Wednesday, December 26, 2012

After Christmas

My hope is that everyone had a peaceful and happy Christmas holiday (or any other holiday that is celebrated at this time of year).

With most of the children out of the house, we are trying to make some new holiday traditions--and also fit things around everyone's schedule.  So we decided to have a late supper after the Christmas Eve service.  It's a little late for me to eat and I'm not sure if we'll try that again, but it was fun.

I decided to knit fingerless gloves for all the girls.  This, in spite of not liking to knit or having kniited anything in a very long time.  I think I started knitting right around Thanksgiving. The last pair was sewn together this morning.  They turned out quite nicely and I'm going to make myself a pair before I forget the pattern...(pictures will be posted later).

And I had to make some jewelry for a Christmas present.

These are "Winter Vision".  The poked bubble dots always remind me of eyes.

This is the matching necklace.  "Winter Sparkle".  I was really happy with how the dichroic beads turned out this time.

I was especially entertained by how well the dog hair shows up in the pictures even though I very carefully picked it all off before I started to take pictures--at least I thought I had.

Today I picked up my daughter's knitting loom and started to knit a hat to match the fingerless gloves.  Loom knitting is quite entertaining.  Someone took the concept of spool knitting and expanded it, so that instead of some useless rope, you actually can knit something that can be turned into a wearable item.  I must say it is quite a bit faster than "normal" knitting.  There are some slippers in her instruction book that I want to try soon.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Open Floor Plans

I love open floor plans!  I like how the spaces all flow together and I really like the airy, not-closed-in feeling (no, no claustrophobia here).  And I really like open floor plans with lots of windows.

There is, however, a drawback to open floor plans that I never thought of while I was in college and poring enviously over pictures in interior design classes...

We had the opportunity a few years ago to upgrade our old, falling apart single-wide mobile home (we bought the property for the view--not the house) to a slightly newer less falling apart double-wide.  It was not perfect, but it would work better.  The newer home has essentially an open floor plan.  The living room and dining room and kitchen are pretty much all open to each other and a large opening in the entry opens the living room to the family room.  Or as we use it--computer room.  And here is where the drawback comes in.  Our master bedroom opens off the living room.

I don't like to have my doors closed, if at all possible, so my bedroom either has to be spotless (insert hysterical laughter) or everyone can see that we pretty much live like pigs.  And where did that pile of dog hair come from?  I JUST swept!

The major drawback however, is that there is no place one can go to be undisturbed or to not disturb someone else.  So if I can't sleep and would like to go read a good book, I have nowhere to go where light won't bother my husband.  I haven't tried to go into the studio and close the door.  The bedroom where the dogs sleep has huge holes in the door (thanks to my curious sons--yes, you really can punch a hole in the door with your fist) and they can see out, so I would have to be really sneaky in order to get in the studio and close the door.  I can't close the bedroom door because then we have dogs on either side of the door that really want to be somewhere else.

I used to sneak out when my studio was off the garage, but even that wasn't ideal because the dogs would sit on the bed and look through the window and cry.  Yeah, the dogs pretty much rule the house...

I am going to give some thought to providing a space to go since not sleeping seems to be becoming more frequent.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Taking Pictures

 Last spring I bought a new camera.  It is quite a nice camera, and the last model before one steps up and invests in the SLR with interchangeable lenses.

Last weekend I made a monster for a gift exchange for one of the local 4-H club's Christmas party.  It was a really cute monster.  It was transparent emerald green with a white heart on its belly.  It was 4-H colors, in fact.  I cleaned it, wired it, added crystals, hung it on a lanyard clip, sent it off to the party...and completely forgot to take pictures.

This seems to be a recurring theme...I make something, give it away or sell it, and completely forget to take a picture of it.  Obviously, I am going to have to be a little more vigilant about picture-taking.  Somehow that is the step I always manage to forget.  I see a check sheet in my future listing taking pictures as one of the steps.

I think it might help if I were to take the old camera--expensive, film-camera--out of the camera bag and replace it with the new digital camera.  Or maybe even get a new camera bag for the new camera.  I put the last (cheap) digital camera in a bag to carry around along with other art supplies, but the bag isn't big enough for the new camera (I don't think) and I haven't tried to keep it anywhere other than the box used for packing. 

I DID remember to take pictures of the twenty bookmarks that I just completed.  The monster in the photo is one of those twenty.  I really like the combination of the periwinkle and rose glass.  I will be making more beads in this combination.
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Thursday, December 6, 2012


Here are the earrings that I just made.  I had a lot of fun with these.  I really like the antique bronze earwires with the crystals.
These earrings actually have transparent pink dots on them that are hardly visible.

These have encased dichroic glass in them.  They sparkle so nicely!

I love the amber sugar beads with the butterfly charms. So naturally, these are called "Give Me Some Sugar".  I absolutely love these butterfly charms.

These are my "Earth Mother" beads.  They have a golden amber frit melted in.  I created these for someone who  wanted a green and blue color scheme, and they are now one of my most popular beads.

Here's a second pair of "Earth Mother" earrings.

These are my emerald heart beads.  They also have dichroic glass in them and sparkle nicely.

I had originally made beads like this for a bookmark.  They were substantially larger than the ones I wanted to use for earrings.  The challenge was to incorporate all the beads and not come up with an earring too heavy to wear.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's Not Real

 Every year about this time, I get this feeling that time is speeding up like an out of control merry-go-round.  I constantly feel like I don't have enough time and that there is too much to do.  It's not real!

I know this happens every year because I distinctly recall my Facebook post from last year about worrying about all that I had to do.

I think I may have finally found the root of this feeling.  Close to twenty years ago I had a job.  It had been a great job and then the company was sold to an individual who really had no clue about how the business operated.  It became a very stressful job.  At first I was working part-time.  This soon became full time work that I didn't really want--having three small children at the time.  It wasn't long before even full time wasn't enough and I was working seven days a week.  Talk about stress!  And there was never enough time to get the work finished.  I think that my boss had difficulty with scheduling...

Anyway, I was fired from this job (best thing that ever happened) the end of November.  So these feelings of anxiety probably stem from this time.  I thought I had worked through these issues.  I find it interesting that they come back to haunt me years later.

An amusing side note on this story...Several months after I was fired, the woman who owned the company called me back and wanted me to come back to work for her.  In fact, she tried to get me to return at least two more times.  I did NOT say what I was thinking (mostly along the lines of "when hell freezes over"), but I also did not ever go back to work for that company.

Yesterday I again felt like I was overwhelmed, so I finally wrote my to-do list out.  Not that much to do and I got most of it done.  To continue to conquer this feeling, I got a nice, shiny, new notebook and started my to-do list BEFORE I went to bed.  There wasn't that much on it and I slept much better.

The earrings at the top of the post are one of seven pairs that were made for a friend to give as Christmas gifts.  I will be posting the pictures over the next few days.  I also have pictures of the twenty bookmarks.   Downloading all those pictures was one of the things I needed to get done.
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