Thursday, December 27, 2012

It's Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Christmas

It's not over till the tree is down!  This year, for the first time in several years, we had a real tree.  And by sheer luck, it ended up being a balsam!  I don't know if anybody else even cares what kind of tree they have, but my mini-vacation here has been four days of balsam-scented heaven.  I don't plan to throw this tree out until nothing remains but a stick.
It's been a great Christmas for me, spent with my two favorite men.  Other than spending Christmas Eve with Sparky, we didn't do anything special, in fact we didn't do anything at all, but getting to see our son is a rare and precious thing.  We never know when we'll get to see him again, and tomorrow he flies back to that wild and foreign land known as California.  This time we got a bonus, and actually got to spend a little time with Kaela as well so that was pretty awesome.

So now the Christmassing is over, except for the tree of course, and I'm looking forward to 2013.  The reason I never get post-holiday depression is that I have already started planning my projects for the spring.  I have lots of plans for this year for the shop and the Etsy shop, and I have already started on some of them. 

By the way, I am disabling the Anonymous comments feature from this blog; if you want to leave a comment you will have to leave your name.  I am hoping that this will result in fewer porn posts in my mailbox.

Friday, December 21, 2012

End Of The World Suite In G Major

   Well, we're still here.  Can't say I'm surprised really, after all every couple of years the end of the world comes and goes pretty much without notice by most people except those who read the tabloids.  Wicked weather this morning DID almost spell the end of the world for Preston's truck; the top half of a huge pine tree snapped off and fell, missing the side of the truck by literally three inches. It could have been totaled. So I'd say this was a pretty lucky day at our house.
     Anyway, here I sit watching The Santa Clause once again, if only because everytime I watch it I have the same thought, which is that I would really like to move in to Santa's place.  The sets for Santa's workshop are so beautiful and detailed and cheerful!
     So in between watching TV I was finishing up some Christmas presents and hemming some pants that I'd promised for tomorrow.   Also I was commissioned to put some wording on a big Jolly Roger flag that some lucky pirate is getting for Christmas.  Never a dull moment in my world, seriously.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Straight Outta Who-ville

Cause that's how I roll...with beads and glitter.
Like many other things, I didn't really have a plan when I started these; I was making Santa ornaments, and the shape I had in my hand looked kind of tree-like.  And since I've had nontraditional colors in my brain this Christmas, I went with the cotton batting.  To make them stand up, I used those wooden circles (which are actually pieces I scavenged from some game I can't remember that got thrown away years ago) and little shaker pegs with the tenons cut off.  The tallest tree is about 6 or so inches high.  But that's as far as the idea went, the rest was just getting out the beads and glitter and waiting to see what happened.  I do like the one in the front with the bead garland, and the one at the back on the right which has little green plastic leaf beads hanging off of it.  I generally am a bead snob and avoid the plastic ones, but these were really cute and I thought SOMEday I would come up with a use for them!  The other trees I''m not too excited about.  So unless I get slapped with some sort of glittery epiphany, I probably won't make any more.  I asked Preston, "so are these cute and funky, or just weird and wrong?" and he said they look like something out of Dr. Seuss.  Which is kind of what I was going for, so I win!!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Holly and the Chaos

It has been brought to my attention that I'm always posting about stuff I'm working on, but never stuff I've completed.  The question was, "Do you EVER finish anything?"  Well, yes and no.  In the case of the nativity barn in the previous post, that project is kind of in a holding pattern as I percolate over how to do the people and animals.  Sometimes it takes me a long time for things to work themselves from the depths of my brain into reality.

Case in point:  I have a tote full of twig wreaths that I bought years ago.  Small ones, around 6 - 8", kind of too small to hang on your door and too big to hang on your tree.  I don't know what I thought I was going to do with them, I didn't really have a plan, but they were on sale and well made, not junky, so I grabbed them. I had some vague idea involving beads and wire, but although I've mulled  THAT over for a long long time, I couldn't ever formulate any kind of design.  Last year, I bought these neat berries at Hack and Livery (and if you've not been there, you need to go.  I have to go in every once in a while and just take it all in.  It's magical.)

They have been sitting on my desk here for about a year now, looking pretty and defying me to come up with a purpose for them.  Then at some point a few weeks ago, the hand of inspiration reached out and slapped me.  I needed to combine those berries, those wreaths, papier mache birds (which I'd been meaning to make also since last year) and handmade holly leaves.  Birds I can do, I've worked with papier mache before many times.  But holly leaves?  How to do that?  Of course I could BUY some and stick them on there and call it handmade, but that just wasn't going to work for me.  If I didn't already have the berries, I'd find a way to make those too.  But the leaves were enough of a challenge.  How to make leaves that are 3 dimensional (as much as leaves are), had a shape, would HOLD that shape, and look as realistic as possible, not cartoony?  Percolated about that for the last couple of weeks.
Then, while digging through my Little Shop of Chaos for something else, as is frequently the case, I came across some really stiff felt pieces that someone gave me.  Didn't think I'd ever have a use for them, but you never know, so I stashed them in there (which is why it's chaos. My dad would approve wholeheartedly.) and the fact that I didn't have any green didn't bother me in the least, as I wanted them painted anyway.  So then I had to figure out how to give them shape.  Gathering thread down the center just made them frilly, and that wasn't what I was going for.  BUT, after playing around with one for a while, I discovered that if I folded them in half and made a seam down the back and then gathered THAT, it made them curve in just the right way!  Looks like this.

So next I've got to get them all painted and then figure out how big to make the birds.  Cardinals? Bluebirds? Goldfinches? Chickadees?  Some of each?  I've got a lot of wreaths, and a limitless number of leaves.  But only one spray of berries.  Maybe I'll have to figure out how to make berries after all. And back into the Little Shop of Chaos I go!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Old Moss Woman's Nativity Barn

I'd like to address all those people, whoever you are, who commented (and then deleted them) on my last post; these people said all sorts of nice things like "you've given me lots to think about" and what a "thought-provoking post" that was.  If you read my last post, you'll no doubt agree that none of those descriptions apply.  So I'd just like to say, don't bother commenting and then deleting your comment, just so I get the email; I'm not clicking on your links because I'm not stupid enough to fall for whatever phishing scam this is.   ANYway.....

...hope all our east coast peoples are all prepared for Sandy!  The wind is picking up outside already even though she's not supposed to hit until tomorrow night.  I need to go to the store sometime today and get some last minute stuff but right now I'm trapped in my house.  Preston is really sick (head/chest cold) and literally didn't sleep all last night so he's sleeping now.  While that sounds like a good time for me not to be here, I can't even get dressed because if I do my dog gets all excited and starts talking to me and she doesn't know how to use her inside voice.  Plus she starts running around the house and making general dog noise so I'm just sitting here enjoying my third cup of tea and trying to figure out what kind of figures I want to make to go with this nativity barn I put together.  I was thinking something that resembled Matreshka dolls, and so far looking at how the barn came out, that's still the plan.  Kind of making it up as I go along. It makes me think of a picture from Old Moss Woman's Secret Garden. I've had the stick barn for years not knowing exactly what direction to go with it,  but apparently this is the year I actually make it happen. It called to me from the depths of my stockpile of raw materials. So today I glued green stuff from a model train tree kit and this viney thing to it.  So far so good.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

It's Hard to Get a Head...

...unless you have $5, that is, in which case all you have to do is find the right yard sale.  I found this plaster head at just such a yard sale today just when what I needed most was a life-size head that weighs enough that the wind won't blow it over.  We were at the farmers' market again, Sue and I, and the wind was exceptional.  But thanks to my fortuitous find, I was able to stop picking up my prairie bonnet every two minutes.  The previous owner of the head informed me that she made this head in sculpting class at URI, and it made her happy that it found a new home.  I think it's a great job.  I do have to paint it though, it's got some discolorations on it, but I'm thinking I'm going to leave it white. Right now I really can't tell its gender, and I think for my purposes that's a good thing.  He/she is going to live in my shop in between shows, and for now showcase Sue's hats as they're kind of heavy and the styrofoam heads tend to be too tippy.  Besides, those wig heads have no personality whereas THIS one has loads of it!

While that one may remain white and undecorated (that may be hard for me to do), I also bought a doll bed at the same yard sale which is destined for...I don't quite know yet, but not white.  Marked at $3, it was a simply constructed box with a headboard and footboard with a cutout heart at each end.  It spoke to me.  It's American Girl size, and I envision it with a mattress and pillow, fitted and flat sheet and pillowcases, and patchwork quilt.  When I was little, one of my favorite things was a doll bed that my grandfather made, and all the linens, ruffled pillowcases and pieced quilt that my grandmother (or was it my mother?) made to go with it.  I still have all that stuff. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Getting my Gaelic On

My latest project, whatever it happens to be, is always my favorite.  Today's latest project--or rather tonight's, as earlier in the day I was into something else--is a welcome banner.  I have made these in various forms for years, the most popular being a celtic knot, but I've had requests for all sorts of random images and sayings.  I'm not sure what inspired me to do this one, although it may have been the humungous thistle Sue has growing in her garden.  I always eradicate the thistles from my garden, and I always feel a little bad about it; in spite of their prickly disadvantages, they're really quite beautiful and attract goldfinches and assorted other critters.  But they tend to take up a large amount of real estate, and my garden is small.  Anyway, Sue and Frank allowed theirs to grow, and it's quite magnificent...easily taller than me and bigger around than my dining room table.

So this banner has been kicking around in my head for weeks, and today was the day to actually begin it.  What you see here is, of course, not the finished product but just the basic shapes ironed on to the backing.  With any luck at all, I'll finish it by the weekend.  If you care to broaden your horizons and pronounce it, it's FAHL-cha.  Much easier to pronounce than most Gaelic; I will never attempt to learn the language of my ancestors, I envision getting cramps in my tongue.

Monday, August 20, 2012

One Man's Junk....

...Is one woman's treasure!  I found this wonderful thing in a yard sale for $2.  It's about chest high on me (I'm 5'6") and the minute I saw it I knew what I was going to use it for.  It was a sickly shade of pink and was pretty banged up but that didn't deter me in the least.  It also had some markings in the middle of the shelves that made me think it might have had drawers at some point.  This is not fine American craftsmanship, it's clearly something someone with less than stellar woodworking skills put together; the wood doesn't quite meet at the corners, nail heads are sticking out in places (tried to bang them in, but they refused), but it's very sturdy and pretty heavy.  It had a million tack holes in the sides, and I can only assume some little girl had it in her room and was tacking pictures to it.  I like its banged-up-ness, it has personality. Still, I wasn't having that pink.  I debated about it for a couple of weeks.  It could have been purple, and I already had purple paint (of course haha) but for some reason it had to be green.  It just couldn't be anything else,.  So green it is, a shade that was called "lettuce alone".  I will also use that green, AND the white, in finishing the little bureau I bought two years ago (wow), whose time is coming very soon.  I might add that the paint cost me more than what I paid for both pieces of furniture.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Can I have my TV back now?

7'2", are you kidding me?  I didn't know they made humans that big.
Well, it's over.  We have been watching the Olympics for 17 days.  Everyone else I know either didn't care or was outright annoyed with all the to-do about it. But we watched it, all of it.  Or at least everything NBC showed.  Here's what I took away from my Olympic experience:

  1. More commercials than you can imagine. We recorded it day by day and played it back, and it took about half the time as watching it live.  I love my DVR.
  2. Track cycling is the weirdest thing I’ve witnessed since curling.  Plus watching water polo is kind of like watching paint dry, IMHO.  I must admit to pressing the FF button.
  3. How is it possible to perform a physical exam on someone to determine their gender and have the results be inconclusive?
  4. It made me happy to see the likes of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant jump around with glee like a bunch of 5-year-olds instead of the jaded professionals I assumed they were.
  5. People who badmouth Gabby Douglas for giving all the glory to God for her win have obviously never seen a boxing match, where men regularly thank Jesus for enabling them to beat the living crap out of each other.
  6. Mo Farah needs to gain 5 or 30 pounds. Man looks like a very happy skeleton.
  7. How can 17 days go by so quickly and at the same time seem to last forever?
  8. I bet the man with no legs never gets used to hearing that he may have “an unfair advantage”.
  9. McDonalds’ and Coca-Cola, who produce stuff that no one should put into their body, sponsor an event that involves the healthiest (presumably) bodies in the world.  Does anybody besides me find that strange?
  10. I need to go to the gym.
And now, back to my regularly scheduled life.  Since today is a holiday (!!!) I will be spending it painting the bookcase i bought in a yard sale, hemming drapes, and cooking Quinoa with stir-fried veggies at Sparky's house.  That last is an experiment, we'll see if the finished product measures up.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mystery Fruit

Ah Monday.  Back to the grind.  Actually, when you work for yourself, the grind never stops.  Worked all day yesterday, as powwow is next week and I still have a ton of regalia to finish! Plus the mundane stuff.  I'm thankful to be so busy, people I know are unemployed and hurting pretty bad. Feast or famine, as they say.

I did spend Saturday morning in the best way, tooling around the tri-town area with Sparky, cruising for yard sales and listening to Willie Nelson, and ending up at the farmer's market.  Our usual Saturday morning!  Doesn't take much to make us happy.  I did find a new shelf/bookcase thing for the shop, all it needs is a coat of paint but that will have to wait now till after the powwow.

Where I come from, we call these "plums".  But what do I know.
I haven't revisited the subject of health food, but I'm still making a valiant effort. As a result I'm spending a lot more time in the kitchen, it seems, than I used to but the kitchen is not a bad place to be.  Something else I've learned is that the healthy food thing only works (for me, anyway) if you plan ahead. I never go without a list and a menu for the week, for which my phone's notepad app is indispensable because I can't even tell you how many times I've made a list and left it on the counter.

It also takes me way longer to shop than it used to.  Which is also ok.  I plan for it, and although the grocery store is not my favorite place to be it's a lot less stressful when you're not trying to get in and out as quickly as possible.  I'm doing a lot of reading of labels, and as it turns out there are also quite a few photo ops at the grocery store, like this one.  They used to have a preprinted Stop & Shop sign over the salad bar that read "Sate law prohibits sampling".  Wish I'd gotten a photo of that.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

All Hail the Birthday Queen!

I have a friend who used to wear a paper crown to work every year on her birthday, and place this framed Mary Engelbreit print on the counter.  She worked in an extremely busy medical office. She was probably my age at the time, 49, and I thought it was the funniest thing because NObody makes a big deal of their own birthday, and of course you never tell your age.  She told everyone.  I see no reason not to tell my age, because guess what?  Nobody cares!

So yesterday was my birthday, and I treated myself to a day off during which I did not much of anything. It was great.  Went to the Richmond Farmers' Market in the morning with Sparky and Pam, then we checked out the newly opened Bliss Coffeehouse here in town.  Very nice place, will definitely be back!  Later I watched some olympics, did some sewing, and had ice cream and cake with the family.  Plus there was the added benefit of it being Saturday, which means I got two days at home in a row which is awesome.
Couple of weeks ago I was at a yard sale and spotted this bag of odds and ends of cotton yarn left over from someone else's projects; the colors intrigued me, so I had to have them.  The more I looked at them, for some weird reason they reminded me of seashells on a beach; so I had to put them all together with something that resembled sand.  Went to Wal-Mart, where there were several sandy colors, but I just wasn't feelin' it.  So I ended up at Sweet Briar Studio here in town, and found exactly what I wanted. Not only is it sand-colored, but it has a little bit of a texture as well.  I found a granny square pattern that was a little different than the one I've been using, and off I went.  The squares are almost done tonight, and will soon make a groovy summer bag.  It may never remind anybody but me of seashells on a beach, but that's all good.  I had a vision.  It should be done in a few more days  and you can see what you think.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Airlines lost my Mother...

...But fortunately she found her way home in one piece!  Thank goodness my sister was there.  The trip out to California was relatively uneventful; the trip home, beginning with the hotel room in San Fran the night before the flight, was just one event after another.  They were supposed to fly to New Jersey, then to Warwick.  They ended up going to Houston, where they ended up having to spend the night, then to North Carolina, and THEN home, all the while dealing with obnoxious airline personnel.  They also managed to misplace my sister's luggage, but at least they found it and delivered it the next day so all is well.  Pam is here for two weeks, and hopefully when she goes home things will go smoothly.  Crossing fingers.

Sue and I finally did the Richmond Farmer's Market Artisan Day.  Couldn't get my act together last summer to do it, and was starting to wonder if this summer was going to happen either since I missed the June date. It was fun!  We always have a good time, we used to do shows all the time back in the 80s when craft shows were big.  I miss that.  We used to go in with the attitude that we were there for a good time, if we sold stuff it was a bonus.  And boy, did we sell stuff.  As opposed to almost all the other crafters, who put their stuff on the table and sat behind it, we used to set ours up so you had to walk IN (hey, you've got a 10-ft space, might as well use it!) and we never sat down.  Also, if the show was till 4, we stayed set up till 4, unlike the majority of people who would pack it in at 3:30 or even 3 if they weren't doing well.  I can't tell you how many times we sold lots of stuff in the last 10 minutes. Anyway, it was good to hang out with Sue again.   She sold a few things, I sold a few things...but really I accomplished what I wanted to do, which was pass out business cards and get the word out that my store is more than just an alteration shop.  Since I'm too cheap to advertise, this seemed a pretty effective way to get in touch with local people.  I don't think I'll do the August show, too hot, but September seems like a good idea.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Temporary Gym Rat

I survived the first day of the Anytime Fitness 21-day challenge! After my disappointing stint at Curves, I swore I'd never join a gym again.  First of all, I went faithfully, 3 times a week as recommended, for the first 3 months.  I was not expecting miracles, but after three months with NO results whatsoever, it became really easy to find reasons to not go.  I am not a person who enjoys exercise for the sake of exercise;  I like to DO stuff.  So if I'm not seeing results, I find it difficult to make myself show up to do something I'm not enjoying.  I'm a total hedonist; if it's not fun, I don't want to do it even if its supposed to be good for me.  No self-discipline at all.  And second of all, the reason I don't want to join a gym, is that I know me.  I won't go.  Once I'm committed to it, it's just one more chore I have to do.  See above.

But I got this card in the mail from Anytime Fitness, and last time I got one and thought I might join in, I was too late.  I guess there's only a certain number of slots available.  But I went for it this time, and showed up for my introduction on Saturday with a certain amount of skepticism.  After the Curves thing, that is.  Told my trainer right off the bat; I hate to exercise.  The only reason I signed up for this is because it's a limited-run engagement.  We'll see what happens.  After my first session yesterday, wherein I worked my upper body, I actually surprised myself.  For someone who doesn't "work out", I'm pretty strong.  Must be lifting all those amps and speakers.  Today I introduce my lower body muscles to actual movement.  I'm pretty sure that's not going to go as well, but then I thought that about the top half as well, so you never know.

So I was going to talk about meat today.  And about this dietary thing; I'm not posting all this stuff because I'm trying to become an expert.  What I'm hoping is that someone like me who gets lost in all the information you find on the internet in the pursuit of better health, will read what works for me and maybe it will help make a small difference for you too.  All we need is something to start with and we can figure out the rest as we go.

When Preston's cholesterol became a problem, and he needed to take meds for it, I of course wanted to do whatever I could to help, as I am the one who does the cooking. I compared the fat and cholesterol contents of turkey, chicken, ham, and beef (cause he won't eat fish), and at the time the differences did not seem to be that great.  But as I am realizing now, there's no big change to make, just a lot of little changes.  With him, the best thing I can do is switch to leaner beef.  I'm not going to force feed him stuff he doesn't want to eat.  MY palate is way more adaptable.  So I have all but eliminated red meat and pork from my diet, and I don't miss it.  I eat turkey burgers, and switch chicken for whatever other meat I am cooking for him.  I'm a little concerned about not getting enough iron, but I'm looking into other sources. When PJ was here he introduced me to Bison, which didn't taste a whole lot different from beef.  It has less fat than beef, and he informed me that the government regulations for bison are very strict, and they are not allowed to use growth hormones or other stuff that goes into beef cattle.  It's also close to $10 a pound.  So I won't be buying bison on a regular basis.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


 Does anybody know what this is?  I have two clumps of them in two different places in the garden.  They were volunteers, I didn't plant them.  When they first came up they looked kind of like squash- or cuke-type-things, see the rounded leaves on the bottom?  And they came up all in a clump, like maybe it was something from the compost.  Could be anything.  But now the leaves on top are all kind of pointed, and I'm at a loss as to what they might be.  I guess I'll find out when they bear...something. Alien pods, maybe.

Came home from work today to find this little goldfinch parked on the corner of Preston's shed roof (and I say "Preston's" shed because we do have his and hers.  Best birthday present I ever got!)  I don't know if he's a baby or not, I don't want to get too close and scare him, but he watched me looking at him and taking his picture and didn't seem inclined to move.

So yesterday I was droning on about nutrition. I think the key is,  baby steps.  One thing at a time.  I started looking at things like cooking methods.  I cook with canola oil, when I use oil at all.  Turns out, that's a pretty good choice.  Olive oil is better if you're putting it on salads or whatnot, but we don't do that and canola is actually better for cooking.  So that's good.  And I looked at the margarine I use, Land O Lakes buttery-taste spread.  Also a good choice as far as margarine goes.  No trans fats.  But I usually use stick margarine when cooking, because it's easy to measure.  NOT a good choice; I found out that all the stick margarine brands, at least all the ones my local store sells, contain trans fats.  So I won't be using that anymore. I don't know how soft margarine will work in baking, but I'll worry about that in the fall when the baking bug bites me as it always does.

I already stopped using salt when I cook, and as I said I don't miss it. Preston misses it, and still puts it on stuff.  But that's on him.  It was salt-free when I served it.

We bought a gas grill a couple weeks ago.  I figure if I can't get him to give up burgers, at least I can use the healthiest cooking method.  We used to have a grill, but it rusted out and we never bothered to get another one, easier to just cook on the stove top.  But I like having it, especially since we have a small house and it's summer, so the more heat-producing things I can move outside, the better.  It even has a side burner, which I thought was ridiculous since there's just the two of us to cook for, but I've used it twice already to cook corn on the cob.

Speaking of the gas grill, it's time to go fire it up.  Tomorrow I'll talk a little about meat and what I've learned in THAT department.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Health Food

Usually, I have oatmeal for breakfast.  But, since I have blackberries growing at one end of the garden and raspberries at the other, Cheerios seemed like a better blank canvas for that.  The blueberries are from the store, our blueberries over the years got smaller and smaller until they disappeared entirely.  Strange.  Anyway, I topped it off with almond milk;  finally got around to trying it, and it's pretty tasty.  I tried rice milk, I just couldn't do it.  Yuck.

So yeah, I'm trying to eat healthy.  I am NOT on a diet.  That sounds too restrictive, and besides people just seem so gleeful the first time you decide to cheat and have an ice cream cone;  "oh, is THAT on your diet?"  It's like everyone who's not on a diet is just waiting for you to fail.  Which of course you will.  But I had to do something, my cholesterol is higher than it should be and my blood pressure is borderline.  Time to fix it now, it's only going to get worse as I get older.  I cut WAY down on salt last year, all but eliminating it, and to tell you the truth I didn't miss it.  Honestly, I'm not a person who HAS to have this or can't live without that.  If it weren't for my husband, who doesn't like his diet messed with, I could go vegan tomorrow and never look back.  But I'm not going to cook two meals, it's just not going to happen.

The first thing I learned when I decided to eat healthy is, it's not possible.  Really. Get something that's low fat?  It's got more sugar.  Low carb?  Higher sodium.  What the hell!!!  The Boy, who is something of an expert in this stuff since that's his day job, agreed.  You have to pick what you want to be healthy about, he said.  So, this is going to be like work. Ok.

The first thing I'm doing is figuring out what things are an issue with my food.  Here's a list of possibilities;
  • Fat, carbs, sodium, sugar.  The big 4.
  • Hormones and god-knows-what in my meat.  Not to mention the horrors of the meat industry.  Watch "Food, Inc." on Netflix.
  • Pesticides.  Ick.
  • High fructose corn syrup.
  • Trans fats, whatever those are.  I just know they're bad.
  • The lining inside of cans, for heaven's sake.  Who knew? \
  • Gluten.  I don't think I have a problem with gluten, ate it all my life.  But I'm hearing that if you get OFF gluten, you start to realize all the problems you never knew you were having.  Maybe I don't need to deal with that just yet.
  • Processed flour and non-whole-grain products.
  • Lactose.  Again, never had a problem.  But I'm hearing that sooner or later everyone becomes lactose-intolerant, it's just a matter of time.  I don't know if that's true, Sparky is in her 80s and still drinks milk with no problem.  The Boy says that those of us who can drink milk are actually the anomalies; the lactose intolerant are the normal ones.

Fortunately for me, I've decided to improve my food intake at a time when fresh veggies are in season.  The first thing I did was add more fresh veggies to our diet.  We both like vegetables, so that was easy.  Plus the Richmond Farmer's Market is right down the road.

Tomorrow I'll tell you the small changes I've made so far; and surprisingly enough, they seem to be working; I've lost 8 pounds in the last month.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Bugging Out

Something really tragic happened to the bottom half of this pic. I fail as a photographer.

 I've never seen a week go by so fast as when The Boy comes to visit.  Granted, we all don't DO much of anything when he's here, he spends a lot of time running around touching base with all the friends he never gets to see and then roosts here at night.  But that's ok, everybody wants a piece of him and we make him stay up late when he gets home so we get our piece too.  We didn't get to see The Wife either, she stays with her family and spends her time touching base with all HER friends.  Maybe next time.  Anyway, Boy and Wife are on their way back to California today.

Also bugging out to California today is Sparky.  As I type she and Auntie Pat are in Newark, awaiting their flight to meet my sister in San Fran, from there to proceed up to Redwood country to spend two carefree weeks on the mountain with the grandkids and the great-grandkids.  I'm so glad she got to go, and I'm glad Pat went with her.  Wish I was part of this mass migration to the west coast, but no.  Ah well.

Speaking of bugging out, I have been trying to find a non-toxic way to discourage these really pretty beetles from consuming my squash plants.  I don't want to use pesticide.  If I wanted poison in my food I would just buy it at Stop and Shop.  So I tried this recipe I found online using vegetable-based dish soap, garlic, and hot peppers.  It did not work at all, in fact I think the beetles were very happy I seasoned their greens for them.  I ended up picking the little bastards off one by one.  Boy, can they eat a lot.  AND they laid eggs on the undersides of the leaves, but those are gone now also.

So it's the 4th and since there's no plan for the day, I think I'll go on bug and weed patrol, then work on some projects that are half-completed.  One of my regular favorite customers showed up the other day with an armload of fabric for me and bribed me to make her some curtains in exchange.  So now I have some new fabric for inspiration.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Mary, my landlady, tells me all the time that I attract wackjobs.  She sees them come and go, as her business is right next door to mine, and after having been open for business where I am now for over 4 years, I have to say she's right.  I mean, most of my customers are "normal" (If there is such a thing) but there are quite a few who are...well, quirkier than most.  I like them the best.  Well, most of them (some of you are familiar with the Jock Strap Incident).  Mine is an alterations shop; not really the sort of place where one would think to find a high concentration of odd people congregating, which makes me suspect that maybe it's not the business, it's me.  Let's not delve into THAT theory too deeply.

But I have found a place that makes my weirdest people look boring.  The Science Channel has a series called "Oddities" and I am completely fascinated and grossed out.  It is a reality series sort of like "Pawn Stars", only the shop deals in antiquated medical equipment and quackery, taxidermy, skeletons, jewelry made from kidney stones....but still, I'm not sure if the title refers to the items in the store, or the customers. Nothing I could say here would do justice to their clientele;  you really have to watch the show.  The day we discovered it was a day there was an Oddities marathon, and we sat glued to the TV for over four hours and blew the better part of a nice afternoon because we just couldn't tear ourselves away.
The proprietors of Obscura in NYC, and hosts of "Oddities".  They LOOK normal, don't they?  Oddities airs on Saturday nights at 8:00 and 8:30 on The Science Channel (NOT the SyFy Channel), followed by the all new "Oddities: San Francisco"Bicoastal lunacy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This has been the view out my door for the last week.  Pretty much.  We did have a couple of non-raining, even briefly sunny days, but today it's raining AGAIN so I don't remember when they were or if I just dreamed them.  It's actually not a bad view now that I look at it, I just wish it was drier.  Where my sister lives, way up north in California, it rains all winter.  She once said she sure hoped spring would come before she had mildew growing up her legs.  I know how she feels. One day last week, in the space of 10 minutes, it was cloudy, then pouring, then sunny and thundering.  When they say if you don't like the weather in New England, wait a minute, they mean that literally.

So I've been just laying low and getting a lot of work done, and fun stuff too; got inspired a few weeks ago to make some patriotic kids clothes, and I actually have them almost finished in time for the 4th!  

Watched Dropkick Murphys live from Fenway Park last night on Palladia (I love the Palladia network.  You can only get it if you have HDTV, and I don't know how I lived without it!)  I had never seen them perform, and since Boston is their stomping ground it was no surprise that the audience was totally into it.  They look, for all intent and purpose, like a bunch of random guys who were hanging out in a bar and said "hey...we should start a band".  And then they called on stage members of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones for THE song, "Shipping up to Boston", which I tried in vain to find for you on YouTube.  All I could find were videos posted by people in the audience, and this was the best one I could come up with.  If you have Palladia (and if you have HDTV you do, it's a free channel) I highly recommend checking this out.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Nosy neighbors

 I was so looking forward to the holiday weekend!  two days off in a row!!  And the weather was beautiful, and for the first time in at least 5 years, we got our garden planted on time!  I found a guy on Craigslist to come rototill and I can't say enough about him.  He was friendly and respectful and showed up when he said he was going to, his price was more than fair, and he did a great job. He does all sorts of other yard and garden stuff too, I highly recommend him to anybody in the RI area. Thomas Reilly, 401-749-5296.  And he's a military man, so that seemed appropriate too!
So here's the view from my garden bench!  The garden is about twice this length.  Tomatoes and peppers and beans, oh my.  And my nosy neighbors.  Some people say cows don't have much personality, but these two couldn't be more different; the one on the left enjoys being sprayed in the face with the hose--in fact she'll come closer and open her mouth for a drink--the other one doesn't like it at all.  On the other hand, the one on the right will let you pet him on the nose, the other one won't come close enough to be touched.  But they BOTH come running when they see someone in the garden, they're always looking for a handout. 

Yeah, so we got our garden planted, and Preston welded his trailer.  He offered to let me do it, but I have to admit I'm leery of the welder.  I'd probably zap myself and that would be the end of me.  But he requested that I model the helmet, very sexy.

And my muses won't shut up; the more stuff I make, the more loudly they clamor.  The other quilt top is sewn together, but I was compelled to begin this one.  This, too, was triggered by something else.  I made a little purple gingham dress, which sold in my shop before I could even get it finished.  Inspired by that and by the fact that gingham makes me happy anyway, I cut out four more dresses in the shades you see here.  And of course, there were scraps so you know what transpired.  I should have tried to hunt down a couple more colors, but I'm still on a mission to see how much stuff I can make out of materials I already have, so that's what I did.  As I said before, I'm not really a quilter.  I have a Judy Martin book with lots of great quilt block designs, and I've used them on small one-block projects, but to make a whole quilt--even a baby quilt--with anything more complicated than squares takes too long because they really should be hand-quilted instead of tied, and I get bored.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Voices in my Head Said, "Make Another Quilt"

 And we must always obey the voices.  Actually
what happened was that I was making this little flannel baby jacket, and as I was looking at the colors in the print I thought, those would make a really colorful baby quilt!  So of course I had to go get my tote o' scraps immediately, because you know if I wait I would never get around to it.  I'm not really a "quilter" in the true sense of the word, but that's ok.  If I had the time and patience to make real quilts nobody would be able to afford them anyway. 
Quilts are not something I do all the time, but I guess my brain was still in quilt mode from having just recently finished this purple and turquoise one.  Sparky doubted, she said those two colors fight...and to be honest, I think I've lost all perception of what colors go with what.  I can not think of a color combination I've never used in the making of powwow regalia.  After a while everything I learned in art class in elementary school just lost meaning (and believe it or not, I DID learn that in art class;  they showed us a color wheel and informed us that these colors go together, and those do not.  As you can see, I didn't pay a lot of attention in school).
 Anyway, my response to Sparky was, "if I put them together, they're going to have to learn to get along".  And they do.  Apparently it's not just me, because the quilt I made was inspired by this little afghan I made out of a skein of yarn I found at the local consignment shop;  purple and turquoise all variegated together.  It also inspired several purple-and-turquoise baby outfits, which brings us back to the voices in my head.
People talk about their "muse" all the time, what inspires them to do what they do.  I would picture myself as having two muses, sitting on each shoulder like in the cartoons, and egging each other on;  "hey, look at that yarn!  Why don't you make an afghan?  I bet you remember how to make the broomstick stitch".  "You know what would be fun?  Some little clothes that match those colors, cause you don't see THOSE colors every day in the baby department".  "While you're at it, why don't you take the scraps left over from the clothes and make a quilt?  You weren't really going to throw them away, now were you?" (I wasn't.  And to be fair, I think that last one might have been my Dad.  God forbid I should throw anything away!!!).

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Prom season is almost over!  While I always welcome the extra work, it just so happens that at the same time the prom gowns start coming in for alterations, everyone else also decides they need stuff done so my shop fills up with piles of work to be done!  But I made it through another year, and people have been really patient with me so I'm thankful for that. 

In between the prom stuff and all the other stuff, I've still been working on new things for the store.  It makes me happy, and at the end of the day (literally) you need things that make you happy to balance out your work day stress.  This is the collar to a little dress I'm making...indeed, it's almost done now that I found out how to make little buds using this Oyster Stitch.  Thanks to Carol, who posted this really cool link on Facebook at exactly the time when I was thinking about trying to find some stitch that would replicate the buds in the fabric.  Embroidery is not something I do a lot, so I learn stuff as I go when I need to.
Another thing I don't know a lot about is crochet. There are a few stitches I know, and I DO know how to make granny squares, so I make the most of that.  I always seem to have at least one crochet project going, and I work on them at night while we watch such enriching shows as America's Got Wackos. ("Hey, you could do that!!"  "Yeah, but WHY???")  The current project is going to be some sort of afghan;  maybe for a baby, maybe larger.  Someone gave me this yarn, and I don't know what she had planned to make from it but I looked at it and saw granny squares.  So we'll see how many squares three big skeins of Red Heart will make. 
And then there's THIS bunch of really bright colors:

I have them left over from my first-ever Grass Dance regalia (more on that later), and I thought a baby afghan made from them would be a good idea.  People come in to the shop all the time looking for baby stuff and I just can't keep up!  So I worked up this one square to see how big it would be if I used all the colors, and how many squares I'll have to make.  As it happens, I had picked up some extremely cute polka-dotted fabric last week that has these same colors in it.  So we'll see what comes of that.

And now, it's time to get back to my REAL job!  Those prom gowns aren't going to hem themselves, and in spite of every fairy tale I've ever read, the mice do NOT come out at night and finish all my work. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tumbleweed Season

Do you know what this is?  This represents about 45 seconds of combing my dog. And I could comb her again 5 minutes from now and get another pile at least this big because we have a Husky, and she sheds like it's her job. At my house we call this time of year Tumbleweed Season, because the floor must be swept SEVERAL times a day in order to keep up with all the hairy tumbleweeds that magically appear.  On the plus side, she looks like she's lost about 30 pounds in the last couple of weeks just from losing all the fluffiness!
You can't see her big fat tail (always the last part to shed), because she's wagging it so hard!  She loves to have her picture taken for some reason, probably because it means I'm looking at her. 

Not much else going on at the Compound this weekend, Sparky bought a flat of pansies yesterday and now it's pouring out so there'll be no playing in the dirt today.  Figures, it didn't rain for weeks and now it's my day off.  We so needed the rain though.  I'm really looking forward to having time this year to plant some vegetables!  Haven't had time for a garden in a couple of years.  OH speaking of growing things, I really dropped the ball on the Zombie Amaryllis!  Here's how it turned out...really pretty.  But there was no grandson-of-the-zombie-amaryllis, so the fun ended when these big-ass flowers died.  Now the remains of the stalk are sitting on the deck, dead.  Or are they....

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Surreality. For Real.

For someone who writes quite a few blog posts, it really occurs to me that I'm not very good with words. Oh I can go on and on about what I'm making that week, or complain about crap that irritates me, all the unimportant stuff. But when it comes to the real stuff, that's a different story. Which is a shame, because it makes me seem like kind of a jerk sometimes. I guess that's a common thing, to hide behind humor or sarcasm, but it leaves a people not knowing how you really feel. And then sometimes stuff happens for which a person just plain doesn't have any words. If you have one of these,

then you'll understand at least some of what I'm going to prattle on about today. Isn't he cute? My boy. He was just a joy to raise. Sweet, funny kid, always singing and always moving, unbelievable imagination. He fell in love with music when he was barely old enough to walk; I have a picture of him in diapers at the Rocky Hill Fair, boogying down to Ronnie Profitt in concert.
Well the years go by and life goes on, and then this happens:How can he be old enough to get married? It's scary. But our daughter-in-law Kaela is a wonderful girl, and they adore each other. I've never seen two people happier to get married. Coming up on a year now, already. I grumbled and joked about doing the mother/son dance at the wedding, mostly because I hadn't danced in over 20 years, partly because I was nervous about the wedding day. I wished I'd kept my comments to myself, but then it wasn't about me so nobody paid attention anyway, least of all the groom. Good thing. I wonder what my dad went through when he had to give me away, what went through my mother's mind. I never gave it a thought. Even when things are GREAT and you know you're not really losing him and you are more than OK with the person he's chosen, it's a surreal thing to have your kid get married.

So then a year goes by and then THIS happens:

Ok, so that doesn't happen to everybody's kid. But it's happening to mine!! That was the whole reason for them moving to L.A. in the first place, and now it's really happening. I can hardly believe it but only because it's just so surreal. I always knew he had the potential to be a star, and that's not just the mother talking, it's the musician. He has talent that WELL exceeds mine. The really, really cool part is that he was fearless enough, with the wholehearted support of his lady (who has talents and dreams of her own which also needed to be transplanted to the west coast), to pick up his life and haul it 3,000 miles away from everything and everyone he's ever known just to make his dreams happen. And then to get there, and do it. There are just no words to describe how proud and inspired I am.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Playback's a Bitch....

...and then you hit "delete" and do it again. For the last few weeks, my band has been working on our new demo. Not that there's anything wrong with the old one, we just like to torture ourselves. And I do mean torture! Nothing like examining all your little screwups under a microscope. After listening in abject embarrassment, I swore I would never sing in public again. Preston promised me, though, I don't really sound like that. It was, after all, just a reference track, and I wasn't really putting my best voice forward. At least we're doing it in the comfort of Kevin's basement this time, which is far better than in our usual space where it's bloody cold.
The first part of the process has to be the recording of the drum tracks, which means Preston has been very busy with playing and Joe has been very busy recording and dealing with computer SNAFUs.And I have been supervising, offering unsolicited opinions, and crocheting. Kevin is in the other room on Facebook. Soon, though, it will be my turn on the rack; bass tracks are next.

Preston informs me that we are setting the clocks ahead next week. I'm one of those people for whom daylight savings time represents a major upheaval. It takes me days to adjust, so I know THAT's coming, but even still I can't wait. I look forward to coming home with enough daylight left to take Myah for a walk. Both of us need to shed our winter fat and neither of us can get it together in the morning so the walks have been few and far between.

Funny thing about my new year's resolution (and I said I wouldn't go here again, but...well, I lie). Since I vowed to get off my own back about not starting new projects before I finish the old ones, I have not only started AND COMPLETED many new projects, I have finished all but a few of the old ones! Seems stress just causes you to spin your wheels, and self-inflicted stress even more so. So since I have decided to re-open the gift shop at Incredible Threads, I've got lots of stuff to fill it with. Now I just have to get the shoppers in! So now to go brainstorm some free publicity. Hmmm.....

Monday, February 20, 2012

Zombie Amaryllis

So last year, Auntie Pat gave Sparky this big, beautiful plant, a red Amaryllis. It had the biggest blooms I've ever seen on a plant in a pot, bigger than Easter lilies. And when it finally died it left this huge, root-bound bulb and Sparky was at a loss as to what to do with it (me, I was no help. I am flower-impaired.) So she tried to dry it out as I remember, and took off the roots. She stuck it back in the pot in the back room, figuring it was probably dead. Well don't you know, this winter the thing started growing again, in spite of being dried out and all but discarded. it sprouted one big, fat stalk right out of the middle of the bulb poking up at the ceiling defiantly like some sort of botanical middle finger.

It grew visibly every day, just a stalk with a big bud on the end. It was a little disturbing. No leaves, just the stalk. NO LEAVES. How was it photosynthesizing? No visible means of nutrition. I wish I had taken a pic of it at that point. Sparky put it on the kitchen table where it could get some sunlight, and every day I would come in and there it was, sitting there with an attitude. Most plants lean toward the light. Not this one, it demonstrated a flagrant disregard for the sun and in fact, seemed to lean AWAY from the window, much like any undead thing. Even the cat gives it a wide berth.

When it reached the height it felt it was supposed to reach, it stopped growing vertically and started putting all its energy into the bud, which after several days revealed 6 of those huge flowers looking a lot like 6 loudspeakers on top of a pole. (no leaves. That's just not right.) And then, just when the flowers started to die...Son of the Zombie Plant emerged from the bulb, right next to the first one. THAT's not going to amount to anything, said Sparky. But it is. Note the pen marks on the first stalk; that represents about an inch a day in growth. She's not feeding it, I don't even think she's watering it. But still it thrives. I don't know what it's using for fuel, but i notice the mouse population has sharply dwindled. I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm Done With Valentine's Day.

That's not any kind of statement about love or romance. It's just that I'm done making Valentine's Day stuff. This was the last idea I had, as I have a thing for valances I decided there needed to be one for Valentine's Day. This is just how I originally conceived it; although while I was making it I debated adding some sort of trim to the top or to the bottom of the scallops, maybe piping or some narrow red edging of some sort. It's unlike me not to add a little more somethin' somethin' to...well, everything...but I thought maybe there are some people who like to keep it simple. It also occurred to me that that sort of person probably would not be much inclined to hang a Valentine's Day curtain in the first place. In the end, I decided to leave it relatively unadorned and I really like it that way.

The snow we had Saturday is all but gone now, and I couldn't be happier. Although the money we paid Tom to plow the driveway now seems like rather a waste, who knew the stuff wouldn't be hanging around for weeks? It was so warm today I had the heat off in the store and I still almost had to open up the windows. Passive solar heat is a beautiful thing. And cheap!

Monday, January 23, 2012

It's Nice to Have a Snowblower...

...It's even nicer to have a neighbor with a Bobcat. Our driveway is not as big as your average parking lot, but it's big enough that I'd rather pay someone else to do it. I guess we COULD buy a plow for our tractor but years ago when we bought our snowblower it didn't snow for five years after. So maybe that would be a good thing. But in the meantime we have Tom, who is a pretty useful person to have in your neighborhood. We buy our firewood from him, too, which gets delivered in a trailer pulled by a tractor. Strikes me funny to call for firewood and within 1/2 hour I can hear the tractor leave his driveway.

So we made it through The Storm without incident. I did manage to injure my finger in a way that I shall decline to describe here, as it seems to make people squirm, including myself. I'll just say that it doesn't seem to be life-threatening and isn't keeping me from typing or sewing (although playing my guitar last night was uncomfortable).

So today it's back to work. Ah, Monday.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Woke up this morning, had them Koi fish blues....

So remember I said that ideas come to me when I'm half asleep? This morning, as I lay there not really wanting to get out of my cozy bed and get going, I started thinking, for whatever reason, about two of the pieces of furniture in the basement that I bought a couple of years ago and stripped but that's as far as I got. One is a small bureau, for which I still don't have a plan, and the other is a maple table which I intended to stain and then paint a design on. The only thing I had definitely planned was a vine going up one leg and onto the top extending into...what? That's as far as the mental picture would go, and I was never really able to clarify what I wanted on the top. This morning, though, visions of lily pads and koi fish swam into my brain. I love goldfish, in all their gaudy beauty. This design (not the one in the pic, I have something slightly different in mind) appeals to me because you would be looking DOWN on the leaves and the fish, like you would see them if you were looking into a pond. How cool would THAT be?

I am not an artist. Things like perspective and proportion do not come naturally to my brain, so I will have to find some pictures and finagle them into something I can paint. Toward that end, I googled images of koi fish and was a little disappointed to find that 99% of the pics were of tattoos. While they were truly spectacular, they did not help me. So I'll have to do some more research, in the meantime I have some staining to do.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hearts Completed.... a matter of a couple of days. That's a record for me. They came out just the way I pictured them, so I'm pretty happy although I'm a little disappointed that the beads I had in my stash that I remembered as glass are actually plastic. I hate to use plastic beads, but sometimes the look is the important thing so I sucked it up and used them. At least the tiny little red beads are glass, so that's something. All in all, a success! I toyed with the idea of making a matching bracelet, but opted not to. I'm thinking I may still

Had the day "off" today, being a holiday, so I did just what I wanted to do which turned out to be not much of anything. I did begin my last Valentine's project, which I should be able to post tomorrow depending on how busy it is at the shop and whether or not I can get it sewed!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

War is Hell....

...especially if R. Lee Ermey is the one barking at you every day. I watched "Full Metal Jacket" again the other night. It's one of my favorite movies and I've seen it so many times I can recite much of the dialog, like a lot of people do with the Wizard of Oz. I'm not sure what it is about this move that grabs me. I've seen a lot of war movies, but it's not really my favorite genre and in general if I'm going to watch something war-related, I'd just as soon see a documentary (BTW, the miniseries Vietnam in HD that was on the History Channel not too long ago was excellent. I learned SO much it was astounding).

Maybe my fascination stems from the fact that I never learned anything about the Vietnam war in school. I was just a little kid when the war was going on, and it was never mentioned at home that I can recall....which is not surprising, what would you tell a preschooler about something so horrible? I was ignorant of all the protests, the Kent State massacre, everything. I remember very clearly my first exposure as a child to anything relating to the war. I was watching the 4th of July parade, sitting on the lawn of the Peace Dale public library. As the bands, floats, and various military and police units went by, the crowds cheered and waved. Then, here came a group of Vietnam vets, looking ragged like they had just trudged off the battlefield and carrying POW/MIA flags and what I assumed even at that age were the boots of their fallen comrades. The crowd grew silent and every one of them stood and just clapped as the vets went by. To this day the memory chokes me up. I remember thinking that must have been a war that had been fought a long time ago. I had no idea that they HAD just trudged off the battlefield.

And that was it, nothing was ever taught in school, nothing in the history classes I ever took. Looking back now, I wonder why. Was it too controversial? Wonder what they're telling the school kids now about the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Anything?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hearts in Progress....

...sounds like a cheesy Lifetime Channel movie, doesn't it? Sometimes my best ideas come to me while I'm in that grey area between sleeping and waking. Well, I don't know if they're my BEST ideas, but they come to me in great detail and I can remember them, unlike a dream that I won't recall when I wake or something that comes to me in the daytime and I either overthink it until I don't like it anymore OR I'm in the middle of something else and forget it before I have a chance to write it down or sketch it.

That is why, and I promise this is the last time I'm going to grind on this particular subject, I have decided to make a real New Year's resolution of sorts after all; I resolve to not feel guilty about starting new projects before I finish the old ones. It just goes against my bohemian nature to try and organize that part of my life, and it causes me stress. Who needs more stress? I think I expend way too much mental energy thinking about what I should be doing as opposed to what I want to do, and that energy can surely be put to better use.

Anyway, back to the hearts. A couple of nights ago several ideas hit me at once, and this was the first. I don't usually get inspired by Valentine's Day, but this year I am for whatever reason. These hearts are made from Sculpey, and they're not ready to bake yet obviously...still have to get all the little fingernail marks and dents out of them, and make holes through them. The idea was to make a necklace and earring set. I made extra, I think I will make a few pairs of earrings to sell separately. They are going to be finished with a glittery clear coat and strung with some crystal and white glass beads.

Friday, January 6, 2012

New Year's Resolution FAIL...

Are you surprised? Really? I'm not. In fact I'm a little ashamed to admit that I don't think I even made it as far as I did last year. That's why I didn't really CALL it a "New Year's Resolution". Finishing my old projects before starting new ones is a fool's quest as far as I can see. Because a lot of the time I make stuff up as I go along, and sometimes I get a little stuck...should I put a ruffle here? pintucks on the bottom? Contrasting binding or not? Sometimes it's a no-brainer, and sometimes I just can't decide. So I put it aside figuring I'll come back to it and look at it with a fresh perspective. But in the meantime, other ideas just keep coming and I have to start them; can't just wait, I'll forget them. Can't just write them down for future reference, I have a whole folder of those that I never look at because I'm too busy to have to go fish for old ideas.

Besides, Easter is coming in just a few months, and this little dress is not going to make itself. At least not in time for Easter. I figure if I start it now maybe I'll get it done in time for Easter 2013.