Thursday, October 30, 2008

It takes a long long time

So anyone who knows me, or who has been reading this blog, knows that I LOVE music. I must have inherited this from my parents, who also love music, albeit totally different stuff.

It started when I was around 7 or 8 and got MTV and started listening to the radio, and that love affair hasn't ended, though my tastes have changed (improved?) along the way.

It's actually pretty hard for me to find new bands that I like because I'm picky, and I have such a wide variety of stuff I like already, that I'm not terribly motivated to seek out new music. It's a bit like shopping at Marshalls. Somewhere in there is that fabulous, high quality cashmere sweater for a steal, but you've got to dig through a whole lot of crap to find it. And most days, I'm just not in the mood to do that.

During a Happy Hour at work, a coworker played this song with this awesome female voice, and it was sort of twangy but rockin' at the same time and kind of sad. The closest comparison I could make was Brandi Carlile, but with a clearer, stronger voice.

And it was *awesome*. It's a (sort of) local band called Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs, and they're from Ellensburg. Check them out:

Turns out this co-worker knows them, so he invited them to come and play at Microsoft for a charity event we were holding. He didn't announce it until a couple of days ago, since they were waiting to see if the weather would be ok. But I was totally excited about this - a company event to actually look forward to! None of the usual Go-Karting/WhirlyBall/BBQ with screaming children.

So I grabbed my laptop and hung out and did a little work while they played today, for a couple of hours. And they are one of those bands who sounds AMAZING live. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon, huh?

But wait, there's more. The charity event had a raffle, and one of the items being raffled off was to have Star Anna play at the location of your choice (like a party at your house, etc.).

And guess who won that?? That's right, ME!! I am such a lucky girl today, it's unreal. Free concert by awesome band *and* awesome band coming to play at my house sometime? That is too freakin' cool. I am already trying to figure out what kind of blowout party I could have.

But wait, there's still more! One of the other raffle items was a cooking demo/dinner party with Chef Jason Wilson of Crush, a swanky restaurant in Seattle. And guess who won that one? That's right, ME AGAIN! I nearly fell over when they called my number that second time.

So I am all done with gambling/lottery/anything else that involves luck, because I think I've used it all up now. I'm so excited, about both of these events, I can hardly stand it.

So what good things have happened to you lately?

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm going to the moon

Ahhh, it's finally the weekend. I get to finally catch up on Etsy and jewelry orders. Which is an awesome place to be, business wise, but since I'm the kind of person who doesn't like "action items" hanging over me, I am kinda anxious to get them done.

The maddening thing about working on jewelry during the pre-holidays is that it's almost always a gift for someone, so my big blabbery self can't talk about it or show you pictures. I'm really thrilled about some of the pieces I have on deck, so maybe in the New Year, I'll post some pics and you can really understand what I've been so busy doing! Or maybe I'll actually dust off my Flickr account and really start using it.

The Seattle Times Pet Dish article definitely got me some additional doggie tag orders (at least 6 that I know for sure), and that was boosted by the fact that the article was actually linked from the *front page* of the Seattle Times website for about a day. The CityDog editor sent me an email letting me know, which was really nice of her.

In other news, I kinda sorta realized that I have a very limited time left to take my Project Management Professional (PiMP) certification exam. Like, only a couple of months. And given my Etsy business picking up, plus the fact that I signed up to sell my warez at the REI Holiday Bazaar (which went swimmingly last year!), it's just another thing to add to the schedule. But it has to be done or else I would need to go through their uber-painful web application process again.

So lucky me, Microsoft is paying for me to take an exam prep course next week. But when I tried to register for the test, I found out I am one of the lucky few PMI chose to audit. Grrrrr. So I need to track down some previous managers, and then submit a bunch of paperwork and hope that the PMI folks approve my application quickly so I can take the exam before all the cramming falls out of my head. ARGHHHHHH!

On the bright side, the 4 day intense prep will likely cut my studying time WAY down. Also it'll get me back into the test taking, studying frame of mind so that when I'm finally cleared to take the exam, and schedule it, I'll be ready. Then I'll be BIG PiMP'n.

But right now, all I want to do is cuddle up with my big down comforter and maybe a dog. So I'm off. G'nite everyone!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Here Comes the Flood

Title courtesy of Peter Gabriel and last week's Grey's Anatomy episode. I totally love the fact they name their episodes after song lyrics too. I think it means we're meant to be together :)

And speaking of meant to be together, my fabulous husband finally convinced me to learn how to use a Dremel (excuse me, I mean a rotary tool) for the finishing steps on my dog tags. He couldn't find his, so we took a late night trip to Sears yesterday and bought their last one. OH MY GOD this thing is amazing. What used to take me 15 min or so *per tag*, for filing and polishing, now takes just a few minutes!

I made about 6 tags yesterday and didn't cut myself once. When I was filing by hand, I cut myself nearly once per tag-making sessions. I'm all for suffering for your art (sort of) but actual injury seems a bit excessive, right?

Summary: I LOVE my new Craftsman rotary tool.

Tool excitement aside, something REALLY BIG AND EXCITING happened to me yesterday. I was minding my own business at work, trying to actually get some work done, when I noticed the email notification that I had a new Etsy 'conversation', which is the internal messaging system on Etsy.

So I clicked over to see what it was - I've gotten a couple of interesting potential customer requests lately about custom made orders, and the Etsy system does not think highly of spam, so the signal to noise ratio is pretty high.

And ZOMG, the message I got was from CityDog magazine, asking if I could send them some sample tags for a photo shoot they're doing for their holiday gift issue. Holy zoiks!

Now even if it had been "Granny's Cross Stitch Quarterly Newsletter" with a circulation of 3, I would have been stoked for the free promotional opportunity. But this is a magazine I've actually paid money for. More than once! It's available in most swanky pet stores in the area.

So of course, I fired off an email saying I'd be happy to make them some sample tags with fake info on them. And that's what I was doing until 1am to make sure they'd get into today's mail. Behold the sample tags for Peanut, Spike, Ginger, and Frank.

Frank is the longhaired mini dachschund I don't have yet. Right now he lives with a family in a Belltown condo, but once they have a baby and decide to get rid of him, he'll be all mine. (Note: Frank is purely fictional, but someday I will have a dachschund. And he will be named Frank. I just thought I should have a good story to go along with the tag I made for him.)

So I guess before I start counting unhatched chickens, I should temper that with the fact that they probably requested products from lots of different people, and I might not make it into the issue. So I'm trying to be cautiously optimistic here.

But I am still secretly very excited. And of course, will post here if I do make it!

And even better, for the instant gratification, the editor of CityDog also writes an online column for the Seattle Times called Pet Dish (cute, I know!). So yesterday she also told me she was going to feature me there too. Yippee!

Check out the article and leave a comment there so I'm not the only one, please :)

Thanks everyone for your support and reading my blathering about crafty subjects.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

And we all shine on

Wow, I guess a woman's got time for crafts, keeping the house in decent shape, or a blog, but not all three :)

These past several days have had the theme of "Crafty Good Karma". I got an Etsy 'Conversation', which is like an email, from a local seller who needed help setting up her shop. Since I was all relaxed from my vacation, I said "sure, why not" and set up a time to meet her at a local restaurant with free wireless Internet access. She gets help on the technical side of posting items on Etsy and I get to eat a fabulous quesadilla, so everyone wins.

I met her at the restaurant and walked her through the process of listing a new item, how to resize pictures, save them in a folder to organize them, and then upload them to Etsy. All in all a couple of hours, not too bad. She offered to pay me in cash, but seriously, I didn't need to be paid for that. But when I saw her gorgeous jewelry, I asked her if she would make me something cool. I am so excited to receive the necklace she's making me. You'll see why when you check out her Etsy shop.

She makes the cutest necklaces out of old rosaries and prayer medals and all sorts of vintage, upcycled components. Very awesome.

The next event in my theme of "Etsy Good Karma" was that the winner of a charity auction for my high school finally contacted me. I had donated a custom-made necklace and earring set back in the spring, and had exchanged a few emails with the winner, but she went on vacation, and I went on vacation, and no progress was made on this project. But finally she told me what she wants, so I'll get started on her project this weekend. Yippee!

And then it hit me. I love making jewelry, but it's not the majority of what I sell on Etsy. My magnets and stamped dog tags sell *much* better than my jewelry. And yeah, I could make lots of jewelry for myself (I'm working on it!). But I realized I could satisfy my jewelry making fever by making gifts for people, and *also for donations to charity auctions and raffles*.

So I can actually *do good* with my jewelry. How cool is that? So far I've committed to another custom necklace and earring set for my company's Annual Giving Campaign raffle, and also for a final fundraising auction for Barack Obama's campaign.

I'm not really down with giving money to political campaigns, but Obama has a way of making people want to give him money :) Maybe that makes him a really good (salesman) politician, but whatever he's selling, I'm totally buying into it. Smart and articulate? Sign me up, dude.

I suppose that's an indication of how low our standards have gotten for politicians. Speaks in perfect sentences, check. Coherent and makes sense, check. Top notch college and graduate degrees, check. Bingo, you are now the best candidate for President of the United States. Seriously, anyone can win, even raging idiots who drive drunk, can't speak, and are on vacation all the time, so if you meet the criteria above, you must be preordained.

So anyway, I can assuage my conscience by not actually giving him money, but donating a custom jewelry design option for an auction event to raise money. You can see my donation as well the details and signup link for the Halloween Bash here.

Pretty cool, huh? And now I'm off to make more jewelry. Because I'm pretty close to getting *behind* in my orders now. Yikes.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Back home again

Yay! We're back home, safe and sound, with one day left before I have to go back to work. It's really nice to have this extra day of "vacation buffer". In my case, I'm working on 13 stamped tag orders, so I'm a very busy girl today. I found that filing all those tags is easiest while watching TV, and I caught up on a couple of episodes of Law and Order and last week's Project Runway.

Why, oh why, can't they get rid of Kenley on PR? Oh right, because annoying == good TV. Sigh.

This morning, TJ, puppies, and I went for a brisk walk at Marymoor in an effort to become less flabby. Though Peanut managed to lose some weight on our trip by following the Peanut Diet, which amounted to skipping breakfast and then eating only 3/4 of his total day's food (if we were lucky) at dinnertime. Now we can see his waist, which is cool, but a little sad for him and his disrupted eating schedule.

Funny though, the minute we got home and fed him in his own big ceramic bowl, he ate every last bit. I guess he really is sensitive about his routine, huh? I think he had a good time, but is REALLY happy to be home, with his own food bowl, bed, and lazy habits :)

Now I'm off to take a bit of a nap. ZZZZZ.

sharing is nice

Related Posts with Thumbnails