I have just given notice at my job. I will be working in a brand new poker room in a brand new casino in a brand new multi-building, multi-purpose complex.
The new City Center features 5 different buildings, hotels, condos, restaurants, entertainment, and one casino called Aria.
And I am leaving my current place of work, a small locals casino in North Las Vegas, to go there.
For those counting, that's poker room number 8 in 6 years.
Am I doing the right thing? Of course nobody can see what the future holds. And even if it doesn't work out, does that automatically make it wrong to have tried? Is it ever wrong to try?
Everything is scary in today's Las Vegas. A new property means uncertain success, 90 days of probation, fear of overhiring... Staying where I am means the fear of the room closing (business is very slow) and new people in upper management (they are already closing Keno in December.)
I recently joined a Swap Shop & Blog group. We were all assigned a partner. We swap items from our shops and blog about each other. My partner wrote a lovely piece upon receiving her items, for which I am extremely grateful. I received my amazing gifts in the mail just days ago and was so excited. I adore the sound of music boxes and the music box pendant is so unique. Rather than try to explain her work in my fumbling way, I have asked her to do it. After reading, I urge you to visit both her fabulous shops! (And make sure you read to the bottom for details on her giveaway...)
I sent you an item from each of my shops. The first is from my supply shop, Tuned Teeth Music Box Supply. It is a clockwork music box mechanism with a plated winding key.
The song it plays is called Anniversary Song and it's a famous Romanian tune and very old. In Europe it's called Waves of the Danube and in Korea it's known as The Psalm of Death (probably because of how soft and sad it sounds). Music box mechanisms are normally used by crafts people and other artists to put into traditional handmade boxes, sculptures, bears and stuffed toys or sometimes to repair old items.
The second gift in your package is from my studio site, Clockwork Fantastica. It is a miniature music box pendant from my "Fascination Collection". It's called Crossed Hearts (I think you can see why). I finished it by setting it with double brass bails on a reddish copper necklace. From start to finish it took me about 4 days to make and it's meant to last.
On the reverse side of the pendant there's a little brass key for you to wind. This operates the musical element and it plays a little waltz called Love Story.
I started making my musical pendants (as well as pins, pocket music boxes and other small items) shortly after my love affair with music boxes in general started and I began learning everything I could about them. They are a continual enchantment for me and I think for most people. There's something nostalgic and even a little bit mysterious about them, you know?
My music box jewelry is all designed and made by me and is created in small numbers. They are mainly available on my site and in person when I do shows.
The best way to get a jump on which shows I'll be attending and what new items are available is through my blog Plucked Pins where I announce everything like that.
The Giveaway The winner of this giveaway gets one of these little Daisy music box pendants from the Clockwork Fantastica studio store (the winner gets to choose)!
Anthony and I went to Mesquite (NV) for our weekend. The highlight of our little trips there are the ducks and the whole goose family that we visit at the pond in front of the Casablanca. In fact, we go every May specifically because it's baby duck season.
On this visit we were dismayed to find all the ducks and geese were gone! Anthony believes they put someting in the water that keeps them away. He says they used to have ducks at the Marriott in Summerlin and they got rid of all of them there too.
Why, why would you do this Casablanca??? It's not enough you've closed the Oasis and put all those people out of work, you had to get rid of the ducks too?? Why...WHY???
1) Your favorite food. What is it and why? If it's something you make please share the recipe.
2) Back to school. What does it mean to you?
Since back to school only means I have to drive 15mph on Gowan on my way to work I will choose option #1.
I have many favourite foods so this is a toughy. I love and collect recipes for Sugar Pie, a Canadian treat that is as sweet as the name implies, and Shoo Fly Pie, an Amish delight I discovered whilst visiting a small town in Pennsylvania when I was 16. (On a side note, I also discovered what a taco was on that trip and I love those too!)
I also thought to share a couple of recipes that have been made by my mom (and now by me) my whole life. A lovely banana cake (not bread, cake) and a scrumptious coffee cake. Then there are my grandmother's Butterscotch Curls (drool) and my aunt's Cherry Wonders (which I can't make because the dough must be refrigerated overnight and I really cannot be left alone in the house with raw cookie dough ALL night.)
But you know what? Soup season is approaching, carrots are cheap and healthy, and would it kill us to talk about something that is actually good for us?? So here's a simple carrot soup I make that is delicious, easy and I've discovered, also good cold (in case soup season drags it's feet.)
FRESH CARROT SOUP WITH HERB MIX
1/2 cup minced onion 1 clove garlic, minced Nonstick cooking spray 4 cups nonfat low sodium chicken broth (I just use powdered usually.) 1 lb carrots, sliced 1 teaspoon lemond juice 1/2 teaspoon salt Chopped cilantro (I DO NOT use this. Cilantro....blech.) Chopped basil (dried works fine for me.) Crushed red pepper flakes
Saute onions and garlic in medium saucepan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth and carrots and heat to boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until carrots are tender 25-30 minutes.
Puree carrots and broth in blender (I use Magic Bullet) until smooth. Blend in lemon juice and salt.
Spoon into serving bowls (I eat it straight out of the pot) and sprinkle each with a little chopped cilantro (again, blech) and basil. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes for spice before serving.
In a few months, the holiday season will be in full swing. What are you planning for: increasing your inventory, festival hopping, networking?
Yes, the subject of the next Etsybloggers Carnival. The holidays. When I first saw this on the schedule I thought "Sh*t...the holidays? AlREAdY???!?!?!?
Well, yes and no. We're a few months away but everybody knows (except for people under, say, 20) how fast the time goes. And crafters need the time to make holiday stuff and get it out there so that it can be purchased on time for gifts and personal wear. Last year I wanted to make myself a pair of those adorable Swarovski tree earrings, but try to find the components for that in December...fuggetaboutit. So I made mine in January.
Now I'm in my "all about resin" phase so I'm on the lookout for holiday pictures and paper to turn magically into super cool bracelets, pendants, rings...
I made one pendant which is at the top of this page. I love her!!
July is national hot dog month (or at least that's what Etsybloggers would have us believe.) I chose the hot dog as my blog carnival subject. I began with Wikipedia, curious about the history of the name "hot dog." Seems nobody knows anything for a fact, everyone wants to be the one who came up with that brilliant name.
I believe there is only one thing you need to know when it comes to hot dogs. Costco. 'Nuff said.
EtsyBloggers carnival time agains. Summer's here. Tell us about summer in your neighborhood. Do you have permanent sunshine and palm trees or do you cherish every little ray of sunshine?? What is your favorite part of summer?? Do you barbecue?? Do you wear dresses and sandals?? Are you out of school already??
Summer in Las Vegas.
I get really really hot and complain about it alot. Then I go into the casino where they are blasting the air, get very cold, and complain about that.
I go to the pool on my day off, in the afternoon, to get out of the heat of my craft room which faces west and is sweltering by 3:00 despite the window film I paid a pretty penny on to keep out some of the heat. Of course I bring projects with me to the pool because as with all seasons, I spend every spare second I can working on my stuff.
I polish my toenails so they can be treated to daylight and fresh air.
I can't set up the gas tank for my BBQ because the place where I have to put my bbq gets no shade and I'm afraid of it bursting. I called the gas company and they said it should have some shade to be on the safe side.
As much as I seem to love most crafts, I have never felt the yen for knitting or crochet. My mother tried to teach me when I was young and I just didn't take to it. I like to think it was because she is so darned left handed that it made no sense to a righty like me. I imagine there may come a time when I want to give it a go but until then, I will just adore the works of LazyTCrochet, on Etsy and Blogger.
There is a new, wonderful, outdoor market in Las Vegas. It's called "Your French Market" and there you will find unique vendors such as...ChezChani!!! Your French Market is every other Saturday 9AM-1PM and this Saturday, June 13, we will be making our debut.
Village of Centennial Springs Park 7565 Norman Rockwell Lane Las Vegas, NV 89143
Las Vegans, I hope you treat yourself to a visit. And don't forget to stop by and say hi!
June 5 Etsybloggers Blog Carnival subject: 1) Schools Out For Summer! What are your summer plans or share your favorite end of the school year story. or 2) June symbols - June's birthstone is the pearl or moonstone. June's flower is the rose. Share your favorites or stories or blog on June symbols of your own.
I choose ROSES. Wait. No. A picture paints a thousand words (I've heard) so to save space and time, here is a picture of my rose bush, which was thriving when I moved in here.
Etsybloggers has a Blog Carnival twice a month. Though one is only expected to do one a month I’ve made it my personal goal to do every one.
Then this one came along, and I almost decided, the heck with goals. But no, just ‘cause it’s a toughie doesn’t let me get out of it. It’s a choice between these subjects.
1. Tell me about your favourite birthday memory, gift, wish. 2. Show & Tell. Summer Line. What will you be making/showing in your shop through the summer.
I don’t really create for seasons, I create to fulfill my whims. My stuff is good year round and for all occasions (that’s what I tell myself so I won’t be bound by things like season.) So nothing to say on option #2.
Option #1. Is it pathetic that I don’t have ANY happy memories of my birthdays past? That my birthdays were just blah with one really miserable one that ended in tears? And why is it that I remember the miserable one and nothing much about the others? (Except that bakeries tended to make my cake pink when my mom specifically ordered blue, or the time I had a red cake.) Is it pathetic that I want nothing to do with my birthday? Is it pathetic that the only thing I like about birthdays is butter-cream icing? That I consider it a day to mourn the loss of my youth and little more? That I’ve never even considered taking the day off from work?
Thankfully it is but one day out of the year (albeit a day that comes faster and faster each year.)
Uh oh, the mourning may be starting early this year. Thanks Etsybloggers for bringing up this delightful subject.
Ok, I love Create a Thought’s blog. It’s so darn colorful! And it did create a thought. I thought, “Gee, I wish my blog was colorful.” Then I checked out the Create A Thought shop on Etsy. I thought, “I want everything here!”
Art vs. Craft: Is it an issue / non-issue and how do you feel about the argument? This is the subject of the current Blog Carnival at Etsy Bloggers.
By definition (thanks dictionary.com) there is certainly a correlation between the two.
Craft can be defined as “an art, trade, or occupation requiring special skill…”
Art “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinay significance.”
This suggests (I think) that the difference between craft and art is not the medium of the work but the level and quality of the work.
You could give me the a fine canvas, the highest quality paints, and the paint brushes previously used by Rembrandt and set me free to create. I guarantee the result would NEVER be called art. But look at the work of some of the wonderful beaders, paper crafters, chainmaillers and the the word art would certainly apply. It’s in their choices of colour, balance, design…
But just as with paint and canvas, I cannot create art, neither do I accomplish it with Fireline and beads. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very proud and even in awe of some of my creations. However I have not reached the level of art, and I’m not likely too. I struggle with colours and have few totally original works. I’ve just never been artistic but I have always happily been crafty. It’s enabled me to make jewelry bags out of fabric scraps, gift boxes out of old paper, and given me an excuse to never throw anything away.
So my answer to the Etsy Blogger question is yes…and no… and sometimes. But who really cares? Just go out there and create!
Addtitional thought: There was a bit that the Kids in the Hall did on their show which featured a line apropos to all this and I've used the line many times..."Is it art just because you hang it on the wall? Don't get me started."
When you shop at The 99 Cent Store now, you'll notice the items ringing up at $1.00 It seems they've changed their prices from 99 cents to 99.9 cents. Or 99.99. Or 99.999. I'm not sure. At first I thought that was pretty clever. I mean, with prices going up, what's a simple 99 cent store to do? Some of the volume items changed. Six soft drinks used to be 99 cents and then it was four for 79 cents. I guess that wasn't enough so they did the whole .9999999999 thing.
As I thought about it, I liked it less and less. It kind of makes me angry in fact. It's deceitful and shouldn't even be legal. The shelves say 99 cents. Not 99.999999cents. Could this practice spread? The prices posted would be the price posted OR the price posted plus.9999999999999999. It's similiar to gas stations but with gas stations it says it right up there 9/10.
Okay I know it's only a penny, but there is a principle here and I shop at that store fairly often and all those pennies will add up. I'd be really curious how much more The 99 Cent Stores makes with their ill-gotten gains.
Etsy Bloggers ask, “Spring has sprung, what would your dream garden look like?
My dream garden would feature lavender, tomatoes, peas, various other vegetables as well as an array of herbs. Sunflowers running along the walls.
Unfortunately I’m awake and my garden is more of a nightmare. It’s a shame really. It’s big enough to grow many things I like, yet small enough for one person to tend to.
In my dream garden is a dream gardener who, out of the kindness of his/her heart, sets it all up, leaves me detailed instructions and checks on it periodically. Or someone who loves to garden but lives in an apartment and takes total control of my garden for a 50/50 split.
If ‘zany’ appeals to you, gallop over to Two Zany Zebras, the Etsy home of all things zany, as well as home to the Zarkles. Zarkles are whimsical creatures, each with it’s own name and personality. They also feature a Zarkle pocket blankie so they are ready for sleep-overs.
As I may have mentioned, I am a member of an Etsy Street Team, “Esmarts.” We are an eclectic group of artists and craftspeople who have come together from all over the world to offer each other support and guidance in this crazy mixed up world of internet marketing.
In addition to each individual Etsy store, we proudly bring you the Esmarts shop. Featuring items from many of our members, you will find wonderful variety here.
I recommend you bookmark the Esmarts shop. You will be amazed at the handmade glories awaiting you. New items are added regularly. And for even more Esmarts check out the team blog.
Do you know what April 22nd is? Why it’s the birthday of Prokofiev, Bettie Page, Aaron Spelling, Jack Nicholson, John Waters, Ryan Stiles and of course, Laurie Hendler - Julie from Gimme A Break.
It’s also Earth Day. This from Wikipedia: Earth Day is one of two observances, both held annually during spring in the northern hemisphere, and autumn in the southern hemisphere. These are intended to inspire awareness of and appreciation for the Earth's environment. The United Nations celebrates an Earth Day each year on the March equinox, a tradition which was founded by peace activist John McConnell in 1969. A second Earth Day, which was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in in 1970, is celebrated in many countries each year on April 22.
Etsy Bloggers asks “What do you do (or what can you do!) to make your Etsy business or home, a little bit greener?”
Many of my past crafts have been a result of not wanting to throw things away (this is indicative of both my wish to be green and my cheapness…I mean frugality.) I still make candles using recycled wax as chunks. I used to spend hours folding little boxes from recycled papers and pictures.
It’s a great sadness to me that I have, thus far, not found a way to recycle, reuse and repurpose in my jewelry making. There are people that have managed beautifully and I admire them greatly. Creatively, I am just not there. But I hope to be visited by the recycling muse someday.
Though my pieces aren’t ‘green’ I do recycle much of the packaging that my supplies come in. Those little Ziploc bags the beads come in? The labels peel righ off, cleanly most of the time, and I never throw those away. The tubes that some of my seed beads come in? Never throw those out, they make great bead storage. Padded envelopes? Re-label for mailing.
At home, I recycle, conserve water wherever possible (it’s a desert out there!) watch my use of electricity, gas (car and home,) buy almost all my clothes at thrift stores, Freecycle…
It’s not much but I’m always aware and wherever possible, take the path of least consumption.
Apparently March is a very busy month. EstyBloggers ask, “Which of the following means the most to you, why, and how do you celebrate/remember?”
* Irish American Month - I’m neither Irish nor American. I don’t even think either of these can be found ANYWHERE in my ancestry. However I do like potatoes, four leaf clovers, apple pie, and 2 out of 3 colours found in the American flag. I am eligible to become an American citizen however that would mean I’d also be eligible for jury duty. I think my most impressive asset to potential employers is that I will never have to take time off for jury duty.
* Music in Our Schools Month - Don’t they bring their Ipods to school every month??
* National Craft Month - Similar to the response I’d get when I’d ask, “When’s kid’s day?” EVERY month is craft month in my world.
* National Frozen Food Month -On behalf of Stouffers, I’d like to thank you for this honour that we initiated and paid big bucks for. If it warms up enough, I’ll celebrate by eating ice cream. A whole gallon. By myself. Because I care.
* National Irish American Heritage Month- designated by Congress in 1995. - Huh?
* National Nutrition Month - Ok, so I’ll eat something green. Like pistachio ice cream, which would kill two celebrations with one gallon.
* National Peanut Month - Where would the airlines be without peanuts? And while I don’t care for them myself, I do adore peanut butter. Not so much salmonella.
* National Women's History Month - I will celebrate by getting old. I am an undocumented part of women’s history.
* Poetry Month - "The March wind roars Like a lion in the sky, And makes us shiver As he passes by. When winds are soft, And the days are warm and clear, Just like a gentle lamb, Then spring is here." - Author Unknown
* Red Cross Month - If they had thrift stores I would celebrate by shopping there. Other than that, I’m all for them but that’s it.
* Social Workers Month - Why do they get a month and secretaries, I mean administrative assistants, only get a day? Do you have to take them out for lunch every day of March?
Jannadu, your neon lights will shine For you, Jannadu
Jann Alexander, the Jann behind the Jannadu, is a fellow Esmarts team member. I’m quite fond of Jann’s Etsy shop for the obvious reason. It has a cool name. No, that’s not the only reason. When you go to Jann’s storefront, what’s the first thing you notice? Go ahead, I’ll wait here.
The colours! Jann features an incredible array of bold, bright, vibrant colours. It’s like pulling up the blinds to a dazzling sunny morning.
Jann says her designs are for the Rubenesque woman (large and lovely.) I semi-agree. I think it’s for the larger woman OR the larger personality. Her pieces shout out confidence. Don’t really feel it inside? Doesn’t matter anymore when you wear a Jannadu work of art.
Find Jann on Etsy, Artfire, and at her blog entitled, Art & Artists/Me & My Friends. Very well titled indeed, as Jann truly is an artist.
What a lovely surprise - I have been given the Kreativ Blogger Award! Thanks to Rhonda Bracaloni, a truly gifted photographer. She can be found at http://rareimagephotos.blogspot.com/ and in her Etsy shop. Here are the rules: List 7 things that you love and then pass the award on to 7 people...tagging them and letting them know they won! Because I've tagged so many of you at one time or another, and due to time constraints, I'm not going to do this part. Don't hate me.
Since I’ve had a few blogs that are AAM (all about me) I’m going to make this quick and painless.
1. Bam Bam 2. Izzy 3. Blue 4. Beading 5. Not working 6. Dessert 7. Shreddies.
EtsyBloggers ask, “We are already on March!! What have you accomplished this year in real life or on Etsy?? Have you followed your New Year's resolutions? What are your plans for the rest of 2009?”
Good questions. I know I’ve washed the kitchen floor at least once. As far as New Year’s resolutions, I didn’t make any. I set goals (if I set goals) as the opportunity arises. I don’t see a need, then postpone it until the New Year like a diet (everyone knows diets can only start on Mondays.)
I have taken my jewelry making in a slightly new direction. This year I’m actually (gasp) doing something other than Peyote Stitch. I’m doing some pieces featuring dazzling Swarovski crystals and fire polish beads in triangle weave and right angle weave.
And the rest of 2009? I let my jewelry obsession take me where it chooses so who knows? I do need to knuckle down and get a few more items on Etsy, which means I need to work on my photos. I’d love to be more involved with craft shows however I have to put most of that burden on my mom as I can’t get there early (I work until 1AM.)
And finally I’d like to get off my big fat chair and hit some yard sales.
While I believe in reaching for the stars, I go for the...you know...closer ones.
Nora’s shop on Etsy features adorable (or should I say a”nora”ble?) polymer clay button earrings. Just the kind of thing that brightens up an entire outfit or a gloomy day. Her line of purses, made by her uncle Naz, run from snazzy & fun to contemporary & classy.
For another quick pick-me-up, check out her blog. It’s fun, fast reading, a bright light in the blog sky.