Friday, December 27, 2013

Farewell, trusty Honda Civic

Today's the day (finally!) that the tow truck is coming to haul away my Honda Civic. The paperwork has been completed, the title has been transferred and the car is being donated to my local public radio station. I bought a Prius C in April and the Civic's been on the street waiting for someone to do something with it.

I said goodbye this morning. It seemed fitting, as it provided me with 18 years of reliable service. For all the times I thought something could go wrong, or smelled someone else's burning engine smell and it turned out everything was fine, it was an all around great car.

She needs a little sprucing up and for her engine to run for a while to get the cobwebs out, but will provide hopefully a few more years of reliable service for someone who needs basic transportation.

The Civic was the first new car I ever bought, and I got it when we lived in Toledo, in 1995. The tail lights, reverse lights and the little light that illuminates the license plate never needed replacing. They never went out. I replaced one headlight once. The blinkers have always worked. The doors close solidly. The rear defroster has always worked. The after-market cruise control has always worked.

Truly, they don't make inexpensive compact cars like that anymore. My mechanic said once that someone who knows what they're doing could keep a car like that going for a long time. That's good to hear and I hope someone does.

Godspeed, little Civic.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's going to have to wait

I guess the idea for my next project started with seeing all of the colorful wool things people are wearing at this time of year. Many of them appear handmade, and I think that people like wearing handmade stuff.

Then I saw this Facebook page from Fairysteps and it blew my little mind. Their shoes really strike me as beautiful and all the better because they are handmade. The ones with the buttons are so very cute. Here's a picture from a recent post of theirs:

Wow, huh? Love the low boots, especially. 

I don't know how to work with leather, so my mulling process eventually wandered over to something like this:

There's a site on Etsy (of course) that sells both the soles and the lasts for making stuff like this (well, the shaped bottom part, anyway). I like this idea so much that I'm going to sign up for a wet felting class held in January at one of the local yarn stores. I'll see how much I like the process, and go from there. 

The prospect of making stuff with a depth of color like this from Rosiepink is very appealing. 

They have lots of fun stuff on their site.


I've had some angst lately about spending so much time alone between work and hobbies that I don't think I'm going to rush headlong into the wet felt thing immediately. You know, another thing that has me working by myself at home. I spend enough time by myself at home.

Last night I went to a concert by the music director from our church in support of his new CD. I knew many of the people there, but ended up sitting by myself because I guess I didn't look hard enough for someone to sit with. It may have also been the case that I was waiting to be seen and invited to sit. This internal dynamic gives me a lot of anxiety sometimes. I feel like I forget how to be social. 

Fast forward to the intermission, and I easily find several people to chat with. The key? Asking about them. How's things? How's the new house coming along? Duh. It's not actually that hard at all. Yet I struggle. 

But the holidays are hard for me sometimes. I trot out my losses and run them back and forth through my mind. I think about the stuff I want, not the stuff I have. It's frustrating to me that I can't run through a list, check stuff off that is safe and in place and be satisfied with that. It has to do with letting go and trusting the process and I need to work on that. 

I blame part of this on the weather. The cold snap has had me on edge, hoping that everything in my old little house holds together, but it's been fine and it's finally warming up. Still, I'm restless at night and haven't been sleeping well. We might get above freezing today, and I'm grateful.

As far as the wise use of my free time goes, it seems I yearn for more connection, and so should try to do things that get me out of the house. I'll take the wet felting class in January, and see how that goes, but at the same time find some more social things for me to do. There's always people who need volunteers.

Are you familiar with Brene Brown? Really good stuff this week from NPR's On Being show about how being what they called "whole hearted" means showing up and being uncomfortable sometimes. You can't have the highs without the lows. That it's in the times that we struggle that result in the stuff that gives life some of its meaning. So I'm going to do some showing up. 

Hope your Tuesday is grand!

Monday, December 9, 2013


After the table fee for this past weekend's craft show, I made $74. That's how it goes sometimes, and this time the weather (frigid!) kept people away. I also had a less than optimum spot in the arrangement. The house is in utter disarray, but things are overall fine.

Here are some pictures from my getting-ready process. I put my pieces out to see if I had "enough" (not a quantity, more like a feeling).

Then I made a few more bookmarks.

 And a few more bracelets.

Here's Mr W and the booth. I thought we had a nice display, and he was a big help schlepping stuff to and from the car. 

And at this point, after selling so little, I get to get philosophical and think about what to do next. I got really positive responses to my stuff from a lot of the people that stopped. Fun, unique, cool because it's got the watch parts. I think there are people out there who would buy the stuff, but I need to connect with them.

And is selling what's important? Or creating? Finding the balance there is hard.

I'm going to photograph/rephotograph everything this weekend, get it up on my Etsy site and then consider whether to just pay for more Facebook advertising, or seek professional help. I know several folks who do internet marketing, search engine optimization, etc., and maybe I should pay for some good advice. Funny, as I was typing the previous sentence, I can imagine FB has its scanners out, and now my rate for advertising will go up...

I'll do a separate post on this, but had an ah-ha moment yesterday when I came up with a new something to make and perhaps someday sell. I'm still finding out the feasibility, but I'll post more about the convergence of seeing what people are wearing, talking to people, looking at super cool FB pages of artists, and my own desire to create stuff. 

Hope you're staying warm - we're finally pulling out of our cold snap and it's going to be 20 today - yea!!