A little something

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I’ve finally been able to do some beading the past few days and even that little something is a big thing! In the past when I’ve been sick, I’ve still had the energy to at least sit on the couch and bead, but with this bronchitis, I’ve only had the energy to focus on one thing and that’s been either taking care of my girls or working. Today I managed to find energy for my girls, my work, and my beading and that made me much happier! I still needed an afternoon nap, but I wake up feeling a little better every day and I’m hoping that soon I’ll be able to work out again. I’ve grown tired of feeling like a tired lump and I’m eager to feel animated and energetic again!

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Just because

One of my two male ruby throated hummingbirds keeping his eye on me.

One of my two male ruby throated hummingbirds keeping his eye on me this evening.

I wear a sterling silver key pendant with a small heart set sideways at its end. It was a gift from my mother several years ago and I’ve been wearing it every day since. At night I tuck it under my pillow so it’s close by and easy to put back on when I wake up.

It is the key to my heart and thus far, I haven’t found the right one to claim it. It is also a symbol of my eternal belief in love and that someday the right man for me will find me. I do not spend my days obsessing over said man (I used to) because that does no good. When the time is right, he’ll come into my life. Until then and even after that, I am grateful for all the blessings in my life. I have two beautiful daughters, I’m in good health, I have a great family, I own my own home and I’m making a career as a writer. I am not incomplete but there is something missing.

Though the key pendant was a gift from my mother, it makes me think of my father too. The key unlocks my heart but is closely guarded by my father’s spirit. He knows that it will take a good man with a great heart and a man as unconditionally loving of me as he was to win my love. He and I both know that I deserve nothing less.

For reasons I don’t entirely understand myself, I recently felt compelled to make a beaded chain for my key pendant. A very understandable reason was that my current silver rope chain and clasp kept pulling out my hair when it gets caught. But as that’s been happening for years, that’s not really the reason I created my own chain. I did it just because. Just because I felt in my heart that now was the right time to do it.

I knew I wanted it to be made with silver themed beads but that’s all I knew. When I was visiting my mother on Wednesday, I sat down in one of the chairs of her sunroom, pulled out my beads and just started working. The design came to me pretty quick. I chose silver mirror bugle beads interspersed with cobalt blue seed beads, all worked up with brick stitch. I could’ve simply strung beads onto thread or wire and been done with it but I wanted something woven, made with care and 100% unique. I was quite pleased with the end result!

My new beaded chain, key pendant holder and funky clasp design.

My new beaded chain, key pendant holder and funky clasp design.

I used a lobster clasp to hold the key pendant so I can change out charms or put the key on other chains I design. Oh yes, I’ll be making more chains, this is just the beginning!

When my project was finally finished, I went out onto my deck to take some photos of me wearing the new chain. As I sat out there, I heard the hummer approach and I then remained very still. One of my two hummingbird males came and landed, drank a little, looked at me, looked around, drank some more and left.

He's such a proud little thing!

He’s watching me again.

Handsome profile!

Handsome profile!

I smiled as I watched him. After he flew off, I took a couple photos of myself and then just sat there for a while enjoying the relative quiet of the evening.

Wearing my new beaded chain and my key charm.

Wearing my new beaded chain and my key pendant.

When I came back inside and started writing this I heard a hummingbird land on my feeder. I turned to look and was elated to see that it was a female hummingbird! I saw her for the first time earlier today but didn’t have my camera handy. This time I was ready and snapped a picture before she flew off. I’m guessing all of her hummer babies have now left the nest so hopefully I’ll be seeing more of her from now on.

Female hummingbird. Note the lack of ruby-colored throat seen on males.

Female hummingbird. Note the lack of ruby-colored throat seen on males.

I took seeing her as a very good omen of course and higher power approval of my latest creation. I adore my new chain and I’m proud of myself for creating exactly what I wanted even though I didn’t quite understand why I wanted it. As July draws to a close, I’ve decided I’m going to venture into the new month doing more things “just because” my heart, spirit and/or the powers that be tell me too.

With this post I’ve made up for missing one entry this month so I’ve now accomplished my task of writing in my blog every day in July. At least that’s how my math works 😉

The worst salesperson…

Wearing my fringed seed bead earrings I made myself for Mother's Day

Wearing my fringed seed bead earrings I made myself for Mother’s Day

I’m not a good salesperson/marketer/ware hawker or whatever you want to call it. I was in the Girl Scouts when I was a little girl and I only tried once to sell cookies door to door. I quickly learned that all my other Girl Scout friends had beat me to the punch and so I stuck to selling to family and family friends. When I was a teenager I worked at Waldenbooks and employees were required to sell a certain number of discount cards every month. I never made my quota because I didn’t like being pushy in that manner. Thankfully I never had to try selling insurance at my last job because that never would have happened!

I wrote an e-book about my first trip to Boston and it’s for sale on Amazon. I promoted it vigorously for about a week before giving up on that leading anywhere beneficial. I tried selling my freelance writing services to businesses so I wouldn’t have to go through a content mill middle man but without the ability to take credit for any of my ghost writing, I have no proof of my skills. So I continue as a ghost writer and know how fortunate I am that I get paid to write, whether I can take credit or not.

I hate being a pest, plain and simple. Marketing to me feels like being a pest and after a while of posting Facebook status updates, tweeting on Twitter, linking on LinkedIn and posting to Google+, people seem to get tired of reading what I’m putting up. I know that personally I stop following people on Twitter when they post the same exact tweet about their product every 15 minutes. It’s annoying to be constantly bombarded by sales pitches.

I started selling earrings in my CorbinGirl store on Etsy a couple of weeks ago and had some great initial success…that has now died off. I’m probably not supposed to admit that, it’s probably breaking a cardinal rule of marketing but meh. I am extremely grateful to everyone who bought my creations and I received lovely positive reviews from customers who like their earrings! I’m certainly not going to stop making earrings, but I’m the worst salesperson for my own stuff. I make earrings because it makes me happy and because the ideas won’t stop. I give earrings away as gifts to whomever wants them and list on Etsy so the rest of the world can find my creations.

Close up of my earrings

Close up of my earrings

Smaller fringe earrings I made for my mom

Smaller fringe earrings I made for my mom

My main income is as a ghost writer so the jewelry is just a hobby at this point. Trying to sell jewelry in such a saturated market is no easy task and with everything else I have going on in my life, it takes a back burner sometimes. I’ll still tweet, honk, hawk, poke, etc all over social media when I make something new and I’ll continue to explore various ways of marketing my creations, but I do know that there are people out there who will get tired of hearing it and just ignore me.

Creating jewelry is meditative therapy for me, it’s an escape from the real world just like fantasy writing used to be for me before my muse took an extended sabbatical. I have faith that eventually I’ll hit things right and everything will coalesce as it should, but for now I’ll continue trying new techniques and building my jewelry inventory. No one else makes what I make because there’s only one me…heaven knows, that’s all the world can handle!

The creativity of this Corbin girl

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Geometric sapphire and copper hued earrings I created tonight

I’m not the most organized person in the world but as the little sign my mom gave me many moons ago says “Creative minds are seldom tidy.” I think most crafters would agree with me that sometimes daily tidying falls by the wayside when there’s a new idea in the head that must be brought to life!

One of my very first earring designs.

One of my very first earring designs.

For the past month or so I’ve been creating original beaded earrings and pendants for my own personal use. I’ve posted pictures on social media sites sharing my creations and received lovely, positive feedback. I’ve gifted a few pairs of earrings to my mother and more pairs to a friend and they’ve appreciated my creations. A couple of days ago I decided to finally start listing my earring creations on my Etsy store called CorbinGirl in the hopes that I could share the jewelry in more than just pictures.

Blue and white ginger jar style earrings.

Blue and white ginger jar style earrings.

Glass pearl chandelier style earrings.

Glass pearl chandelier style earrings.

Red and white glass pearls with leaf medallions.

Red and white glass pearls with leaf medallions.

Turquoise, purple and orange beaded dangles

Turquoise, purple and orange beaded dangles

I create jewelry because if I don’t, I’ll go insane trying to keep all these new ideas in my head. I opened a shop to share what I make with the world and while it may someday be profitable, that’s not my main goal right now. I’ve listed all my earrings at extremely low prices, just enough to cover shipping costs, because all I really want is for people to wear and enjoy my beaded creations. So far I’ve sold one pair and that makes me blissfully happy!

Writing my earring listings on Etsy is a learning process and I’m tweaking things as I strive to achieve a polished online storefront. Eventually I’ll have it all figured out and the process will go smoother but until then, I’ll just keep working happily away in my creative laboratory/craft room expressing new aspects of the multifaceted Corbin girl that I am!

Do one thing

A little bit of everything on my craft table

Do one thing and do it well. That’s one way to live but what fun is that?? I’ve never been able to focus on just one thing and find enjoyment in that. I worked in retail and as a secretary for 20 years, doing the same tasks every day. I did my jobs exceptionally well and was loved by my bosses but I wasn’t happy. Everything I did outside of my paid jobs is what made me happy.

Now that I’m a paid writer, I love my job and feel fortunate and blessed. My life was already very fulfilling with my family and friends and being able to work at a task that makes me happy is wonderful! At the end of a day of freelance work though my writing abilities are tapped out and the only writing for pleasure I can muster is this blog and some emails.

As I usually can’t face my keyboard after working all day, for the past few weeks I’ve sat down at my craft table to begin fiddling with beads and wire. Quite often before I fall asleep at night, I close my eyes and see flashes of jewelry pieces created randomly by my mind. I’ve started jotting them down in my phone and the next day I set about transforming vision into reality.

Some of my first jewelry creations

I love these turtle earrings I made!

I love these turtle earrings I made!

When I wrote in my fantasy books, I used my words to create characters and scenes. When I’m crafting, I use my fingers and my imagination to bring together wire and beads in colorful and unique creations. When I create beautiful things to share, I feel beautiful myself. I don’t mean physical beauty, I mean that inner glow that is sensed, not seen. Jewelry work brings a new form of peace and bliss I didn’t know existed.

From my mind last night to reality this morning.

From my mind last night to reality this morning.

Simple but lovely glass bead earrings I made for my mom.

Simple but lovely glass bead earrings I made for my mom.

While I’ll never be able to do just one thing and feel fulfilled, I believe I’m quite good at doing a lot of things. Everything I do that expresses my creativity generates positive energy, a sense of harmony with the universe and deeper feelings of love for myself and the world around me.

A place to play

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This past Sunday was a beautiful day! I got out early to do some errands which included getting groceries and being inexplicably drawn into a craft store. That seems to happen a lot these days! After a brief stop at my mom’s to invite her out for pizza dinner, I headed back home to get some tidying done.

While the arrangement of the toys in the craft/play room is best left to Jordan with her amazing organizational skills (not something she inherited from me), I did my best to tidy up the toys and get them up off the floor. Having a majority of the girls toys in that small room reveals the true size of their collection and gives me ample ammunition for the next time they say “I don’t have anything to play with.” All I have to do is point into that room now!

Toy overflow!

Toy overflow!

I am indescribably happy to finally have my craft table set up! It’s been in the box since my mom gave it to me over a decade ago and I’ve wanted to set it up somewhere forever. It fits perfectly in front of the window in that room and gives me a great view of my bird feeders! The natural light in that room is plentiful for most of the day but should my crafting run into the darkness, I have a daylight lamp to keep the candle burning, so to speak. The lamp was a gift and I’m certain it will assist in my crafting year round!

playroom2

Last night I discovered that Star Trek: The Next Generation is on Netflix so I set up my tablet and started the very first episode of the show. I was in geek heaven as I crafted and watched Star Trek!

star trek

What was once Jaycie’s room is now a space for creativity and fun. The hardest part is going to be for the three of us girls to get all our work done before we venture into our new favorite place to play. I’m sure we’ll manage somehow…