Sunday, 22 January 2012

No More Artfire Shop

I've been hanging on to my Artfire shop for much too long because of the $5.95 a month lifetime price.  Figured that a little over $60 a year was worth it to keep the shop and some day I might have time to add more goodies and tend to the search optimizations.  When I joined Artfire, it seemed like such a friendly, happy place to be, where everyone helped everyone else and the only complaining was on the forum thread devoted to Etsy news.  This past year I haven't had time for much of anything, so I hadn't paid any attention to the Artfire forum until news of changes began to filter onto other forums and blogs. 
After a solid of week of trying to catch up with the book-length threads on the Artfire forum and listening to e-friends tell me how they had been blocked from comment and asked to leave, I decided it just wasn't the place for me, no matter how good the price is.  The atmosphere is poison, the once-helpful and approachable management has become scathing and dictatorial and the forum is awash with novels of back-biting, anger and frustration.  All of this is just my opinion, of course.  I don't know what happened to the fresh and optimistic company I joined but t'aint there no more.
So when I have time to think about it, I might give in and join Etsy but right now, my jewellery has no home but the convenience store. 

Thursday, 12 January 2012

When I Am Old....

I knew I was a pack rat and horrible hoarder, but didn't realize it spilled over into my email account until today.  I found an email from a dear friend filed away neatly in an electronic file I haven't looked at for years.  It was worth saving and worth reprinting (to all dog lovers) so here is the 2004 email I thought was worth saving:  (And far more pertinent to me today than it was 8 years ago!)
When I am Old.
I shall wear Turquoise and soft gray sweatshirts... and a bandana over my long, silver hair.....and I shall spend my Social Security Checks on Sweet Wine and My Dogs.......and sit in my house on my well-worn chair.and listen to my dog's breathing.
I will sneak out in the middle of  a warm Summer night and take my Nero for a run, if my old bones will allow... and when people come to call, I will smile and nod as I walk out and show them my dogs...and talk of them and about them... The Ones so Beloved of the Past and the Ones so Beloved of Today.... I still will work hard cleaning their runs and mopping and feeding them and whispering their names in a soft, loving way.. I will wear the gleaming sweat on my throat, like a jewel .. and I will be an embarrassment to all...and my Children ...  who have not yet found the peace in being free to have dogs as your Best Friends.... These friends who always wait, at any hour, for your footfall...and eagerly jump to their feet out of a sound sleep, to greet you if you are a God.   
With warm eyes full of  adoring love  and hope that you will stay and hug their big, strong necks...and kiss their dear sweet heads...and whisper to them of  your love and the beautiful pleasure of their   very special company.... I look in the Mirror...and see I am getting  old.... this is the kind of woman I am...and have always been. Loving dogs is easy, they are part of me, accept me for who I am, my dogs appreciate my presence in their lives...when I am old this will be important to will understand when you are old....
if you have dogs to love too.  
Author Unknown

Monday, 9 January 2012

Birds On The Brain

I've been working for months on and off, trying to make bird clasps.  It's difficult when you're working in your kitchen and don't have a range hood to vent the fumes from the soldering.  I don't want to poison the dogs or me with the fumes.  So every setback or thing that went wrong took weeks more waiting for good weather and time off from year-end bookkeeping. 

The result is pleasing - haven't strung them yet so there's always a possibility that they won't hang properly.  In which case I might give up until spring.

Each one is slightly different, even though I'm using the same hand-drawn pattern.  The cutting is fun, I love using the hand saw and following the lines, like a little kid with crayons.  The soldering was a stinker and a few birds were sacrificed before I came up with something my hands could manage.  Shaky hands run in our family and it's painful watching my father or my son working with screwdrivers or anything that requires precision handling, although both of them are quite adept.  Mine haven't been too shaky since I was a teenager but they seem to be getting worse as I get older and trying to solder copper posts was not going to work.  I tried bending the wire in a "u" shape and soldering and even then I couldn't hold it steady enough.  It was so bad that it made me giggle.

The solution was to coil a small piece of wire with a tail, solder the coil to the back of the bird and loop the tail over.  The coil was flat, the bird was flat and I didn't have to hold it.  Or jiggle it, as was the case.

These pictures are really bad - taken in the dark on a piece of paper towel but waiting for the time to do a decent daylight shot might be another week.

Next step is to make something with one of them.  Hopefully it won't take quite as long.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

I'm Going To Explode!

Today, I have to explode on paper.
I love a good argument.  Anybody who has ever known me for more than 24 hours will know that fact about me and, if you asked them anything about me, it's probably the first thing that they'd tell you.  When Survivor was first becoming so popular on television, a bunch in the office tried to decide who would win if our entire office was on the program.  They told me I had won and I was feeling all warm and fuzzy because they all liked me so much until they said that I would have hung on to near the end because of my likeability.  Then, with only a few people to argue with, I would have driven them crazy arguing about things and the rest of them would quit.
That wasn't very nice.  I don't correct people or assume that my way is the only way; I just like to discuss things.  To death.  If I have a decision to make in my life, I'll even argue the pros and cons with myself.
These past few days, I'm either going to explode or my blood pressure is going to cause me to have a massive stroke right here in the store.  All because I'm keeping my mouth shut and not arguing.  And forgot to turn my brain off.
Yesterday, it started with the postal service.  Yeah, it's bad but it's cheaper than any other form of transport for small goods.  Until I was informed in no uncertain terms that Purolator was cheaper.  A little discussion elicited the fact that Purolator, a courier service, would send goods from Alberta for $5.  And it would get here in two days.  Yup!  The reason for this miracle is because all planes that are flying to other countries have to go to Alberta to refuel.  Because it's halfway, you know.
Yup.  Even if they're flying to Ireland (from Atlantic Canada) they go west if they're flying to Europe.
I got through yesterday without an explosion although my teeth hurt from clenching them.  But two days in a row is hard on the health.  Today, I was working on my computer when he arrived, so the talk was about computers.  They have three laptops and:  get a new one every year because the father-in-law gets a new one every year and gives them the old one; take them in to get them upgraded after a year and the computer people can't upgrade them because they're three years old and outdated; because they're three years old and they can't be upgraded, they're no good so they get thrown out. Yes, it's the memory too.  They get full and the computer people won't put more memory in because they can't be upgraded.  And these computers are so sophisticated that you can't put the memory in yourself.  They have to be taken apart and cleaned first.   You can't use a computer unless it's upgraded.  The father-in-law, a mechanic, is getting them upgraded so high that he can get into government sites. 
It's cruel to even think about arguing with all of this.  What I've mentioned is only the tip of the iceberg, but I forget things in a few days for my own sanity.  I'm not arrogant enough to be thinking that it wouldn't be a fair fight; he would have the advantage of arguing with a woman and everyone knows that women aren't quite as smart as men and tend to argue more a certain times.  Mmmmmphhhhhhmmmmphhhhhhhhhhh
But it wouldn't be an argument.  My idea of a good argument is one where two sides have opposing views and can debate their positions, either persuading their opponent or agreeing to disagree.  This wouldn't be an argument.  It would be a freaking fight!
So each day I smile, I listen with one ear in case I need to make a response and try to find a mental distraction after he leaves.  He's a good man, a nice man and will do anything for you, but he is very hard on the blood pressure.  Thank you for letting me vent!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year!

I don't do New Year's resolutions.  A brand-new, fresh year seems to be the time to decide on big changes and since my changes don't usually last very long when they're made that way, I just don't bother any more with the New Year thing.  Changes in your life need careful thought and determination, not the excitement of putting up a new calendar with fresh new pages.
This year is a little different.  I have actually made a resolution, not exactly a New Year's resolution, it just happened to be made around the Holidays.  My cousin Vicky sent an email with a TedX youTube attachment, about happiness and it got me thinking.  I always seem to be waiting for something to happen in order to do something that will make me happy.  Every year I endure winter in misery, waiting for summer to come back.  I've been waiting for my store to sell so that I can retire and be happy.  All of a sudden I'm at an age where people actually start dying off and I realized that I just don't have time to wait.  It's not like I'm not enjoying life as it is.  I'm just not appreciating that enjoyment. 
So right now, I stop waiting.  Take life a day at a time and quit wishing it was tomorrow.  It's not going to be easy and I'm not going to get all weird and Pollyannish and find reasons not to hate the short days and cold, wet feet.  I have to remember and savour the moments that happen every day that make me laugh or make me happy.  Thank goodness for goofy dogs and strange people.  And I still hate winter.
Happy 2012!