Wednesday, April 29, 2009

moved in

Well, we are finally all moved in, except for two accent ceiling lights that Michael has to dismantle tomorrow, then we turn in our old keys and start living here at the new apartment. It has been an experience, dear friends, that I care not to repeat for a while!

It is almost ten thirty at night and I just pulled the fridge out and hand cleaned the floor. Super yuck, people. Maybe I am a rare bird to care that all these nooks and crannies get a good cleaning but I can hardly bear to go to work this week knowing dirt is lurking and I have not had the time to take care of it all before moving in, so we are having to move things around and then blast through this phase of it. Still to come tonight is a good swiffer scrub of the kitchen tile before I go nuts looking at all the refuse from almost a week's worth of four people, two dogs and one fat kitty walking back and forth over it. I'm not sure how long this old apartment has been standing empty but it is taking some work to bring it back to life. And I cannot get used to the super high ceilings in here. It is so weird compared to our old morgue apartment where one's head practically scraped the ceiling standing up.

And I was wrong about another thing here. Mango, my big fat orange Manx kitty, who was so frightened when we first got him that he hid under our bed for at least a month, absolutely LOVES it here. He is into everything, exploring all the cupboards and closets, sleeping in the bathroom linen closet and stretching full out on the bed to catch the sun's rays in the afternoon.

And Lucy is enjoying looking out the back bedroom window while laying on the bed, watching the afternoon convergence of several dog friends play under a huge old oak tree.

So it is going ok after alot of nerve bundle explosions and fits and starts of things not working and then being corrected by maintenance staff. I think I swore more in the past week than in the last year combined.

Our new art studio awaits unpacking. What with return to work, there has been no time to catch up on orders. I come home from work with the best intentions of setting up shop in earnest but fatigue is still my enemy and I end up propped up in bed, diet coke in hand, surfing etsy shops with droopy eyelids.

My jewelry bench is lined up on the correct wall but is surrounded on all sides by boxes, bags and even Mango's poop box, which has yet to find a permanent out of the way location. What can I say, it's a major move. Things will get put away when time permits. I would just like to wave a wand and have it all together in place looking clean and perfect right now. Patience is not my strong suite.

Two more days until the weekend. *sigh*
I had stars in my eyes of driving to the Beadfest show in Malvern but rest may be a better idea. The following weekend I'm working for a vendor Sat/Sun at the Richmond stop of the Intergalactic Bead show. Two hundred bucks cash or two forty for merchandise for the two day gig. I chose the cash. We need it. Moving costs the earth these days.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

moving week & a quick trip to the bead store!

It's moving week!

That said, I hope to get back on track with jewelry, blogging, writing letters, filling orders, and all that jazz after next week (plus back to regular work).

A real live true dedicated art room. i can't wait. =) happy.

We picked up our keys today and celebrated at Starbucks after. Then we drove home and collapsed into a heap of humans and furballs on the bed for an early evening snooze, still exhausted after a nine hour drive to Pennsylvania.

Saturday afternoon found us creeping along in DC traffic for four hours straight, foot by foot in agony (and a bit of road rage), unsure I would make it before 5 p.m. closing time at Accents Beads in Rockville, Maryland, where they have some of the loveliest strands of beads around and the amethyst beads I was out of. Happily we made it with 1/2 hour to look and purchase.
The photo above is my makeshift pic of beads purchased at Accents Beads. From top to bottom, drilled Robels wood, faceted amethyst, white hemimorphile, large round amethyst (awesome deep purple!), cube flourite, faceted tourmilated quartz, loose stick pearls.

Above, a better photo of the fabulous AA grade amethyst.

Sunday- a family reunion, running all over visiting other friends in the area, bed at 3 a.m. Up at 7 to take my sister in law's dog to the vet. Another visit to a friend, then the drive home in pouring rain and thunderstorms last night. Not real pretty in the Laurel Highlands of PA yet. Still looks like the dead of winter except for very few daffodils here and there. Michael took this photo of a lovely clear stream & first daffodils of the season near Rector, Pa.

Calling all day today to switch out cable, internet, phone, business phone, electric, and so on. Hey, we'll have Fios after we move. I guess I am not living enough in the modern world that I never heard of such a thing. Fiber optics...hmmm. ok. all I care about is we'll get HBO and the History channel again, plus unlimited long distance calling.

The tired old stance still holds-- I must can this and get back to packing. Maybe along with May flowers I'll also have neat jewelry to show for once on here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Buy this pendant!

Come on, now, people! What isn't cute about this owl pendant? Why hasn't it sold? I painstakingly drew it with a tiny brush onto the copper, etched it, and it is so cute! Based on an Aegean owl drawing from a ka-jillion years ago, it's a fabulous focal piece! Help me out and buy it now, a one of a kind, never to be made again owl etching from my etsy shop before I lose track of it in the rubble? Good deal. Now that you are on the way to my shop, you can snap up some other lovelies and add them to your collection and I can go to bed and sleep soundly for a change.

Good night and sleep tight! Friday is right around the long bend of the corner.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter candy

Random thoughts today only. My mom AKA The Easter Bunny sent us a package in the mail full of candy. We'd planned to visit my parents over the weekend and it was thwarted by the flu for me (again, seems to be a pattern). Instead we have been stuffing ourselves sick with goodies. So far we have eaten the following: one huge homemade chocolate covered peanut butter egg, two packages of Reese's Pieces in bags the shape of a carrot, 1/2 of a huge homemade chocolate covered cherry flavor egg, two packages of yellow peeps. Left to chomp on: one package of jelly bellies. The best of the batch? Definitely the chocolate covered peanut butter egg, made by some church ladies up on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Yummy, yummy good for my tummy.

Otherwise it was a low key Easter. Every year I look forward to Easter, and I know this sounds strange, but I love watching shows on tv that are historical documentaries of the time of Christ and the events of Easter, Christmas, and so on. This year, sick with flu and feeling drained, I sank into the futon with Lucy to catch one of the programs. Flipping, flipping, flipping through channels for hours and at the end of the evening? Nothing! No documentaries at all!! What??!! What happened? Maybe because our cable canned the History channel? But what of PBS, that staple of documentaries? And what of CNN, who has put out some fabulous religious history shows? Hmmm. Nothing, and that goes for the entire weekend. *sigh* Oh well, back to the chocolates...

Although we were not able to attend religious service for lack of want of making everyone there sick, we had a service of sorts of our own in the blessing of nature, taking a mid afternoon walk through a local park that is busting with glorious azaleas.

Tonight I am filling three more jewelry orders and debating on halting my etsy shop and my other commissions until after our move next *gulp* Friday. You cannot imagine (or maybe you can) the disorder (putting it politely) that is this apartment. It is very difficult to work on jewelry, especially when I really need to be packing up my workshop corner.

Last night we packed Michael's easel, and then sorted and packed his paints, brushes, canvases, pens and pencils, and other assorted art gear. What a messy job. Paint all over the place.

It is kind of an exhilarating feeling throwing things out, taking unwanted stuff to thrift stores and finally getting some order into our possessions. I'm feeling it's a hair less of a drag to move than I did a week ago. I'm also finding things that have been lost, some things lost for weeks, others lost for years.

But the more I talk about it, the less I get done, so back to work!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Silver Lao -Tzu Pendant on Etsy

I made this pendant for Heather Powers a while ago. Whilst going through my things in preparation for the big move (April 24!), I found just enough 14 gauge sterling silver sheet to make another. It will be offered on etsy very shortly. I don't anymore make pendants with this hefty gauge. As any metalworker may know, silver is almost double the cost of a scant two years ago or so. In fact, silver closed at $13.70 today, about three bucks more than my last silver sheet order several months ago. But anyway, I was happy to make this one up, as it is one of my favorite zen quotes, and makes a very lovely organic pendant with added texture and antique patina, and I'm happy to offer it for sale on my etsy shop

Otherwise I am laid up sick today. Just what I needed! A three hour nap after work last night, ah, I shrugged it off. I'm tired, my body needed more rest than usual. This morning, a slight sore throat. Still not too concerned. This evening, more of that, plus aches, dizzy, fever. Dang. This stinks. I really need to go to work tomorrow, too, but I don't want to pass anything on to the uniforms I work with and their families. Happy Easter! Bah!!

My hope is I can still work on some pending jewelry commissions and pack more things up. I'll be so very glad when this move is over. There is so much anticipation over it that this tiny apartment is feeling toxic. I want out now! Even the animals seem to feel it. Other than our fat kitty, we all want to stay out of here as much as possible. Poor Mango, he will be totally discombobulated when we move. He was a Manx rescue when we got him. We drove to North Carolina to pick him up.

Shortly after we got him home, he became critically ill and almost died. He spent more than a week at the vet hospital, touch and go, with a high fever. Finally, loaded up on steroids and meds, he came home and other than gaining 12 pounds from prolonged steroids, he was fine. Our big orange 23 pound ornery boy. This is the home he has known and very slowly gotten comfortable with since October 2007. It took months for him to come out from under the bed and longer to get comfortable with our dog Lucy. I wondered if he would EVER come around. Heaven only knows what he went through before we scooped him up.

I worked with him, loved on him, and slowly, slowly, he got it. We loved him. He was safe. Now he plows over us on the bed to get to his spot at night, bangs the lamp next to my bed if he wants fed at 3 a.m. and sleeps under the covers tucked under my arm with his head on the pillow. I kid you not. In short, he has adapted. Here is our boy, amongst the rubble...

Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


For our twelve wedding anniversary today, Michael took some photos of us together. This is the one I am using on my blog and etsy site now. Compared to our wedding, Michael looks about the same- still handsome... don't you agree? I, on the other hand, look much different. More wrinkles... much longer hair... thinner face, but whatever. We had a fine day today and yesterday, although the movie we planned to see this evening gave way to a very long walk instead, much needed, and a pitstop for chocolate covered pretzels and coffee (not needed). A very fine evening indeed. Simple pleasures.

Looking back over the course of twelve years, I was thinking today while Michael was at band practice. What have we/I done for the past twelve years? At first thought, I surmised, well, not much! But I made a list. Here is what I came up with:

We've lived in three houses and five apartments.
I became a published artist.
My husband became an award winning artist.
We travelled to Germany, Austria & France in 1997.
Took a train around the country for three weeks in 2000.
I went to Sweden alone in 2001.
We drove to New Mexico in 2005.
Flew to the Pacific Northwest in 2006.
Italy in 2009.
Countless trips to visit parents, relatives and friends for weekends.
We've camped, seen the cherry blossoms in DC, and hiked mountains.
We saw the passing of Michael's mother, brother, grandmothers, aunts, uncles and animal friends.
We've cared for two cats (Max, rest in peace) and the current big kitty Mango Man. And we've raised our sweet dog Lucy since 1996 to the present. She is our sweet, smart, adored little gal.
We've laughed and cried and fought and made up. We've learned about each other and ourselves, grown and developed in ways that never would have come to pass without our union.
So much, so many things. I am grateful for my husband.

A while back I asked Amanda Davie ( to do a necklace exchange with me. Hers arrived in my mailbox ages ago. Mine to her, pictured here, has just been sent off to Wisconsin. I consider this a talisman necklace, with a favorite Wordsworth quote stamped in copper, textured and with patina.

Talismans from left to right are: stick pearl, faceted pearl, agate, turquoise stick, Peruvian blue opal chunk. All accented with patina saturated sterling wire wraps and handmade jump rings.

Sterling links and a lovely diamond shaped agate. That agate is so luscious. I think I got it at the Greater Washington DC Bead Society bead show about two years ago. So beautiful!

A close up of the goodies.... Wear it in good health, Amanda!! Enjoy!

Tomorrow it is back to the grind, although the list of what needs to be done yet makes me shudder. blah! Someone needs to descend on this place and rescue me from the perils of packing. I am a serious convert to minimalism at this point and really would love to throw almost everything away. Possessions are such a dreadful drag.

Time for some serious zzzzzzzzzzzz's now. I can't wait.