Wishing You All a Happy and Prosporous 2009!

I'm working on getting my goals set for the new year, so this post will probably be updated as I brainstorm and prioritize.

I have decided to pare back and simplify the inventory on MakeSomething.NET. I plan to add findings that are handmade and more specialized toward chainmaille use like multi-strand and differently-shaped clasps and transitional pieces.

In e-maille.com land, I want to sell at some craft/art shows in 2009. The shows I had previously attended from 2005-2007 had gradually declined in attendance and quality of other vendors (mass-produced junk or otherwise banal, non-handmade wares). The trick is finding the shows in my area that are good. I'd love to find an all-handmade (with the artists in attendance), artsy, juried, fun show with other vendors who are passionate about what they make. If you've attended a really good show in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area (either selling or shopping), I'd appreciate your perspective. I've learned the event promoters are mostly concerned with getting their booth fee and won't give an honest opinion. The last event I did in 2007 was so horrible, I had no desire to do any this year. Depending on researching and feedback, it's not out of the question to arrange a show myself with other artists in the area. It's A LOT more work, but I think the end result would be great.

Overall, I just want all my family and friends to be happy and healthy and remember that no matter how bad things get, those moments will pass and life goes on.

Giving Something for Nothing

The economy has been dodgy as of late and most people are watching their pennies. If you don't have enough cash for the basics, donating to non-profit organizations becomes even more difficult, if not impossible. You may have noticed the "Click to Donate" links I keep on teh right side of my blog, but I thought I'd point them out if you haven't.

Sponsors on these sites make a donation to the charity every time you click, and it's FREE to you! What's better than that, eh? Bookmark them and click on them daily. It takes only a moment and you'll be helping out people, animals, and causes in need.

View list of "Click to Donate" sites at http://www.thenonprofits.com/

People Who Need People...

...boggle my mind. On the local news tonight, there was a segment about people in Austin with telecommuting jobs getting lonely and paying an average fee of $250/month just to be around other people to work. Wha-huh?! It's my dream to be able to work only from home, and to see these people whine about how they're just at home with their dog and they're lonely and depressed and stressed simply baffles me. It's akin to those who say having a lot of money is difficult. "There are dishes in the sink. Laundry in the hamper. An episode of "The Daily Show" sits waiting in the DVR, waiting to stretch that work break to 22 minutes." Really? That's what's stressing you out? WOW! (One moment to let me wipe away the tear. Wait. There's not one.)

I have an internet connection, jewelry-making tools, and endless ideas. I can't fathom reaching a point working at home when I think it would be great to drive to a house and pay to hang out with people. Are they just needy? Unimaginative? Insecure? Undisciplined? Irresponsible? It's just a workday. Why are they unable to get all their social validation in the evenings and weekends?

I can't be alone on this, right? I realize I am more anti-social than the average bear, but c'mon.

Cool WHIP

This year, I got myself a WHIP for Christmas. It's not the leather braided kind of whip (although, also a great gift), it's a Wire Handled Ingot Pouring Device. Basically, it's what's going to allow me to melt all the scrap silver I've accumulated over the years and turn it back into cool things. It was invented by master jeweler Jay Whaley. Watch him demonstrate here.

In a semi-related meandering, see the Cool Whip clip of Family Guy here. Seth MacFarlane is a sweet genius. On Conan O'Brien last Tuesday, he mentioned how he voices Roger on American Dad in the style of '60s homosexual character actors. I thought from the beginning that he had a twinge of Paul Lynde and it looks to be true. Paul Lynde played Uncle Arthur on "Bewitched," the center square on "Hollywood Squares," and voiced Templeton in "Charlotte's Web." Surprisingly, I found he was from Mount Vernon, Ohio when I looked him up. Huh... fellow Buckeye.