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Posts Tagged ‘Life’

When’s It Going To End? When Is This !@#% Quarantine Going To End?

Posted by learntobead on April 30, 2020

I swear I keep sticking my needle into my finger to reality-check that I’m still alive. Good, Red … I’m still alive. That this mess of a jewelry making project before me, one I keep starting, then stopping, then starting, then putting it away, and then retrieving it, and starting it again is more than a blur, a fog of my imagination. I have this great, intricate beaded necklace to make. And I can’t seem to get it done.

I’ve gone through two packs of 25 beading needles. I pick another one up. I bend it. The needle-hole catches my eye. My eye twitches a bit. Why would I ever want to thread this needle and start this project one more time? Bend now. I can’t wait for you to bend when I’m in the middle of things.

Oh, and the guilt. Everytime I stop, I think I’m being selfish. If I go outside, someone will get sick. If I complain that I’m BORED, CLIMBING UP THE WALLS, SAYING NASTY THINGS ABOUT JESUS, someone will die.

And I love beading and making jewelry. I do it all the time. Almost every day. Hours a day. Never one iota of boredom. Mind never wandering. Until now. Until I’m forced to stay inside.

I can’t focus. I can’t read. I am even getting tired of complaining to my husband. Who doesn’t care. Has never pierced his finger with a needle. And should he ever, he wouldn’t know what to do, anyway. [You know I just want to take this needle and see how he reacts. But I won’t.]

I can’t believe, and you won’t believe, what I just did. For the 8th time just in the last couple hours. I ali-kazam’d with my fingers and commanded the beads to usher themselves into this spectacular, wonderful, beautimous piece of jewelry. And did they? No. Out of spite? Now I’m losing focus again.

My house has become the Hanoi Hilton Hotel. John McCain is in the cell next to mine. He has a window. But the floors lay at a 30-degree angle. My floors are flat. But he has a window. I’ve managed to chip off over 60 pieces of brick off the walls. I’ve spent the last 375 days trying to drill holes in them with whatever I can find. A shard of glass. A rusted nail. A piece of metal I’ve wedged off the bars. I’ve slowly, with cleverly pinched fingers, positioned just so, manipulated the threads in my pants, rolling them, working them off in long threads. I am so sure I can drill those holes. My confidence has me believing I can secure the material to string them on.

But I digress.

They say you can survive a quarantine with a smile. I’m better off than a Neanderthal because I have a roof over my head and a grocery that delivers. That should make me smile. Neanderthals lived and hunted and played in packs. I am free to live and hunt and play by myself. This should make me smile. Neanderthals never knew what was going to happen next. I don’t know what’s going to happen next either. This should make me smile. Neanderthals never expected perfection. I do. I’m not smiling.

The news is making me crazy. So I turn it off. Now no news is making me crazy. I spend more time with my friends on Facebook. My friends are getting whiny and beginning to repeat themselves — over and over again. So I stopped linking on to Facebook. I miss my friends. I made a schedule for myself to keep me occupied and, frankly, feeling some sense of safety and security. I cannot keep to it for the life of me. So I threw it out. And made another schedule.

They say sit back and relax. There have been worse times in our history. Be helpful to one another. Show kindness, understanding. Be flexible. Get outside, if possible. Eat well. Get enough sleep. Try to connect with one person each day. Be positive.

I’m trying.

I decided to do small beading projects — ones I can finish in a few hours. This keeps me from getting overwhelmed. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment. I can sense I am living each day by day, instead of feeling I’m losing touch with time.

I do other things between projects, instead of one project after another. I go outside. Make a phone call. Bake something.

I pick projects which will develop a skill I’m unfamiliar with, or further develop a skill that I already know. Learning is very rewarding, and keeps me focused and happy.

And instead of keeping to a routine per se, I spend some time re-organizing my supplies and workroom. I feel better in my re-organizing mode, rather than following a schedule.

Stay safe and healthy.

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Do You Know Where Your Beading Needles Are?

Consignment Selling: A Last Resort

Odds or Evens? What’s Your Preference?

My Clasp, My Clasp, My Kingdom For A Clasp

Why Am I So Addicted To Beads?

The Bead Spill: My Horrifying Initiation

The Artists At The Party

How To Bead A Rogue Elephant

You Can Never Have Enough Containers For Your Stuff

Beading While Traveling On A Plane

Contemplative Ode To A Bead

How To Bead In A Car

My Aunt Gert: Illustrating Some Lessons In Business Smarts

A Jewelry Designer’s Day Dream

A Dog’s Life by Lily

I Make All The Mistakes In The Book

How Sparkle Enters People’s Lives

Upstairs, Downstairs At The Bead Store

Beads and Race

Were The Ways of Women or of Men Better At Fostering How To Make Jewelry

Women and Their Husbands When Shopping For Beads

Women Making Choices In The Pursuit Of Fashion

Existing As A Jewelry Designer: What Befuddlement!

The Bridesmaid Bracelets

How To Design An Ugly Necklace: The Ultimate Designer Challenge

I hope you found this article useful. Be sure to click the CLAP HANDS icon at the bottom of this article.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.

Add your name to my email list.

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MY AUNT GERT: Illustrating Some Lessons In Business Smarts

Posted by learntobead on April 28, 2020

My Aunt Gert

My Aunt Gert had, what some people call “Chutzpah” and others “Cajones”. She could always make a business situation work to her advantage. She had no self-doubt, some would say no self-restraint. One time, she came up from Florida to visit us in New Jersey, where I grew up. An A&P grocery store was going out of business. Aunt Gert prepared herself for the kill.

At the beginning of the week, the A&P had a big banner on the outside of the store — “25% OFF EVERYTHING”. My Aunt Gert moved rapidly towards the entrance, grabbing two, not one, but two shopping carts, and rushed to the meat section first. When the carts were both full — a matter of minutes, it seemed — she approached one of the managers, and asked him, since she was getting so much, could he do better on the price.

With little hesitation, the manager agreed. He told her to grab him when she was ready to checkout, and he’d give her another 50% off at the register. My Aunt Gert filled two more shopping carts that day, and at the register, they first took 25% off, then another 50%.

Exciting, great, good deal, almost war-winning. Yes?

No, Aunt Gert wasn’t quite finished. She went back the next day, got her 25% then 50% off. And the next day — 25% then 50% off.

On the fourth day, the A&P now displayed a banner that read “50% OFF EVERYTHING”. This only egged my Aunt Gert to get more eggs and cheese and canned meats and vegetables. Another 2 shopping carts worth. And at the register, they first gave her 50% off, and as she pointed the cashier to look in the manager’s direction, she reminded her that she was to be given another 50% off. And another 50% off it was.

And Aunt Gert went back on the 5th day, and got 50% then 50%, and on the 6th day, and got 50%, then 50% off, and to her glee and the store manager’s dread, she came back once more on the 7th day. But now the banner read “75% OFF EVERYTHING”. And, I’m not sure how she found enough to fill another 4 shopping carts worth of food, but when she got to the cash register, they very reluctantly gave her the 75% off, then her extra special, the-manager-was-very-nice-to-be-giving-her her additional 50% off.

Well, my Aunt Gert lived in Florida, so virtually everything she bought was for us. But she was determined to bring back her 276 cans of tuna fish, that she had paid $0.04 per can, with her back on the plane. She stuffed these into two large leather suitcases.

When we got to the airport, an airport attendant offered to get her two cases out of the trunk. Was he ever surprised? I wish I had a camera to capture his face. And at the ticket counter — the ticket counter lady tried to lift the bags onto the conveyor belt. She’s probably still going to the Chiropractor.

This story doesn’t have anything to do with jewelry, which is my thing, I know, but I love my Aunt Gert, and always love to tell her stories. But, in her week-long grocery shopping business, she does illustrate a point and some lessons about business which can serve you well. Negotiating, price consciousness, and persistence are keys to success. Very often “creative” types are uncomfortable with these more business oriented skills. But these are important to your success.

Whenever I feel uncomfortable in a business situation, I role play. I suppress who I am, and try to become someone else. Very often, I pretend to be my Aunt Gert.

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Should I Set Up My Craft Business On A Marketplace Online?

The Importance of Self-Promotion: Don’t Be Shy

Are You Prepared For When The Reporter Comes A-Calling?

A Fool-Proof Formula For Pricing And Selling Your Jewelry

Designer Connect Profile: Tony Perrin, Jewelry Designer

My Aunt Gert: Illustrating Some Lessons In Business Smarts

Copyrighting Your Pieces: Let’s Not Confuse The Moral With The Legal Issues

Naming Your Business / Naming Your Jewelry

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

To What Extent Should Business Concerns Influence Artistic and Jewelry Design Choices

How Creatives Can Successfully Survive In Business

Getting Started In Business: What You Do First To Make It Official

I hope you found this article useful. Be sure to click the CLAP HANDS icon at the bottom of this article.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.

Add your name to my email list.

Posted in Stitch 'n Bitch | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »