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Archive for February, 2013

Grudgingly Saved $6

February 28th, 2013 at 01:55 pm

I am not going to be the same. After raising teens my very own personality is unavoidably changed. First, I have almost fully given up keeping their stuff tidy. Not in their rooms at least. Spillover into the common areas though is still the subject of my wrath.

How is that possible for a fanatically neat person?! Well, I don't go into their rooms much for anytime longer than 2 minutes. Just once a week they have to take off the sheets and I go put on new ones. The rest of the time I just stopped making their beds. Oh, they used to do it through grade school as part of earning an allowance. But the allowance program ended in high school for the oldest and then I just quit on the youngest. There is probably a good bed making habit inside them, it has just gone on haitus.

Ditto for keeping things tidy. Throughout the years when my kids were little I realized a good organizing system was the answer to staying neat. All it took was 'stuff control' and a few clear bins, a trip to donate at the thrift every few months. Fast forward 8 years. I do not want to organize or cull anyone's stuff anymore. If things get too bad, I simply park the 'taxi' and no-one goes where they are supposed to until 'X' is done.

And what about punctuality? I am the type 5 or 10 minutes early. Or was the type. My DD is the type to do things right before a deadline. Oh, she's never been late with a homework. But she is a PROFESSIONAL dawdler. For years I've worked on this trying to instill good habits. She can't be bribed, punished, cajoled or pushed into being more timely. No matter if it's delivering girl scout cookies, being on time to ice skate practice, doing school projects, going to an appointment. If it's not there now, I give up. I predict she is going to be late, very late, to her own wedding.

Now how do I fit my own schedule around this? Of course I have planned my daily routine in combination with the kid's things. Now I am hardly ever early. It's not a crisis, but y'know, I am going to extract myself from the issue more. I am going to walk the dog when I want to. Not in the rush between dance class drop off and dinner food shopping. Nope.

For example. I look forward all week to a Wed night zumba class. The teacher is fantastic and I get a gigantic work out. Here's yesterday:
3:40 Home from school & work. Looking forward to 6pm work out class
4:00 DD reading, myself laundry
4:30 Me leave to pick up DS
4:45 Home, remind DD to be ready by 5:45 for her ice skate class (and work out class for me)
5:30 Me working on jewelry, DD starts math homework
5:45 DD doing math, not changed for skate class
6:00 Me exasperated and give up on work out class, DD still doing math
6:05 me start Wii Zumba class and ignore DD protests
6:50 me finish home work out, DD misses skate class

Now I saved $6 class fee and had a decent home work out class. But it is too bad she missed her skate practice.

So there you have it, am I different? No more fanatical tidyness at least if it's not in my immediate living space, and nevermind being early.

One more thing ~ the first jeweled egg has arrived in my Etsy store! See?

Black and Red Tuxedo Egg - Faberge Style Jeweled Egg

Fun at the Bottom

February 27th, 2013 at 10:43 am

So many projects, so little time!! If I were able to execute more crafts, I am sure sales would follow. But the reality of a day job, two kids and dog get in the way. Being a member of the 'when the going gets tough, the tough get going' set, I have concentrated on steadily whittling down the TO DO sticky on my jewelry bench. Top on the list report?

TO DO
1. Rings Rings Rings! After failing to take my own advice of putting some rings out front at selling events (because people love to try them on for fun and stay to chat and many times make other purchases), I needed to stock up on some original hand made ring designs!! So I buckled down. Now only ONE more to do. Here's a finished example:

Criss Cross Copper Adjustable Ring

A glossy white circular stone is set off with a lattice of fine copper lines on the front and wine red cut glass dots around the perimeter. Message me for more info.

2. Collage Cards. I expect a note any day now from the shop which carries my funny eco cards. They have been selling and I KNOW she is getting low on stock. Have about 4 more done, but I need a couple hours block to get 8 or 10 more made.

But the fun is at the bottom!!

Just yesterday I got a FREE lesson on making prong settings using wire. FREE because I add content to a jewelry site and used points earned for the contributions. LOVE FREE!!

I've always wanted to try this because no torch is involved. (The next step in jewelry making involves using fuel and it is common to have a 'fear of fire'. I admit I am a victim, but also would like to avoid nonrenewable fuel consumption for environmental reasons). Here's an example of wire prongs:



Now this person is an expert, mine will be far far simpler.

Can't wait to try this!! I have a nice stash of beach stone (collected and polished personally) that would be perfect.

Move over TO DO #3, #4 and #5? Send time!!

Scoring is not just for sports

February 22nd, 2013 at 01:21 pm

Like other days, I take mental notes of savings and spendings (not sure why but it's just my nature!). Today?

- Did not spend on early morning coffee or hot chocolate (it's an occasional treat awaiting the bus commute especially when it is around 45 degrees).

- Dinner leftover shortage! I leave early (~6am) on some Fridays and was uninspired to brown bag lunch except for 2 oranges (see my post yesterday about excess on hand). Skimpy on desk contents too! No soup, or rice pouches. But made it through with a handful of peanuts, the oranges, and a hot green tea. Did not spend any $ on lunch.

So when was the last time YOU scored an orange?!



Oy. I am turning into my father! When I was under 10 years old, he would do this all the time. You have any recollection how sluggish and unnecessary this seemed to a kid? Nevermind, here I am repeating history.

- Resisted buying a sterling / cubic zircon ring at a walk about during lunch. There is a hole in the wall jeweler nearby, y'know the kind with mostly old styles, some estate and coin jewelry in the window. Well way down low is a tray of sterling silver /cz rings. All $20 ea. Pretty heavy kind of designs. The sterling alone is close to that price nowadays. I am sure they don't even care that they still have them. Well, being that I am sans a wedding ring (long story I do not want to repeat), I tried some on. Bah. Being I am a small, only a couple fit well out of about 25. Sizing one of these would cost as much as the ring itself. Last week I ran it by my husband who said, sure, get one if you want; no feelings tweaked. It flip flopped in my mind, but I went in today and took a little more time to try on and decide. Nah. The ones I liked just did not fit. So I will wait until another opportunity like that comes around such as at a consignment or collectible place.

- $$ for a ice skate lesson for DD

- $ for a bday gift to a teen boy who invited my son this weekend. Oh! This age is getting easier! All they want is cash, OK! I can do that.

- and now? off to add $$ to my bus pass.

Have a good weekend.

Lemons and Oranges and Squeezing Time

February 21st, 2013 at 10:22 am

Vegetarian Times magazine asks this month: How do you fight food waste? And how do I answer with one bin in the refrigerator full of oranges (from my MIL tree) and another full of lemons (from another tree)?

Make orange juice? Don't laugh at my frugal sense of wasting too much of the orange. But there are only so many days in a row I can give my family sliced oranges. I used a couple oranges in a sauteed chicken pasta dish (yum). Tomorrow slices will get put in jello (which we don't have often and so will more likely get eaten fast). Am taking them to work for snack (very happy me).

And the lemons? it is not easy to drink lemonade when it is 43 degrees out. Hmph. Ummm, there are a few lemonade ice cubes in the freezer from last year still. Although I may just make more. I hate using freezer space for these for years on end. What else?

Give away? someone beat me to it and there were lemons in our office kitchen.

Anyway, here's your chance to answer how you fight food waste and see some great answers Veg Times

I am behind on jewelry making! The collection of big cocktail rings needs to be increased for putting in shops on March 1. At least while doing a couple I took photos and wrote a tutorial to sell on the Jewelry Lessons website. It's been bought once by someone who was waiting:

Touch of Glamour Cocktail Ring


Checkerboard cut center crystal is ringed by ivory freshwater rice pearl. Adjustable copper band. In the color of the march birthstone - aquamarine. Click here for more detail.

For you crafters, here is the downloadable lesson

The TO DO list for Saturday is SQUEEZED already, not much time to get to the wire cutters!

7am: make decanter of hot coffee
8am: take car to high school track carwash event
9am: take daughter to dance lesson
9:45 chair meeting of art assoc store volunteers
11:30 pick up lunch for daughter using free meal coup
12:00 pick up daughter from dance
12:30 take daughter and friend to girl scout event
1:00 laundry, housework!!
2:30 pick up kids from girl scout event
3:00 laundry housework!!
5:00 MAKE RINGS or dinner, probably RINGS!

snowflake and big SNOWBALL

February 14th, 2013 at 10:05 am

The shop owner who carries my beaded gloves and funny cards remarked she needed and was seeking more men's merchandise. It's a hard niche to fill, also proven by the clicks I am seeing on the men's rings I put in my etsy store. They are getting attention without much effort (as contrasted with lots of promotion I must do for the women's jewelry).

After seeing the no-sweat response on etsy, I decided to post a ring-making lesson for the men's style on another site called 'jewelry lessons'. On this site are instructions (for sale) on specific jewelry pieces. Sometimes it is hard to give away an idea and personal design. They don't come along THAT often!! But in this case, I think there is a significant niche - men's jewelry - to be filled.

So here is the ring I made a lesson for, and it has been bought once already (and sending a $2.50 snowflake to my bank account):

Garnet and Serpentine Channel Set Style Adjustable Ring

Meant for a guy, but good for the gals who like 'em big. Pure copper wire ring features a slab of olive green serpentine (the state mineral of California) and a row of polished garnet nuggets.

Jewelry hobbyist? Get the lesson here:
Men's Channel Set Style Adjustable Ring

The shop owner who wants mens things? She makes jewelry (of course, WHO DOESN'T?!) and will not take any other vendors in that category. I might ask anyway, but in the meantime, a check for $18 came in the mail for the sale of a pair of beaded gloves and a couple of funny collage cards.

Winter SNOWBALL! Big Grin

Getting and Giving it Free Lately

February 8th, 2013 at 10:55 am

My grocery store sent me coupons for some free stuff,
not exactly healthy by themself, but add a whole grain vege sandwich or fresh fruit and I'll take it!

- Full size bag potato chips
- one fiber protein bar
- Full size tube of toothpaste

And it's here! The $10 off anything mailer from Penney's. In the past it's been handy for a gift for my MIL's March bday, or staples for my daughter (socks, etc.), a little throw rug for the kitchen or bathroom and even something like a watch for a preteen birthday. This time I might use it myself. Need some plain sweatpants! Their marketing strategy is good, yes it is hard to resist getting some of the accessories and homewares at their very good prices, but I am particularly well disciplined and can get out of there forking over a mere 83 cents.

One more freebie, I have a 'practice' ring shown below, that I will give away to any customer at my etsy store (see left sidebar sampler or click Pretty Cheap Jewelry ) Minimum purchase required $25. First come first serve. Ask for it at checkout.

Adjustable Oval Dot Ring - Side View


A center stone with interesting white striations in an otherwise clear is edged with tiny ruby red cut glass beads. Criss cross lines across the front. All pure copper wire. Heavy band is comfortable and adjustable sizes: small to large

Adjustable Oval Dot Ring - Front View



Ask any questions about the ring below.

Memories are Free, or Flashback #3

February 6th, 2013 at 11:04 am

Seems like everytime I turn around, retelling of the 60s is in my face. And y'know, it is going to get worse before it gets better with the boom population taking its last stands.

I wrote about No. 1 and No. 2 Flashbacks unexpected encounters with the past.

And now example #3: Browsing the library sale shelf some weeks ago I saw a nice new hardback copy of The Help. Oh. OK. I didn't see the movie and thought it would be a good read.

Yes, it was a good read but WHA?! I had no idea it was set in Jackson, MS in 1962 or so. Oy. So I got to read this first hand account of the confrontation between black and white, what the neighborhood probably was like where Medgar Evens was shot, what was on TV when Kennedy was president.

Ack. Fine, it was actually really a stroke of good luck to read instead of watch. I was much more able to think about the issues, how it was when and where I grew up and so forth. However, I was curious and looked at the reviews after reading and see that the criticism was mostly that the movie was 'too shallow, glossed over the cultural and political issues of the era'. Exactly what I didn't want, so hooray! for reading.

The book even makes reference to a commercial on TV at the time. What was this slogan for? and what was the unique 'logo' used?
---NO GOOGLING!

"I'd rather fight than switch"

Look at these nice pearl mix cuffs while you think about that. My own original work, I love the weight and feel of the bracelets, a bit of luxury and great quality for a very reasonable price.

Black and Gold


Completely handwoven bracelet in classic colors of pearl and glass beads. It is graduated in width, adjustable in size. My own design, see more
here

Irish Green


A second beaded cuff perfect for the Irish in you! Stone and pearl, adjustable size. Details here

So now on the book shelf:
'It's always something' Gilda Radnor. Of course there is no escaping the SNL memories here. More 60s fallout.

Biography of Colin Powell. Hmph. Yes he served in Vietnam. His child was born in Birmingham in 1963 or so. Nuff said.

Ciao and thanks for reading. Come back soon!