Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wire Fest

I am really glad that I had the opportunity to go to Wire Fest in Philly this year. I came back from 2 1/2 weeks in Iowa and Wayne and I headed straight up to Philly from the airport. I am also lucky since Renee, Dave and the boys who are part of our chosen family live nearby so I could stay there and didn't have to get a hotel room for the stay.

I chose to take 3 classes from the same instructor since I wanted to focus on learning more about doing wire wrapped cabochon pendants with the hopes of being able to start teaching classes at Bead Boutique since no one was currently teaching that and there had been requests. All three of my classes were with Char Jorgensen. She was a great teacher and we had fun and learned a lot. The top photo are the 3 pendants that I made in her 3 classes. The turquoise one is not quite complete since I am planning on adding drops from a loop on the bottom and one in the middle of it.

I had a good time at the Bead-In on Saturday night as well and as I sat working on the background for my BJP project I got to talk and laugh and enjoy the company of other beaders/wire workers. I spent all of Saturday afternoon shopping and had no trouble spending plenty of money. I even managed to get more seed beads from Jane's Fibers and Beads. I also bought a wonderful book for anyone interested in wire wrapping. "Wire Wrapping: The Basics and Beyond" by Jim McIntosh is a great book and I believe that with it you could start from scratch and teach yourself wire wrapping of cabochons. There are step by step directions and photos.

The second photo with the purple background has my wire fest pendants and the first 2 wire wrapped pendants I had make taking classes at Turquoise String Beads in Fall River, Massachusetts from Isaac Silva. He was also a great teacher and I would have taken more classes with him if we had stayed in that area.

I spent some time after getting back re-reading all of my instructions for my classes and starting to read my new book and figure out what I wanted to start with teaching and how I wanted them to look. I am going to be starting with two basic wire wrapped cabochon classes that are a combination of the ideas I have seen or learned form my instructors and the book. Once things settle down and I have time I will work on designing some intermediate classes as well.

The first 2 photos on the black are my 2 basic class samples and the others are some that I was making to practice my skills and just for fun. I have plenty of cabochons to play with and am looking forward to finding time especially after our move to play with them and try different techniques and build on the skills I have at this point. I am sure that I will keep an eye out for more cabochons so that I can keep making more pendants and other cool stuff.

I almost forgot to mention that my wonderful, amazing and very supportive husband bought me a set of wire wrapping tools from Rio Grande that includes several very nice pliers, ring mandrels, and other goodies that will make my wire wrapping even that much more pleasurable. What would I do without him?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Life in Flux

These are the roses Wayne gave me for our anniversary with some Irises from our garden. I do like that the irises bloom around our anniversary each year.

In the 2 weeks+ since I have written a lot has changed in our life. Our original plan was to spend the summer looking at houses and try to move into a new home of our own in late fall. One of the casualties of the presidential helicopter going away was our landlords job so things had to change. We had a choice of planning on leaving by the end of the summer so anyone wanting to buy the house could move in before school started and they wouldn't have as likely a chance of the house being empty all winter until spring or signing a new lease until next summer. We understood completely and since our last move that the military will pay for ends in April of next year we chose this summer so that we would still have the navy moving us.

About a week after that after having done a walk thru with the real estate agent and later a stager. It was recommended that if they wanted to sell the house quickly that it would be better if it was empty and refurbished and staged. (I guess they must not have liked the rooms of boxes, craft supplies and the dreaded by designers home theater.) That led to us getting 30 days notice Memorial day weekend. Quite the whirlwind month. I can't blame our landlords, they can't afford the 2 mortgages without knowing we will be paying rent and without knowing whether they will have his job or a new job or what.

All of this means we will be moving out of this house the end of the month. We have already started looking at houses to buy and depending on if we find one that we want to buy, whether it is empty, occupied and if we decide to buy a new house or what will determine what we will end up doing after this. We are preparing for a potential long term storage so that everything will go into storage until we can move into a new place. If we can't just move straight from here to the new house (somewhat unlikely) then we will either get a short term rental (3-6 month) or we will rent an apartment or stay at an extended stay if we only need something for a month or so. The hardest part will be if we need to figure out what all we need to have with us for 6 months without access to any of the storage stuff. I guess luckily we have done something very similar before so we will manage just fine.

We were really glad that we already had an appointment scheduled with the same real estate agent we had worked with when we moved here. Susan Stachelczyk has been a great agent and has already gone out with us more than once and I am going to be spending the day on Thursday looking at houses all day. We have found some possibilities but nothing that is just right. It is challenging to find a house that works with all of our combined passions. When you combine wood working, car work, home theatre, target shooting, camping, and cooking with my need for a hopefully wonderful studio space it can become quite challenging. So far nothing has been perfect but some are still in the running.

I should be pretty busy this whole month. I am trying to add some new classes to my schedule in July so I need to work on samples (2 are done and delivered), supply lists and instructions. I will need to start with some of the pre-packing that needs to be done. The movers will pack up almost everything but we will have to do anything that we want with us, that is too important to want the movers pack up, and get things off the wall etc. The more organized I can have things on the front end of the move the easier it will be for me in the end. I am not sure how much of the move Wayne will be able to be here for, once again luckily I have done this alone before so if he can't be here the whole time I will be OK. I also need to work on cleaning as I go so there isn't much to do after the movers are done.

I have been a bit stressed but I am beginning to settle down now that we have started working in the right direction and I have started on to-do lists to help me prioritize. I even managed to fit in a little time in the last couple of days to work on my BJP page for May. I had gotten very little done so far on it. I am making a 3-D Iris for it and have gotten the main flower and stem done, I am just working on stiffening it so that it will hold it's form once on the block. I hope to also have the time to paint my blocks for the rest of the months and pick out beads for them so that if we do end up in a hotel, apartment or short term rental I will still be able to work on my piece.

I will have a post out in the next day or two for my wire fest trip. Since I am going to start teaching wire wrapped cabochons it is currently pertinent. I have been enjoying making them.