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-)

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

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-)

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

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-)

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

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-)

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