Saturday, February 21, 2009

When Good Ideas Go Bad

How many times have you had an idea for your etsy shop, or just a wonderful idea for something you wanted to make or do and the whole thing implodes before your eyes?

I want MyOtherShop, my etsy home decor shop to have a big variety of items in it. I want people to be amazed when they enter my shop at all of the different things they can pick from. I want to have the decorative decoupage trays, picture frames and little bird houses, but I also want my cake stands. I love looking for plates and making a really unique and useful piece for people. That isn't enough though, so what I wanted to add now is ceramic tile coasters.

I did my homework and read up on how to make them. I thought I had it all figured out when I went and purchased some tiles, paper and sealer. I glued the paper to the tile, I let them dry and then I started spraying them with the sealer. After a number of coats and a couple of days, I tested one by putting some droplets of water on it and letting it sit for a while. Later I took and look and all seemed well. So I put more droplets of water on it. There is no way I would ever sell something that I didn't know was excellent quality.

This time when I checked it....the paper was soft and I could scratch it right off the tile! My heart sunk....I had a table full of partially made coasters and now they were all no good! UGH!

I searched the etsy forums for suggestions. I even posted a new thread on the topic. A few people told me what they use and it was pretty much what I was doing. I searched the internet again. I e-mailed some companies that made different sealers. I sent a convo to an etsy friend that works with tiles.

I ended up using bits and pieces of everyone's advice and got back to work and guess what??? Success!! Woo hoo!!! I am so excited.

I decided to switch to acrylic sealer and after many coats, I was even able to salvage the coasters I had started and I have another table full of coasters waiting to be sealed. When I tested them this time I practically dumped the water on them. I even put water on them and then put a glass on top of it. Hours later I was still able to just wipe it off and it looked great.

I must admit that I was near tears for a while. I just felt so bad. I really wanted to make the coasters. My thought was that these would be a great item to take to shops or to sell at craft fairs or to wholesale and the fact that I couldn't make them was really upsetting to me. I love the colors of the tiles and there are so many cool scrapbook papers. Rather than lose my cool though, I just took some deep breaths and tried to figure out what went wrong.

Have you ever had a project go wrong? Are you able to keep a level head and work your way through it or do things go flying and not so nice words come out of your mouth? Were you able to make it work after all?

The first batch of coasters need to sit for a couple of days and then they will be ready to list. I just need to glue the cork to the backs. I ordered some little boxes for them today that should be here next week. The second batch is waiting for their turn to be sealed.

I am really excited about the coasters, and I am already getting ready to start experimenting with the next idea. I'll let you know when it's ready to make it's debut!

Friday, February 20, 2009


Tresa had reserved a small block of rooms at a really nice hotel in the city for the wedding in case anyone needed one. As it turned out, none of the out of town guests needed the rooms, so the only people that reserved rooms there was our immediate family.

Since Tresa made the arrangements, the hotel rates have actually come down...including the rates at a really old hotel that Tresa happens to like. Yesterday she e-mailed me and asked if we would mind if she switched our hotel to the Allerton on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. She said it would be cheaper than the original hotel. I said, "Whatever makes you happy. This is your day." It doesn't matter to me where we stay. All that matters is that her wedding is everything she wants it to be.

When she said the Allerton, the name stuck in my head and I immediately knew why. No, I didn't have a wild fling at the Allerton, but Irv and I did attend the Cary-Grove High School Senior Prom there almost 40 years ago in 1969!

The following is taken from the hotel's website:

By the 1940's, when the famous Tip Top Tap sign was first illuminated, the hotel was known around town as one of the most exciting social hot spots. It gained nationwide attention during the 1950's when Don McNeil broadcast a popular radio program from the 23rd floor lounge. Famous Hollywood legends like Bob Hope, Danny Kaye, Ginger Rogers, and James Stewart were featured guests.

In June of 1998 the City of Chicago designated The Allerton as an historic landmark and a $60 million renovation project was launched."

I don't remember a lot about our prom, but Irv and I had been dating for a little over a year by then. I remember shopping for my dress and thinking it was the most beautiful thing in the world. I got my shoes dyed and my hair that off with some lovely white elbow length gloves and all I can say is.....geez where did we get those clothes?

The theme of the prom was "Camelot" and the decorations if I recall were all castle-like. I had my first taste of caviar that night and my last taste of caviar! That's about all I remember....heck, that was an eternity ago...I'm lucky I can remember what I had for breakfast this morning!

Did your school have a prom? Did you go? What was your dress like? Was it as stunning as mine?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Snob" or "Slob"?

So, are you an underwear "snob" or an underwear "slob"?

Now, don't take offense please! I just loved the sound of it. It worked better you buy your underwear for "looks" or for "laughs"? Or how about....really special or blue light special? Suitable for a queen, or hardly suitable? Victoria Secret, or it's a secret? See "snob" and "slob" just work better!

Do you buy the finest bras and panties money can buy? Lovely lace? Can't walk out the door if your bra and panties don't match? Or...

do you reach in your underwear drawer and whatever you grab will work just fine....holey undies, bras with the underwire poking out?

I admit it...I am all about comfort. I would fall somewhere in between "snob" and "slob". I don't wear holey under garments, but they are a far cry from the drop dead gorgeous lingerie you see at Victoria Secret!

No lace here. It just isn't comfy. I do have a couple cute little matching lacy sets in my drawer...somewhere. They are down under all of the wonderful little cotton print Gap bikinis and plain old lightly padded beige bras. Under the comfy Gap bikinis, you will also find an array of thongs that will probably never see the light of day again. I think I bought every pair I saw for a while thinking that eventually I would find one that was comfy and by wearing a thong...I could easily knock 30-35 years off my "underwear age". Personally, I don't care how many years it knocks's just not worth it!

Back in the 60's I went braless. I remember having to wear a bra when I left the house and then when I was out of my dad's it came. I never burned any of my bras, but I sure didn't wear them.

Going braless is not hard to do though when you have a very small chest. Back then I was a AA and then I zoomed right up to an A! I could probably still go braless, except that gravity and three children dictate that I not try it.

What got me started on this whole underwear issue is that because of the upcoming wedding, I've been doing a lot of shopping. I have seen some darn lovely lingerie! It really made me want to buy some and I still might at some point, but for now I am enjoying the brand new cute little cotton print Gap bikinis that just got delivered with my skinny jeans last week!!

So tell us....."snob" or "slob"?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I was going to write about underwear today, but right now I'm mad and I need to vent, so underwear might have to wait until tomorrow!!

Okay, so I get home today and I'm standing at the kitchen table opening the mail and I open an envelope that says on the outside, "Important Information Regarding Your Account". It's from Capital One, which is one of our credit cards. I'm thinking, so what can be so important? I know, I know, you want me to charge some more because you aren't making enough money off of me with interest rates so low.....

I pulled the paper out of the envelope and the front says, "Important notice of a change in terms regarding your account ending in: XXXX. Now they have my attention!

You guessed it....they are raising my interest rate from the sweet 5.99% that it is today to 15.9%. OUCH! Of course, we can choose to close the account and keep our 5.99% until we pay it off or we can keep our card with our wonderful new rate. Uh, I don't think so.

Naturally, we will be closing the account today, but man does that ever tick me off! We only have 2 credit cards. One is a Discover that is just in my name that I've had for years, and then the Capital One is in Irv's name.

I hate credit cards, but on the other hand they have been there when we needed them and for that I am grateful....however, after today, Irv won't have a credit card and I'm not sure I am comfortable with that. I worry about there being an emergency where a large amount of money might be needed that we don't have. Then what would we do? There are still places that don't even take Discover. We need a VISA or a Mastercard....but I don't want a new credit card. I am trying to pay them off and get out of debt! UGH!

This has to be a sign from somewhere. It has to mean something, but what is it? Kathy, you need another credit card. Kathy, you don't need any more credit cards. Kathy, you are one weird woman.....probably the last one!

I am working right now to calm myself and look at the big picture. We have jobs, we have insurance, we have our home and the fact that Irv won't have a credit card is really no big deal. If we need money....we'll just ask our kids! Okay, I feel all better now.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Creature of Habit

Are you a creature of habit? Are you on auto-pilot from the time you turn off the alarm until you walk out the door to work or get the kids out the door to school? I am like a little robot in the morning on days that I have to go to work.

I get up between 4:45 and 5:00 a.m., immediately make the bed and head straight for my computer. I check e-mail, my two etsy shops, my blog and the etsy forums. There are two great threads in the forums that I participate in every morning.

Irv and I are getting ready at the same time, but he leaves the house at 5:30 so I let him get into the bathroom and pack his lunch before me. The radio goes on and I am already singing and boppin' to the music. Yes, I am one of those disgusting happy little morning people!

Time to make my lunch. I always take 2 hard boiled egg whites, cereal and fruit, lunch and a snack. I eat the eggs on the way to work and the cereal later in the morning. Lunch is usually leftovers or a can of yummy organic, salt-free soup!

I grab my yoga mat and do a whole 5 minutes of sit ups and leg lifts and head to the bathroom to make myself presentable.

I make sure Wrigley goes outside again at some point....Sparky is curled up under a blanket somewhere and there are days we have to literally pick her up and carry her outside. She is a warm weather dog.

I head back into my workshop to check the forums again and maybe say hello on twitter. Then I check my closet and hopefully I figured out the night before what to wear and it's ironed and ready to go. I get dressed and start watching the clock.

Depending on the temperature outside...I might start my car and let it run so it's nice and toasty warm when I get in it. I's a waste of gas and bad for the environment, but I can't help it. I can't stand being cold in the morning.

Once the car is warm, I log off the computer, I pack up my tote bag with my lunch and whatever else has to go with me, say good bye to the dogs and I'm out the door. The perfect morning!

The only thing I realized in writing this is that if I left the computer off in the morning, I could probably sleep until 5:30...but that isn't going to happen!

So, what is your morning routine? If you have kids at home....are you able to have a routine? Do you work from home or have to be somewhere at a certain time? Are you a creature of habit?

Sometimes I think I am bad, but then I take a look at Irv....we'll talk about that another day!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Day To Play!

I am off work today for President's Day, but still got up at 5:00 a.m.! Lots to do today.

The shower yesterday that Chris's family had for him and Tresa was very nice. Good food, cute decorations and they got so many wonderful gifts. I gave her the necklace I made for her to wear at the wedding (per her request) and she loves it. We do have one "little" concern though and that is the fact that I make it with copper because she said she liked the antique look, not thinking that the shoes she bought are gold! We spent a lot of time discussing it and decided that she will try everything on for her fitting Saturday and see how it looks. She said that you can't even see her shoes, but I think she is just trying to be nice and not hurt my feelings. I will not be hurt if she can't wear it, but upset that I didn't even give her shoes a thought when I made it. I found the stones and they looked amazing with the copper and I went with it. Well, live and learn. I'll let you know what happens.

I got so much stuff done this weekend it was wonderful. I am making some new items for MyOtherShop and making some new cards for FourDogDay. Everything is going well and I should be listing a lot of things this week once I get them all photographed....maybe today. I made another "planter"...this one would be so cute in a kitchen. It has little food signs on it! I roughed it up so it has a well worn appearance.

I'm also playing around with wood letters. Not sure if I want to get into those or not, but I did the word LOVE using scrapbook paper. Not sure what I want to provide people with to hang them yet, but maybe I will include magnets and some poster tack and they can do what they like.

I also finished a great full size outdoor my little decorative ones, but this one is waterproofed for outdoor use. Irv is going to put the eyelets on it today so I can add some rope or wire for hanging. I can't wait to get it listed! Before you know it the birds will be back and looking for new homes!

Well, that is it for today. I am waiting for the hardware store to open so I can go get some glossy, waterproof varnish for my new project! I might have those listed this week as well! I just might get to page two of listings in MyOtherShop yet!!

Enjoy your day everyone....and we will chat again soon!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What Ever Happened To The Day Of Rest?

Did you ever have one of those days...where at the end of the can look back and say, "Holy crap, did I ever get a lot done today!" Well, I had one of those days yesterday. My "to do" list was long, but knowing I had a three day weekend, I wasn't really concerned. I just dug in and got going. Things just all fell into place and things that sometimes don't work quite right, worked right. Irv and I even spent a couple of hours in the afternoon running etsy errands...buying supplies for the new idea I have for MyOtherShop and even grabbed some great sandwiches at PotBelly. There was a guy in there playing guitar. It was great!

I even found the fabric for the card box for Tresa's reception. We have been looking everywhere for something that goes with her color and floral theme and haven't been able to find a thing. I found it yesterday. Cute green fabric with tiny little ivory branches with tiny little ivory leaves. I'm going to cover a box with a slot for people to drop their cards in, and the florist is going to put some orchids and greenery on the top of it! Woo hoo! Now I just have to figure out the easiest and best looking way to cover it....glue, carpet tape or actually sewing it to fit the box. Not sure yet.

Tresa's necklace is done. She thinks she is getting it next Saturday at her dress fitting, but I am giving it to her at the shower today. I sure hope she likes it. I have this nervous little feeling. It's hard to create such an important piece of jewelry for someone with very little guidance...and I do not make jewelry as I've told you in the wish me luck. I'll post a picture of it tomorrow so you can see it.

I also hit the resale shop this week and found some interesting little pieces that will be turned into kick butt pieces for MyOtherShop! Quite a mix...picture frames, candlesticks and a very unusual bunny! You can see the before pictures and then when I'm done with them I'll post the afters! What fun!

Well that's going to be it for today. I really need to start getting myself presentable for the shower today. Have a great day everyone!

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