Sunday, December 27, 2015
Hope every one is enjoying life, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, whatever you may celebrate this season! Next week brings a new year and lot's of changes in my life. At the end of October my dad finally finished his struggle with cancer and went to join my mom. Obviously leaving me with many mixed emotions, relief that he was done suffering. Relief that I could return to my own life, relief that I know in my heart my mom was waiting for him. Yet it has been a bit different than I envisioned it would be. I find myself more emotional than I thought I would be. I feel more sorrow than I thought I would. Yet, I am so very happy with myself that I was able to hold it together and care for him up until the very end so he could remain at home. Maybe the quality of life was not the best due to the every day struggle of his illness but it was definitely better than it would have been if I had needed to put him into nursing care. He had his favorite chair, his tv, king of his remote, I catered to what he wanted to eat or could eat, did what ever was needed to keep him comfortable. So I have no regrets.
I spent some time playing with clay because my littlest grandbaby needed a new bank, the one I gave her when she was born is almost full so while I was doing that I made one for the baby we are waiting for. My oldest grand daughter is due any day so I shall shortly become Great Grandma! We know it is a girl and her name will be Catherine Elaine. I am very excited for her arrival !
Now that my job as my dad's caretaker is done, I become my daughters. As most of you already know she has Chronic Lyme Disease and because of this many, many life altering illnesses and at 37 needs a great deal of help. She needs it physically, emotionally and financially. This week I will be learning how to care for a pic line and administer medications. I am going to spend this week on the phone looking for financial assistance for her, it is time to take some pressure off of me yet I at the same time I sit here trying to think of how else I can raise money to care for her. Seems like a never ending circle of the same stuff all the time. As much as things change, they stay the same and I am on a forever hunt for solutions.
But all that aside, I really just wanted to touch base with you today to wish you the best of the Holiday's!
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
So I spent my summer avoiding making jewelry because I just feel so very burnt out because of so many things going on in my life. I started stitching some bead embroidered pictures. This is my second larger one now complete. I think I originally had it in my head that after I accomplished a few I would list them in the Etsy shop for holiday time. But now I am thinking....while I will list some smaller ones as I get them complete I want to do several more larger canvases and take them into town when the opportunity arises. We have a great little coffee shop that shows different artists work each month. I think if I can do 4 or 5 canvases it may be a great bit of exposure. If not it will be a fun way to share what I do during playtime! I do think I need to save a bit of money to have them framed first. The smaller canvases are easy to list ready to frame or hang unframed but the larger ones always seem to call out for framing. Will have to spend some thinking about that but my instinct say's just get them into some inexpensive frames and they will be much more eyecatching. That is all I have right now, things have not changed much and nothing new and exciting happening. Tomorrow is October 1st so Happy Fall everyone!
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Our summer's in upstate New York are short. Way too short. This is my second summer being unable to do anything because I am caring for dad. No swimming, no picnics, no horse races, and the list goes on. That said I just cannot let it slip past without finding a way to enjoy it so I have gotten into the habit of spending a few hours sitting on the porch every day. I set up a little table and some chairs right in front of the living room window . This way I can just turn my head and peak in at dad every few minutes. His armchair that he lives in all day is directly across the room in front of this window. So being able to see him I can get up and go in when he needs me or I see him getting out of his chair. Otherwise I can sit out there and enjoy the sun and heat and sometimes a breeze that allows my mom's windchimes to tinkle. Over the last few weeks I have been working on this bead embroidered painting while enjoying my porch time. Took a while but the only time I have worked on it is while sitting out there. It is finished and I have exactly one canvas left in my supplies so I think I will pick a sketch and start another. I can't think of a better way to enjoy the weather and be outside while accomplishing something besides! Hope your enjoying the weekend!
Sunday, August 16, 2015
Yes it is time to move forward. As you know mom did wire working. When she left this
life she left a ton of supplies and being I am the only one with an interest in jewelry making
I got them all. I have spent this last year looking at them, boxes and bins just chock full of wire
and large gemstone beads, cabs and findings. Ton's of great stuff but the sad truth, most of it
is stuff I will not use in my beadwork. I have struggled with what to do, it is hard to part with
them just because they were mom's. I think the time is much shorter these day's before my dad
is ready to join her and I need to start planning what comes next in my life. As always there is
a huge need of an income for a list of reasons. I finally realized last night that holding onto supplies
I won't use is not needed to remember mom, they belong with someone who will use them in the
manner my mom meant for them to be and I can use the money. So, yes I am still struggling, I
started this morning and will slowly list them in my Etsy shop under destash so I can make room for
the supplies I do use everyday. Mom would be happy I am doing this, just wish it was not such a
thing for me.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
I just finished this very special amulet bag. I beaded with purpose with my thoughts on my
mom. On next Monday we will be observing the one year anniversary of her passing. It does
not seem possible , my pain is still so strong, my thoughts about her hit out of no where at any
time of the day and night. I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten up to go to the
other room to talk to her and then remember she is not there. Any way, my mom absolutely loved
the color gold. We used to tease her all the time, if she could make it with gold beads she would.
If she could spray it with gold paint, she would. If she could cover it in gold material...yup, she
would. So I grabbed a box of gold seed beads, which I normally would not use but I had these
because I got a great price on them, forget the fact that they are not very uniform and hard to
use in the work I do, but I was determined to make something with them. I still have a good amount
of supplies from mom's stash so I found the faux pearls, very creamy and a good match for the gold.
I found the crystal prism, it seems to have an AB coating in a light shade of gold and everything just
shouted to me that it all belonged together. So this amulet bag evolved while I thought about my
mom. I actually like it and will put it into my shop, a tribute to an amazing woman.
Saturday, June 6, 2015
Today is a major milestone for me. It could not have come at a better time. Seems like I stay away from socializing whether it be my blog or and social media I am on because of the constant things to feel bad about going on in my life all...the...time! So when any small good things come along I need to grab hold and celebrate!
Today I am exactly one year smoke free. This is really a major big deal. I have spent the last 30 years of my life trying to find something that would work and help me quit and everything failed. I cannot tell you how much money I spent on patches, pills, lozenges, inhalers. I cannot tell you how much money I spent going to hypnotism classes, I spent 10 weeks in a weekly class given by the Red Cross. I cannot tell you how horribly sick I got every time I tried the newest pill on the market like Wellbutrin and Chantix. Nothing ever worked for me but today after a 30 year battle I have made it and it's a happy day with something to celebrate!
Friday, June 5, 2015
I have been given a large box of nursing scrubs. Assorted colors, brands, sizes. I do not know any one who can use them and we are still trying to raise money for my daughters move. So I am posting them one at a time on Ebay in hopes of finding them homes to fund my daughters home ;o)
My problem is finding ways to share the information and I thought maybe, just maybe some of my blog readers would know someone who is in need of some new scrubs and would share my link with those people. Is this you? If so please, please help me out here so I can get this big box out of my room. Rather than trying to link to Ebay each new set I put up I am sending people to my website. My website has links to my Etsy and my Ebay shop and just makes life a bit easier.
If you have someone you can share the link with just send them to my website and tell them just to click my Ebay link and that will bring them right to the scrubs listings. Thank you so much!
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Coming from a family with so much military involvement I could not post without asking you to remember what this holiday is really about. That said, for many of us this our official start to summer and I truly hope it's a wonderful long weekend for everyone. Things have not changed much for me, dad is still hanging on so of course our weekend will be a quiet one, just us and the tv. He is much too weak to go anywhere even thought we have had invitations. On mother's day we made the trip to the cemetery and it was very evident he is no longer capable of leaving the house. So it will be one more quiet day in a long line of many. That is okay, I will get through it, and once dad is on to the next part of his journey I will definitely take a little me time before I decide what path my life will go in next.
I have been working on more of the little, inexpensive beaded items for our upcoming Lawn Sale, it will be the final push to gather the money to move my family because we def. want them moved by July 1. That will be such a load off my mind. Knowing my family is in a safe place will make a big difference in how I feel every single day.
I just realized this morning of all the things I am really tired of with our daily routine is cooking. I admit it...I hate to cook. I am okay at it, never poisoned any one but it is just not something I enjoy and trying to create decent meals for dad everynight with this endless list of things he cannot or will not eat is really getting on my nerves. Especially when all I want is a great big old salad full of fresh veggies. Heaven forbid I try to give him something like that! And I cannot afford to buy two different kinds of groceries to feed him one way and myself another so yes, I am hating cooking!!
So there is today's confession, now go have a great cookout somewhere!
Friday, May 1, 2015
May 1st is one of those days that make me happy. For many reasons. First it is my oldest grand daughters birthday. She is 19 today and I just can't believe it has been 19 years since this love came into my life. I hate that she is a grownup now but since we have always had a very close bond, she will always be my baby girl.
May is a true sign that it is time for spring flowers, green trees , and walks around the neighborhood.
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month...break out your green. Since my daughters diagnosis I have done a huge amount of studying on this illness. I did it because I wanted to understand her symptoms and learn what her future holds. Add Lymes to the list of heartbreaking things that destroy lives and families.
I have gone out of my way to ignore my desire to start the next amulet bag. I have been working on simple chokers and bracelets. We are holding a big yard sale at the end of June as part of our fundraising efforts for my daughter and these sell well. It does not hurt that it's a great way to use up all the little bits of odds and ends of leftover bead projects. Of course I took a picture for you and of course blogger will not allow it to post so I will try again in a few days.
I am trying to stay in a positive light today so I will end here, take a walk, breathe in fresh air. Happy May Day!
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Good morning, how great it is to see sunshine when you get up rather than gray and gloomy skies even though I admit I love the sound of rain on the roof! I have to show off a bit even though this picture is no where near as pretty as the real thing. Recently we had an awareness event for my daughter and a new friend fell in love with my beadwork. She contacted me and said, can I order something from you? It is a thank you gift for a good friend, she is a ghost hunter, loves black and grey and skulls. Well that was enough and I was off and running. The cab on the bag is hard to see but it is from a mold of a pirate skull. I molded it in black clay and then lightly dry brushed the raised features with white to stand out. I wish you could see it better. Any way after finishing using black seed beads, a mottled gray and black bead for accents and the polymer clay skull, I am truly loving the way it turned out. It makes me so happy when I start a project with no idea in mind other than the information I have been given and it turns out better than my own expectations. The highlight of my week.
I have been working on a lot of simple chokers and necklaces, not only do I have lots of little bits of left overs from other projects to clear out, my daughter is having a huge garage sale in June and things like inexpensive, simple chokers will sell well if she gets good attendance. Other than that things have been at a standstill. I have not gotten far with my mission to raise funds to move my daughters family. My dad is still hanging on, a little bit sicker, a little bit weaker every day but hanging on despite it all. So I was just thinking this morning, I have not been out in public in about 7 months. What I would not give just to go to the grocery store and spend a few hours picking out my own food. I am thankful for things like home delivery services which I must utilize for everything but it is not the same and I find much harder to shop this way. But until the day comes that I can come and go as I please it will get us through!
I have been spending a lot of time daydreaming. Once I no longer need to care for my dad I believe it is time to open that store that I have been dwelling on for a million years. My daughter and grand daughter both have a vision of doing the same and I think the three of us together would have a ball pulling it together. I have also decided that some big bead manufacturer needs to create me a job position. I often through left over beads into a single big jar when I just have a small amount left over from a project but then I get aggravated because it is my nature to want each type and each color of bead in it's own container. So every once in a while I dump that big jar on a towel then spend hours sorting the beads into their own homes no matter how little I have of that particular bead or color. Strangely enough, I love doing this so I need a job as an at home bead sorter! Some one put the word out for me please.
Happy weekend to everyone.
Sunday, April 5, 2015
Wishing everyone a very Happy Easter, Passover, any holiday or non holiday you are enjoying today. My day has been so very quiet and different than any past Easter. I have spent every holiday of the last 36 years surrounded by my children and grandchildren. Today I am alone with my dad, not really sure if he realizes it is Easter but I think so, I catch him looking at mom's picture very often so I know she is on his mind, just as it is mine. I thought when we made it through Christmas and New years we have managed to get through every "first" major holiday without her. I was wrong, I forgot about Easter, so here we are getting through the day, quietly as if it were any other day, both of us silently thinking about her, missing her, and of course still wondering why this happened. We know, our common sense kicks in, we also know mom is just fine, we are the ones still dealing with pain. But none of that helps us miss her any less. The picture above is one of the last events mom and dad went to while still fairly healthy, my mom looked just as beautiful when she passed as she does in this picture. I miss her so. This would be easier if the kids were around to distract me but once we have gone to bed tonight we will have made it through one more milestone.
Dad is declining by the day, I can do nothing but watch while it happens and I do not know whether I should be angry that he is lingering and suffering or be thankful that he has outlived the time the doctors have given him. It shall soon be done and I will decide the next phase of my life.
I do not mean to bring you down, I just feel the need to put my pain out into the universe somewhere, it seems easier to handle when I can share it and those who have lost a parent or other loved one are already familiar with this feeling. I have not been real active in the shop but I am working away at some ornaments and I have 5 amulet bags in progress, Just don't feel in a huge hurry to list right now, seems to make no sense to keep spending money when there is no activity and there truly has been no activity in my Etsy shop for a while. I spend a lot of time wondering why I continue with it but I really hate to leave the community. It has made a difference just for the interaction and friendships alone over the years since I first got sick. So I just keep putting off any decision making and I think I am okay with that right now, I have time, lot's of time and eventually when I do decide what I want to do it will be the right one.
Enjoy your day, your family, your friends and have a bit of Easter Candy for me!
Monday, February 16, 2015
The Money Goddess seemed to be more appropriate today than an image of my newest work because as always I spend large portions of my day thinking about money. When I think of all my family has been through and is still going through, I look for ways to ease things. I try to stay open minded and even spend time reading what other people do in the kind of circumstances my family is always trying to deal with and survive. And each and every thought ends the same as in "I need money to do that."
My dad is still hanging on to life, so I am still, seven months later after the start of this journey being his sole caretaker, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I can't leave him, he can't be alone. I can't talk to him, he can't here me and often when I expend the effort to make him hear he often does not understand because his brain is being affected by his cancer. So I continue to be isolated caring for him each day until the day it happens to be over.
My littlest grand baby is growing quickly and I seldom get to see her so she changes immensely between visits. I am still in awe of her, she is just so cute and smart! I am so thankful her mom and dad are doing okay because it is the one thing I don't need to spend time worrying about, I am way to busy worrying about my daughter and her children. Heather's lymes disease is so bad, she is so very sick, and she has no support because I need to be with dad. I put a lot of responsibility on my granddaughters shoulders. It's wrong, she is just 18 and should not have to spend so much time taking care of someone else but I am thankful because she is doing the job. That's were we go back to the big subject of money. She has been so sick for so long, the illness has devasted her physically, she has been unable to work for many years and without me she is losing everything, she can't keep up with basic things like rent and electricity. She has little furniture left, she does not even have bed any more. Lets face it when you live with 2nd hand stuff to begin with it does not hold up forever. While she is fighting for financial help I continue to think about what I can do. I work hard at my Etsy shop, I try every once in a while to Ebay. We all know I tried using the GOFUNDME website twice and shut it down as fast as I put it up just because it was way too uncomfortable for me. I am not one to look for a handout, my parents raised us to work for what we have.
So the more I think of ideas that I try or reject I keep coming back to the same business plans I have wanted to implement for as many years as I have been creating bead work. I want my teaching studio. Once my dad's journey is done the time will be here . We no longer have a good bead shop in town so if I could open my beading studio and sell supplies besides it would definitely do okay. I know this because the shop we had for many years always had it's classroom full of people of all ages learning how to make their own jewelry. But I believe what I would need to do is find a home that I could split up with enough room for myself, my daughter, and grandchildren to live yet have a separate are that I could turn into a studio. I believe it would work out perfectly because it would allow me to operate the shop around my own illness and disability. I think I might even have found the place. But I don't have the money. Not only would I need several months rent while the shop gained momentum, I would need everything from tables to beading supplies to insurance.
So we are back to the question I have asked before and I truly need some input. How do I, using the items I make, create a fundraising sale big enough to start gathering the money to do this? Obviously right now I cannot do craft shows. My presence has been constant on Etsy and Ebay and really do not see a benefit in trying more online venues. When I do not have to be with my dad I can do shows and I think I know a few businesses that would allow me to do trunk shows. In the meantime I just need to keep creating smaller items such as my keychains and friendship bracelets in the hopes of having lots of items to sell when the time comes. That is the only real ideas I have come up with so far. Please if you have any suggestions, things you have tried or have heard of other people trying with any kind of success.....won't you share them with me?
If you do not wish to comment publicly here you can email me at SerenityCollections@gmail.com
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
I truly hate winter. I will never understand how I ended up living my life in Upstate New York where if your lucky summer last's 3 months and the rest is just cold! I guess fall is okay but each winter, which seems to last forever, bothers me more and more. It is 13 degree's outside and I don't even want to get out of my pajamas because it is the only way I feel warm enough. Oh well, we know I am not going anywhere, at least not for a very long time!
I did a lot of thoughtless stitching over the holiday time. When I say thoughtless, I mean I did not set out to make a particular item. Did not create with the thought in mind of Can I sell it?. Thoughtless beading means I just grabbed a handful of supplies and started stitching. Some times when I get back into a business frame of mind I rip my project apart because I just need those beads for a saleable item, or sometimes it is something I just keep for myself, usually just as a decoration. My holiday beading created this amulet. It is bigger than the impression you get from the picture. I am so very pleased at what turned out of my playtime! I have named it Ariels Treasure. I am not one of those people who ordinarily name my pieces but this one just called out for a name! I used one of my polymer clay cabs as a focal point on the front of the peyote stitched bag. The seedbeads were a handful of different shades of blue left over from other projects that I was sort of at a loss for what to do with. Strangely enough, adding them all together in random order just seemed to work for this bag. I wanted really full fringing so went with branch fringing and used tons of fake pearls and blue glass chips to make it sparkle. I just love it when mindless playtime produces something I love. So now I must decide whether to hang it in my room or put it up for sale in my shop.
Sunday, January 4, 2015
How is the New Year starting out for everyone? I am feeling okay because I made it through Christmas and New Years without completely falling apart. No doubt this was a very emotional time for my dad and I. Our first Christmas and our first New Year arrival without mom. But it is now behind us and I think we have covered all the major "first" holiday's since we lost her. I look forward to the next year coming up being just a little bit easier. I doubt this pain will ever go away, my mom was truly my best friend, I am so totally lost without her. But I do hope for more acceptance, I do pray it gets a little easier. I hope to get to the point that when I think of her each day my thought brings a smile to my lips quicker than it brings the tears. One day at a time. I have not accomplished a whole lot over the last few weeks. I get tired easy and the fact that everyday is the same makes for a bit of boredom which adds to the tiredness. That said, I watch my dad decline just a little bit everyday. Just little tiny things, things no one other than me would notice simply because I am here with him day in and day out.
Now I have to settle in and start working again, and thinking. I seriously need some new ideas, I need to get to the point where I am doing something that will begin bringing me in a regular income, even if it is small, it needs to have regularity. I feel like I have spent hour after hour after hour on my Etsy shop this last year with no good results. I tried Ebay once again, that really has changed so much it is never going to be a working venue for me. So I have to continue thinking until some brilliant idea strikes! If my crafty friends out here have come up with anything new that is working for you, I sure would like to hear about it. I have looked at other selling sites and they just don't seem to be any different. Time for innovation. I have not given up hope of the brick and morter teaching shop but it seems I get just so close and something new gets thrown in my path so there is just no knowing when we will ever get there. Well in the meantime I am making key rings this week and listing them in Etsy as I get them done. Also working on a very elaborate Amulet bag that I am really having a good time with but have a lot more hours to invest in it until I can call it done! Happy New Year, Happy Sunday, everyone have a great week!