Thursday, May 22, 2014

Wow - what a month!

Well, it was more like six weeks!  I wasn't on vacation from blogging, I was fighting fires with an eyedropper!

Sorry for the long hiatus but a few days after the last blogging cycle, I was working hard to get my in-laws condo fixed after the insurance finally settled (long story and involves a broken sprinkler system flood).  So I was conversing with the town building department on the phone when I got an email from my deaf Father-in-law:  Mom has fallen and I can't get her up.

Oh God.  Yes, a broken hip.  I know my husband may have broken some speed rules getting there while calling 911 as my father-in-law doesn't use phones.  The worst part about her injury was that we were just starting a month of construction and they were to fly to Texas to live for that month.  Except now they couldn't.   And the rehab wouldn't keep her and our home has stairs to the bathroom.  So in HGTV style - I spent all my time at the construction site or hospital (and caregiving the helpless father-in-law) and managed to convince all the wonderful guys to work on top of each other and get the place perfect again in eight business days.  Then after a few days where I just slept, I spent the next few weeks trying to dig myself out of the hole that put me in!  It happened at the worst time - the day after my assistant left.  But now my new intern has been on the job for the week and I can blog again!!
In the spirit of the last post - I wanted to put up something I got recently about a different old material for the craft field - this sounds so familiar. This email was from our friends at D. Blumchen and Company - they keep many of the old German and Austrian holiday decorations alive.  This sounds so much like my experience making old materials popular again and then the machines, workers, etc. break down from the overload.  But it is all good - if the demand wasn't there and the machine broke, I am sure that the owner would have decided it was just a product line that was now dead.  But the demand kept him going for 5 months to look for a solution!  

 Did you know that thread spooling machines for embroidery are also ancient and when they break a repair man has to fly in and source second hand parts?  Yup.  Not much call for new machines so they aren't made anymore.  My silk gimp took down a machine just before Mother's Day.  I about had a heart attack, knowing how hard it is to find these machines!  I spent most of the weekend praying that the fix-it gods would help us out - I had tons of kits for classes waiting on that machine.  (It worked!)

Just like good industrial sewing machines.  Again, not much call for them in the USA anymore so if you want one for a sewn goods business, you go to the secondhand dealers who refurbish.  Anything made here in the USA now mostly uses fused seams so those are the machines now built.  The back story on the machines that make many of these manufactured items is often pretty interesting… and pretty historic too.

Well, I am off to buy some of these little reflectors as the story resonates with me so much!  Seems like a great project with my kids next December.


  1. Welcome back! My sympathies as I can relate to the elder-care issues. And the need for days of just sleep! And thanks for the info about these reflectors -- as a child our Christmas tree lights all had these behind them, and I still own a batch of them from over 60 years ago! It's nice to know I might be able to get some replacements.

    Alison S. (GA)

  2. I have gotten Filigree Tinsel Starburst ~ 24 -Carat Gold- Plated and Silver for my Christmas tree from them. They look Wonderful sitting on branches all over the tree. I love this company and have shopped her several times.

    So sorry about your in-laws. Hope you mother-in-law is on the mend.
    Karen W (PA)