Monday, June 29, 2009

Naps and ice packs with a few beads thrown in

Kathryn emailed me tonight, scolding me for being well past an acceptable blog update time. She's right, darn her.

I got Mom home around 2pm on Friday, and we've gradually been working out a system for everything. We planned so much for the first surgery that it was a well oiled machine. But we got a little "oh, we've done this before" attitude for this time around, and as a result we're finding we weren't quite as prepared as we should have been! We're adaptable, though, and it's coming together. The main thing is keeping a rotating schedule for the various medications, pain pills, time spent on the continuous motion machine, ice packs, walking, etc.

She's in more pain this time around because there were some muscles that had to get cut this time that weren't cut in the first surgery. Turns out her left knee is a bit bigger than the right one was.

The best part as far as I'm concerned is that the super medicated dopiness has worn off. It was like Abbott and Costello here the afternoon she got home. We were trying to communicate, but the meds were making her mix up her words and thoughts. She would very confidently state something that made absolutely no sense whatsoever, and then look annoyed with me when I had a totally blank look on my face as it was clear I didn't understand her. I finally sent her to bed that day and told her we'd talk about it later (it was insurance stuff that's horrible to deal with in the best of circumstances.) She drifted in and out of that "crazy lady" state for most of Saturday too, but Sunday brought my real Mommy back to me. Thank goodness!

There's been some beading going on too - even Mom! I spent my evening tonight playing with samples for my Quick & Easy Kumihimo: Incorporating Beads class. I worked for a few hours on a necklace using all drop beads, but was very disappointed that it lost the look of the drops because it was so dense. It just looked like I was using Size 6 seed beads. So I cut it apart, and worked on it again, but this time used Size 8 seed beads on half the cords with drops on the rest. MUCH better! As soon as I get it a little longer, I'll get a photo posted. In the meantime, here's a photo of the faux bead crochet bracelet I made with Kumihimo the other day. Love it!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Coming home Friday

Another quickie post tonight....I've been at home very little the last few days between errands, the hospital, and dinner with friends last night. Tomorrow morning, Mom gets released from the hospital and comes home - Yippee! But then I become the 24 hour nurse, too. I don't mind it a bit, but naturally, I get less Tapestry Beads work accomplished as a result.

All of which explains why I decided yesterday to bow out of the Puget Sound Bead Festival to be held weekend after next. I feel like leaving Mom so soon after her surgery is the wrong thing to do and it's been eating at me. Now that I've decided, I feel a big relief, so I know I made the right decision.

I'll be adding two home classes the weekend of July 11th instead, then. One will be Kumihimo with Beads. I think the other will be Celebration Collar, but I'm going to send out the official announcement sometime Friday. I'm still working out details.

Today's news of the passing of both Farrah and Michael Jackson has left me saddened beyond what I would have expected. Growing up, I was one of those little girls watching Charlie's Angels and wishing my hair would look like that. I had her iconic poster on my wall for a time. She was dazzling. And Michael Jackson - oh, Michael. The very first record I bought (and it was real vinyl!) with my very own carefully hoarded babysitting money was Off the Wall. My high school years are set to a soundtrack dominated by Michael Jackson songs. My first huge concert was traveling to Dallas for the Victory Tour. I still see my friends in my mind, group dancing to Thriller in unison at a birthday party. I watched with increasing disbelief as he physically and mentally declined in the years since. But in his heyday? MJ was a musical genius from the age of 10 on. I choose to remember the music, the dancing, and the videos, and part ways with the rest.

And now...I need sleep. Lots and lots of sleep.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Second knee - DONE!

Just a quick post tonight as I'm dead tired and simply must collapse on my pillow soon or perish.

Mom's second knee replacement surgery was today at noon, and just like before, she's doing amazingly well. Sailed through the operation, and had the nerve to be PERKY by the time I met up with her again in her room. I hung around until she started getting really tired, then came on home to spend the evening with the dogs. They're spoiled and not used to being alone much. We were worried about damage!

I guess my nerves about the surgery betrayed me...I was stiff as a board when I tried to go to sleep last night. Every muscle tightened up in worry, so I only slept about 3 hours. I'm very glad it's over now, and we can concentrate on recovery.

Monday, June 22, 2009

My progress

I adore this bracelet. Really adore it. It's so soft and slinky and sexy on the wrist. I still have the clasp to add, and there will be optional Czech firepolish on loops on the outside edge to match the description I have of the inspiration piece.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Progress being made

Stand back! Actual project progress is being made here. You may be in danger of getting hit by a flying crystal or an out of control needle. Use caution.

Mom has been finishing a number of necklaces lately. Is she trying to show me up? She's had this vision of a triple Butterfly Kisses necklace, made out of Size 11 seed beads instead of the Size 8s, and I have to admit, I'm so in love with it, I think the kit may migrate to this version instead of the current one.

I've spent the last two nights wrestling a netted bracelet in the Huichol style to the ground. What I thought would be so simple to whip out, instead challenged me and made me learn new things. I love it when that happens! I finally have the skills to create it, the design tweaked to my liking, and seed bead choices I'm happy with. The final version is getting beaded tonight, and I'll share the whole ugly design process with you tomorrow since I have each and every little sample bit I made in pursuit of perfection. I'll leave it to you to let me know if I succeeded!

Also on tap for Sunday - work on assembling the Ikea furniture we bought last weekend. If we don't get it put together Sunday, then it will either sit here until Mom's well into recovery from her knee replacement, or I'll have to put it together myself.

Lastly, we've got a smallish amount of kits and patterns to make and print so I can get the boxes of goodies shipped to Tacoma for the Puget Sound Bead Festival. It's weird not doing that at the last minute and paying for 2-day shipping like the procrastinator, er, I mean deadline driven, person I am.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Eyecandy

I've been so remiss in posting this week - it's been one of those weeks where not a lot that seems post-worthy has been going on. Mom's been working instead of recovering from surgery - bah. I had a dermatologist appointment and now have a small hole in my forehead after the removal of a stupid spot. Bah. I've been slugging away on paperwork and travel details like hotels and airport vans and ordering tables for shows. Bah.

So instead of exciting antics, let me entertain you instead with some exciting beadwork!

Mom has temporarily finished with this necklace. I say temporarily because she claims there's more beading she wants to do on it. I say it's already perfect, but I bow to her greater vision. I'm so proud of her work! The three cabs are from Marsha Neal Studios.
We bought a bunch more from her at Bead & Button this year to see about designing a kit with one. Sometimes it can take literally years for us to have the right project at the right moment with the right materials. Which is why we have to buy everything. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Friday's Random Bits

  • A favorite moment of last weekend's Saturday class - Kathryn pulling out a bracelet from my display case and inquiring, "why don't you teach this??" Um, Kath? You made that bracelet. In Rebecca's class, and it was too big for you, so you gifted it to me. She laughed like the awesome dame she is...loud and long...
  • Mom and I figured out a way to beat the Bead & Button room service delivery back up after the shows each night. I have Mom leave 15 min. early and get back to the room to place our order before all the other vendors do. It kind of feels like cheating, but in a way I'm totally okay with.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Best laid plans

First off, what a great weekend we had! I taught classes on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and it was one of those times when you laugh so much your face hurts. My dear sister of the heart, Kathryn, was feeling well enough to attend which made me thrilled beyond belief. Between my schedule and her health, it's been months since we've been in the same room. Not gonna be letting that happen again!

She was generous enough to gift me with a really lovely bracelet from her collection, and when the ladies found it, are worth a thousand words....

Monday, Mom had me up early to go visit Alexis and William before her surgery on Tuesday. "Early" meaning I was ready to leave the house at 10am. But as we were ready to walk out the door, the phone rang. It was the doctor's office, telling Mom her knee replacement surgery has to be postponed due to a urinary tract infection that showed up in her blood work. Poor Mom wanted to cry! It's so hard to get all mentally set for the big event, and then poof! You have to completely change the mindset. She got the prescription today, and they've rescheduled for next Tues instead. Which means that she'll have to go back to work for a week, starting tomorrow. Booo!

We still had Monday though, and made the best of it. Our visit to the kids was a blast - Alexis has discovered a love of art, and William, at 2 months, is showing signs of being quite a handsome fellow! Afterwards we fed our disappointment with lunch (and dessert - how could I have been ignorant all these years how amazing bread pudding is??) and then some retail therapy at Ikea.

We purchased two chairs for the class table (2 down, 6 to go) that will look smashing when we get them put together. We also came home with some drawer units for our office/store space to start replacing the 20 year old white cubes and bookshelves that look so out of place in there now. Bit by bit, piece by piece.

A nap capped off the day. Running errands in 105 degree heat index is taxing! And when I woke up from the nap, I got my favorite kind of package - more 2mm Swarovski crystals!! I'm now back in stock with the Jet Dorado, the Light Rose/Rosaline, and I have new Olivine AB and Aqua AB that are sparkle city! We'll be working on getting photos in the next few days and getting them up on the website.

I've declared Tuesday a paperwork day. Sigh. But it has to be done. I need to figure out the cash flow over the next few months, pay some bills, and work up the bead restocking order to get ready for July and August. I've got a bunch of shows back-to-back, so I'll need to get a large quantity of everything ready in advance.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Home is where...

  • the beads are
  • the fur babies are
  • chaos reigns evidenced by the photo!

That table is where I plan on holding two classes this weekend, and yet, as you can see, the table was covered in STUFF as of noon today. Agh! This is why you haven't heard from me since I got home Wednesday night. I'm running around, trying to get the place back in order a bit, getting myself back in order (lots of sleep necessary for THAT) and preparing for Mom's second knee surgery on Tuesday next week. Oh, and then there's the 16 women who will be at the house too. What the heck! :-)

More soon, including photos of the goodies I purchased at Bead & Button, and a play-by-play of the seed bead art Dolly was inspired to make as we passed the time.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Almost there

I had a great day's drive Tuesday. Lots of energy, no rest stop naps required. I listened to my book on CD most of the way, and a new music CD the rest of the time. And after today's miles, I get to love on my very own fur babies! So it doesn't really matter that I overslept this morning and that it's already 10am and I still need to shower before I hit the road. Home will be waiting for me no matter the time of day or night....

The new Hollywood Hula Hoop bracelets went over incredibly well at the show, and we sold out of the lighter color and took orders for quite a few more. Happily I was able to find one of my suppliers with the 2mm Swarovski Crystals I needed in stock, and they'll be delivered by the end of the week. In the meantime, Mom came home to 5 factory packs of other colors (including some new ones!) and they shipped out another 9 factory packs yesterday. We'll have them up on the website just as soon as possible! I promise!

I'd better get movin' - I've got another 520 miles to drive!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Workin' my way south again...

The show is all over for the year now. I'm following everyone's travels home via Facebook - although most of those folks are already in their own beds! Flying is for cheaters. Real beaders drive. LOL!

I haven't yet talked about my booth neighbor, Dolly Ahles. When I moved to my current location 3 years ago, I met Dolly, and she's one of the best parts of Bead & Button for Mom and me now. We recognized our compatibility right away, and have become fast and very dear friends. It breaks my heart that I only get to see her twice a year, so I have to make some plans to go visit her in Mesa, Arizona this year to get some Dolly time in. We have soooo much fun! And I have the photos to prove it, which I'll share when I get back home.

I'd better get back on the road....I've got about 600 miles to drive today, then another 520 on Wednesday that will get me right to my very own driveway. Yippee!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Wait...last day? Really?

This show is such a good news/bad news kinda thing. The good news is you'll be surrounded by happy beady people, the best of the best in beads and inspiration, and you'll acquire amazingly cool things. The bad news is that you'll be physically exhausted most of the time, you'll lack sleep, your voice will go out by the end of each day, and when it's all over, you'll be SO SAD!

I can't believe it's already the last day. Mom had an appointment with David, one of the vendors in the booth behind us, to teach him square stitch this morning. He's so tempted to make a Regal Square Stitch bracelet, but he's afraid he won't be able to do it. Mom's gonna show him the way! Since she's already over at the venue, she encouraged me to sleep in a little bit. Didn't have to ask me twice!!

We switched hotels this year to the Hilton (there are two hotels attached to the convention center with walkways) and while this grand old lady is terrifically gorgeous, it's got one fatal flaw. NO SOUND PROOFING! When people are in the hall or the rooms next to us, it sounds like they are in our room. No joke. I can tell you what reality show programs they watch, who's in trouble, what they want for breakfast, the whole nine yards. So it's back to the Hyatt for us next year.

I have oodles and oodles of photos to share when I get home. People, places, things... So stay tuned!

I'd better get moving so I can help Mom in the booth. The absolute hardest part of this show is packing up and loading the car at the end. But we treat ourselves to a delicious filet mignon dinner at the Capital Grille on Sunday night as a ritual for making it through. Now THAT I'm looking forward to!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The view from Milwaukee

It's like Christmas in June. It's a time when all the best beaders in the country converge on the unlikely location of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and we reunite as the chosen family we are. People I only get to see once or twice a year, but yet are vitally important in my world. I arrived around 2pm today, and it's almost midnight now, but I've probably hugged a good 50 people in those hours. It makes me happy...happy...HAPPY!!

The trip driving up was mostly uneventful. I had to drive through some rain last night, but it wasn't anything like the deluges we were enveloped in last year, so by comparison - no big deal. I'm tired, but that's normal too. I'm likely to remain so the entire weekend as we work long days and nights, and fit in socializing as we can.

I'd love to write more tonight, but Mom is already asleep, and the bed looks so inviting...and I have to wake at 6:30 to get ready to take a Marcia DeCoster class at 8am. (in the morning????) After class I'll have one hour to get over to the Expo Hall and help Mom with any last minute booth prep before we open for business. It's the late night...we're there until 9pm.

I love my life.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mea Culpa

From June: If you purchased a kit or pattern of Regal Square Stitch bracelet at Stafford last weekend, please e-mail me at june@tapestrybeads. The color graph is correct, but the word chart is incorrect.