Sigh.... so far far behind. And it is already the middle of June. Double sigh.
That said, I came across some insight recently which will perhaps surprise no one who stops in here regularly. I am still sorting through paperwork and came across an old Myers-Briggs test that I took shortly after graduating from college in that period of 'what am I going to do for the rest of my life?' I noted, first, that shopkeeper is towards the bottom of a two-page, two-column list of likely careers, which was topped by librarian, nurse and teacher. After our experience at the Bubbler and my brief glimpses into dealing with large groups of children, I'm not sure that librarian or teacher would satisfy the extreme introvert that I am either. But I also read the accompanying text which was all about this type liking to be helpful and usually filling their days with lots of activities and tasks which they complain about but if you tried to be helpful and took them away, the type would be sad and complain even more. So, I guess you are stuck with this.
In any event, this year is not slowing down at all. I have finally caught up from being gone on vacation and am currently feeling like I can never do that again because I kind of feel like I was punished for it. However, I will probably get over that feeling. There is still a long list of work to be done, and I really just need to wake up early and get to the store so I can have a big chunk of uninterrupted time in the office to deal with the rest of the paperwork. At least it isn't the end of the quarter yet (which has another set of forms to file with the Feds and State). Despite all the tasks, the time has been filled with many lovely surprises.
Fellow artist and Stencil Girl extraordinaire Mary Beth Shaw posted this picture on her Facebook page - but, hey! I recognize those fabrics! Those are the tiny little scraps that I generate in my sewing projects! And I have to say it is a tremendous relief that someone else is putting them to use. After the work that I have done to generate the scraps, and after all the other fabric that I still have to deal with, it is a treat to be able to know that what I produce will not go to waste and will instead go on to further creative life. These scraps are really all too small to sew again in a conventional way (a quarter-inch seam turned under), but work perfectly if you don't mind raw edges. Almost tempts me to make some journal covers... No. Focus, Laura, focus.
In my own creative life, the last week was taken up with sewing paper garlands for an installation at our church. Some circles were cut before I went away, but I wasn't totally sure of the scope of the project until about a week before it was due. The project itself is rather simple (an imitation of my batik circle garlands at the library, except not just batik paper since I knew there wouldn't be enough time to batik more paper). Mostly, it relies upon sheer quantity for impact, which meant sewing until 11:30 at night to get all 50 done. There's always that gap in time between how you envision a project and how it actually turns out - that gap, however small, is somewhat stressful. I had some experience to go on, but still was not sure it would work for the space or be as nice as I was hoping it to be. However, the reaction was very rewarding. Phew, success! I kind of wish I was a videographer beause the moment when we were raising the garlands from the floor was super cool: all these drapey garlands rising up. It would have been a cool clip.
And perhaps the biggest news of all which I should have said first is that Wisconsin is taking steps towards accepting gay marriage! It's hard for me to convey what a big deal this is, and it doesn't even affect me directly, except that it does, because I think all of us are better off when all of us have liberty and equality, not to mention that I'm quite sure I could sell more wedding cards (I saw a sign once that said: "Three words to end the recession: gay wedding registry.") More people in love and having other people acknowledge their partnership is a good thing as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, in 2006, Wisconsin passed a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. I didn't vote for that! And I have always felt it was unconstitutional and frankly been a little puzzled why it wasn't challenged and brought to the U.S. Supreme Court. The ways of the courts are a mystery to me. Technically speaking, undoing that constitutional amendment would require another vote of the people AND two legislative sessions (highly unlikely in our Republican-controlled legislature). All of this is to say that I had resigned myself to Wisconsin being left behind yet again. I know that many people have been waiting years for this, but I myself am feeling stunned and grateful at the speed at which I went from having a resolution years in the distance to such a feeling of optimism right now. There is still a lot of work to be done. The Attorney General is dragging his heels and promises to appeal the judge's decision. I rather expect that this will end up back in the U.S. Supreme Court and they will have to decide forcefully that state's rights do not trump the rights of all citizens under the U.S. Constitution to have freedom and equality.
Nonetheless, there's some giddiness in the air. For my little shopgirl part, I went out and ordered more rainbow cake wedding cards, put in a request to a typically hetereosexual card company to see if they had any same-sex couple card plans in the works, and am working with our rubber stamp company on a new design to commemorate the hashtag that arose: #lovewinsWI. Clearly this is because I am a Capitalist, but I do feel like some of the movement on this issue will come from people realizing that, hey, this is good for business! Anyway, word from the judge that the amendment violated the fundamentals of liberty and equality came down on Friday June 6, so I immediately spent the rest of the day converting our window.
And I have an idea about a print of some sort - I do love hashtags - so I'm playing around with sumi ink and my coke can pen. It's taking lots of practice.
Meanwhile, back at the shop, new goodies are arriving daily from our buying trip out to New York. We're in paper heaven: letterpress cards, science cards, funny cards from the UK...
Sweet little letterpress notebooks with collections of quotations,
handmade papers in lovely florals and other patterns...
We also received more book letters, but are once again sold out of one already. It's always a different letter that I don't order enough of. Someday I'll get it. I hope. The batch seemed particularly nice this time - lots of fun patterned covers.
Finally we received these lovely enamel Wisconsin necklaces so we continue to add to our collection, though the tiny Wisco charm remains quite popular and has us busily making more just trying to keep up. Of course, the numbers tell me that we're having a strong spring - so I really shouldn't be surprised when I open a drawer on something I thought we had lots of, only to find the stock is dwindling. It keeps happening though. I know, I know, not a bad problem to have...