Sunday, April 26, 2009

The next challenge is ...

... knitting hot air balloon ornaments. Little did I know that the REAL challenge would be finding/creating a basket for the balloon. Knitting the balloons is easy. I've tried weaving yarn baskets, knitting yarn baskets, and searching local stores for tiny woven baskets. You'll have to visit the Anna (TX) Glow Fest to see what I finally use.

I'm also working on hot air balloon earrings for the occasion.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bracelets delivered! On to the next challenge ....

I delivered the bracelets last night! Finally! I met my customer at the McKinney ballfields near the ballfields at Craig Ranch. This gave me a chance to see Robert Hogan's statue of Joe DiMaggio. Wow! You can even see the texture of Joe's shoelaces! Amazing. The photos on Bob's website, bronzeartbyhogan, don't do his sculptures justice.

Today is "home repair and maintenance" day. New A/C and heating unit for the downstairs will be installed today, next Thursday the upstairs unit will be replaced. The nursery is removing two dead pear trees, victims of cotton root rot, and replacing them with a redbud and a magnolia. With any luck, the insurance adjuster will make it out today to inspect the roof - we lost several shingles in last Friday's winds and the roofing contractor says it's time to replace the 15-year-old roof. It's hard to believe the house is 15 years old!

While all of this is going on, I'll probably try my hand at knitting hot air balloon ornaments. I'm renting space at the Anna Glow Fest balloon festival Memorial Day weekend. Alan suggested that I make hot air balloon ornaments to sell there. Hmm. I wonder if I can make hot air balloon earrings ... I'll have to think about that one.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Birthday activities

Yesterday was my birthday. It was a good day. I started the day finishing up with Trade Days activities - taking the last load of "stuff" to storage, unpacking the floral arrangements from the tubs they were transported in and putting them back on the shelves, cleaning up bits of trash from my spot.

In the early afternoon, I had tea with two friends. We had a lovely time, snacking on delicious quiche, fruit salad, tea breads, scones, and pastries. We hated to see our time together end, but we did all need to get back to other commitments.

My husband took me out for dinner - Genghis Grill - one of our favorite special occasion spots. We almost had the place to ourselves. There were three other diners there when we arrived and only about 10 diners when we left.

I taught my Wilton Cake Decorating Course 2, Lesson 2, Monday night. This is one of my favorite lessons because the students learn to work with one of my favorite media - run sugar, or, as Wilton has trademarked it, Color Flow.

When I got home, my husband and I sampled the chocolate cheesecake he baked for me. It was delicious!

All in all, a very good day!

Trade Days - Days Two and Three

Saturday was rainy (again) in the morning, sometimes cloudy, sometimes sunny in the afternoon. Sunday was a gorgeous day! There were a lot of people around, shopping, buying, chatting, a little of everything. I did a booming business in custom earrings, with several orders for next month. I even had one lady bring in a too-short necklace purchased from another vendor, who couldn't lengthen it, and ask if I could lengthen it for her. I did; a customer's a customer! I sure hope the other jewelry vendors don't start hauling their findings out there - I do a lot of alterations. Next time, maybe they'll start with me.

In a "what are the odds" moment, I was in or near my booth all weekend except for about 5 minutes Sunday afternoon. A friend was out shopping Sunday and is fairly certain she stopped by my booth but didn't see me there. What are the odds?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Trade Days - Day One

I didn't realize I'd not written anything since the 9th.

The 50 bracelets are coming along nicely. I've worked out a system to speed up assembly. Other than that, I've been getting ready for Third Monday Trade Days. Yesterday's storm was interesting to sit through, outdoors, in a 24x24 spot, completely covered (thank goodness!), and largely enclosed by 6' high wind curtains. All my merchandise survived, but I did bring home the crocheted and knitted blankets to launder - four of them were soaked. Today's weather is supposed to be much better.

Tonight's the opening of our church youth group's silent auction to raise money for their mission trip. The dinner is usually excellent. I'll be on hand to answer questions about the jewelry I donated. The youth have put together several talents to share, including an indoor LaCrosse demonstration! That should be interesting to watch.

Time to get busy.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What a week!

Here it is, Thursday, (Maundy Thursday for those of you of the Christian faith), and I've not added anything to my blog since Tuesday. Tuesday evening there were 10 students in my Course 1; we made it through the class and decided to split into two sessions - one meeting on Tuesday night, the other meeting on Wednesday night. For the first time ever, the store manager greeted my class! I think my students really appreciated it.

I've not had time to work on any jewelry, yet. I've been updating my resume for work. My program is nearing its end, so it's time to look for the next opportunity. Today, I've been making deviled eggs for the Agape meal at our church tonight. 18 eggs. 3 dozen deviled egg halves.

After we get home from services this evening, I'll get busy. I don't have to work tomorrow. I plan to spend part of the day working on jewelry. I hope to go to the dedication of a sculpture in Highland Park tomorrow. I found out, through Facebook, that a fellow West Virginia transplant to Texas, from my home county, no less, is an accomplished sculptor and has a dedication tomorrow. That's all for now.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wow! What a busy few days. First, we bought a new lawn mower - our 17-year-old mower finally bit the dust - and a new string trimmer. Then, we bought two trees to replace the two pear trees that succumbed to cotton root rot. After that, we attended Alan's niece's wedding up at Lake Texoma. Finally, we purchased two new air conditioning systems for our house. In between, I figured out how many more beads I am going to need to finish those 50 bracelets for a fund-raiser.

The findings I ordered arrived over the weekend, too. Now I can get started making jewelry with all the gorgeous stones I purchased from another vendor at last month's Trade Days - sapphires, opals, mahogany obsidian, black onyx - look for stud earrings, links in necklaces, and who knows what else. I'll also expand the available clip-ons for those without pierced ears. I can hardly wait to get started.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Works in progress

This evening, I'm working on a custom order for a fund raiser: 50 elastic bracelets that read "I am second". I am Second is "a movement where significance in life is a shared value among people of all kinds." (Quote taken from I am Second's website.) After that, I've committed to providing a set of jewelry to a DAR fund-raiser and something to our church youth group's silent auction fundraiser for their mission trip. Well, those bracelets aren't going to make themselves, are they? Stay tuned for info on the other jewelry.

My first blog!

Wow.  This is my very first blog.  Let me tell you a little bit about myself.

I live in north central Texas, with my husband and our three cats.  A little over two years ago, I started a small crafts business, Donna's Crafty Creations, through which I sell things that I make.  I'm working on getting more visibility for my business, so, here I am. 

I love to arrange silk flowers, they were the reason I started my business.  (I ran out of room for them in our house.)  I do all sorts of needlecrafts:  sewing, embroidery, knitting, crocheting, tatting, needlepoint, counted cross-stitch, hardanger.  I've learned to make jewelry.  I'm currently teaching myself to paint.  I also teach cake decorating.

I'll be back later with more information.