Monday, December 8, 2014

December Starts Off With a Bang!

Christmas Ornament Hand Knitted Wire Cuff Bracelet

I hope everyone had a good weekend.  Mine was interesting to say the least.  I did a show at the local high school, and of course, it rained.  It rained and it was extremely cold.  I think that's why people were a little bit scarce at the show. Needless to say no one made any cash.  I think booth fees, for the most part were covered.  I sold a few things.  I was disappointed. But I'll persevere.

It was my grand-daughter's 8th birthday on Sunday and she wanted to get her ears pierced.  So, off to the mall we went. I really did not think that she would go through with the piercing.  But, the brave little thing, picked out her earrings, sat in the chair and held Mom's hands while two ear guns went off at the same time.  Afterwards I asked her if it was as bad as she thought it was going to be and she said that it only hurt for a minute and then it was over. Funny, how a set of little button earrings make an eight year old look so much older.  Then we went out to eat, went to the tree lighting in Nassau, NY (another little town near New Lebanon, NY) and then came home and had cake and presents.  Before she went to bed she said this birthday was the best EVER!  Proud Mom and Grandma here.

First pierced earrings! 

And, now to move on to the rest of December's week. Last year we moved into this great apartment.  Lots of room for everyone, 6 acres of room for my little minions to run around, great neighborhood, great little town, awesome school. Two drawbacks, one, it really has no kitchen worth speaking of and two, it was above a restaurant that had closed. The owner said that he probably didn't want to rent to another restaurant because of all the headaches. If he did rent to one, it would have to be people with a great track record.  And, the property was for sale, so it might turn out to be a short term thing. But, the owner said that he would do what he could to keep us here. OK...we bit. In the middle of a snowstorm and without any help whatsoever, my daughter and I moved with the animals and a 24' truck.  

This summer, we find out that the downstairs was rented to people that wanted to open a restaurant! Now, a month or so prior to these great news, I found these same people, just wandering downstairs.  They didn't have an appointment, they had not spoken to the owner, they just made themselves at home.  Creepy!

I decided to do a little research on these fine people and came to find out that her brother is a registered sex offender and lives just a mile or so up the road and her other brother has a criminal record.  I also found out that they tried this before. They "bought" a restaurant in Cheshire, MA.  They were going to turn it into a dance hall, a flea market, restaurant, etc.  After a few months, the bank owned the property again and a sister of the woman bought the property.  Interesting, no?

Okay, are you ready for the piece de resistance? We found out that the absolutely gorgeous apartment that we rented was ILLEGAL!  The Certificate of Occupancy states that this property is a restaurant and none of the correct permits were ever filed when they added the apartment. So, for months now, we have been trying to find another place to live.  New Lebanon, being the small town that it is has few rental properties.  If I had the down payment for a house, I could have my pick...but you know how that goes.  In the meantime, the lovely people downstairs have cut our hot water off, have turned the heat off when it is freezing outside.  They complain about me walking upstairs.  Oh, did I forget to mention that they are raging alcoholics who have been sleeping on a couch since May? Sorry, my bad.  When the kids are playing, all we hear is her lovely boyfriend screaming obscenities at the top of his lungs.  It has actually scared the kids. She has threatened to call Social Services because she says that this is an unsafe environment and she has told me that we (my daughter, me and the owner) are all going to jail and the kids will be in foster homes.  Of course, all this was being said as she sipped her cup of Vodka and slurred her words. And, I could keep on going...but I'll spare you.

I have searched information on living in an illegal apartment and for once I am not behind the 8-ball. I do have rights and the landlord has to pay the consequences. Which, if you all knew my life story, you would all be doing the dance of joy!  

We had plans on getting a house with a friend of ours. It was a symbiotic plan. We were basically going to pool our resources, find a house and get away from these absolutely wonderful people.  But, as most of my plans go, that fell through last night. Our friend decided that it was better for him to move back in with his parents. I really don't blame him, but I just wish he had been honest and told me what he was thinking.  It's these little things in my life that make me want to live on top of a mountain and not see another human being. Okay...maybe every six months when I come down for supplies. And, every time something like this happens, I swear, "That's it! Never going to befriend anyone ever again!"  But, that's not who I am. I am a caring and loving person and I will do whatever I can to help my fellow human being. I know it will be a long time, though, before I befriend anyone again.  But I will, and, hopefully, it will be better.

So, now, 16 days before Christmas we will pack up whatever we can.  And, I am going to call realtors, put up fliers, put an ad on Craigslist, etc.  In essence, I am going to become a pit bull for the next couple of weeks and find a place for us.  It has to have at least three bedrooms that we can afford, and it has to be in the New Lebanon School District.  It would not be psychologically beneficial to the little minions to uproot them again. Besides, we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this town. It has welcomed us with opened arms. We have made friends here. The minions have made friends here. 

I am also having a 20% sale in my Etsy shop.  Not only is Christmas coming up, but I need to make money to move. If any of you out there are reading this, please go to my shop and see if anything out there strikes your fancy.  If you don't see it, chances are I can make it for you.  I will be posting more and more in these next few weeks. Through the phone calls, the packing, Christmas, working and taking care of the little ones, I am still going to try and make some money.  You know, they say that money does not buy happiness but I bet all those Etsy sellers out there who are making bank are a lot happier than those of us who are racking our brains trying to think of items that will not only sell, but that we want to make.  One of the reasons that people work for themselves is doing what makes you happy.  Sewing, painting, beading, knitting...all that makes me happy.  And, as I have said before I know I can make this work. I have to make it work.  Suggestions, critiques, advice?  All welcome and appreciated AND encouraged.

Silent Night Hand Knitted Wire Cuff Bracelet

Silent Night Hand Knitted Wire Cuff Bracelet

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Winter's Night Recycled Bottle with Lights

Well, Hi!  It has been a long time since I posted anything at all. They say that you should keep your personal blog and your business blog separate, but I just don't have such an exciting life that I need two.  And, since I am a rebel I am just going to be posting anything and everything.  I also follow a lot of blogs out there that have recipes, crafts to sell, introspections on the personal lives of the individual bloggers.  I, personally think it is kind of cool to read about the every day lives of people in the same boat as I am.  Maybe one day, when I have my dream house with a pool and over five acres...I will split the blog and have a personal one and a business one.  A girl can dream, can't she?

I have made myself a promise that this little cottage industry of mine WILL succeed despite the fact that my little shops on Etsy and Artfire  are two of a gazillion out there.  People will notice these two little boutiques of mine.  I am, for the next few months dedicating myself to doing whatever I can to make them visible to the myriad of seekers on the internet.  I am going to continue to make products that are well made and excite the eye.  I want you, the seeker, to say, "That is so pretty!"  I want you to want my product in your home, on your arm, on your Christmas list!

My daughter is now the primary bread winner in our little family.  With one car, two little kids, it is a logistic nightmare to get them to school, her to work and then me to work.  That is why, I MUST make this venture work.  We decided that it would be easier if I just worked part time and devoted more time to my business.  Now, I have the time to devote myself to what I want to do.  Being a waitress for the rest of my life is not my dream job!

I have a local craft show on Saturday and have been busy trying to get as much done as I possibly can.  It is at the New Lebanon (New York) High School.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I do well.  I have items from $1.00 all the way to $100.00!  The kids are out of school from December 22 until January 3 and I just don't know how much I will be able to work during that time, so I desperately need to make some money at this show.  It always seems to happen that we are really tight on money around the holidays and every year we swear that we won't let it happen again.  But, alas, it's always the same.  I have to make this my priority.  I have to make money in this month. They say that money does not buy you happiness.  Well, it's a lot easier to be happy when you know your basic bills are going to get paid!  Don't get me wrong, my daughter and I will make it work.  We always do.  No matter how busted we have been.  But, hell, it would be nice not to have to do this every year.  So, to that end, I SWEAR (again!) that by this time next year, we will not be in this same boat.  

Golden Holiday Fabric Bottle Bag

I am going to try to post every other day or so...I will keep getting better with my pictures so that you all can see what my items are.  I will keep trying to do more on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Until I can get a smart phone, I cannot do Instagram.  Hopefully this year, when tax money comes in I can do that.  I know, it seems silly to wait until tax money, but with a six and a soon to be eight year old (December 7) a smart phone is a luxury not a necessity.  Especially now, in the winter, when they need coats, gloves, boots, snow suits...well, all of you with kids know how expensive this can all get!  

One thought that does come to mind is how do you all do the posting, blogging, etc. and still have time to make things?  I tried this past month to do this and I spent hours and hours on the internet, favoring shops, posting tweets, posting pics on Pinterest, etc.  I guess it's a lot of time management. One thing that I REALLY have to work on.  I can waste a day like no one else I know!  You know, you rationalize...I still have time, let me just do this and I'll get to it.  I am the world's best procrastinator!  It finally dawned on me that I really cannot do that.  I have to set a few goals every day and actually do them.  I'll pardon myself for November...I battled a cold that turned nasty and I ended up bringing home more meds than I have in a very long time.  Still battling it, but I do feel almost human again.  But, now it is December and it is time to buckle down and get'r done!

So, for now, I am ending with a positive thought that I need to get the rest of my crafts done for this show on Saturday.  The kids are in school today until 3:30 so I have a lot of time to get a lot done.  

For all of those out there that read this have a wonderful and productive day!

Dreidel Fabric Bottle Bag

Butterflies Hair Comb

Minion #1 (Alexis, my grand-daughter, will be eight on December 7)

Minion #2 (Avery, my grand-son, six years old)
Minion #1 and Minion #2 is the reason why I MUST SUCCEED!!!!