Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!  My favorite holiday.  I have lots of favorite holidays, but New Year is always especially wonderful.  For most of my life it was a most depressing holiday.  Christmas was over and there was the let-down from that, plus going back to school was depressing to me.  It was the middle of winter, which in itself I didn't mind, but it seems that every year of my childhood, I had a very bad cold at New Year, probably from od'ing on sugar at Christmas!

When I got to be in my 30's, I realized just how much I dreaded New Year every year.  I decided I had to change that.  I decided from that point on, I was going to take New Year as my very own and make it what I want it to be!  Every since then it has truly been my MOST favorite holiday!!

I use it as a launching pad from all the frustrations that I have experienced from the previous year, to make those changes that will improve my life.  Some people call them resolutions.  I don't really have a problem calling them that.  I like making firm decisions about what I want to do.  I think commitment is a very powerful tool, when it is taken seriously.

So what are some of my goals for this new year?  First, and I think most important, is that my "no" will really mean NO from now on.  No more being talked out of my NO.  People can beg, plead, cajole, jab, complain, whine, manipulate, disbelieve, disregard, or just plain dis my NO, but I will say it just once.  After that I will repeat my new mantra, "You have my answer", for however many times they insist that they want to hear it.  I will resist the temptation to explain myself - to the best of my ability.  I will learn to take my NO seriously and that will translate to others.

Next is a goal that I set almost every new year, and that is to SIMPLIFY!!!  It is a never ending challenge to keep my house simple.  I tend to grab a lot of things from the thrift stores and I end up with more things than I really have room for.  I know I'm not alone in this!  But with my hubby who runs a computer business in addition to his full-time job, the computers are now filling the basement, and the "spare" bedroom.  Don't you love that word "spare", as if I could live without it!!  Plus my daughter has many many deliveries and therefore boxes, that fill the garage...oh me oh my...I really have to keep my stuff down to a minimum if I am to have any semblance of order around here!!  I have relinquished ownership of the spare bedroom, the basement, and the garage.  Maybe someday I'll get them redeemed.  But for now, I just have to maintain the rest of the house.


This sign hangs on the wall behind my computer screen where I can always be reminded.

So I have spent this week doing a lot of decluttering in my studio/desk area, and I've gone through the kitchen and the dining room.  Next is the family room.  The piles have moved westward all week, room by room and it's just one more room to the garage and then OUT for good!

I cleaned out my jewelry supplies area and ended up with four EMPTY small drawers!!!  Empty space is a good thing.  You don't have to try to fill it.  Trust me, it will fill itself in no time.  But while it is empty, try to enjoy the open space.  Whenever I clear a new spot, whether it be a counter in the kitchen, or some shelf that was filled and now is only half full, there is a desire to fill that spot with something - anything, just to fill it up!  But with a little effort, I can leave those empty spaces here and there and just let them be.  It really helps to promote a peaceful feeling and a more restful creativity can come as a result.


See my empty drawers?

As a musician, I am often reminded that the rests, those places of silence between the notes, are just as important as the parts when we are making sounds.  It is so true and you can apply that to your physical world as well.  There's a reason those empty spaces are called "rests".  So now I think of my empty drawers as rests.  If you feel a lack of rest in your life try creating some brand new empty spaces.


I also decided I needed to simplify my photography setup.  I worked long and hard on the light box, but it was just too big and too complicated and I couldn't use the table it occupied because it took all the space.  So I made a very simple display board that stands on its own, and I put my photo lights right at my desk.  That way they serve me while I work on my jewelry as well as for the picture taking.  I use clamp lights so it's easy to move them around and clamp them onto the shelf or to the pole lamp I have.  I can just tuck the display board behind the computer, or put it up on the shelf when it's not in use.

Simplified display 


  Here's my little "studio" all cozy in the corner.  

Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday Morning Ramblings

Good morning wonderful people!!  I have been taking it easy this past week, with hubby having the week off from work.  All week long he's been making our coffee every morning and serving it with long conversations...oh how I miss him now that he's back at work!  I made my own coffee this morning and it's just not the same.
We used to tell my grandma about her "special touch" with food - it always made her laugh.  It didn't matter what she made for us, whether it was oatmeal, or Catherine Clark bread and butter, or Campbell's soup, when she made it, it tasted better!  We tried for years to figure out what her secret was.  Was it her immaculately clean house?  Maybe the wooden bowls she served the bread in?  I can still smell her house - always so warm and welcoming.  I think it was the love she made the food with that made it taste so good.  Just like the coffee my husband makes for me.  It tastes better, even though I use the same formula.  It's the lovin's! 
I wouldn't call myself a great cook, by any stretch.  I enjoy cooking sometimes, not all the time.  I manage to get dinner on about half the time, the other half we just pick around at what's in the fridge.  I have a few good meals that I can make that everyone likes.  But no matter what I cook, my husband scarfs it down like it's ambosia!  Even when I think it's really not good - he loves it!  My daughter and I tease him about not having as many taste buds as a normal person.  Maybe that's not it at all.  Maybe he's just tasting the lovin's in the food!!  Something to think about when you are cooking for your family. 


My daughter wants to learn how to use the sewing machine!  So today we are going to the thrift stores (YEAH!!!) in search of fabric to make headband/scarves that tie.  She has very long hair and is a dog groomer, so she always has it up, and wears a pretty scarf to keep the flying dog hair off!  I have not been to the thrift store in awhile.  This is going to be FUN! 


I spent a load of time cleaning out my studio.  I have a bag full of stuff that is leaving and I actually have empty drawers in my "parts department" for jewelry makings!  Ooh, that means I have room for new stuff if I find it at the thrift store!!  Well, isn't that the real reason any of us spends time "dejunking"? 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

100 Followers!!! How Should I Celebrate?

Merry Christmas to all my wonderful blog followers!!!  I just hit 100 followers!!!!! WHooooPEEEEEE!!!  I'm trying to think of some way to say "thanks" to you all.  I could offer you a special discount in my shop, which I'm  happy to do, but I don't only write this blog to get you all to buy my stuff.  If you do want to buy something, send me a convo and I'll give you 20% off through the end of January.

So what else could I do?  A drawing?  Contest?  Features?  I'd love to know what you all would like to see here.  Please comment and leave suggestions!

And THANK YOU to all of you for following me!!!  You've made my adventure into the blogosphere so wonderful!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More Jewelry Stands

I've been experimenting with these jewelry stands and I'm really liking what's happening here.  Please tell me what you think!



Monday, December 14, 2009

Jewelry Stands!

I have been "puttering" today.  That is, doing a little of this, a little of that.  Along my way I came across a tweet from StygianChains, showing a very lovely set of earrings on a really cool stand.  Their shop is here.  I saw that little stand, and the wheels started turning.  So I made myself one, then another bigger one.  Here they are!


 I need to tweak the design a bit on the larger one.  I'll probably put three feet on it for more stability.   I'm using the smaller one to take pictures for listings.  The larger I will use to keep things out of the "dust bowl" - which is what happens if I leave the little bowl with my finished earrings on my desk for more than a day around here!
Thanks to StygianChains for a great idea and inspiration!!

Monday, Monday

Whew!  I survived the weekend - just barely!  It was just one of "those" weekends and I'm glad it's over with.  Now I can settle into my routine and get back to doing what I love, which is making jewelry, and blogging and tweeting!
I've been making lots and lots of crosses.  I just love dressing up these little things!  I will be listing these in my Etsy shop all day today.  Here's a preview:



Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What's Wrong With This Picture?


Ok, so we were supposed to get a foot of snow overnight.  I just took this picture, which is 24 hours after the last picture of the yard, in my previous post.  In the last picture, all the cold stuff on the pool was white because it was SNOW.  Today it is gray because it is SLUSH!   Temperatures have stayed above freezing all night long and right now it is still 34°!  Now they are still saying it will get very cold and very windy, but without that foot of snow, what fun is that?  It is still snowing, so maybe there is still hope for this one.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Our First Big Winter Storm


Here is the radar for Chicagoland at 1:20 CST today.  I am right at the upper right corner of Illinois, where it meets Wisconsin.  As you can see, we are in a lull with the snow, but not too long from now, we will be in the thick of it!!
I'm afraid I don't have more pics to update now because not much more snow has fallen since my morning picture.  Come morning I'm sure there will be some more!!

♪♪♫♪ Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! ♪♫♪♪


Here we are at 10:18 AM on December 8, 2009.  There's just over an inch on the ground so far.  They tell us it will dump a foot by tomorrow!!!  I love snow.  I love winter.  I love hibernating!  I love having an excuse not to have to go out.  So I am singing today: ♪♪♫♪ Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! ♪♫♪♪
I'll put up pictures of the snow as if piles up throughout the day today.  So check back again!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Password Dilemma - 5hH#4k9du72klom780cvv2378dr90556djkjgl6d4s3f


This sign hangs above my desk where I do all my work.  How do you simplify passwords?



19 and counting...And I know that I have way fewer passwords than a lot of people!  I used to have just one password for everything.  "Everything" for me, consisted of one email account, and Facebook, and two or three sheet music websites.  That was before I married Etsy.  Now I have every networking and social media tool I can handle, and some I can't!
I thought it would be wise to change my password - the same old one (I miss you!) I had used for years and years.  I thought it would be prudent to make different passwords for each account.  And of course I knew it would be safer to make the passwords longer and "stronger" according to those little meters.  So I spent a day doing just that. 
I made the longest, strongest passwords you could imagine.  Some of them are 14 characters long!  There is not going to be any hacking on MY accounts!  haha...  And I have my trusty little...er...big list in the back of my book.
Trouble is, I am constantly having to consult my list now because they are too long and too complicated for me to handle!  My browser, Firefox, will remember them for me, but that doesn't help if you find yourself on someone else's computer, or all those first times when you have to sign in before Firefox will remember for you!  Not to mention those times when updates or cache cleanings wipe them all out again.  I am in Password Hell!!!
The question is...should I make one for each account that is easily memorable for me, even though they may not be as secure?  Or should I use just one password for all of them and make that one long and strong and change it out on everything every month or two? 
I would love to hear what you all do with the password dilemma.  I'm open for suggestions!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Merry Christmas!!


I want to wish everyone a very happy holiday season!!  We are not decorating the house this year.  We haven't done it in a couple years.  We're very busy with concerts and work and gatherings at everyone else's houses, so we don't feel a need to do much with the house. 
So I decided to fulfill my need to decorate by sprucing up the blog and the shop a little with some Christmas decorations!  I don't do graphics frequently enough to remember all those little tricks, like how to do "layers" in a paint program so I make great use of Google.  I can always find tutorials and instructions, no matter what I want to do. 
So I got the poinsettias up on the banner here.  I'm trying to put some holly and ivy on my shop avatar, but I'm still battling that little button.  Then I will move onto my Etsy shop and see if I can put up some red ribbons or a wreath there! 
I love this online decorating!  It doesn't collect dust and when I take it down I won't have to wrestle boxes into the attic!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I Am Featured!

Hello to all my favorite readers!  I am being featured on The Handmade Gift Blog today!  It is a very cool place where you can find lots of beautiful hand-picked items from Etsy.  I love to just wander through that blog!. A big Thank You to Anne for doing this feature!  Be sure to check it out!


Friday, November 20, 2009

Dealing With Difficult People

Wow, this has been one of those really long weeks that I'm just glad is coming to an end!  We all have a few of those "difficult people" in our lives that we have to deal with from time to time.  Sometimes they do things that actually merit our removing them from our lives for good.  That is what I had to do this week with one such person. 

Toxic People

There is a term, that when I apply it to people, I reserve for only the most extreme cases.  That term is "toxic".  They are not necessarily unpleasant people.  In fact some of the most highly toxic people in my experience, have been extremely charming and charismatic.

They are the kind of person that draws you in, not in a compassionate way, but by making you feel like you want to be a part of what is going on around them.  Of course at the beginning you don't usually see the turmoil that is happening, you just see some kind of excitement and energy and that is hard to resist. 

They convey the impression of great success, even though their successes may have been quite modest when looked at honestly.  They assume from the first moment you meet them, that you will look up to them and they proceed as if you do.

They are very good at making you feel like you could never reach the goals you desire without their help.  They convince you that they are there to help you reach your goals and that they are the only one who can really help you get there.

They always leave you with a hint of doubt about yourself.  They never quite affirm you.  They only affirm that with their help you may make it someday.

If you say no to them, in order to get you to say yes, they can really turn on the charm and  become overly friendly.

They have a lack of boundaries and tend to mix business with pleasure.  They pull you into their personal lives, even though it may not be considered normal or even appropriate to do so.  But it makes you feel special, like you are really "in" with this very important person, even though you may feel a definite "unease" about it.
Charm and charisma, excitement and energy, in themselves are not bad traits.  In fact many of the most successful and positive people in the world have these traits.  But in a toxic person, there is are additional dimensions. 

There is almost always, the inability to take "no" for an answer.  They most certainly will not take your first "no", and likely you will have to repeat it many times - if you are able to continue and hold firm to your conviction.  The Toxic will continue to say that you don't really mean "no", and will keep at you until you change your mind.  The trouble is, you didn't change your mind at all.  You only changed your answer.  So you end up doing things that you did not intend or want to do. 

Toxics are highly manipulative and often very intelligent.  They can encourage you one minute, and let you down hard, the next.  They bait you - they hold out just enough bait to keep you coming back for more.  But when push comes to shove, they will never allow you to pass the point where they want you to be.

Toxics can be controversial people.  That is, peoples' opinions of them are very extreme.  They either love them, practically worhipping the ground they walk on, or they hate them and will no longer have anything to do with them.  The only "neutrals" out there are either people who have not dealt with them directly, or people who have avoided the entanglement altogether because they don't have the open doors that some of us have.

The Open Door

How do we get taken in by these people in the first place?  We have an open door somewhere in our life, in our beliefs about ourselves.  A place where we feel inadequate.  A place of self doubt.  A place where we are convinced that we cannot make it on our own.  That is where the Toxic hones in.

They are tuned in to needy people, to self-doubters.  Being needy and self-doubting has nothing to do with your level of accomplishment.  I have seen people who are extremely accomplished in their fields, who never believe they are good enough, or even good at all at what they do.  Self doubt is not based on accomplishment.  It is how we feel the world at large sees us, based on a negative assessment we perhaps heard somewhere along the way, possibly insensitive remarks we heard when we were in a particularly vulnerable or malleable state, that we internalized and adopted to become our own belief.  I think many creative people are just naturally hard on themselves, even without external "help".  But whatever the cause for our self doubting, that is the open door where the Toxic will try to enter.

What Can I Do To Not Be Taken In?

"Let your yes be yes and your no be no".  That is a phrase from the Bible.  It is great instruction and great wisdom.

When I look at all the people that ended up being a negative influence in my life, nine times out of ten, they started off right from the beginning not taking my "no" seriously.  Now it's not up to them to enforce my "no".  It is completely up to me.  But the fact that some people won't take "no" for an answer is indicative of their lack of respect for you and their lack of boundaries.  It is always up to you to stand by your "no".  Become very good friends with your "no".  You will never regret it.

I am 52 years old and I am finally making friends with my "no".  I was always afraid of what my "no" could do.  It could make people mad at me and disappointed in me.  It could possibly even turn people against me.  It could upset people and make them cry.  "No" is powerful.  It is almost the smallest word in the English language, and yet it is the most powerful.  It is your best tool against being used, manipulated and taken advantage of.

Are you afraid your "no" will hurt the people you love?  When I say "no" sometimes they look hurt.  They may even say they are hurt by my "no".  I believe they do feel pain, but did I actually cause their pain, and is there on honest way that I can take their pain away?  They are in pain because I am not going to do what they wanted me to do.  And as much as I want to take away their pain, changing my answer is not the way to do it.  If I change my answer in order to alleviate the immediate stress I feel of them being in pain, I will end up resenting them and resenting having to do something I didn't want to do in the first place.  How is that good?  The resentment will become apparent to them, believe me, and then you'll have that piled on top of the rest of it and it will just be a mess.  The next time they ask you to do something you don't want to do, they will expect even more that you will of course say yes.
So please make friends with your "no"!
The people around your will survive you saying "no" to them.

The Gift of Gut Instincts

Another tool you need to learn to use is your gut instinct.  It's that churning feeling you get sometimes in your stomach, or elsewhere in your body.  It's like a bad tickle.  In some people it's very mild, almost undetectable, mostly because they have tuned out of their own instincts, and they need to relearn how to listen to them.  In others it is quite strong, even overwhelming at times.

I am the latter case.  My gut is extremely sensitive to the point where I can barely function when it is screaming at me, until I make things right again.  It may seem like a disadvantage, because it can be so overwhelming, but it is actually a great gift.  My gut has kept me out of a lot of places where I could have been hurt really badly.  I respect my instincts and try to follow them as closely as I can.  It would serve any of us well to learn to tune in and listen to that gut instinct.

There is a great book out there called, "The Gift Of Fear", by Gavin De Becker.  It's all about listening to that voice inside, that bad feeling, and not pushing it away or talking ourselves out of it.  I highly recommend the book.

My New Mantra

If my "no" is not good enough for you, then you are not good enough for me.

Does that sound harsh?  It's really not.  What's harsh is when someone won't accept your decisions about your life and they want to have the say about what you do.
Does that mean that I am going to kick out every person who didn't take my first "no"?  Of course not!  It takes a lot more than that to get the boot from me.

The Bullet List

So who gets the boot?  I'll make a bullet list.  You get to decide how much you are willing to put up with.  These are just warning signs to watch out for and be aware of.  Each trait by itself is not a reason to take action.  Most of us are manipulative at some time or another in our lives.  I'm talking about persistent and extreme cases where someone exhibits many of these warning signs together and you are finding that your life is in turmoil because someone in it has too many of these warning signs.  That is when you may need to take some action.  I leave it to you to decide.

Toxic Traits
  • They are extremely charming, charismatic, and arrogant
  • They believe they are the only one who can really help you reach your goals
  • They think everyone else is inferior to them; always critical of others in their field
  • You feel like you'll "miss out" if you aren't in on what is going on around them
  • They expect you to look to them as "the expert", whether they are or not
  • They always leave you with a hint of doubt about yourself
  • They are overly friendly at times
  • They lack a sense of boundaries
  • They often mix business with pleasure
  • You have a feeling of unease when you have talked with them or been with them
  • They have an inability to take "no" as your final answer
  • Manipulative
  • They keep you coming back for more
  • They are controversial people - people love them or hate them, with no in-between

Monday, November 16, 2009

Looking For That "Track" Again......

Wow, it's been an exhausting few days for me.  Just a bunch of personal "stuff" and cleaning up a few messes, setting a few spirits free...exhausting, but all good in the end!  
I am very anxious to get back on track with my little jewelry business here!!!  My head has been somewhere else for quite awhile it seems.  I am feeling a new vigor coming and am now waiting for that creative rush to overtake me once again!!!  Bring it on!!!!!!!!!!
 

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Locked Out of Twitter!!!!!

I am about ready to scream...My Twitter app, Twhirl stopped working and would not accept my password.  Now I cannot sign into Twitter at all because it says I had too many failed attempts at signing in!!!!!!!  This is turning out to be a really really irritating weekend.  Just venting!!!!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mystery Guest!



This morning I noticed something, or should I say someONE sitting atop the front door in my house. At first I thought it was a mouse.  But it was a little bigger than a mouse....Is it a baby rat?  I doesn't really look like a rat either.  What is this?!?

I got my cat Wolfie, while I still thought it was a mouse, and showed her the animal.  When the little guy caught site of Wolfie, he leaped like a kangaroo, 6 feet across the living room and disappeared!!!  Wolfie looked for him for awhile and then gave up.  Oh dear me!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mumble Mumble Mumble...

Sometimes I think I should just start another blog called Mumble Mumble Mumble. Heehee. But happily, those days are too few to actually keep a blog to themselves.

So last night I decided to be a good mommie and let the dogs out one more time before I went to bed. That was around 1 a.m. When they came back in, I smelled something very familiar. Something very terrible. It is a mystery substance that Ike the Cocker Spaniel has been getting into for years. Last night was Alfie's first time. They went out together and I'm quite sure that Ike delighted in sharing his special treat with Alfie. They roll in it - whatever it is. And then I have to bathe them because the stench is unbearable! So there I was, all ready for bed, giving BOTH dogs a bath.
You think maybe that's why I woke up with this killer headache today? It is getting better as time goes by and the drugs take effect.

Today is music day. I get to go to my wonderful play date with my girlfriends. That is always a high point in my week. I am so blessed to have found these women. We not only play string quartets, we learn new music and improve our playing...we gossip and laugh and listen to each other, and sometimes we argue and sometimes we cry. We are real friends and I am so grateful to have them in my life!

I usually like to include pictures in my entries. I'm a very picture oriented reader - I love to see what I am reading about. But today I am just too lazy to get up and take any pics that would fit this entry! Plus that headache thing goin on...
I wish you all a terrific day today!!! And thanks for reading!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Evening - er... Monday Morning

Good Sunday evening to all! This is one of my favorite times of the week. All the busy-ness of the weekend is behind us and I look forward to a quiet evening of TV and computer time. I watch The Amazing Race "with" my sister - we both watch the show from our own houses and during commercial breaks we call each other to rant about what just happened. It's a lot of fun! That show never slows down so it is an interesting hour!
Hubby and I spent the entire weekend out in the yard. It was absolutely gorgeous fall weather. Saturday reached up to the 70 degree mark! Today was a little cooler, but still was in the 60's which I think is the perfect temperature for raking leaves!
In the front yard we have 2 large oak trees and 2 large maple trees, plus many other smaller trees and bushes, so that's a lot of leaves! Our village has a giant vacuum truck that comes around to suck up the leaves so we just have to get them to the curb. We did it in record time this year, in just over 2 hours!! Boy are we tired!

I bought myself a little present. I really need to get more organized and I need a good blank book to help me get there. So hubby and I went out Saturday in search of the perfect blank book. I really love the National Brand books that are hardbound and have numbered pages. They are old fashioned looking, and have a very serious look and feel to them. They are built to last. I have had them in the past and have loved them! They are expensive though, and can be hard to find in my local office supply stores.

Well now it's Monday morning! I lost track of what I was doing last night!
Do you think getting more organized will increase my sales?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Full Moon Monday After Halloween, The Official Start Of The HOLIDAY SEASON!!!

Wow! Here it is November already! This has got to be the fastest Fall on record for me. This is my first holiday season as a seller. I can almost understand why all the retailers always have items for Christmas in their stores even before Halloween! I did say "almost" because I still find it distasteful and I don't see why they can't do the work to prepare, but just don't bring the Christmas decorations out until after Thanksgiving. I'm a stickler for tradition.

I rearranged my shop today. I don't honestly know if that's a good idea or not. I brought things to the front page that are a little more "cheery" and colorful, with the holidays in mind. I am reading everything I can find by people who are successful sellers. It can so easily become information overload! But there is plenty of wisdom out there and I am trying to apply all that I am learning.

So here's my question for you: What are you doing to prepare for the holidays in your shops? Are you rearranging things to showcase different items? Do you have a product that doesn't necessarily have a "holiday" feel to it, like mine, and if so, how are you marketing your things?

Please comment!! I absolutely LOVE to hear from people! I look forward to hearing what you all are doing!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Continuing Story

AAAAAh, I'm done at last! I finally finished the story for my newest necklace. I love to write. But it seems like it takes me forever to do it. I'm not sure why! Most likely the fact that I am so easily distracted, and I do my writing on my computer and that is where the MOST distractions are for me. Oh well.

I decided to continue the story of Miss Mary Stanson, who I wrote about first on a necklace called Key To The Letter Box. So here is the Key to the Letter Box , and The Timepiece, and the entire story...so far!

The Key To The Letter Box

This key belonged to Miss Mary Stanson. She was a spinster, as far as anyone knew. She lived a small life, in a small New England town in the early 1800's. She rented a room in the boarding house on Main Street. She worked in the town's library, filing cards, checking books, keeping them in order on the shelves. She made her weekly trip to the General Store to buy her food and supplies. She rarely spoke a word to anyone, aside from the absolute essentials of making her purchases...usually just a soft "thank you".

Miss Stanson lived well into her 90's. When she died, it fell to the minister's wife, Addy, to go through her belongings, since there was no family that anyone knew of.

Addy began in the closet. She found a locked box, about the size of a sewing basket but much heavier. She searched the little room for the box's key. It was neatly wrapped inside a blue silk handkerchief, tucked away in a tiny drawer in a plain wooden jewelry box on the dresser.

Addy felt a tingle in her fingers as she touched the key. She was so startled that she pulled her hand back and dropped the key. When she picked it up again she felt nothing. She laughed at herself for being so silly and thought with relief, that she had imagined the tingling.

She opened the box. It was filled to the brim with what appeared to be letters. They were packed so tightly that she could hardly pull out the first one. Once she got a few out, then the rest of them started to flutter loose and she could see that they were several layers deep in the box. There must be thousands of them, she thought to herself.

She picked up one of the envelopes and started to open it. It looked very strange somehow, but she wasn't sure why. She pulled out the contents and could scarcely believe her eyes. It appeared to be a painting, but not like any painting she had ever seen in her life. It was a picture of Miss Stanson. There was no doubt about that. But it looked as clear and colorful as if she were standing right in front of Addy at that very moment! It shined as if it was wet, and yet it was paper! She dropped the picture out of sheer fright. It landed face down on the bed. She saw something written on the back and dared to pick it up again to read - "Miss Mary Stanson - Seattle, Washington - July 10, 2004".

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The Timepiece

Addy never recovered from the shock she suffered on the day she found the picture of Mary Stanson, dated nearly 200 years in the future. Miss Mary Stanson, a woman she herself had known. The woman she had seen laid to rest in the tiny cemetery behind the church, only a week prior. Being the minister's wife, it had fallen to her to clean out Miss Stanson's things after she died, since there was no known family. It was in November of 1814, in that tiny room in the boarding house where Miss Stanson had lived for most of her adult life, that Addy experienced something that would alter her life forever.
Not only had she found the box of letters, and the strangely shiny and colorful picture. She had also found a small box, buried deep in the box of letters, beneath the tightly packed layers. The box was very old and worn around the edges. She picked up the little box very gingerly. It seemed like it would fall to pieces in her hands. Perhaps it was her own falling to pieces that she feared. She took in a deep breath, and opened the box.
She lifted out the timepiece and held it in her hand. It captivated her gaze. A warm melting feeling began to overtake her as she felt her muscles letting go of their fearful grip. She started to feel almost dizzy, but it was a much slower spinning than what she had ever felt before. Her mind told her to let go of the timepiece, but her hand would not obey. She could feel all the tingling anxiety leaving her body as the room slowly turned and the light grew dimmer and dimmer...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Learning Not To Fly

I had dreams of flying last night. Well, I was almost flying. I was getting that light in the feet feeling, jumping higher and higher with each step until I was 10 feet in the air, landing softly and jumping again. But I never actually took flight. At first I thought this was a negative dream because I didn't fly, and at least before the fear set in, the flying was incredible!

I have dreamed this dream from time to time throughout my life and before this I have always taken flight on about the third step. I was always terrified when I took flight, feeling completely out of control and would suddenly find myself falling to a startled awakening just before I hit the ground. But this time I just enjoyed the high steps and didn't take off flying. I remained in control!

So I have decided that this is a most positive dream after all. I was reaching greater heights but not being overtaken by it. That is a perfect picture of my life now, as I am venturing into this brand new direction into the wonderful world of art and design!

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I finished this piece last night. I know it has a story but it has not told it to me yet. I need to get very quiet and alone so I can hear it. I am very excited about this piece and I can't wait to hear its story! I will be listing it on Etsy later today.

I really wore out my hands and fingers on this one! I hammered all those links with the round end of my hammer to give it that beautiful dented look. My fingers are dented too but they are not so beautiful!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Little Horror, A Little Fantasy

Good morning! Yes, it is still morning here for a little while yet! I managed to wake up before 9 this morning which is kind of amazing since I was up until 2 AM last night watching the best "B" horror film I've seen in ages.

It is called "Hatchet". I was in an Etsy chat room last night and one of our fellow chatters mentioned that she produced a horror film. My ears perked up along with my friends' ears since we are pretty into horror flicks. We found the movie on instant watch on Netflix and watched it together in the chat room, with the producer in the room! That was SUCH FUN!!

I highly recommend this movie for horror buffs. It was very funny. It's billed as a "comic gore fest" and that it was! I have not had an adrenaline rush like that movie gave me in many years. This is not one for the weak stomach!

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Today I am making a 'Mermaid's Pearls' necklace for my friend. She bought the pink version and now I'm making one for her in green.

I am using 20 gauge annealed steel wire. I wrap it tightly around a very large allen wrench to get the octagonal shape. Since I do not yet have soldering skills, I had to come up with a way to connect the links without having all the ends exposed. When I use heavier gauge wire I can leave the ends of the links exposed and they don't pull apart. But with the lighter gauge, they can pull apart so I came up with this idea of putting a bead over the joint, kind of in place of solder. The effect is quite nice.



Here's the other necklace she bought, along with it's story.



These Mermaid's Pearls were passed down to me from my grandmother, along with this story...

Once in every Mermaid's life, she must leave her home in the sea and go to the land for a time. It is a great test of her strength and character and all must endure it to pass from childhood to become a fully mature Mermaid. She must avoid being seen by humans, for if she is spotted by a human, she will become their slave. If the human is very kind and releases her, then she can return to the sea. But most often she must use her own wiles to free herself. So she will pluck several scales from her body. As soon as she has them in her hand, they turn into magnificent pearls. In this case she was an albino Mermaid and was as white as snow, and when she plucked the scales they turned into lovely pink pearls! She offers the pearls to the human, and it so enthralls and enchants them so much that they don't even see the Mermaid escape back to the sea.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What A Nice Surprise!!


I woke up (late again) to a very nice surprise in my email. The very beautiful Jewels of Saraswati blog has included my Along Came A Spider necklace in her gift guide for the goth!!

You really must go visit her blog. It's one of those stunningly beautiful places on the web that makes me want to stop all the things I'm supposed to be doing and just sit and read and take in the scenery! She's got wonderful gift guides, a very eclectic mix of items from artisans on Etsy.
Thank you for including me Lauren!!

Today is my play date with the girls. Every Wednesday my violinist and violist friends and I get together to play quartets and trios, just for fun. We don't have a cellist right now so we transcribe the cello parts for the viola to play. Then we have a snack and gossip a bit. It is my one day a week when I get the car and get to go out all by myself!! haha! I love it! So I'm off! Have a great day everyone!