Thursday, February 26, 2009

What I Made Yesterday -- 2/25/09

This is a special order for a customer. The amethyst and citrine part was a section of a broken bracelet and she wanted it made into a pendant. She also likes hearts.

This one took me awhile to figure out what I wanted to do. She wanted the "bracelet section" intact, and I needed to encase at least part of it to make a stable base. I actually went to sleep a couple of nights dreaming about how I could set this! I'm happy with the results. The customer hasn't seen it yet, but I'm betting she will be, too!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

What I Made Yesterday -- 2/18/09

Rings. These two dichroic glass rings, plus a few others. Rings sell well for me online, and I'm a little lower on inventory than I'd like.

Today I've got to string some bead necklaces. Those sell well for me in my store, and I'm WAY lower on inventory than I'd like!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Comments Are Good, Yes?

As I was hopping around Entrecard dropping my cards today, I ran across a blog post that I thought was really cute and I wanted to comment on it. First, I had to click on "read more" in order to get to the link for comments. Now, this was a blog with a lot of advertising on it, and it took forever to load in the first place, and a second "forever" to reload that post so I could click "comment." After I wrote my comment, another screen asked me what account I wanted to comment under, with a drop-down menu. I chose Google/Blogger and tried to continue. It then gave me yet another screen where I assume the verification code was going to appear (you know, those weirdly-shaped words and numbers that you have to squint your eyes to understand?). Under the empty box that said "loading...", there was an indicator that there would be yet ANOTHER screen for me to sign in my Google/Blogger username. I actually never got to that FOURTH SCREEN. The "loading..." stayed in the box for more than 6 minutes, never actually providing me with the verification code to enter. I don't know about you, but I don't have that kind of time to spend commenting on a single blog. I've got Entrecards to drop, y'all!

My question is this: why on earth would you make it so hard for people to leave you comments? We WANT comments, don't we?


Monday, February 16, 2009

What I Made Yesterday -- 2/15/09

I got some gorgeous labradorite cabochons off eBay recently. This was the first one I set. Glowing blue, green, and gold in a unique freeform shape, this is just a spectacular pendant! The "flash" in this stone will remind you of its metaphysical purpose. Like a "flash of light in the darkness", labradorite will help you find the path of your spiritual destiny. I've carried labradorite jewelry for years, but it seems to be growing in popularity recently. I've got a few more lovely cabs to set. This pendant is available for sale in my Etsy shop!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Online Venue #10 -- Facebook

A few months ago I had three different friends send me invitations to Facebook. I knew what Facebook was, but it seemed like it was primarily for a younger crowd, with lots of games and applications that I wasn't sure I could get into. Personal computers came along after I was already out of school, so I've always felt like I was "behind the curve" when it came to learning and using all the stuff they can do.

Sure, I can run my business, send and receive emails, even do some pretty cool desktop publishing. But the "fun" stuff? Can I figure it out? Do I even have time to take advantage of it?

After some more nagging and encouraging by my friends, I did set up a Facebook account. I've even explored some of the features and taken a quiz or two. But I really DON'T have the time to delve into it very deeply. I will say that in addition to the friends who invited me, I've rediscovered a few old friends from high school that I can now touch base with from time to time, and that's kind of cool!

Right now, Facebook is strictly a social site for me. I haven't even posted any pictures of my jewelry, let alone tried to "market" it in any way. For one thing, Facebook frowns on using its site for strictly business promotions, plus I'm pretty sure all my Facebook Friends know what I do and could contact me directly if they needed anything. I've only managed to find time to get on Facebook once or twice a week, and at one point I didn't log on for over a month!

Just over a week ago, both my friend Beth and my friend Kay "tagged" me with a little note called "25 Random Things About Me". It sounded like fun to participate (and it was fun), but it took me a week to even think of 25 things! In fact, my first thought when I saw it was "am I even that interesting?" But I managed to finish it, and posted it yesterday. I'll share it with you here:

1. I’m adopted.
2. I hate being cold. And anything below 65 degrees is COLD!
3. This is my 25th year in business. I established Contemporary Concepts on April 14, 1984.
4. I love good landscape photography.
5. I got my first grey hair at 23. My hair color has been out of a bottle ever since!
6. I’ve always had a powerful attraction to the number 8.
7. I’m very right-brained, and I think in three dimensions (hence my innate ability to create beautiful pieces of jewelry…? But don‘t ask me to draw anything more complicated than a stick figure.)
8. It makes me crazy to see advertisements or billboards (or anything else, really) with words misspelled. Get a dictionary, people…and PROOFREAD!
9. My favorite author is Orson Scott Card. He sucks me into a book so deep that I absolutely CANNOT put it down until I’m finished reading it. I’ll also read anything by Roger Zelazny or Michael Crichton.
10. My favorite colors are green, purple, and yellow, in that order. Any combination thereof is also highly appealing.
11. When I was younger, I wished I had been born a brunette with brown eyes. And that I was taller and thinner. In the last several years, though, I have come to terms with all my “imperfections”…yes, ALL of them!
12. Sometimes I wish I had finished my college degree.
13. I’ve never had a broken bone.
14. I really hate being wet. I’m not a big fan of swimming, and when I shower I always dry off immediately.
15. My son Ricky was conceived through in vitro fertilization, and I gave birth at the ripe old age of 40! No morning sickness, I only gained 16 pounds, and my labor was about 5-½ hours from start to finish. An awesome experience!
16. The downside of being pregnant at 40 was that everything that was going to sag, droop, spread, or otherwise go to hell in a hand basket as I got older, did so…quickly and irreversibly! Consequently I now wear bifocal contact lenses and my feet are a full size bigger than they used to be. (I’ll let you take a wild guess at what sagged and drooped!)
17. Ricky was over a year old before I realized that diaper packages come with a perforated side that you can easily rip open. Now there was a “duh!” moment!
18. It blows my mind that I’m going to turn 50 this year! Inside my head I still feel about 28. Only maybe a little wiser!
19. I am mesmerized by moving water: ocean waves, small creeks, even my washing machine and jewelry tumbler. But I especially love waterfalls. (Have you ever seen pictures or video of the Iguazu Falls in South America? Breathtaking!)
20. I love penguins and giraffes.
21. I have a tattoo of a seahorse on my right ankle.
22. My favorite flowers are yellow roses.
23. I love the smell of pine needles (like Christmastime!) and orange blossoms.
24. When I was younger I enjoyed traveling. At one point or another in my life I’ve visited 36 of the 50 United States. Nowadays I’m the consummate homebody--there’s no place I’d rather be than home.
25. My husband is nearly 10 years younger than I am. Grab ‘em young and train ‘em right, I always say!


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Not Enough Hours in the Day

Wow. Here it's been a whole week since I last posted. I certainly didn't mean for that to happen. I almost don't understand how it happens, either. Every morning as I'm getting ready for work, my mind is going over things that could very well be turned into blog posts. Something I heard on the news catches my attention. Something my husband or son did was amusing. Old friends and crazy antics of the past cross my mind. And yet, by the time I actually GET to work, all those lovely ideas have flown right out of my head.

I unlock the door, I feed the fish, I turn on the lights and the computer. I sit down, check my bank balance (never enough $$, by the way), log in to my Etsy account and/or my Ruby Lane account and/or my website, fiddle with some uploading and downloading. I make my Entrecard drops and package up any orders that need to be mailed. Then I'm ready to open the doors to customers.

Some days I have lots of customers walk in and I don't have the opportunity to do much else besides wait on them. Some days, not so many customers, and I can make inventory or work on special orders. If the weather cooperates, I can photograph some new jewelry pieces to put up on one or more of my online selling venues. I read some blogs, answer emails, check my social networking sites. Once in awhile I move the inventory around in my store a bit. The same old stuff looks fresh when it's in a new place!

Often, that's it. That's the end of my day. That's all the hours I have to devote to the endless "to-do" list that is the stuff of being self-employed. I didn't get my email newsletter written. I didn't finish all the special orders I wanted to do. I didn't get the supplies ordered that I really meant to do yesterday. And I didn't post in my blog.

Ah, well, there's always tomorrow....