Monday, February 22, 2010

Sonic Boom

The space shuttle coming home is an awesome thing. The twin sonic booms as it breaks the sound barrier can be heard and felt for miles! But last night was especially memorable. BOOM-BOOM! And I thought to myself, "ah, the shuttle's home!" But then there was more. A rattle-rattle-rattle of the air itself. You could feel it in your bones. The ground shook. The windows shook. And this went on for a good 15 or 20 seconds. You might think that's not very long, but look at your watch and actually time it. The usual boom-boom reverberates for maybe 5 seconds. I started to think it wasn't actually the shuttle, that maybe it was something weird happening in my neighborhood. I had to turn the TV to the NASA channel to double-check. Maybe it was because it was a night landing and things were "quieter" than they are sometimes during the day. Maybe it was the angle of descent that took it more over my house than usual. Or maybe it was just the old girl saying, "I may be being retired, but I'm not gonna let you forget me!"


Friday, February 19, 2010

Special Orders

Thank goodness for special orders these day! The weather has kept the usual crowds from shopping here in Cocoa Village, but I still have people bringing stones to be set or beads to be restrung or other assorted special requests. I recently restrung an old set of ivory beads for one woman, and encased a large uncut emerald in a freeform setting to be added to a heavy chain for a man's bracelet. On my clipboard of Things To Do, I've got a baggie full of vintage earrings to be remade into pendants (see The Luella Collection on my website if you've got some of your own you'd like made up!), and an order for an asymmetrical neck wire and a bracelet with blue cube beads (among other things).

Sure, I've got plenty of regular inventory to be made, too, but I enjoy doing the special orders because they usually make me think a little more outside the box than my normal jewelry-making requires after all these years. Every artisan needs a challenge once in awhile--keeps us fresh!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Florida Snowball

I am SO over this cold weather! This morning I had to scrape FROST off the windows of my car. There was so much of it that my son took the shavings and made a snowball! Bear in mind that I live in Central Florida (on the Space Coast due east of Orlando), and it's the middle of February. It should be in the mid-70's this time of year. Spring break time is just around the corner. All our northern friends who are sick of shovelling out from under REAL snow are going to be disappointed if they get down here and can't take off enough clothing to get a decent, I mean suntan.

Come on mid-70's!!!


Friday, February 12, 2010

I've Got Everything I Need, Thank You

This morning on my way in to my shop, I passed by a homeless guy sitting on a bench in front of the public restrooms. He was covered with a small, thin blanket and had a plastic grocery bag with some stuff in it on the ground in front of him. And I thought "there but for the grace of God..." Yes, my financial situation, like many others these days, isn't what it used to be. But I'm walking past this guy with my laptop over my shoulder, my brown-bag lunch in my tote, and $14.00 in my pocket. I'll bet that homeless guy would trade places with me in a heartbeat.

I'm glad I had this experience. It reminds me to be grateful for what I have. A roof over my head, food on the table, a car to drive and a little money to put gas in it. Etcetera, etcetera. Lots of stuff. Not to mention an amazing husband and a bright and beautiful little boy. And I am grateful. There may be stuff out there that I don't have that I want, but I've sure got everything I need.


Thursday, February 11, 2010


Those of us who live here in Florida apparently cannot function in cold weather. Last month we had record-breaking low temperatures, and even a Florida version of snow! (Kind of mushy blobs rather than flakes, but it wasn't exactly hail--they weren't totally frozen--and it was definitely not rain.) Again today it's cold. I don't like the cold.

Granted, our cold is not the same as our friends further north. I realize that there are people digging out from several FEET of snow these days. And yes, they manage to function normally for the most part. But there is a reason that those of us who live in Florida, live in Florida. We don't like cold. And we certainly don't like snow. I'll admit it's pretty to look at, but trudge around in cold, wet, clingy white stuff? No, thank you. I don't even like wearing long-sleeved shirts. I actually only own one, and it was a Christmas gift from a friend a number of years ago. I do have a few sweater-shirts, but they're all 3/4 sleeve.

Those of you who are dealing with cold and snow right now are probably scoffing. Yesterday our high was about 55 degrees. And it's going to be around 60 degrees where I live today. I know, heat wave, right? But you would be amazed, and probably amused, to see how everyday life slows to a crawl when it's that chilly in the Sunshine State. Traffic is lighter on the streets, there are no lines at the grocery store, and the only customers I've seen in my own store in the last few days have been snowbirds! (Those are our visitors from the north who spend time in Florida in the winter. We LOVE them, by the way!)

So I'm going to sit here in my long-sleeved shirt and two layers of sweaters and whine about the temperature. Simultaneously I will be sending positive thoughts northward to those of you who are really dealing with cold, and I will be admiring your fortitude. And I won't even mind if you think I'm pathetic!


Monday, February 8, 2010

Guys' Shopping Habits

Valentine's Day is coming. Would it surprise you if I told you I see a lot of men in my store on February 13th? (December 24th, too!) That's not to knock all guys, of course. Some are pretty good about thinking ahead. (My husband is actually one of them.) But others just can't seem to get it together before the last minute. My late stepfather used to call me the afternoon of December 24th or August 23rd--the eve of their anniversary--and ask, "So what does your mother want?" I'd always try to come up with some suggestions, of course, but in the back of my mind I'm thinking, "YOU live with don't have any idea what she might like?" And Mom is not that hard to buy for--she pretty much likes anything anyone in her family gives her.

Anyway, for those of you guys who might be considering an online purchase of some really great, unique artisan jewelry, you can check out my Etsy shop or my Artfire shop for ready-to-ship items that I'm sure your lady will love! I ship USPS first class, and your purchase will be in the mail the next day, I promise!


Friday, February 5, 2010

The Wrong Color

I have a ton of pictures to take of new jewelry that I've made recently, and yet I wore a red shirt today. For some reason the red reflects on whatever I'm trying to shoot and even with the great photo-editing software I have, I can't get the tint out of the picture. Rats. What possessed me when I was getting dressed this morning? Maybe I can find some fabric or a towel lying around here that I can drape over my front to cover up the red. Wish me luck!


Thursday, February 4, 2010


Amethyst. February's birthstone. And in my experience, one of the most popular colored gemstones around!

Amethyst is purple quartz, ranging in tone from pale lavender to deep, rich, almost-black purple. It is the "stone of meditation", and its energies are said to help amplify intellectual understanding, as well as protect the wearer from intoxication! (Although I certainly can't guarantee you won't get drunk while wearing your favorite amethyst pendant or ring!) It can also be used to attract good luck. I have some fabulous amethyst pendants, earrings, ear sweeps, bracelets, anklets, rings and necklaces. Check out my Etsy shop for ready-to-buy items, or my website for a look at everything I can make. I would be delighted to design something just for you!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Getting Better

I have to say that my new "resolution" from last month--writing a blog post before I allow myself to play on Facebook--seems to be working at about 70% effectiveness. If you don't count weekends, that is. But my schedule on weekends is different, so I guess I'll have to work on taking that into consideration. On weekdays, I take my son to school at 8:15 and then come straight to work, even though I don't officially open my store until 11:00. That gives me an extra couple of hours to focus on getting some uninterrupted "work" time in before any customers might arrive. On weekends, I tend to treat myself to a little extra sleep, plus those pesky household tasks like doing laundry and cleaning the bathroom, so I don't get in to work until about 10:00 at the earliest. Not enough time to do all the paperwork and computer business that I should do each day before opening. So I guess my options are: 1) Don't sleep in (hmmm...unlikely). 2) Don't do the laundry or any of those other household chores (impractical). 3) Get more organized and efficient so ALL tasks can be accomplished, even on weekends (wow...wouldn't that be great?) 4) Don't blog on weekends (the most likely scenario at this point)!

You can "vote" with your comments and follow along to see how well I do!