Finding Harmony book giveaway! I've never done a giveaway on my blog before and found it quite fun to see where all of the entries came from. I also had fun checking out many new blogs! 

Still wishing for a copy of Finding Harmony or one of Pamela's other books? Visit Pamela's Amazon Author Page or her website at http://pamelahutchins.com





Monday, February 3, 2014

Field of Flower Quilt Progress

I'm having a busy week but managed to spend some more time working on the Field of Flowers quilt last night.

I plan to finish fusing the flowers onto the background on Tuesday because I have an appointment to get the quilt to Anne Tuma of Down Under Quilting on Wednesday morning. Once I drop it off to Anne, she will quilt the flowers to the background with her wonderful long arm quilting machine.

In my Field of Flowers on a Cold Day post, I was pretty much just in the thinking stage of this project. I had a pile of fabric and a bunch of flower petals to trace on fusible backing and an idea of what I wanted the finished project to look like.
This is what I started with - fabrics and petals to trace on fusible webbing
After I moved beyond the thinking stage, I traced the petals onto fusible, ironed them to various fabrics then cut them out so that I had a pile of petals and circles with which to create flowers.

Then I started the process of laying out the petals on my background. This takes some time but it's fun to play around with color combinations as I create the flowers. 

At that stage, I took a few digital pictures so I could remember the way I arranged the petals on the background. I refer back to the picture many times when I get to the actual fusing stage at my ironing board.
Playing around with flower petals to create flowers.
At this point, the flowers are not fused onto the background
As you can see in the pictures below, I ended up changing one of my flowers quite a bit from the design stage to the finished stage. 

The first three flowers are fused to the background.
I still need to add to the centers of the two big flowers
and, of course, the rest of the flowers.
Here's a close up of one of the flowers.
I got kind of elaborate with this one!
I have quite a bit more work to do tomorrow to get this quilt ready for Anne - but I like the work because it's so much fun to see the flowers "grow" on my quilt and the entire Field of Flowers to take shape!