Monday, November 29, 2010

Three pairs of enameled earrings!

The enameling class I took on Sunday was great fun.This is something I've wanted to try ever since highschool.  Mixing metal and glassy color just feel right to me. Throw in some beads and viola, we're talking some real fun now!  Now there are a new bunch of supplies and tools I want!!

Here are my pictures of three pairs of earrings, one finished and two in progress.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What does it take to make the life you want?

Currently I am envisioning my future.  A few of the big picture dreams include preservation of the natural world, less traffic congestion with more efficient and environmentally friendly ways to travel, eliminating needless destruction and suffering caused by war and poverty, and a good economy where everyone has satisfying work that feeds their families, gives them satisfaction, and provides for a comfortable life when they no longer work.

At this particular time in the world, things seem to be going in just the opposite direction even as momentum has been built toward creating a more conscious living.  There seem to be strong forces pushing in the direction opposed to the forces that have envisioned more peaceful living.  It feels these days, like the dark clouds above our heads are getting thicker and that the light is out of reach.

When I am making something with my hands, eyes, using my senses to create something beautiful, delicious, or fun I am most likely to feel like I'm doing what is right for me.  This way of thinking is not unusual or unique.  Most people feel this way, don't they?  Not everyone gets to experience it, it is in some ways a luxury to have the freedom, and the privilege of other important needs met to be in a state of mind where creativity thrives.  I might be wrong but I cannot understand the kind of greed that has driven people for years to steal from others, to take what they shouldn't or misuse others or the valuable resources that make living life beautiful.

I am picturing a smaller house with a much smaller yard.  I want a job where I make something tangible.  I want to be able to travel and see some of the places in the world that intrigue me; Europe, Africa, South America and much more of the United States.  I want my children to having fulfilling lives after surviving life's necessary growing pains.  Physical fitness and agility are important to me, I think long quality of life depend on them.  This is not  about being skinny, it's about having flexibility and the endurance to enjoy life's most fun activities.

Even as it feels a bit ominous,  I look forward to the long dark cold winter approaching.  It's a good  time to turn inside and explore what is possible and what is desirable.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

As usual I have a lot to learn

which is great because I love to learn new things.  It has just taken me about 21 months to want to put real effort into at least improving on my Etsy account. It seemed like a good idea when I signed up but was clueless to the reality of what kind of commitment it would require.  That's okay, now that I have extra time while looking for look.  During a period of restlessness,  all I have to do is pick up some bead weaving and escape.  The real work is the photography and photo editing for the presentation.  Thankfully, I am so much more comfortable with it currently. It was the first major block to my potential Etsy success.

The little light box I have set up makes the process so much more enjoyable.  I am able to find my way from iphoto to pandora much more easily and save myself steps if I actually label photographs at the right point of the process.  For someone who prides themselves on being detail oriented figuring out descriptions and tags should be no problem and just this evening I called upon fellow Etsy-ites to give me some inside marketing tips to help navigate the inner workings of Etsy.  Detailed descriptive words are a challenge to be sure.  It will definitely change the way I look at things while I'm making them and photographing them.  It seems like having an item notebook or notepad page would be useful as descriptions come while creating!

The process is intriguing because perhaps it creates a deeper relationship with a product for the creator and perhaps helps one target who may or may not be interested in supporting your craft.  My nerdiness comes out in the sense that when I need to figure something out and I start doing it, the obsession accelerates almost to an unhealthy degree.  I have an awesome collection of beads but what turns me on is taking them and making them into more than the sum of the parts.  I like synthesis.  I like pretty things.  I like the challenge of figuring out something I don't quite understand but feel it's very important and damned if it's not going to take me all day to figure it out.  Heaven help us if it's not resolved by the time I want to go to sleep!!!  Perhaps it's time to institute the evening Brain Drain!!  Random thoughts spilled out onto paper so they free the mind for restful sleep.

Reading this makes me think I've had too much Red Bull or some similar stimulant.  I have not I think I've just been at the computer for too long.  I need to go work on that brickstitch bracelet to calm down!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A learning experience

This is the display for my first ever craft sale/bazaar.  It turned out pretty good for my first time .  I know how well my general organization worked and have ideas of what to bring next time.  I did not, however,  get to test the functioning of my cash box or the Cash Register Application on my iphone!   The verbal response to my jewelry was great!  One pair of earrings sold which made back the table fee!  I feel surprisingly good even for lack of sales.  There was not a lot of heavy foot traffic at this bazaar.  Oak Harbor had 8 Holiday Bazaars that day.  This particular one had taken a few years off so maybe wasn't as well attended as some of the church sales or other school events.

I know a few display improvements I'll make at the La Conner event on December 4. In the next few weeks I'll be updating my Etsy shop,  making more stuff, and trying to figure out how to make my business work.  Another product line is in the works.  More about that later.

Another benefit, I met a very nice Avon lady who lives in Coupeville.  She had the booth next to me.  She actually won the pair of earrings I donated to the raffle!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


The Nintendo Wii has been a part of my achilles recovery for almost two months now.  My progress is well documented on the Wii-fit program.  I went from consistently having a wii-fit age in the 50s and 60's to consistently having an age lower than my actual age.  The balance tests and games are really the best for judging how well my right heel is healing.  I still favor it somewhat.

Some of the activities are getting a bit dull so maybe it's time to move onto the trainer program, My Fitness Coach and maybe throw in a dance game!  It was a great investment for me and it's actually more motivating then I though it would be.  Colin will occasionally play with me, but being a 17 year old, he prefers Halo.  Besides he would probably blow my highest scores out of the water!

Today I am working on my appeal to the unemployment office.  Because of a few restrictions to standing and walking they said I am not fully able to work and therefore not approved for unemployment benefits.  I was looking primarily for jobs that would not include "prolonged walking or standing" so I will make a case that I am most employable in an seated job because my nearly 10 years of experience was as an office manager.  A plus is that on my follow up appointment the doctor cleared me of restrictions.  I just need him to fill out the proof to send it to Employment Security.  The process has required about 10 forms so far, talking to the decision board twice on the phone, and speaking with countless other people!  I have faithfully been doing my three job searches a week.  It's a technicality for sure. Hopefully it's worth making my case.  The job search is difficult and having no extra income is not great either!

Emerald Marine is employing my office organizing skills on a voluntary basis for a couple of hours a week.  The shop office has been recently renovated and it actually stays warm with the heater turned on.  It feels great to contribute to the family business!

Okay, so I'm going to grab a Luna Bar, a glass of water, do my wii-fit routine, make some earrings, look for some jobs, and enjoy the sun!  Tonight we celebrate a successful Friends of the Forest benefit at the Brown!

Monday, November 1, 2010

I am new to the active blogging life

Zizou has landed resolutely on my lap, so I am warm and anchored to the chair for the time being.  The cats have their favorite chairs which will be either the one at my beading station or the one at the computer.  Zizou will have it if I'm sitting here or not.  I'm working on building up my jewelry inventory to feature on etsy and/or the Holiday Craft Bazaar in Oak Harbor on Saturday, November 6.  I am hoping to do one more Bazaar this season, maybe in La Conner.  My productivity has increased with the added motivation.  I'm a bit nervous but also excited.  Another new opportunity to forward my craft is teaching the Beginning Beading at Anacortes Beads.  A few months ago I filled in for Marsha for my first class.  I would like to have more experience in teaching skills that I'm comfortable with. 

Next Saturday night is also the Benefit Concert for Spoonshine.  They had much of their valued equipment stolen by some people who I'm sure don't need it more than they do.  Heartless criminals!  It starts at 6:00 at the Croation Club!!  

This is Pearl and Zizou in a basket that is not much more than
12 inches in diameter!!  Pearl was still a kitten.

So thanks for checking this out.  I'm curious to see where this goes.
I think it is most likely for myself.  We'll see!

Guemes Island Get-away!

Posted by PicasaAndy and I stayed a night at the Guemes Island Resort last spring.  We had a sweet little cabin with an outdoor hot tub.  The location is on the north shore and the beach view looks toward Mt. Baker and Bellingham.  It's a great place with a small store that carries local art, wine, gourmet foods, and various things you might want for your stay!