Thursday, December 31, 2009

Getting back in the swing of things

I actually accomplished some things today. I was beset by the usual insomnia all night and tossed and turned and worried and stressed. Sleep finally arrived around 6am. Not ideal. I finally rolled out of bed and eventually out into the world by 3pm, and all of a sudden...I started actually getting things done. Ticking jobs off my to-do list which has been buried under a pile of books and beads and dust for weeks. And I started feeling...what is that feeling?...oh yeah, energized!

Worse yet - when I arrived home I actually worked out with my new Wii Fit for 32 minutes. (Please be sure and give credit where credit is due for that extra 2 minutes beyond the 30 I was supposed to do...they were hard minutes!) And get this. I felt MORE energized. Freaky, I know.

So the next big hurdle to cross is going to bed before dawn. I may even take a sleeping pill tonight to try to get back on track even though I hate them because I always feel groggy when I wake up. Yes, it's 2am now - but in my world that constitutes an "early" bedtime.

And then we jump back into work. Hop. There ya' go. Back on track. Might not be that easy, but I am starting to feel the thump of the wheels on the track that are alerting me that it's only 14 days before the first event of the year - the mighty Texas Bead Retreat in Temple, Texas, and only 30 or so days before I leave for Tucson. Gulp! I even made a hard, but grown up decision about Tucson today. Mom's birthday present this year is that she gets to stay home. I'm doing the Best Bead Show this year - all five days of it - by my lonesome. It makes more financial sense, and honestly the show isn't really busy enough that I HAVE to have help with it. It's been a luxury on my part to have Mom there for companionship and to allow me to run around and spend money and socialize. I'll be staying in Tucson three extra days after my particular show ends so I can run around and spend money and socialize, so it's not like I'm going to suffer that much. I already warned her I'll probably be text messaging her every 20 min.

Okay...about that sleep we go...wish me luck...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I haven't disappeared...

I know. Ya'll thought I'd forgotten about you, right? Not a bit!

I'll confess, though, that I've been doing pretty much everything BUT anything to do with beading. I've been spending time with friends, sleeping a lot, reading a lot, cross stitching, and generally goofing off. I know it's worrying Mom - she's seeing the days tick by and knows the new year and the busy schedule will be here before we blink too many more times. I haven't been able to get myself in the mood to do...anything.

I'd worry myself, but I remember this from years past. Every year I spend about 2-3 weeks around this time freaking myself out because I'm so uninterested and uninspired by beading that I wonder if I've lost the magic. And then every year, like clockwork, something finally springs in me and poof! It's back. I'm feeling a little more drawn to work the last day or two, so we may be close.

In the meantime, I haven't designed any of my new pieces for 2010 kits. (Sigh.) And I haven't set up any of the home classes for 2010. (And the students are starting to email, wondering...) And I haven't done any of the business improvement projects I'd planned. (oops.)

On the other hand, do I feel rested!!! (Giggle!)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Your Turn

From June: As Jill and I look back over the last year, it has been absolutely amazing. The business has grown, and we've had to grow and adjust with it. I know it sounds corny, but our success has been because of you, our loyal beaders, and we appreciate you so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

As we plan for next year, we'd like to hear from you. We do have 2010 sketched out, but we're always tweaking. What do you want us to do more of? Or less of! What can we improve? What would YOU like to see in the upcoming year? Send us an e-mail at june at (Replace "at" with @.) We would love to hear from you.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Quick drive-by post

An all night beading session left me sleepy at 10:30 am when I had to wake go get a 90 min. massage that I'm pretty sure I snored through. Poor fellow working on me. My last minute project got shipped out and will be in the right hands by 8am on Friday. A lovely and delicious dinner with friends rounded out the day. I'm desperately wanting to sit and bead some before bed, but I think I'll let my head prevail on this one and head for slumber instead. There's always tomorrow...

Oh! And Mom bought me some $1.99 gloves at the grocery store that are just perfect. I believe I'll be sleeping in them tonight.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm taking a hint

Darn it all...I keep meaning to change the blog password! Yes, Mom did a good job of outing my pathetic cold weather aversion. I become quite useless, it's true. Hibernation mode clicks in, and I want to spend every moment huddled under large piles of bankets and dogs. No problem - except nothing gets done! And while I've been crowing about the end of my teaching and traveling schedule for the year, that does NOT mean the job list is wiped clear. Far from it.

So I'm trying to cope because a look at the forecast tonight did not predict a stunning 80 degree December heat wave. Instead I'm taking the blankets with me from room to room (Snuggie, anyone? What do you suppose the odds are that I'm getting one for Christmas??) and bringing my small space heater too. I plan on buying some cheap gloves tomorrow and cutting the fingertips out of them so I can wear them while working on the computer or while beading, but still gain some warmth. I'm such a style icon! And the rest of the plan is to just buck up and deal with it.

Because those work piles are not goin' anywhere without me! I picked up an unexpected design job this week that's had me flexing some dormant stringing muscles. And in the process of doing some research for the design, I felt a desire to do some...gulp...wire work. I have a number of projects for myself that have been sitting around for ages, waiting to be put together. I plan on carving out some time to get at least one if not two accomplished before the end of the year. Like in 14 days, ya' know. As for the design project,'ll have to wait a while before I tell you the details on that one. :-)

Have you seen that the Bead & Button Show class schedule has gone live? Registration doesn't open until January 12, but you can peruse the classes now and plan your trip. I'm going to take at least one class since I'm there so early in the week this year. There are 3 that are vying for my attention. So far. I haven't even had time to finish looking through them all.

And I realized that I haven't yet told ya'll about this cool retreat I'll be teaching at in July! The Teton Bead Retreat will run from July 24-28 at the Grand Targhee Resort. Jeanette Cook, Kelly Wiese, Rashan Omari Jones, George O'Grady, and I will all be instructors for the retreat. I can't wait!!

Okay, off to do some more work if I'm going to allow myself the luxury of tomorrow's scheduled massage, and dinner with some friends. Both very important appointments!

It's Brrrrr in Texas

From June: Sorry Jill has not updated for almost a week. She is incapacitated by the cold weather. It's true that we have a horrible draft in the living room from the doggie door. How would she ever have managed if we had stayed in Wisconsin??? She would be a frozen popsicle. I need your hints on how you keep warm. Let me know - Jill's productivity is depending on you!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

One last trip for the year

We're all safe and sound, back in the paws of our fur babies, much to their relief! Kelly C. does a lovely job taking care of them while we're away, but there's no Mama like your real Mama(s) and the dogs and cats are equally appreciative of our return in their own ways. As in demanding constant attention and reassurance that we are NOT leaving them like that again. Ever. Never ever. Um....

Las Vegas was such an interesting place - especially for folks like Mom and me who don't really fit in any of the usual visitor categories. We're not the gamblers. We're not the partiers in hoochey-mama dresses and sky-high heels. We're not the golden oldies who park themselves at the buffets and slot machines. Luckily, we're so easy to please. That's one thing I totally love about the way we travel together - we can do the silliest stuff and have a great time. So one afternoon was spent with the dolphins and tigers (non-golfing), another was spent taking silly photos at the wax museum and browsing at the faux European mall at the Venetian. We did spend some time at the slot machines, mostly losing (me) and sometimes winning (Mom). We toured the Titanic exhibit at the Luxor, and attended the smallest International Gem & Jewelry Show I'd ever seen (20 exhibitors, MAYBE - and we spent $20 in cab fare getting there.) We were amazed to see that Cher still looks fabulous and sounds even better. And without exception, ever single meal was completely delicious, no matter where we ate.

The photos are all on my Barbie computer, so I'll get them transferred over tomorrow. I really promise this time!

Today was the first day back at home, and it was seriously difficult for me to get back in the mood for work. The cold temperatures aren't helping a bit, because they make me want to go hibernate under the covers. I did get a bunch (BUNCH) of packages in the mail while I was away though and I spent the evening and into the wee hours of the morning getting the clasps and end caps and such all put in baggies and priced.

I've got roughly a bazillion pearls arriving on Thursday...some for the infamous Pink Pearl Treasure mixture, and some for custom Renaissance Revisited kits for the class I'll be teaching in Lake Jackson on Saturday.

That will be my last trip of the year - driving 3.5 hours down to Lake Jackson on Friday night, then teaching two classes on Saturday and driving back home. And then I go nowhere. For 5 weeks. FIVE WEEKS. Bliss.

I'm sure I'll be climbing the walls by Week 4. Ya' think?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Las Vegas Living

Hello! Fear not - we haven't forgotten about you! Mom and I are in Las Vegas on vacation, and having ourselves a grand old time.

We flew out here on Thursday - barely surviving the plane trip. Not because the plane was the problem. Because the twentysomethings in the row behind us were flirting up a storm, and talked non-stop for three hours. The girl laughed at everything (EVERYthing) the guy said. And then they played "The Question Game" for about 2 hours. So if you ever wanted to know, her favorite band is Modest Mouse, if he had to be a pizza topping, he'd be a jalepeno, the person she most would have liked to meet is Audrey Hepburn and his is Johnny Depp. I could go on and on, but you get the drift. Mom and I have vowed to never fly without music and headphones again. A crying baby would have been better!

We're staying at the Mirage, and it's a completely amazing hotel. Honestly, we've barely left it yet, although we're venturing out shortly to go see the Bellagio and the Venetian. I taught myself how to play on the slot machines the first night (Mom has a bit of a cold, and had zonked out in the hotel room) and while I wasn't really winning, I was proud of myself for figuring it all out. So Friday I sit Mom down next to me to show her, and gave her $5. Which she promptly turned into $68.25 within the first few plays! Show off! My immediate reaction was, "Cash out!" which she did. I gave her another $20, and I'll be darned if she didn't win on THAT money too. She ended our little 30 min. spree by turning her $25 into $118.50. And I lost. She's very pleased with herself!

We spent time on Friday afternoon checking out the dolphin and tiger habitat here at the hotel, and we're so easy - we had a blast. We played with Flipper and his cousins for quite a while, and then moved on to the white tigers. We got to see some adolescent tigers play and there are two 5 month old babies there right now too. So sweet! The lions weren't in the mood to pose or play for us, but that's okay because they're bad ass lions and they can do what they want. And lastly, there was Grandpa tiger, who's 18 years old and clearly has arthritis. It was kind of sad to see him moving gingerly around. They have a life span of 18-20 years, so he's pretty old.

Tonight we'll be going to see Cher! I'm sure she'll be putting on a heck of a performance for us. We're taking lots of photos, and I'll try to upload some of them to the computer tonight to share.

This is my kind of place - we're sleeping in until 10 or 11 am, and going until 3am, and we're the early to bed folks compared to the rest! Mom says we won't be moving here, though. Drat.