Commercials Why do we all make crafts and put together DO-IT-YOURSELF projects? Well, for the love naturally , but in some cases for money. Not the particular love of money, that’ s poor, but because getting paid to perform what you love is considered a very effective life. So , with that in mind, I…
If there’s anything I’m an expert at it is being an expert at nothing. The older I get, the less I think I know what’s going on around me. The less I am 100% certain in anything; the less I strut around completely confident in my knowledge and abilities.
This isn’t to say I’m insecure – I am quite secure in myself as a person. It’s just that there’s so much in life that I’m still learning about and experiencing; opinions and states of mind are fluid to me – subject to change at any time. I know that the opinions that I have right now may be different in 10 years based on the path life has taken me on and actual knowledge accrued during that time frame. For example, when I was around 21 or 22, I did not understand what a transgender person was. I was pretty adamant that if you were born with male parts, you’re a boy. If you’re born with female parts, you’re a girl. All this because God meant for you to be what He created you to be and for someone to be physically a girl but identify as a boy was just wrong and against God and unnatural! I no longer feel this way because I learned differently over the years. (Sometimes I think getting out of a small town was the best thing for me – it is an eye opener to live among people who are very different than you are.)
I’d like to think I’m a great candidate for learning. Because I’m not so stead-fast in any one way or line of thinking, my mind is open to hearing another’s viewpoint and weighing it against what I know to be true to me. I couldn’t say all this two years ago, but the past two years have taught me a lot…mostly that I wasn’t as smart or savvy as I thought I was. I don’t always debate my points of view or my feelings because it’s not my job to defend myself or to try to bend someone else to my way of thinking. We all have our own paths to walk in life and if I tell someone that down this certain path, I ran into a pack of alligators and they choose to go that way…well, I hope you don’t run into those alligators. Or, if you do, you know how to charm them.
I’m sort of in this…scenario…with my family. My Dad seems overwhelmed and consumed by what’s going on with my Mom and, to me, his manic stress doesn’t help the situation. Any sort of calmness I try to bring to him over the phone – gentle reminders that there’s still so much life left to live and to not let her cancer, her eventual surgery or treatments, define his life; the importance of taking care of himself by eating properly, sleeping enough, doing what he can to stay mentally healthy – is met with resistance. Actually, I was told by him that he’s over 5 years old…which I know to mean that he isn’t very interested in any life-advice from his 35 year old daughter. It’s hard to be dismissed when you are trying to help someone touch back down to earth. It’s hard to feel dismissed because of one’s age or social statute within the family. My parents are more like to take advice from my older sister and strangers than me. I just go back to – well, hey? What do I really know anyway?
All I know is what information I’ve gathered from the eclectic life I’ve lived. I’ve been a severely depressed bar slag paralegal, a wannabe suburban housewife, a liar, a celebrity gossiper, a biker’s girl, a weed grower and dealer, an emotional punching bag for a couple of narcissistic jerk-offs (before I found my sense of self-worth), a childfree woman, a wife, a kickboxing instructor, a yoga instructor, a manager of a gym, a happy paralegal, a budding homesteader, a writer, a single woman hula-hooping alone in her apartment with Bishop Briggs’ “River” cranked too loud to where I am now…a suburban lesbian paralegal living in Niskayuna with two kids. I’ve been a woman with her shit together and a woman with her emotional shit everywhere. I’ve always had to work hard to be where I wanted or needed to be. I’ve always had to have a job ~ I’ve never had the luxury of fucking around because I have bills to pay and a credit score to keep over 800.
But what do I know? I’m not a world traveler, nor am I someone with a lot of schooling behind me. I haven’t lived in another country with less than what we have here. There are some demons I haven’t yet dealt with. I did hit what I think was my own personal rock bottom and that’s how I got to be where I am now. I’d hate to think that there could potentially be worse but if that’s what God has in store for me, that’s what He has in store for me. Nothing I can do about that. I’m just pretty comfortable saying “I don’t know” and pretty comfortable letting other people tell me that “they know”…when I really just feel that nobody knows a damned thing. We’re all just trying our best, whatever that happens to look like at the moment.
Let me tell you, as unamazing as I felt yesterday and the day before, TODAY I am feeling just fabulous.
But that’s what a sleeping pill, a small glass of champagne AND almost 10 hours of sleep can do.
I woke up this morning to a message via Etsy chat from another shop owner, who sells succulents. I favorited her shop when I opened mine back in mid-December. I’ve hit a point in my life where I’m unsure a lot of the time what gifts to give people and find that plants are usually a safe bet. She messaged me with a potential collaboration! As in, she may purchase some of my smaller glassware from me for her items in her shop. This way, Jane Doe can purchase a cute little succulent or cactus plant in one of my pieces.
What an amazing opportunity ~ collaborations are where it’s AT. And I could possibly sell them to her in bulk for a fair price and cross-promote her items. AND if people like the style of the glassware or pots, they could come to me for other pieces I’ve done. So I have work to do!
The idea of this is inspiring me. I’m thinking of the little bouillon jars – like what I used to create THIS SET – but keeping them clear, frost the glass, and create maybe even a little felt cactus for them. I’m pretty excited about this and can’t wait for the weekend to get here so I can get to WORK on my ideas.
Shop my Etsy…shop…here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/WeirdGlassArtStudio
When I woke up at 3:11 this morning and could not fall back asleep, I went from super anxious to angry to sad to…determined. I’m exhausted ~ I’m one of those people who truly needs 8 hours of sleep on the regular to function. Two days in a row of troubled or interrupted sleep really gets to me and that’s where I’m at today.
But then I remembered…I don’t always have to be superwoman. I switched my perspective as I laid in bed. Instead of worrying about all the things I have on my to-do list, I was honest with myself about what I thought I could accomplish today without stressing myself out needlessly.
I decided that instead of going to cycling class after work, I’d simply go home and spend some time in my craft room because it’ll be good for my mental health. I have a project underway that I am eager to work on and finish in the next week or so. I figured that instead of tiring my physical body out further by a tough class I’d just give everything some rest.
I also decided to use that time crafting to also call the NYS DOH for my 1095-A form I need for my taxes. I assume I will be on hold much of that call so I can leisurely paint while I wait for someone to assist me. There doesn’t sound like any calmer of a way to handle that task.
Since I was awake anyway, I actually got out of bed at around 5:30 a.m. and washed, dried, and put away my laundry so I wouldn’t have to do it this night. Score for being ahead of the game here!
I also treated myself to a breakfast sandwich and an iced coffee, and took my time with my hair and makeup. Any stressed out, unhappy thought that’s come my way has made me tell myself to just relax – it’ll all get done at some point and that point isn’t right this second. I also packed in my lunch today two Oreo cookies as an afternoon indulgence. I haven’t eaten them as of yet but just knowing they are there makes me happy; knowing that I took the time to put them in a baggie for an “emergency” on a very tired, potentially stressful day makes me think: Damn, look at me all bein’ considerate and loving toward mahself. You go, girl!
So, if you are feeling a bit like me – overtired and overwhelmed by various aspects of life ~ try taking a few minutes to meditate on whatever it is that you feel is so important for you to take care of. What are the priorities, really? What can wait? What can be worked on for a few minutes every day or every week to get you to that end result?
And pack yourself a couple of your favorite cookies.
The truth is: I feel alone amongst a crowd and misunderstood quite often. I wonder if this is just what it’s like to be an adult in the world today ~ where we are all disconnectedly connected.
I took my Dad’s advice after a conversation we had a couple of weeks ago, wherein he said he feels that people that live in a more “city” atmosphere are less likely to take the time to notice and care about the people around them. While his opinion paints with broad strokes, he and my Mom said I should get to know my neighbors, create the type of world I want to live in every day. It’s a relatively easy concept to understand but not always the easiest to execute.
So, I left a note for my neighbor, whose husband we noticed hasn’t been home. He’s military so we assume (rightfully) that he’s been deployed. A few hours after my note, my neighbor (who now I know is Krysten) texted me – connection made. It was nice to extend a neighborly hand when it seems that just isn’t what a lot of people do anymore. My Dad thinks that people in the country – like where I grew up – are more apt to make friends with their neighbors; check in on them to make sure they’re okay. I didn’t know my neighbors when I lived in Ballston Lake. I mean, I sort of knew the guy who lived in the bus in the junkyard but living the way he did made it seem like he preferred to be left alone.
I find it harder now to put myself out there than a few years ago. There’s just so much…distraction…fluff…silly stuff out there in the world. I have felt more inward, private, keep to myself. Willing to help but less willing to share.
But I suppose this “inward” feeling has helped me create some pretty cool stuff. I just uploaded these two finished projects onto my Etsy shop page:
Which you can find in my shop HERE: https://www.etsy.com/shop/WeirdGlassArtStudio
And it also lets me get into my head some and work on some weirder projects, like this wine bottle re-do I’m working on. These two bottles were a part of a set of 4 fall-themed bottles that I had for a couple of years but wasn’t able to sell. I tend to do this, rather than waste the materials – I will pull things apart and try a different route. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I try to reinvent. Sometimes its only purpose is for me to learn new methods and occupy my mind. One learns from failure…hopefully.
Maybe it’s just the season in my life for me to be less “out there” and more “in here”. Sometimes I think I had enough “out there” to last a lifetime; my pseudo-fame did not last and I can only now appreciate how superficial it all was. I have no desire to feel that loss of what is unreal again. I am content being a quiet wallflower.
How is it that we’re in the middle of March? It’s been a super busy month and I haven’t been very good whatsoever about any goals. I’ve sold $27 of my $100 goal, my craft show in May has apparently fallen through since my check never arrived and now I can’t get ahold of the woman in charge to get a better address and to see if there’s still room for me…
But you know what? I don’t really care at this point. It feels more important for me to do what feels right, not excessively stress myself out, and to just enjoy my life as much as I can. BALANCE, you know? Life feels very crazy right now and I’m not going to try and wrestle it into some sort of submission. I’m going to ride the wave and see what happens.
I admit: I’ve taken exactly 0 hot yoga classes this month so far. However, I’ve been taking cycling classes with Theresa and it’s been really nice doing that with her. The lights are dim, the music’s pumping ~ there’s a lot of brain quiet time in that class for me. I can close my eyes and just tire my legs right out. Brain quiet time is good and it is what I was looking for this month.
As to decreasing food waste, I will say I’ve been a lot more mindful. I’ve been much better at eating everything I bring with me to work, packing bits and scraps of things that aren’t a full serving of whatever. Typically those small little things would go to waste but I’ve been trying to bring them with me to work to nibble on.
What came as a shocker to me is that I’m down 3 lbs without even trying. I’ll take it!
While it’s been a tough week, I feel good about how it’s all ending. I’m looking forward to catching up on sleep and possibly getting outside for a walk with my best friend and our dogs tomorrow. My mom heads back to NYC on Monday to meet with a thoracic surgeon at Sloan Kettering, after meeting with an oncologist there yesterday. I’m grateful for steady steps forward, friends and family to lean on when needed, and for difficult times that show me how I can be a better person.
I hate to damn an entire day, but if I had to damn any day – every single time – it’d be Tuesday.
Mondays I’m usually ready to take on my week. I’m put together and focused. Tuesday arrives and everything just falls out of my hands, spilling on to the floor. Then I will slip in it, fall, and get myself covered in it’s bullshit. Pretty much every Tuesday that’s me – on the floor, rollin’ around in its messiness until it’s time to go to bed. Bed time can’t come too soon.
Life just feels like it’s beating me down. Between feeling like I am not as useful as I could be or would like to be to my parents, my fiancee (who’s injured insists she doesn’t need my help), our non-argument argument about my dog…I’m feeling sour. Like I want to cry. Like I want to flail about, yell, cry, sleep.
I just don’t feel needed or even particularly wanted, which is an ugly way to feel.
But in reality, it’s just another Tuesday. What’s worse is that Tuesdays usually feel like they are two days long. This day of the week is an exercise in patience, faith, and endurance.
When I found out about my mom’s diagnosis, I came back to work the next day a little upset. When co-workers asked me how my mom’s surgery went, I broke down and told them they found cancer. One cried with me and asked me if there’s anything they could do to help me, even glue twine on bottles and sell them…
It has me thinking: Is that all it appears I do?
I don’t think her comment was belittling; she just knows I enjoy crafting and that I’m trying to run a fledgling Etsy shop. It was just one of the ideas tossed out there as a way to help. But it just has me wondering if that’s what’s perceived of me – simply wrapping some rope around things and then trying to sell it. I mean, I suppose so, if you want to look at in a very simple way.
What is the purpose of my crafting and having an Etsy shop?
I am a chronic recycler ~ it is what it is. I feel good about filling up my recycle bin at home, knowing (hoping?) that those items aren’t going to be in a landfill somewhere polluting the earth. With items that I feel I can re-use myself, I love taking an empty jar and turning it into something that can be used again in a different way. Take these small jars for example – they used to be clear bouillon jars.
Sure, I could have put these in the recycle bin along with other items, but why not paint them up and make them more decorative? It gives me something to do, it brings me joy, and it allows me to express myself creatively. Hopefully it will resonate with someone and they’ll be like YES, I NEED TO HAVE THESE! I mean, instead of re-using these somewhere in the kitchen, they can go in your bathroom, office, bedroom…wherever. They be what you want them to be instead of what they were originally intended. That makes me happy ~ the ability to do that. To turn something plain into something pretty and functional. See beyond what it was and give a glimpse as to what it could be with just some attention and work; inspire others to do the same with the objects they’d normally just toss.
Sales have been very slow, admittedly. I am still unsure if Etsy is the right demographic for me because it seems so very hard to be SEEN there. But I’m continuing to work, learn, and create at the same time. Where do I ultimately want to be? I would love for this to take off, become a hit, and have it be a sustainable part-time gig. YES, I do want to make money. Right now I’d be happy for it to simply cover the costs of me continuing to fiddle fart around with painting and decoupaging glassware. Everyone has to start somewhere though.
Follow me on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/WeirdGlassArtStudio
Follow my Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WeirdGlassArtStudio
You’d be proud.
I’ve learned that sacrificing your life and family for a career isn’t right for me.
I’ve learned that a solid job is the perfect platform for my life to rest upon.
That not every smiling face is an invitation for friendship
or a promise of honesty.
That how I make others feel is important and reflects who I am
more than my own words could express.
I’ve learned that coldness isn’t always a result of something I’ve done.
just how good and honest a small circle feels.
I’ve learned how I could have been kinder.
I’ve learned where I could have been more firm.
I’ve learned how inflated my ego was.
the hard way
about how little some people valued me.
(But I know their figure isn’t the truth.)
I’ve learned that it’s okay to not know everything.
Or be everything.
Or be in the center of everything.
that it’s okay to have nothing to do.
I’ve learned that not everyone sticks around when you have nothing to offer
but those that do are the ones worth keeping.
I’ve learned that
there’s so much more satisfaction in putting 100% into my family life
as opposed to wasting time
seeking love and approval from strangers.
I’ve learned to invest in myself.
I’ve come back.
Somewhere in between cluttering up my childhood bedroom’s walls with a collage of pictures from Rolling Stone magazine and gluing twine around empty disinfectant wipe containers, I learned the value of a well-decorated space. But that’s the difference between being 16 and 35.
I love creating a living space that reflects me and that is functionally beautiful. A big factor for me when it comes to picking where I’m to live is that it needs a lot of natural light. I am in LOVE with the light I get from the eastern windows of my breakfast room. It seems that it’s impossible for that room to feel bad or to feel bad in it.
Because I was home-bound this weekend getting over the flu, I figured I’d work on small, easy projects to continue to settle into our Niskayuna home. This month we celebrate a year of living here and two years of being together.
I’m in love with this framed quote Theresa bought for me for Christmas. It had been leaning up against our bedroom wall since the holiday, as we hadn’t fully committed to where we thought it should live in our house. In making room for the greenhouse shelf unit shown below, I had to move things around in our breakfast room to accommodate it. What that did was leave a big huge empty space on the wall that I wasn’t happy with. This framed quote fits in perfectly!
This is where we plan on starting the seedlings for our garden this year. To be planted very soon will be tomatoes. There is no better window in our home than this one, and it will be even better when we have the big tree in the back removed.
Little projects like this bring me such satisfaction on the weekends. The older I get, the more I like being in and creating my living spaces. When I had an apartment for a year in between houses, I went into that space thinking I would be content renting forever. I soon quickly realized that I couldn’t quite get settled into my renting situation, as much as I loved my apartment. I am much more invested, emotionally and obviously monetarily, into a home. I like having that time to slowly unfold; visualize and re-work, realizing that it will always be changing as we grow and our needs and dreams change. Investing in a house, creating a home, building – day by day – feels also like an investment in myself.