Sunday, January 13, 2008

More Beading Frenzy and Other Stuff, Too

I can't stop. Perhaps there's a twelve step program? I now have finished over 100 necklaces, some bracelets -- maybe a dozen, and 10 pairs of earrings (I also made 4 or 5 pairs that my daughter gave as Christmas gifts). I've given away a number as gifts and sold 20. I have a friend who wants a necklace to send to his mom in England for her birthday next month. I'm always a bit amazed that people like my designs. Happy, yes, but still getting used to the idea that something I created appeals to others.

Since I enjoy this so much, and I have had some small success selling them, I decided to set up an Etsy store, as I mentioned in my last post. I've got 21 items up so far and more to come as I get them all photographed and described.

I'm finding Etsy very easy to use and completely lovely online marketplace for handcrafters. I'm quite humbled by the talent of the other store owners. There are so many beautiful items for sale.

The other neat thing I've discovered doing this is how generous with information and advice the other beaders I've met online are. (Thanks, Lee, Julie, Marilee, and Carol!) I really want to take in a gem fair one of these days. I'm also wondering if I should see about setting up as a vendor at some small regional con and see how that works.

Well, I've finished my annual pilgrimage through the Discworld and started on Ha'penny by Jo Walton. It's a great read, so far, not that I expected any less, I read Farthing last year and couldn't wait to get my hands on this one. I love alternate history fiction - I've read all the Flint, et al books about the Ring of Fire universe (1632, 1633, Grantville Gazette, 1634: The Galileo Affair, 1634: The Ram Rebellion, etc.), I also enjoy Harry Turtledove and S.M. Stirling's books. I hope the sequel to The Sky People is good - it comes out in March per Amazon. It's titled In the Courts of the Crimson Kings and it's set on an alternate Mars that was terraformed millions of years in the past and seeded with Earth animals (including various dinosaurs) as well as hominids.

I'm also reading John Elder Robison's Look Me in the Eye. (I can't seem to read only one book at a time - I've usually got a few around the house and if I sit down near one of them, I just start reading it - even if I'd only moments ago been sitting in another room reading a different book - anyone else do that?)

John is a member of Absolute Write and he's been wonderfully generous in sharing with aspiring writers over there. His book, about his life with Asperger's, has been fascinating.

Haven't heard from my son in a while. He ran out of minutes for his phone and I just washed mine*, so who knows when we'll be able to talk rather than IM (and I haven't gotten an IM lately either). But I look forward to asking him about the snow in Baghdad - first snow there in 100 years, I read.

*not entirely washed - I realized I'd left it in the pocket of my jammies and pulled it out as the washer was filling to start the first cycle. I've taken out the battery and am letting it air dry and am also fervently wishing for it to still work. I hate going to the phone store and dealing with the people there. The only visit I can remember that was half way pleasant was back when I got my first cell phone and they were excited about having customers. Now it seems like the staff at these stores are barely a step above flipping burgers in their knowledge and enthusiasm.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Happy New Year!

Yeah, haven't posted since Thanksgiving, sorry about that. It's not that I was too busy, but I was preoccupied. I've been doing a lot of beading, spent time with my daughter and my family in southern California and am also trying to catch up on a backlog of books I've been wanting to read.

Just finished most of the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett. I have a few more to go as I skipped the earliest ones and started with Mort, hopped over a few like Small Gods and Soul Music (even though I enjoy the story in that one about Susan).

The reason for this is that one of my favorite ways to go back through the Discworld books is to begin by re-reading the books featuring the Watch. Following the progress of Vimes and Carrot from Guards! Guards! through to Thud! always lifts my spirits. The newer books that have introduced new characters are fun as well - Moist von Lipwig (Going Postal and Making Money) is a great character and I hope there is at least one more book featuring him. Of course the news that Terry has been diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimers has me a bit down - I hope he overcomes all obstacles for many years to come.

I also skipped the Tiffany Aching books (Wee Free Men, Hat Full of Sky, and Wintersmith) so I'll be digging them out of wherever they're hiding, too. Speaking of which, I ordered some cool stuff from Paul Kidby's site that includes a Jock Mac Feegle statue and a White Horse Pendant like Tiffany wears since I love that design. I hope it arrives soon, I made the order back on the 12th of December.

I've been updating my LibraryThing list, too. Got a CueCat and it's been very handy. One of these day's I'll take my laptop out to the garage where I have my books stored and scan as many as I can. It'll be great to finally have an index of my books.

In other news I received a cool Christmas gift from my husband - a Portable Lighting Studio for Dummies kit! It's very nifty, came with two lamps and a fabric cube that diffuses the light. I'm waiting on a necklace display that's a bit shorter than the one I'm using now to get started taking new pictures of my beaded jewelry. Since I recently opened a shop on Etsy, I'm going to want to take some additional closeups since you can show your work in multiple images there.

We took the tree down yesterday so, aside from the new stuff that was under it, there are no lingering signs of the holidays, which is kind of sad. It went by so fast.

Well, I'll save some other ramblings and maybe put up a picture or two, for my next post - I'll try not to put it off so long this time.