Monday, December 12, 2011

Occupy Portland and shutting down the ports

When the occupy movement started, I was in full support. In fact, I took Charlotte out there and we were in the very very front, no one in front of us. I have photos of her on the steps next to those who were speaking. I defended the protesters who did block off a couple streets in town to march since there were other routes drivers could take (it's a downtown with all parallel roads all one-way streets, very easy to navigate around a couple streets that are shut down). Protesting isn't supposed to be so convenient that everyone ignores it. It's supposed to cause just enough of a disturbance that you have to notice.

When a knife as pulled on Cody and someone tried stealing his lunch off of him, I didn't hold it against the movement. Every group is going to have its fringe lunatics. Muslins have al queda, Christians have Rick Perry, and Occupy Portland has that mugger. The mainstream doesn't condone the actions of those extremists who make them look back. They condone them. Right? Well I didn't expect to find over the last couple days that the very leaders (though it's said there are none, there really are) actually condone the actions of that mugger claiming maybe he needed the food more than Cody (who's place it is to determine that?) and that Cody deserved it if he was going to work for a big corporation (a corporation that treats its employees VERY damned well, keeps most of it's labor and all of its call centers to the US and Canada, and defends the rights of its assembly workers who are overseas).

I spent last night and part of today arguing with the leader of the Occupy Salem movement over the alleged brutalities happening during arrests at Occupy Portland (yes, those cities are both right). I've seen many videos showing arrests doing OP, and I was shocked to see not a single bit of police violence, even in the videos uploaded by occupiers. In fact, those claiming brutality happened were outnumbered by others who were present saying that no brutality happened. One of the leaders of Occupy Salem claimed he suffered brutality last Saturday and got bruises on his wrists that happened when he "freaked out" and fought the police during arrest. He admitted this on Facebook when we were arguing. I told him that it was his own fault if he was bruised while FIGHTING the cops when he chose to be arrested. Yes, people who want to be arrested can take a seat on the curb and police will arrest them peacefully, and many are choosing to do this. He claims that he is suffering PTSD, to which I replied with links to the official criteria including that symptoms must be ongoing for 30 days and interfere with daily life or regular activities. He's so traumatized that he's planning to go out tomorrow and get arrested again. Traumatized? I think not. He self-diagnosed to trump up what happened. I challenged him to see an actual psychiatrist for an official diagnosis, but not to be surprised if he was told it hasn't been long enough and that his continued involvement by choice with the police and being arrested shows his activities and ability and desire to do them hasn't been hampered. He also said that the police were wrong to shut down Occupy Portland and didn't address my question about how the movement there was so peaceful when a man was shot to death. Still I chalked this one leader up to being an idiot.

Today I was in an argument with other leaders of the Occupy Salem group who posted about the planned shut down of the docks being covered on the news and I replied to let those who have jobs actually be able to work. Well they said that there's no plan to prevent anyone from working, and I posted the link to Occupy Portland's website backing up that yes, the plan is to disrupt the workers and shut down the docks. Well, that came to an amusing end with them giving me a warning for flaming, me telling them that trying to silence me for pointing out their errors and backing up my claim is censorship, them claiming to believe in freedom of speech and then banning me when I said that censorship isn't freedom of speech and calling me a conservative republican (wow, most republicans I know call me an liberal democrat). I actually have screen caps of all that saved and posted. Good thing I kept that conversation up so I could screen cap it. My comments were deleted. The other one was deleted and I didn't screen cap, not thinking they'd delete the entire thing. All of the conversation I capped is here. I find it hypocritical to tell me to be quiet because I disagree with them while they support those occupiers disrupting other events and rallies.

On the Occupy Portland page right now is a call to figurative arms to shut down the docks tomorrow. I asked how it helps anyone to cause dock workers, fellow members of the 99%, to lose a day's wages and have to worry about how to pay their bills losing 10% of a paycheck while the rich dock owners will be nothing more than annoyed but certainly not worrying about making ends meet. Why make those workers hurt? One stupid person said, "Some people are already hurting." True, but what good will it be to make others hurt more too? You can read what's going on here. I'll be heading to bed soon, but I have the most recent comments still open in case there's a deletion by the time I wake up. It will really do no good though to cause working stiffs to lose a day's pay. That's a good way to lose more support than has already been lost.

Personally I want the protesters to just shut up and go home at this point. Defending violence and being hypocrites has turned them into pests. I'm actually more concerned with safety of passers-by who don't make themselves a part of the movement. Who cares if those who choose to be an active part get some injuries, but I sure as hell care when people who are simply walking in the area are mugged, raped, and in a few instances, even killed. I know freedom has a cost that can include injury and death, but that shouldn't mean injury and death to those who are trying to keep out of it. At this point I think they are doing nothing more than pissing off those who have the power to actually cause change and making those politicians less likely to listen. Putting them on the defensive won't do a single bit of good, but can cause harm.

Also a better way to cause loss to the rich dock owners and rich business owners, as I said in the previous link, isn't to prevent workers from doing their jobs and getting paid. It's to use their money to buy American-made products. This will both lessen demand for imported products, which, yes, would result in lost jobs, but it would create demand for American products which would create jobs in companies that make their products right here. This is what we do, buy American when at all possible, even if it means we buy fewer items overall because we're paying more per piece. We get better quality that lasts longer and are helping to create demand for workers here in the US, and even better, we also specifically seek out people who directly sell their wares, like pot holders from someone on etsy (yes, I can make them myself, but this is one of those things that, when we have some money to spend, I'd rather give to someone else to make it for me to help circulate money and help someone else get by), and even some of Charlotte's wood toys have come from etsy sellers who make the toys themselves. We cut out the rich company owners and give 100% of the cost right to someone just trying to make ends meet. Honestly, if it weren't for those willing to pay more for items from me instead of buying cheaper imported crap that will fall apart within a few months, I don't think I'd be able to stay home with Charlotte. I'd be out there working night shifts when Cody's home to make ends meet. So we do our part to help other Americans. THAT is the best way to stick it to the rich company owners who give as little as they can get away with to those who toil to make the rich richer.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

If our children's playtime is a reflection of us as parents...

...then I must be a good mommy. Yesterday Charlotte sat on her potty like it was a regular chair, and had her dolly in her lap. I wrapped a blanket around her shoulders, and she used it to wrap her dolly and said, "shhhh, shhhh," to her dolly while rocking her. Then she tried to feed her dolly! She is still breastfed herself (and is healthy as an ox for it), and knows it means I love her, and she did the same with her dolly, and then kissed the dolly's cheek while continuing to rock. My heart melted!



Well, Charlotte is two! And the next day Cody and I had our anniversary, and on Wednesday Cody has his birthday, and mine was Thursday! Nothing super exciting on any of them since Cody worked all of them except his birthday, and we spent part of that trying to figure out an electrical issue that managed to correct itself today. We thought either the coach batteries (that power the DC appliances) to the converter was going bad, but Cody topped the batteries off yesterday with distilled water, and saw a piece of debris that managed to get in one of them, and we drove the RV about half an hour today, and now everything's fine. Good thing for that. We were looking at spending a few hundred replacing them.

In another week Cody's mom Theola will be here for a visit. She hasn't seen Charlotte (or any of us) since August, which is tough since she and Charlotte are so close and she was even there when Charlotte was born. We'll properly celebrate birthdays then. :)

On my birthday a friend and I hug out at the mall, and Charlotte just took to LeAnne like I've never seen her take to anyone! When LeAnne had to go, Charlotte's little heart just broke. I held her until she broke free and then she ran down the mall after LeAnne crying, "Bye! Bye!" and then, "Hi? Hi?" and fell to the ground and just cried. So sad. Thankfully LeAnne took right to her too and would like to babysit, so Cody and I might actually get date nights sometimes and Charlotte will get to spend time with someone other than us and I'm sure she's so bored of us!

Last week was annoying. There's a new scam going around and I fell victim. What it is is someone claiming to need things for a wedding that's very soon, and paying with bad checks. I did get a deposit that cleared, rushed the dress, then, to be nice since her wedding was soon (somehow I doubt there is a wedding), sent the dress but she still hadn't sent the balance like she said, and then she sent a tracking number when I told her I needed one before I'd let the dress be released. I got a bad check, and the kicker is it was for 25% less than the balance. $473.30 I am out. The particular gown she ordered for the supposed wedding wouldn't be what you'd think of for a wedding. It's this one:



Stupidly, despite it being a crime in most states to pay with a bad check and not make it right, the police in my city won't treat it like a crime, leaving my option to fly all the way across the country. I've come by a few people who've either fallen victim to the same scam from someone in the same area, or who almost fell victim. I'm biting my tongue to not swear up a storm. There's speculation that it's someone or a group coming down from Canada, and I have no idea how anyone came up with that. All I know for sure isn't even her name (she's given a few of them!), but that it's birthday time times four (my brother's is also this month) plus anniversary and Christmas, and that money was really needed. It's caused me to reevaluate some of my policies and to take a closer look at first-time clients who didn't find out about me from someone I know who can vouch for that person.

Anyway I have a handful of dresses and a couple corsets to work on in the next few months, and a big wedding gown to do for next fall, among other things so, while it's annoying, the world is not collapsing.

From the 17th until the 31st we will be house/cat-sitting, and I plan to make good use of being able to spread out a bit while sewing. By being efficient with space and having Cody take the dogs and Charlotte out of here for a day and pulling out my hair-free cutting mats, I've been able to do sewing as usual, but it would be nice not having to be so efficient with space!

It's also cold enough here that we can use the basement storage in the RV as extra refrigerator room. I think we hit a high of 34 today, and it was 29 until about noon. Charlotte, our little polar bear, is in heaven and keeps ripping her coat off to run around and we're having heart attacks worried her fingers or toes will freeze off! Loving it though!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Charlotte is almost TWO years old!

I can't believe my baby will be TWO tomorrow!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tiny Rapunzel on Halloween

Charlotte loves Rapunzel, the one in Tangled. Loves. LOVES. So naturally that meant she was going to be Rapunzel for Halloween. I only had a chance to start three days before Halloween. My brother asked me a couple weeks before if I could make him a Joker (Heath Ledger) costume, and being my brother, of course I said yes. Since his needed to be shipped, his costume came first. Then I spent three days on hers.

Look at how big she's getting!! She cut her back set of molars, and as hard as I watched to get the dates, they came in and I missed them. We've had a couple minor emergencies in the last few weeks. At the hotel, she stuck her hand in the hinge-side of a door when it was closing too quickly for me to react, and her finger broke. The knuckle was smashed down to about 1/8" thin, no joke She was i pain and I was screaming at the 911 operator to get an ambulance there that second. I didn't know where the ER was and was too shaken up to drive safely even if I knew. And then I found out my iron, a pricy one, is faulty. It's supposed to turn off after eight minutes of non-use. The light blinks when it's off and is steady when on. I set it aside, it turned off (or so I thought), and I made a cake. Then Charlotte knocked it over onto her hand and pulled her hand away but didn't cry. So I didn't think anything of it, until the burns became visible a few hours later. Nerve damage, second degree burns, and now I'm getting into it with Rowenta. The safety feature of the iron failed. It didn't turn off. This iron isn't years old, and now my child has burns, pain, possible long-term nerve-damage and scarring, and we've got medical bills. If I wanted an iron that didn't turn off, I'd have bought on that didn't. Instead I paid thee figures for an iron that's supposed to turn off because I've got a child. So I'm pissed.

In non-injury news, she can count to three! It comes out, "Un, oo, we!" and she couches down slightly with each count, then runs screaming and squealing. Her daddy will count to three before tossing her in the air, and she's learned to count because of that! She's smart. Aside from just that, it's creepy what she can do, not only her insane balance, like being able to stick a leg behind her, bend her standing knee so she's close to the ground, and stand back without help, and she can stand on her rocking horse and keep her balance, but she's a problem-solver. If she want something, she can find a way to get or do it. Child-proofing doesn't work. She can open most bottles. She can get as high up as she wants. She can buckle and unbuckle her own seat belt (the first time this happened, I looked in my side mirror and thought I was seeing things when I saw her head out the window, and then she climbed over the console and tried getting into my lap - while I was on a stretch of freeway three miles from the next exit and on a stretch with such narrow holders that it was safer to NOT stop and open the door. She's also working on dressing herself and can do her own shoes.

She's 23 months old now, 23 months and 2 days to be exact, and 27 pounds, 35" tall (that's a good bit above average), has to have size 3T clothes because everything else is way too short, but everything is too loose. She's slender but healthy, and most clothes are made to the average that accounts for toddlers being chunkier for their height than a generation ago. Since children are about half their adult height by the the they're two years old, she's probably going to be very tall. I'm 67", and she's more than half my height, and as it is, I'm taller than average. She also wears a size 8 or 9 in shoes. She has some in both sizes. I repeat, she's not yet two full years old, and a size 7 is absolutely too small. Poor child, she's going to have my whoppers the Wiley feet as we say. Cody's mom wears an adult side 5. I wear a 10.

Anyway, costume! I've got this posted to Facebook here.

This is a semi-deluxe version of the gown, minus the embroidery. I'll do that by hand later.

This dress is three pieces (in the film, the gown would have been four pieces, a camisole that buttons up the back, the outer bodice that laces up the front, a lace-trimmed slip, and the skirt). I combined the camisole and bodice and made back-lacing with longer sleeves and skirt so that this dress can grow with her.

The neckline, arms, waist, and solid fabric of the skirt, have pink satin cord. The wrists, neckline, and skirt hem have white lace, and the waist has pink lace. I couldn't find suitable pink lace, so dyed some of the white. The upper sleeves have six yards of ribbon between them. That took a surprisingly long time to do.

The bodice and front skirt panel are a rose brocade, and the bodice inset, upper sleeves (under the ribbon), modesty panel, and rest of the skirt are matching solid bridal satins. The lower sleeves are doubled tulle. The bodice is entirely lined in light purple cotton except for the lower sleeves.

As I said, this dress was made to grow with her. So the back laces over a modesty panel (so no skin will show) that matches the front inset. The skirt has a waistband that, at its smallest, if her current waist measurement. I inserted a godet where a zipper would usually go, and extended one side of the waist band a few inches. On the extended tab, I placed a few buttons so that it can be buttoned on the one most comfortable. The skirt and bodice have hooks and eyes to keep the bodice and skirt from separating when a little one decides to jump around and roll on the ground!

I went to Goodwill hoping to find a small skillet of any sort, and was thrilled to find a perfectly-sized cast iron skillet. If you're wondering what on earth I'm talking about, watch the film. :)











This picture shows the colors guest to life, a least on my screen.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Let's see if this can be shorter than a novel

I guess first thing first. We got an RV, a 34-foot Fleetwood Bounder and live in that. There's air conditioning, heating (of course), and it's surprisingly comfortable to ride in. I really like it. We will be pulling up the carpet and putting down laminate though very soon and we already got some of it. Easier to keep clean, I get squeamish thinking about what gets under carpet, plus multiple animal butts smooching on so little carpet is just ew. Thankfully the dogs prefer to lay in the kitchen on the linoleum. My dad always told us that by me and my brother helping renovate our house when we were 11 and 9 or so that we'd learn skills we'd use in life, ad sure enough, I've used those skills a lot. We'll also eventually paint the walls and take the curtains down and stain them. They're good heavy curtains that do a nice job keeping it from getting very drafty and keeping heat in, so I don't want to replace them. Maybe I'll just take spray paint to them. They look so 70's, and this rig is nowhere near that old.

We've been in this RV two weeks as of today, and in that time I made my brother a Joker costume (Heath Ledger version), Charlotte a Rapunzel costume (next post for pics), am nearly finished with a Lord of the Rings wedding gown, and helped with an invention that requires fabric, but to to NDA, I'm obviously not going to disclose (even Cody doesn't know).

So here's a tour of our new rig:



In the above photo, each of the compartments under the RV are storage units. There is a door going to the living room and there's one going right into the bedroom. Above all windows are awnings, and in the "passenger side" is a larger awning that makes a patio-like area. The steps can be set to stay down or to move up. When we're coming and going we leave the steps down.

On the "driver side" most of the compartments house utilities and the generator. A couple are storage, but this is the hook-ups side. It's got a really nice Onan generator.



From the back, here is the bedroom. Queen size bed, and yes, Charlotte still sleeps with us. We'll be working on getting her to sleep on the couch that turns into a bed, but slowly. She's already been through so much this year.

There is a lot of storage under the bed.


From the bedroom, you can see the rest. My hand is on the door to the bathroom. You can see one of the TVs at the front. The other is in the bedroom. We have a 47" HD LCD flat-panel TV in storage in California, and are using two small tube TVs now. :)


Bathroom? Yes, we have one, and even have a small tub! The water heater isn't very large though, so showers are quick. Across from the bathroom is a closet. I didn't get pics of that. We do need a shower curtain still (how sad that we keep forgetting to get one), and of course the one towel we have that's ratty is one that's hung up. Most of our towels are really nice and fluffy thanks to me being a towel snob once upon a time.



Next up, jus past the bathroom on the same side is the dining table. This picture was taken just past the table with the camera angled toward the back. The table drops down and becomes a bed. The seat back cushions cover the table in the center. I don't anticipate ever needing to use this as a bed. Under the seats is more storage.


On the same side as the table toward the front is the couch. This folds out into a full-size bed that is incredibly comfortable. You can also see the curtains that cover the front windows. There is more storage under the couch.


Here is my sewing area. The almost-finished coat was sewn start to finish in this RV. I have the small quilt on the seat of the chair because here are two small nickel-sized holes that Charlotte would probably try to play with. There are cabinets overheard all around the RV like you can see in this picture. They're solid oak, which is very nice.


And here is the sink and range. In this first one, you can see the stove with the cover down. In the second, with the cover up, you can see the fridge and freezer. It's wood-veneered and is of the right of the range.



It's not much, not a huge place, but it's adequate, comfortable, and ours. If we're not at an RV park, we can take this thing anywhere and not need to worry about electricity or anything. The plan right now is to stay at different parks by the week to see where we like, then to decide where to stay for a while, see how much we can save up over the next year or two, buy some land, run utilities to it, park there, get foundation laid, and start building a house. I've helped build a house before, and Cody's dad is a general contractor and Cody's helped out there. Building my own house with my own hands has been a dream of mine since I was a teenager. Of course it's unlikely to go that easily, but it's a goal at least.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Depression is setting in, really bad depression.

We applied for a home loan and were denied for not having established credit. We did the responsible thing by never living outside our means, and it bit us in the ass.

So then we decided to see if we could finance an inexpensive motorhome with 35% down, and...we need established credit.

We can't rent because of the shit with Archstone I'm still dealing with (if I was in California, I'd sue, but I'm not, and we can't afford for me to travel, even though I can prove there were no damages, and Achstone's own website helps me prove my case).

And the RVs we can afford to pay in full for have all been crap. We're not looking for pretty, but reliable and structurally sound. But we're not finding either. The one we saw yesterday wouldn't even start.

This hotel we're in is the lowest priced in the area. Not many hotels allow starts part four weeks. We're in one where many of the people here have been here longer than we have been. It's not half bad, but expensive still, more than twice the cost of rent, plus everything we have is in storage for another $250 a month. I'm really wishing right now that I have a couple more of my dress forms with me, especially since I'm working on an order right now that's larger than the form I have with me. Can't afford to buy another right now, but I could really use my size large one (over the years, I've accumulated all sizes from child to petite adult to plus size adult and everything in between except men).

I'm angry that money's so tight that a trip to Goodwill makes me feel like there's a weight on my chest (they were woefully low on jeans in my size, like none - tall jeans are hard to find at all, even harder in smaller sizes). I'm angry that we can't spare $20 for me to buy some fabric I'm dying for to make into a warm skirt. I'm angry that my jeans are getting holes. I'm angry that we're worried about food and never have more than a few days' worth because if we buy more than two or three days' worth at a time, we go ballistic and eat a lot. I'm angry that it looks like Charlotte will be spending her birthday and Christmas cramped in a hotel. I'm angry that Cody's and my first wedding anniversary won't get to be anything special, nor will our birthdays. I'm angry that it's no longer a big deal to say that we're homeless. I'm angry that we don't have any place to call home. I'm angry that we've done it all "right" and are willing to scrimp and sacrifice, and have been doing so, and all we have to show for it is nothing at all.

We're burning through our savings just trying to meet basic expenses here, and dress orders have become vital. At this rate, we can get by for maybe another three months, and I don't know what we'll do after that.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A rally, Steve, and a busy schedule

On Thursday, I took Charlotte to Occupy Portland. She's been to more protests, rallies, and demonstrations than most adults I know, and she's only 22 months old! We want her to stand up for what she believes in, and the best way to teach her that is to stand up for what we believe in and set an example.

Of course the media, controlled by big corporations, tried to make the participants seem like a bunch of masked hooligans out to cause destruction and claimed Portland residents should be on their guard and concerned about us all out there. There were a lot of pictures posted of the same small group of people who had bandanas on their faces (people afraid their bosses would recognize and fire them), and the media did a damned good job of making some of my friends fearful for Charlotte's and my safety for being out there. Media propaganda, nothing more. There has been no crime, no property damage, and it will not be tolerated.

In fact, on the news tonight the broadcasters expressed shock that for the Portland Marathon the rally participants helped set up and clean up afterward, helping to make this year's relay one of the best ever.

Well yeah, these participants aren't hoodlums. They're good people frustrated about the lack of jobs and government help for those who are disabled and unable to find work while refusing to close the loopholes enabling the top 1% to pay a much smaller percentage in income taxes as the average American (see Warren't Buffett's "Stopp coddling the rich" open letter).

It's funny how the super-rich like to say that those on the bottom-most income rung shouldn't complain because they're not paying any taxes at all. Well it's not exactly an privilege to be on that bottom rung scrimping and depriving oneself all the time just to scrape by. Almost anyone on that rung would gladly trade places with the billionaires and pay 50% in income taxes while having enough left over to never ever every have to budget for anything and to always have the best of everything. I have a family friend who usually writes a check every April for more than Cody and I make in a year, and he's said he's fortunate enough to make so much money that his tax bill is that high and that he won't complain when he knows many others would give anything to be in his shoes. And he's right.

Anyway here are a few pictures from the rally:









After this, we went to the Apple store where Cody works and where people were leaving flowers and notes to Steve. The outfit wasn't coincidental. Steve was famous for always wearing a black turtleneck and jeans. I was also wearing the same thing.




This month's sewing schedule is insane. I am finishing a Lord of the Rings gown for a wedding, I have a rush order for a Wendy Darling gown, I have Charlotte's Tangled/Rapunzel costume (she's obsessed), and a Heath Ledger Joker costume for my brother (who has even been growing his hair out for quite a while to get the right look).

We're also meeting with a lender to see if there's any chance we might qualify for a home loan and, if not, what we need to do to improve our chances of qualifying at some point in the hopefully-not-too-distant future. Paying a mortgage would cost much less than we're paying to stay in a hotel, plus we wouldn't have to deal with storage fees.

So. Busy. Busy busy busy.

I accidentally broke Charlotte's finger :(

Literally. Two nights ago I was closing the bathroom door and she was behind me, and then she suddenly stuck her hand in between the door and the jam...the side with the hinges. It happened so fast I didn't have time to process her having moved. Suddenly there was a sickening crunch as the door closed and her fingers were in the door. I'm feeling nauseated remembering it. She started screaming and I opened the door, quick as a flash. She was shaking and her left ring finger knuckle was crushed only about 1/8" thick. I couldn't think if I should run to the front desk and have them call 911 or if I should grab my phone, which I though would be faster, and which I did, and called 911 and kept screaming to get an ambulance there. I didn't know where the ER was, and was scared to death that her knuckle was shattered. I don't care that an ambulance seems like an overreaction, but I didn't know where to go, and wasn't going to waste time figuring it out while shaking myself (not safe for someone freaking out to be driving), and knew she needed to see a doctor to make sure it wasn't a shattered or separated joint. In the end, it finger bone at the tip of her finger is fractured and she's going to lose the finger nail. I know accidents happen, but I felt like shit, and still do, like a very bad mommy for not making sure she was far from the door, or for not closing it slowly.

Since then, I'm terrified to close doors unless I'm holding her or she's on the other side of the room. She's able to use the finger, though it's a bit sensitive to pressure.

I'll just make this its own post so I can forget it now.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rest in peace, Steve Jobs

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life ... have the courage to follow your heart and intuition." - Steve Jobs

Without Steve, my husband (an Apple Genius) and I wouldn't have our daughter. This news is crushing. It's just heartbreaking. I think anything I could say would come off as insincere because I admire him so much that I'd wax on about how great he is. Was. This is just horrid news.

The official announcement on Apple's website

Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's the little things!

Yesterday I was feeling bad while making lunch because Charlotte was playing alone. So I sat by her and asked, "Am I a bad mommy?" and she said, "Nooooo!" and hugged me. Then I asked, "Does Charlotte love mommy?" And she said, "Yaaaaay!" clapped. Mommy-heart go melt.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I miss Eric and Tracy

Last week some friends of ours from Canada came to town and now we're sad they're gone. Eric and Tracy, we miss you and love you and can't wait until next year!

While they were here one day, they and I took Charlotte to downtown Portland, and yes, she went around looking like this, like a little princess in her full, fluffy dress (not made my me), her real pearl and crystal necklace (that I did make), and her rhinestone tiara.


She picked up that stock somewhere and walked around pointing it at people babbling like she was making commands.


She got so much attention for being so adorable!


On one of the last days they were here, we went to the Portland Rose Garden.


This is a sweet candid Eric shot of Charlotte and Cody.


We can't wait to see Eric and Tracy again. Charlotte was just enamored with Eric. It was so sweet!

While Tracy was here, I made her this spiffy halter dress. Bra straps aren't part of it! Also you can't see the pleating detail in this pick, or the button detail on the front which matches the one at the back of the neck. The belt is separate instead of attached, and it's a full circle skirt. She was thrilled!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Child Abuse Prevention

Today would have been Caylee Anthony's 6th birthday. Pledge to donate $50 or more to www.preventchildabuse.org and I'll make and send a child's bracelet to the address of your choice, whether it's to a child you know or a children's shelter for a random child who needs something special to call her own. I call this bracelet the Caylee bracelet. I can make up to 25 to send out, and have several clasps to choose from. This is also posted on my personal and business Facebook pages.



For a $20-donation pledge to the same organization, I'll make the pendant of the your choice to send to the child you wish.









More info on each piece in my jewelry album.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'm stunned. I just found out that a couple friends who I thought were open-minded, are not only in favor of businesses being able to have a blanket ban on children, saying that private businesses open to the public (and receiving all the tax breaks that come with it, which will be subsidized by the general public) should also be allowed to ban women, blacks, whoever they want. Oh my god. I'm stunned. And since private businesses should be allowed to do what they want, well, don't want to hire blacks, or Mexicans, or women, or people with physical disabilities who can still do the job? Then they shouldn't have to because there should be no equal opportunity and they equate equal opportunity and anti-discrimination laws as being the same thing as communism. They both favor liberal welfare and universal health care, but not equal rights because equal rights is communism according to them. Wow.

They are both straight white men, one married with no kids (yet), and the other is divorced and has a son he bailed on years ago. I am horrified at them and ashamed to know them. "Friends" should be in quotes.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Modern Witch Hunt

It's come to my attention (thanks to an anonymous comment that I won't publish) that yet another person online has been accused me being me. This is based on her being a seamstress with a husband who's been married before and having a toddler daughter. Of the millions upon millions of people in the US alone, are we all to believe that no one else sews, has a toddler daughter, and has a husband who's been divorced? Wow. People on the constant hunt for me that everyone with a toddler, an ability to sew, and a husband who has been previously married, will be accused of being me, needs to seek therapy for an unhealthy fixation. Also it's really pathetic to constantly cite drama websites as "evidence" of anything. See a therapist. Really.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

So stressed

I don't even know what to say. The last couple months have been some of the hardest of my life. I'll write up a post about everything later. Just suffice it to say that our landlord wanted the house back, and the cost of living is too much to save up the money needed in 30 days to get another place.$6k-$9k is typical. First month's rent, plus an additional two months' worth for the deposit. In an area where $2k is cheap for rent. So we're in limbo, and are in two different states right now just to have roofs over our heads. Cody is working his ass off with Apple, waiting for a transfer, and I'm with Charlotte spending my time divided between her, sewing (heh, I dragged along the dress form that will work for my current and next 3 orders, my main sewing machine, etc.), repairing my website (the drive it was on crashed), and looking at houses and apartments here in Oregon, dreaming about the day Cody and I get the keys to a new place so we can have our family back in tact. We don't know yet if we'll end up here in Oregon, in Washington, or where. We don't have regular addresses, yet are determines to uphold our end of our obligations. Being home-challenged makes it all so difficult, but I appreciate the distractions. The income sure helps though. And I've got some exciting orders coming up.

It's really sad to realize we're lucky. A lot of people losing houses these days lose their houses because of the primary breadwinner losing a job. For us? Landlord wanted the house back. (Turns out her son-in-law, a deadbeat with no work ethic [our lease required us to have him as the gardener, and he showed up, if we were lucky, once every six weeks when he was supposed to be there weekly, and when he did show up, he usually left before finishing], lost his job and his family was being evicted.) Cody still has a job. I still have my business. When Cody joins us up here, we'll be able to put down 3 years with Apple on rental apps instead of a month or two that a lot of other people finding new jobs would have to.

It's still a miserable situation to be in though. Cody has seen his child less the past couple months than a dad with every-other-weekend visitation. A few hours here and there. We've both been bouncing around place to place, and Charlotte and I haven't always been close enough to visit. Thank the gods for our iPhones. Facetime (that really cool video-chat shown on the commercials) has been wonderful. Like last night I Facetime'd Cody and his mom so Charlotte could see them and they could see her. She giggled and squealed up a storm!

I can't wait to have my website on the new drive fixed so I can finish updates. I have about 30 things to add, and when I'm finished with my current 9-item order...yeah, massive update. Updates feel like Christmas presents to myself, silly as that sounds. I'm proud of what I do, and putting up a new page or adding new things to one feels like a shiny new...something. Silly, I know, but still. It's true.

Also Charlotte may have some issues. I'm not going to get into that at all on this blog right now, just cross fingers, please. If you want to know, shoot me an e-mail (ariaclements at gmail dot com). Hard to swallow that our bright little girl might have some special needs. Thank goodness the problem he may have is something we've dealt with in my immediate family and is physical rather than mental, so would be easier to deal with to help ensure she has a normal life.

Now...back to putting a skirt on a black velvet regency spencer!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Some photos of my princess from this last month

At the harbor in Santa Barbara on the 14th of last month:




Proudly drawing on the wall. What could I do this time but laugh and grab the camera?



Wednesday of last week, while we were having a bonfire: