Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Birthday

I just wanted to take second to wish our dear friend, Dan Ceccucci, a very happy birthday.

Sadly, Dan died of Leukemia back in 1997 but seeing as how he was a leap year baby, this birthday is special for all of us. He's in my thoughts a lot today and I'm sure the same goes for many of us.

Happy Birthday, Danny!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

What would you do?

Seriously, if you were in my shoes, what would you do?

I called the shop landlord this morning to see if I could arrange to pick up the keys for the space tomorrow. I have a check all made out to him for my first month's rent and all I need are the keys so I can get in there and start painting/papering/setting up. I was notified this morning that he doesn't know what's going on but the (almost) new landlord completely demolished the space and he has no idea when the work will be done. At this point the space is completely unusable and there's no indication as to when it will be ready. I asked the landlord to call the new guy and find out what the time table is for this whole thing. Keep in mind I was promised three weeks ago that the work would be done by March 1st and I'd have the keys in my hand.

The landlord called the new guy and the new guy told him that his contractor wouldn't put the new floor in unless they ripped up the sub-flooring and so not only is the floor completely ripped out, but his tiles aren't going to be in stock for a while. When I asked how long "a while" is, I couldn't get an answer. I told the landlord I'd be down tomorrow morning to talk to him in person and he was fine with it.

Fast forward to about an hour ago when I came home and had a message from the (almost) new landlord wondering if I'm even interested in doing this anymore. WTF??? This is a totally random call from someone who was told not to speak to me anymore by the current landlord. He mentioned that IF I am interested, they need to know where I want the walls put back up, where the outlets should go, etc. He also mentioned that the tiles are on back order, along with the "historically accurate" lighting fixtures he ordered for the space. According to this message, it will be "several weeks" before the work is done.

Now, three weeks ago when I signed the lease I was told that the work is started and it would be done no later than March 1st. NOW this guy wants to know if I'm even interested in going through with it anymore. Am I the only one who gets the impression that this is happening intentionally to get me to back out? He made it clear from the beginning that it's not worth his while to have me in that space, and I made it clear that I wasn't going to take his shit and eventually decided to stick it out and deal with it. And now this happens. Makes me wonder if he's planning to make my life a living hell if my answer is, in fact, yes, I do want to go through with it.

The current landlord is being played royally. He's really old and wants out of this building and he knows that this new guy will buy him out and keep the place alive. But at what cost? I get the impression that the new guys are telling him what he wants to hear just to keep him calm, but in reality, the story is completely different.

So, if you were me, what would you do? I'm meeting with the current landlord tomorrow to drop off floor plans showing where the walls go and where I need outlets. I have free reign to say/do whatever I want. I'm tired of being dicked around here and at this point I'm ready to throw in the towel. I need advice. Anyone feel like playing doctor this evening?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I was tagged by the wonderful Lauren of Banana Head Pancake, and seeing as how this is my first tag ever I feel compelled to accept the challenge! I love reading these on other people's blogs so why not play along, eh?

So here goes, 7 Random Things about Moi:

1) I talk to my pets. A lot. And when I say I talk to my pets, I mean full blown conversations. And sometimes I'm convinced they understand what I'm saying. Ben noticed really early on that I tend to have really goofy pets and I'm convinced that talking to them makes them this way.

2) I hate bananas. Anyone who knows me knows enough to warn me when eating one in my presence. Poor Nabua. Ugh. I know some people can't pinpoint what they hate about certain foods, but I know exactly what I hate about bananas. The texture, the taste, the brown speckles, the nasty stringy things that hang off AFTER they've been peeled, the sound they make when people eat them...the list goes on and on.

3) I'm addicted to Diet Coke. Mike warned me that this might happen and while I argued endlessly that it would never happen to me, well, it has. I love it. It's my main source of energy in the morning and I'm absolutely hooked on that nice cold fizzy feeling going down my throat. To me, there's nothing better than a nice, big Diet Coke from the fountain.

4) I hated The Matrix. That's right, I admit it. I just don't get the fascination! I understand the concept just fine, I just despise the movies. I've never had a single person tell me they hated it too. Please tell me you're out there.

5) I failed my drawing class during my senior year of art school. I'd never failed a class in my entire life until then. I was so embarrased and ashamed and afraid to tell anyone. Luckily I was still able to graduate because I had too many credits. The funny thing about it, though, was the fact that the faculty chose what work went into our Senior Show and they all chose my drawings. Meh.

6) I long to be a hermit of sorts. A huge part of me wants to just move away and isolate myself from people. Ideally I'd be living in a teeeeeny little cottage on the beach somewhere with Ben and Olive.

7) I don't think I'm any good at being creative. No matter how many people tell me otherwise, and no matter how many things I'm able to sell to people, I'm never convinced that I have talent. People referred to me as artistic, creative and talented all throughout my life and nothing seems to convince me. I fear that I'll feel this way forever and eventually give up on creating in general.

So that's that. Hope I didn't bore you too horribly bad. I guess I'm supposed to now pass this on, so I'm tagging Secret Boy Fiend, Good Girls Studio, Sew Serious, Needle in the Eye, Birch Handmade, and Piss and Vinegar.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Vintage stuffs...I think

So I ran some errands with my mom yesterday and we scored big. After visiting the craft store for the umpteen-millionth time this week (for me, anyway), we decided to visit the new bakery in Cohoes and grab some of their delicious bread. I've been planning tonight's dinner, a fisherman's stew, for a few days now and wanted some nice crusty bread to serve with it...Mike, I can see you cringing now.

Unfortunately for us, the bakery was closed so we ventured back up the hill toward my mom's house. On the way we noticed a ton of old furniture propped up outside of what we thought was an abandoned garage. Apparently someone occupies it now, and that someone happens to buy and repair/rebuild antiques. My mom fell in love with a rocking chair from the late 19th century (no pictures of it, sorry) for a whopping $75, and I fell in love with a table for the shop. The rocking chair is amazing with a nifty little side pocket for magazines, or in my mom's case, lots and lots of yarn.

The table, well, it's perfect for the shop, although I still don't know just how antique this "antique" table really is. Are any of you good at identifying furniture? I'd love a hand with this. It's badly in need of some aesthetic TLC. I think I might paint it black and do a crackle finish with a layer of antique white over that. Or I might just leave it this pumpkiny orange color and crackle a high gloss black over that. What do you think?

The man who owns the store/garage was so pleased with our purchases that he offered to throw in a giant sack of vintage hats and purses for free. I'm kicking myself in the ass royally today because I know a lot of you collect and re-purpose vintage items and I would have gladly done a giveaway here. I'm sorry about that. Instead I was thinking about me, me, me, and being stuck with a bunch of stuff I'd never use and eventually have to get rid of. So I took my two favorites, a hat (for the brooch) and a sweet green purse and left. Maybe if I go back the offer will still stand.

Anyway, I scored this adorable little green evening bag for me:

And this crunchy old hat, which is a little gross:

but check out this brooch:

I'm not quite sure what to do with the brooch. Anyone have any suggestions? Johanna, this piece reminded me of you for some reason. Do you know if you could use it? I'm willing to part with it if you think you can make something of it. It needs a good cleaning pretty badly, I'm afraid, but it has all of its pieces and it's quite sturdy.

And yes, lesson learned:

The next time you're working with an antiques dealer and he offers you a free anything, much less a BAG of free things, you take it. Got it.

It's snowing here today. We're expecting another 2-4 inches between today and tomorrow. Eek. After reading this blog post about the flowers she has in her garden already I find myself tremendously jealous. Please send Spring this way!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Remains of the day

Saturday was Sandy's birthday so Ben and I decided to have a little get-together at our house. Not sure how many of you folks enjoy watching boxing, but the Klitschko/Ibragimov fight was on and so we combined the two events into one evening. I took the opportunity to try out a new Barefoot Contessa recipe and I'm so glad I did. I swear everything this woman touches turns to gold, and that includes carrot cake (my absolute favorite). This cake was so amazing and super easy to make. Here's the recipe:

For the cake:

2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 pound carrots, grated
1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple
For the frosting:

3/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
For the decoration: 1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
For the cake: Beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light yellow. Add the vanilla. In another bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, the cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Toss the raisins and walnuts with 1 tablespoon flour. Fold in the carrots and pineapple. Add to the batter and mix well.
Divide the batter equally between the 2 pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans set over a wire rack.
For the frosting: Mix the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until just combined. Add the sugar and mix until smooth.
Place 1 layer, flat-side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with diced pineapple.

Sandy and Mike hate walnuts so I left them out. I will say, though, that they'd be delicious in there if you're a walnut kind of person. Let me know if you make this cake...I'd love to know what you think about it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Happiness is...

learning to eat "real" food for the first time. She's having an, uhh, interesting time with things like applesauce and mashed peaches, but it's time to move away from the formula and get on with the big kid stuffs.

I hope you're not sick and tired of my "happiness is" posts, but watching this kid eat applesauce made me laugh so hard I almost peed my pants. TMI? Why yes, and I apologize.

Speaking of food (one of my favorite subjects I might add), I stumbled upon a cool new blog for those of us participating in the wonderful world that is Weight Watchers. I, myself, have been following the WW plan since January (flex plan, baby) and as of today I am down a whopping 27 pounds in a little less than two months. Not too shabby. Anyway, I came across this amazing blog, and if you're counting "points" like a champ, or just looking for a low-cal or low-fat option for dinner tonight, please go here:

Good stuff.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

it just is

As promised, I put together my February 10 post ala Amanda Soule. The lovely Sarah of Birch Handmade did one too...check it out.

As I mentioned before, Amanda created a list of things that made her happy this week to remind her of the good things in life amidst the winter blahs we all seem to be suffering through. I need spring so badly right now it's unreal. I don't dislike winter. Winter is welcome here, usually. I generally love the holidays, and the cold weather, while it does horrendous things to my skin, makes me feel alive in weird ways. But the predictable need for warmer weather starts tugging at my heartstrings right around the mid-February mark, and now that it's here I'm eager for things like daffodils and snowdrops and the first sighting of a robin tearing worms from the mud.

So, that's that and these are the things that made me smile, kept me sane, and made me insanely grateful this week:

1. My husband. Ben is my rock. I would be a worthless pile of mush if it weren't for him. He's saved me in so many ways in the past and he continues to save me on a day to day basis. He laughs when I tell him this, but it's 100% true. I owe him my life. This week he's been supportive, strong, helpful and of course, amusing. Anyone who has ever been around Ben knows that you can't go an hour without fits of laughter. I've scored the perfect man, ladies.

2. Longer daylight. I pointed out to Mike on Monday that it was past five o'clock and there was still a bit of daylight left. He wasn't impressed, but I take pleasure in the fact that the sun is taking its time to call it a day more and more each and every day. It's lovely and it assures me that warmer days are on their way.

3. Olive. This little girl makes me smile every second of every day. She's bad sometimes, of course, but she has made my life complete. I never knew it was possible to love a pet this much. Psssst, don't tell the cat I said that. Olive sat with me a few times when I was feeling really low this week and just put her head on my shoulder and snuggled into my neck. It's that kind of support that I needed, even if it was of the canine variety.

4. Friends. New and old, they're all amazing. Everyone checked in on me this week to make sure everything was cool and that I hadn't taken a flying leap. I appreciate that more than words can say, you know. You guys are amazing and I don't know what I'd do without you.

5. The mail! My goodness, the loads of beautiful and unique treasures that show up on my doorstep every day is overwhelming! So many sellers agreed to take a chance on my little store and it's wonderful. You're all artists, you know. Each and every one of you possess such enormous talent and I'm loving working with all of you.

6. Michael Hickok. This goes along with #4, I guess. Mr. Hickok moved home from Florida last summer after five long years of being away and I didn't realize how much I'd missed him until he started hanging out with us again. This guy is the most inventive and creative individual on the planet. He'll make you laugh harder than you've ever laughed before. He's one of the greatest friends I've ever had.

7. Caramel brownie cake. Guys, do you have any idea what it's like to taste pure heaven? Mike and I have taken to watching Paula Deen's cooking show on the Food Network mostly to have a laugh (she's a riot), but also to get some good tips. A few weeks ago she made brownies for a Superbowl party and we were inspired. It's so simple. Take a box of brownie mix (we used Ghirardelli) and prepare it using the instructions on the box. I'm sure you could make your own brownies from scratch, but if you saw the meal we ate last night, you'd understand that brownies from scratch just weren't on the cooking agenda. Anyway, pour half of the batter into a greased 8 x 8 pan and then lay candy bars of your liking on top of the batter. It was Mike's birthday yesterday, so he chose Caramello's to put in the cake. Once you've evenly distributed the candy bars over the batter, pour the rest of the batter on top and bake them according to the box directions. Once they're done, take 'em out, let 'em cool and frost them. You have no idea how amazing these things were.

8. Art (namely, Kiki Smith). It's a pretty wide open topic, I know, but it's my go-to thing when I'm feeling like shit. I've loved art for as long as I can remember. Going to art school was one of the best periods of my life. For me, going to a gallery or a museum, or even opening a book turns my mood around quickly. Kiki Smith is my all time favorite artist. I had the chance to meet her twice and she's such an amazing person. A bit wacky, yes, but I think every artist needs a touch of insanity in them, don't you? I sat down, mid week and took out my Kiki Smith books and just felt so much better. I think seeing creativity in all forms makes me feel better. I'm lucky to be surrounded by so many creative people.

9. Post Secret. Gary brought over the newest edition to the Post Secret collection because I hadn't read it yet. What an incredible concept. It makes me realize that no matter how messed up things might get, or how awful I might feel, there's always something worse out there and I'm grateful for what I have. I'm a lucky girl. I really, really am.

10. Lola. I was on babysitting duty this week and that little girl brings so much light into my life...I feel better just being around her. She's amazing and incredibly smart already. And yes, even though she barfed all over me, I still love her dearly. I'm glad Carly had her. I never knew she could make this family feel so complete.

So, that's it. There are lots of things that remind me of how good life is. I'm leaving out loads of things, but for this particular week, these are the things that got me through and made me happy. What's your February 10? If you've taken Amanda Soule's challenge, send me a link to your blog so I can check it out!

Friday, February 15, 2008

enough of the blahs

I'm sure you'll agree there's been far too much of the nasty stuff in this blog lately and not enough of the good lovin'. I plan to come back at some point this weekend to add my version of Amanda Soule's February 10 post. She's encouraged people to make a list of ten things that make them happy this week. While I already have my list of ten in mind, I will add a little hint of what's to come because I just received the most amazing gift in the mail! The wonderful and talented Mark of drinkabutter sent this wonderful painting as a thank you gift for ordering some of his cards for my shop. I adore this little painting so much and it's almost as if he knew all about the things I love before making it and sending it to me. Mark, I don't know if you read this blog, but thank you so much. This brightened my day immediately. Many many more shipments show up here daily and I'm so excited about it! Olive, on the other hand, is not. The big bad mailman keeps comin' up on her porch and she looks like she's about to have the big one. What is it with dogs universally hating the mailman? She can't figure out what's going on, but boy does she love to smell each package when they come into the house. Mark must have a pet because she won't leave the box alone. Fun times.

Anyway, yes, I'm sorry, dear readers, for being such a downer here lately. I'm stressed and I know that only I can make things better for myself. From here on it, it's daisies and roses. Ha! Right.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Dude, whoever stole my good luck right out from under me, please, please return it asap. I just wiped out...HARD...on the ice out in front of my sister's house and I think I did something seriously wrong to my right hip. Bad news. What the hell happened to my luck? Nothing but negative crap these days...

Give a little

My mom introduced me to an organization that I've totally fallen in love with.

Check out when you have a few extra minutes. You can read all about the program on their site, but basically Kiva finds men and women in poor or underdeveloped countries who are looking to start a business (or find funding to improve an existing business) and need a little help. When you enter the site you scroll through the list of people looking for help and choose from that list the person you'd like to help most. You are only allowed to lend $25 to each person, and this particular person has a certain amount of time to pay the loan back. Once your loan is repaid, you have the option to withdraw your money and go about your merry way, or reloan the money to another person in need. Neat, right?

I received an e-mail this morning that the first person I lended money to has paid the loan back and so I've decided to reloan the 25 bucks. This time around, I chose Eulalia Barrientos Apaza from Juliaca, Peru. I'm going to call her "E" from here on in because writing out Eulalia Barrientos Apaza each and every time will make me mental. E has a small knitting and weaving business. She started out knitting gifts for family and friends and people loved her goods so much they encouraged her to knit full time. The business is a success, but now E would like to open a workshop to knit and weave in.

So many of the people looking for help through Kiva are incredibly poor and really need help. The best part about Kiva, though, is how far into people's pockets they have reached. More times than not, I've signed on to the site and they have NO lendees left. How cool.

Check it out if you're feeling the lurve IS Valentine's day after all.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Taking chances

Today was a better day, or so it seemed.

I spent most of it sewing and listening to The Howard Stern Show (he makes every day complete for me...but what happened to Artie today???) and then I visited with Carly for a few hours. Lola was sad all morning so I played with her before her nap. She's getting so big now I can't believe it. Carly started feeding her applesauce and smashed bananas and she seems to love it. God, before you know it she'll be running around like a maniac. I know it sounds corny but I can't wait to do arts and crafts projects with her. Even when she was in the womb I daydreamed about making little projects and working in the garden with her. Little things like that. Gotta love the benefit of having a curious little mind around you when you want them there, only this one goes home at the end of the day (read: when I've had enough).

I finally had my talk with the landlord (the current one, not the new asshole) and his assistant. I think I've decided to stay in Troy and stick the three years out. The landlord offered to destroy the lease if that's what I want to do, but I'm thinking differently today. I wish I had some sort of mentor to sit down with and really go over what this means for me, but I don't. I'm going on my gut feeling here, and that's mostly made up of anger, frustration and rage over what's happened. Not the best way to start out a new career, but I'm not going to let some jerk destroy the plans I've been making for the last year. No way. Anyway, I have until tomorrow to let him know officially, so if anyone has advice that might change my decision, speak now or forever hold your peace. And hey, at the very least, if the new landlord keeps up with the harassment, it will certainly make for a sassier and more interesting blog, don'tcha think?

OH! After I was home for a while I realized that I had forgotten to buy rolls for our grilled portabella mushroom cap sandwiches (tonight's dinner), so Mike and I made an emergency run down to Remsen Street to check out the new shops there. I was told there was a bakery that just opened and this place rocks! I bought a loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread (sorry, they were out of rolls), some horseradish goat cheese, a walnut scone (breakfast for tomorrow), and three chocolate chip cookies, fresh out of the oven, for Mike. My whopping total? $9. The bread was out of this world. This place uses all local ingredients. They sell things like quiche, pierogies, gourmet soups, sandwiches and baked goods. This might sound like small potatoes to some of you, but a shop like this on Remsen Street in Cohoes is unheard of. Actually, a SUCCESSFUL shop like this on Remsen Street is a crack dream. So many of these little places keep popping up and I really hope they do well! Very inspiring. On my next visit I'll check out the New York wine store. Yes, one does exist.

This rant was long enough. I'm still ordering inventory for the shop and I'm currently drowning in PayPal invoices! HELP!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hell Monday?

First off, I'd like to thank all of you for your kind words through this whole shop fiasco. I've gotten tons of e-mail and phone calls and you're all great. Thank you.

Secondly, I'd like to say that I still have no clue what I'm going to do. At this point I'm waiting for a phone call from the woman who was handling my lease. See, the guy I had such a hard time with on Friday isn't even my landlord yet. He's the one trying to buy the building from the man who would have been the best landlord ever. I put a call in on Friday to the woman handling my lease (who happens to work with the current, nice landlord) explaining everything that happened. She was going to call the nice landlord and call me back. I haven't heard from her yet. If I don't hear from her by this afternoon I'm going to call her and mention that I'm considering breaking the lease. I have a lawyer ready, if needed, but I really don't think it would come to that.

I don't feel good about this. About any of it, really. I haven't slept well at all, and that worries me because it's rare that anything rattles me this much. My heart loves that little shop space and I've been looking forward to getting in there for months now. My head, though, is telling me to cut and! I refuse to work with anyone who tries to use their power (or, would-be power in this case) to make me feel like crap, and that's exactly what this guy does for a living. He's a little short, fat, balding man who intimidates people to make himself feel better. Ugh.

Anyway, I'll post an update when I hear more. Thank you again for your help, suggestions and support. You guys are amazing.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Hell Friday

Okay, I've floated between fits of rage and bouts of hysterical crying over today's events.

I know I've said this before, but if you're considering opening your own brick and mortar shop, please, please, please do not do so if the building is in the process of being sold. I met my (almost) new landlord today and I've never met a bigger asshole in my life. I won't get into the insane details here, but I'm now considering getting out of my lease for the space in Troy and starting all over again from scratch. Half of me wants to cut and run. The other half wants to stick with it and fight this guy 'till the end. If I choose option two, though, it might mean three years of total hell dealing with this man. It pains me to even call him a man. He's a prick.

Does anyone here know the repercussions of stepping out of a lease? It was signed on Monday but no money has been exchanged yet. No work has been done in the space so it's not like they can hold that over my head. There's nothing in the lease stating anything about backing out. Can anyone help me? I'm about to totally lose it here.

Sexist pigs will be the end of the world, mark my words.

please put me out of my misery

Of all the times in my life to get sick, this is the worst one. I have so many things to do and I've never felt so awful. Ben's grown weary of listening to me beg him to cut my head off or shoot me or whatever. I can't take this. Today I have to meet with the contractors who are finally doing the work in the shop space. I need to choose the tile floor from a bunch of samples, tell them where I want the outlets put in, show them where they have to patch the sheetrock and have my wallpaper and paint color approved. These are things I was so excited about until reality hit me like a ton of bricks this morning and I couldn't lift my head off the pillow.

Anyway, enough self pity. How are you folks doing?

Along with the other billion sellers I've hit up for wholesale purchases, my newest excitement is the lovely Sarah Day from A Small Fox in a Big World! I read her blog daily and I love her little stuffed dolls. Toys are exactly what I'm lacking for the kid's section of the shop and she has come to my rescue. I also just found two other yarn people who are willing to help me out. One spins and dyes her own yarn, the other buys old sweaters and takes them apart. I love the idea of recycled yarn! How cool.

So, that's it for me, dear readers. I hope this post finds you well. As for me, well, it's time for some puppy snugglin'. You see, puppy snuggles = instant flu relief.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Moving on

Things are moving pretty fast these days...

I just got my very first inventory shipment today from the very lovely Kathryn of Smashing! How exciting. It's going to be crazy here when everything starts showing up at the same time, but I look forward to every single second of it. I can't wait to have a shop to put everything in, but as it's looking now I'm being pushed back yet another month. Shitty, right? A little word of wisdom to those of you thinking about opening a brick and mortar shop...don't plan on opening when the building you'll be occupying is in the process of being sold. It sucks. Bad.

Anyway, I swallowed my pride and gave PayPal my personal banking info. I really hate that, but what can you do? I have lots more shopping to do and if putting my financial security at risk means I can fill my store with your goodies, well damnit, I'm there! By the way, if you know of anyone who makes baby items (clothing, stuffed toys, bibs, etc), please send them my way. Gracias!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Ignorance is bliss, or so they say

Can someone please explain PayPal logic to me?

Why is there a limit to how much money you can spend unless you become "verified"? Is this just a ridiculous ploy to get me to give them my bank information? And if I don't comply, does this mean I have to wait "X" number of days before I can buy more? This is important to me because I'm in the middle of buying my shop inventory and ya'll have some crazy stuff I want and simply can't resist. What's the deal here? Can they seriously tell me I can't buy anymore???

Can someone help me before my brain melts completely?

Thanks in advance.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

utterly swamped

Okay, I'm in over my head this weekend.

I didn't know where to post this aside from here. I would have put it up in the Etsy forums but I'm afraid my convo inbox would overflow again. I'm serious, I got 48 convos in about 2 minutes after posting in the forums and they just kept coming in after that...hell, they're still coming in. So, I just want to let anyone who is waiting for a reply from me regarding wholesale orders to know that I didn't forget about you. I'm just completely overwhelmed by the orders and questions and just general words of kindness and I WILL get back to you, I promise. Wow. Total madness, let me tell you. That said, I am so excited and over the moon about the wonderful goodies I'm going to be getting in the mail very very soon! So many amazing things from so many fantastic sellers. This is great. I also just hooked up with an organic honey supplier from the Adirondack mountains, a maple supplier from Vermont, a man who makes the most incredible wooden cutting boards at such a cheap price it would make your head spin, a man who makes hand carved wooden toys for children (no lead paint!), and two candle makers. All of these people are local with the exception of the Vermont maple person, but that's close enough. So wonderful. I can't wait to get everything in the space!!!

So, yes, I'm in over my head and questioning my sanity an awful lot lately, but that's okay. I know I'm doing a good thing here. Hope all is well with everyone else!

Friday, February 1, 2008


I'm desperate for a trip up north...soon. We're heading north tomorrow for Diana's birthday party but we're not going north enough. Lake Placid is on my mind a lot lately. I woke up this morning wishing we were there, but then I looked out the window at my neighbor's shitty run down yellow and brown eyesore of a house and I quickly snapped back into reality. I miss it there. Maybe I can drag Mike along for a ride...a day trip would do.

Anyway, I made Diana's gift this year. For those of you who don't know her, Diana is Ben's step-mother and I just adore her. She's so crafty! She's always working on a project and her quilts are amazing. She started this really great co-op in her home town and a lot of the sellers there will be selling their wares in my shop. So cool.

She loves to cook...a lot. For god knows what reason, she thinks I'm a great cook and has been asking for some of my recipes for a long time now. For her birthday, I gathered 50 of my favorite recipes, some I've made myself and some I've collected over the years from various magazines and websites, and put a cookbook of sorts together for her. Each page is laminated, and the entire thing is spiral bound so she can fold it in half and take up less counter space. The lamination cost a small fortune, but I insisted on it because she can simply wipe up little (or big) spills and messes without a problem. I hope she likes it. If not, we got her a subscription to my bible, Martha Stewart Living, as a second gift. I know she'll like that.