Sunday, December 6, 2015

Forgive me Blogger, it's been 659 days since my last post...

In February of 2014 my husband and I decided to move back to the mainland after being on Kauai for 5 years. You might not need to know or care why, but just in case you do these are the three main reasons leading up to finally setting a date for the move. I had been struggling almost continuously with sinus infections from the allergies I had in Hawaii and I was sick all the time; the school our daughter was in suddenly decided to close its doors leaving us and thirty other families scrambling to find a new school for our preschoolers; and at the same time the Hawaii state government decided to change the start date for kindergarteners to 15 days AFTER Emma's subsequent birthday, putting her a year behind her peers on the mainland where she would eventually be going to for the higher grades. Now it's 22 months later and we are finally settled into our new, yet old lives. New and old friends, new jobs, old small town, new apartment, old furniture & books, and new joy at being home on the Central Coast of California.

I haven't had anything to talk about regarding glasswork and beads because shortly after that rainy day in February I packed up my studio into a dozen bankers boxes and set them aside with everything else we were shipping home. It might have taken a while but I have unpacked the boxes, set up my studio at the local MakerSpace, and am happily melting glass again. My perspectives have changed in so many ways since the move and I have suprisingly found that my lampworking skills seem better than I left them, even after 22 months apart, and I want to focus this blog in many future posts on how the glass melts now.

But for now, looking at the highly polished surface of stainless steel, I see things from a different angle:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I did NOT understand the connection between Google+ and Blogger...

But now I do.

So it turns out that when you delete photos in Google+, you are also deleting them from your blog. *sigh*

I was trying to get some extra space out of my Google Drive so I deleted some pictures and then emptied my trash, and now I realize that some of my blog photos were also deleted.  I don't believe there is any way to recover the deleted images that used to live in this blog space.  Sorry for the empty photo spots.

Edited to add: Looks like the only picture I actually deleted then emptied from my trash is the image of the centipede. No one wants to look at a yucky 5 inch long centipede anyway, so maybe this is all for the good. I managed to restore the rest of the pictures, so YAY! :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Getting up before the sun...

I recently changed my schedule at my J-O-B and am now going in 2 hours earlier than I was before. My 5:30 alarm pierces my dreams like a siren's wail, and I just don't want to get up. Don't you agree that changing your work schedule is like having jet lag? Whether it's imposed on you by your boss or voluntary, it feels exactly the same. You still get that tight exhausted the feeling in the middle of your chest when you drag yourself out of bed at 0-dark-30, with a hangovery headache and the screaming need for caffeine. Sometimes, I even have "the shakes", like a drug addict coming off a high. I stumble around the house in the dark looking for yesterday's load of clean laundry to find something to wear, trying to keep from waking everybody else up. I deeply feel the unfairness of it all and want to "accidentally" bang on some pots and pans to wake up my husband so I'm not the only one suffering miserably. Luckily, my sense of fair play prevails, 'cause I know that he stayed up doing the dishes and didn't get to bed til well past 11, AND it's his Christmas vacation, which he deserves to enjoy after doing so well on his finals this semester.

So, I wake up, get dressed, drive to work, and suck down an acidic cup o' joe with enough sugars to spike a bear's sugar levels, and I spend the rest of the day missing my maternity leave, when the only thing keeping me awake at all hours was a screaming baby.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Shedding the past...


Up until I found glass, I practiced every hobby I could get my hands on. It started when I was a teen and discovered building dollhouses. You need to be able to do many different things, learn many different skills, if you want to build and decorate a dollhouse from scratch. So for years I did a little woodworking, a little wallpapering, a little kit bashing, a little quilting, a little cross-stitch, a little sewing, a little pottery, a little clay sculpture, a little whittling, a little crochet, and a bunch of other little stuff. (Yes, pun intended. :) And then I joined the SCA, and being enamored with hobbies already, I learned how to knit, weave, spin wool, bake, dye fabric, leather work, more woodworking and sewing, book binding, cord making, outdoor cooking, and many other things, including mixing drinks. And, all that time, every time I wanted to learn something new, I bought all the supplies, so I ended up with mountains of craft supplies.

My husband and I like to say that our main hobby is collecting hobbies.

When I found glass, it felt as if all my life I had been looking for "the perfect hobby" and suddenly all the other hobbies lost their appeal. I never even look at my spinning wheel anymore, and that was the front-runner for quite a few years. Now I have all these supplies that I feel I couldn't care less about, and am getting very frustrated that all this junk is taking up space, space that I could be using to store glass and lampworking supplies!

But seriously, I'm ready to shed the many layered, dead skins of my past hobbies, but my husband (who has NOT found his passion yet) isn't ready. I feel for him, really I do, so I try not to make a big deal out of it. I just wish we had a Bag of Holding we could store all that paraphernalia in so it would leave more room for moving around the apartment. And for glass storage.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Christmas Centipede

I would have included a picture of the kitten with the sopping paws,
but he wouldn't stand still long enough for me to snap the shot. :)
Our pale ginger kitten, Sparky (named for his propensity to chew on power cords), has a strange fascination with the water in the Christmas tree stand. (Needless to say, but I will say it anyway, he has already denuded the bottom half of the tree of Christmas tree of decorations and Doug Fir needles.)

Like most other cats, Sparky has shown a proper aversion to water in other situations. He claws your body to shreds if you try to put him in a bathtub filled with water and he is properly mollified when you squirt him with a water bottle. Yesterday, though, we discovered him under the tree, attacking the water in the tree's water dish, through the hole in the tree skirt. He would hit the water with his paw and step back as if his opponent had hit him back. And then he would do it again, and again, and again.

At that time we were in a hurry to go somewhere so we just locked him out of the living room. This morning, though, as I am sitting in the living room eating my toast, Sparky starts attacking the tree's water again and it occurred to me that the tree skirt and the few presents under the tree were getting absolutely soaked.
Not wanting a more-ruined carpet or a moldy tree skirt, I decided to untie the skirt and put it in the wash, then I could do something about the carpet and the gifts. Untying the tree skirt was a challenge in itself as Sparky decided my hand made for a good scratching post. Imagine: me, bent under the tree, arm stretched to the back working blind, trying to untie the teenie ribbons holding the tree skirt in place, while Sparky is batting and gnawing on my hand and arm with his 4-month old "sharp, pointy teeth" and claws. At this point I must point out that no animals were harmed in the making of this blog post. But it was a close shave.

Skirt finally untied, here is where we get to the fun part. Pulling the tree skirt away from the tree, a nasty huge centipede crawls out of the skirt, slithers around a few inches, then worms his way back under the tree skirt. I jumped away and ran up the stairs to the bedroom, screaming like a leetle gurl! Luckily, a plastic bin was close at hand, so I upended it, dumping out all its contents, and gingerly covered the sodden skirt, the pile of pine needles, and the nasty huge centipede.

Figuring the centipede would be able to worm its way between bin and carpet, I found this handy wall mirror just waiting in my hall closet for this very purpose. Slipping the mirror under the bin and skirt was a tense few seconds, but it was done. I even put a box filled with random junk on top, just in case we have a Mr. Universe of centipedes on our hands.

I will let my husband take care of this mess when he gets home. I am done and already late for work!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Make hay while the sun shines...

Wouldn't you know it, the day I had been planning on making beads in a long time we have a huge storm with lightning and thunder and I can't trust the electricity around here to not cut out in the middle of a batch of beads. That's OK, though, this way I get to catch up ony reading!

Might not get to make hay, but I definitely get to make lemonade!

Now to hit "done" on this post before the power cuts out! :)

ETA: Power did actually cut out about 10 minutes after posting this. Got out of the house and went to see a movie in Lihue, about 25 miles away. I <3 Hobbitses!!!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

First Craft Show This Weekend and A Little Trivia About Yours Truly...

This weekend I will be participating in my first-ever craft show.  It's taking place at the Church of the Pacific near Princeville here on Kauai.  I've been really anxious the last couple years about doing craft shows... I'm really uncomfortable with the prospect of talking to show organizers to get myself signed up, don't ask me why.  Luckily, this particular craft show is run by people I already know, so when I found that out it became just "asking a friend".  I signed up for the show on May 4th and have spent the last 4 weeks making and cleaning beads, designing and making jewelry, and getting jewelry displays together to show my wares.  I have 2 days to go, and I think I'll be ready.  I'll come back and post pictures of my booth at the craft show next week.

Here are a few items I'll selling in my booth:

Alphabet Charm Beads

A little bit about me I don't think I've talked about yet: I study history as a hobby and do medieval reenactment in the Society for Creative Anachronism. That's actually how I got into lampworking in the first place. Beads have a 5000 year old history, and have been treasured throughout the ages as items of worship, focus, wealth, and beauty. Ancient Egyptians and Medieval Vikings were particularly fond of them, and they have almost always been traded around the world as prized possessions. I wouldn't give up a piece of land for beads, but I'm sure that Native American who traded Long Island for a handful of beads and shells probably thought he was getting a deal.