08.04.06

Someone tell Carrie it’s August…

Posted in business-a-go-go, Fun Stuff, Main, sidenotes at 2:24 pm by carrie

Okay… so… we have about 1/2 of our Halloween inventory here and it’s priced and ready to go out but I’m still waiting… on you guessed it, Bethany Lowe and some other fun things but there are things to settle with that company and blah blah blah…. long story short, I’m behind in paperwork, my communications and my merchandising. Bad me.

In order to make myself accountable for my lack of motivation, desire to procrastinate and website-distraction… I’m posting pics here of the shop so I can MAKE myself do something… we look like a warehouse and not a browsing mecca. Although, this summer… just thinking about it nauseates me. S-L-O-W. Why should I put out the blinky pumpkins and spend hours setting up every little detail only to amuse our umpteen-hundred vendors selling paring knives, fake aquariums, water coolers, baseball tickets and oh, don’t forget the charities like “people helping children in need oversees“. I’m sure they are are overseas, just not overseen and I’m sure any donations will go directly to the children. Argh. In a nutshell… our customers are out doing fun summery things… not truly planning out their Halloween decor scheme. Not right now, at least.

Okay… so here it is… not very pretty and why is it so dark in here? This is just one side. This is where all the Halloween stuff is going to go. But look at it in this status… unpacked with nowhere to go. My drawing below gives an idea of what the window will look like but what do I do with this wall?!? Notice, if you have good eyes, the wallpaper I was speaking of 2 blogs down rolled out a bit on top of the mantel to the left of the mirror. Okay… in their picture, the pattern looks a LOT smaller, unless that is a behemoth chair and end table??

See what I’m talking about?? Or maybe I’m not seeing it right. When you see my blurry pic on the right, do they look like they are the same size??

Here it is closer. Wow, what a mess.

Just for some added embarrasment, here is the hallway leading to our itty-bitty storage “facility” (ha!). I had to pull everything out to get to our black halloween trees… isn’t this attractive?!? And today I noticed our baseboard on the right had moved and is like… 1/2″ too short… how did THAT happen? Has anyone heard of spontaneous wood baseboard shrinkage?

So, here is my sketch of my intentions… again… I have intentions ;)

Let me explain…

Okay, so… I have a ton of black tulle that I’m going to drape accross the whole window and the tiebacks are really cool Edward Gorey inspired skeleton cherubs. Creepy and cute, all at the same time… joy! I made them to look like they are flying and holding back the fabric, like they are presenting the scene.

Starting on the left, a vanity that looks like a desk when closed, but the middle opens up to a mirror. Currently it’s late 1960’s brown with matching hardware. I plan to paint it black and put white glass knobs on it. OOOH! I have those chairs from eons ago that I could put with! White with black and white cushion! yay! Okay… so, this will be the Witch vanity. Bottles of potion (this is where it gets ambitious… anyone in a decoupaging-sort of mood?!?), baubles hanging from the chandelier above… etc and so on.

The middle table is currently white… I’m debating bringing in the dark wood buffet to fit the mood. Here, I will display all the Nicol Sayre goodies… Behind these goodies and hanging in the window, 4 paintings done on plexiglass so you can see thru them. Ya, sure, I’ll just whip that out in an hour. Also, this is where I might hang all the cool Halloween chinese lanterns we got.

The far right… well…. I need to find a desk I can paint black. I don’t currently have one so I must get one! We have an old typewriter, I’m thinking a story written by a “ghost writer” started in the typewriter. And here I will drape cobwebs from the chandelier onto the desk covered in fun paper products… hear that Babette?!! We need fun black and white notecards and stationery! ;)

So, that’s the window… still have the other 1200 square feet to do. Really, I just want to sit here and sip my latte.

In website news… it’s up but not quite done. Three days in a row staying up until 5am is starting to catch up with my and my once passionate desire to finish is overcome with sleepy-time thoughts… pillows and fuzzy blankets. It’s… argh… August… I wanted it done in July. But here we are. Oh, and I should check to see that the $7.00 order I put in yesterday hit my account… I’d hate to find out my new snazzy online merchant account is hooked up to a tattoo parlor in Yonkers… “Hey, Thor… there’s a credit on our statement… says we sold a cupcake necklace… when did we get cupcake necklaces?” Somehow, someway, I’ve come up with a scary scandinavian viking name for a tatoo guy in Yonkers.

And I’m still working on that car wash drawing…

And I need to thank Tracey at “Notes from a Cottage Industry” for the motivation today. I was browsing her blog and a few pictures really pushed me to get this diplay finished… so, many thanks to her for the inspiration! :) Her little shop (only 94 square feet… how cute is that?!?) is only open on Saturdays… hmmmm… don’t give me any ideas!

Sidenote… someone just came in… looking completely flustered… went directly to the other side of the shop then ran out… without saying anything… any conclusions? Perhaps we were mistaken for another business, she saw something offensive… our banana split dishes are a little offensive, but I wouldn’t expect running.

08.02.06

I feel like I should send out Birth Announcements…

Posted in business-a-go-go, Main at 5:20 pm by carrie

The website….

She is ALMOST done!!!!

I wanted to launch it last night although not completely finished… a few little kinks to smooth out and then… it will be LIVE!!!

I never thought this day would come… I’d like to thank the academy… oh wait.

I sang the praises of our merchant account guy but I may have to put that on hold… I’ll update that one later… I may have run into a tiny snag… and that snag’s name is mr. monthly fee.

So… in the next few days check back, create an account and I will be sending out incentives to those of you who sign up early :) Free and/or discounted stuff… whichever I can figure out first ;)

Oh! And I don’t want to jump the gun on this one but we MIGHT be able to sell gift certificates via the website that you print up ON THE SPOT!! Who hasn’t been 10 minutes late to a party and said… “uh-oh, I need a gift… NOW… and I can’t re-gift that food dehydrator Aunt Gertrude gave us and 7-11 doesn’t gift wrap….” So, all you’ll have to do is set the amount and print! They can use it in the store, on our online store and possibly even our ebay store (that one… will be hard to set up). AND, get this, and I think it’s brilliant, I will offer a few different FREE greeting cards that you can print up to put your snazzy new gift certificate in… I know, it’s clever. ;) You may copy me if you wish! ;) It’s probably already been done, but what hasn’t?!?

On a sidenote… we were out of power for a while today. Karen Sill was up here talking about her horror-escapades in printing, and *bbbeeeeewwww* the power goes out… with that “power down” eerie noise. So, we’re all standing here in the dark, it’s getting hotter… not the best shopping experience. Good thing I had Reagan, Matthew and Steven to keep me occupied. I learned more about Star Wars, X-Box and Star Wars video games than I ever thought I needed to know… I’m happy to report that if you put in a special code at some point in the game, you can become an Ewok. Wow.

Back to work… now that I have a computer with real electricity!

08.01.06

I’m pouting…

Posted in Fun Stuff, Main, outings at 5:56 am by carrie

So…

We were SUPPOSED to attend the “world’s longest yardsale” this week but… we couldn’t pull it together.

We would have been near New Mexico today… finding treasures :(

Although, I must say… the midwest has been having very odd weather, very hot, stormy… maybe we should stay away and not re-visit our trip from hell this last January.

In a nutshell… our trip in January was supposed to be from here to the Russian River above San Francisco, with our golden retreiver.

We were going to stay in the most lovely of cottages on the river… at the Russian River Getaways. We were going to stay in this cabin.

Our friends Scott and Alicia went there the year prior (that is where Scott proposed) and for some reason, I blocked out the part where the river flooded and they were trapped in their lovely cabin for the day.

The trip was supposed to go like this… (wow, I’m sidetracking from my original thought)

Drive up to San Luis Obispo, stay one night

Get up to our cabin and do nothing but craft, cook and soak in our private hot tub. Do some wine tasting, let the dog run and roam… explore the lovely nearby towns. All the cliches.

How it really went…

Robby took us to one of his favorite restaurants up in SLO… he’s up there studying Engineering… but he should really open his own restaurant, I think! :) This place was much like the Claim Jumper… but with canoes mounted to the ceiling.

Before we head out, we decide to pick up a few extra maps and books at Barnes and Noble. I drop my cell phone somewhere in a puddle in the parking lot. Can’t find it, lots of pacing, crying and looking under cars, in the rain. Reminder to myself… this is the number the alarm company calls if the store is ablaze, this is the number anyone calls if there are any emergencies for any reason. Argh! Stop at the Cingular store and drop $120 to get a new phone, need to sign a new contract and in order to cancel the lost phone, I need to put myself on my OWN plan, away from the 3 others in the family plan. HUGE hassle… I can give you that story another time. First night at San Luis Obispo is just great… we meet up with my brother for dinner and there is no sign of rain (do you see where this is going?)
We get a late start the next morning. 10am or so… check the weather on TV, call the highway patrol’s hotline for freeway closures. Gee, there’s a problem in Napa but that’s not where we are going. Getting used to my new phone, still sad my old one is gone, I’m secretly cursing the bastard who is trying to use it as we speak.

We even took pictures of Meg in the bed because she usually doesn’t get to go in it at home (don’t tell the day’s inn).

Okay… so, we’re on the road and we’re driving and driving. I thought it would be a great idea to take the scenic route via highway one! Funny lady that I am. On the way up we stopped in Cambria for food (Nathan doesn’t know “Cambria”, he knows “the place that had the turkey chili rellenos with stuffing”… try it, watch him light up). Then we stopped at Moonstone beach. We didn’t see a moonstone there… but we did see a banana slug! I think that was more exciting!
So, 7 hours or so later, we get to the Golden Gate Bridge. No rain. Still dry. At this point we are getting excited… we’re almost there! Yay! We continue on the 1 for some reason and it takes us another 2 hours to go about 50 miles. This is when things got scary… we’re driving through “Deer Valley” getting closer to Guerneville (And it’s called deer valley for a reason… there was a deer every 5 feet… I was getting so tired at this point, Nathan was driving, I kept jumping every time I saw a deer, I’m so glad he was driving so carefully!), and all of a sudden… HUGE puddle. We don’t even attempt to drive thru it. We turn back around, dodging deer, and go back over the bridge and get gas and cold cuts at Albertson’s.

This isn’t our photo… but this is very similar to what we saw… but at night with NOBODY around.

So, at this point it is about 2am and we are driving up the 101. We think for sure we are going to make it. We’ve given the dog a ham sandwich, she is just super content to be in the lovely rental mini van, we’re late and tired, but we’ll be in our little cabin hideaway in a bit. Pass over the bridge again, pay the $5.00 toll again. We’ll be there soon. Wrong. We get all the way to the end of the road, about 2 miles from where we are supposed to be, and there is a police officer not letting anyone through. “Umm, officer, what do you suggest we do? Sleep in our car?” He replied “I guess so!”

This is Mom’s Apple Pie on a nice day… we ate there in the morning… and had some pie. Pretty darn good. I asked the nice lady who worked there if they knew if Guerneville was flooded (it’s 3 miles away)… she said she wasn’t sure.

We back tracked about 3 miles and slept in the parking lot of Mom’s Apple Pie. Right before passing out at 5 am, I left a message at the Russian River Getaways… went something like this…
“Hello. We were supposed to be there last night but, I guess you are flooded? If you find a way to get in please call me, we are sleeping in our vehicle down the road…” Left my name and phone number. I made sure to sound ultra-pathetic. They called me back at 10 am… “People are getting in and out, maybe by way of Bodega Bay? Keep trying you should be able to get in”.

We head back out and try to get into Guerneville, the police officer lets us through but we get about… oh… less than a mile from where we want to be and there are cars stuck in the mud, people wandering around checking their flooded properties, scratching their heads. There is no way we are going to get there. At this point the RR Getaways people call again “hi, yes we ARE flooded and there is no way to get in… sorry… do you want a refund??”
I just googled Russian River flood… and found this website. “Disasters along the Russian River“. And look! It’s all pics from the DAY we were there! Brilliant!

Oh look, a military vehicle… this MUST be a hot vacation spot!

So, we’re completely frustrated, flustered and I’m a tad embarrased by the friends back home saying “you didn’t SEE this in the news?!?” Bottom line… apparently the Russian River floods a LOT. Don’t go during the winter and don’t expect anyone there to warn you about it, either :) (I talked to them on friday, it was flooded on saturday night… hmmmm)
Okay, so feeling totally frustrated, we drove back down without stopping. We’d had 3 hours sleep in a mini van with a wet dog and I was in a horrid mood. We drove through San Francisco again, passed many antique stores, beautiful sites… it’s sort of sad that we didn’t stop. I was on a mission… to get home and salvage our days off and all the money we had spent on this trip already.

One stop we did make… we got to see the elephant seals! It was pouring rain at this point, so before we left the van I made Meg a slicker and booties with my little rivet puncher… why did I have that on this trip? That’s kind of frightening… “hey, need a hole somewhere?”
Here are a few elephant seals… they were so cute! Here are 2 mommies with 2 babies… they would sleep head-to-head.
Oh, and the finished product…
Okay, so instead of sulking… we decided to try our luck with hotels back in San Luis Obispo. We got a nice suite for a great price and stayed there 3 days. The first day, nothing but sleep… then we called up Robby again and did some awesome sight seeing in SLO. They are SO full of culture….

Here’s their famous “Gum Wall”. People come from all over to stick their gum to this corridor wall. The smells were… um… not what you’d think.

The Elfin Forest… no elves, but lots of quail, bunnies and odd locals!

Meg thinks she is people. We’re overlooking Morro Bay, ducks and mud!

This post just keeps going and going… it’s 5:46am now… great use of time! *sidenote* I was up all night working on a side project… perhaps I’ll do artist’s renditions of car washes full time! This drawing was a HUGE challenge… I’ll blog about it some other time :) Now, back to our loverly vacation… we call it the vacation of “detours and dead ends”.

Objects in mirror are closer than they appear… but yes, that’s our dog and yes, she weighs 75 lbs and yes, she is in my lap. You may chuckle.

Robby and Meg looking at the seals. We had to go see them again!

So, Robby took us to Sand Spit where he likes to go skimboarding… we almost got killed. HUGE sand dune hill on our left, churning angry ocean on the right. All of us walking and looking to the left, I point to the steep wall of sand and say “Gee, the watermark looks kind of high on…. “… BAM!!! Wall of water hits the three of us and Meg is frantically dog-paddling as she is being swept out to sea and the only way I could bring her back was via her leash and digging in my heels, poor baby. Thanks a lot Rob ;) hehe! We tease… I laugh about that one now, it was just too classic… 3 unsuspecting Southern Californians on a tiny secluded beach after a storm, HA!
At the time, I thought it was the trip from hell… but looking back, it wasn’t too bad… and as Pam put it… this was MEG’S trip.
“So we got to go in the car again and then I got some ham, I never get ham… and then we slept in the car, and then we ran in the rain… and then we got in the car AGAIN and I had some more ham….” And then, she slept… all cozy and damp in a donut shape.

So, no more poorly-planned trips for us! Although, that one vacation to Disney World was planned and we got the Flu…. goodnight folks! Don’t blame me for the poor spelling, it’s 6am… see, obsessive compulsive… strikes again!!!!!

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