Saturday, January 31, 2009

Random Fact of the Day #2

Yesterday I walked down the hall and saw something peculiar out of the corner of my eye. I peered into the laundry room to see just what it was.

This is what I found:

The question isn't why, but rather who?

Because bwue fuzzy wuzzy beaws obviously like to swim.

That is all.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Out with the old...

I've been dreading this day for a while. The day I go and decide to completely change up the style of our product photography. See, I'm more comfortable with my neutral gray, doing the same old thing every time. But that's not what catches the eye of lots of people, at least not on Etsy. And since one of my marketing strategies this year is to tap better into Etsy, well, it was time to step out of my comfort zone.

I see lots of gorgeous artsy fartsy photos on Etsy and wonder to myself "hmm, could I do that?". I wasn't sure I could handle it. I mean, wow, SO much color... no gray? What? NO GRAY? A color theorist I am not. I mean, shoot... my couches have beige slip covers, my rug is beige, our chair and the accent walls are chocolate brown. (At least nothing is gray.)

A couple weeks ago Dustin and I ran around town, finding little things to use as props. We went to the used book store with the sole purpose of buying some hard cover books in pretty colors. I found the coolest old, old, OLD Winnie the Pooh book in a nice shade of red. I had to have it. I'll actually read that one to our kids. Then I saw The Yearling in a lovely teal. A couple others that I'm not sure of the titles... but their covers were pretty in their chocolate brown and purple-ish. Score!

Next I found some white vases, perfect for displaying hanging earrings. Finally I raided my mom's stash of scrapbook paper. People. The woman has a stash big enough to scrap for the entire state of Texas. Score!

I went home and got to work. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to do a good job. I'm not sure why, because I have a fabulous camera and an even fabulous-er macro lens... but I was afraid they would suck.

They don't. In fact, I pretty much love them and am wondering why I was so afraid of color before. Hopefully you'll love them too, and they'll catch some spending eyes over at Etsy.

We're also planning some pretty big website changes this year, so stay tuned to see how that all pans out. I'm excited!

Here are a few new things.. photographed with no gray! Yay!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Random Fact of the Day

While in the shower, I shaved my leg. Yes, singular. The other was forgotten.

I didn't realize this until I was already getting dressed.

Poor lone, hairy leg.

That is all.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I've never been a huge Kelly Clarkson fan. Don't get me wrong... I think her voice is pretty amazing and I enjoyed seeing her win American Idol. I'm not a huge fan of the type of music she did at first, but like a few of her later songs. I have a tremendous amount of respect for someone who goes against the grain and does their own music. Anyone can sound decent after time in the recording studio (hence the onslaught of recording artists that suck live - though I don't think Kelly is one of them), but not everyone can write good music.

I hadn't heard "Sober" until fairly recently. For some reason, I can't get it out of my head. It's about addiction... not necessarily to alcohol, just addiction to something, anything. To paraphrase a clip I read from her about the song, everyone has something. The only things I've been addicted to are chocolate and sugar. *giggle* But when I hear "Sober", it speaks to me not about addiction as much as about survival and beating the odds, which I feel like I'm still in the middle of trying to do myself.

I'm sure I'm one of the last people on the planet to hear it, but just in case you haven't or have but would like to hear it again, here is a video of her performing it live. You can read the lyrics here.

I don't know about you, but I'm still trying to pick those weeds.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Macro Monday #11

A few of you came really close to guessing last week's photo. So close, in fact, that I will call them wins.

Last week, Macro Monday was a close up of a large Scotch Brite pad from one of the jewelry supply companies I frequent. They can be used to clean metal and give it a matte or brushed finish... but I still prefer the results that messy old 0000 steel wool gives me.

Now for this week:

Got a guess? Let me know! Can you outsmart that swanky macro?

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's a Dog's Life

I get magazines from Jeffer's Pet Supply once in a while. I even order from them once in a while. Stuff is cheaper from them than from the various big chain pet stores in town and I've been very pleased with their service. In fact, except for food, I get most of our pet supplies online. Jeffer's has some super cheap stuffed dog toys that I stock up on a couple times a year. They're cheap enough that I didn't care that our dogs used to go through one every couple of weeks. They last quite a bit longer now as the stinkies have learned the fine art of being lazy. I have taught them well.

I received a new Jeffer's magazine this week and decided to sit down with it the other night and think about what I need to order soon. The dogs are down to their last fuzzy toy and their hard Nylabone chew toys are old enough that they should probably be taken to some kind of facility that is equipped to deal with hazardous waste.

I flipped through the pages and paused on the ones showing doggy beds because their doggy beds are also a couple years old and though I wash them regularly, they're starting to look less than appealing. I found a couple of possibilities and then as I turned to the last doggy bed page, I about fainted at what I saw.

Ridiculous Doggy Bed

And by "ridiculous", I mean what the yahoo is wrong with people?!

A pillow top coil spring bed? A pillow top bed??!? For a dog? And it weighs 70 lbs?! Are you kidding me? Not that I don't want the best for my pups, but for pete's sake, that mattress looks nicer than the one on our bed and it costs more than the crib mattress we'll be buying for our human child.

But heaven forbid the canines don't get their beauty sleep. Else they'll look mangey when they go out for a stroll. Doggies take walks in style these days, you know:

Lazy Dog Walker

Or for the more crunchy AP minded doggy parents:

Crazy Mutt Wearer

Just when I thought that dog wearing "for maximum bonding and safety" was the craziest of the crazy
(and all my friends know I'm totally a future AP mama - in fact, I'm about to purchase my third... yes third human baby carrier to stock up for our own future human baby wearing experience... emphasis on human - so don't getcher panties in a wad over that) (and if you think three is a lot, you should talk to my friend Shannon. *giggle*), I found this:

Words Fail Me


Sorry. I just lost a few brain cells thinking about this product. So much so that I actually googled "bottled water for dogs" because, hey, I have nothing productive I should be doing at the moment (and by "nothing" I mean tons) and found this.


Ok, so my dogs are spoiled a little. They usually get Christmas presents. I buy them the foofoo dog treats that look like real cookies from Petco. I also buy them carob doggy candy so they aren't deprived of the chocolate experience. They get one of the best pet food brands I can find, in a low allergen formula made only from high quality venison and sweet potatoes. I give them filtered water from our fridge thingamabop... but chicken flavored bottled water? I just don't even really know what to say. Actually, I do. I love my dogs enough that if I were made of money, I would probably spoil them with such frivolous things as pink froufrou strollers and pillow top coil spring mattresses.

But bottled chicken water? Chicken water? I totally draw the line at chicken water. My oldest dog can stare me down with her big, sad eyes and get almost anything she wants, and she drinks plain old water flavored water. With that in mind, I'm secretly convinced that these canine butt lickers all hyped up on chicken water, showered with such insane levels of attention, are just one diamond studded collar away from world domination.

Then we'd all be drinking chicken water and playing fetch.

And that, bloggy friends, is a very scary thing indeed.

Though looking at my mutts all sprawled out on their backs with their feet up in the air and without a care in the world, sleeping like nobody's business... perhaps a dog's life wouldn't be so bad afterall.
I mean, they know they're cute. And some of them are quite talented. Like this one:

How on earth, with such cute things, can there be wars and hate? Maybe if all the meanies in the world were whistled at by this canine cutie, they'd stop being so cold. Can't you just see the headline?


These are the things I think about when I should be asleep. See, this blogging thing can be dangerous. I shall go to bed now before I have guinea pigs saving us from an extra-terrestrial invasion.

Don't laugh. You never know. Those squeals? They could quite possibly be the exact ear-splitting frequency needed to shatter alien brains.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Macro Monday #10

Let's see if we can get back on track with Macro Monday, shall we? And by "we", I mean me... your very own favorite lazy bloggy bud. And by "lazy", I mean working my little butt off.

But I have a photo for you today! Let's see if we can guess it, shall we? And by "we", I mean YOU.

Do ya know it? Do ya, do ya?! Good luck!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Pachelbel Rant

You may have already seen this, but I had not seen it before tonight. A friend sent it to me, and I laughed and laughed!

Pachelbel is the person who composed Canon in D. I'm sure you've heard it... it's pretty common at weddings. This stand up act just goes to show that there truly is nothing new under the sun!

Disclaimer: do not watch if you are offended by a couple of mild cuss words or if you happen to be in the same room as littles who like to mimic things they hear.

What's really funny to me is that I LOVE Canon in D. Good thing I'm not a cellist. *grin*

And yes. His first name was Johann. *giggle*

Wait. Who's the geek?!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Organizing Madness

1... 2... 3... 4... 5... 6... 7....

and so on and so forth. This is my life right now. Counting. Little bitty beads. And weighing. Lots and LOTS of metal. And hoping my little scale is pretty accurate. Gotta tell you, I'm not in love with this time of the year. I don't expect to like 2009 until well after April 15th.

Going through my ginormous and ever growing stash of jewelry supplies has given me lots of (hopefully) neat ideas for pieces, only I'm not allowing myself to make ANYthing new that is not requested by a customer until I finish counting inventory. For someone who hasn't had her muse around in quite some time, this is quite the frustrating experience!

But this too shall pass, and then I shall have some pretty new things to show you. I've also found an awesome new supplier that has some components I've been wanting for a very long time. I plan to snag some of those goodies pretty quickly and see what I can do with them. I have a few ideas!

I think in 2009, one of my biggest goals is to simplify things. I'm *extremely* unorganized, which is one reason why this inventory/tax thing takes me so dadgum long. Well, that, and I haven't shut down shop, so I'm juggling working on filling orders during the afternoon and doing the paperwork into the wee hours of the night. However, If I had been entering invoices into the computer all year, I would be done by now. But noooo. I wait until the last minute. I *need* to organize my business paperwork - both incoming and outgoing - in a major way this year because I simply do not have enough time to waste on being unorganized anymore and that will not be helped at all with a baby whenever that happens (though I'm thinking it might never happen anyway!). I think the solution here is two-fold. One, get the inventory program that my dad is writing for me finished and two, schedule one day a month where I require myself to sit down and play catch up for all the not-yet-done paperwork for the month. Every month, without fail, no excuses.

People, I need accountability. Bug me at the end of every month. Call me. Text me. Email me. Show up at my door with chocolate and sit down with me and help me. Whatever you do, make me do this! Hello. Me. Desperate!! I also plan to roll out a more simple jewelry line. Not so much simple as in "oh, wow, boring" but more like can be made and reproduced easily. I won't completely get rid of my cool-as-heck-metalsmithing-skillz-yo labor intensive work, but I need to have a line that does not take hours upon hours upon hours to replenish. I don't want to raise all my prices higher, so I need to do this if I don't want to go crazy in '09. And I'm already halfway there as you well know, so... yeah.

I'm also in semi freak out mode with our house. Our flooring project is all but complete. Really all that's lacking is quarter-round on the baseboards, a couple threshholds, and some painting on the trim. Yay! We bought a ton more flooring than we needed. We also wasted a lot of flooring making mistakes! *grin* But even still, we saved so much money buying from an overstock warehouse (bought a really good name brand of really thick flooring too - SO cheap!) and doing the work ourselves. Sure, it took half a year, but hey, that freed up money to buy the finer, more important things in life - like chocolate. And iPhones.

Even though the flooring is all but complete, there is still so much to do to make our house acceptable-to-Crystal-baby-ready. Oh.My.Might.Die.NOW. We spent a couple of days gutting the garage room of all the junk that had accumulated in there. People. We're talking BAGS of stuff to be recycled, thrown away, and donated. Major purging going on here. I even finally got rid of my pregnancy and birth books. I had quite a few. I bought all the good ones that all the crunchy people recommended. I even read a couple. They were hard to let go. I'm not sure why. I guess because it was like the last thing we had laying around that offered any kind of hope for carrying a child. I mean, they all talk about pregnancy and childbirth like it's a given... but it's not. I'm finally okay with that, but getting rid of the books took me this long. An entire year and a half since we learned we would never conceive. That's quite a long time. Unfortunately, we took them to a second hand book store and got pennies for them when I probably could have sold them online for a much better deal (I paid pretty pennies for them used - they're not super cheap books - in demand I guess) but I just wanted them goneNOWitsTIME-kthx. So gone they are. Now I just have a lone pregnancy test remaining in my bathroom cabinet. I actually completely forgot about it until right now. Maybe I'll do some kind of ceremonial burning of it. Or maybe I'll bury it, water it, and watch to see if it grows us a baby. Do babies grow on trees?

Back to the house. Now that the garage is mostly cleaned and purged, it seriously needs to be organized. SERIOUSLY. Things are now in boxes on the floor. I want everything OFF of the floor that is not a piece of furniture. I'm through with clutter. I don't like stepping over things to get to my freezer, nor do I like risking my life just to get to my massive supply of bubble mailers and jewelry boxes. So our next "project" will be to get some kind of shelving system(s) in there, move some stuff around (my bench will be scooted over and the freezer will be moved closer to the door) and get stuff organized. I can't wait for this to happen. It's been a long time coming.

Last month we put two desks in the office. It took me half of the year to pick them out (and if you think I'm joking, just ask Dustin. They should have been bought in July.) Actually, I had picked some out from Wal-Mart sooner and an hour after I put them into my cart to purchase them (free site-to-store shipping), they decided they weren't carrying them anymore. NOT.HAPPY.CAMPER. I gave them a week or two to change their minds because, well, that was just rude!

*tick, tock, tick, tock*

But they did not. So I "pulled up my big girl panties" (though to be honest, I'm not quite sure why they were down to begin with... I mean, I don't usually shop sans panties. That's kinda sick. Shame on you for coming up with that one.) and shopped at my arch nemesis, Target. Oh yes. Target. We do not like The Targets anymore. Ooooh no. But that's another story for another day.

We bought the desks from Target cause they were cheap and they are beautiful. For months I had been trying to run a business on a tiny little printer table. Oh my. My skinny monitor hardly fit, much less all the other stuff I needed to be functional. Not fun. Not fun at all. But that's all in the past and now I run my busines from one of our two cheap but beautiful desks. They're a deep dark espresso color with a hint of red tones. I can't believe they were selling solid wood desks for so cheap. Maybe Target is not so bad afterall. Now we're in the second phase of the office project.

Do you see a problem here - multiple projects all at once? Flooring? Office? Garage? Nursery? Eating? Keeping sane? Breathing? Running business? Staying alive? Pulling up panties?

NO WONDER I'm exhausted!

The second phase is putting together bookcases. Or watching my dad put together bookcases while chatting his ear off, really. He's so good to me. Love my daddy! SO excited about organizing the office. Soooo excited.

Next is finishing the garage and the nursery. Then my life might be semi back to normal... well, if it's after April 15th that is. Or maybe I'll never be normal. I have my doubts. But if not normal, then at least hopefully organized and safe for a little one who may or may not ever find his or her way into our home.

Happy weekend, bloggy buds.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Here it is Thursday and me with no Macro Monday for this week.

Hello! Me? Lame. Oops.

Last week's photo was definitely a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. MMmmmm. Tasty. I should know since I ate it immediately following its 15 seconds of fame.

Here are some more to make you droooooool. Food porn. (Oooh can I say that??! No, I'm thinking not. Oops. Oh well. Too late now. What's done is done. Though I'm now going to be forever afraid to check my Google Analytics.)

I'm going to have to skip this week's macro because, well, hello it's Thursday! Sorry! I've been swamped with business stuff the entire week. Hopefully I'll get back on track soon. Not that I have anything to say, really. Of course, I spent an hour talking my dad's ear off this evening, concluding the discussion with how lame a blogger I am these days because I "have nothing to say".

At least I can laugh at myself.

Have a good whatever-it-is-until-I-meet-you-again, people!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

So long, 2008

So 2008 is finally over. I can't say that I'm sad to see it go. Like its buddies prior, it wasn't the best of years for me personally. Business-wise, it was borderline fantastic. But other than that, I'd like to send it off quietly into the night and forget it ever existed.

But because that's just not possible, I thought I'd try to come up with a list of things I learned in 2008. So here we go.

In 2008, I learned...

* ... that the laughs never end when you lock yourself in the bathroom naked. Just when you think the story has been forgotten, someone brings it up yet again. (And sometimes that person is you.)

* ... that God can give me a deep love for people I never before thought possible and make me an advocate for a cause I never thought I'd be interested in.

* ... that cloth diapers are super cute.

* ... that music makes me feel better.

* ... that a housing project you expect to only take a few weeks will, in reality, take about six months.

* ... that acupuncture needles hurt. I don't care who you are or what you say, acupuncture needles in my feet hurt!

* ...
that my husband was in a bell choir and knows entirely too much about Riverdance.

* ... that when the adoption world says "a couple weeks", they really mean a few months at least.

* ... that I'm much more of a crunchy person than I ever thought possible and that as the years go by, the more I lean towards grace based discipline for our future kids.

* ... that God's grace is, in a word, awesome.

* ... that I'm a klutz in the kitchen, and really need flashing labels on my baking items and a zap collar to warn me when I'm about to use the baking powder instead of baking soda.

* ... that laughing at myself keeps me sane.

* ... that jewelry making is pretty cool, but photography has my heart.

* ... that I looove driving our baby SUV. Though I don't love parking it. The angels break out into song when I get it right.

* ... that I am very relieved I will never be pregnant. Like singing hallelujah relieved.

* ... that if voting really made a real difference, it would be illegal. (Thank you, dear friend, for that line. I still need my bumper sticker.)

* ... that it's hard to blog when I'm not doing very well.

* ... that I am stronger than I think, but weaker than I'd like.

* ... that somehow, even when life throws you one crappy suck year after another, it still goes on. And on. And somehow you know it just might all end up okay.