Saturday, January 31, 2015


So highly frustrated. Hubby decided he needs a new phone, and the cheapest one he could get is a touchscreen. We use Straight Talk, which is fine. So does he let me set it up first, before he starts messing with it? Of COURSE NOT! Now he's got things going with it that I have no clue, and if I ask him to hand me the phone so I can see what's going on, he gets mad. ARGH! So I finally got him to hand it to me so I can go through all the stupid screens and got that done and ended up calling on mine to get it to transfer everything. So yeah, I'm annoyed. I think we finally got it straightened out. At least we got it to activate, though the old phone still shows the correct number of days left on it, and we can use the new one to call. Dunno about texting yet because he hasn't quit playing with it so I can see what all is on the darn thing and put his settings together the way he likes. I know - he needs to do it, but he gets so frustrated with it all that he wants to throw things, and ends up handing new phones to me to deal with anyhow.

But at least errands and chores for the day are done, so I can relax a little bit. As soon as I quit tearing my hair out. TWO HOURS at this and it's not done. ARGH!


Friday, January 30, 2015

Can I cry now?

This is so frustrating!!!!!! Michigan makes it much easier to get a business started. There, it's fill out a form, pay a dollar, and poof - resale license, aka Sales, Use and Withholding Certificate. Here, I have to fill out a form, which is fine, but there's a FIFTY DOLLAR non-refundable fee that has to go with it, and since I'll be working from home, there's also a trip to make to Green Forest to check with the city about whether or not I need a license from THEM. If I do, I have to get THAT, and if not, I need a statement to that respect, because either way, a copy has to go with the SUW application and that whacking fee.

On the other hand, there is a place online I can get stuff at a bit of a discount, resell that stuff in the webstore at full price for a bit until I get all the freaking paperwork taken care of, and go that way. It won't make as much profit as buying wholesale, goodness knows, but at least I'd have a shot at getting going. And there are a couple craft kit supply places I can go through to buy stuff in kits and make to sell as well. Anybody up for foam ornaments and decorations for the holidays? They are not super-great, looking much like kiddie crafts, though the one place also has some neat but easy to make jewelry kits I can get to make and sell as well. Though I have to admit, the foam ornament stuff sold pretty well a few years ago when I was able to do a lot of craft shows simply because they were cheap. (I sold LOTS of the tacky little darlings.) Only problem is, it means my shipping time will likely end up being about ten business days, as I can't afford a lot of inventory right now, so things are going to have to be bought as they sell for the time being. ARGH! I am just so ready to cry from frustration from all the hurry up and wait. When this gets going, it better be bleeding well worth it all.

Ah, well. I've had more frustrating days. Like Thursday. I woke up feeling okay but ended up with a blinding headache before I could leave for work, so I had to call in. Hubby went in, but ended up taking an emergency vacation day because he got sick. We are talking major sick, and not the kind of two-for-one special on his lunch that he really wanted. Apparently, they ended up having to clear up the bathroom floor, and he went to the nurse, who said he should go home. So he found his supervisor and the GPM on the production floor (and nearly did another two-fer right there), and after consult, they sent him home. I guess they're putting it down as a vacation day and will do the paperwork on Friday. (I hope so or else he'll end up losing his job for "abandoning" it when his supervisor TOLD him it would go down as a vacation day in front of the GPM!) I'm typing this up Thursday evening and hubby hasn't eaten since he got home. Point of fact, he's done nothing but sleep for the most part. Awake here and there a few minutes at a stretch, but mostly zonked. Hopefully, this is a twenty-four hour bug and he'll feel better tomorrow.

(Update just before I head to bed at 530AM ... made him some chicken noodle soup which he couldn't even get up the oomph to try, so I'll have to see about shoving it down him before work later today. Nothing solid in him since he got home; he's basically just slept. But it's good for him. I always say sleep is the best medicine. If they want to sleep that much, let 'em. A missed meal or two isn't going to kill someone who's been sick. It will just mean they take it easy on the first food they put down afterwards.)

But at least I got caught up on some of the stuff I need to do for the store, and got quite a bit of quilting done. And if I use PayPal and Pay With Amazon for payment gateways, and go month to month on the hosting, I may be able to swing a start to the webstore ... we shall see. That's going to be a few weeks yet, what with all that's got to be done first in the way of getting graphics and descriptions and such together from about three different places. Yay, my life.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Talking things over

Talking things out with the hubby, he was wondering where I am with the webstore, because he knows I'm working my butt off on it, and he's wondering where it's at as far as being ready to rock. I know a lot of you are, as well. I'm busy lining up suppliers, I have a host picked out, I have business cards picked out, I know where to go for a SSL certificate, I have a merchant picked out so I can accept credit/debit cards, and I'm working up the categories for the store (which won't shot if there's nothing in them). Hubby had the idea of magnetic signs on the truck and car, which wouldn't be expensive as I can get those through VistaPrint same as the business cards. I want to have three or four suppliers lined up prior to doing all the other stuff. So it's cranking along quite nicely, it's just on hold while lining up suppliers. With any luck, it will be going by late spring, and I can hopefully start making some extra cash that way. Mind, I won't be able to quit the plant right off, because it's going to take time to build the business, and there's a lot of general competition out there for needlework and yarn and suck online and in retail. But what I can't beat in price, I can beat in customer service and quality and stock. Seriously, if I can get to a place where I have a retail shop as well, I can't say there will be a lot there, but there will be more than what places like Wal-Mart and Michaels and JoAnns carry in the way of needlework and yarn carry. Plus being able to special order for free will be a nice touch.

However, once things are up and running, it also means taking some of my own crafts, which I'll also have in the store, and getting my butt up super-early on Saturdays or going without sleep till after everything's done at the farmer's market and errands. so that I can get the word out locally as well. It also means carrying business cards with me everywhere to pass out and put up on every corkboard in the area where I can. I'm going to wallpaper Green Forest and Harrison with business cards if I have to, to get the word out locally, haha.

Other than that, all I can say is, kittens are cute, Tink is snuggling more now that she knows she is safe, Smudge is interested, Raffles could care less, and Bouncer is fascinted.  Mom's lap quilt is moving along, and I have about 2/3 of the quilting done, so a bit longer and it's off the WIP pile and into the finished pile (and in the mail to her). The house is clean, life is good, and I'm generally pretty happy. Not happy-happy, but the not discontent kind of happy. Off to work!!

For those interested, photos of Tink and the kittens:

Tink and babies - 1/25/15 photo DSCF0020_1.jpg

The kittens 1/26/15 photo DSCF0023_1.jpg


Monday, January 26, 2015

I can haz kittens?

As many of you know, Tinkerbell had her kittens yesterday. We have five fluffy jellybeans now. One that looks a lot like her (possibly female), a female calico (as one friend put it, if it were male and fertile, it'd be worth a bajillion dollars, because calico males are rare and XXY, meaning always sterile), a dark grey/black and white (likely male) and two male gingers. One of those has only a little white, and the other has enough white to look almost exactly like Bouncer. Now that hubby has a couple vacation days left and we have a teeny bit of extra cash and I have a couple points if need be, one of us is taking a day off fairly soon and getting that boy altered. Every stinking time we make an appointment for him, we have no vacation, no points we can use, no money, or we're sick. Then it's alter Tink, Raffles and whichever ginger hubby decides he had to keep.Smudge is curled up next to me, content in knowing he is still my best boy. He does love his cuddles and pets. He is totally ignoring the whole thing for the most part, lol. Raffles, as usual, is hiding, and Bouncer finally is ignoring the kittens because Tink got tired of him sleeping on her head and swatted at him.

We've made the agreement that if someone adopts one of the kittens and doesn't want to keep it for whatever reason, we'll take it back and either keep it or rehome it. We do not want to see any of these babies ending up in the shelter. If none of them get homed out or they all come back, I don't mind. I can think of worse things to be overrun by than a houseful of kitties.

More done on the webstore as far as contacting potential suppliers (soooo many people to write to!!) and working on the site directory. I've got it sorted out as to what things I make/do will be carried, and part of the site directory for stuff from the one supplier, but the rest of them need to be worked on and it's getting to be complicated. There's my stuff (books, finished crafts, eventually seeds, cross-stitching, knitting, crochet, embroidery, needlepoint, supplies ... just LOADS of things. I also got some TV watching done to catch up on my few shows while doing a lot of stitching on Mom's lap quilt, which seems to finally be getting somewhere on that. I have some of the middle yet to quilt, and the one square right around the outside, then trimming to size, seaming and binding. ALMOST there! Then there's the MAM to finish up for the bed and also another one of the same pattern but only niine bands to make for a friend. Her office space can get a bit drafty and her feet get cold easily in Michigan's winter weather, so I told her I would make her a scrapghan to cover up with and stay wrapped up in warm, yarny friendship. So it's busy time as always.

And hey, I get to go back to work today, woot! I'm so thrilled ... ugh. I'd rather stay home and work on the store, lol. It's much more fun.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Working on the webstore

And boy is it work. I've got about half of the categories figured out, and one wholesaler already for a lot of cross-stitch type stuff lined up, but there are still a ton of other places to contact for books and kits and yarn and needles and hooks and ... WHEW. But at least even if I haven't got everybody lined up once I can get the store up and running (fairly soon, I hope), I can at the very least get up things from this one and from others who will work with me. This is a good thing, and I must say that I am thrilled to be getting to a place where I can get this ball rolling for the darned thing so I can hopefully start working my way away from a J.O.B. and into a fun way to make a living. Seriously, can you imagine anything more wonderful than making a living doing what you are most passionate about? Nope, I can't either. Much as I love reading, a bookstore is a no-go for me, as I'd never be able to let go of them. Needlearts, however, I love to share with others, as evidenced by the photos over the last few years, when I remember to take them, of all the things I've made or am working on. The goal is to have that webstore up and running possibly by this summer, and maybe eventually to have a retail shop. There are a couple of fabric shops, but I won't be competing with them in that respect (they can have the fabric sales, I'll settle for selling the books and magazines). There's one small yarn shop in Harrison and one small craft shop/flea market in Green Forest. That and Wally World is my competition in this area for retail. I seriously think the area needs a little not-quite-off-the-beaten-path needelarts shop that does stiching get-togethers and classes and whatnot along with all the fun of going in to browse and shop.

As to stuff I'm working on, I did get a couple more strips started for the afghan when my fingers got tired of quilting on Mom's lap quilt, which is cranking right along lately, so that's all to the good. Pretty soon, I can get busy on other things! I also remembered to hunt through the cheapy bin at Wally World yesterday so that I can take pictures with my phone and transfer them to the computer more easily. I also discovered that StraightTalk, which is what I use, has a super cheap smart phone for about $30 that will take the Square card reader. So once I can do some craft shows as well, as long as I have the reader and a stylus, folks can use their debit/credit cards to buy stuff and sign the screen on my phone, and poof. I get paid, they get stuff, and we are all happy campers. Slowly but surely, things are really starting to come together!

Also, important kitty news ... as I write this, Tink is having her kittens. One fluffy jellybean so far, dark grey or black with lots of white. I'm going to be making some serious calls soon to find a vet locally who will band Bouncer to neuter him instead of cutting, with his sensitivity to things. I do not need more kittens, even if they will have the instinct to be good mousers.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Poll is closed

And the name is chosen. By unanimous vote, the website will be homesteadcrafter. Yay, now to continue to line up suppliers whilst I finish putting together the moola to get the thing started. Today's activities were pretty boring, but thankfully, it's Saturday and I didn't have to work!!! First time in a MONTH!

So it was a haircut which I desperately needed, laundry, lunch, groceries and home with all the stuff so I could spend a bit of time putting it away. I worked a bit on the mile a minute afghan whilst laundry was going, so now I have nine more strips to start to have the full count. Did some quilting last night after work and planning on more tonight if I can stay awake. As my hair appointment was at noon, I had to be up at ten so I could get laundry loaded, double check the grocery list, and head my happy butt out the door. I've got a whole one show left on Hulu I can use to "watch" as background noise whilst quilting, then it's into the movies for "tv time" on the computer.

And Tink is about ready to pop with her litter by Bouncer. I told hubby we needed to get him fixed, but he has this misguided notion that getting Bouncer clipped affects HIS manhood, haha!!! After the litter's started weaning, I'm getting Tink and Raffles both fixed, assuming I can catch/trap Raffley-Bedaffley. Tink's not an issue, as she likes attention, though getting her in a carrier might be a bit tricky. But they are getting spayed, period. We are keeping one of the kittens, especially if it is an orange tabby like Bouncer, because his health really isn't the best, and we don't want to have a gaping hole in our hearts if/when something happens. As both parents are excellent mousers, and the kittens are going to be well-socialized, I've managed to already line up more potential homes than that cat can have in a litter. I mentioned casually at work a few weeks back that Tinkerbell was preggo, and had a dozen people asking for a kitten - told them get in line and sign the list. First come, first serve. She looks like 4-6 kittens as big as she is. But she's at most a week away from delivery, probably less. She's been eating like crazy last couple of weeks (thank goodness we feed kitten kibble for the high protein for Bouncer), and has started looking for dark places to have her babies.

Now, why do we feed high-protein kitten kibble and wet food to all adult cats? Bouncer needs it, the rest just tag along on the food wagon. It does give them lots of energy though! Bouncer had that spider bite on his back the year before we got him, and it was untreated. His old caretakers (not that they were good at it) let the bite get infected and nasty until it literally exploded. So Bubba's had some issues with his hind legs since, and every summer he loses a lot of weight as soon as it gets above 80. He puts it back on in the cooler weather, but this year, he hasn't gained it back. He also spent a lot of the summer licking his fur off his hindquarters, so he looks odd. He's still sweet and loving and all, but we really don't know how old he is, and the vet has no real explanation for his weight loss other than heat affecting his system after the spider bite, so we are looking to repair the hole he'll leave eventually prior to it happening. It'll give hubby a baby Bouncer to love on.

Now if that heifer Tink will just hurry up and use the darned nesting box instead of trying to crawl under my nightstand to have her kittens!


Friday, January 23, 2015

Quiet morning

But a sad one as well. I found out last night that we lost one of my teammates in my section, because he hanged himself after work Wednesday. It's incredibly tragic, in that nobody realized how depressed he was. Much like many other suicides I've read about, he seemed quite happy most of the time. Financially, things are getting on a better track, and with putting in time to work on the eventual webstore, it's getting to where a lot of little things are getting accomplished. It's all bits and pieces, but it's coming along. I'm still trying to come up with a name, though, and it is not easy!! I have it narrowed down to three choices, which one does everybody like best?

1 - stitchnwitch (because while knit and crochet get-togethers are often called a "stich n b***h," I really don't think that's appropriate for a website!)
2 - homesteadcrafter
3 - offgridcrafter

I'm mostly tempted by #2, because then I can work in other things, like books on homesteading and various small homestead-type crafts like gardening. Poll's open, help me choose!!!


Thursday, January 22, 2015

One potential company down

For the count, that is. They're a small business as well, and just to beg for permission to sell their products (which are nice, but not THAT nice), you have to basically sign away your life. I can understand the credit application. I can understand the "resale license," aka sales tax license. But a copy of your business license as well as not one, but THREE "trade references?" Seriously, I live in BFE Arkansas, where pretty much nobody even bothers with a DBA, and for a craft store online, you aren't going to need a business license from the state. Trust me on this one, I made calls and checked. As for three trade references, a new business is going to be lucky to have ONE in their bank, never mind two more on top of that. So, scratch that company. Oh well, plenty more fish in the sea, and so far, two companies are happy to deal with me as soon as I get the paperwork done and back to them, and to give me pretty nice discounts from 30% to 50%.

Now to just get some of my home folks down here for work that they desperately need, as the plant is always hiring. As I told one, I'd mention other plants, but I know mine well, and we pay the best in the country, so which one you think I'm gonna promote? Time to go watch a bit of TV on here and get some more quilting done. It's coming along, and there's some real progress going on now with that lap quilt. Whew!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

And a step back

As my lead at work decided yesterday, out of the blue, to quit. So my team is now floating along, rather captianless on our little ship, and guess who got booted from backup lead because of it? Yep, lil ole me. That promotion was short-lived. Easy come, easy go. Still working, but no longer in authority, which is kind of nice in a way, as now I don't have to do all the little extras I was doing. Time to wake up though I wish I could just go back to bed and stay there all day. We worked late again last night, and the overtime is nice but brutal. Gonna go get myself some caffiene and call it a start. I did get a few more emails out to contact people about wholesale accounts for the shop, so that's more getting ahead, and every little step in that direction is a plus. Tata all ... time for caffiene, food, and maybe a quick nap before work.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Step forward

Well, I now have applications to do for wholesale accounts with various suppliers for the webstore. This is a big step forward toward my dreams, and I am looking forward to seeing what all happens as things go forward. Yay me! Now if I were just awake for work tonight. I think it's time for some cappucino and a grilled cheese. Caffiene and food. Otherwise, I ain't making it TO work, let alone to lunch, because I'll take a nap and sleep the workday away. I'm just that whipped from all these six-day weeks. Glad they seem to be over though.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Back to work

And I'm not looking forward to it. It's Monday, my lead (who is actually pretty good) is going to HR and potentially stepping down because he's tired of getting yelled at for stuff that's not his fault (instead of standing up for himself in that respect), so my little promotion may be kaput already and without me doing anything to make it so. Oh well, easy come, easy go.

I got quite a bit done on Mom's lap quilt last night, though. Popped "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" into the external DVD player and watched it on the computer whilst doing quite a bit of quilting. About a quarter done now, so hopefully it will be complete soon so I can wrap it and ship it up and get back to work on other things. Meanwhile, I'm still exhausted from last week and would REALLY like to just go back to bed. Not gonna happen, though. Too much to get done. I need a break and vacation don't come around for three more months for me.

Anybody got a Time-Turner?


Sunday, January 18, 2015


That pretty much sums it all up. These six-day workweeks have got to let up soon, because I'm physically just about done in. The money's nice, but the exhaustion, not so much. A lot did get done today, though. Laundry and groceries done and put up, the trailer's full of wood for the next load to go out to a customer, and I got a bit of quilting done prior to needing a nap. My eyes just did not want to stay open any longer. Water's on for my shower, and afterwards, if I can get enough uninterrupted time, I'm going to watch a movie and work on the Mom's lap quilt some more. Oh yeah, I have an exciting life!