Friday, March 12, 2021

A year later... New Things!

A year ago today, I sent a bunch of high schoolers home instead of watching them perform their musical.  We thought we would be home for a few weeks, maybe a couple of months... It turned out to be a year... so far...

A lot has changed, I was laid off 6 months ago.  I have tried to work as much as possible while being a stay at home mom.   I started making things again, and things have been good... and hard.  We are lucky, we are surviving.

One of the things that has really helped me has been my new (old) hobby.


I was a rink rat as a kid.  My parents dropped me off at Skatetown every Friday and Saturday for double sessions while I was in junior high.  I loved it.  I skated on and off in my 20's at rinks, and even practiced with some derby girls in my 30's.  I used to skate laps around my house while Max napped.  The wind on my face and the movement felt so good.

This winter my partner and I cleared out our basement and in the process found our roller skates.  In February I started rollerskating around my basement.  After months of being trapped in the house my body hurt, my muscles were atrophying and I was in constant pain.  My back had arched and I had issues standing straight from not having an active job (running around a theater all day gets a lot of steps in everyday).

Well, I'm almost a month in and have started standing straight again, my energy level has increased, I've lost 5lbs, and I've found happy moments each day while skating.  I like learning new things, and I have a bunch of things to remember, re-learn, and learn anew

Little did I know there was a huge rollerskating trend that started during quarantine.  Guess I'm a bit behind, but catching up quickly.  So, I have also found a new community to interact with.  There are some amazing skaters, new ones and old ones, who are positive and so happy there are more skaters in the world.  I am so happy to have found a place to play (socially distant but together). 

I am also lucky to have a family that is interested too!  My daughter likes to skate everyday (to Moana).  My son  likes to turn the lights off in the basement and have disco dance roller parties at night.  Even my partner will put on his old skates and skate slowly with me from time to time.  Like a good old slow skate.  We do circles in the basement, it's nice.  Like a date night, but at home.

I've started a skate daily challenge and today marks day 27.  I plan to skate everyday though the rest of 2021.  If you would like to follow my skate journey you can find my instagram posts @janiegirlskates  Now that the sun is coming out and the days are getting warmer, we are venturing outside, and it feels so good.  

It feels so good that I have found new inspirations!  I have new roller skate items coming to the shop in April! 

 Pom-Poms- Toe covers, Charms, Straps, and more!

Spring is almost here and I'm feeling better than ever!  

Shop re-opening April 1!

Don't forget to check back for more content, and visit the shop!

Until then... happy skating!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Laid off... Where's the Justice?

 Well ladies and gents... it has finally happened...

I have been laid off.  

Another job lost to Covid.  I miss my art, I miss my students, I miss my theater community.  My heart hurt a little bit this last week.  With the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and the formality of my furlough turning into a lay off... I felt a bit lost this week.

So what do we as artists do... we work through it.  The last few weeks my family has seen a few new transitions.  My son started school full time in person classes...  My fabulous In-Laws are out of town visiting the newest member of our family... so my daughter and I are together for our adventures every day.  Which is wonderful and trying at the same time.  Mostly because this month I started teaching Virtually.  I am very lucky to have people looking out for me.

This month I was asked to cover a class for NHPS.  I am lucky to have the work.  I am able to meet with students, and rekindle my love of drawing and remembering old skills.  More on that to come this later this month.  For now, we are starting to settle into a rhythm, and we will see how it flows and evolves.

But now, the exciting part.  New items in the shop!

With the election coming, the passing of RBG, and the clarity needed moving forward, I channel my loss into a few new items.  I have been working on a few RBG digital drawings for the past year, never having time to finalize, finesse, and finish.  Well, that changed this week.  I found a way to finish, it may not be what I expected, but it's done.  I have to remember that things don't always need to be perfect.  Sometimes we can accept the smaller outcome, instead of holding out for perfection.  

So, now it's time to stand up and make our voices heard.  
The artists will not go silently into the night.  we will not disappear... 
We will continue to make our art and share it with the world.
We will tell the world who sent us to change it.
We will tell the world we are who we are...
Our opinions matter...

If you would like to wear your thoughts on your sleeve, or your book bag, check out these new items in my Etsy Shop!

It's time to tell the world we mean business...

See you at the polls in November!

Saturday, August 15, 2020


A little update. 
I have been furloughed, like many other artists, the funding for my position dried up and I find myself without "work".  I'm not saying I'm not working... I am working... just not where I was working... I'm not working for money...  but I am still working...
My last day of "FULL TIME" employment was July 31.  I was furloughed from my theater as there are no longer performances happening to support income.  I am the second in a department and have been cut.  I have cleaned out my office and personal items, received lovely messages from my students and colleagues, and will miss being in school every day.  There is a hope I will continue back with my position, but not a guarantee of when that return might be.  So I am now unemployed.
Over the past 2 weeks I have updated my resume, re-imagined my professional website, applied for 4 positions, applied for unemployment, taken my kids to the lake, made 100 buttons, sewn 50 masks,  made breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks, picked up all the toys 100 times, read every book we own twice, posted 11 new items in my Etsy shop, made sidewalk chalk art, played in the inflatable pool, cleaned the toilets, a lot of other things I can't remember, and am now writing this blog post.  


Anyone got a paycheck for all this work I'm doing over here?


It's funny how just when you think you are moving forward in life, you end up in a circle back to where you were.  What do people say... "When one door closes another one opens...".  or is it about windows?  Anyway, here I am... back in the studio.


A different studio than before.  Almost a year ago we moved into our new home.  My studio was cut in half and so was the time I spent in it.  My shop has been slow for the past few years.  I went back to work full time/out of the house.  Got Married... had a baby... who is now 2 and runs the show...  
Last year this room was her play room.  I had a little table in the corner and she had toys galore in here... now she has a little table in the corner and I have taken over.  



When the Shut Down happened in March I reclaimed some of this space.  Then I found sitting all day was painful and we started making improvements.  I moved a bench from the kitchen in and I use that as a standing work space with my cutting mat and tools.  I also ordered a table riser which I use for photos and laptop work.  So I can stand and type this blog.  I was very lucky and my husband built a couple of shelves and a table top for me to use as my work bench.  I was also able to repurpose 2 bookshelves that were in the living room of the old house.  Now I have some nice cabinets to store all of my art and craft supplies.  This little studio life is good.



I made it through the last 5 months of Quarantine... I guess I'll make it through the next 5? 


At least I have my little studio, an overactive imagination, and a work ethic that won't quit.  I have a ton of "Works in Progress" and more items coming to the shop next week.


OH! Starting this week!  Shipping Guarantee through Etsy!  More coming on that this week!


More coming everyday... maybe even another blog post...

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Another Year, Another New Start?

Here we are again....

Starting work on another project.  Never enough time in the day.  We re all home.  We are all trying to make it.  I am trying to make things.... Work things, Craft things, Home things, Family things.  Trying to make it all work on this tiny laptop.  Maybe I'll find some balance.

Right now things are actually super busy.  I'm working, though my hours have been cut back.  I am creating everyday, I am so thankful for this.  Everyday I am able to make something, a picture, a video, a craft, an activity and more....

To see what kind of things I have been working on check out the ShubertCamp on Instagram.  Or The Shubert Theater Education Page.  I have been creating lots of super fun videos geared to kids, ages 2-14!  We have Story Time, Arts and Crafts activities, Challenges, Backstage Tours and More!

I hope to be able to share everything, but once again I find that I am without enough time.  Working from home, with kids and their homework and schedules, trying to maintain family moral and cleanliness.... I forgot about the amount of dishes that pile up after a full-day home with the family.  Being able to leave the house has never been more appealing... but I don't.  We go for walks, but that's about it.  I have also started sewing again... it's been a long time.  Did you know that I used to make baby blacnkets, and burp clothes, and toys, and costumes for kids?  I was able to stay home once before.... I made my Etsy shop: janiegirlcrafts

When it was suggested that people wear masks I made some for family and donation.

It took me while to make a pettern that I liked and get the right materials.  But I think I finally figured it out.  I also found all of my fabrics and materials from the old days, in the attic from when we moved.  My studio is now a lot smaller, and I share it with the kids but I have my sewing machine out again.

I used to uses these fabrics to make children bedding, skirts, aprons, and more.

Now I make masks.  So far I have made 148 Masks and 10 scrub hats.

It's terrible selling these items, but with both Ben and my hours being cut back we have to make some extra money somehow.

I appreciate everyone who has purchased a mask.  Thanks to you I have been able to donate 75% of the items I have made.  I have been able to buys some more materials with your help, and pay for groceries this week.  I will make masks and caps until I am out of fabric...

ps... has anyone else tried getting fabric... it's hard.

So for now I am going through all of this bright, whimsical, and colorful fabric.  Maybe they will spread some joy to someones day, or make someone feel a little lighter wearing them.

If you have a need for a masks, I will make one for you.  I currently have Metal nose pieces felt "filters" and Elastic available in the shop.  If you need a mask, but cannot afford one I will give them to you.

Sewing daily 6-8am... until I run out of materials or there is no longer a need.  Please everyone, stay home- watch some of my activity videos and play with your kids when you can.  Be safe.