I am always in search of a 14-year-old girl. And not for any nefarious reason.
It's just that that's when my life was really wonderful – when I had immediate access to two smart, dextrous, no-nonsense daughters who could alphabetize, fold clothing, sort anything and develop spreadsheets like nobody's business.
And who had to do exactly what I wanted because I was the mom.
I'll never have better employees, because these two never wanted to talk about anything - they just wanted to get done and get out of the house. The scissors would fly, the printer would roar, the boxes would appear faster than anyone had the right to expect.
And then they were out. No chit-chatting, no smoke breaks, no follow-up questions. No opinions.
I keep telling myself I must be getting old and feeble-minded - that's why I can't get everything done. But the real reason is that the best little assistants in Texas are now all grown up. Doing what they do . . . for reals.
For the third time this week, I had to click through three different website pages to get information on ticket prices for fundraisers. Don't know what's going on, folks, but wouldn't it make more sense to list the prices on the email itself?
Now I'm annoyed, and it's not just at the $100 per person ticket prices. Sheesh.
This is what I'd wear to a fundraising luncheon. See all Her delicious bamboo wraps here.
I’m really liking the idea of using white noise to put me to sleep, but I’m having trouble finding the right app, not to mention the right sound to do the trick. One thing I do know: no one from the Gulf Coast is going to find the sound of rain, or water dripping, or thunder, in any way relaxing. Hurricane PTSD is for real, I’m here to say. Now those chimes . . . ZZZZZ
I just spent an hour or so trying to clean a couple of clear insulated mugs that had been rendered disgusting by repeated coffee experiences. Some lifehacker website suggested about five different remedies – and I tried them all, along with some of my own. I scrubbed, soaked, abrased and shook, all to no avail. I can be pretty persistent, but the brown zone was going nowhere.
Both mugs were sitting on the counter, destined for goodwill, so I picked them up and guess what was still on the rim of one? Lipstick! The very same lipstick that stays on my lips for about 10 minutes every morning had managed to cling to a plastic mug through several rounds of chemical and hand-to-hand combat.
Classic instance of what is beyond me = )
We Americans love our cars. In fact, we almost live in them.
There have been days when I've eaten all three meals in the car - and judging by the crap I see in my car and other peoples,' we keep a full wardrobe and a gym locker full of supplies in our back seats. With massive numbers of cup holders and connections to all types of electronic devices, we've made our cars not only comfortable but habitable. I actually go sit in my car when my back's bothering me - it's the best seat in the house.
But you know what cars don't have? Someplace to put my purse. I mean, I have about a million compartments of unknown purpose within reach of the driver's seat, but my purse - where I keep glasses, notes, lipstick etc - is either strewn all over the passenger seat or the floorboard. And that's just before the first near-miss of the day.Then the contents are everywhere.
I don't get it. I know the auto design industry is probably dominated by men, but don't they have wives? Haven't the salespeople noticed on test drives that women don't have anyplace to stow their belongings? Don't they get tired of holding strangers' things on their laps?
Of course they do. It's just another instance of how we accommodate the world instead of the world accommodating us.
Do we have to start a movement? Why can't some bright, alert, and brave person change our lives by acknowledging what we all know to be true - that we need someplace to stow our bags in the car?
Why not? It's beyond me.
Okay, I like sports, and I like to watch sports on TV. Plus, I'm a HUGE fan of the Olympic games, summer more than winter, but a fan nonetheless. So I was really looking forward to watching the 2018 winter games in Pyeong Chang, South Korea, starting with the opening ceremonies.
So I watched and waited. Surely, NBC was going to give us some notice on how to watch these events on the other side of the world, right? A few days before the kick-off, I still had no clue – I thought the opening ceremonies were on Friday, but then I saw ads for some events on Thursday? So I started the search. Sigh.
And what did I find? Lots of unofficial news on the time difference, the events, the US athletes, but nothing really on what an unplugged (as in Old School antenna) viewer could count on in terms of coverage.
On the NBC website, it became clear that literally EVERYTHING could be streamed. So that curling match you've been anticipating? It's scheduled at 3:30 am next Tuesday- and you can watch all 2.5 hours of it live and uninterrupted.
For those of us with lives, that's what's known as overload. I just wanted to see the best and the brightest stars on the ice or the mountain – and actually, my preference is that it be taped and curated.
I had to find it, but it turns out that NBC is offering exactly what I want to see every weeknight on prime time and every weekend, too. So, yay! But why bury the lead? Why make it hard for half-interested viewers to get the picture, literally?
Forever and always, it's beyond me.
Beyond Her is a true cottage industry, specializing in artisan textiles for home and body that we produce in a small studio in La Grange, Texas.
I draw the mostly nature-inspired images in pen and ink; then we screen print onto natural fabrics using eco-friendly, water-based inks.
From the beginning, our signature product was dish towels, generally dyed and printed with images with a modern, yet organic aesthetic.
From the start I looked high and low for 100% cotton towels, the kind that are absorbent and get softer with each use. The kind that gets a little wear-hole after years of use.
I found the towels that met all the criteria (nice size, loop on back, dyeable fabric), but they were made in India. Still, we kept the same supplier for six years and created and sold literally thousands of towels.
The towels became one of the few products between us and legit Made in America status – which was something we wanted..
(The whole sourcing issue is made more complicated by the way cotton is raised, harvested, and milled. Here's the whole story.
Even though we were satisfied with our product, every so often I would check online to see if any US textile mills were offering a suitable 100% cotton fabric. This year, 2017, something actually turned up on the search!
The source wasn’t actually a mill, but a manufacturer of home decor fabrics offering cotton bolts completely made in USA. After a few phone calls, sample orders, and a trip to the plant in Sherman, Mississippi, we determined we could in fact use this fabric for high quality tea towels – if we could find someone to do the sewing.
A search on etsy turned up several sewing studios / artisans, one of which made towels of her own. We bought a dozen, started the conversation, and two months laters, she started work on several bolts of multi-colored fabric, using a custom twill tape hook announcing “Life is Too Short for Ugly Dish Towels,” the Beyond Her manifesto.
Then Harvey happened. I had been thinking of incorporating words, or affirmations, into my designs anyway. But that storm rocked my world, and even though we were facing production in a compressed time frame and headed into an uncertain holiday season, I couldn’t fathom creating just another pretty dish towel. So I picked four words that mean a lot to me – hope, strength, courage, wisdom – and came up with complimentary images.
I’m so happy with the outcome. The towels themselves are so straight and even; they were a dream to print on. I also made the designs as large as our equipment could handle for a bolder effect.
So far sales have been brisk. I love watching people ponder the images and the text, trying to decide what means the most to them or the person they’re headed to.
The best news of all is that, even with the freight back and forth, the Made in America towels are cost competitive to the imported version.
The value of persistence – in fact, that’s our next towel!
Shop our new towels here!
Exactly one million years ago, I was introduced to Becky Brooks of Take Two Visors, who makes what anyone who plays tennis or golf calls the "no headache, no hair muss" visor. And she makes them right here in the USA. I'm a big fan.
She just sent me a special order, custom made for my tiny head - and in return, I gifted her with some Beyond Her towels for her and her shop-mates. This is what I got in return.
Proud to be a new member of the Made in America movement. Happy to have made these ladies smile.
For 10 years, we've searched for a US made cotton dish towel - to no avail. The cotton was either sourced overseas, or milled overseas, or both. In the end, we purchased a high quality tea towel blank manufactured in India. That was settled.
But now, something wonderful is happening: we've got a handle on All American kitchen towels, under our private label. Oh snap!
Stay tuned. But in the meantime we're getting nostalgic about all the generations of original, hand-birthed tea towels we've proudly made and sold to you, our loyal customers.
It will only get better.
Her Point of View
Designer Paule Hewlett takes on design, culture and modern life.
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"Life is too short for ugly dish towels. Really, ugly anything."