Monday, January 26, 2015

IN LIKE A LION, OUT LIKE A LION, BACK IN LIKE A LION!

January 26th, 2015

 2014 came in like a lion and went back out like a lion too and 2015 appears to be coming in like a lion as well.  Where are the lambs? The lambs have been all the moments in between that make this story, my personal story, worthwhile

I know that you may only know me as "Louise" or Patti, the woman who makes and sells the stuff out of a vintage glamped up trailer named "Thelma".  The lady who can occasionally be found at her pop up shop inside the Peaceful Ponds & Water Gardens building during the winter or on the grounds of the new Cheapside Market on Sunday's during the nice weather. Some may know me as that lady with ever changing hair color~ black, red, plum, turquoise, brown, blonde!  Many of you have heard the story of how Dear Thelma, Love Louise came to be, the story of a friendship lost when one friend succumbed to cancer, and the shared love of adventure, thrifting, festivals, camping and road trips which led to the idea of a mobile thrift boutique.  Some of you know me well, and have supported my journey along the way knowing what goes on in the lime light and behind the scenes! You have donated your time, resources, a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen, and words of advice.  If you are on my personal Facebook account which I reserve for family and friends, you have been subjected to my rants, photos, and raves!  On occasion, I have had the honour of a good chat with the people I meet, and have heard pieces of your own stories, struggles with illness, loss of partners, loss of children and friends to cancer, struggles to make ends meet, fall outs with family members, journeys to better health and lifestyles, new loves, great adventures, stories of your own new business plans, social enterprise ideas, and plans to save the planet. I have enjoyed the jokes shared, new ideas suggested,  the drumming, guitar playing, taste testing, hula hooping, turtle watching, bartering, and fellow-shipping experienced along the way. 

This year, I want to be a little more candid with you all.  Some would tell me not to mix my personal life with my public (business) life but I am not heeding that advice any longer as it becomes increasingly more difficult to keep the two separate and the struggle to keep on top of everything some days is adding a lot of stress to my life.  I have lived my life saying "I gotta be me" here I am like it or leave it, but this past year I have tried to keep my personal life contained in a neat little package and my public life in another neat little package, and some days the juggling of these packages wears me out!   

2014 was a challenge. In 12 months I lost my full time job as the Program Coordinator at a Disability support centre due to poor health (Diabetes, Anemia, and what we expected to hear was the early onset of MS). So, not being deterred, I started a new dream business following my passions, and planned for a grand opening of Dear Thelma, Love Louise in June. And then, in April, after an MRI, my husband and I were called in to see the doctor where we were told that I had a brain tumour wrapped around my brain stem. Over 40 medical tests and appointments Including MRI's with intravenous contrast, Cat Scans, angiograms, barium swallows, x-rays, upper GI scopes and biopsies, colonoscopy and biopsy, eye pressure tests, hearing tests, ear scans, balance tests, and tons of blood taken, all proceeded after the diagnosis, while a decision to not operate was made by the surgeons due to the fact the risks of removing the tumour currently outweighs the discomforts caused by it, or the impairments that could be left with me if they attempt to remove it.  So, the decision was made to just keep an eye on it and leave it be and hope for the best.  During the testing another benign tumour on my liver was discovered and a diagnosis of Diverticulitis was also made. 2014 also saw us lose half our household income, watch my husband change jobs and still find no relief with his physical pain from his car accident, and I was given the news I may lose my home in the new year.  These are The Lions I mentioned.

In 2014 I also hiked, fished, had bonfires, grew sunflowers and herbs, made cool stuff, traveled to many festivals, markets and events, made new friends, was inspired by many creative and passionate people, helped to run a  new market, had a successful first year with my new business, played the guitar and ukulele, planned parties and events, visited with old friends, loved my husband, kids and grand kids, hiked, explored caves, played with butterflies, baked bread, tried new foods, photographed a beautiful world, explored new places, and made new memories. These are the Lambs.

I like to look at my life like one would look at a good book.  There are many chapters and, many build ups and let downs and satisfying accomplishments or disappointments. You love the characters, you hate the characters, you are thrilled or you are bored or angered with parts. This is life, this is my life, this is my story, it is one big chapter book, some chapters are better than others but when one chapter is complete, I move on to the next until my story ends and I face or embrace the challenges and experiences that come my way.

Here is a review of 2014 in journal form if you are interested.  If not stay tuned and read about my plans and life in 2015!





Thursday, October 9, 2014

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION

OCTOBER 2014-MAY 2015

We have exciting news! We decided that we just couldn't put Thelma the trailer away for the winter, she has a purpose after all!  So starting  (October, 2014), Dear Thelma, Love Louise will be setting up shop in a new/regular location.  Regular because it will be at Cheapside Market/ Peaceful Ponds where we are part of the regular Sunday Markets from 10-3.  The new part is: We are moving Thelma, behind the Peaceful Ponds Shop and packing her up for the winter weather but....  Once you enter into Peaceful Ponds, on the left you will find a lovely little Pop Up Shop filled with Dear Thelma, Love Louise goodies that stays there 7 days a week under the supervision of my dear friend Roxanne.
Thelma will be open for your shopping pleasure during  the pop up shop throughout the week keeping with Roxanne's store schedule, plus Market Sunday's from 10-3 until March.

ALSO.....

Dear Thelma, Love Louise will be holding online auctions on our Facebook GROUP page from January to March, as well as supporting the Cheapside Market Auction with donations.

Peaceful Ponds will be open daily, 7 days a week and you can find a great assortment of bird seed, pet supplies, as well as winter pond needs.  You can also find other great items throughout the week from some of our weekend market vendors. Roxanne's very own knit and sewn creations, & wreathes. A great stock of spiritual goods: cards, crystal balls, and more.  There is also Kin Eh D N maple syrups, jams, honeys, salsa, and other products.  You can also find a variety of items like cheese curds, farm fresh eggs, organic sausages, and veggies through the week.  It's like a modern version of the Old time General Store in the Carling area of London!

WHAT ELSE IS NEW FOR THE NEW YEAR?

Dear Thelma, Love Louise will be bringing in new stock....we are expanding our vintage, retro, and kitschy clothing line as well as our handmade re-styled clothing line called Pink Sheep!  We are bringing in a line of Gypsy Mojo products.  Our hand grown herbs, dried and made into smudge sticks, loose incense, teas, potions, and more.  Beads!  we will have a select variety of beads sold loose as well some beading supplies.  We will also be bringing in more upcycled craft supplies for you to purchase or barter for!  


Peaceful Ponds is located at 929 Cheapside St., London, Ontario

....follow us on Facebook & Twitter to know what we are up to, we have a GROUP and a PAGE!





Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Goodbye September & HELLO OCTOBER!


Goodbye to September.....some of the highlights.




My granddaughters first day of school! There she is! growing up, ready for school! Seems like yesterday we were sitting in the hospital waiting for her arrival! My first grand baby! Happy she liked the little outfit I made her, looks cute on her, her favorite princess! She told mom & dad they could leave, because she was fine! If they only knew its mom & dad that needs to stay!

Happy Birthday to the youngest of my grandchildren....who is 1 year old today! My precious, funny, deep thinking, little man!



1- a dozen new greeting card designs made today.
2- The cabbage rolls were a hit!
3- Went to the fair to see Glass Tiger (free tickets)
4- hot shower to warm my joints.. Can't believe I am saying that in September.
5- If I win a lottery I am buying my hubby this boat!
6- Proud of my granddaughter for her Student of the week award!


1- Disappointed with myself. Had to make a judgement call by 10 am this morning whether to bring Thelma to the Haiti Street Fest for set up, with the Fest starting at 1. The weather forecast was gloomy and it was raining at the time so I opted to cancel out. Although it remained chilly all day, the weather held up fine for the remainder of the day, after making that call with just a few brief sprinkles.
2- Outdoor festivals & markets are fun but even with the trailer, so much of the business rides on good weather as rain damages stock & a lot of my stock is set up outside of the trailer... And the sales rely on customer turn out which is poor in bad weather. Have to come up with a solution for this.
3- Festival season is officially over for us.. Too many variables now weather wise to continue on. I am looking to host a couple of indoor Pop Up Shops during the winter months & some online sales as well as looking to hook up with a couple of crafty shows. Let me know if you have some leads! If all goes well we hope to remain at the Cheapside Market as well, moving inside.
4- Ran into my vintage supply lady today and she has another haul for me!
5- Picked up some neat stuff for remake, restyle and repurposed ideas.
6- found the funniest porcelain doll.. Not a collector, but had to get him!
7- Bless my hubby for scrubbing the tub! It is a difficult task for me.
8- Cold today.... I actually wore socks and mucklucks.
9- My hair has now turned blue black grey green.. Eek, picked up more dye today!
10- I am in the market for a used hot tub, anyone selling one?
11- Thinking of redecorating the livingroom & kitchen. I hate both spaces.
12- Jana  & Pamela  I need your help. I want to grow those big sunflowers that get really tall and have seeds in them that you can eat, what are they called? Where can I find the seeds to grow them?
13- I picked up some severed arms for a Halloween display for our house!
14- hoping for some decent weather to complete an outdoor furniture restoring project this week.




1- We are working on a Harvest/Pumpkin Festival for the 26th of October.
2- Today's dinner was brought to us by the Cheapside Market! A locally grown and mostly organic market meal!
3- I have big plans in the making for Dear Thelma, Love Louise!
4- Collected pine cones today, hmmmm what to make with them!

1- Relieved that my daughter Skyla was evacuated from her job in Citi Plaza as she works across from the library where the bomb scare was. They detonated one of the packages & have arrested a man but no further news yet.
2- This show The Killing is really addictive.
3- I appear to have run into a I am never going to sleep again phase.
4- harvested my sunflowers and basil and more sage & mint before the squirrels make off with it all.
5- I love my patchwork pants.


1- homemade tomato, vegetable, beef soup.
2- learning to make incense, need to get my hands on some supplies for the stick kind.
3- Playing Frisbee with Poppy dog.
4- A productive meeting/chat with Roxanne making plans for Future events at Peaceful Ponds & Cheapside Market.
5- solidifying the winter season for Dear Thelma, Love Louise
6- Maple sugar candy


1- for lavender houses
2- for old time Christmas shops
3- for parking your horse & buggy amongst the cars
4- picking up my crochet book again determined to "get" this crochet thing!
5- for reading up on as many ways as I can to live off grid in the city.
6- for our purchasing straw bales for our Halloween display and garden.
7- for mustard monsters!
8- for my new mixer....let the homemade bread & muffin making commence!
9- poor Marc hurt his leg playing volleyball...no spring chicken.

Mmmm.... I have vegetarian quinoa chili in the crock pot, a delicious fresh fruit salad made with mint from my garden chilling in the fridge, and homemade milk & honey bread in the making this afternoon. It is going to be a great dinner tonight!

1- Homemade vegetarian quinoa chili
2- Homemade fruit salad with fresh mint & leftover quinoa.
3- Homemade bread. First made since my kids were little. Mixed it with my new mixer. Didn't rise as high as I would have liked but still not bad! Note to self...oven is hotter than what it reads. Never before tried recipe too. Looking forward to making more...send me your best bread making recipes please!
4- fresh mopped floor.
5- laundry dried on the line.
6- business calls made
7- fresh mint picked from the garden.
8- dog's got into the pond again and ate more pond plants.
9- reason number 94. Why I hate my tile floors....baking stone hit floor and shattered 

1- I finally taught myself to chain stitch (crochet) now to master what to do next.
2- Happy that I finally got around to making my Buddha Bottle Tree with the dying tree in the back yard ...Tree art!
3- A beautiful day today!
4- Started my next season garden list...it is going to be awesome.
5- Have a sleeping little Miah spending the night tonight!


1- Tomatillos -Verde tried for the first time, cooked in butter, lime and with fresh garlic.
2- Kohlrabi... Now I know what to do with it and it tastes good raw!
3- A very cool car that would look good pulling my trailer!
4-A hearty flower growing and blooming against the odds. There is a lesson here!
5-Going to purchase this beautiful black quartz ring next week!


1- Kohlrabi & carrot coleslaw!!! A new recipe.
2- First day of Autumn....my favorite season.
3- I broke out the corduroys, but I am still holding on to the flip flops!
4- Back to the internal medicine specialist and it has left me feeling angry and defeated right now but it will pass with time once I get my next wave of positive energy in. In the mean time, I just do not have any personal positive mojo left right now to deal with....the next doctor that implies or says to me, "I am afraid that you are just going to have to live with it, there is nothing we can do until you get worse", or passes me on to another Doctor to deal with, or the next person who tells me to try and not get worked up and upset or that they understand how I feel (no I am sorry but you really don't understand, you haven't got a clue, this is a very personal journey filled with physical, emotional, and mental shit that I can't even understand and it is happening to me). I just want someone to tell me that this is all going to just go away and my life will be normal again.
5- essential oil stress formulas! I need a truck load.
6- More blood work and urine tests today, and they wonder why I am anemic? Maybe they should stop taking so much blood. It's never just a vial either, it's always 6 vials or more.
7- For a phone call saying Hi Gramma, I am doing the Terry Fox run! Do you have chores I can do to earn money for Terry Fox?

Organic watermelon with seeds what a concept! Started the Breaking Bad series on Netflix. Dreamed of a giant Tsunami wiping us out this morning. Had to have some rewiring done in basement today. Tacos for dinner. My sweet Alissa did the Terry Fox run today at school, she ran 12 laps and told the teacher she was running for Uncle Russel & Aunt Michelle (for their dog) (whom she had heard had been sick)


Climbed in and out of a display window umpteen dozen times today...result, a great autumn display! Thanks to my hubby for all his hard work chopping down unhealthy trees and cleaning up the Peaceful Ponds grounds in preparation of spring plans. Sore body from hard work but a good sore helped by a hot shower and cold Buddha Beer.

Market day! Great having so many family members come out and visit with us...Jen, Mathew, Reanna, Des, Janet, Charlie, Allissa. Great to have some festival friends show up too! Helping hands from young ones, Allissa & Belle. Swaps with other vendors...watercolour paintings, fishing lure necklaces, and duct tape barettes for Scentsy products and organic herbs. Purchases of more tomatillos and fresh cilantro.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Hello September!

HELLO SEPTEMBER!




Time to welcome in September, and say goodbye to August.  We are winding down our mobile season and getting prepared to kick in with some pop ups and online sales for the colder months while we rebuild stock and book venues for the 2015 season!

Here are the highlights of August!











I always said I was going to be a blue haired old granny. I am a granny and I decided on blue/green! #youonlyliveonce #bluegreenisthenewblack #lavenderisnext 

August 10th
1- I am truly beat now.....

2- I love my Cheapside Market friends!

3- I have an insanely busy week ahead.

4- I am sold out of much of my handmade stock.

5- Did I mention I am insanely beat right now?

August 11th~ 
1- Dear Robin Williams, you don't know me but I know you or at least the you that you let us see publicly. You were my favorite comedian, I grew up with you from Mork & Mindy to all of your stand up routines, and movies....I am so sorry that you were unable to find peace that there was more to you that we did not know about. I know that I could never be there for you but I wish I could have said a prayer or sent you healing energy. RIP funny man, your life was noticed!

2- Thanks to my hubby who drove me all over the city after work to pick up the art supplies I needed.

3- My sweet little Allissa got all upset this evening because I didn't take her somewhere that I promised and when she couldn't remember where, we realized it was a dream she had had.

4- drying mint, spearmint, sage and cedar as well as hibiscus, rose, and sunflower for smudges I will be making.

Photo












MANTIS FESTIVAL!!!!





Faith's Footsteps!!!




ARGYLE ART IN THE PARK!!









NEW STOCK!!!!






CHEAPSIDE MARKET!!!

Well the verdict is in! I finally got a chance to sit down and do the books for our second month in business and we did even better than our first month! Both months, June 20th-July 20th & July 20th-August 20th, has had us come in well over our estimated sales projection. 

TOP Sales (Second Month)
1-Handmade Cards
2-Upcycled/Restyled Jewellry
3-Upcycled/Restyled Home Decor
4-Thrift Home Decor
5-Thrift Fashion Accessories
6-Beads
7-Thrift Books & Comics 
8-Thrift Clothing
9-Vintage Records 
10-Upcycled/Restyled Clothing

What changed? 

Handmade Cards became the best seller, Thrift clothing went from 4th best seller to 9th, beads went from 10th to 6th place, and vintage records made the list!

THANK YOU to all of our fans and shoppers! You make us who we are! We are dancing in the streets with happiness!