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tidbits: avalanche edition

Posted: January 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: editing, tidbits | 1 Comment »

When I think about all I’ve managed to get done in the past month, it makes my head spin. But yay, such a great sense of accomplishment, even if I had to let a few other things slide to get here (like fully participating in the Best of 2009 Blog Challenge, as I had planned; it ends up I’m no good at zipping off five-minute posts).

Santa brought us a fancy new camera, which I’ve slowly been learning to use, with much thanks to the camera-specfic book Santa was so thoughtful to bring along with the camera. (Turkey portrait courtesy of the fancy new camera. Through a not-necessarily-clean window. Yeah, the FNC rocks. So does Mr. Turkey.)

No, this will not turn into an all turkeys all the time blog. When something more exciting happens than turkeys peeking in the window, I’ll let you know.

So, after Santa brought the FNC, my dear husband got me a Kindle for my birthday. That has been a learning curve, too, although a much less steep one. I plan to sign up for the New York Times subscription (once I actually have time to read it), and I wish the Cleveland Plain Dealer were available that way. So far I’ve been (finally) reading Sense and Sensibility—a free download—as I ease into setting myself a book budget and get used to reading on screen. One thing I especially love: The case my husband got me for it folds back and lets me prop the Kindle up to make for easier reading without having to hold it.

I ended up with three unexpected projects over the past couple of weeks, in addition to my regulars: a book about jazz, another Weird book, and a relatively short formatting project. Jazz is done, I’m just over halfway through the Weird, and I’m squeezing the other one in over the weekend. Thankfully, the other projects on my desk have long deadlines, so I can still finish them with plenty of time to spare even if I don’t get started on them before the end of next week.

One of the nicest things to come out of these unexpected projects is finding the music of Melody Gardot. Love.

Sometime in all that, I still managed to find time to get the registration form up for my high school reunion and finish the redesign of the Cleveland Handmade site (based on a free template, but with a lot of tweaking). One of these day I still need to get to my much-neglected professional site, poor, sad thing that it is.

Oh, and I had four custom orders the last week of December/first week of January.

Whew. I’m tired now. But back to the grindstone for me.

tidbits: overstuffed turkey edition

Posted: November 27th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: art, critters, jewelry, life, shows, tidbits | 2 Comments »

spaz_turkeys_2Yeah, I’m still working on the entry about how much I love my iPhone. It’s taken off in a direction of its own however, and it will not be rushed. I’ll get to it eventually.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s about the company and the food, without the crazy consumer pressure of Christmas. We had a nice, low-key Thanksgiving yesterday at Mom’s. We hosted the whole extended family gang here last year, which was fun, but we just couldn’t do it this year, what with the mid-renovation state of the house.

Considering how friendly I’ve become with the wild turkeys that wander about our neighborhood, I thought I’d have a very difficult time this year feasting on the bird. I didn’t. I enjoyed my share last night, then had some again this morning with my bacon and toast. I saved the stuffing for lunch.

I’ve got another couple of crazy weekends in front of me. Tomorrow is the Summer Market — for the Holidays at Bar Symon in Avon Lake. Next Friday through Sunday is the Laurel School Artisan Bazaar. The first is a holiday incarnation of my favorite show each year, and the second is a great show that I’ll be doing for the first time. I have high hopes for both.

tidbits: turkey edition

Posted: October 9th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: art, critters, editing, life, nature, tidbits | 5 Comments »

surpriseThanksgiving might be a little difficult for me this year.

I took a little break from a book I’m working on to take some photos of the changing leaves for a friend who lives in Hawaii but misses the fall colors on the mainland. (The colors are just spectacular in the rain.) I was working my way around the back of the house when I turned the corner and found my turkey friends in the herb garden, snacking on some worms or bugs or something in the freshly turned soil. I was almost on top of them before I noticed them (see how they’ve got that sneaky dirt-colored camouflage thing happening?), and one of them actually started to approach me. I snapped a few pictures, then switched to the movie setting and followed them around the yard for a few moments. You can hear the low sounds they make in the video, something between a gurgle and a bark.

They weren’t quite sure what to make of the fence; the other end of the fence by the gazebo isn’t quite so low to the ground, and they’re able to easily duck underneath down there. And it occurs to me with Halloween approaching that the clip of them near the playhouse might make a good horror film — the scale makes them look ten feet tall.

tingeofyellowThe herb garden is right up against the kitchen window, which now that I think about it explains the mysterious knocks I’ve heard a couple times today when there’s been no one at the door. At the last office job I had, the turkeys would come right up to the window and peck at their reflections, and it sounded like someone knocking. Mystery solved.

In other news, I have a nice stream of projects coming in, a good mix of scholarly and fun, light and bring-on-the-machetes, quick and long term. I really am a project person; I thrive on being able to work on something and then put it away as done. I don’t do so well in environments where you have to do the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Or I have to work really hard to find some way to make each iteration different somehow.

redmapleI had a great time with the Cloth•Paper•Scissors Studio Tour last weekend. I visited every one of the stops on the tour and found something interesting or cool or beautiful or inspiring or otherwise worth my time at every one. And I found some intriguing new blogs in the process, too. (If you didn’t get a chance to take my studio tour, it’s the October 2, 2009, entry.)

And speaking of new blogs, Chris of Copper Leaf Studios is doing a wonderful job with her new-ish blog. She has such a wonderful sense of humor and writing style, and her personality shines right through. Give her a visit if you haven’t yet.

tidbits: extra blanket edition

Posted: September 4th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: art, cats, editing, life, shows, tidbits | 1 Comment »

It’s started to get really chilly in the evenings here in Northeast Ohio. I’ve dragged out the extra blankets, and I have to admit that I really enjoy sleeping with the windows open to the chill as long as I have all those weighty blankets on me. It really does make it even more difficult to get out of bed in the morning, though.

RR_Fall_Arts_Festival_FINAL_lo2I’ve been accepted to the Rocky River Fall Arts Festival, which will be happening two weeks from tomorrow in the Old Detroit Road shopping district. This is a brand new show, and I’m hoping it ends up being a good one for everyone. A number of Cleveland Handmade artists will be there, and there are some really good restaurants within a couple of blocks; check it out if you’re in the area.

Work has been incredibly busy. I had hoped to coast through August, but a long-awaited BIG project finally came in and morphed into a super-rush project. I’ve been nose-to-grindstone for the past two weeks, and will probably be so into next week. Thankfully, we have a very low-key holiday weekend ahead with no major plans, so I’ll be able to make some progress over the weekend and take next weekend as my very own holiday.

Earlier this week I got notice that the Cat Lover’s Daily Companion has had such strong orders that it’s going into a second printing before it’s even out in the stores. That makes me happy. And Kristen and I talked about doing some local signings before the holidays; I’ll post info here if we get something together.

tidbits: “now where did I put that?” edition

Posted: July 23rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: jewelry, shows, tidbits, web, WordPress | Comments Off on tidbits: “now where did I put that?” edition

A quick roundup of random thoughts between tearing up the house to find where I left my brain…

A new giveaway is up on the Cleveland Handmade page, a very pretty fused glass necklace from glasfuzion. Entering is really simple, so go do it!

I did end up having to change my WordPress theme after all. I loved my time with Adam Freetly’s widgetized version of DePo Clean, but it got really glitchy after my latest WordPress upgrade, and I never was able to figure out how to make the photos do what I wanted them to do, so it was time to move on. I present you with my own customized version of Clean Home by Bryan Helmig. Please let me know if you notice anything weird about the way it acts. Several users have posted on WordPress forums about problems with comments links, but I haven’t come across any in my testing. I’m not thrilled about the text button used to submit comments, but that will have to wait for another day.

Our Cleveland Handmade appearance on Kickin’ It with Kenny on Fox 8 has been confirmed for Friday, July 31, sometime around 7:20 a.m. Just waiting for a call back from the intern to figure out the exact details.

I’m glad to have the rain, but please make it stop before my show on Saturday.

sm01Speaking of the show, I was beyond thrilled to see a full-page ad for the Avon Lake Summer Market in the WestLife newspaper (and I’m assuming it ran in the Avon Lake Press, too), complete with all the participants’ names and a brief description of what they have. This show just gets bigger and better every year.

And why is it that I always get new ideas for products and displays mere days before a major show, when there just isn’t enough time to pursue them?