Friday, September 24, 2010

Birthday Brick!

My blogging friend, Andy, turned the big 3-0 last month and I wanted to get him something for this milestone *cough* traumatic *cough* event.

Time was limited so a painting was out of the question.

As a joke, I considered sending him a box of bricks for his birthday (Andy's job is working with masonry). That was just the inspiration I needed.

Wait, I thought. A brick. A painted brick!

And that's EXACTLY what I did!

The front side!

The backside!

Some side action!

Originally the plan was to keep it simple, priming and painting a backyard brick in a colorful yet basic abstract design.

Close-up detail

Splatters of acrylic paint gave extra interest but it was still missing something. So an added symbol turned into two, into twelve, into thirty!

Close-up detail

Before I knew it, the perfectionist in me got carried away and I spent waaaay more time on this gift than I intended to!

After adding a protective varnish, came the MOST important part.


Using a stencil from a computer printout of Andy's name, I carefully painted in each letter with glue then sprinkled a different colored glitter on top!

I know he didn't get this in the mail until last week but it's the thought that counts, right?...even if it was several weeks late!

Happy belated birthday, Andy!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wasteful at work.

It shined and sparkled in its brand-new little jar....almost tempting me.

When I was unpacking this week's shipments, I opened a box containing Martha Stewart glitter!

A part of me wanted to pocket one soooo badly, saying, "Be naughty for once and take it, you fool!"

But the goody-two-shoes in me said, "Don't you dare steal that glitter, Dean! It wouldn't be right, you fool!"

So I stocked it on the shelf like I was supposed to. *sigh*

There are many things I dislike about my arts-and-crafts job:. the managers, the salary, and the work itself which siphons my time to draw and paint.

A big issue I have is how wasteful this national retail company is in general.

Outdated receipts and unimportant paperwork are simply discarded. Yards of packing paper within the MANY boxes of incoming shipments are thrown out. And all the accumulated store coupons for the day are shredded. That's a ton of paper product that could be recycled on a daily basis!

There's not even a recycling bin in the back for the 40+ employees' pop cans and plastic bottles. Sinful!

I had to print out one tiny label on the computer yesterday but unfortunately the printer only accepted an entire 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of labels.

Look at all these labels that were going to waste!

When I asked my manager what to do with the rest of the sheet containing the blank, unused labels, she told me it can't be reused and to just throw the sheet out!

I couldn't do that so I took it home instead. (Is it stealing if it was going in the trash?)

After all....I didn't want to be wasteful at work!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Growing through the cracks.

Birds chirped and cooed from overhead wires and light-poles, chatting in the chilled air. The rain came down in mists, growing puddles on the cracked ground at a leisurely pace.

And in those cracks were unwanted weeds. Their roots grabbed for whatever they could, trying to grow in less than ideal circumstances. I know what that's like.

It lightly rained this past Saturday morning so I had to step out in the backyard and enjoy it (especially after all the terribly sunny days we've had!). Taking it all in, I wanted to be grateful for everything I've received lately.....

My aunt has told me a couple times now that "Uncle Bill is watching out for you."

I lost my job in July of last year, allowing me to become my uncle's caregiver when he became sick with colon cancer 1 1/2 months later.

He passed away this summer and not only did I find another job around the anniversary of his colon cancer diagnosis but starting next month I'll have my original job back too! Funny how that works. Is my uncle good or what!

The arts-and-crafts job is still a challenge but like the weed, I'm trying to persevere. Thankfully I pick things up quickly, making it a bit less stressful each day. Slowly but surely I'm getting acclimated to my new surroundings.....

A lone cricket or two chirped somewhere in the wet grass as tiny raindrops pricked my skin. The heat of summer is slowly giving way to the mild, gray skies of fall and I couldn't be happier about that!

And before I went back into the house, I whispered to the universe, "Thank you. It was gorgeous."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Exploding Doughnut....all over again!

I couldn't stop smiling when I first heard the news.

It had been 13 months since I was laid off and I've been out of work ever since....until now!

I went on a job interview two weeks ago and landed the job, starting last week!

It's about fucking time!!

But here's the thing. The job is quite STRESSFUL. A lot to learn and do for the little I'm being paid. And the managers training me have been unfriendly and downright rude. It makes me not want to be there at all.

The position involves working in the back of a well-known arts-and-crafts store, managing daily receipts, price changes, and incoming shipments. The only perk is that I get a 25% employee discount. (Imagine all the glitter I can buy with that!)

The view while walking to work! So very lovely.....

It's a mixed feeling of emotions. Being grateful to be working again yet feeling inadequate and not in control. An artist needs to be free and now I feel my spirit is being caged.

I was so overwhelmed and frustrated at work yesterday that I actually started crying in the back office. I knew I couldn't keep working there if it's going to be this bad everyday.

After my shift ended, I headed to the Loop all teary-eyed to catch my train home and got a call on my cell phone. It was my old place of employment from a year ago! They said they're rehiring and asked if I wanted my city job back!

"Absolutely!", I told the HR department.

And once again, I couldn't stop smiling. What perfect timing!

My former job may have been crummy but it pays slightly more and I liked it better than the one I'm currently at now. Now I have to decide if I keep both part-time jobs or ditch the arts-and-crafts one altogether (that'll teach them to be rude to me!).

This is surely going to cut into my time for creating art. But I need a job. Simple as that. There are too many people out of work right now and I'm fortunate to no longer be one of them.

At least this blog's theme has been rightfully restored. Escaping dead-end jobs while creating a life in art!