Welcome to Jan's Eclectic-Mix Blog

Greetings, dear readers ~ I am excited to present my detailed Intuitive Forecasts (formerly known as CycleCasts) to this blog! Join me for a guided tour of our journey through life's subtle energies, and stay for my musings on arts and crafts, current events, a little of this and that ~

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sister Grace: My Journal Spread Completes its Evolution

Tah-dah - My "Sister Grace" journal pages are completed!


I began this page spread in January and posted about it last month. The process of building up layers on these pages is fascinating, and since I just happened to have documented it, let's start at the beginning:

The first step was to do freewriting over masking tape:


Next, the first layer of imagery went on. This is what it looked like after the first work session:


Not bad, buuuuttttt.... I needed to integrate the two pages, and my go-to method for that color. And I wanted to cover up images I didn't like, and enhance the ones I did. After some homework, it looked like this:


Better, but it still need more blue on the left page. I alos found some more images that cried out to go into the mix. Once I knew what I wanted, it came together quickly - and here we are, back at the finished page:


I've come to like this spread a lot, though I really don't know what it means! There's a lot going on, indeed, which always intrigues me. The concept of "grace" ties in with the ballet dancer images, and since I fumbled my way through ballet class as a child, I have a resonance there. No matter; I have this image posted on my screen saver, so it gives me a bit of mystery to contemplate as I log on and off. Someday I might figure it out and write another post! For now, I just enjoy, and hope you do, too :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Connected Again!

You might not guess it, but I've been almost totally offline since Friday night, and then my telephone was out for a while last night, too. Bummer! All because I took an offer from Qwest (which I have called Qworst) to upgrade my Internet to the super-duper very most fastest service. And get two months free, which was the real selling point. My finances at this point in time are such that saving 50 bucks on Internet service looks very good, indeed.

So the evening of the day I made this arrangement, my Internet connection started going wonky. Nothing changed except I couldn't get a few critical websites, like Netflix or - brace yourself - LOLcats! Oh, noes! I limped along as best I could, doing essential stuff, but by Sunday withdrawal started setting in ~


I ended up taking my laptop to the library, where it worked perfectly on their public wireless. So that saved me from taking it in to the computer hospital for a virus scan. Nothing to do but tough it out until the Day of the Upgrade, which was yesterday. About 2 pm I couldn't stand it anymore, so I headed out - yes, I took my computer to the library, and got caught up on LOLcats and everything else I was missing. When I noticed I felt much better after an hour-long Internet fix, I knew it: I'm hooked.

Returning home after some errands, it was time to check the upgrade. All the lights on my modem said GO, but when I plugged in, rebooted, and linked up my computer, guess what - same old same old. The instructions did say something about reconfiguring my modem, but when I tried to do it myself - same old same old. Time to call tech support: Oh, noes - my phone is out!!!! Get out the cell phone, which I hardly ever use, call for phone repair, call tech support. 90 minutes or so later - whew, my computer is connected and zipping along with my 7 megs or gigs or whatever speed I have. The tech support lady laughed along with me when I was like, Wowza! at the connections I was getting.

And, the phone repair tech was on the job first thing this morning. It took some doing, but everything is copacetic now, and I have both my phone going and my Internet working. So I feel like I'm part of the world again ~


image by Randall Munroe via wikimedia.org

Disclosure: To fully depict my Internet-sphere from the above picture, you'd have to replace "MySpace" with Etsy-HuffPost since those are the biggest chunks of forum time I waste, er, spend. Put Facebook where "Friendster" is on the map; that's about right for me. There's no Twitter on the map, which is okay because I don't use it; but there's no LOLcats, either, and that's a big oversight :) But you get the ides. And since I was able to get YouTube during my enforced time-out, I was fairly well surfing that gulf!


Another disclosure: I stopped with the "Qworst" a long time ago, and even with this recent glitch, I'm not going back there. Let's face it, the Internet is complicated! The folks who came on board to help me out with this swtichover really did the job. And if all their customers are irate like me when I called tech support last night, it's job I sure wouldn't want. So thanks, Qwest, for the service - and I hope I don't have to call you again for a long, long time!

Monday, March 15, 2010

BEST of the week: Anastasija of lightkeeping

How fitting - for the week that contains St. Patrick's Day, the BEST team's randomizer paired me with our team member living in Ireland! Let me introduce Anastasija, a Russian jewelry-maker living in Cork, Ireland. She is the creative force and owner of lightkeeping, her online shop of beautiful handmade necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. 

In Anastasija's shop, you'll find colorful lampwork, as well as jewelry assembled from Czech glass beads, semi-precious stones and pearls, along with natural elements. In her profile, she states that she really loves making jewelry, and wants her customers to love her purchases. This is really obvious when you take a look at this sample of her wares:
.
Green and Violet Lampwork Bracelet - so perfect for spring!
.
.
Teal Multicolored Glass Teardrop Pendant - one of my favorites, because I love these colors!
.
Shell and Lampwork Necklace - the small beads are made from real shells ,and the flower bead is lampwork - I love the use of natural elements this way! This necklace is on sale, too.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


In addition to BEST, Anastasija is a proud member of European Street Team, Crafty Ireland Team, Russian Artists, and The Lonely Jewelers etsy teams. As you can see, she's quite the team person, and we are very pleased to have her in BEST! She writes a blog at http://lightkeeping.blogspot.com/ which she subtitles "All Things Beautiful." On her profile she lists many interests, along with lots of favorite movies, books, and music. I'm going back to follow her blog and learn more about this fascinating and well-rounded person! She also shares her latest news, updates, and discounts at http://twitter.com/lightkeeping.

So, as I sign off, let's all wish  Anastasija many sales, a happy St. Patrick's Day, and top o' the mornin' to you! And readers, if you've featured another artist in a recent blog post, be sure to sign in with the McLinky so we can all follow these wonderful features!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Zazzling Pattern Designs on My Zazzle!

I have figured out a way to use my Picasa photo-editing software to make patterns! Take a look at these, dear reader: Here's one my designs, called Wild Flower. It started out as a simple sketch-like figure, shown here on a notecard:
.
.
Then I cropped the flower into a square, made 12 copies, put it all together in a photocollage, played with the background a bit, and voila - it's now my Wild Flower Pattern. It's shown here on a mousepad:
.
.
The whole reason for doing this - the initial inspiration - was to make a patterned shoe, to enter into Zazzle's current Shoe Design contest. Wish me luck!
.
.
I even put the pattern on a skateboard! It's nice having the big file sizes that the photocollage gives you, to fill up big surfaces like skateboards.
.


.
Thanks for looking - but that's not all. You should click the next link and see the necktie I made with this pattern! I just love the way the yellow and purple colors seem to swirl along the necktie. I wonder, is there a man out there brave enough to wear it? And is he single? ;)


Friday, March 12, 2010

Notable Quote: On wasting resources


Here's what happened when, sitting on the floor with the remains of my  life spread around me, I looked into the black plastic bags: I thought about how I found it hard to spend enough time with my little girl, or my wife, or my friends, and I realized that I had been scratching out a living doing work that didn't truly motivate me, and it occurred to me that what I was paying for with my time and money is stuff that I would be throwing away in ten minutes.

My grandparents' no-waste rules seemed pointless when I was young. You shouldn't this. You shouldn't that. And for the sake of ... what? Piety? Sanctimony? But something about their intention not to waste and their emphasis on cultivating gratitude - Depression-era thoughts or not - seems connected to making time to watch the sunset and the chipmunks.

You sit down with your trash and you see your life laid before you on the floor, you see what an archaeologist would see when he studies your life a thousand years from now, and you wonder: If life begets life and death begets death, does waste beget waste? If my life begets waste, what does that say about my life? Is a waste of resources a sign of waste of life?

Colin Beavan, No Impact Man  posted 3.12.10

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

BEST of the week: clevercrafter


As a proud member of the new Boosting Etsy Shops Team, it's my pleasure to introduce a new team member to you every week. Without further ado, let me present this week's featured Booster: She goes by the name of clevercrafter, and she hails from Lansing, Michigan. What a small world - way, way back in the day, I spent my first two years of college at Michigan State!

Clevercrafter describes herself as "over-excited" with crafting habits that tend to get out of control - now there's a woman I can related to! She's turned her admitted crafting addiction into a nice little business, offering her products at very reasonable prices through her clevercrafter etsy shop. Here's just a sample of the creative goodies that await you:


Button bracelets (I just love these!)


Beaded Jewelry (very nicely done!)


Guitar pick earrings (too cool!)

Clevercrafter also keep a blog of her doings, so you can follow her at Clever's Corner. She reveals that she's a Pisces, and in fact, she just had a birthday. And I also see that she's a fan of LOLcats (I am, too;), so I'll close with an LOLcat wish, and hope that your birthday was:


And now I'd like you, my dear readers, to add your links to the McLinkey posted below. Just click & follow the simple instructions. It won't bite, I promise! Any fellow BEST members reading this, why don't you post your team-feature link and start the title with BEST so we can find each other :)


Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Word Doctor is IN!

Yes, I'm putting on another hat :)

Some years ago, between quitting my regular job and doing what I do now, I spent 6 years self-employed as a freelance writer, editor, resume preparer, critique giver - all things word-related. I did fairly well financially, but somehow it lost its appeal for me and I segued into the metaphysical blend and then into entrepreneurial artisanship - both of which I continue to employ now. And hopefully always will - may it continue!

Yet I never totally lost the word-smithing ability. Recently it's been calling out to me, and following a sudden brainstorm last week, I decided to open a second Etsy shop:


That was something I said I'd never do again! But I had the brainstorm on Tuesday afternoon, and I couldn't help myself: By bedtime I had drafted listings for my items, and designed the banner (above) and avatar ~


The graphics made it so real, I couldn't turn back! Don't they look great? Btw, I got the typewriter & handwriting images from *TheGraphicsFairy*, a great source for free vintage graphics. Thanks, Karen, for posting this great image blog!

So what does TheWordDoctor do? I offer writing solutions for your online store - I'll help you with writing your product listing and shop policies. Think about it - your online store is your showroom to world. What else do prospective buyers have to go on, but your pictures and your words? There's a lot said and written about taking good pictures, but not so much about the words - which I maintain are (at least) half of what gives your potential customers the confidence to actually cart and BUY your products!

Yet I haven't heard from anybody who actually likes to write item descriptions! (Well, I do :) No more worries, fellow Etsians and other online sellers - The Word Doctor is here to help you! I have three product lines to meet your needs and budget:

DIY Checklists ~ These highly affordable guides give you worksheets to organize and identify everything you'll need to know about your item BEFORE you sit down at the computer to post the listing. No more freezing up while you stare at a blank screen! There's also a checklist for your shop profile, policies, and announcements.

Critiques ~ A critique is a professional review with suggestions for improvement. We all know the critique forums in Etsy, and God bless the generous folks who help out there. But not everyone wants to expose themselves to the merciless public glare of a forum - and besides, how many commenters will just say something generically nice there, without being really helpful? My critiques are private, professional, and empowering. I offer critiques for your item listings, shop policies, and your blog, too.

Writing Service ~ Here's the ultimate help for your store: I will write your listings and shop set-up materials for you! I even have a premium package that combines both.

So, there you have it. TheWordDoctor is IN - How may I help you?


Friday, March 5, 2010

Notable Quote: Spirits of the Ancestors


When we talk about connecting with spirits of the ancestors, many people assume that we refer to our own direct ancestors. But this is difficult. Many of us don't even know our grandfathers. There is such a thing as the pool of ancestors - it doesn't have to be a person or spirit we know or can imagine. It can be the tree out there. It can be the cows out there, your dog or cat at home. Your great-great-grandfather who died many generations ago may have joined a great ensemble of spirits to the point where you can't even identify him. He's probably the creek running down over there.

So what is important is to realize that any person who has lost the physical body is a potential ancestor. And by simply expressing your longing for the support of ancestors, you will attract a lot of spirits.

When you start a ritual where you need their support, if you address them simply as spirits or ancestors, maybe even say, "the ones who I know, and the ones who I don't know, and the ones who know me more than I don't know myself," you are tapping into the ancestral power out there, and you are not beginning with confusion as to whether, in the pool of ancestors, there is a spirit out there that you can identify with.

Sobonfu Some, The Spirit of Intimacy

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Jester: March 2010 Energy

We have begun the merry month of March, dear readers, and the prevailing energy this time around is The Jester ~ 
.
.
The Jester is one who expresses him or herself with humor, is candid and truthful, and can even be a little embarrassing at times. It all goes with speaking truth to power - so if you've ever wanted to stand up and say your piece, this is the month to do it. Just be sure to lighten your message a few laughs, and accept the pratfalls that come with the territory. Stand up, shake it off, and move on. The Jester's nearest neighbors on the Star+Gate
pattern are:

The Water ~ a condition of being fluid, open, cleansing, and (if you're not careful) swept away.
The Circle ~ the gift of being able to participate in groups and create unity.
The Robe ~ The challenge of how we integrate the different roles we play out in our lives; developing our specializations, and creating individuality.
The Duck ~ being able to waddle through life with humor, naturalness, and going with the grain.
The Chair ~ the gift of positioning ourselves; ability to organize and evaluate.

A major theme for this month is self-expression: refining what we express, and our need to both show creativity and receive validation and praise. As we claim our own inherent authority and power, we naturally evolve into the expression of service in Spirit to others. This is a good time to access healing qualities, and develop a refined sense of perception, so we won't be easily fooled. These energies peak in the last week of March, culminating (appropriately for the Jester) on April Fool's day!

Coming up: The Spring Equinox arrives on March 20, dear readers, and I'll be preparing the first CycleCast of my new subscription series to cover the span from the Equinox to May 1st! Subscriptions are just $10 for a year of forecasts, which includes 8 cross-quarterly time periods plus the Mercury Retrogrades. Subscriptions for an entire Year of Forecasts may be purchased through my Etsy shop - use the link I just gave to go directly to the listing. Don't be left out - order yours  by March 18 to be sure of getting the Spring Equinox forecast!

Monday, March 1, 2010

MissPrettyPerfect ~ Etsy Blogger of the Week!

I'm in a brand-new Etsy team - EBST or Etsy Bloggers Street Team! We're joining hands across the Internet to support each other, by blogging or otherwise highlighting each other on our blogs, Facebooks, and so on. It's a nice way to join forces, break the isolation, and make new friends. Each week we draw a different team member to blog about. This is my first week, and I drew one of the founders of the team - MissPrettyPerfect, herself. Join with me on a tour of her wonderful shop:

Based in Charlotte, NC, the force behind MissPrettyPerfect is La Toya, and she's a graduate of not one but two fashion design schools - including the renowned Parsons School of Design in New York. After graduating, she spent 5 years learning the ropes at a private-label handbag designer whose products sell in upscale stores. La Toya returned to North Carolina in 2002, and launched her own brand of handbags, the MissPrettyPerfect line.

La Toya's handbags, ranging in size from wristlets and clutches to the larger hobos and tote bags, are made in mouthwatering combinations of upholstery fabrics and leather. Many of her listings are custom orders, so you can select the color combinations that match your wardrobe, or otherwise strike your fancy. I have no doubt that the recipient of one of these fabulous bags will be a very lucky woman, indeed! Here's a sample:

.
.
La Toya also notes that she's adding a line of clothing to her shop. She has one clothing item so far, and I absolutely drooled over it. It's this Indian Princess Blouse, made to order:
.
.
I hope you'll enjoy a visit to La Toya's shop - and be sure to tell her I sent you ;) Here are other ways to get in touch with La Toya of MissPrettyPerfect:

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin