Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #8: MSU Metalsmith Guild, Oscars, & Pinterest

Good evening to those of you not watching the Oscars right now! LOL Can you believe the build-up to the Academy Awards has taken on Super Bowl-size proportions? I've only seen one of the nominated films this year (The Descendents), so I'm not all that interested in the show. :\

I caught a lucky break this week...a friend from Montclair State University had invited me to participate in this semester's MSU Metalsmith Guild Jewelry Galleria on campus. I wasn't online much this week, so I didn't see the invite until the day after the deadline. However, they only got four artists to participate and they wanted at least six. Soooo, they extended the deadline! I emailed my friend and asked if I could participate even though I'm not enrolled in school this semester. She said I definitely could and that I should do it! :) The show is 7-9 p.m. in the University Hall Conference Center on the 7th floor of University Hall at Montclair State. I've already enlisted a good friend from the office to be my model. I just have to make sure she can be there at 5:00 p.m...I didn't realize she'd have to show up that early. :o We both have to wear black to show off my pieces. I have to see what I have in my closet...there was a time that I wore a lot of black, but not so much anymore. ;) Ordinarily, I would have had to submit pictures of my pieces to be evaluated, but since my friend was the one who picked up my items from the Allwood Branch of the Clifton Public Library last week, they can just evaluate the pieces! :) I have no idea what they will select, but we can apparently put other pieces, including non-jewelry items, on a table at the event. As it so happens, my Chinese take-out set was on display at the library! LOL Sometimes, you just get lucky. :)

In the "not so lucky" column, I also found out this week that there are registration and transcript holds on my records at MSU due to an "outstanding balance." I have no idea why, as I have not been enrolled since last spring. According to my Sallie Mae TuitionPay account, I'm all paid up. I left a message at the school on Friday afternoon, but I didn't receive a response yet. Luckily, the MSU Metalsmith Guild doesn't care about stuff like that! ;)

I started working on the scarf my niece made for me again last night while I was watching a movie I had already seen, so I didn't have to pay that close attention to it. ;) I wasn't in the mood to start something from scratch. I have a freeform bangle and a pair of earrings to make for a coworker, but I have until March 25 to deliver them. I worked on another coworker's copper cuff bracelet earlier today. She just wanted me to "decorate" it for her. After sending her some sample photos, she decided she wanted me to add hammered texture and oxidize (darken) it to highlight the texture. I'll have to see what she thinks tomorrow. The difference is pretty subtle, but hopefully she is not be expecting a drastic change.

I don't know how many of you are on Pinterest, but I'm getting a kick out of it. One of the online suppliers I use occasionally has a contest on there. We're being asked to set up a board and pin 10 items from Fusion Beads such as our favorite necklace inspiration, favorite tool, etc. Since I already had a Pinterest account set up, I entered today. I also have boards for my Factoidz articles, Birthstones, Product Reviews I've written, and pieces I've listed on Yardsellr. At first, I thought it was "just another new social media site," but it seems to be taking off. It will be interesting to see if it eventually gives Facebook a run for its money. :o

In the immortal word of Porky Pig, "That's all folks!" Have a great week! :D

Click here to Tweet this message to your Twitter Followers!

Add To Google BookmarksStumble ThisFav This With TechnoratiAdd To Del.icio.usDigg ThisAdd To RedditTwit ThisAdd To FacebookAdd To Yahoo

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #7: A U.S. Holiday & Houston's Funeral

Hi, everybody! :) I received a number of private responses to last week's blog post, so thanks for letting me know you're reading!

Today is a holiday in the U.S.; it's Presidents' Day. I hope everyone here enjoyed their long weekend...we won't get any more holidays at the office until Memorial Day! :o

Not surprisingly, I watched Whitney Houston's funeral on television on Saturday, along with much of the world. The Star-Ledger in Newark reported that there were news crews from as far away as Japan and Australia to cover the event, even though it was closed to the public. I really liked Kevin Costner's comments. I got to see The Bodyguard again this weekend on cable; it was kind of strange watching it and knowing in the back of my brain that she wasn't among us anymore. At least actors and musicians live on forever through their films and music. Earlier today, police had to close down the cemetery in Westfield, NJ where she was buried yesterday. It seems that the fans who could not get close to the services over the weekend descended on her grave site today. May she finally Rest In Peace.

We had our February Bead Society meeting last Thursday. Not a lot of people showed up, which is a shame. Unfortunately, I didn't sell any of the coiled spiral wire beads I had made, but the good news is that I can use them in my own pieces! :) I really do like how they look, so I'm okay with that. ;) I have a Board meeting tomorrow night and I will have to report on the progress we're making with the Nominating Committee. We need five or six new officers for next year or we won't have a Society. No pressure! :\

A coworker requested a bracelet and matching set of earrings for an outfit she has to wear to a concert in March. It will be a bit of a challenge, but I think I can pull it off. ;)

The display at the Allwood Branch of the Clifton Public Library ends tomorrow. Luckily, a friend will pick up my pieces for me, as I will be running around all afternoon and then heading down South for the BSNJ Board meeting. I can only be in so many places at once, ya know? ;)

I don't think I mentioned it before, but I registered to attend the MJSA (Manufacturers | Jewelers | Suppliers | Artisans) Expo in New York City next month. I learned about it through the Montclair State University Metalsmith Guild, and I will be hooking up with some of my former classmates for the trip. :) I didn't even know this organization existed, so it should be interesting to see exactly what they do. I've registered for a number of workshops, but we'll have to see how many I can attend. Registration is free for students, so I took advantage of my association with MSU for that perk. :)

Not much more to tell this week, so I will sign off. Have a great week!

Click here to Tweet this message to your Twitter Followers!
Add To Google BookmarksStumble ThisFav This With TechnoratiAdd To Del.icio.usDigg ThisAdd To RedditTwit ThisAdd To FacebookAdd To Yahoo

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #6: At the end of your life, will you be happy with how you've handled things?

Hi, everyone! Well, I didn't get the IT position. Apparently, the other candidate has more experience with Proxy processing and with proxy season coming up, there would be less of a learning curve with her in the position. At least, that is what one person speculated to me today. I have to admit, his assessment made me feel a little better about it. When I found out on Friday, I was really bummed. C'est la vie, right? :p

While I was watching a TV movie over the weekend, I encountered a though-provoking question. One character asked another, "At the end of your life, will you be happy with how you've handled things?" Talk about deep! LOL For the most part, my answer is "yes." I do have a few regrets, but I have made amends for most of my earlier life indiscretions in due time. Presently, there is only one situation in which I am now not comfortable with my actions. Unfortunately, I cannot address it because the other person passed away a couple of years ago. Honestly, I doubt he would hold my actions against's more my own moral code that makes me wish I had handled things differently. I know I did what I thought was right at the time, but in hindsight it was somewhat immature and probably even cowardly. Given that he is currently among the angels, I guess he knows how I feel now and forgives me. I certainly hope so! :o

When I was in the bank this afternoon, the "greeter" there -- I'm not sure what they call the people in the lobby who chat with you while you're waiting on line -- noticed one of my wire-wrapped rings and complimented me on it. It turns out she occasionally "plays" with beads and other materials from Michael's or A.C. Moore. She took my business card and promised to check out my website. :)

I'm actually thinking about revamping the website; I have to discuss it with my web designer. Since I am putting less and less effort into the Virtual Mall page, I'm thinking about doing away with the store section also. I've only made two sales directly through the website since it went up at the end of 2009, and those two sales were from a friend of mine who lives a couple of towns away! :p I'm thinking the website should be more of an "online brochure" will showcase what I have done and can do, and encourage buyers to contact me directly if they are interested in making a purchase or ordering a custom piece. Customers who know me personally tend to do that anyway...and I usually tell people living in the area to contact me directly to arrange delivery and save on the postage that is automatically charged via the website. I have to mull the whole thing over...there's the possibility that people might not want to take the extra step to call or email me, so I could potentially lose the sale. However, people aren't buying directly from the site either, so I doubt it will matter much one way or the other. Do you have an opinion on this? Please let me know! :)

A coworker requested a Snakemaille bracelet for her granddaughter's birthday in a few days, so I have to work on that tonight. The good thing about the rubber jump rings is that they stretch, so it is easy for a child to wear. ;) My nieces each requested one a while back because they thought they were cool...I consider that an endorsement! LOL ;)

Mom and I watched the Grammy Awards last night and have been following the coverage of Whitney Houston's death. She was only five years older than I am, and she was apparently much more reckless than I am. I am saddened by her untimely death, but I can't say I'm terribly surprised. Such a waste! :(

That's all for now. Happy Valentine's Day tomorrow and have a great week! :D

Click here to Tweet this message to your Twitter Followers!
Add To Google BookmarksStumble ThisFav This With TechnoratiAdd To Del.icio.usDigg ThisAdd To RedditTwit ThisAdd To FacebookAdd To Yahoo

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #5: KG's 'Week In Review'

Hi, everyone! Like the "sporty" headline this week? ;) Some of you will notice that I'm posting this week's message in the middle of the Super Bowl. Being a life-long NY Jets fan, I'm not much interested in watching the battle between the NY Giants and the New England Patriots, as true Jets fans despise both teams. :p In fact, I watched a really good documentary on Joe Namath on HBO earlier this week! If you get a chance to catch it, it's called "Namath" and produced by HBO Sports. ;) I do have two boxes in a Super Bowl pool this year, so I am interested in the end-of-quarter scores. If any of them end with Giants X6 and Patriots X6 or Giants X0 and Patriots x7, I will win some money. :) Wish me luck...I can really use it! :p

I took my younger niece to Earth, Paint & Fire yesterday for her birthday, which is a place where you select ceramic pieces and paint them. It was a long, fun is tradition, we had to start with bagels for lunch and end with ice cream. :) I came home inspired with an idea...I wanted to see if I could adapt my wire-wrapped ring technique to bracelet-size. Experimenting, I made three bangle bracelets yesterday afternoon. Upon waking up this morning, it occurred to me they might be better as cuffs, so I did that as soon as I got up. The ends are a little clumsy because I made them after-the-fact, but now I know how to proceed with future pieces. ;) Unfortunately, putting off eating breakfast gave me a major headache, so I ended up spending most of the afternoon in bed. :(

Before picking up my niece yesterday, I had to stop at Michael's to pick up some specific beads I knew they had carried. They are for a pair of earrings requested by a coworker. I had made a pair earlier in the week for a different coworker, and when she saw them she wanted a pair "exactly like" them. Easier said than done sometimes! LOL Luckily, Michael's had the beads I wanted. I also bought a package of colored craft wire in about a dozen colors -- there are 15 coils in the package, but some are duplicated. Last night, I started making coiled spiral beads to sell at the upcoming BSNJ meeting. I decided that they would most likely be the easiest for me to make in a short time, and unusual enough for the non-wire people to want to buy. :) I can make a dozen beads with each coil, so the math will pretty easy for me...once I figure out the price per coil, I can just charge the appropriate amount for each dozen beads. There are some pretty nice colors in the package, so there will be a decent variety to offer. If this works out well, I may start selling them on Yardsellr, too. ;)

No word yet on my interview last week. I have no idea what the timeframe is, so I am just doing my own thing until I hear something more. I did finally get my merit raise this week -- my review was due on December 27, but I got it a couple of weeks late. :\ The raise didn't make a noticeable difference in my paycheck, but it's still better than nothing. :p

I've been catching up on posting pictures to Facebook -- my goal has been five pictures a day. Some days I skipped getting online, so I posted 10 pics the next day. :) I'm almost caught up, and may finish them up this week. I came to an important conclusion this morning...I think I want to do my computer work at night during the week and do other things like create pieces, etc. on the weekends...or occasionally take them off entirely. The idea of getting on the computer -- I'm on my Netbook at the moment, which is much less daunting for some reason -- fills me with dread some days. I think it's partially because I feel "stuck" there for most of the day when I do it. There's just so much to do, it's just overwhelming. I still have to figure out my business expenses for 2011 to give to the accountant. That alone will probably take me a whole day. Anyway, if I devote part of my weekends to non-computer-related business activities, I think I will feel less guilty about it. Maybe setting up a mental schedule will help me get more organized and be more productive. :)

BTW, the new Focal Piece of the Month is up.

Well, I guess I will go see what the score is and make some more wire beads. Have a great week and enjoy the second half of the Super Bowl! :)

Click here to Tweet this message to your Twitter Followers!

Add To Google BookmarksStumble ThisFav This With TechnoratiAdd To Del.icio.usDigg ThisAdd To RedditTwit ThisAdd To FacebookAdd To Yahoo