Charmed, I’m sure

I hope to manage to make one more of these for the show, they are very time and materials intensive. However I LOVE it.

Green charm bracelet – glass beads, thai silver, sterling silver chain, glass crystals.

Happy Friday!

bubble trouble

Another bubble in a plate this morning. GRRR! I’m going to try to salvage it with one more fuse tonight. Another plate is ready to go and another one has started I wanted to get three plates this week…I still might be able to…we shall see. I preheated the kiln shelf after I put wash on it, darn it. I’ll have to try to sort what I did wrong and not do it again.’

Hm. Found a more conservative firing schedule. I will use it tonight on the new plate waiting to go. The old one is probably too warped to be used, now that I think about it. Into the pendant bin it goes, most likely.

Mom is going to Mexico today for a week, wheee. Dad is home alone so I will likely call him to see how he’s doing by the weekend. Work remains busy, but with the end in sight.

I’m going to have my hours boosted on a friend’s website, so that I can finally overhaul it. Not only did I not have the time before, I didn’t want to come home and do more webwork, so I didn’t push it too hard, even though I knew the site really needed it. Now, I will have time free to work so we will start getting the site out of 1997 in November. Yay! It’s not a lot of hours, just 8 a month…but that’s just what I am looking for these days.

Stupid plate bubble. GRRR!

t minus 3 weeks

So the news is in. This job here that I’ve been at for 18 months likely will be going away for good for me. I’m in the Marketing Dept. and they don’t do the 18 months on, 3 months off thing. So when I’m outta here, its for good, pretty much.
I admit deep down to being happy about this.
I do enjoy this job, but I’m ready to take a break from this cubicle cage. It’s been ten years…more than ten years of corporate web monkeying. It’s been fun, it’s been hard, it’s been an incredibly fulfilling situation at times, and a brain dead one at others. I’ve worked so hard I lived at work for days. I’ve been to company sponsored raves. I’ve worked in the options trading industry. I’ve worked at Microsoft and Xerox. I’ve did the whole dotcom startup in San Francisco thing, down to people riding bicycles in the aisles and playing xbox for a break at 11 am, while being worth hundreds of thousands of dollars on paper. I’ve gone to conventions and put pithy sayings on cube walls. I’ve bought power outfits and commuted. Flash, Javascript, HTML, Cold Fusion, Dynamo, Frontier, CSS, xml, VoiceXML, and more. I stayed employed through it all, I’ve been pink slipped and I’ve been picked up again immediately.

I’m going to leave on Nov. 10th, and then we will see. I will put my resume in with my agency. But…I will not lock in again. One offs, part time, freelance, quick gigs, yes. 18 months and a badge…no. Not if I can help it. It’s tremendously exciting and scary. I will be making a fraction of what I have for the past 5 years.

But I will regain my time, the most precious commodity one has. I will clean the damn house, and take care of it properly. DLJ will not have to spend weekends cleaning because it will be my job to keep it all mostly upkept. He will have less housework and therefore more time to relax at home instead of more work. I will make glass. GLASS GLASS GLASS. I will enter more shows and sales. I will start selling on ebay. I will look for freelance webwork, and continue the part time web gigs I have with one or two current clients. I will drink coffee at home. I will not commute. I will not need fancy clothes. Lunches out. Badges, business phones, cube knickknacks, rush hour, meetings, water coolers, cafeterias, security, managers, bosses, timesheets, timetracker, paper clips, shoes to change into to walk at lunch, clockwatching, faxing, someone else’s schedule, someone else’s orders, someone else’s priorities. No more overflowing laundry, dusty carpet, unfinished projects, incomplete garden, quick meals.

It’s all going to change. I really hope we can swing it. Between glass, ebay, part time freelance, I think we can keep it going. DLJ’s job is good and they will come through for him. We have savings stashed. My time will be mine more than it is, now, and with it I will work and get DLJ back some time, too.

I’m TOTALLY freaked out.

Change on the wind

I said I’d update and I lied. It’s been days, hasn’t it. Work is crazy, glass is crazy. A little over three weeks and my contract is up here. I’ll be looking for other things, and hopefully will be given the opportunity to return after my three months is up. I’d like the option to think about, at least.
Ramping up for the show is my main concern right now. I need fabric, price tags, a sign, lables…but I’ve got some inventory now, table, table cover, and the bones of a good display. Much done, much to do.
Meanwhile I am just trying to get everything paid up, equaled out, stashed and saved before the job ends. I hope to find small gigs on the side while I look for my next thing. Part of me does look forward to this…when we have kids I will want to stay home till they are in school at least…this is a good test to see how we do. DLJ still is waiting for some job stuff to happen financially, it sure is taking a long time, but all we can do is wait and stay positive.
My car is currently not in the parking lot here, as it’s being driven to an autoglass place. They do mobile replacement but it’s raining. A rock hit it a little while back, right where I couldn’t see it, below the windshield wiper. But a long crack stretches either direction now…it’s time to replace the glass. It will be back this afternoon and all complete. Like I said, fixing, finishing up financial tasks. It’s going to be a BIG bite when I stop working. It’s scary. But at the same time…we don’t NEED all that I make…we can get by with a lot less. These thoughts get tossed around a lot. And I won’t be doing nothing. Glass will be in full swing while I’m at home, plus a small web gig and hopefully others.
Here’s a piece that won’t be for sale, it was my first try and therefore not good enough to put up for someone to buy. I like it, though, and I’ll wear it.

Oh, it’s going to be a crazy fall. But a good one. Stay positive.

Green Globe

Creation continues…after today I’m switching to bracelets for the rest of the week, more beads, more work.

Green Globe

One of those “I don’t wanna sell it I wanna keep it” ones. But it will indeed be for sale on Nov 5th at the sale.

More lengthy post later.

Japan Day 6 and part of 7.

We woke on our last full day ready to go. Plans had been flipflopping all week. Dinner with M’s parents, lunch with the parents, lunch with Dad, dinner with Mom…by Friday it had been nailed down. And actually, I like the way it turned out. We walked up the street through the neighborhood and went to M’s parents’ home, around a quarter of a mile away. Mom was home, as she worked evenings, and that was why dinner had been nixed. Also at home was M’s Grandmother, an elderly but sprite woman. The house was very modern looking. Buying land is expensive in Tokyo, but after that, it’s not as pricey to build as it is in the United States. A lot more people have their homes custom made for them without it breaking the entire bank…the land does that on its own.
We removed our shoes and climbed the stairs to the living room/dining room area. The rooms were small but cozy, and we sat on couches while M’s mother made and served us tea and small snacks. I was thrilled. This was way better than everyone in a restaurant, I got to see another home of a family in Japan! M translated for us back and forth, and soon, Grandma showed up from the upper floor. She sat at a chair in the dining area and interjected here and there, but mostly just listened with a smile on her face. I offered them one of my glass dishes as a gift, so conversation moved to how I made it, then back to housing, real estate, and other relatively simple conversations. I asked about a collection of dolls over the piano, and before I knew it, we were off to go have lunch. We went downstairs and put our shoes back on. M’s Mom was coming with us as she had a dance lesson scheduled, which was why she wasn’t coming along for lunch. Grandma followed us all the way down the stairs and out the door to the front gate, and kept waving and saying goodbye. She seemed really happy we came to visit so I kept calling “Bye bye!” until we were out of site around the corner.
We walked to the shopping area near the trains and entered a small building. Dad’s office. M’s sister was there, who I have been helping the past few months, shipping things from the US to her to sell in her Dad’s store. It was great to see the face and the world of the person I had been helping from afar. Dad led us to a restaurant nearby and we all sat together at a larger table. Lunch was sushi, and man….oh man….was it EVER.
The first thing that appeared in front of us was snails. Giant sea snails, coiled inside shells. One plunged a toothpick down inside them and pulled them out, several inches long. Later, we found out her Dad was testing us with that, to see what we’d eat. He likes them, so wanted to see what we would do. DLJ and I just popped them down, they tasted sort of like soy sauce to me, but not overpowering at all.
They ordered us some tempura, which was lovely, but oh….the fish. So much lovely stuff. I ordered some of my usuals in order to compare them, but Dad did most of the ordering, which was fine with me.
Every now and then, a chef in the next room would ring a large bell. What he was doing was making a recommendation of a certain fish. After ringing the bell, he would take a net and catch the fish from a large tank behind him. One of these recommendations was taken by Dad, and I tell you…I had sushi within ten minutes of it swimming around. Holy cats.
We were stuffed. I wish I could have gone on…it was so delicious. I was in food heaven. M continued her role as interpreter and we talked about food, life, and my glass. They are interested in my glass for their store, but there is only one of me, so production churn isn’t something I can handle. Still…it’s a possibility.
We left, barely able to walk, so that Dad and sis could get back to work. J, M and I ambled our way on to go shopping, DLJ was looking for his own souvenir. We bought some postcards, and kept looking. I was getting very tired, shopping is not my strongpoint in the first place, and I was worried about M, 8 months pregnant. We went back to their little neighborhood and stopped at a crazy clothes shop and of course, bingo, DLJ found something right there that he liked. We all stumbled home to relax as the sun went down, then wandered out for our last dinner in Japan. I gathered all my photos into a photo album in ITunes and we watched them, played with Mu and just sat up talking late while we started packing.
Saturday, we got up and got breads and treats for the plane, then took the local train to the main station, hanging out for an hour in a shop while we waited for the next train to Narita airport. This train also was covered by our train pass, which was such a good deal for the week we were there. And then M and J walked us to the train, we got on, and waved through the windows. It was sad to say goodbye. J is more isolated than I knew, living in Japan. In my head he had more of a social life, either friends of M’s or other foreigners, but in reality, it’s a quiet existence. Of course, that will be blown to part in a matter of weeks with the arrival of their first child. But I am glad we could spend time with him, reconnect him with friends and having folks to relate to within easy reach. I hope they come to visit us in Portland some day…and maybe, if we are lucky, we will enjoy ourselves with a drink in the backyard that feels like a meadow in comparison to the small plots in Japan, as our kids run around together, laughing and sharing time together because the parents stayed in touch and remained friends.
Our trip was amazing because of M and J. We saw more, experienced more, ate more, and knew so much more because of their invaluable input and willingness to share ideas, time, and even a little money. I cannot imagine what our trip would have been without them. Fun, interesting, but a completely different experience.We can’t thank them enough for sharing their home with us. I only wish Mu hadn’t gotten so sick and left them, so quickly after we did. But at the same time, I think it made it a little easier for them to grieve after, as they weren’t alone. We had known Mu and had just been there with them, DLJ even had some pictures, the last ones taken of her. They shared their lives with us, and in return we could help them share their pain.
No pictures this time, I still have so many to process….but I didn’t take many the last days…however, I will post the last one I took of J and M as we left on the train soon.


Opened my kiln this morning to find my second dish that I am making for someone complete…and cracked. Right down the middle, and not even all the way through, which is puzzling behavior. I didn’t have time to try to sort it out before work, but I’d like to for future knowledge. At any rate, it’s a loss, and I am out of the glass I need so somehow I will have to find time to go back to the store to get more of the glass, and take the three days again to make it. Grr! The one time I am on a deadline and I have to figure how to get this done asap. I hate running the kiln at night while I sleep but I think that is the only way I can get it done quickly. I’ll make it work, and get it done…but that crack! I can’t figure it out! I didn’t do anything different than with the previous three plates I have made this way. There has to be a variable somewhere I just haven’t figured out yet.

I’m frustrated, but it’s part of the process. I see why folks build in more lead time with projects, time for error. I was pretty much on schedule but this obviously throws it completely off. Things happen, glass is fickle. It will work out.

Last Japan entry later today.

Off-kilter and overscheduled

Yawn, yawn, yawn. Today is off-kilter. I have to write my glass newsletter, as it is late, I had no time to make DLJ’s smoothie, I left my work badge at home, I have way too much money in my wallet as a result of closing out our Bank of America bank account yesterday (SO LONG, SUCKERS) and I have 6,000 yen in my pocket that DLJ needs to have to convert back to dollars downtown.
I have to go to the post office today to send in a 401k rollover thingie, the pin I posted yesterday to go out to its owner…I’m yawning. I need to research fixing our front rain gutter by the front door. Actually, DLJ will do that. I’m waiting to hear on a fall holiday sale thing I want to be a part of, I am 3/4 done with my green dishes glass order, then I have a necklace to do, but I need to make beads as well for it. We are leaving Friday for the coast for our first weekend at the condo, which has now closed and is in my parents’ ownership. We are bringing sheets and comforters and things that my parents bought and had shipped to our house. Our job is to make sure everything looks ok, that nothing is largely amiss from when they last saw it before the deal closed.
Like the one they rented, the master bedroom is by the ocean so you can hear and see the waves. We have always slept in the guestroom previously, so it will be nice this weekend to get the fireplace going, drink wine, relax, and fall asleep next to the sea. But that does mean no glass this weekend. I’ll have to plow through when we get back. Especially if I get accepted for that sale. And there’s still the website to open…but with the sale, if I get in, I will have no store inventory. Ack!