Thursday, September 27, 2007

Internet Friends

With this blog and running my jewerly business on-line I have met a lot of people that I call "friends".

I have found incredibly creative and supportive people here and on the Etsy Forums. They get the need to obsessively create, the joy one can find in a new strand of beads or a beautiful skein of yarn. They also tend to be very smart, insightful and funny people. Just the kind of people, I'd like to be my friends.

But I haven't met any of them in person, and that seems a bit weird to me.

So I decided to organize a get together for Etsians in Milwaukee. It will be so cool to finally be able to put a face with a shop name and avatar. Today I am having lunch with Barflybling (Laurie) to organize the get together. It was funny to convo eachother with pictures and what we are wearing so we'll know eachother when we meet, even though we've been talking for a while now.

I'm looking forward to meeting them but I also like the anonymity that I have with my other internet friends.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New designs on the horizon

I've got my jewelry mojo back. Its been missing in action for a while now but its back, baby its back. There are so many ideas floating around in my head just waiting to come out.

I've made a few new pendants and just need to photo them so I can post on Etsy. I've also got some earring and bracelet designs waiting to come to life.

I'm still experimenting with other mediums such as collage and painting but jewerly is my first love. I'm glad we've been able to reconnect.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Crafting for China Charity Challenge Update

I am almost one month into my Crafting for China Charity Challenge to benefit the Half the Sky Foundation.

For those of you who don't know, my husband and I adopted our daughter from China last year. In her honor I am donating 50% of the proceeds of sales from items in the charity section of my Etsy shop and 20% of the proceeds from the sale of the other items to Half the Sky to benefit children living in Chinese orphanages.

So far I have sold 4 items and have raised $54.50. My goal is to raise $300 so that the Etsy shop can help sponsor a child for one year. I hope to reach that goal before the end of the Challenge on October 30th.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I'm going on vacation

A real live vacation for the first time in two years, since before we adopted the wee one. I will miss the wee one terribly but I am also really excited.

We are going to the Elk Lake Lodge in the Adirondack Mountains with our friends Matt and Sonja. (Matt was Scott's friend from college and Sonja was my friend from law school, they met at our wedding and are now married. Just had to share that cute aside.) The lodge is made up of rustic cabins which look just beautiful.

There is no television, no cell phones and no internet access. (although I am worried because I won't be able to call my parents to check on the wee one as often as I'd like. Just once a day from the main lodge phone.) It will be total relaxation. Matt and Sonja want to go hiking and I am sure that we will do some but Scott and I are just looking forward to relaxing.

I won't be getting the crisp fall weather that I was promised, its supposed to be in the 70s, so there won't be any fires at night. But the colors are supposed to be changing and it should just be beautiful.

I can't wait. A real live vacation, wow.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Dad

My dad has been writing me letters every week for the past three years. Real letters sent through the mail. Even though we live only 20 minutes from each other and see each other at least once a week, he still takes the time to write. I can't tell you what it means to me to get these letters, I wait for them every week.

In the letters he shares bits of his life, what he and my mom are doing, how his golf game is going, what he is doing at work. He also shares a poem, article or cartoon. They may be focused on what is going on in my life, lately we've been getting articles regarding raising children to help us navigate the waters with the wee one. Or they may be something that is important to him that he wants to share with me. My dad studies meditation and has found lots of interesting articles and poems related to that inner journey.

A lot of times my life is so busy that I don't share with my dad how much these letters really mean to me. When my parents were out in California recenlty to visit my brother I didn't get my weekly letter. It felt kind of strange. So I went back through my file of letters, rereading them. I realized that so much of what he was saying and sharing was still relevant to me today. He talks a lot about being present in the moment and enjoying what is in front of you.

One of the poems that he has sent a few times really hit home, Ithaca by Constantine Cavafy. The poem talks about taking a journey to Ithaca, but it is about the journey not the destination. It made me think about making jewelry and making art. I shouldn't be so concerned with the output. I should really focus on the creative process. Why am I making this? Am I enjoying it? Does it make me happy? If I am happy with my process, the results won't matter. I will have learned something and expanded my horizions, the result will reflect that growth.

I should also enjoy my time with my hubby and the wee one. The moments we have now are so precious, I shouldn't worry about how we are going to pay for college or those things. That will all come with time. Just enjoy the silliness, the smiles, the hugs and the love.

So today I would like to thank my dad for his inspiration, for sharing his wisdom with me and for being a wonderful dad. Happy Birthday Dad.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Self Portrait Thursdays

There is a group of people on Flickr that take self portraits every Thursday and post them to the group site. I found out about this through Etsy and was immediately intrigued. You see I don't really have that many pictures of myself and I am not sure why. I don't mind having my photo taken and I am not camera shy. But its there, even my blog picture was taken 3 years ago - I couldn't find a new one to replace it.

Maybe its because my dad always was snapping pictures when I was younger. I learned how to pose when I was really young. I think the wee one will be the same.

Maybe its because when we go on vacation, I want to have pictures of the sites I see, not me in front of the sites. I know I was there, I don't need a photo to prove it. This drives my husband nuts.

Maybe its because I am always holding the camera. Its part of the control freak in me, I take better photos, so I'm gonna be the one to take them.

This is slowly starting to change with the wee one, I like having my picture taken with her because she is so darn cute.

So I decided to join this group and take pictures of myself every week. Its been fun and I have been pleased with the results. Who knows maybe you'll see alot more of me in the future.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fall is almost here.

I for one am completely giddy. Last night I slept with the window open and the wonderful cold air blowing in while snuggling underneath the comforter. This morning I pulled on a pair of tights under my skirt and put on a new sweater practially dancing around the room. The wee one looked at me like I was crazy until I pulled out her fancy new red cords with a coordinating pink top and jean jacket. Her eyes got wide as she murmured "pretty" over and over again. So I think she gets my joy.

Fall in Wisconsin is my favorite season, with the beautiful colors and crisp weather. Summer is too hot and humid. Winter is well winter, they didn't nickname Lambeau Field the Frozen Tundra for nothing. Spring is nice but doesn't hold a candle to fall in my book. This fall will also mark the first Halloween with the wee one (we were in China last year) so I am already making plans to make it special.

I also have my upcoming trip to the Adirondack Mountains next week to keep me excited. We've rented a cabin with friends to go hiking. I have been promised cool weather and leaves turning all sorts of beautiful colors.

Meanwhile, I will continue crocheting my scarf, eyeing new sweaters and tights in the stores, dreaming of hot apple cider and jumping in leaf piles with the wee one.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I was wrong.

I'm not afraid to admit when I am wrong. And it happens a bit more than I would like. I was wrong about organization being the enemy. It can be a really good thing. I organized my desk at work and it does look better but it feels weird to get up to get a file, but I'll deal.

After work, I took the plunge at home. While hubby and the wee one were chasing eachother around the living room, I spent a half hour on my studio desk. I managed to clear off a substantial portion so that was good. I also found some really great things that I completely forgot about.

First, I found a double picture frame that I had used as an earring display at a store I used to work at. When the store closed (almost 3 years ago), I took home my jewelry and display. I thought I had worked all of it into my inventory but apparently not. When I opened the frame, I found 11 pairs of earrings. Score! Some I really don't like and will probably take apart. But some are really cool and once I clean them up they will probably find their way onto Etsy.

Second, when I was putting some of my piles away I opened a drawer and found this yummy yarn. I don't remember when I bought it, probably two or three years ago. I know that I made a scarf for my mom and this was what was left. So what's a girl to do when she finds something so cool? Start crocheting a scarf, that's what. Because there is only one skein, I will have to find a coordinating yarn to finish but that is ok.

So now I am totally excited about organization. Who knows what other treasures await. I may even tackle the "Closet of Doom".

Monday, September 10, 2007


I admit that organization is not my strong suit. Well I shouldn't say that. I tend to have piles of things but I know where everything is in those piles. So its sort of "organized chaos" but looks like disorganization to the untrained eye.

My co-worker and I share an office and share organized chaos as well. It works for us but drives our boss nuts. We used to blame it on a lack of storage space. Well he went out and bought a work table where we can store all of our pending files. He just wants our desks clear with only what we are currently working on on them.

So I must spend the afternoon going through my "organized chaos" and organize it according to someone else's system. I am not sure how this will affect me and the way that I work. I freaked out last week when I couldn't find a file that should have been in one of my piles. I turned out that he took it off my desk to work on it and put it back in the filing cabinet. So we'll see how this goes.

Now you may ask what does this have to do with my little designing world. Well everything and nothing. My work desk at home is organized in little piles with virtually no space for actually working on it. There are piles and boxes of supplies in my work closet as well. I have also accumulated another pile of supplies on my dining room table.

So I think that it may be time for me to break out of this "organized chaos" mode and embrace change. I would love to have the space to create and work that actually inspired. It would be so much fun to have the table just be for the chaos of the project. I could spread out and work instead of having to find other spaces to do my work.

Tommorow's Studio Shot Tuesday photo will show some progress from the original photo taken on August 14th. It is my goal to progress each week until there is an actual project on that table. I'll need all of you to help hold my feet to the fire.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


For a while now I have been playing around with collage, painting and drawing. My materials, other than the paint, have been sourced entirely from my home using junk mail postcards, newspaper, magazine subscription cards and magazine images. Its been fun to see what I could do using what I already had.

I've had some cool attempts that didn't turn out quite right but I liked the overall effect. I turned one of those attempts into my Night series of earrings and pendants. I used a postcard from a realty company, images from the literary section of the newspaper, want ads from a Chinese language paper from Chicago and some paint. So far I have only listed one in the Etsy shop but I think they are pretty cool. This pendant is another in that series.

I've also been making some little collages for the wee one. I'd like to have an arrangement of art in her room, some of mine and some made by others. So I thought I'd post this for you all to view. It is not a grand artistic statement but I think its simple and sweet.

I think that these are good beginnings or experiments in this new field. But even if no one else likes them I am having a lot of fun creating them and I think that is the most important thing.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I'm a TV star

Ok its just video but its still cool.

Etsy took video of us during the Trashion Trunk Show in July. They just posted it here

Check it out to see all sorts of cool Trashion finds and to meet some of our really talented members. And of course yours truly.