Being MIA

Greetings from my Workbench! Boy, friends have I been MIA! I hope your journeys have been treating you well and leaving you excited. I am currently exhausted. I have been working multiple jobs-outside-the-home. I was almost a year unemployed, and then two weeks I had two jobs. During the last week of my two week notice I worked three jobs. Yes, you read that correctly…3!
During the last week of August our life situation was looking up. The hubs had taken a new full-time job with better insurance. I was working part-time, which was helping take some of the pressure off of him. We found a house with cheaper rent. All of which making it easier to not only think hopeful thoughts, but also feel hopeful. That was a long time coming. That was until August 29 my hubs got fired…for what seems like a personal vendetta. So here we are mid-September; no job for the hubs, no health insurance (probably has me to the most freaked), and me working 72 hours a week.
This is just the reality our word. I am tired. I do not get to see my favorite thangs nearly enough. However, my mini cave-girl started preschool the last week in August. She is doing amazing. They have a think about it chair in her classroom…she has not sit in it once during her first three weeks. I do not think it is possible to be more proud of an individual, than I am of that mini cave-girl.
My jobs allow for time to work on jewelry and business stuff. Which allows some relief from all the “work and commuting.” I have been working on new ideas. I am hoping for a steady pick-up in business. I have had several custom orders lately. It is a pleasure for me to be able to making people smile with a unique piece of jewelry. I have found that the VisArts center where I took my first metal-smithing class, is offering a intermediate level class. I am hoping to be able to take it with Ginny B. When I found out it was being offered I became so excited. Now I just have to figure out how to fit it into my crazy schedule.
I have been teaching myself some new chainmaille, as well as new friendship bracelet patterns. Making schedules and planning posts for my business pages, I have been decided to do a themed post for each day of the week. I am excited about new plans for my business. I am still dreaming of the day I can have an art center for children and adolescents. I have no idea how that will come to be…but I know that I will make it happen. Here’s to being more consistent. So until next we meet at the workbench…keep creating, enjoy your moments and keep your chin up. As always thank you for stopping by and for being on this journey with me.

Big Love,
Randi

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Updated Journey

Greetings Friends!

           Where in the world has time gone? I have gotten so behind on posting. I do not even know where to begin on sharing my journey with you. I believe it best to offer an update on most of my sharing’s from 6 weeks ago…I will start with my little brother. He was the one in the car accident. He is gong so very well. Broke quite a few bones but all are healing well. He is just ready to get back to normal routine.

         I began attending a new farmer’s market that was trying to get off the ground. It was going great for me. Each week I attended I sold jewelry, I met some great people and even had folks starting to look for me. That is so exciting. But turned out to be shorted lived, due to their lack of following the rules. Lesson learned.

         My site management position is going well. It is all quite new to me and very different than anything I have ever done. However, I am getting the hang of it. That is really all there is to say about it.

         Most recent vendor show adventures took place this past Friday and Saturday in Altavista, Virginia. A wonderful local event that has been around for 65 years. I felt honored to participate as I drove towards Altavista with my now 4 year old mini cave-girl and friend. As I drove away Saturday night all I felt was discouragement, hurt, rejection and frustration. I will explain those emotions. See this event boast a draw of 20,000 plus visitors each year. So I spent two weeks (beacause I got my application in late and thus my approval late I only has two weeks to prepare) freaking out about not having enough inventory. I spent every waking moment I had that I not driving to work, at work or giving mini cave-girl my undivided attention making pieces for this show. I still was worried about inventory when I arrived on Friday but figured I could take custom orders and go from there. Then…drum roll please…I sold 2…count them TWO pieces of jewelry the whole weekend. L The event staff guy came by my table before I left and asked how my weekend was. And I shared my frustrations, 1. Be placed beside a veteran jewelry vendor who has been doing this show for 20 years. 2. Only selling at that point 1 piece. His response was “Your story is the worse I’ve heard all day”. Well, Thank you Fella that makes me feel so very much better.

         I am going to take today and be sad. Then tomorrow and I going to pick myself up like I always do and prepare for next weekend. So until next we meet at the workbench…keep creating, enjoy your moments and keep your chin up. As always thank you for stopping by and for being on this journey with me.

Big Love,

Randi

New Adventures

Greetings from the Workbench!

         I hope you have been enjoying the Spring! It has been wonderful here in central Virginia. We are spending more time outside. The local farmer’s market is in full swing. Life is great!

         I started writing this week’s blog early because a new stop in our journey was to begin this morning, then I received a disappointing phone call last night postponing the new stop. I have accepted a part-time position with as a site manager for a property management company. New realm for me, but exciting. The new adventure will have to wait until later in the week.

         Farmer’s Market people are amazing!!! I went to Nelson County community farmer’s market this past Saturday with my sister, as she was helping and friend and did not want to go alone. It was a bit disappointing to be in a venue like that and not be able to sale my own product…but it was a wonderful opportunity. I was able to learn some of the behind the scenes things of how a market works without paying to be a vendor. 😉 I was also able to do some networking…I met some amazing farmers; Heather Coiner at Little Hat Creek Farm, (https://www.facebook.com/littlehatcreek) you MUST try her bread!! John and Jade Sonne at Spruce Creek Farm (https://www.facebook.com/SpruceCreekFarms) are just the friendliest folks I have come across in forever! And John’s mom Priscilla makes the most amazing “butterballs”. YUM!! If you are local you need to check them out on Saturdays. I also met Mark “The Rock Guy” McQuarry. He was so helpful, friendly and kind to my silly sister and I. Mark hand makes some of the most beautiful pieces of rock art out of Nelson Co. soapstone (https://www.etsy.com/shop/studio151). Super cool pieces! He offered some suggested for future shows. I am so excited about the networking that happened. Though I did not get to show the world my art…market day was amazing!!!

         I did not make very many pieces of jewelry this week. In fact, it took me four days to make a pair of earrings. My family experienced some trauma when my younger brother was in a car accident. I will not go into details…this not the place or time. But he is alive and will after a bit of work be back to his old self. It was a bit of a setback for me, in that I could not really get much done. I did get some jump rings cut. I will get my flow back.

         I am going to get myself going for the day, I have to get some jewelry to their new display at The Corner Spa in Lovingston, Virginia! I am so excited to have the opportunity to place my jewelry somewhere other than in the box when I am done making a piece. So if you are in town and do not have time to contact me, please stop in, see Melanie Embry pick out a piece of jewelry and get your nails done while you are there! So until next we meet at the workbench…keep creating, enjoy your moments and keep your chin up. As always thank you for stopping by and for being on this journey with me.

 

Big Love,

Randi 

Springtime Planning

Greetings from Springtime Virginia! The warmth of Spring, bird chirping, and flowers not planted growing…I love SPRING. The promise of new life. The hope of less grey days ahead. It lifts my spirits and renews my hope is what is to come.

         We had the best vendors show this past weekend. Fun, engaging customers, sales were up and the weather was not bad either. It was nice to be close to home, catching up with old friends and enjoying celebrating being from Nelson County!

         I decided to do a new take on the traditional door prize. Plastic Easter eggs, basket, coupons and winning tickets! It was a huge hit. So much fun encouraging customers to pick an egg. My mini cave-girl got in on it. She helped people find the basket and pick an egg. Mini-cave girl was amazing! I was so proud of her. Best show we have had. Overall, engagement, sales the whole day was just fantastic.

         I am spending today staring at my sketchbook. I have not spent time with my sketchbook in quite sometime. I have been working off the moment. Which has been good. But I think it is time to spend some time planning out some next moves. I have all of these thoughts and ideas floating through my head today. The mini cave-girl is with her granny so I am going to deal with my sketchbook. Just the two of us; my sketchbook and I. So until next we meet at the workbench…keep creating, enjoy your moments and keep your chin up. As always thank you for stopping by and for being on this journey with me.

 

Big Love,

Randi

Overdue and Behind

 Greetings from the workbench friends!

                        I failed to post for the last two weeks. I could give you a list of excuses…but the truth is I simply did not know what words to use. Today however my heart is overflowing a bit. I spent much of the last couple weeks preparing for a vendors show two Saturdays ago. To date the best one I’ve had. Still not breaking any craft show records but it was a wonderful experience.

             I have another show coming up at the end of this week. I am excited. I am always excited when I get the chance to show off my craft. I have been working on some new ideas…that is a slow process when there are no funds. But it will happen.  I believe it will.  This is not an easy journey being unemployed, having one income, and being in debt, attempting to start a business…but I am positive on my of those aspects this family is not alone. I have been reminded a lot lately that God is going to give up on us. He has brought us through a lot.

            I have been working with some new materials. Planning pieces for when I can purchase the materials and supplies I need to make my visions reality. Resin pendants have been curing around here for the several days. My vision for them is to become make memory collage pendants. Personalize them for customers. I have made a few to take with to my shows. I am wicked excited about them. I am also working on my stamping technique. I am thinking a personalized hand-stamped plaque, collage pendant and a fun charm on a nazzy chain.

 

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Just a little preview of what they could look like!

            Rings are on a new level too! Still not able to solder at home. 😦 But I have been trying some new things with wrapping. New earring ideas…I have just been trying all sorts of different things just to use what I have in order to not buy a whole lot of materials.

            It is all going to fall into place. I believe that. There are days when the struggle is hard. There are days when the struggle is real. Moments when my mini cave-girl says “Hey guys, you wanna go get some yunch?” And I have to say no because there is no money for going out to eat. It’s not a bad thing, just makes me a little sad. She got over quicker than I did. Love mini’s resilience. But there is a lesson in that…look the disappointment in the eye, say “Aw man.” And move on!  So until next we meet at the workbench…keep creating, enjoy your moments and keep your chin up. As always thank you for stopping by and for being on this journey with me.

 

Big Love,

Randi 

No Inspiration…

Greetings friends! I am siting here thinking of choices I have had to make over the last couple of days and I am torn about them. Siting here listening to the Breakfast Club in the background while my mini cave-girl sleeps and hubs is at work, I thankful for being able to just sit here.

I have no inspiration or motivation today to make anything…no wire, no beads, no floss…nothing! I have a wicked headache. The headache got severe when I answered that phone call. Setup that interview. Please do not get me wrong; I am thankful for any opportunity to interview. This one however, looks, feels and seems like it will put an end to MickyAnn. That makes me ill. Is that a guarantee? No, of course not. It just feels very desperate today. Very final, all because I agreed to it.

I long to make jewelry that individuals wake up in the morning planning outfits to wear with it. I long to have a space where children and adolescents can come in and experience the arts. I do not know how to make any of this happen now and I have the time, taking a full-time job is going to eat into the time I now get to devote to MickyAnn. I think that is what makes me ill. Having a plan but not knowing how to make it come to life.

This is where we’re journeying today friends. Thank you for reading. Thank you for following. I will be keeping you all posted. I will not be giving up. I will just have to come up with a new plan for the plan. I have been working on a few new pieces of jewelry the last week…I’ve leave you with a picture. So until next we meet at the workbench…keep creating, enjoy your moments and keep your chin up. As always thank you for stopping by and for being on this journey with me.

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A little mixed media necklace!

Big Love,

Randi

 

Wrong flux…Right Idea

Greetings from the Workbench!

I hope you are wishing Spring here as much as I am! Maybe if we all think it…it will be! 😀 I know I am ready to be wearing flip-flops and capris, taking walks with my mini cave-girl in the warmth and being able to spend more time just being outside not bundled up.

         I have spent the last week trying to make soldering at home work. It is fighting against me for all that it is worth. The design and creation process that goes into making a ring is one of the skills I have learned that I want to continue building on. Not being able to solder at home makes it very difficult to practice my skills.

         Each ring I have attempted to make this past week has either not soldered at all or the solder breaks when I reshape the shank. After looking into soldering materials a bit more I have come to the realization that it is not me or my skills…but rather the flux and solder I have on hand. The flux quite honestly is made for copper pipefittings soldering. I am 100% sure that is the first and biggest problem. Second, the solder I have is for soldering around foil tape. I will figure it out…right now it is on hold until I find some money.

         The job search is still not proving fruitful. Sales are not increasing. So there is a much longer list of needed supplies and materials than there are funds to provide them. We will get through this season. I have been making some found object items for the shop out of materials I already have. That is the plan for the rest of the day…pictures and posting. So until next we meet at the workbench…keep creating, enjoy your moments and keep your chin up. As always thank you for stopping by and for being on this journey with me.

 

Big Love,

Randi