Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Is it REALLY Spring?

My son says, "No. It will snow again in a week if you believe it really is spring!" But my mood says it is, says I want it to be. Look at this new necklace I made yesterday; what is more spring than this little flower child?!
I'm not totally happy with it. I think it could look more polished and the balance could be better and it would be nice if I had copper chain. I worry about how busy it is.

This necklace was inspired by a favorite necklace at Great Barbarian's Shop on ETSY. I saw that the front could be the clasp in an ornate way.

I've been meaning to share another ETSY shop with you. I am constantly amazed how people are able to dig deeper than they knew their pockets went when others are in need. So much need is happening in the world right now. And global need gets global attention, but what about the little need, or rather big needs of people who must seek out attention. I often see "excuses" about why people are selling things and I think to myself, "Are they really in need or is it just to elicit sympathy  and a sale?" Well, these thoughts were brought to mind when I found this ETSY shop.

Aid for Abby is a shop that sells art made by a girl who is Autistic. Mom's, Bonnie Blair's, profile tells the story about the shop and her daughter and her life with her kids and the lessons she has learned about life through her loving daughter. She is so endearing, sincere, and factual, that I know it is not an "excuse".

I just listed TEN new items in my shop. I wanted to share with you that any time I add new listings to my shop, I also move some items to the clearance section and reduce prices. Please check out my shop, and if you are interested in making a purchase, anyone who is a subscriber to this blog, or my other blog BEADS of Thought, will receive 20% off any purchase over $20 (comment Subscriber20 will be verified and receive immediate refund of discount).

Well, enjoy the sunshine while it lasts! Maybe this week, maybe a couple months....if it is in your heart, it will last forever!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Crack Me Up!

Put a "chink in your armour", "break out of your shell", "take a leap" or get "pushed over the edge" to remove the mud and dung and clay that surrounds you, hiding the "golden buddha" you really are!

I've mentioned before in this blog a web site, RealGrowth.Com which sends me inspirational (and too often commercial promotions) and thought provoking news letters. Today's inspiration was a video by Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the ......) which tells the story of the clay buddha. I'm sharing it here with you

I can't believe it has been 10 days since my last post...though I don't know why I'm surprised! My last post was titled "Procrastination...I'm an Expert!"  I've been dealing with a lot of snow, and NOT dealing with even more since I hurt my back in the process of dealing with it. I dealt with the 2 1/2 day power outage by making this necklace. What do you think?

I've been working on my circle in my ETSY shop. I've started my educational research again which I must complete and submit by the end of May (I've had the last 10 months already and have been "thinking" on it!) I've been nursing my son at home for the last week (flu). I've sold some beads and I've made beads for a custom order that weren't right for her but will be right for someone else don't you think?


I've also been thinking about making more beads and jewelry and starting a new shop just for jewelry. Do you think I should start a new store, or add my jewelry to my bead inventory?

I think the next jewelry I should make should be something using the beautiful beads I won in the weekly drawing at Beading Deal of the Day, and the amazing beadable hair accessories I won from participating in the blog partners contest for Rings & Things.

The next jewelry I WANT to make is for the prize won by a subscriber at my new blog, BEADS of Thought (my mind a bead, not a boulder, at a time). My new blog is less about beads and more about the random thoughts I have during the day. I wanted to recognize that I am procrastinating posting on this blog because I've been collecting so much info that I want to share, that it became too overwhelming and time consuming to post here. I want to post here more often, so I created a space that makes it okay not to be so verbose and informational and visual, thus freeing me of another reason to procrastinate...how's THAT for personal growth!?

I've been watching a lot of movies lately and posting about them on my other blog. I'm not very good at remembering movie titles and actors, but they always leave me with words I want to remember. I love words and they often come from the most unexpected places; who would have thought "The Hot Chick" (all about the powers of earrings!) was quotable!?

"You are the only one that make my heart beat faster and slower at the same time." If you think you haven't found that "one" you might consider that they are much closer than you are looking; you just haven't kissed your best friend yet!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pro-crastination, I'm an expert

Everywhere I look, around me I see all the procrastination. Why do I do it? I feel guilty and overwhelmed for not doing what I need to do, and overwhelmed by the feelings of inadequacy to do those things to begin with. On the other hand I tell myself that I'm not really putting things off, but processing them through thought in the back ground. Where is the BS? I'm not sure, but thinking about it all just ruins this otherwise perfectly gloomy, rainy day.

Regardless, I am blessed. I have a loving mom and son, great friends, and social networks that support me. I was featured on three ETSY treasuries yesterday! Skaan's Spring Has Sprung, JewelryByTamar's Can I Please Have Honey Mustard Salad Dressing, and RenataAndJonathan's Having Friends Is Cool. I've heard that the more comments and clicks a treasury receives, the more likely that treasury will appear on the ETSY home, or "front", page.

Thinking of treasuries reminded me of a web site I once knew about that would look up your name and report any treasuries you were in. A little search for the web site landed me in a place called Craftopolis. I'm going to check it out. Supposedly they use google analytics to report a lot of different aspects of activity on your ETSY site; but then again, ETSY has a lot of new features that do that for you already.

Speaking of activity on ETSY, I have a circle of artist friends that is growing and growing. I have decided to create a treasury featuring my faves from my new friends. Go visit and comment and click: Rings n' Things, Bobbles n' Bling, Jewelry in all Things

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Technology of Thought

Techology is the answer. To what? To better feelings about my bead business. To better feelings and more intimacy with friends. To new inspirations, artistic and emotional. To scholarly pursuits. To education for all. To safety. To global unity, and as we embrace technology, we resort to the ancient standby of prayer. As we pray knowingly for all in our worlds, we pray subconsciously that technology will continue to lift us, and not be our downfall as we fear.

We interrupt this insight with a message from our rerun of Nip Tuck, courtesy of instant que and Net Flix. OMG, a woman just stuffed a man with a machine that fills teddy bears!

I've listed new beads in my ETSY shop.

My shop is doing well regarding exposure. I love ETSY's social circle format. I'm meeting a lot of new artisans and they are encouraging to me.

I love my FaceBook too; another example of technology's positive influence. With the recent earthquake in Japan, I'm getting to know more about the people in my life through their discussions and deep insights into morality, ethics, religion, and more. I'm glad I know the people I do, and through the social media I'm getting to know more about them than I otherwise would or could. Lampwork Etc. was my first real exposure to the magic of social networking, and I've made very special life long friends there as well.

My social network friends encourage many facets of my life. Bead making is one example. I made a lot of new beads this week; check out my album on FaceBook.

As I start to think about the time I took to make beads, in spite of the guilt I felt for not working on my research, I realize even more how technology plays a part in my life. If I hadn't been making beads, I would not have thought about technology. If I hadn't been thinking about technology, I would not have realized the most obvious object of the research I was supposed to be doing. When I realized I should do my research on the implementation of the iPad in special education, I also realized that subconsciously I WAS working on my research!

So, today's lesson is to embrace technology, your friends, your passion, your craft, and your subconscious work; guilt is a waste of time and masks the work you do in the background of your mind.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Play to Learn, Learn to Play, be Passionate

I woke with the worst anxiety this morning! My relationships with life seem to be on hold. I have been worried about money and how I'm going to pay bills. I've been putting a lot of energy into my ETSY shop and there's still more I could do; "But why?" my anxiety responds.

I need to finish my research project in 2 months (thankfully that's a month more than I thought I had when I woke up.) I need to apply for a teaching job, the one I've been waiting for; special education resource teacher at the middle school in my town. I'm worried that I don't know how to put in an application that screams, "I'm the one you need!" and then I'm worried about the interview (if I get one.)

I need to make a bead today for which I've already been paid, which I WANT to do, but feel guilty about doing because it is something I want and not something I need...or DO I need it too?

Have I given up on believing I can make a living doing what I love to do? Have I ever really believed it? Have I given up on believing in everything? everyone? Today, my anxiety has chased away my passion; or is it the loss of passion that has given me anxiety?

I've referred in my blog before to a newsletter I receive from Real Growth; today's topic was "Your pathway to passion and profits". It said some nice things I'd like to identify with, but it sent me to a link for "the passion test...an exclusive offer" which was a huge turn off. However, it promised to answer the following questions, and just having the questions is valuable:

"1. How can I figure out my true passions and life purpose (especially if you don't have a clue)?

2. When I know what I'm passionate about, how can I live my passions given my current situation and responsibilities?

3. How can I make a great income following my passions?"

I've blogged before about Danielle LaPorte's White Hot Truth, and her discussion about "bright faith". When I have bright faith I am at my highest expression of passion. I get excited. What do I get excited about?

You can tell I'm passionate in the way I talk about beads or jewelry that I love, mine or others'; about art; about defending someone who cannot defend themself and about teaching them to be their own advocate; about how wrong our world and teachers and administration can be about teaching and how parents, teachers, and students should have advocates; about how I'd like to teach teachers; about what a money maker beverage flavored jelly beands could be, and how "water" flavor would be a big hit! I get excited when I talk about how wonderful my son is.

Lori Greenberg bloggs about things I'm passionate about: life, love, art, color, and passion. In a recent post by her she said that she wanted to make beads without the need to make beads that would sell. She wanted to be creatively free to make whatever her heart told her to. I want to do that too, and am better at it than I want to be...or rather, than I need to be. I've been criticized by someone in the past for not having a "signature"; for being too eclectic and unfocused on a narrower "style". So I believed, and now I know I was believing in the wrong thing.

I hate making sets, and I love making focals, and I love making sculptural beads, and I love playing with color without thinking about how well one goes with another or how one requires to be treated in the flame differently than another. I love just playing. Sometimes we need to play...that IS how we learn about ourselves and our passions.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I Have a Hernia!

A hernia of beads! I realized it when thinking about one of my best friends who has a real hernia (4 huge ones actually!) I thought, "He's bursting at the seams!" Then while listing some of the beads in my inventory into my ETSY shop, I realized I too was bursting at the seams!

In the last week I've had a sale in my bead shop almost every day! Mind you, my beads are incredibly low priced, so really I'm giving them away. But, I'm so happy to be finding new homes for my beads and in turn generating some renewed life to my, and others', handmade artisan lampwork bead business. I'm enjoying the return of loyal customers, and meeting new ones. I think I owe a lot of it to Face Book and Etsy.

I just posted on Facebook that I've listed 13 new items in my ETSY shop, including focal beads, bead sets, and big hole bead sets (for European charm chains like Pandora, Biagi, and Troll). A lot of artisans have Face Book "fan" pages; I don't want to have TWO pages to keep track of, and because I consider all my customers as my "friends" I decided to keep just one page, a personal one, and make sure my security settings allow everyone to view my page and photos (excluding sensitive personal information.) After all, I've got nothing to hide nor inappropriate to expose. This has also generated new business. For example, I made a necklace for myself for my birthday.
After posting this picture on my Face Book page, a special friend saw it and thought it perfect for her mother. Because I know her mother, I will hold on to the necklace for a while until she can have it as a very special gift. I also got a comment and request on my picture from someone who is not on my list of friends, but because my security on photos is set to "everyone" I was able to show my work and receive a request for a custom design from someone I do not know. The person liked the bead for a friend, but wanted something less elaborate than my necklace. Here's what I made for her.
I just love the collaborative process of making custom beads and jewelry!

Speaking of collaboration, one of my Face Book friends, Zoya Gutina, announced that she is having a contest. It's huge and exciting! I put out a shout about the contest and that I was looking for someone to collaborate with, and lo and behold I was contacted by Olga Petterssen! Social networking is fun, and the key to keeping life and a business active!

I tried eBay at first, and was successful until the recession hit hard. I also had an ETSY shop at the time, and even that business slowed down. At the end of last year I tried "fee" bay again and ended up paying $35 in fees for $12 worth of sales in December. I refuse to go back to eBay, and I am better off for it.

ETSY only charges me 20 cents per listing, my listing stays live for many months, and I can renew any listing any time to generate new interest and fresh looks. ETSY has many selling and buying functions, a user friendly listing and buying process, promotional tools that are free or low cost, and a social networking environment.

Just as Face Book has "like", ETSY has "hearts". Someone can heart an item or "favorite" an entire shop, or best yet, put that seller in their "circle"! Because I've included people in my circle who sell items to others who might be interested in beads, I offer exposure to all my visitors and vice versa. I also can check the activity in my shop, in my circle, and monitor my own activity; checking my activity lets me see who my circle adds to their favorites and circles, and I get to know even more like-minded people. I LOVE ETSY and FACEBOOK!

I may have a hernia, but my social networks are my surgical team!