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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wwwwwwwwwaaaa!!!

I'm cranky as hell today. I *think* it's PMS... sure feels like it anyway. Everything is annoying me but there seems to be an inordinate amount of things that constitute everything and I'm at a loss to be cool, calm, and collected about anything today.

Ugh! I hate feeling like this.

I'm pissed off at not being able to reach people by phone when I need to (not their fault, but that doesn't make it less annoying).

I'm pissed off that three times today as I walked to my car I got stuck behind someone smoking a cigarette (can you say "migraine-inducer"?)... I don't care if you smoke, but why do I have to be subjected to it while I walk from my office to my car?! Wwwwwwwwwwaaaa! (Hey, I didn't say I was being rational today, did I?)

Then some jerk STEALS my parking space that I'm sitting there waiting for. OMG!!! So then I circle the block... four times... and still never see any more spaces. Oh joy... another long walk dodging other people's right to smoke while I'm downwind of them. Hmph!

Oh yeah, this definitely feels like hormones. I HATE IT!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Custom Orders

Custom Orders
So, as I'm driving to an appointment with a client I got to thinking about custom orders. I've decided to do a little write-up in an attempt to make things fair to both me and my customers regarding custom orders.

I'll post a link to that as soon as I get it done.

Anyway, only one more thing to do for the wedding order but I'm having a hard time locating the exact bead I need.

I didn't take GOOD photos of the bracelet and earrings that parted my company this morning... I'll post some icky photos later, though, for anyone who wants to see (I know Mom and Monica will always look at everything I make no matter what... such loyalty).

Freebie
I started the new week's contest today. This time it's some hammered gold s-hooks, like this:


Want to have them? Go here and click on the FREEBIE link.

Hockey
Mon's at her third day of goalie camp. She's VERY sore. Ha! Poor thing... a week of camp right after 9 days of road trip... ugh!

No stick time for Gabe... they're having a clinic at OIC. That means he's going to Friday's championship game in Redwood City very cold indeed. I wonder if he'll do the warm up before the game. Then Sat and Sun he has the Juniors tryouts. Yikes! ("Yikes" only because he hasn't been on the ice in weeks.)

I think we figured out a way to get Mon to the Vacaville clinic while Gabe and I are in Roseville. A little more driving than originally inteneded, but more together time. The only downside is that I'll miss some of Gabe's on-ice time at the tryouts. :-(

Food
I have a penchant for watermelon flavor so when I saw one of those Mexican sodas downstairs in watermelon I couldn't resist. OMG, I wish I had resisted... it has done a number on my stomach. Oy! And that's only drinking one-third of it. That'll teach me to try junk food. Blah! Anyone sensitive to sorbital knows what I'm currently going through at the moment... I wonder what WAS in there to cause this? Well, I just read the ingredients and there's NOTHING out of the ordinary... but I don't trust that. Hmph!

Cats
Two more kittens came into our realm this week (but not our INNER realm). This pic was taken with my phone (hence the size and quality):


The orange one (in the photo with Mon) is VERY friendly. His little sibling is skittish and all black and teeny tiny. Ha! They seem to be living outside a house that's about four houses from us. They did come by to eat with the ferals on Monday, but otherwise they're back to their own lawn (although Monica thinks the people can't possibly care about them if they let these little kittens play in the street).

And for those who don't know much about Ten (one of our indoor cats), here's a pic of him sleeping on my lap (again taken with my phone):



cat
more cat pictures

Okay, I'd better sign off now.

TTYL!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Catching up on obligations and such

SRAJD
I spent four hours today making the new roster update. Thanks to Alex who processed all the recent applications, and Patrice who will be doing the emailing to the new members... what I did had to do with touble-shooting and data-cleaning.

I've temporarily closed applications for about two weeks to give me/us a chance to get caught up.

Jewelry
One of my new bracelets seems to be something a large number of people like. That's always nice. It's this one (btw, you can click on these pictures to see the listings).


And a couple other new pieces...





I will use my lunch hour today to work on the custom order (yes, still the wedding). We're switching from silver to gold now.

Okay, this was just a quickie catch-up post. I'd better skidaddle now. TTYL!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bead Show, Online Friends, Selling Venues

Bead Show
Went to Santa Clara bead show. Low turnout, but it hardly matters 'cause I shot my wad at the same vendor booth I always do. Other than that, I picked up a few more things here and there, but I really spent more than I had intended to. Will have to make and list like crazy to recoup.

Probably totally screwed myself for The Gathering, but I am not low on lampwork beads by any means anyway. I just tend to go all crazy and materialistic around beads. Totally gluttony.

Online Friends
At the bead show, met up with Alex, Patrice, Amber (from Wisconson) and Jer (Amber's husband). Goodness... Amber and Jer about as cute as it possibly gets. And they seem so down to earth, too. What a wonderful time I had visiting with everyone.

Selling Venues
I'm beginning to see less and less point having my jewelry at Etsy and RubyLane. The only two places where my jewelry sells are eBay and my website.

Etsy is cheap and I sell nothing. RubyLane is expensive and I sell nothing. Yeah, I think I'll close my stores there today (unless I have a one-year contract with Rubylane... can't remember). But with Etsy, it's not even the no-sales thing that bothers me as much as the management. Sorry... it was a great concept... but there are just so many things about Etsy that gross me out, from the bullies on the forums to the way Etsy doesn't enforce their own rules, that I feel I must leave on principle.

Update
Well, that's it for now. I just wanted to touch base for those who check my blog on a daily basis (thanks, by the way!).

Today I'll be getting orders out, working on the wedding jewelry, and making/listing new items.

TTYL!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lots of little things

Beads
Oh, now regarding beads. This week I received my second batch of lampwork beads from Candice Mathewson whose work I think is phenomenal. Now, I don’t mean "phenomenal" in any specific kind of way; I mean it in the way that says: "Candice makes beads that appeal so deeply to my sense of design and art that her work really moves me, emotionally".

Here are some things I've done with "Candice beads":



And her sister, Catherine Steele, makes equally awesome beads:


And speaking of beads, don't forget to check out the July issue of SRA Jewelry because it's full of lampworkers only!

SRAJD
Alex has been doing an awesome job of processing the new applications and putting them into a spreadsheet so I can do the next step to them. She has also taken over (at least temporarily) the making and uploading of all the logos (OMG, how will I ever thank her!).

Patrice has agreed to email out the acceptance letters. Yay! I'm off now to get that info over to her.

After we're settled with the new members in place, I'll try to tackle the special requests.

Spirituality
So I'm thinking this morning… your beliefs should make you happy, right? Some of the religious systems/beliefs I've learned a bit about through the years seem like maybe they rely on instilling fear, suffering, and even confusion on the believer.

I hope that most people get happiness from their beliefs.

How I got to thinking about this is that I was through the following…

"What if you're wrong?"

So let's say you believe in a religion that shuns material possessions and believes poverty (or near poverty) is a preferred way of living.

Then… "what if you're wrong?"

Not that there's any real way (here and now) to know what religions are true and which are based on nothing (these are loose terms, I know, but bear with me), but let's pretend for a second that there is a way. That at the end of your life (our lives) you can discover if the religion you were following is a bunch of hooey or not.

So, you spend your whole life NOT surrounding yourself with material objects and NOT trying to gain wealth and then in the end someone informs you that your religion was a made-up farce. You were wrong. There was NO REASON to give up your material possessions, etc.

Or let's say you believe that hard work, maybe even to the point of martyrdom, is the real way "in to heaven". And in the end someone informs you that you were wrong.

See what I'm getting at?

I'd like my religious beliefs (my spiritual way of being on this earth) to be something that can withstand a "what if you were wrong" at the end of my life.

Therefore, I need my beliefs to be something that make me happy on a daily basis.

So, let's see… what tenets do I believe in and/or try to adhere to?:
1) No point in trying to define "god". God is beyond words or any conceptual understanding.
2) Regarding "good and evil" or "right and wrong", good and evil are just empty conceptual abstractions that have no permanent independent existence. Taoists believe that nature is a continual balance between yin and yang, and that any attempt to go toward one extreme or the other will be ineffective, self-defeating, and short-lived.
3) Heaven/Reward: Taoism is not a salvation-centered practice. There is nothing that one needs to be saved from, and belief in salvation would lead to belief in damnation in the same manner as belief in good leads to belief in evil.
4) Regarding how to live: living simply in harmony with nature, and not excessively pursuing material wealth, stature, or prestige.
5) Be true to your own nature and blend harmoniously with the Universe.
6) See the world without preconceived notions or false perceptions.
7) Non attachment, no expectations, and unconditional love.
8) There is no "try", only "do". (Can you say that to yourself without sounding like Yoda?!)
9) Keeping an open mind.
10) Being tolerant.
11) Being optimistic
12) Enjoy life (or be happy)
13) Achieving without undue effort (if it's meant to be, it won't be a huge struggle)

(thanks to beliefnet for some of the quotes)

What I Learned Today
If you feel like you're being strangled, check to see if your shirt's on backwards.

Life
I need to cancel the Oakland Bears website. That's one thing off my agenda (doing the site, that is). And I've completely forgotten the things I was trying to remember to say in today's blog... other than the part about showing you Candice's beads.

Humor
cat
more cat pictures

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Really, a not very important day... yet

Life
Today was busy. Got some listings up. Visited some groups I'd wanted to visit. Wow, suddenly it doesn't seem like I did anything, but I swear I've been busy all day. I mean, all day other than my day job… okay, that could explain it… MY version of "all day" means from when I get up until about 8am, then SOMETIMES I take a lunch, then from 5:30pm or so until 9:30pm… But seeing as how I'm officially on my lunch hour at the moment, I guess that means I still have most of my "all day" yet to be (with NO idea what kind of jewelry I want to work on… hmph!).

Jewelry
Actually, my wire-wrapped pendant seemed well-received so maybe I'll do some wire-wrapped something. I'm almost out of silver, though, so it may have to be in gold.


I'm too lazy (tired, short of time, etc.) to show you today the new listings I put up. Maybe tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, I want to add the rest of the LE blog people over there on the right of your screen.

Family
The kids are officially in Canada now. And Gabe is almost officially a Vacaville Jet (how odd… we've been Oakland Bears for six years now). Because of Gabe's new "jetness", though, I've got to get some listings up soon. I've got plenty of things to list; it's just the time it takes to list them. Oh but wait… time is elastic to my needs. Yay! Anyway, there's always that big payment at the beginning of the hockey season, but truthfully I don't see this (this being "tier") hugely more expensive than A/B hockey. Still no clue about Mon, but she'll be trying out for Santa Clara.

Tomorrow
Tomorrow I want to remember to talk about Candice Mathewson, my jewelry contest, and The Gathering.

TTYL!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Deep Breath

Change is good, no?

For those who never really noticed, I rarely blog on the weekends. Why? Because I write my blogs in WORD and then upload them to my website. Now, I'm going to instead try using this online blogging format and see how it goes.

Wish me luck!

Oh, my old blogs will still be available... but anything from today forward (hopefully) will be here. So, without further ado...

Life
Still so much purging to do regarding material items in my life. What's the hold-up? The garbage isn't so much the problem... that I just put into bags and throw into the backyard for eventual trip to the dump. The stuff we're giving away (goodwill, art schools, etc) is also not too terribly bad. I think the real problem is the stuff that I'm willing to part with but that I feel should be sold because my need for money right now outweighs my ability to just give EVERYTHING away. Listing things on eBay takes time. Selling things on Craigslist is scary and weird (I don't like meeting people in person to sell things).

Oh well, I'll just try to move faster on all of this. So far, I only have two boxes of books packed. Ha ha ha!

I have organized my beads in a really cool way, at least. They take up less room now and it's easier to design by color.

Yesterday I started packing my lampworking stuff. Man, I really do miss lampworking. Well, someday... when there's less going on in my life.

I was thinking that another thing I could/should do is go through my harddrive files and delete the original photographs that I don't need anymore. I know my innate response to everything in my life is KEEP KEEP KEEP. You never know when you'll need something. But... ugh! That's how I end up with so much clutter in my life. I need to be WAY less attached to "stuff".

Family
The kids are heading into Canada today. They camped in Oregon Saturday night and then were in Washington yesterday. Today they are taking a ferry across the border.

They aren't texting/calling me as much as I thought they would, but hopefully that means they're having a good time and just don't have time.

Jewelry
I have some new creations that I put on eBay but haven't had a chance yet to update my site yet.




Oh, don't forget to enter your email for a chance to win the FREEBIE OF THE WEEK (contest ends tomorrow).

Well, I'd better sign out now. Lots to do today.

Bye!