Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Latest DIY Dare--A Nearly Dispassionate Recounting of the Experience

I wanted my roof to stop leaking so that i could repair the ceiling in the sunroom. It's starting to really look like crap.

I didn't know if i could repair a roof. I've never repaired a roof before. I have vertigo.

I did very little research but read something about flashing, had already heard of shingles, and tar paper. I knew you could buy roofing nails. And cans of tarry stuff and caulking. Even though we don't have a tall enough ladder, there is a clump of cedars or something that conveniently grow right up beside the roof edge.

None of it seemed very mysterious. I hypothesized that i could do this roof repair.

I told my husband that i was going to do this roof repair.

I went to Lowe's and bought some flashing, some shingles, some tar paper, some roofing nails, and a can of tarry stuff and a tube of roof caulking.

I tested my hypothesis by conducting an experiment. I climbed the tree and after some patient help from an agile and fearless teenaged son, got myself onto the roof. I began removing shingles from over the spot i guessed was the problem area.

During this experiment i found rusted out flashing under cracked shingles and tarry stuff, and some ineffective caulking. I also found out that getting from the roof back to the tree produced a lot more trepidation than going the other way had.

Over the last three weeks (you would think it never rains in New Mexico), i have spent approximately 3 hours staring at my problem area, which turns out to be called a horizontal valley, and about 8 hrs actually doing stuff.

What have i learned during this DIY project? I learned that a 50-yr old woman can learn to climb trees to the roof, and climb back down again with hardly a flinch. I learned that she should wear gloves when working with old shingles if she doesn't want her skin full of fiberglass spines. I learned that she can rip up old roofing material and stick a bunch of new stuff down on it. All are skills that may not be very useful taken in themselves. But even here in the dessert, it will eventually rain, and IF that sucker holds and the leaking has stopped, i acquired the very cool skill of Roof Repairing during this DIY dare.

I stoically hope that my next DIY dare project will be gyproc/plaster repair of the sunroom ceiling.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mummies and Burros

Saturday morning, nice and early, a couple of the boys and i drove out to Ned Houk Park to hike. A grass fire had been through the back fields of the park some time early this spring and it made for really easy walking. Where normally there would be 6-18 inches of dry grass and spiky weeds, there was bare sand, with grass nubs, and yuccas with the all the dry spines singed off so that they looked kind of like pineapples.

Along a fence line we found the dry carcass of a dog or coyote and i had to take photos. This grizzly scene was later counterbalanced by a paddock of cute little old burros.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Item. Still Tweaking...

The simple bone bead is being tested on my dog, Jack's, collar. I like the bone in ivory glass, and the heart bead can be made in any color of opaque or transparent glass. Including the birthstone colors, of course.

But the big thing is to get all of my dog bone themed charms converted to human jewelry for the dog lover. I need to make the investment in sterling silver findings and chains first, and that's probably what has helped me procrastinate this important marketing step for the last year or two. That initial outlay of cash is so hard, lol.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Sky is Falling, and Tons of SALE Beads

I was trying to take photos of beads for the shop this weekend, but the wind was tearing across these high plains at such a clip that grit from Arizona or Mexico was dropping onto my outdoor bead photography set-up faster than i could sweep it away. You can't sell beads on a dirty background like in the first pic (unused)!

My family has never said anything, but my beads and lampworking equipment often takes over the kitchen counters and table for hours/days before i reorganize and push it all back again. Bless 'em. Today i made several etsy shop listings to try to get rid of some of the beads that i have no plans for, and which have been hanging around for far too long. I made a SALE section in the shop, and i've listed 13 assortments of beads for dirt cheap, including these neato yellow and green ones. I like the beads, but the majority aren't in sets, and are of differing sizes, etc. Maybe someone out there will find just what they're looking for and put them to some use.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Black & White Day

I took my camera with me when i went to my babysitting gig yesterday. I took photos of high contrast situations that i figured would work well in black and white, and of course they turned out really obvious, almost to the point of uninteresting. I tried flowers, too, since that would be less obvious and pose more challenge. I don't think the results were very special, although i do like Pip's hair in the one picture where the sun is behind it. :-)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Crow Beads and Sizzling Sunbursts

All of these beads are in the shop this evening, and also some really cool metallic glass bones.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dove Grey

The bird was in my son's hand under the flourescent lights of the kitchen, so my original photo had an icky green tinge. My solution was turning it into a black and white photograph. I take tonnes of photos. The vast majority of them are of beads for my etsy shop listings, and so i am constantly obsessing over the colors in my photos, since they have to be as true to the original beads as possible. Thinking of photography in terms of black and white would sure be a challenge for me. I'm up for that challenge. I'm going to carry my camera around for a few days and see if i can compose for black and white, posting what i feel is my best and worst here.

New beads to list tomorrow, and i'm hoping for sun for photography's sake. There are trees burning somewhere to the southwest of us and the sky is full of smoke this evening.

A recent "Etsy Success" mailing was about finding a niche for your craft business. One of the great things about how etsy has grown is that there are enough shoppers patronizing the website that crafters can have a successful business by filling a pretty narrow niche. It's got me thinking about my bone beads. Customers that buy them almost always buy several, and/or put in custom orders, and/or return to buy more. I really like to make bone beads. The shape is such a pleasing--nice to have a relatively long, thin piece of glass as a bead. It's a nice change from your typical round bead. I think i'll make bones for the next couple of days and stock the shop with an abundance of bones.

But i procrastinate so much. About half a year ago i decided to turn the GemBonz line into human jewelry and bury the "dog collar charm" aspect. I have yet to do that, so i haven't been promoting the GemBonz at all. That ain't no way to run a business.

Always something to tweak, though, and that's what's fun about it.