Friday, May 29, 2009

wired


I've spent most of today working on a birthday gift for a friend. We're going out to dinner tonight and I wanted her gift ready by then. One problem is that I've been so busy carving lately, I haven't had time to do anything else. The other problem is that I don't really know HOW to make what I wanted to make. I've mentioned my rock collecting addiction more than once here, so it stands to reason that my friends are forced to admire the fruits of my tumbler whenever they're at my house. Last summer this friend chose one particular rock from a recently tumbled batch, and I told her I'd make her a necklace sometime.
SO...a couple weeks ago after we got back from the gem and mineral show, she remembered the rock! Since her birthday was coming up, I decided it was time to finally make the necklace. The plan was to make a simple wire-wrap cage for it. The problem is that I don't really know how to do that. I did it once - I made a necklace for my daughter and I just sort of winged it. It came out nice but it took a LONG time. I tried to wing it again today but it just wasn't happening. I finally broke down and went to the local bead store to get a book and some better supplies. So, above is the result of my first book-taught wire-wrap. Not the greatest piece of jewelry ever created, but it was fun and I think she'll like it. It's a nice way to display a pretty stone.
PS: I have no idea what type of stone it is, probably jasper. It's from Moonstone Beach in Cambria. Any rockhounds out there who can shed some light on it?
Okay, back to carving. My fingers hurt.

Monday, May 18, 2009

rock on


Yesterday was a lot of fun. We walked over to the local community center to see the gem & mineral show. I've been a little bit of a rock hound all of my life. That's not to say I'm any good at it, I just really love stones and minerals. Whenver I'm doing something outdoorsy, you'll see me looking at the ground a lot. I touched on this a little bit when I wrote about our little side trip to Cambria a couple weeks ago, but didn't go into detail. I have a rock tumbler and one of my favorite things to do is gather stones and tumble them. I've got a knack for finding moonstones, which is why I enjoy Cambria's Moonstone Beach so much. I don't know why, but I have an eye for them. I was also like that with four-leaf clovers as a kid - I could just spot them as I was walking by. Once I even spotted one while I was riding my bike, and I skidded to a halt and picked it. It freaked my friends out! Hehehe. That was when I lived in Virginia. I don't seem to find them out here in California.

Anyway, so the gem and mineral show is put together by the Conejo gem and mineral club, which I didn't even realize existed. I met some of the members and got membership information. Turns out members can use their lapidary and polishing equipment, learn to cut cabachons, and go on all sorts of rock hounding field trips!!! I had a moonstone in my pocket, and one of the members actually ground and polished it for me on their machine, it was so cool! Is it becoming clear how much of a nerd I am yet?

There were also some odd coincidences yesterday. One was that we met a Corgi (and her owners, of course) who came from the same breeder that two (actually three, but one is no longer alive) of our Corgis came from. That may not sound weird but this breeder is really far away from here in Riverside - like a two hour drive. We talked to her owners for a bit and figured out their dog is most likely related to the two we got from that breeder. Weird. (I know, this is all really riveting blog material, isn't it??)

Another chance meeting was with a woman who owns a shop in Ventura that teaches classes in PMC (precious metal clay) jewelry making. What was weird was that one of my dog training clients kept making me promise her that I go into this shop and meet this woman, because she thinks I'd be very good at PMC crafting. And lo and behold, there she was at the show. I got some information on classes, I think it's something I really need to check out. I've had several artists order my stamps specifically for their PMC jewelry creations, and I've always been interested in trying it myself.

The rest of the day was spent tipping back margaritas with one of our good friends, and eventually playing trivial pursuit (second nerd alert).
Etsy business is really good right now. Almost too good because I have no idea how I'm going to keep up with all the orders. Again..NOT complaining, but I hate when I have to keep people waiting longer than a few days, and my turnaround time gets slower as the orders pile up. It's so funny, because once I've got a certain number of stamps to carve, each time another orders pops in, I panic a little. It's like "Oh no, another sale!". And then I smack myself for thinking that at all, because I'm SO freaking grateful and lucky to be making money doing what I love.
So, so lucky.

Friday, May 15, 2009

avalanche


Auugghh! I'm buried in work! That's a very good thing, but as usual it all poured in at once and suddenly I have way too much to do. I've been terrible about blogging, but it's mainly due to the aformentioned workload.

Today I drove all the way to UCLA for platelet donation, only to be turned away because my freaking iron count is down again. CRAP!! Why??? I'm careful to keep my diet iron-rich and it's been two weeks since my last donation. I don't know why this keeps happening and it's frustrating.

Yesterday my dog Lucy ate an entire book of postage stamps. Today she ate the head and tail of a lizard and left the rest of him on my bedroom floor. Tell me again why I have dogs??
I've posted a lot of new stamps in the shop lately. The image above is one of my favorites.
Oh - I forgot to mention that on the drive home from Cambria last week, I was running my fingers through my hair and found a big fat tick just about to chomp into my scalp. Niiiiiiiice. *shudder*
Okay, must go back to work.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

moonstone madness

I'm back. We had to go out of town somewhat unexpectedly last week. My husband's dad has alzheimers and isn't doing well, and his mom asked us to come see him. They live in Coarsegold, which is about 4 hours north of us in the Sierra foothills. They're about 30 minutes from Yosemite. Anyway, Jim hasn't seen his dad in a long time (long story there) and to see him now with his memory failing was really hard. He kept confusing Jim with other family members, couldn't quite remember that he's his son. It was painful.
There were aspects of the visit that were really enjoyable, though. It's beautiful where they live, lots of amazing scenery. I got to know his mom better and that was really nice.
We were there for four days, we left on Monday. We decided to go to Cambria on the way home and spend Monday night there - sort of a mental health break. Jim needed a little time to compose himself before going back to work. We needed to be someplace that makes us happy, and Cambria is one of our favorite places to be. We spent most of our time on Moonstone beach looking for moonstones and agate for our rock tumbler. I'm a little bit of a rock hound and I get really obsessed when I'm there - I have a good eye for moonstones and tend to find a lot of them, it's so much fun. So we did that, and had a nice dinner and just sort of pulled ourselves together. This is going to be a really difficult thing for Jim to adjust to, and there will probably be more visits in the future, so we'll see how that goes.
Alzheimers is a terrible illness. It robs the victim of their memory and eventually their ability to function at all - and family members are left caring for someone they love who know longer knows them. It's like having someone you love die, yet a shell of them remains, requiring all your care and attention with very little reward for the caregiver. His mom is losing her husband more each day. He's losing his dad - yet they can't mourn and move on because he's still here, needing help.
Anyway..we're home now and I'm trying to catch up on work I've fallen behind on. I feel out of sorts, worried about Jim, stressed because I've been gone and now have lots to catch up on.
Guess I'd better start catching up now.

About Me

Hippieville, CA, United States
This is the story of life after losing the "real" job and the house, trying to find the middle ground between making a living and actually living.