Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy 80th Birthday, Dad!

Dad - I know now that you're on Facebook, you no longer Twitter, but still, you need to correct your Twitter description, age-wise and girth-wise from this:

79,retired,bald,fat,ugly,sassy,lazy,mean as a snake; otherwise, nearly perfect

Happy Birthday!!!

It's been in the high 50s outside but it's snowing inside my studio!
This hand stitched wintery blue greeting card has been left blank inside for your personal message. $4.50

I know I've been a slacking blogger lately, but when 2 people email me to see if I'm okay, I know I need to get back here pronto. As expected, I've been really busy with wholesale orders and I have back to back shows the next couple of weekends.

But mainly I've been determined that whenever I post a finished piece here, I want it to be available in my Etsy shop. Plus I'm setting up a shop at 1000 Markets. It's a juried shop so once I have a minimum of 6 items listed I can submit it for approval. I haven't fully decided if I'll maintain both shops. It's really not much extra work, as it turns out, because I copy and paste the description from one to the other. I use the same scanned images of course. The cost is minimal. Neither one has rules about not appearing at a competitors, that I know of.

I was ready to post these new cards in the Etsy shop today but another motivating factor is that my blog stats have been unusually high the last two days. I did receive 2 new comments on that stupid Bruce Jenner entry so I figured he must have been in the news again and people are Googling him.

Sure enough - I just found this review of their latest quest for publicity. I cannot begin to tell you how sick I am of these infamously famous people like those 2 who shall remain nameless with all those kids. I watch the Today Show from 7:00 to 7:30 and every time they have an interview with some faux celeb, I found myself launching into the "Really?!" bit from SNL. Really?? Is this news?! Really.

But mostly I found lots of hits for cards - quilled and pop-ups seem to be the popular choices. Shame I don't make either - but I've posted about them. T'is the season - people are beginning their card making.

November 12, 13, 14

Not Your Usual Craft Sale

Brighton Town Park, Carmen Clark Lodge

777 Westfall Road, Rochester, NY 14620


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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Regretsy

I think Regretsy's tag line says it all:

Handmade? It looks like you made it with your feet.

And just like that hilarious People of Walmart site, the captions and comments make the photos even better. (Just now, I popped over to People of Walmart, skimmed a few entries to see what's new and I'm in tears laughing. At my desk on my lunch hour. Praying no one wanders by to witness this.)

This gorgeous paper clip necklace sold! At $5, it was such a good deal. (Note that sweater above is $198.)

"I'm sorry, I don't think it's funny to ridicule things that take so much time and effort to create. Do you know how long it took her to find just the right paper clip? And THEN she had to put a piece of thread through it!"

I clicked through to the real Etsy shops on some of the items and I'm happy to say that most of the people haven't sold much.

There's been some rumbling from time to time about some items of low quality on Etsy but I've never really seen any. Until now. Whoa.

Now I understand the appeal of 1000 Markets, which juries their sellers.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

I Got the Message

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Other than she is young, thin and blond, this looks just like me. My massage therapist uses these hot stones - love them. Unfortunately, I had to cancel my Wednesday appointment due to financial considerations - just not in the budget at the moment.

The reason I bring this up though, is because last week I received a post card from a massage therapist near my house. I went to her once several years ago, because she had an introductory special. I liked her very much, but at the time, she didn't take my insurance so I went elsewhere, eventually ending up with Mary, who is now my friend - and a fantastic message therapist.

But the postcard says this, "Schedule your next appointment now and bring this card for a savings of $25 off a full message session!"

As much as I'd like to save $25, I just can't go to someone who sends a postcard out with such a glaring typo. Yes, I'm that kind of person - just can't do it. (And Mary would kill me if I went elsewhere. And really, why would I - she's the best!) (And yes, she occasionally reads this blog, but I would say that anyway. I've referred two people to her.)

~ ~ ~

You know how sometimes you have those weekends where you feel like didn't accomplish diddly? I didn't have one of those weekends at all! After Saturday's dog walk, I cleaned up part of the garage, washed my car and finally put the clings on my windows that I bought late last year.

Doesn't that look fantastic? It's on both back windows, the inside. I bought them from Ernie, on Etsy. Very reasonable I thought - $40 for both including shipping. Except you know what I realized? Now I have to be a good driver. Darn it! I really didn't think this through first.

I got my hair cut. I cleaned up my studio and spent lots of time getting my new laptop set up. It's not there 100% but pretty darn workable. This thing sings! And that photo of my car? I just took it with my camera, stuck the memory card directly into a slot in the laptop - and voila! I'm back in business with downloading photos! I'm so relieved because we leave on vacation in a few days. (We're going to Maine for a week.)

As I moved my old laptop out of position on my desk and moved the new one in, and plugged things into to the USB ports - holy cow! They are so tight and secure! I knew the old ones were shot, but I had no idea how sloppy loose they were. I'm very happy with my new computer.

I still have lots of paperwork to catch up on before we leave and I have to make sure I have plenty of pieces ready to stitch on vacation. I always worry about that more than any other element of vacation. Socks & underwear? Whatever. Stitching? Must have! Since this year, like last year, we're driving to our destination, Steve drives and I stitch. Plus there's plenty of down time in the hotel. Just like at home, I'm stitching during every available free moment - and loving it.

(Mom, I may or may not get more business card punched for you to stitch - we'll have to play that by ear.)

And all my old email is still on my old computer. So Dad, I'm half-thinking I may end up taking my old laptop on vacation with me to work on cleaning it off. I have such an incredible backlog of email - and plenty I want to keep - but I'm not sure I want to transfer all of that big mess to my new laptop. But you can definitely use it when I return, or sometime soon.

I must say that the setting up of this new computer could hardly have gone smoother. I love the "fresh start" feel. I, like lots of you I'm sure, go through stages where I purge blogs that I read, newsletters, etc. Then I have a run where I find all kinds of interesting things that I must know about and the glut begins all over again. (Disclaimer: I never discontinue reading blogs of my core group of online friends on purpose, just get too darn busy to check as often as I'd like.)

~ ~ ~

Check out that new badge in my sidebar that tidies up my Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc. links. I found that on another blog this morning.
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Monday, May 04, 2009

Spot Coffee and on to the Next Show

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Spot Coffee went about as well as I expected. Sales weren't terrific but I had fun; it's a cool place to be. I had to use one of their tables instead of my own so thank goodness I had the two black squares of gabardine with me that I could fake into a table cloth.

I got a lot of stitching done so that's always fun. As I sat stitching, looking around the room, it dawned on me that I was old enough to be the mother of every vendor there. I always forget that I'm 53 so I felt like I was among my peers until that mother of a thought entered my brain.

I was also cracking up at the notion that here I was at Spot Coffee, home of the crunchy granola/backpacky crowd, sporting my birthday gift Vera Bradley purse. I felt like I wanted to explain, "This is my first and only Vera Bradley! Deep down I'm a hippie chick too!"

I bought a cranberry raspberry smoothie that was outstanding. I'd go back just for that, actually!

I had fun hanging with my friend Vickie, of In My Head Studios. It was the first time I got to see her new textured domino pendants in person - they are fabulous!



She's also a graphic designer. She's working on a tri-fold brochure for me so we talked about that some more. She's coming to my studio Saturday to take photos of my hands stitching, for the brochure. And we had fun comparing iPhone/iTouch apps. Free wifi!

My other favorite thing was meeting John Ballou of JackBear Stamps. He hand carves rubber stamps - with incredible detail! I'm going to steal Vickie's idea and commission John to carve a Pine Tree Designs custom stamp that I can use to stamp on my paper bags. It will probably be the same logo/words I use on the back of my cards.

And it's on to the next show, day after tomorrow. We left most of my stuff in Steve's vehicle. Just a little readjustment and I'll be good to go!

Wednesday - May 6, 10:00-3:30

Nixon Peabody Art & Craft Show

1100 Clinton Square, 14th Floor

Rochester, NY

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Turquoise Web Paper Art Pin

.Wearable Paper Art Pin, $4.00

I love how this turned out. That green circle is only 1-1/4" diameter!

I mentioned yesterday how I get all nervous and jerky when sending out a Pine Tree Designs email. How many times will it take for me to remember what a good experience it is? I always hear back from bunches of people - mostly friends and craft colleagues. They are all excited for me, happy to hear from me and we get to catch up with each other.

It's all good.

Sunday - May 3, 5:00-10:00 pm

Spot Coffee's First & Last; Arts & Crafts

(first & last weekends of the month)

200 East Avenue

Rochester, NY

~ ~ ~

Wednesday - May 6, 10:00-3:00

Nixon Peabody Art & Craft Show

1100 Clinton Square, 14th Floor

Rochester, NY

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'm an Idiot, I'm a Genius

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First, why I'm an idiot.

I've mentioned before that I turn into such a nervous wreck when sending an email blast to my customers. It used to be that I hesitated because I didn't want to be considered to be a spammer. I have never sent out enough email to be considered spam - and this is an email list that people sign up for! So I got over that.

I just want the email to be perfect. Is that asking too much??

I wanted to send the email last week because I often feel like I wait until the last minute before an event. But first I wanted to post more things in my shop, but before that I wanted to . . . and the list goes on and on. Finally, I had to just do it.

I posted 5 new paper art jewelry pins in the Shop last night. This morning I updated my Shows page. So I was ready to send the email. I tell you, I reread that thing 100 times, I sent it to myself first to see how it looks, checked the links, etc.

Finally, the big moment - send! My list is so large I have it broken down into groups alphabetically so the mail server can handle it. First group - I sent the group as "to", not "bcc". This is one of my pet peeves in that I think it makes one look amateurish to expose recipients names like that. Darn.

Not to worry - I did it correctly for the rest of the groups.

I immediately get a small number of auto-replies, as expected - address change, mailboxes have been deleted, etc.

Then I get a live response from a woman who politely asks about the new shows, "Sounds great! What town are those in?"

Crap! I gave the addresses but neglected to say they are both in downtown Rochester, NY. I forget that my mailing list has grown beyond the 18 friends and family it started out as.

Oh well. The complete address is on my Shows page, so there's that. (And I immediately replied to her personally, of course.)

~ ~ ~

Now, want to hear what a genius I am??

Long ago I needed graph paper for a project and figured I could find some on the Internet - and I did. You can specify the size, color lines, etc. Worked perfectly.

When working on these new pins the other day, like the one pictured above, I was making the patterns by folding paper in half, quarters, eighths, etc. to mark off the sections. Particularly when working that small, being off even just a skosh makes the design look sloppy. I liked the direction I was heading but any slight imperfection was bugging me.

Shazam, I says to myself, I bet I can find round graph paper on the Internet! I Googled and found it helps to call it circular graph paper but whoomp, there it is! Every kind of graph paper you could possibly want, all turned into a free downloadable pdf, made to your specs.

So yeah, I'm a genius. I invented Googling the Internet.


First & Last Arts & Crafts Show
May 3rd
5 – 10 PM
Spot Coffee
200 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14604



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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Red Diamonds

.I still haven't posted all the Valentine's Day cards I made. Very soon. But first, I received the order yesterday for the gift tags so I need to finish those up.

~ ~ ~

I met my friend Vickie for coffee and smoothies the other night. She's one of the administrators of the Etsy Twitter team and has really done a nice job of promoting Etsy sellers. Check out their blog here. I was leery of another commitment, but I applied to join the team this morning because it's gotten so large, they are closing membership on February 8th. So I'm posting this here because I know I have a bunch of Etsy & Twitter readers. If you want to join, better get a move on.

My addictions to Etsy, Twitter and Facebook have gotten so bad that I was standing in the kitchen last night, cooking eggs for our Breakfast Pizza for Dinner, thinking, "I wish I had a fancy iPhone so I could check Twitter right now." Just what I need - more Internet access.

Backing away from the computer . . . . must stitch . . . .

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Low Bridge Artworks

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Etsy is so full of talented artists, I can't resist introducing you to another one. I've always said, if I didn't work in paper, I'm sure glass would be my medium. Check out this beautiful work!

12" diameter mosaic wall or table art by Laura of Low Bridge Artworks, in North Carolina. This was created with stained glass, vitreous glass, glass gems and millefiori.


Some of her work is free form, but most is very "Stefani", round and symmetrical. :-) This piece is 24" x 30".


Look at the detail! Laura went back to her quilting roots for this 24" x 32" piece. It includes stained glass, mirrored glass, vintage ceramic tiles, millefiori, shell, glass "rocks", glass gems, stones, iridescent glass, jewelry findings, broken plate pieces and crushed glass. Each bird has a millefiori eye.

This piece sells for $400 and I say Laura earns every penny. Fantastic!

~ ~ ~

Me? I really felt off yesterday, still do and I'm not sure why. I feel like something is brewing below the surface and I can't quite put my finger on it yet. I know lots of people have trouble with post holiday season let-down, but we are so low-key about the holidays, it doesn't really feel like that. Some people have seasonal sadness but I haven't in the past, not until March or April, when I get sick of the cold and snow.

The closest I can come is that I feel very unfulfilled at the day job lately. That ebbs and flows, like anything else. Besides my insurmountable workload (like everyone else there), morale is pretty low.

I think it was Joan who asked recently if people at work appreciate the effort I put into the cards I make for everyone to sign for various events. It's something I'd been thinking about on my own before she even asked it - but I worried it was my ego talking. But I think that thing has run it's course, as things do.

Both of the cards I made recently - for the widow of the employee that passed away recently and for the top engineer whose last day is today - were signed by something like 11 people - out of 60 or so. The thing is, I used to pass the card around, in a folder with a list of employees - cross your name off and pass it on. But I finally got sick of tracking down the card so the more recent plan has been to leave the card on the table in the mail room and let people come to the card. (I email the office to let them know it's there.) People just don't make the effort.

I had already decided to take a break from the Birthday Brownies this year. I've done this before - stopped when it ceased to be fun.

I'm not mad about any of this, I'm just not interested in doing it anymore. Part of my brain worries that now I'm contributing to the low morale - but since both of these things have gotten to be non-things, I don't think it will make a difference to anyone. It just no longer interests me.

The other thing that's bothering me is I think I need to put myself on a news moratorium. This has happened before, where news affects me too deeply or something. And man, if the bad news isn't enough to make someone sad these days, when is it?

The thing is usually I can turn any of the negatives into positive energy for myself. But now I'm just feeling worn out by everything. Which really pisses me off because I usually really love the first of the year - clean slate, fresh start, new goals - love that stuff.

Wow. Do I know how to bring down a room or what?? Sorry about that. This too shall pass.

I do have one positive note - I worked on some Valentine's Day designs last night. That got my juices flowing nicely. My goal is to have 25 Valentine's Day cards posted in my Etsy shop soon.
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Monday, December 29, 2008

Rag Sky Art Studio

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(1-1/2" x 2")

Taking a break from showing you what I made as gifts for Christmas, here's something that was given to me. Mom gave me this "Fabric Jewels" pin made by Meg Hannan of Rag Sky Art Studio, in Seattle, WA.

Meg says, "Using processes of my own invention, I create my jewelry out of fabric & fibers. I first hand-dye some of it, then layer or roll the fabric with liquid glue which hardens and protects it. Finally, I slice it cross-section, essentially creating fiber 'millefiori' ".

I saw this at a Casa Larga craft show, being sold by Frame of Mind, which offers custom framing and needlework supplies. The store is located right in the village of Penfield, which I go through a lot so I could sort of picture their sign out on the main road but she had to explain to me where their building is - behind other buildings. I had assumed it was a frame shop only; I had no idea they sold needlework supplies - and this outstanding work by Meg Hannan. I'll definitely be stopping in there sometime.

The funny thing was that I had purposely made time before the craft show started, to walk around and look at the work of the other vendors because Mom usually comes to this show and invariably asks, "See anything here you want for ::: insert next appropriate holiday here :::? I told this to the nice woman at the Frame of Mind booth, so she offered to put the pin aside for me. Hours passed and no Mom . . . so I finally called her to ask if she was planning on stopping by. If not, I'd buy the pin myself and she could give it to me for Christmas, if she wanted to. I got her voice mail because you know how busy retired people are. She called me back though and this was one of the few shows she had not planned on coming to - but it's close to her house, so she did stop by and bought the pin.

People shopping for Sticky Notes in my booth often comment how hard it is to choose. In my head, I'm sort of chuckling, "How hard can it be?" But that's exactly how I felt trying to pick out just the right heart pin. Each one is so one-of-a-kind!

I think it's absolutely gorgeous - fabric, color, tiny beads, heart shaped - all things that sing my name!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Business of Art

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The Messenger Post article about Etsy sellers is here!

I'd checked online for it a few times over the past couple of weeks, then forgot about it until a friend at work popped into my office yesterday with it printed out. His wife had read it and called him about it. I'm very happy with it - especially the mention of being "the local artist with the most unique product".

I should have known it was out because I saw a jump in my stats yesterday for both this blog and the Pine Tree Designs site. Unless the print version is different - no urls were provided, so people have been resourceful in finding me by my Etsy shop name. Cool!

And I see no evidence of my "photo shoot". So my 15 minutes shrank to 10 minutes of fame - it's still all good!

~ ~ ~

I took our Admin & IT crew out for lunch yesterday for our annual holiday celebration. It was fun - we went to one of our favorite restaurants, Bocaccinis, where I had my favorite dish, fusilli with grilled chicken, asparagus, artichoke hearts, Boca spice, garlic & olive oil. For the first time, I purposely didn't finish it so I got to enjoy it all over again for dinner last night.

I had to go to Wegmans last night for ingredients for the various dishes I'm taking here and there over the next few days. It was crowded but not the madhouse I expected it to be. Still, I didn't get home until 7:00, a bit cranky & hungry. So that leftover fussili hit the spot!

There are so many people at work taking today off that I told my boss, "It feels like today is Friday. I hope I don't forget to come to work tomorrow!" Most of us will be leaving early.

Merry Christmas Eve!

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Friday, November 14, 2008

In My Head Studios

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Altered Domino Christmas Ornaments by Vickie Porter of In My Head Studios. She has tons of cool art on her Flickr site.

Vickie emailed me weeks ago asking for show contact information. We follow each other on Twitter. She also participated in the recent Casa Larga show so she introduced herself to me. We immediately hit it off. I love her work and her booth looked outstanding, especially since it was only her 2nd craft show ever. Very professional.

Her parents were there with her, who were very nice too. I mention her parents as part of my defense as to why I thought she was 17 years old. She looks very young, 2nd craft show, there with her parents. At one point she mentioned her husband so I mentally bumped her age up to early 20s.

I was talking with the organizer of the show, singing Vickie's praises. We were both amazed at her talent for someone so young. A short while later Sharon came back to my booth, "You are not going to believe Vickie's age! She's 33!"

Later in the day, Vickie brought her husband over to meet me. "You are so outted! You're 33!" She gets that a lot she says. Heck, I've been mistaken for being 10 years younger than I am, but for me to be off by 16 years! That's clearly a reflection on me, rather than Vickie.

We had a good laugh over it. (At least I think "we" did.) :-)



Like most crafters, Vickie makes lots of different things, like this felted bead necklace. I was just reading her blog how she and her mom had an old fashioned girls only sleepover with her sister and nieces. She and her mom stayed up all night making felted beads.

Mom and Gretchen and I had a sleepover a number of years ago. We watched "To Kill a Mockingbird" together, one of our favorite movies - and the reason we call everyone "Boo". I wanted to make prank phone calls and Gretchen wanted to sneak out and visit boys but Mom wouldn't let us.

Enough about me.

I think I admire Vickie's talent so much because as I've often said, my brain is just not wired to make collage. I even took a class once at the old Stamps to 'Di' For where we collaged a journal. My images were all evenly lined up! The teacher was aghast, I'm sure. I didn't even really see the error of my ways until later when it sunk in.

People at craft shows often say to me, "Your work is so perfect!" Well, duh. Of course, it's nice and neat and even and symmetrical. How else would you expect me to do it??

Vickie's blog is: here.

Her Etsy shop is: here.

Her Flickr site is: here.

Her Twitterness is here.

Edited to add: Vickie is also featured on Ohana Mama today!

~ ~ ~

Speaking of Twitter, my sister Gretchen has joined the cult. I could not be prouder.

~ ~ ~

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Workhorse

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I was a freakin' machine this weekend! I accomplished more than I'd hoped, just because I know how things go and time flies, etc. I was completely focused. These are Sticky Notes awaiting embellishment. I sort them by color so I can work on all the blues at one time, then the reds, etc.


No matter how organized I may sound, I still end up with a tiny workspace available. Every once in a while I clear the decks, put all the paper scraps and punches back in their homes and start over.

This is a 2-day show, the first one this organization has held I'm quite sure - and I find myself very excited by it. At this point I feel I'll have enough product but of course I'll keep churning it out for the next 3 mornings & evenings.

Thursday night Steve and I will drop off my booth stuff, then I'll go there early Friday and set it all up. I like being able to drop it off the night before because it doesn't cut into Steve's work schedule and I can arrive in the morning fresh and get busy with the creative stuff (setting up) and not get all sweaty with the hauling, etc.

The postcard mailing of my fall/winter show schedule goes out today. Sign up for the mailing list here.

I resigned from the two Etsy teams I was on. One was for Etsy bloggers and it had a few participation requirements that were easy and kinda fun but I'm finding I don't have time for even that.

The other was for Etsy marketing. When I joined it was a high volume Yahoo group with too much fluff and too little meat for my tastes but the list owner recently stepped up to correct that, which I supported. Then she said some stuff to the list in an email that sounded unprofessional to me, leaving a bad taste in my mouth. So I resigned from both, thereby freeing up valuable real estate in my brain for bottom-line related Pine Tree Designs functions.

Oh rats! As I'm finishing this up, we lost power! It's really windy outside. I was planning on working on Sticky Notes this morning. Maybe I could do it by flashlight - or put my miner's lighted cap on! Nah. Might have to go work earlier than planned - we have a generator there, should that power be out too. To work, I mean, not craft, darn it.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Home Again

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Simon is definitely moving back home by October 1 when his lease is up. He's been waffling for months. I totally understand. I told him a year ago, once a kid moves out, it's really hard to come back. And he's under the wacky delusion that I want him to move home. This is apparently a common misconception on the part of lots of young adults, from talking to some of my co-workers.

"Mom, I know you're really happy that I'm moving home."

"Simon. Not that happy, really. I've gotten as used to you not being here as you have. I'm happy for the right reasons, the same reasons as you have, financial & educational reasons."

He plans on going to school for auto mechanics and eventually opening his own shop. I could not be more pleased because these are two things I've been telling him for years he would excel at. I've never met someone with such innate mechanical skills.

But.

His room in the basement is in the exact condition he left it - a total mess. I told him he's not bringing one thing into this house until that room is ship-shape. I've yet to see any action, but it's only September 3.

I told him that he & I will have an agreement and so far these are my points:

1. He doesn't have to make life for Steve and me easier - but he can't make it harder: physically, financially, etc.

2. He must turn off lights and TV when not in use. He made me crazy with this when he lived here before.

3. He must recycle. Non-negotiable.

Pretty easy, huh?

He may be procrastinating cleaning up his room, but I'm definitely not procrastinating stressing over it. If he spent just a couple of hours and made the tiniest bit of progress, he has no idea how much better that would make me feel. It will all get done, I know it will. He always comes through - just rarely on my timetable.

In rereading this, it sounds like I'm not at all happy about Simon moving home. But really, I am. I'm glad he finally has a plan. I've seen him grow and mature over the past year. I know it will be stressful in some ways but the ends definitely justifies whatever means it takes to get there.

Deep breaths.


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Friday, August 22, 2008

Paper and Stitch

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Paper and Stitch is another great site I found through the Google Alert I have set up to email me a daily list of blogs in which the word paper appears. Brittni Wood is an artist and high school art teacher who has a passion for promoting handmade art. She accepts submissions of sites to review and share with her readers so I submitted my website, shop and blog a few weeks ago.

Brittni emailed me yesterday to let me know my post is up! Please go see what she wrote about my work and feel free to leave a comment on her site.

~ ~ ~

I posted the other day about Barack Obama meeting with specific supporters backstage before accepting the nomination for president. The man I mentioned, Eric Melder, must have a Google Alert set up for himself :-) because yesterday he left a comment on that entry.

This is Eric Melder from Carlisle, PA. Thank you for the kind words. Anthony and I are really excited to be attending the convention ... and by our opportunity to meet with Barack backstage just before he gives his historic acceptance speech before 75,000 people. Thanks again.

I love the Internet.


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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Love Etsy

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Today is the first day of the 5 day sale held by the EtsyBloggers team. I have to admit, the list of varied products and services is pretty impressive. You really should scoot over there and check the list of participating shops. I've already received 2 orders and I think I might part with a little of my hard-earned cash myself.

As I mentioned the other day - I'm offering free shipping on all orders August 13-17.

I had dinner with my friend Pam last night and she "berated" me for turning her on to the joys of Etsy. Her 2nd grandchild is on the way so she's all about baby things these days.

I'm so glad I finally drank the Etsy Kool-Aid!

Enjoy!

~ ~ ~

3rd Annual Penfield Community Festival
Saturday, August 16
11:00-4:00
Heritage Park,
Penfield

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Tulip's Treasure Box

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The other monthly requirement for Etsy Bloggers members is to spotlight the featured Etsy Blogger of the Month. For August, I'm pleased to introduce you to Lily.


Lily is a jewelry maker and her shop is called Tulip's Treasure Box.


"Beadweaving is my favorite form of artistic design and creativity, and is especially enjoyable when I am able to upcycle unused jewelry parts, as well as pieces created by other artisans . . ."

Last week Lily blogged about making this set.


The glass focal in the set is a tiny perfume bottle which comes with instructions and a tool for filling it with your favorite perfume.


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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Vintage

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Straw Flowers from Cathy of California.

This started out as an email to Mom and Gretchen but I found myself rambling my way into a blog entry. See why my blog is called, "And Another Thing . . ."?

Cathy specializes in crafts from the 60s and 70s. She sells these straw flowers and the kits to make them, among other things. I was sending the link to Mom & Gretchen because we used to make similar flowers decades ago, with yarn. (Did I just say decades?? Sigh.)

Side note to local readers - I was reading Cathy's blog and saw an entry about the clock at Midtown Plaza. Btw, I finally heard someone on the radio say the other day what I think every time I hear someone boo-hooin' about the demolition of Midtown Plaza: If it is such a great place and you're so upset that it is being torn down - why didn't you patronize it at least a couple of times in the last 20 years?? Then I calm down and try to think of something that would be relevant to me in that same vein. Some place that holds memories more than being part of my life today. Some place that would be so meaningful to me as to prompt me to write some sorry-ass whiny letter to the editor in the local paper. There must be some place, I just can't think of it at the moment.

I swear I must have been at the end of the line when sentimentality was being passed out. I'm such a big purger and declutterer, that I sometimes worry I'm throwing away stuff that might be meaningful to Simon in the way that I love some of my parents' every day things - like the stainless steel mixing bowls and . . . something else . . . you know, other stuff. I know there's stuff that I've told my parents, "So when you're dead & everything, can I have that?" And they are so shocked that I care, they say, "What?? Take it now. You're so silly."

Sort of like these but not exactly. And there are only 2. I still love them and use them all the time.

Etsy has a whole division, besides the handmade stuff, of "vintage" items. The rule is the items have to be 20+ years old. Twenty years ain't nuthin'! It's been within the last couple of years that I realized I've become one of those people that sees trends come around again and scratches her head at the "young people" getting excited about something we're all been there, done that about.

It's like my friend Mary calls herself seasoned, instead of senior, in terms of her work profile. I like that! At my day job, our CEO has said he doesn't care about titles. "Make up your own!" "Be whatever you want to be!" I know he's told people. Somewhere in the last few years, every sales rep and purchasing agent added senior to their title. It always makes me laugh because - now everyone is on the same level again. I've never seen a junior anything, in our company anyway.

I thought this entry was all over the place but looking back, I actually do have a common thread throughout. What a happy accident that turned out to be.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

You Had Me at Copper

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This mandala is full of hand stitched metallic copper thread detail on moss green cardstock. I embellished it with paper shapes, raku style beads and amber Swarovski crystals. The center is topped off with a copper sun button.

It's framed in a 8" x 8" wood frame with glass, ready to hang on your wall. $38.00

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One would think I just discovered the macro setting on my camera. Truthfully, I recently learned to use it consistently successfully!

I love how this piece turned out. I'm going to have to make one for myself, copper freak that I am. I was extra pleased at how nicely that frame goes with the copper stitching. I buy my frames online and it's sometimes hard to trust if what I'm seeing on my screen is the true color. I will be ordering more of these frames shortly for some custom pieces I'm working on. I met with the customer after work yesterday to give her some options in framing.

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Yesterday was to have been a busy day at the house. A guy was here to clean the gutters. Steve hasn't had time and cash poor Simon hasn't been motivated enough to do it. So I found someone through a local ad who came the next day. He'll come back today to fix a couple of downspouts for us. Money well spent.

I arranged for two Rochester ReUseIt (formerly Freecycle) people to come take away about a dozen landscape timbers and the bricks that make up our sidewalk. I told you we're downsizing our garden/landscape. We've battled with those bricks for 8 years. We've had the sidewalk rebuilt once and they laid down weed barrier first. All to no avail - the weeds keep popping through. The red brick sidewalk has looked nice. For about 5 minutes.

The woman that came for the bricks was unable to remove them, broke her "little shovel" in the process and gave up. I went out last night and was able to remove a couple, using a regular sized shovel. I liken it to getting that first brownie out of the pan. That first one is a challenge but the rest come out easily. (These bricks are not mortared in, but they are packed down and together very tightly.)

The woman who was to take the landscape timbers had a family emergency with her elderly father. So I drew new names for both projects and those people will come sometime this week or weekend.

Steve had already volunteered to find someone to pour us a cement sidewalk. We almost never use that door anyway, so I don't care when he gets to it.

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Steve worked late last night so I spent some quality studio time putting my framed art back together. I had removed the glass from each piece so I could photograph it for my shop. That's been on my to-do list for a long time so I'm very happy to have completed that task. I think the art looks much better than the scanned images I had been using.

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I received an application yesterday from a friend who is organizing a Holiday Craft Show at St. Jude's Church on Lyell Avenue on November 29. I do a lot of shows with her so I know this will be a quality show. It's juried and all hand-made. She's also on the board of the Rochester Museum & Science Center's Holiday Bazaar so she told me I was all set for this year's show too. Yay! That was my best show to date and I was really counting on getting into that one again.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wheel of Hearts

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This thing took me forever and a day to make last year. That black lacy outside border was the toughest part to come up with. That's actually one piece of a snowflake die cut. I love using punches and die cuts in unexpected ways.

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I finished photographing all my framed art last night and replacing the previous photos in my Etsy shop. My studio is now littered with the framed art that needs to be reassembled with the glass in it.

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I'm so annoyed. We have the all-in-one plan with our cable company - Internet, cable TV and digital phone service. The digital phone service has been adequate at best. Every once in a while we lose service. Sometimes rebooting the cable modem fixes it. Sometimes the cable company can reset something on their end. And sometimes they have to come out to the house to fix it.

Our plan for sometime (a year or more) has been to get rid of our land line altogether and rely on our cell phones. Over time, I've changed records (family, friends, doctors, etc.) to my cell phone number. Steve has not been doing the same, or maybe he worries he's forgotten someone. But truthfully, the only calls we ever get on our land line are telemarketers.

Once again, we could get no dial tone. I suggested to Steve that this was a sign that it's time to get rid of the land line. He's not ready.

Because my patience has worn out on this subject, Steve called Time Warner and they scheduled to come to the house yesterday afternoon. We had hoped Simon would be available to hang out here waiting but he had to work. I considered asking one of my retired parents (hi Mom & Dad!) to come here but ultimately decided I would take the afternoon off from work to be available.

Usually that's definitely not a hardship but I'm super busy at work. But I have lots of Pine Tree Designs work to do too so it wasn't a horrible plan.

The window for the repair guy's arrival was 12:00 - 4:00. The Doofus showed up at 5:00, just minutes after Steve arrived home. I let him deal with The Doofus since I was feeling less than friendly by then. Turns out the phone in Steve's old office downstairs was fried. So that was removed and we're back in business.

After dinner, I picked up the phone to retrieve any voice mail that had been left in the few days we'd been without a phone. No dial tone. Ergggh. (Surely, this must be a sign to drop our land line!) Steve traced the problem to some wiring thing The Doofus had done in error. (Okay, seriously, this must be the sign, right??)

Deep breath. It's not my problem or decision. Steve will get there when he's ready. Meanwhile, I continue to not use the land line. (Steve pays for it, if you're wondering. I would not be as charitable if it were my money.)

Thanks for letting me vent. :-)

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ladybug Treasury

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My Ladybug Sticky Notes were included in this treasury. The actual treasury is here. (That link expires Monday, 7/21 at 6:21 PM.)

It's a rainy Sunday. I've canceled the garage cleaning project in order to get a full day's worth of Pine Tree Designs work done. I finished the "quilting" on the paper quilt and it's exceeded my expectations, I think. I'll put the finishing touches on it today and post it tomorrow, the before and after.
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More Matchbooks

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I was poking around Flickr last night and saw these little matchbook notepads in one of my paper groups. I noticed Bridget folds the paper in a way that covers the staple - nice! Her Flickr page led me to ShopBub's Etsy shop. She has a lot of other nice work too - check it out.

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I still have a hankering to start a collaborative blog but I'm still letting the idea percolate a bit more. I think Hilari made a good point the other day about Flickr groups. I love Flickr groups and belong to a whole bunch (63 as of now), many of which are paper related.

  • NEW I Made it Myself (10,383 members)
  • NEW Catchy Colors (51,223 members)
  • NEW Corners of My Home (5,430 members)
  • NEW Crafter's Central (3,122 members)
  • NEW IKEA Lovers (2,436 members)
  • NEW Beadwork and Jewelry Making (2,420 members)
  • NEW CRAFT (4,705 members)
  • NEW get crafty! (5,379 members)
  • Carve your stamps (934 members)
  • Origami Tessellations (342 members)
  • Bead Porn (1,541 members)
  • Paper Craft (764 members)
  • Use what you have (1,035 members)
  • Tips for Recycling and Reusing (1,030 members)
  • Color and Colors (9,826 members)
  • Snail Mail Joy! (316 members)
  • Beagles (1,170 members)
  • Handmade Cards (1,284 members)
  • stationery junkies (929 members)
  • Paper Quilling (165 members)
  • Arts & crafts fairs & shows (859 members)
  • A world of origami (446 members)
  • Beadaholics (1,150 members)
  • Nice Package! (1,830 members)
  • Foldingfreaks Origami (570 members)
  • Good Paper Goods (1,065 members)
  • Paper Lovers (192 members)
  • Try It Tuesdays (388 members)
  • Finish What You Have (137 members)
  • Pretty Organized (2,156 members)
  • Paper Crafting (1,308 members)
  • Got Beagle? (358 members)
  • Art Studio (1,933 members)
  • Mail Art (656 members)
  • Craft as Art (654 members)
  • Origami (806 members)
  • Craft Rooms (2,675 members)
  • Handbound Books (750 members)
  • Everything beaded (198 members)
  • Haberdashery / Notions (383 members)
  • Beautiful Boxes (353 members)
  • Buttons (648 members)
  • World Arts and Craft; clay, paper and more (486 members)
  • Handmade (FOLLOW THE RULE, leave a comment on the shot on (1,273 members)
  • Beads Beads Beads (1,005 members)
  • Origami boxes (159 members)
  • Paper Fetish (1,605 members)
  • One Window to the World (449 members)
  • Quickutz Creations (26 members)
  • **beautiful shop** (441 members)
  • Envelopes (184 members)
  • Embroidery and science (130 members)
  • artisans' exchange (210 members)
  • Needle books (237 members)
  • Paper Snowflakes (48 members)
  • Surface Designs (167 members)
  • Association Game! (58 members)
  • Lost Pet Posters (154 members)
  • DIY (Do-it-yourself) Holidays 2007 (173 members)
  • origami army (73 members)
  • Taylor Parker Fan Club (45 members)
  • folding papers plane origami (14 members)

It's all photos, good traffic, already organized. Once I joined Etsy, my Flickr participation dropped significantly. I love Flickr, so at least for now, I'm going to delve back into that.

That's good news for you, because I always find cool stuff I want to show you.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Christmas in July

.I added a sale section to my online shop in order to clear a few older items from inventory. These are old-school pieces, nothing hand-stitched. And the prices are insane. Really, I just want these cards to find good homes.

~ ~ ~

My friend Linda and I went to see Menopause, the Musical yesterday at Geva Theatre. It was thoroughly enjoyable. It actually had a bit of a plot mixed in with the 25 re-lyricized songs, all of which we knew (in their original form). It's a toe-tapping good show!

We ate an early dinner at a new restaurant in Pittsford Plaza, Farm Fresh Kitchen. I wish the menu was a bit bigger, but they did just open within the last month or two, so perhaps it will increase. As the name implies, it's all fresh, organic, healthy food - served in an upscale contemporary style. The calories are listed next to each item, none of which is over 500 calories, including desserts.

The waitress said they are due to get their liquor license Friday. We saw the alcoholic offerings listed on the dessert menu, in preparation for Friday, and it looked to be a fairly extensive selection. I understand that certain wines can be good for you, but I'm not clear on why they serve all the different martinis, for example. They can't put a stinkin' salt shaker on the table but I could get schnockered on a watermelon martini, if I so choose. (I don't recall specific martinis listed but that sounds like a real martini, doesn't it?)

The food was very delicious and fully satisfying. (We opted not to have dessert, but crossing the street for a slice of cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory did cross our minds!)

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Better?

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Once Bonnie & Gretchen mentioned that poor choice of frame (my words, not theirs!) for the orange swirly piece in yesterday's entry, I could immediately see they were right. I almost logged into my Etsy shop from work and inactivated that item, but I toughed it out until I got home from work.

First thing I did last night was reframe it in a bigger frame. Much better, yes? What the hell was I thinking yesterday? Sometimes I get stuck focusing on the wrong things and forget about the big picture, so to speak.

I have the best advisers - thank you!

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Orange Tree

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Finally I'm able to start the process of photographing my framed art. I want to re-do the framed art already in my Etsy shop plus I have some new ones to add, like this one above. Orange used to be one of my least favorite colors, but it's starting to grow on me. I've been trying to combine it with colors other than black. It looks very nice and fresh with white, I've noticed.

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I'm going through another simplify phase. Actually my life is always in that phase, I like to think, but it ebbs and flows to degrees. Especially with magazines. You too? Last year I subscribed to several art magazines. But I'm always dreadfully behind in reading them. Before vacation I sorted them all out, put them in chronological order and have been plowing through them, deciding if it is a keeper or not. Rather than wait for the subscription to run out, I've canceled a couple, asking for refunds. That will improve my cash flow and not increase my reading pile.

I run through phases with email newsletters too. I'm trying to weed out the marginal ones. They are mostly from vendors I've used and want to keep an eye on - but sometimes they are just too darn prolific. I sort of say all this cautiously, since I too produce a newsletter for Pine Tree Designs though I don't think anyone can accuse me of being prolific. I've said before that I worry about being considered a spammer, which I know is ridiculous. In fact I've heard from 2 friends lately on unrelated matters - that have said how much they enjoy my newsletters and seeing what's new with my business. Cool!

(If you want to join my newsletter mailing list, there's a sign-up right on the front page.)

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