Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cyber Monday

Is anyone looking for deals on Cyber Monday?

I hadn't planned to offer a discount. I offered a huge discount to newsletter subscribers on Friday and that was fun.

I just heard that Best Buy is going to offer deals on iPods. I'll have to tell my aunt since she was going to get my cousin one.

I'm pretty much done shopping for everyone in my family. Although I do need to finish up a few pieces of jewelry to give as gifts too. And hubby and I have no idea what to get each other.

I hope everyone had a beautiful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

Have a wonderful, peaceful, and family filled Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

You Won't Find My Work Here

I'm not much of a cook. Once in awhile I'll make something ambitious like a cake from a box and add frosting from a can. But it's just a once or twice a year event. Although I did "help" my mom make a crazy cake with pinouche frosting (how do you spell that?). But it was minor help.

So my point ... you won't ever see one of my creations on this very funny and cute website Cake Wrecks.


Monday, November 24, 2008

I Finally Got a Treasury

Sheesh. It took me long enough. I have had an idea for a treasury on Etsy for weeks and I kept missing out. I stayed up late just to get one! =)

This link will expire in 3 days ... but feel free to visit and comment until then. I hope you like it!

Friday, November 21, 2008

New Work

I'm anxiously waiting an order from one of my suppliers so I can play with metal and soldering. In the mean time here are some of my latest listings on Etsy.

These aren't new...I made them earlier in the year. But for some reason I kept forgetting to post them. They're just so pretty ... the photos never really capture how beautiful they are in person. Faceted Peridot teardrops framed by handcrafted fine silver ovals.

I named these Abstract Peek-a-Boo. I don't know why. I am not so good at naming things. I actually made these in a class. They are copper topped with brass that I cut into these funky triangles with oval holes. We were practicing cutting holes in metal (which involved a drill) and cutting shapes with our hand saws. I think they turned out very funky and cool.

These were another classroom creation. We were practicing cutting shapes and soldering brass and copper. I was supposed to put them in the pickle solution and then tumble them but after firing they turned these amazing colors and I decided to leave them as is. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

People Are Buying

The economy sucks. I'm finally on board with this analysis. Of course it doesn't totally suck. Gas prices are down and my wallet is super thankful for that. In less than 6 months I went from paying over $4.30 to less than $2! I'm loving it right now.

And while sales overall in my jewelry shop are down from last year I'm still getting sales. I think that people are being pickier and more selective. I know that I am.

If you look at the Etsy Alchemy (a place to request custom items) there are people looking to spend money on their exact wish. I try to watch these requests, not just to bid on them but to see what people are looking for over all. If you see a pattern you may be able to pick up on trends and get ahead of the curve.

Even looking at the Etsy time machine you can see that people are still buying.

I guess I am just an optimist and really try to see the best news. It's been very hard lately and my industry is being hit especially hard. I'm hoping to keep my job but you just never know what will happen.

All I can do is stay focused and do the best job that I know how.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Handcrafting Women of the Web

I love supporting small businesses. I'm sure I've mentioned that before. *grin*

And there's a new way to find hand crafted female owned businesses.

Created by Cee Cee of Womenprenuers it is a downloadable PDF file and is organized by type of business. Each one has a blurb about their business, a link to their website, and other important details. It's 73 pages long! There are a lot of us out there. =)

Get your Christmas shopping done and support hand crafting...your dollars will go directly to the artisan instead of to a merchant and a middle man. And it is a great way to know exactly where your money goes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Christmas is Only 37 Days Away

Are you ready???

I'm actually more prepared than I think I am but I need to sit down and write a list of all the gifts I already have and who they are going to. If you haven't gotten all your gifts yet I'll be blogging about some of my favorite sites, stores, items, and artists over the next few weeks.

One gift that I'm super excited to give is for my Mother in Law. I wasn't really sure what to expect when I ordered this but it looked so beautiful that I couldn't resist. Once I got it in person I was awed.

Hand painted on silk by West Egg Studio this pillow is SO well made. I was truly impressed and I think my mother in law is going to love it. Even my hubby asked if we could get one for ourselves ... though I did veto that. With our dogs a gorgeous work like this would be destroyed.

She has so many different designs. I love this one too.

She's also started offering wonderful hand painted and one of a kind Baby Room art.

Here is a blurb from Lori's site. Her pillows being sold on Etsy are a steal!

I have been in the handpainted pillow business since 1995, and I am delighted to offer some of my retired designs on Etsy! You may recognize many of the designs. These pillows are individually handpainted on fine silk, each an original design, and they have sold around the country through the finest retailers, including Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York and Saks Fifth Avenue.

The pillows have been featured in numerous design and trade magazines, including Victoria, Veranda, Southern Accents, Colonial Homes and Florida Design. Retail on the pillows was from $200-400 EACH. The designs featured on Etsy are retired, so I am able to offer overstock at wholesale prices or below. Many of the pillows are no longer in production, and I have only one left of certain designs. I have noted "last one" if this is the case. I am also selling selected handpainted art on silk (not made into pillows), which you can frame or use as you wish. Thanks for visiting West Egg Studio.
I definitely recommend Lori of West Egg Studio for a unique and treasured gift.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Craft Show Results

My expectations for last Friday's craft show were tempered. I did not expect outstanding sales like I had several years ago. My best year ever for the show topped $1,200. This was not going to be that year.

I set my sales goal at $500. This is a 4 hour show and is only open to associates, contractors, and interns within the company. I think the company has around 1,000 people in our main location. So really, $500 is an ambitious goal for even the best of times. Especially when there are at least 5 other people selling jewelry.

Thankfully, I've been selling my jewelry for several years at this show and people know me. Some people I only see at this show.

I could definitely see a difference in traffic compared to previous years. Most shows find people standing in line 10 deep to make purchases. This year I did have two people lined up waiting at one point but I think that only happened a couple of times.

Thankfully I met my goal with a little over $550 in sales. Plus I traded a bracelet for some Christmas presents. So technically that would bump me over $600 but I'm not counting it as a sale.

Of course, this is still not a profit producing show. I mostly run at a deficit all year because my goal isn't to make enough money to pay my bills. My goal is to create and learn new skills. However I do need to continue to sell jewelry in order to fund that endeavor. I'm hoping this year to break even or close to it as I've been fairly frugal in my purchases all year.

After the show I went to a Gem and Jewelry wholesale show and spent half of my earnings. But that was actually my intention so it wasn't as painful as it sounds. I needed more silver wire and I found some sterling chain at a vendor having a clearance sale.

I know that craft shows are hurting for attendance and sales. I've saved all year to buy gifts for Christmas and I'm hoping to buy more this weekend at a nearby high school annual show. If you know of a show in your area I strongly encourage you to attend. Keep your money in your community by supporting local artists.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sports Wear Survey

Not that I'm super athletic anymore but I do like the comfort of sports style clothing. I don't care much for celebrity endorsed clothing though. I like whatever is comfy.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Vote Mohop!

Mohop makes the coolest shoes. Please go vote for her HERE and help her achieve her dream.

Amid Clutter

That's the name of my new blog.

Because that is the state of my life. Amid clutter. =)

Woohoo!!! I'm really excited. I feel more organized already. It's like having separate folders for the various topics in my head. *grin*

If you feel like blessing me please join me over there to chat politics and culture. And of course stick around here so I can share all the fun crafty stuff in my head.

Happy Friday!!!

Busy Day

My work craft show is today. I'm actually excited. I haven't done a show all year and one of the best things about shows is chatting with other vendors. I already see some really cool items set up early this morning and I know I'll be buying Christmas gifts today.

I tried thinking of a name for a new blog. I came up with one that I really liked but it's taken. A Cluttered Mind. It's a good one right? But it's taken. So now I'm not so sure. I have another one in mind but don't know if it's already taken too. And I don't have time to check.

Anyone else have some suggestions? I'm really not as creative as I pretend to be. =) It's not as if my business name is all that creative.

Have a fabulous day!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Should I Split?

No, I don't mean leave.

I have lots of thoughts in my head. About all sorts of subjects. I already split off my pet related blogging to Home Zookeeper ... though I don't blog there every day.

I've been pondering another split to start another blog that allows me to rant and rave about politics and cultural stuff. Then this blog, which would still be my main blog, would be solely focused on arts and crafts and my jewelry.

What do you think? I know I have at least two people who read me. :) *grin* Should I split up my politics from my craftiness?

I just can't think of what to call it. Something catchy and easy to remember.

Anyhoo...I am working at home and thankfully that gives me two extra hours today to get ready for my craft show tomorrow. I'm so glad that my work allows me to participate in this show without even taking vacation time. Since it's a company sponsored event the participants get paid to sell their goodies. =)

I really do like my company even when I get frustrated with some of the bureaucracy. I've been blessed with a lot of flexibility and challenging work, which I like.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Calling All Bead Makers

I'm a member of an e-mail list called Help a Reporter Out (I highly recommend signing up) and today brings a query for bead makers! I just had to share with those who make beads and read my blog (thank you by the way).

21) Summary: Beadmakers

Category: Lifestyle & Entertainment

Name: Cyndi L

Email: [I don't want her to get spam so contact me through my blog or website and I'll forward you her e-mail]

Title: editor

Media Outlet/Publication: blogging network

Anonymous? No

Specific Geographic Region? No


Deadline: 5:00 PM EASTERN - November 30


"I would like to hear from people who create beads, either from
lampworked or fused glass, polymer clay, metal, stone, or other
unique materials. I'm looking for those artists who would like to
share an artist statement of one to two paragraphs, and up to three
images (72dpi res) of their work, along with a link to their site. is a blog with a very large readership.
The majority of the reader make handmade beaded jewelry, and they
are always looking for new sources of high quality artist beads. "

I'd love to see some of the very talented bead makers that I know get some PR.

Fashion Challenged

It's probably not a good thing to admit, but I'm fairly fashion challenged. Not that I don't know what is in style or what looks good to wear...but I'm cheap. I have pants that have holes in them ... and yes, I wear them to work.

My favorite pair of boots are 20+ years old (I've had them since the third grade!!!) and have gone through many resoles but the leather is now starting to fade and wear through. :( I'm so sad. They're my favorite!

I did splurge last weekend. I bought a pair of pants at Target for $12 and a shirt for $2. =) The shirt is for Christmas. It's silver and shimmery. Out of style? Probably. Although I don't generally cheap out when I buy new shoes. My current favorite pair I paid full price but they are rockin'! *grin* If I do say so myself. Sometimes you have to pay a little more for good quality and long lasting shoes.

All of this makes it uncomfortable for me to sell my jewelry to someone in person because I feel so out of step with fashion while at the same time trying to sell a fashion item. Do you think it is a hindrance to my design that I don't dress "in style?"

I've always been a little "off" fashion wise. In high school I would wear business suit jackets and skirts ... basically dressing about ten years above my age. At the time I refused to wear any brand name clothing. No Gap. I refused. No Tommy Hilfiger....which my mom called Tommy Hilf....never mind. I just felt that if I was going to wear a name brand across my chest then they should pay ME. :) I've lightened up a bit on that though. I love my Cabela's sweatshirt. *grin*

Yet I make jewelry for those who do have style. =) At least, that is my goal. And selling online makes it easier to work with those who would look at my clothes and cringe.

I have a show at work on Friday. Thankfully most folks see me every day and like my jewelry anyway. ha ha ha I'm glad they don't hold my lack of fashion against me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Finding Good Deals this Christmas

There are a lot of predictions coming from the retail sector that this will be a dire Christmas season for sales.

Perhaps. Thankfully my livelihood is not tied to Christmas sales.

As a shopper though this situation may actually benefit me...and you.

Big sales promotions may yield some great savings this year.

I know that I plan to have the biggest discount - only to newsletter subscribers - than I've ever had in the past. (Sign up to get the code when the newsletter goes out later this month.) Not because I'm desperate for sales but because I have a LOT of jewelry in stock ... mostly because I tend to create in spurts and some of those spurts can yield dozens of pieces at a time. And it builds up. I just can't wear it all.

So be prepared for big sales soon. Black Friday is only 17 days away!

$97 in 10 Days

Hubby has been doing his part to stimulate the economy lately. The turkey.

I balance the checkbook and pay the bills. So I notice when there are multiple trips to Burger King in one day. He hasn't quite figured out the 'take cash out of the savings account' bit to avoid my detection.

Not that I'm mean about it or anything. I am just cheap and would prefer he take a lunch for work. He says he's not mature enough to make his own lunch. That much I agree with. :) And I am NOT his mother.

I keep trying to remind him of this fact. I have enough work to do to get myself ready for work without making his lunch and coffee.

But when I added up how much he'd spent (just by himself) in the last ten days even he said "ouch."

Those little stops of $7 here and $10 there add up to real money. Money that he could use to buy bullets (something he's been asking to do and I keep saying no). Or hats. Or whatever he's interested in at the moment.

The problem coming up is that he's switching to nights and he often stops for his lunch break in the middle of the night at a 24 hour place like Jack in the Box. Nights suck so I usually don't bug him but we need to pinch some pennies. Maybe I will start making him sandwiches on the weekend...and peanut butter celery. He loves that.

After all my hard work to save using coupons and sales I don't want to see the savings blown on fast food.

Although I do love Burger King. :) Don't tell him I had breakfast there last Saturday, k?

Monday, November 10, 2008

First Amendment Rights Anyone?

Wow. I'm not sure what is more disturbing. That the guy was arrested for wearing a "dissenting" t-shirt or the crowd's ecstatic reaction to his arrest and their eerie chanting and the looks on their faces.

Of course, we don't know what the guy did before but from the look of this video he was just there. Wearing a McCain/Palin shirt. NOTHING illegal about that. I thought dissent was the highest form of patriotism...unless it's against "the one."

I don't believe there was ANY reason to tell him to leave the area ... except that he is clearly insane and putting his life in danger. But the arrest was made because he refused an officer's orders and I have a hard time being angry at that particular point. But the fact that they did not defend his right to free speech and association scares me a bit.

I hope they just drove him back to his car. Hope. Change.

Edited to add...there is of course more to the story. The guy was apparently drunk and had a plastic sword. Stupid idiot. The part that scares me more is the chanting. *shudder*

Friday, November 7, 2008

Do You Really Know?

Do you really know what you voted for? I have a feeling some people will be in for some very big surprises...

Via Pamibe...I love this.

While walking down the street one day a US senator is tragically hit by a truck and dies.

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

‘Welcome to heaven,’ says St. Peter. ‘Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we’re not sure what to do with you.’

‘No problem, just let me in,’ says the man.

‘Well, I’d like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we’ll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity.’

‘Really, I’ve made up my mind. I want to be in heaven,’ says the senator.

‘I’m sorry, but we have our rules.’

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.

They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly & nice guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises..

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.

‘Now it’s time to visit heaven.’

So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

‘Well, then, you’ve spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity.’

The senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: ‘Well, I would never have said it bef ore, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell.’

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

Now the doors of the elevator open and he’s in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.

He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. ‘I don’t understand,’ stammers the senator. ‘Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, dr ank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there’s just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable.
What happened?’

The devil looks at him, smiles and says, ‘Yesterday we were campaigning…

Today you voted.’

*snort* Too funny.

And this should scare if you ... really. It should. Seriously. I'm not kidding. "REQUIRE" is the key word here.

"Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year."


Do you understand? You will be REQUIRED to perform services for your "community" whether you want to or not. If that does not scare you then you have not studied history. Nor have you learned from history.

Yet another reason why I refuse to remain unarmed. An unarmed citizenry is ripe for the taking. I'm not saying that we're approaching some revolutionary shift in fundamental civil rights akin to the horrific bloodshed that was China and Russia ... but it is there on the horizon and we can choose to allow it or fight it. I choose to fight. No one will FORCE me to do anything.

And if I had a teacher try to do this to me I would have been sick ... of course at the time when I was in school I probably agreed with all my teachers. And if I were this girl's mother I would be OUTRAGED. Beyond outraged. Furious and mama bear dangerous. I love the kids supporting Obama ... Why? *blank stares* They don't know. Because their parents do because that's what kids do. Duh. And way to try to put words in their mouths teacher. Force your opinions much?


I'm not feeling very optimistic right now. Can you tell? Which is NOT like me. I'm a very optimistic person by nature. So it ticks me off when I'm not.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'm Really Not Pouting

No really. I was ticked off yesterday and even wrote up a post but didn't publish it. It was just ranting. Mostly.

And the last two days have just been crazy. I'm exhausted and can't sleep. My migraine went away but a regular headache remained yesterday, though thankfully nothing today.

It's amazing how I can act normal on the outside but on the inside feel like slitting my wrists. Today is even worse. My logical side tells me it's bunk but my emotional side is banging around in my brain causing havoc. Stupid bipolar disorder.

I think it is a combination of lack of sleep and too much sugar. Sugar is evil you know. And I'm completely hooked on the stuff.

In the meantime, my Etsy shop is full of all kinds of new goodies. I'm really proud of some of my new pieces.

I had these Paua shell cabochons left over from a class I took last year...aren't they gorgeous?!?

I've had these coral beads for ages ... at least a year but probably much longer. All of a sudden I pull them out and start playing. I made two necklaces and two pairs of earrings. I love the true red of these babies.

I have my only craft show all year next Friday. It's at my work and usually does pretty good but my expectations will be lower than last year. The stock market activity doesn't do well for morale in my line of work. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Perfect Timing

...and that title is sarcasm by the way. I woke up this morning with a migraine. Not just a small migraine. A pounding, evil, pain in the teeth kind of migraine. I had no intention of actually staying home today but this evil monster kept me in bed all day. In fact, I'm still in bed. If I could I would fall asleep right now but then I'd never get to sleep later tonight.

I have managed to stay away from all news sources. I haven't even listened to my favorite talk radio shows ALL day. I'm quite proud of myself. Of course, hubby is now home and trying to tell me the "score" of the election but I'm going to try to tune him out. It's too stressful to watch all the speculation.

I watched two movies ... well, watch isn't the right word. I laid in bed with movies on in the background. Music and Lyrics was cute but kind of boring. Double Jeopardy was pretty cool. Ashley Judd was good and so was what's his name. Tommy Lee Jones? Is that right. He was in The Fugitive. Love that movie.

Now there's a House marathon on...LOVE that show. And no election news. :) Except from Rachel Lucas where I'm following the comments. Should be fun. Lots of alcohol and for me, ice cream.

Happy Election Day! Here's hoping we wake up to a sane country and no more migraine!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Can I Have too Many T-Shirts?

*** UPDATE ***
I'm a sucker for start up small businesses. Rizzo left a comment and offered a special discount of 20% off (use code 3JBEE84C) their super cool tees at Rizzo Tees. I really like the Cheerios t-shirt. *grin*

Good luck Rizzo!

I am laughing so hard. Via Rare Bird Finds I am directed to Snorg Tees and there are SO many t-shirts that I must have!

I don't drink but find this funny.

*snort* *giggle*

For all you The Office this one!

I wasn't really old enough to "get" this show but I would still vote Keaton.

heh ... for my war mongering side...

And if you "get" this ... you're hot too.

Oh my goodness...there's just so many that I can't decide which ten to get!!!

I love funny t-shirts. And I'd like to get some non-partisan ones. Or at least some non-controversial ones. I don't feel comfortable wearing my "Communism has only killed 100 Million people. Let's give it another chance." shirt at Agility training. *grin*

Make Up Your Mind!

Oh for pity's sake. The weather around here is so bipolar. Up and down. Left and right.

Yesterday it poured down rain for hours and then got sunny for an hour and then rained again and was windy and then sunny.

Today driving to work it was a monsoon and now it's sunny again.

I actually love our weather here in Washington. It's never the same thing twice. We've seen sun, rain, snow, and hail all in one day.

Of course people tend to forget how to drive around here when it's been more than a day without rain. At least there were no accidents on my way to work...but it was a slow drive.

And I'm tired. You'd think that extra hour would have given me extra sleep but I couldn't fall asleep last night. *sigh* It was hard to get up and get going. Maybe it was that two hour nap I took yesterday afternoon. *grin*

It's not like I didn't get anything done this weekend. Hubby and I went out on Saturday and looked at guns. =) It was so fun!!! I really liked the Beretta Tomcat. Nice and small for my girly hands. And it has a laser on it! Hubby thought that was neat. But until I actually shoot one we're not buying. So our next date might just be (finally) at a local gun range.

Oh and jewelry. Oh my gosh. I've been making SOOOOO much jewelry. I made at least 10 pairs of earrings, 5 or 6 necklaces, and a couple of bracelets. Photographing all of them took a couple of hours but of course my laptop crapped out on me. Arg! And I refuse to buy a new laptop until I absolutely have to. So as soon as I can get it working I'll upload my photos and start posting them. If I do say so myself, I made some pretty ones. =)

Oh...and Sandy at Comedy Plus shared this today...HILARIOUS!