Thursday, June 28, 2007
I don't want to get married again. Is that wrong? People seem to want to convince me I don't mean that when I say it. Actually I find it to be SO freeing to say it out loud! It is a wonderful thing to me to not be the me who needed someone in my life to feel that I was worthy somehow. (thanks dad!)
There were times in my life when I accepted things I shouldn't have, tried to mold myself into something I wasn't, and even practiced true denial so I wouldn't be alone.
me: "well, would you consider getting rid of the girlfriend so we can at least go to counseling to see if there is anything left to save?"
him: "What? You think she's the first?"
I am not that person anymore and I am so happy to be able to say that.
After my divorce, I spent many years forgiving lie after lie, absorbing the hurts - letting someone else define who I was and not disputing the definition too hard because - gasp - I might lose him!! Ugh. I was told I had no sense of humor. I was afraid to even attempt to say something funny because he wouldn't laugh (he couldn't contradict the pronouncement he had made!) and then I would feel stupid. I was told I didn't like people (because I am not someone who needs people around all of the time), that I didn't like music (because I listened to talk radio), and on and on. I could never say thank you enough times for anything he did for me - and he did quite a bit. I would say thank you, say it again later, and then ever after when he reminded me what he did for me. In the end - I was never grateful enough.
I told him he did not have to love my cats, he did not even have to like them. All I asked was that he leave them alone. But no. Somehow it was important (or perhaps funny) to him to show those darn cats who was boss - by making a loud noise - stomping his feet and charging at them - or whipping his ball cap across the room at them. Scaring them half to death was so amusing. No wonder my boy cat peed on his carpet! He was expressing something I wouldn't.
Y'know, I was always grateful for what he did for me. He did things for me that I would never have been able to do for myself without great financial expense or blood sweat and tears. Whether he believed it or not I was grateful. I always will be. But I could not continue to accept the half truths, broken promises, and his protestations of innocence when I knew different. I could not continue to protect and coddle his ego just because he needed me to. I needed out. It took me so long - he just kept coming back. It was familiar. It wasn't what either of us wanted. It wasn't all bad - but it wasn't healthy.
He thought there was someone else. There wasn't. I had just finally disconnected myself emotionally to the point that he could feel it. It was tangible. And it put him into the panic mode that I spent most of our relationship in - knowing something was wrong - needing to fix it. The heart beating out of my chest - the difficulty breathing - the drive to listen to his answering machine a few times, check his caller ID because I knew there was something. Someone. He finally felt it too. Except he was wrong - I wasn't wrong when I felt it. I lived my life with him always unsure of myself, him, and in a state of high anxiety. Like I said, there were good things - but for the most part - it was unhealthy.
It would be really nice if he could just be happy for me now and wish me well as I do him.
It's been over 2 years and I feel so much better now. So much more ME - more willing to take a chance - more willing to allow someone into my life without contorting myself to be what he wants me to be. There is no worry that I am somehow not good enough. I'm not afraid to say anything. Be anything.
Looking into my boyfriends eyes the other day, having a relaxed hour together, I watched his smile broaden and crack into a grin. When he grins - his nose crinkles up in the most adorable way and he smiles with his eyes --he really does smile with his whole face. He laughs when I say something funny and does not make pronouncements about who I am based on the qualities I have that are different from his. He accepts me. Totally. He is a joy.
But I still don't want to get married again. And that's not wrong. :)
It's taken me so long to get here. So very long. But I am glad I got here. Finally.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
So. My daughter and I both recommend the Nutrisystem sloppy joes. Dani HATED the apple toaster pastry while I thought the strawberry was okay. She thought the texture of the cranberry orange pastry was "spongy" - I really enjoyed it. I think she is more sensitive to texture than I am. The food as a whole so far has been a bit disappointing. I guess I was expecting it to be at least as good as Lean Cuisine or something, but on the other hand it was important to me that it not need to be refrigerated or frozen because I simply don't have the space. So I suppose there is a trade-off there. I particularly DID enjoy the chicken fettuccine I had last night, as well as the meatloaf I had tonight. The mashed potatoes were pretty weird though. Dani gave the mushroom risotto a high rating as well. I've been holding off on weighing myself - I don't feel any different I don't think. Hmmmm.
On an entirely different note - I managed to get some nice pieces made tonight. I finally used the agate slab beads I had, made a really nice necklace. Got about 5 pairs of earrings done, a couple necklaces and bracelets. I like to get several pieces done and then do all the picture taking together, etc. I'd like to get a few more things made before I move on to that step this week.
Made a sale tonight, sold one of my favorite necklaces. One of those things that I would look at and think - why hasn't that sold yet? It's so pretty. But - obviously - to each his own, there's something out there for everyone but it's not necessarily in my shop!
Oh! I almost forgot! HerRoyalMajestyBags posted in the ETC section of Etsy's forums - that her neighbors are giving her a hard time because they don't like that she hangs her laundry out to dry in her own backyard. Well, HerRoyalMajestyBags got fed up and posted a request for underwear! She wants to make some kind of prayer flag made of undies - although I think it's gotten bigger than that at this point. I got my contribution ready and it will go out tomorrow. She has promised to post pictures - so hopefully all of us who have donated to the cause will get to see the results! What a hoot! :)
I guess I never realized that it was considered "trashy" to hang your laundry out to dry. Have people gotten so far away from their childhoods - or did these people grow up in the city? I don't know. I remember having to go into the backyard to hang clothes for my Mom (probably not very often) or to take stuff down. The only equipment needed - a clothesline, laundry basket, and clothes pins. Such a simple thing. But is it not an acceptable practice now? Boggles MY mind! Women,menopause,peri-menopause,osteoporosis,feminism,complexion,shoes,hair,
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Now, taking what I have learned recently, that means the first 3 are real stone and the last 3 are manmade stones. Or glass I guess. My question is - how come SO many people sell beads labeled as quartz or jade - knowing they aren't? Hmmmm.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
The result of the whole thread - which last time I looked had over 400 posts and was still on the first page under Buying and Selling - is that I have decided I must educate myself to a greater degree. There isn't anything wrong with using synthetic stones. There is nothing wrong with glass or acrylic or whatever people choose to use. But if you don't identify them accurately you are misrepresenting what you are selling. Oh I hate the thought! I identify the beads in my jewelry as what they were represented as to me when I bought them. But I need to know what I'm buying - not just what people TELL me I am buying. I am glad that I do not charge in the upper ranges for my jewelry, I think I DO charge what it is worth. But my goal has been to get more skilled at what I am doing and this is just one more aspect of that. I need to educate myself and have ordered the books that were recommended last night. I guess I'm going to get an edumication!!! :) By choice. :)
Quick note on the diet - I did fine today - there are enough different things you eat during the day to keep most people satisfied I would think. I missed my afternoon snack, but I will make sure I get all of it in tomorrow. I will say that I am heartily disappointed in my dessert option tonight though. And unfortunately it is the option I ordered the most of. :( It is the chocolate cake. It wasn't nearly as chocolaty (is that a word?) as I was expecting, and the texture was kind of mushy. Icky. I will have to cook it a bit longer next time, but my microwave is one that you generally don't go over a normal cook time with so we will see. I have a huge sweet tooth so I was really counting on that dessert option to be good. Still - everything else I ate today was good - and tomorrow I have planned a bit better since Dani and I ran to the store and stocked up on produce and the like. I know what I am having for breakfast, lunch, and snack because those are all during work hours.
It's good to have a plan. :) Disappointed in the chocolate cake but not discouraged. Onward! Search for women's issues like menopause, peri-menopause, osteoporosis, feminism, complexion, shoes, hair, makeup, manicure, motherhood, pregnancy, breastfeeding, hormones, daycare, health, and everyday concerns.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
I guess we will be going through the fridge and cabinets and purging some things from the house. Andy will be happy because we drink all the pop he buys - that will have to stop. :( I think more than anything it will be the portion sizes that will be hard to get used to. I have been so used to just eating what I want - when I want lately - that sticking to these portion sizes may be hard. I'm not a big fruit eater, definitely not a big vegetable or salad eater, but since those are some things I am allowed and encouraged to eat every day - I need to make the effort. Heck - this is way too expensive to NOT follow it the way I'm supposed to.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I know I made a necklace last night that I love, but I made one tonight (email - I just sold something - woo hoo!!) that I am just crazy for! It is all Soo Chow jade and Swarovski crystals, sterling silver and I am not sure about the connector I used, I have a feeling it may be plated. But anyway, I am very pleased with this necklace. It is unlike anything I have done before and I am really excited! The picture isn't the best, I may have my daughter model it for Etsy, we will see. Roberta (my mannequin lady) is lovely - but she does only have one shoulder so she can be a tiny bit lop-sided.
I just had a cat jump up and curl up on my lap, and she is making it difficult to type. She's the evil one we are still trying to socialize, (after over a year!!) right now she will sit on my lap when she wants, and I can pet her if I do it right - but if she decides one of us is being aggressive (looking at her side ways) - she will bite. And boy can she bite! Her name is Abigail Grace and she is a beautiful tortie. Looks are deceiving with her though. One of my daughter's friends found her, she was abandoned in an apartment, for how long I have no idea. She obviously missed out on mothering and socializing with siblings and or humans. So - I tend to let her sit on me when she so chooses - hoping to win her over someday. I hate to think she's not able to be lovable. She hates the other cats though, which is not my favorite thing, but then - neither is getting bit! Just trying to give her the benefit of the doubt. I wouldn't want to sleep on top of the hot water heater, but she likes being up high and I guess it's nice and warm!
Oh well, I must get that laundry out of the dryer, as much as I would like to just go off to bed! One more day to be off work - I love having so many vacation days! Nite!!
Monday, June 18, 2007
I'm learning - I would like to be busy enough that I get it down to a routine, but now when I sell something I'm pulling tissue paper out of a drawer here, bubble wrap from there - envelopes from somewhere else. Almost forgot to put the label paper in the printer before I printed out the mailing label. Sigh-h-h. At least I sell things every now and then.
The bracelet I sold tonight was all Swarovski crystals and tiny sterling beads. I made a pair of earrings to go with it and sent it along as a freebie. I would SO like to develop some repeat customers and I know, as a buyer, I LOVE getting extras with my order. I won't be doing that with every order, but sometimes ...
I love this necklace - but for the life of me I cannot remember what stone the flat ovals are! There are tiger eye, goldstone, and copper plated beads. Love it. This is one I might keep for myself.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
AccentsByDave added me to another of his Treasuries - what a guy! He has been absolutely wonderful to the people who have hearted his shop - and I was the first one. But seeing the first necklace he listed - I knew he would do well - he's got a great eye for jewelry and combining stones in just the right way. Plus he has a tendency to use big focal beads which of course, I love! You can find his shop by clicking on the link in the right sidebar. Great stuff!
That's his necklace in the upper right - where did he find that picture jasper heart? It's beautiful! And the stones he used to make up the rest of the necklace are just gorgeous too. I hope you check out his shop! Oh! Dave just opened a second store called Bling 4 Less. Check out that shop too - great quality jewelry for less!
So. On a completely different note - I ordered my food from NutriSystem today. Since I have started spending so much time on this computer, and at my beading table, I have gained a lot of weight. Probably 25 pounds in the last 2 years. WAY more than my 5'4" frame can hold gracefully. And so far - I simply have not been able to get a handle on things. I have been looking for a way to get some discipline and organization into my meals - but have been totally unsuccessful on my own.
So in looking at all the different options I decided on something that just takes the decisions out of my hands for a while so I can get jump started. I need to get used to eating smaller portions and to eating the right foods. I was really good at this a while back, but I have have gotten so far away from it - it isn't funny.
Thought about Slim Fast and those types of things, but I can't do meal replacement stuff, I need to eat real food or I will have a huge rebound when I go off this program. I plan on doing it for about 2 months, can't really afford to do it much longer anyway. There is a work out plan which for me will be key, I need to make some time for that. Kind of excited about it - so of course I had a chocolate concrete with M&M's from Culvers last night!! That last treat kind of thing. I just have to try not to eat that way the whole time while waiting for the food to arrive! Search for women's issues like menopause, peri-menopause, osteoporosis, feminism, complexion, shoes, hair, makeup, manicure, motherhood, pregnancy, breastfeeding, hormones, daycare, health, and everyday concerns.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
But .... I would like to feel like other people. If I get enough sleep - I'm tired. If I don't get enough sleep - I'm tired. Gaining weight - and it continues. The doc says it's not my thyroid - but he hasn't done all the tests. Going to get a bit of education and then tell HIM what I want. Tired of being tired.
BUT - even with Etsy experiencing technical difficulties, I was able to list those items last night, and then sold 3 today. Yay! Been experiencing a dry patch - just need to keep pushing on.
Going to try to make it an early night - did want to post about selling. I am still new enough to still get excited about every sale. Forums were starting to get a bit nasty today - people getting impatient with the problems. I couldn't bear the attitude so I signed off. Still - I think the people who get impatient and nasty are the minority. I truly believe that the majority understands how fast Etsy is growing and how hard admin works to keep things going. Personally - I think admin rocks!
Sigh-h-h-h. It's all supposed to be about the journey, right? Or am I mistaken?
I'm also in a creating mood - ran into the bead room tonight to make an ankle bracelet with bells on it. My daughter came home from the Cubs game (Cubs won!) this evening and picked it up and said "oh that's cute! When did you buy that?" I took that as a compliment that she didn't know I made it. I think. So that will be one more piece to list as well. It doesn't photograph very well tho, and my ankles are not attractive enough to model anything on!
Had an enjoyable day at work today. There were a couple of people out so the workload was heavier for me and I like that a lot better. Mostly it was just Ysabel and I, and it was like it used to be when it was just her and I and we held down the fort damn well all by ourselves. We work well together, always have. Joan was there too but she doesn't really do the same things we do, so really - it was the 2 of us. I enjoy that pace, and there is a lot more sense of accomplishment attached.
Right now we feel like we are waiting to see who will be 'let go' - there have been a lot of people across the company let go since we lost a huge insurance contract. Our business unit has been hit hard, probably because we aren't standard and never have been. We have always been the red-headed step child who did things their own way and other business units don't really like that. Sigh-h-h-h. I would hope 20 years would count for something but when it comes down to the bottom line, it may not. Today was good though.So - I feel like I'm reaching a new creative phase, trying different things. I have some wire work tools ordered and am looking forward to learning how to make some of my own findings, etc. Tamara from McFarland Designs put a tutorial on her blog not too long ago, on how to make earwires. Very cool - and very nice of her to do that. This picture is from her site, her finished earwires from the tutorial. I like these - have never used this round type before but I would like to try making and using some. The link to her blog is on the left under 'blogs & things'.
That's something I really like about this community, the handcrafted community. People are so willing to share how they do things and help other people out. There are a few people who guard their supply sources closely, I suppose I can't blame them for that. But for the most part - if you ask for help lots of people offer it - and using the tutorial I have been talking about as an example - people put information out there for the taking. Very very nice.
I'm thinking I need to shut down and get some sleep. I am a champion sleeper but I never seem to get to bed before midnight these days - and more often than not - I'm up past 1:30am. Not happy in the morning! :) Nite!!
Sunday, June 10, 2007
I made my first ankle bracelets today, I'm excited about that. I know this post says Sunday - but to me it's still Saturday night. Anyway, I made a few of them, as well as a necklace and a couple bracelets. I have an idea for a necklace in my head but no explanation as to why I didn't do that!
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Today I was checking out blogs - looking at blogs I normally do - and clicking on blogs they like - and I ran across a blog called ND Homekeeper. It is written by a lady whose family is homesteading in North Dakota, her husband, 4 boys, and herself. I was facinated! And also somewhat embarrassed that I cannot seem to get normal every day stuff done when people like that are doing almost everything the hard way. I need a better work ethic.
I don't feel very good - have a splitting headache, feel nauseated and shaky. I'm hoping a little food will settle me down.
I finally found my weapon of choice to put holes in my earring cards - the pointy end of a seam ripper! After posting a question in Etsy forums asking what other people use - (thanks everyone!!) and finding out most do not use hole punches - I went on a search of the house to find my best tool. I am pretty sure I will find something better but in the meantime - the seam ripper wins!
Started poking holes and putting earrings on cards, putting the rubber stoppers on the backs, and putting them in baggies last night. I have plenty more to do - but I want to at least get one picture of each on Roberta before I get them packaged up. So - I have a lot to do today, most of it not jewelry or Etsy related. Need to start with food.
Friday, June 8, 2007
I realize it was getting a bit extreme. Too bad - I found another slide show thing today. So - I actually still have the pics but I moved them down to the bottom so you actually have to look for them, as opposed to them assaulting you while you are trying to read. See me pouting still.
I also removed a pic from yesterday's post and made the others smaller. I'm trying. Really. I just like bright and pretty things - and if they move - so much the better! But like Ysabel at work says - those kinds of things make some people's eyes go all twirly. Oh well. I don't think I'll stop messing with pictures, I will just try to keep the amount to a minimum and instead of adding more - I can just swap out the ones I have. Big sigh-h-h though. Wonder if there is a 12 step program ... ?
Still gonna close with a nice picture though. Don't want to stop that. Can't make me. (can you sense the pouting?)
Don't know where this is, but in looking back at the other landscape pictures I've posted, I really like blue. Really really like it.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
I am too tired to remember how I even found it tonight but I DO know that I found it and said to myself - ooooh - another place to put pictures and get my name out there! And I started to play with it. Didn't research it - have no idea what kind or how large a community it has - I just created a site.
VERY much in it's infancy, hell - I'm not even sure I'll keep it. I might trash it and start all over. But I'm curious if anyone else has seen it - used it - any word about it at all? Here is the link to my baby-site - http://www.freewebs.com/bettejosbeads/ . Please let me know if I am last to the party on this one or not. :)
The OTHER thing. Driving home from work tonight I had a random thought - for some reason I cannot explain I was thinking about shopping on ebay - and that I hardly do it anymore - I shop way more on Etsy now of course. But for some reason I remembered something I saw on ebay that if nothing else made me laugh and that you will never see on Etsy! One reason it made me laugh was because I WANTED IT!!!!!!
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Sunday, June 3, 2007
On another note entirely - I just visited the Etsy forums and I must admit I am astonished. People are so nice and so helpful - but God help the newbie who asks a question out of a lack of knowledge about how things work - and they can be beaten to a pulp. Sadly tonight a brand new seller set up her shop yesterday, listed her items today, then had the audacity to ask in a forum thread if it was possible to have a heart removed from her shop. She was jumped on - poor lady. Not everyone was mean, but there were quite a few people who were unmerciful and it was really disgraceful. Someone posted and said that some of their artist friends laugh at them for having a shop on Etsy because of the "middle school" atmosphere. That atmosphere turned into a stench tonight.
Turns out the poor lady mistook someone's avatar as spam - thought it was someone playing a joke - didn't know what calling out was - much less that she was doing it. At about PAGE 20 of the thread giving her a pounding and poking all kinds of fun at her expense - she emptied her shop, posted one more time with an explanation of why she had asked the question - and took her toys and went home.
Is this what we want Etsy to be? I am SO new compared to a lot of people but I recognize certain people already who are all too willing to jump on top of the pile if there is someone being crushed at the bottom. I won't buy from those people. They can say - well they don't need people who can't take a joke etc. Well - that's their choice. But I don't want to push people away (especially customers) and I certainly don't want to hurt anybody's feelings. It is really naive to think that people WON'T judge your shop by the personality they see exhibited in the forums.
Amazing. Amazing and sad. We don't know what that seller could have brought to Etsy. Could have brought some established customers of her own who might have looked around and become all around Etsy customers. Could have brought some good ideas, a fresh outlook - could have been someone who would have featured people on her blog all the time- or been great at promoting Etsy as a whole.
And she just might have been a really nice person besides. But now we'll never know. Sad.
I just spent a good 2 - 3 hours - just working on pictures for 9 items I will be listing soon. First there is the picture taking - some on the piece of ceramic tile, some hanging on that cup - some on the other cup - oh - that vase would work good - and maybe a few on a book, let me find one. Tonight I used 2 books, a pottery mug, a carnival glass mug, a piece of ceramic tile, a blue luster vase, a large fairy figurine, a rice bowl, I hung some earrings from ribbon on the front of an antique chest and I took pictures of Roberta (our mannequin gal) modeling earrings and necklaces. And don't doubt I may have left something out because I am sure I have.
After taking the pictures there is the deciding which pictures to use, resizing and cropping them, etc. Thank GOD for digital cameras! I pop out the little memory card and pop it IN to my computer, moving all the new pics into a folder. I go through all the pictures, narrowing them down to 5 photos per piece. Mind you - tonight that means a total of 45 pictures. I crop them, re size them, cut out any stupid things I didn't see like the stray cat hair - (which makes me crazy because I am SO careful about that) - and them review them all again. Inevitably there are a few I decide I don't like, I delete them, go get the camera off it's little charging dock - and shoot a few more pictures. Then comes the transfer, the cropping, resizing, etc.
Now, for 45 pictures being the end result - I spent 2 to 3 hours - and that was constant. A potty break here and there but that's about it. Actually - it was probably longer than 3 hours - I totally lose track of time when I am doing this stuff.
Of course the whole thing starts with making the jewelry. That involves the design aspect which a lot of the time takes more time than the physical act of putting the piece together, but the assembling and crafting of the jewelry takes a good amount of time too.
So, after making the jewelry there is the photographing. After the process I went through tonight, there is the listing. Listing alone takes a while, one problem for me is remembering what all the stones are that I have used, and remembering to measure things BEFORE I list it. Pricing everything. Going through the step by step process of listing items - describing them, making sure all the details are there, making up tags, uploading pictures. There are those pictures again! Deciding which one is going to be the first picture is important because it is the one that goes to the front page and a lot of time determines whether or not someone comes to the shop to see the other 4 pictures of that item.
I am not complaining about the process at all, just explaining it. And wondering aloud how other people do it - AND keep their houses clean, do their laundry, I'm sure a lot of them cook, work full time jobs, and have a bit of a life with their families and friends besides. Something has to suffer! I know there are several artists who are able to support themselves with selling what they create - so that eliminates the full time job part. But I tell you what - even if I did not have the full time job - I'm not sure I would be disciplined enough to keep everything going at the pace it needs to - in order to keep things competitive and fresh with new listings at least 5 days a week.
I have spent a lot of time lately working on promotion, designing postcards and business cards and ahem - blogging - how DO people do it??? I am sitting here right now enjoying an infomercial for Time/Life's soft music collection. Wow - taking me back with every single song - ' oh-h- Daniel my brother - he was - older than me ..' 'baby I'ma want you - baby I'ma need you .. ' . But I digress. :) The point is - it's Saturday night and I'm up late enough to have hit the infomercial hour!! Tired.
I will keep on keeping on - making my jewelry, promoting, doing what I need to do. I know that jewelry sellers make up the biggest group of sellers on Etsy so there is a ton of competition. I just have to work harder. I believe in myself - probably more now than at any other time in my life - but that story is one for another day. :) Haven't sold anything for a while - but that will change. I'm learning and getting better every day. Yay me! Okay I'm a dork. A tired dork.
'Saturday - in the park - I think it musta been the 4th of July ..'
I believe this is Oregon - a wild and rocky coastline. Nite!