Wednesday, March 25, 2009

how to find out if you are in an Etsy treasury

http://craftopolis.com/

Here is really neat. If you are a seller on Etsy, you can go to this site, type in your shop name and it will show you any treasuries you are featured in!

you have to try it!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Raku


Isn't this pretty? It looks like oil on water to me. It's actually an orange glass that is ground to bits called frit. It's popularly called Raku frit but it isn't done with a raku process. I did a little glass blowing and made pieces of this glass and broke it up, then applied it to a base bead. After it melted in a tad, then I messed around with heat and oxygen until these colors bloomed. Pretty neat huh? It took practice for quite some time to learn how to coax these colors from the frit.
Always fun playing with hot glass. (and I have the burn scars to prove it!)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Art Appreciation


I try to teach my Art students to 'think outside the box'. So being my quirky self, I taped a mustache on Mona who is on the bulletin board in my classroom.

My middle school kids kept asking "WHO put that mustache on Mona Lisa?" and I'd say "me"

"WHY?"

"because it amuses me"

finally they got the joke. Then they decided she also needed eyebrows. The next week they gave her a necklace for Spirit Week.

So is this art appreciation or teaching them to deface fine art?

I can't decide, but it still... amuses me.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The 'little guy'

You know we moved about two and half years ago. We moved from a small town to a town that is very close to Charlotte NC. We had to find new everything. A new mechanic, new dentist, new dr, new beautician, you name it.

I try to support the small businesses because 'I' have a small business and really enjoy support and it helps the local economy by going to people rather than a chain store. And we came from a town filled with small businesses, lived there long enough to know the owners and help support them. The optometrist who would mail our kids contact lenses at college, the grocery store that always had carry out for pregnant women or older people, the pharmacist that always asked how the golf game was, the bar that if you forgot to pay your bill, hung it over the cash register and when you remembered the next day, you could go back and pay it. The grocery who put the cart full of groceries in the cooler when I drove home without them (brain fart that day!)
The grocery that ordered my favorite rye bread when the bread guy stopped bringing it. The UPS man who would stop when he saw my car someplace and give me my packages.
We were so spoiled! But supporting the 'little guy' here is what will give us that kind of service again.



So this is what I've learned.

Sometimes someone is a small business because they don't do a good job running a business.

Like the coffee shop that is never open when we walk downtown. In fact, we went during the hours the sign said it is open, and it was closed with the sign down. I guess they figure they aren't selling enough coffee so they may as well not be open. (???????) I think they are open sometime or another.....

Don't go to a dentist with a sign out that says 'taking new patients!' because, well, maybe he'll take needless xrays that insurance won't cover and tell you that you should have every tooth with a filling crowned. Ask around and find one that is trustworthy and not into padding his pockets. (didn't need the crowns--went to a different dentist)

don't go to an eye doctor that is only open 4 days a week, closed from 12-1 everyday and at 4:00 and tells you to come back for a second eye exam to get a contact lens refill. (could he have done it all at once? Could he fill the prescription from the old eye Dr? Did I do something wrong when he and I talked about contacts and how I would need refills? I think I didn't communicate well on that one)
Find the one that is open until 7 one night a week and comes highly recommended by people you know. Not only is the customer service awesome, so was the eye exam and free samples too.

Don't trust someone who gave you a really bad haircut to color weave your hair. (it took about a year to recover from that experience-- you don't even want to know)

We have tried restaurants with bad food and good service, good food and lousy service and found some that are small gems hidden in Charlotte, our favorite being Beef and Bottle, where you get the best steak in a 1950's kind of atmosphere, (which I think is that way just because it hasn't changed not that it was planned) And that awesome Italian place that is hidden away that we went to for Valentine's day.
Tony's ice cream (it's been there since the 1920's) they make their ice cream and giant chocolate shakes that are so good, it's best we have to drive a half hour to get there. We should walk there and burn off the calories.

Morgan's shoes and bootery. Wow.... like this is my very favorite place to go (and dangerous too since I loves shoes......)

The auto mechanic who only charged me 12 dollars to put freon in my AC, or the dishonest one who put in a new $700 part. We took the old part to someone else to have it checked and there was nothing wrong with it.

The bank ladies who call me "Miss Susan" isn't that so sweet!

Billy, who owns some land on the side of the Catawba River, and you can pay him a dollar to fish there.

The farmer's market that is open every day until 5 once the weather warms up. Talking to the farmers is way too much fun.

The pet shop with tanks of koi. We walk there and go in and look at the fish.

The cleaners that don't know what 'light starch' is so my husband can't use the pockets in his shirts. hahah or the other cleaners where the lady calls me Sooo sahn and the clothes come back perfect. She has a little koi pond in her shop and gives out cards with The Lord's Prayer on them.

The BBQ place that only takes cash, is closed on Mondays and has the most mouth watering BBQ I've ever had. And sweet tea for all you sweet tea fans.

So we're figuring it out. It's taking some time. We try our best to go to the 'little guy' and support small businesses, but we also have figured out some are small by choice and some just because they don't deserve to grow because they don't run a business well.
And the cleaners really are both wonderful. That's just a starch preference. ;-)

It's taking time, but after a while the businesses we can trust are the ones we go to. It's a bit more work but it beats those big box stores when it comes to service and product, once you find them.

And what does that say for our economy? It says, give good service, have a good product and people will stay with you and your own personal 'economy' should be pretty good.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Plays with Fire


What I did with my snow days.
It snowed a lot for North Carolina! We had two days off! So I made some rings to put lampwork in. This was in a jewelry magazine with swirls on the side. I have a ring from ages ago that says 'plays with fire' on it and it's so fun, since, yes indeedie, I do play with fire. (and have the scars to prove it lol)
So with my new letters from beaducation, I stamped some of these rings not with swirls but with the saying I wanted.

Now I am thinking of other things to put on them.

The neat thing about these is that you make it fit your finger by the size of the bead. The difficult thing is it isn't interchangable unless you use another wire and cut your initial wire. In the jewelry journal, they used a micro screw, but there are issues with those too. They have to be epoxied closed so those are more difficult to cut out to change a bead. To keep the ring comfy, the little wire is the best way to go, in my opinion. And once you get a good bead in the ring, you really don't want to change it.

It's always fun! :-) I've used all my wire and have a few on Etsy. More wire is on the way in the mail!

Wishing for more snow days............

:-)