Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A slow sort of country?

"Before you came into my life I missed you so bad. And you should know that. So call me, maybe!"

I've been running the Red Queen's race lately - but haven't we all?! Everyone is busy. It's our national pastime.

From Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, pen name Lewis Carroll.
"Well, in our country," said Alice, still panting a little, "you'd generally get to somewhere else — if you run very fast for a long time, as we've been doing."

"A slow sort of country!" said the Queen. "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"
I started the month of August with an online trunk show that I wasn't completely prepared for. On the heels of the Bead Bazaar at the annual ISGB conference (held in Houston this year in mid-July) and having spent the first part of July making Carry-a-Bead pairs for Beads of Courage, I knew I didn't have enough inventory. Or, more accurately, I didn't have enough of the sort of inventory that sells well for me.


For the first time since I've been making beads, i.e., for the first time since 2008, I could sell more beads if I could make more beads. I have plenty of focals all ready to sell, but my Facebook customer base clearly prefers my sets.

I limit my bead-making time to three hours a day at most. For one thing, it's too hot to work past noon and no matter how early I wake up, I can't seem to get it together to start torching much before nine. For another thing, I have to conserve my arms, hands, shoulders, neck and head, which are screaming badly enough as it is.

Pretty much as soon as the trunk show was over, Beads of Courage commissioned me to make another 200 Carry-a-Bead pairs. I try never to say no. I want them to keep asking me. It's bread and butter money. I enjoy making the kind of pairs they like. I usually have free reign with regard to colors and styles and it's especially fun to make dot beads and challenge myself to come up with new patterns and color combinations.

We negotiated a time frame of 100 pairs to be mailed before my trip to PA and NJ (we were gone from August 19 through August 23). And here they are.

I'm working on the second 100 pairs now. Daily. I'm shooting for 10 pairs a day, which leaves me hypothetical time to make one nice bead set and a couple of focals each time I torch. I say hypothetical because I can't stay on task well enough to finish a set in a session. If I make seven to nine matching beads, it's a dead cert that I won't make any accent beads that coordinate until the next session. If I remember to, that is.

Beyond the bead wars with myself, I'm trying to walk three miles on the treadmill almost every day. At three degrees elevation, which Neil says means I climb 800-something feet in the hour it takes me.

On Monday I started two classes. Yes, folks, I'm back in school again. Summer flew.

This semester I am taking 2D Design at Glassell. I thought it might help me with better bead designs, but based on the first class, it sounds like some of it will be a repeat of learning the same design elements that we studied in my Digital Photo class and my Color Theory class. But tuition is paid and I've spent another $140 for supplies (for starters). Maybe this time something will stick and translate to designing beads. In the meantime, I can look forward to spending six hours a week on projects. We get a bye this week, since this coming Monday is Labor Day.

I've also signed up for my second online class at Colgate, Living Writers. We will be reading four books and, like my class last Spring about the atom bomb, there will be videotaped lectures, a discussion board, live-streamed guest speakers, and other yet-to-be announced opportunities for engagement. As an alumna, I'm empowered to participate at whatever level I choose. For example, I might read only two books instead of four, or (if I were crazy) I could read all four books plus another half-dozen on a reading list.

Here's what we're reading.
The Orchard of Lost Souls by Nadifa Mohamed
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis
Did I mention, the course could be called International Living Writers?

I've already got the first two books in hand, and even cracked the cover on Orchard. I really want to do this. Interestingly, one of the professors team-teaching this course is Jane Pinchin, who taught my Survey of English Literature class. Now here's a dirty little secret. I had to repeat the first semester of this course during my senior year because I almost failed it when I was a young and foolish freshman who had yet to figure out that you can't coast in college the way you (I) did in high school. The grade I got wasn't good enough for my concentration in English.

I earned an "A" with Dr. Pinchin.

I think that's a good omen.

I have one other "project" right now. His name is Biscotti, but I call him Cotton. Or Yiddle One. Or Chiclet. Or any one of a dozen other nicknames. He came to live with us on July 27.

It's been a stressful adjustment for Loki and especially for Zamboni, but it's all good now. Loki waits patiently for Biscotti to finish his three kitten dinners a day before jumping up to clean the bowl. Zamboni (who was traumatized at first) now roughhouses with him in (what I hope is) the spirit of good brotherly love.

The first few days were a nightmare, until I got them all hopped up on synthetic cat pheromones.

Thank goodness for Feliway. I'm a believer.

I threw a wish in the well,
Don't ask me, I'll never tell
I looked to you as it fell,
And now you're in my way

I'd trade my soul for a wish,
Pennies and dimes for a kiss
I wasn't looking for this,
But now you're in my way

Hey, I just met you,
And this is crazy,
But here's my number,
So call me, maybe!

It's hard to look right
At you baby,
But here's my number,
So call me, maybe!

And all the other boys,
Try to chase me,
But here's my number,
So call me, maybe!

You took your time with the call,
I took no time with the fall
You gave me nothing at all,
But still, you're in my way

I beg, and borrow and steal
Have foresight and it's real
I didn't know I would feel it,
But it's in my way

Before you came into my life
I missed you so bad
And you should know that

So call me, maybe!

(Carly Rae Jepsen)

1 comment:

LMW said...

Yay! You did it! You got another kitten! How'd you get it past Neil? Did you push past needing him to be excited in order to move forward or was he more excited about this one than the last one that you were considering?

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Thanks for your comment! I will post it as soon as I receive it. Liz