Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Busy, busy, busy!

Seriously, I'm frantically working on a couple of orders that need to go out this week AND making lots and lots of Easter candy!!!

I really started the candy production late and now I'm rushed to get it all done. No time to write a long post.

I hope to get back to y'all tomorrow. By then, these orders will be in the mail and I'll be all chocolated-out!!!

Yes, Virginia, you can have too much chocolate!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

There'll be a hot time in the old town tonight!

Look who moved into the neighborhood last night!!

Yep, the carnival came to town.
They were still getting things set up when we went by today and I'm not sure how long they'll be here, but it looks like a pretty big set-up.
So, if you don't hear from me, I'll probably be on the spinning teacup ride!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekends are just too short!!!

It's been another busy weekend. I had some orders to work on as well as some new merchandise to photograph for listing purposes. I did get some of the pictures taken but still need to work on the descriptions before listing them in the shop.

Want a sneak peek?

It seems I've had goodies on my mind so I've been fixated on items featuring baked goods. (Maybe it's Easter coming up that put the sweet stuff in my head.) I've made a few aprons, potholders and even kitchen plaques and accessories.

These items will begin going in the shop on April 1st in plenty of time for Mother's Day buying.

I fell off the listing wagon during late February and March. The weather just kind of shut down my creative juices then and I had some motivation problems. So, I'm climbing back on and plan to list an item a day in April. I hope I can stick with that plan.


We ate Maryland style today with our first steamed crabs of the season! Ummm, ummm, good!!! They're not quite in season yet, but in just a few weeks, they should become a weekly staple for us until the season ends in November. I'm not sure how we make it through the winter without them!


With the better weather comes a much busier schedule as we begin outdoor events and activities. Festival season will soon be upon us and for our household, that means a lot running around the region. We enjoy our music, crafts and festival food. As KCBS BBQ judges, we're committed to a number of contests which, in essence, are all-day commitments.

We're looking forward to the first competition of the season (in our circuit) which will take place in Salisbury, Maryland in mid-April. Probably the largest BBQ event East of the Mississippi, the 2010 Pork in the Park competition will feature 125-130 competitors and three days of great live entertainment. If you are anywhere in the area, it is well worth the trip.

Hope y'all had a good one, too. (I've got to get back to finishing up my orders tonight so I can start working on making Easter candy tomorrow!)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Flowers are bursting out all over!

Spring came to our neighborhood, seemingly overnight this week. After a glorious weekend, we had a fairly cool and damp Monday and Tuesday but it warmed up again when the sun came out on Wednesday. Voila!! By Thursday morning, the flower beds around the corner from home were in full bloom!

Before you get too excited, this is what the blooms look like in my yard:

Not real impressive. In past years, we had a full bed of daffodils in the middle of the yard but when the boys dug up the front yard last summer they dislodged about 300 bulbs. I'll admit, I'm the one who did not get them replanted. They're still sitting in a box in the garage. (Wonder if they'd be any good next year if I planted them now.) So, for the first time in over 30 years, there are no daffodils in my yard (Okay, there are a few strays but VERY few!)

Thursday was such a pretty day that The Big Guy came home from work and announced we should take a picnic to the park. (How convenient. I'd neglected to get anything out for dinner and was scrambling to think up a meal plan!) We packed some drinks and fruit and stopped and got carryout chicken and a loaf of good bread. (Nothing like a lot of prep!)

The park was beautiful and we enjoyed watching a few boats glide in and out of the marina but the air turned chilly fairly quickly so it was a short picnic. Hopefully, just the start of evenings to come.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


While I was unable to get online due to internet problems, I spent time working on creating new merchandise, doing things around the house, talking on the phone (with email, it has almost become a lost art), entertaining house guests and, most of all, enjoying some of the great Spring (almost Summer-like weather that we've had).When the temps climbed into the mid-70s under fantastic bright sunshine, we headed for the boardwalk in Ocean City, N.J. Yep, us and everyone else within 100 miles!!! It was mobbed. The bridge was backed up and the even the beach was crowded. It may have been March in New Jersey, but there were bikinis on the beach anyway!!
All in all, it was a great weekend!!! I even got a little sunburn. (No I wasn't one of those wearing a bikini!! The Big Guy did wear shorts, though.)

Hope y'all had a great weekend, too!!!

Connected, Again!!!!

A Verizon story for all:

Once upon a time (Okay, it was a week ago), in a land far away (Oh, all right, it was right here), there lived a pudgy middle-aged woman who went interesting places and did fascinating things in the evenings and on weekends with the man of her dreams (Well, she used to dream of getting married and she did marry him.)

For years, she trudged off to work in a busy law office where she dealt with clients of all types , completed routine paperwork and filed various complaints with the Courts. Then, the day finally came when she had the opportunity to stay at home during the day and do
“housewifey” things and start a business that she could do at home. She made wonderful, bright and colorful painted clothing for children, babies and grown-ups, too. Sometimes she painted furniture and other household items. She found various markets for her wares in the online world and life was good. She became a blogger and wrote there daily. She chatted with friends and family on e-mail, Facebook, and various forums. She had a daily routine that began with turning the computer on each morning.

And then…

Her computer became a bit sluggish. Her internet connection became sporadic. It would suddenly cut out mid-word and often lost what she was working on. Sometimes it needed to rest before she could restart the system. Gradually, the situation became worse. Then one day, she was not able to reach the internet at all. She was devastated
(and also out of touch with her peeps!)

When her brilliant, much more technically savvy husband came home he tried all he knew to get a connection. He, too, admitted defeat and was forced to seek professional help.

Thus, began their journey into the land of
Verizon Tech Support.

It was a very long journey and many obstacles were placed in their way. There were at least
7 phone calls to Technical Support spanning a total of more than 5 hours on hold and in conversation with the representatives that answered. In one phone call, she was forced to state her home phone number 14 separate times!!! Repairs involved two visits by two different technicians who, between them, logged over 4 ½ hours of work on the outside lines - some up to 2 blocks from the home. Service was restarted one day only to stop again 4 hours later. Two days after that, the second repairman was able to get them up and running again.

Life is once again good.

Several questions did stick with them, though.

**Why does one need to state their home phone number multiple times in one phone conversation with one person?

**Why doesn’t the company who installed and maintains your system know what system you are using?

**Why do they repeatedly suggest you go online to resolve the issue quicker when you are on hold for internet connection problems? (If you could get online, you wouldn’t be calling in the first place!)

And the two most puzzling questions were asked in the process of setting up the service appointment -

**They cannot give a precise appointment time but you can choose one of two windows - service between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. or between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., however, someone MUST be present during that window to wait for the repairman. (Who would tie themselves down for 13 hours as opposed to 4 hours? Does anyone actually select that time slot?)

**After emphatically stating that someone must be there while the repairman is present, they ask if there is a security code the technician will need to enter the home. (Who, in their right mind, would simply give out their security code and why when they had to be present anyway? Do people actually do this?)

Assuming my connection lasts longer than 12 hours this time, I plan to get back to the daily routine of blog posting beginning with this post.

2nd Try!!!!

Okay, so we went back online Monday for about 4 hours!! Then, we began that long process of calling Verizon for Tech Support. A different technician was here today and we are, once again, up and running. He promised this one should last "At least 5 hours this time."

We can only hope.

I've got loads and loads of messages to deal with and some customers to touch base with and then I'll get back here to post. (Hopefully.)

Based on my withdrawal symptoms this past week, computer addiction is just as bad as all those other 12-step vices!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Online Again!!!!

After 2 1/2 hours here today, the Verizon service man finally got us back online and functioning properly again!! Soon as I sort through tons of emails and other messages, I'll get back here and post later today.

Really missed y'all!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Know ye a leprechan?? Then, g' luck to ya!



Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wine a little - you'll feel better!

Still having computer probs - so no pics today. (Using someone else's computer.) Just a quick, humorous story ...

Every Sunday a woman went to a cozy local wine bar in Napa Valley and ordered three glasses of wine, she drank each one quietly and then would quietly leave. People began talking about her, wondering why she did this, she became a bit of a celebrity.

One day the bar keeper asked her why she drank three glasses of wine each Sunday. She replied, each Sunday she and her two sisters agreed to have one glass for each sister in honor of each other, though they lived far, one in Italy and the other in New Zealand they would be close in heart. They always enjoyed a fine glass of wine.

Recently, the woman arrived to the wine bar and ordered only two glasses of wine. The bar tender was saddened, and the locals too, they talked, and word spread that she may have lost a sister...A couple weeks later the bar keeper said to the woman, I'm sorry, did you lose a sister? The woman replied, no I just gave up wine for Lent.


Hope you're sitting there with a smile on your face and a glass of good wine in your hand!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Irish are coming... The Irish are coming...

Are you getting your Irish on yet? St. Patrick's day is just a little over 24 hours away. Better get ready to PARTY !!!!! (Any excuse to party works, doesn't it?)

Thought I'd drop another recipe on you just in case you were looking for something easy and tasty to whip up for that St. Paddy's Day get-together.

I found this recipe a year or two ago in one of the local weekly papers just a few days before our St. Patrick’s Day house party. It went over very well as an appetizer and that crowd has requested it a number of times since then.


1 (12 oz.) can corned beef
3-5 oz. from a jar of horseradish (to taste)
4 oz. cream cheese
½ cup mayonnaise
1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
Black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients. Mix well and refrigerate for several hours (even overnight). Serve with crackers. Can be garnished with some fresh parsley to make it look pretty.

For a more “dip-like” consistency, use 1 cup of mayo and omit the cream cheese.

Hope y'all are planning a BIG party day. After all, everybody's a little Irish on St. Paddy's Day!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Daylight Savings Time - We're Springing Forward....

Spring's coming. It really is!!! Time for fresh starts, new growth and pushing forward.

It's been a weekend of catching up with folks through some long phone calls and newsy emails. Maybe everybody is just waking up from winter's hibernation. Spring MUST be on its way - we turned the clocks forward. It was well worth sacrificing an hour's sleep to encourage Spring to get here soon!

I finished up a fair-sized order this weekend and it was picked up today. Good news is, I've got more orders to work on. Business has begun to awaken from its deep winter sleep. (It may have been in a coma as opposed to a nap!)

In the spirit of fresh starts, I think I've created a monster within myself. I reopened my Facebook account that I had closed last June. I've spent a lot of time logging on to see who has responded to my friend invites and actually catching up with some folks that I haven't had a chance to speak with recently. I haven't posted a lot there yet as I'm still getting the hang of it.

Last year, I found too few of my friends and family there and never really learned the gist of the whole thing. Now, many of those folks are on there and have settled in well. At the moment, I only have a regular personal page for friends and family. When I finally get a Fan Page set up for my shop, I'll let y'all know.

Then, when I should have been working on some merchandise or at least getting this blog together, I got into reading the many blogs I follow. It' so easy to get lost in that activity!!! I truly find it relaxing to read what everyone else is up to and commenting to so many.

I'm still working my way through the plan to visit with each and every one of my Followers. While many are already on my blog list, I constantly find new folks to follow. So much chatter, so little time!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Quality Control - "Perfect" or just "Good Enough"

Who hasn't found one of those little pieces of paper in a new purse or the pockets of a new jacket or jeans that says "Inspected by #...." ?

Though there are some who don't set the bar very high, every large commercial manufacturer, regardless of their product, has some sort of quality control system in place. Whether they test every item or a random sampling of items coming off the line, they test to assure that their products reach their standards. Except as required by law in some industries, most of those standards are set by the individual manufacturer.

So, what are your quality standards for your products?

Can you honestly say every single item you send out meets those standards , without a doubt?

If you answered that last question in the affirmative, what do you do with the products that fail to meet your standards?

A recent post in the Etsy forums asked that last question and I'm pleased to say most of those responding say they will not put an inferior item in their Etsy shop. That's good for all of us as it helps promote our integrity and professionalism as Etsy sellers. It goes a long way toward promoting handcrafted items as being of a higher quality of workmanship and a better value than the mass produced imports.

Unfortunately there are a few of our fellow sellers who do list the items, labeling them as "imperfect," "flawed" and, possibly, "discounted". Some of those folks justified this by stating the nature of "handmade" has inherent imperfections . I disagree.

A well-made handcrafted item may vary in small ways from piece to piece or have slight differences but these are not "imperfections." I consider these "unique variations" and I advise my customers that because my work is all painted free-hand style there may be slight variations in the way a fish fin flows or a flower bends or even in the way a kitty smiles. I do not consider these to be imperfections.

Look the word up. "Imperfection" is defined as "flawed, incomplete, deficient, faulty, stained or blemished." Who would want those terms applied to any of their work?

I want my customers to know they are getting high quality, well made merchandise when they purchase from me. I don't want them to wonder "how good" something will be when they get it in their hands. I don't go to Macy's or Nordstrom's expecting to find seconds or slightly irregular merchandise. Those items are generally found in the outlet stores, discount chains or even sold off to flea market jobbers.

As a fabric painter, I am quite familiar with items that don't turn out right. Fabric paint is unforgiving. You can't wipe it off, wash it out, erase it, sand it off or any other "redo". The only thing I can do when an extra drip or a wrong swipe of the brush occurs is attempt to adapt the design or start over on a fresh garment. I consider these imperfect items to be "rejects" and they won't be sold in my shop.

So, what do you do with your rejects?

Most repondents in that Etsy thread say they either use these items themselves or donate them to a needy facility (like Goodwill and such). Many a flawed (but still safe) toy ends up in our own children's hands. Some simply give them to friends. A few sell the "seconds" at yard sales and flea markets. One enterprising jeweler puts her failures in a box and tells her friends, "If you want it, take it." (I love that idea!)

I know a lot of us are in agreement on this issue. We'd never send a customer an imperfect piece of merchandise. BUT, now think carefully, do you carry this thought throughout all your business actions? Have you ever given out imperfect business cards? You know, the ones that may have printed slightly off-center or that you've crossed something out on... brochures that you've crossed something off or added something in ink to... receipts that are flawed in some way... bags that are definitely seconds at craft shows ... less than stellar samples? Do you donate imperfect pieces to local charity auctions? Every item that goes out to the public in the name of your shop reflects that image.

One of my marketing ploys is providing items for swag bags for several large organizations. It's a great way to reach my target markets as I know what type of attendance a specific event will yield. I need to produce something that can be done relatively inexpensively (I generally need to provide 100-200 pieces) . It needs to reflect my business image enough to guide the recipients to my shop. Most of all, it needs to impress those folks enough to make them want to see what else I have to offer. My latest offering in this area are keychains with handpainted characters attached. My etsy site is painted on the back of the character. (My cards are also attached.)

In an attempt to make 200 like items there are always a few "slightly irregular" pieces. I used to occasionally think "it's good enough" and include it in the batch. That is, until it dawned on me that my ideal customer might receive one of the flawed pieces and think it reflected the quality of all of my merchandise. They now go in the reject pile. Each of these cheaper products MUST be perfect. FIRST IMPRESSIONS DO COUNT!!!! In fact, they are MOST IMPORTANT.

I have a higher priced custom order I am working on at the moment that involves me not only painting a garment but making the base garment from scratch. (I usually paint commercially made garments.) To avoid having to make alterations to the finished handpainted garment, I have created a dummy garment for the customer to try on to be sure the fit is 100% correct. It is made from a spare piece of fabric I had on hand and not decorated. I used the exact pattern and measurements I intend to use for the "actual" garment. I almost mailed it without the fine tuning that I intended to give the actual garment. Luckily, the light bulb went off in my head and reminded me this is the first the customer will actually see and feel of my work. I don't want her to wonder about the finishing and have any doubts about the workmanship on her order. I took the few minutes to go ahead and finish off the seams as I will the actual garment. I think, in the long run, those 15 minutes will prove worthwhile when my customer sees the "preview" of my work.

Take a few moments and look at all of your business contacts with potential customers. Have they all passed your quality control procedures?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What's your business' "uniqueness" ?

I was wandering around the Etsy forums today and came across a thread that definitely made me pause and think - in a good way. Or, more precisely, in a constructive manner.

The contributor pointed out that one of the basic things taught in marketing is that a business should be able to state its very own uniqueness in order to stand out from the crowd. That writer then asked:
"Do you know yours?"

I thought I did. I then tried to write it down in a reasonably concise manner and it was a lot harder than it seemed. I make painted things, mostly clothing but some home decor pieces. Hmmm, not totally unique there. I do my own designs from my own sketches. Okay, I'm getting warmer. Most of my work used to be fish and sea oriented which did give it a lot of identity but I have expanded quite a bit, inspired both by specific requests from customers and by what actually seems to sell. My work tends to have a whimsical aspect. I do a lot of cartoon-style sketches but then, in my adult wear, I do some very realistic imagery.

While thinking about this idea, I remembered another "marketing concept" I had learned back in my college days. (I took a TV advertising class taught by Frank Perdue of the chicken fame! I learned a lot from that class, too. He was good! Even if he did resemble a chicken.) That concept was the "elevator speech." This was the idea of basically having a pat description in your head for whatever you were pitching that could be stated in about 45 seconds (the length of time you would have to speak with someone in an elevator.)

Melding both of these concepts together, I tried to state my shop's uniqueness in 45 seconds. I spent most of the afternoon mulling these thoughts over. I'm still trying to sort them out and determine what IS my uniqueness. Once that's clear in my head, I need to figure out the best wording to get that across - in 45 seconds.

I'll need to get back on you with that.

So, what's your uniqueness? Can you state it in 45 seconds?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What up, Man ?

So, yesterday, I glanced over at the car next to me at a red light. The driver was 45ish and looked like a mountain man or a Z Z Topp wannabe - a bit hairy! But what really caught my eye was the pile of empty 1 and 2 litre soda bottles in his back seat. I was in a van so I was looking down on this. The back seat of this small (something like a Civic) red car was completely full, right up to the front seat headrests, of empty bottles!! They were just tossed in there loose.

I had cartoon-like visions of him reaching his destination and throwing open the back doors to simply allow all those bottles to spill out in mounds. My cartoon vision then had the bottles quickly rolling, frantically in all directions, making a quick get-away ! I could picture this bearded wonder standing there shouting "No! No! Come back!"
I mean, what's up with a back seat full of loose empty bottles? Do you think he's just tossed them back there, one at a time, as he finished drinking them? How long would it take to fill up the entire back seat like that?

We don't live anywhere near a recycling center (It's at least an hour away) and wouldn't it be easier to put them in some sort of container if you were collecting them for recycling as opposed to simply throwing them in the backseat?

At times like this, I wish Paul Harvey was still around just to tell THE REST OF THE STORY !

Monday, March 8, 2010

I'm beginning to believe Spring IS just around the corner!!

Well, even when the internet doesn't cooperate, life goes on. we still had trouble connecting for most of the weekend. Between attempts to get online, we squeezed in a busy weekend away from the computer.
The weather was fantastic - sunny and in the 50s!!! We had to get out there and enjoy it so we headed off to Amish country on Saturday to wander the back roads and visit the little gift and quilt shops and such. Apparently everybody else in this end of the world felt the same. Our first stop was at the Farmers' Market at Bird In Hand (PA). The place was mobbed!! We did shuffle our way into a seat at one of the lunch counters and had a quick bite accompanied by homemade birch beer (one of my faves!) We headed on down the road toward New Holland and then put in an appearance at the Kitchen Kettle Village Shops in Intercourse. The crowd there was so big, they had men on the parking lot directing visitors to available parking spaces!! I made the mistake of jumping back on the main highway to head toward home and ended up sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic that crawled along just due to the heavy volume. I headed back onto the back roads first chance I got!

There's a little spot near home where folks simply park along the roadway and walk down to the river that flows under the roadway to fish. We laughed Sunday to see the men literally standing shoulder-to-shoulder along the river banks. Those poor fish didn't stand a chance!!! Looked like you needed a ticket just to get close to the edge. The Big Guy has never dropped a line there but judging by the fact that there seems to be somebody fishing there just about all the time (when the river's not frozen!), they must be catching something.

The sunshine and warmth really brightened our moods and lifted our spirits We came home smiling!

The weekend also brought happy news from several angles among family and friends - a much anticipated engagement finally took place and another branch of the clan announced yet another baby coming our way in a few months. Yes, this Spring is definitely bringing some fresh new beginnings.

Hope y'all have finally dug out from under all the white stuff too, and are happily anticipating the coming Springtime !! (These warm sunny days are causing that big mountain of snow in our yard to do an incredible shrinking act each day!)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Signs, signs ,,, everywhere!!!

We're all used to seeing those little yellow "Baby on Board" signs in vehicles all over the neighborhood and just how many of those "My child is an Honor Student" bumper stickers have you seen around town? I've got to admit, seeing the above on the back of The Partridge Family's bus made me smile.

After all, who wouldn't get a little anxious driving around the country in an old school bus, hauling five kids with musical instruments, knowing your meals, clothing and all other living expenses depend on making those music lessons pay off?

I gave it a little thought. If each of those "Baby on Board" signs brought in just $1 of profit, it was a gold mine! Sooooo, wouldn't all those nervous and anxious Moms be a virtually untapped market? Imagine the possibilitlities...

I think this would be preferred over the Honor Student stickers by a lot of the Moms I know. There are a lot of non-academic accomplishments to brag about, too.

I'm sure I know a few Moms who'd love to post this one just so they could glance across at the next vehicle and get one of those knowing nods from another woman who totally commiserates.

And what Mom couldn't use one of these from time to time?

I've really got to figure out how to make bumper stickers and window signs for cars. I think I've found a niche market!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Connectivity Problems - so no pics today!

I’ve been having lots of internet connection headaches this week. Seems by the time I tease it into connecting and start typing it clicks out on me again. Verizon (my DSL provider) says it’s my computer hardware and the computer guru says it’s Verizon. Either way, I end up totally frustrated!! We can’t even seem to get a consistent dial-up connection as a last resort. This is why I haven’t posted for the last day or so. I’ve barely gotten through to check my e-mails.

So, what’s a gal to do when she can’t get online? I actually got down to work and started producing new merchandise. I’m hoping for some sunshine tomorrow so I can get some decent photos taken. With any luck, we can get this connection issue resolved by then and I can begin getting them listed in the shop. If not, I’ll have to resort to the mundane - housework, laundry and cooking!!

Oh yeah, I also watched a fair amount of TV. The Today Show has had some of the old sitcom families on this week. Sort of a “where are they now” type of feature. Monday, the Eight is Enough crowd was on. Yesterday, we had the opportunity to catch up with The Partridge Family and today, the gang from 227 was reunited.

I was a fan of Eight is Enough, probably due to a big crush on Grant Goodeve who played the oldest son, David. He was there on Monday and still looks pretty good, though a little older. (He’s about to become a Grandpa!) Dick Van Patten (age 81 !) and Betty Buckley are definitely showing their age. (She’s only in her early 60s but looks older.) Those who played Joanie, Elizabeth, Willie and Nancy all put in appearances. Susan Richardson (who played Susan) was never mentioned and Adam Rich, the cute little moppet, Nicholas, sent a note as he was unable to appear. Lani O’Grady who played the oldest daughter, Mary, died of a drug overdose in 2001.

Dick Van Patten is occasionally seen on TV these days and owns Natural Balance Dog Food and Betty is doing a lot of stage work. Connie Needham (Elizabeth) runs a dance studio and has recently fought ovarian cancer. Laurie Walters (Joanie) directs some community theater and works for Ironweed Films, a documentary distribution company. Dianne Kay (Nancy) lives in LA but has not been on television since the early 90s. Willie Aames (Tommy) is, ironically, a licensed financial planner in Kansas these days. Ironic as he filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and held an estate sale in early 2009 in an attempt to avoid foreclosure on his home before becoming a licensed advisor ! (Guess he must have learned form the experience!)

Susan Richardson was never even mentioned but I understand she is alive and well and living in Pennsylvania where she works for a nursing home. Though a short note from Adam Rich (Nicholas) was read out loud, no one mentioned what he is doing these days. Notably, Susan, Willie and Adam, as well as Lani, all had substance abuse issues. Adam also has a criminal record concerning breaking and entering, burglary, shoplifting and multiple drug charges.

And then there were the Partridges …

With the exception of David Cassidy and Danny Bonaduce, the Partridge kids seem to have simply faded into the woodwork. Brian Forster, who played Chris, the youngest boy, claims to be an unemployed actor and race car driver. Suzanne Crough, the youngest Partridge of all - Tracy, is a manager for Office Max.

Danny hasn’t faded away but perhaps he should aim at a lower profile. He‘s a morning-drive disc jockey on a Philadelphia radio station and still flirting with the law a little too frequently. I was surprised at the joking he and David did on the air about his criminal history. David is still out there doing shows around the country, singing all of his greatest hits and the three Partridge hits. (For those that don’t remember, he and Shirley Jones were the only ones who actually sang on the show. The rest simply lip-synced.)

None of them have had contact with Susan Dey in the last decade. Internet reports claim she is married to a TV producer and living in LA where she is a board member at the UCLA Rape Treatment Center. Shirley Jones was not on as she is in the midst of a 17 day, 17-city tour, singing with symphony orchestras. That’s a pretty tough schedule for a 76 year old woman! (Incidentally, David Cassidy will be 60 this year!) Dave Madden (Rueben Kincaid) is happily retired. He did not appear on The Today Show reunion as he does not fly at all.

The Today Show had also scheduled a reunion of the Brady Bunch but, due to some sort of dispute between Eve Plumb and Maureen McCormick, we won't be seeing the Bradys.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Welcome March !!!

Yea, a new month is upon us. I need a fresh start. Time to get painting.
I was quite unproductive in February. I had absolutely no motivation or creative inspiration though I would have had plenty of time to execute any designs I came up with since I was snowed in for much of the month. Last week, I finally took time to simply sand some of my wood blanks. That takes no creativity at all, just elbow grease.

I also forced myself to do a little basic base coating. Again, not much creativity required. Base coating on the wood items does take some time so it was a good project for mindless activity. I based a few more pieces today.

I have a multi-piece custom order to be picked up over the weekend so I did get busy on that today. While paint was drying on parts of that order, I actually designed something new for the shop and got a bit of painting done on that, too.

That little trek to the beach this weekend did a lot for my mood and I think it woke my mojo up. I personally find a little exposure to sand, salty sea air and the smells and sounds of the boardwalk very uplifting. If only I could truly botttle that and just take a whiff whenever I needed a push.

Here's hoping you, too, have found some inspiration and motivation to push forward toward spring. It really can't be far off now, can it?