Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Enameling Weekend and House Update

Last weekend mom and I were sawing fiends and then this past weekend was enameling (until the power went out on Sunday due to the storms that went through Indiana).

These are just a few of the things mom and I sawed out to enamel - some I can't share because they are for blog hops in the future.

Because we are using mom's garage to store my stuff until I can get moved into the extension I could only have one table up for enameling and part of our torching table - it was a very tight squeeze.

Pieces just out of the kiln - that I can't share with you yet - sorry - only a few more weeks.

But, here are pieces I can share with you.  These are leaves I enameled  because we were out of leaves to sell and we have one more show this weekend.  The backside of the pendants are being enameled and then I will flip them over to do the front side.  Right now they have powdered enamel on them right before I put them in the kiln.

These are what they look like when I finished enameling them.

A flower pendant I enameled in reds and browns - though it is kind of hard to see in the lighting.

A hummingbird pendant - I thought I would try new colors - I usually make the hummingbirds in transparent colors.  This time I used opaque colors.

I finally finished the turtle plate.  Mom based this piece off a Grateful Dead album - I haven't seen the album cover so not sure what it is supposed to look like.  Though the shell has a rose and skull sawed out for the design.

Usually mom and I don't make Christmas ornaments, but we are participating in Sally's Third Annual Christmas Ornament blog hop.  So, we made several so we could pick our favorite out to send to our partner.

Our partner for this blog hop is actually Sally - now how cool is that!!!  Sorry, we can't share the piece with you because that would spoil it for Sally.  You will have to check back in a few weeks to see what we sent her and what we received from Sally.

We are also participating in Erin's 4th Annual Challenge of Color blog hop in a few weeks.  We are also working on a second piece but I am not sure if we will be able to finish that one and you will see why in a few more pictures.

So, that was our enameling session and it felt so good to be back at creating again.

Now - the house update.

I have gone ahead and took two weeks off to move into the extension and get my house ready to be put on the market.  This past Monday the city engineer was supposed to inspect the house but due to the straight line winds and tornadoes on Sunday they had to push everyone inspections back 48 hours.

But I still had things I needed to do - mom took Tuesday off to help me move my furniture over from my house to her house.

This is the back of the rental truck - we had to actually make two trips to get all my stuff over to mom's house.

This is mom's garage - with the first load packed in there.  I just had to bring over 20 more tubs of books and clothes, which we did get in there.  Just so you know - our studio is in there somewhere :)

Cross your fingers for us that the inspection gets done this week.  I seriously would love to be able to put my bed back up, move my cats over and stop sleeping on a blow up mattress :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veteran's Day - From a Veteran

Happy Veterans Day to all of our veterans and those who are still serving!

Night before PLDC graduation - 1996

I spent almost 10 years in the US Army - I went in right after high school (if you count November 13th, 1991 right out of high school.  I had a lot of fun with my friends that summer before I went off to basic training).

Mom and I the day of my graduation from DLI -1993
I joined the Army because I didn't want to go to college, and I wanted to become a Russian linguist (I took Russian in high school and loved it).  I didn't realize I would have to take a couple of entrance tests before even talking to the recruiter about what I wanted to do.  You need to take an ASVAB test (think SAT) and then you have to take a make-up language test to see if you have an aptitude for languages (right there I thought I failed utterly!).  I ended up passing both of those tests, talking to the recruiter and joining.

Me in the field at Fort Hood in November 1997
I went to basic at Fort Jackson, SC.  Next it was onto Monterey, CA for a year of learning Russian.  Then it was onto Goodfellow AFB, San Angelo, Texas and Fort Huachuca, AZ for more training before I even got to my first post (can you believe it) Fort Riley, KS.  Yes, a Russian linguist at Fort Riley, KS :)  I was at Fort Riley from 1993-1995 when they deactivated my unit in November 1995.  I was then sent back to DLI for a refresher course and then my next assignment (in my opinion HELL) San Antonio, TX for strategic duty (YUCK)! 

I re-enlisted the first chance I could to get out of there.  I asked to be sent back to a tactical unit - I asked for Fort Hood, TX.  I did my PLDC training there, and I loved it.  Though when I first got to the unit the people thought I was crazy to ask to be sent there - but until you have gone from tactical, to strategic - you have no clue!  Give me tactical any day over sitting in a box eight hours of the day with no windows!!!!!

Sitting in a hanger in California waiting for the
plane to be fixed to leave NTC in February 1998
I was lucky - I had a great experience in the Army - except for some hiccups.  I was not sent to Bosnia or Kosov like a few friends of mine, even though I volunteered.  I also have not done back-to-back tours in Iraq and Afghanistan like other friends of mine.

Please remember those who have served and are currently serving.  It takes a special kind of person to put their lives on hold to protect us and our country!!!  Don't think about the politics or if war is wrong - just know that these people are regular people who just happen to wear a uniform and are protecting your freedom!

As always - in loving memory of my Grandpa Ralph (World War II, South Pacific), Grandpa Lee (World War II European Theater), Uncle Gerald (World War II, KIA Iwo Jim), and in honor of my dad (Vietnam and retired in 1991) and me 1991-2001.

I salute you all!

Below is the most awesome display in honor of our veterans and active duty service members by the West Virginia University Marching Band and their Armed Forces Salute.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Blog Hops and House Update

Well, I thought I would share with you some of the interesting things mom and I have signed up for (I should say I signed us up for but I did ask mom's permission first!).

Since we have not been in the studio since April, I thought I would sign us up for blog hops to get us out into the studio to create.  It is kind of hard to create when the studio is a wreck and the house is still a wreck with the construction on the extension going on.  But - there is a light at the end of the tunnel - FINALLY!

I first signed mom and I up for Jeannie's Echo Creative blog hop for 2014.  This is something new for us and I thought it would be fun.  Mom and I are participating in February 2014 and I can't wait to get started!

I thought it would be fun for mom and I to participate in Sally's 3rd Annual Handcrafted Ornament Swap and Hop.  And to cap it off - Sally is our partner.  Now how freaking cool is that!!!!!

The last blog hop - I think for this year - is Erin's 4th Annual Challenge of Color.  I actually just signed mom and I up for this hop this morning.  Mom and I so enjoy participating in Erin's Challenges.  They sure make you get outside your zone and try new things.

Both mom and I are so looking forward to getting back into the studio and creating.  I know we both have missed working and creating new things.  Plus I have The Missing Link that I want to play with and try something new with the links.  Plus mom wants to learn how to rivet, so that means looking for the tools to start riveting.  And I want a tumbler to help with the polishing of components.

This is a picture of mom's tree, in the backyard, from my new bathroom window.  Our contractor, Dustin, took this picture and we asked if we could have it.  The house, cross our fingers, should be done next week.  The following week I will take off so I can move my stuff to mom's house and then start prepping my house to get it on the market as soon as possible.  It is almost over, this long ride of my moving back home.  Though mom said we wanted me back home by the end of the year, so I guess we are almost there.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Focus on Life Week 44 - Saints, Souls, Sugar Skulls and Scares

This week's Focus on Life is: Saints, Souls, Sugar Skulls or Scares.  This is what Sally had to say for the week's picture focus:

Whether "trick or treating", celebrating the spirits and souls of loved ones that have passed, or having a scream from a scare, this week take a moment to capture a spirit, spider or any other spectacle of the season.

For this week's photo I wanted to focus on Sugar Skulls.  Mom and I have made only three Sugar Skull pieces and I loved each one of them.  It was so hard to let two of the pieces go when someone bought them and the other piece is still up for sale (though I have a friend who really, really, really wants that piece).

This first piece is a Sugar Skull pendant that actually turned out to be pretty darn big for a pendant.  We still sold it as a pendant but a woman bought it for her daughter for an ornament/window hanging.  The daughter loves collecting skulls and the mother thought it was perfect for her.

This is a "Day of the Dead" necklace I made back in 2010.  The pendant is the first sugar skull we ever made. At first I didn't like the pendant but once I put the pendant into a necklace - I LOVED IT!!!!  The lampwork beads are our "sugar beads" that we made, added chain and ribbon (our first time ever using ribbon in a piece).  It took everything I had to sell that piece and then when it sold (at the first show we had it in) I about chased down the woman asking for the necklace back :)

We still have this piece for sell - though it is now in a shadow box to display it better.  I love all the fun colors and the different designs mom sawed out in the plate.

The last of our skull pieces - this one sold the first show we displayed it.  I think it actually sold in the first 15 minutes.  A couple bought it for a friend of theirs who was getting married in a few months.  The couple who were getting married was going to have a skeleton themed wedding so the customers thought this piece would be a perfect wedding gift. 

When mom first sawed out the piece I seriously hated it - it wigged me out - don't ask me why.  But once I enameled the plate I loved it too!  I think mom had some serious sawing skills going on with this piece!

So, this is our skull and sugar skulls for this week's Focus on Life.  I can't wait to see what everyone else has for us to see!

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