Monday, February 28, 2011

So, are you famous?

For some random reason I follow some writers' blogs.
The random reason being I actually know these people, and I get all squee and happy to know that my friends have "done it."
Well this morning in an attempt to not get started with my Monday I have been dipping in and out of various blog-lands.
I mired myself in The Blood Red Pencil and came across a post regarding annoying questions and how to deal with them:

Question #2 Are you famous?
I think there is a better answer here, than what was presented.
Yes, yes I am famous, but in very select limited circles, in small mountainous countries in Asia Minor.

It really doesn't matter how "famous" you are if I have never heard of you.

Case in point:
I do not follow sports, unless they are in the movies, or the sport person has become such a celebrity you cannot avoid it, or the As are playing the Giants in the world series, and there is a massive earthquake.

So, hubby and I are drinking our hot beverage of choice at that chain place of expensive hot beverages, and we see a tour bus negotiate traffic and pull in. Well the side of the bus is COVERED in the Atlanta Braves and Academy Sports, and some other stuff. It looked like one of those NASCAR cars covered in ads. But all the ads were for the Braves. So hubby is doctoring his drink at the bar with some of the guys who got off the bus, and he asks them if they got off the bus, are they base ball players, and what were they doing. He got a general low down of sportsman ambassadorship, going out making store appearances meeting fans. Hubby came back to sit with me, commented on them being short, and for really expensive jeans that guy was wearing they did nothing for his butt, and he really did have quite the muscular butt did he not. Hey when you are sitting at butt level staring straight ahead and you see a field of butts....well, just saying.

Afterwards I asked if I should have been more impressed or not, after all they are wildly famous to someone, I just have no clue who they are.

So if anyone ever asks if you are famous, say yes. Somebody, even if it is just your goldfish, thinks you are a rock star. And, if you are an actual rock star, don't expect me to know who you are, I might not listen to your kind of music (or sport).

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hermit Elephant

Hermit Elephant
Originally uploaded by Zoeowyn
Artist groups frequently discuss or analyze where does inspiration come from. The standard "pageant" answer is "I find my inspiration in nature." Well bully for them, cause I don't.

I don't find inspiration, it hunts me down and smacks me on the head.
Lorena Angulo has been making these AMAZING paper clay rings. 10/52 RAW 2011

I have been really inspired to make something along the lines of that shape, of course my deity pack would look awesome in the bright colors. Since ever since her first altar ring
3/52 RAW 2011
I have been thinking a Ganesh alter ring would be awesome. Then looking at the style and color of her paper clay rings Im thinking Ganesh and Kali, and Shiva.... you get the idea. Well Im letting that idea stew some more, and you will probably see some of those happen --especially after i visit the Vishnu exhibit at the Frist

So Here I am thinking about elephant gods, shrines, colorful and square rings. And Im listening to Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett who is just brilliant beyond belief, and the book starts talking about the thin skinned hermit elephant of Howondaland.

Yeah, well there ya have it. It all comes in from various places, gets all mixed up in my head, then it says Ta-da here I am with a fying pan to the back of the head.

I present my Hermit Elephant of Howondaland ring. It is on a square base, yes a visual nod to Lorena's ring shape, it is an elephant, though not a pink Ganesh, and well....that sort of explains my inspiration process.

From Wikipedia:
Hermit Elephant
A native of Howondaland, the hermit elephant is a close relative of the more commonly known elephant. However, the Hermit elephant has an uncommonly thin and vulnerable skin by comparison to these. In order to protect itself, the hermit elephant will walk into a village, enter a house or hut and lift it upon its back, carrying it away. As it grows, the elephant will periodically shed its house in favor of a new, larger one, much like hermit crabs. Hermit elephants frequently travel in herds, and these can easily be mistaken for villages if found while the animals are resting. Mentioned in Men at Arms, Hat Full of Sky.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ring a week--Why?

This is the first blog carnival for RAW 2011, sort of like a web ring but, then again sort of not.

What was my inspiration to join in RAW 2011
The short answer: I wanted to play with the cool kids

The long answer: this delves into much soul searching and art growth, and acceptance, and being a joiner, and stuff like that. It all basically comes down to the short answer: I want to play with the cool kids. I actually go into a bit more detail in a previous blog post:

I am finding why I stay even though I am quite frequently intimidated by the amazingly high levels of craftsmanship and creativity, I am inspired beyond belief. And I am trying new techniques that I may have not considered before. And I am encouraged to actually complete some ideas, and let them be more than just ideas on a piece of paper.

Find out what inspired others to join:

Joanne Harrill -
Thomasin Durgin -
Amy Nicole -
Janice -
Aleksandra Micic -
Lana Chu -
Evelyn Markasky -
Kerry Alice-Twigs and Heather -
Lorena Angulo-
Kate Jones--
Maria Apostolou-
Sarah Small -
Rebecca Bogan -
Elaine Luther -
Rebekah Timlin Meddles -
Laura M (Zoeowyn)-
Kimberly (bahamadawn) -
Erin Austin -
Catherine Witherell -
Michele Grady-
Joan Furilla -
Kathryn Cole-

Friday, February 18, 2011

Uhm yeah, taxes- My top 10 tips

I am not a professional, and in no way should the tips offered here be followed in lieu of following professional tax accountant help. But, I have done my own taxes for years.
I started when I had my first job and I had to file a 1040EZ. Dad made sure I knew how to do it. My friend's fathers were doing their taxes from their pitiful first jobs, but me, no I did my own.
By the time I was in college I had a had my own small (ok micro) business and I had to file a 1040, and a schedule C. So, when my roommate freaked out because she didn't know how to file a 1040EZ, cause Dad always did it, and Dad decided she needed to grow up and do it, I was sailing through a huge book, on put this number here, and that number there.
I never really made enough at my micro biz, but enough to claim it. And unfortunately, once in the long form you can never go back to the EZ, well ok someone told me and I believed them. Anyway within a few more years I was "working" for myself so it didn't really matter.
My first year out of college, after my short stint as an intern I was on my own. I couldn't find a job, but I could find projects, so I ran with it. Man I had Moxie in spades back then. I cold called like a fiend, I gave everyone and their uncle my resume. My resume rocked. And I did my own taxes with the help of Mac-n-Tax. Yeah it cost extra, after all I was on a Mac, but it didn't cost as much as a professional. After all, I was making enough to help with the rent, and cover food. Right off or not, professional tax help was not an option.

So now, as I work to grow my hobby (its not a hobby its a calling) into a stronger money maker, I am reading all kinds of fun little articles. Some are helpful, a ton don't really say anything--they are more blathering blogs (just like this one). And now that it is "tax season" a bunch are giving tax tips.

I am pleased to say I have yet to read a tip I didn't really know before.

Here are some tips that I haven't seen this year, I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL TAX PERSON, I am sharing from having learned these lessons the hard way. Someone should benefit from my pain, so it wasn't all in vain.

1• If you own a house you have access to a whole lot more deductions than as a renter.

2• If you work from home, in your home, calculate the percentage of time you are "at work" vs the percentage that is "being at home." You can take that work percentage and figure out how much of your electricity and other utilities are "office expenses."

3• Calculate the square footage of your office space, vs the total square footage of your home. That percentage is your office rent, from your rent--of course when your "office" is a desk in a shared room you are limited to the desk space. --Yeah I learned that one AFTER we converted my full room office into a bed room for a baby. And my office percentage ended up being something lame like $5 a month.

4• Track your business calls in a little notebook. Go through your phone records with a highlighter, all those out of network calls to clients count. But they need to be documented. AND the printed statements from the phone company are way smaller, and take less paper than your printing it and using all your printer ink at home. Green for them costs you paper and ink.

5• You need to have support documentation for milage, if that is how you calculate your auto expenses. Even if its one of those cheap little pocket calendars (and right now those are dirt cheap on sale) where you write your travel info down. This little paper trail can easily fit into the file folder where you keep other tax documents--and its not on your smart phone or your palm pilot (anyone still have those?)

6• If you plan on tracking entertaining, or business meetings that involve food, make a note on the receipt then and there. Notes last longer than your memory.

7• The first year you actually make "a lot" of money and didn't put any aside for your Social Security taxes, and that last minute put 2 grand in an IRA will give you a huge deduction is just a point and laugh situation, because you haven't seen $2,000 in one place, let alone within 2 months, you can make monthly payments to the IRS. But they won't tell you about that. They want you to pay them in one bank breaking, credit card maxing swoop, and by the 15th of April. Well you can make payments, you have to file extra forms, you have to ask for those forms--this is one of those forms that is not out on the table at the library.

8• All those listing fees, and transaction fees on Ebay, Etsy, PayPal are deductible--the cost of doing business.

9• Those professional tax-in -the-box places will charge you a higher percentage if you run a business. I know several people who work those seasonal tax places, they are not professional accountants or tax people. They have been trained to run the software, and its just a propriety version of the type of software you get with Turbo Tax. If you need professional tax help, get a real--full time, all year long, professional tax person.

10• You need to be organized throughout the year. This will make tax time so much easier. Collect and document your receipts every month to 6 weeks to quarter. Document the receipts the same way every year based on the listings in your taxes. I use Excel, the categories in my spread sheet match the categories in my taxes. Its a major time saver.

Good luck, and remember to file early to get into the system early, and your refund faster.

And the winner is........

Lezlei Ann Young of

Congratulations Lezlei you have won the fairy door for my One World One heart blog give away.

Thank you every one for commenting on my blog, and I hope you come back and visit my blog again.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

One World One Heart, last day

Today is the last day of One World One Heart.
I want to thank everyone for visiting my blog. I am amazed at how many people actually did!
I will draw numbers out of a hat (your number is the order that you posted your comment) and post here again tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Raw week 7

RAW52-7: pods
Originally uploaded by .citizen.objects.
I am having a blast participating in RAW2011!
I fluctuate between amazed and inspired and amazed and in need of going into hiding.

This fantabulous pod ring was made by citizen.objects. and its amazing.

I mean how can I compete with the likes of this?
I know I know its not a competition, but it does get intimidating when this ring is up and yours is the next one listed in the pool. I must confess I have waited days and hours before submitting my photo when I know that is the case.

My submission this week is made from punched shapes from a soda can. It really did not need to be next to this. Of course this week it is next to a beautifully executed piece from esjewelry. And I think it looks dorky in the line up (my piece looks dorky). But it is there.

I had fun I made something new, I learned something new:
My week 7 ring was a skill builder! I found out that you can use those paper punches on aluminum cans, well that just opened a whole can of worms. Oh and the cans for al the "throw-back" sodas have such better colors.
Yesterday I scored a heart shaped punch post VD sale for $3. I had some rivets, and figured it is time to experiment!

This is the 4th flower I made, but I reused the petals from the 1st flower I made. The center is a vintage plastic button, and its on a generic finding ring base --a flat one. It is wired and glued.

Lessons learned:
• rivet must have something between it an the aluminum for reinforcement.
•my auto punch awl is great for starting the tiny rivets

And I really need to figure a better system for photos. My camera and iPhoto just is not a practical combination, and the photobooth photo is just not so hot quality wise.

William Bouguereau

Abduction of Pyche,William Bouguereau. A little late for Valentine's day but cupid in action seems appropriate

Friday, February 11, 2011

Annual Valentine's Crayons

Originally uploaded by Zoeowyn
Here is this year's crop of holiday crayons. The kids have fun doing this, and their attention span is definitely getting longer. This year E was able to stick with me for all the crayons we needed.
We used a silicone ice cube tray this year: those don't like heat, but they cut down our processing time since there were more heart wells that in the metal tray (That and I don't know where the metal mold is off to).
Next year will be short and sweet with only one patch of crayons since the oldest is off to Middle School next fall, and I seriously doubt that she is going to need the little Valentine's gifties.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Made with awesome sauce

RAW 5/52
Originally uploaded by malodora
This ring by Malodora is made of pure awesome.

It is this week's RAW entry for Malodora. Previous rings have been pretty amazing.
Actually a lot of Malodora's stuff is--amazing and made with awesome sauce.

I'm her newest biggest fan!
Heck, I want to purchase all the stuff in her shop!
If you are feeling like you must surprise me with a gift this one:

You need to check it out. Its organic, and a bit twisted.
But twisted in a most fabulous way.

She is the kind of artist I want to be like:
crazy cool, and just a bit different.

I can't decide if Im inspired or intimidated.
Probably a bit of both!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Minas Tirith

I have always wanted to make a ring for this place--well ever since I first saw it in the movies.