Saturday, March 7, 2015

With all of the snow days lately (my kids have had exactly one full week of school since mid-December!), I haven't gotten nearly as much work done on the shop as I'd like.  But things do keep moving along.  Today I was fortunate to have my "Wisdom Listens" necklace included in a wonderful Etsy treasury titled "Pearls of Wisdom"!

'Pearls of Wisdom' by thatotherrabbit

Pearls of Wisdom for your day, wisdom comes in many shapes and sizes and when you find it in pearls? Celebrate!

Pearls of Wisdom, medium

Foster Parent, Foster Care, ...

Pearls of Wisdom - 6x6 Paper...

Antique Chinese Sterling Dra...

Pearl of wisdom - Wisdom lis...

Bookmark - Gold Eastern drag...

Pearls of Wisdom and Grace,P...

Pearl of Wisdom Bronze Penda...

Philosophy quote art: Unders...

Thank You Cards, Handmade Th...

Pearls of Wisdom

Wisdom Cat - Virtue Kitty - ...

Pearls of Wisdom: If it is t...

natural brass winged words o...

Pearls of Wicked Wisdom--bla...
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Seeing my work beside that of other talented artists definitely motivates me to keep coming up with new ideas, and test my boundaries.  I have a few techniques I'm interested in trying out and a lot of Mothers Day related ideas floating around in my head.  Hopefully all of that will translate to some new and exciting things for the shop in the next few weeks!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wah wah wah wah wah...

Yesterday was a big day in Fairietale Land.  I wrote this the night before, and for some reason it never got published so I'm doing that now.  :-)

I've been taking a little time off from the jewelry because I'm starting a new (part-time) job.  The kind you get paid for.  And unlike my last they-give-me-money-in-exchange-for-work situation, I can't wear my PJs and bunny slippers for this one.  It requires actually leaving the house.  Looking presentable.  And like I know something more interesting than how to make a PB&J sandwich or get dirt stains out of someone's favorite pants after a dust up on the playground.

In my pre-Big and Little life, I was a teacher.  A college professor, specifically.  Just about 12 years ago, when I was pregnant with Big, my husband got the job of his dreams and we ended up moving to another state.  The husband moved first since I was mid-semester at the time.  We'd talked about me being a stay at home mom, at least for the first couple of years, and I was looking forward to that.  Which worked out, since once I'd finished up and followed him to the new abode, I looked sort of like I'd swallowed a large basketball and wasn't really in top interviewing form anyway.

Years later, a good friend asked me to be her "Discussion Leader" for an on-line class she was teaching.  Basically I helped out with grading, facilitating the required on-line discussions as needed, answering questions.  All from the comfort of my home office (hence the PJs and slippers!), with most of the heavy lifting related to course design and content on somebody else's plate.  Did that a few times and it was a great experience.  Different from traditional brick and mortar teaching but not in a bad way.

Now that Big and Little are actually becoming independent human beings instead of blobs requiring constant care and feeding growing up, I had some free time and decided to explore my options a little.  Found a job posting at the local community college for adjunct faculty in my field and submitted an application.  Got called in for an interview (the strangest one of my life, but that's another story!).  And tomorrow, for the first time in over a decade, I'm setting foot in an actual classroom.  With real students.  Whom I need to amaze and entertain for 115 minutes twice a week over the course of the next 12 weeks.

I have nightmares in which my classroom looks something like this -

I'd forgotten how much work goes into this.  Creating a syllabus.  Coming up with assignments that actually teach something but don't bore the students into a coma.  Timing.  I have no idea how much I can/should pack into 115 minutes.  How much will they talk?  What do I do if they don't talk?  That means *I* have to talk!

Now I have a headache and am definitely freaked out.  The good news is that means I've got nowhere to go but up.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Friends forever.
Maybe longer.

Big came up to me the other day and said "You were in college 15 years ago?"  After a bit of confusion, we eventually we figured out she'd been looking at my diplomas on the office wall and hadn't been reading my bachelor's.  If she had, the number would have been a bit bigger, which was what threw me off at first.  I'm old.  That thing is practically written on papyrus with an inked quill.

Which made me feel a little nostalgic.  Grateful that I can still remember that many years ago, too.

Do you have any friends dating back that far?  I'll admit that I really don't.  Between my undergraduate and graduate degrees I went to four colleges in four states.  I've also moved four times since finishing that last degree.  They say things come in threes so I wonder what it means that I've got so many "fours" in my life.  Apparently I just need an extra whatever it is in order to get the job done.  But I digress...back to my lack of "knew you from the cradle" friends.  My friends these days are "mommy friends", people I've met through play groups and school and whatnot since moving to my current state while pregnant with Big.

My last custom order, though, was four necklaces for four women who have been friends since college.  One of the ladies ordered them to give as gifts during a girls' weekend back at their alma mater.  I won't give too many specifics (since they're my age!), so as not to be forced to admit that not all of my gray hair has been caused by my children, but I will say that I don't have enough fingers and toes to count all those years.  Besides, if you've managed to retain more brain cells over the years than I have, you can figure a couple of things out from the pictures anyway.

I was given pretty much free reign with these, and the end result was different from my original design.  Better, in my opinion.  And from what I've been told, they went over well.

I love custom orders.  The items I make for the shop still let me be creative, but there's something different about coming up with an idea that's tailored for a specific person, to reflect their personality and history, and then experiencing their reaction to what I've done.   That adds a little extra magic to the process, at least for me.  Next up on the custom order train is a cuff bracelet for my mom.  It'll let me play a bit more with my new favorite toys, a set of stick figure people.  Not today, I'm planning on doing nothing more than making and eating some homemade pizza and enjoying the (hopefully good) commercials in between downs of some pesky football game.  :-)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Once (again) upon a time...

I am many things.  I'm a wife and mother.  I'm a daughter.  I'm a teacher.  I'm a coffee-addicted Type A personality who is also a picky eater and a regular but extremely reluctant exerciser.

What I am apparently NOT is a blogger.  Because if I were, it wouldn't have been so long since my last post.  This almost feels like I'm starting the blog all over again.

As part of my grand Plan for 2015, I'm focusing more on some of the things that I let get away from me last year.  It only took me 27 days to get around to the "blog more" part of that.  I haven't stopped writing 2014 on checks yet, so I'm still ahead of the game in my opinion.

Schools here had a snow day today, a whole 1 1/2 inches on the ground which around here could potentially keep my girls home for a week.  Never let it be said that our schools aren't serious about protecting students in cold, snowy conditions.  A snowflake?  Keep them home, they might get cold waiting for the bus!  So instead my girls stayed home and spent an hour outside making snow angels and freezing their behinds off.  They'd have been warmer and safer in school, if you ask me.  Plus the whole learning thing.  I made them do homework this morning which earned a comment of "grown ups are annoying" from Little.  My response was "yes, that's our job, so apparently I'm doing it well today."

(Note - while I don't necessarily agree with a lot of the calls made by our school board members and occasionally joke about them, I really do respect that their goal is the overall safety of thousands of students throughout the county and it's got to be a tough job...I know certainly wouldn't want that responsibility.)

I got some work done myself while they were playing.  Since I sort of had to sit where I could see them, in case somebody licked the swing set and got their tongue stuck or some such nonsense, I figured I might as well stamp something.  My work bench is out in the garage, but for the winter my husband built me a few goodies that allowed me to move into the family room, from where I have a full view of the yard.  Win-win.

I set myself up with my adorable new stick figure family (thanks to my parents for the amazing holiday gift!) and put this little bracelet together -

Big was glad to see that I stamped her as the "teen girl" instead of the "little girl".  Because she's "a pre-teen now, Mom!" (complete with obnoxious, pre-teen tone when spoken!).  Little doesn't much care either way.  The "little girl" has a bow so it's all good as far as she's concerned.  Oh, and I can't forget a shout out to my in-laws, givers of the amazing font stamps I used for the "MOM" charm.  It was definitely a "jewelry making" sort of holiday for me!

Hope all of you who got more snow than we did are safe and warm.  Those who didn't get any snow (and/or whose kids got to leave the house today!) are welcome to any more of the white stuff that might want to fall here for the rest of the winter...just let me know, and I'll send it your way.  Personally, I'm ready for Spring.  :-)