Today is the last day of June. I'm not ready for July. I don't mind the heat, but that humidity is horrible, how your clothes stick to you and it's harder to breathe. Ehh!
Trying to help Mom with some invitation she has to make. I'm making jewelry and she's making the invitations for the same event. Searching for clip art has proven slightly evil. Time-consuming and...*sigh* Least the room in which I sit is air-conditioned.
I bought wood. I'm hoping to make, finally, an item I'd thought about for a while. Two sort of. Expand my wooden line. You may guess what they are. I've posted pics on Flickr before.
My room has dissolved into a slightly unbelievable mess again. I think it can only handle so many projects at once and still be the place where I sleep, read, store most of the other things I own.
Still no job. I may have shot myself in the foot with one opprotunity. When the friends were up a few weeks ago, I neglected filling out an application until it may have been too late. Who knows.
Post Picture: Laundry. Tinkered with in PSE (Photoshop Elements)
Just had the scariest two seconds of my life when I read as an AOL headline that a teenager got killed at a Six Flags today. Bro1 went to Six Flags today. He's not home yet. He's technically still a teenager. *gulp* I clicked pensively. It wasn't him. While that haven't released the name, it was the wrong state. My condolences to the family. I cannot even imagine...though for those two seconds I almost did.
Went shopping with the rest of the family. Got what I hope is the last supplies purchase for my jewelry commission. It's coming along nicely. I'll try to get so prelim pics up soon.
Trying to let go of...the thing that I refrain from detailing on the interwebs. (Doing so could either make me intriguing or just annoy people.) It's hard. Really. I can't believe how much I'm clinging...mentally most of all. I'm such a cerebral person. *sigh*
Post Picture: Severely cropped image of one of the dead aliums. There was a heat wave a week or so ago. It killed them in a day. Sad. But I can spot them now...and know the name. That makes me happy.
I think I'm stuck. I can't describe it any better than that. I'm not even sure how I got here. I blame Catch-22, the book I'm reading at the moment. My dad suggested it. Umm...
Post Picture: A light post in the Target parking lot when Bro1 works. Taken through the car window. I wasn't driving.
There's a collaboration project that I saw on Etsy called Diary Project 2009. (Am I the only person who often types/writes 'dairy' when I mean 'diary'? I don't think I ever do the reverse.)
I signed up in May, I think, saying I could make an address page. Why do I always go for over-the-top? I have no real experience with graphic design unless you count the myriad of banner designs I've run through on Etsy. Saying I could make an address page was like trying to back up into a parking space my first time driving. Which I did. (over-achiever?)
I had a design in mind, but didn't really know it would take to make it. Over the last few days I assembled various pieces of clip art, put them together in PSE and Printmaster. I had to rework the design from fourteen spaces to ten as per the design instructions. (my bad) I pushed and adjusted, made and deleted more duplicate layers than I thought the system could take. But I'm happy with it. Almost thrilled. My little page. :) I hope the project manager approves.
Totally blanked on a title today.
I'm back to making my to-do lists on scratch paper. I'm also something of a writer, so there is no end of scratch paper. I flounder without my list. So far, I'm 10/16 of the items on the list.
I became a maven on ThisNext. Ha! For some reason, I don't think I can add that to my resume. It's a little sad, social media 'accolades' aren't more relevant. Ah well.
Work continues on my site as I teach myself the basics of web design. It's fun for me. Like a puzzling new language. I love puzzles and languages, though I'm painfully mono-lingual. Trying to work on a CSS layout. Yeah. I'd like to have it all done by the end of the year. I'd like to.
The sun shines today. Makes me smile inside.
Post Picture: Another one from Boston. Taken from the car window...we weren't stopped. I wasn't driving, so it was safe. We didn't actually go to Pagoda Park.
I did absolutely nothing yesterday. We slept in and lounged, had waffles (thanks Bro2) and watched TV. Lots of TV. Troy is a long movie, especially with commercials.
It's very rainy today. Thundering and stuff. Not a good picture-taking day, since my lightbox is essentially destroyed and I never did get around to getting better lights for it and instead went back to natural light.
It's one of those days where you just want to sleep. But I do have projects to finish, things to sew, burn, glue...FINISH! Ha!
Until tomorrow, or the next day/time I post. *waves*
Post Picture: A picture I took in Boston. We were really near the bay then.
I am alive. Can't believe I haven't blogged since Wednesday.
The last parts of my jewelry commission came. It's looking like I'll have spent about $60 in supplies, and this for 'costume' jewelry. I needed enough for 14 necklaces and 14 earrings. So I have too many of some things but it couldn't be helped, things sold by the strand and stuff.
I've made one set so far. I'm trying to keep in simple. She wants them to be favors for some young girls, 3-17. No wire wrapping or sterling. Silver-tone, with glass beads, I just couldn't do plastic, and butterfly charms. They're cute. I'll take pics before I give them to her.
Oh, and I've gotten another commission, not jewelry, that may lead the introduction of yet another new product at elpy. They'll be similar to a certain item I already have. Haven't worked out the details yet. Still thinking.
The friends have concluded their whirlwind tour of southern New England. It's back to life as usual. I'm glad. I like doing stuff...but all that back to back left me a little exhausted.
I'm beginning to think I was a little crazy when I thought, "Hey, I'll make three Etsy shops!" But I love them all. I believe I made the right choice, separating things the way I have, supplies, photography, and jewelry and accessories. It flows better. I just need to promote them more.
I had a dream last night, about The One I Miss. It was ridiculous, as dreams often are. Still...I just can't believe how much I have wanted/do want...something. I try to deny it, but it comes out in my sleep and disturbs the rest of the day. I tell myself that one day the whole thing may be as silly to me as others have been. But I don't think so. It's rocked me, and I'm not sure I like it.
Post Picture: Newest listing at rJax.
I finished those earrings about a week ago. Felt a little funny about them and held off listing them until today. They're called 'Abi' after a friend of mine who loves mint chocolate. She spells her name differently but the pairing of aventurine and the dark wooden bead reminded me of mint chocolate. (Picture is clickable)
Went to Boston yesterday. Walk/rode the Freedom Trail. I don't like the time constraints of day trips feeling so rushed to do everything. But I guess that just means we'll have to go back another day. It went over better than last time in Boston. Two words: Whale Watch. Whale's breath is super-funky...but they didn't tell you that until you were on the boat and way out in the ocean.
We stuck to terra firma this time. It was nice, except when it wasn't. I'll be uploading some of the 200+ pics I took to my Flickr. Boston pics on Flickr
Going to Boston today with the same family we spend Father's Day. We only see them once a year so we spend a lot of time together when they come. Actually isn't only the girls and Bro2. Feel sorry for him, but he doesn't want to stay home by himself. He's the baby.
This'll be the second time in Boston. Hopefully, since we don't plan on getting on a boat, Mom won't get sick.
This'll be the second time in Boston. Hopefully, since we don't plan on getting on a boat, Mom won't get sick.
I'd decided last week that I want to spend the majority of Sundays away from the computer. It's a challenge, but overall good. So much happens when I'm away from the computer...I'm not sure how much to actually share.
Yesterday was Father's Day. Some old friends that moved out of state made their annual visit. So after church we went on a picnic with them to Kent Falls State Park, about an hour from our house. The weather changed and was nice out there. We hiked up the falls and then stumbled down the other side. It was kinda fun in the arduous things are when you have good company.
I have a job application to finish. Some beads I bought arrived today. They have me jonesing for more, but I really need to put the kibosh on supplies buying...unless if I go to Boston tomorrow I can weedle my way to the Dick Blick up there. Then I wouldn't have to pay shipping. Ha!
I found a site called Blurb. I'm not sure how I found it, maybe from Qoop or Etsy. You can make your own photo books. I've thought about making a catalog of my wares when I finally start doing shows. This would be perfect. I have the layout in mind. I just need to make more things to fill it in. It's looking super-easy and not really expensive. Can't say how soon it'd be done, but it's an option...a resource. Makes me happy.
Post Picture: Forget where we were in the ascent but it's a picture of the falls. I again wished for a D-slr. Or perhaps a better knowledge of Photoshop Elements.
I opened my third shop. rJax has a listing. My domination of Etsy is underway. Ha!
I toyed with the idea for a while. I know I'm an amateur and there are so many wonderful photographers on Etsy. I'm being selective with what pics I chose to add, trying to keep a certain level of quality. It will be slow in growing for a while. I think I'm closest to my photography of any work that I do...and photography is actually more of a hobby, one I've ducked for about 7 years...heh. A bit of bravery, perhaps, in starting. I've got two hearters already and a hearter on the picture. It made me smile like nothing has for a few months. I'm excited about it.
Didn't get much computer time yesterday but I did manage to list the Nautico long earrings. Simple but so elegant. I love the earwires. I love love love them. They're sterling silver, lightweight and very feminine, graceful, like the ballet dancer of earwires. :)
I'm wristlet-ing. Over the past few days I've cut out a ton of wristlet bodies and straps (the outer corduroy parts), cut up a shirt for lining (it will yield 6 wristlets), cut interfacing for the straps and the bodies (the straps are a general pain), ironed the interfacing to both, sewed the straps' inside seams (they are two-part straps joined by a brass ring and double-stitched). I'm tired. Ha. I just want one to be done!
Oh, most of my supplies came in for my jewelry comission. I'm to make a bunch of butterfly charm necklaces and earrings as 'party favors' for a quinceanero. I'm using czech fire-polished beads. Really nice. I'll have to get a pic up soon.
So I finally framed my mlee print. There was a lot of back and forth and just forgetting. My mom bought me the perfect frame the other day. Love it. I'll try to get a better pic later.
My beads from the Netherlands came yesterday. That's what I call them, the beads from the Netherlands. (how come some countries have 'the' in front of them? no one says i'm going to the France?) I love them. I made a pair of earrings for myself, already know what I'm going to wear with them and made two pairs for the shop. I'm calling them Nautico...for some reason though, that feels like something that's already famous. Google found nothing.
Those are Nautico short. The others are on long kidney wires. I really like the kidney wires. I could use those all the time.
I'm still having a pricing issue, mainly with my mother and myself. I believe my items are worth what I charge. But she insinuates that I'd get more sales if they were lower and I made up the diff in shipping. But I can't justify charging $6 to ship earrings domestically. Conundrum. *sigh*
Bench pin came today! So happy. I didn't get to try it out yet. I had to run to Salvation Army to drop off four bags of clothes. For people who don't buy clothes often...sheesh! It was surprisingly easy and felt good.
The arrival of the bench pin does have me wondering where the earwires I ordered are. I just bought the bench pin and it had to ship across country. The earwires I ordered over a week ago. Ought to see if I can dig out the email.
I'm listing in both shops and trying to get ideas pinned down for rjax. I'm probably crazy to think I can run three shops. But...hopefully they'll all do well. I have enough time to give them.
Ideas! Ideas! Ideas! I have so many, but I really ought to go clean. My mom's best friend is coming in from out-of-state and she'll want to see my room and well...it's a creative mess.
Post Picture: New magnets. I'm on a magnet-making tear again. Trying to balance out my wares...in time.
My tinies came today! It's unbelievable how something new can make you feel some much better. I'm wearing them now, had to put them on as soon as they came. I love them.
Went to Joann's and didn't buy beads. I got e600 and a 1/16 circular paper punch. I'm thinking of making earring cards. The glue is for some bigger magnets I'm making.
So now I'll spend a few hours shifting listings from elpy [Handcrafted] to elpy [Closet], editing pics and otherwise carrying on online. Fun is!
Post Picture: Burgeoning button love. I'm getting into them. Most of them have come as freebies. I can see it could be dangerous. I'm attracting to little cute things.
So because I'm more than a little obsessed with organizing at the moment, I decided, on a very big whim, to open another shop. Yes, that bring my total to three but there are really only two active shops. I'm calling it elpy [Closet]. It's for destashing. I buy more than I need so I'm passing it on. It's pretty bare bones now, but I'll be listing more in the coming days.
I feel almost like I had a second child. (IRL there are no little LPs yet) It's exciting but tiring as I divide my attention between the two, do what I must to make the adjustments, fill out the forms, settle into a routine.
It'll make me work harder on elpy [Handcrafted]. My item total will drop drastically once everything's been moved over. I think it'll be easier to look at, easier for me to see what I have, what I need to make. I think it's a good move. I'm pleased.
Post Picture: Banner for newest shop.
Where does my resolve go from day to day? It's most confusing.
Finished those magnets and another set yesterday. I love this particularly photo. (It's clickable, as I always try to make my item pics.) I'm resisting the urge to rephoto all the others. Maybe one at a time, over a few days I'll do it.
So my super-secret earring project, that has been burning a hole in my brain for over a year, is on hold again. I need a bench pin. I didn't realize, being such a fanatical DIY-er (and being broke as a joke in the past and therefore taking no class), that it helps you saw straight. Yeah. *doof* So the hunt is on for one.
I've started listing sewing patterns. I hope they sell. Mom and I have oodles. *crafty hoarders* I'm only going to list uncut ones. It bothers me some that I now have two destash sections in my shop. But I think it's better than to overrun the first one with patterns. I know there will be a lot. I'm all about organizing right now.
Slow work continues on my site. It's kinda fun to read something and then code it. Old school from way back, WHAT?!
The only thing I have to say is that I have nothing to say. Enjoy the picture...please don't steal it. Thanks!
Working on some wristlets and my super-secret earring project, hopefully. Then I'll work on my website. Tentatively, one '<' at a time. Not that I have to but with programmer parents I've got the coding gene.
Post Picture: On the way to the library.
Sumeria Earrings. First time I ever used a prop in my pics but I need something to balance them. I like it.
I learned how to oxidize sterling silver yesterday. I'd bought LOS and had some plastic containers. I read more directions that I probably needed to. Then I set up everything outside on my worktable (far less illustrious that it sounds but it's the perfect height) and watched the stuff work.
I'm fairly pleased. The earwires look blacker than they are in real life where you can still see tints of green, they're pretty. I did lose two headpins in the process...it was windy and I was too excited with my new skill to weight the paper towel down. heh
Yesterday, I also redid the titles in my shop. I decided, in a rather random way, that I like the simpler titles. Plus, it's free to edit on Etsy and I love to edit. I don't think I'll change them back entirely. But I'll play around with the words. elpy's slowly finding its identity.
The list for today is longer than that but I didn't want to get into it all. Since this post where I exulted a little too much, I haven't done so well with list-making. In fact I'd left off with it altogether. So I'm back to it. I accomplish more this way. I need that structure.
I'm thinking of changing the name of this to Not Rachel because I am not Rachel. Wherever I go people think that's my name. Usually there is a Rachel there so I guess they think if there's one Rachel why not have two. It kinda cracks me up and makes me certain that I will not name my daughter Rachel because they people would never keep us straight. Dad and Bro1 have an issue sometimes...sharing the same initial.
There is a lot of hope for this month as I try to figure out, more definitively, where I'm going with all of it, where it's taking me. Shall see.
I want this to be the month that I get more organized about my shop...s. Yes, I will shortly have two Etsy shops: elpy [Handcrafted] and rJax. rJax has been registered for a while, but I was indecisive about actually trying it. elpy will continue the way it has been, with more new additions in different categories throughout the rest of year. rJax will have photography and paper goods. Paper is/was my first medium and therefore my favorite. So in a way I'm going back to my first love. Am I crazy? Maybe. But if I don't try I'll always wonder and that would drive me crazy.
I'm not exactly sure how I go about organizing. I should track my spending more carefully. I need a plan, what kinds of items I want to offer and who my audience is. Thinking about this recently, I discovered that the audience I want may not be the audience I'm actually attracting...which is fine, just need to switch mental gears. I need to work out a more solid pricing structure. Figure out how much my time is worth, charge accordingly and not apologize. Promoting is the ultimate conundrum for me. I can make lists and stuff to get back, but actually opening my mouth or even sending an email sometimes...
Shall see. I get a level of resolve at the beginning of every month. But I can't run two shops by the seat of my pants so I have to do this. Creating is my passion...one of them at least. (Writing is the other, can you tell?) It deserves to be presented and cared for as professionally as I can.
Post Picture: A tree I passed on the walk to the PO.