Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Embarrassing Secret!!!

Feast your eyes on this disaster! This..(swallow).. is my studio. If you can even call it that. Posting these pictures is one of the most humiliating things I've done in a long time! I have to confess that I haven't produced a single piece of anything since I returned home from the Keith LeBue workshops I attended back in April! THIS is the main reason why. I think the pictures speak for themselves.
I am a huge procrastonator. I have had all good intentions of organizing this chaos for quite some time, but it just kept taking a downward spiral into bigger and bigger piles of 'stuff.' Which I have nobody to blame but myself. I am a horrible collector/packrack/hoarder of 'interesting' things which I know have potential to be morphed into something totally awesome...even though I'm not sure exactly what that could be at that precise moment. So I end up buying it, because "I may never find that exact treasure again!" In fact, these pictures are only a small portion of the mess. It doesn't begin to show the true magnitude of the problem. I think I'd have been even more ashamed if I really showed pictures of the whole area. I truly AM the 'professed shopaholic!' I have mounds and mounds of wonderful found objects, art supplies, rubber name it...buried in heaps everywhere. It is like trying to walk through a maze to even get to stuff. Heaps on worktables...heaps on the floor...even heaps on top of pre-existing heaps. When I would get up enough willpower to actually go down to the 'bowels' of the house to spiffy things up, I would get soooooo overwhelmed at where to even think of possibly beginning the horrible task. So, feeling defeated, I would trudge over to my computer, located on the outer fringes of the mess, to log onto ebay. And of course THAT always leads to finding even more cool 'when will I ever find this kind of thing again' treasures. A true 'catch 22' situation! The poor postman has been coming to the door on a 'much too regular basis' lately, bearing package after package of my 'must haves.' I often wonder what runs through his mind as he stands at the door with his arms heaped with my purchases. He probably thinks I'm some lunatic who has a major purchasing problem. Hmm....Is there any hope for me???????? Do they have 'shopper's anonymous' for compulsive hoarders such as myself????? Anyhow... I was chatting with my good friend Kim Nugent on Thursday. I asked her if she'd like to go for coffee and a little shopping, to which she said yes. So after stopping for a quick bite of lunch and a little caffeine buzz, we meandered into a few antique shops. It is truly a rare occurrance if I walk out of an antique shop without some little purchase. And Thursday was no different. I confessed to Kim how I have done nothing artistic in several months because of the predicament I have created for myself in my studio. I would love to work on projects, but the lack of any empty work surface to work puts a kabosh on that thought in a hurry. Sweet Kim offered to help me get my art space organized again. I immediately warned her that she didn't know what she was getting herself into. But she said "I'm sure it isn't that bad." So I then asked her when she would like to do this. Now mind you, this question was asked late Thursday afternoon. She quickly responded, "how about tomorrow?" She really took me off-guard. I wasn't expecting it to be so soon!!!!!!!!!!!
So I gratefully agreed. I was a little apprehensive to actually have her go down there and see how much of a disaster the studio was. My ultimate goal has been for quite a while now to expand my workspace and create different workareas for different types of mediums. What I wanted to do (and actually started a month ago, but again hadn't finished), was to build myself a large workbench to do all my metalsmithing work. I had purchased two solid-wood storage cabinets which needed to be assembled. The boxes were soooo heavy that my son had to carry them down to the basement for me. I managed to put together the first cabinet after about 2 weeks of 'piddling' on it, but couldn't bear the thought of having to go through the hellish torture yet again to assemble the other one. Ironically, last week I did start working on it and got it about 2/3 done, but I couldn't push myself quite enough to finish it up. Well, knowing Kim would be at my door at 10:00 a.m. yesterday gave me the push I needed. I didn't want to feel like a total loser with it laying spralled out on the limited area of floor that wasn't tainted with clutter. So I diligently worked like a madwoman to get the workbench built. And you know what???????? I did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes! Miracles DO happen!!!!!
Kim arrived at my house yesterday morning as planned. It took me a little while before I got up enough courage to give her the 'grand tour' of the basement. At the top of the stairway I turned to her and told her that she's going to have a stroke when she see's what she's getting herself into. Then we began to descend into hell.....
I couldn't believe it. She wasn't scared away by the mess. In fact, being the kind person she is, she told me that she's 'seen worse.' (A little hard to believe, but hey, it sort of made me feel a little sense of relief!)
We began to move things around, and by the early evening, progress could actually be seen! We finally decided to call it a day and were both pleased with how much we really did accomplish. We wound up the evening by sitting out on the deck while enjoying some fabulous wine and noshing on cheese and crackers (left over from the graduation party). It was so relaxing to just kick back and unwind out there, as the sun was just setting over the river in our backyard. I promise to post the progression of the project next week.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yes....I'm Still Alive!!!

I know I've been horrible at blogging lately! I had a major computer crash (again), but this time, I lost everything that I didn't have backed up. I lost my emails, lots of pictures, songs I downloaded from itunes, and who knows what else! Mike always told me to back my computer up, but I thought, "'ll be fine...I'll do it one of these days." Huge mistake!!! I should've listened to him. It happened shortly after my last post. I came down to my computer one morning to find I couldn't even boot the thing up! I just sat in disbelief...staring at the computer screen's cryptic message about failed harddrives. Anyhow, I am now back up and running again, and will make more of an effort to keep current with my blog.

On May 31st, Bernie Berlin, Kim Nugent, and myself had another 'Girl's Day Out." This time we met at a little cafe in downtown Cedarburg. I've got to back up and tell this rather eerie story that leads up to this. The day before we were going to meet, I decided to go shopping in Milwaukee. One of my stops was 'Barnes & Noble.' I like to look through all the arty magazines to see what's new. So as I was sitting there flipping through "Haute Handbags," I came across these really cool purses that are made of clear vinyl with clear pockets on each side which you can put ATC's. I remembered that my sister had talked about them a while back and was interested in getting one. I looked through the article, and found the website for the purses. So I rummaged through my purse and found an old envelope in there to jot the website down. I shoved it back in my purse and continued shopping. On the way home, I found it was getting close to suppertime, so I called my husband to see if he'd like me to pick up something from Cosa. He said sure, and then told me that Bernie had called while I was gone to let me know where we were going to be meeting tomorrow. So I called Bernie. She told me where we were going to be meeting, and what time to be there. Then she told me that 2 other gals were going to be joining us...Mary Welsh and Erin Mueller...the gals from 'PURSuE your Art'. I almost fainted!!! They are the ones who make those very purses that I was looking at in the magazine and jotted their website down!!!! Is that weird, or what???!!!

(Bernie , Me, Mary, Debbie, Kim, and Erin)

We had a nice lunch and sat outside in the back of the cafe, since it was such a beautiful day. After we were finished, we posed for a group shot. The gal in the middle is Debbie, a friend of Bernie's. She usually stays with Debbie when she comes up here from Tennessee.
After our lunch, we checked out a few shops in Cedarburg, and parted ways with Mary, Erin, and Debbie. We went on to Milwaukee to check out an art supply store, and ended up buying a bunch of supplies to play with. After a few stops at Mayfair Mall, we enjoyed a late dinner at P.F. Chang's, and headed back home. It is so much fun to get together with Bernie and Kim. We have such a good time, and we do a lot of laughing!!
This past Sunday, my daughter Jessica graduated from high school. I can't believe my little girl is all grown up. Where does the time go??? The commencement was held in the gym instead of outdoors because of the horrible weather we've been having. Is this rain ever going to end???

(Jessica and Me Before the Commencement)

Fortunately, the weather held out until later in the afternoon, so people could mingle outside of the school after the ceremony. We had a nice party for her afterwards with about 40 people...mostly relatives. Of course when the party was starting to wind down, severe weather started again, so it became a mad scramble to get everything at the hall cleaned up, packed up and loaded up so we could try to get home before the rain started pouring.

(Jessica's Graduation Day - June 8, 2008)