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Friday, November 29, 2019

November Novelties - 2019 - Grateful Edition

I sincerely hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday with their families and friends.  Ours was very small and low key since our eldest daughter spent the day with one of her friends and my mom spent it with my sister and her family.  That meant there was only the four of us and to be honest, we didn't even sit at the table, we ate in the living room but at least we were together.  I took only one picture:

I also ate a few more carbs than I usually allow myself but I just can't resist the stuffing and cranberry sauce.  Today it will be pretty much back to my usual eating although I may still have some stuffing, just won't stuff myself - LOL.

I have a whole list of things I am grateful for, as I'm sure everyone does.  I try to remember them even when it is not Thanksgiving.  In addition to those, I am really grateful that I connected with my famous author friend, James J. Cudney, IV.  He has done a great service by featuring me in his latest blog "Tips and Advice" post.  It is wonderful to have people support you in your endeavors and Jay is gracious about doing that.  If you haven't read any of his books, you really should.  You can find them all on Amazon and I believe he has some specials going on.

Also, I am grateful for the partnership I have had for the last 15 or so years with JoAnn Wall of JSTS Transcription Services.  We met at a picnic organized by a mutual friend, Gloria Merino, and we started discussing what our jobs were.  We found that we both did transcription work.  Mine is primarily medical transcription and hers is more general transcription.  She asked if I wanted her to send medically related transcription requests to me and of course I said yes.  Since then we have been working together and recently, as my medical work has been decreasing, she started sending other types of work my way.  It has truly made a difference.  There is a learning curve of course but the topics are interesting and I feel like I can handle the challenge.

Each of these connections came totally by accident.  You never know where a chance meeting will take you.  It's that Universe thing again, you know?

Now it is my turn to share.  I am an affiliate for several different companies and while I may receive some compensation if you use my links, it doesn't affect the prices for you.

The first is Creative Live.

There are so many interesting online courses in a variety of subjects including photography, writing, money, crafting and personal growth.  I have taken a few of them and have found them to be very helpful and informative.  Through today they are offering 70% off but they have specials all the time and even offer some classes for free.

CreativeLive Black Friday Deals: Take 70% Off Sitewide

The second is Let's Roam.  This is a scavenger hunt type adventure that you can take.  We did the one in Reno and it was so much fun. 
If you are looking for a unique gift for that hard to buy for person, consider these.  They are inexpensive and fun and there are a lot of different places and subjects to choose from. 

Grateful also for all of you who read my little tidbits.  Thanks! 

Monday, November 25, 2019

November Novelties - 2019 - Boutique Event #2

Yesterday I participated in another Holiday Boutique event.  It was one I had not done before and one that I was very excited to do because the organizer had reached out to me via my Etsy shop saying that she really liked my work and wanted to know if I wanted to have a table at their boutique.  Of course I said yes.  The entrance fee was a little steeper than the other craft shows I am doing but I figured it was worth it to get the additional exposure.  Table fees is an item I can deduct on my business taxes so it is not really that bad.  This was also a longer day than the other ones, extending from 9 AM to 6 PM.  It was at St. Dunstan's Catholic Church, so not too far away and I guessed that there would be people coming in after mass.  I was hoping that the priest would give encouragement to the parishioners to support the vendors.  You know how well the Catholics can play the guilt card, right?  (I'm Catholic so I can say that).  I am also fresh off the high of the last event and the contact with the art store owner so my expectations were great.

During the last week I've been trying my best to get more product made so I have something fresh to sell and I was able to add these gems:

Gift tags

Gift card holders and more tags

Christmas Cards

I got most everything ready to go the night before and got up early to get to the auditorium by 7:30 AM.  It takes about an hour and a half to get completely unpacked and have my items out for display.  It was a challenge this time because the table was only 6 feet long.  Most of them are 8 feet and those extra 2 feet really help.  I tried my best to get a lot of things on the table without making it look too cluttered.  This is what I looked like all set up and waiting for the hoard of buyers I was sure were coming:

And I waited.  People started filtering in because there was also a pancake breakfast and a visit from Santa.

A few people walked by my table and looked at things but there were no quick sales.  I waited.  After about two hours I got out some craft things I had brought along with me so I wouldn't just be sitting there doing nothing.  There was a steady stream of people coming through but I still hadn't made a sale.  The woman behind me was selling natural products like homemade soaps, reusable cups and drinking straws, herbal pain relief, etc. and she was doing a brisk business.  Occasionally someone would stop and tell me how cute my things were or ask if I actually made everything myself but there definitely was no rush to buy anything.  I was really starting to get discouraged.

My husband had called and asked me if I wanted him to bring me some lunch and I originally said no but when the time dragged on with no business, I sent him a message and asked if he would go to McDonald's and bring me a salad.  He said he would and then called from McDonald's saying that they were not selling salads because of the e-coli outbreak.  Great.  The day was getting better every minute.  I told him I'd just eat what I had brought (some ham and cheese, no bread and a couple of bites of a Quest bar - no carbs, remember?).

And then, just when I was starting to feel the day was going to be a total waste, I sold two of the sliding gift card holders. 

Once that initial sale was made, even though that was nowhere near enough to make my table costs, I started to relax.  Slowly but surely I sold a card here and there and then I got a custom order for two mini-albums!  That made my day.  I finished the show recouping not only my table fees but almost $50 on top of that.  It may not seem like a lot but for me it is a good day.  Every time I make a sale I pass my business card out which has my Etsy site on it and hopefully people will check there to see if I have anything new. 

I still have two more shows to do this season so perhaps my good luck will continue.  At least I have a week between shows to get some more items created.  I think I know what Santa's elves feel like - LOL. 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

November Novelties - 2019 - The Early Years

Some may wonder when I started getting involved in scrapbooking and memory making.  (Some may not really care but whatever).  It seems to me I've always had a love for keeping mementos and things.  I wrote a couple of years ago about a newspaper I made for my sister Judy while she was away on vacation to catch her up with the family goings on. 

I was 16 then.  A few years later I taught this same sister how to drive.  Not sure what made me think I was qualified to be a driving instructor but I did have my license so there is that.  Judy was married at the time and even had kids but thank goodness they were in school when we took our jaunts.  She had tried to learn to drive before but I think she said that whoever tried to teach her made her nervous.  We know I am an extremely calm person so I told her I'd take a shot at it.  Anyway, with a few near misses in three point turns (actually I think she hit a pole) and parallel parking, Judy did in fact get her license. To celebrate the one year anniversary of that life changing event, I made this keepsake for her:

I realize now that this was my first mini-album!  Obviously it is a little worse for wear but given the fact that it is 44 years old, I think it is in pretty good shape.  I really appreciate the fact that my sister held onto it for so long.  She recently gave it to me and I will put it in the collection with the newspapers and short stories I used to write.  You never know, when I become famous someone might want these collectibles!  It could happen.    

Monday, November 18, 2019

November Novelties - 2019 - Thank You Universe

Last week I wrote a post about the first of my Holiday Boutiques.  I shared the fact that while I had made some good sales and talked with some interesting people, I felt like I had missed a great opportunity for networking.  I said that I was going to put it out there in the Universe and perhaps the woman who owns the art store would contact me.


I got a call today from the woman's friend (Patricia) who said that they had been talking about me and how best to promote my cards in the shop and she (Elia) remembered getting information about another craft fair in their neighborhood happening on December 7 and thought it would be a good way for me to get more exposure.  Patricia had sent me an email but I hadn't responded so she thought perhaps it had gone into my spam folder or something and she was calling to check in with me. 

I told her how thankful I was for the call and that I had been mad at myself for not getting their contact information.  The art store that Elia has is called The Creative Canopy.  They have workshops and children's parties as well as after school programs and while the main focus is on sewing, they do other crafts as well. 

Anyway, after verifying email addresses, Patricia sent me the info about the craft fair and I have sent in an application.  I also have the store info now so I can contact Elia and discuss things like giving her some of my cards on consignment or perhaps teaching a class on card making.  Not that I've ever taught a class before but there's a first time for everything, right?  It's all very exciting.

Now I need to get cracking making some more cards and things to sell so I don't run out between the three shows (oh to have such a problem!)  I've made some reindeer gift tags and a few more Christmas cards.

The Universe also listened to my wish for more transcription business to come my way and that has happened too!  You may think that it is all a bunch of baloney when I talk about making dream boards and vision cards but each time something like this happens my belief in the power of positive thinking is reaffirmed.  Give it a try yourself!  You don't really have to wait for the full moon either.  Just put it out there.  Lemme know if it works for you.     


Sunday, November 17, 2019

November Novelties - 2019 - Song Lyric Sunday - We Didn't Start The Fire

Another Sunday already.  The prompts for today from Jim are Did/Didn't/Do/Don't/Does/Doesn't.  Lots of ways to go with this but I'm gonna use Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire."

We were able to see Billy Joel twice, the first time he was alone but the second time was with Elton John when they did their Face to Face tour.  Both times were great and he did this song. 

Found this interesting video using actual historical footage for the 100 events Billy Joel mentions in the song.  

Songwriters: Billy Joel
We Didn’t Start the Fire lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Wonder if PG&E ever thought about using this song in one of their ad campaigns - LOL.  

Hope you all have a great Sunday!  

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

November Novelties - 2019 - The first of the Holiday Boutiques

Yesterday I spent the day behind a table at the So. San Francisco Elks Ladies Holiday Luncheon showing my little creations.  I had a lot of positive feedback and made enough money to cover the cost of renting the table plus a profit.  I was thrilled to say the least.

With each craft fair I participate in, I learn something.  Yesterday was no exception.  In addition to trying new ways to display things, I had tagged all my items with a code that made it so much easier to keep track of what I was selling.  When someone bought something, I took the tag off the item and didn't need to worry about finding it on the inventory sheet right away.  At the same time, the tag has the price on it so if someone was buying multiple cards (YES!) I could easily add the price up instead of trying to keep the figures in my head.  When I had a break between customers, I was able to go through the inventory sheet and mark the items I sold from the numbers on the tags.  Then I could go into the Etsy shop and take the items out of inventory so no one buys something that is already sold.  At one of the fairs I actually got a notice that someone had purchased some cards online from the Etsy shop and I had to go quickly through and pull them off the display for the same reason.  Oh to have such problems all the time! 

The next big thing I learned is that I have to be more aware of my customers.  I am always friendly and like to explain how my mini-albums are made with lots of interaction and places for pictures, etc.  I also point out which ones can be made into custom orders for different occasions.  I listen to the shoppers telling me about what they are looking for or who they want to buy for so I can direct them to the right spot, but thinking back on a conversation with a woman from yesterday I realize I may have missed a great opportunity.  She was telling me about a store she has in San Francisco, an art store, where she gives lessons to kids after school.  We were talking about how that was such a great thing to do and she said that the kids were very proud of their art work.  I commented that it was much better to get them involved in art than wandering the streets or playing video games.  In other words, I had a detailed conversation with her.  She took one of my business cards and said that she would display it along with some of the cards she bought in her store.  I said, "Thank you very much!  That is so kind."  What I DIDN'T say was, "Maybe we could talk about some sort of consignment arrangement and I could make some cards for you to sell in the store," or "Maybe we could talk about me coming up and showing your kids how to make some cards or mini-albums."  Unfortunately, since she paid with cash I have no record of what her name is or any way to connect with her.  Perhaps from now on I'll have a sign up sheet to collect email addresses for people who seem interested so that I have a way to contact people when I make something I think might interest them.  There was another woman asking about penguins or Nutcrackers.   

I have a couple of weeks before my next show so I have time to figure out something to use to collect this information and make some more items to sell.  I'll add more penguins and Nutcrackers just in case.  I also gave a shout out to the full moon last night and hope that the woman (or someone from her shop) contacts me so I can bring up the possibility of working together. 
Last night's full moon

One more thing I realized is that because I am an introvert, days like yesterday are a little bit draining for me.  I was in bed by nine PM and didn't even have my usual cup of tea or read.  In fact, my daughter insists I fell asleep in mid-conversation with her.  I won't believe that but I was definitely tired and even though I had to set up and take down the display by myself, it really isn't that physical of an activity.  I have read about people who are introverted needing time to decompress after socializing but I never realized until yesterday that it is something I deal with as well. 

How about you?  Ever re-think a conversation that could have led to an opportunity you might have missed?  See the full moon last night?  Experience a need for time to unwind after a social function?

Sunday, November 10, 2019

November Novelties - 2019 - #SLS - If He Should Break Your Heart

Today's prompt from Jim for our Song Lyric Sunday is could/might/should/would.  I've chosen a song from Journey's Trial By Fire album, the last one made with Steve Perry as the lead singer.  The group never toured around the album and it is when the big breakup occurred with Steve leaving the group because he was having hip issues and the band didn't want to wait for him to get his hip fixed.  Sad because there are some really good songs on it.  This is one of my favorites, "If He Should Break Your Heart." 

Unfortunately, I've never seen Journey with Steve Perry performing.  I kept hoping that he would make an appearance the last couple of times we saw them at AT&T Park because I know that Steve is a Giants fan and that he has come back into the music scene a bit but he did not. 

Neal Schon

Ross Valory

Steve Smith

Jonathan Cain

Arnel Pineda
Arnel is okay but he's no Steve Perry. 

Anyway, enjoy.

Please be wrong
Please don't tell me it's really you
Tell me eyes... tell my heart what I'm goin' through
I believed, I believed I was over you

If he should break your heart
I'll always know where you are
If you should fall... apart
I'll be there, I'll be around
If he should break... your heart
I'll be there

Is this right
I don't care I'm alone with you
Here we are, once again you've got someone new
Lonely hands, please don't do what you wanna do

If he should break your heart
I'll always know where you are
If you should fall... apart
I'll be there, I'll be around

If he should break... your heart
From my soul I say... good-bye yesterday
One more night alone, without the touch... of you
Then I start to break... is it my mistake
Tell me am I wrong... for holdin' on... to you

If he should break your heart
I'll always know where you are
If you should fall... apart
I'll be there, I'll be around

If he should break you heart, I'll be there
If he should break your, if he should break your
If he should break your heart
I'll be there, I'll be around

Steve Perry, Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

November Novelties - 2019 - #SoCS - ght

Happy Saturday all.  Time for another Stream of Consciousness hosted by the lovely Linda G. Hill.  Today she gives us the fun prompt of "ght."  Bonus points if we can use more than three different words with that combination.  Let's see where it takes us.

I've mentioned that I'm losing some weight and I say I'm following a Keto plan but truthfully all I'm doing is cutting out carbs and sugars.  I don't measure or count calories but I do try to limit the carb intake to about 15 to 20 carbs a day or less.

So far I've been pretty successful and to my delight I've lost 50 pounds since March and 64 pounds overall.  I am striving to get to my goal of 145-ish by my birthday in March.

Not sure what my weight is here but it has to be close to my highest.  Don't know why I would take such a picture in the first place or why I kept it!
I like this one better.  It is from September. 

Of course with losing that amount of weight, my clothes are starting to get too big.  I know I have a way to go so I don't want to buy too many things and as many overweight people can relate, there are clothes in my closet that span several sizes for that "just in case I lose" time.  However, the weather is starting to get chilly here and most of the pants I have are leggings which are made of pretty thin material.  The other day I went to Target and picked up a couple of pair of jeans to try, one in a size 16 and one in a size 14.  I was outright thrilled when the 14's fit the best.

When I went to return the 16's I decided to try a 12 on just for kicks and while I could get the zipper up, they were just a bit too tight.  As I was walking through the mall I saw that Old Navy was having a one-day sale of jeans at half off so of course I had to check that out.  I found a pretty pair in a lavender color that I loved so I brought them to the checkout.  I remembered that I had some discount points that were expiring so I figured I ought to use them.  Look what happened when I did:

Note the name of the jeans:  Pop-Color Rockstar Jeans!  

That's right, a big zero!  I paid naught for these pretty jeans! 

Looks a little more dramatic side by side doesn't it?  Now, I might have to get a new top to wear with these pants but I have two more certificates for Old Navy so maybe I can score again!

That's the kind of spending I can do without giving it a second thought!   I think I used more than three words with "ght" in them.  Waddya think?  Bonus points?  Are they good at Old Navy?

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

November Novelties - 2019 - I'm a YouTube star!

Got this message yesterday:

You can't tell from the screen shot but the little specks of color were floating up and down like someone throwing confetti. 

I have 17 subscribers!  It is a far cry from the 1000 I need and the 5.083 watch hours don't quite make the required 4000 hours that are necessary for me to start making any money off of my YouTube channel BUT it's a start and getting this little pop-up was kind of exciting.

There are 37 videos on my channel and most are songs taken from the concerts we go to.  There are a few miscellaneous ones like fireworks on 4th of July and the Holiday Train that comes by every year but I also have 4 up that have to do with crafting. 

Now if everyone reading this post will head over to my YouTube channel and subscribe, watch a video or two and give me some thumbs up or comments on there, maybe I can make it to 20 subscribers and 310 minutes.  Waddya' say?  Help a girl out.  (No pressure really!)   

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

November Novelties - 2019 - Reading Challenge

As you can tell I have no "official" challenges this month so I'm not posting every day.  I really have to get it together and organize myself so that doesn't happen.  Putting it on my "To Do" list for the coming year.

I haven't written about books since August so this might be a good time to review what I've been reading since then.  I've finished 29 books so far this year but Goodreads tells me that I'm 4 behind schedule to reach my goal of 40.  On one hand I want to find some that I can read really quickly just to catch up but on the other hand I want to try and finish all the categories on the PopSugar list.  I have 17 left on the main list and 8 on the advanced.  What's a girl to do?  I'll tell you what I've read and then give a few of the categories that I still have to fill and maybe you can give me some suggestions.

I thought I had read these two when I was in high school (or younger) but there were a lot of things I didn't remember (like most of them!).  I have a memory of sitting in the library during one summer and reading Wuthering Heights but maybe it was another book.  Glad I read them now although they are probably what took up time and put me behind.


This is another one I thought I had had to read in high school but maybe it was Animal Farm instead.  I didn't like it.  Maybe because it is to easy to see it being true!

I think it took over a month to read these three.  Of course, I only read at night before bed so sometimes I only get a page or two in before I fall asleep.  Last night I was up until 1 in the morning because I wanted to finish 1984.


Now I'm on to something a little lighter.  I started a Kinsey Millhone mystery and I'm hoping to get the signed copy of "Haunted House Ghost" from Jay that I won in the contest so I can read that next.  That one will fill the category of "A ghost story!"

Other categories I have left are:

"A book with "Pop," "Sugar" or "Challenge" in the title.

A book with a title that has "salty," "sweet," "bitter" or"spicy." 

A retelling of a classic.

A book with a question in the title.

A book revolving around a puzzle or a game.

Two books that share the same title.

A book by an author with the first and last name that begin with the same letter.

Anybody have any ideas for those categories?  I did go to the library book sale again and got a ton of books:

All this for $7.  Some of these I got to use in my crafting projects.  Yes, I occasionally repurpose an old book.  Don't judge.  How's your reading going?  I know there are people out there who can read a hundred or more books a year but that just is way too many for me to try. 


Sunday, November 3, 2019

November Novelties - 2019 - #SLS All Around The World

Jim has given us the words around/down/sideways/up.  I'm going with Lionel Richie and "All Around the World." 

We've seen Lionel Richie twice now and he puts on a great show.  During one part he tells how his songs, "Still, Oh, No and Stuck on You" are sung for lovers in various stages of happiness and sadness.  "When you're sad, who you gonna call?"  Lionel.  "When you're happy, who you gonna call?"  Lionel!  "When you're in love, who you gonna call?"  LIONEL! 

Here are the lyrics to "All Around the World"

All Around the World
All around the world
Let's go all around the world
All around the world
Take me all around the world
Give me joy, give me love
Take it all around the world
So much love, love is real
So much life, life is what you feel
It's in your mind, it's in your heart and soul
The time is right, you've just got to know
It's time to let go
All around the world
Let's go all around the world
All around the world
Take me all around the world
Give me joy, give me love
Take it all around the world
I said all around the world
Let's go all around the world
Make a wish, dreams come true
Follow your heart, it is only for you
It's crazy, it's a crazy world
Come to the music, come lose your mind
Follow thw rhythm, don't get left behind
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Lionel Richie / Sam Screnci
All Around the World lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

and the video:

Seeing these pictures from 2013(!) makes me realize that I have SO MANY concerts to do some scrapbooking about.  Really have to make some time to do that. 

Have a happy Sunday!