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Sunday, May 17, 2015

When an Artist Has No Time for Art

It's been a busy week around here. Katie came home for the summer after finishing her second year of college at Cal State Long Beach, I did some math tutoring, Richard was home sick with an awful flu, and on Friday, I spent the day at Strathmore Middle School participatomg om their Annual Career Day!

The kids were in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades, and they were awesome--polite, respectful, and full of good questions! I talked about being an artist, but also told them about my other career as a math and English teacher, and about how they probably won't have just one type of job in their lives. I told them that right now every single door is open to them, since they have no mortgage, no car payments, no bills, and no financial commitments. I told them about, where there are tons of free courses available from universities all over the world. I told them that learning was all about passion and persistence.

It was a little sobering when I asked for a show of hands and only about fifty percent of the kids had access to a computer and the internet at home. It seems to me that the Internet is no longer a luxury, but a necessity, and that in a country as wealthy as ours (the Land of Opportunity!!!) kids should have access to all the information and learning that's out there. They do have computers and the internet at school, but that is not the same as having leisure time where you can pursue information and ideas and education...

I did find time to make a few rings using some new bronze and copper wire I recently bought. I really struggle with the business side of making art, so I am trying to force myself to post new work on Etsy on a regular basis.

Does anyone else like making art more than selling art? I am looking for ideas (and encouragement) for getting myself in business mode more often and more eagerly?

Monday, May 04, 2015

My Sweet Katie

Katie just changed her major to theater arts. She's been thinking about this for a long time, and wrote me a five-paragraph essay in a text (haha) including quotes, explaining her reasoning--but the most important part was when she said,

"...all I know for sure is that I need artistic expression in my life - whether it be music, acting, writing - so those are the things I want to pursue. I truly believe that if I follow those, they will lead me in a direction that is right for me..."

Here's her first 'headshot', done quickly because she's auditioning for a play that's going to be produced at CSULB next fall.

Just had to share--

Friday, May 01, 2015

Game of Thrones "Winter is Coming"

As I mentioned a few days ago, I am rereading the Game of Thrones books. I haven't read book five, yet, so am reading them from the beginning--I'm two-thirds of the way through book three and I'm enjoying them so much!

For those of you who haven't read the books, the motto of one of the primary families featured in the story is "Winter is coming." So of course, I had to made a ring with those words on it! I'm looking for other good quotes to put on rings, so please leave me any ideas in your comment!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Today in the Studio

There is nothing quite as exciting as getting something in the mail! Letters are the very best, but a close second is a box with art supplies.

A box arrived today from Rio Grande. I only placed the order a few days ago, and just paid for regular shipping, so it arrived super fast.

I ordered some new cabochons (red carnelian and green aventurine) some Sterling silver gallery bezels, and some pretty patterned wire for ring shanks.

Here's one of today's creations--

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Awesome New Cleaning Solution

Found several different version of this via Pinterest...

When we moved into this house in 1996, the house was already twenty-five years old. The sinks were all original to the house, and they were all...stained? Yucky?

Over the years I have tried lots and lots and lots of different cleaning products to make them look better. I know, I know, I could have just replaced the sinks, but doing something like that starts a domino effect that I just wasn't ready for. And now, with two kids in college, redoing two bathrooms and a kitchen just isn't going to happen.

The truth is, my kitchen sink is AVOCADO GREEN. Really really REALLY AVOCADO GREEN. So, honestly, even if I could get the scratches and hard water and etching and just general yuckiness to be gone, it would just be more. avocado. green. Which was the height of interior fashion forwardness in 1970, but now, not so much.

Anyhow, on to the new cleaning super weapon: vinegar and Dawn dish washing soap, mixed together in equal parts and put on the surface and left to soak for a couple of hours.

Then just wipe it off.

That's it.

I've seen posts where baking soda is included, but that didn't seem to make a difference. The white sink in the girls' bathroom has never looked so white, and with no scrubbing! I think I will do the whole process again on the back part of the sink, and maybe scrub  some, because when I look with my super x-ray mom eyes, I can still see a little bit of discoloration, but WOW.

And let's just say that avocado green has never looked so, well, so avocado green.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Delivering a Custom Order

Delivered a custom order today--a sterling silver and Chrysoprase ring. Custom orders are always a little stressful, whether it's a painting or jewelry. What if the client doesn't like it?!?! I've never actually had that happen, but I always worry about it. 

An added difficulty on this one was that I had to purchase the stone and the patterned silver. I was worried about ordering the stone without having seen it in person. 
It all turned out perfectly. I delivered the ring today and the client loved it!

I am rereading the Game of Thrones books--had forgotten how much I enjoyed them. I've never watched the show, although I've heard great things about it. Sometimes I like a book so much I don't want to watch a movie or tv series. I feel that way about the Outlander books. Best books ever. Seriously. Haven't had the heart to watch the show, because what if Jamie isn't as awesome in the show as he is in the books?

Also have a new.secret weapon in my cleaning arsenal. Ill write more about that tomorrow.

Hooking up with Paint Party Friday.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

April's Resolutions (I'm a Little Bit Slow...)

I have been falling down on the job. The truth is, in a dream world I would just make art, and all the business and social aspects of my business would take care of themselves. And I'm not sure why that it--I am a social person and I like talking to people, but I've been diligently avoiding both blogging and selling my art.

One of my friends actually told me that she was worried about me turning into a hermit! I didn't drive much following the back surgery, and by the time I was completely off the vicodin, I was just out of practice at making the twenty minute drive down to town. It was no longer a habit in my life. Not good.

So one of my new April resolutions is that I will get out of the house at least once a week. I've had a couple of exciting things happen on my trips to town (more on that later), and I'm pretty sure I'm over that.

Another resolution is that I will try to post something new in my Etsy shop every day. When I started on Etsy in 2006, it was nowhere as ginormous as it is now. People could find me on Etsy. Now, even when I am posting regularly, I feel like I just get lost in the shuffle. I can't fix the enormity of Etsy, but I've really been working on posting every day. I work in the studio in the morning, bring things up to the house to take pictures at lunch, and edit and post in the afternoon or evening.

Finally, there's the blog. I am going to try to write every day, at least for awhile. If I don't do something EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I seem to quit doing it entirely.

How often do you post to your blog? I suppose I could write every day and only post two or three times a week, but I would definitely have to schedule it and have my phone remind me on days when I was supposed to post. (I'm fifty-one; I can't even remember an every day word like "plate.")
Here's the bracelet I made yesterday--lots of shades of purple with oxidized brass wire and findings.

P.S. I forgot, there's one more thing I'm going to do every day: comment on and visit other blogs. I got so much encouragement and inspiration and friendship from fellow bloggers, and I know I need to get that back into my life.