Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween 2009

I have been kept busy this week getting my son costumed for Halloween. He wanted to dress as the character Link from the Zelda video games. He desired a hat and tunic. So we went to JoAnn's and got some fabric so I could sew him a costume.

The hat! I used fleece for this. He loves it and has worn it every day since I made it.

The tunic! I used a pattern and altered the neckline to match the one Link wears. I used broadcloth. Instead of hemming it I used my mother's treasured pinking shears on the edges. I loaned him my leather belt to wear with it.

The "boots" In the dark slipped over his lower legs with black shoes they'll look fine. I used dark brown felt. I would like to learn more about shoe construction just for the knowledge. I can make a basic pair of moccasins but not boots.

The shield and sword He borrowed the shield. It had the edging and one of the two handles were broken and it had the edging around it. The front was bare plywood. My dad said he could cover it with some of the white sandblast resist. (Expensive contact paper.) Then my ex sketched the Hyrule shield design on it and colored it with markers. My son already had the wooden sword and my ex colored it also.

All dressed up and ready to go! Think it all turned out rather well. Don't you?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Celtic Cross & Bedroom Finale!

Saturday my ex finished the Celtic Cross and I finished the last corner of my bedroom! Didn't the cross come out lovely? I have a feeling we will soon be making one to hang in the shop. I need to make angels, small panels and other colorful goodies.

I now need to put the finishing touches on my room. I still have two large storage totes and a box to go through sort and take care of. I also have a box of Barbie stuff to put away until I find a home for it and a bag of activity stuff to donate to the pediatrics's wing at my local hospital. I still plan for more sorting and reducing of stuff later. I have a few chores that need to be done first, namely cleaning the laundry room and defrosting the freezer. Our beef will be ready for pick up by the end of the week.

Today (Sunday) we, my ex, my son, the dogs and I went to my aunt's house and helped her make jam. It was neat to go help and learn how to make jam. I've never made jam before and neither had my ex. We received the teaching and guidance of jam making combined from the lives of three women spanning two generations. I was also privileged to be the third generation to use the favorite wooden spoon and ladle favored first by my grandmother and then my aunt and now me. The spoon has been worn smooth at an angle from decades of being used by right handed women stirring pots with it. The ladle is shaped like a fat teardrop with the handle on one side so as you tip the ladle the contents spill out the pointed end. This end is perfect for pouring the jelly mixture into the small mouths of the jelly jars. And to learn the tips that my aunt, mother and grandmother have tested out over the decades in pursuit of safer, simpler canning techniques.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Adjustable Wire Wrapped Dichroic Glass Ring

It doesn't seem like I've done much of anything lately. Today I listed this adjustable wire wrapped ring in 14K gold filled wire. I listed it as a custom listing because I will make it in any of my stock colors. Now I just have to make a color chart to add onto the listing. I plan to make one in sterling silver to list too.

I also went to my favorite local beadstore for one of their two annual wholesale bead shows. There I found all these lovely little crystal bead rondelles. I have some neat plans for these. I hope the finished products will be liked.

I am really trying to come up with some cute things that I can sell cheaply. I have taken to eliminating the time it took to make something out of my pricing code as my stuff is well liked, greatly admired and almost impossible to sell even if I sell it at cost! I really wish I knew what I'm doing wrong, right or not doing... If it's me or what. And maybe I'm just starting to have a pity party. So just in case I will bid you Adieu and find something to take my mind off the problem.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sleepy Time Wonders & New Colors

I caught these two already in bed sleeping the night before last. I have been "forcing" my Brutus to share the bed with that "evil kitty". If Fisk is on the bed Brutus paces, whines and cries to be allowed up in my lap. Usually I am working on something and there isn't room for him. After a while I get tired of it and just pick him up and put him on the bed. He takes the hint and curls up in the nook between the pillows and goes to sleep. It is an uneasy truce at best. Fisk so wants to be best friends with Brutus and Brutus doesn't want anything to do with him. I wonder how they will be getting along six months from now?

The second picture shows the four new fusing colors that just arrived in the last glass order. The colors are (from left to right) Stone, Chestnut, Terra Cotta and Persimmon. Now I just need to order a quarter sheet of Silver dichroic glass and start playing. I'm also considering a quarter sheet of something that has a lot of color play in small areas for making more "Dichroic Doodle" cabs out of.

I went to CBS, Coatings by Sandberg to set up some links for color and I found this on the home page! After looking I'm thinking about "Corkscrews" dichroic patterned glass instead of a "Hot or Cool Lava" patterned glass. As I cannot afford to order enough glass to buy directly from CBS I will be purchasing it through another retailer/wholesaler, Pacific Art Glass.

As for my bedroom I went and got not one but two new bookcases. I put one against the wall behind the craft table. The other will go by the other two bookcases. I ended up going through four plastic tubs last night, one large bag of papers and one box. I actually emptied the large bag, the box and one tub. I sorted out a lot of paperwork and caught up with filing all my receipts and business related stuff. The one tub is full of papers that I'm going to put into a large manila envelope.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bedroom Clean-Up & Rearranging II

This is the mess that I confronted this morning. My plans for the day were to carve another corner of cleanliness and organization out of this chaotic mess. (picture one, upper left corner)

The first step was to move everything to the right hand side of the room to the right hand side of the picture and vacuum. Step two was the cleaning of the TV, VCR, DVD player, cable box, converter and the hope chest they sit upon. Step three was bringing the TV, accoutrement's and the hope chest forward to the middle of the room, right up to the edge of the area rug. Step four was the cleaning of the ledge on the stairway wall and vacuuming some more. Step five was the moving of the storage carts and tubs of fabric into the newly cleaned area.

The last two pictures (upper right corner and lower left corner) shows the other end of my room on the same side as yesterday. The picture is taken from in front of the window. The middle one shows that section of my room in it's new found glory of cleanliness. The last picture is a close up of how this corner is a organized storage slash work area for my sewing and crafting goodies. The paper bag is for the books I've read and am planning on trading in.

I spent the evening watching NCIS while sorting jewelry supplies. I organized a bunch of findings and beads. I emptied four plastic storage boxes! I am talking about THREE cases of 48 of little plastic boxes per case plus one other storage box.

I've come up with some goals for the next few weeks when it comes to my room. If I don't I won't get this room finished and organized.

Goal #1~~~I have way to much fabric and I plan to whittle my six large plastic tubs down to five. (Four would really be amazing! And better.)

Goal #2~~~I still have a bunch of boxes, plastic bins, tubs and crates full of junk that needs to be gone through, sorted and put away. I will do one container a day until it is all put away, given away or tossed.

Goal #3~~~I need to get another bookcase and get all the books I pulled out and stacked up so I could move it to another corner and use it for my beads and stuff.

Goal #4~~~To straighten up my room before I go to bed at night.

Of course I still need to clean out the last corner in my room, dust and vacuum the shelves on the window wall and of course get that closet cleaned up. If I work on it 20-30 minutes a day it will be done in no time at all!

So far this arrangement is very comfortable and relaxing!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bedroom Clean-Up & Rearranging I

Ever since I moved into this upstairs bedroom in the fall of 2006, I have been trying to "fit" into it. This re-arrangement will be the third try since I moved in. Sometime you just have to try something, live with it for a while and try again. As you can tell by the pictures my bedroom is an attic type room. The walls are only 38 inches tall. The side of the room shown is twenty feet long and twelve feet wide.

The first picture I have taken from the foot of the stairs, (The books in the lower right corner are on top of the protective stairway wall.) angled to the right hand corner of the room. My bed is to the left of the window. At the foot of my bed is my chair and work area. As you can see this layout is NOT working for me. I never was able to get the finishing touch on my bedroom and closet. Since I can't live with this clutter it is time to try a new floor plan.

I drew this arrangement up a week before my horseback riding
mishap. I've been eagerly awaiting the chance to have at it since then.

In the second picture I show you that same corner again. My workbench is along the far right hand wall along with two storage drawer carts with my jewelry supplies. The bookcase now holds most of my beads, my wire wrapping and bead work books too. My rotary tool will be hung off the side of the bookcase. My tools are on the bench and my ex hung the small shelf on the wall for me.

The third and final picture show my chair now in place and blocking the view of the bookcase. My chair swivels so I can easily get to whatever I need from the bookcase behind it. The coffee table is back under the window and now has room for my radio. I absolutely love having the desk lamp on the coffee table. It lights up the room beautifully now! This picture also shows my bed and I caught somebody already sleeping!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Glass Order Has Arrived!

Today I have had a good day and got a lot accomplished. It was made even better to discover that Jannadu featured me on her blog!

I wanted to share what I did today with you. The glass order I put together last week arrived yesterday, mid afternoon.

Today Dad opened the crate up and my son and I unloaded it and brought it in. Dad cut up the first half of glass while I priced and put it away.

The first picture shows the cut up glass pieces awaiting prices so they can be put away in the main room.

The second picture shows the second stack of glass from the crate.

The third picture shows about half of the first stack of glass.

All this glass, about 55 half sheets was unpacked, cut down, priced and put away today. I did all of the second stack.

Finally after about 6 years I discovered by accident what I have been doing wrong when it comes to breaking sheets of glass. When I was a teenager I could break them down easily and without the glass breaking wrong. When I started working with glass again I couldn't figure out why I couldn't consistently break large pieces of glass down. I grabbed the cutter, made the score and I knew what I have been doing wrong!
Turns out I have been gripping the cutter in a "choke" hold. I need to hold the back end of the pistol grip cutter to keep the angle and pressure consistent when I am reaching that far away from my body and at that height.

I proceeded to cut the rest of the glass quickly with no bad scores!!!!

We also got four new fusing colors! Persimmon, Chestnut, Terracotta and Stone!

I look forward to trying out these new colors as soon as the Next Project is done!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Grand Studio Unveiling Sale Oct. 16-31, 2009!

I'm so excited to share the finished look of my newly "remodeled" Artfire studio with everyone. To celebrate I have taken 25% off all pendants, wire wrapped earrings, necklaces, bracelets and sets for this event!

Pictured today is the start of a new series of pendants. I've been working on the idea of having some lower price point item in my inventory and with the Artfire's stocking stuffer trend it was time to turn this idea into a reality! Now I need to start working on getting some ribbon necklaces listed in the studio for these.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mrs. Wiper's Transom Windows

I just wanted to take a minute and share the latest finished commission piece from our stained glass studio. A transom window for a favorite client, Mrs. Wiper.

I'm sorry the picture isn't better but cloudy weather does not help in getting good pictures.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Glass Shop

I wanted to take a moment and share my "alter ego" with all as I have recently realized that not too many know what I do in my real life. And that it is what brought me to glass fusing and wire wrapping.

When I was in grade school my dad decided he wanted to learn how to do stained glass. We drove up to Bend, over an hour away to visit the little stained glass store that was there on Division street. There wasn't a whole lot on that street at that time. I'm not even sure it was paved yet! As most of my parent's family lived in Bend I imagine we also visited while we were there. Anyway my dad went home and shortly thereafter made his first piece ever. It was a leaded glass owl. After that he took a Central Oregon Community College class on stained glass in Redmond. Being a little girl I don't remember all that much, but the next thing I really remember is he started going to the Bend Saturday Market and selling what he and my mom had made. That was in 1976 I believe. (The market was started in 1974 and is still going to this day.)

Soon the recession came along and the stained glass we sold at it and other markets and shows were paying the bills and putting food in our tummies. At this time the "real" job was mining decorative building stone. Just like the recession we are in now nobody was building so no stone was being sold. By the time the economy was picking up my dad was diagnosed with tendonitis in his shoulder. My parents sold the mining business and we moved back to Bend. My dad went looking for a real job. Two months later my parents decided to open a stained glass retail store and studio. They found a place to rent and put up a "proposed business" sign. The next thing we know a friend of ours who had a small glass shop on Bond Street called and wanted to know if we wanted to buy him out as he wanted to go back into construction. So of course we did and voila Bend Stained Glass Company was born. At this time I was barely 14. With a lot of hard work our store/studio was soon opened. I personally have been doing stained glass since I was eight. When my mother became ill in 2003 I took over teaching classes. Since her death in 2003 I have helped my dad run the glass shop.

The picture shows two of our three Spectrun glass cases. The bottom row of slots holds four square foot sheets (half sheets) of glass usually two feet by two feet. The second row up holds two square foot pieces that are usually one foot by two feet. The third and fourth rows hold one square and half square foot pieces. I spent most of last Wednesday and all of last Thursday pulling all the glass out of their slots one color at a time. I cleaned the slots and the glass. I sorted the glass, inventoried the glass and and with the help of my ex cut the large down and re-priced them to fill the mostly bare upper slots. While doing this I also created an order list of what we needed to fill out the holes in our inventory. The good news is we had more glass than we thought and could easily get what we wanted without having to pick and choose to keep the number of pieces down.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wednesday's Items

Well this is the only listing I was able to accomplish yesterday. "This Blue Earth" pendant. It is a quick, re-listing with upgraded pictures.

I had to pull the ring listings as they didn't meet the requirements fora multiple listing. I guess I will relist the rings but in silver only as I have been thinking about discontinuing the gold anyways as it is a gilt plating over the silver color.

I wouldn't say I have failed, but more like this goal has been suspended for yesterday and today as I had a more important project pop-up.

As you may have heard be mention I help my dad run a small, retail stained glass store and custom studio.

Our glass stock, mainly Spectrum has been running low due to the economy. And it is getting pretty sorry looking. Dad has decided (Finally!) to order a crate of half sheets of glass. So I was/am charged with the task of going thru all our Spectrum glass cases. We have four different slots for different sizes of glass, half foot, square foot, two square feet and four square feet per glass color. So I have been dusting the slots and cutting larger pieces down to fill the smaller slots. I have made it halfway through the cases. Today I will be doing the other half. This our way of "inventorying" our glass. The good news is I have found that we have more colors of glass than we thought as they get lost in the four square foot bin! Which means we will be able to fill more holes in our inventory than previously thought.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tuesday's Work & Listings

Well here is all my hard work for yesterday! I cleaned out the glass case where I will be displaying my jewelry until next Memorial Day Weekend except for the two holiday shows I will be doing this year. I cleaned the dust and paw prints off the shelves. Cleaned a year's worth of accumulated junk off the top and washed away the dirt and nose prints off of the outside. (we'll see how long that lasts!)

Here is my first listing for yesterday, my "Winterberry" necklace, a brand new listing in my studio.

My second listing was a makeover listing for my "Harvest Moon" necklace.

The third listing was "Twilight", another new listing in my studio and a new color group of rings.

The fourth and final listing was another new listing, "Ancient Spirals".

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Monday's New Listings

Well here are the items I listed yesterday! I'm afraid that four may be to much. We'll see! I put the pictures in order from the newest listing to the oldest!
So I will go through them starting with the 4Th listing and work my way back to the first listing of the day.

"Embers" was my 4th listing of the day. It was a brand new listing.

"Ancient Seas" was my 3rd listing of the day. It was a old listing that I gave a makeover. New pictures and re-edited the written descriptions, story/inspiration behind product.

"Forest" was the 2nd listing of the day. A color grouping of my $5.00 adjustable rings. As I have 20 colors I have decided to break them up into color groups to take up less room in my studio. I'm not completely happy with it yet. I need to have a better way to tell which color is which to simplify the ordering process as the listing is for only ONE ring. This listing is a new one too.

"Autumn Goddess" was my first listing of the day. It was an old listing that also received a makeover.

One thing for sure I can say is "WOW" my photography skills have really improved!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Goal For The Week Of Oct 5-11th!

I have decided to set myself a seven day goal. Maybe challenge is a better description. Anyway my goal is to do four listings a day in my Artfire studios, Willow Walker Designs and my new supply studio The Glass Goddess. The rules are as follows: Two listings must be new items that I haven't listed to my Artfire studios yet. The other two listings may be older listings that need a makeover, new pictures and re-editing then re-listing. I will blog about the items I list the following day. So today's items I will show tomorrow. Also I want to list at different times not all at once. This is to help me get other things accomplished during the day.

I have also decided with the holidays coming up I will start listing some of my "stock" items back in my Etsy store as well. These listings do not count towards my new goal as the are pretty much copy and paste from my Artfire listings. The bulk of my jewelry will continue to be in my Artfire studio.

Now all I need is a date to have the grand-unveiling of my made-over Artfire studio and a Grand Opening date for my new Artfire supply studio! I'm thinking either the weekend after next or this weekend.

I had planned to share pictures of our poor ruined cherry tree and yesterday's snowstorm but the pictures are no longer on my computer! I honestly do not know what happened to them. We had an early snowfall yesterday of almost three inches of thick, wet, heavy snow. As it had only gotten down to freezing twice, just last week the deciduous trees and shrubs have yet to lose their leaves. With all the heavy snow many of those trees lost branches. Our cherry tree lost two of three of it's main branches. I personally do not think it will survive. The guys think it will. I'm rather sad as my mom planted that tree only 10 to 13 years ago and it had just reached a nice size and was a good shade tree. I will get a picture of it tomorrow before the ex takes the chainsaw to it and cleans up the mess. Weather like this is not common but being so close to the mountains it does happen occasionally.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tips For Seed Bead Storage

A friend of mine, CatsWire
dropped a box of seed and glass beads today. Please read her post as it is revelant to my post! Her predicament gave me a great idea for today's blog!

I started working with seed beads in 88'. I made brickstitch earrings, peoyte stitch and flatwork. I worked with size 11's and 16's. I put in over eight years of seed bead work. Then my son was old enough to get into them so I put what was left of them away.

The first picture shows an empty, opened 3M Scotch Brand electrical tape container. They are approximately 3 inches across and 7/8 of an inch deep.
As you can see it is a small, round, flat shallow, flexible, white translucent plastic container.

This the good stuff used by many professional, commercial electricians. The tape used to come in these. I do not know if they still do or not. I think it may. All I can say is you can find any grab them!

The second pictures shows how I kept the seed beads in the tube unless I was working with them. When I was working with them I would only put part of the beads in. Please note how the shallow container is easy to pick the beads out of with the needle. I also liked how I could give the container a little shake to rearrange the beads. If they still slide around too much you could cut a circle out of felt or a beading mat to put in the container.

The third picture shows how the container looks closed and how you can still tell what color is in there.

The last picture demonstrates how when I was done I could squeeze the flexible container to make a spout to pour the seed beads back into their tube.
This flexibility allows the containers to flex upon impact whereas clear, hard plastic containers pop apart on impact. As I always take what I'm working on with me the containers have to be able to put up with a lot!

I had a electrician friend who introduced me to these containers. Between him and the electricians at the factory I worked at I was able to get a nice collection.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lacey The Walrus Dog

As you know I think a post without a picture just isn't right. So I thought I'd share a recent picture of Daddy's Little Princess who is ten months today. Here is Lacey masquerading as "Walrus Dog", or "Saber Toothed Dog". (The title depends on who you ask in the family.) She is happily packing part of an antler. No, she was not allowed to chew on it!

Any way I have spent most of the day glued to my laptop re-organizing my pictures. Family still needs a lot of love, but that's for another day!
I did get all of my "Jelly" colored post earrings listed. Still need a few more pictures to fill out the listings. A good project to work on tonight.

Whoops! I didn't realize I had already shared this picture. Sorry. Must be a case of space brain from my fall/jump of the horse!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Raspberry Pink & Luscious Lime

Here are just two of the new colors I have added to my color palette, a Raspberry Pink and a Luscious Lime!

I have finally downloaded Picasa and have been having a lot of fun re-editing my pictures and my Artfire listings.

But now I will have to organize my pictures again!

As for my poor, abused body it is recovering nicely. Had an average day, up, moving around and doing basic housekeeping. Not quite sure if I'll be up to the paper route this Sunday though.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Glass Goddess & My Riding Adventure

This is just one of my new colors, a coral. I'm thinking about calling it Salmonberry. But I have research to do first!

I have opened my supply store, The Glass Goddess. I have three cabs listed and a minimum of six more to list.

I did go riding on Saturday. Turns out that lovely mare has not really been ridden in over a year and did not take kindly to being seperated from her buddies. I decided to let her run, but when I tried to slow her down she disagreed quite vehemetly. So I decided to bail off the bucking horse. I still ended up hurt. I had hoped to bounce. Instead I just went "THUNK". I scraped my right elbow very nicely, tweaked my left hand, bruised and wrenched my back. I did get back up on the twit and rode her some more. I have spent most of the past three days laying in bed reading or sleeping. Each day I have felt better. Today I can finally sit in front of my laptop and type instead of standing.