Saturday, April 25, 2009

Writing N Felting N ..

And here it is .. nearly the end of April! I LOVE this warm weather .. slept with my window partway open last night for some fresh air but why do those damn birds have to start chirping so incredibly loudly so early in the morning? I swear I heard a rooster crow a hour and a half after the birdies started .. they must have woken him up! Grass is green .. dandelions are out (those are the flowers that I can grow with no problems) .. leaves are appearing .. kitties are digging it out in their pen too!

I finally am getting around to showing you the scarf I Nuno Felted at my class last weekend .. this is a premade silk scarf (started out 72" x 15") that I've added wool to, yarns, other silk fabrics, and some silk threads. (I suppose I could have had a pic taken of 'me' actually wearing it .. but that wasn't going to happen!)

It was a really fun class and I plan on doing some further Nuno felting this summer .. when I can work outside (it takes a larger working area than I have in my kitchen or laundry room .. and can get pretty drippy-wet too!). I was thinking of table coverings .. maybe even a runner for the top of my entertainment center.

Days 2 and 3 of the weekend class were spent doing animals .. sculpture. For some reason my pics didn't come through here at the shop, so I'll have to post those perhaps this weekend. I started with a Golden Retriever .. and had some of Nick's 'actual golden coat' to use for some realism. I don't know what happened to me .. but I got really frustrated really fast! Now, I've done sculpture .. quite a few pieces actually .. and have no idea WHY I was stressing out so! I was in such a mood I wasn't going to go back and complete the class, but Dave talked me into it.

And I'm so glad I did! I apologized to everyone there for being in that mood .. but since none of them knew who I was, they didn't know I had been in a mood! (LOL) I not only completed the dog sculpture during the morning of Day 2 (and loved it!), but I started and finished a woolly sheep that day as well! So .. 3 days of felting = 3 completed projects + one happy Deb!

Then this past Thursday, I had some spare time with nothing to do (other than housework, bills, paperwork, etc) .. so I thought I'd try my hand at 'painting with wool'. You start by making a wool background and then place more wools (or whatever) onto the background .. like you were using a paintbrush on canvas. I've never done this before .. heck, I've never tried painting before, and I certainly cannot draw beyond stick figures .. but had fun! The design appeared in my brain on Wednesday and this is what came out:

I used the Art Felt paper and wet felted the entire thing. You can do the background and needle felt .. then wet felt for stability, but .. maybe my next project I'll try to elaborate/embellish with the needle. Even just wet felted, you can actually see ripples in the river water! During the fulling process it shrunk by about 30%, but it's still a nice sized piece .. about 18" high x maybe 11" wide. And .. it's currently hanging on the wall above my mother's bed at Crestmont!

LouAnn says I have to get back to work now .. if she has to work, so do I!
Wait a minute .. I'm the boss .. why should I have to work too?????

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Reading N ..

I can't believe that 10 days have passed since I've last rambled! Way too much stuff going on in too short of a time period and it's wearing me down.
Last night I just couldn't get to sleep .. so finished off one book, (don't bother reading "Max", the latest by James Patterson - it's just not worth it; methinks he's trying to jump on the "Twilight" bandwagon by rushing out another in his Maximum Ride series (the first book is by far THE BEST!), then got about 1/2 way through another (an older Nora Roberts that I've read before, but most books are my oldest bestest friends!) before I forced myself to turn the light off around 1:40am. Then .. tossed, turned, and did not even get one wink in before I finally gave up at 3:45am and got up to 'begin' my day! Hate when that happens! Too many thoughts of mom, I guess .. going round and round and round.
So here I am .. it's 6:03pm on a Thursday and I've been AWAKE since 7:37am on Wednesday. And .. I'm still awake, killer headache, but still awake. I should probably check into Guinness World Records and see how long .... no, forget it - I really don't care!

Anyway, I've had too few days at my shop for the past three weeks, what with my mother, me and the flu, and my mother again. I think I've been there at the most only 3 days in one week!
Arranged with Debbie to work for me on Friday and Saturday so that I could attend the felting classes with Sharon Costello that I've so been looking forward to. Stopped and picked up a dish to pass at the deli this afternoon (students bring lunch each day to share) and then called to get directions to where the class will be held (can't find the directions from last year .. go figure!).
Told Lana "cool .. I'll see you tomorrow" and she says .. "Saturday, not tomorrow"!
The first day of class is 'Nuno Scarves & Wraps' ... then, the next two days are 'Needle Felted Animals, part 1 and part 2'. And of course, once again who knows where my brain was and when I arranged all this at the shop I wrote down the wrong dates!!! The classes are NOT on Fri, Sat and Sun .. they're Saturday, Sunday AND Monday!!!!
Considering all that is going on .. more that can go wrong is normal I guess.

So .. the plan is this. I'll go into the shop tomorrow morning, and Dave will take mom in for the 1st stage of another bone scan. Then, early early afternoon, I'll go with her for the more involved 2nd stage of the scan .. this time it's 'full body' looking for cancer I assume.
Then, Saturday I'll take the Nuno Felting class ... and on Sunday, the entire day of sculptural animal felting part 1. Monday I'll go for 1/2 the day to work on part 2, so I can be back at the shop by around noon. My sister Patsy will be coming through town on her way back to Cheboygan and wants, of course, to see ME (oh ... and her step-mom, my mom, too!)! On Monday I'll have both Louann and Debbie working till 3pm, so should be able to spring for a cup of coffee with my sister with no worries.
Last time I saw Patsy was last August when I went to Cheboygan to 'sort used underwear' for the Humane Society White Elephant/Garage Sales.

I sure do hate to miss the entire class time .. specially since I've spent the money on it .. but I've been doing felted figures and have the basics down .. just wanted to see what Sharon could have us come up with! So .. no terrible biggie. Actually, still have not figured out WHAT animal I want to create - we're supposed to bring several pictures of the chosen animal from different angles with us to class. Dave has been a 'great help' to me ... suggesting the likes of armadillo, duck-billed platypus, wallaby, ant eater, humptyback whale!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Stitching N Things

April Fools on the 1st? I don't think so! Today HAS To Be April Fool's Day!!!!

Views from my back and side yard .. and through the windshield on the drive into the shop this morning! Went to bed after taking Nick out for his nightly 'pee walk' wearing a heavy shawl .. woke up to 6" on the ground and still falling!!!
And .. HOW can they tell you that you are under a WINTER Storm Warning when it's officially SPRING?????
So very wrong!

I did want to share a couple of finishes with you ... I really 'should' have taken this one OFF the wall of the shop to photograph it rather than stand on a stool and shoot up, but ... !
At right is My Big Toe Designs' "Quaker Harmony". The frame is a deep green, almost marbled look with a dark gold brushed outer edge.

And here at left is Moonflower Designs' "I Stitch" prior to being framed. I'm going with a Pearl frame from Eastside Moulding .. it has the brown with a greenish tinge to it and also picks up the rusty peach colors in the design. That frame will be ordered today.
Well, I 'should' be working since I 'am' at the shop right now (even though the shop is not yet open) ... going to be cutting the fabric for Blackbird Design's Loose Feathers .. their first in their new stitching accessories series. As soon as the fibers arrive on Wednesday, we can get the full auto out of here! LouAnn is ringing through the 'chart only' autos right now as I type (slave driver that I am!).
Going to run over to Crestmont and see mom for a few minutes today too .. I didn't get over there yesterday (bad daughter that I am!).

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Writing N Complaining Part Deux

Since my blog has decided to NOT let me post a comment reply to my own blog comment section .. I'll post it here. (I will not be thwarted by technology)

To Anonymous .. you had written "Like I said, we all have bad days, but when it happens everytime I'm there, I go elsewhere. Sorry!"

PLEASE!! *I* am the one who NEEDS to know this .. when it happens or shortly after. I would have commented, if this had happened only in the old store, that the problem has now been taken care of. But .. happening in the Fenton location too? The only way a problem can be addressed is "IF" the problem is known. And believe me, IF something is brought to our attention, it is addressed. I would hope that in the future, no matter where you are when something happens like that, you would either ask to speak to the manager/owner, you would make a call to the manager/owner, you would send an email to that company or, even send a letter. Customer service is what it is all about and I know from places where I felt I 'had' to speak up .. even a few days later .. it was much appreciated by the company and the problem was rectified, for the most part.

Now .. that the complaining part is over .. here's some more of the writing part!

Trying to finish a project that I decided to start after I'd already pulled all the materials for another project. And today, my back ordered Homespun Elegance pincushion arrived .. and I was up front looking at fabric for that too. NO Deb NO
I don't know .. fear of finishing? eyes bigger than my stitching time? short attention span? I am a 'dead ringer' for Dory from "Finding Nemo" ... going about my business just fine and then instantly being distracted and forgetting all about what I was doing or going to do. Sometimes there's 'bliss' in that though .. at least until those forgotten brain cells fire again and you remember what you were about and feel guilty.
Maybe I just want whomever goes through my home after I die to wonder out loud .. 'who in the heck was this woman and why did she never finish anything'!!! Maybe I should contact the Guinness Book people .. there may be a category I could shoot for!

And one last thing to share .. my niece sent me a photo of the felted bowl/vessel I'd given her for Christmas .. I guess it's safe to assume she really liked it!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Writing N Complaining

According to 'those in the know', I'm not supposed to complain in a blog. Apparently, as a business owner, never ever! Too bad .. being human and all .. here I go. If anyone is upset by this, I apologize in advance for disturbing your sensibilities.

Do we actually listen to ourselves talk? When you go somewhere, do you ever hear how you are sounding to others, or is it a just don't care issue. Maybe I should start wearing a recording device and have it on at all times so I don't do this either. I know, in retrospect, of times I've sounded off and upset someone (ones) around me .. and I'm sorry for that. I try to make amends.
Yesterday in the shop was one of those days where I honestly don't think 'they' were hearing themselves. Or perhaps, just being rude was a way of life, I don't know. I do know I had a raging headache after the hour and a half they were in, and am pretty sure Diana did too.
Nothing was right .. their first time to the shop too. We were too hard to find; Charts not arranged alphabetically; product too crowded ("you should find a bigger place if you want to stay in business" I was told .. I responded, with a smile, if I found a bigger place in this economy, I wouldn't be able to stay in business); "why don't q-snap extensions come longer" and "why don't I carry that larger size" (A-they don't make them longer, and B- ... see A!!); "Why should I want a magnifier light that can clip to my project if I don't use anything to hold my fabric" (see previous comment about q-snaps with her previous explanation that this is all she uses).
"This light is perfect for what I need .. what kind of discount are you going to give me?" I offered a 15% discount (as I'd had that light for some time just sitting there taking up space). She had to think about it. Does she have to take that light or do I have one boxed and unopened.
"Do I have to pay tax with that discount?" ... um, yeah .. the state gets a bit upset if I don't charge tax (smiling). "Can you print off a picture with description of this light so I can think about it?" (thinking .. walk 17 steps and look at it again but .. smiling, printed off all info for her)
"I want this fabric .. and this is the only piece you have in stock (18 x 17) .. and I want it cut to size (11 x 13). Responded that I could cut it to 11 x 17 but cannot go smaller as bits of fabric just don't sell in the shop and we do not cut smaller than 6" for leftovers. "Do I have to pay for the extra that I don't need?" "I can't believe you're going to charge me for 4 inches that I'll be throwing away." "No, I don't want it."
"Pull these colors of silks for me .. but do it quickly, I don't want to spend the whole day here."
"Now, what kind of discount are you giving me on these fibers? If you don't give a discount, I don't want them and you'll lose a $54.00 sale". (I'm sorry, I'm unable to discount all the items you are purchasing.) "Then I'm not buying these!"
"Where can we get lunch in this area?" (to all replies - about 9 suggestions - "oh that sounds terrible .. not at all what we're looking for".)
"If I don't buy that light today, will you still give the discount later?" "Do I have to come to the shop again to purchase it or can I order it". "You mail .. do I have to pay shipping"? (A-no ; B-no ; C-yes)
Bought light (at the discount).. both did actually, after nearly 2 hours in the shop and tag-teaming Diana and myself, and each a pair of teeny scissors (at no discount). Told us how much they LOVED the shop and they'd be back (smiling, saying goodbye and thinking .. hope it's my day off).

Called on shop recorder .. had opened box with light and there was no cord in one box. Responded that we were very sorry, that it was obviously a packaging error from the manufacturer as the box was still sealed and had not been opened, but I had a cord in the shop and would mail it that day at no shipping charge; that I would contact the manufacturer as I would have to tell them when and what distributor I'd purchased it from so they could send me a replacement cord for the existing shop light.

They then drove back to the shop (from some distance - at the price of gas), returned lights (if cord not in box, did not want either) AND scissors were not sharp enough, so returning those too. Grumble grumble grumble .... and then the killer, "we'll be back even though this shop does not meet our expectations".

I love my business, I really do! I love working with stitchers that come into the shop! And I understand that there are those bad days when we're just 'off', but every once in a great while (usually no more than once a year, if that often) there are those who just make me want to walk out and never look back. And I'm positively sure that they would never recognize themselves here in print!