Monday, May 20, 2013

Day 1 - The Aftermath

It's been a long time. I wasn't sure whether to create this post on my existing blog or not, but that's just one decision too many for today. For some reason I think I'm supposed to be journaling now but I don't like hand-writing. First, I need to make this disclaimer: whatever you think about what I write is your business. If you don't like it, click away. My life, my blog. You see, today is Day 1. The first day after my husband, the center of my life for 19 years, said our relationship is over and can't be fixed because he doesn't love me enough to work on it.

Said he's been unhappy for four years, never told me even when I asked. I've been unhappy too. Says he doesn't like his life in Illinois. Me neither, When we first left Illinois in 2000 I said I never wanted to live here again. I said it more than once. He said we had to come here for his job. Because I loved him and wanted to be with him, I felt I had no choice. After a while he said we were going to buy a house because it would be more economical than renting. I loved the rental house.

The job was the center of his entire adult life. Not his first wife, not his kids, not me. So much so that he said over and over he would never retire, that if by chance he did, he would become an independent consultant in his industry, General Construction. Then he changed his mind. He would retire after all but he wouldn't be a consultant -- the industry was "no fun" anymore. He would work at Home Depot. Then he changed his mind. He would not work at Home Depot, we would travel the country instead, selling my handmade jewelry in art shows.

In 19 years, he never asked. He decided and he let me know what "we" were doing. Moving to Boston. The day we were to close on the house there he called and said he had changed his mind. Moving to Atlanta. Leaving my family and our children behind. Leaving my job and beloved friends.

We settled in the Atlanta area and I made us a home, as usual. Without a job I was now free to fully concentrate on all his needs and wants. Time permitting, I made a little money on the side making and selling glass wind chimes. I found friends and joined the YMCA. But . . . ut oh! Time to move to Florida, his dream destination. Once again I was left behind to sell and pack up the house and coordinate the move. Once again, I made a home for us. Made friends. Good friends.

Wait a minute! We have to move to Memphis! He had to leave NOW and I get to stay behind to sell and pack up the house. Only this time the economy intervened and we couldn't sell. The job in Memphis didn't last long. Luckily we hadn't sold the Florida house, instead I had driven our RV from Tampa to Memphis by myself so he'd have a "more economical" place to live than a hotel. Come on, honey, fly on down to Memphis and you can follow me and the RV back to Tampa with my car. Done.

Along with the sagging economy came a sagging job market. There was a lot of moping around the pool waiting for something to come his way. When it did, it was time to move back to Illinois. I did what I could to make a rental house a home. I made friends, joined the art guild, took a pottery class. He laid on the couch being unhappy in front of the TV. But couldn't or wouldn't talk to me about it. And then he retired.

So it's off to Florida we go for the winter, doing art shows almost every weekend. When you sell, conservatively, 50 pieces of jewelry at a show, it's tough to make that up by the following weekend. But that's what I worked at. Shows on the weekends, creating on demand during the week. This was never what I wanted to do, but he never asked, he TOLD. And I loved him and being with him was my priority.

Zoom ahead to January of this year, 2013. Time for our annual trip to Florida. Only this time I grew a pair. I never chose this lifestyle, I don't like it, I said, and I want to enjoy a Midwestern winter again for the first time in 14 years. Okay, he said, I'll enjoy Florida. I like doing the shows. I'll use the rest of my time for fishing, biking and hanging around on the beach.

Are you okay with this? I asked multiple times. Are you sure you aren't angry with me about this? I also asked multiple times. No, he assured me, he was FINE with the plan. On January 8, 2013, he left for Florida. He had a good time, he says, without me. Doing shows, fishing, biking, hanging on the beach. And, oh year, having an affair.

Skipping more of the gory details, like the fact that this woman was a friend, like he gave her $1000 of OUR money, let me get back to today. Day 1. Here's how a life can change from being full and busy in only one day. With no warning, with no opportunity to fix it. Because "this is how he is" and "he's never going to change."

I got out of bed this morning. At some point I showered. Went to the ATM for grocery money. Nada. Spent the $11 in my purse on yogurt and Dr. Pepper. Didn't need much more because I really can't eat. Can't sleep. Can't concentrate.

Thought some exercise would be advantageous so I drove over to the health club to walk in the pool. Managed to walk for 35 minutes before tears began rolling down my cheeks. And that, friends, is how it is. Roller coaster emotions. I am sick, angry, sad, devastated, shocked, miserable, in total despair. Feels like my life is over. Once again, I am left to pack up a house I didn't want. I have no money because that was also under his control for 19 years. No place to go and no funds to get there. Stranded in Central Illinois trying not to be the weird woman crying in the grocery store.

Meanwhile, he's surely on his way back to the skank girlfriend and his fun times. His gallon of wine and his country music. I hope it all turns out to have been worthwhile for him.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cocktail Hour Blog Hop Reveal!

Back in April, Amy Freeland had a refreshing idea for a blog hop. The rules were simple:

Google the cocktail, and use the ingredients, image, color, season it's usually enjoyed, era it became famous (I'm looking at your absinthe), or whatever else to inspire any piece of jewelry. 

The cocktail assigned to me was "Captain & Coke." For those of you who aren't familiar with that particular beverage, Captain Morgan is a darker rum with the addition of spices and we all know what Coke is. Here's what it usually looks like:

My inspiration was the photo above and the pirate theme labels on Captain Morgan products. I used quartz with brownish streaks (ice cubes), crackled quartz in shades of brown (Captain and Coke), and Swarovski crystal bicones in Lime. The anchor and ship's wheel charms complete the theme. I actually like this necklace better than I expected. I apologize if the photos aren't great but it is almost midnite and I'm too tired to find better light!

Thanks to Amy for putting this blog hop together; can't wait for your next idea!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Suddenly Spring Challenge - The Big Reveal!

In January I entered this challenge posted by Michelle Mach.

I loved the rhinestone spacers and the color of the crystals in the kit. My kit arrived beautifully packaged by Michelle.

A recent issue of "Stringing" magazine featured a necklace incorporating lucite flowers as a sort of connector. When I first saw it I knew I'd find a use for Denise Yezbak Moore's technique and here was my opportunity. I brought out my stash of lucite flowers and pulled peach, daffodil, white and pink from the bag. Instantly, the daffodil popped with the aqua crystals. I added a few Swarovski crystals from my collection along with some Bali bead caps I'd been hoarding. Then, thinking about what else I could add in addition to the flowers that would be "springy", I added a tiny bird and nest from Earthenwood (Melanie Brooks). Here's the resulting necklace:

To see more detail you can click on any of the photos.

With a few crystals and spacers leftover, I chose to make a bracelet. I added more Swarovski crystals, antique silver flower beads and a lucite flower dangle. And a sweet little butterfly clasp.

I think I've done a reasonable job of portraying "Spring" in these two pieces. What do you think?

Please take a few minutes to check out what the other participants have created:

Michelle - Beads & Books [Hostess]

Andrew - The Writing & Art of Andrew Thornton

Christa - Adventures of One Beady Woman

Dita - Alankarshilpa

Donetta - Simply Gorgeous

Erin - Erin Siegel Jewelry

Heather - As I Bead It

Jean - Snap Out of It Jean - There's Beading to Be Done!

Karen - Over the Moon Design

Kate - We Can Make That At Home

Kim - CianciBlue

Kristina - Wild Roses and Blackberries

Linda - Lindy's Designs

Lisa - Pine Ridge Treasures

Marlene - Amazing Designs by Marlene

Michelle - Reverie & Revival

Pam - The Crazy Creative Corner

Pamela - Someday Beads

Renetha - Lamplight Crafts

Sharyl - Catchenthesun

Terry - Pink Chapeau Vintage Jewelry

Therese - Therese's Treasures

Monday, March 12, 2012

Been busy . . .

. . . but wanted to post these pics.

This is an official photo of Ospreys.
Osprey Photo

And an official description:

Unique among North American raptors for its diet of live fish and ability to dive into water to catch them, Ospreys are common sights soaring over shorelines, patrolling waterways, and standing on their huge stick nests, white heads gleaming. These large, rangy hawks do well around humans and have rebounded in numbers following the ban on the pesticide DDT. Hunting Ospreys are a picture of concentration, diving with feet outstretched and yellow eyes sighting straight along their talons.

Everywhere you go around Florida you will see platforms atop electric/phone poles with Osprey nests built on them. Here's Jim's photo of one.

And in another, totally unrelated photo, I want this.

That is all!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Palatka Azalea Festival

The Azalea Festival in Palatka, Florida, opened this morning. The scheduled festivities include an Arts & Crafts show in which we have a booth. It was a busy day and I only found time enough to make one bracelet:

The ceramic centerpiece is from Captured Moments. Very springlike, don't you think?

I found some time to wander down to the homemade ice cream stand and passed a bike store with some extremely cool bikes parked outside. I couldn't resist snapping a few photos. I've left them at their original resolution in case you'd like to zoom in for more detail. Zoom in on this first one and you'll see that it is RATTAN!

Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal !!!

Woot! It's finally here! Lori Anderson's 5th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party Blog Hop! Here's a photo of the  very generous bead soup I received from my partner, Amy Freeland. Look at all that treasure!

Here's my first piece. The concept came from my husband, an engineer and former builder. 

My soup contained several clasps, among them a cute little teapot toggle. I just happened to have three more sterling teapot toggles in my stash! I bought them off a clearance rack several years ago when we were living in Tampa. Here's a bracelet I made.

Here's another bracelet.

And another! If you've followed my blogs, the focal in this bracelet is the pink MOP ring that was lost (for days!) and finally found at the bottom of my tool box by my husband. 

And here's the pendant piece:

Any of the bracelets can be attached to the piece with the pretty ceramic pendant. Even the pendant piece could be used as a bracelet if desired. Three bracelets + the pendant component = an approximately 32-inch necklace. 

Add two bracelets to the pendant section for a 24-inch necklace.

 One bracelet + pendant piece = choker. Or any two bracelets make a choker. You could really glam it up with two chokers!

My second piece used the other pendant included in my package from Amy. I just happened to have some cherry quartz beads in my stash that matched it perfectly! I wired my beads along with some from Amy with antiqued brass rolo chain sections. I added the Vintaj dragonfly over the pendant and a sweet little dragonfly dangle at the back of the necklace.

This exchange was an exercise in stretching my "green" envelope -- I rarely use pink in my jewelry. Now that I've tried it, I still have lots of "soup" left that I will use for other creations. This was my first time in the Bead Soup Blog Party and I know I will want to try it again!

Thanks to Jim for the cool idea and for finding the lost MOP ring! Thanks to the Universe for the teapot clasps and cherry quartz beads sitting in my stash until the time was right! Thanks to my "Bead Soup" partner, Amy Freeland, for the great bead soup! Above all, thanks to Lori Anderson for all her work in putting this event together!

Be sure to visit all the participants of this Blog Hop!

1.  Adlinah Kamsir (Singapore) and Hajer Waheed (Kingdom of Bahrain)
2. Adrienn Lukacs (Hungary) and Agata Grygiel (Poland)
3.  Agi Kiss (Hungary) and Carolien Muller-Genger (the Netherlands)
4.  Agnes Asztalos (Hungary) and B.R. Kuhlman
7.  Alicia Marinache (Canada) and Dita Basu
10.  My partner, Amy Freeland 
15.  Bonnie Coursolle (Canada) and Fay Wolfenden (Canada)
16.  Carmel McGinley (Australia) and Tracy Stillman (Australia)
21.  Cheryl Brown (Canada) and Diana Ptaszynski
22.  Christina Stofmeel (the Netherlands) and Eva Kovacs (Hungary)
24.  Cilla Watkins (Canada) and Elaine Robitaille (Canada)
25.  Sabrina Straub (Switzerland) and Kathy Combs
32.  Dee Elgie (UK) and Joanne Lockwood (UK)
33.  Dian Hierschel (Germany) and Eniko Fabian (Austria)
34.  Diane Cook and Lyn Foley
37.  Doris Stumpf (Germany) and Eszter Czibulyas (Hungary)
39.  Elke Leonhardt-Rath (Germany) and Marjolein Trewavas (UK)
41.  Erika Nooteboom (the Netherlands) and Giorgia Rossini (Italy)
42.  Erin Grant and Jean Wells
43.  Evelyn Duberry (Canada) and Gaea Cannaday
45.  Ginger Bishop (military, Okinawa) and Martina Nagele (Germany)
48.  Helene Goldberg (Australia) and Karen Vincent
54.  Joanna Matuszczyk (Poland) and Julianna Kis (Hungary)
55.  Joanne Tinley (UK) and Michaela Pabeschitz (Austria)
61.  Kathy Lindemer and Rose Binoya
65.  Kristina Johansson (Sweden) and Penny Neville (Canada)
66.  Krisztina Erlaki-Toth (Hungary) and Nicole Keller (Germany)
 72.  Lisa Liddy and Marion Simmons
76.  Lori Finney (Canada) and Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp (Canada)
78.  Marta Kaczerowska (Poland) and Milla Starchik (Canada)
83.  Michelle Jensen and Sandra Young (Canada)
84.  Nan Emmett and Nicole Valentine-Rimmer (Canada)
92.  Rosa Maria Cuevas (Mexico) and Tejae Floyde
93.  Sabine Dittrich (Germany) and Sally Russick
95.  Shanti Johnson and Tracy Mok (Canada)
97.  Sonya Stille and Traci Zeller (Canada)
98.  Stefanie Teufel (Germany) and Tania Hagen (New Zealand)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

This can't be happening. How is this happening?

Today was to be my day to work on my project for Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party. I got out my "soup" and my tools and thought briefly about a design. Actually it is a design suggested by Jim, but that is currently neither here nor there. I went through my dish of "orphans" and added a pink MOP ring about the size of a nickel to the plan. Jim left to do his errands and I was well on my way.

I was thinking how great it was to have some time alone in our cozy motorhome; just me, the flomar and my "stuff." It's an overcast day here at Tomoka State Park in Florida. The birds are singing and we are close enough to the Atlantic Ocean to catch the cool sea breeze through the open windows. Just delightful!

I decide to pickle and tumble some tiny sterling beads. I figure while they're in the pickle I might as well throw in some copper headpins that need freshening. After about an hour, I drain the pickle and there in the mix is a copper plated conical bead cap. Now how did that get in there? Mind you, it is not tiny. It is probably about two inches long. And the chemical reaction of the base metal under the plating has caused my sterling silver beads to become copper plated. Sigh. I polish the copper plate off the beads (by hand) and put everything in the tumbler.

I finish about one third of my project. I cut wire for the next segment which is going to use the MOP ring. It's gone. Where? I search my lap, the floor, my pockets. I search the table where I'm working, the counter tops, the bed. I take my seat apart, empty my tool box and the two carry-alls on the floor next to me. Then I search again. The good news is that I found $2. The bad news? Still no MOP ring.

I go back to the table to check my bead blanket for the third time to make sure my eyes aren't deceiving me. Yikes! The ring is still gone, but look what has appeared in its place.

It's a tiny brass resin-filled charm I made a couple of years ago. If you can't tell from the fuzzy photo, it says "true." Now I'm hearing the "Twilight Zone" song.

I decide this story is blog-worthy so I photograph the charm and transfer the camera card to the computer. I try to edit the photo and my software crashes but it won't go away. I try to begin the blog post but the computer shows I am no longer connected to the internet. I check the MiFi thingy and it shows a full battery charge and a full signal. ??? Time to restart both the laptop and the MiFi.

Meanwhile, as I'm going through this exercise, the inverter starts up and begins to beep. This is a piece of equipment in the motorhome that allows the use of electrical items (laptop, dremel, etc.) while the vehicle's motor is running and when the motorhome is not hooked up to an outside source of electricity. It was not on. The vehicle's motor isn't running. We are hooked up to the park's electric supply. There is no reason for the inverter to be on. It goes off then comes on again and begins beeping. No one near it, no one pressed the on button. I try to turn it off and it won't go off. I go sit down at the laptop and the inverter shuts off.

So here I am without my focal bead, with two extra dollars, and I'm wondering if 1:40 p.m. is too early for alcohol.