Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Morning!

Sssshhhhh!!!!!  It's 10:15 AM, and the house is completely quiet!  That's the thing about teenagers; they sleep in and give Santa a break.  However, due to the fact that I have to "clock in" at my desk at noon, present time has to wait until 6:00 PM!  That's the breaks.  You snooze, you lose --- just a few hours though.  

We had a great Christmas Eve with friends who come by each year.  The house was cozy and warm.  Now, though, it is raining cats and dogs!  In six hours, the road outside is flooded.  However, I'm glad we aren't in the midwest with the snow and blizzards!  If you are there, I hope you and your family are safe and happy together.  Cheers! 

Actually, I hear my peeps coming down the hall .... Show time! 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas At The Chisholms

Welcome!  The Chisholms are ready for the holidays now.  The decorations are up.  We have a beautiful tree.  Goodies are being put together, and packages prepared for friends.  Even though it didn't feel like I was on top of our family and friends preparations, I guess I have been stockpiling and preparing all along.  After the last order was sent out on Friday, everything came together pretty quick around here. 

This arrived in the mail on Thursday.  It's my Turning 20 quilt all quilted up!  Originally, I just wanted the stipple effect, but Margaret at Q4 has been honing her skills and wanted to try some feather and swirls (I think).  I gave her carte blanche and said go with it!  I plan to bind it as soon as I can!  However, my daughter absconded the unfinished quilt nearly immediately and snuggled under it all night.  After she went to bed, I folded it right up and put it away. 

See how pretty my foyer scape is?  It's all about Gai and the tablerunner and other treats she sent when we participated in a Christmas in July swap this summer.  She embroidered and quilted a tablerunner, and she embroidered the sweet little doorhanger you see on the closet handle.  Perfect! 

Look a little closer, and you can see my brothers and me one Christmas way back in the 1970s! 

Today I'm off with my visiting father for a little shopping and drop-ins at friends.  Then more squirreling away in the studio still putting together my gifts for husband and children, which I think are coming along well.  I'm hoping for a little downtime over the weekend to catch up on the 1000+ blog posts on my Reader to see what I have missed these busy weeks. 

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Peaceful and Happy Holiday! 

Friday, December 18, 2009

One Week Countdown

Hello!  One week before Christmas, and my house still looks like a messy Thanksgiving just passed!  My dated goals are long since missed now.  The calicodaisy holiday business has done well this year, but everything has taken a lot more time than I ever dreamed when creating my to-do list.  So, there is a beautiful tree standing in the family room since Saturday undecorated!  There are Christmas cards unopened in a stack waiting for me to open and place in the proper Christmas card viewing area.  There is a box of cards ready to be addressed and signed still waiting to be addressed and signed.  My dad has been here visiting for one week today and has been watching the mad rush of a family in this season running in and out all day and night for business, work, parties, shopping, school, groceries, fabric store, office store, post office, post office, post office, post office.  The last package is mailed now.  Today is the last day of high school. 


On another note, here are some wise words that you might remind me of next year but may take heed and keep in mind this year: 

1.  It takes longer than you think.  As noted above, I've missed all my early finish dates. 

2.  TRACK THE PACKAGES YOU MAIL OUT!!!  Okay, there is an awful story to go along with this.  Would you please say a little prayer today that there are extra deliveries today to the actual post office where this should arrive, so that my new lovely customer can at least go by the post office and pick up the Priority mailed box sent on Monday but needed to be there yesterday for her Christmas party tonight?  Oh, my goodness.  I always track and insure packages, especially one this important and expensive.  Monday, there was a new gal at the counter, and she was worried about tagging the large box with Priority and didn't go through the normal questions of - Do you want to insure?  Do you want to track?  All I was thinking about was getting this package on its way on time and then getting on with the rest of the day's work.  It's not there!  It can't be tracked!  My friend is a post office carrier here, and she told me to call ahead this morning to the receiving post office and see if the carrier has the box ready to be delivered.  The post office person was as kind as she could be, and I heard her speak to the carrier, and he doesn't have my package.  However, my gal is receiving the package she ordered from NY just not from me this morning.  Remember, don't forget to ask for tracking and spend the 70 cents and TRACK YOUR PACKAGE!!!! 

EDIT, EDIT:  I called the Peoria post office again just now to see if an extra delivery was made today.  The woman who answered the phone told me that as they sorted the shipment, one of them spotted the street address of my package and pulled it!  They called the carrier back or sent a runner, and the box will be delivered today.  Whew!  Now we know how one might track a package without a tracking number, but don't let that happen to you.  Give up the 70 cents and track the thing! 

Alrighty.  All I want to do is sit here and blog and see all the great last minute ideas, but I'm off to the .... go ahead and guess .... the post office again.  This time it's personal business.  But I will pin the above badge on my chest to be sure MY PACKAGE IS TRACKED!!!!  Feel free to make one for yourself as a reminder. 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Good Read and 2 WIPs Complete

The December issue of Country Living is a good one.  There are some great ideas for crafting your own Christmas and baking your own, too.  I'm loving those yellow walls in the photo. 

Here are some etsy features.  I'd love to turn a page in a magazine and see an item of mine randomly listed there! 

This is for Stephanie!  I have found the perfect iron for us in this CL issue -- An Amish flame-heated iron!  You're more likely to find one than me, as you live closer to the farming villages up there. 
Fabric Storage Bucket
I finished up two WIPs for the "Joy In The New Year Challange."  Custom fabric storage buckets for a friend were delivered this morning! 
Fabric Storage Bucket
My goal is to have five WIPs complete for the challenge.  The backing is finished for the Turning 20 quilt top I am sending out for long-arming, so that is #2 done.  The strips are cut and one set of blocks ready to hopefully quilt the first throw for my husband and son's gifts.  Those will be #3 and #4 on my challenge list and are one-third of the way done, #5 is the binding for my daughter's quilt.  I've got 14 nights to complete those three items .... maybe just the quilt tops will be done then, and I can just send them to the long-arm gal and get it done right!  We'll see how frenzied I am at that point.  AND, I've volunteered to send in a couple of prizes for the challenge.  The embroidery is done with just the sewing up to do, so I guess those can be considered #6 and #7. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Deadline Craziness!

First Christmas Bib
My brain is whirring at 100 miles an hour these days!  I've gone from 0 to 100 in a matter of weeks going from no computer project work and few studio orders to lots of computer project work and a number of custom holiday orders!  However, there is nothing like a deadline to get my organizing game on! 
This is a quickie post today, as I have a lunch meeting, but I need to announce the winners of the dress form pin cushions.  I had Camille draw the names the old fashioned way, and I am so suprised that both names she pulled are two new blog visitors who I met by running through the SMS giveaway list last week. 

Michelle (another Michele/Michelle!) of Dresden Quilter.  


Burlap and Blue -- I couldn't find her name!  However, you should check out her blog post at the end of November.  She created an Anthropologie lookalike tree topper. 

I'll be e-mailing you girls this afternoon. 
One more quickie note.  Isn't the little design above darling?  I embroidered out a First Christmas design on a onesie for my friend's little one and a bib for my shop.  I'll have it posted there later today. 

Off to the lunch meeting now! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

calicodaisy Giveaway Day!

Happy December! I missed the deadline to join Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day, so I am hosting my own and will give away TWO dress form pincushions to my blog pals. This darling design is one of my favorites, and I have it embroidered out on a little hanging pillow which can be used for simple decoration or as a hanging pincushion near your sewing machine.
I think it's convenient to have a pincushion hanging on my sewing room wall, so I can poke in my threaded needles and safety pins and remember where I stowed them. You'll have a choice of fabric and thread colors, as this shot cotton is all used up!
Let's do all the bloggy things to offer extra chances. After you've taken care of one or all of the little adventures below, be sure to leave individual comments for each task. The contest will run through December 6, 2009, with the winner announced on December 7, 2009.  (Please be sure your comment links back to your blog and/or includes your e-mail address!) 
1. Leave a comment here.
2. Become a follower.
3. Blog about my giveaway.   
4. Become a calicodaisy handmade Facebook Fan.
5. Heart my calicodaisy etsy shop.
Remember, if you can't wait to have one of these cushions as your own and/or don't win the giveaway, there are a couple listed in my calicodaisy etsy shop.
If you are a sewist yourself, you can just order the design embroidered out on the fabric of your choice and sew up your own gorgeous project. The dress form design measures 2.16" wide x 6.48" tall.
Monogrammed Appliqueed Pillow framed
If you stop by my photo gallery embroidery designs set or the appliques and sew-outs set, you'll see a number of great designs you can order worked out on fabric to use in your own projects. Check out the "Keep Calm and Sew" embroidered panel in my shop.  Order any type of monogram design, and sew up a pillow cover like the one above.  It's so easy!  Just give me an e-mail, and we can work out the details.
There is another giveaway going on right now. Sew Fantastic is featuring a new artist for her 12 Days of Christmas. Be sure to stop by and see who is getting chatted up and the daily prize. Jane is on today, one of my sweet blog friends.  She just got in Meadowsweet fabric to her shop, and she is giving away $15.00 gift certificates through the Sew Fantastic feature. 
Good luck with ALL the giveaways.  I look forward to popping around to as many as I can myself, but mostly I look forward to hearing from you this week!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Handmade Holiday ...

calicodaisy handmade ornaments

... preparations have begun!  Due to my lean year of steady work, the little elves and I plan to make the most of my studio this month.  It's truly all about the handmade holiday here.  Of course, with the kids older and the fact that we have everything we need, nearly any gift shopping this year could be placed in the luxury category -- outside, of course, any shopping my husband and children do for me -- that's definitely in my family's "need to do" category!  

Monogrammed Holiday Door Ornament

My greatest personal crafting desire is to sit down with Sew Pretty Christmas Homestyle and work my way through that book.  Last year, I bought up a number of peices of red, pink, and white fabrics to do that very thing.  Alas, the year has nearly passed me by with nary a project made.  However, there is still time ...  

Sweet Bird

Those little ornaments at the top of the post are some of my favorite things to make.  Yo-yos with buttons and embroidered feltwork.  I adore the birds, too.  I keep meaning to make a flock of those. 

Love the redwork here.  I've used this design in a number of ways but do love the simplicity of the little house stuffed.  Jacquie used some pieces I sent her last year in quilted pillow covers and this year made the button for her "Joy In The New Year" whip-up challenge with her pillow's photo.  You know how happy that makes me! 

My studio secrets this year include binding the quilt I finally backed and had long-arm quilted earlier this year for my daughter and make two throw-sized quilts for my husband and son.  I've collected a number of more modern, manly prints lately, and it occured to me that my guys would like quilts, too.  In the book Quilting For Peace, there are a number of easy blocks to create.  There is one block created from sewing long strips of three fabrics, slicing into squares, and arranging them this way and that, back and forth, to create a sort of L-shape zigzag throughout.  I'm thinking that should go pretty quick.  I'll have to quilt them myself, though, and plan to defer to my modern-quilt-guru, Jacquie, again!   She just posted some straight line quilting tips the other day that I believe I can follow. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mish's Cheezy Green Bean Casserole!

I wanted to share some of our favorite Thanksgiving/Christmas recipes with you this month, and now we are nigh on the big day!  I'm working today (yay!) and have to log in soon, so this is a quickie!  I hope you enjoy the recipe; it is SOOOO GOOOODDDD!  It's not your grandmamma's green bean casserole, that's for sure! 

(Disclaimer:  The photo above is actually a photo of my recipe for Auntie Lynda's Comfort Chicken Casserole that I sent to Lollychops earlier this year.  However, the two casseroles actually look the same before breaking into due to the crushed Ritz cracker and butter topping, and I wanted to have a visual for you!  The photo was mine but enhanced by LC with my name on the side.) 

Mish's Cheezy Green Bean Casserole

4 large cans (~29 ounces) of green beans, drained   

1 Family Size can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom

1 (10.75) ounce can of Cream of Celery

2 (16 ounce) tubs of Sour Cream (Use brand name sour cream to ensure good taste.) 

1 block of Velveeta Cheese

4 sleeves of Ritz Crackers 

3 sticks of butter 

Salt, pepper, garlic -- shake, shake, shake to season well. 

Oven to 350 degrees.  Have two 10 x 13 casserole dishes ready. 

In large bowl, combine Cream of Mushroom soup, Cream of Celery soup, and both tubs of sour cream.  Drain all four cans of green beans and discard liquid.  Mix in all the green beans to the soup and sour cream mix.  Season well with the salt, pepper, garlic.  Pour half of the recipe into each casserole pan. 

Place medium sauce pan on burner and turn to low heat to melt all three sticks of butter. 

While the butter is melting, cut the Velveeta into cubes.  I usually start with about four to five half-inch slices of the cheese and then cube.  Cube more as needed.  Just poke the cubes into the casseroles.  I generally put them in rows about an inch apart all throughout the pan.  The melted Velveeta is the best part to me, and I like to make it cheesy. 

Next, crush the four sleeves of Ritz crackers.  I used to put them in a zip-lock bag and crush, but my husband showed me a better way.  Over the saucepan of melted butter (so you don't make a big mess) hold the bag end to end in your hands and squeeze hard.  This instantly begins the crushing.  Generally, the paper pops and crumbs start coming out, so direct those into the pan.  Squish the bags until the crackers are all finely crushed and pour into the melted butter.  With a fork, toss the crumbs and butter together for a lush topping.  Spread the topping generously over the two casseroles. 

Bake in a preheated, 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes.  Enjoy! 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Finally! One Yard Wonders Is Here!

Yesterday my mail lady came up the walkway bringing a package, and I squealed when I read the sender's label.  

We ripped it open and hurried to the most important page to me - page 118!  Now I can rest and stop calling Barnes & Noble everyday to see if they've received the book -- which they haven't. 

Look!  My name in print and spelled correctly.  What a lovely sight! 

The book is great.  I know you'll like it, and there is something for everyone.  I mean, 101 projects:  Nearly every area of sewing/crafting is covered, and pattern sheets are included.  However, there is just one photo devoted to each project.  The photo is lovely, but I'm not sure anyone will know that my Beach-Time Towel Tote is anything other than a beach bag if one doesn't read through the introduction. 

So, I put together a little mosaic (shown below) to show that the towel tote is more than a bag -- it's a lawn chair slipcover as well.  There is a self-lined zippered pocket in the design where you can stow your keys, wallet, and essentials, so they keep out of the sand and hidden away.  I hadn't made this bag in years before sewing it up for the book, thus, the very hum-drum fabrics shown here from photos taken ages ago.  If you make one, please let me know what you think about the pattern and the final product!   
Beach-Time Towel Tote Mosaic

1. mish's Beach-Time Towel Tote, 2. Beach-Time Towel Tote, 3. Beach-Time Towel Tote - On the go., 4. Beach-Time Towel Tote Zippered Pocket, 5. Beach-Time Towel Tote Zippered Pocket, 6. Beach-Time Towel Tote - Wide Open, 7. Beach-Time Towel Tote - Lawn Chair Slipcover, 8. one yard wonders

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Fresh Stack of Cozy Warmth!

We are still under the clouds of old Hurricane Ida!  The winds picked up yesterday, and I thought it was going to blow out and bring us clear skies and sunshine, but not so.  It's chilly and wet, and the traffic was crazy this morning.
However, here is a bit of coziness from my calicodaisy shop, as shown above:  A fresh, new stack of plush throws. The colors are beautiful, and the blankets are very soft and plushy, nicely hemmed all around, and wash very well.  If you are thinking of early holiday shopping and/or are in the mood to order a new treat for your home, the throws are ready for monogramming, personalization, and/or embroidery designs of your choice.  If you check out my flickr catalog - calicodaisy handmade holidays - you'll find some ideas from these finished products. 

My favorite is the spring green blanket at the bottom of the stack.  However, I think the pink and brown zebra print will be popular.  I tried to get a close up to show the softness of the colors, but the poor weather didn't help me out with lighting.  This weekend, I'll get some individual shots to put with the shop listings.  

If you are interested in ordering one and would like to plan and design a throw, just convo me through the shop or e-mail me.  Remember, I have a large library of designs, so it doesn't have to be just a monogram.  You could go with a theme or holiday embroidery (extra charges may apply depending on the extent of your design).  Sooner is better, as I have a holiday show next weekend, and the throws are probably the most popular item this time of year.  Lucky for me, as the throw is a ready-made item.  You'll find two blankets already listed, a lovely blue and chocolate brown.    

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cozy Morning

The large, backside remnant of Hurricane Ida has been passing through the South, and we've been drenched since yesterday.  Look out, Mid-Atlantic and New England!  You're next.  It's been raining steady and hard here for nearly 24 hours. 

After running around all morning to the grocery and then the high school, I stopped by my local Bruegger's and picked up my "bottomless" cup of my favorite drink and a bagel sandwich.  I decided to purchase the pre-paid drinks for a year program and actually got 14 months because my card is good until December 2010.  I'm really just interested in Diet Coke, however, today I found out I can get any drink for "free." That includes specialty coffee drinks, hot chocolate, teas, coffee .... So, now I'll be able to give some new flavors a try without wasting my DC dollars! 

Back at home, I wanted to do a photo session of some new products, but the lighting isn't great due to the rain and clouds.  These quilt squares came out fine, though.  I'm participating in Jacquie's UFO Challenge, and my first project is to get a backing together for my Turning 20 quilt top so I can send it to Margaret at The Q4 to quilt for me. 

My plan is to arrange these log cabin blocks in a row on the back side with this gray Kona cloth as the solid.  This quilt will be for me!  The quilt top is all shabby florals.  The "Turning 20" is a very easy, big block pattern to follow.  You should try it.  Just google the name to find the pattern (the name might actually be "Turning Twenty"). 

By the way, I can't find the spell check on the new blogger editor.  Do you know where they put it?  I do like how I can arrange photos now, though.  The top photo off to the left of the wording was a happy error while inserting the picture.  That should make planning a post with photos more interesting. 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Thankful Heart

11.09.2009:  All my Giving Thanks posts have been moved to my other blog, clubbmish, a more appropriate place for me to delve so deep! 

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Monogram Swapping

Monogram Swap Set frame
A few months ago, I found a whole new world of bloggers. These aren't necessarily crafty bloggers, but the ladies are loads of fun to read. Some of them take me back to my college and early career days! What to wear, who to date, where to go, shopping, wedding plans, home dec, kids ... One gal of Jewish Girl in WASP'S Clothing is quite fun to follow. She lives in NYC and journals her escapades and shopping finds. She sponsored a Monogram Swap. Now, there's something I can participate in!
My swap partner is a teacher in Tennessee. She is crazy for all things monogrammed, pink, and polkadots, so it wasn't too hard to know what to send. She noticed the embroidered sorority pillow covers I had just sent out and let me know her sorority is Kappa Kappa Gamma.

My surprise was this pretty mirrored compact. Perfect for me, as I always like to make sure the lips are covered nicely. Great color combination, too.

Sorority Monogrammed Pillow
It was nice to work on this wool blend suiting. I bought a number of different plaids and have been anxious to make scarves, bags, and pillow covers with it.
Monogrammed Scarf
I have a few of these ready-made scarves to go in my calicodaisy etsy shop, 1 more brown and 2 red, and plan to pick up more. A great price for a ready-made can't beat the sewing effort in this case, and, with a holiday show coming up two weeks from today, these will help boost my tablescape of products available.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I've been haunting Barnes and Noble for two weeks hoping for an early release of the One Yard Wonders book, so I can see my name in mass printing! No luck though for an early sighting. Today I had a meeting downtown and ran over to the B&N nearby, but my vanity has been checked once again. They hadn't unloaded the trucks yet! It was there, outside, in the truck! However, one more trip to my B&N this evening with a friend. I'm praying it's there.

If you see it before I do, take a picture of my page for me and tell me what page number I'm on. The authors named my project "Beach Time Towel Tote." I just called it "towel bag" and told them to go to town with re-titling it for me.
One-Year-Old Birthday Applique Shirt and Diaper Cover Set

Look what a new customer designed for her little one's first birthday! Didn't it turn out sweet? She is using it for his photo shoot and birthday party, and I can't wait to have a picture back for my portfolio. I put a second set in my calicodaisy etsy shop -- if you know someone special who would love it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Turning 20!

Michael and Camille 10252009 frame
I have a 20-year-old! My son had a great birthday ... Well, I think he did. He just wanted cash so he could go out with his university friends! We did see him, though, and my husband took the kids to the last day of the fair here so they could have a final fair food fest and kiss some sea lions! To think that 20 short years ago, I was a new mother and only 25 ... Turning 20 more in just a few days myself.

By the way, Margaret at The Q4 blog is starting up a new long-arm quilting business. She is kicking off her new adventure with some great prices for the next couple of months. First come, first served, though, so hurry. I did, but, unfortunately, I don't think my quilt top qualifies as is. My backing isn't large enough, but, coincidentally (as above), I have a "Turning 20" quilt top that might do. I just have to create a backing first.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Oh, Happy Day!

(Written yesterday but still feeling the effects today!) Today I am doing something I NEVER really allow myself without feeling guilty that I should be working on something else. I am sitting on the front porch at 11:30 AM, eating chocolate cake, Diet Coke nearby, Jip at my feet, and computer on my lap while blogging without, for this moment, another care in the world.

I've had a horrible couple of months full of self-reflection, self-doubt, a bit of guilt, and a lot of insecurity about the future. Now, that's not really a bad thing for me because I tend to be a hopeful person and am always looking for remedies and what I can do to keep moving forward, and sometimes I need to just be quiet, stop, pull myself together, and rearrange my focus. Every so often though, the silence is deafening and the unknown bears down on me and I can't remember anything good or important that I've ever done. I haven't had steady work in over a year, and slowly a feeling of failure of not planning well enough and doubting that I have been on the right path has been building. On one hand, I really have used the time I've been without work this year to work on my studio business plan, learn software, begin to create my own patterns, build my website with a designer, and move toward the creative-business dream I've had since a kid. On the other hand, no real income.

I'm the part-time sort of girl. I don't really handle a 40-hour a week job well, not even before children. I can work hard and probably work more than 40, but the being scheduled every single day doing the same job every single day holds no joy for me. I'm so thankful that I learned to be a transcriptionist so long ago and that it has sustained me in a home business for over 10 years. I was very fortunate, especially because I needed to have a flexible work schedule with over 20 surgeries in my household between 2004 and 2007.
The hard part of being self-employed, though, is staying ahead of the game and always having new prospects and keeping up with the market. I knew my market was changing with voice recognition and electronic medical records coming into play and have been preparing by building my studio and thinking about what I might need to do in the future if transcription wasn't going to be my game anymore. I was sort of blindsided, though, when two of my accounts that sustained me both switched to a new platform nearly at the same time, and that was it. I had nothing, all at once.

My hopeful, get-it-fixed self started scrambling. I do have other clients on my list for whom I do all kinds of project work, so that was something. I picked up a p.r.n. position at the hospital, so that was another thing. I worked on my calicodaisy handmade website, and that's done, though I still have to figure out how to load the products there. I've formed a new network with some local direct sellers, and we have big plans for 2010. I've increased my product line and have gotten better and better with certain skills. A number of folks have come to regard me as the go-to person for special gifts. I put out my first pattern. One of my products made it into a the One Yard Wonders book, which comes out this week!

All those accomplishments really have been great strides in a year, but no real income yet, and, in the end, you know, it all comes down to money when one has a budget to meet. I've got to work! I've applied for all sorts of positions, refashioned my mind to think that I can go to work 40 hours a week, as lots of people do. It's not like I have small children anymore, no daycare is needed. However, it seems like I'm not a good fit or the right candidate for anyone or any place. All of a sudden, I'm wondering, "Who am I?" All my brains are gone. I have nothing to offer this work world. I'm obsolete. No one wants me. And yet, I have all this talent and opportunity right in my home for the sewing/embroidery and computer project work.

After a particularly horrible week last week that coincided with the flu and my being told that "apparently you are not a good fit for our team," I was at the end of myself. I coughed and cried for an hour or so, and then I said, "That's it. Get up. Go to the computer. Start networking with every person and company you've ever worked with from home and get working." I did it. I wrote, I took the crazy first-timers' tests required for some medical transcription companies, I offered back-up help on an as-needed basis. It took all day and my head hurt, but it was something I could actually do, and I didn't have to look pretty or talk nice without sounding desperate because it was all by computer.

Again, though, the silence was deafening. I heard nothing through the weekend. Monday, I worked with one of my clients who just tried my patience that day, but I sat there and was thankful that every 15 minutes was another quarter-hour of billing. Then Tuesday, one of the companies I've worked with in the past has a new account and got in touch. I went to a small business leads group I had been invited to join and heard my successful business friends give a glowing introduction of me listing their versions of my accomplishments and networking talent. Then Wednesday, while cleaning house and cooking an early Thanksgiving Dinner for an international guest, a pretty firm, long-term offer for transcription was e-mailed to me requesting a formal phone interview on Friday.

The relief that swept through me! It was twofold: 1. It was a real offer with a reputable firm I'd worked with for four years before. 2. The firm wanted ME back. (It's always about the relationship for me!)

Geez! The sun was shining, the house was clean, chocolate cake had already been baked and decorated, and I have options again, actually, I will have steady income again.

So, I had the phone interview Friday morning, the work doesn't have to be full-time but does include a weekend day (they all seem to now, as the market is so tight in that area), and the production pay rate is tops. At this point and after all my self-reflection and hunger for steady work, I have no complaints, no wishes for tweaking anything, no nothing. Just a sense of peace that I'm valuable to someone in the workplace and that I can have a good income doing what I enjoy and still work from home and still have time to carry on with my sewing and embroidery studio without being overwhelmed and exhausted.

And, the icing on this situation is a third company whom I have worked for in the past now has new accounts and contacted me Friday as well. After more than a year of silence building to this deep-set fear as well as a new perspective on my financial goals and willingness to work wherever I can in these middle-aged years of my life, three companies that I enjoyed working for and which let my services go due to the market and normal business cycles have come around with work in hand and are seemingly glad to use my services again. The steady income is still at least six weeks or more away from now, as one has to wait for billing cycles, etc. However, from dead silence to more than enough choices; I'm very thankful.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

a lttle piggy dropped by ...

... and left me with the flu!! Let me tell you, it is HORRIBLE! I have a very high tolerance for pain and discomfort, so when I say it is horrible, trust me. Every joint aches. Intestines ache. The inside of my elbows ache, my clavicles. And, it whacked me with a head cold and cough, too. Chills and shakes. My friends are docs and nurses, and, unless you're dehydrating, you just have to get through it (disclaimer: call your doctor). Alternate Tylenol and Advil, Sudafed, cough syrup, and lots of fluids. I'm such a cougher, I have to sleep in the easy chair.
I started a new assignment yesterday, which was when things began to go from bad to worse. I didn't want to call out today, as they don't know me well. I woke up at 6:00 AM, felt better, went to work until 3, and from the time I got into the car, all the way home, I went downhill again, and here I sit in the easy chair bundled up with the cat on my feet. I have so many more important things to do, but not tonight.
Before falling prey to this, I made paisley i-pod cozies and those darling owl pretties for your little one's hair or for your lapel. The owls are created on my embroidery machine, and one can put a pinback, ponytail holders, or hair clips on the back. Your choice!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The First Shark Bit It ....

... and the second one leaked out! After being in iron hell for months, I bought the Shark Pro Iron in August. 1500 Watts of hot, steamy joy. This deceiving beauty sliced through the wrinkles like soft butter on hot bread! Until Wednesday night. The Shark just shut down and died. I ran around plugging it into other outlets hoping that it wasn't so, but, alas, the Shark was dead. So, I took it back to Kohl's and traded it out for another one. Surely, it was a fluke.

Not so! Back at home, I plugged the new one in, heated it up, and got back to ironing out these patchwork camera strap cozy covers. At first, all was well, and then, dreaded thing, it started to leak out. Drops here and there, and then a full-fledged loss of control pouring out all over the sewing room floor! Now, I'm just MAD!

A Rowenta lives here now -- on trial, to be sure. This one with all its German- made glory and 1600 Watts of heat. We'll see. I'm skeptical and still pretty irritated about the whole thing and haven't turned it on yet. In this day and age, how hard is it to create a small appliance that stays heated and is sealed well enough to keep the water in and the steam blowing? Irons have been around for so long, it isn't rocket science, is it?

Meanwhile, I want to be young-ER and having babies again, so I can sew all these darling things for my children to wear! My son would have been quite the adventurer in this reversible earflap hat, and my daughter would be the cutest in everything appliqued and monogrammed! I had my same sewing skills 19+ years ago when we started our family and I did sew jumpers and john-johns and dresses and nursery decor, but all that was straight out of the fabric shop pattern books. All the dreaming I did over Hanna Andersson catalogs and shopping at Gymboree... I would be a very cool mom right now due to blogging and the awesome home equipment I have. However, "45" arrives in a couple of weeks, and I need progressive lenses ........