Friday, April 25, 2008


This one was a really labor-intensive one!
Fully fitted, lined and boned, separating back zipper bodice.
Lined, multi-layered, (upper layer is an un-even handkerchief hem), skirt with brush train.
The fabric is a butterfly printed chiffon and it was lined with dupioni satin...nice.
It started out like all others; phone call, consult, estimate, measurements, construction...
The problems started when, in cutting out the garment I discovered that I had quite a lack of fabric!
Back an forth between the cutting board and the pattern packet, I sorta figured that she'd probably presumed that View C was the complete dress, not just the skirt alone.
With nobody helping her at the yardage store, she'd bought all there was on the bolt, seven yards.
I had enough for just the three layered skirt,
or the bodice and skirt with only two layers of chiffon,
or the two pieces together if I substituted one of the printed layers with a solid white chiffon layer.
She was very easy going. We commenced calling fabric stores. Ours was out, Temecula would get back to us, Redlands had just sent their 26 yards to La Cadena (wherever that is).
Would she mind the third a plain white layer?
No. It would be fine.
Would she mind only two layers?
No. That would be fine, too.
I went to our local store and wouldn't you know, not a stitch of plain white chiffon, and this is April!
I knuckled under and special ordered (and paid for) three yards of plain white chiffon to be shipped from Visalia (wherever that is) which had over 2000 yards to share.
I was assured it would arrive in a timely manner and I would be called the minute it arrived.
I didn't want to wait around twiddling my thumbs so I continued sewing what I could without it and hoped the fabric would come in soon.
Fitting on Monday; go ahead with only two layers.
Final fitting on Thursday, final payment, and the dress is gone.
As final fittings go, it was one of the most uneventful.
Usually there is a bit of oooh-ing and ahh-ing.
Maybe a friend to give compliments and reinforcement.
Often a delighted gasp or laugh.
Are you needing any help?
Does it fit?
Is it what you wanted?
How are you doing?
For those of you who don't know, I live, as it were, for these moments. The twinkle, the smile, the satisfied grin. The knowing that I pleased them, that I understood their wishes, that I pulled their dream out of their heads and put it in fabric.
I call it my reward. Being paid is nice, but making somebody's day, well, that's so very sweet.
We are in the happiness business, Mickey Mouse and I.
I did get a smile, the one I caught with my camera.
I'll cherish it.
p.s. the fabric store still hasn't called.

Mr & Mrs Thonney

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Buddies

Late last week we had a bit of drama at my work-place. There is a pet grooming shop ( called My Buddies ) across the parking lot from me that is owned by a very sweet, young christian couple. They do a good job and have many satisfied clients.
Not on Friday, though. A woman came in and left her pomeranian to be groomed like they had done before. In the busy-ness of the morning it so happened that the employee was the one to do the in-take process. Since nothing was said otherwise, the doggie was put in line to be groomed.
You can imagine the grief that occured when the owner discovered that the 'cut' was "way too short"!!!!
Such abuse! Such language! Such screaming!
No matter what they said or did, she had them over a barrel and was going to let them have it all.
She called them names. She called the police. She called her friends. She called the animal shelter. She threatened to call her lawyer.
When I saw Vanessa standing dazed out in the middle of the parking lot, I went out to speak with her. She told me she feared for her business, her employee, her person. I told her what a client of mine had said; (who's owned motels) that nobody is allowed to threaten you in your place of business and that it is a crime to do so. Not hair cuts.
Hair cuts are not crimes.
If this woman wants the police involved she might get more than she's asked for. The police reminded the woman that it was just a dog and dog hair grows.
More importantly though, I told Vanessa what a local christian woman had told me a while ago. I see this woman in my shop from time to time and often she likes to share with me how the Lord is moving in her life.
I love to listen to her and I love that she likes to speak with me about such wonderful things.
She had been to church and related to me a story told in a recent sermon as an object lesson;

A man was having a really bad day.
Every thing was working against him, it seemed.
When he left for work, the poorly scheduled, interferring Cal-Trans crew was blocking the road, down to one man, and that man was sitting down on the job. This made the man late.
The freeway was crowded and he was cut-off by a man who wasn't paying attention, just yakking away on his cell-phone.
When he got to work, a woman beat him to the last parking space and didn't even look in his direction. Just selfishly took it for herself.
On his way home he stopped at the grocery, which was packed with screaming, ill behaved children, and oblivious, ill equipped parents. The woman in front of him in line completely ignored her two toddlers who were fighting over a book, and her shrill, red faced baby in the cart, while she pondered the contents of her wallet.
When he got into bed that night he told the Lord about his really bad day.
He confessed that he was having real difficulty in loving his fellow man when they all behaved so very selfishly.
As it is so often, he fell asleep during his prayer and his dreams continued on with the complaints.
In his dream the Lord said to him, let's go through this whole day again, only this time, I want you wear 'my eyes'.
The Cal-Trans man you saw sitting down on the job was just told by his supervisor that he was laid-off and he has five children to feed, and the rent is due.
The man on the cell-phone had his very pregnant and very much in labor wife in the back seat and he is trying to contact her doctor because she is delivering much too early.
The woman who beat you to that parking space has just found out she has terminal cancer and has nobody to care.
The woman in the grocery store has been abandoned by her husband and is trying to decide if her last ten dollars should buy these groceries or the needed medicine for her sick baby.

Try to remember that people are often in pain.
They are often distracted by grief.
They are often immobilized by shock.

Sometimes this can look like selfishness.
You can observe their actions but you can never know their motives.
You can never know their heart, their purpose, their reasons.
You are not clairvoyant.
You are not me.

Vanessa said that the story gave her goosebumps but it also gave her peace.
She and I wondered if her unhappy client was having a rough time somewhere else in her life and we thought that maybe My Buddies was just the last straw and happened to be the dumping place for all of her stress.

I have thought often of this story. I wonder sadly at how quickly I assume that I know, just know for sure why someone did what they did.
I remember my mom telling me that I won't keep many friends if I too often assign the worst possible motive to anyone's actions.
Remember, it's not always about you.
The benefit of the doubt, she would say.
Give it often and it will be given you.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

21st Birthday Party.

Melting Pot

We drove up to Cucamonga (yes there really is a town...)
to the Melting Pot.
Check put this Melting Pot Website.
We all tried to get there early, by 4:00pm, so some could get up to Caleb and Lisa's for a Hymn-Sing later on.
The menu on-line says to make sure you have two hours to spend.
After two hours plus forty-five minutes later, we realized they now had to rush away, and yes, we finally did straighten out the dividing up of the check.
Shorty remembered that she had doubled the tip amount by mistake (he wasn't that efficient), and Garage Door was re-imbursed for his feeble attempt at thwarting his grammma from paying his share.
We were gone by 7:00 and through a packed restaurant lobby, mind you.
Only to hear that they had to sit on the freeway behind a car-crash tangle.
What fun!