Welcome to My Blog...

where I will promote the karat gold and sterling silver genuine gem stone jewelry that I lovingly design and fashion as well as muse over the daily doings of my American family struggling to keep our heads above water in 2010.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Been Busy Doing What???

I feel compelled to explain my absence over the last couple of days.

For those of you that have been reading my blog for sometime you know that I have had some really difficult issues going on over the past two years and as a result some tough decisions to make.

We will be putting our house on the market as quickly as we can to see if we can sell and perhaps even break even.  We are tired of fighting the fight and have painfully decided that it is time to move on.  Obviously, we will also have to look for another place to live...

Although we made this decision almost 3 weeks ago I think I spent the 1st week in denial, the 2nd week planning in my head and now this 3rd week is heavy duty work.  I am deep cleaning every nook and cranny of my home and decluttering and destashing as I go - and that is the torturous part.

As a jewelry designer, my craft has totally taken over my home.  There are not many places within my 3 levels that I do not have beads, findings, wire and finished pieces.  For my sanity I will be taking a breather from creating any new pieces but will continue to sell my huge inventory.  I'm already amazed as I am going through boxes how much I have that I had totally forgotten.

So, I will undoubtedly be posting on my blog less - cause it is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me.  I will also have to drop fewer Entrecards as I cannot possibly do my 200-300 per day right now.  I need to get on top of my "chores" before I can allow myself to catch up on all of the blogs I read daily.  Thank goodness that I can  keep current with all of you in Google reader and Feedburner.

I would love suggestions from any of you that have already completed what I am going through.  I have a large tri-level split home that is full from top to bottom!  I have already had our local Big Brother Bis Sister non-profit come by for a couple medium size loads...so much more to go!

OH YEAH!  Almost forgot...

My daughter Annie saw Layla today!!!!!!!!  She's no spring chicken and I am just glad to know that she is on the flip side of another winter.

I hate being a deadbeat and feel better just having let all of you know what's going on!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Another Tangent...A Tribute to Layla

I absolutely adore cats...and have all of my life.

I have also learned to love dogs in my adult life...but that will be for another day.

While dropping Entrecards today, I linked into Beaded Tail 's blog where she was featuring her beauty Isabella who is a Tortoiseshell cat (Torti).  I've seen Isabella on this blog...along with Sharla's other cat and dog before, but today I felt the need to comment.

Because Isabella looks just like my cat Layla who I haven't seen in more than a year but will never forget.

Back in 2000 we had a female adult brindle boxer/pitbull mix named Jaya and a gorgeous calico cat named Cali.  Daughter Annie begged for a kitten and we gave in.  Well her choice was the scrawniest and homeliest kitten that I think I had ever seen.  She was SO skinny with a tiny face, huge ears and a long skinny tail.  Her name was Layla.  Poor thing, she must have been taken from her mom way before she was ready because she starving, wild and made poor spayed Cali be her surrogate mom. I called her the rat cat.

Anyway, I never thought that she and I would become such good friends, but we did.  Do your cats talk to you? Well, most of mine do, and Layla was extremely expressive.  We "meowed" together every day and always understood each other.

Layla was an indoor cat until we moved in December of 2002.  We have woods adjoining our backyard and soooo many species of birds, that it was making Layla crazy looking out the windows of the sunroom.  Hubby started letting her out (against my will) and she started a routine of going out for a couple of hours every day and exploring. Layla was a great hunter and routinely brought home mice and birds to show me. (yuck)

Now let me tell you how the trouble started.

Layla was the boss of Cali and Jaya...no problem. And then, Panther, an injured stray kitten showed up in our driveway and my son begged and begged for us to keep him.  OK...well Layla was none too pleased but decided to put up with him just to make me happy.  She kept him in line and soon there was calm in the house again.

In mid 2006 daughter Annie who has moved on her own and back and then on her own again through the years now had another favor to ask.  She had another kitten...Lola...and can we keep her for awhile while she transitions from house to house... OK, Annie but just temporarily.  Now here is another skinny scrawny kitten that is starved for attention but is not pleasant at all.  Lola was just flat out mean. 

Layla was pissed...

Not at me... but I could tell that she wasn't happy having to put up with Lola at all. 

I've got to give Layla credit - because she tried.

So, in the early fall of 2006 Layla came into my office where I was working.  She was affectionate and chatty.  I knew she wanted to go out and it was early evening so I figured it was OK....she would come in when I called between 9-10pm for the night.

I picked her up to give her some love.  It was the way she looked at me that I just knew.  I knew as I let her out the door that she wouldn't come back.  When she got out the door she turned to look at me watching her.  We both knew.

I called her before bed as I always did.  No answer.  I got up again in a couple of hours to see if she was outside the door waiting for me to let her in.  No Layla.  In the morning, again no Layla.

It hurt so bad.

I went through the woods....all over the neighborhood...called her in the morning and at night.

Three weeks to the day, on a sunny afternoon I saw Layla sunning herself on the covered pool deck.  My heart was pounding so hard.  I threw open the sunroom window and called out to her "Layla" with pain in my voice.  She looked at me...we just kept looking at each other... I could see she had a decision to make. Layla got up took one look back at me and jumped over the stone wall back into the woods.

Layla had made her choice.

Well - it's been a little more than three years now.  We had Layla sightings for the first couple.  She could be seen peeking into the family room windows, or passing through the back yard.  Never close enough to come back, but just close enough to make sure I was OK.

I think.

Seeing Isabella on Torti Tuesday brought the memories back today.  I left a comment on Beaded Tails blog about Layla and felt the need for closure.

With tears in my eyes....

Friday, February 12, 2010

It's a Mixed Bag Today...

I'm still a fairly new blogger...been about 4 months now.

I really like it...

My original goal was to promote my jewelry line, but I found the opportunity to network outside of my comfort zone on so many different levels intoxicating.

I mean, to discuss my own personal goals, my families struggles, some new designs, debate politics, current events, meet FABULOUS new friends...this is great!

Not that there aren't frustrations - how to balance the time required to produce a thoughtful post without feeling depressed for it....the impatience to build a following...working at getting the "it" that compels strangers to care and come back.

It's working at acceptance that I've always taken for granted...you know where you only have a very few seconds to catch a readers eye while they drop and run...wait a minute...what did she say????

And then watching your followers straggle in, EC numbers go up...and down, daring to take another step into the realm....

Like I said - I am loving it - and loving all of you. 

The good and the bad of it all. 

Keep it coming at me...

Peace out...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thankfully Another Successful Surgery...

I speak of my family often.

And of Hubby in particular...

You see he has been incredibly supportive of me throughout our friendship, relationship and marriage and especially through the last incredibly tough two years since I was layed off after 20 plus years working in Telecom and Data as a Project Manager.

I looked at the time off as temporary and an opportunity to make a go of my fledgling online jewelry business while collecting unemployment for the first time in my life.

But then the economy hit the skids...and it became increasingly difficult for me to gain the ground I imagined in the glut of online crafters and jewelry designers. So, what to do?  Find a "real" job and continue my jewelry venture on the side as before - that was what I needed to do.

Long story short...I haven't been able to find a job, and all of the terrible things that happen when your household income drops in half are happening to hubby and me.  I will spare you the details, because we all know what they are and the point of my story isn't that...it is how incredibly HARD it is on a marriage and how INCREDIBLE hubby has been in in handling all of this without turning his back on me or us.

He had a successful surgery today to open blocked arteries in both his legs...Three months ago he had his second prostate surgery in three months time.  If he has his way, he will be at work on Monday morning overseeing contractors with our local Housing Authority (from whom he retired from full time work 7 yrs ago) to ease some of our financial difficulty.

Tonight at the hospital hubby's blood pressure was sky high.  I worry about how "hanging in there" is wearing on him. I sit here tonight and wonder what it will take to put some of the pieces of our life back together so that we can be well both physically and mentally. 

While I'm soul searching, any input would be highly valued. 

Valentines Day is coming...I Love you Hubby!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Freshwater Pearls Anyone?

Oh, I love Pearls!

I think that Pearl jewelry is almost a rite of passage for adolescent girls to womanhood...

Even if you are waiting to be "old" enough to wear them....you still have to have a string of your own.

Well, it was definitely that way for me...and has been for my daughters as well.  My younger girls have junior strings that were gifted to them from their Aunt Kate years ago, and then the 2 Brides have senior strings that they wore when wed.

But the point of this post is to show you some pearls...my designs that vary in style from traditional to funky!  Your pearls don't have to be your Grandmothers pearls anymore!

5-6mm Freshwater Pearls in Creamy White with 14k White Gold Beads and Faceted Light Blue Aquamarine Briolettes

All of the metal is 14K White Gold...Look at the Fish Hook Clasp...totally Sturdy!

Soft and Pretty Sparkly Briolettes!

Check this Necklace out at janaes jewels on Etsy
The price may suprise you...

Now lets look at a totally different style...

This is a nice and chunky string of Amber Nuggets with top strung Freshwater Pearls in the same soft Orange or Bronzey tones.
It is tumbled and the gemstones are flexible enough to move pretty freely.

Now, you couldn't see the pretty bronze coral tubes before...Suprise!
And the Fish Hook Clasp on this Beauty is in 14K Yellow Gold

Totally Funky and Cool for ANY age!
This is a real signature piece
So, where can you purchase it?
Check it out here in my eBay Store 
The price is incredible!

So, that's it for today...BUT I have so much more to show you.  Come back soon!

Let's have an Open Conversation...

What can I do to help you today?
What can I learn from You today?

If you are an online seller you know that the competition is really tough. I design and craft jewelry for all occasions - so what makes me stand out in the crowd?
Is it my one of a kind designs?
Is it my quality metals, gemstones and attention to detail?
Is it my Brand? Pictures? Creativity?

I strive every day to try something new, to incorporate fresh ideas, to inspire new sales, to reach more of you.

Let's share together...Let's see where this goes!