Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Living with your mother

I don't care how old you get, living with your mother is a challenge! My mom is 88 years old. She's an amazing woman! She makes all the table linens for our website and is incredibly creative with them. They usually include a lot of hand work or little extra's that make them especially lovely!

That said, she's also hard to guard! She still mows - if I don't beat her to it, climbs on ladders to hang curtains - here's the roman blinds she made for our living room -

The lighting isn't perfect in the pic, but they are lined keep the living room well shaded from the outside sun.

I asked her if she wanted to list custom roman blinds on the website but she said "Heck no! These were hard enough!" lol!

She did a beautiful job, as she always does. Mom's been sewing in some capacity or another, since she was 5 years old. That's a lot of experience with a needle!

I came in the living room to see her on a ladder hanging these. Scared the crap out of me. Mom has a sinus condition that often has her balance a little off kilter so I was terrifed that she would topple off the rungs and break something! Like I said, she's hard to guard.

I spend a lot of time following behind her turning things off. Usually the water. She's not at all bad about the stove, but the water seems to be something she likes to leave on. Fortunately, we have good drains so nothing floods.

I also have to always look in the oven when she puts something in there. It isn't uncommon for her to leave the potholder or dishtowel in with the roast or rice pudding. mmmmmm .... terrycloth flavored cookies.... ack!

Mom will spend hours in her garden. We have this horrible weed that has no end to it growing in our yard. Nothing kills it. The roots speak Mandrin. She will crawl around her very large garden on her knees for hours trying to get this weed before it violates her veggies! Usually, I can keep track of her from the windows when she's out there. But I have to go out and make her come in to eat or convince her to take a break.

Mom has an incredible work ethic and always has had. Trouble is, she expects us all to get up at the butt crack of dawn and get to work before the first cup of coffee is done! She has a time clock of her own and she expects us all to punched in when she is. Savoring that cup of coffee is an unecessary luxury as is breakfast or Good Morning America.

Her failing hearing is hard my throat. After repeating louder and louder and answer to her questions I usually get a sharp retort, "You don't have to yell at me! Sorry I asked." Of course that leaves me not only with a raw throat but a crappy attitude.

I don't mind repeating some things for her nor do I mind her repeating some things over and over for me. I can always use the reminders. But it gets tiresome to remind her that she is 88!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Shower with a Centipede

This morning I took a shower with a centipede. Well, almost. I reached in behind the shower curtain, turned on the water to let the hot water come up, walked over to the towel cabinet and got out a washcloth. Then I stepped into the shower and prepared to start the process of shampooing my long hair. I happened to look down and saw I was sharing my shower with a centipede!

This did not make me happy! I quickly jumped out of the tub. Now the floor is soaking wet - long hair can hold a LOT of water! I reached under the sink looking for anything to zap this thing with. I laid my hands on The Works toilet cleaner bottle. What the heck? I thoroughly doused him and shut the curtain. After a jittery moment I looked back in and he was not moving, just floating a little bit in the running water. He was a lot lighter in color too. A wad of toilet paper and a flush later and he was gone.

Knowing that I have saved myself a possible ugly bite did not make me feel better about killing him that way. Nor did knowing he was dead and gone keep me from looking down at my feet almost constantly! I managed to get soap and shampoo in my eyes about four times from being on the lookout for another one. ouch!

Here's what the thing looked like:

I couldn't get the picture to load. Blogger gives me a lot of trouble with that.

I hope the rest of you have a better start to your day!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Rake is a Lousy Date

I had an early date with Roy the Rake today. We also hung out with Sherm the Shovel, Peter the Pitchfork and that hideous T. Tiller! After unearthing tons of rocks and huge slabs of 1940 concrete, these tools had the nerve to lean back on the fence and leave me to find my own way back to the house!

I am so tired of this wanna be garden! I may never eat another tomatoe just on principal.

My hands are so worn out I won't be handling a needle for beading for the next two days. This keyboard is enough trouble.

I am beginning to think we should have bought a condo or something..... arghhhh!

We do love this grand old lady though. Now if only she'd 've come with a garden plot already plowed!

Now get this.... my mother is 88 years old. She is out there digging and raking and planting flowers with us. She still mows the yard with her self propelled lawn mower my brother bought her last year. She can outlast us on our best day of working! We are thinking of signing her up for Survivor.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Ventures

I am doing a craft show Friday. I have the beaded glassware all safely wrapped and packed and ready to go! The table linens are also carefully folded and in their protective, clear bags all set to transport. The tables are wiped down. My super cool toolbox that I use for money, and all kinds of extra stuff is stocked and ready too. So why am I not ready?????? oh that all important low priced draw item!

I thought I could jump on that polymer clay wagon and make stuff! Ha! I had no idea how hard it was! Yes, you poly artisans have my total respect! I did manage to make a little pudgy pigeon that turned out pretty cute. I put a hole in some of them for beads and others - at my sister's suggestion, I left whole. But I struggle with each and every one of them! I am soooo not an artist. My sister is though. I tried to get her to mold me some things but she was too busy and wouldn't.

Thankfully, it is raining today and I am getting a break from Roy the Rake and Sherm the Shovel. So today it will be the tedious struggle to create more pudgy pigeons. I think I will try to make one like our African Grey Parrot, Mr. Boo.

Please visit our website to see our beaded glassware and table linens. Our beaded stemware often coordinates with our table linens for a really lovely table display. You can also custom order colors in any of our stemware for yourself!


Or, if you prefer to purchase on Etsy...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rainy Days!

You just gotta love rainy days! For one thing, it gets me out of the yard work! Roy, the rake, and I have really been having trouble getting along. I tried having some one on one time with Sherman the Shovel but we didn't get along much better and Troy the Tiller and I didn't get along well at all. Maybe that garden will be ready to plant next year!
I did manage to get some beaded glasses done. There's a craft show coming up on Friday that I am participating in so maybe they'll sell before I have to take pictures of them. I hope so. Pictures and I don't get along much better that Roy and I do.

See what I mean? These glasses are soooooo pretty but I can't get the pics to look good enough. I have tried every tip I've been given too! Well, I guess I just need to practice more.
In the meantime, I'm going to use what I have but perhaps I can compliment the better by using other's pics!
So if you have some green and white, email me at triplewillow@mchsi.com and I'll post your pic and do some cross promoting!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Finally they are done!

The electricians are finally done! We had so much trouble communicating with the guy assigned to this job! The boss came over and got it all straightened out and they finally finished the job. This house is wonderful but it has sure been a lot of work.

Today, I get to clean up the mess (it wan't bad, they cleaned up after themselves for the most part) and put furniture back in place.

Mr.Boo managed to enterain everyone yesterday. He yelled "In the dark!" when the lights went out, told Elvis to "shut up and lay down", told Tucker he was a "tupid dawg", meowed at the cat, cleared his throat excessively (very gross), belched (also very gross) and generally kept the electricians laughing at him. He was a mild destraction but his anitcs defrayed the tension in the house a great deal! You go Boo!

Here's a pic of Mr Boo being a brat. Notice the ruffling of the feathers and the upright position of the head. Usually this is followed by a swinging of the head, stretch of the wings, a leg flys up in a high five (well, high three really) and then that is all accompanied by a rude sound or statement.
Glassware is on hold this morning. Mom finished the roman blinds. I have to hang them today in addition to putting the furniture back and running the vacuum. Ack! I have to get off of here and get to it!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Eagles are Leaving

It's that time of the year! I love watching spring struggling to come in but it also means that we lose the eagles. I live in an area that has two rivers, the Mississppi and the Rock. Every winter the eagles come here to live and fish in the open waters. You can't get near the Mississippi without seeing an eagle soaring in the air. fishing in the water, sitting on an ice floe or at the very least, roosting in a tree.This is a common site while crossing the bridge between Iowa and Illinois in the Quad Cities. I always feel so fortunate to have them in my backyard all winter. They are so impressive to watch, especially when they fish! And I love to listen to them call. They have a heart breaking call.

Speaking of birds, Mr. Boo fell of his perch again today. It happens sometimes. Don't worry, he's not sick. He just gets his attention fixed on something and loses his grip. This morning he was playing with a hanging toy. He calmly told himself,

"It's o.k. Boo."

So I turned and said to him,

"Did you fall again Boo?"

and he said,

"Shut up"

Sometimes I just hate that bird's intelligence.

I am still trying to get pictures right. It's the lighting again. I did redo them and edited them on the Etsy store. At least the colors are true even though they do not have that lovely white background I want. Clear glass is extremely hard to photograph! I think this is better though don't you?
Not a very good example. I loaded it in the wrong size. This Blogger isn't exactly easy to figure out either! They always load at the top and then I have to drag them down. Kinda messes with the spontaniety of blogging doesn't it?

I also can't figure out how to get pics on the side bars. I love the green spaces but I want to feature other crafters and artists. Until I figure that out.... well they have to wait. I hate that.

Any clues out there?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Still Waiting

Here it is, around 7 in the morning, I am yet again, waiting for the electricians to show up. This is the fourth time I have waited for them to show up at the scheduled time of 7 AM. We are participating in a city program for the rehabilitation and revamping of old homes such as ours. There are restrictions placed upon the vendors you can use. If it weren't for that.... oh, I'd so be in the yellow pages looking for a new contractor!

I may give this guy a piece of my mind, but I am not sure he has a place to put it!

We got the new furniture (the damaged pieces) in and here's a pic of the style. You totally have to disregard the mess.... we were moving in the antique dining set too and I just had to get the pic anyway. That little coffee table in front of it is also leather topped. We love our antiques!
I haven't been able to work on glassware for things to be done in the house. We decided that the house had to have Roman blinds (shades) to maintain as much as possible of the historically correct furnishings. After shopping for them, our ridiculously high windows required an equally ridiculously high price for custom made blinds. They just don't factory produce window shades that are over 70" tall.
After looking at them carefully and searching for free patterns on the internet, we decided we could make our own. We decided that we liked the colors in our old curtains so we chose to make those into the blinds. We then chose the tabbed ones we didn't like as much to be the backs. We have worked an worked on these things to get them right. We still don't have them quite done but we did work out the pattern and today we hang them!
Mr Boo is in a rut for opera-like singing. Wo wo wo-o -o -o -o! Yes, it sounds like woe.... except the end is sung in an opera style. Cute as heck until you hear it about 15 times in a row.
Speaking of Mr. Boo, he's ready for his food. I had better get at it. I am pretty sure he's no better at waiting than I am.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Weekend Flew!

Wow! The weekend flew by this time! I guess it always does but this one really went out the window. Anyone that knows anything about me, knows that I do not like to go shopping. Except on the internet and I have been doing that for years. But my feet simply do not like to walk around on concrete floors looking at stuff. The only thing worse than shopping for me, is shopping without money. There really ARE worse things than dying.

This weekend we found an antique dining room table, chairs and ottoman for our lovely old house. I had planned to work on photos again but that plan got changed for me. I had also planned to work on them again today. Again that plan got changed for me. I have to pick up the set today. We could have had it delivered but the $75.oo delivery fee was a bit steep to go six miles. Besides, the dogs bite and they are a pain to get outside out of the way, then lay down rugs for the guys to walk on so they don't damage our antique, hard wood floors... and then there's Boo. Strangers scare him and when they are carrying large objects, they really scare him.

I worked on photos. Sadly, they really aren't much better than the ones I had. Some, but not much. They are more in focus and the colors are true, but the lighting still sucks. I have taken every tip and instructions to be found and I still can't get these things quite right. Except on cloudy days, outside. Then they seem to be perfect. Here's what I ended up with.

So it's back to the photo shoot operation again for me. sheeeeeesh! It's too bad too. These glasses are simply lovely and deserve a better respresentation than I am giving them!

Fortunately, sales in the wine stores are doing pretty well. I can't seem to give them enough of them to stock or to place orders in. It takes too long to do them, then I try to photgraph them, and then I deliver them. By the time I have that done, the others are already sold out! I guess I could have worse problems!

Time to go pick up the new table set.

Friday, March 6, 2009

New Pictures

Today I have to start on taking my new pictures. After I realized that most of my pictures for the website and everywhere else where too light, I tried to re-edit them. That simply didn't work. So today, the weather is fine and I am going outside to get them started. I really prefer the outdoor ones. The light is better, I don't get the glare and reflections of myself in the glasses when I am taking them in the shade or on a cloudy day. Maybe the new pictures will finally give me the jumpstart I need for new orders.
This is our much loved historical home. It is a 1904 Italianate. We love the Italianate design with the flat topped widow's walk and hip roof designs. We are planning on looking under the siding this spring to see if we have eyebrows above the original windows.

We only got part of our furniture. The loveseats came in damaged so they only delivered the chair. Nice for mom since she sits in the chair. Nice enough for sister, she has a recliner she loves. Not so nice for me, I sit on the loveseat in the bay windows. We gave away our living room set the night before delivery was supposed to happen. So now, I am sitting in a very uncomfortable, antique, wing back chair until Saturday. This is not conducive to working. ugh!

I haven't yet finished the Hummingbird crystal wine glasses. Since one of them was broken, I have rethought the whole color scheme. I think the next pair will be red on green. That way they can be presented as a four set or sold as separate pairs.

I'll get some really nice pics of these later when I am ready to list them. I think I'll list them on Etsy for a little while and see what happens. I don't have duplicates of these so I can't list them on Etsy and on our website http://www.triplewillowgiftgallery.com

Off to go take pictures!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New Furniture

Today we get our new furniture as well as the start of new electricity. We have a historical house with a lovely, big, brand spanking new, breaker panel. Funny thing though, only the kitchen, two baths and laundry room were hooked up to it! The majority of the house is still running off of an old knob and tube system! yikes! So, we are having the house re-wired to bring it into the current century and appropriate standards of the day.

The furniture we chose is a wonderful old style set in chocolate brown leather with brass finish nail heads. We just loved the look of it for our old house. We chose two loveseats and a chair instead of the traditional couch plus set. I can hardly wait to get it situated and take pictures of it!
While moving the old set out yesterday, (we gave it to a woman with three kids that needed a set) we managed to break one of my new hummingbird crystal wine glasses. I wanted to cry! So instead of three pairs, I will now how two pairs and a spare. They are turning out just lovely.

Mr. Boo is still making us laugh. He's still trying to say swear words he learned from his sitter while we were away. He can't quite get them right. We are hoping it goes away when he doesn't hear them anymore.

We had to laugh at Tucker too. He's afraid of the dark. Poor dog. That has to be the ultimate dog humiliation. Last night, he had to go out sooooo bad! Elvis did not have to go out. We tried to get Tucker to go out but he wouldn't leave the porch without Elvis. He kept dashing back inside to get Elvis but all he got for his trouble was a nasty growl and bark. Finally, sister had to step out with him where he could see her so the poor thing could go hike a leg! Who ever heard of a dog being afraid of the dark?! *sigh*

I have got to get busy on this glassware. I am getting low on completed inventory! It seems like the things I have been making are just duplicates of what I have already completed! That's nice for sales but it totally stagnates my creativeness!

I am hoping to feature some other crafters and artists here soon. If you read this and want to be one, just let me know! triplewillow@mchsi.com

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The First Day

Trying to get this set up. I am not sure what I am doing, it's a little confusing to get it all started! But here we go!
If you don't want to read this, then just go to our website and look around instead!

As always, I am up early to open the gates to let Sister out so she can go to work in the big, bad world. And as always, Elvis is upstairs barking his fool head off at every squirrel that might be in a tree - a block away! Mr. Boo, the parrot, is being quiet - he's not awake yet, thank goodness. Morning is his prolific talk time.

I have been working on new glasses. I purchased these lovely Avon lead crystal glasses that have been frosted with hummingbirds. I had the idea that I would bead them in "hummingbird colors". Did you KNOW how many colors hummingbirds come in?! As is turns out, that's a good thing. I have six of these lovely, lead crystal, wine goblets and I will do two of each in a different jeweled color.

I also decided to bead them a bit differently than my normal curve to curve fashion. This set will only have three quarters of the stem beaded. As it turns out, they are really lovely. I'll have a couple of pictures of them in a few days.

I did finish the black and white champagne flutes. They turned out quite nice! I will do more of those in a different design. Black and white has become so popular again! The black and white balls, "baachinalia's" I think they are called and black and white weddings. Although I can't imagine not having an accent color to highlight with, I know that the black and white weddings are really pretty.

I am going to make a few more variations of these black and white champagne flutes soon. I already have the black and white wine glasses on the website. Here's the link in case someone doesn't know it. http://www.triplewillowgiftgallery.com/ Look in Browse and choose Beaded Glassware.

Here's the link to the glasses: http://triplewillowgiftgallery.com/Wine_Glasses_Tuxedo.html

There's a sweet table runner that matches these, I'll be getting it listed soon too.

One of the things I'd like to do with this blog site is to help promote other's work too. So if you have a website or store site hosted elswhere, (Etsy, Designs to Love or whatever) let me know and I'll get on it! I hope to start that next week.

Please don't ask me to feature you in my blog if you have items like mine (glassware that is). I could hardly be considered intelligent if I hosted a direct competitor! There are a few others out there that bead on glassware (stemware) but I have been doing this for years (over 15 years) and I have worked on a method and technique that works well, and lasts a long, long time even with careless handling, because of the combined bead weaving techniques that I use.

But all other websites and content will be considered and welcome! Drop me an email with your site's addy! triplewillow@mchsi.com