This little guy is our one and only inside tree. I found it at Target. It has fiber optic lighting that blinks different colors, which is why the lights look a bit blurry...they're blinking. LOL
So, Rick laughed at me when I told him we would have an artificial tree...then he grinned when I set this one up in the dining room. Personally, I think it's as cute as can be. The two gifts underneath are for Rick and our niece Kelly. She'll get her gift on Christmas, when we travel north 4 hours to spend the entire weekend with my brother, my SIL, and the two kids, Eric and Kelly. Oh man, are the kids gonna have fun - Rick will play Santa again! I hope to post great pictures this year!
Told you the outside tree looked goofy! We haven't fixed it, or the other tree just like it, because we're not the only ones who did it this way. Down the road is a house that has red on top and blue on the bottom. Yup, looks just as goofy :) The other tree is only about 2 more feet to my left, but just far enough that I couldn't get it into the picture.
I've given the department the go ahead to decorate for Christmas. I was quite surprised to learn that they didn't do anything special in their cubicles or in the office in general. Not for lack of wanting, just for lack of encouragement. So, I'm encouraging. I'm also hoping to lead by example by bringing in my own tree and ornaments to sit on my desk, in addition to some garland I want to drape around my office. Oh yeah, I'll also either wrap my office door in Christmas paper or hang a wreath...I'll figure it out once I see how difficult finding our wreaths at home will be!
Rick and I decorated two of our trees in the front yard. This is a big deal - we've never, ever decorated outside of the house before. Actually, its been since 2000 that we've decorated the inside of the house. Mainly because the house has been a wreck for that many years with remodeling. Now that we're close to being finished, we're both getting into the spirit. Anyway, even though more lights are needed, and they look a bit goofy with blue lights on top and white lights on the bottom, I like our two spruce trees being lit up at night.
If I can remember - I'll get pictures of the office and home and post them.
Pearl and mottled green seed beads turned out to be the perfect combination for this twisted herringbone necklace. I'm currently working on a pearl pendant to wear with it. I love herringbone, it works up so quickly :)
Lightly twisted herringbone. I was thinking, and drinking, heavily creamed coffee and put some brown and tan beads out on the table. About 18" long, it fits nicely with a turtleneck.
Now on to Christmas! I'm currently awaiting the arrival of special order beads for Kate's pendant, have begun beading a dimensional ornament designed by Paula Adams, and am still in search of a handful of 6mm round sodalite beads for my SIL's watchband.
Tammy did a great job cooking a fresh turkey. It was simply wonderful - enough so that I will definitely use fresh if I ever cook a full turkey again. I was in charge of the sides and didn't do badly at all - mashed potatoes with lumps to prove they were mashed by hand!, green bean casserole (yuck!, but a hit with those who eat it), and candied yams (again yuck!, but with a hand from Mom there were very few leftovers).
Tammy and I got to spend some good time together - yes, we went shopping, but didn't buy anything that she didn't need. I just love having a SIL. Being the oldest and having only brothers really deprived me of some quality sisterhood stuff. Thank goodness for Tammy!
Rick got yanked on, trampled on, squeezed and hugged pretty much the entire time we were there. The kids really enjoy being around him, and I know he truly loves the attention.
I actually got some beading done! Yes, I was surprised. I did up a few simple twisted herringbone necklaces to match a couple of sweaters. Also got a few orders - one from Tammy and one from Kate. Now I'm on a mission to find delicas in a Green Amber color ? Wish me luck!
No pics at the moment. I'll be posting some new stuff this week, though, so keep checking back.
The job has been interesting so far. I spent two days at the manufacturing plant. I would have really enjoyed myself if I could have used some of the machinery. Instead, I stood around, watching someone do their job. I asked as many questions as possible, while trying not to interrupt the worker's rhythm. Whew, am I glad that's over! Nine hours of doing nothing really got to me - just ask my dear husband! LOL
I'm back in the office now and have gotten caught up on paperwork. I'm learning more and more about veneer and its applications - which is good because I can't wait to start selling this stuff! Right now I'm handing sales leads over to my inside reps, but am anxious to start making my own sales :)
Rick's mother has taken a turn for the better. She will be leaving the hospital sometime this weekend (if all goes well). The infection is under control, the bleeding seems to have stopped, and though the doctors can't say for sure what is happening, they're glad that she is healing. Keep the prayers coming because she's not completely out of the woods yet!
Tomorrow my friend Katherine and her husband David are renewing their wedding vows :) Its their 28th wedding anniversary and David has Parkinson's Disease. She's always wanted to renew their vows and kept putting it off. Now that David is showing more symptoms I am glad she's taking the opportunity to celebrate their life together now, rather than later. I'm looking forward to the festivities. She has such a cool range of friends :)
So, on Monday evening my hard drive dies. Yessirree, very little warning...thought at first an e-book I'd purchased was infected when I tried to download it. But, no. I have this nasty habit of leaving my computer on ... always ...unless Rick and are going out of town. So, a few power surges, outages and spikes and before you know it the hard drive just kicks the dust. My only regret is the loss of photos. I'm hoping I can download some from my Yahoo album.
Rick's mother is in the hospital. She had a bowel resection done three weeks ago, developed an infection, developed leakage, went septic, got ok, went septic again and just recently has developed a bleeder somewhere. Rick has been keeping vigil with his siblings these past three nights. I'll go to the hospital when he asks me to. Although I think I should be there, I respect his wishes and will not force myself on him there. So, many prayers are needed please for Carol, my mother-in-law. She's 73 and in generally good condition, but tonight is on morphine and diuladid for pain - so its pretty bad. Doc won't do an MRI because the dye would hurry the shut down of her kidneys.
Tomorrow is our 16th wedding anniversary. We're going to dinner at Del Frisco's in Louisville Saturday night, providing we're not at the hospital with his mother of course.
I'm finishing up some beadwork for the U of L show on Monday. No new designs. Due to the loss of marketing material on my hard drive I'm limited on brochures/handouts/etc. But, I am planning to print out really cool price notes instead of actual price tags. I'm curious if they'll make a difference in sales.
Well, back to piecing together beading/business/personal information for my hard drive :)
Oh yeah, I have no e-mail addresses. If you're reading this, please e-mail me so I can get my contact list back in shape.
Until next time...
Anybody recognize the pendant!?
I'm doing a Christmas Boutique at the University of Louisville Alumni Banquet and needed a few things that used U of L colors - black, red and gold. I'm doing a twisted herringbone necklace of black and gold in the hopes of selling the two as a set. If not, then I'll also have some black leather necklaces, too.
What do you think of the flower? Too cool, heh? Thanks to Barb Grainger for her netted flower instructions. The button in the middle sparkles 100 times more than the photo shows. It measures about 4" in diameter. I think it will look marvelous on a Derby hat! I've done this particular flower in burnt orange, neon blue and neon yellow...so far. I'll let you know how many I end up with.
How to attach to a hat, you ask? Well, after much consideration, shopping and consulting with hat makers, I've picked up some hat pins that will work perfectly. They'll also allow the flower to be used as a brooch...should someone decide that is what they prefer.
Now, back to beading. I have a few items I'd like to finish up tonight. This weekend I should be able to post new pictures.
When I was in need of a pendant, just for something different, I came across a fellow beader's site and was inspired to make this. She had used various celtic swirls and knots in her beadwork. I guess the Irish in me just couldn't stop the image as I was working up the pattern for this. I usually wear it on a gold chain.
The hunt for a job continues. I had a face to face interview early this week, followed by a 2nd and 3rd interview later in the week, followed by a request for references...of which two were contacted the day of request. According to the references, it looks like I can expect a job offer. I can only hope they offer the right amount of salary...this is not a job to sell yourself cheap for! A lot of work still needs to happen for the department to tighten up and get into shape.
Last week was quite an eventful week for me and the job hunt. I attended a few networking lunches and an evening cocktail hour meeting, in addition to meeting with a gentleman about my resume. I handed out quite a few business cards, met a lot of interesting people, was able to connect a few people with other business owners, and will be sending my resume to a few people to forward to their contacts. I'm enjoying the networking much more than I thought I would. I anticipated being overwhelmed or out of place, but in all actuality I fit right in.
I've had a phone interview and am scheduled for a face to face interview with another company later this week. There should be at least one more meeting scheduled from a different company, though I won't be hearing from them until Monday.
So, in the meantime, I'm resting today. Actually, I'm beading, but that is the same as meditating and resting for me. Either later today or tomorrow I'll be taking photos of my latest work to post here and at an online forum I'm active in. Until then...the beads are calling me!
After another six months, it became quite obvious that the company was not ready for my position. During this time we unveiled a new division where I was the first contact and also became a design engineer - because the primary design engineer was out for quite a few weeks due to surgery - and a customer service rep in the original division was out for surgery - so I was doing three jobs for quite a few weeks. Yet, we succeeded to provide quality products with excellent customer service to our customers.
So, a few more months passed. I met with my boss and we discussed the company goals, the department needs, my expectations and his expectations. It boils down to the fact that I am being replaced by software and a customer service rep. The company hired me about 2 years too soon.
Now, I am out and about. Meeting new people, networking at business lunches and beading up a storm. Look for new designs to appear on this blog, as well as an update on my job search!
This green lariat/body wrap is finished with Thai silver leaves and beads. While shown at a local gallery it drew quite a lot of compliments and oohs and aahs...which is always fun to hear about my work. Still available for sale, I'm looking for just the right person - someone who wants to stand out in a crowd, be noticed, be an individual on the street.
The fireworks display was absolutely wonderful...according to the kids. Personally, I don't care for fireworks. I'm not sure if its the noise or the repetition of patterns. Its just not something I'm into. So, I stayed at the house and listened when the kids came back to share the experience with me. I just love the young ones and their enthusiasm :)
What a month this has been. First, my boss...the VP...was out for surgery, then one my three customer service reps was out for surgery, then it was decided that we would unveil a new division with its own catalog in May. Wow, I've been too busy to bead! Essentially, I was doing three jobs and loving every minute of it. What a challenge. I wasn't absolutely certain that we could do it, but as each day passed I realized that John (the other engineer) and I could handle the business. I must admit, though, that I am glad that both employees are back and able to take their workload back. I'm enjoying the break!
Now, on to the business of beading. Last year I decided that my company...by Char...would remain a part-time endeavor. I've been approached many times to grow it to a regional level, requiring me to attend shows in Ohio and Michigan, but I have resisted. I do not want to become a production person. I have found that my creativity is stifled and I become resentful when forced to complete a project. This is very interesting to me, because I am so customer focused at my day job. The customer comes first, satisfying the customer is the most important part of the business, etc. Yet, when it comes to my personal art, I simply cannot bead according to someone else's request.
So, I will continue to bead at my leisure and exhibit at local shows only. I will also sell wholesale to a few local boutiques. The teaching portion will continue to be done on a weekend basis, either through my local bead store or the customer's venue. I think this will allow me to continue to be creative, to sell my work on my terms, and to be focused at my day job.
These earrings sure are popular! All sets are made with Swarovski crystals and either silver-lined beads or gold-lined beads. Actually, I made a pair that used both the silver and gold and they were gorgeous! These particular earrings were commissioned by a friend, since then I've sold quite a few in preparation for Derby next month. Look for more next year!
So, I'm no longer affiliated with that bead store. Instead I think I'll offer myself to the community in some way. Keep an eye out for my plans!
One of my first tubular herringbone necklaces. Done in Fall of 2003. It took me way too long to stitch because I was naive enough to think it wouldn't be a big deal! Now, I know better. I ended up selling it to an attorney in town in February of 2005. She was attending a class I was giving and I happened to have my completed pieces with me for inspiration. She went crazy over the color and purchased it on the spot. The last I heard she was proudly wearing it around town.
Whew, what a month this has been! Preparing for three annual evaluations, finalizing sales figures and bonus results for 2005, contacting distributors/catalogers/special buying groups to update pricing and product information, market research for a new division. I'm having a good time! I just love this job and am glad for the opportunity to be a part of a company's growth.
I've been a member of an on-line bead group for over 2 years now. This group is where the retreat idea generated and took off. I'll be meeting members of this group face to face for the first time, as well as attend classes for the first time. I've taught other people, but never attended a beading class myself. It's going to be quite an experience and I'm ready for it! LOL
Today I'm meeting up with my beading buddy, Lora. We'll bead and gab for a few hours and have a good time - we always do.