As you can guess by my long absence, things have been pretty busy around here. Some good, and some not so great. So much has happened that my head is still trying to figure it all out.
But before I get into that, I wanted to give a nice little plug for one of my good friends. Francesca Watson is a truly wonderful artist and talented teacher. I have had the fun opportunity to spend time with her first when we held a retreat together in Washington state. Then she came just to have some fun studio play time. I have also spent time with her in Texas where I taught for a week, and am looking forward to teaching at a retreat in Texas again next spring.
Francesca is also teaching this next weekend at Bead Fest in Philadelphia. If you are thinking of attending and are looking to improve your soldering skills, prong setting, Keum Boo skills and just plain having fun, I would highly encourage you to look into one of her workshops.
You can find all of Francesca’s workshops at: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/ehome/106987/francescawatson
You can see better descriptions of these projects on the Art Jewelry Elements Blog where she is a co-author.
And if you happen to go, please give her a great big hug from me.
So what is happening here? Well, what isn’t? Back in June we were flooded, not once, but twice. Apparently the economy is doing much better and all of the contractors have been insanely crazy busy. We didn’t even start demolition until July 28th. Things are finally coming along. I had to tear out a part of my studio floor, which involved taking out all the big equipment and taking down my benches. I finally have most of the studio put back together and have been able to make a few things. We still have 2 bathrooms and a bedroom under renovation. I am hoping to be done in about 2 more weeks. I will post some before and after photos. We haven’t even begun to work on the yard. That is a project for next month.
I had an exciting opportunity which caused quite a bit of mixed feelings from people in the jewelry field. I was asked to be the Computer Science teacher for Riley’s high school. I was somewhat surprised as I have never taught on a school level, only professional. And, quite frankly, it has been a while since I taught programming. However, I was thrilled and accepted the position. Everyone thought I would be leaving the jewelry field, but I assure you that was never the intention. I was excited to be out of my lonely studio and among other living people, certain this would give me the creative boost I needed as well as some much needed human interaction. This all happened last week. Then this week happened. Yesterday Riley’s school was closed by the Board of Education. Apparently there was a LOT of mismanagement that happened and the kids got the short end of the stick. And, I no longer had a job… not that I was ever looking for one to begin with. LOL.
Monday we visited another charter school that had some promise in their STEM program offerings, however we were told that they had a HUGE waiting list and it wouldn’t be possible to get her in. So we turned and walked back out of the office and on our way to another school. Then we met Kelly, the marketing director for the school. He gave us a tour of the school and told us there may still be some possibilities of getting her into the school. We were encouraged to get her into an “At Home” program which would get her foot in the door and throw her toward the front of the waiting list.
I was also introduced to several people and have been asked to prepare some 2-week intensive courses in jewelry making and metalsmithing. I may even have some possibilities in teaching the programming courses that I was going to do at Riley’s original school.
Well, today we got a phone call that they were able to actually get Riley into the on-campus program as a full student. WOOHOO!!!!! I am so relieved and grateful. The timing of everything has been nuts as the other schools we have been looking at started yesterday and some on Monday. So we didn’t exactly have a lot of time. I am just so grateful for our blessings in all of this.
School starts next week and I am really looking forward to getting back into the studio. I have some fun new tools that I have been playing with and can’t wait to share. And I have a few new videos just waiting to be edited. So stay tuned and I will be back VERY soon.