Saturday, May 31, 2008

I lost the raffle

So I didn't win the raffle at the market today. The prize was a handmade broom and a gallon of honey. That's alot of honey! I'm a sucker for watching people make things by hand and lucky for me this was directly in front of my tent.

Kevin and the kids stopped by for an unexpected visit on their way to John's baseball game. I caught up with them at the game long enough to see John get a couple of base hits before taking Lauren and Allie to a birthday party. It was a hot and sticky day, fortunately the party involved water and swimsuits and the airconditioned car ride was right up my alley.

The market slowed down and was actually a welcome relief from yet another hectic week. I had some time to sit, finish a few booties and start on a hat all while chatting with a young visitor (the anklet wearer) who couldn't stop playing with the chocolate bunny in my shop.

I really am going to take a week off here soon. I keep telling myself that, so we'll see what actually happens. I am known to change my mind.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Poetry a la Shel

a poet I AIN'T
nor a pirate nor a baker --
but every once in a while
I AM a funky purse-maker

Okay, I think all this work is making me punchy. After it was finished I went for a celebratory run. Finally I was able to go three miles. This uphill climb after mono has been a long one. Now if I can just run more than once a week we'll be getting somewhere.

this was my 100th post! what?!

Sing along

"We are the world....we are the children"

"Blue Planet" by Allie, age 4 1/2

"Girl with wig" by Lauren, age 6.

Pardon the 80's flashback, but it just popped into my head and now it won't leave!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Now we're getting somewhere

Pulled up my bootstraps after yesterday's post and just got on with it. Substantial progress was made on the mustard-y bobble bag. I'm debating on whether or not to put a zipper closure on it.

There was a major jewelry offensive on the picnic table even in the heat. Today is about 20 degerees cooler, go figure. While I was working I filled up a sheet rock bucket full of water for Allie and just let her go to town watering everywhere with her little watering can. Definitely a win-win situation.

Here are a couple of pieces I made. I've got to figure out some better photography for the jewelry so I can put more of it in the shop. These just don't do them justice. Slowly but surely I'll get there.

Add to that some booties, wash cloths and part of a scarf and I'd say it was a productive day. Miracle of miracles I managed to find a dress today for a wedding we're going to this summer. Up until that point I had ONE dress that is respectable and wearable but it's for winter only. Being the super casual person I am, the prospect of finding a dress, actually buying it and not spending a fortune is a daunting task but I think I made out okay. Now if I just get a cute pair of shoes I think I'm set.

I leave you now with groundhog/bunny rabbit sabotage. How does that song go? "One step forward a few steps back?" Or in this case a few steps forward one step back. Something like that.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Chocolate and the pep talk

I like it. Of course you can't get the full effect of how soft and cuddly it is from the picture, but take my word for it, we have a keeper.

I'm coming off of a busy weekend. After my last post I worked a full day at the hospital, caught up on housework (although looking around now I really can't tell) and had another fabulous afternoon at the pool with the kids. It was mild chaos, many of their friends were there this time and they wore themselves out so much that they slept in till 7. That happens rarely around here.

So now I'm trying to muster up energy to get ready for the next market, all while ignoring the nagging shoulder/neck pain a relentless knitting schedule has caused. Throw in 3 baseball games, field day at school, a birthday party, another wholesale order, a tenth wedding anniversary, bell practice and a concert at church and I'm starting to spin. One thing at a time, one minute at a time, one project at a time I tell myself.

It's at these moments where I can start feeling overwhelmed and I also start comparing myself and what I'm able to accomplish (or not) to others and I immediately let the self-doubt creep in. It's an all out battle, because I'm doing better business-wise than ever and I hate it when I forget that. I also remind myself that much of this is self-imposed. So it's time to look at the glass half full, think of how far I've come with the business and realize my blessings when they're staring me in the face.

God always knows when I need a reminder. I heard a small voice this morning in the middle of my ruminating say, "look, Mom" and I lifted my head to see this.

Now seriously. I must be doing something right.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Is it summer already?

My favorite find at the market today was fresh, homemade strawberry jam. As you can tell by the half-empty jar, it's not going to last long. The kids loved the homemade banana ice cream the same folks were making with their own, fresh whole milk. I had no idea there'd be such great vendors there this year.

I had so much fun today and saw tons of people I knew. My best market day yet. Seems like the circles of friends are all intwined somehow and everybody knows everyone else, or the kids will see schoolmates and suddenly the community seems small, familiar and really like home. I can't explain how quickly this all has seemed to have happened. It feels like I've emerged from the cave of motherhood I put myself in having three kids in three years. Now they're out in the world and I'm finally out there again too. Whew. It's busier but easier in so many ways.

Case in point was the pool today.

I sat. When I said the water was too cold they said, "oh, come on, just try it mom, it's not that bad". But I still sat and it was okay, because they were okay and had a blast. Lauren and John can both touch bottom in the shallow end and still have their heads above water. They also can both swim in the deep end without flotation. Allie still needs arm floats or a vest but is fine if she has them.

[caveat: yes, the arm floats and ring are overkill and apparently dangerous according to lifeguard staff. one or the other. we got it.]

I love the water but not when it's 71 degrees. Give me water above 80 and I'm in. Shivering, goosebumps, blue lips and all, the kids could have cared less.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Excuses, excuses

Here's why the yellow bag had to wait. After two reschedulings due to rain, we finally got to go on the kindergarten field trip to Maymont. Any time 19 five and six year olds are involved it's an adventure, and an afternoon that called for naps.

But before all that, the sun was shining, the shade was cool and the bears were dancing.

A favorite spot, near the koi pond with the large stepping stones where you can walk right across the lake:

And for anyone who knows Maymont, they also know it's synonymous with WALKING.

Rest break.

Ending with a picnic. I wonder what she's thinking...

I'll be at the market in the morning. Just trying to finish up because I'd love to go to bed about 9. Wishful thinking.

feel like I'm talking like a robot ... can you tell I'm tired ? gotta go

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Not to beat a dead horse or anything...

It became readily apparent yesterday when I was on the phone with the editor from Skirt! Magazine that the unisex and even boy booties were lacking something with their naked toes. You see she realized the hot pink booties she purchased from me at the market weren't really appropriate for the baby BOY she was buying them for and so called me for a trade. She saw the new, plain-toed ones on the website but it was clear that what she was after was the TOE. That sealed the deal and they now all have toe embellishments and have been dubbed "bloomin' booties".

Let me know what you think.

The brown ones have blue toes and the blue ones have white. The matching hats will be bloom-less but edged at the bottom in the accent color so as to still be appropriate for boy or girl. When they will be changed in the shop I do not know. Seems the week has gotten away from me and the weekend has filled up so quickly it seems like it's gone already. Maybe Monday we can slow down and have a good, old-fashioned Memorial Day.

Because of the disappearance of time this week, the new mustard yellow bobble bag I've started will not debut at the market as intended. If you're familiar, it's going to be like the large green one I used to have in the shop. (I realize that only applies to like 3 of you.) It will have brown twisted rope handles, be fully lined and the body of the bag will be what you see below with brown sides (and maybe bottom, haven't yet decided).

Here's the tease...

...stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rolling right along

In an attempt to serve the moms who CAN wait (unlike me) until their babies are born to find out what they're having, I have some new unisex booties in the shop.

Here is milk chocolate:

and pistachio:

And what do you do on yet another rainy day in May with a four year old who's already done with preschool? Give her the circular punch you make product tags with and watch her go to town.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Weekend treasures

Is that not one of the coolest buttons you've ever seen? Wish I could say it was mine, but it (and it's twin) actually belong to a friend of mine. She found them years ago at an estate sale and just had to have them. So they've sat for years in a drawer just waiting to find their (re)purpose. Now it's up to me to make this one become a pendant in a necklace for her.

The weekend also brought cousins, an impromptu family baseball game, two brothers teaching the six children between them to fish, and lots of go-cart riding. One little boy at least was in heaven...

As if the speed he employs isn't nail-biting enough, he's now taken to slamming on the breaks at top speed, cranking the wheel and almost doing a 180 skid. I think he could get it if he just weighed a little more.

One of the best parts for me was watching that same little boy look on in awe when the farmers came to cut the alfalfa. This is a normal occurence around here and one he's accustomed to, but this time was especially enthralling because there was a boy operating the big John Deere that pulled the hay rake. When I say boy, I mean boy. Definitely not licensed to drive. Daddy was on the tractor behind him, in his ear, giving instructions. I could just see the wheels turning in John's head, drooling in anticipation of the day when he can go to work for this farmer. He's been talking about it since he was four.

I've gotta say, I think the kid did a great job.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Skirt! MagazineSkirt! Magazine
I have no market pictures for you today, but I can report a fantastic turnout, strong sunshine, not too much wind and no sweating. It was a great day. What does this have to do with the little skirt buttons up there? Well, I was lucky enough at the very end of the day to meet the Richmond editor of Skirt Magazine! It is a fun and trendy women's free publication across the country and it just so happens that Richmond is one of the lucky cities where it can be found.

I was packing up at the end of the day, the girls were melting all over the ground and my bins full of stuff, ready to go meet Daddy and John for lunch when Constance (the editor) walked up and we started chatting. Long story short, she needed a baby gift, I obliged with a pair of hot pink booties and if all goes well...cross your fingers...maybe they'll be pictured as one of her favorite picks in an upcoming issue! Could I really be that lucky?

I've learned not to expect things to happen before the actually do, but I'm excited and wanted to share the enthusiasm.

For the record, and for those of you who may not have seen them, the booties are the same style as the green ones below, only in hot pink, with white "flowers" on the toes.

So for something fun, different, interesting and inspiring, you can click on the link to their website over in my sidebar on the left. And maybe just maybe, one day you'll see me in print!

Friday, May 16, 2008



feels like I've been climbing uphill all week so I decided to hit fatigue head on and force it out by going for a run

either it's going to work or get worse

had to try out a Mother's Day gift (shirt) from Kevin who was outside cheering me on, "GO AMY GO" with each loop around as if I was in a race or something

we cracked ourselves up

I said, "I feel like I'm 80!" as I raised my index fingers triumphantly

"You look like you're 20!" he said

gross exaggeration but a girl can dream

sometimes he knows just what to say

Market Report for tomorrow (5/17): 78 degrees and sunny. 5-10 mph winds so I'll have to tether things down but I'll be there! Here's the link for times, directions and the vendor lineup. It wasn't up yet when I just checked it, but should be soon I would think.

The jewelry selection is ever changing and if I finish it I'll have the 0-6 month version of the pink baby sweater I posted about last week. That and a couple of different hats and the blue baby booties and hat from yesterday.

Come out if you can! I'll have the girls for part of the time which means honey sticks all around.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Taking the bad with the good

Lest you think it's all sunshine and roses around here, I'll let you in on a little secret. We also grow some of the healthiest poison ivy,

and dandelions,

you'll ever see!

Now for the fiber talk. I've finally come up with a bootie/shoe for a baby boy that doesn't look too feminine.

Why is it that the little girl stuff is so easy to come up with and the boy stuff is harder to figure out? Hmmm, I'll have to work on that. I still think these could use a little sailboat or something. In time I'll see what I can come up with, but for now I think they're pretty cute as is. And I'll try my luck with loading them in the shop later today.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Another loop around

It's getting a bit wild around here. After tons of rain things are really coming up green and starting to bloom. So we'll have another look at the yard sooner than I expected. Above is the "miniature" rose bush I was given. It was one of those tiny little pots that you get from the grocery store and it was dying inside the house. I thought, well it can't hurt if I just throw it in the ground. That was an understatement. I didn't realize it meant miniature roses, instead I thought the whole bush would be tiny. I'd say it's almost 5 feet tall now. It needs a serious pruning at the end of the season.

I noticed the first bloom on one of my clematis vines today. Big surprise, I saw my first Japanese beetle of the season too. They demolish these and my crepe myrtle every year, but somehow the plants manage grow back.

This next bush has been here for a long time and I have no idea what it is but I see it all over the county. It has the most fragrant, sweet blooms and I just like to find excuses to walk past it.

I swear it's gotta be at least 10 feet tall. Another serious pruning needed.

Yellow iris are popping up all over. I've thinned them a few times and done some transplanting so now I have probably 5 or 6 spots around the house that look like this.

Saving the best for last, here is the rose bush the kids and Kevin planted for me two years ago for Mother's Day. Roses are some of my favorite flowers.

After I took all these pictures I got in the car to go knit with Pam (a special group project) and needed to hear a certain song. I've always been drawn to it and never really investigated why until recently. One line, seems fitting here.

"He looked beneath his shirt today
There was a wound in his flesh so deep and wide
From the wound a lovely flower grew
Somewhere deep inside"

--Sting from "The Lazarus Heart"

if you have the lyrics...keep reading.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Is it me or is it Etsy?

Yes, we live where there is no high speed internet access other than to pay over $100 a month for satellite which is unreliable and doesn't work when it rains. Yes, we have dialup and it takes 10 minutes to load one picture on Etsy or my blog. I'll stop complaining because I've accepted it. I really have. When it comes time to load pictures I just hit "upload" and then make myself busy for 10 minutes. There's plenty to do. I can work on dinner, do laundry, vaccuum, clean or of course, knit.

So when I kept getting booted out of Etsy when I was trying to load pictures today I finally gave up. Probably after over an hour. Yes, really. That long.

Instead I just thought I'd give you all a preview and try again later. Here's a new necklace with some czech glass, pink quartz pendant and a few faux pearls. I love it.

And for fans of green, one with green czech glass and a shell pendant.

There. Now I feel like I've accomplished something. I'll get back to trying Etsy later tonight.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

They came anyway

I woke up at 3:30 in the morning to rain and thought, "uh oh, there goes the market". But fortunately it stopped shortly thereafter and never rained the rest of the day. It was a damp and chilly morning, but still they came, lots of people to look, chat, eat, buy. It's looking like that great kind of market, where everyone is happy to be there, vendors greet with relaxed smiles, neighbors and friends run into each other and stop for a chat and catch up on life.

I'm in a lucky spot, next to some great neighbors of my own. First, the Evans Family Collective, a warm and happy group of five or six folks who somehow put it all together and create an eclectic and inviting experience for all who pass by. Here's just a little snippet of what they offer:

A bit further down is Hickory Green Farm, a husband and wife team with beautiful flowers and wreaths, creatively displayed. Their ever present smiles match the happy decor.

And on the other side, we have Mary. Mary with the busy hands. The weeds don't stand a chance based on her energy, and I get the feeling she could grow just about anything.

It was also a day of bouncing. Luckily I was right next to the big blow up dinosaur which my kids thouroughly enjoyed. That and the honey sticks were a huge hit. Thank goodness the days are over where they screech and flail when it comes time to leave. Happy, agreeable children all around.

Lauren insisted on helping me pack up sold items and hand them to the customers. John was the money counter (as he was last week) but graciously waited until we got home. And Allie? Well, Allie just gobbled up most of the fruit a friend gave me, (I made her save me some), kept telling me how starving she was and was an otherwise permanent fixture of the dinobounce.

As if there wasn't enough bouncing, we then made our way downtown this evening for a bluegrass concert. Kevin actually survived a trip to the city and back without too much moaning and groaning. There the kids had their faces painted, and I mean PAINTED. Entire face. Alien, dog and cat. I dodged paint all night. There were exotic balloon shapes, which Allie managed to destroy (all but her own somehow) and more bouncing...bouncing...bouncing. I'm all bounced out. Ready for a relaxing Mother's Day. Hope you enjoy yours!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Market Report

The debut of two new items for tomorrow's market. First, the crocheted cloche/hat with batik yo-yo that fits adult heads (tweens and teens too!):

I like the unexpectedness of the batik fabric on a rather traditional hat. Next, the rustic hemp basket:

I guess I'm in a bluey-green mood right now. I'm still tweaking the market bags I want to have ready, I've assembled copies of the bunny pattern to have for sale, and I made lots more pretty jewelry just for Mother's Day. For the full lineup of the vendors who'll be there tomorrow you can go to the market website for a peek. Another fun thing about tomorrow will be the big bouncy dinosaur for the kiddos! Mine can't wait.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Little fish...little pond

Even the little fish are noticeable if the pond is small enough. Such is the case here. That's me there in one local paper at the bottom left by the hats with knitting in my hands. It's probably hard to see, but that's okay. It really is me and I do have hair, it's just back in a ponytail. Local celebrity, the autograph hounds have really been exhausting.