Summer Vacation?

10:08 AM Posted In , , , Edit This 1 Comment »
Isn't summer supposed to be peaceful? The days have been just packed here and we're enjoying it a lot. Maxx is having tons of fun with his cousins visiting from Wisconson and is doing very well with his asthma. He is down to just a couple of treatments a day and has been running and playing with all the vigor expected from a 5 year old. I'm so glad that we have medicines that allow him to be healthy and happy.

I'm busy preparing to teach a lot of jewelry classes at the Arts Council this summer - tonight's is on making vintage pearl necklaces (like Lauren's wedding necklace) and another one next week on making a sterling beaded cuff bracelet. Later in the month will be a Vintage brooch class and in August I'll be teaching a beaded bead class (teaching how to make the beads also featured in the post on Lauren's wedding jewelry). You can check out all the classes at the Arts Council on their website classes page - tons of fun stuff going on over there! I've also got a summer art camp coming up and the strawberries at the new house (which still isn't really ours yet but I think we are getting closer!) are coming on strong.

So yesterday, while Bry was helping the menfolk build Jonathan's house and Molly Bryn and Maxx were playing with cousins at Grandma's, I spent some time making samples for my upcoming classes so that we would have photos for publicity. Then I went to pick strawberries with the womenfolk. Mom Burnett, Molly and Nichelle were already out picking berries at Nichelle's when I arrived at 4:30. I helped them finish up there and then we went to the Beorningstead to pick that field. We got at least 30 quarts out of our patch and finished cleaning and bagging them for the freezer around 10:00 last night. I think that the Burnett clan is going to be one very busy (and very well fed) set of agriculturalists when we move into the Beorningstead and add some livestock and a bigger garden to the strawbery yields! It is nice work, though, especially when you have family around to share it with.

Today I'm off and running again - mailing packages, preparing to make jam with the next huge batch of strawberries and gathering up supplies for my class tonight. I hope to spend more time this week with all those cute kids at Gramma's house. It's so fun to see them out running around with each other and I wish they could stick around - maybe someday there will be a great job for their dad here so they can move back to the North Country.


3:52 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
I've been a little fragile this week and more than a little overwhelmed. I'm still trying to let go of Maxx's ER experience. It was so frightening and I was alone with him and the doctors - Bry and MB had stayed home because when I left the house with him Saturday, none of us were terribly concerned about his breathing being a big deal.

I've always considered myself a caring person, but I now have a totally new and intensely uncomfortable level of compassion for parents who go through this sort of experience and don't get to walk out of the hospital with their baby.

So - I've been trying to decompress a bit this week.

Thursday we scrambled out of the house early for our first walk-through. I went to work and was almost completely unproductive all day. After dinner, I sat down and did some window shopping on Etsy. I love to look at handmade glass beads. Glass is such a beautiful and magical media - I hope to work in it more someday when Maxx is bigger and less likely to unintentionally demolish my studio with exploding propane cylinders. Here are a few that caught my eye. BTW - artisan beads are a great preferred gift for Luna anytime!

Ice Crystals by ADKlampwork

River Rock Marquis by airwynglass

C'est Si Bon- Dotted Disk Beads by Meital in Israel

Raku Splash with Electric Blue by Art by Lisi

Yesterday, I took MB to a doctor's appointment in Saranac Lake which had a good outcome and I enjoyed the drive between Saranac Lake and Malone immensely. We listened to Paul Simon and America in the car and enjoyed scenery that probably hasn't changed too much since the 1950's. I love NY State's brown and yellow forest preserve signs and there are lots of them on that route as well as lots of tidy roadside stands where you can stop and buy firewood for your camping excursion. So nostalgic.

Then I came home and made some jewelry. More decompression - whew! I really love how this this piece came together. The large filigree piece is so dramatic and the swallow so elegant.

Today, Bry has taken the kids fishing with the cousins and Aunts & Uncles visiting from Wisconson and North Carolina. I don't like being chilly and wet, so I've been working in my stores all day. You'll notice that I now have a Rapid Cart for my ArtFire shop right here on my blog. I'm pretty excited about that - especially since Etsy seems to be sinking into the smelly mire of big-business branding which seems to be hurting traffic to individual shops, including mine. They keep tweaking their SEO tricks, so maybe the kinks will work out soon and everyone will be able to see my beautiful supplies again. I've taken some of those great filigree charms and added enamel colors to them. They look pretty nifty.

I've been also really enjoying my Pandora station today. I stopped listenig to mainstream radio about 10 years ago because all of our local DJ's seem to have a chronic case of potty mouth so I'm very unfamiliar with newer music and haven't had many opportunities to discover new artists. Pandora is helping me overcome that problem. Every now and then they throw something in that I have to thumbs down but in general, I'm getting lots of wonderful new music. I'm amazed that I like Rufus Wainwright this much and it is great that they filter in the sweetest Dave Mathew's and Wilco music for me without the harsher stuff that my nerves can't handle right now. If you want to hear my Pandora station - leave me a message and I'll e-mail you an invitation to listen.

Kids are home and Maxx is asking for a story - so I'm off for some Mommy time.

. . . .

We've Been Making Music for a Very Long Time

7:24 AM Posted In , Edit This 1 Comment »
Over 35,000 years, to be exact.

(Click the photo to read the article)

After a grueling weekend in the hospital with Maxx's first terrifying asthma attack (thank you, birth dad, for providing That piece of genetic code) and several crazed days of nebulizer treatments, scarf completion and house cleaning (we have a walk through today!), I find it ironic that archaeologists need to ascribe some sort of ritual significance to music making.

Having been an Anthro major, I know that it is almost impossible to look at an artifact like this one and not imagine its use in ritual & celebration but I'm sure that it was most often used on nights like the one I had yesterday to soothe anxieties and prepare the family for restful sleep.

I'll be back with some new projects in a few days, but first, I really need to de-compress.

What's the best thing you can get a 5 year old boy for his Birthday?

1:23 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
A real fire truck to climb on in his driveway!

Uncle Jonathan begins recruiting volunteers when they are very young.

The kids (and many of the adults) had a blast seeing the truck up close, learning about how the water comes out and just generally being impressed with such a big truck with so many gadgets. Ziggy was terrified when Jonathan sounded the siren, though.

And, of course, we had chocolate cake. With sprinkles. Bryan made the cake this time. In fact, he did most of the birthday stuff this time around because I've been so busy with other things. It worked out pretty well and the cake was amazing. I think I may turn over all future birthday party arrangements to Bry.

It will be hard to top the firetruck visit, though.

. . . .

What a week!

6:39 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »

I'm behind on my Goblin's Market enamel orders but my studio is (sorta) clean and we've made significant progress on our house. The realtor was by yesterday and is optimistic about the house's potential. We're selling at an unheard of price for the size and condition of the house and he anticipates a lot of interest very soon - so I have to keep cleaning to be ready for visitors!

In fact, as we have been cleaning it, I have been thinking "Oh, yeah. This IS a nice house." Someone with a bit more enthusiasm than I've got who doesn't need a studio with running water or a barn for livestock and recycled lumber could really do something with it. It has great bones.

Yesterday, just as I was starting to get dinner ready, the UPS man stopped by. He had a package full of the most wonderful things. Here are a few of my favorites.

Now on to patina and enamel for my late orders and some of these new beauties. They'll start showing up in my Etsy shop very soon.

P.S. The smiling girl in the frame was my grandmother's best friend in grade school. Doesn't she look like fun and trouble all rolled up into one??


Studio Cleaning!

4:23 PM Posted In Edit This 1 Comment »

I'm cleaning out my studio - What a difficult process!

Inspired by my Arts Council friend, Sara Lynch, who junked an unsuccessful painting this week, I have decided to be ruthless and throw scads of stuff away.

Premo was too valuable for the trash, though. If you work with the stuff, you can buy my Polymer Clay destash here - There's over $50.00 worth for only $25.0 bucks plus shipping.

Good news and bad news

1:26 PM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
We got a call from the bank this afternoon. They are willing to give us a mortgage on the new house IF and when we sell our old house. Aargh!

We've been scratching our heads for months now trying to figure out how to get this house on the market while we are still living here, hoping that we could be living here and working on the other house at the same time, storing our non-essentials at the new place while we are working on installing plumbing and electrical. We wanted to be doing that this summer so we would be well settled in by wintertime.

I want to be working in my new studio before the Holiday retail season starts - I'm tired of painting scarves on the floor and I know that my scarf productivity can increase at least 5 fold if I am painting in a space with running water, a dedicated dyeing area and sensible shelving.

I've also been fantasizing about the bead shelves we'll put in the new studio a lot. This is what confronts me every time I go upstairs to package orders or design jewelry. I have 85 canisters of these beads. With an average of 5 sections per canister and one or two types of bead stored in each section, I have somewhere between 425 & 450 types of beads. My bead sales and jewelry designing will become much more productive and less time consuming when I get into my new studio, too.

So - now we need a buyer. Fast. Or some other solution.

Any suggestions?

If you know anyone who wants a fixer upper with lots of character in a quiet, friendly neighborhood in Upstate NY, I've got one for sale for $47K!

Summer is Almost Here

9:10 AM Posted In , , , , Edit This 2 Comments »

But I still had to build a fire yesterday. June 1st and it was only 54 degrees in my house. I don't function well below 65 or so, the urge to curl up with a blankie and take a nap is just too great. I hate the fact that the Summer Solstice is upon us every year before school is even out. Other school districts in the country are finishing up (or are finished) right now but we have to go straight through the third week of June. Of course that is all related to the weather. We can't even reliably plant gardens here until after Memorial day, unless we have tons of mulch and plastic coverings to keep baby plants alive, so Upstate NY has a later end of school year date than warmer areas because there was not much need to let the farmers' kids out any earlier than this and those last few weeks of August are so precious for our growing season.

Etsy Bloggers carnival theme this week is to write about our summer plans. - Boy do we have a big summer ahead of us. We are anxiously awaiting a lending decision from the bank about our new place and as soon as we have a go ahead, we have got to start working. We are currently boxing up all non-essentials in our house to be put away in storage so we can start listing this home for sale. Once we close on the new pace, we have got to do a few cosmetic repairs, put in all new wiring and plumbing (because the Amish ripped everything electrical and almost all the plumbing out) remove the outhouse, build an entirely new bathroom in the upstairs attic, replace several windows, wash and paint all the walls, sand and re-finish several floors, install appliances, counters and cupboards in the kitchen, bath and my studio(!!) and maybe we'll be able to move in before the Winter Solstice!

Molly Bryn has been wanting to learn how to blog so I'm planning to have her blog the progress of the new Beorningstead down in Burnett Hollow. I'm so exited to see the progress of our new home as we prepare to move in. I'll let everyone know when we begin that blog - Molly has a great voice and loves to take photos so I'm sure it will be a fun blog to read. I'm also excited about the prospect of boxing up all of our non-essentials for several months. I suspect that there will be lots of things I don't miss tripping over that we will not put back into our new home. As it is, I have at least one huge box of orphan projects that will NOT be coming to my new studio. Anyone want it?

I also hope that we get to do some hiking this summer. Bryan aspires to hike all the high peaks in the Adirondacks and 4 years ago our family climbed Mt. Marcy - the highest peak in NYS. Bryan has climbed it many times and enjoys it but it was really more of a hike than I like and my mother-in-law said that she would probably not attempt such a long hike again, either. I like a quick, easy climb with lots of time to enjoy the scenery on the way up and a pretty view when you get there. We have talked about climbing all the ADK peaks that still have fire towers, I believe that there are 17 of them. Maybe we'll get in one or two of those this summer, if I can get my body back in hiking shape.

The mixed media drawing at the top of this post (which I cannot seem to convince GIMP or Blogger to resize for me - aaaargh!) was inspired by a hike up Mt Van Hovenberg when Molly was about 7. It is titled "There Was an Orange Salamander on the Trail." We have since discovered that our salamander was actually a red eft, which has since become one of my favorite teeny crawling things. What you cannot see in this composite scan is that the clouds, water and contour lines have a lot of sparkley gel-pen accent work and there is a teeneency little eft on the trail. The scanner just seems to read the sparkley as grey and the eft is invisible. Oh well.
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