Status Reports & Other Ramblings

Tuesday Afternoon Roundup, with slightly less chaos than yesterday

[actual photo of me questioning my life choices yesterday]

I had planned to work yesterday, but then I hit myself in the head rather spectacularly while doing last-minute back-to-school shopping (note to self: when pulling down the hatchback door, make sure your head is NOT in the way) and then there was a lot of pain meds and napping. GO ME I AM SUPER GRACEFUL AND COORDINATED.

That's okay, though, because the short person went back to school today (I SURVIVED SUMMER Y'ALL) and my productivity is going to be AMAZING from here on out (I probably just jinxed myself) and also DID I MENTION THAT SCHOOL STARTED FINALLY?

...kiddo is slightly less excited about it than I am, as you can see.

  • Despite the chaos that was the final week of summer vacation, last week was pretty productive! One of the Morning Wire Meditation pieces resulted in me developing a really interesting new technique/design, which I promptly spent several days exploring - after so many years of working with wire it's very exciting to stumble across something that feels this new and different to me, and I'm learning all kinds of new things about how wire can be manipulated from this design. 

  • Today is my first day at the workbench in September, which means... TIME FOR ALL THE FALL-THEMED SHINIES! First up: a reprise of the Sundering Persephone series, because I found some aaaaaaamazing golden labradorite this summer and I have Many Ideas. And there will be leaves. And stuff in bronze and gold wire, and... well, you know how I get once the leaves start turning. 

  • Also in the works for fall and winter: expect this year's sales to be spectacular, because guess who has two thumbs and a hundred-year-old house with twenty original windows and a bunch of estimates from contractors? That's right, THIS GIRL! Last winter I scraped up both hands and dislocated several joints and very nearly fell backwards out a window while trying (unsuccessfully) to wrestle one of the ancient storm windows into place, and after I patched up my wounds and took a handful of ibuprofen and calmed from the shock of almost finding myself head-first in a rosebush, I did a very credible imitation of Scarlet O'Hara's famous pre-intermission scene, only it was more along the lines of "as G-d is my witness, I'll never injure myself on one of these @#$^%!?&*#!! storm windows again!" Unlike Scarlett, though, I don't expect to have to lie, steal, cheat, or kill - working my butt off for the rest of the year should suffice. 

That's... pretty much it, I think? So if you'll excuse me, I need to go play with labradorite until it's time to retrieve the short person from school and see if we are going out to dinner and then to choir tonight or if the traditional first-day-of-school meltdown will result in us coming home and eating pizza in front of the tv. COULD GO EITHER WAY! I'll find out at 5!

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Monday Morning... er, Afternoon... Roundup: Is It September Yet?

I know, it's not morning anywhere in the US anymore, but in my defense the short human had her school physical this morning and then grocery shopping needed to happen and shipping needed to happen and I am TIRED, y'all, but I am also trying to be consistent, so I'm doing a blog post! Like a grownup! Who is very tired!

  • I got sandalwood beads last week! They smell AMAZING. Well, the green ones do. The purple ones don't have much of a smell, but they're pretty. (However they do NOT have a good flavor, and I'm not saying how I know that.)

  • A couple weeks ago I got some very cool electroplated lava beads that remind me of asteroids, and I've been having a lot of fun with those. 

  • The Morning Wire Meditations project continues to teach me new things about working with wire, and people seem to be liking the results, so I'm going to stick with it for... let's say at least the end of the year? Maybe it will be a permanent thing, I don't know. 

  • I will be doing an open-to-the-public Magpie Party in the not-exactly-a-secret Facebook group (which you should join if you haven't already) this weekend, starting Thursday and running through Monday. If you're considering hosting a party this fall and want to see what it's all about, here's your chance... or you can just come hang out and oogle shinies and watch me be ridiculous on a livestream and maybe snag something in one of the giveaways!

  • ...I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting something but I have no idea what because ACK THIS HUMIDITY HAS MELTED MY BRAIN somebody please come take it away. (I moved out of Florida for a REASON, y'all.) I'm sure I will remember at 2 in the morning.
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Monday Morning Roundup: the inventory bins overfloweth

Me, upon reading Marie Kondo's advice to only have 30 books: *OHNONONOCAT.gif*

Me, upon trying to cram the latest shinies into the inventory bins and failing: "TIME FOR A SALE!"

(Shush. I'm allowed to have double standards sometimes. Books don't count as clutter. Neither does yarn. Or plants. Or beads. Or art supplies. Or earrings. Or... okay, fine, I'm a packrat, but I'm a very ORGANIZED packrat. Usually. Sometimes. Mostly.)

ANYWAY. I have too many shinies, which means YOU don't have enough shinies. Or something? And to fix this, I have poked at the website and now everything in the clearance section is buy one get one free, or BOGO as the cool kids on Instagram say. (I'm old, as my child likes to point out at every opportunity.) No coupon code necessary, the cart will work some sort of magic for you. And you don't need to stop at one! Buy two, get two free. Buy twenty, get twenty free. You be you, I won't judge.

(I'll just be over here organizing my own earring collection.)

There's... not much else to report, because last week involved a lot of Things That Are Not Work, and also aliens invaded my sinuses and I spent most of the weekend napping. Which is what I will probably do after lunch too.

Oh, wait, I keep forgetting something! It's time for me to start scheduling Magpie Parties for the fall and winter!

...what's a Magpie Party, you ask? Well, it's kind of like those parties you keep getting invited to by that one friend who's forever starting a new career selling vibrators or leggings or whatever, only without the high-pressure sales pitches because eh, buy some shinies or just look at pretty rocks with me, it's all good!  And also all of the money goes to an actual person who is selling things that she made with her own two hands (that would be me) and also you don't even need to wear pants because it's all online.

(I actually CAN do the parties in person if you're within driving range of me, and for those everyone is encouraged to please wear pants, or a skirt, or something.)

If you think you can lure at least 15-20 Facebook friends into looking at shinies with you, all you need to do is invite people - I take care of the rest. Everybody who orders gets a free gift, there are multiple giveaways, and the host gets a percentage of the profits in store credit. 

I'll do a public one in the Magpies Facebook group later this month so you can see how they work before you commit, but if you think you might be interested, get in touch and we can start looking at dates. I generally do these from late September through early December, since they're great for holiday shopping.

Okay. Now lunch. Then nap. Shinies later, maybe.

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Monday Morning Roundup: not how I planned to spend my weekend

[actual photo of me whenever somebody needed me this weekend]

Y'all, I had a lot of plans for this past weekend. Elizabeth Warren! Bead show! Ice cream! Buying pants! Grocery shopping! Tackling the disaster that is my child's bedroom!

Alas, over a very short period of time on Friday afternoon, I went from "ugh allergies WHYYYY" to "oh crap this isn't allergies is it" to "maybe if I hold very still my sinuses won't actually explode?" and I spent Saturday and Sunday in a feverish haze that I don't really remember.

I'm much better today, though! For the definition of "much better" that is "I can be upright for about five minutes before I start feeling like I'm going to faint" and I even managed a bath this morning! But then I had to take a nap.

Last week was good, though. I've been doing the Morning Wire Meditations faithfully for over a month now, and it's been teaching me a lot. (Plus it keeps the wire scraps under control - almost too well, sometimes!) I don't know how long I'll keep doing it - definitely for the rest of the summer, I think. 

Last Wednesday I found myself thinking about how my wirework has evolved over the years - in addition to the normal refinements and increased skill that you'd expect from doing something day in and day out for 15 years, there was a pretty sharp shift after my brain surgery - everything tightened up and got denser and more... precise? I can't fully put my finger on it, but I know some of it is the result of compensating for the hand tremor that never went away after the surgery, and some of it is from shifting to higher-quality materials, and some of it is... just time passing, I guess?

Anyway, after spending some time looking through old photos of my work, I realized there are a number of designs that I haven't revisited much in recent years, so I spent the rest of the week playing with old designs using my current stock of materials. It was a lot of fun, and I may have to make Wayback Week a thing from time to time.

I'm hopeful that I will be back at work tomorrow, but right now my body is informing me in no uncertain terms that it is Nap Time Right NOW, so I'm going to listen to it and get horizontal again. But first, a coupon code, since the inventory bins are starting to overflow: JULY10OFF will take $10 off orders of $50 or more, through the end of the month.

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Monday Morning Roundup, with really really elaborate necklace

It's unusual for me to do something of this scale that isn't a commission, but last week was a BAD pain week, and by the time Friday rolled around I was all out of brain and running entirely on coffee, ibuprofen, and cheese.

So I grabbed some beads and loaded up NCIS on Netflix.

And started putting them together. At first I figured it was going to be on the dramatic side, but not THAT wild, y'know?

The beads had other ideas. As in "go find more beads, this won't be enough."

Look, I just work here.

By the time I had to leave to go get the short person from school, it was most of the way done.

I spent another hour or so that night working on it (this time with Star Trek Voyager for company, because having finished Doctor Who I am now continuing the short person's sci-fi education by making sure that she's Team Star Trek and not Team Star Wars (don't @ me) and while I personally will always be a NextGen girl, I figured the somewhat faster pacing of Voyager was more likely to hold the attention of Little Miss Oh Look A Butterfly. Also Janeway is an excellent Strong Female Hero and we like those around here.

What was I saying? Right, necklace. Anyway. It's done, and it's up on the website, and wow is it something.

It's not the biggest thing I've ever made - I'm pretty sure the record for that is still held by the Autumn Faerie Necklace of 2007 - but it's up there. Despite its size, it's surprisingly comfortable to wear! 

There's not much else to report from last week, since like I said, all the pain ever. (I had three solid weeks of daily migraine activity that finally ended on Thursday. I know what caused it and I'm better now, but it was not fun.) Shipping continues on Earring Club, and I've got some fun new beads that will make their debut later today.

Also the short person has a couple of weeks off camp now, so if you've been wanting custom Tiny Evil Genius Earrings, this is your chance - her commission queue is open. They're usually $15/pair for glass beads, and a third of that goes into savings and a third into her fun money, which is currently earmarked for... more Legos, I think? I'm not sure. She's also starting to do very simple pendants, which are in the $10-$15 range.

(My commission queue is also open, I might add. No minimum at the moment, and usually pretty fast turnaround time unless I need to order materials.)

I think that's all the news for today. Happy Monday! Only 10 more days until Mercury Retrograde is over! Yes I am currently wearing hematite bracelets on both wrists, thank you for asking.

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