Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cabochon Making Update

What can I say? I am getting a wee bit frustrated with the time it is taking me to get these cabochons done. First of all I have never made this many at once before. I am working on about 200 cabochons. I will have two, err three shelves to fire polish in the kiln. I will have one shelf of earring cabochons, small pendants and rings. The second will be the large pendant cabochons. Of course the large ring cabochons will be fired separately as I will drape them on a curved surface so they will fit the fingers nicely.

I don't think I have ever made more than 80 at a time before. Before I would get up early and work until late at night. In about three days I would have them all done. But now I only get to work on them for a few hours a day, four days a week. I will be working hard to get these finished this week. I need to make little cabochons for earrings and inexpensive rings too.

I have free up my time to finish getting the yard weeded. Also I have to clean, sort and organize the garage and the garden shed. Not to mention every room in the house. I also need to clean off the front porch, wash the siding on the house and power wash the glass shop porch so we can re-seal the wood. Not to mention finishing cleaning the shop.

What can I say-it is finally nice out and I want everything done yesterday! I thought I was behind last year at this time. It's worse this year between dad's death and the wet, rainy weather. all of a sudden I realize how much there is that needs to be done! Aaaaaaacccckkkkkkk!

Monday, June 13, 2011

2011 Show Booth Display

This is my updated booth display for 2011. I've switched my jewelry tray inserts to white leatherette. I'm hoping it will help keep the glass a bit cooler in the hot summer sun. This first picture is the table to the right when one enters my booth.

These next three pictures are of the table on the left hand side of my booth. I've included two close-ups of the displays along with one that shows the whole table. I've added an acrylic stair-step riser to display the little necklace/earring easels (?), a nice pair of white leatherette ring displays and the pendant tree. I have the backboards on my earring display due to the winds that blow the sidewall of my canopy against the back of the display. It hits the earwires and knocks the earrings off the display.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Today's Progress Report...

I've managed to have another busy day! I took a short nap after I finished my paper route. Once I was up I went outside and turned the sprinklers on my flower border. After I looked over there I discovered my favorite sprinkler head was broken. So I picked up the pieces and switched the water over to water the shop lawn. It's one of several low pressure sprinklers fed from a main line. It was an adjustable water flow, half circle head attached two inches above a stake. The water came into the top of the stake from a small hose connected to a drip plug.

As my aunty had given it to me to try 3-4 years ago I had nothing to replace it with-or should I say that I wanted to replace it with. So I headed to the plumbing supply store for a replacement with the parts in hand. As they didn't have any all put together I purchased the pieces necessary to make my own. I made these up while eating breakfast. Then I went out and replaced the broken sprinkler. I spent an hour weeding, accepted my supply shipment, had lunch and got ready to teach my class. During class I got the supplies unpacked, priced and put away. Afterwards I cut another five dozen cabochons and ground ten of them before quitting time. I also got my dishes washed.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Flower Season I

It finally feels like spring here! I have been bitten by the flower bug. As a result I have been flower shopping.

Today I started planting some of them. First I started with this pot on the glass shop porch. I fell in love with the orangey-yellow Dalia you see in the center. I have surrounded it with dark purple and yellow flowers. I used Petunias, Sweet Alyssum, and a couple of new plants that I can't remember the name of. One of them looks like miniature petunias and are great for trailing out of pots. They are also hardy to 15 degrees Fahrenheit! I put the tags in so you can see what they'll look like once they are blooming. Once these plants get going, spread out and blooming I will have to take another picture.
In this flower border on the street corner of the shop I planted one and a half dozen double Petunias and one dozen Sweet Alyssum plants along with five Gerebera
Daisies. I am going to have a gorgeous crop of Irises this year too!

I still have seven Pansies and about ten Sweet Williams plants that my late daughter and I planted in June of 2008! Isn't that amazing? I treasure these plants and the wonderful, good memories they bring me.

I still have two large pots to fill with gravel (bottom) and dirt before I can plant them along with a hanging basket.

My goals for today were to work on my cabs, plant flowers, phone in the debit/credit slips, make a supply order for the shop and to do the dishes. I've done everything but the dishes!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Just Another Busy Day

I didn't manage to stay awake after the paper route today. Despite being exhausted I still couldn't fall asleep until late last night around ten pm. I was back up from my nap at 9:15 am and out the door on my way to Lowe's by 9:25 am. I was flower shopping. I was home by 10:10 am. Ten minutes late to open the shop, but then I had to go re-deliver a paper. So it was 10:30 before I was able to open the shop. My goals today were to work on my cabochons until mid-afternoon then start planting flowers.

So I started grinding away on my cabochons. At 11:30 am I realized it was Tuesday and I had a class to teach at 12:00! So I put a breakfast sandwich in the microwave and watered all my new flowers. When my students arrived I was gobbling my sandwich and re-marking cabochons for grinding.

During class I cleaned a stainless steel draping mold and re-coated it with kiln wash. Once it was dry I put it in the kiln to drape a student's fusing class project. Right before the end of class I found out the ex was heading out for the rest of the afternoon and we had a repair that needed to be ready to leave tomorrow!!!

So once class was over, students gone and the studio picked up I wrestled my unusual window repair into the studio and up onto the counters. I say unusual because normally I do stained glass repair. This was an old historic wooden window with old architectural glass. I had to replace five panes in it. This required chiseling out all the old glazing and removing the broken glass. Then putting in the replacement glass, securing it with diamond points and re-glazing. I was lucky-about an hour into it my ex returned and helped me finish it. We finished at 5:10 pm. I closed the shop put some food in the microwave and here I am blogging before I head to bed!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Gripes Of A Paper Carrier

Thought I'd share some pictures from my yard. The first picture is of one of my peonies. It's the first plant of several to bloom. The second is of my trees. The largest tree is my apple tree. It is an original Rome Apple tree-not a hybrid. And my Prairie Fire Crab apple is gorgeous right now!

OK, now for the gripes. ;) I have two major gripes as a paper carrier. One is that people who would never dream of blocking a mailbox never even think twice about blocking the newspaper tube. Whether it is with their vehicle or garbage cans. Now a days delivering papers is usually a DRIVING route, not walking or biking. This means every time a tube is blocked we have to waste time stopping the car, putting it in park and getting out to put the paper in the tube...then getting back in the car...I deliver almost 500 papers a night and have four or less hours to do so. I will admit that I deliver more than most which means I have to stay on time to get it done on time. Also I am not a mail carrier and am NOT driving a vehicle where I sit on the "wrong" side of the car to drive...

The second which is even more upsetting is paper THIEVES. I know you think that a paper here or there isn't going to hurt the "big" guy, IE the paper publisher. After all they can just write it off. Guess again thief, you are WRONG!!!!! The only person who pays is the little guy who delivers the paper. We are expected to drive back and re-deliver that stolen paper if we don't want to have our pay docked. We still lose gas and time. If I don't re-deliver that paper I will be docked four to eight times what I get paid for ONE paper. Each time I have a paper show up missing and have to re-deliver I have to also lose a minimum ONE MEAL per dollar I am docked. I have nowhere else in my budget to absorb the loss of income except my grocery budget. This also helps to ensure that I don't screw up. My hungry stomach thanks you thief-after all I just love to go hungry......(NOT-I am being sarcastic)

Sunday, June 5, 2011


I have been doing my best to get a little bit done in each area of my life every day. I've had a couple good days and a one day that was a complete loss. If I don't get enough sleep I can't get myself moving to get anything done.

As you may remember I am a paper carrier. This means my day starts at one am...I finish my routes between five and six am. At ten am it's time to open the glass shop for the day. I close the shop at five pm. I am trying to break twenty plus years of sleep habits to go to sleep by seven pm. Unfortunately for all my life this has been "my time" to relax, read and whatnot. To no longer have any real "free time" is very hard. I really need the time between the finish the paper routes and opening the shop to water the yard and work in/on the yard. I can only water from six am to ten am or four pm to ten pm on odd days. And as most know we are supposed to water in the mornings.

Once the heat kicks in things are going to definitely be tricky. My bedroom will be to hot to sleep in until about eight pm. I'm going to have summer hours in the glass shop which give me an afternoon time slot for napping. I have an air conditioner unit for my upstairs bedroom, but I feel it is too expensive to use. I need the money I'm saving on not heating the house to pay for the water for the yard.

My last "real" job was back in 2003 and as I haven't really "worked" since then it does seem to be a bit of karmic justice to now have to put in 12 to 16 hour days. That's what happens when one has spent that many years on "vacation" I guess. I've come to this conclusion about life. If one has the time to go do stuff (camping, fishing etc;) then one doesn't have any money to do so. To have the money to do stuff means you won't get the time to do it! One of life's little conundrums. :)

Saturdays are market (show) days. Sundays are the closest thing I have to a day off. The shop is also closed on Mondays, but that is the day for me to run errands, go to the bank and throw the weekly store ads.

Speaking of Saturday Market yesterday was my first day there and I had a great day. I was very happy with how well I'd done. Then I added up the debit/credit slips and found I'd about thirty percent more than I thought. This makes this the second best one day show in five years for me. I think my new set up really worked for me. I'd share some pictures with you all, but I didn't even think about the camera and pictures until we were back home unloading. So that's a goal for next week!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The First Day Of The Rest Of My Life

Here's a cute picture of my lapdogs and I. As you can tell our golden girl has absolutely no concept of her size! ;)

I have been asking myself some very powerful questions lately and for some reason the answers have been crystal clear.

I want to be successful. I have been asking myself what things do successful people do that I'm not doing... First I have to define my version of successful. I want to know I can pay my bills, taxes, insurance etc; without being broke and doing without things. I want to be financially secure. I want to be building that savings account because that savings account is also an EMERGENCY FUND. When I think of it this way it takes on a lot more importance. This is where money for car and home repairs, medical or financial emergencies comes from. Not to mention where money resides for when a great deal comes up AND of course the future. As I have spent a large part of my life living hand to mouth I DON'T want to go back there. This means planning a detailed budget and sticking to it.

Another part of successful is how I live my life-morals, ethics and values. When I live right it means things go right. For me this means implementing a schedule and learning to manage my time wisely. In doing so I will be able to learn to keep up a house, business, yard and my jewelry. This also includes taking care of me. Going to bed on time, eating healthy, getting back to exercising. I want to get back to being a nice lean machine. I'll feel better and have more energy and hurt less. Not to mention in another year or two I will have to manage things on my own as I won't have a son available. He'll be heading off to make his own way into the world.

The other part is based on my jewelry and the glass shop. My goal is to be able to live off of the income from my jewelry in the long haul. I also want to see the glass shop producing enough income to be able to pay it's own way with money to spare. To get there I need to learn more about running a business and to stay on top of all those pesky chores like bookkeeping and other business tasks. I also need to get back on track with all that on-line stuff to advertise my jewelry and the shop.

Some of these things I have done in the past and can learn to do again. Many of these things I have been meaning to do for quite a while and it's time to stop procrastinating and just do it. I never meant to put it off this long. If I don't do these things I will never get anywhere or amount to anything.

I truly believe in the concept of mind over matter. Our brain is an amazing thing. The experts say we use less than 50% of it. (if I remember correctly) I practiced this when I was in high school. I could set an internal alarm clock, stay warm etc; Part of this is visualization-visualizing and seeing oneself doing it. As part of this I am working on defining exactly what things like "successful" mean to me instead of leaving these as vague concepts. Then I can figure out the goals, steps and means to get where I want to go. I am also considering a life coach to help me with this-if I can afford it...

Last night as I was pondering these weighty subjects I remembered today was the first of June-the perfect time to start implementing changes in my life. As I lay there thinking these "heavy" thoughts I felt an energy in myself and just knew this is the right time and I CAN DO IT! Today I will live my life right!

So today I will phone in any credit/debit slip sales I have. I will add up sales slips in the glass shop. I will catch up on paperwork. I WILL write down everything I spend $$$ on! I will do some housekeeping in both the house and shop. I will work on my glass cabs. I'd work in the yard, but it's going to be too wet to weed and is supposed to rain. It's also chilly...

My life goal is to
be able to have a home in the middle of nowhere, living off of income from my jewelry. I'd like to have an RV/5th wheel to travel the US and Canada meeting my plurkie friends! I would have an area for the glass end of my jewelry and be able to do shows as I go!