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Archive for October, 2008

The Beer and the Mayo Jar

October 31st, 2008 at 03:36 pm

A good friend just mailed this to me. A good reminder. Courtesy http://www.designsbymariejulie.etsy.com
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When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He
then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was
full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends
and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else---the small stuff. 'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

'Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner.

Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.'

The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.'

Wherefore Art Thou - Universal Appeal?

October 31st, 2008 at 08:22 am

My sister visited from afar this past week and brought me some large, unusual drilled turquoise nuggets. Hmmm. Not my normal style.

But I love a design challenge, and the cerebral lightbulb lit up after seeing silverplated tubular pendant hangers in the jewelry supply shop.

Do you think these have universal appeal?
Includes a leather cord to fit any large size person.

BIG NUGGET NECKLACE


Constantly a dilemma to make things that you love or you think will sell. I tend to emphasize the former, using a classic style that means the latter is built in.

One other question. I love cross stitching cards and journal covers. But find they are less universally appealing. Am trying to get noticed by the 'mom' and younger market by using clever unique quips (see below). Any suggestions how to break in (except facebook, myspace)?

DOG DAYS JOURNAL

Family Portrait Tonight - Bargain Price!

October 29th, 2008 at 11:21 am

Our grade school has teamed with a photo studio to offer $20 portraits (a portion goes to the 5th grade camp out fund).

We get one 10x12" photo (3 alternative sittings, but I want the one with the whole family). I'm sure they will try to sell lots of options. But NOPE.

I just want the ONE pic to go with the formal piece on the wall of us 5 years ago when the kids were under ages five.

We're just doing the white shirts and jeans outfits, the background will be gray. WISH ME A GOOD HAIR DAY !! :~)

Time Off = Stay Home and Cook, Clean, Craft

October 21st, 2008 at 05:59 pm

Production line closed! All 3 big jobs on my To Do list for the week are DONE.

1. Clean kitchen, dining area floors.
2. Make applesauce.
3. Finish 2 jewelry projects that have languished on my desk for A YEAR.

And I still did a couple little things to boot:
a. made 3 cards out of the finished cross stitch designs from commuting
b. experiment with new ring design

Here is the second and final jewelry that I have put off making. Why? Each little glass raindrop is wirewrapped, a time consuming and repetitive job. The final piece is not EXACTLY what I envisioned a year ago but I'm very satisfied with the results.

Golden White Necklace and Earring Set

New Favorite Sweater

October 20th, 2008 at 05:19 pm

They don't call me the thrift store queen for nuthin'

Nubby eggplant snap up shows off an original necklace of my own design.

The sweater? $4
The necklace? Will be in the low $20s

And I finally realize that although I am a saver, it is the penny pinching spending I enjoy the most. Capice?

VINTAGE MEETS LEATHER
A vintage rhinestone link from an irreparable bracelet anchors loads of silver-lined lemon and iridescent emerald/sapphire/violet scallops. Strung on leather, silvertone toggle clasp. 18" length.



$2 Dream Dress

October 17th, 2008 at 06:31 pm

I don't know about you, but we find great stuff at the thrifts.

Today? 2 nubby long sleeve sweaters for me (one in the boy's section, one in the girl's) $5 for the pair

1 MouseTrap Game $2

1 Intermed. Paint-by-Number $1

2 sweatpants for kid $1.50 for the both

1 supreme frothy dress up for dreaming $2
small price to pay, eh?

Supreme Good Use of Free Resource

October 16th, 2008 at 12:16 pm

My online crafting club has made a Gift Guide using a free website host Weebly.

Firstly it is brilliant in the use of a free service and a wonderful way to get the word out to shoppers.

If you seek something for the person who has everything, or are just wishing for the un-mass produced for a holiday gift, this is the place!

http://www.handmadeincalifornia.net

You will be rewarded with excellent service - each and every one of these shop owners are known to me and have very high quality standards.

Not only are these all 'Made in California' owners, you can feel good about supporting independent, small businesses.

I have no items in the site so this is an unbiased blog post! Enough said! Go click!

---FREE Ice Cream ALERT---

October 15th, 2008 at 06:32 am

Ben and Jerry's is giving away scoops to all who vote Nov 4 from 5-8 pm. Just say you did or bring a receipt.
See here

http://www.benjerry.com/features/i_voted/index.cfm?utm_sourc...

Calling All Thrift Store Aficionados

October 14th, 2008 at 09:57 am

How about goodwill online??
An easy entertainment or pass-time;
looks like the better items at auction.

http://www.shopgoodwill.com

Crafters - How to Make a Spinning Display Rack

October 11th, 2008 at 08:05 pm

Instead of spending bucks on craft fair displays, then waiting anxiously to recoup that cost, all you need is a little ingenuity!

A spinning rack is really useful for small items like jewelry.

My sister gave me the catalytic idea - A LAZY SUSAN! Of course *slaps forehead*.

I had all of the materials in scraps from my husbands many home projects except the lazy susan itself. My total cost was $12! (The lazy susan only @ $15 minus 20% using a BBB coupon).

Want to make one?
Step-by-Step: How To Make a Spinning Display Rack:

Materials (see photo):

~Segment of plastic pipe-easy to get at the hardware store in white or black
~2 Wood Dowels, painted or colored to match the pipe
~Wood block for pipe base
~Duct Tape
~Lazy Susan (not shown)

1. Drill a pair holes in opposite sides of the pipe by measuring up from the end on each side. Be sure the holes are the size of the dowel, err on the small side if you are not sure what size hole to make! You can always enlarge the hole a tiny bit, not make it smaller though (and your dowel would be too loose). Be sure the height is sufficient for hanging your product.
(see photo)


2. Drill a second pair of holes in opposite sides of the pipe. Make this 2nd pair perpendicular to the first pair of holes. Insert dowels.
(see photo)


3. Attach the pipe to the wood block with duct tape (see photos). The block gives the pipe stability. You could also use a thick piece of plastic or other strong flat material. OPTIONAL: Attach the pipe directly to the lazy susan and forego the wood block. However, I wish to disassemble and store the display easier.



4. Load up with product! I made a little sign for the top. (see photo). Although my lazy susan is not shown in the picture it works great! I'll use a little packing tape to attach the wood block to the lazy susan temporarily each show.

Thanks for watching!

Put my Sage to sleep

October 7th, 2008 at 07:16 am

He was my 17 year old cat (my husband thinks he was 16). Over the past summer he had what I think was a kitty stroke, robbed him of some motor skills, some brainpower. We made one vet trip who wanted to do the whole 9 yards (lab work) to tell me it was just old age. That was when I was distraught.

The last week or so he had developed a cough (fluid in the lungs no doubt), been disinterested in water (usually a big drinker), not eating, not moving around much and unsteady on his feet when he was. The writing was on the walls, it was a matter of 48, maybe 72 hours.

I am not distraught now. Because in the summertime time I made a plan how to euthanize him when needed. It was (in hindsight) a simple call to the County shelter who does the service 7 days a week. There is a small fee ($30). It gave me much relief to have the option of taking him there when I felt it right without the trauma of last minute emergency.

Was I callous? Pragmatic? Heavy handed?
I don't really care what others think. I'm glad for not being stressed by paying out a load of money for putting him down. But it's pretty quiet around here without him.

OnLine Marketing-It Keeps Going, and Going, and ...

October 2nd, 2008 at 11:46 am

Small business owners spend as much time advertising as they do making actual sales (probably even more of the former). On line marketing can be a huge time sink, so it's important to make every moment of effort yield the biggest possible return.

OK, nothing smart yet. And let's throw in that I personally need to do all my advertising free.

Yesterday I was browsing a magazine my husband subscribes to. It appeals to him (and me) on the subjects of science and travel. These are not my core markets, but there were a few articles on subjects more directly up my small biz alley (specifically environmentalism).

One of the articles mentioned a website that is hugely popular, gets something like 2 million hits a month. (Compare that to Etsy which I think gets something like 1 million hits a month). It not only is a site which I am interested in, and will participate in for my own love, but is associated with a larger group I already respect.

NOW THERE IS WHERE I WANT TO BE SEEN!
I perused the site today, joined the forum and off we go!

What is it?
Tree Hugger dot com
A part of the larger Discovery Channel network.

Little Personal Free Fun (and it's G rated)

October 1st, 2008 at 09:30 am

"Think Outside the Box" Ornament Competition is being held by the local Art Association. It is free to members (which I am) and $2 for non-members. A small price to pay for a lot of fun.

Every entrant was given a 3 inch square cardboard box. Rules? Anything goes except (1) it had to be hang'able.

Voting is open to the gallery visitors and there will be prizes for winners (such as dinner gift certs).

My entry is themed 'Bless the Beasts and the Children'. Inside the mini stick and bark house are (toy) kids, dogs, sheep, horse, etc. The natural materials represent 'Peace on Earth'.



I don't expect to win, but am happy with the entry. Thanks for taking a peek.