Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #48: A Time For Reflection

Hey, everyone! I hope you all enjoyed your respective holidays. :) Ours were chaotic, as usual. ;) The kids all enjoyed themselves and most of the adults ate too much. :)) We even got some unexpected snow flurries on Christmas Eve! :-O MacKenzie got her first White Christmas already! :)) It also snowed today, enough to make everything slushy. :(

I tried to get on my computer yesterday morning to post my message as I had promised, but it froze up on me. I think Mercury is out to get me. :))

Given my recent birthday and Christmas, and New Year’s being only a blink away, this is usually the period when I tend to look back over the past year and think about how far I’ve come (or not). It seems like no matter how hard I work or what I do, I always seem to be in basically the same place from year to year. I look at the chasm between what I want my life to be and what it is, and I can’t figure out how to get where I want to be (the phrase "You can't get there from here" often comes to mind! :p). Many years ago, I joked with some friends that I would throw myself a "mid-life crisis shower" if I was still on my own when I was 45 years old, in order to make up for all of the bridal and baby showers I attended for my friends over the years. ;) Well, it looks like 363 days and counting before that happens. It would not be the first time I made a sarcastic crack about my life that eventually came true. :-O I understand the concept of self-fulfilling prophesies, but I never really thought I was turning the tide in that direction. I’ve learned a lot in the past few years, but somehow bridging the gap between knowledge and execution has still eluded me. Astrologers say 2013 will bring many positive changes, but I can’t help but think that this time next year, I will still be in basically the same place I’ve always been...although the Universe is free to prove me wrong at any time! ;) The two things I never wanted to be are broke and lonely. I haven’t always been broke (thankfully), although I am now...but I have been lonely for most of my life. Being surrounded by people does not change that feeling of deep down loneliness. Apparently, there is some secret to resolving this issue that I have not yet learned. Maybe next year? :P

This is my last post for 2012. I wish everyone a safe, healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year! Until next time, take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #47: Holiday Season Wrap Up

Hi, everyone! I’m really sorry I didn’t get here last week. I actually did write the blog post, but I never got online to post it. Other than access via my phone and a little bit on my Netbook, I wasn’t online for nearly two weeks! :-O My oldest niece even complained to my mother about how slow the Netbook is while she was trying to get some of her homework done one day last week. :-/

Things at the office have been crazy lately – I clocked in 86 or 87 hours in the past two weeks, and my regular work week is usually 25 hours! :P In addition to the regular end-of-the-year surge in activity, we got hit with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The vault of the Depositary Trust Company (DTC) in Manhattan was flooded in the storm...what do you expect with the address of 55 Water Street?...and they began processing the replacement of all of the certificates that were lost/damaged/ destroyed. It’s going to be a long time before any of us forget Sandy, I assure you. :P

I finally repaired my coworker’s Freshwater Pearl necklace on Saturday, and priced out a necklace and lanyard for two other coworkers on Sunday. With working so many hours and Christmas coming up next week – I finished shopping, but haven’t wrapped anything – I will have my hands full this week. My two older nieces are sleeping over on Friday night so we can assemble gingerbread houses and bake Christmas cookies. The baby isn’t ready for a sleepover yet...much less accomplishing anything other than eating, sleeping, and pooping! :)) She will be making her first public debut on Sunday, though, at a friend’s holiday open house. ;)

I posted a new social media poster yesterday...I only have one left, so I have to make some more. :P I’m embarrassingly behind on typing up the meeting minutes from BSNJ’s November general meeting and recent Board meeting. That’s something else I will have to get done this week. :-O

My birthday is next Monday...which also happens to be Christmas I may not post until Tuesday. We have our big family celebration on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day is more low-key until Mom and I go to my sister’s house for dinner. So, I anticipate having some time in the morning and early afternoon. Hopefully, by putting it in writing, I will actually deliver as promised. :))

There are no words to express my feelings about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT on Friday. I can only say there are 26 new angels in Heaven...all of whom had no right being called back as soon as they were. My sincerest condolences to everyone affected by that tragedy. Having a "Merry Christmas" will be inconceivable for them, and it will be a really long time before their lives can be put back together again, if that’s even possible. I may not say it a lot, but I am truly grateful for the wonderful people I have in my life, including all of you. :D

Until next time, take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #46: ’Tis That Season Again...

Hi, all! I posted a picture of me and Kenzie from my first visit with her on Facebook over the weekend. :) We got to spend some aunt-niece bonding time over this weekend, when I did her 6:15 a.m. feeding on Saturday morning. Why was I there that early, you may ask? Because I got a phone call at 2:15 a.m. to go over there and stay with the girls, as my brother-in-law had to take my sister to the Emergency Room. She’d had a neck ache for a couple of days and started a bad migraine at 6:00 p.m. on Friday night that did not respond to her over-the-counter medication. :( She got a clear CT brain scan (WHEW! #:-S), and they gave her four different medications until they found one that worked. They think she may have a herniated disc. She’s hoping to get an MRI in the next day or two, so hopefully we will get a firm diagnosis and figure out what’s next. Never a dull moment, eh? :P

Earlier on Friday evening, I attended 1978 Maplewood Arts Center’s Preview Party for the BANG VII (Buy Art Now Guys) art show and sale. A coworker and her husband showed up, which was really fun for me. :D They came back to my house afterward to see my collection, and picked out a few items to purchase! B-) She picked out a bracelet for her hubby to give her for Christmas, and they picked out a necklace and earrings for their daughter. ;) Hopefully, I’ll sell a few items at the gallery sale, which ends next Sunday. I’ve done pretty well so far this holiday season, but the money is unfortunately spent before I even get it these days. :-/

As I mentioned last week, I went down to Tinton Falls to work on some unfinished objects (called UFOs) with some Bead Society members on Tuesday evening. There were only four or five of us, but it was really fun! I finished the bracelet I’d started at the workshop I attended in mid-November, and got half-way through the Peyote crystal project from our September meeting. As predicted, I got home about 3:00 a.m., so I really needed that day off on Wednesday! :)) Of course, with the law of cause-and-effect fully engaged, I had to work long hours at the office the other four days to keep up with the workload. At least my next paycheck should reflect my efforts. ;)

I have a few projects I have to work on in the next few weeks, for which I will be paid (YAY!). I have a multi-strand freshwater pearl necklace that has to be reinforced and parts of it restrung for a coworker, a Kumihimo lanyard to make for a second coworker, and a bookmark for a third one. I guess I should be grateful for the office job for more than reasons than just a paycheck, eh? :))

Unfortunately, I really haven’t been motivated lately with all of the extra hours at the office and off-and-on daily life drama, so I really have to get my act together. Sadly, not even the promise of incoming money has been enough to get my butt in gear! :-O I think I have a mild case of holiday seasonal depression. I had it for eight years after my paternal grandfather passed away on December 21, 1994. When my maternal grandfather and father died in September 2002, I just went into a deep all-year-round depression. :( That was finally lifting in the summer of 2004, right before my uncle was killed in a car accident. :-O I’ve been much better since sometime in 2007, but then my maternal (and only) grandmother passed away on December 26, 2008. Do you see a pattern here? :P Anyway, it shouldn’t really surprise me I’m feeling out-of-sorts. Part of me wishes I could fast-forward to the middle of January and skip even my birthday, but part of me wants to take part in the holiday festivities – that’s pretty much how I know it is only a mild depression this time. May be there’s hope for me yet? :P ;) [Editor's note: I got a call from my doctor today that my Vitamin D level is low, and she's giving me a prescription for it to be taken for two months, followed by an over-the-counter variety for another couple of weeks before retesting my blood. So, there may be an actual medical reason for my about that? :)) ]

And on that cheery note, take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #45: I Saw Her...And Held Her!

Hey, everyone! Well, I finally got to meet my new niece yesterday...and I even held her! :D Mom said that because I was half-way through with the antibiotics, I wouldn’t be contagious…and I promised not to cough on her! :P She’s very small, very pink, and – at least for me – very quiet! :)) Although, she seems to be more prone to taking formula than breast milk, and she apparently can only sleep at night with someone holding her! :-O My sister and brother-in-law have been taking turns. Man, I’ll bet that makes for some long nights! :-/ Other than experiencing cold fingers and toes – which her parents keep covered -- she seems pretty perfect to me. :D

While over there yesterday, the girls made me play the “Smurf Dance Party” Wii game, which they had borrowed from the library. In my four rounds, I was undefeated! :)) At least I got some exercise in the process. ;)

I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a good one. Ours included lots of people and lots of food, as it should be. ;) Mom and I brought the girls to my cousin’s house, since the baby had just gotten home from the hospital that morning. She had a quiet Thanksgiving with her parents in her new home. :)

I delivered items to 1978 Maplewood Arts Center for BANG VII (Buy Art Now Guys), which takes place the first two weekends in December (12/1-2 and 12/8-9 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). There’s a preview party this coming Friday evening, November 30, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. that I’m planning to attend. I didn’t go last year because I had messed up my knee that week, so it will be the first time I’ve gone. ;)

Some of the members of the Bead Society are getting together tomorrow night in Tinton Falls to finish the projects we started in the recent workshops with Melissa Grakowsky Shippee. I’ve taken off from the office on Wednesday, since the last time I was down there socially, I ended up getting home at 3:00 a.m.! :-O I really want to finish the bracelet I started in class, and I will also bring the Peyote crystal project from our September meeting, which I have not touched since that night. :-/ Hopefully, I will be able to at least complete the bracelet and get some momentum going on the crystal. :)

With Mercury ending its retrograde period this week, hopefully I will be less frustrated getting on the desktop computer. It seems that whenever Mercury is retrograde, my computer gets annoyingly slow and frustrating to use. I haven’t been on it since before Thanksgiving, but I really have to get some stuff done that I can’t do on my Netbook or cell phone. I’m wondering if a tablet would help…or if that would be as limiting as the Netbook. I really have to find a way to motivate myself more to get online, which my former message board friends will find very ironic! :))

I finally got around to publishing a new social media poster today! Better late than never! :-O

Can you believe it will be December next week? Did this year fly by, or what? :P Until next time, take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #44: Baby Watch 2012

Hi everyone! I am sleeping over my sister’s house tonight so I can get the girls ready for school in the morning. My sister is being admitted to the hospital so they can induce her tomorrow and my brother-in-law, naturally, is staying with her. Hopefully, by this time tomorrow MacKenzie Glanzman Linton will be here! B-) Unfortunately, I caught another cold over the weekend, so I may not get to meet her for a while yet. :P

Last Thursday night, we had the November BSNJ meeting with guest speaker Melissa Grakowsky Shippee. She also taught two weekend workshops, and I attended the one on Friday evening. I was working on a beaded Filigree bracelet, and I am probably two-thirds of the way done with it. I’d like to finish it sooner rather than later, but I have a bad habit of leaving things like that undone for a while. :-o Anyway, I had a lot of fun at these two events, but stayed out too late both nights. :-/

On Saturday, I was at the National Arts Honor Society Holiday Art & Craft Fair at North Warren Regional High School in Blairstown. It was about 1-1/2 hours by car each way, so it was a pretty long day. The gym where the event was held was pretty cold, so that’s how I caught the cold I now have. :( I left a voicemail for my allergist’s office before I left there, requesting they give me antibiotics or Prednisone again. :P I’ve got to get better so I can meet my new niece later in the week! ;) As for the event, it was a bust…but I made friends with the vendor sitting next to me, so it made the day pass more quickly, at least. :) All of the vendors were unhappy with the turnout, so it wasn’t just me. I’ve decided not to participate in any “unknown” events without first checking them out as an attendee in the future. I may have to wait a year to participate in anything worthwhile, but it would spare me the wear-and-tear of vending at an event with very little purchasing traffic. :P

While at the show on Saturday, I made a pair of silver and black macramé beaded hoop earrings requested by a coworker. I was really pleased with how they turned out, and so was she! :D

I heard back from the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco last week. I was not awarded a scholarship. :-/ However, I did clear up my back fees at Montclair State, and am registering for the 400-level Metalwork & Jewelry class for next semester! B-) The downside is that the class is being taught by the director of the program, whose taste differs from mine. :-/ I suppose I will have another chance to win him over. Wish me luck with that! :))

I didn't have a chance to post a social media poster this weekend, so I will post one later in the week and show it to you next week. :)

To those of you in the United States, enjoy your Thanksgiving on Thursday! ;) To everyone else, take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #43: Hitting the Highlights Post-Hurricane Sandy

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! :)) As I’m sure you already know, Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey pretty hard. Personally, my entire family – aunts/uncles/cousins/sister’s family were all without power for at least eight days. Luckily, the majority of us got it back within a few hours of each other. At one point, my sister had an electrician hook her furnace up to the generator they bought just before the storm, so they at least got some heat. Mom and I do have a gas water heater, so we could take hot showers. Luckily, my cell phone worked and I can charge it in the car without the motor running, so that was my link to the outside world. ;) We went out to dinner every night and went to bed early, simply because it was the warmest place to be! :P However, we fared much better than the Jersey Shore and other areas near bodies of water. The devastation is unreal…some people are still without power, and many are without habitable homes or any home at all. I can’t even imagine finding sand, dead fish, and boardwalk planks in my living room, as have been reported. As much as we were inconvenienced, we were tremendously lucky. It can always be worse. :-/

I was in the middle of publishing my blog post on Monday, October 29 when we lost power. Honestly, I can’t even remember what happened that long ago, much less what I wanted to write. Here’s a basic list of what’s happened in my life since my last post:

• This is the first time I’ve turned on my desktop since the power went out, although I have monitored my email and Facebook pages via my cell phone. ;) Here’s the latest social media poster, albeit a bit late. :-O

• I couldn’t make jewelry during the power outage because (1) it was dark, and (2) my hands were too cold to make anything! :-O

• My doctor confirmed that I started Perimenopause over the summer. I was not surprised because I had a feeling that it was happening, but hearing it confirmed freaked me out a little. I’m 6-7 years younger than my mother was when it happened to her. As I told my psychiatrist recently, I kind of feel like a phase of my life is ending before I got a chance to really experience it. :( C’est la vie!

• Fire Mountain Gems and Beads has featured me as a Success Story on its website! I’m on a roll! :))

• I started a lanyard for a coworker using my Kumihimo disk yesterday while at the 4th Annual Jewels of New Jersey Show. Even though she picked out the cords herself, it’s bulkier than she expected and I ran out of cord before I could reach her desired length anyway. Back to the drawing board! :-/

• I sold a few pieces at the Jewels of New Jersey show; although not as many as I would have liked. The good news is that the two people who were really excited about my work (Hi, Marlene & Dave! ;) ) are employees of the Monroe Township Public Library, for which the event is a fundraiser. Hopefully, that means they will be there every year! :D Dave wanted two of my wax cast rings, but they were too small. I stretched one last night, and the other one this afternoon. He told me if I couldn’t stretch them, I could make something else for him when I go back to MSU next semester. :D

That’s probably more than enough for now. If I remember anything else noteworthy, I will let you know next week. Until then, take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #42: Five Weeks And Counting...

Hi, everyone! I think I’ve finally resolved the blog posting issue with Google least until that browser flakes out on me. :))

Late last week, I received an email regarding the National Art Honor Society of North Warren Regional High School’s Holiday Art Fair. It seems my initial inquiry resulted in the committee reserving a space for me, which was nice of them as registration is on a "first come, first served" basis. I decided to give it a shot, since the show is the Saturday after Jewels of New Jersey, so everything will already be packed up. ;) It’s a bit of a hike for me (I’m thinking about an hour away?), and set-up starts at 7:00 a.m. – I have to find out what time the show actually starts! – but if I can make enough money above and beyond the registration fee, I guess it will be worth it. :P Wish me luck! ;)

Here’s this week’s social media poster. I only have one left "in reserve," so I will have to make some more before next Friday. :)

Our October BSNJ meeting last Thursday was a lot of fun! We learned how to use a Kumihimo disk to create multi-strand braids. I’ve seen them before, but I’d never tried it. It’s pretty easy! :) I made a lanyard for my office swipe card and the November Focal Piece of the Month using the disk. It’s one of those portable things you can take with you anywhere without a lot of difficulty, so I will probably bring it with me to the craft shows I attend to keep me busy between customers. Plus, people like to watch you working on something as they pass by...and sometimes, it even makes them stop! ;)

Friday was the pre-baby luncheon for my sister, thrown by her stay-at-home mom friends. It was nice...she got a lot of clothes! I was the only non-mother there, but it wasn’t too uncomfortable for me because I knew a few people from attending my nieces’ various events and also two people who are her friends from high school. ;) Five weeks to go! Wow, it’s going least for me! :))

On Saturday, Mom and I attended my nieces’ travel team softball game in Warren. Their team lost 12-1, but they apparently haven’t done well all season. :-O This coming week is their last game for the Fall, and I know their team(s) usually perform better in the Spring. I give them a lot of credit for keeping up with it in the "off season." ;)

On Sunday. I had tickets to see A Chorus Line at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. I have season tickets for four shows (the regular season is five, but Mom is taking me and the girls to the fifth show for her birthday). They are all Sunday matinees, but I apparently had the wrong time listed in my calendar and missed the first half of the show. :-O Luckily, I was able to exchange the ticket for the evening performance, which I did. It was a good show that I had never seen before. I knew a couple of the songs – and I remember the commercials from when it was on Broadway when I was a kid – so it wasn’t entirely "new" to me. ;) I’m glad I saw it, but I don’t think it’s one of my all-time favorite shows. They’ve dedicated the show’s run to its composer Marvin Hamlisch, who passed away in August.

I told you I had a busy weekend planned, didn’t I? :))

Until next time...take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #41: I Love Rock 'N' Roll...

Hi, everyone! Well, posting last week’s blog entry turned out to be even more arduous than the previous week’s had been. :P As it turns out, Blogger is not compatible with Opera, so I ended up trying four different browsers before I could get it posted correctly. I did get the main message posted, but I’d forgotten to add the tag labels, and the browser I used to post the message wouldn’t let me publish an edited post! :-O I ended up deleting the original post and starting over again...luckily, I’d left the other browser windows open so I could just copy-and-paste them. :P I think Chrome ended up being the winner, but I will find out while posting this message. I’d better start early! :))

A little while ago, I submitted my application for the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts’ 2013 Scholarship for Beaders. The deadline is today, so I kind of waited until the last minute. :-/ At least I DID get it done! ;) Wish me luck! :D

I received a call for entries to participate in a Holiday Art & Craft Fair on November 17, sponsored by the National Art Honor Society of North Warren Regional High School in Warren County, NJ, earlier this week. I decided not to apply for it this year. The entry fee wasn’t that much, but considering I’m not familiar with this show I didn’t really want to take the gamble that I could be throwing my money away. I’ve also kind of made a decision not to start any new projects unless they are for a specific purpose or the result of a class I’m taking. I have an obscene amount of inventory sitting around here, and until I sell off a fair amount of it, I really don’t have the room to stockpile more stuff just for the sake of “playing around.” I’m hoping the Jewels of New Jersey show in November and BANG VII (Buy Art Now Guys!) in early December will help reduce my inventory. :-/

The new springs for my pliers came in this week, and I tested them out yesterday while making a present to give my sister at her pre-baby luncheon this coming Friday. So far, so good! ;) My nieces were over last night and they really like it, but the jury is out on whether or not my sister will actually wear it.’s the thought that counts, right? ;) I’ll let you know what it is and how it was received next week. I don’t want to publish what it is yet, on the off-chance one of my readers sees and/or talks to her before Friday. Better safe than sorry! :P

Here’s this week’s social media poster. ;)

On the social scene, I had a double-header on Friday night…first was dinner with two coworkers who treated me to celebrate my Feature Artist of the Month page on They are two of my best clients, so it was really sweet of them to take me out! :) After dinner, I hooked up with some high school friends for darts and pool. I scored a designated driver at the last minute, so I had a really good time! :)) We played two games of darts and three games of pool revolving players on teams...and I was the only one of the five of us who was undefeated! :)) We laughed a lot and got a little silly, but that’s allowed from time to time. :P We left about 2:30 am...and I got to bed about 3:30 a.m. Guess what time I finally got out of bed on Saturday? 4:00 PM! :-O I pretty much missed Saturday, but I guess I really needed the rest. :-/

Mom and I watched Rock of Ages On Demand on Saturday night. I consider the 1980s my "era," so I really like the music in it. I saw the show on Broadway a couple of years ago with high school friends and we had a blast! B-) Mom and I agreed Alec Baldwin was miscast in the role of Dennis Dupree. And I’m not much of a Tom Cruise fan in recent years, but I enjoyed the movie in spite of him. :)) All of the actors did their own singing in the flick, so I give them a lot of credit for that...
especially the ones who are not known for their singing ability. ;) All in all, it was a pretty good weekend. :D

Next weekend will be even busier, but I will save that for next week’s post. Until then...take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #40: Twenty Seconds of Insane Courage

Hi, everyone! Last week, I promised to let you know why I couldn’t post until Tuesday. Well, I had the post all written and ready to go, but I’ve been having problems with my web browser for quite a versions of Mozilla Firefox and Adobe Flash Player are not cooperating. Considering how much Flash is used on so many websites these days, I kept getting pop up messages saying that Flash Player wasn’t working. On Facebook alone, I’d get the message at least half a dozen times in the span of five minutes! That made getting anything accomplished next to impossible, not to mention frustrating. So, I was in the process of switching my Favorites links over to Opera, because I know the Flash Player works on it, but I couldn’t access my Blogger account. I’d had the password saved in Firefox, and I apparently remembered it incorrectly. Finally, I ended up accessing the account in Firefox and changing the password. Don’t you just love technology? :P

Last Wednesday was my first productive day off. :)) I created four new social media posters – I just posted one today because my nieces slept over this weekend and I didn’t get online at all. ;) I also emailed The Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts regarding its 2013 Scholarship for Beaders. As it turns out, I can apply now and defer it until next fall...or wait to apply until next year. The response I received back from my inquiry said, "That would be fine." :-O I asked for clarification regarding which option would be fine and he replied "It’s up to you." So, I think I will apply this year and if I don’t get it, I can always try again next year. :)

At the suggestion of my former wire jewelry teacher/friend, I contacted the vendor from which I purchased my set of Lindstrom pliers…they are high quality pliers, and not cheap. It turns out that the first batch made in Spain instead of Sweden had bad springs on them, which explains why mine keep popping out. I love the pliers, but working with them has become a pain. My friend told me they should send me a free replacement set of springs – they usually cost in the ballpark of $25, she said – if I contact the technical support area, as they are aware of the problem. I’m relieved to report that a new set is on its way to me right now! :D I find myself avoiding using the tools because of the problem with the springs...I didn’t even realize replacements could be purchased! Now that I’ve got my issues with my computer AND my tools straightened out, I guess my next hurdle is sorting out the mess in my studio/office, which has spilled into my bedroom! :-/ Maybe by the end of the year I will have my life together. One can only hope. :))

I received a letter from Rings & Things stating that I didn’t place in their Pick Your Palette Crystal Jams™ Challenge with Swarovski Elements, so I nominated the same piece for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads’ Swarovski Elements Jewelry-making Contest. Fire Mountain won’t let you nominate pieces that have won awards in other contests. I just received notification that their Metal Jewelry-making Contest is now open for pieces featuring Precious Metal Clay (PMC), metal beads, wire, and/or chain…I’ll have to look through my work and see if I have anything appropriate to submit for that one. At this point, I have so many pieces that I try to enter existing ones in contests rather than creating new ones from scratch. ;)

Don’t forget! Please vote for my two entries in Stones and Findings Component Design Contest! Voting closes 4:00pm EST, on October 15th. Thank you! :D

I watched "We Bought A Zoo" over the weekend with my nieces. Matt Damon’s character had a fantastic line: "You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it." I LOVE that! B-)

Take care and have a great week! B-)

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #39: It's A Good Thing I Have A Sense of Humor!

Hi, everyone! I will explain the delay next week. :-O Let’s start with a chuckle today, shall we? ;) This was my Facebook status update this past Saturday:

“Just got a hot cider at Dunkin' Donuts...Fall has arrived! If only the kid at the register didn't tell me I could have a free donut with an AARP card. :P”

For my international friends, AARP is the American Association of Retired Persons. I believe you have to be at least 50 or 55 to join. :-O The kid was lucky...I just laughed it off. :))

I posted my last social media poster yesterday, so I have to make some more this week. I try to make a bunch at a time, so I don’t have to think about it every week. ;)

It looks like I didn’t place in Beadaholique’s Autumn Colors contest, as the top 10 entries were posted on Facebook for public voting and mine wasn’t among them. :-/ I think I’m going to submit it and a few other pieces to the The Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts’ 2013 Scholarship for Beaders. The scholarship is open to “anyone who makes beaded jewelry and would like to learn more about traditional jewelry making in metal” to apply. The winner will receive a scholarship for full tuition, kit fees, airfare from anywhere in the U.S., and lodging in San Francisco!” Can you imagine? The deadline for applications is October 15. I have to call them to check and see if it would apply for the Spring; if so, I can’t do it because I will lose the MJSA Education Foundation scholarship for $900 to attend MSU next semester. I’m hoping it would be good for all next year, in which case I could go in the fall if I won. Not that I expect to win…but I will never know if I don’t try, right? ;) It’s really too good of an opportunity to pass up with literally everything covered! :-O In addition to the glass Opal ring, I want to submit my Totally Twisted Swan, Pretty in Purple, embroidered red and green teardrop rivoli, and black & gold embroidered pendant necklaces. I think they are the best examples of my beadwork to date. :)

Speaking of MSU, I made my first payment in September toward alleviating my debt, and I’m now enrolled in a payment plan. I want to have it completely paid off before the beginning of next year, so I have three months to get it done. It should be manageable...although throwing the holidays and my sister’s new baby in there may make it a bit harder than it would be otherwise. :-/

Some of my sister’s stay-at-home Mom friends are throwing her a pre-baby luncheon in mid-October and she asked if I wanted to attend. She’s not really comfortable with people making such a fuss about it, since it isn’t her first child. She said it wouldn’t be on a Wednesday because one of the hostesses works on Wednesday, so I may try to switch my day off that week if I get enough notice. I have a Gund My First Puppy already for the baby because my older niece has a Pink Puppy (which is now gray from constant companionship! :)) ) and the younger one has a Blue Puppy. The style the girls have was discontinued, but we all wanted Mackenzie to have the same one in a different color. I was lucky enough to find a tan one on eBay, so I snatched it up. The girls were so excited! :D I figure I will bring that to the party if I go, possibly along with something else for my sister. ;)

Here’s the link to my’s Feature Artist of the Month page! WHOO HOO! B-)

And please vote for my two entries in Stones and Findings Component Design Contest! Voting closes 4:00pm EST, on October 15th. Thank you! :D

Gotta run now. Take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #38: I'm A Featured Artist!

Hello, everyone! I got some exciting news on Friday via email. I will be’s Featured Artist for the month of October! :D I applied sometime last year and kind of forgot about it -- of course, it’s always in the back of my mind when I get the email announcing their selection each month. ;) Now, it’s finally my turn! :))

At Thursday’s BSNJ meeting, we started – I can’t imagine anyone finished that night ;) -- a sun catcher crystal decorated with either a winter or Halloween scene. I chose the winter scene, so I’d have a bit more time to work on it. ;) This was my first time working with a pattern, so that was a valuable experience for me. I also used a Peyote Quick Start card, which Deb Moffett-Hall, the speaker, recently developed. It definitely makes starting a new Peyote piece easier, IMHO. Peyote itself is a pretty easy stitch, but starting it off...actually, starting off any new piece for that matter! :))...can sometimes be a bit daunting. :P After restarting my piece three times, due mostly to counting errors in reading the pattern, I made a fair amount of progress. Naturally, I haven’t touched it again since that night, though. :-O

Yesterday afternoon, I was finally able to submit the new ring -- also featured as the new Focal Piece of the Month -- to Beadaholique’s Autumn Colors contest, as well as a bracelet in Fire Mountain Gems and Beads’ Swarovski Elements Jewelry-making Contest. It’s the same bracelet I entered in Rings and Things’ Pick Your Palette Crystal Jams™ Challenge with Swarovski Elements. I doubt it is complex enough to impress the Fire Mountain judges, but I figured I would give it a shot, anyway. :P

Stones and Findings did accept my “Battered Heart” pendant drawing, posted here. I was thinking I might submit a few other drawings, but I doubt I will have the time to make any good ones before the deadline. Maybe they’ll do this again next year, and I will have more time to plan ahead if they do. ;)

Here is this week’s social media poster, which didn’t get posted until late Saturday. :\ I did end up going to my colleague’s wedding ceremony on Friday night, but I skipped the party afterward. It was a really nice ceremony and she looked really happy. :)

I did schedule myself to take Wednesdays off from the office for the next five weeks, as I mentioned I was contemplating last week. I will end up working extra hours on Thursday and Friday to keep up with the work load, but it’s better than trying to catch up after being out for a whole week at once. :p Hopefully, I can use the time to get my life organized, as I don’t really have the energy on the weekends after keeping so busy during the week. :-O

And on that note, I will sign off. Take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #37: Having A Seriously Social Week

Hi, folks! I am happy to report that I am feeling much better this week after taking the day off work last Tuesday and a visit to the allergist on Friday. He thinks I actually had a cold, but that by the end of the week it kicked in my cough-variant asthma. He renewed a few subscriptions and gave me one for an antibiotic, but he wanted me to wait until after the weekend to see if I really needed it. I’ve pretty much decided I won’t take it. :)

Our Facebook page hit 1,200 Likes this week! :-bd

I did not yet enter the opal beaded ring I made last week in the Beadaholique contest as I said I would, but I did fix up both drawings for the Stones and Findings contest and entered them. The Angel in Flight component – I changed it into a connector link for the contest – has been accepted and was posted here. The Battered Heart drawing – now a pendant – is being reviewed, as their artist has to decide if they can do it as a wax cast, which was how I created the original. The drawing turned out really well, so I’m hoping it’s accepted. :)

This is going to be a crazy week! I am assisting with a class at the Madison, Chatham, & Florham Park Adult School on Tuesday evening. The school is celebrating its 75th anniversary with classes from when it was founded with 1937 prices, and my former wirework teacher has 24 students registered for her one-time class. She asked for assistance, and I offered to help. In exchange, I basically get to take the class and pick up one of the project kits for free. It’s a simple earring project...should be fun! Then, we have our first Bead Society meeting of the new year (we meet September through June) on Thursday. We have a guest speaker coming with a hands-on project for holiday decorations, so that should get us into the fall spirit in a hurry! O:-) Finally, on Friday evening one of my coworkers is getting married. I want to go to the ceremony, although I haven’t decided whether or not to attend the reception at her house afterward. She emailed the whole department with the Save the Date information last week...I didn’t even know she was getting married until after the email went out! :))

Somewhere in there, I want to apply for 1978 Arts Center’s B.A.N.G. (Buy Art Now Guys!) VII, which will be held December 1 & 2 and 8 & 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. I've been lucky enough to sell items both years I’ve participated, so I don’t want to miss it! ;)

I'm contemplating taking five vacation/personal days from the office, one a week in October. This will leave me with two vacation days in case something comes up before the end of the year. I may take Wednesdays off, but I have to check with TPTB (The Powers That Be) first. I back up a supervisor who has 13 days left, and she's thinking about taking some Mondays and Fridays. I figured that me taking Wednesdays would create the least amount of conflict. If I do this, I am hoping I will take advantage of the time to really get my act together in the computer room/studio, but we'll have to see. Being out regularly will require me to work extra hours on Thursday and Friday to keep up with the workload, since I don’t have much help. That will mean extra money that I can put toward school next semester, so this may be the best solution all around. ;)

I almost's the link to this week's social media poster.

That's all for today. Take care and have a great week! B-)

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #36: The Wonderful World of Allergies

Hey, one and all! Well, it seems allergy season kicked in with full force here over the weekend. I drafted this post yesterday, but I couldn’t bring myself to do anything at all last night. I can’t breathe, my throat is raw from post-nasal drip, and I slept even worse for the past few nights than I usually do. It's going to be a looooooooong fall season if this is any indication! :P

While we were in Ocean City, my younger niece kept pointing out the video cameras on traffic lights, installed to catch people who run red lights. I'd read a column about them in The Star-Ledger that cited an instance in Newark, NJ, but I was not aware how prevalent they are. Since we got back, I've started noticing them around town. One in particular is at an intersection where I occasionally "race the light" on my way to work in the morning because I will have to wait three minutes for it to change again if I miss it. It occurred to me yesterday morning that I also have to start paying closer attention to which intersections allow a right turn on red and which ones do not. If I miss the sign and make a turn anyway, it will now most likely be caught on camera! #-o The article I read stated that the ticket the columnist received was $85. I don’t know if that is universal or set by municipality, but I can't afford that! :-O

On Sunday afternoon, my sister and nieces met me at the 1978 Arts Center's 3rd Annual Members Show. My younger niece dragged me around by the hand to look at certain pictures and pieces. She said she particularly liked the two jewelry pieces – I was the only jewelry artist in the show this year ;) – and asked me if I knew the artist. I told her, "We're very close." :)) After touring the exhibit, we went down to the center of town for frozen yogurt. The weather was nice and sunny...unlike Saturday, which was pretty gray all it made for an enjoyable afternoon. :)

Here’s the link to this week’s social media poster, which I posted for the anniversary of September 11 this week. :(

I finally finished the October Focal Piece – an embroidered glass Opal ring – and added an elastic Swarovski Elements crystal band to one of my watches, as I wanted to wear both to the exhibit on Sunday. The colors in the ring are perfect for Beadaholique’s Autumn Colors contest, so I will be entering the ring in that contest this week. In addition, a member of the Bead Society sent a message to our Yahoo Group regarding the Stones and Findings' Sterling Silver Component Design Contest, which I also plan to enter. I looked through my sketch books from MSU and found a really good one of my Angel in Flight pendant that I'd like to submit, although I have to edit the scan because I have some notes on it and lines pointing to certain areas of the design for clarification that I want to remove. Did I ever mention that I added resin to the original piece? I haven't had a chance to clean it up yet, but I mixed some light peach together – using orange, white and pink – while I was playing with the Apoxie® Sculpt resin a number of weeks ago. I had already inserted the white parts for the angel's gown during my classes at MSU, so this was the last step toward finishing it. Anyway, the component in the contest would just be the silver outline without the resin added. I also want to fix up the sketch – or possibly start over again – of my Battered Heart ring and submit just the heart portion as a possible pendant or link. We'll have to see how ambitious I am between now and the October 1 deadline, as up to 10 entries may be submitted per person. ;)

Enjoy the Back-to-School weather while it lasts! I hear it's due to get warmer again by the end of the week. Is it any wonder people get sick this time of year? 8-|

Take care and have a great week! B-)

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #35: Setting The Record Straight

Hi, everyone! Well, I got back from my vacation on Saturday, only to go down the shore on Sunday for a family pool party/BBQ at my aunt's house. Yesterday, I literally did nothing ALL day long...I didn't even change out of my pajamas! :P I finally plugged in my desktop mouse a little while ago and I am now going through copious amounts of emails.

I want to clarify one item from last week, and then I will feature another Focal Piece Flashback from June 2010...this is only the second time this year I've done a flashback, so that's pretty good! ;)

While posting "on location," I mentioned that last week's social media poster quote was also used by another jewelry site on Facebook the day after I posted mine. I did see it had a Facebook time stamp dated that day, but it turns out after some research that the designer had used the same quote with multiple pictures, and it was originally posted on her page at the end of July. I sincerely apologize for the suggestion that she copied me. I may, in fact, have copied her if I saw the quote and saved it for future use. I don't specifically recall if the quote was the result of an internet search, although I assumed it was. 8-|

Incidentally, here's this week's social media poster. I like this one a lot. B-)

I'm almost embarrassed to post this Focal Piece of the Month, as I apparently had some grandiose ideas that never came to fruition. :-/

Flower Gems™

A few months ago, one of my former coworkers asked me to make her some light pink clip earrings. I know she likes big earrings, so I did some searching for materials that I thought would work...but I couldn't come up with any beads that were large enough. As the saying goes, "Necessity is the mother of invention." Since I couldn't find anything large enough, I decided to experiment and make something on my own. What I originally came up with was an approximately one-inch piece of 6mm Dusty Rose WireLace®, "expanded to create lacy waves" as the WireLace® website suggests. Then, I stitched a pink Czech pearlized faceted glass bead into the center using clear illusion cord and strung seed beads (size 11, I believe) in various shades of pink on the cord. I then wrapped the seed beads in spirals around the center bead, using GS Hypo Cement to keep the beads in place. This glue was recommended by the manufacturer of WireLace® for use with this product. My friend liked the concept and the color, but asked if I could make them bigger. I had a feeling that might happen. So, I went back home and decided to add two more pieces of WireLace®, one to each side of the original piece. The end result looked like a flower, which I thought was really cool! And my coworker loved them! She wanted a second pair in yellow, but WireLace® doesn't come in a canary yellow, although it does come in 31 colors. WireLace® is a relatively new product, so they will hopefully expand their color chart in due time. My colleague and I decided to try Marigold WireLace® with yellow beads. The other two options were Pale Gold and Brass, but neither one had a very yellow-ish tint. At least Marigold is in the yellow family! I used lemon yellow pearls in the center this time, along with various yellow seed beads to to brighten up the earrings. I had originally only wrapped the seed beads around twice, as with the pink set. My friend asked if I could make them "more yellow," so I went back and wrapped them around another two times, making it four overall. Personally, I like them better with fewer wraps. The bigger the center, the more it takes away from the overall look, IMHO. I certainly hope WireLace® comes out with a brighter yellow one day!

I tried to think of a name for these WireLace® flowers for a few days, and finally settled on Flower Gems. I made drawings of them in my sketch book for my class at Montclair State University, dated and photocopied them, then mailed them to myself. I had read somewhere that this practice was considered a "poor man's copyright." I recently read it might not hold up in court, though, since there was a case of a man committing fraud in this way by having opened the seal and changing the contents of the envelope. If I had the money, I would go to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and file for a registered trademark (also for my company name and logo), but those costs are prohibitive at this time.

Down the line, I plan to make a full range of products featuring Flower Gems™, possibly using all 31 colors offered by WireLace®. Beyond earrings, pins, necklaces, bracelets, and other forms of jewelry, I can foresee them potentially being applied to hair accessories, purses, flip flops and other shoes, hats, clothing, cell phone and ID badge lariats, bookmarks, etc. and so forth. Time will tell, eh?

Take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #34: I GOT IT!

Hi, everyone! Well, the BIG news this week is that I was awarded a $900 partial scholarship from the MJSA Education Foundation! That's half of the cost for one class. :) While I was proud to receive the award, I kind of had mixed feelings about it because I wasn't sure I could accept it. The new semester starts next week, and I have a balance due from previous classes -- accrued fees I didn't know about until this past spring -- that has to be paid off before I can register. If I paid it immediately, I could accept the award and register to start class in time...but I don't have the money for the back fees, nor the other half of the class right now. Luckily, both MSU and the Rhode Island Foundation, which sponsors the scholarship, were willing to work with me. I'm paying the fees off monthly between now and the end of the year, and the Foundation will allow the school to hold the scholarship funds for me until next semester! Now, I have to work hard to get the money together to pay the school, in addition to paying off my credit card debt; I was hoping to do that by the end of the year, too. :-O I also found out that the scholarships are renewable annually, so I can reapply for assistance with my future classes! :)

Here's this week's social media poster. The necklaces were made for my nieces. ;) That quote seems to be popular, as another jewelry site used the same one the day after I posted mine. Coincidence? Not likely, IMHO. 8-|

I did finish the Murano glass bracelet for my friend in Florida, and she liked the photo I sent her. Unfortunately, I didn't post it to Facebook and I don't have access to my home computer photo files via my Netbook, so I can's show it to you. :-/ As I feared, the thickness of the glass beads make putting on and wearing the bracelet a bit awkward. I did warn her via email, but she says she has a bracelet from Hawaii with large beads on it that she loves. We both hope she feels the same way about this bracelet! ;)

I also created a Bit O' Bling wire knit pendant for the Soft Flex Company's 2012 Flex Your Creativity Beading Contest last week and submitted it from here on Saturday night. I took a picture of it before I left, knowing the deadline was coming up on Saturday, September 1. B-) I had tried the week before to knit Soft Flex beading wire, but it didn't work out so I had to order Soft Flex craft wire and start all over again, as a requirement for the contest is to use one or the other. I'm not thrilled with how it turned out, but I do kind of like it. I added some leftover crystal cup chain from my Pretty in Purple necklace, which is where the "bling" comes from in name of the piece. ;)

The next contest deadline I know about is on September 30 for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Swarovski Elements Jewelry-making Contest. I still haven't decided what to make for it yet. :-S

The new Focal Piece of the Month is up. I was inspired for next month's piece, so I already have half of it finished. :D

In honor of the first meeting of the new Board for the Bead Society of New Jersey (BSNJ) coming up, I recently posted a BSNJ bumper sticker as the cover photo on my Facebook Profile. The Board meeting is tomorrow night, but I will be MIA...the first meeting I have missed since becoming Board Secretary. We have a lot of kewl and interesting guests scheduled for the end of 2012, so it should be a lot of fun. The first general meeting is on Thursday, September 20. :)

That's all I've got for you today, Take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #33: Slow And Steady Wins The Race

Hey, everybody! :) Well, a number of promising things happened as a direct result of last week’s blog post, so thank you to those who are actually reading it! :))

First, a family friend in Florida saw the bracelet I decided to submit to the 3rd Annual 1978 Maplewood Arts Center Members' Show, and liked it a lot. She had purchased a Murano glass necklace in Italy, but liked the beads more than the necklace itself. A couple of years ago, she had me redesign the necklace for her with sterling silver blanks – which she had also seen on a bracelet I made and liked. ;) As it turns out, she doesn't wear the "new" necklace much either, so she asked if I could make a similar bracelet to the one I posted last week and sent me the necklace. Making the changes won’t be too hard, but the glass beads are kind of bulky and heavy, so I'm afraid the bracelet will be too heavy. I guess there's only one way to find out! :P She doesn’t want the other components of the necklace back, so I will have four of sterling silver blanks left over, which I am hoping I can fashion into the Autism puzzle piece charms I mentioned last week. :)

Speaking of the puzzle piece charms, a friend from high school had a job interview at Tiny Tots Therapy this week, and mentioned my project while making small talk. The Director of Marketing overheard her and asked for my contact information. My friend says the group works with school districts all over the state, so it could be really good exposure for me. I have no problem working with not-for-profits, but I am not one myself! If they are only interested in donations from me and/or Something Tangible, I am not currently in a position to oblige on a larger scale. :\

My chiropractor's assistant loved her necklace, and a coworker purchased a pair of Evil Eye hoop earrings with a pair of orange eyeball beads on each 40mm black hoops for Halloween this morning. She also asked me to hold onto a pair with purple eyeball beads – her favorite color – on 40mm silver hoops for her. The orange and black pairing was her own idea. ;) As for the coworker who wants the puzzle piece charms, she’s on vacation this week and I'm away next week, so I have until early September. I have a 20" sterling silver box necklace chain she wants regardless, so she will purchase at least that. Hopefully, I can make puzzle charms out of the blanks from the Murano glass necklace that will be in her price range. The blanks are not too large, so I’m hoping it will work out. :) I ended up purchasing two sterling silver toggle clasps, one for the sterling silver chain maille bracelet I mentioned last week, and one for the Murano glass bracelet, as her preference is also sterling silver.

My internet friend decided to purchase the Peridot beaded ring -- this month's Focal Piece of the Month -- "as is" for her friend's birthday, after I offered to make any required changes/alterations the gift recipient requests for free. ;)

Here's a link to this week’s social media poster. It's not quite as popular as some of the earlier ones, but I thought it was funny. :))

Wednesday night’s America's got Talent filming was fun, although a bit long. They had us come in an hour earlier so they could pre-tape a performance for this coming Wednesday's show, so I have seen one whole live broadcast and two pre-taped segments in all. The show I saw live aired this past Wednesday; I may try to see it On Demand if I get a chance. I checked over the weekend and it is there, but I don't know if I will have time or the desire to see it before they take it down. :P

Wanna hear something totally bizarre? I got a missed call on my cell phone this morning from a number I did not recognize. I checked for a reverse phone look-up, and it came up with a land line in the Madison/Florham Park area. It turns out it was a wrong number from the New York Jets ticket office! Someone had left two numbers, and apparently one was recorded incorrectly because it was my cell number. I told the guy it was ironic because I'd had season tickets for 15 years! :-O He asked if I was watching from the comfort of my couch when I told him 15 years was enough...too many late, cold, dark games. :P Is that freaky or what? :))

I have to do laundry and pack this week, as I am leaving for the annual trip to Ocean City, Maryland on Saturday morning. Next week's entry will be posted on location! B-)

Take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #32: Back On TV?

Hey, everyone! Well, I changed my mind about submitting the Evil Eye Chan Luu-style bracelet to 1978 Maplewood Arts Center's Members Show at the last minute, and offered a wire-wrapped Blue Crazy Lace Agate and Blue Ribbon Jasper bracelet instead. I decided it looked a bit classier and, therefore, more impressive. It’s another fundraiser so if the items sell, 1978 gets 20 percent. :)

A coworker wants an Autism puzzle piece necklace and bracelet, both in sterling silver. I have a chain for the necklace and I worked over the weekend on a chain maille bracelet for her. She likes toggle clasps on bracelets, so I made one for her with some sterling silver wire I had on hand. However, it's kind of awkward to put on and opens with a lot of movement, so I have to go back to the drawing board and try again. I thought I had some sterling sheet metal left over from my classes at Montclair State, so I was thinking about cutting the puzzle piece pendants myself, but it turns out I don't have any. It may be more cost effective to purchase pre-made pendants; I’ll have to see what I can find. I offered to engrave her son’s name or initials on the pendants, as I recently acquired a set of letter stamps that I have not used yet. I tried to test them on aluminum yesterday, but I didn’t like how it turned out. Since sterling silver is softer than aluminum, they will probably work better...I have to find some silver to test. :-/

In addition, one of the receptionists at my chiropractor’s office liked the EnVined necklace I brought to display last week, and asked if I could make her a necklace and/or bracelet without the Swarovski yarn to bring the price down. I came up with something earlier today...hopefully, she likes it! ;)

At my chiropractic appointment last week, I mentioned wanting to get a massage…I haven’t had one in 2-3 years at least. He offered to give me one at my next appointment, which was really sweet of him. He doesn't usually do that, but since I'm a long-time patient, he said he’d use my time for that instead of a regular treatment. My left shoulder and upper arm have been bothering me a lot lately – I’ve even resorted to using Bengay on them! :O – so I’m hoping this will help loosen everything up. :)

My nieces were over on Thursday and rented Marley & Me from the library. They'd both seen it before, but Mom and I had not because we’d heard it had a sad ending. It did, but it was still a good movie. My younger niece said that Owen Wilson's character was "old" when they celebrated his 40th birthday. I told her I was already 43, and she responded, "He's old; you're not." :))

Yesterday, I watched Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series with my cousin/Godson. I'd bought them for his high school graduation gift, but I’d never seen them. He told me he's watched them A LOT, so I guess that was a good gift! ;)

Our local bead store, The Beaded Path in South Orange, is closing and I went to check out the clearance items earlier this week. I got a $45 parking ticket THREE MINUTES after my meter expired. Needless to say, it was an expensive afternoon! :-/

Here's a link to this week’s social media poster, which I forgot to post on Friday and posted on Sunday. :P

As you may recall, I will be attending the live filming of America’s Got Talent this coming Wednesday, August 15, at NJPAC. Look for me if you tune in to the show! :))

Take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #31: Membership Has Its Privileges

Hello, all! Well, I never got a response from my friend about the Polymer Clay Guild, so I didn’t go yesterday. Instead, I worked on an elastic Swarovski Crystal Peridot birthstone ring. A long-time internet friend sent me a message over the weekend inquiring about the Focal Piece of the Month Peridot ring for her friend's birthday. She wanted an elastic band because she's not sure of the size. I can switch the shank easily enough, but I'm pretty sure the ring is likely to be too large and bulky for her friend…the focal piece is 1-1/8" by 1-1/8" by 1/2". Since I had recently purchased a birthstone set of Swarovski Crystal bicones, I decided to try to make something similar but smaller for her. I really like how it turned out, but it may not be what my friend wants. She may want the gemstone Peridot in it, although don't have any on-hand. The Swarovski ring is very close to the color of the gemstone ring, and a little cheaper. I emailed her a little while ago with the costs and a photo of the Swarovski ring, so we'll see what happens. Fingers crossed! ;) I may decide to enter the ring in Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Swarovski Elements contest, but I haven’t decided yet. :|

Speaking of contests, I entered the bracelet I mentioned last week in the Rings and Things Challenge with Swarovski Elements, and two items – my Pretty in Purple and Bodacious Butterfly necklaces -- in the Beads category of the 2013 Saul Bell Design Award Competition presented by Rio Grande. I've already filled out the online application and paid the entrance fee, but I still have to submit my photos and descriptions via mail. Unfortunately, the matte photo stock paper I have does not fit in my new printer for some reason, so I had to go out and buy thinner photo paper. :( The matte photo paper box says it fits in HP printers, so I don’t know what the problem is. However, the printer has made strange set-up noises ever since I hooked it up, so it may be an imperfect printer. :-/

BTW, I did decide to add a second necklace to the Lark Books' application. It's a new necklace I made a couple of weeks ago. It looks like kind of like a vine covered with leaves, so I call it the EnVined necklace. Now, I just have to wait and see. :P

Earlier this week, I learned about 1978 Maplewood Arts Center's 3rd Annual Members' Show, which is coming up Sunday, August 12 through Sunday, September 9. I didn't realize they had one, so I have not participated in the first two shows. I also had not joined as a member, but they do allow you to do that in order to participate in the show (hence, the subject line for this post :)) ). We are limited to two pieces for submission, and I decided earlier today to submit my Falling Leaves necklace and Evil Eye Chan Luu-style bracelet. There will be a reception on September 9 at the end of the show. If anyone from the area wants to attend, let me know! ;)

At the suggestion of a coworker, I've inquired about having a display in the cafeteria at the office one afternoon to enable employees to check out my stuff and hopefully make some purchases. People used to come in years ago and display purses and such, but it has been a number of years since that has been done. It would be a great opportunity for me, but they may not allow it anymore because it distracts employees from their work. :-O

Here's a link to this week's social media poster. I made a few more last Monday, so I have enough stockpiled to post one a week for the next three weeks. As time allows, I will create more so I don’t have to come up with something at the last minute. ;)

Not much to report on the personal front, so I guess I will wrap up for now.

Take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #30: A New Educational Goal

Hi, everybody! :) Well, we went to NJPAC on Tuesday and the "America’s Got Talent" (AGT) segment we saw aired on Wednesday. I had posted on Facebook to my sister that the show hadn’t started yet...and 28 minutes later, we were back in the car! :)) They performed one song and when it was over, my mother asked if it was a joke because it was over so quickly. We did watch AGT on Wednesday...and no, we weren’t on-screen. :P The show was interesting, as neither of us had seen it before. I’m going back for the live show on Wednesday, August 15 with a friend, so that should be a bit more exciting. ;)

Obviously, I took Tuesday off from the office to go to the taping. Unfortunately, I had to make up the time over the next few days in order to catch up on the work not done that day. Why is it I am the presumed back-up for half of the department, but no one can back me up for one morning? :(

The deadline for Lark Books’ Showcase 500 Necklaces submissions is coming up on August 1. I haven’t decided yet what necklace to submit for my second entry, but I don’t want to waste the opportunity. I will probably make a spur-of-the-moment decision when between now and Wednesday. :p

At the suggestion of a social media expert I met on Facebook, I’ve started a new awareness campaign. She suggested posting relevant quotes with photos and adding the website URL at the bottom to generate interest. I’ve posted two such pictures on Facebook and Pinterest so this past Friday and one the Friday before. I don’t know if I will have enough to post every Friday, but I guess I will give it a shot. I really like the second one (the Chinese Proverb). I’ve been looking up quotations whenever I think of a topic I can use. :)

I was offered a free listing on eBay this past week, so I posted my steampunk trinket box, hoping to reach a wider audience. An internet friend saw the post on Facebook and sent me a PM...he suggested I look into becoming a vendor at Dragon*Con, "the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe." He said there are a lot of potential buyers for steampunk items there, and I have a feeling chain maille would also be popular with that crowd. The show is Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, so it’s too late to apply for this year. I have to remember to look into it next spring for 2013. :)

Earlier today, I emailed a friend from the Bead Society who was talking to me about a group that meets the first Sunday of each month to make polymer clay pieces, the New Jersey Polymer Clay Guild. I may go next Sunday if they meet in the summer. That looks like fun! ;)

Speaking of fun, I received a course catalog the other night from the Gemological Institute of America. I don’t remember signing up for it, but I must have...maybe at the MJSA Expo earlier this year? The school has facilities in New York City and Carlsbad, California, and focuses on teaching students to identify and classify different stones. I was intrigued by the three-course eLearning certification they have to become an Accredited Jewelry Professional (AJP). It’s not terribly expensive because no labs are required. I’m thinking I want to pursue that once I have my debts paid off, hopefully by the end of the year. They give you three months to finish each course, so I could get the certification in one year if I apply myself. I was getting kind of excited looking at the catalog, so I think this would be something that I might really enjoy doing. :)

The August Focal Piece of the Month is up.

I can’t believe it is practically August already, although I won’t be sorry to see the summer heat become a distant memory. :p

Take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #29: I'm Gonna Be On TV!

Hey, everyone! Guess what? I got an email on Friday night offering me the chance to go see a free special performance of the 2012 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical "Once" at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) tomorrow. It's being taped for "America’s Got Talent" and will eventually end up on television! [Note the venue is in NEW JERSEY and not New York as publicized by the "America's Got Talent" website. #-o ] I had to rearrange a few appointments to be able to go, but Mom and I will be there! How kewl is that? ;)

The good news for me is that I thought we were going to have an Initial Public Offering (IPO) to get out on Wednesday at work, but it will be tomorrow and no certificates are being issued so I am off the hook! A couple of weeks ago, we had three IPOs in one week – one issuing approximately 500 certificates, one for 1,700 certificates and one for 200+ certificates. A supervisor and I usually coordinate special requests to FedEx certificates to certain shareholders, which can be a PIA (as my mother used to say when we were kids, rather than coming out and saying "pain-in-the-a$$"). I ended up working 12 hours in one day that week! We are really short-staffed with summer vacations and such, so it's not easy to pull people from their jobs to help with special projects. :| At least I got paid for the extra time. :D

I really have to spend tomorrow morning before the taping cleaning up my computer room/studio at home. The top shelf of my bookcase fell down last week when I tried to put one too many jewelry supply catalogs on it, causing the two shelves beneath it to fall as well. I had to take everything off the bookcase and put it on the floor in order to fix the shelves, and I did not put the catalogs back for obvious reasons. I have to sort through and pack them up – I still have the box from my new printer, so I will put them in there – to be recycled. I'll keep the books and magazines I've purchased, and only the current year's catalogs. Originally, I kept everything because there are some good ideas and pictures in them, but it's just too much to keep it all. :| We have the cleaning lady coming on Thursday, so I want to get them cleared away before she yells at me. :))

Over the weekend, I was working on a potential entry for the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads’ Swarovski Elements Jewelry-making Contest, but it didn’t work out the way I thought it would (does it ever? :p ). I ended up with a bracelet and a necklace instead of one necklace, neither of which are appropriate for that contest. However, the bracelet will work for Rings & Things' Pick Your Palette Crystal Jams™ Challenge with Swarovski Elements. Crystal Jams are Rings & Things' Swarovski Xilion bicone assortments created in particular color schemes. I recently purchased the Into the Ocean and Bohemian Rhapsody assortments, and used the former in the bracelet. At least that's one entry down! #:-S

If you get a chance, check out the new cover photo on my Facebook Profile. It supports the USA in the London Olympics. ;)

Things finally cooled down here after some big rainstorms earlier this month. Hope Mother Nature is being kind to you wherever you are! :)

Take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #28: Poll Results & Contest Updates

Hi, everyone! I guess I should start out by saying I have "officially" decided my publication date will be shifted from Sunday to Monday in the future. I figure I deserve to have my weekends free of standing business-related commitments...I usually dread getting near the computer on the weekend these days unless it's absolutely necessary. I'm sure you've noticed I've been posting regularly on Mondays for a while now, so you won't really see a difference in the schedule. ;)

The Beaded Impressions 2012 Summer Beading Contest voting opened as of July 9, so please visit the site before July 17 and vote for my entry! It’s #71 in the Bohemian or Eclectic category, thanks to the input of a few readers on our Facebook page. I was leaning toward the Whimsical or Romantic category, so I thank those who voted and helped me decide. :) The piece is called The Bodacious Butterfly because when my mother saw it, she said the larger rounded beads at the top of the wings look like boobs to her. #-o

I was notified a couple of weeks ago that I did not place in Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Seed Bead Jewelry-making Contest, and earlier this week that I was not a winner in's 2012 Druzy Contest. I'm not really surprised, as many of the entered pieces in both contests were much more elaborate than mine. I tend to be a minimalist when it comes to creating jewelry, but I am slowly working my way toward more "showy" pieces, at least for entering in contests. I still think many contest pieces are difficult to wear, but it seems the contests are geared more toward artistic creativity than function. :-/ There are a few more contest deadlines coming up toward the end of the Summer, so I will have to think more outside-the-box when planning those pieces and see how that goes. :P

It took me almost a month, but I finally finished the piece for the August Focal Piece of the Month last week. I had an idea of what I wanted to do early on, although it didn’t turn out quite as I had hoped. A co-worker complimented me on it today, so that made me feel good. :) Luckily, I've already decided what I want to do for September, and it won't take so much time for that one. I've been trying to work ahead on these a little bit, so as not to be rushing to get them done at the last minute. :-bd

My younger niece's travel softball team is doing really well. They are close to tying for the Championship! Mom and I are going to watch her play later this week, since we haven’t seen any of her travel games, and she will be playing close to our hometown. :)

We’re heading into the second heat wave of the summer this week, so it's going to be brutal for the next few days. :-/ I will be hibernating in one of the air-conditioned rooms upstairs as much as possible! ;)

Take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #27: Realigning Those Great Expectations

Hi, everyone! Well, the Big News around here is that my sister is having another GIRL! :D I had a feeling that's what was going to happen. I actually had two premonitions about it, if you can call them that. A few days before we found out, I had a dream that there was a little girl that looked like my sister as a toddler running around on our front lawn under a sprinkler. Then, the morning of her appointment, the phrase "It's a girl" popped into my head for no apparent reason. The funny thing is, my sister, her hubby, and the two girls ALL came to the conclusion independently it was going to be a boy! :-O My brother-in-law even had a dream about it, and he never remembers his dreams. :-/ Anyway, I got a VERY a excited phone call from my nieces at the office – not to mention a number of voice-mails on my house and cell phones – so they could share the news. B-) They already went shopping for baby clothes! :))

So, I went to that house party on Saturday. I only knew two or three people there besides the host, but it was a lot of fun! I mainly hung out with people who went to my high school, but graduated a year ahead of me. I didn't know too many people older than me back then, but I did recognize a couple of last names from their younger siblings in my class and a few faces. :-? I didn't really have high expectations for the outing, so I was pleasantly surprised.

That brings me to my epiphany for the week. ;) Lately I've noticed in television shows and movies that peoples' expectations are what usually lead to problems in their lives. I caught part of an episode of "Sex and the City" – I've never watched it regularly, but enough to know who everyone is and their personalities – and saw Charlotte "go off" on Harry after she’d spent all day making a special Jewish dinner for him. He was more interested in the baseball game on the TV behind her. :P She completely lost her cool, and basically demanded for him to propose already. He looked at her like she was "The Exorcist" – there was a definite resemblance! – and walked out, stating ironically that he couldn't believe he'd bought her a ring. If she hadn't built up her own expectations in her mind, she wouldn't have flipped out on him…and she would have gotten what she wanted sooner rather than later. :(

In a real-world example, I decided to watch the entire "Star Wars" saga this past week, as it was airing nightly on Spike TV. I hadn't seen the three prequel films since they were originally in theaters, so I wanted to see them again to refresh my memory. I didn't really like them much the first time around, but I think that had a lot to do with my expectations based on how much I loved the original trilogy. Seeing them again with virtually no expectations at all, I enjoyed them more than I had the first time. Naturally, they are still not as good as the original films IMHO. I think a lot of that has to do with the story being mostly about Anakin's downfall, and we already know how it turns out. I completely understand why George Lucas made the films in the order he did...all of the shock value would have been eradicated from episodes 4-6 if he'd gone in order. It was a smart move in terms of storytelling. Unfortunately, IMO it also caused an emotional disconnect to the characters because I have a hard time thinking of Darth Vader as being the dark side of Anakin, even now knowing the back story. :-O

Nothing too exciting to report on the business front, so I will leave that until next week. I’ve gone on long enough for one post. ;)

Take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #26: Setbacks S*ck!

Hi, everyone! Well, I didn't get enough votes for the Mission: Small Business grant...I ended up with 90, which isn't even half-way. :( The outgoing President of BSNJ even offered to let me "solicit" votes from the members at Thursday's meeting, which I thought was very kewl of her. :-bd Many of the members were more than willing to help me, but a lot of them are not on Facebook. I really think that's short-sighted of Chase and LivingSocial, although it does effectively eliminate people from the running. :P Maybe next year?!

Speaking of Thursday's BSNJ meeting, I did not win the necklace category for the Bead Challenge. :( Nor did I win any of the prizes in the raffle held that evening. C'est la vie! That was our last meeting for this year. We will resume in September with the new Board, of which I am still a part. :D

I've posted a poll on our Facebook page -- my first attempt -- to help me decide in which category to enter my Bead Challenge piece for the Beaded Impressions Beading Contest. The categories are not very straight-forward, and I want to make sure I enter the appropriate one. Thanks in advance for the help! ;)

Ever a glutton for punishment, I've also started the application to submit two necklaces for consideration in the 2013 Showcase 500 Necklaces book published by Lark Crafts. I have until August 1 to complete the application. I've already added the Marsha Neal & Kabela key piece I made a few weeks ago, now entitled "Pretty in Purple" because the file name had to be 48 characters or less. :-? I started to submit my beaded Swan necklace, but I was having trouble finding the color names for all of the seed beads, so I may have to go with something else. Another option is the bronze & sterling silver wax cast piece on copper beading wire and chain, but pieces have to be no older than 2010. I have to look back, but I think I made that in the Fall of 2009. :-/

The auto-responder I use to send out the email version of this message, Mad Mimi, changed its format last week. I'm not very comfortable with it, so if the messages come through a bit "off" for the next few weeks, that's why. 8-|

On the personal side of life, work is crazy. We have three issues that have recently switched to Direct Registration System (DRS), which means they are now eligible to send shares electronically to the Depository Trust Company (DTC) in New York City. Since one of my daily responsibilities is to balance our records with DTC's records, this is pretty much a nightmare for me. The Out-of-Balance (O-O-B) report is usually around 15 pages. This morning, it was 73 pages! I worked until nearly 5:00 p.m. last Friday -- and employes left at 4:00 p.m. for summer Friday hours -- spending all day on the report and not doing any other work. This morning, I had a very large pile of work in my basket from Friday, plus today's work. Luckily, I've come up with a shortcut that will help me get through the O-O-B report more quickly (and painlessly?), so I won't get so far behind for at least the next month or so. :P

A high school friend is having a house-warming party on Saturday. I will be venturing out of my comfort zone a bit because I won't know many people there. I was actually surprised when I saw on the Facebook Event page who was attending. There were a number of familiar names from school, but I didn't know he kept in touch with these people. Most of them, I barely knew! #-o

I hope everyone in the U.S. enjoys their Independence Day on Wednesday! Our office is closed and closing early tomorrow. WHOO HOO! :O)

Take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #25: Lots of Challenges, Both Good and Bad

Hello, everyone! Well, I’ve been trying to get everyone I know to vote for Something Tangible on the Mission: Small Business grant website, but with only 61 votes and five days to go, it doesn’t look promising. I think a big part of the problem is the requirement to register via Facebook. I know a lot of people who would be willing to vote for me who do not have Facebook accounts. I think the site was set up to make it "easier" for people to vote because registering via Facebook is a one-step process, but in doing so they have eliminated a lot of potential voters. Even though Facebook’s users equal the size of an entire country -- there were 901 million monthly active users at the end of March 2012 -- that doesn’t mean everybody does it. I guess I will have to look for the grant program again next year, only earlier. I stumbled upon it with two weeks to go, and that is just not enough time apparently. Then again, maybe the time limit is not really the problem! :/

I created a pendant last week for the's 2012 Druzy Contest, as that deadline is also coming up on June 30. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, although the rolled satin nylon cord I want to hang it from is giving me problems. It seems to be taking forever to coil to the point it won’t unravel. I guess I have to work on my patience with that. :))

There are a couple more contests that are running over the summer. I have a vague idea of what I want to create for Fire Mountain Gems’ 2012 Swarovski Elements Jewelry-making Contest and Soft Flex® Company’s 2012 Flex Your Creativity Contest. You may recall I entered a Steampunk necklace in the Soft Flex contest a couple of years ago, but I did not participate last year. For this year, they want entries incorporating knitted craft wire or beading wire in them...using their products, of course. I purchased a package of Trios – three coordinated colors of beading wire – recently to use for my piece. I will probably end up making the knit chain(s) first, and then decide what to do with it/them after or while I'm doing that. :P As I mentioned last week, I will probably enter my BSNJ Bead Challenge piece in the Beaded Impressions' Summer 2012 Beading Contest, but I will wait until after the Bead Challenge this coming Thursday night to avoid potentially compromising the anonymity of the Bead Challenge. ;)

Yesterday afternoon, I visited with a couple of "lady friends" (as my mother says!) I haven’t seen in a while. One bought a ring I was wearing right off my hand! :)) The other one, our hostess, had requested I bring a necklace her daughter saw on my website, as her daughter wanted to buy it for a friend’s birthday. Both were very interested in the pieces I was wearing. The one who bought my ring told me to "bring more jewelry" next time we get together! :)) And the hostess wants to throw an Open House kind of party for me in her condo complex in the Fall, leading up to the holidays! Hopefully, that will work out. :) Even if not, it was a real boost to my ego to have people make such a fuss over my work. The friend who bought the ring said, "This must happen to you all the time." I replied, "Not nearly as much as I would like!" ;)

My younger niece will be thrilled to know I finally finished the beaded edging on the scarf she gave me for Christmas! The girls will be with Mom tomorrow, so I will leave it out for her inspection. :P

FYI, the latest Focal Piece of the Month is up!

That’s about all I’ve got for now. Take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #24: Back-up Needed For Mission: Small Business

Hi, everybody! :) I need your help. I’ve applied for a $250,000 grant from Chase & LivingSocial and I need 250 votes by June 30, 2012 to qualify. Please visit and click on the "Login and Support" button to register – you can register via Facebook if you want. Then, please search for "Something Tangible" in Maplewood, NJ and click on the “Vote” Button that will pop up next to the company name. That’s it! Easy, right? ;) I’ve gotten 14 votes since I applied on Friday night, so I have quite a way to go. Please feel free to pass along this link to anyone you think might vote for me. I’m being shameless here, but $250,000 is A LOT of money and it could really help me out! THANK YOU for your support…I REALLY appreciate it! :x

As I mentioned last week, I attended an all-day bead embroidery workshop on Saturday, which turned into an all-day-all-night outing for me! :)) Although the event "officially" ended at 5:00 pm, a bunch of us stayed longer because we wanted to finish our projects. The teacher posted my project on her Facebook page and tagged me on it, so you can see it on my profile page. I’m really happy with how it turned out! Another student in the class said it was "good enough to be published in a book!" That’s a pretty high compliment, ya know? B-) Anyway, I ended up going out to dinner with the recently-elected 2012-2013 president of BSNJ...and we didn’t leave for the restaurant until 9:30 pm. She’s a bit of a talker, so we chatted until 2:30 am! It takes me about an hour to drive home from Tinton Falls, where the class was held, and I got stopped by a cop for speeding at 3:15 am...only about five minutes from my house! :-O He let me off with a warning because I was clearly tired and not under the influence. I lucked out on that one, although I would have just taken the ticket without argument if he’d have given me one. All I wanted to do was collapse into my bed! (:| All’s well that ends well...I slept until 3:30 pm Sunday afternoon. :P

My older niece is moving up from elementary school to middle school tomorrow. Wow, does time ever fly by? :-O Anyway, I promised the younger niece I would have the beaded edge finished on the scarf she made me for Christmas...and I'm not finished yet. I was running low on one color of the beads I'd been using, but I was lucky enough to purchase more at the workshop. However, now I've run out of thread! :P So, I've gotta run!

Take care and have a great week! ;)

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #23: A Flurry of Activity!

Hey, everyone! Well, I’ve FINALLY finished my Bead Challenge project for BSNJ over the weekend. It’s not due until June 28, but I wanted to get it out of the way and not wait until the last minute. I changed the category from bracelet to necklace, as the cuff bracelet I was attempting to make was not coming together as well as I’d like. I still think it was a good idea, and I may revisit it at a later date. :)

I received my recommendation letter from my former professor at MSU the other day. He wrote a very nice letter, and specifically mentioned that I am “willing to take criticism,” which made me chuckle. I emailed him back and told him I thought the director of the Metalwork & Jewelry program at MSU might not agree. :)) I still have to take a couple more pictures this week before the deadline on Friday. I’m hoping my mother will either model pieces for me or be willing to take my picture. I have two necklaces I want to include as part of the application. Mom is not very technologically-inclined, so please wish both of luck! :-S

In addition to’s 2012 Druzy Contest -- which I had mentioned previously -- there are two more contests coming up that I may or may not enter. Beaded Impressions has a Beading Contest with a deadline of July 8. The categories include Whimsical or Romantic; Eclectic or Bohemian; and Traditional. I may enter my Bead Challenge project in the "Eclectic or Bohemian" category. Once you see a picture of it, you’ll see why. ;) I can’t post it or describe it before the June meeting because some of my BSNJ friends may read this or see my Facebook page. :-S I also received an email this morning about Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Swarovski Elements Jewelry-making Contest, with a September 30 deadline. I don’t really have anything existing that I’d like to enter, so I have to see if I am inspired over the summer to come up with something appropriate...I'm thinking maybe an elaborate pair of earrings. :-? I still haven’t decided if I am going to enter the Druzy Contest, but I will concentrate on a project for that now that I have completed the Bead Challenge piece. The deadline is June 30, which is part of why I wanted to finish the Bead Challenge project early. If I can’t figure something out in the next couple of weeks, I will just skip it. :|

I'm looking forward to attending a workshop in Tinton Falls on Saturday called "Jazz Up Your Bead Embroidery," being taught by my friend Meg Fillmore of Bead My Love. :)

On a personal note, I had another NAET treatment on Saturday...this one was to complete the areas that were only partially cleared in previous treatments -- namely corn, chocolate, and nut mix I, which includes peanuts. I had headaches off and on all day Saturday, so I didn’t accomplish much. :P Man, will I be glad when these are over! #-o

Our weather can’t quite decide what it wants to be these days. Lots of storms passing through the area lately and it seems to be humid one day; cool the next. Morris County got hit hard with a storm yesterday. A couple of towns there may be without power for 2-3 days! :-O

Two ladies at work requested earrings, which I have to work on tonight...and I have a bunch of recent projects that I have not priced out yet. I seem to put that off as long as possible. Since I am switching out pieces at the chiropractor’s office again tomorrow, the last minute is pretty much tonight! I guess it's a good thing I am more or less required to do it every two weeks. ;)

Take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #22: On Scholarships and Stir

Hi, everyone! Well, it's cooled off considerably here since last weekend. The weatherman on TV today said, "You thought we missed April? Where here it is!" :))

I spent the majority of yesterday afternoon working on my application for the MJSA Education Foundation Jewelry Scholarship, as the deadline is coming up on June 15. I completed the Financial Information Worksheet and essay, as well as two Work Sample photos I took at the Networking Charity Brunch Image Forum. While I was taking photos of my display -- which I posted to the Craft Show, Workshop & Exhibit Pictures album on Facebook this week, BTW -- I put on two of the rings from my casting class at MSU and took pictures them on my own hands. ;) Naturally, I had to crop the photos so it wasn't too obvious they were my hands, but I think I managed to focus on the rings pretty well. I still have 2-3 more Work Samples to include. I'll have to find a model this week, so I can get them done in time. :-?

As promised, I've started catching up on posting new product photos to Facebook this week...I posted more than a dozen in just the past few days! :-bd Once I get caught up with those, I will concentrate on entering my latest creations into my database. I've fallen behind of that and on entering supplies as I've purchased them. I keep thinking I should enter one entire invoice a week, regardless of how many items are on it. I should really start putting that into practice. :|

I've got a couple of deadlines coming up toward the end of the month...the BSNJ Bead Challenge project is due June 28. I've kind of slacked off on that to concentrate on more "urgent" things lately. There is also's 2012 Druzy Contest with a deadline of June 30. Druzy cabochons have an area of small quartz crystals within or on the surface of the stone. They are generally one of a kind, and very pretty. I purchased half a dozen of them recently in preparation for the contest. They are various shapes, sizes and colors, so I wasn't sure what I might want to use for the contest. The theme is "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue" -- it is June after all! ;) We can use one or all of the "somethings" in our piece. Since the contest is hosted by, the entries must also include wire. I've been looking at the pieces I bought, but I have not been inspired yet. If I decide not to enter the contest, it's no great loss as I got a really good deal on the cabochons. B-)

Watching a movie on cable last night, I saw a commercial for something new from called Stir. It's a series of local events across the country such as cooking classes, happy hours, bowling, etc. for members to informally meet each other. I think that's a really smart idea. So many people are uncomfortable with the potential for dishonesty in internet dating -- myself included. Meeting informally at an event of mutual interest helps to (1) narrow down the field to people with similar interests to yours, and (2) minimize the potential for disillusionment. If you're meeting someone in person, it's harder for him/her to hide behind an anonymous profile. I think this is probably the next generation after Speed Dating. I never really understood the appeal of that concept. It works for you if you're talking to someone in whom you have little interest, but I think it works against you if you connect with someone with whom you'd like to spend more time. I've never tried it myself, but it kind of seems like a lot of trying to date on a game show or reality TV. Personally, I can't imagine competing with a dozen or more other women for the attention of one man on a show like The Bachelor. That's just too bizarre for me! :P

On a semi-related note, one character in the movie I was watching had a great line: "The only way to get over someone is to meet someone else you care about more." Two years and counting for me. :x

In the immortal words of Porky Pig, "That's all folks!" ;) Take care and have a great week! B-)

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