Saturday, May 30, 2009

Feeling special and I can't share it!

Checking through my emails and comments and all that sort of stuff today. I found that Beth of sent me a blog award. That made me feel very good since this blog is so new and still have to learn how to be able to import and show you things like Etsy buys, badges, widgets etc. So my horrible computer illiteracy hit bigtime when I could not get it over on to this page so I could share it and pass it on. I cut and paste and copy and paste and tear out my hair, and yeah. I have a lot to learn. Any way, thank you Beth, that really made me feel good that you did that and sooner or later I will figure out how to do all these neat little things.

Lots of news

First I wanted to share this, if you don't beleive in ghosts go ahead and giggle.
We are painting my living room. My daughter decided to do before and after pictures. This picture was taken with my digital camera with no flash because it was a nice bright day. I have always known I have a ghost in my house, it is always more evident when my daughter is around because she is "sensitive" to things. Now the question is, is this orb attached to my house which is more than 110 years old or is it attached to someone in my house:re: daughter?

Okay now that I have shared that excitement, I want to update really exciting news. A few day's ago I told you about a blogger doing a giveaway that I am involved in. Well she has so many people willing to participate it will last the whole month of June, a different giveaway every day, make sure you go check it out, I think it will be lots of fun to try to win all the wonderful handmade items by so many fantastic Etsy artists.

I love my webmaster. He has done alot of work on my site just recently. Besides being to travel to my sites I now have the ability to share links with other websites, he set it up to be very easy to use. If you would like to link with me just go to my main website and click on links at the top.

Wow, and my day is just getting started, hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday, the sun is out here in Saratoga springs for the first time in 4 days. Yeah!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My wandering mind

My fingers and my mind have been wandering in unison. I have never been anywhere and the one place I truly want to see , well there are several but at the top of my list is Hawaii. I sit here today in my studio listening to the rain hitting the roof and picturing what it would be like to be underwater in Hawaii. Yes I know all the pictures we see show a beautiful blue water but what about underneath? I can picture the bottom, the seaweed and other plants in shades of green, on the bottom I see wonderfully colored stones, I see broken oyster shells with that beautiful mother of pearl finish. Of course something down there is going to sparkle. We must always have sparkle. So as I am seeing it, it evolves with my celery green seedbead necklace, I added a large stone donut with this slight marbling of green and white, I need to add some branch fringing for that waving seaweed. But the bottom of the ocean is not empty so we need to add green gemstone chips, a little yellow just to brighten it up. We need the mother of pearl so we add the mother of pearl gemstone chips. Not quite enough , we need the sparkle. some lustred glass teardrops in the fringe. Some green crystals in the body of the necklace and these crystals are so special to me. My grandmother was a jeweler. When she passed on I got all her supplies and I have spent many years sewing a bit of my heart into my work with them. Any way this is what I did over the last few rainy day's.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Etsy listing

Just listed this in my Etsy shop tonight, love making simple chokers and I love playing with polymer clay. I plan on getting good with it one day.

Rainy Days

I woke up this morning to a gloomy , rainy day and I don't mind. The last few days have been great, sunny, not to hot, which means I want to be outdoors whether trying to help with yard work or just sitting on the porch watching the kids play, a gloomy day makes me want to get into my studio and stay there. I have been working on 2 major beadwork peices this week. Also have some exciting news. I along with a group of other Etsy artists are doing a 2 week giveaway on this blog:
I am giving away my Magic, amulet bag, entries are from June 4th through June 11th so make sure and bookmark. A different Etsy shop will sponsor a giveaway every day for 2 weeks. And I also want to tell you that this blog itself is delightful! I am so glad she posted this offer because I am finding I really enjoy reading all the different blogs. I was going to take a picture of a necklace that I have in progress right now but I am having alot of trouble with my camera. It is killing batteries way to quickly all the sudden. I got new Lithium's this weekend and this morning it is telling me they are dead. GRRRRR.

Now before I end this today I have a question and would love your input. I have been working so hard at my Etsy shop to start getting more regular sales that I have been doing alot of work that I don't really enjoy. Simple strung bracelets and necklaces, bookmarks, inexpensive stuff that works up quickly just to keep my presence out there and entice some sales. You already know I prefer to do work that is intricate, different sometimes a bit off the beaten path. These things take alot of time and money. Here is my question, if you would take a look at my shop, should I continue to keep the inexpensive peices flowing just so I can list something new everyday, or just do what I like and count on the right buyers discovering me sooner or later? Your imput (and be honest) will help me make some decisions. Going to end this for now, soon as I can afford some MORE batteries, I will post the work I am creating now. Hope all have a great day even if it is raining where you are.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Family Outing

I don't have any pictures to share today, just wanted to tell you about my evening yesterday. My sister and her husband live in Dubai, UAE, he has been service for many years and after retiring this past year he took a job with Lockhead Martin overseas. My sister came home about a month ago due to a family death and yesterday my brother in law came home to visit for her birthday. It is also my sister in laws birthday week so , when my spread out family is home we have a party. Brother opened his yard and we all went for a celebration. I had so much fun, my cousin and her husband came up from Albany, some of my brother and sil s friend came (all used to be in band with my brother) of course, my mom and dad came, count on mom for the brownies and cupcakes, I brought fruit salad, as I always say, I always get to do that and I don't know if it is because they like the way I cut up the fruit or are they afraid of my cooking? Mom made her famous pasta salad. My brother had a brainstorm, he did not want to spend his day running the grill and not being able to participate in the fun so....He ordered big plates full of subs from Subway. Different but it worked out really well. Any way, of course when we have this family event, there is always drinking involved. I hate to say it but my family is a bunch of really fun drunks. No bad attitudes, no sulking, no wanting to fight, they always get really silly and a bunch of born comedians so it was a ball. I brought my granddaughter with me, she just turned 13 and she was amazed at how much fun, watching my sister, brother, cousin doing a dance around the firepit to keep the rain away, singing and silliness. She just had a ball and happy she came with me. Sadly, my other brother can't make it home until July so he missed out but July will mean another party! Now my sis and her husband have to go sell their house in S. Carolina before going back to Dubai because at the end of the year, he will be transferring again, don't know yet if they will end up in Italy or Texas, but many more years of traveling. I will miss them so Cherish these very few moments we have to be a family in one spot. Any way, just wanted to share this, sick as I felt yesterday, it was wonderful for me and can't wait til the next time!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

On a mission

I thought I would tell you today about my ornaments. I make old fashioned felt and sequin ornaments besides my jewelry. I have always used them as a fundraising tool for things close to my heart. I think, no matter how tough things are for you, if you do one little thing to help some one else, you can feel good about you. I make 32 different ornaments, last year I started doing two charities with them, off Etsy I sold them with 10% of the profit going to ASAP, to help fund research for Chiari and Syringomellia. On Etsy I sold them with 10% of the profit going to Esterville, a local no kill animal shelter. This was my grandaughters project, she dreams of saving all the animals in the world. I am rethinking how I want to do this and here is what I have come up with. Since both fundraisers are to be an ongoing thing, I have decided to just deduct the cost of the ornament and then just split the entire profit right down the middle, half going to Esterville and half going to ASAP. Lets face it, the small amount of money I charge for the ornaments, it takes a while to come up with even $10.00 to send out. So over the next few weeks, I am going to put my change into my Etsy announcement and start stocking more ornaments in the shop and I am thinking, maybe eventually put them here with information how to purchase off Etsy. anyway, that is my thought process today, keeps my mind focused on pushing forward with something other than me. Better break out the sequins!

On a mission

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Just Listed

Just listed this in my Etsy shop, can't quite figure out why this keeps turning my pictures around.

Good Morning

I am happy so far today. I woke up this morning feeling like a got some sleep and was almost pain free, first time in 3 days. It is a beautiful day out, the sun is up and the air is not to hot , not to cold, the kind of day that makes me want to motivate and do something. My Avon delivery came last night and I packed it all up, I would like to get books out into public places today. I need some new ideas to create more customers. I pass out a minimum of 30 books a month yet I still don't seem to pick up any new customers. So I need to learn how to do something different. Later today, I am going to tell you about a project close to my heart that I am doing, involving my Old Fashioned felt and sequined ornaments. Right now I just think I want to get myself out into the fresh air for a while.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My babies

The last few day's have been tough, the pain is out of control and it makes it hard to be very productive. But I did spend a lot of time yesterday getting new avon books ready to distribute. You would be surprised how time consuming this can be, think I should invest in a stamp with my name, phone, websites on it. Today the sun was great and I just could not see wasting it so I took a bag of jewelry outside and took pictures. That way I have a few day's worth of stuff to post in my Etsy shop, one at a time while I work on some more. Since I was doing all this I decided to get them loaded on the computer while I sat and rested and just happened to catch my dogs. They do terrible things to my bed during the day but what the heck, they are comfortable. They were sleeping until I picked the camera up, my little guy hates the camera and goes into this snarling, teeth showing scene so I am lucky to get one nice one at a time.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A quiet Sunday

Hope everyone has enjoyed one. The sun came out this morning first time in a few day's so my first thought this morning was to be outdoors doing what yard clean up I was able, but it was cold out, sun or no sun it was cold and windy but I was still motivated to get some chores done. So I did my house hold chores then came up to my studio and spent the whole afternoon getting avon books ready to hit the street. Filling out books and picking out samples can be very time consuming but I am getting ready for a major campaign for customers so I wanted them really full. Now everyone is home and ready to settle down for another week. My studio is really the attic of my house. Half is finished which is where I do my paperwork, beadwork, sleep , the other half is unfinished and a mess, I really want to clean it out , my daughter and I are doing a major clean out if we don't want it, don't use it, don't need it, it's going. Problem is you have to step up into the unfinished part of the attic, when you get up there you can not stand up straight because it is right under the roof, the pain in my knees and back won't let me do this well, so that did not get done. One thing I have not done today is any beadwork. I am now itching to sit down and work. I have stuff done that I want to post but my camera batteries died and at this moment can't go buy more. I have a set of rechargables but my daughter can't remember what she did with the charger so this particular project will wait a few days. I did have a small sale in my Etsy shop today, matter of fact it was very first oversea's order. The lady is in the UK so my visit to the post office tomorrow will be a learning experiance. That's about all for my Sunday.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Just a quick stop

Oops! well, I just put this in my Etsy shop but my photo was not upside down at the time? Wonder how I fix this, hehe, I have a hard enough time just taking the picture. Oh well, can you stand on your head while taking a peek?


It's a gloomy overcast saturday but the house is quite with only myself and Tori home. I decided it was a really good day to clean up my studio then sit down to start a new beadwork project. While I am doing my clean up work I am brainstorming, I love doing my amulet bags and cuffs but I need some fresh looks, need some design ideas, recently completed a bag with an appliqued flower on it and I really loved it, would like to do a bunch with different applique designs, dealing with the size it could be a bit tough but if any one has an idea suggestions, through them at me, I open and always happy when someone comes up with something fresh I haven't thought of. One thought I had which I am going to do some research on is some type of celtic motif. I think that would be awesome. Any thoughts for a gloomy possibly rainy Saturday?

Friday, May 15, 2009

My new cuff

Here is my cuff with royal blue seedbeads, silver seedbeads with a gold one tucked here and there, freshwater pearls, czech fire polished glass. Crazy but interesting to look at!

My Day

I have a routine everyday that has become very comfortable. First and for most I have my Etsy shop. I spend many hours of every day doing my beadwork, each time I need to sit down to break from anything else I am doing I am sitting at my work station beading, I don't look at it as work, it is my passion, my love, my therapy. I never get tired of it. I have said that I don't make a piece of jewelry expecting it to be beautiful. I am creating art, it has it's own strange sort of beauty, I like it different, I like intricate but simple. I want it to be an eyecatching conversation starter. Rather than hear someone say "thats beautiful" I want to hear " Wow, isn't that an interesting bracelet or bag or?"
Every once in a while I will try to conform and make simply strung bracelets and necklaces. I have a hard time with that because it's just not me. They are absolutely beautiful, many artists on Etsy have shops full of amazing work but it is not my style. My hope is someday, to be known enough to make enough money out of my work to pay say one bill example: electric and heat.
If you are one of the few who has not seen my shop, please stop and visit me:

Part of my day is spent on my Avon business. I love Avon, sold it as a teenager, they have a high quality product, very reasonable pricing compared to what we are paying in retail shops for many items. They do no animal testing, offer 100% gaurentee, I love that they are so involved in fund raising for not only breast cancer but domestic violence. These are things that are important to all women of every walk of life. These day's we can have an online store. This makes it easier to have customers everywhere, not just where we can walk or drive to and having the web office makes it so easy to keep track of all the paperwork and bookkeeping. So my goal with this is to earn enough money soon to pay my monthly Cable/Internet/phone bill. If you happen to need me:

A friend recently bought an existing tattoo business. He knows and is certified to Tattoo but he is clueless how to run a business. My daughter and I have decided to pitch in and help him. She is doing the more hands on physical work like cleaning the place, making it a nice establishment , teaching employees to properly handle cash register, credit card machine, setting up appointments etc. I have added an area of my studio to do his paperwork, doing the bookeeping, setting him up with quick books, teaching him about things like taxes, filing, etc. I am not at this time being paid for this but eventually we will have customer coming into the shop and I will be paid. Plus I am learning to make jewelry that will appeal to that type and have a showcase in the shop.
Any one need belly button sparklies?

In between all this I babysit my 13 and 6 year old grandchildren, they live with me so it is not hard and my daughter is free to take care of things outside of the house.

For now, I am going back to beading, I am working on a royal blue seedbead cuff with a very illogical design in silver seed beads, freshwater pearls and fire polished czech glass beads. One of those conversation starters! I hope to get a picture up later today. Hope you are having a wonderful day.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The here and now

Okay, now that I spent my first three blogs filling you in on me, from now on it will be what is going on now, what I am doing and making, I will try to post pictures as I create new items. You will not find advertising, video's etc. on here, at least not now, I have no clue how to do any of that stuff, as I said this is more like a diary open to the public. If I do a give away, it will be something I made and the giveaway is just because one of the great pleasures in my life has been to create it and give it to someone. So there it is, if you decide to read my blogs, you know what you will find here as I learn this new area of computerized socializing.


My surgeon never promised I would be all fixed after surgery. He promised that surgery would save my life. After all was said and done I was left with many physical changes. I had a very hard time with my legs, due to constant back pain I walked like a drunken sailor half the time, or 90 year old with a cane the other half, I suffered a great deal of irreversible nerve damage in the back of my neck and down due to the 2 surgeries, it traveled down my arms. My hands had completely lost all motor skills. I went from typing 90 words a minute to 20 with mistakes in every other word, I could no longer hold onto a beading needle , I could not do even the most basic household chores like sweeping the kitchen or vacuuming the living room. I spent a long time allowing my doctors to try out one drug cocktail after another in an effort to releave the constant consuming pain. The medications did nothing to releive the pain, they just turned me into a zombie to willing to spend my time zoned out in my recliner not caring that I hurt. I went through a long period of feel sorry for me time because this all changed my life so drastically. I went from being a strong, independant woman raising kids and doing it all to a drugged up whiner sitting in my recliner letting others do for me. Fortuneatly I am very stubborn and while that has often gotten me in trouble it now became my saving grace. I knew I was not willing to live this way and I finally realized I have to accept my physical disability but in no way did I have to accept my current attitude and decided the way to fix my life was to fix my attitude so needed to work on all the emotional stuff. Step 1 was to stop taking all the medications the docs gave me. I learned to take tylenol to take the edge off the pain and just take the rest in stride. I then made myself go outside and take a 10 minute walk several times a day, who cared that I used a cane. Eventually I was able to do the walks without the cane up to half an hour three sometimes four times a day. Then I decided to get my hands working again. You can take alot of things away from me but not my ability to turn a pile of beads into a unique piece of art. That took along time, a very slow process starting with much bigger needles and working supplies. I will never create the perfect work I once did but I sure have come along way and I think most of what I make is pretty darn nice. I have come to accept the short term memory problems and make myself lots of notes on the calender. I have come to accept the fact that I can never be the type of secretary I was, my typing is slow, I can't remember my spelling and it hurts to talk on the phone. I can never again waitress or bartend because I can't stand longer than 15 minutes, walk like a drunken sailor, can't hold a tray of food or drinks. Who cares? I have as many hours a day as I want to sit and create my beadwork , I have learned to be a part of a community online, I may never meet you but I can call you friend because we have fun connections through this little machine every day. I am slowly but surely building a business, people are buying, slowly but someday that will build. When it does, I no longer have to say, I am unemployed because I am disabled. I can say, I have my own business and plan on it helping me support myself. The financial part of this whole 5 years has been devastating. So this brings us to the present and I have always loved the poem "Every cloud has a silver lining" I have found my silver lining.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chiari explained

Okay, I promised to explain this last night so here goes. Chiari Malformation is considered a birth defect. When discovered in early childhood it is usually easier to deal with but an adult of my age? Well they didn't have the knowledge or technology when I was young. The normal brain sits basically at the top of your head/skull, in a Chiari patient the brain is at the back of the skull literally running down your neck cutting off spinal fluid, nerve signals etc. A side effect of this is the disease called syringomellia. Basically that is a fluid filled tumor in the center of your spinal cord. This actually causes the death of the spinal cord and there is no reversing it. In my particular case, I had to have surgery, the first in November of 2004. If your squemish don't read this part. I have had a triangle of my skull removed to give my brain room to live. I have had the top two bones removed from my spine so the part of my brain that was coming down into my neck was not squeezed. I have had several lumbar drains to try to destroy the tumor in my spine, ideally, draining should collapse the tumor and it should dissolve, in people like myself, it does not work and the tumor just keeps filling with spinal fluid. Recovering from surgery was a long , painful road and just about the time I should have been feeling better (not recovered, there is no cure for this illness, surgery just alleviates the worst of the symptoms and possibly saves your life. At Christmas time that year I noticed a big squishy lump at the back of my head. Called the surgeon who told me nothing was wrong, I just wasn't used to the physical therapy I was doing so the squishy lump grew until February of 2005 and it was the size of a base ball. Surgeon then decided it was a problem, I had a serious cero-spinal fluid leak somewhere and the only way to find the leak was another surgery. They had to open me up in the same places to locate the leak, never could which is why I still have the tumor in my back, the leak just keeps filling it up. The worst part is I wore a crewcut for 2 years because they had to shave my head 2x. Okay that is the basics so far. One thing I would like is for more people to know about this disease. Large amounts of money is given to research for the treatment of Aids, Cancer, MD , MS, Luekemia etc. But very very little is given for treatment of Chiari or syringomellia because people just don't know about it, please take a few moments to go to the following site and learn a bit:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Let me introduce myself.

I have heard for many months from many places that I needed to start a blog in order to make any money with my online businesses. I rebelled against this. What do I have to say that any one wants to hear? In real life I am a very quiet person, a poor conversationalist so I don't do well in social settings cause I just don't have much to say. I have read alot of blogs of other crafters and things and I am constantly amazed. Some are very amusing because the author has this great sense of humor. Some are beautiful because the author has a great eye for picking out exceptional handcrafted work, some have a lot of advertising that tells me they have found a way to make a few cents. None of this is me. May be some day but not yet. But with alot of encouragement from my kids I have gone from learning to create a little Etsy shop for my jewelry 4 years ago to where I am now. I am on Etsy, once in a while Ebay, I have myspace, Facebook, flickr, twitter, it has been a long road learning how to do all this but I have learned and it is pretty amazing because before 2004 if I was on the computer, I was at my job typing dictation, billing, filling excel sheets, nothing else.

One of the things I have heard often and it sticks in my mind is: people like to know about the artist behind the work they purchase. Well that made me think, why can't I do a blog that is basically a diary that is open to the public? So that is where I have decided to start.

I am 53 years old living in Northeastern New York, I have 30 year old daughter and a 24 year old son. My daughter has a 13 year old girl and a 6 year old boy.
My daughter and I and her kids live together as I have been divorced for 23 years. Since I have been a single parent for almost all of my kids lives, I worked all the time, I worked 2 and sometimes 3 jobs at a time. I never minded, yea it was tough but my parents taught me to take care of my own and work for what I had, so I just always did it. I was sick a great deal with a lot of confusing illnesses but never paid much attention , usually put it down to exhaustion. In 2001 all my little illnesses got really worse and steadily out of control to the point where I was going from dr. to dr. to specialist back to dr. to another specialist. No one could find out what was wrong with me, had many different kinds of problems from constant colds and flu's to aches and pains to migraines to you name it. Around 2003 it got much worse. I was slurring my words, having trouble swallowing food, forgetting stupid things. I started falling for no apparent reason or I would be walking across the room thinking I was just fine but actually was not picking my feet up and my dragging toes where making me stumble. Then the migraines turned into a pain that I could not describe in the back of my head, the pain running down between my shoulder blades and down my arms, I would lose the feeling in my hands, I would wake up in the morning and my legs would not be there, I would go to get out of bed and fall right to the floor. Eventually, I woke up one morning and the pain in my back was so bad I could not get out of the bed, I called my dog (poor thing) she's a big girl, I grabbed her collar and hollered at her to get off my bed. How confused she must have been, me holloring for her to get off my bed yet hanging on to her.
Any way, once I got off the bed, I was unable to walk and kids to took me to the hospital, they admitted me thinking I had blown a disc in my back, did exams, cat scans, and found nothing wrong with me and sent me home 3 days later. So once again, I did the rounds with the dr.s and my chiropracter (who is my HERO) said I had to insist on a referal to a Neurologist because he thought I might have MS. Well I did just this, and after another battery of test including some MRI's of my brain and back he gave me a diagnosis of a very rare illness
called Chiari Malformation and Syringomelia. I am going to leave this here tonight and tomorrow I will explain this diagnosis.