THE EVOLUTION OF “PANE IN THE GLASS” TO “DEESIGNS BY HARRIS” (part 1)

   It was suggested I blog when I started a business last year.  So I did.  Since I had relapsed with alcohol after being clean and sober for over thirteen years and got sober again shortly before I started blogging, this was definitely predominant in my being.  So my first blog was titled “When I Grow Up I Want To Be An Alcoholic…And An Artist.”  Major milestones for me…

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 8.00.37 AMas  I announced publicly, on social media, that I am an alcoholic, I wrote and published my first blog, and I was serious about my new business.   So it’s now been a year and I am reevaluating my business, my sobriety, and my life.  Everything seems so different.  I am so different.  Words that I’ve heard a thousand times I’m finally hearing.  Sights that I’ve seen a thousand times I’m finally seeing.  Literature I’ve saved for a thousand years I’m finally reading.  Because I’m ready.  And “When the student is ready, the master appears.”  It’s time.  It feels good.  I feel good.  I’m excited.

   While blogging I noticed that my writing had turned from business to,  well, life…in recovery.  It didn’t surprise me as I learned early on that whatever I put before my recovery I would lose.  My life was good, is good, so losing it was out of the question.  I took this suggestion to heart and very seriously.  I live my recovery today.  I am a product of my recovery today.  So everything that emanates out of me is recovery.  But on the business-side, I shall strive to leave my recovery out of my writing, but still focus on inspiration.

   Lately while reevaluating my business, Deesigns by Harris (focusing on Inspirational Gifts in Recovery and Hawai’i Art comprised mainly of stained glass pieces), I’ve been fortunate to walk down Memory Lane.  I started my business (called Pane in the Glass) back in the 70’s while I was in college.  I pulled out old photos and line sheets and have realized how far I have come and get really excited on the journey ahead of me.

   This is the first of a series of the evolution of my business and, of course, me…

   So while attending college my roommate and BFF, Sue, gave me a stained glass panel.  It’s the one at the bottom of the photo.  I must have broken it since then because I no longer have it (must be on a different corner of Memory Lane).

Pane in the Glass 

   Sue taught me how to do stained glass.  I am so thankful for this as it immediately became a passion of mine.  I was attending Fresno State University at the time where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Arts, after having received my Associate’s Degree in Home  Economics at Delta College in Stockton, California.  Go figure.  So definitely a hands-on kinda person, none of those smarty pants genious-type majors.

   While at Fresno State I did my first craft fair in the Student Union at Christmastime.  It’s so fun to see how my work has progressed (and cameras; we still had no computers at this time and calculators were just coming into play).  I hung my ornaments up on a fireplace screen.  All good fun!

Ornaments

   And then I graduate.  Now what?  I could continue on and teach, but this newfound passion was tugging at me.  So I decided to try selling stained glass.  Thus, Pane in the Glass was born.

   I moved back home to Stockton, California, for awhile to pursue this new adventure at which time I found a publication which announced upcoming craft fairs, would send out photos and a description of my work to be juried, receive the application, and off I ran.  Remember, back in the day there were no computers, SmartPhone nor apps, but I did break down and buy myself one of those fancy electric typewriters and a Texas Instrument calculator! 

   So I started the craft fair circuit.  This was one of my first fairs in Folsom, California.  Fairs were different back in the day before computers and buying online. 

Folsom Fair

   Good fun!  Good memories!  Good journey!

   Stay tuned for part two of “my evolution.”

   Have a mighty fine day, everyone, and for those interested in checking out where I am in this phase of my development online, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.

Reflecting

It’s time to write again. It’s been quite a while since I’ve blogged, and I miss it. I’ve had a lot of time for thinking and reflecting. And I realize I miss writing.
Been battling in my head whether or not I’m selfish (lacking consideration of others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure). I’m finding that some folks are more needy than others. Not demanding or whiny. Just needy. Seems that the more I give, the more that’s needed. Hmmmm. Then I wonder am I being used (exploited for one’s own advantage). So I try to put up some boundaries (a limit of a subject or sphere of activity), but that selfish thought keeps popping into my head.
As young girls we learn to nurture, to give, to put ourselves last. But I’ve learned that’s a no-no. I have to put myself first. I’m no good to anyone else if I’m junk. But what a hard thing to unlearn, putting ourselves last. Thought I was doing pretty well with it until favors started being requested. Then another. Then another. My razorbacks would go up (live next to wild razorback boars) when I got a call or text. I found myself starting to react.
See, this is all pretty new to me because I have a pretty serene and comfortable life. I am really blessed how good my life is. The guilt comes when others don’t have it so good. In recovery I’ve learned (from experience) that if I don’t give it away, I can’t keep it. I want to keep my good life. So rather than reacting, these “problems” went in the God Box for the night. Was way calmer in the morning. After succumbing to fulfilling more favors, the boundaries started to go up. Not cut-off mean boundaries. Just cordial separation boundaries. Feels pretty good.
When I shared this with my sponsor she restressed what she stressed to me before, “Dee, you’re too nice.” More thinking. Okay, yeah. But it felt good and it felt right. Now it doesn’t. Just time for new lessons. Never too old for new lessons. Actually, pretty exciting.
Had I written about this earlier, I may have nipped it in the bud sooner. I’m a strong believer that sharing what’s going on in me via conversation or writing really takes the power out of it. But that wasn’t meant to be. I am right where I need to be right now on this journey of mine. Again, feels pretty good. My sponsor also eased my burden by letting me know if I have that “razorback” feeling in my gut, I need to acknowledge it. It’s telling me something. I’m so glad that when those feelings come they’re brief. That I’ve learned enough to put things in the God Box and quiet myself. This too shall pass. Next week will be something else. Sweet.

For those interested in inspirational gifts in recovery or Hawaii art, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Wishing you a mighty fine day!