Saturday, May 30, 2009

New Old Craft

I think I have Crafters' ADHD.

I know some of you can relate.

Ok, anyone following my blog knows I have painfully put away the resin (FOR NOW!), that we are preparing for a move, so my beads are not readily accessable (as in all over the place).

So I visited my friend's house the other day and she had these ADORABLE crocheted toast and veggies in her kitchen. WITH FACES. Oh, how cute! She got them off of etsy, by the way. Just do a search for crocheted food and you will be in awe of the talented yarnsters out there!!!

So.... I have had this discussion, I believe on Twitter, about this. WHY BUY WHEN I CAN MAKE? (the unspoken part is when, how and "add it to the list.")

I used to crochet! That is my excuse.

I taught myself to crochet in high school, when crocheted sweaters were all the rage. They were kind of expensive to afford with babysitting money, so--to the library I went for a book on how to crochet (see, I had the illness even then....). Well, I never made the sweater (and did eventually save up and buy one which I wore far too long for it to be in style!), but I did learn how to crochet. I actually made a baby sweater.

But here is the problem. I am really SLOW at it. I learned many stitches, but could never pick up the pace. I mean SLOW. I started said baby sweater when a friend was pregnant... and gave it to her two years later for her second baby. And gauge (which is the stitches per inch) was never my thing (much like drawing straight lines)... so her newborn sweater fit her baby at six months. Well, she did love it.

Here is a picture of what I can make with my pattern. It was created during the salmonella scare, why the tomato is so frightened--HILARIOUS!!

So, here I am back again. I purchased a cute fruit pattern on sale for $1 (come ON, how can she live on that price?!) and I will give it a try. Maybe move on to other food patterns (I was drooling at the adorableness!) if this goes well. And the fruit is small--I mean, how long can it take to crochet a tomato (famous last words!)????

But, ahem, I'll have to figure out where I packed my yarn.

Friday, May 29, 2009

My Cardinal

As I am sitting here on the computer, avoiding my to-do list which is as long as my arm--much of it preparation for Sunday's open house being held by our realtor--I am listening to the cardinal sing his pretty song.

As I pack some things (not prematurely I hope, please sell, house!!), as I prepare to leave--I wait for that sad feeling, sentimental feeling (as I am a girl that emotes as often as I breathe), but it doesn't come. Instead, I am excited. As I pack my flannel pajamas, I feel giggly to think that next time I wear them I will be in my new home.

But then I hear the cardinal, the sound that greeted me when I moved in, and has been such a part of living here. We are in the city, we don't get many more birds than sparrows. Some robins. My neighbor has a huge tree, one of the largest in the area. It shades our tall roof in the summer. And it houses a cardinal family. It can't be the same one, can it? Nearly a decade and a half later? But the generations have always been here for us. They watch us from the electric lines--one male at a time. Except for the strange summer when we were sitting in our back yard, and about five males--must've been frisky nestlings showing their stuff--swooped at us, back and forth, landing on the fence, making another swoop to the other side of the yard. It was both funny and a bit too similar to a certain horror movie we are all familiar with. But they were pretty cardinals, so who couldn't be delighted while ducking from their strange swoops?

My son, barely able to talk, would point out the pretty song and say, "card-nal." Now he and his sister and I all excitedly point him out. We hear him and try to spot him, who can first?

I hear my neighbors on the other side of me say to their two-year-old twin boys, "There is the red bird!"

As accustomed as we are to them, seeing them nearly every day, they are still a special surprise, a treat, a thing of beauty.

They have just been here, singing, all this time. Something I have taken for granted for this many years. Such a small thing, but yes--something I will really miss.

Yet it makes me excited to wonder--will there be cardinals settled by my new house? Or something else? What is ahead? Eagerly I await.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mother Nature Weighs In

I know I've been gone a really long time!

But guess what! We have a "for sale" sign in our yard! We did it! We've had a couple of showings, but no one is interested, yet. I am trying to be patient, as we've only been listed for two weeks... but I am excited to get out of limbo!!!

With that said, I'll move on to my next story......

My buddy, Tronsgirl, and I had a two-day craft fair this past weekend. It was our first outdoor craft fair, and she found us a canopy, extra tables, etc. Also, it was a juried show, so we felt pretty good about getting in...

Next scene... We are set up. Hello! We are set up. Anyone out there????? There were only about 60 vendors (taking away a little of the thrill of being accepted). It was at the entry of a very popular festival--and everyone seemed pretty excited to get into the festival. They didn't really have time to look at crafts. It was very slow--the only thing that made us feel slightly better is that it was slow for EVERYONE. Not that we don't wish everyone else success--just that we knew not to take it personally. Or tried not to.

By 4:00 pm (after we had been sitting there for six hours) we had each made a whopping $22 (at least it was exactly equal so we didn't glare at each other in envy in our boredom and disappointment). The sky was looking a little cloudy. Our husbands, who had spent the day with the kids in the festival part of the event came back for a rest. Tronsgirl and I went out for a little walk to stretch our atrophied muscles. There were a couple of sprinkles, so we went back to our little canopy. Then, so suddenly, the sky broke open! It was like buckets of rain were being tossed on us, the sideways-super-windy-rain! Did I mention it was so so so cold? We were shocked! Tronsgirl and I were laughing in hysterics while our husbands tried to get the sides of the canopy down (it was too windy to do so, by the way)--so we just tried to hold the flaps that were already down, well, down. All of our jewelry flew off the tables. I remember the sight of my husband chasing my (0f course ruined) business cards out the back of our canopy. Tronsgirl's husband snapped me out of my shock--"hold down your stuff!!" I quickly threw the table cloth over what remained on the table, to keep it down (the tablecloth was very heavy with water at this point--certainly could keep everything down!).

My son, at a drier spot where we herded the three children, asked, "Is this a monsoon?" I don't know, I think monsoons are warmer.

The wind died down a bit and the flaps were finally able to come down. We stood there as the rain fell, in shock. Then, slowly, the sun came out.

All in all, it probably lasted less than 10 minutes. We were SOAKED through. Our shoes squished. We were shivering. My jeans felt like they weighed 50 lbs. Dejectedly, we started packing up into soggy boxes, with no rhyme or reason. Everything was tangled and soaking. Earrings all over the grass. I was pouring water out of my pendant displays. Oh my.

When we unzipped the sides of our tent, everyone looked shocked. Slowly packing up. There was a small "flood" in front of the booths across from us. They looked like they didn't know where to go, on their squishy little islands of wet crafts they had worked hours and hours upon. The poor woman next to us lost thousands of dollars worth of her merchandise. For her, it was a business, not a hobby.

We went back to Tronsgirl's house, which was near--got into THEIR clothes, put our clothes in the dryer and had a cocktail.

Obviously we could not participate in the fair the next day, so we decided to come back, hit the rides-part of the fest and have a cook out. Lemonade from lemons?? We stopped at the craft fair to check on it, and only about half of the crafters returned.

Thankfully all of my jewelry is OK!! BUT sadly, many of my displays are ruined--hurt to have paid for that when we didn't even recoup our entry fee! And of course I'll have to order more business cards. Lots of time and money spent on our set-ups, wasted and ruined. Tronsgirl did lose some merchandise, which is heartbreaking, indeed.

So... no craft fairs for a while, we have decided. And personally--I don't think I will ever do an outdoor one again. Now I will think about selling this house and getting a new one, summer vacation with my kids (only three weeks away!). I have things to list on etsy, so I will probably slowly add more to the shop. I have suspended my ArtFire shop.

But for now, I am taking a step back. Not defeated, but definitely soggy. I need some time to wring out.