Friday, August 28, 2009

EtsyBloggers Featured Seller

I am determined to be a poster child for the EstyBlogger street team. One of the great side-effects of this team is its Featured Seller component which exposes all of us to a new EtsyBlogger each month. This month's Featured Seller is... Memories for Life Scrapbooks.

I'm a blank book junkie. Unfortunately most of the blank books stay blank or, for example, have no theme. Therefore I have my Alaska journal filled with what we did in Alaska along with ideas for beads and jewelry. And my jewelry journal has entries on what I ate that day.

Anyhoo, Memories for Life Scrapbooks has great notebooks like the one at the top of this post, and amazing custom albums:

This is so darn cute it almost makes me want to have another child. And name her Scout.


EtsyBloggers...Blog Carnival...Back to School

Yuck. Really.

In elementary school back to school meant a new lunch favorite was my Hong Kong Phooey metal lunch box:

And who doesn't love a new box of 64 Crayola crayons? They still make me giddy.

As a teenager I loved the new clothes aspect of going back to school. We lived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a place devoid of any malls, so unless you wanted to wear the same kind of Chic jeans that every other girl in school had, you needed to take a shopping trip to the big city. Like Grand Rapids, population less than 200,000, and definitely less than that in the '80s. But a whole lot more selection than the Carhartt's and Levi's at our local Winkelman's (not the chain, but actually a family named "Winkelman.")

Any song by Prince, but especially Purple Rain, reminds me of my first year going to college. It blasted out of every boom box in every window in every dorm. That and the Violent Femmes.

And then as a teacher, going back to school meant endless work. The time spent in the classroom is minor in relation to the time spent getting prepared for 130 kids in your classroom throughout the day.

And now it means that my kids are no longer home during the day, a presence I find quite comforting. I like knowing right where they are. What they are doing. Who they are doing it with. I like not rushing off in the morning. I like dinner at 7 with everyone at the table. It means new routines. New schedules. A new job. Shorter days. Cozy nights. Just a different rhythm.

I'm not one to embrace change. Can you tell?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Grey Might Be My New Favorite Color

Mendenhall Glacier, just outside of Juneau, Alaska

Michigan is beautiful. I will be the first to admit that sometimes when I drive into town all along Lake Michigan, I am blown away. The lake can be ragged pewter, eerily calm, strikingly fragile and I'm quite in awe of it. How I don't drive off the side of the road or into a tree is rather a mystery.

But we just returned from Alaska on a 7 day cruise through part, like about an inch, of the Inside Passage. I was sorely disappointed to read the weather report before embarking that the whole week would be rainy and 50 - 60 degrees. We've had a whole summer of that in Northern Michigan. Except while we were away, of course.

And guess what. It rained. Oh, not every day, but on glacier day it rained and it was freezing cold. And the lack of color was misty and mystical and had a depth of soul that isn't apparent in the bright neon of Caribbean color. Not that it was better. It was different. And just as inspiring.

If I could capture this color in glass, I would be quite impressed with myself. And I will brag about it. This glacier ice, part of Dawes Glacier way up the Endicott Arm, is like looking into a beautiful, airy, airless abyss. Ice and glass have much the same look. I'm going to play with blues and clear and texture. Along with the ivory that inspired me and walrus bone that was used by some jewelers whose work I admired.

But I wrestle with being inspired by Alaska versus being inspired by Michigan. Living in a tourist town I know, especially after being a tourist for 10 days, the importance of finding the exact souvenir that will remind me forever of this trip. I'd like to provide that for someone else...does that mean Petoskey stones mixed with glass? Or glass that represents Petoskey stones, the state stone of Michigan? Or does it matter?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I"ll Be Back

I'm off to Alaska for a trip with family on a small boat that looks something like this. And then I promise that this blog, which I have sorely neglected for lack of direction, will have a new lease on life. Really.

As I explore glass and jewelry and the two together, people and art and nature that inspires me, and the motivation of money.

Is that a completely un-artsy thing to say? Probably. But also true. And motivation comes in many forms.

Back the week of August 24th!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Coming Soon to Etsy

I'm quite enamored with the glass flower charms I've made. Several are on Etsy, but I'll be adding lots more when we return from Alaska on August 23rd. The following week I'm planning on adding many new items and sales/free items.