Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Simple pleasures

With the craziness of the shop opening over and done with (for now, anyway...we still have yet to host the ribbon cutting/Grand Opening gala), I've been enjoying the break tremendously. I finally brought my sewing machine down to the store and have been working on various handbags and pinafores. I had over 40 handbags for sale before Friday night and after I closed my doors at 9pm, I had less than half of them left. Time to restock!!! The little children's pinafores I've been working on sold like hotcakes, too, so I'm working on replenishing those as well. Good times.

I never realized how much I'd miss simply sitting down with my little machine and cranking out loads of goodies. I promise to have pictures of my newest creations when/if I ever remember to bring my camera down to the shop.

Coming home after work while we still have daylight has been wonderful. I've decided to read the entire Little House on the Prairie series all over again...yes AGAIN! To this day I'm amazed at how long I've held this memoir close to my heart. I was introduced to the stories by my mother at a very young age. I gobbled each and every book up and memorized each and every episode of the television version (it was awful, I know). If you're ever down for the challenge, I'm always ready for a nice, healthy game of Little House trivia. I've never been beaten. Ha! Anyway, I find myself getting lost in the books all over again and I'm loving every minute of it. Very comforting.

I came home today to find another small pleasure...shoes! I'm not a shoe whore by any means, but I've been in the market for a nice pair of comfy shoes to wear when I'm on my feet all day at the shop. I've had my eye on a pair of Keen's for some time now and finally splurged and bought not one, but two pair. These are the Calistoga model and they're so unbelievably comfy. Go right on out and buy yourself a pair or two.

How are things in your neck of the woods? Anyone whipping up anything crafty? I can't stop drooling over these, and I'm dying to see what she's working on over there with the camera.
Oh, and P.S., I will send a secret surprise to the person who can teach me how to sew in a zipper. I've tried every online tutorial, book and video known to man and still can't for the life of me figure it out. Do you have any tips for me? Pretty please? I have a zipper foot and plenty of willingness to learn. What else is there?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

May I have your attention please...

Introducing, The Paper Sparrow:

Oh man, guys...what a wild ride this has been. If any of you ever consider opening your own shop, I strongly and quite highly recommend it, BUT I will say that it is SO much work. Many people tried to warn me about the amount of work that goes into something like this and I really underestimated it right up until the day my shop opened. But let's put all of that aside, shall we? We opened our doors on Friday night at 5:00. Why the strange time selection, you might ask. Well, on the last Friday of every month, the city of Troy hosts an evening called Troy Night Out where all the local businesses and restaurants stay open late and various events go on all over the place (live music, fun for kids, street performers, etc.). Fate dealt me some gorgeous weather, some of the nicest we've had in a long time, actually, and everyone was out walking around. There was not a single point in time where we didn't have a huge line through the store of people waiting to buy something. I'm actually at the point where I need to order more inventory already before the shop starts looking empty. Amazing. I had the opportunity to meet so many people and make so many more contacts. I received an amazing amount of feedback and it looks like I may have made a name for myself in this little community already, or so it seems.

I do want to stop here for a second, though, and thank every single person who helped me out with this whole thing. I've had so many helpers in every sense of the word and I know it's cliche to say this, but I really couldn't have done it without you. You helped me paint, hang wallpaper, assemble furniture, clean floors, walls and counter tops. You helped me find just the right place for every item. You brought food for the opening, helped make a million and one price tags, and ran errands for me. You stood behind the register ALL NIGHT LONG and waited on each and every customer. You've provided financial advice and a shoulder to cry (or bitch) on. You've offered your guidance and support, even when things in your own life were crazy and out of control. You not only provided last minute artwork to help me fill in the blank spots on my walls, but you hung that artwork for me and made everything look amazing. You carted my ass around when I didn't want to lose my decent parking spot. Guys, this list goes on and on. You all know who you are. Whether you live close by and you helped with the grunt work, or you live all the way around the planet and you provided an amazing product for me to sell in the shop, or offered kind words via this blog or e-mail, you all helped to make this happen. Thank you. I really, really couldn't have done it without you.

Some of you will be hearing from me soon with a new request for merchandise. Some of your things literally flew off the shelves and out of the jewelry cases, and I'm going to need to buy more. I promise to try to be a better, more regular blogger again, now that things have quieted down (or maybe not, Saturdays sales were great, too). For today, though, I'm going to take my very first day off in a very long time and enjoy the silence.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Still going...

Just a quick update:

Things are really starting to come together over at the good old Paper Sparrow! And if I were a good, decent blogger I would have pictures to show you. Alas, I do not. My sincerest apologies. Until I can remedy this problem, however, I will fill you in on what we've been working on over here at the shop.

* The wallpaper is up and looks fan-freakin'-tastic.

* The tile in the front window area has been installed.

* The counter has been delivered and is 50% assembled (thanks to the eloquent Chinese directions).

* Everything is starting to come out of the bizillion boxes in the back room and find homes on shelves and in jewelry cases.

* I'm FINALLY getting my phone installed (it seems that wasting nine years of your life working for the phone company doesn't have as many perks as one might think).

* My computer is about to arrive any second now which is great because my Quickbooks crap arrived yesterday.

* The second window logo sticker went up courtesy of yours truly. I can't believe I managed to put it up by myself, but I was feeling ballsy and wanted to accomplish something great.

* My diet is temporarily ruined out of the sheer inconvenience of constantly being on the run, and also because Troy hosts so many amazing little restaurants and I've been testing them regularly. How can one resist Lebanese on Monday, sushi on Tuesday, Egyptian on Wednesday, vegan food on Thursday, the best pub food (read: seafood chowder) on Friday, Indian on Saturday and Caribbean food on Sunday??? Bad girl, I know.

There are plenty of other great things happening, but I think I'm forgetting quite a few of them. I promise, promise, promise to post pictures soon. I'm not intentionally slacking off, but while the shop madness is going on, I'm also working on little dresses and bags for a charity function that just so happens to fall on the day AFTER my grand opening, and I'm also doing another charity event tomorrow for the Walk a Mile campaign. Oy. Life is full, let me tell you.

I hope everything is well with all of you lovely folks. And get ready because I'm feeling another giveaway coming up soon!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Disaster avoided

Thank GOD! I'm not the kind of person who prays. At all. But I found myself hoping and wishing and begging whoever was listening to make everything okay down here. Holy shit, guys. Downtown Troy was a disaster today and I'm so horribly sorry for the businesses who were affected by this situation.

Here's the scoop:

The fire department and police were called at around 5:00 this morning because of an electrical fire underground. The maintenance man from my building noticed smoke coming out of the manhole covers and notified the authorities. Apparently, the fire was located in the wiring of the system that takes care of the steam buildup in the underground tunnels (please pardon my ignorance here) and when that system went, the steam pressure went all sorts of nuts and the explosion caused the manholes on the entire block to blow 50 feet in the air and through the second and third floor windows on the entire block. The last I heard, there were over 150 windows gone, mostly in retail storefronts and office spaces. Bianca, my friend who owns the pottery shop two doors down, was one of the spaces hit by the impact. She's okay, thank goodness. Actually, in all of this no one was hurt which is amazing considering the number of people out on the street this morning when the explosion happened. I still haven't been able to get into my shop to double check on what's in there, but the city's head engineer guaranteed me that anyone on the first floor was safe, and while I couldn't get too close to the building, I could see from the street that my windows were fine. I'll be able to get back in tomorrow to check and make sure.

Anyway, it's been a long, stressful day and I want to thank everyone for their well wishes. You guys are the best!!!

Keep your fingers crossed for me...

...for I'm a tad bit worried this morning.

My mom called early to tell me to turn on the local news. There was an explosion (explosion?!?!?) on the same street where my shop is located and the news footage showed firefighters investigating my friends' pottery shop two doors down from mine. I don't know if there's damage to my shop or windows, but the street is closed and they won't let anyone down there. As of right now, they're completely baffled as to what caused the explosion, but I'm waiting here, not-so-patiently for an update.

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


I want these so badly I could scream!

No updates for today. I ran errands all day long. More progress tomorrow, I'm sure. I promise to post more pictures, especially of the lovely wallpaper which is almost completely up and ready to rock.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Ramona Quimby 'do

When you go and sit down in front of an old friend who just happens to cut your hair and she tells you that she regrets to inform you that you're officially growing a mullet, it's time for a real haircut.

I'm one of those people who will grow my hair out super long and then chop it all off into a super short pixie cut, only to grow it all out again shortly thereafter. I'm in the "growing out" phase now and it's making me mental. My hairdresser friend tells me that hair grows faster in the warmer months than in the colder ones, and I never believed her up until this past winter. Eh. My hair, which normally grows like a weed, is growing at a snail's pace and apparently it was time to do something about it. I didn't chop it, no, but I did neaten things up a bit. I like the cut, but when I look at it, all I can think about is Ramona Quimby. Anyone know who I'm talking about? I hope you're all familiar with those books.

Anyway, what do you think? I apologize for the horrendous flash in this shot, but it's the best I can do for right now. Using a flash at night next to neighbors like mine draws insanely unwanted attention. I've seen more old lady boob from that house than I'd care to admit and I worry that if I set the flash off too many times I might get a repeat performance from last time. Not pretty. I wanted to boil my brain after the last, uh, viewing.

Oh, and P.S....I've discovered the smell of heaven in Bath and Body Works' "Hello Sugar" body spray. I look like a total asshole, but I'm walking around smelling my wrist as if it's my job. I'm hooked, but if one more person tells me I smell like cake I'm going on a killing spree. Seriously, though, if you think you might like a warm vanilla-ey lemon smell, this is the one for you. I'm horribly sensitive to most perfumes and am known to wear vanilla extract when I want to smell nice but don't want to stress over having a reaction. This is perfect. Except now I want to eat my arm.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The biggest pain in the ass...

And I have another one that needs to go up. Ugh.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Progress report

I don't have a whole lot of shop pictures to show you, mainly because we're so busy down there and stopping to take a picture rarely happens. Mike brought his camera with him over the past few days, though, so he took a few shots. Today the wallpaper is going up and hopefully the window graphics too, if I can figure out how the hell to do that. The inventory was moved in yesterday and my studio at home looks so empty now...it's weird. We're all sore and bruised, and a few of us are covered in green paint, but it's coming along slowly. More photos to come as they're taken. Sorry for being such a blog slacker.