Thursday, April 30, 2009

I want to fling myself off the Cohoes falls...

...and it's a long way down.

I just found out that Bath and Body Works discontinued my perfume. Why, oh why must they (and every other fragrance/cosmetic company) do this to us?
Several Etsy sellers claim to have similar scents available, but I'm not holding my breath. So, R.I.P. Hello Sugar. Once I make it through the four bottles I have stashed in the closet we'll have to say our final goodbyes. So unfair. Your scrumptious lemony sugar cookie aroma will surely be missed. But at least now I can end my unnecessary reliance on the Bath and Body Works company. I think they've done me a big favor. Move on.

What would you do?

We've been toying around with the idea of getting a second dog for a while now, and stupidly I stopped in at the Hudson Mohawk Humane Society on Monday afternoon to see what they had available. I absolutely fell in love with this little lady, Audrey, and I haven't stopped thinking about her since then. She's eight years old and was surrendered to the shelter when her owner died. It breaks my heart to see this little one behind bars and we're considering our options.

Do any of you have experience with the adoption of older dogs? I know about the hesitancy some people have because half (or more) of their life has already gone by, and with those years comes bad habits and behavior that can't be corrected this late in the game. But I can't help but feel like we could give her an incredible last few years full of love and fun, and at the same time increase Olive's happiness by bringing in a new friend and companion. This, of course, would mean more vet bills, food bills, trips outside for playing and bathroom duty, plus less room in the bed at night and more attention paid to Olive because I'm sure jealously is right around the corner.

What would you do? I'd love to hear your stories if you have any, both good and bad.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

stilettos, lemon sugar, columbine and old friends, take 1

I'd love to start this post out with a thank you to everyone involved in Troy Night Out last Friday. From my customers, to friends and family who helped out, to the amazing artists who contributed their work, to good old mother nature for giving us such beautiful weather. Wow. I can't thank you enough. Amazing sales, great turnout, and I actually had the opportunity to experience my first sample of fried dough for the season. I love me some fried dough. Fantastic. Thanks!

So, TNO kicked off what became an epic weekend and I'm still reeling from it. We got up early on Saturday morning to participate in this year's Walk A Mile In Her Shoes rally and it was great! The turnout seemed much bigger than last year and everyone seemed to be having a great time! I recognized quite a few men from last year who were back again for seconds. Many of them skipped the heels this time around and went for the flats, but some kept the heels and opted for heavy weight sport socks underneath. This year brought lots of kids, some fraternities, and some incredible donations and contributions. A great time once again!

Ben scored some major sun stroke during the walk, so we headed home afterward to hide out in the shade. With temperatures in the high 80s, I think a lot of people were hit hard. I mean, hey, just a few weeks ago we were shoveling ourselves out of a winter wonderland. Funny how quickly things change. Anyway, I decided to turn the oven on (ugh) and give Martha's Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie recipe another go. These things are so fantastic. I highly recommend them.

We woke up bright and early on Sunday morning ready to head back outside to work in the yard. I put the spring yard work off long enough and dove in head first. I cleaned out the front flower beds while Ben weed whacked and mowed the lawn, and then my mom and I visited a few of the local greenhouses for mulch and flowers. I venture out to several different greenhouses and garden centers all the time, and I really don't know why I bother. The one place I always seem to wind up is Faddegon's. I wish everyone had a Faddegon's near them. What an amazing place! I love going there when I need something, but I also love going there just to walk around and admire everything, too! Even in the winter months, their indoor plant collection is incredible, and I'll never buy another orchid or cactus from anyone else. If you live in this area and you're looking for rare, collectible, or even native plants, give this place a shot.

On this particular visit, I was looking for something to fill in the gaps where my old Forget-Me-Nots and wild marigolds once were. And, as always, I was really looking for different varieties of Columbine, my personal favorite. I scored some new Columbine, some more black-eyed Susans, and some Dianthus for the beds, and then some Alyssum, Pansies and Lantana for my planters and pots. After getting home and unloading the truck, I was tired but pushed on anyway and got everything planted and mulched. Ben and I chowed down on a delicious fish and asparagus dinner with fresh corn on the cob. A much deserved feast!

I spent most of yesterday visiting old coworkers at my old office in Albany. It was good to see everyone again, but I still have no regrets about leaving Verizon. Those people who lectured me on the dangers of leaving back in October of '07 are now asking me what it was like to leave such a hefty paycheck behind. If I had my way, I'd get everyone out of that place. It sucks the life out of you. I miss the money, though, that's for sure.

So that's it. I'm pooped out, but I feel good. It was nice to be outside and productive. Hope your weekend was great, too!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

love it.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Oh no!

Sad, sad news.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

little things

I'm trying my darnedest to keep busy and stay productive lately, while the warmer, sunny weather taunts me through the windows. The weather folk are calling for temps in the 70s for Troy Night Out tomorrow night, and temps in the 80s for Walk A Mile on Saturday. How fun! Now that things are starting to pick up again in downtown Troy, I have to work harder to keep the inventory rolling in (sorry Netflix!), even though my garden needs tending to and my house desperately needs a good solid cleaning. So, back to the sewing machine I went, and when that was done, I picked up my jewelry tools and got crackin' there, too. I'll get to the house this weekend, hopefully.

I made one of these little bags for myself before I left for Ithaca. I needed something to carry my camera in, so I designed this around the dimensions of the camera itself. It doesn't hold much, but I'm not one for carrying a bag anyway so I have very little to stuff in there. I received quite a few compliments on it, so I thought I'd make a few for the shop. The first one that went up on the wall (no pictures, sorry) sold within ten minutes and I knew I needed to make more. I think they're cute. I've nicknamed them "Half Pint" after my very favorite, Laura Ingalls Wilder (stop rolling your eyes at me! You know who you are.).

I'm sure I've talked about this before, but I'm incredibly fond of the ocean. We have a torrid love affair, the Atlantic and I, and I'm longing to go there again soon. I've noticed that when I'm thinking about being at the beach, those oceany, sea colors begin to pop up in whatever creation I happen to be working on. These necklaces are a perfect example of that. I used the same color palette with each one, and yet they're all so different. I adore the combination of semiprecious stone, glass, beach pebbles and wood. Add a touch of silver in there and I'm in love. I'm fighting with myself to put these in the case and up for sale. I want all of them.

The first round of these little earrings flew right out of the shop, so I put a few more together. Simple and plain, just the way I like things.

And one last necklace because I wasn't quite ready to put the tools away after the ocean fantasy. This one just screams autumn to me, but hey, it works.

Next up, some more headbands for the shop. I normally make fabric headbands, but this time around I think I might make some ribbon headbands for spring. This pattern looks simple.

Oh, for those of you in the area, I should let you know that, as with every other TNO, shop hours are 2:00-10:00 tomorrow, and I'll be closed on Saturday to participate in the walk. If you're interested in participating in the walk, it's not too late to register! We'd love to have you there!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm baaaaack!

Ithaca was such a treat. Such a sweet little town! My mom and dad took me there as a kid and they both claim I loved it back then. I was hesitant to believe it because, well, what the hell can one possibly do in Ithaca, NY? Lots, apparently. Our hotel was located within a few hundred feet from Ithaca Commons, an outdoor shopping center, and this place was loaded with little independant businesses. Tons of handmade goodies and locally made products. I fell in love.

After a shopping binge and lunch at an amazing restaurant (with great service!), we headed back to the hotel for some rest and then got ready to head out to the State Theater of Ithaca to see Mr. Bachmann and the rest of Crooked Fingers play. Amazing set! Lots of older stuff with a few favorites thrown in for good measure, and newer stuff done up in new ways. Great times. no cameras, though. They were literally yelling at people outside of the theater to leave their cameras/cell phones with cameras outside. Right. And stupidly, I didn't take a single picture while walking around either. The weather was crappy and it just never occured to me. Guess that's why I'd never make a good photographer or a better blogger.

The State Theater was a beautiful place. It reminded me a lot of The Palace in Albany, for those of you who live in these parts. I checked out a listing of their past shows and it seems like they pull in a lot of amazing acts. Actually, the Felice Brothers were scheduled to appear last night. Should have planned that trip out a bit better. Mr. B on Monday, Felices on Tuesday. What could be better than that?

Anyway, while watching Crooked Fingers play for the umpteen-millionth time on Monday night, it dawned on me that I've been a fan of Eric Bachmann's (and his various ventures) for 15 years now. I knew it was a long time, but I never realized it's been that long. Now I know why people are surprised when I tell them I'm going to see him...again. Although, if it's really been that long, people shouldn't be surprised, I guess. It's one of the few simple pleasures in this life of mine that make me truly happy.

Friday, April 17, 2009

slight obsession

On a recent trip to the local Salvation Army, I snagged these shoes. I saw them sitting high up on a shelf and thought they were cute, but assumed they'd never fit because shoes are one thing I never have luck finding at Sally's. Not only did they fit me perfectly, but they're brand new with the original price tags on them, and a Sally price sticker stuck to the toe. How much? Get this...six bucks! Love 'em. They're comfy as hell, cute, and very functional. I don't think I'll ever take them off. Besides, even though I'm 5'6, I still feel stumpy sometimes and the lift from these heels helps my sorry little ego.
I'm heading out of town on Monday on a little road trip to sunny Ithaca, NY! The shop will be closed on Tuesday, but I plan to reopen on Wednesday morning at 10. Have a great weekend!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

spring moon...

...taken from my front porch. Certainly not my best, but hey, I do what I can with what I have.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

life after us

One of the most amazing things I've seen on television in a long time was a special created by the History channel called Life After People. If you've seen this, I'm sure you'll agree that it was captivating. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since.

Imagine what the earth would be like if people just ceased to exist. This has nothing to do with religion or god (at least not from the filmmakers point of view), just a simple hypothetical situation. They cover topics as wide ranging as household pets (the ones who manage to get out of the house if they're trapped inside) going back to basic instincts for survival (pack mentality, etc.), to the longevity of dams and bridges, to new species of animals that might pop up when they have a chance to get together after decades of being apart from human intervention. Amazing stuff. While watching a special on The Bermuda Triangle (very interesting) last night, I noticed they're showing it again!!!

This is a must see. The clip above is the first seven minutes of the special. I think you can find the rest on You Tube if you don't have the History network.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Whew! Taxes are just about done and now I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief while life goes back to normal. Next year I won't procrastinate so long and put it off until the very end. I should apply that advice to more areas of my life.

Seeing as how I haven't been up to much lately (other than scraping my mushy, number-filled brain off the floor and pouring it back into my skull), I'll fill this post with some of my current favorite things.

1) Wristcutters: A Love Story. I couldn't possibly put into words how much I loved this movie. To sum it all up, it's about an afterlife for people who have committed suicide...a place where there are no stars, where people can't smile, where quirky friendships are created and where mysterious black holes pop up in the most unexpected (or if you've ever been in my car, the most expected) places. I think I may have already mentioned my love for Patrick Fugit in the past, but yes, he's one of my favorites. And Tom Waits in any movie automatically equals love in my book. Great concept, fantastic soundtrack and an amazing cast. Well done.

2) New blog fun! I recently received an e-mail from the Crooked Fingers website announcing their current tour schedule and a tour blog! I'm a blog reading fanatic, so of course this was right up my alley. They mention this tour being the last for a while and I can only hope this means that Eric Bachmann will be going back into the studio again. Anyway, the blog is in its beginning stages, so there's not a whole lot there, but they update frequently. Seems like, if anything, they're eating plenty.

3) 11 more days! I'm not counting days or anything, but hey, there's only 11 more days to go until Sandy and I leave for Ithaca to see Mr. Bachmann himself. Can't. Freakin'. Wait. If any of you are familiar with the Ithaca area, I'd love it if you could share your wisdom of the town and maybe point out a few must sees there. It's a college town, so I can only assume there are lots of cute little shops. I'd love to find a fabric shop or a bead store or something. But yeah, restaurant recommendations, things to see/do would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

4) Felices! We're heading to Albany tomorrow night to see The Felice Brothers play. For those of you in the area, I highly recommend seeing them live at least once. I guarantee you'll love the music. And if you're anything like me, you'll love watching them perform even more. I've never seen anyone play a washboard (or two, or three) so hard that it breaks. Always a treat.

5) Anniversary! It just dawned on me this morning that the one year anniversary for The Paper Sparrow is a mere two weeks away. Could one year have possibly passed us by already? Seems really bizarre, but I guess it makes sense. I can't believe I've survived my first year in business!!! Amazing! A big thanks for those of you who shop here, and another thanks to those of you who provide me with amazing inventory. You guys rock!

6) Summer shoes! I'm certainly not in a position to buy myself a new pair of shoes for the spring/summer/fall weather (thanks recession!), but it's nice to dream, right? I love flats for warmer days and I stumbled upon these shoes on Zappos. How adorable are these??? I wouldn't know which pair to choose!

I think that about sums it up. Things here are great, and I hope everyone out in blogland is happy and well. Let me know how you're doing, mmmmmkay?