Saturday, March 29, 2008

Tonight Is Date Night

I'm so excited for tonight because my husband asked me if I wanted to go on a date. How sweet is that? He never does that. It must be because he was gone on Wednesday and Thursday so he missed me. :D We're not going any place super fancy or anything, number one because I don't think that a place like that exists in Winchester, but we're going to one of my favorite places, Chilli's. I really love their ribs so I'm excited. Then we're going to get some dessert at the custard place that just opened for the season a little way from our house. We jogged by it this afternoon with the dogs and said oh who would want custard right now, it's so cold. Then on the way back we were like, oh custard sounds so good since it's getting warmer, lol.

In other news, I've got a big show in two weeks that I'm totally psyced about. My husband and I have a little bet going on as to how much I can sell. It's on baby, it on! I've been cutting pocket albums like a mad woman and have so many great papers and albums coming out soon. I am in love with all the great papers I was able to find. Here are just three examples

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

So Frustrating!!

I've just had the most rotten experience and I just needed to let it out. I received an email last Friday from a gal really interested in our (Close To My Heart's) stamps. She was so interested that she wanted to do a demo in her home with her boyfriend's mom who is a big stamper and who she knew would love to see the stamps as well. They had both looked at my site and were very excited. Since we just moved and I'm trying to build up a business, despite the fact that she lived an hour away, I decided to go ahead and do the demo. She wanted me to come out quickly because the mother was only going to be there through this week. We decided to do it tonight at 6. I confirmed with her last night and said I looked forward to meeting them today. All okay.

I was out all day today running my husband to the airport and doing other errands. I came home, grabbed my stuff, checked my email to see if she has written anything, and ran out the door. It actually took an hour and a half to get to her house and when I get there the mother answers the door and blankly looks at me. I tell her I'm Amy and I'm here to do the stamping demo that Jennifer scheduled with me. She says, oh honey, she's having a bad day. It's just not a good time. I politely say, well we scheduled this three days ago and she confirmed last night that I would be coming. I drove an hour and a half to do this demo with her. The mother says nothing. After a very long pause, she says well she's just not having a good day. Do you want to leave a catalog. At this point I could scream. I tell her yes I'll leave a catalog for her and run to my car to get one. I bring it back and the mother is like, Oh scrapbooking and stamping things. I love to do this stuff. This is what you were going to show us? I say yes. Are you sure that Jennifer doesn't want to do the demo today? I have all the stuff and it will only take about 30 minutes to do the two cards that I brought. She says, well we're starving and we were just leaving to go out to dinner. Pardon me? Leaving to go out to dinner when you had an appointment with me? Was the chick just planning on not being there when I showed up and they got caught? Anyway, the lady continues on that she has so much scrapbooking to catch up on and she'll definitely contact me to order some things. I sure hope so but frankly I'm not going to hold my breath. Needless to say that Jennifer never showed her face to say an I'm sorry or anything. So frustrating.

But it gets worse. On my way over there I saw that the side of one of the mountains has a brush fire. It wasn't too close to the road but there were like 8 fire trucks there working on it. Well, on my way back, the fire was bigger and just as I was coming up on it four police cars pull out and stop the traffic about 15 cars in front of me. Are you kidding me?! I ask the truck driver next to me if he knows what's going on and he says that the radio says the fire is right on the road and they've closed it. Now, there is only ONE road that goes the direction I was headed and they've closed it. After about 20 minutes, people start braving the median to turn around. It was a wicked v too. A semi-truck even did it and he almost tipped. It was SO scary. After 45 minutes, I'm annoyed. It doesn't look like they're opening the road. So I decide to go ask some people if they know the area and if there is a round about way of getting home. So I'm asking some shaddy looking men standing around and they are telling me this other way to take. Well, I should say that they were telling my body how to go (I'm 25, not that that makes me attractive but just to have the dirty old men/young girl mental picture). They didn't even look at my face. So I'm walking back to my car feeling dirty and like I immediately need to take a shower when one of the semi's towards the front yells out that they are opening the road. Good thing I went and asked those pervs for directions.

So I left my house tonight at 4:45 and got home at 8:45 and spent about $20 in gas all for nothing. Seriously the worst CTMH experience I've ever had. Not that it has anything to do with the actual company but seriously, what's wrong with people. I totally understand having a bad day, but for the love of God, call me and let me know you are backing out before I drive all the way over there. Am I being unreasonable here? Okay, my vent is over and I feel better. Now I need to shower, lol.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Featured Artist: Jodie Flowers

I haven't done a featured artist in quite some time so I thought I'd do one tonight. I ran into this shop several weeks ago and I absolutely adore her patches. They are so fun and colorful! I love how she mixes the different textures of fabrics together to make each patch. If I had a child, I would have a ton of these for onesies and little shirts. Too cute!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Did I Sheer A Sheep?

I know, I know. You must be wondering if I decided to sheer a sheep in my living room tonight or what? What could possibly produce this pile of hair 12 inches wide and 6 inches tall? That would be Bella. We have had hair coming out the wazoo lately and I've had enough. Isaac wants to shave her but I just can't let him. She would look totally stupid without all her pretty hair and besides, that won't stop the shedding. I don't know what the deal is. She's never shed like this before. I mean everything is covered in hair. I can vaccum and dust and 10 minutes later the hair is back. So I decided to take the Furminator and really go to work on her. I think I brushed her for a good 30 minutes. I probably could have kept going and getting more hair but she was pretty much not enjoying it anymore. I'll see if she's shedding tomorrow when I hold her. I think I'll scream if she is. My mom was telling me about this product called Shed-X to try. I'll have to look into it. It's not like I feed her a cheap crappy food and her hair is falling out due to lack of nutrients or anything. Maybe since she actually went through a winter season she got some extra hair and now that it's slightly warming up she's loosing it. I don't know, but it's gotta go!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Thank God For YouTube!

So while I've had the internet for the past few weeks, we have not had cable. Let me just say that being alone in your house for 10 of your waking hours and having no tv even just for background noise is pretty daunting. I don't love tv. I'm not addicted or anything, but I do like to have it on while I'm working. It makes me feel like I'm not all alone.

I've never really watched anything on youtube before but I've been watching it lately. I like to watch something while I'm eating lunch and dinner. It provides a nice break. I've been watching things like Passions, America's Next Top Model Cycle 10, America's Best Dance Crew, etc. The last two shows were mainly something to fill my time since I was caught up on Passions. I wanted to watch SOMETHING. (And may I just say I hope the Jabbawokies win on ABDC)

My solitude changed today though. Comcast came and finally ran a line from the box to our house yesterday morning so I called and set up installation for today. So as of 2pm today, I have cable again. I haven't watched anything yet but I just feel more comfortable knowing that it's there. I could watch it, if I wanted to. :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday, What To Do

Yikes, I can't believe that it's Friday already! Where has the week gone? I have so many ideas of what to do with today that I can't even decide what I'm actually going to do. What should my day consist of?

1) I have a new line of more elegant wedding/formal tins that I'm working on. I just need to assemble the albums and clean-up and seal the tins before they are complete. Clearly I need to work on and possibly finish those today as I have been working on them all week. (There are 28 pocket albums)

2) The house still isn't completely unpacked from our move a few weeks ago. I should hang up pictures and finish putting stuff away.

3) The house also needs to be cleaned. There is a really dirty bathroom downstairs that it seems the previous people forgot to clean. It's really yucky and I think why I've avoiding it. I need bleach, lol. Plus I need to sweep all 3 levels (including both sets of stairs) and shampoo the carpet in the entry because when we moved in it was raining of course and we tracked mud in.

4) I really want to create something fresh today. I have so many ideas. I have this pile of chipboard my brother got me that I want to do something with. I've been thinking about doing maybe some lace-up card albums or just something with them for about two months now. I also need to work on diversifying my card supply (right now I only have Easter and Mother's Day for sale). I need some thank you, happy birthday, just because, etc.

5) I should also organize my workspace because it is very messy right now. I can't even find things.

6) Finally, I have tax documents to get in order for next week when we get them done. I really don't want to work on that though, blah.

So what should I do? What will my day include? Let's see how many people actually read my blog. Comment and tell me what I should do today :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

I Finally Got My Passions Fix!

I've been so bumbed since Passions moved to DirectTV. I was watching it during my lunch every day. I did okay for awhile without it but then I found someone on that was posting all the episodes. So of course for like a week straight I just watched Passions for hours and hours catching up on the three months that I had missed. Then one day, POOF, she's gone and so are all the Passions episodes. I figured that DirectTV must have made them pull the episodes.

Well, this afternoon I was looking for some background noise to put on while I was working and I thought I'd just do a quick search for Passions and see if there were any previews available. Much to my surprise, I hit the mother-load! There is a gal that is putting up only the Ethan and Theresa parts of the shows and really that's the only part that I am interested in. So for the whole afternoon and evening I watched all the episodes that she had up and I think I'm caught up now. I've seriously had like 5 hours of Passions and it was everything I thought it could be.

The only problem is that now I want more! She needs to upload last weeks episodes like right now. I know that DirectTV is canceling the show after the summer and that's so sad. I don't know what I'm going to do when it's really gone. But I must say that the writers they've got for the show or way better. Although, the plot line with Dr. Russell and Julienne and their son is pretty sick and I think the writers made a bad call on that one. But overall the plots are much more interesting and the show moves more quickly than it used to. I always hated how slow it was when it was on NBC.

I'm so happy I got my fix :)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I must be crazy, right?

Well, I'm diving in full force with this craft show thing. I've done two in the past month and then I have a two day show April 12th-13th that's jurried and hopefully going to be a big show and now I've just entered into what I hear is a HUGE show here in Winchester, The Apple Blossom Festival that is not two weeks after this other weekend big show. What am I going to do if I sell the majority of my stuff at the first show? Can I actually restock in just two weeks? I guess we're going to find out.
I guess maybe this is all a little premature in that I just sent in my application and the Apple Blossom Festival is a strictly jurried show as well. I sent a ton of pictures because I really want to get in. Especially since I'll practically just have to walk down the street. The biggest bonus would be getting my name out in a big way in my new town. Maybe I could even get some consignment of wholesale orders from it. Okay, okay, my mind is spinning and I don't even know if I'm in, lol. They are supposed to say yes or no by the 15th of this month so I should know shortly. I'm going to do some heavy praying for this.

Then if I do get in, I need to do some heavy praying that I'll be productive. I have a very hard time staying on track. I tend to wonder off doing other things instead of working and then I pay for it the week and day before my show. For instance, I should be working on some pocket albums seeing as I have hardly any in my store but instead I'm chatting online and updating my blog. Sigh, can someone teach me how to work properly? :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Dead Zone Is Over!

Oh my gosh, I've been without internet for the last three days and I seriously felt like I was going to die. I'll admit that when we first moved in and found out that our neighbor had an unlocked wireless network we did a little pirating for the first week. (My husband likes to say we shared.) But then three days ago we suddenly couldn't connect anymore. They didn't lock the network but maybe they found out we were sharing and did something to block us. Which is totally fine, because we should get our own internet anyway, which is what we did. So comcast was to come out and set it up today. First thing, the guy was to get there between 11-2 but didn't actually come to nearly 4. I was really annoyed because I was having to stay on the second level to hear the doorbell so I couldn't even do any work while I was waiting. I ended up putting away the rest of the odds and ends and washing the walls from black marks, and doing some other mundain housework instead of working. Blah.

So he finally gets there and goes outside to turn us on in "the box" and comes back in to say, um we have a problem. Apparently when they built our house they neglected to run a cable from "the box" to our house. The ran them to evey other house on my strip but us. Are you kidding me? So we have no cable from "the box" to our house which means that we can't get cable or internet until they come and dig up the sidewalk to run one to us. So, how long does that take I ask. I don't know, I've never had this problem before. Great!

So I start looking for places to check my email. Library is out because they won't give us a card since our lease has the incorrect zipcode on it. They want a letter from the real estate agent giving the correct zipcode. Something to do with where the funding comes with and an 80 year old lady totally flipping her lid at us. Tried Starbucks but you have to have a Tmobile account to use theirs. No Panera Bread or any other net providing eateries. So we're stuck. I call a friend and she tells me about how you can get a card for your computer to get internet from your cell provider and it goes through the cell towers. Hmm, sounds like a plan.

We head out to Sprint to see the options. I secretly wanted to get a Palm Treo with internet as I've been wanting to get one for some time now. However, the lady didn't know if I could upload my pictures onto etsy from it so I didn't want to take the chance. Anyone know? Also, she didn't know how to get pics from your digital camera onto your phone (since the home pc wouldn't have internet if I got the phone). So in the end we went with the card and I think it's going to be pretty cool since if I take my laptop with me I'll pretty much have internet whenever I go. Works for me!

I signed onto etsy immediately, had a few convos, had a few sales, all is right in the world again!

Posted some of my newest

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Craft Fair Aftermath

So yesterday was the big day. What was my day like you may be wondering. Well, let me give you a little breakdown.

4:15am Wake-Up, Shower, etc

4:50am Pack the Car

5:00am Roll Out

7:00am Arrive at Show Venue and Set-Up

9:00am Show Starts

3:00pm Show Ends and Pack Up

3:30pm Roll Out

4:00pm Arrive At Ellicott City Lotte Mart (Korean Grocery)

5:00pm Stop By Uncle's Laundry Place To Say Hey

5:20pm Get some McDonald's (Because We're Starving!)

5:30pm Roll Out For Home

6:45pm Arrive Home To Clean Up Dogs' Messes In Kitchen (Poor things have been in there for nearly 13 hours!)

7:30pm Enter Coma

7:00am Wake-up Refreshed

Yesterday was completely crazy. Was it worth it? Probably yes. You may be asking yourself why I went to a show nearly 2 hours away. Well, you'll remeber that I moved last week and this venue was litterally 5 minutes from my old house. Since I already paid for it, I might as well go, no?

Where you happy with the show? Yes and no. Did I sell as much product as I was hoping? No. Did I do okay? Yes.

Here were the 2 main problems with that show:

1) They took as many vendors as they could get, literally. So that meant that they oversold their cafeteria by a landslide and decided to just line the vendors up and down all the hallways and even put some in the library. Now this is itself was not a big problem EXCEPT that my booth was in the very back hallway that had barely any lighting and no heat so we didn't get much traffic. Now the front hallway and the cafeteria were well lit and warm and clearly the majority of the traffic was going through there. People just weren't coming all the way back to us wich sorta stunk. I have to say though that I feel the worst for the people they put in the library. I'm sure they had really bad days because you just couldn't tell that there were boothes in there. The bookshelves totally blocked it. In fact, they had to announce on the loud speaker that there were vendor's in there. I would have been totally peeved if I was in there. The really annoying thing was that the organizers told my boothmate that they moved our booth to a better location, which was the back hallway with no heat? I wonder where we were originally going to be. Oh well, no matter, it can't change anything now.

2) People weren't looking. Now honestly, I can't tell you how many people just ran by our booth with their eyes on the floor. It's not like I'm out there attacking people and trying to pull them over to my booth and force them to buy. I simply sit behind my booth and say Good Morning to the people going by. What's the point of going to a craft show if you aren't going to look? Now, I realize that paper goods aren't everyone's cup of tea but you can at least glance at the goods of the table for goodness sake. :)

I stayed up late the three nights before the show making some Easter and Mother's Day cards because I was sure that they would sell. I'll have you know that I didn't have ONE person look at them. I couldn't believe it. For that matter, only ONE person looked at my monogram notecard sets too. Totally crazy I thought. Maybe craft shows just aren't the market for handmade cards? Maybe I need to try a more upscale venue for my cards?

Now, like I said, I didn't do terribly. I actually did responable well. I know that other's in my hallway did not do so well. One lady even left at 2pm saying this was a total waiste of her time. I felt badly for her, because it stinks when that happens. I've been there myself. I was really hoping to do about double what I did take in but again, I did okay. I would probably do the show again but request a table in the cafeteria or one right outside of it. You'd think that they would have assigned the spots based on who signed up first vs. last. Like the people who signed up last would go in the very back hallway where we were and the people that signed up months ago like we did would go towards the front. I guess not though. Oh well, we had fun, met a lot of new crafters, made some connections, and made a little money. All in all, not such a bad day :)