Saturday, June 26, 2010

For all markets...?

Dingle Market isn't really bringing me any luck.  I sold nothing yet again.  I know I should keep with it to see it through the summer at least, but in my heart I don't see crafts selling all that well there; it's a foodie game.  Crepes, sausages, baked goods, organic beef, fresh fruit and veg--it all sold.  There were some lovely crafts there besides mine.  The crafts just didn't seem to sell.

Aine modeling the new felted cape with flowers.
I know perseverance is needed here, but I also think I need to diversify.  I need ETSY to get going and possibly an  artist's co-operative.  Dingle Market won't bring me money, but it may bring me visibility.  Now I need to find something to bring me money!  Seriously, the point of it all is to make money doing something I love.  Plenty to think about. 

I am fairly grounded to the house now.  Fionn woke up with a mother of a swollen throat and it's definitely strep throat and he is on antibiotics.  They also did a blood test for glandular fever/mononucleosis since the doctor said that it was going around, but I don't think he has it (I Googled the symptoms).  Either way, he should be fine in a couple days.  It hasn't dampened his spirits at all because he is driving me nuts to go and play with friends, but I wanted to keep him quiet for the rest and to give the antibiotics time to work.

I seem to be on a cleaning binge.  It does happen.  I have reorganized the sitting room and cleaned under the furniture and clean bathrooms and the shed today.  Tomorrow I am tackling the spare room and Fionn's room, both of which need a thorough going over.  Never a dull moment!

Aine at the MFG Community Booth.  We sold brown bread, elderflower cordial, and handmade soap, along with my things.  All produced in Dingle!

Blogger Buzz: Blogger integrates with Amazon Associates

Blogger Buzz: Blogger integrates with Amazon Associates

Monday, June 21, 2010

Peeking around the corner of July...

Newly dyed silk chiffon scarves for Dingle Market on Friday.
Despite my best resolutions to blog more often, it seems like I am just not getting there.  On June 10th a very dear friend died and it has taken the wind out of my sails, more than I thought it would.  We dated off and on for two years, but were good friends before and after we discovered it just wasn't working.  He could really annoy me, but he also gave me very sound advice and was a friend to both myself and my son (I often thought he cared about Fionn far more than me) when few around the area even wanted to know our names.  He died of cancer with his family around him, thankfully, and on a picture-perfect, blue sky day.  He didn't want people to know he was as sick as he was, so the final goodbye seems to come suddenly, even though we all knew his colour was bad and that he had gotten quite thin.  When they shouldered him out of the church after Mass, it was the slightness of the coffin that broke my heart--he always seemed larger-than-life and he had been reduced to half the man.  I am feeling a bit better now, but my heart does go out to his children.  He loved them so and they must feel lost without him.

I am throwing myself into projects now since I just can't be sad forever.  God knows he wouldn't like that anyway.  I need to change my stock over.  What I have made hasn't been selling at Dingle Market, so I want to change things up and put fresh stuff out.  If items don't start selling at the market, then I will have to look at other options.  I need to make some money out of the stock I have invested in!!

Hand-dyed silk chiffon  scarf with hand-dyed silk and Merino felted into it. 

I am making some winter items (felted hats) that tourists buy and take home as Christmas presents and some lovely lightweight items that are good for summer.  I am trying to do a few more hats that are plainer for those that prefer less rather than my more-ish usual.   Even in the evenings it can get chilly, so the lovely silk/merino scarf combinations are warm and breathable for the season.  I have also crocheted and felted two wraps that are structurally finished but just need a little decorative detail.  I hope to have them tagged and ready for sale for Friday.  I will put photos up when they are done...

New hat made with Alpaca and Merino wool and trimmed with recycled sari silk.
Not much more for now.  Lots going on and not enough time to do it in!  Garden gone to pot since I am in the studio all the time, so must spend a bit more time making it look lived in.  I did plant marigolds and sweet peas yesterday and started the very late pumpkin seedlings in pots to transplant later.  Not sure if they will work out, but we seem to be getting the heat this summer so it's worth a shot!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bank Holiday Monday....

Fionn and Aisling at Ventry Beach.  By luck, they both wore red!!
Well, the June Bank Holiday was rather peaceful!  Fionn and I got over the vomiting bug from last week and I cleaned the house thoroughly so we could have fun and relax.  Went round Saturday to the opening of Chowder, a friend's new cafe and had lunch and walked through town.  It's definitely quiet for a June Bank Holiday...

Sunday the weather was fair, but not hot so we went off to Ventry Beach for the afternoon with Aisling, Tadhg, and Ronán.  Lovely afternoon and I couldn't believe how well-behaved all the children were!  Aisling stayed over and she and Fionn have been giggling and running around the house all day.  They refuse to get out of their pajamas. 

I used to stay over at my Grandma's on school holidays. I loved the soft fluffiness of the mattress and my great-grandmother's quilts layered over me, heavy and soft from wear.  Sadly, they were all ruined by seven scruffy grandchildren.  I would treasure them now.  The patterns weren't intricate, but they were handmade and very finely sewn from scraps of old clothing.  They were country people and they grew up re-using and recycling everything.  And since the clothes they wore were generally all cotton (or at lease natural fibres), they could be reused and they would stand up over time and constant washing.  My grandmother didn't really approve of sleeping late, however, and I doubt she would have much time for pajamas days.  I suppose this relaxing and taking it easy is a rather modern convenience.  Previous generations wouldn't have had the luxury of lolling about watching movies and playing.  I adore them because when I am unwell or the weather is bad, you can kind of hunker down in your own home and pretend the outside world and it's problems do not exist--a kind of gift to yourself when you need a pressure holiday. 

What my grandma would have done with us is teach by doing.  She was an incredibly capable person, but it was hard for her to slow down and figure out the steps to teach a skill. You had to stick close and watch. She taught me embroidery, how to cook, crochet, how to be a gracious host.  I used to accompany her to her Lodge in Seattle and help her cook banquets for 300+ people from the time I was nine years old.  I started on desserts and salads, like any good chef de partie.  I was a very shy child and having to make conversation with hundreds of lovely older ladies was a small bit torturous at first, but it got easier.  So easy, in fact, that many people now would never believe that I used to be painfully shy.  But I stuck to my grandmother's side and over time I am realizing more and more what she taught me.  When I was in Seattle last month, I was on Capitol Hill with Fionn and I turned and realized I was beside the Masonic Temple building where I used to go to Lodge with her.  All the Rebekkahs and other Masonic orders have declined and so the building was sold and is now home to funky cafes and bookstores and other small businesses.  I was a small bit sad to see it so changed (although all the businesses were wonderful, my kind of atmosphere). 

The boys and their sand adventures! 
Isn't getting dirty the best??
So, today I made homemade waffles with the kids and had new Irish strawberries and they will have scampi and mac n cheese with broccoli for lunch.  There is chocolate ice cream for them for dessert and a few good movies on the telly.  Aisling is loving it because due to home renovations she has not had cable in months, so she's loving Sky and all her pre-teen shows.  If they get bored, I might do a felting project, but really I am reading and crocheting today.  Recharging the batteries after being away from home and sick.  You get a lot more sensible as you age. And I suppose, I am thinking of the great lady who was so important in my life.  God bless her wherever she is....