Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Thankfullness

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We did here in the Wescott house. Normally, Michele and I get up early and start cooking together, but since this year we didn't know when she'd be home, we planned a simpler meal. I slept in, then, around 11, made the pie and cranberry sauce. At that point I didn't really know what else to do. Everything else that was planned took an hour or less to make and Michele wasn't going to be home until 5 or 6, so I took a few hour break. . .and then, around 4, I worked like crazy to make everything else - pretty poor planning on my part! It all turned out great, though - even though at one point I had to leave everything cooking away in the oven to go get Michele from a truckstop because she couldn't get her hitch lock working so couldn't drop her trailer and bring the tractor home (long confusing story). Dinner was perfect, indeed! And our annual day-after-Thanksgiving 6am trip to Joann's was even better because it was Michele's idea - I was willing to forego it this year, but she claimed she was excited about it and wanted to go with me! All in all, it was a wonderful two days and I hope yours was just as great!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Star Trek: Enterprise; or Oh, the Pain I Must Endure

As you probably all know by now, I watch copious amounts of Star Trek. Some of you may not know, however, that I watch it with a true purpose, somewhat like a calling. When Michele went on the road, I started watching The Next Generation (TNG) because I love it and Michele hates it and it was nice to do something not associated with us to help me cope. Well, I quickly became obsessed and began to do a lot of research on the shows and stumbled upon a beautiful treatise a fellow fan created that guided me through each episode of all the shows in the order that they actually happened (OK, I am not so sunk deep into unreality that I think they actually happened . . .yet - it is based in the future, you know!) So I have been following his guide and watching TNG, Deep Space 9 (DS9), Voyager (VOY), and all the movies in chronological order with every intention of going back and and starting all over again, but this time from the very beginning with Enterprise. When TNG, my favorite, ended, I'll admit it, I cried, but I at least had DS9 and, my 2nd favorite, VOY to look forward to. Well, I finished DS9 several weeks ago, and, just the other day, sorrowfully finished VOY and watched the final TNG movie (which chronologically falls after the last episode of VOY.) So, I was actually looking forward to meeting some new friends on Enterprise - I hadn't seen a single episode - and now am being tortured by watching this horrible show. Oh, it's bad, really bad, and not at all Star Trek-esque! And I believe they knew it was bad when they were creating it, which has to explain why people keep being naked! Naked! On Star Trek!! It doesn't even make sense. But, as I said, it is my mission to watch every episode in chronological order and Enterprise is, sorrowfully, part of the House of Star Trek. Oh, so painful, but alas, we all must suffer for a cause near and dear to our hearts, mustn't we? Thankfully, I have only 4 seasons to watch - first ever Star Trek to be CANCELLED by the network!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Indoor Photography

Everytime I looked at my post from Tuesday, the picture of my ornament really bugged me. It's so pretty in real life, but looks awful in that picture. The culprits: indoor lighting & unfancy camera - they really obfuscate the colors of the ornament! It's hard to get good product photos indoors when you're using a regular digital camera (though I think my camera is awesome!) and don't have fancy lights. I usually take all my photos for my shop outside for that very reason.

I don't know if you've noticed, but it's cold outside and gets dark SO early (Teresa, you may not have noticed the cold yet. And, no, 50's don't count as cold!) So, to apologize for the crappy picture on Tuesday, here's two much better pictures of my new favorite ornament - taken outside, of course.

As the days get shorter and colder, I know I'll need to rig something up to take pictures inside. I have the entire attic at my disposal (just don't tell Michele) and my sister sent me a link to a tutorial on building a light box. I need one a bit bigger than the one in the tutorial, but that shouldn't be an issue. Plus, I think I'll make it out of wood, instead of cardboard. I'll add this to my list of things to start working on that right after the holiday rush is over (yes, Daddy, the thesis is on that list, too!) What's a few more weeks of taking pictures in the cold? Hey, once the snow comes, I'll have a gorgeous backdrop!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Every year, Michele and I get a special ornament for our Christmas tree (which if I'm lucky goes up Thanksgiving weekend and stays up til February - though I haven't been that lucky in years!) Usually we take turns picking it out and surprising the other with it. We have about 14 special ornaments now - one year we miscommunicated and both bought an ornament, plus Mum gave us one, so we have a few more than there are Christmases that we've been together. Well, this year, since we've committed to doing a handmade holiday, I decided to make our ornament. It was so very fun to do and I think Michele will love it because it's her favorite color: blue! I think I'll whip up a few for the shop and the show in December. I have only eight more sets of circles, so they will definitely be one-of-a-kind and for a limited time at that!

Speaking of the shop, I'm sure I mentioned that I and 13 other fabulous artists are having open houses in our shops. Amazing deals are going on from now until November 30th (like mine: buy one item, get 2nd equal or lower priced item 1/2 off!) And even better than all that, all 14 of us are giving away something fabulous! Check out this post on Audrey's blog to find out how to enter to win one of the amazing prizes and see the other shops' promotions.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The King of Pop

For a long time - possibly her whole life - Michele has loved Michael Jackson. His death spiraled her into what I lovingly call an obsession. For example, while she was in orientation with her new trucking company, she and another trucker went on a pilgrimage to visit Michael's childhood home in Indiana. And she, who takes weeks to finish a one hundred some page book of funny fiction, read a 900-page treatise on his life in about 4 days! So, needless to say, she's really been wanting to see This is It. Yesterday, I cancelled tonight's plans to go to the roller derby since I'd been sick and it's a late, late night, so when she arrived home this afternoon and asked if we could possibly go see Michael, how could I say no? It was actually very good and moving and I bet if I was as in love with him as Michele is, I would have enjoyed it even more (I swear I think I saw a few tears in her eyes at the end!) Actually, all joking aside, Michael was a very talented individual and I'm glad I got to see  a part of his final offering to the world - and I'm especially glad I got to share it with Michele.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Good Things - They Are A-Stirrin'

Though I was home sick today, all in all it was a good day. I woke up this morning feeling like I had the flu, but after taking my allergy medicine and advil, my symptoms seemed to subside a bit. I have a great fear that my nut allergy, which was only triggered by walnuts and pecans, is now moving to almonds. I have the sneaking suspicion that the Butter Almond ice cream I've been eating this week is making me sick.

Aside from feelings of illness, today was a most excellent day. My dad's surgery went well, though I haven't gotten a chance to talk to him yet - they are keeping him overnight due to his sleep apnea, but I'll call tomorrow to check on him. The weather was lovely today, too. I think I've mentioned before that my bedroom is painted yellow and decorated shades of yellow, so with the yellow sunshine coming through the window, I couldn't help but be happy. Also, throughout the day, I peeked into the craftroom to admire the bags I've nearly completed for my shop and the RNEST Winter Fest. They just really make me smile! And the final thing that made today such a good day is that I had another item selected for a Treasury on Etsy! So exciting! I'd love for you all to view the treasury - the more people who look at it, the better the chance is that it will get moved to the front page of the site! That would be so very exciting!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You

I wanted to take the time today to say Thank You to all veterans here in the U.S. and abroad. I also want to say a thank you to all families of veterans, active duty, and retired military. Having been raised in a military family, I know what a sacrifice having a loved one serve is and could see first hand the sacrifice that serving demands - which, of course, we all saw last week with the violence on Fort Hood. Regardless of what we think and feel about war and conflict, members of the military and their families are putting life and liberty on the line everyday and really deserve our support and love. I know today I am sending lots of love and good thoughts to my favorite veteran: my dad - who, by the way, is having surgery tomorrow, so please keep him in your thoughts tomorrow, too!

If you don't have your own personal favorite veteran to appreciate today and everyday, search online to find great organizations that will help you show love and support for the military. Care packages, cards, and letters are always appreciated by those serving far from home. For all you crafty folks out there, Quilts of Valor is a wonderful organization that provides quilts for wounded soldiers. I've got a quilt in the works for them myself and think it's a great way to say thank you and not limit my appreciation to Veteran's Day.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Crazy Busy

Wow, suddenly life as a shop owner is spiralling into insanity! The holidays are a busy time for me normally, but as a shop owner, it's getting really crazy. I'm loving it, though! It's so much fun to connect with other sellers and buyers, but my favorite part, of course, is making things I love and packaging them up for someone else who loved them enough to buy them! What an awesome feeling! And soon, I'm really stepping out there and will be doing a show! My first show will be December 13th here in Rochester: The RNEST Winter Fest! My local Etsy team has arranged it, so I figure I'll be surrounded by friends and that will be a good place to get my feet wet! So, I am crazily making loads of beautiful things because, in addition to the show, several other fabulous artists and I are having a Holiday Open House in our Etsy shops and I'm trying to get stocked up for that, plus I have my own Christmas gifts to make, plus I need to get my Pay It Forwards done and sent by the end of the year! So the next two months will be pretty crazy, but I can't complain: I'm doing what I love!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Homecoming and Giveaway

Last night, the microwave came home . . . and so did Michele! What a great night! OK, yes, I know that microwaves are not true necessities, but I hadn't realized how much I depended on mine until it went out on the road with Michele. It's funny how I don't realize how dependent I am until that big red truck drives away!

There is one other thing I am dependent on and that is all of you lovely folks entering my giveaway! I'd love to surpass the entries that I got on my last giveaway (105), but, sadly, entries aren't forthcoming (though for the 13 current entries the odds of winning are REALLY good!) And, don't tell anyone, but as a team, we decided only US & Canada entries, but I really love my Australian and Norwegian followers (you all know who you are!) so enter away! I've also thrown out a challenge: if I get at least 150 entries, I'll offer up a second goodie, so please enter and blog this giveaway around! Thanks everyone!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Motherhood and Microwaves

I likely insulted every stay-at-home mom out there with a really baseless assumption that I made in my head. When my big sis opened her Etsy shop I thought to myself, "Oh, that'll be the life! Just staying at home all day with the kids making jewelry! She'll have all the time in the world to do whatever she wants for her shop!" Boy, was that the misconception of the decade! Yowzers - just having the kids visiting for two days disabused me of that notion very quickly - and there were three adult women there to care for them! I know part of it was the abrupt transition from my general solitude to having two very energetic kids in the house - I'm sure my sister and other moms have some major skills and routines that make everything manageable, but, boy howdy, I don't know how moms do it! Working moms either. I'm sure it's nice to have time away from the kids while at work, but working moms have a whole host of other challenges they have to contend with, too! So, this is me apologizing to ALL moms for my misconceptions and giving you the props you truly deserve!

To further emphasize the fact that I am not very smart about a lot of things, let me tell you about my latest bout of insanity. The week before Michele came home I made a crockpot full of chili. I love my crockpot and use it weekly. Well, that particular week I became very frustrated when trying to reheat my chili in the microwave. It kept leaving it cold in the middle and I would have to keep turning the microwave back on. This was eating into my time with my Star Trek friends, so I started heating my chili up on the stove, which, of course, worked much better. When Michele came home and said she wanted a microwave for her truck, I, still very frustrated, I truculently told her to take the one from the house! Do you know how hard it is to heat up pasta, rice, a cold cup of tea, and pretty much everything else (except chili and soup!) without a microwave? Now my frustration has done a 180! What was I thinking?? I miss you microwave! Please come home!

OK, now that I've given you two things that I am not smart about, let me tell you that I am pretty smart about crafting and quilting, so don't forget to enter my latest giveaway, which is hosted on my team blog.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Mother of All Giveaways featuring The Quilted House

Hey gang! As I mentioned about a week ago, my local Etsy team is hosting 7 weeks of giveaways - the Mother of all Giveaways. Well, today starts my week and I'd love it if you'd go to this post and enter! I'm giving away my new favorite thing to make: a quilted picture frame card. I think these are just too cool. Michele and I gave Mum one as her birthday card this year and she loved it, so make sure you enter so that you can have one, too!


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