Tuesday, October 26, 2010

as if just renovating isn't enough

Hi all,

There hasn't been much visible progress on the actual renovation since the last post, it's just been sinking nails into the floor and plastering over holes in the kitchen walls. I even mowed the lawns! So with nothing much to report there, i thought I'd put up something about a few things i'm making to go into the house. Bek asked a few weeks ago if i'm doing some arty stuff with the house. Mostly it'll be the furnishings that will do this, rather than murals or similar, although I'm thinking of doing something with the kitchen cabinetry along those lines. The things I'm making so far are for the bedroom and the loungeroom. I've started on a rag rug for the bedroom made out of strips of a neutrally coloured doona cover bought from an op-shop (thanks Joey!). It's time consuming, but meditative! Now if only it would lie flat!

I've also knitted a throw rug for the loungeroom in a gorgeous fluffy cashmere yarn with big needles. It reminded me how much I suck at knitting, but it's so FLUFFY!!!

I'm working on a dream catcher for the bedroom. I'm making it out of silver beads with white pearls, torquise pearls and white feathers.

Finally for the loungeroom I have a bunch of embroideries that will be clustered together on the wall and some others that will be cushion covers. I'm very proud of my blackwork skull!

Besides these things, there's some furniture I'm planning to make (bespoke coffee table and entertainment unit) and maybe some soft things for the kitchen. Hopefully the next post will show a big move forward with the house,as I'm hoping to get the floors sanded by the end of my week off in the second week of November and by then all the painting needs to be done (!) I may still be in by Christmas!
Take care all!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Renovation, part 1!

Well Helloooo!
So I just read the last couple of posts on this blog, gosh it was ages ago! Jordana's since turned 2, and has a baby sister, Tory. Connor has also arrived. I've been working in a call centre full time for almost 2 years, bought my own car and now, my own house! You're probably here because you know me and followed the link I'm going to put on Facebook (which by the time you're reading this will already be on Facebook, thus disrupting the space-time continuum. Have a nice end of the world!). This is my way of explaining why i'm so incommunicative. Well, incommunicative right now as opposed to incommunicative for all the rest of the time. I have no excuse for that. I'm just slack!
Basically I'm renovating my house, almost single-handedly (except for Dad, because he has all the awesome power tools!) and it's as much DIY as it can get! Here's a bunch of photos to show what I've done so far, then I'll let you know how much there still is to go!

This is the kitchen as it was with the previous tenants' stuff in it:

Here's Kai being very helpful getting the nails out of some boards.

the naked stud wall between lounge and kitchen. You can see all the gaps where there were some see-through shelves and on the far right where the archway was.

Here's the new wall, Dad and I put it up and i've plastered it myself.

And now I've started demolishing the kitchen. The tiles are off the wall here. The upper cupboards have been taken down since this was taken. It was very satisfying!

And some painting before and afters! Office first: MMMMpurple! (before)

(After) Stuck with a bit of purple (Dulux Windflower) and the rest of the walls in an off white which will go right through the house (Wattyl Oriental Lily)

(before) the craft room in the plain colour it was as a boys' bedroom (I still have those curtains if anyone wants them!)

And after, in my lovely green! (Wattyl Paper Dragon). It's quite dark, but all my work surfaces, cupboards and shelves will be gloss white, so it won't be overbearing. Trust me!

(before) and the bedroom, in which the walls and ceiling were somehow filthy.

(after) I love my stripes! Wattyl Oriental Lily and Bleached Hemp.
So, what's left to do? (in no particular order!)
  1. sink all the nails in the floor in craft room, bedroom, office, hallway, loung and dining.
  2. finish demolishing kitchen
  3. put in a new doorway between hall and laundry
  4. plaster hole between kitchen and laundry
  5. sand and polish floorboards in all the rooms at point 1
  6. tile laundry and kitchen
  7. build kitchen (that's right, from scratch!)
  8. paint loungeroom, kitchen and dining
  9. build some furniture, purchase some other furniture
  10. hopefully move in before christmas
  11. renovate the bathroom eventually then get started on the outside!

So there's still a way to go, as you can see. I'll try to post stuff here when I've got time between actually doing the above, working fulltime and sleeping!

WottyWotty WOTWOT!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

out of the frying pan and boned in the ass with a red hot poker

why do i only think to post here when life sucks?

Anyway, life sucks. Not in a calamitous 'oh my goddess its all over' kind of way, just in a 'oh crap, here we go' kind of way.

firstly on monday we (that is myself and the rest of the students in my jewellery course) found out that the Diploma course (being the second year of this two year course I'm doing and the year where we learn how to actually apply our skills to the business world) runs out of national accreditation at the end of this year. Which wouldn't be a drama except that the institution that runs the course has decided that they don't want to spend the time, money or resources devising a new curriculum to be accredited. The upshot of this is that there will be no diploma course for not only jewellery-making, but for woodworking, printmaking, photography or ceramics, hence none of us learning the first year stuff will be qualified to be anything but hobbyists, and will not even have the basic requirements for moving into the industry for which we are studying. We are not impressed.
We, the students, are meeting with the department head early next week to get the full story, after which we will decide on which avenues are open to us including writing to ministers, petitions and gaining public exposure through the local media, as well as industry back-up. When I have more info it will be on here. Any support would be welcome. Help us fight the power to defend our right to education!!

As if this news wasn't enough of a bummer, I found out today that my boss is retiring. They haven't managed to find a buyer for the business so we are closing down at the end of July. Hence I am out of a job. I have time to find something else, but I'm really stumped as to what to look for. After working in this place I'm not entirely convinced that retail jewellery is my choice for a career, but neither am i really excited about returning to something like Wankworths. I'd really like to maybe start turning this jewellery-making gig into a real business, but I don't have the capital. 'Tis a conundrum.

Speaking of this jewellery-making gig, my first 2 pieces for the Swarovski Crystal Park design competition for this year are completed. I have a couple of pics here to show them off, but they will be modelled by my ghenkis' sister, the gorgeous kay-kat.

the first pic is of a crown I've been working on for months. It is made from copper wire and features amethyst swarovski bicones, a large snowflake drop and 2 baroque drops.

This second one is a vintage-style choker made from hand-wound and hand-sawn copper jumprings to which i applied a patina to give the antique look. they're assembled in a modified byzantine weave and interspersed with swarovski pearls in cream, faceted rounds in garnet and topaz bicones with smoky topaz baroque drops. there's a gold swarvoski flat back in the pendant (which was bought). The lace is gorgeous i think!

In more jewellery related news, I'm heading to meeting of a co-operative business venture on tuesday night to see if they like my stuff and will allow me to become part of their group. the commitment is a modest financial one and one day a week minding the store and in return i get 2 whole cabinets to myself! If I get in it will be a significant investment on my part as they specialise in silver and silver prices are currently going up faster than gold was several months ago! Gold is coming back down a little though, which is cool because I have a big project in mind using gold. that, however will have to wait for a while.

Anyway, I've vented and updated enough I think. wish me luck with the activism and job seeking and co-op joining! Next update I will include contact details for people that, should you feel so moved, may be written an angry letter in response to my training provider choosing not to provide training! Stay happy ya'll!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

i forgot this place existed...again

i honestly do just forget that i have a blog. I guess when you couldn't be arsed listing down all the boring crap that happens from day to day, having a blog just isn't that much of a priority.
anyway, my new job is ok. I mean it shits all over my old one, don't get me wrong, but I'm not entirely comfortable there. The fact that I'm only there on probation for three months and they're not giving me a lot of hours and they're still interviewing and trialling other people for the same job doesn't help me to really feel at home. That and the price tags on everything. I mean I know the stuff we have really is worth that price, but I don't think I'm entirely comfortable working in a place that only stocks the best in pearls, watches and diamonds and has the snooty attitude to match. Not that I'm having a go at the people who run or work the place, everyone's pretty cool and down to earth, its just the way we have to act because of the sort of clientele we're trying to appeal to. the jewellery itself is also painfully traditional and boring. diamonds, gold, pearls. SNORE! anyway, we'll see how it all pans out. If they're not going to keep me on though I'd like to know sooner rather than later so i can look for something else.
On the other side of the scales, the course is still awesome! My classmates and teachers all seem to be more interested in art jewellery, individual stuff that has some real feeling and narrative to it. Although a few of my pieces really haven't worked all that well, I still feel like I'm learning from the bits I've stuffed up and thats what matters most i guess. next week: cuttlefish casting! dusty.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

when life throws you lemons, throw them back and demand champagne!

so the people who know whats going on are the only people who read this blog anyway! But its important to reply to my last post. I just read it. holy raving mad emos batman!
It hasn't been that long since i posted that and since the replies and reassurances from those who read it helped me to do what I said at the end of it. Pick a direction and go for it.
So I sat down and organised a few things and sent out some letters. Then I got a phone call saying i got the job. And I sold something on Etsy. And I hung out with friends and family.
And now I only have one shift left at woollies and a few days off before I start at my new job as a salesperson in a Jewellery shop, which compliments the course I'm still loving. I'm nervous as. More so than i was at the interview! because now i have to prove it all. My enthusiasm, my reliability, my ability to learn, my integrity. I have to stand by all the things I said to get me where i am. Its a good kind of nervous. A self-challenging 'I'm about to learn something important about myself' kinda nervous.

So I'm feeling much better. There's movement, there's a future with a little more definition. And there's a much happier cherry in the middle of it being able to enjoy and be grateful for all the good things in my life! (that means you!)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

brain muscle strain

have you ever thought? I mean so much that it kinda hurts and you feel dizzy?

I've been like that through the last week or so. Its like there's so much going on in my brain that conversations i have, even important ones with people i care about, seem like they're coming at me through a funnel and I'm just catching a few words because my brain is being so loud. I think in circles and my mood goes around with them. I think about all sorts of things: work; study; inspiration; the future; coffee; jewellery; my own abilities; resumes; research; organising; money...etc.

Its all a bit random to put here. It doesn't go away and let me sleep. I feel motivated one moment, and gloomy the next. I think of all the things I should have done, been, said. I think of all the things I could do, be say, achieve. I think of how to do it all and how lost I am when it comes to doing it. I think I don't have the courage. I think I'm to angry not to do something. I think I'll fail, or that even if some things change, the important stuff wont. And just what is the important stuff? What are my priorities? Are they right, am I doing this right?!

I should count my blessings. freedom, family, friends, love, kinship, health, home, stability. I should be happy with these things. I am happy with these things. There are other things in the way though. things that drag me away from feeling good about what I've got and make me feel sad about where I am, where I spend my time and in what mental state. Its unhealthy. Its frustrating, and unfair.

Does everybody feel this way sometimes? maybe I'm mental, or have a disorder brought on by unfulfillment. don't most of us feel that way some time? like its not enough, like there should be something, somewhere, better for us to be. there has to be something better. If there's not I don't think I could stand it.

And now that last sentence looks like I'm suicidal. I'm not. I could never be. I guess I have some courage after all because I could never consider that an option. So that leaves me with change. Making a change. No one else will do it for me. I have to take that grain of courage and make a change. Pick a direction, make a break. Stop. Breath. Escape...

and try again.