Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Moving day!

Coffee in the Atlanta skyline mug, "Too Long in the Wasteland" by James McMurtry on iTunes. Today is a day that deserves a long, thoughtful, weighty post. Too bad. It's Moving Day and I have movers and helpers and a tow truck and its driver to wrangle (a tow truck!). I will, however, take time to say if you plan to use a UHaul truck to move a kiln like Big Bertha, perish the thought: UHauls trucks come equipped with a ramp, sure. but the ramp is only wide enough for a standard dolly (about 24") which I discovered when I picked mine up at 5:00 pm yesterday. I guess they don't want you to really MOVE things with them. In the spirit of Mysteries and things just working out, Thomas is dropping by with his flatbed tow truck (with a BIG ramp) this morning to wrestle Bertha over to the new studio. I will take pictures and tomorrow will see a really great post. Promise. Now off to get Sprout and Spouse out the door for the day and to prepare for the onslaught of the horde.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Moving Days of Our Lives

Coffee in the Washington D.C mug, hold music from U-Haul instead of iTunes. Yep, staring down the barrel of moving day. It looks to be a long hold. Of course it is 10/30--I couldn't move mid-month in an off-month. Now I've made a reservation and within an hour a rep will call to tell me where I can pick up my truck... I will not be a pessimist. I will not be a pessimist. I will not be a pessimist--this WILL all work out. (How? I don't know. It's a mystery*.)

Today is the last major paint day before the move, and the office and kiln room must be finished. The shipping room is up in the air. I had the most ambitious plans of all for painting it, but that was before I took down half of one wall and patched it. The new plaster still hadn't dried by Sunday so I couldn't even prime it then. No painting at all got done yesterday**, so the room barely qualifies as a work-in-progress. I may have to punt to something easy for in there.


An hour or so has passed now and since I said everything will work out... The furnace and air man called, I can fire up the furnace (after shop-vaccing the ducts as best I can). The electrician will wire the air conditioner tonight and the furnace and air man will test it and run over the furnace again (now that the electricity and gas are on) on Friday. I pick up Dave at 4:15 from work today and then pick up a UHaul truck around the corner from Dave's work at 4:30. Tomorrow at 8:30 am the carpenter is showing up with two helpers to disassemble and move the big parts of the studio (Big Bertha, the work table, the frit storage, etc.). The helpers will also move boxes of stuff across the wilds of the back yard. So now I have to get over there and GET PAINTING! Pics and more... later in the week.

*I started to write the quote from Shakespeare in Love here, but I think I'm just going to morph it into the Siyeh Studio motto:

"Allow me to explain about my business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster. So what do we do? Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well. How? I don't know. It's a mystery."

**Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away... At 12:15 yesterday I had a miraculous gift of time: I finished all the morning's tasks actually in the morning (how often does THAT happen?) and thought I might get a good chunk of painting done in the afternoon. ROFLOL. The time went... somewhere, and I headed off to get the Sprout at school for trick-or-treating at Turner Broadcasting. We got home exhausted (but happy) with hot pizza about 7:45 and everyone was in bed subsequently.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Painter's Progess 2

Coffee in the Starbucks go-cup, pre-meeting chatter for music. It's Monday morning PTA. I snarf a plain bagel, sip coffee and surreptitiously type while waiting for the meeting to begin. After the meeting I run to Ikebana. At the end of the day (4:00 pm) I pick the J up from school and take her to CNN to trick-or-treat. In between the Mom stuff I have to buy the new shelving at Sam's Club and finish painting the office and the kiln room floor. This is another time and space continuum kind of day.


And yet, it is 12:16, I am back home with six shelving units, a gorgeous single material Asiatic lily arrangement to reconstruct from ikebana, and more tombstones for the front yard. (I find I have a perverse fondness for the big, black plastic tombstone Halloween decoration and Sam's Club has what my kind need.) Looks like painting will happen--as soon as I unload the six shelving units weighing around 65 lbs apiece...

Tomorrow, the first post-painting pictures. Anything to put off the actual move.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The 300 Lb Gorilla

Coffee in the Denver skyline mug, "Get Together Now" covered by the Indigo Girls on iTunes. Today I am sore. Yesterday the plumber and his assistant moved the sink 200 ft to the new studio. I thought, "It would be good, while they're here, to move the lap grinder over so I can see for sure where I want it to go and if it needs a new ice-maker line run for it." My first clue that it was not a good idea to move it by myself should have been when I had a lot of difficulty just getting it down to the end of the concrete parking pad in the back of our yard. I should have looked at the damp lawn and the soggy expanse of soil and water oak and pecan tree roots between me and the new studio and just said no.

I should have looked at the little hill down through the gate and said "It could fall on me and crush me like a bug. I think I'll wait.". But I did none of these things and predictably, there was disaster. I got half-way across the yard of the studio and it overbalanced on the dolly and tipped over and off. Would have been okay if I hadn't tried to grab for it. On the plus side, it was my left arm I grabbed with and I'm right handed. I had to go ask the plumber's assistant if he would help me lever it back up. We got it on the dolly and he pushed and I pulled/supported it over to the ramp and up to the French doors (Thank You Dan the Carpenter!--we never would have been able to lift it into the studio). Turns out it weighs about 300 lbs. For comparison our washer--roughly the same footprint--is only about 185 lbs...

What have I learned from the experience? That I am too old to move. I need to supervise. Yes, Bill, I will still move because I am alive. Fortunately for me, words can have more than one meaning and I am too old for the transitive instance of one of the meanings. Now I need to find a moving company that will think out of the box with me and move a few things on a truck and carry everything else. Or I need to skip the company thing and go for day labor and a U-Haul for a day... A few days ago I was hoping the logistics would just sort themselves out in my head. Hasn't happened yet. Instead I am squirrel-caging.

The only thing I am really nervous about moving is the sheet glass (and Big Bertha). I do not have the time to pack the glass up in crates and have the crates moved (and possibly dropped or tipped over--happens every move). The solution is to move the sheets by hand--they aren't that heavy--but though I am good at that, it might make other people nervous to carry large pieces of glass across a bumpy lawn. And there are over 15 cases of glass in the studio (what can I say? I'm a pack rat.).

*sigh* enough angsting. Off to Home Depot for some more paint, a mop, lightbulbs, and filters for our home furnace. It's getting time to change them and fire that baby up! Groundhog day continues...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Paint the Plumber?

Coffee in the Alaska skyline mug, "Rest For the Weary" by Marc Cohn on iTunes. It was iTunes' random choice. Really. I get a break in the monotony of painting today. Helmut the plumber is coming to move the big three-bin steel restaurant sink and the lapgrinder into the new studio. Well, he might not actually move the lapgrinder with me as he is a plumber, not a mover, but he'll run the water line for it.

Yesterday saw the first of the final decorative paint coats down. I got two walls of the coldworking room (previously the kitchen) done. Had to so Helmut could move the sink. Today sees the rest of the coldworking room and the final wall coat in the kiln room (and all the persnickety trim). I might get to the kiln room floor. That would be a real bonus. But it's Thursday which means gymnastics and ballet for the J so I have to end at 3:00. Well, I won't really "end" (I'm sure there was a collective sigh of relief there). I'll just put down paint brushes and rollers and the rest of the paraphernalia and maybe clean it all. Why is it that the cleaning prep and post takes more time than the painting and I don't even mask off?? I suppose if I didn't purify every roller, brush and tray it would take less time (and water--you're bound to waste one way or the other).

It was tempting to post a picture of the papers I shuffled into neat little manila folders yesterday and filed in a cardboard box. The breakfast room (the current office since the real office is filled with so many piles of papers you can't see the desk) is tidy again. Huzzah. Now to order my metal, ship my last shipment till 11/1 and maybe get to painting before 9:00 (ugh).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Groundhog Day

Coffee in the Washington D.C. skyline mug, "Possession" by Sarah McLachlan on iTunes. I am possessed, consumed, by the new studio. I woke up today and I am Bill Murray. The painting is interminable and I am back to having anxiety attacks in the middle of the night. Last night's episode *could* have been caused by overeating dinner at Babette's Cafe followed by dessert (blackberry and chocolate beignets) at Pacific Kitchen, but it could just be the fourth straight rainy, grey day of painting.

Before I head out for today's paint-a-palooza, I have to ship three orders, slump a stray piece, order metal pieces from EMW, send in my VIP list for the One of a Kind Show, and shuffle other assorted papers. Does *any* of that sound enjoyable? Where is the playing with the vitrigraph kiln, experimenting with color, trying new mold-making techniques?

SLAP! Oh just get over it! Sometimes I think I have the attention span of a flea. I lose sight of the long goal and get discouraged by a little drudgery. The studio will be INCREDIBLE when it's finished, and all the investment of time and money will be well spent. THEN Licha will come play with vitrigraph, and Becky will hang and make beads, and Dee will make molds (or is that Licha again?), and Leah will blast in the cabinet. There will be sunshine again and it will stream into the windows of an above-ground studio for the first time in five years (the last time I had a daylight studio was in Austin).

I just have to get through the next couple of weeks and keep the faith that it really will all get done and END. I won't be painting and moving FOREVER.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Painter's Progess

Coffee in the New York skyline mug, "Somebody Told Me" by The Killers on iTunes. "Good Morning, Good Morning!" warbles Mrs. Chickadee..... scritchhhh. Wrong morning melody. I am not chipper or perky this morning. I am old and sore and moving like it. "Mmmfwha?" is more like the sound coming out of my mouth (though The Killers are waking me up fast).

Licha called yesterday and mentioned in the conversation what a Seattle kind of day it was. I had been thinking exactly that, and today looks to be more of the same. A dark grey drizzle day with a gentle susurrus of the leaves in the trees and the fountain in the little pond on the front porch... Holy Poo! I left the water running and overflowed the pond (I can hear the goldfish, "Hurray! Down the stream and Freedom!"). So it's going to be THAT kind of day, is it?

I wish with all my heart it could be a curl-up-on-the-couch-under-a-cosy-throw-and-read-a-book kind of day. I am in the midst of the new Simon Green (The Man With the Golden Torq) and would love to throw responsibility to the wind and read all day (and drink green tea). Alas, big painting push. The schedule comes together and I have high hopes that by the end of the week the logistics of the move will have come together as smoothly as the logistics for the painting have.

You might be saying to yourself, "How tough can be it be to paint? You get a brush or a roller, slap the paint on, wash, rinse, repeat!". That is painting for Other People. Here, as an example, are the steps in their proper order for painting the kiln room (all cleaning prep and dry times left out): putty the holes in the floor (plywood), prime the floor, roll the basecoat on the walls, cut the basecoat on the walls, putty the trim, prime the trim, sponge the first accent color on the walls, sponge the second accent color on the walls, paint the trim, roll the floor (with the accent colors swirled into the base), cut the floor, spatter the gold paint onto the floor, turn Jessie loose on the walls with the rubber stamps and the gold paint. Everything in a specific order.

This is one room/area out of ten. The others aren't as complicated as this one--I'm mostly not doing the trim, just where it's new and this is the only floor I have to do. But all the rooms have a base color (or two) and one to four accent colors applied in various techniques including sponging on, woolie stamping, roll on/wipe off, and roll on cover with plastic wrap and pull off. The schedule is... intense. Dave, my beloved Igor, did most of the rolling over the weekend, and yet there is still a full week more.

Okay, enough talking/writing. Time to do. Off to don the paint duds.

Monday, October 22, 2007

What's In YOUR Wallet?

Coffee in the Austin skyline mug, "California Dreamin' " by the Mamas and the Papas on iTunes. The sky's drizzling and grey. The Sprout is having a bad hair day. (Her: "Is it curving front all the way?" Me: "No." Her: "I hate myself!") It's Monday.

Monday follows Sunday when I discovered that Capital One Visa (slogan, "What's In Your Wallet?"--I'll tell you, nothing thanks to you thieving pirates!) raised the interest rate on my card from 8.9% to 28.15% because I missed my payment in June. Nevermind that I made three payments in May and two in July (archaic system won't let you schedule a payment--it's the day you go on-line or nothing. Someone needs to drag them kicking and screaming into the year of the fruitbat!). This morning I am scrambling to get all my business automatic charges (booth fees for upcoming shows, etc.,) moved to a new business card and to get my "rewards" from Cap One before terminating their a**es.

The glass from Bullseye was delivered before 9:00 without a hitch from Roadway. Oh I am loving the new studio! The only cloud on the horizon is the possibility that someone will buy the lot next door that Roadway drives across to get to my delivery gate. Not too likely as the price is way over-inflated and it's across a busy street from a sprawling autobody place--not somewhere one would put either a new mini-mansion or upscale retail. But I have to be prepared for the day my bubble will burst.

After a weekend of painting I know exactly where my lats and delts and all the other back (and arm!) muscles are. Oy. Dave and I were both moving like old people by yesterday. While the end is not yet in sight, I know it's just over the horizon (and then the moving can begin...). And yet it was a GOOD weekend.

Today, do a little glass, move a little paper, get down with my paint self. (Call everyone who is past due on their invoices--c'mon people, I have bills too and I like to pay them ON TIME).

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Flog That Book!

Wasn't going to post today (and still not using the usual format--I'm not telling what coffee mug I'm using), but I got the following in an email from this morning and it made my day!

Oh yes, and the news from yesterday: LET THERE BE LIGHT! The studio DOES have electricity and DOES NOT have termites. Good and Gooder.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Week Closes As It Began

Coffee in the Los Angeles skyline mug, "Kentucky Rain" by Elvis Presley on iTunes, Amazon sales ranking on the book #1,630, #1 in Books > Home & Garden > Crafts & Hobbies > Glass & Glassware. Wow. And the only reason I even know this is Dave told me about Rankforest the night before last and I set it up. Again, wow. And it's on Amazon UK and Amazon France! No takers yet on the photo-in-the-wild contest. It's still wide open...

I was such a Mom yesterday that I managed to only get an hour and a half in the studio working on a firing that I never did get in (pushed off till this morning after I do the pet insurance and UPS claims forms). I didn't make it to the new studio at all to paint (even though I was in my slouchy paint clothes all day). Today will be a different story. Today I also meet the rep from the termite company who will present his interpretation of my problem and pitch me on their solution.

Georgia Power *might* get my power hooked up today. No one had called me (despite assurances to the contrary) by yesterday morning so I called and reigned down my wrath upon them. I invoked the calling-of-the-mayor if I didn't get some answers from somebody as to why I still didn't have power and where I was in the schedule. Within half an hour three people had called me back and I had made it onto the schedule for today... weather permitting. Since there is a big storm front passing through from the gulf today, I doubt if the rain is going to permit. Whatever. I am in the che sera, sera stage at this point and work when there is enough light.

I think that's all for this morning. My delivery from Bullseye is scheduled for Monday in the new studio and I am anxious to see how it goes with the new delivery gate. I haven't decided yet whether to just drop the pallet on the drive or to ask him to wheel it up the ramp and into the studio door (what a luxury!). There won't be posting over the weekend, but there will be painting and working so I'll be Studio Incarnate!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


No coffee yet, grumble, grumble, grumble, mutiny, mutiny, mutiny, "Gwenlaise" by Eugene Freisen & Scott Cossu on iTunes. It's bloody dark out there. What lame congressman decided to push back ending daylight savings time?!? November. I don't think I can wait that long ("Mutineer" by Warren Zevon just came on, looks like iTunes is with me on this one).

Every five weeks, Thursday is my long day: dogs to groomer, legs waxed, gymnastics for J and then ballet for her (I feel like Martha Stewart on this Thursday). Today add to that intense painting, one kiln load, and putting out the Halloween decorations this evening. And I'm grumbly. Did I mention I'm grumbly? Time to go roust the Sprout. I'll come back here tomorrow when I am more gruntled.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Politics R NOT Us

Coffee in the New York skyline mug, "In Without Knocking" by Mission Mountain Woodband on iTunes. Remember high school? I've just discovered it's life and woken up screaming. All the petty 'he said, she said' that we (some of us) fool ourselves into thinking we leave behind with high school lays in wait ready to combust every day. And, boy howdy, a blog is the perfect tinder for it. Every day when I sit down here to write it's a balance between honesty and better-left-unsaid. But the blog is a reflection of the person, and I'm a pretty in-your-face person so my definition of honesty still ventures occasionally into the realm angels fear to tread. Yesterday manifested a little dust-up that made it crystal clear that I do not have a future in politics or school governance. My foray into the PTA will begin and end with felt fish and no one will get hurt or go to jail (not that the current issue has anything to do with J's school or the PTA).

The book has gone back to pre-order status on Amazon! How weird, what does it mean? Did they sell out of their first shipment (looks like) and, because it's still officially before the release, go back to pre-order status? If anyone gets a copy from Amazon, please let me know. Yes Ren, I would be HAPPY to sign your book for you! I didn't make it to Border's or B&N to see if it's there yet. Hey, I have an idea! Free signed copy to the first person who sends me a pic of it out in the world either in a bookstore or from Amazon. :-)

"Georgia Power, a Southern Company". I said to a friend yesterday that the people of the south should rise up and beat them with sticks for smearing the southern reputation so badly by using that slogan. He said it's not just a slogan, it's really their name. Three different people yesterday, three different tunes. At least by the end of the day they were singing in loose harmony--of course I still won't have electricity till the end of the week and it's kind of hard to paint in the evenings without lights. I'm already on tenterhooks to see how badly I have muffed the gallery walls by painting them with only the light from dim windows. When 1000 watts of light goes up in there every single flaw in the painting will glare.

If you want potted plants on your deck in the fall and you live in a squirrel-infested neighborhood either plant geraniums or get a spaniel. The squirrels have run rampant in my potted plants (the ones that mostly died while I was at the BMAC in August but sort of came back when we got rain) this fall, knocking many of the pots to the deck and smashing them to shards. The geraniums, however, they avoid. I am guessing because of the smell, and I bet mums would be the same. The weather is nice and cool though so I'm just leaving the back door open and every time a squirrel evens THINKS about playing on our deck Baxter the wonder spaniel is out the door gums and ears flapping.

Have I mentioned glass yet? No? Not surprising. The last fuse load before the move goes in today, but I've decided to paint in the morning today to see if I can get more done than yesterday. Off to don the paint clothes.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Book Is Out!!!!

Just checked and it is no longer a pre-order item, it's out in the world (only 3 left in stock!).

Termites, Math and Money... Oh My!

Coffee in the Alaska skyline mug, "Roundabout" by Yes on iTunes. Where to begin. It feels like I was just here. Oh yes, I was. It's Tuesday and it's already a week.

Termites: Dan the carpenter finished up the clean-up from all the renovation work on the studio on Sunday. As he was already hauling away a trailer and truckload of trash he offered to take the brown paper lawn bags full of the leaves and debris from the landscape crew cleaning up the yard. He loaded the bags from the back yard fine, but when he went to get the bags in the front he found the bottoms of all of them eaten out by termites. He found no evidence of termites in our under the house, but apparently they are alive and well somewhere in the yard (I am guessing that big old dead oak on the front corner of the drive--lots of the refuse came from there).

I am not inclined to pay a pest control company $600 to treat and put up monitoring stations which they will then charge me $200 a year to check (they pull the bait out of the station and look to see if it's been nibbled on once every three months). We already do that with our house because, well, it's a new house and it was under a termite bond when we bought it. The studio has already had termites (old tunnels and damage found during the renovation) and had them cleared out. How difficult can it be? Now I wait for my father the entomologist to read this post and have my mother either call me or send me email and tell me whether I can take care of it myself or if I have to break down and hire someone.

Math: A gallery in Florida I work with called and asked me to do a piece for a customer's custom stand for which the original piece had broken. The original spec said do a 19.5 inch diameter circle. But when I laid a 19.5 inch circle of glass over the template for the stand, it became clear the 19.5 inch measurement wasn't the diameter, it was a line crossing from one edge of the circle to the other some unknown distance from the center of the circle (see the drawing that looks like a happy face with underwear on its head--the solid dark lines are the sides of the stand, the dotted lines are the measurements I had, the thin line across the middle is the diameter of the circle).

What to do? Well, most people either would have paid attention in high school math or just done a lot of little paper templates until one of them fit. I had a better solution: I am married to a mathematician. I called him. Turns out (a2 + b2)/2b is the answer. And the answer is a circle 20.125 inches in diameter. Heh.

Money: It comes in, it goes out. Last week was a bit scarier as it went out in a flood and didn't come in at all. This week I got a flurry of checks and am solvent again (shoes for everyone!). Now I'm off to paint, and fuse, and paint some more.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Georgia Power... NOT

Turley Juvenile Zin 2005 in the Reidel stemless red wine glass, "Adrenaline" by Gavin Rossdale (from XXX) on iTunes. I usually post between 7:45 and 8:45 so I am right on target. But I am off target because it's 7:52 PM, not AM. Today, today... oh boy. Let me 'splain... no, that would take too long. Let me sum up.

PTA meeting, check. Ikebana, check. New air conditioning unit installed (a honking big sucker), check. Kiln load in, check. Painting done (not much), check. Electricity on? Oh so NOT check.

The studio is located in a house that is a bank foreclosure. It's been vacant for over two years so before the electricity can be turned on, it needs an inspection from the City of Atlanta. Add to that that I want to upgrade the service from 100 amp to 200 amp (can you say Big Bertha Mark II?) and we have inspections galore. It was tedious, but it is DONE (I have an INCREDIBLE electrician). So I call on Friday to ask Georgia Power to turn my service (finally) on. They say Monday, I say Okay! It's Monday. When no one has shown to light my fire by 2:00 pm I call again to make sure I am in the system. Sure nuff--sometime before 7:00 pm.

Yawn. 6:00 pm and no one has shown and, hey, I KNOW no one is going to show up before 7:00 pm. I call again and I am told "my service will be on within 3-5 business days". I ask, 3-5 business days from when? From the date the inspection was finished? The day I put the order in? The due date? When?!? "3-5 business days from the due date." So why call it a due date if it's not actually DUE for 3-5 business days?

And while we're on the subject, it's the year 2007, people. There is NO reason why a power company--who presumably turns on electrical service for people as a primary part of their business--needs to have a 3-5 day window to perform a routine meter install, wire run. When I ask what the issue is, I am told it takes a truck and a crew and so it takes longer than a normal flip-the-power-on call. Okay, so it takes longer. You must know how much longer and you just schedule it WITHIN A PREDETERMINED WINDOW. You are a POWER company, you do this for a living. I am completely dumbfounded to be told that "they could show up in 10 minutes or it could be 3-5 business days...".

The satellite dish company can give me a four-hour window for a complete install, why does the power company need 3-5 BUSINESS DAYS? I'll tell you why, they have the monopoly and, as the only game in town, they don't have to know what they're doing. The next time someone says socialized anything to me I think I might have to bodily harm them.

Postscript from Dave: Poland 1983, a man in a apartment has an electrical issue and calls an electrician. The electrician comes and says, "I think we can fix your problem. I'll put you on the list. It'll be three years.". The mans queries, "Three years in the morning, or three years in the afternoon?" "Why do you ask?" "Because the plumber said three years before noon."

I'll regale you with termite tales tomorrow.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I Just Wanna Hear Your Rhythm...

Coffee in the San Francisco mug, "Shut Up and Kiss Me" (the video version!) on iTunes. Okay, it's a sickness. I discovered yesterday that my download of Springsteen's 'Magic' cd came with a video. I thought to check to see what else is available on iTunes in music videos. Oh boy. I didn't exactly fill my hard drive, but it's close! So far Death Cab For Cutie "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" is my favorite. J is all about Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" though she acknowledges that Michael Jackson sure can dance in "Beat It".

Started the morning finishing up the packaging of the kits to make stuffed felt sea creatures that I need to hand out to other lucky Waldorf parents so they can sew them up for the upcoming Holiday Fair... Oh this watching and blogging (and chatting with Dr. Bill on IM) is just too distracting. Going back to "Radio Nowhere"--audio only. I am clearly not of the MTV generation-can't stream it all all the time.

The Art Institute put in another order yesterday late--of course just after I closed the firing schedule. But it's okay--in fact orders are always MUCH better than okay--I still have slush in the schedule for the move and should be okay.

Now off to fuse, pick up the J at 1:00, and plan tomorrow's paint-a-palooza. Have a safe weekend...

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Coffee in the New York skyline mug, "Don't Go To Pieces" by the Cars on iTunes. The front and back doors are open and it is CHILLY. It's the first morning I have noticed it to be significantly colder outside than in. Fall must really be here, it's only 52 degrees F (11 degrees C).

I failed to fountain. It's the first kilnforming project I've done that required relying heavily on glue--and watertight glue at that. I am just not comfortable with the leaking I'm getting and the wobbliness of the supports holding the middle stand-up in. Then there's the photography. FINALLY after taking all the photos for the article I found the self-timer button. Of course, I still couldn't get the flash to work at the end. Finally at 10:00 pm I threw in the towel and said better to have nothing than to have something half-assed.

I'm already concerned that the edits to my article in the last issue make me look like an idiot (all references to Bullseye glass were removed from the article--not by me but for reasons I deem legitimate--but nothing was put into their place so it looks like I just say "fuse a bunch of glass together" with no thought to compatibility. Oy.) Moving on...

iTunes is failing me right now. It's just too early for "We Need a Little Christmas" by Angela Lansbury (my spouse might argue that's it's ALWAYS too early, but that's another subject). Ah, "This Shirt" by Mary Chapin Carpenter. Much better.

Today I begin all the ordes that aren't due for another few weeks. I have decided to move the studio beginning a week from Saturday and plan an opening party/book release party for Saturday, November 10. It's an ambitious plan, but I think we'll be ready. Just need to get those pesky orders out of the way first (and the more I make up, the less I have to move. Heh.)

Now off to get the fuse load in and ship Ren's piece before making felt fish kits for J's school festival. And I'm going to close the doors-it's just too cold out there!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Coffee in the Los Angeles skyline mug, "I'll Work For Your Love" by Bruce Springsteen on iTunes. And the morning begins. There're lots of little things I could post about today like getting the fountain article written for GPQ or making up kits of felt fish for J's school's fall festival--the bricks and mortar of the day. But what burns in my soul is a greater question: How should I paint the new studio?

Yesterday I took the little chips I got form Home Depot over and assigned a different pale, safe, neutral color to almost every room. For anyone who has been in our house the color choices are likely to be a shock as the walls of our house are zinfandel, cinnabar, turquoise, cantaloupe, and a green between olive and lime--and that's just downstairs. Upstairs we have faux leather walls in the library, two-tone sponged yellow in the guest room, coral salmon in our bedroom and lavender in J's (and she wants to re-paint it in sea colors with a huge octopus on the wall like the Pirates of the Caribbean Behr/Disney paint theme).

Maybe, to quote my favorite movie, playing it safe is just about the most dangerous thing a woman like me can do. Last night we had dinner with friends Keith and Mike and when I told Mike I couldn't come up with a color to paint the bathroom that would go with the blah beige tile he suggested black. I got to thinking, and while I think black would be too strong, either medium brown with dark brown glaze or a darker brown with black glaze ragged, sponged or other faux-effect over it might be perfect. Then I thought of the tame light green I have planned for the office. What about a deep blue-green glaze colorwash ala Gaudi instead? And for the gallery room how about stark white with pale grey, black and brown marbling veins?

Maybe, for the rest of the rooms, a simple colorwash is all that's necessary to make them vibrant, warm, welcoming and appropriate for a "studio". Heaven knows I have enough books on faux paint techniques, and there are tons of references on-line. I am tempted to try a shading technique in one room where increasing amounts of white are swirled into the base paint as it is painted and then wiped around the walls so it either lightens as it rises or lightens as it falls...

This way lies madness and is what happens when I have a little extra time on my hands.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Coffee is a Zack in a paper cup, music is serious mope rock on cd. Let the Kavarna experience begin. Personally I think "Zack" is a weird name for coffee with an extra shot of espresso. Shot in the Dark, Red Eye, Eye Opener, yeah. Zack? Whatever.

Studio update: the fence is going up today with three gates in it. The main double gate is across the drive, there will be a little walk-through gate to our yard in back, and another big double gate on the side of the drive at the end for commercial deliveries (no exterior handles on that one). Tomorrow morning the electrician meets with the city's electrical inspector for the final (hope, hope) inspection. Time to paint. Time to move.

Today there are NO FIRINGS SCHEDULED. Wow. The fountain face I re-did yesterday for the GPQ article turned out well, and that's all I have going for a few weeks. To ensure that I won't squander this unusual free time I need to plan something for it. Otherwise in two weeks I'll look back and be just where I am now, and who wants to stay in the same place? It's okay to schedule it as time to read a bunch of books, re-plant the garden pots, something else non-glass oriented, but the point is I need to have *some* goals.

Today's goal is to get the quickbooks set up on the laptop, work on FeSiO site and materials (new pieces shown here) and put together the suppliers list for the book. Oh yes, and to outline the article for the book. Give me an extended deadline and I'll still use every minute of it...

Monday, October 08, 2007

Randomly Great

Coffee in the Denver skyline mug, "My Rights Versus Yours" by The New Pornographers on iTunes. Monday, Monday, Columbus Day. Started the day with coffee brought to me in bed. The Sprout and I have already made a pilgrimage to the new studio this morning and consulted with the electrician. The carpenters are at the big box store getting the lumber for the fence and the tree removal guys are... somewhere. They'll get here today and the two trees growing from under the foundation will go bye-bye. The plumber is due back from vacation and I expect to hear from him. Got to get a new hot water heater and plan for the sink and lap-grinder moves. It all comes together.

I have spent a lot of time over the few weeks on building logistics (if ever I get out of glass I could go into general contracting). Now it's time to plan the logistics of the move proper. I had set in my head that I wouldn't be able to move till mid December. But I am open for the next couple of weeks on the firing schedule, and the building prep is going on-schedule... Unfortunately, though I'd like to think about and plan it today, I don't think I'll get the peace and quiet. On the slate are the last fountain firing (still haven't gotten that one done), ikebana, drop off a piece to be drilled at Dixie Glasshoppers, take J to the zoo to see the baby panda (and all the other animals), supervise fence placement and tree removal. Hmmm. There look to be time and space conflicts there. Too bad I'm not a time lord (and wasn't that a GREAT season finale last Friday?).

Now off to work! Tomorrow is a writing/web Kavarna (the new Joe's) day.

PS--iTunes has had a really incredible music selection randomly chosen for the background to this post. From the New Pornographers to "Busy Bodies" by Elvis Costello, "Whip-Smart" by Liz Phair, "She's Got a New Spell" by Billy Bragg, "Caramia" by the Indigo Girls, and finishing up with "Ziggy Stardust" by David Bowie. I'm taking it as a portent for a randomly great week!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Magic (more of the new Springsteen album)

Coffee in the Atlanta skyline mug (go Braves!), "Livin' In the Future" by Bruce Springsteen on iTunes--I LOVE this new album! Carpenter on-site: check. Clean-up crew from my friend the landscaper onsite: check. Rudy with bobcat and dumptruck on-site: uh, no. I guess two out of three ain't bad.

The French doors are in and trimmed out. The windows (formerly where the doors are now) have been moved and trimmed out. An exhaust fan (actually designed as an attic exhaust fan for 2400 sq ft) is being installed into a former window location (shown at right). The kiln-room-to-be will be seriously vented! Water is on, gas is on, electricity proceeds apace. Fence goes up first thing next week and then deck and ramp to the kiln room follow. Might need to consider moving soon.

It's not raining, but it was last night and today looks to remain gray and drear. Got to find the energy somewhere to both work and manage the activities of the J who does not have school today or Monday (evidently her school still celebrates the arrival of Columbus on southern shores and the subsequent mortality of a large percentage of the indigenous population to syphilis and other diseases and the enslavement of many of the remaining peoples... need to keep up with the PC, people).

Normally I don't announce any more songs on iTunes, but someone has been pleading for "her music" for the past ten minutes and I finally gave in. "Cherry Pie" by Warrant on iTunes. OK, not the most appropriate song for an almost-six-year old. Don't you love parent teacher conference days? I *might* get some work done today... then again...

Hey! How could I forget the most important news? The author copies of my book arrived yesterday at my in-laws! Those are the free copies I get for writing it. Next come the copies I ordered to sign and sell--they should arrive next week or early the following week so I'll be able to start shipping pre-orders!!!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Welcome to the Mish-Mash

Coffee in the Alaska skyline mug, "Long Walk Home" by Bruce Springsteen on iTunes. Is this a great country or what? First you get to pre-order books from your favorite authors and have them delivered to your door on release date from Amazon, now you can pre-order albums from iTunes and get notified they are available for download on release date. The new Springsteen "Magic" was delivered to my desktop this morning. Brilliant.

Oh it's a random throw-everything-in-the-blender-and-see-what-flies-out-and-hits-the-wall kind of day!

It has stopped raining for the moment, but the all-day rain forecast has canceled today's scheduled manual clean-up of the studio yard. Rudy showed up at 4:15 pm yesterday with the bobcat and the dump truck and I looked out this morning to see a pile of concrete rubble still there. I scratch my head and wonder if he plans to take it at all or if it will just be an urban modern art sculpture to decorate the yard... I have no idea if he is planning on coming back today. He was still there at 7:00 pm last night when I locked up after the cleaning women.

Cleaning women. Oh it smells nice in there now! Even the ceiling fans gleam. There was a questionable substance smeared, flung randomly... well, you get the picture. It's gone now.

Dan is putting in the French doors to the back bedroom today. At least he was planning to before the rain. I wonder if it'll stop him too?

Yesterday I fired my last big scheduled fuse load for awhile--the next orders aren't due to go out till the end of October. I'll have to wait and see what falls out of the tree now. It would be a great time to hear from the Art Institute.

Today I'll redo the fountain back for GPQ (fuse), write a testimonial for my realtor extraordinaire, respond to emails from a couple of potential clients... oh yes, and lunch with Dee! No school tomorrow for J (found out this morning--should've flipped the calendar sooner). Talk about a mish-mash day.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I Think I Broke My Hump In My (Lack of) Sleep

Coffee in the San Francisco skyline mug, "Lay Me Down" by Crosby & Nash on iTunes (yes Stacy, realtor extraordinaire--shown at right, you were the first to know the mug and song of the day :-). Lay me down and let me sleep the sleep of the... something. I'm so tired I can't even formulate what I would like to sleep like! And I have no reason to be not sleeping--work on the studio proceeds apace, orders come steadily in and go steadily out, permits have been managed (don't you love the bureaucracy of a big--or little big--city?). Yesterday I managed to go over there only once (on my way to get the fence permit). The carpenter gave me my new keys as I checked in with him and with the electrician. Then I left them all in peace. Yet last night in my sleep, all night, I tossed and turned my way through project management and micro-management until I was ready to scream. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

Today the rest of the concrete rubble will be removed (it wasn't removed yesterday as, apparently, we broke the dump truck on Monday by putting so much heavy concrete in it that the brakes finally failed), and I hope they start on the fence. The fence is my #1 priority. No, I don't want to keep people out, I want to keep dogs in and I want to walk across the yard instead of around the block to get there. There is also a cleaning crew scheduled to go through today to get the unidentified... substance... off the mantle piece, walls, doors and corner of the kitchen and to do a general all-clean and disinfect.

There will also be glass! And glass ordering. It seems a shame to get another big glass delivery here just to move it there, but I just don't know when I'll be ready to make my 200 foot move. It would be great if we could just wheel everything through the backyards and not use a truck at all, but the tree roots and rough ground are not conducive to rolling big kilns and cases of glass. I'll have to see what I can figure out. Maybe a four-wheeled dolly-thingie with big fat wheels for everything but Big Bertha?

As promised, here are the first construction pics. All are before on the left and after on the right. The one that might be confusing is the before wall and after door, but, hey, you can't have too many doors! And I didn't take pictures of the new door locks--I'm not THAT silly.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Studio Day Two

Coffee in the Los Angeles skyline mug, "Rule the World With Love" by the Barenaked Ladies on iTunes. Day Two at construction central. Turns out the kudzu in the backyard was covering more than just a little concrete and cinder block. Looks like there was dumping from a burned out building (maybe the one on the corner that was a burned out commercial space when we moved in and since been renovated?) and there was also an asphalt something. An asphalt something like an alley or a drive or a street or a parking lot. Who knows. Kudzu covers all sins. With the herculean efforts of Rudy and his backhoe, a small dump truck was filled yesterday and there look to be 1-2 more loads to go. I hope they go today. I didn't have absolute confirmation form Rudy that his boss is sending him back today...

With all the concrete coming out there needs to be dirt going in so 15 cu yds (or two dump truck loads) arrive in 45 minutes. This afternoon at 4:00 (sharp) I go to city hall and get the permit for the fence. As a homeowner (with two copies of my survey and a checkbook in hand), I can apply in person today only between 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm and walk out with a permit. The arborist is supposed to give me a permit to cut the two trees growing under the house on the east side tomorrow, the sidewalks are scheduled to be inspected for replacement, and the HUGE oak on the sidewalk and corner of the drive has been requested for removal. I would love to leave it, but it's growing in the sidewalk under the drive and two feet from one of the busiest roads in the city. It doesn't have a root system to speak of and is mostly dead. It's also between $1,200 and $2,500 to remove so the city better step up to the plate.

Does this all sound like glass at all? Not to me either. But it's all part of acquiring and equipping a studio. Last year was all about the book, this year appears to be all about the studio. Pics tomorrow.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Barenaked Ladies Are Me

Coffee in the Denver skyline mug, "Adrift" by the Barenaked Ladies on iTunes. Were I Dave I would get a happiness point for listening to a new album. Alas, I'm just adrift. This isn't the week to be adrift. Today the guys show up to grade the yard of the studio property and remove all the kudzu, concrete, trash, etc. Dan (our great contractor) will get the doors, deck and fence materials delivered and cut the hole for the new door between the back hall and the kitchen. Brian (the world's best electrician) was there all weekend putting in the new meter and the new 200 amp fusebox and wiring. Today I have to get the gas turned on and check to make sure the water meter has been read. Property ownership... there's always something.

Last week was incredibly full of balls in the air. Only one was dropped and it's been picked up for this week (the fountain project and article for GPQ). "We all did our best now, we all need to rest now, leave me alone..." from "Bank Job" by the BNL plays as I type. Breakage by UPS from three separate orders to fire and ship this week. A reorder to do from a new gallery that received their first order last week and sold four pieces in two days, and REN'S PIECE will be done and shipped!!! I have fired and sold it several times since I promised it to her, this week it's guaranteed. (Don't feel slighted, Ren--I still haven't made and given the gifts for the attendants at our wedding yet. I promised them glass pieces... 12 years ago. Yee Haw.)

Now I better run to the studio to wait for contractors. While I'm there I'm going to test the limits of the internet and phone from the house.