Tuesday, November 3, 2015

WillowWalker Designs Is Now Open For The Holidays!

Finally opened up my Etsy shop, WillowWalker Designs for the holidays!  I am in the process of renewing listings.  I finally got my starfish painted white, but I have yet to actually work on taking new photos.  I can already see where I need new pictures.  I am really hoping I can get some new ones taken tonight for today's renewals.

I have been working really hard on getting things cleaned up in the glass shop.  It has been very slow going, but it is looking very nice.  I ended up having to wash the walls in the main showroom.  I've got the old cabinet out.  The glass jewelry display still needs to be cleaned off and emptied so I can put casters on it and then move it into the main showroom.  I have the books and their racks all cleaned.  Carpets steam cleaned, non-Spectrum glass is all cleaned and re-arranged.  I also broke down quite a bit of it into smaller pieces as sometimes they sell better that way.  I still have all the Spectrum and System 96 glass and bins to clean.

I am getting where I need to go albeit a lot slower than I expected.  But after such a long period of falling behind I suppose it was unavoidable.

Friday, October 16, 2015

New Camera

I finally purchased a new camera.  Here is a picture of my "Bubbles" pendant taken with it.  It is easy to get a good picture with it.  It is easy to get a nice, clean pictures with it.  It has it's own re-chargeable battery so I don't have to mess with taking batteries in and out.  Just plug it in and let it go. I can also plug it into my laptop to download pictures.  That is whenever I get around to learning how.

It's past time to open up my Etsy shop for the holiday season!  I need to edit, update and freshen up my old listings.  Now it is back to the battle of props and crops for good eye-candy pictures.  I've got to get everything out, dusted and cleaned.  Glue the leg back on my little tripod.  Spray paint that starfish white.  

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Getting My Life Back Is Wonderful

Two months I accepted a different position at the grocery store where I work.  The job puts me back onto graveyard shifts, but it is part-time and I actually get days off and is pretty much a set schedule. I changed the hours in the glass shop to reflect this.  I am now closed closed Sunday thru Tuesday and open Wednesday thru Saturday.  I am only open from noon until four Wednesday thru Friday and until two on Saturday.  My days off are for both the shop and my job.  This new job has given me a set schedule to build the rest of life around.

A month ago I got my house back.  Since then it has become such a calm and peaceful place.  I do not miss the chaos and stagnation I was drowning in.  I finally am catching up on things and getting myself and my life back in order.  I cannot believe how much better I am feeling.  I am waking up each morning ready to face a new day.  I have a new direction, hope and energy again.  My creativity is starting to come back.  I have actually been working hard on getting things cleaned up in the shop. I have made a good dent, but I have a lot left.  It is so wonderful and amazing to feel positive about my life again.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Worktable Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Finally got the small iris oval panel foiled, soldered, patina'd and waxed.  Also got all my little suncatchers waxed so I could hang them up!  They are the daffodils, tulips, shamrock and tiny little blue bird.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Here are some of my early pendants created in 2006.   Wire wrapped in the style I call a "Basic Cabochon Wrap".  As you can see I was already trying to get fancy with the wire wrapping.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Worktable Wednesday, February 4, 2015

On the stained glass workbench a small iris panel awaits to be foiled.  Then I can solder it, patina and clean it.

On my jewelry workbench the components for the necklace, Raven that I am working on.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Worktable Wednesday

Today I have stained glass tulips, daffodils and a shamrock on my worktable.  Time to start thinking of Spring.  I am making three daffodils in three different shades of yellow and three tulips in orange, purple and a pink and yellow variegated glass.  And when I start thinking about Spring I remember the lovely new crocus, tulip and daffodil bulbs I planted last fall.  I can hardly wait to see if they are as pretty as their pictures.

This week I have a cabinet door to repair, a lamp, two small suncatchers and a custom order for a Bend logo in neutral colors.  I am thinking of doing it in the traditional colors.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Falling Off The Wagon

A pair of earrings I made last year.  Fine and sterling silver.  Bezel set dichroic fused art glass cabochons in emerald green and cobalt blue with filigree accents.  Love how these came out.  Sold them at the local Saturday Market last summer.

I fell off the no-junk food wagon on Friday.   Whoops....so I'll just have to climb back on.   Actually I think, that for me I did well.  I didn't expect perfection so I can forgive myself.  I'll do better and last longer the next go-around I believe.

I haven't done nearly as well on the soda as I would like.  and I probably won't until I've kicked the cold bug that is hanging out in my system.  I've been taking my Umcka.  To  me it seems as if it puts my cold on hold until I miss a dose or two.  So I suppose after Tuesday or Wednesday I'll let the cold take over so I can get it out of my system.  I have closing shifst as a checker Sunday, Monday and Wednesday this week.

I must admit I'd much rather spend the rest of my week cleaning out a dirty corner or two in my house, working on glass and jewelry instead.

I need to get back into jewelry making.  I miss it.  I just have to decide what my next project is going to be.   I am going to run an informal survey on my WillowWalkerDesigns Facebook page asking what jewelry item I should make next, earrings, pendant/necklace, ring or bracelet.  So please come vote on what I should make next!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Plotting Stained Glass Projects

Haven't had a lot of energy this past few days and until this cold bug is out of my system I probably won't.  So for now I am plotting some upcoming stained glass projects.   An iris oval is on the to-do list.  I have several tulip panels I'd like to make, but first I have to make the patterns.  

I have three tulips and three daffodils and a shamrock cut out.  The quail is soldered and now ready for patina & finishing.  I've put him with the rest.  Trying to convince my son to get the others foiled so I can get them soldered too.  

My goal is to fill up that large window I cleaned with a bunch of new suncatchers.  Tulips, daffodils, butterflies and hummingbirds.  Irises, crocuses and other flowers.  A small flock of baby quails.  A goofy snail and frog.   Some other birds, definitely a robin.  A parrot, cardinal and more.  I am sure I will think of more.  

Friday, January 9, 2015

Some More Suncatchers

Four more pretties all soldered together.  When I went and pulled out the quail I has cut I discovered another large butterfly suncatcher in purple and two little hummingbirds.  The aqua colored butterfly needed a hook.  At this point I am trying to wait until I have more pieces done so I can patina and apply finishing compound, aka "wax" to them.  I'd rather trash one sponge and one piece of scrap material at one go than per item.  

These are waiting their turn to be foiled along with another large butterfly in yellow.  I started the orange butterfly years ago.  I had just enough of the orange glass I planned to use for the edges of the wings and when I had one break wrong on me.   I had to put it aside until I got more orange antique glass.  Which I did and never got around to finishing it and am now I am out of it again.  I used orange glue chip instead.   

Thursday, January 8, 2015

TBT Early Bracelets & Bangles

Early pieces, created in 2006 and 2007.  I think I only sold one, maybe two of the bangles. The bangles were a dud design.  The blue oval one sports the blue cabochon that I used in my first soldered ring.  The link bracelets did much better.  They all sold.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Blue and Purple Butterfly Fixed

Large blue and purple butterfly suncatcher.  I made this pretty a year or two ago.  The body piece was recently broken.  Yesterday I removed the broken piece and replaced it.  One of the nice things about repairing something I have a re-usable pattern for. Here it is hanging in that window I threatened to clean and did!

This is a pattern we have had and used for years. It is still popular 30+ years later.  I am not sure but I believe this pattern came from one of the  books published in the 70's. I think it came out of one the first books my parents purchased.  As I become more familiar with mom's book hoard I will learn more.  This pattern is my mom's variation or the original.  Not sure how much different.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Traditional Design or a Compass Rose Design
My newest stained glass piece.  A traditional or compass rose design in deep aqua, sky blue and violet.   Twelve inches across.

Another aspect of taking care of my personal environment.  I need to fill my stained glass shop back up with pretty stained glass pieces.  I can't attract business or make any money with the same tired pieces hanging in my windows.

Today I think I'll clean the window all the littler  suncatchers are hanging in.  Meanwhile I'll be thinking about what I need to make so I can fill it back up.

Hmmm, I believe I need flowers, birds, butterflies for starters.  Maybe a frog and a few insects too.

Monday, January 5, 2015

My First Soldered Band & Bezel Ring

The first ring I have ever made with a soldered bezel with a wire wrapped band that is also soldered on!   The cabochon is one of my dichroic fused art glass cabochons.  Made of fine silver.  I think it turned out pretty well.  I was experimenting with a wire weaving pattern on the band so the wrapping has several mistakes.

I made two sterling silver rings in high school, but they were created using the lost wax method.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Cleaning Up My Home Enviroment

Adelisa necklace.  Fine and sterling silver handcrafted filigree necklace with a beautiful opalescent pink dichroic fused glass cabochon. (sold)

I am looking forward to having the energy and ambition to get my house whipped back into shape. I never did get the computer room, aka shop office finished.  Sad to say there are still parts of this house that I inherited that I have yet to completely go through.  I truly believe that this is the year I will be able to do so.

I am also looking forward to getting the yard back under control and growing a nice although small garden this summer.  Carrots, onions, potatoes, tomatoes and cucumbers are at the top of my list.  I'd like to grow lettuce and spinach too.  The only green beans I like are the ones in a can.  I'm too lazy to grow peas right now.  I'd rather buy frozen.  :)

Speaking of gardening I can hardly wait to see the new bulbs I planted last fall bloom this spring!  I have some ambitious plans for the shop yard this spring and summer.  The water catch basin needs to be re-done.  I want to pull it apart and put it back together as a dry creek. I will continue working on transforming the "shrub" border into a pretty flower bed.  I have one shrub left to remove and a wild rose that needs to be moved.  I am sure I will go into more detail when the time comes to work on these areas.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Mental & Spiritual Self Care

Large dragonfly suncatcher in iridescent light blue glass and navy blue waterglass.  Custom order.

First of I'd like to say that for me mental health and spirituality go hand in hand. Without spirituality I cannot have a healthy mental state. Here are a few of the things that I am doing to improve my mental and emotional self care.

I am starting my day with a positive message to myself.  Reminding myself that it is a bright new day full of wonderful possibilities.. That I am worthy and loved.  That I am an amazing, creative and talented human being.

I am working on making daily meditation a habit again.  Remembering to be grateful what I have. Practicing "letting go and let God".  Remembering to ask my higher power for help. Squashing negative thoughts and emotions when they start cropping up. And last but not least is that by living my life right I eliminate anxiety, stress and worry.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Taking Better Care Of My Health

Small Victorian/compass rose design in blues.

My primary goal in taking better care of my physical self in 2015 is by eating healthier.  So this year I'm working to eliminate excessive sugar and salt from my diet.  I want to get away from processed foods that are full of chemicals and other junk that drags us down and I want to get away from GMO foods and go organic where I can.

My plan is to take slowly and keep it simple.   Right now no more store bought commercially made junk food.  No more than one soda a day and it cannot contain brominated vegetable oil. Home cooked meals from scratch instead of processed junk. Prepping ingredients for meals ahead of time. Spending a day or two a month cooking and freezing meals for those days I just don't have the time of energy to cook.  Little things and choices that will add up to a happier healthier, more energetic me.

And I bet at this point you are wondering "What about exercise?"  Well as a checker I get a great work out at work!  Getting out of my chair and keeping up the house and yard are also excellent forms of exercise.  Combined with healthy eating and portion control I shouldn't need extra exercise and should still lose weight.

I am doing this more for the short term health benefits than the long term. I haven't felt or looked like the person I want to be for too many years. In the past six months my blood pressure has risen into the high end of the normal range and high blood pressure medications scare me. Good nutrition should improve my mental outlook while improving my energy and over all physical well being while helping me to lose weight and lower my blood pressure.  I am also hoping it will help with my dry skin issues as well.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

BLOOM, My Word For 2015

Round pinwheel design in amber, orange and gold accented with pink.

I've chosen the word "Bloom" for the year 2015. I considered the words, "grow" or "rebuild".  Quite frankly I'm sick of feeling like I am rebuilding my life.  And grow just wasn't positive enough for me either.

The past two months I have made a great start in becoming who I want to be.  I want to continue that growth.  I want to thrive and bloom!  I know if I keep up the hard work and living my life right I will reap the rewards.  I'm not saying it will be easy.  But if I stay the course it will become easier.  Learning and instilling necessary good habits may be difficult, but once those habits are in place they will make my life much easier.  Not to mention the time it will free up.  To begin with I need to start taking better care of myself.  Physically, environmentally and mentally.  (For me mentally includes spiritually as to me they go hand in hand.)
Now I thought about going into more detail but I decided they will make great fodder for future blog posts.  So tomorrow I'll blog about improving my plans and goals of taking better care of myself physically.