Hot lazy days are here again. Christmas is done and dusted, but the school holiday rages on. The nights are hot and sleepless and the days are warm and weary. One has a tendency to relax more than One should. There’s a million jobs that need doing because I procrastinated through spring. I only just today sorted out my linen cupboard and packed away the winter woolies.
Every day my goal has been to get some beading time in, but every day it’s a struggle to get more than half an hour in. Yesterday, in a fit of inspiration, I donned my headphones, put on a Algernon Blackwood audiobook, attached a new thread to my beadwork and promptly slipped into the dreamworld. My 7 year-old woke me up two hours later to tell me that my snoring was scaring her and that she had taken the remote control out of sleeping Daddy’s hand before he dropped it.
This morning I decided to go for a walk before it got too hot, so at 6.30am the girl-child and I visited some ducks and explored the cemetery. I was feeling quite smug with myself for out-witting the sun, for surely early exercise would give me the energy boost that would keep me going through the day. But then l I got home and napped most of my morning away. It’s now 2pm and I could quite easily go back to sleep.
So progress for me has been characteristically slow this month, but I do have something to show for it. My Harlequin tutorial is finished! It’s available in my Etsy store now. Well, I thought it was finished, but then someone asked if there were sizing options. Whoops!! That was quite an oversight. So I am rectifying that, and anyone who has bought the tutorial, or buys the tutorial in the interim, will be contacted and emailed a new and improved copy with two more sizing options and colour ways. The patterns for the new sizes are complete, but I need to partially bead them to get an accurate measurement. Watch this space!
Things are gearing up to Christmas and Summer is finally here – for today anyway. Yesterday was rainy and the school picnic in the park was cancelled. But today is glorious. The kids are outside playing with water pistols. They’re alternating between good-natured fun, and fights over the ultimate war-crime: attacking during the opponents refill time.
Summer has me pining for days of old. Sitting in the shade, legs in the sun, drink in hand, talking nonsense. These days I’d rather switch the drink and talking for a book and silence, but washing needs folding and someones got to clean up the cat spew. I’ll have to settle with the fact that the kids are having fun, and that’s what counts.
All in all, I’m having a better time than husband, who is still reeling from the rather traumatic removal of two wisdom teeth. Nearly two months on and he’s still having a rough time. He’s coping well, so long as we don’t make any sudden movements, stay out of his way, and avoid eye-contact. Here’s hoping he’s better before Christmas, because I’ve got a big juicy steak to throw on the BBQ and it’s got his name on it.
Around this time last year, I made the change to Storenvy. They provided a free, clean, attractive store-front and and easy to use dashboard – and they still do. However, they have changed the way they process orders and their new credit card system is no longer available in New Zealand, my home country. After much deliberation, I have decided to head to Etsy.
There are pros and cons to Etsy and it wasn’t an easy decision, but it makes sense, at least for now. Etsy is by far the largest online market place for handmade goods, so either it will help me get some traffic, or I will be lost among the masses of competition. So far, I’ve had a boost in traffic, which is promising. The fees are small, but if I was to make high-quantity sales on a regular basis, I can see that they’d add up very quickly. I believe that Etsy will make my listings more accessible because so many people are already signed up. If you’re not, come along and explore – it really is a treasure trove of the beautiful, elegant, weird, creepy, quaint and insane. And be sure to favorite my store!
Etsy can get a bit weird, but that’s why I like it.
We’re entering the second week of the school break, and we’re all still alive, but a little worse for wear. Last week, we treated ourselves to a short family holiday, which was exhausting but fun. Our adventures took us to Hamilton Zoo, an indoor trampoline park, movies, museums and thoroughly wore the kids out – as well as exposing them to a nasty stomach flu. Thankfully the effects of which only became manifest on the day we were coming home. Three and a half hours in a car with two children violently expelling the contents of their stomachs. Master Three is still ill 3 days later and had a little trip to the ER today for some hydration and nausea suppressants, which seems to have helped somewhat.
He’s still yelling at us to leave him alone, but he’s doing it with a bit more gusto now, I’m choosing to see that as a good sign.
When you last heard from me, I was working on a Rick-Rack circlet, but didn’t want to reveal what it was going to become – just in case it didn’t work out. But work out it did and I’ve now created two Rick-Rack Flower Hairpins.
These are rather addictive and I’m now working on a third. Great colour schemes keep occurring to me, spurring me on. At the same time, I’m pining to play with some super cute lampworked beads that I got from glass artist Lesley McIver, and I’ve got a little stash of O-beads that need to be experimented with. Such fun!
This morning I lay in bed, not quite ready to function yet. I could hear my 3 year old son calling out to me, but I couldn’t register what I was hearing. My brain was still busy trying to process what I had just seen. A rickety old ship was being battered about by an extremely choppy ocean, it’s mast threatening to topple. On board, a wet and panicked Peter Jackson tried desperately to coax a Snuffleupagus out of his melancholy so that he could shoot a scene. Snuffy was lamenting his lack of a soulmate and bitterly suggested that he might consider buying a “girlfriend” (of the night) with his share of the movie proceeds. I’m really not sure what inner turmoil my subconscious was dealing with by creating such a surreal Sesame Street/A Perfect Storm/Meet the Feebles cross over, and I’m not sure I want to know.
At least my conscious mind is functioning adequately. For the most part. I need more wire practice so I’m working on some wire focal pieces, destined to become bracelets.
I make these in a free-form manner, because if I try to plan them, I just get overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. The result isn’t always pretty, but I am improving, although sometimes the unexpected happens. Which is how Hector the PeaChick came into existence. My daughter asked why he didn’t have any legs, so I explained that he’s kind of like an Angry Bird, which she readily accepted. He’s not exactly a masterfully rendered little fellow, but I like him. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with him; I suspect he’ll just remain my own little mascot.
Sometimes life gets incredibly hectic and stressful, and we find we suddenly have little time for the things we do solely for ourselves. The little moments of ‘me time’ that are so crucial to our sanity. As you can probably guess, my mind maintenance involves beads and wire. I’m trying to squeeze it in where I can, because without it I’d bust a blood vessel, but I’m not getting in nearly as much time as I use to. However, family comes first and lately I’m finding that family is leaving me a depleted husk of a human being by the end of the day. Having a child with ADHD and on the autism spectrum will do that from time to time. Luckily for us, Nanny and Poppa have come to the rescue and taken our youngest to sleepover for a couple of days, allowing us to devote some extra time where it’s needed most. Hopefully things will settle down soon and I’ll be able to explore all the ideas lurking around in my head – starting with Freeform Peyote!
In the meantime, here is a showcase (aka blog-filler) of some of my creations this year:
As I write this, I am experiencing a rare solitude. This morning I took my 3 year old son to kindergarten for the third time, and then I took my 6 year old daughter to her first day of her second school year. My boy tells me “I luff Kindy” and “I luff my fwiends”. In his eagerness to get in the door he fell over three times, found the nearest toy truck and shouted “BYE MUM!!” It’s a good thing it’s only twice a week or he would explode from the excitement. My daughter faces a slightly more daunting day, a new teacher, new rules and a new classroom with children aged 6 to 8 years old. It’s a scary thing when your last class was exclusively 5 year olds.
As is a mother’s prerogative, I still feel a little anxious about them being away from me; more so for my daughter, who is a born anarchist. This is not helped by the fact the school is ever-so-slightly within earshot of my house. Random shouts, screams and wails are carried through my windows on the wind throughout the day and I find myself listening for the distress call of my cub.
Cup of tea and a sit down with Shaped Beadwork and Beyond by Diane Fitzgerald.
When I returned home, the silence was deafening, so I listened to two Slayer albums in their entirety while I done the housework in record time (no interruptions!) and then sat down for a cup of tea. A cup of tea in the middle of the day, how novel! I often boil the jug, but I never get as far as actually drinking tea.
After an un-rushed lunch I even sat down with my beads – will wonders never cease? I’ve been playing with circular netting lately, and after some experimentation, I’ve come up with a very simple bracelet design that I really love. One day I’ll develop it further, but for the moment, I’m just enjoying the simplicity of making them. Now it’s nearly time, to collect my boy, and the peace will be broken for the day. I’ll be glad to see him, but it sure was nice having a break.