Monthly Archives: May 2019

Simple Wedding Décor Progress

I mentioned in my blog yesterday that while I haven’t been working on adding items to my Etsy Shop, I still have been crafting – but for me. On June 13th, Theresa and I will be getting married on our patio in a very simple ceremony and, just because it’s very simple, it doesn’t mean that there will not be some unique décor around!

We have a garden arch we will put up and decorate with twinkling lights (we have plenty of those!) and some glassware I’m creating just for our wedding.

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These bottles are still a work in progress ~ I have waxed a couple of them and still need to do the others. I also will be working on creating fabric flowers to attach to the bottles; I’ve found some great tutorials on Pinterest and it looks pretty straight-forward. Something to do while binge-watching Netflix.

Do those curved glass pieces look familiar? They are the remaining two vintage glass shades from the ceiling fan upgrade I did not too long ago. I told you I’d find a way to use them! I am going to get a couple of small electronic pillar candles to put in there for cute lighting.

The colors I chose have significance – my dress is a dusty pink color and Theresa’s is slate grey. I am obsessed with the matte look lately on everything ~ it’s soothing, it’s relaxed, it’s elegant without screaming “LOOK AT ME!”

This is my first foray into wedding décor that isn’t theoretical – as in, it’s a wedding that’s actually happening! I’m sure between now and then I’ll have more tricks up my sleeve, but this is what I’ve been working on as of late.

June Goals ~ Enjoying Life

It has been a couple of months since I set clear goals and then updated my blog as to my progress. The past couple of months, if you’ve been following along, have been hard for me to really set those goals due to everything else that has been going on. My overall goal was simply to maintain some sort of sanity and positive self-care; trying to keep life as normal as possible.

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I can’t say I’ve overall been successful. Earlier this month when my mother’s second surgery didn’t go as planned, the weeks that followed were extremely tough on me. Suddenly I was not handling things well; I was so frustrated, angry, exhausted, snippy ~ thinking I was one more bad moment away from fully losing my mind. There was no pivotal point for me returning from that dark place…I just realized I was super unhappy and I had to focus on the brighter, happier things in life. “Fake it ’til you make it”, so to speak. It’s funny how much it really does help me.

Last week was my first week of “faking it”. I came to work and talked more to co-workers. I went roller-skating twice on the bike path during my lunch break. I went for a bike ride. I relaxed. My spirits began to lift. Not every moment is perfect but life feels much more manageable – much of life really is about one’s attitude.

My goal for June (and beyond) is to keep working on my attitude and doing things that bring me joy and peace.

Getting out into the fresh air and being active.

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Stopping along the way to take pictures and bask in the beauty around me.

Snuggling with my loved ones ~

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Enjoying my garden – nurturing it and watching it grow!

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I was recently all in a panic, crying to my parents on the phone about how I likely wouldn’t get a garden in this year with everything that’s going on…and then I got my big girl britches back on and realized I can do it. Actually, it’s important for me to do it because I love fiddling around in my garden, growing things. I spent a lot of time nurturing all that you see from seed (granted, the picture isn’t great at showing that). Starting my own plants from seeds is brand new for me – I would usually pick up my tomatoes, zucchini, and cucumber plants at Lowes. While I did have to pick up some cucumbers as all of mine did not make it (only 1 of the bunch did), everything else I did. I’m proud of that and I can’t wait to see what happens with everything this year now that the big tree in our backyard is gone.

Sales? I’m still weeding through things. Crafts have taken a temporary backseat as I try different things (I’m currently working toward weaving a rug out of recycled fabric), and work on wedding decorations (in exactly two weeks, I’ll be a married woman!). So I’m still crafting, but for me – not at the moment though for my Etsy shop.

There was a time I felt invincible.

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Or maybe I’m romanticizing the past. That does happen sometimes.

But I remember feeling like I could do anything, handle everything that came my way, tackle all the problems and come out on top. I realized the other day that somewhere along the past few years I lost that feeling. Sitting in the passenger side of Theresa’s car on my way to a doctor’s appointment I really didn’t want to go to – I realized that I had allowed myself to sink under the weight of life.  I have been feeling so negative about everything – I haven’t felt this poisonous since early adulthood.

The truth is – I am handling everything that is coming my direction. It may not always be with grace, but I’m human.

I do “got this”.

Life is beautiful – even in between the lines of stress and frustration. I can’t let myself forget that again. This is my life and I am not in charge of everything that happens in it, but I can be in charge of my attitude and outlook on it.

Advice for Crafters for Craft Shows

I participated in a craft show this weekend and it was pretty terrible. While the location was on the main road, super clean and bright, and decently organized – the foot traffic was beyond disappointing.

I’ve done enough shows to realize that not every one is a hit. Sometimes you’re out of your demographic. Sometimes you get wedged in between other vendors that have a different customer base. When there’s a great crowd but not a lot of sales – I look at two things:

  1. Are people carrying bags from other vendors? If not, I tend to look at the day, the mood, or even the time of year. If they are carrying shopping bags, I then wonder if I may not have the right audience for my items.
  2. How many people am I handing business cards out to? Even if I don’t make a sale that day, it does not mean that someone won’t go home and check out my website. If I can make a connection with someone, that can lead to future sales.

When there is not a great crowd…consider your venue. Ladies Auxiliaries of local firehouses, I’ve found, are not fabulous venues. I really want them to be because they support great local causes but they are run by a generation that doesn’t blast on social media effectively. You cannot rely on a sign in the front yard of the firehouse for bringing in a crowd. It needs to be on Facebook efficiently – Instagram – Etsy – the local newspaper – flyers – website of the firehouse – website of the town – the local Chamber of Commerce!

THIS…

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…doesn’t happen without a lot of effort.

Given my experience with these shows, I’m skipping out on these firehouse craft/vendor fairs in the future. It’s hard to do because they’re so cheap to join (around $20-$35 a pop) and I like the idea of my fee supporting their causes. But unless they put in the effort to get foot traffic in, it is not worth my time. I worked really hard creating each and every item on my table, I worked for a few hours just on packing and tagging everything, making sure I had bags for purchases, signs so people knew how to find me on social media and where to purchase items, I drove over an hour total time to get there. I lost money and whole lot of time that day.

Shows that are inexpensive to get into are just not for me.

Shows that are 30 minutes or more away are not for me.

If you’re a budding crafter, get out there and VISIT more of these craft shows on your own to gauge if you want to participate next time around.

TALK to other crafters about the venues where they have found the most success.

THINK about the location. Is it a busy town/city? Or is it a sleepy place out in the middle of nowhere?

ASK the organizer about other crafters and vendors who have signed up. What do they make/sell?

CONSIDER the opportunity wisely. Time is something you cannot buy back. If life is crazy and the idea of joining a show is stressful and NOT exciting – don’t do it. It is okay to pass up on participating and simply just go to visit and enjoy the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show stopper!

Well, I hope to be. Maybe if I put the ~**gOOd ViBEs**~ out there for the craft show I’m participating in this coming weekend, I will BE that SHOW STOPPER!

It’s my first crafting event of the year and it’s also my first crafting event as Weird Glass Art Studio. I’m looking forward to it but I’m also apprehensive because shows that take place at local firehouses can be a hit or miss. It can be a lot of vendors and, to be 100% honest, I really dislike MLMs. It’s the absolutely worst to be next to someone who is more interested in padding out a downline rather than simply selling the products because they like them. Not only that, our customer base is so very different that it’s no good for either of us to be next to each other.

[I could go on and on about my views on MLMs but that’s worth another post entirely.]

So, I’m all packed up and ready to go for Saturday! I whipped together a door prize last night, as well:

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One may look at this and think it is super simple, but it was actually challenging for me to create something specifically for a person unknown. It’s not like the individual who wins the door prize will have a choice of whatever I have available at my table; I had to make something special just for this. I think by keeping the idea simplistic (as in, leaving out the “weird”), it shows that I can create unique glassware art that can fit anyone’s style. I hope whoever walks away with this loves it and uses it well.

Materials used (for the crafty and curious):

  • empty sauce jar, labels removed and cleaned throughly;
  • Krylon chalky finish paint;
  • spray paint sealer – clear acrylic;
  • thick patterned napkin (yes! I’m for real here!);
  • Strip of burlap;
  • fabric flower – deconstructed from its stem;
  • leaves from the deconstructed fabric flower; and
  • hot glue.

While this vase cannot be tossed into a dishwasher or into your sink (none of my work should be), it can be cleaned on the inside with a damp cloth or a disinfectant wipe. You’d be surprised at how resilient the outside is with the right finishing spray, which I use on all of my work (save glassware that’s completed twine-covered). The napkin doesn’t run the risk of ripping while handling, unless you’re mauling the glass, and the glass is scratch resistant because of that spray.

What do you think – should I fill the vase with Hershey Kisses or some other kind of small wrapped candy for the prize? If so, what would you wish to receive in the vase, if you were to win the door prize?

Follow me on Pinterest HERE.

Take a look at other items in my Etsy shop HERE.

 

 

 

Self care, don’t care!

I have this terrible attitude I can’t shake. I am angry, easily frustrated, not sleeping as well as I should, feeling overwhelmed and annoyed with myself.

Social media gives the impression we’re supposed to be PoSiTiVe pOsItIvE POSITIVE all the damned time ~ but you know what? I don’t need to live my life only by the highlight reels. Sometimes life just is a kick in the pants and all you can do is cringe and move forward anyway.

I have been actively trying to do less so that I can get a bit of a breather. It’s been hard with trying to finish the bedroom, maintain a steady workout routine, work full time, have a family, and prepare for birthdays, Mother’s Day, a craft show, and a wedding. But I’ve been more aware of prioritizing and, as a friend reminded me, MAKE A DAMNED LIST and chip away a little at a time. That’s how I got through Mother’s Day and a birthday ~ using my lunch break wisely to conquer my task list.

Man, our vacation cruise couldn’t have come at a better time. In a month we are OUT of the U.S. and into the good life. Over a week of no responsibilities…we don’t have to do anything but what we want to do. I can use that right now – the opportunity to be truly free and disconnect from everything.

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In the meantime, I want to continue to work on me so that I can get out of this truly negative, hateful rut I am in. I know I’m “off” ~ so I took about a half hour today, after Mother’s Day festivities, and beat the crap out of my bag in the basement. It has been a couple of months since I’ve worn my boxing gloves. I remember the last time I did; the doctors had just confirmed my mom’s mesothelioma. So I went downstairs, blared music, cried and punched and kicked my way to exhaustion and some sort of sanity.

I feel – at times – one thread away from unraveling. I just can’t afford to do so. I feel like I’ve been extra snippy and impatient with the kids and they deserve better. Life doesn’t come with a manual and our emotions definitely don’t, either. Despite feeling like I am doing all the right things, I still am struggling with the weight on my plate. So – I’m not adding to it. What I have going on right now is what I have going on right now and anything else that I can reasonably say no to, I am. If I have to miss certain events because I really need to get to a fitness class, you bet your sweet ass I’m going to because a tough workout is like meditation to me and I can’t move forward without doing things that keep my anxiety and frustration at bay.

Remember who you are.

This weekend, I received a text message from someone who I haven’t spoken with in over 2 years. The reason our relationship fell apart was an accusation against me of something that I did not do, then I was insulted in the worst ways one could be, and then finally blocked before I had a chance to even really understand what she thought was going on or even defend/explain anything. It was a horrible ordeal that I still get angry about once in a while because having my integrity questioned is something that really gets to me.

The text message “forgave” me and indicated that she no longer holds resentment toward me. That’s all well and good, except for the fact that she should be seeking my forgiveness and offering an apology, not forgiving me as if I had something to apologize for.

The old me would have written back and sought to figure it all out – bring it to some sort of conclusion. The past couple of years have taught me that not everything gets buttoned up and put into a neat little box. Some shit will just be unresolved and I have to move on and live with it. The old me would want to work it all out to salvage a relationship because reunions can be oh-so-sweet and full of feel goods…

I hate to use the phrase “the new me!” because it sounds so cliché and very Happy New Year Resolutiony ~ but the person I am now, which has been shaped not only by this incident with this person, but all the other nasty people that have shown their true selves to me over the years, is uninterested in unreliable, mean-spirited people.

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Part of my driving around more than usual last week, visiting with my Dad in Cambridge, was remembering who the f*ck I am.

I am not a fake person.

I’m honest.

I’m trustworthy.

I say what I mean.

I am a busy person with a family, eclectic interests, a job…

I am a no-nonsense person.

I am much more accepting of seemingly impossible situations.

I am much more willing to simply walk away rather than engage.

I don’t care to try to have others see it my way.

I love to learn.

I am a bold person.

I am hard working.

And I have zero time for dramatic bullshit.

I won’t lie and say I no longer hold any resentment toward the girl – I do. I freely admit that I have my days where I could boil over with anger. That is my own issue to deal with and has nothing to do with her. That is everything having to do with me. The ugly feelings have lessened as time has passed, and I don’t need her forgiveness. Apologizing for something I’ve done wrong is an amazing feeling and it isn’t one that I would pass up for the sake of my ego. Last year I apologized to two girls that I had been rotten to and I’m really grateful I had that opportunity because it was something I had wanted to do for a long time. Mending bridges is great, but this bridge isn’t mine to mend and I am really quite fine with swimming.

 

 

May is for MAYBES.


It seems like I’ve been starting the past few months like – oh hey! It’s a new month!? The realization that time is passing by as fast as water running from a faucet is getting old in 2019 quite quickly.

When it comes to achieving the monthly goals I set for myself in April, I succeeded. I sold over $200 worth of various items – the exact amount is not truly important. It was a nice clean-out month of larger items, with one Etsy sale. I also was good about making time for myself, whether it was going to the gym, working on a project, or just sleeping.

I do not have goals for May aside from the continuation of sales and steadily growing my shop (I have a craft show mid-month) and what I’ve been doing health-wise. The past few days I’ve driven quite a bit and it’s given me some time to think. Really think. I’ve been hustling my ass in hopes that it will, eventually, pan out with me doing less. I’ve been adding more to my plate thinking that at some point it will all come off of it. So far that tactic hasn’t worked very well in my life and this…habit…this…flawed sense of direction…has not given me any indication that the result will be what I want it to be. If anything, I feel busier than I’ve ever felt before and I hate it.

Why is “being busy” some sort of competition?

Why do most people pack their schedules with activities and chores that don’t bring them any real pleasure?

Why are we stressing ourselves out?

What’s the purpose?

Why am I doing this to myself?

Maybe I don’t need to necessarily set new goals for myself every month. Maybe the shit I’m doing in my life isn’t really that important.

Maybe I can focus on doing the things that feel important to me at the time – things I want to do; the things that bring me happiness and joy. Less structure. More fluidity.

All these maybes.