Thursday, July 26, 2012

work, work, work

Is it too early for snow?

I'm not complaining about it...I'm just so busy!
I haven't done any craft fairs in a while.  I know I didn't do any last year, but I think I did a couple the year before?  It's so hard to keep track of things these days!  At any rate, I'm planning on doing the November fair at the farm where my sister works.  It will be a good time to get my snowflakes out there, and I'll finally get my jewelry out there for people to see in person.  I feel like the paper jewelry is a hard sell online.  When I'm out wearing a piece, or even better, when my friends are out wearing theirs, someone always comments on them.  And many of my friends say, 'oh! That's different in person than I expect from the pictures!'  I know, I know!  With the internet, it's all about the visuals!  I am trying, and hoping, to get my new camera to work for me.  I have several new pieces just waiting to be photographed...why is time always an issue!?

I'll tell you why:  to many irons in the fire.  Is that the correct saying?  The last time I tried doing craft fairs, I felt I didn't spend enough time preparing.  This time, I'm using as much free time to create product, work on packaging, and sketching out my table displays. 
As if that wasn't enough, I am trying so hard to keep up with my workouts!! They are always the first to go when stuff piles up; but, how am I supposed to have enough energy to work, work, work if I don't finely tune this machine!?
Which brings me to my other project: Barracuda Diaries.  My sister and I have inherited our father's 1967 Plymouth Barracuda, which we are trying to restore and get back on the road.  That means a lot of travel time for me, since the car is at her house.  And, it also means a lot of research, since neither of us knows anything about cars, past where to put the gas!  It'll be fun, though, if you're so inclined to follow along.

I think I am done with all the extra socializing that summer brings to Cape Cod, though.  Maybe.  Weddings are done.  Friends have all gone home.  Now we're back to the usual engagements. 

In other news, if anyone remembers, I'm still growing my hair out.  I'm about an inch and a half from my minimum 10 inch donation length.  My friend in chemo just had her second round...the one when they said she would begin losing her hair.  Her son shaved her head for her this week...she's breaking out the wig.  Just a day before I found out, I commented that I have always wanted to shave my head...just once, to see how I'd look.  If I was to do it today, I'd probably still have enough to donate, with the extra length from scalp to tip.  But, I think it may be awkward for my friend...I don't want that.  So, I will wait it out...for now.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

my new toy

This is it.  The big step into merging my old school photography habits with the new age of digital.  I know, digital is not new.  But, digital SLR's have been so far out of our price range that is has always just been a dream to some day own one.  I have been using my little Canon Elph for years.  Just dealing with the mediocre 'shots' (really hard to actually call them photos) because of the complete ease of transport.  I will not lie...I LOVE being able to stash my camera in my pocket...but I miss taking good photos.
But circumstances seemed to come together in the form of a death and a wedding.  My siblings and I got a little bit of money from my dad when he passed away, and everything has been settled.  In the meantime, friends of ours are getting married next July and have asked me to be the photographer.  They have seen stuff I did back in the day when I used my old film camera and like my style.  And, since they will be chartering a lobster cruise for their day, it is obviously going to be super casual.  As they put it, they just want casual, fun shots but don't trust friends enough to let them have disposables on the tables.
So I found a good deal, and decided to use some of my 'unexpected' money to finally buy myself something nice...and fun. had this Canon Rebel T3 kit.  Camera body with 18-55mm lens, battery, charger, strap...the usual.  But, also a 75-300mm zoom, extra battery, 16gb SCHD memory card, lens cleaning kit, LCD screen protectors, camera bag, memory card wallet, cables for playing video straight to computer, card reader adaptor, a dvd on how to use the camera, and a tripod!  I mean, some of the stuff is just silly stuff, but that's a lot of accessories!!  And, with overstock, the shipping was just $2.95!!  So even with shipping, I was excited to finally get my D-SLR camera kit for about $720!!  It's the 12 megapixle version...the 16mp version was another $300 or so...and that's outside my budget for toys!
Today, we are off to spend a day wandering around, learning how to use this thing.  With any luck, I will have some nice pictures to share in my next post!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Chemo and Weddings and a busy week

This made me chuckle a little.  One of my friends is about to endure the first of her chemo treatments today.  I think she has 7-9 weeks of it.  She's such a strong person, though, I have no doubt she will come out on top.  The night before she was set to have her lumpectomy, we had gone out for some beers and to listen to a U2 cover band.  We found out the next day, that she was headed into her appointment.  

In happier news, we're attending a wedding on Saturday.  Two of my old co-workers are getting hitched.  They have transferred to Missouri, but all of their family is here, so it'll be a lovely Cape Cod wedding.  I made a pair of earrings that didn't quite live up to my standards to sell, but they are perfectly fine for me AND will match my dress beautifully!  One of my other friends is buying one of my necklaces to wear, too, and has requested a matching pair of earrings.  So that is what I will be doing today...after my trip to the recycling center, grocery store, and my final attempt to find Hubby a shirt to wear!!  And all of that comes after the coffee and walk to the beach.  Assuming Jason gets up soon.

I bought a new camera last week.  Well, I ordered it...and it is scheduled to arrive TOMORROW!!  Also tomorrow, is the big day for the move of the Barracuda to Steph's new house.  That means, I won't get to play with my new toy until Wednesday afternoon!!  And then I can use it at the wedding to practice for the wedding I will actually be playing photographer at next July. 
Get ready for lots of pictures now...I'm hoping this new camera will finally ignite that spark!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

March!? Really!!??

WOW! I have been M.I.A. this year, so far.
Not for no good reason, though. 
Sadly, just before my birthday, my father decided on his own to stop going to dialysis after his birthday on St. Patrick's Day.  And so was rushed to the hospital when my sister found him on the floor, hallucinating and dehydrated.  We had been trying to get him into assisted living, but he fought us on the issue.  Obviously, he had done serious damage by missing an entire week of treatment (that's 4 treatments altogether). 
To shorten the story, he was transferred to a rehabilitation center, but also put into hospice care.  His life expectancy, in the time between his birthday and the beginning of April, went from 'possibly 6 months' to 'we just don't could be any time'.
So, my sister and I, from that point had the unfortunate task of visiting my father, who knew he was dying, and getting his affairs in order.  And then, on the morning of April 12, I got the call that he had passed.  And I was relieved that it was over for him. 
And so that was April...

May and June have just been busy with work, mostly.  I left my kennel job the beginning of April, mostly to spend more time with Dad, but also because the whole experience made me realized that I didn't want to be working all the time.  I have things I am ambitious about, and I would like to live my life more freely.  But, to make up for lost wages, I am working full time at my Trader Joe's job.  And I'm enjoying that! 

A friend of mine had a birthday this month (actually, last month!).  She is also a facebook friend, and had seen my jewelry on my fan page.  At work, she commented on how much she liked it, so I made a custom piece for her birthday.
(I just can't get this picture to flip!! but you get the idea, right?)
She has become my number 1 promoter!! 
Another co-worker saw it, and I just finished a custom piece for her sister's birthday. 
She gave me some pictures of Mandalas...I am so happy with how it turned out!)
The first friend has now commissioned me to make a set of 3 necklaces for her nieces (triplets!) graduation.  And another friend wants me to make one for her to bring on her Caribbean cruise in November!
I am also trying to build up my stock for my etsy shop and the craft fair I am planning to attend in November. 

I have managed to get out a couple times to socialize, too. 
One of our 'couple friends' invited us out for dinner at one of our favorite nearby restaurants, Summer Stock.  I like it because it has an adjoining lounge where they have live music some nights.  Very 'cocktail hour' kind of feel...just what I like.
And then of course the birthday lunch for my was a beautiful day, I wore my yellow dress (which everyone commented on, as I had to change at work...'thanks! $5 at the goodwill!').  The minute I got into my car and started to drive home...we had a crazy downpour of rain!!  Perfect timing!
Other than that, it's been a quiet summer so far.  Work, workout, work on jewelry.  Not much time for anything else it seems, but I'm such a home-body that it suits me fine.
However, my 'major promoters' are really pushing me to sell my stuff locally.  But before i can do that...more work,work,work!  You gotta have stuff to sell if you want someone to sell it!

Steph and I have finally finished taking care of MOST of dad's stuff.  There are a few more things to get out of the house, then we have another major project:
Dad agreed to leave us the 1967 Plymouth Barracuda.  It is something we tried restoring with dad while he was alive.  We had a bumpy road, with dad's mood swings, so it just sat there.  Now we want to do it in his memory.  I'm hoping to document/blog the whole experience.  You can read about it here, if you're interested.

Monday, July 2, 2012


I'm trying to post again...having post coming soon.  If anyone is still out there waiting...?