Monday, October 25, 2010

My Mother-In-Law

I love my mother-in-law. She's a sweet grandmotherly type, who almost makes me feel guilty about not being the type of woman who could her son into kids he doesn't want. Almost. Her name is Dot. (I'm not kidding.)

She called us up the other day and asked if I wanted to take her arts and crafts supplies off her hands because she wasn't going to be doing anything with them anymore. Because it's no fun without Lois (the neighbor lady across the street who has also given up doing arts and crafts). Because she doesn't like to shop for supplies without Lois, who won't tag along because she'll be tempted to buy something that she won't use anyway because it's cute.

So the husband tells his adorable mother that I said yes, I''ll be down to take a look at what she has. I called her back later when I had my work schedule handy and told her when I'd be down. I get the in-laws house and I can't hear the pugs barking (Ollie and Ruby) and Dot is talking absolutely forever to answer the door.

Just when I've almost decided that "Something Terrible" has happened, she finally opens the door. Turns our she broke her foot. I can't hear the pugs because she let them out that morning and the porch steps are a giant pain in the ass with the huge orthotic boot she's wearing and she hasn't bothered to let them back in.

So I look around the living at the half dozen or so totes and decide that I'll just take it all. Then Dot points out that there's more totes down the hallway (which is about three more, plus a pile of grapevine wreaths). So at this point I'm thinking no big deal.

I asked Dot if she wanted me to go through the stuff at their house or bring it home and return what I don't want or what? She says that anything I don't take she's just going to throw out. I said, do you just want me to take everything, and if I can't use it, just find another home for it?

Dot says "Could you?!?! I mean I don't want you to be stuck with stuff you won't use. I don't want you to take it home and then tell everyone that your mother-in-law stuck you with an incredible pile of shit and that you don't want any of it and don't know what to do because you couldn't say no, but it's a bunch of useless shit and you don't want it."

I said confidently, "No, no problem, I can find homes for anything I won't use." Secretly wondering how I'm going to do this, but I've already volunteered to take it all.

Then Dot says "There's more in the spare bedroom."

"That's okay, I'll just have to make a bunch of trips, we'll have an excuse to visit."

Then she shows me the spare bedroom. Then she tells me there's more in the closet.


So at this point, we've made nearly a dozen 45 minute round trips to my in-laws, 4 of which it took to even make a dent in the stack of totes Dot had. I think we're about 2/3s of the way through getting it to our house.

I have no idea where I'm going to store all of it, or how I'm going to get rid of what I don't want/need. What I originally thought was 12 or so totes, has turned out to be more like 40. But I finally have a wreath for my front door and so does Lisa, and I have another to give to Jess & Mike and I have a heart-shaped wreath to hang between the sconces in my living room. I'm also a long way toward replacing all of the Christmas ornaments we couldn't keep after the fire, and I'll be able to get Jess & Mike a good start for their first Christmas in their own apartment.

I ended up spending $12 on specialty floral picking pliers (that was after 50% off) and I'm sliced open 4 of my fingers (I'm running out) with the stupid steel picks for the pliers. There's styrofoam fake berries all over the living room. My back, third floor room looks like a floral supply warehouse, and much to my husband's delight/dismay, I'm happier than a pig in shit and so is his mother!

That being said, anybody need any floral supplies??

The house is starting to look like a home!

So after a chaotic summer, things are finally (crosses fingers) starting to fall into place around my house. I've starting finding time to read again, and what I'm reading right now is Julie Powell's Julie and Julia. She blogs her cooking project, she's got an audience, she uses hilariously colorful language. And then I thought, "I have a blog, too!" Immediately followed by, "and it won't have an audience much longer if I don't start posting something!"

Everybody has that mailing list that they belong to, where after a while you just start deleting the emails without actually reading them because you feel guilty/are too lazy/don't want to hurt anyone's feelings/whatever, and never quite get around to unsubscribing. ...And I've had the horrifying realization that chaos like this past summer is precisely why I started this blog in the first place and OH MY GOD! What if I write the posts that everyone deletes without reading and HOLY CRAP! I should do something about that!

And as I write this I also have the realization that I should have refilled my OCD meds like a week ago and I haven't yet and that might have something to do with the panic and the unreal speed that my hands are flying across the keyboard and yet if it has stirred me to think about my blog and my audience again, I can't help but think it's a good thing. (Maybe I should get in touch with Julie Powell about motivating me???)

At any rate, the studio is not really coming together yet due to a hilarious story involving my mother in law and more floral supplies than I've ever seen outside of a craft store (which I will cover in another post, because it's too good to not share, but would completely derail what little cohesion this post is still holding on to.

Suffice it to say, I've got to completely rethink how I'm going to handle putting the studio together. On the plus side, the house is starting to look like people actually LIVE here as opposed to the look of migrants surviving in a construction site that it has had since May.

The kitchen only needs the phone jack fixed and the silverware drawer installed. The dining room just needs the blinds hung. The living room floor and front porch need sanding and refinishing, but that's all that's left. Then the touch up painting and decision about whether we're recarpeting the staircase.

All in all, I've actually be able to hang a wreath on the door and decorate the kitchen some and it's really starting to feel cozy and livable in here.

I'm making a commitment here to start posting on a regular basis again. I'm also making a commitment to make the husband get the wireless set up again, because I can't take the pained looks he gives me when I pry him away from so that I can actually use my own computer.

Wish me luck! See ya sooN!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Studio: Reboot

So, no access to my art supplies is driving me crazy. That combined with the fact that I have things like Ink and Paint that can't remain in the basement much longer now that the weather is getting colder, has made us come to the decision that I really need to put my studio back together. What does that mean to you?

Well that means:
  • new items in the store (which will hopefully move off of Etsy)
  • updates to the website in a more timely fashion
  • new patterns!
  • a permanent move from tripod to Tilghman Street Studios (fewer, more targeted ads)
  • possible addition of video to the how-to's instead of just pictures
I'm feeling pretty ambitious about all of this. I'm up in the middle of the night, wide awake from having badly overslept and evening nap, and my brain is going a mile a minute.

We'll need to the get the hubby's computer up and running to make up for the fact that I may be living on the laptop for a good portion of our vacation next week. We'll be getting our new washer and dryer before too much longer with also means that I can felt without having to run down 3 flights of stairs to the washing machine. (The hook-ups are in the basement right now and the studio is on the 3rd floor. The hook-ups are getting moved to the kitchen!)

Speaking of kitchen, I had one that usable, if not actually finished and I'm thinking about trying to custom dye some yarn. Maybe doing some tie-dyes and such.

That's it for now, I think I need to spend some serious time with my notepad and my sketch book. I'll keep posting as new things happen!