January 1, 2010

  • A brand new year

    Well, 2009, I can’t say I’m sorry to see you gone. You weren’t the worst year I’ve been through, but you sure as heck weren’t the best, either.

    However, you did lay the groundwork for what will hopefully be some very good things in my life, and for that I’m grateful. But still, here’s hoping 2010 turns out to be less into the “tough love” than you were.

December 12, 2009

  • For laurelitavera…

    Since laurelitavera asked about my ornaments, and I wasn’t able to attach a pic to the message I just sent to her, you all get to have a look at one…

    It’s a clear glass ornament, decorated with alcohol ink (red, green and gold, though the red does tend to overwhelm any other color I use it with; there are a few places where the green comes through, though). Now I need to decide what ribbon I want to put around the silver bit at the top…

November 30, 2009

  • ‘Tis the Season

    As one or two of you may know, I am (and have been for as long as I can remember) kinda hard on the things I’ve made myself. I always worry that they aren’t good enough, that they need to be perfect, and they just aren’t.

    With the arrival of my niece this summer (cutest baby girl EVER!), I felt very strongly that I wanted to make her Christmas stocking. My mom made all our stockings, plus our tree skirt. (She didn’t make crafts all the time, but she did have her moments, especially when it came to us kids.) Well, a couple of weeks ago, I got started. And I remember thinking to myself, “Well, Vivy, I’m sorry you’re going to have to settle for my stocking instead of getting one your grandma made. She always did such a good job.”

    Then it hit me – how sad is that? I automatically assumed that my stocking would be inferior to one Mom would have made. Sure, she had a bit more experience doing these felt projects, but it’s not like my work is poor. Okay, I can look at most anything I’ve made and find some little detail that I don’t like, but that’s the nature of having something that’s hand-made. Besides, if I put a stitch where I didn’t mean to, or something hasn’t looked quite right, I’ve gone back and redone it. (Which is why the stocking is taking me ages. Eh, at least it’s not like she has to have it this year; I’m aiming to have it done in time, but I’d rather finish it later and have it be something I can stand to look at year after year without cringing.)

    I started decorating my tree this weekend, and I’m lucky enough to have ornaments made by three generations on the branches – me, my mom, and my grandma. And you know what? The ones I’ve made stand up just fine when put next to the ones made by Mom and Grandma. Heck, I even had one that I thought Grandma made when I first took it out of the box until I remembered it was one I made last year. (Hey, at a certain point, styrofoam and sequins all start to look alike.)

    So I’m hoping I’ve at least started to go a little easier on myself. Not that I want to throw together crap and call it art, but I don’t have to feel like it’s perfect in order to be any good. Besides, I need to give myself permission to mess up, otherwise I won’t make anything at all. And I have a whole closet full of craft supplies just begging to be used, especially this time of year.


    On a quick and unrelated note, by this time next week, I should be gainfully employed. Hooray!

    As a not-so-tiny miracle in this market, the job actually found me. The company recruiter found my resume on CareerBuilder.com, I interviewed, they liked me, I liked them, and once they’ve confirmed that I’m not on drugs and didn’t lie on my resume, what will hopefully be a beautiful match has been made. It’s also the first time I’ve actually negotiated on my salary, and while I didn’t get quite as much as I would have liked, I did get an extra week of vacation time. I’m really stoked about that – not just the extra week, but the fact that I actually had the guts to make a counter-offer and not just automatically accept their first offer. Especially considering how much I needed this job.

    I’m also excited that, while I will still be in communications, it’s not a marketing role. Don’t get me wrong, I think I’m pretty good at marketing communications, but it’s certainly not what I would have guessed I would be doing. This will be more newsletters and internal engagement, with a smattering of trade show organization thrown in. I’m really looking forward to it. :)

October 31, 2009

  • Just eh…

    I’ve been a blogging slacker, but I haven’t had much to say. Though I have been doing a bit more – shock, horror! – actually writing in a physical journal. You know, with a pen and everything.

    The job I got a while back ended up not working out, so I’m on the job hunt again. I was a bit amused yesterday when I got calls from not one, but two recruiters about a position they thought I’d be a good candidate for. It’s the same job – the one for which the boss decided I “wasn’t a good fit.” *sigh* Hopefully something else will turn up soon. On the plus side, one of the recruiters is with a company I’ve tried to make contact with before and had no luck, and the recruiter was impressed enough with my resume that she asked if she could contact me if they get any other projects or jobs that I could be a match for. I figure the more work-related contacts I have, the better off I’ll be.

    I still miss my dog, but at least I’m not crying every day like I was at first. At least it’s not weird to be at home and not have him right by me, but I’ll be glad when I can think of him without having waterworks involved. I know I’ll get there at some point – life goes on and all that – but I do wish it would hurry up. My fuzzy guy deserves to be remembered with smiles instead of tears.

    Other than that, my life is just a bunch of eh. Hence the lack of updates here – hell, I’m bored by my own life; I don’t feel all that inclined to bore others with it as well.

    Happy All Hallow’s, everyone, and enjoy the extra hour of sleep tonight if you get to Fall Back.

September 13, 2009

  • Now if you’re feelin’ weary
    If you’ve been alone too long
    Maybe you’ve been suffering from
    A few too many
    Plans that have gone wrong
    Well don’t try to remember
    How good it all used to be
    Well don’t try to remember
    How good life used to be
    Because that was the river
    This is the sea

    Now you say you’ve got trouble
    You say you’ve got pain
    You say’ve got nothing left to believe in
    Nothing to hold on to
    Nothing to trust
    Nothing but chains
    You’ve been scouring your conscience
    Raking through your memories
    Scouring your conscience
    Raking through your memories
    But that was the river
    And this is the sea

    Now I can see you’re wavering
    As you try to decide
    You’ve got a war in your head
    And it’s tearing you up inside
    You’re trying to make sense
    Of something that you just don’t see
    Trying to make sense now
    And you know you once held the key
    But that was the river
    And this is the sea
    -”This Is the Sea”, Mike Scott

August 26, 2009

  • I had my dog put to sleep yesterday. He wasn’t finding any joy in his life anymore, and I couldn’t keep him here out of my own selfishness.

    I feel far more alone than I probably should do. I miss my furry, four-legged shadow. I know, I just know, our paths will cross again in another time and place, but in the meantime I’m going to miss him like crazy.

August 24, 2009

  • It’s not my fault my dog is sick. It’s cancer’s fault.

    The vet said he’ll probably make it another week at the most.

    I’m devastated.

August 23, 2009

  • My dog is sick. And it’s kinda my fault.

    How awful is that? Now I’m not one of those people who say my dog is my child, but he is as close as I’m likely to have any time soon. As guilty as I feel about my dog being ill, I can’t imagine the levels of guilt parents can end up with.

    My Cheyenne isn’t a young dog, and he’s been getting arthritis for a few years now. He’s gotten to the point that vitamins aren’t enough to help his joints, so at his last check-up, I got a script for a pain medication for him. Well, he hasn’t been eating for a few days, and he got to the point he wasn’t moving by Saturday. Turns out he’s gotten massively anemic – to the point that the vet starts talking about a blood transfusion. I’m thinking that this is from some damage from his fall a couple of weeks ago that I didn’t bother having him X-rayed after. Cue massive guilt. We start with getting his chest X-rayed to see if it will show where’s he’s losing blood from.

    The X-rays came out clear for the most part. No big tumors causing a bleed, no blood pooled in his chest cavity. Current best guess is that the arthritis pain meds have caused lesions and/or ulcers in his intestines, which is apparently a possible side effect they have. So he may have fallen because he was weak from anemia. And if he hadn’t fallen, I might have paid more attention to the fact that he was being kinda lethargic, but I chalked it up to pain from his leg. Sadly, I hadn’t been giving him the pain pill every day before he fell, because he seemed to be moving around well enough before. But once he got hurt, I was religious about giving him a pill every day.

    Now he’s off those pain pills (he’s got another one from the leg injury that I’m still giving him), and getting a medication that should help heal any lesions in his intestines. Plus he got some liquid vitamins to hopefully help bring his red blood cell count back up. I just hope I didn’t wait too long to get him to the vet, and that this is, in fact, the way he needs to be treated. I think he’s got a bit more color in his tongue today, but his gums are still really gray.

    It’s possible that it’s not the intestines causing his trouble. The X-rays did show a lot of “nodules” in his chest cavity around his heart. They could be benign, or they could be cancer. None of them were very large, and none seemed to be in a particularly life-threatening spot, but they’re still a concern, at least for me. It would take more (expensive) testing and such to see if they are cancer, and I’m not sure I’m willing to do that. Even if it is cancer, I’m not going to put my poor dog through treatment – he’s almost 14 years old, those nodules are awfully plentiful, and I’m willing to put him through a lot of probably painful procedures that will confuse him. I just want him to be happy and comfortable for however long I’ll get to have him. Of course, I want him around as long as possible, but I’m not going to put him through a lot of crap to try and cheat what nature intends.

    But I still feel awful about the anemia. Though it would have been nice to have been warned about it as a possible side-effect of his arthritis medication… I’m almost positive they didn’t mention it when they gave it to me. Okay, I could have looked it up, but it never even occurred to me to do so. But you can bet I looked up the new stuff they gave him.

August 13, 2009

  • For those of you who are currently unemployed, feel free to skip this post. I know your pain, having been in the same boat until just recently.

    My new job rocks on so many levels. It’s not easy, especially now since I’m still trying to wrap my head around what it is we do so I can hopefully write things that make sense and are factually correct. (Yes, I do marketing writing, but I’m not going to lie.) There have been a couple of days where I felt like my brain had taken all it could take, but I feel like I’m making progress. Granted, if asked what the company does, I just say it’s a risk management company, but please don’t ask me for too many details. I know a couple of specific services we offer, but there’s a whole lot more I just don’t completely comprehend.

    And after having at least an hour-long commute for so long, it’s amazing to be able to walk out of the building at 5:10 and walking into my door around 5:45 or so. Not to mention that I’ll probably use half a tank of gas this week, instead of having to fill up just to make it through the week. I’m so happy about this – especially since my car’s check engine light has come on again. (It’s most likely a sensor in the fuel system, but I can’t afford to get it taken care of right now. That’ll be paycheck number 3 or 4. Getting the fridge replaced has to come first.)

    Plus, they have a free fitness facility for employees *and* contractors. So even though I’m a temp, I get to use it. For free. Guess where I went after work today.

    It’s only been a week, but I’m really, really hoping that they’ll decide to keep me. I think they’re happy with me so far, but I’m hoping to have the chance to wow them in the next few weeks.

    Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

August 4, 2009

  • I got a job! Woo-hoo!

    It’s not the one I mentioned before – guess the person didn’t botch the second interview as I was hoping – but it’s pretty close to home, and it’s for a fairly large organization. It’s a contract-to-hire position, so we’ll see how that ends up going in the long run, but I’m beyond relieved to at least have something going, finally. I start on Thursday.


    My poor dog has been having trouble with stairs and tiled floors lately. Well, last night he fell while climbing upstairs after I went to bed. I didn’t see it happen, just heard the *thump* and his yelp. Then he couldn’t get all the way up; he wasn’t putting any weight on one of his front paws.

    I did as much of a check as I could, but it didn’t seem like anything was broken. He has some pain pills already for his arthritis, so I gave him a couple of those and tried to make him as comfortable as possible on the landing. Poor guy eventually climbed the rest of the stairs a couple of hours later to get to my room.

    I went ahead and took him to the vet this morning to have him looked at. Thankfully for my pocketbook, she didn’t push for X-rays – she couldn’t feel any breaks in his long bones. At worst, he may have broken his pinky toe, and it’s possible he might have a couple of bone chips around his elbow, but there’s not really anything they would do to treat either other than prescribe a pain pill and rest, which is what we were going to do anyway. He’ll be back there on Friday anyway, since his fur has gotten so matted that the groomer wouldn’t take him – he’ll have to be sedated and shaved down. Considering how hot Houston is right now, I don’t think he’ll mind too much, but I’ll bet I’ll end up snickering at least once when looking at him. My poor puppy. (Who turns 14 in a couple of months, so calling him a puppy isn’t really correct, but there you go.)


    The jewelry making is going well. (You knew I was going to mention it at some point, didn’t you? At least I didn’t lead with it.) I’m totally addicted to these domino pendants that I’ve gotten into; now I’m trying to mix them up a bit. I bought this stuff called Omni-Gel last week that you can use to transfer printed images onto another surface, so yesterday I tried it out on some scrapbook paper to see if I could get the pattern onto a domino. Lo and behold, it worked. I also embossed on the surface, which I didn’t have much luck with the first time I tried it, but that was because the stamp had way too much detail and ended up looking like a clumpy mess. This time I went with something that had much cleaner lines and had more success. I’ll share photos at some point if folks are interested – I haven’t even taken photos to put on my Facebook page yet.

    I plan to set up an Esty.com shop, but I can’t figure out what I want my user name to be. Since your user name also ends up being your shop name on Esty, and you can’t change it without starting over from scratch, I want to make sure it’s a good one. I’m mulling over “BaubleheaddedDesigns”, but I’m not sure if it’s quite right. Anybody got any suggestions? Heck, I’d even be willing to send out a piece of my work to someone who offers up a really good name. You know, almost like a contest, but nothing that formal.

    Oh, and while I have been doing a lot of the domino pendants, I’m still doing more traditional jewelry items as well. I made a pendant necklace on Saturday for my niece’s mom – it was pearl (baby’s birthstone) and rose crystal beads (rose is her birth flower), with a photo of her in a locket-y pendant. It’s a pretty traditional style, nothing too weird or different about it, but I was quite pleased with how it came out. I even broke out the sterling silver wire – I’d never have guessed that a 26″ or so necklace would eat up 5 feet of wire! But I wanted it to be something that will hopefully last for a good long time, and maybe even be passed down to my niece when she’s older. And I wanted it to be something nice and meaningful for her mom. She seemed to really like it, anyway, and I’m kinda proud of the finished product. I even offered to make her matching earrings – which I finished yesterday, but I need to buy some silver earring backs – I actually made the earring posts for them, a first for me. I had to remake the first one, since it didn’t come out quite right, but it was good enough that I was confident I could make a set I would like, and I do.


    *sigh* Is it sad that I wrote more about the jewelry than both the new job and my poor dog combined? I think it may be. Ugh.

    Anyway, have a good day/evening/week/whatever is appropriate, everyone! Remember, I’m willing to bribe for a good Etsy user name!