Sunday, December 21, 2008
And that's pretty much how we're spending Sunday. The snow is falling at a pretty good rate, and I think we're supposed to get another 4 inches today.
I don't mind so much. It's pretty to look at, and it doesn't bother me to consider myself stuck at home because I have plenty to do here. I just wish I had finished my Christmas shopping. I ordered a lot of stuff online, but I was counting on that last-minute trip to Wal-Mart and now I may be screwed. Maybe tomorrow though, we'll see what happens I guess. I heard rumors of yet another snowstorm, but I just want to get through this one before I think about that.
And speaking of thinking about stuff, my creative mind is already done with Christmas and has for the past week begun to think and plan for spring. A lady who had bought one of my little baby outfits came into the store and asked my when I thought my spring line would be coming out. Bemused, I had never actually thought about it in that way although I do have a spring line planned. I started making kids' clothes last year just because I felt like it, and have sold some of the few pieces I had made. I have quite a little stash of cute fabrics earmarked for dresses and outfits, so in January/February I will start on those. First, of course, I will have to finish the Christmas presents I had all good intentions of making, and I still owe Bella a set of regalia from last summer so I will have to prioritize my projects. After Christmas. That will be my sole New Year's resolution, to finish all the stuff I have planned or started. It may take me a couple of years.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Yeah, my little paradise. We are having rain which will probably be measured in feet instead of inches, and Preston and I hardly ventured outside at all. Day off. We unplugged. I literally didn't plug the phone in until late afternoon. Just spent the day hanging out, which was nice, and catching up on some paperwork, which was not nice. But it was a good day for it, at least I didn't have to sit there doing it and thinking, "I could be outside". I baked cookies. And went outside to look at the roof tonight, as I heard what could only be the prancing of reindeer hooves up there. Oh sure it COULD have been a branch, after all we ARE having a storm, but since I saw no branch (well, ok, it was dark), I'm going with reindeer. Until tomorrow, when it's light out and I can actually see because I'm pretty sure there's a bloody big branch up there.
So now I'm taking a little break from working on a Christmas order. I can't go into details, because I'm sworn to secrecy and I'm not sure if the recipient, who happens to be a friend of mine, reads this blog or not. It's a pretty involved and really cool project, not designed by me so I can say that. The design was given to me, and my mission, which I was daft enough to accept, is to bring it into reality. Along with several designs for other things, all Christmas gifts. And yes, I'm aware that Christmas is in two weeks. So what am I doing on the computer when I should be measuring and calculating and sketching? My eyes were crossing.
Ok, back to work.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
...I guess I didn't get that memo. Ok, once again I got sidetracked in the middle of my thought process. If I had a dime for every time….oh hey, there’s a squirrel hanging by one toe from my bird feeder! Oh, what was I talking about? Oh yea, I was giving thanks.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I guess from Papa I get the conviction that there has to be a way to solve any problem, if you just poke at it long enough. He also gave me the pack rat gene, which it has been my lifelong struggle to exorcise. No luck there, yet, but the fact that I am trying ought to count for something.
And of course Sparky endowed me with her sewing ability, for which I am eternally thankful. What in the world would I be doing now if I didn't know how to sew? I really have no idea. What Sparky did NOT pass along to me was her patience. Sparky is probably the most even-tempered, patient person there is. She also has what amounts, in my eyes, to a superpower; the superhuman ability to keep her mouth shut. I can't seem to do that. I have a birth defect; I was born without a filter. Whatever's in my head at any given moment usually comes blurting out of my mouth before I can stop it. I suspect that maybe my siblings got the patience, especially my sister, and there was none left for me. But I'm thankful that Sparky at least always gives me something to aspire to there.
Oh yeah, and my sweet tooth. You're both guilty of passing that little gem on to me, thanks a bunch.
Monday, November 24, 2008
….and so this week I am going to try to write about the things for which I’m thankful IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER. I say “try”, because I keep procrastinating and forgetting to come back here and write. Very busy, no available brain cells. Anyway, so what am I thankful for? There are a lot of things for me, I really am very blessed in life. I’m going to start with my band, since we had practice last night and it’s fresh in my mind.
Friday, October 31, 2008
...on your definition of "failure". These hideously deformed things, although sad-looking, will still burn, therefore I did manage to make candles. So that part was a success. However, they don't bear much resemblance to the ones in Martha Stewart Living. They were, however, the cause of much mirth. Sparky said those were faces even a mother couldn't love. She also said, when she could stop laughing, "well, at least it's Thursday"...which went right over my head until she reminded me that Thursday is the day we put our trash out. When I showed them to Preston, though, he said he thought they weren't that bad. And I didn't chuck them right away, which was a bad thing because now, much like a mother with revoltingly ugly children, I can't bear to part with them. They have a certain....I don't know what you'd call it. And they smell pretty good. However, I don't know that I'll devote the time it would take to perfect my sand-candle-casting technique. Was the sand not wet enough? Not packed densely enough? Wax not hot enough? Poured too fast? These are questions poking at the side of my brain, begging to be answered. The mad scientist in me just may take another stab at it.
But not this week. This week, by which I mean today and tomorrow, I have three major projects to complete; a baby quilt, an anime costume, and the setting up of my back room at the store to magically transform it into a gift shop. Busy busy busy.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
As it turns out, we won't be having the annual craft show this year. It just wasn't going to shape up, through nobody's fault but my own, so I called it off...much to the chagrin of my fellow crafters, who as it turns out were actually planning to make stuff to sell. So instead we are renting the spare room behind my store, and setting up there in November and December. I don't really know what to expect but I think this, too, will be a good thing. Again I say, we'll see.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Inspired and excited, I went back to the CD cabinet and pulled out my Primus CD, which I've had so long I can only remember the one song I bought it for. Brought that to work and gave it a spin, but no luck there. Though I still think Les Claypool is a demented genius, I can only take Primus in small doses.
Hmmmm.....wonder what else is in that cabinet?
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Now for the downs. My car is down. It needed some pretty serious repairs to pass inspection at the end of this month, but the decision as to when to make them was taken out of my hands when I lost my brakes last Friday. At least I was in the yard when it happened. But now it's up on blocks being fixed, and who knows how long that will take.
Also up on blocks being fixed is my Mom, Sparky. She went into the hospital on Monday having trouble breathing, and was admitted and later found to have pneumonia and anemia, and congestive heart failure. Like my car, everything seems to have happened to her at once; also like my car, she needs some pretty serious repairs to pass inspection. Poor Sparky! She can't even get a decent night's sleep because they keep coming in and poking at her and sticking her. But at least they're keeping a close eye on her, and hopefully she'll be fixed soon and back at home where we all miss her, especially the cat who seems to have embarked on a hunger strike and isn't speaking to my Dad.
Friday, September 12, 2008
In other news, our band is playing our first show tomorrow! I'm so excited. We haven't played in over a year. Our fingers are crossed that it doesn't rain, because it's an outdoor show and although WE will be sheltered, there's really no point in playing if there's no audience. So anybody who lives in Southern RI, come on out to Crandall Field in Ashaway for the Hopkinton Colonial Crafts Festival. The band before us is the Parallel String Band, and they are really incredible so come early. I think maybe they start at 11:00, because they play until 1 and then we go on from 2-4. And just so you know, we are NOT a bluegrass band. Check out our song list here; we won't be doing the Led Zeppelin or Aerosmith material, but anything else is fair game.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
As I said, it's posted so I don't go in the field. But outside the field is just as interesting; it's populated by more queen anne's lace, beautiful goldenrod, tansy, juniper, bayberry, and a whole encyclopedia of wildflowers I can't name. And bushes with big fat red berries I also can't name. But I was delighted to discover the bayberries, and as they are next to the road I figure they're fair game. There may be enough there to make a candle, but it's hard to pick berries seriously with the branch in one hand, a bucket in one hand, and a dog leash in the other hand, while trying to avoid being completely wound up and knocked over by the impatient 90-lb dog at the other end of the leash. So I settled for about 1/2 cup of berries, and I took them to the store and put them in my tart warmer. The light bulb under the cup (because my brain can't remember to put out candles, I have to use an electric one) was not hot enough to melt the wax off the berries, but it IS hot enough to make them release their scent. So now my shop smells of spicy bayberry! Sure doesn't take much to make me happy.
Friday, August 8, 2008
And then there was today.
Today as I was working and pondering (as I have been for several days now) an especially unpleasant situation in my little life, in walked Lady Amazon, resplendent in tie dye, tattoos, and cool jewelry. She said she had driven by the store several times and always meant to stop in, but chose today to do so even though she was dreadfully late for work already. Well within minutes of a conversation you might expect from two people who had never met before, the subject somehow turned to the exact thing that was troubling me. I'll never know why or how, because we were just talking about her tattoo (which is really, really impressive!). It gave me goosebumps (no, not the tattoo) and I couldn't help but think she showed up for a reason. So I proceeded to tell her my stupid little tale of woe, (which ordinarily I never would do to a total stranger) and just as I hoped, she helped me clarify it in my mind.
Anybody who doesn't believe things happen a certain way for a reason, should have been a fly on my wall today. It was the weirdest thing to happen to me in quite some time but I'm so glad she decided to stop in!
Monday, August 4, 2008
I have been just swamped with projects that all have to be done by mid-August! How come everything happens at once? I also have a little sundress and head garland to make, a Victorian vest for Josh the artist ( he's going to paint a self-portrait in Victorian garb...I already made the shirt), three ribbon shirts for the powwow this coming weekend, and another fancy regalia for Bella similar to this one that I just finished:
Only in shades of purple. I have only managed to progress through the design stage, and it's supposed to be completed by Friday. Good luck to ME.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
...because it was my birthday yesterday. (you say, “happy birthday” here.) Thank you. I spent it by going to work as usual, then crawling around under
People are usually surprised to hear I have a 24-year-old son, and I know it’s not because I don’t look my age. I think it’s because I don’t act my age, whatever that means. Everybody I meet gets the real me, for better or for worse. I just don’t know any other way to be. I suspect I’ve lost a few customers at work because of that, but I know I’ve also kept some because of it so it’s ok. It all works out.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
The thing I find most intriguing at the moment is that Steam Punk involves it's own sort of fashion trends, which appear to resemble some weird sort of Victorian clothes on acid. I can most definitely get into that, especially since lately I have been commissioned to sew some Victorian mens' clothing for a couple of different people, which has renewed my obsession with Folkwear patterns. I used to have a huge stash of them, expensive bloody things that they are, until squirrels plotted against me and turned my precious collection into confetti. Well most of it, anyway. 15 or so survived, and I have the Folkwear website and a credit card, so all is not lost!
Saturday, July 5, 2008
In the interest of expanding your musical horizons, I thought I'd post this: These are five CDs I never seem to get tired of listening to. There are more I'm sure, but these come to mind right now. They all appeal to me for different reasons:
Three, “The End Has Begun”
Action Figure Party (self-titled) I believe this is the only CD this band ever made. The band was formed by an assortment of musicians from other bands, some of them quite famous already.
VAST, “Music for People”
Dream Theater, “Falling into Infinity”
Widespread Panic, "Panic in the Streets" (really this is a DVD but Preston put it on CD for me. I love WP but you have to listen to them live to get the full effect. The studio tracks just don't do it for me.)
I don't know if anybody actually reads this blog but if you're reading this, by all means please post some of YOUR favorites so I can check them out!
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Like I can afford to retire.
It told me all about the benefits available for people over 50. I'll be 45 this month, so I don't know where they're getting their information, first of all. The ironic part was that in the same mail delivery with that were the two CDs I had ordered from Amazon--this one:And this one:So unless they want to give me a discount on tickets to go see Disturbed, I don't think I'm ready for the AARP.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Fred passed away this week, at the age of 84. He’d had lung cancer, so it wasn’t a big surprise, but still…
Of course I hadn’t known Fred all his life, or even for all of mine. I probably met him about 15 years ago. He was a decorated war veteran. I never knew that about him. He was one of the nicest people I’ve ever known. I don’t have a single memory of Fred in which he doesn’t have a smile on his face. He was one of those people who always seemed happy to see you, whether you were a close family member or nodding acquaintance. I was fortunate to have met Fred, and I’ll miss him.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Also today I watered the flowers, poor things were looking droopy already. I'm also not a flower person; I have no master plan for laying out the little garden, not even a color scheme. I go flower shopping, and whatever strikes me at the time is what I buy. And it shows, my garden is pathetic until everything gets big and healthy...right now it's still in the early stages, so I won't show you. But here are some things I had to have:I don't know what they're called, I told you I'm not a flower person but I love daisies, and I'd never in my life seen daisies with purple centers...I saw purple and got excited, so I had to have them. Also these petuniathings:
They're yellow now, but I swear when I bought them they were kind of mango-colored, peachy but a little more orange than peach. Petunias are not my favorite, but these were so little and pretty and they looked like they belonged in a hanging pot. I don't have a place to hang them, but I could just picture them in a pot on the stump next to the flower garden.
And of course I have my three window boxes at the store, which get more attention than any other flowers anywhere. I water them and pick the dead things off of them when I go in, and then on most afternoons the Plant Police (aka Marilyn) show up to fuss over them and scold me for not taking proper care. She always finds a dead thing I missed. She doesn't know I leave one for her to find, so she'll have something about which to scold me. It seems to make her happy; I guess we all need a purpose in life.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Life has fallen into something of a routine; the store, the ball field, make dinner, eat, fall asleep. The days I'm not at the store I get up late, make a valiant attempt to do some housework, maybe have band practice, managed to get the garden planted (well Preston did most of that, he's home a lot more than I am), and do whatever errands need to be done. Wish I didn't have to sleep, I could get so much more accomplished!
We like to watch TV at my house, but since most everything we watch is now on hiatus, we have been watching things like "Deadliest Catch" or what I like to call "The Crab Show", which proves once and for all that people will watch anything. For the life of me I can't understand what is so interesting about watching a bunch of men in rain gear haul cage after cage of big ugly crusty crabs out of the freezing ocean, but it is. If nothing else, it has given me an appreciation for why crabmeat is so expensive. Now if there was a show that could justify to me why GAS is so expensive, maybe I wouldn't feel like crying every time I pull up to the pump.
Monday, April 28, 2008
This is my boy Preston (yeah, ok, he's not a boy anymore) honoring us, along with his bandmate Devin, with the National Anthem. I wish I had it on video because at the risk of bragging about my kid (again) I have to say it was one of the best versions I have ever heard. They had worked out the harmony and after singing together for over a year they really do harmonize well. I hope we can get them back for the playoffs! Note the scruffy beard and hair, and allow me to brag once more (cause it's MY blog, and I can brag if I want to); later that day Preston performed at the Courthouse Center for the Arts in the final night of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" in which he portrayed Charlie Cheswick, chronic pervert (pervert and mental patient, if you haven't seen the movie, hence the scruffiness). It was a great performance by all, and the cast included some well-seasoned actors. He was thrilled to join this new company, and plans to audition for "The Full Monty" next. So basically he's going from performing in front of an audience with one hand in his pants, to performing in front of an audience with NO pants. Yeah, that's my boy.
Friday, April 18, 2008
I don't know how I feel about her now. Actually that's a lie; I do, I feel kind of creepy and don't want to be around her. That's really sad, but there it is.
Monday, March 24, 2008
...is where Preston has been. Now if only he can get Myah to go in there! She insists on being outside a lot, especially if we're not home, even if it's raining. So Preston made her a house but so far the only time she goes in there is to keep the neighbors' dog from going in.
So my store has been open for three weeks now, and it remains to be seen what "business as usual" means. Of course I'm still in the process of finding out what works and what doesn't. The first thing that didn't work was the coffee pot. I mean, it works--as in, you turn it on and coffee comes out--but what I didn't take into account was that my customers don't come in to hang around and drink coffee, they don't stay long enough. Which is fine, except what that means is that I make coffee and then I drink it all myself. How much coffee can one woman drink? Not that much, as it turns out. So the coffee pot was sacrificed in favor of a bigger set of shelves for my gift-y stuff. And now I have some craft supplies in there as well. I have to be careful not to try to cram too much in there or it will look like a junk shop and that is what I DON'T want.
But so far, so good. I have met quite a few new people already, and everyone has been so positive about my being there! Kelly Pezza from the Chariho Times came and interviewed me this past Saturday and took some pictures, so there will be something about me in this Thursday's paper which should give me a boost. With no budget for advertising, I need all the free publicity I can get!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The other yard sale find was only a minor sin I guess, it was a little plant stand not quite so old as the chair, but I needed to use it for my telephone so of course I had to paint it...gloss black, to match the chair. I only painted it because it was kind of beat up, even though it's going to be stuffed in the corner, because it might not be stuffed in the corner it's whole life. Plus I love to paint. Mind you, I'm not good at it, in fact I really suck at it. There's just no other word for it. If you look in the dictionary under "suck" there's a picture of me with a paintbrush in my hand. As I told Preston, why do you think I decorate everything?? I'm pretty good at that, it's just the painting of large expanses of one color that I can't seem to master. So please don't look too closely at the walls in the store.
Friday, February 15, 2008
This was one of my yard sale treasures from a few years back; the woman who sold it to me said her grandfather made it, and it was my intention to sand it off and stain it, and paint some sort of branch-and-berry design on the sides. But it went into the basement, and subsequently got many things stored on it and has been there ever since. You know what they say about good intentions. Anyway, I need it for my shop so I have resurrected it from its mildew-covered anonymity, and painted it a deep and disturbing shade of purple. It seemed like a good idea when I was at Home Depot looking at paint, and it's just a much darker shade of what's on the walls. Perhaps it indicates that I'm deeply disturbed. Let's not delve into THAT too far.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
This is the front wall: on the right side of the windows there is about a foot of space, then the side wall. It's very small, only 9' x 17', but it's room enough. The two desks were left there by the previous tenant; my landlady offered to get rid of them, but I said I would use them. After trying to move them, I can imagine how relieved she must have been when I said that; each one weighs as much as a volkswagen. I won't be rearranging my furniture very often.
Friday, February 8, 2008
The town of Richmond approved my proposal for the sign on my building, so I'm good to go with that...just have to get the materials. So really, most of the time I do get my way.
The other thing that's going on with me is I'm trying to lose weight, though I don't really want to. Try, that is, not lose. I'd like to lose without trying, but there again, can't get my way. What's up with that??
My attempted weight loss, I have to tell you, is not prompted by vanity, or even health (though it probably should be). It was prompted by simple economics; my fat clothes are getting too tight, and I can't afford to go buy a new wardrobe. So far I have lost two pounds. Not a lot, but it was done with very little effort on my part which is the way I like it. But during week three, Preston decided we needed me to bake an apple pie. I must say I bake the best apple pie I've ever had. There'll be no false modesty with regard to my apple pie, and those of you who know me know I'm not in the habit of boasting; I really do make fantastic apple pie. So of course I made us one. So last week I didn't lose any more weight BUT I didn't gain any either, so I think I was lucky.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
...For better or for worse! That's right, after years and years of thinking about it, I am opening my own shop! When I was sewing for Suburban Cleaners, I didn't get names and numbers of customers, just log-in numbers. So when I got three days notice that they were closing, there was no time to get the word out to people that I was still sewing! I have tried for a year now to just do it out of my house, but I really think people are put off by the prospect of having to come to somebody's house. A lot of them don't even want to call me at home, even though that's the number I give out! So I need a storefront. Above is my sign, for which I've reworked Georgia's design to suit.
I'm going through the process of applying, and submitting, and registering, with the Town of Richmond. So far so good, and if everything goes well (God willing and the creek don't rise, as my Dad says), I will be open for business by March 1. In addition to the tailoring, I will be selling my handmade stuff in there. There is only a small space, so I can't take in other peoples' things yet, but there is the possibility of expansion if it works out.
In other family news, PJ will be flying out to L.A. for a month this summer to film some sort of project he auditioned for a couple weeks ago. He's so excited! He's worked with this director before, so he's pretty stoked about the new project.
Other than that, I'm just getting mentally prepared for the upcoming powwow season. I have lots of new designs in mind, and I'm sure I'll get input. It used to be that I'd have several things to do one year, then nothing the next year, but as the years have gone by it's pretty much evened out to where I can usually expect plenty of orders. Which is just fantastic, regalia is my favorite thing to sew. So bright and colorful!
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Anyway, things here are pretty much as they always are. I have been trying to get rid of a lot of my junk on Ebay, and having pretty good luck. Can't imagine why or how I manage to accumulate so much, then I look in my Dad's garage and I have a pretty good idea. The nut doesn't fall very far from the tree. But at least I'm getting rid of mine.
I'm also working on selling my handmade things on my website at www.incrediblethreads.com . I got a shopping cart in place there for PayPal, and now all I have to do is get some pictures on there. I have a few things, along with my friend Marilyn's jewelry, but I'm a horrible photographer so it's a slow process. But it's a work in progress.
Pretty soon I'll have to go back to Deb's house and continue work on the tree hallway. I finished up the tree just before Thanksgiving, and had all good intentions of going back and stenciling the ferns along the baseboard, but I haven't been back. Too many other projects, the most of which was getting rid of stuff I'll never use.
We've been playing some music, with Max from Narragansett. It's turning out to be some sort of jam-blues-hippie-sort of thing, totally unlike any project we've ever been involved in. At first I had serious doubts about it, but we decided we had nothing better going on at the time so we kept it going and now it's actually starting to sound like something. And Max seems like a good guy, without ego problems or any visible substance problems (I don't care what people do on their own time, but when you can't get through a practice without...ah..."supplements", it doesn't give me much hope for the long run).
Spent two days as a surgical assistant fixing Preston's truck this week. One day in the bitter cold, and one day in the miserable rain and cold. Ugh. Murphy's Law of Auto Repair states that things only need to be fixed in the dead of winter or in the hottest part of summer. And of course, nothing goes like it says it's supposed to in the Chilton book. "Loosen flange bolts and remove drive axle" is just a euphemism for "Loosen flange bolts ( if you can find those metric sockets), except you can't loosen them because you can't SEE them because they're behind that other thingie that the book neglects to mention (and what is that thingie, anyway, and why the hell do they design cars this way) so the other thingie has to be removed first, now loosen axle nut, two broken tools and a broken back later, and watch that ABS brake line because-oh yeah, remove the bolt that holds the brake line in, and don't for God's sake drop that washer on the ground because you'll never find it in the dark and the mud, and untangle the dog from the light cord, and go get the socket wrench back because she stole it (again), and now that you've removed the drive axle you can plainly see that you still can't get the ball joint out because you have to take the drive axle apart, not just take it out, and that's going to be hard to do because I can't feel my fingers....and on and on it goes. A job that in theory should take two hours, takes two days.
So that's life in the Valley so far this year!