Vive le Weekend!

Albeit a short weekend, it’s still a day off! As of this moment, I have 37.5 hours left before I have to clock in again. About 14 of those hours will be spent sleeping. How much can I do in 23 hours? For starters: this blog post!

There are so many things I need to get done. One might think that just because you have time off work, you must spend all of that time doing personal things that need to get done. I protest! I think it’s important to spend at least half of your time off doing things you enjoy doing as well. I enjoy being lazy resting. I just worked 11 days in a row, including 50 hours in the past six days. I think some rest is not only well-deserved but downright necessary!

I have a couple of movies I bought for $1.99 each at a nearby Blockbuster that’s closing. I plan on watching at least one of those. I also must give my seriously neglected camera a workout. I long to create a new piece of jewelry, too. However, you can’t force creativity to happen in a small window of time. So that may not happen … unless I watch movies at the same time. I do enjoy multitasking!

The main things I need to do are office related (including taxes). After working so much, personal office work is the last thing I want to do, though. :roll:

Nope! Twenty-three hours is just not enough time! Once a new manager is in place and the new staff is put on the weekend schedule, I think I might press for a full 4×10 work schedule so I can have my Sundays back. Having a full two days off in a row is more important to one’s mental well-being than I realized.

Vive le weekend!

The Mothership’s Crafty Voyage

Here she is, ladies and gentlemen – The Mothership in all her craftiness! I don’t have to worry about putting everything away at the end of the day and then taking up valuable time dragging it all back out to pick up where I left off the next time, which totally kills any creative process I may have been able to muster. :D It’s a beautiful mess, and I’m not embarrassed to show it!

Snapped with cell cam.

Kid in a Candy Store

That is exactly how I feel this morning! I feel like a kid in a candy store! I pulled out a few more boxes of paper crafting stuff from the crawl space. WOW! One good thing about a long hiatus from the craft is that it feels like you’re starting for the first time only fully loaded! YAY!

And to think, at one point, that I had actually entertained the notion of selling a lot of this stuff! Yes, my friends, even my Cricut! It took so long to schlep everything upstairs and get set up in the dining room whenever I wanted to craft that I finally just gave up and let it go. The same thing happened with making jewelry and dragging everything out of the closet each time. When I left it out, photography seemed to take up my time, and the jewelry findings gathered dust. Oh my many hobby loves!

Soooo…. Maybe – just maybe - now that I have everything in one place, I can begin the process of organizing everything to make it quicker to get to. Granted, I don’t have quite enough room to leave both paper crafting and jewelry crafting out at the same time. That could present a small problem, but I’ll worry about that later! Not much later, though, because I need to be doing both quite a bit over the next few weeks! 8O

The Mother Ship | New Office Progress

I’m thinking of calling it “The Mother Ship” … my new work/play room (office/crafts). Half of it sort of looks like a huge storage closet right now because I have two metal shelving units that are mostly filled with old scrapbooking supplies and tools. Going through all of that will be a process. At least they’re in here now.

I brought my rug down. The curtains will come down later. The blues actually do play nicely with the green on the walls! Yay! So here is my work in progress now (shots snapped with cell cam)…

The red behind the desk is my fuzzy robe. It gets COLD down here! Also notice my space heater aimed directly at where I sit.

Maybe by Wednesday I’ll be able to start crafting. I have the day off. After working 55 hours last week on top of all this moving, I fully intend to do my own thing!

P.S. With the shelves moved in here, Greg is working on his side of the basement. More on that later!

Memories of Retail & Yearning to Craft Again

The Old Logo

Whenever I shop at Michaels in Southlands, I kind of feel at home. I have fond memories of working there, and I really enjoyed it. The only thing that started getting to me were the hours (including weekends). Get a fuller story here. I especially miss the 25% employee discount!

I worked under the old tag line “The Arts and Crafts Store”. Apparently they’re under new management and have made changes. Their new tag line is “Where Creativity Happens” with a much simpler logo.

The New Logo

No more red aprons, either. Now they require khaki pants and black tops. In the beginning of the changes, they wiped out all classes offered except for Wilton Cake Decorating (only kept because of a contract with Wilton). They finally brought the classes back, though! I had a brief, fleeting thought of becoming a Jewelry class instructor again for a little extra cash and for the discount, but the position has already been filled. Just as well! My availability would be very limited anyway.

Crafting is more enjoyable when you’re not being paid to do it actually. I hope to be able to make time for it again once I’m moved into my new office/craft space. My problem with making time is that I like to dive into projects and not surface again for hours. If I know I don’t have that long, I just put it off. <– said as I glance over at a necklace that has been laid out ready to be pieced together for many weeks now!

Pandora Jewelry Trend with High Price Tag

With a rise in handmade jewelry, fine jewelry stores had to find a way to compete.

How much would you guess this bracelet might cost? This looks like something I could throw together for you in less than an hour for $25-$40 max. Was that about the price range you were guessing?

Sorry. You can’t even get the base bracelet for that little. Try $55 for the base alone from Pandora™! Small spacer beads are $20-$25 each. Those square beads (see the green and blue up front) are at least $35 each. The lampwork glass beads are at least $60 each and go up to over $200 a pop! I can’t see every single bead on this bracelet, but my low estimate is over $1,000.  I just can’t see spending this much on this particular bracelet in the photo shown here.

These happen to be sterling silver. If I hadn’t told you that, would you know by looking at it? Don’t lie! When I show jewelry I make, I’m sometimes asked if it’s sterling silver. I can’t help but scratch my head and wonder … if you had to ask, what does it really matter. Does it make a person feel different somehow to be wearing real sterling silver? I’m being serious with that question because I can’t tell a difference.

I understand Pandora does have charms and beads that spark a memory of a special event or milestone in a person’s life and therefore are worn as a representation of that time. I completely understand how something like this is treasured. I’m sure the same people would treasure a necklace made by their preschooler from painted dry pasta and wear it just as proudly. I’m not comparing the two directly or saying one is more precious than the other. It’s so hard to express an opinion without having to over-word the entire thing to avoid offending.

There are two reasons for my rant. When I first saw a commercial for this jewelry, it surprised me a little because it reminded me of the beads I find in my local craft store. I’m sorry, but my immediate reaction was that I could make something that looked very similar for a fraction of the cost. I just didn’t get it. The second reason simply has to do with how I feel about spending money and where/how it’s spent. This is personal. At the risk of getting too far off topic, people could bring up the fact that I drive a Jag and ask how that is different. I bought that car used with 63,000 miles on it for an amount that none of you would believe. Also, I do have some expensive fine jewelry that was given to me as gifts. They are special to me because they were gifts. If they were cubic zirconias, they would be equally as special.

I published this post several minutes ago but am editing it after receiving a comment on Facebook about it being hurtful by a friend who happens to own some of this jewelry. My heart jumped when I read this. I have since deleted my blog post notification from my wall, including that comment. I’m deeply sorry that my opinion offended this friend because she has been very kind to me. That being said, my personal feelings about the jewelry being over-priced remain the same. Many things are. That’s life!

Keeping it Real | How Does She Do It?

I hear this a lot: “How do you do it all?”  The answer is complicated. I’m not as “together” as you might think! I would love to be able to do it all consistently, but I really don’t. I try a lot of things, and it’s hard to fit everything I like to do into each and every day. So I don’t. I try. I really do.

This is why I leave things out and create such a clutter. If I do find time to work on jewelry, for instance, it’s already out and waiting for me to sit down and create. I don’t have to waste a half hour dragging everything out and setting it all up, ultimately losing any creative ideas I may have had to start out with.

Unfortunately, this system doesn’t work so well when it comes to paperwork. Filing is something at which I fail miserably. It’s also something that comes back to bite me in the ass when I have no choice but to set aside three hours to tame the paper pile monsters. Why don’t I keep on top of filing? Because I’d rather spend that time doing things I enjoy doing! This is partly how I do it. I’m a time thief as well as a time waster.

I steal time from things I should be doing to do things I want to be doing. Somehow, it works out in the end. So I should be able to come up with a better system that allows time for everything more consistently. Right? Wrong! This is where I waste time. Coming up with a schedule for everything absolutely brings my entire world to a halt, and nothing gets done. Deer in the headlights. Just run me over!

Scarlett O’Hara Butler didn’t sit around hoping for things. She went out and made it happen. She also had an entourage of servants helping her! Delegation is a wonderful concept, but I would need someone like-minded and equally anal to delegate things to! (Yes, I just ended my sentence with a preposition!)

Either I do it all myself, or I constantly complain about how it’s done (or not done). With so many things in life so far out of my control, is it too much to ask that a few things be done consistently? Everyone should pick up after themselves. That’s a given! I’m the queen of forgetting to do things. However, if I’m in the family room and have something on the table (snack, beverage, etc.), I remember to pick it up and take it to the kitchen when I get up. I don’t understand what’s so hard about this one. While on the kitchen subject, let’s talk about rinsing. I’m not the only one who empties the dishwasher, so it blows my mind that no one else can see which things do not come clean as they put the dishes away. Peanut butter left to dry on a spoon does not come off (nesting spoons is another issue entirely). Eggs, ketchup, tomato sauce, and potatoes left to dry on dishes (especially eggs) do not come off in the dishwasher. I’m not as fanatical as all but washing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, but come on people! Common sense!

More kitchen details … Everything has a place, and everything should be put back in it’s place. This makes it so much easier to see exactly what we have and what needs to be replaced. Also, when everything is neatly put away, there’s room for more. How can anyone argue that this doesn’t perfect sense? These things bother me. The twist-tie not being replaced on bread bothers me. Gunk and crumbs left on the kitchen counter bother me. Moving on to the bathroom – toilet paper not being replaced bothers me. Running out of toilet paper bothers me. How does this happen? Add that to my list – inventory all bathrooms daily.

Lists. Let’s not even go there. I’d need lists to keep track of my lists! Ideally, lists and schedules would work for me. Unfortunately, having ADD makes scheduling a painful and long process. Fortunately, the ability to hyperfocus that goes along with ADD allows me to stick to schedules set forth by my employer. Getting paid by someone who appreciates my meticulous attention to detail (you might call this being anal) is a wonderful motivator! When this mindset isn’t shared by all, though, it just goes to hell in a hand basket.

So when you see status updates on social network sites of accomplishments and ask how I do it, just remember that there are many other things I’m not doing in order to do something else. I guess it’s just a trade-off. I can either do everything I should be doing all of the time at the expense of any enjoyment, or I can steal time from those things to do the things I want to do and allow myself some enjoyment.

Artisan Jewelry

Handmade by Me!

Did you know that “artisan” is just a fancy word for “hand crafted”?  I’ve been making jewelry for several years now.  That was one of the reasons I was drawn to a new Michaels over two years ago.  I kept driving past the doors watching for a sign telling when it was to open.  One day there was a sign that said “Now Hiring”.  They were conducting interviews on the spot that day.  It must have been kismet!  I got the job, which included a 25% employee discount.  Within 6 weeks I was promoted to Price Integrity Coordinator.  After another few months, I was promoted again to Event Coordinator.  I was in charge of the initial interviewing of class instructors.  Can you guess who made got the Jewelry Instructor position?  ME!

I miss the employee discount now that I no longer work there, but I’ve learned how to watch the sales and coupons.  There are some good coupons this weekend.  Today only there’s a 15% off entire purchase, including sale items.  Tomorrow only there’s a 30% off entire purchase, excluding sale items.  That’s where we’re headed today before the movie theater.  ;->

Click each photo for larger view.

As a woman with many interests and hobbies, I tend to let some things simmer and collect a little dust.  Recently, I decided to brush away the cobwebs and dive back into jewelry making!  The pieces shown here are my latest creations.  The bonus:  combining jewelry making with photography!  Be still my heart!