Sunday, June 24, 2018

When you look at the calendar...

... And realize years have gone by since your last post. I'm still here, Spindles and More is still here. Keeping up with everything takes a lot of energy. I've made more spindles, which are on the website. I've been working on finishing another grouping of market bags. They take about two days each, if I work on them exclusively. I'm also working on doing an inventory of my yarn so I know what I have to work with. I've finished a few shawls and have discovered that I love working on them, but I don't wear them after they are finished. So it occurred to me that I could offer them for sale at shows as well as online. My biggest struggle with this ides is that there is no way to "make money" from them. There is no profit to be had if I actually want to pay myself even minimum wage for the time it takes to knit the shawls and other pieces. Handcrafters understand this, but the general public (whom I picture purchasing these items) may not have an understanding of it. So do I charge a "fair" price and risk not selling any of them or do I devalue my work to the point that I might be able to cover the cost of the yarn, but not the time or knowledge required to create the piece I'm trying to sell?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Folding brochures for Powhatan

Yes folks, all the joy and spectacle of paper folding with an infinity practical result, brochures for new spinners. I may just need to have printings done for me, it'd save me a lot of time. *sigh* There are some left over from the last show, but I need to have more ready for Powhatan. Down to the wire on my timeline. Still have two spindles in progress as pieces and parts, and twenty spindles waiting for hooks, their test spin, and final tweak. No school on Friday so I'll have the whole day to do any final prep. I'll load the truck before Hubbyguy returns from work and we'll head to the show. Hope to see folks at Powhatan.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Supplies have Arrived!!!

Just dropping a quick note to say, the spindle supplies arrived today and now I'm off to measure and cut and paint and glue!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Oh yes, I have a blog?!

When a podcast stops casting it is called pod fading. Is it called blog fading when a blogger stops blogging? I've been quite remiss in keeping you all up to date on my life and projects. A rapid recap of life since March of 2014.
We enjoyed Powhatan a lot!
We got the twins!!! Well, my brother and his wife actually got them, they were born in April, as hoped. Thank you, everyone who helped with the Bunnies for Baby project, they were able to bring them home right away.
I continued teaching middle school special needs and added 6th grade self-contained science to my class load.
We attended West Virginia Fiber Festival and Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival in the Fall of 2014.
Family visited up to Northern NY, where my ancestral family is. Family visited down to Virginia, where the two daughters of the family live.
My sister announced her pregnancy in late fall of 2014 and had her first child in June of 2015. She and her husband named him Eric, a significant name in our family.
We attended Powhatan in the Spring of 2015.
I continued teaching middle school special needs.
Later in the Spring, a routine checkup noticed a couple small lumps in my thyroid, which required ultrasounds, biopsies, and second opinions. The word "cancer" is pretty flipping' scary when you live life where everything happens to "someone else" and you turn out to be the "someone else." Turns out, I got off VERY easy, no need for chemo or radiation.
In September of 2015, I underwent a thyroidectomy (first surgery in my life under a general anesthesia). I survived, took off two weeks from school, and then, you guessed it, continued teaching middle school special needs. My students were well behaved during my absence, so I showed them the pictures taken just after the surgery, as promised. Middle schoolers like icky things like that. My scar and a follow up treatment turned out to very useful when teaching about radioactive isotopes, and how a normal nonradioactive element can be changed for medical use. I have pictures from the Geiger counter showing normal readings and then the spikes when the probe was passed over my throat area.
The adoption of my twin nephews was finalized for my brother and his wife mid Fall 2015. They are officially Zehrs now.
Despite my having very limited energy, we attended West Virginia Fiber Festival and Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival that Fall. My husband was ever vigilant and kept me from wearing myself down to a husk (I was not allowed to take any leveling medication during this time, so my body was burning the last vestiges of the triiodothyronine produced while I still had a thyroid).
In January of 2016, I resigned from being the Lead Special Ed teacher at my school and returned to the humble life of a regular Special Education teacher/case manager. The relief from that stress has helped with my post-surgical recovery. And even though the medication levels haven't been completely corrected yet, I am making progress toward a happy end of normal energy and not needing to depend on massive doses of B12 and a nap to survive a school day.
In a month or so, I'll have follow up blood work to be sure I continue to be cancer free (highly likely, since the actual thyroid was removed and the cancer hadn't escaped from it at all).
The scar has pretty well faded and it doesn't bother or pull much at all anymore. If people ask, I usually make a wisecrack out about a screwed up chin lift, and then explain the real reason for the scar. It doesn't bother me to educate people about it. I mean, until May of 2015, I had never even thought about the possibility of having thyroid cancer, and now I'd rather people know about it and get checked "just in case." If it hadn't been for my regular checkup, I still wouldn't know...

So here we are in April and Powhatan 2016 is later this month. Last year I diligently made my spindles and used up my entire supply of 3" whorls, without realizing it. Imagine my panic when I began setting up for marathon spindle making (my favorite type, the creativity permeates everything and my husband makes sure he's the one to cook, because even the food gets experimented with...) only to go to my supply cabinet and find the 3-incher shelf bare. But Orders have been placed along with parts for more woodworked spindles.
Plans are underway for changes to the website, formatting changes, updates, and easier access to purchase spindles and spinning supplies are in the works.

By the way, apologies for this long post, but now that everyone is caught up, I should be able to write more often, in shorter format.
On to the spindles!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Powhatan Bound

Spring is here! Ok, well not really, because as I'm writing it's snowing outside and school could be closed tomorrow. I can't even remember what number snow day it will be. Is it 12 or 14 or something like that?? The weather this winter has thrown so many things off as far as school schedules, sleep patterns, and being able to keep all my work responsibilities on track since my job has timelines linked to calendar days, not days we are actually at/in school. The past couple weeks I've been spending an average of 12 hours a day at work, just to catch everything up and last week our 8th graders took their two-part Grade 8 Writing SOL. I think it may have been our first or perhaps second full week of school since October. It has all worn me down.

But I decided this weekend I needed to adjust my attitude about life in general and begin my preparations for my fiber shows. I have a job I enjoy and feel called to. I am healthy and have a loving husband, good friends and family. I make spindles, spin yarn, knit, crochet and am in a position to help others. Having gone through an attitude readjustment, I feel much better.

After that, I spent some time checking over my spindle inventory and analyzing the next steps in the process. I have a few Fiber Art projects in the making, I'd like to finish and bring to the show to sell. I'm not sure they'll be ready in time, since I've also been working on the Bunnies for Babies fundraiser. This is still an ongoing project and I should probably update everyone.

My brother and his wife have been chosen to be the receiving parents of a set of twin boys, one of whom will have special needs. The boys are due in April which means the giving mother could have them any time now. We hope she is able carry them as long as possible, since any preemie has an uphill battle and twins would be even smaller.

I currently have 14 Bunnies made, three bodies flat, but not sewn up, and another on the needles. The intake from their sales goes directly to my brother and my sister-in-law's adoption fund. They will not be allowed to bring the boys home until specific fees are paid to the adoption agency. $10 a Bunny, may not seem much of a contribution, especially after all the hours spent hand knitting or crocheting the bodies and assembling them, but every little bit helps bring the boys within the reach of our family. Hence, the slow progress on my own Fiber Art projects. It is a bit late now, so I will sign off and go to bed. Maybe I'll have hours to work on my projects tomorrow... after I get some of the waiting paperwork finished for work.

Blessings everyone.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Giving thanks for family and friends. I'm still working on the knitted/crocheted bunnies for the Bunnies for Baby adoption project and thinking the mothers out there who realize they aren't in a place to take care of their little one, but still love them enough to make the heart-wrenching decision to let someone else take the little one into their heart.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Finally listing again

I've gotten through the limited show season I participate in and have begun listing the spindles still available for sale on Etsy. My hubby has worked technical magic and made the dot com site much nicer. Now I need to do my part and get the items listed so the public can find them. I also need to knit more bunnies for the Bunnies for Baby project. Many things to do, a positive attitude and just plain "doin' it" will get it all done in time.