Warmest Wishes for the New Year

I hope that every one had a wonderful 2006 & that you all have a beautiful and prosperous 2007. So far I am starting out strong…2 days into the New Year & I have dived right in to accomplish everything on my list. I have started out by adding a few dozen new pieces of jewelry & that finishes up the last batch of pictures I took last fall. I never did get everything live on my site that I wanted to get before the Holidays, but I am making up for lost time now!

I take all the pictures on my website & it has really helped me to hone my jewelry making skills. I can see up close where I have made mistakes, and where I need improvement. Since I have started taking pictures of my work and listing them on my website I have become better at wire wrapping especially. I take close-ups of my jewelry so that you can see all the details, but at the same time it shows all the little flaws that I never saw before. If you look at the pictures of my earrings you can see which pictures where taken almost 2 years ago & which ones are being added now. I have retaken pictures of my best-selling necklaces, and switching out the images. This is where my OCD can get the best of me, but at the same time it helps my skills. I always say I am better than I was yesterday, but not as good as I will be tomorrow.

Not only have I improved my wire wrapping skills, I have also improved my images. When I was in Art School, I always had the photography studio with all the lights, endless accessories. Now I have a makeshift studio with a digital camera. Sometimes I take 20 pictures before I get a good image. Sometimes I will take 20 or more pictures & still not get a good image. It can be really frustrating, because I know the necklace is simply gorgeous, but I just can’t get a good picture. I have a few new ideas that I am going to be trying out in the next few weeks.

I also have a home remodeling update. We got our last, and last window in just before the Holidays! Our house feels so different. For years it always felt like there was an open window somewhere even though all of our windows were painted shut! Now we can actually open a window in just about every room in the house and the only time there is a breeze thru the house is when we open a window. We also had the first big rain since we got our gutters up and only had the slightest bit of water in the basement. I think that all we have to do to solve that problem is direct the water coming down the gutters away from the house. That is going to be as simple as buying one of those little splashblocks & putting it under the downspout to direct the water away.

We also learned a very valuable lesson about our leaky roof & chimneys that I just have to share with you!! I mentioned in another post that we had a hole in our kitchen ceiling where the chimney was leaking and the ceiling fell. Over the course of 2 ½ years we paid 3 different roofers and had another 4( maybe 5) roofers look at our chimney to give us estimates on fixing our chimney and stopping our leak. While every one of them told us that the last roofer took us for a ride & that they would fix it the correct way, and one of them even gave us an estimate for $3600.00, not one of them came close to correctly identifying the problem. My husband and I were standing in our kitchen staring up at the water leaking from new ceiling when I realized that the water only came in during the cold months, and that it was condensation that was forming on our chimney when the furnace was running. My husband got up on the roof and sure enough there was no chimney liner. Just over $100.00 later and a short afternoon on the roof I solved the problem that not a single roofer could figure it out. I’ve got those kind of skills.

Except for getting to Lowes to get the splash blocks for the downspout…we are done with our leaky flooding house, and The Water Curse has been lifted. We have spent the last 3 years tearing out rotten walls & ceilings, remodeling every room in the house, including some nasty work in the basement,  now our house is about as mold & mildew free as it will ever be! All that is left is simple cosmetic work, like hanging up trim around the windows, a bit of drywall finishing a doing a bit of painting. I think that by the end of this winter we will finally be done with our house. I guess at that point we are going to take a quick breather & start looking for a bigger house. Our 3 kids keep getting bigger every day, and my studio has already spilled out into the rest of the house. My kiln is now sharing a space with my pantry/laundry room.

Once I teach myself to fuse glass I will be adding fused glass pendants & earrings & so much more to my site. I am SO excited about that!! Don’t forget to bookmark my site so you can see my glass!

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