Saturday, January 31, 2009

This really sums it all up.....

I got tagged on facebook to do this music thing, where you go to your music player, put on shuffle, and hit play - then you write down the first 25 that come up. I am bored, so I did it - and I didn't cheat, I only skipped Christmas songs, Comedian Skits, Audio Book Chapters....and, LL Cool Jay's "Doin' It" which, I guess I just defeated the purpose of skipping that last one. So here it goes, if you really look at this, I think it says a lot about my absolutely scatterbrained, all over the place state of being:

1. Marcy Playground - Sex & Candy
2. Blink 182- Toast and Bananas
3. The Beatles - Eleanor Rigby
4. Wallflowers - Ashes to Ashes
5. Neil Young - Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)
6. Ray Charles - Sinner's Prayer
7. Bruce Springsteen - Highway Patrolman
8. Pure Prairie League - Pickin' to Beat the Devil
9. Yo -Yo - Ma - V. Bourree
10. Tom Petty - You Wreck Me
11. Gillian Wench, Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris - Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby (O Brother Where Art Thou?)
12. Roy Orbison - Crying, (over you)
13. Akon Ft. Eminem - Smack That (man that's classy)
14. Ella Fitzgerald & Bobby Darin - Mack the Knife
15. TLC - Waterfalls
16. Sublime - Smoke Two Joints
17. Janis Joplin - Me & Bobby McGee
18. Beastie Boys - An Open Letter to NYC
19. Justin Timberlake - Sexyback
20. Jimi Hendrix - Stages 67: Live At Stockholm "The Wind Cries Mary"
21. Tom Rush - A Child's Song
22. The Cure - Boys Don't Cry
23. Frank Zappa & The Mother's of Invention - Harry, You're a Beast
24. Hungry Like The Wolf - Duran Duran
25. Henry Mancini - Moon River

I'm looking at this, thinking, if I didn't know this person - what would I assume from this glimpse at their music? I'd think...hmm, there's a lot of retro folk/classic rock influences here....Janis, Tom Rush, Roy Orbison, Zappa, Beatles....this person probably grew up in the 60's? But....TLC WaterFalls? The Cure? Marcy Playground? Duran Duran? Did they have an identity crisis sometime in the mid to early 90's?!

Well, I guess with 25 gigs of music I'm bound to have some whacked out stuff on there, but...this is pretty nice eclectic sampling of the whole thing. The reality is, I always have had a love for older music. The Beatles being my main love, and branching backwards and forwards from there (explaining Zappa, Orbison, Janis, Rush, Neil Youn). The 80's hold a special place in my heart, I guess cause it's what I remember my parents listening to as a kid...Duran Duran, The Cure....there's way more in my library than I'd admit to :)

The rest I guess is a sampling of stuff I listened to in high school. I got nostalgic last year and downloaded, er, purchased from iTunes a whole bunch of stuff from the 90's, the high school years.....Sex & Candy, Beastie Boys, Wall Flowers, TLC (ugh!)

I guess Mack the Knife, Moon River, Cryin & Sinners Prayer don't make much sense at all, the first two songs were stuff I played in Orchestra, Cryin reminds me of my great grandparents music, and....the last, well, honestly I'm not big on old Ray Charles, somebody gave me that CD though & it's decent

Who knows. I guess I love it all, and in not so many words, it really sums things up. I wonder what Freud would think.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Save Handmade! CPSIA Blog In!

For those of you that haven't heard about the Lead Law, I'd like to enlighten you. This will affect everyone - whether you make items, buy items, have children, etc - here's how the Consumer Protection Safety Information Act will affect you:

To the Parents of School Aged Children:

Because of this new law, you can expect your wallet to take a beating next time you need to buy school supplies. Those paper clips, glue sticks, glitter - though they weren't made *for* school aged children, they will be *used* be these kids in school projects. This new law applies to any and all school supplies - books, crayons, paper, paint, glue, tape - anything that a child under 12 *might* use in school. You can bet that our school budgets are not equipped to spend all this extra cash on the little things like glue sticks and crayons - so, either our taxes will rise to cover these costs, or we will be asked to buy them for our kids and send them in - of course they'll be more $ in the store too.

To the Book Lover:
All Children's books now will need to be pulled from public libraries, and school shelves across the USA. There is no exemption for books, though in reality the fear of kids getting lead poisoning from a book is pretty slim, there is still no exception. What will inevitably replace these? Television. Yay. Mother Sylvania comes to the rescue. Don't believe me? Check out this article from the American Library Association.

Love Buying Handmade Things?
It's just not feasable to make these items anymore. Had your eye on an angora wool knitted baby hat, a chennile baby blanket, or any number of adorable handmade goodies for your child 12 or under?? Too bad. That hat now went from $50 to $1000 because it needs to pass testing prior to being sold that proves it doesn't have lead in it. Even if sellers find a way to finance the testing process which is thousands of dollars, these items are not feasable to be one of a kind anymore. Items are destroyed in the testing process and are submitted in batches, so expect to see hundreds if not thousands of the same thing -and at that point, it most likely isn't handmade anymore, it's just not feasable.

Do you think it's important to Go Green?
As ruled by this new law, all items of non-compliance will be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Don't just think of the Handmade people now - imagine the big box stores trashing all their unsold inventory - everything that could be used or meant for a child under age 12 that is a TON, or, more than a ton really. You can't sell it, if you do you could be sued, fined, and charged with a felony. Even if they don't sue you, it's still a fine and a violation.

Thrift Store Shopper?
I know I am, especially with a young child who is growing so fast - I often find barely worn clothes for a few dollars at thrift stores. Technically it is illegal for these thrift stores to resell these items because they were made prior to the lead testing rule. This law is retro-active. Many thrift stores will be choosing the safest possible route and eliminating the sale of any children's toys/clothing - a $100,000 fine and violation would close them down. Usually thrift stores are meant to benefit charities - like church's or local hospice cares - they can't take risks!

Entrepreneur? Small Business Owner?
You are now going to be forced to adhere to the strict testing of your unique products - or, discontinue your production/selling of them. Small businesses are likely unable to afford the cost of testing. The economy is in the dumps already, this law will cripple what is left of it.

Antique Toy Collector?
Well, its' not all bad for you, yet. Chances are right about now you are probably going to be able find many good deals and finds on antique toys being sold at blowout prices before they are contrabanned! But, you better buy now and buy a lot because toys will not be allowed to be purchased - "New rules apply retroactively , toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they are not tested and certified as safe"

American Economy:
We are all already struggling in this economy that hasn't been this weak in decades. The American economy will be hit hardest with the inevitable loss of jobs, revenues, small businesses, and consumers. The testing required for one product is FAR too expensive and restrictive - it is virtually impossible for a small business (better yet an independent artist/crafter) to undertake.

Worldwide Economy:
You don't escape this either. Because of these radical laws, many foreign manufactureres are pulling out of the US market. As you might imagine, the US is a LARGE buyer for these manufacturers - their business may survive but they will inevitably lay off workers as well.

If you think I'm being an alarmist and exaggerating - here is a recent article from Forbes.

Here is the actual text of the law.

Here is an action pack put together by Etsy - lots of info.

If this alarms you, or appauls you, and you don't want to see this happen - please react. Feel free to repost this blog, links, and images used herein.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

If You Seek Amy...

Man, I feel like such a tool but I must admit, when I'm looking to get moving on something I do partake in a bit of Britney Spears's new CD, Circus.

Mock if you must, but I gotta admit that I'm happy this girl didn't end up dead. It really looked that way for a while last year, and I felt for her, and for her kids. So, of course when she released a catchy new cd I had to have a listen.

Generally this music is reserved for when I just need to think, and not actually "listen" to music, just hear a good moving beat, and go. Great for cleaning, working out , etc.

There's one song on there "If You Seek Amy" that I like -- it's got a great beat and it's pretty catchy, I liked it automatically because there's a silly part that goes "Ha ha he he ha ha ho" which, just caught my attention. So when I find a song, I sometimes get obsessive and want to hear it over and over for a while (makes sean crazy) well.....I am listening to the lyrics and I'm like, wtf does this mean? This song makes no sense? Who is this girl Amy? Yeah....then I'm singing along "All of the boys and all of the girls are begging to if you seek amy" and I'm like....ohhhhhhhhh........yeah. Say it really slow. "If you seek Amy"

Get it? Catchy haha, she gets points for creativity........if she actually wrote the song, idk.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Occupational Therapy

Neil had his first private session with Occupational Therapy today at Weisman's. It went well. I have a lot of hope for this place, because it comes on a good recommendation. Good friends of ours have both their boys at Weisman's for different therapies and I've seen some tremendous progress in their kids. Neil will be going for Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy every week. Thank God for Sean's job, and the great benefits we have now because otherwise we would be bankrupting ourselves over this! (Our copays used to be $50 a pop!)

The OT is really cool, she's got a lot of energy and she explains what she's doing, what she's looking for, the benefit of what she's doing, etc - and she does it WHILE she's doing it, rather than stopping to explain to us. It's great information and I'm glad it's a learning experience for me too. Plus the fact that she explains while she's doing it is great, because she's not stopping to explain and wasting valuable time! She's great though, and Neil really seems to like her and enjoy himself. So far it probably seems like a treat for him, because it's fun, swinging, rolling, crawling through the tunnel, etc - he's loving it! I expected him to cry when we left haha!

Speech is on Friday and I'm very excited about that too, though I know it won't be as fun as OT for him, I'm very excited and hopeful for his speech to improve. I think this in combination with preschool will be very beneficial for him. I'm still sad to send my baby out on a school bus, really sad actually, but, it will be good for him in the long run.

He'll be getting Speech & OT in school too, something like 180 min a month, which comes out to like 30 min of each a week. It comes in different forms though, sometimes it's solitary, sometimes it's in a small / large group, sometimes it's with the whole class. So, the private OT & ST is really important on the side.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Neil's New Blanket

I made this blanket for Neil this Sunday afternoon, he really seems to like it and that just thrills me! It's a cute cowboy & Indians design with a fuzzy soft green back!

I am a new sewer, kinda. I sewed stuff as a kid but gommy always did the dirty work with the machine, threading the bobbin, getting it to catch, basically all I had to do was put the pedal to the metal so to speak haha.

Well, thank you to my girl Holly, for showing me how to call a truce with my machine, oh, and work the bobbin thingy hahaa....I am now sewing, not exactly straight lines, but eh, I'm in it for the fun of it hehe.

I had actually bought this fabric and made a really crappy blanket out of it about a year and a half ago. I made a really really crappy blanket, stuffed it in a basket and never looked at it again. Along the way I threatened, berated, and nearly fought to the death with my sewing machine. So, this morning I cut that blanket up and started over. I wanted a smaller, "tote-able" blanket for Neil. Something that wasn't too big for him to carry around with him, but that was big enough to cover him and keep him warm. It came out perfect! I even sewed a little tag onto the one side that says "To Neil, my sweet boy, Love Mommy XOXO" and on the other corner I got fancy with the zig zag stitch and wrote "Neil" hehe.

I figure I better practice with the machine. Holly is coming back over Wed to help me finish up a super secret birthday present for my soon to be 3 year old :)

Which reminds me, I need to make/send invitations to his bday party. 2 weeks til he turns 3. My gosh. That also means 2 weeks until he gets on the school bus for the first


Why Yes! I am one of those crazy people who dresses her animals!

this is Hendrix, my English Angora Rabbit. He's almost 6 months old and he's a chocolate tort color. He just malted, or whatever you call it, basically his coat replaces itself every 3 months or so, so the old stuff has to come off and the new stuff comes in. His old coat just came off so he's a little on the short haired size, so I figured I'd take this opportunity to dress him up haha.
This is his "Blue Steel" face ------------------------------->

He's actually wearing an arm warmer that I bought, but was wayyyyy too big for any normal person, it was handmade I got it at a craft show. So, I turned it into a Bunny Sweater. The matching arm warmer is a Dog Sweater :)

I think he looks rather adorable.

Here he is peeking up over the back of the couch, to try and see out the window. More pics on my flickr, if you're interested :) Search Hendrix, or Angora. He also goes by "Hendrixson" which is what I call him when he's being naughty, and "Hendi-Poo" which is what I call him when he's so sickeningly cute that you just can't stand it! Which is always! Hehe.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Brakes = FAIL

This morning, Pola, my MIL & I took Neil over to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for a checkup on his foot. We got as far as Cherry Hill, Route 70 & Green Tree road, big intersection - and, voila, the brakes failed. So, there I was red light, front of the line, speeding into the intersection.

The brakes have been touchy lately, I mean, we go the car in 2005, a 1998 (or 99?) Chrysler Town & Country Mini Van - it had pretty new brakes on it then (within the last 6 months) and since then we have replaced the brakes 3 times, this time will be the fourth. In November, the ABS brake light came on. The weird thing was, when the light was on, the car drove completely normally. When the light was off, it would make a horrible grinding noise, vibrate the pedal...basically sounded terrifying. It would happen really sporatically though, and our mechanic checked it out, who we trust, and he said it was safe to drive, something about the ceramic brakes rubbing, idk - he said it was safe.

Well, like I said, today on the way to CHoP, they failed. I was pushing on the brakes so hard and nothing was happening. I might as well have had my foot on a brick wall, because it would have budged more. I did the right thing, tried pumping the brakes (frantically) and beeped my horn, hoping that the 6 oncoming lanes of cars would stop. Thankfully, there was nobody in front of me so I didn't rear end anyone, and even more thankfully the oncoming traffic did not hit us or anyone else. The car finally stopped. I limped it home from there never pushing 10 or 15 mph, and pulled over in a parking lot to call Sean & the Dr's office to cancel.

So, we are officially on a car hunt. I'm sick of fixing the brakes on this car, and even the day after having the brakes fixed - STILL not feeling like the car will stop appropriately. This car was just not made to stop I guess, because I know mine never wants to.

Thank you GOD that nothing more serious happened, and that we got home safely. I seriously want to get rid of this car, I think a really important feature of a car is the ability to STOP IT when you want to, ya know? So, that's definitely on the list of features we want in our next car.

Oy, I'm just on edge over the whole thing. I have a personal vendetta against that car now for screwing with me while my baby was in the car. Not cool.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

February 2, 2009

On February 2, 2009 my baby turns 3. That is also the day that he is no longer eligible for "Early Intervention" and must move on to the township run preschool disabled program. He'll be in a preschool with about 10 other kids who also have problems with speech, OT, etc. Non "typical" kids, as they put it. He will have a special education teacher, & 2 aids. One of his friends is in the class already, since November, so that's good at least - he'll have a familiar face there which is a comfort.

So, on his third birthday, he gets up, eats breakfast, and gets onto the school bus. Yes, a school bus - for a 3 year old. As if being in school every day isn't a big enough deal, the school bus seems HUGE to me. I can't imagine my baby not spending every hour of every day with me anymore. I just can't wrap my head around it. I guess I've been pretending like it wouldn't happen, but, now it's like 2 weeks away and I can't pretend anymore, it's happening. I had been hoping that he would just "pop" into talking, and it would just start and all his other issues would go away and I could follow suit with my plan to keep him home with me a little longer, then put him into a smaller preschool, that is more for fun - like a 2 or 3 day program. But, while he is making progress, it's not enough right now.

I don't even want to write about it to be perfectly honest, it just makes me really sad. I'm focusing right now on ways to not cry in front of him when he gets on the school bus, because I don't want him to be afraid. I'm already planning on stalking the bus and making sure he gets into the school ok from the bus. I would stalk the classroom if I could, but they really frown on that. He's just got no idea, he's never done anything like this before and he's going to be in total shock. It will be from about 8:30 to 12. Please don't comment and tell me that it's "only a few hours that will fly by" or tell me all the wonderful art projects I can complete in his absence. This is the last thing I want to hear. I am 26 years old and though I have spent every second of the last nearly 3 years at home taking care of my son, I have not forgotten how to occupy my time. I would just rather trade every ounce of artistic ability that I have for this all to just be a normal childhood for Neil. I'm so sick of sharing my parenting with doctors, I really am. It started like, 30 seconds after birth and it has yet to end. I'm not sure why I haven't run off into the woods with him yet. UGH.

We have a meeting with the school tomorrow, hopefully I'll feel better when it's through, though, unless I come home and he's speaking understandably and tells me he doesn't want to be in this preschool, I really don't see that happening.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Martha :)

On January 6th, myself along with 6 other EtsyNJ gals headed into NYC to see a live taping of Martha Stewart! We had a great time, here are some pics -
there's Martha answering audience questions, at the end of the show.
that's me, on Martha's set. The lights were crazy, clumped all over the ceiling - high and low, it was intense! We had really good seats though, front row of the actual seating, though there were two chair rows of people who sat in the way front.

Well, we had a great time. I hope we can do it again! There are way more pics on my Flickr if you're interested!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Martha Stewart here I come!

Tuesday January 6th, 7 of our talented ladies from EtsyNJ are heading to the wonderful New York City. Chelsea Television Studios, the home of The Martha Stewart Show will welcome seven of our team members, myself (AbbieRoad) included!

Other EtsyNJ friends that will be there include:

Capital City Crafts



Dhara Holistics

Alex Lady Designs

Silver Canyons

Not only am I totally psyched to see Martha Stewart live, but I am excited to meet some of these members for the first time……….Second , Third, and Fourth time for a few of them ; )

So, watch January 6th’s show, and look for our beautiful faces in the audience! I’m sure we’ll have lots of pics to share too!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

What a productive 2009

So, it's only January 4, and so far this year I have learned to card wool, spin wool on a spinning wheel, and felt! Tonight while Sean and Neil watched movies, I felted some balls (hah, sounds like a bad LOLCatz macro).

I felted 12 balls, but I only used 11 of them in my bracelet. 6 (the white ones) are made out of sheep wool that April (who taught me how to spin) She gave us a whole sheep worth of wool! So, I have 6 balls, or, felt beads out of that in the creamy white color, and the other 5 are in various greens from a set of mixed green roving that my MIL gave me for Christmas, I know it's sheep too, not sure what kind.

It came out pretty nice! I only have a crappy picture, because I took it with Photobooth, too lazy to grab the camera & take a good pic hehe. But, I will wear it! It's really neat. I am going to make some more, but I have to let my fingers recooperate first haha, I pricked my fingers more than once with those barbed little felting needles. Luckily/Unluckily they're so small and brutile that you barely feel it going in, but it bleeds a ton! I'm not a sissy though, I can handle it :)

So, I'm by no means good at any of this yet, but I like being a fast learner haha, I tend to get a big obsessive compulsive and single minded about new projects. I am really excited about doing all this with the angora wool we have collected, but I don't want to waste it and I have a feeling that once I start using it I won't want to go back haha. I don't want to waste it on learning!

Alright, I'm off. I am going to see Martha Stewart Show w/ some girls from EtsyNJ, I am so excited, that will be on Tuesday. I'm a little afraid of the whole train thing, train stations are on my list of fears....I'd say irrational fears ( like my fear of spiral stair cases and public bathrooms without windows, and grocery store parking lots at night) but, I'm not so sure it's irrational. Ah! Thankfully, the lovely Barbara from Capital City Craft Studio has volunteered to meet me at the train station and help me get where we need to go! I'm going to be glued to her like a bear on honey haha! (you think I'm kidding?)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I'm so dizzy, my head is SPINNING

My First Adventure in Hand Spun Yarn!! ----------->

For Christmas, my MIL got me a spinning wheel! Now, I know not so much about spinning. Actually, I don't even know how to knit besides on those Knifty Knitter Loom thingies. The idea is fascinating though, and back in September my MIL and I got three angora rabbits, Hendrix (mine) Cash, & Elvis (Pola's / MIL) They are all brothers and they are completely overwhelming cuteness. Their wool, which comes out naturally during mandatory grooming (if you don't groom them regularly, they'll swallow their own wool and get wool block which is fatal). Their wool is so soft and warm. It's warmer than sheep or alpaca wool, and it's about 10,000 times softer. We have built up quite a collection of angora wool since September!

Today Pola & I went to a meeting with the South Jersey Spinners Guild and everyone was incredibly helpful. One of the members and my MIL's friend, April, taught me how to work my wheel. It was a bit frustrating to learn and I don't have the best patience with things haha, but I am picking it up and I understood the basic fundamentals.

When I got home I carded some sheep wool (practicing with sheep rather than angora, April gave me a whole sheeps worth!) I carded a bunch of sheeps wool, which is basically brushing it so it all faces the same direction. Then I gave it another shot. It was easier at home because I didn't feel like I had a bunch of eyes watching me! I get way too nervous haha. So, I gave it another shot and it really started working better. I'm by no means good at it, but getting better.

So, here are some pictures of my wheel, and the wool I spun today! Not bad for a beginner!

And the Art / Craft ADD continues!!!!