25 April 2008

The cable is found! I am saved!

I'll be writing descriptions and updating the Etsy shop tonight. If you see something you like, drop me an email at etsyshop at mysticspiral dot com and let me know which pin you want and I can mark it "reserved". I'll give you a week to finalize the transaction before taking it off reserved status and returning it to general stock. If you need longer (I understand, we only get paid every 2 1/2 weeks) just let me know and I can extend that. I just need to know what's going on.

Now that the cable is found and I've put it into the camera case with my camera, I shouldn't have to worry about so many delays. I may even take a picture of my "photo setup" to post here in case anyone is interested. The biggest obstacle to photography right now is that I've been using Sprout's bed to set everything up on. I can clip the lights onto the wooden parts of her bed, and the light cube fits perfectly, etc... You take your vacant flat spaces where you can find them. I'd like, in the near future, to set everything up in the studio so that I can leave everything set up and ready to go.

This batch is, as you can see, is all $15 shawl pins. I've got some scribble pins ready to list. I'll be listing them in pairs and in sets of 3... $10 for 2 and $12 for 3. I have a couple of spindle whorl pins and 2 or 3 wrist distaffs that will probably be listed in a week or 2. I've gotten a couple of messages from other spindlers on Ravelry and via conversations on Etsy asking about the wrist distaffs so I've also got beads in the works for more distaffs but I need to get some firing done before I can make many more.

Car update: it looks like we're replacing a water pump. I'm not sure where the money is going to come from but we don't really have much choice. We're hoping to get another car sometime this summer, but if we try to go car shopping now rather than fixing the Radio Flyer, we're not going to be in a position to buy the kind of car that we want and we'll have no hope of becoming a 2 car family any time this decade.

So, That's all the news that's fit to print. Remember, drop me a note if anything here catches your eye... $15 for the pin, $5 for priority shipping. Given the car problems, I'm only shipping in the US for right now. For that, I can print postage online and give the package to the same guy who delivers my mail. For right now, I just don't see a practical way to get to the post office for international packages. So, I'll leave you with these last 3 images... enjoy.

23 April 2008


Well, I got some pictures taken... Not many, my camera has a 16mb card. This wouldn't be a problem, IF I could find the cable for the camera, or any other way of removing the pictures so that I could take more. I wonder where the Mr. put that cable.

My Little Red Wagon

The Radio Flyer* died Monday on the way home from the Knitting Guild Meeting. The mechanic says that the water pump failed (rather dramatically if you want my opinion) and that he can't pressurize the cooling system to determine what else may need attention. This repair is going to cost a lot of money that we don't have. Alternately, not making the repair (how much is a 93 Escort wagon worth anyway?) means acquiring a car. If we don't have the money for the repair, where's the money for a car going to come from? So much for my dreams of ever becoming a 2 car family.

I had hoped that I might have a summer job which would allow Sprout to spend the summer in 1/2 day pre-school day camp and give me a bit of extra money. Unfortunately, the employer is currently confronted with a spending/hiring freeze so it looks unlikely. I may do some volunteer work for the summer, just to start re-building my resume to maybe get some small teaching gigs. (Classes at the Boonshoft might be fun. Maybe some classes at an art center or something. Who knows?) The money from paid gigs would certainly help but volunteering and teaching would both be easier if we had a 2nd car...

The long and the short of this post is, Watch This Space for a preview of items to be uploaded to Etsy. I don't expect to finance a car payment or the repair bill out of my Etsy shop but I'm very hopeful that, with a little help from my friends, I can make enough money to buy milk and maybe pay the internet bill.

Other than the car, life is gradually moving toward "normal." Everyone in the household is having some difficulty adjusting to our new 3 cat status. Sprout goes for most of a day without any mention of Shado and then will comment on how much she misses him and how sad it is that he's dead. The cats seemed, at first, to take the loss in stride. Shado had long since retired from the pecking order and passed the throne to Hephaestus. Alpheus, our youngest male, has never really seemed to have much interest in a hierarchical order except as applies to who gets to sleep on my body pillow and get affection from me when I can't sleep. Unfortunately, both Alfie and Fuzzy have felt the need to show Mintaka (our only female) that, as far as they're concerned, she's at the bottom of the pecking order.

'Taka would so love to be an only cat. Shado was 6 months old when we brought her home and the two of them always got along beautifully. It would now appear that even after his retirement, Shado was an important ally for her and his calming influence made a real difference. I think that she may be acting out to show her disapproval of the situation by peeing in the laundry. As much as I think that this habit will prove to be a powerful motivator in the direction of sorting clothes (the ones that no longer fit can be donated) and getting them washed and put away, I'd really rather she didn't embrace this habit... If she doesn't have laundry to pee in, I'm afraid she might choose the bed.

Well, I'm putting off photography, for no good reason, so I'd better get that done so I can upload pictures and then begin working on text for the Etsy listings. If you see something in the pictures that you want, drop me a note. I'll be happy to mark it "Reserved" when I update the shop.

*You mean everyone doesn't nickname their cars... ok, red escort station wagon = little red wagon = Radio Flyer -- Clear as mud, I'm sure

15 April 2008

Farewell, Space Monkey

If I know you offline, chances are pretty good that I've mentioned my cats and told you silly stories about one or more of them. Yesterday morning, Shado (our eldest cat and the one that I sometimes referred to as our "Radically Altered" male) passed from this world. It was not an unexpected event and we'd spent quite a bit of time over the last couple of months trying to prepare Sprout for the inevitable.

Shado was 14 years old, which is not particularly ancient in the world of domestic cats, but which was a miracle considering that he had complete renal failure 3 times when he was 4 years old. In the course of a 6 month period, Shado had to be taken to the emergency vet and placed in feline ICU twice. The third time that his urinary tract became blocked and his kidneys shut down was actually the day that we were supposed to pick him up from his 2nd ICU stay. We walked in and the vet told us that he felt Shado needed surgery. The procedure, called Perineal Urethrostomy, was done that same day and his recovery was amazingly fast.

His medical misadventures left him with some loss of kidney function (he recovered to about 80%) and a heart murmur. These are health problems which we have managed for the last 10 years with minimal problem. I will never forget bringing him home, after the surgery, with his abdomen shaved from just below his ribs to the base of his tail and down the backs of his legs. Shado was an amazingly agile cat and to prevent him from disturbing his incision, the vet extended the standard white plastic funnel collar with a 3 inch band of silver duct tape, to add to the effect, we were instructed to apply a zinc-oxide cream to the area around the incision to prevent irritation. As a result, he looked less like a cat and more like... Well, that's probably obvious from the title.

Sprout is handling the loss well, mostly. She's having some trouble wrapping her head around it and is alternately sad that he's gone and curious about when he'll be back. When I told her that he had died, she wanted me to take him to the vet so that they could make him better. When we talked about how much we were going to miss him, she suggested that we get another cat who looked just like him so that we wouldn't.

Mr. Andi is ready to bury the cat. I'm not quite there yet. I feel like putting him in a box in the ground is not the closure that I need. I'm still trying to figure it out. This isn't the first time that I've lost a pet, but it's the first time that I've guided my daughter through the loss of one and I want to do right by both her and Shado.

IMAGE: Original caption: "Fig. 75. '''Schädel der Wildkatze,''' ''Felis catus'; in halber natürlicher Größe" Translation (partly): "Skull of ''Felis silvestris'', 1/2 of natural size" Size: 2.2 x 1.4 in² (5.5 x 3.5 cm²) Originator: Hubert Ludwig Source

05 April 2008

Spring is springing

The weather is beginning to warm which means that I'm able to return to my studio. I'm really excited about some wheel thrown spindle whorls that I've been working on. They're time consuming, but I have fallen head over heels with each and every one of them even though I'm sure that they're not saleable. (Of course this means that I'll be making a lot more of them...)

It's more than a month since I had hoped to have the Etsy shop back up and running. I mentioned in my last post some interpersonal drama. No sooner had it passed than our house was hit with some form of awful plague. The coughing has lasted more than a month and we ended up taking Sprout to urgent care where she was diagnosed with bronchitis. It's hard to believe that at 3 1/2 years old, we had never been required to give her any kind of medicine. We'd given her some infant tylenol when she was first teething, but she quickly decided that she didn't want or need it. Unfortunately, this meant that the antibiotics they prescribed for her illness were grounds for quite a few contentious battles.

I really do intend to re-open the shop. I have realized that I'm really not a business woman. That said, I have said before that I'm afraid of being buried alive by my own work. In the interest of seeing that work into the hands of those who will love and care for it, I will post pictures of the items I'm planning to list here on the blog at least a day or two before I update the shop. If you see something that you are particularly interested in, leave a comment, or drop me a note and let me know. When I list the item, I'll list it as reserved for you and give you 3 weeks to finish the transaction before removing the "reserved" label.

Well, I'm only awake and typing because of hellish leg cramps. In spite of my desire to stay up and watch the end of the PBS Masterpiece Theater presentation of Sense and Sensibility that I taped on Sunday, I must get some sleep. Tonight is "Night at the Museum" where I will be playing the role of a frontier woman spinning the night away as her babes sleep. More on that later...