Thursday, December 31, 2015

Last Day of 2015 and How Competitive Are You?

Maybe I take "years" very seriously.  I start out with a bang and start to get things accomplished, but as the year winds down things pile up and I get overwhelmed and am behind on everything (just look at this blog if you need an example of that).

A year really means nothing to me other than a psychological reason for a fresh start.  And who doesn't like fresh starts?


Today's my last "lazy day".  Am I really lazy on lazy days?  I'm not sure.  I seem to do a lot, but I always find myself feeling guilty about not getting enough done.  Anyway, while I was being lazy today I was musing about competition.  In 2016, I'd like to relinquish any notions or feelings that life is a competition.

I understand where feeling competitive can be a good thing.

Two studies on the subject make the distinction between "competing to win" versus "competing to excel".

"... competing to win was linked to higher levels of depression and loneliness and to fewer and less close friendships. Competing to excel was linked to higher self-esteem and less depression... but was largely unrelated to social functioning."

Is competition a primal instinct?  Is it part of our nature?

I think if I thought of fewer things as a competition, I'd probably be a happier person.  I wouldn't find myself "lacking" in so many areas.  And competition can be really stupid at times.  For example, in almost ANYTHING  you can think of, there will ALWAYS be someone better/faster/stronger/more skilled than you.  So why be competitive?  Or better yet, how to stop making it a natural thought reaction.

So do I want to do something really well (competing to excel) or do I want to beat the other guy (competing to win)?

Competing to excel is like competing against yourself... or your former self.  Maybe your yesterday self.

There is no "winning"... just getting better. 

I'm down with that.  So long as it doesn't turn in to a case of me chastising myself for not being good enough, fast enough, skilled enough.

And... CAN I resist the temptation to compare myself to others?  Probably not, but habits start with baby steps and although our innate personalities (characteristics) are fairly ingrained and immovable, our ability to change how we perceive things is mutable and I can work with that.

So here's to a happy new year.  I've got a lot to do... but I don't have to be better than anyone else, I just have to be better than my yesterday self.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Organizing the VIrtual World

One of today's tasks: Organizing my bookmarks.

Well, they aren't even bookmarks.  There is a bookmarks manager that is very cool, but out of site out of mind.  Today I'm going to tell you what I've been doing, how I got in over my head, and what I'm doing to solve the chaos.

In the old days, if I ran across something on the internet I wanted to read later, I'd throw the URL into "bookmark" or "favorites" land, but I discovered that I never went back.  All I was doing was creating this giant collection of URLs that would never be visited again.  Yes, with Bookmarks Manager (or a little forethought), it is simple enough to create subfolders of categories for everything.  But it's that whole "I can't be bothered to open a drawer" thing.



I discovered that as I went about my day, if I saw something on the internet I wanted to read or save for later, it merely became an open window "to deal with later".  So when it was time to go to bed, I'd have like ten browser windows open and I was TIRED and wanted to go to bed... so I'd just put my computer to sleep (instead of turning it off) and everything would still be there in the morning.

Problem is, in the morning, I had better things to do.  So the windows would just pile up, day after day.  And my poor computer never got a chance to turn off.

To end the madness, the solution was to create a Word document that I keep open on my computer at all times.  It's called "Daily".  I put all kinds of important tasks and deadlines and notes in there.  And at the end of the day, I grab all those URLs that are open on my computer and just copy and paste them into my DAILY document.  Then I can shut down the computer and my URLs are still safe.

Safe but not organized... yet.

So it goes like this:
  1. I roll along with my daily tasks:
    • Making jewelry, doing laundry, checking on Facebook, posting in forums, doing homework, creating meals, etc.
  2. Something crosses my path:
    • "Oh, that's a great idea for a color combo" copy the URL to my Word document
    • "Oh, I want to try that recipe" copy the URL to my Word document
    • "What a cool way to use sandpaper" copy the URL to my Word document 
    • "I could stand to read this article on improving memory" copy the URL to my Word document 
  3.  I now take that URL and copy it to my DAILY word doc.
The ONLY problem with that is it began to look like this...

 ... for pages and pages.  And if I wanted something, like I knew there was an article on SEO Marketing that I wanted to share on my blog, I'd start looking through the URL until I found it.

But that time-wasting process is similar to a cluttered house where you know you've got something but looking for it takes valuable time away from everything else you have to do.


So today, I created a new section.  I threw a one-column table into the Word doc and put a bunch of headings into each column, like:
  • Recipes I want to try
  • Color inspiration
  • Jewelry how to's
  • Articles on astrophysics
  • Marketing
  • May want to buy
And I'm going through my URLs and putting them in the appropriate category.  This will make it infinitely easier to find things when I need them.

And since this table is still in my DAILY Word doc, it won't be any harder or more time-consuming to stick the URLs into their rightful place to begin with.

BTW, there's the new look.  So much easier to find things.  I want to finally try that cauliflower recipe I saw online?  Instead of looking through 300 saves URLs, I just go to the "Recipes" section.


If you're also a "piler" and/or your collection of URLs is out of hand, let me know if you do something similar and how it works for you.

And the whole point of doing that today was I wanted to blog and I've collected a ton of URLs I want to share with you all... things about jewelry making techniques, and marketing, and a ton of other stuff.

So thank you for prompting me to get organized!

Next blog post... I'll share some of those helpful URLs.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

New Jewelry for November, Kindle Screenshot, Garage Sale Find

In the workshop, my students and I have been covering a lot of ground.  Riveting, enameling, soldering, using the rolling mill, stamping, forging and forming.  Just lots and lots of fun.  I have the most amazing students.  They are not only supremely talented but supremely nice.  I'm so lucky!

Earlier this month I added the new items to the website (first Monday of the month).

Mostly metal and definitely concentrating on rings lately.

Gifts for him.
http://brackendesigns.com/product/textured-wide-band-sterling-silver-ring-open-back

Gifts for her.
http://brackendesigns.com/product/sterling-silver-and-gold-fill-satellite-ring-saturn-inspired-size-5%C2%BC


Gifts for yourself.
http://brackendesigns.com/product/size-8%C2%BD-unique-sterling-silver-and-garnet-band-ring

Anyway, click here for the link to the section with my new items.

I sent a lot of jewelry to Hollywood this week so fingers crossed I hear about something being used. 

Not jewelry related, once in a while my friend and I get together and hit up a few local garage sales.  I picked up a pair of these three-foot tall stained glass window panels for $5. 


But that means I have to pick two items to take to the next garage sale (we do a garage sale twice a year).  Otherwise you'll see me on an upcoming episode of Hoarders.  Eek!

Random tip of the day.

Did you know you can take a screen shot of your kindle (if it's 2012 or later model, usually).

Just hold "volume down" and "power" at the same time.  If you touch the "volume down" button first, your screen shot will include an image of your speaker volume.  Ha ha ha!  So practice pressing them both at the same time, rather than one before the other.


Friday, November 6, 2015

Too Much Food and Too Many Beads... and a quick look at some patinas

So I'm looking in the fridge the other day and there's broccolini and green beans and lettuce and bok choy and butternut squash, and then on the counter there's grapes and kiwis and apples and bananas... and I started to get nervous.

There's TOO MUCH FOOD!



Don't get me wrong, I love it all.  But I can't eat everything in three days.

I totally understand the European way of shopping where you walk down to the local market every other day and just get what you need for a day or two.

I *so* don't want any of this food to go to waste but we simply MUST stop shopping at Costco for fresh fruits and vegetables, even if they ARE organic.

So I've taken to freezing things.

Anyway, as I'm staring at the contents of the fridge feeling a bit panicky, I had a sudden thought that I used to have a jewelry making philosophy similar to this.

When I started out making jewelry (it was mostly beaded), I thought the people who only bought what they needed for a given project were crazy.  Why wouldn't you just want a store room of stuff to choose from?

Now I know the answer to that question.

  1. Inventory costs (anything sitting in your workshop is not making money, so while you do need SOME inventory, having too much is just like having a bead bank).
  2. Too many things take up space and can be a distraction.
  3. The odds that you'll actually USE even 10% of your stuff are slim to none.
I know there are some upsides to having a huge inventory, but for my own peace of mind I'm trying to downsize.  I'm SLOWLY building my destash shop (what isn't sold first via the SRAJD destash page).

Doing this is taking hours out of every day that could be used for real work.  But what am I gonna do, just give away 10 years worth of bead collecting?  Hm.  To be rid of the stuff, I am going as fast as I can and pricing things at real garage sale prices.  Am I taking a loss?  Definitely.  Do I care?  Not when I compare the space and time to free space and more time.

So I'm starting my first "collection".  I'm hoping to unveil either January or February.  While I'm still a bit of a hoarder, I will do my best to order things on an "as needed" basis.

Okay, now to share with you a wee bit of patina experimenting this week.

I kind of get obsessed when I see these super saturated colors on jewelry and I feel there's no way they can be real.  Ha ha ha!  But people swear they are so I determined to see if I could replicate them.  The results were mixed.  While I *was* able to produce blues, pinks, golds, and violets, I didn't get any say so in the placement of these colors nor do I believe they would last over time.  But it's still a step in the right direction.

My first experiment...


The piece in the middle was the only one I was thrilled with... oh and the piece at about 7:00.  The rest are more what I'm used to.  The two piece that took the best were not dunked any shorter amout of time, but they ARE textured pieces.  That could make a difference.

For the above, I used very hot LOS.

For the next test I used room temp LOS and added more ammonia to the mixture.  This is one untextured piece of scrap sterling silver shown in a progression of dunks.

Since it was an experimental piece, I continued to play around with it after this last step and eventually put Ren wax on it and totally ruined it.  ha ha ha!  The colors are dull as heck.

The bottom line, however, is that in both experiments I achieved colors I didn't think I could.  I did notice that the color intensity depended a LOT on the angle of the piece, but it's definitely a good start.

Alrighty, talk to you soon!



Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Character Strengths... What Are Yours?

So we're learning about character strengths in my "Stress and Well-Being" class and I wanted to share with you some info.

The University of Pennsylvania has a website called Authentic Happiness created by Dr. Martin Seligman (Positive Psychology).

You can take various tests on the site, but the one we took this past week was: VIA Survey of Character Strengths

You can take that or any of the other tests after you create a login.  The login doesn't have to be real... you can make one up.  You don't have to go to your email to see the results.

Give yourself some time, though.  There are a lot of questions... 20 pages as I recall, in the one test  mentioned above.


So here are my results of character strengths in order.  The top five are considered your "signature strengths".


  1. Love of learning -
  2. Curiosity and interest in the world -
  3. Creativity, ingenuity, and originality -
  4. Gratitude -
  5. Leadership -
  6. Zest, enthusiasm, and energy -
  7. Kindness and generosity -
  8. Appreciation of beauty and excellence -
  9. Fairness, equity, and justice -
  10. Humor and playfulness -
  11. Forgiveness and mercy -
  12. Citizenship, teamwork, and loyalty -
  13. Judgment, critical thinking, and open-mindedness -
  14. Hope, optimism, and future-mindedness -
  15. Perspective wisdom -
  16. Honesty, authenticity, and genuineness -
  17. Capacity to love and be loved -
  18. Caution, prudence, and discretion -
  19. Social intelligence -
  20. Bravery and valor -
  21. Modesty and humility -
  22. Industry, diligence, and perseverance -
  23. Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith -
  24. Self-control and self-regulation -

Totally not surprised by my top five.  I've always lovee learning.  I'm curious about everything in the universe.  As far as creativity, yeah... that seems like one of my top strengths alright.  Gratitude, is something I think I developed later in life.  Leadership... I can see that.

As far as the things at the bottom?  Ha!  Yeah, I have no self-control or discipline.  I'm also not spiritual.  And I'm pretty sure humility escapes me entirely.

Social intelligence?  That would be rock bottom, but position 19 isn't too far from that mark.

My initial response is that people with the opposite strengths than me are more worthy.  But then I step back and say, "No, there's a place in the world for all of us."  We don't all have to be Mother Theresa.

And an interesting thing my professor said is that rather than become consumed with fixing the bottom character traits, work on strengthening and using the top ones.  She gave the analogy of a sailboat.  If there are leaks in the hull, yes, you have to do what something to keep the boat from sinking, but just do what is absolutely necessary for that.  Then concentrate on our sails (your top strengths) because those are what move you forward.

So if "curiosity, learning, and leadership" are some of my strengths, then I shall continue to find ways to use those to my best advantage.

What did you results end up showing you?  I hope you share some of your thoughts in my comments section.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Time is a Four Letter Word

Actually, I prefer to be friends with time rather to berate it for betraying me.

The past couple months, I spend each week thinking I'm going to catch up with the emergencies that week then have the following week to organize and take care of other tasks that are waiting in the wings.

But it seems to always be THAT week... the one with the emergencies and never the following week where I can catch up.

I actually say to people, "This week is crazy busy but next week should be less hectic."  But it never is.

Projects, midterms, orders to be made, classes to prepare for, garage sales, online webinars, craft shows, etc.

I look around my workroom and ache to go through boxes and put things away so that when I want to find them I don't have to... go through boxes.

I guess for starters, next semester I won't take three classes at school.  I really am enjoying my classes, though, but yeah, stuff like that isn't important/crucial.

So speaking of "important", in one of my classes we recently went over Stephen Covey's time management matrix.  I use this often, at times like this when I begin to feel overwhelmed and have to pare down the "things" on my plate.


Basically it's this grid.


And then you fill it out.


And from that, you can determine what things need to be taken care of immediately and what things can be left to the wayside (for now, at least).

People are always wishing for more "hours in the day".

One way to achieve that is less sleep... something I'm not willing to give up.

There are tons of articles on the subject:
http://www.apa.org/topics/sleep/why.aspx
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/why
https://hbr.org/2006/10/sleep-deficit-the-performance-killer


So my mantra for today?  Time is elastic to my needs.

This also means I'm cutting this short today because I've got stuff to do.  Oh, but first... here's a peek into the world of my gratitude journal.

Later!



Saturday, October 3, 2015

Riveting and Patinas and Metal Clay Lentils

Wild September.... hoping for a mellower October.

No one to blame but myself, so this can't be much of a complaint. Maybe more of an observation.

I'll start backwards.

Here are some photos I took from today's class.

First I was admiring Angela's cuff bracelet. She made it after learning to etch in my workshop last week.



Then while we were waiting for the kiln to finish (we started on metal clay yesterday), we did some riveting. There are still some issues to work out if we want to use the crazy expensive riveting tool I have (ugh!), but here are some eyelets my student was able to set.



And I reverted to the old fashioned method of making them by hand using fine silver wire.



BTW, that red patina on the background of my pendant was totally an accident (but such a happy one I kept it). I was soldering that jumpring bail onto the back of the pendant and when quenched it and was just about to drop it into the pickle pot, I saw this cool red color and not one speck of oxidation. So I decided to leave it as is and just put some Ren wax on it.

This piece will be going into my secondary Etsy shop.

So after that, we got our lentils and bead caps from the kiln. Here's the lentils looked like after they cooled.



To show my student what sealant does to these lovely heat patinas, I demo'd on mine.



After that, we both cleaned our lentils then gave them LOS baths. Here's my student's. These cell phone photos don't do any kind of justice to the fabulousness of her bronze pendant. The colors were beautiful (but again, who knows how long they'll last).





And here's one of her own lampwork beads with bronze caps (made from metal clay). She also set the tubing by hand (because that beautiful bead was too big for my little Impress bead liner).

Thursday, September 17, 2015

My First Workshop in My Workshop

Hee hee.  By that I mean I've taught classes in other venues and online, but this is the first time I had a scheduled, specific workshop in my own studio.

And it was SO MUCH FUN!!!

We ended going over the time limit a bit so I didn't want to ask the ladies if I could take photos of their rings in the light tent (I'm not a fast photographer), but they were nice enough to let me use images they took themselves after the workshop.

Here are some of the textured stacker rings they made in the workshop (not the one with a stone in it).



These ladies rocked it!  Their rings turned out beautiful and they will be back to make more and to learn other techniques.

If you will be in the Sacramento area and would also like to learn how to make these rings in sterling silver or 14k gold fill, sign up for one or more of my classes here.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Made in My Workshop Not By Me

So I wanted to share with you some rings that were made in my workshop this week but not by me.

My friend Kristi made this awesome "secret stamped message" band ring in 14k gold-fill.  What a beautiful texture she gave to it.





And my friend Dawn made a couple spinner rings.  We'd been talking about spinner rings for months, but y'know... life kept getting in the way.  But last week we finally put the nose to the grindstone and started working on them.

Here's the first one she made...




I love how it looks totally handmade and totally awesome.  That's something I look for in jewelry.  I don't want anything that looks machine-made, nor do I want jewelry that looks like it's uncomfortable or going to fall apart any time.  This ring says "I was made with quality materials by someone who knows what they're doing."

The second one she made, there was something about it she didn't like so I don't have a photo of it before she changed it, but it was a cool concept and I'm going to ask her to revisit it.

I'm having fun watching the jewelry that comes out of my workshop. I hope you are too!




Thursday, September 10, 2015

Benefit of the Doubt



Some people say you can’t change, but I disagree.
I think there are two ways to change.
I think it’s possible to change by working on yourself, slowly and steadily.  I’m a great believer in the neuroplasticity of our brains and their ability for us to re-condition learned behavior.  I didn’t say it’s easy, just possible.
I also believe in “aha” moments that change us.  I believe in them because I’ve had them and they did profoundly and permanently change me.  Well, my experiences themselves weren't profound; I merely mean they really had an effect on me and since I think change is NOT the path of least resistance, I’m impressed when it happens.
One “aha” moment that made a permanent change in me was very much like an anecdote I read in Reader’s Digest when I was about twelve years old.  In the story, a man was riding a public transportation bus and his two kids were being kind of wild and disruptive.  Another passenger snapped at the man saying something like, “Can’t you keep control of your kids?  They’re driving everyone nuts!”  The man  looked startled and almost bewildered, like he was coming out of a dream as he began to apologize to the other man and the nearby passengers.   “I’m so sorry, “he said.  “We’ve just come from the hospital.  Their mother just died and I guess I don’t really know how to handle the situation yet.  Again, my apologies.”  Needless to say, the complaining man felt a little… small… and ashamed… and suddenly felt great empathy for the widower and his sons.
Although it's something that really happened, it didn't happen TO ME and I think EXPERIENCING an event has more impact than reading about someone else's event. My own, less dramatic story, did.
I went to pick up my four-year old son from day care one day and I could hear commotion in the next room.  It was one of the baby/toddlers and she was fussing at Gabe, I could tell.  As I rounded the corner I was already chastising him.  “Gabe!  What are you doing to Sophie!  You’d better come here this instant.”
He did come, a few seconds later, and said, “Sophie was crawling up the stairs and she’s not allowed to so I held her back and she didn’t like that.”
Oh my gosh, I was mortified.  I’d yelled at my son for trying to protect a baby from harm.  Gah!  What kind of mother am I?!
But it served as a wake up call to try to remember that I don’t ever know what’s going on in someone’s head or life.  Actions and behavior, even words, may not always be what they appear to be, so I try not to snap to judgment or assume I always know what’s going on, and I try give people and situations the benefit of the doubt.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Ring Size Charts to Hoard

So apparently school is kicking my butt.  I studied all day today and will do the same most of tomorrow.

Forgive my lack of proper blog blatherings of late.

I can at least share something useful with you.

Two of my most used tools in the workroom.

First, a chart by Jewelry Making Daily
(http://www.jewelrymakingdaily.com/blog/ring-making-essentials-make-a-ring-band-in-5-steps-plus-ring-sizing-chart)

This chart tells you how much metal you'll need for ring size X if using metal gauge X.

The next must have chart is a ring size conversion chart.
(http://www.ringsizes.co/)

This chart tells you what size ring you've got.

There are many on the internet, but I find this one easy to print and understand.  I use it constantly (now that I know the best way to find a ring's true size... see this blog post).

So short, but very, very sweet.



Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Homework, plain and simple

Another "no blog post" day.

I wasn't paying close enough attention to the homework assignments for one of my classes and now I have a LOT of catching up to do so that takes precedence.


Monday, September 7, 2015

First Monday of the Month New Listings

First Monday of the month.  All my new listings will be going up today.

Here's a sneak peak of some of them.

http://brackendesigns.com/

http://brackendesigns.com/

http://brackendesigns.com/

http://brackendesigns.com/

Sorry to cut it so short today.  Will try to be extra verbose in the coming days.  Ha ha ha!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Know When to Quit

Was working on spinners rings again today.  Got a late start so at 7:30pm was still in the workroom going at it.

I was working on a particularly complex ring (for me... don't laugh when you see it) and was 95% done.

It would have been nice to finish it, but as I tried to do the last step, I dropped it twice (took me ten minutes to find all the parts each time... they're round... they roll), melted one of the components once, and tried unsuccessfully to solder three times.

I know me.  I wanted to stop before that stage.  Next time I will.  Always follow your intuition and know when to stop.

Luckily, there was not permanent damage to the ring (I don't think) and I'll have a fresh start tomorrow morning, when I'm bright eyed and bushy tailed.

So yeah, know when to quit.  It's okay to leave things unfinished.

And sometimes, it's not even the end of the day.  I've had times where I was trying a technique (enameling, soldering, etc) and things just do NOT fall into place.  What I'm trying to do fails over and over.

It's not a matter of "don't be a quitter"... sometimes you just need to step away for even a day or two and come back fresh.  Almost always I can accomplish what I want easily the next time I try.

So I give you permission to quit.




Saturday, September 5, 2015

Two Rings and a Rose

This will be short.

Spent all day Friday in the workshop with my friend.  We were making rings, and lunch, and rings, and dinner... then watched a little bit of Property Brothers.  Good times!

Here are the rings I made.  One is a spinner ring, the other is soldered together.


And the rose bush started blooming.


And that's all I've got for the moment.  Have a great weekend!  Talk to you tomorrow!


Friday, September 4, 2015

Reserve Your PayPal Me Name NOW

On Sept 1st, PayPal rolled out a new feature.

According to this article...

"PayPal today announced PayPal.Me, giving people personalized links for getting paid. If you’ve ever wanted to send a PayPal money request to a photography client in a single, easy-to-remember URL, that wish has now been granted. But first you’ll need to reserve your name before someone else grabs it."

If you'd like the info from the horse's mouth, check out this PayPal announcement.

Here's some of what PayPal says in trying to describe the new service: "Imagine how much time you waste chasing down friends, family and customers to pay you back. Today, we’re announcing for the first time you can name your money with PayPal.Me: your personal link to getting paid back.

"PayPal.Me makes requesting money from groups of friends, family and colleagues suddenly so much easier and faster. Rather than following up individually, you can email your PayPal.Me link to co-workers to chip in for an engagement present for another co-worker. Or stop asking each of your fellow bridesmaids for bachelorette party payments and just send a group text message with your PayPal.Me link."

And here's where you get your own PayPalMe link. (https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/grab)

To finalize things you will need to log into your PayPal account (if you aren't already logged in).

You can only have ONE PayPalMe name associated with your account.

So that's my PSA for today.

Talk to you tomorrow!

(not mine... I wish!)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Another Finch... Time To Buy More Window Stickers

When a child or an animal acts suspicious, there's usually a reason.

Today I was out watering and I see Tennie's little paws up on the outdoor glass table.  So I ask him, "Are you stretching?"  Then I got closer because I was watering the plants on the table and see a finch just sitting there.

Well, duh... the thing probably hit a window and bounced onto the table and eagle-eye Tennie thought he was going to have a little snack.

So I snatched up Mr. Finch.


Walked down into the orchard.


Sat on the ground and opened my hand.


As they always do, he sat there doing nothing.  Well, nothing externally.  Inside he was probably trying to gather his wits and demeanor.  So I put him on my leg and we sat in the orchard together for a little while.


Then I told him I had work to do so I gave him a wee nudge just to check and happily he flew off into a neighboring apple tree (where he could finish out his R&R).


To rub even more salt in Tennie's wound, he couldn't accompany me on my evening "changing of the sprinklers".  He tried, but I had the mower with me and he and the mower don't get along, thank goodness.  I'd mow, then turn it off to move a hose or turn on a sprinkler and Tennie would let out a plaintive cry and come running toward me, but then I'd start the mower up again and he'd high tail it up the hill and sit under a tree waiting.

Sigh... good little doggie... er, I mean cat.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Interesting Video by Art Curator on the Subject of "I Could Have Done That"

Oh me oh my oh.

Still not in the swing of three classes at the local college (and keeping up with a blog).

So you get no ranting opinions today.

But I feel I should pass on SOMETHING useful, so... let's see.

Oh, here's an interesting video.  Have you ever looked at a piece of art and thought, "I could do that."?

Or maybe overheard someone else say it... maybe even about a piece of YOUR art?

Click here to watch a video on the subject... and then come back and leave me a comment.  I'd love to hear your opinion.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Kindle Unlimited... not so unlimited... And What's a Wine Rack Doing in My Studio?

Learned something the hard way today.  Kindle Unlimited isn't as unlimited as my mind was trying to make it.  Ha ha ha!

Since it's the first of the month I was going over my charges from various accounts and saw that all the books I ordered from Kindle Unlimited at $0.00 I was actually charged for.

Eek!

A quick call to Amazon only to find out that one shouldn't gloss over the small print when signing up for something.  Or one shouldn't wait so long to use a service or use it so infrequently that they forget the rules.

Apparently it's Kindle Limited... to ten books at a time.  Anything over ten and you get charged the going rate.  I could EASILY have "returned" previously loaded books had I known this, but since Amazon can't "convert" the new purchases to the Kindle Unlmiited versions even after I delete/return previous books... they are just now considered purchased, not borrowed.

At least it wasn't a super expensive lesson.

But seriously... even though the onus is on me to know how the system works, I told them it would go a long way for customer service if a little notification came up saying something like, "You have reached your Kindle Unlimited limit (kind of an oxymoron, huh?) and this will be a purchase instead.  Proceed?"

Sigh...

Third world problem... I'm not going to stress about it. 


On another note, I entered two photos in two (similar) Facebook contests.  One is for showing your workroom mascot.  If you like the photo, click on it and give it a FB "like".  Thanks!

https://foto-app.appspot.com/app/foto/item/97877003156/5241134667268096

There's also this contest to show something weird in your workshop.  I chose to show my wine rack because I think it's pretty darn handy and is a wonderful addition to the workshop.  Others may want one too! 

This is my "stamping station".  And it stores wire, pliers, bracelet mandrel, necklace busts and way more.

https://rapiderapps.appspot.com/app/foto/item/97877003156/5336135073005568

And that's it for me today.  See you all tomorrow! 

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Missing Post and Hooray for September

I had a post, but I guess I'm still not used to Windows 10 and it didn't save and it disappeared.  (Having a similar problem with WORD, but *may* have worked that out... won't know for a week or two.)

So that's today's story.  My apologies.

No end of the month wisdom other than... doesn't it always feel like a fresh start when a new month is around the corner?  It's like you can do New Year's resolutions all over again.

What exciting plans do you have for September?

I want to finish the organizing that I started in August (it's going well).  I want to play with more gold-fill (that's going well as well).  I want to (well, I don't WANT to, but I want to get it done) paint the outside staircase and side of the house.

And instead of the original missing post today, we'll just have some cuteness... cats and boxes...




And planters...