Wednesday, August 7, 2013

And Life Goes On......

Been a while since I've been on here. So much has happened and many people keep up with my Crochet business on Facebook. But thought I'd post a new article on my blog as well.
First - as of March 2013, I have a new studio at Arts on Main in Gastonia, NC. My sweater business and Weasley Sleeves have taken off again, making it competitive for my custom order list for my Journey Inspired Scarves. Almost completely finished with my second custom order list and started the third and last one today. I'm so glad and feel very privileged that Journey fans the world over really like my scarves. But the lists were taking over my life and well, I can't sit and crochet all day every day. So, the Journey Inspired Scarves will be sold only in Pre-Announced Sales from now on. My next Sale will be September 29, 2013 at 3:00PM Eastern Standard Time on Etsy. My sweaters, sleeves and other projects still will be by custom order. Everything will have a wait but I promise the finished item will be of the highest quality.

Second, Arts on Main is a wonderful place - full of local art made by some of the most talented, considerate people I know. They have been wonderful to me and to my family. Last year during my son-in-law's illness, everyone was understanding when I had to be out of town for almost two months. Now that my daughter and grand-children are beginning their adjustments to life without John, I'm home more. Although I have strong feeling once school starts back and Becca truely begins her consulting business, I'll be in Concord more again. At least crochet is a portable business.

And last, my other business is Prevent Child Abuse Gaston. While my responsibilities there will remain part-time, the commitments are increasing. With the new projects we are planning, I will be in that office more and more.

Just for interest, here's some photos of my new studio.

Monday, January 28, 2013

My Journey

In 2012, a young man asked me to replicate the scarf in the videogame, Journey. Little did I know what a journey he was about to start for me. On June 29, 2012, Game Informer Magazine published a link and story to my etsy shop,, and my life changed. I copyrighted the crochet pattern and started a custom order list, that turned into a Notification List, another Custom Order List, a second Notification List and on February 23, 2013 we will hold our first outright sale of these scarves. Yes, they look like simple double crochet scarves, but the trick is in switching the colors. My son warned me about the popularity and the unique combination of crochet and the gaming world. I like promoting this particular game - it's peaceful and beautiful. The music is gorgeous. One of my customers is a violinist who just finished a video of the music wearing one of my scarves. Now, isn't that something!? Looking forward to the sale and can't believe my good fortune. All the folks I've "met" through this have been so nice and appreciative (and patient - these scarves are handmade and they take time!). So thanks to all who have been interested in my Journey Inspired Scarves. Just wait till you see what we have planned!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

And Life Goes On......

Another kidney stone, 3 surgeries, 2 weeks on pain meds, vacation and a very sick son-in-law all happening at once. Add to that a thriving online business, preparing for business changes at the Non-Profit I work for and getting my son ready for college........I couldn't drive for three week until 2 days before we came home from vacation. Not the way I want to spend my vacation but there were so many blessings in the midst of all that - I have a wonderful family and my grand-daughters are worth more than their weight in gold. Their smiles, giggles, laughs and kisses made us all so much happier. Now that we are home, getting back into our regular routine, again life throws some more at us. But we are together and we will get through all this. And, hopefully, this time next year we can look back and be grateful for each other and the strength God gives us.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Yesterday, 4th of July, 2012

Ever have one of those days you know you're going to look back on and remember. Yesterday was one of those days - my husband and I took our soon to be college bound son and one of his friends to the NC Mountains. We started with lunch at Louise's Rock House Restaurant in Linville Falls, NC. The food there is always good - we know Louise and all her daughters. Her oldest daughter, Shirley, owns the place now. Just as we got there the bottom fell out of the sky. We sat and ate lunch while the world outside cooled off and had a good long drink. From there we went to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Linville Falls Visitors Center, hiked down to the Upper and Lower Falls. While Louis, Al and Cynthia hiked up to another overlook, I walked back to the parking lot and met a couple from Vail, NC. She was walking with a cane and he was walking very patiently beside her. They are 78 years old and still hiking the NC mountains. Made me think, "That's how I want to be 22 years from now." They told me about hiking up to Table Rock with 5 of their grand-children about 5 years ago. (That's a short but strenuous hike - Moderate Rating) They have 30 in their family now with all their children, grands and great-grands, almost too many to house together on vacation but it sounded like they all get together and still have fun. We shared stories about our grand-children and I'm pretty sure all three of us were grinning pretty big when we came out of those woods. Met up with my guys and we headed to Wiseman's View. (Cynthia had never been to this part of the NC Mountain so we were giving her a mini-tour of some of our favorite places.) Wiseman's as always, did not disappoint. View was clear, humidity was starting to climb again since the rain, which we could see in the distance over Morganton. Just enough of a breeze - I stood still at the bottom of the stairs and couldn't help but think of the cold night we came up there last Fall and watched the Milky Way and more stars than you can imagine. Showed Cynthia the top of Table Rock from there and said, "That's where you're going to be tonight." Her eyes about fell out of her head.

After the walk back out, we drove up to Table Rock while the heavens opened up again. It started to hail HARD just as we came through Gingercake Acres into the trees at the beginning of the dirt road. We waited in the car for a few minutes for the rain to stop, got out and stepped into a luscious, green fresh fragrant world with a few drips from the trees above. I started a charcoal fire in a grill that was still HOT from someone else's lunch (DON'T EVER go off and leave HOT coals in a grill, especially in a National or State Park. Have you seen the damage in Colorado and Utah in the last few weeks???). Tried to start a camp fire as well, but everything was too wet. While I waited for the coals to get red hot, Louis, Al and Cynthia hiked out beyond the chimneys on the other side of the parking lot from Table Rock. Cynthia came back and said she got some great panoramic shots of Linville Gorge and towards the setting sun in the western sky. I forgot plates, of all things, so we used tin foil and ate kosher hot dogs, my homemade potatoe salad and had s'mores as dessert (that's why I was trying to build a camp fire but the charcoal did just fine).

At 8:00, they set off for the summit of Table Rock, one of my favorite places on this Earth! I couldn't go because the last time we were up there, about three weeks ago, I smashed my big toe and still can't wear anything but sandals. So, I waited in the car, crocheting until after 10:00PM. There was enough light from an almost full moon that I didn't need any artificial light. Then I lay back in the seat and watched the stars starting to twinkle between the leaves of the trees above me. Yes, people came and went and I DON'T recommend waiting in a car in a parking lot alone at night anywhere, but I felt very much at peace. There were people camping just beyond the picnic grounds and I knew if anyone bothered me I could make enough noise to get their attention. And, I had the car keys -I'm not beyond moving the car and getting out of there if someone starts something. But everything was quiet and I found myself going over things in my mind that I hadn't thought about for a while. At 10:45PM my guys showed up - the light from the moon was so bright it was like light pollution, but it was beautiful. On their way back down the mountain they helped two other groups of people who had ventured up there without flashlights. I've come down that trail before during a full moon with no flashlights (not recommended), slow going and we had to be careful especially since we had two small children in our group. But it was fun. Everyone piled back into the car, Cynthia went out like a light, and we talked on the way home, watching that bright moon accompany us all the way. A good day, a wonderful 4th of July celebrating some of this country's rich wonders. I love living in North Carolina.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Game Informer Magazine link to my Journey Scarf

A young man asked me to make him a Journey Video Game Scarf - I looked up the game, learned as much as I could about the scarves, came up with an original design and sold him the scarf. Then I listed the scarf as a custom order - they take a little over a week to make. Today, June 29, 2012, Game Informer Magazine found my listing and posted a link to it. Holy Cow! My hits are out the roof. Anyone who convos me and mentions Game Informer Magazine will get a 10% discount off the price. I will convo them a special coupon code to be used at the time of their order. Thanks so much Game Informer Magazine!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Balancing Act

Ever feel you've committed yourself to too much? I left Child Protective Services a year ago in April to babysit grandchildren and make a committed effort to work on Child Abuse Prevention here in Gaston County. There are days when I do a real juggling act - between the girls, my family, Prevent Child Abuse Gaston, Arts on Main (Gaston County Art Guild) and my online business, I am VERY busy. Choices and priorities, then dealing with day to day crises as well as people who want to tell me what to do - some days I just want to move to the NC mountains and hide! But today, today was good - meeting with Project Committee with Prevent Child Abuse Gaston, volunteering to help build a play ground with the local YMCA, Kaboom, ESPN and Disney, meeting with a young woman writing a book about her great grandmother and the struggles during the Loray Mill Strike back in 1929, and then spending some good quiet time with my son who is about to go off to college. Very busy day. Tomorrow I must contact some folks about designing a website for Prevent Child Abuse Gaston, do some laundry, clean at least one room in this old house and then spend the afternoon at Arts on Main. Louis comes home and we get ready for the weekend. Don't EVER let it be said that retirement is boring. It can be whatever you want it to be. Oh and somewhere in there, I'll get some crocheting done.