Thursday, January 29, 2015

Where Do They Find The Time?

I don't even have an outside-the-home job, and it seems I'm always playing catch-up. I do babysit for one of my grandsons, so I don't get a whole lot of work done when he's here. I also have an elderly stepdad that I take out to do his errands once or twice a week because he can't drive. Between those things and all the normal household stuff, I can barely find time to get as much beading done as I want to.

So how do other people do all of that, spend (seemingly) more time on their crafts and listing items for sale than I do, and still have time for Facebook and/or forums? You know the people I'm talking about. No matter what time it is, they are answering a question or replying to a comment on Facebook. Or they are over in the Etsy forums answering question after question there from new or distraught buyers and sellers, all day long. And some people are in both places!

I only visit Facebook once a week, at most, because once I open it up I may as well just throw the whole day away. By the time I skim through my news feed and all of my groups, hours have passed.

I try to visit the Etsy forums once a day, just so that I feel like I'm up to date on anything that's happening over there, because Etsy sure doesn't announce everything they're doing. I think that might be the place where I am most puzzled. Take a look, and you'll see that the same people are there posting all day, and sometimes all night, long. When do they find the time to make their crafts, photograph them (another all-day task for me), list their products, and ship their sold items? Not to mention taking care of their family and their house.

I just don't get it. I must either work very slowly or have terrible time management skills. I cannot spend as much time online as everyone else seems to and still hope to have any time for beading. But then I don't have a smart-phone, either, I have to do everything on my computer. Maybe these people who appear to be online 24 hours a day are the ones who I see out and about multi-tasking on their smart-phones while shopping, eating, driving, etc. Maybe that's how they do it!

How do you find time to spend online?


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Time for the "GROW YOUR BLOG" Party!!!

This is my first year joining the "Grow Your Blog" party hosted by 2 Bags Full, and I can't wait to discover some new favorite blogs!
The Invitation!
If you are here for the party and this is your first time visiting, I'll tell you a little bit about my blog.  I think I've been with Blogger since 2005 (!)  There have been quite a few different iterations of this blog.  It was kind of a diary at first, then it was about my job, then it was a travel blog, and finally I settled on the Meowtalk name that it has now (and which I like a lot).  I figured I could talk about anything under that name...and I have.

I work out of my home studio making beaded jewelry, so I post pictures of the pieces I finish and sometimes in-progress pics or different variations/experiments with a piece.  I also post little stories about my daily life, my 4 grand-kids, my cats, or anything else I think might make a good blog post. I do not post about politics - that subject has a way of becoming immediately divisive in any group.

I don't always post consistently, but I keep promising myself that I'm going to get better about that. We'll see as 2015 evolves.  I am really hoping to post at least once a week.

I'll keep it short because I know you have a lot of blogs to visit.  And so do I!


Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Decisions, Decisions

Do you ever have days when you can stare at two or three different beads for hours, and still be wavering on which one is the right color choice to use in your project?

I started making a bracelet from Nancy Dale's pattern "Carol's Bracelet". It's a beautiful bracelet, and it looks very vintage in the bronze and pink colorway that I chose to use. Just one thing bothered me. As I reached the end of the bracelet, I realized that the 4mm Swarovski crystal bicones were able to spin on the thread that was holding them inside the diamond shapes. Even though I'm using 8lb. Fireline and had gone through each crystal at least four times (more than the pattern called for), I was afraid that the bicones would wear away at the thread. This would cause the bracelet to eventually break at those points, especially if it was worn often. I also worried that whoever wore the bracelet might have a tendency to fiddle with and spin the bicones, causing more movement than would occur naturally. I know I can't stop playing with any moving parts in my jewelry.

I decided to take the bracelet apart and start over, adding size 15 seed beads at the ends of each bicone to reduce the wear on the thread. And that is where I got stuck.

I pulled out some gold 15's and two different colors of pink. I decided quickly that I don't like how the gold beads look against the crystals, so now I only have to decide between two colors. One of the pinks is almost exactly the same color as the crystal bicones. The other is just a little bit lighter, but has an AB (Aurora Borealis) coating just like the crystals do.

I took some pictures, thinking it would be easier to decide which I like better if I looked at some close-ups. No such luck. One minute I lean toward the dark pink, the next minute I lean toward the lighter one. Here are some of the pictures I took. Which color would you choose?

size 15 beads are labeled
top row, lt. pink at left, then dk. pink

lt. pink at bottom, gold at top

gold at left, lt pink on far right

Maybe it really doesn't matter which color I use and I'm agonizing over nothing. I just like my beadwork to be perfect - both aesthetically pleasing and woven sturdily. Since I'm taking it apart anyway, I'm also going to smooth the ends of the crystals a bit with my bead reamer tool.

Whenever I finally make up my mind, I'll post a picture of the finished bracelet here on the blog.


Monday, January 05, 2015

I'm So Behind Technologically, But...

I think this is something that has been around since the beginning of the internet, but I have just discovered it today. Of course. I'm always years behind everyone else when it comes to technology. Remember? I'm the one who still uses a flip cellphone.

Anyway, the big new thing I've discovered is RSS feeds! Namely, the one I found is called Feedly.  I cannot believe how much easier using Feedly makes it to follow my favorite blogs. Where have I been all this time?

The blogs I read are now all in one place. I can see if they've been updated recently, so no wasted trips to web pages from my bookmarks/favorites list. I can organize blogs into categories, based on topic or any other criteria that I choose.  You can choose to display your blog list with post titles only, a summary of the posts, or the full posts. (I chose summaries)  Feedly tells you which posts you've already read and how many new posts are waiting on each blog.

You can also pay to upgrade to a pro account with more settings and features, but I'm so fascinated by what I already have that I can't imagine what else I'd need. Maybe some of you who have known about RSS feeds forever would want more "stuff".  I don't know. But, guess what? I also have a tip for you technological pros who stuck around to read all of this! Something you might not know yet.

You can hack Feedly to follow your favorite Pinterest boards and let you know when each board is updated.  Julie Deneen at Fabulous Blogging walks you right through how to set it up, step-by-easy-step. Also, once it's set up you can repin or visit a pinned website right from your Feedly page. Isn't that pretty darned awesome?

There are other websites that will compile your RSS feeds, use Google to find them. Feedly is just the one that I found, and it is very intuitive and easy to use, even for me. Use Feedly or find another site, but using RSS feeds will definitely save you lots of time. And that's something we can all use.


Since this is my first post of the new year...
Happy 2015! I wish you much health and happiness in the coming year!