Friday, April 29, 2011

Short-term Goals for May

It’s almost May, and I’m so busy.  Unfortunately for Storybeader, I work at the Museum five days a week.  That leaves me two short days to work on my artwork.  Writing down my short term goals helps keep me on track, once I do get time at home.  I recommend you do this too! 

This month is going to be a continuation of working on projects that I started last month.  So here’s my goals, and what I need to do to reach them:

While I was making my first art journal in April, I started to yearn for the coptic stitch journals that I used to make.  So that’s one of my goals - make a few different journals. I’ve realized that you need different tools when making art journals and coptic journals.  I was too rough on my awl and I broke it, so I need to buy another one.  And I’m going to look for a long reach hole punch which will come in handy for the art journals.

Even though I want to start making paper again, I’m not ready.  I know the weather will start getting too hot on our screened porch if I wait much longer.  But it’s still a mess out there.  So that  is one of my goals: clean up the porch.  And maybe I’ll tackle some of the back yard while I’m at it!

Continue making paper beads.  Hopefully, I can get 3 different sets finished in May.  They might not be 50 pieces per set, like I’ve done in the past.  I'd like to have a variety in my Etsy shop.  I’m also thinking of painting one set - that will be different!

There are my goals - what are your goals for May?

Thursday, April 28, 2011


 I've always loved baskets and have made a few in my time.  Here are three that usually hang out on my shelves at home.  The egg-shell basket (on the right) is for... gathering eggs I suppose.  It used to have green and natural colored reeds, but the green coloring has faded over time.  The two other baskets I made at the Museum, in gourd workshops.  I decorated the one on the left, after I got home.  They both are stitched with sinew around the top.  

The basketweave tangle design I learned this week has a great three dimensional look to it.  I'm not that great at drawing but it's very easy to do if you just follow the directions.  You can learn the steps by visiting Suzanne McNeill's blog, a Certified Zentangle Teacher.   Just scroll down to the bottom of her post, Art of the Carolinas.

This post was brought to you from AlphabeThursday and  Ms. Jenney's blog, "off on my tangent." What do you think about, when someone says, "B is for ------"?  Check out what other AlphabeThursday students said!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Out on a Limb

I decided to sketch my pet dove (see Friday's post) in this large sketchbook.  
Here she is, after a little time with pencils, pens and stamping.
Perfect for the Sketchbook Challenge!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Facebook Friday - turning a corner

Happy Earth Day!

This is the last Facebook Friday post I'll be writing for the time being.  I've decided to spend a little less time on Facebook and more attention to my artwork.  This weekend (which is starting Friday afternoon!) I'm going to :

1) finish up Lot #2 of my recycled paper beads and place them on Etsy.  I just sold my first lot (of music paper beads) and the shop desperately needs some more.     

2) get the pages ready for my new art journal.  I'm planning on putting it in my shop too.  Yes, that's two new products I'm involved with.  Will write about this a little later.

3) write up the description for my paper beadmaking class I agreed to teach in Norman.  The store, called Truly JJ, will be opening next weekend on Main Street, when the Norman Music Festival is going on.  I want to give something to J.J. so she can advertise the class.  Maybe a nice flyer would be good.

4) even though I'm hoping for rain, I'd like to work outside in the yard.  And I really need to go to the recycling center.  It's getting too crowded out of the porch.  I promised myself to get ready for papermaking when the weather turned nice.   
can you see our pet dove, sitting on her eggs?

5) draw my pet dove in her nest for the Sketchbook Challenge.  This month: "Out on a Limb."  Well, she's not actually a pet, but she's been out there for about two weeks.  And the nest has been there ... like forever!  I have to be very quiet when I go to my car, because she always flies off.  Took this photo Thursday after work.

6) finally, I need to finish the book for my book club meeting.  Someone is leaving town for the summer, and we are needing to get together earlier than usual.  I'm only halfway done!

All this should keep me very busy - I don't know if I'll be able to complete everything.  In the meantime, for all of my loyal Facebook Friday readers and commenters, I wanted to pass along Facebook's Webinar Center page that I've been eyeing.  There's free on-demand tutorials about Facebook Ads, something I was thinking of doing, but have decided to turn another corner instead...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I never paid much attention to arrowheads before I moved to Oklahoma.  But after working at the Museum of the Great Plains and learning about Native American life, I became more interested in their use.  Hunters would take a stone and chiseled it down so it had a point.  Then attached the point to a throwing stick called an atlatl (aht-lah-tul).  So the hunter didn't lose his point, he would tie the stick to a rope or strap, with the other end attach to his arm.  This would allow him to fling the weapon at an animal and retrieve it.

I used to sell necklaces with arrowheads all the time.  They are very popular shapes in the Southwest.  Here are some arrowhead beads, made from different stones that I have around the house.  

When I saw the arrowhead zentangle on Linda Farmer's tangle patterns site, I knew I had to try it out. Next time I'll know to use graph paper!

This post was brought to you from AlphabeThursday and  Ms. Jenney's blog, "off on my tangent." As you can see, we're starting from the beginning of the alphabet again!  What are others thinking about, when it comes to the letter A ?

Monday, April 18, 2011

April Etsyblogger Featured Artisan - lindab

I was so glad to see that lindab was chosen as the featured etsyblogger for the month.  She has been a member of the Etsybloggers team since November 2008, not too long after I joined.  I usually go by her blog when she sends us a link on the team's Etsy Promo Thread.  My favorite post is her Top Etsy Finds.  I didn't realize until this week that she doesn't have one particular day when she posts (which is actually a good idea if you don't know what days will be busier than others...)  Just to make sure I keep Linda on my radar, I added her blog to my Etsy Friends List -  now I'm sure I won't miss out on voting for my favorite top find! 

I used to have a weekly Internet Artisan Interview and talked to Linda back on December 11, 2009.  Wow, that was a time ago!  When I saw that she had a Project Wonderful ad  like myself, I made a bid on it - hopefully I'll win a spot!

Linda has over 100 items for sale in her Etsy shop - way, way more than me!  Most of it's jewelry, which is always fun to look through.  It also nice to see what fella Etsybloggers are creating.  Here's a collage of some of my favorite pieces: 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Facebook Friday - asking questions

Have you thought about asking questions on your Facebook page?  It's a great way to interact with others who may be interested in the same things you are, whether it's handmade arts and crafts or places to visit on vacation.  I was always told "It doesn't hurt to ask" so I decided to try this new way to share on Facebook.

You'll find Questions right under your wall pictures, next to Status.  The easiest question to ask is one with a yes or no response.  To start, click the icon next to the word Question.  A box will pop up, telling you to learn from your friends and ask a question.  Facebook Questions are designed to make it easy for Friends to answers with a single click.   I decided to ask: "Do you keep a journal or diary?" 

After typing in your question, click "Add Poll Options" right underneath your typed line. 

This is where you can type in the responses for your friends to choose.  You can have as many replies as you like.  If you check the box mark "Allow anyone to add options," two things happen: Users will be able to vote on more than one option, and it allows people to type in their own response to vote on.  I don't think this is really safe because someone could add something unpleasant.  I suggest, at least to start with, to uncheck that box, so users can only vote on one of your answers.  I was told that you get a notification, but this must happen only if someone adds a response in the open option line.

You can access your Questions activity by clicking on the link under your avator, on the left-hand side.   After clicking on the link, go to Your Activity, to see what your questions are doing.  On the right side of the answers will be pics of the different people who answered your question  (I've had trouble with this, now and again!)

Maybe this is a waste of time, but it's something new that people can look at.

Probably an active Facebook user (unlike myself) would be able to reach more eyes than on a blog or website.  My responses aren't very good so far.  I haven't had much activity.  Just two.... including myself!    I tried to copy the URL and link it to this post, but for some reason it doesn't's one of the mysteries that I haven't answered yet.

So, how is everyone else liking Facebook?  Do you use it or not?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Campbell's Alphabet Soup

Here's a quick drawing of what Alphabet Soup looks like to me.  Campbell's is the first thing that comes to mind - I grew up eating, drinking and cooking with it. 

Mmm, Mmm Good!

Many years ago I bought four large mugs, perfect to put soup in.  I still have all four and use them when it's cold outside and we need a warm-up.  Or when I'm feeling sick or blue.

This post was brought to you for my AphabeThursday post on Ms. Jenny's blog, "off on my tangent."  To se what others thought of, when given the assignment of Alphabet Soup, link on over to AlphabeThursday.  Next week (April 21st) we will restart round 3 with the letter A.  So come and join us!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A walk down memory lane to the public library

Every child should experience a Christmas Club account and a library card when they are young.  I was lucky enough to have both!  I learned the importance of saving my money, and appreciated philanthropists who believed in public libraries.  The funds from the estate of Andrew Carnegie helped build the public library in the town where I grew up.  I've been told it took 17 years to build, starting in 1900, and is one of 36 Carnegie libraries built in New Jersey. In 1964, the library was replaced by a newer building, right next door.  This is the library I remember best.

Having a library card is so important.  It teaches young people that with a little effort, they can be entertained, learn about the world, and be part of their community.  I hope everyone who reads this has a library card.  And if you don't, it's never too late to get one!

I was so delighted to be able to take out more than one book at a time.  What a treat!  When I was old enough to have my own card, I would proudly show it at the Circulation desk with my pile of books.  As a grew older, I spent time in the library writing papers for school and visiting with friends.  I loved to be surrounded by books...a true librarian in the making!

Now I live in Lawton, Oklahoma.  There's a Carnegie Library building here too.  It was built in 1922 and like my hometown, urban renewal plans decided a new library was needed in the 1960s.  Currently available as a meeting space, the old building was saved from destruction by concerned citizens.  It was placed on the National Register for Historic Places in 1976.  What a cute building it is, standing on the corner close to the old downtown.

Here's an old postcard of what the building looked like, when it was first built.  Pretty good job of preservation, don't you agree?

This post is brought to you by the Etsybloggers Carnival for April 11th.  To see other Carnival posts having to do with libraries and hometowns, click on the button to the right and visit the Etsybloggers team blog.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Facebook Friday - syndicate your blog posts

Make your life easier - let Facebook automatically publish your blog posts onto your personal page.  The process is called Syndication.  Doesn't one less task in your day  sound like a good thing?  I'm trying to simplify my life, so I tried this technique.  And it works!  Hurray! 

To get started, log onto your Facebook account and locate the app "NetworkedBlogs" in the search box.

 Then follow these four steps to complete the connection.
1.  when you get to the app on your screen, click on the link to Register a blog.

You'll need to have your blog name, the URL and a short description.  Don't miss putting in three different categories or topics that relate to your blog, so that others can easily find you.  I used handmade, journal, and art.

2. after you register your blog, click on "Edit Details" to add your RSS feed address.  I'm not used to all the technical language, so I did a little research at this point.  The RSS feed distribute web content and news for you.  Most blog designs have the address you need to add at the bottom of the page, where it says: Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)

If you're using Firefox, right click on the "Posts (Atom)" and use "Copy link location"
Mine turned out to be:
If you're using Internet Explorer, right click on the "Posts (Atom)" and use "Copy shortcut"

Don't forget about this step, as it is what allows NetworkedBlogs to gather the details of your latest blog posts.

3.  Go back to your new Networked Blogs profile page and select Syndication, at the top right. 

This brings you to "Syndication Settings."  There will be a box at the top: "New Post from:"  Select the blog you want to manage.  After selecting your blog, the next few lines will indicate which Facebook pages your blog post will appear on.  If you click on "expand all" (to the right) it will give you more information.  Most important to look for is if your Syndication is enabled.   Below this information will be an example of what your comment will look like on your Facebook page.  I did a test blog, to see if it would work, and it did.

4.  Take a few minutes and fill out any additional details on your Networked Blogs profile page.  Just like any other online group, there's a "About Me" section that is handy to fill out. 

I suggest you arrange this syndication before your next blog post; then check your Facebook page after you blog, to see if everything worked ok.  You can also add a NetworkedBlog widget to your blog if you want.  Tell me how this all worked for you, if you want to try it out!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

AlphabeThursday - zen bud

Last night, I found a neat looking tangle called zen bud, designed by Danni O’Brien, a graphic designer from Ann Arbor Michigan.  So I took pen to paper and tried to draw my little rose buds.  

This is Danni’s first pattern on  At first, I wasn’t happy with my sketches, but now that I look back, I’m completely happy with them.  You can draw them too.  Go and visit her blog and see the steps - real cool!

We reached the end of the alphabet!

 Do you want to read more about what other students in Ms. Matlock’s class thought of, when asked what words begin with the letter Z?  You can go to Jenny’s blog, “…off on my tangent” and choose any blog title. Here's the Zs: AlphabeThursday

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Month in Photographs - March

March was a full month, with long days and fast weekends. At the Museum (3), I’ve been getting ready for the 50th anniversary exhibit, which opens at the end of July.  On the homefront, I started rolling oval beads (1) with comic book pages.  When I left them to dry, after I polyurethane them, some stuck to the toothpicks!  Geez!  I made some larger red beads (6) from pages of Yankee magazine (2) because my friend Erika was having a red link party one Friday.  That’s the day I publish my Facebook post, so it’s been hard to participate.  I went to DC the last week of the month, just in time for the cherry blossoms (4).  Tuesday afternoon, my boss and I went down to the reflecting pool on the mall, to see the monuments.  The weather was beautiful, but it went downhill from there...  Here’s me holding up the Washington Monument (5).  On Wednesday, we went out to see the grounds at Mount Vernon (7) and visit the museum and education center.  I’m saving the pics taken Friday for April’s month of photographs.  A real eye-opening month, all in all!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Short-term Goals for April

I’ve found that writing down your goals throughout the month is a good way to make sure they get done.  Consider what happened to me this month:  I just returned from a five-day trip - didn’t get a chance to sit down and think about anything, before I had to go back to work.  And now it's the 5th!  Luckily, tonight I reached back into my “internet” notebook and found three things I wanted to get done in April.   My motto is
"ALWAYS keep paper handy, especially at your workstations."

To help me complete my goals, I'm going to take the advice from Sat. Strategy Session, Week 4 and answer the question: "What do you have to do to reach your short-term goals?"

 *Rearrange my Workspace
Luckily, DH nailed up some shelves for me while I was gone.  I plan to empty my deep desk drawers of all the bead containers.  Someone had said they organize their scrap paper and clippings by color, so I got these plastic "memory holders" for Michaels before I went away.  Yesterday, I put all my blue scraps into one.  I still need to move my large paper storage unit into the workroom, and fill the desk drawers with something new !

* Paper Beads
This is the second month that I have paper beads in my short range plans.  Last month I made four eyeglass chains and sold three.  There's one more left in my Etsy shop, and if it doesn't sell soon, I plan to keep it for myself.

I also dipped my toes in the bead-rolling pond, so to speak.  Now I know what to do.  I bought a new bead roller from JustJennDesignz and plan to make 100s of beads to put in my shop.  Hopefully, I won’t go crazy when it come to coating the paper beads with shellac or some other sealer.  And it also means I have to buy a new camera, since mine is dead.

*Art Journaling Workshop

At the Museum, we were all asked to look for different adult workshops that we could teach throughout the year.  I had two suggestions: paper beadmaking and art journaling.  I think the journaling workshop would be loads of fun, and I might be able to spend some time at work planning it out.  Journal girl has some neat looking workshops - I was thinking of taking her "Wish Journal Workshop" and see how it works!  Maybe the workshop will introduce some museum supporters to the journals I make.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Book Review - The Age of Innocence

When I started reading The Age of Innocence, I was disappointed with my book club's monthly selection.  All these New York City aristocrats from the 1870s; I didn't have anything in common with them.  But as my reading progressed, I came to understand why Edith Wharton won the Pulitzer Prize for this book in 1921.  Her character development was only the introduction to the novel; their personalities were important to the story and needed to be revealed. 

Just as I wrote about Pearl Buck's writing, it's best when authors write about what they know.  Wharton (1862-1937) was born into "Old New York" society.  One of the main characters is Newland Archer, heir to one of the wealthier families in the city.  But he's a bit different than most men his age; he is interested in meeting new people and enjoyed conversation, unlike May, his new wife.  Then along comes Ellen, a cousin who is fleeing the Count she has married, and Newland is asked to oversee her legal problems.
Wharton, from Wikipedia
I saw signs of a strained married right off, when Newland and May were on their honeymoon in Europe.  In a carriage after dining with family friends in England, the following scene occurs:
    During the homeward drive Archer pondered deeply on this episode [meeting the French tutor.]  His hour with M. Riviere had put new air into his lungs, and his first impulse had been to invite him to dinner the next day; but he was beginning to understand why married men did not always immediately yield to their first impulses.
    "That young tutor is an interesting fellow; we had some awfully good talk after dinner about books and things," he threw out tentatively in the hansom.
    May roused herself from one of the dreamy silences into which he had read so many meanings before six months of marriage had given him the key to them.
    "The little Frenchman?  Wasn't he dreadfully common?" she questioned coldly; and he guessed that she nursed a secret disappointment at having been invited out to London to meet a clergyman and a French tutor..."
What struck me most about Age of Innocence is it's study of opposites.  Most obvious are  the two women in Newland's life: the Countess Olenska (Ellen) and May Welland Archer.  Ellen is dark, foreign, exciting.  May is blond, innocent, conventional.  His hurried marriage to May was the biggest mistake in his life, but then there wouldn't be a story unless that had happened.

As I remember, the main story takes place over one or two "seasons."  At the beginning of the book's last chapter, Newland returns to his study from the opening reception of the new galleries at the Metropolitan Museum.  Wharton gives us a hint that many years have passed
"It was the room in which most of the real things of his life had happened.  There his wife, nearly twenty-six years ago, had broken to him, with a blushing circumlocution that would have caused the young women of the generation to smile, the news that she was to have a child; and there their eldest boy, Dallas, too delicate to be taken to church in midwinter, had been christened by their old friend the Bishop of New York..."

Newland and his son go overseas for their last father/son trip and visit Paris before the young man marries.  Newland suddenly finds out that his son has taken them to visit Ellen.  The book is really wonderful and the movie, which was made in 1993 by the same name, is excellent (my DH would call it girlie, though men are a major driving force to the whole story!)  Directed by Martin Scorsese, staring Michelle Pfeiffer, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Winona Ryder.  Ryder won a Golden Globe Award for her portrayal of May Welland Archer and the film won an Oscar for Costume Design.  I would recommend them both!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Facebook Friday - Creating a new page

Many people reading this post already have a Personal Page and/or a Business Fan Page on Facebook.  If you don't, or want to start a new page dealing with another facet in your life, Facebook has made it super easy.  

Here's the "Create a Page" link where you can start

 You have six choices when creating a page:
1) a local business or place
2) a company, organization or institution
3) a brand or product
4) an artist, band, or public figure
5) an entertainment
6) a cause or community

 Next step, name your page, and check the box that says "I'm the official representation of this ....."

The final step is to fill out some basic information on the "blank" Fan Page that comes up, choose a photo to upload, and add anything else you want to say.  Once your page is created, you can add other applications, join groups and play games.  The thing is, you have to visit and update your new page at least once a week, or it’s a waste of time.

For those who already have Personal and Business Fan Pages, you might want to invest some time in another page.  If you're an artist with several different shops online, consider addressing only one shop or aspect of your artwork.  

If you follow my blog or Etsy shop, you know that DH and I are making paper beads now.  I’ve been thinking about a Paper Beads Page here on Facebook; see what others are doing and advertise my items, under the Product Page.  But then, maybe I should start an Artist Page dealing with art journaling, something I’ve been very involved in.  I did a search last week in Groups, and no one is talking about this on Facebook.  I could introduce the blogs that I follow and magazines that I like.  Maybe link to tutorials, introduce kits, show off my journals.  The possibilities are endless.  All I need is more TIME! 
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