Saturday, July 26, 2008

Subscribe to me!

OK, I consider myself a bit more computer literate that the average user. I have taken some Microsoft courses and am an MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional). Plus I am something of a technogeek so I like playing with new things in technology. I understand basic HTML, how to use MS Office products like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access. I can actually build my own web page if I chose to do so with Dreamweaver. I can help people with settings and such on their computer. Most of all this I learned from my husband who is King Geek in our house.

However, there is so much stuff going on now that I'm having trouble getting my head around all this. The newest thing I have played with today is Feedburner. I'm not sure I really understand what feeds are exactly. I just hope that I have done things right! LOL!!

I think I set up a way for people to subscribe to feeds of my blog. At least that is what I was trying to do. I hope so anyway. So if I did it right, please subscribe to me. Tell all your friends. Let everyone know about my blog, my Etsy store and my jewelry.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Let me start by saying that I am an obsessively organized person. A place for everything, and everything in its place. I'm not sure exactly how it got started but my mother was a neat freak, very organized and a bookkeeper/accountant. I've always loved the office supply store. I could spend hours looking at the files, binders, folders, dividers etc. Unlike some craft people, I do not organize my supplies by color groups. I can't even get the hang of using colored file folders or paper for specific groups either. My fabric stash is organized by project, such as the plaids I am collecting for a log cabin quilt, or by type of print such as floral, or also by amount of fabric. All my fat quarters are together, all the 1/2 yard cuts, all the multiple yard cuts, etc. I even have strips organized by width (1", 1.5", 2") in bins. The 1/5" strips are actually sorted into 3 bins, one for red, one for lights and one for darks. Again a collection for a log cabin quilt. I've been working on organizing my jewelry supplies and tools. I asked my husband to make me something to put my tools on that would be on the workbench but easy to reach. I am a very small person, I'm 4'8" tall so what would be an easy reach for most people is too far for me. My workbench is a good 3 or 4 inches lower than desk height, but that way I can put my feet on the floor. He went out in his workshop and came up with this.

It is on a lazy susan and turns very smoothly. The upright boards have small holes drilled in them at an angle so I can put my dremel bits, small files, etc in them. The top has a hole in the middle that he put a glass in to hold pencils, brushes, emery boards, and the like and around the edge of the top are holds for the handle of my pliers to fit into. It is absolutely fantastic. It works great and I have some space around the bottom to place small objects. I"m also including a picture of my worktable. As you can see, its a bit cluttered. And its not as dark as the picture makes it look, I just didn't force the flash on the camera and it was fooled by the light over my desk.

Tonight I also took some advice I read about in the Wire Wrap Jewelry group about storing your wire. I had all my wire in separate bags all in the same drawer. I was always searching for the gauge or type I wanted. I was reading about using a 3 ring binder so I did that and I had some plastic dividers with places for labels. These went in the binder but also have pockets on the front and back of them. So I put my wire in separate divider page pockets and then printed labels with my label maker for the tabs. I have them labeled by type of metal (copper, SS) then by gauge (18G, 22G), hardness (HH or DS) and then type of wire (round, 1/2 round, square). It all fits nicely in the binder and will be easy to find. Now, you don't really think I will be geeky enough to post pictures of the binder too do you? Well, of course I am. And here it is! :) Just so that you are perfectly clear on how my wire is now organized. Is there such as thing as a professional organizer? That would be a perfect job for me!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Flower Gardening

I love all flowers and if you asked me what my favorite one is I would have a hard time making up my mind. The first flower that comes to mind when I think of a favorite is the simple old fashioned violet. I loved searching our yard for them when I was a little girl. That translated into a love of violet dishes. My grandmother collected them and I inherited her collection after she passed away. I have since added to them. So the violet will always remain my "first" favorite. However, I really can't think of a flower that I don't love. I don't always like all the colors that breeders come up with, I tend to be a more traditional person. When we moved into our house almost 3 years ago I started working on flower beds. I really haven't done anything in the front yard as I want to do all of it at once since it is in the public eye. The back yard though is a different subject. Over the past 3 years I have put in 2 beds, one is along the back fence and one is a kidney shaped bed in the middle of the yard. I love the unstructured English Cottage Garden style. Here in Texas I have to make some adjustments as anything that I plant here needs to be FULL sun only. I have very, very minimal shade in the back yard and it faces south. I learned early on to use perennials as annuals really have a short life here. Since we have flower beds now and we have put up bird feeders and a hummingbird feeder we have lots of wildlife. We added a whiskey barrel fountain for water and I used a big saucer for a plant pot with rocks in it to make a small water feature for butterflies, and a "fishing spot" for our Gnome we brought back from England. Its a really cool lime green ceramic saucer I found at Ikea. Because we have birds and squirrels who scatter seed about in the yard we now have some volunteer sunflowers coming up. No one can be sad when they look at sunflowers! They always look so happy and cheerful.

I find a lot of peace when looking at the garden, and even the simple act of pulling weeds, deadheading spent flowers or harvesting vegetables from the garden brings a sense of contentment that is hard to find anywhere else. Everyone should try to find their own little piece of contentment whether it is a flower garden, vegetable garden, container garden or just sitting down in the grass and looking up through the trees. It will bring you peace and contentment, even if just for a bit, in the midst of our hectic, chaotic, and frankly sometimes disappointing life. Look for it, you will be glad you did.