Friday, September 29, 2006

a rose by any other...yadda yadda...

i ordered lunch for a meeting today. when the food was delivered, on the receipt in the "ordered by" section appeared my new name -- heidi lawless. made me wish my middle name was "bad ass."

have you ever?

called in sick to work to...

***finish a book you're engrossed in

***knit all day in bed

***watch movies in your pajamas

***clean the house

***write a poem

***work in the garden

***address your christmas cards

***bake cookies

well, i have...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

more deep thoughts...

i've been thinking more about the nature of creativity and how the act of creating fills each of us up differently.

for many years i created many things with no intended end-user or recipient. it was the simple act of turning something out that made me feel better. then i began to produce far more than either i or any of my friends, family, or acquaintances could possibly use and to continue in the production of miscellany was bordering on the absurd.

the thought of selling my wares was alternately terrifying and exhilarating. my first foray was trying to sell no less than 20 pairs of embellished sunglasses at a garage sale (looking back on that now, that was so obviously NOT the venue to sell such eclectic items), and was disappointed that i didn't net a profit. it put me off retailing artwork for quite a while.

but in the past five years i've stuck my toe into the cold, invigorating pool of commerce and found it to be both rewarding and daunting. the jury process for high-end craft/art shows can be dreadful. and the thought of doing a kountry kraft show alongside tupperware and window replacement salesmen is a bit sad (i'm not making a judgment about either of those products, i just don't think they have a place in a true "art/craft" show...don't even get me started on the unpleasant presence of the corporate sponsored hucksters at the clayton art fair this year...appalling!). but that being said, i, for the most part, enjoy success when i am fortunate enough to experience it and crestfallen when my coffers remain empty. i'm human. i like to receive positive feedback and when i'm participating in an art show that means people buy my stuff...elegant, simple philosophy.

so after i posted the pics i submitted to the rock and roll craft show, i dithered. were those images really representative of my offerings? would the jury "get" me? what are my chances among younger, hipper artists? as i wrote yesterday, the inner critic is quite a force to be reckoned with.

so i sat with my questions for twenty four hours. i spoke to becky about how i felt. i lay awake in bed last night and reflected. and this morning i came to the conclusion that it is NOT the acceptance that fills me with energy. it continues to be the act of creating that feeds the desire to create. when my tables lay untouched for too long, it is more difficult to jumpstart the engine, so the key is to keep creating. good...bad...spectacular...useful...imaginative stuff. anything, but keep going and moving forward.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

deep in thought...

new felted purse...don't i look pensive?

you may recall that last year i put on this. it was oodles of fun and successful (as far as first shows go) but it wasn't my thing. thanks to those of you who've inquired and accepted my lame excuses for not organizing it again, but it really took it out of me and this year i'm just not up to the task.

i think i'll leave the production of eclectic craft shows to the experts. that is why i decided to apply for this. i've chosen to focus my creative work on my re-purposed sweaters and these are the pics i sent in with my application. please feel free to tell me how much you love all of these and my lagging self-esteem will be appropriately propped up. the voice of the inner critic is never quite as loud as when we put ourselves out there to be judged. the voice is almost strong enough to talk one out of applying to exhibit one's work at all, much less SELL it, but common sense prevailed and i e-mailed my application this morning.

tissue holders....lots of tissue holders!

flower pins...glorious in the twilight.

Monday, September 25, 2006

worthy cause...send your art!

i've sent off an item to be auctioned off in support of this worthy cause, a place to bark. please click to see more information and to find out where to send your contributions {hint hint}.

monday is multi media day...

look what arrived via post today!

my favorite (i'm not kidding) 1965 classic...

and the 2006 masterpiece (with featured extra, kelly wallace)!

today was a stellar day for the media collection of our household.

Friday, September 22, 2006

10 things i'm thinking about...

1. should i start selling things i've accumulated in my basement on eBay? (back issues of the studio? rubber stamps? vintage aprons? vintage dresses?)

2. could the proceeds from #1 finance a christmas vacation?

3. where can i buy brachs pick-a-mix now? they don't sell it at any of the grocery stores anymore. i need some of those chocolate, vanilla, strawberry coconut striped neopolitan

4. are skinny jeans really back to stay? if so, how long is appropriate to hang on to my bootcut jeans?

5. are my low-rise bootcut jeans now considered "mom jeans"?

6. eek...i hate to think of all the bootcut pants i should pack away.

7. i'm lucky i don't have any hips, because skinny jeans do not flatter the big-hipped girl.

8. too bad crew neck tops aren't in style tiny chested-ness really rocks a semi-fitted crew neck long sleeve tee.

9. we can't have everything we wish for.

10. i really need a mani/pedi...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

miss vail doesn't live here anymore...

my college alma mater keeps sending me mail addressed with my maiden name. it's difficult to describe the jarring effect it has on me each and every time i receive a piece of mail addressed to "miss heidi vail." i stand at the dining room table, blink as though to clear my vision and shake my head from side to side.

i have been "ms. heidi wallace" longer than i have been any other name, so seeing this page from my history, actually holding it in my hands, has a weird way of goofing me up. it's not dissimilar to the way i feel when i look at my high school yearbook, emblazoned in gold leaf with "heidi vail" at the bottom of the cover; or peering inside my high school ring where my signature is engraved. that person is part of me, but not me. it's as though i'm looking at an artifact from someone else's existence--someone i know very well, but am distanced from now.

i suppose men (and women who don't change their names when they marry) don't have this experience...they are the name they're born with forever, amen.

actually, the day i married and changed my name helped my 21 year old mind move into the next phase of my life. it helped me underline the person i was becoming, to denote to my family, my friends and the world at large that i was evolving and growing up. it was important to kelly, too, that i take his last name, because for him, i think, it meant that we were building something together, on the same foundation that was all ours. and as our family grew, it was comforting that we all had the same last name.

hear that world? we are the wallaces.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

kick ball change...

my younger sister was the talented child in our family. she could sing, she could tap, she could dance on point at six. but when i was about ten, in an effort to help me break out of my considerably thick shell, my mother signed she and i up for disco lessons at my sister's dance studio. (honestly, my sister was still too young to qualify for the lessons, so my mother had no choice but to partner with me...but i digress).

i really didn't want to learn how to dance, but on our sunday night long-distance phone call from st. louis, my grandmother implored me to take the lessons. "girls who don't dance aren't popular," she warned. she was the voice of experience. too often she was the gal who watched the purses at the table. and although my gram was the beauty, it was the 1940's and if you didn't dance you could forget about seriously socializing. the 1970's were promising to elevate dancing to the same level, so i heeded her warning and went to the class.

my dad was not at all interested in learning the hustle or babysitting my sister, so on tuesday night my mom, sister and i drove to the class. the attendees included fifteen middle-aged women, my mom (then in her late 20's) and me. oh, yea, and the instructor? he was a foxy 25 year old named scott who was trying very hard to be john travolta, right down to sporting the tightest polyester dance pants i had ever seen painted on a man.

the other ladies in the class were jockeying for a spot close to scott and i was hugging the bench near the wall. of course, just as in math class, when the teacher calls on you when you don't know the answer, scott came right up to me and asked me to demo the move he had just shown the class. palms sweating, face bright red, i took his outstretched hand and followed him to the center of the mirrored wall room, into the middle of the circle the ladies had formed. my sister hit "play" on the cassette deck and i froze. scott attempted to twirl me and my knees twisted in place. i remember actually stepping on his feet, which felt tiny under mine (even then i wore a ladies size 10 shoe). mortified, embarrassed, and defeated, i retreated to my spot on the bench.

my sister, though, had already learned the routine just by watching it one time. scott asked her to demo the moves and she gladly took the floor with him. it was incongruous and lovely the way this man twirled and spun and rocked the dance floor with my graceful 8 year old sister. from that point on, when scott wanted to show the class a new move, he took my sister as his partner. at least, that is what my mother told me, because after the first class, i didn't go back. the next week i stayed home with my dad and watched "happy days" or read or listened to my transistor radio from under my pillow.

i didn't dance again...all through high school and up until to college (when i learned how to move my booty to funk and ska).

kelly and i like to dance. we're not really good, but we do have a few signature moves that we can really show-off. we don't do any actual dances outside of the waltz and the polka, but at any given time we are the couple having the most fun. and more than actually dancing, i love to watch really good dancers do their thing. the ballroom contests on PBS? i'm wow-ed by them. the movie, "mad hot ballroom" moved me to tears and kept me on the edge of my seat. my ophthalmologist and his wife are world class ballroom champs and each year at my exam we spend a good portion of my appointment talking dance. our good friends, katherine and michael, met at tango lessons and are the smoothest dancers i know.

so last year when dancing with the stars premiered i thought i'd give it a shot. i thought it too gimmick-y, but i mean it was the middle of summer and what else was on tv? after the first episode with the live music and the crazy judges and the outrageous costumes, i was hooked. i was in love with the idea that people who had never before danced could learn to latin and ballroom dance. the idea is pure genius. on any given week, there's the possibility you might see someone who is horrible (hello, master p? i'm talking about you!). or you might see a blast from your past who is fantastic ...joey "whoa" lawrence, you rock! and don't forget "saved by the bell"'s mario lopez?

the thrill of watching these amateur dancers compete, moves me to reconsider my moratorium on dance lessons. if jerry springer can foxtrot (however, poorly) surely i can master a simple samba!

i wonder if scott is in the book?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

party animal...

the following list is what apparently constitutes "wild celebration" when you are a 41 year old cancer-free office worker that has an afternoon off:

***3-side lunch special at boston market
***target run for coffee pods and razors
***walgreens run for peanut butter kisses (aka, mary janes)
***shop n save run for low fat cottage cheese and fat free half & half
***couching it with the new issuses of real simple and domino
***oprah...i know, i'm still watching her and i need to stop. yesterday's episode was especially moronic! gayle and oprah on a road trip where they want to be treated like real people, but really long to be treated like celebrities and then complain when people treat them both like real people and celebrities. what?

rousing good time, huh? no champagne was consumed, but the nap was invigorating. it shored up my strength for a long night of tv watching., love, love "studio 60." i {heart} matthew perry all grown up.

it seems that worrying needlessly about one's health can really take it out of a girl!

Monday, September 18, 2006


if you're a long-time reader, you already know that in december of 2004 a te-niny little bit of colon cancer was discovered when i underwent an emergency colon-resection/appendectomy. even though i was fortunate enough to not have to undergo radiation or chemotherapy (the cancer was in the very earliest stages), i do now have have a five-year oncology treatment plan replete with colonoscopies, ct scans, blood work and doctors' visits.

last tuesday i had my ct scan and although the logical part of my brain knows that there is nothing wrong (my type of colon cancer hardly ever recurs), the emotional side of my brain often works itself into a tizzy until i get the results from my oncologist. today, a full six days after my ct scan, was my doctor's appointment. my doctor is a gentle, soft-spoken woman who is quick to smile and has an easy way about her. even when my stomach is in knots, she calms me. today as soon as she had shaken my hand and greeted kelly she said, "the ct results look great!" after that statement, she could have said that little green men from mars had just overtaken the white house and i wouldn't have batted an eyelash. all i heard was the good news. it was such a relief after the emotional state i had fluffed up in myself this weekend.

even more good news...i don't have to go back to the oncologist for an entire year and i don't have to have another colonoscopy until late 2007. although i am a fervent believer in the power of the colonoscopy (have you had your's?) i can honestly say i don't look forward to that test.

i think i may take the afternoon off to celebrate! champagne, anyone?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

pizza, anyone?

this boy makes the most delicious sausage and mushroom st. louis style pizza in the world. i think i'm a bit partial though.
congrats on your first job, nathaniel! you're doing great!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

it's a hat!

my first hat!

i love the way the decreases look across the crown.

i finished last night just before midnight. i'm ready to make some more!

Friday, September 15, 2006

fabulous, simply fabulous...

i had a wonderful birthday. it was the height of understated elegant celebration.

that is, until i performed my birthday ritual of doing a cartwheel and a round-off in the front yard!

those acrobatic feats are a true expression of the joy i feel that i am here for another year. when i can no longer run across the grass, barefooted and wild, throw my hands to the ground and reach my legs toward the sunset sky, please put a tag on my toe and bury me. i hope sincerely to do a cartwheel or a round-off until i'm 106 years old. of course, this plan may be altered to completing a modified somersault, but still the intention will be true celebration. we have so few chances to celebrate fully in this life, i want to avail myself of all of the opportunities afforded me.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

41-derful years...

at knitting last night becky surprised me with this...

can you believe that bag? those cupcake cards? the denyse schmidt cards too AND a pretty pin!

and lesley gave me all this...

look at those bird images! to. die. for! all in a mini-nest i love, love, love!

and then this morning there were these from kelly...

i must have balloons on my birthday--they're a requirement!

when i got to work i found this...

(btw...i'm 41, people, NOT 48...let's not get ahead of ourselves, okay?)

...and these from shelbie...

i think it's going to be a very good day...make that a very good year!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


this is my 200th post since i began blogging on july 1, 2005. that means i've posted an entry 46% of the days i could have (granted some of the days i posted twice, but, hey, this is not an exact science!). i hope to bring my percentage up in the next 100 a baseball player in september hoping to get their numbers up before contract negotiations begin post-world series.

but you don't really care about my numbers, do you?

instead, i offer this...

victoria's secret is a lie...there is nothing secret about that store or it's marketing. they have an "in your face" style that doesn't leave anything to the imagination, except the burning question of why they hire the clerks they do?

many moons ago, i was a much stouter woman. during that time in my life, i tried to buy a bra there, you know, to help me feel sexier at a time when i was not feeling particularly sexy. i was told that their sizes weren't made for women of my stature. perhaps i should try lane bryant. thanks for that suggestion and oh, by the way, ouch, you hurt my feelings. and also, way to make me feel very not sexy, ladies.

flash forward a number of years to the present day...

over the weekend i trotted my not so portly bod into victoria's secret to get my free pair of undies and to use my birthday $10 off any purchase coupon. the salesclerk advised me that i could also get $10 off any bra. so i thought i'd give it a try. (you can see where this is going, can't you, dear reader?) although i could now find a bra that would fit around me (i feel compelled to mention, that it is the second to the smallest size they carry) but, victoria's secret does not make anything in my particular teeny tiny cup size. what was even more upsetting was the fact that the clerk drew attention to my odd breast shape in front of no less than 3 other customers asking me if i knew the bra cup gapped at the top. what happended to the "secret" part of the equation, girlie? i left empty-handed and humiliated.

on my to-do list this week...go to nordstrom and get a proper bra fitting by a properly discreet and well-trained bra specialist and call victoria's secret and cancel my credit card.

Monday, September 11, 2006

i went to two art shows this weekend...

and all i took was this one silly picture...

it's a walking frozen custard cone, people! look on with amazement!

Friday, September 08, 2006

what did you just say?

"they are pretty smart for people who've never earned their college degree."

yes, that is what someone said to me the other day. i suppose for a moment this person (who has known me personally for no less than 2 years) had conveniently forgotten that i, too, do not have a degree...or maybe she didn't have a complete lack of recall and was making a thinly veiled value judgment.

that exchange made me feel almost as good as the person who had the cajones to say to kelly, "i didn't know poor people could be smart."

at those moments i wish i was more eloquent and able to retort with something so clever and spot-on that the other person was left reeling from my insight into their soul.

perhaps i could...if only i wasn't so poverty-stricken and uneducated.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

zip your lip...

i have sewn in many a zipper in my day and let me tell you, there is no love lost between the zipper and i. and now i know that i must take all the blame for our loveless relationship, because (and this is difficult to admit) after 35 years of sewing (yes, i have been sewing on a machine since i was 5!) i have used the zipper foot incorrectly. each. and. every. time.

maybe it's a rare strain of dyslexia that only affects one's ability to operate household machinery or perhaps the original instructions on how to use the zipper foot were unclear (my grammie is left-handed, after all, and there could have been something lost in the left-to-right-handed-ness translation). all i know is this...i cannot wait to go home and sew in a zipper! i'm thinking this would be a great way to start. also pictures here of a project the tutorial inspired.

scent of summer...

standing at my grandma's kitchen sink yesterday afternoon i was transported back in time by 30 years...washing my hands with a slippery bar of cashmere bouquet soap was my time machine. that scent will always remind me of summer vacations spent with my grandparents-- long hot baths in a claw foot tub followed by baby powder to sooth sunburnt skin and numerous mosquito bites.

if only baby powder comforted more that irritated skin.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

flea market gold...

all because angelica posted on her blog about a local flea market, kelly and i went this morning. lo and behold i found this 1965 saks fifth avenue enid collins box purse, money tree ii, for $20!!! it made my week, my month and, quite possibly, my entire year. crazy part about it is that we drove 40 minutes to this flea market and ended up purchasing this purse from nathaniel's old baseball coach who lives a 10 minute walk from my house. thank you, mike and angelica!

updated 9/4/06: the flea market is in wentzville...only on sundays. click here for more info. (you'll have to scroll down as the flea markets are listed in alphabetical order.)

Friday, September 01, 2006

some new...

it was about time i updated my links, so i did.

i've also added a section entitled "what i'm reading." i so love the way the same section looks on typepad blogs. my invention is quite inelegant, as i am not proficient at html. it is hit or miss until the code i type in finally does what i want it to do and then i have to try to figure out how i did it. i'm sure there are loads of websites that would help me figure out html code, but that is for another day.

i hope to update my links on a monthly basis, so if you have a site that you think i'd lerve, please let me know, i'll check them out and perhaps add them next month. the "what i'm reading" section will be updated a bit more frequently, so check back often for updates. when i master the html, i hope to add some music stuff too. what will probably end up happening is that i will deduce that trying to figure out how to program my blog to look like a typepad blog would just be easier if i spent the 8 bucks a month to actually HAVE a typepad blog.

ahhhh, september...

this is it folks, the beginning of autumn. my absolutely favorite time of year. november gives me the shivering shakes 'cause i love it so much. the wet windy rainy days with blankets of gray clouds overhead....mmm...yummy! not to mention those crystal days of late october, the sun poised nearer the horizon and making long shadows all day long. enchanting.

the rain in march and april just seems so interminable. and depressing. and muddy. and pointless. at least in the autumn there is the hope of snow (equally yummy). spring is too changeable, unpredictable, temperamental.

summer rain, unless it is a downpour replete with a lightning storm, is a real downer. in my humble opinion, summer should be sunny from june 21 through september 21 and there should only be rain or humidity while i'm asleep. okay? hear that nature gods? get on that, would ya?

so this weekend sounds like it should be a delectable blend of coolish nights (perfect open window sleeping), and not too hot days (upper 70's). makes me want to repaint the entire house, clean the basement, organize my bookshelves, make some fab craft item, eat outside near a lake and garden...all at the same time.

what will probably end up happening is that i will knit on the purple monstrosity and read my fall vogue from cover to cover...that is just as good.