Thursday, April 03, 2008

a stiff upper lip

It is amazing how life cycles through mini-phases.

For months, I was consumed – no, tortured – by my job and the future of my career. I fretted about what to do, I talked about going back for a Masters and I now owe the Brooklyn Public Library about $52 in fines for overdue books like “The Anti-9 to 5 Guide” and “Do What You Are.” I have not mentioned this to my husband. The books were helpful, but only in confirming that I do not know what I want to do.

At the same time, I threw my energy into making things. I went supply shopping, designed some pouches, sewed the nights away, took product photos, filled my shop, sat back, and waited. I thought about entering the Renegade Craft Fair, The Brooklyn Flea, and then even the Bust one-off Craftacular looked like a good first timer’s fair. But then nothing happened. I baked in the interim. This resulted in my consuming far too many cookies. I became depressed. The weather was bad, I got no exercise; it was a bad scene.

After a particularly rough beginning of February, I stopped worrying so much about everything and started doing other things, things that I could do while I waited for inspiration to strike, people to buy, and things to happen.

Part of this, I realize, is my easily being discouraged. I drop that and pick up something new. I know that’s probably not the best habit, but I usually return to the things I left at some point. I am complex like my father – most people would peg me as laid back, sweet (!), funny, east going. And I am. But on the inside I am a worrier and my tendency for fretting can manifest itself in bad ways. My dad’s comes out in rages, mine are more pitiful, like watching a newborn kitten try to pull itself up. My poor husband knows what I put myself through.

So, I started picking up freelance work for my old newspaper, doing the stories I always wanted to. I went out with friends. I put out another issue of my work paper, which I had as much fun with as I could at work. I started bitching about my increasingly irritating coworker to other coworkers. And I feel a little bit better! I have entered that phase of being here a year and not caring as much. Of course, this means I get overlooked and, in some cases, shafted, but this company isn’t my life – and isn’t looking after my life - and I remember that every day. This is a “job if there ever was one.

I don’t know when I will return to crafting and making things. I spent a load on ink and supplies for my Gocco, and they are still in boxes until I can come up with a design I can commit to. Deadlines for the spring and summer fairs have come and gone. I will probably start up again when I know I can do it well, or when I have a good idea. I am also incredibly impatient, which is not a good combination for the easily discouraged. The plan for the coming month (April is always long and never quite nice enough, I find) is to try and keep calm and carry on.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

etsy shop is back!

Last night I stayed up too late updating my etsy shop for the first time this year. I am not done, but so far there are luggage tags, makeup pouches and the old standby, drumstick cases. I hope this stuff resonates with people, since I feel like it was a step up from my last offering.

Monday, February 18, 2008

sussex county

I love Sussex County. When Paul and I were dating he would take me on long drives out to this corner of New Jersey that I never knew existed, all rolling hills, dairy farms and verdant summer grass. Even in the winter it looks like a winter wonderland. There is no snow in New York City at the moment, and hasn't been, so it is nice to see a place where they still have weather I used to know.
After a few years and learning about the downside of the country, I am still charmed. It is still a place of relaxing weekends and family and oddities. Such as the lamp above, which I saw in a junk store on Newton's Spring Street. The next evening, we ate dinner at the Walpack Inn, where deer come up to the rear windows at dusk like clockwork, because the restaurant leaves feed out for them each evening. So it is also a place of contradictions?
My husband's high school yearbook gives me pause, of course. Anyone who actually had ambitions made a point to mention in their "dislikes": Sussex County. I understand it can be claustrophobic and scary. I love dreaming about picking up, packing up, and living off the land in a place like that, but will my kids hate me for it? Will I?
I am glad I have the option, the understanding that the world is bigger than Brooklyn, or New York City, for that matter.

Friday, February 15, 2008

I took an amazingly productive day off from work on Wednesday - I called it working from home, and I did answer a few e-mails to that effect, but mostly I worked on some things that had been piling up. After phone calls, cleaning, and browsing, I came across this pattern for over mitts on Design Sponge, and decided to sit down and make something for myself, for once, with fabric that I actually liked. Usually, that fabric stays carefully folded and unused because I have problems letting go. But the pattern was fun, worked up quickly (to borrow a knitting term) and made me feel even more super productive that I answered some more work e-mails just to have a banner day.

The thumb turned out a little wonky, probably because I used batting AND terry cloth on one side to make sure they were safe for the heat. They were, and I overcooked some brownies later that night, just to make sure.

I am off for a relaxing few days in New Jersey. Enjoy your hopefully long weekend, and I have a feeling things will be re-launching when I resume posting.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine’s Day Commute

These are two images that bookended my commute this morning. The left is a door in my neighborhood. There are better looking Valentine’s Day displays, but this one looked heartfelt.

On the right is a gentleman capitalizing on the human instinct to wait until the last minute to get a gift. He wasn’t mobbed at 9 a.m., but I bet lunch hour meant brisk business.

Tonight is dinner with my Paul at a local restaurant that does not do a special $$$$ menu, if such a thing exists. Happy Valentinstag’s Day, everyone!