Posted in business-a-go-go, Main, Mind Wanderings at 6:13 pm by carrie

Normally… I wouldn’t do this… but this is above and beyond strange… I need your input :)

This just happened a couple of hours ago…

Me: Me
OC: Odd customer

OC: “Are you the owner?”
Me: “Yes, I’m the owner”
OC: “I need to talk to you about something. I accidentally took a bracelet from your store over Christmas and I want to bring it back… I mean, I took it without paying for it”
**starts lifting up her sleeves to show me the bracelets on her arm**
Me: “I really appreciate your honesty, thank you for bringing the bracelet back! These things happen, I did it once when I was 10…”
OC: “It’s none of these (points to several bracelets she is wearing), but… can you help me take off my jacket? (pull on her sleeve to reveal a long-sleeve t-shirt) See, when it’s cold weather like this, things get hidden up the sleeves because they are long… but… I was wondering…” (Okay… why did she just show me her sleeve via me helping me pull it off her AND there wasn’t a bracelet up there??)
**pause… she then turns to Cathi who is watching the whole thing… **
OC: says to Cathi: “Can you not listen to this, I don’t want you to hear this conversation!”
**Cathi goes into the other room and her cell phone rings so she’s on her phone now**
OC: “So… this is what I was thinking… I bought something for my friend for Christmas. I spent a total of $93.00 and I really want to return this item which was $11.00 that I didn’t think she would like. (Keep in mind she didn’t have the item in question, the receipt OR the bracelet in question, unless they were all up her sleeve) I didn’t give it to her because I didn’t think she would like it… but I knew she wouldn’t like it right away, not later… anyway… I would like my money back and you’ll get your bracelet back.”
Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, we only do store credit, so you’ll get the $11.00 in store credit and…”
OC: “Well, you aren’t getting your bracelet back then! I want my money back, I don’t want store credit!!”
Me: “I appreciate that you want to bring the bracelet back so I’m waiving the 2 week requirement for the store credit, but it clearly says on the receipt ‘return for store credit within 14 days only’.”
**At this point, my spidey senses are tingling… I mean WHOA… she continues to argue with me and not budge on her point of view that bringing back the bracelet would grant her clemency for all of this**
Me: “You took a bracelet and want your money back? Dude, (yes, I said dude, ugh) that’s just not cool!” (And that didn’t make much sense all around)
OC: “Well, your worker should have seen that I had the bracelet on when I left (because we ARE the conscious police, and please see above for camoflauge-sleeve which hides everything) and this bracelet is worth a lot more than $11.00!! I didn’t have to tell you about this…”
Me: “So you can sleep at night knowing not only did you steal from me, but not you are trying to blackmail money out of me? Just leave… get out of here!”
OC: “I try to support local businesses and be honest with you and yes I can sleep at night… (and then something about her coming in and being honest again… I can’t remember because I told her to leave again…)

That conversation didn’t make much sense, while typing it or while living it… imagine being in the middle of it, trying to decipher her cryptic sentences and gestures…

So… Cathi heard most of it and we were close to calling the cops because she admitted to passive shoplifting but honestly, I don’t care at this point, I wasn’t about to hold her captive until an officer came up. The bad vibes of the whole thing has left me irritated and in need of some hot chocolate ;) I just want to free my brain of this incident… especially since it has been a slow, rainy, paperwork and phone sort of day…

This is super rare… but I do have to say, this may be the strangest encounter I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a few! I think it was the “I’m going to hold your bracelet for ransom” thing that really put me over the edge. I have been known to bend the rules but I can honestly say that telling me you “accidentally” stole from me… “finder’s keepers” until you bend the rule for me ain’t gonna work.

So, fellow crafters, especially those who plan on opening a store… beware! Lace up your serious shoes and put on your rational hat because you are going to need them! :)

Some pics and a mini announcement :)

Posted in business-a-go-go, calling all crafters, Fun Stuff, Main at 2:43 am by carrie

Made some progress in the unpacking and decorating of the shop for Valentine’s Day and Easter… Although not done completely, here are a few (dark) pics of what is up so far…

… and a bit of spring

And the mini announcement… well, request… really….

Some of you know I have dissolved our consignment due to lack of time and my anti-spunk attitude towards paperwork, pulling tags and filing. SO… while walking tonight and watching a crime unfold in front of us (another blog… after it’s in the paper I’ll let you know) I came up with an idea…

“Calling all Crafters!”

My idea is this… you or someone you know might have a craft that would be perfect for something I need at the store. For me, it’s all about timing. Do I need said product now… is it the right season or do I have a gap in a display. Is the item the right color and pricepoint… is it in my budget right now. See, timing :)

Not that there are a million crafters out there reading this just JUMPING at the chance to make stuff to my specifications… but, I am hopeful. With that said, here are the specifications for this episode of calling all crafters:

  • I need St. Patrick’s day or Irish items… these items must be:
    • either handmade or vintage items with shamrocks, irish themes or made of a happy green color!
    • under $10.00 unless it’s something spectacular!
    • Reasonable shipping prices AND able to ship ASAP
    • I’m partial to teacups or other tea related items :)
  • Valentine’s Items… these items should be:
    • either handmade or vintage items with hearts, cupid or in pinks and reds
    • under $10.00 unless it’s something spectacular!
    • Reasonable shipping prices AND able to ship ASAP
    • We have a lot of heart jewelry but I will see more pieces. Usually I don’t like to see jewelry since we have plenty, but I will make an exception in this case :) I would really like to see paper crafts as well as dainty, sweet little handmade pieces

What I am asking, is that you take a picture of the item(s) you think would work keeping the above parameters in mind. Please send those pictures to: crafty at violetsareblue dot net. (I write it out due to the high number of spam emails lately!) I get a lot of inquiries at the shop to see handcrafted goods and 9 times out of 10 the item in question will not work at the shop. Please take a moment to look through this blog… there are lots of pictures of the shop to give you an idea of the look we are going for :) I can appreciate all handmade and vintage items because they are unique and beautiful, but not all pieces will work in the store. Please do not send me a stack of pictures via snail mail and ask me to send them back, frankly, I’m not that organized and you may never see those pics again ;) The next craft grouping I will ask for is baby items… I’m not sure when, I need to get my thoughts together but I definately need christening and baby shower gift ideas :) The problem I run into with baby items are the prices… there are a lot of beautiful, well-made baby goods out there but the prices are so high! I don’t want to open up a huge can of worms but… I’m putting my feelers out for new stuff in the hopes that it will come in the form of simple emails with pictures and prices. Perhaps I am dreaming? ;)

Have a great night and Happy Tuesday everyone :)!! Cruise pics are coming soon… I have hundreds to sift through! :)


The gift show…

Posted in Fun Stuff, Main, Mind Wanderings at 3:46 am by carrie

gives me more ideas and energy than, frankly, I should have. It’s almost like monkey see, monkey do. I see that they have so many wonderful, perfect, brilliant displays and I must do THAT… and… duh… do that NOW!

it’s 2:40 in the morning and we are about to venture over to our favorite color copying place to drop a CD into their mail slot so it will be the first thing they see in the morning. I’m convinced that the things on this cd are going to finish off our Valentine’s display perfectly, and it MUST be done tonight (my brain scares me). The Valentine’s display needs lots of love… that is my project for the week! I’m going to make lots of cards and hanging art using vintage postcards swimming in glitter.

I’ve been working on this art for a while now… I’m trying to get a line of cards and hanging art boards together and this is the first time in months I’ve been able to get things into digital form :) Yay! progress!!! I still have a few ideas but I’m going to hold off on them until I get the spring display nailed down. I’m thinking “Paris in the spring” with the Eiffel tower, flowers and birdies. I got SO much spring and Easter stuff this year it’s kind of frightening. I just brought home an entire car full of silk florals for the shop, including little fake cakes and muffins.

I’ll post my gift show findings soon… we didn’t spend a ton of time there today but tomorrow… tomorrow we are ordering Halloween and Christmas items and I couldn’t be more over it. I’ll have to get a gingerbread latte and wear my special christmas happy socks tomorrow to get me in the mood. It’s never-ending these holidays ;)

So, the top one will become wall art with lots of glitter and crystals. The other 3 are cards and the beginning of the kitschy kitchen “eat me!” line. I found the coolest old picture of a jello ring with fruit in it… that is SO next on my list of things to draw :)

Off to copy land!!! And just to make Tina giggle… this is a reminder to tell you all about “Cleve” the fish from Manzanillo… sooooon.


We’re back from vacation :)

Posted in Main, sidenotes at 12:50 am by carrie

Just got back from a week at sea (mexico for 8 days)… there’s a lot of photos to share but first… paperwork, valentine’s, st. patty’s and easter goodies need to get sorted, priced and put out :)

I miss blogging :( Hope to be back soon!!!! Thanks for all the wonderful comments while I was gone ;)


And a teaspoon of vanilla… good vanilla

Posted in Fun Stuff, Main at 3:44 am by carrie

There has only been one occassion that Ina has left out the ending to her sentence: “Add some vanilla…” with “… good vanilla!” as she is adding vanilla extract… and I think she was making chocolate truffles that one time she forgot. In any case… I’m addicted to Ina and I’ve decided that I am going to move to the Hamptons to be her walking/shopping/decorating buddy (ha!). Think Gidget the trailer would be welcomed in East Hampton?

Alicia helped me build my first cake. This is my very very first cake ever! (coincidentally, our stove broke right after this and still isn’t fixed… was it trying to tell me something?)

We started with Ina’s recipe for “Birthday Cake with Hot Pink Butter Icing” and made up our own concoction lemon filling. I think this thing you are about to view was made of 4lbs of butter and 2 lbs of sugar.

Layer one goes down….
Second layer goes on…
ta-dah! Into the Bob’s Big Boy cake stand she goes!

I felt like I was 6 again… on the floor with an E-Z bake oven… we were unusually giddy.

And because she was so good while in the kitchen… (she can hold this for a while, it’s really cute)

So long, old friend…

Posted in Main, Mind Wanderings, sidenotes at 2:49 am by carrie

Okay… those of you who have read my blog once or twice know that I’m a little nuts… if you weren’t sure, then this will totally make it gel for you :)

I find myself getting attached to inanimate objects, constantly. It took me forever to get rid of all my stuffed animals (thank you velveteen rabbit for informing me about the trauma in the playroom when a new toy would appear). I am convinced that anything that has brought me joy should not be tossed out, ever, otherwise I’m being ungrateful (there must be a 12-step program for this). And the most recent cause for the demise of my sanity… 800 lbs of wood and aluminum… and I would pull her behind my little Volvo. Gidget. Our little travel trailer.

We only had her for about 6 years but we worked hard to get her in tow-ready condition. After weeks at a trailer repair garage and many hours of painting and cleaning later, we brought her home to mixed reviews. We had so many problems storing her and it seemed that very few people saw her as “kitschy”… mostly they saw her as an “eye sore” or, as the letter from the city wrote, the trailer was “bringing down the property value” of the neighboring homes. Ugh. We found a storage facility for about a year but the locals were using the poor thing for target practice or their personal playhouse.

So…many nasty letters, bullet holes, a few break-ins (resulting in glass breakage in the window and water damage) and at least one threat of a $500 fine later, I chose to sell her. That was about 6 months ago… I started to draft this blog the day I sold her, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Even now I’m trying not to tear up (pathetic, ain’t it?).

Gidget was all of 12 feet long. She had a little double bed in the “back” and the breakfast nook turned into a little twin bed. We re-tiled the sink and stove area with vintage pink tiles. The burners worked great and the icebox kept things cold for days. Across from the sink was a little closet, I guess there is another model available where that closet is a bathroom… how, I’ll never know, it was super tiny! As far as we could find out, this was a 1963 Tepee Travel Trailer. I couldn’t find any other information on it.

So, the day before I listed her on Craigslist, we took a few pictures… in all the years we went camping and used her to tow goods to a craft show, I never took pictures… very strange…

So… the family that bought Gidget fixes up trailers and re-sells them. They told me they would keep the pink theme. That makes me happy :)

I made myself a promise… when I have the funds and the land… I will get another little trailer and use it as a little office or guest house and park it far away from the judging eyes of the neighbors… or live in a neighborhood where everyone can understand the true value of “kitsch” :)


I need some advice!

Posted in business-a-go-go, Fun Stuff, Main, outings, sidenotes at 10:46 pm by carrie

I used to joke that I would never get bored with the shop if I were to move or expand every 2-3 years or so. We opened in 2003, expanded in 2004 and now there is a very slight chance that we could be moving soon.

We may have the opportunity to move down to the Montrose Shopping plaza on Honolulu Avenue in Montrose (about 2 or 3 miles from where we are now). They have the really cool annual Arts and Crafts Festival every June (where we got our start!), great restaurants and a lovely walking area where we sometimes go walk our dogs. My Mom would take me to the Paper Rabbit when I was little to pick out stickers… I even won their “name our mascot” contest when I was seven or eight, and they still have him around (he’s a bunny named Scribbles and my mom came up with the name… but let me take all the glory!).

There are a lot of pros and cons to this move… and who knows if all the planets and stars will align perfectly and I’ll find the spot I want :) But… I would really like to hear what you have to say :)

Please vote here:

Should Violets are Blue move to Montrose?
View Results

Looking back to allllll the work we’ve done on the shop, it will be bittersweet to leave… but hey… if someone offered me a great little victorian house with a big parking lot to turn into a store I wouldn’t care where it was, I would jump at it! That’s my idea of perfect star alignment ;) I love that there are so many opportunities out there if you just open your heart to them (my heart is open, just show me the way)! A few of my bestest friends are moving to far away places in the next few months… this is going to be a big year for change. Hey, it IS January 1st, 2007 today :) OH! and my cousin was the 2nd “R” in the Porterville Marching Band in the Rose Parade in Pasadena… how about that!

Speaking of Rose Parade… while zig zagging through the Southland with our new GPS, we got to see La Canada’s cool Rose Parade Float under construction!

2 little penguins getting ready for installation… (please excuse the poor picture quality, camera phone)
Some very friendly kids on scaffolds working on the float
Lens flare and rows and rows of bucket filled with various flowers

An artist’s rendering of the aforementioned float :) “Self-Built Float”

Hmmm… perhaps I should submit a float drawing for 2008???? The theme is “Celebrations Throughout the World”… nothing comes to mind… yet.

You’ll be seeing a lot of pictures of our great stomping grounds thanks to “Maggie”, our Magellan Road mate GPS thingy :) You don’t get lost and it finds restaurants for you… it’s SO awesome for the directionally-challenged :)

Please vote! And I’ll be posting new drawings soon! I’m so excited for Spring!