Cassie Donlen, lampworking, beads, jewelry, lampwork beads, glass, hoypoloi, glass beadle, glassbeadle


Welcome to my News page. This is my little place to share life....a journal of sorts...dedicated to ramblings, observations, discoveries and cool new things. Find past postings in the Archive link above.

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This is the February 2011 Archive Page

Feb 23rd, 2011

Small Give Away

I'm taking a quick break from paying bills/balancing the checkbook (yuck) and writing a tutorial...AKA...PROCRASTINATING...

Anyhoo... I made some head pins for a design that I wanted to play with but don't think I need all of them. So...last night when I posted the photo on my facebook page, I decided to give away 4 of the head pins. I know it isn't anything huge but it is better than a poke in the eye right? Anyhoo...since I don't have a commenter section on this page, just post a comment on my Glass Beadle Facebook page (click on the blue f pic) and I will draw a winner tomorrow morning sometime. The cut off time is when I post the winner. The winner gets first dibs on any 4 of the head pins. Easy as pie right?

Feb 19th 2011

Battling for the Basement

My beading time has been compromised this past week or two. Hubby and I are duking it out to see who gets to work downstairs. I want to make beads while he wants to work on mud and sanding the dry wall. I was able to put him off until now as he needs to work in my workshop area. I've been trying to bow down and let him win though because that just means we are getting closer to completion. Spring is coming and once warm weather hits, I will have lost my opportunity for it to be completed until cold weather strikes again. I have a fair weather contractor. AKA, my hubby and he only likes to work when it is winter. As he would much rather be outside than inside. I can't say I blame him as it is so hard to make myself go downstairs when a beautiful day is in bloom just calling my name outside.

I got kicked out of my work area and he moved my beading table over to a finished part. He just pulled my lampwork table and bench away from the wall. So the whole table gets covered in plastic wrap and even then, white dust is everywhere. It gets tracked everywhere too. But it is so close to being done now. I'm about ready to start jumping up and down for joy.

So the boys had a fun night last night. We all went to the Monster Truck Jam. It was a sold out event with over 50,000 people there. Crazy I say. Makes for good people watching. This is the view that I had in front of me. I kept wanting to touch her doggy bone button.

The first half of the show that was the trucks racing was pretty boring. But then when they did the free style, things heated up and it was a lot of fun to watch. Grave Digger ended the show and he was not a disappointment. It was awesome. I just had my point and shoot camera and I wasn't able to adjust the ISO to get crisp photos so most of them did not turn out.

Feb 11th 2011

I'm Back
In the mean time I've kicked out jewels, made beads, thought about cleaning my house:-),shockingly made it the gym, and helped at school for the "friendship" party that AKA in my day was called the Valentines Day party.

So Wednesday was a lot of fun for me. I was invited to present at the kids school for career day with the 4th and 5th graders. I think there were 6 presenters there. The kids were very attentive and asked lots of good questions and it was an all around good time. My goal was to get them to think outside the box and realize that there are so many different facets of whatever profession they choose. I pointed out that all the advancements in technology and access to the internet has turned my hobby into me becoming a small business owner. Which in turn means that I don't really call myself just a lampwork/jewelry artist. Thanks to the internet, I'm now a web designer, accountant, customer service rep, photographer, a writer, etc. I wanted to stress how important education is and that there are are so many opportunities to do all sorts of things to make them more successful, productive, and thus be more fulfilled.

So Connor was one of the 5th graders that got to hear me present. When he came home that day I asked him how the rest of the career day went and who was his favorite. I guess in my mind I was thinking he would choose me because darn it, I'm his mother!! Well, he said Mr. Awesome was his favorite. And how can you compete with a name like Mr. Awesome? He is a muscian and actually sounded like a really cool and talented person that has a lot of exciting things going on with his profession. But I was intriqued with the name and asked Connor about it. Connor said that is what he told all the kids to call him. I got a kick out of that. He has three kids and their names were something like Baby Rock Star, Middle Rock Star, and Miss Rock Star. I think that is what he called them or something similiar. He really connected with the kids.

So in Connor's opinion, I was his 3rd favorite. Yea, I get it. He is a boy and boys don't really like jewelry or beads and he already knows all about my profession so it was all old hat. That is when Connor pulled out a huge stack of thank you cards from all the kids in his class. I had no idea how happy these would make me. They were so colorful and so much fun to read. After we put the kids to bed, hubby and I had so much fun reading through them all. The one that made us laugh the most I just realized that I didn't get a photo of. It said something like, "Thank you for coming to present. Even though I don't think the fashion industry is for me, I liked your beads." It was just so funny to read this in 5th grade handwriting.

Feb 9th 2011

Life is Busy

All of a sudden it seems like my beady world got really busy and I'm trying hard to keep on top of orders. That is a very good thing and I am so thankful. More than you can imagine. Sales had really slowed down over the summer. To the point that I was starting to think that I might have to get a real job if we want to have some fun money. Believe me, a real job seems very scary after just doing beads for these past 9 or so years. But thankfully the holiday season came and it started to pick back up and is back to where it was before. For those of you that do jewelry and are curious about the business end of things and how to increase sales... I have to give Etsy big kuddos. It is just so fast and easy to list over there. In a few min. I can list an item that would take me 30 min. on this website because of the html and having to move photos around, archieve gallery items around or delete them forever. Time is always an issue. I know everyone stuggles with balancing time and short cuts are always a treat in my book.

I always tell newcomers to Etsy that you need to give it about 6-9 months to really get a foot hold on starting your business with them. It takes about that long for people to find you, to "favorite" you, and see what you are up to. But...the other important part is that you need to list new items often. This is how you get noticed because you will be at the top of the new listings. All listings pile up on each other in each category. So in a month, your goodies could be on page 2041. How do you expect to be found that far back? Yea, you get it don't ya. So the more often you list goodies for sale, the better chance you have of being discovered. If you have 3 of the same item to list, list them 3 seperate times. Not all in one listing with just uping the quantity available. More opportunity to get discovered that way. Then be patient and persistant. You can scan other Etsy sellers to see what they are doing to be successful. I am sometimes AMAZED at some sellers and how many sales they have and I'm thinking to myself "Good golly. who would ever buy that stuff?" But sure enough, they are raking in the sales. As the old saying goes, if they can do it. So can you.

These are just my 2 cents and I had no clue I was going to write that until I did. What I really was going to write about was trying to compete with "Mr. Awesome" today.

Feb. 4th: Yes, I did the happy dance this morning. The kids finally went back to school. Thank goodness. 3 days off and my house looks like a tornado went through it. We didn't end up getting the 10" of snow they were predicting and the weather people had a fab day taking away all of the normal programming so that they could be basking in the glory of showing the same images over and over about the storm. They did a great job hyping the storm and should be proud of themselves for giving everyone a big scare. Yes, it was bad but wasn't the storm of the century that they were playing it up to be. I think we ended up missing the brunt of it but if you went an hour west and or north, they got hit hard.

So Caiden drug up the track to play with and the boys cultivated a nice snow track on the side of the house and did some snow boarding for about 4 hours each day. Thank goodness as it was a great way to get rid of energy.

Here is a glimpse of a bracelet I made the other day. I want to play with these a bit more and am thinking that earrings are in order too. I finally got a lot of stuff back in inventory over at Tickle Me Beads. I really need to work on my time management and get the things listed over there that have been sitting here just patiently waiting. All in due time right:-)

Feb. 1st: For those of you curious about the well hyped storm the midwest is getting. Here is an update for St.Louis. It has been sleeting hard all morning. They called off school last night around 8:30p.m. That is the most advanced warning we have ever gotten. So we are under a blizzard watch but it hasn't turned into snow yet. We have around 3" of sleet it seems like. I just drove up the street to the post office (which you will be so jealous of me is half a football field away!) and the roads were really getting bad. I had driven up to a Red box this morning and the roads were bad but not terrible. The sleet is that wicked kind that pelts you and hurts when it hits. I've been keeping the outside birds happy and putting down fresh seed every hour or so because it keeps getting iced over. We have lots of cardinals, blue jays, fenches, chickadees, and even the token squirrel that you can never keep away from bird feeders.

They are predicting no school tomorrow either and then tomorrow night it is supposed to be a low of -6 before adding on wind chills which makes me wonder if we will have school on Thursday. We only have 1 snow day left before they start tacking on school days to the end of the year.

The kids are happy and we are all enjoying a nice lazy day. There is something fun about being snowed in and having no where that you have to be or need to do.