Monday, May 31, 2010

My Studio - Part 2

If you haven't read part one, please do so here. Where we left off, I had just met my husband. I continue below.

My husband knew my chosen career path was hopeless. I'd have to take both my beginning chemistry classes over again to raise the grade to even have a chance at graduating. We both knew that even students with a 4.0 gpa were rejected from vet school. There was also the little issue that I'd grown to hate the idea of it.

He knew I loved computers, and I was very good at it. I'd taught myself enough HTML to put together a dinky little web page in a time when all you had to work with was basic HTML and notepad. He suggested I change my major and I was thrilled with the idea. I did just that and loved the classes.

I didn't continue with it, though. I was a great programmer. My teachers were thrilled with my work and reassured me I would have an excellent career in programming. But we had changed schools and planned to get married, and to graduate with a computer science degree meant postponing our wedding two years. Instead I got what was called an Interdisciplinary degree. It was called a "waste basket" degree because it catches the credits that would be trash. It finds places for all your classes to count for something, and you have two concentrations. My major concentration was business (my father was thrilled!), and my minor concentration computer science. Even then I knew in the back of my mind that the entire degree belonged in the waste basket.

After graduation I stayed home while my husband went off to work and I had no idea what to do with myself. I'd made a mistake and didn't know how to fix it. My degree couldn't even get me temp jobs and I was miserable. We both decided I would go back to school. I enrolled in Winthrop and two years later graduated with an MBA with accounting emphasis, an excellent GPA, an incredible job offer at the third largest accounting firm in the world (at the time), and once again hating the choice I'd made. I liked bookkeeping and auditing but hated all the philosophies of accounting. I couldn't sit still longer than ten minutes when trying to read the books that promised to prepare me for the CPA exam. That was when I learned that being good at something didn't mean you liked it. I'd been raised to strive for excellence and I was smart, successful, desirable, and unhappy.

During the summer before I was to begin my job, I began having health problems. I was told there was a good chance I couldn't have kids. We'd had some issues in the past with this and we both got scared. We decided children were more important than my career. I have never regretted that decision. I got pregnant after a few months and we had a beautiful baby girl! The moment they put her in my arms I felt at peace.


Of course, as most stay-at-home moms do, I got bored. When I'd been at Winthrop getting my MBA, my husband's aunt had sent me a bracelet for my birthday. She left the tag on and the price was $15 for beads and base metals. I thought, "This is pretty, but I can make it myself for way cheaper!" I had started beading to alleviate the boredom. Beading was what I turned to again. It turned out, as it usually does, that I was good at it...and I liked it.

I would sit with my daughter, bead necklaces, and watch "That's Clever" on tv. One day they had a woman who had a torch and melted some glass to make these adorable little beads. She made her own beads!! Oh my gosh!! You can make your own beads?? Wow, that would be way cheaper than buying them! That's so cool! But it was something I could never do. Yes, I was very hands-on, and crafty, and I rode horses and bailed hay and chased cows and tossed 50lb hay bails around when I was a teenager, but a torch was just too dangerous; it was out of my league. Oh well. Sigh.

Part 3 here.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Studio - Part 1

My blog posts have been few and far between. I was thinking about that the other night. It occurred to me that it might be nice to post about the studio we're working on. The problem is, for it to be significant, it would have to be clear what it means to me. Everyone would have to understand what lampworking means to me.

In order for that to happen, I have to go farther back than 3 years ago, when I first started lampworking. I have to go back much, much farther. So, here goes. It may take more than one post...hopefully those posts will actually be written.

My childhood sucked. There's no other way to put it. It was a blessing to graduate from high school a year early and go off to college. I went to Clemson as a pre-vet major. All my life I wanted to be a vet.

Some classes I had no problems acing, like biology and english, others I struggled with. For some classes, like chemistry, it was that I was thrown in with 100 other students in an auditorium and taught things that I had never seen before, while the two guys a few seats away complained about the material; apparently they had already learned it in high school. I'd taken the most advanced classes offered in my high school and the hardest thing we did was memorize the periodic table. Oddly enough, though, I had no problems in organic chemistry, where most students failed.

The other classes I struggled with were my animal science classes. They were easy enough. In fact, after growing up on a farm, I found them almost too easy. I just despised what we were required to do. I seemed to be the only one who had a problem with doing things like cutting a baby pig's stomach open to castrate him while he squealed with pain and tried desperately to free himself from between my knees, or giving daily bottle-feedings to a calf until he was ready for slaughter. When I questioned why we had to do things that way, why we couldn't anesthetize, I was told it was because that was how the farmers did it. Just because they do it that way doesn't mean it's right.

Like I said, I was struggling. I was, like I had been for most of my life, lost. Then halfway through my sophomore year, as fate would have it, I met my husband. He was a business major (which my dad always told me was a joke). He was cute, sweet, sensitive, and considerate. We were friends first, and we are friends still. For the first time in my life, I was found.

Continue with part 2 here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fabulous Friday Weekly Promo Sale!

Today's Fabulous Friday Weekly Promo Sale item is:

Twisted Opals

Normally $13, if you type FFWPS in the comments box upon check-out you'll get this fantastic focal bead for only $11.05!* Find it at Artfire or Etsy.

* Price difference will be refunded after payment

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fabulous Friday Weekly Promo Sale and New Rule!

Here is the new rule - to get 15% off, you MUST put "FFWPS" in the comments section upon check-out! The 15% will be refunded to your Paypal account.

This week's item is:

Rocky Mountain

Find it at Artfire or Etsy! Normally $13, if you enter the code above you'll receive a refund of $1.95 making it only $11.05!