Sunday, November 23, 2014

Laser Engraver is working and I'm so happy

At long last.... I am happy to say that I have successfully used my laser engraver and sold some shuttles that I have engraved.

Now, I can only engrave words right now, and only have one font available...but soon that will change. I need to purchase a font program that I can upload into the engraving software and figure out how to do pictures, but I'm on my way.

I am so happy. It's been more than a year since I purchased my first machine that didn't work. I never did get my full refund on that crazy deal, but that's another story.

I got the new laser engraver in July and had too much to do getting ready for the wedding to be able to dedicate time to learning how to use it and getting it set up. Well, we set it up a few weeks ago and I started playing with it. I have successfully sold some shuttles that I engraved with it. I got an order from a really good customer and decided to send her a gift by engraving her name on an extra shuttle as a Thank You for being such a great customer. She got them yesterday and is very happy with them.

Here is a picture of the shuttles, courtesy of the buyer, Diane.

So now I am going to try and get a few programs with clipart and graphics and a font program so I can get moving on making shuttles. I'm so happy right now. I feel accomplished.

On a different note, I've been taking a lot of beading classes lately. Here are a few things that I've made.

This is a class I took with Diane Fitzgerald. She's an amazing designer and I had a blast taking this class. I really love this set. I need to get my bail put on the necklace and the earring wires on and I'll be able to wear this. I already got the clasp on the bracelet.
This is a French Beaded brooch I made yesterday. I took the class from Donna Dickt. I really love this. I was going to give it away, but once I got it finished, I decided to keep it.
Some day soon I will take a picture of all of the pieces that I have finished lately. I've been taking a LOT of classes. Most are free, but some I do pay for. I had forgotten how much I love to bead. I even ordered a beaded embroidery kit from online and will make a beaded picture. Can't wait for that one to get here.
I seem to have become a busy girl. I had to tell Shawn that I think all the classes I've paid for and beads I've bought are going to be my Christmas present. I can't justify asking for anything since I've spent so much money at Bead Soup lately. If he wants to give me something, he will have to make it. I don't want any more money spent on me this year. ... Now in January, I have like 4 classes scheduled, so I will have to sell a bunch of shuttles and thread to pay for them. I need to get working and sell, sell, sell.
Thanksgiving is coming this week and I need to get working preparing my house for the holiday.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all of my friends in the United States. And to the rest of my friends, Happy Thursday, this week.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I miss my dad

Sigh.... On this day 7 years ago, my father took his last breath on this earth.

I miss him a lot. He used to tell me some great pearls of wisdom. He was a joker and loved to laugh. Not everyone got to see that side of him, but I did. I guess you would say that I was his favorite, but he didn't have 'favorites'. He adored my kids. When Olivia was born, we couldn't go to Ohio right away to introduce her to the family. She was born at the beginning of November. I got a call that year on Thanksgiving day from him. He asked me where I was eating dinner and asked for the address. When I gave him Shawn's parents address, he said "I'll see you in about 7 hours. I want to meet my new granddaughter". I was shocked and thrilled. That story always puts a smile on my face. He drove all that way just to meet my baby girl. He sacrificed having dinner with the rest of the family to see me and my girl. He stayed for 5 days and we had a blast.

He was a crabby, cranky man who took no crap from anyone. He commanded respect wherever he went. I admired that about him. He would walk into a restaurant with me and ask any man in the restaurant to remove their hat because they were disrespecting me. And shockingly, the men would remove their hat.

I never looked at my dad as my hero. I looked at him as the person who molded my character and ethics. He would do anything for me. I can't speak for any other person in my family, just my experience.

My dad taught me how to work on a car. He called it his "powder puff" mechanic's course. I had to know what to do if my car ever broke down. He didn't want me to have to rely on a man if I was stranded.

As you can see, I really admire him and miss him a lot. I have so many memories flooding my brain right now. Most make me smile. A few make me sad.

When my father was dying, we rushed to Kentucky, where he lived, and to the hospital. I got their late and they weren't going to let us see him, but we pled to see him since I'd just drove 9 hours from Maryland. He was sedated and in a drug induced coma at the time. The nurse told me to be brief because they could not control his heart rate and it was up and down and all over the place. I walked into the room and his heart rate stabilized to 68 beats a min and stayed there. The nurse came in and said "I don't know what just happened, but his heart rate is stable. He must have been waiting for you to get here". WOW. The next day they woke him up because all of his vital signs had stabilized. I just knew that I would have a lot more time with him and didn't say all the things I wanted to, to him. I regret that every day.

He went home a week later because they were not able to put a pace maker into his chest because his arteries had all hardened from smoking. They told the family that he had between 1 week and 10 years to live.

We lost him 1 week later. So, I am very sad today. I am grateful that I have the memories I have.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Busy weekend I just had.

Boy, I'm happy that Monday is almost here and I can relax a little. I had a busy weekend.

Olivia came home on Thursday to celebrate her birthday with us. She turned 22. I had a beading class on Thursday, then we watched football. My team won and that made me very happy.

On Friday I had to get up early and get some stuff done around the house, then a meet and greet with Diane Fitzgerald on Friday. Diane is a beading designer who has written many bead books.

After that we went to the movies with Olivia for her birthday, then hung out little at home. Shawn had to go out and check on his employees so it was just the two girls at home. We went our separate ways so we could work on different projects.

Saturday we prepared food for the birthday party. We had about 12 people over and had a mountain of food. We talked and had a great time just hanging out.

Today I got up way too late to go to church, but did make it to my bobbin lace lesson. I got help getting through a really rough spot in my pattern.

Now I am sitting in my recliner with the cat on my lap. He has decided that I am not going anywhere and is sound asleep. He knows that I won't get up if he's sleeping so he made sure to fall asleep right on my leg. Funny cat.

The dogs are just relaxing on the floor in front of us and Shawn is in his recliner watching NASCAR.

Olivia had to go back to Ohio because she has school tomorrow. I miss her already. It stinks when your kids live so far away.

Sunday, November 2, 2014


A while ago I picked up a book on Zentangle. It's a form of organized doodling. I tried to do a couple designs but really haven't picked it up because I was too busy. I did a few in pencil and have been researching the different designs and patterns. Dabbling every now and then. I've seen that you should do it in pen and no erasers are used. Not what I was doing. I was using pencil and trying to make the pieces perfectly done.

So yesterday I decided to just jump right in and do a pen design. I made several mistakes and don't have all the tools or materials that are needed but I think I did a pretty good job.

The paper is actually a 6 inch by 6 inch square. The camera angle made it look wonky.

I had a good time making mistakes and figuring out how to correct them or cover them up. It was a lot more relaxing than I thought it would be. I'm pretty much a perfectionist when it comes to my arts and crafts. I believe that if you can do it perfectly, you should. I have been known to take out an entire afghan that was almost fully completed because I made a mistake in the 3rd row.

So, back to Zentangle. Shawn and both kids are pretty good artists, but I always say that I can't draw a straight line with a ruler. That's the beauty of this craft. You don't need straight lines. No rulers are used. You just go with the flow of the lines. What I did would be called ZIA or Zentangle Inspired Art because the designs I used aren't actually all official designs. I made some of the stuff up. I'm too new to this to really know if I did official designs or not. Either way, I like what I did and will pursue this further.

I think this is going to get a lot more popular because Rosie O'Donnell mentioned it on The View. Everyone will be doing this soon.