Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ten Years is a Very Long Time.

This image is of a large quilted banner that the staff of St Theresa Textile Trove made so many years ago. Each of us pulled a letter (or a few) at a staff dinner at Benihana in Cincinnati, and made our letters independent of everyone else. I like the "ransom letter" effect.

The store has been in business since 1994. I've worked there since January 2000. It's going to close for good in January 2010. I have managed the store for about 5 years.

Probably the main thing I would say on a personal level about the Trove is the intense education I have gotten from it. Not only have I learned a boatload of information about international and domestic textiles, beads, buttons and what to do with them, but also creative problem solving, accounting, computer skills, customer relations (because we do forge relationships with our customers), merchandising, and the list goes on. I hope that any future potential employers will look at that and consider hiring me...because I will need a job after January. I will dearly miss so many of the customers who have dropped in during the years. I know I will run into many of them in Cincinnati from time to time as I continue to vend at shows and teach beadmaking classes.

I know that we will receive many sad emails and calls about our closing. But let me assure you, Becky and I are feeling much relief. She has really put her entire livelihood on the line to keep the store open. As I like to say, "Love doesn't pay the bills." If it did, we'd have franchises all over the country. The store has been on virtual life support for a very long time, and that's not a healthy way to continue doing business. We are not going to dwell on sadness for what is lost....rather we will look forward to the adventures that God/the Universe will have in store for us.

Ovenfried Beads will remain alive and well through and past this transition. St Theresa Textile Trove was my career, but Ovenfried Beads will hopefully step up a bit in the queue.

If there is anything that can be learned from all sides of this situation, it's this:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What does your tree look like?

A few days ago I went to the laundromat to clean my clothes, and while the wash cycle was going, I took a walk at Stanberry Park in Cincinnati. Colorful fall leaves and photographs were my main treasures. The photos above are from a huge tree that has been carved through the decades. I didn't notice any obviously new carvings, but one thing that was so obvious was the age of the carvings. About 10 feet high, old lovers' initials were stretched and spread out. The bark continued to grow, and the lines filled in. Almost the whole circumference of the trunk is covered in scars. If you have a chance to check it out, I recommend it.

The photos of the carvings inspire me to think about what kind of scars or carvings there are in my own personal spiritual tree. What events, relationships, dates, times and places have left a permanant mark on my own history? How deep are they carved, and how legible are they? Equally important...what kind of tree is it? Trees are so symbolic in so many way, and the answers are completely subjective.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Weight Loss Update

Since I started talking about my weight loss a few months ago, I haven't been very good at keeping up with it. In a way that's probably pretty good, because I certainly don't see the point in blogging about losing a pound. I noticed that my last post was August 21, when I was 16-18 pounds lighter. Well as of today, it's 30 pounds. My weight is hovering around the 200 mark, give or take 3 or 4 pounds depending on what time of day it is and if I'm nekkid or not when I weigh myself.

My weekends tend to be more relaxed as far as diet is concerned, but I do work out just about every day. Yesterday I completed Week 4 Day 2 in the Couch-to-5K program for new runners. In the beginning of this program I thought "oh my GAWD I have to run for 90 seconds straight?". Now I'm running a 3 and 5 minute run, twice in a workout. Later this week it will be all 5 minute segments, then 5 and 8 minute segments, then a full 20 minutes nonstop.

I need to get back on the South Beach wagon if I want to speed up this weight loss. I've become too lazy, though I still eat much healthier than I used to. Tomorrow is my visit to Hoxworth Blood Center for my 8 week bloodletting, so I'll get to weigh myself on a proper doctors' scale AND get my cholesterol screening. I'm pretty pumped about that!

No Before/After pics as of yet, so I'll leave you with this photo of a little collection of items I've found on the riverbank.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Shameless Plugs

The 2010 Polymer Clay Calendar by Marjorie Oxman is now available for purchase! I'm Miss September. Rather, my Stacker Beads are Miss September. You can order it here if you want a copy, and they are 25% off through October 11. Use the promocode "FALLFOTO" to get the discount! I ordered mine this morning!

December 5 is the Jingle Bell Run/Walk in Cincinnati. It's a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation, but even more importantly, I'll be running a real race for the first time in my life! I've been training for the past month, and hope to be able to do the run comfortably by the day of the race. So far so good! Anyway, if you feel inclined to sponsor me and support Arthritis Foundation, click here to see my personal race page. You can have your name flow down a continuous contribution ticker! I will post my results in this blog. The race is still 2 months away, but that's about how much time I'll need to be ready!

One more thing.........If I haven't already mentioned here in my blog (and I obviously haven't checked), I enhanced my Stacker tutorial page with text to help folks with tips, tricks and hints. I hope the new page will help folks learn how to make them! Initially I wanted to avoid too much text, because automatic translations across the oceans of the web could really do a botched job of it. However, maybe not.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fall Directions

For the last couple of months I have pretty much neglected my Flickr page and blog. I guess I just don't "feel" the internet thing like I used to. After being on Facebook for a couple years, I kicked myself off after experiencing almost drug-like effects. My friends on there were for the most part pretty darn interesting, and I was always wanting to see what they have to say. Long story short, I want to spend more time doing life than talking about life. Since I ditched FB I am creating more things and being more creative.

John and I have been spending a lot of time in my attic, getting it ready for art-making season. I make art all year round, but the art in my attic is predominantly focused on my found objects/trash that I collect on the streets and the riverbank. One evening I gathered all of my finds and organized them. My attic is a wonderful, dark, inspiring place. Even though I can hear the city streets outside, I cannot see them, so it's almost like a protective coccoon. The photo above features some river finds on a square board. It's my "temporary art" board where I do simple quick meditations of arrangements of the items. This one shows a mountain landscape, with a moon, a second planet, a brown cloud and a rocket.

Yesterday I compulsively started a new bed quilt. My second one, about 3 years after completing my current one. It's turning out exactly how I imagined it would. I'm taking 9"x9" squares of my very favorite organic-y, cellular, biological-looking images. Some of them remind me of patterns one would see through the lens of a microscope, while others may mimic leaf vein patterns. Also, I am using fabrics that I swore I'd never really use, because they were perfect the way they were. Initially I expected to feel uncomfortable cutting these whole fat quarters, yard cuts and multi-yard cuts for a square I can never replace. On the contrary...I felt relief, like by using it, I'm setting it free.

This photo on the right is my cat Sweetie walking on the newly ironed pieces. Like the typical cat of a fairy tale, she tried to pry a pin out of two layers of fabric. Then she nestled in a pile of folds she made from it.

At any rate, I finished this much of it in two nights. Last night I cut about 65 squares, and tonight I cut the black strips and sewed two rows together. It will be roughly queen size. There will be either 96 or 104 squares in all. I think.

I'll try to post blogs more often. Stuff just happens so fast that I can't keep up with it!