Monday, November 8, 2010

99.9% done

This is the point that I usually quit my home improvement projects, I never go on and finish all those little details that make a job look nice, neat, and complete.  By this time, I'm tired of this job, and I'm either ready to move on to the next, or I don't want to look at another saw, hammer, or can of paint for the rest of my life. 

I'm hoping I'll surprise me this time.  I think I would have really finished all the little things up already, but my trusty little compressor for my nail gun died.  It waited until the last weekend of this project, for that I am grateful, but that also means I now have a handy excuse for not finishing the trim around the entryway, or putting down the quarter-round molding around baseboard. 

Rather than wait till everything is completely done (read - never) to post pics of project, I thought I'd go ahead and post 'em. 

So here they are, just in case you were anxiously awaiting. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

What was I thinking...

What was I thinking?

It wasn't that bad, before I mean...

Why did we start this??

George is not impressed with all of our hard work -
Neither is Skip.

Dave wonders why he married this woman, bought this house, or started this project....

I understand his questions, but I have no answers.

I think we'll both be a little relieved to go back to "work", after this long weekend.

We need the rest.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

16 Years in the Making

We moved into our home 16 years ago, and we've slowly (emphasis on slowly) been trying to make it into my dream home.  I say "my" dream home because Dave doesn't really care, as long as a) it has four walls and a roof, and b) I'm not complaining more than usual about the state of things. 

Recently, on a whim, we had a realtor friend show us a older home - circa 1920 - that I had stumbled on online and we had visited already by ourselves (it was empty, I'm not a creepy house stalker!).  I was instantly smitten, it has the most wonderful wooden doors that were all round top, even down to the laundry chute door in the upstairs hall and a plumbing access door in an upstairs closet.  Beautiful woodwork throughout the home, a great lot, a garage apartment, and a bargain price because it needed lots of cosmetic work. Oh yeah, and a kitchen, it needed a kitchen. Cosmetic stuff, she says nonchalantly.  Of course, with a house like this, I wasn't the only one to see it's possibilities, and unfortunately, I wasn't the first one to put in an offer.  Our realtor told me the day before we were supposed to view it with her that the owners had accepted another offer, but we could still go look, if I wanted.  I wanted.  So we went, and I ate my heart out through the entire tour, loving it more and more with every turn around every corner.  So, we put in our offer, in case the first contract fell thru for some reason. 

It can happen.  

But it didn't happen, so my "dream" home is someone else's now to make over as they will.  So, in order to appease me and make me pick my bottom lip up off the floor, my hubby decides to tackle some of the projects at our house that we've been putting off.  For 16 years we've put off this job of tearing down an old, unusable chimney in our living room.  Guess how long it took us to get the initial demo done?

 2 hours. 

Yep, you read that right.  2 hours, for a job I've dreaded starting for 16 years, 2 months, and 14 days. 

2 hours.

Granted, it was a dirty, hot, messy, dirty job - did I say dirty?  But since it was over so quickly, my now industrious husband then decided it was time for us to tackle another job, which we'd been putting off until after chimney was gone.  Pulling up the carpet in the living room and hallway.  If there is anything to make you feel like a terrible, nasty, filthy housekeeper, it's pulling out carpet and seeing all the grunge that makes its way through the carpet and pad to await discovery only when the carpet and pad are ripped out by a crazy woman who wants hardwood floors.

My industrious husband, with his trusty sledgehammer
(are you humming that song Sledgehammer now?  you are welcome!)

We live in a house that constantly makes me wonder if the people who did previous work on it were 1) lunatics escaped from an insane asylum, 2) on drugs, 3) had a wickedly mean sense of humor, or d) all of the above.  I knew we had hardwood floors beneath our carpet in the living room only because one day early in our home ownership, I pulled back the corner of the dark brown, wood look linoleum in our dining room and discovered hardwood that had a painted border of such an attractive(!) shade of chocolate brown.  So we ripped out the lovely fake wood linoleum and rented a floor sander and worked ourselves to within an inch of our lives to restore the wood to it's glory.   Or at least until we decided it was as close to it's glory as we, with our limited talents, could manage. (You can see a little of the dining room floor behind my industrious hubby in the picture above)

So knowing that wood was under the carpet, pad and vinyl sticky tiles in our living room, we had always planned to someday reveal it.  However, we also knew that in their infinite wisdom, whoever installed the wood floors only ran them a small way down the hall from the living room toward the bedrooms.  It just stops, abruptly, with a change in floor height that the carpet installers camouflaged with a small 'ramp' under the carpet and pad.  See - wicked, stoned lunatics really did live here!!

We're going to leave the refinishing of the floors to a pro this time, after I finish using a heat gun to peel up the very stuck sticky tiles and scraping up the brown paint and the tile adhesive that remains.  Maybe I should have wrote "if I finish using a heat gun to peel up the very stuck sticky tiles and scraping up the brown paint and the tile adhesive that remains." So if I ever finish this job, the floor refinisher can install the wood the rest of the way down the hall, as well as patch the hole where the chimney was. 

 Stay tuned, for more Adventures in Remodeling the Lunatic's Abode (should it say Former Lunatic? maybe not, since I am currently living there...)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sometimes they whisper their name

I have a weakness for using components from old, out of style or broken jewelry to create new lovelies that can be worn and well-loved again, as jewelry is supposed to be.  All my newly made trinkets want to belong to and adorn someone, my pieces that are yet unsold whisper to me in quiet moments in my studio like children in an orphanage - "when do I get to go home with someone?  when will someone love me and wear me and take me home to play?"

No, I'm not crazy, I don't think.  I'm not imagining things, they really do have a voice, if you listen closely I bet you could hear them too.  It's the ones that won't speak up and and at least tell me their name that frustrate me.  They're the ones that sit finished by my worktable in a jewelry tray, not even listed on my website for anyone to buy yet, because they're either very stubborn or very shy, and how can I list them if I don't know what to call them? Sometimes I think they're the ones that feel they need to choose their new owners, instead of the other way around.  These are the pieces that usually sell out at craft shows I take them to, when people can pick them up and touch them and connect with them. Maybe they tell their new owners their name after they get home, whisper it in their ear...

Ok, maybe I am crazy, just a little.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy my latest reclaimed beauty, a bracelet whose centerpiece is an eco-friendly bamboo tile (made by my high school friend Donna who does scrabble tile jewelry along with a few new things with metal that she is getting into now.  You can find her here on Etsy: charmingladies3 ). I also included wooden circles and rings from a new, broken necklace that never got to be enjoyed in it's former life, and little vintage green beads that are a cross between lime and olive that look fantastic with this bamboo-tile bead but really did not play well with the soft green beads on it's former home, a necklace I deconstructed for another friend a while back (you can see the pictures of the beads from that necklace I used with a handmade shell flower here on Flickr.  The heart charm is a perfect match to the flowers on the bamboo tile, and was rescued from a bargain bin at a discount store, where it was on a charm bracelet that was a little "over the top" for my tastes all together, but had some lovely charms worth saving.  "Use me, use me!" the charms pleaded.  Really, they did.

Earth-friendly and fun, I hope it finds a home with someone just like it! 

By the way, it whispered "Going Green and Lovin' It" when I asked what it's name was.  I'm not sure if that's a name or a philosophy, but it worked for me either way.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Yosemite Sam the ring maker

Wire wrapped rings are one of my jewelry making obsessions, but also one of the biggest thorns in my side (other than taxes, but that's another day's post...). Some days, I sit down with my wire, my ring mandrel, stones, and tools and make the perfectly wrapped ring in the correct size the first try.

Sometimes not.

I have been trying to make a spiral wrapped wire ring in gold wire, size 7.5, for the past 3 days.  Today on my lunch break, I finally got it.  It took a total of 4 tries, with many grumbling Yosemite Sam moments of throwing the partially wrapped ring down like a 2 year old throwing a broken toy.

 "Why do you keep listing rings on your website if they're that hard to do?" asks my ever sensible husband after one such moment.  "Just remove those rings from your site, and you won't have to do this again."

What he means is he won't have to listen to me do this again....  Not that I blame him. I don't particularly like to be around 2 year olds when they're having a temper tantrum either. 

But somehow, I can't bring myself to stop offering the rings.  I can't allow the uncooperative wire to win, and not conform itself to the pleasing round shape of the ring.

Control issues, you say? Me?? 

Anyway, I thought maybe you all would like to see the nicely spiraled ring in a perfect size 7.5 (on the mandrel), as well as the nice size 8 laying mostly finished beside it, and the frickin frackin who knows what size it would have ended up being if it hadn't been so hateful and wouldn't form a nice spiral reject in the right corner. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Exclusive Sale for Facebook Fans

I'm offering an exclusive deal for Facebook Fans, so be sure and check it out!  "Like" my Facebook page with the link on the right, or visit the site here:

I'm listing a few new items today, here's a sneak peak at some of them...

Hope you like, look for them on my Etsy shop.

Have a happy day!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Not a Movie Review...

Ok, those of you that know my jewelry know I am a Twilight fan, and I saw the newest movie – Eclipse – this weekend.  It didn’t disappoint, I thought (as did the gaggle of 9 that I went with) it was a very good rendition of the book, although it had some differences, as all the movies thus far have.  This is not going to be a movie recommendation or review, either you like the Twilight books and movies or you don’t, and there are plenty of other reviewers out there that can do a better job than I can. I am absolutely in love with the soundtrack though, and it isn’t at all my normal taste of music, other than a few that have an 80’s reminiscent sound.  This soundtrack has introduced me to bands I’ve never heard before, and maybe I’ll like the rest of their music, maybe I won’t, but this collection is a totally unique experience and something I think I’ll be listening to for a while.   Here is the song list, each song title is a link to a page that plays the song in whole.  These are in order of the soundtrack, but I’m going to say listen to “Heavy In Your Arms” by Florence + The Machine, and “Chop and Change” by The Black Keys first.  Totally different songs, both of which are stuck in my head this weekend.  "Jacob's Theme" is a beautiful, haunting, piano piece not to be missed.

With You In My Head (Featuring The Black Angels) - Unkle
A Million Miles An Hour - Eastern Conference Champions
Life on Earth - Band of Horses
What Part of Forever - Cece Lo Green
Jacob's Theme - Howard Shore

Buy the soundtrack here at 

(affiliate link)

Here's some pics of the bracelet I did after first reading the book "Eclipse", long before the movie came out.  Summit Entertainment thought I was a threat to their "officially licensed Twilight Saga" jewelry and made me take it down from the Etsy website. I think they are bullies...
 My version is all highest quality sterling silver with Swarovski© faceted AB Crystal Heart.  Nice, if I do say so myself. :-)

Happy 4th everyone!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Writing the first post for your blog is somewhat daunting, almost like going on a blind date… Should you be on your best behavior or just be yourself? Should I wear my hair up or down? ;-) I don’t delude myself into thinking there are oodles of anxious readers just sitting around waiting for my first post, but at the same time, I don’t want to bore the socks off of the few of you that found your way here and stayed long enough to read this. So here goes, I apologize in advance for any socks that slip into the abyss…
A few pics to get us started, since those are worth a thousand words.
This is us:

The Jones Family (Todd, Dave, Cait & me -Bridgitte) - try to keep up
(inside joke,but I’m letting you in :-) )
Cait is now a Jones-Fisher, that’s her and her husband Mike in the second pic.
Here are our kitties and puppies. We’re so glad our 3rd child was a cat (George)!





My garden, it’s always a work a progress, like the house…


Some of my recent jewelry creations, you can see more of it here:

I spend more time than I want to at my day job (the one that pays the bills or at least pays for the extras since hubby’s actually pays the bills), but I dream every day of going back to being a “stay at home” mom, even though my kids are now grown. Talk about not knowing a good thing when you have it, years ago I didn’t have a clue what I was getting myself into when I decided that I wanted to work outside the home. I have met some wonderful people while working though, and I know that financially we are better off for it, so I know it has been well worth doing. Dave and I, whenever possible, have managed to surround ourselves with our friends at work, if there was a job opening and we had any input as to who filled it. So aside from the actual work part, which I don’t enjoy much anymore, a day at work is spending time with friends, not a bad way to spend my time. Still, one day (soon!) I hope to spend my days puttering at home and in the garden, building my jewelry business and giving my cat Georgie the attention he deserves :-)
Ok, that’s it for the first installment. I hope everyone’s socks are still safely on their feet and that you’ll come back and visit again soon.
Have a happy day!