Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I remember being at work in Northern Virginia, in the financial aid office of a school full of people who had bright hopes for their future.  I remember vividly walking into my office to hear someone say a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.  I remember brushing it off, thinking it was a small plane.  Not many hurt; some bad luck pilot.  I remember learning the truth and sinking into my seat to watch the TV set up for the purpose in our large office.  I remember staring stupidly at the screen, the tears that suddenly rolled down my cheeks when I watched the first building fall.  There was not much functioning for the rest of the day.

I remember calling my ex-boyfriend/still friend at the time -- a government contractor for the Pentagon moved to Crystal City some time before the attack.  Crystal City is a short drive from the Pentagon.  You can see the big government enclosure from the tiny office/shopping center.  He was fine; but, had he been in his regular office, he would have been instantly vaporized.

I remember walking the streets in New York City, near Ground Zero, and the grayness in the sky that remained almost a month later.  The color of the sky and everything around me matched the somber faces of the people who walked around me and my friend as we bypassed streets blocked or cordoned off for safety reasons.

I remember going home that night – not my real home in Manassas, but in my mind my home across the street from the Pentagon, and thinking about how that small area would be changed forever.  I remember just a few years before, practicing for my drivers' license in the parking lot in front of the Pentagon so early in the morning.

I remember, in the months following, the Jersey barriers up in front of the White House and all of Pennsylvania Avenue and the feeling of sadness it caused.

There are those who say we should put that day behind us and move on.  Although I was nowhere near Ground Zero on that day, I will not forget that crazy, sad, desperate day, nor the days and months, that followed.  I cannot imagine that anyone directly affected could ever forget.

I think we have to remember that day; remember how it changed everything in our daily lives.  How it changed the way we entered public buildings.  How it changed the way we travel from place to place.  How it changed something as simple as renting an apartment or opening a bank account.  How it changed the way we looked at people who appeared different from us. 

How we treated those elected to run our government.  

It seems that the only thing it did not change was the human penchant for forgetting certain things.  For forgetting that intolerance breeds intolerance; violence breeds violence.  Attack always breeds retaliation.  How, if one dips their toe into piranha-infested waters, one may get their toe bitten off.

Please, let us never forget those three thousand killed, and the many thousands affected.  Maybe if we remember those people – real, human people – we will not forget that in the end we are all the same, no matter what we look like or whom we pray to.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


After a hiatus over at another blog site, I've decided to return home.  If you have been following me over at that other blog, come on back here and keep track of what viadellaRosa is going to be doing for the rest of the year.

One of the things we're going to have is a featured artisan.  I'm a member of the Artfire Crazy Train Guild, and I want to represent my fellow artisans in a special way.  Over on the left there you'll see the featured artisan.  Go visit their shop and see the wonderful things they have to offer.  While the featured artisan on the Crazy Train changes daily, my featured artisan will change weekly, based on the artisans chosen for the week.  If you would like to be a featured artisan, please feel free to email me at  There's no charge to be featured; I just like to spread the love.

If you are a regular visitor to my store you'll see that the store has a different look and a different selection that has been rather slim of late.  The product line at viadellaRosa is expanding; currently, we will be carrying:

  • Rosaries, Chaplets, and other Prayer Beads
  • Patron Saint Necklace - ready to ship & made to order
  • Women's Jewelry/Accessories
  • Men's Jewelry/Accessories
  • Unisex Jewelry/Accessories
  • Keep Calm & Pray Your Rosary Pendants - ready to ship & made to order
  • Handmade rosary cases & boxes
Also, check out our new policies for updates on shipping, returns and new contact information.

Sometime in mid-August or early September, keep your eyes open for viadellarosaHome.

Till later!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

New @ viadellaRosa - Summer 2012 Keep Calm Collection

 You see it everywhere these days.  Keep Calm & Carry On was a motivation poster created during World War II to give strength to the citizens of London during the dark days of the war.  It's a simple sentiment that says a whole lot.  And everyone is saying it everywhere, in all kinds of different way.  My particular favorite is "Keep Calm and Call Batman".  Just gold.

viadellaRosa has been producing "Keep Calm & Pray Your Rosary" for a few years now.  Sometimes, it needs to just be said.  However, this Summer, I've changed to the tune to something more straight and to the point, more in the tone of the original.

Keep Calm and Pray in Stiletto Red
The Summer Collection has 10 different colors, from dark and comforting to bright and exhilarating.  For now, they're available in the 8"x10" print, but they will soon be available in our favorite glass tile pendant.  Now, whether you're a Catholic, or not, you can have a little motivation when things get rough.

Past Season Prints and Pendants On Sale for 50% off
As well, past season pendants are on sale, along with a great many patron saint pendants and prints.  50% off.  I only do this twice a year, so get your self on over there.  While you're there, take a look at all the new pieces too!

Till Later!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ah, the fun of being adults...

So, I just saw a story about a knock-down, drag-out fight inthe Ukrainian Parliament and I was thinking about how my mind is feeling kind of like those guys.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t gone completely Looney… yet.  I’ve just been battling with myself over the idea of combining Lucia Carrill and viadellaRosa into one store.  There are a lot of pros to the idea – and a lot of cons

I miss Chowder.
Yay No. 1:  It’s a great revenue saver.  I was pricing out the marketing collateral (business cards, inserts, etc.) and my eyes started to bleed.  Not a cost I want to shell out for double sided business cards, two sets of thank you notes, tags, inserts, etc.  Right now, I’m printing as I need them, and that works for one or two sales a week, but that is NOT where I want to be by December.

Yay No. 2: I can save hours on online promotion.  I spend literally a couple of hours a week working on automating tweets for TWO stores, Pinning pieces from two stores, and maintaining TWO Facebook pages.  Woof.  I’m a part of two sampler boxes for the rest of the year and I have to come up with two different types of samples for TWO different stores.  Double-woof.

Yay No. 3: And one that catches my eye more than anything right now?  I have over 70 sales over at one shop and only 3 at the other.  My reputation at the 70-sales shop is stellar and it seems to be drawing more people, despite the fact that is a seriously niche shop.  The one that has more variety and decidedly more items has done bupkiss.  Blah.

I miss Boo, too.
Now for the cons of combining the shops.

Boo No. 1: Each store has a different “personality”.  That’s where the whole battling legislature comes in.  I’ve got two different stores battling for their virtual lives in my mind.  Mental chairs are thrown, mental fists are thrown, and mental ideas aretossed out on their mental behind

Boo No. 2: I’ve spent about half a year developing one of these shops into a beautiful place to shop.  I’ve created a breathtaking logo, designed a cute, fun mascot, and other things to put the name out there.  Now I’m thinking of wiping that name from the internets (as much as I can).

Boo No. 3:  I don’t want to confuse the clientele in my original store.  As I said one of them is a serious niche store, specializing in a specific theme of goods.  I would have to re-tool the marketing to include and inject the other shop’s personality and still maintain the underlying theme.

So the point?  I’m giving myself (and you, my loyal customers) until July before I finalize my decision.  I’ll continue to post pretty pictures of my goods, and will continue to keep Lucia and via separate until July 1.  Then?  We shall see.

Gosh, I love these fights. I should be ashamed.

PS:  Of course I don't own anything having to do with Chowder or Boo.  If I did, I probably wouldn't have this conflict eh?

Friday, May 18, 2012

I hope to become the fish on the left.

Even we in the handmade community have to deal with business concerns.  It seems that my mind is now turning to these subject matters as Spring turns into Summer.

In the Spring, Lucia Carrill bloomed into a pretty little shop absolutely full of cool items.  Now it's time for it to shine in the Summer sun!  With the planning that goes into being featured at The Little Black Box for June, I've thrown in some serious plotting about the future of the company.  Where I want her to go, how I want her to grow.  I think that if I'm going to make this here venture into a true career, it's time to roll up the sleeves and get to work.

You'll see more of this over the next coming month, especially over at the website.  I've got plans.  Groovy plans.  And, yes, I said groovy.  

As well, it's also time to look at viadellaRosa and see where she wants to go as well.  She has evolved from a rinky-dink hobby to a beautiful online venue, and I believe I'm ready to take her to the next level.  Once I figure out what that next level is.  Again, more of that in the months to come.

I haven't been listing any new products for the past few days, but, don't worry, there will be much more coming in Summer, including some new additions to both product lines.  

So, while I turn these bright visions into reality, I hope you'll follow this blog and come on this crazy ride with me.  

Till later!

Monday, May 14, 2012

What's New @ Lucia Carrill - May 14, 2012

After chilling out from the day job working on a new product I'm hoping to launch during the summer, I thought I would let you take a look at the new offering at Lucia Carrill for the day:

Only a few more days until I get my new sewing machine table so I can get to serious work on another (yes, another) new product line.  Yay!

Till Later!