Sunday, June 26, 2005
While at Target, I picked up a glass baking dish to fire my sculptures in and I also picked up all kinds of little nail, eye, and dental tools for sculpting work. I should be in business now to begin my first Nymph sculpture.
Then I headed back to Sears to get my mower and just got home with her. I've named her GEORGIE...:) Georgie and I went a few rounds around the yard and she also does an awesome job for a simple little push mower. Now I'm cooling off with a glass of iced tea and enjoying the rest of my afternoon.
One person I've been studying is Patricia Rose. I plan on ordering her DVD's as soon as I can. She is a true master at sculpting in polymer! One thing I read on her website is this: "The world is an ugly place, we want to escape and are doing it by submerging ourselves in fantasy." That struck home with me, as well as several other things said.
And on her tips page, she gives what I consider to be a valuable small exercise a person can do to "find a style", which is something I've been working on for a while. So I now am working through the exercise she suggests and maybe my style will soon become evident.
Here is the exercise:
Write down on paper a list of all the things you like on one page and all the things you hate on another. Even if you are a negative person, soon the like’s page will be fuller than the dislikes. Write every thought you have down. If you like stainless steel milk trucks, write it down. Or sheeting rain on your window. Then take the list and start to look for things to relate to your dolls and your art. There is a pattern in there, trust me! If nothing else comes of it, you’ll know yourself better and be on your road to finding your tastes and style!
I have to go out this morning and get groceries - I'm also going to stop at Target and pick up some more tools I need to sculpt these tiny figures more accurately. Then after I get home and get the groceries put away it's time to go to Sears and purchase my new lawnmower. Hopefully they have the one I want in stock and it would even be a better blessing if it were on sale! (crossing my fingers!)
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Friday, June 24, 2005
In thinking of about a sculpture AJ and I are going to be working on, I thought of Jim's site and decided to visit again. As usual, I wasn't disappointed in the work!
A couple of my other favorites are Schimm Schimmel and Wyland. I went to the Wyland gallery when I was in Hawaii many moons ago, and I LOVED the place. So peaceful and serene. One of my favorite deceased artists is Georgia O'Keefe. I love her big, bold and beautiful flowers.
It's a hot day here today. Humid and over 90. I hear it's supposed to be 99 degrees in Memphis tomorrow. PHEW! Think I'll stay inside and watch HITCH, the movie I picked up at Blockbuster. It has to be back Sunday. That's the day I go get my new mower! Hooray!
Weight...I still weigh in at 154....so just the one pound lost so far this week. I did the full round of exercises today since my ear is better and I felt better. A couple more pounds and I will be halfway there to my goal weight! Thank God for these thyroid pills - I feel sure they are making the big difference.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Polymer clay is a wonderful thing, especially when doing sculpture work. It's so COOL to take a ball of clay and make it look like something "real". Guess you can tell what's on my mind this week........EARS!
Went to the doc today and $85 later, I have an ALMOST unstopped ear. They irrigated it and I thought it was all okay, but about 3 hours after I got home, I noticed there must still be some wax hanging around in the way, because it still sounds like I'm underwater when I chew. Just sitting here though, I can HEAR AGAIN! You never realize how much you appreciate something such as hearing until it's gone - especially suddenly like that.
I think I'll just stay in the house this summer (going swimming was what caused the wax impaction)...since I have no insurance, I can't afford these doctor bills!
Anyway, I thought some of my visitors might enjoy my ear sculpture. :)
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Corey started his business http://www.marketingtips.com with only $25 and turned it into millions. I am an affiliate of his and have made a few sales in the past of his program. He will be missed by many in the internet community, but it looks like his partner is going to keep on going with things to carry out Corey's vision.
My condolences go out to the family.
Second - my lawnmower has bit the dust. I love that little thing. I could probably fix it, but it has so many little things wrong, by the time I get done replacing the parts and putting the time in it, I could just get a new one. I'm thinking of a Sears Craftsman, very similar to my older model. I just hope it will start easy! My current mower has a one pull start, and it's great!
Third - my ear is stopped up. UGH - went swimming yesterday and I only did two laps and came up out of the water and it felt like I had water in my right ear. So I tried all my normal techniques to shake it out. But it would NOT unstop. I think it must have moved a piece of wax in the way of the canal or something. So I started using those wax softening drops and it has helped somewhat, but it's still not all the way unplugged. GRRRRRR Needless to say, this happened at the beginning of the swim session, so I didn't have a great time at all. :(
And in the middle of all of that.....I've taken on two partners, and we have changed the name of the company to just JAI (Jai Art International)....still located at http://www.michelejanine.com but we have a new logo and a new look to the site. I just got finished getting a bunch of the former items into the sale category. We'll be working more on SCULPTURE pieces now - yes, jewelry too...but very sculptural and also regular sculptures. AJ makes some gorgeous mini roses and her large ones she's made in the past are exquisite. Wish I had photos of them, but they are all sold. She's getting ready to start working on a large one this week, and this one will be on site.
I figured this was a good move...I was getting tired of being all ALONE in this business, and now I don't have to be. I was also getting tired of making these pieces and having no sales of them! So when you visit the site, you'll see the three jewelry lines are gone, and all we have up now is the wearable art category as well as the miniature rose sculptures category (and the ONE SALE category to clear out previous beads and jewelry). We will be adding more categories as soon as we all produce more work...with all of these problems I've run into this week, it might be a little while for me. But AJ is making them roses! AMEN GIRL!
Oh, one piece of sad news. My friend Joe called on Saturday - his grandfather passed away on Friday after a week long hospital stay. He was 86. I didn't make it to the funeral, but my thoughts and prayers were with him and his family on Sunday, the day of the funeral.
So that's my life in a nutshell (which my ear feels like it's in one of those right now!). I hope to report back soon with better news.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
I am eating smaller bits throughout the day, instead of so much at one time. I have had a small portion of tuna fish every day. And I have not been eating my normal cereal (Apple Cinnamon Cheerios) in the morning...for breakfast I have been having a Kelloggs All Bran Brown Sugar Cinnamon bar. These have 130 calories in a bar and it seems to fill me up as much as the cereal (200-220 calorie range).
For exercise, I've pretty much been doing the same things. Walking the same amount as I have been, and doing my abdominal floor exercises every morning. Plus push mowing the yard once a week.
I'm SO RELIEVED my body is finally responding. I'm positive the thyroid caps have a lot to do with it. I feel much better. The only day I seemed to be starving was yesterday...I was so tired for some reason yesterday and was hungry all day. So I ate little bits throughout the day and even splurged and had chips and cheese dip last night. I just KNEW I would gain a pound after that...but I lost a pound! How about that? :) Miracles do exist!
As for my jewelry, nothing seems to be working there. I have several more bead wraps and even a hair wrap (it's SO CUTE!) ready to list, but I don't even feel like taking the photos and putting them up. I haven't had a sale in 2 months. So I'm re-thinking all of that. I still haven't decided on anything, but I'm going to play around with some other projects for a while and see if something else feels better to me. Thank God for polymer clay - it allows me the versatility to create anything I want and in any fashion.
Well, I'm off to get ready and walk to the store to pick up a few things.
Monday, June 13, 2005
I bought a Conair ceramic flat iron, and this stuff called Farouk BioSilk Silk Therapy. That's what the girl told me to get and I decided what the heck...thinking all along, it probably won't work.
I came home with my new goodies and immediately tried the flat iron on this frizzed out mess (and I have really long hair now...so the friz is even more irritating than it used to be!). I'll be darned, but that iron smoothed and flattened my hair beautifully. Of course after being back out in the humidity last night for a good bit, it was all frizzed out again. YUCK!
But then today, I did the whole routine, beginning with a nice hot bath, washing hair and some serious conditioning. Got out of the tub and combed out my hair (ahhhhh it's so smooth and shiny when wet...). Then I put about a dime size dollop of the BioSilk Silk Therapy in my palm, rubbed both hands together and applied this oil to the ends of the hair, and worked my way up just kind of rubbing through the hair, and definitely included the bangs, which are a severe trouble spot (since they are short, they friz worse!).
Then I blow dried my hair, then took the flat iron to it, and it was looking lovely. Then I put about 4 drops of the oil on my palm, rubbed my hands together and gently ran my palms over the entire length of my hair on the sides and back, finishing with the bangs.
Then I went out into our lovely humidity to test it, just KNOWING when I got back home, I'd have the frizzies again. Got home 2 hours later and lo and behold, my hair looked SMOOTH! So I decided to give it a harder test. I went the patio and laid out in the sun. Came in an hour and a half later and immediately went to the mirror to check out these bangs. Sweaty hair, yes, but OMG, those bangs were straight!
So I decided to really do it in, and I changed clothes and did a mile + long walk in the hot hot sunshine. Got home and checked it again...very slight "poofing" of the hair, but it just looks "thicker" than it did before...NOT FRIZZY!
This stuff from Bio Silk is a miracle! If it will do this to my hair in this humidity, and keep it straight (including the bangs), I am definitely going to brag about its magical powers! Now I need to take the girl at the shoe store a free gift for taking the time to be helpful and give me the advice on what I needed. I think I will take her a bead wrap. :)
After this happening today, I'm a firm believer that MIRACLES DO EXIST! :)
First I put 1 bag of iceberg lettuce mix in the big bowl.
Then I add a generous helping of Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning, and stir.
Then I add a little grated parmesean cheese - stir.
I then add Louis Kemp crab delights (the ones cut into chunks already) and stir them in.
Then I cut up fresh tomatoes and add them.
I sprinkle a little more Mrs. Dash and parmesan cheese in for good measure and stir some more.
Then I add seasoned almonds (they have various flavors) by Sunkist and some fresh cut up mushrooms.
Then I add some grated sharp cheddar cheese. Stir it all up, and then on top I put some gourmet croutons, usually cheese and garlic flavor, but I have used other flavors.
Put dressing of choice on (I use honey mustard) and enjoy! It's a great, simple, healthy salad, perfect for summertime. Not to mention, everyone I've served it to loves it! :)
Of course, add in whatever other "goodies" you might want as for vegetables. Sometimes I will also add in the tiny cocktail shrimp too. And pay attention to dressings...my honey mustard dressing is only 80 calories for 2 tablespoons. Whereas the O'Charleys kind they sell in the store is more than twice that in calories!
The Italian flavoring from the spices makes this a really peppy-on-the-tongue dish, encouraging me to drink plenty of water afterwards!
If you like seafood and Italian foods, you'll like this recipe.
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Friday, June 10, 2005
I started working on my weight after my broken foot healed in Feb. February 9 was the actual day I began with changes to my lifestyle. Since then, I have
Cut my food portions in 1/2 (down from 2400-3000 calories per day to 1200-1500 per day)
Cut my drinks with calories in 1/2 or even less
Added 64 ounces (more) of water a day which has since increased to 128 ounces some days more recently
Added 30 minutes of exercise (extra exercise beyond normal daily moving around) a day (7 days a week)
Added 30 more minutes of exercise per day in addition to the above (7 days a week)
Added floor exercise for my abs, legs and arms/chest after the first 2 months...I now do 180 ab exercises, 60 leg exercises, and 30 arms/chest ones every day....7 days a week
Beginning at the first of May, I began mowing the yard once a week - that is an extra 2 hours + of intensive exercise per week.
The results? I have lost 12 pounds in 4 months...an average of only 3 pounds per month. I have only lost 1 inch in the waist and 1 in the gut/hip area over that 4 month period as well.
It seems to me with all the changes I have made to improve my figure, I would have lost more than that. I actually expected to be at my goal weight and shape by now...or almost there. And I'm only 1/3 of the way there...and 3 inches away in my two trouble spots.
I think it's time to look into other solutions. I just don't know what else to do! I can't eat much less...hell, Wednesday of this week I had:
Coffee w/low fat creamer (50)
1 piece of whole wheat toast with a smidgen of strawberry jam (150)
12 triscuit crackers (240)
1 salad with crabmeat, cheese, tomato, lettuce, and honey mustard dressing (normal portion size...nothing over doing it) (300)
3 glasses of sweet tea (300)
128 ounces of water
Total calories = 1,040
How can a person eat much less than that????? The other days (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday) this week I had approx. 1200 calories per day. And yesterday - Thursday...I had (counting the beer I had) 1600 calories.
So in looking back over this analysis, I am doing good on calories and I also exercised every day as listed out above. And I still weigh 158, the same as I weighed on Monday morning. To me, this just doesn't make SENSE. And I've done this before - twice in my life - and those other times everything moved along exceptionally well from making these same lifestyle adjustments. Both other times, I lost 25-30 pounds in 5 months. An average of 5-6 pounds a month, plus I dropped clothing sizes. This time, I am still in the same clothing size as when I started.
I've even been taking the weight loss pills this week that have the green tea extract in them. No change from that either.
I think I need to look into possible thyroid issues. Of course I have no insurance, so a doctor is out. And from what I hear, I really don't want to get on any prescription thyroid meds. So I think I'll look into herbal/natural solutions. Unless someone has some other grand idea?
I am looking at this website: http://inch-aweigh.com/
and I did the calories per day calculation...this is what it is telling me:
You need about 2078 calories during a typical day to maintain your current weight.Remember that this estimate is based on your body weight, height, age, gender, and your average level of activity.Want to lose weight?If you subtract 750 from this figure and consume that amount each day, you should lose one to two pounds a week, as long as you maintain your current activity level and follow a balanced diet. (for me that = 1328 calories and they are saying if I eat that or less, I should lose 1-2 pounds PER WEEK...which is *exactly* what I thought should be happening)
Okay back to my research.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
That's what I just asked myself as I did my evening walk. This black car was coming right toward me, and for a second, I thought about stepping out in front - but then I stopped (obviously). That's not the first time I've had a thought like that. So why do I think about it?
Because I feel like I don't exist.
When you post your newest product TWICE to a list of other jewelry folks (over 600) and you ask for comments...suggestions on a name...etc...and no one responds to you, but they are responding to others who post their new work - you feel like you don't exist. That's the way I felt yesterday - like I'm sitting here in a room full of people who can't even see me. Makes me want to scream and yell and rant, just to say HEY! I'm here too! But then I don't want to appear like a 2 year old throwing a tantrum...although I sure felt like I wanted to throw one. This isn't the first time this has happened either....it has been happening to me since I've been on the net and on mailing lists. It's not just that list either...it happens on most of my lists - with the exception of the one marketing list I'm on of a select few group of people...thank God they act like I exist...or I might have stepped in front of that car.
So...I've signed off most of my lists for a while. No sense in rubbing it in. I figured since no one seems to notice I exist, they won't notice I'm no longer there.
I seem to keep drawing this issue to me with all but a few people (God bless them...they are keeping me alive) who are in my life. There are many people in my "real life" who also don't seem to care one iota...unless they want something from me. Then - amazingly - I suddenly exist!
After my walk - I really wanted to have a beer. Actually, I wanted to have many more than one. But for several reasons, I don't want to have one. One reason is because of the extra calories. One reason is because I know it won't provide the answer and it just kills the pain for a little while...and then it comes back. In order to ensure relief from the pain, a person must keep on drinking...and next thing you know, you're one step away - or are already - an alcoholic. And I really don't want to become an alcoholic. Mainly I don't want to become a "recovering alcoholic"...because the experiences I've had with the people in recovery in my life have not been good. Because I don't exist to them.
I'm one of these people who others seem to come to when they want therapy. I do really good at that (and actually have certifications in certain fields...though I don't practice professionally). But once they don't need my "talk therapy" any more, I no longer exist.
Yet when *I* need therapy or some general "talk therapy" there is no one to talk to but me. And that's okay sometimes, but other times, I really wish there was someone I could talk to here. If I made enough money, I could actually have insurance and possibly go for professional therapy myself, but alas that would require quite a bit of sales, and in that area I only exist to a few customers who unfortunately don't have unlimited funds to keep buying my work.
So my thinking is, maybe someday I'll come up with a great idea which might actually appeal to a lot of people, and I'll actually start making a decent living again. Unfortunately, I don't think that will happen until I figure out why I keep this "I don't exist" energy around me. I know it's MY responsibility and it's something in MY thinking and I could probably tell someone else exactly how to fix this issue in their own life...but I can't seem to tell myself. Probably because I don't believe I'm worthy of existing!
Geez....I might just have to have a beer tonight after all. Thank God for tomorrows...a new day...a new chance...a new attitude perhaps. Lord knows I need that!
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
I wore the orange one (above) today for a short time while I went out and I just *LOVE* the way it feels on. Not to mention the versatility of it. I had it tied several different ways and then finally decided on a way to wear it so it complemented my top well. I am SO EXCITED about this new product! I might try one of these on Just Beads to see how it does.
After reading a few articles, I discovered there is a pill which has an abundance of green tea extract, and I just happen to have these pills here! Wooo hoo! Xenadrine EFX is the name of the pill. I bought them months ago when I first started my adventure to my new body. Took them about 2 weeks and didn't see a bit of weight loss...maybe 1/2 pound in 2 weeks. And remember, in the beginning is when you're supposed to lose the most weight.
Well, I've already determined I screwed up on counting my calories with my iced tea in the beginning 3 months of my adventure. So I decided to try the pills again...took two this morning as directed.
I also upped my water intake tremendously the past 5 days. I've gone from drinking 64 ounces of water a day to 128 or thereabouts. The scale is still weighing me in at 158 though...all that extra water seems to be doing is making me have to visit the facilities more. I've upped my exercising too, so I'm kind of surprised that scale ain't moving. But I'll keep on! I will not give up! Life is an adventure and full of challenges, and I guess this just happens to be one of mine. :)
Off to start my day - got lots more sunflower items to get photographed and put online, plus I have an idea for a bead set using the same pattern, so I'll be working on that today.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
And...it can also be worn as a bracelet:
Or...the scarf removed and replaced with other color scarves:
I think it turned out fantastic for my first ever cane I designed on my own! Whew...a lot of work...but worth it! Now I'm off to get some rest. Until tomorrow....
Monday, June 06, 2005
While my brother was here, I decided to work on this "issue" with the radio. First thing I did was get a new stereo for my office. My others are all 12-15 years old and I thought maybe I'd get better reception with a new system. So I got a little shelf unit with great sounds and 5 disc CD player. But guess what? Still couldn't get Z105.3 in Jackson.
Interestingly enough, this stereo I bought had a way to hook it up to the computer and play music from the computer via the stereo. However, my computer is so old, the software they gave me wouln't work to make the music go from computer to stereo. ARGH!
Then my brother Scott - the technical whiz that he is - decided to hook up an AUX connection from my comptuer to the stereo...and VIOLA! I can now hear Z105.3 IN MY HOUSE! Finally! A weird way to go about it, but it works!
BTW, if you like good pop music with very little commericals, check it out...you too can get it over your computer: http://www.z1053.com/
Over the past couple of years I haven't written much. And although I've been putting in 12 hours a day and all of my thoughts, emotions, plus money into my jewelry business, it's not generating much of a return at all at this point. Which frustrates me, because I like to stay busy, and keep my mind occupied, you know?
But then I thought about it...I've been so serious about getting this business working, I haven't taken much time to PLAY for myself. So I have decided to work on yet another novel - this time not for publication, but for PLAY...ENJOYMENT...FUN. If it ends up being published later, then great...but for now, I just want to disappear into the fantasy of another world, since mine seems to be somewhat blah and non-existent.
So I'd like to introduce Aurora Nights...you are welcome to read along as I work on the novel. I've set it up as a separate blog here: http://auroranights.blogspot.com/
This is a mainstream romantic suspense novel, and probably will have erotic, intense scenes in it...just as a warning for those who do not like to read erotica....and a teaser for those who do. :)
This morning I walked first, then I watered the flowers. Yes that's a shock, I am attempting to keep some flowers alive. :) While my brother was here we planted flowers in the beds and planted a Hibiscus tree as well. I'll take some photos of them soon (shock...they are still alive!) Anyway - watering the flowers is equivalent to lifting weights. How, you ask? Because I fill a 3 gallon pitcher with water and carry it from the water faucet to the beds. I do this 4 times, so that's 4 weight lifting exercises.
Then I swept the driveway. Now I could just buy a new blower. However...all of this modern lawn equipment doesn't promote good exercise, in my opinion. So I'm skipping the blower and sweeping the drive and sidewalks with a BROOM. Talk about good exercise...I just swept 1/2 of the drive and literally had sweat dripping off me!
After that, I jumped rope for about a minute and a half, and then did my abdominal floor exercises and leg lifts. Total of 180 abs moves and 60 leg lifts.
Now I'm taking a break and deciding what to do with the rest of my day. I have a new jewel idea...so I think I will work on that today. I'm still trying to decide whether to go at this idea with polymer clay canes or with a sculpture effect. I'll be making a relatively large bead. I think maybe I should work on the core of the bead first, to make sure the idea will even work. Because in either case (cane or sculpture), the core will have to be there and work correctly. When I get something done, I'll share.
Guess I'd better go eat my 1/2 a bowl of cherrios and get a shower. Later!
Saturday, June 04, 2005
Thursday, June 02, 2005
I thought this would be a fun way to acquire some new customers, as well as get the rest of my work seen. View my Just beads auctions here.
I'm still processing my sunflower cane design in my mind...I haven't started it yet. I did complete a couple more pendants this morning which will be getting fired shortly, and I think they will be pieces #2 and #3 in the YIJ challenge. I'll share them later when they are complete.
Working with polymer is so much fun! I went to a used bookstore here yesterday hoping to find some PC books at a reduced price, but couldn't find a thing. I'm thinking a trip over to Memphis might be in order...only one local bookstore here has a few PC books - another one has only ONE book on the subject. BLAH!
Well, off to either exercise or eat...LOL...tough choice there! C'Ya!