manderly|rose on etsy

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Is it Wednesday already?

Where has the month gone? It's nearly November! I'm sitting here in a COOL home, yes, we finally have a cool snap. In fact, my heater clicked on very early this morning. Considering I have it set for 65, I suppose I'm glad it did. The a/c has not run for almost three days. THAT's amazing.

I posted my first knitting pattern to Etsy last night. I developed it last year as a Christmas gift for my nephew Tyler. This year I dusted off my notes, documented it properly, knitted a sample, wondered why my notes were so bad...eventually, wala! A Slouchy Hat! It's great for a beginner who is tired of scarves and wants to try something a little different. It is done on circulars, and that can be challenging for the new knitter, so again, great pattern.

I have to finish getting ready, have an early staff meeting to attend today, then I get to work. Last day at the yarn shop is tomorrow. I'm sad, the folks I work with there are just great, such a pleasure to spend time with. I'm very fortunate that the fabric store I'm now working for (yup, they are overlapping right now) has a great group also. It's important for the soul to work in a happy place!

As I wish I had some coffee here, jeeze it's early to be functioning, I will think happy thoughts for the Tampa Bay Rays. Let's win this game that won't end and move forward so y'all can come home and clinch it!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

To-Do List Sunday

I may have almost caught up on my sleep. Some say you can, some say you can't, but I like to think I can. My body feels better, that's for darn sure.

Sundays tend to be "all about me". I sleep in if I feel like it, I may not get dressed in a timely manner, I may not even brush my hair if I don't have to leave the house. The kitties like their quality time with me, and I tend to do things that I can do in front of the TV so I can catch up on my DVR recordings. This morning was all about Ugly Betty and Top Design!

I didn't feel well yesterday, tummy was not happy. This slowed me down. Did some sketching, some knitting, some laptop work, some sleeping, some wondering if I would ever get sick (nope, didn't). Day ended with nothing really finished. I hate that...

I haven't seen news in about a week, so imagine my surprise this afternoon when I realized I had not heard my a/c come on since yesterday. I went and checked...73 degrees in my house at 3:30pm! Unheard of. So I poked my head outside, ahhhhh, cool air! We have a cool front!

I opened the windows about 6:30, and Cleo was immediately intrigued. She's not seen an open window since she came to live with me. Right now she's plastered to the front window. The fresh air is wonderful.

I sewed out a sampler for some custom embroidery, cut some knitting needle pouches, deliberated on how to best to put my label on them, and got as far as setting up the serger. The embroidery looks awesome, I'm very pleased. Now that I've had some dinner (ok, lunch, I mean breakfast), I can go back into the "studio" and create!

The labels on the pouches are a conundrum, but I think I've resolved the issue. They are made from double-sided quilted material, thus if I sew them on, you'll see the stitches on the other side. So I'm going with a fabulous product called Steam-a-Seam Plus. It fuses like nothing I've seen before, and I won't have any stitches showing.

So I'm off to finish a few things on the weekend list, and watch my cats enjoying the open windows. I hope the cool front stays a few days, I'd love to wear a sweater to work!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ode to Sleep

I slept a record 11 hours last night! OK, some may think that foolish, some may ask why that's a big deal. Sleep is a big deal to me. I've been getting less and less of it lately, so last night when I was dozing off at 7pm, I just gave into it. I missed NCIS, I missed The Biggest Loser, but I feel so GREAT this morning! I did wake about 2am, but fell back to sleep soon after. That too is a steller moment for me. Usually I wake between 3 and 4 and can't go back to sleep, thus the being tired, and the sleep celebration.

The cats didn't even bother me. Well, they may have tried but I wasn not participating I guess. Max happily climbed up on my chest to lick my face when he saw me hit the alarm this morning. Cleo attacked the sleep area like her usual whirlwind soon after. I wish I had her morning energy!

Sleep. I am jealous of those who do so easily. Those who can lay thier head on a pillow and be out immediatly. It has never been that way for me.

Last night, I slept, and it was a good sleep, and I'm so pleased!

Of course sleep leaves no time for Etsy or other freelance work I'm doing. That is not good, but I suppose it was necessary. Tonight is a sewing night!

Monday, October 20, 2008


I was taught to never discuss religion, salary, or politics. For the most part, I live by that. It is rare that I'll get into a discussion with anyone, as I have a beleif system, it works for me, and I feel it's personal. I also don't like to be saved or converted, so those are the topics I steer away from.

Until today.

May I just say that I am OVER this whole political season? I think it's been two years now, I'm tired, I just want the election to come so we can get on with other great news worthy stories. Not that all this isn't newsworthy, but it's not all that's going on in the world. Tibetans are still living without human rights, gas prices are still too high, poison food items are still coming out of China, and the Dalia Lama had surgery this month (did anyone even know this?). Just a sampling of news stories that are over shadowed.

Today a couple came into the yarn shop, totally excited about a rally they had just come from. Yes, it was one of the presidential candidates, and they were wearing thier "vote for..." pins and singing that persons praises. Then I found out they were from Canada. I was kind of surprised, I mean they can't vote, they know they can't vote. What intrigued me was thier enthusiasm.

I have to wonder, if more Americans felt the enthusiasm that these folks did, would we have the issues we have today? I've quit watching the news, the news shows, reading the news stories, I just don't have the energy anymore. Two years is exhausting.

That said, here is my challenge. Become informed, by more than one source. Ask questions about what is important to you, not what you are told should be important to you. I'd say "remember to vote", but I doubt that any radio station, tv station, newpaper, or the internet will let us forget to. So instead I'll say make the time on Election Day and vote. If you don't vote, you really shouldn't celebrate a victory, or complain about defeat :-)

'nuff said.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Head is Exploding with Color

My head is still exploding. I had the pleasure of going to the Kaffe Fassett lecture last night. Two hours of Kaffe, photos of his work and inspirations, and him just telling us what he does. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I held back the ooooos and aaahhhhs as I didn't think that was appropriate, but it was like watching fireworks or something.

I love people who are not afraid of color. My spare bedroom (I like to call it a studio) is FULL of fabric by Kaffe Fasset, Amy Butler, Joel Dewberry, and others who really do color and patterning in a great way. I'll walk into a store, and find myself drawn to certain things. Then I look at the designer and giggle, because they are almost always one of my favorites.

The lecture was great, as he went into all of his work - Mosaics, Painting, Fabrics, Knitting - with wonderful examples of his works and stories about the hows and whys. He showed two quilts at the end that was unbelievable. I don't make quilts, but I use those fabrics for lots of other things, and I'm very much in awe of quilters. I probably could pick up quilting quite easy, but that's another hobby, another medium, more time...

I left thinking about my stash differently. I've got some ideas how ways I can use some of the amazing florals in ways I hadn't thought of before. I learned the term "fussy cut" too. Have heard it before, but finally asked someone what it meant. I may have to play with that...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Once upon a Halloween...

These days, I try to spend Halloween with my friends. They live in a great neighborhood, and the parents and kids there get together for pizza (and beer) and then head out for group trick-or-treating (with a wagon holding an ice chest of beer). We walk for a few hours, watch the kids do their thing, visit, it's a whole lot of fun. Plus, I don't have to give out candy at my house. So much pressure to do that. Have to have enough candy, don't want to give out too much, don't want to give out too little. I either run out or have too much left, so now I just go to someone elses house. No pressure!

When I was a kid, we lived in the boondocks. Seven miles from one town, three from another. No neighbors, certainly no trick-or-treaters. We would "go into town" for trick or treating. Everyone went to all the same houses, as it was a small town, and we'd compare what we got where. There were always the relatives that gave us special stuff, or the nice old lady who made us candy apples or popcorn balls. I was never allowed to eat one (razor blade scare of the 70's), but it was so great to get the "special" stuff.

One year, I think I was in the sixth grade, my folks got this amazing idea (they always had great, amazing ideas). Dad brought home a pumpkin on steroids, stood a good three feet tall. He painstakingly carved the scary face. He then rigged up a light that was wired into the top, and down into the cigarette lighter of the car. "Jack" sat on top of the car. Testing was fun, we'd shut off all the lights and plug in the cigarette lighter. He lit up big, bright, and very scary, especially in total darkness with no street lights or city lights.

Mom's job was the music. We had (still do somewhere) the original "Haunted House" record. Yes, RECORD, round black thing that needs a needle and speakers... She put my little tape recorder next to the record player and recorded all the scary sounds and music.

Halloween arrived. We kids piled in the car, oddly enough an orange Malibu, same color as the pumpkin. We went into town. We didn't really get much candy that year, because it was more fun to ride in the car, up and down the streets, lights off, sneaking up on unsuspecting trick-or-treaters...

We'd see them. We'd drive up, then WHAM! Lights, music, screaming, running of children down streets, it was fabulous. We scared about every kid in town that year, and a few adults and drunk teenagers. I think my parents had way more fun than we did, dad driving along at a snails pace plugging in the pumpkin, mom hanging out the window with the tape recorder...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Summer is still here...Baby Friendly Beads...The Kindness of Strangers

Hi all, happy Tuesday! It is mid-October, and it was STILL in the upper 80's today. While I LOVE living in Florida, it is this time of year that I begin to hope for one or two cool evenings that only Fall can bring. I'm thinking fall is going to skip over us this year, and we'll be sitting pool side at Thanksgiving again. Don't get me wrong, that's actually fun. I'm sure it will cool off soon...

So I find myself at the computer on warm evenings rather than outside, and that gives me loads of Etsy exploring time. In keeping with a "breast" theme, today I became aquainted with Baby Friendly Beads. I wish I knew someone who needs a shower gift, these are pretty cool. I've only been a mama to kitties, so specialty baby things intrigue me. Jewelry to enhance breast feeding. Check it out! Perfect shower gifts or gifts for the new mom who may just be touched by a gesture of a gift for her AND her baby all rolled into one. Wish I could figure out how to add her pics, so please visit her shop and take a looksy.

This warm day began with my having to deal with a little speeding ticket I got. I had basically spaced, and didn't realize that I only had 30 days to take care of it. So I went down to the clerk's office today to throw myself upon the mercy of them (or at the very least, thier counter), terrified that I'd be thrown in jail or something ilke that for not paying my ticket on time. (I only get tickets about every 15 years, what do I know?). A very kind lady told me that I was not one day late as I had thought (ok, laugh, go ahead), I was actually early by about 6 days, and she gave me a 30 day extension to get the driving school done so I won't get points against me.

It's truly amazing how a kind gesture from a total stranger on a hot day can improve one's outlook! I didn't get her name, but she's tops with me right now! Was it Blanch DuBois who said that she depends upon the kindness of strangers? I think so, if not, great movie none the less. Anyhow, that stranger was most kind today.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

October is National Breast Cancer Month

Last night I was catching up with programs recorded on my DVR, and I watched the Oprah show from a week or two back that had Christina Applegate on talking about her breast cancer, as well as other guests that have been impacted by the disease. I had to cry a few times, as the people and the stories never cease to touch me.

I did volunteer work for our local Race for the Cure some years back, and I was quite fortunate to meet a number of survivors. It opened my eyes about the disease and how it changes lives. I've known other survivors since those days, mostly because people aren't afraid to talk about it anymore. Some have come and gone, some have become great friends. All have inspired me in one way or another.

There was the girl in her 20's who "wasn't supposed to get it so young". A spitfire of a gal who's mom was a survivor, and who was diagnosed in her 30's, She was so incredibly brave and opted for the "radical" double mastectomy in an effort not to have to have that battle again, understanding family history was not on her side. There is a friend of mine who is now a 10 year survivor who who found a lump while preparing for the holidays and didn't waste any time getting diagnosed and treated. There was an amazing woman who beat breast cancer once, fought it again, fought ovarian cancer, and after so many years of fighting, passed on, reminding me how precious our lives are.

For my 35th birthday I scheduled a base line mammogram. Every girl should do that, or do it sooner if you have family history. That first one was kind of scary, that huge machine I'd never seen before, remembering how women complained how "they squish your boob flat!" I was terrified...all for nothing. It didn't hurt, but it wasn't comfy either. At times it was down right amusing. Funny what the human body can do! Now I go for my yearly with a sense of humor, and I'm glad that the machine moves and gets in all the right positions, because I'm not that limber!

Monthly breast exams, yearly ladies exams, baseline mammograms, yearly mammograms, do them all and be diligent. Everyone should be an advocate for their own health. If you aren't, you may not be lucky enough to find someone who is. Educate yourself. has tons of resources and information. Volunteer or be a participant in local events that support research and finding a cure. If you can't do that, support a walker in the 3-Day walk, or donate to your favorite Breast Cancer organization. Giving back and becoming part of a solution are good for the community and the soul.

As a means of giving back, 1% of my etsy sales for the month of October will be donated to support breast cancer research. I look forward to writing a check at the end of the month :-)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Being Thankful for the Good Things in Life

These days I am repeating the mantra "I'm very lucky, there are people in this world with bigger problems than I have." I think it's true, we can have a huge ole pitty party, or we can be thankful for what we have and what is working, and remember that there is ALWAYS someone with bigger fish to fry.

I know a couple people who have had a week...a week I don't know how I would handle in thier respective shoes. My heart goes out to them and thier families, and then I feel guilty for feeling thankful.

That said, I was inspired to try some new tag designs tonight, and I got a few that are working nicely. I need to get some pics so I can post them. I am also on the edge of some cool embroidery designs that will be coming soon, need to stitch out my samples.

Machine embroidery is one of my new favorite things. While embroidery time is the perfect time for multi-tasking, I find myself mesmerized by how fast that needle moves and how the designs just flow out of that little needle. I can lose hours working on my little machine!

Tonight I pinned a hem for someone who needed a dress hemmed. Yup, I do very nice hemming, and it's good for occassional gas money. I'm a little bit, what's the work, obsessive about the perfect hem. It's all my mother's fault, she insisted on hand hemming. Now I just can't bring myself to use a machine. Here I am with the mack-daddy of machines that slices and dices and serves me coffee in the morning, and I've NEVER used the hemming feature. Maybe some, never!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Mini Etsy!

yay! I figured out how to put mini Etsy on my blog. OK, many of you may be shaking your heads saying "who doesn't know that???" I confess to being a newbie at most of this stuff.

I've not had time to be creative this week, as I've been working at my favorite yarn shop extra hours. It's so nice there, all that wonderful yarn, so many patterns, so many talented customers. The owner is a dear friend of mine, we go way back. She's created this amazing shop and I get to work there a few days a week. How cool is that? Check out where I'm spending my week at

In the evenings I'm working on some new tag designs, ironing out some machine embroidery designs, and working on finalizing a couple knitting patterns. Sleep? Who has time for that when there is so much going on in my head to keep me busy 24/7 :-)


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Game of Tag

I've been "tagged" by akeepersjackpot, a fellow Etsy shop keeper. The name of the game is to learn about people, so I need to list six things about myself...and I need to tag five others. I shall randomly choose them from the etsy bloggers...Please take a few minutes to visit these shops, they have some cool stuff! At some point I'll learn how to do mini shops, but for now, take my word on it :-)

6 secret things about me...
1) I love quilting fabric but I don't quilt. Never have, but sure admire people who do. My mom was a quilter in her day, made beautiful things, by hand. She says that the technology in my sewing machine is for cheaters. I say you gotta roll with the times.

2) I love scrapbook paper, but I don't scrapbook. I made one once, for a friend. The scrapper bug didn't bite me, but the paper facinates me.

3) I'm addicted to my dvr. I rarely watch anything that is on tv, when it's actually on. I record everything I enjoy. Then I watch it later. I love fast forwarding through commercials. Most 1 hour shows are only about 45 minutes long. So much saved time! The dvr always has something on it, for nights when I can indulge and enjoy

4) on that related note, I love the CSI's, Criminal Minds, NCIS, Desperate Housewives, The Biggest Loser... but I also have seen most every episode of American Justice, and I really love the true crime stories, bizarre medical programs, and historical shows that are on TLC, A&E, Discovery, History channels.

5)I'm allergic to everything. If it grows, is natural, or smells, it will probably make me sneeze. That include my kitties, but they don't seem to mind. This makes me extra sensitive to those around me, and what is in thier environments. I rarely wear perfume.

6) Not a secret or new thing for most of my friends, but for those just getting to know me...I love Mt Everest. The whole history of that amazing mountain facinates me. She is a living, breathing being in my book. I would like to go to base camp some day, just to see those amazing people who climb each year. Those people are machines!

OK, now I must hop in the shower and get over to the yarn shop, it's a work outside the house day!