Thursday, July 19, 2012

Where to start??

Oh my goodness, what a year this has been!  Started off calmly enough; I was actually painting Christmas ornaments in January so I didn't get caught short when craft season hits (I may never try to be that organized again!). On January 19th a fire started in Washoe Valley, which is just south of here.  The wind was blowing like a banshee that day, and the fire jumped the freeway and came roaring through the valley.  My daughter and I were home, and had about 12 minutes to pack up what we could, including the dogs and as many of the cats as we could catch (we caught four, two hid).  You don't get much when that happens.  From there, it was all just unfunny slapstick: lost the keys to my van, and had no spare (I have one now),so I had to get out my poor old beater 4x4; one of the dogs ran off into the smoke, and wouldn't come back when I called; the fire was visibly burning the trees on the side of the house, and curving around the front towards the van that I couldn't move; threw everything from the van into the Montero, and we fled, figuring the house was a goner, but still praying for a wall of angels to protect our house and van.  Dan made it back to the house right after we left and was able to catch my little old granny cat, and then he also had to leave.  The power had been shut off to avoid electrical fires sparking, and with the power went the water...we are on a well.  No power, no pump, no point in staying in the heat and horrible relentless smoke.

Thank God for an amazing friend who, even knowing she is severely allergic to cats and I was bringing four, still said, "Of course you should come here!"  Thank God for decisions made over the years to fire-proof our home as much as possible.  And thank God for the angels and the wall of protection they provided.  Our next door neighbors house burned to the ground, the evergreen trees about 10 feet from the side of our house are gone, we lost most of our fence and the shed on the back of the property that had all of our yard equipment in it, and the west wall of our house was significantly burned, BUT!!!...even though the fire actually broke through one of the windows and into the living room and climbed up the wall to the ceiling the fire department was on hand and able to put out the fire.  We lost some DVD's, the TV, the Wii, and a few other things, but all of our family pictures were fine, and the one cat that couldn't be found was safe (smelled like a smoked kitty, though!).  Dan found the missing dog at Animal Control (I have a feeling this dog is not unfamiliar with "doggie jail!!"), and everything was back to normal...yeah, not really. 

We were able to get back into the house to look things over on Saturday, and we went ahead and moved back home on Monday, living with the mess and the smell, and no fence to keep the dogs contained, and just considered ourselves blessed and fortunate and so very grateful to be in our home, dealing with the mess!  When we were told we would have to move out for a few months, I cried.  Never cried through all the rest of it, but that got me.  And that was before I knew how hard it was going to be to find a place to live that would accept 6 cats (which is kind of funny, considering my cats are very well's the dogs that are naughty!).  Thank God for Greg Stump, with a rental property out in Washoe Valley, who took a chance on us.  Nice little double-wide mobile home, close enough to the house to keep an eye on what was going on. 

All of our stuff was packed up and taken to Sparks to be de-smoked (and I do mean ALL...even dumb things like a used empty shipping box, a boring rock we use to prop open a door, an empty Ziploc bag).  All of my pretty fabrics gone, all my baking utensils, all the things we tend to take for granted until they aren't there anymore.  It took a little while, but it did finally occur to me that there were many people who had lost their things forever, not just for a few months.  Thank you again, God and angels, can't say that nearly enough!!!  And suddenly, after 24 years in the same house, we were looking at it completely empty...and boy, did it need PAINT!!!  So, while the construction company was doing (and, often, not doing) its thing, we gave the inside of our house a makeover!!  New paint, laminate flooring instead of old stained carpet, new wallpaper, cleaning and sealing the existing hardwood floors, new blinds on most of the windows, the list goes on.  Didn't quite get everything finished before we moved back in on June 7th, but the vast majority of what we wanted to do was finished.  Then, all of our stuff that went to Sparks came home...763 non-descript cardboard boxes, just sort of crammed into the approximate rooms they came out of.  I think out of all of it, once we knew the house was OK, this was the worst.  We didn't pack these boxes, and someone's idea of a description on the top of the box is "crafts."  Well, since I've had a craft business since 1989, and I've collected supplies for things that did and didn't work out, I'd just have to say, "DUH!"  Every box is an adventure...never quite sure what I'm going to find.  (My other favorite box description is "books."  I probably own 6000 {no joke} ranging from encyclopedias {2 sets} to Harlequin romances to fine art books and everything in between.)  I thought I would be able to get back in the house and get started crafting, but all I've been able to do is unpack boxes...and unpack boxes...and, oh yeah, unpack boxes.  (I've also found out that I am allergic to cardboard dust.  Double yay.)  I've regained my kitchen, most of the living room, my bedroom, and Cam's bedroom.  I've given away, thrown away and put away.  I've made a stab at my painting room, and Randi helped me with my (newer, bigger, and better...we rearranged!) craft room.  My sewing room is still buried, the basement probably won't be usable until next summer, and God forbid anything we need is out in the garage!

All of this is to explain why I've canceled all of my craft shows so far this year.  I will be doing Spooky Jingles at the end of September, and of course Magic of Santa right after Thanksgiving (and we will be thankful for much, this year!), but that will be all.  I do have so many fun new ideas to make (lots of time to think up crafts when you are just painting boring walls!!!), so now I need to be done with this update, and go get my sewing, craft and painting rooms usable!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

VSA Art Mart

Well, due to lack of product,  I will not be attending the VSA Art Mart.  So sorry to have this happen, but I have started working on some new patterns to be posted on, and I hope to be getting some more fun doodles put onto within a week or two.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that your Christmas is EVEN BETTER!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fall Shows

Here comes craft show season!!

I've added a Pumpkin Patch at Verdi Elementary School on October 9th, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.  I've thought about doing this show for a few years, and this was the year where it all came together!  I will have oodles of pumpkins, both Halloween and autumn theme, plus a few other "funsies" I'm working on!

This is an established event, complete with carnival games, craft exhibits, bounce houses, a rock climbing wall, bake sale, haunted house, and many other fall-themed activities.  Bring the whole family for a festive kick-off to autumn!!

Take I-80 West to Verdi, exit 5.  Drive through Verdi to Bridge St (about 1 mile).  Turn right on Bridge St.  The school is on the right, 250 Bridge St.

I'll be sending out a letter in the next week or two with my show schedule posted.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Halloween doodles

Yay!!  Finally listed my first item onto!!  It's a fun doodle sheet with four halloween characters and instructions to turn them into small ornaments or decorative buttons using Shrink Dinks plastic!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Art Fire

Put my first item for sale onto Art Fire today...yes, pumpkins of course!!  Took a little while to get my studio set up...they require quite a bit of info before you can list.  but now that's done, and I can list to my hearts content.  Should be getting several of my wall hanging kits on there within the next couple of days, and I'm working on a seriously cute scarecrow selling pumpkins which will be a finished item (and maybe a pattern!).  Stay tuned!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Flint Street Festival!!

This Saturday (July 16th) is the Flint Street Festival, benefitting VSA Arts of Nevada at the Lake Mansion in Reno (250 Court St.).  I will be participating, and primarily bringing decorative painted items...not just the usual glass, but I have picture frames, mini birdhouses, small shelves and SO MUCH MORE!! 

I'm very excited about this show!!  It's a first year event, with about 60 crafters and artists.  I have donated two large painted birdhouses mounted on the Lake Mansion balustrades for the silent auction.  I'll try to get pictures posted, but I'm not the most "tech-savvy" person in the world, so maybe not!!

If you don't have plans for Saturday (or maybe even if you do!!) come on down to the Flint Street Festival, join in the fun and help support the VSA of Nevada!!  The show runs from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, and parking is available on surrounding streets.

Hope to see you there!!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Something new!

Well, here's something new!  Just learning how to keep everyone updated on new patterns and products, shows and...well, really anything going on!!