Monday, May 28, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #21: Too Hot To Handle!

Hey, everyone! It's been crazy hot here in New Jersey for the past few days. The high today was 87 degrees Fahrenheit, and it's still around 84 degrees at 10:30 pm! Man, if this is the weather in May, what can we expect in July and August? :-S

Like most of the people living in the U.S., I went to a Memorial Day BBQ this weekend. My high school friends got together on Saturday...and ALL of us living in the area were in one place at one time...and with all of their kids, too! B-) It was a lot of fun. We celebrated the recent marriage of one of our friends...a second marriage for him and they had a civil ceremony in NYC not long ago. We also celebrated a soon-to-be new addition to the family....that would be MY family. My sister is expecting child #3 in November! :x I've known for a few weeks...and they told the girls on Mother's Day. My older niece is excited...she's been asking ME to get married and have a baby for the past three years. I told her that was her mother's department. :)) My younger niece is less excited, as she wanted to be the baby in the family FOREVER. She told me the other day that she's excited, "except for the diapers and room change." Each girl has her own room, but that will have to be reassessed sooner or later. :( She also told me I can't pay any attention to the new baby! #-o =)) I told her I didn't think that would be possible. ;) Mom and I also went to watch the girls in their Memorial Day Parade this morning...they march with the Brownies and Girl Scouts. :-bd

I was playing around a bit this weekend with some strung beaded necklaces for a coworker, although she's on vacation this coming week. I also ordered some supplies for earrings for her, made a new ring, adapted a crystal ring into a pendant -- it wasn't working as a ring, unfortunately -- and made another Chan Luu-style bracelet with braided black leather and multicolored eyeball beads. :-O I ordered them because a friend had asked me about an Evil Eye bracelet that Kelly Ripa wears, which I had never heard about nor seen. I ordered some supplies to see if I can make something similar myself, but the friend wanted crystals embedded in it, and I wasn't sure I could pull that off. I will eventually make the piece I had envisioned, since I have the materials...whether or not it'll be close enough to Kelly's Evil Eye bracelet remains to be seen. :-?

By the way, I did enter the second piece I mentioned last week in the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Seed Bead Jewelry Making Contest earlier today. I wanted to get it in before the May 31 deadline. ;)

I really have to start cleaning up product photos and uploading them to Facebook. I've fallen pretty far behind on that, although I believe I do have photos of everything I've made so far. I also have to update my product binder. A coworker borrowed it for a family friend, but I had to remind her that I hadn't updated it since late last year, in part because my printer wasn't working correctly. :( I'm beginning to think I should break it up into smaller binders by category...rings, bracelets, etc. I dropped the big binder on my foot last's REALLY heavy! :((

The new Focal Piece of the Month is up here if you're interested.

And on that note, I will bid you all a Good Night! Take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #20: Taking the Bad With The Good...

Hey, everyone! Guess what? I heard back from my professor this weekend! :-bd He said I'd found his old address, but he stops by every few weeks to pick up mail. Do I have great timing, or what? ;) He's willing to write me a recommendation letter for the MJSA scholarship, and asked me to I send him pictures of my older and newer work, as well as my bio, future goals, and why I want this scholarship. :) I just finished sending him all of that information...hopefully, I sent him enough stuff. B-)

I decided to enter the seed & bugle bead cuff bracelet I mentioned last week in Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Seed Bead Jewelry-Making Contest, and want to also enter the pendant I just finished for BSNJ. I doubt either piece is elaborate enough to place, but you never know. :-S You can't win if you don't enter, right? :P

Also, I ended up ordering a new printer directly from HP. Staples couldn't help me because the warranty I purchased for the old printer had already expired, so they referred me to HP. I spoke with someone there who offered me an upgraded printer for $100! It costs less to replace them than to fix them, it seems. Unfortunately, I didn't have the serial number from the old machine because it was still in the shop. When I called HP back the following week, the prices had changed. The person I spoke with actually admitted that the prices change at random! #-o So, I ended up with an even higher upgrade printer for $99, plus new ink cartridges and a three-year warranty. I ended up spending more than I wanted, but hopefully it will be worth the extra money. If anything goes wrong with this printer in the next three years, they will ship me a replacement for the next business day. Not a bad deal...except the printer I was planning to buy used the same ink cartridges I already have. The new printer does not, so I had to buy new ones and I will send the others back. I'm told I can send an email to someone at HP and request an even trade on the unused cartridges. I'll recycle the used and partially used ones; they sent me a prepaid envelope for them. I can also return the old printer with a prepaid label, so HP can recycle it. The new printer arrived at the end of last week, but I didn't have time to set it up over the weekend. That's on the top of my my To Do list for tomorrow. :)

As you know, I attended the Networking Charity Brunch Image Forum yesterday in Morris County, NJ. I sold one ring, and it was a cheap one at that. :( The other vendors I spoke with didn't do any better, so I don't feel as bad. Still, it was not worth the six hours of prep time I put in on Saturday and the six hours I spent there on Sunday, not to mention the time it took to schlep everything to and from the event. 8-| I actually ended up losing $28 for the gig...which is less than it could have been. Regardless, I will not be attending any more of these events in the future.

A coworker likes a pair of earrings another coworker wore last week that I had made, and she asked me if I could recreate them in other colors. I told her I would see what beads I have and get back to her. Earlier today, I found a few color combinations that may work, so I will bring them in to her tomorrow. I have no idea what colors she wants...but she may like some of the beads regardless of the color. I don't have much that are identical to the ones she liked, but hopefully I have some that will inspire her. ;)

I was supposed to have another NAET treatment this coming Saturday, but I forgot it was Memorial Day weekend when I made the appointment. #-o Since I was invited to a barbecue on Saturday afternoon, I changed the appointment to early June. :P Lately, I've been itching a lot more than I had been...I guess I still have to be more careful than I thought. I was hoping I could eat more of a variety of foods since I've cleared a number of food groups in the past few months. Apparently, I haven't cleared enough to stray too far from my usual. :(

One of my horoscopes yesterday said something about perseverance..."If you don't give up, you can never fail." Here's to not giving up! Take care and have a great week! B-)

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #19: Better Late Than Never!

Hey, all! Sorry I'm later than usual. I was fighting with a project that I was hoping to put on display at my chiropractor's office tomorrow. I finally abandoned it, at least temporarily. :-q I still have a few pieces to price out for tomorrow, unless I display some older pieces instead. I may look at some of my earlier work and use some of those, since I also have to get organized for the Networking Charity Brunch Image Forum on Sunday. I have to decide how much to bring, price the items, and pack them up. We also have a BSNJ meeting this week, so I'm gonna be busy! :P

Well, I never heard back from my friend at MSU about the professor's contact information, so I looked him up in on I found a mailing address and phone number. I would have preferred email, but I opted to send him a note via snail mail. I felt funny calling his home out of the blue, and since I have a month before the scholarship deadline, I decided mail was best. Hopefully, he's still at the same address. :-/

Over the weekend, I finished the pendant I wanted to wear to the BSNJ meeting on Thursday, and I also made a crystal and seed bead ring. I'm still putting the final touches on the ring. I also worked on my Bead Challenge project for next month's BSNJ meeting. I'm really pleased with how it's turning out! :)

Part of the reason I've been so productive is because I made a big decision the other day. I'm shutting down the Facebook and Twitter accounts for the Virtual Mall as of tomorrow, May 15. It's been 18 months, and it's just not worth the time investment I've been putting into it. The Virtual Mall page on the website is still up for now. I can use that time more effectively doing other jewelry- and business-related activities. So, that's what I will do! ;)

I hope everyone enjoyed their Mother's Day -- as a Mom, with your Mom, or remembering your Mom. :x We went to my sister's house for dinner and ate on her patio. The weather was perfect! My sister made a three-course fondue dinner like we've had at The Melting Pot in past years. Apparently, the restaurant changed their menu and it was less appealing to my sister, so she decided to do it herself. Plus, her kids are fussy eaters, so it made more sense to feed them stuff they would eat rather than "force" them to eat something from the menu, and pay through the nose to boot! 8-| We all had a good time...we even managed to play a round of croquet between courses! :))

Mom and I started watching Lifetime's The Client List on Saturday. We saw Cybil Shepherd on The Revolution on Friday, and thought it might be something to see. Jennifer Love Hewitt stars and Cybil is her mother. It's pretty good...enough to make me tune in last night at 10:00 p.m. after catching up with the first five episodes On Demand. We'll see if I keep up with it...I think there are only three episodes left of this season. :|

I still have lots to do, so I will sign off now. Have a great week, everyone! B-)

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #18: It's Always Something!

Hey, everyone! Well, I got some bad news for my wallet today. My all-in-one printer/scanner/copier hasn't been printing in color for maybe a month or so, and I finally took it in to a local repair shop last week. Unfortunately, it's not something he can fix. He suggested sending it back to the manufacturer. Can you imagine what it would cost to ship this thing anywhere?! Looking back at my paperwork, the manufacturer's warranty was for one year and the extended warranty I purchased with it at Staples in March 2010 was for two years...which means it expired two months ago! Big shock, right? 8-| I'll have to call Staples ASAP and beg for mercy. Wish me luck with that! :P

I also learned this week that the professor I wanted to write my recommendation letter for the MJSA Education Foundation Jewelry Scholarship left Montclair State University after the Fall 2011 semester. I've reached out to a former classmate who might possibly have a way to reach him, but she hasn't gotten back to me. I think I recall him saying in which town he lives, so I may be able to look him up on Thankfully, I still have a month before the deadline...but if I can't find him, I may be S.O.L. (sh#t outta luck). :(

So, by now you've noticed the latest addition to the blog page...EMOTICONS! :-bd Sadly, they don't show up on the email version, sorry! :( Those of you who know me from my message board days know how much I loved my emoticons. ;) When we set up the blog back in 2009, the web designer struggled with adding them to the blog. I forget exactly why it didn't work, but I was resigned to have an emoticon-free blog. =(( She surprised me last week with the new emoticons, which were adapted from Yahoo! Messenger. B-) So, expect me to be more "emotive" in my posts from now on! :)) She also added icons for various social media sites directly to the bottom of each post on the blog page, so feel free to share! ;)

AAANNNNDDD...Firefox just crashed while I was writing my post! #-o Luckily, Blogger automatically saves regularly. #:-S

This week, I didn't work much on my Bead Challenge project, but I did make some headway on the project we started at the April BSNJ meeting. I saw some completed projects on Tuesday at the Board meeting, and I wanted to see if I can finish it by our May general meeting. :-? I also played around with seed and bugle beads over the weekend in an attempt to come up with a potential entry for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Seed Beads Jewelry-making Contest, with a deadline of May 31. I think I came up with a bracelet that might be "showy" enough to impress the judges, but I'm not sure. :-s I may enter it anyway, since you never know. Ironically, one of the criteria they claim to judge on is wear-ability [is that a word? :-/ ] I don't consider the majority of the winning pieces comfortably wearable, but I guess I'm in the minority. 8-|

On Saturday, I had another NAET treatment...this time for the vegetable mix, nightshade vegetable mix, melon mix (which includes pumpkin for some odd reason), and nut mix #1 again, which was about 50% cleared previously. Since I mostly had to avoid melons -- which I don't like anyway, but I get a bad reaction to pumpkin -- and vegetables, this was a pretty easy weekend. It's a lot harder when you have to avoid certain kinds of protein, starches, and beverages, particularly water. I'm making slow-but-sure progress. With a little luck, I may be finished with these treatments by the end of the year. :-bd

That's all I've got for now. Take care and have a great week! :-*

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