Before and after

Last week I was out in the studio (for some precious alone time) to set a stone, and as I was getting ready to get to work I realized that this:

was exactly the same as how I had left it last year when I went on maternity leave (a month early!).  It was a bit surreal, to think of how much my life has changed, two new little people popped into existence (!!!), but the smallest bit of metal dust hadn't moved position out in the studio.

Of course, what does that say about my studio tidying habits?  Nothing good.  But I'm getting better.  This studio is much much cleaner than my last studio.  I think it's because I paid for it to be built!  I really believe that people value more something they personally invested in.  (Sorry squids, you're on your own for college.  Haha!  Just kidding.  Or am I?)

So this is the project I took on while on maternity leave (why can't I really take time off?  I think it is because I get bored and boredom leads to a gray blue funk.  I need to be a precise amount of busy and not a dollop more.  Still trying to figure out what that perfect amount is).

Just the solitaire, not the band.  The band is new from last year.  Doesn't seem to be very popular and I don't know why.  I haven't sold a single one.  I thought it would go well with my other designs, but thus far people seem to prefer hammered texture over the heavy carved shapes.

I have to say I broke out into a cold sweat while I was setting this diamond.  It had just been so long and I felt a little out of practice.  Plus I have baby-brain (x2) and I'm not getting a lot of sleep.  I was trying to focus, but I felt that there was a clock running.  How long can I be away from the babies?  Is the Shop Monkey okay inside alone, etc etc.

(Giant rosemary bush in the garden.)

But everything went well, and it reminded me why I love my job.  There is just something about focused attention that my brain craves.  I think that is why some of my hobbies are/have been running (no music), lap swimming, and quilting.  Anything that requires a lot of attention, but at the same time lets you zone out a bit.  I know that seems a bit contradictory, but it's what works for me.  It  just lets my mind decompress.

And for the Squid watchers out there:

It's pretty crazy, they don't even look related.  And right now I feel that Addy doesn't even look like he belongs to us.  Blue eyes and blond hair??  But I think his coloring is from my mom's side of the family.  They're are doing good.  Starting to settle into a routine a bit.  But I see on the monitor that Addy is starting to wake up from his nap (second of the morning, hallelujah!).

More later.
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