Thursday, January 7, 2016

Happy New Year!!

And Christmas just continues on, here in Southeastern Wisconsin we finally got some measureable snow... our first real storm this year was the Monday after Christmas.  Miss A could hardly wait to get out into it... here's the happiest person in Wisconsin on December 27, 2015:
And here's the reality of Wisconsin on January 7, 2016:
The snow is already gray in places and black in others!  Ugh!  Winter...
Normally when I think of Christmas gifts my mind goes right to kids.  The years before the grands came, the holiday was kind of boring for DH and me.  The challenge was always what kind of gift to give my adult kids or the hubster that would enliven an otherwise quiet celebration. 
And gifts from the office?  Ha ha!  Either non-existant, or odd.  One year we did a Secret Santa exchange, and my SS turned out to be the creepy guy who was later discovered to be a stalker to some of the younger ladies -- but that's a whole other story!  And my previous boss used to show up with a box of Frango mints. 
Don't get me wrong, I love Frango mints, but seriously?  For a year's worth of awesome service??  And EVERY SINGLE YEAR??  No kidding, I worked for the guy for 17 years and every year it was the SAME THING...  No imagination I guess.  Or maybe he was Ebeneezer's descendent.  :-(
This year I got some nice Christmas presents that just keep on giving.  My current boss (or more precisely ONE of my current bosses) gave me a BIG Amazon gift card.  Big enough that there's still some left after several purchases!  Plus he sent me a lovely flower arrangement in Mid-December...
I got some books that I've been lusting after -- Sue Grafton's latest, called X, the new Anne Perry William Monk novel, and several used books including the Anne Perry Thomas Pitt book I missed when I read the series out of sequence!

I got a kids learn to crochet book because Miss A wants to learn that.  And I picked up books by Sara Paretsky and Reed Farrell Coleman to add to the pile.  But my favorite is the latest Louise Penny Inspector Gamache novel, The Nature of the Beast.

Additional finds (not from Amazon) included two Bonnie Hunter books and the compilation of the first ten 100 Blocks magazines, made into one massively heavy volume called, interestingly enough, 1,000 Blocks.  As in quilt blocks.  I had missed a couple of the volumes so I got the whole magilla now:

Last but not least, I got a GC for Joann's and with free shipping during the new years' sales, I got myself a Sizzix cutter!  I'm still reading up on how to use this and watching copious YouTube videos from the company but it looks like fun.   


I'll let you know if the fun continues!!
Craft on... Read on... and Happy New Year... 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

You Can Get Your Heart Broken, or Maybe Bent a Bit

I have posted about my girlfriends many times.  I think I'm a friendly, generous person most of the time.  I try to be a loyal friend, and I value those friends who return the sentiment.  My true friends are my treasures.  YOU know who you are...
Which is why the thing as it transpired hurt.

A while back a former coworker and I discovered mutual interests.  She was a tentative sewist and wanted help.  She asked for help and I said sure.  Why not?  Shared interests create bonds and it seemed natural.

She made jewelry too.  She wanted to sell her handiwork and was not having much luck doing it on consignment.  I was doing craft fairs with my doll clothes.  We decided that we'd go into a couple of craft fairs because we could split the cost and share a booth.

She saw that I was selling things and she was not.  She abandoned her beads and took up doll clothes, except that she wasn't experienced with the actual sewing of the actual doll clothes.  She asked me to help her.  Of course my 'no' is broken...  I helped.  She learned, I was pleased!

We came up with a plan to split the work, and coordinate our items to better market them together. 

She said you make this, I'll make that. I made my 'this', she made 'thises' too.  She didn't stick to the plan.  <sigh>  OK, let's revise the plan - we need to have things that go together.  How can I sell 'thises' without 'thats'?

She said no, no, I get it, I'll stick to the plan.  But she made a whole lot of things we never planned and didn't do the stuff we did.  She barreled ahead and the plan was left in the rear view mirror.

She got pretty aggressive pushing her own stuff and sort of half way discouraging customers from looking at mine.  When I called her on it, she actually suggested that we could go into separate craft fairs.  AND she'd take the one I had originally done so well at.  Then she realized what she'd said and apologized. 

I felt a bit betrayed.  I understand competition, but we were supposed to be partners.  I didn't like how it made me feel, thinking that she was plotting on how to beat me at every turn.  I tried to be big about it.  Mostly I grumbled to my hubby... who was SO sympathetic.  Not!

We did one last craft fair together because we committed to it.  Then I started looking for other avenues to sell my stuff.  She did one of those free list sites.  I went the doll store route.

In the fall I heard from someone that she was continuing the craft fairs alone.   Evidently not selling up to expectations either.

I am not sorry I shared my knowledge because one of my joys is helping people learn to love sewing.  But it doesn't alter the facts and it still hurts a little.  Will I stop helping people? No.  But will I throw myself all in again?  Maybe not so much.

After the doll store fiasco I considered going back to that first craft fair, because there was still time.  But I found out she'd doing that fair, with DOLL CLOTHES.

I saw her recently.  She asked about my sewing and she said "Too bad about the store. I think I'm going to sell out all my doll clothes and go back to what I was originally doing."

Huh. Oh, and you're welcome.