Thursday, October 18, 2007

Take Joy.

Huh? How could it be a week since my last post? It feels like it was just yesterday. Geez Louise. Time really does accelerate as you get older…

Anyhoooo, Earl and I went camping last weekend. All alone. As in “no bickering children”! We really lucked out too because it just so happened that we were there for the last night of camping for the season. We were at Ice House Reservoir which wasn’t as cold as it sounds plus we slept in the van so we were plenty cozy. We ate like royalty (steak and crab legs!) around the campfire and we went fishing on Sunday morning where I am very sorry to say that I caused the death of a beautiful little rainbow trout. No more fishing for me, thank you very much. Poor little guy was enjoying the beautiful morning just like us, but he had to pay for it with his life. Other than that, the trip was lovely. My brother and sister-in-law were super nice and made pancakes for the kids and took them to a really cool pumpkin patch where they fired pumpkin cannons, so I don’t think the kids missed us too much!
Now I can show you the pillow I made for Deborah, my sister-in-law. I know it looks like a doll quilt, but it’s really a sham style pillow cover. I embroidered the little birds and the word “happy”. I love these colors together! It is all hand quilted. I was so happy with how well it turned out. It was a bit of a combination gift. Deb’s birthday is the same day as their wedding anniversary and this year it was also the same day as Jonathan’s graduation from Heald! They hosted a great barbeque a couple weeks ago and, inspired by Holly’s beautiful work, I decided to make a crown for my brother. He just graduated with A.S. in Accounting AND he is a coin collector so the money theme was tailor made. I also made the little velvet presentation pillow because it made the perfect vehicle for delivery! Now, shop wise, I haven’t accomplished much. I sold my second-to-last item and now all I have is the Scrappy Charm Pillow which, may I say, is quite adorable! Dolly Dingle is almost complete and I have another EFA in the works, but just not enough hours in the day!

You know what I’ve started thinking about? Christmas! If you’ve been a reader for a while, you may remember that I was pretty disappointed in the quality of last Christmas and resolved to do better this year. I did have a list started of different crafts for different recipients, but I think I’m going to simplify a bit. If you are related to me, you can expect either gingerbread cookies (Yum! I make really good ones!) or a Pointy Kitty. I made my first Pointy Kitty last night and boy, did she turn out CUTE! What an adorable pattern. In a way I am so bummed that I can’t sell Pointy Kitties, but in another way it’s really cool to be a recipient of one. It means you’re getting something that cannot be bought! Sorry that I don’t have a photo. I will post her in the next few days. Unlike the Wees I made for all the kids back in 2004, these Kitties will all be different and I do fully intend to get the whole family involved in making them.

Of course, the whole handmade Christmas is fraught with irony. Last year I wasn’t trying to launch a business, but I struggled to find the time create some kind of meaningful holiday for my family. This year I have more on my plate than ever, but I am unwilling to give up my plans. Of course, I was depressed last year so that explains a lot, I think. Both in the poor quality of last year’s Christmas and in my determination to do better this year. Here’s the thing, though, that just blows me away: in the past, I did “stuff” like holidays and birthday parties because I felt I HAD to and of course, I didn’t really enjoy it all that much. It was all just stress to me and that’s because of my depression, although I didn’t realize it at the time. Sometimes, I would just “opt out” of those activities, but that was really unsatisfying too. Now, I want to do these activities because I want to enjoy the occasion. Yes, it usually means some work, but that’s okay. Especially because I am doing it for my enjoyment and the enjoyment of people I care about and not out of a sense of obligation. By the way, I picked up sparking apple cider and cake and ice cream last week after my last post. After dinner, I set out pretty dessert plates and we toasted my customers and the future of Tender Arts. It felt really, really good.

And so, I will keep working on stocking the shop and I will start working on Christmas gifts and I’m going to like it and be thankful for liking it and if I stop liking it, I will stop doing it. So there. I think my new motto is “I want it all and I’m unwilling to sacrifice anything to get it!”

I will try to post tomorrow about Thirty Days to a Better Shop which I am still working on.

Hugs to all, dear friends from the spooky home of Tender Arts!

5 friends said....:

  1. Your blog is so lovely... and your bluebird pillow is so pretty too!

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  2. Hia Bettsi, I'm so nearly starting Christmas gifts- just a backing of a tablecloth away. Then I'll finish the bits to go on the bag and the comfort dolls. After that there will be no stopping me! Will be great to see all your wonderfully crafted Christmas work.

    I love the colours in your pillowcase gift. It immediately reminded me of Monet's yellow dining room (and blue kitchen) in Giverny in France. Your crown was truely inspired. A lovely gift for such hard work.

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  3. Camping alone with your man... I'd like that, too. Not your man though. :0)

    Love the sham.

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  4. Bettsi, I can identify with so much of what you say about the holidays; I am waiting anxiously for dolly dingle; I have always wanted to make one but you do such authentic work - I may just have to wait for yours!

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  5. Sound like you had a good relaxing time on your trip. We only got in one camping trip this year. I think around here the last day for camping is Halloween night. I hear you about the fishing too. The one and only time I went fishing I caught a turtle by the neck and I've never felt so horrified. We are vegetarian too so no fishing for me. Your little quilt is sooo sweet! I really would love to try my hand at quilting one of these days... Perhaps at the new house I'll have more room to get into that.

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