Sweet Stormy Weather Plus Etsy Do-Over

Dearest Readers,
Spring is slowly fading away and giving up ground to Summer with storms and hungry weather. Please be careful out there as these storms can be intense. About two nights ago there was rain and the patter lulled us to sleep as well as washing the pollen down. Storms will rage throughout the seasons this year and bring the rain, glorious rain.

I have been weeding the herb plots today and can say I wish there was a way to grow and use weeds over the herbs, but then the herbs would be weeds and would choke out the real weeds. My nemesis the weeds have been mostly plucked and I will have to start cheering on my mint plants. Strangely and happily my fever few has seeded itself all over the place instead of dying like the instructions said it would. The rose bush my neighbor gave us because it was scrawny and in the way is now loaded with buds ready for rain and sun in order to bloom. I have sweet flag in a damp spot of the garden and it has come through the brief snows we had. The Joe Pye Weed is coming back up and the one lone stalk of May Apple is back again. The agaves in my yard have settled in nicely and I hope there will be more sun on them if we trim the tree branches that are out over the street.

I have been feeling overly pouty and depressed lately from the FM pain so I went shopping. Yes indeedy shopping is a particularly wonderful therapy and great alternative when not digging rocks. I drove my ibuprofen laden self to the best shopping around: Guardian Angel Thrift Store in Fuquay Varina. This charity does INCREDIBLE support for Alzheimer’s research and now has The Little Angel next door. They have grown my cook books, my sewing stash, my jewelry, my clothing, and supplied lots of items for my husband’s crafts/modeling. (And for those of you that are like me and watch What Not To Wear the clothing is good enough to get a grudging smile from the hosts of the show. At least I have people ask me where I shop and they aren’t shaking their heads in pity when they ask me.) http://guardianangelthrift.org/

Our loving dog is still moping around and sad about Calvin having died. Sure we don’t sit over dog biscuits and tea and discuss our feelings but I can tell she is still lonely. At least she is somewhat happier than last week.

It is almost ten o’ clock right now and I can feel the warm moisture in the air flowing in the night breeze and ushering in the coming rain. How magical to feel the moisture and have that tingling at the back of my mind that this weather is old and fragmented, tired of traveling and ready to throw itself against the ocean wall.

I have thought and thought and decided that the best way to revive my Etsy is to redo the offerings. Sure I have friends say my stuff is great and they send me other sights to try and set my prices just right. Prices be d**ed1 The thing that suddenly hit me is that although I have always thought of collage as paper AND cloth AND ribbon AND beads all together, obviously no one else does. All the web sites I have gone to have all silk kimono material, all tie dye, all home made paper, or all watch pieces but none of it together. Suddenly bing! the light goes on. Offer all cloth Jane Austin themes or all paper themes but not some of both all together. Hey, I even bought a paper cutter to make things easier and am ready to cut and clip my way into profit. (I am being positive. Yipee!)

Megalodon is almost over so any readers that are near Raleigh, North Carolina, come and see the exhibit before it is over. Everyone is enjoying the sharks and fossils together in one exhibit. I have met so many great fossil hunters and rock enthusiasts during this exhibit. So bring your sharks teeth and visit us at the Museum of Nat. Sciences.

Be well and grow strong, gentle reader

Cold Fronts for Spring and Blessed Rain Over Rocks

Thursday night the cold front moved in like a stampeding herd, at first there is very little and you wonder if it will arrive at all and then all of a sudden the rain begins to pound onto the roof. For a few minutes my dearest one thought there may be a tornado but the long hollow rumbling was distant thunder. How glorious it was to feel the first drops of rain across my face.

The Gem Show over the weekend went well. It is always good to see the familiar faces of our trusted vendors every year. Even though the work is very stressful it is somehow rewarding to be Food Chairman. Love is hot coffee and a danish. So many of the children who show up seem to glow when we share our love of rocks and minerals. Several of my friends who love fossils showed up and had high praise for several of the vendors who sell fossils.

My other elderly kitten-cat died. Calvin passed away in my husband’s arms on Sunday. He had suffered a stroke that morning and while I was doing my rock show my beloved was cleaning up after a cat that had lost control of his back half. We lost two pillows off of the couch. We buried his little body beside his sister in the back yard. Left overs at the counter store have provided the “marble” to mark the little grave sites. We are still in a mild shock from the death even if we were waiting for it to happen.

My work on Etsy and anything else has been put on hold while I try to get my health and enthusiasm back. Plus since Wednesday I have done not much else than think about food for 75 people. I am thinking cabochon and art again so I hope my sleep will eventually catch up. It is very hard for me to work on a side business that makes no money, take care of my house, go to work, and try to worry about my piddly health. Perhaps I am making too many excuses and I really am just trying to sell items no one wants or I am the worlds worst sales chick.

Soon there will be more rocks coming into my life and fossils appearing and that is the silver lining to my rain clouds. My plants are growing, this burst of cool weather spurring on the lettuce and encouraging the squash to come out. Please be well while the winds blow the clouds and Spring holds on to its cool grip.

Be Well

Oversleeping and Etsy frustration

Yea! The last of Spring’s snow was beautiful and melted away like magic. The North and the East US as well as the Midwest are still waiting for Spring thaws but here in the South Spring is just beginning to peak out. I have rocks running through my head with the Spring flowers that pop up but my motivation has been low unfortunately.

I was going to go to Bessemer City but let me replay for you Saturday morning according to my beloved cutie patootie.
Alarm goes off at 3:15.
“Honey are you going to do your rocks?”
Snooz alarm is hit by spouse. 15 minutes passes.
“Are you getting up to go do rocks?”
“Uhuh…I think so. Yea, just gotta pee.” (Not unusual ’cause I usually need to pee at 3 in the morning. TMI for you? Get over it.)
I return and immediately fall asleep. ( I don’t remember this so I may have been asleep in the bathroom the whole time. One of those Mysteries only God knows.)
15 minutes passes.
“Sweety, do you think you are even going?”
“I don’t think so.”
Alarm turned off by spouse and I was already asleep.
My only excuse is that I was awake until 1:30 that morning and spunky here is no longer a spring chicken. I am rather angry at myself for not going but unless I can roll out of my tent, 3 o’clock is still a little early to go for rocks. Luckily for me some friends reminded me of of a greenway trail that has a river run through it and has lots of rocks. They looked for fossils without luck but I have higher hopes for rocks.

I would officially like to say that this Etsy thing Stinks!!!! My shop gets hits but no sales. Aaaarrrgghhh! The main thing I need to do is go on line and enter blogs that deal with collage and cabochons. OK I have no guts and no self esteem. I have absolutely no courage to go to other collage sites and say “Hi why does my site suck so badly?” In truth most collage sites I have found are from silk and cloth artists who make my mind spin with the delicate beauty and colors they sell. The difficult part is that fabric artists think there should be more quality cloth and those that sell just paper think there should be vintage paper in my offering or reams of paper in the mix. I was raised to believe that collage was and is a mixture of different media brought together by glue and thread and imagination. I really think that my ideas are good and that perhaps I need to offer more paper into the collage. The cost to me is almost nothing and my time is spent more cleaning the dining room table in order to cut stuff out than the cutting. (My darling and I live off of the dining table and our couch in the living room.) Now there is my time spent gathering the the paper and cloth but it is so “nothing” that I think it is almost a non issue. What I have to balance is paying myself more than two dollars an hour and how much to put in each pack. The cabs are lovely and will keep almost forever, it is the paper that has storage issues and that is really the third concern with the collage.

This month will bring lots of chances for rocks and also means that I have to get up my courage and talk with other bloggers about collage. This is not easy and I hope I can find someone that has stuff that I not only like but who can be helpful.

To make up for missing Bessemer City, I gardened all weekend. This was the weed pulling, leaf raking, dead plant pruning type of gardening. I much prefer the herb clipping flower plucking part but you don’t get one without the other. Right now is the time for the south to start planting the summer seeds like beans and squash. Luckily this spring should be rainy and help the plants to grow. I am ordering my seeds tonight so that they will arrive in time. Most of the seeds are minor plants and I have great hopes of things not dying off again this year. More bricks can come from my Father-in-law and the newer beds can be put in. No matter how much I love plants and herbs my brown thumb comes alive far too frequently. But with the new bed in a sunnier corner hope springs eternal.

I must admit to you I have a bad case of the “I wannas.” Chances are that I will be hitting my thrift store soon to try and satisfy the urge. The shopping urge is a strange thing and I wonder if it is normal to just woman or if men can get it too. I rarely hear men say “I just have to go shopping” or “I just want something.” Now I do know a fellow that goes to Build a Bear regularly with his wife but that can be put down to getting the good hubby award.

The nights are still chilly but the sun is warming and the rains are only a few days away. Enjoy what we have and pray about the moon and shadows as they grace the lawns and roofs of our homes and seep across the brick and stone.
Be well.

Spring in Winter

Now today is a spring like day! In the 60s and warm and sunny with a brisk wind. Last night the wind blew in a short storm and we could hear it blowing around the corners of the house. If this weather keeps up then I will have to go and weed my garden. This is a very warm winter and February better bring us back to winter weather and fast. For now relish the warmth and thin sunlight while it is here.

I now have four items on Etsy and hope in the four months I have that I will sell something. My beloved husband believes I should be selling thousands of dollars worth of cabochons and collage packs. I can’t thank him enough for believing in me. And then there is a Dear Friend that has spent hours on the phone and IMing trying to help me when the computer goes funny. Everyone needs some support structure and If you start your own business all by your own lonesome then hope to God you have a dog or cactus to talk to. I have checked my sight for miss spellings and to make sure the pictures look right. I made a light drum to show the transparency of the cabs and the best part is that you cant see how jury rigged it really is when you look at the picture.

I have a writers group every two weeks and I would like to say that you have never met a more talented group of people determined to get published. We read a new page or chapter every meeting and this forces us to write or to correct our stories . You have to keep righting and you have to keep working on a home business. Yesterday I created a sales ledger and put two more items up on the shop. Writers can have a hard time. Not only do you have to be good but to get published you have to rewrite your story and be told about your mistakes repeatedly. At least art is objective. (And yes I understand that Artists have it tough too. But today I am sympathizing with my fellow unpublished writers.)

I just went to my acupuncturist today and would like to sing the praises of TRADITIONALLY trained from China Acupuncturists: We love You!! For all of us in pain and with sleepless nights tired of swilling pain killers, you doctors are wonderful. And a thousand thanks to my beloved’s buddy that told him about acupuncture. And if you say “Oh no I’m scared of needles.” They aren’t really needles they are pins. Hey, I tend to get squeamy around needles and I fall asleep on the acupuncture table.

If you are down here in the South East, enjoy the warm weather for a while. Rocks and Sun to everyone.

Finally Did It!

I finally bit the bullet and put items up for sale on Etsy.  I took the advice of friends that unless I begin to sell a LOT of items should I have to worry about permits.  Everybody in north Carolina needs to remember sales tax.

This is a huge leap of faith for me regardless of if I sell anything.   I know my cabochons are good enough to sell and I have been told I have the “eye” for forming them.  I tried something and didn’t let myself talk me out of it. As trite as it may sound, and it can, sometimes you just have to do it. You can prepare for only so long. Luckily Etsy makes everything pretty easy. Now, I did take over thirty photos of cabochons on different backgrounds for half a day but a picture really can be worth a thousand words.

I can only thank those people who’s advice and shoulders I have been leaning on.

About the weather,  I hope every one has been enjoying the idyllic warm weather here in North Carolina; it went cold again today. Rain has poured like velvety cold curtains all day. A quietly grey day, soothing and somehow of a sensitive feeling to it. The rains of several days ago did indeed bring thunder to the night but today it is quiet and soft.

When I look out into the back yard and see the leafs and rain I am also looking on my little cat Hobbes’ grave. My husband put her four feet down and we put white rocks over the spot. The one that misses her the ,most is her litter mate Calvin. (Yes, we both liked the comic.) Cal may be 16 years old but the old-fart-kitty really dose miss his sister. Anyone who says animals don’t grieve can come and watch him look through all the rooms then start warble-meowing. To all of those people who have lost beloved pets be it a rat, dog, snake, or fish: Mourn well.

And with these sentimental but solemn words I leave you to your own thoughts and this night’s soothing caresses.

And it’s …SHOWTIME!

And that’s what this is in a way, a show for the world to see; a voyeuristic peek into someone elses life and thoughts. But I also want to offer a place for others to speak and be spoken to. I have an abiding love for rocks and stone and have found that there is not much else that Rock hounds like to do other than collect and admire rocks, and talk about the Rocks and Fossils they collect and admire.

Well its January and COLD here in the sunny South and I’m not collecting rocks. Yes, I know all you die-hard hunters out there have your winter coats on and a pick in hand but not me and not today.

I am trying to start a new business selling cabochons and art supplies on Etsy. I have half a mountain of rocks in the basement and enough material, beads, and yarn for a world ending holocaust. I am sorting through web pages and support groups for small businesses and up to my neck in well meant advice. My well meant advice: Find someone locally who can guide you. Almost all cities and town have small business advisers: Use them! Nothing sinks small businesses faster than not knowing how to manage pay scale and the IRS. Heavens knows I am leaning on every adviser, book, and friend I have.

And before I leave you I would like to just say there is not much else more sublime than a warm home, hot coffee, and delightfully cheep chocolate covered cherries on a cold day. If you are like my mom and can’t even get near a sealed box of Queen Anne cherries then reflect on one of the other two.

And now back to the tax books.