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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....