me, Mavis

I knit. I garden. I co-manage an eclectic shop. I sometimes work in real estate. I sometimes swing a hammer. I always volunteer in my community. I live in an old house with my nice family of one husband and three beastly cats. I have great friends. These are the things that matter to me, Mavis.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Rainy Day with My Main Squeeze

With the shop closed yesterday, my current real estate deal simmering along nicely, and lots of rain and chill, I settled into my favorite sweatpants and big teeshirt for some crappy daytime television and serious knitting.

Beau had other ideas for me, Mavis:

I know the focus is like looking through vaseline, but really, doesn't his Cute just overshadow all odds?

P.S. -- That crumbled blue heap in the foreground is my Yankee Knitter Aran pullover. Yes, I've been "working" on this for more than a year now, but I think I'm in the homestretch!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

"Doggie Bag" becomes a Sweet Purse

I was able to spend a little time at my sewing machine this morning in order to make up a lining for a knit project that I finished a few weeks ago. This is the inside of the bag:

The fabric is from my stash and of unknown origin ... but it's a soft flannel and cute print which I think looks very good with the yarn. Here's the outside:

The yarn is a really great beaded cotton and rayon that I bought on impulse a year or so ago.

I found the pattern by chance a while back, as a freebie by a nice blogger. It was designed as a dog poop bag (how chic!) but I thought is would make a nice small handbag. You can find the pattern here.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


We came back with a few stow-aways from our trip . . .

This little rat and 5 of his best friends have made themselves cozy in our front room among the Halloween earrings and pins.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Off on an Adventure!

It promises to be a beautiful Fall day here in my MerryLand! The DH and I will be heading out shortly for a leisurely day of adventure in one of our favorite close-by towns, Fredericksburg. We'll be looking through the shops with different eyes today ... hoping to find some new stuff for our own shop. So, I guess this isn't totally a laid-back trip; we are also hunting for the business.

Which, by the way, is really kicking my butt.

Yes, I love it ... searching out the new products ... researching the stuff we know nothing about ... finding creative display ideas ... meeting the new customers and those that haven't visited the shop for eons (or at least before we took over) and then hearing their very positive comments ... it's all good.

On the other hand ... I'm doing little else. No blogging, minimal home maintenance, barely keeping up with my family and friends.

Did I mention knitting?

Okay, I know this is typical with a new business start-up, so I will try to remain positive. I'll get those damn dust bunnies soon!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

School Daze?

They grow up so quickly don't they? Here's my darling nephew, JayBird, heading off for his first semester at Texas State University, "school supplies" in hand!

Notice also the Baltimore Orioles shirt --- I'm choosing to think of that as a SHOUT OUT to his dear ole Aunt me, Mavis.

Love you Bird --- wish you were headed up here for school.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Knitting Knews

Back in early July, I had a conversation with one of my real estate colleagues and told her about our plans for opening the new shop. She was visibly shaken that I would even consider a willing clip-of-the-wings-of-freedom and a sentence to long hours within four walls. (yes, indeed, I was sorry to have shared with her ...)

However, after seeing my stricken look, she quickly tried for the positive ...

"At least you'll get lots of knitting done!"


As you know from my last long-ago post, we are pretty darn busy. Once I get home, there's always lots of home chores which I usually ignore in favor of Wine and Couch.

Okay, it's not really all that bad, but I am decidedly NOT happily clicking through row after row. I am , however, making some progress.

I did finish a second panel of Mark's UT Afghan and sewed the two together:

It's nice and squishy with the cabling on the orange panel and the blackberry stitch on the white but I find that I'm not too comfortable with the cheap ... I mean, inexpensive, tougher-than-iron, acrylic. Maybe I'm getting somewhat fiber snobbish? HAH! Wouldn't the non-vegan knitters have a great hoot at that!

I also finally finished the first of the "Ribbed Fixation Socks" that I copied after Vegan Knitting (and then some) many months ago.

I really like the stretchy fit and the length of the leg, and most of all, that nice thick slip stitch heel.

I like it so much so that I might even eventually finish the second sock! (which I did start last night, thank you very much).

In a weird coincidence, just now Beau dug out a long-forgotten toy -- a teensy mouse knit during the last unfinished sock project. I deemed that sock pretty but not comfortable and banished it off to the great race of single socks.

You don't think my boy was making a wise-assed comment, do you?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Coming Up for Air

Hey out there in Blogland! Is anyone still reading? I was finally brought back to my senses (and my blog) with a phone message from my dear friend, GG, asking what was I up to since she couldn't find out from the blog. Ouch! This is from someone who only grudgingly acknowledges the blogosphere.

Thanks so much to all of you (especially my Vegan Knitter Sistahs) who have left me comments over the past month while I was away (but not gone) on a business-imposed hiatus. I have been able to keep a loose check on you guys from time to time, but doing my own posting just couldn't happen.

But things have started to even out ...

So here's what happened:

In early June, a property owner couple in our little MerryLand town approached us with an opportunity. They own a glorious old building that has housed antiques shops for 30 years or so and the most recent managers had suddenly and with little notice, decided to clear out. The owners also knew that we (more particularly, The DH) had an unsatisfied yearning to be a shopkeeper.

At first we said !Yes!

Then we thought of all the work ... and what would we stock? ... and how would we continue our current businesses until we get under way? ... and what if we failed and disappointed this wonderful couple who are also our dear friends?

So we said "no."

And then we started getting incredible emotional support and promises of cool stuff from our Artsy Friends. So that meant that we'd have a start on what to stock.

And we started getting excited about "playing store" so that kind of made us pooh-pooh all the worry about the amount of work to be done.

And then our dear friends, the property owners, told us again how much they wanted us to try it, and how they were sure we could make a great shop, and so forth.

So again, we says "yes!"

And then it was July 1 and we took access to the building. After 18 days of very long hours, missed meals, 29 gallons of paint inside (which we applied), over 100 gallons of paint outside (which we supervised), a few gentle arguments, more than a few headaches, etc., we officially opened our doors on Wednesday, July 19 at 11 a.m.

Here's our porch entry from the front sidewalk:

We manage the left half of a great big old building (our half: circa 1914). We also have a back entry, soon opening into a cute little coffee shop which will be owned and managed by our back-yard neighbors and pals, James and Gretchen.

We have filled 3 rooms with our stuff and consignment stuff from our artists:

Downstairs in the front ("living") room where I can look at it constantly, we have John's wonderful Raku pottery:

In the "dining room", the architectural salvage area has a wide range of stuff, from 8-foot tall full columns and tin ceiling panels:

... to ornamental doorknobs, hinges, corbels, and more:

Upstairs, the "Chimney Room" is a tucked-away, cozy space that houses a variety of things, including Harold's funky kinetic sculptures:

... and Mitzi's handpainted silk scarves, pillows, and greeting cards.

Two antiques dealers rent space upstairs, as do importers of Polish Pottery. Joanie's little "sewing room" is my favorite of the renters:

We also have original watercolors, graphite drawings, and photography (some of it computer-manipulated), and a line of gourmet jellies, jams, mustards, dressings, etc. from a local maker.

Still to come: a line of soaps and lotions (which I have almost decided on). We're happy to accept ideas on unique items, whether local to MerryLand or not. Keep it in mind!

So, this has been a big change of pace for me and the DH, but we are diggin it so far.

But, I haven't knit in weeks.

and I miss my blog too.
  • Yankee Knitter Designs "Aran Sweater" in Sirdar Supersoft Toddler Aran "Hyacinth"
  • Mark's "UT Afghan" in Red Heart Super Saver Carrot and White
  • COMPLETED! "Aran Rose" in Rowan Calmer "Powder Puff" (details in the Gallery soon!)

  • The Things I Get Into
  • Vegan Lunchbox

  • VEG WEB - YUM!
  • Customized T-Shirts at!

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    A Rainy Day with My Main Squeeze
    "Doggie Bag" becomes a Sweet Purse
    Off on an Adventure!
    School Daze?
    Knitting Knews
    Coming Up for Air
    Aran Rose is Done!

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