August 25, 2008

there IS life in the AZ desert...

...although you wouldn't know it by the frequency of my blog posts, would you??

Lots of stuff happened in the desert this summer, but it all seemed to sap my energy for anything besides the necessary cooking, cleaning, working, and sleeping. Bringing baby Bisbee home brought the household pet total to four (what were we thinking, anyway!?!). It's been a lot of fun to see her interact with Sedona and the cats, but I definitely forgot just how much work a new puppy is!

Mandatory overtime at work (10-hour workdays with a 45-minute commute) meant I was getting up at 2:30 am in order to be at work by 4 am and getting home about 3:15 in the afternoon. (Yes, this was definitely a crazy work schedule, but there was a reason- I took the early shift and Tom went to work later; this way, the dogs were home alone for the shortest possible span of time.) These things, combined with the summer heat and some other family health issues back in the Midwest, left me feeling pretty tired.

This is how I felt most of the summer:

(by the way, this is Bisbee relaxing after a hard day chasing after Sedona and the cats... what a life, hmmm?!? Yes, I would admit that our pets are spoiled...)

Oh, we did do some fun stuff in there, too... we went to Seattle for a long weekend before Memorial Day, where we visited some of Tom's relatives and saw a few of the sights. It was great, but I already know I want to go back because there were tons of things we didn't have time to do... I do have pictures of that trip, which I will post on Flickr sometime (soon, hopefully!). We also headed back to Wisconsin for Tom's family reunion, and spent an enjoyable weekend relaxing in the woods outside Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. (...although we did have to fight off an incredibly prolific crop of mosquitoes!) Right after we got back from Wisconsin, it was already time for Art Unraveled... I took three classes: two all-day, and one evening class, after work.

This photo combines projects from two classes: the rubber stamp is one I carved myself after taking a really inspiring class on stamping with non-traditional materials with Traci Bunkers, and the book it's stamped in is one I made myself in a class with Kelly Kilmer (her classes are always a blast, although I'm usually a mess afterwards- the way I paint, as much paint ends up on my hands as on the paper, I think). The third class was Two Art Quilts Two, with Jane LaFazio, which was also lots of fun- I really think I need to make friends with my sewing machine again! (I have more pictures of AU and my projects which I will also post sometime soon!) One of the other things that was blocking my creativity most of the summer was the absolute CHAOS in my craft room... I'm not sure how it got so bad, but it was such a mess that I couldn't really face it... it needed to be cleaned before I could do anything in there, and I just wasn't up to it. I finally started two weekends ago (although it's still pretty messy, to the untrained eye!) and this weekend, I scored some great cigar boxes for organizing some of my stuff. Tom and I ran some errands on Saturday which took us up to Scottsdale where we visited one of his favorite stores, Cigar Warehouse. The entire store is a walk-in humidor (it smells wonderful when you walk in; the entire place is permeated with the fragrance of Spanish cedar!!); they had two shelves stacked full of empty cigar boxes to pick from... I brought home four boxes for free, since Tom was buying 15 cigars (yay- score!!), but usually, they sell them for less than $5 apiece... I think last time I got some we paid either $1 or $2 each. (Honestly, if I'd known I could get them for free, I would have gotten a few more, but we'll go back again.)

This is one of my new cigar boxes, now turned into an organizer for some of my small bits and pieces- buttons, spiral paper clips, beads, etc. (sorry about the glare in that photo...) I think I've figured out what happens in my craft room to make it so chaotic, and I'm hoping these organizational efforts will help to reduce that: I am one of those people who needs to see things or I forget about them, but spreading out my materials eventually leads to the chaos that paralyzes my creativity... hopefully, these cigar boxes will be the start of ongoing efforts that will assist in minimizing the chaos, so I can finish those AU projects and keep my creative juices flowing. (Not having to go to bed by 8:30 pm in order to get up at 2:30 am will help that, too!!)


Jackie said...

nice to see you back, Jenn!

crimsoncat05 said...

thanks, Jackie! it's good to be back!!!