Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Technology

Oooh, Ooh, I'm so excited!!  First of all the orders are coming in for Christmas fast and furious.  My and sites are both working while I sleep.  It is great fun to wake up, turn on the computer and check Paypal to see if anyone placed an order!  Other people climb mountains, my adrenalin rush is to get that order to the ups or post office by deadline!  My throat is getting tight just thinking about it, like getting a too strong cup of coffee.

And while working away in the studio on a flower scope last night, I finished listening to  "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert.... one woman's spiritual journey....etc...etc... and it was a totally satisfying ending.  I got my new meditation cd from Amazon a full 5 days ahead of expected arrival... love that free super saving shipment.. and can't wait to try it out.  Inspired by Liz's time in India, where she practiced meditation for four months at an ashram, I am taking the plunge to still all those little voices in my head... one voice and one radio station playing at a time, please!

I have also ordered an Epson 810 Artisan Printer for my Mom.  BUT she  is sharing it with me.  I have started to silkscreen text onto metal, via the wonderful guidebook to vintage jewelry making "Semiprecious Salvage" by Stephanie Lee. My setback has been that I've been cursed with a laser printer, and it doesn't seem to put down enough ink to make a photo transfer.  I have wound up with some pretty gnarly stuff, which isn't a bad thing, but would like to get a crisper image transfer.

Mom is going to use the printer to save all her great memories, scan in a mountain of black and whites and send copies to her childhood girlfriend she got to see this fall... both girls are 89 and still full of life!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Eat, eat, eat

I am enjoying an audio books disc of Eat, Pray, Love by Elisabeth Gilbert.  It was a big hit a few years ago and my daughter has been imploring me to read it.  I think she said "you'll really like it mom" but she probably also said "it'll really help you mom" and she was 100% right on both accounts!  

I was overcome by frustration however, as I have an mp3 player that I thought I could download the itunes book purchase to.  However, itunes insisted there is not an mp3 version available, that it must be played on the computer??? WHAT! I already sit in front of the computer way too much as it is.  I finally figured out that I could burn the book to a cd, which then wouldn't play on my stereo... so luckily, my strong procrastination traits have paid off..  I have been meaning to list my laptop for sale since this summer when I purchased a 20" imac.  (older eyes mean bigger screens are NICE).  Since I haven't done that yet, I am able to play the cd on my laptop in my studio as I work.

The Eat part of the book was very enjoyable.  Elizabeth narrates the book herself and her soothing voice and charming wit came through in spades.  It was like watching "Under the Tuscan Sun".... you were right there, enjoying the food and the charm of italian men and scenery and the beautiful language.

I've just finished the Pray part, which I have to admit, I was sometimes bored with.  It came along as tedious in parts as she explains the things that she was bored with, but then... she would have a break through and I also was further drawn into the idea of meditation to quiet my mind.

For the last few months as my stress level with work and the health of my beloved pets has increased, I can barely sleep and just wish I could turn off that damn conversation and music that goes on in my head!   I got on Amazon last night and ordered a disc on guided meditation that sounds wonderful, and a couple of little handbooks that I can carry with me for a little bit of insite during the day.  I have practiced a 5 minute guided meditation off and on for a year, and when I can get myself to spend that 5 minutes being calm it does help me for the whole day.

I would recommend Eat Pray Love  to anyone who is seeking their inner self.  I know I am a totally driven person, and realize that I miss some small pleasures because of this... altho I take that back, as I also relish many small pleasures each day.... like when I'm feeding hay and see a flock of Canadian geese fly overhead.. or when I'm walking the dogs and my 13 year old Chinese Sharpei is trotting along with her tail like a flag in a parade.... those are things that make my heart melt.

Off to the shop to make up more orders... I am listening to the Love part today.  Will let you know how that goes :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lampworked Beads

My ol' artist pal Mickey T came down for the weekend and I surprised her with a little beadmaking workshop.  We had a good time and plan to do it again!  After Mickey cleaned my kitchen counters (sorry mickey) we got down to the basics of simple beadmaking.

Mickey took right to it, making a bead with a spiral texture pattern, pulling stringer and making a bead with dots.  Then we got some fresh air by going for a drive and enjoying the crisp fall weather.  Found a great abandoned building that had been owned by a crazed rock hound guy in Bliss... mickey fell in love with the building..... I can see a painting job in my future!!

The picture above  shows my signature dichroic "batik" beads.  I was lucky enough to have 8 projects featured in Lark Books "Making Bead and Wire Jewelry in 2000.  This book is still available at Amazon and many craft supply sites.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Steampunk Jewelry

Steampunk is a fascinating design style based on a mix of Victorian and Jules Verne details.  I've created this pendant from my stamp collection, watch parts from Steampunk Supply (on etsy)  metal that I  silkscreened and acid distressed and a few bits of dichroic glass and vintage china.  Needless to say, it was an evolution all it's own!

White Deer

My cousin Carol sent me this link from a pbs segment on white deer.  It is a beautiful and wonderful piece that filled me with renewed amazement at what an amazing place our planet is.  For a trip out of the ordinary, take a few minutes to click on this link.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Halloween is my favorite holiday.  It's great how the kiddies really live the fantasy of the costuming.  It just doesn't seem as commercial as the other holidays have become, it's really about the spirit of the thing..... spirit, get it?  Sorry but I couldn't help myself :)

If halloween can predict the economy, I would say it's coming back.  Last year, most of the kids were dressed up like hobo's or casper, wearing  bedsheets or old castoffs from dad and mom... but this year it seemed like 90% had crazy over the top costumes that were quite elaborate.  I always tried to stitch my daughter's costumes, but you got to hand it to the store bought ones... there were some scary creatures running down my street!

My favorite Halloweener is actually a mom who brings her darling kids by, she works at the local market in our small town and bless her heart, was standing out in front of the local pub in this get up during the afternoon, waving at people and doing a funny dance... so she cracked me up twice yesterday, gotta love her.

My husband carved pumpkins from our garden and they looked great out front in the new grasses and rust garden that I just finished planting a few weeks ago.  Already the grasses have turned beautiful coppery pinks and ambers, I feel good every time I walk down the walk.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Web Page Statistics

I just want to share my favorite web page which I check every day, specially now that I'm really trying hard to market my web page... it is web stats.  This is a free service that will give you a huge amount of information about the hits on your web page.  I was able to get it thru my last 2 web hosting accounts, but here is the direct url for this service:

It gives you daily hits, time of day hits,  what keywords are getting hits, and hits  from other site links.  Google also has a free analytics page which is invaluable as well.  Just sign up for a google account and from your home page go to Myaccount.  From there you can set up your analytics for all of your webpages, including etsy (set up etsy from the etsy side).  You can monitor your adwords account and start a blog too.  Since I've been working on the hubspot marketing tips from my first blog, my hits have increased by about 30%.  I'm still very small potato's, but it feels good, kind of like losing those first 5 lbs of ugly fat :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm going to do less

I had an epiphany while walking my dogs this beautiful fall morning.  While thoughts were spinning thru my brain as fast as the last glorious rush of speed of a kamma kazi  pilot... it occurred to me, I don't need to to more, I need to do less!

I've feverishly been working on website promotion, following the guide I talked about the other day, following sign ups of sites recommended by friends... still behind on my orders, house isn't clean enough etc.  I'm exhausted!  And while I was thinking, if I did this then that would happen and then the next thing and so on... and I thought WAIT!  The leaves are brilliant colors and sound like rain when they fall, and the sky is the purest blue and my dogs are healthy today (another blog there) and life is good.  I will work on my orders at a steady responsible pace and they'll go out when they're done.  I'll do that 10 minute workout dvd in the morning, and let it cut into my computer time.  I'll take a tea break in the afternoon specially when I have delicious faux oatmeal cookies (made of potato chips, yum; thanks mickey) to go with that tea.  And I will take my mom into town just to get a Pumpkin cappachino at the Maverik.  And all will be well in my small corner of the world.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I just researched SEO (search engine optimization) last night and one of the things you can do to promote your website is write a blog. I've had this blog set up for months and didn't think I had time to write anything.... altho I spend way too much time each morning checking on my various websites, reading Glass Incarnates wonderful blog, checking on my bank (oops no money) and researching researching researching.... the web is wonderful for all the things you can see and find out about.

I found a site last night that evaluated my website for free . It is I am still working on all the hints, but did a few of them last night. One hint was to register with DMOZ which is "the largest and most comprehensive human edited directory of the Web". Also the Yahoo! Directory. A third: ZoomInfo. I have already paid a search engine lister $129 for 3 months of service, but my site was not registered with these sites, go figure.....