Monday, December 10, 2007
So, something neat happened to me tonight. I was outside swimming earlier...shortly after dark, and I saw something really neat in the sky...I just figured out what it was! It was a fuel-dump from a rocket (Atlas 5) that was launching a satelite into orbit! It looked like a comet! (check out images from others at http://www.spaceweather.com/ )
How cool is that!
In other news...LOL...we hit 80F today! Hot for December! :) LOL
By the way, I'm not crazy...our pool is heated! :) I've been swimming to Christmas music! I bet the new neighbors love the music! LOL Oh well! :)
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Not much new around here...just been a busy bee! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, although it was a little sad without grandma, and all of the the other loved ones we have lost over the last few years. We had Thanksgiving at grandma's house. Everyone decided we would have Thanksgiving and Christmas there before they sell the house. Boy that is going to be a sad day!!!
So, Thanksgiving, I took my Wii over there. I got that game Guitar Hero III the other day. It is really fun, and everyone enjoyed it! I've never been much for video games, in fact, I think the last game system I had was a Super Nintendo... :) ...but I love Wii! I don't have much time to play it, but it's fun when everybody gets together! I shot some video Thanksgiving of my mom and cousins playing Guitar Hero 3...it's pretty funny, my mom is funny...or maybe I'm just easily entertained! LOL Anyway, I have to upload the video sometime! :) It turned out a little dark. I'm still trying to get used to my new camera! The macro setting works much better than my old one, but I still have a time taking pictures! I need to take a photography class! I know the guy at Best Buy that helped me pick out a camera thought I was an idiot! :) I am so computer and technology illiterate!!! I wonder some days how I manage! :) The really funny thing is that people call me all the time for computer help! The truth is I'm just as lost as them! :)
I've got my house about ready for Janice to move in. I've been renting my house for about 2 years...I guess most of you that know me, already know that! (I moved back in with my mom, when my dad passed away.) The last guy that rented it TRASHED it. So much for 9 months of remodelling! The worst part is that I knew him, and thought a lot of him! Oh well, I guess people sometime fool you! His kids painted and drew on I think every wall in the house! ...and the bedroom floor. Not to mention it looked like he hadn't cleaned anything the whole time he lived there. ...and that is only the half of it! Words can not described how I felt when I walked in the house after he moved out. He ruined my furniture, broke and threw away my new $500 washing machine, broke 2 windows...plus destroyed the house. Oh yeah, and spilled fingernail polish remover on the hardwood floors I had refinished...yeah, I refinished them!!! ...and it was a job, let me tell you! My dad borrowed a big industrial belt sander from a friend, showed me how to use it and let me have at it! I will never do that again!!! They turned out good, but boy was that a job!!! A piece of advice to anyone wanting to refinish there's...it's worth every penny to hire someone! Don't do it yourself! Chris, my cousin that passed away last October, helped with one room and my dad helped some...but I did a good portion of it myself! Oh, and even funnier, I pulled up the carpet, tack strips and 1 billion staples! Chris helped with that too! Him and my dad taught me so much! I'm better good with power tools! LOL Watch out! :) I had lots of help with the house...my other cousin, Josh is an electrician, a friend of a friend, David, did all of the plumbing...and as my dad said, "he let my mom paint in the closet!" LOL :) ....where know one would see! :) I must confess, I love my bathroom! It is huge! I think that it, the front porch, and the french doors are my favorite parts of the house....and that my great-grandparents built it...oh yeah, and my cherry red kitchen cabinets! I looked through what seemed like millions of books and magazines to see what red cabinets would look like, and found nothing, but I went ahead and painted them. Now, wouldn't you know they are in every magazine! Same thing with couches, when I bought my first house...I must have went to 50 stores, and no red sofas...I couldn't even find a store that had red fabric to have a custom one made (except Purple Picket...and it was way out of my price range! I love Urbana Furniture!!! Now, there are red couches everywhere! I settled on a custom black chenille-like set from La-Z-Boy.) I may regret it in the future...but I love the red now!
Although I'm still mad thinking about the house, the other day this thought kinda popped into my head...I guess this is a little payback, for painting our basement walls when I was little. I now know how my daddy felt when he walked in there! :) ...but you know, it's still not right for a grown adult to treat someone elses property that way. It's a shame that some people are so thoughtless and disrespectful. I mean he is a single father, and I went above and beyond, even let him use my stuff because he was in a predicament and didn't have furniture or anything. I know I'm naive, but I just always try to see the best in people...it seems like they just always try to take advantage of me. Boy I got taken this time. I had a signed lease and deposit and I guess I could go to small claims court, but I think it would be more trouble than it was worth. So, I'm going chalk this up to a lesson learned, and move on.
In other news... :) I listed a few new pieces of jewelry on Etsy and my website.
I named this piece "Paint the Town Red." You know, red is my favorite color, I absolutely loved these garnet beads...they are just gorgeous. The color is so vibrant.
I think this is one of my favorite pieces....I named this bracelet "Enchanted Evening." This piece took quite a while to make. It has over 30 feet of sterling silver wire in it.
The other month, there was a "how-to" section in one of the jewelry magazines I get that showed how to make post earrings. I have made a few pairs, but this is the first pair I posted to sell. They are rhodolite garnet...peridot, chrome diopside, carnelian, and citrine. Some one asked the other day, where I learned how to do wire work like this...I believe it is just like anything, a little trial and error, tips picked up from other sources like books, magazines, the Internet, and other artist, and the combination of many techniques we learn along the way. I buy a lot of magazines! ...and read a lot of books! LOL :)
This too was inspired by a "how-to" in a magazine. I believe this one is put out by Lapidary Journal...I'm terrible with names! The say that is a left-handed thing!!! At least I blame it on that! LOL :) Okay...so, here something weird about me! I was born with 2 thumbs on my right hand...I had one removed when I was about 2 years old...but the thumb I was left with doesn't have a joint, so it doesn't bend. It always embarrassed me as a kid...to have a crooked thumb. They said when I was older and had finished growing, I could have surgery and have it fixed, but by then, it didn't bother me. Anyway, they say it is hereditary, although no one in my family has ever had this. (They also say throughout history it was associated with, and a sign of royalty! LOL Well, I am Princess Jennifer! :) LOL ) Anyway, my parents said when I was really little I always tried to use my right hand first, but since I had problems with the thumb, I would get frustrated and try my left hand. Perhaps this is why I'm left-handed. I still use my right hand for everything except writing.
Anyway, back to the bracelet...I think the magazine was Jewelry Artist, or Art Jewelry(???)...another Etsy artist wrote the "how-to," her name is Amy. She had directions on how to make a link bracelet with forged heavy gauge wire and hand-fired head pins, like I used in some of my pieces several months back...which I learned from another magazine! LOL See what I mean about combining all of the techniques you learn! :) So, anyway, I totally screwed up the bracelet and as I finished it, I broke one of the links...in the process, I noticed that one of the ends that I had gotten hot was more pliable than the link I broke...because the more you work with metal, the harder it becomes. Later I was reading the magazine again, and there was a section on annealing. AH HA! I thought...and it clicked...so I annealed the piece and put a few folds in it. Then, I thought wouldn't it just be cute stamped...so I stamped it! Then antiqued it, and presto change-o! Another happy mistake! I really like this bracelet...there is something about the rough image of forged metal with the femininity of pearls...hmmm! Oh well! LOL
I haven't listed this piece yet... A funny thing happened...a friend, Jennifer asked me to make her a snowflake necklace...This is one I was working on at the time! Could it be that great minds think alike? LOL :) What a coincidence though! ...that I was already working on one. I have a couple others with snowflakes too. Maybe it just being in the Christmas mood that makes me think of snow. Funny, I've never had a white Christmas! I'm staying hopeful though, maybe this will be the year! :) LOLI haven't made that much lately...it seems like there just haven't been enough hours in the day. I've had these pieces for a while. I am the slackest person when it comes to uploading pictures and listing pieces online! I have tons of pieces I've never listed! I just enjoy making them soooo much more than taking pictures and writing descriptions!
Oh well, I guess that's it for my rambling for the night! I'm going to go for now!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
My grandmother passed away September 17th. She had been sick since March. Although I miss her dearly, it was almost a relief, at least she is not suffering anymore...and I know she is in a better place. We were all there with her when she passed, she was at home, in her bed. The last night was really rough. She struggle until about 3 or 4am...we had brought hospice in about a month before, and they had brought us a "palliative care kit" with all of the medicines we would need. The nurses didn't stay, but were on call. About 3am, we had to get one of them to come to the house. She was struggle to breathe and having chest pains...she finally went to sleep about 4 am. After that, she didn't move or wake up again. At the end, it was really peaceful. She was breathing normal and the breaths just started coming futher and futher apart, until she passed. It was very peaceful. It just looked like she was sleeping. The Hospice nurse was supposed to come and check on her again that morning, but she was running late...so, she ended up showing up about 30 minutes before she passed. Which was a blessing. I was really comforting her being there.
...and then there's Chris, my cousin...October 29th, will be the one-year anniversary of his death. I can't believe a year has passed. He would be 31 this year...he's about 6 months older than me. :(
Anyway, enough about the sad-side of life! So, I just got back from the beach yesterday. We had a good time. This was actually my second trip down there since grandma passed. We went to Oak Island....as usually! Where else would we go! Me, mom, Charlotte, April, Ginger, Liz, and April H...went. It was sad with grandma not there, but we had a good time. I guess we all have our moments... We stayed at "A Coconut Hut." It is one of my favorites! ...and it definitely has the one of the best views on the beach! (It's at Caswell.) Ocean on the frontside, marsh and ICW on the backside...you can see Southport in the distance, and Bald Head Island.
See what I mean!!! Beautiful views!!! theThis was our second stay at this particular house. (These pictures are from the last time we stayed there...I haven't upload the pictures from this trip yet.) It's up for sale...$1.8 million!!! WOW! Right? LOL Thank goodness for people like the Durhams...that let us rent their cottages! I stayed at "On Holiday," last trip. It is really cute too! Especially for a smaller 2 bedroom cottage! It's near Middleton...I actually went down there last time by myself. April and her family were down there...but I stayed by myself.
Anyway, I have a lot more to catch you up on...but for now, I think I'm going to head to bed. I'll be back...
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I listed some new pieces today...on Etsy and my website. I have been working on quite a few pieces...and still have a bunch I haven't listed!
I have to say, I think this one is one of my all-time favorites! (LOL - I know, I always say that!)It didn't turn out at all like what I had planned for it to be, but I think it turned out to be one of those happy mishaps! :) LOL So, it started out as a pair of earrings...then a flower...then a necklace, and then somehow, to me it looked like an angel. So, I named it "Oh Angel of Mine!" I finally used one of the pink topaz briolettes I bought...I really love them! They are just so sparkly and pretty! I went a little bit crazy in the briolette department...I ordered a little of everything! I just couldn't resist! LOL
It's sooo funny, actually a lot of my pieces turn out they way...happy mishaps! I mean, I start with plans for one thing and something else takes form! I draw out a lot of my designs prior to starting. Some come out exactly as plan and the others I may work on for days and may end up as something total different! It is always a wonderful surprise when it works out...but that isn't always the case! I think the hardest thing I have overcome...or am still trying to overcome, is the fact that I'm a perfectionist, and I'm my worst critic! Now don't get me wrong...I know it is good to take pride in your work and always do your best, but sometimes I am just obsessive about it! I've been working at trying not to be so obsessive...I think it is just in my genes! My whole family is obsessive compulsive! :) LOL I know that isn't funny...but if you could see us, you would laugh too! Anyway, I'm trying to accept the fact that I'm my worst critic! After all, I shouldn't expect everyone to like every piece or think I make! Art is subject...I make the jewelry, because I enjoy doing so...I hope people will like my "creations," but if they don't, I'm not going to give up. Also, I'm trying to accept the fact that just because something don't turn out exactly as I plan, doesn't mean it has to be thrown out...everyone else doesn't know that it isn't what I had in mind! I've always acted obsessive...school work, painting, making jewelry, pottery, actually in all aspects of my life! ...but I guess it is just most noticeable in my art. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I think everything I make is better than everybody else, or that I'm the BEST...it is more about the mental aspect...it's not that I'm saying "I don't care who likes my work," it's just that I'm saying I'm trying to quite being so nit picky about creating it. I guess we all have issues! I certainly know I do! I psychologist would have a field day with me! :) LOL
This is another piece I'm currently working on...it is another example of one of my mishaps! It started out as an earring...it's funny how things can veer so far off target!
Well, that's all for tonight!
Sunday, August 5, 2007
So, I had a good weekend, not the most eventful, but it was good! :)
Friday, I went by the thrift store. I love that place! Okay, so I know that may sound funny, because I'm not always them most cost-conscience person, but I love it! Maybe it is the possibility of finding a treasure that is priceless, or a rare find, or maybe it is the thrill of the prospect of finding something that cost a lot, for nothing. Who knows! :)
Of course, there is nothing I really need at the moment, and I never go looking for anything in particular, but I did find a couple of neat things I couldn't resist...which seems to be one of my bad habits - I'm always buying things I don't need, just because they're neat and I can't resist! :) Anyway, I found a Kate Spade handbag that cost about $200, for $1.50, that looks brand new! I bought a few books, and 2 pieces of blue "diamond point" Indiana Glass ($1/each), and a few pieces of vintage costume jewelry. A couple of the pieces were signed...Coro, Sarah Coventry, and some were just cute! One piece had a jeweler's mark I'm not familiar with...it was marked Sterling....and what looks like maybe a WH???? It looks like the last line in the W is the first line in the H...like the are merged together??? It is a vintage (although I'm not sure how old) rhinestone choker....which I will never wear, but it was cute! :) LOL
My favorite piece of the day was a navy tote ($1.25). When I saw it I thought of my mom...she is always buying cute totes to carry stuff with her to work...and it looked brand new! It was a Miss America Pageant Atlantic City - tote bag...inside it had the ticket stub from 1989 Miss America Pageant Parade on the Boardwalk. Which I thought was kinda neat!
Saturday, my friend April and her mom came over. They brought her brother's daughter, Madelyn to go swimming. My aunt and cousin came over too. So, me and mom spent the day in the pool! A day in the sun is always fun! LOL :) Madelyn had a blast! The water was steaming! It's heated, but we usually don't let it get over 90F....which is still a little hot to me(especially in the summer)! Anyway, I guess it has just been so hot...the water temperature was way over that...we left the hose running to cool it down! :) I think Madelyn enjoyed playing with the water hose more than she enjoyed the pool! :)
So, that was about it for the weekend! It was good, but too short! :) I sold 2 pairs of earrings this weekend! That was a nice surprise! Even though I have sold quite a few pieces, it is still exciting when something sells! It really makes me feel good to know someone likes a piece good enough to buy it! At the same time, it is a little sad to see the piece go, after I spent so long making it! I know that sounds silly! :) One pair was purchased by a woman in Newfoundland. This is the 5th pieces she has purchase! It is really exciting when you have "return" customers! Not to mention the fact that she is from Canada! WOW, my jewelry is international! :) LOL Imagine that! :) LOL Honestly though, I am honored and gratified that they have chosen my pieces! This is one of the pairs I sold!
This week I plan on posting a bunch of new pieces on Etsy and my website...I have made quite a few new pieces. I love making the pieces, but I still have mastered the art of photographing them! LOL I'll share some pictures of a few things that I'm working on soon!
Hello everyone! Welcome to my blog!
I'm Jen, crafter, jewelry artist, painter...I love anything to do with art! As you know, I'm new to Blogger, but I also have a blog at Yahoo 360. In the past, I haven't dedicated much time to blogging, but I hope to keep this more up-to-date! I hope to share my work, ideas, and many other things that strike my fancy! However, let me warn you upfront, my spelling and grammar is atrocious! :)
First, I would like to introduce myself! Like I said earlier, my name is Jennifer...I live in Charlotte, NC, and have my entire life! I'm 30, a Pisces! I LOVE the beach. I have a BA in Business, and I love to create...anything and everything! I am always trying something new...which leaves me thinking, "gosh, I'm so unfocused!" The truth is I keep trying new things, because I think one day I will have an epiphany and find that one thing/medium that sticks out; that one thing/medium that I know immediately, is my favorite, and the one medium I want to focus on. So far, I haven't found it! I love it all! Maybe there isn't that "one" special thing...maybe, there isn't just one thing that will stand out....maybe the key is finding something you like...and just developing your skills for it! Who knows!!! :)
So, I'm making jewelry! Funny thing is it is the one thing that I never imagined myself doing! In fact, it was one thing that I thought I would have NO interest in! So, how did get started??? Well, my aunt took a class on beading...she invited me to go to a local bead shop a couple of times...finally I broke down and bought a few supplies and she showed me the basic techniques. I started dabbling, and that was it; I was hooked! :) I should have known I would like it, because I have always loved gemstones and rocks! Yeah, I was one of those kids that walked around picking up rocks and stuffing them in my pockets! LOL I think every drawer and cabinet in my parents house had at least one rock in it when I was little! :) Not to mention, my dad took me to the gem and mineral shows when I was younger, and several of my science fair projects in school were on rocks and minerals!
I am self taught...although I am signed up for a jewelry class fall semester, that focuses more on the metalsmithing side of jewelry. I'm really looking forward to expanding my knowledge of the craft! I have been making jewelry for a few years...I can definitely see the improvements in my techniques...along the way, I've learned a few new things. Most recently, I've started working with PMC, or precious metal clay! I've also dabbled a little in lampwork...I would like to take a class in it...self-teaching hasn't proved too affective thus far! LOL :) Anyway, I'll keep you posted on how the class goes! It starts August 20.
I've been selling my jewelry online for almost a year! I started out on Etsy...I joined August 8th, last year. I still sell on their! (http://www.jennlyn54.etsy.com/) In November 2006, I started showing pieces in the first gallery...it was in NY. I'm no longer with them, lets just say their business practices are lacking in several areas!!! (So, I want name any names!) In March 2007, I applied to show pieces at Maddi's Gallery here in Charlotte. Diane loved my work, and my first pieces were added at the gallery in April. I also created a website...http://jennifergardnerdesigns.com/, to show some of my work! Anyway, that's my story thus far! It has been an exciting journey! I've learned a lot and met a ton of really nice people! So, we will see what the future holds! LOL :)
Well, that's about it for now! I'll write again soon!