Saturday, January 30, 2010

My New Ring on Loan

Visiting my parents today my dad pulled out all of the turquoise jewelery he made in the 70s. We lived in New Mexico so he had access to the best turquoise and great design influence from the Native American population in the area.

His stuff is amazing. I saw this ring he had and asked to borrow it. He made this for my Grandmother (Meme who has passed so he has it back). Of course he said yes, and although I could have it if I asked, instead I asked if I could wear it. So, officially, it is on loan.

I absolutely love it! It's a gorgeous piece of turquoise that has wonderful aqua blues and blue greens. It reminds me of the arial views of tropical islands you see on the travel channel.

I am so excited to be able to wear it. I can't wait till I can design and create to his level!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Laugh Out Loud

Be sure to turn up the volume on your computer.

Public Display of Affection

I snagged a treasury today. Please give these wonderful artists some affection!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Well, the next step...i made a facebook fan page (here). I had one with MiaSophia but never really knew what to do with it. It never really grew unless I spammed the forums like crazy (not really but I did have to search for facebook posts and post mine there).
Anyway, I would LOVE to know how to grow it. I've read lots of articles about how to make one and that it will just grow virally...however, it didn't work for me in the past so I'd love to know how you grow yours!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Spending Saturday Working.

This is where I spent my Saturday:

a little closer picture of my space:

this is what I was working on:

this is HALF the order finished.

Guess how I will spend my Sunday afternoon....
(these were the rings sold to raise money for Compassion International's Disaster Relief Fund for Haiti)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Making Everyday Chores Happy!

Next to mopping and vacuuming, I really don't like ironing. I live in tshirts and jeans so that ironing is not necessary. I steer my children in the same direction when buying clothes so I won't have to pull out the ironing board and iron.

Unfortunately, husband's work doesn't allow wearing tshirts so, once a week, the iron must come out.

I found this shop in Etsy that will make any ironing day brighter. These lovely ironing board covers make me smile and give me a little warm feeling of cozyness, vintagey-times and home making. Maybe, picturing myself in a frilly apron and pearls will help me through the ironing process.

Anyway here are the ironing board covers I love so much from CityChicCountryMouse on Etsy.

She also has lovely aprons, hot pads and other items that will help in the daily doldrom chores.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I, as many of you, have been touched (if I can use such a mild word) by what has been going on in Haiti. I decided to offer two rings in my shop and have the purchase price of the ring (all of it) go to Compassion International's disaster relief fund.

Yesterday one of the rings was featured on Etsy's Facebook page. I ended up selling 26 rings! That is awesome and I am stoked that it raised over $1000 for such a great need.

Now I will be in my studio for the next for to five days making all these rings, praying I get the right sizes to the right people!

On a side note, when I initially make these listings it never occurred to me that I would sell so many. Once I hit the 25 mark I began to realize the etsy fees, paypal fees and material costs were adding up to more than I could absorb. So now for any future rings I sell, out of the $35 for the ring $20 will go to Compassion International. I am not profiting off of this, it is just keeping me from going broke! Believe me, if I could give it all I would.

But, on a positive note...I am very excited about the money raised and knowing where it is going and what it is going to do!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Why there is Snow

After having record setting lows here in south texas I have found the purpose of snow. It is to cover the ugly, yukyness of the dead, wilting, dying plants. Here are some before and after shots of my yard. Please note,only two weeks separate the before and afters.





I am dreaming of spring.......

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I, as well as a lot of us, have had a dose of putting things in perspective this week. Watching what has been going on in Haiti really has make me re-think the stresses I've been under, the goals I set for myself, the priority I put to useless matters.

There is a group of artists that have put together a shop on called Hearts for Haiti. All proceeds are going to Doctors without borders for assistance to Haiti. If you want to donate there is info in their shop announcement. If you are able, you can purchase something wonderful that will go to their charity.

I know we are all touched by what is happening and find it hard to comprehend the suffering taking place. I know it helps when we feel that we are contributing somewhat, in whatever level we can.

I encourage you to check out the shop and either donate an item or purchase an item to help in this huge need.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Squeemish Look Away!

Well, today I did it. I knew I would, eventually. It was inevitable and, for the most part, it really hurt. When you work with a torch and hot metal you inevitably will get burned. Today was the day.

I was working on making my daughter a set of my violet rings.

When I heated the flower it collapsed a little so, after heating it to melt the solder I picked it up, dunked it in the water (or so I thought) and then pressed my finger on it to flatten it a little.

It all happened so fast I can't honestly recall if I quenched the flower or not. I thought I did, but obviously not long enough.

I burned my finger and then as a reaction balled my hand up and, I am guessing the flower stuck to my finger because my palm got burned also.

(notice the pattern? flower center and petals, lol)

Ah well. My finger feels better now, the palm is a little sore (probably because it isn't burned as bad and the nerves are still raw) but, I survived without going to the emergency room.

I learned to pay closer attention and not get in a hurry for sure.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Protect your Future

I had an experience this weekend that caused me to think about business practices as a whole, and more particularly, my own business practices and how they work to build my business's future.

We shopped for a car this weekend and, after deciding the car we wanted, sat down to the grueling task of negotiation. After several back and forths, and my husband being adamant about the price he was willing to pay, the manager came to discuss costs of the car vs. what we wanted to pay.

Trying to explain costs (the little extras that the added that my husband did NOT want to pay for) we came down to a difference of $175. This particularly was a sticking point with the manager. He was willing to let us walk away for $175.

What the manager didn’t know, however, is that we were buying this car for a teenager that is going away to school in a little over a year. At that time, we will be shopping for a car again. For the next one that will be going away to college, and then, there is another one after that.

I wonder if I had informed him of this, if he would have realized how petty the $175 seemed. I wonder, also, if any thought was given to referrals. Would we recommend the dealer ship?

These particular points got me thinking. I wonder if I, as business owners think immediate funds and overlook the future potential. Do I, when thinking of our packaging, think that I will go cheaply vs. professionally? Do I, when dealing with a customer that has lots of questions, respond in a professional way or in a way that is condescending? Do I, when faced with a missing package refuse refunds, or replacement?

I have and continue to try to make the buying and receiving experience of all my customers the best they can possibly get. I don’t know what my customer’s life situation is. I don’t know how much they can or will buy. Also, while my customers may only buy one thing from me, I want, when they are asked, to highly recommend me. I want them to feel valued and to cherish their item. I belive my treatment of them adds to this.

This experince at the car dealership served as a good reminder for me that while quality items are important, customer service is equally important. Without it my business has no real future.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fun New Lunches

My daughter, who is the internet queen, found the cutest blog Bento for Kidlet. It was my introduction to Bento, fun little japanese lunch kits. I was impressed by the effort this mom gave to packing her kid's lunch, but also how fun they seemed.

I have learned in my life that if you want your kid to eat something, make it fun and they are more likely to eat it. Well, for those of you with little kids, remember this also applies to teens as well.

We bought a few Bento kids which were much smaller than I thought they would be. I wondered how I could pack my kid's lunch in these little kits, but I went ahead and gave it a try.

So, here is my first attempt at getting my kids (both teens) to eat more healthy. First is PBJ with grapes, blackberries and orange slices. The second is a hardboiled egg, raw mushrooms and grapes, oranges and blackberries. (raw mushrooms are a fave of this kid).

They ate it ALL! and were fine with the portions, which surprised me.

This also, I have found, caused me to be a more inventive about what to put in their lunches and look for healtier options.

I love these little inspirations!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Thankful for the Mundane

In this world of so much need, I make an effort and a commitment to be thankful for the boring and mundane.

As I sit here this Saturday morning and listen to my husband's droning about cars we are shopping for I wonder, can anything be so mundane as trying to shop for a car? not a car of your dreams, lets get excited, oooh just cant wait shopping, but, something in our budget, what will work for the family, can we pass it onto our college bound teenager in two years, what is it's fuel efficiency kind of shopping.

I do realize, however, that this is something that is a blessing, that this isn't what most of the population of my city, much less the world, can do.

Therefore, I am thankful for this mundane task just as if it were the "car of my dreams".

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Successful Productive Day

I have had a satisfying day. I tried a new project design and, after much effort it finally worked.
The icing on the cake was being able to take wonderful pictures with my new camera. They turned out so well I was very pleased.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Being the Bad Guy

I had to be the bad guy today and I absolutely HATE it.
I have a daugther that, in her short three year driving career has had a total of five accidents. Two were minor (one cost us $500), one was major (we were hoping we wouldn't get sued), one was not her fault and one was just plain stupid (got stuck so gunned the engine and pulled the ENTIRE front bumper off, $1500 repair)
My husband and I decided that enough was enough. The next time an incident occurred she would bear the cost of the deductable plus the monthly/yearly increase in premiums that occurred. Well, I ended up being the heavy, the bad guy, the mean one, because I am the one who had to deliver the bad news.
It would have been easy to say nothing; in fact, I am still thinking on one hand I should have, make my non confrontational hubby speak up. However, my daughter needs to learn responsibility and to be a more careful driver.
I have seen her drive and she drives too fast, does not fully stop at stop signs and follows too closely. I know for a fact she talks on her phone and, sadly, probably texts as well.
How can I, as her mother, someone responsible for teaching her personal responsibility, not hold her accountable for her actions?
She argues that she didn't do it on purpose, that she wasn't doing anything wrong, "accidents" are just that, accidents. I reply that in her short three years of driving she has had more accidents than I have had my entire life. There is something that isn't working, obviously, that she needs to pay attention to.
So, I am left being the heavy, the bad guy. I comfort myself in the fact that, while I am "the mean one", I am doing what is best for her. I guess that is also part of the sacrifice of being a mother. *sigh*
If it saves her from another accident, from her getting injured or someone else, it will be worth it. If it makes her develop responsibility, then it was worth it.
I just hate being "mommy dearest".

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Living On Purpose

I seem, as I get older, to question my purpose. I know this is something I should have done years ago. Growing up with parents who both worked, we kids were somewhat left on our own (that's how I remember it at least). There was more of a discouragement to get involved in things than an encouragement. I think it was because it would increase my mother's load, and she already had a full load.

At this time in my life I have so many regrets about things I didn't do, things I let myself be talked out of, things I was too scared to try. I want that to change.

I have made a few commitments to myself of late: One is to be sure to raise fearless children. Encourage, support and even push them (a little) to try new things,help them be brave in going for what they want and assist them, when needed, in making the ever so hard first step.

Two is to do the same for myself. Put myself out there, try new things, join groups, learn skills, complete projects. I believe that by doing so I will also set a good example for my kids.

I don't want to live a life by accident. So many bad things happen "on accident". I think just as much harm can come from being passive as can come from purposeful mean-ness or ill will.

I encourage everyone to live your life on purpose. Choose your actions, make them mean something. You don't have to have a big purpose, it doesn't have to change the world, although it just might change your little corner.

Live on Purpose.