Thursday, July 31, 2008

Studio Series ~ Part 1

All great projects start somewhere, right? My studio at the last house wasn't built in a day, so naturally, the new one won't be either. (Even though I really want it to!!) I decided it would be fun to chronicle the new studio process here!

I created this panoramic in photoshop so you could see the whole room in one photo. Click it and you should be able to see it BIG. This space it the "new" basement, it's under the addition that was added to this house in 2000. It is big, same as the room above it, at about 16'x25'. The white stuff on the wall is insulation. Something I've been told was "code" when the addition was built. I plan to have the torch down here with me, so having plastic on the walls... no such a good idea. All that was ripped down yesterday.

For now, the plan is to take over half of this space. Thus the half and half on the wall. I have a bunch of neat ideas for how to make the "divider" that will separate my storage area and my work area. I think the little bit of insulation will help with the temps in the winter too. But hey, I used to torch is the teens, I can handle the 60s without batting an eyelash. (I say 60s because there are pipes down here, to keep them from freezing, it won't get below those temps in the basement.)

There are only two lonely outlets on the walls. One you can see in the photo above, and one over on the left wall. And that is why I am waiting for my electrician father in law to get back from vacation! LOL! Two outlets, not enough for kiln and lights. But we'll get that safely squared away in a few weeks.

You had to know I wasn't going to have a studio with bare concrete walls. Did you know that the paint people can tint KILLZ primer all sorts of different colors? Why have a plain white primed basement? Pick a cool color!! I went for a color called "Bayside". It is a color I have been drawn to for months. It may be replacing purple as my "favorite" color. It was funny, I got into a debate with the girl at the paint counter yesterday. She was saying that this primer isn't intended to be a "finish" coat and that I should be buying a second gallon of something. I said yeah, if it was a bedroom, but this is the basement... a utility room... a studio... what, am I really going to debate if the basement should be satin or semi-gloss? Really... do you think concrete will look good as satin or semi-gloss? I ended up saying that I would get the primer for now and get a finish paint down the road. LOL... you know I am going to leave it primer.

Once I get the walls done, I can start to layout the desks and shelves and stuff. I can't wait to get to the unpack supplies part. I need to be working on stuff... I am going crazy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'll Show You To Your Seats

I have a confession. For as much as I love antiques, I hate garage sales. Hate, hate, hate them. We have several "communities" that have big street wide sales around here. Ron loves them and has gotten Lauren loving them. She sees a sign while we are driving and starts begging to stop. Unlike those two, garage sales give me panic attacks. It must be the clutter and disorganization. (Or the load of 10cent crap that people put out!)

Now estates sales, on the other hand, are a completely different story. In NY, estate sales are whole house sales, usually after someone has passed away. And you go right in the house. (I have heard it isn't like that everywhere). Absolutely everything in the house has a price tag on it, and most of the people running the sales will deal on prices a little bit. (My Mom is particularly good at getting prices down.)

Some estates are better then others, obviously. On Monday, Jacob and I hit a really really really good one!! We were late to the party, though. Most of these have lines out the door at 8am and we wandered in at noon. There was this very unassuming little ranch looking home sitting there on a very quiet street. There were dozens of cars lined up and down the road. We we went into the house, we found out why. There was this gigantic gourmet kitchen. It was insanely cool. And everywhere the place was over flowing with collections of things.

I went down to the basement and among shelves and shelves of old sheet music, there was these old theatre chairs. There were five and I decided to take the best two. I was a good shopper and checked that the wicker was in tack (not a hole to be found), no chew marks on any of the legs, the seats move up and down well, and no rips in the leather. When I got home I tried google searching antique theatre chairs with no luck. Everything I found was the style that are wood and connected together. One friend suggested they might be Victorian. She said Victorians were big into their wicker. I would love to find out more about them. But, alas, I think the old man who's estate was being bought up took all that info with him.

Wanna guess how much I paid for them? Guess... come on... guess... $8 each. Seriously. $8.

I have big plans for these old chairs. They are going to be "a glass of wine" for my new living room. (Thanks again for that analogy Belvedere Beads!) I plan to give them a good scrub, clean the leather and reupholster the cloth backs. I have narrowed it down to one of three fabrics, all are from Anna Maria Horner's new Garden Party collection. Here are the choices: Turquoise Center Piece, Navy Centerpiece, or Navy Guest Of Honor. Then, when they are all dolled up, they will go under the window near the fire place in the living room.

*sigh* I love these old chairs.

Feel free to comment on what you think of my fabric choices. Give it to me straight... Ron already said he hates them, so I can take it. But you gotta try to have vision people. LOL.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Little Boy Is Nine

Me: Good Morning Little Boy...
Him: Hi, Mom...

That is how we start everyday, and today is his birthday. So much of everyday is a struggle for Andrew. Living with bi-polar makes things like making the bed, brushing teeth, going to the store, and pretty much anything, a battle on a bad day. But it is the good days that make the hard times manageable. And on good days, we get to see glimpses of a little boy who tries so hard to be better.

We don't really have birthday parties with friends. Friends are hard to make/keep for him. But he does have a best friend, Matt, who came for a sleepover last night. I could see a little man in my little boy. He was asking his friend if he would like a drink, with no coaching from Mom or Dad. He was being so careful of this friend's toys. I heard a whisper of "that isn't a good idea, it'll break" under his breath, to himself.

These photos are my two favorites of Andrew. I framed them years ago in a single frame, that hung near my old desk in my studio. Andrew is about 2 years old in them. I didn't realize it at the time, but the photos are really the essence of Andrew. One up, one down. It is how he is from hour to hour, day to day, season to season.

Here's to hopes that today is one of the good days.

Happy Birthday Little Boy, I love you!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Couch Shopping Sucks

(aka... a sure fire way to get a bad case of FFUs)

I had couch issues this weekend. First a little background... then the story... then a definition... then you are going to need to comment. Are you ready for all that? Do you have enough coffee? LOL.

I have couch issues and I have then because I have three very messy kids. I have always wanted a nice couch. But when there are toddlers running around spilling milk, mashing in crumbs and even occasionally pee-ing /throwing up on your couch... you don't buy a nice couch. You get crap couches from want ads or family left overs. And that is what we have had for about 10 years. And the couch was about 5 years old even before that. YUCK! I made it work though, I had nice throws... I found a fabulous paint color so it didn't look awful in the room.

It was decided more then a year ago when we started house hunting that we would NOT be bringing our crappy couch into our new house. Period. And last week when we moved, the couch went to the road for the garbage man to pick up and the cushions to my Mom to make new dog beds out of. (Yeah, cushions for dog beds, tells ya how nice.) But with the couch to the road, we had an empty living room with only one chair (a leather one I bought last year and wouldn't let the kids eat on, lol). A week with no couch is not fun! Especially when you are working your butt off and have no place to sit down and rest for five freaking minutes.

This Saturday was finally the day to couch shop!! The day I had been waiting for years to arrive. My Mom came along and first we hit Rudy Gordon, a shop with a "sale" because of remolding going on. Yeah, right. $1500 for a "clearance" couch. Next it was off to the Raymour & Flanigan (Real) Clearance Center. Green is officially the "reject" couch color of the year. There was DOZENS of green couches. DOZENS! After an hour and a half... there was only one. ONE couch that I was so so on. It was a couch and love seat set. It was a one-of-a-kind piece. It had been a custom order fabric thing that the customer decided they didn't want. The thing had great lines, kind of curvy and square at the same time. Check it out HERE. The custom ordered fabric was a light beige/cream color and it was textured with a grid of squares. The price was good too. It had been over $2000, and was now $998 (for couch and love seat!). But, it was a little "different", so I didn't buy it on the spot. I decided to try the regular Raymour & Flanigan Showroom. HA! Their things were 3 times the cost of the clearance center couches.

I ended up putting the couches on hold. I really wanted Ron to see them. I could just picture him seeing them for the first time and scrunching up his nose with a "I don't like them". Once back home I was able to convince Ron to go for a ride to see the set. But not before agreeing to look at what furniture BJs (the wholesale club) had. Hmmm... guess what, BJs didn't have any, must be the wrong season for couches. Thankfully, Ron didn't hate the couches I had on hold. BUT he was more practical then I was. Creamy beige... 3 kids... ice cream... football shoes... muddy hands... it would be a losing battle. I had to admit, as much as I liked the set, he was right.

So, we did another walk around the big clearance warehouse. He liked a Natuzzi leather set. Yuck. I hate tan leather with poorly color matched piping and cushions you can't vacuum between. Finally, we settled on this couch you see in the pictures. Check it out HERE. Under florescent lights, it looked like a moss green so I paid it no mind. But the salesman had us take a pillow outside and low and behold it was espresso! A very nice milk chocolate shade of brown. I liked the lines. A more "grown up" feeling couch, for sure. The price was great, only $400. Which left plenty for a cool accent chair too.

We brought it home and put it right in place. This big family room is on the back of the house. You can get to it via that hallway I showed you, and also from the kitchen. It is pretty big, about 16' x 25'. I am calling this my "Summer" furniture arrangement. For now the focus is on the TV and the views out those big windows, but in "Winter" it will be on the fireplace. By about 9pm Saturday night, I had a bad case of FFUs.

FFUs... I don't think I have told you about those. Its the "Frumpy Fat and Uglies". It is a hormonal condition that is for sure. LOL. It is that feeling that absolutely nothing is going the way you want and while nothing is going right, you catch your reflection and think you look nasty. All you want to do is eat ice cream and you do, but that makes you feel even more frumpy fat and ugly.

I decided that I think I hate the couch.

I had this vision of how my family room was going to come together and it just isn't coming together. Why couldn't there be a beaming white light in the showroom highlighting the couch of my dreams with music playing and the thought it my head saying "OMG... there it is... the couch of my dreams!" For some reason, clearance centers don't allow returns. Whatever. Maybe I could put it on Craig's List. But then I am right back where I started. An empty room with no couch and no hopes of finding a good one... see, what did I tell you... FFUs. Because not only is there couch problems, but I swear I don't have a single thing I can wear in my closet and I hate my hair and feel I should lose another 30 lbs. And the ice cream the other night was Peanut Butter Ripple.

Maybe I'll like it better with some cool throw pillows. Maybe I will like it better rearranged in the room differently. I don't know. What do you think?

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Little Alcove

To the left of the fireplace in my dining room, there is a doorway. It is the start of a hallway in which you'll find the boys' rooms, the twisted stairs, the yellow bathroom, and this little nook. I am calling it "The Alcove". I love little spots like this in my house!! I bet brandy new houses don't have this kind of character. (Hey Cindy, see if your builder can make an alcove for you.)

Anyway... I couldn't leave it empty. The rather rickety old table is from a garage sale on Park Ave that Ron went to about 10 years ago. It was a great $5 find. The old, very heavy, antique mirror will need to be moved. Were I to hang it on the wall, I would have a lovely view of my chest, but would be needing to bend down to check my hair. LOL.

I am thinking I should paint this little alcove a color. Maybe tangerine... OH, or I could paint the side walls of it a color and leave the back wall white. There is an idea! I already know the picture I'll hang instead of the mirror. It is a painting of John Sloan that I did in high school. I think it is only fitting that he watch over the boys.

Okay... in beady related things... yesterday is was invited to be a contributor on a new book!! YOO HOO!!! The details aren't set in stone. I don't know publication dates or anything. But I do have a deadline and I will be coming up with 5 projects for it. I think you'll find the subject matter rather interesting. I let you know more details as I have them. It is all very exciting. It brings me that much closer to being able to get my own book published!! Which by the way, I have written the forward on, the "basics", the "tool talk" and 13 of 26 projects for!! I am definitely going to take advantage of this torch hiatus to get those last 13 projects written and start shopping for a publisher.

Oh... the toggle beads in the new project shown in Creative Jewelry... the emails have started coming in asking about the focal beads and how to order them. There is a small, very slight, chance that I may go to the old house and spend a few hours torching. My desk isn't fully packed so I could sneak out just a couple of focals. BUT, it is only a maybe, I can't promise. If I don't get to it, you can bet that a big batch of those beads will be first on my list to do when the torch is set up. And I will be sharing the tutorial for the "t" bar part of the clasp very soon. I thought I would get it in at the end of last week, but it just didn't happen. Oh well...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Settling In

Well, did you miss me? My stars, I didn't blog for a few days, and now I have completely forgotten how to do it. I keep forgetting what I wanted to say, lol. It was there a minute ago. Oh well... I'll find the routine again. Just like I am having to do about so many things. A new morning routine, a new cooking routine, a new cleaning routine, a new bedtime routine... you name it and it feels different. Wonderful, stressful, strange, surreal, dreamy... and definitely different.

We are all starting to settle in. I am the kind of mover that does not do towers of boxes that slowly get put away over a few weeks. No No No... when a box comes in the house, it gets sorted and put away, right away. I think that is part of that alter ego of mine that can't stand clutter and likes things orderly.

I have a little bad news to share. This is going to turn out to be the hardest part of this move. Harder then being bumped out of our offer and threaten to be sued... harder then my hubby not handling the stress of moving well... harder then pulling the kids away from their friends... this is really hard. My studio... ugh... it isn't going to be up and running for at least 3-4 weeks.

It is kind of a long story. It starts with my father in law and Ron did some investigating in the basement (where the new studio is going to be). The exhaust for the current, electric clothes dryer is about 15ft long. Which is too long to have the lint and air travel safely, especially with all the kinks and bends in it. It is really a fire hazard. I am having to run the dryer 2-3 times just to get a load damp dry. To make it safer, the washer and dryer is going to be moved to a different area of the basement. This fixes several things. 1) the vent will go directly outside and only a few feet long 2) when the washer moves too, the water will have a direct drain instead of going into a sink with a pump 3) I won't have to walk back and forth between a giant wash tub carrying wet clothes to change the loads over, cause they will be side by side.. and 4) most importantly, the new dryer will be gas, freeing up the 30amp circuit in the electric box for my studio!! All sounds well and good right? A hard project, for sure, but really only a one weekend project. A few hours to put in the new gas line, a few hours to put in the new drainage, and a few hours getting the new electric to my studio area. The thing is my in laws left yesterday for a 3 week vacation. ugh.

I am going to do what a can to have everything ready to go the minute my father in law walks in the door. I may even try to convince to my hubby to do some of the work with my Dad. He knows just as much about putting in gas lines and drains as Ron's step dad. And I will be able to set up other areas of the studio while I am waiting for the new electric.

But... I had to cancel for the Clothesline Arts Festival this year in September. I didn't want to cancel. I love the Clothesline, but I had to admit to myself that there is just no way I would be able to be ready. No way. I will be participating in The Fine Craft Show in November though!! Which is very exciting. It is a fine art show, rather then the street art shows that I usually do. Only 40 artist are selected and it takes place inside the Memorial Art Gallery here in Rochester. Plus, it was juried this year by an artist from The Corning Museum of Glass. To be one of the 40 selected is really awesome!!

Okay... I think that is enough for now. I hope you'll stick around while I go crazy through the next few weeks with no torch. You'll see the process of my studio coming together... you'll see pics of my house coming together... and you'll see me working on things other then glass (painting! knitting!).

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Sigh... what a long day. I am at my old house doing the final run of the day and I am totally beat. I have places that hurt that I didn't know I had. LOL. But it is worth every minute. Seeing my "stuff" in the new house just ROCKS!! I am so excited.

I will be out of commission until Wednesday. The power at the old house is getting shut off on Monday and the new house phone/cable won't be set up until Weds. So, if you need me and I am not responding... that is why.

I'll be back later in the week with lots of photos!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

62 Years... 1 Coat Of Paint?

If I told you there existed a room, in a house built in 1946, that only ever had 1 cost of paint in 62 years, would you believe me? I mean, talk about vintage, right? 1946 paint? Come on... yeah right.

I wouldn't believe me.

But... it is true.

Here is how my past 48 hours have played out.

Around 2:00pm Wednesday afternoon... location: Jacob's new room!

The starting color is kind of a straw yellow. Not a bad color, per say. But my brooding pre-teen wants it dark navy blue. We talk about it and decide that a focal wall can be navy, but the rest should be light blue. I pick up all the paint at Home Depot and tape my edges to ready for paint.

Around 2:30pm Wednesday afternoon...

Figures... the blue is really dark and it'll need two coats. But I knew that so no big deal. I can handle two coats. Two coats will look AWESOME! Can you see that grainy texture to the wall? It is kind of a cross hatching. No, it isn't wall paper. It is just plaster texture under the old paint. Definitely not wall paper. By 3:00pm I have the first coat on the dark wall and grab a second paint tray to start the first coat of light blue on the other walls.

Around 3:30pm Wednesday afternoon...

What the hell is that? A drip? No. That is a bubble! Why are there bubbles? (insert touching the bubble here) OMG... the bubble stuck to my finger and pealed the paint off the wall... hold on a second... it is pealing down to the plaster!! OMG... there are more bubbles!! What the hell?!?

Around 4:00pm Wednesday afternoon...

Yeah, it happened to both walls. I frantically call my friend Lindsey who's husband Lucas did a stint as a professional house painter in college. The dude has cutting in skills from what I hear. He has never heard of such a thing. I call my Dad... he thinks it is weird too. I call Ron... he says I should just clean the paint up and take a few days brake then come back to it. Yeah, right... like Carrie is going to let a project go unfinished. HA! One by one, all the people I called showed up at the house. Lindsey and Lucas pealed paint with me, all the while wondering what the chalky stuff was behind the paint. My Dad came... he thought is was probably a chemical reaction and said to call Home Depot.

Around 2:00 Thursday afternoon...

Thank heaven for smart, old, Home Depot, paint dudes. Back in the 40's when my old house was built... the plaster guys would throw in a few extra handfulls of lime in the plaster to quicken the drying process. What should have happened after that was a coat of primer and then a coat of paint. However, according to the HD Dudes, people didn't know what primer was back then. So, they just painted the plaster. That is fine. You would think some time in the next 60 years someone would decide that it was time for a new color. I mean, I paint 2-3 times a year, doesn't everybody? Not in my old house. I was the first since 1946. When I rolled on my paint, it soaked through the old layer of paint and the moisture in the paint activated the lime in the plaster. The reaction of the activation... heat. The heat separated the old layer of paint from the plaster and thus the peeling. And that chalky stuff everyone was feeling... lime.

So, I spent today sanding the edges of the peeling... then primed the whole room with an oil based primer. Finally! The lime has been "neutralized"!! LOL... sounds like some kind of war fair doesn't it... "the lime has been activated... we need to neutralize it". The primer needed to dry over night. Or at least, I think it should dry overnight... even though the can says "fast drying". So, I'll work on the final coats later today.

See... I told you it was a MAJOR crisis!! And just to prove I actually know how to paint. Lauren's room, the "after" shot!! Scroll down HERE for the "before".

The rocker... I dragged it home from the side of the road when I was about 5 years old, living in Texas. It was red leather and had a broken leg. My Dad fixed the leg, and my Mom recovered it. It is just the right size for a 5 year old little girl butt, wouldn't ya say? And isn't that the prettiest purple ever? Is it wrong to covet your daughter's bedroom for studio space?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

While I wasn't looking...

... aka, the things I'll miss most.

I am in the throws of a MAJOR painting crisis (photos of that tomorrow) at the new house. I can't even tell you what a tissy is has "Carrie" in. But since we haven't officially moved to the new house with our evenings and mornings at the old house, I am forced to slow down and just 'be' at the old house.

I know we have a near decade of memories here, but I find there isn't much about being here that I will miss. Maybe it is the fact that I moved every year or so as a kid, so I don't easily form attachments to homes. But something happened this morning. Ron asked me to help him load a couple things in his truck before leaving for work. I walked through the yard to get to the garden bench and wheel barrow. When rounding a corner of the house to the side yard, my breath was taken away... my favorite hydranga bush is in full bloom. Next to it, the lace hydranga is budding too. As I walked around more, I realized I have missed so many of my flowers... the daisies are spent and the purple flower my Mom brought me from Cape Cod has gone to seed (just to name a few). I looked closer and noticed the purple cone flower going bonkers and the gooseneck loose strife (love saying that name) has a bazillon heads on it.

I love my gardens... I have beautiful gardens... and no thanks to me, apart from weeding every few weeks, they really grow themselves. I am going to miss them...

Purple Cone Flowers - the view out of my studio window.

Lace Hydranga - one my Mom planted for me.

I am not sure what this is, but it is taller then me. Another one my Mom stuck in when I wasn't looking. It is so dark it is almost black.

The one from Cape Cod.

My spent daisies... planted for my best friend.

Gooseneck Loose Strife (gawd, I love saying that!)

A squash that came up in the garden all on it's own. Who knew yellow summer squash was perinnal?

At least the things I will miss are things that I can take a piece of with me. And what an adventure and pleasure it will be to get to design and plant all new gardens!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Posters & Ringers

Updating is still going strong! Go check out Excellent Earwear & Ring-A-Dings!!
I'll be doing pendants and bottle caps tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Creative Jewelry 2008

Did you notice I added a new publication to the side panel on the right? Flip to page 13 and you'll find super easy instructions for my "Snagged" style necklaces!! 75 necklace projects, and yours truly is the first one in the necklace section. To keep the project short and sweet, the editors listed me as the source for the lampwork ring with sterling wire toggle. I will be working on those really soon and updating my Bead Box with them. BUT, I also decided that since these toggles are so super simple to make, that I would write the tutorial for it too and share it here on the blog. The tutorial is written... I just need to take the photos. So, keep checking back, and you should see it by the end of the week. :)

This isn't the only tutorial I have up my sleeve either! There will be two more publications out this fall with projects from me. But we'll keep those under wraps until they get here.

Meanwhile... I spent the early morning hours updating the Bevy Of Bracelets! There is a bunch of fresh goodies too be oogled at. LOL. And, should you see something you love but it isn't your size, just send me an email. Most of my bracelet designs lend themselves to easy sizing. I can add a link or take one out.

One thing you won't see are the new Bottle Cap Bracelets. I am planning to add the "Recycled Art Jewelry" section to my "Jewelry Shop" just for the bottle caps. I have about a half dozen new caps to post and just a couple of the bracelets left (everyone LOVED them at the show!). I am just not sure when I will get to posting them.

Don't forget!! Free shipping in July!! Use coupon code: JULY

Monday, July 14, 2008

In and Out

Goodness... I thought after the show that things would slow down so I could catch my breath. Shows you what I know. Things were nuts today (an appointment for Lauren that should have been an hour was three hours!) and it is just going to get crazier. We are making plans to make the move to the new house this coming weekend!! I finished painting Lauren's room (Jacob's room is up next) and Ron is re-skinning the shed.

So, bare with me while I am in and out this week.

I did get new necklaces posted this morning!! Go check them out!! Plus, I decided that it isn't fair that y'all that are out of state have to pay shipping when locals come to the show and get to just pick things up. So, FREE SHIPPING IN JULY!! You get to pretend that you are right there in my booth at a show. Just use the coupon code JULY when you check out.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


One day down... and one to go!! The first day of Corn Hill was awesome! Hot... but great. LOL... and when I say hot, I am not getting across just how hot it was. It was so hot today that my body steamed the wrinkles out of my dress, lol. Yeah, that hot!! But the crowds were out and business was good. Lots of new Kab's pieces have been added to shoppers' collections. One piece that left was "Icing On The Cake" and I have to say, it broke my heart to let it go. But now I get to work on creating another one, so it'll be okay. I also met the people buying our house, which was a total surprise. Nothing like someone saying "Hi, I think we are buying your house". It was great though. They said they had seen all the jewelry in my studio and wondered what I was making it for.

For this year, I decided to go with a three table layout for the booth instead of four. I felt kinda low on inventory and I thought things would look fuller with fewer tables. It really worked out well because it ment Bonnie and I were in shade the whole time. Not that it mattered, with temps in the 90s, even the shade is hot. Doesn't the new sign go great?!? I love it!! And do you notice anything else missing? No fabric around the tent top this year, but maybe next year. I want to find a brighter color rather then the deep jewel tones of the fabric I currently have. Sigh... I love little details.

Speaking of little details... check out this latest addition to my display. I was keeping it under wraps (didn't want anyone else showing up to the show with one of these, LOL) but now I can show it off. Isn't it cool? It is a wire hat stand that I attached wood discs too. Then I dolled up the discs with decorative painting.

Okay, I need to soak in the pool... gotta get all this stickiness of me... then it is time for bed, I am beat! I'll be back Monday with a website update of new pieces that are still available after the show. They are calling for rain all day tomorrow, so I imagine we'll have lots to post on the website. Hmmm, I might need to bring a book to read.

Friday, July 11, 2008

1... Eye Of The Hurricane


"Tumbler Too"

You know how they say that when there is a hurricane, the time in the eye of the hurricane is beautiful? You have the storm before, then clear blue sky before the backside of the storm hits. That is kinda of where I am at the moment. I have had a storm of activity for the past 10 days... and the back half of the storm is going to blow in tomorrow with the actual show. But today, it is the calm.

I spent most of yesterday running my last minute pre-show errands. I got all the jewelry priced and packaged. My tablecloths are washed and ready to go. The car needs loading but there isn't much else I can do. There are no more beads to be made, no more jewelry to wire or string... I have done all I can do!

It has been great sharing this countdown with you all over the past 12 days. And thanks for following along with all my ups and downs. Don't worry... there is more to come. I wouldn't leave ya hangin'... I'll be back with a post game show wrap up!!

But before I kick back and lounge for the afternoon... I had to sneak in one last project last night. I decided that my booth sign needed a face lift. Out with the stripes... in with the turquoise. And all the photos were taken by my budding photographer, Jacob.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

2... Did You See That?

Did you see that yesterday? I think I might have grown a little bit right in front of your eyes. LOL. You would have to read the freaked out about earrings post then go to the comments and read what I said there. Basically, I have decided to embrace my inner spunky artist self and she says "Kerry, we aren't making things for the masses just because the status quo says we should. We are making what we are inspired to make and that's that. If we aren't feeling 'earrings', then we aren't making them." It was a HUGE relief to let that go, though I am not saying the panic won't come back. It just feels good not to pressure myself about something I really don't want to make.

So what did I do instead? AH... that is where today's pics come in. Sorry they aren't the super stellar pics you are used to, but those darken bottle caps anyway, so we are going with the kitchen table look.


For about 3 months now, I have been working these out in my head. I just never took the time sit down and do them. Finally, yesterday, I did a resin pour of just bracelet caps. I made about a dozen, a few over flowed and need re-pouring today. But all in all, I think I love it. I called my sister first thing this morning and zinged her an email with the photos. I got an "OMG that bracelet is HOT!" She went on to add, how much wire is on the outside of the cap, and can you turn that hook in so it doesn't snag my sweater. Good feedback.

The final results will be shown off at the show on Saturday!! You all are planning coming right?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

3... Shear Panic

B&W Snagged

"Think Pink" Bracelet

Okay, there aren't a ton of photos today because frankly, I don't have time to take a ton of pictures and edit them. So, two will have to do for today. And it isn't for lack of things to take pics of... I got a boat load... but the thing is, I have started to panic.

I was kind of wondering when this would set it. Turns out around 9:30pm last night was when. I was looking at my bevy of beautiful baubles when WHAM! it hit me... I have like no earrings... none... zip,zilch,nada... okay, not none but only like 5!! Had this hit me Monday or Tuesday I would have focused on nothing but earrings those days. I had planned on doing an earring day, remember, I mentioned it Sunday when I said I was burning out!! See, I knew I was burnt out... how could I not realize that I had no earrings?!?

The thing with earrings is they take a long time to make (at least if you are trying to make something really original), you have to make two of everything and make those doubles THE SAME SIZE. Then for all your work, they are usually the cheapest things on the tables because no one realizes what a pita they are to make.

I racked my brain last night trying to figure out what I am going to do about all this. While in the throws of shear earring-less panic... not the best time to try to problem solve. My mind was BLANK! Thankfully though, I have beady friends with IM that are up as late as me. Around 11pm, Lori Anderson was able to give me some ideas and calm me down. Hopefully, HOPEFULLY... I can get at least a few dozen made today. Lets all keep our fingers crossed that the torch and bead making gods are with me this morning, lol. I would hate to have a "bad bead day" (you know, those days where you can't even seem to make a solid color round bead) on a crunch day like this!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

4... Slightly Side Tracked

Lariat Blues

Lariat Brights

Lariat Oranges

Aren't these fun? Gosh I love hollows!! For these, they aren't quite as long as their predecessors, these are only 26in, but they still do the job.

So, yesterday, I got a little side tracked. We had the home inspection done on our old house by the couple purchasing it!! YOO HOO!! (everything went fine with that) But that meant that I had to find something to do away from the house for 3 hours. Hmmm... what takes me about 3 hours to do? Why, painting a room, of course!!

This is Lauren's room in the new house. Now, don't get me wrong, I love color... but, this room had at least FOUR! Periwinkle trim, pink walls (and not a nice pink), green built in dressers, and a sort of white ceiling (not to mention the strange colors inside the closet). Apart from the bad paint, this room has so much going for it. Great light, beautiful floors, built ins, and neat slanted ceilings.

I figured while I couldn't be working on show stuff, I should be working on house stuff. So, I decided to start with that periwinkle trim. GWAD, what a nightmare!! I really should have primed it, but oh well, call me a lazy painter. Instead I did three coats of antique white. But do you notice how much cutting in that would be when painting the ceiling? Yeah, so I decided to paint that antique white too. What should have taken 3 hours, took about 6. I did 4 in the afternoon and then 2 more after torching and eating some dinner.

As for the walls, I need to pick that paint up today. I am thinking of going with a dark but vibrant purple called "Purple Royalty" from Lowe's, but then again, playing with their digital paint tool... I really like "Cosmic Berry". One is a more blue purple, and one a more red. I think I will have to decide in person.

Oh and check out my horoscope for today!

Tuesday, July 8 ~ You should find most things moving in a pretty positive direction for you today. Any problems involving friends and loved ones that seemed to be dragging on forever may finally be starting to reach some type of constructive resolution. And many things should be resuming on a much more productive note for you right now.

Guess that means I better get off this computer and get my butt to work!!

Monday, July 07, 2008

5... Getting My "Swirl" On

Oh I can't tell you how much this bead excited my when it came out of the kiln. It has got to be my most favoritest hollow I have ever made!! For a couple of years now, I have been embracing the art that is a perfectly straight line. And in doing so... I totally lost my ability to swirl!! I kid you not... I have tried dozens of times to make a classic lampwork bead with scroll work and I sucked at it. I have been telling myself that when things come down, I am going to spend as much time as it takes to get my swirl back. I know I used to be able to do it.

By chance this weekend, during one torch session or another, I grabbed a stringer that was bright aqua over white. It was kinda on the thick side so I thought, what they hey... let's do some squiggles. The squiggles went well. I was happy. But my stringer was gone... and now I had to make another one. So I took some (my very last little bit, mind you) of my favorite transparent ink violet colors and pulled an encased stringer of that. I started with another little squiggle... and said heck with it... I am gonna go for a swirl! And hot dang it worked!!! I gotta try again when I have more time to spend focusing on just a couple beads at a time... cause my stars do I love this bead.

I was planning on making a group of hollows to make a new "Having A Ball" style necklace but though nah... I'll make hollow lariats instead. So, instead of one necklace with 8 hollows... now I have 4 necklaces. Cool huh? I'll show you those tomorrow.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

6... Burning Out?

Green "Ringers"

"Beach Towels"

"Bang GAL!"

I can tell I am starting to burn out. I started feeling it Friday. I am going (4 truck loads of garage stuff to the new house on Friday) and going (3 truck loads on Saturday) and going (plus torching and beading both days)... but unfortunately, I am not a battery so it is wearing me out. Being worn out makes me grumpy and snappy. Thankfully though, I have an understanding family that lets me snap and rant. (No, I am not going to spend an hour boiling strawberries for your ice cream... just be happy you are getting any!)

Being worn out also blurs my vision. I start looking at what I am working so hard at making and I start thinking... hate it... hate it... that's stupid... hate it... wtf?... ugh... I know it is just my fatigue talking but that voice in my head saying those things is really loud sometimes. LOL... wait... I just realised... maybe Carrie isn't my only alter ego... maybe I need to name this side of me... hmmm... we'll call her Annie... the name my Mom always calls me when I am in trouble, my middle name. So, Annie starts under minding my confidence and makes me want to eat ice cream and go to bed.

Yesterday, Lindsey was by the house to help me with some of that truck loading. She got to see all my goodies in person. I can't tell you how much I needed that! Not because she told me how wonderful everything was, but she said things like "you have a lot less bracelets then you did last year"... and "are you going to do any Playgrounds or are they last season?" That is the kind of thing I need to hear to re-energize me and give me new focus.

Starting Monday, I am going to have 4 days kid-free. They are headed to summer camp at my parents' house! And I it is going to be just me and my torch. I know I need a plan to get things done. There is going to be a whole day devoted to earrings... a day of Playgrounds (I can get 4 done in about 3 hours on the torch!)... a day for a new wowie zowie necklace... and another day to tie up loose ends. Then Friday will be pricing, packing, and other pre-show prep.

Goodness... when I look at it like that... this week is gonna FLY by!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

7... It Was Good In Theory

Grrrr... I don't know what it is... but something about this bracelet is bothering me. No, it isn't the fact that it broke, because I was thinking I hated it way before it broke. It just broke about 10 minutes ago when I took it's picture. (Note to self: Don't force things that don't want to bend.)

Anyway... I made the beads on Tuesday (at least I think it was Tuesday, all the days are running together). I was making some paddle style beads and had been thinking about a tutorial I saw in a new lampworking book I picked up last weekend. The book is Glass Bead Workshop and the technique is an off mandrel one for putting a hole in a bead not made on a mandrel. So, there I was making a paddle bead and I thought... "huh? I wonder what it would look like if I added a hole to the paddle!?!"

I was super excited to take them out of the kiln and I really liked my idea for linking them together. It went together super easy... I even like how it feels and lays on my wrist.


There is just something about it... I don't know. Maybe it is the colors... maybe it is the size of the wire I used... maybe it is that Lauren kept saying the beads looked like fish... I don't know... I can't put my finger on it.

Wanna know a secret? I think I am actually glad it broke.

Friday, July 04, 2008

8... Celebrate!

I am taking the day off to do a little holiday celebrating! We are headed to the new house for a backyard picnic. I'll still squeeze in some torch time... I am on a deadline, remember!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

9... About Fracking Time!


I haven't said anything, because I didn't want to jinx it (like last time). But we had a couple come through the house 3 times in 4 days! And yesterday, they gave us an offer on our old house. We signed all the paperwork last night. We accepted their offer, except that we want to keep our fridge and gas dryer. Now we just have to wait to see if they accept our keeping of those two appliances and then it is a done deal!!

I am super super excited!! The call came in yesterday while I was torching and I was so loopy that I was shaking to the point I couldn't work any more. So... I worked on constructing jewelry instead...

"Snagged" Bracelet & Necklace

"Bang GAL!" Oranges

A Pair of Pretty Pendants

"Bloomin' Earrings"

"Another Sunrise"

Now the beads in the last piece should look familiar. It used to be THIS necklace. JOOLZ had purchased it but, sadly, it never sold. So I let the owner trade it out for something fresh and I decided to rework the beads. That long tail of cord next to the clasp is there because I think I want to take it apart. I am not convinced I like this, at all. It wears okay, but I think the orange cord it a little much. I guess it is back to the drawing board on that one.

Time to hit the torch!