Oh well, what are you going to do?

You may or may not know that Quilt Market is going on now in Houston. Linda and I are usually there, but this year we don't have anything new enough to warrant showing it in a booth. We both like being home, so we stayed home.

We found out this morning that we had been signed up to teach a Take & Teach class. That is a 1 1/2 hour class for 35 people where you show a new technique or highlight a new fabric or book. These are good classes to go to if you are a shop owner or teacher. We enjoy teaching them.

We sign up to teach these classes almost a year in advance and we thought this one, that was scheduled for the wrong market because we had nothing particularly new, had been cancelled. We were blissfully unaware that we left 35 quilters in an empty room yesterday. Oh my. It's the sort of thing that I might have had nightmares about if I had ever imagined it happening.

As it is, all we can do is apologize and try to think of something that will make these 35 people happy. First, we have to find out who they are. If you are one of those people please know that we wouldn't have done this to you if we had had a clue that we were on the schedule. Email me.

So what was I doing yesterday when I was supposed to be in Houston? I cleaned house with Steve. I sort of enjoy cleaning my house, especially when we do it together. He does the wet stuff, I dust and impose order. I very much enjoy putting things back in place. Once the house was clean I painted the front door, and the screen door. This has been on my list for a year. The door and screen door used to be red:


I liked the color, I was just tired of it. And the colors in the house didn't work with the red any more. When I painted mom's front door deep blue, I knew I wanted to use the same color on my doors. Our doors. Steve does live here too.



The 2nd photo shows the color better. It's not electric, nor is it purple at all. It is a good, deep, rich blue. If you look at the photo above you can see that it opens into a space with a carribean blue. These are blues that only sort of work together but I like the dynamic. It reminds of the best kind of Mexican color combinations. Steve likes it. AND I get to mark this task off of my list.

Earlier this week Mom decided that she was ready to give away Christy's clothes and shoes. We each went through and each found things that we would happily wear. Then I called a couple of my friends who are Christy's size and they got to go shopping today. More tomorrow.

My sister had boots – lots of boots – and I was sincerely sorry to have feet too big for her boots but Laurie and Karen were very, very happy. Interestingly enough, Laurie and my sister were just about identical in size. Laurie went home with bags of clothes. I have no idea how she will fit them all into her closet.

What's left goes to the Crisis Center tomorrow afternoon. Christy would be pleased. She was a practical and generous person. She loved her clothes and shoes. She would be happy to see other people wear them rather than to leave them gathering dust. Mom has plenty to remind her of Christy. She doesn't need a room full of clothes.

18510-11The other news, and I am again burying this at the bottom of my post, is that I have added fabric to the web site.

This is fabric from Moda that we did not design. I just like it. A lot. I didn't order a lot of this stuff because I'm waiting to see if you like it too. There are fat quarter packs, no yardage. At this point I don't have room for bolts of fabric. I might make room for bolts of fabric if it turns out that you all like the fat quarters. Click here and here and here to see what I have.

I only have four of each fat quarter pack. I don't know if that's a lot or not enough. I might or might not be able to get more of these fabrics.

I'll probably send a newsletter later in the week letting everyone know what's new but I'm also still trying to guage how long it takes to fill orders when a lot of them come at once.

I tell you what, being an eRetailer is an interesting experience.  So far I'm learning a new thing every day. If I ship you an order and you want to let me know anything about your experience (good or bad), please do email me. I'm happy to learn how to do a better job.


Have you seen this elephant?


I bought this elephant for Donna who takes such good care of my nails (which are looking lovely these days!) when I was in Paris a few months ago. It's a stand for her iPhone:


I bought this at Pylones in Paris, France – not Texas. After seeing how great it is on her desk I thought to myself "I need one of those and I'll bet I can order it online." 

Pylones is online. And I did go shopping on their because I needed this extremely cute tape dispenser for the office: 


However, I hunted the site in vain for an elephant iPhone holder. I contacted Pylones and a very polite person let me know that you can only get them in France. I looked at the Pylones French website and didn't see them there either which makes me think that they are only in the stores.

So here is my plea: If you are going to Paris you will see at least one Pylones store. There are several And if you like Piece O' Cake, you will be sucked into the Pylones store because the colors are so luscious. If you are there and if you have a little bit of room in your luggage for up to 5 of these things I will happily pay you back for them and for the shipping to get them to me. If you are that rare, wonderful person, email me at becky@pieceocake.com so that I can send you a check. I am happy for you to pick the elephant color(s)!



Now that I'm running the web site, I find I'm doing a lot more mailing these days. Mostly I use stamps.com which is excellent in many ways. But I had to go to the actual post office yesterday and I had to buy stamps. I didn't 'have' to buy them, it's just that these stamps cried out to go home with me. 


I do use stamps and I have always thought that it's better to use interesting stamps. I give sheets of stamps as stocking stuffers so I like to 'stock up' on the good ones. Buzz Lightyear is my personal favorite of this bunch…


I got to visiting with the postal person at the counter. These are all forever stamps so won't be affected by the rate increase in January. Stamps go up a penny. Not that big a deal for what you get, we agreed. Which is really where I am going with this post… 

Am I the only one who is amazed that you can send a letter or package to a specific address almost anywhere on the planet, afix postage, and that letter or package will usually get to the intended place? I sometimes wonder why we don't have to pay a lot more for this service.

In my town, as is true in many places, we often navigate by landmarks. For instance, I live near the old Dillingham – which was torn down years ago. It no longer exists. When I tell people I live south of the old Dillingham, they know where I am – unless they didn't live here then. It drives my mother, who navigates by street names and addresses, crazy.  

The more I think about it, the more amazed I am that we, as a human race, have devised a system of addresses that work. I know that address formats differ from country to country, but that doesn't seem to matter. Every place has a set of coordinates that tell you where it is. Addresses are so much better than landmarks. 

As I said at the beginning, I'm shipping more because the website is now my baby. So, on a mildly related note, I've put some new things on the POC home page. If you've read this far and have time, you might want to see what's there. While it's still there. This is sort of a quiet sale, so that I can see what it's like to get a many orders at a time. I hope I handle it as well as Linda always has.

Mom and her rock…

The rock was delivered as scheduled on the 19th. I know I said I'd post when it came but there you go. I've been working the website into my life. You know, I used to think I was busy and then Mom had her surgery and my life changed. Mom's life, Chrisy's life, their lives changed more. But still, I didn't fully appreciate how nice it was to just be in charge of my own self. But back to the rock…


Mom bought a forklift-rock. It is 2+ tons, the biggest rock in the yard. She didn't go intending to get the biggest one but this one sort of stood out. Because it was the biggest rock.

I know that many of you live where big rocks are common and cannot imagine why someone would buy a rock. We buy them because we live on a prairie. Rocks live under the dirt here and when you dig them up, they aren't pretty. We don't have mountains or boulders just lying around. We have to get our rocks the hard way, with cash. Because I know you are curious, this is about a $350 rock, delivered. That's why Mom only bought one. If they were cheaper her yard would be littered with rocks. Mine might be too.


Here's Mom, on her rock. The rock's function is to keep people from driving up on her yard. That drive to her left is the entrance to the alley that runs behind her house, my house, and many other houses. I made sure that the rock was placed so that I wouldn't hit it. I figured it if was safe from me, it was also safe from the neighbors.

We'll be planting something near the rock to keep it company. Maybe a crepe myrtle, or a tree. It's too soon to plant that sort of thing so Mom has time to decide.


Really, I’m still here!

I've spent the last two days making my computer work with the new inventory, making sure our site is linked to me and not Linda, making sure all the emails come to me… Steve has come home to a very stressed woman for two days. My ear is tired from all the tech support BUT things are looking up! I think (knocking wood) I've got most of the kinks worked out.

There is, in fact, something new on the site. I've uploaded 4 new tutorials. Click on the 'Lessons" link on our menu bar and you'll find them.

Also, I went with mom today to buy a rock. A 2+ ton rock. I'll take a photo tomorrow so you can see it in her yard. Mom loves rocks. We have a pile of her rocks by our driveway that will make it down to her house later.


The center of this pile is composed of rose rocks from Oklahoma:

P1000471 copy

…and this concrete 'pie'. It's a tradition in our family that when we have leftover concrete we make paving stones. And when there's time, we write in them. This is one Mom and Christy wrote in in 1990.

P1000471 copy 2

It’s good to be busy…

I say that a lot. I believe that this is true but there are days, lots of them, when I'd like to be less busy. I don't think I've got any of those sorts of days coming up in the near future, but that's OK because "it's good to be busy!"

The business end of the Piece O' Cake website is now mine. Linda was ready not to be tied to shipping any more and I cannot blame her. She's a bit older than I am and when I'm where she is I don't know that I'm going to want to be tied to shipping either. But that's many years from now for me. So Linda is doing a happy dance – looking at a calendar that is hers to toy with. She is going to have time to do lots of stitching!

I, on the other hand, have spent the weekend figuring out how to blend the new workload into my life. Lorna, my DIL in Sherman, will be on staff now. You may be hearing from her if you order from our site and I'm happy about that. But I still write our site and have my fingers in the data stream. My hope is that if you order from us/me, you won't notice any difference at all. Know that your emails will now come to me and I hope to be at least as good as Linda has been all these years. I have big shoes to fill.

I've been glued to the computer this weekend but I also spent some hours digging in the dirt at Mom's. I promised to work on her yard when it got wetter and cooler. Well, it did and so I'm honoring that promise. I like to work in the dirt so I've enjoyed this. Mom sits out and visits as I dig. She would really love to be the digger but at 79 with a bad back that's not happening. She does get to prune the tall roses. You might want to pray for the roses :-). I'll send pictures of her yard later.

Steve did honey-do's for me this weekend. Top of the list yesterday was hanging our bedside lights:


Hanging these porcelain lights has been on the agenda since last January. Mom's surgery, recovery, her and Christy's move, house-buying and remodel, Christy's life and death… all of these things delayed hanging the light. Needless to say and I happy to have them up. It feels like life might be getting back to normal. I really like normal.


We bought the LICHTs from MUD Australia when we got our dishes over a year ago. They were a special order, blue inside and white outside, that came wrong the first time. We had to wait weeks to get the correct lights and it was worth it. The new ones have been sitting in the closet for months, patiently waiting to be hung.


I like to read a bit before I go to sleep. Last night, for the first time in a long time, I didn't have to read by flashlight. Life is good. (I do have an iPad2. When I read from it no light is required. But I like to read TIME at night too which required the flashlight several nights a week. Didn't love that.)

Today Steve got back in the attic to run the cable and ethernet to the 'new' Piece O' Cake office. Remember the Murphy bed Steve built last summer so that I could move the web business to our smaller, 3rd bedroom? This room is the new POC office. My studio is still where it has been, right off of our living room.

The trick for me will be figuring out how to keep all the balls in the air – work and home. I'm not going to complain because those are the balls we all juggle. So here's hoping we all keep our balls in the air :-).