Wednesday, June 25, 2008


The other night I had the worst nightmare of my life. Now nightmares are a common occurrence for me. I have all different types, at all different levels. I have ones I have dubbed “anxiety” nightmares. Nightmares may be too strong of a word for them, but basically they are dreams were I am in very stressful situations that I cannot get out of. Probably the most common version of this nightmare for me is I am pretty much dropped into one of my old jobs, but not given any updates on how things run these days. I know this sounds minimal, but they are extreme situations. And one of the things I always prided myself on at any of my old jobs was being in control. So these dreams are very upsetting to me, and usually leave me feeling like I have not slept.

I have nightmares of horrible things happening to people I care about. For example the other night I had one where an old friend of mine had fallen into a coma.

I also have typical monster type dreams. These are probably less upsetting to me, depending on their intensity level. I have ones where Freddy is chasing me, or something like that. They sound cheesy, and they are. Most of them are mildly upsetting.

However my nightmare the other night was the worst! I guess it could qualify as a monster nightmare, but it was much worse than that. I can’t begin to describe it and have it make any sense to anyone but me. I can say it was based on ghosts, but not at the cheesy and amusing level. I woke up yelling things, and unable to breath! This is where things get really weird. I looked at the entrance of my room, and saw someone standing there. I say I saw it because as sure as I am typing this, I knew I saw it. At first I thought it was Paul’s mom, then the longer I stared I realized it wasn’t. Then it was just gone. I was disturbed to say the least. I got out of bed, I had no interest in continuing the dream. And in my head, I was absolutely convinced that our apartment was haunted! However as my head cleared, I relived the event of the “shadow” in the doorway. The more and more I thought about it, I realized I could not have seen what I thought I did. And I have a few reasons for this conclusion. For one it was 4am and absolutely dark in our apartment. There were no computer monitors on, no TVs, no light at all. The second reason is that without my glasses, I am blind as a bat. I could have never seen anything at that distance. The thing that makes this so extreme for me, is that this has never happened to me before. When I “saw” the thing in my doorway, I was positive I was awake. I was thinking about how extreme that nightmare had been. I have never had the lines between awake and sleep so completely blurred like that.

I realize that people may be thinking that I use the term nightmare too liberally. Not all unpleasant dreams are nightmares. And I know this. What causes me to put a dream into the nightmare category is really the anxiety level. If it is so high that my sleep is unsettled, and I wake up emotionally bothered or feeling completely unrested, I call those my nightmares. I guess other people have different qualifications for nightmares, but that is mine.

I did not write this to whine. My sleep problems have plagued me as long as I can remember, and I am quite used to them. I guess that is why the level at which this particular nightmare got to me really bothers me. A lot of my dreams I attribute to my anxiety problems and mental issues. I guess…I am just really tired.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Beading Ideas Part 2

Hello folks. It is a wicked hot day here in Lubbock, Texas. I have spent the day doing more online marketing, and I did manage to get a little bit of beading done a long the way.

This is part 2 of my series on Beading Ideas. I am hoping that I can help to inspire some of my fellow beaders, and maybe even encourage some of my own inspiration!

As I sit here working on a series of Patriotic necklaces, I would say my next idea for beading is pay attention to the season! If you are just beading for fun this of course is completely dependent on times of the year that you deem to be important. However if you are like me and you are attempting to sell your creations, you should consider the holidays and seasons of your desired audience.

Since I started my shop just about 3 months ago, I have really had a hard time catching up with seasons and holidays. For example, before spring I would have liked to list a lot of anklets. Since I didn't, I spent most of spring trying to catch up on anklet orders as well as get an established anklet inventory in my shop. If you are like me, and not exactly on top of what is in for which seasons, just do a search on the web. Or look at forums, people tend to express what they want.

Besides specific types of jewelry, also keep in mind colors and patterns that relate to the upcoming holiday or season. My heart and shamrock patterns displayed in the first part of this series are a prime example of this. I sold about 12 different versions of the heart pattern for Valentine's Day! And for spring, I listed a lot of new items made with pastel colors, and pinks and purples. Just colors that I have always considered "springy". I also used a lot of charms like butterflies and dragonflies. Now for summer I am using bolder colors, and lots of flip flop charms! With the 4th of July quickly approaching, I am designing a lot of red, white and blue items. I know it sounds like common sense, or maybe too simple to be true. But these seasonal items are fantastic sellers for me! I know that at the end of next winter I will stock a very large inventory of anklets!

My brick stitch earrings tend to run very long, usually over 3.5 inches. Recently I sold a customer a pair of earrings that I made when I first started brick stitching. They were very short, less than 2.5 inches long. For some reason I got it in my head that nobody would want a pair. I was very wrong. Someone ordered them from me, and as soon as she got them she sent me a message telling me how much she loved the short version! This led to my new line of earrings that I call my "Mini Series".

Let your materials inspire you! I have a very large collection of Swarovski Crystals. I love them. I love their colors, and the way they sparkle. But I am not always entirely sure how to use them. While going through my metal beads the other day, I had this idea:
Swarovski Butterfly Earrings
What better way to show off the beauty of Swarovski Crystals then to display them with a butterfly? For me this pairing just makes sense.

I hope that this has helped you with your beading ideas, and even inspired some beading ideas of your own. With the materials available to us, the possibilities are endless. And considering out medium, the possibilities are quite gorgeous as well. So get out there. Don’t be afraid to try something new, to learn a new technique, or to learn by watching others. Beading ideas come to us all in different ways. How you get yours is up to you. So go out there and bead! Talk to other beaders.

If you have ideas, leave a comment!! The best ideas come from each other. Beaders should support and inspire each other.

I know that I should be doing my featured Etsy sellers as well. I must admit I fell behind on that project. I already have my next seller in mind though, and I will either be doing a feature on them later this evening, or tomorrow morning.