Week In Review

I finally went to my first 2008 Rockies game, which happened to be the last home game of the season. Shout out to Megan and Joe for giving me a ticket. I had a great time, even though the Dbacks spanked us. Opening Day for 2009 is April 10, and I plan to be there after missing the last two years because of Stupid Work Stuff.

After mentioning on Twitter that I’d sold a couple more bracelets before even getting around to posting them in my shop, an acquaintance/follower commissioned me to make a manly-looking mala bracelet for him. Cool beans! Not that malas are generally very girlie-looking, but I chose paint-brush jasper for it’s grey/black tones. The hard part was/is finding an affordable “guru” bead. This is the 3-hole-drilled bead that is used as the counting point on a mala, to mark the beginning and end of the circle. I couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I’m going to attempt to drill my own. As for the other bracelets: Still not photographed and posted.

My last contract day with my prior employer was Tuesday. I slipped out with a complete lack of fanfare, because I’m not very good with good-byes. Also, I was RACING to a FedEx drop box, and didn’t have time for chit-chat. I realize that the reorg put into place by upper management, under pressure from the Board and stockholders, was short-sighted. Heck, it was BLIND. But I don’t work (much) with upper management, the Board, or the stockholders. The folks with whom I worked are my friends, and in some cases feel like family. I will be happy to return to the office for more work whenever I’m needed. At twice my old pay, of course. 🙂

I took my mom in for a preventative maintenance ’scope, and she gets a clean bill of health. The family genes are pretty good at shielding themselves from everything we throw at them. Yes, yes, mom’s side of the family battles diabetes, and her sweet tooth (which I thankfully did not inherit) keeps me worried, but she has managed to escape that particular complication for YEARS longer than her mom or brother did. Still, I’m keeping my eye on her.

Two former colleagues and I met up for lunch, to discuss the possibility of joining forces into one design company. After speaking to our individual strengths and weaknesses, I’m not sure that we’d be any better off than we are as independent contractors, but I still want to see what the initial business plan looks like before I bow out (or shake hands on the deal).

With my new, limited income, I’m trying to stay close to home and keep as much money in the bank as possible. I went to the thrift store ONLY to do a quick check for a dress that could affordably be used for Costume Two. I didn’t find one, but I did find a vintage, self-belt dress for the ridiculous price of $2.95, so I bought it. It looks to be home-made, but by someone who really knew what she was doing. I considered buying the new-but-retro-styled wedding dress that needed a dry cleaning but was priced somehow at $4.95, but it was a size 4 and there was NO WAY that I was ever going to be able to use that for anything. The sad, sad part of that trek was finding a mid-century-looking buffet-style chest of drawers for $60, and not knowing anyone with a pickup truck to help me get it home. Regardless of provenance, I liked the shape. It doesn’t go with ANYTHING in my house, outside of the kidney coffee table in the basement, so I should just put it out of my head.

I came up with the brilliant plan of using Very Long Tweezers to remove the offending thread from my comatose sewing machine. Except that I didn’t know where to buy Very Long Tweezers. Mandelion came to my rescue, and suggested the local fabric store. Of course! One trip to JoAnn later, and I was holding in my hands tweezers that are specifically advertised for reaching tight spots in sewing machines. Perfect! Alas, they don’t fit into this particular tight spot. Oh, for fuck’s sake. In frustration, with the aid of the tweezers, a metal barbecue skewer, and scissors, I wrestled most of the thread out. I am skipping the last camping trip of the season this weekend, but hope to make good use of my time at home by getting some of these sewing/beading/photographing projects out of the way.

Two Hours Dicking Around In Beaver

I made a whole mess of dice bracelets when I was getting amped up for VLV11. Drilled all the dice, strung them together, put them up on my etsy storefront

There was one color combo that I really, really liked. Red, with black spacer dice. I decided to take it out of the store and keep it for myself. But, since I had already posted it, I gave it a day. ONE day, and then I’d take it down.

It sold.

Well, okay, that is kind of the point of me, you know, selling them. Fine, I’ll go to my local supply store and buy more of those dice. The fancy, translucent ones. And I’ll make myself a new one, just for me. Red, with black spacers.

My supply store is sold out.

I go back every now and then to check, but they don’t know when (if) they’ll get those fancy dice back in. I make more of the “regular” white dice variety. Which are precisely not flying off the virtual shelves of my store.

I bring my store stock with me to Las Vegas, so my friends and I always have bracelets to coordinate with our outfits. I see a vendor there, selling nearly-identical bracelets for twice the price. Personally, I like mine a little better, because I use mini-dice in between the standard game-play dice, and his just have regular ol’ beads. But I don’t have a vendor booth at VLV, nor do I want to (and be trapped in a booth all day and night, instead of out playing), and I doubt I’d make much money selling $7 bracelets anyway. Coincidentally, a couple of my gals buy from me the bracelets they’d been borrowing. I feel a little funny taking money from friends, but the bracelets do cost me materials and time, so I guess I’d better get used to it.

Waiting for the hotel shuttle one evening, a woman in line asks Alison where she got her bracelet. She indicates me, I pass along my card, a conversation ensues. Eventually, nothing comes of it.

A few weeks later, I get an email. It’s the woman from the shuttle line. She’s still thinking about Alison’s bracelet, and wants to know if I have an online store or anything. Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I do. I invite her to have a look, and to ask me if there’s anything she has in mind but doesn’t see. She takes a good look around, even into my sold listings…

She wants the red one.

I checked my local store again: no go. I’ve looked around online before, but now I make a real effort: There are plenty of translucent red dice to be found, but the price point makes it impossible to string an affordable bracelet from them. Unless I buy a block of TWO HUNDRED. Which, with shipping, is a little more than I’d been paying at my local supplier, but still within the realm of a $7 bracelet. Except that these dice don’t have the rounded corners that I like to use. For some reason, I can only find those in blocks that cost twice the price. And so the search continues…

About the title: My pal Nick is driving out from California to visit, and while he was plotting out a route to take, I suggested that he spend the night in Beaver, Utah. Because, you know, that would be funny. To spend the night in Beaver. Ha ha. Anyway, he wound up choosing a different stop along the highway, but I asked him to think of me and laugh heartily when he eventually drives through Beaver. Maybe stop for a coffee or something. He replied with a hypothetical, “Sorry I’m late, but I spent two hours dicking around in Beaver.” … Okay, maybe you had to be there. And also, to have developed the tasteful sense of humor of a 15-year-old boy. But I thought it was hysterical.