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Saturday, February 17, 2018

laser tag


HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYY.
I'm here.
I am so ridiculously behind on everything.
Sleep, bills, work, cleaning, world domination.
Phew! What's a girl to do?! 


The flea market booth is doing ok. It's still 90% just our junk but I'm stocking it with the Bohemian Bazaar merch as it comes in.

I've got a little bit of stuff arriving every day but unfortunately I can't put out a lot of it until I get a locking display case. Yeah, small items like jewelry tend to disappear quite often at flea markets.

 I've got about a dozen pieces of handmade jewelry I've been hanging on to from my Etsy store days and about 50 rings and dozens of bracelets I can't put out so if anyone has a 6'x3' display case they'd like to give me for free, just holler. I'll take it.



So fare I've gotten in child size belly dance coin belts, Indian parasols, incense, Hmong tribe hair doodads for kids, chopsticks, wood bead bracelets, Indian shoes and leather bracelets.

I don't feel like uploading photos of what's come in yet so check me out on Instagram. I'm sharing photos of the really good items as they come in.

What's on the way: adult size belly dance coin scarves, more incense, Rajasthani style bags, bamboo flutes, art print necklaces including Frida Kahlo paintings and more.


I'm starting super small, y'all but at least I'm starting. 
Moving forward slowly is better than not moving at all.


What kind of mom lets her daughter jump on the bed in cowboy boots??
This mom.

I'M the reason why we don't have nice things.

And I'm also the reason why my daughter will know that stripes and polka-dots are perfectly acceptable together.


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

What does the cow say?


Right now I'm ordering my first round of stock for the miniature Bohemian Bazaar and I'm so excited, I'm about to wet my little knickers.

I don't remember if I mentioned here or not that I'm going to transform my new flea market booth into a tiny version of my store that I was trying to open in the mall. I've had a lot of people suggest I do it this way since I want to start debt free and I think it's a darn fine idea.

Through GoFundMe I raised $300 to go toward opening the shop but um... yeah, I was about $3,600 shy of reaching my goal and $5,600 shy of what I actually needed to start with bare minimum. I was trying to raise money because instead of taking out a loan because I was certain the community was going to be excited enough that I'm replacing Romancing the Stone that they'd be willing to contribute. If there's a way to go debt-free, I'm going to go that way.

Meh. No biggie. I was totally prepared for that idea to not work out and I had no intentions of quitting if it didn't. There are plenty of other ways for me to skin this cat.


So, I closed the GoFundMe and I am no longer accepting donations(?) and I'm using the money I raised to get beautiful merch for my booth. 
I'm starting small. 
Very small...
BUT there's nowhere else in this town to get the kind of stuff I'm going to sell like belly dance accessories, Banjara handbags and Rajasthani parasols so I'm pretty confident that no one will complain that they have to go to a flea market to get it.

$300 might not sound like a lot for a start up, but I've already had a shopping list waiting of wholesale goods from India, China and Bali and I already have a little bit of stuff left from my renaissance faire booth. I have tons of jewelry I've made over the years and stuff I've bought wholesale. I just need a display case for those smaller items so my goods don't get knicked.

 

The booth is already stocked full of our stuff we've been trying to get rid of for years. We have accumulated a lot of stuff in our almost 8 years of marriage. Good heavens so much stuff. Purging the house has been an absolute delight. Getting rid of junk is very therapeutic. 

Well, we don't really have junk. We have stuff. Lots of stuff and nowhere to put it. So off to market it goes! As the booth empties of that stuff we'll start replacing it with the bohemian/hippie goodies.

Since the flea market has massive spaces, even entire rooms to rent we might just settle in there for a while. I mean  - think about it, I don't have to man the booth, hire employees or pay utilities... just  stock the booth and pay rent!

So there's that and here's my awesome offspring.
I stopped trying to get River to join because he turns into a grumpy old man when I try to get him to cooperate. Eh. Boys.



❤❤ Polkadots and plaid, a velvet blazer and a cow brooch. ❤❤


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

the technicolor dreamboat


Well, well, well.
Look at what the cat coughed up.
It's me!
Hi.



I'm surviving over here. Just barely... but I'm pulling through like a duck swimming in jelly.

I've recently started taking an ashwagandha and rhodiola supplement and dandelion detox tea and my physical stress symptoms have calmed down to a dull roar. Not even a roar. More like a wee little mew compared to what was happening to my body. Physically, I feel SO much better and brighter.

The pills make me a little aggressive though. Like, super type-A aggressive about weird things:

I'm going to clean today!
VACCUMING!
EFF YEAH!
DISHES! I HATE THEM! LET'S DO IT!
GET OUTTA MY WAY! AAAAGGGGHHHH!!!
DANG IT'S A LOVELY DAY!
GROCERIES!
TOILET PAPER!
RAWWWRRR!!

And then I rip my shirt off like Hulk Hogan and flex my muscles while barking at my children like a Tibetan mastiff.



So life is still pretty poopy right now and I'm still stressed but I don't feel like I'm about to have a stroke anymore! Yay!

GOOD NEWS REPORT:
My husband finally found a job after being "self employed" for over a year. He's not exactly sure when it starts but it will pay well. The bad part of all of this is it's a travelling job that will have him away from home for weeks at a time. Meh.

I already scratched of my New Year's plans of opening a flea market booth. We got an 8x8 booth in a very large and popular flea market. Since we opened it on Saturday afternoon and it's Tuesday now, we haven't had a chance to add everything and decorate but just yet but it's about 3/4 full so far.

The downside is, the market only allows 5 articles of clothing per booth! WTF??!?! Almost the entire booth was supposed to be kids clothes! OMG, we're drowning in kid's clothes piled up in trash bags here and we can't afford to just give them away so I'm hoping maybe I can butter the market owners up to get them to be a little lenient with me.


So here's what we wore to church Sunday.
ME: Handmedown blouse over a handmedown ikat print sundress layered over leggings and a tank top because it was in the 30s that day.

MISS CEDAR: Handmedown cardigan, Christmas gift dress from her Mimi, electric melon tights with unseen gold threads woven in and her favorite brown boots!






Soooo how are you all doing? Have you been sleeping well? Are you brushing twice a day and flossing?

Thursday, January 4, 2018

dear 2017, you sucked

I started this post a  last week and I had to take a break from it because it depressing the heck out of me to write it. But I've recovered and here I am.



2017 has been probably the worst year of my life so far and I pray I never find myself stuck in another year like this again. If it's not the worst, then it's definitely at close to the top of my "Hollie's Top 5 Worst Years Ever" list that doesn't exist.

I don't want to go into much detail but I will say that this year has been filled with crippling stress and anxiety, money trouble, martial problems, weird religious situations you guys couldn't possibly relate to, loneliness, depression and a whole bunch of other negative adjectives.

I think STRESS has been the leading lady this year for sure more than any other emotion. She's been a real shining star (sarcasm). I have reached stress levels that have gotten to points of chest pains, hands tingling, eye twitching, left arm going numb, sleeplessness, rage, sweating, excessive drinking and more.

Nothing has worked out the way I wanted this year. I understand that things happen for a reason and that's the only thing keeping me afloat, but for the love of all things holy and something PLEASE work out in my favor?!?!


Almost every bad thing that has happened this year has been because of someone else's shitty decisions. I NEVER play the victim and I always take responsibility for myself no matter what others have done but a lot of what has happened year and the years before that wasn't even my fault and I can't take responsibility. I can only try to fix things (and I do all day every day) but if the other people involved aren't willing to make a change then... what can I do?




Good news though: The manager of the mall did have to go ahead and lease the storefront, BUT the shop is temporary and that he'll be willing to work with me somehow so that I can open up shop in March. That gives me more time to try to get a loan, my stock, fixtures, etc. If the store in the mall doesn't work out, I will still open a store.... just somewhere else. Not a problem at all. I'm only after the mall so hard because it has reliable and predictable traffic and low fees.

▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲

I announced a while back on social media that I will be releasing a comic strip this year (mostly for my other blog) and I've been keeping it a secret that I'm working on a book... er three books actually. I've been keeping the books on hush hush because I'm kind of embarrassed to let people know that I have an extraordinary amount of time on my hands because I have no car and no friends. Plus, I can multi-task like a muthah.

Right now, I'm writing this post, promoting my blog in various Facebook groups, managing a client's Instagram on on my phone, keeping my kids from killing each other and I also drew a comic strip during a 30 minute break I took from this post. There are 24 hours in every day and when you don't have a a life outside of your home... you learn how to occupy that time.

So on the plate for 2018: Release a comic strip twice a month, a blog post on Quirky Bohemian Mama twice a month, get more clients for my social media management service, open a flea market booth to get rid of all the junk we've accumulated and inherited over the past 8 years (husband's going to take care of that mostly), lose 100lbs, finish writing one of my books and open my store and document it all for our vlog on YouTube (last priority). Of course when I open the store, I'll let go of some of that stuff.

If you read all of this and you made it this far, thank you so much for taking the time to read it.
If you skipped over some parts, heck I don't blame you at all! No one likes a party pooper! I just needed to get that mess out.

Pray for me, wish me well but don't worry about me. I'm a fighter and I'm painfully optimistic. My glass is always half full of wine so I will survive!

I hope you all (as well as myself) have the best freaking year ever! I think we all deserve it.

Quirky Bohemian Mama Comic Strip

Thursday, December 14, 2017

thanking my elders (yeah, you'll want to read this)




Most of my readers here are old enough to be my mother.
I'm 32 years old.
How did this come to be?

A few years ago I started following the "over 40 blogger" crowd because I was so bored with the hipster millennial moms who only talked about cloth diapering a coconut oil.  I'm not quite sure how I came across my first "over 40" blogger, but I remember is was Krista with Peetee's Palace(?). Surely you remember her? She's was an adorable little woman with hot pink hair who dressed mostly in fun pink clothes and awesome leggings. I don't think she's blogging anymore so I'm not sure what she's up to - but I'll willing to guess she still has the hot pink hair, or least I hope she still does! (She made my awesome pink and orange necklace by the way!)


When I saw Krista (in her early to mid 40s I think) I was absolutely CONFUSED.
"She has pink hair! She's in her 40s with PINK hair!"
I had never seen anything like it.
I wondered, "A grown woman with pink hair?! Is that even allowed?!?!"
Not only did she have pink hair but she was wearing a vintage dress.

At that time where I live, vintage clothing was a trend for the hippest of hip teens and cool cats in their 20s. Older people didn't wear vintage and they despised it! I thought there was some kind of law somewhere that stated, "Thou shalt not wear vintage over 30" because that just wasn't a thing.


Anyway, I was so intrigued that I looked for other older bloggers through the comments on Krista's blog and started seeing what they were about. My brain almost exploded!

"Look at all these women wearing vintage and hand-sewn stuff and red lipstick and bracelets up to their elbows!!"
I honestly didn't know you could do that past 25!

Another blogger I came across was Vix.
Vix's tribal jewelry fascinated me the most. "I have jewelry like that," I thought. "But I only wear it when I'm in costume. You mean I'm allowed to wear it any time I want?" Vix has long black hair and wears bold psychedelic vintage dresses and I can honestly say that there is NO ONE where I live like that. Not even a young person, so I was blown away.

Then came other eccentric bloggers: Helga VonTrollop, Desiree of Pull Your Socks Up (I don't think either one of them are blogging any more),  Mel with Bag and Beret and most recently Suzanne Carillo.  There are SO many others so if I left you out please don't be offended. If I'm following your blog or following you on Instagram, then you're one of them too!!!


All of that to say that every last one of you has inspired me SO much and that if I hadn't discovered your blogs, I never would have gained the courage to be myself again. I used to not care when I was younger and it wasn't that long ago! I was weird and didn't care to change but I wanted to be seen as an adult so badly. At 26 I was already preparing to settle into a nice pair of mom-jeans and a tee shirt because that's what I thought I was supposed to do in order to be a respectable adult. 

2006, me in my favorite outfit, a vintage Army medic's dress jacket and jeans.

2009, in vintage jacket and fallen pompadour.


I had been restricting myself so much that I began to have anxieties about wearing simple things like  over-sized sunglasses and big chunky necklaces. "OMG, people will stare!" 
I was so worried about what people would think of me but when I finally started wearing what I wanted to wear again, I was only met with praise and compliments. 
Now I get offended if people DON'T stare.

"Um, excuse me, sir. Are you really going to act like you don't notice my new handmade earrings? Psh. Rude." 

And people do stare. In this town, I'm as eccentric as they come (yeah, boring town), so it's gonna happen. Some stare a little too long and it makes me sliiiiightly uncomfortable but I understand that sometimes there's a lot to take in. All my fake hair and patterns and jewelry take a few seconds to process so I totally get it so it doesn't bother me much. 

Now I'm being approached by older women who say they wish they could dress like me or that they wish they had the confidence to dress like me. That actually makes me very sad. I try to tell them that it's never too late to dress the way they want and I tell them about all the bloggers I follow but they shake their heads and say, "It's too late for me".



I want you all to know that you've given me hope and you've helped me realize that aging is what you make it. There are no laws stating that you can't wear certain things after 30 or 40... just fashion magazines that like to tell you how to dress. 
Their words aren't law and neither are the opinions of others.

I'm not afraid to be myself anymore.
I feel as free and as carefree as the teenaged me who used to wear my grandmother's dresses with glitter painted sneakers and feather boas to school.
 But I also think that naturally, the older I get, the less I care about what other people think of me in general. They're not paying my bills, raising my kids or cooking my dinner so poopoo on what they think.

You ladies blog to help inspire other women your age, but never forget that this little girl has been looking up to you cool big kids for years now. I'm inspired and encouraged to embrace aging by staying true to myself. 

I say, thank you. 
Thank you all for saving me from someday reaching mid-life, looking back and saying,
 "It's too late for me".

.
.
.
.
.
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Bonus pics of my kids!
In the photos above, I'm wearing a vest thingy I made myself from a shawl I wasn't too crazy about. I folded it in half, cut the front part open, sewed the sides closed and hemmed the edges. It wasn't my intentions to dress us all in neutrals with pops of color but that's what happened!





Wednesday, December 6, 2017

fresh air and crunchy stuff


I proposed that we go camping for Thanksgiving.
I regret nothing.
I regret some things.



I regret a lot.

 

My husband and I alternate holidays with each other's families. This year was the year to spend with his parents. Since many family members couldn't make it from up North, I proposed the idea of camping instead so we wouldn't spend the holiday sitting around sulking because all the fun people are missing.

The husband's parents are hardcore campers and my husband loves camping, I've only camped once and the kid's have never camped before so everyone was on board.


The park was already dull brown and dry - we were too late to see the fantastic Arkansas mountain foliage. Curses! 
But with it being Thanksgiving weekend, the park was super quiet with only a handful of other campers. We had plenty of space to roam about undisturbed. It felt like the park belonged to us. 


We set up across a path from the in-laws who were set up right at the top of a hill that overlooked a crystal clear river. The river looked so dang clean and inviting, I wanted to splash around in it but that wouldn't have been a very wise idea as the water was probably at about 40F. Still, the urge was SO dang hard to resist! No mosquitoes, no snakes, no weird swimming creatures. Just a clean stream of cloud juice.


So the regrets?

The boredom.
The soul crushing boredom.
Not just boredom.
Loneliness. 

Holy smokes. I had no one to talk to and oftentimes nothing to do. I explored, took photos and walked about and enjoyed a little alone time but when I was ready to talk, maybe do a little bonding with the in-laws, no one was interested in jack squat I had to say.

"Do you have something else to do besides talk to me? Oh, you wanna stare at the river in silence for a few more hours. Sorry, for disturbing you."

I was more baffled than hurt that no one wanted to talk to me. My kids had plenty to do rolling around in leaves and throwing rocks into the river so they were good to go. My husband, brother in-law and father-in-law kept to themselves talking theology and man stuff.... My mother-in-law just simply wasn't interested in talking to me. No rudeness about it. No tension. Just not interested.


I shrugged it off and tried to keep myself company but the books I brought were awful and there was no phone service and of course no wifi. So I began to mosey about feeling kind of sorry for myself.

3 days and two nights in the wilderness with no one to talk to is pretty dang tough.


But anyways. I survived. 
I'm still here.

BAM! PHOTOS!











Sheesh, it took me ages to finish this post. Uuuuggghhh.
I've picked up a new client, looking for more clients and it's time to start cranking out Christmas posts for the other blog.
Christmas posts = $$$$
$$$$ = Bills paid.
Bills paid = electricity, phone, a home, a car, etc...
You get it.

See you folks laaaaaaaaater.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

but row away from the rocks


I bought this Egyptian dress on Amazon a couple years ago for like $15 because I thought it was a mini-dress. I was little disappointed to find that it was full length and stashed it away thinking maybe I'll just just shorten it myself later but I just couldn't bring myself to chop up a good dress and risk ruining it with my poor sewing skills. I hung it up and completely forgot about it. I rediscovered it and I was certain I had outgrown it since it was pretty snug just two years ago but lo and behold it still fits... eer... thanks to an extremely tight pancreas-compressing body shaper. 


I decided to give the dress a try today since it's very cool and windy outside.
I'm in love. I dig it hard.
 I also have a dress like this in chocolate brown silk with bold metallic silver thread that was given to me a by a guy whose coffee shop I used to visit every day. His mother picked it up on her travels somewhere in the Middle East and never wore it so he gave to someone he knew would appreciate it. Me!!!
It's too tight and the last time I tried it on, I thought I was going to have to cut myself out of it. Plus it has weird 80s-cut puff sleeves so I keep it in my costuming stash to lend out to whoever needs it.


I also have an genuine men's dashiki pants set that is similar to the dress I'm wearing. I intended to wear the top alone as a dress and I even put it on to wear this morning but it's just too dang big. I'd like to figure out a way to taper the waist and flare the bottom of it out into an A-line. 
And by figure it out I mean... take it to a seamstress.
And by take it to a seamstress I mean... sell it on eBay.


Soooo.... how are things going with me?
Meh. Same ol' same ol'. Nothing's really changing or getting better. But on a positive note, it's not getting worse! That's how I see things. I'm never one to say, "Things just can't get any worse" because dadgummit they most definitely can. 
Like, at any moment you could spontaneously burst into flames or your carpet could start suddenly smelling like feet that have been washed with feet in a foot factory. This has been happening to me today so I guess it is getting worse. Seriously I've been on all fours trying to figure out where the foot odor in the house is coming from and it's the living room carpet! Well seasoned with 18 years of bare foot funk. Yikes!
But if that's the extent of my problems for today, I guess I'm doing alright.

 I'm still slowly raising money to open my shop in the mall (◄ info link) but I'm not sure how much longer the manager is going to hold the space for me. He's a super nice guy but I totally understand that time is money.
Either way, I'm going to open the store in the mall even if that means starting off with a kiosk while I wait for another storefront to open. If I get the kiosk after Christmastime the leasing price will go down significantly so it'll be all gravy baby.

After I fulfill this dream, I guess it'll be time for me to pursue my next level dream. My dream 2.0?
My own gothic themed animal-free circus.
Can't you just see it?! 
One step at a time, Hollie. One step at a time.


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