Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tangible Tidbits 2011 # 26: Half-way Through 2011 Already!

Hi, everyone! This being the 26th weekly edition of my blog, that puts us at half-way through the year already! :o

I posted some more items on eBay this week, both on the company account and my personal one. I sold a broken soldering tool for $10 and a saw frame for $15! Taking out the listing fees, charitable donations, and -- in one case, shipping costs -- I'm not making out all that well. At least I am getting these things out of my house and into the hands of someone who will use them! :)

After a three-month hiatus, I published a new Factoid this week! I have to say, I'm pretty proud of this one: Ten Life Lessons I Have Learned From Making Jewelry. Coincidentally, this is my 10th contribution to Factoidz. :) I actually have a bunch of ideas for articles running through my head...I just haven't taken the time to write them out. I received an email earlier this week touting Microsoft OneNote for putting all of your lists and sticky notes in an electronic format. I'm thinking about doing that, so I can toss all of the piles of scribbled notes on my desk and book case. Hopefully, that will help me get more organized. I can then type my preliminary story ideas in OneNote and flesh out the articles later. Not to mention making sense out of all of my reminders and To-Do lists! :p

The article was also submitted to BSNJ for their newsletter. The editor said she may use it as soon as the August issue! :) I had sent her a bunch of other stuff, so I wasn't sure if she'd want to use an older one first. In any case, it seems I will be a "regular" (maybe semi-regular?) writer in that publication for a while! :D

I received an email today from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads regarding their Pearls, Organic Beads & Molding Clay Jewelry-Making Contest. The deadline is July 11, so I entered a couple of my pieces online this morning. For pearls, I entered my Cascade of Pearls pin. Had it won the Rings & Things contest I created it for last year, I could not enter it in this contest. For molding clay, I entered my Ferido™ resin pendant with Cowrie Shells, Turquoise chips and Freshwater Pearls on turquoise Greek leather necklace. I had to name the piece for the contest, so I came up with Summer Beach Party Necklace. It would probably have made more sense if the resin was sand-colored, but I came up with it on the spur-of-the-moment. :\

I'm caught up with posting product photos to Facebook, but I still have to update the listings on the website. I was adding data to my database today to price some of the newer pieces...I have to finish that before dealing with the website store updates. :o

Speaking of website updates, look for the new Focal Piece of the Month coming up later this week. This one consists of a bit more "storytelling" than many of the ones in the past. I think I may have to take that into consideration when selecting items for future spotlights if it is well-received. Let me know what you think when you read it! :D

One other "new" thing I did this week -- I cracked open a crystal geode! I ordered a set of three a while back, but was surprised when they looked like ordinary rocks when they arrived. I found a video online this week that explained I had to crack it open to see the crystals inside! DOH! I had already started experimenting with creating a beaded netting for one to make a paperweight, so I had to take the beads off to crack it open. Luckily, they still fit after! I ended up with two additional small pieces -- it did not crack in half -- that I will eventually wire-wrap as pendants. Always thinking ahead! :D

I had another NAET treatment yesterday -- it seems to be endless -- but I won't know how well it worked for another week or so. I will let you know my progress in next week's blog. :)

Gotta run...I still have a few chores to get done before bed. Later, all! ;)
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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tangible Tidbits 2011 # 25: Happy Father's Day!

Hey, all! Hope all of the fathers out there were appropriately feted today! :)

A few ladies at the office asked to see my "latest creations" (as one put it), so I am updating my binder. I had the majority of my photos already formatted, but I hadn't printed them out and inserted them because the ink is pretty expensive and the photos use a lot of it. Still, I'm glad I have a reason to get it done. I'm not finished, but it should be done by mid-week. :p Being slightly OCD, I have to have even numbers of pieces to fill the pages of the binder, since I usually fit 2-4 to a page and the pages are double-sided. I don't want to show it to people with blank pages in it. Therefore, I spent most of today creating new pieces to fill in the "open" slots: two bracelets, two rings, two pins/brooches, and a key chain. The new photos will be posted to Facebook this week. :)

As I've been working on the binder, I did not finish the last 10 percent of the office/studio clean-up, hence no video today. :\ I did charge the camera, though, so it's ready when I do get the job done!

Sadly, I did not win my category in BSNJ's Bead Challenge this past Thursday. :\ There were two other people who submitted pieces in my category, but even I have to admit the winner deserved it. :)

I forgot to mention last week that I signed up for a five-hour workshop in July. There are a few projects being covered that I want to learn, including wire knit chains and wire-wrapping a cabochon. :)

OH! And I placed in another affiliate marketing contest! Vans selected my submission on the Virtual Mall Facebook page as the 2nd place winner in the Show Us Your Best Placement Contest for the Yo Gabba Gabba Collection! That's a Vans gift card in the amount of $75! Two for two! :D

I've been a bit more active on eBay this week, posting three more items from the company and two personally: a ColdHeat™ Soldering Tool, which sold pretty quickly for parts, as it is not working (WHOO HOO!); a Eurotool® Soldering Tripod; and self-pickling flux. It turns out the $20 listing fee is for heavy duty metalworking equipment, so I listed these under Home & Garden > Tools > Welding & Soldering Tools. :D In addition, I listed a plantar fasciitis splint and the Buttoneer Fastening System from myself. The listings benefit, respectively: Habitat for Humanity International, the Alzheimer's Association National Office, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the American Heart Association National Center, and the Central and South Jersey Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. ;) Last week's two auctions should end in a few minutes.

Have a great week, one and all! :D
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tangible Tidbits 2011 # 24: Back To The Daily Grind...

Hi, all! I had a pretty productive "staycation" this week. That's the first time I've ever done that; I will definitely do it again! :D As the saying goes, though..."all good things must come to an end." Back to the office job tomorrow! :\

I've just finished putting up two items on eBay. I have a bunch more, but since it takes me forever to write the listings, I think I will quit for the night. ;) I posted a hot glue gun and all-purpose glue sticks, if anyone is interested. I was going to list them together, but it seems more advantageous to list them separately so that's what I did. I also posted them on my Facebook profile and two company pages, since a percentage of the sales is going to charity. :) I tried to list a soldering tripod, but there is a $20 insertion fee for metalworking equipment! :o I may have to rethink some of these items...or list them in a different category to avoid that fee. I will try a few other items later in the week and see what I can do. :p

A major task on my To-Do list this week was to organize my studio/office. I'm about 90 percent there, and I will try to get to the last 10 percent this week. Once I'm finished, I think I will film a quick video to show it off, and for posterity since it may not last long! LOL

I also started working on some minor repairs and unfinished projects that have been sitting around here. I would like to keep up with that as well, so I can finally get to a "clean slate." I'm maybe one-third of the way done with those. One thing I am trying to do is secure/reinforce some of my clasps...particularly toggle clasps. I decided to "enhance" the bar side with wire-wrapping, which will make it bulkier and therefore less likely to slip through the loop and open. I think there may be a Factoid on that subject to be written soon! LOL

One of the projects I completed is a second Bottle of Hope for the Bead Society to donate to cancer patients. This one is dark blue, in memory of two friends who had colon cancer. Here's the first one, in case you missed it. That one is purple and lavender for general cancer and pancreatic cancer (Grandma). I have one more kit to do. Since I don't have periwinkle beads for stomach cancer (Dad), I think I will do teal and white for cervical cancer. I will have to track down some periwinkle beads for the next go-round! ;)

Our final Bead Society meeting is this Thursday. We will break for the summer and resume in September. This week is the Bead Challenge, so people who participated will submit their projects anonymously in brown paper bags. All entries will be displayed and the members will vote in six categories. Mine is in the Wearable Objects category. Wish me luck! :) I asked the BSNJ President if I could bring my video camera and record the results in my category -- I thought that would make a fun and interesting blog post -- and I offered to submit it to the Society's Yahoo group and website. Unfortunately, she is afraid other members will get upset if their pieces -- or themselves in background shots for that matter -- end up on the internet. I plan to bring it up at the next Board meeting, as she suggested we get their feedback for future events. ;)

I had a follow-up NAET treatment for sugar and yeast yesterday. That was by far the easiest one to date, as I did not have to avoid water! Of the six calcium oxalate-related treatments we did a few weeks ago, four are all clear. I'm going back for the other two (calcium oxinate and oxalic acid) again on June 25. If this doesn't alleviate the itching problem, I will have to have treatments for vegetables, nuts, fruits, and spices, etc. individually. I'm really hoping it doesn't come to that! :o

That's more than enough for now. Have a great week! :)
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Monday, June 6, 2011

Tangible Tidbits 2011 # 23: Back in January 2010!

Since I am technically on vacation this week, I've decided to give myself a break and repost one of our early Focal Pieces of the Month. I'm sure most of you never saw these early ones, since the majority of my readers and followers have not been with me since December 2009. ;)

For our second Focal Piece of the Month, I thought I'd profile the pendant that is featured on the banner head of this website. It is a heart pendant framed in silver wire that was inspired by the Lavender Fields cuff bracelet kit by sb designs that appears to be very popular! The kit was purchased as part of the Intro to Wire Jewelry class I took in the Fall of 2009 at the Madison, Chatham & Florham Park Adult School. The technique is to create a frame out of thick wire -- in the case of the bracelet it is 16 gauge, but since the pendant is smaller and more delicate, I used a smaller gauge...I believe it was 20 gauge (in wire, the higher the gauge number, the thinner the wire). For the heart, I used my WigJig Olympus, a transparent plastic pegboard (think the children's games Battleship or LiteBrite, only smaller) into which metal pegs are inserted to create a pattern. The wire is then wrapped around the pegs to create the desired design. Check out WigJig's website here if you're interested for more information about the product: Beads & Jewelry Making Supplies By WigJig Store.

Once you have the frame, a thinner gauge wire — in this case 24 gauge was used, — string beads inside the frame. This project was created at the request of a coworker who wanted a Christmas gift for a friend. Her favorite colors are pinks and light purples, so we chose those colors for the beads. I also threw in some clear crystals and silver spacers to make it more eclectic. I used pink-white Freshwater Pearls in the piece. According to an article I found on Factoidz (it seems "Pearls: History, Uses, and Legendary Metaphysical Properties" is no longer available):

"Pearls are said to aid in meeting and overcoming various obstacles, while absorbing negative vibrations and energies; they are protective, yet they are also very soothing. They encourage loyalty, truth and honor as well as aiding in developing personal integrity and physical strength. They are useful for guarding off infections and irritability, as well as being beneficial to the digestive system. They transmit vibrations, which attract wisdom, love, and prosperity, while also aiding in balancing the emotions. They increase fertility as well as clarity of focus, and have an overall healing quality about them."

Have a great week! :)
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