Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Monsters and Books

 This is Blossom.  She is the pink monster that replaced the one that cracked.  For some reason this glass isn't as prone to cracking as the other one seems to be.

I haven't spent a lot of time on the torch the last few days.  Now that school is out, I intend to have more time for glass.  I needed to take a little time off, but now I think I'm ready to go back.

More things were sent to my son's house this week.  I have now gotten a total of three cabinets completely cleaned and organized.  I'm about ready to tackle the movies and cookbooks; this is where the fun will really start.  I'm thinking that the movie shelves in the living room will be coming down entirely and the movies store somewhere else.

I am really enjoying Life Is a Verb.  I've discovered that many authors of "self-help" books tend to "dumb" down the vocabulary that they use.  The result is a very simplistic book that can come across as stupid.  I really like that the author of Life Is a Verb  hasn't succumbed to that tendency.  I love her word choices and the fact that she uses words of more than two syllables when necessary.

This is the bookmark that I made with Blossom.  The flower beads are a relatively new style for me and are a lot of fun to make.
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Friday, May 25, 2012

Letting go--aka Decluttering

Why is it so hard to let go and get rid of things?  Why do I need that envelope from the company that I buy my wire from?  How about the envelope from a friend whose name is in my hard-copy address book?  And what about those curling irons???  I haven't used them in ten years--what are the odds that I am going to pick one up tomorrow?  And rags!  How many rags does a person need?  I seem to have rags in every closet and every cupboard and in every other conceivable place that one might put a rag.  Sure, the Wii box is a nice box--but for what exactly?

I have exactly two cupboards cleaned out...I did toss my curling irons.  I threw out the rags--especially since they were mostly shirts that were worn to a job for which I was unsuited and heartily despised.  And I even managed to let go of the's not like I won't find the bead company on-line again and I KNOW my friend is in my address book.  Besides, she'll be more than happy to give me her address again.

I must admit that I am concentrating so much on down-sizing, decluttering, and letting go of useless miscellanea, and so much of my energy is focused on what actually brings me joy that I simply haven't had any time to worry.  Who would have thought?

I have more things moved out of my bedroom.  More things will go to furnish my son's place.  I intend to actually use my blanket chest to store my linens instead of being covered in junk (well, OK, it's not's my glass rods that have to move to my studio), I may actually--gasp--give away more cookbooks.  And I sent back the magazine subscription "cancelled".  I already have so many recipes to choose from, and so many more to choose from on pinterest that I don't see the point in allowing any more clutter to come in my front door.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A long Journey

I remember some time ago when the children were small, sitting and watching TV and wondering "Is this all there is to life?"  I didn't care for the notion and got a job shortly after.

Some years later--after Ken'ts motorcycle accident--I remember thinking "I completely understand midlife crises--it really never gets any better..."  I started making lampwork beads about that time.

January of 2011 I rather unwillingly participated in a Financial Peace workshop.  "We're already doing all this stuff!  We just need to make more money!!!"  That was only partially true.

My summer vacation is about to begin and I always go into the season with a good deal of trepidation because I work for a small non-profit pre-school and we do not make any money at all during the summer.  This year is no exception.  I've been looking for other employment, but I suffer from a couple of maladies.  First, I really like to stay home and garden, cook, put food away for the winter and spend extra time on my glass.  Second, while I do need employment to keep on top of our financial obligations, I don't need to work that much and I worry that someone else may need the job more than I do...That must be very true because I haven't managed to find another job yet.

Then there is the fact that I have never been very motivated by money.  Oh, sure, I like to spend it as much as the next person, but I usually want to spend it on plants, flowers, music, or art supplies...oh, and let's not forget books.  Lately, I've been looking at things and deciding how much I need to work to be able to pay off all the debts.  At that point it wouldn't matter if I worked or not...And if I didn't have to work, I could then decide if I really wanted to milk a cow every day or if I would prefer to get my milk from the store...or I could be vegan by then.

Recently, I checked a book out of the library about tiny houses--the largest being about 500 square feet.  I can't tell you the title right now, or the author's name, because the book is somewhere else as I type this.  Anyway, I'm looking through this amazing book and all of the houses are fabulous.  I like some of them more than others and I started wondering why this was.  (The ones I like the most were clean, minimalist and uncluttered.)  Then I thought about the few times we had gone camping and the camper was this tiny space that we didn't spend much time cleaning and had lots of time for other things.  From there my thoughts went to the three months when we were all (five of us) living in a small space about the size of a dorm room.  Other than trying to get the remodelling of our new home finished there wasn't a lot of housework necessary.  Most of our possessions had been packed away and I had very little to do in the way of housework.  I can't say that washing dishes in a pan on the bathroom floor was very thrilling, but for the most part, having few cleaning responsibilities was very freeing.

I will probably  never live in a house that small, but I CAN take those same ideas and apply them to my current home.  So I am down-sizing my possessions...If I have more than I use at one time, I'm giving away the extras.  If it's something that hasn't been used in the past year, or so, it probably will never be used and away it goes.  And lots of junk is destined for the garbage.  So far, I have one cabinet completely cleaned out...I am becoming very impatient to move all my glass stuff out of my bedroom and into my new studio, so I can have a spacious, uncluttered bedroom.

I have two books in particular that I read when I need a lift or a reminder of the fact that my life really isn't so bad.  I love Surviving the Applewhite's by Stephanie S. Tolan and Thale's Folly by Dorothy Gilman.  Both speak about finding what gives you joy, what your passion might be, and how to  be grateful for what you already possess.  Monday I bought a copy of the book Life is a Verb.  The astonishing coincidence--to me--is that the very first chapters talk about stuff (I am already getting rid of stuff) and how it owns us and discovering what gives us joy (I am already concentrating not only on what gives me joy, but also peace and serenity).  I haven't read any further than that yet, but I highly recommend this book.  I am still marvelling at the truth of the statement "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear"...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


 I am having a rather large challenge getting my pictures to upload lately.  Someone must have changed a program and I didn't get the memo.  So the blog you were going to get is posted on Facebook, and now you will instead get an introduction to Rosie.  This is Rosie.  She was destined to go on a bookmark.  However, after I got her all cleaned up and ready to be wired on the bookmark I discovered a crack.  So she is staying with me as long as she holds together.

This is the second monster that I have put toes on.  It is really a lot of fun to give them toes.  I pointed them in a different direction this time and she actually stands on her feet!  Perhaps she cracked because I spent too much time admiring her toes before she went into the kiln...

This is a back view of Rosie.  I really like the raspberry spikes with the lighter pink body.  I have had challenges with this particular pink in the past.  It's a lovely color, but it doesn't like to be made into monsters.

The bookmark that Rosie was destined for was a somewhat of a rush order and so to have the focal bead crack was something of a dilemma.  The bookmark was supposed to be finished by the end of the month.  No problem...except that it has to go to Canada and mail to Canada sometimes takes a while to reach its destination.  I quickly made Blossom ( who was made out of a different pink glass and did not crack) and the bookmark went on its way last Thusday.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

The Monsters Continue

Maybe the third time will be the charm...The first time I cancelled the upload before I was done writing.  The second time everything froze and wouldn't let me post any pictures.  So now then...

I would like to introduce Gloria.  She is going to a friend who is recovering from extensive surgery.

She is made from Effetre new violet glass.  She has dark lavendar eyes and light violet spikes.  She is my first monster with toes, but she can't stand up because I pointed them the wrong direction.

This is how she looks from the back.  My monsters usually have a heart somewhere on them and since Gloria is sticking her tongue out at the world her heart shows up in the back!

I have a bookmark with a monster on it to post and a bit of bling for a rear view mirror, but I have to run about a gazillion errands and since posting this took longer than I expected, everything else will have to wait until next week.

Have a wonderful weekend and a Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


"You should sell...Why don't you do...?"  I frequently hear comments like this.  My friends frequently think that perhaps I should try this or that home-based, network marketing, home presentation---or whatever the current terminology--business.  Most of these companies are great companies, with wonderful products and ethics.  People can and do make a lot of money with these companies.

I, myself, have tried a few of these businesses.  I have learned a lot and made some friends along the way.  I have nothing bad to say about any of these home-based ventures.  However, for right now, I am not interested in becoming involved in any such home-based business as anything other than a customer.

Here is my reason as to why I choose not to become involved in any sort of home-based or network marketing company right now.  When a person decides to start one of these businesses it isn't handed out already making a profit and with lots of customers.  The person who becomes involved with this business has to work very hard promoting this business.  They have to learn about the company and products and they have to become adept at selling these products.  All this takes time and a great deal of energy.

I am already working three part-time jobs.  I have a family and numerous pets.  I am in the process of learning to blog and promote my lampworking and jewelry business on-line.  I am researching the best computer for my needs and deciding which online auction would be the best choice for me.  All this takes time and a great deal of energy.

I only have so much time--and I still haven't discovered how to function without sleep or food.  I only have so much energy and motivation.  So, for right now, I have chosen to invest my time and energy into perfecting my lampworking skills and in promoting my own work as an artist.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Box of Crayons


Here are the most recent inductees to the Monster Brigade.  These are for a friend to give away as hostess gifts.  This is not really how I wanted to display them, but since I'm arguing with my computer and it's winning, this is how they are.

I had recently ordered a bunch of glass--one rod at a time--in a variety of colors that I didn't have.  I ordered only one rod because I wanted to see if I would like the colors and because I had a limited budget with which to order glass.

But I suffer from something I call the crayon box mentality...You know, when I was in grade school I would start school with a lovely new box of crayons.  Well, that box of crayons was supposed to last me for at least one school year (and sometimes more). The problem is that if you use the crayons, pretty soon they aren't all nice and sharp anymore.  If you sharpen them, they just get really short.  And sometimes they break altogether!  Then you don't have that color to play with anymore.

Well, I'm that way with my glass.  I have all these really cool colors, but they sit in jars in big bouquets of glass rods, shining all pretty in the sun, because I'm afraid that if I use them, I won't be able to get any more.  I realize that this is silly; especially since, if I use up my glass rods, I have suppliers that are only too happy to sell me more.  These monsters were--in part--an exercise in actually using and getting acquainted with my glass.  I still have plenty to play with and I discovered that I really like these colors together, so I will most likely be making some beads for myself in this color combination.