Friday, February 29, 2008

Sometimes I Get Depressed

Sometimes I feel so out of the loop. I have no real friends in my personal life. I have my mom and family and husband. But at my upcoming birthday party, there will be no non-family members. No "best friends" that have to attend. Just family.

I recently saw a great line... "I love my computer. It's where all my friends live." And I find that SO very true! Although I have gotten to the point in a couple friendships where we've met in person and some where we chat on the phone (Thanks JenC, Nicole, & Rhonda!). Because seriously...without these interactions I'd be totally and utterly alone.

It kind of makes me want to cry ... although JenC will tell you that I'm way too tough for that. Except when I'm not. The times when I'm on a downward slide and feeling incredibly sad, paranoid, depressed. I feel one of those times coming on. I hate those times because they generally follow a pretty upbeat and happy time.

Despite my recent headaches I've been doing pretty good. Granted, I haven't been super inspired to make new jewelry but otherwise I'd been doing decently. Right now I don't feel decent.

I feel frustrated...and a little angry. There's no reason why. On the outside I do appear to be keeping it together. But inside I am sobbing and throwing a fit. It's very frustrating. Being super tired doesn't help things either. It really does aggravate things.

This is part of being Bipolar. Sometimes it just hits me full force all of a sudden and sometimes it sneaks up on me slowly. Today, if I'd been paying attention, I'd have noticed that the signs were there. But I didn't.

There's no reason for the way I feel. No logical or tangible reason. It's a chemical thing and difficult to control or predict.

Thankfully, this doesn't feel like a massive one. I'm still able to think fairly clearly and 'fake' it at work. I feel like curling up in a little ball and crying but I won't. Until I get home tonight. :) Then I can be "oh whoa is me" until tomorrow when I have to suck it up and get back to work!

A Full Caffeine Eclipse

Oh the world could have ended!!!

Leaping Lizards

What the heck is up with Leap Year? I've never really understood the point of an extra day in the year. But I also don't understand the point of daylight savings time either.

So today is an "extra" day for the year. That concept is actually kind of hard to wrap my mind around. Who decided to make this day "extra" anyway? And if they hadn't made the decision where would this extra day go?

Okay...I's not *that* complicated. Wikipedia does a decent job of explaining the definition of a Leap Year. It all has to do with planets and Romans and even algorithms. Sheesh. Too complicated for me.

I just feel bad for those folks born today. They only get a birthday once every four years. I wonder if they get four times the presents though. :)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Migraine is Nothing

Sometimes I have a pity party...and then hear a story that makes me say to myself "buck ain't that bad."

A man returns to Iraq after losing his leg. What an amazing man! Go Marines!!!

It makes my migraine today seem kind of unimportant.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

When You Pry them from My Cold Dead Hands

That's when you can have my regular light bulbs. It blows my mind that congress thinks that it is so all fired important to BAN light bulbs!!! Don't they have better things to do?

And of course, in all their haste to "save the planet" they do something that is hazardous to PEOPLE and harmful for the poor. Great job guys. *insert eye roll here*

All I know is that when I go to the grocery store I buy as many regular light bulbs as I can. I'm stocking up! The only place I'll use those hideous ugly and dangerous light bulbs is outside. I want them no where near me inside.

Funniest comment from the post...
Just the other day, I was hunting spotted-owls. As I dipped the lead bullet in a small vat mercury, I remembered that I needed to return to my Hummer and change the oil while I was above the watershed. Just let the oil run downstream is the way my father taught me. I can't for the life of me remember why I left the engine running while I was away hunting. While I was there, I buried the asbestos tiles from my remodeling project. Can anyone tell me why the National Park Service does not keep open pits for asbestos tiles? Having to dig my own pit was a real hassle. Fortunately, my bulldozer and backhoe were able to clear a path in the old growth forest so I could back my Hummer to the edge of the pit.

Oh and did you hear that Ethanol is now being found to be MORE damaging to the environment? HA! Take that enviro-wackos. This is what happens when politically correct "ideas" move forward without actual research and solid science.

I am so annoyed today. Sheesh. I need an attitude adjustment. Or a nap.

Let's Shop!

Join me and my Posh Mamas tomorrow for a me.dium tour. It's a lot of fun and informative too!

Tomorrow - 3 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. CT / 12 p.m. PT.

Me.dium is a social networking surfing site. It requires a download to your computer but it's fairly simple. I have mine downloaded...and it means that you can see where I'm surfing online! It's online shopping together - without being in the same room, city, or even country!

Don't turns off automatically when you go to sensitive sites like banks or credit cards or anytime you have to enter a password. It's intuitive that way.

Cutest Thing Ever

Okay...enough of the whining and complaining.

Cutest Thing EVER!

Not a Happy Camper

I love my job. I really do. It can be dull and boring at now when I'm waiting on others for information.

One thing I certainly do NOT love is how "corporate" it's been getting. When I first started here, almost eight years ago, it was very associate oriented - family. It was about work but it was also about working together as a team. There weren't nearly as many "rules" and "regs" as have been implemented over the last few years.

The newest, and the one I'm fighting, is the "strongly recommended" "Respectful Workplace" training. I don't know how many more of these ridiculous trainings I can attend and I am fighting this one with every ounce of my being. I've been force fed this "diversity" crap since I was in Kindergarten. If it hasn't worked by now it certainly isn't going to work.

I have never ever ever been written up or even 'talked to' about being insensitive to others. Of course...I am not particularly sensitive when it comes to certain things. Like Christmas. I say Merry Christmas and if you don't like it you can bite me.

It ticks me off that I am "expected to take advantage" of this "opportunity" to learn how to maintain "an atmosphere free of discrimination and harassment". Seriously? I can't believe we are wasting money on something called a "Diversity & Inclusion Council" while trying at the same time to cut costs.

I'm almost 30 years old and was raised in a time of making sure all kids "got along". A laughable goal since most kids are just mean. I remember a TV commercial that was on when I was a kid - it was one of those public service commercials they played during Saturday morning cartoons. A white kid and a black kid were out at the pool together. Friends. No big deal. The white kid says something about getting burned but how his friend didn't have to worry about it because he was already so dark. At which point the black boy informed the white boy that he could burn and it wasn't a very nice thing for him to say. OMG.

Even then I thought it was a stupid commercial. If that's the worst thing a kid says to another kid we're doing pretty dang good. I didn't even realize there were such things as "black", "white", or "racist" until later in elementary school when I was TOLD that white people were racist. It was news to me.

I was a MEAN little girl. Especially after my dad died. And not one time did I ever hate or harass anyone because of their skin color. I was an equal opportunity bully. I pulled a girl's hair once. I'm not proud of it. I pulled her hair on the bus because I thought she was gross...and annoying. But then again I was a little brat. Someone should have pulled my hair. I certainly didn't discriminate in who I was mean friends were from different backgrounds and colors and we were all mean to those who weren't part of our "clique".

So now my work is trying to force me to take a class to teach me to be respectful of others. If my mom didn't get through to me by the time I was 18 who thinks my work can do any better job? It is beyond insulting. Not only that, forced diversity training doesn't work. It just makes people bitter and angry at having to attend such insipid and unnecessary meetings that take away from their real job.

I'm just so ticked off that my work is even wasting money on this kind of thing - that's money that could be applied to bonuses. They're suspending raises this year but throwing money down the toilet for this kind of crap.

No...I'm not the most sensitive person. But I am also not a racist. I'm not disrespectful to anyone because of who they are or what they look like. If I'm disrespectful it's usually because we're all joking around...and it's usually to my boss! Then again he's a white male so I guess it's okay to be mean to him right?


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Aliens Are Coming!

I love Soapy Love. I'm sure you who have read my blog for awhile know this. She is so creative and I just had to share one of her latest inventions.

It's Alien Soap!!!

And I have a request in to her for Easter related soaps - I'm thinking Peeps and Eggs. As long as no one tries to eat them! :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ya Like?

I changed my Blog layout. Do you like it? I liked the pink but it was so ... pink. :)

I like this layout because the text starts all the way to the left. I didn't like the old way ... how it squished everything together in the middle.

What I'd really like is to figure out how to put my own banner at the top but this will do for now. :)

Grandpa's Retirement Fund

I know I come by my obsessive need to purchase things honestly. And it apparently didn't just come from my grandmother and great grandmother were pretty good at hoarding things too.

Apparently grandma wanted to open a jewelry shop - grandpa would cut and grind the stones and she would set them. And she bought a LOT of stuff. I went down to grandpa's on Saturday. We didn't get to grind or polish any stones (the darn things won't stick to the dop sticks still!) I did get to go through some of his supplies. And boy is he drowning in supplies!

Casto Creations' Supplies_0208 photosetCasto Creations' Supplies_0208 photoset

I have more photos to take of all the goodies I brought home. There are some interesting base metal necklaces that have unique patterns of chain. Some of the supplies I can use and will keep a few for myself but for the most part I'm selling them and giving the money to Grandpa. I figure it's part of his retirement fund. :)

I'll be researching to figure out how to price them and posting them in my Etsy gemstone shop. But if you see something you would like made into a necklace or ring let me know! :)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Artist's Survival Kit

Do you ever just feel...blah. No inspiration? Need a pick me up?

Enter...the Artist's Survival Kit!

Good As Gold

Why I couldn't have started playing with gold with the market price was a lot lower is beyond me. But now that I have the bug I can't help myself! I have started soldering gold and I absolutely love it. It's completely addicting.

I want MORE gold...but thicker wire. It's ridiculously expensive right now. The market yesterday ended at nearly $950 an ounce. The thicker wire is several hundred dollars per FOOT. Yes, one foot of 10 gauge wire is $429. Wholesale. Holy crap. And it doesn't get that much cheaper as you get smaller either.

I made these lovely (if I do say so myself) 16 gauge wire rings and even that was painful to purchase - especially because I hadn't done any gold soldering before so it was an expensive experiment. I only bought one foot of wire. It doesn't go far.

And then I decided I had to make some earrings. They didn't turn out exactly the way I expected. But I still really like them.

And this is why I work mostly in silver. As expensive as it has gotten it's still loads cheaper than gold. But gold is classic. And it's calling my name!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Prayers for Rachel's Rupert

I love Rachel Lucas' blog. I read it every single day - sometimes more than once a day. She is witty, funny, and has a wicked dirty mouth. I kind of live vicariously through her sometimes because I really don't curse (unless pushed to the very limit - usually by hubby - or traffic).

She posted today some news that affects her greatly. And therefore I feel like it affects me too. Her Rupert is leaving her ... for Baghdad.

The War on Islamo-Radicals continues - even while I live my daily life. Unaffected and unaware. I thank God for men like "Rupert" (not his real name by the way) who disrupt their daily lives and travel abroad for a future unknown. To protect and serve.

He will be in my prayers, as are all the men and women serving our great nation.

Doing Good Things

I love our military. LOVE them. For so many reasons and this story just makes me love them even more. If I had known they needed money to bring this sweet dog back to the states I would have donated. [Note - there are NO fund raising efforts right now so if someone asks for money it's a scam.]

I don't know if my dogs would walk 70 miles to find me. And we aren't in the desert with 115 degree heat.

This sweet dog was battered and bruised and completely damaged by mean people with no concern for his life. And our wonderful military men took him in, fed him a doggy's dream of chicken and pop tarts.

I'm a little concerned that the dog was going to be SHOT if the sergeant carrying for him didn't get rid of him. What the hell is that about? I know there are rules about having animals due to security ... but that just breaks my heart. I wish I could adopt all the abandoned dogs in the world. :( Our dogs bring us so much joy that it's hard for me to hear about any dog suffering.

Thankfully they managed to get this guy out of Iraq and back to the states where he will live with a new doggy pal named

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Well, I Made It

It's a little anti-climactic. I just found out today that I was accepted by the Northwest Crafts Alliance. I've been wanting to apply for two years now and finally got my nerve up. They don't allow artists with simple beaded work - jewelry is their most competitive category of course - and they require 90% of each piece be hand crafted / hand fabricated.

The only reason I found out is because they contacted me about my participation in their upcoming show - which is like 3 weeks away!!! Oh My GAWD! I'm so freaked out!

So, the good news is that I was accepted. The freaky news is that I only have three weeks to get ready for the first show. I don't know if I can get ready in time - I don't really have enough inventory. They have four shows each year and I may do the two later shows.

It's exciting that I was accepted though! :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Doggy Beer dog, Trooper, is an alcoholic. We try not to enable him but sometimes it's funny to watch him follow daddy around begging for beer or wine. (His father's name is Hooch...maybe it's genetic.)

He even knocked a bottle of wine off the counter and would have drank it all if I hadn't caught him in the act.

Well, now he may be able to enjoy a cold one with papa.

Bowser Beer may be the ticket.

Thank you, Rare Bird Finds for finding this incredibly funny doggy treat.

Bad Troopers, No Donuts!

Some of you may not know, but my husband is a Washington State Trooper. I'm very proud of him and his career but sometimes it gives me heartburn.

When a Trooper is killed in the line of duty, it is the responsibility of fellow Troopers to inform his family (yeah, I know there are female Troopers. But in my life it's a He.). Two Troopers are dispatched to relay the unhappy news. One Trooper means injury. Seeing two Troopers in my driveway is never a good sign, and yet twice now I've been scared witless.

Hubby worked a day shift yesterday, starting at 6 a.m., scheduled to be off on 4 p.m. At 3:15 my dogs starting running around all excited like they do when daddy gets home. It was too early and I thought it was odd. I looked out the kitchen window and my stomach sank. I saw hubby's Sergeant. Hat in hand, he looked like he was waiting for another Trooper to walk up the drive.

At this point I got tunnel vision. I don't remember anything except the thought of getting to the door while a million things went through my mind...the first one being "Oh Sh*t!".

I threw the door open and there standing on my doorstep is my husband. I was SO ticked. Not because I was mad that he wasn't actually dead, mind you. But because this is the second time that I've been scared out of my mind by the appearance of Troopers. (The other time, there were two Trooper cars in my driveway when I wasn't expecting was just hubby and another guy for lunch!)

I of course cursed and his sergeant started laughing and said, "See, I told you you should have called." Damn right he should have. I was so ticked off that he scared me so badly. Apparently there was something wrong with his car and his sarge had to drop him off.

I pray to God that there is never a day when I actually do find two Troopers on my doorstep. One would be bad enough, but two would kill me.

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Hero

I SO wish I had been older during the times of Reagan. He was absolutely brilliant. Watch this speech and awe in his genius. LISTEN to those words!!!

"If no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else."

OMG...those words bring tears to my eyes. And this is definitely a speech to kick off President's Day weekend!

Indiana Jones!

Well, I admit. I'm a total fan of Indiana Jones movies. I have all three on DVD and will definitely have to watch them all over again before the new one comes out.

But doesn't it bother ANYONE else that the preview shows him fighting against American military? That bothers me a LOT. I realize America isn't perfect and the military is made up of people - people who are not perfect. But I respect and honor our military men and women and seeing them portrayed as the bad guys really rubs me the wrong way.

Granted, I don't know the story line and don't actually know what the issues are in the movie so I will reserve judgment. I just hope the US of A isn't the bad guy.

Three Day Weekend, Here I Come!

This has been a very stressful week for me. Work has been absolutely insane and it won't stop being so today either.

I also was in SheFinds Jewelry Showcase and have several orders (some rather large) to fill from that. And my Mother in Law's birthday is tomorrow and I am in charge of planning and coordinating. *sigh*

And to add to my depression (I use the term loosely here, I'm not actually depressed...just stressed) the first two things I read this morning are total downers.

First, the absolutely adorable looking Snow Buddies was made with underage dogs, some of whom died. This ticks me off because I know how important the first eight weeks of a dog's life are with their mom. My MIL wanted this movie but hell if I am going to buy it now.

And then on Rachel Lucas' blog I read a supremely sad and distressing story of the worst customer service EVER. There is a time to follow policy and a time to throw the rule book out the window. This was one of those times. Screw the rules. Give the guy his daughter's phone. Jeez. What is wrong with people? This is how NOT to do public relations.

I'll have to update the blog again today because this is just too depressing to keep up all weekend long. But I had to get it out of my system. If the T-Mobile story from Rachel's blog makes you as angry as I am, feel free to spread it around the net and even call T-Mobile. If I were their customer I'd totally be canceling right now. BAD corporation! I like big business but companies like this give big business a bad name. :(

Thursday, February 14, 2008


My mother in law thinks that we starve our dogs. Maybe it's because all she sees them do is BEG!

Papa is not forcing his head to stay there...he doesn't have him in a head lock or anything. He just had no where else to put his arm ... and Trooper was doing his best to get closer...and closer...and closer.

It's sure hard to say no to the cuteness. "Rub My Belly!" This is his standard pose. =)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I've been adding to my favorites page on Etsy and these are a few I thought I'd share. Do you have favorites?

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade


Oh my goodness...I never win anything!

The Bloggy Giveaway that I participated in a couple weeks ago was so much fun and I loved getting all the great feedback and meeting new folks and reading new blogs.

And I entered a few of the contests myself...and WON over at Bad Sheep! :) I'm so excited. It's too funny because of allll the things I could possibly win, I won Harry Potter stuff. Those who know me well know that I'm completely addicted to HP in all forms. I'm even looking for a good PC video game based on HP. I'm such a nerd!!! Oh wait...I'm a GEEK! =) HAHAHAHAHAHA! I love it!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I'm Addicted

To Silver! And ice cream, but that's really neither here nor there.

Silver prices have been climbing for a couple of years now. I can remember buying silver at $13 an ounce (meaning the market price was around $9 - shops always tack on a fee on top of the market price). And now it's up to over $17 an ounce in the market (meaning if I need to order it'll be over $20 an ounce for me).

It's a painful change to swallow so quickly. There are several reasons why the price has gone up so much (as has the price of all metals) - one being stock market uncertainty. The market has been extremely erratic and I like to say it's bipolar...up one second and down the other. One day it's down over 300 points and the next it's up more than 300. This craziness breeds uncertainty and makes people nervous. The folks who invest stuff (yeah, so technical, I know) want certainty and start putting money in the metals market, driving up the prices.

Another reason is the exploding middle class population in countries like China and India. The more people who can afford stuff the more in demand that stuff will become. This includes metals. It's that whole pesky supply and demand thing - the less of something that is more popular drives up the price.

Will the prices go back down? It's hard to say but I'm guessing yes, eventually, but not as low as they had been. The markets generally go up over the long term, and as the stock market goes up the metal market goes down. The supply issue though probably won't go away. As the gold market has gotten crazy expensive more people turn to silver, not to mention the increased populations.

So my addiction will stay expensive no matter what. And look for silver jewelry to continue to go up in price as well.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Feedback is a Wonderful Thing

Sometimes I think we get so caught up in going going going that we lose sight of why we do what we do. Why DO I sell my jewelry? It's not just to make money, that is for sure. I make a lot more money at my full time job, but it clearly is not enough to completely satisfy me.

Designing jewelry gives me a sense of accomplishment and happiness. Dare I say Pride? (I know, Pride is a sin...sorry God.) When I tackle a new skill and overcome my fear of new things I do feel proud of myself.

Every time I make a sale, I tell my hubby and ask "Aren't you proud of me?" And he always says yes. It's not the sale in terms of someone paying me for an item that makes me so happy (though it doesn't hurt). It really is the knowledge that someone thought my work was worthy enough of their hard earned dollars. It still kind of boggles my mind. People are paying to wear my designs!

I had an appointment with a local store that sells my work last Thursday and was absolutely thrilled with some feedback they gave. The buyer said that my work sold better than the name brand designer work they had. *blush* She also said that people came in to the store and knew my name and always had nice things to say. That blows my mind...because I know it wasn't my mom! lol

And just recently I had a customer e-mail with such a sweet message that it brought tears to my eyes.

I just opened up my order, and i had to write you to let you know how *thrilled* i am with my goodies! please believe me when i say that i can finally stop my incessant jewelry hunt! these are the perfect things, and i just took off my necklace, earrings, and bracelet to try these lovely things on! i don't think i'm going to take them off!

There was more but I'm already going to get emotional again. It seriously makes my heart swell in my chest to know that someone out there appreciates the work I did for them. Each and every piece I create is made for someone special and that is part of the beauty of handmade.

Remember, when you are a customer, that feedback can make a person's day, week, or even year. Feedback reminds us why we design and follow our passion. It makes all the effort worth it.

Friday, February 8, 2008

On One Hand, But on the Other

On one hand, I really am jonesing for some new 'stuff' ... my wish list keeps getting longer on Etsy. On the other hand I'm feeling really cheap at the moment. It's not that I couldn't buy some of it but for some reason I'm not parting with my money as easily as I know I can (I've seen proof of my abilities!).

My husband loves all things wood and birch is his particular favorite. This beautiful handcrafted frame made by Rob Gorrell would surely be a hit with hubby. It is very tempting.

Don't laugh, but I find these lace up socks adorably irresistible. Maybe it's the little girl who loved to play dress up coming out in me, but there's something about these that I just find fascinating. Too funky for you? Ilusoria has a wide range of handcrafted lovelies available.

I'm trying to figure out if these gorgeous Obi Belt by Looby Lou would work around my icky fat waist. It's so beautiful and I love everything Japanese. I'm not sure where I would wear it - although I suppose I could dress up at home with the lace up knit socks.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wholesaling is Complicated


My head hurts. And I don't have a headache. I was recently (finally after two previous attentions) accepted on - an online venue for artists to display their work for potential buyers.

I thought I had a good grip on the whole wholesale thing - but oy. Reading comments from retailers made my head spin. They have an entire forum for retailer to artist discussions. I'm grateful for their expertise but it means that I have to reexamine some of my pricing and payment policies.

"Big things should cost more than little things. When it comes to retail customers, size matters. We know that you spend every bit as much time and effort on those puny little things, but please, please average your costs out across your line so that the teensy, weensy little thing isn't the same price as the big one even if your cost is the same. "

I get that and it makes sense. It can be hard though when small things can be more time consuming, and sometimes even require more expensive materials.

"Don't price like you're the retailer. Your pricees should be in whole dollars or perhaps have an occasional fifty cents on the end. We have the MULTIPLY your prices by our markup and THEN make the price sound like a "real price". If you start out with 29.95 as if you're retailing, we end up with some pretty weird numbers."

I stopped using the .97 or .95 ending awhile ago because it made my life crazy trying to figure out tax at shows. But I can only imagine how confusing it becomes for retailers.

"Before you establish a price, try multiplying it by 2.25 and 2.5 to see what your customers are going to end up with at retail. If you're just over a "normal" price point, we'll ofen be forced to round down rather than up. We hate this. If we're coming up with $81 rather than 79.95, we just lost a dollar and can't really justify going to 84.95. However, if we go over that perceived price point of $80, it will affect our sales volume negatively. Sometimes just a tiny change in the wholesale price could actually increase your wholesale sales."

It is SO hard to price my work appropriately and I know I'm not the only artist who feels this way. I want to be able to sell directly to customers (though this is not recommended by some of the retailers on this board either - but I'll address that later) and be able to offer wholesale accounts. This means that I MUST price each piece high enough to allow a significant price break for a retailer. It is a tricky balance.

Getting advice directly from a retailer is invaluable to me so I am trying to take all their words in but there is a lot of information out there and some of it is conflicting. I'll try to take it all in and do my best.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

We Didn't Lose, We Gave Up

I wasn't alive for the Vietnam war. My mom tells me that my dad marched against it. That nugget of info brought me quite a bit of shame. I'm sure my father is looking down on me and wondering where he went wrong.

We were winning the war. The anti-war protesters were doing nothing more than they do now ... blocking streets and annoying regular citizens trying to live their lives.

And here's a shocker - the media rose the white flag for America and brought our defeat and humiliation to fruition.

"...the desperate fury of the communist attacks including on Saigon, where most reporters lived and worked, caught the press by surprise. (Not the military: It had been expecting an attack and had been on full alert since Jan. 24.) It also put many reporters in physical danger for the first time. Braestrup, a former Marine, calculated that only 40 of 354 print and TV journalists covering the war at the time had seen any real fighting. Their own panic deeply colored their reportage, suggesting that the communist assault had flung Vietnam into chaos."

"...thanks to the success of Tet, the numbers of Americans dying in Vietnam steadily declined -- from almost 15,000 in 1968 to 9,414 in 1969 and 4,221 in 1970 -- by which time the Viet Cong had ceased to exist as a viable fighting force."

I find that most reporters on main stream news stations rarely go out into battle with our soldiers. There are a few brave ones, but most are independent like Michael Yon and Michael Totten, two of my favorites.

Unfortunately, such independent reporters and the internet were not available during Vietnam. Thankfully today we have the opportunity to fight back against the negative propaganda and "if it bleeds it leads" cowardly reporting. And WIN a war that must be won. Or we could see millions more slaughtered.

"Southeast Asia entered the era of the "killing fields," exterminating in a brief few years an estimated two million people -- 30% of the Cambodian population."

Are things all roses and sunshine in Iraq and Afghanistan? Of course not. But we ARE winning. And we CAN win if we stay the course that General Petraeus has set.

You Think My Dogs are Cute?

Oh my dogs are cute...there is no doubt about that. I adore them and was just staring at photos of Kodiak that we have framed and hung on our walls (seriously, there are more photos of him than of us ... even our wedding photos aren't on the walls).

But it is hard to beat Rachel Lucas' doggy art - We've tried to dress our dogs up for this art fest but they don't tend to stay as still or cooperative as Rachel somehow gets her dogs to be.

Maggie - her parent's dog - is a lovely lady.

Seriously! How freaking adorable is that? It's greeting card adorable I tell you.

Sunny, Rachel's dog, is her own kind of sweet cuteness.

And right now, Sunny Lucas is my first choice for President!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Why I Don't Watch the News

I guess not all Hollywood stars are morons.

Drew Carrey appears downright brilliant in this video.

I am middle class. Absolutely. My husband is blue collar. I am not a high powered executive (nor would I ever want to be one). And yet I am not depressed by our life or our economic situation. Can we afford anything and everything? Of course not. But we can afford our basic necessities and a few extras.

If it bleeds, it leads. Good news doesn't sell, doesn't get votes, doesn't get attention. If everything is bad the government is here to help you.

Excuse me while I run in fear.

Wake Me When It's Over

I'm normally into politics. I grew up in a very politically diverse family so functions were always full of debate (aka arguments) and no one ever really won .

But can I tell you...I am SICK of politics. It's on every channel and radio show. I'm sick of it.

Harry Potter books on CD have been my savior for the last few weeks.

So somebody wake me up when the primaries are over and I'll vote in the general election.

Until then it's Harry Potter and jewelry for me!

Monday, February 4, 2008

I Have an Online Crush

I admit it. I have a HUGE online crush. It's not what you think...I am, after all, a married woman.

My crush is on an amazingly talented and very generous Chris Parry of Bespoke Jewellery (he's across the pond so he spells things 'funny').

And why do I have a crush on another jeweler you may ask?

First of all, his work is really incredible. His designs are simple, clean lines, elegant and gorgeous. I think they speak to me because it is the type of design that I would create if I had his skill.
He even has his own shop! This makes me green with envy as one of my dreams is having my own little boutique. Not even just for my jewelry - but for gifts made by independent designers just like me.

Oh the envy!

But not only is he talented and successful - he's generous. Sharing his knowledge to other jewelers with wit and humor. I love humor - laughter is after all the best medicine.

He's also on Etsy, which is how I discovered this gem of a jeweler. I hope you enjoy his work as much as I do.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

We Have a Winner!!!

Congratulations Theresa S!

She is the winner of my Bloggy Giveaway. YAY!!!

I had SO much fun this week. All of your comments made me feel so great. If I could I would give you ALL free jewelry.

If you didn't win and like my jewelry designs please sign up for my newsletter. It goes out once a month - and newsletter members get special deals and codes. I never share or sell anyone's information, ever!

Thank you!!! I look forward to doing another Bloggy Giveaway in the future.

Friday, February 1, 2008

It's Almost Over

The suspense is killing me! Who is going to win my giveaway for a brand new pair of earrings??? I have no idea! But I am beyond thrilled with the response. Over 200 comments and they keep coming in!


Everyone who commented (and followed the rules) - you made my week.

For those who haven't yet entered - simply go to this post, follow the rules, and leave your comment and you will be entered. I'll be picking the winning name tonight around 8 p.m. Pacific time. I will contact the winner and if I don't hear back from them by noon on Sunday I will pick a new name and continue until someone responds back. =) Be sure to check your Spam folders!!!

I really truly wish I could give everyone free jewelry!!! Really. I do. My heart just swelled with every comment I read. For those who don't win I am sorry! And if you still are interested in my jewelry, if you sign up for my newsletter you'll be given advanced notice of fun contests, discounts, and other announcements. :)