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Friday, February 27, 2009

Bead Purchases, Micro-Mosaic Project, and a Clasp Tutorial

Wow… wow… wow!!!

After a few days with no mail, everything arrived at once today. There was much gasping and "oh my gosh". I'm so happy!

First up, Lori Robbins' beads. Some of you may recall, I've mentioned Lori before because she was the first person I ever bought boro beads from. I was captivated back then and I'm still captivated.

I think boro is like cilantro or bell peppers… there aren't very many 'tweeners… you either love the stuff or you can't stand it.

Anyway, now that I have all these fun new beads I'm really bummed about being in Fresno all weekend… but we'll see what the following weekend holds… hopefully creative time.

The other gasp-worthy purchase was some vintage components from West Germany. They arrived still in the original wrappers! This is for my mosaic projects… which only exist on the periphery of my imagination still… not even planned out on paper. Eek! I'd better get to it.

Why does the internet seem so slow lately?

Listened to Mike on the radio today. What with the phone calls that come in and people asking me questions, I don't get to hear everything… but I also don't always understand what people are saying… like the guy who called in to the show. Didn't have a clue what he was talking about. Shrug.

Oh, got Animals In Translation today by Temple Grandin. I got it for Monica but I think I'll read it first.

Oh, someone on LE just pointed out this fabulous and very generous tutorial by Kate Drew-Wilkinson for creating an Egyptian Clasp. Here's part 2. She has other videos… check them out.

And darn it... now I am out of time. Hope to get one more post in before I'm off to Fresno.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

The $64,000 question... what to charge for my jewelry creations

Well, just spent a couple days taking care of Bear… he had an intestinal upset. He seems back to normal now and it was less than 24 hours, so we'll just keep an eye on him now.

It's amazing, though, the things you CAN'T do when you're taking care of a sick dog. At first I though, "Oh, I'm here anyway, I may as well sort beads." But as soon as I got everything spread all over the living room floor… well, let's just say I ended up shoving everything into a corner and spent a lot of time the rest of that day just cleaning the carpet. Hmph!

Still want to get over to Tap Plastics soon. I can't find the black acrylic piece I had to photo shoot on, so I need to pick up another one. D'oh!

SRAJD is still taking a lot of time, but we are slowly getting to a more organized way of doing things.

The $64,000 question... what to charge for my jewelry creations

Oh, that reminds me ('cause I also have this link on the resource page of SRAJD)… I updated that component pricing webpage I have. Take a look…
Prices of common findings

Other Listings

Also, I got another Pricing Calculator listed in my Etsy store. I plan to have them offered on eBay, ArtFire, and BrackenDesigns too, but I'm kind of slow.

New Jewelry

Hm… can't remember if I showed my latest listings yet… so I'll just show little pictures and if something piques your interest, click on it and see much better photos.

Hello fellow Cancerian. You had me laughing out loud when I read your comment. BTW, do you post on the Beads and Buttons forum? I looked through your pages and you make beautiful creations. They'd love you over there! That's funny what you say about Melatonin. I know someone who says it induces nightmares. Eek!

Well, I'd better sign off now… still so much to do… papers to sort, packages to mail, ideas to file…

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Storms, Sybil, Necklaces, Hockey, Sleeping In, Cats

Saturday started with warm sunshine, which made my dad’s phone call not make too much sense… but I was trying to pretend his call hadn’t woken me up (don’t ask… I do that kind of thing… save other people’s feelings at any cost… it’s a habit, from forever… even when it’s nonsensical). Anyway, he wanted to make sure it wouldn’t be a problem to postpone his visit since driving during a severe storm wasn’t his cup of tea. No problem… but it was still hard to fathom that within 24 hours the weather could turn that much. After breakfast I took Bear for a walk and was HOT in my tank top and sweat pants.

I’m watching the Sybil remake. I don’t know why… it’s sort of a captivating subject.

I’m halfway through a necklace… I think I’ve discovered that it takes more time for me to design a piece than it does to make it… for most pieces anyway.

Hockey was great today. First the Penguins won (mini yay), then the Sharks won (bigger yay) then Monica’s team beat a team they usually get stomped by (uber yay!).

Oh heck, it’s 10pm! Okay, not that that’s late… for most people… but I’m a morning person, so still being up and about at 10pm for no reason…well, that is unusual.

I think the coolest part of retirement (okay, ONE of the coolest parts) would be the ability to go to bed and wake up when my body wants to rather than based on some schedule I keep in order to keep my job, get my kids to school, walk the dog, etc.

And speaking of the dog… he’s great, but I really, really miss the cats. I am and always have been a cat person. I don’t like waiting this long between visiting them… and look forward to being able to reunite with them permanently.

Okay, in light of the fact that I just realized how late it is… heh… I think I’ll sign off now.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pricing Calculator, more Bronze Metal Clay, Project List, and Old Movies

So, back to where I left off… Bronze Metal Clay…

Here’s what Monica made in class:

Nice, huh.

Anyway, the class was at Kiss My Glass store in Santa Cruz run by the very lovely and very nice Jackie Marr. The class itself was with uber fun instructor Kathy Corby.

Check out other upcoming classes.

I know Monica and I will be done there again for more.

Pricing Calculator

One of my non-jewelry sales on Etsy was my pricing calculator. It’s an excel file with some formulas built in to calculate a few variations of pricing suggestions after making a piece of jewelry, both retail and wholesale. I also included a worksheet that calculates the price of metal per inch or per foot when you’ve purchased it by the ounce (which you often do with Sterling Silver and Gold-Fill), including most gauges.

I need to put that item up on my other listing places.

And I’m WAY behind in listing items to my own store. Hmph!


Some things I want time to work on this year include:
Mixed media on canvas
Printed digital art
Metal Clay (both Bronze and Silver)
Polymer Clay


Okay, don’t laugh too hard, but… I got “Jason and the Argonauts” to watch with Monica… well, that and a Sidney Crosby documentary. But last night was mythology night. And I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I still like that movie!

We got tired, though, so will have to watch the second half Monday.

This weekend I may watch Quigley Down Under if I have time. I can do computer or make jewelry while watching tv. And no, the tv isn’t ALWAYS on… I just like certain things. Like in the mornings we always watch “Growing Up…” about wildlife rehabilitators.

Okay, Sharks are starting now… TTYL!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blackberry storm, Etsy, SRAJD, Bronze Metal Clay and the rest of life

Wow… Okay, I'm not even going to say it… but you KNOW what I was gonna say, huh?

You can generally tell what my recent life has been like by the presence or absence of blog posts by me. I *want* to post every day… but some days it's just impossible.

That always reminds me of the things I've been hearing ever since the internet was invented (but there were still variations of it before the internet).

"It takes five minutes to write me an email. What, you can't spare five minutes?"


Sorry, but if I have twelve people saying that… suddenly it's an hour… and right… I rarely have an hour per day to send emails.

The problem is, I don't have twelve people… I have like several hundred. Yes, some are (theoretically) more entitled to my time than others… and yes, not ALL of them would have to be emailed each day… but still… there's just not enough time in a day to meet everyone's expectations. And so… I won't make myself crazy trying to fulfill those expectations. I will do what I can when I can.

I do, however, apologize for leaving the blog for so long. Some cool stuff to talk about, though (well, not cool in the sense that ANYONE will be remotely entertained by my words, but cool in the sense that I get to yap about whatever I want and talk about fun stuff and that's happy-making).

Where to start…

BlackBerry Storm

I recently earned an upgrade on my phone service provider so I am now the very happy owner of a BBS (Blackberry Storm… touch-screen phone). I love it. There are a lot of things I love about it, but one of the absolute best is the GPS navigation system. OMG, I can find gas stations, restaurants, short routes to my destination… everything! And it's not just by a map… my phone talks to me and TELLS me how to get where I'm going. I LOVELOVELOVE it. Could have used this many years ago, but better late then never.

New Year's Resolution

I have been sucking at this. I only made one resolution… to keep in touch with certain people… I haven't sent a nice letter to any of them. I have been in touch with LM in Texas, so maybe that counts 'cause she is definitely one of the people I want to stay in touch with in life.


This project has been taking the better portion of the days (and some nights) for Alex and I since the transition. I have high hopes for the group, but it's definitely a lot of work.

Will keep you posted.

Oh, but if you haven't seen the new layout… check it out!


Okay, hold onto your hats for this one… are you sitting down? Drum roll, please…

After almost three years of being a seller on Etsy… tada! I have made my first jewelry sales there. Yay!

Who says stubborn doesn't pay off? ;-)

Bronze Metal Clay

So, my present to Monica for her 14th birthday was for us both to take a class in BMC. It was in Santa Cruz, on a Friday night and Saturday morning so we stayed at the (very warm) inn across the street Friday night.

Had a wonderful, seaside lunch with Alex before Friday's class (thank you!) then buckled down for some learning.

Oy… the photo(s) of Monica's creation are at home… I'll try to remember to upload them tonight and post them tomorrow… along with the info about the class and the instructor.

I made some charms for a bracelet that I put on that day and haven't taken off since (and NOT just because there's no clasp…. Hmph… I love the sound it makes when I move my wrist).

My charms aren't worth showing but we learned… and both of us are looking forward to working with metal clays in the near future (before we forget everything…. Eek!... like I'm doing with soldering).


Gabe's hockey season is over. Didn't end on a pleasant note, but everything you go through makes you who you become. Ew! That sounds WAY too schmaltzy. Shrug.

We are looking forward to a few camps we've signed up for this spring and summer.


Both kids just got their semester report cards. Other than having to get her PE grade fixed, Mon got straight A's. Gabe got a 4.5, but I don’t know (off hand) if that's straight A's or not 'cause he's in AP and honors classes… weighted grades.

The Future

Mon has pretty much narrowed down what she wants to do with her future. It makes sense, too. Should have been able to see this one, but I was thinking about all the other things she enjoys (hockey, art, etc.).

I'm not sure EXACTLY what the title is, but I think she starts by getting a degree in Animal Biology. Wildlife Conservation is, I think, what she wants to do, or wildlife rehabilitation. And she would be ACES at it! This is the girl who, if I say no the stray dog may not come into our house, will sit outside for hours petting the creature until we find a solution.

Oooh, would love to take Monica to this:

Anyway, time will tell and we always keep an open mind. I think it's a tough career to get into and most likely very low-paying, but if it's her path it will work out perfectly.

Gaffer Girls
Thank you for the lovely comment! I went VERY slowly and actually found your blog (I have no idea why I can be so computer illiterate sometimes). How lovely all the photos are. You make me want to start torching again!!!

Lori Anderson
Thank you so much for your support. Truthfully, I didn't know what a huge undertaking it was when I started… but then, you know how it goes… you have an idea and it just snowballs. The SRAJD members are so supportive, though, and really make us feel like we're building a community. BTW, I LOVE that diabetes awareness bracelet (from Feb 15th entry). And the one you show in Feb 8th. Well, also all the ones in between and before, but… okay, I'm a jewelry ho. Sigh…

Cindy Gimbrone
Thanks for the comment! BTW, loved your blog post on Feb 3rd. But gosh darn I got segued (okay, I *allowed* myself to be segued) into seeing which tarot card I am. Heh… the Tower, btw.

Hot Rocks
Hey, I'm a Cancer too! Oh my gosh… so many cool blogs to read, so little time. Thanks for commenting on my … um… attempt at organization. I'm actually further refining this for a future SRAJD article. Stay tuned… (P.S. Enjoy your vacation!)

Sign Off

Remember that night a few weeks ago when I was blogging at a really late hour 'cause I wasn't tired. And I was showing you some neat stuff on eBay… but then I got into placing a few bids… D'oh! Anyway, I won everything I bid on. Yay! And now I wanna go make some jewelry. Maybe tonight. Oh, I did get some photos done of new stuff… maybe I can list them tonight (or start anyway).

I'm gonna say good bye for now… got things to do, but I'll check back in without as much wait next time.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The kids and I have a fun evening planned.

The kids and I have a fun evening planned. They'll go home after school and do homework while I finish at work, then we're heading over to the house to pick up their report cards and a few odds and ends. Then we come back home and have yummy warm soup in bread bowls and spend the rest of the evening watching tv and straightening up the apartment.

I hope I've taught my kids: Generous is better than stingy

Now I see why in research, you do a "pilot" study before the full blown one.

More on these thoughts tomorrow (I hope). Alex and I have been spending 8+ hours a day working on the SRAJD organization stuff aside from our other obligations. *pant* *pant*

Friday, February 6, 2009

A quick note

Now that the SRAJD membership has grown so much, Alex and I are in the process up upgrading the organization into a format so it can perform better for all involved. We should be up and running by next week.

I’m travelling this weekend so will be out of the loop until Monday. I prefer to travel without a laptop… then I get to pretend it’s a vacation.

Okay, see you later!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The end of the world... and other issues


Tuesday… hm…

I had a pleasant chat with one of my healthcare providers the other day. She says it's not just a feeling that time is going faster; it really IS. The day's are shorter. I just thought this sense of time going faster was another bonus of growing older. But just for giggles, I looked up this other theory.

Hm… can't really find anything (yet) on the internet, but here's an interesting quote:
"They" have worked out that time seems to fly past faster as you get older. It is, they say because you unconsciously perceive the time you experience as a fraction of the time you have already experienced.

So, summers last forever to a young child, because they're a significant lump of their life so far. Summer flies by to me, because it is only (counts on fingers) 1/160 of my life so far.

Weekends are just a blur.

(thank you, Kiteman)

Other theories about the perception of speeding time include the idea that the Mayans or Aztecs or something like that predict the end of the world soon and as we near the end, time goes faster. Now, although that sentence sounded very trite, I watched a documentary recently that made it sound very probably that the earth's demise will come soon.

Okay, I did find some into (commentary, though… not articles) on the theory of time going faster and the earth having changed it's vibration, etc. But they were droll so I won't post any here.

Let's go back to that EETW (end of the world) prediction thing… Apparently, it's a pretty well-known theory. Go figure, I am always late to the game.

Meh… we'll see.


Okay, onto hockey now. I spent some time this week webmastering another hockey site and during my research I came across this interesting fact: Several women have competed in North American minor leagues, including goaltenders Charline Labonté, Kelly Dyer, Erin Whitten, Manon Rhéaume, and defenceman Angela Ruggiero.

Wow! One defensemen and four goaltenders! Mon, looks like if you want to continue playing boys' hockey (and she does), you picked the right position.

Going to Vacaville tonight. Ugh… I'm so tired, but I think that's mostly because the morning walk/trots Bear and I go on wear me out. Ha ha ha! They're supposed to be wearing HIM out.
I did jog a little this morning, but quickly realized it was anaerobic (at this point) so went back to "speed walking".

Still have to check out the gym in our apartment. And they put up flyers about some new exercise classes starting soon. Wonder if they'll conflict with other things we have planned.


I got some positive response from my previous posting about how I organize my jewelry-making process.

It got me to thinking, now that Alex and I are spending more time organizing SRAJD, maybe I ought to grab some of my old blog posts… the ones that pertain to jewelry info… and

And aside from hating all of eBay's recent changes, here's a good one. It won't keep track of our stats (views and such) unless we access that application every so often, but every time I try to access it I'm told it's temporarily unavailable. Gah!

Here are two listings I finally got up (onto eBay at least):

I'm trying to get some more new listings up today or tomorrow.


I'm thinking of a change. Stay tuned…

And now, some of my latest favorites from ICANHASCHEEZBURGER.