Category Archives: Metal Stamping

Season’s Greetings

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Hello Friends! I’m sure you have been anxiously waiting for me to blog again. Right? (If not, just lie to me and say you were.)

I haven’t posted in a while (SHOCKER!) so why don’t I give you a quick run-down on what I’ve been up to since I posted last.

The main thing that has kept me busy the last 4 months *cringe* is that I got a job. Like the for-real, comes-with-a-paycheck kind. I’m just a substitute paraeducator, so I have a bit of freedom with when I want to work, but honestly, I have worked a lot more than I had expected to. Which is so great on so many levels, but it has also made the transition a bit harder. I haven’t had a job in 13 years. Boy, let me tell you, that interview was SCARY. Plus, you know, the sad little resume that I had to compile. And then there’s that whole “when do I do laundry?” thing, and all those other little things that I used to be able to do during the day. Well, I had the option of doing them, anyway. I can’t honestly say I kept up on housework THAT much better. I’m lazy. It’s one of my special gifts. But anyway, that’s the basic gist of what my biggest time-sucker has been. I must say, though, that I really enjoy hanging out with those kids, even with the behavior obstacles. It’s been a lot of fun.

We also had a couple rounds of company come through, plus a couple of ho-hum fall events. Then a family trip for Thanksgiving. THAT is always a blast. My whole family gets together, the cousins play, the adults adult, and we just have a wonderful time. I tend to unplug as much as I possibly can during those days. There’s just not really anything that important that I need to keep up with that trumps family time.

But. The day we got back. Things got real.

You see… my youngest child’s school hadn’t had a book fair in 4 years. We’ve been here for 2, and it took about a year of me waiting and waiting for the book fair to come before I asked when it usually is. Which is how I found out we hadn’t had one in a while. And let me tell you… that bothered me. A bunch. Which also says that it was my job to make one happen. I’m a firm believer that if you don’t like something, and have the ability to change it, then it is YOUR job to do so. I don’t agree with sitting on the sides and grumbling about how much you don’t like something. Nope. That doesn’t sit well with me. So, this fall, I started the process of putting together a book fair. It was set for Parent/Teacher conference week, which just happened to be the week after Thanksgiving. Yippee!!! (please read that with plenty of sarcasm)

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There are so many things I learned, and even though it went far better than I thought it would, I have a lot of things to adjust and do differently. It definitely consumed an entire week, plus all the prep, so it was a lot of work, but it was so completely worth it to see how excited those kids were. Most of them had never seen a book fair. So even if it hadn’t been a huge success, it still would have been worth it.

But once that was done, I had what was supposed to be my biggest vendor event of the year. Last year it was my best event to date, so while I tried to not get my hopes up too high, I figured it would be a decent event. Well, it didn’t work out that way. In fact, it was really pretty lousy. But I had several custom orders come in, so sad, pathetic event aside, the holiday season went very well for me. And the orders keep coming in! I feel so so blessed. There have been so many times that I have wondered if it’s just time to sell the bulk of my supplies, and shut B.Accessorized down. But then I have a stretch like I have had the last 6 weeks or so, and it gives me a lot of hope.

Now, toss in a giant amount of running all of my kids to their various events/games/church/friend’s houses plus having friends over here, and Christmas, and all the other family type things, it’s been a busy few months. My days run from 6am until 8:30pm most days. It has made it hard to build much inventory. But I’m making it work.

Now, what are my plans for the near future?

Well, my main goal right now is to give Etsy another big push, and see if I can find more success there. We’ll see if I can really buckle down and get a lot of things up and on the site. I need to re-photograph pretty much everything, organize everything, and then there’s the dreaded description of everything. I’m hoping I can get into a good groove with it, and it’ll start to feel easier.

Here are a few of the pieces I have made recently…

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Stamped Cuffs
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My Challenge Entry!
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This is my most requested piece. And one of my personal favorites!
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These were a custom order. They are horse bridle charms stamped with each horse’s name.
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Custom order, in memory of a loved one.

 

Thanks for sticking with me! As always, follow me here, there, and everywhere!

Facebook  Etsy  Pinterest  Instagram  Twitter

 

Back in Action

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Hello hello! I’ve been gone for a while (again…) but I’m hoping to be back in action regularly for a while to come. The last 6 months or so have been a little on the crazy side. But I THINK most of the crazy is over.

I’m sure you are all on the edge of your seats, wondering what on earth has kept me away. Well, you can sit back and relax, and I’ll tell you. I’ll try to keep it short though.

After the holiday madness, including my best show to date, we had a couple of weeks off. Then, insanity began. We took a 9 day trip to Disney, which included getting snowed in on our way home. About a week after we got back, I had knee surgery. I had fully intended to keep up on blogging, etc., while I recovered. But I didn’t. I binge watched NCIS instead. And napped. There was a lot of napping. It was amazing.

For week 3 of my recovery, my better half had to go out of town for the week, so my Mom came to hang out with me. THAT was amazing. We had so much fun, even doing basically nothing. We played with polymer clay a bit, and might have had a few cups of hot chocolate… I don’t get to hang with my mom very often, so I really enjoyed having her here.

A few weeks later, we had company for Easter.

Then 2 weeks after that, we had more company.

I had a vendor event in there somewhere.

And my in-laws just came for two weeks.

I love having company. I really really do.

However… My workshop is in the guest room closet.

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This is what my workshop looks like when I have to pack everything into it. It’s a little scary.

So, as you can imagine, my things have spent a LOT of time packed away over the last several months. I did manage to make some newer pieces, and I also took some time to purge a LOT of stuff. When we moved from Ohio to Iowa, I did an initial purge, but it wasn’t enough. I went from a huge, for-real workshop to a closet. I really needed to scale back. I still have more I could probably get rid of, but for now, I’m just happy to have removed a significant amount of extra stuff I wasn’t using.

Now we just have baseball, the summer musical and all the rehearsals that go with it, swimming (at 6:45am. Super fun!!!), athletics camps, a mission trip for one of the kiddos, a family trip to Montana to see my folks (YAY!), and a trip to MSP to babysit my niece and nephews for a week. You know, a nice relaxing summer. There will be as many afternoons at the pool, friends staying over, and fire pit nights as we can manage. Most of the busy stuff is for the soon-to-be 13 year old. The boys have it pretty easy.

So, now I am hoping to get into a bit of a groove, and carve out some dedicated time for working.

I have an event coming up this fall that I have some ideas for. I will be making some fairly specialized pieces that I hope will really go over well. However, it’s my first outdoor event. I’m a bit nervous about it. If any of you out there in cyberspace have any tips for me, or recommendations for a canopy, I am all ears (or is it eyes?)

I’m really sorry I have been missing in action lately. I hope each and every one of you is doing well, and enjoying life. I know I am.

And feel free to nudge me if I’m not keeping up! And tell me what plans you have for the summer. =D

May God bless you all. Thanks for reading!

 

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The Wagon

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Oh the wagon. It is so easy to fall off. And I did. Though, if you look at it a certain way, I didn’t really fall off. Maybe. I don’t know. Here’s what happened:

I was all set to participate in a show at the end of Aug. It was an outdoor show, which I have never done before. The people putting the show on had actually approached me about participating, which I thought was cool (and a little strange since I’m still pretty new to the area, but I’ll take it!) So I was excited. They asked me to participate about 4 weeks before the event was scheduled for. I didn’t think it would be a problem on that amount of notice. So I set about trying to find a tent to borrow. We don’t have one, and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to invest in one yet.

I also started looking online for tips on doing an outdoor event. I have a background thing that I used once, and liked, but it had some kinks that needed working out, especially on uneven ground. I found someone willing to lend me a tent, so that was awesome. Until my reading informed me that I needed sides and weights for the tent. *deep breath* Okay. More research. And money I didn’t really want to spend, especially on a tent that didn’t belong to us.

I should probably tell you that the event was scheduled for the weekend before school started, which meant meeting teachers, gathering supplies, and all the fun stuff that goes along with back-to-school the week before my event, which is prime time for running pre-event errands. (also, my oldest had a large amount of special circumstances to work out for the school year, AND she got braces the day before my event was supposed to be) *deeper breath*

Phone call. My inlaws are coming to visit! The week before school starts, and through the weekend. Hmm. Hey, they can help! Oh wait. I have to clean the house, which is something I tend to let go when a lot of other things are happening. Toilets become low-priority. But they CAN’T be low priority with my husband’s family coming in. Shoot. Okay. Well. Hmmmm.

(Oh, and let’s toss 3 birthdays in this time period… two of the kids and me, plus sports practices have begun)

Another phone call. This time it was my husband (who was scheduled to be out of town the week all this was going down). The poor guy just called to tell me he was on his way home, and gets me all stressed out, breaking down, primarily over the tent sides and the expense. And he calmly mentions that maybe I should back out of the event.

Wait… WHAAAAA?!? THIS from the most supportive, let’s-make-it-happen guy? And I knew he was right. I have NEVER backed out of something like this, and hope I never need to again. But as soon as I made the decision, I felt better, felt lighter. I was very disappointed, but mostly because it sounded like a fun event to be part of. And the final week and a half before the event was happening, while I was cleaning and running errands, I just kept thinking how glad I was that I wasn’t trying to get the vendor things in order too. So I know it was a good decision. But MAN was it a hard one to make.

So, now I’m scheduled to participate in an event at the beginning of Oct. I’m trying to stay really organized and on top of my to-do list so I’m not scrounging around at the last minute. I probably still will be, but hopefully it’ll be minimal. I’m also working on creating an inventory. And going through my eleventy-seven million pictures and sorting and cataloging them all. Yikes. But I’m getting there. And I’ve managed to work on orders (yay!) and get other random bits of things accomplished. So I’m feeling more ready for this show than I think I have for any others.

I’m sad I had to back out of an event, but I really think it was for the best. And now I’m feeling even more motivated to make things more organized and functional so I can STAY on top of things, and get my listings moving again. I haven’t listed anything in a while, though I have managed to get some photos taken. Etsy, unfortunately, had to take a temporary back seat through all of this chaos. But I think this week I should be able to start pushing that again, and all that jazz. Long story short, I’ve had some set-backs, but I think I am still moving in the right direction. And that’s what counts in the end.

Here’s a peek at some of the pieces I have managed to get made the last couple of weeks. I LOVE them! They make me happy.

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Surprise!

This week contains that fabulous day (surprisingly not a national holiday… yet) known as my birthday. It’s not a milestone birthday or anything this year, so I wasn’t really expecting much more than a night of not cooking or cleaning up, and hopefully minimal fighting among my not-so-little ones. So imagine my surprise when…

Wearing our fancy hats to Tea Thyme.
Wearing our fancy hats to Tea Thyme.

…on Saturday, right around lunchtime, our doorbell rang. I caught a glimpse of two ladies wearing big, fancy, crazy hats, so I was a little cautious about opening the door. I didn’t have a lot of time to ponder who it could be (though I did wonder if the Jehovah’s Witnesses were coming to call since they are always dressed to the 9s) but I certainly did not expect two of my favorite people to be standing on our doorstep, wearing cheezy grins and awesomely-crazy fancy hats, and holding one out for me. I keep telling my kids that I’m going to run away from home, and this weekend I got to. It was so much fun. My girlfriends had the entire day planned out. There were pedicures, a fancy tea (aka: middle of the afternoon amazing desserts) at a fancy tea shop, and dinner out with some of my local girlfriends. AND I got to stay at the hotel with them. Ah-mazing. I’m kind of amazed that I have friends that will go to so much trouble just for my birthday. I got to know them when I lived in Omaha, and I’m so thankful that our friendship has stayed solid since I left the Big O.

Omaha girlfriends meet Fort Dodge girlfriends. And flowers that I didn't buy for myself!!!
Omaha girlfriends meet Fort Dodge girlfriends. And flowers that I didn’t buy for myself!!!

So… what on earth does this have to do with jewelry making? Well… it has less to do with the actual jewelry making than it does the mental state and dedication involved in jewelry making. Normally, I let this kind of thing interrupt my makering for too long, sometimes up to several weeks of minimal work happening. I tend to let things throw off my rhythm that really shouldn’t. (basically, I’m lazy…) But this time, I didn’t. I was right back at it on Sunday. I tend to fall off the wagon very easily when it comes to all of the promotional stuff, but I said I was going to really push myself, and that’s what I mean to do.

I have a show coming up in about 3 weeks, and I have a new idea for myself, so I need to bust a lot of that out in a short amount of time. And also, I’m trying to figure out how much I want to list on Etsy since I have the vendor event coming. I need to work some of those kinks out, but I’m making progress, and getting closer to where I think I will have the best chance of success.

Some work in progress:

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Yay tools! Punching out some discs.
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Always an “oops” *sigh*
Cut, textured, punched, dapped, fire-painted, and sealed by me. =D
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Ordered these bad-boys. I LOVE them. *

And remember, if you notice me slacking… let me have it! 😉

Peace, y’all.

*Ordered from the amazing Blue Mudd/Blu Bayou Soap Co.

B’Sue Boutiques Build-a-Line Challenge Blog Hop, Part 3

It’s here! The big reveal!!! I’m excited to show you all what I have been working on. It’s been a busy three months since the BALC began. Between snow days, stomach bugs, viruses, and just general “life” stuff, it has been interesting trying to find blocks of time to get everything put together. Boy am I glad I kept it simple…

So… without further ado… Here is my “line” (or the beginnings of it, anyway) for the challenge:

PicMonkey Collage Cuff

PicMonkey Collage E1

PicMonkey Collage E2

PicMonkey Collage E3

PicMonkey Collage E4

PicMonkey Collage N1

PicMonkey Collage N2

PicMonkey Collage R2

PicMonkey Collage Ring 1

If you continue through the hop (and I really hope you will!) you will see a huge variety of styles. The amazing thing is that we all got the bulk of our components from one place. B’Sue Boutiques offers an amazing selection of Made-in-the-USA brass, as well as just about everything else you could want. I spend a LOT of time drooling over her site and her YouTube videos. Seriously.

Please note: Prices are not set in stone… 😉

Thank you for stopping by.  Happy Hopping!

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B’sue Boutiques

Jewelry Making Outside the Box

Marcia Tuzzolino

Aurora Designs

Jann Tague

Clever Designs by Jann

Judy King

Apt to Wander Studio

Linzi Alford

Magpie in the Sky, Spoil Heap Tales

Cynthia Wainscott

Exotic Peru

Carole Carlson

Beadsophisticate

Lynn Stinten

Dragonzwench

Marica Zammit

Bead Lovelies

Catherine Shattuck

VRBrose

Michaele Collie

The Vintage Gem

Mary Craig

Jewelry Alchemy

Lee Koopman

Strega Jewelry

Erin Whitacre

Shattered Time Jewelry

Monica Casady

MJCasady Copper Works

Leila West

Leila Nicole Designs

Cindy Peterson

Howling Dog Jewelry

Leila Belcher

Leila Bee Designs

Gloria Allen

Wings and Beads

Pamela Anger

Novegatti Designs

Tammy Adams

Paisley Lizard

Lynda O’Mara

LOmara Creative

Elizabeth Hildreth

MadScientistsDesigns

Dana Hickey

Wind Dancer Studios

Janet Calardo

Jan Lea Designs

Maria Clark

Sweet Willow Designs

Lori Beekman

B. Accessorized        <<<<<<<<<< You Are Here

Jennifer Kroeger

Relic Charm

Amy Jorgensen

Hoarder’s Corner

Robin Reed

Artistry: Handcrafted Bead Designs

Ingrid Anderson

Lilis Gems

Louise O’Shields

Desire Divine Jewels

Susan Killam

Killam Creative

Mary Katherine Deis

The Rose Sword: Artisan and Vintage Collectible Jewelry

Nike Bottalico

Nike Bottalico

Susan Bowerman

Woodside Wireworks

Kristy Le

Kristy Le Trendy Jewelry Designs

Jan Peters

Stylized Vintage

Mitzie Crider

Needful Luxuries Occasional Blog

Gina Hockett

Freestyle Elements

Linda Anderson

From the Bead Board

Alexandra Sefton

Imaginary Jewelry and Altered Art

Melida Boman

The Journey of Pens and Things

Teresa Shurter

TreeZ’s Treasurs

Melissa Latimer

Smithed Up

Renee Hong

Fine and Dandy Jewelry and Art

Nadine Edris

Moondance Jewelry

Lori Prull Meyer

Parisienne Girl

Jennifer Merrill Williams

Artists of All Stripes

Denise Lussier Poirier

Jewelry by Denise

Renee Allen

Small Stuff Design

Autumn Adams

Autumn Dawns

Elizabeth Owens

1996 Shabby Lane

Kat BarronMiller

Midnight Kat Productions Art Jewelry

Sandra Ballard

Mama San’s Mojo

Coral Law

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B’Sue Boutiques Build-A-Line Challenge, By B. Accessorized, Part Two

DSC_0021 Once I finished the initial prep for my pieces, which was mostly adding patina with my torch and sealing the pieces, it was time to bring out the big guns. I gotta say, power tools are very therapeutic. Torches are, too. And hammers… I like tools. DSC_0002        DSC_0019 (2)      DSC_0033 Once the prep steps were finished, things kind of rolled right along for me. I knocked out some earrings, a ring, and I’m about 75% done with my cuff. I still have plenty of work to do, but I feel like I’m heading in the right direction, and it happens to be the path I started on, which is kind of nice. I still feel comfortable with the western boho concept. I haven’t had to totally re-think anything at this point. Granted, that could change at any time, but for now I’m content.

Where I have been putting a lot of my focus, and where I feel I really need the extra time/effort is on creating the whole “package.” I’ve been looking harder at packaging and presentation, which includes my logo, business cards, what I use for shipping, and even displays and photo backgrounds. Trying to figure out what non-jewelry pieces of the puzzle are missing has been interesting and very challenging for me.

I have been learning so much in this challenge. B’Sue Boutiques provides amazing supplies, but so many other things, too. I have had so much fun learning with the BALC participants. We have been helping each other work through some kinks, finding new ways to look at things, supporting each other in so many ways, and soaking in the knowledge that Ms. Brenda has to offer. I am so thankful to be part of this challenge. In the 3rd and final hop, next month, I will show my finished product line. I’m looking at it as a final exam for this class. I just hope I’m really as prepared as I think.

Happy Hopping!

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B’sue Boutiques Jewelry Making Outside the Box

Marcia Tuzzolino Aurora Designs

Jann Tague Clever Designs by Jann

Judy King Apt to Wander Studio

Linzi Alford Magpie in the Sky, Spoil Heap Tales

Cynthia Wainscott Exotic Peru

Carole Carlson Beadsophisticate

Lynn Stinten Dragonzwench

Marica Zammit Bead Lovelies

Catherine Shattuck VRBrose

Michaele Collie The Vintage Gem

Mary Craig Jewelry Alchemy

Lee Koopman Strega Jewelry

Erin Whitacre Shattered Time Jewelry

Monica Casady MJCasady Copper Works

Leila West Leila Nicole Designs

Cindy Peterson Howling Dog Jewelry

Leila Belcher Leila Bee Designs

Gloria Allen Wings and Beads

Pamela Anger Novegatti Designs

Tammy Adams Paisley Lizard

Lynda O’Mara LOmara Creative

Elizabeth Hildreth MadScientistsDesigns

Dana Hickey Wind Dancer Studios

Janet Calardo Jan Lea Designs

Maria Clark Sweet Willow Designs

Lori Beekman B. Accessorized

Jennifer Kroeger Relic Charm

Amy Jorgensen Hoarder’s Corner

Robin Reed Artistry: Handcrafted Bead Designs

Ingrid Anderson Lilis Gems

Louise O’Shields Desire Divine Jewels

Susan Killam Killam Creative

Mary Katherine Deis The Rose Sword: Artisan and Vintage Collectible Jewelry

Nike Bottalico Nike Bottalico

Susan Bowerman Woodside Wireworks

Kristy Le Kristy Le Trendy Jewelry Designs

Jan Peters Stylized Vintage

Mitzie Crider Needful Luxuries Occasional Blog

Gina Hockett Freestyle Elements

Linda Anderson From the Bead Board

Alexandra Sefton Imaginary Jewelry and Altered Art

Melida Boman The Journey of Pens and Things

Teresa Shurter TreeZ’s Treasurs

Melissa Latimer Smithed Up

Renee Hong Fine and Dandy Jewelry and Art

Nadine Edris Moondance Jewelry

Lori Meyer Parisienne Girl

Jennifer Merrill Williams Artists of All Stripes

Denise Lussier Poirier Jewelry by Denise

Renee Allen Small Stuff Design

Autumn Adams Autumn Dawns

Elizabeth Owens 1996 Shabby Lane

Kat BarronMiller Midnight Kat Productions Art Jewelry

Sandra Ballard Mama San’s Mojo

Coral Law coraldesign

Branches and the B.a.L.C.

I have to be honest… I haven’t actually MADE anything for my B’Sue Boutiques Build-A-Line Challenge. I’ve been thinking about it, but mostly I have been making other things. I’m not hesitant about what I will be making. I’m feeling pretty good about the designs, though they are very simple. I know I won’t win the judged portion. And I’m okay with that. I am learning about building a line of jewelry that just might do that crazy thing… you know, where people buy it. Say Whhaaaaa’??? I know, I might be getting ahead of myself, but it can’t be helped.

In our “classroom” we have been talking about what a line really is and what it really means. Basically it boils down, for me at least, to one thing… will people know YOU made it? I don’t know how close I am to that but I really feel that I’m making progress in that direction. I’ve been having a lot of fun with stamps and metal. I want lots and lots of metal in my designs. Hence the stamping. Making pieces that are very gift-able is something else we have touched on. Stamped jewelry is very very easy to personalize. So I’m hoping to take (abundant) orders, while also offering a good variety of ready-made pieces that will range from spiritual to hilarious.

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Stamped Small Bars for Necklaces or Bracelets
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Stamped “FAITH” Small Bar Necklace
Stamped scroll necklaces
Stamped scroll necklaces

I also want to include leather in future pieces. I feel that it fits well with the “western boho” theme for my line. So, leather is a next step for me. I have worked with it some, and was successful, or totally unsuccessful, depending on how you look at it. I made a bracelet a while ago that I was SOOOO excited about. The techniques worked out pretty well, though my riveting needs some work. Really, the only problem was the size. It was way too small. So, it’s not a wearable bracelet, but otherwise it’s just fabulous.

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Western Themed Leather Bracelet

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I feel that, while it doesn’t actually “fit” the western boho theme, the stamped metal works WITH the theme. They could be worn together very easily, and it would be a simple thing to add a stamped component into one of the designs that does fit. So I am looking at it as a branch of the western boho tree. I think I am looking at the info coming from the challenge in a slightly different way than some of the other participants. I’m not feeling limited by having a line, and like everything I create now must fit into that category. I’m thinking of my line as the central concept that other things can branch off of. I have an idea for a second branch of my tree, but it’s going to have to wait a bit until I make a bit more progress with my current projects. But the idea is there, and it will stay, I have a feeling.

And really, there’s nothing wrong with growing a whole new tree… As long as people know it is YOUR tree.