Monday, September 30, 2019

Ink drawing Tiger Bird Girl

Tiger Bird Girl or woman.  This is Ingrid, from my book, that I'm still trying to make a good cover art for.  Thus, this drawing.  It fits in an 8.5 by 11 inch frame.  It is definitely her - but still a bit too large and too detailed to shrink down to a five by 7 book cover.  She has stripes, and claws, and feathers.. she is a tiger with her claws 'the wrong way in' and a bird that flies to the other side of the stars.

It is for sale in my Etsy shop : Etsy shop

Sunday, September 29, 2019


 'The River Road'.  Started this a few months ago and finally sat down to finish it.
In person I would have to say the road is slightly more violet than the blue it shows here, and it is very hard to tell if it is a river or a road.  Except, who would put a fence by the river?
16 inches wide by 14 inches tall
For Sale with free shipping

Saturday, September 28, 2019


Our business  has some push now that should take us through December.  Between the SBDC and our business plan we can now get some tools, materials and enough salary to keep us afloat.  It is a real good start.  I have several projects lined up that will form a good portfolio.

I also got 'builder's professional' status on several different websites, so now I can get specialized supplies that we will need.  I am so much more optimistic than I was before I went to the small business administration a few weeks ago.  They helped set us on a good path.

I am still looking at a part time job, too - and doing this other work around it.  It will be 'punch' time for us, but I think we have been so relaxed for so many years with my job at Lowe's we were needing to do more.  And I need to pick up some skills and procedures.

I invoiced out one job that we will order things for in a week or so - but there are two small ones I'm able to do sooner.  I am planning on purchasing a full PEX tools kit and practicing with it - maybe on Miss Irene's house or on a project here, and getting experience doing that and doing it well.  It will be three years experience 'in the field' before I can sit for the plumbing license exam... according to the material I was reading.  I might be able to find a plumber I've worked with in the past who could vouch for my knowledge and also present a portfolio of work done to support it.  That is a future thought.

I have come a long way from the little girl that was 'half left handed' that her mother took tools out of her hands so she wouldn't hurt herself instead of teaching her to use them.  She stood by my elbow well into my teens if I had a knife and was ready to 'take over honey' and it was Mark that finally taught me how to cut meat away from bones and other things in simple cooking that she would never let me do.  And she freaked when I went on ladders to see what they were doing on the roof and yelled and screamed at me that I would be injured.  My grandfather and my brother would at least give me chances at things, mostly if she wasn't looking.  My brother is left-handed and I learned a lot from him, but only in bits and pieces.  My dad is left handed, as are all of the men in his family.  I could have really benefited from having more left handed people around that didn't freak when I held things 'backwards' (or force me to hold them right-handed) and instead showed me the way.  One of the many repercussions of childhood that I've fought and made progress with on my own.

My dad has gotten worse, but he still seems happy and himself on the phone.  I sent him a pack of drawings and sent my MIL a book with a passage that came into my head when I was drawing.   This business might be a blessing in disguise that we can talk more and I can do more things for them and maybe even get another visit in sometimes in the next year... although I'm not planning hard on that last one because I know it does take money and time and it was a bit stressful for him but he enjoyed it retrospectively.  Just a lot of big thoughts and worry there.. but at least now I'm not exhausted and hurting and going to Lowes every morning and night and hitting crisis after crisis of work to compound.  It has felt really good to get up in the morning at about the same time every day, not to worry 'do I have to be there at 6 am or 10 or is this a closing night?' jerked up and down every day.

The other thing with this design is I can go anywhere - to any city, website, competitor and get things.  That is a freedom I did not have.  I wouldn't even set foot in a competitor while I worked at Lowe's.  Well, they lost that.  Now it's kind of opposite - I won't buy a material from them unless it is truly the only place to get what we need.  There is one minor thing in this design that the only place I can get the right color thing for anywhere near that price is them - anywhere else is 150 dollars more... so that is worth ordering it from a store and picking it up.

I am reading a Hemingway.  It is on my list of things I have always told myself to do but never got around to it.  some would call that a bucket list but no its really an 'unchained' list.  I am almost done with it.. it really isn't 'great'... but had to see what the hype was about.  I have 'dh laurence' on my list, too - find one of those and see what that is about.  I picked the Hemingway by just running my hand over the shelf at the local library and grabbing something.. and it was this.. I like that method the Universe says 'okay, throwing this at you'.  It works better with books than other things.  I have 'Little Fires Everywhere' in my bag for when I finish this one.  That was at the store one day when I was wandering waiting for Irene to shop and I wrote the name down - saw it for 25 cents at the library book store sale and snagged it.

There is a music festival in one town today and an arts festival in another.  We were going to hit at least one of them, then we need to start on a project.

Esme bought this lidded jar from Paschall Pottery at the Arts on the Square in Paris, Tennessee.
She has a small collection of local art from these different events, she saves her allowance for such things.  She has it on her desk under the pastel drawing I framed for her from the last Christmas show.

The artist told her how he had made it from a single thrown piece, and separated the lid with a popsicle stick.  He had also done a demonstration we watched where he made a pot on the wheel in front of several people showing the different techniques.  Esme had a great time looking at all the art but she came back to his stall - after looking at every other booth - to ask to buy something.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

drawing bits

 the top drawing is a guess at some artwork for my book I want to get a dozen copies or so printed and it needs a cover art.  the bottom image is much much larger, and it is finished.  It is 'Plant your Seeds Every Morning Every Day'... and it is for my dad.  I will be sending it to him with a few other random things in a mailing tube tomorrow.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Vintage sewing patterns for SALE

I have put up for SALE an assortment of the vintage sewing patterns we have used over the years here.  There will be more over the next few days as I photograph them and double-check the pieces again.  These range from 1940 to 1978, from Simplicity and McCalls, mostly.

Sunday, September 15, 2019


Wrote another  version of the business plan.  Added a whole bunch of inventory files into our shop program.  Put 3,000 words on a story I was writing with Esme.  And we washed all the dogs (although that took us two days total).  My left wrist hurt some yesterday for no reason I could remember, but it stopped quickly.  However, after carrying Tansy down the stairs and fighting Rex into the tub today the right wrist has real reasons to hurt.  I'm ignoring it for now.. but its being quite loud.  Good news is the tooth feels quite a bit better.  Tomorrow is PTC in the afternoon.

The story I am working on is 'Cat in the Forest'.  Am up to 5,000 words and I am working a bit more on the outline that is in my head - have to do some more research.  I did research this morning on the rope climbing and now I have to look in my herbals for a bit more info on the mysterious plant that they think will save them but is actually a powerful poison.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Gearing Up

Gearing up to launch.

Friday, September 13, 2019


Worked towards the business a lot today.  Esme and I are going to a booksale tomorrow.  Reading Hemingway and another I found at the library 'little fires everywhere.'  Listening to French podcast and thinking more how to make my office here.  We watched Aquaman.. and our brains still won't come back anywhere near us because it was just too much to ask of them.  *ha*

weird note rant : I remarked a while back that my Pinterest now shows me pins in multiple languages, french and welsh and russian, norwegian, japanese and spanish... odd that spanish you would think would be prevalent, but  no it shows me much more french and welsh things now because it knows I've looked at those more.  So, there is algorithm going on. 

I've noticed my Facebook feed has recently begun doing this, too - where it hadn't before.  I looked at several job offers in French, and I must have stared too long at a few in Spanish.. now it is showing me French, Spanish and Norwegian with a little German thrown in.  It shows me Welsh already, because I belong to several Welsh-speaking groups.. so that one wasn't a surprise. 

Somewhere I've ticked off the 'this person might be bilingual' cues on someone's program.  I'm also getting job offer advertisements for bilingual people, Spanish and French (the Spanish ones are in English, but the French ones are in French, which I find even weirder).

Thursday, September 12, 2019


Mark said since I've had this tooth out I have my bounce back... sounds good to me.  I know I don't want to sleep in the middle of the afternoon now and the pain with it out is nowhere near the pain I had with it in. 

Got out of the house today and went journeying with a stack of business cards and some motivations.

Had a great day out talking to people, seeing what the region has to offer.  I looked at an office space (from the outside) and handed out lots of business cards.  Need to make another big stack today.  Have a few things I'd like to go out and take photos of, today, too.

Got a great couple of books, like the Universe was listening in on me and led me to a few of them.  I need to take Esme back there Saturday.

Got some price lists to look through, and have a few more skills I want to think about studying for and in practicums that I need to arrange for myself.  Would like to go next week to the salvage store and see if they have some things for me to do a few of those with, and maybe we can make some howto videos.

 Esme's shots above and below
apparently she felt obligated to take a picture of her mother from behind... *smirk*

pine tree pic off my camera

Tuesday, September 10, 2019


I had out the tooth this morning, the one that was 'referring' pain all over that side of my mouth - so sometimes it felt like there was pain at the top back or the bottom, until I pressed against this tooth, then it would stop.  They said it was a very long root.  It has mostly stopped bleeding but extra pain has not set in, and that is with only two regular ibuprofen.  So, I'm thinking the pain of it 'in' and hurting was equal to the pain I am feeling now with it out, and it can only get better from here.

Had a few more calls today (but my mouth was swollen) so I hope I was clear enough.  Got some information on several things we needed to know about.  Have to ask more questions tomorrow and call back.  We also have the lawyer appointment tomorrow.

Mark said to take it easy today, so I am learning some SQL.  I completed the first course and a half on Khan.  Every Python programmer job that lands in my inbox wants me to know SQL.

Monday, September 09, 2019


Working on our business plan, made lots of calls today, got lots of numbers and sources and ideas.  Printed a few very basic flyers.  Looked at a 'physical location' but we will probably have to start with a mobile unit because of the monthly rent costs.  We will see someone about all the paperwork on Wednesday.  Researching small business loans and ways to advertise.

Tomorrow morning I go in for my tooth extraction.  I've spent two months (and then some) waiting to get this tooth out.  And, I know it affected how easy it was to get me further stressed out this month.  I hardly take ibuprofen for anything (and of course, that and aspirin are the only things that work at ALL in me..) and I've taken it for this tooth almost once a day, sometimes up to three times a day.  For me, that is a lot.  And the ibuprofen doesn't help at all with the bruising I normally have, which is another reason to not take it unless I have to.

BUT.  hoping that they get that tooth out and it all starts to turn around.
Went into Khan tonight and restarted some of my chemistry lessons.
Took a walk around the garden and pulled in a few late tomatoes.
Shelled all the rest of the Whipporwill heirloom peas, and need to take a picture of that haul.
It was the only thing this year that did 'well'... and that is because it is so hard to keep down you'd have to stick bricks over it to have it not produce.  There were six to nine plants like usual and they produced handfuls of small brown speckled cowpeas.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019