On Saturday, I planned a trip to the post office to mail my ballot. I thought Dave would enjoy a trip out too so I suggested he come with me and we could stop for coffee. As we sat outside, (across the street from the pick up window of the coffee shop), Dave said he had heard Barnes Noble was open. Did I want to see if it was empty enough to feel okay to go in and browse? I dithered.
there would be people…
I don’t know if..but then…
We went. Masked of course.
The parking lot was almost empty. We looked in. The store had been reorganized and the layout was far more inviting…more spacious in feel, while at the same time, more intimate. It was very nearly empty.
I spent the next giddy hour ducking and weaving among fellow patrons whilst selecting/rejecting/clutching books. Books that had not been preread by strangers nor purchased online, but fresh new books. Just for me!
After stalking the mystery section a time or two – along with a brief foray into fiction, (election season in a pandemic has quenched any thirst I might have had for both horror and nonfiction), I realized I was carrying the equivalent of my bimonthly grocery budget. Several deep cleansing breaths later, I narrowed my final selection to a far more reasonable number and almost – but not quite – skipped to the car. To round out the day, we had pizza for supper. Yay!
(a brief aside….Massey’s Pizza is the best! Being gluten free takes a lot of yum out of pizza for me – but Massey’s has a cauliflower crust that is great!)
And Sunday. Well nothing much done…. but watching NOVA and reading. But still pretty darn great.
These past few months have been more than a bit trying for me. So trying that the pandemic is suddenly far less scary. Well.
I’ve been coping with little escapism. Sitting quietly with a lovely little cozy murder…with The Golden Girls playing in the background. My latest favorite cozy series is Kerry Greenwood’s Miss Fisher murders. Aahhhh…. For a couple of hours, disappear completely into the wonderful fictionalized world of Australia’s late 1920’s. Phryne Fisher is smart, sophisticated, stylish, and Uncle Scrooge McDuck wealthy. The stories are fun, the characters enjoyable, an overall mood lifter. But sooner or later, a person has to snap back to the here and now.
What snapped me back was a gift of a book. One of my Dad’s books. Dad enjoyed his mysteries – humorous, historic, gritty – all except cozy. I opened My Soul to Take by Yrsa Sigudardottir (the second in her series with attorney Thora Gudmundsdottir). This book is enveloping, gritty, and intelligent. While there are Agatha Christie worthy twists, she adds a bit of interpersonal humor – along with the gruesome murders. The characters have depth and substance. I also enjoy the taste of Icelandic history and description of the amazing landscape. I think I’ll have to ask Mom if any more of Yrsa Sigudardottir are lurking in her house.
so. It seems my grace period of floaty escapism is closed. Well – nothing wrong with the occasional tv rerun and Miss Fisher book as long as it is accompanied with a bit of grit.
I always seem to be altering something in my life.
Jobs for one. I was once the corporate employee. For quite awhile. Then not.
I’ve done retail. Part time because I really don’t think I could ever handle a full time retail job.
Then of course there are the “self improvement” moments. Scrupulous about taking my vitamins and sticking to WW. (Closely followed by mouthfuls of ice cream eaten out of the pint container.)
I could go on, but the point today is to say: No matter what, I always return to clay. And that is sort of changing too. Or perhaps evolving.
When I started, I made rather small and intricate pieces. I still do technique driven pieces such as:
Minimal and asymmetrical. Yep. That is definitely what I am gravitating towards these days. Perhaps that means I’m streamlining? I don’t know. I do know I am really enjoying this current tangent. I think it will be fun to see where it goes – and how it changes.
I’ve heard a horrible rumor…okay a fact. It is nearly the end of October! What Have I Been Doing? Swell question. I’ve been tending my dear shop. Dave (husband) and I went on a fantastic vacation to Canada. (Bought too much stuff.). Doted on our already much loved dachshund girls. Swore to lose 30 pounds (again! One of these days I actually will). Made jewelry to put in my aforementioned shop. Most recently, I restarted my Etsy shop. I’ve just started adding some of my newest items. Here’s one I want to show you:
Last month something unexpected and marvelous happened.
I opened my very own shop – Valerie Cheski/ Polymer Clay. Well, actually I never started out with that intention.
Here’s what happened…..
In early August, I was accepted as a vender at a 9 day arts/crafts event at my very favorite, very local, shopping mall, The Shops at Worthington Place. The participants were allowed to set up in empty store fronts. (A brief aside….The Shops at Worthington Place has suffered the same fate as so many of this country’s malls – shops have disappeared/closed due to the cumulation of so many factors. This is a lovely and well maintained mall…just with a few empty stores.). To my absolute delight, I was allowed to set up in a gorgeous formerly mega-expensive jewelry store. (I mean the cases all lock and everything!). I settled in – obviously not nearly filling the place but nicely spread out – and worked silly long 10 hour days. Toward the end of this time, mall management approached us with an opportunity: Stay to the end of the year. The mall will be full thru the holidays and we have the chance – short term – of having our own store(s)! The one caveat: fill these shops up! Um. Well. Some arts/crafts people had teamed up so for them, with a little hustle, they could present a bursting place. Me? I had always been on my own and this was a jewelry shop so….. hey! It hit me like a thunderbolt. I could indeed produce More jewelry and bowls, but what if I brought in …Books! Bright and beautiful, (and a dandy way to pass the time), I could fill in space and bring back usedPreread Collectible Book shopping!
And so it happened! Welcome to my artisan jewelry and collectible book store! If you are anywhere near Worthington OH., please stop by!