Monthly Archives: April 2012

Always up in the air

The title says it all. I feel like right now my life is always up in the air. The last week and a half has been such a roller coaster. You may recall on my last post (over a week and a half ago,) that I said I had some great news. In fact, twice I started to blog about it and then just couldn’t bring myself to post it. 

We found the perfect house. And to top that off, the seller accepted our super low ball offer. We were thrilled. It was only 5 miles from my husbands job, the schools are pretty nice and close, the house had all the features we were looking for, including a separate studio area. The yard and neighborhood were beautiful and we couldn’t wait to get the ball rolling and settle into this next chapter of our lives. So what happened? 
Well, we had our home inspection. LOL, we knew there were some issues, hence the super low ball offer. We never dreamed he would accept what we offered, but we were hoping that he would counter low enough that we could still afford the house (STUDIO) and still make the necessary repairs and such. Well, this house was hiding something. Here in the Great NorthWest, there is a LOT of rain. This home has a stucco exterior. We LOVE the look. However, if it isn’t installed properly, that beautiful exterior hides and seals in moisture. We found two areas that had a LOT of moisture. Yes, it can be fixed, not cheaply, but still within the budget. However, eventually it will need to all come down and be redone with something more conducive to the climate. And as luck would have it, someone else also put in a bid on the house, so we lost all leverage with the owner. So sadly, last Friday I called my realtor and withdrew our offer. So sad. We don’t believe the owner was aware of the extent of damage this is happening as this seems to be the “2nd home.” He is aware now though. LOL. 
This move is proving to be rather more difficult for me than some of the others have. So I have just kind of crawled into my little hole for the past few days and done nothing that was on my plate. I did record a couple of new videos, but I personally think they are rubbish and I will redo them. I just feel like I am floundering. I spent all day last Thursday in the studio and have nothing to show for it except a couple of lousy videos that I don’t feel good about publishing. My muse is hibernating or ignoring me. It is so hard for me to work in the room that I currently have set up for the studio. I don’t know why that is. I think it is a combination of the lighting and bad workflow in there. I really want to hold classes but I can’t even seem to make the layout work for me and am not sure how to make it work with multiple people in there. 
In an effort to get my muse back a bit, I have begun serious work on my book. I now have four projects completed and the first rough outline is completed. I have identified at least 13 projects that I would like to do. However, those projects may change or be removed. As I have been doing more research I have seen other things that make me want to take some of the projects in different directions. We will just have to see how things go. But it is fun to at least have some creative things coming back into my mindset. Like I said before, I feel like I am just floundering, even to the point where I sometimes toy with the idea of selling everything off and just doing something else. But then I think about not doing some of this stuff and that doesn’t sit well either. 
I know this post is rather rambly, but hopefully now that I have gotten it all off my chest I can finally get to work and make some things happen. I miss being creative and having direction. I know a lot of that comes from the temporary living situation we are in. I was really looking forward to having that house and setting down some rooms and get moving with life. So the search for the perfect place continues. Let’s all just hope that whoever currently owns it is ready to go SOON. HA! 
Okay, I think I am ready to get to work. Hope to see you again this week with some videos or at least a Featured Artist Friday. I now have 3 artists, so I just need to get them posted. See you all in a bit. 

What’s for Dinner?

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! The response to my tutorial and swage block has been FANTASTIC! Thank you all so much for your purchases. It makes both me and my wonderfully talented Father-in-law very happy. It is always so rewarding to hear the feedback from people who have purchased the blocks.

I have been trying so hard to get on here and make a post for over a week. I swear, I have never been so busy before and there are so many days that I wonder if I actually got anything done. My house certainly isn’t cleaned, I still haven’t finished unpacking my items from my trip to Canada (yes, really.) However, the laundry is done, I have seen Portland a couple of times, including the zoo with my girls. So there were some really good things.

Last week was spring break for the girls. We had all sorts of good plans, but nothing set in stone. We just kind of relaxes and didn’t get to many of our plans. LOL. Go figure. Instead, we spent time doing make up homework for assignments that were missing (UGH! Don’t even get me started on this one) looking for a lawnmower and my favorite part, HOUSE HUNTING. I forgot to mention in my last blog post, WE SOLD OUR HOUSE IN OHIO!!!!! YAY! I am so happy and sad all at the same time. It is the true closing of a chapter in my life. It was a huge chapter when it comes to terms of my jewelry as that is where most all of it happened. I started working on stuff in Virginia, but the true development of where I am now, happened there in Ohio. Not to mention, I had the greatest studio ever, at least to this point, haha. One really sad part of the sale is that we took such a huge hit on the sale. We put so much work, love and money into that house to make it as nice as it was. We are trying to look at it like, expensive rent. LOL. But really, I know the house was the right one to buy. Had we not done it, I wouldn’t be where I am with my jewelry. I probably wouldn’t be here with my blog doing what I am doing. I know it was right. We have always been blessed to be where we needed to be, when we needed to be, even if it did cost us some money.

My rewards from that though, is that I have wonderful friends and friendships that I know will last a life time. I was able to make a difference in the lives of a few people in starting the guild there in Ohio. I was able to develop my talents and more. You just can’t put a price on that type of thing. So it was right, and I know it was.

Adjusting to life here in Washington is still progressing. I am getting to know my way around little by little. I am starting to meet a person here and there, but for the most part right now, it is still pretty lonely. I just feel like we are stuck in this state of flux. Do I make the effort to get to know people really well where I am right now, knowing that I will most likely not buy a home in this area? How do I get to know others in the area that are into the metal arts? Do I get my girls involved with dance and other things, again, knowing that we are not really looking for a home here where we are currently renting? So why did we rent here? Well, the rent was more affordable. We could afford the higher rent in the areas where we want to settle, but we decided to go for cheaper rent and save the money for a down payment. So like I said, I just feel like I am in the state of flux.

Guild Meeting in Portland

One great thing that I did this week (Tuesday night, in fact) is that I went to the Creative Metals Art Guild in Portland. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!!!!! I got to meet a few new people and I am excited to get involved with their organization. It is a much more mature organization than the one that I started in Ohio, meaning that they are out of their infancy. They have the established programs, location and even hold an art show every spring (Next month, in fact.) It is everything already, that I dreamed for the guild in Ohio to be.

At the end of the meeting one gentleman approached me and said that I had done a blog post on him a while back. I asked his name and it was LYLE POULIN!!!! Featured Artist Friday – Lyle Poulin I was so excited to finally meet him. I hadn’t remembered that he was here in this area, so I was really happy he introduced himself. I am really looking forward to seeing some of his work up close. I love his stuff.

Today’s Goals

Okay, so today my goal is to get back into the studio. The baby will be going to the sitter today and tomorrow. I have a few more blocks to get mailed out today. I have to get my taxes finished up, yup, nothing like waiting for the last minute. I have a few videos to make (pray for some sunshine so I have some light in the studio) and then I have a few featured artist posts to finalize and will hopefully be back up and running.

What’s For Dinner?

So, the title of the post is What’s for Dinner? Currently, I don’t know. But I did want to share something that I made a few weeks back. I posted it on my Facebook page and SOOOOO many people asked for the recipe, because all I had posted was a lousy picture taken with my iphone. Thanks to Pinterest, I have learned the art of using a crock pot. In fact, that is kind of funny. When we were first married (over 15 years ago) we were given a crock pot. Well, I never use it. I can count on two hands the number of times it got used. So when we thought we were moving last June, I gave it to someone in my church that uses them all the time. Fast forward to November. I got onto Pinterest and started to see all these recipes using a crock pot. I thought, hey, that looks good and I could probably do that. Well, I have gone wild with that thing. One of the best things I learned about…. LINERS!!!! I will never cook in that thing again without them. They are totally worth every penny. So I will end with a yummy looking picture and my recipe. Enjoy! See you all tomorrow with a featured artist post and hopefully a video or two.



Here is my Crock pot Lasagna recipe:

Okay, so it isn’t any real recipe as I don’t measure anything out.

For the 6 1/2 qt crock this is what I use:
2 lbs ground beef
1/4 onion
1/2 small container of sliced mushrooms
1/2 can sliced black olives
2 lb jar spaghetti sauce (any kind you want)
1 container of ricotta cheese
1 lg container of cottage cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozz Cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 pkg lasagna noodles

brown the beef with the onions. Add the mushrooms, Olives and spaghetti
sauce. Put a small amount of the meat sauce on the bottom of the crock
and place the first layer of noodles, breaking them as needed to fit.
Add a layer of meat sauce, ricotta or cottage cheese, some of each of
the shredded cheese and repeat until you run out of ingredients. Cook in
the crock pot for 4-5 hours on low or until noodles are soft.

Sometimes i don’t use the ricotta.

But that is it in a nutshell.