Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gone From My Sight

My Mother, Helen  ~ left side     At only 5'0", she was too petite to reach my cheek ;D

To those of you who have been supporting me these last several weeks while my mother has been in Hospice, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You know me well, and therefore understand that it's not easy for me to talk about this. And so I write instead.

I have kept silent to all but a few, not because I don't value you, but because I'm not comfortable when others are uncomfortable. So difficult to know what to say or what to do! Accordingly, I have disabled comments. She is gone now, and I've chosen this particular photo, because a wedding is a special day between mothers and daughters, filled with all the hopes and dreams a mother has for her child! Her only child.

Gone From My Sight

I'm standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

I hear someone say, "She is gone!"  Gone where? Gone from my site, that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull as she was when she left my side, and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me; not her. And just at that moment when I hear it said once again, "There, she is gone!", there are other voices ready to take up the glad shout,
"Here she comes!"

And that is dying ...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


When considering your workspace, here’s rule #1 ...   
If it feels right to you, it's right!

End of Rules.

When we moved to Atlanta from St. Louis at the end of 2003, I left behind a house with enough storage space to comfortably store three decades of collectibles gathered by a certified 'Collectoholic' . . . that would be yours truly!  More on my favorite collection at a later date . . .

I had started creating jewelry and selling locally about a year earlier, but had no special place to work. I used the kitchen table and would drag out all my tools and supplies each time I went to work, and got into the habit of cleaning everything up when I finished for the day. What was I thinking? Who needs a kitchen table, anyhow?

Well, old habits die hard, and even though I now have an entire second bedroom in the apartment for my office/workspace I still clean up at the end of a day I've spent creating  jewelry for my Shop on Etsy.

The cubicles stay on the messy side until I get sick of looking at it, but for the most part there's
a place for everything, and yada, yada, yada.

PS  All this storage space courtesy of my favorite Collection that is packed up and stored for the time being.

Two large windows provide excellent lighting

Cubicles hold paperwork, incoming supplies and finished jewelry . . . Do you see my Treasury Timer?

Shelving with glass doors keeps the most expensive supplies dust-free

Rolling cart has a canvas cover and contains gemstones and tools

Tower shelving containing sterling components and canvas-covered cart are portable

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

You Can Buy WHAT in a Vending Machine?

Not Your Mama's Way To Shop!

 Cape Girardeau, MO Central High School vending machines circa 1963

I've always loved to shop!  I enjoy a sleek department store the likes of Nordstrom or Bloomingdales, but there's certainly nothing wrong with a good specialty store.  I can spend hours in Sephora, Crate and Barrel or Anthropologie.  And a quirky, little brick-and-mortar ... bring it on! I thrive on effective salespeople, good customer service and the people-watching that only comes with the crowds that some people find undesirable. It’s the way I prefer to shop!

Products from companies such as Bare Escentuals, Dior, Philosophy and Korres available in Sephora vending machines

Now make no mistake; I spend my share of time online. Probably more than my share. It can be a very efficient way to make purchases, although not nearly as much fun as actually being out there in the trenches. I design jewelry, and there are many wonderful gemstone and component suppliers on the Internet. And of course, all the notable department and specialty stores make it their business to have impressive, efficient web sites. I find the selection is about as large as when the items are up close and personal, but I can't touch, and I can't try on!  Major drawbacks. 

But as popular as the online shopping experience may be, recent figures show that it's only about 5% of all retail sales. The fact is, that many research online and buy in store. And because most people still do their shopping in person, some well known retail businesses are looking for innovative ways to blend some of the online benefits with an offline experience. The result: high-end vending machines.

The Body Shop Vending Machines in supermarkets & airports very soon

Yes, a new breed of vending machine is popping up around the world in airports and malls as alternatives to traditional boutiques and brick-and-mortar stores. They have touch screens instead of buttons and sensors that don't process a customer’s credit card unless the chosen item has dropped. These modern versions of yesteryear's utilitarian vending machine look deluxe, flashy and futuristic and have screens that contain brand information, ingredients lists, and video demos. Heck ... who wouldn't want to make a purchase? 

The United States may be coming late to the party, but these machines will be installed in not only airports and malls, but will be materializing in supermarkets, military bases, college campuses, even chain stores.  While the manufacture of these newfangled machines, which cost $3,000 to tens of thousands of dollars, has created a small segment of jobs, we must remember that they lead to the loss of jobs associated with brick-and-mortar stores.

Not just another Kiosk - Proactiv machines replace sales person with touchscreen, but can't take cash or checks

The shopper can browse and buy without the interference or assistance of a sales person. A study by the NCR Corporation found that 86% of North American consumers were more likely to do business with stores offering some sort of self-service. Vending machines seem to combine this desire for self-service shopping with the instant gratification that the online purchases just can’t fulfill. It seems that I'm a member of the 14% minority that crave a real, live shopping experience filled with interesting people and places.

Vending machine dispenses gold at the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi.

Best Buy entered the market at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport selling digital cameras & MP3 players

You might have seen the new Best Buy vending machines in selected airports across the country. Starting as a unique venture at Dallas-Fort Worth selling digital cameras and MP3 players is now branching out into 12 airports, including Atlanta, Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The high-end electronics vending machines are designed by ZoomSystems.  So next time you forget your MP3 player, keep an eye out for one of these Best Buy automated machines. Who says the airport sucks?

Vending machines aren't just for Kit-Kats and Cokes

Want a fresh pizza? In Italy, the "Let's Pizza" vending machine makes four types of pizza from scratch. The machine kneads the dough, spreads on sauce and cheese and toppings, and then bakes your pie in less than three minutes and has taken up residence in shopping malls and airports.

Got a craving for french fries? In Australia, there's a vending machine for that -- Hot Fresh Fries

In both California and Japan you can get fresh eggs from a vending machine:

Click to Play

Velkopopovicky Kozel Light - Price about $1.50

In the beer-loving Czech Republic local brew Pilsner Urquell developed a vending machine that scans your ID (or your U.S. passport) before giving out a cold can of pilsner.

Carnaby Street in the UK - not your typical Payless shoe store!

...next time you see a vending machine that seems to sell shoes...it probably does

In the U.K. they have these vending machines in the clubs where women can purchase rolled up ballet shoes to wear home at the end of the night... if their feet are tired - they even come with a drawstring bag to carry your shoes.  Expanding to America, Rollasole shoes will be available via vending machines inside New York and Los Angeles clubs.  They usually cost $5 - $8 and are extremely popular - available in pink, black, gold or silver.

Footzy Rolls - Rollable Shoe For Women Available In America

According to a recent New York Times article on this pro-automated trend, revenues for vending operators are expected to be $11.3 billion this year, up from $11.1 billion in 2010.

Japan has one vending machine for every 23 people. But will these new vending machines continue to grow in numbers in North America?  We demand a  satisfying shopping experience. A while a satisfying shopping experience  includes finding the right product at the right price, it also includes receiving good service. And it remains to be seen if shoppers can be convinced that good service comes in the form of a vending machine.

As for me . . . I'm off to my favorite brick-and-mortar, complete with helpful sales people and mirrored fitting rooms!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Social Whirl - Fine Art Print by Jane Davenport

I've been feeling a little out of it lately. Nothing I can put my finger on, but a bit out of sorts. Definitely a case of the blahs! 

Like when you put on your favorite outfit, and it just doesn't look as cool as the last time you wore it. That chocolate chip cookie dough isn't calling your name, and you simply don't give a hoot what anybody is wearing on the Red Carpet at this year's Academy Awards.

But when I realized there's only 64 days til my son's wedding, and I still haven't come up with something fabulous to wear, I figured it was time for desperate measures.  I must get back that va-va-va Voom that's been missing for the last couple of weeks.

And as if divine intervention had stepped in, I knew what I must do.  I need a cute fix. I need to see things so adorable that I won't be able to hold back a smile or maintain the solemn demeanor that has had my friends asking if I'd just returned from a funeral . . .  I need Google!!!

So I googled "Cute stuff", and it was just what the doctor ordered!  Enjoy . . .

And last, but certainly not least . . .

Ahhhh, I'm feelin better already!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011



More Than Honeysuckle   ~   Curator: Lbtoyas

In my humble opinion, no discussion of Promotional Frenzy Team Treasuries, or any Etsy Treasury for that matter, would make any sense at all without mention of the lady I so fondly refer to as The Treasury Diva ... LbToyos!  Lourdes is very creative and has a special eye for color and form. Her appearance on Page One of the Treasury is about as close to a sure thing as you can get!  I'm a big fan ... and you may view her wonderful Treasury Collections and decide for yourself!  Her 'More Than Honeysuckle' is one of my recent favorites and is a tribute to Pantone's Color of the Year.

Now don't get me wrong, there is plenty of Treasury talent on this Team!  Below are just a few of the wonderful Collections brought to you by several of our members last week. Although I'd love to show you all of the Treasuries put forth by our members, this is just a smattering of the Collections that have made it to page one, slot one.

For a look at all the Treasuries tagged with 'Promotional Frenzy' you may click this link.

Birds of a Feather Flock Together   ~   Curator: Galla15

Everything is Blue   ~   Curator: HogansHandiwork

Spring Romance   ~   Curator: SeaFlowerStudios

Light and Breezy   ~   Curator: GlitterbirdGlamour

A Breath of Fresh Air   ~   Curator: jQjewelrydesigns
And so my Love Affair continues . . . 

                                              . . .and there's plenty of Love to go around!

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