Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bead & Button Show survey

Bead & Button has a survey running about your favorite classes and teachers at the Bead & Button Show - you should participate! You can fill it out here.

As for me, I'm still waiting to hear if my class proposals have been accepted. Some teachers have already been notified of acceptance, others have been notified of non-acceptance...I'm still in limbo, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It generally means they're still working on the scheduling and filling in all the eleventy million slots.

Blood test results were pretty good today. Sugars are just fine. Same for thyroid. Cholesterol is a little high, but not by much. Overall, I'm pleased.

Portland is one bead town

Bead Fest Portland was just a great time from start to finish. What a wonderful group of happy and sparkly beaders live in the Northwest! My two classes were absolute delights to teach, and I know they had a great time, because they all kept coming to my booth to tell me so afterwards! I also had the rather amazing experience of reading about myself on someone else's Facebook update.

Saturday night was the Moonlight Bead In, where anyone could come by and spend the evening beading and socializing. Karen Keegan, who is one of the Interweave staff who makes all the Bead Fest shows happen like magic, posted on her Facebook account:

At the Moonlight Bead-In in Portland. Jill Wiseman is getting rave reviews on her class as is Tracy Stanley & Janice Berkebile. Happy students!!!

And a little later -
People are still pulling out Jill's kits to show everyone. ready for some visitors to your booth tomorrow!!!

And indeed, they DID come by! There is nothing that makes me feel better than leaving students and customers with new knowledge, a cool project and a fun experience. The warm fuzzies for all the beady love directed my way from Portland are going to stay with me for a long time. Thank you ALL!

I survived the 8am Monday flight that brought me back home, (8am?? What was I THINKING when I booked myself an 8am flight?!) and now I get to sleep in my own bed for a few weeks before heading out for 4 weekends in a row of traveling.

The beading ladies get to come by and invade the Tapestry Beads Studio this coming Saturday - I'm teaching both a morning and and afternoon class. That's what I was working on prepping for today. Making kit samples, making instructions notes, and such.

Wednesday afternoon I have a follow-up doctor's appointment to go over my blood test results. I'm a little nervous about what they'll show. I'm not the healthiest of eaters...

Have you ever seen the tv show Hoarders? Well, it's inspiring me (SCARING me) to weed some things out of the house. Tonight's task was going through magazines...I'm an addict...and lately I've been too busy to keep up with the inflow and read them all. But the pile keeps getting taller and taller, so I'm making the tough choices tonight. I hope to tackle the books by the end of the week.

Mom got over half her bedroom painted (celery) while I was out of town last week, and she's shaming me into making some progress on my own. It was a full year ago when I painted one wall and stopped. I've been in color indecision ever since. The time for bold action has come. A choice must be made. I'm keeping my eye open for an inspiration room or two while I'm going through all these magazines....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I can adapt

So my hotel in Portland is located in the middle of IH-5. I can adapt. I can pretend the incessant highway noise is the ocean, right?

So I got all ready for set up at the convention center today and made the drive downtown only to discover that set up didn't start until 5pm. Which I would have realized if I had actually read the paperwork provided to me. Ooopsie! Instead, I took a little driving tour of downtown Portland (also known as being hopelessly lost) and took in the sights. My GPS finally figured out where I was and brought me back to the hotel neighborhood - I found a Target to stock up on munchies and some heat wraps.

Heat wraps, you ask? Yup. Because when I got into my micro-mini rental car today, I twisted my head at a weird angle and ZING. I did something funny to my head. Or my neck. Really, it's right at the base of my skull. Feels like a muscle pull and it hurts every time I move my head. Lovely.

What a day! Now I'm in the hotel room, heat wrap on my neck, eating Sun Chips for dinner. I'm reviewing my Bubbles & Bumps instructions to prep for the class I'm teaching in the morning. Then I'll have the afternoon to grab some lunch and get the booth set up for the 5pm opening.

I think this heat wrap might be

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Nirvana has been located.

I am on the plane to Los Angeles right now, and I'm ON THE INTERNET! On my new Barbie Computer, which, have I mentioned lately that I love and adore? Anyway, I'm on the Internet, Ladies! This is true Nirvana for a three hour plane ride and an Internet addict like me. So sweet.

My luggage was 1.5 pounds over the 50lb weight limit, but the very nice lady at the AA counter and I both ignored the fact, and no extra $50 charge for me. Phew!

Aw, they're making me close up the computer now...but man! It's been awesome!

Live, from the stratosphere...


In a few hours I'll be headed toward the airport again, this time for Portland and Bead Fest. I'm teaching two classes there, and I'll have a booth in the expo hall too, so as usual it will be a jam-packed week. I've learned the importance of getting into town a day or so earlier than I think I should have to - it saves a lot of wear and tear on my mental and physical status. The downside is that I'm away from home another day.

So those instructions last week that weren't gonna write themselves? Well, they really were NOT in the mood to take it easy on me! I spent more time on those instructions than on any other set in the past. While the technique isn't difficult, to illustrate it took roughly a bazillion diagrams with eleventy billion beads per graphic. I'm proud to say that the class only found one boo-boo in all 12 pages, so I'm thinking I did good. :-)

Sunday became one of my infamous Sleep Coma days. My body sure does tell me in a very noticeable way when it's done with all my shenanigans. Complete and total shut down. I slept for roughly 24 hours out of 36 between Saturday night and Monday morning. Every time I'd wake up and get out of bed, I'd feel like there were lead weights on all my limbs, and soon after I'd go crawl in for more shut eye. It's the weirdest feeling. Even weirder is when I finally wake up and just like that, it's gone. I'm wide awake with plenty of energy and I'm ready to go.

I spent the day getting packed for my trip and working on emails and teaching logistics and buying airline tickets and supplies. I'm pretty sure I will finally beat the "over 50lb limit" curse this time around. Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

These instructions aren't gonna write themselves!

I actually got to bead last night and today. Joy! It's actually been weeks since I've had the opportunity to sit down with my needle and thread - too much of the other pieces and parts of this job were more critical and time sensitive, so the beading had to wait. I designed a new piece that I'm going to wait a bit longer to unveil (I'm so mean!) but I can show you some of the color options for my new Evening Song necklace class that I'm teaching for the first time on Saturday.

The original sample was done in deep amethyst colors that are perfect with the purple trend that continues in fashion this fall.

Then I really like this one with teal and copper - Mom knows I never met a green and brown combo of any shade that I don't like. Please pardon the attached thread! I'm still working on it.

And lastly, a lady-like pink and brown combo. I had tried it with pink and cream, but it looked too much like a wedding necklace at that point.

So now that I have verified that I have the right colors of beads in stock to make kits for the class, I have to shift to working on the instructions. It won't be a hard piece, but the diagrams will be buggers to draw, so I'm sure I'll be spending quite a bit of time on them.

I can't stay up too terribly late tonight, though, because I'm going to lunch with a friend tomorrow at Mandola's Market, an Italian place I've never been to before. I was just looking online at their menu and you wouldn't even believe their pastry case. OMG!! The heck with the entree...just bring me one of everything in that pastry case. STAT. I think Lori picked this place on purpose just to make sure I wouldn't bail out on the lunch. She knew that pastry case AS BIG AS MY HOUSE would lure me in.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Who, me? Mr. Cutie?

Just when we think Winston has grown up, he proves he's got plenty of sass left. He's 2 years old now...we've become a bit complacent. We have even been leaving our shoes out in the living room for the last six months because he's learned to leave them alone.

Seems like we've been fooled by his insidious puppy plan to lull us into doing just that. Because this is what Mom found him dining on at 3am this morning.

Who, me?? Mr. Cutie?? Needless to say I'm keeping a close eye on him for signs of distress.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ready, set, ship out!

Making slow but steady progress in the mission to get the boxes shipped out on Wednesday for Bead Fest Portland. I've made eleventy billion kits and organized them all in their little bubble zip lock baggies. Another billion or so patterns are boxed up as well, and I'm both packing and creating a packing check-list for shows that I fly to. I've found myself in more than one corner of the map missing a critical component over the last year. Yup, it's taken me a full year (that I'm willing to admit to) to actually create the checklist that will keep me from having to find an Office Depot, Post Office, or Bed, Bath and Beyond in ever major city in the US. I'm a little slow sometimes, but I get there.

And let's not ignore the fact that a single packing list won't do. Oh no. I must have the Flying packing list, and the Driving packing list, because they are obviously different. The Driving list includes things like tables and chairs and rolling carts and ... well, that's what the list is for.

I'm awfully proud of the fact that I'm getting these boxes mailed out in time to send them regular old UPS Ground...not 3-day, not 2-day. No last minute hysteria at the last moment (so far.) I won't even be packing 51 pounds of kits in my luggage on the plane, either. My suitcase is ALWAYS over the 50lb weight limit. This. Must. Stop!

On the other hand, I still have instructions to write for Saturday's class here at the Tapestry Beads Studio, the house to clean, and some samples to bead up as quickly as possible. Eh. Piece of cake! (mmmm....cake...)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Unintentional day off

When you're facing down a pile of work and list of deadlines as far as you can see, you're not thinking "day off" usually. And I wasn't thinking that today...honest. It just kinda happened. First I slept late because I went to bed early (stick with me will make sense in a second) which make me get up in the middle of the night and mess around on the computer for several hours before finally returning to bed at 5am. And then it rained all day and you KNOW that I'm not complaining about that because you've had to hear me beg for rain on this blog or Facebook so many times over the last few months. But rain does mean naps on Saturday afternoons, right? Of course it does!

Previous plans had Mom and I heading over to my brother & sister-in-law's house to cook dinner for them and watch the two wee ones for a few hours while they attended a party next door. Alexis kept us entertained with her boundless energy, as usual. Five month old William charmed us with his smiles and giggles at his daddy's goofy faces. By the time we returned to the homestead, I had a severe case of the I don't wanna's. I hate it when they come to stay with us! I have no choice but to kick them out tomorrow, but I did indulge the visit tonight.

The week ahead includes a dentist appointment, a hair appointment, getting my boxes of kits and supplies ready to ship to Portland by the end of the day Wednesday, and prepping to teach a new class here at the house next Saturday.

So anyone out there want me to send the I don't wanna's your way??

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's Amazing What You Can Find in the Bead Room

From June:
A while ago I was in our bead room and stumbled upon a freeform bracelet that I'd started a long time ago. I just love freeform because there are no mistakes! It's all a part of the design.

Anyway, I worked on the bracelet in between tending customers at the Austin Bead Society Show last weekend. I found a great antique button at Carol Willie's booth, and I'm pretty happy with the way the bracelet turned out.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Nothing - that's exactly what I did on Labor Day, and it was blissful! I slept 18 out of 24 hours and feel mostly rested again. I caught up on reading the newspapers from the last week. I read magazines. Two!! And Mom and I made a trip to Best Buy so I could test out netbook computers, followed by a delicious dinner at the Outback Steakhouse. Nummm.

It was just what I needed. The Austin Bead Society Show was steady, but not packed, which was good for all. I got to see SO many of the ladies I've lost contact with since I left teaching at Nomadic Notions 6 months ago and that was a treat. I'll admit, though, that getting out of bed Sunday morning for that last day of the three week marathon of cities and shows was one of the hardest things I'd ever done. My body was screaming, "I quit!"

So now that I've had my miraculous day of rest and relaxation, I'm back to the salt mines on Tuesday with a full, but not scary list of tasks. As long as I am steady through the next few weeks and don't dilly dally, I'm gonna be just fine and hopefully avoid the time crunches that throw my world into silly chaos. Back to spending an hour a day on paperwork and an hour a day on cleaning the bead room to try to make headway.

I have some photos to share with you tomorrow...stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

No longer in Dallas!

I'm very ashamed. I just got this email from my dear friend:
I have read about your leaving for Dallas 4000 times........yes, we need an update on Jill. Hugs, Kath
And all of a sudden I realized it's been like a WEEK since I posted. And yet it really feels more like one very (VERY VERY) long day.

So after I got back from Philly on Monday night, I faced a daunting task: getting ready to leave on Friday to teach 3 classes of 20 students each for the Dallas Bead Society. Teaching wasn't the hard part. The hard parts were:
  • Knowing I was sold out of many of my best-selling kits from Philly so what would the ladies in Dallas have to buy?
  • Creating new kits with multiple color options for 2 classes that had never been kitted before - which meant coming up with 8 different brand new kits. In three days.
  • Did I mention the three days part??
  • And my boxes shipped from Philly didn't even arrive until Thursday night, at which time I was scrambling to unpack and repack
  • In three days
So in those three days (3, only 3) I labeled and weighed and printed and stuffed and panicked a few times. I barely slept, and in the end, it was only my wonderful mother coming to the rescue by leaving work early to come home and help me on Friday that allowed me to leave Austin for the drive to Dallas at 10:30pm. I got to my hotel there around 1:30am, and collapsed.

Knowing I was going to be spending the day with such a colorful and fun group of ladies helped me wake up with pep and vigor, though, and by 8am I was setting up the classroom. I took a couple of fuzzy cell phone photos, and that's about it. There was a lot going on!

The second photo is of me wearing a purloined necklace. You've got to watch me every second! Carol Anne had a question which I came by to answer, and I noticed an organza bag in front of her with beading in it. I took it upon myself to investigate, and out came this gorgeous Marcia DeCoster design in colors that just happened to match what I was wearing like it was made for me!

The following day I managed to snag Denise's Sherri Serafini choker to wear all day. I really appreciate them bringing jewelry for me to wear! Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of me wearing that one.

The Dallas ladies were excellent hostesses, and we had a lovely couple of days. It was frantic getting to that point, but once we were all gathered, the joy of being surrounded by beady folks made all the effort worth while.

I did treat myself to the luxury of staying over in Dallas Sunday night instead of coming home after class was finished around 4. I needed sleep so badly it was kind of scary. And I knew that if I came home Sunday night, I'd jump right back into work work work because I still can't take the smallest of breaks yet.

Why? Because the Austin Bead Society Show is this coming weekend...and I have no kits left! And I have a low stock of seed beads to sell! And I have four (4, yes, 4) days to prepare! So after hitting home Monday night, I made a plan of action and on Tuesday I placed scary amounts of bead orders with overnight shipping charges out the wazoo because if I don't, I won't have kits on Saturday.

AND, because I also have a substantial wholesale order to prepare to ship out. (More on that later.) AND because I have the Portland Bead Fest two weeks later. AND then the Houston International Quilt Show a few weeks after that. AND I am thrilled to announce that I got into the BABE show in Oakland, CA in Nov, which is a whole new show added to my schedule. AND I've got teaching gigs in Fort Worth for the Wild West Bead Society and in Lake Jackson in there. AND I'm supposed to be finding time to go on vacation with Mom at some point too and now I'm just laughing because we haven't even been able to pause long enough to plan the vacation let alone go on one. I'm still walking around with a temporary filling post-root canal for goodness sake because I don't have time to go to the dentist to get the crown! Although I will be making time for that next week...there's a limit to my denial. Oh, and I need to make time for an afternoon spent with an Illustrator tutor also very soon.

So. Kinda crazy, eh? I honestly don't think it will be quite this insane all the time. If it is, I'm gonna drop dead from a heart attack before long. While Mom and I were anticipating a year of having to scramble to make a living due to the economy problems, what's actually happened is a huge growth explosion that's caught me unprepared and I'm working hard to catch up. Once I do, I know I'll still be busy, but in a good way, not a frantic way.

Back to prep work for me. I'm sorry I made you wait so long for an update, Kath (& friends!)