Sunday, September 30, 2007

Lets talk about the weather....


Remember those pants I wasn't planning to wear anytime soon? Well that day came much sooner than I expected. Yesterday was supposed to be cool and rainy, but I figured, heck it's still September and dressed in shorts any way. I went down to the coffee shop in the morning, and while I was sitting there a police car stopped the traffic at the intersection and bunch of bicyclists ride by. It turns out that today was the day for the annual memorial ride in honor of a cyclist who was killed riding in the canyon a few years ago. The poor cyclists! It was cold and rainy, a horrible day for a 10 mile ride. On the way back from the memorial a group of cyclist stopped at the coffee shop to warm up. They were soaking wet and looked positively frozen. I felt so bad for them I offered them all a ride home. One had already called her husband for a ride, another, who had pretty good rain gear, said he'd ride home, and the other couple gratefully accepted my offer. I didn't realize how much the temperature had dropped until we went outside to put their bikes in my car. Yikes, I really felt bad for them then. I drove them the couple of miles to their house then headed back to mine. As I drove on I-215 across the mouth of Parleys Canyon the snow started coming down.

That's right, SNOW! In September. I don't ever remember such an early snow down here in the valley the entire time I've lived here. And this morning there's actually ice on my windshield. I don't even want to see what my annual flowers look like this morning! So it pants today, for the second day. I can't remember the last time I wore long pants in September.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Google Twins



One of the Morning Edition stories on NPR today mentioned a term I'd never heard before: Google Twin, which according to the Wikipwedia is "a person who shares your name, and whose information returns results on Google when you egosurf".

So I decided to Google myself and find out who my google twins are. The first page google search ones at least. It looks like I really one of a Google sextuplet. First on my list was a singer-songwriter, then a public policy consultant, a psychology professor, a real estate agent, one of the writers of the 1995 movie "Cruel Jaws" (who's heard of it? - Not me!), and an opthalmologist. Maybe I should change identities with one of these people; being a folksinger sounds kind of glamorous, being a professor sounds so intellectual, the public policy consultant sounds pretty smart too.

I guess it's been a while since I "egosurfed" because I was surprised to find myself, a beadmaker, on the first page of a Google search. I can thank watch Me Create for new found internet ranking. I guess I'm cyber-real now LOL.

So who are your Google Twins?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Surprise!


I was in my dining room vacuuming Thursday night and through the front window I caught a glimpse of lights as a car parked in front of my house. It struck me as odd, because since Matt left for college in August there have been few cars parking in front of my house. My first thought was that perhaps one of Sarah's friends had gotten her drivers license and had come to visit. I returned to my vacuuming and a few moments later the door opened and couple of kids came in. I looked up from vacuuming and did a total double take.... there was my son Matt!!!!

After getting permission from their professors, he and his roommate decided to skip their Friday classes and come home for the weekend. He had told his sister his plans earlier in week, but they kept it a secret from me. What a wonderful surprise!!! Matt's school is an eight hour drive away, and other than Thanksgiving break they don't have any days off from classes so I did not expect to see him until Thanksgiving week. I've sure missed having him (and all his friends!) around the house, so it was great to have him here for a few days. Sarah was thrilled too! I feel really blessed that rather than having sibling rivalry, my kids are the best of friends so I let her skip school Friday so she could hang out with brother.

It sure sounds like Matt's having fun at school. Biking, swimming, climbing on the schools rock wall, playing intramural soccer, and even (thank goodness!) studying. He took his camping gear back with him so he can enjoy more of the great outdoors on the weekends. It sure makes me wish I could go to school with him!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Talk about the weather...


I wore sleeves to work yesterday. Short Sleeves. I realize that is a normal thing for most people but I hate being hot, and summers are hot here, so I spend the summer in tank tops. I realized a long time ago that July and August are my least favorite months, and this year was the hottest on record: in July and August 47 days were over 95 degrees, 17 of them over 100. Since I'm lucky enough to have a job I don't have to "dress for", I wear shorts and tank tops all summer.

Then comes September. Right about Labor Day the weather suddenly cools down. Way down. I walk outside in my shorts and tank top and realize it's COLD. I turn OFF the car's air conditioning button and turn the heater dial UP. As I walk from the parking lot to my building I notice I'm the only one in a tank top, most people are wearing jeans and a jacket. So yesterday I broke down and wore a T-shirt. Considering that many of the morning walkers and joggers I encountered while driven Sarah to school were wearing gloves, a T-shirt seemed appropriate. I hate to overdress on a cold morning, as it's usually delightfully warm by afternoon, and I hate being over heated when I drive home from work. Today I'm wearing a a sleeveless cotton turtle neck and shorts. I wonder how long it will take me to complete my fall wardrobe transition. The t-shirt is the start. It may be weeks before I break down an pull on a pair of pants. My new sport sandals can be roomie enough for socks... the snow may fly before I give up my sandals.

Am I the only one with weird, quirky wardrobe habits?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Road trip...


Go west young lady!.... That's what I did this weekend.

One of my friend's daughters missed the deadline for taking her ACT exam here in SLC, and her clever mom did some research and discovered that the test was being given this weekend in Elko, Nevada, 240 miles away. I was in the mood to get out town so I volunteered to tag along and keep her company. It was just a quick trip; we left Friday afternoon and headed back right after the test was done Saturday afternoon since her daughter had a date for the homecoming dance that night.

In general, I think that most people dread driving through desolate Nevada. I'm the odd ball. I love the open spaces and find the vistas just beautiful. Desert vegetation fascinates me. Rock formations fascinate me. It's especially nice in the fall while the weather is cool and the golden sagebrush flowers are in full bloom.
If you're not into the casino scene, there doesn't seem to be much to do in Elko. We had a nice dinner at a mexican place Friday night and soaked in the hotel hot tub. The exam started early in the morning so we retired early for the night. Saturday morning, while my friend's daughter took her exam my friend and her other daughter and I headed out to Lamoille Canyon in the Ruby Mountains and went for a short hike on the Ruby Crest Trail. What a beautiful area! It's a large glaciated valley, the formation and topology seemed different from what we have here in the Wasatch. I just love getting to hike in new places!

I have to share this road sign that was in the parking lot of of a Utah rest area we stopped at. I'd never seen that sign before. I'm bummed though, I didn't see a single snake or scorpion!


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Would you?


If your friends jumped off a bridge would you jump too? I guess my son would. Yup, that's him in the picture. Actually, he went first. Apparently jumping off the Baker Bridge is one of those things kids do in Durango. I wonder how many of them send their mothers pictures of their antics? My first question was "How did you know it was deep enough?" He said they swam and dove and checked it out first. Hopefully they really did and that's not just the story you tell your nervous mother! Maybe I shouldn't have let my baby go away to school....or maybe it's best I did so I don't know what he's doing on a daily basis!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Show time!



Well, I survived my second little jewelry show yesterday. Unfortunately, it was pretty much a bust, financially at least. I did make back my booth fee, but not much more. I guess street fairs are better if you are are selling food or perhaps something inexpensive geared to kids. I did have fun talking to my friends that stopped buy, and I had a nice time talking to some strangers.

I especially enjoy the kids. A group of boys about my daughters age stopped by, and I really wowed them by explaining how lampwork beads are made. I bring my hot head torch, some colorful rods, canes, coated mandrels and beads still on mandrels to use as audio visual aids while I explained lampwork. It's fun to have kids think what you do is really cool. I also had a lovely young girl, jr high school age I think, who claims that she's know since she's small that she wants to work glass. She was really interested in the lampwork process, and was pretty excited to find out that it is something that you can do in a home studio.

The other highlight of my day was having a little helper for a while. The girlfriend, who convinced me to participate in the street fair's, little girl. She the one "modeling" a necklace in todays picture. She's a spunky little kid and I really enjoy hanging out with her.

Selling jewelry is difficult because there are so many people selling jewelry at festivals, and it's hard to be "competitive" price-wise when you actually make your own beads. I don't think my prices are at all out of line with those of other jewelry makers, and considering each piece has one or more original handmade beads my prices are probably actually reasonable. Of course not everyone grasps or appreciates the difference between handmade lampwork and store bought components. And "reasonable in the lampwork world is rarely "cheap". I'm also the first to realize that everyone is on a budget, and jewelry is a luxury item. I know that I do much more looking and admiring than I do buying when I attend a fair. Perhaps the local street fair isn't quite the right venue for my work.

I have wondered if having a tent would have improved sales. I thought my display was attractive, but perhaps that big white canopy would have imparted a feeling of professionalism and desirability to my work. Or would it have just been a waste of a few hundred dollars all for naught. It would be nice to be able to answer that question.

My display actually received quite a bit of attention. I used a pretty cross stitched floral table cloth that I thought nicely complimented my work. I had many, many people come up and admire my table cloth. Is it better to use a plain, less noticable table covering as to not take away from your beads? Or is attention getting with booth decoration a good thing? It would be interesting to know the answers to these questions... although I suspect the answer is "it all depends" on the day and the show.

It's a good learning experience.


You can catch a glimpse of my pretty tablecloth in this picture. My sister bought the table cloth while she was in St. Thomas V.I. on her honeymoon and later gave it to me. It's all beautifully handstitched... (probably by children in a third world sweat shop, but beautiful work non-the-less!)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The perils of sleeping...


Am I the only person who can mange to injure myself in my sleep? I have been miserable for two days due to a sleeping accident. I must have slept in a funny position or used the wrong pillow or something weird because I woke up Tuesday with the worst crick in my neck. Agony when ever I moved my head, worse yet when I turn my head to the left. You sure never realize how often you turn your head, especially when driving the car until you have a bad neckache. Of course I had to get the last parking space at work, one I had to parallel park my way in to ... OUCH! ... and leaving work a road was closed because of an accident so I had do do a bunch of merging in traffic... double ouch! Yesterday wasn't much better, on top of the neckache I had a killer headache. All this from SLEEPING! Maybe I should be happy I'm normally an insomniac!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Shows again


I decided to try another show. A friend of mine has been bugging me for over a year to sell my bead jewelry at the Avenues Street Fair. It's a neighbor hood fair in one of the nice old neighborhoods near the city. Last September I attended the fair with her to scope it out, I was really surprised at how big it was for a neighborhood fair; I think there were a couple hundred booths. Since I have plenty or wares left over from the last little show I did I figure I may as well give it a try. I sent my application and pictures of my work a few weeks ago and got an email back stating that I was approved to participate.

Friday I got a message to call the coordinator. I assumed she was going to give me information about my booth location, but when I called she had something else to say. She had called to tell me that weren't accepting sellers of purchased jewelry which I think I was going to do. I think by the time I called her back she realized that my jewelry clearly wasn't store bought. (I guess she looked more closely at my picture!) I assured her that I actually make my beads. From what I read on the forums competing with cheap imports is a common problem at art fairs, so it is nice to know they are trying to limit vendors to actual artisans. It will be interesting to see how this show compares with my first one.