Archive for November, 2014

I have these Grand Realizations now and again. Self awareness can be emotionally devastating, so I try not to have them too often.

Earlier this week, I saw the ad for the upcoming Lifetime flick titled “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever.” Even though I roll my eyes at ALL internet memes, the ads appealed to me. I like cats and I’m grumpy, and I like Grumpy Cat, so how bad could it be? I figured it would have a couple of LOL’s, but it’s Lifetime after all, and Lifetime doesn’t specialize in LOL’s. Yes, I watch a lot of Lifetime movies. Yes, they’re awful, and I despise myself for DVR-ing every insipid new release. I can’t seem to look away.

I asked Mr. Sarah if he wanted to watch it with me and he groaned a non-committal groan… well, it wasn’t a no, so I knew he was slightly interested. Neither of us expected much, but goodness gracious, people. From the first minute to the very last, Grumpy cat had us thoroughly charmed with her melancholy delivery of grating sarcasm and very direct insults. At one point I was laughing so hard I couldn’t catch my breath. What a refreshing surprise! I must say that this is the BEST Christmas movie I’ve ever watched!

So, what’s this Grand Realization, you might be wondering? Well, get ready folks. Here it is. Are you ready?

I am Grumpy Cat. Oh, dear lord, yes.

Grumpy unabashedly made fun of the Lifetime network several times throughout the movie. She made snide comments about corporate greed, how annoying the internet is, how much Christmas sucks, she poked fun at the other characters, even at the movie itself… and nearly each jab is punctuated by a sullen “meow” at the end. She, like me, has a real bad case of the crap-where-you-eats. Except for the “meow” at the end, everything Grumpy Cat said bore a frightening resemblance to the running commentary inside my head – not to mention the things I think to myself during every Lifetime movie I watch. And if we’re being honest, with three cats at my house, there’s going to be a “meow” in there somewhere.  So… yeah. It kind of looks like I might be Grumpy Cat.


One day, a strikingly handsome young stranger asked me if I was Irish. My translucent skin and curly red hair said YES, I’m so undeniably Irish that I’m practically a caricature of the stereotype, just slam a green sweater down on me and we’ll be primed for a jig… and YES, I really am very, very Irish. Know what I said? “No.” I was in one of my moods. Oh, who am I kidding. I have one mood. And it’s Grumpy. (really, I’m kidding. mostly.)

It’s not just that. I have this condition that is often referred to as “RBF” or “Resting Bitch Face.” Here’s what happens. The corners of my mouth turn slightly downward, so if I’m not smiling, people assume that I’m unhappy. People who know me know I’m probably just fine. I’m actually pretty sweet, most of the time. Until I must deal with humanity at large. Even a 5 minute dash to fetch a roll of powdered Donettes from 7-11 is likely to bring home an elaborate chronicle of my brush with The Abominations that dwelled within That Hotbed Of Despair. Yes, during just about every one of my visits to 7-11, I’m instructed to “smile” by some random letch in line behind me. To which I reply, “Give me something to smile ABOUT” with an actual frown, and by most accounts, that’s way scarier than my RBF. I take my Donettes, and then I take my leave, my neck about to burst from the very special type of adrenaline surge that comes from being nearly fatally annoyed.

Anyway. I’ve heard my own voice before, which I hate by the way, and my low voice and semi-monotonous speech pattern sounds somewhat similar to that of Grumpy Cat’s in the movie. Let me be clear, though – I DO realize that the voice of Grumpy Cat is an actress named Aubrey Plaza. I also know that Grumpy Cat’s real name is Tardar Sauce. (Yeah, wow, if someone named me that, I’d be Grumpy too.) I also know that Grumpy Cat’s face looks like it does thanks to feline dwarfism. Many, MANY, many thanks, I’m sure, because Grumpy Cat’s owner is quite certainly grumping all the way to the bank.


But the whole point of all of this yammering is this: there may be a teensy glimmer of hope in my dank and bitter existence. People LOVE Grumpy Cat! Maybe I’ve finally found a place in time where people will love MEEEE too! My pointing out the obvious all the time in my cutting, judgmental grumble could be embraced and admired, at long last! My seemingly endless tirades about what a pompous pretty-boy Trent Reznor is, or my multiple diatribes on how overrated mountains are may FINALLY be appreciated by everyone in the world! Maybe everyone can now accept how dangerous and unromantic candles are! Maybe the universe will come around to my way of seeing things and we’ll have less sunshine and more flat land! Wouldn’t that be delightfully glum?

Well… Truth is, if I didn’t have sunny sunshine and pretty mountains and lovely people to hate on, I’d wither away and die. So I’m not about to quit complaining anytime soon. But hey! I’ve been practicing my people skills and doing some exercises in patience and nicety, and while they’re not ALL as bad as I thought, I still haven’t been convinced that people are something I need to get too friendly with.

Really, though, what a beautiful, sweet little cat Grumpy is. And talented, too! She was able to complete a Lifetime movie. Or maybe she just has a freakishly high tolerance for absurdity. I sure wish I did.

Catch you dweebs later! And you really need to watch GRUMPY CAT’S WORST CHRISTMAS EVER! You’re gonna want a t-shirt afterwards, I promise.

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Superstars Tonight!

Don’t miss it!

and this isn't everything! click on us to get to the superstars page.

and this isn’t everything! click on us to get to the superstars page.

What’s happening tonight:

7:30PM CENTRAL TIME: The new beads will appear on the Superstars page for the sale preview. Take this 30 minutes to read and decide what you want, and email me with any burning questions. You should see EIGHT selections on the Superstars page.

 8PM CENTRAL TIME and beyond: Start sending in your requests via email.

 If you’re unsure of where your time zone falls in this scenario, google it!


Thanks for checking in! I’ll see you at the sale.

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Some sad news (for me, mostly): It appears that the times of maintaining a mailing list for free have passed. I received way too many mail system errors when sending Superstars notifications today. My ISP said “too many unwanted messages have been sent” from my IP address. Going by this handful of addresses, I know of at least 5 who would want to receive my notifications. So, I’m not sure if Cox is being overzealous or if someone actually marks my email as “junk” and it has finally taken its toll.

You may not know this: if you subscribe to a mailing list (particularly one run by a one-person operation, such as mine) and then begin marking those emails as “junk” when you’re no longer interested, it can be detrimental to my ability to do business with people who ARE interested in receiving my email. When you mark email as “junk” that information gets sent to the powers that be and they actually do something about it, whether action is truly warranted or not. It can take months to undo the results of such action taken by an ISP. (Fyi, I’m not saying that you guys are marking my email as junk. This isn’t being relayed to you in an accusatory tone – rather, an informative one. Once upon a time, I didn’t know this either.)

You can’t accidentally get on my mailing list – that is, you don’t get signed up automatically under any circumstance. You actually have to read my website and find out about my mailing list and then you must physically type my email address into your email program, ask to be added and hit send. And when you want to be removed, all you must do is reply to one of my emails with the word “unsubscribe” in the subject or in the body. Easy. You’re communicating directly with me, not some e-bot who takes care of this plebian gruntwork for me. Because of this direct contact, you won’t continue to get email for weeks into the future before the emails finally stop (if they ever do), as you would with large corporations. And I never, EVER try to talk you out of unsubscribing.

Since I started my mailing list in 2005, I’ve maintained around 300 recipients. In 2010, I tried a php (?) based mailing list, which was a disaster and only a few people got their messages, so I went back to doing it my old way because it seemed to work better. My way entails sending my notifications to about 20 recipients at a time, leaving about 5 minutes between each email. I don’t even keep these contacts in my email program, I keep the list in a MS Word document. Whenever I do get a Daemon or other error, I make sure to look at the number associated with it. If it looks like the address is defunct, I delete the address from my list immediately. If it looks like a full mailbox or other benign issue, I’ll keep it and see what happens next time. In other words, I do my best to stay on top of it.

Things being what they are here in the year 2014, it looks like I have a few other options:

Option 1.
Paying for email marketing help, such as Constant Contact. Okay. I could do that. 0-500 contacts cost $15/month. That seems reasonable, except I don’t have sales every month. One might think that it would be wise to take advantage of such a large mailing list and have more Superstars sales, but sometimes life and orders take precedence and it doesn’t happen. I think about how much I pay Etsy for any sales that happen there, and $15/mo, whether I use it or not, sounds slightly better than my Frowny Face Etsy Bill. Since both cost money, I’d rather choose one over the other. Right now, I’m not sure which one that would be.

Option 2.
Entirely doing away with my Superstars sales and conducting ALL of my first-run bead sales on Etsy. Then again, I just plunked down $143 for one year of web hosting, and I feel like I ought to use that $143 for all it’s worth. Back to the choice between just Etsy or just Superstars.

Option 3.
Getting a facebook account so I can let people know about all of my sales that way. Some people actually think having a Facebook account is just as good as having an email account and don’t even check their email anymore. Maybe they’re right. But oh gawd, please don’t make me get a facebook account. A quick glance over my husband’s shoulder at his facebook page makes me want to pull my hair out. The catty bickering, the same cheezy “keep calm and carry a big dildo” posts seen again and again as you scroll down the page and invites to play Angry Birds and online slot machines from Friends Without Jobs…  I’d rather go back to high school, it probably wouldn’t be as insufferable as Facebook. I also have a problem with Facebook’s privacy and copyright policies and their lack of transparency about said policies. But I guess I’d do it if I felt I had to, and who knows, I might even like it. There was a time I felt like I had to start this blog. I’ve long since forgotten what that reason was, but here I am…

I’d like to know what you think, or if you have any other suggestions. (It isn’t deja vu, we’ve done this before, but it’s been a few years, and much change can happen in just a few years.) If you think I should get a facebook, tell me so. Like, loudly snap a big fat dictionary closed onto my face = facebook! haha. If you think Superstars are passé, tell me that, too. If you think I should tell everyone on my mailing list to just subscribe to my blog and buy only on etsy and made to order from my website from then forward, I’d like to hear that opinion as well. (ETA – I’m waiting on the edge of my seat for someone to suggest that I take a long walk off a short pier.) I’ll weigh out all opinions and suggestions thoughtfully. You’re the buyer, you’re who I work for.


The better news is, SUPERSTARS THIS THURSDAY! Big beads, little beads, fancy beads… all beads this time, no jewelry or silver. And it looks like it’s going to be the last Superstars sale for the remainder of 2014. This will give me time to ponder the future of my mailing list and possible changes to the way I sell my work.

But that doesn’t mean there won’t be any beads for the rest of the year – keep checking my Etsy shop (or subscribe to this blog for instant notifications via email for the newest additions to my Etsy shop.) And of course, there’s always Made To Order! I’ve neglected it all year, but I’m working on my 2014 Gallery right now and there’s not too much more to do before it goes live on my website.

Anyway, thanks for being great and suffering through this serious post without pretty pictures… serious business and all that rot! Please do let me know what you think!

Well, except for this one photo of the greatest socks ever – my sister sent me these for my birthday:


I can’t decide if I want to wear them or frame them.


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Click HERE to get to my shop, or  the thumbnails below for each item.

Your Skyness:



Vitamin D:


That’s it for this week! Tomorrow, Mom and I will be going to the Bead Renaissance show in Tulsa. So I gotta get ready now because we’ll be leaving early and hitting Saks Fifth Avenue. They probably have the best perfume counter in the state, unless they’ve been dumbed down like the rest of them. Heck, I was surprised that Nordstroms even threw us yokels a bone with the Rack store in the Belle Isle center in OKC.
Enough of that, enjoy the beads!

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I hope you guys aren’t too tired of the hana/seascape/fireworks/umbrella beads yet. I got excited and made a bunch of new milles (I apparently can’t use the correct term murine because, well, obviously, Wordpress thinks I mean the eyedrops. And I can’t turn the autocorrect off, so I guess I have no choice but to allow the internet to take liberties with my wordiness.)

This is what’s coming up on Etsy in just a few hours:

top to bottom, your skyness and vitamin D

top to bottom, your skyness and vitamin D

Back in a bit, after an early dinner…

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Click HERE to visit my shop, or the thumbnails below for each item.



Lazy Day Mint Glimmer Strips:

Modern Turquoise Smooches:


I do realize I frequently poke fun at Etsy, but really, it makes life (and selling my beads) somewhat easier sometimes. For example, this week, I didn’t have to commit to two days of computer stuff for a big sale on my website while trying to recover from The Crud. So when I make fun, it isn’t so much of a crapping where I eat type-deal, it’s more like my way of coping with a dependency/resentment sort of situation. We all find ourselves in this position from time to time, it’s a fact of life. As I’ve said so many times before, if you were to boycott everyone you didn’t agree with, you’d find yourself naked, entirely without shelter and drinking from puddles and eating twigs. So…

Off to bed with me now. Currently, I’m one of the Day People I’m normally so frightened of. Truly. I’m much more afraid for my life when I’m out in the world at 3PM than I’ve ever been at 3AM.
Anyway, enjoy the beads! Thanks for looking.

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That pretty much sums up my last two weeks. I caught a hideous head cold, which happened to be identical to the one I caught at exactly the same time last year. It was only bad the first few days; all I did was sleep in between sneezing and trips to the bathroom sink to visit my neti pot. But the epic wads of goo lingered on for quite a while and I think I could have singlehandedly kept Kleenex in business if it had fallen upon me to do so. I think that having been a nonsmoker for an entire year longer than I had been last October, it was less intense in the lung portion of the obligatory respiratory torture. I suppose I shouldn’t complain. I wouldn’t be alive there wasn’t something waiting to creep up behind me and knock me down the moment I gain some momentum.

And that would be making myself exercise every day. I’ve been taking advantage of our unseasonably warm October and taking walks, sometimes twice a day. Yes, even with a cold. I finally figured out why everyone says exercise is good for you. It’s because it’s so damned boring and such a waste of time – time that could be spent working or gawking at Fragrantica – that I’m actually excited to get it done so that I can do something, ANYTHING else besides exercise. I hate it. That said, my lower back has become increasingly stiff over the last few years, and for the first time in about a year it doesn’t hurt every time I stand up or take a step. Dropping nearly 20 pounds helped that, I’m sure. It would have been even easier if I had soft drinks to give up… but nope, I’m just an occasional user of those particular drugs.

Anyway, I did manage to get some beads made, and I’m working on the Etsy listings right now. See what’s coming up (and if you want to save me the trouble and Etsy fees, you can give me a holler in the next few hours if you see something you gotta have):

top to bottom: ruth, lazy day mint glimmer strips, ruthless, modern turquoise smooches

top to bottom: ruth, lazy day mint glimmer strips, ruthless, modern turquoise smooches

So, that’s that – I’ll post again later when everything is live on Etsy.
Thanks for reading, see you in a bit –


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