Sometimes, balance, updates

15 Apr

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Over the course of several days, I’ve written, rewritten, deleted and scrapped this post numerous times. I keep second-guessing all my writing topics and fleeting thoughts because… I just keep getting that nagging feeling I should be doing something else. I SHOULD be doing something else. I have a list of tasks that need my attention; a series of errands and production tasks that need to happen today. My attention is divided between my design website relaunch, (several weeks overdue) production and order fulfillment in my shop, and keeping up with client work. Oh and email. EMAIL! I have orders to ship this week, orders to sand and package, a pop up shop to prepare for this Saturday, wholesale orders to deliver, wholesale inquires to follow up on, and a cat that won’t leave my lap, even if it means he keeps getting dumped out of it, every 25 minutes when I need to grab something outside the office. Oh, did I mention I’m working on a new Skill Exchange event scheduled for Mid-May?

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This week I am trying to balance a reasonable amount of work with a reasonable amount of rest. Trying, anyway. I feel as though I’ve got a giant on my back at the moment, kind of like a cat, always watching me.  If I can keep on top of our meals for the week, and keep vegetables from getting hairy and limp in the fridge, that will also be a bonus. Today I sent my very first set of record dividers to a customer in Australia, which felt a little momentous. My product-babies are moving out in the world, to other continents! Another small victory this week? This little mention of my shop in New York Magazine. (!!!)

 

What Blog?

4 Apr

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Record dividers, on repeat. The last few weeks have gone a little like this: Pick up wood at the lumberyard. Drop off wood at the shop. Pick up laser cut sets at the shop. Sand and package finished sets. Haul boxes to the post office. Repeat.

Inventory is moving (yaaaay), spread sheets are filling up, wholesale orders are coming in and moving out, and in-between the constant running around, there have been a few hurrahs like this one. Its good to be busy, but I’ve got highs and lows of worries and excitement, alternating every few days (or hours). I go to sleep trying not to think about the shop, but wake up with dreams of sanding panels, packaging sets and processing orders. Its a lot of physical work, and my brain feels full of lists with tasks to complete. I’m living with post-its directing my day-to-day schedule, reminding me to check in with retailers, ship samples out, buy ink, finish client projects, pick work up at the printer and on and on. Good busy, but busy busy.

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We finally had our first social club meeting of the year, with gals and one gent getting together last weekend for an afternoon of projects and catching up. We all had a different project to work on, a little reupholstery, watercolor experiments, knitting, embroidery thread necklaces and basket-making, and for me, a sewing project I’ve been neglecting for months. The goal for this meet up was to get shit done, and get it done away from the screen. Mission accomplished. Even if its only for a few hours, every few months, it still feels restorative to gather up some gals and work on projects purely for pleasure.

Cats and an anniversary

24 Mar

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It is time for some cats on this blog. I could write about the record shop, or the upcoming relaunch of my design website, or the meals we have and haven’t been cooking, the fact that spring is here (for now anyway) …or I could just talk about cats. Cats it is.

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Look at these cats! Sofia, the oldest siamese goes through occasional phases of “late night mothering” where she carries around a little stuffed kitten in her mouth at night, and cries like the world is ending. Long, loud and seriously mournful cries at 3AM. I’ll call out to her, and she always comes running, carrying her little baby in her mouth, but dropping it at our bedroom door as she races in. None of the other cats seem to mind her routine, and they don’t seem to care particularly for her baby, but she has loved that thing since she was a kitten.

Neebu has been an intensely snuggly (needy) cat lately. He has always been very attached to his humans, but particularly since his accident last year. Every night, he wiggles his way into our bed, right in the middle, and frequently manages to sleep with his head on one of our pillows, just like people. He’ll stay there all night, and frequently stays in bed long after the humans have left. The first week of April marks one full year since his surgery, and he is without a doubt recovered and completely unfazed by his little post-injury limp. I feel absolutely relieved to be one year away from the most intense cat-related crying I have ever done, and Intern is probably super happy that he never comes home to me crying about our pathetic cone-wearing cat anymore. Feelings all over back then.

His sister Muuli is more or less exactly the same as she was months after his surgery, continually expressing indifference, hissing dislike, and playful mild interest towards her brother all day, every day. In a hour long period she will rotate through all her feline-freak reactions towards him: first indifference, then seconds later growling and smacking, then will turn a corner, be completely startled by him, come back and lick him on her way to take a nap. Maybe also in there: more growling and also purring.

 

New record divider styles

12 Mar

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The new 2014 record divider collection is finally up in the shop. Well, almost. Ordering officially starts on Monday, but for now, the full collection preview is up on the site. Good things take time, especially if they are handmade. The new line includes sets for 12″ records AND 7″ records and new 6 panel sets for smaller record collections. Since the launch of the shop back in November, we’ve been working on a stencil lettering style that will be gentler on the wallet, but maintains the same high quality and durability of all the products.

For the month of March I’m offering $15 off any new web orders during the month. This includes everything in the shop, including the new collection! For your discount, use the code: MARCHORGANIZED. Offer expires April 1st (no joke!)

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Vegetables and then some

10 Mar

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Who forgets to add butter to the popover batter? Me. Right here. These dry-looking, not-at-all buttery popovers weren’t bad, (cause they had cheese + herbs inside) but really not what we wanted. Popovers are just an airy vehicle for butter, and thats really why anyone ever wants to eat them. Also, I made these popovers weeks ago, and am just now using them as some very neglected blog content. Here we go!

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We’re back on the CSA bandwagon. Cabbage slaw! Green savory pancakes! Potatoes Anna and baby lettuce! I may have neglected to mention that the delicate balancing act of three CSAs (produce, meat, fish) was too much to handle. Something was always languishing in the fridge, and I couldn’t stay on top of it all. The vegetable CSA  alone is a full job to work through each week, and there is no slacking if you want to avoid veggie-guilt. Takeout sushi became our default subscription for many weeks, I won’t say how many, or how often. We jus now got back into our CSA, just in time for cabbage and root vegetable overload. Cabbage every week. Cabbage in soups, cabbage in salads. Cabbage as the main meal, and ok, some wilted cabbage in the bottom of the crisper. Heavenly things are coming for us though, like strawberries and more spring onions than we’ll know how to handle… and it will be wonderful.

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Oh, and this? Oysters, shoestring fries, and maybe a little bit of bub… just an essential part of the Bay area bounty.

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