Saturday, July 31, 2010

Turning a Corner

For (many, many) years I've worked in management, for law firms. I moved from Houston to Kansas City (in 1999), and from there to Saint Louis. All for the job, for the career.

When I moved to Saint Louis I decided it was time to start planning the creativity exercises I'd been putting off all that time.

Of course, I always did things like knit sweaters, make holiday gifts and ornaments. Always for me or for my family.

I moved to Saint Louis in 2006, and started setting up the studio in the basement.

It grew way past what I expected, especially when I started to investigate casting pewter.

Now, I've relocated to Central Louisiana. And I'm setting up a dedicated studio so I can focus on the creative side of things.

Folks keep asking me, in various ways and at different times - "are you going back to work? Will you try to find a job?"

The answer is not right away, and I don't know about the future.

My hubby has been retired for some time now.

I'm not really retirement age. Honest! It's too early.

But I want to explore being creative full time. And see what happens.

So here I am in 2010, at a crossroads. I had deadlines and schedules (moving dates, last day at the day job, the day to drive down to Louisiana for the last time) up until July 24.

Now, every day seems new. A new adventure.
No one is making up the rules. I'm not sure there are any rules, really.

In some ways, I'm excited about the freedom.
In other ways, I'm anxious about the lack of structure.
If you hang in with me as I go to this new place, you can help me figure it all out.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sneak Peeks Behind the Scenes

Hello, my friends.
I didn't mean to leave you hanging so long, with me in the car traveling. I've been working at the little house that will be my studio all week.

In Saint Louis, the house we rented had a large basement, so the studio was under the same roof that we lived under.

Here in Louisiana, the house we bought doesn't have a basement, almost none do have basements.

Fortunately, my family here had a small house I can use as my studio. I thought I'd show you some pictures in process. I stopped yesterday morning long enough to take these, please excuse the mess.

Slowly but surely I'm working my way to the bottom of the boxes! My goal is to be set up to start creating in the studio by next Monday.

It's a little ambitious, but I think I can do it.

My hubby and I got the Elfa shelving put up. The ceilings in the studio are very high, over twelve feet. I just love that in old houses.

So I was able to hang the shelving up high and have room above for baskets and other containers to be stored. This room is one of the front bedrooms in the studio. I'll have my photography and computer set up in this room. Also my jewelry assembly. I'll use those shelves to store lots of containers of beads and findings.

I'll take more photos later as it gets closer to being finished. This will be one of the "clean" rooms that I keep away from the flux, chemicals and soldering stuff, so the electronics and sewing machines aren't affected by the messy stuff going on somewhere else.

This is a photo of the front room. That's a tall ladder so you get some idea how tall the ceilings are. The floors are old wood floors in many parts of the house for the studio. We put up the bookshelves so this is sort of the library and will be the shipping center. It has the cabinet for the stereo and TV in it, and I have a small loveseat I'll put in here also.

You can see through the open door the dining room and a glimpse of the kitchen. I don't know the history of this house, but I'll try to find out more.

One room I'm setting up as a "guest room" in case someone needs to stay over, there'll be a place to sleep. I scrubbed all the walls and windowsills, and I've been cleaning windows for what seems like days.

I cleaned all the carpets and just gave the studio a complete cleaning, so I couldn't really start unpacking until Wednesday.

We got some paint matched to the color of the old, shabby chic colors of the house and I'm touching up all the walls.

It's a lot of work, but very worth it. Once I'm done, I won't have to do it again for a very long time!


This is a view of the dining room. It will be the classroom, and the place where I work on polymer clay.

I'm scraping the glass on the built-in cabinet to remove layers and layers of old paint. When it's all ready to go and sealed with caulk, I'm going to paint over the yellow and turn it back to the original antique shabby chic white. Inside behind the doors I'll have a place to display special items I've created, gifts from creative friends and things like that.

Everything is still in process of becoming, right now, but at last I can start to see how all this will come together as a working studio for me.

This is the utility area off the kitchen. This is where the "messy" part of the studio will be. This will have the pewter, the finishing and the dusty work going on. It is a more recent addition to the house, and has better electrical outlets and lots of windows for my ventillation fans.

At the end of the day yesterday, I had gotten this far in finishing the front room, where the shipping will happen. I'm sore, I'm black and blue all over, but I'm happy and making progress.

I'll be able to stay more in touch now, and maybe (fingers crossed) next week I'll be creating in the studio again!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I'm in an Etsy Treasury - isn't it pretty?

Such lovely images.

Please think of me while I'm driving today, from Missouri to Louisiana.

I'll be blogging regularly again soon.

I've missed you!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Because my camera and computer are all packed and in Louisiana, waiting for me to drive down to be reunited, I'm borrowing images from my daughter to update the blog.

We're counting down the days, it seems to get harder and harder as the time gets nearer.

I'm doing some urban camping right now, sleeping on a blow up mattress on the floor.

It'll all be over soon.

My last day at the day job is tomorrow. The longest two weeks of my life.

On Saturday I'm on the road south, with all of my remaining possessions in the back of the car.

By Saturday night I'll be with family, in the new house.

The next steps, for next week, are to get the studio ready, unpacked and set up.

Thanks for hanging in with me while I change my life!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Just Folks

As you know, I love seeing what creativity people use with the pewter elements and how the finished jewelry turns out.

Diane Folks in California sent me this photo of a necklace she created using the pewter skylark.

I love the soldered elements, the words and the pretty finish with the glass.

So lovely, thanks for sharing it with me, Diane.

I can't wait until I get my studio set back up! My fingers are itching to create.

At least the ones that don't have poison ivy on them are itching for that reason, the others are itching because of the rash!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lovely Day Thoughts

I saw this tavern sign when I was on a trip to Ireland with friends.

Today it sounds like a great suggestion!

Packing, cleaning and planning take their toll.

I think I need a tall frothy glass.

Wish you could all join me, and make a toast to the next new adventure.

It makes me think of our ancestors, many of whom traveled from countries far away to be here and start out family trees.

The streets in the town I'm moving to are all named for things in Ireland.
Now all it needs is a pub!

For now, I think I'll pour a big iced glass of sweet tea...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Are You Sitting Down?

Guess what?
You'll never guess!

We bought a house in Louisiana, just a block away from my grandbaby and her parents.

We'll be moving to Louisiana and I'll have a full studio there.

Can you believe it?

If you think I'm excited and happy, you're SO right!!!

This does mean a bit of an intermission in the studio, while I take it down, box it up and relocate it.

I hope you'll hang in with me until I get things all set up again in the new location.

But it means I'll have time for creating.

Hopefully, lots of time.

If you haven't moved in a while, you may not know how much trouble it can be, I wish I could twitch my nose and have it all over with.

In the meantime, I've put some things that are already in the Etsy shop on sale.

After all, I need a little moving money, don'cha know...

Wish me luck!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Family Time

My daughter is a good photographer. She doesn't always think so, but I know she is. This is a picture of my grandbaby reading a book I made for her last Christmas.

Reading is important, she's already won a reading award. I don't know how at almost-nearly two years old she did that, but I'm proud anyway.

I did get a little touch of poison ivy while I was away.

I missed all of you! I'll be catching you up some more in the next few days.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

See The Resemblance?

That's my lovely daughter on the left.

That's my silly self on the right.

I'm so happy to be able to spend time with her.

She took the photos and sent me the collage.

Isn't she talented?

Aren't I the happy mom ... of course I am!

Goofy pictures are fun.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Little Houses

Usually when I create these little houses, I paint them in bright colors.

On this one, I decided to do a shades of gray and black look.

The script in the background shows up well, with the leafy shadows on the side of the house.

Maybe it's a house at twilight. Or in bright sun, with the shadows being cast against the house.

I like the subtle coloring.

And the back has leaves and swirls of vines.

Like the side of a well-house.

In simple black, white and gray.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Art Bead Scene Studio Saturday

It's my week to post Studio Saturday at the Art Bead Scene blog.

I shared some photos and a tutorial on how to take these pewter disks, or any bead with a center hole, and create a locking earring earwire.

Pop over and check it out!