About Me

My photo

I love hammering gold, silver, copper, brass, and bronze into amazing textured custom rings, custom wedding rings, engagement rings, and other unique artisan jewelry.  I have an extensive selection of men's and women's rings, along with gemstone and pearl jewelry in my SilverSmack shop on Etsy.  Please stop in and take a look.

A Poem I wrote

Beyond Semi-precious

Lapidolite, Dumorterite, Iolite

even the sedimentary syllables shine


nutured by nature

colored by the earth

flecked
mottled
dappled

fossilized blooms

petrified sunsets

envelop me

Click on my banner to visit my shop.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Givin' Me a Heart Attack!





I'm pretty tough, but ultimately my demise will be caused by something very common and, I may add, harmless to most. I can handle gunshots, firecrackers, cannons, and the occasional thunderclap, but my heart literally tries to bust through my sternum when one of those tubes of cinnamon rolls or biscuits pops open and I'm not physically, mentally, and psychologically prepared. I feel like a heart attack is imminent. I just can NOT take it. Who designed this torturous packaging? Why are they designed to scare the CRAP out of me? How many customers do they lose to heart attacks every year? It can NOT be a good marketing ploy. It's ok if I tear it a bit and hit it on the counter, so I decide when IT happens, but if it happens unexpectedly, I'm in for some serious hurt.
Another household item that may be found next to my lifeless body: the toaster. That evil little box shoots that toast out of there with a vengeance. I can't stand it. Scares me every single time. I wish there was a way to know when it was going to come out, so I could prepare. But, no. It just has to be a bone chilling surprise every time.
The next one is disguised as an innocent children's toy: The jack-in-the-box. I do not know who ever decided that this was fun or at all entertaining because every time that insane-looking clown thing pops out of that box, I'm sure my lifespan was shortened by at least five years. It's only saving grace is, I know when it's coming. It's always during the "Pop!" part of the "Pop! Goes the Weasel" song, so I could prepare myself.
Last, but not least is the game "Perfection." It is nerve wracking and will cause your heart to go into fibrillation. You push down the platform and you have sixty seconds to get all these weird little shapes into their proper places places or they pop up RIGHT IN YOUR FACE! If that doesn't cause any heart irregularities, I don't know what will. And you are concentrating so hard on completing the task that you don't look at the timer and BAM!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Oh No, You Didn't!



The week before the last flea market last year, my "friend" came to my booth and asked me how my pendants were selling. I said that I could barely keep up with making them.

Labor Day weekend came around and I wasn't selling as much as I usually do and I had had a tremendous week the week before. Suddenly, a customer comes up to me and asks me, "Are you working with the guy down there because he's selling exactly the same thing." Oh really. So, at the end of the day I had to take a walk down to his booth and sure enough, he had copied my pendants exactly and was selling them without the cords for cheaper. I was crushed. How could somebody do that? To me?

So last weekend, he was back again, being all friendly. He asked me how business was and I said, "Not very good." It was actually pretty good, but I wasn't going to tell him anything at all. He said he did really well and I just wanted to say that was because he copied me, but I didn't. He asked me if I had anything new. "Nope." I did, but I sure wasn't going to point them out to him. I learned a hard lesson. Don't divulge any business secrets at all to anybody. Now that I think about it, he was selling magnetic bracelets when the guy across from him started selling them, but he doesn't anymore, so hopefully he will tire of copying me soon. I can't believe he had the guts to come and talk to me. Does he think I don't know what he did? I could have made more money if he wasn't such a jerk. I still can't believe it. I even bought stuff from him before. I hope he didn't see my new designs!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hypermiling Hell

Well, it's not really Hell for me, but for the people stuck behind me. . .perhaps. It did take me a little while to get used to driving slower and to coast and to keep shifting into neutral. Sometimes I forget to shift back (and negate all my hard work), or I go too far and onto reverse(not good). I make a game of it now. I see if I can coast a little further or see what my miles per gallon are each fill-up. I live in a pretty rural area, so I can get away with quite a bit. There is a stretch of road on my way home where I can coast in neutral for over a mile and a half. Granted, there is a point where I crest a hill at about 25mph, but then I slowly regain speed as I start back down the hill. (The speed limit is 40mph, but everyone goes about 60mph usually.) Gas was $4.24 here today, so I really don't care who I annoy while I'm trying to save gas. They can pass me if they want to go faster. There was always a police officer who was always trying to catch me speeding down that road. I can't wait 'til he clocks me coasting at 25mph!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hypermiling

If you haven't heard of it by now, you will soon. It's been on the news and it's growing in popularity as gas prices spiral out of control. It's a way to eke a few more miles per gallon out of your existing vehicle if you can't afford to upgrade to a hybrid or downgrade to a stickshift.
Hypermiling 101
1. Put your car in neutral and coast down hills.
2. Put your car in neutral and coast to a stop at stop signs.
3. Refrain from using your brakes.
4. Turn off your defrost/AC when you can. Roll down your windows.
5. Drive 55 on the highway and use the cruise control.
6. Lighten your car by taking heavy things out.
7. Draft off of bigger cars.

Warning: It is very irritating being a passenger in a car with a hypermiler.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Memorial Day and Beyond . . .


Beginning with Memorial Day and ending with Labor day and every Monday in between, I have to get up at about 4:30 am, load up my van, and drive an hour and a half to the flea market I work at during the summer. There is everything there. The town doesn't even have a stoplight. The population is barely three digits, but during the summer, the flea market can be a pretty busy place. Are there fleas there? Probably. My first year there, I was out in the dust bowl right next to the dumpster. Not exactly prime real estate for selling jewelry. Especially if the wind was wrong. I almost gave up. Last year, I nabbed a spot in the pavillion right near the entrance. That made quite a bit of difference. My sales almost tripled. You can get just about anything at this flea market. Antiques, collectibles, dollar store stuff, tube socks, Amish jams and jellies, plants, sunglasses, purses, chainsaw art, quality silver-smithed jewelry, afghans, popcorn, welded lawn art, hand-crafted gemstone and sterling jewelry (that's me), birdhouses, magnetic jewelry, elastic jewelry, squishy toys, sparkle purses, and so much more.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Gas Gambler



I hate getting gas. It's not the price. It's not the money. Now, with the price of gas so high, the gas pump shuts off at $75. Apparently, that is the limit, whether your tank is full or not. This really bothers me because I always try to squeeze every drop of gas in there to delay the next fill-up as long as possible. Although, that IS making it all the more unpleasant. It's the PROCESS. It was even worse before there was pay-at-the-pump, when I had to walk all the way into the gas station to pay. I just HATE it. I hate the smell. I hate touching those dirty gas nozzles. I hate their matte finish and rough texture. I hate touching my gas cap. And it's always on too tight. I hate unscrewing my gas cap. I hate it all. I don't really know why. I try to avoid it as long as physically possible. Even when the little gas tank lights up on my dashboard, I know I still have about three more days before I REALLY need to get gas. I watch the needle as it slowly drops below the "E." And I know there is still time. It's like gambling with running out of gas. I'm a gas gambler. So far, I've always won.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Cozy Can!





Whether you are cold, cleaning, or can't decide what to do with your hair, who can take care of you? Cozy can! Cozy has a wide variety of products, such as kitchen cloths, headbands, scarves, or bandananas. Great for yourself or they make awesome gifts!
Check out her Etsy shop:
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=100535
Check out her blog: (She's a proud member of the etsybloggers street team.)
http://cozyetsy.blogspot.com
Check out her ecrater chop:
http://acozylife.ecrater.com

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Putty Problem


Just when you thing your kids are growing up a little and getting a little common sense, they prove you wrong. My daughter is 7, so I expect a bit of sense from her and my son is 3.5, so she should be able to keep him in line a bit.

I was getting dressed after taking a shower after an extra-specially rigorous bout on the stairmaster. The kids were in the other room playing, but it was a little quieter than usual. I took a peek into the living room and they weren't there. So, I ventured over the my daughter's room and there they were, both with silly putty stuck in their ears. I told them it was very dangerous to stick anything in their ears and they should never do that. Plus, they weren't supposed to take the silly putty onto the carpet and they both know better than that. I got the silly putty out of all four ears and I noticed that it looked like there was still a lot missing. I looked on the floor and all over and I couldn't find any. Then I looked more closely at my daughter. She had a big wad of it stuck in her beautiful long strawberry blond hair. I threatened to cut her hair (which she really does not want to do.) I googled how to get silly putty out of hair and it said, purell, rubbing alcohol, or cooking spray. So, we'll try one of those. She actually may remember this important life lesson.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Top Ten Mom Moments

10. My son gave me a plant that never grew. But I kept that cup of dirt for over a year.

9. When my daughter was just 3, she made me a bookmark for Mother's Day that said MOM and I was very impressed.

8. When my son gave me his first Valentine where he drew everyone in the family and he wrote his name. He was so proud.

7. When I told my daughter I was taking her to see "High School Musical on Ice" her whole face lit up and she hugged me and said I was the greatest.

6. We were driving in the van and my son (3) randomly said, "I'm so glad you're my mom."

5. My daughter painted me a huge crooked heart for Valentine's Day.

4. After I had a hysterectomy and was in the hospital for three days, my son (who is normally very physical) tried so hard to be gentle with me and give me a gentle hug. (But he really wanted to jump on me!)

3. My daughter gave me a card that said, "Roses are Red. Violets are Blue. No one could have a better mom than you."

2. My son told me I'm his number one mom.

1. When I was 8.5 months pregnant with my son and I was exhausted, so I was at my mom's taking a nap. My daughter who was three at the time, climbed up on the the bed, kissed me on the forehead, and left.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Undiscovered Treasure







Where else can you have roaring waterfalls, pristine lakes, abundant wildlife, great skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, golf, and just about anything else you might want to do outdoors? The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is one of the world's undiscovered treasures. The population is low here and most of our inhabitants don't even take advantage of our beauteous landmarks.

The other day, my kids and I went for a trek to one of our area's five major waterfalls. With our area's over 200 inches of snowfall during our significant winter, when it starts to melt in the spring, the waterfalls are spectacular! We decided to check out Rainbow Falls on this journey because my kids are 7 and 3 and the hike is the shortest. We wore our puddle boots because even though not all the snow had melted, the mud was more prevalent. The force and power of the water is just amazing and you can hear it even before you get near it. It is even a little scary being on the observation deck and being so close to it. I kept the children near. The walk is only a half a mile, but half of it is down wooden steps. And of course it isn't too bad until you have to go back up them. There seems to be more steps on the way up. My three-year-old wanted me to carry him, but we had a pre-trek agreement that that was not going to happen. We made it back to the van and my three-year-old asked, "Can we come back here again?"

"Of course we can."

Oh I forgot to mention, as we were getting in the van, we saw a gaggle of geese flying back from their winter retreat.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Treasury Trauma


You've done the math. . .it's 3:17am and and in two minutes Treasury West will be down to 222 lists. Your heart starts pounding in your chest. Your palms start to sweat. You hit refresh one last time even though you know you don't have to. Now there is one minute left and it seems to go on for an eternity. You want to hit refresh again, but you resist the urge because you might miss your opportunity. You think to yourself, "It must not be going to work this time." You begin clicking madly on little area where you know the little box should open. Finally, after what seems like five minutes, the box appears and your mind goes blank. You were so focused on getting a treasury, you forgot to think about a theme or a title. You heart starts pounding even faster because you know if you don't think fast enough, the little box will disappear. Finally, you think of a title and better yet, a subtitle, and begin your search for appropriate items. Whew!