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It's not like I forgot!

I sooo knew it was coming.  I didn’t forget really, I didn’t.  But let me just say, I have a new appreciation for Myspace now.  A few days before the event, a little reminder came into my email box.  You know the one.  “A friends birthday notice.”  I’m thinking, oh really, I wonder who?  Off to go check.  What do I find?  Greg Chase is having a birthday.  Duh!  Now I think Myspace could really spare a lot of arguments and hurt feelings.  Facebook too.  Just get your significant other to sign up and those little reminders will come right to their email in box.  Not that I forgot.  Really I didn’t.  :-)

It was yesterday by the way, in case YOU forgot.

Lampworking, still a great unknown to the masses

I always have a difficult time explaining what I do to strangers. If I were to say, “I am a lampworker,” I am most likely rewarded with a confused or blank stare. Flameworker and torchworker gets pretty much the same response. If I say, I make glass beads, that doesn’t really cover it either. It gets closer, but the world at large is highly uneducated about this particular craft. So my latest explanation goes something like this: “I work with hot glass on a torch, making glass beads, mostly for jewelry designers.”

The usual response is along the lines of “Oh, you are a glass blower?”

Me: “The same idea, but we are not actually blowing glass (usually), we are making solid pieces on a much smaller scale, using a torch instead of a furnace.”

Then there are the other people. Those who are somewhat familiar with lampwork, but not beads or marbles. The latest encounter I had was just the other day. My car broke down and I had to call the tow company to get it to the shop. It was a 100 degree day and even though my house was less than a mile from the breakdown spot, the driver decided to take pity on me and give me lift. On the way we chatted about what I did for a living.

Me: “I work in glass, making beads and marbles.”

Him: “Oh, like those people on that HBO reality tv show that make glass sex toys?”

Me: “HBO has a reality TV show about sex toys?” I don’t have HBO and I never heard of that. Where have I been?

Him: “Oh ya, and they do VERY well, the owners have a yacht and host all kinds of parties promoting their toys.”

Me: “Really? huh. Ya, kinda like that but we don’t make sex toys. Though I know a few people who do.”

Him: “Ya, they go on and on about how they are the toys of choice and very durable, never wear out.”

Me: “Good to know.”

Now I am thinking, yachts? I could make sex toys, if I switched the glass I use. I even have a big enough torch. I can just see it. Someone asks my mom or dad how their daughter, the glass artist is doing. Answer, “Oh Deanna, she is very successful, you know she makes sex toys now.” Maybe not. (Not that there is anything wrong with that.)

How about the time we pulled the rv into a campground in Colorado Springs? We got into a conversation about what we did for a living while checking in for our month long stay.

Us, with the usual: “We make glass beads and marbles on a torch.”

Him: “Oh, do you make bowls? I have a friend who does.”

Us: “Oh a few times with our fusing kiln, but that isn’t what we normally make.”

Him: “I’d love to see them. There is a huge market for bowls and spoons around here.”

Us, now we get it: “Oh, we don’t make pipes. Just beads and marbles.” We have actually made a few bowls, as in a candy dish type bowl.

Him: “Oh, too bad.”

Then there was the time we traveled up to Victoria, Canada from the Olympic Peninsula. Getting through customs was kinda tricky.

Customs: “Why are you here?”

Us: “To visit friends.”

Customs: “How long?”

Us: “Overnight.”

Customs reading our Texas licence plate: “You’re a long way from home.”

Us: “Not really, we live in an RV and it is parked in Washington.”

Customs: “You live in an RV?”

Us: Nodding

Customs: “Occupation?”

Us: “Glass artists.”

Customs: “Self employeed?”

Us: “Yes.”

Customs: “Did you bring any work with you?”

Us: “Yes.”

Customs: “Pipes?”

Us: “No, we make beads and marbles.”

Customs: “Do you plan to sell any work here.”

Us: “No, just to show to our friends.” Which was true.

Customs: “Do you own a home in the states?”

Us: “No.”

Customs: “Any ties at all to anything in the states?”

Us, finally getting the picture. “Oh ya, family.”

Customs: “Okay. Pull over to the side please.”

We did and waited an hour and half while the inspectors went over the VW bus with a fine tooth comb and ran background checks on us. The agent asked to see our work, then kept asking where the pipes were. I swear he asked Greg four times. I admit, we probably looked questionable with the 71 VW bus, both of us having long hair, and the fact we were vagabond glass artists. Finally we were cleared and drove off, laughing our butts off. A sense of humor is a good thing.

So why is it called lampworking you might ask. The answer, back before they days of mixed surface oxygen torches, bead makers made beads on oil lamps, using glass that was soft enough to melt in those low temperature flames. So now you know. :-)

Feeling better already

A nice long torch session did the trick. I worked late tonight and am feeling much better. The thing is when I am torching I have to give a certain amount of concentration otherwise, you know bad things happen, like burns, or worse I use the wrong color glass *wink*. So freeing my mind from whatever was going on in there, did the trick! Have a nice evening. :-)

Feeling Melancholy

Do you ever feel melancholy for no particularly good reason? Or at least maybe you don’t know why? I am having one of those days. That in itself isn’t all that particularly unusual. This usually happens to me when I get cabin fever, or work too much, or am feeling particularly stressed. The thing is none of those things are really on target for this day. Okay maybe a little bit of cabin fever is going on, as we didn’t actually take our usual Saturday off. We just worked on different things, but nothing pressing. And I am not stressed, and not feeling particularly over worked. So I am left wondering what it is really, that is going on?

The odd part my husband is feeling the same way. He is Mr optimistic, or at least is when it comes to being in a good mood. He isn’t much of a worrier either. So why are we pledged with this melancholy on the same day?

I am a big believer in energy. In the way that all of us are connected with threads of energy. I am particularly effected by the energy of people I am close with, even when I am not near them. Do you ever find yourself thinking something is just off? Then you find out someone you love is having a hard time with something? Maybe hubby and I are effecting each others moods. It is possible I suppose. I hope it is that and not a large black cloud over someone we both care deeply for (not a happy thought at all, lets move on).

Maybe it is just a state of the world affairs. Everyday the news brings more and more depressing doom and gloom. From the economy, with banks folding, Freddie and Fannie needing a serious bail out, people losing their homes, gas prices, rising food costs, and now this lift on the ban of off shore drilling, or to the President committing to the G8 decision to reduce green house gases by 50% by 2050 then coming home and saying, “nope sorry, that will cost too many jobs”. Then add in the politicians who have yet to say anything to give me any real hope of a serious change. It’s all very depressing. I even stopped watching the news, I’m tired of it. (That will probably last all of three days…).

Or maybe it is just that the day is overcast and the sun hasn’t come out to brighten my petals. :-)

All in all I have much to be thankful for. My good friend Lisa is coming for a visit this weekend. I am pretty excited about that. Business is good (or at least good enough) and we are healthy. So I am off to go count my blessings, and look forward to a fun filled weekend.

Maybe it is just one of those weird astrological things. Is there a moon in retrograde or something causing the moodiness? Maybe I can blame it on that? What do you think?

On Writing

Remember back in November when I told you all I was taking the NANO, write a book in a month challenge? Well, I tried and failed. I got about 10,000 words on the pages, then crashed and burned. I stopped writing all together for about three months. I then started working on another idea, got about 12,000 words written, then was stuck. So what did I do? I went back to that first novel on my hard drive and pretty much started it over. A lot of the original words are still there, but I moved them around and changed a bunch of things. I now have about 24,000 words down.

However, as of last night I still didn’t have a complete plot. Oh there are ideas and threads of one, but not a complete one. Its hard to know where to go from here without one. So this morning, I just decided to talk it out. I was talking to Greg, but really I was the only one talking. I suspected he was just being polite. Then, he said some off the cuff remark, not unusual for him, and a lot of things clicked in place. I do believe I now have an actually working plot. Of course now all I want to do is write, cause my brain is turned ON. That is not going to happen right now though, as it is our day off and that means we do something together. I doubt Greg is going to think me writing while he listens to the sound of typing is his idea of a fun day.

While, I am not going to tell you a lot of what it is about, I will tell you it is set in New Orleans, the protag ends up bartending at a strip club, and she sees ghosts. No title yet. It is alluding me. Maybe once I flesh out the plot, it’ll come to me. You’ll be the first to know. Well probably the second, since I am pretty sure I’ll tell Greg whether he wants to know or not.

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