Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Merry Humblebrag Christmas to you!!

If Corey and I had not been so wrapped up in fantasy football and jewelry prep, respectively, the following
would have been our Christmas letter to you:

credit: corey and his cell phone

Seasons Greetings to our family, friends, neighbors, work colleagues we like, senators, president, 
visiting dignitaries and bearded milkman!

Oh how this holiday season crept up on us this year!  We Lucases like to stay busy throughout the year and that means sometimes it seems as we're looking down at a summer Saratoga racing form 
three months go by and it's time to roast that holiday ham!

This year Corey was promoted from technical recruiter at his company to owner.  Of course this came with a 500% increase in pay which finally gave us the opportunity to buy that seven bedroom house on the beach in Puerto Rico we've been eyeing for years.  Spring in "the Puerto" as us locals call it ;) is absolutely magical. 

He also picked up his hockey stick and laced up his skates for the first time in two decades for a little recreational fun in the Saratoga men's league.  The NHL got wind of his reemergence and signed him to a three-year deal with the Canadians!  Obviously, this is just a part-time job.  His real passion is for web-based system development.

credit: same celly

Stacie has landed her first QVC special for her felted wool jewelry to air during this Christmas season.  Actresses Angelina Jolie and Helen Mirren have even endorsed her natural alpaca line which is now selling so fast she has had to hire local teens 
to do most of her felting.  But although she has more work than time, she still manages to paint murals on 
several of the city's graffiti covered buildings.

Oliver joined the Navy SEALs and is planning his first secret mission later in January.

Best wishes to all, except those work colleagues we don't like, for a happy and healthy New Year!

The Lucases

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mostly non-reflection

Blech.....

....ugh.

Anyone else at a loss for words today?

Like you can't find a way to say how you feel about what happened in Connecticut without diving into thoughts and feelings that are so painful because to really realize there is pure evil so close to home you have to go to a dark place where no one should have to go, especially this close to one of the best celebrations of an eternal perfect life.

Kinda like that.

.....

So be safe, friends.  I'll see you in a little while.

:)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Just another crazy dog lady

I'm a dog person.

A weirdo dog person; one who stops strangers to pet the iddy-biddy long haired chihuahuas they're carrying deep down inside their coats even if it means invading some serious personal space.

And I would expect the same if I had somehow managed to strap my 80 pound Golden somewhere onto my person.

Which I cannot.

I have tried.

Also as a dog person I allow myself to become as tiny as possible when I sleep so that my poor aging Oliver has room to stretch out on the bed when we retire for the evening.  After a few minutes of wrestling for position and covers and then fighting off nose jabs to my face we end up like this:

Oh the things we do for our D-O-Gs. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Car accidents and colonoscopies, they go hand in hand

First I would like to say I did not realize how close we are to Christmas, not that this adds any additional stress, I just can't believe every single year it's like BAM.  Christmas is here.

Second, I got into a car accident last week and even though I'm fine I still want to talk about it.

And if we have time maybe we should start a dialogue on how I can transition better.  Mmmkay.

So this accident.  Yeah.  Last Tuesday I found myself hanging out on a telephone guidewire after someone turning left from the opposite lane didn't see me coming.  These things happen so fast. 

It wasn't a very complicated accident: there was a break in one lane of traffic and she tried to rush a turn into my lane.  I was right there so she hit me on my driver's side near my front wheel and pushed me right over the curb.  I was still going forward so I ended up on the guidewire.

Guidewires have a little more give than solid wood telephone poles; it was a soft landing.

We both were fine, I mean aside from our stomachs being lodged in our throats.

Those crazy nerves.

Our cars, however....no.  They were not fine.

Actually, I don't know what happened to her car.  She seemed to have some fender damage but I didn't stick around to chat about it.  I followed my car out on the tow truck.

It's funny how one second you can be driving along, singing your favorite Mariah Carey Christmas song, and then the next be sitting on the side of the road with your bumper clinging to life while you frantically dig through your glove compartment wondering why you didn't keep your registration and proof of insurance together so they'd be easier to find in the mess of fliers and napkins and receipts from your last four oil changes.

Fortunately, besides the obvious negative aspects of being in a car accident:
  • $6,000 in damages
  • horrible, horrible deductible to be paid six days before Christmas
  • slightly stiff neck
  • nervous that every car in the world is going to find a way to hit me

I have noticed a few positives:
  • surprise day off the next day!
  • Corey got my favorite pizza and two desserts!
  • all of the mechanisms on one of my front wheels will have to be completely replaced, which means there is a 50% chance the squeak I hear from up front when I make right turns will be gone!
  • I get new engine parts!
  • my rental car has new fancy technology that lets me lock, unlock, and start without taking the keys out of my purse!

The whole experience was a little traumatic, it was my first real accident (I don't include my sister backing into me in the driveway or my other sister's clueless co-worker bumping me and then trying to tell her dad it was my fault), but so far it hasn't been an entirely negative experience.

If this is how I respond to nearly totaling my car I wonder how I'll feel about colonoscopies....

Friday, December 7, 2012

All I need for Christmas are spatulas....and puppies

"Oh it's been, like, three years, maybe I should post again...."

A little dramatic, Stace. 

Please excuse, my mind is on other things.

Like how can I postpone Christmas a month.  Just one month, maybe two.  Three at the very most.  This year I just need more time.

None of my shopping is done.

None of my shopping has even been started.  So let's see what we can do about starting a campaign to prolong the Christmas season....yaaaaaay!

And in the spirit of giving, but mostly getting, here is my wish list to Santa.  With your help and that of about a million of your friends he will have two extra months to scrounge together a pretty decent load:

1. Puppies
Srsly, I put this is at the top of my list every year.  Someone will get the hint sooner or later.

2.  Fleece lined leggings
I'm cold.  Always.

3.  Spatulas
We have nothing with which to flip our pancakes.

4.  Purdue gear
A girl can never have enough memorabilia from the best school in. the. world.

5.  2013 Calendar
So I don't have to continue to use the Peru Central School calendar although it is helpful to know when it's taco salad day.

6.  iPhone
See this post on my smart phone dilemma

7.  Argyle dog sweater
I'm sick of my dog being so naked all the time. 

8.  Snowshoes
I like walking in nature when there is two feet of snow on the ground.

9.  Colored tights
I'm told this is a new thing to do.  I'd like to be with it but not too with it, so no fuchsia.  Teal is okay.

10.  More puppies
For real.  I would like. more. dogs.

...

I think that's a good place to start.  And if there happens to be enough room in the big guy's bag he can feel free to throw in an iPad or tablet of choice, I'm just sayin'.

But, since I don't really need anything I'll settle for a few spatulas, some sugar cookies in the shapes of stars and candy canes and quality family time.

You know I'm a sucker for family time.

...and cookies.

So get busy Santa.  You only have two months.

Three at the most.

Monday, December 3, 2012

You might love/hate this one too

Merry Christmastime everyone!

'Tis the season for lighting Yankee Candle balsam fir votives.

'Tis also the season for hanging live wreaths.

For eating candy canes and watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Both old and new versions, which I normally wouldn't say because I'm a stickler for keeping traditions exactly as they've always been but Jim Carrey's Grinch costume is just too adorable for words.

But I digress.

'Tis not the season, however, to have love/hate relationships.  It's a Scrooge-ish thing to do.

But I have to admit I am cultivating one.

Not one that eats away at my sooooooul, but love/hate feelings nonetheless.

A friend of mine turned me onto this blog by Katie months ago and I have been enamored by it ever since.

I can't exactly put my finger on what the blog is all about, it's just a smattering of pictures.

Really, really wonderful pictures.

Wonderfully clean, simple pictures that show just how awesome her little family is.

Awesome and perfectly tattooed.


credit

She wears pantyhose while decorating the Christmas tree for crying out loud.  This is adorable.  Do you know what I wore to decorate my tree?  $5 Reebok stretchy pants that I got at Value City when I was seventeen.  Oh, and a sweatshirt over the t-shirt I wore to bed the night before.  Goodness gracious.



And is this not the most relaxing place to take a siesta?  My photo of this scene would include rolling tumbledoghairs and a book on the history of pancakes.  There would also be cheese and cracker crumbs scattered throughout the rug.

Oh that rug, I could fall asleep just looking at it.

Now, when I call this a love/hate relationship I have with Katie and her blog, I don't in any way mean that I hate anything about her.  I love how her pictures inspire me to have a more simple life, and that having or doing less can be oh-so satisfying.




credit


Honestly, have you ever found so much relief in a pomegranate?

Sigh.

There really is no hate here, I should really label this a love/tears-hair-out-in-frustration relationship.  I get frustrated at how not-simple having a simple life can be.  My days are full of unfolded laundry, piles of wool and dog hair, sloppy pizza and cranky complainers. 

Of which I have no pictures, you're welcome.

So until I'm able to reduce all my cares in the world to finding the best way to arrange fall foliage I will just have to learn to be satisfied with trimming my tree while wondering when I washed my hair last and relaxing with a book on my favorite breakfast food as my neighbor blasts club tunes.

Because I'm sure even Katie had to deal with moments of anxiety//road rage//stinky feet//less-than-perfectness before finding her groove, too.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Before the pajamas come on I wear my big girl pants

So.....it's obvious what I do in those spare hours of my night just before I drift off into a Matlock or sometimes banana split induced slumber.

I make jewelry.

Sometimes I make homemade Christmas decorations.

But mostly, I make jewelry.

Do you have any idea what I do before I do what I really wanna do?

As in, what my big girl, daytime job is?

I don't talk about it much; it's just a job.  Nothing special like brain surgeon or professional cheerleader, but occasionally it has it's noteworthy moments.

Like today.

I work for a New York State Senator handling constituent issues.  If someone in the district has a problem with something me and a few others try to solve it.  Problems range from the genuine to ridiculous, but for the most part I leave with a sense of doing good by others.

I also leave and figuratively beat my head against a wall.

There's just something about being complained to every single day....

Usually, though, there's a case that comes around every other week or so that makes what I do worth it.  I've helped one girl get back on her feet after being left homeless, another I helped to avoid tens of thousands of dollars in agency fines on her business.

Today on the phone I came across a real gem that just might get me through the week:

"Thanks a lot for your help.  What's your name again?"

"Stacie."

"Casey?"

"Stacie."

"Tracy??"

"No, STACIE."

"Ooooh, Stacie.......I had a lover in high school named Stacie.  God was she hot."

".........."

Fantastic.  Now how long before pajamas and wool time??

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Give thanks!

Puppies
Chocolate
Family
Autumn
The smell of asphalt when it rains
Salvation
Long underwear
My talents
My abilities
My personality
Iced coffee
Oliver
Evidence of creation
Big birds
My job
Snow, lots and lots of snow
Technology, like DVR and seat warmers
Waking up today
Friends
Anti-wrinkle cream
America
Hot showers
Education
Success in business
Romantic comedies

My thanks and praise for all things big and small to God alone :)

Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Newsflash: smartphones are pretty handy




"You never know a good thing until it's gone."

Someone said this.

I know, a lot of people say this, but someone had to say it first.

And for a very good reason reason: it's true.

So, so true.

I'll get right to the point, I desperately need my smartphone back.  Like a dope I gave it up for a simple talk//text phone early this year.  I felt I was too attached to instant email//facebook//twitter//Youtube videos of dogs in shoes and people being startled by things jumping out of them.

Seriously, so funny.

I was constantly wondering "ohmigosh did she get back to my email??" or "ohmigosh did anyone like my photo??" or even "ohmigosh what could all of my twitter friends be doing right this very second!?"

Everything is always "ohmigosh!!!" in my head, by the way....and occasionally out of my head.

So there I would sit at my desk, on the couch, In. My. Sleep, wanting to check my phone for updates.  It was too much.  I felt disconnected to the world and what was going on around me.  Super cheesy, but I really was addicted and I don't like to be addicted to too many things at once.

It wasn't hard to give up my smartphone.  I still had access to a computer and the internet most times throughout the day.  I never had pressing emails that needed immediate attention and I could almost always wait to see that picture of your cat on facebook doing that thing in the thing, hilarious.

But every now and then I would venture out by myself and wouldn't you know it something mind blowing would happen.  Like I would get humongous pancakes.  Or Oliver would pee on a political sign with absolutely no urging by me I swear.  These are the moments I had to learn to paint mental pictures of on facebook or blogs or in emails to people who know I tell tedious stories and still love me the same.

And that's fine.  I got used to it.

But that, I think, is negatively impacting this business I'm trying to grow.

I'm not talking about how I'm suffering from not being able to post pictures of the pile of vomit outside my office with a caption of "ohmigosh grossest thing EV-ER."  By not being able to bring my friends and customers and potential customers into my world and my day I'm neglecting that relationship (however one-sided, which is ok by me, I can just keep talking and talking and talking and talk.....) and my business.

Heck, half of the reason I don't blog or facebook more often is because I'm so frustrated I don't have pictures of those random moments in the fabric store where I swear that print looks like wieners, and how can I just tell you about something like that??

I can't believe I just wrote wieners.  Does that make me PG-13?

And twitter?  Same frustration.  I mean, not with wien....indicators, but other random events I can't share as they happen.

**sigh**

I tried to take a step back from this technology bubble but I'm going to get left out.  My smartphone day is coming (back) soon and when I have that sweet, sweet gadget in my hands....

....Imma get me a big 'ol write off baby!!

Hecks yeah.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I work hard. For dog clothes.

You are going to be mildly impressed blown away by this post.

No, really.

I'm normally not too keen on wrapping up my weekends here, mostly because nothing happens besides the typical 30hr felting session//craft show//zombie movie marathon//remembering loved ones who have passed.  But this past weekend was just too much to not share.

Too. Much.

Day One: my very first auction.  I can't find the words...no I can find the words, I just can't arrange them into a sentence that conveys how exciting this was for me. 

Thank you bullets:
  • I love junk.
  • I love to repurpose junk.
  • I love working for my junk.
  • I love a good deal.
  • I love old stuff.
  • I love watching people.
  • I love imagining why anyone would want German woodcut figurines.
  • I love out-of-the-ordinary activities.
While driving home with my mom, my sister, our junk, and her 1860's drop leaf table she got for $17.50thankyouverymuch:

"Hi honey (this is my mom on the phone to my dad), we're just on our way home from an auction......Yeah, an auction.  Stacie dragged us to it......(to me)  Your father said that had you written all over it."

I may or may not have ended up with $13 in goods by way of a paddle-happy sister.  But in her defense she was sure I needed a gold framed oval mirror.

Also Day One: Mr. Oliver T. Lucas is now the proud owner of a brand new rain jacket!



He hates it, but we are hoping he'll grow to appreciate it on those days we would normally have to call off walks due to inclement weather (drizzle).

"Yay, Oliver has a rain jacket!"

"Yaaay....you do realize this means we have to walk him in the rain, right?"

"......oh."

One More Thing About Day One:  turkey sandwich. 

What?!  It was a great sandwich.

Day Two:  shopping and holiday coffee and nap and zombies. 

At the end of this day I had Christmas gift ideas, one shirt I don't need, another shirt I'll wear once this year, peppermint mocha in my belly, one hour of uninterrupted snuggle time with the dog, and my weekly fix of zombie apocalypse.

At The Very End of Day Two: banana split.

My current vice.  Don't judge.

...

Of course there was some work to be done.  Which I did.  Because those four necklaces, 13 baby headbands and acorn ornaments can't make themselves, am I right? or am I right?! or am I right?!?

And that brings us to Monday.

Aren't Mondays easier when you know there's an eatin' holiday coming up?

Is this just me?

Friday, November 16, 2012

What to expect when you're vending

If I had to sum up my latest craft show on the campus of Plattsburgh State in northeastern New York in just one Twitter post it would read:

Great time with the most creative and positive vendors; a variety of shoppers and so many of them; met many wonderful inspiring people that I can't wait to keep in contact with; and just the right mix of DMB and Alvin and the Chipmunks over the loudspeakers.

But then I would be 128 characters over the limit, and you know what they say....

...well, they say you can only use 140 characters, so to sum up the summary:

Plattsburgh....yay!

I don't tweet much.  It's probably better that way.

But I digress.

.....

Hello!



See my face here?  This is what we all look like after a full day of smiling.  All day, smiling.

"Hello!  How are YOU!?"

"HI! Good to SEE you!"

"Love that jacket, I just LOVE that jacket!!"

This is the world of vending.




It's easy to picture the excitement of it: a crowd of people swarming and openly admiring your work, the exhilaration of making a sale.  This is the feeling that keeps us all coming back for more; I mean, besides the actual income generated.  But what's money spent on a Chipotle rice bowl compared to the thrill of verbal affirmation....right?

Am I right??

But what about those times when the crowd is reduced to a slow trickle of shoppers?  When the thrill is gone and the unavoidable lull sets in?

The following is like those stories from moms to soon-to-be-moms about how much your feet are going to swell or where you might find bulging purple veins.  You know, the unpleasantries no one tells you before you get involved but forget after it's all over because "it's just so beautiful!"

This is what happens in....The Down Time:

You think about snacks.

It's overwhelming.  When is it ok to get your next helping of sausage and peppers and where is it going to come from.  Also, which kind of pie will it be followed by.

You realize your feet hurt.

Standing all day does a number on the tootsies.  You don't notice it when you're laughing and chatting with customers, but when you have a chance to think, you think about foot massages.

You try to talk yourself out of buying that.

That shirt you'll never wear at this booth, that glass bowl you'll never use at that booth, that sock bunny the dog will end up destroying at the booth over there.  You will not be successful.  But you will leave with most of your Christmas shopping for yourself done.

You mentally calculate your sales.

After every other sale.  Why not?  Was this show worth it? you'll ask yourself.  Or more importantly, have I made enough profit to get that glass bowl??

You sit down.

This feels so good toward the end of the day you start to wonder if you really need to stand up and greet your customers or if everyone is better off if you hide behind your displays and leave them to browse in peace.

You rearrange your display.

Several times.  What is working?  What isn't working?  What can I do so I have something to do?

You plan your tear down strategy.

"How do I get out of here and into pjs as quickly as possible?"  No matter what kind of day/weekend you had, toward the end you will not be able to stop thinking about how great that flannel pajama set will feel in a nap, and you will do as much tear-down prep as you can three hours before the end of the show.

...

But at the end of it all, when you're laying under the covers wrapped in flannel you smile to yourself as you try to remember when the deadline is for the next show and why in the world are you taking a nap when there's so much work to be done for it.

It's a beautiful thing.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

And the winner is....ME!



Well look at me.

I won a blogging award!

The Liebster Award, which is, uh, an award for those who excel in the art of, um, blogging.  Sensibly.

No, it's not. 

Well, it might be.

Natalie from The Cat Lady Sings nominated yours truly because I fit the criteria of 1) must be under 200 followers (check: I have four) and what I assume to be 2) because I really am part of the cool kids club.

Also, because we're soul sistas from the LBC.  Represent.  Except, if we were real sisters, she would be like the older prettier one who has all the boyfriends because she's the super volleyball star and doesn't say awkward things when nervous.  In other words, she's like a much better version of me.

Hmmm, and why is it you only have four followers....?

Anyway, with this award, as many of you may already know, comes a few stipulations: like offering up firstborns and running around my house in my underwear, but because it's a little chilly up here in the frozen tundra of upstate New York I'll settle for following the following:

You must thank the person who gave you this award.

Thank you, Natalie.  This is fun!

You must display the Liebster heart on your blog.

Check.  See above.

You should nominate 3 to 5 up-and-coming blogs (with less than 200 subscribers).

Sassin' Southern Style Erin is funny, people.  The witty kind of funny that only smart people can master, smart people who take chemistry classes on purpose.

Something Different This Way Comes April has adventures of the kid kind, and since I can now say I know these little animals, her stories take on a whole new life!

Married Filling Joint Kathryn's posts are all over the place with books and food and whatever pops into her head, which is just what my scattered brain needs.  Plus her husband is a band director, which allows me to relive my days as a marching trombonist.


Post 11 things about yourself.

1) My hair is pretty long, you wouldn't know it b/c I wear it up every single day.  2) My sisters and I don't look anything alike.  3) I have an addiction to nail polish.  4) My middle name is Jo.  5) I just realized my dream career is anything that doesn't require eight straight hours of work.  6) In other words, I need variety.  7) When I was younger I thought two men lived under my bed: one small brainy man and his big, brawny sidekick.  They had machine guns.  Every night I would run and jump onto my bed and I'd picture the little guy smacking the big guy for "missing her again!!"  8) I have a vivid imagination.  9) I'm hard on myself.  10) I'd like to live in a foreign country for a year.  11) My favorite TV show is anything science fiction.

Answer the questions the person giving the award has sent you.

Did you ever have a teacher who yelled at/embarrassed/totally ruined you for life? If so, tell the story.  My second semester design teacher in college would yell at me for not being prepared class.  Like I should have known I was going to have an idea that required black doll hair before going to class, for cryin' out loud.  She is part of the reason I changed my major.

What is your dream career?  Making stuff.  All kinds of stuff.  A variety, if you will.

Unicorn or Sasquatch for president? Sasquatch for so many reasons: he can physically beat the snot out of our enemies, all of them; he doesn't give a hoots patoot what you think of him; and I doubt he'll cave to the demands of special interest groups.

What is your most embarrassing habit? I tend to "check out" from time to time.  I have a blank stare that one friend told me was creepy.

If you could have one talent that you do not currently have, what would it be? Oh how I wish I could sing.  I mean, I do sing, but I think I'd like to be good at it.

Last meal on earth: describe in detail. I’m hungry.  Pulled pork nachos with jalapenos.  No details, I'm full.

If you could only bring three things on a deserted island, what would they be? A ship, a ship captain, and a book.  I'm not a big fan of being deserted anywhere.  At least without something to read.

Favorite guilty pleasure? RomComs.  Maid in Manhattan, I die.

What kind of car do you drive, and what do you think that says about you? Hyundai Tucson, it says this girl likes to drive a car that no one will ever notice.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I would be less thinky.  I over analyze every. single. thing. an. y. one. says.

Favorite Disney movie? The Little Mermaid, although those little swampy people still terrify me. 

Create 11 questions for the people you will be giving the award to.

 1) What did you want to be when you grew up?  2) Are you...that?  3) Favorite book and why?  4) If you could have any accent, what would it be?  5) What food can you just not stomach?  6) What is your favorite chore?  7) Least favorite chore?  8) What would you do with $10,000?  9) If you had an unlimited supply of empty toilet paper rolls, what would you do with them?  10) Favorite childhood memory?  11) Where do you want to be in 5 years?

Choose 11 people to award and send them the link to your post. Go to their page and tell them.

This feels redundant, so I'm going to skip it.  I hope that doesn't jeopardize my award....

....

Speaking of redundant, this was fun!  Enjoy your Wednesday everyone!

Wait, it's Thursday....enjoy that too.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The business of being scared

If you live out west, my apologies.

Over here in the Northeast we kinda hijacked all of your national news programs.

You know, with this little Hurricane Sandy business.

Trust me, we wish it didn't have to happen either.  But you know how much say we have in weather patterns....

A lot, if you believe the government is using jet trails to affect climate.

Let's pretend I didn't go there.

Luckily, where Corey and I live we didn't see much more than a little rain and at times some heavy wind.  So no limbs sticking out of car windows, flooded basements, or overturned grills.  Phew!

But our power did go out for five hours.  At night.

This was a major problem.


I'm afraid of the dark.

As in, if I have to potty in the middle of the night I run from the bathroom to the bedroom afterward.

The bathroom is five feet from my bedroom.  Sad.

On top of that, I am married to someone who is not able to sit still.

As in, when the power goes out he has to get in his car and drive around to see who else doesn't have power.

I don't mind so much when it's 5:30pm and I can still see my hand in front of my face.

At 7:30pm I mind.

It's dark at 7:30pm.  And there are just some areas a candle flame does not touch.  Like corners.  And closets.  And under tables.  So there I sat. In the apartment, by myself.  Paralyzed with fear at every creak, because our apartment creaks.  Paralyzed even further, if that's possible, when the dog started barking at the creaks. 

In the light, creaking is just creaking.  Old buildings settle, I get it.  But in the dark creaking is....

...something coming to get me!?  Something ghoulish and gross that has one desire in this world and that is to claw my eyeballs out and feed them to my dogyesIreallydobelievethisjunk.

On Corey's last trip out of the apartment to pick up our dinner I went with him.  It was safer to be in a car driving under and around large trees in heavy winds.  Definitely.

The rest of the story is uneventful.  Not like the beginning was a real page turner either.  Went to bed, woke up when the power came back on, cursed out loud that I lost an entire evening of work with the craft show just four days away.

Then I saw all the damage in NYC and New Jersey.  Yikes.

I'm sure some people there are afraid of the dark.

And raw sewage.

And cars floating into their living rooms.

Guess I had it easy.

.....

Send prayers to those who were really hit hard.  People have died fighting Sandy and that's much scarier than the dark!

Monday, October 22, 2012

My 70-year plan

I would call myself a grown up.

At least at 30 years of age I should possess some level of maturity in, well, all areas of life.

Like knowing I need a well balanced meal of meat, veggies, and milk shakes.

And watching scary movies at night is going to jack up my electric bill.

I keep the lights on to ward off serial killers and zombies, if you didn't follow.

And in the arena of what-do-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up I think I have finally narrowed down my selection.

Finally.

People, I would be very, very, very happy to make felted wool beads for the rest of my life.




I can't say that about too many things.  My attention span is the size of why does my office smells like cereal?

....

........

Where was I?

Yes, wool, my forever career.

But if felted wool beads were to become the most hated product on the planet I feel confident now that I don't need to be in some 9-5 desk job where I am connected to a phone and some cranky crankpot on the other end and that I can find some other way to create and make enough money to support my slight addiction to Essie nail polish.

And maybe help with our electric bills.

However, should I run dry on the creativity I always have my other career choice finalists to fall back on:

1.  Junior High art teacher

I actually went to college for this purpose.  Mouthy pre-teens are my forte, I find them hilarious.  However, after one semester with a very angry, small manly woman and another semester drawing an eyelash curler three hours each class for eight weeks I became a tad disenchanted.  I regret this decision often.

2.  Tour guide in Italy

While studying in Florence I found out one of our school's coordinators just picked up and left her home in SanFran to do her thang in Italy for an undetermined amount of time.  This greatly appeals to the hopeless romantic in me and I was actually trying to learn Italian when I met Corey just in case I worked up enough nerve.

3.  YMCA front desk worker

This is for a free membership.  Don't judge.

4.  Graphic designer

I would do this now if I knew how these blasted computers work.  But if I ever find the time to learn and a 12 year old to teach me, I would do freelance work for churches and non-profits.

5.  Food truck owner and operator

Specifically a breakfast food truck that serves cupcakes.  Breakfast cupcakes.  This whole food truck fad was made for people like me who can't be tied to one place for-ev-er.

...

See?  Grown ups also have Plan Bs.

But for the sake of 12 year olds, travelers, weight lifters, 12 year olds and people who like pancakes let's just cross our fingers that this wool thing is gonna stick.

Otherwise I'll never get this cereal smell to go away.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I work hard for the money

Hey-o!

Here I am.

Alive.  And well.

And not in an abandoned pit somewhere, thrown there by my crazy sister.

Because that's not real life.  It's All My Children, 1991.

Truth is, I've been pret-ty busy.

Time flies when you're felting your fingers to the bone for a two-day craft show in just two weeks.

Two weeks.  TWO.

Can you feel the urgency?  In just two weeks I have to make all the jewelry

Nope.  No.  I don't want to talk about it.

But I will show you my studio.  Because I think you're gonna like it.



I love it here.

I love it so much I've begun to fill it up so that it doesn't look like this anymore.



This is the clock I hit my head on every. single. time. I come up here.  Half the year it's set to the wrong time, the other half the year it's not working at all because the batteries died. 



I stole borrowed this lamp from my sister, Katie.  And then it broke.  Now I'm hoping she doesn't read this and remember that she wanted it back when she moved into her own house.



This is the little nook where I read every morning.  My favorite spot in the entire apartment.  It's also where I store my library book sale finds.  Also known as the books I will probably never read but will keep anyway because I only paid 50 cents for crying out loud.



I had high hopes of getting a nice futon for the occasional guest to sleep on, but now those hopes have turned to bigger purchases.

Like a house.



One of two easels.  You would think I was a painter, but you'd be wrong.  I just dabble.

Badly.


And then there's some junk.  Random things that just can't seem to find a home.



Whaddya know, more things without a home.

Months after I took these pictures I found a shelving unit by the side of the road.  Knowing how Corey feels about me picking up strange pieces of furniture I made sure to swipe it while he was gone.  Getting it up two flights of stairs by myself was a challenge and I do still strategically hide the candle wax damage but problem almost solved in the junk department!

Did you notice the humongous skylight?  This is pretty much the best room in the entire building.

My favorite.

But right now it's reminding me of all the work I have to do so this is where I call it quits to go browse pictures of celebrity pets.

:)

Friday, October 5, 2012

It's all fun and games

Well hello there.

Nice to see you.

If you're new here, welcome.

If you're old here......welcome.

What do you think of the digs?  My home sweet new blog home.  I've got the the pink with the banner and the stuff on the side.  It's much improved from my old place where there was just blue and writing, and I talked about my misadventures on the radio during colon cancer awareness month and how my husband thought pee came out of my uterus.

You might want to take my word for it.   We are in a much better place now.

Although I do still share my misadventures, just not those that involve public speaking on a massive scale as I have banned myself from all extemporaneous speaking opportunities.

Yes, here at SJL Original we get into the adventures of daily life with a little "what's that smell the dog carried in" and a dash of behind the scenes of my growing business.

What's the business, you ask?

I'm sorry, bidness?  Is that what the cool kids say?

Well, my bidness is makin' stuff.

Like with my hands, I'm a crafter.



And felted wool jewelry is my game.

Lightweight.

Bright, happy colors.

My dream job.

But there's a lot that happens behind the scenes to influence and inspire what I do.

So here I am using this space of the internet, this little iddy biddy blog to connect with you my friends, family, customers, future felters of America and to show you what life is like for this whimsical crafter.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Your life depends on THIS post. Srsly.

This is your lucky day.

No, really.  It is:

Reason number one:  I am about to clue you in on something you didn't even know you were missing.

Reason number two:  I am going to give you 10% off something you didn't even know you were missing.

Last month in my email inbox I had a message offering me 100 absolutely free business cards.  There was some cross-promoting going on between this business card company and Etsy, the e-marketplace where I sell my jewelry, and the only string attached was my cards had to include the Etsy logo.

Free business cards promoting Etsy where I also have a shopmmmmkay.

I hear what you're saying.  Business cards, schmidness cards, right?

But just hold on to your britches, these aren't your typical business cards.

They are Moo cards.

Say wha...?

Specifically they are Moo MiniCards.

Let's just say for a sec' you have a little business, some side project you're busy building that will soon take over the world.  You first need some interest.  Actually, you probably are gonna want a lot of interest.  These Moo minicards are nothing if not interesting.





The packaging is sturdy and cheeky.  I keep my little Moo box with me wherever I go.

....because I like cheeky.





The details.  Oh the details!



Moo MiniCards are squatty versions of a regular business card!  They're made from a strong card stock with a smooth finish that make them stand out from that average-Joe card you got from your electrician.

Bonus: use your own photos of your work.  People eat this stuff up, it's like a grown-up trading card.

I have a JTT Photography, I'll trade you for an SJL Original.

Ok, but not the one with the hot girl sitting on the couch pretending to work.

...so embarrassing.


Simple, simple, simple. 

But, of course you can opt for one of the hundreds of designed themes that give you color options and swirly patterns.

Me, I'm a simple gal.

Unless we're talking about my eating habits in restaurants.

But in my defense I don't see anything wrong with making local proprietors aware they have a customer who prefers her meals to be prepared using local ingredients most specifically free range poultry and grass fed beef on the rare occasion I choose to eat red meat.

But I digress.

Now it's time for you to scoot on over to www.moo.com to claim your 10% coupon off your first order.  And while you're there, check all the other ways you can use MiniCards.

(make sure you click on the link above...that's the only way you'll get the discount)

Tell them Stacie sent you.

I mean, you can just say that to your computer screen because it's the code in the link above that's going to do the telling.

.....

You're welcome and enjoy.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Dwayne Johnson in 2016!

Today is Monday.

I mean, I know it's actually Tuesday, but I was vacationing yesterday so that made Monday feel like Sunday which would make today Monday and tomorrow Tuesday.

Wait.  Now I'm confused.

Regardless of what day we woke up to, this day is the day I need to physically jump start my brain.  Reset its features.  Git 'er going.

Step One: coffee break first thing in the morning.

Check.

Step Two: three immediate potty breaks.

Check.

Step Three: meaningless blog post that takes us nowhere.

Check. 

Step Four: contemplate what life would be like if The Rock was president.

Check.

Step Five: eat.

Check.

I believe with that I'm ready to work!

...starting first thing tomorrow.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Spending my nights with serial killers and horny toads

I consider me 'n Corey city kids.

I grew up on the wild side of Long Beach, California.

Corey grew up in Air Force town, Plattsburgh, New York just south of Montreal.

And now we live in the city of Saratoga Springs.

In other words, we like it when light shines in our apartment all hours of the day and night.

Because serial killers live in the dark.  Everyone knows that.

But go just 10 miles east and you're in a whole other world where you can almost reach out and touch the dark and "traffic" is whichever toad dares to cross the road.

I was there last night.

And I lived to tell about it.

Corey and I have a friend who is a born and raised country girl, bless her heart.  Now she lives on an honest to goodness horse farm complete with, well, horses and horse accoutrements, and last night it was about time I visit her neck of the dark.

One thing, people, about this sprawling expanse of green is that your typical directions are useless.  There's no "go two blocks, turn where you see the Starbucks then go about half a mile and turn again at the other Starbucks and then BAM, you're at Macy's."

This is the only way I know to get to her house:

  • Head up (I don't know my directionals, please excuse) route such-and-such.
  • Keep going until you think you've gone too far.
  • Go further.
  • Turn onto P. Road.
  • Try not to vomit on the hills.
  • Veer left and then turn onto the street that comes out of nowhere.
  • Veer every which way because now streets are laid out according to the wandering paths of cats.
  • Turn onto the road that comes out of nowhere.
  • Also the road that smells like cow crap.
  • Turn at the end of that road.
  • Drive just long enough to wonder which serial killer is living in this very field you're driving past.
  • Turn where you don't think there is an actual road.
  • Reach your destination.
Obviously on the return trip you do the reverse and hope and pray she someday finds a cozy, well-lit home in the city.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

One month of wrinkles

We're friends, right?

I mean, if I were to share something intimate and private you could keep that between the two of us and, you know, not spread it to the farthest corners of the world.  Right?

I knew I liked you.

Anyway, there is something I've been wanting to get off my chest.

That's a funny expression.  To get something off one's chest.  Where did it come from?  I always picture a man with with lots of chest hair making grand motions of taking all his invisible cares and throwing them upward and outward.

So dramatic.

Not sure why the hairy chest.  That's weird.

But I digress.

My friend Jill says I digress too much.  There are all these little conversations I have with myself when I'm telling a story, sometimes I keep them to myself and sometimes I think you'll want to know about hairy chests.

Where was I?

Oh yes, secrets.  I wanted to tell you something you can't tell anyone, especially my mother-in-law.  With this I am sure she will disown me and never ever again buy me Vera Bradley purses.  Which could mean the end of my world.

So....here it goes:

Ihaven'tfoldedasinglepieceoflaundryinoveramonth!!

I know, I know, I know.  This is bad.  This is SO bad.  We have a literal mountain of laundry that towers over our bed.  Poor Corey can't find matching socks anymore; I'm not entirely sure he isn't wearing one black and one blue right now.

Or at least one spotted black sock and one striped black sock.  Still so sad.

But in my defense....it's the felting.  People enjoy draping themselves in felted wool beads.  I can't fault them for that, I can't.  And so I must sacrifice that precious laundry folding time to give the people what they want. 



If that makes me a terrible person who shall never own a beautiful Laptop Travel Tote in Portobello Road then so be it!  At least my conscience is clean!!



...just like our unfolded laundry.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Anniversaries are for buying sneakers and dog treats

My wedding anniversary was Tuesday.

Time goes by so fast.

It marked Mr. Lucas and my third go 'round on this crazy domestic train.  And apparently the gift for three years is Italian food.  Thanks for the risotto and tiramisu, Corey...it's what I always wanted!  I hope you enjoyed your slab of meat and cream puffs because I put a whole lotta thought into it.




When you've been together long enough, seven years total for us, I'm learning the every day interactions lose a little bit of that spark from the earlier times.  Conversations are less about the "I love yous" and more "make sure you clean the toilet before John and Liz come for dinner...they don't need to know we're tamale-intolerant!"  Which is why it's so important to set aside days every now and then to revisit what brought you together in the first place.

An anniversary is the easiest place to start.

The following is advice to you taken from my magical day; use what I've learned to create a little romance with your boo:
  1. Wake your mate up early.  Trust me, he's going to love smelling your morning breath through your whispered sweet nothings.  He may ask you if you swallowed trash the night before, but this is just his way of saying, "hey, you are special to me."
  2. Go to work.  All day.  Don't take the day off; absence makes the heart grow fonder.  It also makes you forget for a second that you can't plan a meeting for right after work so maybe keep a little sticky note nearby as a reminder.
  3. Don't talk on the phone either.  It's easier to not fight about whether you may or may not have forgotten to mention you will be going out of town for the weekend if you do not speak at all.
  4. When you are both reunited, go buy some running shoes.  For your partner.  In the pouring rain.  He probably won't use them for the next several weeks, but this really is the best possible time to do it.
  5. Next, drive to the pet store and buy your dog a bag of Greenies.  While it is still raining.
  6. Go home.  Put dry clothes on.  You're going to a fancy restaurant for dinner, for goodness sake.
  7. Try that place you used to love but haven't been to in awhile.  And take their only table in the bar.  Yes, it will be the size of your bathroom sink but that can only bring you both together.
  8. Splurge!  Have your one glass of wine for the month on this day!  And then giggle uncontrollably as you fight your significant other for the last piece of bread.
  9. Make conversation.  Talk politics, let him laugh at just how little you know about the state of our national debt for someone who works for a politician.  Just remember as he posts your nonsense on Facebook he's laughing with you.
  10. When you get home, put on some pjs, get ready for a night of snuggling to one of your shows, grumble about how you're too full to watch Chopped on Food Network and then drift into a Riesling induced fit of slumber full of dreams about having to share your man with the girl who lived next to you in the dorms your freshman year only to be reminded that, yep, he's all yours as he wakes you up with a snort and yanking of all the covers.
The End. 

Now, enjoy your own magic making, friends.  I'm so glad I could help.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

....and now it's Business Time. (serious face)

Here we are.  In September.

It came back again.

As it usually does.

And now is when it feels like the year should really get going.  Do you feel that?  Start the calendar over.  Today.  Hey....happy new year to YOU!

If you were to break it down:

Spring = party prep time.  "Honey, I really think we should book that thing at that place before everyone else books the thing, oh and do you want hot dogs in your mac 'n cheese?"

Summer = party time.  Camps and boats and barbecues and fireworks and trips to the emergency room and iced tea and bug bites and s'mores and burnt marshmallows and more trips to the emergency room.

Fall = business time.  Goals.  Financial reports.  Flow charts.  Where am I now versus where I should be...not even close?  Man that stinks. 

Winter = hibernation.  Three month siesta.  Sign your local "We the People for Sleeping Through the Winter" petition today.

I say no more of this April/May/June fiscal year end baloney.  That's business talk in party time; a time when discussion should be limited to how great stuff is when it's wrapped in bacon.

No, business talk should happen now.  In business time.  Are you liking how simple I'm making this?  And if we're implementing a new schedule I really should start us out with my own SJL Original goals.  SJL is going places, people!  But where?

Hmmm.




 
First things first, I need to get my activities organized.  Stacie needs herself one master list, on one master calendar that does not exist solely in her head.  She needs to figure out what she's blogging about and when.  What craft shows need to be applied for by which dates.  And for goodness sake when is meatloaf pizza night?!

We all have our creative fuel.

Second, I need to get my processes organized.  Ideas are free.  Wool is not.  Neither are silver plated toggles, dyed silk cording or stringing wire.  When do I buy what?  How much does this necklace cost versus that one?  Do I really have to pay sales tax?

The Man says I do.  Ppssshhhh.

And thirdly, if I survive number one and number two, I need to figure out where I want this SJL train to take me.  Am I going to Martha Stewart's house?  Maybe.  I think I'd like it there.  She has horses and dogs and stuff.  Or am I going to stay here.  In the capital region.  Felting as much as I can felt in one episode of Matlock but no more because I have other important projects to work on.




Of course, after I know where I'm going I'll have to start over and set goals to get me there.

*sigh* 

Goals are hard.  But you've probably heard the expression: if you fail to plan you make like banana bread and head out.

So....

I think I'm off to a good start, I already have one under my belt: 1A, refrain from speaking/writing in the third person never, ever again.

Score one for Stacie me!