Please check out this timely post by my friend Stephanie Kilgore! She is helping spread the news about the wonderful organizations that educate and help those with rare diseases.
What seems like a hundred years ago, even though it’s more like twenty, I used to work as a phlebotomist in a satellite lab. It was there, while I was supposed to be doing my job, that I stumbled on how to make my own jewelry from a catalogue of work-at-home projects I’d purchased in the mail.
Actually, I started practicing my new craft at home with the directions provided by the company, it was just that I had so much down time while working the satellite by myself, I used to literally lay out all the supplies, tools and directions, toiling away for hours at a time, teaching myself how to weave string and beads into beautiful, fringe style earrings and other pieces of jewelry. Back then my eyes were sharp and my fingers nimble, not to mention I had a lot more patience than I do these days. These were seed beads I was working with at the time, tiny little things, some of them no bigger than the head of a pin.
I would lay everything out on the empty counter and work, and when a patient came in to have their blood drawn, I’d get up and go do it. That’s how slow business was back in the day and I took advantage since I got all my work done, processed and sent out in a timely manner. My supervisor didn’t mind, as long as I got my work done efficiently. I wish I could remember the name of the company that I made those first pieces for, unfortunately, it was a scam but at least, I learned a new craft and began to make and try to sell them myself. This lead to more how-to manuals and magazines and I had the bug. I couldn’t pass Michael’s or Hobby Lobby or any craft show that sold beads for that matter, without buying more. I have enough beads, buttons and tools to open my own small store, yet now I rarely have the time for making jewelry anymore.
I took the knowledge that the experience of that first company gave me and honed my craft, perfecting it over twenty years but never really getting the marketing of it down pat. Oh, I tried to sell a few pieces here and there, I placed it in craft shows and antique stores where you rent a little booth, yet no one else wanted to pay what they were worth to me. By then, there was way too much competition from the many discount jewelry stores, and honestly, my work was better than some artists but not as polished as many. I made earrings, and bracelets, rings and necklaces-I still have many of my finished pieces today. None were as special as those first ones I taught myself how to make, when I discovered I actually had a knack for stringing and weaving beads into something beautiful.
Had I really believed in myself, I might have been better at marketing, but I told myself it would take the fun out of it if I had to mass produce my stock. I gave most of my jewelry away as gifts and kept some for myself, I can still make it when I want to give someone a heartfelt gift. It turns out I was doing it more for the love of the craft than something to make a profit on. Maybe I learned something more valuable than how to make jewelry that year. I learned how precious it is to be able to make something beautiful with your own two hands, how you share that gift is up to you.
This can be applied to my situation right now, how about yours?
Whether it’s a new relationship, a new job, or just a new way of doing things, this is a great motivational quote which I found on a Pinterest board of them.
As if this quote wasn’t enough motivation, I saw more in my notifications this morning, in the form of a blog by Suze (Obsolete Childhood) in which she named my blog as one of her favorites for Steven Sawyer’s BMU challenge! After reading her kind words, I was motivated to keep going, and it made me feel vindicated as a blogger/writer when she said I make her feel the emotions that I’m talking about. Thanks Suze, you made my day! I also checked out Steven’s blog, For His Glory and you should too, it is very inspirational.
That’s what we all do as bloggers isn’t it? Lift each other up, spread each others words and news and generally try to help each other, however we can.
As I continue with my courses on blogging and affiliate marketing, I have to admit-I’m getting more confused by the minute with all of the information overload, it can be quite overwhelming. That being said, once I figure out how to create a better place for me to serve you, my journey will be complete. Then, the adventure will begin and we can all have fun together. I want to create content that is helpful and relevant, that answers your questions or helps you solve a problem. Stick with me folks, I’m a work in progress!
How have I helped you today? Please let me know in the comments and to everyone reading and following on this warm and humid Monday-have a great, productive day and I’ll see you tomorrow…on the patio!
PS-Some of you may remember from yesterday that I mentioned a family dinner celebrating my oldest son and my husband’s birthdays. Well, I’m ashamed to admit, I got so caught up in the moment of surprising my son with his gift that I totally forgot to take pictures…and I very much wanted you to see what I got him. He is a gifted musician, and a friend of Stephanie’s makes these wonderful guitars out of cigar boxes. Kind of a novelty, but one that really works-it even has a pick-up for amplification! I purchased one from Fred and gave it to Sean yesterday (even though today is his actual birthday).
I will try to get a pic and/or video of him playing it, which he started doing within minutes after receiving it. I’m happy to say he was pleased with it, and happy that Fred showed them to me in the first place.
As we prepare for the gathering of family for a celebratory birthday dinner, I was saddened to hear the news of the death of a great actor, Bill Paxton. Apparently, he suffered a stroke while undergoing a recent surgery and I was shocked to hear about it on a Facebook post, I then investigated and saw no fewer than eight news articles on his passing. It is amazing how quickly the press finds and distributes the news sometimes, isn’t it? He was a Ft Worth native (one more reason to like him), and my favorite films by him were Tombstone (1993) and Twister (1996)-although the earliest recollection was him being turned into a giant turd on Weird Science (1985). His wry humor and charm will be sorely missed, I never got into Big Love (2006-2011), but would gladly have watched him along side his son for the upcoming eighth episode of Training Day. RIP Mr Paxton.
Ahhhhh, from Roman Holiday to Summer of ’42 and all the way to Fifty Shades Darker, it seemed that romance was the backdrop for a perfect weekend for the birthday boy. While some things are better left to the imagination, I will say that we have enjoyed each other’s company very much this weekend. I surprised him yesterday with a card and a gift for him to get a professional massage, and then we went out for a celebratory Margarita at Don Pablo’s, or should I say Beerita-his newest obsession.
I’d never seen either of the classics I mentioned, though they were very good. Then tonight, he treated me to the lastest Fifty Shades movie which was at one of those theaters that serve food and adult beverages, not a stretch to say we both enjoyed date night a lot. 😉
I’m sure at this point no one wants to hear the boring details of the scads of homework that preceded all this, but I assure you, I did plenty. It seems that as usual, I have done things backwards, and jumped the gun by purchasing the marketing class, when I should have started with Elite Blog Academy-a fact I learned after viewing the first couple of videos in Ruth Soukup’s Blogging Made Simple series. I tell you all this so that you will understand where I am in the process and to help you make a more informed decision if you decide you want your blog(s) to go in a new or different direction. While I’m not sure of anything yet, what I have learned from her videos so far is that my blog lacks focus.
When I started blogging a few years ago, I only knew I wanted to share what I’d learned and help people. I knew it could be a business, but never really concentrated on that part, my main goal was to educate, become part of a community and hone my skills as a writer. Now that I’ve made some new friends here in the blogosphere, I’m hoping you’ll stick with me if and when I do decide to branch out in a new direction. For now, rest assured, things will stay the same (unless you want new content) until I get through all of my studies.
Tomorrow we will celebrate Dave and Sean, my oldest son’s birthdays with a family get together and dinner. On the menu is pork loin with veggies, salad and fresh cooked green beans and/or salad. I’ll have a sweet potato for myself and for the birthday boys, hot apple pie a-la-mode. I’m hoping my surprise gift for my oldest, who is a musician, will delight him. I’ll let you know how it turns out when I talk to you tomorrow, from the patio!
(P.S.-I am not earning anything by mentioning the courses I’m taking or thinking of taking, just mentioning them in case anyone else may be interested)