Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #50: 24 Hours Too Late...

It seems that Mother Nature and Father Time had trouble coordinating their schedules this year. We are in the middle of a blizzard warning here on the East Coast not 24 hours AFTER Christmas Day! You'd think they could have at least given us a White Christmas in the bargain!? LOL :p Regardless, I hope all of those who celebrate this holiday enjoyed it. :)

I finished my friend's grandmother's necklace in time for Christmas, and posted it as the new Focal Piece of the Month. Starting this month, I'm going to post the new Focal Piece on the Something Tangible LLC Facebook Fan Page, since I think people are more likely to see it there then counting on folks coming to the website to read it. ;)

No word yet from the Bead Society of New Jersey on whether or not any of my pieces were selected to head to Tucson at the end of January. I also just checked the MSU Blackboard and my semester grade isn't posted yet. Still keeping my fingers crossed for both! :)

Earlier this month, I signed up for the Beta version of a new online payment service called There's no fee like there is with PayPal, but you can't add or deduct funds from your account yet in the Beta version. Once the service is up and running, I will let you know...but I'm thinking of adding it or the Store section of the website, possibly replacing PayPal entirely. :)

I'm also thinking about discontinuing the email version of the Virtual Mall Discounts & Deals circular in January. It seems that the majority of activity is coming from posts on the Virtual Mall's Facebook Fan Page, so it's really a waste of time and somewhat redundant to do both. If anyone has strong feelings about it one way or the other, please feel free to let me know. As always, I will take the absence of feedback as implied consent. :)

Along similar lines, since the blog posts are now automatically posted to both Facebook Fan Pages via NetworkedBlogs, I will no longer be posting Tangible Tidbits in the Discussions section of the Something Tangible LLC Facebook Fan Page. No one ever replied to them there anyway, so I may as well ditch the duplication of effort. :)

On the personal side, we're up to having raised $629.16 for Fondation MIRA in the Virtual Garage Sale...a few unclaimed items are generating some interest. I will be ending that effort officially on January 1. It's been very time-consuming, so it's definitely time to move on. :)

My Birthday Wish on Facebook has raised $85 for Donate Life America (including my $25), so I feel better about the Virtual Garage Sale being a bust in that effort. :D

And last but not least, tomorrow will mark my first day back to permanent part-time work with my former employer. Unfortunately, one of the people I was helping to replace will not be returning from medical leave. I'll be working 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, which enables me to participate in company benefit programs (25 hours is required). It wasn't a tough decision to make...while I will no longer have the flexibility I've enjoyed for the past couple of months, I will have a steady income to help me fund my efforts here. It's been nice to go to an office full of people again -- I missed the socialization working by myself. I hope to eventually be able to afford to work on Something Tangible full time, but for now, this is the best solution. :)

As my next message will not be until after the New Year, I wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year's celebration! :)
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #49: The Holidays Are Upon Us!

Hey, everyone! :D

Well, I baked Christmas cookies today with my nieces, and then we went to their house for dinner. Santa is driven down streets in their town accompanied by a firetruck, and he made his visit after dinner. We each got a candy cane. The Christmas Season is officially here! LOL :D

I've been working on my coworker's grandmother's necklace this week. I finished with the pendant part, so I now just have to reinforce the chain section. I want to get it to her before Thursday, since it will be a half-day in the office and people will be going nuts. The office is closed on Friday, as Christmas Day falls on Saturday. :)

Just a little while ago, I submitted six photos of original pieces to the Bead Society of New Jersey. A three-judge panel of Board members are selecting pieces to represent the group at the Tucson Expo Center next month. The J.O.G.S. Gem & Jewelry Show and Art Bead Circle LLC is looking for superior, high quality, completely original work to be exhibited there January 28 through February 9, 2011. I sent some metalwork pieces, wire work, an embroidered pendant, and my Steampunk Box. They will select 15 pieces to represent us, so wish me luck! ;)

My final critique for the semester at MSU was on Monday night. The professor said to my friend (a teaching assistant) afterward, "That was not easy." LOL My friend replied, "She should have been a lawyer." That made my night! :D I wasn't disrespectful or trying to challenge him, but when he talked about aesthetics as opposed to techniques, I justified my choices. A few reasons were admittedly lame, but they were the truth and I stood by my choices. :) I think it rattled him a bit that I would not be intimidated by him and I could really care less about my grade. I didn't even ask him about the grade, to the shock of my friends! It didn't matter to me, because I knew the grade was based on his own taste. :\ I just checked and grades have not been posted yet. I should know by January 4 at the latest. ;)

I posted a new Factoid this weekend: If You Can Tie a Knot, You Can Macramé Your Way To Handcrafted Jewelry! That's eight articles in all now. Two more and I move up from Factoidz Writer to Staff Writer! And thanks to a new Buzz It Up! process at Factoidz, all of my older articles rank high or very high in search engine optimization (SEO) for their categories! :D

One other small business coup...I applied and was accepted to attend a special seminar during the first weekend in February in San Diego, CA. It's professional and personal development, and only 25 or so people will invited/allowed to attend, so that everyone can get to know each other on a first-name basis. A lot of work will be completed at the event, as opposed to them giving us tools to take away and work with on our own. I think attending this event will force me to take some steps I've been putting off because of a lack of time or other resources. I have 70,000 Continental Airlines OnePass miles racked up, so I will at least have that part of the trip covered. ;)

As for my Virtual Garage Sale, the last official week ended on Friday night. I am leaving the unclaimed items on the board until the New Year, as a few people have asked about them. So far, I've raised $624.16 for Fondation MIRA and $2.50 for Donate Life America. As I mentioned last week, I did make a personal donation of $25, and I made Donate Life America the recipient of My Birthday Wish on Facebook, as my birthday is conveniently next Friday. Hopefully, that will make up a bit for the lack of interest in "Moonlight" items. :)

The next time I post will be on December 26. So, best wishes to those who celebrate Christmas! :D
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #48: As Grandpa Always Said, Slow And Steady Wins the Race!

Hey, all! It's rainy but warm in New Jersey on this December Sunday evening.

Just got back from picking up my pieces at the 1978 Maplewood Arts Center's Buy Art Now Guys! (BANG) 5 art show. I sold a bracelet -- to another one of the vendors, as it turns out! -- and a cell phone charm there. The coordinator of the event spoke with me when I picked up my stuff, and told me "Your stuff is perfect and perfectly priced for this show." That was nice to hear! :D She also said that they had foot traffic, but sales were down this year for all the vendors, even those who have historically done well. She said I'm on the mailing list, so I will definitely be put on the posters and postcards next year and I should definitely come back! She also recommended two other local craft shows -- one at the Baird Center and another at GAS Studio and Gallery, which is the one owned by my high school classmate. As this was my year "showing" my work, I will definitely have to keep an eye out for those two next year! :)

In addition, I spent about seven hours at Salon Sung in Millburn yesterday for their holiday celebration. I sold two more bracelets and three pairs of earrings there! :D I'm happy that my pieces are selling, even if not a lot of them or the more expensive pieces. It's incentive to keep going...even if my progress is slow, at least it is steady! ;)

We had our "opening" at Montclair State on Wednesday night. At least one piece was selected from each student to show in the display case until next week. Mine is a bronze and sterling silver pendant that I created into a necklace. I wasn't surprised they chose that's pretty artistic, if I do say so myself. LOL

The fall semester's final one-on-one critique with the professor is coming up tomorrow night...then I'm free until sometime in January, at least from school obligations. ;)

On the personal side, I'm winding down with the Virtual Garage Sale. I think this will be the final week. :D To date, we've raised $589.16 for Fondation MIRA and $2.50 for Donate Life America. I will most likely send a check for $25.00 to Donate Life America out of my own pocket, as I would be embarrassed to send them a check for only $2.50. :\

Heading into the "holiday frenzy" period, I have my shopping pretty much done. However, I still have wrapping to do, packages to mail, and cookies to bake. I usually manage to get everything done on time, although some years I have no idea how I'd done it! LOL

Enjoy the remainder of your Sunday evening, and have a great week! :D
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #47: 'Tis The Season To Be Busy!

Hey, all! I'm posting this early today because I will be spending most of the evening into the night at the MSU studio, preparing for our "opening" this coming Wednesday with an advanced class. Tomorrow night is the last full studio period we have before the show, and I want to make sure I have enough time without being there until almost morning! LOL I am required to have eight projects finished and I have a few extra, so if anything doesn't get completed in time, I will just save it for next semester or finish it on my own. Wish me luck! ;)

About the critique a few weeks ago, he was pretty harsh overall...but that's not surprising. I think more than half of the students in class are Industrial Design students who have to take this class as a requirement, and they haven't put a lot of thought and energy into their work. They also look to be out of class for Monday Night Football's kickoff. LOL I think he liked my stuff in general -- he knows the hours I keep with the teaching assistant in the studio -- but he took issue with me gluing stones into pieces, even though he didn't teach us how to do it properly. Maybe he assumed we learned it last semester? In any case, he asked for reassurance there would be no glued stones in my final pieces. I said there might not be any stones at all! He suggested I fill some of the gaps with resin, so I will try that today. I did set stones in a few of the pieces...I was never told you should start with the stone first and then create a piece around it. I was doing it the other way around, which I suppose is much harder to do. :\ Anyway, I'm not in the class for the grade, but for knowledge and the experience. If he doesn't like my work, so be it. :p

In other artistic-related news, I just got back from my younger niece's first juried art show. She won First Place in her age category (6- and 7-year-olds) at the Watching Arts Center. She submitted two works and the winning one is called "Little Birds." Both pieces were in paint -- one in watercolors and the other in tempura. I'm so proud of her! :)

They are standing behind me right now, waiting for me to help with a gingerbread house, so I will make this quick! :)

I created another set of step-by step instructions with photos for a workshop this past week -- macramé and beads. I learned macramé in junior high school, taking a club during our alternate lunch period. I completely forgot about it until recently, and I made a few pieces to make sure I could still do it. I now have a pair of earrings, a pendant on a hemp necklace, and a bracelet finished, all using hemp cord. ;)

This coming week, I have the school projects to finish and a few other pieces "on deck." Luckily, people are not in a hurry and these are not holiday presents, although I did just receive the Fireline for my coworker's restringing project that I'd mentioned previously. That one IS a Christmas present, so I have to get directions for the square stitch and get moving on that one ASAP.

I will be displaying some pieces at Salon Sung this coming Saturday, December 11, as part of their holiday celebration. It's on Main Street in Millburn. Come say hi if you're nearby! ;)

Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate! Christmas (and my birthday) will be here before you know it! :o :)
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