Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #28: Lots To Tell...

Hello, all! It's been brutally hot here this week, but we had some rain today and it cooled things off a bit. Hope it lasts! ;)

First important piece of business: the phone number listed on the website is temporarily disconnected. I went to see the New Jersey Youth Theater's production of "Rent" with a friend at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) today and I realized my cell phone was gone at dinner afterward. I had it in the theater because I was texting my web designer in the lobby before I went inside. I remember putting the phone on Airplane Mode just before the show started. Since the box office was closed when we got back there after dinner, and it's also closed on Mondays, I can't call them until Tuesday morning to see if it was turned in or if it is possibly still under my seat. I had my purse on my lap the whole time...except for the standing ovations, when I put it on my seat behind me. I should have put it on my shoulder, but I can't clap very well with it there because it falls off. My mother says we have no shoulders. LOL :\ So, if anyone wants to reach me regarding Something Tangible business, please use the email address or the Contact Us page on the website. Thanks! And wish me luck on Tuesday! :)

As promised, the new Focal Piece of the Month is up on the website. We're also in the process of developing a whole new page for the site...within the next week or so, we'll be adding our new Virtual Mall page! With nearly 150 online outlets available for your shopping convenience, you'll be able to do everything from making vacation plans to ordering unique gifts for family and friends to furnishing your home or office! I'm very excited about this new addition to Something Tangible's website, and I hope you will be, too! :D Keep an eye on my social media pages later this week for the "Grand Opening" announcement. ;)

I still haven't finished the rivoli necklace I told you about last week. I decided to change the chain from the Tubular Netting stitched one I was working on...I had to end the thread I had been using and when I started a new one a few days later, I messed up the spacing somehow. So, I ended up taking the whole thing apart. Rather than start all over again, I decided to use some of the pink stringing materials I had leftover from a project I did a while ago. The beads around the rivoli are pink, gold and green, so I thought it would be a nice pick-up. I braided together faux pink leather suede beading cord, baby pink fairy ribbon, and bright pink silk fabric string. The three different shades look really nice together. I still haven't received the cone ends I ordered last week yet, so I will finish the necklace when I do. ;) I will eventually try the Tubular Netting again, perhaps in a bracelet or to finish another rivoli or cabochon necklace kit.

I did make a new necklace and pair of earrings, which have been posted on the Facebook Fan Page and the website in the Gemstone Items section. The focal piece of the necklace is a large White Blister Pearl heart pendant, so I used Opalite teardrops, crystal AB beads and faux pearls to keep with the white theme. I told my friend today that I feel like it's my "wedding necklace." It looks very classy, as do the matching dangle earrings. :)

I'm still spending many hours entering data into the software program. It's coming slowly, but surely. Maybe I will set a goal to be finished by the end of August. :p

Gotta run. Enjoy the last few hours of your weekend! :D
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Monday, July 19, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #27: Monday, Monday...

Sorry I missed you all last night. I spent all day at the Innovative Beads Expo at Raritan Center in Edison, NJ taking a workshop. I learned how to embroider around a rivoli, which is a faceted crystal focal piece. Embroidering around a rivoli is tricky because they are not flat like cabochons. I finished the focal piece last night and started the chain, but I don't have any cone findings here to finish it off, unfortunately. I'll order some this week and hopefully have it posted sometime next week. ;)

My pal Meg Fillmore from Bead My Love taught the class I took yesterday -- she also taught the class I took last fall to learn how to add a beaded fringe to a scarf. She works with her mother, Moggie Moyer, and I got a 20 percent discount on anything purchased at their booth for taking the class. I also visited renowned beader Linda Gettings' table quite a bit. I met her at a Bead Society of New Jersey (BSNJ) meeting in the spring, and she's just a wonderful person! So, I bought some jewelry kits from her and got a bunch of free ones as well! :D My beading skills will be exercised and expanded by leaps and bounds in the next few months! :)

I'm hoping to attend Bead My Love's weekend retreat during the first weekend in November. It will be in Rehoboth Beach, DE and should really be a blast! :D

I spent almost ALL DAY on Friday entering data into the Bead Manager Pro software program. It seems that allocating an hour a day isn't working out so well for me. I keep putting it off because of something that is more immediately pressing. I'm probably better off just getting in the groove when I can do it and go for as long as I can before my eyes cross! LOL

We'll be updating the website again toward the end of this week. The new Focal Piece of the Month will be a gift I made a while ago for a friend whose birthday is next week. He's the coworker who passed away a couple of months ago, so I don't think he will mind me posting it before his birthday. I ended up burying it at his grave in early June, so he technically already has it anyway. I put with it a crossword Lottery scratch card, since he used to always have me cash them in for him. Every once in a while, I wonder if I buried a card worth $20,000, which is the grand prize for those cards. Considering my luck with them, it's probably not even worth the $3 I paid for it, so I'm not too concerned about it. LOL I just hope someone who works for the cemetery doesn't find it and find out for themselves how much it is worth! :o

I almost forgot to mention that I am now the #1 jewelry expert on Factoidz! :D I posted a new article last week, but it's not about jewelry-making. It does, however, have to do with part of my motivation behind the mission for this company.

We had a lot of thunder here this morning, but the sun is shining now and no rain in sight. Hope it stays that way! ;)

Have a great week! :D
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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #26: Exploring My Financial Options

Hello, everyone! I've been pretty busy this week. I finished the two Totally Twisted Pendants in the kit from Paulette Baron that I mentioned last week. One necklace has already been posted and the second one will be posted tomorrow. I have to admit, I personally prefer the second one. I had some great sea foam luster beads in my stash that perfectly complimented the colors in the pendant. I hope you all like it as much as I do! :)

On Friday, I visited the Unemployment office in East Orange to meet with a counselor. I was advised to do so after the training workshop I had attended there a few weeks ago. The goal is to obtain a Tuition Waiver (I keep thinking Inheritance Tax Waiver because of my prior job at Registrar and Transfer, and even made the mistake of referring to it in my conversation with the counselor! She looked confused and I immediately recognized and corrected my mistake. :o ) to pay for school. She seemed to think it would not be a problem to get the Waiver -- they are offered for people undergoing training for in-demand fields, as an effort to hopefully make the candidates more employable long-term. Although Metalwork & Jewelry classes are not necessarily in that category, I told her about my plans for self-employment, so she seemed to think that would be okay. At the training workshop, the counselor said that graduate applications have to be approved by Trenton. I didn't think to ask about that on Friday, but it will hopefully not be a hindrance. In any case, the sticking point seems to be getting Montclair State to accept it. Apparently, they have declined before. I sent off an email to the Financial Services Department on Friday, since they were closed, and will hopefully get a response this week. If Montclair State agrees -- and since I have already enrolled and have paid part of the semester's tuition, they may not -- I will be taken off the enrollment roster for the class I have scheduled for September and have to reapply for it in August, within 30 days before classes start. Naturally, the school has the opportunity to take paying students over Tuition Waiver students, which is why we get "last pick." However, my class has five openings left out of 13 at the moment, not including me. I doubt I will get shut out of the class in the next four or five weeks. Just in case, though, my fingers are crossed! If the school refuses to change my status, I will pay for this semester out of my pocket and go the Tuition Waiver route for the remaining six classes. I understand that once the school has money in-hand, they may not be so eager to return it. I am being philosophical about this...I can certainly use the extra money that I would have used to pay for school, as times are tight at the moment, but I am willing to pay for school if necessary. Advancing my education is too important to let red tape muck up the works. :\

In addition, I am attending a three-hour Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) workshop tomorrow morning, which I also learned about at the training workshop. I will learn about the program and see if I qualify. I will also find out how it affects my Unemployment benefits, as I do believe it does in some way. They kind of glossed over that part at the previous workshop. If I do qualify, great! If not, c'est la vie. I am exploring every avenue I can to make this transition easier, but I only have control over so much. Particularly when dealing with an academic institution and the State of New Jersey. Don't even get me started on the latter! :p

In other news (pun intended), my second article was accepted by Factoidz this week! I think I previously mentioned wanting to adapt my steampunk oral presentation from last semester. I did that and it is here for anyone who is interested in reading it or missed it on the social media sites. I have now been bumped up to the #2 expert in jewelry-making on Factoidsz! :D The two Focal Piece of the Month stories I have submitted are really the only appropriate ones for Factoidz, so I will have to come up with new topics on a semi-regular basis for future articles. If anyone has suggestions or a particular topic he or she would like to learn more about, please let me know and I will explore it for you! :) I may try to hash out one on public relations for small businesses, as that is my prior experience and not completely unrelated to what I am doing now. ;) As always, I will keep you posted on my progress.

BTW, I did take last Monday (July 5) off. I spent most of the day in bed with the air conditioner running! In case anyone hasn't heard, we had a major heat wave in New Jersey most of last week. It was brutal for a couple of days, but the humidity seems to have dropped off a bit for the weekend. 8)

I saw Toy Story 3 last night at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) Clearview Cinema. It cost $14.25 for the ticket because they charge an additional $3.50 for "the 3-D experience." Luckily, I had a gift card from a friend, so that didn't hurt my wallet too much. LOL For anyone who hasn't seen it, it was really good! Definitely as entertaining as the first one. The audience was mostly adults, and they laughed out loud quite a bit. If you have any interest, I highly recommend seeing it on the big screen. :)

I've also been watching episodes of the former NBC soap opera Another World this weekend. It's available on Hulu, but only episodes from mid-May 1991 to mid-August 1992 so far. As I was working during that time, I missed many of those episodes. Even knowing what eventually happened to the characters almost a decade later (the show went off the air in 1999) doesn't take away from my enjoyment of watching these older episodes. It's kind of like hanging out with old friends after not seeing them for ages. ;)

That's about it for me...back to Hulu! LOL Have a great week! :)
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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #25: Happy Independence Day!

I seem to post a lot on holidays, I've noticed. LOL

Well, I'm back! Had a great time on vacation in Ocean City, but not entirely restful. That's what happens when you travel with a 7-year-old and a 9-year-old who want to do EVERYTHING with you! :D Not that I would trade that for anything in the world, but it does take a toll eventually since I don't have their energy anymore! Suffice it to say, I have been home more than 24 hours and still haven't unpacked yet. :o

Thanks so much to those who responded to my plea for feedback last week! The general consensus seems to be that I'm doing this blogging/email newsletter thing right, so I will keep doing what I'm doing. ;)

Although I was "on vacation" last week, I did manage to get some work done. I had brought some kits with me that have been sitting in a pile on my desk, so I worked on a couple of new techniques/items. One is a copper Helix Knot Bracelet by sb designs and the other is a Totally Twisted Pendant designed by Paulette Baron. I started a second variation on the pendant (the kit includes enough materials for both), so I will try to finish that up this week and put both of them on color-coordinated bead necklaces. The first pendant looks like a seahorse's tail and the second one looks like a dragon, according to my nieces. I am much happier with how the second one turned out, but that is probably because I was more comfortable with the technique by the time I got to that one. :\ Anyway, all three of these items will be posted on the Facebook Fan Page and website, hopefully, sometime this week. ;)

I know a lot of people have off tomorrow, so enjoy the extended weekend! My nieces decided that Something Tangible should also be closed tomorrow. LOL We'll may just happen that way! ;)

Have a great week! :)
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