Fear, Blessings & Change

There are days when I fear.

I think about the fact that I’m soon going to be 47, and that I’m in the upper-middle portion of my life. I’ve had a hysterectomy, so, no more children, which is both a sadness and a blessing. There will be no more warm little bundles combining my DNA with someone else’s. But, then, there will also never be anymore sleepless nights of feedings, diapers & the stresses of teenage years. I’ve come to accept this, & I am not only Ok with it, I’m happy that part of my life has passed me by.

But, there are also negatives that have come with the maturation process.

I have osteoarthritis, mainly in my hands and wrists, & over the last few months, it has come to be a large focus for me.

My hands play such a vital role in my life, and I fear what this change will bring to me.

My job consists of working with computers and files. I type…all day long. The arthritis has restricted me in many ways, making my job a lot more difficult. I have trouble handling heavy files, as they put a lot of pressure on my inflamed finger joints, and the medicines I take for it don’t completely mitigate that pain. Typing all day puts stresses on my hands that I never thought would be this complex and painful, but I have learned a lot about my limits & my capabilities, including my tolerances for pain. 

And then… There’s my art.



Things like these take a LOT of hand-work. I twist wires with the help of jewelry pliers & locking wrenches, but the bulk of the work is done by MY hands. On days when the barometer fucks with my arthritis, it can go from uncomfortable, shifting to painful & excruciating.

How can I continue to do what I love, when it can cause so much pain? 

How can I express my visions, my imagination, my passion, when I can’t manipulate the medium I work through without crippling my tools – my hands?

This is my fear…

That the arthritis will steal my gift.

That it will destroy something I love…my art. 

And I will be left without it’s comfort.

Where is the blessing in this change?

…….I continue to search…..

Branching Out

Here are some pictures of the newest trees I’ve made.

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This one (above) I was going to put in my Etsy shop,  but ended up selling it to my boss.

This next one, I made for myself… but I might end up selling it as well, as my boss has now ordered 3 more!

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It’s a little bigger than the first one, & has more little details, like a ghost, hat & broom.

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So, now I’m busy creating more.  I might even start making sets of miniatures for my Etsy shop, since the sculpting is so much fun, and I can make multiple items at once. We’ll see once I get this new order filled.  (And I’d better get back to it, since I only have a week to make all 3!)

Now, for the particulars for those who are interested…

1.  The “log” is something I found at Hobby Lobby,  & it’s called “cactus wood”. I stuffed it with craft moss after affixing the trees to it.

2.  The sculpted items (pumpkins, cats, hat) are made from colored Sculpey, a polymer clay that oven bakes in about 10-15 minutes. I love this stuff, and have used it for years!

3.  The ghost is a different type of clay called “Creative Paperclay”. This was my first time working with it, and it’s a very different clay than I’m used to. I’m still not sure how much I like it, but it is very light-weight, and air dries over a day or 2.

4.  The broom I also picked up at Hobby Lobby, in the miniatures department. You can also sometimes find these in the scrapbooking area.

5.  The only things I painted on any of this is the stems on the pumkins, the cats’ eyes, and the face “holes” on the 2nd tree. On the first tree, I tried black Sculpey in the face holes, but didn’t really like the way it turned out.

6.  The trees themselves are aluminum, 20 gauge craft/jewelry wire.  Again, Hobby Lobby. (I spend waaay too much time and money in there, I might need an intervention)

7.  Everything but the trees are glued down with an epoxy called “Goop”. Stinks to high heaven for a while, but I haven’t found anything yet that works as well.

I’m going to keep experimenting, try to figure out how to do trees for each holiday, or at least, each season.

Christmas trees are going to be…interesting….

Back Burner

Life has been complicated,  messy, & anxiety-ridden lately.

Umm… well, it’s always been that way, but it’s been that times about 5 for the last few weeks.

I’ve tacked back on some extra stress flab, & am trying really hard to correct that, watching what I eat, getting outside more to do yardwork, & contemplating working out. (Thinking about it really hard works brain cells, so why can’t it burn calories too? Something doesn’t seem quite right with that)

I just haven’t been much in the mood to write.

I’m sure some of my regulars have noticed a dearth of words here. 

Even the fiction has been virtual- virtually non-existent.  It’s been ages since I posted any flash fiction.

The creativity has been channeling into crafts, instead of the blog.

I’d apologize… but I’m not really sorry.

Take a look at what has been crafted in the last month………..

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Made a cat tower out of some old “under-the-bed” drawers & some old carpet sticky squares & rope.

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Finished a dresser my dad gave me- I love the raw wood color, so I just put a couple coats of polyurethane spray on it, filled nail holes, & put on the drawer pulls & keyhole covers.

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Made a sign for my dad (a belated father’s day gift). Those are the grandson’s handprints at the bottom. He does a lot of woodworking, & has a whole old house filled with his projects, tools, etc.

And, the piece de resistance is…
A nightstand I’ve got about 20 hours of work into, sanding, painting…

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After sanding…

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Liquid gold paint on the 2 opposing sides…

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Branches…

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Leaves…
And now…

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Updated – Finished the blossoms on the opposite side tonight. Accent colors tomorrow, & it’ll be finished before the weekend!

Cherry blossoms.

Then, I’ll fill in texture & depth colors, and poly – coat it to protect when I’m finished.

Everything else, including blogging much, has gone on the back-burner for now.

But I ain’t dead yet.

Busybusy Crafting Bee

I’m kind of tapped out for words right now; I’ve been really busy working on crafts & getting my house in some semblance of order.

So, I’m going to post some pictures of what I’ve been working on.

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Mother’s Day shadow box trees for my mom.

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Fairy Swing for the fairy garden my mom is making in her yard. It’s made entirely from woodbine, a pernicious vine I have growing on a trellis on the front of my house.

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A dresser my dad gave me. He stripped the old paint, & I filled holes, sanded & sealed it.  Good nuff.

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Yet another tree that went into my Etsy shop. I’ve since glued a piece of cork to the bottom to protect whatever surface
it sits on.

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One of my favorites so far, this is a cherry tree I made for my nephew’s boss.  I’ll be making another one for myself – SOON!

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A small wall hanging I made that I’ve put in the Etsy shop. I love the leaves, they’re almost a teal color, with gold rubbed on. 

And… the piece’ de resistance…
Something special for my dad for Father’s Day.

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Yes, this is an old measuring tape

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My grandson's handprints

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A tiny tree made from reclaimed copper wire

I know this gift is a little late for Father’s Day, but Mom & Dad were out of state for most of June, so I took a little extra time on it. I just put 2 coats of polyurethane on it tonight, & it’s ready to be gifted.  Dad does a lot more woodworking now that he’s retired, so I thought this would be fitting.

Hope you enjoyed seeing what has kept me so busy!

Now, I only have about 6 more projects currently in the works, so I’ll post pics of those as they progress.

G’nite!