Saturday, October 02, 2010

Summers end

Summer has finally ended in the south.  It's so beautiful here this time of year, dry and cool with just a hint of warmth on the skin.  I'm always sad when all the leaves have finally fallen off the trees because I know winter is just around the corner.   I think I'm also sad about looking the leaves because they are my privacy.  My den, dining room and deck are on the second floor and look out into the green lushness of the leaves, when they are gone I can see other houses and the starkness of winter.

I've been making beads in fall and winter colors and doing a bit more etching of beads.  I love the feel of the etched beads, the shininess is gone and they feel soft and smooth.  If you don't want to make jewelry out of these you can always carry them in your pocket so that you have something soft there to touch when you need to.  Kind of like a worry stone.

I've been retired eight months now and I still feel like I'm on vacation and it's about to end.  I wonder how long that will last.  I love just being home and am starting to enjoy cooking again.  Just the other night I decided that I would try a different breading on some pork chops that hubby brought home from the store.  They really don't have a lot of flavor unless you do something with them.  I put some tortilla chips in the blender and chopped them up and added all kinds of spices and used it as a breading for the port chops and they were wonderful.
The secret to keeping the breading on your meats is to first coat the meat in flour, then the egg and milk mixture and finally the breading you have created.  I have four different dry breading mixes in the frig for meats so we don't get bored with what we eat.  Me thinks I've been watching too many cooking shows...LOL

Friday, July 09, 2010

Heat affects the journey

It's been an unusually hot early summer here in the south, the average temp. here is 80 this time of year and we have had above 90 for fifteen days now.  My torch is in the basement which stays fairly cool at 75F but I have to open windows to create a draft for ventilation and in comes the heat.  I can only torch in the mornings and I'm a slow starter.  I get up early, like 6am every morning but never get around to being ready to torch until at least 9am.  All this to say that it's just been hot.  Brutally hot.  It slows my brain and hands and the creative juices just don't flow. 
I haven't torched in five days, which is a record for me.  We aren't even into the hottest part of the summer yet so I'm afraid of what the next two months will be like.  I find myself doing smaller beads in sets, the bigger ones take a lot more time up close to the torch and it's just too hot for that. 

So, if you are seeing more sets from me right now, that's why.  Just too hot to make the big focal beads that I like to play with.  I made the set above on the 4th of July.  LOL, It never occurred to me to make some a month before the holiday to sell.  What a noob.  

If you don't hear from me for awhile it's because I'm sleeping away the heat of the day.  The air conditioner in our house is undersized.  Don't even get me started on that subject, suffice to say that when it gets over 90 outside it's 80 in the house.  We have a stand alone air conditioner in the house (loud, loud, loud) that helps to keep it at 80 but at that temp. all we can do is sit under the ceiling fans on high and stay still.  Sleeping seems to work well...LOL 

Hope it's cooler where you are.  If not, I feel for you.
Stay Cool...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Etsy Bloggers, my first deadline was missed

I joined the Etsy Bloggers team hoping that I would blog more.  Well, as you can see that didn't happen.  Now I know what writers feel like when they get writers block.  I can't think of a thing to say, which is not normal for me...LOL  The first subject was suppose to be a milestone or accomplishment that we recently had.  I couldn't think of a thing.  The other subject was my goals...LOL  Seriously when I retired the major goal of my life was hit and I went on vacation mode. 
I did recently hit 500 sales in my Etsy shop, considering that at the first of the year when I retired I had had 50 sales I would say that was a major milestone for me.  I guess my next goal will be to hit 1,000 beads sold by the end of the year.  Hopefully I can make it. 

I've been retired for roughly six months now and I am beginning to see sales patterns in my shop.  Hopefully I will be able to adapt to that and be prepared for the peaks and work hard in the valleys to get ready for the peaks.
So my goal will be to blog at least once a week.  Clearly once a day is way to much for me to manage.  I hope someone is listening.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Finding my bead style - the journey

I've been making lampwork beads now for about three years.  As of yet I haven't found a bead that is ME.  Something that when jewelry makers see beads, know that I made them.  There are lots of lampworkers out there that I can identify by their beads.  They have a specific look or style.   My style can best be described as simply organic.  I love the stone look and am finding that my customers seem to like them too.  The do take a few more steps to create but the look is certainly unique if not generic. 

I tend to sit down at the torch with little idea of what I'm going to make.  I just start grabbing glass rods and start with a base and go from there.  This doesn't lend itself to finding a style.  I'm not sure if I absolutely have to have a style but so many lampworkers do have them that I kind of feel like I haven't grow if I don't.

If you get a chance, take a look at my Etsy shop and tell me if you see a style emerging.  I would really appreciate any feedback you can give me.    Until then I shall keep doing what I do and enjoying every minute of the journey.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Roses and rain

I love roses, my favorite are the Chrysler, Peace, Double Delight and Tropicana. I have one of each of these bushes, all except for the Double Delight. I lost that bush last year. I've found that roses don't do as well in the south. The humidity is just too much for them and the leave get yellow and have mildew dots on them. The roses are fine but the bushes look horrible.

We had a bit of rain last night and I brought these two roses in the house so I could enjoy them and noticed how beautiful the remains of the rain were on the petals.

You can't fake the look of rain drops on roses. Hey, isn't there a song with that line in it..."My Favorite Things". Anyway, just had to share the photos with you. I really do love the look and wish I could freeze it forever.

The Tropicana rose has such a wonderful scent, it has a soft sweet scent that just can't be replicated in perfume.

Hope you all have a great day. We are expecting more rain. Hopefully I will have a few more roses tomorrow to bring in and enjoy.