Sports Aside 7.31- Strike 3

I live in a torn state. It's politically blue but sometimes bleeds red for the Boston Red Sox. Today, they traded Manny Ramirez, arguably one of the best pure hitters in baseball history.

Now, I'm a Yankees fan by birth, (if you're not one it can't be explained) so I'm not really sad to see him go. He usually killed the Yankees. And the 1-2 punch, though actually it was usually 3-4 or 4-5, of he and Ortiz was somewhat lethal...in athletic terms. They were monsters at the plate.

I just don't understand it logically. Ramirez had a whopping 2 months left on his monster contract. The Red Sox couldn't tough it out, Cowboy Up, for 2 more months? Were his skills eroding that much, was his mind that far gone? They still ended up paying $7 mil to the Dodgers to cover the remainder of his salary.

The Sox seem to have gotten stiffed in the trade-deadline deal. The Dodgers got a free player for two months, the Pirates pick up scads of prospects, the Red Sox...get Jason Bay? A National League hitter, from the Pirates. (somehow they worked out a three-team deal.) Does the name Renteria ring a bell? NL hitters struggle switching to the American League. Not all, but...is it worth it? For two months? He'd have been gone, then and the Sox might have won another Series. That hurts me to type.

Baseball is my secret love. I do normally right about my Etsy shop and crafty things, but this was too huge a deal and my confusion/opinion too strong not to be blogged. Now that I've thrown enough links at you...

Post Picture:photo of Manny Ramirez by Elise Amendola / AP


I went back to the Billings Forge Farmer's Market. I'm thinking I may be too expensive for farmer's market. People are coming to buy food, and the food is pretty inexpensive, though local and yummy. Yesterday I was next to a guy selling $1.50 trays of produce. Yeah. Even the Dots look like a lot then. I think I always knew this, but...well, that's a long story.

Today was better than yesterday for me as a person. I wasn't as stressed out, maybe because I've done that market before. I sold one pair of Dots earrings that hadn't made it to the shop, yet. It was 91 degrees with very little breeze and a lot of humidity. That's the CT River Valley, for you. I was extremely thankful for the tent.

So, farmer's markets are a great way to get started with shows. I'm going back to both next week because I said I would. After that, if sales aren't any better, I may move on. Still...I'm glad I did them. Met a lot of people, gave out cards and got tons of compliments. It's encouraging for the most part.

Post Picture: Me after we unpacked the car. Hot and tired.



So I did the show I was invited to. I'm too tired now to offer a real review but I make have given a lot of contact info out to a stalker...or he could really be a news reporter. I didn't think to ask for his name, or the name of his paper until after the show was over. Made about $14 all told. Yeah. I told the market manager I'd come back. Figure giving the thing two weeks would be fair. People ARE coming expecting to buy food...not me with my handmade pretties.

Tomorrow I have another, the one I did before and have been trying to get back to since. I don't think my mom understands how mentally draining this is on me and I can't explain it. Shows and me...somewhat tumultuous mix. Wish I could figure out how to acclimate myself.

Post Picture: From the first market. The wooden items.



Puzzle magnets
Originally uploaded by lpdesigns
Okay, really...I think something's wrong with me internal clock. I somehow may have gotten on west coast time without ever going there. Heh.

I'm awake, blogging early in the day so hopefully, I won't be tempted to later and I can get some things done. I worked on two necklace designs yesterday. They're for my Minta collection. Note to self: next time you want to make a collection assembled all the materials for all the pieces first. Anyway, necklaces are a challenge to me, whether macrame or not. They're usually 18+ inches of beaded/knotted/chained loveliness, so they take longer than I'm used to since I have made mostly earrings. (speaking of, finished two more pairs of Dots...have yet to be photo'd and listed, but they're cute)

I know I've said it before. But I really do love how when I'm working, and not just ideating/stressing about work, more ideas come. It's a beautiful thing.

Have a show tomorrow and maybe Thursday. Crazy, yes? I haven't heard back about Thursday, though.

Thinking I should do a feature post because I know I get bored of just writing about me.

Post Picture: New magnets as yet unlisted. My camera is slowly losing the ability to focus. It's digital and about 4yrs old. This should be interesting.


Weekend Blurble- Restart

I'm getting lax with my no-computer-on-Sundays self-imposed rule. Really, it's for my sanity and that of my family. We have to share...I like to monopolize.

I'm getting back to goals, and trying to achieve more than I have. I get frustrated with goals too quickly most times and leave off with them rather than pushing forward. Why bother, I think. Not a good attitude. But it's the down and dirty truth. These are just goals for the shop, but goals for me as a person as well. If I feel badly about myself it will reflect in my shop and that will be no good. I'm tentatively excited. It'll be interesting to see where it leads.

I may get a custom order from Twitter. How awesome would that be? Ha!

Post Picture: Newest earrings at elpy. Helix in Black.



My client wants earrings for the younger girls and necklaces for the teenagers. Still not sure how many of each. So it's something.

I AM better today. Not so down. I listed some earrings, Helix in Black. I really like those. I'm tinkering with other color combos. They're small, Helixes, about the size of a quarter, but they can pack some much with the colors. I like them.

I cleaned some. My studio is also my bedroom. So it's super-tricky trying to keep all my craft stuff, except the sewing machine which Mom and I share, in my room with all my other things, clothes and stuff. I think it can be done. Right now the 'mess' is pretty organized. One day, maybe I'll have a whole room.

Post Picture: One of the sets I'd made. She didn't want sterling silver or anything like that. Still, her idea and mine just didn't work. I'll be giving her pieces like this.



So I'm too expensive for my jewelry client. She was okay with my quote but then did some calculating and is scaling back, if she goes with my designs at all. I thought I was giving her a deal. But 14 sets of earrings and a necklace will be a lot in most places, never mind handmade.

I think I could have handled this better. I could have demanded a deposit, though I honestly had no idea what to charge, the idea has been changed a lot- super-fancy to all blue casual to a rainbow of colors with butterflies. *sigh* I could have made up something, just to cover the cost of supplies. At the end of this, I'll be lucky to make $50.

I stuck to my prices though. I decided I could break up the sets, do only earrings or only necklaces, scale back on the designs, for the price she wants. But I can't give her all of it and the design, too. Waaay too much work. I don't see the point of underselling to, as my mom suggested, 'Get my name out there.'

So I'm bummed. I had plans for that money, about $350. I needed that money. No one will hire me. I'm sad. I don't want to go negative...but I was hoping this was a break for me, for elpy, finally. Seriously, I'm thinking about taking some time off, after this, because it's broaching ridiculous how little has worked out for me and this. I've been at it for 2.5 years and am completely ensconced in the red. I've sold one handmade item on Etsy this year. One! I'm tired of working hard to make things that people like enough to compliment or heart but not buy, week after week after month after year. *sigh* I just...

Post Picture: Me fighting the urge to flush it all down the toilet...literally. Childish perhaps...this is a whole new level of frustration.



This is the 300th post here! Whoo! By far the longest I've lasted on any blog. Heh.

I'm almost done with construction of my jewelry commission. I keep talking about it, I know. I'll have to get some pics up soon so you can see what I've been doing. It's much simpler than most of my work, but it's nice and the mother and daughter like it, so I'm happy.

I didn't do the market this week. I may try to do both next week. I think it will be a lot...but Mom thinks I can because she's my encourager. I quail too often, shrink from things. I'll decide today. It's raining and soppy and the market is outside. So I'm glad I didn't do it.

Finished deconstructing and ironing the thrifted shirts for wristlets. One is a well-known name brand. Very high-quality, everything was french-seamed and the fabric has a wonderful hand to it. (the hand of fabric is similar to the tooth of paper...the feel of it.) I almost want to keep. Maybe I won't use it all.

Post Picture: Dinner yesterday, flick link here.


my brother loves me

my brother loves me
Originally uploaded by lpdesigns
He bought me Starbucks. Of course, I asked him to and I'm going to pay him back, but still...he could have said, 'no'. :) I severely love the Vanilla Frappuccino. I get all jittery and talkative. Caffienated me is funny.

My jewelry commission-er likes my work! She's okay with one quote that I gave her. I have to give the full thing by the end of the week! Eeee! I'm happy about that.

I don't think I'm going to do the show tomorrow. It's outside and it's supposed to thunder and rain. I have a tent and the tent has sides, but I'm not sure I want to sit out in the rain and cold for 3 hours in a tent. Of course, the first one was cancelled on account of rain that never happened. It is raining now. I won't be mad if it ends up not raining. I have another show lined up for next week.


Weekend Blurble- Hmmm

Spent most of the weekend falling into a funk. In fact I just deleted what I was going to post because it was a little frightful

Sometimes, I just want to be left alone. I don't mind. I'm used to it now.

Ordered chain, bags for magnets, listed the remaining Dots earrings. I'll make others, once I buy more earwires...and headpins. *sigh*

Where did my cheerfulness go?

Post Picture: One my show display pics. I'm going back to that market on Thursday. Wish me luck! I'm nervous as heck.


Zephyr- Time

Just a picture today. Taken in April. Near my house. One step at time...I'll get where I'm going.




Must post quickly. I have other things to do.
I've signed myself up to do a show next week, the same one I did last week but on it's busier day, and the week after, the one I was invited to. Then I'm going to need a break. From shows. They get me all fired-up and creative so I'll have new things to list. My eternal encourager would want me to do a show every week for the rest of the summer. My body and mind couldn't handle that. Not yet. I'm new to this.

I got critiqued last night on Etsy. She said my jewelry was beautiful. Wow! I glowed. haha. She suggested I move the minis up in the sidebar. Since I have three, though, I'd rather hack the template and make it 3 columns and put the minis over there. I'm not sure why this makes a difference to me, but it does. I've been hankering for a blog redesign for a while anyway. So...

She also suggested I at least register and maybe moved to the username elpy on Etsy. I want to, but only if I can keep all my hearters and feedback. For cripes sake, it's taken 2+ yrs to get to 380 hearters. I would cry my heart out if I had to abandon them all...but I could...if I should. Should I?

Post Picture:Newest bracelet at elpy. I'm calling it Strauss, like the jeans but not as obvious, because the bead is denim lapis and it just looks tough, like jeans...rugged. The picture is clickable.



I'd been doing pretty good the last two weeks in preparation for the market. It's all gone to pot the last two DAYS because I'm just so tired. I don't want to think about creating right. Am I supposed to feel this spent? It was a huge production to get that together and now...I just want to rest. Still, against my real desire, I've signed myself up to go back to the market next Thursday. My mom's all gung-ho. I'm thankful for her. By the time I've set-up I feel I've done all I can do, invested part of myself in the process. Let the pieces speak for themselves. But that's not how it works. So she does help. I really do love my mom. :)

Um, I need to individually photo the other Dots. And I have a bracelet, 3 wristlets, 3 sets of coasters and two magnets sets to photo as well. The work never ends. I also need to work on my site. I want at least a bio page up this year. I have the domain. Discipline, where art thou?

I really want to try something new. I got an idea, in my creative surge, involving resin. I think it will be cool. I've sworn off buying new supplies unless it's an ongoing need like earwires, until I've listed some more in my destash shop. I discovered a lot of things that I'm probably not gonna use. So...new things are coming. Hopefully, I'll get the stamina to keep up with it all.

Post Picture: Latest listing at rJax.



I upped my productive over the last two weeks. As a result I've come up with a plethora of new items/ideas. One that I can introduce now is a collection I'm calling Dots.

Dotsare small earrings, some based on necklace patterns (for example in the picture the second and third pairs are Foray and Sumeria Dots.) The others will simply be cute and little. They're on sterling silver earwires and a balled wrapped headpin...I love wrapping the headpins.


Show and Tell

Yep, I did my first show. All the angst and sweat and tears...okay, there weren't any tears, but all the work, I think was worth. It was supposed to be me and some Etsyans, but they weren't able to make because of the weather. (IMO, weather in CT has gotten incredibly spotty. It wasn't bad where I live/show was) In fact, it had been cancelled, but I was in such a zone, I didn't check my email until I got back.

I will call it a success! I should two pairs of earrings. Got a lot of lookers, handed out some business cards and got a lot of compliments. I'm talented! I really started to believe it when I made a floor length tablecloth in one day with no pattern, just a yardstick, a seamstress' tape measure, marking pencil and 7 yds of clearance fabric.

You can see more pics from the show on my Flickr.

And as a sort of celebratory present, my business cards came. I like them a lot. Their niceness makes up for the fact that they weren't here in time for this show. I'll have to get a pic of them tomorrow.



I made a floor length tablecloth today. (pics to come between now and Monday) It was my project for today. I had bought 7 yards of fabric at an unnamed source because sometimes I overbuy like that when the price is stupendously awesome. This is probably the largest thing I've sewn, after a grill cover I made. (I rock...yesh!) It looks nice, I think. When I retire it...if it's not too worn, I'll make a skirt out of it. I don't think I'll ever make a tablecloth again, so much fabric to work with.

Found out that my business cards might not arrive until the 14th even though I ordered them on the 4th. Seems unless I paid $15 for shipping, they were gonna wait 5 days before they shipped. I'm a little peeved. It's my fault for waiting so long and not reading everything. *sigh* So I have to print off more. I was really hoping to avoid this task with all the others I have to do.

I did package my photos, adding the sticker with the info and all. I think they look nice. Very professional. So they're done except for price tags.

I want to go to bed, but I still have things to do. This show is kickin' me. I think it's coming across in my blog. I'm so tired. And Bro1 has the worst case of pink eye I've ever seen. It almost makes me cry.


Gettin' Close

I'm busy, with elpy...for the first time ever. It's tiring, but good. Rewarding, fulfilling. Life as an artist is somewhat tenuous. But in those moments, as something starts to cross the line from idea, to raw materials, to completed item...it's addictive, and sadly, indescribable.

Today, I bought a cash box. No one in my family had one or something that could pass for one. I like it. It locks and has comparments. I want to decorate it with stickers. :D

I also bought beads to make another Sumeria. I bought clasps for a bracelet I whipped up. I didn't have clasps, so I didn't make bracelets. Earrings were easier anyway. I washed four 'new' shirts I thrifted to be used in wristlets. Probably won't make into this show, but I have them. No excuses.

I was a photographer. My mom's making invites for the same lady who placed the jewelry commission with me. We needed a pictures of the lady's daughter...so I took them. Yay! Was kinda fun. Should have taken more, I think.

I spray painted. 'Twill be a display for the market. I bid on an alchemy request.

Then, to my unending surprise, because I've always been surprised, I got a SALE! Earrings, Curvatures. I'm thrilled to bits. Possible custom order, too! So happy! Seriously.

Long day, but good day. There are things I left out to be put in another entry. One a few more before I can sleep for a week. A person needs longer to prepare for a show than two weeks. I don't know why I do this to myself. heh

Post Picture: A superb failure. There's something extremely artistic about that streakiness too me. May be added to rJax soon.



I'm blogging early today. I want to get work done and I seem to get stuck to the computer when I'm on. Most of my life is online. I'm not sure how healthy that is.

Anyway, I've made a list of things to do today. Hope...still hoping to get some more new things made for the market. I also want to photograph some things for elpy [Closet].

I went to the movies last night with my dad and Bro2. We saw Hancock. The story wasn't bad. But I'm a prude,the language became annoying. It was not as bad as I know it could be but sometimes...It was a nice night out...away from making things. Though I did contemplate bringing a bracelet to knot. heh.

Post Picture: A work of art I did for a high school art class. When I was younger I punched dots out of construction paper and glued them into mosaics. I'm into meticulous stuff. This was that largest I did. It's a tree in autumn on an 8.5x11 sheet of paper.


So far

For the show next Monday I've:

    Bought table
    Printed rJax labels
    Made 3 new sets of magnets
    Made 1 duplicate set of magnets
    Cut blocks for coasters
    Cut blocks for magnets
    Sanded blocks for coasters
    Sanded blocks for magnets
    Made 2 coasters
    Drawn 4 other coasters
    Have 3 wristlets almost done
    Bought a small display piece.
    Ordered more prints
    Ordered business cards for elpy
    Almost finished bracelet
    Thought/stressed a lot

It's my first show and I really needed more than two weeks to prepare. I realize I've been extremely lackadaisical with my production habits. It's just hard to want to make things that have until now, basically just...yeah.

I made a huge list of things I wanted to do. I wanted to duplicate all the magnets. I wanted to make three sets of four coasters. (coasters are not in the shop yet, won't be until after the show) I didn't count on messing up one. I don't know why. One always needs a rough draft. And my woodburning pen seems to be dying or something. It gets hot but won't burn as quickly. So at the moment I'm wanting to up my prices because it's taking forever. I won't though...I'll wait.

Oh, I meet with my jewelry commission-ee/er this Thursday. Long story about why, but I'll get to be a photographer! *would like a d-slr, now* So I'm a little stressed about that.

I should have a sign for my table. I just don't know what I want it to look like. I should get a tablecloth or something for the table. I've heard you should use floor length ones. I'll settle for now. This came too quickly. I'll sleep on the 15th...like all day.

I really hope it's a good show. I want it so badly.


Weekend Blurble/Sports Aside 7.07

In keeping with my plan of staying off the computer on Sunday, I spent much of the morning and afternoon (before and after church) watching the Wimbledon men's final. I've been watching tennis the longest of all sports. My dad watched it, so I'd watch it with him. Grew up with the Agassi/Sampras rivalry. Now it's Nadal and Federer.

Yesterday's match, which lasted about 6 hours all told, rain delays and such, was positively thrilling. Nadal won. That made me happy. Except for the Yankees and the Patriots, I'm all about the underdog. Not that Nadal is much of an underdog. But Federer had won there 5 times in a row and was going for a record 6th win.

While watching, I did manage to sand 21 magnet blanks. I branded them and the 12 coaster blanks and burned 3 sets of magnets. Not too bad I guess. Blogging during my 'lunch break'. I could work through lunch. (elpy is my job.) So now, it's back to work. Still have a ton I want to get done before the show. Which is a week from today. O.o


Now 7.05

Went to the thrift store and scored four shirts to be used in wristlets. Yes! I picked up another thing that could be used in my display at the market.

Got the best message from a Flickr contact/Etsy seller. She's just wonderful. *cough*HRMB*cough* She didn't do it to get a shout out. That's why she's awesome. Anyway, I'm changing, how I think about myself and my art. I really love my photography shop. I'm stepping beyond the 'attempts' and 'amateur' labels for myself. I'm am artist. I am. :)

I still have a ton of things I want to do for the show. I was able to find the cello bags for the photos at a store. Sometimes I just don't want to have to pay for shipping. These were a good price. I'm happy. Another thing to check of the list...if the list was that comprehensive. I should make it that way...then I'll feel like I've accomplished more. Reverse psychology or something...it may help.

Post Picture: Newest listing at rJax



I took a metal class yesterday. I sort of fell into it, the class. It was given by Etsyan Heart of the Fire. She has a gallery/studio not far from my house. I'd seen advertisements for her gallery, but I didn't know she was on Etsy until yesterday.

I made the bracelet in the picture. I lurve it! The class was about hand-forging and soldering. I made the rings in different sizes, which was tricky because the wire did get work hardened from the wrapping rather quickly. I cut them, filed them (loathe) and soldered them. I quenched them, pickled them, bashed them, gashed them, and had them tumbled. It was a while in the making, but I love it. It was a small class...only two other ladies. But it was fun...late, but fun.

[about the title]
It's America's 232nd birthday today...well, we celebrate it today. Happy 4th of July, my readers! (even if you're not American...still ought to have a good day)




So the show/market is a go! I'll get to meet some people from the CT Etsy Team and do my first show. I have a lot of hope for this. I'm so excited, I could barely sleep last night. Ha!

Also, in a tumbling-along sort of way, I've gotten myself into a metals class tonight. It's a long story how I even found this class. I knew of the studio but wasn't looking for it yesterday. Anyway, I called (which is a miracle...I HATE the phone) and the teacher/owner had moved the class up to tonight. It was scheduled to be the end of the month. So I'm excited about that too. I'd be forging sterling wire into chain...w00t!

So I'm like really excited. I need to calm down and do some work before the class at 6:30. I've sanded 6 blocks today, but that's it so far. I'm so up and down and excited. The show's in 11 days so I have time, in theory to accomplish a lot.

Post Picture: One of my clocks. Timepiece-love runs in the family.



I'm beginning to ramp up production for the show. I have a ton of things I want to make duplicates of, mostly magnets. Some things that are currently made-to-order, I want to actually finish. Some things that have been ideas that I'd make one day...today, or the next few, has become that day. My mind is racing, searching for new ideas (not that I really need any) and wondering how I'll display stuff. Wondering if I should buy a table and a canopy thing...or just a table for now. Racing, racing, racing...but excited in my super-guarded way.

Post Picture: Newest listing at rJax.



As I was about to start this post the weather jumped pure wicked. I think it even hailed. There were rumbles of thunder and buckets of rain. It's still thundering but has calmed down I don't remember when that stop scaring me. It was just so sudden. I wish I'd had time to get a better pic. It was really something.

I also have a chance to do a craft show/farmer's market in 2 weeks. Mind you, I've never done a show and am a little beside myself. I do this, leap into things with little prep time. Like the address page and my 4-H outfit. I think I can do it.

I just cut some more wood. I like sawing wood way more than sawing metal, it's easier to cut and correct straight line cuts in wood. I use a flexible handsaw of my dad's. and a clamp. It works wonderfully.

Went e-searching for new packaging supplies. I want plastic tuck top boxes for one thing and kraft boxes (cotton-filled boxes wrapped in brown paper) for the rest of my stuff. Ideally, I'd like boxes in the 5 colors that have become part of my branding: brown, orange, teal, red and green. But I'd have to buy a case of each and I don't need 500 boxes. Still, that's looking like it'll cost about $100 to get everything I want. Whew!

Post Picture: My shot of the sudden fury.