Sunday, September 30, 2007

What day is it?

The very last day of September. September? I can't believe how fast this year is speeding by. Just three months left, and, according to my self-imposed "Christmas shopping must be done before Thanksgiving" rule, I have only 53 days left to get the gifts bought. Fifty three days. I'm not sure I can do this, though just perusing Gaylen's list of 'to-do' lists made me anxious and a little nauseous. I took a xanax. (I was secretly pleased to see the stunt-stitching so high up on the lists, though!)

Now we all have to pile into the suburban for our daily jaunt into town for the express purpose of availing moi to the fabric and fiber enthusiasts in the area. Friday was great fun, as there was a surprise visit from Thimbleanna. I guess I still think I'm just typing at myself, so when other real bloggers show up at the door... let's just say I'm awfully excited to have met her (and her very entertaining man) and I didn't pee my pants... but I may have talked non-stop. So thrilling to have bloggers seek out the shop. She got a good shot of Eli, who had passed out right in front of the doors. As we have a firm 'never wake a sleeping baby' rule, we left him there. I hope she'll post it over on her blog... it was a perfect example of my superb mothering skills. ('mad skilz', as Melly would say.) Gotta get moving... latah, knittas. Cami

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Paint the Town

Yep. That's what they call it. "Paint the Town" is a new occurrence in the hamlet of Franklin, in which children of all ages and sizes are given paint and brushes and instructed to paint happy fall vignettes on shop windows all over 'historic downtown Franklin'. I, being the press-hungry whore that I am, did sign up to have Clementine's windows decorated. By a nine year old. What's the worst that can happen? Stay tuned... I'm headed into work soon, camera at the ready.

And here they are, the freshly painted windows. The hooligan, I mean artist, was a delightful SIX-year-old, resplendent in her pig-tails and glitter sunglasses. The upper photo is the season's bounty (I think that's a zucchini in the right lower corner) with a scarecrow... but this lower photo depicts a tree (with spooky hole), a rabbit, and, (and I'm not kidding; I got this info straight from the artist's own mother) a squirrel. Yep. Probably related to that fleece-thieving Canadian hoodlum the Harlot keeps having run-ins with. The squirrel is the creature on the left, the 'bunny' is next to the jack-o'lantern. Shutting up now.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


It seems time passes me by glacier-sized chunks. I finally went hunting to see where my 'Dream in Color' order had got to, only to be told the e-mail never even went through. Orders are re-submitted, the pattern pdfs will be in the in-box in the morning, and more yarn will be here... eventually.

Okay, that brief paragraph was typed two days ago. Today we have the patts, I am kitting up "Freshcut' and "Lotus" quilts, and the books have arrived. 'Anarchy for Knitters'? I've got it, as well as Anna Zilboorg's 'Socks for Sandals and Clogs'... mind bending, that one. Only three titles were back ordered, and I'm satisfied with the service of 'distributor who shall remain nameless'. Fabrics were mailed out this week, which has been harrowing, and filled with surprises, mostly good, and I hope the shortness I detect in some of my bloggy-buds is only humorous derision and not 'real' frustration with me. I don't know what I was thinking, opening a shop with five kids in tow, no family to 'help-out', and no budget to hire in much needed assistance. God bless Melly, who is single-handedly keeping me (somewhat) on task and working up fliers and yarn cards. Whew. She makes me tired just thinking about her.

No camera with me today. One of the tricky things about getting all of us ready in the morning is I forget a lot of stuff. Lots of hand to forehead moments. Luckily I don't bruise easily. Gotta get back to work now, since fabric doesn't cut itself, no matter how threatening I am at it. Later, chicas. Cami

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Wait a minute...

This is a super-special version of the 'apron-along' apron because it's mine, all mine... and because Melly sewed it right here, in the shop, so I know, firsthand and personal, that she possesses 'mad skilz' on the sewing machine. Can you see how great the pocket placement is? No? Look closer. See. A perfectly positioned patch pocket. Adorable. And polka-dotted on top, to boot. Here's a close-up view of some of the fabrics Gaylen may end up sewing samples from. This is some of 'Freshcut' by Heather Bailey.
And more Heather Bailey, in coral-pinks, cream, and gold...

and down here we have AnaMaria Horner's "Chocolate Lollipop" collection... well, some of it. I have the entire range, they've just decided not to co-operate, leaving me to decide who made it into the photo-op. Pink and brown win every time...

and here is a 'future skirt' that I hope will win the stunt-stitcher's heart. The fabric in the middle is a peony print, ivory and a cinnamon-brown on a pale pink background. Of course, I love the entire Amy Butler lines, so the other two are in the running as samples, as well.

Down here are some other Amy Butler fabrics in pinks, orange, and 'duck egg'. Fabrics 1,2,3,and 5 from the left just arrived a week ago, which made fabric 4 make a lot more sense.

This color range is gorgeous. I think I'm going to kit up (yes, you heard me... I like my crow roasted, please) these fabrics into a "brick path" quilt, along with some of the greens. Going into autumn and winter as we are, I think a bright, sunny garden quilt may save one's sanity from the 'seasonal affective disorder' which so many people suffer from in the dreary months. Okay, I could be the only nut-job with such an affliction, but humor me anyway... the quilt kits will be available very soon... like tomorrow, perhaps. If you need one, just e-mail me and your fabric desires will be met.

Here we come to one of my new customers. Her name is Deb, and she is an over-achiever in the sample-block Olympics. This is a quilt she made (not from Clementine's fabrics, as we only just met) and brought in to show me. She machine stipple quilted it herself, and I love the pink/chocolate scheme... it reminds me of those yummy 'Roman nougats' in the chocolate box. I was thrilled she stopped by, and she's well on her way to being a regular here, as she left with a wee bit of stash-enhancement. That's all I'm sayin'...

I'd like to thank everyone for their comments regarding Missy. She was the oddest little thing we'd ever met, more like a tiny little dog than a cat, and Bill took a shine to her immediately. He wrote a bit about her over on his blog. I didn't realize at the time how I was traumatizing him by having him load her into her pet taxi, but he thanked me for being the one to stay with her till she was over. The vet's office sent a condolence card, which arrived yesterday. I'll keep it around for awhile, at least till I stop thinking I see her waiting for me on the steps. I appreciate seeing lurkers come out of the woodwork over a furry, heart-stealing creature. If you are so inclined, take a bag of dry food to your local shelter. We were 'adopted' by Missy, but other animals are behind bars and can't get out to find new families of their own.
I hope everyone has a fun and productive day. My thoughts are taken up with playing 'catch up' and trying to keep Eli alive today. Already he has dumped toilet bowl cleaner all over the bathroom floor, and somehow gotten down a iron and had it plugged in behind a chair in the 'knit pit'... little dude's tring to kill me, I tell you... so, till later, keep your sticks in the yarn, and your needles in the yardage. Cami

Friday, September 21, 2007

goodbye, Missy

I felt like an idiot, turning on the porch light to check and see if she was ready to come back inside last night. I had taken her into the vet yesterday morning before work, and was given the horrible news. She was tiny, and weak, and it seemed to happen so 'all-of-a-sudden', and the vet had an awful look on his face when he came back with her test results. All I could do was cradle her and pet her and thank her for coming to stay with us for a few years, and the drugs went into her and just as quickly, she was gone. Missy Hazel, we never knew where you came from, or how you found us, but you were a good little cat. I miss you already. Goodbye.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Jumbled Photo-Essay

A squinty alpaca, and a pygmy goat, who tried to eat my camera...

The bridge... the verrry long bridge that takes you back to where they sell apples. Walking it is obligatory if you've packed five children along for the day. The creaking planks are a free little 'extra' the orchard throws in. Yes, I got nauseous, but did make it across without having to crawl on hands and knees, thank you...
Here are two shots of the Olympic Cutting Table, or 'Olympia', as I like to call her. Have you ever seen such amazing legs on what would typically be a pedestrian piece of furniture? These are paneled in layers... with capped feet and joinery that would make Norm Abrams ashamed of himself. This, dear reader, is a cutting table as 'art'...

and here is a close up of the leg panel, and of Melly's ink. That's a butterfly on her foot, and she's busy cutting out the pink dot/teacup apron for the apron-along. While I sat on the floor I snapped another, parting pic to close this blog entry... the minuscule yarn wall, or a goodly portion of it. There may have been some careful editing, as I was trying to keep the corner of the patchwork throw in the photo. (it's done in 'Freshcut' from Heather Bailey... coral pinks and yellows... super cute!)
And now I have to throw poopy-pants boy in the shower and start my day. Lots to get done, and my Rowan rep comes to the shop at the end of October. I think we have to knock out another wall... Latah, knittas. Cami

p.s. I should have mentioned the secret snap of redrhonda in the first 'Olympia' table shot. She is laughing at some craziness, or perhaps she is plotting to steal your wool... be afraid... very afraid.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Just another day

More 'running around' planned for this, the final day of our "weekend". Having Mondays/Tuesdays off has never been a problem, in fact it makes days off way more productive. None of that pissing around and pottering on the 'real weekend' because shops are closed, the post and bank offices shut by noon, etc. None of the horrid 'weekend movies' to endure because the video store was picked over (it is the weekend, after all), or having to deal with mobs of people at, say, the orchard. Which, once my woolly-headed children get the days schooling over with, is where we are headed. Apples, the 'petting zoo', and then it's off to the outlet mall for fall wardrobing needs. The children keep growing in a most inconvenient manner, but short of starving them and lopping off their toes, what can be done? The really spectacular part of the day will be how wonderfully uncrowded it will all be. So, I'll leave you to your afternoon of whatever it is you had planned, and I'll pack the camera into the bag... perhaps the Jacob sheep will be feeling photogenic today. Latah, knittas. Cami

p.s. I just realized the last disc of "Rosemary & Thyme" will be in my mailbox today, so I guess the evening holds a relaxing bit of laziness for post-shopping recovery. This is turning out to be a wonderful day!

Monday, September 17, 2007

What do we have here?

In a fit of frenzied cleaning I happened upon the needle-felting gizmos I bought last spring (they were still trapped in their plastic prisons) and, having just hauled out the "winter bucket" of clothing I'd spied Lilly's old, red sweater. Having just restocked the stash cupboard, I knew I had a bag of Suri Alpaca (it's teensy, Diane... really, a puny bag) and here you have it. I declare myself to be an avid, rabid fan of needle felting. Next up will be a white toss pillow felted with strawberries, but as a first experiment, er, 'project', I couldn't resist a bit of 70's kitsch... Laverne would've loved it.

A big thank you to all of Clementine's peeps who've assured her/me the 'apron-along' won't be a huge disaster... and to Rhonda, who will bring us cookies and a big 'I told you so' if things go haywire. It helps to take a few days 'off' and get some perspective. And Annalea was smart to remind me not to let the snacks and bevs run dry. Low blood sugar and rotary cutters just can't be good for you. It's going to be a rockin' fun party, so long as no one sews over their own fingers (again, I mean me). Can't wait, and I'm going to wear this frozen grin till I see success...

Hope you all are having a fab evening. I've been trying to comment on your blogs, but blogger still has it in for me, and I'm successful only about 15% of the time. Gotta round up the kids for bedtime washing up. They all sort of smell like puppies... gah. Later, Cami

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Apron-alongs, and other future disasters

Note to Self (and Melly)... In the future, when I am 'brainstorming' or 'cooking up' or 'hatching' ideas, please have the good sense to stop me when I get to the part of the *plan* whereby I decide it'll be okay... no big deal, even, to plan an 'event' because I secretly believe nobody will notice or care, so the audacity of my creative schemes goes unchecked. 'Cuz you know what? I think the little 'apron-along' thing is growing, and destined to be a disaster of sizeable consequence. Two 'signees' the first day, Melly... what does this mean???

I'll tell you. A room full of women, some with questionable coordination (I mean myself), holding circular razor blades and in close contact with other chicks, also weilding 'rotary cutters', all chopping up their fantastic fabrics... at the same time. Am I capable of pulling this off? Oh, and that quilt block demo plan I thought was soooo brilliant? Somebody wants to see That as well. I suppose you thought it was mildly amusing to let me think I was going to have block demos beginning in October. Well, let me tell you, missy, what we're having is a low-to-mid-level meltdown. How do I make the copier spit out cute flyers? And that calender thing? Another store owner stopped in and saw it and wants a copy to distribute to her customers. Help, please... in the name of all that is Holy, help! signed, a rather hysterical Cami

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Falling Down in a Yarn Store

I fell down. Hard. The yarn rep, Joan, who looks barely old enough to drive, let alone be a mom and a business woman (think 'Laine' from the "Gilmore Girls"... and you can practically go back to the first season with the reference), so I was completely enchanted when she walked through my door. I committed to some Classic Elite, including the new 'alpaca sox' and some gorgeous and squishy Berroco yarns. And Harriet, Melly, and me and my new favorite Chicagoan ate fried sweet potato chips, and fondled yarn, and teased the security system installer. The yarns mostly won't ship for a few weeks, so I have a bit of time to figure out the big questions like...

1.) Where will I be storing and displaying this yarn?

2.) How will I be getting this yarn to pay for itself?

3.) What was I thinking, opening a yarn and fabric store?

This would presume I'd already questioned myself as to why Self and I haven't been checked in to the nearest psychiatric facility, but I don't think anyone is paying attention, and Self assures me we would not like having our meds handed out so sparingly... and on a schedule. My inner me abhors schedules. Which is why, Melly-dear, the big honking calendar you made me fill out was such a terror to me. But the man is impressed with it, kinda like I'm really 'serious' about making a go of the shop-thingy, so a huge thank you for the shove in the general direction of... well, of being less slovenly and lazy about building a business. (insert big smoochy-sound here)

Okay, all that blather Bill did over on his 'pooplasagne' blog about being the new June Cleaver and all is a farce, though he had some nice pork chops ready when I got home. Oh, and the house looks pretty nice. But the littlest dude is still poopy (or has pooped, again) and so I'm off to fulfill my motherly duties. Have a great night y'all. And that falling down I did where I may have ordered a *lot* of yarn... keep it under your hat. Shhhhh. Cami

Monday, September 10, 2007

I ate my weight in tacos...

and now feel a little queasy. I'll likely not learn my lesson, though, and will repeat the aforementioned activity again the very soonest chance I get. I'm quite addicted to the fare at 'Margarita's Grill'; perhaps I shall make it a weekly pilgrimage.

I've sent an e-mail across the pond, to the purveyor of all that is stylish in shabby-chic, that phenom of a decorating goddess, Cath Kidston. Like as not, there will be an unhappy ending, with tears, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, but if it should turn out well, I would be one of the very few U.S. sellers of her wares, including the 'fabrics by the metre'. I'm going to take the shop's offerings in that general direction for the fall and into spring. Robin's egg blue, cabbage roses lifted from 1940's wallpapers, pin-dot polka dots, faded reds and creams and pistachio green... a bit of retro-chic. Hell, even is I don't get an account with Miss Cath, think of the fun I'll have building my own little reserve of fiber/fabric fun.

This was also the day I went hunting. In the bookstore. For Elizabeth Zimmerman and Kaffe Fassett. Naught was found on two of my favorites, so it led me to shore up my first order with 'that book distributor', the one who shall remain nameless because, well, they have a truly stupid name and I feel sick every time I look at their application. So, I'll fax that in tomorrow, and have more fabulous books titles enroute to the shop. And I found more titles by Anna Zilbourg. "Knitting for Anarchists" was the find of the day, along with "Magnificent Mittens" and the crazy (and utterly fantastic) "Socks for Sandals and Clogs". I hate searching things via the web, but nameless distributor had a lot I didn't even hope to find. So, I'm now feeling terribly smug and satisfied, and full of delicious tacos.

Just discovered the cat hates whistles. This shouldn't be a shock, after all, what cat does like noises like that? What is unusual is the venom in the looks said cat is throwing in small boy's direction. She'll probably try to smother him in his sleep, or pee in his shoe, or something. In addition to flinging herself at his legs and trying to bite him. But that was a given the minute he started up.

Off to finish laundry. Oh, the glamour of a 'day off'... gah. Cami

Saturday, September 8, 2007

A craptastic photo of some 'prize yarn'

Norma has a good cause worth knitting about. She also has several prizes you can win for donating to said cause, including these, though they are quite a bit more attractive 'in the fiber' than they are here, because I am apparently incapable of taking a decent photo of stationary objects to show how cute they are. So, for Norma, here you are... may they entice a few more donations to the Red Scarf Project. While you're still here, how 'bout a round of applause for run-on sentences?

Cenntennial Post... What makes me happy today

These are the bitty little scraps of a sample block I'm making for the shop. I'm still fond of pink and orange together, and they are playing so nicely as a 'pineapple' block. What do you think, Jaye?
Here we have tiny cake slice stitch markers, made by the daughter of an acquaintance of mine. This gal happened to witness me in my 'drunken stupor' right after my titanium root implant, and, apparently I was quite insistent that they make me cakes for this purpose. Let's see them all, shall we?
Who doesn't love pink icing... with raspberries, no less...

I think this one down here is strawberry, with loads of whipped cream. It kinda looks like the double-decker cheesecake from Shapiro's deli...Mmmmmm.

This one here is gorgeous, and the tiny frosting dollops are soooo artful. Don't you just have to have a slice for your own?

This week I got 'real mail', which I love, from one of our fellow bloggers, who has returned from her tropical paradise. She 'knat' on the beach. Way to be a knitta, G.

This thrills me to no end. It's an apron in the pupa stage, just waiting to spring forth as a jolly incarnation of the apron found in the Amy Butler "In Stitches" book. Bette is my stunt stitcher on this one...

and this one. The 'Lotus' collection full moon polka dots go great with some of the Martha Negley prints. The plums look smashing with the kiwi green dots...

Stephanie has really started something in this house with 'happy bunny'. When I saw this mousepad I just couldn't help myself. Thanks Steph.

And finally, for this strung together post (which will probably make me late to the shop) I present "Fred Flintstone", who traveled all the way here via Bette's suitcase from Bainbridge Island, where she went to babysit the grandsons. (So her daughter could take her new boobs to Hawaii to greet her hubby as he disembarked from his submarine. Cool, huh?)

Okay, that's my hundredth post, and now I'm off to the shower to get ready for 'work'. *snort* I can't think of a more un-worklike 'job'. Maybe a movie critic? Or an ice-cream taster. Yeah, I guess those fall into my catagory. Being in a yarn/fabric shop all day *rocks* and I just hope this all works out. 'Cuz it's nicer than sitting at home staring at the walls till the man comes home. That was always fun. Not lonely at all. Latah, knittas. Cami

Thursday, September 6, 2007

sigh... and again

Blog ennui. It had to happen sooner or later. I was supposed to have a fun post, with all the dish about my Classic Elite/Berroco/Jade Sapphire purchases, but the fates conspired against me and my yarn rep was stuck home with a sick husband and barfing child. I guess the fates had conspired against her as well. We're going to try it again next Thursday, barring any other natural or health-related disasters.

In other news, I've been having an awful time finding ways to 'deal' with Fridays. You know, that loooong day in the middle of my "work week" where the kids have to be in the shop all day. Big fun for all involved. Last week Eli fed one of my Addi turbos to the little box fan I was running in the back hallway, what with it being about a hundred degrees every day last week and the central air working hard to cool only the five rooms where the shop isn't and the landlord complaining my a/c was making the entry of the main part of the building too cold (insert Scooby 'huh?' here)... well, it all just leaves a girl breathless as to what could happen next.

Tonight I got to chat a wee bit with Miss Melly. The heat and dust and misery that is Indiana has turned her into a walking snot factory. I thought I might have something to help her, so I rummaged through my stash and found some Clarinex that wasn't too old, but the upshot was finding some hydrocodones left over from having my tooth pulled... in November, 2005. Think they're any good still? I guess we'll find out soon enough, since I'm teetering on the verge of a cluster headache. I can still see, so we're good. Migraines are easier, because all you have to do is puke and it's over. Over. If I'd been a faster learner, or paid the least bit of attention, I could've saved all that struggling not to be sick and just gotten on with it. Funny how 'older and wiser' doesn't come with the tag line of "because I got my ass kicked, that's how". So, perhaps spending tomorrow in the shop with my devil-spawn children will give me new insights about coping, or staying calm, or finding ways to engage a six year old with fabric scraps while teaching a two year old to finger-knit. Or maybe I'd just better pack 'mommy's medicine' and we'll just survive. Daddy's new schedule begins in about four months. I can do four months standing on my head.

That cute and grouchy man I love is home now, so I'm off to torment him a bit before he shuts it down for the night. You all have a great evening/morning... I'll charge the camera battery and we'll have us a slide show later on. Cami

Monday, September 3, 2007

redrhonda made me SOCKS!

Big Red, er, Rhonda, made me 'thockies... let's go have a peek...

Just look at these beauties, made from this summer's super-groovy STR club (of which I am not a member)offering. Let's get a little closer on this sock safari and check out that lacy cuff, and the 'eye of partridge' heel...

Wow. Big Red sure does pretty work, no? I failed to capture, as I lay on my back on the cold porcelain floor of the bathroom, the detail that went into these fabu socks, namely the split at the outer ankle, thus rendering them forever "lefty" and "righty". I'm okay with that, 'cuz she knat me socks (and a big thanks to Janice for the new verb... I am a fan.) What I did capture whilst on sock safari was this... cat butt... She's the biggest optimist in Becher Haus and a hopeless, shameless flirt with anyone who sits on the toilet. You can't begin to imagine the odd looks she kept throwing me as I laid there on the floor taking pictures of my feet, and completely ignoring her Siamese pleas for water-park themed drinkies. I am a horrible bearer of opposable thumbs, and she told me as much.
So, I guess I should apologize for the snoozapalooza postings as of late, but as I approach my centennial post (I think this is #98) I vow to try and do better. It's not like y'all are reading anyway... Stephanie is off excavating vintage wallpaper (verrry cool, btw, muh knitta) and Gaylen is on an island in Hawaii. Gallivanting, I'm sure, and I just hope she enjoys the heck out of it, 'cuz she's gonna be a busy little stitcher when she gets back. Others among you have even decided to 'blossom' as it were, and you have both my heartfelt congratulations and my sympathies. Little people do cut into the allotted times of both knitting and sleeping. I'll just shut up about it 'till you spill, lady Jane. And I'd be putting your link here, except that would spoil your news... and I'm trying to be better about stuff like that.
Well, I'm off for more decaf, and the kids are still prowling, because no one has hollered "get yourselves to bed" at them... they don't seem routine-driven. Or perhaps they are just lousy little opportunists, taking advantage of both 'rents being otherwise occupied. Type at you later. Cami

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The only photo to post

In the far regions of the left side of this photo, you can see one of the 'painted ladies' from the Benevolent Crockers. I have a perfectly good pic of the other one, too, but blogger has once again decided, since I have so much time this fiddle with it this morning, to shut me out of my own blog. Just, you know, when the kids aren't busy power-hogging the computer. Webkinz have invaded our home and ruined my blogging schedule. Gah.

Yesterday I started a quilt 'sample' for the shop. It's a smallish quilt, about 45 x 60-ish, though I may make it a bit bigger, just to cut down on wasted yardage. It's a strippy quilt, from a pattern, and the ladies who came in whilst I was sewing were mighty impressed with it. It's Heather bailey's 'Freshcut' fabrics, in coral pinks and reds, marigold yellow, and an odd but pretty green. The 'focus fabric' is a ticking stripe using all those colors. Things have been so dull at the shop, and on Friday, who should show up but a reporter from the local rag. With a camera. And me in my fat pants. Ugh. Doesn't it just figure. I hadn't even bothered with the whole hair/makeup fiasco that morning either. At least my whore-y nails looked good. I'll be on page two in today's paper. I almost can't bear to look, but you know I'm going to... later, knittas. Cami