Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Love Story (Cliff Notes)

I've been a very poor excuse for a blog writer, but I'm back to try again. My life has changed radically in the past 6 months - had major surgery and 2 more hospitalizations. Now healthier than I've been in years, I feel really good. The nightmare home environment I've written about is rapidly changing and I owe it all to this guy named Gene.

Besides getting things done, he inspires and encourages me. He also never criticizes, never contributes to my tendency to feel bad about myself. Quite the opposite: when I see myself through his eyes, I'm not half bad. I was okay with the concept of living alone for the rest of my life, but this is a nice alternative.

It's very hard to explain how we got together, because the whole event seemed to be guided by some other entity. We both had been alone for about 10 years with part of those years spent at the end of unproductive, unloving relationships. I had to move through my own life's journey where I finally learned that I deserve to be loved and that living alone is much better than living with someone who isn't crazy about me.

Garlic Baskets Nov. '12
At the same time, unknowingly I was waiting for Gene to be free of his unhappy life in New Hampshire where he lost virtually everything he owned and took a bus and a train to the west to re-connect with his family and eventually to find me. As if fate had been waiting for the two of us to be free at the same time, our paths crossed and we managed to recognize each other against all odds...

 My basket weaving seems to be getting better - certainly more productive. I just got into a holiday show at Marylhust. The house is coming together and basketry will be headquartered in the room across from my new sewing room which is currently being prepped for paint. The loom room is well on the way to having room for actual looms and supplies to move in and warp up for the winter...The old site for my basketry work? It will become Gene's workshop. He's doesn't sit around watching TV feeling sorry for himself. Like me, he has to create to be happy.
Small Onion Baskets 11/2012
Small Fruit Basket
  This happiness is showing up in my baskets - better work and a happy balance.
Large Onion Baskets
Fanny Basket!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

There's Gotta Be A Pony In There Somewhere...

Success is elusive. I've been chasing it for years and I'm relentless. I think a lot of people would have given up by now, but I'm like the kid who just got a  pile of horse-dung under the Christmas tree who, rather than complain, just starts shoveling, declaring: "there's gotta be a pony in there somewhere...." I keep on trying and I try everything I hear about, (everything that's within my abilities) that is supposed to promote my Etsy shops online - if I can figure out how - I do it..... the blog as a promotion tool comes highly rated...

The best thing I've ever done for myself may just be disabling my television. I can't afford cable and I can't figure out how to hook up the converter box (no, no, no! do not try to tell me how...) so I gave it up. Immediately, I began to get things done that I'd whined about for far too long. Most of my current baskets are listed now. I have maybe a dozen more to list. I'll pop in and blog my progress at least once a week and announce new productions and any shows I may be doing.

I also have added most of my crocheted fingerless gloves, hats, scarves and neck warmers in my 2nd Etsy shop ( and I've managed to list over 80 books in my bookstore ( where I sell primarily collectibles, art, craft and instructional books and patterns. I have lots more to list in the last 2 shops and do so almost daily.

One of the benefits of giving up TV is being able to listen to music or public radio while I work. I haven't missed Prairie Home Companion in months. I catch enough news between NPR and the Internet and I don't miss the gossipy sensationalized excuse we have for TV news - not at all. It's beginning to seem possible that I'll get my house cleaned up, my new sewing room painted and moved into...maybe a new reed rack and shelves in my new indoor basketry room. I love to dream about it ....that and the day my son finally moves out allll the boxes of things he can't part with but refuses to move to his new apartment. I love the boy more than life itself, but he just does not grasp the necessity of moving out of Mom's sewing room (because it used to be HIS room).

 I'll be changing my focus at the Hillsboro and Orenco Farmer's Markets this year. No more assorted, miscellaneous lovely splint woven baskets (see Etsy shop!). Those will be available only in the Etsy shop and can be purchased online and picked up at the market (or shipped anywhere). My market booth will focus on just kitchen baskets  - garlic, onion and fruit baskets, specifically. I'm not closing the door to other ideas (raffia hats, anyone?), but I want to focus on my bestsellers and will still use the market to test market new ideas - one at a time.

Okay - let's build a readership in my little blog - what should I give away first? How about a free garlic basket? I'll even pay for the shipping. Be the 15th NEW subscriber to this blog and win a garlic basket (regularly $15-16).I'll announce the winner... as soon as it happens....HURRRY

Coming soon - My favorite Etsy shops and my local Etsy friends...