Sunday, July 29, 2007


the addy for the washcloths is thus:
241-718-333 Brooksbank Ave.
North Vancouver, BC
Canada V7J 3V8

Random blatherings

The Husband gets home in an hour, I'm trapped, waiting on the laundry to regurgitate my 'painting togs', and the children are all in from the merciless humidity and are grazing and debating which flick to watch. Ahhh, summer. Later, when it's cooled down a bit (say, eight-ish?) the bugs will be out in droves, so that to be outside is to be heavy into the 'blood donation' thing, but with the added benefit of brown bats swooping past your head. Smart little creatures... knowing to hunt the juicy ones what just et.

I'm in the midst of a major de-stashing, and some of my fellow bloggers are going to be mightily startled by what the postman is carting their way. I hope I do not offend anyone by the offerings. Just stuff I am forced to liberate from the depths of my (currently still over-crowded) "craft room". What a pretty, clever euphemism for "stash-sucking-hole"... Now, if I just had some quilters who were licking their chops for some free fabric...

Evidently the lure of a sunny day was too much for the kids. They are back out there, knee-high in the grass, with the 'baby' (now two, but he's still the baby) doing his best to keep up. The tree fort is base, from what I can make out, and there seems to be a rotation for who is allowed off the fort. Looks like 'Hogan's Heros' from here. Guess that'd make me Klink?

(brief laundry interuption)

Note to spouse: You simply *must* stop/cease/quit rolling your black dress socks into the gob of undershirt/underwear that you insist on balling up and tossing into the hamper like a little laundry bomb. I just did a bleached load, and your socks are looking a little rough. I can no longer be trusted to undo all the stupid crazy you lob at me. I love you, and you're cute and all, but dammit, man, quit the subterfuge. Now. (End mini-rant.)

I've decided to stop posting pics of future Monkey socks, but instead will try to post a pair a month. If the heavens will allow, this should give me time to keep a Monkey going all the time, and still have time for other knitting goodness... like the washcloths Janice is collecting for the sex-workers of Vancouver. A good, yet strange cause, but I know from personal experience, that when you're so down and out there doesn't seem to be any air left to breathe, a little thing like a cloth to bathe with can seem like a gift. She has an address posted to mail them to. Just scroll down to hunt it.

Well, everyone has returned, and evidently they require more feeding. Huh. Who knew popsicles weren't filling? (yeah, I tried to warn them...) Little man needs a dipe-change now, and laundry-foiling spouse has just called en-route to home... type at y'all later. Cami

Saturday, July 28, 2007

six a.m.edition

This is getting to be a disease. That said, I give you the latest in the series...

"Sea Monkeys"...

My premature wake-up call...

This is what hooliganism happens when I'm forced awake by a two-year-old. I'm not able to fall asleep easily, so I found myself surfing. Came across this little gem on Melly's blog. (I can't resist a good horoscope 'quiz')...
Your Life Path Number is 3

Your purpose in life is to express your unique self.

You are a creative and artistic person with an interesting view on life.
Witty and outgoing, you enjoy sharing your crazy ideas with anyone who will listen.
A total social butterfly, you're the life of any party.

In love, you inspire and enchant your partner. You are often an object of fantasy and desire.

While you are very talented, you sometimes lack the ambition to put your talents in play.
And while your wit carries you a long way, you occasionally use it to mask your true feelings.
Your natural abilities can bring you all the success in the world ... if you let them

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Monkey far

The monkey just won't get off my back, so I've had to make 'plans'. Future Monkeys pictured (clockwise, from upper left) "Southern Monkeys", "Dizzy Baby Monkeys", and, with a nod to the Potterheads, and with tongue firmly in cheek, "Howler Monkeys". I hear Mrs. Weasley's howler-voice every time I look at that red yarn.

This morning involved a trip out to sign insurance forms and hand over gobs of money. I feel like I can start moving boxes into town, now, though the security system guy isn't coming 'till tomorrow morning. Ugh. Another early start. Tell me, do you feel it's necessary for a fabric/knitting shop to be open by ten a.m.? How about by eleven a.m.? And, if given the choice, what week day evening is most conducive to a late night shop event? I've stitched and knitted alone in my pod for over a decade, so I have no facts upon which to base policies on. I do know I usually try to fabric shop on Sundays, but most of the shops around here are locked up tight. Except around Christmas. Nothing says "I just want your money" like altering your routine to accommodate the Christmas hoardes.

This morning was rainy and blah, and as a consequence of the dampness, I slid in the garage and bashed my left knee really bad. All my weight came down on one knee, on a spot about the size of a dime. Bill ran me out an icepack to wear (I was headed to my ins. appt.) and now it's just a puffy little knot, which happens to hurt like crazy when my pant leg brushes against it. Clutzy broad.

Because of my misery, I treated myself to some fabulously cute soaps I spotted via Alison's blog. The soaps are hand crafted and, not being in a mood to choose, I opted for one of each 'flavor'. If they are as fabulous as I expect them to be, I'll try to get them for the shop, though if you're already familiar with 'Etsy' (as I'm sure most of you are...) you'll be able to hunt them down for yourself. Just don't be a hog. Don't make me come after you. And, with that thinly veiled threat in place, I'm going to go prop my leg, eat ice cream while watching a NEW 'Rosemary&Thyme' disc, and continue to wait for Dude Who Hauls Stuff to come out here to the house. 'Cuz Dude is also a tree service... (Stephanie, get your mind out of the gutter, thank you. You're supposed to be reading HP, not reading unintentional p0rn into my bloggy-blog-blog.) Seriously, we've had deadfall next to the garage for quite a while, and it makes me nervous when the kids go out to play. Those two trees just have to come down... all the way down, to the ground. So, I'm off to wait... you go knit something... then come back. Cami
Added a bit later:

The deadfall and the tree it was hung up on just came down. It involved a rope, and a truck, and a teen aged helper who's going to require clean drawers. The rope could only be retrieved by cutting the walnut tree further. Click the photo and you'll see it's extra slice, right in the middle. Walnut trees are such slow growers (this one was probably a hundred, at least, and not yet mature to produce nuts) I'm sorry to have lost it. Bummer. On the other hand, those guys put on quite a show. The sick/dead tree that caused this carnage was a white elm. It shattered when it hit the ground, rotted through and hollow.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Progress... and a monkey

Okay, my apologies for another 'listing' post. Brain too fried to type, let alone rotate this photo of 'Monks'... the first in a long line of 'Monkey' socks. I am hopelessly smitten with Cookie A. Do we know if she's real? How come she's not on tour? Anyway, I give you exhibit A. is for Cookie... It looks ever so much more impressive with my fat, hammy fist inside the sock, to show off the lacier attributes. However, if you saw how much paint I couldn't get scrubbed off my arm, you'd beat me with my own needles for daring to touch the Koigu. As the paint was dried to my body I reckoned the yarn was in no great peril.

Here you can see the new counter top, still needing primer and paint, but looking ever so fetching. Below is yet another (snore) photo of the shop, still clad only in primer, though I'm aiming to change all that throughout the rest of the week. Melly, the place positively glowed this afternoon when I was back in there. Stunning. Bright and clean and wonderful. Thank you for the help. Speaking of, remember Dude Who Hauls Stuff? He also brought a teen aged slave, er, *son* with him to help cart stuff away. They did not flinch about the 'haul' and Dude, who is a firefighter in real life, was so nice to the kids, chatting away with Joe like he'd known him forever. Joe, of course, was thrilled... he gets his rachetjaws from me...
( I should add that this is only about the half-way point, and that, on our way out of town, we noticed a few errant chunks of wallboard on the street. Franklin is home to the world's most bored street sweeper, so I'm sure she'll have things tip-top by breakfast.)

Also, to all you bloggers out there. I am still reading and soaking up all your greatness... I'm just too tired to post many comments. I am thinking of you all... Stephanie and Gaylen, show me your monkeys (yeah, Steph, that does feel dirty!) and to all you knittas out there, have a good (crayon-free) evening. Crafty-chick smooches. Cami

p.s. redrhonda has joined this madness. She is casting on monkeys *right now* (yay)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

This an' That

This was a crazy day. Not super-busy, but a steady stream of endless chores got ticked off the 'to-do' list. At the end of the day, I get to feel smug and accomplished. Tomorrow will likely kick my bum as punishment for the aforementioned smugness, but painting will happen at any rate (okay, at a fairly slow rate) and with carpet coming on the 31st, I just need to keep the train moving. Forward. Miss Melly is coming as her alter-ego, "Morning Melly", to help with the painstaking process of gussying the shop up. She's a sort of 'store mid-wife', and I'm not the first person to be on the receiving end of boatloads of Morning Melly. We are to have our breakies on the tile counter top, which we are then covering up completely, as evidently Annalea has a few horror stories up her sleeve to chat about later...

Oh, I almost forgot the best part about today (insert drumroll here)... I evaded bureaucracy today. See, Franklin is one of those tiny collage towns, where everybody seemingly knows every one else. They are also very much into the 'ruling' of things. Which is where I was running aground in my plot to take over the craftiness of middle-Indiana. It seems that, in this little hamlet, if you require a dumpster for construction debris, you should ask for permission to park said dumpster in front of your business a good two months before you need it. Failure by you or your contractor to do so could result in fines, legal action, or strangulation by red-tape. Before you get all confused about the situ, note that I called the mayor's office (she was out at her real job) and was told by a lackey that no, it was not okay to park the roll-off dumpster on the side street overnight... on a weekend. This is what infuriated me. If you can find a moving, living thing downtown on a Saturday night, I'll give you free yarn. The town is dead. It also seemed that permission to park said dumpster would be granted, if I were to attend a town meeting. Held on or around the 26th of each month. But I was too late to get on this meeting's agenda, so I'd need to wait until the end of August.

When I could breathe again, I rallied Lurker Christie to the task, and she furnished me with names and numbers of those individuals in the hamlet of Franklin who have big trucks, some or most of their own teeth, and a desire to be paid in cash. The construction debris problem is solved. Dude is coming by the shop tomorrow morning to see (and I loved this part) which size truck he'll need to bring. Which size truck... meaning the guy's got more than one. I nearly passed out from the dose of capitalism. Intoxicating stuff, that. When one door closes, a 'handy-hauler' out of the want-ads will appear. I'm going to bed now. Monks is done to the gusset decreases. Will try to take a better photo of him tomorrow, along with a paint-spattered Melly. How do I know she'll be paint-spattered? Because I'm evil and churlish. *wink* Cami

Monday, July 23, 2007

Painting is my Kryptonite

I can't feel my fingers, and without the availability of spell check, there is no way on earth I'd even attempt this post. Hands and arms of freaking lead, muh knittas, that is what I'm left with after a day of painting. Dash it all, but that I had to miss hangin' with the knitters, er, knittas this evening for Monday knit-night. Instead, I got to ass-plant myself into a glider rocker with cramps in my cramps, with my forearms feeling like they belonged to 'Popeye'... arrgh. Pass me the spinach.

Shop update: Everything has had a bath in primer. Painting to commence as soon as I can say the word without whimpering and reaching for the Xanax bottle. The tile counter top is beautiful. Gorgeous. And finished, which, as of today, trumps anything else in the place. Tomorrow is carpet-purchasing, insurance policy-signing, glass-break-burglar-alarm contracting (really, that is what they called it on the phone), and I don't know 'bout you, but quite possibly I'd like to squeeze a little nap in there, too.

Monkey update: Monks is doing really well, though we had only gotten through half the heel flap before I trashed my arms/hands/fingers with the painting of primer today. I think the MIL will like them. I hope. Three other yarns have already accosted me and insisted they be next on needles to 'become' a Monkey. I am also working on the de-stashing/yarn swappage thing. You know who you are. Give me three days to get something into a mailer... for both of you.

Okeedoke, my hands and feet are numb... with cold. I'm going hunting for a pair of socks...and off to bed. Right after I hit my super-secret stash of leftover Percocets. I hear they work on actual pain, and I am one. *wink* Cami

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Frog gives Birth to Monkey

I had started these lacy Koigu socks for my mother-in-law way back at the end of April. They were supposed to be part of her mother's day present, and now it's her birthday, and they were still languishing on their needle. What's a girl to do? Frog. More frogging... and more frogging...
Frog complete.

Yep. No stranger to resurrecting fallen yarns for repurposed projects, these little lacy socks willingly submitted to the procedure and here can be seen, resting happily after a mere three pattern repeats. That Cookie A. is some kind of pattern-writing savant. I've never followed such a fun pattern before. Okay, I've never really followed any sort of pattern before... this is the first time I can ever recall just being willing to follow along and let the knitting happen. No second guessing the pattern, just enjoying the ride. And, yes, they are still planned as a gift for the MIL, but I'm casting on another pair as soon as I'm done with these.

See, I can follow directions. Frog gives birth to monkey. Monkey socks, that is. Love it. Knit it. Wear it. Cami
p.s. no spoiler talk here, but the book got here yesterday around two p.m., and with many interruptions, I finished it at midnight. You read, I'll wait here. C

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Guaranteed Delivery

I don't know. Do we believe this about Amazon? Really? I'll have book seven in my hands before the day is through? Certainly I am hopeful, but I've decided not to hold my breath. It's uncomfortable and I always bash my head on something when I pass out.

Yesterday Naomi and an abbreviated crew (just three of her brood) came and painted in the shop. It makes the work go quick, having extra sets of willing hands to wield brushes. Things are looking more finished, except for the whole needing new carpet thing, which I hope to take care of this coming week. Big dilemma there, though I think I'll use the small local company, rather than big box construction store. The dilemma is with the bigger company I can get one year same as cash, on my handy-dandy store credit card. Small, local company only offers 90 days interest-free. Then again, it's only the front three rooms of the shop... about a thousand square feet... but, then again, I have a lot of stock to pay for. A free pass for a few more months on payments would be a nice option, since this is all happening without a business loan. Gah.

Today I'm knitting on the second 'Darla Dimple' sock. They didn't start their life with that name, but grew into it happenstance. It's the first time I've knit the cotton-blend Opal sock yarn, in one of the 'Hundertwasser' colorways, and I'm not hating it anymore. I despise the nasty Boye needles I'm using, but the Brittany size 0 birch needles snapped like toothpicks, and even my beloved Crystal Palace dpns were suffering under the cruel reign of cotton. I bent them horribly, as I am a vain knitter, and tend to cram as many stitches into an inch as humanly possible. The Boye needles are cheap, tough, slippery with the cotton, and very effective in this particular instance. I will not ever repeat that statement, nor will I ever again admit to using Boye needles, but there... you have me on record this once as saying I've touched them. But only because of the cotton. I'm running back to the woolly Opal as soon as the 'Dimples' are done. We won't speak of this again.

Next up: the monkey socks. I have wanted to make them for months now, and have a willing accomplice on the west coast who is knitting them also. She just kicked a staph infection's bum, and I, for one, am so relieved. It could have been so much worse. You rock the sock knitting, Stephanie... I'm pleased to have made your acquaintance. Later, all you knitters... who are all too engrossed in the book to even be reading this blog... Cami

Thursday, July 19, 2007

yarn and mudpies

I finally got to meet the elusive Ms. B, yarn rep extraordinaire, who left here this morning with a few orders for Clementine's and my heart. That woman gets to drive around with giamongous suitcases full of gorgeous yarns... for money. You have no idea how that thrills me. She had skeins of the much-heralded 'Schaefer' yarns. "Blossom" is the boucle at left, "Anne" is the three other skeins. I guess Schaefer "Anne" is worth all the hype, considering the incredible yardage and the luminous quality of the yarn itself. I am hoping a certain hand-dyer in a far southern state will dye us up some for the shop...

You'll also notice the sweater and scarf used as a backdrop in the above picture. Below is a better photo of the sweater, which is possibly the coolest thing I've ever seen in intarsia. Perhaps my aversion ends now. I'm smitten with it, as well as being hopelessly and completely in love with the company that produces the yarn. Both scarf and sweater are done in alpaca, from a company that is run like a 'not-for-profit'. Frog Tree yarns are produced in South America by women's cooperatives. Frog Tree gives these women a way to provide for their children and gain economic stability. The yarn is better than you could imagine, and the price is amazingly low, for all the goody you get. I've ordered patterns for a few garments, and can not put these sample items down. You just have to paw them for yourselves...

Here is a messy boy, playing at losing his shoes in the mud. We had an honest-to-goodness downpour this early afternoon, and all the kids decided to become 'swamp things'. Little man managed to get far, far messier after the photo-op. Everyone is showering now, with promise of a movie and microwave popcorn once clean garb is being sported.
Tomorrow is a painting day in the shop. Naomi has offered her services, and I suspect she's efficient at it. Tomorrow will be a good day, I can feel it already. Of course, now that I mention it, today wasn't half bad, either, what with yarn, and sample garments, and a timely delivery of the construction materials. And it all happened without having to double up any medications. Yessiree, a very good day. Type at you soon, knittahs. Cami

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Today was the Longest. Day. Ever. I was forced to go into big box construction store for more bead board (not just a wee bit... twenty packages of it) and grout and other fiddly bits so that Kenny W. can be completely done when he goes off on his lovely island vay-cay with Lurker Christie next week. Leaving me with, we assume, a finished storefront to fill with fiber goodness. Did I mention the seven huge boxes of fabric that came the other day? Let me assure you that the contents are drool-worthy. I've decided I'm not going to show you what a mini-disaster the perle cotton was, because on closer examination, I'm friggen' brilliant. All the colors coordinate with the Amy Butler and Heather Bailey fabrics, but also all the Kaffes. It's too perfect to have planned... it's more like 'divine intervention'. And I ain't gonna mess with His color choices.

Tomorrow a yarn rep is coming here, to the house... at nine a.m. I'm heading out to the kitchen to make banana bread and get some muffin batter stirred up for the morning. What I'm really worried about is what I'll end up ordering at nine in the morning. I'm so ill-prepared to be up, showered, dressed, and coherent at that time of day, it's a total crap-shoot as to what will get purchased. I have made some outlines to keep myself from getting sidetracked, but if she dangles brightly colored string in my general direction, the gypsy in me will escape. Y'all, she can forge my signature. This could prove problematic... we'll see. Maybe I can distract her with a slice of banana bread.

Now, if you'll excuse me and this paltry, photo-less post, I have baking to do, and another disc of Rosemary & Thyme murder mysteries to watch after I toss the kids into bed. Knit on, if you're knitting. If not, you have my deepest sympathies. Cami

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Melly, the action-figure

Here you see Miss Melly, who came rushing to the aid of this future shop keeper's cry for help. We had a little painting party this morning, she, Kathy, and I. Oh, alright already... it was as much a party as, say, having a root canal, but we laughed and talked, and the time seemed to speed by. That makes it like root canal, but with xylocaine and goofy-gas. Just showing off the progress... This isn't the best angle of the shop, but I'll see Kathy at knitting next week, and I don't want to live in fear of retaliation. Painting does things to a person. You could tell she'd been swabbing the walls all morning. You'll notice I didn't let photos of moi be taken, either. It's my camera and I'm not having it used against me. Heh, heh.
More 'stuff' for the shop came today. Evidently I've been drinking and ordering, because I swear half the stuff was a total and complete shock. Not in an omg, wtf kind of way, just, you know... a what was I thinking? kind of way. I hope I haven't grossly over-estimated my potential customer base. I bought some fiercely cool stuff, but I hang out on over-seas blogs a lot and I may have to do a little re-education on the crafty locals. (Quilters, I mean... you knittahs are best left untampered with.) Now I'm off to brew some decaf and rest my painting-weary knees. Have a most excellent evening. I'll try and do this all over again tomorrow. With maybe some photographic evidence of why someone else should be doing the ordering of Spanish perle cotton... Cami

Friday, July 13, 2007

Just sayin'

Point-of-sale equipment and software came today. Too bad there's no computer to run it on, to play with and have fun randomly scanning barcodes into. Perhaps tomorrow. Or not. The store *coughcircuitcitycough* doesn't seem at all interested in telling me when they can have the computer in stock. They aren't particularly interested in even returning a phone call... or rather, a series of phone calls, from (at this point) a pissed off and unusually grumpy hausfrau. (I was nothing but pleasant on the phone, I assure you.) They don't even seem to care, not that they know it yet, that I drive a gianormous Suburban, with loads of power in her low gears, especially the one I use when off-roading around downed trees (total sticks out here, folks... people only come out here to dump bodies). The front of the store is all glass. You put it together. Only shhh. I can't plead insanity if y'all spill about this little 'premeditation'. I'm just glad I thought to try it. When my old yoga instructor brought it up I scoffed. I was wrong. Premeditation is very calming. *wink*

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Two Terrific Things

Today was a big day at the Becher Haus, as two of it's residents had birthdays today. Madeleine is now officially twelve, Mitchell is ten. We have been going with the 'group cake' for a few years now. It was almost too pretty to eat. Almost. The mailman brought me something pretty and woolen, from the land of cotton. Remember how I won some of Lotusknitter's hand dyed yarn? Meet "Wish You Were Here". Hmmmm. A recurring theme for me these days. I miss my pal Traci just awful, the money can't leave my pockets fast enough with all the business purchases needed lately, and, oh... and the computer which played a part in Tuesdays whine-festival? Missing. Gone. As in, the store didn't really have one to sell me. But the crack team of 'experts' at Circuit City are on the job, so I have nothing to stress over, right?

Let's just look at the beautiful, yummy yarn again... till I stop seeing spots... and can breathe a little better:

Okay. Not having a cow. Not having a temper tantrum. Having a Xanax. See, I have coping skills. I also have a very good doctor. And I'm really loving this girl right about now, too. Isn't she talented? If I tried to dye yarn it would come out looking exactly like mud. I'm just gonna keep it real close, and squeeze it a little when the anxiety lurks. Fiber therapy, but in a cool way. Now, if you'll excuse me, my house is looking a little ramshackle-messy and there is also the matter of left-over birthday cake... and coffee. Wish you were here, indeed. Cami

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Not Your Average Jane

In a quirky twist of fate, I found myself compelled to go into town today and let the children wield paint rollers of their own. I overcame my fear of ladders (thanks for the continued loan, Crockers!) up to the third rung, at least, and got primer all the way up the wall... and, apparently, all over my feet as well. This then, is my tribute to the fabulous Yarnstorm, who I'm betting does not have paint all over her feet. When we got home there was a package on the porch. If this is a common item in your grocery, please do not tell me. We have looked everywhere for this little item, and finally, in a fit of stubbornness, I ordered some for my poor husband, who adores this particular brand (and he's tried them all). Nothing, it seems, compares to this:

yep, just a little bit of love in a shaker-topped can... or, rather, a dozen shaker-topped cans. Had to order a case to make the shipping worthwhile. I picked him up some spuds at the grocery so he can fry and season to his heart's content. I grabbed this, too. Even though I can't drink it, I had to buy it... look, Jaye... Polka Dotted wine... have you ever? I think it's probably pretty tasty, too... judging from the twist off cap. Heh, heh.

And, lastly, here is a view of a painted wall, with a few partially painted yarn 'barns' in the foreground. I'm still covered in primer, I cut myself on the mail (got the bum covers, Rese, thanks!) and the kids all need help scrubbing their shoes clean before bed. I'm brewing a pot of decaf breakfast blend (Starbuck's, of course. You know I'm a slave to it, right?) and then, when the kids are all tucked up in their beds, I'm plopping down and watching 'Rosemary&Thyme' season one. Netflix totally came through with a new copy that will actually play instead of stutter and die. Oh, there's crullers from Krispy Kreme, too... I wish you all the best evening possible. Traci, you should come here. Visit your old pal. Did I mention Krispy Kreme? Hmmmm? I'd totally get you the hot ones... if you were here instead of there. Cami

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Sucked-away Day

So, some of you who know me know I have a lil' problem with not handling adrenaline very well. I'm from a long line of *really* grouchy people, and it's no secret some family members have done stints in places euphemistically termed "nervous hospitals"... one uncle for shooting and killing a man who'd insulted his wife. He spent two years in the "nervous hospital" and was released. The court was lenient because, in true family fashion, this uncle had waited patiently outside the church for the man to come out. He'd given the man time to "get right with the Lord" before exacting his revenge. You just don't mess with that kind of crazy.

Fast forward a few generations, to my kind of crazy, having a meltdown in the parking lot of Circuit City. I'd just had my hand forced (by the overlords of Am Ex, MC, and Visa) to purchase a shop computer and in the aftermath, whilst loading the kids back into the car, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Payments. More. Payments. And I still had to cough/gag/spew up the cash for the 'point-of-sale' hard and software. More. Payments. Actually, just two payments, because apparently spending almost 25 c-notes doesn't qualify as something you might want to, you know, pace yourself with.

The upside to this 'tale of woe' is two-fold: first, in the midst of all the chaos and confusion, I managed to get merchant status with AmEx and Visa/Mastercard... in one day... in a span of two hours, actually (the heavens smile down upon me) and second, I put on one helluva show in the parking lot. I could Not. Stop. Blubbing. I couldn't even breathe. It was like someone reached into my throat and turned my lungs inside out. Like being crushed and suffocated at the same time. All I could do was sit in the car, sobbing and shaking, trying to get a grip, for cryin' out loud, only to have that grip broken by another wave of panic and body-wracking sobs. I believe the technical term is "hysterical". Bill/Boris sat patiently until I was cried out... I did notice a smirk and a stifled chortle at the tail end... you know, when I attempted to 'explain' why buying a computer had me so devastated. (Really, it's the POS software that felt the most like getting bent over... tough to take for a little control freak like me.)

At the end of each day I try to show/tell myself what self and I got done. This little exercise is what got me through five bouts of post-partum depression without tossing anyone out a window. Some days, the 'sucked away days', all I had to show for my effort was that we were all still alive. Other days were deemed 'good' because I finished a sock, or made a few quilt blocks, or even just tossed out the slimy celery from the fridge. Today was seeming like a sucked away day because I was focused on the big, scary picture, but as I type this, it wasn't a total washout. I now take all major credit cards... and I have a cool scanny-thing and a cash drawer coming, too.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Camp Wanamaikasaukee

I have decided to move forward with sock 'camp' at Naomi's urging, mostly because I have rent to pay, and because I'm being inundated with sock-knitter-wannabes. Well, folks, sock camp is going to weed out the little ks from the big Ks... knitters, I mean. I may only have two 'campers' signed up, and we don't start for two weeks, but I'm getting ready. I am excited. This whole idea came about as a way to grow more Knitters, to 'birth' them, if you will... one sock at a time.

Can you think of a more worthy use for knitting time? I thought not. Here is specimen A:

This is a basic sock, knit in a not-so-basic yarn. Opal yarns are famous for their self-striping qualities. This particular sock is knit of a cotton/wool blend which is no longer available from the distributor. (I found it at Ruhama's in Milwaukee, in case you need to hunt some down.) Sock anatomy is the basis for sock camp, with an emphasis on recognizing what you are doing to build the sock to your foot's 'architecture'. This is simple, formulaic, and requires only a tape measure and eyeballs... or a braille tape measure, for those so defined as 'blind'. (which would not hinder some of the more dedicated knitters I know personally)

If you are interested in attending your own "Camp Wanamaikasaukee" you can e-mail me at my address (found in my profile) and set something up. I have been told by several people to stop undervaluing my own time, and so, with this new week dawning, I shall. See, I don't always ignore what you say... latah, knittahs. Cami

Saturday, July 7, 2007

the cutting table

I wouldn't normally show you this, because I don't let anyone, not even my kids, into the 'sewing room'. I don't even like to go in there myself lately, because of all the unfinished objects that mock me and catcall as I pass the doorway. It has come down to this, however; I *have* to go in there, to rescue the cutting table for the shop, and if I don't make it out alive, I want y'all to know what happened.

My plan is this: take a big box and a few baskets in. Quickly swoop the stacked fabric into a basket, toss the stray yarn balls into their bag (they have a bag they can see out of, though they complain bitterly about being cramped), and rake the rest of the miscellaneous 'crap' into a box so that I can at least SEE the table. Then it gets really tricky...

You see, when this table was in it's previous life, it lived in a fabric store. Granted, a not-very-nice fabric store, but a shop nonetheless. It was made of oak and built sturdily enough, but the shop owners gave it an ugly, glued-on Naugahyde top, and a coating of (once bright) apple green paint. It is now worn and chipped with age and use. I have been gentle with it since it came to live here. It has been of great use to me, on the rare occasions when I can find it. (I have a bit of a problem with surfaces... working on it, though.)

The contortions I'm going through to save money are almost silly. It's important to have comfortable seating in the shop for the knitters, a place to color plan quilts for the stitchers, and overall, I've had to opt for decent floor coverings in lieu of a new computer, though the credit card, swipey machine will be in residence... I'm not going back to the dark ages. With time and success I can add all the details that are lacking... Quickbooks on a store computer, for instance. Which is how I come to be resurrecting my personal cutting table for Clementine's shop. We are in conservation mode, recycling what and where we can. Trust me, if I weren't desperate, there is no way I'd be going in after this :

You can't know how humiliated I feel, showing this to you, but I felt I needed to come clean a bit about my lack of compulsive organization when it comes to my "stuff". I'd show you the rest of the room, but then you'd be afraid of me, and I kind of like that you visit sometimes. Here, look at some yarn to forget about the horrific mess you just saw...

Pretty, no? It's Panda Cotton, in 29 different colors, so I'd have something for those unfortunate souls who are *allergic* to wool, but passionate about mastering socks. (ahem) Now I'm off to collect the various boxes, baskets, etc. needed to unearth the cutting table. If I can't get that icky stuff off the top, I'm going to at least recover it with something much prettier. So, a good day to all you knittahs out there. Cami

Thursday, July 5, 2007

I have paint in my hair...

and a few other places, too. Today Kathy came to the shop, to 'watch the kids', which I took to mean 'help you paint'... so I handed her the tiny roller gizmo and away we went. All the bead board Kenny I ('cuz there's two now, 'member?) had up is now coated in not one, but two chalky white coats of primer. Somehow I have to get all five kids up and at 'em tomorrow morning, buy paint rollers (fat, squishy ones) and be prepared to do this again.

This is Bette, everybody. I am not so agile, so energetic, or so inclined to get on a ladder myself. I did make a few attempts to paint whilst standing on the ladder later in the day, but only because Bette is a nurse, and has already proven herself capable of saving my life before. She would never let me perish, so, yeah, I climbed that ladder... did I mention the TWELVE foot ceilings in this place? Ugh.

Here is Kathy, who did *not* want to be photographed. I snuck up all stealthy-like and got her anyway, just so you don't think I'm being assisted by only my imaginary friends. How much would that suck, to be *this close* to opening the shop, to find myself in a really tight coat in a super cozy room. Hmmm, okay, so that isn't the worst thing that could happen. Gotta do it again tomorrow; hope everyone out there has a fabulous Friday... I will just have more paint in my hair. Cami

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

In which I add a Ken to the collection...

The mini-meltdown from yesterday, known only to it's truest extent by Lurker Traci, and redrhonda, subsided quietly. In the span of an evening I made a full, swift, and miraculous recovery, when Melly called. The paint sprayer was working, and she was bringing her husband (who *adores* painting like a needle in his eye) down to the shop to paint miles of ceilings. Twelve foot tall ceilings. And a good three-plus feet of wall before the bead board starts. I had heard her mention her husband before, but without a face to go with the name, it just didn't stick... I'm pretty fragile lately upstairs. His name is Ken, which I immediately swapped to 'Kenny', just to have a set... 'cuz now I'm way into collecting Kennys. Other women's Kennys. It's a pretty sweet collection if I may say so myself. This is what this one can do:

This man single-handedly prepped and painted four rooms and a hallway. Melly did help. I attempted to stay out of the way. I did not attempt to shut up. It can not be done. I will not fight my destiny to be a jabber jaws. Anyways, after about, oh say, ten? Was it ten, Melly? I'm going with ten- yes, TEN hours of painting, using ten GALLONS of paint, it is finished. And it is pretty. Exactly the shade of blue the sky was over our little corner of Indiana at about 5:30 this evening, before the light began to dim, and the blue shaded to a deeper grey. Gorgeous. Kenny, however, was a different sort of pretty... like, Smurf-pretty. A little somethin' like this:

The man is a saint, no, make that a Saint. Any man who can be on a ladder in a stuffy, fume-filled building for a complete stranger for All. Day. definitely deserves the capital S. Saint. And he did it for the love of a woman. His woman, Melissa. They are added to my small but growing list of persons to whom I am indebted for "the store that love built". This is really happening. No bank financing, no loan, no monies from rich relatives... just people helping out a crazy woman with a passion for knitting and beautiful fabric. How indulged and spoiled rotten I feel this very moment. I can't thank Ken and Melly enough for devoting a whole, long, arduous day to helping me find my dream. Thank you both. You're the most beautiful blue people I've ever seen.

And now, for Lurker Traci,(who I am shocked to find reading not only my blog, but Bill's/Boris's blog as well... sneaky Tricksies she is) I will post a photo of my love, or rather, his shaved head. He took these pics his very own self, trying to 'emote' or some such thing...

he's a bit blurry, but it's a pretty accurate representation of 'bald Bill' at the moment. I am exhausted just from watching work happen today, and so am off to bed. And, yes, we did 'visit the Pope' at Bucca's(to answer Jen)... eggplant Parmesan...mmmm. Cami

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Destructo-Kenny meets the Pope

So, this is a little peek at "what the heck's going on in there?" from a slightly different angle. Here you can see the 'point-of-sale' station, which will be wearing that gorgeous 'dolphin' tile I showed you yesterday. Kenny has been working devilishly quick, so I thought he needed a visit to see the Pope, you know, to cleanse and refresh his spirit... and to get a belly-full of some yummy grub:

he did not exactly behave himself. Yes, he is in fact giving "Benny 16" the bunny-ear treatment. Hopefully this will not slow progress on the storefront, which has seemed to benefit from divine intervention more than a few times already... yes, we know what's going on but try to explain it to muggles... and I'm sorry, ladies, that I didn't get a better photo of Kenny. One that wasn't orange... with a life-sized bust of the Pope in front of him. I can assure you we'll catch him in a tool belt eventually. He wears work boots, Josetta. But he's extremely married, to a rockin' cool lurker. (Say hi to Christie, everybody!)

Here's the show and tell portion of the photo-laden post. I ordered really comfy swivel rockers for the store. Four in this slightly English, stylish little number (two each in the floral fabric shown here:

and this gorgeous hottie, who, although beautiful, wasn't dressed just right for Clementine's...

so I bought her a dress in this fabric, Galaxy Marble. She was so thrilled, I bought one for her identical twin, too. I still have to find a fabulous fabric to recover the sofa in, something in a faded red, possibly floral, though an all over viney print would be okay. If I can't find something suitable before Clementine returns, she's threatened to splash leopard spots or zebra stripes on the poor old sofa. We cannot let this happen.

As for her 'road rallye', neither she nor Sting won. It seems that when everyone stopped in at a public house to wash the dust from their throats, Dame Judi Dench let the air out from everyone's tyres (I swear that's how she spelled it in the telegram) and went on to take the trophy cup. I adore Judi Dench. More so now that she got the better of our old Clementine. Have a fun and/or profitable night, and best wishes to Mel, aka Lotusknitter, who should be starting a job in a better location, where she isn't 'expected' to have a 'profitable night'. Cami