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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Getting Away & Geocaching, Finding Other Bloggers, Saturday Night Promotions

This week hubby and I had a chance to do something fun! We went to the mountains to get away from home and the usual problems of life and did some geocaching. What is geocaching you ask? Simply put, geocaching is treasure hunting using a GPS unit. The size of the treasure chests vary from micro, about the size of a 35mm film canister or smaller, to much larger. Some people do it for the treasures and some people do it for the hunt. I think both can be fun. This hobby can be done alone, with a partner, as a team, with children and has varying skill levels. You can get very involved with lots of people online and off. There are group meetings, etc. Or you can choose to participate quietly and just do the hunts and not be so involved. The choices make it great for all types of people and personalities to enjoy! We found quite a few caches (treasures) on this outing. It gave us a chance to do a bit of moderate hiking, since that day I was feeling pretty good, have a nice lunch out, and be away from "it all". Geocaching is not very expensive once you purchase the geocaching unit. Learn all you need to know at http://www.geocaching.com or click on the geocaching icon on the right. This is the official site of geochaching.

I was on etsy.com earlier today. One of the threads was for exchanging blog links. I did add a few new ones to my list and a couple of new etsy stores to my favorite stores list. I hope you will take time to check out both lists. I think you'll find some great shops for your Christmas shopping or other holiday and special occasion shopping pleasure. The blogs I have listed are quite different, I think, from each other. They add variety to life!

I haven't posted any new items to my etsy shop today, but I do hope to get listed early on the SNS - Saturday Night Specials list on the Promotions Thread. I'll be offer 15% off of your total bill in my shop!! Please check it out!

Thanks for stopping by!
Wendy

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Family life, Etsy.com shop, Lupus, A Shout OUT

Things in my household seem to be a little better. Hubby definitely has contract work coming his way by the first week of August, so fears of not having money to pay bills has become less of a problem. The same company that is going to contract him, is planning to hire him, but there are some details to work out, because they want to open a new division in our area and they want him to run the place. We won't feel totally better until everything is in place and all the paperwork is done! We're a bit edgy in that area.

We've been working on a project that would make us our own business owner and we are moving ahead with that. Since it doesn't interfere with what hubby would be doing with the company that wants to hire him, we decided to move to the next stage. It won't cost us anything to continue, so why not? We can always drop out before putting a bunch of money into it if we feel it is too much for us to take on with hubby doing the other job.

I'm still working at making my jewelry shop on etsy more known. I've done some more research into that and now I have to take some time to implement it. I think I can do it without putting so much time into it that I'm not really making any money on my jewelry. I don't really expect to get rich on it, but I don't want to lose money either. I think of my jewelry as a form of art. I don't make it to be "in fashion". I make whatever I "see" as I'm working with the beads. That may be why I sell more when people see my jewelry in person. I don't think the pictures do it much justice. Here is a simple pair of earrings that I thought would sell rather quickly, but haven't. These pictures show better in my etsy shop than here.






I call these earrings BLACK-EYED JONQUIL EARRINGS WITH GOLD because they are made of 6mm round and 4mm bicone Jonquil AB Swarovksi crystals and black rondells set with Crystal AB Swarovski crystals. I thought of the flowers, Black-Eyed Susans and Jonquils, then mixed the names. The earhooks, headpins and links are 14k goldplated.


The other thing that surprises me about my etsy shop is my CHARITY section. Nothing in it has sold. I sell for 2 charities right now. The first one is the ELCA WORLD HUNGER APPEAL and the second one is THE LUPUS FOUNDATION OF AMERICA, INC. There are links to these charities in the right hand column under My Favorite Charities, so you can learn more about them. I give 100% of the sale, less the shipping, to the charities. I've had lots of views, but no takers. I had really hoped this would be a way I could give to these groups and draw some attention to them. I'm not sure if I have even drawn much real attention to them, but I hope so!

Speaking of Lupus, the Lupus Foundation has an Advocacy group which needs people's help all the time. Two things that they are working hard on right now are these:

Number ONE

Lupus REACH Amendments
The Lupus Research, Education, Awareness, Communications, and Healthcare (REACH) Amendments legislation, S.1359/H.R.1192, was introduced in the Senate by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT), and in the House of Representatives by Congressman Kendrick Meek (D-FL) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL).
We are working to get this bill passed in the 110th Congress. We are pleased that we have bi-partisan support with 84 cosponsors in the House and 16 in the Senate. The LFA government relations staff has been actively meeting with potential new cosponsors.
Go to our Legislative Action Center to contact your Members of Congress! (http://capwiz.com/lfa/home/) You can learn more details about this bill, find out if your members of congress are on board with it and, if not, email them to join co-sponsorship.

Number TWO

Ban of Current Incandescent Light Bulbs
On December 19, 2007, President Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (Public Law No: 110-140). Under the new law, all light bulbs must use 25% to 30% less energy than today’s light bulbs by 2012-2014. Since today’s incandescent light bulbs do not fit the energy efficiency standard, there will be a phase-out of current incandescent light bulbs. The phase-out will start with 100-watt bulbs in January 2012 and end with 40-watt bulbs in January 2014. By 2020, bulbs on the market must meet the 70% efficiency standard.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) already meet the 70% efficiency standard, which means that most public spaces and homes are switching to CFLs. As you may know, some reports suggest that there may be enough UVB radiation in fluorescent light bulbs to cause photosensitivity in people with lupus.
The LFA government relations staff has been working with other groups affected by this legislation to form a coalition: Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation, National Psoriasis Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, MAGNUM, and American Academy of Neurology. The LFA government relations staff and this coalition have scheduled meetings on Capitol Hill and are working with the light bulb industry to determine whether a new incandescent light bulb will be released before January 2012.

SHOUT OUT

I'd like to send a shout out to 3 etsy shops that I heard about through the Business Marketing thread on Etsy.com. Here's the thread if you want to see it yourself - these sellers didn't start it: Etsy Sellers Popped Up Inside A Kit I Purchased At My Local Book Shop http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=5699160 They are featured in a book!! The book is called, The Softies Kit Instructions and Tools for Creating 15 Plush Pals by Therese Laskey. The three etsy.com shops are

craftymommy http://www.craftymommy.etsy.com/

sweetestpea http://www.sweetestpea.etsy.com/

threewishesdesign http://www.threewishesdesign.etsy.com/

Way to go!! Best of luck! Hope more good things come your way!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wendy

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My Day, My New Bookmark, A Shout Out for an Etsy Shop

Today Hubby and I spent time as if it were a Saturday morning of our youth instead of Saturday morning of our 50's. We recently found out where there is a German Bakery and not far from it a German/Bavarian Restaurant. So this morning we left all our cares behind us and set out to find them.

AHHHH!! What a delightful aroma as we stepped into the bakery!! Oh and the surprise we had to find it is also a delicatessen and dry goods store! We were like kids in a candy store! The fun we had! The breads we bought! The goodies! The things we left behind for another day!!!!!


Then it was off to find the restaurant. It wasn't hard to find either, only 10 miles away at most. It looked like a little Bavarian house. The luncheon menu also included a few favorites from the dinner menu. We ate, of course, from the dinner items. I had Rahmschnitzel and Hubby had Sauerbraten. Both choices were excellent! We couldn't leave without dessert of course. It was Hazelnut Torte for me and Cherry Strudel for Hubby. All I can say is MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!


When we got home I finished making a bookmark that I started last night. I'm going to list it on my etsy shop when I finish writing. I really enjoyed making this bookmark and I almost kept it for myself! It just sparkles so nicely, with the tiny crystal-like seed beads in a medium sapphire blue, the genuine Swarovski crystals in light sapphire blue and crystal ab. I also used the gemstone dark blue aventurine tumbled into round beads. They make a striking difference to the other beads. I added butterfly charms to one end and a cross to the other to finish it off. Here's a sneak peak:



SHOUT OUT FOR...
Some people don't like to promote shops that are competitors, but I'm just not that way. You will see a list of other etsy shops over on the right side. One them I would like to do a SHOUT OUT for right now. The shop is called Jewelry by The Creators Palette and the shop site is http://www.TCPJewelry.etsy.com This shop is relatively new but has a sister shop, The Creators Palette, that has been around a bit longer. The jewelry shop produces wonderful medical bracelets for adults and children. I just browsed the shop today and saw one for children that has the cutest frog faces on it! There are other pieces of lovely jewelry besides the medical bracelets, such as earrings. The owner, Melanie, is a terrific artist and offers great customer service. I hope you will stop by her shop to see all that she offers!!

I will see you all again soon!
Wendy

Friday, July 11, 2008

It has been so hot here in Colorado! I know its hot all over, so I shouldn't whine! We don't have air conditioning. We really only NEED it for about 2 or 3 weeks out of the year. The rest of the time fans, carefully opening and closing doors and blinds during the day works very well. We also have an attic fan aka whole house fan. Today I wish I had air conditioning!! I can't seem to cope. I can't stay focused. Anyone else out there have that problem?


I did manage to add 2 new pieces to my etsy shop!! I added a pair of earrings and a necklace. They actually match, but I'm selling them separately. I am giving a $5.00 discount, though if you buy them together!!


Green Aventurine and Emerald Swarovski Earrings

by Sidewing Creations
Green Aventurine and Emerald Swarovski Necklace, full view
by Sidewing Creations

Green Aventurine and Emerald Swarovski Necklace, close-up

by Sidewing Creations

I really enjoyed making these 2 pieces. I started with the necklace. Anyone who has visited my shop know that I love working with Swarovski Crystal beads. I found the gemstone beads on my last shopping trip to refill my stock. I think these pale gemstones, Aventurine its called, looks great with the Emerald Bicone Swarovski Crystals. The sterling silver beads just seemed to add a nice accent to the colors. Once I finished the necklace, I knew I had to make a pair of earrings!

I decided to sell them separately, because many people today are really into earrings, but not necessarily into the matching necklace. On the other hand, when I do sell sets, I usually give a price break, so I am giving a price break to anyone who buys these two pieces together. I hope someone finds them as beautiful as I do! That's the problem with artists and parents, we never when our "babies" are truly beautiful or people are just being polite!!!!!!!

Please scroll to the bottom to see a few more items in my shop or click on my banner to go to my shop directly!

I'd love for you to visit!!

Wendy

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I can't believe it has been so long since I posted last! Its been a busy time for my family once again! Or maybe I should say as always!! My husband was "separated" from his job. You can read that layed-off. We knew it was coming, but thought he had another six months to a year. We're worried, but not overly so. He has already had two interviews and we are working on a possible business venture of our own. My etsy shop certainly won't keep us afloat and my Lupus prevents me from getting a regular job. But we know there are MANY people out there today in the same circumstances and we have a strong faith. We may not live like kings, but we'll be all right!

On the lighter side, our son, daughter and son-in-law gave us a combination Father's Day present and birthday present for me. We got tickets to see Crosby, Stills and Nash in Concert! It was a great concert!!!!!!!!! They are still wonderful performers, still very political, anti-war, and a bit irreverent. The crowd was mostly fifty-something plus, but there was a healthy dose of the younger generation. They played about fifty percent oldies and fifty percent newer and brand new stuff. Stephen Stills can still play guitar like nobody else! I wish you could all have been there with us!

On my birthday, everyone was able to be together to go out to dinner. That doesn't happen often, so it was a real treat. We sat around the dinner table for quite some time laughing and talking. My hubby had to leave an extra big tip to make up for how long we sat there, but it was worth it.

After several days of being on the run, concert, my birthday, seeing some family, etc., my Lupus flared up. I crashed for several days. I was in excruciating pain. My joints were hurting and my muscles ached. I had vague nausea and I was extremely fatigued. I had a headache that would come and go. I had rashes and other symptoms I won't bother to go into. I couldn't sleep and I didn't want to be awake because it hurt so bad. This lasted about 4 days before it began to let up. I always seem to pay for having fun, but it is usually worth it! I hate having Lupus, but I am used to it and have learned to deal with it. I write about it to help educate people about it.

Now that I'm back to feeling better, I'm back to making jewelry for my shop and for my friends. I'm helping my husband search the web for work. I'm helping him formulate an idea for a new business option for us, well its really for him since I can't work. In general life is getting back to normal!

Thanks for popping in!
Wendy