Tuesday, September 29, 2009

google analytics

i have gotten addicted to analysing my site traffic. it's completely fascinating. i was telling my mom that i'm an artist with the soul of an accountant, and it's totally true! *smile* the numbers fascinate me.

i'm new to twitter, but i'm amazed at how responsive it is. i put an item up for viewing and immediately there's tons of new hits on my etsy site. wow. now i need to do the research on what time of day it's best to post to get the optimum response *smile*. again, the accountant in me.

i finally figured out how to do google analytics on my blog as well. i love seeing where people come from when they come to my site, and seeing how many mac vs pc users there are.

now, i don't know how accurate these things are, becuz i get slightly different results from google than i do from craftcult on my etsy site, which is kinda frustrating. but i can't just do it for a short amount of time. i need to have a wealth of data to examine in order to determine what my best strategy is *smile*. is it too late for me to go back to school to become some sort of market researcher? *smile*

Sunday, September 27, 2009

absentimindedness and bag bonanza

so i'm incredibly absentminded. christopher blames it on my meds, but i think it's becuz i've got so many balls in the air, i can't remember which is which *smile*. so when i got home on monday and saw a package where the mailman and the ups guy leave my packages, i started racking my brain trying to remember if i'd actually bought any of the stuff i've got in my many online shopping carts (my cart at firemountain is always full *smile*). so imagine my surprise when i saw that it was my pay it forward from teresa of sewing trials. my sister had told me about her pay it forward, so i entered hoping to get something, and boy did i ever. *smile* and it came just in the nick of time. she sent me a wonderful set of shopping bags, and i'm one of those people they know at my grocery store, cuz i always come with my own shopping bags. now i have enough to have some in my car at all times, just in case. and it was my first dress rehearsal for the opera, and i needed a bag to use to take all my makeup and shoes and various accoutrement downtown, so they definitly came in handy *smile*. i also needed one to take my hair stuff down for the opening night party, in case anyone needed my professional assistance getting ready for the party. they were the perfect size to hold my blowdryer and flatiron, plus my clips, sprays, and combs. totally awesome!

there was also a set of wallets and notecard holders, complete with notecards and envelopes in one, and notepads in the other. and both had pens! i can never find a pen when i need one, so these are definitly going in my purse! and the little wallets are perfect for carrying feminine supplies that you don't want the world to see. awesome. and they close with a little button/tie closure. very cute and such a great fabric! *smile*

there were also some flannel scarves, which i have a feeling may become blankets for isabelle's babies. it's getting colder and even though she doesn't feel that her babies need clothes (she strips them naked as soon as they come out of the box), they always have a blanket *smile*. but there was one with music notes on it that is perfect for protecting a diva's instrument *smile*

thank you so much, teresa! your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated!

now i really need to get my butt in gear and figure out what i want to do for my pay it forward. i won my sister's as well, so i think i need to do 8 people. i need to confirm that, and i really need to wait until the opera is over, as well as the flea market this weekend at mt. hope church (frankstown road in penn hills, 10/3 from 8am til 3pm *smile*). but once life slows down, hopefully i'll have time to do something in time for the holidays *smile*

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

finally, a break *smile*

so tonight was final dress for pittsburgh opera's eugene onegin. i'm so glad! it's been a really long week, and it's only wednesday. ususally the final dress rehearsal is on a thursday, but becuz the g-20 is here it pittsburgh, they're basically closing down downtown pittsburgh. major pain in the butt. but it's really nice cuz we have 2 nights off instead of only 1 between final dress and opening night. i'm really exhausted. when i come home from rehearsal i'm wired, so i can't get to bed before 1am, but my kids still get up at 8. oh well.

i've been using my time productively, though. i've been making more jewelry for the flea market i'll be at on 10/3 at mt. hope church in penn hills. i've got some really cute holiday earrings, both halloween and Christmas that are just adorable. and i'm really into making long necklaces lately. i don't know how well they'll sell, cuz since they take a while to design and make, and i'm using a better quality of supplies, they're kinda expensive. i got a fabulous sterling silver rose toggle clasp from my sister, and i really want to keep it for myself, but i may end up using it on a rose quartz and apatite necklace i'm designing. i'll keep you posted *smile*. i also made myself some fabulous chandelier earrings to wear on stage, but i left them in the dressing room, so i can't take a pic. i want to make a matching necklace but i'm not sure i have enough crystals left, but when i do, i'll have someone take a picture of me in costume so you can get the full effect *smile*

i'm hoping to stay home all day tomorrow and do some stuff, including taking some pics of my latest creations outside so i can get them posted to my etsy shop, but i think it's supposed to rain all day. i'm not really in the mood to get wet, just to take pictures, so we may have to wait a couple of days *smile*. but we'll see. i like using the rocks and trees in my backyard, but i may have to get creative if they weather channel is right. *smile*

Sunday, September 20, 2009

busy busy bee

well, i've been very busy lately. between rehearsals for pittsburgh opera (eugene onegin opens on saturday, sept 26th), making jewelry, doing hair, and taking care of my kids and husband, i've been a busy little beaver.

onegin is going to be a fabulous show. we did the studio run on friday, and it was amazing. they really spent their money wisely on the leads for this show. the tatiana is amazing! just amazing. i can't think of words to describe the beauty of her voice. for most of the rehearsals she hadn't been singing, but during the studio run, she finally let 'er rip, and it was so worth the wait. the men, for the most part, have been singing full out most of the time, but it was nice to finally have an opportunity to hear their arias and things we're not on stage for, and so don't get to hear during our rehearsals. and i think we sound pretty damn good ourselves. we've done an amazing job memorizing our russian, and i get to be a featured chorus dancer and am doing a pretty good job dancing our complicated waltz choreography while singing in russian *smile*. and it was very nice of the management to invite us to the opening night party again. now i have to decide what i'm wearing, whether i need to buy new shoes, and what jewelry i'm making for myself to wear *smile*.

but i've been working really hard on my jewelry as well. i'm doing a flea market at my friend michelle's church, mt. hope, here in penn hills, pa, on saturday, october 3rd. it should be a good time, but i'm not sure how much business i'll do. i've started making some new designs that're simpler, but a lot of fun, so i'm hoping they'll do well. but i've also gotten into using a higher quality of materials, which makes my stuff more expensive. so we'll see. even if i just get ppl interested in my stuff and get them to come to the website, that'll be cool. but i'd also like to sell some things *smile*. i made some earrings for my friend kellie's niece who has a very serious allergy to silver and gold, and she's ordered some more, which is cool. and i'm getting a lot more hits on my etsy site, which is also cool. i know it's slow in the beginning, and it's all about getting my name out there right now. it's working. blah *smile*

and i just had a glorious weekend. chris had an event to go to in youngstown this weekend, but i had work, rehearsal and church, so he took the kids with him to his mom's house and left me home alone all weekend! i had forgotten how quiet our house could be *smile*. it was the first time i've been away from isabelle overnight ever, and i missed them like crazy, but it was nice to have a break. of course i was late for church this morning cuz my alarm clock, alexander, was in youngstown, but it all worked out *smile*. i'm going to miss them a lot this week, too, cuz i've got rehearsal monday, tuesday, and wednesday for onegin, and i won't be home til after 11 each night. oh well. it's a nice paycheck, even if it isn't steady *smile*

Monday, September 14, 2009


when i first started dating my husband he had a dog, and they were a package deal. not being a big fan of dogs, i really grew to love duchess. she was a really well trained dog, cuz my husband did a really great job with her, and she didn't jump on people or lick or really even bark. plus as she got older she really just laid there so it was perfect when we had the kids, cuz they could pull her ears and her tail and we didn't have to worry that she'd bite. if she was tired of playing, she'd go hide under something. of course that backfired when alexander was little, cuz he could crawl under and get her *smile*

but duchess got really sick this spring, and christopher had to put her down. it was a very sad day. so for his birthday (today *smile*) i commissioned a quilted wall hanging from my favorite fabric artist, Michelle Wescott, artisan in chief of The Quilted House and thequiltedhouse.etsy.com. she did a fabulous job. we did his birthday yesterday, cuz i have rehearsal tonight, and when he opened his gifts, i think i saw a tear in his eye. michelle did a fabulous job.

knowing her as i do, she had gifted my family with a wall hanging for christmas entitled "the family that sings" which included duchess. seeing that every day helped me know that she would be the perfect artist to creat a memorial to duchess. especially since we decided to not get another dog until the kids are older (or ever, if i have any say *smile*). but if we do get another dog, there will never be another duchess. she was really the perfect dog for our little family, and i'm so grateful to Ms. Wescott for creating the perfect memorial to her. *smile*

Friday, September 11, 2009

crafts with kids

so, i've decided to embrace my role as a stay-at-home-mom a little more and include my kids in more of my activities. so today i decided to do some paper mache. amazingly, it was isabelle, who just turned 2, and not alexander, who's almost 4, who was totally into the project and was mommy's little helper.

i decided to make a paper mache head so that i could use it to display my headbands, cuz everyone thinks i need to put them on my etsy site. so when i was at a bead shop yesterday and the owner was totally gushing over my headband, i decided it was time *smile*. when family and strangers say they're cool, i'm like "okay...", but when someone who does beading for a living thinks they're totally awesome, then i really hafta think that maybe i've got something really great on my head *smile*.

so i set everything up in the backyard with a drop cloth and lots of newspaper that the kids helped me rip and my paste and the balloons. originally i was gonna do 2, but one popped, so we only ended up with one. and once alexander realized exactly how messy it was gonna be, he decided he just wanted to watch *smile*. needless to say, isabelle and i were pretty much covered in paper mache paste. it's very itchy when it dries. and then, of course, i decided it was really too big to be a realistic head (even for me *smile*), so i let some of the air out of the balloon and then had to reapply most of the paper. oh well. i'm pleased with how it turned out. now, when it dries, i'll hafta figure out how i'm making it not look like newspaper (scrapbooking paper and decoupage?) and how i'm doing hair (i'm thinking yarn *smile*). we'll see how it turns out in the end.

it was pretty fun doing this with the kids, although it's interesting that alexander's the one who doesn't like getting dirty. i swear i have my brother and sister's children, cuz that's totally my brother. although i was always clean as well. okay, maybe he's mine *smile*

Thursday, September 3, 2009

my husband is the best! *smile*

my husband is awesome! he managed to go down the chipmunk hole to retrieve my lost earring! i think i'll let it soak in some peroxide for a while *smile*

but on a happy note, i got my first commission! i'm so excited. a good friend's niece is allergic to both gold and sterling silver, so she commissioned some titanium earrings for her 10th birthday. there was some sort of kerfuffle at rio grande (which was the only place i could find titanium earwires), but they came in today and i'm having a lot of fun designing earrings for young girls. i definitly see a new section in my shop coming soon. and as soon as i get them done, and have some daylight, i'll post some pics *smile*

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

the perils of outdoor photography, or down the rabbit hole *smile*

well, i finally figured out how to take great photos of my jewelry. when i first started i was taking them at the campsite, which was awesome, cuz there's all kinds of trees and stuff available. i'm not so lucky at home, but i've managed to make do and still take some great shots. while my mom was visiting this past week, i made some really great jewelry that i was really anxious to take photos of tonite before i lost the light, but unfortunately the branches i use extend over the ivy in our back yard. i guess there's a lot of small animals that live in the ivy, cuz one of my earrings fell in and down someone's hole. i hope they enjoy it! *smile*

one of the great things about having my mom here is that she really forced me out of my box, so to speak.

she was kinda like my creative advisor and really helped me create some fabulous earrings using color combinations i wouldn't have thought of myself.

she really helped me see things in a different way that i think really worked.

now i've got to get my kids to bed (another reason the chipmunks will be enjoying some jewelry *smile*) so that i can get them posted to etsy. my sister (thequiltedhouse.etsy.com) says that you should post something every day. i'm lucky if i get a couple of things every couple of weeks *smile*