Tick … Tock …

At the end of the day – a good story:  Tunie had her pups on Thanksgiving day … 2 boys and a girl.  On Saturday she went to the vet – she wasn’t eating, had a fever and I thought I could still feel ‘something’ in her belly.  She had an emergency section, as she had retained POC’s (‘fetal stuff’).  She is now doing great – as are her pups.  She’s back to her spunky, finicky self – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Smile

Tunie and her 3 babiesOur youngest son had the flu on Thanksgiving day – so his big ‘feast’ was Ginger Ale.  But he loved the turkey sandwiches on Friday.  All is healthy and well at home.  OK, not well – as I’ve started the neurotic dash for the craft show.  Even though I promised myself low-maintenance/no stress – I just can’t do it.  The kilns will run round-the-clock till the wee hours of the morning Saturday … More ornaments came out this weekend, bottles slumping as I type, and the poor production kiln will be running non-stop.  I’ve got just enough time for one last major coffin slumping (had one this weekend too) – so the blanks will keep coming …  And, I want to try to squeak out a few more poppy plates (in iridescent red, blue and peach).  And – I’ve got an idea that might work nice for an ornament I want to try … I know, I know … I make MYSELF crazy!

More ornaments New blue bowl

Dickens II bowl Blue Moon Bowl

Decadence II bowl Alchemy Bowl

 Speaking of which – this weekend certainly was (crazy) – at work.  I was in charge on Sunday (WHY anyone thinks that is a good idea, I don’t know) … Apparently in honor of the largest shopping weekend of the year, we too, decided to pick up the volume … At one point, we had received, triaged, and settled seven ambulances in under an hour …. uggghhh!  And, unfortunately, as we get closer and closer to the holidays, we’ll see more depressed, suicidal/overdose patients …  Bah Humbug!!  On a brighter note (??), I met a woman this weekend that I want to have adopt me.  She had a displaced wrist fracture (means broken REALLY bad).  I was a couple of minutes into triaging her before she casually pointed it out.  OH MY!  OUCH!!  When we got to (my) dreaded question in triage, “on a scale of 0-10, how bad is your pain?”  She, again casually says, “I have a pretty high pain tolerance … but this hurts … maybe a 5 …” as she flops her upper arm/elbow to bring her wrist up onto her lap!  My HERO!!!  Which is why I’m keeping my whining to a minimum … I got my latest mandatory shot at work (tetanus/pertussis booster) – and my arm is SORE!  Smile

Since it’s been so long since we ‘worked’ a craft show, we’ll be setting up our ‘booth’ in the dining room this week, to figure out how to safely display all our GLASS for perusing pleasure … (I‘ll have nightmares when I DO sleep this week about monster children with grabby fingers tossing glass bowls in the air …) But, I started tonight with our small jewelry box …

Jewelry box 

Time to make the donuts … um, I mean cut the glass … Smile  But here are a couple of photos of Tunie’s little Doberman Mice … no really – they’re Yorkshire Terrier pups!

Tunie baby Tunie baby Tunie baby

Happy Thanksgiving!

Since Tunie is still very pregnant and sticking very close – she gets up every time I do, the poor little heifer … now is a good time to sit at the computer.  We just might have Thanksgiving babies … how wonderful!

And – John surprised me with a new gift … It’s awesome!  And tell me – who doesn’t want a ‘Black Bull’???  (You’re jealous, right? Smile)  It’s a sandblasting cabinet … no more outside in freezing weather, dripping wet to sand the blanks … And – when I get around to it, I can play with etching glass too!

 Black Bull

I put some of my ornaments in the kiln last night … they turned out so cute!  I’m thrilled with these stupid little things!  The poor kids had to ooh and ahh at dinner over them … multiple times!!  I don’t know how long I spent bent over the kiln placing all the darn white frit (snowflakes and Santa’s beard) – on the plus side, it was probably good P.T. for my knee.  Anyway … here’s the before and afters:

 ready for cookin' Pretty little ornaments

 Aventurine tree Santa

'Frosty' 'Rudy'

I have a new blank running in the production kiln now … using a new color (pale gray), so – we’ll see tomorrow …  After sandblasting in the ‘Bull’, I should be able to get my next coffin run going … Yay – then slumping!! Smile

Spent some time (OK, a long time) rough cutting some spoon rests at the saw … ever since we broke the blade, I am very gentle with the saw.  Anyway, here they are – they’ll need to go in with the coffin run to flow them out (and thin them down), before they’ll be slump-able, but you get the idea:

 future spoon rests

And – I re-ran the purple and green blank that I was unhappy with in the last post … much better now:

 original - dark blank New - improved blank

I’ll spend tomorrow playing Martha Stewart in the kitchen – no studio time, but good family time.  I am thankful and blessed – a great family (two and four-legged), a hobby I love, a profession I’m proud to be a part of, and wonderful friends!  Oh – and after the flu on Monday – I have my health back!  Smile  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Tis the Season

Oh My Gosh!  Who snuck that full-moon weekend in there without warning me?!?  Lordy, this past weekend was tough!  And, to make it so much MORE fun … we have officially entered the next round of the (never-ending) ‘flu season’. 

Yesterday is an achy, feverish, nauseated, coughing, sniffling BLUR for me, as my MANDATORY flu shot did nothing to keep me protected.  But – unlike what (feels like) EVERY other member of my community does – I suffered at home, in bed alone without calling an ambulance or visiting the ER.  I guess I figure, if nothing else – the last 36 hours is a good weight-loss technique, as we enter the holiday season, and all that food.  And – I’m sleeping and napping like I’m ready for the nursing home!

So – work in the studio is getting off to a slow start this week.  I did work on a few quick and easy ornaments late last week;  A trinket sized rough blank in pink and blues; Did another coffin bottle-slumping – I like the textured clear bottles – and I LOVE this bottle – how cool!  Final slumped some trinket bowls and the (second) Amethyst & Peridot spoon rest; I completed a requested green and purple blank, but wasn’t pleased with it (I have it against my window/door, which is the only way the colors showed off) … so after cutting it up into little pieces – sweating like a pig, as my fever broke, at the saw – I’ve got it running through the production kiln again, this time with more whispy-white/clear.  We’ll see;  And a couple of quick pendants to add to our collection for the upcoming craft show.

More ornaments Pink & blue rough blank

Clear textured slumped bottle Silk screened slumped wine bottle - very Cool!

Trinket bowls Amethyst & Peridot spoon rest (#2)

Green/purple blank - I don't like it Simple dichro pendants

Did some of my favorite internet shopping … glass supplies coming my way, all the way from North Carolina!  $50 freight charge … ooooh those are gonna be some BIG boxes!  Smile   Shopping – a better cure for what ails ‘ya than any medicine.  That’s it for now.  My ibuprofen must be wearing off, or I’m working up to a hot flash … either way, must be time for another nap!

Embracing insomnia …

Might as well – since I can’t sleep.  I’m on puppy watch – as my York, Petunia (Tunie) is due any day now … so, I tinker and surf and organize and plan and … everything but sleep.

Had a work in-service yesterday, brushing up on my OB skills since our local hospital decided to close it’s Labor unit.  Not sure why that’s in the best interests of the community, but – there it is.  While I hope to never ‘catch’ a two-legged baby (I deliver pups all the time) … it might be kinda cool if I can talk some eternally grateful Mom into naming her child after me … Smile

While surfing for glass ideas, I came across some fused ornaments that talked to me, so I’ve spent a few hours in the studio slicing up my fingers working on tiny bits of glass and grinding my manicure away … but I like what I’ve got going.  I have a few more ideas that I’ll get to later today, but here’s what I have ready for the kiln so far …

Penguins – I love ‘em.  I have a mini-tree in the rec room that I leave up all year long, dedicated to penguin ornaments … Aren’t these cute?  Yeah – they still need eyes, I think I’ll try drip fusing black stringer for the eyes … haven’t tried that yet, but it appears pretty easy (famous last words …)

 Penguins

And a Santa … same thing with the eyes, but I sharpied some in for now – cuz he needed them!  🙂

 Santa

Had a coffin slumping … got our Christmas bowl done, photo’d and in the shops; Some requested items, and a few others just because I liked the color combinations …  I’ve spent the last few days working on special requests … it’s fun, but challenging too, since I’m trying to create what I THINK someone is describing/asking for … I’m making myself a little crazy with it, but it’s all good.

Coffin slump  Christmas Bowl

Tortoise Shell Bowl New 'decandence' blank

Completed special request version 1 3 versions of special request

I’ve been running the production kiln with lots of blanks, so I’m hoping to have another big (coffin) slump run next week.  I’m fire polishing pendants and spoon-rests now …

That’s it – all the news that’s fit to print.  I’ll leave you with my rationale for not sleeping … HE’s sleeping enough for BOTH of us … Yep, DH slept all night and now he’s ‘keeping me company’ – catching his after-breakfast nap, snoring away …Zzzzzzzzzzzz

Why I can't sleep ...

And they’re off …

So starts the countdown … for the holidays.  Since I’ve decided to turn my little hobby into a business of sorts, I didn’t realize the additional ‘stress’ I willingly added to my load.  Hmmm … crazy me.  But it’s all good.  I can handle it.  I love stress.  Yep.  Sure.  Thanksgiving, craft show, Christmas shopping, Christmas decorating (did I mention we put up 3 trees … a 12 footer, 9 footer and an ‘arch tree’ that looks beautiful over my entry way door …) and CHRISTMAS …  All while working my 2 jobs, having puppies (1, maybe 2 litters expected – loads of fun, but still ‘work’ – especially at delivery time …), keeping up with the DH (and his business) and – of course, maintaining my June Cleaver household/kids (haha) … Wow – if I were prone to panic attacks – I might just have one. 

BTW – for those NOT aware – 45 days till Christmas …

 Arch Tree

It’s all good.  Business is picking up in the shops, thanks to the fast approaching holidays.  So, work in the studio continues.  I have photos … :  Our completed, decorated up-cycled cheese/hors d’oeuvre trays (yes – they’re sitting upright – but it shows off the neat texture), complete with (new) recycled ‘raffia’ and cheese knives; blanks (one trial – shooting for requested burgundy, cream and brown – hmmm, not sure where the olive color came from); spoon rests (trying to stock up); and dichro pendant – wire wrapped.

completed upcycled bottles close-up bottles

trial blank larger blank

Spoon rests Simple wire wrapped pendant

Got through my birthday.  I feel loved.  My co-workers are awesome, having a mammoth pot-luck for me.  ‘Course it might just have been because night-shifters love food … but, still … Smile  I received hugs and kisses from my TEENAGERS!  (I KNOW, right??? – 2 of them boys!!!)  And my husband has finally come around to accepting that the entire MONTH of November is MINE – cart blanche for shopping!  Yep, I feel loved!  Smile

With faces like this looking at you … how can you not feel loved???Neapolitan Mastiff pup

Time marches on …

Feeling a little blah this week … maybe it’s preparing for winter hibernation (mine) or mentally preparing to acknowledge another birthday … anyway, not much in the studio by way of creativity.  It’s been a busy week too though – DARN SANE meeting (people suck!), appointments, airport runs, voting, lots of emails and phone calls  … Wow – no wonder I feel blah! 

A few pendants to add (one of them .925 silver wrapped – see the twisting in the middle, kinda?), along with a wine stopper:

 simple pendant simple pendants and wine stopper 

silver wrapped pendant

A neat bottle (Twisted Smirnoff), and a pretty blank (I do like these colors):

 Twisted slumped bottle blank

A spoon rest (no, not UM colors, our local high school’s colors) and a larger platter/bowl – not quite the 16 inches I was shooting for, but a good 14 inches anyway …  I guess it’s not ALL about size, as I think this turned out pretty sharp:

 Eagles spoon rest Blues Platter

I’m soaking more bottles now, prepping my next ‘blank’ run, and mentally working around why I’m struggling with PMC … here’s my first attempt.  It’s definitely different than working with play-doh or even polymer clay.  Hmmmm …

 PMC

And our Drucilla (Dru – one of the ‘ugly [step] sisters’, along with her sister – our Anastasia) watching over us as we pack the last of the summer outdoor ‘stuff’ away …

Drucilla

The list(s) …

The first round of our dichroic pendants and badge reels is in the production kiln for fire-polishing.  I am hopeful we’ll have some new finished pieces by the end of this week!

pendants and badge reels - last trip in the kiln

The large blue blank is slumping in the coffin, along with a couple of wine bottles that needed texturing and the blue/yellow spoon rest.  The studio will be warm tonight!

Large blue blank, more bottles and a spoon rest

I also have a sink-full of new bottles soaking for round one of scrubbing/sterilizing. 

The plan is to keep both kilns running much of this week … I love that! (Although, I refuse to think about the heat bill …)

Did get some additional photos taken … uploaded cheese trays and wine dishes to the shops.  Am playing around with ‘when to upload’ to see if it makes any difference (the time of day) regarding shop traffic – in my Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS) head – it’s got to all even out in the wash, but we’ll see … (‘experts’ claim it matters – but don’t identify when.)  Tomorrow, I will upload some additional items at a different hour of the day.

Wine bottle serving tray (the back - showing off texture) Wine bottle dishes

Magnum dish
Remember this ... my large blue bottle. Here it is, ready for candy! 🙂

Ordered some ‘stuff’ to prepare for the craft show … bags in various sizes, bubble wrap, tissue paper, etc. … I won’t say how much, as I didn’t warn the significant other.  He seemed to think it would be okay to just use “lots of plastic grocery bags”… He never has understood the importance of presentation.  My attempts at ‘gourmet’ dinners are always wasted … 

I have a hankerin’ to make some more soy candles … hmm – which scents to choose.  Although – I am starting to have ‘storage problems’ … I keep telling John, “I’m OK, I’m just THIS SIDE [still ‘normal’] of a hoarder …” (But – if I keep this up … ???)

my candle scents ... Candles ... just a few

Huh – that’s it.  That’s all I’ve got floating around in here.  Except maybe to add – we (my coworkers and I) got through the full-moon weekend pretty easy … I did get to cardiovert a patient on Sunday – always fun to electrocute someone in the name of helping them.  It worked.  As the patient was rolling out via ambulance transport, he thanked us for his “electrifying stay” … Smile

Everyone needs love …

Update for the full moon weekend:  I’m pretty sure I got to meet a few people that have strong beliefs regarding ‘Keeping It All in the Family’ (brother/sister –> husband/wife couples) … we didn’t actually discuss it, but … Yep, I’m pretty sure.  [Hark – is that a banjo I hear in the background???] 

And – for the first time ever in my 20 years as a nurse … I was actually ‘hit on’ by a trach/vented patient.  Again – not sure – but that was my take.  Wow – how special I felt, when he gave me a ‘come hither’ look with his weepy, crusted eyes and slowly brought his finger to the side of his lips (Betty Boop style) in response to my question, “Are you in pain?” … The ‘icing on the cake’ for ME – the fact that he was sent to the ED for ‘copious, tenacious yellow secretions’ … YUM!  Nope – just can’t have these interactions in any ‘ole job!

bbblog

Viruses, Goblins, and Full Moons … oh my!

So, I’m making some progress – finally feel like my head is no longer sharing space with the virus tumor (Yes – it was a tumor, liquefying my brain – or so I whined to my co-workers on Sunday).  Anyway – the head is mine again – so the insomnia returns.  It’s ok … I’ll deal with that vs. hosting that miserable virus.

I will even be playing with silver clay tonight!  Already have it designed in my head, now time to see if it’ll translate to an actual pendant.

But – in the meantime, some quick shots of what I’ve been working on this week. 

Bottles:  Slumped my big blue wine bottle, along with some others.  (I have the EJ Gallo jug in the coffin as we speak, ‘bottles – round 2’.)  The Patron bottle didn’t quite turn out as I’d hoped … it’s too odd of a shape, but I do like the open neck that allows the original cork to stay with the bottle … I also really like how the green cheese/hors d’oeuvre tray turned out – I like the extra texture – making it just a little different …

Slumped bottles - round 1 Bottles - round 2 PatronGreen cheese tray

Coasters – I brought that custom mold back out and tried again … I really like this color combination.  It’s only at the first stage – still more work to be done, but I like it …

Cafe au lait coasters

Pendants/Badge reels – work continues, but we have almost a whole kiln-full ready for fire-polishing …

Pendants & badge reels

Spoon rests – cut/grinded and in the kiln for the first pass …

 future spoon rests

I’ve done more with blanks, but now … they’re waiting for their turn to be wet-sanded, which is such a wet mess, we normally do that outside … Have you checked how cold it is out there right now?!?  We even had snow/freezing-rain the other day … I’m waiting for a break in the weather!

And – an update.  I’m back to mother-of-the-year material … OK, maybe not, but – my son’s retainer is fixed, and he is in complete control of his saliva again … Thank You God!

And now to prepare for working the ER this weekend with a full moon bringing in all sorts of ‘creatures of the night’ …

 

Charging my batteries …

While I don’t hold it against Maggie, the rubbing of the Buddha belly did NOT work for this past Sunday … (must have needed more candles.)   And – if I give it much thought, I’m already fearing this weekend, as I watch the moon get larger and larger … Scientifically proven or not, those of us that work in the ER know it as fact – the full moon brings in bizarre patients … But – it’s only the wee hours of Wednesday morning, too soon to dread. 

My oldest son got his retainer this week.  Oh boy – this is gonna be a long year.  For anyone that doesn’t know – the retainers are pretty similar in structure to dentures – except (I HOPE!) his ‘top plate’ doesn’t seem to be fitting right …  He seems to be having saliva-control issues.  Anyone that works with me, especially our night shift respiratory therapist, knows – I don’t do oral secretions well.  So – with my son making this noise – it’s bringing about all of these visuals of copious yellow/green, sticky, stringy ‘snot’ oozing out of trach holes – diligently ‘holding on’, refusing to be suctioned away … I’m not feeling so much like mother-of-the-material, as my son is literally making me want to vomit.  We’ll be calling the orthodontist today.  Movin’ on …

I’ve been a bum the last 2 days:  Discovered a couple of new authors I’m avidly reading, playing with the pups, having some family time.  Not much for productivity in the studio.  Although I am shipping out a couple of items.  And we’ve been making some ‘baby steps’ with the pendants and badge reels … made a few rough, got a few more ready for fire-polishing.

Oh … we are officially participating in a craft show.  Yep – John committed.  So, if you’re not doing anything December 4th – come on by the Warm-n-Cozy Bazaar … and give my husband some grief!  Smile

Heart and bubbles pendant Heart pendant Cabs ready for fire polish