Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I Think it Might Be Spring...

fig leaves emerging like clasped hands
Wisteria is racing to beat the azaleas in bloom
Oh Hai!  Lookie who just arrived from Mexico -
actually we've noted three and they are all vying for this feeder.
The weather is unusually dry with a slight chill in
these Springtime breezes - I think it's
delightfully unusual, Chico thinks she'd rather wear a sweater.
It was hard to be indoors during my time off this weekend...nearly every part of daylight is beckoning us out and about...the chickadees found our nest box, I planted tomatoes and nasturtiums, tiny blooms everywhere - nearly about to burst forth.  Spring almost makes me sad - its quick quick.  And I've said this before, Spring always signals an end to me - years that I saw a school year thru...wondering and wishing when my future was going to begin.  And just like that, Spring - it's done.  It's a season that demands your constant attention.

After dark, when we could no longer frolic outside, we settled on a movie on Netflix, Reaching for the Moon, based on the life of poet Elizabeth Bishop.  It totally unhinged me because there were parts of my life, my spring, that I chased for things that ultimately were lost.

One Art

By Elizabeth Bishop
The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Elizabeth Bishop, “One Art” from The Complete Poems 1926-1979. Copyright © 1979, 1983 by Alice Helen Methfessel.

Source: The Complete Poems 1926-1979 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1983) 

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Bone to Pick

Apologies first off...as this will be ranty.  Sorry, I can't help myself today as this is two-fold; one supporting local business in general and secondly my own personal business.

It's a Friday of an inexplicably odd week.  Tuesday was bustling, Wednesday was empty, and Thursday was meh.  Yesterday though, a man came into return an Easter flag for his wife.  She just decided she didn't like it, even though it had been 2 days beyond our exchange policy.  I didn't even mention that but I did explain we have an exchange only policy and since she was not present, I wrote out a merchandise credit to be used within an entire year on anything in the shop.  He was a bit befuddled, you know, just following orders, and took it dutifully.  Not 45 minutes later, *ding* she had posted on our Facebook page -- asking what the return policy was...I reiterated exactly what is printed at the bottom of EVERY receipt.  And then she goes and says this:
Yeah, thanks for the advice.  I get a bit fatigued when customers tell me how to run a small business in a small town.  I've been here now six years.  The shop could always improve and I look everyday for where I can make meaningful change that our customers will appreciate.  But our exchange policies are honestly no different from the string of other boutiques that dot our town and through the region.  But if she really wants her $25 back, I can't give it to her because its not even here!  It's in the light bulb burning above my head, long gone with the credit card fee and taxes I paid on her transaction, and in the same damn flag that sits here that I reordered after she purchased it (now I have two!)  Sorry, I told you this was a rant.

But lastly, as I'm reading these acrid words of hers and I'm reaching inside me to find a way to respond politely. I'm thinking about a friend of mine dying of cancer right now and that I too may come out of remission and find myself to with years shortened.  But no, this lady wants her $25 back and wants to waste both our precious remaining days on a trivial, silly flag. 

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Vintage Pre-Cuts and Scrap Bags

Gosh, it's been awhile hasn't it?  I've fallen off in a bit of an abyss on a personal endeavor that I hope to share soon one day.  But the day to day has to keep moving and regretfully, I should of mentioned last week when I listed a new collection of vintage fabric pre-cuts and scrap bags.  Some even sold within the same day listed.  So, lets see what's left -- still all good stuff!
Vintage Scrap Packs include 10oz of a variety of sized scraps from fat eights to charms.  All fabrics are prints - with most pretty calicos, some ginghams and the occasional oddity of seersucker or dimity.  I have two, a pack lending itself to pastels in pinks and blues and the second, fun and basic primary colors.  Still available here.
This is a charm pack with a little over 200 5 x 5 squares.  It's almost a pound of fabric!  Again, no solids here - pretty, pretty pastels - this batch including a few sea-foam green florals and polka-dots.
A five pack of vintage fat quarters!  A fat quarter is roughly 18" x 22" giving you plenty of material to work with!  All are florals and one is a sweet calico seersucker.  Grab it here
Lastly, here's a little something I actually made with my vintage fabric.  I know, gasp - a finished project.  Honestly, we can all thank the dog.  She woke me up at 3am one morning, I laid there until 4am and decided to just get up and sew since the house was oh so quiet.  The dog, oh, she went right back to bed.  I couldn't be too mad, it seems more and more rare I find times to actually "make".  And there I was with birds chirping the sun up, singing along with Tori Amos' Under the Pink album. 
It's actually a pillowcase with a zippered closure.  The fabric is a sketchy strawberry print in what reminds me of Vera Neumann, in an unusual yellow and orange.  It is up for grabs here and includes the pillow insert!

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Odds and Ends...

I just know Spring is around the corner...I know it!  Already the weather is strange here, one day 70 degrees and the next 40 degrees; now with the time change, I think we're all thoroughly confused.  I've been quiet lately...keeping offline for a bit...working on a few personal projects - which may or may not become something for the shop.  I think nature and myself have a few things to still get settled yet in the coming weeks.

In that time, I have started some Spring Cleaning and I'm clearing out a few of my personal vintage odds and ends this week over at my Etsy shop
Newly listed is this vintage needlepoint; I like it - retro, yet the colors feel really now.  I think she wants to be a pillow but I'll let someone else decide as she is up for grabs here.
Random, I know, but somewhere along the way, I found this vintage ceramic nun.  She is cute although a bit creepy that she appears childlike.  Find her here.
This sweet vintage dress was probably mine but looks older (yeah, of course, it has too be waaay older than me, right?)  Anyway, it is completely darling - I have no idea the size (measurements are included in the listing) and I have no memory of wearing it so yes I think I'm way too young - yay!
And of course, there is fabric.  This vintage woven is stunning, I tell you.  I think it would be just the thing to upholster the seat of a few chairs at your beach house (invite me over first!) or pillows in a sun room!  Snag it here.

--Lisa LeBlanc

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