Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Studio reno: part 1 of most likely many

On something like a whim, I dived head first into a studio reno that seems to be spiraling just a little out of control. Nope, the bronze pieces are not finished. They are still sitting in an untidy pile in the other untidy part of the studio. But not this part up there in the photo. Neat as a pin and I have the good intention of keeping it that way. But you know what they say about good intentions and the pavement to the fire and brimstone place.....we'll have to see.

Shameful untidy mess. An embarrassment, really and truly. This is the former 'business' end of my studio. If you've ever gotten a package from me this is where it got packed up. Kind of a wonder you ever got what you ordered. It's where I do a lot of things like design, pack orders, answer email, read blogs.... It's a collection of cast off furniture and cobbled together. No real rhyme or reason to it at all.

Let's take a closer look at it shall we? I'm in a full disclosure mood today.

My inventory sits in a pile of trays that are threatening to topple over and empty themselves into the rest of the mess on the table. There is a pile of scrap paper that I refuse to throw out because, you know, it still has a good side to it. The set of plastic drawers under the table is a mess and rarely are the drawers closed because they don't really work. The printer is on a TV stand that has a scrap of plywood on top because the stand doesn't actually fit the printer. Papers spill out from the stand because you can't reach in there without acts of unspeakable contortion.

A bit of paint, a dab of stain, a trip to IKEA and ta da! It is organized. Everything in that horrible mess has a home. I love IKEA and IKEA loves me because of course I didn't just walk out with the set of drawers, table legs, counter top, and chair I needed. They are so sneaky making you walk through all of those beautifully organized display rooms just full of great things that you put right into your cart without thinking much at all. I now have 6 little glass vases for single blooms and no idea at all why I needed them. I desire with all of my heart a new kitchen like the ones on display. I didn't know I needed a new head board for my bed and fortunately there was no room for one in the car. I desparately needed the 4 new lime green coffee mugs that match the 6 I already have. And the 4 small white bowls, and.....It is a very good thing that we have a small car.

Everything except the desk is on casters. I love casters just about as much as I love IKEA. The new drawer unit that neatly holds all of my piles of stuff slides out if I need an extra work surface. The newly spruced up microwave cart rolls over in front of the door for photographing my bits and pieces in good sunlight. It's still waiting for shelves to hold the inventory trays but at least the trays aren't falling over. The printer now has room to slide out so you can get at cords and stuff and the paper is all organized in trays. I am in pig heaven. And it didn't even take all that long or cost the earth.

In other news, I am feeling fit as a fiddle. I have no hair left and my head gets a little chilly. What little hadn't come out on its own got shaved off by Peter who shaved his own head in an act of solidarity. But shhh, you can't actually see much difference on him because there wasn't all that much hair to begin with. But it was kinda sweet. My labs are all good again and I have been eating lettuce and apples like there is no tomorrow. In fact, I am feeling down right spunky just in time to go through the second chemo cycle on Thursday. Yippee, I'll be half done!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Boo Boo Bead and Randomness

One of the bronze boo boo beads is growing up and I am pretty danged excited about it. Needs some work yet but this ones going into a secret project that will be a most awesome gift. At least I think it will be pretty awesome. More about that later.

There is a largish pile of bronze accumulating on my work table in lots of different stages of undoneness. Maybe later this week? Maybe to the Etsy shop soon? I'm kind of unpredictable these days.

My lab tests last Thursday weren't so great and resulted in the issuing of a lot of rules. I am not naturally inclined to follow rules.

I can't eat raw fruit or veg right now. It's a rule. The lettuce in the garden is perfect and beautiful and yummy and Peter is enjoying it and I am cranky about not eating lettuce.

There are way more bottles of hand sanitizer in our house than I have ever seen before. One would be more, actually, five is inundated.

I can't go out in crowds and that makes me want to go to the mall. I don't even like the mall but that is just the other side of not being naturally inclined to follow rules.

The weather is beautiful, sunny, and warm. I am allowed to go outside as long as I use sun screen and hand sanitizer. There is a bottle of hand sanitizer by the back door.

I planted 3 different kinds of tomatoes, green peppers, jalapeno, delicata and butternut squash, zuchinni,  and cucumbers.

The weather is most likely contributing to the undoneness of the bronze pieces.

I hope the neighbors like zuchinni because I planted enough for everyone.

Old Bob is ignoring me and denies having napped on the artichoke Sunday afternoon.

Old Bob will be 12 on Wednesday and we are all so very happy he is still with us even if he does nap on the artichoke. (There is now a small fence around the artichoke.)

My hair started coming out Friday and I was in serious competition with the dogs for who sheds most. Not a pretty sight.

In an Edward ScissorsHands moment, I grabbed my sewing sheers and chopped it off. It felt good to take control.

My daughter's house in Wichita is fine. Her father in law who was working night shift at Boeing when the tornado hit, is fine. His house is gone, but he is fine and has a home to go to. All of our Wichita family and friends are accounted for and safe and unharmed, cleaning up and getting on with life. I am grateful beyond words.

I think that maybe not being able to eat lettuce is just the largest bit trivial in comparison.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Feet

I am not sure when my toes and feet felt so good! The pre-chemo pampering was so so nice and I am thinking could become quite addictive. When I think about it, it is kind of silly not to indulge yourself every once in a while. Why wait until you've got something awful sitting there in the background. Anyway those are my very happy feet.

The rest of me is not so happy right now. Feeling like I've been run over by a bus is a little too strong. A mini van, maybe? Mostly I am just tired and getting more tired each day. But it will pass.
I've been spending a couple of hours at a time in the studio when I can. That feels so very good I can not begin to describe the awesomeness of doing something that feels almost as much of a luxury as having my feet pampered.

Those bronze toggles have been on my to do list forever and ever. A while ago I ran across some stamps I made of Victorian iron work like you find in fences and on verandas. I had in mind that I'd reverse the images so the pattern would be raised like when I used them to etch metal. But I'm in a throw caution to the wind kind of mood right now and just went with what I had. Besides which I just wasn't in the mood to get all the stuff out and make new molds. I'm getting kind of snarly that way when it comes to taking on something I don't want to do. I really hope that attitude doesn't stick because that could be sort of hard to live with.

I'm getting used to them. They look nothing like my iron work drawings and are pretty much a complete surprise. But I'm kind of liking how the patina lays in the deeper parts of the pattern. That leafy pattern seems to creep into everything I do these days. I'm going with a consistency of design rather than stuck in a rut designing.

It does feel good to do something normal right now. Even if that normal only happens for just a wee while at a time. I'm even feeling like getting some porcelain out. The bitty birds have been gone for too long and I feel a need to reconnect with them. Must be the cardinals that are building a nest in the shrub just outside my back door. I'm pretty excited about the new family but not so excited about the mama and papa protecting the little ones when I go outside.

That's the new hair. I know it's not really short hair but for me it is. I am enjoying every minute of it as I count down to when it goes in about 6 days. Then I will be popping on outrageous scarves and hats to protect my head from the cardinals when I go out the back door.

Have a great week everyone. I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Suddenly it all seems more real than it did before. I feel like I've drifted in this bubble without letting any of the cancer issues touch me. I have so many ideas of what I'd like to be doing in the studio. I have sketches, I have molds to make, I even have ideas for jewelry I'd like to make. But I have no idea when I'll be able to get back to any of it. That makes me a little sad, a little apprehensive.

Chemo starts tomorrow and one of the drugs that I'll be given is particularly rough with a lot of side effects. When I went into the doctor yesterday and left with this list of appointments, prescriptions, and schedule of injections to try to prevent some of the worst side effects, the really scary ones, it just kind of hit me in a way that I haven't felt before.

This first cycle is the one where they find out how I'll react to the cocktail of drugs. As the oncologist puts it, it's a one size fits all cycle and they'll make adjustments from there. Sheesh, that makes me feel like a lab rat.

So I'm just trying to focus on being right here and now. Just trying to stay positive. Just being. I really only tell you all of this because so many of you have lent me so much strength and healing thoughts and prayers. And many of you have asked to stay updated. I feel much gratitude to this loving community.

That's me yesterday afternoon. In 10 days when I reach the rock bottom of this first cycle of chemo most of that hair will be gone. That doesn't actually bother me all that much. It will grow back. It may even grow back curly and possible darker. Although darker is had to picture given the amount mature platinum blonde I sport these days.

One thing I can control going into this is that hair. So by the time you read this most of that hair will be lying on the salon floor. I'm not sure how short I'll go. I may leave it up to the stylist. Just throw caution to the wind and let her do whatever she likes. Or maybe not. This is after all about taking control. But short it will be and short hair is something I haven't had since I was a little girl. It's kind of exciting.

What's even more exciting is that I'm treating myself to a pedi with massage and all sort of exotic creams and stuff that will make my feet very happy. And you know, happy feet make happy people. So I am off to get some serious pampering. I'll be back here sometime next week.