Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I tend to do things in large groups or just large in general. In this I mean almost all things. From dinner to building my jewelry. Almost everything is somehow 'over the top'. I always attributed doing stuff this way to having a big personality... a leonine one. 

For a good period of time, I enjoyed writing on this here blog, conveniently and simultaneously, my insomnia was chronic.  My mind  constantly wandered and rarely shut down when I wanted it to. I liken it to a  a sweet little pet hamster running on its wheel all the time. As a temporary solution to that ridiculously evasive sleep, some of my regular physical exercise included wrestling with bedtime blankets, creeping out of my nest of coziness and scrabbling together some of my random thoughts.
An ability to corral this series of considerations,
 into some cohesive text could make sleep a lovely by-product.
(not sure if that word is one, two or hyphenated... but i am less caring about rules of grammar and spelling at this moment). 

With the advent of an uncomfortable visitor to my blog and other people who were reading it, I decided to take some time off from writing in it.
 It made me uncomfortable to offer up personal ammunition to the universe, with which  could be irritated. Luckily for me, my sleeping has improved immensely. That and a ton of other little things have fallen into correct place. One remaining thing is that i missed though, was writing in this format.
It was helpful to document stuff, get tired enough to rest and perhaps put some of my thoughts into
a slightly more orderly format.


Something is always happening in my neighborhood.
Many of you know this from earlier documentation.
Tonight is no different.
What happened upset me a lot and right now, i feel like i may have calmed down some.
One of my next door neighbors experienced a theft, a break-in, a violation.
It is late in the evening and I have pieced the evidence together.
I feel guilty knowing about it, but the victim does not, not yet.
 It is a simple story about her pet chicken.
 I sometimes hear it scrabbling about on her porch next door.
 Tonight i heard the sorta normal chickeny sounds, but at night. that is not the chicken's way.
There has been a ridiculous amount of noise about keeping chickens in the city.
As far as I have gotten with the absurdity of this as an urban problem, it is that
chickens are ok to be urban, but not roosters.
Apparently, they make too much noise and awaken people with their cock-a-doodle-doos.
The fella that lived next door was kind of small of build, white of feather and had a very charming sounding wake up call.
It was like an adolescent version of what I had thought it would be like.
I kind of thought I loved the rooster from afar. all of 2o feet or so.

Back to the point of the story... after the oddly timed chickeny sounds, 
about an hour and a half later,  my dog took me for his nightly constitutional.
As we walked by, there was a pile of feathers on the porch.
There was also a large hole in the box that the chicken stayed in at night.
I guess one of the many, many feral cats that use the house across the street for home base, finally made a hole large enough to get into the box or the chicken out of it.
So in my rather large way, I am upset about this.
It is totally within the conventional laws of nature, but it is bothering me.
 tomorrow I can possibly  catch my neighbor to ask her about this.
 If she replaces what i am sure is a missing bird,
 i will find a nice big box for the replacement bird to live in.
She needs one that is more kitty-proof.
i am too sad about this, and it was not even my own bird. 
Also, by the time that I could ask her about the rooster, her porch had been swept clean and the feathers were gone. the box was gone. the entire issue had been removed.
That seems even sadder to me somehow.
That bird looked as happy as my neighbor all tucked up under her wing. 
In other news, my kid's field hockey season is done. 
Her team won the division II state championship.
She was awarded a brand new honor as the first D2 player of the year. 
whooooo hooo!
I am very proud of her.
She has worked so hard for so long(we are speaking in team years here. something akin to dog years you know?) for this experience. 
She has been planning all summer to get ready for the season, by weight training and running. 
I know that she hates to run, but in preparation for the main season she did a lot of it. 
I could not have been more skeptical of her commitment to this plan of action, but she made it all work for her.
Both of her field hockey and ice hockey seasons in are wrapped up for the year. 
She has planned to go back to her weight training workouts. 
I think it may be in prep for the LaX season. 
She has no aspersions about that sport and says, she doesn't even like it. 
Now going toward her 4th high school year playing, it is with skepticism that her statements are credible.
Either way, at this point, my hope is that she is keeping it all in perspective.
The LaX coach is not nearly as supportive or good to all the girls as the field hockey and ice hockey coaches have been.(she had been playing as the goaltender for the boys teams for the past two seasons).  If she winds up being picked on by the LaX coach again this year, it would make me so happy for her to walk away from that season. 
It would make me seriously, even a bit happy. 
This is the look of genuine joy and an appreciation for hard work paying off. 

(just cannot get this to align properly dad-gummit, but, let's just pretend that i did?) 

this is what i think happy looks like. 
i could not be prouder or happier for her. she worked her butt off 
to help put her team into the winner's circle. 
final game, 5-0
two goals and one assist provided by the girl. 
i hope she remains this happy all of her life... because she has worked really hard to and deserves it.


last week was halloween. ordinarily i am non-plussed by this holiday. 
this year, i hit upon a fun way to participate in the festivities. 
i made some day of the dead earrings. 
i loved making them so much, that i have had a hard time stopping making them. 
i have a fresh idea that may or may not replace the little girl heads... for non wicked holidays. 

i made them in all sorts of colors and with all sorts of head gear upon them. 
always with little floral contributions though.

some wore hats with 'millinery' flair...

some wore crowns...

some had cute pointy multi-layered crowns...

some were tinier than others...

and others liked to do a can-can...

there were loads of the little skully ladies... and some even remain in my etsy shop right now. 
i am considering leaving a steady exchange of these all year round. 

as for other things???
well i will snap some pics tomorrow. 
i look forward to the possibility of taking some photos outdoors in the natural light. 
i can share those with you if i get there from here. 

thanks for looking in... after such a long period of absence. 

xo. w. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

upside down and at the end of the ball...

the days are nights and nights are days again. i am fine with it, my doctor is fine with it. my husband is bitchy. nothing new, but still hard to deal sometimes. 

i am usually so worn out by the holiday season by the time it passes, my sleep habits revert to just sleeping on dimes or nickels or in day times or night times. it feels weird to be so exhausted, but it happens. it is a lot of stress to manage as i load myself into a new year. 

things that need accomplishing most in january are generally financial in nature
and generally NOT FUN
(in no particular order)
 the new seasons of long awaited downton abbey and sherlock holmes
FAFSA forms for college aged student children
college applications for high school students looking toward college
recuperation of health from abuse of it over past six months
actual cooking meals
sorting out inventory
catching up with wholesale clients
getting ready for valentine's day for store orders
getting health insurance needs sorted out
figuring out what inventory is left and what ought to be either replaced, retired or continued
taking care of bills
what is direction of the new year?
figuring out the new year's show schedule many months in advance 
what shows are even worth doing
what shows should be considered
and the biggest of the big... paying for everything 

this is accompanied with the big post season clean up. 
or dare i say, the full studio clean-up and reorganization. 

lots of stuff needs to be done and even some cleaning falls interstitially within this task list. 
usually, since i am not expected at lots of places during conventional working hours, 
i can get what i need to be done, started and sometimes completed. 
it is a juggling act. 
and this is simply january. 

the rest of the year is a blitz. 
one of the things most of my show peers are commiserating about is how tired we all seem to feel. 
it is the time of the year that we finally sleep after working until 3 a.m. often and driving to set up for a show at 6 a.m. that same morning. 
it is a busy and hard living style of earning a living. 
and somehow, we talk ourselves out of being unwell 
or full of hopes 
or full of refreshed dreams
or sad about life that has passed us by accidentally while we were cranking along. 
it is not easy being this independent. 

so there are a few things i have been trying to do to make myself feel ok about my life as it whishes by.
there is a bag of yarn that is being converted into knitted hairbands, with big flowers on them. 

ends of pretty skeins in progress

hopefully they will look something like this someday

a lot of trays of itty bitty findings have been sorted and thrown out. 
not everything needs to be kept. 

beads ... gosh, the beads... they are getting sorted and stored. 

there are post 2013 necklaces being constructed. 

dorina ballerina v.1

dorina ballerina v.2

not only one time, but even twice. 


unfortunately, this was not what my client had in mind. 
the peacock is a tad too vivid. 

the peahen...
a messier and darker version is constructed as per request...

and yes, it is hard to learn how to use photoshop to make newly useful application photos. 
when is it all gonna get done?

i just have no good idea, so the nights become my days. 
and the kids awaken me to fit their schedules as we all can cooperate  on this.

it is all fine and dandy, 
until i get a cold. 
of course, i am mama, so there is NO down time for me. 

still i will keep waging war on those full to overflowing dresser drawers 
and unmatched laundered black athletic socks. 
the dog who only likes a quick trot to take care of business and a fun walk or game with his bestie two doors down, is my uncomplaining companion. 
everyone should have a dog. 
they get you no matter what. 

well, that laundry just is not gonna jump into the drawers without an assist. so i best get cracking. 
nice to see y'all again. 


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

dog hair balls, blankets and other wacky stuff

so it is friday night and for a change, i sort of have a late night date.
 nope, not my handsome doggie... 
but my son came home from college for the weekend with his new used car.
 he is over the moon thrilled that he has wheels and is happy to drive to show them off. 
i am happy that he is here, safe, sound, with health insurance, car insurance, a registered car and even a little bit of his savings intact. 
the good life. 

in preparation for the return of the boy, i tried to clean up his room. 
my husband has accused me of taking over the house with my  CRAP wonderful treasures. 
so what if i have a lot of my delightful stuff stashed in every room?
he took over the garage, the basement, and our bedroom.
 somehow it is considered that i have ownership over the kitchen.
 it is seen as fair game, since i have over the years been the predominant user of said space.
 in fact and fairness, we all have migrated our stuff everywhere in this cracker box we live in. 

one of my hubby's latest loves has been his 3 hibiscus trees. 
i used to have some when we lived in harvard square.
 their beautiful, bright and luscious blossoms must have worked some magic on the man.
 i stopped being able to care for the trees when the kids came along. 
they required more time than i seemed to have when there were diapers to do and dishes from my 12 yr. stint as a coffee house baker.
 then the trees finally croaked ... it only took a decade or so. 
still i had to move on.

 now hubby has the hibiscus bug and it is a very successful one. 
two of the trees are doing well.
 one is not so happy.
 when the largest and most unhappy one was moved inside from the front porch,
 it went into shock.
autumn can do that to some of us.
 all of its leaves dropped off, dried up and stayed where they fell, on the floor in the boy's room. 

 when a kid goes to college,
 i think it is a rite of transition on the home-front, to change the purpose of the newly vacated bedroom.
 sometimes it becomes a 'workout' room, sometimes a sewing room or it is dedicated to some other unexpected purpose. 
in our case, it became the place where the hibiscus trees went to winter over. 
where their leaves are not raked up or bagged for composting. 

no matter how many times, i asked anyone to deal with that tree as it decompensated in relocation shock, its shed leafiness somehow fell to my domain.
 in fairness, i knew it had happened.
 i was letting it go until someone noticed the state of organic crustiness in the boy's room. 
eventually, some things have to change.
we are NOT a family that handles change easily.
hubby deals with surgical clarity and execution. 
i manage the rote items that require day to day management. 
its not that i enjoy any of the softer stuff to do at all, but someone has to do it and it bothers me more when it isn't seen to. 

this includes most household tasks with the exception of throwing shit out. 
i am terrible at this task.
of course, this is a typical digression on my part here. 
hubby has an ongoing fantasy of a dumpster in the driveway. 
he is a carpenter/contractor after all. 

luckily for us,
 i am fine with removing the crap on the floor or any other surface from the boy's room. 
it is the only room i don't mind cleaning up. 
i know, it is a mystery to me too. 
i think that it doesn't get me as crazy because once i clean/clear it up, no one uses the room for a while and it has a small chance of staying a little bit nicer for a little longer.

the boy has a habit of letting his trash fall where it may. 
this drives me absolutely nuts when i know it is going on. 
when he buys new socks, the little plastic bits that hold the pairs together are snipped, pulled apart or broken into two in some manner... and then dropped wherever this breakage occurs. 
if he eats gum, the wrapper falls where the piece was opened up. 
if a box from some purchase is unused after being opened, it too falls to the ground. 
do not get me started on those little plastic hangers that socks are hung on for display in stores.
they come home with my brood and hit the ground  becoming semi-permanent visitors as well. 
so you get the idea, loads of little papery junk with absolutely no regard for neatness or cleanliness is part of the scenery. 

i find this most ironic.
 at school, he enjoys his room neat as a pin and cleans it every sunday
 his laundry does a two step in the washing and drying machines.
this provides him with building blocks of what he enjoys as sartorial splendor.
 his bed gets ersatz freshly laundered linens too. 
i thought that college was where kids go to become sort of more disgusting and slovenly without the background sounds of nagging mamas. 
go figure. 

{the 16 yo girl does this trashola drop-trick too.
 she is a whole other kettle of drama though. 
 the flotilla of paper/plastic wrapper junk migrates somehow throughout the house. }

the inmates all know how much i dislike all of this stuff swirling at foot level.
 they choose to ignore  my desire for their minor senses of responsibility in its removal to 
a trash barrel. 
eventually i make a point of my umbrage and some portion of it is removed. 
{really i try to limit and pick my battles but they just keep coming...}

when the boy returned for his holiday visit,
 i was told that the leftover dried hibiscus tree leaves on his floor crunched when walked upon with  tender bare tootsies.
he claimed it was like walking on fritos. 
this is impossible to believe, since no frito ever missed a grifflinksys mouth ever. 
and there is a dog who gladly would snap up a chance to get one if it did. 
i could believe though, that the baseline flotsam was unpleasant.
it seemed that to stem the flow of organic movement to other parts of the house, it could be removed. 

this brings me to the non-shedding breed of dog. 
his best trick is to shed. 
all the time. 
he is so adorable, that i just don't really care about it. 
we have a pretty intrepid vacuum cleaner. 
it has worked with almost every need over a significant period. 
it probably has over 25 years under its belt.
my husband bought it. 
he likes his tools to work. 
 if he is going to entrust one of his beloved tools to me,
 it had better be a solidly good working one. 
i long have suspected that he considers me a tool breaker. 

one of our family mottos is
"buy cheap, pay twice"

 we try to offset the costs of repairs, replacements and other stuff in the middle of usage. 
if something we want to buy even looks like it might break down in a couple of decades, it has no place amongst us. 
 the vacuum's hose stopped working particularly well. 
i asked mr. fixit about what could be wrong. 
he thought that the hose had a leak in it. 
i thought that the basket-weave pattern had enough texture to it, 
that stuff could be catching on it and denying proper air flow.
it seemed a little bit like cholesterol globs adhering to someone's arteries 
ultimately preventing proper blood flow.
  something HAD to be done. 
again, Me. 
i kind of liked the challenge of this. 

i wanted to try to remove the crunchy walking experience from the boy's room
with timeliness  for his return to the cracker box house. 
i picked up all the annoying little tags, 
the dropped gum wrappers, t
he plastic tidbits from clothing purchases. 
i finger raked all the cracklin' good, dry leaves left behind on the floor. 
after most of the crud was eliminated, 
it was time for the use of mechanical aids.
the machine was composed. 
all of its interlocking parts were interlocked. 
the loud engine roared. 
and the dirt on the floor moved about. 
this didn't necessarily include removal of proper dirt. 
not feeling the love i had anticipated, i did what any experienced e-lux owner would do. 
i reversed the air direction through the hose. 

and there went the puffs of dog hair balls like a gun shooting ping-pong balls. 
pop. pop. pop. 
blobs of dog hair popped out. 
more blobs than i liked the look of. 
needless to say, 
since i had done this the last time i tried to vacuum, it seems as if the entire hose must be totally clotted 
with the generosity of hairballs
 from the non-shedding breed of dog that sheds constantly. 
comedic and in slow motion. 
and dirtier than i would like. 
still freaking funny. 

 the floor was delivered from its usual crispy leaves and tumbling clusters of downy doggy hairs. 
the deliverance of clean was surprising, yet very amusing.  
the boy... was tickled PINK with the news that his return merited such a change in status. 
after he left town in a non- auto owning kind of way. 

he is truly happy. 

it is super nice when that happens. 


as for progress on the bejeweled front. 
i have a lot of older things i need to deal with. 
custom made orders for folks waiting so very, very, VERY patiently. 
planning out a season/year of crafty show goodness in january 
takes a skill set i do not know how to do. 
trying to complete the family application for health insurance has been a huge time suck. 
doing taxes in january for the kids' FAFSA statements is another huge chunk of time. 
oh my gosh, and getting some stuff moved out of the dining room to my basement area is a dream . 
now i was making a little progress with my storage area, i was waylaid by the need for me to empty my entire paint storage area. 
hubby needed to move a very large table out of the work area and back to its owners' home. 
this is impossible to do, without me emptying out the paint place.
after a lot of sorting and organizing my treasures,
 i find that i just plainly need to move the furniture around in my dedicated space. 
to say this is a huge undertaking is an understatement. 
distraction is my middle name.
the payoff is that i will be able to use the space for the first time ever and that is a huge prize. 
the original layout was not sensitive enough to how i might work. 
 as new aspects of how i use materials, 
newer ways to organize things for faster production 
and dare i say the need for some privacy in my work have come together...
a more efficient layout has become clearer. 
in reality, a fresh larger, well lit space is a lot nicer to fantasize about as a studio. 
however that is not the way that i work in real time. 
it is hard for me to determine if i prefer night time to day time
 for lighting and chunks of uninterrupted time. 
 at my very core, i am a homebody. 
the need to be in my nest is pretty strong and with it goes the sacrifice of staying completely focused. 
of course impulse cleaning is not really a bad thing. 
it all gets done in its own time and placement in the list i have in my head,
like sucking up leaf detritus from the boy's room only moments before he pulled into the driveway. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

obamacare and peacocks, works in progress

trying to deal with adult life is sort of beyond me. i keep trying, i have kids which of course makes you need to be more effective and efficient since you are responsible... but it is taking its toll. 
our health insurance plan was cancelled. not really completely, because, most importantly our kids are covered in one of three ways. 
the eldest has her health care coverage through her university. as of monday, she began her latest co-op as an employee of the state of Massachusetts. so she is covered. 
the monkey in the middle has under complete strain and stress of my nagging, filled out his on-line application for 'OBAMACARE'. so for the first time in 3 years he is the subscriptor of a brand new health plan. 
the last of the lot is covered under the plan my husband and i had until this week. 

i spent my afternoon at a place i refer to as hell on earth. a division of governmental offices. it is always filled to the brim with people, children, and time to be spent awaiting some kind of answers to questions you don't know how to ask or what they ought to be about. there is nothing but grime in that place and although my own home could do with some significant cleaning up, my tendencies took over. i wanted to clean and oil hinges and offer tissue to runny nosed kids and pass out snacks to folks waiting for too long and generally ubermommy the situation. 
reality is present, when you remember that you just had to empty your pockets and put them through a screening thing as well as walk through a metal detecting gate. 

yup. reality. 
after it is all said and done... i need to sign up for obamacare for me and the hubs. this would be ok, but i tried to read the website where you are supposed to sign up. i cannot for the life of me figure out how on earth to even find the stupid thing.  also, my son who is brilliant with this stuff, may or may not be talking to me right now. 
we are in the beginning to middle dance steps of his acquiring his first car. it is a good idea for him to have a car, but he is not all that able to handle the precursors to having that responsibility. so i am stuck between a rock and a hard place with getting his assistance. 

so now i have lobbed this back to hubs. i think he may be able to identify what plan would work for our financial state. however, i remain in doubt. the entire reason i went to the office to gain some traction on this problem, was that we were sent a letter saying that our coverage was to end by a january date... it was a long paragraph and in bold lettering. 
underneath that was a second paragraph stating if you didn't want to change anything, nothing should be done to make any changes. kind of circuitous. 
way back in the day, we used to say,"if in doubt, read the bold print".  how the obvious was totally missed is just symptomatic of our head in the sand philosophy. 

i need some improvement in this cause it is not good in this day and age to be uninsured. i love that there is an option for having it for everyone, but what i do not understand is why folks that implement and design these systems for regular americans, do not have to live with this kind of care themselves. they have superior coverage, and i dare estimate, it is provided by tax payers paying their taxes. 
just a small 

as for currently attempted design efforts, i was asked a long time ago to create a peacock inspired necklace. i took my sweet time about it. it just did not leap into my mind's eyes as a form. it has been overdue for way too long a time and is for that alone, totally embarrassing to work on now. so i made a stab at it. i posted the pics on line to see what the sense of its viability were. it was well received. unfortunately, it was totally wrong as directions go. so now i have started to rebuild it from the ground up. this means fresh chains and more beads. no crisis there. this place is crammed full of little things with a hole through them. 

here are some real peacock feather examples... 

here is my take on what would be suitable as a peacock inspired necklace,
 that is if i had listened to my client...

now having seen the error of my ways...
 i am going in a totally different direction.
 i asked the very patient lady waiting for me to create for her
 and once again, I did NOT read the bold print

so i am restarting this crazy project and moving the peacock element over to the new construction. 
let's just say, i am gonna put the bird on it. and yeah, i went there. 

so now i need to get my act together, 
suck up to my son for help in applying to the healthcare website that i do not understand
and will need a law degree to get some basic stuff figured out.
all in order to make it understandable to my easily frustrated husband. 
and maybe if there is a harmonic convergence of the planets, we will be able to get coverage 
before our meds run out. 
if that happens, we will not be able to see the forest for the trees. 
sigh. sigh. sigh. 

see you later alligators!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

late enough for me ...

it is too late to do anything but sleep if you are kind of normal. 
i am not claiming any of that landscape just now. 
i have a couple of goals i was trying to set and hit for the not distant future. so i already have failed massively in trying to work with systems instead of goals. perhaps they are really one and the same. 
however, i wanted to try to finish sorting a couple more containers of glorious vintage swag
before i crashed for the night. 
also i wanted to get to the point in the peacock necklace where i could look at it more critically, for amending properly. 

regardless... i have taken some truly shitty pics to share of the mess in my studio space. i am at the point in the cleanup where i need to clear a lot more space so that i can put the cute little doodads of infinite tongue and cheekiness into a drawer. they sit in front of the drawers assigned to them for their housing and are pre-sorted into a log jam. so i took some piccies at night, with flash, and no natural light to show what i am up against in having myself as a client. 
really, it just sucks. 

this pic is for beckie.
 it is all kinds of pink celluloids in a green drawer. 
i know she understands this madness. 
and shame. 

and then there are these...
mixed portraits, 
and buckle frames for their sweet faces. 
i like to think of them as instant family.

 a mote of rhinestone madness...
be assured that this is just the top drawer of many. 
granted, they are really small drawers... 
ooooh shiny! 
distractability ensuing.

gladly you can't see the joy of goofus glass 
and horse bridle rosettes well enough. 
if you could, you would check me into a hospital
 to deal with my obsessions with reverse painted glass
 and fancy dress items for horses. 

an incomplete collection of steel cut jewelry 
and buttons. look, there IS some empty space still ok?

and the last of the crappiest of pics is for all you who 
than anything else, 
want to put a bird on something. 

please try very hard not to judge me... i am already doing more than enough for us all. 
i have a huge collecting problem... 
and i am very busy putting other folks' kids through college. 

this process of seeing my inventory is so overwhelming, that i am going to try my hardest to just use what cool stuff i have in my own space to make fresh jewelry with. 
it is an economic need now. 
i have awesome things and i need to share some ... 
not all, 
but some. 

btw, the peacock necklace is nearly done. 
i just need some decent pics of it...
 to see where i am missing elements and can fill in the blank spots. 
it is a process, a system, a standing back and visiting things. 
it needs daylight. 

time to get my snooze on. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

baby it is cold outside. and i really do not like it.

ok, so i hate the cold. and yes i know i live in new england, so i should be getting over it by now. this past couple of days has just had a tempy dip. so i am not inclined to leave my house pod if i do not have to.
today, i got all kinds of brave and showered to wash the nursing home grade unkemptness out of my hair. i have a huge fear of being relegated to a not so nice home when i get more doddery. i also do not see that my kids will visit me there even if they did promise to house me in a good one where i would be served cheese doodles and jello.
they said this when they were all pre-teenaged. i am holding them to this of course. no matter what. it still comes up in conversations. so i know they remember it.

anywaaaaays, i got all kinds of clean and warm and thought i might leave the house. OOPS.  I forgot somehow that last night's lovely walk with the puppy, all alone in the bright yellow halogen lighting on my traffic-free street and in  the blustery cold winds ... was also in the middle of a nor'easter. or sometimes they are called blizzards. um so there was some snow outside. and yes, there was a lot of it.
so i had a child of mine go work on her shoveling skill-set. she is mighty delirious about her newly acquired L.L.bean boots... courtesy of her older bro. so i let her work out the mittenless existence she has with a pair of not thermally sensitive leather gloves. she got the front steps and the little bitty part of the walk to the driveway dug out.

i thought i might dive into the snowiness and get some basics from a local food emporium.  for all of you who may or may not run on local circulars, the whole foods in this area is selling split chicken breasts cheaper than usual this week. i thought it might be nice to lay in a stock for the freezer and snag some other basics while i was in the world.

more on the topic of epic failure.
if you dig the snow to move in and out of your home (using that as my example here, but you can insert any viable building you want...) it makes some rudimentary sense to dig the driveway out too. especially the 3 foot berm that the snow plows pushed in front of your car. otherwise, you can generally only bring home from the store, that which you can carry. and let's face it. if one of those things is a gallon of milk, the other side of you will want to carry a matching gallon out of sympathy for balancing your pedestrian act.

i kind of gave up on my great outdoors adventure and made pasta primavera. those leftover smalls from the vegetable crisper come in handy. and noodles too.
and then the big reveal. or realization. no cooking oil in the house. no dog food. no peanut butter. i dare not go on. also, there was none of the wine in a box that hubby drinks (not at all like a 'dick in a box' ala andy samberg and justin timberlake). so he drank my nice beer and whinged about it.
 what is up with that?
not like he bought it or should drink it as it is MY favorite beer.
so when he is just too irksome and my back is against the wall, i drop some butter into the dinner dish.
screw his holier than thou attitude about his cholesterol level. i put up with a lot, but i sometimes need some butter. just saying. do not disrespect my beer, when you haven't thought ahead of the all out panic and local news reports to refill your wine needs... drink my stash and then think you will have your puritanical dinner as always. just don't. fair enough warning ...

last night i spent time in my awful space of a studio. sometimes when i go to Garden City(a local outdoors mall), i go by anthropologie. it is against every fiber of my being to support stores that rip off artists. however, their corporate group fired the big ripper offers... and the space is super nice with really cute stuff in it for a gal that likes kitchen gadgets in enameled glory.
so i bought myself a pale aqua colored timer a while back. it was part of my trying to corral my efforts and make them potentially more productive.
i set the timer to 20 minute intervals and see how much clearing and sorting and filing and putting stuff away that i can get done in that increment of time. there are no hard rules for this, because if i am in the zone, i can always reset the timer for another 2o minutes. whatever my mind is in the mood for.

so i managed 5x20 minutes and 1x30 ... yielding two hours and some odd minutes. i sorted and resorted. i pulled drawers out of cabinets and put the overflowing jewelry pieces into new much larger drawers. the top of the enamel topped table that is supporting two drawer chests with smaller drawers, is reorganized a little better now. i opened up several spaces and relocated several categorized groups into the new advent chest. i have one large drawer with steel cut jewelry in it, another for brooches that are all birds of one kind or another, and there were enough pieces to merit a fresh drawer for all things pastel, Japanese and floral celluloid. it is as if i am seeing these things for the very first time, all over again.

as a matter of fact, i was asked to make a necklace for my friend sheri this past autumn. her sister's daughter was getting married and sheri wanted to supply a mother of the bride necklace to go with her dress. so i had a rough idea of what i would make. there were some requests made. to find my components, it was as if i was going shopping at a really cool store. one where all the stuff in it was pre-selected by me, for me. oh wait, it was just that! so i was able to make a nifty (kick ass) necklace by visiting my pearl item drawer, the place where i keep rhinestone necklaces for a swaggy piece of something glittery.
and there were a bunch of other things i wanted to mix and match into the masse.
starting with a plate full of stuff that looked like this:

and then i fussed and twisted stuff and moved things to get some balance and support etc. to result in this confection:
there were some constraints in building it, that i actually needed to try to pay attention to ... but all in all, they got handled.

so you see, this is precisely why, i need to stay on top of the organization of my world... since i have other things to make. if i were a betting person,  they might be along the line of a peacock feather as inspiration...

how tragic would it be to not have some flowers and beads to work with that fall into this color palette?
it would be so unhappy for my Canadian friend who wants a bibbery of peacock inspired necklaceness she is giving to herself for her birthday.
through the magic of organizing, i was able to find some cool things to start a fun piece for her .

also i am considering that being on the last couple of inches of milk in the jug, and having  no dog food, no peanut butter, no olive oil  and not much else to speak of other than plain pasta to eat in this house...
well, it is a problem. just a stinky problem. we keep getting hungry here. even the kid that doesn't realize a cleared driveway is helpful for a lazy mama to drive to the store to haul home groceries.
{i usually dig out the front and the driveway, but am on a torturous course of trying to get the kid to understand her life is not all school, ice hockey, selfies, snapchatting, netflix and whining}.

i am gonna get back to the beginning. i don't like the cold. nor do i like the iciness that will come when this stuff melts and refreezes. i will likely be sledding on my back again down the driveway into the berm of snowy ice at its foot. somehow, i will be brave tomorrow and pull on some boots, finish the big dig and get out of here. when i come home again, i shall set the timer for more 2o minute time spates and continue on the satisfying clean up in progress.

also, i have not been drinking, but am pretty tired... so i sound loopier than i should. forgive that please.
a good night of sleep cuddled with lots of blankets is going to cure that.

g'night all, warm or cold as you may be. if i am good, i will have a peacock inspired necklace to show for putting up with this posting.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

systems vs. goals.

so, it is a new year. 
i do not miss the old one a single little bit. ok, maybe a little. 
it was so full of stuff.
 a lot of good and some irritating. 
i wish i could tell you all the little details, but they are not all that memorable. 

in the world of the big (my) picture, i started to work on building a more firm selling presence
 in real life. 
i did a lot of shows. by that i mean 48 days of showing. 
that is a lot of setting up and breaking stuff down. 
so now i am totally sick to death of my show 'look'.
 it has been kind of a quest to reinvent a nicer show set-up and breakdown. 
the most important parts are of that would ideally include that everything looks super-good to great, 
it all fits into my beast-mobile for travel to varietal venues,
 and it needs to set up/store/break down easily. 
i may be asking for too much, but it is my great white fish
(hee hee, seinfeld reference).
the more important part of this 'in real life' experience, 
 has been to have a good inventory for the shows. 
this means a lot more things made behind the scenes or in between shows. 
this is not always the easiest to keep in balance. 
i wish i could say with certainty, that it all was perfectly even, i have my doubts.
in retrospect, my goals fell significantly shorter of my fantasies than my realities. 
 ways to identify that measure is through the earnings i created, the contacts made, and/or the branding that was identifiable.

i am pretty sure that the branding worked out, in almost all situations. 
i even went so far as to finally get a banner and business cards made. 
these were absolutely invaluable and i could tell within days how effective having these tools were. 
it wasn't like i never had cards before, i just made sure that they were really good ones and the money spent on them was well worth it. 

my work was seen and i.d.'ed at brimfield and at other places i was not present to represent myself. 
so that was a super win for me. 
i was identified twice in my undercover persona(my day to day slovenliness),
 by folks that knew my work from stores, the Boston MFA or my facebook pages. 
one woman came to SOWA from a significant distance(D.C. area?) while in the boston area, 
to meet me in real life. 
a couple from Ohio recognized me at a shopping haunt, from my facebook profile. 
i am still blown away by the hugeness of the internet's power. 

as for the money end of it, i am not in the red this year end.
that one was a total surprise.  
i am rich as hell in both resources to try to replicate items and 
in-house inventory to make other cool stuff with. 
so that is a double win as well. 

also, folks came to my regular gig at SOWA to find me on days i was or was not there. 
another win. consistency is king. 

as for the things i wanted to do yet did not...
and,,,well no offense to anyone, customers or folks that trusted in me, 
i took customer requests and was unable to complete all of them. 
i lost orders. literally. my house is my studio and it is a little dare i say disorganized.
it is enough so, that i purchased a couple of items twice. 
not a huge deal, but surely not good for efficiency. 

 i also was accused of things that never happened. this is what happens sometimes when you put yourself out there. 
i had a lot of dreams after middle school, that bullying in real life would be over. 
i had the realization that i've dealt with a lot of significantly mentally unwell people... 
and because of that, my sense of when i am around the underbelly of illness, i am unwittingly too tolerant of it. 
this is something that i also worked on since it can be hugely problematic after you extend yourself to find unpleasant characters afterwards.
(a so-called friend stole my wedding & engagement and learn).

i read recently an article recently,  
that goals are not the view to which successful people drive towards. 
they use systems. 
so i am going to work more on systems in my upcoming days. 
they need to be more of a 'honed' and less of a 'flying by the seat of my pants' methodology. 

also, i am a little bit bored. 
i know, i am my own boss. 
 it is a totally unreasonable thing to whine about, since i write my own schedule and set my own rules. 
what i did not achieve as well as i might have, was a balance between my varied places of selling. 
it is worth saying that i was juggling shows, a very bare on-line store, facebook promotions
and a half baked wholesale experience.
simultaneously, i had a bit of a creative block on a couple of necklaces. 
it feels the same as the way i feel when i try to get a perfect gift for a good friend. 
the pressure i imagine, makes me just freeze in place.  

there was also being mom and wife and a few other home related hats. 
NONE of these places i spend my thoughts and life are ones i can walk away from. 
i am always going to be driving my own needs and deeds. 
so like i said, no whining ... and accepting that not everything went smoothly all the time.
( a lot of the time, the teen drama did amuse me) 

i guess there was a lot to freak out about, balance as well as possible, and try to improve upon. 
it hasn't been easy to manage everything while i was worrying about something else. 
anyone who knows me also knows my family motto is :
a newish friend said in a very matter of fact manner, that i was probably managing my time a lot better than i thought i was. 
i never considered that. 

now in my mama mode, it is time to cut my teen girl's stupendous and pretty hair. 
she expects such services. 
she says things to me such as the famous:
"just cut an inch, ok? how much is that?"
as hard as it is to restrain my sarcastic nature, i mentioned that she has seen a ruler in her life, so it should not come as much of a surprise about what an inch of hair looks like. 

so as part of my effort to instill a fresh system, 
i am going to do my 20 minutes of work in my studio space. 
massive epiphanic moments have erupted. 
two weeks spent resurfacing and colorizing my new chest of drawers are the direct focus of my present interests. 

those drawers are being reorganized and filled each night. 
in the mornings as i try to awaken to my to-do list for the day, 
many good ideas have come to me.
i have felt really badly that my use in my basement space has been ineffectual and irregular. 
i use my husband's drill press a lot. he dislikes my cluttering his space with my stuff
(it is super cool, no matter how much he gripes... i suspect he is just jealous).
so my plan to do several things...
1. create a system for storing my shipping/wrapping materials 
2. also make a personal space that is my own and does NOT need constant calibration...with my own 
drill press. 
3. the area needs to be reconfigured. 
when i moved my things in, i had an idea of what i might enjoy as working space. 
layout, storage of small jewelry items, fabric cut-out area for sewing, a sewing area, etc. 
i no longer sew really. 
i need my own drill press. 
my smaller chests of drawers are sagging a smidge in their middles, 
which lends me to think that they might be better off on top of a stronger base. so it is perhaps time to take out a tape measure and move stuff around. 
it is becoming a little clearer that i could snag a couple more chests and get some really good storage in place, or move some file cabinets to make a more considerate base. 
something has to give. 

there is a lot more to babble on about, but this is beginning to give me a headache.
i probably already have over-indulged in my cookie habit du jour. 
there have been poor choices in house recently, 
so i made some good old chocolate chip standbys last night. 
seriously, scratch baking is ALL GOOD!
in spite of teen gal having hijacked the entire household supply of brown sugar
(which i think multiplies in the pantry over time)
and a bag of the yummy special chocolate chips i like to use... 
the cookies came out superyummy delish. 

use a small bit of molasses in with plain white sugar if you need to make a brown sugar substitute. 
also instead of chocolate, i subbed in half of the chip addition in the form of butterscotch ones. 
i had my faithful assistant aid in the process. 

it is also my farewell to cookie eating for an indefinite period of time.
 that and the return to playing more tennis. 
i love tennis. 
if a good heaven is happening, i will someday have a waistline again. 
gotta work on this system too. 

farewell for now and happiest of new beginnings.