Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The addiction begins

In May of 2009, after a few years of working 70 or more hours a week at a local casino, I was terminated. You know that feeling, what am I gonna do, where will the money come from to pay the bills, etc. In this economy, there are no jobs, nothing at least in this area of the northern U.S. For the first time in 25 years I find myself out of work, the feeling of emptiness was extreme, to say the least, not at all to mention that feeling of "what will I do now". My self confidence was destroyed, as, I am one of those people who "lives to work".
The 2nd week after I was fired, I needed something to do to fill a little time in my days, so I started planning a garage sale. This does 2 things for me, it fills some empty space and time, and it makes a little money as well. So I started marking everything I could live without, and not feel like I had lost anything in the process. The 3rd week after I was fired, I set up the garage sale outside my garage, and people started coming, buying things here and there, but nothing spectacular, really. As I am wheeling and dealing with someone, another guy comes up and asks me if I would allow him to go "agate Picking" behind my house. You see, we have a fairly large rock and sand pit about 200 feet behind us. Now I had NO idea what he was talking about, so I ask him....what's an agate? He starts to explain the "waxy" looking rock, and I must have had an "I'm stupid" look on my face, because after only a couple of minutes talking he decides to look around my driveway. I am thinking, "this guy must be nuts", as he looked all over the ground for an agate. The guy finds a tiny chip of an agate and shows it to me, and just as he described, it was a waxy looking, kind of shiny little thing. Cool, now I know what an agate is.
On Sunday following my garage sale, I decided to see whether I could find anything or not, so off I go, no bucket, no tools, just empty pockets. We found tons and tons, of what I now know would not even qualify as aquarium rocks, but it was fun, none the less.......but now.....I am hooked. Every single day I went hunting after that, and with every single day, I found bigger and bigger pieces of Lake Superior Agates. Some days I would spend 8-10 hours hunting these rocks, and not even realize I was gone that long. Before I knew it, someone was coming down to the pit to get me, either to cook supper, or eat what they had cooked! My back and neck would ache like you wouldn't believe, and Advil became one of my very best friends.
Now...I had no idea what I was going to do with these rocks, I was just collecting every one I could find, and putting them in buckets in my spare room. I started doing research to find out what other people were doing with their rocks, and I found tumbling! I bought a tumbler, one I could afford at the time, and started the process of shining my rocks. I was so excited when the first batch came out, I couldn't stand it. They were just so pretty! I had NO idea what I was going to do with them, but they were pretty anyway. In between the tumbling, and the hunting, I did even more research, and started seeing what other people would do with their rocks after polishing and all was done. I accidently ran across a website,, where people talk about the processes, the ups and downs, and show off what they were making with their rocks. So much stuff in there, and some really nice people, too. Every single one of them is willing to help a person out, answer questions, or whatever you might need when it comes to rocks. I love that site!!!
I recently became interested in wire wrapping cabochons, made from rocks. I have worked and worked on this with practice wire, even sold some of them already, so that is exciting! I still hunt for the agates, jaspers, or any other pretty material that might make a nice piece of jewelry, and the rock tumblers are still going...I now have 3....but now I am also in to wire wrapping!
Next stop....or addiction......Cabochon making!!!
I have a new Etsy store! check it out!!