Monday, July 28, 2008

Just Keep Swimming

One of my mantra's of late is from Disney's "Nemo"... when Dori is singing "Just keep swimming..." Many times I've been at a point lately, where I need to remind myself to just keep swimming. It's silly, but it makes me smile a little too.
This is one of Swimmy's friends, getting ready to go into the oven. I made him for a swap on Etsy called Swim It Forward. Just post a message saying that you'll make a Swimmy for the next person that posts, they'll convo them, and you send a Swimmy. You can also make one and send it directly to the Etsy HQ-find more details on that here.

So, go make your own Swimmy, and swim him forward!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Featured Artist of the Week

Check out ArtByLilin's Etsy site this week!!

This was just posted today and isn't it gorgeous? I love her peacock collection- this one is KORBEE. Reminds me of the peacock we saw at the zoo last week with its' feathers so proudly displayed for all the hot peacock chickies to see!

Lilin has done an excellent job mixing colors, and just look at that scroll at the top of the pendant! Lilin- you've outdone yourself girl! Nice touch on the peacock feather in the background too.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, July 21, 2008

New computer

What a weekend! Poor Tommy's been sneezing so hard I thought he was going to blow his brains out of his nose! He's got an upper respiratory infection, so I stayed home with him today.

I've got a new-to-me laptop, and am currently typing this from my living room! No more late nights alone in the kitchen! And it only took me 2 hours to figure out how to get the wireless connection set up. I'm still got to upload my photo software and a few other things though.

Friday we visited the zoo for their Kid's Night. We decided to be different, and go through it out of our usual order. And of course, since we're in Wisconsin, we had to visit the cows. LOL

These are Tommy's giraffes. Hehehe. He's named them Bubbles, Bubbles (Jr.), and Giraffey. What a goof. He's also named just about every other animal we came across.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Featured artist

Now that I'm blogging daily, I'm going to begin featuring at least one artist weekly. This week's artist is Etsy's BiMiki.

I love this adorable asian style necklace! BiMiki says she's a technique junkie, and I completely fall into that category. Added bonus, in her profile she says "A minimum of 25% of the cost of each item is donated to Christian recovery programs like Celebrate Recovery and counseling programs."

Her Etsy already looks great, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of her wonderful work!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mamma Mia!

My sides hurt from laughing so much! My mom, a couple of good friends and I went to a sneak preview of Mamma Mia! tonight, and it was absolutely wonderful. And it really was a great movie to see with my mom!
Now that I'm home, I'm about ready to strangle my computer! My email is acting up- not letting me attach or download files, and my flickr isn't allowing me to grab links to my own pictures. If only I could get a new computer... maybe I'd get a laptop. If my mom were reading this now she'd remind me how I hate laptops- but that was before I started blogging regularly and had to leave nice comfy couches for a hard uncomfortable kitchen chair.
Anyone out there know how to fix my computer problems? Send me a comment below!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Junk day

I'd like to start things off today with a moment of silence... you see, Goldie the zombie fish finally went to the big fish bowl in the sky last night. Caylin flushed her down the toilet without a single tear. She was so strong. Afterwards, I sent her up to ask her daddy if she could finally get that baby chick, now that we had one less pet. I'm so evil. Tee-hee!

Today was sort through junk day. By 5pm, I realized that I was carrying WAY too many things in my tote, so we had to slim down. I had 5 different notebooks, 3 magazines, a make-up bag (not that I ever put any on regularly), migraine meds, a collapsable file folder, thank you cards that I never wrote out, an empty change purse, a garage door opener, various loose papers, and a cinnamon candy cleverly disguised as a peppermint. YUCK!

After consolidating, I had every intention of taking updated, better quality pictures for some of my etsy items. Pictures that I was supposed to take over the weekend. As I was going through things, I kept finding all these unfinished projects... like earrings that I just had to throw together to make a complete set, or the pendant and toggle for a necklace that just needed to be thrown on rubber cording. Not to mention the sheet of clip art I had printed nearly 6 months ago to do image transfers with! So, 2 1/2 hours later, I've got 5 complete necklaces, 3 sets of earrings, and numerous pictures just waiting to have the paper dissolved off of them. Wee!

Now I just have to figure out- Should I keep them, or post on Etsy? What do you think?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Meetings and messes

Here I am blogging, just like I said I would... I even got my tail up off the couch from under the nice warm blanket to stick to my blogging commitment. I didn't think it'd be good to slack off on my first day.

Today was the meeting for the Metro Milwaukee Polymer Clay Guild. It has been far too long since I've met with these wonderful ladies! It's so nice to get together with people that understand clay obsessions... not that I'm obsessed or anything. I've only been in my studio all weekend!

At the meeting today, Beth taught some great cane making demos! She had some great leaves and flowers. I love how my leaf turned out, but I think my flower could've used a darker outlining color on it for contrast. It's spawned a lot of ideas that seem really good in my head right now- hopefully I can bring them to life in clay!

Looks like I'll be demo-ing at the September meeting, doing image transfers! I've only done one so far, but I've been wanting to revisit and master that technique.

Speaking of technique, I learned a great one that makes a big huge fun mess from the Winter 06/07 issue of Polymer Cafe. It's Laurie Prophater's Ancient Metal Technique and it was tons of fun to do. If you get tired of being exact with canes, this is a great thing to try and just let it take you where ever it goes.

I made my own stamps, based off of Mayan hieroglyphs. Its just some scrap clay, cut into squares, then I used very thin extruded scrap snakes to make my stamp designs. (I've got a whole bunch more in mind...)

I followed Laurie's technique and the above is what I ended up with. These are drying after applying a coat of minwax to them. Normally I don't varnish, but I didn't want the finish to rub or scratch off. I love them, and can't wait until I have one strung to show off!

Here's another messy technique I worked on this weekend- stamp into some white or off-white clay, then cover with a mixture of liquid clay and alcohol ink. I don't remember where I read about this technique, it was months ago, but I love it. I think it looks like ceramic glaze. I have decided I need to get some additional inks though- I only have 3! I'm not sure how to finish these off yet. Any thoughts? Post your comment below!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


WARNING: This is a LONG post, with few pictures.

I've decided it's time for a makeover. Not like the one the other night. Time for an Etsy shop makeover!

It all started when I was looking for ideas for a craft show I'll be doing in November. My VERY first craft show. One thing lead to another, and I landed on this article on Etsy. I've heard of people quitting their day job, for Etsy, but it just struck home. And, while I hope no one from work is reading this, the idea of being home with my kids, and working in my studio is heaven. Even if it means I work 12 hours a day, at least I'll be home with them and won't have to depend on another person to raise them. And I mean no disrespect to my workplace or my boss(es). My direct boss is absolutely wonderful, and her boss is awesome too. It's all about me and the kids.

I've known for about 6 months, I haven't been spending the kind of time taking care of my shop that I should be. The banner was made by myself, and you can tell. Some of the pictures are ok, but some have a distracting background, some are blurry still, and some have poor lighting levels. The last time I listed and item was in March for heavens sakes! I've got listings that are expired too.

Here's my list of getting things back on track to quitting my day job:
1. Retaking pictures, relisting expired listings, and I'll have a 30% off sale once those 2 things are done!
2. I'm getting a business redesign from Share the Love Designs. She's got a good custom package for $30!
3. I'm having some printing done! I'm going to get some things printed from Promo's in a Snap, including new business cards, stickers for packaging, and bag toppers to make my packaging look more professional.
4. Speaking of packaging, I'm redesinging it. While I always put the items in a bag and box, it'll now be tied in someway- with either ribbon or raffia, and have one of my new stickers on it. Also, while for now I'll still be using up old jewelry boxes from my mom's old business, I'll be getting some just for mine from Nile Corp.
5. I'm going to make a batch of sample work to send to The Sampler.
6. I'm making the committment to attend our monthly guild meeting regularly, starting tomorrow.
7. I'm also making a commitment to post on my blog 5 days a week. Today is the exception, but you'll see new posts M-F, bright and early!
8. I'm going to post 1 new picture on my Flickr at least 5 days a week (same time I update my blog).
9. I'm going to send out 1 new bullitin per week to 2 people in my myspace and/or facebook accounts.
10. I'm going to post a comment on another person's blog at least 5 days a week. Even if it's just to say "great post".
11. By August, I want to be posting 1 new item in my shop every day.

As you can see, I've got a lot to do! I didn't even post a new picture for you! Here's one that'll make your mouth water:
Breakfast was delicious!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Summer weekend days

We spent the day doing fun summer-y stuff yesterday, like going to the zoo.

The flamingos were right up to the fence, as was this little bird just to the left of Caylin...

We enjoyed some ice cream on our way home.

I think Maya liked Mike's chocolate dipped cone, better than her rainbow sherbet though.

I love summer days. It makes doing indoor things like blogging very boring.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy belated 4th

How was your 4th of July? Mine was filled with all the things it should be...
The kids rode their bikes in the town bike parade. Alas, the picture is refusing to download from my camera to email to computer. For some reason, it's getting stuck in the scanning viruses stage.

We found a tiny little frog on our walk home. Last I heard, the kids named it "Hoppy", but it might be changing to "Kermit".

I enjoyed a tomato, mozzarella and basil salad while browsing through my new book "In Stiches" by Amy Butler outside on the deck.

So, my dinner did not fit in with the un-processed foods challenge. My husband ran up to the store to get more meat after we found out friends were joining us, and came home with Hint of Lime Tortilla chips, and Honey Weiss. I'm a sucker, what can I say...

We set up a tent on the hill behind our house and watched the fireworks from there. Then we came back to the yard, and watched the neighbor's fireworks. Hope you're 4th was as enjoyable!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Goodbye blueberry pancakes

I am saying goodbye to blueberry pancakes for the next week.

And hello to fruit!

As part of the "Biggest Loser's" Group at The Daily Plate, we participate in weekly challenges. Our prize is pride, confidence, being one step closer to a healthy lifestyle, and hopefully weight loss.

This week's challenge is to go without processed foods. It's not just about calorie counting anymore!! Sodium is a big problem for me- it's one of many things that will set of my migraines, and processed food is LOADED with sodium. Play along if you like, and let me know how you do next week!

So, I can have fresh fruit, fresh veggies, brown & wild rice, plain oatmeal, eggs, & fresh meat (NOT lunch/canned meats).
Things I need to be careful of:
Anything "bleached" or "white" ie: bread, sugar, pasta.
Ice Cream
Soda- I'm a slave to Diet Coke!

That's just a condensed list of my biggest problems... not to mention I can't do any prepared frozen meals (a la Lean Cuisine)!

Part two of our challenge this week is to find a new activity to add to my exercise routine. I'm thinking this is going to be difficult as I already switch between several different activities, and I don't have a gym membership. If anyone wants to leave a comment with idea's, that would be great! Here's what I do fairly regularly:
Free Weights
Gardening (YES, that's an activity! You should see how I garden!)
Calisthenics (you know, sit-ups, push-ups, leg lifts... that kind of stuff)

So, what should I add??

I'll leave you with a fun quote for today from Ms. Ellen DeGeneres:
"I really don't think I need buns of steel. I'd be happy with buns of cinnamon."