Still here in spite of it all …

It’s been a long time since I attended to this site. And a lot has happened.

Shortly after I made my last post Joe was told his cancer had returned and it did so with a vengeance. He passed from this life in October of 2018 and I have literally been in mourning since then.

Covid did not help. Being alone with just 3 cats for company has been OK for a while but in the last couple of months I have begun to chafe from the solitude. I did receive both doses of the Moderna vaccine last Winter and, like so many, am now slowly testing the waters of returning to life.

Part of that has been a resurgence of my desire/need to create. My studio space (which is quite small) has become a complete disaster and I still haven’t been able to completely remove all of Joe’s belongings. I managed to get almost half of his 4-drawer filing cabinet emptied out before I ran into a wall. Most of his clothing is gone but the odd bits stare at me from over-the-door hooks in his bedroom, from the closet, from the laundry area. And I refuse to even think about the garage.

So it’s slow going and most days I just can’t even deal with it so I veg out in front of the TV or play games on FB all day long. Not very healthy, I admit, but I also understand I am still very depressed so try not to judge myself too harshly.

I am not ready to sell off all my beadmaking stuff so it looks like I’m going to have to clean up my workspace after all. I have also picked up my interest in making wire wrapped jewelry.

I’ve pretty much decided not to reopen my Etsy store although I have not officially closed it. I really dislike the way they have gone about insinuating themselves into the business aspect of all their subscribers. Plus they have gone the way of eBay in that they are now allowing just about anything or anybody to open a store. So much for only handmade.

I was looking again at Artfire but I don’t think anyone is home. It was only today I remembered my website. Well, at least I can link it to FB. I don’t have much to list and am not sure how, or even IF I can do that with this personal WordPress site. But it will give me something to do. As if I have nothing to do around here.

So we’ll see just how ready I am to reenter the world.

Struggling to get a routine going.

It’s still hit and miss at the torch.  Day before yesterday I decided my propane regulator was on its last legs so took it town to the local welding shop.

The guy at the store was very nice.  I explained what was going on with the regulator and he agreed it needed replacing.  As he was bringing a new one out from the stores and I was bracing myself for the price, he looked at it, tapped it, shook it, shook his head and said “This one appears to have been dropped.”  Then he told me he had a rebuilt he could let me “have” for a lot less money.  Well sign me up!

$87 later I was home installing it on my tank:IMG_0210

Yesterday I fired up the torch and was attempting to make a bead.  I started noticing the flame was getting smaller.  I kept turning up the propane but a few minutes later it was shrinking again.  Now.  To be fair, it HAS been a good 5-6 years since I did any amount of real torch work.  And I had hefted the tank and it felt like there was still plenty of gas in it.  So I went to check the gauges and the one one the left, which sets the pressure coming out of the tank to the torch, had dropped almost to zero.  I panicked.  I figured it was the regulator since it’s a rebuilt.

I called the shop and he told me to bring it in.  Before I left Joe asked if the tank was empty.  Well, no.  I’m pretty sure it isn’t.  By the time I got to town I wasn’t so sure.  After talking it over with the shop person we both decided I would put the regulator on the FULL tank and try again.  Boy am I gonna be embarrassed if that was the cause.

So maybe beads today.

New Beads


Not bad for my first time back at the torch in several years.  Although it should have taken me no more than an hour to make these, it took about 3 times that and I was pooped by the time I finished.  I’ll put these up on FB in the Lampwork Bead Market group.  If they don’t sell then it’s off to Etsy with them.

I did make the start of a different set but only got 4 of them done.  One is already destined for the seconds bin (the dots were not quite aligned properly … call me picky).  So with luck I’ll get more made tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s a picture of one of the three (that I know of) feral cats I’ve been feeding.  This one I named Sammy2 because he looks like our late, and much loved, Sammy.  He’s hurt his right back leg somehow because he was favoring it but I didn’t see any overt signs of injury.  He sure was hungry though.  He ate two of the  5 ounce cans of friskies.


Back at the torch

My workbench has been tidied up, mandrels have been dipped, oxygen concentrators fired up and propane hooked up and at the ready.  Tunes selected, torch lit, kiln fired up, and 3 beads made so far.  Ah it’s good to be back in the saddle.

Today I’m playing with one of Double Helix’s stellar silver glasses … Gaia.  It turns out the most amazing range of blues to yellows.  I’m also planning on doing some florals today but we’ll see.

In the meantime, you can always mosey on over to my Etsy store and see what’s up for sale over there.  I’ve also returned to eBay (I hope) but unless sales pick up I’ll have to ditch it again.  I’ll post when I have some new listings over there.

Well, back to work.