January 2005

Note: This newsletter was e-mailed on January 1, 2005. Please scroll down to the bottom for the active links. If you would like to receive this newsletter in your very own mailbox, instead of reading it here, hit the BACK arrow on your browser and enter your e-mail address in the box on the previous page. You'll get the February issue.

The Ami Simms Newsletter
Copyright January 2005

I hope 2005 brings you only good things. And lots of them.

Santa was good to me this year, as was my beloved who gifted me with a bright yellow vacuum cleaner. Not to worry, it was on my list and therefore exempt from the prenuptial agreement, which states in paragraph 17: Thou Shalt Not Buy Thy Wife Appliances And Believe Thou Art Giving A Romantic Gift Unless She Doth Ask For Them By Name, Model, And Serial Number. I took the vac for a spin and finally shut it off about an hour and a half later having bagglessly sucked up half a pound of schmootz and the wrapping paper off three slow-moving presents.

In my cleaning frenzy, I must have disturbed some dormant carpet virus. I didn't notice that I had been infected at first but the next day I cleaned out my wallet. Not too horrible. Afterward, however, I found myself picking out the crud at the bottom of my purse, putting all those things that were rolling around at the bottom (loose change, lipsticks, hand cream, thimble, tissue…) into the little pockets they're supposed to be living in. I actually drove to the mall with the sole purpose of combining my JCPenney Bra & Panty Club cards, of which I had several, into ONE card so it would take up less room in my purse. Then I photocopied my credit cards front and back, cross indexed them with the appropriate file folders, and called for two credit reports just to be on the safe side.

I was not feeling like myself. I blamed it on getting ready for the holidays. Jennie, home from college must have been similarly infected. She did 27 loads of wash over three days including all of my laundry too. I don't think I've ever been caught up in my whole life! I had no idea I had so many hand-dyed underpants, but there they were draped attractively over the clothes line in the basement. Naturally I didn't have room for them all upstairs and had to clean out and rearrange the unmentionable cupboard. I sorted every single sock and knee hi, reintroducing them to their respective mates, then threw the remaining oddballs in the trash. I resisted the urge to paint the cupboard. The germs from this insidious disease were obviously running rampant through my system. I proceeded to clean the sewing room.

In the days that followed I paid bills, cleaned out the refrigerator, bathed the dog, and trimmed his nails. Steve found me vacuuming the garage and put me to bed. I slept fitfully and dreamed that I photographed every single Christmas tree ornament, printed out a small attractive sticky label for each, and pasted them on the outside of each little box so we could for once in our lives return them all to their correct homes. I woke up exhausted. Thank goodness it was a dream. I was one sick puppy.

Still in the clutches of this strange illness, I bolted out of bed, flipped on the computer and whittled my email down to ZERO. Then I deleted all my temp files, rearranged my folders, removed spy ware, scanned for viruses, and defragged. I flossed, threw out leftovers, sorted my pins (by color of head, length, and intended purpose), and cleaned out not one but TWO junk drawers. Then I cleaned off my desktop. Virtual and otherwise. It was like I couldn't stop.

Yesterday, December 31st was Inventory Day at Mallery Press. Every single thing had to be counted and I couldn't wait to get started. I can know tell you, with some certainty, exactly how many yards of fabric are on hand along with the number of patterns, notions, and a surprising number of other do-dads, some of which I didn't even know we had. (More on that later.)

This morning, as the sickness overcame the last ounce of sanity I had left, I untangled, dusted, labeled, and re-attached every single plug, wire, cable, and cord going into or coming out of my computer which is why the newsletter is a tad late today. I think I've gotten the "get organized" bug out of my system and should be returning to normal quite soon. I just wanted to explain why this email didn't show up on your monitor at 12:01 as the ball in Times Square descended into 2005. (That was the plan, after all.)

In my cleaning frenzy I found two lovely patterns while counting stock. The first is a Soft Sculptured Box pattern that is just adorable, the second is a sweet little shoulder purse for special occasions. Please see:

Soft Sculptured Box at:
Cracked Ice Décor Purse at:

It almost hit 60 this afternoon and outdoor lights were yanked off gutters faster than you could say January Thaw. Poof! If you miss the seasonal fun, here's a web page I found out about too late for last month's newsletter, but its way too fun to pass up. See:

For people who lack friends or enemies, but like to cook and want virtual interaction, yes there's a web page for you. You can sign up for virtual compliments or insults, and very odd recipes emailed daily or weekly. I already get enough email, thank you, but it was fun to click and see what an example might be like. My trial insult was, "You're nothing but a laughable wagonload of road kill!" (this is so true, and I'm just sick about it). My pretend compliment was, "You are a stellar instance of perfection!" (I feel much better already.) Thank goodness the recipe was just as phony. Who wants to make Pan-Fried Buttermilk?! Go have a look at:

Sara S. nominates Lake Jackson, TX city planners for their creativity. Her husband's office is on Circle Way. It is near Parking Way, This Way, and That Way. Of course the church is on His Way.

Nancy B. says her daughters went to an oral surgeon named Dr. Fear.

Marilyn Call enjoyed the Ima Hogg story. She writes: My daughter-in-law's maiden name is Hogg and our last name is Call. You guessed it, when she and my son married everyone wanted to know if she was a Hogg-Call. She decided to go by just Call.

Cindy K. wanted to let us know about two streets that intersect in Ann Arbor, MI. Conceivably you could be standing on the corner of Nixon and Bluett.

Lynn H. told me about an intersection in Saskatoon that is quite (in)famous. Rushholme (pronounced Rush-home) Road crosses Avenue P, thus creating the intersection of "Rushholme and P."

Becky S. writes that her physician's name is Dr. Slaughter. Her husband gets the cake however with the name of his urologist: Dr. Dick!

I heard from several readers who are similarly into tap-dancing, including the Portland Tap Connection. I had no idea. These gals are serious tappers. And, if they're half as good as their costumes…well then, look OUT! See:

The Old F.A.R.T.S. (Flint Area Recreational Tap-Dancing Society) are still tapping away every Tuesday from 11 to 12 and anyone who cares to join us is most welcome. I don't know how everyone else in the class is doing as I can't seem to pry my eyes off our instructor's feet lest I tangle my legs in a big knot and fall down. The consensus is that we really stink, but we don't care because we're having too much fun. It's the perfect stress relieve as you can't possibly think about anything else except moving your feet. We are now able to put two (and sometimes three) moves together in short (very short) routines. I would attempt to describe what these sonorous steps are, but not only can I not remember the names of them, I can't reproduce them outside of class either. It seems as soon as the class is over my brain is wiped clean. Apparently we are also tapping in slow-motion. I caught a glimpse of Fred and Ginger as I was channel surfing the other night and we don't sound at all like them. Light on our feet we're not. I also notice that we don't move our arms at all. Think River Dance with elephants that have trouble holding the beat.

This month I'll be visiting Pennsylvania and New Jersey. For more information, please see

You'll know at least ONE artist in the New England Quilt Museum's "Quilted Cuisine" exhibit showing now until January 8th. My "Hold the Anchovies" is one of 41 contemporary quilts in the juried exhibit. Look for it at the Museum of the American Quilter's Society February 12 through April 10th, 2005. If you won't get a chance to travel to Massachusetts or Kentucky, you can purchase the CD at your local quilt shop or head over to

Kathy Stelter made a Rag Fur Jacket:

We've had some difficulty keeping these babies in stock lately. We did get a large shipment in just last week, so we're ready when you are. If you haven't seen them, they're polycarbonate high impact plastic glasses that you wear BEHIND your prescription bifocals, trifocals, or progressive lenses to see the computer monitor MUCH better. They also work great to see details on hanging quilts. No more sticking your nose up in the air to get a good look. See

If you're not lucky enough to wear glasses yet, but your day is coming, you might want to get a pair of FunSpecs. Whip 'em on just when you need them. Bright, funky colors and styles with enough room to look over the top of them at things that don't require magnification. See:

It's time to move out the rest of Ami's Mommy's fabric. These are premium goods, now reduced to $4.49 a yard. Smallest cut is a quarter yard. Type the yardage you want in the COMMENT section. We'll adjust the quantity at this end. Please see:

Don't forget to check out our sale patterns also. Quantities are limited. See

We've got buttons too! See:

Many thanks for tuning in this month. If you enjoyed what you read, please forward it to a friend. If you didn't, please see removal instructions at the very end. You must ask if you want to share part or all of this newsletter in your guild newsletter.

Have a terrific 2005 and do something fun!

Ami Simms

Soft Sculptured Box
Cracked Ice Décor Purse
Christmas Web Page
Insults Compliments & Recipes
Portland Tap Connection
Teaching in NJ
Quilted Cuisine
Kathy Stelter's Rag Fur
Fun Specs
Sale Fabric
Sale Patterns
Sale Buttons
Ami's Website

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