Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Letter on HealthCare

When will we start seeing health care as a right instead of a privilege?

Being a Registered Dietitian since 1997, I have seen a few different types of health care. I was in the Army, and experienced health care that was provided with no deductibles, no copays and some wait time but not much. After leaving the military, I have had the "privilege" of being employed full time and having health care as an option to pay for. I pay for the benefit for me and my family to the tune of over $500/month, plus co pays and deductibles. The system we have now is neither fun or cost effective. I am also a disabled veteran, and have the opportunity to experience the VA health care system in relation to my disability. Health care with no co pays but with extensive wait times.

So, why did I just explain all of that to you?

Because I have been listening to Congress debate the health care issue for the past several months and I am appalled. To those who have not had the opportunity to work in our health care system, I say you are missing out. It is a very good example of a CASTE system, with levels of care that relate to your ability to pay. And if you cannot pay, you may die of a preventable illness. IN AMERICA? WOW!

I think we should look at health care the way we see public education systems. We as a country would never take away the public school system, and we provide this education to make our country a better place. There are private schools you can attend if you like, but many of our public schools are excellent! Would you say today that someone does not have a right to be educated? Yet, that is exactly what we do with health care. And that is much more of a life or death issue if you ask me. So, we feel that a basic level of education is a necessity and are willing to support it with our dollars. But not the health and well being of our citizens. WHAT?

We should provide clinics and basic health care to all of our citizens, and I don't mind paying for some of it because GUESS WHAT - I already am. Everyone who goes to the ER with a CANCER and gets extensive end of life treatment for a problem that could have been solved sooner through preventative measures costs $$$. Who pays for that? Each and every person with insurance and the suffering of that individual adn their family are not without measure. There is not a price we can set on a life, yet we do when we refuse basic service to our country men.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Training our Boxer Puppy - Cali

I have had the responsibility of taking our new boxer puppy to the training sessions on a weekly basis at Petsmart. We have a really good trainer, and when we get out of the car at Petsmart Cali practically runs to the training room. She just loves it!

But I had a revelation this last week. We are on week 5 and working on greeting strangers. And you work to have the dog sit to meet people. But we have a problem with her jumping on all of us at home. And the trainer says we are probably unconsciously reinforcing that behavior by rewarding it. So, I thought - hummm....

And then it hit me! We can get her to stop jumping on the little one by waiting for good behavior just like we would a stranger! And guess what? It works. She practically wiggles while sitting, but she is trying to sit to be greeted and we don't have to try to work around her jumping all over!

Just thought I would share - positive reinforcement and clicker training really work!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Will Power Again

So, this time it's a much better story. So far, since I started weight watchers, I have lost a whopping 18 pounds! Man, the clothes fit so much better. And I am hungry a little bit, but not much. And I have exercised once, so who knows what I could do if I got off my butt and started walking 3 days a week!

But I have to tell you that I have pop tarts almost every morning for breakfast, and they are 4 points a pop! So, in an effort to reduce the number of points I eat for breakfast - so I can eat them later - I tried the "Fiber" pop tarts.

Well, I actually kind of like the Strawberry Fiber One poptart - and it's only 3 points so that is kosher for me. Tastes a little dry but not too bad and I can eat it. I also tried the Kellogg's Pop Tart Brand Fiber Pop Tart in chocolate fudge and it was awful! Tasted like I was eating a dry piece of wheat toast. I thought I was eating wheat bread instead of chocolate. Not really worth it. Might feed it to the dog!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rambling thoughts...

Well, it’s a matter of will power. I don’t know where mine goes sometimes. I really want to lose weight, and I bought a dress to wear in my sister’s wedding (on ebay – custom made). I am going to have it made with a lace up back – my sister’s suggestion so I can get it made now and it can fit tighter later if I lose a lot more weight.

But the way it’s going, about 1 pound a week, is depressing. I am not sure how long I have weighed this much but I know it’s not good. So it’s progress in the right direction. And the clothes are looser, just not falling off. Hopefully I can get my wedding ring off soon. (Yep, I gained so much weight that I can’t get the darn thing off).

And I am so much better with will power when people are around. I find it funny that I have to psych myself up to go out to eat by myself so I won’t over eat. I am better to pick out what I want, order take out – like at Panera or Subway – and leave than to sit in a restaurant. It’s not so much that I even WANT to eat that much – I get full on way less food than I used to. It’s just a hard habit to break. And even though I can have it occasionally, I feel sad without dessert. It was my comfort and friend.

Things that make you go humm…

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thoughts and plans going well

I wanted to take today to be a thankful day:

1. I am thankful for my sister and her son. They are always helpful and willing to do what we need to get the job done. They are going to get a new member of the family soon - Kirk, and I will be thankful for him as well.
2. I am thankful for my husband. He is such a great dad and suffers through my traveling job where I am gone 4 days a week most of the time. He is supportive of the crafting business as well.
3. I am thankful for my local library. They keep me in books up to my ears, with minimal overdue charges. Yes, I am so happy I can sign up on line, walk in and pick up the books and leave.

Thank you for being part of my thankful day. What are you thankful for?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Book Review: Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Ah, a lovely read! I love the way Sophie makes me happy and sad at the same time... And even though I knew how it would end from midway through, I still WANTED to keep reading!

"Twenties Girl" by Sophie Kinsella - copyright 2009

"Where's my necklace?" That's how the story starts, at a funeral for a 105 year old woman. It's a ghost story that's not quite the same as every ghost story you have read. So, Lara, our heroine, gets roped into searching for a beautiful necklace for her great aunt Sadie. And through the twists and turns, and ups and downs, this book is a good read.

Sadie is a fun gal, who, even though she lived to 105 years old, never really got past her first love. Much like Lara is trying to do. Sadie is an impractical ghost, with many demands and an interesting way of getting what she wants. Sadie finds a man for herself, but needs Lara to do the "human" thing so she can go on a date with him.

Lara is trying to have a life, get over an old flame, start her own business and find a necklace. She does find the necklace, but it's just out of her reach. And, as she falls for Sadie's guy, she is torn between the kinship she feels for Sadie and the real feelings she is having for the guy.

A journey of Lara's leads to a discovery of information that helps Sadie to have some peace about how her life was lived out. And it reminds us that everyone is someone who has lived and enjoyed life no matter what we think about it. All of us have a story. And telling it sometimes makes us sad but nonetheless also gives us healing. And helps those who choose to listen.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Book Review: The Bride of Casa Dracula

This book is the 3rd in the series of books by Marta Acosta about a Milagro De Los Santos - a vampire book. You know I love the vampire genre. I have already read the other two books prior to this one.

"The Bride Of Casa Dracula" by Marta Acosta, copyright 2008.

I'm never quite sure why Milagro is so entranced with Dr. Oswald, but she is. I think she wants to be normal and no matter what she does, it just is not her. The cutting, the vampire council, and Ian. That's what this book is about.

Edna, her favorite foil, is off with her paramour, and Milagro is left to deal with Cornelia and Oswald. You get the feeling from the very beginning that Oswald wants Milagro to be normal as well. I honestly think that what he loves about her free spirit is what he eventually decides is the straw that broke the camel's back.

Milagro tries throughout the book to deny to herself that Ian is the best choice for her, and in the end I am still not sure I don't agree. But she gives in - to Ian - and it just seems to work. Her friend Nancy designs Oz and Milagro's wedding but alas, it is not to be.

I do wish that Milagro would not be so worried about taking a man's money - let them give it if they want I say. She has done without love for her entire life, her mother and her ethnicity against her. Perhaps she will decide she loves Ian after all. Perhaps she will become a nun - highly unlikely.

Part of Milagro's problem seems to be that she is trying to be what others want her to be, and not what her destiny is. I do hope that Ian means it when he says that is what he will give her. She deserves that much. And I hope in the next book she writes more stories and gets credit for them.

I could not put this book down, wondering what Ms. De Los Santos was going to do next. I hope you love it like I do.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

NickAnny's California Fox

We got a new puppy - a Boxer - about 6 weeks ago. Here's what she looked like a few weeks ago -


She's gotten even bigger now that she's a few weeks older. We have just loved having her - she's such a sweet puppy. She starts puppy class this weekend - I am taking her to Petsmart on Sunday. I hope she does well, my goal is to have her as a great companion and protector for the kids.

We call her Cali. I will update with more pictures soon.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Well, Here We Are Again!

I bet you thought I left you...

Nope, I went on vacation and then I started Weight Watchers. I have been on that program for about 4 weeks now and I am very happy to say I have officially lost about 8#. It's about control and thinking ahead and just portions. I have to say, it is not hard to follow at all.

So, even though I have been bouncing around, I promise that I have been working on some cool new stuff so I can show you! I am even working harder on my Facebook page. Thinking about making a Fan Page for NickAnny Creations.

No need to worry, I am also still going to do book reviews. I have one right now that I am working on so look for it soon.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Book Review: the end of overeating by David A. Kessler, MD

The End of Overeating (313 pages) is not my normal type of book to read, but I am an RD (dietitian) and I do find this body of work to be interesting because - I am overweight and overeat!

Wow, this book made me hungry. To start out with, most of the book is written at a great level for a person with a few years of college to understand. It promises to change the way you look at food forever, and I suppose it will. I can't look at a huge portion the same, and think, I can eat just half because Dr. Kessler is sure that I cannot stop at one.

This is a story about our insatiable appetite for sugar, salt and fat. Man, he describes so many delicious foods that I can't help but think of them while he's describing them. Which is what he is talking about, how we are obsessed with food and eating it - that it does not make us feel better only worse and through continued "conditioned hypereating" we gain more and more weight.

It is a rational explanation for the process our body goes through when we eat more than we need and more than we want. It seems to explain why we crave foods and eat food when we are full or satiated. He spends a great deal of the book explaining the phenomenon. So, I am clear when I say I understand how high sugar, fat and sodium lead me to eat more of the same.

But, nothing really of substance about what to do with it. I don't know if that is his plan, not to give us a guide but more of a description of the issue. He does say, eat less... Which all of us know. I can't say I am sure I like the amount of useful information in the book, because as a lay person I don't see a lot of use. Nonetheless, I am going to start working on logging my eating because of all of the things that work or don't, I think that helps the most.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A gift for the teachers

Well, at the school/day care that my children attend, it is almost time to change classrooms and get new teachers. So, time to say good bye to the current lovely ladies who have put up with my minions so far this year.

We got report cards and they are doing great. Teachers even claim that they will miss them. I know better - they will not even envy the next teacher.

But in an attempt to recover from some of the forgotten occasions and parties, I made a couple of items to give the teachers for their end of year.

Don't those look nice - it's a shea butter body balm that is scented like chocolate mint (good enough to eat) and a salt scrub that has a ocean breeze fragrance to it.

Easy to make, and I got the tins from Brambleberry. And guess what? The teachers loved them. I got some points back, not that I will ever get them all back.

So, I decided to add these items to my Etsy and Artfire shops. Look for them there with another item, the fizzy bath soak.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A pattern of concern

Just had to get this off my chest. I have an older sister, Tammy Bais Lively, who loves to buy new dogs and somehow they never seem to live more than 3-6 months (most of the time) before some interesting but terrible thing happens to them and they are gone. And then she is off to purchase another purebred dog.

The latest victim was a teacup Yorkie, who I think lasted about 4 months. This is a horrible pattern which I do not mean to make light of. I cannot say for sure that she is responsible for their untimely deaths but it has been happening for years. And up until now, I wasn't sure what to do about it. She lives in Texas and to be truthful, we don't get along well. I hear these things from my mom.

Evidence that not all of the dogs are doomed - my younger sister took one of the dogs a couple of years ago and named him Chance. She named him that for a reason! And he's still here today and is the sweetest dog.

So I decided to blog about it, and hope that the next person who is selling a purebred dog will look her up on the internet and see this post and not sell her a dog. Because chances are, they would be sentencing the dog to a short lived miserable life.

Book Review: Breaking Dawn (4th in the Twilight Series) by Stephenie Meyer

It only took me a couple of days to make it through the 754 pages of Breaking Dawn, by Stephenie Meyer.
I do disclose some information that you might not want to know, so be wary if you read. But I won't tell you the ending.

"All I really saw was Edward's face; it filled my vision and overwhelmed my mind" (Bella)

Breaking Dawn is about children, Renesmee in particular. But I will start at the beginning if I can. They actually got married! In the first few hundred pages, so I had to wonder, what's going to happen - and what's with all the foreshadowing of "innocent children" and Bella dreaming of babies. Well, it's not long before we learn that Bella is pregnant with Edward's baby.

And then we see things from Jacob's point of view, whom I feel very sympathetic to about Bella, and learn of Bella's struggles through his eyes. Finally, the time has come for the birth, and with a baby that is half vampire, half human - it's a rough go. Nonetheless - at this point there are too many pages left for Bella to die, so she does not. Becoming an excellent newborn vampire with amazing control, and her own special power - that is something I won't tell you. The final chapters are about the struggle to save her precious baby, Renesmee. From the ever present Volturi, who see this baby as a violation of the laws.

This writing is superb! She could have made this book into many, but she keeps it together as one. The foreshadowing and developments and surprises in this book are many and I must say - extremely creative without being outside of the realm of the "supernatural" reality we are in with the series. Things that happened in the first book are still making an impact in the 4th, which is something very unexpected.

And the love that a mother feels for her child, the ability to share her child with others, and the strength of her bonds to all seem to tie this book together. At times, I disliked all of the vampire family (the Cullens) - but not for long. Each of them returns to the easy and lovely person I have loved all along. I even disliked Edward, but only for a second and it's easily forgiven. So, yes, I am still in love with him!

And in the end, everything is resolved that I needed to know about to feel peace with the series and a feeling that it had closure. That was a wonderful feeling. But as my friend said, I miss Edward. Such a love that he feels for Bella and has waited for is not a trivial thing for adults much less a teen. This is my favorite book of the series, by far.

"Forever and forever and forever" he murmured. "That sounds exactly right to me".

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Complaint! Imagine that...

Ok, today was great and then miserable. I was in Denison, TX and doing a presentation that went extremely well - that was the great part.
THEN...
I went to Dallas Love Field to fly to Nashville. Lucky me, I got there a couple of hours early, so I thought! WHOA! There must have been 500 people trying to get through security. So, I went to the "other" security gate and it was backed up too! It took me 1 hr 30 minutes to get through security. Needless to say, I missed the earlier flight and I was standing near several people who missed their flights! I don't think it's Memorial Day, everyone was saying it has been like this for the past week. So, go early to Love Field if you are flying out, because TRUST ME - TSA does not care how long it takes.

And, I am reading Breaking Dawn so you will have a book review soon...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Book Review of the Week

I love Jennifer Crusie, she is such a great writer! I read her recent re-release of "Strange Bedpersons" this past week, and I think it's a winner!

First of all, I have read many books of hers, and I must say the newer books are very different, with stronger women and more complex plots. But, this one is as simple and lovely as they could be. I liked the spunk in Tess, the main character, but I felt the other people were superficially developed and could have had more depth. I kind of wondered what their motivation was, and throughout the book I was given hints but nothing solid. And my other thought is that Tess gives in too easily to Nick. For a feminist, she enjoys being taken care of.

But the story is fun, goes quickly and predictably, and the love is clear. I think it was a good read, and the sexual encounters are exciting and fun. Sort of like a harlequin romance, I knew how it would end but I did like the journey. And the interaction with Christine and Nick are worthwhile, she's a great secretary. So, I would say read this book if you can, you won't be sorry.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I got a blog award!






I got my first award! Yeah! Thank you so much little lady cakes!

So, I have to give the award to 15 other newly discovered blogs - which because I participate in SITS is not a hard thing to do!

Here goes -
1. Bluebirds living in the meadow
2. Lavender and Roses
3. The Entertaining House
4. Fairy Blog Mother
5. So Not Mom-O-Licious
6. Honest & Truly
7. Keeping up with the Schultz Family
8. Mommy? I'm Hungry!
9. Creative Attempts
10. Sassy Secrets of a True Blue Housewife
11. Lovely Purses
12. Unwrap Life


Here are the rules:
1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Book Review: Thank You for Smoking

This week I read the book Thank You for Smoking, Christopher Buckley, 1994.

You may wonder why I read such an old book but the truth is that I have read some of Christopher Buckley's new works and I have been wondering what the heck some of the acclaim is about. So I thought I would read the first book, since Nick Naylor is referenced in other books.

Can I just say that Nick Naylor is the King of Spin? He works for the Tobacco Lobby back before it totally lost all of it's teeth with the states suing them. And in this book, he is dispicable... You can tell he's doing it for the money, but then the "Captain" gets him inspired and next thing you know all heck breaks loose.

Nick is kidnapped and stuck all over with Nicotine patches, which ultimately causes him to stop smoking. (Throughout the book, he's a heavy smoker). What was meant to kill him does not work, and he becomes a celebrity. Later, the FBI is investigating and ultimately arrests him for "faking" the kidnapping.

I like Nick Naylor because he is an unlikely hero. I think that he knows he is doing terrible things but justifies them in his head. And, in the end, he does an about face as the real villian is brought to light. I like it that he feels he should do some pennance for his bad deeds and goes to jail for 2.5 years anyway. I suppose everyone gets their just desserts in this book by the end. It is an easy read, and quite funny at parts.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Craft Show Rating: Del City, OK Garland Arts and Crafts Fair


Ok, I participated in a craft show this last weekend. And I must admit, it sucked. A LOT! Why, you ask? Because I sold a total of $9 worth of merchandise. And I think 100 people came through. I just am so angry that I spent the weekend sitting around doing a lot of nothing.

So, I am learning more about craft fairs and how they operate. I am applying my knowledge of marketing and analysis to determine the best places for me to go to make the most use of my time and energy. Sure, I want to sell gangbuster amounts of items. But I also want to have a great environment and possibly learn from others.



This weekend I spent 2 days learning that I should do more research. I was at the Garland Arts & Crafts Show in Del City, OK at the Del City Community Center this weekend. Ah, what a waste of time! I am sure the promoters enjoyed getting my money, and I thought they were knowledgeable about how to have a successful craft fair because apparently the ones they have in Shawnee, OK are supposedly great! But, I attended their show in Shawnee earlier this year, April 09, and it was a bust. Some issue with the parking lot. And then after this weekend, I plan to do no more of their shows.


I have several concerns:

1. I heard/saw no advertising about the show prior to the weekend. This leads me to believe that the promoters, Stan and Patty Wilson, did not contact the TV or radio stations. A show I am participating in this weekend, Deluxe, has had multiple announcements on NPR and many people blogging about it.

2. The promoters do not have a web site presence for either of their shows. This leads me to think that they are resting on their laurels of past success and not concerned with the way the world is changing.

3. I heard several people come in who said, “I knew nothing about it”. See #1 issues. I heard from the others at the show that they handed out flyers on post – Tinker. Wondering what else they did?


In other words, I feel like they took my money and do not care about whether or not I am successful. That’s a mistake, and shame on them for not doing more. Shame on me for not learning more about them before I dove in. Won’t happen again, and I think all craft fair participants should ask up front what the plan is for promoting the show. It’s something we need to know, and if you don’t get a good answer, you should steer clear of the show. I thought about it but thought their reputation spoke for itself. Now it does. LOUD AND CLEAR!


I have thought more about why spring craft shows don’t do as well as the fall shows or the festivals. People are coming to the show that are looking for free entertainment, want something specific, or are just looking for ideas. If they see something they need – like a gift – they will buy. But more likely they are looking. And in the fall, they are buying for the holidays. So, I suppose they will be more successful with sales. And festivals will be more successful because they have people who have come out with disposable income and not specifically for the crafts but are willing and open to looking. And impulse buying. So, this summer I am going to target the festivals, and move back to the craft fairs this fall.


This spring has been good practice, and I would say that I have learned a lot. I am going to do the last show of the spring this weekend, Deluxe, on May 9th at the OK Fairgrounds. www.deluxeok.net I hope you consider coming out, and I hope I have a lot of sales!!


Friday, May 1, 2009

A Book Review: Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

The third book in the Twilight series, I will admit I am an addict.

Eclipse, by Stephenie Meyer, copywright 2007.

I wonder sometimes how a 600+ page book can hold you throughout. I believe it is the love story of Edward and Bella that makes me keep reading, wondering what will happen.

I was drawn into the book because the ying/yang that is presented by Bella having 2 male suitors who are opposite in many ways. There are things to dislike about Edward, after all he left Bella for the entire last book, so she fell into the arms of Jacob. And guess what, Jacob does not want to let go. Who could blame him? Vampires are the mortal enemies of werewolves.

But Bella is addicted to Edward and seems to lose herself whenever she is near him. I'm not sure I find that empowering, but it is very teenager. And yes, there is always the issue because she is human and has a few mad, angry Vampires chasing after her. Victoria is back, and she has a great plan to create a diversion for the rest of the clan and get her revenge on Bella. In the end, as expected, Bella is fine.

But the deeper story here is that Bella must decide between the two boys who are enamoured with her. And your heart aches throughout the story for Jacob who you can sense is not going to have a fair fight, but he has a plan. Ah, how I wish I could have heard more of what Jacob thought throughout the book! Bella must decide, and that she does, but you have to wonder how such a solid decision could be made at this young age. I guess we all think we are grown at 18, only to realize it is just a foolish charade!

The fights, the winners and losers in the battles, and the teenage angst are very predictable, but if you like a happy ending you will not find one, because this one leaves you not so sure that Bella is sure about what she has chosen. The meadow, the field, the Cullens and La Push, I feel that I know the town of Forks so well. Will Bella be able to actually leave? Such a big decision to make.

I read these books because I myself am in love with Edward, and all of the beautiful vampires that Bella encounters. They are mesmerizing, and I read to learn what might happen next. So, I am off to the library to get the next book in the series.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bluebonnet


Bluebonnet
Originally uploaded by ana branca

I love Texas bluebonnets. They are gorgeous. Last week as I was driving through the Dallas area there were just fields and fields of Texas wildflowers on the sides of the road. It reminded me of being a young girl.
My grandmother used to have a lot of flowers, blooming all of the time. We had peonies, irises, buffalo roses, tiger lilies, roses, lilacs, and many others that I can't even remember. I have planted lots of flowers in my flower beds at my house because I cannot stand the thought of not having a pretty sight to look upon. And I truly love it when my children bring picked flowers to me and say "For you mom". They don't bring them to their dad, although he probably wouldn't mind. That is my special thing they do for me.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sneak Peek at my new bedroom set!

I just could not wait to put up some pictures about my new bedroom set! I think it's spectacular.


I just got this new bed, isn't it gorgeous! It's a king size with 4 posters and side rails. Very, very, very nice.


And the side table is great, it even has a few extra plugs - how did they know I would need those! It's kind of an antiqued white, and the top is the same color - almost - as the bed. It makes for a very nice contrast and lightens up the room instead of a bunch of dark furniture. I love, love, love, love it!

We got 3 dressers, an armoire, 2 nightstands, the bed (we already had the mattress), and a mirror. Everything is the antiqued white except for the bed. I will put up more pictures later, but I just could not wait!

Monday, April 20, 2009

American As Apple Pie Soap

Ok, here it is! I have added this new item to my shop because it is just so cute! You know it is getting to be that time of year when we celebrate the USA for being a place of freedom. Well, I was working in my soap laboratory (ok, kitchen!) and I created this masterpiece.

The top is like a crunchy topping of a pie, and the middle is like creamy filling and the bottom layer has navy glitter in it but looks kind of like a crust of a pie. And to top it all off, it has cornmeal which makes it a scrubby, exfoliating soap for cleaning all those body parts!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New Stuff I got!

A few weeks ago, March 15th to be exact, I wrote about my 5th wedding anniversary. And I forgot to tell you that my husband bought me a "Bird Of Paradise" plant. And it looks great.
But a week ago, I spent the day at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds in the snow for a craft show. I sat next to Kristal, of Grateful Tulip, who is an awesome artist. And, I bought the items you see in the picture. Like, what a great gift, and it looks even better in person. I cannot wait to find a place to put it - and it only took her a couple of days to make it and put it on my front porch! Wow! And the Mrs. Ford sign is for my mother - in - law for Easter. She's a preschool teacher.



And in the package were these wonderful washcloths! She is so very nice, and tells me she may be at Deluxe OK. Either way, you are sure to find something you cannot do without at her shop!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Facebook Addiction!

I must admit, I started a page on Facebook. And I am just so addicted to the FarmTown application! I am growing crops and buying "stuff" with my dollars and hiring workers to harvest my crops! What a bunch of fun!!
So, I don't really understand much else about the site but I am working on it!

Speaking of growing plants - I am now a producer with the Oklahoma Food Coop. Look for NickAnny Creations stuff on that site as well. And very soon I will be rolling out a laundry soap product - as soon as I get my food processor!
Have a great week, everyone.

Monday, April 6, 2009

What a Baby!



Ok, the baby is Alabama, the dog, not Bethanny the child. Alabama lost 6 teeth last friday at the Veterinarian's office during his teeth cleaning. He's not that old, and I was very surprised that they had to pull that many. But, he wasn't eating so I took him in and Voila! he's better without the teeth.
Because he was really feeling yucky before!
And he loves Bethanny rubbing him, almost too much!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Cleveland County Fairgrounds Craft Show



Come and see me tomorrow at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds -
I will be there rain or shine - and so should you!
You will know me by my apron, and not every person can say that! I am working really hard on some new stuff such as laundry soap that won't cost you an arm and a leg and more bags than I have posted on my websites![Photo]
So, here are some pictures of my dogs - Alabama with the purple collar and Dakota with the red collar.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Small Soaps for Deluxe OK

Ok, so yesterday I made 2 8# batches of soap specifically for samples for Deluxe OK to give away. I think I got about 160 bars around 1oz each. So, I will have enough to give to the vendors and the first 50 folks walking in the door! Yeah!
This soap is called Cranberry Spice Swirl, and the light pink swirl is very light but you can see it up close. I cut it today and put my fan on it to dry it out, and I will recruit family to wrap it this weekend.

I will post another pic when it's wrapped so you can see how cute it looks. If you post a comment on the blog and send me an email with your address - nickanny[at!]sbcglobal.net, I will send you a sample bar too!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Service Issues and Thoughts

I am often confronted with issues of service, either in my travels or my job. When it comes to a lack of service, I never understand the personal motivation to make something difficult for another person. If you are the person with answers, you should help the person who needs the answers, right? Well, I guess not always…

People who are in a position to provide service to you, whether it is as the gatekeeper (also known as the “no” person) or as the person in charge (also known as the “yes” person) should, in my opinion, endeavor to put themselves in your shoes. For example, I work with information technology departments in my job, and when I started out it took me a while to realize there were certain “hurdles” that most of them made you go through to be “worthy” of their time. More like a maze to be traveled, I quickly found out what questions to ask to get the answers I needed to find my way around those who are standing squarely in my way. What makes me laugh, is when a person believes that by being belligerent, they will either stop the process (which has been approved already at a level higher than they are) or slow it down (which is not desirable). If they slow it down, they will just have to deal with me for a longer period of time instead of getting me over with. I just find that so silly, how sometimes people believe their importance outweighs that of the common good, ie getting the project done on time and on budget. Much the same way that I am amused by people who think they are so important that they must talk on their cell phones until the flight attendant reminds them several times to turn it off, and a that point they just place it in their pocket and don’t turn it off. Thanks to those of you that do that, because your personal needs definitely should come before those of the rest of the plane. (HEHE)


Speaking of Airlines, I was flying home on my favorite airline (NOT!), American Airlines and trying to go standby to get home earlier. (I was going home because my hubby's grandpa died and I needed to let him go to the funeral) What it came down to, was a flight that left 1.5 hrs before mine was scheduled (9:15pm vs. 10:30pm) had filled the economy class but had 6 seats open in first class. The AA supervisor at the station said they would not upgrade people to allow the rest of the standby's who are waiting (there were 4 of us) to have a seat home. WOW! What a waste, I thought. They could have upgraded some soldiers who I know were on the plane to 1st class and I would have gladly taken an economy class seat! But, this person thought it better to deny us a seat (some of the people waited all day because of a missed flight) and "coveted" first class on a 30 minute flight. Once again, AA never fails to disappoint.


But enough of my soap box. Last week after receiving a very rude email and returning the email with a “Thanks for the comments”, I got back an email stating “It was my pleasure.” To which I kindly did not respond, although I will tell you that I wanted to say “And someday, it will be my pleasure to repay in kind the favor you have given me.” (Meaning, well, revenge!) My point is this – never think the world is so big that you will not need someone’s help sooner or later, and you action or inaction will temper their response. Karma, I believe that’s what Earl calls it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Some Neat Craft Projects You TOO Can Do

Ok, so I found a few delightful projects on other blogs I follow and I wanted to share.

1. Easter Basket - this basket is so fun, and I can see doing it for other occasions. Have your kids make one for the Grandparent's Birthdays with cute stickers or stuff they colored decorating the outside. Or for Memorial Day...

2. Cashmere Bunnies - all I can say is - wow! I am going to make these for my kiddos for Easter to give to their teachers!

3. Easter Soap - because what is a day without soap! I love making soap and Melt and Pour soap is something the kids can do with you.

Thanks!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New Fabric For DELUXE OK!

WONDERFUL NEWS! I have been accepted to my first "Juried" Craft Show. The OK Etsy team is having a craft show at the centennial fairgrounds, on May 9, and I applied to be a vendor and got accepted! Whoopee! I will write a note about my first craft show this weekend later this week, but for now go to the website and see what's cookin'. I have to get some "giveaways" ready, and I think I am going to do mini soaps.


I love this new Amy Butler Fabric, and I think I am going to make myself a purse out of it to wear around. You may find this amusing, but I rarely use a purse. With all my travel, I can only carry on 2 items and I usually have my computer bag and my carry on clothing bag. So, I am going to make a bag to make my husband happy so I won't just carry around my wallet! But I should also have enough to make a few purses for Deluxe OK.

And speaking of purses, I bought a lot, and I do mean A LOT of fabric that is quilted because I really want to do a line of quilted fabric purses. I am thinking of a diaper bag and a sling bag to start with. You will love these bags, and I might even do a small bag like I showed in one of my previous posts - here. So, thanks to Deluxe - it will be the last of 5 shows I do but I should be at my best.

AND HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Cutest Apron at the Show!


I made a couple of aprons for my sister and I to wear in at the craft shows we attend. It's a way to have people notice us!
So, if you come to a show that I am at, and you see the apron - like if you come to DeluxeOK - then stop and say hi!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My Wedding Anniversary


I have been married for 5 years today. Seems like a short time to some, long to others, and to me, it has gone by at times like a rush and sometimes like molasses. I wanted to take a moment and blog about how wonderful my husband is, because he puts up with me.
Here is a picture of our family from last December, and boy was it cold!
I met Keith on the internet, and before I met him I really was not sure when or how I would choose to make such a commitment as marriage. Before I met him, I decided I would go ahead and travel instead of "waiting" for someone to take me. And I basically stopped holding off on living a life of waiting, and instead started doing. Which put me at peace. And I had decided that I was tired of trying to be someone that other people wanted me to be and said to myself "If God wants me to get married, he can put a man on my front porch and tell me to be nice to him". And there you have it - Keith showed up. And a few years later I am happier than I ever knew I could be because I have the gift of love that is a family. Keith spends most of the week days with our 2 kids while I travel 3-4 days out of town. He is not intimidated by my intelligence, but strengthened by it. And, we are at times very different (such as our philosophy about money and spending!) but we work it out. I guess you have to. So here is to a lifetime of anniversaries and other happy occasions!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Wigglee See


One of my longest project wonderful ad supporter I have is WiggleeSee's Shop on Etsy. What gorgeous crocheted animals and dolls she makes!
I looked over the site, and I just love this doll, because she is simple but elegant. She is part of an extensive collection of items - from dolls to animals - and what great prices! Go there and see what you find. Thanks.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I am inspired!


023 the art - craft divide
Originally uploaded by gingerpig2000

I have a lot of blogs that I subscribe to on Google reader, and believe it or not - I read all of them. Does that mean I go to the site? No, I read them on the reader page. Just joined another site that encourages comments, which I would say is going to be valuable. More on that later.

For now, I would like to take a moment and blog about a post from one of my favorite writers of social media information, Ari Writer, who discussed using Flickr photos that have common sharing approvals in your blog. I tend to use pictures anyway, but I have not really thought to use other people's pictures! So, I found this picture this AM, and I think it's a great thought - why is what you create not considered ART? What makes it ART versus CRAFT? I think that when you follow directions and don't color outside the lines it is a craft, but the person who created the directions and made the original composition - that is the ARTIST! So, sometimes I am an artist, especially when it comes to my shop. And sometimes I am a crafter, who follows the pattern because it's too complicated to think of my own changes - at least the first time through. I have become more of an artist as I develop this shop. Thanks for listening, and I hope you have a great Sunday.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring is Near, Spring is Near...


Look what I found outside my door this week! Crocus that I planted 2 years ago and they came up last year but I forgot about them until I saw them today. What a way to make the spring feel really close!

My son and his dad also started some seeds inside the house for me and my garden. These are pictures of cucumber seedlings and zinnia seedlings. My son loves to plant (well, for real, he likes to dig) and he had to plant some stuff so we let him. I am going to work on him pulling some weeds over spring break!


And I love cucumbers but last year they didn't do so hot. Probably because I didn't water them enough, but this year, we got a sprinkler system installed and it will do the work that I forget about. So, let's hope for a better outcome.








I hope you have a spring like day where ever you are. I would love to hear about what you are planning on planting for your garden this year. I will add some herbs so I can do some herb infused oils for my soaps! Especially lavender, yummy...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Customer Service Thoughts on American Airlines

I am sure AA earned it's reputation as an airline with poor customer service one person at a time, and they have certainly never missed an opportunity with me. Since I travel a lot (like 3-4 days a week, 4-6 flights a week), I have a lot of chances to experience how good or bad service could be. Granted, I am a business traveler, so I have different needs than when I travel with my family. But something has just been "stuck in my craw" so to speak about American Airlines ever since I started traveling about 2 years ago.
Take my travels to Mobile, AL for for example. I have been going there for the last 6 months about 1 time a month, and every time I fly they either cancel the last flight (which is at 4:30 pm anyway!) or they delay the midday flight. I have started avoiding the last flight like the plague because I don't want to get stuck in Mobile for another night (it's a nice place but when you are ready to leave, you are ready to leave). And it happened again today, 1 hr delay made me miss my connection at DFW so instead of getting home by 4 pm, I got home at 7 pm. IF this only happened occasionally, I would not have an issue. But, it doesn't seem to happen with Continental or Northwest or anyone else.
And to add insult to injury, a couple of weeks ago my husband was delayed out of Minneapolis on Northwest, and they sent him an apology letter and 1,000 bonus miles. Which is about an extra flight's worth of miles. Would American ever do that? Probably not. And, when I called to have them fix my connection, the person on the phone waited for me to ask them to change my flight instead of realizing what I called for - and she rebooked it and didn't ask me which seat or anything else, just is that all? Can I say - IS THAT ALL - is not a way to end a call - it is supposed to be "is there anything else I can do for you?" Which is a lot different.
Since I am ranting, I am going to mention another thing. They do not treat frequent flyers with any sort of respect either. I asked them if they would match my Platinum status with Continental when I realized I had to change, and they said - call our customer service line and we will work something out to make you happy... Innocent me called and was told that they charge for doing a "challenge" which is a way to get your status quicker based on doing so many flights in a certain time period - in the range of $300. They would not do anything else, and I am not going to pay for a challenge. So, why did the customer service folks say they would work it out? That was just rude. And I sent the email back to the person who responded to me with a note that I appreciated "not" them sending me on a wild goose chase. Have I heard back from them? NO, because they do not care.
So, you ask yourself, why do you fly with American? Because I have to. My company has special deals with them and I have to fly with one of about 4 airlines. My favorite airline is Continental, but that is a story for another day. Which is probably part of what makes it more irritating... They claim to be the airline for business, yet I would rarely be on time if I only flew with them. If I want to be on time, I fly Southwest.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

WoW! Free Business Cards

And I mean free - no shipping or handling or anything! You just have to have a credit card but they won't charge you. Go on over to Centsible Savings Blog and see what I am talking about. It's a 100 pack, and if you are getting ready for craft shows or just want to have some to hand out, you can get them in a week right here! Yeah!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Blog about one of my favorite shops


I thought I would take a few posts and dedicate them to the people who contribute to my blog via Project Wonderful Ads. It is important to acknowledge that they do matter and have great stuff!

So, today I wanted to highlight -
A to Z Jewelry Design
What a great shop, and I do love jewelry but I especially love colored stones. This little jewel is one of my favorite necklaces on all of etsy! And she has some pink beads on a bracelet that are to die for!
She is from the Washington, DC area, and loves to make gorgeous items!
Thanks for your support - view her other contact information here:

Linda Blackbourn

website: http://www.a-zjewelrydesign.com
twitter: http://twitter.com/azjewelrydesign (follow me I'll follow you!)
etsy store: http://www.azjewelrydesign.etsy.com

Monday, March 2, 2009

Spring Fling Craft Show!

My first show of the year will be called "Spring Fling" and is located at the Payne County Expo Center.
I hear from the promoter that all of the booths have been sold, which I think is good news, and she says she's expecting about 2,000 people for the one day show. I will be a great way to practice my setup and sell stuff to make room for more inventory!
My problem is that I have lots of things I would love to make, but the good old staples are a great thing that sell well. I was going to branch into other bath and body products, but I just feel that I must establish what your favorites are and what the demand is!
So, please stop by my booth in Stillwater, OK on Saturday, March 14, if you happen to be around. I would love to chat! Show is open from 9 am - 5 pm.

Practice Makes Perfect!

This weekend I spent a lot of time (with my sister and hubby as well) working on setting up the plan for the booth for my first craft show ever! Coming soon - in about 2 weeks on March 14. It's a show called "Spring Fling" and is in Stillwater, OK.

So, I am really nervous about how I will set it up and because I sell two kinds of items, both bags and handmade soaps, it's a little tricky to keep the displays looking good. Well, I started with this blog from the Disciples of Etsy group about what to pack and take to a craft show. I found a few things I will need to do myself, and I think that was great! I have to make a sign for my shop, a sign about taking credit cards, and a sign about prices for the soaps. I think we got the bags all labeled with pricing.

So, as you can see, the booth is open - it will be 8 x 10 ft and will allow people to walk into the area and browse. Hopefully, it will draw them in. You can see the mixture of products that I have developed, and I cannot believe how much stuff I have to go with. Really, my sister, Dorsa, took the time to use the stands and props I have purchased and lay out the table.
The stand was made by my Father in Law, and he's done a great job so I have a place to hang the bags. And I am renting an 8 ft table for one side and taking a 5 ft that we already have for the other side. And, yes, I just bought fabric to drape over the tables. Nice, plain, cream colored. And we will be wearing leopard print aprons so we kind of match the soap wrapping as well as just being memorable. So, what do you think? I want to know if you think the booth is inviting, encourages you to look around and what you like to see at a show. I have purchased some larger bags for the show, but I must go get some small bags for those rare purchases of just a few items! HEHE.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Bag for the Little One

My daughter sometimes goes shopping with me, and one day about a month ago she went with me to JoAnn's crafts to get the skull fabric I have been making a lot of bags out of lately. While we were strolling around, she picked up this fat quarter and said "make me a bag, mommy". So I said, sure! Not knowing what kind of bag I could make and she's 3 years old, blah blah blah.
So, this is what I came up with...

And I think it's gorgeous, and she is too with it over her shoulder. I think it is the type/size of bag that an adult or kid could love - about 6 in tall, and 16 in wide with a small 2 in gusset at the bottom. So, I think I will make some souped up ones, with pockets for the shop, and craft shows. And I am even thinking that I will do a tutorial for the basic one, because I love how I can always find a tutorial to do a cute bag somewhere, and maybe I should contribute as well.
Have a happy day! It's Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Carrot Cake and Buttercream Soap



It's the latest creation by me, an attempt at creating 2 colors and even possibly a swirl - which turned out to smell great but not really look much different than I thought it would. I tried to color it orange and cream, but see how the edges are dark? That is how the yellow sections are now anyway. I guess the air hitting the vanilla / buttercream layer makes it turn. Either way, it smells divine! And the orange faded to pinkish, but I think it might look a little like "upside-down" carrot cake with frosting. Wouldn't you love to have that much frosting? Yummy! So, I made the bottom layer first, and let it sit for a minute while I made the second layer. That's why it didn't blend too well, but the point is - I'm learning more with each batch.
I feel I need to make a few more batches with so many shows coming up, I have about 5 in a row in March, April, May. And I just found another one - www.normanmusicfestival.com - that also has promise and I am seriously considering it! I would really love to see you at one of the shows, you can read more about my shows here and as I am getting ready I will show you my work and my layout for the booth!
And, I am making some BOSS aprons for sis and I to wear at the booth. You will know us by our aprons, I promise. I will show you them soon!

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Posting about my Favorite Soap

http://autonomousartisans.blogspot.com/2009/02/word-from-our-sponsors.html?showComment=1234222680000#c2353445344172084503

This is one of the blogs I do project wonderful ads on, and they highlighted one of my soaps! I can't say how much I appreciate and love it! Thanks...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Plum Spooky!


Yep, I just read that book this week. I love the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, and lucky for me, the Moore Library has them. I check out tons of books to read on my flights, from romance to sales stuff. The other day, I walked in and there it was! On the sizzler shelf, and I didn't even know there was a new book in the series. There are tons of people waiting in line for this one, and I got it!
This book is great, with suspense and witty chatting and more funny zingers from Grandma Mazur than you can imagine. The story is about looking for a skip who is hiding out in the forest, and it gets a little hairy at times but she "as always" eventually gets her man. The only part I didn't like was no real Joe Morelli (which in these books she does not usually have) but I love him and missed him. Hope to see book 15 in the series soon, and I would definitely recommend this book to all !

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Fabric Organizer that works for me

Ok, does anyone who sews know how much or how many of the different fabrics they have? I was browsing through the March 2009 copy of threads magazine (www.threadsmagazine.com) which always has a lot of nifty ideas that I cannot ever implement, but I found what I was looking for:

http://sewing.organizedhome.com/printable/fabric-organizer/notebook-page

http://sewing.organizedhome.com/image/view/832/printable

on page 18, called the Fabric Inventory Binder. This is going to be awesome for my upcoming craft shows! So many people ask me if I can make them a custom bag, and I am never able to show them what I have. I will be able to have this in a binder at the table, whip it out, and take custom orders. AND, I will be able to plan my projects ahead and match things for my bags so I can take this to the store with me and find the solids or prints that match. I am so excited. It would have been easy enough for me to make, but this one is free and that is the best price of all.
The site has all kinds of organizer sheets for those who want to be more together. You may find something that you can use as well.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Valentine's Soaps!


It's here and it's ready! I made some soap specifically with Valentine's day in mind. It smells like roses (which I love) and is cheaper than a dozen roses (any day of the week and especially on this day). I took rose petals and interspersed them throughout the pink soap, then I dropped in the pre-made hearts (I did them earlier) so it's fun to call it a "piece" of my heart. hehe

And the chocolate soap is ready, so how about a bar of chocolate, some roses and a piece of my heart to keep your valentine clean!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Jacket for my IG!



So, I thought this was the cutest thing ever and I had to have one for my dog...
I originally bought the burgundy and cream colored "canine shrug" for Alabama. In the picture, he's the one with the purple collar. It's a little tight on his legs, he's got long ones. So, Dakota got it! And, he's not sure he likes it but I love it. HEHE.
My son, Nicholas, is holding Dakota in the picture with the shrug on. It was made by another Oklahoma Etsy person, Vintage Garden Knits. She made it to my specifications and after a day like today in Oklahoma with freezing rain and sleet, Dakota is happy with it!

I'm in Dallas tonight and they have freezing weather and rain! UGH! But, I got to have dinner at my favorite restaurant, Pappasitos, and I walked on the treadmill two nights in a row for 40 minutes. I personally feel really good about it, even if I am not sure that I will lose any weight yet. Just would like to fit a little easier into the clothes I have.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Soaps coming Soon!

Thanks go out to my wonderful father in law who made me more wooden soap molds! Thanks Whit! He took one of my molds I ordered and made me 4 more just like it that hold 8 pounds of soap. I use 8 and 12 pound molds, and I am making a lot of soap these days just to get ready for the craft show season!
So, here are the latest creations! I made an attempt at a layered soap as you can see from the picture. It's got chocolate cream pie scent, cocoa powder in the top layer to color it, and chunks of pink/cocoa soap from an earlier batch that I cut up. It smells delicious, and I am hoping it will remind you of a piece of pie that you can't stand to not pick up and take home with you! After paying for it, of course. The other soap that is barely visible on the bottom is sage and citrus with clay (I am loving the clay soaps and I may start making all my soaps with clay) and lavender buds on top. It is really more of a manly scent, or one for the kitchen sink. Part of my effort to branch out.
I bought some rose petals and rose scent, as well as more peony scent since I love peonies and that bloom time is coming soon (ok, not until May but let me dream!) Working on more shops and I go this week to one to sell my soaps. I am also working on selling soaps through the OK Food Coop, and you will be able to buy my soaps and bags through that website in the coming months as well.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Custom Order for Dorsa's Friend


This is a bag I made as a custom order for my sister's friend. She sent me an email one day and said, do you have a bag that is good for a teenager? I thought immediately of this fabric, and her friend wanted green on the inside. I love the way this turned out, and it snaps shut with a magnetic snap. I am going to make some more for my shop. I put a zebra pocket on the inside of this bag as well.
You can see more of my bags at my artfire or etsy shop by clicking on the items on the side of the blog. This will take you to my online presence, and you can find something that you like or you can request something on your own.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A New Washing Machine


My old washer, a Kenmore, lasted a long time. My husband had it before we got married and it has taken a lot of abuse. It was a regular top loader machine. I have wanted a front loader machine ever since LG came out with the steam washer about 4 years ago. I have not been able to purchase one as I could not justify paying lots of money for something that was working fine. Well, no longer! My machine broke and luckily we anticipated it and had already bought this machine and ordered it for delivery. So, the old machine stopped pumping out water (yep, that means I got to empty it by hand!) on Friday and this arrived on Saturday.
I love this machine. It uses like, no water, and you can sanitize stuff without using hot water. It gets the clothes really dry when it spins them out, and our dryer is on it's last legs so I guess this will make it last longer, as I will no longer have to dry things twice. Where we live, we use a septic system, so the less water we use, the better for our system. So, I hope the water bill goes down and so does the electric bill. That will be really nice. So, it's a Samsung and there are service people locally, so we should be in good shape. Thanks for taking your time to read about my stuff.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Reply from Best Buy

So, 5 days after I sent in a message and then resent a message that I had not received a reply I got this:
Hello Mathea,

I am Brian with Best Buy Customer Care. At Best Buy, we understand the importance of good service, as well as how frustrating poor service can be. I apologize that your experience with our phone agent has been unpleasant. I will pass your comments on. To demonstrate that we do value your business and loyalty as a customer, I have asked that a digital coupon be sent to you, good on your next online purchase.
Again, I am sorry for the trouble you've had, and thank you for your patience as the coupon comes to you. Thank you for sharing your comments with Best Buy.

Sincerely,
Brian
Best Buy Customer Care Team
What can I say? That is the lamest message I have ever gotten from anyone except American Airlines who is well known for their sucky customer service. So, I already bought another MP3 player from NewEgg.com, and once I finally get the package from Best Buy, I will promptly return it!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Soap, Soap, Soap and more Soap

Well, today I spent a long time on the phone, but it appears to be worth it as we can refinance our home loan and save about $520 a month in payments. That's great, especially with the economy slowing down. Keith works for commission and that certainly varies depending on the national economy. Me, I am taking a few vacation days and making stuff for the shops and craft fairs.

So, today, after I got the phone hung up, I started making soap. It's so addictive, I have to say. I have dreams about what I am going to make! So, today I made more of my wildly popular Honey, Oatmeal and Buttermilk soap, made some Sage, Citrus and Lavender soap, and made some layered soap with cocoa butter and chunks and chocolate cream pie fragrance. I will show you later this week in pictures... right now the soap is gelling. Oh, and next week I have my first appointment with someone in a shop to see if they will buy my soap. It's next Friday, so be thinking of me and I will let you know what happens.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Handmadeology Blog Challenge

Handmadeology.com
Wow! Timothy Adams is creating a new standard for folks who want to sell online for handmade goods. First, he has been posting for a long time about how to increase your google page ranking, how to get better search engine hits, where to place ads for a cost effective campaign, and once google analytics hit Etsy and Artfire, he posted video about how to understand what you were getting. Because, believe me, it's not elementary info - it's a treasure trove of valueable data but if you don't know what to do with it you are wasting time.
So, I am writing a post about his newest venture to help out those of us who are really trying to make online selling a workable option. I watched the video a few weeks back, and all I can say is, watch out. He is a self taught metal artist who makes a living selling online. He is also dedicated to helping others achieve their goal of successfully selling their handmade goods online. Classes start Jan 26, 2009. I can't wait to see what he has to say about key words, ads, using social networking sites, and any other stuff that is relevant and he will say it in a way that I understand! WHOOHOO! Visit the site soon.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

BAD SERVICE from BEST BUY

I sent an email to the random customer service inbox for Best Buy today and stated this:
------------------------------------------------------------------
VERY POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE! I AM NEVER GOING TO BUY FROM BEST BUY AGAIN!

I called 888-bestbuy because my MP3 player was sent to the wrong address. I changed my delivery address prior to the order, but for some reason (mistakes happen), it shipped to an old address. I have not lived there for almost 2 years and the package shipped USPS so I call to see if the staff could assist me.
First person I spoke with told me it was my fault, nothing they could do, I would just have to suffer (paraphrasing a little). So I asked to speak with a supervisor. The supervisor, who stated his name was JP, got on the phone and cussed me out and said I was completely at fault, why did I not do it right the first time, (yelling the entire time) and when I asked him to stop arguing and yelling at me he said he wasn't, said I would have to go get it out of the mailbox from the other house, and then asked if there was anything else he could do, I said I wanted to speak to his superior and he said "No, you are not going to speak to anyone else, I know the policies and you are not going to get any more time from us" and hung up the phone on me.
It took me a while to calm down and call back. I asked Katrina to let me speak with a supervisor, she asked what the problem was, I explained and she stated she would put in a trouble ticket with the delivery folks and try to get it fixed. If I don't get it by Jan 24, she said I could call back and they would do a lost delivery for it.
It's a $60 MP3 player. I do appreciate the young lady who I spoke with the 2nd time, but I believe whoever I spoke with the 1st time should be fired without question.

I am sure I will get no response.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Soap that is pending...


I have been making a lot of soap recently and next week I hope to make some more. Been working on getting it right! In the picture above, you can see the new peony/clay soap I made last week and the Just Plain Soap that has no fragrance or color - great for use on kids! I cut the peony with my new crinkle cutter, and the bars are more consistent. I am getting really excited about next week, and I am going to make about 6 more batches so that I am ready for the shows I have planned for March and April. I bought some new fragrances and other items that I have shipping this week from Majestic Mountain Sage and Wholesale Fragrances. I'm making a face bar that is supposed to help with breakouts. I am also going to do a funky chocolate and cocoa butter swirl bar. And I am going to try to do a shaving soap. Let's see, I think that will keep me busy, besides needing to do some sewing for the artfire shop and visiting a shop to see if they will stock the soap. Coming soon - Coconut Lime Verbena and Lavender Fields soap - ready in about 2 weeks.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Beanie Hat in Pink Camouflage!



Here is my new favorite thing! My head to use for a model so that I don't have to convince my little sister to pose! Yeah! And, I must admit, the foam head is a lot easier to work with, doesn't complain about makeup or take smoke breaks. So, don't you love it. Look for new pictures of my beanie caps on my artfire site, I just created a bunch of new ones as well as I am going to update the current pictures.

This beanie cap is going to Lisa, a person I work with. In early December I promised her I would make her one that looked like mine, only in pink camouflage. What a deal! I love the way that this beanie hat is so cute! Lisa's going to love it when she gets it later this week. Yeah!