Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Um, I Meant to Do That

Okay, so I've been making belts. And making belts. And making more belts. You see how this can become a little monotonous. I dosed off just writing about it. So I made a little deal with myself: finish another mountain of belts and then make something completely different. Well, here it is.

At the start of summer, I bought a pattern on how to make this bag. After reading the directions multiple times (even the ones in espanol), I gave up. What kind of freakish language are these evil pattern-making people speaking, anyway? I did use the tissue-pattern-cut-out-thingies (official name) hence the shape of the bag. And I put in those darn darts. Other than that, I winged it.
Here's the other side of the bag. This is where reading the directions thoroughly would have come in handy. I forgot/didn't wanna put in the zipper. So, I used this flat ceramic piece as the, uh, flap. But I totally meant to do that. For sure. On purpose-like.

Floor in the craft room. Had to show you. It looks like the floor of a Clown Barber Shop, right?

Ah! Godzilla Kitty! Run for your 9 lives! (chao!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Gettin' Sacked

The other day, my partner-in-craft Jaime came over with a couple of giant burlap coffee sacks and the burning desire to make a bag from them. I tried to tell her that they probably make a cream for that burning sensation but she was not convinced. I even tried to con her into a shopping venture down to Plato's Closet but she wasn't having any of it. This girl was gonna make this bag. And look at it! Isn't it awesome?!

Because neither of us had ever made a bag before, we started by making a mock one from muslin (this I learned from watching Project Runway). Once we kind of understood how to put the thing together, it really wasn't so bad. The burlap is a little thick and the sewing machine did grumble a little but it managed. In all, I think it turned out great. Jaime's going to start making a boat load of these bad boys and selling them at Portland Brew on 12th Ave South.

In the mean time, I've been looking at this book. Successful Telephone Selling. Whew, I can hardly put it down! The passion! The mystery! The intrigue! I've been calling around trying to find stores that might be interested in my belts. Lemme tell you, it sucks. I hate talking to people on the phone let alone cold calling a stranger and trying to spit out my spiel before they wise up and hang up. I'd much rather be reading these puppies. Guess it will have to wait...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Aww, Nuts!

WARNING: For those that I have extended an open invite to visit me in beautiful Tennessee (and if I've not invited you, consider yourself invited!) please do not read the end of this blog. Thank you.

Well, on Sunday Mitch and I decided to kayak on the Harpeth River. Along with everyone else in the state of TN and beyond. This is the first time I'd been out all year so it is taking every amount of strength to just lift my arms to type these words (see how I suffer for the love of blogging?). It was a lot of fun but 12 miles and 4 hours later, I was exhausted. The kind of tired that leaves you feeling like a puddle when you sit down and pulling yourself up requires Herculean strength. I'm better now. Except for the arm thing.

Would you look at these views? On the Harpeth, you pass by wild life, cliffs, rednecks, floating beer cans, you get the picture. It's beautiful if your eyes can delete some of the not-so-pretty.
Oh, that reminds me, I'll have to tell you the story of our first Harpeth River canoe experience that involves a Ganoe (yes, I said "ga"...), a redneck shooting fish with a cross bow and his cooler full of beer and a rattle snake. I'll save it for another time...

Okay, here's the end of the blog for my potential visit-me-in-Tennessee friends. Thanks for stopping by. See ya!

Um, okay, I know you aren't going anywhere so you might as well read on. What's this? Will ya lookie here? Why it's a para-nuts on the back of that pickup! Duh, doesn't your pickup have a nut sack swinging from the back? Why not, is your truck a sissy? Mitch and I just about died when we saw this in the parking lot of the canoe rental place. I couldn't get my camera out fast enough! And then came the joy of noticing the stickers all over the back windsheid...I felt like I'd won the lottery! Until owner of the truck sauntered up. "I'm just taking pictures of your balls" says me "Well, not YOUR balls, but your truck's". Red didn't seem to mind. He did explain that the look wasn't entirely complete because he was looking for "the other part" you see. Well, a masterpiece is never complete in the eyes of a true artist, says me.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Gettin' Schooled

Some of you non-teacher-people out there might not know this but teachers are constantly taking classes. We have to acquire so many hours (24) during the course of the school year or something really bad happens. I'm not sure what that is...we have to eat cafeteria food for a month or take the In School Suspension kids to Chuck-E-Cheese. Something along those lines. Regardless, the art teachers in my district and I take it upon ourselves to find the best classes. So on Wednesday, we all hung out with The Clay Lady.

The Clay Lady is The Bomb. Seriously. She travels all over Nashville and beyond teaching throngs of kids to make a masterpiece in 60 minutes or less. Then she loads up all of their work, fires it and ships it all back. If you google her, you'll find she's written some great books on her teaching techniques.

Teaching us how to work on the wheel was probably more difficult that working with the Pre-K set. Turns out I'm not a good listener, I'm impatient and I give up easily (hey, wasn't this what Mrs. Cheek wrote on the back of my 2nd grade report card?!). It's very interesting to be a student when you are so used to being the teacher. Maybe it'll make me more compassionate come August (right, for like, 2 days!).

At the end of the day, most of the Art Ladies had thrown at least 2 pots with some of the more gifted students (huh!) throwing 3. It was great fun.

P.S. ...I met the owner of a great shop in Hillsboro Village today...and she bought 5 belts for her store!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Home and Back Again

This past weekend I went home. (this is not a picture of my house!) And it was the best visit I've had in a long time. Mostly because I got to see friends that I've not seen for (gulp) a decade ... maybe more? I was concerned about the amount of time we'd spent apart thinking it might lead to some awkward lulls in conversation. I had my arsenal of generic conversation-starters in my mind: "So, wow, uh, did you hear they discovered a transparent frog in the rain forest?" or "Wouldn't it be cool to feed him something dyed hot pink?" or "Speaking of frogs, who's your favorite Muppet?" (last question was actually pulled from a Conversation Starters website).

But when I saw my long-lost friends, it was like we'd just talked to each other the day before (probably because we had. Thank you, facebook). I really don't want to go that long without seeing them again. And all of the friends I missed seeing on my trip home! Just means another road trip will be in order soon.

While strolling around Wabash, In. with mom and friend Paul, I snapped these pictures of some amazing houses. I took a ba-zillion pictures, but will spare you and only share my faves.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kitty Klock

I know what you are thinking. 2 Things: "Geez, her cat is fat." Yeah, I know. As stated before, she's on a strict diet of metered out kitty food and ... well, table scraps. She has a penchant for whipped cream and parmesan cheese. And the other thing: "That is the cutest, most snuggly-looking kitty On The Planet." Right, lemme tell you something about cute.

"Cute" gets up at 5am everyday of the week and demands to be fed RIGHT NOW. I know you moms out there are just rolling your eyes and saying "whatever, try dealing with a newborn", but hear me out. Does Baby stand right next to you in bed, lay her paw on your forehead, slowly and steadily sinking her claws into your flesh until you open your eyes? Yeah, thought not. When I attempt to cover my head with a pillow and ignore Cute, then the real party begins.

First she starts by standing on the night stand and strategically knocking things off. Oops, where those your glasses? Oh, was that the paper back you were reading -- hope you weren't saving that page! If these attempts fail, she alternates using the electrical cords next to my bed as a punching bag or a chew toy. Adorable.

Her last straw is the Body Slam. We have a full-length mirror in our bedroom that Precious will run at full speed and then slam her body against. This is usually the last straw that gets me up. However, on the occasion when all else fails, she just begins her routine all over again: Nightstand Knock-Off, Claw Paw In-Yo-Face , Electical Cord Boxing and Mirror Slam.

Aside from all of that, I think the thing that bothers me the most is that she NEVER tries any of this with Mitch. Saves all the fun for me. Cute, right?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Ha! With a blog title like that I betcha thought I was gonna get deep. And now it's time for Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy (does anyone else remember this?). I know I'm getting TOTALLY off topic, but I just went to the Deep Thoughts website (yes, there is such a thing) and I strongly urge you to visit...I've now got it bookmarked.

I'm a little goofy-giddy because today the owner of Serendipity, Julie Lutz, took 11 of my belts to sell in her store. I met Julie at the 12th Ave Street fair where her shop is located. It's a great clothing and accessories store that I've shopped at many times. When we met on Saturday, she asked me to stop by so she could get some of my belts. Here's the display that I made for her. It's from an antique cola crate with metal film canisters to keep the belts separated.

I have endured several rejections within the past couple of days...so this more than makes up for it!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Good Kind of Tired

I'm beat. Sunburnt. Sleepy. Stuffed full of funnelcakes and hotdogs. But happy!

Mitch's mom, Diana, and I arrived at 12th Ave South around 8:30am and found that most of the Fork's crew had been setting up since the break of dawn. That's Jaime and her man Jonah posing in her tent outside of Fork's Drum Closet.

So Diana and I wasted no time getting my "booth" set up. I've never done a craft show or anything like this before so we were just making it up as we went along. Here's Mannequin Mandy modeling some belts.

Once we were set up, we just sat back and relaxed. The weather was perfect. The music was awesome (although the neighbor who "only gets to sleep in on Saturdays!" was in full gripe mode). And I already told you about the funnelcakes. Why is it not a food group? I would totally be a food-groupie.

Okay, so it turns out I am not a very good sales person. Diana, however, is amazing! I went off to the restroom, came back and that woman had ladies lined up to try on belts. When they were indecisive she persuaded them to "get 'em both!" In all we managed to sell seven which was more than I expected. And I also made some contacts that if they prove to lead to something, I'll keep ya posted. Literally.

Here's Gary's band The Midnight Riders playing at the end of the day. There were many great act that performed. Diana and I muggin for the camera.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

12th Avenue Street Fair

This Saturday there will be a street fair in Nashville in the 12th Ave South area. It's sponsored by two awesome music shops: Corner Music and Fork's Drum Closet. Some local shops are also participating so there will be shopping, food, live music and ... belts!

Yep, my moms-in-law Diana and I will be selling my wares in the parking lot at Fork's Drum Closet. If you are local, I'd love for you to stop by!

P.S. Thank you Gary, Melissa, Matt and my partner-in-craft Jaime for giving me the chance to participate! And thank you Hilda and Scott for the tent!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Rick Rack is Evil and It Must Be Stopped

Can you find the kitty in this picture?

I know it's hard, I mean, look at this place. I'm trying to spend as much time sewing as I can...but it mostly looks like I'm making a mess. And not changing out of my pajamas. And photographing my cat. But can you blame me for the last one? Could you resist such a furry lump of love?

Oops, woke her up. And now she's found Enemy Number 1 in the sewing room: Rick Rack. For some reason, Asha loves chomping on the stuff. By the looks of her, you can tell there isn't much she won't chomp on.

And then, she's out again. This cat is on permanent vacation. Guess that's my signal to get back to work.

P.S. Did I just blog about my CAT?! Is that really any worse than you reading about it...? I won't tell if you don't!