My blog is not only about the arts and crafts business but about life in general. My hope is to inspire you, inform you, and make your current beverage of choice squirt out your nose. I've chosen "Dog's Head Red", a fine red table wine that's a cut above good ol' Mad Dog. A very tiny cut above. It's not quite as refined as "Drive 'er Home", my other favorite, but quite swanky, none the less. Read quickly, before it's all too blurry.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
So, you're at a craft show, and the people in front of you are moving so slowly that you're going to start tearing your hair out any second. My solution? My 18 inch wood auger and my hammer drill. Yessir, get's 'em movin' every time!
Today I'm busy killing time at a show, another snoozer, and I decide it's time to road trip to the toidy. What should be a 15 second walk turns into 2 minutes. The ladies in front of me not only just about have it in reverse they're moving so slowly, but they're weaving back and forth from one side of the aisle to the other. I fake to the left, but, too late - they've already moved for the block. I dodge to the right - um, it's a split defense now, so I go for the middle and BAM! I've got to back off or risk running one of 'em into an innocent crafter's booth display. It wouldn't be pretty. I have conceded to the shoppers. I must follow behind, hopping along with my legs crossed, all the while wondering how much of my booth will be hijacked while I'm gone.
Now, here's the rub. I'm complaining up a storm, at least in my head, because the shoppers are cruisin' in low and I gotta go. What do I do when I'm sitting in my booth watching the shoppers motor by lickity split without glancing in either direction? I complain that they're moving too fast and not only not buying, but not even looking! How dare they! Don't they know what they're missing? Apparently not.
The moral to my story is that I need to be happy those two ladies were moving slowly enough to take in all the great things at the show, and I need to leave for the bathroom a lot sooner. Take your time shoppers! Big dopes like me are actually grateful you're taking the time to look.
Monday, November 15, 2010
It may not seem so, but my lovely daughter's in this photo are multi tasking. How, you ask? They are getting plastered and pissing mommy off all at the same time. My guess is, at the point this picture was taken they wouldn't be capable of taking on any more tasks than the two I mentioned. So, if even these two inebriated party animals can multi task, you can, too!
Most of us who work out of our homes run into the same problem - interruptions. The phone rings. Unexpected visitors. Laundry. Repair people, like for appliances or crappy cable reception show up. Kid misses the bus. Husband decides to help out by cleaning the kitchen. Oh, my. "Kath, where's the broom?" Really? How about in the same spot it's been for the last 20 years or so. The first time he's used it, perhaps? Um, yeah, something like that.
Because of the numerous interruptions and generally not being taken seriously because, after all, I don't have a "real" job, I have established the "temporarily deceased" rule. If I'm working, I'm dead. I do not exist on the planet. If the kid missed the bus, I guess he's going to stay a little later and take the late bus home. Don't call me. Temporarily deceased people cannot answer phones and they certainly cannot operate motor vehicles. Break something, need to clean up a mess? I'll just bet you can find the broom all by your lonesome. Drop half of dinner (which hubby does cook, btw) all over the kitchen floor? Let the dogs clean it up, then I won't have to mop. Internet not working? Plug in the stinking router/modem thingees or whatever, duh. Cable not working? Unplug the box an reset it. If that doesn't work, curse the cable company very loudly. You won't have TV but you'll feel better.
When I ascend from "the pit", covered with sticky resin and obnoxious resin dust, fingers streaked with dye, or in the case of a power tool accident, fingers missing, then you'll know I am again fair game and no longer temporarily deceased. Temporarily insane maybe, but alive. Who are we kidding? Permanently insane. Anyone who does this for a living is a whack job.
So, fellow whackadoos, happy crafting and here's to a prosperous holiday season!
Friday, October 15, 2010
We all know it's true that when someone picks on our kid, us mom's turn into a tigress, just like my innocent looking little lamp shown above. It's all good until some bully gets in your kid's face and won't stop. It seems the coach and administrators are oblivious because they can't hear the insults being screamed across the field at my son by a spoiled rotten kid who seems to think he is the KEY player on the field. And this young man, unbelievably, is a captain. Yikes. In actuality, there are no key players on this team because the team pretty much sucks thanks to less than stellar coaching, lack of discipline, and really crappy attitudes on the field. I have promised my son to keep my nose out of it and not pursue this problem because as we are all aware, actually trying to do something about the situation often makes it worse. So I'm going to watch and listen closely. For the first time, I have found myself encouraging one of my children to quit walking away and plant this kid on his ass on the cold, wet ground. My son is a pacifist. We have taught all three of our kids to walk away from trouble unless someone is physically threatening you because it's better to be the bigger person. Well, uh uh. No more. There comes a time when things are carried too far and you must make it known that you're not taking any one's crap any more, especially from a self absorbed, conceited, self appointed superstar. Done.
What really kills me about this kid is that he gives 110% as far as his actual play goes. He gives everything he's got to help his team, and then yet, finds it necessary to put others down and run his mouth. And he's a captian, for gawd's sake! I don't get it, I really don't. Sounds like a self esteem problem to me, but I'm not psychologist. The fact that the coach of this team is not very knowledgeable about the game itself, and seriously, cannot tell talent from just wailing on the ball, who cannot tell the difference between aggressive play and dirty play, and does not realize that players running all over the field like a bunch of lunatics instead of playing their positions leads to chaos, not success, does not help the situation. The fact that the rules are changed as to what discipline is given to those who miss practice or games to accommodate the coach's favorite players is, to say the least, disheartening. I would not care if my son sat on the bench for the whole season if he and several others were treated fairly and the coaches in this program would deal with the rotten attitudes of those who deem themselves so superior that they have the right to run their mouths at team mates. What has happened to discipline? What has happened to respect? What has happened to coaches who realize a sports team is NOT a democracy? You are a coach for a reason! Grow a pair and set these kids straight! And for the record, I have coached, played, reffed the game in question, soccer, for over 25 years. I know a tad about it. I just wish my son were not involved at all because anything I say is just going to be taken as an overprotective mom babying her little boy. Sooooooo not the case, but it will surely be taken as such. So, as I said before, I will watch and listen closely and let my son handle it. If it gets out of hand, watch out for the tigress.
On that note, happy crafting, fellow tigresses!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Someone please explain to me why it is so darn impossible to have a clue whether a craft show will be a success or a major flop! What a whopping pain in the butt!
Last weekend I was at a show that I thought I would be lucky to make expenses. As it turns out, I made nine times my booth fee! Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit, there was nobody more surprised than I! Now, this weekend, which, granted, isn't over yet, is a total bust. Three sales all day, and I get to go back and have more fun tomorrow. My butt has blisters on it from being planted in my chair all day. (Are we catching on to the "butt" theme yet?) Ordinarily I'd say the customer's butt's were at home happily watching football, but in fact, their were plenty of butts in motion - walking right on by my booth and everyone elses. Lots of people, but that dreaded, tell-tale sign was evident...no one was carrying a bag. Seriously - nobody. I thought it was just my imagination until two other crafters asked if I'd noticed. Um, yup.
So, the moral to my story/rant. I don't have one. Just wondered if any of you have found a way around the pain in the butt problem of totally unpredictable sales when we all need a bit of predictability in our lives. Jeesh.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Hard to believe these photos are of the same person, but indeed, they are. This is my oldest daughter, Kira. What does this have to do with rain? The photo on the top is just her normal every day self, except she's a little skinnier and has a tad shorter hair now. Well, the photo on the bottom was taken after a little "lake effect" rain and a ride around the yard on the ATV. Ever hear of the infamous "104 corridor" in upstate New York? I live on Route 104. I AM the 104 corridor. We've been on the news a few times, once a couple of years ago for getting seven feet (yes, that's 7) of lake effect snow in less than two (yes, that's 2) days. Now, this weekend we're getting good ol' lake effect once again, but this time in the form of rain. It's been beautiful all week, but apparently Lake Ontario knows that we all want to be at Oswego Speedway watching the most prestigious race of Supermodifieds in the country, so, um, no, it's gonna rain. And check this out. I can walk 1/2 to 1 mile to the north or the south and literally walk right out of the rain. There are places where I can stand with one foot in the rain on wet pavement and the other foot on dry pavement - no rain. It is totally bizarre. And frankly, it's pissin' me off right about now.
In order to calm my ruffled nerves and sooth the savage beast currently living within my usually civilized inner being, I will descend into "the pit", where I will create lamps of untold beauty and tranquility. Whatever. I'm really going to vent a little steam by whipping my resin into a frothy frenzy and throwing rocks into it from the top of the basement stairs. Who knows, maybe I'll create my most incredible masterpiece. Or maybe the resin will just splash all over the place and stick to every power tool I own, thus rendering them useless and leaving me to ponder the question "does life suck or not today?" You figure it out. Jeez.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
OK, so I have a bezillion weeks to get ready for show season, which for me is late August through the middle of December. So what do I do? I paint my living room. I paint and redecorate the guest room. I paint and redecorate the office. I clean the basement. I clean the garage. I put in a new floor in the upstairs bathroom. I put in a new floor in the master bedroom. I make new kitchen counters out of resin and put up a new back splash. I paint the kitchen and put in new trim. What do I NOT do? I do not make lamps. I do not increase my stock so I'm not loosing my mind for the next 4 months trying to keep up. I do not go down to my shop in the basement (affectionately known as "the pit") and pour resin. I do not cut driftwood for sanding and wiring. I don't print more business cards or update my show schedule. I forget to update my website, (which I just did, actually), http://nnlamps.com. In other words, I royally screw myself.
So now, I shall descend into "the pit", not to be seen until a couple of days before Christmas. Unless I have a show, of course, in which case I will make myself crazy trying to get my act together long enough to make some cash. Why do I do this! Why! That's not even a rhetorical question. It's just an incredulous outburst at myself. Poor time management is one reason, for sure. The inability to say "NO!" when I really need to. Functioning under the misguided notion that once I finish all my projects I'll be able to concentrate on my business. Oh, paaallleeeeeze! I will never finish all of my projects because there will always be just one more project! Duh!
So, tell me I'm not alone. Or am I? Am I the only one who does this? Selfishly, I hope not. Misery loves company. If any of you talented, crafty people can possibly shed some light on how to stay focused, I would sure appreciate it. In the meantime, keep your nose to the grindstone and all that crapola. I shall try to do the same.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Yes, the person in the back seat of this race car is yours truly. And yes, even though my kids hate it when I admit it - I love auto racing. Specifically, Supermodifieds at Oswego Speedway. The talented driver is Keith Gilliam, to whom I am forever grateful for keeping the car off the wall.
How many of you have ever gone really, really fast in a car? Well, put that car on a 5/8 mile oval and go about 130 mph, and you will understand fast. I'm a total adrenalin junkie, but I was not prepared for this. After the car was pushed off and travelling down the "on ramp", so to speak, before we were even on the darn track, I was thinking "holy crap, how fast are we gonna go here!" Jeez, I am dumb. We entered the track on the back stretch where Keith scuffs the tires, giving my helmeted head a few good slams against those thingers on the side that keep you from breaking your neck. We pick up some speed and enter turn 3, awfully darn close to the inside hub rail, I might add. Still picking up some speed, we reach the apex of the turn and start coming out of turn 4. And then Mr. Gilliam steps on the gas, or whatever makes the car go, and lets just say - well, my fire suit nearly became a wet suit. My stomach got left behind somewhere on the 4th turn. I could not breath. As we approached turn 1, I was thinking I was going have to be the first coward to hit the kill switch because I couldn't go through the rest of my life without a stomach, but damn, I just cannot be the first to hit the button! I mean, come on now, I've lived through the El Toro at Six Flags NJ! Once we got through turns 1 and 2 without getting up close and personal with the inside rail or the foam on the outside wall, I couldn't wait for Keith to put the peddle down again. And he did not disappoint me. We sailed down the back stretch and into turn 3, where I began looking for the stomach that I left behind somewhere around there on the first time around. Never did find it. As we enter turn 3 I cannot help but marvel at how close we are to that inside rail. At this point I was seriously thinking about trying to tap Keith on the helmet an subtly remind him that while I am looking back at middle age, I'm still too young to go to that big race track in the sky. Well, too late, we're coming off turn 4 and now I'm thinking I need to help him notice how gawddam fast the wall is coming upon us. Too late, we're long past the starter's stand and back into the first turn. I am now actually starting to be more aware of my surroundings and am TOTALLY into the ride. What a rush!! Really, it's very hard to describe! And what blows my mind even more is that these drivers do this at faster speeds with a whole lot of other cars running just as fast only inches apart! It's nuts! Race car driver's are just plain nuts! And it's a darn good thing they are or lots of us "rednecks" would be awfully bored on Saturday nights.
If any of you thrill seekers really want to find out what you're made of, skip the ride in the taxi cabs with fenders and strap yourself into a supermodified! You'll come out droolin' and talkin' to yourself, but you'll be one happy camper!
What, you might ask, does this have to do with making lamps? Absolutely nothing, but I just had to share the most exciting experience I've ever had! Come on - I dare ya!!
Regards and happy racin',
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Ok, I'm home. I thought one of my cactus lamps would be appropriate to feature since I am apparently living in the only desert in upstate New York. It is almost 100 degrees. I'm broke, barely met expenses at this past weekend's show, I'm sitting in a pool of sweat, my dog peed on the carpet again, which smells no matter how you clean it in this heat and someone just mistook me for a red and white checkered cow in the not so flattering sundress I'm wearing. My bank lost $300.00. (Check your statements, people!) All 95 lbs. of Kelly Ripa just walked out on the stage of "Live with Regis and Kelly", which has cemented my cruddy mood. So, fellow artisans, what do you do when you feel life has hit the crapper? Well, we went on a wine tour last weekend and bought ourselves a couple cases of delicious vino. So, I will keep my eyes on the clock until it's PC to toss back a few, then I will go directly to the refrigerator, take out of my favorite wine, ("Scandelicious", yum!), remove the cork, and drink directly from the bottle. Cheers, y'all!
Soon to be slightly sloshed,
Saturday, July 3, 2010
See this picture of my booth? What do you notice? No, not that the drapes are green, or even the lamps in it. Give up? It's empty!! Yessirree, that's kind of what the whole show looks like right about now. Ever get that sinking feeling that you're going to go home at the end of the day with less money than you started with? Um, yeah, I'm thinkin' this is one of those days.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Even though my lamps are all about water, that doesn't mean that it's a good idea to mix them with with real thing. That's exactly what happened while having the new liner in our in ground pool installed. No, I don't keep my completed lamps at the bottom of my pool. Ok, I admit, there have been one or two that have landed there out of complete frustration because they looked like dog doodoo. (Don't worry, I took off the little animals first so they didn't drown.)
While recovering from sticker shock after finding out what our new pool liner would cost, work began on the project. It's a fascinating procedure, actually. The pool is drained of all it's green gook that's accumulated from being covered all winter. Patches are applied to the bottom with some special stuff after the old liner has been removed. Then they put in the new liner and use a giant vacuum thinger to suck out all the air between the liner and pool walls as it fills with water. So after we get the pool two thirds full, the pool guys come back to check it out and find out that from all the rain we've had, the ground water has come up under the pool and washed away all their repair work. Kudos to them though, because they drained all the water, took out the new liner and started all over again. And did an awesome job, I might add. The problem came in with our pool filter. We had had all the connections to the pool filter rerouted through the heater. Which is kind of funny in itself because we now know the heater doesn't work anyway. Jeez. Anyway, another long story short, during the night one of the connections came loose, spewing nice, clean, expensive water everywhere, draining the pool down about a foot. The filter is right next to the outdoor entrance to our basement where my shop is. The water came out so fast it went over the footer of the Bilco door, down the wall in the stairwell and right into my shop. All my supplies are in lovely, labeled, CARDBOARD boxes - on the floor. Ooooooohhhhh, yes. Need I explain the chaos that ensued? It wasn't pretty. Lots of soggy boxes with soggy supplies. Fortunately, I only lost a minimal amount of supplies so a true disaster was averted.
Do I put this episode into the life "does suck" or "doesn't suck" category? Both, I think. Sucks because it happened at all, doesn't suck because it could have been a disaster but wasn't. The moral to the story? Take your pick. 1) Don't craft if you have a swimming pool. 2) Don't put in a pool if you craft. 3) Don't store your supplies in cardboard boxes on the floor in your basement. I choose #3 and am off to buy plastic containers. Just in case.
Happy (and dry) crafting,
Friday, June 18, 2010
I admit this photo is a bit misleading, because I did not actually amputate an appendage while watching the World Cup. I did, however, nearly poison myself yet again.
I work with resin. It's gooey, sticky, smelly, and just generally uncooperative unless you're pretty used to working with it. Which I am. When I embed tiny things into my resin while making a lamp, I use a craft stick to tuck items into place. When I need to grab more moss or foliage, I need two hands. So I stick the end of the craft stick in my mouth. It just saves time and mess. Sometimes I get a little caught up in things that are happening around me. For example, World Cup. Anyone watch the US vs. Slovenia (I'm sure that's spelled wrong) this morning? OMG. What can I say. I was stuffing moss into some resin just as we scored the third goal. As we all know by now, the ref apparently had a huge momentary brain fart and called the goal back. Seriously. For real. ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT KNOW?!&%#!! In my excitement, anger, eagerness to get to the TV and bash it into a million pieces, I ran towards the TV, sticking the craft stick into my mouth. The messy, gooey, sticky, resin covered end. Now, mind you, I have done this before, but damage was minimal because it was just a tiny bit. But this, my friends, was a boat load. The Queen Mary. The Oasis of the Seas. The Titanic before the iceberg. Big. Lots. Well, ya can't let that stuff dry in there. That would be a bad op, as they say. So up the stairs I go with my can of acetone, to the bathroom, to the toothbrush. Pour a little acetone on the toothbrush, scrub down the teeth and tongue mighty thoroughly, rinse a lot, spit a lot, throw out toothbrush - problem solved. Frogs legs really don't taste like chicken. Neither does resin or acetone. Not swallowing any of either has helped me remain upright and unaffected, I'm sure. Don't try this at home. In fact, I would recommend against trying it anywhere. Uh huh.
For my fellow soccer players, coaches, refs, lovers of the game, I must make a few comments about that game. First, had the US boys played the entire game instead of showing up, finally, in the second half, (thank you, Landon), that goal wouldn't have been such an issue. Secondly, as a former ref, yes, a loooooong time ago, I have to say that the original call should have been against our opponents for mugging Bradley, among others, but that call should not have been made, which it wasn't, due to advantage, the goal was scored, and the goal was good. NOT using the numerous re-showings of that goal, because there is no instant replay in soccer, I made my own call using only what my own eyeballs saw in real time. Bad, bad call. Where was the offsides? The final call was an offsides call against Edu, I believe. He was on sides at the time the ball was served as far as I saw and the line ref never raised his flag to indicate a foul. Hmmm. The total, ridiculous mugging of several players in the box apparently never happened. Officiating was an embarrassment to the sport, including the missed call early in the game when Dempsey (I think) elbowed an opponent in the face. FIFA better wake up. 'Nuff said.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Perhaps I will get my first legitimate follower if I post a photo depicting my adept usage of very dangerous power tools. C'mon, what woman doesn't love an 18 inch auger! Let me make this even more juicy. First follower gets to choose a piece from the "battery operated" category on my website, http://nnlamps.com. Totally serious here, and it counts even if you're a relative, which I'm sure you will be. Please, my words of wisdom will prove invaluable. Maybe that's a slight exaggeration. Time will tell, I suppose.
Drilling, thrillingly yours,
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Well, alrighty then. Let's make a few things perfectly clear right from the start. First question you may be asking - why have I become a blogger? It seems my kids, husband, aunts, uncles, cousins, mother, all think I'm just a barrel o' laughs. They think I'm just a regular hoot and a holler. Ok, well, really, it's just my mother who thinks that. If the truth be known, this is just another way to promote my business, Nature's Nurture Lamps, http://nnlamps.com/. This is also an excellent way to totally embarrass my children, along with several other friends and family members who, for now, shall remain nameless. The namelessness (really, is that even a word?) will eventually change to being named - first names only, don't panic, unless I'm saying something really crappy about you and then I'll just make up a name so you have to guess if I'm talking about you or not.
Let's see now, what will I discuss in this blog? Somehow I should make it relate to my business, (http://nnlamps.com/, did I mention that?), but let's face it, folks, there's only so much you can say about lamps with cute little critters on them. I'll have to get creative. Which leads me to the title of my blog "Nature's Nurture and Why Life Sucks or Doesn't". Because sometimes life sucks and sometimes life doesn't. I've decided to explore the reasons for this, and believe it or not, my business actually is relevant to this in many ways. Eventually, I'll get around to explaining that. I think there are times when I might actually get a little "deep". Scary.
I should warn you. I can be a tad outspoken. Yes, it's true. If you happen to be a very devoutly religious person who is narrow minded, you might wanna skip this whole thing. If you happen to be a devoutly religious person with an open mind and an eagerness to learn, (not that you will necessarily learn from me), then you may actually survive this journey relatively unscathed. You choose. I even encourage misguided members of the Republican party to read and try to enjoy.
Having begun my blogging career, I'm going to bag it temporarily and go to bed. I'm sure you're all outrageously disappointed. I shall, however, return.