Sunday, June 28, 2009

Working on the Right Things

Here it is, already Sunday again. They come around so fast!
It's funny that working on something you find interesting isn't really work at all. When I'm making jewelry, or even doing the inventory or writing descriptions, the time simply slips away. It isn't work at all. But, when it's my turn to clean the bathroom, it takes forever. The trick to living the ideal life would be to only do things that you really like doing. Or, maybe not. If you only did the things that you like, maybe they would someday come to feel like work. Maybe we need the unpleasant things to remind us how fun the fun things are.
There are things that are important to work at too. Like friends. Some people say you have to work at marriage too, but I don't find that's true at all. It's the easiest thing I do, marriage. No work. Only fun.
But friends you have to work at. It takes time to contact friends, to make plans, to carry out the plans. But if you don't do it, you lose contact with the friends and then, pretty soon, you don't know them anymore.
I'd lost track of one of my high school friends, but now I've found her again on Facebook. She lives in another state and I know she's ill, but I hope that we can rekindle that wonderful friendship we had.
Since my children are grown, I've found that you have to work at keeping a relationship with them too. Some of them are easy; they're receptive and eager to spend time with us. But some of them are too busy, work too strange of hours, just have stuff to do. Like we do. It's that stuff that gets in the way. Like work. The work is important, of course. But the other stuff, the nurturing of friendships and relationships and the fun things are all more important. I'm going to try not to lose sight of that.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What I am Accomplishing

I'm a great believer in the chipping away theory. That you can do a little every day and accomplish great things. Like saving money, making something wonderful, lose weight, whatever.
I joined Facebook so I could promote my shops more and have a bigger internet footprint. I joined some groups, invited a few people to "friend" me and some did. (Of course, they were actually relatives, but that's okay.) Considering that at this time last year I had no shops online, no blog, no internet footprint whatsoever, I think I'm doing pretty well. There are still a few things I have to do, such as figure out how to add the ArtFire shop to my Facebook page and how to start a fan page, but with baby steps, I'll get there.
We went to the Fremont Street Fair today and I bought more of those gorgeous glass pendants from the Loot! lady. I'll be making and listing some beautiful new things in the weeks to come. I spent all my money. Business has been a little slow lately and I'm really scraping up the pennies in the supply department, but I expect things to pick up soon.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Auction for Carol

Today is the first day of the silent auction to benefit Carol Decker and her lovely family. Please follow this link and check out the lovely items that are for sale. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom so you can read a synopsis of what happened to Carol. It is truly a worthy cause. The action goes until Tuesday, but don't wait until the last minute. Thank you, one and all, for supporting this deserving woman and her family.
Things in my shops have been kind of slow just lately, but I think they're going to start picking up now. It goes like that--very slow, then pretty busy. I've been spending the down time making new items and revamping my ArtFire store. I think it's looking great. You can check it out by clicking on one of the items to the left of this post toward the bottom.
Also I've been making earrings and bracelets to display at Designing Images, a great hair salon in Edmonds. They'll be on display either this Friday, June 19th or or next, the 26th. Stop in and take a look. It's a wonderful place to get a cut or whatever you need, too. The owner, Kristy, is friendly and an expert at what she does. Say "hi" to her and make an appointment while you're checking out the jewelry.
Okay, that's enough shameless self promotion for one day.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Great Auction

Okay, it's Sunday again. Don't they just come around faster and faster?

I've been busy. There's going to be an auction to benefit a woman who, a year ago, was hit by a terrible illness when she had her second child. She is doing pretty well now, but she lost both of her legs, one of her arms and her eyesight. Her family still needs help and I am going to do my little part.

Like I said, there's going to be a benefit auction next weekend. I've donated four pieces of jewelry and it would be nice if a jillion people stopped in at the action and bought something. Go to and see what there is too see. And buy something.

I did my Food Lifeline bit yesterday. We repacked over 13,000 pounds of canned and dry food from the letter carriers food drive that was held in May. They tell us that it translates to over 11,000 meals for hungry people. Pretty impressive, but still isn't enough. Especially when so many people are out of work. Or, even working but not making enough to buy food.

My shops have been pretty slow lately so I've been using the time to make inventory. I have a bazillion fresh water pearls in lots of different colors, so I thought I would use some of them to make some fresh supplies for my stores. They are lovely and luminous and I think they'll make some beautiful pieces.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Spring in Seattle

Wow, the weather has been so beautiful. I swear it looks like summer and it isn't even June yet. I hope this keeps up for awhile. It makes me want to work out in my yard and get it all fixed up for summer. But I guess that will have to wait awhile.
I got a lot accomplished this weekend, though. Made some great jewelry and even sold a couple of things. All is good. I'm getting ready to display my jewelry in Designing Images, a wonderful hair salon in Edmonds. In another week or two, I'll have bracelets and earrings there for customers to see and, hopefully, buy. Or, they can simply take a business card and look at my ArtFire or Etsy stores.
The jewelry shops are taking up most of my life right now and will until I get enough inventory ahead that I can have several pieces in reserve. I don't mind. I love making beautiful things that other people find beautiful too. Fortunately, my lovely husband doesn't mind taking over some of the household duties while I'm so busy.
And my regular job keeps me busy too. I've been off for almost the whole week and, while I got to sleep a little later and make lots of jewelry, I really miss the patients and my coworkers. I don't get to talk to my customers beyond an email or two so it's great to see the patients face to face and talk and laugh with them.
I work at Dr. Diane Doppel's orthodontic office, the very best one in the city and possibly the state. We work with the greatest bunch of patients in the world.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Another Sunday

All right! I'm keeping up with my vow to post once a week. Yes!
Things are going well in both of my shops. I've been listing new items each week so there are always new things.
Today, though, I feel like I haven't accomplished much. Jewelry wise that is. I spent most of the day cleaning up my studio. And my darling husband, Guy, helped. He's a saint. He stands there calmly while I spill Windex all down my leg and all over my favorite pair of shoes. While I ran to clean up the apparel mess, he quietly cleaned the floor (which hasn't been this clean in months!) He helped me move furniture, lamps, junk and an amazing assortment of stuff. He wrestled with the file cabinet to plug a lamp in behind it. What a doll.
But I do have goals. I'm trying to make and list more things for the ArtFire store. I have great faith in that one. Someday it will be as big as Etsy and I'll be one of the charter members with a zillion sales. I'm going to display some of my work at a salon in Edmonds soon. I'm making more things for that too. And my Etsy shop needs more necklaces and bracelets.
I actually have some time this weekend because I don't have to go back to work until Wednesday. Unfortunately, when I have lots of time, I tend to waste it. The thinking is, I guess, that I have so much that I can take longer. I work better under pressure.
Okay. That's enough. I need to go make something now.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Midyear Resolution

So, it's May and I haven't written here since January. I vow to write once a week. See if I don't.
We went to the University street fair today, which, for us is the true beginning of summer. And it felt like summer too. It's sunny and hot and you could believe it was July instead of May. Saw some great stuff but the best thing was that I found some gorgeous pendants to make into some even more gorgeous jewelry. They're made from recycled art glass and are absolutely beautiful. My head is spinning with ideas for jewelry.
Genevieve Church is the woman who makes them. I love that they're recycled. You can take a look at Genevieve's web site at I'll soon have some fantastic new stuff on my Etsy and ArtFire sites using her pendants.
I'm debating about doing a street fair or two myself. It's so expensive. I guess I won't know if it's worth it until I try. My little shops are doing well. Pretty well, in the bad economy, I think. At any rate, I love my shops and I love making jewelry and I won't be stopping anytime soon.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Last night I got the most wonderful feedback from a wonderful customer. She made tears come to my eyes talking about my customer service, my workmanship, the quality of my product. It was truly delightful!
Sometimes it's very easy, out here in cyberland, to feel isolated and, if sales are low, unappreciated. We don't see our customers. We don't talk to our customers much, unless we get emails but that isn't really the same thing, is it? It's so very important to us to get feedback that lets us know we are appreciated and that our customers love our products.
I put the very best I have into the jewelry I make. Sometimes I will take a piece apart several times until I get it just right. The customer doesn't know that. All she knows is that it's the right color or a style that appeals to her. She doesn't know that I had to make an extra trip to the bead store for two more beads so I could make it the perfect size, or that I spilled an entire box onto the floor and spent hours sorting through the assortment.
It immensely gratifying to have my customer take the time to tell me that she loves my work, appreciates my efforts and will return to buy again. And in telling me that, she's telling my other customers. They can look at my feedback and see that I will do everything I can to make it right for my beloved customers. And they are beloved. My customers are my friends. Especially the one who left me the great feedback. Thanks, Heather!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Busy Weekend

I finished the necklace for my wonderful customer and sent her pictures. She really seems to like it. I hope she does. I love making special things for my special customers.

I'm thinking of making some extra long earrings - 4 or 5 inches long. I keep seeing young women wearing them. The popular hairstyle right now seems to be that straight hair that ends just under the ears or maybe halfway down the neck and those extra long earrings look great with it. They're long enough to show even though the girls wear their hair in front of their ears. Is there a name for those long earrings? I think I'll call them Empress length. That seems appropriate. Maybe I'll have some listed on my Etsy site or in my Artfire store by next weekend. Let me know if you think that would be a good idea.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What I am Doing

Things are going well. I'm working on a lovely new necklace and earring set commissioned by a very special customer. I think she'll love it as much as I do. She's a special customer partly because all of my customers are special but she's a return customer. Plus she's very nice and I love to work with her. She always thinks she's being a pain by asking for things, but that's just silly. I love to make special orders that my customers will love.

Today I had my picture taken for the Food LifeLine newsletter as one of the volunteers connected with the law office where my daughter works. We gathered in an empty office in front of a window that looks out on the Space Needle and had our picture taken. If I can get a copy, I'll run it here. The people I volunteer with are lovely people and I'm so glad they included me in the picture.

Tonight, I'm putting together a package of some beads and findings and stringing material for an Etsy shop owner in Chicago. She is going to be organizing a group of inner city teen moms who will be starting a small scale beading business. It will help to teach social, computer, business, creative and financial skills to these young women. Isn't that just the best idea?! I went through my stash of beads and came up with a surprising amount of stuff to send. They will need an ongoing supply of things and, judging from the response she got on the Etsy forum, they will have it. I'm very excited for her and the kids and wish them a great success.

Friday, January 9, 2009

New Store

I decided to branch out and start a store to sell my photography! I don't know yet if I can put a mini store here, but at some point I will try. I already had a store on to sell jewelry, but I moved all the jewelry over to ArtFire and Etsy then set up with pictures. It's called Lella Rae 2. Take a look. It's hard to navigate around ShopHandMade, though. I can't seem to put in a link. And when I try the mini store it looks like an ad for SHM. I may be doing something wrong. Will keep working on it.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Back to Real Life

Back to work tomorrow. No more pretending I don't have to get up at 4:30 in the morning and don't have to go downtown. It's hard to do after almost two whole weeks off. The work will be piled up to the ceiling. It will be nice to see my co-workers, though.

Yesterday was volunteer day. That alone should make me grateful to have my job and be able to get up at 4:30 because I have to go downtown. We labeled and wrapped over 67,000 pounds of food yesterday which translates to over 55,000 meals for people in Western Washington. And still that isn't enough to feed everyone who needs to be fed. They always need more. I encourage everyone to, if not volunteer, then donate to the local food bank. A few extra cans of food or an extra package of beans or two costs very little when it's added to weekly groceries. Remember the letter carrier pickup of donations in May and dontate as generously as possible. It isn't wasted, believe me.

Here is my dream: Get up at 7:00am at the latest everyday and go for a nice, brisk walk. Come home and eat breakfast while I read the paper. Go into my studio and make jewelry for hours while someone else comes to clean my house. After lunch, run errands, but only the fun ones like going to the bead store to get new supplies or going to an antique store to find wonderful things to turn into jewelry. Okay, we can't all have our dreams. For now, it's just to sleep well tonight so I don't wake up too tired in the morning to go back to my real life.