Sunday, February 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Charlie!!

My cat, Charlie, just celebrated his first birthday.
Born sometime in February 2010, I brought him home in April.

Just a wee thing that fit in the palm of my hand, he had the tiniest meow.

He would explore every nook and cranny of the apartment with fearless curiosity, eat voraciously and sleep anywhere like a corpse for 12 hours at a stretch.


Anything dangly, shiny, or crunchy was understood to be his personal toys. Anytime I would assemble a box to ship out a vintage item, he would be inside the box before you could say Mid Century Modern.
I loved that after every meal, he needed to be cuddled while he took a 10 minute power nap. He would climb on my lap after every meal and curl up in a ball. It was so endearing! He would sleep on my chest at night, tip-toeing softly on the bed after I got comfortable. His purr would loudly resonate in the tiny bedroom.

He would look up at me with that precious, sleepy-cat face and say, "Mow," before drifting off to sleep.
Ahhhh, what a sweet kitten I had.

And then he got bigger.

And bigger.

And bigger still

And then I got him neutered and he became.....a surly teenager.

He wont let anyone pick him up longer than 30 seconds. Lap-naps? Not unless you want a new scar collection. Chest-sleeping? HAHA!!! The only time he gets on the bed is if I hit snooze on the alarm (which in his kitteh brain means 10 minute delay to Food Time) He will nip my toes and paw at my forehead until I get up.
He has all of the classic indifference and angst of a 14 year old pubescent boy.

And I absolutely adore him...

Charlie is funny, charming, and one helluva fast runner up and down the stairs. He entertains me for hours just being Charlie.
I wouldn't change a thing.

Happy birthday, Beasty!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My first Outdoor Market... a valuable lesson

So I finally did it. I stepped up and bought a table at a local outdoor market. It was sponsored by a local consignment shop that specializes in local artisans handmade goods.
The market had been gaining a solid reputation in the area as a place to get unusual gifts and objects. The store itself is a lovely eclectic mix of jewelry, clothing, and even miniature welded coffins that weigh about 25 pounds.

I signed up in December for a space in the pre-Valentines day market in February. The first bad sign was that the post card the shop sent out in late January to its mailing list (AND email list) didn't show the date for the February outdoor market. It showed every other market date beginning in March, but MY market was left off in a printing error (and subsequently not caught by the shop owner.)
Despite this, and already having committed to the market and because I had already made about 25 new items specifically for the market, I kept moving forward.

One of the benefits of having signed up early for this market was that I as ALSO invited to set up a table the night before the market for our cities "First Friday Art Walk."
The first Friday of every month, all the local art galleries open their doors to the public. We have a surprising concentration of art galleries and private studios in the historical downtown area. Its an amazing night! Needless to say I was tickled I was going to be a part of it.

I made 17 new kaleidoscopes (a feat in itself! Each one takes 5-12 hours depending on the design. THIS on top of a full time Monday through Friday job...) I also made about 30 pieces of jewelry, and over 40 new ornaments (or "suncatchers," if you must call them such) and decorative wall mirrors. I was worried that because my items have relatively low profiles that my shop would appear bare. So I conceived of various ways to display the ornaments to add interest if seen from a distance. Shopping at IKEA just 3 weeks before the market, I discovered 2 metal racks in the as-is section that I instantly knew was just what I needed.
The 2 racks were part of an assemble-yourself wire drawer storage towers. PERFECT!

So the night came for the art walk. I rushed home from work and packed up my little car and set up my table in the lovely courtyard of the shop (blessedly less than one block away from my home.)I was set up by 5 and the event ran until 10.

And I waited.

And it got cold. REALLY cold. Like the coldest night we had had.

And I made one sale. A $10 necklace. (But the girl that bought it was so excited about her purchase that it made the entire night worth the effort.)

It was funny that nearly everyone that picked up a kaleidoscope shook it and held it to their ear. They thought they were like rain sticks or rattles. I made a mental note that I needed a sign to point out they were OPTICAL art, not audio. LOL!

The other displayed artists started to pack up about 9 when the temperature dropped to about 30 and the art walkers trickled to nothing. So, my brother came to help me pack up and then he stopped by one of the many wonderful food trucks (Short Stop BBQ) that frequent my neighborhood on weekends and he bought me french fries with Louisiana style pulled pork and bleu cheese coleslaw. I was a happy girl.

The next morning at 8 my friend Tommy came over to help me set up for the market. He brought Starbucks...bless his heart!

We set up my booth in a matter of minutes. Which was both a blessing and a cause of concern. It was indicative of how few items I actually had to display. The vendors around me were still still setting up by the time the first visitors were arriving at 10, their booths filled with stuff. Then I noticed that 75% of the vendors were vintage. Oh, dear, this wasn't going to be my crowd at all.

I made 3 sales that day, 2 of them to friends (thanks Tim and Veronica!!) who had stopped by to show their support.

We packed up at 3 (even though the sale was till 5) when there was a good hour where not a single person had strolled through the area.

On the plus side, I have LOTS of new items now for my Etsy shop, which I have been listing, slowly.

All in all, Im glad I did it. I needed to put myself out there. Next time I will be a bit more selective about the type of market I choose to sell. Now I have ideas galore on how to improve the visual pop of my booth. Next time will be better!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Miss me?

So....yeah. For a while I abandoned my blog...again....while I upped my efforts to find employment. I daydreamed about the blog. I sometimes would open it just to be sure it was still here. And I plotted for the day I could once again indulge in some leisure time in which to post.

So now I am gainfully employed (hurrah!) and can now come in and spout my thoughts and observations into the great void in the hopes that someone will see them.

So while I gather my thoughts and consider what I should post about, I would like to say thank you to you few souls who are peeking in at this note. Stick around.... I feel a post brewing in the ol' noggin'.....

Saturday, October 2, 2010

No, no, no, no, NO

A few days ago I found this ad in a Womans Day magazine. I'm familiar with these "collectible" ads designed to rope in retired ladies with shelves and shelves of tchotchke, but this one really disturbed me.

 Not only is it one of the most disturbing renderings of a monkey Ive ever seen, but its covered in mohair. HAIR!!!! Its a figurine........with hair.

I can never, ever un-see this.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Heloise All Around the House....1965 tips to make your housework fun!

I have a passion for vintage books. Cookbooks are a particular favorite because the recipes are so honest in vintage books. So many recipes I come across in vintage cookbooks are recipes Ive never heard of. These books are so worthy of being collected and used a daily reference.

It's no surprise that my love of cookbooks would naturally guide me to collect vintage books on tips and advice to housewives. (I have an 1892 book called "Mans Strength, Womans Beauty" that is advice for young brides how to conduct themselves as wives, and what to expect of their husbands. Fascinating stuff!!)

Todays find is a 1965 book, "Heloise Around the House." (Later, this lovely tipster turned columnist in a weekly newspaper column Hints from Heloise. Remember that? I LOVED that column!
I digress....)

I found so many laughable solutions and several practical ones. Today I decided to share with you a tip from 1965. Be sure to check back again....I'll be posting more!

"For good measure!"

"For those who can never find their measuring tape, make yourself a sewing apron!
I find this one of the most useful things in my home. Just sew a measuring tape upside down across the bottom of the apron....This is for good measure!
It's handy when you are sitting at your sewing machine. You can lift the bottom edge of your apron and check the width of any seam or hem you happen to be stitching. These aprons sell well at church bazaars."

This actually seems to be a very practical application! I hope to see you skilled seamstresses selling these aprons on Etsy!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Marco. Life will never be the same.

I adopted Marco in October of 2008. He was the cat my ex had adopted from PetSmart to entertain his part-time children. (He only had weekend custody...and knowing what I know now, he should be banned from having access to anything with cells.)It was several months in to the relationship before I was invited to his "studio" apartment. (If "studio" means one room sewage plant with central AC.)He hadn't cleaned his toilet in the 2 years he lived there. He had a shower in the same space he prepared food, and did his dishes in a bathroom sink that was infested with ants no matter the weather. He also had Marco.
Marco was an emaciated, dehydrated gray long haired cat who, no matter how much the ex abused him, would still return for a hopeful scratch behind the ears. (90% of the time, the ex would take this trusting and hopeful nature to abuse Marco even further.) He would pin Marco to the floor under his boot heel and poke objects in the cats face. He would pick Marco up by the tail and hold him just an inch above the ground and laugh as the cat struggled to grab the carpet for footing. The poor cat would writhe in pain and anger and the ex took this as a signal to torment the cat even more intensely. Because the ex was such an upstanding fellow and concerned with setting an example for his children, his two sons would also torment and torture Marco. (Two little Jeffrey Dahmers in the making, I'm afraid.) And poor Marco, having been subjected to this torment for 4 years yet still having to rely on the sadistic fuck for food was suffering a feline case of Stockholm Syndrome.
The ex wouldn't actually provide food for the cat, but rather would set a bowl of Fruity Pebbles on the floor next to the toilet. Sometimes if he was lucky, a package a bologna would spoil in the rot infested refrigerator and Marco would get to indulge in the shreds of rotten meat. The only water available was the filthy toilet water, or water left on the floor after a shower.
I was determined to get the cat. I was going to take him.
After discovering the appalling life the ex chose to lead, I was anxious to exit the relationship. But not before I got the cat.
One day the d-bag called to tell me he had to leave town on "business" (if business means to have an illicit weekend in an Arizona hotel with a woman he had met only on the phone....) He said he was leaving the key under the mat could I check on his cat.
I purchased a one-time cat carrier and went to the hovel. I coaxed Marco out of hiding and fought him to get inside the box. I still have scars on my hands from where he scratched and bit repeatedly. Poor cat was terrified. He wailed all the way home. I brought him to my place and set up my bedroom for him. Brand new and CLEAN cat box, fresh water, all the cat food he could ever eat, and a big bed to hide under.
After about 2 weeks he started to tentatively come out of the room. He would sit in the doorway and glare at me, then bolt back to safety if I so much as blinked.
After 4 weeks, he would sit apprehensively on the opposite end of the couch, again very skittish.
By week 8, he was sleeping curled next to me at night and taking treats from my hand.
He became my ultimate love. My entire life revolved around making him happy. I bought him a water fountain that would trickle fresh water tantalizingly 24 hours a day. I chose expensive, holistic foods to nourish him. And there wasn't a flat surface in my house that didn't have a bag of his favorite Good Life Recipe treats. After about a year of my nurturing and indulgences, Marco was roughly twice his original weight and deemed "healthy and very content" by our veterinarian.
Marco got used to a pet carrier eventually as I had to take him for vaccinations, checkups and groomings. He got attached to his brand new, soft-side carrier and would take naps inside, peeking slyly through the mesh screened windows.
Marco would greet me every time I unlocked the door or would sit in a favorite perch in whichever room I was in, but always had to have me in view.

He liked just being near me. He would curl up behind my keyboard while I typed. He would nip at my ankle if I was crafting for too long and hadn't acknowledged him. He would bring me a fuzzy toy at least once a day as his "gift" (a pleasant alternative to the giant Japanese Beetles he so loved.)There were a thousand ways he showed me every day how grateful he was.

Marco softened me. Marco gave me a reason to love. Marco was an unconditional recipient of everything I had to offer. No bullshit. No games.
Marco was my life.

On Saturday, July 24th, Marco left my world after having been let out accidentally while I was away, he got into the street and was struck by a car. I have grieved this loss possibly harder than I have grieved the loss of any human. I am in shock that whatever higher powers there are would subject him to such a horrific life for four years, and snatch him away after less than two years of happiness. Marco deserved better from this world.
Whatever higher powers there are have played a nasty little game with me.
My life will not be the same without Marco.

If you see my ex,(hard to miss; blond hair he wears in a faux 1950's gelled pomp, weighs no more than a bicycle, and a total wimp) do me a favor, tell him karma's looking for him.
And karma can't be evaded.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Letting the 6 year old inside have her day

Today I went to COSTCO with my brother and his 2 adorable kids, ages 3 and 6. This particular store catered to individuals who have food vending machines, and rather than sell an entire case of sweet treats, they offer them for sale individually. There was an entire row dedicated to Hostess baked goods. A rainbow variety of fried dough and sugar glazed fruit pies, Ho Ho's, Zingers, Ding Dongs, and holiest of holy… Sno Balls.

Packages of twin day-glo pink mounds of soft marshmallow covered with coconut flakes, enrobing a cream filled chocolate cup cake. I suggested letting the kids pick one treat each for later (a clever guise for an excuse for me to make my own selection MWAHAHAHAH!)
See, I haven’t eaten one of these things in at least a decade, if not longer. Giving up Hostess baked goods is something all adults eventually do when they reach a certain age. Its like a mid-life Lent sacrifice for all eternity. Well, today I decided it was my mid-life Easter Sunday and I would break fast on my baked goods ban! Happily I placed my package of pink, fluffy Sno Balls in the cart next to Raspberry Zingers (niece,) Ho Ho’s (nephew,) and Ding Dongs (brother.)
Once we returned home, I was left alone with my delicious cello-packaged mini Grand Tetons the color representing NOTHING I’ve ever seen in nature. I noted the ingredients list of no less than 50 ingredients (maybe more if you count all the multi-ingredient ingredients….) the first on the list; sugar. Ohhhh, this can’t be good.

Just one bite, I thought. Before dinner. What could it hurt?

I peeled back the marshmallow robe and heard it make that pleasant crackling sound it made even when I was a kid. There it was. The chocolate cupcake.

One bite of the cupcake sent dopamine rushing through my veins to alert my nerve endings of the joyous event. Then the marshmallow. Teeth sinking in to the sticky, spongy layer while bits of pink coconut landed like snowflakes on my lips. The six year old girl in me said “Squeeeeeeeeel!!!”

It may not be something we can have everyday, but every now and again, take your inner 6 year old to the sweets counter and let her pick out anything she wants. Hasn’t she been a very good girl?


About Me

My photo
I peruse thrift shops like a junkie. I find such amazing things sometimes that I wanted to share them. I tinker with glass and a hot soldering iron as time allows. I have a collection of thousands of glass beads carefully selected and purchased with the excuse I will make jewelery, but I can't bear to part with a single bead. Not one!! So don't even ask! Ok, you can have one.