Thursday, January 20, 2011

wiggles, jiggles, lumps and bumps

Oops, I haven't been keeping up with my blog the way I intended. I need to go back to short daily entries. Meanwhile, the shop's been busy and the novelty of not having to carve stamps still hasn't worn off. Every sale is a "Yaaaaay!!!" moment instead of "Oh lordy, how will I ever carve all these???"
Today is day 13 of the 30/30 hoop challenge and I have hooped for at least thirty minutes every day. I love it! I think I'm going to try to keep the habit even after the challenge ends. It's just becoming part of my day. I notice I'm always in a better mood after a hoop session. I also just started going to a hoop class on Wednesdays in the park right by our house. It's good to have an instructor and other hoopers there to give feedback - all this time, I've been sort of hooping blind. There really isn't a mirror in my room large enough to see myself when I hoop and I haven't had the courage to film myself yet. Anyway - it's been great fun. I've also lost about 7 pounds, another happy side effect. :)
I'm noticing something else that hooping is doing for me. It DOES change your body if you do it regularly and vigorously, for sure. But what I've noticed has changed even more is just my own view of my body. As I push it to do new things and gain new skills, I look at it differently. The lumps and bumps, dents and flaws that I usually despise don't seem to matter quite as much. My body can do cool stuff, and that's sort of sexy. So yeah...hooping, it's a good thing all around. Ha, get it? All around??
Lots of other things have been going on - we worked the merch booth for Toad again last Friday night. This time we had dinner with them beforehand..another of those forehead smacking moments for me in terms of trying to wrap my head around becoming this familiar with my favorite band.
Okay, this entry is getting disjointed and I have a lot of things to do, so I'll end it now.
Feeling grateful lately for so many things.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Wow, so sales have picked up quite a bit and continue to do so as I add new stamps. I've been working at a frenzied pace - the minute Jim prints out a new sheet of negatives for me, I make the stamps and go through all the steps to post them in the shop. Not an easy task when you have as many stamps as I do! And speaking of not-easy tasks, poor Jim! He's pretty much been at his desk all day, every day, scanning my images, cleaning them up in photoshop and converting them to negatives. I could NEVER have made this switch from carved to polymer without him. I'm lucky to have such an excellent business partner. He's an excellent husband, to top it off. I'm feeling pretty grateful in general right now. Life is crazy but quite good.
OH, and speaking of Crazy Life, tomorrow night is the Toad show in LA!!! We're working the merch booth, which always makes me insanely happy.
So yeah, new way of making stamps, sales picking up, hooping every day, great husband, great friends in my life, great kid...and TOAD!!!!
Right this minute, everything is perfect.

Monday, January 10, 2011

gaining momentum

Wow, it's Monday already?? I'm so happy it didn't start out like last Monday with no internet! Instead, sales are slowly picking up as I add more polymer stamps to the shop. It is SO gratifying to see an order come in and know I can ship it immediately, instead of mentally groaning about having another stamp to carve. You know things need to change when instead of being happy about a sale, you're cringing because the workload is almost impossible to handle. Now I can actually get excited again!! C'mon sales, keep rolling in, I need ya!!!
This week (well, it officially started this past Saturday) I committed to the 30/30 challenge. I will be hooping for at least 30 minutes a day, every day for 30 days. Today was day three. So far, so good. I really want to complete this challenge and make hooping more of a daily practice. It'll be good for me in so many ways. Not to mention it's just a lot of fun.
Today was my "play date" day. I went to Ventura and attempted to find a letterbox, but it wasn't where the clues said it was. I spent a long time looking because I'm stubborn and I HATE it when I can't find one. Then I went to Salzer's and listened to a bunch of African drum cds, and finally bought one. I came home and hooped it up for 30 minutes and now I feel like a wet noodle. *whew*
Okay....that's all for now. Bring on the sales!!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

in my absence...

OHMYGODIAMSOFRUSTRATED!!!!! I’m actually writing this entry as a word doc because I haven’t been able to get online for two days. Yesterday morning I awoke to discover the Fios wasn’t working. I knew I was late paying the phone bill (we’re broke, this happens often) and that it was probably suspended pending a payment. I called in and made a payment and was told our service would be restored in 4 hours. That was already bad, because I had several stamps I needed to ship, and with no internet access, I had no access to the orders or to Paypal shipping, so no way to ship them. Frustrating, but worst case scenario was that I’d have to pack them up in the afternoon and drive them to the post office that evening.

I went out and did my Monday getouttathehouseday thing, picked up some graphic supplies and checked out a couple of stamp stores in Ventura, got home at about 3pm……and stillnoservice!! Jim has already been on the phone with Verizon for a half hour and they wouldn’t help him because he didn’t have our account number. I got on the phone the minute I walked in the door..and remained on the phone for two and a half hours. I was sent to about seven different departments, NOBODY knew what they were doing. It turned out that not only did they suspend our service….they cancelled it altogether, as if we’d decided to switch to another phone company. Now a brand new order would have to be written and we’d have to wait, as though we were new customers waiting for an installation. Um…….WTF??? The last person I spoke with last night said she’d send an email to the department that escalates this sort of thing and I should have service by morning, if not that night.

Well….guess what we didn’t have when we woke up this morning??? Yep, still no service. I called in, and of course was transferred around to several people, none of whom knew what was going on. Everyone told me different things. Thankfully Jim has a friend who works in the orders department in another state, and she said she’d be able to expedite it. HOURS later….still no service. Turns out the person who wrote the order last night (the last person I spoke with that night) wrote it WRONG. So our friend had to re-write the order and is now trying to get our service restored.

Meanwhile, all of the orders that I told customers would be shipped on Monday have not, and anything ordered yesterday or today has gone totally unacknowledged (I always send the buyer a message thanking them, and letting them know when their order will ship). Not only that, but anything that has sold is now invisible to other potential buyers because I can’t relist the item. So I’m losing sales and probably have some customers that aren’t very happy with me. PLUS, I made several new stamps today and can’t list them in the shop – more potential sales lost. TWO freaking days of work lost so far. I’m more pissed off than I even have words for (well, words appropriate for a mixed audience, anyway). I’m totally helpless and at the mercy of stupid Verizon. So….let’s see, four years ago Verizon laid me off, thus taking away my job. And NOW…I’ve made my own job, and they’re losing business for me. THANKS, VERIZON, AGAIN!!!!!

Okay….well, I can’t even post this in my blog yet, because I can’t go online……….
(UPDATE: we finally got our internet back at 10pm last night, after yet another hour long call to Fios support, and I spent this morning frantically packing up LOTS of orders for shipping)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

the factory is open

I was busy today! Got several more stamps made and listed in the shop. I had far more successes than failures today, so I'm feeling encouraged. I've had a few sales already, also encouraging! Jim's learning a LOT about photoshop and how to clean up and duplicate my images before creating negatives of them for stampmaking. Go Jim!!
It's been raining all day, which is making me feel sort of down. I hope it clears up tomorrow, I want to go to hoop class - or at least to get out of the house for a while. There's a stamp store I want to check out in Ventura. I need to start figuring out what types of stamps are selling well, how they're packaged, things like that.
Since it's Sunday, there's not much to report in the way of the house situation. I'm sure now that the holidays are over, the upcoming week will bring some sort of nastiness from the lender. I hope I'm wrong about that.
Alright, nothing really exciting to say. I'm totally distracted right now because I've got the new Oprah Winfrey network on in the background and Dr. Oz is giving a really graphic, detailed description of how one's bowel movements should look. I mean reaaaaaally graphic. Yikes. An "S" shape, really? Does that involve some sort of maneuver? A hip circle/belly dance technique of sorts?
Hmmmm..much to ponder.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy Lucky

Wow, first post of the year! I like to think we celebrated it in a manner that welcomes a healthy, happy, successful 2011. We had sushi with friends - complete with lucky black soba noodles, then (after much playing and hooping at home), walked to the labyrinth and made it to the center by midnight. We all sat together, drinking champagne and listening to all the horns and yells and fireworks. I think it was a great way to start off what will be an amazing year.
Now today it's Twilight Zone marathon, the 80th birthday of a dear friend, and hopefully a nap.
Happy New Year.

About Me

Hippieville, CA, United States
This is the story of life after losing the "real" job and the house, trying to find the middle ground between making a living and actually living.