Monthly Archives: June 2019

Sometimes it’s hard to say “thank you”

…because “thank you” isn’t always enough!

I had a friend and co-worker come to our wedding and she sang “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran for us, which was a complete surprise for Theresa. It isn’t often that I can surprise her successfully. I felt like a sneaky superstar NINJA!

Although I offered to pay Beth for the favor, she insisted she didn’t want any money from me. So how do I say thank you with more than just saying “Thank you”?

Beth has been a musician for a long time. It’s her art. My thank you to her is by giving her my art, inspired by her, and it turned out more funky and fun than I imagined!

The pictures are looking a bit dark to me, but I’m sitting outside as I write this. I hope they are coming across a bit brighter to you, reader, on the other side. Having the time to sit on my patio for a bit today and write is a fabulous thing.  EDIT: pics updated; they were dark!

Materials used: Glass jar, corduroy fabric, twine, purple fabric, mesh, acrylic paint, spray paint and sealer, Mod Podge for texture, podgeable paper – musical note themed, black faux gemstones for the center of the purple flowers.

It was done over this weekend in stages (and it is currently drying).

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The various materials give it a very eclectic look; I’d see something like this in someone’s house and would have to ask about it.

I won’t lie and say I’m not nervous about giving this to her a teeny tiny bit. People’s tastes are different and what people consider art is, also. But I feel this piece, while inspired by her, is also reflective of me as a person…and that’s really all I can strive for. Authenticity. Uniqueness. Love.

I also have another “thank you” gift in the works, but the theme behind it is eluding me a bit. It was easy with Beth, as she plays guitar. This other gift doesn’t feel as…easy? The inspiration will hit me and it’ll be perfect, I just have to be patient.

I’m ready to begin setting some goals again – finally :)

It’s been a couple of months since I’ve felt like I’m in a place to set a goal for myself. I have just been trying to keep positive, keep a normal life/routine, all while attempting to limit the amount of stress in my life. But now that things seem relatively calm at the moment (wedding/cruise is over, my Mom appears to be doing well with her chemo thus far, school’s out and sports are over), I feel ready to begin setting some goals for July.

My biggest goal for July is DECLUTTERING.

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I’ve been selling on Mercari and eBay BUT my big goal is to not take any of it into August. I am going to have a yard sale either this weekend or in two weeks and hope that most of it goes, all while continuing to upload items online for extra exposure. We have this corner of the basement that has collecting items that are meant for a sale and it keeps growing…faster than I can move it online. It feels futile and I am tired of the seemingly endless task weighing me down in the back of my head.

Anything that’s left over is getting donated. That’s all there is to it. I have to move on.

As for my Weird Glass Art Studio – I have fabulous news with that – I was accepted into the craft fair at the Niskayuna High School in October! I am super psyched about that as I attended last year as a customer and it was packed with people. It will be a great opportunity to get my name out there. Although it’s months away from now, I will have plenty of time to prepare and continue to try new methods on my glassware without feeling stressed about it.

(View my Etsy shop HERE) 

I also opened a shop on Shop Handmade’s website, but I am unsure if that’s the avenue I really want to pursue. I’d rather have my own website and that will take some time for me to build. That may not happen in July so I am just going to plug away on my Etsy and begin setting up a separate Facebook fan page for it.

So that’s it for me in July – I think those two tasks, one of them being a BIG one – is enough for now.

 

And now I’m a married woman with a week-long cruise behind me!

After having a wedding and cruise countdown going in Theresa’s phone for a year now…we blinked and it is all in the past now. Did all that fun and relaxation really happen?

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It did! And fabulously 🙂

My now-wife looked more beautiful on our wedding day than I have ever seen her. The rain held out until after our ceremony and pictures. We kept the ceremony extremely small and it was right in our yard. What better way to christen our home together than with a marriage?

I did not take a ton of photos of our vacation – Theresa took way more than I did! Plus, she had the waterproof camera at her disposal so she got some great shots of our snorkeling trip on Cococay in the Bahamas.

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There’s a little slideshow of some of the shots I took. Our cruise ship took us first to Bermuda and then to two islands on the Bahamas. The shots of the beach is from Bermuda; the pictures do not show it well but the sand was a pale pink and it was super soft to walk on.

I think our favorite part of Bermuda was taking a scooter around the island. If we had known we could reach the beach so easily ourselves, we would’ve saved ourselves the time and money by getting on a shuttle bus with the rest of ’em and heading to the other side of the island. It was fun cruising around on the scooters ~ I opted to be just a passenger so I could relax and look around.

Every night we had reservations at a more formal dining room and it was nice to get dressed up and eat delicious foods. The rest of the time we ate at the buffet and it was nice to get away from the feeding trough at least once a day.

I couldn’t help but realize how nice everyone was on the crew. The service was excellent and it really made me see how much we lack basic kindness, courtesy, and customer service in our every day lives. We seriously had to pay for a cruise to have people willing to help us if we needed it? To have people remember our names and treat us as if we are more than a number or just an annoyance?

Wild!

I also discovered on this trip that I am more like my father than I realize. I wanted to know everything (and did not have the internet to Google it). How many people are on this boat? How much staff? How does the staffing work here? How quickly does this boat, upon disembarkment, set off on another adventure? How much food do they have to pack for everyone? How do they know how much to pack?

Some answers I was able to find out on the boat by asking questions, others I had to Google when I got back to the U.S. Fun fact: 2,000 lbs of potatoes were peeled every single day on our cruise.

Both my cha cha and I were ready to come home. Vacation is well and good and we had a chance to unwind. (I did so much reading; it was lovely!) Real life awaited – kids, animals, projects. So while it was a bittersweet feeling to walk away from the cruise ship, it was also like yes. 

Big changes are coming!

First and foremost…the day after tomorrow I will be MARRIED!

It’s wonderful to be living my truth after so many years or trying to make things work with men, thinking there was something wrong with me ~

Turns out my ex-husband was right. I’m into chicks. One chick in particular, my future wife.

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Over the weekend, I made our bouquets. This is the one she will be carrying. Mine is the same except for the center succulent – mine is grey. I love the idea of having bouquets we can keep forever. I still have mine from my first marriage because my sister made it for me. When I moved from Malta to Niskayuna, I remember bringing my bouquet to the office so it wouldn’t be damaged moving. That’s how special it is to me.

That’s big change #1 – I’m ending this week as a married woman!

Big change #2 – While I told myself I’d get through 2019 and give Etsy my best shot, I am going to begin veering away from it for either Shop Handmade OR…better yet…my own website. Ultimately I’d prefer having my own website but I may do both for visibility purposes.

I am really disappointed in Etsy and how there are blatant re-sellers on there who are misleading customers by stating their items are handmade by them. I am also discouraged that despite the amount of work I’ve put in between researching SEOs and changing them up semi-often that traffic isn’t being driven in to my shop as a result. I think it’s just too hard to be seen in unless you already have a massive following and deep pockets to pay for ads.

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I’ve been working hard and I’m just not happy with the results so far. I also don’t have the time or desire to be chained to my computer or phone for advertising on social media and constant monitoring.

Can’t shame a girl for wanting to make crafts, sell crafts, and have a life.

Handmade Wedding Bottle Décor & Fabric Flower Tutorial

I did not have the crafty drive back in 2014 when I was getting married for the first time. Marriage #2 that’s happening next week is different and although the ceremony is super small and time has been limited, I just got a bug in my ass about creating something.

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And since I work with glass in my Etsy shop and have plenty of it around, why not make a wedding bottle set?  I can see myself giving more attention to creating wedding bottle décor and centerpieces now that I am finished with this project…ESPECIALLY now that know how to make these adorable fabric flowers!

I used one of the tutorials from this site. Making these little flowers is super easy and a really clever way to use up small pieces of scrap fabric and spare buttons.

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Coming up next will be our bouquets. I just purchased the materials yesterday.

Our little veggie patch :)

The garden space itself looks HUGE compared to the small plants that are in there right now. It’ll be interesting to see the difference once things are fruiting and I’ve added a second layer of things like sugar snap peas, green beans, and lettuce. I would like to have those three veggies all season long, if possible.

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One of my several cucumber plants. This is the only one I started from seed.

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Dill that came back from last year! Dill really likes my garden.

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Zucchini plant started from seed.

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Tomato plant started from seed (Roma or Cherry – I don’t remember which row I took this pic in)

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Sugar Snap Pea

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Lettuce

There’s something about baby lettuce – it’s just so darned adorable as it grows. I have a lot growing in this row and I have space for another row to be planted next to it.

A little at a time, I’m working with the soil to break down the clumps of turf. The soil is very good, just chunky.

It’s still my goal to become more self-sufficient with gardening and each year, I learn more about what it takes. It’s fascinating to me and makes me really appreciate how much work goes into all of the produce that we can so easily pick up at the grocery store. What goes into successfully growing just one cabbage plant was something I learned last year. The worms that get into them and how much effort it is to keep them off of there…it was a lot of work! But I’m prepared for it this year with some new tricks up my sleeve.

Over-peopled: Even when we are alone.

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A segment of the morning radio show I enjoy talked about the types of people you can’t hit “unfollow” or “unfriend” on social media fast enough.

But what does that have to do with the meme? I’ll get there. Hold on.

One of my favorite points about the segment wasn’t the all-too-relatable types of people, but the statement that people are just so over-peopled that we are passing by each other numb to them. A “get out of my way, I have to be somewhere” mentality that is much like walking around in NYC. Others aren’t being seen as people – but as obstacles. Something to get around. Something to get by. Something to pass. An annoyance – mild, moderate or severe.

So we’re all on social media, right? Scrolling through my Facebook feed can sometimes cause me anxiety. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with this person’s apparently perfect life, that person’s ridiculous political leanings, frustrated with cookie-cutter sales pitches, feeling like we may be living life wrong given what someone says online. It’s peopling. Sitting in a room alone on social media is still peopling. No wonder why so many of us are spent, overdone, exhausted, and lacking self-confidence. Are we really taking a break?

The fabulous thing about social media is not only is it completely voluntary to be a part of, if you do choose to be a part of it, you can choose who you are giving your attention to. Is your feed negative? Is your feed something that helps to nurture your soul? Or is it full of people judging one another when they’re standing in a bucket of shit themselves? For real though – people slang their useless opinions and advice around all over when they don’t even have their shit together themselves. And if this is overwhelming, you can opt out of that nonsense and pay it no mind.

We shouldn’t be constantly peopled. We do need to get away from each other once in a while. Sometimes, we just need to be reminded that we have the power to limit what influences us and our mental state.

On a personal note, I went through my “follow” list on Instagram and removed about 150-200 people. That felt amazing because, no offense to these people, but they weren’t adding to my life in any sort of significant way. They weren’t inspiring to me; they weren’t some kind of authority on anything relevant to my life, and some of them were just downright ignorant about the content they were tossin’ out there for the world to see. It amazes me how some people are so willing to take advice from complete strangers and even people they would never trade places with. I mean, would you take relationship advice from someone who is in a rotten relationship? Financial advice from someone eyeballs deep in debt? I suppose if you are looking for what not to do…

Either way. It’s a beautiful thing to remember that you are in charge of what you pay attention to. In order to progress forward, sometimes we have to re-evaluate what we are surrounding ourselves with and decide – is this where I want to be? Is this going to get me to where I want to be?