Catching up…

I’ve been the worst sort of correspondent lately – and the honest reason is that our lives have been so jam-packed with friends and creative endeavors and each other that I wasn’t feeling the pull to write it all down. I need to find a way to be more disciplined about that, because the writing is an important part of how I process things (I learned that a long time ago), so even if I’m not writing about it here, I need to be journaling.

In any event, life has been full and fun. Nick and I took a beginning glass fusing class together 10 days ago (seems like longer!) and boy did we get bitten by the bug! We had so much fun, and Nick took to it like a duck to water. We made some small pieces that were intended to be cut up into smaller cabochons – but Nick couldn’t bear to cut up his very first piece, so we left it intact. I cut mine up pretty ruthlessly:

Handmade Artisan Jewelry by Francesca Watson Designs
Then I spent nearly two days last week re-arranging the studio in preparation for getting some bead shelves installed – a friend from church is building them for me. They’ll be floor to ceiling, and only three or four inches deep with a little lip to hold the bottles in. I have a collection of baby food jars from young moms I know, and I’ve been saving them for just this purpose. I also bought two cases of really beautiful square glass spice jars from a friend in the manufacturing world – also in the garage waiting to be pressed into service. The idea is to create a wall of color with the beads – to have them out where I can see them and be inspired by them. And since this is the first year I’m really making a stab at this from a business perspective, this will also be the opportunity to catalogue everything I have for tax purposes – and I’ll destash as I go, because there are just some things I bought early on that I will probably never use.

So, in preparation for all of that, and because we now wanted to have a place to do glass work and set up the small kiln I have from the days when I was dabbling in metal clay, I spent two days rearranging things. Here’s a look at what it looks like in progress – but please forgive the clutter since it’s not finished yet!

This is where we’ll work on glass and beads:

Handmade Artisan Jewelry by Francesca Watson Designs

The bead wall will go between the air conditioner and the wall vent:

Handmade Artisan Jewelry by Francesca Watson Designs

This is the metal working station, with the soldering station behind it under the windows. I need a ventilation system stat!!

Handmade Artisan Jewelry by Francesca Watson Designs

This is the sink and counter arrangement next to the metal station. The armoir you can just see next to the sink will be replaced by open metal restaurant shelving, and will be where we store shipping supplies, shop towels and more glass supplies.

Handmade Artisan Jewelry by Francesca Watson Designs
The other thing I haven’t had a lot of time (or inclination) for is photographing my stuff – which is bad, because if I don’t have photos I can’t post things for sale. D’oh! So, again, I need to be more disciplined about setting a schedule to take care of that – it’s an important part of getting this business off the ground.

I also had a whole day last week with my best friend Kimmy. We went to Harbor Freight and ogled all the tools, and even brought home a few things. We had lunch and worked in the studio together while we watched Law and Order SVU reruns. It was a lovely, relaxed day – I don’t get to see much of her these days because we’re both so busy, so it was really special. Then, we had dinner Friday with new friends from church – they are younger than we are, with a beautiful little baby girl, and it was so much fun to get to know them better. They have an amazing testimony which they shared with us, and we were so moved to hear how God has worked and is working in their lives – it is just amazing how he knows precisely where we are and what we need, even when we don’t see it ourselves. Humbling and intimate and I was so touched that they trusted us enough to share their story.

In between all that, I was working on a set of jewelry for a friend to borrow for a big event on Saturday night – and of course everything that could go wrong went wrong. I spent nearly an entire day on the ring alone, and right at the very end – MINUTES away from being completely finished – I cracked the bead that was its focal point. I really had to scramble to get it all done – but I did it. And she loved the pieces – earrings, necklace and ring – so it was all worth it! They’ll all go into the shop this week, along with some other things I’ve been negligent in getting posted – although I’m struggling to part with the necklace, since it features my first-ever glass cabochon. I might just keep that one!

By Saturday evening, Nick and I were exhausted and starting to feel a little under the weather, so we decided to skip church and give ourselves a real day of rest. We slept in (until 8:15!), had a quiet breakfast together, and watched an old James Mason movie on TCM. Then: naps, a little studio time, floating in the pool, and dinner from Roberto’s, our favorite Mexican hole-in-the-wall joint. We’re still feeling tired this morning, but the day of rest was good for us – though I may need another nap here shortly!

Somewhere in all that, we discovered season one of Damages with Glenn Close – how did I miss it??! Such nasty, backstabbing, scene-chewing fun. We’re looking forward to subsequent seasons after we catch up with our current recorded stuff on the DVR.

So there you have it – I’m sure I’ve left some stuff out by accident but the essence of it all is that we’ve been busy and productive and content. Life is good, and God is good, and we’re in a place of great gratitude and peace. I’ll talk more soon about some of what he’s doing in my heart and my life – big, huge leaps forward in discernment and understanding, and in how that is expressing itself in my work and my focus. In the meantime, I need to get up to the studio – and may I say I don’t dread Mondays anymore?

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