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Importance of Routine

This last month has taught me the importance of sticking to a routine. It all started with a post on Facebook about how to get motivated in the morning. See, I am not a morning person (my whole family is nodding emphatically at these words). Luckily, neither is my hubby, so we just ignore each other until we both wake up.

Anywho, my work schedule for the lampworking business is sort of flexible. I do computer work and shipping in the morning…er…early afternoon, and torch in the evening,usually starting around 5pm. This means I have all day to do my computer stuff and shipping. Sometimes it takes me an hour and other days I’m at it for five. It all depends on what is going on.

The problem started when I noticed I didn’t have time for anything else. Like writing or working out. Or working on new and fun beads at the torch vs production. So with the advice of my know-it-all helpful friends, I started working out right after I woke up in the morning. My one friend said, “You’ll be halfway done before you even know what’s going on.” She was right of course and I kind of hate her a little (J/K Susan, you know I heart you) because I really, really don’t like climbing on the elliptical first thing. But afterward I feel great and get a jump on my day.

Since then I have also instilled a 1000 word count goal in writing and have managed to stick to it. No going to bed until those words are down and in nine days I managed to eek out over 10,000 words. I am elated. That’s more than all of last month.

So for me, getting anything done, from working out to doing laundry, I need a routine, otherwise I am just a computer potato and end up wasting my whole day on facebook or twitter or lampworketc or etsy and ebay. Okay, you’ll still find me in all of those places, but at least I’m also finding the time to get my stuff done.

Do you have a routine? What are you wishing you could get done but can’t find the time?

Traveling and Souvenirs

Alright, yes, I make craft for a living, so my perspective might be just a little skewed. I own that. But still, even way back in the old days (pre-2003) before I ever even dreamed of lampworking, I still never understood the practice of going on vacation and then buying a souvenir that wasn’t from or made specifically for that area. For instance, down in the French Quarter there is this store that stocks some things New Orleans related, but then they also have a whole bunch of ceramic animals. Like moose. Cause here in Southeast Louisiana we have our fair share of moose each year-oh, wait.

You’ve all seen them. The craptastic stores in your tourist area of choice filled with cheap crap made in China. How do these stores stay in business? Is it the sun screen and cheap sunglasses that keeps them going? And if so why are those stores stocked with a multitude of pure crap knickknacks?  It’s a mystery. Who buys that stuff? Sadly, someone near and dear to me loves those shops.  I don’t get it.

Anyway, these aren’t the stores that really piss me off. The ones that really get me are the “art galleries” stocking stuff made in China or where ever else they make mass produced items. There is one in the French Quarter, actually owned by an artist-AN ARTIST-whom we have spoken to a few times and really liked. Greg is fascinated with his art work and we had contemplated getting a piece when funds allowed. Then one day we walked in to find the artist had hired a manager. Great the artist has work to do, making art. But the manager started stocking the store with stuff made in China.

That’s right. In an art gallery owned by an artist in the French Quarter, I found lampwork beads made in China. A whole giant display of them. It’s an art gallery! Not a bead store (which by the way I have no problem with beads stores carrying mass produced lampwork), but an honest to goodness artist owned gallery. Btw, there were other mass produced things there too, so this isn’t just me being sensitive about beads, that was just the first thing I noticed, being a beadmaker and all. Needless to say, that artist’s work will never being gracing our house. Sad really.

Look, I understand the need to turn a profit, but there has to be better way. There are millions of artist out there. Is it really to crazy to think they couldn’t have found lower end, hand crafted items that could turn around quickly. Have they never heard of wholesalecrafts.com?

Okay, that was a bit of a tangent, but when we used to travel a lot, it wasn’t unusual for us to buy our souvenir at a gallery, even if that piece wasn’t from the area. It holds meaning and every time we see the piece we remember the trip. I think I just outed myself as a bit of a snob with that last line. I suppose cheap mass produced items could hold the same memories.  Though I have trouble seeing how a ceramic moose would ever remind anyone of the French Quarter.

Peacock, is you Crazy?

Let me introduce you to my wonderful friend and artist, Miss Rebekah.  She has opened up a brand new Etsy shop, Hob Knob Glass, selling handmade glass cabinet knobs. www.hobknobglass.etsy.com. Rebekah has a variety of styles available and I personally love them all, but the peacocks are my favorite.  That’s probably because she is PEACOCK crazy.  Girl even put peacocks on her Christmas tree last year.  It was awesome.  When it comes to peacocks, she is like a hummingbird to nectar.

Now, both peacocks she listed have sold already, but never fear, I’m certain she will be adding more soon.  And if you want to smile or laugh your butt off, be sure to check out the descriptions on these two sold items.  Start here: Peacock is you crazy? and then here: Peacock Knob.

When you are done check out her other knobs.  I am going to be getting a couple of the spiral ones for the new shutter closet doors we are putting in our guest room.  While driving home from picking up our new–to us, we got them at the restore place– doors, my hubby says, “Now you know what you have to go home and order don’t you?”

Me: “Huh?”

Him: “For the doors.”

Me: “You mean Bek’s knobs?”

Him: “Yeah.”

Me: “Oh.  Yep, I was already thinking about which ones while we were picking out the doors.”

Then we both laugh.  Does he know me or what?

If you are near Miami or are gonna be near Miami on Saturday, July 25th, be sure to stop by the International Glass Bead Society’s Bead Bazzar at the Hyatt.  We will both be there sharing a table, Bek with her knobs and me with my beads and marbles.

I took the morning off and read a book.

Yeah, so those of you who know me, realize this isn’t exactly earth shattering news.  However, I have been working awfully hard this last month, and working half days on my so-called days off.  Thursday’s torching session left me all caught up on orders and with three new sets in reserve.  WOOT!  I am actually ahead for once.

On Monday I took my time reading my usual book/agent/publishing blogs and ran across this post on Author! Author!  Beren deMotier, author of THE BRIDES OF MARCH, guest blogs about her road to publication and why she ultimalty decided to self-publish.  The memior takes an inside look at a same sex couple who married in Mutltnomah County, Oregon in March of 2004, during the brief period of time, same sex marriages were legal.

After reading deMotier’s guest blog, I popped onto amazon, read the first chapter, and immediately ordered it.  The book arrived this morning.  Greg knew I was a goner as soon as he saw me open the amazon package.  Ohh, a new book.  New reading material (like I don’t have a to-be-read pile twenty books deep already).  I wasn’t disappointed.

Throughout THE BRIDES OF MARCH, I laughed with deMotier at the everyday trials and tribulations all families experience and was moved to tears as she took me through the feelings of finally being married and what the right meant to her and her family. And then what it felt like to have to it taken away.

As an artist, a former vagabond, and self-described hippy of sorts (minus the drugs), it’s hardly a secret I am a liberal democrat (though I rarely talk politics here).  I’ve always been for gay rights, was appalled when I saw signs advocating the passage of banning gay marriage on lawns of people I knew and loved in 2004 when the measure was on the ballot in Oregon, and was terribly disappointed when California passed prop 8 last year.  However, I can’t say I ever really understood what marriage meant or could mean to my gay friends.  This book changed that.

Deanna gets crafty...

It’s been a while since I’ve written about what I’ve really been up to, besides glass of course.  About a month ago my friend Rebekah decided we were going to learn to sew.  I am usually up for trying most things, so I said sure.   Rebekah commandeered her grandmother’s sewing machine and we were off to Hobby Lobby.  After annoying the crap out of everyone in the fabric section and spending a lot more than we should have, we were armed and ready to make our first pillows.

Here is mine:

013109pillow1a

013109pillow1b

And here is Rebekah’s…otherwise known as the one my dog tried to steal.

013109disneypillow

We had a blast making them (even if it did turn out to be the most expensive pillow on the planet).  You see, this led to me wanting a sewing machine, which hubby got me for valentines day.  He’s so romantic.  No, seriously.  I really wanted it.  Which led to me needing a sewing table of some sort.

So we went to the used furniture store and found this:

beforedesk

Real pretty right?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.  So I decided to paint it and Greg (Mr. Crafty), suggested I cover the drawers with fabric.  This led to another trip to Hobby Lobby.  You don’t even want to know how much I have spent at this point.  Then Greg says he’ll line the drawers with cedar incense slats.  So far I have resisted ordering the cedar.  I think I’ll actually make something with my new sewing machine before I go that far.  Anyway, the desk is all dolled up and ready for for public viewing.  Whad’ya think?

afterdesk2

afterdesk31

It needs a matching chair doesn’t it?  Look out used furniture store, here I come.  :)

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