Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #37: Fifteen Minutes of Fame

First off, I want to thank those who reached out to me after reading last week's message. I didn't intend for it to come across so morose...but I guess in the state of mind I was in, it was inevitable. Actually, I thought the tone was pretty middle-of-the-road, but I guess my perception was off. :o Anyway, I apologize for that. I've been feeling much better since the moon left Pisces...Pisces is a water sign and the moon was in Pisces when I was born, so I can be overly sensitive and sentimental at times. :\ I'm basically fine as long as I'm keeping busy and focusing on what I'm doing at the moment. It's the quiet times that I can get into trouble, because I get stuck inside my head, and I often hear negative stuff when that happens. Most of us do. So, I guess I'm better off just keeping busy for now, and I'll have to hope I can keep my stamina up without relying on quiet time to help me recharge. :p

I got home in time from my MSU casting class (we're learning to make wax casts for metal pieces -- I have a second degree burn blister on the middle finger of my right hand already!) on Monday night to watch Alex O'Loughlin's new "Hawaii Five-0" series premiere on CBS. I liked it a lot! It came across as a big budget mini action movie, IMHO. I liked the chemistry between the characters...and seeing Alex without a shirt never hurts, either! LOL

My Virtual Garage Sale auction is taking up a lot of time, but it will hopefully be worth it when all is said and done. An LFN fan friend told me about an opportunity for it to reach a wider audience via a mention on Lisa Steven's radio program for "Moonlight" fans. Lisa is one of my Facebook friends, but I didn't even know she had a radio show! LOL

On the business side of things, we posted the new Focal Piece of the Month this week, and the updates to the Virtual Mall are almost finished for this month. ;)

I've also been increasing the company publicity efforts by posting my 1978 Maplewood Arts Center workshops on three local website calendars: the Maplewood Patch online newspaper, Maplewood Navigator (affiliated with the local weekly newspaper The News-Record of Maplewood & South Orange), and Maplewood Online. The announcement ran in the print edition of The News-Record this week, but there was a minor snafu. They made it appear as though I am the contact person for ALL of the classes and workshops at 1978. I found out about the article when the president of the 1978 board copied me on an email to the paper regarding the error. Mom had already read and recycled the paper, and she missed it on page 3! Luckily, the recycling hadn't been picked up yet, so I salvaged the paper and cut the article out. ;)

In addition, I submitted Something Tangible to be included on's Friends, Fans & Followers page, as well as created a profile for myself on Art Jewelry magazine's website. I've also been expanding my reach via various social media sites. :)

Both personally and professionally, it looks like my fifteen minutes of fame has begun! ;)

Have a great week and Happy Autumn all! ;)
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #36: A Business Plan & Dreams

I'm doing this today instead of tomorrow because I have a lot of thoughts running around in my head right now and I want to get them out. Sometimes, writing helps. ;)

First, the business stuff. I attended a workshop hosted by SCORE, a group of retired business people who volunteer to counsel entrepreneurs, on "Starting and Managing Your Own Business" at the local library earlier in the week. I am registered for three more workshops with them this fall. The main thing I got out of this one is that I need to write up a business plan. Apparently, they are required if you want to obtain a business loan from a bank. My chiropractor suggested I get a template program from Staples (think "Business Plans for Dummies") and just fill in the blanks. That will be my next big project after I finish with the database, I guess. :\

On the personal front, I raised $104+ for Fondation MIRA in the first round of my Virtual Garage Sale auction. Not too bad, considering there were only half a dozen people bidding. I'm hoping that word will spread over the coming weeks, so that it will attract more bidders. I sold half of the items I listed, so I'm happy to get that much out of my house! LOL

Here's where I will get a little deep, so if you're not interested in that, feel free to disregard the rest of this message. ;) I don't often dream when I sleep, or if I do, I don't usually remember them. Lately, I've been having very clear, detailed dreams. I think I've had four or five this week. The overall theme seems to be loss, isolation, and loneliness. Given everything I've gone through so far this year, it's not really surprising that's where my subconscious goes. What bothers me is that most of the dreams seem to end with a dramatic sad or tragic ending. If the Universe is trying to tell me something, I don't think I want to know what it is! :o Many years ago as a teen, I had a dream that I was an old woman sitting in a rocking chair and I felt myself die. That scared the crap out of me, but the feeling that I will die old and alone has never really left me. In the past few years, I thought I'd made significant progress in dealing with my long-time emotional issues and healing from them. I guess that was just an illusion, because right now, I feel like I'm starting all over at the beginning again, and that I'm still damaged. It's very disconcerting to think that all of the progress I thought I'd made wasn't real. I went off of one of my anti-depressants at the beginning of the summer (with the consent of my psychiatrist), but I guess maybe it's time to go back on it again. :( Most of my life, I've kind of subscribed to the "fake it 'til you make it" philosophy. I guess my "act" fooled even me for a while. My question is, if you fake it over a long period of time, at what point does it stop being fake and start being who you truly are? :p

Well, enough of that! Off to get my oil changed and figure out what I'm putting up in next week's auction, which starts on Tuesday night.

Enjoy the weekend and have a good week! :)
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #35: Workshops, Classes & Gallery Openings

Hi, everybody! :)

Well, I posted a new Factoid this week. This one is Five Ways To Promote Yourself and Your Small Business. It seems to be doing pretty well...82 views so far in the first 24 hours or so. My jewelry-making stories seem to get the most hits, so I may stick with those from now on. :)

My second class at Montclair State starts tomorrow night, so I will report next week on what we will be covering this semester. ;)

I started working at Blue Life Karate & Fitness this past Tuesday...and had off on Thursday and Friday already because there's no after care if the school district is closed. Happy Rosh Hashanah! :D

Two workshops to be taught by me in November are featured on the 1978 Maplewood Arts Center website. You can check out the listings here: I have no idea how popular they will be, if at all...I'm just keeping my fingers crossed they generate interest. :o

In addition, I attended a photography exhibit opening on Thursday at GAS Gallery and Studio in Maplewood. It's owned by someone I went to grammar school with, and he recognized me right away! That always makes me laugh, but I guess I have "one of those faces" because people always seem to recognize me, even if we haven't seen each other in decades. :p Anyway, the promotional cards for the gallery say they offer a photography studio, private events, exhibit space, films/discussion, creative workshops, and French language classes (one of the partners is a French teacher). Rick mentioned that they haven't really gotten into creative workshops yet, so I offered, "I can probably help you with that!" ;) He got pulled away and we didn't really finish our conversation, but I left him a note on the Facebook invitation I received for the event. I will follow-up with him at some point. I kind of have too much going on right now to push it. :\

As you know, the first installment of the Virtual Mall Deals & Discounts e-sales circular went out this past Wednesday. It took a while to put it together, but I think that was because it was the first one and I had been stockpiling stuff for it for a few weeks. I'm hoping it will be easier now that I will really only be highlighting one week's promotions at a time. :) If anyone has any suggestions on how to do it better, please feel free to let me know! I'm always open to suggestions. ;)

On the personal front, I spent the early part of the day preparing and photographing packages for my Television Memorabilia Virtual Garage Sale, which starts on Tuesday night. I've gotten some positive feedback about it, so I'm hoping it goes well. It's kind of strange, going through everything and selling it all. That was such a huge part of my life for such a long time -- six years -- it feels like I'm closing the chapter on that part of my life. I seem to be doing that a lot lately...closing chapters. This one doesn't bother me so much because I sort of left that phase behind me a few years ago. Some of the others I've closed this year weren't as easy (I'm getting a lump in my throat just thinking about it). :\ As the saying goes, "it is what it is." That's been quite a popular saying with a number of people in my life, including my late father. :)

I've got a number of orders to keep me busy this week, in addition to starting the first round of the auction and my class at MSU. I have a feeling this fall will be a flurry of activity for me! ;)

Have a good week and enjoy the "back-to-school weather" while it lasts! :)
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Monday, September 6, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #34: Increasing Exposure

Hey, all! Sorry I didn't get to this message last night, but I was involved in trying to match up material inventory purchases with receipts from Michael's and A.C. Moore. On the wholesale suppliers' receipts, it's pretty easy to discern what the items are and enter them in the database, but not so much with those two stores. It's gotten to the point that I will enter what I think an item is and hope that I eventually figure out what it really is! :o

I've had a very productive week...made a bunch of new items that I haven't had a chance to post yet. I find that I can do simple tasks while watching Another World on Hulu, so I use that time in the evening (when I can) to play with pieces. It seems that the show will be yanked as of October 21, and I'm so far behind I'd have to watch six episodes a day to catch up by then! I hope they decide to keep it...I'm really enjoying this trip down Memory Lane! :)

In addition, I've arranged to teach two workshops in November at 1978 Maplewood Arts Center, not far from my house. The center is owned by the town, and run by a board of directors. The president was very enthusiastic when I met with her last week, and even took some of my brochures and put them in the rack in the center! The first workshop will be held on Tuesday, November 2 (Election Day) from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This one is for at-home parents who are looking for an outlet for their creativity, a stress-relieving activity, or just a way to make some extra "side money." The second one is on Sunday, November 14, also from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The focus of that one is making your own jewelry holiday gifts, either to help save money or to harness your creative energies. I haven't decided yet on the project(s) to cover in each class. We're testing these out as workshops, and if there is demand I will probably teach eight-week sessions in the future. Wish me luck! :)

I don't think I ever mentioned that both of my nieces are also helping me promote myself and my business! The younger one asked her Daisy Troop leader if I could run a jewelry-making session with the troop...and she did this before running it by me and her mother! LOL Of course, I said yes. :D My older niece has to run meetings on her own in Girl Scouts, and asked for my help for her to teach an easy project to her troop. I will also be on-hand that day, just in case she needs some back-up. ;) She can be my helper with the Daisy troop, so she will have some experience under her belt before teaching for herself. :)

And last but not least, I have taken a part-time job as an After School Counselor at Blue Life Karate & Fitness, which is literally around the corner from me! I had to send out six resumes in preparation for my job assessment meeting at the Unemployment office this Wednesday, and this was one of the positions I found on The owner is a very kewl guy who wants me to help the kids (only three so far) with their homework, take them to the park down the street, and maybe teach them some jewelry projects or do other craft projects with them. :) He was really excited about my business...he liked my brochure and has placed some of them in his "Take one" display by the door. He even wants to host a wine-and-cheese event at the Karate center for the parents of his students featuring my work! Whoo hoo! :D I really think I'm going to get along well with this guy...he's a fellow Capricorn. ;)

In any case, the job is from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. weekdays, except on Monday evenings, when I have my second Metalwork & Jewelry class at Montclair State. That starts next week. Man, am I going to be tired with all of this running around I'll be doing! LOL As my father would say, though, "it's good for the soul." :)

One last note...I saw that the Softflex Company was running a steampunk-themed "Flex Your Creativity" contest in the middle of the week, so I put together a necklace for the contest that afternoon. I thought the deadline was at midnight, but it was really midnight the next night! At least I got it done and handed in on time. :) You can see the piece on our Facebook Fan Page or in the Design Samples Gallery on the Something Tangible website. ;)

I've gotta get back to my inventory. No rest for the weary! :p Enjoy your Labor Day and the rest of the three-day weekend if you are in the U.S. To everyone else, have a great week! :D

P.S. -- I saw this quote by Mark Twain in a horoscope earlier in the week, and it helped pull me out of a funk. "Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live." There are a few illusions I really need to hold onto for a while to keep me going, so that message came at just the right time! :)
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