Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Time Is Coming

I hope you all had a restful Memorial Day weekend. I actually took some time to tackle some of those projects that I keep putting off. I feel like I made good use of my time. I had forms to create and pictures to take, research to do and organizing that was waiting for me. I feel so much better now that I was able to accomplish them.

The one thing about working from home is that it is easy to work all the time. It is so hard for me to separate myself from my jewelry because it is all that I think about. Now that my children are older, my "me" time has grown and since I love what I do so much, I end up choosing to work! I have realized lately, though, that I need to make myself put it away. I work from a studio during the day and I sometimes leave the laptop at work just so that I am not on it all night!

Today, we went to get Josh's tux for his prom. He is so adorable! He looked so handsome as he was being fitted! Even with the khaki shorts ;)

Getting ready for Prom

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I just can't believe how fast this all came upon us. I don't know what to say. I am trying so hard to be happy about all his exciting activities and concentrate on them. Really, I am getting more and more aware of his leaving for college...

Friday, May 23, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I've been tagged by Candace at C. Gail Designs. Here it goes!



1) Are your parents married or divorced? Married.
2) Are you a vegetarian? No.
3) Do you believe in Heaven? Yes
4) Have you ever come close to dying? Thank goodness NO
5) What jewellery do you wear daily? My engagement ring and wedding band, a bracelet that I made for myself, and a charm bracelet that I created for myself.
7) Do you eat the stems of broccoli? Yes.
8) What is your hair styling agent? Tresemme
9) Ever have any surgery? If so, what? I ruptured a disc in my back while in labor, so I've had a lumbar laminechtomy. I've also had my gallbladder out.
10) Do you color your hair? No, but soon!
11) What do you wear to bed? nightgown
12) Have you ever done anything illegal? Not once.
13) Can you roll your tongue? No
14) Electric razor or blade? Blade
15) What kind of shoes usually? Sandals in the summer and anything that slides on in the winter.
16) Do you condone abortions? It's a personal choice, but definitely no for me.
17) What is your hair color? medium brown
18) Future child's name? All done.
19) Do you snore? Only when I have a cold.
20) If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Everywhere!
21) Do you sleep with stuffed animals? My maltese, Maggie!
22) If you won the lottery, what would you do first? Pay off the bills.
23) Gold or platinum/white gold? platinum
24) Hamburger or hot dog? Hamburger
25) If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Homemade chocolate chip cookies- or really the dough!
26) City, beach or country? Beach and country....how about a country cottage setting near the beach? Yes, that would be it! Perfect answer Candace! Mine is on Sannibel Island, Florida.
27) What was the last thing you touched? Yarn.
28) Where did you eat last? In my kitchen.
29) When's the last time you cried? 1.5 hours ago, but not too often usually.
30) Do you read blogs? Yes
31) Would you ever go out dressed like the opposite sex? Why not?!
32) Ever been involved with the police? Not that I can remember.
33) What's your favorite shampoo and soap? Pantene and Ivory
34) Do you talk in your sleep? No
35) Ocean or pool? Definitely pool!
38) Window seat or aisle? Window on a plane. Otherwise, the aisle.
39) Ever met anyone famous? The personal assistant to Kimora Lee talked to me on the airplane a few months ago. He's on her tv show. And I sat next to Vincent Irrizarry from the soaps, at the mall food court!
40) Do you feel that you've had a truly successful life? If my children are my success, I've been blessed beyond belief.
41) Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it? Twirl
42) Ricki Lake or Oprah Winfrey? Oprah
43) Basketball or Football? Baseball. Go Mets!
44) How long do your showers last? 10 mins
45) Automatic or stick shift? definitely automatic
46) Cake or ice cream? Ice Cream
47) Are you self-conscious? Very!!
48) Have you ever drunk so much you threw up? No
49) Have you ever given money to a beggar? Yes
50) Have you been in love? Very
51) Where do you wish you were? At that cottage on the beach!
52) Do you wear socks with your shoes? sometimes, and preferably ones I knit!
53) Have you ever ridden in an ambulance? No, but I gave birth in one!
54) Can you tango? Not even close!
55) Last gift you received? A needlepoint that my mom made for me.
56) Last sport you played? I don't do sports.
57) Things you spend a lot of money on? Jewelry supplies and a little on yarn.
58) Where do you live? Long Island
59) Where were you born? Long Island
60) Last wedding attended? My cousin's
63) Most hated food(s)? Olives and prunes
64) What's your favourite? ice cream and cookies
65) Can you sing? Not a note.
66) Last person you instant messaged? I don't
67) Last place you went on holiday? Hawaii and Israel all in one year! Great year!
68) Favorite regular drink? I'm into diet Pepsi.
69) Tag 5 friends: Can only think of 3 that would participate
70) Current Song? On My Way Here by Clay Aiken. Get his album. It is outrageous.


I am going to tag

Ginger at www.msbelle.blogspot.com
Beakee at www.peanutbutterfly.blogspot.com
Michelle at www.memorableeventsbymichelle.
blogspot.com

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Barron Is Doing Well!

In case you all were wondering how my new doggie is doing, I thought I'd give you an update! All is well in Barron world! He is actually so comfortable already, that I have to go look for him! He seems like he has been here forever. The other dogs have taken him in as well. Colby even shared his favorite toy.

Barren and Colby's toy

I wonder if Colby realizes how much his toy looks like him?!!! He actually stole it from my son when we first adopted Colby two years ago. It was so cute to see him running around with an exact copy of himself!

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Anyway, I wanted to stress how amazing it is to adopt pets that need a home. Two out of our three dogs are adopted and I can't tell you how incredible it feels to see how happy they are and how much we love them. And adopting a dog that is a few years old is the easiest thing you could do. They came here already trained in every way. All they want is love and security.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Welcome Barron

Well, the boys won out again! I've talked about my 2 dogs, Maggie and Colby, before. I adore them. Maggie is my lovey. She is my lap dog and every other minute hug! Colby is our gorgeous larger dog. He is a rescue and he just makes our home complete. The boys, husband included, need his playfulness and love. One day, they decided that Colby needs a buddy. DEEP sigh....

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I am the kind of person who loves a clean and organized house. I like to be in control of a thing or two and three dogs kind of put a damper on that. Welcome Barron! They boys always seem to get their way! Barron has a story, as all rescues do. I am a softy for "the story". Barron is a lucky dog to have found our home. He is a 7 year old long haired German Shepherd whose owner passed away. The son brought the dog in to be put down, but the vet would not go through with it. Fate brought him to us and in the end, I am so grateful for that. He is the most loving boy.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Another Blogging Format!

Yes, I changed my blog again! I hated the other look and just never put the time into fixing it. I am happy to report, though, that I am much more comfortable with this look, after I get a banner made and I spiff it up a bit!


I am planning on working on my ETSY shop this week, too. I have to get pictures taken with backgrounds that I think look good together. Then I will start adding my new line of Czech glass and brass jewelry made from beads such as the ones above. I am actually very excited to see if I can make my way with this thing called ETSY. I see so many people who are successfully selling their wares. I think that I have a good product at a good price point for this venue.

I plan on continuing to sell my bridal jewelry through boutiques and my website, and my fashion jewelry through ETSY and my website. But my main focus for ETSY will be my brass collection. That is my plan for now. If I can get a following going, I might even open a separate shop just for my fashion jewelry. I have such an abundance of really pretty sterling and semi-precious pieces that haven't been sold, that I feel guilty about them. That's another story though. And the amount of beads I have accumulated! Maybe I'll have to open a shop for materials, too! Actually, I have always been very careful about my purchases. I have kept a lid on spending, but it still accumulates over time! This could be my workshop!


Well, I plan on being more diligent about posting here. I have two blogs and Flickr to keep up with and it sometimes feel like I don't have enough to say! Or pictures to post! Have a good one!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Faith Has Conquered Fear...On My Way Here

I have to share with you all a song that I have fallen in love with. I've posted before that I enjoy me some Clay Aiken! I don't walk around talking about this usually (well, my husband hears more than he would like! ;) ), but basically, I enjoy his voice and his message immensely. He just released a new album and I can't get enough of his cover song titled On My Way Here. The words are very meaningful to me and I wish that everyone would hear it. It is so frustrating that the radio doesn't play his music. It is just wrong. Everything is about the buck.

Anyway, the song was written for him specifically for this album and it tells about a young boy who goes through many experiences, both good and terrible, and how, as he grows, he has learned to prevail. There are so many lines that give me the chills. I can relate to so much of this story and how you "need to learn to fly and how you have to want to leave the ground...faith has conquered fear...I wouldn't change what I've been through...I've been loved...I'd rather try and fail a thousand times denied at least whenever you feel pain it lets you know that you're alive..." These are my favorite lines. I will be referring back to this post often, because I am trying to learn all of this myself, both in my personal life and my business life, which, by the way, is conjoined.And in addition, my oldest son is almost 18 and on his way to college. It all feels very interconnected.

On to other topics! I finished the blanket I was knitting. I'm happy with it. It is very scrappy/handmade looking which is different than what I usually make. It was fun.

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And I couldn't resist my cutie, Maggie. The lion pillow was bought for my toddlers 12 years ago and Maggie claimed it. I have always thought it was the cutest thing!

Maggie girl!

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Different Line of Jewelry

It has been a few weeks since I last wrote. I needed some time off from blogging. I was starting to get frustrated with it. It really is a lot of work! I actually like keeping a blog, but I don’t feel very successful at it. I started paying too much attention to the social aspect of it, or lack thereof! Truth is, when I began to blog, I was aware that it was for myself. I knew that there was going to be very little feedback, but I found that other people got comments and I started to resent that I didn’t. Well, I’m over myself and ready to go! Comments or not, I will share the trials and tribulations of a hard working, clueless businesswoman who absolutely loves what she does and MUST continue to create! So there you have it!

To keep you up to date with my jewelry making, I am off in a different direction, for the time being. I first got the bug for this line when I came across Aloha Beads at the Bead Show. I was drawn in by the wonderful array of creamy pastel glass beads. They actually look like candy! I had begun to notice that Czech glass was making its way all over Etsy. I have always loved glass, but didn’t know how to incorporate it in my creative style. When I saw the mounds of Czech glass flowers and leaves and beads of all shapes, I had to buy some. I had no idea what I would do with them, but I bought them anyway, This is what beaders do. Well, I took them home and figured out exactly what to do with them! I am incorporating them into my own style and loving it! This line is created with antiqued brass. Wirewrapping is a very important element of what I do and I found that with a little tweaking here and there, I can create very similar jewelry as I have been, but with a vintage flair. This jewelry is more romantic looking. I LOVE me some vintage! My home is full of vintage. It is my personal style, so this suites me perfectly! And it is less expensive to produce. The same amount of time goes into creating this jewelry, but brass is a fraction of what sterling costs.

I hope you will find it more appealing to your pocketbook, and therefore, will be able to buy my pieces more readily. I am working hard to create less expensive, yet well made jewelry. As usual, I don’t use jump rings, so you won’t be sending my jewelry back for repair. Jump rings have a way of always opening and pieces fall off. That is why I wirewrap. It creates a secure closure. Please remember these details when you make a purchase. You get what you pay for. As soon as I get some pictures taken, I will post them. This line will be sold through both my Etsy shop as well as my website. Please stop by and take a peak. Mother’s Day is just around the corner and I know a few mothers who would love this gift!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My New Love is Green Amethyst!

So I've made many posts regarding the "Sticks" part of my blog title, I'm sure you all realize that reference is to knitting needles! I decided to give the "Stones" a turn. This reference is to my jewelry and to my last name, which is Stone! I haven't purchased too many stones for some time. I've been trying to use what I have. The stash was getting a bit too big! Well, every once in a while, a girl's got to shop! And shop I did! I have been waiting impatiently for this past weekend to attend The Whole Bead Show. For living in such a fashion center, Manhattan does not get it's fair share of bead shows. I get to only two local shows a year. It was worth the wait though. I am so excited to work with my new purchases! I'll keep you up to date! Oh, did I say I am in love with green amethyst!

I think citrine

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green amethyst and cz

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring Jewelry Ideas

I have some fun spring jewelry that is just sitting on a shelf in my studio. They want an owner. They are calling out to someone "Take me home! I need to get out of here and see some sunlight!" I guess I am in need of a home party or something. I haven't had enough business lately and I don't allow myself to make more jewelry unless I sell some jewelry. Tell your friends because my fingers are itching!

This first piece is cool. I was at Home Depot and saw some cable. I unwound it, glued some pretty pearls along the length, and attached sterling crimps and clasps. It is a really neat look!



I REALLY love gold and silver together. I also really enjoy the look of quartz and antiqued silver. Here is a favorite look.



This pretty necklace has three rose quartz beauties and a nice size chain. The look is screaming spring.



These pieces, and much more, can be purchased at my website here.

I am going to the Whole Bead Show tomorrow. I am actually excited because I haven't bought beads in quite awhile. I really needed to use up some of what I have and besides, I have also been working on my bridal jewelry a lot more. Another reason that I am anxious to go is that I have been having problems with the quality of the stones that my usual resources in Manhattan are providing. It is very frustrating. I used to rely solely on my trips to the Fashion District. I barely buy from them any more. The beads are scratched and broken and just thrown around. I will not provide my costumers with that quality material. It is surprising that there are not more bead shows in NYC. This is the only show that comes and it is here twice a year. So you get what you can get when you can get it!

I'll bring my camera, but they are sometimes funny about taking pictures, so we'll see what happens!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Brioche Stitch and Tiny Needles

Hi! I hope you all had a nice Easter. My holiday is next month. It is weird when they fall out so far apart.

Since going on my vacation and them being in bed for all that time with my back problems, I have knitted quite a few preemie hats! They are great travel projects because they are so small. I also made a great find as far as knitting small things in the round is concerned! I don't know if you all knew about these, but there are double pointed needles that are 5"s long! I bought a set of them in the size I wanted (size 5) and they are perfect for socks and baby hats! I am going to purchase a few other sizes from www.yarnsandthreads.com as soon as I can. Talk about small projects that are easy to carry around!

I wanted to try some new stitches out on these hats. I gave the brioche stitch from Weekend Knitting, by Melanie Falick, a whirl and here is what I came up with:

Preemie hat04

Preemie hat05

I just love how the stitch highlights the two colors. This is a bit of an advanced stitch, so don't get too frustrated if you have trouble with it. I have been knitting for 20 years, and it gave me a bit of trouble. It is worth figuring out though...I think so at least!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Some of my collections.

My honey bought me these wire pieces yesterday and I thought that it was so nice of him. I just love wire baskets and things. Vintage pieces are great too. I have a nice collection of them. These are from Home Depot Expo in case anyone wants them, too. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't buy myself things very often. That is why it was so meaningful for him to surprise me with them. It's those little things in life that make me happy :D !!

Wire caddy

Wire trivet

While I was taking the pictures to share with you, I thought of making a theme for Fridays of "Things that make me happy!" I found myself walking around the house snapping photos of the different things that I have collected over the years. I am a collector of sorts. I like things that are vintage, like architectural salvage. I am drawn to things that had a previous life as something else. I collect crystal door knobs and white pottery. I LOVE things that have letters or words on them. I also love things such as old shutters and metal tins. I'll elaborate more each week. Here are a few letters and words that I have gathered.

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This week, I wanted to share a cool collection I recently thought of having. As you know, we went to Hawaii a few weeks ago. One of the exciting activities that we planned to do was to visit many different beaches. We read beforehand that there were various beaches that each had different colored sands. I bottled samples from each beach and it is so pretty to see. This picture shows sand from a black sand beach - the sand was created from lava, a red sand beach - the sand was also created from lava. We went to a green sand beach - olivine is responsible for the green sand. We also saw beige sand beaches. I just love the memories that it brings back! I highly recommend this!

Sand collection

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A New Line of Jewelry!!!


Ever since I was in grade school, I have gotten a child-like excitement when I see the first Robins of spring! Here on Long Island, we were taught that this was the first sign of spring. Guess what? I saw a group of three Robins today! Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera so I don't have a picture to share. Bear with me. I'm just getting back into the swing of things! I'll get my camera out and tote it around again.

Speaking of cameras...awhile back, I blogged about borrowing my sister-in-law's Nikon D40. I fell in love with it and then the day was over and I had to return it. My husband surprised me with one for Chanukah, but it was on back order. Luckily, we got it the day before we left for Hawaii. I actually learned how to use it on our trip! It is amazing. I am so thrilled with it. I will have to get a light box and start replacing some of my pictures of my jewelry little by little. I am so sure that they will come out beautifully. Thank you hunny for a much loved gift!

The wheels are spinning for a new line of jewelry. Before I left on my vacation, I made myself a pair of earrings (one of the perks of being a jewelry designer!). I was really pleased with how they came out and have been thinking about expanding on the theme. I have always loved silver and gold together, as well as hammered metal and antiqued metal. This line will pull all of these elements together. I think that it looks sophisticated and hip. Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Back to Work

I'm finally back to work! I was so excited to go into my studio. It feels like home to me! I am so relieved to be able to stand and sit after being in bed for 2 1/2 weeks. It really got to me. I was able to knit at least! My collection of preemie hats has really grown. Now I feel like I can go in with a bunch! I think they will look so adorable on those tiny ones!If anyone wants to make them and send them to me, I'll get them where they belong.

I am so anxious for spring to get here. Turning the clocks ahead is a great feeling. I am so happy to have more sunlight in my day. I can see the buds almost ready to break open! I look for these things. Really, the birds are what I long for. Their songs make me feel happy.

My wonderful husband bought my hyacinths while I was stuck in bed. Nothing smells better! I'll take pictures tomorrow so you can share in the spring kind of mood that I am in!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

I'm BAAAACK!

Hi guys!

I'm so glad to say that I am actually able to sit! I have had such an awful four weeks. I mean, who goes to Hawaii and can't wait to get home? I really loved my trip, but unfortunately, I was in a lot of pain and couldn't relax and take it all in. I do have some really special memories though such as snorkling with the sea turtles and unbelievablely beautiful fish.

We also saw whales galore! It was so breathtaking that it brought tears to my eyes! We took a boat out to see them and they were everywhere! We were so close to them! A dolphin even joined in for some fun splashing us over and over again with her tail! I wanted nature. I got nature.

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It was funny. As we toured the different beaches, we couldn't believe how tremendous and powerful the waves were until we visited the next one! Even the famous pipeline, where all the surfers go, was closed due to rough seas! It was mesmerizing. We visited black sand beaches, green sand beaches, red sand beaches, and white sand beaches. Each of them was more beautiful than the last. (Don't tell anyone, but I took home samples from each and they are so wonderful. Your not supposed to.) Shh....

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Hawaii '08 085

I also pressed flowers everywhere I went! I carried a book with me and just stuck them in! I'm thinking creatively always!

We visited three Islands in two weeks. This was a lot of flying! And anyone who knows me, knows I don't like to fly. I'm proud to say, though, that 7 flights later, I am now over it! I could fly a plane myself if I needed to!

We also did some outrageous roads. And anyone who knows me, knows I don't like to be on the edge! We drove the road to Hana. This was probably my most favorite day. Pure beauty. But the road is treacherous. And true to form, my darling husband had us drive back at night! If I made it through that, I could make it through anything! And then there was the road to Haleakala. We drove up a volcano to 10,000ft. above sea level. Those are just numbers until you actually start climbing! Treacherous road #2! And again, we watched the sunset and then drove down! Really, it was an amazing event. We happen to be there to see a lunar eclipse. It was awe inspiring. I, of course was altitude sick and having incredible back pain. It was the 20th step that did me in! Thank goodness, pictures tell a thousand words. Here are pictures of the sun setting from over the clouds. We were way above the cloud line.

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The other major event was Volcano National Park. By now, I wasn't very able to get around so the boys did much of the helicopter riding, lava flowing, crater hiking stuff without me. I was in bed at the bed and breakfast worrying how I was going to make it through three plane rides home. Somehow, I got home. And the rest was history.

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I am so incredibly grateful for my husband's persistent planning and incredible insight of this trip. He worked so hard to make sure we knew all the best things to do down to the minutest detail. I love him for that and more!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Not Back Yet....

Just a quick note. I didn't forget my friends out there, although I'm worried you all forgot about me! Unfortunately, during my dream vacation to Hawaii, I developed excruciating back problems and have not been able to focus on much. I am looking forward to getting this problem under control and getting back to my normal routine. My vacation was wonderful and I will post the most beautiful pictures as soon as I am up to it. I hope to talk to you soon.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hawaii bound!

Wow! I have been soooo busy that I haven't been able to keep up with everything! I have had a few bridal orders (YAY!). And some V'day orders (not enough). We had a HUGE Super Bowl party. YAY Giants!!! My boys were happy campers as were my 50 guests. Lots of cooking was done and LOTS of cleaning, too! But it was fun and the company was wonderful.

We have actually been preparing for a trip to Hawaii! I can't believe I am saying that! I am sooooooo excited! It has always been a dream of mine to see Hawaii and my husband and I are going to celebrate our 20th anniversary there! I'll have lots to talk about when I get home!

Until then....!

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Day With Clay Aiken - Spamalot


Ok. So I am about to admit to something that I have actually kept very quiet for years! I haven’t told many people this, but today, I’m screaming it from the rooftops! Well, not really, but I had fun with it! Here it goes… I am a Clay Aiken fan. Whew, I said it. I am not one of those fan girly ones that follow him around ( not that there is anything wrong with that!), but I am actually very private about it except to my kids and my husband. My husband usually laughs at me when I tell him things I’ve read at the message boards. I guess I would too, if the tables were turned.

Anyway, my hubby was wonderful and bought us tickets to see him in Spamalot on Broadway! Today was the day! We were in the second row and I couldn’t believe how incredible it was! I haven’t stopped smiling yet! It was weird to actually be able to hear his incredible talent up close like that. And those eyes……..I believe that he looked right into my eyes a few times! I blushed ;) . Seriously, it was the most fun I have had in a very long time. The play was outrageously funny. Every one of the actors made me laugh hysterically. What was so funny, though, was that a lot of Clay’s humor was extra funny to the people who ‘know” him and what he is all about! He works so hard to be “family friendly” and in the play, he soils his pants, chases after hot women, and curses! This is certainly not what we have ever seen from Clay! He pulls it off in such a funny way! Clay is actually a very funny performer with a very dry sense of humor. Most people don’t know that about him. I have seen so many You Tube clips of his concerts and he cracks me up! But The Voice. That is why I love him, Well maybe The Eyes, too! I fell in love with his voice from the first note I ever heard. I haven’t ever been affected that way before by a performer. To this day, I can’t get enough of his voice. I hope he finally finds a successful partnership in the music business so that he can put together an album that lives up to his capabilities.

And to make things more exciting, Ira saw Tyra Banks and her mom being escorted right past us to go backstage! I saw them and didn’t even realize it was her. I still haven’t stopped kicking myself! She walked right past me. I would have loved to have seen her. I love Tyra. She and Clay are friends.

Clay's autograph!

When we went outside to the stage door, I entered the crowd of people waiting for pictures and autographs. I didn’t think I would get one, because there were so many people there. Clay didn’t stay outside too long because he wanted to get back to Tyra. He was really rushed and didn’t talk or take pictures, but a dear woman named Linda, who was standing next to me, took my Playbill and reached over everyone and Clay signed it! I thanked her profusely and she said to do something nice for someone else. I told her that I was the right person to say that to, because that is how I live my life. What she did for me was my karma coming back to me. As the crowd dispersed, I noticed a teenage girl crying. Her mother was talking to her and hugging her. I found myself walking over to her to see if she had gotten an autograph. I thought she hadn’t and I was going to give her mine. Luckily for us both, she had gotten one. She was crying from happiness. Her mom thanked me for my kindness, as did she. As I walked away, I thought to myself that it’s funny. I wanted the autograph so much, but this girl’s reaction made me want her to have it. I’m grateful that there was enough to go around. But I am also grateful that my first thought is still to have compassion for others.

Clay's autograph02!

It was a good day.

Friday, February 1, 2008

No snow for LI

WOW! It is absolutely pouring out! Once again, my boys are asking why it is not snowing. They love the snow, but for the past few years, it hasn't really been very snowy on Long Island. A few years before, it snowed endlessly! I have pictures of the boys as little ones in the snow up to their waists! I remember one time when Ira dug a hole in the yard and inserted on of the kids in the hole! The snow was up to his ears!!! We don't usually get that much either, but for a few years in a row, we did.

On the third year of shoveling our pretty large driveway, Ira finally had enough. He gave in and purchased a monster of a snowblower. He even purchased a vinyl hood that protects the user from all the snow. Believe me when I say it looked silly! But then something happened. It stopped snowing. The joke has been that it is all Ira's fault! He takes the blame. "Sorry" to the children all over Long Island. "He's sorry that you have no snow days from school. Sorry that you have no sledding and hot chocolate runs. Sorry for no catching the flakes on your tongue and not making angels in the snow. Ira says he's sorry.

There's talk that we might have to break the darn thing! This is from the news the other day!

'08 no snow

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Special Treat for Me!

So I purchased a special treat for myself the other day and I wanted to tell you all about it! I know that all you other indie people out there don't want to hear this, myself included, but I try very hard not to spend all my money on buying all the great handmade stuff out there. I would go broke if I bought everything I loved! I appreciate handmade items. I love handmade items. As a matter of fact, I am rarely interested in anything in the stores anymore because they are machine made and have no "soul". I have said it before, but I am all about the soul.


Back to my story. I bought myself an apron! It felt so domestic!I've never had one before and I fell in love with a green paisley fabric so I had to have it! And the maker of this apron isn't bad herself! Check out her work. Christina is a wonderful, conscientious, business girl who aims to please. And her stitches are perfect. I even found her signature on the back, which makes it feel even more special! The only downfall to having such a wonderful apron is that I get all upset if something gets it dirty!!! Please check out her website at
www.designsbychristina.biz


This is a picture of an apron in one of Christina's other amazing materials. Thanks!

Monday, January 28, 2008

I Will Pursue!

So I took some time off and regrouped. It did me some good to get away from the over load of information that the internet can provide. I love information. Don't get me wrong. I just tend to over do it. I research and research until my head is swimming and then I get overwhelmed.

Lately, I've been working on how to get my bridal jewelry line recognized more. I have been surfing the net for outlets- ways to connect with the brides. I feel like I am banging my head against a wall because I just don't feel like I know what direction to take anymore. I spent time researching how people make sales on etsy. Geese. Some of my friends have 1000 hearts and more!!! I have 19. Granted, I haven't worked much at promoting over there. That is why I was looking into it! But I just don't know how they do it! I have tried some of the techniques that are suggested, but I don't see any payback! I Flickr. I've joined groups and made contacts. I have fun, but not much else!



I have been calling to purchase vendor space at upscale expos. They won't sell me space! I go into bridal shops and they already have vendors that they represent! I'm not sure where to connect, but I will not give up. I will find my way through this mess! I believe in my product and I believe that brides will want my jewelry. If you have any ideas, please pass them on!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

An Even Keel

So I took a few days off and I feel soooo much better! I guess I can get myself overwhelmed when I spend too much time surfing. It becomes "too much information" and I go into overload. I read so many success stories and compare everything to what I am trying to do. I realize that I can't do that. It is human nature to compare, but everyone's stories are different. I realize that I have to concentrate on MY story! I find that the internet is amazing for connecting with other people, but the more you connect and the more information you gain, the more you have to try and keep up with. It is up to me to keep everything on an even keel.

Chinook

I wanted to thank Mellisa from www.chinookjewelry.com for the mention on her blog. She has wonderful jewelry. She is also a very talented clay pendant designer. I just love the earthiness of her designs. There are wonderful colors to choose from and her pieces look like artifacts. Please visit her website and you will be as excited as I am. Here is a picture of a simple necklace that I designed to showcase the bead, itself. I love the sage green of the bead with the oxidized sterling bar chain. If you like this, I can make you one, too. Pick any bead from her site and it is yours!!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Design to Sell? or Design from the Heart?

I probably shouldn't be writing this at this moment. It is late and I am blurry-eyed from being on the computer ALL day. I am feeling at a crossroads and I'm really not sure what to do. When I feel like this, there is no stopping me though...

I guess every designer faces this at one time or another. It is probably inevitable. I am questioning everything about my jewelry. Up until now, I have believed in my instincts. I know what my style is and I know what I expect from my designs. I know what price points I feel comfortable charging and I know what customers I am targeting. Then, along came blogging, Etsy, The Switchboards, and my website, among other things.

All of a sudden, my head is swimming. I haven't had many sales at all. I am spending so much time reading about so many other peoples' successes that I have started to second guess everything that I have worked so hard to figure out for myself. I am beginning to wonder if I should be designing to sell or designing from my heart.

I have always felt very strongly about designing what feels right and good. I have taught myself this wonderful craft of jewelry making. I adore every aspect and every minute of it. This, I am certain of. I have worked hard to find my style. I know what makes me inspired and I have such a wonderful time exploring it. What I don't know is whether I should compromise these things to do what is proven true. Less expensive items sell more. But they are not challenging or inspiring to design. I have felt that what makes my jewelry my own is that it is more intricately designed and created. I love to work detail. That is what I do. I find the balance between intricate and classic. But people don't seem to want to pay for that. At least that is what I see online.

I'm going to sleep on this and see what tomorrow brings.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wrestling is Over!


I am so relieved. We (and by "we" I mean "me") made it through the season. I try to be strong. I really do. But someone, sometimes, more than one, gets hurt. Sometimes they get very hurt. I've seen too much. Well I thought I did, until yesterday. One of Jake's teammates got hit on the back of his head, stood up and fainted to the mat. These are 8th graders. They are babies still. It is hard to watch. The boy was sick to his stomach when he woke up and the coaches took a long time until they let him get up. Fifteen minutes went by. I was having a fit that they didn't call the ambulance. My instincts were screaming to have him checked out.

They had him sit for awhile , and then he kept falling asleep and not remembering things. HELLOOOO!. It was hard to not take matters into my own hands. His mother was there and trying to stay very calm, but come on. They eventually called the EMS which took another 15 or 20 minutes to get there. I was nauseous by the end of the event.

I still haven't found out any information. I'm sure he is fine. It was probably a concussion, but my message is to act on the side of caution with your kids. The last casualty was a compound fracture and the boys parents weren't there or available by phone. I know we are all busy, but be there for your kids. They need us.


I'm done with my rant. WRESTLING IS DONE!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Can She Make it Work?!!!

Hang in there with me! I am trying like the devil to make this blog design my own! I really enjoy working on this. I am actually very proud of myself because I have taken on this challenge of understanding HTML and CSS with no one to ask any questions of. I have spent many more hours than I should obsessing over this. I have lost much sleep, too. Why can't I get the border to work? And how come the line won't move over a bit? The colors are fun to play with, but I can't make the pictures fit correctly?!! I know that I am one of many, many beginning bloggers who are obsessing, but what the heck? I have gone from "Just let me see if this will work.", to "@#$% it! I can't believe this!". And then to add insult to injury, Blogger can't be contacted to save what I've done!!!

But I'm having fun! And soon, you will see the end result of my obsessive creativity! Check back often to see this work in progress. If it hasn't progressed, I've lost my mind.........!

images

This beautiful picture of yarn, or something like it, is what I hope to incorporate into my header. We'll see....!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

How Come Jewelry?

A woman over at The Switchboards posed a question today that made me think about expanding on the topic. She wanted other women to explain what exactly made each of them decide to settle upon what they do. She stated that she had the desire to "channel her creative energy", but I guess she is feeling unsure about what exactly that should be.

Deciding what to do with myself, in my case, was like knowing if I wanted to marry my husband. There was not a question in my mind. Every bit of me just knew that I had to use my creativity. I used to work in an office for 10 years and a piece of me died every day. I felt so out of place and all I thought about was the project that I was currently involved in. It was an obsession and I had no control over it. I did not understand this pull and I felt awfully about it. I felt like a failure, because I worked so hard to receive my BS and Master's Degree and all I could think of was knitting.

This went on for many years. I eventually stopped working to be home with my children. Those 10 years were all about soul searching for me. I had anxiety problems that had to be dealt with. They came to a head when I quit my job. Little by little, I started to realize that I had choices. I could decide to make my self worth dependent upon what I wanted to be doing, not only on what other people in my life perceived to be success. In those 10 years, I started to understand that living a happy life was essential to me. I needed to feel right in my own skin. I had never felt that way before. The quest began. I started to study what other people were willing to spend their money on. I went to trade shows and just watched. The booths that had the biggest crowds seemed to consistently be food booths and jewelry booths.

After some time, I attended a friend's jewelry party. The jewelry was beautiful, handmade jewelry and everyone was very responsive to it. I sat and watched. I took in everything. I was mesmerized by the excitement and enthusiasm that the customers showed. And then the light bulb went on!!! I can do this myself! I can learn how to make this and sell it myself!

I set out to learn a whole industry with no one to teach me anything. It was a difficult, but very challenging. Five years later, it is ALL I still think about (besides my beloved knitting of course!). I researched the fashion district and now have my favorite shops that I rely heavily upon. I have gone to many trade shows and have searched out the best resources for silver findings, wire and everything else I might need. I purchase materials directly from dealers on 47th st. It is so much fun to take a day with my mom and galavant in Manhattan! This is what makes me feel right in my own skin. I now look forward to working every minute of the day!

Don't get me wrong. There are still MANY frustrations and difficulties, but I feel challenged by them, not depressed by them. I have MANY mountains still to climb, but I still get excited by making a sale. Each time a customer wants a piece that I have created, is a reminder to me that I am right where I belong. The biggest hurdle I have, is to find a way to make people know I exist! That is huge for this quiet, fairly private person! I have yet to find my success with this. But I am not going to let this stop me. I am now working on finding my niche in the industry. I have recently begun to extended myself to brides.

I believe that I have a product that brides love. My goal is to provide brides with choices that are subtle, classic, and have quality. I want to provide jewelry at affordable prices, yet have no rhinestones! In reaching out for this market, I have found a love in sparkle and romance!

.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Why we knit

Well, Josh passed his road test. I can't believe I have a son who drives. It just can't be happening. But it is, and so on we go. Please keep him safe.

I have been knitting a blanket for him for two years now. This is a very special blanket. I began planning it two years ago so that it would be ready for next September. It is Josh's "college blankie". I know I've mentioned it before. I've even shown a square or two. It has sentimental meaning to me because, besides the obvious, I have some very emotional memories that are connected with it. When I began testing out patterns, my knitting buddy went into the hospital for a knee replacement. She was actually my buddy in all aspects of life. Momma was my husband's grandmother and she was the most special person I have ever known. We were together many days a week and she was a part of everything I did. Joshua was her pride and joy. No two people could be closer or more in love. Josh was the first grandchild of the now 6. He had a special place in her heart and everyone knew that. Thank goodness he was old enough to know that till this day.

When Momma went in for her surgery, I came in with 3 or 4 different ideas for the blanket. I stayed with her and knit by her bedside for a week as she healed. I would make one square, decide that it wasn't just right, and rip it out. She made fun of my quest for the perfect blanket idea! On the night of Valentines Day, the doctors told her that she needed a pacemaker. Momma was 83. She was very upset, but we told her how lucky she was to have a new heart at that age! She was the youngest 83 year old I had ever met! As she slept, the snow fell outside. It piled to 1 foot. Inside, we snuggled and the perfect pattern settled into my head, my heart, and my hands.

The next morning, she went in for a 15 minute "procedure" and then she was gone. I have never told anyone this, but every stitch of that blanket is a part of her to me. And what makes it even more special is that it is made for Josh. Maybe I will tell Josh this story someday. For right now, it is his college blankie.

I wanted to say that the reason I needed to share this very personal story is that it represents the essence of knitting. This story has come full circle as I am almost finished assembling the squares. It feels melancholy.

Josh's blankie

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New Designs for spring

Well, it felt like spring today- I think we broke some records here on Long Island! It was almost 70 degrees in the middle of January! I was in such a spring mood that I took out my camera to capture the gerbera daisies that my darling hubby gave me the other day when it was 23 degrees out! I wonder if he knows that this is my most favorite color in the world! Come to think of it, I just built a website and blog around it! This fuchsia just makes me smile :) ! And I fell in love with the pictures I took of them, too. Isn't it funny how you can try so hard to take a picture and it doesn't meet your expectations, and then you just snap a picture in your kitchen and it can look like it was taken at a beautiful garden?!!

Gerbera Daisy

Gerbera Daisy03

Gerbera Daisy02

I have been working on a new line of jewelry for the spring. I just love how gold and silver look together and have been having a lot of fun combining them in unexpected ways! I really like the graphic look that I have come up with. Working with wire is my first love. It is so satisfying to me to take a straight line and form it into whatever shape I want. I also feel the need to create my own findings lately. I want my pieces to be my own design whenever possible. I'll give you a peek at what I have been working on.

Valerie01 - E492

Brittany - E491