Friday, October 30, 2015

Getting Ready to Launch

Ember is in her office waiting for Zenia and Jye to arrive for their first business meeting.  While she waits, she is on the phone with Henna.  Let's join them in the middle of their conversation.

Henna: But Mom won't be here until the middle of November anyway.  Besides, we still don't know who's hosting Thanksgiving dinner, let alone Christmas.
Ember:  Well, it doesn't matter.  Even by the middle of November, I won't have room for her.  I think it's better if she stays with you.  You have more room for her than I do.
Henna:  Yes, but I have company over sometimes.
Ember:  Umm.  Not to be crude, but your company is usually in your room.
Henna (laughing):  That was crude.  True, but crude. I don't need Mom coming into morning after breakfast and giving someone the third degree.
Ember:  Henna, she knows you're grown. 
Henna:  Perhaps. (sighs and pauses for a minute)  Okay, she can stay with me. Work may keep me busy though.

Ember:  Way to channel your resistance.  I'm sure it will be fine.
Henna:  It will be once I get another primary contractor.  My secondary contractors are okay, but they tend to work around other schedules and I need someone good and focused.  Sorry, but I'm worried about having to turn down new jobs and not ready to lose any current design jobs.
Ember (thinks for a few seconds):  Hey, remember Avery's brother?  Umm (thinks for a minute) P..Pete.  No, Parker.  I guess I was thinking Peter Parker.  Anyway, what about him?  He's looking for something steady.  I don't know how good he is, but maybe he's available.
Henna:  Well, I could meet with him at least and see what he can do.  Do you have his number?
Ember:  No, but I have Avery's.  Didn't you get it after the party?
Henna:  Oh! Yes, I do have it. It was my idea to get numbers and we have yet to get together.

Ember hears the doorbell, followed by Erwyn announcing that someone is at the door.

Ember:  Hold on, Henna.  (yelling to Erwyn) Okay!  I'll get it!  I'll be up in a minute! (back to Henna)
Sorry, I have to go.  One of my models is here.  Give Avery a call and get Parker's number.  We'll work on holiday dinners later.  Okay?
Henna:  Yes.  I'll talk to you later.  Goodbye.
Ember:  Bye.

Ember heads upstairs to greet her guest.  Jye is the first to arrive.  Ember brings her back to the office.

Ember:  Thank you for coming and arriving early.  That's always good, especially when you have to arrive for a shoot.
Jye:  Thank you.  I was so happy to hear from you about meeting.  I was thinking it has to be something good.
Ember:  It is, but I don't want to get into that until Zenia arrives.  Please have a seat and let's catch up.

Ember:  How are things with school?
Jye:  They are going well.  I'm going to cut back on classes next semester, but that's just to give me a chance to see how things go with modeling assignments. 
Ember:  That's a good idea.  But don't give up on the finishing your degree.  Keep taking those courses.
Jye:  I plan to finish my degree. 
Ember:  Good.  I do think you will have plenty of assignments in the coming months, so we'll work together to see how to make things work.
Jye:  Thank you.  I will need some guidance.  My parents were a little worried, but still excited that I have this opportunity.  Although not everyone is excited.

Ember:  Really?  Is someone discouraging you?  Don't let anyone keep you from working toward your goals.
Jye (sighing):  Well, it's Lisa.  It was her idea to bring me here.  When you told her that you would pass on her she was upset.  But then she found out you wanted me to work with you and she was very upset.
Ember:  Oh.  I know she was excited and hopeful.  Unfortunately, modeling is not for everyone.  Hopefully she will be able to move on.  I don't want to get in the middle of your business, but I can say that a real friend will support you.  So give her some time.  Maybe she will come around.
Jye:  I hope so.

Just as Jye is finishing her sentence, the doorbell rings.
Ember:  Please excuse me.  That should be Zenia.

Ember goes upstairs and after a couple of minutes, she returns with Zenia.
Ember:  Jye, this is Zenia.  Zenia, this is Jye.  You are both my first two employees.
Zenia:  Hello, Jye.  That's such a unique name.  I like it.
Jye:  Hello.  Thank you.  I actually think your name is pretty.
Zenia:  Aww.  Thank you.
Ember:  Well, you both have something in common already.  Two pretty girls with pretty names.  Zenia, please have a seat and we'll get started.

Ember:  Ladies.  First, I am very excited that you have had a chance to meet each other.  I'm also happy that we are having our first meeting.  But most importantly, even with the limited photos I have of you, I was able to land you both an assignment for a catalog shoot.  You will be at the same shoot together on November 1.

Zenia and Jye utter sounds of excitement.

Zenia: It's all very exciting!  Thank you.
Ember: Yes.  I do have plans to get a photographer to help put more professional portfolios together for you both.  We'll get that done soon.  However, your portfolios will really start to fill up and out with photos from paid work, because that's your resume.  Plus, I want to select photos from a professional shoot to add to one of the frames behind me. 

Zenia:  I don't mean to interrupt, but I would like to know if you have any tips and things we should be aware of for shoots?
Ember:  As a matter of fact I do.  No drastic changes to you diet.  No changes to soaps that could affect your skin.  Be on time, if not early.  Actually, I did list out several expectations on a document I am giving you this evening, along with the modeling agreement.  Let me give you those now.

Ember hands folders to Zenia and Jye.
Ember:  These will do for now to hold documents.  I'd like you to read over the information and ask any and all questions you have. 

Jye:  Will you go to the photo shoots with us?
Ember:  Good question. I will not be able to attend all of your photo sessions, but I do plan to attend as many as I can.  I'd like to see how you work, see what tips I can offer based on performance and also make sure I can be there to support you whenever possible.  You're my commodities, so I am investing a lot in you.  Plus, I mean it when I say we are going to be like family.  So I'll be there for you every chance I get.

Ember:  I have your files right here.  Please make sure you keep me updated with any plans you have so I can plan accordingly.  If you have to travel home or you have holiday plans.  Whatever they may be, I need to know when you're not available.

Jye turns to Zenia.

Jye:  Have you ever modeled before? 
Zenia:  No, I haven't.  My aunt is a model, but I rarely see her and she hasn't exactly been open about modeling with me.
Jye:  Who is your aunt?  Would I have seen her in something?
Zenia: Probably lots.  My aunt is Chambray Andrews.  She's a supermodel.
Jye (gasping in awe): Wow!  I know who she is.  She's stunning!  No wonder you are getting into modeling.  It must be in your genes. 

Zenia:  Thank you.  Well, I'm doing this on my own.  But I'm glad Ember believes in me.
Jye:  Me too.  At least we'll be able to be together at this first shoot.  We should exchange information.  We could try to meet up and go together or at least we can be there for each other.
Zenia:  Yep.  That sounds good.
Ember:  I do hope you two start working well together.  You may not always get the same jobs, but when you do, I expect you will at least show solidarity as you represent Journey Talent Agency.  I know you want to talk, but I think we should go through some items I want to review.

Zenia and Jye both agree and they listen as Ember reviews her expectations, the details of the catalog shoot, what they should bring, how to present themselves and some other contract and communication items she wanted to cover.

After the meeting, Zenia and Jye exchange numbers.
Ember: Ladies, this is just the first of many meetings.  As we grow, we'll probably have to find another place.  But when that happens and we're larger, you'll be able to say you remember when.  I know I will.
Zenia:  Thank you so much for this.  I am so excited.
Jye:  Yes, Thank you.  This is going to be great.  I hope I can do a good job.
Ember:  I have confidence in both of you.  You'll be fine. I appreciate you both.  Let's show the fashion world that Journey Talent Agency is here and here to stay.  Right?
Jye and Zenia both cheerfully agree.  Ember says a few more encouraging words and then walks Jye and Zenia out so they can go home.

Side Note:  I finally got decent lighting for all of the rooms in Ember's townhome and the day care center.  I am using 20 bulb Christmas lights for now.  They don't stay plugged in, but they are lighting up these rooms pretty well. 

Thanks for stopping by. ~ Jaye

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Introducing The Flavor Cafe

It's 4:45 AM, Wednesday morning, and Rowan Dunn has just arrived at her café, The Flavor Café.  Rowan has been in business for 3 years and built up quite a bit of clientele.  She managed to get a nice, but small space on a busy street in the city.  It's close to all the major businesses, including retail stores where many people shop. 

The café is only open Monday through Friday, from 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM.  Rowan operates her business with one regular full-time employee, Marisol Soto Cruz.  Marisol also has her own very small business baking and designing cakes and some desserts.  It's a great partnership since Rowan caters as well, mostly for events on the weekends.  Rowan enjoys cooking and baking, but not massive projects like wedding cakes.  So she leaves that to Marisol, unless the client decides to go with a different baker.

When she does take a catering job, she contacts the temporary/on call employees they have used in the past or a temporary staffing agency that specializes in providing kitchen and restaurant staff.

Rowan and Marisol met in an entrepreneur class they both attended four years ago when they were both starting out on their businesses.  Marisol decided it would be easier for her to work for Rowan with the steady café business and just have a small 'as contracted' business, rather than try to run a bakery on her own.  It has worked out well since they don't have to work weekends unless they choose to do so.

So, back to Rowan arriving at the café...

Rowan turns on the lights as she enters.  She likes to take a look around just to spot check that everything is okay.

Although she likes to check supplies in the evening before she leaves, she can't help but look at things again in the morning, just in case she missed something.  As she heads to the back, she looks at her menu stock on the counter to see if she needs to add more.  They look good, but she decides to take them with her to the back to add a few more.  Rowan goes into the kitchen where she takes off her jacket and puts away her purse.  

Rowan returns to the café area where she has brought out the inventory sheets for products and food supplies, along with a catering contract she is trying to wrap up and get out.  She just needs to check a few things with Marisol when she arrives.

After a while, Marisol arrives.
Marisol:  Whew!  It's getting really cold out there!  Good morning.
Rowan:  Hey!  Good morning! That cold is going make it a good day with coffee, tea and hot chocolate sales.  People like to warm up those bellies. 
 Marisol (laughing):  Yep, it sure will be a good day for hot drinks.

Marisol:  The combos menu (pointing to the menu on the wall) is staying as is next week, right?  'Cause I think those specials have been flying out the door.
Rowan:  Yeah.  I think people like them.  We'll talk about changing it up again soon with the holidays coming. 
Marisol:  Speaking of menus, where are the menus?
Rowan:  Darn it!  I left them in the kitchen. 
Marisol:  Well, I'm going to get started on filling up the case, so I'll grab them.
Rowan:  Thanks.

Marisol puts together some food trays and the grab bags of individual chocolate and peanut butter chip cookies people like to buy.  They are just enough to satisfy someone's taste.

Rowan:  So, I'm finishing up this proposal for the Davis wedding.  Did you decide on the cake and cupcake costs yet?
Marisol:  Yes, they are asking for two side cakes with the three stacked layers and the gold beads, right?
Rowan:  Yes, that's the one.
Marisol:  It will be $850.  The way they want the layout and the details are going to take me a while, but they will love it.  The cupcakes will be $1.50 each for me. 

Rowan:  Okay, so with my mark up to cover my costs, I'll put $950 for the cake and $2.25 per cupcake.   I'm going to get this out today.  I gave them a couple of options, but the cake is always the barely negotiable item with their requests.
Marisol:  It's always the star of the show.  Well, the star of the reception at least.  (Pauses for a minute.)  So, I'm thinking we should try a new pumpkin cookie recipe for the fall.
Rowan:  That sounds good.  The one we put out last year was okay, but a new one may be even better.
Rowan gets up and heads to the kitchen to put away the inventory sheets and the quote she was working on.  Then she and Marisol work on preparing food.  Some items need to go in the oven, some sandwiches need to be made and some need to be decorated. They work as quickly as they can, like always and then set out the most immediate trays in the case. 

After they are finished setting up, Rowan checks supplies again. 
Rowan:  I ordered some pumpkin flavored creamer.  That should be arriving soon.  As long as we are getting ready for holidays, we should work on the Christmas plans too.
Marisol:  Check!  I have some ideas.

Marisol works on setting up the register, ensuring there is enough register tape and change.
Marisol:  Do you want me to go to the bank and make the deposit this afternoon or are you going to do it?
Rowan:  I'll do it since I have to go to the post office to drop off the quote.  I may as well stop there too.

Rowan preps the coffee, but doesn't push start.  She likes to wait until 10 minutes before 7:00, just so the coffee is as fresh as it can be. Customers can bring their own cups and pay for a fill up or they can pay for a 'to go' cup.  Marisol takes a look at the tissue used for the food to see if she needs to get another box, but it's pretty full.

Rowan:  As soon as the croissants come out, I'll make those sandwiches and the case will be all set.
Marisol: Yep, it looks like we're good to go.

Rowan:  Cool.  So that gives us a few minutes to talk about your date this weekend. Date number two, right?
Marisol:  Yes, just number two.  I'm not in a rush.
Rowan: Do the kids still get upset when they know you're seeing someone?

Marisol:  No, I think we're finally past that.  Besides, they never know until I'm three months in, which barely happens.  I think since they see that their father is with someone now and it looks like they may be getting married, they have decided they're not being fair to me.
Rowan:  Well, you know boys can be over protective sometimes.  You have the triple threat over there.
Marisol (chuckling): Yes, that's them.  We'll see how it goes.  I'll keep you updated.  Speaking of which, when will you be dating again?

Rowan:  Well, I haven't quite met anyone since Tony who interests me, but as soon as I do, I have no problem with going out.  I don't want my life to just be about my business.
Marisol:  Good for you.  I'm going to go wash my hands and grab the gloves and some more tongs.  It's almost time to start the coffee and open the door.
Rowan:  Okay.  I'm right behind you.

Thanks for stopping by. ~ Jaye

Friday, October 16, 2015

My First Christmas Toy Idea for the Little Ones

As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it - the MiWorld Build-A-Bear set. I found it at Target. The backdrop is too short to use as is, but I'm hoping I can figure out how make the walls taller for a store scene.
Isn't it cool?  Just the right size for some of the little ones to get presents.  I was looking at the box and seeing what was inside before opening it and then the box was bum rushed.

Can you believe it?  They spotted the box and just ran over and started staring.  So I had to get them out of the way.
Me:  Umm.  Girls, I am in the middle of something.  You're in my way.  Please go back to your parents.  I'm sure they are looking for you.

Tylyn took this opportunity to put in her request.
Tylyn:  Miss Jaye, who are dese for?
Jaye:  I'm getting some thing ready for Christmas.  Where are your shoes, Little Girl?
Tylyn:  Oh!  Chwismas.  Miss Jaye, can I pwease have a bear?  I just want one, pwease.
Jaye:  Sorry, Honey.  Not right now and there's no guarantee you can have one. 
Tylyn: Can I put it on my Chwismas lis?  I'm being good.  I pwomise.
Jaye:  Yes, you can put it on your list, but I think you should take that up with your parents. I'm sure they will make sure you have a nice Christmas.  I am not going to discuss this anymore. Tylyn, you need your shoes, I'm working in here.  You could step on something.  Your parents are probably wondering where you all are.  Plus, I have work to do.  Time to go girls.  Scoot! 
The four of them finally moved on with their heads hung low, but looking just a little hopeful.

Okay.  Back to my look at the items I know I can use.  There are two boxes which need to be put together.  Two boxes for four stuffed animals?  That won't work.  So I will take a better shot of the box and print it on cardstock to make a few more.  Every animal has to be brought home in the proper box.

I looked at the four 'stuffed animals.  They are pretty cute.  The girls should have fun with them.  I think it would be nice if there are some accessories packs with other animals.  I haven't seen them yet, but all the other sets have them, so this one should too.

There are four wearable outfits that snap on.  At least there is one outfit for every animal.  Two girls and two boys.

Here are the additional clothing items that hang in the store for display.  They all have stickers, I just didn't put them on yet.  But you can see the dress on the bottom row which comes with a detailed clothing stick already on it.

So, that's it.  These are pretty cool.  I just hope for some more accessories and animals to be available soon (and where I can get them without sacrificing an arm and a leg).

Thanks for stopping by. ~ Jaye

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Redecorating in the Matthews' Home

Grayson and Cyann are spending Sunday evening relaxing in their living room.  Brenna is in her room and Brooklyn is on the floor playing. 

Grayson: Aw, Man! Come on!  How did he miss that catch?  It came right to him.
Cyann:  Uhuh.  Maybe he's having a bad day.
Grayson:  The whole team is having a bad day.
Cyann (focusing on what she's doing on the computer):  Mmmm.  Yup.  Sounds like it.

Grayson:  You know, it's nice being able to sit on the floor.  This new sofa is pretty comfortable for my back.  Are you going to get new chairs too, since we got rid of the other two that were in front of the fireplace?
Cyann:  I'm trying to figure it out.  I like this new set up, but I don't like that we can't sit in front of the fireplace.  And it's getting cold, so we'll be turning it on soon. Maybe I'll get a love seat so we can cuddle in front of it.
Grayson:  Or a bear rug to lay in front of it?
Cyann:  Let's not get crazy.

Grayson:  I've been thinking, we should get a bigger TV.  The game would look better on a bigger screen.  Look at how hard it is to see every play.
Cyann:  Gray, I can see the screen just fine.  But if you want a bigger TV, let's get one.

Grayson:  As long as we're upgrading, I want some surround sound too. 
Cyann:  Surround sound?
Grayson:  Yeah.  Just think about when we watch movies.  It will be just like in the theater.
Grayson looks down at Brooklyn who has crawled over to him and propped herself up on his leg.  She whines for some attention.
Grayson:  What's wrong, Baby? 

Cyann:  I'll look through the ads.  We're heading into Christmas, so there should be some deals.  I'll send you links to some sites.  We can go look around next weekend, if you want.
Grayson:  Okay. 
Cyann:  Do you have a budget in mind?
Grayson:  No, let's just price some things out and see what they cost.
Cyann:  Okay.

Cyann:  Was that a touchdown?
Grayson (grudgingly):  It sure was...for the wrong team. 
Cyann:  Oh.  (pauses for a minute) So speaking of budgets, do you think we can fit a holiday party into our budget?

Grayson:  Cy, we just had a party.  We're going to have to buy gifts for Christmas.  You want to buy some new furniture.  I don't think it's a good idea to have another party so soon. 
Cyann:  But you had a good time at the last one.
Grayson:  I did and it was for a good reason.  We're supposed to be saving for vacation too next year.  So no more parties, unless you plan on getting a job to pay for it.
Cyann (frowning):  Okay.  No parties right now. 
Cyann goes back to reading on her laptop.

Grayson (laughing):  Well, that ended that quickly.
Cyann:  It sure did.  My job is here with the girls.  Oh, and taking care of your every need as the dutiful and loving wife I am...Dear.  My most important job.
Grayson: Finally you get it. 
Cyann just rolls her eyes at Grayson.  She knows he's joking as much as she was.

Post Story Notes

I made the sofa, courtesy of instruction from My Froggy Stuff.  I removed two chairs, a table and a sofa from the living room.   I am working on my furniture making skills, so the Matthews get to benefit a little until I can start getting the apartments done. 

Thanks for stopping by. ~ Jaye

Friday, October 2, 2015

Tyson and Isis - An Evening Together

Isis Knight and Tyson Edwards have been dating for 17 months.  Isis is 24 and a Coordinator for the Institute of Arts and Science and Tyson is 30 and a Hospital Administrator for Caring Hands Hospital, part of a local and large health care system. 

Isis has a brother, Rahim and, Tyson has a twin brother, Tyquan.  Yes, the same Tyquan who is in an off and on again relationship with Quinn. 

Isis and Tyson are in Tyson's apartment, where they are eating take out dinner and watching a movie they rented.  It's a drama-filled movie and Isis is truly enjoying it. 

Tyson: Oh, she is definitely causing too many problems.
Isis:  I know.  I don't like her.  Her poor mother.  She doesn't deserve how she treats her.
Tyson:  But her mother let her act like that growing up.  She is kind of getting what she deserves. 
Isis: Maybe, but she tried to make it up to her.
Isis pops another chicken nugget in her mouth, then decides she is finished with her chicken nuggets and sets her plate down.  Then she picks up her napkin to wipe her mouth.  Tyson is already finished eating and his plate is on the table.

Tyson: Are you finished? Do you want more to drink?
Isis:  No, thank you.  I'll take the plates to the kitchen in a minute.  I just don't want to miss anything.
Tyson stands up.

Tyson:  Don't worry about it.  I don't mind taking them.  You keep watching so you can tell me what I missed.
Isis:  We can pause it. 
Tyson: No, don't do that.  I'll be right back.

Tyson:  Are you sure you don't want anything else?  Some more to drink?
Isis:  No, I'm full.  Thank you.  I love 'Chicken & Then Some.'  Their nuggets are the best.  Oh, shucks (a scene on the television catches Isis' attention).  Sorry, I don't want to miss this.  They seem to be gearing up for something.
Tyson: Okay.  Sorry.
Tyson picks up the plates and trash and heads to the kitchen.  Isis keeps watching the movie, it's really getting intense.  She doesn't even notice how long Tyson is gone.

Isis also doesn't seem to care that Tyson is concerned about doing something to the side of the chair. 
Tyson (whispering): I have to stop dropping trash on the floor.
Isis:  Uhuh.
Tyson sits down and watches the movie for a few minutes, then he picks up Isis' right hand.

Tyson:  Are you having a good time?
Isis (doesn't even turn her head):  Uhuh.
Tyson:  I love you.  I love so much about you, including your beautiful hands.
Isis:  That's sweet.  I love you too.
Tyson puts down Isis' right hand and picks up her left hand.

Realizing she won't be able to concentrate on the movie any longer with Tyson still talking to her, Isis turns to him.
Isis: Are you okay?  You're acting a little strange.
Tyson:  Yes.  I was just hoping you would stay.
Isis:  Well, I can if you want. 
Tyson:  How long can you stay?
Isis (gives Tyson a strange look): Well, I can stay the night. I do have to work in the morning, but I can come back after work unless you're coming to my place.
Tyson:  I need you to stay longer.
Isis:  Longer?

Tyson puts down Isis' hand and turns to the side of the chair where he reaches down to pick up the box he left there when he pretended to be picking up trash. Isis is a little confused, until Tyson turns back and quickly opens up the box.

Tyson: I need you to stay forever...with me.  Will you marry me?
Isis is pleasantly surprised, she puts her hand up to her head and gives herself a moment to hold back her tears.  She is very happy.  Tyson allows her to compose herself while he holds the ring for her.


Isis:  I love you so much, Tyson!  Yes, yes.  I will marry you.  Of course, I will marry you.
Isis gives Tyson a kiss and then he places the ring on her finger.

Isis:  It's beautiful.  I love it and I'm never taking it off.  Never!
Tyson:  I don't want you to.  Remember, you are now locked in.  No take backs.
They both laugh.
Isis:  I can't believe it.  It's perfect.  It's huge, but it's perfect.
Tyson:  I hope so, I went through a lot of trouble to get the size right.  I also hope you're not disappointed I didn't find an elaborate way to propose.  I thought doing that would be a dead giveaway and you always seem to like the simplest things.

Isis:  It doesn't matter how or where you propose.  It only matters that you want me in your life forever and I want you too.  I love you so much.  This moment is all I could ever want it to be.
Tyson:  I'm glad you're happy.  Now can we stop this movie and go make our own?
Isis:  I'm ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille.

Thank you for stopping by. ~ Jaye