Monday, August 31, 2009

Weekend Finds

This weekend hubby and I had a chance to drive out to Delavan, Wisconsin, to one of our favorite antique shops, Tommy Gun Antiques. It's two full floors of an old Woolworth's store, full of everything from fine antiques to some pure junque! I always look for the pure junque and then work my way up - but not too far up. I can wait to start taking these two necklaces apart!

Friday, August 28, 2009

New Jewelry!

I've been busy. Very busy!! I love making necklaces. It's so fascinating because I never know what it's going to be until I see is happening in front of me!
So here are a few of my latest creations! You can always click on my AmongTheRuins badge on the upper right of the blog to go directly to my Etsy shop.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Good Monday Morning!

Here it is Monday morning and what a beautiful morning it is!! The temp is 66°, not a cloud in the sky. All the foliage has reached its lush fullness and the hibiscus is blooming. The late summer cicadas and the crickets, and their orchestra of other critters are playing their August Symphony. Oh how I love August!!! It is the most musical month of all.

My daughter went to the Chicago Botanic Gardens with Grandma. I decided to stay home and enjoy my own "botanic gardens". So Ike, the Cocker Spaniel, and Alfie, the English Field Setter, and I all went out for a walk.

Alfie ran the whole time.

Ike and I like to take a more leisurely pace.

We stop to look at the beautiful hibiscus...

And the fading cone flowers...

Here's some of the wonderful antique bricks that came with our house. They are everywhere!! They came from the cobblestone roads in Waukegan. How cool is that?!

Look what popped up!! These little mushrooms come and go so quickly!

My patch of mint. It smells SO good when you brush by it!

And the burning pile. We have a 3/4 acre lot and there is always lots of brush to deal with. The Village said we can't have bonfires anymore so now we can only have "campfires". It takes a lot longer to burn this stuff in a little campfire!

So I have my little place to rest while the brush burns.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I'm Having A Sale!!

I am having an "END OF SUMMER BLOWOUT SALE" in my Etsy shop!! Come and grab some glass baubles and other items while you can!! Just click the shop link on the upper right of this page and go to "BLOWOUT SALE" section!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What Have I Been Up To?

Oh dear me, I have not posted anything new in days and days! Ok, so what have I been up to? BELT BUCKLE MANIA!! haha!
When I ordered these buckle blanks the company had a required amount so I had to order 6 of them. I didn't know what I would do with so many. I have only 2 left and now I want more!!
These things are SUCH fun! It's the only "blank canvas" I have ever faced without fear! So here are the results so far.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Steampunk belt Buckle

An Etsy friend of mine asked me to make a steampunk belt buckle. This is what I came up with. I really enjoyed doing this. Those blank belt buckles are like a blank canvas just waiting for you to "paint" them!! I will be making more of these in the future!

Now listed in my Etsy shop!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Northern Pike

Northern Pike
Originally uploaded by Among_The_Ruins
Isn't he beautiful? My brother caught him at his place in the northern woods of Michigan. It is a Northern Pike. He is 38" long and at least 10 pounds! It was quite the struggle to get him into the boat. My brother said he was "too noble to kill" so he threw him back.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Organization Versus Creativity?

I have spent the better part of the day today trying to get more organized. I dug into the "back" room as we call it - that "spare" room that so many people have, that eventually becomes the "junk" room - so yes, I was digging in the Junk Room for my box of notebooks and organizer datebooks that I cleaned out of my desk a few months ago. I really need one of them now with my new business and all the details that is generating! I found the box and brought it out into the light to see what I have.

Well I have it all - Day Timers, Day Runners, Day Keepers, Day Minders, tons of really pretty blank books, notebooks, loose leaf books, spirals, journals, "record" books...the list goes on and on. It's kind of a shame really when I think how much money I spend on these little books that are so very useful to get my life organized, and yet I have them all in a box in the Junk Room!

Now don't get me wrong. I think these organizers are truly wonderful inventions. I have used every one of them for a time. I just don't keep on using them. I never ran my own business before so that may be about to change!
Here's what I really want to know: Why do I spend more time organizing my organizational tools than I spend being organized?

I really love setting up an organizer. I get very excited and can spend all kinds of time deciding what color I want all the tabs to be, what sections I want to have, what order I want to put it all in...I can see my WHOLE LIFE getting completely organized right there before my very eyes! The only trouble is, it's all in my imagination. I'm imagining my life is actually something that can be contained in the pages of that nifty little book.

Maybe I just have to face up to the fact that I cannot make my life a perfectly organized little container where everything has its place and everything is in its place. I have been to some homes that seem to be just that organized. But you know what? They were not places of joy and life and creativity. They were perfectly matched and everything looked new and pretty. I'm sure some designer somewhere was very creative when they put the rooms together for these people to live in. But they are very still. They lack a certain vibrancy. They make nice pictures for magazines. I wouldn't feel relaxed in these places and I certainly wouldn't want to mess them up with my creative process.

My house is always in motion. Everything around me is in motion! We have lots of pets - dogs, cats, birds, etc. They are always busy with something. Whenever possible I have my windows open so I can here the sounds of the wind in the trees and the birds and the squirrels, and the sounds of the neighborhood. Those sounds make me happy and remind me that I am not alone. They make me feel alive.

Everyone in my family is always up to some project. My husband builds computers so there are always lots of computers and parts around his desk. My daughter is a very creative person and there are always several piles of things she is in the middle of. We are musicians so there are always stacks of music on the piano. I put them away regularly, in alphabetical order, but it's never long before they are all over the piano again!

And then there's my studio...such as it is. I have one end of our family room. It's a space that is 15 feet long, and about 4 feet wide. Within that space I have my desk with computer and printer, a wall shelf to hold my jewelry making supplies, a chest of drawers to hold more supplies, a table to hold my sewing machine and whatever else lands there, it being a horizontal surface, and on the other side of the room I have a steamer trunk full of even more artsy stuff. I also have my camera and tripod here and my props for my pictures. Of course every drawer in my desk is also holding jewelry related things like tools, and all my paperwork. It's a lot of things in not a lot of space so it's a constant juggling act to keep things in some kind of workable order.

I think it comes down to understanding the nature of being a creative person. There will always be messy places in life and I should be happy when I see those places because where there is creativity, there will be a mess!

Saturday, August 1, 2009