Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Grand Adventure

I am in the midst of an grand adventure and am likely to be scarce for the next three months. 

I am moving to the New York Metropolitan region.

Let me back up a bit and fill in the details.  I am currently living in Cleveland, Ohio and working a job that is mostly satisfying but not something to be done long term. It has been a great learning opportunity and I have largely enjoyed it. As I never envisioned this as a long term job, I applied for and was offered a really great job that puts me on the career path I have mapped out.  Even better, the job is in Newark NJ, i.e. well within the NYC Metro area.  I have lived in many large cities in the U.S., however, I have never had the opportunity to live in and explore NYC.  I am doubly excited- a great job and a great place to live.

This past weekend I drove to NY/NJ and searched for an apartment.  On the way there I made a bit of a wrong turn at an exit and ended up at a small inn: Turkey Hill Inn, in Bloomsbug PA.  The price for a room was more than reasonable, they even offered me an on-the-spot discount, and because I must be on a lucky streak, they then upgraded my room.  Let me add that small businesses have this capability and that is just another reason to patronize them.

My upgraded room included a fire place:
Fire place in room at the Inn at Turkey Hill
The upgrade, as is usual in most hotels included a bed, with a very warm down comforter and a nice desk.  Oh, and radiant heat floors.  I want radiant heat floors when I win the lottery.
Desk and entry at the Inn at Turkey Hill
Mostly, the upgrade had a jacuzzi tub- excuse me for sounding like a teenager, but OMG was this wonderful.  Huge, deep, and a welcome plus at the end of an unplanned long trip.
Jacuzzi tub at the Inn at Turkey Hill

The pictures are from my phone, after the sun set and taken in a bit of a rush.  If you are ever in the area and need a place to stay I highly recommend this bed and breakfast.  Clean, friendly,  comfortable, a great value, and a small business.  What else could you ask for.

Next, was apartment hunting.  The last time I visited NYC was in the early 1990's.  I know nobody in the area.  As I said, an adventure.  I narrowed down my choices to Jersey City and Bloomfield NJ.  In all honesty I pretty much narrowed the choice down to Jersey City as it is between NYC proper and my office and is an easy commute by bus or train.  Jersey City, like a few other places I have lived, is in transition.  I arranged to see a handful of apartments while I was there.  They were all small by any American standard other than NYC.  I just could not imagine how I was going to fit in my books and furniture - my beads were already going into the second bedroom.  (Actually, one apartment would have had them in a windowed walk in closet.)  Then there was the kitchen table, my favorite hang out at home; which was also going to be a tight, if not impossible, fit in some of these apartments.  The last apartment on my list was the biggest and the one I had the highest hopes for.  It is also the one I am renting.  It is huge!  Everything will fit.  It is also the one apartment with the least updates.  Luckily, it is not a dump and it was actually on the best street of all the apartments I visited.

Below are some quick pictures, right after sunset, with my android phone.  Better pictures will be available after I move in.
Living room window with child safety bars in my new apartment
A separate dining room, a real luxury
Kitchen, with dishwasher!
Did I mention that this was an adventure?  While I was waiting to see one apartment, I grabbed lunch at a very tiny fish and chips place named Tanty's Fish and Chips:
Tanty's Fish n Chips store front
Now, this place is tiny.  I was the only customer.  There was very limited seating- 2 bar stools and 4 chairs.  Raggae music was playing when I walked in the door.  Tanty was a wonderful host.  She made suggestions on what to choose, asked me how spicy I wanted the fish, and cooked my fish and a huge serving of french fries to order.  I barely touched the french fries, but I ate all three pieces of fish.  It was delicious.  This is 11 blocks from where I am renting and I will visit again, and if you are in the area, and you like fish n chips, you should visit too.
Tanty's card
 If I had all the time and money in the world, I would likely live in NYC.  I decided on Jersey City instead of Bloomfield because if I am going to be living in the NYC metro area I want to actually feel like I am living in the NYC metro area and not a suburb.  Bloomfield is really nice, it has charm, and I would have been very happy there.  Jersey City, on the other hand, is filled with small store fronts like Tanty's.  It is diverse, not only in people, but in the businesses.

I will likely learn that there were other choices I could have made.  However, I think I am going to get the best of it all.  I am really looking forward to this adventure.

I will be busy with training and a move for the next three months or so; thus, I won't be blogging much.  I will still be visiting every one's blog even if I am not commenting.  This is going to be so much fun.

P.S.  If you have a favorite spot in the NYC metro area, please share it with me, especially if it is of a beady nature.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wire Weaving

Have you ever looked at my second page where I list all of the jewelry blogs that I read? I have a handful of wire weavers listed.  I love the look of woven wire.  Nicole Hanna gifted me with a tutorial some time ago and I have finally gotten around to my first attempt at wire weaving.

Look what I made:
Gemstone Drops
Of course the camera shows all the flaws the naked eye will not see- especially the nicks on the wire.  Recall that this is my very first attempt at wire weaving and should not reflect poorly on Nicole's finished pieces.

I am quite proud of these earrings. (Yes, I know they don't have ear wires yet so they are not technically earrings.)

They took me a few hours to make.  The tutorial was well written.  The process was fun and actually not as difficult as I expected.

I think this design might be adaptable to a bar and toggle clasp.  Now to think of an appropriate bar.

Here is a second picture:
Gemstone Drops again
If you can make wire wrapped loops I think you can make these.  Nicole Hanna does not currently have this particular tutorial posted, but her tutorials can be found here: Nicole Hanna Tutorials

I am planning on letting Nicole know I not only made her earrings but posted about them so perhaps she will repost this tutorial.  She identifies these as "intermediate advanced" yet when she gifted me with a tutorial I told her to pick something out for me knowing that I had no wire weaving experience.  You may want to look through what she has to offer.  She currently has a round pair of earrings that are very similar:  Geometric Post Earrings.  However, I think I might like to try my hand at these: Darling Dangle Earrings

Really, I am quite tickled with my accomplishment.