Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Retail Therapy

I have a confession to make: I have a weak spot for pretty things. I'm a marketer's dream. Slap together a pretty website, cute packaging or amazing color combinations and I'm sold.

That, armed with the fact that I have my credit card number, expiration date and CVV2 number memorized, makes a little time and a computer with an internet connection, very, very dangerous.

A while back, I came across the prettiest iridescent polka dot fabric - and it kept getting better when I realized it came in every color of the rainbow. I immediately fell in love with Michael Miller's Mirror Ball Dot fabric. When, a few weeks later, I found out that they packaged and sold a box of the fat quarters in EVERY SINGLE COLOR, I knew I had to have it. So, I added it to my wish list and promised myself I'd get it.

Fast forward to about a year later. The Mirror Ball Dot fat quarter boxes were becoming scarce. In fact, so scarce that the places where I'd originally seen the box were now out. Sure, I could have asked about ordering it - found out if they were getting more in but, when I found a store with it still in stock, I figured it was destiny. It was the universe's way of telling me I had to have that fabric. I didn't hesitate and I typed in those 16 digits as fast as I could.

Although that might have, under ordinary circumstances, satiated my internet-shopping whims for the week, during an evening of blog-surfing, I had to click one little link that started a snowball of 'add to cart' action.

It's just paper, right? That's what I thought too when I clicked the link. It might be just paper but it's very, very pretty paper.

Needless to say, I'm excited about my new purchases and I can't wait to put them to good use. Black Friday, Cyber Monday - call it what you want but I call it retail inspiration.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Making a List...

The relatives are all gone and the leftovers have been polished off which only means one thing: time to get to work.

Both sets of parents, my brother and Coltrane's favorite buddy, my parents' dog, Daisy, were all here to help us celebrate what we're most thankful for: family, good health, another wonderful year behind us and, of course, the large heirloom tomato growing in my belly.

But Thanksgiving is over which means it's time to get ready for Christmas. Time to haul out the tubs and tubs of Christmas decorations so my husband can decorate the house a la Clark Griswold. And, time to prepare for pot luck dinners, holiday parties and, the obligatory white elephant or secret santa gift exchanges.

Ordinarily having to stock up on $15 or $20 gifts appropriate for a group of women or co-workers sends me into a tizzy. Last year I knit like crazy - trying desperately to finish a series of complicated scarfs. But this year, I have my bases covered. The answer to this year's gift party conundrum? Aprons and potholders!

I've stocked up on fabric, perfected the pattern and, after giving them as a gift a few times, I know they're well received.

So, time to get into my sewing room and work off all of that turkey stuffing - if I didn't know better, I'd think I was developing a bit of a gut!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Ready for a Break from my Break

I'm a creature of habit. I love having a schedule and I'm never without at least 2 or 3 to-do lists. My comfort zone is firmly planted in the middle of a well-planned day. Unfortunately I haven't had too many of those lately.

Last weekend we traveled to Asheville for my high school friend's wedding. We stayed at an amazing Bed and Breakfast, laughed until our stomachs ached, hung out with some of our best friends, enjoyed an absolutely perfect wedding, and experienced what may have been the most beautiful weather of the year.

It was almost an idyllic weekend. Note: almost.

On Saturday morning our friends who were getting married arranged for their guests to take a trolley tour of Asheville. Since the visitors' center from which the trolley was set depart was only a few blocks from our B&B, we decided to enjoy the crisp morning and walk. We were chatting, enjoying the other gorgeous houses when BAM! - I tripped on the leaf-covered sidewalk and fell flat on my belly - my 16-and-a-half week pregnant belly.

After a few calls to the on-call doctor, a weekend full of worrying and an ultrasound on Monday, we now know that the little bugger is fine - comfy and cozy in my belly, jumping up and down on my cervix, no less. But that didn't make it any less dramatic.

We have another wedding on Saturday, my husband's aunt is coming to town on Sunday and we have another friend visiting from Monday through Thursday. I beginning to wonder if I will ever have a regular schedule again - a schedule without impromptu doctors' visits or weekend-long events.

I haven't been to the gym in ages, all of the unfinished projects that normally litter the bed in the spare room so I can work on them whenever I have 5 - 10 minutes are piled in a huge stack on my cutting table, I can't remember the last time I did real grocery shopping, and as I sorted laundry last night I almost cried when I stared at the seven piles of clothes waiting to be washed.

Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed every wedding and, given the choice between having friends and family around or sticking to a schedule, I'll take the friends and family, hands down. But I could use some time to catch my breath.

I will get back to sewing one of these days, I promise...