Friday, December 16, 2011

Busy Time

It's been a while.  After the show I had a lot of make up work to do getting ready for Christmas.  I hadn't started shopping at all, I mean AT ALL! ...and I am on my own for everyone except myself. 

I had to stop today and share this treasure I found in my yard.  I was looking out at my poor neglected yard and saw this gorgeous, huge blossom.  This thing is about five inches across and smells amazing. 

I know it's not Christmas-y, but it's worth sharing. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

More Leftovers

I've listed more leftovers today.  Here are some pics...though I won't burden you with all of them because there were a lot!  ...and still more to come!  enjoy!

oh, but first!  I forgot to share this with you.  I got a stamp for my "mark".  yay!  here it is.

and now for the leftovers:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Show Leftovers

I'm working on listing the items that were leftover from the show.  (There were a lot!).  Here are a few.  I still have lots more but I got these listed today.

Friday, December 2, 2011

How was the Show?

I'm not sure I can really answer that.  There were some good things, there were some not so good things.

I'll share pictures and some thoughts.

I arrived and was told I could pick from five tables they had cleared off.  I could use any props I could find in the store.  Considering I really had no idea what I was doing it was pretty hectic and stressful.  I'd brought my own props and thought they looked pretty crappy next to the sleek West Elm stuff.  I guess in hindsight, I should have taken a look at their website and had some idea of what I could use before I got there.

Luckily my dad and my daughter came and they helped pull things together for me.

The staff as West Elm was really nice, except for one sales girl who seemed bothered by all of us.  Oh well.

It was fun meeting some customers and fellow etsians.  I had a few sales as long as the crowd came through, but, weirdly, there was no traffic after 8.  None,  no one, zilch, nada, niet,  not one person walked into the store after 8.  I mentioned this to my husband when I came home (he had visited) he said all of the surrounding stores closed at 8.  There were only restaurants and clubs remaining open.  That explains a lot.

Now, I am glad I met all the lovely people I met but, measuring that against all the time, expense, time, things put on hold to prepare, etc...I just don't know if it was worth it.

(haha...and the west elm manager who took our picture I guess didn't want my face in it.   )

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Status on Show Preparations

The purpose of this post was to show you all how much I have accomplished in getting ready for the show.  I feel between orders I have been working hard to get things done; however, when it is all laid doesn't look like much.  AND add to the fact that the little stacking rings and the bangle bracelets were made by my dad, it really doesn't look like much.

So, anyway, this is where I'm at now with two weeks to go and a holiday, three football games (possibly four if they win, ugh playoffs) and all the other assundries such as displays, cards, prep etc.  *sigh*

I must say I am still excited though.  It will be an adventure!

These are the earrings so far.  I'm hoping to have more of each made by the show.  

I'm using my amazing labradorite stones and a little druzy for necklaces.

I've been selling these "looking glass" necklaces forever...I thought maybe I'd put a little twist on them. 

 Fun bangles made by my dad.  He is SUCH a help!

I made the big ring and the little rose rings, but my dad did all the stackers.  He has a ton more he needs to set with stones.

Well, that is really doesn't look like much but I'm hoping more and more will be added soon!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New from the Bench

Pictures and links of my new items and a one that has been "tweaked" some.

and this one was tweaked a little.  A wider, fancier bezel setting. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

I feel all grown up

Now I feel like a grown up metalsmith.  I've finally taken the plunge with lots of help from my dad and have upgraded from my little propane micro torch to a professional acetylene torch.  I should have done this a long time ago but I was afraid of the huge tank of flammable, explosive gas sitting at my feet.

Now, it's no big deal.  Its a much gentler, hotter flame.  I think its going to make a big improvement in my pieces. 

and please don't look at my messy bench.  It looks disorganized but I have a system...I promise!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Its only a coincidence its almost Halloween

because this is not for halloween.

My daughters are HUGE fans of Japanese Anime.  T.V. shows, anime books, etc.  Well, this weekend was a Anime convention called "Onicon".  This is a convention that has lots of things related to Anime, video games, books, etc.  There are speakers, games (like live chess where you have to simulate a battle if you are taken) concerts, lectures, and celebrities (not Kardashian like thank-GOD!  my daughter was goo-goo over a Japanese composer!  yay)

My daughters dressed up to go.  Here is how they looked:

and this is who they were supposed to be:

The second day only my youngest dressed up (the older sister had gone Friday night and was tired of wearing all the gear) as this:

and this is who she was supposed to be:

This mask was made by my middle daughter. 

I posted these pictures on Facebook and got a lot of, um, how do you say, questions from people at church this morning.  Yes, it is geeky, yes they are nerds, which they proudly embrace, yes it is not mainstream but I think it is awesome.  When there are so many kids out drinking and being wild, I must say I embrace this fully! 

Let Geekdom Reign!   ...besides, nerds own the world, didn't you know that? 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Guess Where I'm Gonna Be....

on December 1st?  West Elm!

I've been invited to participate in a collaborative show with Etsy and West Elm.  It'll be in a store here in Houston that is in a very posh part of town so I'm running through my mind how I'll set up, what I'll make, props, etc.

I'm thinking I will make lots of large focal rings, some really small delicate gemstone rings and then long necklaces with charms, kindof like my button necklaces but not all buttons. 

I also need to get something to take credit cards.  I'll probably get the square.  I've planned on getting it in the future, but really never was in a hurry.  So now, I'm in a hurry.  I only have one month, oh boy. 

Wish me luck! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Up and Running

We finally got my dad's Etsy shop up and running.  We are trying to add things but it's been a busy few days.  Now the mosquitoes are so bad here I can't go outside to photograph. 

But, take a look at his work.  Some of these are really amazing. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I couldn't believe it...

I have to share something with you that went on yesterday.  It still freaks me out but I think it might help if I write it out.  Be warned this is long and complicated.

Yesterday was a really extraordinary day with one bad incident.  Lets start with the extraordinary.

My daughter's marching band went to a state competition.  They are excellent in their music, skilled precision marchers but do not have all the flair and fanfare that marching band has evolved into.  It was doubtful they would make finals.  Well, they did make finals.  They were ranked the seventh place team and were going into finals to complete with 12 other bands.

They have awesome and amazing band directors that have taught them its about music and self discipline and to do your best no matter what.  No big win, no big deal.  Just do your best and enjoy yourself.

So, they competed in the finals and played their hearts out.  The music was OUTSTANDING to say the least.  They blew all of their other performances away.

Since they were ranked 7th we expected them to come up a place or two in the standings because, as I mentioned, with no fancy props or dancing, they just couldn't compete with all of the "entertainment".

When the time came for the results the announcer stated he would read the top four places.  Fourth place.  Could we really get that?  Well, we didn't.  And we all said to each other  "oh well, if we didn't get fourth then we didn't place."  But then they announced we had won THIRD place!  The kids exploded!   You'd have thought they had won the entire competition!  It was excellent!  They were so happy, so excited and just beside themselves.  I even screamed a little when they announced it because it was so unexpected!

But, as oustanding as that was, that was not the best part.  When they announced the first place winners (who just happend to be from the school our football team had soundly defeated the night before) ALL of our kids stood up, turned around to face them and applauded for them.  I thought they had been told to do that but they weren't.  They decided to do it on their own because, as my daughter said "they had a really great program, mom.".  Oh, it just swells my heart.

What an amazing day, what an achievement, and what a great show of class and character our kids are being taught.  It makes me so proud.

Then comes the bad part.  I went down to join the kids while they were celebrating.  Now, a little history... earlier in the day I had heard a chaperone talking in a not-so-nice way to her group of kids on their bus.  I'd call it a demeaning and bossy, almost bully like.  She is a mom that is UBER involved in the band, her son is a senior (and is a smart ass by the way).  I have heard her talking to kids like this before, but just tried to over look it because she is, honestly, a little scary, has been around longer than I have, and, well is a little scary (yes, I said it twice).  

So, when I went to join the kids I ended up beside her.  All of the kids were standing on the bleachers, turned around, while their band directors were telling them what an awesome job they did.  A couple of kids were moving around, excited, like every other kid, and one of the kids fell off the bleacher seat to the part below where you stand.  He banged his knee and it started to bleed.  Well, this mother grabbed one of the boys by the back of the shirt and pulled him down off the bleacher into the isle.  She grabbed him by the arm, hard, and sat him down.  Then she grabs the other boy by the shirt, grabs his arm and sits him down.  She then begins to talk to them in the same demeaning and condescending tone I heard earlier in the day.  Now, I was looking at her face.  It's hard to describe her expression but it was more of a cocky, pompus "watch how I handle this" face.  Not one of concern, not one of alarm, but of someone who almost enjoyed having the power to do what she was doing.

I just stood there watching her.  I then looked over to where the kids were standing and one of the senior boys was watching, too.  He looked at me and shook his head and said "that is uncalled for, that was not necessary".  I told him "yes, you're right". 

After what I would call a 'brow-beating' she let the uninjured boy go "join the celebration" (as if she hadn't just ruined it).    The kid who had scraped his knee just sat there with his head hung down.  I watched him for a minute after she got up and walked a few feet away behind me.  I then told him it's okay and he should go back to his friends.  I think she saw me because I heard her say over my shoulder "should we get some ice?".  I just said "no, he's fine."  I didn't look at her again and waited for the band directors to finish.  When the kids were dismissed I saw the same boy who also watched the incident talking to the boy that fell.  I went over to them and told them that what had happened was not okay and if they felt like reporting it they could use my name and I would also back them up.  I wanted it to be their choice.

Then, the boy who was watching turned to me and said something that shocked me.  "A friend of mine was hit by a water bottle she threw at him when he wouldn't be quiet during quiet time."  Now, one thing you must know about these kids: 99 percent of them are GOOD kids, honest, hardworking, so when these kids tell you something they aren't making it up.   Oh boy!  Now I was mad, upset, know the feeling when your heart begin to pump and you know you have to do something but you are afraid to.

I had to report a very well known (though not necessarily popular), very heavily involved mom of one of the kids.  I went to our fearless volunteer leader to ask advice only to learn he was not so fearless afterall.  When I told him what had happened he immediately called over the presidents (husband and wife team) and the vice presidents (husband and wife also) of the band who were standing nearby.  Oh boy...deep breath.  These people are all colleagues of this woman..I'm new to all of this.

So I repeated what I had seen and what I had been told by one of the kids.    They even asked me "are you sure it was ***".  Unfortunately, yes.

Well after that we got on the buses and headed home.  Two hour drive.

When we arrived in the band hall my heart starts pumping again.  Oh boy, is she going to confront me?  Will she turn everyone against me?  I know I did the right thing but, wow, it's hard sometimes.

Right when I walked into the band hall I saw the kid who watched the incident also.  I told him I had told the adults and asked him if it was okay if I gave them his name because "that was NOT okay" for that parent to act that way.  And you know what?!?!?  The kids had already gone to their band director about it!  They did it themselves!  OH boy!  I was proud of that group of kids before but to take her on,  the parent of one of their classmates!?!  Courage!  I was/am so proud of them.

...and, to brag on our band director a little bit, when I walked by his office he already had one of the boys who has been manhandled by this woman in his office with his parent.  Knowing what I know about the director, he is taking this very seriously and will not tolerate it.

I must say there was a huge *WHEW!* moment when I knew the incident was being handled and it was not all on me.  Now, I will probably still have some repercussions from some of the moms, but I can handle that. I may even have to face her again; however, I am sure I did the right thing.

Oh, and when I asked my daughter what she would do if a chaperone ever mistreated her or a friend she said that they are told by the band directors to report that kind of behavior.  That just because they are parents, does not mean they are always right and they will be promptly removed from their chaperone duties.

There are some days you just feel good about whose hands you've placed your kids.

So, that was my big Saturday.  Though I'm still a little nervous about what next week will bring I try to focus on the amazing day the kids had and not let someone ruin it.  I tell myself I did the right thing and that doing the right thing does not mean it will be easy or that there may not be consequences..but it was still the right thing to do.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

More Coming Soon!

I have been working on getting my dad's Etsy shop up and going.  I took some final pictures today with my daughter modeling the vintage pieces he has (which he made, by the way but back in the 1970s).  Hopefully by the end of the week I'll be able to post that it is up and running..whew!  I don't remember it being this complicated when I started a few years ago. 

Don't be concerned about the colors of my daughter's hands in the pictures.  It's just my inability to be consistent in the "effects" in photo editor.  They are just for size and scale and once they are in the listing and not next to each other it won't be noticeable.  Except for that obvious orange one...a failed attempt at a sepia look.  haha..


Sunday, October 16, 2011


I received a note from the fiancee of a customer that he proposed to her with one of the rings I made.  This ring! 

I just love hearing stories like that.  AND...they are considering this ring for a wedding band. 

I get these requests ocasionally and it always makes it just a little sweeter.

Here is a wedding set that is in progress right now. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Snarky Idol

Wow!  I just had my idol knocked off her pedestal this morning.  I won't tell you who she is because that would be wrong.  I really admire her work.  Her stuff is amazing and if I could be half as successful as she is I would be happy.  BUT, I read an article today and this is what she said..

"I want you to feel comfortable in knowing you ARE purchasing an ORIGINAL and AUTHENTIC [redacted] design. There are far too many wannabes in the market and I want you to collect the original with confidence and comfort."

Wow!  "far too many wannabes"!  ouch!  and so snarky!  It smacks not only of a lack of generosity for those of us up and comers but also a little insecurity.

Though I am still impressed with her work, I'm not impressed with her.  So disappointing!