Sunday, April 27, 2008

"You are NOT flighty...'re just learning to fly."

That was only one of the incredibly sweet things said to me this past week...thank you all so much for your support, surprise goodies in the mail, and the many good thoughts and prayers that have been heading my way...

I guess this blog post could also be entitled: "Entirely toooo much information" (that's your hint, turn back now!) As most of you know, I have MS and have kind of "taken a turn" in the last few years--the last few months have been incredibly difficult, trying to figure out different medications and realizing that I am not responding quite as well as I'd hoped to different treatments... Things were looking up--just a bit--only to come down with a hideous cold that moved to my chest and turned into a sinus infection...and I get intensely grouchy when there's anything wrong with me, aside from my usual diseases.
Today, with this cold, I kind of look like this:

(If you steal this image, I shall wish warts and wrinkles upon you...general bad luck and crisis of every kind...unless you'd like to pick me up for licensing...then we'll just chat...)

But, I digress--I always do. Thank you, everyone...everything's shipped or shipping tomorrow--now I actually did get some shipping done, but thus far no one's actually received their shipments...I mean, surely someone has received the packages? Just not the folks that actually ordered stuff. So. That's what ya get when the shipping gal has a brain that looks like swiss cheese. Life is so unfair. I am actually quite partial to Havarti...!

You know, I watched Walk the Line the other night (for the second time) and was just incredibly heartened--I mean, who knew? You can pop pills, drink like a fish, not share chili fries with Elvis, smash a perfectly good guitar...all of that can happen to you (or you can plunge right into it!)...all of that life can storm around you and through you...and you can still end up "okay". You can ditch the pills, the booze, meet the love of your life (while married, of course...)--you can somehow make it through all of that and still be able to "make music" matter how big the storm is, when the wind finally dies just notice it's blown away the dead leaves that were covering up the beauty of spring's first crocus. The storm took away nothing that was needed. (Unless, of course, the wind snatched yer breezies!)

And I guess I never knew that Johnny passed only 4 short months after June...(so if I pull a Heath Ledger--it was ALL prescribed! Joe, set your watch....). I watched that and just remembered so, so, much...all the grief, all the blessings--it really is a big cycle. And when the wheel comes "back around", it's just that much sweeter...that much finer.

The next few months will bring a lot of changes to our nest--and to the business. The Bears will have their very own digs--new etsy shoppe and new eBay id--as my husband and I begin to run that new business far we've established that he is great at supervising and has a surprising amount of opinions regarding names, etc. (I hope he doesn't get beat up at work over this...) As far as the design resources and patterns--those will all be converted into pdf files and my paper patterns are being you'll all be able to re-sell them for exorbitant prices on eBay, simply because they are OOP (hmmmmmmmm....where's that snarky eBay id I had????).

I don't anticipate much difficulty during this business transition, as no one's buying poop-for-applesauce anyway (oh yeah, except all of you waiting on orders. SIGH!) Might I add that eBay taking away most of every one's feedback as of May 1st could be wonderful timing?! :) So please...go leave it now!! Anywho--we're finally to the point where we must actively make some changes to de-stress and manage things a bit better. And my ideas are slightly twacked, as you all probably know...there's that completely cheesy "Something Worth Leaving Behind" song--do you know it? Will you admit if you do?? :)

"Hey Monalisa, who was Leonardo?
Was he Andy Warhol?
Were you Marilyn Monroe
Hey Mozart, what kind of name is Amadeus
It's kinda like Elvis
You gotta die to be famous
I may not go down in history
I just want someone to remember me
I'll probably never hold a brush
that paints a masterpiece
Probably never find a pen
that writes a symphony
But if I will love then I will find
That I have touched another life
And that's something
Something worth leaving behind..."
Lee Ann Womack
(one "m")

Thank you all so much--you know I'll keep you posted on the new changes...the next issue of Create and Decorate will continue with Summer's Heart and Home~~and then! THEN...Autumn and Halloween! Yippeee!! :)



PS..."twacked", "snarky", "breezies", and "etsy" are not in spell-check...and I don't know if I will EVER learn how to spell "recieve". Even if it is "after 'c'"...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

How I de-stress and live healthier...

I just threw away a teflon pan instead of washing it.
(And by the very, very, careful if you search for this:

"free vintage photo+housewife" fact, just skip it altogether. Seriously. Trust me on this one. Who knew?!)
Also, humor and cheer are always healthful...and so....
Chloe's Favorite knock-knock joke this week:
Chloe: Knock-knock.
Me: Who's there?
Chloe: Interrupting cow.
Me: Interrupting cow who?
Chloe: wait-wait-wait...knock-knock
Me: Who's there? (sigh)
Chloe: Interrupting...............cow.
Me: Interrupting cow wh----
Maggie's favorite joke (this week):
Maggie: Why didn't the Christmas tree cross the road?
Me: Why????
Maggie: Because he doesn't have any legs.
What's your favorite knock-knock joke?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Annie & the Nest...

"The robin is the one

That, speechless from her nest,

Submits that home and certainty

And sanctity are best...."

Emily Dickinson

*Annie & the Nest* are currently in my etsy shoppe~~do stop by and pay her a visit!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

What's in a name???

NOTE: There's a semi-naughty word in the first track of my muzack. I mean, it's kind of naughty. The first half of it is in the Bible. And it belonged to Balaam.... But lots of things are in the Bible that you really shouldn't say/do to one another.... Anywho.

Well. Betty has tagged me! I'm supposed to chat about my biz. name. How, why, etc. Which is mildly interesting as I changed it about a year ago? Anyway. My first name was "Magdalenz Harper Dolls", which I really, really, one could remember how to spell it, knew what it meant, remembered it, and I make a LOT of other things besides dollies...with my needle punch designs "taking off", it seemed time to change it up a bit.

I love Magpies--and "Magpie/Megpie/Pie" was one of my many childhood nick-names. And I love nests. So there you go...Magpies "collect" many things...they are constantly stealing bits of stuff to line their nests--just look at this sweet poem/song!

"...For the magpie's nest

It is a cottage neat and clean

It stands 'longside the Shannon

Where the meadows they are green

But I never met a colleen

With such beauties blest

Like the little Irish fairy

In the magpie's nest

For I have wandered all through Kerry

I have wandered all through Clare

From Dublin down to Galway

From there to God knows where

But I never met a colleen

With such beauties blest

Like the little Irish fairyIn the magpie's nest..."

Can't really determine exactly where that passage is from...but I found it while looking up bits about magpies...and, sweet Jenny of Hearthside Cottage helped me with thinking of it (and I know all about her's really cool, and I will tag her, I think...) As Jenny and I were "Rose" and "Chrissy" in Dancing at Lughnasa, it just seemed sweeter. (The whole irish thing). Anyway. Upon changing my name, I discovered that oh, say, 83 other people had the same name--which I somehow didn't discover until I'd changed. So. I could change again to, "The 84th Magpie", or something like that...I actually like my blog name best--"Magpie Feathers", and I suppose I could use that for everything...but then you reach the point in time when you really don't want to be more of a flighty, fickle, gal than you already i guess it's here to stay? Eh, who knows.

I will tag Jenny to tell us all about her name. Then she'll have to blog!!

Now...for some news. As some of you have surmised, eBay stinks. There's a primitve artist, Holly Tree Primitives, who sums it up best. Beginning May 1st, artists are no longer allowed to use "Primitive" in their auction titles. The new fee structure really does target "the little gal", and any product that is digitally delivered is outlawed, starting May 1st. (I discovered that one after converting 14 of my designs to ePattern!!). So, no eBooks, ePatterns, selling templates....I personally think that they have made this change to gradually break from "self-hosted" auction pictures. That saves me soooo much money--I can't imagine how much eBay "loses" because of this. I have to do this really ridiculous listing thing to sell my ePatterns on eBay. It's just silly--and there are many digital artists who have suffered HUGE losses because they can no longer sell templates (which are delivered in digitial form). It's quite sad. I can't imagine starting out as a Folk Artist on eBay and not being allowed to use "primitive" in my title! The true irony is that several years ago, the primitive doll artists asked eBay for a primitive category!!! Anyway. I said all that to say--

Beginning May 1st a good portion of my business will be moved to etsy. It's just a no-brainer. I know that many of you don't shop on etsy, as we've tried before! :) But that's just the way it must be...etsy opperates with a great deal of integrity, supports "hand-made", and it is sooooo much less expensive!

The Primitive Rug Hookers group is already there, and the Best Loved Early Stytches in Tyme gals will be soon. This is a scarey time for eBay Folk and Prim artists, really ALL eBay artists--the combinations of eBay fees and "Big Brother" mentality, combined with our failing economy, add up to disaster. Sales are horrid and eBay's new rules are crippling our businesses...I think you will see more and more of your favorite folks on etsy.

As life would have it, I'm in the position of being able to work less and actually make things that I want to, once again, I'm trying to turn all of this into a "blessing"--and hoping things will turn out for my friends who rely on their income as artists.

Sooooo...whew! I guess that's it! That was a mighty long post! I hope to post a little bit, helpful links, etc. about buying and selling on etsy in the next few days.



Friday, April 4, 2008

Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

~~Emily Dickinson~~