Monday, September 29, 2008

I Am A Lucky Girl!

I won this beautiful set of quilted coasters at the Bella Modiste blog! Not only are they lovely to look at, but they're sturdy and well made. The coasters came with a surprise bonus--a matching mini-quilt.

I was so thrilled when I opened my package that I had to go check out her Etsy shop again to see if there were any more coaster sets available. Sadly, none today, but I found the cutest bags! There's a pretty selection of aprons, too. Go check out She Sews By The Seashore for some beautiful and unique finds!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Destash and Jewelry Supply Sale

I have way too much stuff I don't need or want. I've been listing it little by little in my Etsy shop, and now the bins I store these little treasures in are overflowing. From now through September 30, buy any item in the Supplies/Destash section of my shop and get a second item from that section at half-price. Put the phrase "Blog B0G0" in the notes to seller, and I'll either send you a revised invoice or refund the difference if you've already paid. There are tons of sterling silver charms, and a good number of odds and ends. And I'm surrounded by a bunch of things I'm trying to get listed, so there are more goodies to come.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Bought My First ACEO

I'm so excited--I just got my first ACEO in the mail! I've wanted to start collecting ACEOs for quite a while, and made myself wait until after we got moved and were at least somewhat settled in our house. I saw this one at the Aerten Art blog and just had to have it. The colors are perfect, the humor exactly my style, and that hairdo: a sort of a snake/antenna thingie, I assume to improve reception so she can tune in those voices. It's way better than covering things with aluminum foil to keep the (I always get confused, is it government or aliens?) out.

Check out Aerten Caisleán on Etsy, it's full of lots of other goodies. But this one is mine!!!! Now I just have to figure out where and how to display it....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Temari Auction for Charity

Sometimes a story just tugs at my heart and won't stop. Carol Decker's story is one of those: an expectant mom who had an emergency C-section, developed septic pneumonia, and had such severe difficulties with the medication that she is now a triple amputee and has lost her eyesight. You can find more details and links to news stories about Carol and her family through the link a few lines above; it's too wrenching for me to want to go into any more detail here.

I was just finishing this Temari when I heard about Carol, and it just seemed right to donate it to help out her family. It's available now at Silent Auction for Carol. Bidding starts at just $15 and ends Wednesday, September 24th at 9:00pm PST.

You'll find a number of other wonderful items to bid on there as well. Click on over and bid on something: every additional dollar is a tiny bit of worry the Decker family doesn't have to deal with.

Friday, September 19, 2008

And the Winner Is . . .

. . . commenter number 4, Twenty Pound Tabby! Congratulations, you've won the autographed copy of Marianne Gingher's How To Have a Happy Childhood. I'll get this in the mail to you just as soon as I have your mailing address.

For all of you who love giveaways, make sure to check out the Peanut Butter Cup Shortbread Giveaway on The Peanut Butter Blog. It's to die for!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happy News: Lower Shipping Costs

Things are tight for people everywhere, and I've been looking for ways to cut back on my ongoing expenses. I've been able to lower the amount I spend on shipping (yippee!) so I've also lowered the amount I charge for shipping additional items from my Etsy shop. Effective today, most things will ship for only $0.30 each with an additional purchase, so it's perfect timing for holiday shopping.

I already ship commercial supplies and destash items at $0.00 for additional items, and that will remain as is (I can't get any lower than free!). My Temari are too heavy to discount the shipping costs, but all fused glass, Kumihimo, and pendant chains are included.

I've changed the amount in my shipping profile, but unfortunately it won't automatically update all the listings I have there already. I am so not motivated enough to individually edit nearly 500 items, so please send me a message if you're shopping and I can send you a corrected invoice before you check out, or a refund if you've already paid.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Favorite Stretch

All those electric shocks last week must have loosened things up a bit, because today I was finally able to do my favorite stretching exercise! I haven't been able to do it for months, my right arm just wouldn't cooperate. This is a terrific and simple stretch for upper back muscles, and perfect for anyone who sits in a chair for any length of time.

Stand with your feet about hip-width apart and arms at your sides. Raise one arm straight up, bend it at the elbow and bring your hand down behind your neck and upper back. With your other arm straight down, bend it at the elbow and bring that hand up behind your back. Can you touch the fingers of one hand with the other? If not, put a little effort into bringing them closer together. If you can clasp the fingers of both hands together and hold for 10 seconds you've succeeded in doing a complete stretch! Now switch arm positions and stretch again.

Don't you feel better? I know I do!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cow Pouches Are Just Plain Fun

Since I haven't been able to make much new stuff lately I've been busy restocking my eBay store. I love these cow pouches--they're just fun! They measure about 4" x 6" and are made with soft, furry, plushie fabric. The patterns vary a bit from pouch to pouch, but each one looks like the side of a cow. The heavy fabric and white drawstring closure make these perfect to hold a small gift or special surprise.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Got Tarnish?

I hate it when I'm rushing to get ready for something, dig through my jewelry box for the perfect piece of jewelry to wear, and discover it's tarnished. If it's tarnished badly enough no amount of rubbing with a polishing cloth will get it sparkling again, and the chemical silver cleaners smell horrible and can damage many pieces.

I've finally got around to restocking my supply of 3M anti-tarnish strips. This paper is treated with activated charcoal to protect silver, nickel, copper, bronze, brass, tin, and gold by absorbing sulfides and other pollutants that naturally occur in the air and thereby prevent tarnish from forming.

They won't clean something that's already become tarnished, but a piece in a jewelry box will keep jewelry tarnish-free for about 6 months. They're non-toxic, leave no stains or residue, and emit no gases or fumes. They work nicely for silverware chests, too.

$5 for a pack of 10 strips in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Torture, Ed Sullivan Disease, and a Giveaway

My right hand doesn't work correctly, and the pain and fine motor control has been getting a lot worse over the last couple of months. Enough so that I finally broke down and made a doctor's appointment. This has snowballed into many appointments and tests, and the past two weeks have seemed like near constant medical events. We've determined that I have some arthritis, miserable but common so no big deal.

They're still trying to figure out the rest of the puzzle, and at one point a doctor mentioned Ed Sullivan disease. It's real name is Ankylosing Spondylitis (try saying that three times fast!), and it causes your spine to curve and your neck to stiffen to that you have to turn your torso in order to look right or left. I don't think I have that, and besides, I don't want to spend my remaining days saying things like "rillly big shew."

Yesterday's tests were, officially, valid medical tests: a nerve conduction test and a needle EMG. The doctor seemed like a pleasant, soft-spoken sort when he introduced himself. As he started sticking needles in my hand and zapping me with electricity, I swear he morphed into Jack Bauer. I keep having flashbacks to the scene where Bauer rips a lamp from its electrical cord so he can use the exposed wires to shock some poor guy into confessing some horrible crime or other. (If you don't get this and haven't seen 24, it's time you visited Netflix.)

I left the doctor's office totally and completely traumatized, and with the knowledge that I'd give in to torture before it even started. After sleeping for 14 hours I'm still feeling the effects and am about ready for a nap. But let's move on to the happy part of this!

I love how you've all jumped in and left opinions on my Little People post! I feel like spending more time reliving my childhood right now, and it seems as though many of you are ready to join me. I have (left over from my years working in publishing) an extra autographed copy of Marianne Gingher's How To Have a Happy Childhood. It's a sweet little gift book I worked on some years ago, just the thing to bring back memories of a simpler and less-tortuous time.

To enter my Happy Childhood giveaway, leave a comment on this post telling me about your favorite childhood toy by September 18. Earn an extra entry by blogging about this giveaway, linking back to this post, and leaving a second comment directing me to your post. Make sure you leave some way for me to reach you if you're the winner. Open to bloggers and non-bloggers world-wide. On September 19 I'll use the randomizer thingie and choose a winner. I'm off to take that nap now. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I Love Little People

When I was about 8 years old, my younger sister got a bunch of Fisher Price Little People. I wanted a set of my own, but by then I was way too old for preschool level toys. I satisfied myself by playing with my sister's people when she wasn't around and complaining that she always got all the "good" toys.

As I grew older I continued to complain, not because I was jealous, but because it was fun to tease my parents. At some point during my late twenties my mom gave me a pack of Little People. These were not the original style, but the new updated models, and they just weren't the same. Not to mention the fact that my fingers were no longer small enough to fit inside and wear them as tiny puppets.

I am so excited about finding the Play Family House shop! There are photos of Little People scenes on greeting cards, photo prints, and framed "portraits"--and they all make me smile! I think I'll send one to my mom just because I can; after all, she was too old to have her own set to play with, too.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I'm Giving Away a Ton of Jewelry

Well, maybe not quite a ton. Some fraction of a ton, definitely. The thing is, I'm a lousy photographer. I've got dozens of dichroic pendants that I refuse to list for sale because the photos are so bad. When I take photos, I take 8 or 10 shots of each piece and hope that at least one of them turns out well. Dichroic glass shifts color depending on your angle, and can look drastically different in different light, so it's a challenge to get photos that are truly representative of the actual piece. After I download the photos I often find that none of them are good enough to use, so I put the piece into the pile for my next photo session. After 6 or 8 sessions I usually give up, and the piece goes into my "special" drawer.

Now my "special" drawer is full so I've got to do something with all those pendants. I could sign up to sell at a couple of holiday craft shows and bazaars, but I'd really rather give them away. So here's the deal: place an order of $25 or more from either my Etsy shop or my eBay store, and I'll select a beautiful dichroic or irridized glass pendant for you and include it with your order. Just send me a message as your checking out that includes "$25 Blog Gift" in it, and you'll have a nice start on your holiday shopping. Or a lovely gift for yourself (I always love those!). This offer is good through the month of September or until my special drawer is empty, which ever comes first.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Lucky Number 13

I spent too much time waiting for a doctor's appointment this week. After leafing through the magazines from 2002, reading the medical posters on the wall, and checking out the chart of bone names, I was left with nothing to do but review the emergency exit map. This was a rather large practice with 19 patient exam rooms. Nope, make that 18 patient exam rooms--they skipped over room 13, sort of like a hotel with no thirteenth floor.

I never knew why the number 13 was supposed to bring bad luck. I've discovered that the Egyptians were the first to have a superstition about 13, but it was related to good luck. Ancient Egyptians believed there were 12 steps on the ladder to eternal life and knowledge and to take the thirteenth step meant walking into everlasting life.

According to their website, Colgate University was founded by "13 men with 13 dollars, 13 prayers, and 13 articles". (I'm not sure what sort of articles this refers to.) To this day, members of the Colgate community consider the number 13 a good omen.

So how do you feel about the number 13? Do you embrace it for its luck? Or go out of your way to avoid it?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Glueck, A Good Luck Charm

You know how some people have their lucky bowling shirt, or carry a lucky coin in their pocket? This little fellow has got to be the most unusual good luck charm I've seen. Named "Glueck," which means luck in German, he's about 5" tall and 5" wide. Handcrafted from polymer clay over a wire frame, you can get him at NothingLikeIt. That shop cracks me up, so have a good look around while you're there. Check out the NothingLikeIt blog, too--it's always good for a grin!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Wanna Get Lucky? Thoughts Become Things

I've posted before about the power of positive thinking and using daily affirmations to create a luck-filled life. One of my favorite resources is TUT, where I'm reminded "Thoughts Become Things . . . Choose the Good Ones." I get a (free) daily email with short, positive, and often humorous reminder of how lucky I truly am--it's a marvelous way to start the day!

Take a minute to visit TUT, you'll be glad you did!