About this blog

The original intention of this blog was to help promote my handcrafted jewelry and beading supplies. However, I believe I lead an interesting life (which Dave gets a lot of credit for), so you will often find ramblings about things other than beads and jewelry! Hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoy living it!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cutting Show

Several weeks back, Dave and I attended a cutting show that my neighbor Jeanette was competing in. During the summer months, most of the shows are held in the evening as the summer sun is just too brutal. I was excited about the event. One, because I love being around the horses, and two I was hoping to take some really great pictures for my blog. Unfortunately, only one of the pictures came out. That was the picture of Dave and I sitting in the stands (and it's now one of my favs). The problem was I brought the disposable camera to finish of the roll off film from the last ATV trip we had taken. The flash on disposable cameras is only good for about 10-12 feet. The arena was well lit, so I didn't think it was going to be a problem. I have a digital camera that I use for taking pictures of my jewelry and beading supplies, but for whatever reason it won't stay on for more than a minute even with new batteries. Could it possibly have something to do with the tumble it took off my hightop table in the kitchen? It's not a problem when I'm taking pictures in the studio because I have an AC adapter for it. We keep talking about buying a new one, but just never seem to get around to it. Maybe I need to put that a little higher on my list of things to do. I know I'm missing out on some really good photo opportunities! BTW, Jeanette did very well at the event, placing in the money!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Favorite Things Friday

Over the last few months I've been attempting to make a conscious effort to do things that should/will have some benefit to my overall health. For instance, I keep a toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash in my desk drawer at my regular job. I've actually kept them in there for years...now I'm actually using them daily after I finish my lunch! Not only will I have better breath, but they say having a clean, minty taste in your mouth will deter you from snacking (something about stuff not tasting good if you just brushed your teeth and not wanting to "ruin" the minty fresh breath). One of the other things I am making more of an effort to do, and this is where "Favorite Things Friday" comes in, is drink more water. Problem is, I find water very boring and really don't care for it unless its very cold. I've tried Crystal Light, but for some reason I seem to get very hungry after drinking it! I've tried a few other flavored waters, but it seems I never drink them fast enough and then they get warm and don't taste very good. Then my sister-in-law Janis brought me a bottle of Sam's Choice Mandarin Orange Water. I love this stuff! It tastes a lot like Sunkist Orange Soda. Its carbonated and definitely doesn't make me hungry. It even tastes good when its warm. Its available at Sam's Club and Walmart and retails for $.68 per bottle (at least in my area). We drink bottled water anyway since we are on well water. Even though we have a filtration system, the water doesn't taste very good (and now there's some question as to whether or not the water is safe to drink...have you heard about Erin Brokovich and her latest case...investigating the possible cancer cluster....yeah...that's my neighborhood...but that's another post!). So, now that I've found the Sam's water, I am drinking more water and actually a little bit less Diet Coke and energy drinks! They have lots of other flavors, but Mandarin Orange is my favorite by far!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jewelry Tags

I've been giving a lot of thought over the recent months to additional ways I can advertise and promote my jewelry that would be relatively inexpensive, or even free! An area that I am missing out on is if my jewelry is given as a gift. While the buyer is aware of my shops since that's where they made the purchase from, there is nothing on my jewelry that would indicate where it came from to the receiver. I've always sent my jewelry out in sealable poly bags (to help reduce tarnish or color changes) that are placed in a velour drawstring pouches. So I enlisted my neighbor Jeanette, who happens to be a graphic design artist, to create some jewelry tags. I wanted something fairly simple that wouldn't really categorize my jewelry since it runs the gamut from everyday to elegant to outright funky! I think she nailed it! I love the way they turned out. In addition, I am adding a label to the back that indicates the materials, my stock number, the length and the price. I think the tags add a professional look to the jewelry. I've asked her to also create a tag that's a little more funky and wild for specific pieces. Once that's done, she's going to design some business cards based on the tags. I'm so excited!!! The hardest part was trying to decide which website to list on the tags. There's only so much space, and I didn't want to make them any larger. After some thought, I decided to go with my Etsy shop since it's really my main site (and my other sites are listed there). The business cards will definitely have all of the sites. I would love to know what y'all think...positive comments and constructive criticism are always welcome and much appreciated!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

August Trip - Ocala National Forest

Back in August, Dave and I visited my sister and brother in law in Archer (between Ocala and Gainesville) for a long weekend. We brought the ATVs as they live in a rural area like us, and you can ride the ATVs on the dirt roads. We also planned an outing to the Ocala National Forest. They have approximately 130 miles of trails that you can ride the ATVs on. We'd never been there, and neither had Chris and Rich. We had a great time. Some of the trails were pretty mild...long, wide and straight. And then some of the trails were very technical...high banked berms, tight turns and whoops!!! We had a great time the entire weekend. It was nice getting to see Chris and Rich. Did I mention Rich is an excellent cook?! OMG...the homemade pizzas were out of this world!Chris and Rich
Dave - I love this picture so much I had it printed as an 8 x 10
Rich - way out in front on the trail!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Blonde Joke

I was reading one of the blogs I follow, EsThings, and her latest post was a joke about a blonde. I'm going to follow her lead (since I'm also blonde) and post a blonde joke. I think this is one of the funniest I've heard.

A blonde calls her boyfriend and says, "Please come over here and help me. I have this killer jigsaw puzzle and I can't figure out how to get it started." Her boyfriend asks, "What is it supposed to be when it's finished?" The blonde says, "According to the box, it's a tiger." Her boyfriends decides to go over and help with the puzzle. She lets him in and shows him where she has the puzzle spread all over the table. He studies the pieces for a moment, then looks at the box, then turns to her and says, "First of all, no matter what we do, we are not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a tiger." He takes her hand and says, "Second, I want you to relax. Let's have a cup of coffee and then," he sighed, "Let's put all the Frosted Flakes back in the box."

That was GRRREAT!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bracelet Focals - Stephanie Hanson

I received these great pieces the other day from Etsy artist Stephanie Hanson. I can't wait to incorporate them into some new jewelry pieces. Stephanie is a mixed media artist and horse lover. Her shop has been one of my favorites for a long time, but these clay focals were actually my first purchase. I will definitely be back for more!!! You can read more about Stephanie on her blog. I'll be sure to post some pics once the new pieces have made it from my brain to the bench!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Just for Fun

One of the blogs I follow, The Lost Earring, posted the other day about the options on your cell phone camera (or digital camera for that matter) that you may or may not know about. She was specifically talking about the "negative"option and requested that folks take pics using this option and send them to her so she can post them on her blog. I've decided to pass this along 'cause it's just for fun...no prize to win, no guidelines to follow, etc. I think too often we get caught up in what we have to do in life, and forget to take some time to do something just because it's fun (you know...the old stop and smell the roses...just this time when you stop, take a pic of them in negative mode!). I think it will be interesting to see what people come up with. Click on this link to the actual post for information on how to send the picture to her. I was so intrigued, I tried it immediately. This is the pic I sent...it's me sitting in my office at my "regular" job (now...before you even go there...I wasn't goofing off on company time...I was on lunch...just trying to use MY time wisely and take care of some jewelry "stuff")!
It reminds me of the movie "The Patriot" where Heath Ledger's girlfriend puts ink or dye in his tea and turns his teeth black!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Quote of the Week

Keep true, never be ashamed of doing right; decide on what you think is right, and stick to it. -George Eliot

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Trampoline Dog Video

Thought I would share this video I found on myspace.

The Trampoline Dog

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Shine Fights - MMA Event

Dave and I are HUGE fans of mixed martial arts (i.e., ultimate fighting, cage fighting, etc). We watch almost all of the UFC events on pay-per-view and WEC events on Versus. We would love to attend a live event, but it in our opinion, it's not really worth it unless you are within the first 10 rows of the cage. Unfortunately, those tickets are very pricey (starting at $500 to well into the thousands!) and that doesn't include airfare and hotel. We attended our first live event last December at the UCF Arena in Orlando. I found out about the event weeks after the tickets had been on sale and wasn't able to get tickets anywhere near the cage. I really wanted to attend a live event, and I was able to find seats in the first row of the first level off the floor. They were pretty cheap ($40) and since we wouldn't need a hotel we decided what the heck! Even if the seats sucked, we hadn't spent that much money and we would have a better idea for the next event. This event was put on by Cage Warriors and it was an excellent production. Our seats were pretty good, too. The energy in the air at a live event is incredible...we were definitely hooked. Hence, it then became my task to find more live events that we could attend. Unfortunately, because of the geography of the state of Florida (long and narrow) and the fact that we live in the southern part, its hard to find events that are within a two hour drive. Most productions don't want to hold events in the southern part of the state because it's harder to draw a large crowd. That actually goes for all kinds of events like horse shows, concerts, etc. Finally in June of this year I happened upon an event that was taking place in Miami. Now, Miami is only about an hour and a half drive, but neither Dave or I particularly care to go Dade county (most of it has to do with language...in that part of the state they seem to have forgotten that English is the language spoken in America). But we made an exception because I was able to score cageside seats at a fairly reasonable price! I was so excited...I had waited for this opportunity for so long. Have I mentioned that we are really BIG fans?! This particular event was put on by Shine Fights and while they need to work on some of the details (they started 45 minutes late, the boxes the camera guys stood on were way too big...blocked some of our view, and we had one of their productions guys stand up in front of us for the entire first fight) it was a pretty good event for only their second major production. By the way, I have sent the head guy an e-mail with my suggestions (I watch a lot of these events so I consider myself to be very will informed and my opinions educated!!!). They actually pulled in some pretty big name fighters...guys who had previously fought in the UFC or WEC but whose contracts had been dropped do to a loss. There were also a lot of big names (as far as in the MMA world) in the crowd and corners of the fighters. Specifically Cole Miller who has fought in both the WEC and UFC was there supporting his brother, Micah, Mike Brown, currently the WEC Featherweight champion was there supporting one of his fighters out of the American Top Team gym, and coach Fiore from Matt Hughes H.I.T squad was there supporting one of his guys.

Friday, October 2, 2009

4th of July

I know...I know...that was months ago. Well, during our vacation last week, we finally finished taking the rest of the pictures that were left on our 2 disposable cameras. I tend to lean towards the disposables just 'cause most of the time we're doing stuff in which a digital camera could easily be damaged!!!. In any case, there were lots of pictures from 4th of July weekend when our family came to visit. We had such a great time!Dave and Branden

Belinda and Autumn

Janis and Belinda

Janis on the dirtbike...yay!!! (kind of hard to see in the pic...look on the road to the right between the pine tree and palmetto bush)

The mudhole at the end of the block

Me and my sistas!!!