Oh!. This is just the most gorgeous day a my little Creekside Cottage! It's officially 63 degrees with bright sunshine and I've been out soaking up some vitamin D this morning and basking like a lizard. It's hard to believe that we had all that snow just 4 days ago and they're giving out more snow for 2 days hence. This winter is just crazy, but I'm not complaining about warm weather! I'm certainly having a hard time working, though, when I can hear birds chirping and a lovely breeze sighing through the pine trees. And Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce.
The hype started at the end of last week: A big snow storm was coming. Meteorologists agreed that it would all depend on timing of moisture and cold air, but we were all getting excited by it. Our local economy depends on the ski slopes and we haven't had much natural snow this winter. With it coming on a holiday weekend it could be a really good thing if we got the 10 inches that was possible. Personally, I just wanted to sip hot chocolate or tea and watch it come down. I felt fortunate that I didn't have to go anywhere.
This morning I woke to only about three or four inches, and as soon as the sun hit the snow in the trees, it looked like a winter wonderland. It was so beautiful and these pictures don't compare to the real thing. It's about 45 degrees this afternoon, so it's nearly gone now.
This is "get with it" time for me. I sure have enjoyed my hibernation, but it's time to cross stuff off the list and get ready for a new season. (And time to PUT DOWN Angry Birds!!) I have a new class starting in about a month and I want to re-design it so that it flows better and we can do a second week with the more inexpensive copper clay before progressing to the outrageously expensive silver clay. Taxes need to be completed. Main Street Gallery in Blowing Rock will be opening for the season soon. Lots to do and I'm actually looking forward to doing all of it.
While thinking about the changes I want to make to the class I had a brainstorm (did you hear the thunder where you are?). My repertoire of jewelry consists of things that need to be fired under vastly different conditions. Copper needs to go in a firing pan filled with carbon. Silver containing glass has to be fired at a lower temperature, etc. Since I need to fire my kiln every week for student's work (the University STILL will not buy me a kiln, but that's a whole 'nother subject), I like to include as much of my own work as possible. Call me crazy, but I just like to fire a full kiln rather than an empty one. Sometimes two or three shelves full. My idea is to make things and get them to the point that they're ready to be fired, then store them in flat snap-top dishes until the appropriate firing schedule comes around. Then I'm not scrambling and trying to fill a kiln in a week, pushing the firing to the end of the week. That makes me nervous because what if something happened to the kiln? (God forbid!) It just amazes me sometimes that I can still come up with a brilliant idea!
This is to remind us all of what it looked like in February of last year. Yesterday was Groundhog Day and it doesn't really matter if the rodent saw his shadow or not. If we get six more weeks of winter like we've had so far, it's fine with me! We've had a few little snows, none more than 3", and none recently. Both last winter and the year before I was constantly checking the weather reports and comparing with my schedule. It's been nice knowing that I can get out any time I want to!
If you've been reading for awhile, you know that I've been on sabattical from jewelry making since the beginning of the year, and that's been just what I needed. I'm enjoying "piddling" (Which I read in this month's Southern Living Magazine is a cause well worth a lifetime of study.) and not feeling pushed to do anything that I don't want to do. It's described as "The act of passing time, without waste or regret". All the art supplies have been living on the dining room table and I've been dabbling with that whenever I feel like it. I don't have anything to show for it, as most of what I do is Art Journaling and therefore I'm not willing to share. However, I do have a large blank canvas that's been taunting me for some time, and I may start laying paint on it any day now. I'll share when/if that's ever done.
The yearly house/studio purge has been going well. I have two closets and most of the studio sorted. I got rid of lots of stuff - some to Goodwill, some to other people and quite a bit to the dump. I finally went through my Mother's jewelry box and decided to sell some of her pieces. I put all of her Wedgwood jewelry up in my Etsy Shop and sold some gold pieces at a local gold buyer for a very good price. This is all to help finance my trip to the PMC Conference in Cincinnati next June where I'm looking forward to meeting some of my "imaginary" friends in person!
I do have jewelry ideas that are knocking at the edges of my brain trying to get out and I've sketched some so that they don't get forgotten. I don't think it will be too long before I'm back to working with some metal because I'm starting to get excited by that prospect instead of thinking of it as "work" or a "chore". This is good.
The next big thing to work on is taxes. Ugh. Not my favorite thing, but I can usually have everything ready to go to the accountant in just a few days once I get going. I just need to move all the paints and brushes off the dining room table first... or maybe just bring in another table temporarily?
Whatever's going on in your world this week, I hope you have a good one and I'll be here just piddling along!