Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Ugly Vase

In high school, my favourite class was art class.  Mr. Gombai was an artist, and judged our works perhaps a bit harshly.  If you got a 90, you knew darned well you deserved it, good grades were not handed out easily.
Sometimes, one of our fellow students would sit on top of the counter at the front of the class and the rest of the class would work on copying that image with pencil into our sketchpads.  I do remember mine looked a bit distorted, and I learned I could NOT sit and draw with my pad flat on my desk.  One model was tall to begin with, by the time I finished my drawing, he looked even taller and thinner.

One assignment was to paint a vase.  This was not an ordinary vase.  It was a mottled green vase with a black 'rim' around the top, and was slightly figural.  We teased the teacher about it, and he told us the vase was one he had smuggled out with him when he left Hungary.  To this day, I am not sure if the story is true, or one he made up just to put us in our place.
Hungarian vase, photo is property of bellaroni on Etsy and is used here with permission.  This vase has been sold and is not available for purchase, but bellaroni does have other  vintage items to check out!

Sometimes, my brother and I will reminisce about art class and Mr. Gombai, and usually, the topic of that ugly vase comes up.  Looking back, it wasn't really so ugly; perhaps the years have added beauty to it in the memories that it brings forth.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Saying goodbye...
And boy, it's taken some work, even considering the work is all done with me sitting on my tush.
For now, all my free patterns are listed in a new Facebook group I started.  The drawback to that is their file feature is somewhat limited and you can't have different folders .  BUT, I did discover that if I comment under each file, the words in the comments are searchable, even though the title of the file itself is not. 

I will also have to edit all my free pattern links on Ravelry, and may eventually add the free patterns there, but wow, I tried yesterday and instead of getting easier, it seems to have gotten more involved listing a pattern. 

On a non-crochet note, my father brought over 3 boxes of old books.  Now, I remember a lot of these from living at home, most of them came from my Grandma Dobson's house after she passed away:  she had shelves and cupboards of books and when I visited her one of my favourite things to do was look through them all.
Two of the books are from *my* high school days.  Which don't seem like that long ago, but are still vintage according to Etsy's standards (20 years).  Some are my father's books from school, and several are my grandmother's school books!
There is even one book from 1873.  Wow.  Sadly, looking online, these books that are such treasures to me, with names of loved ones in their younger days, are not treasures to the rest of the world, not even the book-loving rest of the world.

I have to admit, my husband was not too happy to see 3 boxes of books taking up space in our small living room, even if they did make our living room smell like an old library (mmmmmm), so I assured him, I will go through, pick the ones that I want and list the rest online.  The Sherlock Holmes book is going no farther than the bookshelf in my bedroom.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Personal Post Day today. :)

I used to write, a lot.  Page after page, words would appear, put there sometimes by me, sometimes by the characters themselves.  Nothing ever was done with those pages of words, often what started out with plans to be a novel would never be finished, but I wrote.
Then, I'm not sure what happened, the writing stopped.  The creative part of me continued, though, especially when I learned how to crochet.  Instead of words joining together to create a short story or an unfinished novel, stitches joined together to create an afghan, or doll clothes, or a toy.  And then, the only writing I did was in the form of  letters and numbers that to anyone who cannot follow patterns would make no sense at all.

But there still remains a small part of me that sometimes thinks fondly of those days plopped in front of a typewriter or with a pad of paper and a pen with a bottomless cup of coffee beside me while words, then sentences, then paragraphs emerged.  And how great it felt.

Last night, I dreamed of a typewriter.  I can't remember what the dream was about, something about ;was it my old typewriter??' but it got me thinking that today, I wanted to write.  Maybe not fiction, maybe straight up stuff from the heart, so....

Today is a day of mixed feelings.  More so today than the last few months, after Dad told me about an old friend from grade school.  Well, not just a friend, but his grade 5 girl friend.  He'd been thinking about her the last few years after meeting her at a funeral, and after my mother passed away, they got in touch and reconnected and began a long-distance relationship.  She had come from a bad relationship, Dad had at last spoken aloud the words I'd known for years:  "I loved your mother, I still do, but she made my life miserable".  It seemed the two were destined for another chance at happiness.  And I was and am so happy for my Dad, and hope this relationship works out.

But (of course there is one, I did say 'mixed' feelings!)...there is the ghost of my mother.  Years ago, my sister had commented she would dance on the grave when mom died and I had replied with "No, you won't.  You will mourn what once was and what could have and should have been."  I had no idea then that it would be only a matter of a decade or so before my words would prove true.
So, even though I hadn't had much to do with a mother who thought nothing of calling her grandchildren "crybabies and tattletales" or in one niece's case, a streetwalker, when my mother passed away, I did mourn.  We all did.
And while we sat with my dying mother, I worried about my father.  My parents had been married 45 years, and had dated for a few years before that even.  Mom was all dad knew.
But before I even left the hospital in the wee hours of the morning, a feeling washed over me that dad would be all right.  And then a few days later came the hope that he would be able to enjoy life now; the words uttered aloud brought on a sense of guilt that my mother was somewhere watching, and could hear these words and actually after death finally realize just how badly she had treated her family and drove them away.  And that she would finally feel remorse...but I didn't want that.  Not in death.  Perhaps in life when it could have made a difference, but not in death.

Which brings me to today and the mixed feelings of being happy for my dad, and a strange feeling of seeing dad with someone other than my mother.  Today, I meet my father's girlfriend face to face for the first time. 

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Spring Cleaning!

I've only just begun, but have several listings on eBay and a few on Etsy. 
The process is tedious:  take a few pics, upload, edit.  Create a new listing, publish....start all over. 
Yes, it will be sad to see all the yarn go, but perhaps I should be happy that it will be going to a new home where someone will love it and use it instead of stashing it away in a dark corner for months.  Years?
So far, I've gone through my cotton yarns and my eyelash yarns, well most of the eyelash, I think I have a bag somewhere, too, but that might just wait for another day...
If anyone is interested in destash yarns, several are available on eBay now.

To clear out my finished items, I do have a coupon code available on Facebook, but I'll share it here as well.  Valid only in my Etsy shop, enter coupon code "fbmay" (minus the quotes) on checking out to save 20% on everything in my shop, destash or completed items.  Feel free to share the code with friends and family that might be looking for crocheted gifts!

All items are included, old, new--even my newest listings like Polychrome the Rainbow's Daughter:
Those who have read L. Frank Baum's books about Oz may recognize the name. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Happy New Year!

My new year started out with a bang.  The bang being my left leg hitting cement when my right ankle twisted after stepping on uneven pavement at 1 am New Year's Day.
I did manage to limp home (only a block) with relatively little pain...the pain hit when I removed my shoe once home.  It was only a mild sprain, and knowing it wasn't broken and that a doctor would probably only tell me to ice it and rest it, I went to my chiropractor who adjusted it.  And did suggest icing.  It could have been much worse:  I could have broken it, or severely sprained it.  I could have cracked my head on the bumper of the van that was right there.  I will admit, I babied it for a couple of days and took those two nights off work.

Because of my good fortune  in avoiding a more serious injury, I dredged up an old coupon code in my Etsy shop.  This will be valid on all items in my shop, excluding shipping, for the entire month of January.  If you purchase this month and enter LUCKY13 as a coupon code, you will save 13% on your purchase at Smudgekitty on Etsy. 


I can't help but wonder if I am the only one who has subscribed to AllFreeCrochet/Hooked on Crochet's newsletters?  I had subscribed to their crochet newsletter as well as their 'special offers'.  Yes, I understand 'special offers' are from their advertisers, but most companies try to send offers that appeal to their subscriber base.
AFC/HoC??  Not so much.  The other day I received an email entitled 'Sugar Shocker Shakes Medical World'.  In the email was a link to an 'underground video'.  I could not believe this had come from the site, but figured they'd been hacked so I contacted them.
Wow.  Imagine my disappointment to hear that they *had* sent the email on behalf of one of their subscribers.  They went on to say that I could unsubscribe if I no longer wished to receive these.  This morning, another, I think it was something about weight loss.  I sort of got the impression that they'd send any crap from anyone as long as they were paid.  As for being a 'special offer'?  It's not so special if I receive several of these daily from spammers.
Not only did I unsubscribe from that newsletter, but also from their crochet one.  I figure anyone who cares so little about their subscribers doesn't want me as one.