Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Custom Order with Etched Copper Charms

I wish I were a good enough jewelry maker to be anything but a stressed out mess when doing a custom order.

It’s infinitely easier to do what I want, stop doing something if I don’t like how it’s turning out, and have absolutely no time constraints for any given project.

The latest was “chunky bracelets with lots of sterling silver in the team colors of black and red”. And silly me, offered to personalize each bracelet with an etched charm of the child of each of the mothers receiving these bracelets… which might have been a more clever idea if I had a couple of months of experience with this newly learned technique, as opposed to… oh, I’ve tried it a couple of times… y’know, with words and patterns so far.

Here’s the three bracelets in one quick photo… sorry for the poor quality of photo, but Mon had a late game last night and an early one this morning so time was tight… couldn’t set up the photo studio.





Next weekend is Christmas. I don’t “gear up” for Christmas. But people were still buying in droves. This is the only time of year people panic about getting their packages on time (totally understandable).

We sellers give the USPS delivery confirmation # to our buyers, but what they may not know (if they aren’t familiar with the online system) is that USPS doesn’t update the delivery confirmation information in any kind of consistent or reliable way.

It’s like, you can see if something WAS delivered (if it says something was delivered), but the ABSENCE of a “delivery status” does not necessarily mean the item was NOT delivered. Know what I mean?

And right now they’ve even got some Delivery Confirmation #’s not even showing as viable. Ack! Sigh… no wonder my customers are panicking. Well, hopefully they will: A) receive their packages in time and B) notice the postmark date. :-)


Gabe’s team finished the Vegas showcase and Gabe is on a plane on his way here as I type.

Mon leaves Saturday for Connecticut and Vermont.

Well, that’s it for the moment.

TTYL!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Latest Jewelry Creations and Featured Artist Pat Pruitt

I’ve done some more experimenting with etching copper, but it’s a really busy time of year so I’m (obviously) behind in blogging.

I did want to share two things with you.

One is a bracelet I ran across on Etsy today. It’s rare to find good men’s jewelry. I really like this one.

Mens Rectangular Link Oxidized Sterling Silver Bracelet




FEATURED ARTIST: PAT PRUITT

Pat was kind enough to give me the okay to share his work on my blog (via hotlinks to his website).

I think the price of silver got to me the other day, and I spent some time perusing the ‘net to see about the possibility of working in stainless steel. I’d seen a few pieces over the years, and truthfully I find it a beautiful metal.

However, after a little more investigating, I’ve got to say it’s not for me… not at the moment, anyway. It’s hard… figuratively and literally. I can’t even begin to tell you what all is involved, but someday if you’re interested… google it… you will be amazed.

Now, without further ado, I’d love to show you some of the jaw-dropping work of this jewelry designer/maker.









And I love the piece on his homepage (but I can’t link to it... it’s not a regular jpg).

Anyway, I’d like to thank Pat for sending me such a nice email and for letting me share his work with my friends.


MY WORK

Um… maybe it wasn’t such great planning to show my work after Pat’s, but c’est la vie.

Here are my latest creations:







I’ve got to get going now… taking Mon to practice. Tomorrow night she works in SF, Saturday I need to do some custom work, then Sunday morning is a game in Fremont.

TTYL!

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Getting Organized, Simplifying Your Life, New Year's Resolutions

As the New Year approaches, I’ve been thinking about my life and changes I want to make. Not surprisingly, these are changes I have wanted to make for many years… and don’t quite accomplish them.

Not to say I’ve failed at everything. I can clearly see that the main problem with my attempts are that I don’t have focus. Picking too many things to “improve” upon in one’s life can lead to “deer in the headlights” syndrome… which means nothing gets improved upon.

I was interested and encouraged to learn that of the people who make New Year’s resolutions, a whopping 46% of them are still maintained after six months. Research shows that people who make resolutions are ten times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.

Actually, that’s probably been my problem. I tend to just think in vague terms about what I want or what I want to do. I don’t actually put anything into a concrete sentence.

Saying, “I want to simplify my life” might be too nebulous. Perhaps I need to outline WAYS in which I want to simplify my life.

I’ve got a list of things to do that would help simplify a life. I’ve accomplished two of the things (the list has about 30 things on it).

The two I’ve accomplished are that I don’t pay bills… I have things set up to automatically deduct from my checking account when they’re due. This is actually such a huge relief to me for many reasons.

The other thing is to carry less stuff with me on a daily basis. My purse is 8x5 inches. I love not having a big purse. Granted, I’m often seen with my backpack in order to tote jewelry projects and or bulkier items, but the backpack doesn’t go everywhere with me at all times, the way my purse does. When I gotta get up and run, it’s just the little purse that goes with me. Yay!

There’s a reason, too, that this year’s resolution is of more importance than many previous years… but I won’t say why in print. Let’s just say I have incentive to get my things in order and down to a minimum.

So let’s look at a few of the other things.

I think if I evaluated my day, I’d find that I fritter a lot of time away. Yes, I do accomplish quite a bit in a day, but I also spend a certain amount of time in “wasted time”. Wasted time isn’t the same as relaxed, do-nothing time. I don’t mind sitting on the couch and vegging for half an hour or taking a super long bath. To me, that’s infinitely more important and helpful than sitting at the computer getting into a forum argument with someone for half an hour.

Limiting my communications might be tricky. There are already so many people who don’t think I communicate often enough as it is. So maybe this isn’t one that’s geared toward me. I certainly don’t yap on the phone much and I never IM.

But, speaking of email, one thing I need to do (and wow is my mom good at this!) is to get my email inboxes back to manageable status. They are ridiculous. Simply ridiculous.

I’ve been purging my life of things that I no longer want or feel I need. I’m okay with throwing out stuff… have been doing great at it for the past few years. One of the problems is I have a lot of stuff that could/should be sold (like on eBay), but that is time-consuming. Maybe I should put all that stuff into boxes and take it somewhere… and I can deal with it in one or two months, solely devoted to that task. In the end, though, I need to decide if the small payback I get for items is worth all the stress of selling them (photos, listing, emailing, packaging, shipping).

I do need to work on my wardrobe. I need to go shopping, buy a couple of new items, and get rid of some of the tired old things in my closet.

My computer files could use streamlining. I’ll have to think about this, make a plan, and devote some time to it.

One thing I’m doing now, though, that helps is that I don’t keep the raw photos on my PC anymore. When I download from my camera, I edit the photo, then keep only the edited (smaller) version and delete the original and all the ones that didn’t make the cut. Yay!

As I think about the way I want to live in the near future, I am making progress toward getting there. One thing I realize I need to do, however, is really get a good picture of what I’m after. Specifics.

One simple example is that I don’t like carpeted floors. So I want to picture any future digs I have with hardwood floors. I don’t mind throw rugs… I intend to have many. I just don’t want wall-to-wall carpeting.

I’d like to focus on what I’m doing at any given time. No multi-tasking or getting distracted.

I have been working over the past few months on organizing and streamlining my paper system. This is not an easy task and I am no where near where I want to be yet.

Meal planning is something else that helps me (when I do it). Less trips to the grocery store, healthier foods at the table, and less time spent in the kitchen.

Not sure how to work more exercise into my life. I will… but that may not happen for a month or so.

One organizing system that is continually worked on, but also continually getting better and better is my jewelry-making supplies.

I want to make time for quiet reflection… meditation. It doesn’t have to be a big commitment… just a few minutes a day, consistently.

One of the things that I do allow as far as multi-tasking is listening to audio books while I walk to and from work (an hour a day). Routine drives me up the wall and walking the same route day after day for years on end… well, yeah… listening to books while I do this helps immensely.

Time's up... more later.

'Night all!