Saturday, January 24, 2009

No posts?

I haven't been posting here as much as I have been focusing on my sewing blog =) . I will post a link when I have it ready to go.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Goofy cat ...

This is my cat Olly, just chillin' on the couch.

He just needs a Coke, some chips and salsa and he'd look just like his "dad".

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I smell "another" makeover

Last year, I decided to do my bedroom in cottage-chic style and while it's very comfy and cozy, it's really not my style.

Anyway, I've decided to go back to what I really like. I am going back to a simple chenille bedspread. Beautiful and timeless and I won't have to obsess about anyone touching my $150 Bella Notte pillows (let's hope I can recoup half of that back by selling them!)

This will be the 4th bedroom makeover in five years. Truly the only thing about me that's constant, is the constant need for change.

I'm thinking ivories and whites with a touch of pale yellow. With kids and cats, this may be impossible to pull off. I'll be listing lots of linens, comforters, a Rachel Ashwell pink bedskirt, three velvet Bella Notte pillows with satin ruffling and a few other decorative elements. Check my eBay auction site in the next couple of weeks.

Here's the bedspread I just purchased. I can't wait to get it!
It was on clearance for $4.00! (ahem! that's the "code" price as my husband reads my blog!)

Section 102, Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

Please visit this link to if you are unfamiliar with Section 102:

Happy 1st Day of Spring!

Technically, I KNOW that the first day of spring is still a little over two months away but, it's been so nice here (5 days of 70 degree weather), it FEELS like spring. To be completely honest, it actually feels like summer. We even barbecued a few days ago. While I am loving the nice weather, something very strange is happening.......

I FEEL like....... cleaning - there I've said it! Because it FEELS like spring, I am already in spring cleaning mode. I've cleaned out my closets, under my bed (scary) and I even brushed half of my pom Pom Petey away.

The "little" pile next to him was all dead undercoat

After all was "shed" and done, Petey went and hung with Olly for a while. While Petey could careless about Olly, Olly intently waited for Petey to make ONE move, and when Petey finally did show the slightest bit of interest in Olly, there was a kitty paw to the forehead!

Has ANYONE seen the remote?

It seems like day in and day out, I am constantly asking where the remote control is for the TV.

It seems to wind up in the most unusual of places; under the blankets, behind the headboard, under the bed or even in another room.

I think I've come up with a solution. A HUGE remote control!!

You talkin to ME? Are YOU talking to ME?

Featured Kid of The Day

My youngest son decided to shave his head the other day. Every year right before the start of baseball season, most of kids on his team, shave their head.

Imagine my shock when he bounded up the stairs to show off his "new look". Rather than shaving his entire head, he decided to do something "a little different".

We asked him to pose for a pic so he could see firsthand how ridiculous he looked. I taunted, I teased, I think I may have even pleaded but Junior remained steadfast in his decision to keep this new look.

Many thoughts ran through my mind but the one that stuck the most was
Robert De Niro's character in Taxi Driver. Don't get me wrong, Robert De Niro is pretty much my all time favorite actor but I no way shape or form, did I want one of our offspring running around looking like a Travis Bickle wanna be.

UPDATE! Junior came to his senses and shaved the whole thing off! Phew!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009


I was online looking for a map for the state of New England today. I used Google Maps and it pointed to an area just south of Boston. I thought to myself "gee, New England must be so small because it's not even on the map." Since the map wasn't giving me the information I was looking for, I decided to Wiki New England.

I was quite a surprised and a little mortified to learn that there is NO state by that name.

Evidently, the term "New England" is used to reference those states in the upper right hand corner of the map. As stated by Wikipedia, New England is a region of the United States located in the northeastern corner of the country, bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Canada and New York state and consisting of the modern states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

What about the "New England Patriots"? Or New England Clam Chowder? or Reba McIntyre's song "Whoever's in New England" which has the following verse:

"When whoever's in New England is through with you
And Boston finds better things to do
You know its not too late 'cause you'll always have a place to go
When whoever's in New England's through with you"

Which leads me to ponder.....
If Boston is in Massachusetts and Massachusetts is part of New England, then it's all Reba's fault for my geographical snafu!

Working on a new blog header

Yes, my blog header is gone. Quite frankly, I hated it. I decided I'd rather have no header than the one I was using. It was too big and looked crooked. I'd like to have something that embodies who or what "I am". I just have to figure THAT out first.

Today's a day off for me...Yay! Think I'm off to see "Slumdog Millionaire".

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Post Heard Round the World

A few weeks back, I had one post on this blog that tells my feelings with respect to Section 102 of the Consumer Product Safety Act.

This one post has cause a significant bump in the visits to my blog! Last I looked, I had reached 6,000 and this is my second counter since the first one crashed at 3,700.

I guess I am not the only one worried about this new policy. I will post more when I have concrete information. My latest research indicates that proposals are being put forward to the governing agency to omit certain categories of children's items particularly those made solely of organic fibers.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Our doorbell rang a while ago. It was our faithful "never-smiling" mail man carrier lugging yet another package up the stairs to bring our home one of my terrific eBay finds.

Running down the hallway with the package in her hand, my youngest daughter proclaimed "it must be something e-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e cause I can hear lots of glass inside."

I am fully aware that an intact piece of glass NEVER makes a noise. However, several pieces of glass, would ring like a nervous wind chime in a Hurricane.

I performed a quick mental inventory of recent eBay purchases that I was expecting. The vintage telephone chime box wouldn't make a noise like broken glass but the..........Pfaltzgraff Pitcher and Bowl set would!

My grubby fingers ripped the box from my young daughter's hand. As I grabbed the box, I heard the obnoxious sound of dozens of pieces of ceramic.

All I could think was I hope I purchased shipping insurance". Before I even opened the box, I threw open my laptop and checked. I indeed purchased shipping insurance.

What happened next was as unbelievable as it was funny. I took my straight edge and carefully began to open the box preparing myself for the non-stop cavalcade of packing peanuts. I opened the flaps carefully and THIS is what I saw:

Oh.Hell.To.The.No! For those of you who've never had to potty train a puppy, this my friends, is a Potty Training Pad. Having experience with puppies and potty pads, I could tell from the way the wadding had separated from itself that this pad had indeed "been around the block." Mind you, it wasn't used but it was in fact, tired.

I envisioned the seller packing this item and needing just a smidgen more padding and ripping the potty pad out from under a squatting little "Tippy".

I kinda giggled about the seller's ingenious if not desperate measure to include the potty pad and made my way to the next layer of packing material.

The next layer consisted of dozens of "non-cushioning" shopping bags. Just when I thought I was done removing the bags, more plastic bags emerged. There were enough bags in this lot to turn Green Peace into a quivering tower of Jell-o.

Next were two and a half bags of packaged air. Two bags still held air. I'm not sure why the empty bag of air was included.

Lastly, I came upon my broken treasure. Enshrouded in one thin layer of bubble wrap and lots of tape, was my Pfaltzgraff bowl.

Hopefully, my seller is amicable and will agree to my request for a 100% refund. Details forthcoming.

UPDATE: Seller was extremely terrific and refunded 100% of my purchase without ANY questions.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Confessions of a Dyed-In-The-Wool Virgo

Can you really ever be TOO organized?

(click photo to enlarge)

This evening, I FINALLY reclaimed such much needed space in my linen closet. I'd read somewhere that if you roll your sheets, they will take up less room. The sheets and towels on this particular shelf took up almost the whole shelf when I folded them in my usual manner. Now I have so much space left that to be honest, I am worried that someone is going to shove stuff there and mess up my little organized space.

(click photos to enlarge)

I am going to agree with you that labeling the sheets is a more than a little excessive. Believe me, I don't expect this linen closet to stay like this too long. These tags are actually left from my booth at the Harvest Fair. Rather than have them collect dust until next November, I decided to put them good use.

The shelf paper is by Cath Kidston and smells gorgeous! I picked up several boxes of her shelf paper as well as guest soaps, sachets, and gift kits. I do have a few Cath Kidston auctions running on eBay. Just click on the photos to the left and you will be "magically transported" to my auction listing!

So give it a try! Roll your linens and towels and you'll be amazed at the space you will reclaim. Plus it will make you look totally organized; even if other closets are bursting at the seams!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dancing on Our Toes

Fioresi Designs has been juried into Handmade Fusion! I applied quite some time ago and to be quite honest, I had forgotten.

If you've got a moment, take a peek at our store on the site: Fioresi Designs. Be sure to check out all the talented artisans on the site as well.

If you're a crafter/artisan, they are welcoming new applicants.

What the heck do you have in this thing?

My husband asks that very question every time I ask him to hold my purse. He also never neglects to mention how "heavy" it is. This statement coming from the man who literally moves granite for a living. He believes that I carry things that don't need to be in there.

I don't believe that I carry more than the average woman and believe that now that my children are older, I carry less than the average mom.

Here's a photo of what's in my purse as well as an inventory:

Yearly planner (I start off every year filling out a planner. By mid-January, it takes its place in a drawer)


Work Cell Phone

Bluetooth Headset


Blackberry Instruction Manual (it's new and still difficult to navigate)

DVD: Peyton Place


Ipod Connection Cable

Headphones for iPod

Makeup bag


THREE pairs of sunglasses (I don't get this one either)

Eyeglasses & case

Earphones for….? (still new and in package)

Holistic tummy medication (which incidentally is overpriced and does not work)



L'Occitane Hand Cream

Organza bag with three prescription meds that I don't take

Black Tumi bag (holds bills that hubby told me to pay)

Deposits (last two paychecks, health savings account reimbursement and some legal reimbursement from Lens Crafters)

USB Drive

Case for Blackberry

Case for iPod

Two Bic Pens, blue

Screen protectors for Blackberry and….

Car keys!

My question to you dear reader, other than the three pairs of sunglasses, am I carrying too much "stuff"?

Chargers and Cables and Cords, Oh My!

My bedroom is home to a cornucopia of cords!

On the floor underneath my side of the bed, I have power cords for :

battery charger
iPod charger
alarm clock
cordless phone
two cell phone chargers(one work & one personal)
a Bluetooth headset charger
(which I vowed to never use! Are you like me and stare in astonishment at people talking to themselves only to discover that they are using those things in their ear? They're walking around like they are Special Service. Worse yet, there are those times when I honestly thought strangers were talking to me and I would quizzically stare at them when they asked me "what I wanted for dinner?" The reason I HAD to have one is that I was tired of rooting around my purse looking for a ringing cell phone. Nine times out of ten, I’d find the phone only AFTER tampons dropped out of my purse and AFTER the phone stopped ringing. Argh! But I digress…

As if cords aren’t enough, I have cables coming out the wazoo!

I have cables for:

my Blackberry and my laptop so that they can “communicate” with each other. I amuse myself with the conversation they might have:

Laptop: “She spent a lot of money earlier this year on me and now I’m outdated.

Blackberry: “She got me right after Christmas and I’m outdated, too!”

(and they'd vibrate and blink in an electronic-giggle frenzy!)

On the other side of the bed, I have a desktop computer, printer, router, and another crucial piece of computer equipment (the name escapes me at the moment) and each of those items has cables AND cords. Now before anyone mentions the danger of having too many things plugged into too many extension cords, I had that fear as well and I am NOT ashamed to admit that I had an electrician come to my home and now I have three six-panel outlets.

Every cord is neatly wrapped, velcro’d or taped with others and hidden behind my behemoth computer station and the others have taken up residence with the dust bunnies under my bed. Everything works out just fine…..Until I need to unplug and remove ONE cord. It’s usually a series of hits and misses which quite often results in my alarm clock flashing 12:00!


Tangled in Technology

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Who Needs Opposable Thumbs?

We store the cat treats in a wicker basket on top of the fridge. Ollie decided to OPEN a brand new package and have a feast at 5:30 this morning. As you can see, his lack of opposable thumbs did not hinder his ability to open the package.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Where Oh Where Can My Ollie Be?

Oh Where O Where Can He Be?

I guess he thinks if he can't see me, I can't see him? However, he forgot to hide one de-"tail". Click on the photo to see how fantastic his tail is!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I was too lazy to "do my hair" today so I just blow dried it. Does this "style" just scream "Kristy McNichol - circa 1977"?

Other than the ....wrinkles, ....dark circles, ....gray hair, and the ....extra weight, I pretty much look like I did at 15 years old.

My Thoughts on Section 102, Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

I don't know much about this new policy but the little that I have read is quite disconcerting. This new policy isn't just about requiring large manufacturers of children's toys to conducting testing for lead and other harmful chemicals. As I understand it, EVERY manufacturer whether large or small (and yes, "crafters" who create one-of-a-kind items are considered to be manufacturers) who makes an item that is intentionally made for OR which might inevitably come into contact with, a child 12 years of age or under, will be required to conduct testing of each and every single component of which their items are comprised. In an effort to protect myself, I have put disclaimers in my listings that my items are NOT intended for children age 12 or younger. Will this protect me? I'm not sure.

It might be a bit of a bother for larger manufacturers but they will comply and we, as consumers, will bear the costs of this testing by price increases from the manufacturer. For the small business owner, it's a catastrophic. A small seller cannot afford to do this kind of testing - both financially and time-wise, it's virtually impossible.

So much for "One of a Kind", eh?

Strawberry Jam

After crossing the bridge to get into Strawberry, CA, we saw this unfortunate accident:

The vehicle's occupants were fine and made it out of the SUV unscathed. At this point we decided to pull over at the town's ONLY market and purchased snow chains for $119.99!

Breakdown of expenses so far:

  • Oil Change (hubby said we HAD to do this for a "long" trip) 50.00
  • Snow bib/boot rental 40.00
  • One night room rental Strawberry Inn 140.00
  • Tire Chains, gloves for all three of us 200.00
At this point, we had spent $430 and had yet to touch any snow!

Thirty minutes after what equated to struggling to put chains on the car (hubby had to have custom tires!), we pulled into the snow park.

Admission to Leland snow park - $30/each. Add that to the above cost and we are now at $520 still without touching a drop of snow. Factor in gas and food and we hit about $600 BEFORE we touched a drop of snow.

That cost is kinda hard to swallow, isn't it? Now about the snow park itself. It's a got a nice option where you spend an extra $10 per person (!!) and you get towed up the hill by a simple pulley system. Once you get to the top of the hill, you have to wait in a L-O-N-G line (see above) to get the opportunity to slide down the hill. The ride itself is short, a "little" bit of fun but on the way down, you are CONTINUALLY being yelled at by very questionable looking staff to "USE YOUR FEET". You are required to dig your heels in about half way down in order to slow yourself down.

On the way down, I USED MY FEET so much, that my feet came out of my shoes!

My daughter loved it. She has pleaded with me not to post any pictures of her on the internet anymore and in keeping my word to her, you'll have to take my word how cute she looked with snow in her hair and rosy cheeks.

After 4 or five runs, hubby provided his commentary on the park:

It seems that he too, slid out of his shoes. Plus for us "old, overweight folks", the altitude can really mess with you. Both of us had tight chests and tired easier.

Our daughter continued to tube without her folks. We both planted ourselves in our tubes in the snow and "people-watched".

There was a guy there who had the tightest bibs on ever. Even though I was only able to capture a profile shot, believe me when I tell you that from a front view, one was able to see "the whole shebang". Gross! He does have a face but I decided to anonymize him in order to protect myself from a libel lawsuit his privacy.

I'll finish this post later today as hubby's pancakes are ready! Yum!

I'm back to finish the post and suffice to say, I just don't want to. In a nutshell:
  • I don't like snow
  • I don't like high altitudes
  • It's expensive to go to the snow
  • Snow park employees are .....freaky
  • I'm glad to be home!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Many Facets of Crafting

As a crafter, not only do we make our items, we must handle web design (including pesky HTML and now CSS!), photo editing, marketing and networking, sales, accounting, purchasing supplies and most important, finding suitable venues for our items. Don't even get me started on advertising!

I've come to realize that this is a lot of work! 2008 was a great year for Fioresi Designs with respect to sales. It was so busy that in October, we kicked off our work boots, put our tootsies up on the table and took a break for the last two months of the year.

Now it's time to get back to work! I've designed and sold six sets of my "In Full Bloom" greeting cards to aB & M store on the San Francisco Peninsula. These cards were actually designed as thank you cards for our customers. Turns out our customers wanted to know where to purchase these cards. Talk about serendipity!

Tomorrow we are off to the snow for the weekend. Hope it's not TOO cold!