For The Love of Pyrex – My Friendship Pattern

Sometimes it is so amazing how quickly time goes by. I always thought that time was like a bell curve, when you were young, time seemed to go so slowly and then speed up as you entered your twenties and then sped up until sometime in your late forties or so and then it would start slowing down.

Even though I am not working, each day seems to alternatively just go by in a blink of an eye and then sometimes, the days can just drag on and on.

Anyway, this last couple of weeks have seemed to just flash by. I have always tried to write consistently… rather than have the blog just sort of fade away. When I feel like I have nothing left to share or learn, I will just say so, say goodbye to my readers and stop. I am not ready to do that yet.

So, although I haven’t written recently, it isn’t for lack of projects! Every so often, I have to stop myself and focus on a project until it is done. I get one started and then I have my attention diverted and get started on something else, and before you know it I have eight things going and nothing getting done!

On top of that, The Kid and I went out to pick up free Tiger Lilly plants for replanting in the back yard and while trying to load them, I tripped and fell. I may have cracked a rib, at the very least I bruised something, making it tough to really do much at all. Every move hurts and it really puts a damper on most of my projects.

There is one that is doable, and it started a little while back. When I dug out all my Pyrex and got a little more involved with it again. I want to take the doors off the cabinet above the stove and display the Pyrex I collect for me, the pattern is called Friendship or Friendship Birds. Its mostly red with a heavy sprinkling of this light orange.

il_570xN.85348169

(This isn’t mine but I want to add this to my collection!)

The remainder of the Pyrex was sold! And I got almost as much as I was asking… a nice little amount. This is the cabinet I am thinking about turning into a showcase:

I think I could just take off the doors and rearrange the shelves, but I work because it sits above the microwave vent and I worry that it might get greasy (the doors do!). Maybe I could place a framed piece of plexiglass or something over it. I am still thinking on this idea.

But the other idea it sparked was another cross stitch. Using my favorite Pyrex pattern, I drew out the pattern. I am going to “frame” it in a embroidery hoop, I’ve already painted it red. Turns out that cross stitching I can do that doesn’t aggravate my cracked rib.

IMG_4366So, between the stitching, harvesting denim from old jeans and sewing denim quilt squares, I have been keeping busy. I will let you in on my secret of getting old denim from jeans for practically nothing soon. In addition to the mostly blue but some black and white, I have found some really great colors – and a leopard print! – which I am going to make a really colorful denim quilt down the road. I’ve also added much to my denim stash: side and bottom seams, belt loops and pockets! Like I said, so much stuff started… getting nothing done!

Oh yeah, and in between all this, I am still job hunting. Although it may not seem like it, I still love the work I do in computers. There is a career that is never boring and always changing. It has done well for me.

Come back soon for updates!

julie

Assessing Value and Value Added! What is it Really Worth?

So, I recently had an email conversation about a piece that I had completed and listed for sale.

One of the things I learned very early in life, is that something is only worth the amount of money someone is prepared to pay for it.

Value can be a difficult thing to assess. What someone might deem value as one thing, I might think it is something else. But in the end, it will be worth what I am paid.

I’ve done many things in my life to earn money. From my youngest jobs of “walking beans” and “de-tassling corn” in Iowa, to a range of professional jobs, starting with secretarial work to my technical career as a quality assurance engineer. And the salaries have been all over the board. In the end, what I was willing to do to earn money was the value of my work. Experience has taught me what is in my own best interest.

So, when it comes to pricing the pieces that I create for the blog, it becomes a grey area. Obviously there are some very concrete costs that go into any pieces that I work on, including but not limited to, cost (if any) for the piece  plus a lot of smaller costs that shared across projects, like primer, paint, rollers, drop clothes, sand paper, tools etc. and also some soft costs, like my garage space, electricity, gas, phone and internet expenses.

And then there is time and talent. I spend a lot of time hunting down pieces, hours and hours spent on CraigsList and eBay and running all over Kansas City. And the time that it takes to complete each piece, and the process of deciding what I am going to do and later, writing about that experience. It has taken a lot of years to develop the experience of creativity. I think back now on some of the things I did then and laugh at my inexperience. Sometimes I realize that talent is a lot about experience, but some of it just comes naturally. And while I have always had a “knack” for creative endeavors, I just never could figure out how to turn that talent into cash, so for most of my life, I just did it for me and those around me.

So, when I started writing a blog, I wrote about projects and pieces that I did for myself. If you have ever been in my home or seen pictures (there are a few on this site) you know that my house is a lively, creative dwelling! Inside and out. When it got to the point where my home could no longer could hold anything new, I started giving away items to friends. As time allowed me to work more on my creative side, it turned out that I could turn those items into cash, allowing me to fund bigger and larger projects. And to allow me to add great tools to my workshop and my sewing room. As I worked and sold pieces, I realized that I could be underpricing many of my projects.

It has occurred me that I perhaps was undervaluing my work. After all, a lot of things go into every piece I do. I list a price, which yes, is subjective, but you have to start somewhere. If it doesn’t sell, if there isn’t any interest, then I will lower the price and entertain offers. At times I will offer these pieces to someone who cannot afford even these prices.

But back to the conversation. Somehow, at times, someone can say something that isn’t meant to be offensive, but does come off that way. You see, the piece that I had recently showcased here was for sale. And I provided the link in the ad, so a certain someone followed and read the blog. Awesome! Right?

Well, that person then seriously offered me much less than asking price. When I responded and let this person know that I couldn’t accept such a low offer, this person than countered with a slightly higher price. This person also provided a little insight to lack of funds, which could very well have sealed the offer, if this person hadn’t also said, “but I also know you got the dresser for free”. I have to tell you that I was very offended by those words. As if the only value that this person saw was in the actual physical piece. But not really in everything that went into it – as I’ve outlined previously.

Not sure what I am looking for with this post, other than to maybe explain what some people do not see in the finish project. And maybe, just maybe, one more person can truly appreciate what goes into a project piece.

julie

Never Enough Time

Recently, I went back to work. Full time. With a commute. I lost, effectively, about 50 hours a week that I used to spend hunting down pieces to work on and actually working on them. And writing this blog. And once I’ve been off and used to sleeping enough and tailoring my days as I wanted. Weekends are now a blur of intent, planning and trying to have some sort of life.

I was able to finish a couple of things, and am madly trying to get this post done so that I can still have part of a weekend to relax. I am sure that my blogs will be, for a while anyway, a little more sparse. I will have The Kid help with a lot more this time around, but in the end it will be my inspiration and plan and execution, he will just help with the ‘heavy lifting’.

Beginning last summer, I have been collecting these little toy glockenspiels, ostensibly for the metal bars. I have seen them in a couple of places, keep your eyes peeled in the toy section of your favorite thrift stores.

il_fullxfull.315937278 Side note: While writing this piece, I kept referring to the toys as xylophones, but now know that they are called glockenspiels. Xylophones have wood bars to strike, while a glockenspiel has metal.

So, I had two that are in the shapes of alligators and one more traditional shaped. But I really just wanted them for the metal bars. I finally got around last week to making the chimes. It was pretty pretty easy to just brute force these apart, as it wasn’t really intended to come apart. I also kept the things you use to hit the bars with, they would become the clangers in the chimes.

The biggest hurdle I faced was what to use as the base of the chime. In one of our recent thrifting experiences, I ran across this thing, and to tell you the truth, I don’t know what it is or what it was used for. But one look at the pattern of holes and I knew it would work perfect for me.

Chime BaseFrom there is was just a matter of looping the string through. I used a nylon coated cord, I have found with other chimes, this seems to last the longest. I’ve been repairing chimes for as long as I can remember, lots of the ones that I have hanging along the eves were pricey, I mean upwards and over the hundred dollar mark. I love the long, wide tubes, as they ‘bong’ instead of ‘clink’… much like church organ pipes. So, when one breaks, I fix it. Recently, I used the tubes from about 6 or 7 chimes making one big one, and it is wonderful. If you want to see that post, go here.

Because I had a fair amount of the metal bars, I opted for a two tiered chime. The clangers are the actual clangers (what else would you call them?) just by drilling a hole in the top ball. It all came together very nicely.

DSCN2508
Then I repaired these two chimes and rehung them. I am back to almost full eves on both sides, one by the master bedroom and the other by the kitchen. We’ve had our share of windy days lately and I love the music that plays.

DSCN2514

DSCN2512I’ve been working on a toy box, in my signature ombr√© color style and had The Kid move it into the living room so that I could paint the circles while watching television. Close to being done, but here is a sneak peak.

DSCN2511Okay, I need to actually get some more projects finished, but I am seriously wanting to just kick back and put my feet up! Wonder if I can do both?

julie

%d bloggers like this: