Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Hump day, schlump day. Does it really matter? It's just another day of the week, right?

Shameless self-promotion and other things: I will be in San Antonio this weekend for the San Antonio Bead & Ornament Society's bead bazaar. Visit their web site for details and maps. Friday night and all day Saturday Natalie will be at the Kyle/Buda area's Relay for Life. Visit their team's web site for details and maps and please consider making a donation!

The chickens are growing. I think the new ones are both roosters, or as T-man says "dinner". The kittens are growing, and hopefully I'll find new homes for them. Pictures will be posted soon (i.e. next week).

And I cannot tarry. I'm steadily plodding along getting things together. I hope to see some of you this weekend, even if it is to just drop by and say "hello". Don't worry -- bead happy!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Slowly Coming Together

I felt a tiny twinge of that old "deadlines are closing in and I've still got so much to do" feeling. T-man told me to throw it away. Things are coming together, and I'm trying to remain calm. I've still got much to do, but whatever does not get finished for this weekend will be presented at seminar in June. And, as usual, I've a head brimming with new ideas that cannot be implemented until this is all done. I may take most of the month of June off . . .

nah, that'll never happen!

Friday, April 25, 2008

It's A Linky Day!

Yes, that's right beadlings, today is a day of links. No, not sausages! Just beady, crafty, gorgeous, eye-candy, informative links to keep you hopping all over the world wide web. Let's see what we've gotArt Bead Scene has a great entry on networking, posted by none other than Heather Powers. Be sure to check out the links within the link if you want more info. I plan to spend some time doing that myself.

Margot, The Impatient Blogger, has a vlog for you today. Don't miss her link to HHH Enterprises, which showcases new products every week.

Yesterday was Ornament Thursday. Go see what these crafty ladies have created to honor Mother's Day.

Here is a woman after my own heart. She sells flower beads. Oh, and she has leaf beads and Swarovski beads to go with the flower beads. I've often said if I had sold nothing but green and purple beads I would have made a fortune, well here's the same concept. Be sure to check out her vintage Lucite beads.

What? Where are the rest of the beady links? Well, evidently the folks who work with tiny beads have been taking a few days off. I know I have in preparation for the San Antonio Bead & Ornament Society Bead Bazaar, May 3rd and 4. Actually, I'll work on some good seed bead links for you this summer. As for now, I must get back to typing. I'm getting lots done and don't want to break the streak. In the meantime, happy surfing and I'll be back Monday! I did find you a beady quote:
Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, April 24, 2008

No Concept Of What Time It Is

This is not the same as no concept of time. I just usually have no idea what time it is. For instance, each morning I merrily tap out emails to send off to my beady girlfriends. Then I wait, tapping my foot, wondering why no one has replied. After all, it's been a good 30 minutes. What I sent was pertinent and I should have gotten a witty reply. Then I happen to see a clock and notice that it's not even 8:00 a.m. yet. Well duh, no one is at work yet! I do the same thing at night, wondering why no one is answering. Well duh, they're not at work anymore. There are times I'm not even sure what day of the week it is. Oh, the joys of working at home are endless, I tell you, endless!

So, I'm still typing away, trying to get a few more kits put together. I should get all my beads and other items by the end of this weekend. A lot of people have the idea that opening all the boxes is like Christmas morning. Well sure it is, until you have to starting checking the packing slip, making sure nothing was back-ordered, then counting or weighing, then packaging, then making labels, then making sure each kit got the right amount of everything it needed. Yep, it's just like Christmas.

Don't forget -- May 3rd and 4th at the Live Oak Civic Center just north of San Antonio. Check the San Antonio Bead and Ornament Society web site for more details. Hopefully, I'll be near Pam which, depending on how you look at it, could be good or could be bad! Either way, WE will have fun! And T-man will be with me. I love my husband. He never complains when I ask him to do a show with me. I think maybe it's because he knows we'll go out to eat at good restaurants at the end of the day. We have a favorite Mexican food restaurant close to the civic center that we will no doubt visit Sunday night on our way home.

Anyway, before I ramble too much more, I must be off of the blog and back onto Word. But I'll be here in front of the computer, ready to reply right away to any comments that might come along, any emails that might get sent my way . . . . .

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Again With The Short Stuff?

You betcha! Lots to do, places to go, people to deal with. Actually, I must go buy a printer cartridge (oh, I can't wait for the laser printer) and I must go get some zip lock bags for patterns that were ordered. Then it's back to the computer.

I'm very proud of myself right now. This new way of working (no last minute rushing) is pretty cool. I was just discussing this with T-man. He said he noticed that I was being awfully calm, cool and collected. What stunned him about this was the realization that the San Antonio Bead and Ornament Society Bazaar is only 10 days away! Usually by this time I turn into something that even Damien would have feared. Plus, I've gotten so many things done by simply relaxing and realizing that I cannot do everything I wish to do when I wish to do it. Is that as clear as mud? I thought so. Picture this: The year is 2007 and I am preparing for the EGA SCR seminar. I'm panicking because not all of the beads are tubed and priced (this was my last official bead sale). I'm panicking because I didn't get all the kits made that I wanted to take. By the time I get there, I'm still tense and frustrated, irritable, and perpetually on the verge of tears. This made for a very difficult week. And I had just found out about a bunch of gastro-intestinal problems that had the potential for becoming dangerous, so all that crapola didn't sit well if you know what I mean.

Well, no more. Stress and frustration are bad for Theresa. The new improved Theresa is relaxed. When I reach serene, I'll throw a party. Really. Big bash in the back yard. Serenity here I come!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Another Short Post

Okay, so it will probably be a week of short posts. I'm a busy woman!

I take back every thing I ever said about chickens being dumb. Really. They have proven me wrong. But if you need a good belly laugh, put a cricket in a pen with a dozen chicks. No, I didn't put it in there, it hopped in of its own volition. But it was hilarious. On the upside, they now recognize bugs as food.

Ariel won a radio contest this morning. She's been trying since last year to do this. We listen to one of the Austin stations on the way to school because they have a kids' contest every day. Today's contest was an Earth Day quiz. She was VERY excited about winning, and it looks like we're going to a baseball game.

MUST-SEE LINKS: Go visit Heather Powers' blog Humblebeads. In appreciation of higher gas prices, Heather has provided a budget friendly free project. Pam has posted BEADS on her blog in preparation for the San Antonio Bead and Ornament Society bazaar. Creativity Portal is a new one and will be added to the links over there later. I have just begun exploring this site. Ornamental is a truly gorgeous blog owned by Nina Bagley. And just for something different, visit Go Make Art.

Now I really must go to work. Oh, I could easily sit here all day, rambling about chickens, kittens, mittens, etc. I could find you hundreds of links to visit, but then what would we do next week? So, it's time for me to type other things for the remainder of the day. Your quote for the day:
“No great thing is created suddenly.” Epictetus

Monday, April 21, 2008

Short Post Monday

Yes, today's post will be brief. I've got a ton of things to get done in a very short amount of time. I'm finishing up yet another bracelet, and want to get the pattern on the web site and in the Etsy store (maybe) so that it can be purchased by YOU! Oh my stars, that means I'll have to update the poor web site. I've also got some new links to share with you, some for inspiring creativity and some to just show off eye candy created by friends.

We got the two new chickens. They were originally dyed turquoise blue and lemon yellow. Ariel says their names are Pie and Sky, T-man says their names are "dinner". They are huge compared to my little chickies, and they tend to be bullies. However, Tatiana seems to be giving as good as she gets. The original 10 have already gotten bigger, but they are still cute. Back to the dyed chicks -- people don't really realize when they give these as Easter gifts that they don't make good house pets, and if the recipient's parents don't have a big yard and intentions to raise chickens, they usually end up at the local animal shelter. That is pretty much the only reason I agreed to take these two. I just couldn't bear to think of them being in a shelter. And who knows. If they turn out to be hens, maybe we'll get some white eggs in our basket!

And Casey has decided that the perfect spot for her kittens (pictures coming soon) is in the black hole known as the "bead room" or "mom's studio". WRONG! I've put the box in the living room, and so far she's only tried to move them once. We'll see how that goes.

Okay beadlings, I'm off to finish one and start another then continue to a third item in my list of things to accomplish by the end of the week. I'll try to post a little each day, but if I miss one you'll know why. It's just a damned good thing I type really, really fast! Keep on beadin' on!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


My mother-in-law is coming by today with T-man's grandmother. MIL says Nana wants to see the house. I truly believe it's more along the lines that MIL wants Nana to see the house. And I did get 24 hours notice. There is only one problem with them coming to see the houseI don't clean house. I told T-man this when he moved in. He is okay with that. I am no June Cleaver, and I cannot afford a housekeeper like Carol Brady. No one has a problem with my lack of cleaning duties except for one person, and she doesn't live here. I've recently adopted Cat's philosophy -- if you see a mess, YOU clean it. Oddly enough, my house is sparkling according to the latest visitors. Don't get me wrong. We do not live in filth and squalor, no no. It's just that I don't always dust, I don't always vacuum, and things have a tendency to pile up here and there, especially since (evidently) T-man is still not finished painting the living room (he looked up the other night and decided it needed a second coat). And the new flooring cannot go up until the living room is painted. The floating shelves cannot go up until the living room is painted, which means the five boxes in my studio won't be emptied until the living room is painted. Are you starting to see a pattern?

My screen saver says "A creative woman has cobwebs in her corners, not in her mind." Oh my stars, am I creative! No, no, I'm kidding -- we got rid of the cobwebs months ago. I do know that the prevalent train of thought is that I'm home all day, so my house should be hospital-grade sanitarily clean. After all, what else do I have to do all daySo, I'm washing towels, wiping down kitchen counters, sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, and locking bedroom doors. Just tell me what is to be expected of a woman who keeps chickens in her living room, a box of kittens in the utility room, an entire bead store in a 12x14 room, vegetable seedlings on her kitchen table, a hard-working husband, two kids, 14 cats and a dog?? How much can I possibly do by 4:00 today? I suppose I had better get moving.

I need more coffee!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Here Chick, Chick, Chick, Chick!

chicksWell, here they are. You can see most of them in this picture. If you click on this image, you'll get a bigger one. The larger white chicks are Lydia and Isabella, my Easter egg chicks or Ameraucanas. The smaller dark ones are French Marans, which lay "chocolate" eggs, as in very dark brown. The yellowish one in the back is Tatiana, our Rhode Island White. And you can just see our little Partridge Cochin, Mei Hua. She will have feathers on her feetHere you see Ariel reading to the chicks. Yes, that's what I said - reading to the chickens. I asked her why she was reading to the chickens, but she didn't really have an answer.JuliaThis is Julia, our Rhode Island Red. She is going to be a hefty hen! I saw her parents. The cockerel was absolutely gorgeous and he had a harem of four beautiful hens. That is Mei Hua with her.TatianaThat is Tatiana, the Rhode Island White, looking at the camera. You can see Lydia in the foreground as well as Mei Hua. The French Marans (Babette, Colette, Monique and Veronique) are in the background with Julia. Tatiana already wants to be the hen house boss.LydiaAnd this is Lydia again. I keep looking at Lydia, thinking that she may well turn out to be Louie. Hmmm. We tried to get hens, but you can never be 100% sure unless you have a professional chick sexer on hand. Oh well, we'll take our chances. That's one of the Marans in front of her. The only one we can really identify right now is Babette, because she is the smallest. Lydia is very curious and very outgoing, but also very protective. I picked up the other little Cochin (Huan Yue -- the only one who was camera shy) and startled her. Lydia ran over and pecked at my hand until I dropped Huan Yue! These little birds love to go outside, but I have to wait until the temperature hits at least 70. Right now they are in their box in the living room. happily chattering away. Casey put her paw in there the other day and got pecked. She hasn't tried that again.PrimroseAnd lest you think my life is all about chickens, cats and beads here is a pink evening primrose. These grow all over my yard, mixed in with bluebonnets, blue-eyed grass, buttercups, and tons of other wildflowers. I'll more pictures as the bluebonnets become fuller.

The sleep study doc told me I qualify for a CPAP mask. Yippee. I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself. I get to hook that baby up tonight. Woo hoo, sexy! Yeah, right. Anyway, we give see how this works out for six weeks and go from there. Maybe I'll get some sleep. We'll just have to wait and see.

Today is put aside for more typing and stitching. That first sale is closing in fast, but I'm not going to rush. I'm liking this new attitude. I'm not rushing around like (please forgive me) a chicken with its head cut off! Oddly enough, I'm getting quite a bit done this way. We'll see if it holds.

It's beautiful outside. I intend to open all the windows and let the fresh air in while I work. Have a beadiful day!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Too Much To Do Tuesday

Good morning, beaders and readers! I know, I know -- I promised chicken pictures and they will get up here. Today is a rush, so there's just a bit of time for blogging.

Yesterday was spent in front of this monitor and now I have a stiff neck. Oh, yippee skippy. I have the beginnings of arthritis in my neck, so I'm told. It sucks, but I have to deal with it. A hot shower in a few minutes will work wonders. Anyway, I had to try three times to finesse a peyote pattern, which really bugs me because it's not rocket science. But for the life of me, the old brain cells just did not want to kick in. The evening was spent watching comedies and stitching on another sample bracelet. I was asleep by 10:30, which is very early for me.

Darth Vader
Today I go visit the sleep study doctor for my follow up. Oooooo, I get to find out whether or not I'll be Darth Vader at night! Won't T-man be thrilled? Actually, I'm considering sending him for his own sleep study given the way he's been sawing logs lately.

So today, let's have a little poll. It means posting comments, kids! I love to get comments. Today's topic is creative books. The last creative books I bought Little Beaded Boxes by Julia Pretl and Creating Crystal Jewelry with Swarovski by Laura McCabe. Your question of the day is: What was the last creative book you bought? So, leave a comment with the answer PLEASE. And have a marvelous day, wherever you are and whatever you do.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Just Another Manic Monday

Wow, what a busy weekend we had. We went to my in-law's on Saturday. T-man's grandma is down from Pennsylvania. We get to see here about once a year. T-man's mom is trying to talk Nana into moving down to Texas. We'll see how that goes. We spent most of the day there visiting and had dinner (less cooking for us!) Yesterday morning, T-man build a temporary pen for my cheepers. They really enjoyed being out in the sun. I found one little worm to give them, which caused quite a fracas. Then there was the bug that bit me and promptly got fed to the nearest chick! Oddly enough, the cats are not interested in them. Then we went to my folks' house, where T-man finally got the mower working (third time's a charm). It seems that the teenaged part-time help at the big box home improvement store (the red vests) kept giving them the wrong belts! Oh well, it works now and that's what's important. And my dad told us stories of when my grandfather used to raise fighting cocks, and his winning one-eyed rooster. And yes, it was illegal then but, as Dad says, only if you got caught. Evidently Grandad made a bundle with the one-eyed rooster. Rest assured, beadlings, mine are here strictly for the eggs. And again, we stayed for dinner (yippee!).

Today, as soon as it warms up some, I'll take the chicks outside again. I'll probably take some beading out there to sit and keep an eye on them and I'll take the camera to get some pictures of the little puff balls. Until then, I'll be sitting here typing my fingers to the bone! And remember, bead kind to others and they'll bead kind to you!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Chick, Chick, Chick, Chick!


I'll get some pictures this weekend!

SSDD?? Not Today!

No, these are not mine, but they show you what some of mine will look like. These are Cuckoo Marans chicks. They are a 200 year old breed from France, and they lay eggs that have chocolate brown shells. The eggs are also fairly large and are supposed to taste wonderful.

This is what the Rhode Island Red chicks will look like. They will be our big producers starting around September. They'll lay nice, big, brown eggs. These and the Marans will be our big layers. I also want to get some of the "Easter egg" chickens, or Ameraucanas, which lay blue or green eggs! That's the shell color, mind you. I'm not raising any Dr. Seuss chickens. And, let me tell you, T-man can't wait. The man loves his eggs! And look at these little egg cups and salt and pepper shakers I found at My Pet Chicken (yes, really). If you have quiche recipes, please start sending them! No mushrooms, no shellfish please. Everything else is A-OK!

Margot Potter (The Impatient Beader) has a new vlog about the creative process! I've missed her vlogs, and I'm so glad she got the camera working again. Go watch (it's short) and remember, the journey's the thing!

I did finish the first rendition of the newest pattern last night. I started the second one when I was way too tired, and had to pull it all out. Let's just say that by next week, I'll be itching to do something other than peyote stitch for a while! Have a wonderful weekend, beadlings!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I'm Not Typing

Okay, I am typing. I'm just not typing what I should be typing. This is what I did instead:Dahlia LocketThis is my Laura McCabe Dahlia Locket. I bought the kit last summer and finally put it together a couple of weeks ago. All I had left to do was attached the loop and toggle today. Let me just say as a project designer, kit builder and beadwork technique teacher that I absolutely love Laura and her projects. I have never done so much with just one stitch. The instructions were clear and, oh my stars, if I could do hand rendered graphics like she does, I'd be in seventh heaven. I hate struggling with computer rendered graphics. The kit is generous in the amount of beads and thread, and she sent FIVE needles in two different sizes. I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that a beginner could do this (knowledge of peyote stitch is definitely needed), but it was not a difficult project and I am just pleased as punch with it! And I happen to have a pink blouse that needed a spark. Yowza, this sucker sparkles! Swarovski crystals and cubic zirconium abound (you just can't quite see the spark with the scanner). I can't wait to do my other LM kit and, by golly, this summer I'm buying more of her kits!

So, what have I done today? Well, I've been corresponding with my gal pal Gaye. As her daughter gets older, Gaye gets busier. We just haven't been able to get together this year the way we have in the past. Of course, I don't have a bead shop down the street from TSU (where she works) like I used to! Hah! Do you think that has anything to do with it? She is now the proud mother of a new driver (snicker). They'll get through it okay. Their insurance rates may go up, but they'll get through it. My problem is that I remember this girl as a small child who used to come to my store with her mom, and she always got to pick out beads. I have a bracelet that I made based on a palette that Victoria picked out, and I never fail to get compliments on the color. Now she's a grown up, gorgeous young woman. She really needs to stop making me feel old!

I've also been in touch with Pam Way today. She is also putting things together for the San Antonio Bead & Ornament Society's bead bazaar. Hopefully we will have booths next to each other. I happen to know that she has a whole bunch of new sets ready. Maybe I can shop before the bazaar begins! Hee, hee, hee!

I also stayed in bed sleeping until 10:30 this morning. The insomnia has been hellish this week. I have another appointment next week regarding the sleep study, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens. In the meantime, I'll just deal with feeling like a lazy slug.

It's obvious to me that I'm not going to get any typing done today, so I'm off to finish beading another project and I will definitely take pictures when it's finished. You just might not see them until right before the bead bazaar (I want you to purchase a kit or pattern, you see). We're off to get our little chickies tomorrow, so I'll have lots of pictures of them for you, plus wildflowers in my back yard and T-man's little garden (our lettuce is an inch tall now). Ariel is at her weekly chess club meeting today. I hate to say it, but my little girl is going to be a nerd just like mom was. And Natalie has things to do for Relay for Life tonight. I am very proud of her for getting involved in this. Please go visit her team page and consider making a donation. Natalie will be putting her info up there sometime this week. "We Hate Cancer" is the number two team in the amount of donations so far. It is such a worthy cause, and such a personal cause to us, and it would mean so very much to everyone involved to receive donations from you. Okay, I'm off the soapbox for now. Remember, don't worry -- bead happy! (groan)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Natasha & The Psychic Vampire, or The Saga Of Hot Check Hattie

The story you are about to read is true. It is humorous and it is not so humorous. I, myself, have been the victim of psychic vampires, and when Natasha sent me this, I felt her pain. My encounter left me confused, stumbling, utterly exhausted, and with a migraine that could have killed a horse. It also caused me to spend an extra night in Houston. I'm just lucky GG is such a good friend and put up with me! I've also had similar experiences with bad check writers, and I have been kept apprised of Natasha's trouble and travail regarding Hattie. By the way, the names have been changed to protect the innocent and the not-so-innocent (Natasha and Boris picked the names, not me). Neither moose nor squirrel was injured during this event First, here's a bit of background info on Natasha and her hubby, Boris. They have a tiny little jewelry shop in a city not too far from here. It is an extremely cute little shop, and when you walk into it, you feel the positive energy. Natasha and Boris both make wonderful jewelry, and they are dear friends of ours, plus we have several friends in common. Natasha loves her little shop, even though she keeps threatening to close it up. I know she's curl up and die without it. Here's the scoop, in Natasha's own words:

Hattie came in on Saturday, and tried to get away with only paying the $96.77 and not reimbursing me for the $50 in fees I incurred and the $25 NSF charge. She asked for proof. Yes, I had it. She claimed that she'd been by on five occasions and I hadn't been coming in, claiming she'd even been in on Easter Sunday. I informed her that not only had I not been closed, I arrive at 730am and leave when the building closes. And as for Easter, I was one of the last people to leave the building. I actually stood my ground. Hattie said she would return when she had the complete amount. When I informed her that I would be filing charges with the DA in a week, she said she'd be in Sunday with the cash. She came in early. I was a nervous wreck before she came in. Ten minutes after she left, the negative energy she brought with her and the two months of stress actually made me physically ill. I got a violent episode of what can only be described as motion sickness/vertigo. Boris was so calm, he kept me from panicking. I asked him to close the door until it passed. I couldn't believe it, I'm on the floor behind the counter retching into my trash bin, and customers are knocking on the door wanting to shop. So, we re-open. Yeah! I'm still puking, and customers are coming in completely undisturbed by the site or sound of me. They were so sweet. I'm apologizing for the situation and they're trying to comfort me, offering to buy me water or a Sprite to settle my stomach. My faith in our customers is renewed. We are very blessed to have them all. You would have been so proud, we continued to sell through this two hour ordeal. And, yes, we cleansed the bad energy from the shop. We broke out the entire arsenal, incense, candles and Holy Water. As quickly as it began the motion sickness vanished.

All in all, it was an awesome day.

Poor Natasha. Poor Boris! He is a sweetheart to do all that for her. Yep, Natasha now belongs to that semi-exclusive club called "Victims of Psychic Vampires", also known as "Do I Have Some Kind of Sign on My Back??" I've been a long time member, but didn't realize what was going on with these people until just a few years ago. I just keep getting this image of Natasha down behind the counter with her head in the trash can, customers asking for her only to hear the echo of her voice from the can! Poor baby!

Class on Monday was fine, and the ladies in Georgetown were wonderful, but I was a bit distracted. I had to leave Ariel by herself until T-man got home. Normally this would not have upset me, but she had a fever of 100.1 and severe pain in her jaw. I dosed her with acetaminophen and ibuprofen before I left. Well, we went to visit the doctor today and come to find out she has strep throat. Poor baby, she feels lousy but she has started taking her antibiotics and she'll start feeling better soon. This was the first time she has had her throat swabbed, and she did not enjoy it. There were quite a few duck noises involved.

I birthed a new bracelet pattern with three color ways last night. I also had a great Mother's Day pattern all worked out and my Mac decided to lose power due to a loose power connection. I fixed that, but lost the pattern in the process. Amd now it's time to get back to typing and drawing, which is comical since I can't draw much of anything. It's a very good thing that Word has a draw feature, or I'd be totally screwed! I can't wait to get my Fly Pen this summer, but I can't get it if I don't get off my duff and start making some green, so hasta la vista, babies!

Monday, April 7, 2008

It's Monday

procrastinateAh, procrastination. Don't you just love the way it feels? I do, at least until I realize how late I'm running and then panic sets in. Actually, I'm printing as I type.

I've been reading up on chickens. I did go to my expert adviser (my mom) this weekend. My grandparents had chickens for as long as I can remember. I have two early childhood memories of them. The best is Grandad walking around the yard with his bantam pullet Henry on his shoulder. Come to find out, Henry was a hen, but she still rode on his shoulder even after she matured. The other memory is not so good. I was always told not to go near the chicken pens by myself (varmint traps, varmints, snakes, scorpions) but one day I did. Lo and behold, there was a snake behind the door of the pen. I screamed, Grandad killed the snake (a very long white racer) and T got her bottom spanked. I must have been all of five years old, but I remember both of these things vividly. I have found another place to purchase the little buggers at a slightly lower price with more varieties of chicks! Maybe I can talk T-man into getting me some Ameraucanas so I can have blue eggs! And Marans so I can have dark brown eggs (supposedly, they taste better than the usual brown eggs), and Silkies so I have have at least one funky chicken. Whatever we get, you can bet your sweet ass that there will be pictures! By the way, I'll take pictures of the new kittens when they open their eyes. And Scruffy Cat fell in the pool this morning. Oh, she's fine. She's just a bit embarrassed.

Anyway, there's not much going on over here, so I'm headed for the little scale and the little baggies (I have always told people to think of my as their pusher!). Tomorrow I will try to regale you with stories from class. Bead happy!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sunny Day

It is a very sunny day today, as was yesterday. We loaded up some plants and a bit of jewelry and took off, along with Ariel. We stopped by the local feed store. The chickens I want won't be there until the 15th, and they will be itty-bitty. That gives T-man plenty of time to build their coop and yard, though. It just means that Momma Hen here will have to keep a very close eye on them. Anyway, we had quite a few people stop by to look at the plants and everything else. Ariel drew a couple of pictures. We ended up selling a couple of bracelets and one of Ariel's drawings to a very nice man who was in the process of leaving Texas to go to New Orleans. I hope he does well there. Ariel actually came home and went swimming! It's still a bit too cool for mom, though!

So, today I'm getting things together for my class tomorrow night with the Georgetown Satellite group of the Austin Stitchers. I have no doubt that we will have a blast. And the ladies will be making their calorie free chocolate bracelet! What more could you ask for?

Tomorrow, once I'm finished with my class kits, I start typing my little fingers off. Then, joy oh joy, I get to start counting, weighing, packaging and pricing in preparation for the San Antonio Bead and Ornament Society's Spring Bazaar where I will be doing another trunk show. This time I will have even MORE items than I had in February at the Austin Stitchers' show. Have I mentioned how much I love doing the trunk shows? I am so glad Tracey suggested it. In fact, I'm glad she suggested a lot of things last year! And once I again I beg of you, if you have the replicating technology, please share it with me. I could use another me right now!

Natalie and my niece Brianna will be participating in the Kyle/Buda Relay for Life on May 2nd. You can see their team page here and you can make donations online. If you check the picture of Natalie from Easter Sunday, you'll see she's wearing her team shirt. The girls started participating in Relay For Life six years ago when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Mom just celebrated her fifth year after chemo and she is still cancer free. I also have several friends and relatives who are breast cancer survivors, uterine cancer survivors, skins cancer survivors, and the list goes on. This is a very, very worthy cause, so please consider donating. T-man, Ariel and I will be there, and I'm going to try to get my mother out there.

That's it for today, beadlings. I hope you have had a wonderful weekend. I hope I see some of you at the class Monday night, at Relay for Life, and at the bead bazaar May 3rd and 4th. In the meantime, itterasshai. Ki o tsukete!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Keeping Up With The Jonses, or Assimilation Is Imminent

Today's topic is imitation, and this is a big ole long post, full of a big ole rant -- IMITATION. No, I do not mean "fake", I mean "copycat". Imitation is not flattering, it's more of an indication of laziness in my opinion, especially in the field of art. Imitators usually don't have an original thought in their heads. Why not? Why wouldn't someone want their own idea, their own end product? Why would anyone be so lazy as to let someone else think for them? Nowadays imitation is not limited to just ideas, words, pattern, color, technique or form, it has taken over cyber space, too. I have my own copycat stories, which some of you have heard, but I really cannot post them without offending someone. So I'll tell you a story of two women.

Once upon a time, as I said, there were two women. One was extremely creative in her own right, very intelligent, highly talented. We'll call her Violet. The other started out in Violet's circle of friends. We'll call her Sadie. Sadie was not as talented as she was inquisitive and inquiring, yet she was lazy and come to find out, very sneaky and possessing a lack of morals. Once bright and sunny day, Violet started teaching her talents and ideas. Sadie took every class and was an adept student. Then one dark and dreary day, Sadie started teaching, but what she was teaching were Violet's ideas with different names or different colors (you know, that old 10% myth). So, Violet severed all ties with Sadie, as any intelligent woman would do, and they went their separate ways. Now remember, Sadie was not dumb, she was just lazy and sneaky. She kept teaching, not only Violet's ideas, but she used other folks' hard work, too. Several people became quite put out with Sadie, but did little to stop it as sometimes it's easier to ignore something and hope it will go away than it is to just squash it and clean up the mess, but I digress. One day, after many debates with friends and careful consideration, Violet decided to blog. She made the quantum leap to expose her innards on the world wide web. Within less than a week, Sadie started to blog, and oddly enough, her blog looks and sounds very similar to Violet's. Scary stuff? NO!! Irritating stuff!! I even read one blogger's page who was complaining that someone had stolen everything on his blog, from his background images and music, right down to several of his posts! Sheesh! Is it so difficult to ask permission and give credit? By the way kids, plagiarism is not imitation, it's stealing! For a more amusing look at copycats, read Sigrid Wynne-Evans "The Cracked Bead, Chapter Two: You Wish You Could Have My Talent!" This is the kind of stuff you can't make up! (p.s., you need Adobe Reader for this one.)

People ask why I killed off Bumble Beadstm. Let me tell you, the Trademark symbol means nothing to anyone (apparently, neither does the Copyright symbol). I started getting calls from people in places to which I had never been, complaining that the jewelry I sold to them had come apart. Well I wasn't selling jewelry at that point and if I had been it would not be coming apart, never mind the fact that I had never been to Utah or New York. One woman argued with me that she was reading my ad in the Sarasota Gazette, but had no answer as to why someone in a small town in Texas would put an ad in the paper of a small town in New York! I googled "Bumble Beads". I got twelve different web sites, but mine came up first so guess who they all called/e-mailed?? Plus, I didn't want to sell beads anymore. Oops, I'm digressing again. Anyway, folks thought it was a cute name so they "borrowed" it. It was NOT flattering, it was extremely irritating.

The problem with copycats is that we are wired to imitate. Infants learn by imitation, children in school learn by imitation. Children also learn at an early age that being the same as everyone else is preferred behaviour. In other words, it's better to be part of the collective than to be an individual. I have read in several psychology journal articles (yes, I am a nerd and a geek) that there are no new ideas and that everything has been copied. I have also read that imitation in adults in just as innate as it is in infants, so there is no growing out of it or turning it off. I found this interesting article from the New York Times, called "The Copycat in All of Us".

So on that note, if I have ever copied or imitated or failed to give credit to anyone out there, I do apologize. I am striving to be an individual with individual thoughts and ideas, but damn it's hard to fight Mother Nature! So how do we come up with new, exciting, creative ideas as teachers? It's not easy. It's also the reason I am so hesitant to put pictures of my more creative items on the Internet. So many people in the world today are just like Sadie. This is a sad thing, because everyone is creative in their own right. It's just a matter of unlocking that particular part of the brain which, unfortunately seems to get locked up tight during elementary school. It also gets a double security force once puberty kicks in, which is why so many teenagers become rebellious -- they just want to express their individuality.

We should all celebrate our individuality, not smother it. So go out there and do something UNIQUE, do something NOVEL, do something QUIRKY. Just be an INDIVIDUAL today and leave the collective behind for 24 hours. Can you do it? Yes, you can! Go on, give it a try. Close your eyes, and jump in -- the water's fine!

After all, everyone else is doing it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Stunned & Amazed

I saw this on Angela Cartwright's blog and could not resist. It's a bit long, but worth it. Turn off the music on the widget so you can hear the comments. Enjoy!