Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tangible Tidbits 2011 #9: Another Month Bites the Dust...

Hi, everyone! Hope you have all been enjoying your weekend. It was pretty chilly here on Friday night and again today, but it was mild yesterday...and it's been SUNNY! We did end up having another snowstorm last Monday. I had predicted that the snow would melt just in time for us to get some more. :p Luckily, it was only a few inches and a lot of it is gone already. :)

As promised, here's Something Tangible's new Focal Piece of the Month. It's an Irish pin, in honor of St. Patrick's Day coming up, that I made as a birthday gift last year. :)

I've also uploaded my new video to YouTube. This was the final group activity from the Empowered Entrepreneurs weekend in early February. As you can see, I still have to work on improvising my "script" on the fly. :o Considering this was only the third day I'd even attempted to record myself on video, though, it could have been a lot worse! ;)

We're still working the kinks out of the new video sales page, but I think we'll have it up by next week's post. :)

I made my deliveries this week, and got a few new orders, too! One month to go in the quarter, so I'd better get moving if I want to make my sales goals. ;)

Our new class assignment for my MSU Metalwork and Jewelry class is to make a palm-sized, wearable replica of one of the tools in the studio. Preferably one that actually functions! :o We'll have another week on this one, thankfully, as I still don't know what to make! :\ I'm hoping for divine inspiration by Tuesday, so I can use the class time to get going on it.

Can you believe February's over already? :p Have a great week! :D
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tangible Tidbits 2011 #8: A Sudden Surge in Productivity

Howdy, folks! :) I've gotten SOOO much done today, I'm really proud of myself! LOL I think I've gotten more done today than I had all week! :o

This burst of energy is coming off a couple of days without internet service. It's really kind of sad, but the amount of stuff you can actually accomplish without the internet these days is pretty small. Things you don't even realize require an internet connection -- like installing a new set of headphones with a microphone to my computer, for example -- require an internet connection! :o Anyway, the repairman showed up late yesterday, and we're rockin' and rollin' again! :)

As I just mentioned, I got a new headset for my computer. I had an older one from a few years ago when I was on Skype -- I deleted my account after a guy I didn't know kept wanting me to talk dirty to him in very graphic terms...I had no idea Skype was used for that kind of thing! :o When I tried to use the microphone the other night, it wasn't working for whatever reason. So, I went to Staples and got a new one yesterday. I also purchased a small flexible tripod for my Flip video camera, so I will eventually be able to film video tutorials at my workspace. :)

I purchased the microphone so I could finish the PowerPoint presentation I started in San Diego for my soon-to-be-revealed video sales page. I had to rerecord the audio MANY times to get it right! Then, feeling ambitious, I recorded an audio track for my Steampunk PowerPoint presentation, which is already on YouTube with a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang instrumental as the soundtrack. That was a MAJOR headache, trying to get the verbiage right and not stumbling over my words. I finally got it to the point it is "passable" -- you can't really be a perfectionist doing this sort of thing or you will NEVER publish ANYTHING, IMHO -- but YouTube is having trouble converting the file. That's probably because it is in PowerPoint 2010. I'll eventually get it posted, but I temporarily shelved that for more pressing writing this blog post! ;)

I worked on my latest video on Friday night, since I didn't need an internet connection for that, thankfully! It's my Improv exercise from the trip to San Diego a few weeks ago. If you didn't know it before, you will realize that I don't take myself too seriously -- and I have a bit of a troublemaker streak -- after watching this video. ;) Thanks to Jonathan Budd and his team for enabling me to make this one...I doubt I would have done if they did not require me to "perform" in this way! LOL :)

At the Thursday's Bead Society meeting (my first as Secretary), we were making Bottles of Hope -- adding a netting design with seed beads -- to donate to cancer patients in Central New Jersey on behalf of the organization. Mine is almost finished...I'll post a picture when it's done. I made mine purple, as that is the generic color for cancer, as well as the color for pancreatic cancer (R.I.P, Grandma :))

I've got a couple of bracelets and a pair of earrings to deliver this week, so I've been working on those today. I may have my nieces help me finish them up tomorrow, as the office and schools are closed for President's Day. My brother-in-law is working, so I'm watching the girls. Their Mom and my Mom are in Chicago to attend a taping of Oprah on Tuesday morning. I can't say I'm too envious, as Chicago is probably colder than here right now. :)

BTW, most of the snow from the last few storms has melted after a few Spring-like days here! WHOO HOO! It's supposed to get cold again, but at least any new snow won't be on top of the old snow anymore! :p

The new Focal Piece of the Month will be going up sometime this week, so keep an eye out for that. As a matter of fact, I have to write that now! ;) LOL

Have a great week, everybody! :D
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tangible Tidbits 2011 #7: Happy Valentine's Day!

Hello, everyone! Well, I'm back in the groove after my weekend get-a-way last weekend. It took almost the whole week to get caught up on everything, but that's not too surprising. LOL

We received our second project assignment in my Metalwork & Jewelry class two weeks ago. Naturally, I didn't do much with it last week before my trip, but I got it done this week and it's ready to hand in on Tuesday. :D The theme of the project was some kind of fastener, or "Keep Your Knickers Up." My piece is a pair of copper wire earrings, each formed and forged into the shape of a fibula -- an ancient brooch. I then wire-wrapped beads around the outer edge and dangled a heart bead from the bottom to make them more decorative. I'm really pleased with how they turned, we'll have to see what the teacher thinks! ;)

On Friday night -- with my nieces' help -- I made two name bracelets and corresponding name necklaces for a coworker's granddaughters. The children are about the same age as my nieces, so I wanted their feedback on what they would and wouldn't wear, as well as sizes. :)

While at the nail salon on Saturday...the same place where I displayed my pieces for their holiday party in December...I received orders for two more bracelets and a pair of earrings! One was a request from the owner! :D

And for those who missed the announcement on Facebook, Twitter, etc., I have been "drafted" to be the new Board Secretary of the Bead Society of New Jersey (BSNJ)! I knew my predecessor had to step down for personal reasons, but I figured I was "too new" to the organization to hold an office when they asked for volunteers. I guess I made a bigger impression on them than I'd thought! LOL They also asked me to submit my bio for the Member Profile in the upcoming newsletter, as well as submit my Factoidz stories to include in future issues! I've also agreed to donate something for a raffle at the St. Patrick's Day party/meeting (I haven't decided what yet...I may create a kit with materials and printed instructions from one of my workshop pieces), and I may also teach a workshop in the spring! When it rains, it pours! ;)

I spent part of this afternoon creating a opening sequence for my videos. I wish I could get rid of the black background, but then the black would show up in the transitions, since I don't know if you can or how to insert a background color in transitions with Camtasia Studio. Keeping the black throughout makes the opener appear seamless, so that's how I left it. :\ I will probably work on a closing sequence next week. I kind of forgot about it on this week's video. :o

Speaking of this week's video, here it is! It's my second video from San execution on-camera still needs a little work, but I'll get there with practice! ;) I tried to make the thought bubbles appear long enough to read them, but not so long that they ran into each other. They seem to be a bit short in this one, but it's hard for me to tell how the final video will actually flow in Camtasia because the audio and video are not always in sync. :o

I hope everyone has a great Valentine's Day! <3
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Monday, February 7, 2011

Tangible Tidbits 2011 #6: My First Video Blog Post!

Hey, all! Sorry I didn't get to post sooner, but I slept ALL DAY after returning from the Empowered Entrepreneurs workshop in San Diego this past weekend! :p I had a fabulous time, met a lot of very kewl people from all over the world, and learned a lot of incredibly useful information that will help me move my business forward. :)

Here's my first attempt at video blogging/vlogging. It is VERY unpolished and pretty raw, so be gentle with me if you make comments! Thanks! ;)

I'll be sharing lots more from my trip in the next few posts, but I have a lot of editing to do first. ;) This one was pretty down-and-dirty in the interest of time. :D

Did I mention I think I want to move to San Diego? 8D

Catch you later! I'm off to shower and head back to bed. I have to go back to "real life" in the morning. :\
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