Thursday, October 31, 2013

Looking For a Service Project?

We are heading into one of the busiest times of the year.
My house and business are a mass of
lists,
deadlines,
appointments...
It's enough to make your head swim.
 
You say,
"Who has time to take on anything else?"
 
And I agree that it sounds overwhelming,
however,
so many of you that read this
sew,
knit,
crochet,
paint,
craft,
encourage,
uplift,
you name it.
We all have a gift!
Share it this season!
 
Below,
I am going to list all my favorite service projects
from years past.
 
What will I do this year?
Right now, I have no idea,
but I do know that there are a lot of crafting supplies
calling my name!
 
This is the most popular post on my blog,
close to 12,000 hits! 
Shocked?  I was and am as it continues to grow.
Thrilled?
Yes!
That means that there are all the more people receiving these much needed bags!
 
 
Every nursing home is happy to get these! 
 
If you knit, these are literally
a one to two hour hat!
 
 
greatly appreciated at schools and homeless shelters!
Make them tiny and donate them to your local hospital.
 
The last one I am sharing is
 
Pillowcase Dresses
 
 
These are such a fun project,
however you do need minimal sewing skills.
 
Many churches make these and I am sure that I can help find distribution for them
if you are not able to find a place to donate them.
 
 
 There is the
Linus Project
They will take the tied fleece blankets
as well as quilts and afghans.
 
 
 
I have had two grandsons receive these blankets
and believe me,
when a sick baby is in the hospital
with a tired and scared mother,
nothing is more welcome than that
clean, soft blanket
and knowing that someone cared enough to make it.
 
Take time to look
and
find
your project this year!
 
Comment below with suggestions
and
send me links of other projects
and I will publish another post of them!
 
 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tailor to the Turtles


Last night the door burst open!
In rushes two little boys,
costumes fluttering and flying behind them.
"Grandma, this is all your job!"
"The party is Thursday and we need these fixed!"
"These don't fit us!"
 
I tell them to try them on so I can pin them.
Startled looks, big eyes,
"You are going to pin them ON US!"
 
So we settled for a try on
and
a visual on the alterations.
 
They wanted to stay and watch me sew them,
apparently,
not wanting to be separated from them.
 
In the end,
they left them after a lot
of reassurance that they would be done today.
 
And they are..
barely.
I worked on them until I fell asleep last night
 and
finished them this morning!
 
Tailor to the Turtles.
 
Can I put that on a resume?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Different Obsession


Giving my obsession with the health care fiasco a break,
I needed something else to jam into that space in my mind.
It is not really working yet,
however,
I am really trying to make them all think it is working.
So,
I am taking up some other obsessions.
Crazy quilt blocks for one.
Since having to give up all the wool
or live with the itching,
I needed another stitching project.
These fit the bill!
Creative and fun.


Collecting and planning for the trip to Haiti.
I leave for Haiti on the 17th of November.
Hopefully and Prayerfully,
a promise kept.
Six years ago,
I promised to return and teach calligraphy to the students
at the EBAC orphanage.
Why would I do that?  
Make that promise?
Life has been in the way since
and
I did not know if I would be able to keep that promise.
So, the door is opened and
I am sewing dresses and skirts and shorts to take with me,
collecting formula to take along,
some baby clothing
and
lots of brushes, paints, pens, papers and books.
I will be brushing up on my calligraphy skills soon!
(I am still formulating a plan to take some screenprinting
supplies, but JWS does not know that yet, shhhhh)
Thanks to some awesome benefactors,
I will be able to supply the students with some great supplies!

 
Also doing a little crocheting.

And some knitting.

And yesterday's slide through Goodwill produced this book.
Airplane reading!
Hopefully this finally answers all of my Mary/Martha questions!


Monday, October 28, 2013

5th Annual Open House


The 5th Annual Open House
is over!
Another year in! 

The house is back to normal.

The remaining items are packed for another year.

And all that is left...

are the stacks for Christmas orders,

and all the plans for next year!

Thanks to everyone that helped to make it a success!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Possible Solution

First of all,
for those of you that normally follow along,
this is not going to be your typical
crafts or craziness post.
So, if that is what you are expecting,
you might want to tune out now.
Second of all,
and if you are still with me,
please understand that this is not political,
I try to be relatively open-minded,
have always believed that we live in a free country where
everyone has and is entitled to their opinion.
That being said,
I am a registered Republican.
If that offends you, that is your problem.
It does not offend me
or make me think less of you
if you are a
registered Democrat.
That is your choice,
mine is mine.
Personally, I rarely vote a straight party ticket,
try to be somewhat well informed,
and for years was registered Independent,
but changed that only to be able to vote in the primaries.
What I am about to say,
I think affects a lot of people
regardless of party affiliation.
 
My husband and I are self employed.
We started our own business,
struggled through all the formative years of owning your own business,
have worked extra outside jobs to get that business going
and
have invested time and personal assets to make the business
what it is 20 years later.
We are not rich,
there are times that we are not even "comfortable"
but
we chose this life.
We have struggled when we were needed for family issues
and
we were thankful that we were able to be flexible enough
to have that time off.
But now,
we are faced with a huge challenge.
 
Healthcare.
For twenty years we have paid our own health insurance.
We chose our plan.
When premiums topped $1500 a month a few years ago,
we chose a much more affordable plan.
No, we didn't have the best coverage,
but with saving $1000 per month,
we chose to pay the differences out of pocket.
We CHOSE that in a free country!
 
And we paid it.
Paid our premiums,
paid our prescriptions
and
recently when I had ankle surgery,
paid for crutches,
doctor bills
and when therapy was not covered,
I walked
and
worked
and
got better on my own.
 
It was all a choice.
Our choice.
 
When I first heard about a national health care system,
I was actually somewhat interested.
Lower costs,
better care,
help for all of us who have to buy our own insurance.
I did not think it would affect me though
unless I chose to take part in it.
 
Just google our president's repeated statement
regarding
"If you like your current health plan,
you can keep it"
 
He said it many times.
Did he lie?
 
Or was he was misinformed,
or maybe he does not realize what insurance companies are doing to
small business owners
right now.
In my tiny little corner of the world,
there are many of us in the same position.
We have paid for our insurance for years,
we have chosen our plans,
we have paid our bills
and
we are finding ourselves without hospitalization.
 
Will the government plan help us?
How are we to know?
We can't find out on the website,
it does not work.
So far,
every insurance company that I have called
refuses to sell a policy to me.
(Well, one did, but the price and terms were outrageous)
 
So what are we to do?
 
Here is my thought.
And, if you are a small business owner you can use this and insert
your own product and prices.
 
You get in bed with the government
as I am thinking the insurance companies have.
You get the government to force every American
to buy your product
whether they want it or not.
 
Here is how my money maker is going to work.
 
Every person in this country has to buy a screen printed t-shirt.
Everyone, no exceptions.
If you have been buying screen printed t-shirts all along
from me and are a loyal customer,
I am going to cancel your artwork, screen charges
and t-shirt prices
and
once you register on a website
(that does not work)
you will have to pick your t-shirt provider again.
It does not have to be me,
you can pick any t-shirt provider.
Somehow,
all screen printers will be uniting
to charge higher prices though,
so be prepared to pay a lot more.
Now, for those of you that your employer will be providing you
with a t-shirt,
the prices are going up for them, so
your payroll deduction
will go up,
or some people will just have to lose their jobs
and you will have to pick up the slack.
Someone has to pay.
For those of you that have been buying t-shirts from me
the price is going to triple
and
I am going to start buying seconds, not high quality shirts
and
I am probably going to smear the ink. 
After all,
I have the government backing me and forcing you to buy this t-shirt
so it does not have to be the best quality
and I don't have to provide you with the
customer service
normally required to keep my customers happy.
 
And here is my math:
For the sake of my inept percentage math skills,
we are not going with the 47% living off the government,
we are going with 50%
because really, it is getting close to that.
 
One hundred people have to get their t-shirts from me.
T-shirts cost me $2-$3 each.
I sell them printed for $7.50.
but we are going to say $7...again, easy math.
So, right now, I make $4 per t-shirt.
50 of you were already buying from me
so I was making
$200 on those 50 t-shirts.
Now, I am going to charge
50 of you $21 per shirt
and
I am going to buy cheap t-shirts, second quality
for $1 each.
Now, I am making $20 each on the 50 shirts.
$1000 profit.
True, I have to give 50 free, first quality t-shirts to those
that don't work
or
are here illegally,
but even at $3 each
that is $150
still leaving me a profit of $850.
 
Win, Win!
 
You can insert
pizzas,
pipe,
sides of beef,
sandwiches
or any product,
the math is still the same.
The profit is still there.
 
Where do we, all small business owners, sign up to get the government to force all
Americans to buy our products?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, October 11, 2013

And so the week continues...


Old School?
Yes.
But I think that I am ready to return there.
In today's episode of
Me vs. Best Buy
or
How Many Trips Can You Make to Pittsburgh In A Week?
you will find
ME
that's right,
this episode stars ME,  AGAIN
driving AGAIN
to
Pittsburgh
to return
the computer that we bought
because Best Buy told us our other one was trashed.
Unfixable,
Unrecoverable.
lots of "un" words.
This purchase included
a laptop,
a tech support package,
an
external cd drive...
well just read the previous post to get the drift.
 
And then,
we called the local computer guru.
Keep him in good Columbian coffee,
give him some smoking breaks
and
viola!
The old computer is up and running fine.
(I would say that Best Buy should hire him...
but he really doesn't fit the
Geek Squad mold)
and
he probably wouldn't sell many computers,
he would manage for fix the OLD ones,
therefore
violating the Best Buy code
which in my opinion today is...
"Tell them the old computer is crashed so they buy a new one."
I will keep you posted, of course, on how that return plays out!
 
Part Two
 
My long time painting friend,
Gerry,
offered some gourds to me from her garden.
Kendall and I picked them up on Wednesday.
 
They were still in my car yesterday
and
since I was going to Pittsburgh and needed
a lot of other stuff
I needed to get the gourds out of the tailgate.
JWS and I discussed where they would dry for the winter...
he had opinions..
lots of opinions.
A lot of micro-managing where they should go.
 
I thought that they should go in the attic of the garage.
He was not liking that idea.
I left work early
and let's just say,
The gourds are where they need to be
and
two little boys are each
$5 richer
and
little boys don't
Micro-manage!


.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Positive Spin

 
Disclaimer:
All of these images were found on the internet,
they are not my creations.
 
With that said,
it has taken almost 24 hours for me to put a positive spin
on yesterday's events.
 
First of all, my day started by losing an hour.
I wake up and check the time on my phone
and
wonder,
Why is Dianna leaving for work so early?
Why is the neighbor's front porch light on so early?
Why do I feel like I have slept in?
Well, apparently my phone took a trip to the
Central Time Zone
without me!
or
part of the government shut down
was furloughing the little gnome that must set cell phone times?
 
Reboot, and we were out of the twilight zone.
The next two hours were the calmest of my day.
 
Hang on.
It's a pretty wild ride for the rest of the day!
At around 8 AM,
I find out that 
Jenn's embroidery computer has crashed.
This would be the non-backed up,
all of our embroidery designs,
busiest time of the year,
computer.
 
Again, I say,
NOT
BACKED
UP! 
 
Assessing the situation,
we decide that I will take the computer to Best Buy.
60
miles
away!
 
(There is a beauty to living in the sticks,
yesterday,
 I was struggling seeing that beauty)
 
Head to Best Buy,
with JWS' deposit that had to be taken to the bank on the way,
after he reminds me at least 47 times not to forget to deposit it,
40 miles into the trip, I remember
that I forgot to deposit it!
 
I take the computer in.
It can be fixed,
it can't be fixed,
it can be fixed,
it can't be fixed.
 
That was the final analysis,
It can't be fixed.
 
Well, let's just say
that the fix cost was going to be more than the new cost
with no guarantee on recovery of the data.
 
And,
the tech support agreement
ran out a month ago.
 
I go back outside,
I call JWS,
he is not there.
I think,
I stew,
I don't know what to do.
 
(Hey, that rhymes!)
 
I go back into Best Buy
(2nd time through the door)
I ask another question.
I pause and think.
 
Now, I realize that if we try to fix it,
it is going to take 3 days to 2 weeks.
We need to be up and running before that.
 
So,
I am going to buy a new computer,
EXCEPT
I forgot a business check
and my personal account
that I have a debit card for
is
woefully depleted.
 
(Hey, in my other job, I am getting ready for an open house)
 
Totally frustrated
because they won't let me put in on the Best Buy charge card
because I don't happen to have the card with me
and
it also happens to be in JWS' name,
never mind that I pay the bill
and
seven computers,
knocking on eight
we are pretty good customers,
I leave and get in my car and drive away.
 
Sometimes you just have to clear your head and have a
pina colada smoothie.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nourished,
sensible again,
JWS suggests that they just transfer the money into my personal account
and
I head back into Best Buy.
( I think that this might be my THIRD trip through the door)
 
While I am now waiting on the salesman
I peruse the
Nooks and Kindles
and
really,
why?
Seven computers,
two smart
and
one dumb
phone
and a
tablet,
isn't that enough technology to deal with?
I pick one up
just to touch it.
and
WHA WHA WHA
BEEP BEEP BEEP
The alarm goes off!!! 
Well, that's one way to get a salesman.
 
Anyway,
I buy the computer and head home.
(It was really not that simple,
software had to be check to see if it would work with Windows 8,
blah, blah blah
but the story is getting long we are only to one o'clock in my day)
 
 
 
So, I get back to work,
totally stressed now
and
trying to maintain
some sort of composure,
I begin the process of loading the computer.
 
About one half hour into the project,
I realize
THERE IS NO PLACE TO PUT A CD!!!
Let me tell you,
I pushed and turned and flipped that thing
and stood on my head
and
stomped
and
well,
maybe even said a few bad words
Then....
headed back to
Best Buy!
 
Remember the 60 mile trip? 
 
So, my
FOURTH
walk through the doors
at
BEST BUY!
 
 
 
This time I bought an external
cd drive.
 
I reprimanded the nice young salesman
who was, oh so, apologetic.
 
I suggested that they should include the question
"Do you need a CD drive in your new computer?"
and
hinted that should be added to the
Best Buy Salesman Training Manual
and then
added,
"While I am old, I was not asking for a floppy disk drive?"
 
How was I to know that now,
cd's are becoming a thing of the past?
 
 
 
This trip to Pittsburgh included a calming visit to Michaels
to
touch
non-technology
paints
yarn
paper
and
flowers.
 
It was calming,
however
on the way home
I stopped at Shawnee's house
to deliver some Michael's purchases to her.
(She is also getting ready for the same open house)
 
 
Kamden was in the high chair
and she was feeding him some concoction
that apparently
the dog liked as well as Kamden
because Lacey was sure was trying to get her share.
Garren was trying his hardest to get the treadmill to turn on.
Kendall had got into the canned goods
and
had loaded them all into a
decorative wagon
and was trailing them all over the house
and
Gracelyn
decked out in a helmet
was riding
a battery powered
four wheeler
amongst them all.
 
Wow!
Confusion, at it's finest!
 
Sort of made the 240 miles that I had driven tod
look inviting!
 
 
 
JWS cooked a wonderful
surf and turf
dinner
and had it ready when I got home.
 
And still,
it has taken me until now
to
put a positive spin on the day.
 
 
 
And despite it all,
I am still concerned that the
software that we need,
will not load on the new computer this morning.
 
So,
as I looked at all these pictures
I think.
"When it all goes bad,
I will have lots to craft with!"
 
And one more thing for the day..
 
After supper,
JWS and I are trying to figure out and make sense of the day
when
Tyler bursts through the back door,
Logan close behind carrying a huge box.
 
They proceed to rip open the box,
chattering the whole time
about what they have to show us.
From behind the couch,
emerge
Two
Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles.
 
They run out the door saying,
"We are going to show our Mom and Aunt Dianna
and
when we get back we are going to
let you sew these so they fit us better
tonight!"
 
So not happening...
even I have grandmother limits!