Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What's in a name?

I need your help, bloggy buds. I'd really like to move away from blogger and get my own domain name. However, I can't figure out one I like that also sticks with the name of my blog. I don't really want to change its name; I like its name.


I'll make it worth your while. If you help me pick a winner, and I actually purchase the name, I'll throw in a little reward for you. What kind of reward? Well, I'm sure you can figure that out. I mean, what do I spend my days doing? Hmm? *grin*

Help me, help you. (Did I just quote Tom Cruise? Are the aliens going to come eat me now?) I'd really like to stick with a .com, and it can't be incredibly long (as if 2bellesandabead.com isn't long... but hey, it STICKS with ya, you know?).

So what do you say? Ideas?

You can check to see if your domain name ideas are available at GoDaddy.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Operation: Randomness

The Tagaholic, Errrrr, Sandy tagged me for the random things meme. The rules are to post the rules on your blog, write six random things about yourself, and then tag six people.

But you see, I'm not much for rule following. I think rules were made to be broken, or at least tested (and I can hear my parents singing the Ballad of the Parent of the Strong-Willed Child right now...). SO, will she follow the rules? Will she or won't she?

I guess we'll find out.

I like writing random posts. I've been meaning to do one for a while, but you know how that goes. I'm a bad blogger lately. Shame, shame. Someone throw chocolate at me as punishment already. Oh well. Here we go! Wait!! Before we do, I should also thank all of you who nominated my blog for the "I Love Your Blog" award. You know who you are (and I know who you are too, but I'm paranoid that if I start listing you all, I'll leave one out on accident and that would just be bad.) So thank you. All of you. I adore you all. Will that work? *grin*

Here we go for real...

* I hate scrapbooking. I've now spent over forty hours on a digital scrapbook (aka "adoption profile"). I've secretly enjoyed it. But I hate scrapbooking. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. (Kristin, are you still my friend?)

* I need a good kick in the rear. Well, what's left of it anyway. You see, I've been working it off for the past few weeks. Figuratively, I mean, in my jewelry business. Not actually, you know, like with exercise. Who exercises anyway? I think that died with the invention of the internet. At least it did for me.

* This bullet point is a continuation of the last one just cause I feel like it. Gosh! So, the kick I need in what's left of my rear is because of my goal setting and reaching. I don't need help setting them and reaching them. I need help rewarding myself for setting and reaching them. I set one sales goal for myself and decided that when I hit it, I'd reward myself with a nice, new toy (a rolling mill, new camera lens, or kiln). I reached that goal and bumped up the reward to the next goal. I met that goal and put it off even more. And so on and so forth and now I'm one tiny sale away from doubling my original goal and I can't make myself do it. I decided I'd go for the lens (and oh what a sweet lens it is!) but even though I want it so much I daydream about it daily, I just can't write that check. What's wrong with me?! I'm a shopaholic - this should not be a problem. Commitment issues. I have commitment issues.

* I secretly wish I were a photographer instead of a jeweler.

* I still love designing jewelry, but the volume of repetitious items I've made lately has made me want a vacation. I'll have to slow down once we get a baby. I won't be able to keep up this pace and be a mom at the same time. Please note that I'm not complaining. Not at all. I'm thrilled! But I'm also tired. I need a nap. Or thirty.

* Our home study might be submitted for approval this week. Finally. Maybe. Don't hold your breath.

* This is random point #7. See? It's the whole rule thing.

* I'm really pushing it now, aren't I?

* Sandy, are you still my friend?

* I took this photo over the weekend, at my parents' new house. They just bought a new house. Yay, new ho-boaters! (If you're scratching your head in confusion right now, "ho-boaters" is "home owners" when you have the flu... which is what I had when we closed on our house a few years ago. Ho-boaters just stuck. Got it? Cool.) I took it in their new bathroom, which has a window. I wish my bathroom had a window. I wish my house had their house. It's a nice house. It's not so easy to photograph yourself photographing yourself in a mirror. Although it is easier than photographing your own ear. Ladies and gentlemen (man?), this is me without makeup (but also without zits - Photoshop is my friend).

* The photo is in our scrapbook/profile. Want to see the page it's on? Here you go. Sneak peek. Maybe I'll be nice and show you the rest someday.

* You see the necklace I'm wearing? It's an "oops!". It was an order for this cherry blossom pendant. However, I drilled the hole just a little off-center, so it hung quite crooked. Oops. I won't sell something like that, but I will keep it and wear it. You really can't tell when it's on, I found out this weekend, so oooooops! Yay me. I like my cherry blossom pendants, and now I have one! (If you were wondering, I did re-make it, though much better, and it is happily on its way to its new owner as we speak. Err, type. Or whatever we're doing right now. I guess I'm typing and you're reading. Or bathing in a vat of chocolate. I don't know you. I can't pretend to know what you're doing, you sick freak.)

* That's all!

* WAIT. Not quite. I can't end on #13. I just can't.

* So I guess I'll say something else.

* I'm supposed to tag 6 people, but I'll just leave that choice up to you. Who has time to do a meme anyway these days when there is chocolate to be eaten (or bathed in)?

* That's all.

* For real this time. I think. Who can tell though, really? Those pesky commitment issues again...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fun with Numbers

A little over a week ago, I purchased some items from a certain home goods store that shall remain nameless. I wanted some bamboo/wood-like objects to use as jewelry photo props and I found some online for a good price and with free shipping.

This sounds like it's going to be a normal story, right?


Because nothing in our lives is normal right now. It's the curse of the license plate. I know it is. No, no. Just like everything else at the moment, this story has a bizarre twist.

Are you on the edges of your seat yet? No? Well, ok, then. I'll wait.

*twiddles thumbs impatiently* (What the yahoo does "twiddle" even mean?! And what the sam friggin' hill does it have to do with thumbs and the lack of patience?)

You there yet? Cool. Now we can begin. Slow poke.

Early Tuesday afternoon, the doorbell rang. I thought, "Ooooh, my bamboo/wood-like jewelry photo props from a certain home goods store that shall remain nameless are heeeeere!" (Yes, I thought it exactly like that. And then I did a happy dance.) Indeed, it was the FedEx guy with my home goods stuff all boxed up.

He gave me four or five boxes and I look at him a little funny, but thank him and go back inside as he went back out to his truck to leave. Or so I thought. I was in the middle of something, so I did not open my bamboo/wood-like things right away. About a minute later, the doorbell rang again. I thought, "Now what?!"

FedEx guy again. With five or six more boxes. I said, "Wow, I don't remember ordering this much stuff!" and he gave me The Look. You know the one. The "u-huh, sure lady, whatever you say" look. I thanked him again and went back inside, bewildered at this mass of boxes now stacked in my living room.

I counted. Eleven boxes. Eleven.

I still was not finished with what I was doing, but I thought I should maybe open up my bamboo/wood-like things and tear up the boxes before they begin multiplying again and sprouting extra limbs or something. I had a lovely discussion in my head about how un-eco-friendly this certain home goods store was being, sending each item in its own huge shipping box. The nerve! The un-green-ness! The anti-environmental-ocity! Idgits.

I opened up the first box and peeked inside. I found the invoice and blinked. Six items on the invoice. Six. Eleven boxes. Six items.


I dig a little deeper into the box and pull out... six items. Six items in one box. With ten more to go.

By this time I'm reallly confused and grab the next box and rip it open. Inside I find one invoice and six items. The same six items.

Holy yahoo, they do multiply!
One order, six items, one box - eleven times. The certain home goods store sent my six items that I ordered once eleven times.

I suddenly realized that I should check my credit card to make sure it was charged only once. It was. I called the certain home goods store and began to tell the lady the story. She mumbled something about "being charged as many times as you push that little submit button". I stopped her and informed her of my credit card being charged but once and my paranoia of pushing the submit button more than once. Yes, people, it's a true paranoia. Pushing that submit button, you must understand, sends a jolt of panic up and down my spine and I click it as quickly and as lightly as I possibly can so as to not awake the multiple-click-submit-button-dragon, angering him and causing him to charge my credit card multiple times. So you see, dear certain home goods store that shall remain nameless lady, that scenario is virtually impossible.

She believed me. I think.

"Eleven boxes?"
"Eleven boxes."
"Of the same stuff?"

Then she laughed. Me? Not so much because she then told me that she'd be calling me two days later and setting a time for FedEx to return to collect the ten extra boxes. Oh joy. Three days of eleven boxes full of over $500 worth of merchandise that does not belong to me in my one small living room.

Thursday she called and said FedEx would be coming Friday.

Friday morning the doorbell rang. FedEx guy. The same FedEx guy. He gave me a confused smile as I pushed the ten boxes of six items each towards him. He gave me The Look. Not the first look, mind you, a new The Look. This look was more like, "Women!!!" (complete with the so-exasperated-can-almost-see-the-nonexistent-eyeroll-for-you-
crazy-hormonal-indecisive-creatures-expression). Oh, FedEx guy. If only you knew.

I was so tempted to rifle through all eleven boxes and pick out the best of each six items. But I didn't. Mostly out of exhaustion. A certain home goods store that shall remain nameless better be dang glad that I'm an honest person.

Cause one of those six items? Nice cloth-lined basket. I really could have found a use for eleven cloth-lined baskets.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Meet Google Analytics

Since more than one of you lovely readers have asked where I find my keyword stats, I thought I should just write a whole post about it.

There are many options out there, but I've been using Google Analytics. It's not the most user friendly, but it's smart and has lots of valuable information for any kind of site you're wanting to track. I use it on 2 Belles & a Bead as well.


It gives you a simple code (invisible) that you plug into your html, and soon enough you'll have lots of fun stats... where your visitors live, how long they stay at your site, what sites referred them to yours, and of course, the coveted keyword stats.

There you go! Now you can see how many moles have souls and just happen to read your blog. Have fun. *grin*

Monday, September 22, 2008

How big is a mole hole?

I couldn't tell ya, but apparently someone thinks my blog is the mole guru. Oh yes. It's another crazy Google keywords post. I mean, what else should I blog about? I've been trying to think of a topic for a week now. I've been a horrible blogger.

Sure, I could bore you with adoption stuff or jewelry stuff or how we were five minutes away from calling the police on Saturday and reporting a stolen truck, but isn't Google so much more entertaining? Ok maybe not, but Dustin stole my blog topic. So here we are, and here are a few of the many crazy keywords that have brought people to my blog in the past few weeks. Enjoy!

"shagadelic song" - Yeah, baby!

"how do i find a song if i know some words" - Well you certainly wouldn't type the words into Google... nope, that would be a total waste of time!

"all dreams have died" - Word.

"chain maille jokes" - You all know I love chain maille. But is it funny? Is it? Do you laugh at the chain maille? "Why did the Jens Pind cross the road?" That really is not working for me. Sorry.

"humuhumukununukuapua'a song" - humuhuha-huh? I think that's the Hawaiian pig nosed fish or something. Can Hawaiian pig nosed fish sing? Do they mount them on the wall and sell them online to people who enjoy tacky decor? *gasp* Are pig nosed fish really rednecks in disguise?!

"can i paint over shiny brass trim" - Oh, no. No no no! It's better if you end the relationship right here and now with a clean break and just rip out the fake, shiny fake brass stuff and replace it with nice brushed nickel. Just do it. DO IT. You'll thank me later. I promise.

"again and again before for me you metal" - Uuhhhhhh... riiiiiiight.

"the cutest earrings ever" - Can be found here.

"i have got soul but i am not solder" - Oh thank goodness! If my solder started talking to the Google, about its soul and stuff, I might get all scared. And then send it to the eternal firey pit of my torch flame.

"soul eat" - Eat, soul, eat. Eat now! Chicken soup, anyone?

"my mole is hanging off" - Dagnabit people, didn't we cover this last time?! What is it with you googlers trying to rip off your moles?!

"my soul is like a mole" - Is it hanging off? How big is its hole? Is it solder? Can I melt it? Is it hungry?

"i want to know how to spend the song in my decument" - Decument? Spend the song? In your decument? Crazy googler say whut? That is just so many levels of wrong. I'm speechless. Well, almost, anyway. Or not at all, really. But stating you're speechless implies -
like no other phrase can - that a deep level of stunning stupidity has been unfortunately thrust upon your day. And that, dear bloggy friends, is exactly what has happened here. So you'll pardon my speechless-lessness, I'm sure. It's been a long week.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I Love Fall Giveaway - Winner!

First of all, thank you all so much for playing along. Your sweet comments on our work warmed my heart. *grin*

Now, for the winner!

By random computer generation, comment #33 - Cheryl from Hope for Each Day said:

"All of your jewelry is great!

Count me in."

You got it, Cheryl. You're in! I will be contacting you regarding redeeming your prize. *grin*

Thanks to everyone, again, who played along. If you didn't win these earrings, then stay tuned and keep an eye out for the 2 Belles monthly newsletter. You'll have a chance to win earrings every month. You can't beat that!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I Love Fall Giveaway, Part 2 - A 2 Belles Giveaway!


Guess what! It's Thursday, and that means it's time for me to play along with Laurel Wreath's I Love Fall Giveaway! Laurel has asked me to host a giveaway for 2 Belles & a Bead jewelry, and I couldn't say no. Laurel has been a great friend to me for years, and somehow she continues to put up with my craziness. *grin*

To enter my giveaway, all you need to do is visit 2 Belles & a Bead and sign up for our monthly email newsletter (click here or on "Newsletter" from the 2 Belles home page and fill out the form) then leave me a comment after. I promise you'll love our newsletter because it's short, sweet, and has a contest every month for free jewelry!

Wait! I know many of you are wondering what to do since you're already newsletter subscribers. If you already subscribe, then just leave me a comment stating what your favorite 2 Belles piece is.

The contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. You can enter through September 9th, and the winner will be drawn and announced on September 10th.

Now... onto the fabulous prize you're waiting for!

Well, when I think of fall, I think of mixed metals. Okay, when I think of anything I think of mixed metals because as my friends know, I'm juuust a little bit addicted. But really, these earrings I'm giving away today just scream fall with their warm tones.

One of my more popular designs, they are completely handmade from sterling silver, solid copper, and solid brass. Each disc is given a unique texture and an antique patina to bring out the details. If you are the winner, you will receive a pair of these triple metal earrings in your choice of sterling silver hoops (as shown) or on plain sterling silver ear wires.

So go on and enter, and don't forget to visit Laurel today to see what she's giving away.

Good luck! *grin*

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I Love Fall Giveaway, Part 1


My dear friend Laurel is hosting a fabulous fall giveaway on her blog this week. I promise you won't want to miss it! She's giving away some great goodies, and so are some wonderful bloggers she is featuring (including yours truly *grin*). Be sure to check in all week to enter everything!

Have fun and good luck!