Getting used to a whole new world…
Well, for the most part, we have made our transition into our new home. I must admit, it is very heartwarming to wake up and see such a beautiful fairy-tale setting right in front of my kitchen window! We have 12 resident mule deer, of which we have given names to about 9 of the regulars... there is Gilgamesh, a large buck who we have grown to love dearly; Bruiser, an even larger buck who is the wise old man of the group; Peeps, who got her name from peaking through the windows at me while I'm cooking and even while in the bathroom; Bam Bam, a tiny 1st year buck who is constantly getting put into his place by his older siblings but always comes back for more; Bella, the mother of many of the younger deer who are growing up rather beautifully.
Bella was the first deer to introduce herself to us before we bought our house - she was here to let us know we were welcome to the neighborhood. Then there is also Spike, Bambi, Snot Face, and Pisser...yes, Pisser - constantly peeing to mark territory around our tree line...
Gilgamesh and Bruiser chillin in the front yard
Getting my temporary studio setup while we construct our more permanent solution has been interesting. I'm currently working from our loft area, which is actually quite nice. We have hardwood floors throughout so it cuts down on dirt and debris really well. The fact that we have no cell phone signal at all out here sorta sucks, but, who honestly "needs" a cell phone? We get decent internet service, good enough to do basic things - fine with me!
However, the most challenging part has been getting used to the difference a higher altitude makes on everything - and I mean EVERYTHING. I often say we are approx 9100 feet in elevation, but I was just informed we are more like 9600 ft. The biggest change has been the drastic decrease in humidity compared to Florida and the longer curing times and higher temps required for polymer clay. I haven't even attempted at making a soap batch yet, but I'm sure it will be just as funky to get used to.
Right now I've noticed that my clay is a lot drier, and it takes me much longer to prepare it so I can actually use it. I'm going to switch from my normal mix of FIMO Pro, Cernit, and Prosculpt and just use FIMO Pro and Cernit. I've been playing with mix ratios, and even attempted to add some mineral oil to my clays because they seem very dry and crumbly - something I can't STAND. I like a nice soft clay texture that holds detail well and smooths effortlessly. When I use my flat bone tool to smooth my clay it tends to tear and that is a big no-no for me.
The clay isn't the only thing that has been drying out either.... my hands are a wreck! I've been using tons of moisturizers and oils to keep my skin from becoming irritated - I can see now that I must develop a soap that can combat this extreme dry climate - no problem!
What's next on the agenda?
At the moment, I'm working on getting familiar with all my supplies and the higher altitude. I'm currently working on finishing my American McGee inspired Alice. She is coming along again real nice and I'm looking to have her completed within a very short period of time. During our move, she shifted around a bit and I had to do some minor repairs, but nothing serious happened to her, and I'm looking forward to spending lots of time getting her finished up.
It will take me some time to get to know how to function in this higher altitude - I will document everything for my future reference as well as a resource for those who might also be going through a similar transition. As always, thanks for checking out my blog and Happy Holidays!