My blog is not only about the arts and crafts business but about life in general. My hope is to inspire you, inform you, and make your current beverage of choice squirt out your nose. I've chosen "Dog's Head Red", a fine red table wine that's a cut above good ol' Mad Dog. A very tiny cut above. It's not quite as refined as "Drive 'er Home", my other favorite, but quite swanky, none the less. Read quickly, before it's all too blurry.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Lamps and Water Don't Mix

Even though my lamps are all about water, that doesn't mean that it's a good idea to mix them with with real thing. That's exactly what happened while having the new liner in our in ground pool installed. No, I don't keep my completed lamps at the bottom of my pool. Ok, I admit, there have been one or two that have landed there out of complete frustration because they looked like dog doodoo. (Don't worry, I took off the little animals first so they didn't drown.)

While recovering from sticker shock after finding out what our new pool liner would cost, work began on the project. It's a fascinating procedure, actually. The pool is drained of all it's green gook that's accumulated from being covered all winter. Patches are applied to the bottom with some special stuff after the old liner has been removed. Then they put in the new liner and use a giant vacuum thinger to suck out all the air between the liner and pool walls as it fills with water. So after we get the pool two thirds full, the pool guys come back to check it out and find out that from all the rain we've had, the ground water has come up under the pool and washed away all their repair work. Kudos to them though, because they drained all the water, took out the new liner and started all over again. And did an awesome job, I might add. The problem came in with our pool filter. We had had all the connections to the pool filter rerouted through the heater. Which is kind of funny in itself because we now know the heater doesn't work anyway. Jeez. Anyway, another long story short, during the night one of the connections came loose, spewing nice, clean, expensive water everywhere, draining the pool down about a foot. The filter is right next to the outdoor entrance to our basement where my shop is. The water came out so fast it went over the footer of the Bilco door, down the wall in the stairwell and right into my shop. All my supplies are in lovely, labeled, CARDBOARD boxes - on the floor. Ooooooohhhhh, yes. Need I explain the chaos that ensued? It wasn't pretty. Lots of soggy boxes with soggy supplies. Fortunately, I only lost a minimal amount of supplies so a true disaster was averted.

Do I put this episode into the life "does suck" or "doesn't suck" category? Both, I think. Sucks because it happened at all, doesn't suck because it could have been a disaster but wasn't. The moral to the story? Take your pick. 1) Don't craft if you have a swimming pool. 2) Don't put in a pool if you craft. 3) Don't store your supplies in cardboard boxes on the floor in your basement. I choose #3 and am off to buy plastic containers. Just in case.

Happy (and dry) crafting,


Friday, June 18, 2010

Why Crafting While Watching World Cup Can Get You Poisoned

I admit this photo is a bit misleading, because I did not actually amputate an appendage while watching the World Cup. I did, however, nearly poison myself yet again.

I work with resin. It's gooey, sticky, smelly, and just generally uncooperative unless you're pretty used to working with it. Which I am. When I embed tiny things into my resin while making a lamp, I use a craft stick to tuck items into place. When I need to grab more moss or foliage, I need two hands. So I stick the end of the craft stick in my mouth. It just saves time and mess. Sometimes I get a little caught up in things that are happening around me. For example, World Cup. Anyone watch the US vs. Slovenia (I'm sure that's spelled wrong) this morning? OMG. What can I say. I was stuffing moss into some resin just as we scored the third goal. As we all know by now, the ref apparently had a huge momentary brain fart and called the goal back. Seriously. For real. ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT KNOW?!&%#!! In my excitement, anger, eagerness to get to the TV and bash it into a million pieces, I ran towards the TV, sticking the craft stick into my mouth. The messy, gooey, sticky, resin covered end. Now, mind you, I have done this before, but damage was minimal because it was just a tiny bit. But this, my friends, was a boat load. The Queen Mary. The Oasis of the Seas. The Titanic before the iceberg. Big. Lots. Well, ya can't let that stuff dry in there. That would be a bad op, as they say. So up the stairs I go with my can of acetone, to the bathroom, to the toothbrush. Pour a little acetone on the toothbrush, scrub down the teeth and tongue mighty thoroughly, rinse a lot, spit a lot, throw out toothbrush - problem solved. Frogs legs really don't taste like chicken. Neither does resin or acetone. Not swallowing any of either has helped me remain upright and unaffected, I'm sure. Don't try this at home. In fact, I would recommend against trying it anywhere. Uh huh.

For my fellow soccer players, coaches, refs, lovers of the game, I must make a few comments about that game. First, had the US boys played the entire game instead of showing up, finally, in the second half, (thank you, Landon), that goal wouldn't have been such an issue. Secondly, as a former ref, yes, a loooooong time ago, I have to say that the original call should have been against our opponents for mugging Bradley, among others, but that call should not have been made, which it wasn't, due to advantage, the goal was scored, and the goal was good. NOT using the numerous re-showings of that goal, because there is no instant replay in soccer, I made my own call using only what my own eyeballs saw in real time. Bad, bad call. Where was the offsides? The final call was an offsides call against Edu, I believe. He was on sides at the time the ball was served as far as I saw and the line ref never raised his flag to indicate a foul. Hmmm. The total, ridiculous mugging of several players in the box apparently never happened. Officiating was an embarrassment to the sport, including the missed call early in the game when Dempsey (I think) elbowed an opponent in the face. FIFA better wake up. 'Nuff said.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pity That I Must Follow Myself, ha ha

Perhaps I will get my first legitimate follower if I post a photo depicting my adept usage of very dangerous power tools. C'mon, what woman doesn't love an 18 inch auger! Let me make this even more juicy. First follower gets to choose a piece from the "battery operated" category on my website, Totally serious here, and it counts even if you're a relative, which I'm sure you will be. Please, my words of wisdom will prove invaluable. Maybe that's a slight exaggeration. Time will tell, I suppose.

Drilling, thrillingly yours,


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My First Ever Blog - Beware!

Well, alrighty then. Let's make a few things perfectly clear right from the start. First question you may be asking - why have I become a blogger? It seems my kids, husband, aunts, uncles, cousins, mother, all think I'm just a barrel o' laughs. They think I'm just a regular hoot and a holler. Ok, well, really, it's just my mother who thinks that. If the truth be known, this is just another way to promote my business, Nature's Nurture Lamps, This is also an excellent way to totally embarrass my children, along with several other friends and family members who, for now, shall remain nameless. The namelessness (really, is that even a word?) will eventually change to being named - first names only, don't panic, unless I'm saying something really crappy about you and then I'll just make up a name so you have to guess if I'm talking about you or not.

Let's see now, what will I discuss in this blog? Somehow I should make it relate to my business, (, did I mention that?), but let's face it, folks, there's only so much you can say about lamps with cute little critters on them. I'll have to get creative. Which leads me to the title of my blog "Nature's Nurture and Why Life Sucks or Doesn't". Because sometimes life sucks and sometimes life doesn't. I've decided to explore the reasons for this, and believe it or not, my business actually is relevant to this in many ways. Eventually, I'll get around to explaining that. I think there are times when I might actually get a little "deep". Scary.

I should warn you. I can be a tad outspoken. Yes, it's true. If you happen to be a very devoutly religious person who is narrow minded, you might wanna skip this whole thing. If you happen to be a devoutly religious person with an open mind and an eagerness to learn, (not that you will necessarily learn from me), then you may actually survive this journey relatively unscathed. You choose. I even encourage misguided members of the Republican party to read and try to enjoy.

Having begun my blogging career, I'm going to bag it temporarily and go to bed. I'm sure you're all outrageously disappointed. I shall, however, return.

Nighty night,