Friday, August 31, 2012

Nuts. And other related items.

Can I tell you, I've written this post three different times.

You're looking at attempt number four.

And if you are actually looking at it that means I GOT ONE THAT WORKS!  Finally....

I've been trying to tell you how much I love, love, love fall but every time I get going I'm all "let's talk about every single detail of why marching band is just the absolute funnest thing in the whole entire world!!"

Because that's what goes on now through October.  For four years band was my life and my life was cool.

And then I scratch that post because you're not here for the Life & Times of a High School Trombonist.  So I start over.  But then I'm goofy over Purdue football.

Ok, so what if you almost dated Drew Brees's cousin.

You're impressed.  Right?  Is that what I'm sensing here?

(But srsly, there's nothing better than Big 10 football.  Look it up, I'm pretty sure it's a proven fact.)

But then I'm like, "really, did you really just go there?"

And then I go, "well yeah, it's probably my only claim to fame.  Ever."

So I say, "what about that time you literally ran into Lucy Lui in NYC?"

And I'm like, "ok, but that was different.  I didn't want her signing my umbrella and she was pissy."

And then I go, "fair enough."

People.  Friends.  You, sitting there still trying to decide why you came here in the first place.  I'm getting all carried away with myself because there is just too much to say why I love this season that is only 22 days away!

So I'm pretty much not going to say any of it.

I'm kinda doing you a favor anyway.  My love of apple cider vs. its reign of terror inside my upper GI is probably not going to put this post at the top of your "Faves" list.

What is going to put it at the top of your faves, you ask?

Maybe this:

Well, hello little darlins'.

Fall is when those pesky squirrels start stockpiling acorns.  They take the good nut-parts, stuff 'em in their squirrelly little cheeks, and chuck the leftovers, the acorn hats if you will, at my head, the hood of my car, and dirty pigeons.

Their loss = my gain.


But I exaggerate.  I really do like squirrels.

And for the record I do not condone the throwing of acorn waste, rocks, yorkies, etc. at dirty pigeons.

They can't help it that they were made to have such a high tolerance for dirt and rabies and stuff.

So I take those acorn hats and turn them into cheery little table decorations with felted wool balls as the "acorn."  It's like taking one part of nature and putting it with another part of nature to get a nature hybrid.

How environmentally forward am I?  Pssshaw.

You can leave them alone, scattered on a table.  Or pair them with a mixture of dried fall leaves and berries and stuff.  Or you can decide Stacie has zero interior decorating skills and do something that is "in" right now.

But for now we wait.

We wait for those danged little squirrels to get hungry and then pesky.

We wait for the leaves to change and for the sounds of baritones and tubas in the morning.


At least there's still time while we wait to enjoy that last few perks of summer.

With that said, will you please excuse me.  I believe there is something that needs to be grilled.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bon Voyage!

No, no.  I'm not going anywhere!

I'm still snuggled up all cozy in my Saratoga Springs.

It's my parents and youngest sister, Kimberlie, who are packing up and moving on. 

To Wisconsin, of all places.

Wisconsin??  Where the heck is Wisconsin?

Good question.  Very good question.  Unless you're from the midwest, all those no-coastal states get jumbled together.

Surely Oklahoma borders Illinois and maybe parts of Ohio where that jut-out thing kinda juts out like it does....

Extra points if you know the shape of the state if not where it goes.

Minus points if you lived in Indiana for 11 years and still don't know what's on the other side of Illinois.

Stacie Jo.

Tsk tsk.

So without further embarrassing ado, I share the ridiculously short list of things I know about the great state of Wisconsin:

(wait, it is great right?  I'm just assuming it doesn't suck...)

{one}  Cheese.  People make cheese in Wisconsin and then they wear it on their heads at certain times.  Possibly when there are a lot of people all together in one place.  And then they call each other cheeseheads, but in a good way.

{two}  Green Bay Packers...whoop whoop!  And in watching Green Bay games I know that it snows a foot a minute all winter.  Which begins in October.

{three}  People say "eh?" at the end of sentences, turning all general statements into questions.  I can imagine this makes conversations very, very lengthy.

{four}  The state borders Lake Michigan and is home to Milwaukee and beer with a very misleading name.  Milwaukee's Best?  I sure hope not.

{five}  Home of the Badgers.  As in University of Wisconsin Badgers.  GO PURDUE.

{six}  Serial cannibal Ed Gein lived and "worked" here.  Is it weird that I know this?


Of course there's more to the Cheesehead State...

The, uh, Badger State...

Packer Nation?

The Land West of Lake Michigan Yet East of Minnesota, The Land of Ten Thousand Lakes?

Anyway, those Wisconsinites (actual term) have found a real gem in that there state.  Something that gives them a real reason to trudge around in armpit-deep snow while fending off flesh-eating cheeseheads and still say first thing in the morning, "I think I'll do it all over again today, eh?"

Goodness gracious.

So good luck Mom, Daddy and Kimberlie!

Corey and I will be there just as soon as you've dug a path for us.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

"...and so I just got him new underwear."


I'd like to know what that means too.

It's what I overheard from a coupla gals walking into my booth Saturday at the Round Lake Arts and Crafts Fair; a little festival in the middle of a teensy tiny town where people grow dahlias as big as your face and read books in hammocks on their porches.

So lovely.

But back to the business of the underpants: was there an accident?  What could possibly have happened to not only give this guy a reason to need new shorts but warranted spreading the news to others?


But I digress.  There was other business in Round Lake.  Craft business.  I say every craft show I've been a part of is my favorite, and this one is no different.

The Round Lake Arts and Crafts Fair is my fave.

I do realize eventually I will have to pick a real favorite.  But for now my all-time, hands-down, no-buts-about-it favorites are in Glens Falls, Schroon Lake, and Round Lake.

They make me happy.

I brought some stuff to sell.

My usual stuff.  Felted wool jewelry to complement every single thing you own.

It all fits in a small Rubbermaid tub and a shoe box the size of 4" t-strap Mary Janes in a size 8.

That's the beauty of accessories.  They're meant to be accents.  Anything more than an accent and you've got yourself a sweater.

Or a neck brace.  I guess.

Hello Fair-goers!  Do you want to stop at my booth?....No?  Well then I'm going to put an unflattering picture of you on the Internets for all the world to see.

Just kidding.  But seriously, I don't think they stopped by.

Christian Karma, as my sister would say.

Tasty treats for all.  The Ices were tempting, but peach pie is kinda my thing, and down the road I found me a slice.

I shared it with my mom.

Did I mention my mom was with me?  She comes to these things and helps me manage the booth so I can go potty and buy pie.  I pay her in jewelry and she just keeps coming back.  By now she has the whole spiel down: merino wool, needle felted, so lightweight you're gonna wanna pinch yourself.

Have I mentioned I love this town?  Home of a former Methodist church camp, Round Lake is an old community with narrow streets and 150-year-old houses.

And then there's the auditorium.

I may be redundant by saying the auditorium is, well, an auditorium.  Built in the late 1880s and restored in the 1950s, it's home to one of the biggest darned organs I have ever seen.

Oh.  Em.  Gosh.

It is the oldest and largest of its kind and still in use today.

I'm a sucker for historical history.  There was a book sale going on but I just wanted to look at the organ.

No, I wanted to play the organ.


Moms and I had a good weekend.  As usual the company was excellent.  The weather was perfect.  And I made enough money to keep on keeping' on.

A job well done, Round Lake.

Have I told you lately you're my fave?!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How I managed to flash hundreds and other business

First, a little back story:

I live in Saratoga Springs, home of the most historic horse race track in the country.

Every year Corey's family comes into town for a weekend at the races.

I enjoy wearing dresses when it's hot.


Sunday afternoon I find myself at the track in my favorite summer dress.  It's a blue bouncy number that is worn loosely from my mid-section down to allow for maximum air-flow.  Thank you Calvin Klein.

(and thank you TJ Maxx for not carrying my size, forcing me to buy the dress two very roomy sizes too big)

After placing my bets at the window I make my way back to our section of seats.  In an effort to not un-seat an entire row of race watchers, like the classy gal that I am, I decided to climb into my seat from the empty row above. 

As you may know, this involves more straddling than is allowed for a lady.  I'll tell you what, you can take the girl out of the Midwest but you can't take the Midwest out of the girl.  Just kidding.  Hoosiers aren't heathens.  But I digress.

So here I go hopping row to row and wouldn't you know it, I stepped right on the bottom of my dress.

Yep.  I planted my foot on my chair and the hem of my dress.

Naturally, my next step would be to take foot from chair (and dress) and place firmly on ground.

So that's what I did.  But when that danged dress got free it sprung from my foot past it's rightful place near my knee, past the danger zone of my butt, and ended  somewhere near the middle of my back before falling back home.

This left my entire backside unobstructed for all to see.

My bum was on display at the racetrack and I'm afraid there were more than a couple hundred people who witnessed it; one of the more emBARErassing moments of my adult life.


Butt in other news, the next day I was over it and I brought some wool with me to knock out a couple gold stretchy bracelets.


Although, I think my cheeks might still be a little red in this picture.

That's the end.  I promise.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

It's not like I was *planning* on dropping her

I'm married.

Almost three years now.

We currently do not have children and sometimes I wonder if my fear of dropping/mishandling/forever emotionally scarring iddy biddy babies is apparent to others...


(for the record: I did move from the cement walkway to the lawn just in case.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Live and learn and then keep on keepin' on

Hey, I'm still new at this.

You know, the whole do-what-you-love-and-make-enough-money-to-keep-doing-what-you-love thing.

Well, I love makin' things.  Yep, makin' things is my thing that I love.  You could even say I love things that I can be busy makin'.

But now it's time to make money.

Within the last year I got serious about the business end of this venture I call SJL Original.  Let's get this revenue train in motion, I said to myself.  I'm a metaphor gal.  Just thought you should know.

When I got serious I managed to learn a few lessons:

1.  Have a little confidence for goodness' sake.
Not everyone is going to like fuzzy wool balls dangling from their earlobes.  I get that.  But I like fuzzy earlobes.  And I am not an anomaly, my friends; there are plenty more of me-types out there who also might like dangly fuzz balls.

2.  There is not enough time.  raise your hand if went into a Saved By The Bell rant just now...anyone? 
Time, I crave it.  I put it on my Christmas list.  I never, ever have enough of it.  And because I still haven't transitioned out of my full time job and into my SJL job I still have 40+ hours each week that are spoken for.  Leaving three hours between coming home and bedtime to create stock, fill orders, and market.

Oh my.

3.  Speaking of marketing....sheesh.
Blogging takes time; I am not usually eloquent on my first try.  Twitter takes time.  Facebook takes time.  And when I already have so much competing for my three hours at night there's less I can actually do.

4.  It goes without saying that time management is, um, necessary.
I make lists.  For everything.  But lists for SJL work saves my sanity.  Prioritizing All. The. Stuff. is what gets orders done.  Not timely, but done.

5.  Coffee is not the enemy.
I was against needing coffee for a very long time; I don't like to have to be dependent on stuff.  But I caved.  I need it.  On those nights when I have no choice but to work until midnight and still get up for the other job in the morning, I neeeeed it.  And that's ok.

6.  Disappointment is not the enemy, either.
Don't get me wrong, disappointments suck.  I've attended some pretty dismal craft fairs, and there have been months of stagnant sales in stores, but once I got over the boo-hoos I felt better and energized to refresh my products.

7.  Take a risk, already!
I paid to have a blog designed specifically for me.  I signed up for craft fairs I know very little about.  I ordered bags of wool in colors I don't normally use.  But, I didn't go for a full website with all the whistles and bells.  I didn't choose unknown craft fairs states away.  And I didn't opt to have three pounds of fuchsia wool sent to my doorstep.  I went outside my comfort zone but not too far that I couldn't recover.


Unless we're talking about obscure 90's TV shows, I am by no means an expert at this. 

I just make things....

Oh boy, here we go again.

...that I love.

And I wanna talk about it.