Category Archives: Artsy

Good House Ju Ju

Nope, still no new house for us.

However, I’m working some good house ju ju.  I’ve got an altar on my mantel to house, home, and family.

 

Home1

 

The yellow vases were my Grandma Fran’s.  The pitcher holds the “good faith” checks we write for offers, as well as cash and change.  Money is good.  The large vase has a necklace on it from my mom with a key.

I’ve drawn a picture of a house.  Something with veggies growing in the yard, sunshine, happiness, color.  There are photos of our families, us, and homey things.

 

 

Home2

 

The blue foo dogs  were my Great Grandma Irene’s.  The wall altar was a fantastic holiday gift from my in-laws.  We found it at the Petaluma Antique Fair.  Kind of perfect it was bought in the city we want to move to.

 

House JuJu

 

 

There are all kinds of tokens of us, in elephants and octopi, images of our cats, there is paint and brush, a cooking spoon, fruit and flowers.  I’ve added some rum since the pictures.  We’re kicking it up a notch.

The altar is a place of focused thoughts and energy.  A physical form for the intangible desire.  A place to release my hopes, dreams, and even frustrations.

It’s also a great reminder of what I have.

 

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Houses I Can’t Have

 

 

 

Here’s the first house we put an offer on, a few weeks ago.  Pretty cute.  Lots of sun for gardening.  Small detached studio.  It has been flipped, so things were in pretty good shape.  MckenzieNo response until we got a crazy counter offer.  This is a house I can’t have.

This is the second house we put an offer on.  Short sale.  Smelled like three packs of cigarettes a day for twenty years.  18 x 18 studio fabulousness in the backyard.  No actual front lawn, this photo is a lie (which I don’t mind, since I’d rip it out for my victory garden, anyways).

nsprite.19456510_0

No response, ever.  Saw the status change to “pending”, which means they’re taking someone else’s offer.

Saw a really god awful wrecked house today.  So in love.  I could work on that house for years.  But, the listing agent should have listed it as “cash only”.  It’s doubtful that a bank is going to want to loan someone money for a house in that condition.  Mold in the converted garage, broken window, no drywall in the master/downstairs public bathroom.  Nothing I couldn’t deal with.  But rules are rules.  It’s been on the market a long time.

Our amazing, gorgeous, persistent realtor Brook is going to talk to the listing agent and see if they are accepting non-cash offers.  I know it’s not likely (snowball in hell not likely) that we’ll get considered for this house, but I haven’t managed to give up hope and move on.  I’m a little bit in love with this house.

The front yard is a weird little skinny nothing, since it’s in a cul de sac (which wikipedia tells me literally translates to “arse of the bag” meaning a dead end… I suddenly like cul de sacs a lot more).  The further back you go, however, the wider and wider the lot gets.  It’s HUGE in the back yard.  My mind’s eye sees patios, raised garden beds, a dog, a fountain, laundry hanging out, kids, a little bistro table by the kitchen for al fresco mornings with my tea.  There is a little courtyard snug behind a fence in the front, flanked by the garage that has been converted into a room.   There’s a great french door from the courtyard into the garage. (I love french doors).  The front door has a little window in it.  A big fountain in that courtyard and we’re perfect.  The window over the kitchen sink would have a perfect view of it.

So here’s to the hope that won’t die for a house that needs a lot of work.

House4me

 

 

A Bright Bright Sunshiny Day!

I love the colors in this treasury!

‘A Bright Bright Sunshiny Day ‘ by VintNoggin

It’s a nice sunny day here. Please enjoy our summer themed Treasury!


Hallelujah Girl – 9″ x …

$40

Heirloom, Large Grey Stripe …

$1.5

15 Spring Heart corsage/stic…

$1.95

Orange and Puple Fabric Posy…

$12

Retro Aqua and Yellow Dangle…

$20

Wide Boho turban headband …

$18

Pillow Cover – 12 x 16 Inche…

$22.5

Dip Dyed Cut Off Shorts Oran…

$45

Sunflower Ceramic Knob – Dre…

$4.75

Art Glass Pitcher with 5 Tum…

$125

Dragon Art – Chasing the Dra…

$75

hand-sewn wearable art top

$30

4×6 Czech Glass Teardrop Bea…

$5.5

Rare 1960s SEARS HAWAII Vibr…

$30

Beeswax Candle: Kewpie Doll …

$12

Mod Orange Speckled Ceramic …

$43

Generated using Treasury HTML code generator by Whale Shark Websites.

Something New & Just for Me

Most of my creative endeavors lately are something I might sell.  Even if I don’t plan on selling that particular one, it’s a tester for something I’m considering selling.  I did make a new necklace for myself, but that’s in a way to help me sell.  It’s embarrassing to go to a networking event, say I make jewelry, and not be wearing a fabulous statement piece that I made.

This new project, however, is just for me (and my cats, really)!   I had a funky thrift store rug the cats loved to sleep on.  It was thick and comfy in the afternoon sun.  But the last time I washed it, it really shed a lot, had more obvious gaps, and still smelled weird.  Time to toss it.

Old Rug

 

I don’t know what I saw, but I suddenly thought I should make a hooked rag rug.  Not a braided one, but one with lots of little tufts.  I’ve raided my fabric stash and come across fabulous, bright colors.  Cutting them into strips 1/2″ by 3″ is the hardest part,  I started with my pinking shears so there would be less shedding, but it was taking even longer and hurting my middle finger knuckle.  Regular scissors it is!

Rag1As my husband says, this is going to take forever, but I’m not worried.  I’m two rows into  a bazillion of them.  I have a little latch hook that helps me tie the strips into lovely little knots. Right now working on my rug is the closest I can come to relaxing.  (I really do suck at relaxing).

The little bit that I have done already feels nice when I step on it.  The cats are already laying on the rug, even though it’s bare canvas webbing.  Milo really liked being underneath it and popping again.  Sorry, I didn’t get a picture, I was too busy laughing at him.

Sure, I needed a new project like I needed a hole in my head.  But it’s a present for me and I deserve it.  And my cats deserve it, too, I guess.

 

What Should I Charge?

More and more work I get is on existing jewelry.  I am developing a reputation for being able to upcycle jewelry without it “looking like junk”.

I’ve had a client come to me with 5 pieces from a necklace her Grandmother’s to turn into something fabulous they can wear.  I love adding just the right amount of flair to this set for her.  It was an interesting project to make the piece custom for my client, not just what I’d like to wear.

Madame Saslow's Curio- Repurposing2

Another client just needed her beautiful necklace shortened.  At it’s length of about 25 inches, it just felt too formal for everyday wear.  It’s an easy task for me to take out a few beads and polish up the silver for extra shine.

Madame Saslow's Curio- Altering

Madame Saslow's Curio- Altering2

Madame Saslow's Curio- Altering3

A third client, who does wardrobe consultation, ordered some bracelets to go with some necklaces and they are funky.  Way too thick, weird clasps, and they just don’t sit right.  You can really get more like 3 bracelets out of the beads of one.  I’ll be taking these apart and making a few new bracelets out of them.

Madame Saslow's Curio- Repurposing

With all of this fabulous work comes a question:  What do I charge for this kind of work?  Hourly on some, hours plus materials on others?  Materials for the shortening project is negligible.  On the work with Grandma’s jewelry it’s beads and findings, and I don’t have a break down to that level for pricing.  It’s hard for me to look at the huge seed bead bracelets and put a price on the work, though I know it’s could be a lot if I have to do any restringing.

A similar issue came up with another artist asking me to teach her wire work.  Do I charge an hourly rate for instruction?  If so, is it $20?  $40?  A social media expert I know charges more to teach than to do the work herself.  When you teach, you give away your knowledge and future work.  But in my case, the other artist isn’t going to pay me to do wire wrapping for her in any case.  I’d prefer to teach her.

What do you charge?  What is a service like this worth to you?  Have you had someone charge you for this before?

I’d love your input.