Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Confessions Of A Poor Juggler

Let me preface this with a warning... I am about to dribble on and on about feeling like I can't keep up and that I am feeling like a crappy Mom because of it. I don't need consoling. I just need to rant and get the feelings out. Feel free to rant too in the comments. I think it'll be a good release.

I feel like I am a fairly decent juggler. Not literally, cause I can't juggle for real, but definitely figuratively. I have a lot to balance and keep in motion. I am a Mom of Three, a Wife, Housekeeper of a 5bedroom 2bath home, and I am an Artist. Looking at those four little titles would have you thinking "that ain't so bad", but there are so many layers to each of them.

Mom of Three is complicated by having one child in his first year of middle school, one child is struggling with bi-polar, and the last one just started kindergarten. I don't think I need to explain the layers to being a wife, lol. I think anyone in a relationship knows how much work they are. If you have read my blog through the summer, you know a lot of about what I have juggled with our new home. On the surface, "5bedroom 2bath home" sounds fabulous... but it was built in the 1940s and I am putting my heart into fixing this place up into a place we can be proud of.

As for the Artist, I am feeling like it isn't as glamorous as it sounds. I think it is every high school doodlers secret dream to be able to say they are a successful working artist. I mean, seriously, it is an awesome thing to be able to say, isn't it? I am a successful working artist. But the art balls that I juggle aren't all glass rods and roses. There is the business half of it too that if not delicately handled will suck the creative life right of me. Who wants to write expense spread sheets, and learn html, and book shows, and mail packages, and organize sales summaries?

So here I am, day to day, trying to keep all the family-home-life-art balls up in the air like they should be. And I am thinking "WOW, look how well it is all going... I am doing this... I am making it work..."

And then I go to curriculum night at Jacob's school...

Let me tell you about my Jacob. First of all, he is wicked smart. The boy has been reading since he was four years old. In kindergarten, they sent him to a multi-age 1st grade classroom so he would be challenged. He was in enrichment programs in 2,3,and 4th grades. In 3rd grade, he was reading at the 9th grade level. Now add to those brains the skills of an athlete. He loves sports. He excels at every sport he tries. He learned to ride a two wheeler when he was 3. He gets grand slams in baseball, scores goals in soccer, and is a defensive force to be reckoned with in football. If brains and brawn aren't enough... add to that a huge, kind heart and a great sense of humor. The kind of heart that will have a tea party with his 5 yr old sister and the sense of humor that has parents coming to me saying how funny their son thinks my son is. He is just a great kid.


Last night was a shocker for me. Unfortunately, I think it is my own fault. I feel that the way I parent really depends on the kid at the time. I give them what they need as they need it. Andrew struggles in school, so I sit with him every night and do each bit of homework with him step by step. Lauren doesn't have homework but is becoming more social, so I sit with her and listen to all the stories she has to tell me about her day. Jacob has had my trust. I ask him "dude, you got any homework?" And when he says "nah, I did it in study hall" or "Zac lent me a pencil and I finished it on the bus"... I trusted him. But now I have learned that he isn't doing his homework. What he is doing isn't being handed in on time. And now he owes almost every teacher 2-3 assignments!

I know this move has been a big adjustment for him. He has been thrown into this new environment with all these new people and I have expected him to become a juggler himself. Can't you juggle school, new friends, sports, and your family wonder kid? That sentence right there is why I feel like a crappy Mom today.

At the same time, I do what I know. My Mom was never all up in my business picking every single homework assignment outta my nose for me. I either did my work, or suffered the consequences in school. Sink or swim kid, you have to learn. Why isn't that in him? He is like me in so many ways... why isn't that in there too?

But then I waffle, and the guilt comes rolling back. I don't do enough for him... but I don't feel like I could handle more... I could be doing more, if I let this or that go... if I balance this or that better... maybe if I wasn't "working" so much... ugh! It is such a sick cycle.

Deep down I know that I will find a new way to juggle. It has already started. I will become the parent he needs right now. I will make him show me I can trust him and that he is as capable as I know he is. He'll do he assignments and show me they are done. I'll guide him through time management. I'll make him miss football to show him what is most important. But I am worried that something else will suffer. And from that worry will come the compensation in my actions to balance everything else in a new way too.

That... and I think some chocolate cake will help.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Can We Make It Be Sunday Again

Oh no... watch out... here comes a cliche why-every-one-hates-Mondays post. LOL. Ugh, did I have a heck of a time wanting to get outta bed this morning. The weather here has definitely made the switch to "Fall". Nights are getting down in the chilly 40s and having a big fluffy down comforter makes snuggling up against the cold so much easier. And it makes wanting to wake up so much harder. Oh well, I am up now (more then a half hour later then usual), coffee in hand (though it is going cold), the kids are out to school (but I don't actually know if Jacob got breakfast... when I wake up late, so does he, and he almost missed the bus), and I have a full day ahead.

I have just two days left before I need to have 5 projects with tutorials in the mail to Interweave Press. Deadlines sure to creep up on ya, don't they? I have felt so out of my beading groove lately. I fell like I am sitting at the torch for hours and only getting a few beads made. I think my most productive torch session in the past two weeks had me making a whooping 8 beads. Finally, Saturday and yesterday, I got in a groove. I am getting done what needs getting done and I am really happy with the results! YOOHOO, happy with the results hasn't been something I am saying much lately either, so that is a good feeling.

Today's pics are little sneaky previews of two of the five projects heading out of here. I would show you the "pretty" shots of them but then I would have to kill you. Oh stop, I am kidding, I wouldn't kill you, but still am not gonna show you. The previews are a nice bright way to start a Monday morning though.

OH, I almost forgot... I think I can tell you the BIG NEWS I have been hiding!! But, not until tomorrow or Wednesday. LOL, sorry... but hey, that is soon, right? I hope the build up is worth it. I know I think it is.

Okay, time to go clean my basement up. I have a new front loading washing machine being delivered today!! How fun is that?!? I get to wash things, WOO HOO!! (I hope you realise the huge amount of sarcasm that is oozing from those statements.)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Shoot Review

I have a few more "photoshoot" photos to share. My friend Lindsey was with me for moral support and encouragement yesterday. She brought her camera and took some photos along side the professional. I think her photos turned out just as nice. I asked Carlos, the photographer, if I could see which photos would be used in the article, or have a copy sent and unfortunately he said no. Copyright issues and such. That made me that much more thankfully that Lindsey brought her camera!! Otherwise I would have nothing to show you!

Can I just say, I hate having my picture taken. I mean, I like it taken once in a while. Candids with friends, family photos on vacation, and of course, the jewelry modeling shots I take for the blog here (yeah, right). I am far from a poser. I don't know what to do with myself. I don't think I am photogenic in the least. And personally, I think I have gowls like my Mom's English bulldog in most every picture taken. So, Lindsey can a test to me saying under my breath "I feel so stupid".

I am really happy with how the photos came out from yesterday though. The professional's angle was a bit different from Lindsey's but, the final result was something close to the photo below. See, I still have a really really sunny spot on my desk, lol. But under these circumstances, it made for a great lighting effect.

And now, it is my turn to return the support and encouragement favor to my dear friend. Lindsey has an Etsy shop called "A Crunchy Life" and she just updated it this week!! She's made some really awesome patchwork scraves from recycled fabrics and hand embroidered some very cute totes. I am in love with this scarf. The colors are fabulous. Go show her some support!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Photoshoot Necklaces

The one I wore while getting my picture taken.

The one I made while I was having my picture taken.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Craziness On Hand

I am so so so close to getting to be able to tell y'all what has had me so over joyed with excitment and anxiety lately that I could throw up. But, not yet.

I have a nutty couple of days ahead of me. Between the behind the scenes things, doctor's appointments for the kidos, a photoshoot on Wednesday for that article in Rochester Magazine (in my studio, OH MY STARS!), and the deadline I have of October 1st, I might not be posting very regular. Just thought I'd let you know so that you aren't popping in here every day, a million times a day, waiting to see if I have posted yet, LOL. Come on, you know you do it. (hehe, I do it to other blogs, waiting for their artists to post)

But hey, you know, the last time I said I might not post for a week, I had something to say everyday. Who knows? But just know, that I know, you guys are gonna be excited when I can finally share my big news and I so so so appreciate you being patient with me. And for all the support you awesome peps give me. YOU ROCK!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Blogging Contest

Check it out... Martha Stewart is having a contest on her blog. There are like 20,000 entries but hey, it could happen. You just leave a comment with a link your your blog and then post on your blog about the contest... your entered!

Cool beans...

Oh my stars... did I just say "cool beans"? LOL!

Friday, September 19, 2008

It Was A Top Down Day

There is a phrase in our family to describe a beautiful day... you say "it's a top down day". A day that, if you had a convertible, you'd be driving it with the top down. Today was my Mom's 50th birthday and it was a top down day...


I hope you had a great day. I know I had fun :)

PS ~ Lots more pics in my Flickr Gallery... just click the link on the right.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Combating Color Causing Crap

I have decided that the best way to combat the color moping I was doing yesterday if and when it returns in the future is to work with some really really expensive glass, LOL. The glass I ordered on Monday arrived around lunch time on Wednesday. In with the Sangre, Kryptonite, Evil Queen, and Pink Champagne was a half pound of something called "Pandora".

I have shown you silver glass beads in the past. Silver glass is an American made glass that contains silver in the rods. The silver forms crystals or something under the surface, blooming and effecting the colors that the beads become. THESE beads use R4 Picasso Blue silver glass, and THIS necklace is made with beads using Double Helix's Terra silver glass. Since making the switch to my Bobcat torch last year, I have had problems getting the silver glasses to react the way they should. In fact, I have been getting no reaction at all and the beads stay the same colors as the rods. It is frustrating, but I don't have the time to experiment for hours with a million and one different torch settings and hope to get it right.

Anyway, I was ordering glass at http://www.flamekissedglass.com/ and saw that Reenie had added the category "Double Helix Glass" to her side bar. I am so out of the silver glass loop that I didn't even know it was being distributed by shops other then the maker's, LOL. But wait... I am even farther out of the loop then that. So, I am scrolling through all the different Double Helix glass colors and I come across this Pandora stuff. It is gorgeous! At least in the puck (little glob of glass that shows the color, kinda like a swatch) is gorgeous. The description says it is easy to use. I decide, hey, I'll give it a try. What could it hurt? I can just sell the rods if I don't like it.

I don't think another thing of it... then yesterday the box of glass arrived. The 13 rods of transparent mossy green looking glass that I paid $50 (1/2lb) for was so intriguing. I decided to give it a try. It is a "striking" glass. But it is very different then say striking red or striking orange, which strike in the flame, this strikes in the KILN! I had to change the settings on the kiln so that the beads would soak at 960degrees for FOUR HOURS then slowly cool down to room temp over several hours. I decided to make hollows. I have a very special necklace that needs to get made, and it needs hollows. Plus I have been having colapsing hollow frustration so I decided to do hollows.

Want to stop wasting glass? Like I said above, use really really expensive glass. Knowing the cost of this glass made me slow down and really work on my hollow form. It made me keep working it until it was right, instead of setting it down and wasting it. I am happy I took the time to figure that out. I think I need to do it with other colors too... slow down... get it right.

So, after my couple hours on the torch, I decided to hop over to http://www.lampworketc.com/ and see if there was a show and tell for this glass. I figured there had to be tons of beads made with it since I am always the last to the silver glass party. There was a thread alright. LOL. Turns out this glass was JUST released, last week. It is the latest and greatest. It is the hottest thing. Everyone wants it. Look at me and my on the ball self, lol. I got some of the must have stuff!! Now let's hope I get a reaction.

As I mentioned, these beads change in the kiln. When they go into the kiln they are transparent mossy green, then, as the hours pass, you can check on them and see if they are changing. I love the washed over river rock look to these. They are almost ceramic looking... sorta raku-ish. I am thrilled with the result. And I love that they are BIG hollows too. I get the chunky size with lots of color effects but without the bulk. Too cool. The photos really don't do these beads any justice. They are so unique. I just love 'em. I haven't been this excited to run down to the studio at the crack of dawn to pull things outta the kiln in months.

I am gonna play with this some more!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Color Causing Crap

Slowing but surely over the past several days, I have felt the start of a funk moving in. I know exactly what the problem is too. It's color. You know me and color... it is an epic love-hate relationship. I adore color... color is my favorite... I could drink it for breakfast... it just makes me so happy, except when it doesn't work the way I have in mind.

I have two very specific color combos on the brain right now. I have hit a brick wall with both of them.

First up is what I am going to call the "Purple Passion" combination. Purple is one of my favorite colors and I feel like I have been neglecting it lately. Fall is at our doorsteps and what better way to usher in this new cooler season then with a rich and regal royal purple. I envision royal purple with a deep amethyst and I want those accented with RED... and FUCHSIA! I can see it all so clearly in my head. It is so pretty. But after 2 1/2 hours of torching on Monday with those exact colors, I had all of four crap beads. Grr.

Next up it is the "Retro Combo" that is causing me issue. I am seeing in my mind's eye a true turquoise with persimmon-y red and deep chocolate brown. I want big loopy florals and swirls of swirlie-ness. (I am even working on piecing a quilt together with these colors... photos coming soon.) But dang heck.... another 2 hours of torching and I have like 6 beads this time around. The florals aren't floral enough... the swirls not swirly... and the whole thing is lookin' really western for some cotton pickin' reason.

I am trying to combat my color frustration with new glass. I found a CiM color called Sangre that is supposed to be the most lipstick perfect red glass around. I decided to grab a few rods of a few other CiM colors too while I was at it and I have my fingers crossed that when it arrives, I won't waste as much as I have wasted in the past two days of other colors. (I mean, I literally have about 20 beads, cracked and trashed on my desk for one reason or another... that is a lot of glass.)

With further dissection of the impending funk... I think I have too much going on at the moment so I am finding it difficult to focus on one thing. I met last week's deadline but have another looming come October 1st, I have behind the things stuff that I can't talk about (this may be the only thing keeping a full blown funk at bay, I can't wait to tell you about it), I have house projects, kids' stuff, and then these few precious hours to work with crappy fruitless efforts. It is enough to make any artist belly up with a pint of Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby and just down it all!

I don't know. Maybe this mini rant/temper tantrum will clear my mind. I'll sit down, make a list and prioritize. I'll decide what is a must get done and what is a mustn't. And if all else fails, I'll take a deep breathe and fall back on my old color stand by.... "When in doubt, pull all the colors out".

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's Not What It Isn't

I am on pins and needles today. But, technically, I can't/shouldn't tell you why. I really, really want to though. I want you to share my anticipation and angst, then either my elation or disappointment. I am reminded of that scene in Shrek The 3rd where Pinocchio doesn't tell Prince Charming where Shrek isn't. LOL. If you need reminding of the scene, you can watch it HERE on YouTube.

Okay... so... if you were to ask me if I was waiting to here from a certain institution about possibly being offered a document for a project I have been working on, I would respond... it wouldn’t be inaccurate to assume that I couldn’t exactly not say that it is or isn’t almost partially incorrect. (LOL, I have re-read that a 100 times, and I don't think it makes any sense, lol)

In the meantime, while you are waiting for me to not answer your question... pop over to Parallel Crossings!! I posted photos of the wild and crazy ZOO themed necklace that I completed yesterday. "Out Of Africa" is pictured above!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blog Lift

Okay, it obvious, so why make it a post, lol... but oh well. Here goes... I gave the blog a little face lift yesterday. The three column layout was starting to feel too busy. I like this better... at least for now. I get bored easy, lol, so it'll probably change again!!

I also added another magazine icon to the new right sidebar. The latest and greatest is the new Easy Wire Jewelry. It is a once a year publication and it doesn't come with your standard subscriptions. If ya want it, ya gotta order it (or pick it up at JoAnn Fabrics with your 40% off coupon!). I have two pieces in this one. One of them you can see in the preview photo when you click on the link. I'll let the other be a surprise until the magazine is actually on the news stands.

From the weekend... Saturday's wedding was nice. The ceremony was beautiful and Chelsey was breath taking. I am very happy for the lovely couple. We decided to sneak out of the reception early, grabbed some Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and watched an X-Files at home. It is so rare that the kids aren't with us. It was fabulous to sit in the quiet of the house, just us.

Sunday was another football game day for Jacob. GO WARRIORS!! His team is now 3-0, YOO HOO!! The have great momentum going into next week's game against Pittsford, who is arguable the best team in the league. (Look at me talkin' like a proud sports Momma.) Before the game we did a bunch of around the house stuff. Ron installed a ceiling fan, go Ronnie! And I rearranged the living room. *sigh* Just another crazy family weekend.

I am so looking forward to my "alone" time today. My torch is calling!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Here Comes Another Bride

Once in a blue moon, I work on a special wedding project. You might remember this necklace I did for my cousin Audrey's wedding last Fall. Well, tomorrow is my book club pal Chelsey's wedding. EEEKKK!! We really are all super excited for Chels. Scotty is the love of her life. It is all just oowie goowie mushy wedding goodness.

When Chelsey announce that she was getting married, the first thing I said was "Congratulations". That was closely followed by "I'll make the jewelry". I didn't end up making the jewelry but was asked to make a special pen for the Guest Book. Chels personality is one that embraces fun, funky and colorful. So she told me to go wild with the pen.

And that is what I did.

This thing is overflowing with color. It is bursting with bouquet blooms and rattles with seedbeads inside that large hollow. Now let's hope no one breaks it, or steals it, lol.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Are You Following Me?

Blogger added a new tool for the sidebar. I put it over on the left there. Scroll down a bit. It looks to be the latest and greatest way to network in the blog world. You can sign up (even anonymously it you want) by clicking on "Follow This Blog". Another little window pops up, you click "Follow publicly" or "Follow anonymously" and press the bright orange "FOLLOW" button. Then... your little picture is in the box there. People will come to my blog, see you, click you, and then find your blog about what you do. See networking, it is all good. Plus, you've probably noticed that I don't have a "blog list" on my sidebar. This is your way to get your blog listed.

Enough of that though... I have another design to show you.

It is another "reject" for that book project, lol. Did you guys know I get rejected this much, LOL? Don't worry though, it doesn't get to me. The 5 pieces picked are gonna be FANTASTIC!! This piece is called "Bridesmaid's Bouquet". The minute I put it on, I said "a bridesmaid would wear this". It is very different from what I usually do. The theme of the book has been challenging. (I am not going to go into details, don't even try to get it out of me.) The thing I like about this necklace is (like I seem to always say) is the movement. Those Swarovski dangles move!! They slide through the wrapped loops and the base chain. It is definitely a fiddle with necklace. So while you are standing there, at the alter, in your taffeta never-gonna-wear-it-again-but-the-bride-thinks-you-could dress, you can fidget and play with your necklace. Fun, huh?

Yeah, I am so gonna take it apart.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fringe For Fall?

I am still in my bubble, and it is working. Although, I do have a bit of a scratchy throat. ugh. Anywho... I thought you'd like to see one of the new designs to make it out of my studio this week. This one was for a book I am contributing on. However, it didn't fit with the book's theme so it won't be heading to it's pages. That's okay by me... it means I don't have to keep it a secret and I can share it with you!!

I am calling it "Frivolous". It is fun, fringy, floppy fantasticness if you ask me. LOL, but then again, I am in a bubble!! LOL! I could be totally off base. I know this fringy style chain is really "in" right now. And it is actually quite easy to make yourself. No need to be paying $19-$30 a foot for it. MAKE IT! (hmm... maybe I should write this tutorial)

The beads are recycled in from another necklace. Remember this one? I was never really happy with it, and it hasn't ever sold. I cut it to bits, I'll reuse the wire in bottle caps, and the beads are now much happier in this new home. I like the way that they fall from side to side as you wear it. They move but are trapped in place by the rings.

Since making this, I have all sorts ideas for what to do with this fringy style stuff. I already have earrings done... and I am thinking bracelets too. Oh, and another necklace (or two) at least. Before I go head long into this world of shaggy cha cha ness... give me some feedback. I would love to hear what you think.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Industructible Bubble

I am in a bubble. And, that bubble is industructible. No one is goona bust my bubble. My bubble is so strong that it is a multi-tasking bubble. My bubble is keeping the cold germs, that ALL THREE of my kids have, far away from me. My bubble is keeping me focused on getting an important deadline met by the end of the week. My bubble is slightly rose colored thanks to some good news I got yesterday (that I can't share yet). And I plan to be in my bubble until the end of the week.

Here is a little sneak peak inside my bubble...

The deadline my bubble is protecting might just have a little sumptin sumptin to do with earrings. And please excuse the bead poo, cleaning the bead release is first on today's bubble to-do list.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Strike That, Reverse It

After the Bead Box Update the other day, I headed down to the studio to make some more beads. And this is what I was confronted with...

Apparently, putting a shiny metallic work surface directly under a bright sunny window was not a good idea. Sure, it would be a great place for a cat to take a nap, or a good spot to work on my total lack of a tan. But bead making... not gonna happen with that in my eyes. Would you believe, my torch is actually in that picture? Can you see it? I barely can. And that is what happened when I tried to make beads. The sun reflected and the torch disappeared into the glare.

So, rather than make beads for three hours on my quiet Friday afternoon, I had to over haul the studio... again.

Basically the desks had to switch places. And I think it was for the best. With the torch station where it is now, we can take out the window under the deck, replace it with plywood and more easily vent the exhaust hood when it goes in. It will also mean that we won't have to drill holes in the side of the house to put the propane outside either. Much safer all around. Just a total time sink when I was hoping to get to play with my glass.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Supporting The Arts

Edit to say: THE BEADS ARE UP!! Go check them out!!

First - THERE WILL BE A MINI BEAD BOX UPDATE TODAY!! When I am done with this post, I'll be cleaning, photographing, editing images, and posting a small batch of beads. I had hoped to spend a few hours on beads yesterday to have more to offer, but those efforts were thwarted.

I really like the word thwarted. When a plan has a wrench thrown into it so it doesn't go how it should, it was "thwarted". I even like saying that word. Thwarted. The th tickles your lips. LOL.

Anyway... why my plan was thwarted. I got a call from a member of the Gallery Council at the Memorial Art Gallery yesterday. She said she had been trying to get a hold of me all morning! (New house, new phone number, I thought I had updated them on that.) She called to see if I would be interested in doing an interview with someone from Rochester Magazine about the November Fine Craft Show at the gallery. OF COURSE I WOULD!! She said it would be via the phone, that works for me and it would be that afternoon. I said, great! and that after 12:30 would be awesome since all the kids would be at school and I could give her all my attention.

I had planned to make beads, but I didn't think it would be good to have a concentrator running, torch blowing, and fans fanning while talking on the phone. So I opted to read email and play scrabble on Facebook to pass the time. (I know, I should have been working on the EIGHT tutorials I have due next Friday.) I was really kinda nervous about the whole thing. I didn't know what to expect. I have never been interviewed before. What would they ask? Could I sound intelligent and articulate? I had my stomach doing flip flops and for no reason, cause things went fine. And I really should have made beads because I didn't end up getting the phone call when I thought I would.

Melissa, the writer, called around 9:00pm to have our chat. She said she loves blogs, so if you are here... Hey, Melissa! Anyway, I don't want to spill any beans about what we talked about. I'll leave that a mystery to be revealed in her article. But it was a good conversation, I think. I hope I represented the caliber of artists that will be presenting at this fantastic show well. I truly am honored to be among them. The Fine Craft Show is like nothing you'll find anywhere else in Rochester. You'd have to go to Toronto, Chicago, or NYC to find anything close to it. One of the exciting things for me, as an artist, is that I won't be lost in a sea of crappy crafters (you know the ones I mean... scarecrows on wooden sticks? come on) at this show. Only 40 artists are selected!!

Okay, enough gushing about being in the show... I'll leave that to the Rochester Magazine article. Besides, I have photos that need taking and beads that need posting. Check back soon!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Inspiration Boards

I am up early thanks to a monstrous crow. It caw cawed for ten minutes straight until I got out of bed then abruptly flew away. Every one is dressed, teeth brushed, breakfast fed, and waiting for the bus. So now is my little window of quiet morning time before I need to get some chores done and wake up Lauren. This is my blog land time. BUT, today, I find myself on Flickr doing searches on "Inspiration Boards".

Here are a few of the extra fabulous ones... THIS ONE (so right up my color way at the moment), THIS ONE (I love the chaos in it), THIS ONE (what is with me an teal these days?), THIS ONE (color, yum), and THIS ONE (cause it's different, and I love Anna Maria).

So now, I am suddenly obsessed with getting an inspiration board in the studio. I want one, I have to have one, I can't live without, I may not make it through the day unless I get one... I am so desperate to have one that I may wake Lauren up early, deal with her grumpy wrath, and go to JoAnn Fabrics right now to get one.

Here is the thing that is keeping me in my comfy chair though... in my mind, there are two kinds of inspiration boards. A) keeping your soul inspired ones and 2) keeping your ideas inspired ones. The souls ones are daily reminders of why you do what you do. They have pictures of friends and family, favorite quotes... you know, motivational stuff. I had one of those at the old house. It had news paper clippings of family members that had been published, it had pictures from Christmas cards of close friends, it had the receipt from my buying my business license. I tried to hang it in the new studio and it fell off the concrete wall and broke. The second kind of board is the kind I want now.

I am trying to think practically. If I want an inspiration board to cover with ideas that keep my creative juices flowing then I have to have a source for those ideas right? That means I would be pinning up magazine pages/clippings most likely. I don't get any magazines these day!! Would it be a total waste of an idea board if I didn't really have constant sources for ideas? I do pick up some publications here and there... and there are all those lovely paint swatches I covet in the hardware stores... and I could print photos I find inspiring on the internet (though that would mean needing to buy printer ink and put the computer together in the studio). Oh, and I don't have push pins either.

Do any of y'all find this happening to you? You have a compelling urge to do something that is incredibly difficult to ignore or stop thinking about... and yet at the same time, silly practical details keep you from going for it? This usually isn't "me". I always go for it and deal with the wastefulness of my decision down the road. But I am still working on my Lemonade Stand For Art way of thinking. I don't want to buy things I don't need.

Oh what a silly Thursday rambling.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tip Top Table Shape

Okay... so here is the big reveal of what I was grinding in that picture from yesterday. Not what you were expecting? What? Doesn't everyone spend Labor Day cleaning paint and rust off old metal table legs with their husband's grinder? Of course not. I realize how crazy I am.

Last week during that HoHum day when I ended up baking Triple Berry Pies with my Mom, we also stopped at an estate sale on the way home. It was the second day of the sale which means that everything is half off. GREAT!! My kind of sale!! Down in the basement of this old ranch house was the work area of a former caterer. There were big sinks, lots of dishes, pots and pans, and tucking into three different corners were 3 different enamel top tables.

My Mom is the one with the eye for these things. She had seen the table the day before and brought me back to see if it was still there. The two tables I did not get were rather traditional and plain. The one I got though, I fell in love with right away. It is from the 30s or 40s and it seats 4. Plus it has this section that pulls out making it seat 6. But how to get it out of the basement? It took several tries. The dang thing weights about 80lbs. In the end we had to get a tool out of the box of tools for sale in the garage and take the legs off.

I love love love the art deco style pattern on the top and the three tier legs on the bottom. I had to wire grind the legs to remove all the rust and gross paint. That took hours. But it all came off and the wheel took things right down to the original chrome. I would have polished the chrome but it was in too rough a shape. I went for spray paint to brighten things up.

I gotta say... I think I am in love with spray paint. This is the first time I have used it and I am looking around at all sorts of things I could blast with a can of the stuff. For this, I used Blue Mediterranean by Valspar. At $3 a can how can you go wrong? I could change the color again in week and it wouldn't break the bank!!

OH, I am forgetting to tell you the best part... guess how much I spent on the table. It was marked $65, but is was half price day... and I did some dealing... so I got it for $25!! Go me. And I will end up using this as the island in my kitchen. Not my idea though... it's my Mom's idea. She has a lemon yellow and lime green one in her kitchen as her island. It makes for a great place to do prep work. Now, my kitchen... that still needs work. I have wall paper to peel, walls to paint, a back splash to tile... tons needs to be done in the kitchen.

Happy First Day Of School!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Holiday Recap

Why is it that half the time I don't have a thing to say and the other times I am busting at the seems with things to tell you? And now, I have so many things that I am going to forget things. We'll do a daily recap and see if I hit every thing...

The Gushing Contest started and my stars, how fun was that?!? I thought it was great reading all the things that people had on their minds. And I was kinda surprised more of you didn't comment!! I guess y'all like the easier, just-draw-a-name, kid of giveaways. You'll have one of those eventually. Oh, go check out Parallel Crossings!! I finally posted after a month of waiting!! Cassie and I will kick things into high gear once I can get my kids out the door to school.

I also spent Friday recovering from book club the night before. I was a tired lazy bum most of Friday thanks to my girls. LOL. Let's just say... 10 women... 2 1/2 hours... 8 bottles of wine. It was a blast. And for those of you following along with our reading... I picked 5 books for the vote. They were The Red Tent, Walked In Love, Twilight, Tell No One and Catcher In The Rye (I am to lazy today to get links for you, just amazon them, they come right up). The vote was close. It was between Twilight and Catcher In The Rye. Cather In The Rye was the winner.

You know, a minute ago each day of the past 4 days was clear as a bell in my head, now, for the life of me I can't remember a thing. This is why I am convinced that I will suffer from dementia and memory loss as an elderly person.

Oh, I remember, I made beads on Saturday... FOR YOU GALS!! I am thinkin' I'll update the Bead Box on Friday. Stay tuned for that.

We also had friends over on Saturday. It was so much fun. Great friends, great food, great conversations... screaming wild kids roasting s'mores and nearly burning each other... it was a blast.

Sunday: (by far the best day of the holiday weekend)
Even though I was up very late Saturday night, I woke up extra early to hitch a ride with my Mom, Dad and sister out to the Avon Flea Market. It is about a half hour from here. It is a weekend event all summer and fall long. You can find all sorts of junk and antiques (plus really crappy mass produced garbage from China being displayed in banana boxes, you don't want to get me started on that). I loved wandering around the stalls. It was funny though, when with my Mom, Bonnie and I are no longer 28 & 30... we are 4 & 6. We have to go were our Mom tells us with no wandering off. LOL.

I scored some great treasures at the flea market. I found two, really cool, white and turquoise Hager pottery pieces (only one shown in photo). I got a fantastic brass door knob. I am actually starting a door knob collection. I want to mount them on cool face plates and make coat hooks out of them (to which my sister replied "why do you have to have so many good ideas?"). I also bought a neat piece of milk glass, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (copyright 1966, beautiful illustrations) and an old oak table. Wanna know how much I spent? Pottery: $6 Knob: $3 Book: $1 Table:$8 Milk Glass: $3... acquisitions editing for $21 ROCKS!!

Saturday afternoon was Jacob's first football game of the season. All I can say is Sudden. Death. Overtime. The kids were awesome. It was the most exciting game I have ever been to. And the Warriors won in OT... 12-6! YOO HOOO!!!!

We have a Labor Day tradition of going to the last Rochester Red Wings game of the year downtown. The kids love it. We eat tons of junk food and watch a ballgame. It's great. But before that... I got acquainted with Ron's bench top grinder. I spent most of the morning before the game and most of the evening after the game working on that grinder. I am not ready to show you that project yet. I think it deserves a whole post to itself. I'll give you this hint though... it's something for the kitchen.

And now you are caught up.

Tomorrow is the first day of school and I am jumping out of my skin with excitement. I can't wait to get back to my normal work routine of 3 hours at the torch every afternoon in peace and quiet. I will miss my quiet mornings though with the kids sleeping in until 9:30 - 10:00. That will be replaced with 3 different bus pick ups. Jacob leaves at 8am, Andrew at 8:20 and Lauren at Noon. ugh. But we'll find a good groove.

Today will be spent doing some last minute back to school things. Andrew could use some new sneakers, Jacob's locker still needs setting up and he has homework he didn't do yet, and Miss Lauren needs to pick out an outfit for tomorrow.

Monday, September 01, 2008

And the winner is...

Congrats to Laura Blanck

She gushed "This is the first I've read the word "gush", my natural language is Spanish, I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I am living in USA since 1989, and I speak English since I was a litle girl.In my language I am a poet, and even though I've written poems in English too, .... I've never saw that word before!Cheers! keep enjoying the "gushing"!, Laura Blanck from Openstudio."

YOO HOO LAURA!! Send me an email to Kerry(at)kabsconcepts(dot)com with your address and I'll get your copy of Wire Style in the mail!!

Thanks to everyone who took up the "gushing" challenge. It was so much fun to read all the messages you posted. We are going to have to do this again some time.

I have a ton to show you that I have worked on this weekend. But we are headed out to our annual Labor Day Rochester Red Wings baseball game. SO... I'll be back tomorrow with tons to share.