Monthly Archives: April 2019

Fitting in and standing offish

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I refuse to think that I’m alone in feeling like I don’t fit in anywhere. At 35, I feel like if I haven’t found my spot yet, I likely never will. Life will always continue to feel uncomfortable, weird, and awesome – depending on the life and social circumstances.

It’s no mystery that I struggle to make true connections with those around me. While I don’t dwell much on “does so-and-so like me?”, the fact is that the every day tasks in life are made so much easier when you are liked. When you feel plugged in. When you feel like you are around like-minded people. It makes me sometimes wonder if I shouldn’t try to fit in more…do the things everyone else seems to enjoy doing…talk about what everyone else likes to talk about…

But that’s not me. I don’t have a very active social life. I’m not a part of the next biggest local thing, likely I haven’t been to the newest, hippest restaurant, and I don’t really care to get into other people’s business. I’m not the loudest, funniest person in the room and I don’t need or want all eyes on me. I’m not as open of a book as I used to be. Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been hurt by others. Maybe it’s a combination of both. I’ve shared a lot of my personal life to others in the past only to have had it tossed back in my face; to have been kicked while I was down by those who acted like they cared.

In a lot of ways, my lack of connecting is my own fault. I can acknowledge that. My attitude is indifferent and standoffish. It seems easier to stand apart and live my life quietly than it is to take a risk and draw negative attention to myself. I’d rather attention be drawn to me for something I’ve done or achieved rather than anything I’ve said. Plus, this keeps me out of other people’s drama. I hate the he-said, she-said stuff.

It also doesn’t help that on the weekends I spend time doing things a lot of other people I know don’t appear to enjoy. I mean, I don’t know who else is brainstorming ideas on how to upcycle cans into something useable and aesthetically pleasing.

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I wish I could find myself in a local group of upcyclers and crafters. While I am a part of a couple of Facebook groups, I don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook anymore. But crafting is a very solitary activity. It doesn’t require a team, it doesn’t require collaboration. But man, do I wish I had someone local that I could get together with and make stuff with. Someone who gets jazzed up about it. I miss spending time in the craft room with Theresa. Life has been too busy for us to dedicate the time to do that together.

I’ve been thinking of taking up Home Depot’s and Lowes’ weekend DIY workshops. I mean, crafting isn’t too far off from home improvement projects. I don’t have the bandwidth to take that on right now but maybe that’s something I can look into more seriously in the not-too-distant future. It’d be nice to be in a group of like-minded individuals learning a new skill. Maybe I would have that “I fit in!” feeling for just an hour or two.

“Making Do” – The (approx.) $25 Ceiling Fan Project

As I mentioned in THIS POST, since the ceiling fan in the spare bedroom is in good shape, I figured I’d clean it up and modernize it a bit instead of opting to replace it.

There were minimal supplies involved – spray paint, a matte sealer, and…well, unexpected new glass shades.

This project involved turning off the electricity and taking the fan apart! The pictures that follow proved not only effective in capturing the work in order to post this blog, but also helped me put it all back together when I ran into trouble!

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The “before” of the fan. 

I felt the gold accents were super dated and wouldn’t fit in with the look and feel I want for this spare bedroom. Also, of note, the yucky ends of the pulls…faded, yellowed plastic.

I LOVED the classic, vintage shape of the glass shades though. It’s really too bad I broke one.

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I mean – they are just beautiful.

Note to self and others: Do not over tighten these when you go to put them back on the fan. It will cause the base to crack and, I don’t know about you, the idea of hanging something glass above my head that is cracked that could potentially wiggle loose and send shards of glass everywhere isn’t something I’m into.

I was pretty bummed because I couldn’t find a replacement shade at the store.  However, because I really like them, I do plan on doing some online research to see if I can find one to purchase. For now, I put up plain glass shades in their place, as you’ll see below. The plain glass shades were $4.97 each at Home Depot, so it was not an expensive fix whatsoever. Just a disappointing one.

I took the blades apart, one by one, and removed the gold fixtures. Looks like a mermaid’s tail, doesn’t it?! I could see these being used in some sort of upcycled mermaid-themed home décor.

Super important to cover all electrical parts when spray painting. There may be a more technical way to do this, but pieces of painters tape worked just fine for me.

I even sprayed the chain pulls, including the yucky yellowing ends. For all the metal spraying, I used Krylon’s Metallic Silver spray and covered it with Krylon’s Matte Finish Clear spray so that it would be scratch resistant and more durable. I am not fancy enough to be sponsored by anyone but I use mainly Krylon when it comes to my metallic sprays because I have had good luck with it.

I will admit I don’t know how the spray will hold up on the plastic ends; they may fade after a while of being handled. I will deal with that when/if that happens.

See how much a coat or two of paint can really change the look?

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“After” – it looks like a whole new fan!

For an easy comparison:

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With my “oops” of cracking the original glass shade, this project was under $25 to do. If I had not needed to buy three new shades, the project would’ve been about $10 from start to finish. While ceiling fans are not too expensive – if what I had was working just fine, why replace it?

I hope this post helped inspire you to rethink what you have instead of going out and buying new. I really believe in starting small when it comes to lessening consumerism and keeping more dollars in my pocket!

Follow me on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/WeirdGlassArtStudio

Check out my Etsy shop of upgraded glassware: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WeirdGlassArtStudio

Sauce jars turned funky vases!

If you’ve wanted to try your hand at painting and crafting, working with glass is super forgiving. If you don’t like the end result – take it apart and start over. Repaint. Scrape. Try again.

There’s also a ton of glass around. Take a look at what’s in your pantry. Jars of sauce? Cool! Once you’ve used the sauce, thoroughly washed out the glass, scraped the labels off…get to work!

Here’s my latest creation with two recycled sauce jars – turquoise vases!

 

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These take more time than money to create, between layers of paint and waiting for them to dry, spraying to seal the acrylic paint, the addition of the burlap ribbon, each individual fabric flower, the twine, and then the little gemstones I added to the center of the flowers. But hey, if you have a rainy weekend coming up and want to test out your craftiness, using the materials you have around you at your disposal and flexing your creative muscles is a great way to pass the time! The key here is to take your time – don’t rush the process. I find crafting to be a bit like meditation ~ relax into it, don’t rush it, don’t think too much about it.

If you’d like to see my other creations – check them out at http://www.etsy.com/shop/WeirdGlassArtStudio

And Follow Me on PINTEREST at http://www.pinterest.com/WeirdGlassArtStudio

 

 

 

 

A little self-checkup.

The past few days I’ve felt run down. Stressed. Unhappy. Unsettled. Annoyed by the smallest things – frustrated with constantly picking up after others. Feeling like genuine people are few and far between. I feel disappointed in myself and my surroundings lately.

I feel like I could be more grateful for the things I have in my life.

I acknowledge I’ve engaged in behaviors recently that don’t make me feel good – like gossiping. I’ve stayed away from it for a while now but over the past few weeks, I’ve slipped under the influence of the conversations of those around me.

I can’t change the world. I can only change me and bringing that kind of negativity into my life, especially now, is toxic.

Mental health is very important to me – I want to feel good inside so I can feel good and do good on the outside. I’d rather catch it now and make changes before it affects other areas of my life.

 

 

 

 

 

4 seconds into Monday and I want to be done.

The only reason why I didn’t call into work today was because I had an appointment to drop off my car at the dealership this morning at 8 a.m. I really could have used another day to work on painting the spare bedroom.

Lemme tell ya…today already feels like defeat.

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I sold an extra pair of boxing gloves on Mercari, so I went to my craft room to print off a label…to find out the cat puked twice on the rug. We are in the process of putting a door up for this exact reason. God knows why, but Kitty chooses to puke THERE.

Then I couldn’t find my yoga mat. Then I realized I may not even be able to make it TO yoga because of my car being in the shop…

I purchased a maintenance package and, apparently, there’s a $100 deductible every time I need a diagnostic on something that’s wrong. So, for instance, today it was brought in because of my airbag sensor and my front passenger seat belt sensor. I was thinking it’d be covered entirely in the maintenance package monthly fee and I was wrong. $100 – nice knowing you. I mean, I’m grateful that last week I did super well with sales. I sold a paddle board for $175 and miscellaneous things on Mercari. It just sucks to feel like I’ve been trying pretty hard to get things done with as much financial responsibility as possible and every which way, there’s a hand out for something.

Adulthood.

The good in today is that it’s quiet at work; many people are out for a long Easter weekend. I had a nice, fuzzy interaction with a client first thing today. It’s a beautiful, sunny day outside. Knowing I got more done in the spare bedroom than I originally anticipated makes me feel accomplished AF and ahead of the game. It’s just a bumpy day.

 

 

 

Making Do ~ Progress on Spare Bedroom Update

I am feeling a bit torn about priorities.

On one hand, finishing this bedroom is important to me because I want it to be ready should someone(s) need to stay in it.

On the other hand, in just shy of one month, I have a craft show that I plan on attending with my Weird Glass Art Studio stuff and I’m wondering if I have enough to bring.

So I’m going to try my best and split my weekend up 50/50, so each project gets some love. Neither project is the type that can be rushed and I don’t want to rush them – these are projects I really enjoy doing.

When it comes to the bedroom, this is where we are currently:

The left side is this morning, the right was Sunday after the wallpaper border scrape.

The left side has been primed or painted. What you are seeing is Theresa’s  effort to create smooth walls with spackling without the need to re-sheetrock the entire room. She used this method for our downstairs bathroom. Yes, it has to be sanded (which is easy – just messy!), but afterwards it’ll be ready to paint the color I want it to be! Opting to spackle and smooth out uneven walls and minor cracks – opting to repair as opposed to replace – saves us a lot time and money and will create the beautiful result I’m looking forward to seeing.

This weekend’s spare bedroom goal is to remove the ceiling fan, sand, paint the ceiling white, and to buy the “champagne tickle”-colored paint I chose.

This weekend’s craft-show prep goal is to inventory what I have so far to bring and evaluate it honestly- how much more do I really need to create? Then I decide how much I really can add to my inventory for the show without compromising my own creativity and sanity.

 

Thoughts about Being Influenced versus Seeking Validation/Acknowledgment

A Facebook friend confided on her page yesterday that she feels that she has made a lot of decisions in her life based on the influence of others. She mentioned that, recently, she was sharing how her training for a marathon is going and when this individual was not as enthused as she was, she felt let down. She indicates that, perhaps, she’s putting too much stock into what others think about who she is and what she’s up to. I had to give that post a “like” because we’ve all been there. I think we’ve all felt that deflation when we’re excited about something in our lives and nobody else seems to be.

While sometimes that sinking feeling can come from caring too much about what others think, I think it’s only natural to want others to simply acknowledge our “awesome thing” and say to us – Hey, you know what? That’s freakin’ awesome, dude. Go you!

We are human and, as humans, we seek connection.

It isn’t always being influenced by the opinion of others – sometimes it’s simply looking for validation or acknowledgement of our efforts in a difficult and busy world. I don’t have to understand the drive behind someone training for a marathon to be able to participate in that conversation. To tell them that I wish them the best in their efforts. To acknowledge how hard it must be to train on the days when the weather isn’t cooperative, or when you’re sore or tired or in a bad mood. The fact that anyone can overcome these obstacles and run 26+ miles in a race is a huge feat. [One I will never do, so why would I knock it?]

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The thing is, I believe that when we share a bit of ourselves with another person it’s an act of love and it can hurt when it isn’t returned. That’s because it hurts to not be acknowledged. That’s not influence – that’s a larger scale version of waving at someone that you are friendly with and having them ignore you when you know they saw you.

In my opinion, someone’s influence would be more along the lines of allowing your family to guide you along a certain educational path or career. Perhaps who you marry and when; do you have children or do you not? Perhaps your clothing and your manner of speaking so that you fit into a crowd…again…seeking some sort of acceptance that truly varies from who you are inside.

In summary, just be good humans to each other. If someone’s excited about something you don’t understand, it’s okay that you don’t understand it – but understand that they are pumped up about it and be pumped up about their pumped-up-ness. Yeah! #GoTeam!

Yay – my third Etsy sale!

Despite the fact that I spent the weekend on various projects (see my prior post HERE), I had this nagging, frustrated feeling Saturday and Sunday. Thankfully I woke up Monday and noticed that the feeling had left the building…but I don’t know what had gotten into me. There was a lot of sighing, eye rolling, and telling Adam to lay down and to stop following me everywhere (legit, I tripped over him all day).

I also made my third sale on Etsy!

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The long-stem champagne flutes! This lifted my spirits up on Sunday as I was struggling to rescreen a window. This was probably the simpliest project I took on recently and I’m happy that these former Salvation Army finds are on their way to a new home for new memories to be made. Comparing other prices of celebratory champagne flutes on Etsy, these were a screamin’ deal at $20.

Now I am staring in the fact of a craft show on 5/18, realizing that I need to create more items, consider filing a d/b/a in my home county, and get an EIN so I can start keeping track of my sales tax so I’m not caught with my pants down next year, come tax time. I want to be “legit” – that way I can claim my expenses, claim part of my household for the business, etc. All the things. Even though I’m limping along now as I begin, now’s the time to get that shit organized so that I can grow without stressing about how to keep myself and the funds organized.

Check out my Etsy shop HERE –>https://www.etsy.com/shop/WeirdGlassArtStudio

Follow me on Pinterest HERE –> https://www.pinterest.com/WeirdGlassArtStudio/

Saturday’s feel-goods (pic heavy)

I woke early today to the relaxing sounds of Poopie screaming. One could argue that I started off my Saturday a bit on edge because of that. Besides that, since I had big plans for this weekend, I got up and got started.

Today felt like more than a breath of spring; it felt like the first day of summer. It was just over 70 degrees and sunny here in Upstate New York. I bagged 10 leaf bags and hung out my laundry to dry before noontime…the sun kissed me a little bit!

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One of my favorite things of warmer weather is hanging out my laundry. There’s nothing like the smell of the outdoors on my clothes. I like to think I’m single-handedly saving the planet one wash at a time – when, really, this small contribution doesn’t amount to much, but it certainly saves my laundry from the “chewing” of machines.

It’s all about the little things every day that make you feel good.

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For me, the feel-goodness came from the amazing weather and knowing I was using my day wisely.

Now if I could kick the anxiety I’ve had all day, that’d be great. It may have been exacerbated by the ice coffee Leah gave me (no regrets, Leah, that coffee was DELISH!), but I’ve just been a bit frustrated for most of my day when I let my brain wander on its own and away from the present. I was tripping over Adam all day, Poopie was screaming much of the day no matter what I did…I was thinking about work, money, my family, and all sorts of imaginary scenarios and interactions. My phone was ringing, notifications were pinging…it’s like, here we are, having a beautiful day, but it seemed like people were spending it on their phones. Then, of course, I was thinking about how there’s so much of that in today’s society – the cell phone staring and social media obsessing…and there goes my brain down the rabbit hole again.

Trust me when I say that I’m likely not overall any better at disconnecting than the next person. I mean I’m here blogging, aren’t I?

So after I wore my new favorite dress, I changed into another set of work clothes and began working on the spare bedroom project. Scraping the remaining glue from the wallpaper border was a lot easier than I thought!

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The first picture (the one of the room with the yellow plastic in the center) is the beginning point. The Piranha spray made this project VERY easy. While Theresa and I together went back through with wipes to pick up the remaining glue residue that the scraper was too large to handle, it really went a lot smoother than I expected. I mean, check out that “after” picture of the room (the picture that does not have the yellow bag in it)!

[Of note, it was super encouraging to see the difference in the backs of my legs from the spin classes we’ve been taking. HECK YES to the beginning of a difference between my hamstrings and glutes!]

I also removed this mirror and although it’s a cheapie and Theresa is like, “let’s just get a new, nicer one!” I am going to bring it down to my craft room and play with it. If I can’t get it to look nice, well, a mirror like this is only about $10 at your local Walmart anyhow. But I want to see if I can’t classy it up a bit so it can be reused.

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Mirror? You’re coming DOWN, son!

I’m mildly amused that this spare bedroom will be done before even my own bedroom is. Luck of the draw, I suppose! But this room will take the least amount of work to become pretty again. Our room is still undergoing closet construction.

So, tomorrow, it’s supposed to rain. It’ll be the perfect day to clean the moldings and windows and prime the walls for their ultimate color – a sunny, but subdued, yellow. Here’s to hoping that I wake up with less anxiety and general uneasiness.