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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ends and Beginnings.

Well, thought I'd better bank out another post, the last one for 2008, as the last few weeks have been very busy for me and everybody I know. Though the shows are over for another year, it's more than past time to look at next years shows and mostly the cheque writing part ..... I'm doing my Scarlet O'Hara bit and thinking about it 'tomorrow'. Meanwhile, as you see by this stunning photo of me at my sartorial best, I've been having fun. My lovely English neighbour had her sis and friend over from Blighty for a few weeks and as they love hats one or two were purchased in their North American travels. This one is a giraffe..... and I just had to have a go....!

Later that same evening, just before Christmas, my dear friend Sandy Whitton held her 'artist's party' for the artists exhibiting in her Art of Giving show in her gallery. It's always great to get together with other artists and artisans where you don't have to pretend you're there for the art or have to keep a look out for customers in your booth. Here she is talking about the tree and the ornament (or 'artament' as Rachel her trusty assistant named them) swap. I didn't make one so I wasn't involved. Some of the ornaments were wonderful, beaded book marks, felted balls, paper, wrought iron, polymer clay... and then some little ones that were like a short golden cigar with a couple of red bells...hmmmm. Realizing they were actually tampons covered in foil ( they com already strung) I went in search of the designer. J T Winik is an amazingly talented painter with, I found, an odd sense of humour! Still waters run deep.

While we were away in Chicago another neighbour looked in on our cat/yak (they're about the same size) and she bought him a bed, here he is sleeping in it but it's the only time as, being a cat, he likes hard lumpy things (baskets, the stones on the driveway) or soft things that belong to other people. There can really only be one large puffy thing in his house and that would be him. He didn't get into this bed of his own volition... he had help. Though he debedded sharpish.

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Christmas eve was spent at my sister's house opening presents. Her family seems to be off in a puff of smoke on Christmas day so the folks and we eat turkey without them, anyway, a beautiful tree and waaaaay to many gifts mostly courtesy of my Dad who either won't listen or can't hear. It used to be the former, I think now it's the latter.

Great food, too many chocolates, and I even got home to in time to see Scrooge give Bob Cratchet his raise... I love a Christmas Carol with Alistair Sim.

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Isn't incredible that with all the storms, blizzards and snow we got in December we had a rainy green Christmas! Bah Humbug to that. However the storms came the last couple of days blowing down trees and putting out power. We lost ours a couple of days ago and while hubby was suggesting popping our for a some supper before the sump pump's inaction led to a flooded basement I remembered we had put in a gas stove since the last power outage and 'have match will cook' became my motto and I tossed together some rice and a rather tasty stir fry, if I say so myself. This also proved to keep the place warm, as you can see, with the candles and the stove top we were quite cozy. I invited my friend over who was dog sitting the English neighbour's pooch and when we had just sat down to eat the power came back.

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Well, I did get rather a great Christmas prezzy. I have a surgery date! Yay. I lose the old boobs and get new ones all in one fell swoop! Not surgery, after wait, after surgery. January 15th is my date and after that I'll be doing nothing for a long while, having not to use my pec muscles. I hope to heal well though and at least be able to hand knit and work on the computer as I've lots of web stuff to do. Quite frankly I'm excited that my letter writing to the plastic surgeon got this going and I will be able to move to the next stage of my life endeavouring to stay fit and healthy. And also I'm sooooo looking forward to the rest!!! Anyone who knows me knows I have to be felled by 'flu or knocked down by a bus to actually lie down if it's not bedtime.

2009 won't be all bad then..... endings .... but... beginnings.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Back... but not over yet!!!

The Chicago One of a Kind Show and Sale is over for another year and we got back on Monday after an uneventful drive through Michigan (no lake effect blizzards), and a pleasant but short stopover in Battle Creek. I did learn that apparently two men - a native and a white man I believe - had an argument by a creek and marked it on the map as the place the battle occurred, hence the name.

Here I'm wearing my new SweaterWrap that has a scattering of hand knit flowers on it. Which I've been knitting all year I think!!

Anyway, the show went well considering the economy and listening to folk getting off the elevator saying "I'm just going to look". I managed to sell to one or two of these ladies, one of whom bought a black jacket that looked terrific on her then said "That's it". Another lady had looked at said jacket of which I only had one (hence One of a Kind) as it was a Large and might fit her well, but off she went to shop elsewhere. When she returned the cardi was gone so she left disappointed. (So was I)!

Our wonderful friends with whom we've stayed for the past six years are in a state of upheaval with a move so they recommended a B&B in the neighbourhood of Oak Park where they stayed when they moved in twelve years ago. The Under the Ginko B&B was an experience and we look forward to staying there again! A huge Victorian house run by Gloria and also Dan with whom I agreed when he asked me if he looked like a gangster. Breakfast was a treat in the large old dining room with the other guests chatting with Gloria and exchanging travel tips. If you look at their site we stayed in room 4.

While away I was in contact with Kingston colleagues who were involved in a new show the Gift of Giving at Fort Henry run my friend Lindsey Fair. I heard it went well, the fort is a really interesting place for a show, so much atmosphere and I'm sure a ghost or two. With all the stress of show prep and involvement Lindsey mentioned a large drink to follow when it was all over, I agreed and she put together a group on Facebook. Well, only four of us showed up but it was good as we got to hash over some issues, eat and drink then go on our ways back to work.

In the photo we have Jane Thelwell of Anglin Bay Pottery who's business acumen always blows me away, me, Lindsey Fair of Beach Glass fame (and so much more) and Andrea Graham, an amazing felter, mother, business woman and teacher.

Well, it's not over yet, not only the Christmas 'do's to attend, stuff to bake to take along, my Mum's 89th birthday tomorrow and various other functions.........I still have a ton of work to get done that's overdue. Some due to lack of yarn (not here yet) redo/adjustment for something that didn't quite fit and those that are slated as Christmas gifts. Expedited post usually takes one day but at this time of year it takes two. And I get, from a letter I got on my return, that I might be having surgery early in the New Year which would mean several weeks not using the knitting machine. I'm looking to work on some web sites and buttons, start an Etsy shop for my buttons.

.... gotta run.....

Thursday, December 04, 2008

One of a Kind Chicago

Sandra Whitton Gallery
Kingston Ontario

Well, here we are at the One of a Kind Chicago and heading in to the first day tomorrow(or should I say.. today)! The set up today was OK though my other half had to sit in the van for hours in a line up waiting to be called to a loading (unloading) dock. Meanwhile I had registered us, picked up name tags, checked my booth 8-4129 to see if my UPS shipment had made it. That had to go out a week ago in order to get here around the American Thanksgiving. I am always pleased to see my Rubbermaid boxes standing there dressed in yards of Duct tape and shipping labels.

Meanwhile back at the ranch (home) I was able to put only one of my 'wraps' into the Sandra Whitton Gallery for the Art of Giving show that will run over the holidays. Though I want to sell everything I own here this week I also want to take a wrap or two back to display and sell in K'town. It's been a b!%*h that our dollar is so weak again and I still had a payment due on my booth not to mention gas, accommodation and eats here in the good old US ofA. However, anything I manage to take back with me to Canada will grow when I take it to the bank... (not necessarily laughing all the way these days).

Well, now to bed as it's the first day tomorrow and ..... much to the chagrin of the American exhibitors, it's back to four days!!!!!!!!! Hey, just try the Canadian OOAK 11 days, so there. We'll just try not to nod off in our booth, under the cash desk, and keep grinning.....