Whew! Website Updated – Etsy shop with 28 items.

So what have I been doing lately??? … well a little travel but not much jewelry making. Been busy revamping my website http://www.irenesjewelry.com/index.html so it reflects my current items, is more mobile friendly and points to my Etsy shop. That being done I had to actually post items for sale in the Etsy shop …https://www.etsy.com/shop/IrenesJewelryEtc – anyway it is done.

Other good news is I recently figured out I didn’t need to use Ed’s super fancy camera to get good photos (it was heavy and awkward to use) … my little Canon did just fine.

Here is some eye candy — the glass typeIMG_2510_cpfl_wb

Pretty Glass Tile

I decided to cut up my pretty glass tiles (see below) with my tile saw. (on the previous set I broke them). Can you say “water everywhere” ? … the saw (a gift from a friend) is less than ideal for small pieces of glass. At least I got them cut into quarters …. more breaking required. Continued adventures in fused glass. Here are the photos of one of the tiles. IMG_2508_flwb

Fall Craft Show Sign Up & Glass Glass Glass

Yep, now is the time to think about fall craft shows … just sent in my application for Merry Marketplace at Bethany Methodist Church, Austin on Nov 7. Need to organize a fall party in early September too.

Recently I used a new glass technique … stacking small pieces of different colors of dichroic glass, and layering with clear. It is all fused together then the glass is cut into pendants, ground to shape and fire-polished. Verry please with the results. Here is the steps.

1) Dichroic Glass pieces stacked together
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2) Place in kiln. Mine is only an 8″ kiln, perfect for jewelry.
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3) After fusing. Ready to break into pieces.
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4) Grind glass to refine the shapes. Then fire-polish (run the kiln for shorter, lower temperature cycle that will cause the cut edges to slightly melt and be shiny, but not change the shape of the piece.)
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5) The results
(I need to work on the photography … they are prettier in person.)
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Here is a close up of one.
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Computer Disaster

What do all small business owners dread most? Losing their records. Well I carefully backed up my data … I thought … did you know Windows doesn’t always copy all the sub-directories when you ask it to? Sigh. After reloading the operating system, we discovered today ALL my electronic records for Irene’s Jewelry, Etc. were gone. Sigh. I guess I will use this as an opportunity to simplify my record keeping. Luckily the photos are still there and I have some things on paper. I think to cheer myself up I will post some jewelry photos.

Green Faceted Optic Beads
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Natural Mother of Pearl
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Turquoise with 14K Rolled Gold
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Snowflake Jasper
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Tax Time

I am in the least fun season of owning a business. Tax time. I need to get my numbers together so we can file our income taxes. Hopefully in a week or two I will post more fun things. On the up side our weather here in central Texas is improving. Still wide temperature swings but lots of nice days and sunny. Irene

So far no fires too close

We are doing OK, haven’t burned or had to evacuate … the Steiner Ranch Fire was about 10 miles as the crow flies, the Leander about 8 miles and the Cedar Park one about 3 miles … but so far we are good.  For those who read this and aren’t local … the HUGE one is Bastrop is about 50 miles east – southeast of here.    Still, I now realize how really vulnerable we are.  It is pretty scary.  Just a spark and a bit of wind and we could be right in the middle of one.   We pray and hope.

Probably over 600 homes have been lost in the Central Texas area and there have been at least two deaths.  If you are so inclined please pray for all the families affected and all of our hardworking people fighting the fires.

Other more mundane news:  Today we got the van aligned and the brakes replaced with some mighty pricey ones … hopefully they will last a long time.

The kitchen update hit a snag … we were scheduled to get the granite in  1 1/2 weeks ago … and they came out and did the dining room and the cook-top side but when they went to install the sink they found a HUGE flaw in it.  Well they ordered us a new sink which we expected to take 4 weeks but we were pleasantly surprised when it arrived today.  Also the appliance garages are done and ready to paint.  So on Friday they plan to install the sink and sink side granite.  Tomorrow Joe is coming by to paint the appliance garages.  Hopefully early next week we will get the appliance garaged installed, the area behind the cook-top tiled, the vent hood installed, the kitchen sink & dishwasher plumbed … so maybe by the end of the week we will have our new kitchen.  Of course there could be another snag … who knows.  We have been using the kitchen as is … except no dishwasher or sink … we use the laundry room sink.  Assuming the house doesn’t burn down I look forward to a new kitchen  soon!

Here are a couple of photos of the granite & unpainted appliance garages ….

Area to the left of the cook-top.  Ed's new under-counter LED lights reflecting on the surface

Area to the left of the cook-top. Ed's new under-counter LED lights reflecting on the surface

The dining area Granite

The dining area Granite

The area to the right of the cook-top

The area to the right of the cook-top

The unpainted appliance garages temporarily installed

The unpainted appliance garages temporarily installed

Houston Update

Went for a check-up … things were fine.  My doctor did give me a prescription for a low dose of thyroid … but as it is mail order I probably won’t start for a week.  He gave two thumbs up for cataract surgery so now off to research local surgeons and techniques.

Cheers, Irene

PS.  They have actual green grass in Houston.  Very interesting.

Long Time Update – Kitchen remodeling -20 Aug 2011

Much of my life is lived on facebook, but I know I have friends that don’t facebook so I owe you some sort of update.

Life here in central Texas is dry.  It is the worst drought since the 1950′s but it is worse in a way because so many more people live here now and need water.  Our trees are showing stress. The lake by our house is at 50% full and is about 45 feet low. We are about to set a record (for all time) of number of days over 100.

On the health news it is mostly pretty stable.  I was well enough to attend my cousin’s daughter’s wedding in Colorado in June.  I’ve swimming after dark, and loving it.  Also got a long sleeve long pants spf 50 suit so I could swim in the day.  Found out it has a lot of drag.  Still I am in there for exercise so it probably doesn’t matter.

Still dealing with the GVHD (my new immune system attacking my skin.)   Also I recently got a couple of more twists.  My last MD Anderson check-up indicated that my thyroid was low … could explain my thin hair and fatigue … I will be getting it checked again on Monday.  Also on Wed my ophthalmologist informed me the cataract on my right eye is ready to be removed.  A bit of a shock  because it was correctable to 20/20 last year.  Sigh.  Because I am so dreadfully nearsighted and cannot wear a contact lens, she recommends that if I get one done I get both done.  I guess it is a odd type of cataract … possibly accelerated by my chemo or steroids.  On Monday I will ask my oncologist if he feels it is safe for me to have the surgery.

The big upheaval here is that we are redoing the kitchen.  My 26 year old German cabinets (which were laminate over particle board) despite being well built were really showing their age. The counter laminate really did need replacement.  My 26 year old oven was intermittent.   Given the houses view, the Anderson windows and quality construction, the updated bathrooms and the pool I figured if we sell the house the buyers will expect granite counter tops.  So, taking cousin John Beattie’s advice, we decided to update now when we can enjoy it and hopefully it will still be good when we are ready to sell the place.

The new cabinets are similar to the old ones but are red oak with a clear lacquer finish. We will get granite and an under mount sink.  I also got a new 30″ Kitchen Aid double oven with convection.  We will reuse the cook top, dishwasher & refrigerator.  The layout is almost the same but we got rid of the trash compactor because now that we recycle we find we don’t use it much.     The kitchen has been torn up for about a week and a half.  Ed gave many of the old cabinets new life in the garage.  The granite should be installed next Friday.  Then they will come back and finish redoing the appliance garages, intstall the remaining appliances, tile the backsplash behind the cooktop, and trim and touch-up.  I am guessing the kitchen will be partially functional in a little over a week, and finished within 3 weeks.  Ed, Ben and Joe (a contractor) installed the double oven today.

Here are photos of the process …  I promise to post a photo after the granite is installed and again after it is done.

First the old kitchen if you don’t remember what it looks like.  What doesn’t show is the chipped and worn laminate, the broken and nicked toe kicks, etc.

The old kitchen (before)

The kitchen is now gone

The kitchen is now gone

The kitchen cabinets reborn in the garage

The kitchen cabinets reborn in the garage

The kitchen rebirth - cook top side

The kitchen rebirth - cook top side

The kitchen rebirth, sink side

The kitchen rebirth, sink side

I like how they matched the grain on the drawer fronts.

I like how they matched the grain on the drawer fronts.

Mon. Feb 7th … sort of crummy news.

Mostly things have been going well since my last post, until yesterday.  My right leg started hurting suspiciously.   I went to the doctor today and sure enough another DVT (blood clot) this time in my right leg.   Rats rats rats … back on Lovenox (the shots) for now.  Next Monday I will go to Houston to discuss whether to continue with the shots or move to an oral medication as I will be on blood thinners the rest of my life.  Sigh.     Irene

Fun with Jewelry glass fusing, wire, stringing and life here on the hill.