Tag Archives: Projects

Season’s Greetings

holiday2013

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)

Image result for book fair image

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!

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WTW and FUF

Say Whaaa?!? That would be Work Table Wednesday and Finished Up Friday. I’m sure other groups do things like these, but my experience comes from the Creative Group on FB, courtesy of B’Sue. WTW and FUF are wonderful.

Let me tell you why…

So, it’s been going around Facebook lately (and if you can’t trust what you read on FB, what can you trust?) that creative folks tend to live and/or work in chaos. They also have a tendency to only finish a portion of the projects they start.

Which can kind of be a problem.

A while ago, WTW was introduced at the Creative Group, and people posted pictures of their messy workshops, and some of the items they were potentially going to turn into pieces of jewelry. B’Sue pieces were featured, of course. Let me tell ya… pictures of other people’s messy workbenches makes a person feel so much better about their own messy work space. Knowing you are not the only one that never puts things away, and while searching for “just the right thing” for your current project, coming across something that is not at all what you were looking for, but would make a cool something else. And off you go, working on the new, freshly inspired thing, until you get distracted by yet another something… It’s a vicious cycle.

Here is MY new messy workshop. Stuff everywhere...
Here is MY new messy workshop. Stuff everywhere…

This is where Ms. Brenda, and her amazing creative team, came to the rescue.

Here is one of my WTW
Here is one of my WTW

They decided to add a second day for postings. Only it is for finished pieces. And not just any ol’ finished pieces. Nope. The pieces you were working on, and posted for the world creative group to see. So, in two days’ time, you go from the making/creating process, to a finished product. Crazy, right?

And the FUF. Only finished one of the WTW projects, but that is A-Okay
And the FUF. Only finished one of the WTW projects, but that is A-Okay

Not everyone participates, especially not every single week. But many do because it’s a way to stay accountable (kinda like a workout buddy) and a way to stay on task. There are few things that feel as good as finishing what you start, be it a piece of jewelry, or any other thing in life. It just feels good. It’s satisfying.

The Creative Group is a wonderful place for inspiration, feedback, advice, and support. Everyone is kind, always. And B’Sue herself is the reason for all of it. She provides not only an amazing place to buy supplies (and is very very generous with freebies) but a community, and on top of THAT she offers FREE instruction via YouTube. Seriously, generous doesn’t even begin to describe this amazing lady.

So, if you are a fellow artisan, I would encourage you to give WTW and FUF a shot. Even if you don’t join a group in which to post pictures or whatever, do it for yourself.

PS: If you stopped by, tell me what project YOU are working on. Or the last one you FINISHED!