Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Raspberry Walls, and Floor, and Counter, and Shirt...

Raspberry wool roving in my studio this morning
Two raspberry moments to pass along today, which is just what you were wishing for but didn't know it!

First raspberry experience involves the new operating rule for blenders here at Nestle and Soar Studios... and yes ...raspberry walls are involved. Here's the tip: when making a raspberry protein shake in your blender, take the canister off of the base while you fill it with yummy goodness. Only place the filled canister on the base AFTER you've firmly attached the lid to said canister. I learned this important rule/tip the hard way when I accidentally touched the start button in the process of adding my frozen raspberries. Yes, my face was covered in raspberry sweetness and so was most of the rest of the vicinity. I'm glad I was able to laugh! Laughing is as important as nutritious beverages!

Examples of my Nestle and Soar Studio note cards.
The second and more tidy raspberry moment happened for me today with wool roving in my studio. I am preparing to make a line of Spring-themed wall felts and decided it would be inspirational to pull out a few gentle colors. What do you think would be the ideal subject matter for this pink/red/orange combination of wool with a Spring theme? Reply with your comment and all respondents will receive one Nestle and Soar Studio note card to use and enjoy! Freebie good while supplies last...tell your friends...I want lots of opinions!

Happy Blending and enjoy thinking about Spring with me today. I will get a variety of my wonderful note cards ready to mail; one card of my choice for each published comment :)

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, January 21, 2011

Men vs. Women at the Bowling Alley

Photo from Etsy seller PenguinPalace
Here is a personal revelation about yours truly...I love to bowl. I came to this realization late in life, as I wouldn't have taken the time to bowl before; I even thought it was a little silly. Now, I actually take time to go to my local lanes by myself to practice. I don't always bowl alone, however. This all started two years ago when I was asked to join a friendly ladies league. It was brave of them to invite the gal who hadn't bowled for 20 years to join in. Women bowlers, at least some of them, seem to be like that. I may be different...I'm afraid I am getting way too serious about my bowling...let me explain.

I think I like a little competition with myself. I like knowing that there is a definable skill set and that with practice, I can see improvement. My score gets higher, I have more fun, it is a great sport for my over-achieving personality. I am on a team, and I like that sometimes our team is in the number one spot, but mostly, I like watching my average grow.

Here's a little bowling observation for you, if you are still reading along.
There is a real difference between men and women at the bowling alley (perhaps in other places, too.)

This past Thursday, I had a large group of women using 4 lanes to my left. I was next to them with my coach, in lane 34, practicing how I'm supposed to keep my wrist position locked into place (I have it bad...did I mention that?) To my right there were 2 lanes of men bowling.
  • Here's what I heard from the women whenever their friend missed  picking up a spare, "Awwwwww. Too bad." I don't mean that one woman said this. The group of women said it in unison. I couldn't help but overhear them.
  • Here's what I heard when a man missed picking up a spare, "Slacker!" One loud guy would yell this...the rest of the men would just quietly laugh.
It kind of went over my head the first time I heard the differences of the sexes reacting to the same situation. Then, I realized that the women appeared to be having more fun. They were high-fiving, laughing, and stayed in close quarters with one another. The guys would wander off to fetch another beer, sit quietly and punch each other on occasion. The men were louder! Their pins would crash together with the force and speed of their bowling ball. And they kept giving each other grief. The women were patting each other's backs and making plans for lunch. "It's okay, we'll go to Olive Garden and have some lunch." Guess which group said that!

I am trying to decide which group I'd rather have bowled with, and after some consideration, I think I would have joined in with the guys. It isn't that I don't love a good Olive Garden bread stick, it's just that I think I would have been motivated to bring out my A-game with the guys. I would have wanted more to avoid the punch in the arm. With the ladies, I wouldn't have felt bad about the gutter ball...I would have felt loved.

Before anyone shows this to a psychiatrist and decides I need help, I'll leave it right there. Bowling is not my life, but it is a fun way to take a break from my sewing table :)

Thanks for stopping by, and give me a call if you want to go bowling. I promise a trip to Olive Garden afterwards,

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Naked Trees bring Winter Beauty

Trees without leaves used to be ugly to me. Living in Colorado all my life, I have always had the four seasons, each with their unique benefits. I used to feel blue when the leaves started falling from the trees in our big backyard. It seemed to signal the ugly part of the year, and I much preferred the nine months of green, growing, deciduous trees.

When I ran across this picture of a winter tree, it made me realize how drastically my thoughts have changed regarding a leafless tree! I think it is absolutely beautiful. If this tree were covered with leaves, we wouldn't be able to see its whole majesty...the leaves would block our view.

When I try to capture such an image in my Nestle and Soar Studio, I make sure to save plenty of time for the hand embroidery of the most delicate branches...the ones that almost melt away. The big gnarly branches are poetically plump, but the halo of tiny, forked branches at the tip of each larger limb are my favorite! I have placed this photo in my studio and will use it as inspiration for my next series of tree pillows. I can hardly wait to get started!

What is your favorite season of the year?

Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Healthy Lifestyle? It takes good habits...and some laughter

Happy, Healthy, and Giggling ... that's my motto!
The pile of mail on my office desk is wobbling under the pressure of gravity, aided by a few slick-paper magazines. I at least have the good habit of making a pile of important papers like incoming mail. I used to have to play hide-and-seek to gather everything needed to pay the bills!

When the paper pile makes its way to the top of my priority list, it usually doesn't take long to take care of business. Today I am not sure whether I should laugh or cry about one particular envelope in this slippery slope of communications. Mutual of Omaha wants to sell me cancer insurance. Cancer insurance! A specific policy to cover my costs should I contract cancer. Now I don't want to make anyone feel bad who has already gone the the wringer called cancer. Nor do I want to belittle families that have to rise to the occasion of covering cancer-related expenses for a loved one. I am thankful for my good health. I just have to say though, REALLY? Will we all be expected to have policies to cover specific medical situations, like a broken leg, or a stomach flu in a foreign land? How does the insurance industry get away with trying to scare everyone into stuff like this? Insurance is so expensive. There is my indignation that stems from all the insurance premiums I already pay: homeowners, car (3 cars, 3 people), life, health, business. It is such a large expense, this insurance mentality that the insurance industry has convinced us all we need to participate in so that we are "Responsible" or "Safe".

The giggling started after I finished being irritated by this Mutual of Omaha offer. As I finished sorting my paperwork and stacked my bills to be paid in order of due-dates, I laughed because another habit that I've worked hard to develop is my own little "health assurance" lifestyle. I guess I like to think I am living my life in such a way that all awful illnesses are less likely to be my future reality, even things like broken legs. Healthy eating, lots of exercise, hand-in-latex-gloved-hand relationships with several medical professionals, supplements my doctor has approved (along with Dr. Oz), great sleep, monogamous sex, and plenty of friends. I really do attend to all of this and think of it as my disease prevention/long-happy-life plan. Perhaps this is the best kind of investment one can make to foil the health insurance industry...although...if I stay super healthy, all those insurance premiums are pure profit for them. Those rascals!

Health, Peace, and Happiness to you...and thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Valentine's Day Preparations

Design is based on an old-fashioned Valentine's card.
 After several decades in retail sales, it is easy to work several seasons ahead as a designer. I am already sketching out what I hope to create and sell from my Nestle and Soar Studio for both the Easter and Summer seasons. For Easter, I have a series of vintage metal frames that I am painting a deep cherry red...I will be creating felts for these frames that showcase cherry blossom trees in full bloom! I decided to steer clear of bunnies and baby chicks this year.

What I should really be working on and promoting is my Valentine's Day holiday special for my Etsy shop. I try to have an item that is seasonal and at a special price for my customers. Many of my past customers watch for this seasonal offering, and that's exciting! This year I've worked with hearts, naturally, but I've also added a fun blue song bird. My friends who use their embroidery functions on their sewing machine more often than I do inspired me to add some words to this project. I like the idea of adding inspirational text to my items. I plan to do more of this. What do you think?

All that's left for Valentine's Day is to try and figure out how I will celebrate with my husband. Maybe what I really mean is all that's left is to try to help him see Valentine's Day as a holiday worthy of extra attention! Can you really make another person feel sentimental? Probably not, but I, like many women, will give it another go in about a month!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy Valentine's Day prep to you--

Watch for my Valentine's Day design as a throw pillow or as notecards in my shop later this week ;)