If Something’s A Drag, Do What You Love Instead

Ms. SpoolTeacher was watching old movies staring Loretta Young on YouTube during Christmas because she loves The Bishop’s Wife and Christmas Eve so much. Then she saw several other old movies with Loretta Young staring and couldn’t resist indulging. An interview came up with her daughter, who disclosed that her father was Clark Gable. Somehow she ended up here, http://moviestarmakeover.com/2013/01/ , where she found the image below of Marlo Thomas (another of her favorite personalities) in a  patchwork maxi-skirt. Now she wants to make one.  Marlo's Patchwork maxi-skirt

Little did she know that Loretta Young was Marlo Thomas’s Godmother.

Keeping your head above water

She hasn’t read this book, but it sounds good.


Ms. SpoolTeacher has been trying to keep her head above water, for several years now, by providing services to her local community. Those services do include her sewing in the form of alterations and mending. She also does housekeeping, “taxi” service, personal shopping, weed pulling, kitty feeding…..etc., etc.

Her community is largely retired and elderly. Many of them winter visitors.

It’s a really tough economy where she is, not a lot unlike many communities throughout the USA these days; but hers is especially difficult because people largely arrive here for the relatively low living costs (compared to other surrounding areas) and the town is pretty much designed to accommodate winter visitors. It’s a small town, easy for elders to navigate and all basic needs can be met.

The sad fact is that the population is largely elderly. Ms. SpoolTeacher has lost many clients over the years, several recently and suddenly.

She thinks it’s a sign that she is supposed to be doing WHAT SHE LOVES, Sewing!!!!

Sometimes she has to be bopped on the nogin by an unanticipated force.

Sewing was her first love. Decorating/designing followed naturally from that as it was a way for her to utilize her passion to extract an income. She specialized in window fashion, but spent many years outfitting, organizing, and agonizing with clients to perfect their personal domains, all things included; floors, walls, windows, furniture and accessories.

She loved the design work and world, but hated (with as much passion as she loved sewing), the part that required her to coerce, cajole and contract  people out of hard-earned income for what was mostly unnecessary luxury. It went against her grain even then…albeit, most of that world is beyond rich as it takes being beyond rich to afford most of it. Somehow, in her intuitive mind, she could sense the negative side of excessive consumption even then when it was widely decided to be the model of a well oiled society.

Making her way through this mess

This image is of Ms. SpoolTeacher standing in a closet that was crammed full of sewing things. She was looking for embroidery thread to accomplish a mending task. This was many months ago. In that moment she decided she wanted to finally, finally, finally get her garage-that-wants-to-be-a-Where Women Create studio space up to snuff so she can go out and do nothing but sewing in that place. She has made great strides in that direction, but keeping her head above water has continually thwarted her intentions.

Now she has no excuses. The treading-water jobs have all fallen away and it’s time to get on with the plan.

In between freezing temps and rain, she’s getting things done. Winter makes it a little harder to get up, get going and the body parts un-frozen, but she’s doing it.

“Eating an elephant”, one little bite at a time. If Something’s A Drag, Do What You Love Instead. It makes the bites a little sweeter.

It’s Coming On Christmas

Santa Claus

Christmas, what is Christmas?

Santa Claus. Candy canes. Ribbon candy. Tissue paper packages in a box from Canada with sticker seals holding the edges fastened. Those were the gifts that could be opened Christmas Eve, because the others weren’t there, Santa Claus hadn’t come yet.

Three little girls lined up at a closed hall door, dressed in new nighties, waiting with bated breath for the Mom to say okay.

Would they get what they wanted?

Oh, such anticipation. It is hard to capture the essence of the thrill that was known then. Once in a great while, something evokes it, but it is very elusive. Pine trees work to a fair degree.

Now it seems just a time to get through. Not for all. Some still thrill in the season.

It has long ago lost the memory of it being the day of the birth of a Savior. That has been misplaced.

Christians haven’t forgotten, but it is sidelighted (a piece of information that is in addition to the main information) by the New World Order.

It seems the main information is to get shoppin’!!!

Christmas Tree has wonderful childhood memories

When Ms. SpoolTeacher was a young girl, she did a lot of babysitting. It was often a very boring occupation and it netted 50 cents an hour. Even if there were four kids. Sometimes even if the neighbor threw in a couple too.

50 cents an hour added up. In those days, you could purchase a pattern for 75 cents. Fabric, who remembers? Not the prices of today, for sure!

That was all she wanted with her babysitting money. She wanted to spool. It wasn’t long before clothes weren’t cheaper to make than to buy, but she still liked to make her own.

Well, there was one lady she loved to sit for. They became friends and Margaret would later, when Ms. SpoolTeacher was of an appropriate age, invite her to her house parties where there were always boys. Grown up boys. Handsome boys.

What fun.

Margaret was quite a bit older than Ms. SpoolTeacher; but you know how time does. Eventually the age gap narrowed and it was great fun to hang out with “older” ladies.

A long story to bring up the point of the aluminum Christmas tree.

Margaret had one. During Christmas season on those long, long, long, long, long nights where very young Ms. SpoolTeacher had put 4 children to bed and was waiting with bated breath for Margaret and her husband to come home from a night out, she would sit and be hypnotized by the beautiful silver tree with the color light wheel spinning multiple colors round and round, all the while reflecting off the beautiful collection of glass in a mirrored china cabinet. It was just the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. She vowed in her subconscious to someday have one. One of each, an aluminum Christmas tree and a china cabinet filled with beautiful glassware.

Aluminum Christmas tree multi-color light wheel effect

She paid a fortune for her beautiful aluminum Christmas tree and a wheel to go with it. She has no regrets. She had money in those days.

The glassware? An untold fortune invested.

The china cabinet, a steal at an “antiques and collectibles” shop that had the price slashed in half. She can’t figure out why beautiful second-hand Thomasville, real wood and wonderfully made furniture can’t sell for a fortune, but she feels very fortunate that it can’t. $225. Priceless!

Aluminum Christmas tree link to color light viewing

So this Christmas season, Ms. SpoolTeacher is on a roll getting her “compound” in the order that it will someday soon be a place Where Women Create.

She has made a little sitting room out of what she refers to as “The Mud Room”, taken everything out except what is essential. It used to be stuffed with sewing stuff, part of resource central.

What used to be The Mud Room is now a cozy sitting room

It’s just right, small enough to heat efficiently once the drape is pulled on the doorway to the living room and the gap at the bottom of the old door leading out is plugged. She can sit and read old letters and laugh and cry.

A gifted sewing machine from a friend

She was gifted an heirloom family sewing machine from a friend who wanted to find it a good home. It fits right in the corner. Hopefully, before much longer, she will do something about that awful concrete floor. She wants to do a mosaic tile treatment. She may end up just painting it. Maybe something like Lapis Lazuli…

something like Lapis Lazuli

something like Lapis Lazuli She knows, it’s hard to fathom what is in her mind’s eye, but she was a designer in her day, don’t ya know?

Everything is about comfort now. Working with what she has. Working with the least of things. Making it like she likes it regardless of what anyone thinks!

It’s Coming On Christmas.

She managed to be in the spirit enough to put up the aluminum Christmas tree. She’s read old letters from Sissy who is gone now but with whom she enjoyed countless memories sitting in a rocking chair together perusing the Sears Catalog for what Santa could bring and lined up at the hall door, dressed in new nighties, waiting with bated breath for the Mom to say okay.

What is Christmas?

At the very least it is the memory of Love. At the very most it is Love.

vintage sequin and assorted Christmas ornaments

Merry Christmas.

She Should Be Ashamed, But She’s Not

Thanksgiving has come and gone. She and her girls had sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, wild caught salmon, and a rice and lentil medley.Thanksgiving has come and gone

She spent the day alone, by choice, and enjoyed every single (pun intended) minute of it. Alone with her (senior) puppies that is.

The girls, her puppies, Thanksgiving day, is it soup yet?

“Is it soup yet? We’ve been waiting with bated breath, all the live long day, under your feet wherever you went, smelling those smells and hearing the fridge open and the can opener sound, and spoons come out of the spoon holder thing. We’ve waited long enough!”

Ms. SpoolTeacher mushes their portions because it helps slow down their gulping it down in one lump. This was really an after dinner treat. They’d already had their main meal.

she mushes it up for them so they won't be so likely to gulp in one lump

Gulp, gulp, gulp…it only took them a few gulps. “Is there any more? How about that that you have on your plate?”

Gulp, gulp, gulp. Is there any more? How about that that is on your plate?

After dinner dates and a movie with Bruce WillisShe had after dinner dates and a movie with Bruce Willis. She thought she had seen all of his Die Hard movies, but to her delight, there was one she had missed, Die Hard 2, Die Harder. She’s been buying VHS videos at her local thrift store for 10 cents each. Since she gave up TV, she is enjoying catching up on all the movies she missed during the video years.

She has acquired quite a collection. They were lining the shelves she built in her bedroom, with nary a space left for more…until she got the motivation to, once again, tackle the garage-that-wants-to-be-a Where Women Create studio. shelves she built in her bedroom

She should be ashamed, but she’s not. Yes, she ate the whole plate of goodies for Thanksgiving, almost as fast as the girls ate theirs.

all gone Mind you, this is after the girls gave it a pre-washing.

What she really should be ashamed of to show you though, is the mess that was her patio that is trying to get into her garage-that-wants-to-be-a Where Women Create studio.   . Sometimes she thinks she will never, ever, ever get her things in the order that will allow her to be a Where Women Create kind of person. So many things keep interfering, not the least of which is trying to MAKE MONEY(the harder way – doing what you don’t love).

All of a sudden something else got in the way of her MAKING MONEY (the harder way), she lost most of her paying gigs. People get poorer than they used to be. People’s lives change and they don’t need her services. And, very sadly, people die.

She is trying to believe that this is a good thing. Not that people die, of course. One of her favorite clients just passed away and it kind of shook her up. It started making her think about what time she has left ahead, and just WHAT IS SHE WAITING FOR!!!

Now she has to do the things she loves to do. There aren’t a lot of options.

She’s really proud of what she has accomplished in the parts of the last two days. She really believes that “cargo” is crippling; but the cargo she has is cargo that can create a living for her. She just needs to get with it.

She has a shop on Etsy where she markets the things she makes. These are her Christmas Candy Bar Stockings.

Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket

She wants to make a lot more stuff to market there from her resources that already exist.

The problem has been that her resources have been strewn because of numerous life changing events that have caused her to shift, shift and re-shift her home around countless times to accommodate ever more cumbersome, crippling cargo.

Try not to be too critical and remember this is stage one of her conversion toward the garage-that-wants-to-be-a Where Women Create studio…

This is the first picture she took after moving things out of the main pathway…

garage-that-wants-to-be-a Where Women Create studio

Then she set up a “sorting table”…

EatDontEat.Thanksgiving2014 004

Then she took all her fabrics off of the shelves and put them onto the sorting table …

garage-that-wants-to-be-a Where Women Create studio

and then moved the bookshelves over to the step that used to be an exit from the living room….

and then moved the bookshelves over to the step that used to be an exit from the living room.

…and then over night she filled them up with the VHS videos that were overwhelming her bedroom shelves…

VHS videos that were overwhelming her bedroom shelves

She started doing what any Clutter-Busterer would be well advised to do and started putting all like things together (see all the sewing notions accumulating above the bookshelves?)

clearing the counter and moving it to the center

All the collectibles that had been on the top of the bookshelves went to the top of the refrigerator and will soon go to a collectibles shop (her friend owns) to sell and possibly posted on her Etsy shop to boot, (many, many, many more of those in her garage-that-wants-to-be-a Where Women Create studio).

See, this time is a good thing. As long as she doesn’t panic.

Next, the counter came forward to be a work table in the center and the hutch top went in its place supported by two old nightstands she has had for ~ 40 years that came out from the garage-that-wants-to-be-a Where Women Create studio. We’re making progress…

the hutch on top of the night stands

It’s amazing what you can do by yourself when you put your mind to it. She moved that hutch from the desk to the nightstands by placing a board across the two items and shimming the hutch in place.

She then swept it out and loaded it with all the fabrics that had been moved to the sorting table…

piles of fabrics on the sorting table

fabrics in the hutch now

The goal is to have all these wonderful resources out and available. All part of the conversion of the garage/studio. Remember, this is stage one.

So, so far, from this…

from this

to this…

cumbersome, crippling, cargo conversion toward garage-that-wants-to-be-a "Where Women Create" studio

cumbersome, crippling, cargo conversion toward garage-that-wants-to-be-a "Where Women Create" studio

Be kind. They’re making do with the least of things; using it up, wearing it out, making it do, or doing without…and, trying to make a living with resources she already has.

Just in the nick of time! Right after she got the last of the resources in their temporary homes, it started to rain.

not stuffed with turkey

Little (Old, Senior) Red-Haired Girl, stuffed, (not with turkey), taking a nappy nap under the table next to Ms. SpoolTeacher Thanksgiving evening.

Nighty nite!

cumbersome, crippling, cargo conversion toward garage-that-wants-to-be-a "Where Women Create" studio

No mice were injured in the cumbersome, crippling, cargo conversion toward garage-that-wants-to-be-a “Where Women Create” studio stage one production. Mousie is running free in the wide open fields, free as a bird. Someday, Ms. SpoolTeacher will tell you the ultimate best way to catch a mouse without harming it. (They live for years in residence, months in the wild, so don’t worry about overpopulation.)