Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bloggy blah day

I brought up my blog screen, then sat here for a minute - and wasn't sure I felt like blogging. It's a gray, rainy day here in beadland, which I know will ultimately bring us beautiful days of lovely flowery goodness - but right now it's blah.
I finished a very different piece yesterday - wasn't really sure I was in the beading mood - and I have a ton of other things I could have been doing, but bead I did - but it's very different from what I usually do. The only weaving technique involved is a few peyote tubes added - otherwise it's wrapped loops of beads on chain, with the focal piece being a brass component glued around a huge piece of unpolished Kyanite. I've had it forever - and just recently decided to try to play with it. I used a second matching brass component - unfolded - attached to one side of the chain. Again - an assymetrically different way to go for me. I've named the piece - which also includes fiber - "Bohemian Butterfly". - I will post a photo soon
I think today I'll start the piece that was inspired by the Bleeding Hearts in my yard. I've pulled all the beads together - but we'll see what the day brings when I get to the shop.
On a completely NON-Bead rant-I am sick (no pun intended) of the media hype and the subsequent HYSTERIA they are creating about the Swine Flu. My niece works in a hospital ER in Kalamazoo - and says EVERYONE all of sudden believes that whatever symptoms they have are Swine Flu related. It's crazy. People are afraid to do ANYTHING. It's going to further effect the economy if they don't stop. People will be afraid to leave their homes or even function.
There. That's my rant. Time to get on with my day....

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Beverly, you inspire me....

I love seeing all the beautiful color photographs in Beverly Ash Gilbert's posts - a fellow beader, she uses color in a very unique way. She has me stopping to really look at what is around me - even more than I already did. THIS is what I found in my own front yard this morning and I already can't resist using it for inspiration for a new piece - the wheels in my head are already spinning....
Time is winding down to my month long gallery exhibition. Next Sunday is the Gallery Walk - an open house for the PUBLIC. Family, friends, and virtual strangers are invited to meet me and speak with me about my pieces. Then the jewelry will continue to be on display for the entire month of MAY. I am nervous and excited all at the same time. I'm also trying to visualize prosperity AND be practical at the same time. Sell some - sell lots - sell ALL!
On the hubby update front - he's finally able to do most things on his own - but may not return to work for another extra day. As a pressman on a LARGE printing press, the bending and lifting may still be too much, as well as the tiring work and standing for hours. He hasn't been home with me this many days and nights in a row in forever. He's worked graveyard shift for at least half of our marriage - and if he didn't - we were on vacation, or off doing something somewhere. So it's been quite the experience. I want him to be healthy and able though - so I'm dealing and enjoying him as I can....
Hoping to enjoy some Sunday sunshine after a Saturday of horrendous storms. Didn't think it would EVER stop raining. Thank goodness for sump pumps (and battery back ups for when the power goes OUT!)
The Babbler

Thursday, April 23, 2009

OOOPS = Sorry!

Hope you can read that last blog page ok. It didn't look like that when I typed it....but as long as I'm re-blogging - here's a photo of the earrings....

Treasures of the Deep

The first photo is "Treasures of the Deep" BEFORE I added my special touch of fringe. The simple strung version is also very nice - but I love playing with the beaded fringe, adding detail and giving it that extra "ooomph".
The second one is Treasures of the Deep AFTER the fringe....ahhhh. Much better.
There are also earrings to match - and there will be a bracelet as well. I'm a set girl - everything's gotta be matchy matchy!
I love doing these - and they are starting to become as large a "signature" of my pieces as the faces are.

Enjoy! I know I will.....

Creative even when it's crazy....

Even though I had to stay home yesterday and play nursemaid - it didn't keep me from having a creative surge. If it hadn't been for my late Tuesday afternoon mail - it never would have happened....I received some brass components from Brass Bouquet that had been on back order. I had my wonderful new teal, coppery, & deep blue beads with me, but had no idea what to do with them - UNTIL the teal, coppery, & deep blue beads MET the back ordered brass component! WHAALAA!
I'm in the process of fringing the necklace - and will post a finished photo by tomorrow. I THINK it will be called "Treasures of the Deep" because even though there are leaves -there are also seashell beads - and it has a very ocean swirly like feel. I also want to make a fringe bracelet to match. If they turn out like I think they will (spectacular!) they will be what I wear to my Gallery Exhibition Open House next Sunday....
I'm going in to the shop today - the girls said yesterday was a great day - even without me. I hope today is even better. Hubby's mom is coming over to "babysit". He is not recovering as quickly as we expected - even with a new prescription for Vicodin. We may call the surgeon's office again tomorrow if the pain and discomfort don't subside. He's probably not even going to be able to report back to work on Sunday night - so any extra time with have to be unpaid...:(

Guess I better go check on him one more time. Get him his drugs, his drink, his ice, and his TV remote - mom won't be here for a few hours....hope he doesn't drop anything.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What a day....

Arrived at Ingham Regional before 7am. This may not seem early for you - but for us - it's a crazy time. He's not even usually out of work (graveyard shift) until then - and I don't wake until he arrives home 1/2 hour he's had no food or sleep for 12 hours, and I'm barely functioning at that hour.
There were TONS of people in and out of the prep room - all of them asking the same questions over and over - name, DOB, why are you here? (I thought THEY should already know that - & felt like asking them that after the 4th or 5th time). Surgery went well, and quickly - the recovery - not so much. They had a very hard time regulating his pain medication, and he was there for 2 hours longer than they planned. Not sure why something like this is considered outpatient - I'm assuming mostly because of the cost of healthcare these days. So finally - we arrived home, miraculously got him to his Laz-E-Boy - where he remains. He's had to get up just once - and it wasn't easy. I hope he never, ever, EVER has to go through something like this again - and have a new found sympathy for anyone who subjects themselves to the pain. He was hoping to travel to the west side of the state on Saturday. I'm thinkin' - NOT. (The RN agreed).
I hope we are both able to get some sleep tonight...
He did, however, take into account that he may be monopolizing all of my time this week, and did one of the sweetest things he's ever done during our 27 years of marriage - he went to a book signing and bought me the newest book by one of my most favorite authors - and had it autographed. He called me the day she appeared - and I was just too busy at the shop to get away. He decided then that he would go in my place - and was fascinated by her - and her charm of the audience. I can't wait to start reading it - Borderline by Nevada Barr. If you've never read anything by her- she is, in real life - a forest ranger that moves from park to park in the U.S. She writes an adventure/murder mystery involving the same character, also a park ranger, about each and every park she works in. They are all very exciting, very detailed and very GOOD. I love her, and look forward to each and every one. I have read ALL of her books so far - and now I have the new one-autographed! He sent me on a treasure hunt for it when we got him home today....My hero.....
I'm glad I brought home my "bag of tricks" (aka my bag of BEADS!) because I think I'll be needed to do lifting and waiting for another day. I wish I'd have known that the waiting room at the hospital had a table I could work at - I'd have passed the time BEADING!
TTFN - need to check on the invalid....

Friday, April 17, 2009

Time has wiiiinnngggss.

Man. I can't believe it's Friday already - ALMOST Saturday, since it's after 10 at night. Been sooooo busy - but good busy, not crazy busy. Pricing and inventorying new beads, waiting on customers, and finishing up gallery exhibit pieces is all very busy - but profit making - stuff.
Went out for awhile tonight - had a good steak, a little hubby one on one conversation, and we even played darts again - after about a YEAR of just being too dang tired and busy after dinner. We used to go 4 or 5 games - no problem. Tonight we barely made it through 2. I didn't suck though - and in fact, I won the first game, and pretty nicely too. That last bullseye was dead center. Took about 500 throws to get it - but it sure was perty!
Hope I'll get a chance to "blog" next week. Terry's hernia surgery is Tuesday- which we are both getting nervous about. Having NEVER had any kind of surgery for anything EVER - we have no idea what to expect, how his system will react, and how post op will go. I don't know if he'll need my help for hours afterwards - or DAYS. So send good thoughts.
I'll be sure to include an update next time....

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sneak Peak....

I've been working quite hard on "Garden Blue-ming" Goddess - and completed her on Saturday. Here she is - she'll be on display at the gallery, too. SOOOO-my gallery exhibition pieces are now complete. I THINK. All the shadowboxes are filled, two-sided tape and u-pins carefully holding everything in place. I've got the bracelets left to "frame", and I"M DONE. Hoorah!
I was looking forward to a nice lunch with a friend-sort of-relative this afternoon,
only to have her cancel at the last minute. Haven't seen her in YEARS - and now I remember why. Her life was crazy then - and I'm thinkin' it's still crazy now. Oh, well. I still have errands to run, places to go, things to do.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter for the most part....

HOPPY Easter everyone! We're spending the day with one of my husband's brothers and his extended family (his wife has children and grandchildren that drive us CRAZY!). Never the less - we'll also spend time with our nephew, niece, and greatniece too - and probably do some Wii-ing to boot. So it should be a fun day - and it's GORGEOUS! It's been forever since it's been NICE on Easter - usually it's either too cold, or rainy, or even, as least year- snowy. So we're definitely going to enjoy. It's about a 50 minute drive from home to Eaton Rapids - it will be lovely...
It's also sort of a sad day for me. I found out this morning (from a very unlikely source) that The Mountain Books & Gifts - the store that I came to love, the store I ran for so many years, the store that helped me BE who I am - has closed it's doors. I've been in contact with him recently, and thought it might be coming - but he'd always found a way to squeak by in the past. It was hard to keep him on the positive, prosperity thinking path. Then, unfortunately - this last store move, along with the decision to keep on an employee that was troublesome - was the last straw. I'm sorry to see it go. It was never the same, though- when the new owner took over. Too bad. I wish them well.
I on the other hand - am revelling and rolling in prosperity and positive outcome at the moment! I had a record breaking sales DAY last week, that will help bring me the funds to finally purchase some NEW merchandise. I've been doing a lot of "Re" cycling lately - repackaging, reusing, and relocating the items in the shop. And it's working! The customers don't seem to know (or care) that the beads are over 2 years old - and they've been buying it all up!
Almost ready for the art gallery - the butterflies are fluttering more and more every day. I have most of the descriptions and prices done, have everything here at home to do a final inventory and run through of every piece - can't wait for it to get here. Can't wait for it to be done. An entire month in a prestigious gallery during the month of the local Art Festival, AND Mother's Day! I think those are the bells on a cash register I hear ringing!
Well, now that I've overbaked the brownie dessert, I'll go see if I've overdried and wrinkled my clothes...
TTFN and have a great day!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Busy schedule - and a book review

Wow. Have I got a lot to do this month! Not only am I putting the finishing touches on my gallery exhibit, but I've got merchandise for my new collectible booth to inventory and price. Whew! I'm going to take a day to play and relax tomorrow with a trip to Frankenmuth and Bead Haven with friends (they really should have called it Bead HEAVEN). Then I'll have to buckle down and get it all done. Sunday being a holiday will force me to have to stay home and get crackin'!
And on the book review note - on a trip to Schuler Books a few months ago, I came across a book that sounded intriguing, so I requested it from the library. Popular book - I waited, and I waited. Finally - last week I get the notice that it's in. I get it. I dive in. Well, let me tell ya - It's very irritating when the people that write those little teasers for the dust jacket don't quite give you the whole and true context of the book. I finished it last night, and was very disappointed. Not at all what I thought it would be. What first intrigued me about it was the setting - Ann Arbor - not even an hour away. The author, an Ann Arbor native and U of M alum. The references to actual landmarks and streets and surrounding cities were cool - but the rest of it.....if American Idol's Simon where to critique this book - my guess is he would not be impressed. The book, by the way - Dream House by Valerie Laken. Live and learn....I guess it will only make the anxiously awaited new Nevada Barr book that much better - I KNOW that will be good. Can't wait. She'll be here in town doing a book signing on Saturday - if I can tear myself away, I'd LOVE to meet her.
OH NO! Gotta go! I just heard another bat in the belfry! (AKA the chimney flue...) Let's hope this one can find his own way OUT....

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Art Gallery Jitters

Went to the open house at the art gallery today - just so I could refocus on the room, and on the showcases. Yikes. I had actually forgotten that there are TWO of them - viewable from both hallway and inside the gallery - so I've got twice the space to fill! I've got the shadowboxes all planned, and oddly - those were what I thought would perplex me the most. NOW I have to come up with an entire nuther case FULL of exhibit worthy pieces - both sellable and NFS's. I sure wish I could get spirit to miraculously show me what happened to those 3 missing pieces - they'd be perfect additions at this point. I will now quickly be finishing some pieces that I'd only just started on before. Down to the wire....and I don't like to be. I obsess and I am ALWAYS ready way ahead of time. I sure wish I'd taken the time to find out about those showcases before today. (truthfully - I thought I'd hear from the director before now). PLUS - to top it all off - I'm going to have to give a speech. HORRORS! I don't do public speaking. Call it stage fright, call it nerves, call it whatever you want - but I'll be a shaking, jittering mushy puddle before it's done. I just hope that's not the day the reporters choose to bring the video cameras.....
And on a totally different note - we are awaiting Mother Nature's little spring surprise in the next 24 hours - 6 to 10 inches of snow. Yup - we're in Michigan. We weren't wearing coats at all yesterday, and in fact had our lunch outdoors. Yup - we're in Michigan.
Obsessing, freezing and babbling all at the same time....

Friday, April 3, 2009

Another restless night

Awake again by 3:30 am. I LOVE that my hubby is home with me at night for a change (he normally works the graveyard shift), but BECAUSE I usually sleep alone, I just can't sleep with him in there with me. I tried reading, but just can't get back to sleep stage.
Our dinner plans for this evening have fallen through again - for the second time. I'm not going to push to reschedule - they have busy schedules, and I don't want to add to the frenzy. She and I spend enough time together at the shop during the week. And once it's nice and warm enough for fishing - I'm sure the guys will bond together just fine. But now I have meat thawed and groceries purchased that still need to be used up - by two people, instead of four. I think some creative cooking and freezer room will be needed...
Not too wild about this PayPal system so far. On only my second attempt to make bead purchases with it, there was a computer glitch - which caused them to DOUBLE withdraw money from my account, which in turn caused a check to bounce, which cost me $25.00. So now I need to come up with some extra money to put back in my account. I'm going to try to contact them about putting that extra amount BACK into my checking rather than leave it in my PayPal account - but I think even doing that will cost me some sort of fee. Lovely. I'm kind of disappointed in this situation, because I was hoping this would be a partial solution to the outragious credit card company changes that they just hit me with. Don't get me started - but I was TRYING not to use them for anything other than my advertising, so that I can pay down the tripled balance quicker, and then tell them to take a hike.
There. Hopefully that little mini rant will help me relax. I'm kind of looking forward to next week - Sunday I'll find out for sure what kind of showcase space I'll have at the art gallery, I have a friend coming to bead with me one day, and then that same friend along with myself and some others have an out of town bead buying trip planned. So back to the PayPal thing - if I can get them to redeposit my $85 - I'll have more to spend at Bead Haven. Crossing my fingers!
Guess I'll go do my kitchen chores. It doesn't feel like sleep will be returning tonight (or should I say this morning.)
Yawning - but awake...