pin it

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Storms, Sales and Candy

It's been a hectic few weeks of selling at the Holiday Market in Eugene, wholesaling our jewelry to the First Alternative Food Co-op in Corvallis and a great run of sales on Etsy. The big pile of money built from the obligatory holiday gift buying frenzy has been temporarily accumulated and will soon be dispersed to all the utilities who keep us going each month. This includes the power company that sadly did not keep us going with power for almost 3 days after the "big storm" in the midst of this holiday maddness. We had just returned from a big food shopping trip when the power went out. Who knew it would stay out for 3 days? (Nick the realist did.)It was fun for about 1 hour and then we had enough of "camping". Henry was sobbing the next morning when the power was still out. But it could have been worse. We could have had a tree fall through our house like our neighbors did.
We had a great run of sales on Etsy the week before Christmas. We got really lucky and were featured on the front page in the hand picked items on one of those great shopping days and had 4 sales that day. This was the pair of earrings that was featured:
The Cobalt Blue long and dangly glass earrings

Besides trying to take advantage of the season's money making potential we have also been trying to create the "best childhood ever" for our kids . In an attempt to make Chanuka just as awesome as Christmas the kids got presents for 8 days straight and really got into lighting the candles. (Which came in handy during a power outage.) Here is Max enjoying the Chanuka gelt ( chocolate money):

But somehow that never compares to the pure bliss of the candy cane first thing Christmas morning. He just laid down on the couch and really got into it. Then he ate his entire chocolate Santa.
Now onto New Years...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Party Hats for Mice

Henry's 4th Birthday Party. This is one of Max's rare happy moments that day. He was sick and tantruming on and off all day long.Henry and the others had fun. You can see lots more pictures on Nick's Blog

This is Henry's new get rich craft scheme. He cut out tiny little party hat's for mice out of the tips of the party hats left over for his party.

We put them on the book shelf so that the mice can come and look at them and pick out which ones they want to buy.He plans to sell them so that he can have money to buy more toys,preferably Thomas trains. He say that this is his job. Now if we can just find some mice with some money in need of some nice party hats. He says they cost $1 each. The mice will say "Oh! Party Hats! We love party hats!"

I am slowly returning to the world of the living after being stricken by a nasty cold that started in the throat. I no longer have a coughing fit every 2 minutes. (That really helped the sales this weekend... NOT.) I paid a young girl to watch my booth for an hour on sunday morning while I took the best pathetic nap ever in the car.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Dayquil buzz and Etsy high

Riding the Dayquil buzz and an Etsy high from selling 3 hanging vases yesterday to one customer. While laying awake at around 4am this morning trying to stifle the little scratchy itch tickling the back of my throat, having almost choked on the Halls (I always worry I'll fall asleep with it in my mouth and suffocate) I thought about how few guys really "get" the Hanging Vase thing.
The couple comes up to my booth and the woman gushes- "I love those! Aren't they neat?" and the guy says "huh? What are they? What are they for?" And she says"You put flowers in them or just put them on the wall as decoration. Or wouldn't they look cute in the spot in the bathroom or in the kitchen." And he has that blank confused look still and says "oh" and starts looking around for something more interesting to look at. Then there's the guy who told his girlfriend they were "too loopy".
Luckily there was no downer guy looking over the shoulder of my customer yesterday when she purchases 3 (yes 3!) online yesterday from our Etsy site. The Blue Bubblestack Hanging Vase with Blue Accents pictured above is one of the items sold and still available.
Then while still awake at 5am I thought about how to make a menorah ornament out of wire. That got me to sleep until the 7:10 awakening of the cries of Max for mamamama.
And here I am awaiting the awakening of Henry this morning who will turn 4 years old today. I am so excited to see his face when he sees the table full of presents. Here he comes....

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Abalone and gingerbread

The Abalone Barrette

This is one of my latest listings on Etsy.I sell a ton of them at the market.We've been making them for many many years now. We bought the tumbled shell by the pound from a wholesaler over 3 years ago which has enabled us to keep them at a very inexpensive price ($7 with free shipping) and we still have plenty left.

Haven't sold any yet on Etsy but I have had some compliments. I'll take those to the bank. I will try not to fall into a pathetic whiney craft vendor but this weekend really took on a toll on my self esteem. Those old "what the hell am I doing with my life ?" feelings started surfacing along with the "God I hate the Holidays" depression loop. But I have pushed them deep down under my feet and I am standing on them, to paraphrase Marge Simpson, and my happy face is back on.

This picture gives me a happy face too. $10 well spent at Safeway on the DIY Gingerbread House complete with all the pre made walls ,chimney,people, icing and bags of candy. As far as I can recall I have never made a gingerbread house before. The thought of making my own gingerbread house from scratch gives me anxiety hives. But it was something I always thought would be one of the perks of parenthood. So the week before Thanksgiving I saw it at the store and it just seemed like the right thing to do. The whole event took about 45 minutes.Of course there was lots of snacking on icing and candy as you can see from the picture. Now the thing sits high up on top of the refrigerator so that the cat and dog don't get into it and it really isn't getting the full pedestal it deserves.

Tomorrow we relax and eat pie and try and watch the last season of The Sopranos and the Strangers With Candy movie. I am probably deluding myself if I think we can really get that much quality TV time in with our two little ones around demanding that we get up every 5 minutes from the couch to actually parent them. I'll be driving down to the Eugene Holiday Market friday, saturday and sunday hoping to bring home a big pile of money so we can buy more gingerbread houses.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

deep thoughts

Well Etsy continues to have problems with it's new site so it is down another day. I am in a forced standstill, unable to ride the wave of puny success I started last week. I have made all the jewelry I can possibly make without completely losing my mind.
So I have a deep thought for today unrelated to jewelry that came up while having a rare moment of relaxing and sitting on the couch watching TV. I was going back and forth between the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The 20 Sexiest Male Country Music Stars.
John Edwards reminds me of Tom Cruise. Jon Stewart was interviewing John Edwards about his new fluff book called "Home: A Blueprint for Our Lives." Apparently all the money goes to some good cause in Uganda so don't let me stop you from buying it. I obviously haven't read it. Perhaps it really rocks with fascinating tidbits. But really, the dude looks like Tom Cruise. Even his persona and crazy uncomfortable freaky laugh.
I haven't seen the end of the Sexiest Country Dude yet but my vote is with Keith Urban. Mmmmm. Of course I like Jon Stewart too.
Wow this has really degraded into a pathetic " who I think is hot" post.
Needless to say but say it I must since I have already gone down too far now, Nick is the hottest.
Check out the cool train layout I made today for the boys. Not one but FOUR loops. I'm so proud.

Here are my goofball kids enjoying my hard work. The teletubbie is kissing Murdoch.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Bright Thingy in Sky

There was something bright and shiny up in the sky yesterday. It's gone now but I think they call it the "sun". I actually thought that I had mistakenly left a light on in the kid's room and then realized it was natural light from that bright thingy in the sky. Of course I still only left the house for a short period of time anyway to mail a package at Fed Ex. Henry and I returned home and did the briefest of house cleanings before some friends came over for the afternoon. No point in really cleaning your house when another kid is coming over to help tear it apart again. Indeed all the sheets and blankets were off the beds within minutes of arrival as they made a tent for camping and created a trampoline out of the bed. We rationalized that it wasn't so dangerous for them to be jumping off the window sill onto the bed ending with a grand somersault and barely missing landing on the baby brother. More importantly exercise was actually being achieved during this long stretch of very rainy days with little outside play. Of course my lunatic yet brilliant son still was unable to fall asleep before 11pm despite all that exercise that is supposed to tire him out and make him sleep well.
But I am not complaining. I still adOregon. Really.
The Etsy site is down for the weekend as they upload the new site changes. Last week was very exciting. I sold an ornament on thursday and a bracelet on friday. Clearly, shmoozing it up on the forums helps the sales. It's kind of fun and addictive to check the forums and see what silly thread I can add my 2 cents to. I look forward to the return on monday of the new and improved Etsy V2 on Monday November 13th.
In the meantime we are busy making jewelry for the Holiday Market in Eugene which starts on Saturday. I'm excited to make the big holiday bucks and get feedback on my new stuff but fearful of the impending exhaustion, all the driving to Eugene and back and the likely winter illnesses that are bound to arrive soon. Most of our friends with kids have had some sort of cold thing and it's bound to come our way soon.
Here's a picture of the Yin Yang with malachite and lapis bracelet that we sold on friday. Have no fear, we have more and relisted a new one. It's one of our oldest designs. It's made with 18 gauge sterling silver wire that we bend and then hammer to add stiffness.I have a customer who has worn hers for over 5 years every day. Once in a while she comes in for a "tune up" because over time the links tend to stretch a little. All our jewelry has a lifetime guarantee. We'll repair our stuff if it should ever need it for free for the rest of our lives or until we are too old and arthritic to use our pliers. By then our children will have to take over the task for the rest of their lives. Now that's a scary thought.
Nick just posted some new pictures on his blog of the kids etc for those of you who just can't get enough.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sign of a cluttered mind?

This is the insanity I call my desk. It's in our dining room and is the place I do large amounts of jewelry making when I have free seconds to escape into this room. We also have a small shop in our converted barn where we store supplies and do more work, as well as Nick's converted garage shop crammed with big machinery.
The stack of files on the left have crap, I mean really important documents, from 2004 that never got filed. It might have something to do with the arrival of our son Max. Then there are the 2 stacks of bead boxes,the trays we put parts in, the yogurt container full of aluminum wire scraps, the 2 rolls of aluminum wire, the black cord for pendant necklaces and of course let's not forget the sacred change chicken (the plastic chicken that occasionally says "cock- a -doodle- doo" when the right connection randomly happens while opening the chicken to put change in).The hammer and anvil are also an essential part of what I am loosely calling my "work station".
These are the pliers I have been using forever. I know it seems like I should probably buy a new pair but I have small hands and I haven't found any others I really like. I kind of just stopped looking for replacements and I am waiting for the perfect pliers to just drop from the sky into my hands. This may be a long wait.

This is Henry using the hand drill for the first time. He's really good at drilling holes. We are trying to impress upon him that he should only drill in the things we say it's OK to drill in. This means it is not OK to drill a hole in his brother, dog, cat, table or any other object that we deem unacceptable. It was also supposed to include the big package of new expensive tools that was sitting unopened on the floor of the dining room. Luckily they were well packed.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

comment setting change

Hear ye, Hear ye. Let it be known that I have changed the comment setting on my blog so that now anyone can make a comment. That means that yes Mom, you can tell the whole world how great I am and I shouldn't put myself down so much, without worrying about signing up for something on the internet that take all your money or break your computer.
We had it set for blogger members only to comment after Nick inadvertantly insulted a whole group of people who then overwhelmed his blog with nasty, potty mouthed comments. (Gee , can you imagine Nick inadvertantly insulting anyone?)
So now insult away , on my blog at least. I crave the attention, even if it's negative.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Post Halloween Post

We were on our way out the door to downtown daytime trick or treating in Corvallis and this was the best picture we got. Can't you just feel the excitement in the air?
The children were perfect except for the prodding of Thank You's out of Henry. Max remained happily in a daze in his stroller the whole time clutching his candy. I later realized that he was sucking on a tiny Hersheys bar and was on the verge of sucking it all down with the wrapper too.
Henry asked at one of the first stops what was the name of the candy she was giving him. She said "Sweet Tarts". He said, "Oh, I like Pop Tarts. Have any of those?" He soon learned he liked sweet tarts too.
This is the post trick or treating post nap picture. Notice the chocolate beard and mustache. That was mostly due to the free ice cream cones at Dairy Queen. There are a few other layers of chocolate on top of it though giving it some actually depth. We're so proud. We are still digging in to the deep plastic pumpkin bucket and actually finding some good stuff. But soon we will be at the boring hard candy bottom layer.
I didn't do the Saturday Market last weekend and won't be again until it goes indoors November 18th and becomes the Holiday Market. (I think I already wrote about this in a previous post.) So I am working on building up stock and resupplying some local consignment shops. One local shop I have discovered has been selling my earrings but not paying me. Needless to say they won't be getting resupplied and I will be pulling my stuff completely out of there. I am done with selling on consignment anywhere new.
I haven't put much energy into Etsy this week. The site will be down this weekend as they upgrade to Version 2 or V2 as it is affectionately called. The new upgrades will include a shopping cart system and and easier way to set international shipping rates.
In the mean time we are in the midst of our first real big rain jag. It has been raining for 2 days straight and they say it could go on for a week. So far we are handling it. We are Oregonians after all. I can see it getting old soon though. Don't get me wrong. I adOregon! I've always wanted to write that.
We just learned that one of our old friends that we sort of lost touch with over the last few years died this week.
R. I.P. Lowell Rose. You really knew how to relax. I guess it was OK in the end that you didn't bother saving for your retirement. Party on dude...

Etsy Update: It seems that it will be upgrading to V2 next weekend not this weekend. So keep on shopping ... please....

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

pre Halloween blogging...

No more miracles today. We can partly blame daylight savings but I knew all along it was to good to be a true lifestyle change. So I am up at 6:30am brewing some strong coffee and working on my haggard old Mom having a bad hair day complete with a chin full of zits costume for today. The big day. We have lots of funfilled plans for a Happy Halloween. Hopefully there will be enough coffee and bathrooms to make this whole day possible without Mommy losing her mind. We are meeting friends in downtown Corvallis at 1 for trick or treating with the little ones. Most of the stores downtown give out candy and it's a wild scene with hordes of children and strollers cramming into the doorways of every store trying to grab their handful while their parents say "remember to say Thank You." Of course my perfect children always say thank you. In fact , not to brag, but Max said his first "Thank you" yesterday. It sounded more like "dat doo" but the point was well made.
I did put up one new Etsy listing this week but sales have slowed down again so my enthusiasm has too. Here is our Wide Flat Hanging Vase.

And here's a picture from the corn maze at the pumpkin patch just to give this more of a halloween feel.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 26, 2006


A miracle occured this morning. Max (our 1 1/2 year old) slept in until 8:30. His brother Henry did too (never mind him waking up 3 times in the night.) That meant that I actually got to sleep until 8:30 this morning. I know it doesn't sound like much but Max normally wakes up between 7 and 7:30. This was an unbelievable and glorious experience. When Henry woke us up at 8:30 and I realized that Max wasn't awake yet I panicked and pictured him strangled in his bed . But I walked into his room and there he was just sitting there in his crib. He looked up at me and said "Jew".
Relieved that he was alive, I acknowledged that yes, I am a jew. But it's the juice you want of course. And so we began our well rested day.
The other miracle was that I sold a hanging vase AND a mirror last night on Etsy. This wonderful customer was our very first Etsy customer and she is back for more.
I finally took pictures of one of our bigger hanging vases. Here is the large swirl hanging vase with purple accents:

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Autumn themes and more beads

Keeping with the autumn colors and Halloween orange theme this is my latest Etsy listing. The orange bubblestack hanging vase.The sun really lit up that orange glow as it hung on our rustic fence in the autumn light. I also posted this on the in hopes of more exposure.

Nothing much new here. I just received my order of earwires and new beads from one of my favorite wholesalers Abeada. They send out a simple updated catalogue every 5 weeks with hand drawn pictures. They have been my best source so far for sterling silver earwires which I have given up making myself due to lack of time and the complete mind numbing tedium which I can no longer bare.They also have some great bead prices. I took a risk and ordered sight unseen some stone and glass beads and they are awesome. I can't wait to use them. Now to get to work...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hobo Henry the Cheerleader

This is my son Henry showing off one of my most pathetic half fast crafty Mom moments .(Nick is astounded that I used the words "half -fast" instead of "half -assed".I never knew that everyone was saying "ass" all the time. Apparently I'm not the only one.It's as if I've been singing the wrong lyrics to a song all this time and never knew it. Or perhaps I just had a shoddy education.)I refer to him as Hobo Henry the Cheerleader in this picture. The chocolate stain on his chin adds to the hobo effect. The paperbag vest will take you far in this life my boy. I must admit that I got these ideas from a book I recently ordered called "The Little Hands Art Book-Exploring Arts and Crafts with 2-6 Year Olds" by Judy Press. It has some great simple ideas and some awful failures. It did have this old newspaper tree "project" that turned out like hobo cheerleader pompoms that I remember my father making for me when I was a child.Perhaps it was one of my first crafting moments that is responsible for making me what I am today.
What I am today is a mediocre success in the the little world of where I managed to sell 2 pairs of earrings in one day. We won't be buying that new mini van anytime soon but it's encouraging.
Keeping with the holiday theme I listed these Orange Marble-y Frosted like Beach Glass earrings 2 days ago. They aren't what sold but perhaps they led my buyers to our etsy shop. Somewhat interesting is that I sold the very first pair of earrings I ever listed on Etsy .I guess people really do look at all the pages. I had given up on selling those.
The days go by with every second filled with endless tasks and needs to be filled, from sippy cups requiring more juice, to earrings needing to be made, with a poop change in between. Thank God for SpongeBob who gives me 12 minute intervals of free time between ads and some great laughs when I stop and sit down for a moment.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Ornaments

The Spirals and Swirls Ornament

The Treble Clef Ornament

These are my 2 latest listing on Etsy. The Ornaments. Ta Da! I'm just like a big chain store gearing up for the holidays and pushing the holiday crap even before Halloween has come and gone. But really you could use these anywhere, anytime. Really.

They are made out of our lovely 9 gauge aluminum wire and hammered into perfection after the twisting is done. I have already had one inquiry about the treble clef from a perspective Canadian customer. Sadly I am such an idiot these days (which I mostly blame on lack of good sleep due to parenting) that I misspelled "clef" when I initially listed the ornament.I spelled it "cleff". Although it looked odd to me when I wrote it, rather than looking it up I put it into the search function of the Etsy site to see what other treble "cleff" items were out there. Sadly there were a few other morons like me that had it misspelled as well so I just assumed it was correct. Nick has now bookmarked for me so I have no more excuses. Maybe.

One of the reasons we are in the classic "who is more tired" contest today is that last night Henry fell asleep on the couch as 6:45pm. Now a "normal" almost 4 year old that falls asleep at that time who has had a full day of activities and no nap would probably stay asleep the whole night.I foolishly had hoped that Henry would do just that and Nick and I could have a glorious evening of quiet adult time relishing in our new reason for living -the new season of "Lost".So I put Henry in his big boy bed with the new Bob the Builder sheets and comforter that I scored earlier that day for $10 at the local thrift store. I even got the pull up on him without waking him up. Nick had his doubts about how successful this would all be. Once again he proved himself right.(Damn his ability to always be right.)At 9:30, right in the middle of "Lost", Henry woke up and could not be cajoled back to sleep. He was wide awake,refreshed and happy from his long late nap and ready for some good times. At least he was cooperative and in a good mood.We finally got to sleep at 12:30am without too much trauma. At least I made a bunch of jewelry while hanging out late at night while Nick entertained Henry some of the time with Legos.

Enough whining about tiredness.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Smoke and Mirrors

This is my latest listing on our Etsy "shop". It's called Whimsical Swirly Mirror. I really suck at naming these things. It's why Nick and I have always stuck to "Nicholas and Felice" for our business name. We just couldn't come up with some clever play on words that wasn't sappy or annoying.

Anyway, I like the way the picture came out with our rustic fence and hint of a rural barn scene in the mirror. It took a while to figure out how to angle it so that I didn't get the geeky shot of me holding the camera in the mirror. It was a great creative breakthrough for us to figure out how to mount the mirrors in an attractive yet secure way. I get a lot of compliments on them but the sales are slim. Some day our genius will be recognized.

This past saturday was unusually profitable at the market. The weather was perfect and most importantly it was the Narcotics Anonymous convention weekend in Eugene. There were lots of outgoing people who I guess have some extra disposable income these days now that they aren't spending it on narcotics. I did get my fair share of second hand smoke inhalation but it was worth it. It also helped that the U of O football team had an away game that wasn't put on TV until 5pm. Nothing like an early home game to kill the sales in October.

As I write this Nick has taken Henry out to buy more lego equipment and go food shopping and Max is asleep. I am overwhelmed by the quiet and activity options. The biggest question is do I do more work or take a luxurious nap? First things first. Eat chocolate.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Beads and Bottles

These are a pair from our dangly cloisonne "line" of earrings. This is the Etsy link for them.
I fell in love with the cloisonne beads when we first started making jewelry and they haven't let me down yet. I'm always finding new things to pair them with. Last night I wasted hours and hours of my life in between watching the kids play and take baths studying the Shipwreck Beads catalogue. We kind of fell into their shop in Olympia way back about 18 years ago when we first started traveling around the country making jewelry and wholesaling it to stores in between being young silly Deadheads and selling our stuff at Grateful Dead shows too. They have since grown tremendously and have an awesome NY telephone book size catalogue. They charge you $10 when you order it but they give you $15 credit off your next order. They also give your free shipping on orders over $50 on the first 10 pounds. They have become my main source for the cloisonne and most of my faceted glass beads. I decided to take a plunge and buy a whole bunch of other glass beads that I think I can whip up some sweet inexpensive colorful earrings for the Holiday Market that I'll be selling at in Eugene.
It has become apparent to me that I don't have time for making the more expensive, time consuming and somewhat less profitable wire bracelets, anklets and necklaces that have a prominent space in our display. I am an earring lady! I really enjoy making earrings and I make them quickly. So I will be taking the wire bracelets, anklets and necklaces out of our booth and just selling them on Etsy.
On the family front, Max had his 18 month check up today. He now weighs 26 pounds and is just about 3 pounds heavier than his almost 4 year old peanut sized yet big in personality brother which explains all of our various back and neck pains from hefting the cute monkeyboy around. The doctor also told me it was time to break Max of his beloved "Baba". That is a bottle for those of you who don't speak baby talk. So we went cold turkey today and he seems to be handling it OK for the most part. I'm the one sad to see my baby grow up into a toddler although I do look forward to his acquisition of social skills, particularly the ability to eat a meal without throwing it at everyone and using it as hair product.
My hand is now back to it's normal wrinkly, stubby size and is just a little itchy around the scarred sting wounds that the evil beast left on my finger. It was freaky fun using the play dough plastic shape cutters to imprint ducks into my swollen, fluid filled hand .
I also discovered that I am not cuckoo for Coco Puffs. I realized that I am over the oatmeal every morning phase that lasted a few years. But yesterday I just couldn't face it anymore. Something had changed. It was me, not you, you healthy sticky chocked full of vitamins and fiber breakfast food. When I saw the Coco Puffs my eyes lit up. I ate a handful and thought "mmmm. This is good." But then I realized it wasn't good enough. I need more. Maybe it's the protein that's missing. So I am looking for love in the morning. I need something new and exciting. I need breakfast passion. Or maybe just a muffin.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Blue Skies

Sometimes it's the little things that can really make your day. I arrived late to the gym today with both kids in tow and had the once again humiliating experience of informing them that I still hadn't found my member card so could they please check me in without it. I won't go into how I find it totally annoying that they charge $5 for a new laminated card like it's some sort of huge hassle and cost to whip one up for a customer that has paid a gazillion dollars to join their fine establishment. And that I had already shelled out the $5 a few months ago for being a frazzled space head. Well as I was leaving the very pleasant receptionist told me they found my card! Yeah I know this is about as minimal as you can go in the great moments in life but it was like a giant annoying hole in my life was filled with the missing card. Somebody probably found it lying on the floor somewhere between the gym and my car when Ithought I shoved it into my back pocket in another harried Mom moment. Cross that pain in the butt off my list. The icing on the cake of perfection was a perfect episode of All My Children today while I was suffering on the treadmill. All the answers revealed. Tad was purposely lying all along in a clever plan that even I did not see to save Dixie. Zach revealed how he got the disc. These are important things people! Unfortunately I had to miss the last 10 minutes of the show but don't worry, I'll catch up on the episode update site. As if life couldn't be more perfect I dragged the kids to the yuppie food co-op in town that just started carrying my jewelry last month after 20 years of me waiting for them to make room for my non essential non food items. They were half sold out and ordered a ton more.
But don't hate me because I am an annoying upbeat happy person with a perfect life. I did get to have an annoying conversation with someone at the park. In case you haven't seen the pictures of my family or know us yet, our kids are adopted from Korea and Nick and I don't look anything like them. I expect people to notice our family and be curious. I like talking about my kids and adoption. But is it really socially acceptable to ask within 5 minutes of meeting me if my kids are "real" ,"natural" or in today's awkward phrase, "blood brothers"? Is it OK if I ask you if your kids all have the same daddy and if there is a personal and private experience that they had early in their life that you would like to share with me right now? Oh , what's your name again? I mean if it is OK then I guess I'm just an oversensitive, uptight freak and I'll get with the program. Since this experience occurs only about once a month I am willing to believe that it may just be me and that the entire world is not made up of weirdos, but then again...
Well in the honor of my almost perfect day I posted my blue sky, shiny, happy, cheery and bright glass earrings.
Here is the link to them on our Etsy shop if you should feel the need to share in the joy and own them.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Damn %#$! bees! I would love to swear in full words here but it seems somewhat inappropriate so I'll stick to the lame and whimpy symbols of cursing that we now acknowledge as acceptable on the web. Anyway... Damn MF bees. I got stung this morning on my hand through my gloves while cleaning out the stupid cat litter. It really hurts and has blown up my hand to a deformed yet disturbingly wrinkle free freak show. So in honor of the yellow jacket which I am assuming it was I have just listed my awesome bright yellow glass earrings on Etsy. How's that for a lead in?
Here's a delightful picture and link.

Nick has posted some of the latest cute pictures of our boys on his blog The Mechanical Philosopher.

The market yesterday was quiet and boring and uneventful. The minimum adequate amount of money was made and I was able to make a lot of jewelry while I was there which always makes me feel like the day wasn't a complete waste.

I will now go back to whining about my painful, warm, swollen bee stung hand.I hate bees.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Dry Spell Over and Parenting Perfection Acheived

Well my Etsy dry spell for the month of September was broken this morning by a lovely customer who promptly paid for 2 pairs of earrings from our Etsy shop. This is one of the pairs that were sold today. I have plenty more so I relisted them. Here is the link to the Etsy page for these earrings. The Etsy high was still flowing when we discovered that the bathroom door was left open and Max found a toothbrush and was washing it in our nasty really needs to be cleaned toilet. (As if it would be OK if my toilet was cleaned regularly.) Yes, he then even put the toothbrush in his mouth before we got it away from him. That was the beginning of my hectic morning trying to get out of the house on time for my first day as the Mom that has to bring the snacks to preschool. Nick and I are in semi shock as our little baby boy started preschool this week. He loves it and says "goodbye " before I even get him out of the car.It's a parent co op preschool run by the community college so I have to do 6 volunteer days in the classroom either bringing snacks or doing an activity.
So of course I wanted to be a perfect Mom and bring the perfect snacks. I bought the obligatory tiny kid size muffin tin and since I am the lamest and laziest cook ever I also bought Betty Crockers Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix. They were a hit. I cubed up the giant loaf of colby cheese, put out the raisens and the crackers but really the icing on the cake of Mom perfection was the tiny perfect kid size delicious apples that we picked from our tree that put next to every kids plate. The teacher was doubtful that the kids would actually eat it if it wasn't cut into the slices they have come to expect. But I had higher expectations from these kids and they proved my parenting genius correct. Most of them ate their little perfect apple or at least had a few bites. Ha- so there teacher lady.
The extra exhausting part of this whole morning was that I had little 1 1/2 year old Max with me the whole time. I wisely brought the baby backpack which I used at times but he was a pain in the butt about half the time. He is going through some sort of difficult phase that I kind of remember from Henry at this age where he can't communicate well and usually when you know what he wants it's something he can't have anyway.Also,he must be teething again because his interest in food is limited and when he eats he ends up spitting out the masticated food just when you think he's actually swallowed. So I had a lovely smear of mashed colby cheese on my back and hair and all over him to deal with at one point this morning. Parenting is so glamorous.
And he's getting a cold. OK I'll cut the little screeching monkey some slack. He was totally adorable sitting in the little rocking chair with his bottle and baby doll he was gently patting on the back.
Now I must prepare for tomorrow's Saturday Market in Eugene.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hand Mirrors and Toe Hair

Here is a picture of one of my hand mirrors nestled in among the poison oak that I just listed on Etsy. I guess I better wash it. I used 9 gauge aluminum wire, my hands, pliers and a hammer and anvil to create this girly product. They aren't my biggest seller but they do draw attention to my booth and come in handy when people want to look at themselves trying on my jewelry. It's one of those items that people say how much they love when they are at my booth but somehow don't go the distance and actually buy it. I'm just hoping some of their friends are listening and taking note on what an excellent holiday or birthday present it would be.

Here is the Etsy listing.

We are in the midst of perfect warm sunny clear Oregon fall weather. As our friend Annie Blick told us when we lived in San Francisco, it's "Earthquake Weather". It seemed like it was during these kinds of stretches of perfect clear warm days that earthquakes would happen. Of course now I also think of it as September 11th weather. I guess it's the pessimist in me. But it's also the sense of appreciating these perfect days and moments because you never know when it can all change. Well that just got depressing... let's move on to toe hair.

Seriously. My initial reason for mentioning the glorious weather is that I have been able to keep wearing my worn out flip flops and this morning noticed for the first time that I have an abundance all of the sudden of dark hair on my large toes. What the hell is that about? Is it one of the symptoms of permenipause? At least it was black and not grey for a fully humiliating initiation into decrepitude.

Well astoundingly both children have been asleep napping for over 2 hours but the reality is that we will now be screwed by late night shenanigans unless I wake up Henry instantly. And we'll probably still be screwed.

Monday, September 25, 2006

No Burger Flipping this Week....

Well I guess I won't have to get that job flipping burgers this week. The Fall Festival was a big success and my ego has been effectively stroked. Not to mention my wallet. The highlight of the show was when 2 lovely slightly geeky girls about 20 years old came up and asked if I had a tray they could put earrings in. They started loading up ,piling on the earrings onto this little tray I gave them. I asked if they were buying for a store? to resell? and did they realize that I don't take Visa? They smiled and said "We saved our money all year and came back because we like your jewelry the best." They then pulled out their big wad of cash and made my day.
Another highlight was when a young teenaged girl looked at herself in one of my lovely handmade mirrors (that I haven't photographed and put up on etsy yet but will soon) and said in disgust"Oh my god, I look like I'm middle aged."
I said "Hey! I'm middle aged."
I had another middle aged moment when a stunningly beautiful young woman and her 2 friends approached the booth. This girl was a Halle Barrie look alike. I was really hoping she'd buy some earrings from me so that when people are staring at her they just might notice the earrings off her perfect face. And then she looked into one of my lovely handmade handmirrors (that I still haven't photographed and put up on Etsy yet but will soon) and said "Your mirrors are beautiful until I looked in them."
Without even thinking I said "You've got to be kidding me. You're gorgeous." Her male friend said yeah, she's beautiful and the girl just got a dopish embarrassed look on her face and slinked off. And I thought there goes yet another twisted female who hates herself and can't see how beautiful she is. And I thought about how often I have felt that way about myself and still do at times and how stupid it is and I really hope I can completely get over all those superficial mental hangups by the time I'm 50.
Here's a picture from our Etsy shop of one of our best selling earrings this weekend that has never sold on Etsy.

They are made with the awesome chinese millefiore glass beads I got at the Eugene Gem and Mineral Show.Perhaps the picture is too blurry and the angle a little messed up to get the true glory of these beads.
Here is the link for them on our Etsy shop.
Now I can no longer ignore the screams of Henry who is demanding that I pay attention to him. Apparently Daddy just won't do, despite multiple "time outs" to try and curb his tantrum.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Hanging Vases and missing turds

I've been trying to get ready for the big Fall Festival coming up this weekend in Corvallis. I'm not actually in the real Fall Festival because I have never been able to get accepted by the elite art world. Possible because I suck at taking good photos of our stuff, possibly because there is always a ton of jewelry making the competition stiff or dare I say because we aren't good enough. But I think I will continue to harbor an unhealthy bitterness towards them. Luckily I get my revenge by being in the Fake Fall Festival run by the exceedingly nice First Christian Church . Their fees are dramatically lower and they give me free (lame) coffee and home baked snacks and a nice bathroom. They also don't make me jump through too many hoops to get my awesome spot every year right up front and across the street from the "real" festival. It's hard to say if my sales would be better if I was across the street with the "real" artists. I'll probably never know.
None the less I have been trying in the spare moments when the kids are self occupied in some sort of TV trance or computer addiction or just plain mindless goofing around when they forget that Mommy actually exists to crank out some product.The last few days I have been focused on my Hanging Vases. Here is a sample:

I have lots of different styles and color variations. They sell for $15. You can check them out at our Etsy shop or our jewelry webpage.
Well this was a classic hectic morning trying to get the kids ready to get out of the house for Henry's first day of preschool. It's not really the first day because it was just the open house/free play/sign in for your parental tasks and fill out forms day. While changing Max on the changing table one of his lovely perfectly formed hard little turd balls escaped and rolled out
and disappeared. I looked everywhere I could but of course as I was doing that I forgot one of the most important rules of diaper changing which is get a new one on the kid quickly. So he started peeing all over the place. Now I had a missing turd and a puddle of pee to deal with. I still haven't found the turd. I'll let you know when I do.
Another thing that I discovered this morning is that cantalope doesn't taste good in oatmeal. Who knew? Well I guess anyone with some culinary sense would. Henry gagged just looking at
it. Max as he does with most of his food squeezed it in his hands and then spread it in his hair and then threw the rest on the floor and at me in disgust.
Thanks for all the great comments and personal e mails. And thanks for the help with how to move a picture around.
Now to try sleeping...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

My first real blog post....

This is almost as exciting as when I got my first call on my cell phone. Hearing that whimsical annoying ring and knowing that someone out there wants to talk to me. Of course I knew it could only be Nick since he was the only one that had my cell # but still.... I'm finally somebody with not only a cell phone but a BLOG!And of course every loser now has a cell phone so I guess I'm not going to get quite the self esteem boost I was shooting for with this blog thing....
I already digress...
Today is the first day of my blog. Yesterday (or was it 2 days ago) I put up a lovely bracelet on our etsy shop ( and then later discovered while reading the forums that it was a sucky day to post stuff because their site was having problems. As a result we have gotten buried in the piles of jewelry listings and have only gotten 3 views so far.
So here's my first attempt at posting a picture of my lovely black onyx and garnet bracelet .
It worked except it ended up at the top. Oh well. I am too lazy to figure out how to move it now and it's getting late and although I have accomplished once perfect parenting feat by getting Max to bed, Henry the night owl is still up.
Speaking of first moments....
We shared the joy of the Pop Tart with Henry for the first time this week. And not suprisingly he has taken to it quite well, including the gourmet touch of toasting the lovely rectangle of jammy pseudo pastry goodness and plucking it (with my help) out of the toaster. Nick and I had kicked our bad Pop Tart habit a few years ago when much to our self righteous vegetarian chagrin we discovered that they had gelatin in them. Betsy (Nick's sister) later set us straight with the knowledge that it is only the frosted ones with the geletin. But we realized it was time to take a break from Mr P.Tart. Now that my own vegetarian philosophy has softened to a nice hypocritical inclusion of whatever the hell I feel like, it seemed the time was ripe to revisit my old friend the Pop Tart. And then as we walked down the Safeway aisle Henry spotted them and said "Mama what's that?"
Ahhh My child. You are now of age to learn of the semi satistfying emty calorie experience that filled some of the emty holes of my childhood. And lo and behold, like a sign from above (or from marketing) they were on sale. 4 for $7. We didn't fall for their ply. We ONLY bought 2 boxes knowing that one just wouldn't be enough once the devil was unleashed. And we chose the "healthier" plain strawberry ones as opposed to the frosted ones or the over the top smores and chocolate death new flavors.
So that's my first blog post...