Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Count Coup

Cheap, plated mystery metal in the shape of a feather that I really like.
Blue patina applied with an embossing gun so the mystery metal didn't melt in a flame.
Sanding to reveal a copper color under the black n blue!

Woven chain, waxed linen and some buckskin cording; all combined for a piece of jewelry I feel powerful wearing.    

The Chief 

That was a close call.
 Now, freshen your face paint, 
 sharpen your tomahawk,
 step back on your war path and go collect you some scalps.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Neighborhood

A moment of regret as I realized I was no longer able to have recycling collected from my home.
I was now responsible for carrying my trash to the dumpster. (And recycling, that Very Important Habit that took a while to develop into a stream line system, would need to be transported to my parents.)
That's cool, I have a 12 yr old for that chore, although Pinky is trying to learn how to balance a trash bag while she rides her bike, so she has been more helpful than her older brother lately.

The cops are here every other day.
It seems they lookin for somebody, had the dog out and everything, hours they were here; lots and lots of time spent here in this neighborhood, here where people haven't learned to sort their difference in a peaceful manner and immediately jump straight to pride filled angry out bursts that the kids gather around and watch wide eye'd at adults who are just repeating behavior they have seen from their own parents.

There is a new mess with some neighborhood kids and my solution to avoiding some real problems was to instruct my daughter to stay away from a boy who spits on her and calls her "faggot".
My girl is gonna be raised understanding; You do not hang out with people that make you feel bad on purpose.
But I have now made Pinky into an irresistible way to irritate an adult that this boy does not like to hear from. He follows Pinky for 2 straight days, with me hanging out the window, reminding Pinky to go away from him if he approaches her. The child, a 10 year old boy, who yells from the moment he steps off the school bus to when his dad collars him in, decided to yell back at me and state factually I can't make him stay away from his sister, then proceeds to demonstrate this fact for another 2 DAYS.
I finally tell the sister, whom I thought was a nice girl, that she needs to not play with Pinky right now if her brother was going follow them and harass them.
Pinky is upset.
The sister, a rather put upon girl who has to tolerate being pushed around by her rather large 10 yr old brother, has reacted by teaming up with other girls in the neighborhood and they stalk the front of the house hurling insults up at me, now constantly watching out my window so my daughter can ride her bike back and forth in front of the house without being harassed by the girls who say awful things to Pinky as she attempts to follow her moms instructions and avoid the people who are not nice.

I feel so sorry for these kids. 
They are here night after night, with no adult planned activities, no one really paying any attention to them, no team building exercises being drilled into their spongy brains on a consistent basis to give them tools in learning how to work out conflicting emotions in relationships. There is just the behavior they see exhibited by their parents.
The dad, a hugely obese, foul mouthed tornado of displaced anger, has demonstrated his way of time honored tradition in poor communication by coming out his door at a woman neighbor who dared pointed out the way his daughter was behaving in front of our particular block of houses for a couple of days.
(Shaking her butt, staring up at the window for hours while I sat taking photos, calling me a stalker, yelling silly names like ghost and freak, claiming I am video taping her. Evidently, I am not the only one this behavior irritated and this neighbor thought there might be good in discussing it with one of her parents).

The father is yelling every insult he can think of with his finger pointed at this woman's face as she tries to walk away. Everyone in the neighborhood can hear him and a man steps in to tell him to back off, the father states in a loud belligerent  voice "I don't mind going to jail tonight!"
Then other people pull up and get out of their cars, one of them an even bigger guy who looks way more menacing than the angry dad, and the man is out numbered, but he still has to say something :"Just take your little interracial family back inside."
Oh crap. That blows everything back up. 
I close my window and pray that if there's angels of peace, that they float on ov'r here and coat everybody in some "calm the f*#k down" peace powder.

What would happen if I took my biggest picnic blanket, a box of pretty beads, a handful of good weaving cord and then invited those girls to learn how to make beaded macrame jewelry with me?
What if....
The fear of getting involved in a family that has some serious issues with appropriate public behavior makes me want to stay hidden and closed off. But for once, for a few dollars in supplies and an afternoon of my time, for once....
I be the change I want to see? 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

10 steps to online selling

People have this idea that I have useful information on selling.
I am uncomfortable with these frequent questions and often ignore them instead of sitting down to properly draft a kindly worded message explaining that I do not know much but it took years of processes to get to this point. And whatever number they are focused on that tells them I do know something doesn't show the years of mistakes (I have left packages in my car and lost over $55 on postage), the wasted money (not all materials are created equal and they can actually damage your reputation instead of enhancing it), the lost money (shipping leaves huge holes in my meager profits and not all my ideas I have invested in have become sellers), the hurt pride from having to do it all publicly in order to promote and the fact that even as many sales as I have made, I still can't afford decent healthcare for my kids. So I don't know if I am really the person to give such advise but here is what I do know.


Now each one of these steps should ideally have a person who over sees another group of people who actually get the task done within a reasonable amount of time.
 Those are called "staff", I think.
But we work for ourselves so we get to do it all. by. our. self.
It's exhausting and when I came to a crossroads in my own business; continue on with hired help or let it die down to a manageable level because I have trust issues, I learned a few things about handling a handmade business that I will share later.

I was so bored with what I was creating, I started writing lists in the journals I learned to make from L.K. Ludwig and Lynn Perrella. Lists all about myself. It was really quite selfish. I didn't make lists on what I hoped to be or what I thought my parents would want to hear or even what I thought I could sell.
I made lists that described what I liked about EVERYTHING.
Colors. What I am drawn to, what grabs my attention, what gets my heartbeat to quicken. 
Textures and associations. Environments. Architecture. Cultures. Geography. My past. The T.V. shows I enjoyed the most. The music I have to have. The art that I would collect if I was well off.
Clothing and other forms of self decoration. Love I would make. Religions that confounded me.
Character flaws. Feelings. Lists and lists of feelings.
I learned so much about myself during this journaling, that I still draw inspiration from that body of writing.
(I found I am fascinated by man made history buried in the earth which directly lead to me making things look old on purpose.)

I think conception is the most important part of the selling process. If it does not come from a good, authentic place, intended to enhance and assist the lives of others through your personal experience, it is pointless to make it your life's work. I think you are also missing out on the thing that drives those to push past difficult obstacles (like a deranged husband or a melted computer). 
If this wasn't my passion, I wouldn't think it worth it.

Okay, this has to be all for now, I have to get to the shipping table. Since I lowered my shipping costs, I have customers telling me to "ship ASAP" for items that cost $2.50.
But who cares, it's my job.

I will come back though to ramble on about what I think of purchasing raw materials.
For that is the official tax term disguising what is really;
 (whispers in excitement)

Peace and Prosperity,

Monday, March 25, 2013

Delayed Spring and The Redeemer

The first day of spring break.
I am feeling an exhausted sense of deja vu. Will this winter ever end?  
Will I ever feel the thawing of cold bones and a hardened heart?
What's that? Could it be?
Oh yeeeeeeeeees.
A real live, hot-blooded MAN.

And I didn't even have to pay him.
Shanny has a new friend and he's super helpful.

Here is what I've been working on while I wait for a delayed order of sterling;

Sorting through scraps of chain to either use in projects or sell to other designers. Some of them are only a few inches long and I'm not sure any one would want to buy them, but they do make for a nice pop of grungy color in pieces designed with some other artists work like
Birgitta's eco-friendly ceramic plaques;

You can purchase Birgitta's work here;
What I find interesting is that if you were to type Angel Whisperer into etsy's search bar her shop doesn't come up, instead a few pieces from another designer that  mentions Birgitta's name is shown instead (which are beautiful and I loved seeing them, but it was irrelevant to my search as a potential buyer). Now I do not know when this change occurred in etsy, but I imagine that it has resulted in a few lost sales as I did not know to change HOW I searched, I only remembered Birgitta's shop name from months and months ago when I was collaborating with a few artists friends to post design ideas on Art Bead Scene.
To find her shop, I ended up going to facebook and searching her wall until I found a link to product in her store. Huh. It took too long and I imagine that an interested buyer would have given up, but I couldn't publish my post without properly crediting the artist that inspired the piece.  

Very, very interesting and no doubt a greedy attempt to push sellers towards paid for "ads" available on etsy, which seems to be the ONLY way to show up in any search on the site now days.

So anyway, here is what I would love to purchase from this talented lady who is based in Sweden.

Each of these pieces give me a mysterious feeling and I would love to see them paired with patina chain and leather, as if I were some wood nymph from an ancient time that could survive in the forest with just jewelry and a bow n arrow.
What? It could happen, I'm learning a lot of survival skills from Cody Lundin on Dual Survival Show.
It just couldn't happen in this kind of snow. I would be dead within mere minutes.
Peace and Prosperity,

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cooled Lava with Genea Crivello-Knable

Cooled Lava
  I used a mix of metal for this design, including antiqued copper, raw brass and sterling silver. I feel that the antiquing on all the metals allowed for a blended look in their accent to the matte black of the tourmaline and the etched lamp work. I also deliberately did not list brands or suppliers except for Genea’s gorgeous focal bead so that you have the freedom to sort through what you already have to pull this piece together. The strand of black tourmaline came in a more crystalline form but I found it uncomfortable to wear so I threw it into my kids plastic rock tumbler with some sand for about 3 hours to round off the beads and create that matte black color texture that brings to mind cooled lava.

Long faceted quartz briolette in yellow and smoke
12 inches antiqued 24 gauge wire
3 inch piece 20 gauge wire
Lamp work glass focal by Genea
2 Bead caps
Bead Cord Black ( griffin's no.6 is a sturdy cord for these heavy beads)
2 bead tips
1 std Raw Free Form Tumbled Black Tourmaline available through Kandu beads
16 or more pieces of 5mm mixed brass and sterling heshi
2 - 4mm connecting jump rings – these jumps need to fit into your bead tips and into the chain you have chosen
12 to 16 inches dark chain cut into 4 – 3” to 4” pieces – the chain shown is 4mm closed copper patinated in black and brown
Hook clasp with open jumps

Ruler/bead board
Jewelers cement
Chain nose pliers
Flush cutters
Round nose pliers
Fine steel wool

 Step 1.  Using the 12 inch piece of antiqued sterling silver, wrap the long faceted briolette quartz into a doubled wire loop, trimming away the extra and tucking the ends into the spiral wrapping.  

 Step 2. Create a hanging loop at one end of the 3 inch piece of sterling wire and slide on one of the bead caps, metal discs or heishi to make sure the large hole in the lamp work does not slide down over your loop. Slide on the lamp work focal and add another bead cap or disc before creating the top loop above the bead. Assemble the faceted brio to the bottom loop of the lamp work glass. Set aside to have ready for stringing.

 Step 3. Remove the beading cord from its card completely and tie an over hand knot at the opposite end of the needle approximately 2 inches from the end. Slide on 1 bead tip before stringing alternately; 1 heishi and 1 tumbled tourmaline bead until you have a set of 4 on the cord. After the 5th piece of heshi, slide on the previously assembled focal of Genea’s lamp work and faceted brio. Continue on with the heshi and black tourmaline until you have a front center piece that measures approximately 6.5”. If you need a longer center piece, continue stringing a few more tourmaline until you reach a measurement that you like. I held my piece up to my own neck in front of a mirror as I strung beads until I liked the mid neck point the beads stopped at, all the while keeping the focal drop off to the side asymmetrically.

 Step 4. End your strand of beads with the second bead tip and tie off the bead cord with another over hand knot. Use your awl tip inside the knot to bring the knot close to the bead tip so there are no gaps in your strand of beads. Add a drop of jewelers cement to both knots inside the bead tips and press the bead tips closed with your chain nose pliers.

Step 5. Add the small open jumps to the bead tips and the end links of the 3” cut piece of dark chain, close up the jump rings carefully so there are no gaps in the seam where the fine chain and bead tips can come out. Repeat this for the opposite side of the necklace.

 Step 6. Check your measurement before adding the clasp. The clasp shown measures approximately 1 inch and brought my Cooled Lava necklace to a total measurement of 14.5”. This measurement can be adjusted by adding an extender of more chain and jump rings. Assemble the clasp by opening and closing the clasps open jumps onto the end chain pieces with your chain nose pliers.

 Step 7. Brush a bit of steel wool over the antiqued metal findings to bring up their high lights. 


Friday, March 15, 2013


I do not know why such good people are taken so soon, while others are given chance after chance to show the love, inspiration, support and kindness that seemed to come naturally from Judy.

I keep this by my bead table to remind me of the 
beautiful soul that reached out to me during health crisis's in my family while she struggled in a fight for her own life.
I want to be more like her.
I miss you, Judy.
I hope your family is making it okay without you here.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Day 3 of Homeschooling

Would you like to hear another Sad Shannon Story?
So to set the stage, you need to know that I did not want to move from the house the kiddos and I found for ourselves after re-grouping from the move from Florida. 
But my income just couldn't keep up with the payments and the greedy landlords kept adding late fees on that made it impossible to stay caught up, even though I was paid in full. I had to break my lease, lose my security deposit, find a new place I could afford, earn the money for first months rent and another security deposit. All within a months time.
Mark my words.
The most important thing I focused on while searching for a new home was keeping the kids in the same school. This was the only thing my son, who hates school, asked of me and I respected his need to remain stable, in addition to my daughters love for her own school, teachers, friends and clubs.
It was getting really close.
 I had days to pack up and move, mom and dad are trying to sell their house so they are rehabbing the basement where they put up me and the kids before, it wasn't an option to run back to mommy and daddy.   
I had to be a grown up all by myself and find my own place.
(whine, cry and stamp feet)
 But I found it!
A little town home with 3 bedrooms and they said it's okay to run my propane/oxygen torch in the basement!
I was so relieved, because it kind of looked like I was going to have to close up shop again and I will be honest in saying that if I didn't have the business, I would feel like such a loser.

So I get the approval, I get help moving (Thank you Russell, you have redeemed your family in my eyes) and we begin to settle in once more.
For the fourth time in 21 months.
I've mentioned how difficult I find change, right? I mean I am a total basket case right now, but I feel good cause at least we aren't living in the van.
I dutifully go up to the school to alert them to my new change of address and give them a phone number where they can reach me.
The receptionist lays a bomb on me;
"She has to go to Warrior Ridge Elementary."
"Whaaaaaaaaaat?", I ask.
"You mean she can't go to school here?"
"No, she is out of the zone."
"What" I ask again, in total disbelief.
"She can't stay in her class for the rest of the year?"
I respond with
"I would rather break my lease, lose $1,500 dollars and live in my parents basement than take her out of the school she loves and has been doing so well in." 
I then flip my blond hair, grab up my handbag and stalk out, cause I'm getting really good at dramatic exists. 
I also figure that no one needs to know, right? I mean why can't we all just pretend I never said anything?
But noooooooooooooooooooo, 
this receptionist has to hunt me down, leaving messages on my mom's phone stating that if I do not turn in proof of residency by tomorrow, Makayla would be dropped from the roster. 

So Princess Pinky Pita Pie is being homeschooled.
While I run the business.
While I unpack and set up a new work bench.
And while I deal with some personal crap that is heavy on my mind.
Here is what I find on day 3 after working for a couple of hours in the basement;

The full mattress is flipped up.
The window is wide open.
There is a pocket knife on the floor, in addition to seed beads spilled all over
and her computer is on the vent which has been running our heating unit non-stop due to the fact that her window is open.

I fear for her life and my frail state of mind is now threatened even further.
But I'll be darned if I am going to let this school district get even a penny for her enrollment, after treating her this way.
They would rather have an empty school seat and have no money at all then continue to educate a bright eyed, well-behaved, intelligent little girl who had straight A's and did her best in all areas for another 7 weeks of the school year.
Who only lives 1.4 miles from the school, while the school they insist she start over in is 2.6 miles and a second drop off from her brothers middle school.
Are you as disgusted as I am?
I'm going to tell everybody.

* I want to add that a friend of mine on facebook mentioned there is a waiver that may be granted for out-of-district students. I am going to follow up with that possible option and then write a second letter to the actual receptionist, instructing her on that Really Important Bit of Information that she does not know about or didn't see fit to mention to me as an option.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Easter Egg Ear Candy

So its rough all over and some stores I stock at need more inexpensive every day jewelry stocked rather then the slightly odd, personal-expression-enhancement pieces I have been sending in.... in the name of art.
Were you paying attention last Spring?

These are a mix of vintage glass, lucite and brass ear bits on hand dyed Easter egg tags.
Super fun to assemble, and at $10 a pr, its' like it never came out of the buyers bank account.
Who makes big woven bird's nest baskets? Like 12" in diameter? That would be perfect as a complimentary display!!!
I picture the final product at the moment of completion;  The buyers delight upon finding such a "Fresh Spring Find" in an affordable price and they look around and feel good that they are not in Walmart.
 Easy fun shopping is my goal here.

I'm also unloading a hoard of vintage galor in the online shop within this next week;

So I hope you find something you like!

Until Spring actually comes, I'm going to pretend I don't notice what keeps happening outside...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Ahhhh, who needs a man anyway.

It was reported a total of 14 inches, but it really didn't seem like that much once it was done.

Until I started shoveling. And then it seemed double that.

BUT..... I shoveled!!!!
I did!
All by myself!

Okay, I had a little help from my friend, The Captain, 
And a neighbors shovel.
As I forgot to get one before the snow was dumped on us here in the MO.
But I did remember extra toilet paper, coffee, water and of course, the rum.
Now, I can curl up with the kiddos for a nice 4 day weekend and pizza delivery!
Be safe and warm, everyone!
Peace & Prosperity,

Monday, February 18, 2013

What a Deal!!

I love all people of different ethnic groups.
 I appreciate the differences in cultures and see the beauty of each person as a soul with potential until the day they die. I appreciate the traditions they have brought to this country and feel it is on the backs of these people that this country was built. 
America is a wonderful land that has welcomed, sheltered and harbored those repressed, enslaved and endangered by those in power directed by greed. I do not want to keep anyone out and I am willing to live with less so that others in need are comfortable!!! (I am hoping you will teach me how to make authentic naan and tamales though cause those are so yummy!)

But this, THIS is ridiculously unfair;

Becoming Illegal
(Actual letter from an Iowa resident sent to his senator,)
The Honorable Tom Harkin 
731 Hart Senate Office Building 
Phone  (202) 224 3254 
Washington DC , 20510

Dear Senator Harkin,

As a native Iowan and excellent customer of the Internal Revenue Service, I am writing to ask for your assistance. I have contacted the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to determine the process for becoming an illegal alien and they referred me to you.
 My primary reason for wishing to change my status from U.S. Citizen to illegal alien stems from the bill which was recently passed by the Senate and for which you voted. If my understanding of this bill is accurate, as an illegal alien who has been in the United States for five years, all I need to do to become a citizen is to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for only three of the last five years. I know a good deal when I see one and I am anxious to get the process started before everyone figures it out.

Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have had to pay taxes every year so I'm excited about the prospect of avoiding two years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine. Is there any way that I can apply to be illegal retroactively? This would yield an excellent result for me and my family because we paid heavy taxes in 2008 and 2009.

Additionally, as an illegal alien I could begin using the local emergency room as my primary health care provider. Once I have stopped paying premiums for medical insurance, my accountant figures I could save almost $10,000 a year.

Another benefit in gaining illegal status would be that my daughter would receive preferential treatment relative to her law school applications, as well as 'in-state' tuition rates for many colleges throughout the United States for my son.

Lastly, I understand that illegal status would relieve me of the burden of renewing my driver's license and making those burdensome car insurance premiums. This is very important to me, given that I still have college age children driving my car.
If you would provide me with an outline of the process to become illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of the necessary forms, I would be most appreciative. Thank you for your assistance.

Your Loyal Constituent, (hoping to reach 'illegal alien' status rather than just a bonafide citizen of the USA ) 
Donald Ruppert 
Burlington , IA 

I am looking forward to hearing your opinions on this but I will not tolerate racial slurs, hate filled writings or non-factual accusations.
God Bless America, even those who choose not to believe in Him.
Peace and Prosperity,

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Preparing Raw Die Cut Copper

Even if you are using pre-formed copper or brass shapes to treat with patina, chances are you are not going to be able to jump right in and start coloring like a kindergartner with a new box of crayons.
Cutting your shapes from sheet metal is very fulfilling in that the shape is uniquely yours: sketched ahead of time, scribed onto the metal, sawed or snipped out, filed, filed, filed, planished, textured, domed or what have you.
But if you have a for sure seller, like the weathered cross, you can save time and work on your hands by using a die cut copper shape in 18 gauge which will make it more affordable to your buyer.
But please let me share with you that you will not receive a ready to go piece and there are a few steps to take before the metal is patina ready.

They arrive heavily oiled and often stuck together.

So place the stuck together metal back into the bag.

And use something flat to wedge in between the copper shapes. I am using a broken file cause that's what was in reach. The plastic baggie is helping me not carve up the surface of the metal so badly that it shows up under any texturing or patina work.

For the cleaning, I use baking soda and vinegar. This is how I clean my pipes and it doesn't leave spots on the raw copper like the industrial metal cleaner from a head shop that I was using.   

I fill a glass jar with distilled white vinegar and add some baking soda until it foams and bubbles up like the volcanoes Christian and I made when we were homeschooling. (I throw in whatever else metal-y that needs cleaning.)  

This can also be used for "The Black Plague of Tumblers" that happens every once in awhile. 

The time spent in the baking soda and vinegar solution seems to depend on the amount of oil and dirt that was present on the copper. I check on my erupting jar every 10 minutes or so, pulling out the foamy metal to check and see if the copper surface is clean. Once I see no more dirt or slick oil spots, I rinse, pat the metal dry with a paper towel and brush over it with fine steel wool.
Now where's my colors!?!

 has all sorts of die cut copper shapes for sale and even some brass pieces that take the patinas really well.

Friday, January 18, 2013

No Fear - until somebody mentions the word lawsuit.

When I wrote before I had no fear.
I wrote from the point of view of knowing I was not perfect, being willing to accept when I was wrong, change what needed to be changed without altering my core values of decency and respect for mankind.
I also knew I could back up my statements with saved correspondence, dated photographs, google analytic's, sitemeter readings, phone and text records.
But being threatened with a lawsuit has changed that for me.
I am now, more than ever, acutely aware of the way lost people in their defensiveness can effect the way I provide for my kids by threatening my income.
I get that now and that and that alone is the only reason why I shut up.
NOT out of respect for those who did wrong, the callous family members who never reached out to me in my grief or those who shunned me once I went public, like this is something I shouldn't talk about.
(You all can piss off.)

Here are interesting statistics we can all remain indifferent towards until it directly effects us;
35.1% of households headed by single moms were "food insecure"

Number 8 in the slide show is my life now.
Do you really want to tell me I have nothing to be angry about?

In 2011, I gave Mike the responsibility of the patina business that I conceived in 2009, developed and released in 2010, he was my partner.
He maintained part time hours overseeing the patina preparation and shipping which supplemented my income as he focused on his health and the kids.
He quit. in Sept.
I tried to keep it going on my own, however other areas of the business were neglected and I couldn't handle it. Me and the kids had to move from our home in Fl. Nov.
 I tried stocking the patinas again using free labor provided for me by my mom (♥).
Jan. 2012
However, sales from reopening the online shop were not enough after missing a whole holiday season shut down and I could not afford wholesale purchases anymore.
But then I used the money Erin paid me for her links due at Bead Fest to invest in more patina! Feb.
I moved to a house for me and the kiddos. All sorts of self sufficient, aren't we, Shannon? may
Sales died. Like completely. July
(I didn't know about the new patina products on the market being promoted by full page ads on the backs of  nationally read magazines and released at  Bead and Button, I can hardly compete.)
I did not cover living expenses which then began the whole domino effect of late fees and over drafting payments, literally taking food from our mouths. Aug.
BUT sales pick up! I pay bills, we are fine. I'm silly for thinking I have to quit missficklemedia. Sept.
Sales down. :(  I begin looking for a job (a whole other ranting post for another time).  Oct.
My computer crashes and then is stolen. I am still in shock over this and grieving the loss of so much work and personal history it feels like when Mike left me all over again. Nov.
I am not getting the call backs I would like for the positions I applied for and try to lower my expectations from retail to service positions.
But a full time housekeeper only brings home $288, that's not enough to cover living expenses that require at least $95 a day.
My parents purchase a new computer for me (no, they are not rich, they just work really hard and stick to a tight budget so they can give to other people). Surely the holiday season will bring it back, I've been working like a mad woman to have high quality product ready to go both to stores and online. Dec.

I watch in amazement as my sales roller coaster, $200 one day, nothing for 4. I have no idea what my income actually is or what I can count on. During these months I feel like I am coming to from being unconscious. I am trying to deal with so many emotional and behavioral issues (remember, me plus 2 very important little people who are uncertain about life right now and the whole reason I work from home need me) I can hardly think about my promoting and marketing. I simplify everything in our life, no satellite tv, cell phone, monthly subscriptions. We go old school, 70's styles, I feel like it will be okay if I just keep working hard and stay focused on the kids. We become very resourceful and more grateful for what we do have. We spend more time together over cooking projects, cards and board games rather then in front of the screen.

Jan. 2013
I am now in full acceptance of the fact that I do not make $50,000 a year anymore and I need to move into a more affordable home and find a steady paycheck that covers the remaining expenses.
I can hardly think about losing another home, it makes me physically hurt.
But it isn't one of the problems that just goes away, see? I have to think about it, I have to figure out a solution, I have to think about how to make sure it never happens again and my kids still have the same quality of life that I worked hard to give them before, when I was in a partnership.

Here's what brings me down a bit;
The whole adultery, deception, separation and divorce thing is nasty business that sets goal oriented, tax paying, hard working women back.
And that's a fact, Jack.

Much Peace and Prosperity are needed right now,


Saturday, January 5, 2013

I am totally impressed with Jewelry Affaire's new PR & Social Media Manager; Yili Ma

I knew a project of mine was going into a future issue, I just wasn't sure when. That makes it really hard to help promote the magazine and my work with scheduled blog posts, shows and give-away's.
But Yili Ma sent a professional, timely email informing me of when to expect the magazine and what to do if it does not arrive.
She also included a pretty badge for the blog that links directly to the issue;

(instructions on how to use it!!! Thank you!)
and an offer to link to any shows promoting being a published author in their magazine.

"Hello Borders."
 I stride in flipping my long black cashmere cape over my shoulder and tossing my gloves and hat to the nearest sales representative.
"I'm here for my author signing." 
"You there, behind the counter, may I please have a caramel macchiato waiting at my table for me. And make sure the crowd stays behind the velvet rope. I'm agoraphobic and prone to spells."
I flounce to the back of the store feeling important and needed.
Ready to talk jewelry....

Anyway, I found all this so amazingly organized and easy, there was no way I could over look an important article that features another one of my favorite metal art clay artists;

The article includes instructions on adding a bit of color to the flowers that Jen makes and assembling them to inexpensive brass chain in dramatic but simple ways. I hope you have fun adding the technique to your Spring line up!

To celebrate my article being published in a more humble manner than the imaginary book signing, I am giving away this adorable Grungy Heart necklace. Oh yes! She makes hearts too!

 Please leave a comment in, er, um, comments if you would like to be entered in to win the Grungy Heart Necklace and I will draw a name a few days after I remember that I forgot to draw next Sat.

Thank you to the magazine Jewelry Affaire for letting me share my passion with their readers and to Jennifer Tough for sharing her talent with other jewelry designers.
Peace and Prosperity,

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dirty Dishes and Champagne Flutes

The bar was dead but for a few lone souls.
He leaned in and angled the earring towards him, his rough fingers grazing her neck;
"It looks dirty."
She smiles coquettishly and says under her breath,
"You betcha."

Happy New Years!
I am so happy 2012 is finished. I like that it is over and gone. It feels good to say that a whole year has passed and I do feel smarter and wiser for it. I swear I learned SOMETHING. Now it is up to me to make sure the new year is completely different! I know change is good, but do I have the back bone to follow through with what needs to be done?
"New Year's Day... 
now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual." 
Mark Twain