Thursday, August 30, 2012

Current Projects

There is something incredibly unprepossessing about uncleaned beads.  They're covered in bead release and don't sparkle or shine at all.  And then the colors just scream at each other.  I look at this mish-mash and I'm tempted to become discouraged.

I am NOT discouraged, however.  I have orders for twenty bookmarks that I have to have completed and shipped some time in early October.  In this carton, I have accent beads for about eight bookmarks.  And at least one idea for a new necklace for me--since I have nothing red right now.
And then I have these earrings that I have finally gotten around to photographing.

A friend sent me an entire peacock's tail worth of feathers and I promptly put together these earrings.

I wore them to church exactly once so far.  They are just a little on the long side for my liking.  And I got a lot of surreptitious, indulgently amused looks when I wore them.  I'm thinking maybe next time I go out someplace "fancy", I'll wear them again.  The camera simply does not do justice to the lovely iridescent shimmer of the colors.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New Goals

I had several goals that I wanted to accomplish this year.  I am delighted to announce that I have done most of what I set out to do.  Then I spent some time just floating because I had neglected to set some new goals.  I am now in the process of setting new goals.

I've decided that my jobs are interfering with my life.  So one of my goals is to be able to quit working so much and become more involved with my glass.  One of the things that has to be done to make this happen is to question every purchase I make...Do I actually need another shell for my Miche bag or would I like to quit my job?  You get the idea!

One of my goals is to make my yard beautiful.  This actually can be accomplished with a minimum of expenditure.

The morning glory seeds itself once you get it established.  I had this pre-conceived notion that morning glory was this tiny little vine that produced a few flowers and fewer leaves.

I couldn't have been more mistaken!  It's fabulous!

I have these amazing walls of green the front gate and by the garden.

The geraniums in this pot are so very extremely happy!  I intend to winter them this year instead of allowing them to freeze.

And, of course, if I don't have to be gone working so much my yard will receive much more attention.  I want to add cosmos and some other self-seeders and perennials next spring.

I am also able to do more with my glass since I am moved into my studio.  There is still work to be done, but I have the torch and kiln set up.  I am trying to decide where and how to market my beads and jewelry.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thunderstorm Drama

Our heat seems to have finally gone away for a bit.  Although I do love summer and the warm days, I am grateful that we are enjoying slightly cooler temperatures.

I'm tired for no very good reason.   I suspect it has something to do with our interrupted night Monday--I think it was Monday.  Our weatherman was promising us thunderstorms.  Just what I always wanted with all my paranoid dogs. And, sure enough, we had a thunderstorm.

Oh, the drama!  Personally, I didn't see the need for as much drama as there turned out to be.  I woke up and Mack was up and digging at Kent.  He reserves this behavior for when he is frightened.  But there didn't seem to be much happening.  I did finally see a little lightening, but it was faint, far-away, and the thunder was minimal.  It was enough for the dogs.  The ones down the hall started to bark, and since I really didn't want them undoing all my house-cleaning work, I got up and let them out.  That may have been a mistake.

I went back to bed and had one large panting golden retriever on either side of me.  I finally got them to let me in bed and actually lie down.  They then proceeded to pant in my face for an interminable amount of time.  This whole time there was barely any lightening...Finally one of the goldens wandered off in search of more space and left just one.  He was perfectly happy as long as he was lying on me--he wasn't picky--a foot, a leg, a knee, completely across me.  This was fine until I finally got cold (most likely around 3:00 a.m.) and tried to acquire some covers.  This necessitated a repeat of the whole sit up and pant nervously procedure.  I think that at one point we actually had five dogs on the bed...Three large dogs, one medium dog, and a small one!  Kent got up grumbling about it NOT being a three-dog night.

After all the humans were up and sluggishly moving around for the day, the dogs that had caused all the uproar proceeded to sleep most of the morning away.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Toxic Wasteland

The boy's former bedroom has been preying on me lately.  Both boys have moved out of the house for now and their old room has been unoccupied--except by dogs--for the last few months.  It hadn't been cleaned in ages.  And the smell!!  It has two perfectly useable mattresses in it, and I have company coming.  So today I tackled the unthinkable and actually started shovelling out this space.

I was only half-joking when I told my husband that I was going to need dynamite, or that being a little extreme, most likely a haz-mat suit and a shovel.  The first order of business was to get rid of the beds.  I managed with Ariana's help to muscle them outdoors to sun and air out.  They will be sprayed with vinegar and ruthlessly vacuumed before being allowed back into the house.  There may also be a judicious application of chlorine...

Next we started picking up the mess on the floor.  I now know where all the socks went...We threw out several trash bags of rubbish.  I'm tempted to put a box by the side of the road with a sign on it saying "Found--free dirt.  Help yourself", but I suspect it's all my dirt--dragged in on dogs' feet. 

Then I attacked the bunk bed frames.  They had become extremely wobbly over time and the boys had reinforced them with strategically placed 2 x 4's.  That created quite a challenge because I couldn't simply separate the beds into their components.  After some fairly useless banging with the hammer, I finally took a wrench to the carriage bolts attaching the frame to the headboards.  That worked.  I could remove the metal and then we took out the headboards still attached.  These will NOT be coming back into the house...

The mini-blinds were broken beyond repair and are now gone--waithing to be replaced.  I still have to finish scrubbing the floor, shovelling out the closet and rearranging the dressers--minus all the trash on top.  And there you have it...there's nothing left that a little paint and a few minor repairs won't fix.  (I think I'm going to paint the walls a very pale gold--the room is on the north side.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Give Me Back My Cushions"

Occasionally, the technique of ignoring problems until they go away actually works--I don't recommend this approach even though I tend to try it myself more often than I should.

Some time ago I did housework and assorted odd jobs, including chauffer service, for a local individual.  Between her issues and my issues, it wasn't a fun or pleasant experience.  I remedied the situation over a year ago when I finally decided that the money I earned simply wasn't worth it and refused to work for her anymore. 

During the time that I was working for this person, I was given several cushions that needed to be recovered.  I took them home.  Before I got my studio set up I never actually had a place to sew, and so, I put the cushions and their covering fabric in my closet.  Where they were very much in the way.  They took up space.  I tripped over them.  They got knocked over and blocked the closet door.  I fully intended to get the things covered and returned to their owner.  Somehow, it never happened.

When I got my studio almost completed, I moved my sewing machine and now have a dedicated area where I can sew.  The cushions--those thorns in my side--were moved to the top shelf in the closet in the studio.  They took up space.  They weren't in the way, but I wanted that space for other things.  The time was coming closer to when I would actually attack those cushions...Right after I got my own sewing projects finished...

Today I got a phone call.  The person to whom the cushions belong has retired and now has time to do more things.  She wants her cushions back!  I almost didn't play her message until later because it was lunch time and then I had to go to work.  But I listened to the message;  I took the time to package all those cushions up along with their fabric and they will be returned to their rightful owner this afternoon with much gratitude and relief!