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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesday... yay... right?

I think I've figured out that if I leave my blogging until the end of the day (or near the end of the day) it just doesn't happen. I mean, even if I open it and have my fingers at the ready on the keyboard... I just sit there and go... duhhhhhh. So I'm going to leave this window open throughout the day (until I feel my rambling has sufficed for the day) and just babble on and on about whatever strikes my fancy.

Why do we journal (blog)?
For ourselves? Is it cathartic or therapeutic? Or do we write in the hopes that our voice will be heard and a connection will be made? Or do we write because we have family and friends who try to make us feel guilty for not keeping up with daily/weekly/monthly emails... and if we write in here and direct them here, that kills about 20 birds with one stone, yes? No. No one who bugs me about not emailing them will come here. Hmph!

We (Gabe and I, I guess) need to get on track with his college stuff. He's already enrolled in an SAT prep class that meets twice a week and he's taken the PSAT (a week or two ago), but there's still so much to do... I think we need to start with taking a serious look at a few colleges. He (hopefully not "we") still needs to decide if he wants to go to a junior college (like Sierra College in Rocklin) for the first two years and then transfer to a larger campus or if wants to just try to get into a four-year school from the start. I guess some of this depends on if he's eye-balling east coast schools and/or how the scholarship applications go.

I think I want to break the site down into four basic categories. Mind you, this is all in a perfect world. I do tend to be an idealist, but one has to start SOMEWHERE.

So I'm thinking:
1) My more experimental pieces
2) Our basic jewelry creations
3) Note cards and similar artwork
4) Tutorials

Shrug... we'll see.

I have a necklace ending in an hour on eBay, and I still haven't shown anyone Mon's latest bracelet (despite the high number of watchers on it already.... nice).

Oh, and I got a really neat earring display for my continued attempt to find a way to photograph earrings. Wish me luck!

And rats... I've run out of time. I'm glad the kids aren't going to hockey tonight... I could use some "catch up" time.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Quality time

That's what I spent (quality time) with Gabe (my 16 year old son) on the long ride home from Valencia Sunday night.

His last game ended at 7pm. For the first two hours of our five hour journey home he watched Heroes on the MP3 player and I enjoyed sitting/driving in the quiet (there isn't a lot of "quiet" in my life). By around 9:30, though, I think Gabe was worried that I may be getting tired/sleepy (he knows I'm a morning person) and so he turned off the MP3 player and started talking with me.

We ended up talking for three solid hours. It was amazing and it was great. Talk about major bonding, sharing, and sneaking in little bits of wisdom.

Interestingly enough, one of the things I shared with Gabe was a story that I was about to relate to a group of friends/acquaintances on a message board today... but then decided to do it here 'cause I just don't wanna sound overly weird on public forums. It's okay to be overly weird on one's own blog. ;-)

The story goes like this: There was a man and his two young boys riding a public bus one day and the boys were a bit unruly. Well, quite unruly, actually, bothering other patrons and whatnot.

Finally, unable to put up with the wild behavior of the boys any longer, a lady comes up to the father and says, "Your two boys are extremely rude and bothersome. You should have better control of them."

The man looked up at her and apologized, "Ma'am, you're totally right. I apologize profusely. We came from the hospital where their mother just died. I guess they don't know how to handle the news and I apparently don't either. I'm sorry."

The woman suddenly felt about two inches tall.

Point? You just never (ever!) know what's going on in someone else's life or head, so before assuming you know everything that's going on, give people the benefit of the doubt. Things aren't always what one assumes them to be.

This lady thought she was merely stumbling upon an extremely insensitive parent with two out-of-control kids and she wanted to give him a piece of her mind, when the truth was that it was a highly distraught man and two kids who were suddenly faced with overwhelming emotions they probably had no idea how to handle and their behavior was most likely an isolated incident.

I'm not saying that everyone who cuts in front of you at the grocery store or talks too loud in the movie theater or honks their horn because you're driving too slowly or the person who never thanked you for your kindness or any of the other little irritations we are faced with in a day are justified. But I am saying that you just never KNOW what is going on in someone else's life or what their paradigm is, so go easier on yourself in life by giving people the benefit of the doubt whenever possible. Anger can't be good for us... it just can't.

Anyway, that bus story is one I was told when I was very young and it's stuck with me all these decades... profoundly. I'm far from perfect, but I'm glad I try. I have many things to work on, but at least I know what some of them are now.

Okay, I'd better go... I have so much to do. If I get some free time later, I may come back here for another blog post. Still so many things to respond to!


Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy, Tired, Reflective

And I don't mean as in glows when headlights hit me.

I had a really nice weekend. Details may follow tomorrow but a couple things have me mentally side-tracked today.

Well, yeah, I'm tired. We got in at 12:30 last night. Gabe would normally be as tired, but Mon got a cold last week and Gabe just started to get it before we left so I think when he asked to stay home from school this morning it he genuinely is fighting off the cold that's going around.

Not sure... I just feel like I've got things on my mind (I mentioned distractions, yes?).

One of the things is a printer I can't get to work right.

Another is Gabe's relationship with his new team.

Another is Monica's progress on HER new team.

Then there are so many things that need to be taken care of in the near future... taking care of a Fasttrack error, finding out where we stand with the evaluation and court, dealing with my new (unusable) printer, taking care of some DMV stuff, getting Gabe going with his driver's license, etc.

I think I'm getting closer to figuring out what I want here and how I want to run our business (Mon and I). Mon has more than proven to me that she can handle 95% of the jewelry making. This will leave me time to concentrate on learning new techniques and creating designs that I might be able to take to boutiques or galleries. We'll see. I don't stress on this stuff. Creating is a joy to me, so if things sell it's only a bonus.

Did I mention, however, that I signed up for two metalsmithing classes at BABE (next Thursday and Friday)? Hopefully I get a good idea from those classes if this is something I'm suited for. This also means I should clear the kitchen table and get the kiln into reachable and working order. :-)

Okay, nothing else much to share.

I'll post more tomorrow.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Funny Stuff and Catching up with Friends

So... I put the title "Funny Stuff" in the subject line because I actually have no clue yet what I'm going to talk about today... other than the fact that I want to share a couple of funny videos and pictures with you. I usually put those at the end, though.

Here's one of our necklaces that went up yesterday. A lot more to follow (I finally got pictures).

How fabulous to see you! I miss chatting with you and keeping up with all your art. I'm going to add your blog to my list so I can keep an eye on you. Thanks!

BTW, if anyone who reads this is interested, Christelle is one of my favorite polymer clay artists. Here's her Etsy shop, and (tell me if you don't want me to post this here, C) here is just one of the fabulous bead listings she has.

Stay in touch, friend.

Chris :-)
(Another friend and favorite polymer clay artist!) Glad to hear you're doing well on Etsy. I still can't figure out how to join a street team but it's just as well… I recently was invited to join to other things and I did and I can't keep up. OMG… things move so fast in the internet world.

Just as with Christelle, let me know if you don't want me stealing one of your pix for my blog... I just want to show off these incredible finds.

I love the beads in this tutorial!

Okay, now the scary thing is, if I go a few days with something on my mind (like responding to comments), then by the time I have time I can't remember if I actually ever DID do it or if I just THOUGHT about doing it. D'oh!

Thanks for the link to the macrobiotic food list. I think I need to get back to meal planning (this week was fuzzy).

Now, is it just me, or does anyone else not see your Oct 18 picture on your blog?

BTW, speaking of work that inspires me (not the blank image... what I see as I scroll down the reest of the page), I'm taking two metalsmithing classes next month. I'll let you know how it goes afterwards.

Musing about Life
So in my next blog post, I want to tell you about a book I'm currently reading and how it made me think about my path in life.


This is CUTE on a baby... not sure if it'll have the same affect when he becomes an adult. :-)

And this one is just plain silly... I'm amazed how he can go from one face to the other... when my kids get the giggles that's all it is... non-stop giggles, you couldn't PAY them to stop.

Enjoy the day. TTYL!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Too tired to write?!

Yeah, sounds like nonsenese, huh? I think it's more like, if I'm past my peak "energy" time for the day (trust me, after 3pm I'm useless) I just don't even want to think. And my blog posts are rambling enough that I don't need to add "not thinking" to the mix. Heh

Anway, what's new? Well, tomorrow I'm going to respond to some comments from friends. I love comments! So far everyone has been really nice. What's not to love? :-)

Oh, here's a weird thing... After I make a piece of jewelry, I photograph it, list it, wrap it up safely, then put it in my "selling" drawer. So I'm going through my selling drawer the other morning, pulling out the items that had sold and needed to be shipped, and I pick up this one bracelet and go, "Where the heck did that come from?"

Seriously, I do NOT remember making it... and it's not photographed and/or listed. So I asked Monica. Nope. Not hers. It's lovely, and by the style (and how it was made) I can tell it IS in fact one that I made... but it bugs me that I don't remember making it and how the heck did it bypass the photo and listing part and go right into the selling drawer? Weird. Well, anyway, got another one to get ready tonight.

What else can I mention that isn't too droll? Oh, Mon got straight A's on her first report card as a high schooler. She works very hard, though, so she totally deserves it.

Well, longer post tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Getting back on track with my snippets of nonsense

Yeah, yesterday's long, drawn-out post regarding Etsy got in the way of any other chatter I was planning to post. So I will try to get back to that today.

The Day Could Have Started Better
I woke up to two (very small, in the grand scheme of life) bits of bad news. One, is a customer from August who never received her package. The delivery confirmation showed that it was delivered and she's a totally trustworthy person so I guess it's just one of those things.

The other, is that a bracelet arrived to one of my buyers and one of the beads was broken. Of course I feel badly about this, but hopefully those who've come to know Monica and me and our quality standards realize things like this are few and far between. That doesn't really make it any less irksome to me, though. (That's how us perfectionists are... it's a tough road to walk.) In the grand scheme (oh, there's that scheme again!) of things, one or two components that fail in the midst of the millions of components that we use is pretty small potatoes. But it still bothers me. I'm glad, though, when a customer tells me something isn't up to snuff... 'cause it gives me a chance to take a closer look at something I'm using in my repetoire of materials and decide if it was a one time fluke or if maybe something I'm using really isn't up to my rigorous standards.

On the bright side, however, Monica showed me three pieces she completed last night. I charged the camera battery but was just too lazy to take photos. Instead, Mon and I played the DS a little bit, then we snuggled up on the couch (with Bear and all three cats) and watched Intervention.

I have three pieces that are already photographed and hopefully I'll find time today to list them... then Wed or Thurs we can photo the rest. Oh, I really should get the new stuff listed before I head to L.A.

I also have items to put into my shop.

Giving more thought to my upcoming tutorials. I'm thinking I'll keep some of the free ones up, and then I'll supplement those with more elaborate ones that people may (or may not, we'll see) be interested in paying a small fee to obtain.

Jewelry Show
Patrice is going to have one at her place on November 22nd and Alex, Monica, and I will be there with her (thank you, Patrice!). More details to follow. I guess I'd better make sure it's set in stone, though, so I can send out invites to my local customers.

I'm behind on my humor quota. Someone on LE posted this link yesterday and I love it (Monica thought it was creepy):

My latest favorites from http://icanhascheezburger.com

Okay, I'd better sign off now... lots to do today. TTYL!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Oops... now I'd better write something about Etsy

So, I spent about two hours already with this blog window open and no typing going on. Oh no, I didn't just SIT here staring at it... but still... I could have been saying SOMETHING.

I think sometimes "starting" is the hardest part to any task... jewelry making, torching, writing, etc.

Lampwork Etc.
BTW, for those of you who know me, but don't already know about Lampwork Etc... may I introduce you to it? It's a forum (a community, really) of bead makers and jewelry people (mostly bead-makers, but they are kind to us jewelry people). As with any family, there can be the occasional heated debates and cold pricklies, but all in all it's a pretty warm and fuzzy place (warm because of the nice people and fuzzy because 95% of the LE population seem to adore fur-babies).

It's one of the few places I get a chance to visit anymore... I rarely have a chance to spend time where I used to: The Mellow Bead, Bead and Button, etc.

Anyway, if you're interested, check it out.

Sigh... okay, what I was GOING to say about Etsy is this: I joined Etsy pretty close to when they first started... the really foul behavior of some people on the message boards pissed me off and I left for awhile, but I've been back now for a LONG time (with the caveat that I won't go into the forums because I don't need to put myself into negative situations).

Anyway, I have 17 sales to my credit. What are they, though? All findings. I have not made ONE SINGLE jewelry sale on Etsy. Are my prices too high? No. I know my prices aren't too high because:
1) I do market research and see low quality items going for ten times what they should be going for, so I know that even if my items are at the higher end of the pricing spectrum for this type of jewelry, there is no shortage of people with money
2) I know my pricing scale is very low. I price based on two things only, components (materials) and time (and I often by-pass the "time" factor if I am sick of seeing a piece sitting around). I do not factor in any kind of "artistic" fee. It's materials + hourly labor + overhead + cost (there's another blog post in here somewhere showing the exact forumla).
3) I know my prices are acceptable because I sell a fair amount (compared with my peers) on both eBay and my website, AND I have a huge repeat customer percentage.

So... I can't possibly be the only one not selling on Etsy, can I?

It's true that I won't do what I was told by many Etsians in order to make Etsy sales... market the hell out of my Etsy store. Ugh. I don't think so.
A) If I *had* the time to market the hell out of anything, it would be my own website... duh!
B) I'm already paying a fee to Etsy... and I don't consider that fee as covering merely the cost of hosting my photos and text. Just like the fee I pay eBay, I choose to list there because I expect that THEY can bring in a certain amount of foot-traffic. As does eBay, Etsy should bring a ton more people in for viewing pleasure than I ever could.

So why am I still listing there if I'm not making any sales? Well, it's darn cheap to list there. As a matter of fact, I recently closed my second RubyLane shop (I tried RubyLane many years ago too) because after months of paying some pretty steep fees, I had made one sale. Oh joy. Don't give me the "it takes time" speech. I gave it "time" during the first go 'round. I have spent hundreds of dollars for mere pennies in profit trying to sell on RubyLane. Again, I expect THEM to bring in the interested traffic... if they don't have the people who are interested in my items, then I'm selling in the wrong place.

Can you imagine if you had your jewelry (or beads) in a local gallery, but the gallery expected you to stand on the street corner, hand out flyers, and try to talk people into going to check out your creations? Ew! With a capital "E"! No thanks. A simple mention of the gallery once in a while to friends and acquaintances is fine, and that's precisely what I do with my three online selling venues.

Ideally, I'm going to have my items in a place where the already established foot-traffic is there because my items are along the same lines as what they'd be there looking for.

I recently found out that some Etsy sellers just do "re-lists" of their stuff... daily, weekly... hourly!? Yes, that kind of behavior will keep you at the top of the search engines in Etsy, but... doesn't it defeat the purpose of one of Etsy's biggest selling points?... low listing fees? Just as with RubyLane and eBay (where you can pay more for mo' better exposure), I don't want to head down that path.

Stubborn or exposing my integrity? Shrug. Don't know, don't care.

I don't make jewelry in order to pay the bills (at the moment). I make jewelry because I enjoy making jewelry. I think it's majorly cool when someone wants a piece of my jewelry... it's like my creative vision speaks to them... communication... awesome... humans bonding, etc.

I like creating. I like speaking through design. I don't like marketing, I don't like business, I loathe schmoozing (that's why I quit the writing business). So until the time comes when I *have* to make a certain amount of money with my creations, I don't feel the need to do things in a way I find distaseful.

Did any of this make sense? I'm not really sure why/how I ended up writing so much of what I did on this subject. I meant to come in here and merely ask for opinions from others if they is anyone else NOT selling on Etsy (I mean, has a store there, but nothing sells).

Now, just so's you don't think I'm picking on Etsy (sometimes it's hard to see what someone's saying in an unemotional way), I think Etsy has some of the most awesome artists I've ever seen. And based on some of the people who've befriended me because we're both Etsy sellers, I'd say they also have some of the most awesomely nice people in their midst. I know a ton of sellers, too, who seem to do remarkable business through Etsy and I don't begrudge them one single sale.

Meh... anyway... I'm not bitter... just curious.

Oh, and yeah, I am NOT happy about how Etsy admin has handled certain things over the years that I was directly involved with (details withheld because I don't want to bore anyone with more of my stories... and don't say "Why stop now, Laura?"... heh), but I try to move beyond those things and look at the bigger picture. Just saying this 'cause I know some of you have heard my occasional snarky comment and maybe you don't know the "why" of it.

Anyway, this rant has turned out way longer than I inteneded so I may actually come back later and post my normal blog stuff.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday... YAY!

BTW, next week I'll update that slideshow over there (on the right). I just threw a few pictures up really quickly to see if I could get it to work first.

I... uh... didn't get any of the new listings up yet. Heh... sorry.

One project I did for today, though, was to make a portfolio for Monica like I've gone one for me. And looking through mine made me realize how happy I am to know that certain people ended up with some of my favorite pieces. Some I remember well and others I'd completely forgotten about (until I see it in the database).

Gabe's team will be playing in Vegas... a week after they get back from Dallas... did I already mention that? I hope it's not too hard on the boys. They won't be missing school for the Dallas trip 'cause that's Thanksgiving break. Mon and I will be in Anaheim.

BTW, Mon is currently breaking in her new pads. She's being a trooper.

Thanks for the lovely comments on a daily basis. I'm getting spoiled (that means you aren't allowed to stop... ha ha ha!).

Thanks for the compliment on my artwork, but it's only digital... not painted like yours. However, even so (and mounted on wood), I don't know how to sell it... it's heavy. Shrug.

That's interesting about you selling art in person... not being a fantastic experience. If given the choice, I ALWAYS prefer to sell anything I make... from afar... as far as possible. This virtual shield is ideal. Someone looks me in the eye and suddenly I feel like giving my creations away. DorkDorkDork!

Hey, I don't mind a not positive opinion about macrobiotics! I value your opinions. I'm stubborn enough to not agree with some if I am not ready to, but I still wanna hear 'em. :-) So... what's the difference between a "vegan type diet" and macrobiotics. Maybe I read the wrong stuff... they sound almost identical to me.

I like your idea about the copper chain and fabric cords. Sounds very cool and straight up my alley. I, too, am trying to throw in some affordable component pieces. Times are hard and we all still deserve little bits of brightness, cheer, and things that make us happy.

Y'know... I had all these URLs bookmarked for stuff to discuss and share in my blog... and now none of it seems relevant or interesting. Maybe I can't find the right place where I put the bookmarks.

Well, I'll try to touch base tomorrow, even though weekends are tough for me.

Oh, here are a couple of our boobs... I mean babes... sleeping...

Here is an LOL cat (followed by some wild cat in similar pose)...

Enjoy your Sat and Sun! TTYL!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Not a Macrobiotic Day... --- yawn ---

Oh goodness... I am SO tired today. Well, "sleepy" is probably a more appropriate distinction. I may very well go home after work and just crawl into bed; I feel that's completely possible. It would mess me up seriously for that evening and/or the next day, but... hm...

Anyway, Mon's pads arrived last night. She used them on the ice at Vacaville. They are a LOT taller, narrower, and lighter than what she's used to so there will definitely be a learning curve. She has a practice tomorrow night so hopefully she'll just start to feel more and more comfortable each time she goes out with them. I don't know yet if she's going to wear them to her team's first game(s) the following weekend (no games for her this weekend). And I am still in the dark about going or not going to Valencia with Gabe for his first CAHA weekend. Blah!

I did get one new piece listed today (had a bunch end so had to put SOMETHING up at auction). I rather like it. It's a bit different, so I think it's a design I'll continue to play with a bit in the near future.

Tonight is Supernatural night. Yay! Until then, we'll probably watch hockey.

I'm up to episode 1 of season 2 in the LOST series.

Web Stuff
Got Mike's website moved over from ValueWeb to HostMonster. Gah! What a frikkin' nightmare PITA. It only took me 5 days of back and forths. Ugh! But there's no point in him doing all this work and promotion on a site that isn't going to be his permanent URL.

Hey look! You get your own section! Ha! Actually, I'm at the end of my day and only have a second, but wanted to quickly respond to a previous comment. When I raved about your artwork (so inspiring!) and mentioned the photos, you said you photoshop the paintings into nice pictures of room layouts. That was going to be my second guess and I think it's splendid. As a matter of fact, if someone takes you down, they'll have to take me with you because if I ever get off my rear and start offering some of my wall work for sale I want to do the same thing (if you don't mind).

Okay, gotta go... TTYL!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Macrobiotic Musings

I have (Mon has too) a tough time taking in the required amount of water in a day. I'm just not a good water drinker. So… until it becomes habit, I will pay close attention and sort of FORCE myself to drink. Women should consume 2.7 liters of water per day (but this includes some from food). My SIGG bottle is 0.6 liters… so I have to make sure fill it up four times in the day. That should be so hard. Here's what mine looks like, btw…

After much searching and trying of various methods (rather like my religious beliefs), I think I may have found a system of eating that makes sense to me. Macrobiotics.

This morning, after dropping the kids at school and before heading to the office, I stopped off at Whole Foods and picked up a few items I felt like trying.

The basics of macrobiotic eating, btw, are:
-- Eat mainly whole grains, followed by vegetables, followed by fruits, with little to no animal products and/or refined starches (simple carbs).
-- Eat slowly, chew well, don't multi-task while eating.
-- Exercise moderately and don't over eat.
-- Eat certain foods WITH other foods and eat certain foods SEPARATELY from other foods.
-- Have a warm liquid (tea, soup broth, etc) 20 mins before a meal.

This seems in complete opposition to the low-carb, protein-rich diets currently making the rounds (Atkins, SouthBeach, etc.). I'll let you know how my progress goes.

This morning (I waited too long to eat breakfast, though… I don't think getting to the point of a grumbling stomach is a good idea) I had brown rice sushi rolls with avocado and cucumber in them. As accoutrement, I used wasabi, honeyed ginger, and low-sodium (I know, can you believe the original salt whore herself is opting for low sodium?!) soy sauce.

I'm currently working my way through "bottle 1 of 4" for my water intake. If I divide the day into quarters we've got:

One bottle for every four hours of awake time.

Other things I picked up at the grocery store include:
Two kinds of whole grain crackers (will give the details and a review after I try them)
Tamales (butternut squash and red beads)

And I am right now in the process of sipping a cup of chicken broth before I try out (with a bit of trepidation) one of the cheese-less tamales. :-) The soup reminds me of my youth… I often had one of those chicken bullion cubes in hot water…. Mmmmm… maybe that was the start of my salt habit.

Kind of a slacker in that area at the moment, but it could be due to time constraints. I'll be free to have another long walk after work tomorrow… and then again on Friday. Yesterday we drive straight from work to Mon's practice (I got to enjoy Gabe's company for that evening… yay!) and tonight we head to Vacaville for goalie practice.

Then I also have Saturday and Sunday, barring any times out for hockey stuff.

Man, I am continually blown away by how extremely nice my customers are. Through selling jewelry I have (mostly virtually) met some of the coolest people. I couldn't be happier.

Well, I have auctions ending tomorrow and I still have new things I haven't listed yet. But today is (sadly) the last of the uber busy days for me. It's always bittersweet. Yes, I will have a few days to try to catch up on some things because I won't be taking the kids to hockey or school or anything else… but… yeah, I miss them. Ha!

There's a way cool thing in San Jose this weekend (thanks for the heads-up, Patrice!) that I'd love to go to, but I'll have to play most of the weekend by ear. Don't even know yet who the Cougars (Mon's team) are playing… or what day… or where (last week of preseason before the A/B determinations).


Monday, October 13, 2008

Diet and Exercise... and other stuff in life

First, though, I want to say that I did get photos of our latest eBay listings on our model. BUT… argh!... I forgot to upload them… so they won't go up until tonight.

Diet and Exercise

Does this have anything to do with the "The Biggest Loser" marathon that was on our tv all weekend? Who knows. I know I'm really sick of hearing their scale beeping… but that's another story.

I did think of two things yesterday. One is that I've got it backwards… I usually go, "I'll eat what I want today and I'll start my diet and exercise plan tomorrow." Yeah, we all know how well THAT goes… seems it's always "today" and it's never "tomorrow". But then… that's true. It IS always today. We never live in tomorrow; we're always living in today. So what if I changed it to, "I only have to eat well and exercise today, and tomorrow I can do whatever I want and eat as much of anything I want." And then I'm safe… because it's never tomorrow… ever. It's always today. But this way, I don't have to feel I'm doing anything long-term. I mean, all I have to do (in reality) is get through today. One day! How hard can that be?

So I started this morning by setting my alarm 15 minutes early and doing exercises in the living room with Monica from 6:45-7:00am.

I brought work-out clothes with me so I can do some walking or something after work. Then the only other thing is to eat carefully. By "carefully" I mean keep the fats and sugars to a minimum while still making sure I get enough protein and nutrients. Oh yeah… and I need to drink a bunch of water. I'm really bad at that (although Mon's worse!).

So… I'll let you know how my progress with this new thinking goes.

Oh, the other thing I thought of is that I was also thinking of my diet (and when I refer to "diet" I don't mean as in "a diet", I mean diet as in what one eats for a living… my regular diet, my way of eating)… anyway, in regards to my diet, I decided that instead of eating and then calculating what I've taken in to see how much more of what I can have, I should PLAN my meals in a balanced fashion ahead of time, then I'm not scrambling around trying to find what fits into my needs. Also, if you plan your food out, you're more likely to have on-hand the healthy choices you need rather than just making do with whatever's in front of you.

Also, now I take the elevator to the 15th floor and walk from there to the 16th. I'll work my way down... maybe tomorrow I'll start on the 14th floor.


I still have two pieces of jewelry to list from last week. I didn't make anything new this weekend, because I spent both days sorting out and organizing my beads. Again?! Yes. But the living room looks great at the moment. Nothing on the floor and the rug is vacuumed. Yay!

I'll have to try the tutorial again. I had a request for a particular one so we'll start with that, I guess.

Mon mad the most AMAZING present for her friend's birthday party on Sunday. Mon spent Friday night, a large portion of Saturday, and Sunday morning creating polymer clay charms for a charm bracelet she put together for her friend. The charms each has some meaning, inside jokes, references, memories, etc. I can't believe I didn't take a picture before she gave it. D'oh!


I'm up to the last three episodes of Lost (from season 1). They are Exodus 1, 2 and 3.


What would you do in a day if everything you did was wiped from your memory at midnight each night? Would your routine change?


Cathleen, I just love your posts to my blog! Thanks. BTW, I'm fascinated with your Ammonite pieces. I have a couple of the things myself, but haven't a clue (or the skill) about using them. Maybe you can take a vacation out this way some time and hold my hand as I try to learn some metal-smithing techniques. :-)

Now, I must say… your paintings are breath-taking! I have no idea why this is the first time I'm seeing them (maybe 'cause your work is kind hard to find if I'm merely navigating your blogs, etc.).

There are so many that I love, I can't even pick out my favorites! How on earth do you get them photographed with such cool room settings, too! I want a clean house!!!

And Chris, I've noticed that quite a number of people visiting my blog are being referred to it from your website. Awesome. Thanks! I need to see if I can add a link to your site over there (on the right) where I list all my stuff. I'm still kinda new to figuring out how Blogspot works.


Actually, your statement about making small things to wear as jewelry reminded me of a dream I had this weekend. My creative outlet (in the dream) was making miniature pots and vases out of polymer clay. They were like the kind you'd make on a potter's wheel, but teeny tiny. Wonder if I should try.


We can't forget our daily dose of humor...

Anyway, back to business.


Friday, October 10, 2008

I always hated the term "Plug and Play"

... because it is never true. Some things just aren't as simple as one is led to believe. Take, for example, the add-on to this blog referred to as "slide show". I'm not saying it's rocket science, but for some reason it didn't work for me. Fine... except that I can't FIX the problem if I don't know what the problem is. A clue might help... something like: "If you just created a FLICKR account, your photos won't show for 24 hours." Or... "No photo may exceed 80k." Or something... anything. Wwwwwwwwwwaaaa!

Anyway, if you're wondering what that black bar at the end of each blog post is, I've added a hit counter. I know, most hits are likely to be bots... but I'm still curious.

And speaking of curious, way cool on the followers thing! Thanks guys. You make me feel so important. And now, it'll be easier to go to YOUR blog pages and get some reading in. Seeing as how I'm spending less time in the eBay groups now, that SHOULD be a possibility.

Thanks Cathleen. I'll keep you posted on the insurance company updates. As it stands right now, I need to email my photos to them and prepare a list of items damaged. Doing the research on the value may take a little time.

And I know what you mean about the moisture being horrid. The musty stench is still permeating the house (but apparently doesn't bother anyone but me... ha!).

BTW, what's your "photo issue"? Maybe we can get our heads together and help one another.

Oh, Trunique! I only know you as surfgurl... ha ha ha! And... one of the few things I know about you is that you seem to like pearls. :-) I'm delighted to hear I'm not the only one who hates making titles for these blog posts. ROFLOL Sorry... misery loves company. But I had no idea you read my blog. Thanks!

Monica and I finally got some new listings up. You can click on each photo to see more details (or to buy the item).

These are all actually pretty low prices. I'm not sure why I did that... maybe I just feel like commiserating with our struggling economy here in the U.S. I mean, jewelry IS a luxury item, but that doesn't mean it's not still an important thing. And I want to make my jewelry as available as I can within reason. I know, I know... terrible business sense... but I'm okay with how I run my business. Heh

I've got a couple more to list... maybe later today.


I've decided I want to do a tutorial this weekend. I hope I find the time to try.

Monica is going to a b'day party on Sunday. Yay! (I feel she gets together with her friends way too infrequently.)

I might not see too much of Gabe this weekend, but I hope he enjoys practice.

Oh, I just found out that one of our old (and dearest friends... well, not one... the whole family, actually) will be in Dallas for a tournament the same weekend Gabe is in Dallas for a tournament. Different tournaments, mind you, but wouldn't it be great if Gabe could get together with them for a short visit?

I finally got a (crappy) picture of that pc toggle I was mentioning earlier (the one I have to decide if I like it and/or if it's worth making a bar for it). Since I don't trust pc on its own, the base (the inside) of the ring is 14g sterling silver wire. I'm still not convinced the pc won't crack or split or break... maybe I need to be working with that bendable type of pc. Anyway, here's the pic...

Daily Humor
And here are my latest favorites in the humor category (not that I remember where I left off)...

Okay, I have things to take care of now so I'd better go.

I got a new book that Mon and I are reading (non-fiction); I'll talk about it more as we get into it.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Wow... life is very saturated at the moment

Every time I feel like complaining or whining about something, I just don't feel justified in it. I mean, there are SO many other people with SO many more intense problems. I know I'm told that just because others have it worse than I do doesn't mean I can't complain, blah blah blah. But really... I am so fortunate for so many things... I just can't bring myself to be a huge moaner.


I'll still tell you what's going on in my life. And yeah, you'll notice a bit of a whiney tone here and there... like when I tell you that paying the $3000 wasn't bad enough for the abandoned house behind me that sprung a leak and flooded my downstairs, but when the same house did the same thing one week later, my insurance company (USAA) informed me that this is a separate claim from the first one and I get to pay the $3000 deductable all over again.

Don't you sometimes feel like life is laughing at you? I mean, c'mon... this was TOTALLY out of left field. But oh well... what's a gal to do?

I'll just have to find the money somewhere, somehow... like always.

Gabe Updates
The Jets got back from a Phoenix tournament last night. Two ties, a loss and a win. The important thing is Gabe had fun. He said he had a good time. Whew! Next for him will be their first CAHA weekend in Valencia (which I'd really like to drive to... but we're still waiting to see what Mon has on her agenda).

Mon Updates
The Cougars had a rough weekend (but it's still preseason at least). Since the Tahoe team folded, they played the Bears both on Saturday and on Sunday... getting fairly pummelled both times. But I saw (and see) so much potential in her team I'm not worried in the slightest. I have complete confidence in them and know they will develop and improve and become a force to be reckoned with in their division.

Mon worked on a lot of jewelry this past weekend. I'm toying with the idea of listing her items separately on the website.

I'm glad she's coming back home tonight... I need her for modeling purposes. Got a bunch of shots of the jewelry we're ready to put up this week.

But... before we get started on the new stuff... have a look at a couple of recent listings and some AMAZING clearance sale items...

Going into the store later today...

Blue boro charm bracelet on clearance...

Faceted Amethyst on clearance...

To see all the clearance items click here.

Oh, and I got my order of boxes in so no more emergency trips to Michael's where I get to pay four or five times the price. Heh

Hi Cathleen (pretty picture, btw!). No luck on the insurance... I'm told they most likely won't pursue it with the liable party because it's not worth it to them (I'm out the money, not the insurance company). I agree about how fun (not!) in-person selling is. Did you already have yours? How'd they go? And goodness gracious I still haven't time to check out Kate McKinnon's blog. Hmph!

So Chris... have you tried toggles yet? Ha! I mean, since you last said you wanted to... heh. I still haven't made the second half of mine, but I did show Patrice and Alex the round part. Truthfully, we're all a little worried about the breakability level of pc.

Well, I'd better go. Everyone keep up the good cheer!