Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's Good to Have Goals

One thing always leads to another.  Which is why it's good to have goals!

The past two weeks I have been working on a long-term goal:  I now have a store on Etsy with Jewelry items to sell!  Yea! 

Etsy itself is easy to maneuver.

Taking GOOD pictures of small objects in at least five "poses" takes an inordinate amount of time.  Lighting is crucial.  It takes a lot of experimentation to find pleasant backgrounds and props.  In fact, I don't think you ever stop experimenting or trying to take better pictures.

Unless the media your camera stores pictures on becomes obsolete... or your expensive digital camera starts getting fussy...

My digital camera is a Sony Mavica that I bought 8 or 10 years ago.  It uses mini-CD's to record pictures--which in and of itself is not a problem, but it really prefers CD's that were manufactured specifically for the camera.  Unfortunately, you can no longer buy Sony Mavica CD's.  Of the stack of 50 Sony CD's I've had for the last 5 years, only a third of them would successfully format using the camera. 

Last week, I started taking pictures of my jewelry using a CD that had a few pictures on it already.  After I had taken 40 or 50 pictures, the camera started getting fussy.  It made repeated grinding and whirring noises.  The light that indicates it is reading the CD stayed on, but I could neither take more pictures nor look at the ones I had already taken.  Another idiosynchrocy of the camera is that you have to do a "finalize" step to format the CD so that it is readable by a computer.  Once you finalize a CD, you can no longer write to it via the camera.

I tried using a couple more CD's that had pictures on them.  I took a few more pictures.  Then I found another CD that was unreadable by both the camera and computer. 

When my PC crashed in December of 2009, I lost all the pictures that were on my hard drive.  I had made no backups, of course.  So last week I copied all the pictures from the readable CD's to the computer.  Then I finalized all the CD's that were full and marked all the CD's that still had room for more pictures where the camera made normal successfully-reading-a-CD noises.

I organized my pictures (on the PC) in folders by year.  I have nothing in the folder marked "2008."  Unfortunately, a couple of important things happened in 2008 where I took enough pictures to fill two CD's.  I can only guess that pictures from my in-laws' 65th wedding anniversary party, pictures of relatives from out of state who were here that week, and a picture of the 12-inch "zipper" from the middle of my forehead to my right ear after having brain surgery (the staples looked like a zipper) the following week are on the CD's that are no longer readable. 

The camera's CD-reading and -writing ability seems to be gradually deteriorating.  Cameras do not last forever.  I can accept that

For now, I'm still able to take pictures of my jewelry using the CD's that still have room.  So I am posting them on Etsy as I go.

I also added a few more goals to my list:

1)  Back up the pictures that are on my PC.  Knowing how reliable my CD's are, and having lost my hard drive once already, this is something that should become a priority.

2)  Figure out if my 2008 CD's can be recovered.

3)  Start saving for a new camera.

Hope you are accomplishing some of your goals in 2011!!


Friday, January 14, 2011

More of My Sister's Beads

Made a few more pieces of jewelry with my sister's beads that I'll add below.  I used up most of the strands of beads except for two strands which I'm going to save for next week. 

I've also been playing around with pictures, backgrounds and poses.  I'll post some of the better shots.  Some of the closeups got a little blurry, so I'll have to do some cropping of the better shots so you can see the detail.  Taking pictures of jewelry is very tricky, and I don't really have the right setup with my lights as you can see some glare and shadows.  I do have a lot of 12x12 sheets of paper which I've testing out as the background.  I also need to get out a couple of busts so you can see the length and how the necklaces lay.

So much to do!  And I feel like the day flies by before I've gotten much done.  Hopefully I'll get better at that as time goes by. 

I'm looking forward to making more jewelry with wire and beads.  That's what I hope to do this weekend.  I also have quite a few new pieces of antique gold and antique copper filigree that I want to work very soon. 



Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I'm reading the book "Making a Living Without a Job" by Barbara J. Winter.  Talk about the right book at the right time!  My copy was published in 1993 before web sites and blogs, so I googled her and found her web site with all kinds of additional information, resources and inspiring articles and stories.  I highly recommend checking out her website.  There is also an updated version of the book.

I even posted on her blog!  Such a daring move for someone who usually likes to lurk unknown in the background. 

Here's the link to her blog if you're interested:

And her web site:


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Jewelry

See the pictures to the right - those are the jewelry pieces I made a couple of days ago with my sister's beads.  I'll have more to post tomorrow. 

Being a lady of leisure is very nice, but now I have to go make dinner. 

Stop back soon!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!!

2010 was not a bad year for me, but December did mark a period of transition from having a day job to not so much.  After 12 years with the same company, being jobless was not what I expected for Christmas.  I don't think I've ever had a big ego, and being laid off really damages a person's self-image despite the fact that I'm not alone in this endeavor.  How many times have your heard, "It's a sign of the times."  I realize now that just because a person works hard, does a good job and is swamped with work does not guarantee the job won't be cut.

I really want to use this experience to do something positive with my life.  My technical skills are now outdated.  I have lots of experience, but not with most of the acronyms I've seen on job postings in the past 4 weeks.  Of course I can learn.  But the computer industry has changed drastically in the past 15 years.  How much will it change in the next 10 years?  I did this once already when the railroad went through a merger and I didn't want to move to Topeka, Kansas.  Do I really want to start over again in the same industry?  It is where the money is if you look at careers and earnings, but I also realize there's more to life than money.  I wasn't unhappy as a software engineer.  I thought I was good at it, but I wouldn't say it was my passion.

So what now? 

Thanks to my husband's job and his medical insurance, I do have a little time to figure out what I should do next.  I'll spend some time at the workforce center and take some classes if I can.  I'll figure out what my strengths are and what I want to be when I grow up.

In my spare time, I'll make more jewelry, take pictures and post some of my recent pieces. 

Yes, I do know what my passion is.  Whether I can make the same (or better) salary and benefits as my last job is the question. 

All my best,