If I hadn't left my camera at my parents' house a few days ago. To make a long story short, somehow I've ended up carrying only the bare minimum around with me for the last couple days. Usually there's a larger tote with the yoga clothes, fig newtons for the adorable girl, camera, sunglasses, calendar, etc. But for the last couple days I've just had my keys and my wallet. I'm not at all a minimalist so I'm not sure why the situation is going on as long as it is. There have been several occasions that I've wished for my camera. Wait, was this going to be a short story? The short story is that there are no pictures with this post. I really don't like blog posts without pictures and if you are of the same mind, you might as well just stop reading now. But I thought I should say something. I've been so negligent lately. That's what I get for thinking badly of people who can't post often to their blogs. Karma, I tell you, it gets you sooner than you think it will.
So, where was I? The month of November has been much more pleasant than October. Not only does that make me happier personally (it was really depressing to think that the next nice weather we would have would be sometime in April), but that makes the store busier. People are starting their holiday shopping but they are also just out and about enjoying the sunshine and the fall colors. There are still some leaves clinging to the trees, though I am also enjoying the emerging bare branches. There's something so poetic about bare branches silhouetted against the sky.
My parents' have made the move to their new house so I've been helping a little with that, though I need to spend a lot more time unpacking some boxes. I tend to hang my artwork within a few days of moving so I was glad when Mom went ahead last week and started hanging things up, even though there will be some painting done sometime down the line. I think everyone is getting settled into new places and new routines and all in all, it feels totally right. I am really glad for a Facebook friend's suggestion that I take pictures of the old house. I had several photo sessions and it was a good way to work through my emotions and to say farewell.
I finally had a chance to take care of some paperwork, including cleaning out my email sent messages box last week. I do periodically find those messages useful so it's something that I might not do for 8 months. It was an interesting reminder of everything that went on this year. A good first step in the Christmas-letter-writing process, which really should begin soon. I remember times when I used to everything written and addressed before Thanksgiving and would just sit around waiting a week or two until it wasn't too early to send them. It will probably be a January project this year, though I must be careful not to expect too many things for January. We will be gone for a week to southern California for the craft & hobby trade show, as well as some beach vacation time. And I'm always busier than I think I'm going to be, and consequently get less work done.
I enjoyed an inspiring night out to see Carmen with Mom, and then this week, a last-minute outing for Flamenco Vivo, which was a really great performance. Dance with live music is a treat for me, and there were a few moments when I was busily figuring out how I could modify an awesome flamenco dress into something for myself. Perhaps that will be my treat for my 40th birthday party. I thought I'd make everyone wear polka dots, or would that be too dizzying?
In addition to being busier with customers, many of our artists have brought deliveries for the holiday season: storybook coasters from Naomi, bottlecap necklaces from Emily, hand-dyed slips from Michelle, felted critters from Lisa, sock monsters from the other Emily, felted baskets from Donna, mirrors from Jen, notecards from Alisson. Not to mention other shipments like more fun notecards, recycled book journals, Christmas wrapping paper... LOTS of stuff to find space for! The office is a little crazy, despite two attempts to enforce some order. And I need more drawer space. That's a chronic condition. I did spend time this week and rearrange the store. There have already been sales of some of the moved items so it feels like the moves have already been rewarded. Now that we have a little table of Christmas items (don't worry, we won't play Christmas music until after Thanksgiving!) that means things have to crunch even more.
Sachi and I have been diligently restocking as well. Sachi made another batch of resin pendants with some new images: books, shells, pears. We are having lots of fun putting the pendants on the silk ribbons. Well, I just love the silk ribbons no matter what; I like the color and charm and their flexibility - I've been having lots of fun with the ones that I made myself, trying a different grouping of ribbons with every outfit. Sachi has also been making her Madison photo snippets and button bracelets. For me, this week has been a terrace chair extravanga: button frames, bracelets, photo snippets. Not to mention that we've had a lot of commissions for custom photo charms so I've had plenty of opportunities to play with ICE resin.
I'm also working on a 2x2 book swap for the guild that I'm a member of. I'm making several editions of a mini Alice in Wonderland book because I'm hoping to persuade other people to swap with me. Now that I've finished up the blurb 2x2 book, I see how many fellow artists' books I don't have in my collection... And, oh yeah, speaking of blurb, I'm working on Lily's second year book. It might not be done in time for Christmas at the rate I am going, but it has been fun to work on that. She has changed so much over the last year! It's pretty amazing. I find now that I am an aunt, mentions of aunts/nieces/nephews resonate more with me - I'll find myself thinking, 'oh, that will be me in 20 years' when someone talks about taking their niece on a college visit.
And what else? Oh yeah, the CRAFTACULAR! Coming soon! The volume of emails has definitely dropped off so that's a good thing. It was a pretty time-consuming task there for a while but now most of the details are worked out. We're getting a flyer printed for the day of, there were posters and postcards to distribute. I'm pretty excited about it, even though I probably won't get to see the results of the work. It's the Saturday just after Thanksgiving and hopefully the weather will be fantastic and lots of people will come downtown for the holiday open house and Mom and Pamela and I will be so busy at the store that we won't be able to stop over and see Sachi and Deandra and Jen and Naomi and Jermoe and everyone else. There was already a nice write-up in the Sunday 77 Square section of the newspaper and certainly a lot of people that I've talked to have been excited about it.
The time has just been flying by. Every Friday, Sachi and I marvel that yet another week is gone. But things are good and busy and happy, even if the list of things to do doesn't really get any shorter no matter how much I accomplish. On Facebook, people have been posting things they are thankful for, in honor of the upcoming holiday. A friend started posting a list each day, which has been a fun challenge. There's so much that lists quickly gets long.