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, September 1, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Money Monday - Credit Cards

Credit card debit is one of the most popular reasons people give when asked why they are not saving money. In reality, it's not the credit card that's the problem, it's the interest rate. The average interest rate on a credit card is 18%. To make matters worse, most people are only making the minimum payment each month. Here's an eye-opening little piece of information. If you have a balance of roughly $12,000 on a credit card with an interest rate of 18% and only make the minimum payment each month, it will take you approximately 33 years and 4 months to pay off that card. And that's assuming you don't charge anything else. The most astonishing fact about this is that it will have ended up costing you $29,616 to pay off that $12,000 balance!

The easiest and most effective way to pay off your credit card balance is to get your credit card company to lower the interest rate. Here are some steps to follow to do this:

  1. Find out how much interest you are currently paying (take a look at your most recent statement - the interest rate is usually listed on the bottom of the last page in a table)
  2. Find out what rates the competition is offering (this doesn't mean apply for a card with a lower rate. It just means find out what is being offered so you have some data when you call the bank. Check out www.bankrate.com)
  3. Talk to someone who can make a difference (call the customer service number listed on your statement and immediately ask for the supervisor of the person who answers the phone as first tier support doesn't have the authority to change rates. Tell the supervisor what the competing rates are, and if your bank doesn't lower your rate, you intend to transfer your balance to the competitor)

Lowering your interest rate means it will cost you less to pay off your credit card debt. This is an important part of earning your financial freedom!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bulldog Video

Happened across this video and just had to share. I love the underbite and the way her little tongue sticks out. But, the funniest part has to be when the guy filming can't hold in his laughter anymore and the dog looks at him! Gotta' love them bully breeds!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Money Monday

I've been reading a lot of books lately, mostly of the self-help genre with an emphasis on money & finances. While I am no expert in the area, I thought I would pass along some of the tidbits I read. Couldn't everyone use a little help considering the current state of the economy? So, from this, "Money Mondays" are born!

I am currently reading "Start Late, Finish Rich" by David Bach. This book is full of interesting information and is an easy read. For this installment I'd like to start off with an excerpt from this book. When I read it, I found it to be simple, yet thought-provoking and motivational.

"The fact is, you don't get in life what you wish for. You get in life what you go for.

People choose their lives.
People choose their actions.
People choose their outcomes.
Life is a cause set in motion.
And life is not over until you quit."

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Mighty Lizard Hunter

I was sitting at the computer the other day when I heard our pitbull, Doom, making a fuss at the sliding door. He was stomping his feet and emitting a raspy noise that is part growling and party heavy breathing (I have always been so thankful that Doom is a very quiet dog...doesn't bark at random noises. In fact, he very rarely barks unless he's excited. More often it's a growl, which suits me fine since usually if he's growling, it's because he's heard or seen something outside the house that isn't "right".) I grabbed the camera and took this little video. Oh, how he would have loved for me to open the door so he could chase that fat lizard around the patio! And, at the end of the video when he tilts his head back to look at me, notice the green dot between his eyes. That was from rolling in the grass earlier in the day!


Monday, May 17, 2010

CC & "Cash"

I was at the neighbor's barn yesterday and happened to snap this cute pic of CC and "Cash" (not sure that's going to be his name, but so far it's the front runner). Cash tends to stand under the hay when CC is eating so he can eat the hay that falls to the floor. His back winds up being covered in hay! It's been cool to be around him as he grows. He's getting taller and so far is turning out exactly as the neighbor had hoped. She bred him specifically for his cutting genes. I'll try to get more information on his lineage and post about it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Quote of the Week

"You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction." --George Lorimer, editor and writer

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Fresh from the Tumbler

Here are my latest creations, fresh from the tumbler. Looks like I'm on a copper kick again! All of these pieces are currently available in my Etsy shop.


All That Glitters is not Gold - Copper and Chinese Crystal Y-style Necklace

Drops of Lava - Red Agate and Copper Lariat Style Necklace

Alice in Chains - Copper and Fossilized Coral Bracelet

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Etsy 30% Off Anniversary Sale

I'm having an anniversary sale in my Etsy shop. Today marks my 3rd anniversary on Etsy, so all items are 30% off. I will refund 30% of the purchase price (not including shipping) through PayPal. This sale is good through 11:59pm EST on 05/12/10. So, please visit Shelly's Stuff, where the jewelry is affordably priced and meticulously handcrafted!

http://shellysstuff.etsy.com

Wednesday Whispers


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Inspiration

"When life knocks you down, roll over and look at the stars."

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hot Off the Bench

Here are my latest creations, all of which have been listed in my Etsy shop. I am trying to break through my normal boundaries when it comes to color. This is one of the hardest things for me when it comes to creating jewelry. I tend to be very "monochrome", even in my own wardrobe. I wear lots of black, brown and neutrals. What's funny is I can remember being this way as a child. I remember my mom taking me shopping for school clothes when I was in elementary school and even way back then I had "issues" with color. If she picked out a blue pair of pants, then I had to have a blue top that matched the pants EXACTLY. There could be no difference in the shade of the color...and of course, it had to be a blue top. It couldn't be pink or red or some other color (well, except for white because white matches with everything!). Weird, huh?


Everything But the Kitchen Sink - multi stone bracelet

Hot Fudge Sundae - Magnesite, fossil bead, ceramic and sterling silver bracelet

After Midnight - multi stone memory wire bracelet

Friday, May 7, 2010

Favorite Things Friday

One of my most favorite things is our American Pitbull Terrier, Doom. I've owned several dogs in my life, but this one is very special. He is incredibly smart and has a huge personality. He's also a regular on my blog as he provides good content! He should be the "poster child" for pitbulls as he would change the bad image that many people have of this amazing breed. He is a big love bug and cuddle hound, but is also my ardent protector and just naturally knows when to do his "job". These are some recent photos:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Uh Oh!

This past weekend we attended the Spring Sling mudfest at Triple Canopy Ranch. We're always amazed at (1) some of the vehicles people are driving in the mud and (2) what they attempt to do. This series of photos exemplifies that. This guy apparently didn't watch anyone else go through this mudhole before he attempted to do so. That's Daves first rule...never attempt a mudhole you haven't already watched someone else go through 'cause you never know how deep it is! The truck had to be pulled out. When the passenger opened up their door, a flood of muddy water came rushing out. Bet the driver was glad the guys in the back saved the coolers from floating away as I'm pretty sure he probably wanted to drink heavily after this!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Handcrafted Jewelry Giveaway

Shelly's Stuff is having a handcrafted jewelry giveaway on Facebook. Click this link for all the details. Entry is easy so don't pass up on the chance to win this great pair of earrings! Deadline for entering is 11:59 pm EST on Sunday, 05/02/10.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I'm Back!!!

After a brief hiatus, I'm back to making jewelry and blogging. I hadn't planned on being away, but found I had hit a creative block when it came to creating new pieces and deciding on items to blog about. There were many days when I sat down at the bench and nothing...no ideas. So, I would then move over to the computer and sign in to my blog, and again...nothing. Instead of torturing myself by forcing something, I decided to concentrate on other things knowing that the block would eventually pass. Some of the other "projects" include painting the interior of the house, a general decluttering of all closets and cabinets, promoting Str8 Jab, and working on the latest Jeep project with Dave. All of these things have left me feeling accomplished, refreshed, and refocused. With that said, here are my latest creations all of which have been posted in my Etsy shop.



Melon Slices - Pink coral, Bali, and sterling silver earrings


A Walk in the Forest - Rhyolite, riverstone, Swarovski pearl and sterling silver necklace


Men's brecciated jasper and hematite necklace


Blue mountain jade, Bali and sterling silver bracelet

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The New Colt - Video

I shot this video of the new colt and his mama, CC, this morning. Both are doing well, and CC is being a great mom!

Friday, April 2, 2010

We Have a Baby!

Ok, well not a human baby! My neighbor's mare, CC, gave birth to a black colt last night. Here are some of the pics! I'm keeping this short as I'm excited about getting over to the barn this morning!









Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

82nd Annual Arcadia Rodeo

A few weekends ago we went to the 82nd Annual Arcadia Rodeo, which is a PRCA sanctioned event. The cowgirls and cowboys at this event were trying to earn enough points to get to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in December. This is, without a doubt, the town's biggest event (Arcadia is a quaint, sleepy little town on Florida's west coast). Donnie Gay, 8 time world champion bull rider, was on hand to announce from horseback. It was so weird to hear his voice...used to hearing him announce on tv! The rodeo clown/bullfighter they had was great. He was incredibly funny and really kept the crowd going. They started off the event with mutton busting. For those of you who are not familiar with this event, go to You-Tube and search it...it's the funniest thing. Basically, they have young children, put helmets on them, place them on the back of a sheep and let the sheep run down the arena. The child who can hang on the longest wins! We're thinking we should enter our 6 year old niece, Amber next year. They also did all the "regular" events including bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc, bullriding, team roping, steer wrestling and barrel racing. We had great seats that gave us a perfect view for all the events except for the bull riding. In this arena, the bull chutes are on one of the sides (not at one of the ends like normal) and we were off to the side of them. When the bulls came out of the chutes, most of them stayed right there and went into their spins making it difficult to see. We'd never been to this arena before, so we didn't really know what to expect. We've all agreed, next year we'll get the seats that are right over the bull chutes. I have a great appreciation for those that ride horses well. I am quite the novice when it comes to riding, and I really have to work hard and think about what I'm doing (heels in and down, toes out, back straight, relaxed hands, reins even). I have no ambition to do anything more than be able to trail ride. I've only been as fast as a trot...I would like to get to the canter someday! In any case, I really like watching the barrel racing. At this event they had both the regular division and a junior division. These girls/women were fearless! Some of them really had horses that were acting up. The one reared several times and was refusing to do the pattern. The girl riding was so calm, and didn't give up until the horse gave in and did what she asked. The last event was the bullriding, which is definitely my favorite event (I'm a huge PBR fan...hoping to go to Vegas for the finals one of these years!). When they announced the last rider, Clayton Williams, I was kind of surprised. Clayton had been on the PBR tour just last year. A few years ago he had won the big PBR Challenger tour event in Oklahoma City and won enough money to land a spot in the top level of the PBR tour. I'm not sure what happened that he's no longer on the PBR tour, but was glad to see he is still riding. He sat on the bull chutes for a little while after his ride, and it didn't seem that anyone else realized who he was. I had the perfect opportunity to make my way over for a photograph and autograph, but (1) realized I didn't have a pen or marker on me since I didn't have my purse, and (2) Dave and the rest of my group had already made their way out of the stadium, so I had no one to take a pic of me with Clayton! Guess I should have told them what I was up to! I was able to snap a few good pics of him anyway. Can't wait until next year's event!





Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Str8 Jab Photo Shoot

This past weekend Dave and I went over to Florida's west coast to visit family. We had a great weekend and did such a wide mix of things (we threw darts at a pub, went to the rodeo, got tattoos...there will be a whole post about that, and did a photo shoot for Str8 Jab). We are so happy with the way the photos turned out and were finally able to post product pics on the website. Thanks to Janis, Bob and Erik for being our models. I also found out Dave has another talent...he's great with the camera. He was so good at setting up the shots! We came up with lots of ideas for the next shoot and I'm very excited about how things are going. The website still needs work, but since we're doing it all ourselves, I am pleased with it. I've found that the Go Daddy templates are not nearly as easy to work with as they would have you believe. I've felt very limited in where I can place items on the site and there just isn't enough flexibility. I'm going to be exploring the option of building the site with Wordpress and then transferring that to Go Daddy. I've heard that Wordpress works more like a blog (which I like) and I've seen some sites that people have built with it. We've talked about having someone build the site for us, but we're just not ready to invest that kind of money until we start seeing a little more cash flow. We're doing a lot of social networking (check us out on Facebook and Twitter) and trying to build up our fan base. I'm hoping to start a Myspace page this weekend. We have learned a lot about screen printing and the apparel business after going through this first run of shirts. We are discussing what direction we want to go in for the next run. We know we want to add additional colors as option for the shirts. We'd also eventually like to do beanies, hats and hoodies. We're hoping to have some of these additional items in production by the end of April. Once we have those, we are going to select a couple of mixed martial arts events to set up a booth at. For now, we are going to stick with some smaller, non mma events where the vendor fees and the competition are also smaller! I would love to hear from y'all...opinions, comments, suggestions, questions, etc! Doesn't matter if you're a fan of MMA or not as I know Bloggerland has many talented and creative people. Please feel free to contact me through this blog (comments are ALWAYS welcome and appreciated), via email at info@str8jab.com, or on our Facebook fan page for Str8 Jab (click here). I look forward to hearing from you!

PS...for those of you waiting for the follow up to the copper etchings I did...I still haven't gotten around to oxidizing and polishing those pieces yet! Thought I was going to have time to do it last week before we went away for the weekend, but that didn't quite work out. Maybe tonight...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Copper Etching - 2nd Attempt

Last night I made my 2nd attempt at copper etching. In my first attempt (which is detailed in yesterday's blog post) the resists I used didn't work that well and I didn't get the detail of the design. This time I used a paint pen to mark the design on the copper discs. This worked much better. The pictures below show the discs after they'd been dunked in the baking soda bath. I plan on oxidizing and polishing them to highlight the design (if all goes well, I'm going to do that tonight and will post pics by Saturday). You can see the edges are a little rough and I believe that's because the etch actually came through the masking tape from the back of the disc. I should probably apply a resist to the back and then the masking tape. But, I like the way they turned out kind of rough...I'd like to think it adds to their handmade charm! I like the way the paint pen worked as a resist, but I definitely won't be able to use it for more detailed designs as the point or nib is a little too thick and doesn't allow for drawing fine lines. I did pick up some embossing powder to use with the Stayzon ink, but haven't had the chance to try it out yet. I believe that will work best for more detailed designs.