Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Blog Strikes Again!

For the second time since I started this blog an old friend has gotten in touch with me through it!

The first person, about a year ago, was an old friend who had been the officient at our wedding - Shelley. We've since gotten together a few times and it was great to reconnect.

The second time was just the other day! My old friend Jen googled me and found this blog. Jen and I first met when she worked at a bead store that I often went to as a fledgling jewelry designer. It was the beginning of my bead addiction. Do I blame Jen for my bead-junkie woes? Noooooooooooooooooo. But she was so nice! We connected right away. I'm sure if she'd been a mean person I wouldn't have made as many treks to the bead store as I did. So I wouldn't say it was her fault, exactly, but she could possibly be prosecuted for "contributing to the delinquency" - or something.

Bead Storage

This is one of those big tool boxes with 5 drawers, an upper compartment, and a cabinet below - and it's completely full. I have to shift everything around just to get the smallest thing in it. This is just a picture of the top 4 drawers.

This is an item I made for a swap with Jodi Barone, whose daughter's birthday is the same day as Rexy's. My thought for this is that quote, "When my child was born I suddenly knew what it was like to have your heart live outside of your body." (I'm wildly paraphrasing, I can't remember the exact wording - but you get the drift.)

Friday, February 22, 2008

What is "Aging Gracefully" Anyway?

(this pic belongs to Enchanted Mercantile, please do not copy it as I only have the right to use it for my own purposes)

Ugh, I've been looking in the mirror lately. What a disaster. For some reason the rear-view mirror in the car is particularly unkind. My hair has mile-long, grey roots, I swear. I'm having peri-menopausal acne go to town on my face. Literally, it seems to travel from one area to the next until it hits every neighborhood of my face - and then it makes the rounds again. Perfectly planned so that I have to put the yucky prescription creme all over my face, thereby causing the entire thing to become overdry and get crepe-y and flaky - and create wrinkles! Sigh... On top of that I'm getting those tiny blood vessels. You know the ones, from a distance they make you look unnaturally red and close up they're just kind of yucky. I've been grumbling to myself about this age-related transformation for about a month. Today I visited a delightful blog, full of poetry, and this one just hit the spot. What happens when you live past your plan to "live hard and die young?"
Link to poem only:

My new, insidious addiction:

You just plug in the image of your choice and "Voila!" You have an egg. I blame Chrysti for the enormous amount of time I spent on this yesterday. :-D She introduced it to us on ZNE's Parata di Arte Flickr group.

Dover Nouveau border EggLeaves Egg

Rexy perked up for her birthday (more on that later), and then immediately afterward relapsed into sickness and was sick all long weekend long. She is only just starting to be her normal self. Boy, do I feel for parents whose children are sick a lot or are seriously ill. What a terrible feeling to see my (newly turned) 4 yo just laying listlessly on the couch. I spent much of the last 2-1/2 weeks sitting on the couch with her head on my lap. My poor baby.
Anyway, I should be getting back up to normal speed soon. If you've been expecting me to visit, I'll try and be by in the not-too-distant future!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Grab and Go Poetry sponsored by Poets Who Blog

From Poets Who Blog, Grab and Go Poetry. For Grab and Go Poetry you are directed to an automatic line generator which you then use as the first line in a poem. Here's my first attempt:

Two Figures of Love Echo Beside a River

Two figures of love echo beside a river
dancing the dance of

Advance again.

Will and thought washing away
In the wake of so much

Want me.
Chase me.
Tell me I’m the one.

The river merely watching as it passes by,
carrying the tears
of ages

Two figures of love echo beside a river
dancing the dance of

I had no art done for this so I used an image generously given to me by Dover Publishing.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Light of Our Lives, Our Valentine...

Happy Birthday Rexy!
It's my girl's birthday! Four years ago today she became our Valentine baby. I know everyone says it, but you just don't know how much you can love someone until you have a child. We marvel at her every day. I hope we can always convey that feeling to her - even when she's a teenager.

We were so happy when she was born. They wrapped her up so fast that when they handed her to us we didn't know if she was a boy or a girl! We didn't care, we were falling in love at first sight.

She's having her first school birthday party today. I've got to run to get the gift bags ready. I just wanted to share my beautiful girl's day with my blog friends.

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

Monday, February 11, 2008


Okay - it's a boycott, not a strike. I love this graphic that I found on someone else's blog, though. I've read a lot about the boycott and while I'm not sure that a single week of boycotting will make a huge difference to eBay monetarily- I think a series of "rolling boycotts" would actually do more damage to stockholder confidence - I do think that a large, worldwide show of solidarity would cause the management to consider further some of the changes they are proposing if only out of fear that more boycotts would be in the offing.

I received the notice below from Nancy Baughman, a leader in the Sellers Union movement. One thing not mentioned in the notice is the proposed changes to the feedback system. Many people feel these changes will be far more damaging than the rate increase - and I think they make a good case. Please follow some of the links I provided at the end of this post to educate yourself about these changes. They affect everyone who sells - and buys - on eBay.

I'm also disturbed by widespread reports of people getting banned from the community boards for voicing their opinions about the changes and discussing options. This reeks of fascism - which I find very scary.

Another thing I find scary is that PayPal, an eBay owned company, is also implementing changes that will support and enhance some of the more unfair changes eBay is making. eBay/PayPal is effectively a monopoly. The only way to break that monopoly (without the aid of a government anti-trust conviction) is to take our business elsewhere.

I've already closed my eBay store. I'm boycotting. Are you?




When other companies are cutting their prices due to the bad economic conditions – eBay decides to raise its fees and add to the burden of its sellers. This fee increase along with other policy changes will negatively affect the tens of thousands of small sellers and business owners across the world. Many of these sellers depend upon eBay’s global marketplace as their sole income.

These changes will also hurt buyers on eBay. When the small entrepreneurs are driven off eBay, there will be less competition, less choice and higher prices.

The mega giant eBay corporation was created by the small business owners and as a reward, eBay seeks to drive them to other marketplaces or out of business. Ebay’s arrogance is obvious, new CEO John Donahoe, referred to the boycott as “nothing but noise”. We are asking both buyers and sellers to stand together and send a message that we are more than just noise; we are the heart and soul of the eBay community. All we ask is to have a voice in major decisions that affect our livelihood.

Please use this week to look at alternative online auctions sites such as “Ioffer”, “bidville” “Ecrater”, “OnlineAuction”, “ePier” and others. These sites offer amazing deals on new, used and antique items. You will find many of your favorite sellers have already moved to these sites. For more information go to

Ebay, Inc. reported 2006 net revenues of 1.7 BILLION


This email brought to you by the Online Seller Cyber Union


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Look! I'm Published!

My first time! Here is my piece in Somerset Memories, Feb/Mar '08 issue on pages 66 & 67.

Hmmm, I didn't expect the picture to be so small, I guess you can't read the fine print - or the large print either! Mine is the banner that goes across both pages. I was inspired to make it by my friend and fellow ZNE-er Pam Carriker.

Here's the story for those of you who haven't heard it already:

Last year when Chel, ZNE's fearless leader and Queen, put out the call for people to apply to be on the inaugural ZNE Design Team I applied, and was accepted. Chel set up a private forum on the ZNE store site and the new design team members started introducing themselves. Being a cautious person, I lurked a little first, and read everyone else's intro before writing mine. Almost everyone's name looked familiar because I was active on the old ZNE site's forum and also on the eBay Community boards. I wrote my intro, including my name and general location. The next morning I checked in on the intro forum and found this,

"Ok, I have goose bumps, I am originally from the Seattle area, Federal Way, and my best friend in high school lived across the street from me and her name was Laurie Blau. If you are that Laurie this is too cool! I will be anxiously awaiting your reply!!!"

I was/am that Laurie! I couldn't believe it. Not only are we making art in the same medium, and not only do we belong to the same worldwide organization, but we were also both chosen to be on the Design Team - could anyone have predicted this??? We hadn't seen each other in probably 22 years! And, silly me, her name looked familiar because I had just googled her about 5 weeks previously and discovered her new married name. It was written on a piece of paper and sitting on my desk!

Anyway, at Pam's urging, I created this piece and sent it into Somerset Studio for a "friends reconnecting" theme. They chose to use it in Somerset Memories and here it is.

(There was a little confusion down at the magazine and one of the assistant editors originally told me it would be in the last "Gallery" issue. So if you remember my first post about getting published, this is actually the piece she was talking about.)


I'm sorry for the long delay in telling you the results of the $50,000 grant competition. My girl has been sick - just the flu, nothing serious - and I've been taking care of her all day and catching up on the rest of life at night. She's never really sick, she's never had a single prescription medication, so when she gets feverish and just wants to lay on the couch my DH and I tend to overreact.

Anyway, I'm sad to say that A Place to Bark did not win one of the $50,000 grants. She does, however, still get the matching funds from the Zoline Foundation. That adds $35,000 to the $42,000 that she raised on the badge - a whopping $77,000!!! Yay!!!!! It's really fantastic and Bernie will be able to pay her hardworking vet and still build a (somewhat smaller than planned) shelter building. Even though she didn't get the big grant it's still a great result and much more than she has raised previously.

Thank you to everyone that donated or told a friend or relative about it or sent prayers and positive thoughts Bernie's way.

And congratulations to A Place to Bark!