Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bouquet of Christmas

I hope that this post finds you all well and healthy and headed into the new year with a renewed sense of self.

The week between Christmas and New Year's has always been a favorite. It is a hiatus or lame duck of sorts. The Christmas rush of lists and 'I wish I had more time for...''s are over and I am not at the beginning of another 365 days.

Our Christmas was lovely, once I got to it. The boys are at an excellent age of excitement for the season and presents...little O couldn't get enough of them. And no ear infections this year, which is 100% better than last year, or should I say 200%, since it was a double ear infection...

We had a major snow storm as most of the country did the weekend before Christmas that dropped almost two feet at our door, and window. At our home, we know it is cold when the dishwasher water line freezes. And we know it is even colder when the downstairs bathroom sink looses the hot water line to Mr. Frost. Fortunately, it was only the dishwasher this time. And today, about 46 degrees and a sump pump working double overtime.

I have already begun a new purse, this is a new color, bit larger version of one you never saw. I thought I would enjoy a break from the hook, but the prospect of no deadlines has put a tremendous joy back into my crochet basket.

Off to play with stickers. For real.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Where Have I Been?

In true Chelsea Handler fashion..."What...a whirlwind!"

Have I beaten you over the head enough about the Buffalo Indie Market? Well, here is the recap of the events that surround that show.

Last you found me and my gals naming purses, making up soap and towel sets, stamping bags and 'sleeving' this little cuties:

Gift certificates available in my to the right on the etsy link

By Friday, I had succumbed to the notion that I wasn't going to get everything done. I still had blank purses and purses with no zippers and made the decision to stop thinking that I could still get it done. I packed a very small bag of projects that could be done between Friday night and Sunday morning, or even at the show if I was unfortunate enough to have the time. Then Friday and Saturday morning was cleaning and prepping for our Annual Thanksmas Party. Yes, totally crazy. In fact, so crazy that I cook for everyone and do not allow guests to bring food, mostly to ensure that I can eat every gluten free item safely and a little bit as a challenge. Women used to cook full meals all the time. I'm not a fan of the 'bring a dish to pass'. You are a guest in my house and I have invited you to dinner. Come, enjoy, let me sweat.

This was an unprecedented event. I was ready. The dishes were all cleaned, dishwasher empty, dips were in the oven, ice was ready, and the biggest amazement - I showered.

That sounds all well and good, but I did have a couple 'episodes' of complete desperation earlier in the day. I couldn't do it all, I still had all this other stuff to do for the show tomorrow and here I am picking up papers and toys cars and cutting potatoes. Crying, a bit of hyperventilating, then I shook myself out of it with "I don't have time to think" and was back to my warp speed of working.

It was a lovely evening, our 9th annual.

After folks left, I had a pile of wash towels to tie off and knot and hide the ends. Then I brought up most of my boxes and wrote a list. I don't remember what time I went to bed, but I do recall seeing a 2.

Early morning shower, a little food (chip dip, I think, oh, and cake) and my mom was here with the van. We loaded the van and were shocked to see that it was only 9:10 am. The venue didn't open until 10:00 am so we sat. And thought how bizarre it was that me, Carrie, was again ready. Just waiting. Unprecedented.

To the show: Our table was in a great location with a giant window behind us, loom to the right with my back to the customers so they could watch with a good view. Some folks watched at a distance since the loom bites. Some tried it out, little girls, big girls - no men. The men watched in awe though, I think they secretly wanted to try. After all it is a simple complex machine with gears and levers and wood and metal...guy stuff. Well, until you add the pretty yarn. One girl firmly thought she would break it. Then told me that she was six years old when I bought my loom. Cool, thanks.

It was a great event. I sold many purses and felt like an artist. I had some wash towels, some purses, some weavings and scarves. For the most part, the other artists were welcoming and kind and all a little bit silly crazy.

(are you still reading...this is long)

There was one vendor that sold some similar items and had visited my table prior to the show opening. She said I had nice things and walked away. I then thought I should check out my 'pseudo' competition. Her items were okay, I wasn't wow'd. But what did wow me was her blatant slamming of me.
'I can do everything, but I only brought my purses so as not to confuse the customers'
'Knitting is so much better than crochet, crochet is too loose and doesn't look good'
and that is the competition part of shows that I hate and tried to get away from. Luckily, I had other artists around that were community, not competition.

This is 'Blagojevich' and the price...$28 plus on Senate Seat....still available in the shop
Getting out, was a whole other story. One elevator, over 50 vendors and a couple musicians. We were third in line for the elevator with the loom. It was insane. After about 10 minutes with one person ahead, we decided to take the loom down the stairs. The loom collapses, so it is narrow, but still bulky and heavy. People followed our lead and instead of waiting for the elevator to carry down one plastic storage bin, they used the stairs. By the time we got the loom back in the van and made our way back to the stairs, there was a major traffic jam. Stairs were backed up, crazy. My arms were jello by the end of the packing up and moving out. Cherry jello.

This former name of Googly Eyed, now became Two Horned, One Eyed and Gorgeous...available in the shop
I made real on my dream of being an artist again. And to think, it all started with this little blog, about a year ago!

Many many thanks to those that came to support me, those that sent emails and convos and twitters and wrote on my Facebook Wall.

***Special thanks to Lisa G, Tom, Gretchen (next purse will don your name), Mom and Dad, Judy and Liz***

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Shrinky Dinks and Rubber Stamps

Last night my girlfriends came over. All three of them. Yes, I actually have three friends that want to come to my house and help me stamp, cut, fold, thread, name and tag a whole mess of items for the show on Sunday.

I have yet to share with you the Artist interview I did for the Buffalo Indie Market, please check it out here. A special thanks to Rhona for the artist portrait. I am very excited about Sunday and proud of myself and my diligence in getting product ready. My only regret is that I didn't have enough time in the day to create. If I wasn't working or making dinner or playing with the kids, I was crocheting. We spent quite a bit of time in the basement, I at my loom, the boys at the play dough. It has been fun, but I am ready for the deadline to come and say "it is what it is, and I got what I got".

But back to yesterday. We had a swell time. Judy did all the bag stamping by the time I had the boys in bed. This photo was the virgin stamp, practice makes perfect, and by number two, Judy was off to a stellar start. The bags came out really cool. They are free, with purchase ;-) And if anyone would like me to use my new custom stamp on ANYTHING...I will stamp for you. (I'll stamp it for you, I'll stamp it for you, I'll stamp it FOR YOU!)

While Judy was stamping bags and labeling hang tags, Gretchen the Great was cutting, folding and measuring the gift certificates. A less than glamorous job in which I didn't get a photo of the process. I'll show them off when they become available at They will also be available at the Buffalo Indie Market and are redeemable for anything in my shop, even a custom order.

As far as my note of Shrinky Dinks, half the table had no clue what they were and for that I am saddened. I definitely see a Shrinky Dink Date for my gals.
My only question...who's bringing the Easy Bake Oven?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Answer To: Can You Guess What I Am Now?

This has nothing to do with the movie from which my title came from, Animal House, but it took me a bit to figure it out AND it was on my kitchen table just like this.

Any guesses? One clue: a character in Blue's Clues.

I'll post the answer tomorrow.

Here is the answer...
Our little O at two and a half loves pepper. In the case above, he ate all but one peppered raisin.
I had no idea he was seasoning his raisins. It all started with a plate of French Toast Sticks, Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper. He loaded those sticks up and Tom felt it important to teach the "don't play with your food or else" lesson and made him eat the sticks.

And he LOVED them.

We are trying to relocate Mr. Salt, but for now, Mrs. Pepper and O are having a good time.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Show and Tell: Das Eyeball

Doesn't everyone wish they had an eyeball pouch?
A take on my Das Polka series...slightly merging with my Manster Series. Perhaps, just perhaps we have something here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Show and Tell: or Proof that I am Creating

These are from my Cadet/Navy blue 100% cotton warp and weft. Two manly man (metrosexual) scarves and a little diddy leftover. The scarves are each 60 inches and the other piece is about 20 inches. Take 140 inches of weaving, plus 27 inches for spacing the fringe, plus 5 inches to get started for a total of 172 inches of weaving. Each inch taking approximately 6.2 minutes, yields 17.77 hours of weaving time. And that doesn't include the winding, the threading, and the rolling or the washing and tying off.
Now we know why weaving is so slow...
These will be available at the Buffalo Indie Market on Sunday, December 14th from 12-5pm at the Pearl Street Brewery in downtown Buffalo.
If they don't go to a good neck on that day, I'll list them in my shop on Monday, December 15th.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Stocking Straight Jacket

My camera hasn't been clicked in a while, so I was browsing through old photos for another project, and thought this one captures how I am feeling these days.

This is Sam in 2004 at a year and a half old. Boy, was that funny. I was trying to get a Christmas photo and Tom was 'assisting'.

I have been feeling a little guilty from not blogging as much as I like to. It really does help my mental file folder. As I said a while back, it was time for lists and manila folders. I am ashamed to say, I haven't gotten that far.

What I have been doing is making purses, lots of them. I can't show you, because none are done. They need zippers and beads and buttons and fun stuff. There is one that I am especially excited about. This week is wash towel week and weaving. I finished the second scarf of two and have a little warp left. I am going to weave it off and maybe come up with a little dresser scarf or table something...maybe a purse? I just can't bear to throw away that yardage.

As you all probably know, I am doing a weaving workshop and selling at the Buffalo Indie Market on Sunday, December 14th from 12-5. I am so excited and as equally nervous.

Needing to focus, I may not post as often as I like, but know that I am thinking of you and appreciate your reading. Get ready for December 15th when I get back to regular blogging and getting ready for Christmas.

Maybe, just maybe....a free giveaway when I return? This may be a good time to become a follower of this blog.