Wednesday, July 28, 2021

time to paint

experimenting with alcohol inks on tiles.
We try to have family night once a week, currently it's usually Wednesday.  Sometimes it's gaming, or puzzles or just watching TV.  Sometimes we get creative as a family.  We've tried pottery, which is great, and playing around other crafty bits, but the family favorite is acrylics.  I blame my sister.  In a good way! 
a dragon hanging out on a rock -by me

We like it enough that we now have a small stash of paint, sketch books, artsy brushes and canvases stockpiled, so when ever the mood strikes we can just lay down a tarp and go to town.

this is my sisters, she's way good!

Jerry's, not sure if it's a spaceship, or.......


this is Jesscera's, it's part of a story she's writing 

Another of girls, also story related.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

So I hurt my back......

I don't know what I did, but I did something.  I've had back issues before, but never like this.  There are times when I can hardly walk across the room without my back seizing and spasming.  It feels like everything can trigger my back - sitting, walking, just breathing sometimes. It's "soft tissue injury" per the Doc which makes it sound like it shouldn't be anything right?  Wrong.  I am now on a couple of drugs and on a weight limit -and no driving.  

This has been going on for almost 2 weeks now, and today, finally, I think i see light at the end of the tunnel.  I think it's getting better-- it's hard to tell really.  But today I've actually ventured into the studio and made a few pieces.  Not sure what that will do to my back, but boy, it's food for the soul! 

Anyway, here are some newer pieces I'm pretty pleased with.  

This piece is using recycled jewelry bits, vintage watch parts and vintage crystals.  The mirror made me think of a little walled off pond, so the dragonfly is hovering over flowers growing in the water. At least that is what I saw when`I made it.

I love playing with vintage pocket watch parts! I love using partial plates as my background.  In this case, I added crystals --- 
and this time I added an eyeball and salvaged the matching chain from broken jewelry!

Thursday, July 8, 2021

I need to blog........

hi Guys! I'm trying to get into good blogging habits, so here are a few pics.  Top pic, are "no use crying over spilt beer" earrings.  I've had this handmade glass mug beads for ever, and since i'm not much for beer, I wasn't sure why i even bought them, other than they are soooo cute.  Jerry says I should say rootbeer earrings! 

Anyway, dangle factor is high and these are so much fun, a party for anyone's ears! 

These I added cup chain  (crystal chain) to the tracks of a zipper, kind of cute, right? 
These are aluminum cuffs, with prints on them.  Just cute and fun. 

I don't have pics yet, but for this weeks Farmer's Market I've been busy making rings.  I'll try to get pics up tomorrow.... 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Some recent stuff

This necklace is all vintage buttons, from 1880's to 1960's.  Most are glass, and some of them are wicked pretty all by themselves.  
I'm trying to get back to regular posting, so here are some recent pics -- I'll be at Mayhem Comics This Saturday 10:30 to 6pm so come out and see them in person!  

Earrings made from parts of 2 different pieces of costume jewelry with a few crystals added.  Lovely movement on them.

More recycled costume jewelry bits turned into pendants .  The Dragon pendent on top of the Mother of Pearl is a new component.   


Thursday, May 13, 2021

Covid, Art shows, and the new reality

Soooooo - Covid really started for me on March 18th 2020, when my regular work decided to start sending people home to help prevent spread.  I'm a high risk person, so I was the first person sent home from our group.   

Of course I couldn't do art shows either.

Now, over a year later, I have both my shots and I'm "street legal" again.  I still will want to take care, but I can now at least THINK about doing shows again.  Thankfully Farmer's Market is opening up to arts and crafts late May.   I will hopefully be able to announce which dates I have in 2 weeks. 

I also will be doing Art Mart at Mayhem June 5th.  

Doing shows again will be strange, but good.  

I think.

Those of you who know me, know I have severe health issues,  which seem to get worse every year.  This past year of no shows ( and very few sales) gave me plenty of time to mull my reality over.

Yes, I like making money.  I can always find a use for money.  

More importantly, making art fulfills me in a way nothing else seems to do.  If i can't sell it, I end up with great heaping piles of it around the house.  If there are great heaping piles around the house, it takes some of the fun away because I have less of an excuse to make it.  Storage really isn't a problem, but part of making art for me is sharing it with the world.

Shows can't be my only avenue.  I've reached a point health-wise that doing 2-days shows is probably no longer physically possible, and after a 1 day show I'm exhausted (happy exhausted! ) to the point I can't move.  I won't even get into the possible asthma problems I might have if I got close to smoking or other triggers.

It's very real that I'll have to stop doing even Farmer's Markets at some point.  Thankfully I'm not there yet.  One of the reasons I love Farmer's Market it's quick, over  and home by 1pm.  If I need to take a 3 hour nap to recover, I can and still have time left to do stuff on the weekend.  

In an effort to maintain, if not improve, my health,  I have to get my stress levels down.  Parts of running a home business is very stressful.  Not making jewelry is more.  I really need to find a new balance between the two that I can live with.

More thoughts to come.




Tuesday, February 9, 2021

taxes.... ugh

 I'm doing my own income/ business income taxes this year.  All I can say is ugh.

Kya says I need to take a break and work on them again tomorrow.  Smart Kitty.  I've been working on them since 630pm to now, 1130ish.  

I have them mostly done, but I don't think I've done the Healthcare cafeteria plan right, and I'm boggled on the home deduction.

The online program I'm using is TaxSlayer, so tomorrow i'll log in again and get help (i hit these sections after they are off for the night).

I just want to point out I did the Kids' taxes in 15 minutes online, give or take a few minutes.  Oh for things to be that simple again ! 


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

well ARGGGH !

 OK, here I was at my day job, working overtime, when I hear my Etsy make the cash register sound.  I have 2 sites, one for jewelry  (which has been sadly neglected) and one for destash.

When I finally finish work, I checked and I was amazed to see I sold on my jewelry Etsy!! wooo hoo! 

4 necklaces, 3 with my very own glass cabs in them. 

So I go check it out, and imagine my surprise to find out I paid $7.50 in advertising fees.  Apparently at one time off site advertising was free, and you were automatically opted in.  Or maybe I choose it, honestly I don't have a clue.  The free has stopped, and guess what? Now I sell something so they take an extra 15% fee.  If they notified us the freebie was stopping I didn't see it.  It stopped in May of 2020!!

I guess I'm glad I sold something, and I guess if it was in ads great, but boy howdy that was a bite I wasn't expecting.

Really hitting the old and vintage costume jewelry lately, I guess I'm a sparkle phase again.  These earrings made from 2 different pieces of jewelry and new crystals. 

I'm feeling pretty Leary of on-line selling right now, but since shows are so problematic right now, I guess it's the only game in town.  I really need to invest some time in to it... get more stuff up, do better pictures, actually check it everyday and maybe do some advertising that I know about up front and won't have sticker shock from. 

I started a amazon handmade shop before Christmas, but I haven't had time to do much with it.  

I have 1 item of jewelry on ebay, to test the waters.  So far no nibbles.

I have a whole studio filled with beads, so sometimes I just like to relax and do stringing.  

I really need to pick one on-line marketplace, and really give it my all -- get 50-60 or more listings up with good pics and descriptions, and seriously work at it.  

I'm going to get my destash up and running again first, then tackle the jewelry.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Business Plans for the Year....

 Honestly, I don't have any firm plans.  COVID is still a raging concern, and despite the vaccinations, I suspect we will be socially distancing most of 2021.  I hope I'm wrong.  We won't know yet until may or later what the rest of the year will look like.  Booking shows is mostly done by then.   

So trying to plan for 2021 isn't really a straight forward. 

Crappy photo, hard to capture the drape of t    his flat instead of worn.  Anyway, on the left is part of a pocket watch, with added vintage flower and a regular hanging down.  on the other side is  vintage watch face and parts.  The chains drape gracefully between them - when it's fitted properly.  I had it rather long, but it's easy to adjust.  Pretty copper flower clasp - since this is all about flowers.

I'm finding that, without setting up a business plan, I don't have well defined business goals.  (go figure!) If I don't have well defined goals, it's hard to get motivated.  

Don't get me wrong, I still love to make jewelry, but without focus, I tend to start and never finish it.  I enjoy every minute of my time in the studio, but it's aimless.  Also without planning for specific shows in mind, it's hard to give myself permission to spend the time needed in the studio to really create.  I never have enough time to get everything done, so if i'm not doing show, my brain thinks I don't deserve creative time.  Yeah, I know that part is twisted, and I'm working on it, but I can't pretend it's not there.

Maybe It's because I don't get the validation of selling face to face.  Selling jewelry, seeing people really like my jewelry, and it connects to them.  It becomes a shared experience that I really miss.

Just knowing I can make someone else's day is a high.

Even when/if COVID isn't an issue, I'm not sure how much longer I can sell direct to the public.  

I have health issues. Let's discuss just one of them: Asthma.  It's triggered by smoke, hairspray, perfume, flowers, deodorant,  lotions,  HAND SANITIZERS, exercise, laundry detergent and stuff that's green and grows.  

It's been increasingly hard to function at art shows and farmer's markets.  I never know when I'm going to get too close to someone and get triggered.  My biggest fear is sometime soon I'll get triggered by something someone is wearing, and my emergency inhaler won't help and I'll end up in a hospital emergency room.

Just imagine it... set up at Downtown Farmer's Market, bushwhacked by hairspray, rushed to the hospital cause I can't breathe, Hubby probably going with me insane with worry... my booth left abandoned -- or Jerry trying to take it apart by himself during the market, rushing and crazy with worry while the streets are crowded with 5000 people trying to get packed up so he can get to me.... 

I can spin multiple nightmare scenarios.

It hasn't happened yet, but I really feel it's a possibility.   

One thing COVID and basically never leaving the house has taught me-  my asthma really is a trigger situation.  If I avoid my triggers, I avoid episodes.  I have the occasional "bad breath day" but overall, it's situational.

For example, take this week.  I've used my inhaler three times -- all while cleaning the house.  The chemicals and dust made me start having a coughing fit, I got away from it ( my wonderful large house i can actually do this) I used my inhaler and sat down and calmed down and all was fine.

I hadn't used my inhaler for 2 weeks before this.

When I'm working at the office, or at a art show, I'm using my inhaler daily.  That's not healthy, or safe long term.  At work and at art shows where I'm tied to a location, where I can't do evasive maneuvers very well, I'm as higher risk of the big attack.   Asthma is painful and scary.  It hurts putting Jerry my husband through it.  I know he worries about it almost as much as I do.  

I tell you this not to enlist sympathy  -- merely to explain  why the more I think about it, the more I'm not sure how much longer I can do art shows.

Now add my other health issues --- one of them as serious if not more than my asthma ---  it's a lot to think about.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Random Thoughts 2021

 Let's start with a quote: War and Peace: “We are asleep until we fall in love.”

That's just.... lovely.  It makes me think of Les Miserables -- to love another person is to see the face of God! 

I'm not really religious,  but i love that line.  I get it.. the wonder, the absolute conviction of things beyond yourself.  That is love to me.  I could go on and on, but why when the statement kind-of says it all.

So we are in 2021 now.  Yeah?   I am very excited that 45 will soon be gone.  America will spend decades fixing all the damage he's cause.  

Today is the day I sit down and work on sale taxes for the states I collect for.  Since I had no shows in 2020, and sort of gave up on online sales mid-way through the year, at least it's gonna be quick to do this year.

I think I will even do my own income taxes this year.  I have more time and it would save me money I don't have.  What's a small glass of frustration in the last year of floods ???  

Wouldn't it be nice to fly away from it all? 

I bought 1 month of HBO/CIN so we could watch Wonder Woman 84.  It was ok.  Not as good as the first one, but entertaining and watchable.  Since I have this channel for the month I'm taking advantage of watching other stuff before my subcription runs out. This includes watching a few episodes of the original Linda Carter TV show.

Wow.  I had good memories of this show, and so far, considering the time it was filmed, it's not so terrible.  I've watched the 4 first episodes and that's probably I'll watch.

I'm currently hooked on FALLING SKYS.  Can't say it's ground breaking TV but it's really entertaining and some of the characters are really engaging.   

Also watching Lovecraft county a few episodes at a time with my Hubby.  Now it's a great, and strange and thought provoking show.  If you have a chance you should watch this.  If nothing else you will learn some history.  Jerry and I have had discussions based on some of the episodes.  It's also twisted and kind of gory, so not something I can binge watch.

I love my baby! Ain't she cute??? 

It's been a full year since I've watched Walking Dead, but I'm thinking about starting up again.  It's hard... I stop after the Whisperers killed some of my fav's.  

The snow outside is pretty.  Working from home improves my enjoyment of watching it.  We get quite a few deer tromping through our yard, and have multiple foot trails to prove it.  Occasionally we see them but the minute you pull out a camera to snap a pic they run off.  Sneaky quick varmints.   

I've collected another major health issue in 2020, go figure.  Still trying to wrap my brain around it.  I seriously need to make changes in my life, if I want to have a long one.

I really like this set.  the MOP is recycled from costume jewelry, the bass silver plated gals are new, as well as the sterling earwires.  Plated chain.

I haven't made jewelry in the last few weeks really.  I'm finally in the mood and of course I'm having problems with my heater in the studio.  GRRRRR 


Tuesday, September 15, 2020