Archive for the 'Kerry' Category

Where you been for the last year?

Right before this time a year ago, I:

– Moved back to Massachusetts (moved away for me, moved back for love *insert heart eyes*)
– Started a Facebook page for my toys
– Transferred for work
– Found out the location I transferred to was closing down
– Accidentally stopped taking my medication and had a mild manic episode but everything is fine now

Within the last year I:

– Was laid off
– Was offered a job at Old Navy for BELOW minimum wage (more on that if you’re interested)
– Got a job at a shoe store (misery ensued)
– Left shoe store and started at a box store
– Started selling my bags in a shop
– Did an art show
– Went to Disney 
– Went to Portland, OR
– Got engaged!
– Got promoted to a better team at the box store so now I have nights and weekends off (wait, in retail? Yeah, dude!)
– Turned 29 (cannot wait to turn 30 next year)
– Started designing my own fabric
– Ate an oyster (not a fan)
– Tried Beef Tartare (10/10 would not eat again)

See you again in a year!

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2015 in Review

“AH HA HA HA HA HA!”- Me, after realizing I haven’t blogged since June. Whoops! My bad.

2015 was a crazy year! I started out working for myself and running my own small business full time. It was incredible! I worked on structuring my days, balancing blog posts with sewing projects, hunting down craft fairs to apply for, and developing and introducing new products. It was a whirlwind of learning and adventure.

Then, over the summer, several very important things happened:

1) I joined the Windsor Farmers’ Market!

2) I got a part time job! Because after 6 months of business-ing it on my own, I realized that if I still wanted to eat I would need an alternate source of income. At first I was like, “Yep. This is what failure tastes like.” But then I was like, “Ooh, caught myself in time. No shame in restructuring my life to continue doing what I love!” (Which, in case you forgot, is sewing and watching Documentaries all day.)

3) I parted ways with a boy who wasn’t right for me.

All these things paved the way for some other things that happened in the Fall:

1) I signed on for the Windsor Winter Market, and participated in Windsor’s Autumn Moon Festival and the Legion’s (/Lisa’s) annual craft fair!

2) I was offered a supervisor position at work!

3) I started dating my person. And my Mom’s, “When you know, you know,” phrase now makes sense.

I sometimes forget that things don’t just magically “work” because I try for them. And that it’s ok for me to reassess people and situations in my life and scale back from them, or let go entirely. I couldn’t float myself on my business last year, but I still more than doubled profits compared to 2014. I’m in a nurturing relationship with a guy who’s equally my partner in crime and my best friend. And while I missed a couple Farmers’ Markets due to scheduling conflicts at work, I’m finding my new balance between my “outside” work responsibilities and my “inside”/working from home responsibilities.

AND my Mom ENCOURAGED me to play with my potatoes on Christmas! “Don’t you want to make some little snowmen or something?” she said.

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(photo credit: Jordan)

Happy and healthy New Year, everyone!

Lies my Dad told me.

My Mom spent my childhood scaring me with exaggerated truths that have left me weary of any and all strangers, even now. My Dad, on the other hand, made stuff up with the hopes that I would embarrass myself later in life. Just kidding, he probably had no idea that I would think dryer sheets were called dusties until I was 19 and in the dorm laundry room.

Dusties: The thing you put in the dryer with your clothes to make them smell good. They are also used to dust your house, preferably after they have come out of the dryer. If you use them BEFORE they’ve gone through the dryer then you are being wasteful.

Durdurs: The cardboard tube your toilet paper and paper towels come wrapped around. You hold it over your mouth like a little trumpet and march around saying, “Dur dur dur dur dur!”

Adults aren’t ticklish after 5 pm: We could never tickle Dad because he always got home from work too late. And we would forget on weekends, because kids have short attention spans so will 1) forget to try to tickle Dad on the weekends and 2) give up after 5 seconds of trying to tickle him. I still don’t know if he is ticklish or not.

He liked mustard in his cereal: We had these fruit bowls when we were growing up (now I have them in my cabinets) and my Dad always grabbed the one with a pear painted on the bottom. He would quickly swish his milk and cereal around and say, “You can see the mustard at the bottom! Look at that!” When we wanted to put mustard in our cereal he would say that we wouldn’t like it  because we weren’t adults yet.

Mom used to tenderize meat by stomping on it: My Mom has one of those spiky meat hammers the tenderize meat before she cooks it. It’s great and I’m convinced that it’s her specific hammer that makes her food taste so good. But Dad told us once that before we were born, Mom would lay the meat out on the floor and stomp on it. You’d have to be careful when you were eating it because you might find a foot print.

The “Queen Bean”: The hunk of bacon fat they put in cans of beans. I almost forgot this one. Until we were having beans with dinner and I said to my boyfriend, “I don’t know where the Queen Bean went. I don’t think I have it so watch out for it.” And he said, “The what?” Thanks, Dad.

Private school was literally a carnival: Dad went to a private catholic school growing up and had so many stories about the shenanigans the nuns would pull. The oldest nun would drive the Lunch Train and pick up all the kids on the way to lunch. if you missed it you would have to run after it because she wouldn’t stop for you! Fridays were Carnival Day and all the nuns would dress up like clowns and hand out cotton candy at the bottom of the slide at recess. Once, my Gram went to pick up Dad early from school and they had to distract her so she wouldn’t see how much fun the kids were having.

Did your parents mess with you when you were growing up?

Craft Fairs and personal doubts

March was the time to seek out summer long Craft Fairs and Farmer’s Markets since most applications needed to be in by the beginning of April. I found a few that interested me, that I thought would be a good fit for me and my bags. I know that the best thing for my business is to get involved in them. But I doubted myself.

I was/ still am afraid of shelling out the application fee, usually$10-$25, and then nothing coming of it. Waiting to hear back it tough-will they keep my application fee and let me down easy? Or will they invite me to pay another $250+ to become a weekly participant?  And if I’m accepted, I’m locked in. I struggle to explain what I do to PEOPLE I KNOW, and now I’ll have to talk to strangers? And convince them that buying my bags is money well spent?

I missed the deadline for the Norwich Farmers’ Market, but printed the applications for the Hanover Farmers’ Market (Wednesdays), Lebanon Farmers’ Market (Thursdays), and the Windsor Farmers’ Market (Saturdays), as well as a couple one-day fairs. I’d still have time during the week to sew, and I’d have a nice little schedule.

I sent in my Hanover application, and held off on Windsor. Their deadline is the week before it starts, at the end of May, and my boyfriend was deciding if he wanted to share table space with me. I was more reluctant about Lebanon. They only accept 5 crafters, and if your materials are local or you can provide a demonstration you take precedence over the other applicants. Neither apply to me. Plus, the application fee was more expensive, and I was worried about losing the money. I didn’t end up applying to that one.

I heard back from Hanover last week and I was not accepted. I was disappointed and relieved. I wouldn’t have to put my self on display every Wednesday, but I also wouldn’t get the exposure from the summer tourists I was hoping for. I’m still waiting to hear from Windsor, which I’ve been the most hopeful about.

I’m not good at selling myself, or my work. I’m not good at talking to people about myself and not wringing my hands or picking my nails. I trip over my words while I try to describe my process as accurately as possible. Here are some actual things I have said at craft fairs:

“All these bags are handmade! Well, with a sewing machine. I use my hands though, to, ugh, push the fabric, well guide it, uhm, through the machine… I make the patterns, with my hands…”

“I create everything myself in my studio! Well, it’s more like a work space, in my home. So I keep my desk in the living room and that’s where… I do all my work at my desk. In my living room. I don’t have pets!”

“I, well, I just sort of… When I get an idea, I have to work it out, like, I test everything I make. I want it to be durable, and I use the things I make… Not these ones, I mean I have my own to use, that I made. That are like these ones, like different versions of these ones. You can put them in the washing machine.”

And I always forget who I already saw and talked to and will ALWAYS say, “Hi, how are you?” every time someone passes by my table/tent/display. A couple years, I did a fair at a school with my friend and we were set up in the entry way. Everyone who went in had to come out again, and if they went back in we saw them even more! I remember one woman who was visibly annoyed that I kept saying hello to her. OH, OOPS. What if this happens at Windsor?! What if the same people come back every week for veggies and I just keep saying hi to them as if I have never seen them before?!

I know, deep down, that this will be a great opportunity and I will overcome my self-questioning. Well, hopefully. Anyway, I still need to hear back from the Windsor market before I get myself ALL in a tizzy.

Living in a post-medication body

When I was 8,  my doctor said I was in the perfect height/weight ration and thus needed to stop snacking. I should use snacks as a reward ONLY, something to look forward to on a Saturday or a Sunday. I didn’t know what to do or say because I played outside a lot and obviously my food choices were not negatively impacting my body- she just said I was perfectly balanced. When I was older, I realized she had her own body-image issues and was trying to push that on me as a patient. Once I realized that, I decided that my body is mine and only I get to decide what it looks like. If I want to eat cake all day and never exercise, I can live with the effects of it. If I want to eat steak and salad and jog 8 miles a day, I can do that too (ahahahha I don’t like steak or jogging ahahaha).

About two years ago, I had a major depressive episode. I lost a little weight in the months leading up to its peak, but then I started on anti-depressants. I lost 20 pounds in a month. I was out of work during that time, and when I went back my body looked like a shell of itself. I hadn’t been that small since middle school, and I had very mixed feelings on it. So naturally, everyone wanted to know how I did it. What tips could I give them. It was a very personal experience and I wasn’t comfortable sharing it with most of the people who asked, so I usually just shrugged.

I had to get used to a smaller body. I needed new pants, and most of my dresses hung off me. I could no longer eyeball clothes in a store and know if they would fit, as I had for over 5 years. And what would happen when I went off medication? Would I stay small or gain my Kerry weight back? I didn’t know.

In September, I started weening myself off my medication. I usually gain a little weight in the winter anyway, but since my body now had to readjust to a medication-free metabolism, I gained back everything I lost 2 years ago and a little more. I was more comfortable in my body, felt more like myself, and was so glad I saved all my old pants! I knew it would be a while before my body adjusted to a post-mediation metabolism and a while before I fully accepted myself again. Just like it took a little while to accept the smaller version of me. But I was ok with that.

OH BUT WAIT. A couple of weeks ago, I got a new doctor. She measured me and weighed me and asked about my diet. Maybe two alcoholic drinks a week, a non-smoker, I don’t drink coffee. She wrote my answers down and didn’t say anything about it. We talked about how I was on medication but I went off in the fall. We talked about how it was a long winter. She said I need to stop drinking soda. She said I need to loose 4 pounds and, although I’ll still be too big, I’ll be at a better weight. This was crushing. My doctor basically called me fat. No one had called me fat since my Gram in high school. I relayed the experience to my boyfriend and he said, “Mhmm.” After a few minutes he said, “You look good to me.”

For the first time in 19 years, I hated my body. Hated it. The rolls on my stomach when I sit. The stretch marks on my thighs from when my hips came in. Not since I was 8 had I scrutinized my naked body so harshly in a mirror. Poking and pulling and squishing and flattening. Staring at myself, I looked and felt defeated. I realized I’d given up the power I took when I was young. This is my body. My skin. My stretch marks. My stomach and legs and arms and I live with myself. I live IN myself. Constantly. Only I get to decide how I feel about it.

I don’t care who you are. If you think there is something wrong with my body or if you think there is something wrong with the way I look, that’s your problem.

Birthday Wish List

BirthdayWishList27

1. The Lego Movie Double Decker Couch play set! – I’ve been waiting for this set to appear at Wal-Mart, and now I drool on it every I’m in there.

2. Paper Towel Thing. I don’t actually care what it looks like, I just want one. I found this one on Amazon, but, like, a stick from a tree would be ok too.

3. Fred and Friends Moby Pick Party Picks– Whale that holds tooth picks? C’mon.

4. Dancing Groot Bobble Action Figure – So cute!

5. Yes Please by Amy Poehler, paperback or hard cover.

6. Astro Queo A712– I thought a tablet would be helpful for craft fairs. Instead of figuring out orders and plugging in my Etsy or PayPal reader into my phone, I can just have the tablet prepped and ready to go.

I honestly think I’m super easy to shop for. I talk constantly about things I like and want, any craft project or craft supply is excellent, and then you have whales as a fall back. Because I will love anything with a whale on it. But since my brother doesn’t want to give me toys and my boyfriend keeps asking what I want, I thought this might be helpful. But if you come up with something else, guys, that’s totally cool too!

Am I an adult?

A few weeks ago, my parents were invited to a birthday party. My mom asked if she should pass the message along to my brothers and me but was told no, because the party was only for adults and small children.

Now, the story could have been relayed to me incorrectly. But when I first heard this I was rageful, because I was hurt. I consider myself an adult. I consider my younger brothers to be adults, as well. I spent so much of my childhood looking up to someone who, even now, doesn’t consider me an equal? My feelings were hurt, and I needed some time to process them.

But you know what? It doesn’t matter. The facts are: I’m 26 years old. I live 200 miles away from my parents.

Wareham to Windsor

I regularly set up my Lego collection on my car rug and play for hours.

Kerry Town

I eat off planet plates for almost every meal.

Space Plates(source– get your own set!)

I have a 2-foot tall stuffed penguin that sits at the kitchen table. (At least for right now,) I run a small business out of my home. I’m honest, and I know the weight that words can carry.

As long as I’m happy with who I am, how others view me doesn’t matter.


Kerry. 29. Central Mass. Maker. Fan of all things bright. Click to learn more!

November 2017
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There is supposed to be a picture here.

Look, it's my mom! She's waving.


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