Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I've been "TAGGED"

Actually, I think this is my second "tagging",  I deleted the first notice of being tagged because I had no idea of what it meant. What can I say? It's tough to keep up with all the things out there on the web. LOL
I was Tagged by http://bebstreasures.blogspot.com/ Apparently if you get tagged you need to write 10 things about yourself on your blog ang tag 10 other bloggers. So...here's mine, now go do yours!

1. One of my earliest memories of making anything involved 2 things that would occupy a major part of the rest of my life. The neighborhood kids would scrounge up any lumber we could find and make push cars with prized buggy wheels that were saved from the dump and re-used many times. The nails we needed to build these cars were bought by the pound with pennies we earned by returning pop bottles for the deposit.

2. I spent more than 30 years as an auto mechanic, 25 years with one company.

3. I built my first set of cabinets when I was 17. I needed storage space in Dad's garage for all my "car stuff" and never liked open shelves. I liked things out of sight and neat.

4. I love old Chicago Bungalows. I'm living in one now that was built in 1923. It's the third Bungalow I have lived in. It is about 5 miles from the hospital I was born in and 4 1/2 miles from the high school I went to.

5. The only home I have owned that was not a bungalow was the one I designed and built on a few acres 20 miles south of here. It was totaly modern with cathedral ceilings that went to 15'.

6. When I'm not fixing a car or working in my wood shop (excuse me, STUDIO) I love to go fishing with my buddies. The highlight of which is our annual trip to Lac Seul in Canada for a week (9 years and counting).

7. Besides woodworking  I do stained glass and can fix anything in the house with the exception of electronics. I can't get the magic smoke back into those little black boxes, no matter how hard I try!

8. I do 99% of the cooking and grocery shopping for my wife of 21 years and 2 teens (the Son is driving now and the Daughter is into makeup & hair) Lord help me. I also have a 30 something (I know the age, but I'm not telling :-) ) and an 11 year old Grandson, both of which have lived with us off and on (off right now, whew!)

9. My newest gig is driving a school bus, part time. You can read more of that story in an earlier blog post.
Things have settled down, somewhat, but the stories I could tell....not so much about the kids, but the biggest challenge has to be the IDIOT drivers ariound here..... I don't even want to get started!!

10. I'm a confirmed tool nut and pack rat. For my entire life I have had a problem with too much "stuff" (that's not what my wife calls it). It has got to the point that I'm starting to agree with her edict: " For every box or bag of "stuff" I bring home, TWO must leave." Sell it, give it away or toss it out, it makes no differance, get it out of the house!  Of course as soon as I get rid of some "stuff", I'll need it & have to go buy more! LOL

10 others that I want to tag??  HMMMM.

1. http://cutsiepoochie.blogspot.com/
2. http://delightfulstitches.blogspot.com/
3. http://redrubyonfire.blogspot.com/
4. http://shinelikecrazystudio.blogspot.com/
5. http://shabbybagsshop.blogspot.com/
6. http://ellentheeye.blogspot.com/
7. http://inspiredpink.blogspot.com/
8. http://aspecialtouchangel.blogspot.com/
9. http://buttonwilloe.blogspot.com/
10. http://jewelledtrellis.blogspot.com/

Tag you're it!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

More Blogs than you can shake a stick at!

I've had a shop over on ArtFire for almost 3 months and not sold a darn thing. Just a few weeks ago I joined a guild. They started something called a Hit Parade where one shop from the guild gets promoted for a week. Today started my turn as a "float" in the parade.

I have been featured in no less than 5 Blogs in one day!!!:






WOW! not to mention numerous tweets, FB posts and posts to the forums over there.

All this from a guild that is about a month old & has 48 members, about 1/2 of which are really active.

I am so impressed!

Now....... If all this results in at least one sale, I'll really be happy!

My studio views went from 1007 (in 12 weeks) to 1249.
That's 242 in just 24 hours!!!

For anybody trying to sell a product on any of the craft marketing sites I highly recomend you join at least one ACTIVE Guild or Street Team. the friendship and support are worth it themselves, but add this kind of promoting blitz, it really is ...PRICELESS.

OK, I'm done bubbling


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Blog feature!

I have been graced with a feature spot on this great blog.   http://www.inspiredpink.blogspot.com/
Thanks for the kind words.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Etsy :: Treasury List

One of my lamps was included in a great Treasury .
Thanks Mystic Silks!~
Etsy :: Treasury List

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lordy, Lordy, I just finished my first full day as a school bus driver. New driver, New school year, new contract, new routes,old bus. Bad combination. First bus did not get out of the yard. Transmission would not work. First stop? no kids. Am I in the right place? is it the right time? Yep, by the third stop 25 kids, next one, 20 more...Yikes!Last run today? 3 kids total... 7 stops scheduled. How's that gonna work? I sure hope things settle down next week.
My messy wood shop is looking better and better!

Day 2

No big bus stories today, I did have one "slightly overprotective" mom complain to my boss that her 6th grader was getting "picked on" by the 7th & 8th graders, yesterday. And she met me at the bus stop this AM and voiced her concerns. Strongly. Her daughter now has an assigned seat up front. Case closed.

A few days later:

Almost a week into this School bus driving gig, I'm not impressed with the Co. I'm working for; too many details are not relayed to the peons (the drivers) till there is a problem. Not good when kids are involved. We have been left to make some decisions, without guidance, then chastised (or praised) after the fact. Sorry folks, you (the bus management) should have told us about this before. It's not some local little outfit either; they have branches in several states & have been around for years. OK rant over.

Well, maybe not done ranting:

Don't get me started on the bus!! 30 years of being a mechanic and I KNOW my bus is a piece of ..dodo. New drivers get the worst of the fleet & I think I got the worst of the worst! I was so happy the first day...The trans was out on MY bus & I had to take the extra. Which was a step up. Rats! Day 2 & my bus was "fixed". It ain't, but it moves so I have to drive the p.o.s

The next day:

I made the morning run (barely) and told the head mechanic to please fill up the trans ...again... Or plan on towing it in this afternoon. Off to the dentist now. Oh Joy. Where do I get off this bus????????????


I had a little talk with the head mechanic at the bus co. and with little effort he had my bus running better. Not fixed, not permanent, but we're on the right track and I have the feeling I can "smooze" the man into keeping my bus mobile. (Crosses fingers)

The end of the first full week:

Well, I've been at this bus driving gig for more than a week and things are just starting to settle down. The big surprise was the kids are really no problem. I was warned by more than one school official about a few students that may be a problem, so far...not an issue. They start acting up & I pull the bus over and wait till the kids settle down. They now know that if they want to get home or to school and away from me the fastest way is to stay seated and not be slappin’ at each other.The bus and I have also reached some semblance of cooperation. If it agrees to run reasonably well, I promise that I won't try to beat it to death. If the mechanics can fix the transmission leak (or at least keep the fluid level up) it runs.....ok. (Not good or even OK, just...ok) I can live with that.

Well, that's my bus driving tales to date. We'll just have to wait and see if the coming weeks are as much fun! I'll keep you updated with some of the (hopefully) more interesting aspects of transporting your children to & from school.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

An Introduction

Hello and welcome to my blog. My name is Tim Pursell and I live in the southern suburbs of Chicago. The biggest part of my life in the past months have been creating new products in my wood shop and trying to figure out all the ins and outs of promoting my wares, both on the Net & to B&M stores. No easy task for a 59 yr. old with a a long history of building and fixing "things".

Besides that I've been very lucky to have gotten out with my best 2 fishing Buds almost every weekend for the last two months, most often on Lake Michigan, and done very well in finding the elusive Salmon!

Well that's the current stuff, now some history. I was born about ten Miles from where I sit, attended school in the Roseland area of Chicago. I did a couple years of college but drifted into a job as an auto mechanic and found my niche. 25 years with the same company & I had slowly changed my focus from fixing cars to home building, home repair and then to woodworking.

In woodworking I think I really went back to my roots. As a little kid I and my friends were always scrounging up "found" materials and building "stuff". Like forts, tree houses and push cars. I signed up at the park district wood shop for many years and learned many things from Mr. Schmidt. As a teen my Dad had an old table saw and a hand full of tools. I made myself a desk, then a workbench in the garage and after I got my first car (1957 Karmen Ghia!) some cabinets to hold my own growing set of tools.

Marriage put me in an apartment for a few years but land was purchased & on my trusty high school drafting board I designed my first house. I acted as the general contractor on that house & finally had the space and need to really start buying tools. Some woodworking, but I was still into cars and took in all types of auto repair including body & paint work.

Divorce had me leaving that house & the new place was a "Chicago Bungalow" that had a tiny tiny garage, but a big, unfinished basement. Which I promptly turned into a wood shop. About this time my sister taught me how to do stained glass & donated all the tools of that trade. I started to read up on Frank Lloyd Wright and Gustav Stickley. I was totally taken by the clean, strong lines of the Arts and Crafts/ Mission/Prairie furniture and architecture.

Five years in that house and a new wife had us moving to a larger Bungalow with a larger garage! Unfortunately the garage was falling down. The house needed a lot of work too. the previous owners had painted over all the wonderful woodwork, installed drop ceilings, complete with 2x4 fluorescent lights! There was hideous orange/green SHAG carpet covering the beautiful oak floors. YUCK! The wife and I , along with help from numerous friends and relatives, stripped, sanded, re-stained & varnished all the woodwork and old shash weight windows back to their original splendor. We ripped out the drop ceilings and lighting, patched plaster & painted. I had a pro sand the floors and my sister ( the artist) helped paint a floral border around the dinning room floor that I varnished over to protect the design. It was a busy 6 months of hard work with the first half living in the old house, then a few months of ALL our belongings stuffed into the basement with just enough room to set up a bed!

The wood shop had been relocated to a portion of the basement, a long but skinny area with a too low ceiling. But it was big enough for the first 6 or 7 years. After the first flurry of restoration work we took a break from major work till after my son was born. We tackled the kitchen.
what can I say? It was totally 50's, and homeowner built to boot. The kitchen had been cut up with a crazy zig-zag traffic pattern & had two pieces of Church pews permanently mounted ( the old owners raised 8 kids in the house!) First off was switching the placement of a window and the door. No easy task in a brick house. I enlisted the help of my neighbor and godfather, Deny, a brick mason to help. Then I had to find an antique door to fit the odd opening, thank god for Salvage One in Chicago. We ripped out the confusing electric, the entire ceiling, relocated the sink back under a set of windows (more than likely the original placement). Only 1/2 the floor was hardwood as the kitchen had been added onto sometime in the past so I leveled the floor & installed Pergo flooring over the whole area. (12 years, 2 kids, one dog & a grand kid for 2 years & still looking good!) The kitchen featured a wall of original (to the house) built in oak cabinets & closets (2) so I designed and built an island, base & wall cabinets to match the originals. That was a challenge in a cramped basement shop! Start to finish it took close to a year but the end result is quite pleasing.

Well this has droned on too long already. I type v e r y s l o o o w l y but hard to shut up once I get rolling! LOL More next time. Thanks for taking your time to read this.