Thursday, January 31, 2008

somewhat sore, but ready to go

My appointment last night went better than expected. Unfortunately, though, I'm only half done. Not because Kara ran out of time. Not because I couldn't handle the full sitting. But because she's so into my tattoo for whatever reason that she wants to keep going with it. She wanted to make a second appointment right away to finish it, but I didn't want to make immediate plans until I find out what the deal is with my shop lease (more on that later). The best part about last night? I didn't pay a cent for the sitting. My sister had something sneaky up her sleeve and covered it for me. Nice, right? Anyway, I'll post pictures when I'm not so, uh, puffy and greasy.
So yeah, about the lease...

I still don't have one and I'm starting to worry a bit. See, the building I'll be renting space in is in the process of being sold. The transaction is supposed to be smooth and easy, but it's taking for-freaking-ever! I can't sign the lease until the sale goes through (February 1st, or so I'm told). Then the landlord has to get into the space and get the work done (new floor going in and walls repaired) which will take a week or two. Now, keep in mind that my goal for an opening was for February's Troy Night Out, which falls on the 29th this year. I don't think two weeks will be enough time to get in there and paint, hang wallpaper, get the electrical work done, get the carpentry done, put up shelving and display, and then get the inventory in. I also need things like a phone, electricity, alarm system and a working credit card system, and after spending nine years working for a major utility company, I know how long they can and will make you wait for installation. Get my point here? I really don't want to put my opening off another month, but it's looking like that's where I'm headed. I feel gross. I've told so many people that my opening is in February and I really don't want to tell everyone that it's changed...again. I'm trying to stay positive like my mom and Ben keep telling me to be. I'm not out any money, it'll be that much warmer and people will be out shopping in March/April, it's another step away from the Christmas season and people will have money to spend. These things make sense and I'm trying to think about it that way, but I still feel so.....disappointed.

Anyway, I'm done with the rant. I'll be sitting in front of Eric Bachmann in about 10 hours and I'm so excited I could scream. Just writing that down made my heart flutter a little.


Someone must be listening because a few hours after I originally posted this, I received word that my lease is ready to be signed and I have an appointment for Monday morning. Hooray!!! The ball is rollin' again!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Tattoo day!

I checked out the sketches yesterday and I like what she's come up with. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I'm normally a control freak and decide on each and every tiny detail when it comes to my tattoos. With this one, I'm leaving it up to her to decide on where things are going. I'm nervous and excited and freaked out and ecstatic all at the same time. Feels like my wedding day, but with much less rain.


Mr. B.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

teaching boys to sew

Mike expressed an interest in creating his very own patchwork scarf, believe it or not, so I taught him how to make one. I wish I had more action shots, but we're working with limited space in my studio and I couldn't get a decent angle to save my life. He did really well. I'm impressed!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A little taste

A little sample of Mr. Bachmann at his finest.

Be sure to listen to the song "White Trash Heroes" when clicking this link. It's actually an old Archers of Loaf song, and I'm so happy to see him touring with old material instead of shying away from the past like he's so known to do.

5 days and counting...


This post was removed by me for personal reasons.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I don't like Country music

"I don't think they're all that sad. I have a few that aren't sad, they're, like...hopeless, or about a totally hopeless situation. The rest aren't sad, they're just the way it goes, kinda. You don't think life is sad? But from recognizing the sadness you can put it aside and be happy and enjoy the happy side of life."

- Townes VanZandt

I've been submerged in Townes VanZandt lately. Every so often I get the urge to listen to him, usually while working in my studio and then it just doesn't stop. And then the Be Here To Love Me DVD comes down from the shelf and I watch it a few times and I think I go through a bit of a mourning period. Weird.

His quote above is in reaction to an interview question about why his songs are so sad. Townes' response couldn't be more perfect or more accurate. His songs are simply beautiful, as long as you're willing to peel back and scrub off the pain to get to the pretty part.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Just got home from my consultation with the lovely and very talented Kara (how cute is she???):
Yes, that's right folks, on Wednesday January 30th I'll be marking myself up once again.

Lots more bird tattoos? Um, yes, I think so. Ooh yes, I really, really think so.

P.S. Cloverfield rocked.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

There IS a god...

and he is as obsessed with fabric as I am.

I took my brother-in-law to an appointment this morning and accidentally ran into a fabric store I never knew existed. Flying Geese Fabrics is the most perfect store and I can't wait to go back. I wish I had more time to investigate today, but alas, I did not. They don't have a website for me to link to here, but for those in the upstate NY area, it's located in the Rosewood Plaza on New Karner Road in Albany.

And hey, if you' re planning to check it out, I'll go with you.

(this picture sucks, but it's hand-dyed wool...the piece on the far right is green marbled, not grey and stained as this shot would make you think)

bye bye, Kit Pistol

I'm sad to see you go...

I no longer have a show favorite. Maybe I'll root for Christian. At least he has a personality.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Keepin' busy

Two new patchwork scarves:

These seem to be really popular lately! I love the combination of quilter's cotton, silks and upholstery fabric. The yellow scarf is backed in wool felt and the green scarf is backed in fleece. Nice and warm! And who doesn't love to rid themselves of at least part of the scrap stash we're all guilty of having?

Business stuff is keeping me insanely busy lately and I know it's only going to get more and more nuts. I actually look forward to it.


And because I couldn't resist, I leave you now with a touch more cuteness:

(photo courtesy of Michael Aloisius Hickok)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Happiness is...

busy bee

Two more ladies, as promised.

I think I'm done with the bags for a bit, although I do need to up my stock for the shop before I open my doors. I'm in the mood to make some aprons, I think. We'll see.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I hope I don't regret this...

It's official!

The Paper Sparrow is now a licensed business.

I got my DBA today and am currently awaiting my federal and state tax IDs.

Two new ladies

Two new bags were born in my studio this morning and two more are on the way tomorrow.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?

I think I'm liking this whole oversized wristlet thing. It's a new take on the same bag with handles.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Is this hideous?

I can't tell...

Not quite sure how I feel about the oversized wristlet/clutch, but I thought I'd give it a go.

Monday, January 7, 2008

I'm not a stalker, I promise

I have an addiction.

I can't remember how I came across my new favorite blog, but once it came into my life everything changed.

I fell in love with SouleMama.

I fell in love so hard that I started at the beginning of her blog and I've been slooooowly making my way from her first post to the most recent...we're talking about 3 years worth of entries here. Actually, I'm intentionally taking my time reading through it and looking at each and every one of her photos carefully for fear that once I'm caught up to her most current post I'll be missing out on that little something special in my day. After the house settles down for the night, the dishes are done and the boys are nestled in with their video games, I sneak away into my studio and allow myself to indulge in one month at a time. Amanda Soule is one of the most inspiring people I've encountered in my lifetime, and that's saying a lot.

If you're interested in reading about her life in Maine and the wonderful adventures she has with her three children, I highly recommend reading:

And trust me, start from the very beginning and work your way through. I don't remember ever being drawn to a book, movie or television show like I am to this blog.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Keepin' busy

Living room pillows went from this:

To this:

With nifty little removable covers:


Olive is sick again, unfortunately, and I didn't want to leave her in the house by herself yesterday while we ran some errands. My mom agreed to watch her, although reluctantly, I'm sure, and in exchange she asked that I take a trip to JoAnn's with her. Duh. No brainer.

We made the trek to the same JoAnn store I visited a few nights ago and while I was hesitant at first, I'm glad we went. The store is completely restocked with new things and the Christmas leftovers have been piled in a small corner someplace out of sight...thank the sweet lord. I wasn't planning to buy anything this time around. My main objective was to persuade my mom NOT to buy cheap felt for her latest project and splurge a little bit on wool. I failed my mission. I despise acrylic felt. I don't know if I could explain why, I just do. On that note, I'm looking for a heavyweight wool felt in dark navy blue for a project I dreamt up last night. Can anyone recommend a good site? In my experience thus far, when I order what the site says is "thick wool felt" it feels like a floppy dishrag and that doesn't make for the handbag of my dreams.

Anyway, check out the goodies I snagged for a steal:

I loaded up on some sweet quilters cotton, some scraps from the leftover bin (50% off, I might add), and a few fat quarters. I'm so drawn to fat quarters for some odd reason. They're the perfect size for certain projects, but I always find that I never have enough. Why do I keep buying them???

Anyway, all but one of these fabrics are intended for tote bags and maybe a few other little projects I'll show you at another time. The red and orange floral fabric on the left is meant for pillow covers for my living room couch. Between the dog munching on the corners and our weekend guests sleeping (read: drooling) on them, they're badly in need of a makeover....and some more stuffing.

After spreading a bit of my own drool all over the fabric department, we made our way through the store. I was actually well behaved and showed tremendous amounts of restraint in the handbag supply and yarn departments (I bought yarn on my last visit). I actually thought I was leaving the store without picking up another thing. Ha! At the front of the store, conveniently located right next to the cash registers, was a new line of home decor items that I fell in love with for the shop. The 40% off everything catch beat me into submission.

Here's what I picked up:

I couldn't get a decent shot of these plates to save my life, but they're egg shaped bamboo plates in the most luscious shade of olive green. I'm going to use these in my jewelry cases for various necklaces/bracelets/earrings, etc.

I love this set of three little platters, also destined for display in my jewelry cases. They too are an amazing shade of green (notice a theme here?) and I adore that crackle finish.

The Buddha pillows are for the loveseat.

The Buddha plates are for my own personal use. I'm not a practicing Buddhist, but I collect statues of Buddha and they're taking over my house.

Not too bad if I do say so myself. I was shocked at the amount of money I didn't spend!
When I got home and went through my mail I noticed a package sticking out of the stack. The earrings I ordered from FireChickTick arrived! They're a gift for a certain someone who reads this blog, so I can't mention any names. I'm fighting the urge to keep them for myself. So cute.

It was a great day overall and I'm glad I went back out. Surprisingly, no JoAnn employees perished after asking me what I was making. The gods have indeed heard my cries!
P.S. A few of you have been asking me what Ben's up to these days. I took a picture of him doing exactly what he loves doing, and has been doing since Christmas.

The man on his throne, sceptre in hand: