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! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A little shopping and then a little organization

I went shopping for new tools with my dad today.  As you may or may not remember he is starting up his silver working again.  (take a look at his stuff from an earlier post.  It's awesome!)  So we went today to pick up some tools for him and, of course, I had a few things I just had to have as well.

Now, ashamedly I admit , this was my current organizational system for my rings.

 The larger rings were put into their own little cubby in these boxes, while the smaller rings were grouped by style (birthstone rings, hammered rings, gemstone rings, etc.)  I wasn't happy with this system and, though I am very careful with my pieces, I just didn't think it did them any justice.  I've seen ring organizers before, in boxes with slits that you can put rings into.  They have always been so expensive and, since I don't do shows, I couldn't justify in my mind spending that kind of money on a storage system.  I've even thought of what it would take to make my own! 

Today, while perusing the myriad of aisles in the supply store I came across just the insert for this type of box!  Woo hoo!  and only $6.00?  SOLD!

So, here is my new system.

I really can't believe I have this many rings in stock.  Not all are for sale in my shop, some are old stock I just don't make anymore, but others are my...oh what do you call it?...the first one I made so I could photograph it.....whatever. 

I am happy to be more organized and to have my rings displayed like they deserve to be.  It almost makes me think I could do a show...only almost.

Oh, and here are some tools I got today.

 A new chasing hammer, some flat nose pliers and a new bench block.  I also got more little oval turquoise cabs so I could make more of these!

  Oh, of course, a little iced coffee to assist in the organization and clean up!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Putting all those hearts to good use

You may recall when I shared this with you:

Well, I've begun to put them to use.  I made this right away,

but now I've added this,

and these.

I love these little things.  They are somewhat fiddly to work with at first but once you get the hang of how to shape the silver into a heart shape, it goes much quicker. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Coming Soon

My dad retired recently and is going to be making jewelry again.  He will be sharing studio space with me and I can't wait!  He's going to have his own Etsy store. We have to get a shop name, tax id, etc.  and then we'll get it all set up.

In the mean time we are working on cleaning up and photographing some pieces he still has that he made in the 1970s.  These will be the first pieces in his shop.

Here are previews of some rings.

Gorgeous stuff! 

Monday, October 3, 2011


As I have talked about before I am working on simple and inexpensive items for the holidays.  This week I started making simple hoops and put them in my shop. 

Today I had time and light to photograph my busy daughter wearing my hoops.  She was so funny and got tickled just standing there.  We ended up having a laughing fit on the back porch..over nothing.  It was wonderful.