Friday, November 30, 2012

things are happening quickly

Hiya everybody!
Are you wondering when the Etsy update scheduled for today is gonna happen?
It isn't.
But why, Niki? you ask, knowing that i've already taken all the pictures and have had ample time to edit them. Haven't you written the descriptions?
Why yes, yes i have. In fact, I could easily make the 8pm update deadline i gave myself.
But i'm not gonna do it.
I need the stock.
Because i am moving into a physical location ON WEDNESDAY!
It all came together in about an hour this morning.
I am going to share part of my friend Michelle's booth at a big antique mall in historic Ellicott City.
This weekend needs to be devoted to turning this:

pieces, parts of a broken laundry rack

into a usable display for the cool earring cards i am making from counter samples.
And of course i need to make the aforementioned earring cards.
And more stock for the show next weekend in Relay.

I just got home from measuring and planning and display brainstorming to find a little box waiting for me from Kaaren that contained:

Yes, it is a NikCo unicorn stamp. In fact that would be a Russian Unicorn in honor of my favorite Bad Lip Reading song. Yes, it is in the same font as my logo. You know, because she CARVED it for me. Think about that for a moment. if only i had a physical location that needed me to make price tags and wee signs where i could use my custom, hand made NikCo unicorn sign - OH WAIT, i do.
Thank you so, so ,so much Kaaren for believing in me and for using your amazing talent to support me. I couldn't love my stamp more if i tried.

So much to do and so much excitement and so much emotion and so much adrenaline; i feel like an overstimulated toddler.
I'm gonna go take a nap.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

today's haiku brough to you by Picasa

Click, click, crop, crop, crop,
another batch of shop pics
has to be resized.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

gosh i love music

Mayhaps you've heard that i have an affinity for music and many of you know that since starting my life of  self-employment i've developed a bit of a youTube problem.
I have tried so hard not to send a jillion video links to people or put them up here, but i've just seen a song that is too fabulous for a music lover like me to not share. It is the Axis of Awesome performing pieces of 40 songs based on the same four chords and it is frankly amazing:
[be warned if you are at work or hanging with kids, they do drop the f-bomb once at 5:21]
Even more scary than the commonality of the songs involved is the commonality of how many of them i own in one musical form or another. (and the fact that i recognize all of the video references as well)

i do appreciate the effort

So lost. So very lost.
Nice pharmacist drew a map...
Well, that clears it up.

Monday, November 26, 2012

i am a hard a**

One of the last things Erin said to me,
 as she turned over the keys to her zoo was,

What does she think i am? Some kind of soft-hearted pushover?

but there's no problem staying warm

Dog, cat, dog, cat, me:
even in a king-sized bed,
it's kinda crowded.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


This Thanksgiving I finally, finally got to see  a turkey deep frying.
I've eaten deep fried turkey several times, but have never been present for the cooking.
Timmy and Phil
When Ron and I arrived at his brother Phil's house i was delighted to find not one but two turkey fryers in front of the house. With at least 16 people coming for dinner, Phil and Danielle decided to cook four smaller turkeys instead of two large ones, hence the double fryer action.

After the oil was at the right temperature, Phil and his son Josh (a firefighter who had already pointed out the location of all the fire extinguishers) used what appeared to be an extendable paint roller handle to lower the marinated toms into the pots.
What say we use something from the garage to stand as far away as possible?
Did you know it only takes about 4 minutes per pound to deep fry a turkey? From marinating to the table it only took an hour. Including the post cooking rest period.

That's crazy.

And delicious.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Blessings and gratitude from my home to yours!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

For Lydia

Homemade butterscotch
makes delightful crepes; CAUTION:
Hotter than lava.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

chasing the sun

To finish the shop update for tomorrow I needed to take some pictures today so i prepped my highly professional setup in the front yard: floral velour folding chair from before i was born, mini camp table, neutral fabric, several glasses to hold bracelets, some random items to give size perspective (these pine cones are all over the yard) and a big candle holder to help with necklaces since my schedule, Amy's schedule and daylight have not matched up lately and the dress form experiment was an epic failure.
I shouldn't make fun of my little setup because as cobbled together as it is, I have been really happy with the pictures i've been getting for my shop; every picture currently on my Etsy page is straight out of camera except for being cropped square.
Also, i brought out all of my current stock that hasn't been photographed yet so that i could change my mind and add something to the update in case the shoot went really well.
And sunblock. This sunblock lives in my photoshoot box so if the lighting is suddenly perfect i don't have to lose anytime and i don't get burnt either.

This was all the more critical today as the sky was right on the line between partially cloudy and partially sunny.
mayhaps this is what they call broken cloud cover?
Luckily the clouds were moving pretty quickly so i didn't have to wait too long between cloud covers; of course the bursts of full sun were correspondingly brief.
To utilize the lighting as well as possible i worked a bit differently by actually staging several pieces at once during the cloudy moments so that as soon as the sun came out i could shoot multiple pieces by simply moving the table. It was a lot quicker to pick up the table and turn it so that the sun was falling on each item in turn than to completely stage one piece after another. With some forethought about which things could use different bases i was able to get more accomplished in a shorter time.
In fact it was working so well that during a particularly large cloud cover i tried to figure out a way to stage multiple earrings at once.  I only have the one wrapped holder so looking around the yard i decided to try using a tree.
The naturally broken bark of this species of tree (no, i have no idea what it is; something in the elm family?) presented plenty of places to hang earrings;
i just had to find enough of the correct shapes for multiple pairs on the sun-side of the tree.

It was right after taking this picture, during my happy dance celebrating my brilliance that i realized that i'd been shooting in VGA instead of 5M for the previous 30 minutes.
That means that all the planning might well have been for naught if the pictures are too small for the cropping process to show enough detail.
sigh... oh so not brilliance.
The only thing to do at that point was abandon the shoot and come inside to start editing to see what would need to be reshot before the light was totally gone.
And have a shot of tequila.
The good news is that it looks like i can salvage parts of the little pics and will only have to do some detail shots on 2 items and fully reshoot 3 items. The bad news is that it is now completely cloudy. But with everything else done for the update i can get up early, do the retakes in 15 or 20 minutes and have them cropped and uploaded before going to fTM Erin's house to babysit her adorable boys in the morning.
Plus, i had time to do this blog post, which i wasn't planning on doing until tomorrow afternoon so i guess it all worked out in the end.
Then again, doesn't it always?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

rose loaf

Part of The Plan is to spend a portion of my not-working-9-to-5 time trying various charities, trying to find the one(s) that fit my call to serve. In order to do that i have been branching out and meeting new people.
Thursday night i attended a recruiting meeting for Soroptomist International. I am tangentially aware of them as both the jewelry show back in February and the Flower and Craft show were sponsored by them.
It was a nice gathering of women from different backgrounds, but it was the sort of thing where you have to wear a name tag because you really only know the person who invited you.
At the end i stayed to help clean up.
While pulling tablecloths i noticed that there were flowers in the trash.
Perfectly good flowers in the trash?
It literally hurt my heart to see that.
Before i could stop myself or worry about what these women who had only known me for two hours would think, i reached in and plucked them out.
When the organizer saw that i had saved them she said, I was just gonna throw them out since they are so short [they had been arranged super cute, three to a juice glass in the middle of each table].
Oh no; i'll take them replies the girl who, like her mom, keeps cut flowers until they are falling to pieces around the vase and all of the ladies started piling the roses by my purse. In fact, one older lady smiled at me and said, i'll go find you a plastic bag. They didn't seem to think it odd that i'd gotten them out of the trash at all.
When i got them home i was in a quandary about what to do with a bag full of super short roses; there is no room in my house for a bunch of juice glasses to be sitting around. They'd just lay weird in bowls. I only own three bud vases.
I needed something that i could stand them up in and still be able to see them.
What is only a few inches tall with straight sides?

A glass bread pan!

I am so glad that i followed my ridiculous heart instead of my practical head because now i have a lovely loaf of roses on my table. in the trash... pahshaw

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

some local yumminess

A few weeks ago I tried two restaurants for the first time that are not only less than 2 miles away from my former museum, but across the street from each other; it is a wonder that somehow I’ve never been in either.

Big Matty’s Diner, at the corner of Lawrence and Fort in Locust Point, opened about a year ago after Rallo’s closed. A wonderful little traditional diner done in retro turquoise and silver, it looks like it came right out of the 50’s. [not really sure why there are no pics; I’ll have to speak sternly to my personal photographer]
The menu was exactly what you would expect with nice quality food and reasonable prices. Diane had a lunch combo of a cup of navy bean soup (she reported it was excellent), a house salad and a half sandwich of egg salad (you can choose egg, tuna or chicken salad) while I went with an egg salad sammie on toasted rye and fries with gravy.
In true diner fashion there was a mixture of regulars with folks from surrounding businesses all enjoying a laidback, friendly atmosphere. We even think that we saw Big Matty, judging by the logo, but he was behind the counter so we didn't get verification on that.
I recommend Big Matty’s if you’re ever in the neighborhood.

Caddy cornered across the street on Lawrence Ave, HarborQue was a revelation. I know that sounds corny, but when I walked in, the interior shocked me. Over the years there has been a sub shop, a pizza place and a kabob stand at this location, all with a take away counter , a few tables and a somewhat rickety deck.
The ladies who opened Harborque a few years ago totally redid the interior to create a homey family restaurant.
I had no idea this space could even look that good. Decked out for Halloween at the time, Harborque is decorated with local pictures and is also resplendant with pigs, as all good bbq places should be. It really has the feeling of a South Baltimore neighborhood place,
with plenty of sports stuff (Ravens for fall and winter; Orioles in spring and summer), including Ravens decorations specific to its decor (where do you even find a Ravens painted pig?), dog treats since people in SoBo take their dogs everywhere and coloring books to accomodate all the young families moving into the new townhouses.
Lydia and I met here for lunch before going to the new exhibit on storytelling at AVAM.

After ordering at the counter we opted to eat outside on the much-nicer-than-it-used-to-be deck.

She had the pulled pork sandwich -which pretty much has to be eaten down with a fork before you can pick it up- with moni cheese and hush puppies, while i had the smoked sausage with moni cheese and collard greens.
I've never ordered collard greens before, but everything smelled so good at this place that i decided to be adventurous. They were pretty good and a perfect platform on which to try the four different bbq sauces.

I can not recommend this place highly enough.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

yard sale blowout this weekend!

Who loves a bargain?
This weekend Object Found is taking over the grounds of the Catonsville Historical Society (on Frederick Rd, right by Rolling Rd; across from the swimclub and Candlelight Inn) to do a massive inventory sell-off. There will be bargains galore and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Historical Society.
Inside, there will also be NikCo on location.
I will be introducing some new stock, like hand painted Thanksgiving greeting cards, and featuring sale merchandise so that i too can whittle down some of my inventory.
PLUS i will have an entire table of crafting goodness at yard sale price.
 I have been cleaning out the studio, streamlining some things and have fibers, fabric, beading supplies, jewelry supplies and scrapbooking stuff priced to not come home with me.
Stop by Friday, Saturday or Sunday from 10am to 3pm.
Here's the flier:

Attention bargain hunters, yard salers, and holiday shoppers!
Objects Found
is proud to present a
Browse and Buy;
Indoor/Outdoor Yard Sale
Objects Found is stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey! Which means, it’s time for a door busting

November 9th, 10th and 11th from 10am-3pm,
at the Catonsville Historical Society,
1824 Frederick Rd Catonsville MD 21228

Rain, shine, or hurricane!

We will have refreshments, books, holiday gifts, jewelry, accessories, antiques, decorations, collectibles, art, junk, stuff, brick-a-brack, etc.

 Questions? Call Objects Found (410) 744-9000

Proceeds will go to benefit the Catonsville Historical Society as well as other local charities.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

watch out, mountain

Things are quite busy in the NikCo studio having done a show last weekend, having one this weekend (details to follow in another post), one the following weekend and needing to do a shop update in the next two weeks.
Plus i have vowed to do at least 5 blog posts a week in November to work on the backlog - yes Rea, that means i might even finish Hawaii and maybe you'll see some  Alaska.
Soooo, i looked through my commonplace book to find a quote to capture the mood around here this week and found this gem from an episode of my favorite tv show, due South, called "Pizzas and Promises":
"Cliffs are for climbing, Lenny.
That's why God gave us grappling hooks."

Thursday, November 1, 2012

craft show at the Catonsville senior center

Saturday -Nov3rd- from 10am to 3 pm I will be set up at the Catonsville Senior Center craft show.
I've have brand new stock [so new some of it isn't even finished yet] and will be selling some of the older pieces at reduced prices.
Come visit.

DIRECTIONS: Beltway exit 15 (Rt 40) towards Ellicott City; left at the light for Rolling Rd (the Double T Diner corner); left at the second light to get to the senior center.

and if this Saturday is no good for you, i will also be on location next Friday, Saturday and Sunday... details to follow