Today is day six! I’m still craving a cigarette, but it’s getting better. Sometimes I wonder why I decided to quit, but I think I’m really committed to this. Everyone I’ve told has been very supportive- which I’m glad to see since people have been really rude about smoking. I’ve been told that for breaking a habit (or forming a new one), it takes three weeks – after twenty one days the likelihood of the habit being broken (or formed) is much higher. So, I have a ways to go. But again, I seem really committed to this.
An update on the NAMI convention bead selling project: the second day I sold more pendants – in total I sold twenty of the twenty two that I brought. So I was very happy and pleased about that. Pictures of all the landscape beads can be found here. I’ve tried making a couple of landscape beads since I got back, but they didn’t turn out well. I guess I’ll have to try again – maybe today.
My ‘dud’ to ‘keep’ ratio is going up as I try new things. Most recently I’ve been trying to get my lentil press skill up – it takes a while to learn to judge how much glass to put on for a particular lentil size. I find that the ends are especially difficult. But, I’ve been practicing a lot! I have all these little nearly lentil shaped beads that I’ve made. Some I plan to make into a bracelet for myself – I’ve been using my $100 a pound glass to practice with! Oh well, I’ll enjoy the wonky lentil bracelet.
Flame Tree Glass is hosting a Beads of Courage (BOC) day in July – focusing on making hearts. I want to go, but I can’t make a heart. So, I set up a lesson with Diane Kovach to learn how to make hearts. I’m looking forward to the lesson, and the BOC day. I also signed up for a workshop at Flame Tree with Patti Cahill. I’m looking forward to that class too. Wow, I have a lot to look forward to – not forgetting the Gathering. What a change from a little over six months ago when I was spending a lot of time wishing I was dead!
For the Gathering wine stopper contest I was going to make hollow beads with raised stringer decoration, but the deadline is very soon, and I don’t think I’ll master this skill before then, so I decided to change my plans to hollow beads with raised dots. The dots I can do. I’m not giving up on the stringer, but I think I will need a lot of practice in order to perfect that technique. I get so many complements around here when I show people my beads – I tend to forget how new I am, and how far I have yet to go.
OK, so… I am in Orlando for the NAMI convention. Today I spent some time displaying and selling my landscape beads. Sara Parfait, our affiliate president, graciously invited me to share her space at one of the consumer book sales tables. In the picture, Sara is on the left and I am on the right.
I was very nervous about this endeavor. I only got the confirmation that I would be able to show my beads (made into pendants) a week ago. I spent the time frantically assembling the beads into pendants and building a display for the beads. At this point I haven’t gotten a chance to torch in six days! I knew I was stressed by this when I kept making my chiropractic appointments for the same time as my therapy appointments.
I learned several things from this experience. First, I learned not to distract prospective customers with superfluous items. My mother (sorry mom) insisted on putting a little container out with some hollow beads I had made. The hollow beads were what I call “wonky” or “duds,” and had deemed not fit for sale. I found people would pick up the beads and get distracted.
Another thing I learned from this experience what the power of names. Several people seemed to relate to the beads better when I named the beads… night, dawn, storm, spring, sea, etc. One woman was instantly moved when I referred to one of the pendants as “Alabama Red Clay.” She was reminded of a movie she saw where a little boy expressed confusion about racism using a metaphor of different colors of dirt.
All in all, I sold 14 pendants which was a lot better than I had hoped I would. I made a little bit of money which I have earmarked for more glass and glass related supplies. First thing I am going to do on Thursday when I get home is order a lentil trio press. The rest of the money I made today will go with me to Oakland in August for the International Society of Glass Beadmakers convention.
I am so grateful to all the people who bought pendants from me today. I also am very thankful that Sara shared her space with me – I think a special gift is in order there. And of course, my mother has been so supportive of me and I am so… overwhelmed by her support.
Today has been a great day, better than I had hoped, and it made me think that I might be able to really make a go of this beadmaking thing. I can only hope that tomorrow will be another good day.
The last couple of days have been real good. Tuesday, the air conditioning people came to give an estimate for the hood installation and ventilation work. The estimate was a bit more than we had thought it would be. But, my mother decided to go forward with it. I’ve ordered the hood which will ship on April 1st and I ordered the oxygen concentrator tonight. I should be up and running (or melting) in the next few weeks.
Wednesday, a friend straightened my mandrels for me. It’s been so nice to have straight mandrels! After he straightened my mandrels we went out to lunch. I didn’t get to the torch until 1:00 PM, but I had a good session – no duds!
I got an e-mail from the president of our local NAMI affiliate about the Visionary Guild – they will have a table at the NAMI convention and said it would be all right if I had 2 or 3 pieces of my best work on their table at the convention. I would have to have business cards, so I ordered some last night. I’m kind of excited about the business cards – and the chance to “show” some of my work.
Today was another good day. It’s definitely heading on into spring. The trees are blooming and the azaleas are starting to bloom. Spring is my favorite time of year. I opened my window up high and torched for a few hours. It was so pleasant! I spent some time today cleaning bead holes. I have a bit of a backlog of beads to clean. I wanted to get some more beads listed on Etsy, but that might have to wait until tomorrow.
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