Thursday, September 12, 2013

Disneyland Day One

We got out to Anaheim today around 4:30 and decided (last minute) to make the trek over to Disney today instead of just losing the third day we got with our three day pass (thank you military discount...we got a great price on two three day passes...our girl was free because she doesn't turn three until Monday...hurray!).

The walk around the park was okay, but Disneyland was closed and we were stuck sharing the only open park (California Adventure) with everyone who was in Disneyland. It was packed, but we still had an okay time. Our kid only freaked out in one line, so we took her out of it and she was good (for the most part) for the rest of the time there. Don't get me wrong, we were only in the park for about two hours, so that's not really saying much, but we got a small taste of what's to come. I'm SOOOO glad I brought our stroller. Husband didn't want to, but after thinking about it and researching it, I put my foot down and we were both happy to have it. There's a LOT of walking...not even in the park, but the distance between the parking lot to the actual park is substantial. She'd have never made it.

So ... so far so good. Wish us luck for a full day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Garden Grove Blvd,Garden Grove,United States

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lots of Jewelry

I'm feeling confident about all the jewelry I've had to make and have ready before the end of this week. I got my first experience with the white bronze clay from Hadar. I was, at first, most nervous about the process it would take from powder to clay (which is something I have to do by adding filtered water until I have a consistency I like). I was super impressed with how easy the clay was to work with, but I wasn't super impressed with out it dried. There were a couple of cracks in the dried form, but the stability of the finished piece was still satisfactory. I will have to keep experimenting with it to see why it did that to me (it isn't something I've seen other people experience yet...and I've read every blog I could find on the stuff). One of the consistent issues I saw people have didn't happen until after they fired their pieces. Apparently getting the clay to sinter properly is the biggest problem. Luckily, I didn't actually start using the stuff until almost 2 years after Hadar first introduced it, so I benefited from every other user's trial and error and got the firing right on the first try (I was SO worried about this after reading everyone's horror stories). I just followed the instructions provided by Hadar (raised the temperature slightly from the suggested 1275 to 1290, since the consistent issues I read about involved the pieces not sintering, rather than overfiring). And, like I said, my pieces turned out great. I fired 4 keychains shaped in the dog tag style:

After finishing those, I made my 6 silver charms. One of which is a custom order. The customer wanted footprints on both the front and back of a charm and I gladly accepted the order (I made a front and back charm about 8 months ago, the front was a butterfly and the back was the fingerprint of a little girl--that charm turned out great). So the way I did it was:

Made one side (footprints and the initial of the owner of those feet), let that side dry, realized I could have just made the other side at the same time, so I made the second side (separately) and let that dry as well. When they were both dry and sanded down, I used some silver paste on the insides of each piece and sort of glued them together that way. I then let that dry again and sanded it even more...fired the joined pieces in my kiln so they'd become one silver piece and this is how it turned out:

Side One:

Side Two:

And it's like a little silver medallion, which I love. I am totally doing this for myself after baby girl #2 is born. I CAN'T wait for all the jewelry I can finally make after she's born...I'm saving a lot of things because I want to make sure I'm done having babies before I make them. Like my book charm:

Okay...that's enough jewelry talk for one day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fall Days...I'm missing out

We've been here in Phoenix for a month shy of a year and this is the only time I'm really wishing I were in PA.  I miss Fall...I LOVE Fall.  Like LOVE.  I know we'll get cooler weather soon, but it just isn't the same.  It's making me really look forward to the trip I'm taking back to PA in a couple of weeks.  Fall will be in full force then.  Maybe I should laminate a couple of colorful leaves to bring back and hang on the walls of my house in the desert.

We're watching the Steelers game, which is probably what's triggering this strong desire for Fall weather.  It also inspired me to get a head start on some of the insane amount of jewelry I have to make today.  I used to knit or crochet through entire seasons of football, but since I started the jewelry shop I haven't picked up a piece of yarn, which I'm okay with...I'm much better at making jewelry than I am at making blankets.  Plus, I like seeing results in days rather than weeks or months.  So I made a few of the stamps I need from images of fingerprints and footprints and they're all ready now to be pressed into clay.  I have 6 necklaces to make today and 4 keychains.  That's a lot.  It's just going to be the metal clay part, I'll sand them and fire them over the next couple of days, then make the chains and such on Wednesday night or Thursday morning.  We're driving to California Thursday afternoon, so I have to have all of these orders ready by then, otherwise I'd be able to spread it out a little longer.  With the trip this week, followed almost immediately by my trip to PA, I'm going to be really rushed on orders...Eh, it's worth it...I'll get time to relax with my family, least I can do is work extra hard while I'm here, and I'll make sure to do it after the little girl goes to bed, so I won't miss family time here either.

Speaking of her, gotta go get lunch ready.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Big Plans This Weekend

This weekend is my first and only free weekend of the month of September. Last weekend, I took our little girl to Richmond, VA where she got to spend a whole day (it was a short trip) playing with her cousins. She had an incredible time, which was shortly followed by her having a really horrible time. She threw up at the airport. We had to drive about 4 hours to get to the airport and the whole way I was battling my own nausea, thinking it must just be the two glazed donuts sitting wrong in my pregnant oversized belly, but when I tried to give her some pizza in her stroller in one of the airport restaurant seating areas and she started puking in her lap, I knew I must be really sick too. That's a bummer, right? Worst possible time to have the realization that you and your three-year-old are getting a stomach flu=at the airport gate an hour before your 5 hour flight is scheduled to take off. So I did what any mom would do in that situation, I freaked out and threw away all her clothes and new shoes (they were so puke soaked, I don't think they'd ever be rid of that smell) and then called my husband to see if he knew any clever way to throw away a stroller at an airport. He calmly talked me out of throwing away the stroller (which just made me angrier/more stressed out) so I spent the next 45 minutes letting my poor daughter sleep in a changing table while I doused her stroller in bathroom soap and crappy non-absorbent bathroom towels (though, I gotta give it to you Philadelphia Airport, your family restroom changing tables are pretty darn nice...a nice recess built right into the sink countertop, perfect size for a sick and tired toddler). So by the time I finished cleaning the stroller to the point where it was practically dripping with water (it is one of those medium rate umbrella strollers from Baby's R Us, we love it because it's sturdy but still so compact...and this is our second one after some human error broke the first), our flight was boarding, so I picked up my poor kiddo and took her through the gate and practically dropped her into her seat on the plane (along with my luggage--gotta pay to check bags these days, so carrying the luggage and the kid AND a 5 month pregnant belly seemed like the smarter option).
I continued sucking it up and fighting the nausea...not eating any of the pizza and auntie anne's cinnamon sugar pretzel bites (second saddest moment of the day=throwing away an untouched bag of cinnamon sugar anything). Kiddo got sick again around halfway through the flight, but after the cleanup in the airport terminal, this was old hat. Shoved her puke covered clothes/blanket/dirty towels into a couple of plastic bags provided by the deer-in-headlights flight attendant, cleaned her up as best I could, apologized profusely to the guy sitting next to us, then literally prayed for the remainder of the flight that it wouldn't happen again. It did, but only a very small amount. So we back to Phoenix and infected daddy. I (surprisingly) got clear of the disease with just a fever and a lot of mental battling with the contents of my stomach...which surprisingly stayed put during the entire incident. Poor daddy got the worst version of it the next day.
Anyway, we're all healthy again now, thankfully, and next weekend we're taking our kiddo to Disneyland for here third birthday (we're all pretty excited). The weekend following, I fly again up to the northeast part of the country for a work conference and I'm going ALL BY MYSELF. A lot of moms out there would think "oh...I can't stand the thought of being away from my family for so long"....not this mom. I've got magazines lined up...books...I expect to spend most of my time doing things I can hardly ever find time to do (like reading for fun). Going to bed for four nights in a row (two of them in a hotel) without fighting over a tooth brush or saying 'no' incessantly while the most persistent person in the world begs for milk...sounds heavenly. Don't get me wrong, every mother out there with a sense of humor gets where I'm coming from...I'm madly in love with my family but I also really enjoy my own company, and when you rarely get it, you're going to want it and enjoy the rare moments that you get it.
So to get back to where I started this post, I'm gonna be busy this weekend. Gotta clean (I guess) and make a LOT of jewelry. Also, excitingly enough, it's slightly less warm outside right now. It's almost mid-september in the desert and the cooler weather is so close, I'm yearning for it. Fall is the time of year every year where I just feel positive and incredible about every aspect of my life. So good that almost anything bad happening can't bring me down. Woah, if I ever wanted to set myself up for failure, this would be the way. I'm going to stick with it though, I LOVE the cooler fall weather...I can't wait. I'm already planning to make cereal mix:

I'll stop rambling now...this keyboard is just too much fun.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, September 6, 2013

Trying to Renew Everything

I'm sorry I haven't been around lately. I know excuses are super overdone, especially when it comes to people not blogging as often as usual, but I'm going to list them anyway. After that extremely time-consuming work event I had a month ago I tried getting back into the old routine, but then I knew this month was coming, and this month involved several trips with several long hours of travel time, so I started getting lazy again with the editing and the blogging. Then my whole family got sick and we're just now recovering fully. The good news is, I've still been exercising, working on the jewelry shop, and reading for I'm not slacking off altogether, just in the area I want most in life, haha.

Anyway...I'm trying to revamp parts of my jewelry shop and I recently 'cleaned up' my iPad and got a bluetooth keyboard today (very inexpensive on's made by Anker and so far I love it), so that's sort of my shameful excuse for writing this post today. I hope to continue working on my jewelry shop, especially considering the fact that the holidays are coming. I love making jewelry around Christmas gives an added benefit to the holidays...I actually get to be one of the ones creating gifts and partaking in holiday festivities in a wholly unique way. I might not be there when people open the gifts, but I get to imagine it while I'm making them.

So my first true test run with this keyboard was extremely successful. I'm pretty satisfied! It's tiny too. And I ordered a sleeve from FernFiddlehead, a very impressive shop on Etsy. FernFiddlehead

I'm excited to get it in the mail! With the jewelry shop getting sharpened up and the fact that I'm trying to get nice and organized in my own life, I'm feeling pretty positive, even with the fact that I haven't been editing as much as I should lately. The writing side of my personality is just taking a rest...I'll get it back on soon.

Here's a photo of one of the latest rings I've made...I need to get it listed on my shop soon...I've been slacking on that for over a week.

-Men's fingerprint ring

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad