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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Roller Coasters

I knew that selling my store would be hard. Some days are harder than others. Today was pretty good. Yesterday? Well, it was ridiculously difficult.

Yesterday, the new owner (she's not even the owner yet, so I don't know why I keep calling her that) wanted to meet so she could register for CHA (the Craft & Hobby Association show). She had some other questions, too, which were no big deal. And then she told me that she was going to cancel the blog. The blog I've labored over & come to love over the past 4 years. The blog that's filled with personal & business things. The blog that has pretty regular traffic. She wants it gone. She wants a makeover. Oh, and she's already begun making new decor for the store. So while she sat there & signed up for classes at CHA I excused myself to go get Starbucks. I didn't need Starbucks. I didn't want Starbucks. What I wanted was the hell out of there. So I left & called Audra. Took every last ounce of strength in my body to not cry while I talked to her. I know I should be excited. I know this shouldn't bother me. But it does. Well, at least yesterday it did.

Today? My mom cleaned out the classroom & I wrote everyone's last paychecks. And I was fine. Totally fine. I guess this is just a roller coaster ride. Highs & lows. Completely unpredictable.

This is good. This is what I want. This is what I need. Life as I know it will be changing, but it will be fucking fantastic! It will...

Family Gatherings

I have to say, this was the best Christmas ever!  It had nothing
to do with presents...they were light, which was actually
refreshing!  It was all about family, which honestly, is how it
should be.


We always spend Christmas Eve with my husband's side of the family
(which I love!).   It's our tradition to have Mexican food
with them...except for the year that Barb wanted to have Chinese food
& my husband wouldn't talk to her...won't try that again!  We
were supposed to play games but spent too much time talking and
laughing.  I did get a couple of cute photos of my nephews...


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Sean


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Ryan


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Logan


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Ben


I actually get really shy when it comes to taking photos.  I
have so many I want to take, but I just, um, don't.  That's why
there are so few.  And it's not just with Don's side...it's with
mine too.  That's why I take so many photos of the kids. 
They're easy & they don't mind.


On the way home, we drove around looking at Christmas lights.  Look who we saw...


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Christmas morning was very low key (Kendall slept til 9:30!). 
There are 3 photos of me...so I got to pick from bad, bad & bad (it
appears my camera is having difficulty focusing...time to send it in to
Nikon for repairs, it seems).


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I received my favorite treat...dark chocolate salt caramels from Brookside.


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and my favorite tub treat from Fizz Bathshop...


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Who looks that cute on Christmas morning?


Christmas night was spent at my brother's house.  We brought
over Just Dance 2 & had a blast!  The food was excellent &
the company was fabulous (there were 22 of us!)


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AJ has become quite the poser...and very photogenic!


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Ray's become quite the cheeseball...


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Bob & my mom.


A lovely time was had by all!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Magpies & More

It's funny...when I decided to sell my store I didn't think I'd ever want to do another craft again.  I bet you never thought you'd hear me say that!  But you know what?  In the past week I've become obsessed with the crafts I want to create!  I want to learn how to use my sewing machine again.  I want to make aprons.  I want to make banners.  I want to make one of a kind crafts.  Things I can possibly sell on Etsy.  Things I don't have to teach.  I want to create for the sake of being creative...not for the sake of selling a product or trying to move a particular line.  I'm a little more arty than my typical customer & I haven't allowed myself to be that way in a long, long time.

When I was deciding on a name for my new blogging adventures one of the many (and I mean many) names I came up with was Magpie.  One of my dogs are named Maggie & I call her Magpie (among other things), so I thought it was cute.  It was taken, of course, but I googled it & found that Magpies are actually very beautiful birds...who happen to like shiny things (do you see where I got the All Shiny & New name from?)

Yesterday I got this hair brained idea about selling my crafts on Etsy & thought I'd have my mom design a logo for me...just in case.  So sometime after Christmas...likely after the store is sold & gone...I'll have a logo that I can use on the blog & on Etsy.  Maybe I should start my Etsy store now with my new name...hmmmm...something to think about!

And this morning, it popped into my head that I would like to take some classes for graphic design.  I've actually be wanting to do it for years.  But I just couldn't commit to a full semester with the store.  But there are so many things I'd like to learn.  Graphic design.  Photoshop.  Digital photography.  Photo styling.  I'd like to know how to create digital files & designs that can be used on a Silhouette or Cricut.   I've always wanted to create invitations that were more, um, more.  Better.  More creative.  Unique.  And I'll need to know how to do that in a program other than Word.  I'm not sure we can afford for me to go back to school, but it's something I plan on exploring.  I'm not looking for a degree (I already have one of those).  I'm looking for an education in things I'm interested in.  And that does not include required course work such as math & history.  Bleh.

Did I tell you I signed up for a cooking class?  What is this world coming to?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Live Simply

Lovin' this cute little (ok, it's not so little) tote from Mindy.  You trying to tell me something?  I need to make it poster size & hang it right up in front of my desk.  I definitely need some simplicity in my life.  Hope is on the horizon :)

I'm still waiting...

When is the shiny & new feeling going to kick in?  Right now I feel like I'm being kicked around.  What should be a smooth transaction has all these bumps in the road.  Not with the buyer.  She's all good.  The owner before me, of all things.  The bank.  I want to scream at these people that I'm doing the best that I can.  Asking the new owner to buy the old LLC that hasn't been used in 10 years is ridiculous.  Telling me you don't want to re-finance my loan is NOT helping.  Neither is telling me you want half my deposit & that I need to be more flexible.  Why do I have to become a total bitch to get any help?  Why can't you just say, "we know things are tough right now, how can we help you?"  Instead of, "we know things are tough right now, how can we make your life just a little more difficult?".  WTF?  Really?  I know I only have three weeks until this ordeal is done, but why, oh why, can't it just sail smoothly into the sunset?  Is that too much to ask?

Today a customer emailed me & said she'd heard I'd sold the store & would the new owner be honoring gift certificates & coupons.  First of all, only friends & family know the store is in the process of being sold.  So how did she hear?  We're keeping it under wraps as long as possible...it's just better that way.  Seriously.   It's in the process of being sold. It is not sold.  Until I turn over the keys, this place is mine.  Secondly, when I sent out the email that the store was for sale, I specifically asked that people not talk to me about it.  It was a very hard decision to make.  Very.  And it was uncomfortable telling you my private reasons for wanting to sell.  So what happens every single day?  I get asked all day long  "so did you sell the store yet?",  "why are you selling the store" or "I heard you're going out of business".  Uncomfortable, that's what I say.

Oh please, let the shiny & new feeling kick in soon...please?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Learing something new

I have spent most of the morning playing with software to print my previous blog into a book. Dilemmas abound! Do I print all of the posts? Do I delete things like class projects & schedules? It was all a part of my life. Guess it will boil down to how much it costs. And four complete years of blogging is going to cost a pretty penny, I'm sure.

But you know what? The whole prospect is exciting! I love the idea of having a printed record of the past three years! And I am more & more in love with the idea that I will no longer be an entrepreneur! I want to be an employee who leaves all the hard decisions to the powers that be. I want to have freedom to do the things I want to do. As I read over some of the blog posts from the beginning, it came to my attention that I actually have not had a vacation with my husband in THREE years. Well, that just sealed the deal.  I'm ready to change my life.  No more entrepreneur for me.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Shiny & New

A new life.  That's what's coming for me.  And I envision it to be shiny.  Happy.  Fantastic.  Seriously.

You see, four months ago I decided to sell the retail craft store that I've owned & operated for the past 9 years.  It all came about because I was exhausted.  Burned out.  I had some hurt feelings.  I had lost my passion.  I had lost my vision.  And that, my friends, is sad.  What was the final catalyst that made me decide to sell it?  My husband & I took our first vacation together in 2 years.  Our daughter had gone to stay with family in Texas & we decided to take a road trip to Colorado to see some friends.  We had three days for our vacation & we were going to make the most of it!  Well, the drive was short on the way up...& very long on the way back.  We had lots of time to talk.  It occurred to me that I had not had the ability to leave my store for way too long.  I missed birthdays.  I missed bbq's.  I missed our friends in Colorado.  It was time to make a decision.  And then a couple of snotty comments were said about me & sent me over the edge.  The store got listed for sale.

At first I wanted it to sell really quickly.  And then someone became interested.  Very interested.  Then I started to get a little nervous.  Could she run it like I had?  (I hope not...the store needs to be better!)  Was she serious?  Was she passionate about it?  Would she take over my blog?  What?  Take over my blog?  I have to give that up?  Will she do a good job with it?  WHY DO I CARE?  So many emotions...

Anyway, she made an offer & the store's in the process of being bought by a lovely young woman (who has the most beautiful baby boy you've ever seen!).  And I am so excited!  I am also terrified! What will I do with my life?  I have to get a job, but where?  What will I do without my blog?  Well, according to my friend Mindy, some of you actually like to read what I have to say & I should start a new one.  Really?  You like to read my blog?  I find that shocking.  I guess it never occurred to me that any of my customers liked me.  Ok.  Some of them I know like me, but for the most part, yeah, no.

So tonight I set about creating a new blog.  I must have spent three hours trying to come up with a name.  The store's blog was easy...it was the store's name.  But this one?  Oh my.  I really wanted it to be positive, but my thoughts couldn't help drifting to the negative.  But then I'd try the name & it would be taken.  I can't remember the bulk of what I tried (good thing, too) but here are a few titles I tried for:  Big Girl Panties, Puttin On My Big Girl Panties, Impossible (as in Im Possible), I Heart Crafts, & until the last possible second when I changed my mind, Dinosaurs In The Basement.  I still like that name.  (My husband was watching Toy Story while I was blog name searching &  up popped the t-rex, & well, I was in the basement.)  I also tried for Shiny & New, but it's taken...so we have All Shiny & New.  It's just a reflection of the new life I have before me.

This blog will be different from the store's blog.  There won't be sales or things about products I sell (sold...).  There won't be class schedules or photos.   I'll likely tell you a bit about life as a store owner.  But hopefully more about life as a former store owner.  It'll be more of me.  My family.  My writing on whatever happens to amuse or piss me off at the moment.  And I really do love crafts.  Crafts of all kinds!  So I'll likely share that with you, too.

Now, you have to realize that I censored myself somewhat so as not to offend my customers.  It might take a while to get out of that habit, but after a bit you may see the real me here.  In real life, I use the f word far more than a lady should.  I'm stressed out & freak out at the littlest things that end up working out just fine.  And I still love photography, so you'll still see lots of photos!  I actually hope to be able to take a real photography class & a photo editing class (right after I get that job!).

So that said, thank you for reading my blog.  Thank you very much!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Arizona Cardinals Fans

Yesterday was my first trip to an Arizona Cardinals game in, oh, ten
or more years.  I'd never seen the new stadium (which is
AWESOME!).  Or really had any desire to go to a game (I had been
banned from all professional sporting events, too...more on that
later).  I'm really not into football...or sports for that
matter.  I'd just prefer to let the people who enjoy it go. 
But we had an opportunity for some tickets & my husband needed
someone to go with him.  Armed with almost 5 seasons of Friday
Night Lights, I thought, what the heck, I'll go!


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I even borrowed my daughter's t-shirt.  I own nothing remotely
Cardinals.  My husband on the other hand, could outfit a team.


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We had great seats...in the end zone.  I had no idea we'd be so close to the field!


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I don't have a zoom lens, something that's on my wish list.


Before I give you my impression of last nights game, let me tell you
why I was banned from all professional sporting events.  You see,
10 or more years ago I went to a Cardinals game with my husband &
brother at Sun Devil Stadium.  I believe they were playing the
Raiders...it might have been the Vikings...and well they lost. 
Now, the Cardinal's back then sucked.  There's no nice way to put
it.  But my husband is a loyal fan in good times & in
bad.  My brother, while a fan, gets totally ticked off when his
team loses.  So we're exiting the stadium & my brother is
grumbling about how the Cardinals lost (again) and I chimed in as only a
sister can & said, "well what did you expect...hahaha!"  Let
me tell you that I had to run!  My brother chased me til my husband
caught him & then my brother started yelling that I was banned from
all professional sporting events...hockey, golf, football,
baseball...and then he got so worked up I was banned from little league
& everything in between.  Now, not being a big sports fan, I
didn't care.  At all.  It was actually pretty dang
funny. 


In the years since that event, my husband & brother got season
tickets a few times & my brother held steadfast to his rule that I
was banned.  Again, no big deal to me.  My daughter to this
day reminds everyone she can about it.  But again, no big
deal.  I think he's grown weary of the teasing & let Don take
me to last nights game.


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Now on to the game.  First of all, the stadium is AWESOME! 
We walked around & tried to find Bridget & her family (we found
them!).  I oohed & aahed at all the right places. 
Noticed things my husband hadn't noticed...one of the murals has white
space around it that is filled in with fans photos.  It's pretty
cool!


Here's what I learned:



  • Watching Friday Night Lights obessively does NOT prepare you for a football game

  • My husband is most patient answering any and all questions (and I had a LOT)

  • Cheerleaders change their uniforms at half time

  • Only one cheerleader had short hair

  • Football players look like normal sized men from the stands...even when you're close

  • This was Feeley's game for sure...I didn't know kickers did anything but kick, but the dude won the game for the Cardinals

  • Fans are CRAZY!


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Do you see the orange metallic wigs on the two Bronco's fans?  Yeah, I'd never do that.



  • My husband (and every man around me) calls the plays with the ref's...makes the hand motions too

  • When the Cardinal's do well, everyone gives high fives all around (well, not me, because I'm plugging my ears)

  • Professional football teams have what amount to flag girls...but they're boys.  Who knew?

  • It is so loud in there I wish I'd brought ear plugs

  • The season ticket holder next to me brought their 2 month old
    baby...with no ear protection...she said her house is really loud &
    it doesn't bother the baby.  I hope her house isn't THAT loud, holy
    cow!  I want to buy her baby head phone & send them to her...

  • I thought "how sweet!" when I saw a 50 some odd year old guy there
    with his 20 some odd year daughter...um, that WASN'T his daughter. 
    My bad.

  • The guy who sits in front of our seats is in the Army.  On
    Veteran's Day he got to wear his uniform on the field & then
    finished up watching the game in his uniform.  So cool!

  • With 10 minutes left in the 4th quater people begin to leave...in
    mass.  Ok, this I don't get.  Your team is winning.  10
    minutes on a football clock can last, oh, 45 minutes.  You paid
    good money for your tickets...and you're leaving?  I don't get it.


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(this is before the game started...from my phone)



  • We saw someone get ejected from the stands...while a fight was going on on the other side of us (I missed it)

  • People try hard to get on that jumbo tron

  • The grass in the stadium is real grass.  It's on a platform
    that they slide out of the stadium & out into the sun.  I just
    can't wrap my mind around that, it's so massive!

  • Why rush to get to the parking lot?  You'll just sit in your car waiting to pull out of your spot for an hour.

  • Speaking of parking lots, tailgaters are CRAZY, too!

  • Have never seen that much beer...in my life!

  • My husband says that the University of Phoenix Stadium holds
    72,000...that's more than the population of Flagstaff!  And our
    game was sold out...


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We had a fantastic time!  And you'll be happy to know that I'm
no longer banned from professional sporting events.  I behaved
myself.