Monday, March 29, 2010

Another attempt

Looks like this is going to work this time. I got to thinking today while I was cleaning some old stuff out of the computer. When things get really bad and I get to the point that I am blatantly stressing and telling why I'm stressing, it's time to refocus. That's what I am doing today, just refocusing myself. I have spent years battling to keep things together and with as many problems and tough spot's I have been through, I am still here and when I look around I have so many, many things good in my life. I am so lucky to have a large family. We are all very different, we are spread to all corners of the world but the love is there and we all find a way to connect, even if one of us is having a difficult time the rest are there to pat on the back and reassure that all will be well. I have great kids and I am a very lucky person to have my grandchildren right here in my house where I can see, love, and interact with them everyday. And my two best friends who are by my side day and night with the greatest unconditional love any one could ask for. Yeah those two critters at the top of this post. That's what got me thinking this morning as I sat having my coffee my little guy alex was up on my shoulder kissing my cheek and my big girl morgan sitting right at my feet with her face on my lap , her eyes just asking for a little stroking. That's it, that's enough to make me wake up and realize what ever I do without materially, I have sooo much love in my life I can get through anything. Have a wonderful evening.

Remembering what's important

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Special

I am not exactly sure how to start this post without leaving the wrong impression. I need some serious help and need to tell you what I am doing without seeming to be a whiner or want to give a "poor poor me" impression so I am going to first of all just give you the facts. I have alway's sold my work basically to replace supplies. When my illness hit the worst I started on Ebay and then on to Etsy to sell but I think I do it more for the social aspect and involvement in something besides myself more than making money. Sales have never been wonderful but enough to keep me moving forward. Now a big issue.........
If you have been following my blog for a while you know I struggle financially on an everday basis. My self, my daughter and her 2 children have been trying to live on my disability check and it truly has not been easy but we have been doing what we needed to do to get by.
2 weeks ago , my daughter was finally diagnosed after over a year of being unable to work but none of the Dr.s being able to find out what was wrong with her. A new neurologist has read all her films and bloodwork etc. She has my disease (chiari malformation) plus a few added complications . She has hydrocephilitis so badly it is crushing the nerves which is why her hands and feet are not working. So we have a long uphill battle of surgeries and therapy ahead and will not know until it's all done if they were able to help her enough for her to return to a job or will she be like me and so disabled as to be unable to work. That all remains to be seen while this play's out.
Now the facts. We have been losing things for a while. We lost tv last December, not the end of the world but tought to be without. I because I have such a small disability check was receiving food stamps for my grandkids, because I attempted to work a few hours a day for a few months, they took most of them away from me. I am struggling to keep my grandkids fed. I lost my health insurance because I made $12.00 a month too much at my 2 hour a day job, the sad part about that is I had to leave the job after a few months because my physical disabilites impaired my ability to do the work.
Now here I sit, not enough food in the house ever, no tv for the grandkids, no way to pay for my prescriptions, and the latest, they are turning my electricity off in 2 day's. There are no options, no where to go, no money to move, no one to help us so It is on my head to figure it out.

Now why am I telling you all this if I am not just whining about poor me? Because I am going to ask for your help. I am going to ask you to help me spread the word about a sale I am going to have in my Etsy shop. Not quite sure how to advertise other than starting a promo thread and putting something in my announcement but here it is:

Starting now.....I am having a make me an offer sale. See something you like but not the price... send me a convo....make me an offer.....any reasonable offer accepted. I will go in and make a special reserved listing of that item with your price.

So there it is. I am plain and simple asking you to help spread the work about my sale. Obviously people who make their own jewelry aren't going to be interested but I know there
are alot of people out there who don't and these are the people I want to reach, by blog, by twitter, by any means, a handful of sales will help me fight to keep the power on so I will feel I am making my best attempt to rise above this. And then pray I never have to post something like this again! Thank you for helping me spread the word.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Baby!

For the last few years we have had a huge red-headed woodpecker hanging around my house. This has excited me each time I saw it because first of all, it is not a creature that you usually find right in my area and second of all he/she was huge. Even without a way to actually measure it I can tell you without hesitation that it was a good 14" tip to tail. Today has been a beautiful day and we have been in and out of the house and look what we spied in the tree across the street. No , that is not the big one, this is a baby. Has to be from the one that has been coming to visit because it looks exactly like it only much smaller. Just one of those little things that excite me.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My 2nd one done with improvements

Greetings to you, I have had so much going on, by the time I think to stop in here and post it's either the wee hours of the morning or I have to run an errand. I just finished the second "Flag Bag". The first one that I made for Amy made it to Iraq this past week and is gracing her wall. My sister Donna chimed in she needed some. That makes me a little worried, that means my sister is going to take orders from her friends. Donna's husband is lifetime military and they have been in the United Arabic Emerit since 2008, hard to picture my sister living in the land of sand and camels after growing up in NorthEast , NY. I have been sending her care packages of beading supplies, she is also very crafty and the funny thing is, where she is living there are huge amounts of goods being sold that are beaded, wall hangings to scarves. Yet....she can't buy beading supplies! Any way this is her bag, made some changes so it is better than the first, but still have some more changes for the next one. In the mean time this one is on the way to Dubai this week.
Other than that I have been putting belongings that I need to clean out up on Ebay all week. I do need to make one of these bags for my Etsy shop , and I just this past week agreed to make 10 mini amulet bags for consignment for a shop in another state. I am a bit hesitant but I will try it and see how it works. The lady owns a shop that sells jewelry made by her and a few others and she thinks my bags will go very well. We shall see. Hope you all are enjoying a beautiful, sunny day like I am here, I should be out playing in it rather than sitting in this studio.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I had to laugh so I'm sharing

I have been on a mission today. I have spent the last few day's stressing about the fact that I can't pay any of my bills then stressing about whether or not I am going to have a roof over my head soon and I got to thinking........If I lose my home what the hell do I do with all my stuff? That got me thinking even harder......I have an attic full of stuff, I have a cellar full of stuff, I have a spare bedroom full of stuff. Nothing great, just stuff we have collected, different crafts I have tried my hand at, outgrown clothes , you know exactly what I mean. Collections of life.
Then I got to thinking if I used any of this stuff, it wouldn't be stored in the attic or the cellar.
So I have spent the entire day starting to do a clean out, one box or bag at a time, either toss it, donate it or put it up on ebay. My old craft supplies especially on ebay. During this process I came across this purse pin. When I first started playing with polymer clay I made a bunch of these, the face basically all the same but different hairdo's some even had leaves for hair, some had strands of beads hanging from their hair. Each one had a big brooch pin in the back plus a top to hang it from a necklace. Any way it was a really good time for me playing with these, I don't know where they all went but I found this one in a box and it gave me a really good chuckle. Back to work now.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Heading for Houston

I know I have talked about this before but need to do a recap for some friends who are wondering why I want all their old, broken, junk jewelry. Why in the world would I want something they are ready to throw in the trash? Here it is!

Scheduled to open in Spring of 2012, the Holocaust museum is unveiling a new display called the Butterfly Project. The display will be created of 1.5 million handcrafted butterflies in almost any artist medium. These butterflies will represent the some 1.5 million children lost during the Holocaust. They put out a call last year for donations of handcrafted butterflies and I can't help but want to be a part of this. So in my free time I have been working on them since last November. Here is my process:
#1 I start by using a rubber stamp on a peice of felt and cut the butterfly out.

#2 This is where I use the old jewelry. Each butterfly has anywhere from 2 to 4 beads of sometime from someones broken, unloved items. Hey Noelle if your reading this the butterfly number 2 is wearing the black faceted beads you gave me! Sorry about that :) anyway, if I can get 2 usable beads out of a peice it has value here and how cool to know that something that at one time was yours will spend it's final day's in the museum!
I add however large beads I have for that peice deciding where they will go and stitch into place.

#3 Step three is to stitch some seedbeads around the large beads. Whatever pattern that strikes me and I do use a embroidery hoop to help stabilize it a bit while I am working.

#4 Add some sequins so that the butterfly sparkles when the light hits it and add a little beaded loop.

Last but not least a back each butterfly with another layer of felt. This makes the butterfly stronger and keeps it laying flat not to mention hiding all the stitches because by the time I am done, there are alot of them.

Now they just get added to the cardboard box just waiting for the day I decide to ship them out.
I started with a goal of 100 butterflies, not sure I will make it , each butterfly takes a minimum of 4 hours to make and I am rather slow these day's but I have until November 2010 to send them. Have a great day!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Staying busy

I have been keeping busy this week. Trying to list something new each night on one of my sites. I listed this necklace in my Etsy shop tonight. While most of the time I am not a big fan of stringing, this necklace is an exception and it is the best way I know of to use up beads that just are not up to my standards. Every once in a while I try to save a little money on beads, I think all of us beaders pull this stunt and purchase lesser quality seedbeads only to be very sorry because they are so un-uniform that they just don't create a nice even, smooth peice when they have been woven. So a big box of turqouise seedbeads turned into a 10 strand necklace. My granddaughter modeled and she say's she would wear it so it will appeal to someone .
Hope your enjoying your first week of March, I have seen a definate weather change this week and I am happy about that .. hope it continues

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thinking out loud

Happy March 1st everybody. Gives me hope that we may see spring in a few weeks. More like 6 to 8 but at least we are through February. I have alot of things going on right now and have a lot of thinking and planning to do.
First up, last week, I had to give up my part time job at the Cafe. It is truly breaking my heart but it was a choice I had to make. I was only working 2 or 3 hours a day and it truly took it's toll on my health which was pretty lousy to begin with. The fact's that I must face and deal with are that mentally I needed that job very badly. I have alway's worked and worked hard with no complaints and the time I have had to just sit home dealing with the disabilities I have was so difficult. But now I am dealing with worse physical problems just because of the few limited hours of outside work and have hurt myself .
So, I spent last week pretty angry at myself and hurt and not wanting to be home 7 day's a week again but it is now time to get past that. It is now, once again, time to put that energy and need to work into my jewelry and learn how to make my shops grow, and study everything I can put my hands on to start getting regular sales.

That both frightens and motivates me at the same time. I love being able to pull out my beads and create at any time of the day or night that I want without any other interruption.
Knowing that if I can't figure out how to grow my business means losing everything , and by everything I just mean the basics. Lights, phone, maybe having to move, just frightens me, I went through so many years of not having any answers. So I am going to block out all the negative worries for a while and just put that energy into figuring out how to make my online shops make ends meet for me. Course I haven't had tv in over 2 months already and if I don't get to see a television show soon I may blow the house up any way. Kidding!

Then I have to make a decision about my Avon business. I love selling Avon. Selling Avon costs me money. I only have a few customers. By the time I pay for my books each campaign, samples of new products, pay for my website if no one orders off it that month. Yeah, it costs me more than I collect in payments. So I am trying to tell myself that this is rather counterproductive to what I am trying to accomplish. Yet, I am so hesitant to give it up just because I enjoy it and someday I may see the fruits of my labor. More deep thinking.
Any way these are just a few things that I am dealing with and have gotten in the way of the new work. I have several new peices started , just not moving too quickly while my head is full of this other stuff.

Sometimes it is just so difficult to make the right decisions, even when you know the right answers , just because you are somehow emotionally connected to what ever it is and don't want to feel lousy for making the right choice.

Will give you an update soon and maybe show you something finished for one of my shops!