Hi. My name is Kris …

And I am a crack craft addict.  Now that I’ve admitted it, I can show you what I made:

june-bracelets     kumihimo glass necklace

giant-magnifying-glassI have another couple of bracelets on the (kumihimo) disks, along with a watch idea.  I’m waiting for a few chain mail supplies to arrive … and, I think I want to play with 11/0 beads again (- I’ll need to find my mega-magnifying glass though) …

In the meantime, DH has reached a ‘getting old’ milestone (colonoscopy … fun times!), and both of my babies (the twins) are on antibiotics for strep throat.  Thank goodness for some outdoor romp-time with the pups (photos to come)!  Now that everyone is settled in for the night – I can get back to my studio, kilns and jewelry! [Time for my ‘fix’ …]

craft fix excited

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Feeling Bummed–but working through it …

Tough ER nursing weekend … I was in in charge (yeah, BAD idea) with lots of summer folks (volume – fortunately NOT acuity – PRAISE JESUS!) … Thank Goodness for some great staff, but I don’t like changing hats that frequently.  Add too many bodies to count (patients PLUS their ‘posse’) – all wanting water, juice and/or coffee … End the weekend with my personal heart-wrenching couple (CANCER times TWO – whom I’ve cared for a few times before) … and Yuck … Just Y.U.C.K!!!  [I started this post once already, but needed a few days the week to let it settle …]

So, I’m just about over it.  And, ALMOST ready to run my kilns again (that near-miss studio fire hit HARDER than I thought … Every time I think ‘today is the day’ – I find myself fussing with something else!)! 

procrastination

I also had my second, or maybe third ‘rejection’ in my life:  I didn’t make a juried show … Well SHOOT(!!!) – that hurt.  [OK, THIRD rejection:  A community production singing musical (Soo doesn’t really count – as I was 12!!!); a job posting (Case Manager at HMC, but I showed them by creating my own position – Just sayin’ …); and now this art show …] While I didn’t cry myself to sleep (like I did when I was twelve  – and again at 20-something when I relived my singing audition via NIGHTMARE while sleeping) … I did STOP for a minute (umm, several hours days …) to re-evaluate.

What I decided: Making STUFF makes me happy.  Selling it makes my accountant (and … yeah – my husband) happy.  (So, while I don’t like being Charge Nurse, I do know stuff about GOOD nursing care – and I’m scanning my produce patients like a GOOD nurse is supposed to …)  So, I’m over it (ok – almost … I still haven’t run my kilns  just yet – But I have plans and ideas!!)!

The great news … I don’t have to be in charge for another two weekends.  (Gulp!)  I have an unexpected (but COVERED vacation!!!)!  I have a beautiful, supportive family!  A-N-D- … I am surrounded by some of the cutest puppies on EARTH!

neapolitan mastiff pup

So, while I will settle in [umm, good thing – since it’s FRIDAY], I’m feeling blessed.  And, I’ve made some pretty nice bracelets along the way (chainmail and Kumihimo) … And Michigan had summer-sunshine, so … Peace Ya’ll!

bracelets

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Tragedy … But, I’m Grateful …

And, still a BRAT!

But for the grace of God … I could have lost my studio last Friday.  I had a kiln malfunction (I believe a relaymelted-mess got STUCK), and while I slept, and then worked – my kiln was running full-steam ahead for some 17+ hours.  It took 4 days to air-out the acrid smell.  (Fortunately, it was caught and the kiln was unplugged IN TIME …) I’ve created a forever-reminder object-d’art … That was a ceramic clay saucer, which is now coating, dripping and FULLY fused to my kiln shelf, along with the volcanic glass and stainless steel wires (which are brittle and breaking) …

My ‘old-reliable’ production kiln is toast.  FORTUNATELY, the melting of the kiln floor only went through about HALF of the fire bricks … WOWZER!

melting-kiln-floor

new-production-kilnSo … Brat that I am, I am now sporting a new Jen-Ken 15/6 (as I looked at every kiln available, and ultimately decided that this is the best buy for the money … depth, coils and size).  Here she is all kiln-washed and waiting … Thank You, Jesus!  And, Happy (early) Father’s Day to me!

So, busy weeks ahead!  I need to catch up on lost ‘production’ time (custom orders are in the works).  I’m still playing with beaded jewelry … and SOMEONE needs to pick up some over-time to pay for my ‘habit’!!!  [ER nursing in the summer – so much fun!]

tawny-male-pup[Meanwhile, DH and I went shopping for his Father’s day gift; the pups are all growing and getting cuter by the minute; the twins are well-fed and enjoying week one of Summer-vacation (= TOTAL BUMS); my garden needs weeding – I know! … I’m doing chain-maille again … I’m currently sporting my first pool-time-summer-color (burn!)  And, I’ll be bottling another 3 cases of Cherry Pinot Noir – umm, later today  … Life is GOOD!!!]

chainmail-and-beaded-bracel

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So, it must be that time of year …

crystal-earringsThat’s my excuse, anyway.  I’m scouring, learning and obsessing over jewelry making again.  (In the non-fused glass, non-chain-maille sort of way …)  This means I have a new wholesale account with yet another company … (Um, no actual purchases yet, just a lot of dreaming.  It’s good to be prepared!)   Yep, I know.  I need to pursue this new interest like I need another hobby …

In the meantime, I’m making jewelry.  And – to be fair, I am contemplating how to incorporate my glass cabs in a few of them.  I’m also making earrings, bracelets, metal pendants and necklaces … Oh my!  (BTW – that first necklace is made with 8 strands of 11/0 beads, all braided together ALA kumihimo-style.  I’m certain my eyesight will return at some point …)

  kumihimo-necklace     beaded-necklace-idea

metal-punching-&-stampingsea-glass-and-cork-bracelet

My studio is a mess!  I will clean it, one of these days!  But, until then, I have a few glass projects brewing, and I need to catch up on some orders … So, I’m shifting gears.  (Or, maybe I’ll go without a few hours sleep … yeah, that’ll work!)

Homestead update:

  • The next time the twins (MY BABIES!) return to school, it will be as Seniors!neo-pup-6-15  Good golly, someone is getting OLD!
  • The pups have opened their eyes and are starting to move about.  Playtime is short lived – but super cute, and sleeping/eating still rule the day.
  • The pool is open, the garden planted, most of the flower beds are done.  (See, I have been doing responsible grown-up stuff too!)  I also read a few new books … umm, INSOMNIA!
  • Everyone is eating well, as Mom’s kitchen never closes.

I’ll leave with a quick pick of (some of) my girls … Mimi, Cally and Nora, who are  collectively called ‘Ma Gerlz’ … Which can quickly become “MONGRELS” when they’re misbehaving!

mongrels

It’s 2am, back to (studio) work!

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Exhausted … But – you know, in a good way … (AKA WWU)

ER-nurse-jugglingThe way that a third-shift nurse, mom, MAGICIAN feels when she crosses that marathon work-tour finish line with all pieces successfully juggled/managed.  Sure … at the final 20 minute push-point, it meant maintaining a 1:1 behavior-medicine watch, while acclimating a new team member, triage-assessing/documenting on our next cardiac patient AND greeting/briefing day shift staff … So, yeah – would you like fries with that???

Meanwhile, at the homestead: Isabella and pups are doing great (as are all four-legged family); Little Sis is getting over her bubonic plague [read: cruddy, germy bronchitis]; and we’re enduring Michigan’s ice-age summer … Was that a snowflake I just saw???

I also managed to do a bit more beading …

beaded-bracelets

And, I MAY have made a few de-stressing internet purchases … Doh!  More to come once I hibernate for a few days hours!

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Relentless, tenacious perseverance pays off …

Sure it does … Or it makes me a Magatama-Master … Or, maybe just mulish and crazy!  But – after reloading those darn 8 strings some 32 times … I win!  Thank goodness for QUICK projects!!! [Snarl!]

kumihimo-christmas-bracelet

magatama beadsSo, those tiny little buggers have to be loaded onto the cord (read: string!) in a specific, single-file format … like, the same direction on ALL eight cords.  Yep, for the spatially-geometrically-challenged ARTISTE, it might pose a problem.  Not this girl.  Not anymore.

Moving on … Next up … Rocket Science!  … Or – maybe just a simple pair of earrings … (Not mine, but available on Amazon.com)

mule earrings

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Busy, busy … Good!

Holiday weekends sure are busy!  But overall good!  I have highlights:

We have puppies!  (Of course it meant a long sleepless period … but look at those faces!!!)

IsabellaPups

Momma Izz (Isabella) is doing great, eating and sleeping like a champ and her pups are growing before my eyes.  (And, we will catch up on sleep later, I’m sure …)

I have just wrapped up my last package for shipping.  Made the deadline for 14 orders, THANK YOU very much!!  (Right now I’m only limping along new glass designs … but, we are moving forward!)

poppy-glass-spoonrest  decadence-bowl  custom-glass-heartssummer-blooms-glass-bowl  bumble-bee-glass-suncatcher  summer-landscape-glass-bowl

I got through a busy (ER nurse) tour.  No one died.  All got good care – as my snarl was saved for the [behind closed doors] medication room …  In the midst of all the chaos, I learned something (table sugar to shrivel unwanted parts … who knew?!?) and [unrelated] laughed a bit, thanks to a great crew.  Move over Ben&Jerry – Aunt Ginger’s adult ice-cream will be hitting local grocery markets soon, and I will never watch a scene from the movie ‘Dodge Ball’ without cringing!

DH is splitting his day-walker hours helping my uncle build/attach a 14 foot tall garage addition onto his single story home (impressive tie-ins!) and rebuilding a much loved Chevy truck (new motor, new paint with custom pin-striping and emblems) … So – he’s busy doing double over-time, too!

Oh, and I finally started in on Japanese beading bracelets (Kumihimo style) along with some other jewelry designs.  (I do love wholesale shopping accounts – and mail orders … Doh!)

kumihimo-bracelet    caribbean-waters-bracelet

Is there junk to whine about?  Sure … but life is too short!  Next up on the ‘Add-to-Mid-Air-Juggling’ list: Vegetables, gardens and pool-openings, OH MY!

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