Sunday, June 7, 2009

Stormy Weather or Economy Schmeconomy

The Thunders had a great time at Port Washington Pirate Festival Katie made another friend, and so did we, we had friends from Illinois come visit, everyone was friendly, the weather Sunday was nice (although Saturday was cold and wet and windy), and for fair food, it was pretty decent. The hotel was very close and nice, but as it was a Holiday Inn, that is to be expected, breakfast with the pirates at NewPort Shores was fun they had salmon on the breakfast buffet (yay salmon), and the festival staff were very helpful and only one incident of shoplifting that I heard about. OK, so that was the good. In grand NERO tradition, let me report on the bad and ugly as well.

The Bad - this one isn't bad really, but it could have been. Our rented tables were nabbed either by passers by or by other vendors that apparently needed tables more. The problem was solved, but with awkward tables, but tables nonetheless. I have named the organizer The Guy as I never did catch his name. The Guy found us some tables, and just in the nick of time, too. He also helped James cart one of the tables, a picnic table, to the tent where we were setting up. So, I had tables, The Guy was really nice and helped, so perhaps this should not be at the top of the bad list, but I'm going in no apparent order.

The weather stunk. Again. Each year, some weather phenomenon happens that makes the event stinky just a little, and this year it was cold wet and windy. Only the stoutest of pirates came because of that. Sunday's weather was great, though, but the only rush was after the pirate parade, and they seemed to walk through the vendor tent and not stop and look anywhere.

The cost of the hotel combined with the vendor fee for such a big show was really prohibitive for us, although we are going next year if they let us, it was a great time other than that.

Now for the ugly. Oh, the ugly - I think the battle cry of every vendor when the revolution comes is going to be "The Economy!". I didn't even cover the cost of the booth and hotel, let alone any other expenses that come with such a big venture. In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would make so little. I at least can hold my head up and say not only am I not alone in this, at both shows Ive been to there weren't much sales all the way around, but that I received gushing compliments from lots of folks. It's a small boost to my very wounded self confidence, but I'm not giving up yet. I just started, and I so want to see this through. I am really going to just have to hang in there and weather the storm.
Portraits Today and More took fantastic pictures. It muyst be cold somewhere as I never intended to post pictures of myself, but here we are. James had just talked about a family picture, so done and done ;) I love it, which is wild as the camera and I have a mutual hate relationship ;)
Listening to( in my head anyway): Hoist the Colors, Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

...And he can solder too

In my last post, I thanked my friend Mrs Blocko for all the help she gave me Saturday with ankle bells, and she is coming again tomorrow for more sweat shop work. While I try to be thankful to those that have helped, I haven't mentioned how much my husband has done for me. Besides the support and care, he has built me a rack for my ankle bells, and whipped out his mad soldering skills ad soldered jump rings closed so my hair sticks are secure. He built a new website for me which I have yet to advertise or utilize, but once the pirate fest is over, watch out baby!

Thank you James for everything you have done, said, and overlooked so I can make this hope a reality. I love you :D

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Insert Witty Title Here

Oh My Goodness! It's been so crazy at WNA Command Central that I haven't been able to get much of anything done besides make jewelry and spend money on supplies. The gem show came and went, with very little sales but something just as great, exposure. I had a great time there, and I'm looking forward to the next one. So many wonderful things to look at, and so many knowledgeable folks willing to take the time and explain about this geode or that gemstone or this technique. Thanks to Aum and Betty!

This weekend coming up is the Port Washington Pirate Festival. I am really trying to get on the ball with this show, have enough product, make decent displays, keep a good balance between cost, etc. Katie is at grandma's coincidentally, which helps me to get ready, but this show crept up on me, so I feel unprepared. Yes, I was hoping and hoping for this, but the confirmation came after the figuring on being rejected, so when I was accepted, I went into tornado mode and have stayed there. It isn't necessarily baptism by fire, but this is the biggest show I have done, and with the least amount of prep time. My song for the next week or so will be " I Have Confidence" from The Sound of Music. Hopefully next week's song will be " You Did It" from My Fair Lady ;)

Thanks to my sweat shop girl, Mrs Blocko! She came over and helped me crank out some great ankle bells. You are the bestest!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hit the Ground Running

Wow - when it rains, it pours. Now that I have been to the lawyer, Ive been looking at art shows, craft shows, and festivals to be a vendor at. The more I look, the more folks will contact me with more shows to do. It goes to show when you surround yourself with good people, good things happen :)

Now I have to sit on my hands and wait for some of the shows to confirm, and that is truly hard for me to do. I'm a problem solver. When there is a problem, such as an unanswered question, I can't leave it alone until it is solved. So my mind grinds until I get the answer I need. I do have one confirmed show date, though. Memorial day weekend I will be at the thanks to my friend Aum. Aum and I are sharing a booth and we are both excited about it. She crafts silver jewelry so I can't wait to see her work.

Other shows coming up I am hoping for are and I've had to use James' old planner to keep all of my dates etc straight, which is funny to me as I have a great memory. This has just threatened to grow big quickly and I don't want to lose my grasp on it.

Goldfish - Fort Knox, Perceptions of Pacha

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Life Lessons From Mrs Thunder or Don't Be Me

Life Lesson #1: When going to the zoo on a perfectly sunny Spring day, make sure to A: wear sunscreen and B: Don't wear jewelry that is going to leave a tan line. Mrs Thunder, you should have learned this lesson from the countless times your husband was wearing a dew rag and had a tan line across his forehead. ( Can you guess which necklace gave me this mark? hint: it's somewhere on this blog. Mrs Blocko isn't allowed to guess as she and hers were with that day)

Life Lesson #2: Crafting is to be done sitting upright in a chair and never ever on the floor, especially for an extended length of time. It is really silly to do crafts on the floor if one does not like to sit on the floor to begin with, let alone for the time it takes to make a super duper long necklace. Please make sure not to sit on the floor while doing crafts ( I mean you Mrs Thunder).
Listening To: Machine Head - Beautiful Mourning, The Blackening

Monday, April 20, 2009

Time Out for a Great Cause

Hey everyone, just a quick note to point out one of the links I have on my blog. All of my links are great, but one is for a great cause. Please check out to see what a friend of mine is participating in, and make sure to support her at

I am more than happy to help out where I can, so if you are in a fundraiser, walking for a cause, etc, please feel free to send me a message with the info and I will post it here :D

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Artsy or Fartsy?

Things have been rolling fast for me since I went to the lawyer. I'm waiting for a confirmation for , I've been invited to a gem and jewelry show Memorial Day weekend (thanks Om!), I'm looking at a few shows for the fall, I have been getting more compliments and passing out cards, and I finally have a genuine sale on . The gem and jewelry show looks to be promising, but I may have to rethink some of my materials. Although I'm not allergic to using sterling, I certainly can see the value of using affordable materials to reach a wider range of people.

I was on a beading magazine forum for a while, and while I made some nice online friends and found there (Russ is super), I found a large group of Always/Never people. Let me explain what I mean...

Fancy Nancy: I Only use Swarovski crystals and Sterling silver in my work
Snooty Rudy: I Never Ever use pewter spacers, they're cheap
Maddening Martha: I Always make All of my own everything, and if you don't you're lazy

OK, so the names have been grossly exaggerated, but you see what I mean. I ran into that A LOT, where the artisan who didn't use the materials or techniques that were thought appropriate by the always/never crowd were chided. It got so bad in there sometimes that arguments started in one thread spilled over into three or more other threads (like the fight scene in Blazing Saddles). It really gave my poor little ego a blow, and I finally left the forum. I haven't vowed against using precious metals and gemstones, but I do tend to get defensive when I hear someone use always, never, or only when they start talking about their work.

So what is your opinion? Do you appreciate artisans who can recognize the needs of their customers (and their wallets) or do you prefer to have value placed on your jewelry via the materials? In other words, do you dig the jewelry for the look, or for the things it's made of, or a little of both?

Listening to: Ruby - Flippin' the Bird, Salt Peter

Blogger formatting really hates me today ;)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hey Look, It's a Picture!

So other than the contest photo, my posts have been lacking pictures lately. I am happy to say I have remedied this. This is my first chunky chain necklace, and it will go up on etsy very soon. The necklace name is Violet Fire, and I am pleasantly surprised with the end result. I may do more chunky chain necklaces before the trend is over ;)

I am also very excited and wigged out at the same time. I just paid my lawyer to get my business up and running. Wednesday Night Accessories will now be a legitimate company, and I already have an application in for the Port Washington Pirate Festival June 5-7, 2009 I'm also looking at other craft shows/art fairs/street festivals as this is where I have made most of the money (De Monet, De Monet) in the past, face to face. I will continue to sell online, whether it be my own site or through etsy. I've been given some good ideas on how to market bookmarks, thanks Gunda and Aunt Dar, I know what market I have to be super careful with when designing, thanks Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, and thanks to my family and friends who have been encouraging and supportive. Although I'm sounding like I won the Oscars, I am sincere in my thanks. It's so easy to dream and even easier to dismiss those dreams because of scenario A, or situation B, or what if Z. I always say "Don't lie on your deathbed with regrets", now it's time for me to put my money where my mouth is. And I didn't even quote Mel Brooks that time ;)

Listening To: The Doors - Riders on the Storm, The Best of The Doors

Thursday, April 2, 2009

And the Winner is...

Kristie Satterly! Her winning name is The Eye of Spring and was picked by James. Congratulations Kristie and watch for another contest in the summer!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Name That Necklace!

My first contest and I'm so excited! This necklace has told me it needs a name, but I need help coming up with one. From now through March 31st, 2009, name this necklace for a chance to win $25 worth of Wednesday Night Accessories merchandise on my Etsy shop. The winning necklace name will be used to advertise the necklace on Etsy.

Here's how it works - Send me an e mail at with your name and necklace name. I will post here and e mail the winner. Get your jewelry loving friends and family to enter as well, the more the merrier!

Good luck to all! Only one entry per person please :D

Monday, March 23, 2009

Too Legit to Quit

Tuesday I am going to see a small business lawyer/accountant about getting my tax ID back and how to legitimize and protect Wednesday Night Accessories. There is a new act, Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, that seems very strict and complicated, so I will need help wading through the legalese. I am nervous about the whole thing, but very excited at the same time. Even if WNA does not go much further than it is now, at least I don't have to feel like I am being dishonest. I haven't sold a thing on etsy, the one sale that shows up is a trade, but it's more the craft shows I am looking to do that have me hung up, It will feel nice not to worry about what I'm doing wrong, just focus on what I am doing right ;)

Listening To: VNV Nation - Further, Burning Empires

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Size Matters (or does it)

I'm not promoting Godzilla, nor am I hawking Enzyte, although I did have a Bob moment when Portillo's made their jumbo hot dogs even more jumbo (yum). I am trying to figure out as a general rule if women like their necklaces shorter or longer. I personally like them short. My favorite look is a scoop neck blouse and a necklace with a big pendant laying on my chest. Of course I've always loved the turtleneck with the long necklace too, but I don't seem to do well in turtlenecks. So I'm wondering what you ladies are looking for. Are you a long necklace girl, or only in the winter, do you like chokers, princess length, etc? And for the men, when you notice women's jewelry, what do you notice most?

Pictures coming soon, I promise :D

Listening To: Stellamara - Szerelem, The Seven Valleys

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hobby Lobby (and Bankruptcy) Here I Come!

My husband, James, like many of us, is facing lay offs with his company. He may find himself dodging the bullet, under the radar, among the survivors, or whatever phrase you want to use for being able to keep his job. In the meantime, I am trying to gather applications. I say trying as the few places Ive gone to have all said they are out of applications. One such place is Hobby Lobby. This would be my absolute first choice in retail, where I think I can find something faster and I might not have to explain away my 5 year absence from the work force. I'm sure you can guess my problem with working at Hobby Lobby, and that is my potential lack of take home pay. I mean, does a recovering alcoholic take a job as a bartender, does someone that attends gambling addiction meetings choose to live next to the casino?

So would you want to work in an environment where the temptation to spend your paycheck is a reality, or would you be happy enough to have a job you could enjoy and sock your money away like you are supposed to? ;)

Listening To: System of a Down - Radio Video, Mesmerize

Saturday, February 28, 2009

To Trend or Not to Trend, That is the Question

I haven't been creative lately save for the bookmarks, and I have been feeling the drain that it causes. The craft room slowly became a shambles, so I am cleaning it up again in anticipation of working in it. I have girly music on the mp3 player, a cool smelly candle, and diet coke so I'm good to go. Even when I am not crafting, I still watch the jewelry trends, and the one that has caught my eye is lots of big chain. I like the look, but I haven't utilized any chain in my own design. I haven't been drawn to try either. I also know there is at least one woman out there who can't stand the look. I watch channel 9 news in Chicago in the morning and at noon (LOVE them) and naturally I look at what kind of jewelry the women wear, and chains have been a big pat of their accessories. The play their voice mails, and this woman was very harsh with her criticism of the look. I like it, I just can't seem to find the desire to follow trends. I just do what the beads tell me to ;)

What about you? Do you follow trends, whether it be shoes, jewelry, food, etc, do you stick to what you know, or are you your own trend setter?

Listening To: The Cranberries

Monday, February 16, 2009

Inspiration or How the Muse Moves Me

Although I've always loved music, I've never always loved concerts. My uninformed take was "just turn their album up loud and it's the same thing". Then I went to my first rock concert. James took me to a Tori Amos concert long ago, and it was great, but nothing like the Rob Zombie concert I went to with him. I soon started going to concerts with him and a friend of ours regularly, and I can tell you that there is nothing like live music. Real live music, not the pre recorded lip sync stuff. Music is like water to me, it has seeped into every corner, it has found its way into every part of my personality. There have been times that I have gotten a point across better with a song than with words. Music definitely is a part of my creative process.

Have you seen the commercial where a woman walks past a shop window, sees a brooch, and is inspired to go home and make nachos? I have had a couple of moments like that, where I see something and I get an image of a finished necklace based on what I see. Sometimes scent will help an idea along, sometimes a TV show, sometimes a friend's favorite color. I have found that inspiration finds me, and not the other way around. I think I may try an experiment. One day, I will go somewhere, maybe a museum, and search inspiration out for myself instead of letting it come to me. In the meantime, the surest way to get my muse to show is with music.

Listening To: Pink Floyd - Learning To Fly, A Momentary Lapse of Reason

Friday, February 13, 2009

Look Who's in the 21st Century!

Long, long ago in a lifetime far, far away I was pretty savvy when it came to electronics, or at least I thought so. I could figure out how this appliance or that cd player worked with very little if no instruction , and I wasn't afraid of new tech gadgets. Fast forward to the present day. I have a good grasp on computer basics, and I can navigate the internet well (although I still use Yahoo! to browse). It's the new stuff, like blogging, myspace, facebook, that I am hung up on. I do blog now, Captain Obvious said, and I am just now wading in the waters of Facebook. I just don't know where I went from I Can Do It Myself to Hey Honey Can You Come Here A Second. I tried an all out assault on the internet and got so confused I did nothing. Apparently baby steps into social networking is my best bet. Baby steps aren't my forte. Maybe I can find a new patience download. Wonder how much hard drive space patience takes? ;)
Listening To: Oren Lavie - Her Morning Elegance (from The Opposite Side of the Sea)
PS Thank Rudy for spellcheck ;) ( Ask Bill Cosby who Rudy is)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

back to basics

Putting the finishing touches on a bookmark order feels really good. I haven't sat down and put together anything since I had some girlfriends over in November. These are special bookmarks as well. My aunt works with the mentally challenged, and she is really dedicated to her work. I am making these per her request to sell for a fundraiser. She provided the frogs, I am providing the rest, and they should make the center a little money. I also have an order to go out tomorrow. It's overdue but I hope it will be worth the wait.

The road to success is such a slippery steep slope, and I'm not a hiker by any means. I will get there, though. As my oldest friend says, In 2009 Wednesday Night Accessories will shine. She is successful, so she knows what she is talking about ;)

Listening to: Cree Summer - Miss Moon

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Picture Perfect?

I finally have the second photo studio from ThinkGeek. The lighting is brighter as well as both lights work, but the lightbox itself had lots of smudges. Other than that it seems to work well, with a whole lot of this angle and that backdrop, etc. This necklace is one I wear frequently, ad I must admit have gotten a lot of compliments on. I'm a blue girl at heart, but this one works well with a lot of my tops. Please feel free to critique the photo, and give tips and advice. I am very amateur at pictures. The camera and I have a mutual hate relationship if I am in front of the lens, but behind it I am doing OK I think ;)
Listening to: Mozart - Requiem