Monthly Archives: December 2018

Just like that – I am back on Etsy.

You will notice on the right hand corner of my blog page, there’s now an “E” icon that will take you right on over to my Etsy shop!

It’s a very soft relaunch of my Etsy efforts; one that is more focused on glassware as opposed to anything and everything.

 

I think my last Etsy effort was a bit too all over the place. Between Theresa and I, we made such a large variety of items that I even felt overwhelmed looking at my page. We were not experts at any one thing; we made whatever we felt like, using whatever materials we had.

This glassware effort is just my own project and the updates to the shop will largely depend on my time, materials available, and creativity. I’m not always creative – everything I do in my life comes in waves. Whether I’m super into hiking, bike riding, reading a book, blogging or crafting ~ I ride the wave until it’s time to shift my focus toward something else for the time being. I always circle back around at some point. My life path is not linear – it’s (hopefully) a long-ass scribble with some overlaps.

 

 

 

 

Would you survive a world without our creature conveniences and comfort?

Whenever I am scrubbing our cast iron pans, my thoughts travel in a line sort of like this:

Wow, it’s amazing how long these things last.

They’ll last until the end of time if we take care of them.

I learned how to take care of things from my parents. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up so we had to take care of what we had in order to do things we enjoyed doing.

Imagine if we lost all electricity and access to gasoline. The world, as we know it, would change so much. 

Remember that book series you just finished re-reading, Stacey? World Made By Hand by James Howard Kunstler

Shit would get real. These pans would definitely survive that if we continue to take good care of them.

Yup, welcome to my brain. I often think about what would happen if the life we are all used to were to suddenly change and we had to rely on our own skill set and access to materials to survive. That book series illustrates it very well and makes that possibility all-too-real.

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Around Thanksgiving, I woke up at 2:30 in the morning with my brain just churning about this very scenario. Most of us would not survive. Period. For fuck’s sake, we can’t even consistently try and get along with the people around us and, if the world were to go to complete shit, we would need each other to survive. Very few of us would be able to do it completely alone.

Think about it: You, reader: you know your talents. You know what you can do and what you have trouble doing. Would you be able to survive a world where we no longer had cars? Grocery stores? Electricity? A natural gas line leading to your home to keep you warm during the cold months?

I know my talents and my short-comings. While I think I can make some pretty fancy craft items, the things I create are not useful in a world where luxury has been stripped away. As in, I don’t know how to knit clothes, make blankets, tan hides of animals for use (I also do not know how to hunt), grow a winter garden, grow a plentiful enough summer garden to store much for winter months, repair a roof using recycled materials…the list goes on and on. There is so much in this world I don’t know how to do; the only tools I’d have in my tool kit, so to say, would be cooperation, the ability to learn, and sheer stubbornness to try and make it. So the things I make now for fun really don’t matter. They are just for my entertainment and to exercise another part of my brain. It’s a sobering thought to realize that a lot of things around me really do not matter – they are just part of the noise of today’s convenience-driven world.

 

Claiming my space and running my Saturday.

I knew today I was going to be too much into my own head when, as soon as I woke up, I said to myself “I don’t want to go to the gym today”. This is my depression telling me to stay home and be anti-social. While this is okay to do sometimes, if I don’t have any real solid weekend plans this is the beginning of what can be a super long, lonely, and unsatisfying weekend.

So I let my brain chime in and guess who got up and went to the gym? This girl. While I missed the class I was aiming to get there for, I lifted weights on my own and it set me up for a great Saturday. On my way home from my workout, I called my best friend and we took our dogs for a walk, I did the mountain of dishes I said I was going to ignore (the dishwasher is here but not installed yet), picked up, did my laundry, and worked on another weird glass bottle project. Sometimes I have to kick my own ass into gear and not let the darkness do the talking. I’m don’t mean the darkness associated with depression but the literal darkness – the winter months in upstate NY when daylight feels too short – it’s exhausting and demotivating.

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A work in progress ~ it has a nautical feeling to it.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the cruise my fiancee and I have planned for June. That’s probably why the theme of the bottle is the way it is. I’m looking forward to getting away ~ no work, kids, pets, or responsibilities ~ for over a week. Cocktails, delicious food, seeing a different part of the world with the one you love; shittttttt, I love traveling. Every time I go somewhere different I get the travel-bug. The itch. Let’s live out of our backpacks and see everything.

Alas, that lifestyle isn’t realistic for us. We have a big home that we want to renovate room by room. Looking at it as a whole feels overwhelming sometimes. I wish I had the funds to do it all right now so it could be done. I realize now how easy I had it when I bought my first home – everything that was in there was picked out and put in. I didn’t inherit someone else’s problems. Someone else’s dying appliances and sneaky cardboard tiles above the shower. I love this home and we are committed to bringing it up to date and making it beautiful. It is a challenge that we can handle…but sometimes? Sometimes the idea of apartment living is just so attractive and simple, until I remember neighbors sharing my walls. No thanks. I’ll pass on that and the lack of freedom to customize my living space to express my personal style.

…and now I think the bottle has dried enough to continue to work on it. Back to my craft-cave I go.

Doing Dishes v. Playing Ball

It’s easy to get wrapped up in responsibilities and forget to play. This morning, instead of doing the mountain of dishes*, I got out Adam’s beloved tennis ball.

Obviously, I made the best choice ever. I mean, look at the happiness on his face!

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Adam is late to the game of fetch ~ when I got him, I was distraught over the loss of my pug, FeeBee, that he and I didn’t really play with each other. We snuggled, went for lots of walks, ate lots of good food together…we just didn’t actually play.

He’s a fast study though; being a Border Collie/Labrador mix, he’s insanely smart. Adam doesn’t exactly bring the ball back to me “nicely”, he kind of flings it at me like it’s my turn to fetch it. We’re working on it.

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My spirits were instantly lifted from the serious, I’m-mentally-checking-things-off-my-to-do-list mood that I think most adults find themselves in. Sometimes we have to consciously flip that switch from work to play, even if there is work to be done. As a co-worker, Beth, said to me this morning: There will always be dishes, but not always a dog. Having already lost one, this is something I know to be too-true.

But…when Adam knows I have to leave for work, it’s time to sulk.

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Don’t you just feel so sad for him? This is how he gets every morning, Monday through Friday. While it has been an ultimate dream to work from home someday, I don’t know if it’s in the cards.

*I mean, who cares about the dishes anyway. By the time I get home from work tonight my new dishwasher will have arrived and been installed. Let the machinery do the hard work!

‘Bye Feli…Facebook!

A few days ago I deactivated my Facebook account. I deactivated it because I didn’t want to lose Messenger ~ plus, I’m not 100% sure I will be off of Facebook forever. I completely deleted my last account when I changed careers and I wish now I had simply deactivated it; I had a lot of photos on there that I should have been more careful saving.

Live and learn.

I decided to deactivate it for a week, out of frustration, for a few reasons:

The amount of posts simply being shared, as opposed to real updates to people’s lives. I remember the days of Facebook where people wrote statuses about their days – longer than a Twitter post but shorter than a blog. I feel most of the content is just compulsively regurgitated. It just feels like a loss of connection.

If I post a picture of something that I made; something I’m proud of, nobody cares. If I post something fitness or food-related, everyone’s all over it because that’s all everyone talks about now. Self-betterment, fitness goals, their oh-so-amazing lunch salad complete with 1,000 pictures. #Goals #GoalDigger #EatClean #FitLyfe4LyfeForgetCheeseburgers4Evr

Also, the holiday season feels too busy to be mindlessly scrolling during what should be a mental break. If I need a break, why not read a book? Write a blog? Pet my dog?

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I mean, he’s a great boy – he deserves all the pets.

I’m not throwing shade at people who are on their journeys to becoming a better them. I do enjoy some fitness posts and I follow some fitness peeps on Instagram because it’s inspiring to me and I like to see people succeed. But I know that my life is so much more than just ONE thing and it feels frustrating to be seen as just ONE thing. To feel a bit pigeon-holed in what I may share on social media that resonates with someone. I’m more than just fitness, more than just crafts, more than just pictures of my adorable dog. I like awkward, difficult conversations about topics that are close to the heart. I like analyzing reactions to situations so I can learn more about myself and those around me. I love to write. I love art. I love choreographed dance routines and cheerleading competitions. I love seeing mountains in the distance because it reminds me of my hometown. I love going to my hometown, although I don’t make it there often. I love feeling nostalgic about things; I love 90’s fashion, vintage jewelry, and second-hand clothing. I’m fascinated with tiny-houses and minimalist lifestyles. I love the idea of making the least amount of an environmental impact as possible. I think the sound of the Battenkill River flowing over the rocks is amazing and the quiet at my friend’s camp on Ragged Lake is like nothing I’ve ever heard before ~ I wish I could bottle it and take it with me.

And nobody cares but me. Facebook has become less about connecting and more about self-advertisement. No thank you. Count me out for the near future so that I can work on forging authentic connections with those around me in real life.

 

Self-improvement (or personal development or self-help) seems, on the face of it, like a good thing. Who doesn’t want to be better? We should all be better, right? (This should not be confused with “be best”, something that will never not make me laugh.) The personal development industry is a $9.9 billion industry predicated on […]

via The Dark Side of Self-Improvement — The Span of My Hips

Ways to pass the time

The past few months I have made it a point to take one whole weekend day (if possible) and devote it to creative things – whether I’m gearing up for a craft show, adding to my Mercari shop, or simply decompressing – you can find me covered in glue and random pieces of fabric, minding my own business.

I get into ruts with things. Although saying that has a negative connotation, I don’t feel it’s negative at all. I get “stuck” on a certain type of craft because I’m either having a blast with it or just feel compelled to make more of whatever it is.

This time around, I’m in a weird glass art rut.

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A plain clear glass vase. I textured and painted the hell out of it.

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I was having a day where I felt lonely when I made this – maybe that’s why it’s very simple and a blue/grey color. Again, it started off as clear glass.

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This one is my latest and it’s still under construction. Started off as clear glass.

I like how weird they are – how they went from something plain and super ordinary to buck-wild. I love how art uses a different part of your brain. Between my job and my family, I’m in “go mode” a lot. Creating things, as weird as they may be, helps soothe and calm. It helps me relax. It is a sort of meditation. Art therapy is real.

I will ride the weird glass art wave until I get bored. In the meantime, I am considering setting up an Etsy shop just for these types of projects. I saved myself a good shop name but I have not done anything with it yet. The last time I had an Etsy shop, I found it difficult to navigate and to keep track of all the fees associated with selling. Because I’m under no time constraint whatsoever, I can take my time and learn about SEOs and how to run a successful Etsy shop…if I decide that’s what I really want to do.