Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Shades Of Blue For The Fingers

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall Clearance Sale 25% to 50%

I did a bit of fall cleaning in my Artfire studio yesterday. I moved and eliminated several categories. The majority went into a new category, Fall Clearance 25%-50% OFF.

This little dichroic glass pendant with a 22K gold decal of a nautilus shell is only one of the items now in the new fall clearance category.

I moved all the Art Deco Collection, the Modern Bold Collection and the Images Collection into the Fall Clearance category. The fancier Etched pieces are now in a category called Dichroic Designs.

I'm trying to clean out my studio as I want the pieces in it to reflect my new, intricately wire wrapped style of jewelry. As I stated in an earlier post I'm only making the intricate wire wrapped pieces from now on.

Friday, September 23, 2011

"Five Little Windows, All In A Row..."

Five little window, all in a row.....Just waiting to go home with the big one! These turned out so pretty. It's amazing how a bit of colored glass, some bevels and a classic background glass (like the glue chip used here) almost always seems to turn out so amazingly beautiful and classy!

These six panels (the one from my previous post) have been picked up by their proud new owners and will be heading to South Carolina next week. The owners are pleased and happy and already trying to figure out how to fill three windows that are high up in the home. The five small panels will be set into an existing five panel, tall narrow sidelight type window and the big one will be only a few feet away at the bottom of a stairway.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stained Glass Commission Work

This is my first stained glass commission piece in four years. This is the first window of a set of six. I have five small windows to do that will go with this one. They will have a smaller, different bevel cluster. They all have to be completed and ready to leave the shop by ten am this Friday morning.

I've really procrastinated getting back into the stained glass. I think the main reason has been fear. Fear of what will happen as the last two times I got back into it bad things happened. Needless to say I'm trying to convince myself that it is a silly, irrational, groundless fear and that this time everything is going to be good.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Raspberry Parfait Wire Wrapped Necklace Set

Raspberry Parfait Wire Wrapped Necklace Set! I've finally listed this gorgeous set on Artfire. I also uploaded it on jewelrylessons.com where it received an astounding amount of compliments within the first 12 hours it was posted.

This is the kind of work you will be seeing from me in the future. I love setting my dichroic glass cabochons into intricate wire wrapped settings especially when I can add in some gemmies too! These are time consuming creations that I love making!

When I first started listing I would write short stories about the piece using my alter ego, jewelry designer whom I named "Willow" She's was a sci-fi fantasy gal living and traveling in the future who was also settling on a new world with others. With these fancier pieces I have been playing with bringing her back with new short stories. What do you think?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Midnight Moon Goddess!

I've finally managed to get this piece listed. Midnight Moon Goddess, Wire Wrapped Purple Dichroic Glass Necklace. I really need to take more pictures of it while playing with different lighting. These pictures don't do any justice to the beauty of this dichroic glass cabochon. This cabochon is actually PURPLE! Not blue. Lots of lovely rich shades of purple from blue-violet to red-violet. Very rich and colorful. Why does it show blue? Because the the camera sees light wavelengths a bit differently than the human eye sees them. To the camera any blue-violet shade of purple is blue.

I am working hard at improving my attitude. This past week has been hard as I've changed my sleeping cycle. Since I started delivering newspapers I've been sleeping in split shifts. Three to five hours before I go to work and then two to four (or more) hours afterwards. I have managed to stay awake after the route for four days now. I am finally starting to get stuff done around here. I am (hopefully) done with my bad attitude. Life adjustments are hard. They take patience and time. Not just on my part but for all those who are around me and have to deal with me!

I have acquired home and auto insurance. I am still waiting to find out about the glass shop.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

This Woman's Perspective, Part One

I have this magnet on my refrigerator and it says "If I worked like a man, they'd call me a lazy b*tch" This is the way my life seems to go. For better or worse this is the way things still work even in today's world. Women are the laborers that keep everything going. We are the pack animals of the world.

As women we are expected to work from the time we crawl out of bed until the time we crawl back into it. We get up, make coffee, breakfast, school lunches and clean before going to work. We hold down jobs outside of the home like men do. But when we get done with the day job it's time to come home and work some more. Cooking dinner, doing the dishes, laundry, housework and yard work. This includes taking care of the kids, helping them with their homework and such. A woman's "duty" is to make her man's life as easy, lazy and comfy as possible. This has gone on for centuries.

Part of this goes back to our hunter-gatherer days when the man was out getting the meat and protecting the tribe. With the rise of Christianity our fate was sealed. I'm not blaming Christianity-just the women hater that rose to become a high ranking individual in the church with a lot of power and influence around the First Crusades. Courtesy of him women became second class citizens and more or less slaves to the men in their lives. He did a lot of damage to the way women were viewed and treated. Much of which we are still fighting against to this day.

For us women there are no excuses for not keeping our homes, yards, kids and life in order-no matter what. When we are sick we are expected to keep on going like normal. We don't get to lay in bed whining, expecting to be waited on. Oh, no we have get up and keep on going. And if we don't then out come the guilt gremlins. We are left feeling guilty from many sources, the men in our lives, other women and our own conscience. Not to mention we are held responsible for "keeping" our men in line. Sound familiar anyone?

Most of men I know get up, put in their day at their job and then they are DONE. They do not do housework, they will do a minimal amount of yard work such as fencing and sprinkler repair. They will watch their kids if the little woman is working, BUT generally they aren't real happy about it.

Now I know that not all women's lives are like this nor do all men have this attitude. I also know many couples are very happy and content with the traditional role. Unfortunately the majority of the men I know ARE like this. I come from a place where there is no respect for all my work, only criticism about what hasn't been done. And yes it's getting on my nerves.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Kitchen Update

Slowly but surely I am getting there on my kitchen.  I can't believe how long it's taking me.   This is a project that ten years ago I would had whipped out in a week.  Of course  I would of spent eight or more hours a day on it until it was done.  These days I only get to work on it for two or three hours a day.  

As you can see it is looking very good.  TSP has become my new favorite cleaning solution.  I used it to clean the decorative plates, cookie jars, dessert tin and much more.  It cleans them quickly without stripping or damaging the surface.  I even used it on decorative cooking spoons that have small oil paintings on the bowl safely!

The first picture shows the difference in between the cleaned and still dirty cupboard.  I can't believe how filthy they were.  I'm embarrassed to admit I never looked that closely at them so I never realized how bad they were.  Needless to say I am changing my cleaning ways.  I will be learning to wipe them thoroughly at least weekly, preferably daily.  

The green paint looks very nice.  All clean and fresh.  Not to mention that nice crisp, white clean ceiling!  Interesting tidbit about that shade of green.  While cleaning out the bottom cupboards I noticed the color the walls were painted at one time.  It is almost the same shade of green!  LOL!  

Another interesting fact:  The bottom cupboards that were the originals when my folks bought the place are not as old as I thought.  The doors are hollow core.  I think they are pine.  Somehow I don't believe they made hollow core cabinet doors back in the 1920's.

At this point I believe all the built-in's and cabinetry in this home were installed long after the home was built.  They were built in the Arts & Crafts style to go with the home.  

First of all the built-in's in the master bedroom are gorgeous and probably out of pine.  BUT that bedroom was added onto the back of the original structure along with another bedroom and the laundry/utility room.  The original bedroom would of been what is now my computer room.  

Secondly the fact that the wood used in the kitchen cupboards matches that of the master bedroom built-in's and the built in bookcase under the stairwell that's been blocked off.  And like I said hollow core cabinet doors...

Next I have to paint the inside of those cupboards.  I'm leaving that back wall alone for now.  After painting I'm going to put down shelf liner.  I may do a test strip as this is the rubbery stuff not contact paper.  This means everything must be set down or picked up-No dragging or sliding allowed.

After all this I still have one upper cabinet to clean, the other bottom cupboards and the freestanding cabinet.  I'm hoping by reducing the stuff I have I can eliminate the freestanding cabinet.  This will allow me to slide the fridge over a foot leaving me more room in the kitchen and a place to tuck the garbage can.  

Monday, September 5, 2011

My "Life"

After my mom's death my dad & I kept the place going. This place & my dad became my refuge when my life fell apart-multiple times. (Mom died in 03", my marriage in 06" & my dd in 08", I also did 9 months of rehab in 06")

Then after my DD's death in the summer of 08" along came the economic crash in the early fall of 08" With this came a substantial loss of income since commission work became rare, the jobs few & far in between each other. (Dad had one builder that was a steady customer, ie "bread & butter" for the studio.) My dad had his social security to tide us over and them he got on as a paper carrier in 09"

The fall season is the busiest for the glass shop with all the people making Christmas gifts, etc. After the holidays & until the weather turns nice is the second best time of the year. Business always drops dramatically during the summer. Stained glass is an indoor hobby and come summertime everyone's busy outdoors.

At this point with the economy if the shop can pay for it's own supplies, then it's overhead I'm happy. Not surprised to have to carry some of the overhead in the summer.

I always expected & planned on running said family business. What I didn't expect was to have to do it on my own w/no partner to help me. I just never thought about it after I got divorced. (doh) RThe shop's business hours are Tuesday thru Friday, ten am to five pm and ten am to two pm on Saturdays.

My life consists of hauling my ass out of bed every morning at one am and going out to deliver 470 newspapers. I get home between five and six am where I usually go back to bed to make up the sleep I didn't get the night before. I get back up about nine am to open up the glass shop. I close it at five pm and then spend several hours unwinding before I can fall asleep just to crawl back out of bed at one am and do it all over again. Sunday and Monday are my weekends. I usually just want to sleep. And I try to run my errands on Mondays. So Sundays are really the only "free" time I have. And to top this all off there's lots of yardwork too. The good news is the house and shop are in one building.

I figure with the crappy economy and the second recession this will be my life for at least the next five years.

So here I am finally coming out of the overall mess of having my life ripped apart so many times in the past 6 years to realize I'm stuck here at the house/shop, unable to go out & do things with friends. Now that I'm ready to live and have a "life" I find I can't really have one. I'm stuck working, sleeping, working and sleeping. And I may still have to find another part-time job to make all the ends meet, including saving money, all the major car repairs I have looming, taxes and to be able to buy those jewelry supplies I want not to mention my teeth.

I'm starting to see my limitations and the drawbacks of trying to do this single handedly. So now I'm trying to find/see options to make this work. Things like what can I do to make my life easier? How can I manage my time & $$$ to be able to make this a fulfilling lifestyle and not one of boring, endless drudgery.

I'm looking at things like shortening the shop hours, being open by appointment outside of those hours. As this is the only retail stained glass business for two thirds of Oregon I'd like to be available to those who have come a ways to shop here. (Anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours)

I'm already working on plans/ways to reduce the yardwork-mainly to reduce my water usage & now my workload.

Another week or two and I will start meeting with a dear friend and hypnotherapist to help me with a lot of issues I have. Many of them are just re-learning and re-training myself to use the skills I ahve lost in the past ten years. Time management, multi-tasking and other life skills I need to be able to suceed and be the person I know I can be.

The first one is to re-train myself to shut down my brain so I can get on a regular sleep schedule. Before my route I was going to bed about the time I now need to get up to go to work. My brain is fighting me every step of the way on this. Between five and eight pm my brain keeps trying to "escape" by reading books and/or just screwing around wasting time, worrying or daydreaming. If I can go to sleep between six and seven pm I can get out of the morning nap schedule. This will give me a lot more time to get things done.