Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Passing of Time

Hello Everyone!

Today is my birthday. I cannot believe another year whooshed by so fast again.

I look at the passing of time differently each time a birthday arrives. When I turned 30, everyone laughed and told me I could no longer be trusted. -- ha ha.

When I turned 40, I went to bed and stayed there for two days. I WAS DEPRESSED!!! How could Mother Nature pull such a cheap joke on me???? I was getting gray hairs and little crows feet. Ha ha.

When 50 greeted me on my birthday, I took it as a ironic joke. Me, 50?? hahahaha!! My dear sweet mother even bought me an AARP membership just to add flavor to the big joke. What a funny thing. I actually turned 50, and I thought it was hilarious!

I won't tell you how old I am today. Suffice it to say that looking at life from these eyes, which are getting more and more far-sighted, I am so happy to be right where I am! Life is great, even if I have an occasional pain here and there. The Hubster always says, "The Best is yet to come." And I do believe he is right.

As many times as I have laughed or cried at each passing year, life continues to become more enjoyable. The small things are not so important. The bigger things I do with purpose and thoughtfulness. It's what I should have been doing all along. It took me to this age to figure it out. What I look forward to is when I turn 60, and I realize how really smart I've become!

Until next time....Pay it forward, Jill

Friday, November 21, 2008

Freaking Out on a Friday

I have signed myself up for a Holiday Bazaar at a local church. I'm suppose to sell some jewelry. Accck! What did I think I was doing. As much as I adore the process of designing and making jewelry, time for me is so cramped....I barely have time to make my treasured cup of coffee.

The sale is in two weeks...Accck! I have three necklaces and a dozen pairs of earrings and I've got an eight foot table to fill. Aaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!! I'm freaking out!!!

I cannot go empty-handed. I've paid a table fee and everything. My girlfriend, Marj, has an adjoining table. I call her "McGyver of Crafting" as she can take a piece of old chewing gum, a bent coathanger, and a twig from the backyard and make a wreath that sells for $50.00! She's a genius and a legend in the crafting world. I love her but she will not be showing me up come December 5th.

I gripped my pliers steady in my hand and I faced my studio workbench. With determination in my heart and soul I opened up all my creative juices and came up with: Ta-Da. Nothing. Jill -- this cannot be so hard. You've been making jewelry for 25 years. You can do this!

I began opening up all my findings bins and furiously began tossing everything onto the bench. What first caught my eye was a Festoon pendant/connector. Starting with such an elegant little do-dad, how hard can it be to come up with a necklace with this little guy? I need some chain, a few jumprings, some crystals and a rosebud: Hey! I've got a necklace!

This is generally how I end up making jewelry -- in a heat of hurry and desperation. I remember the old days when I'd pull out the necklace board, take time going through bead selection, measuring inches and beads and laying it out all ready to string. Ahh... Those days are gone, at least for now. I design on the fly! Hey, I even made a pair of earrings to match.

So I'm on my way. The pliers are flying, clicking that sweet sound of jumprings snapping into place. I'm up to four necklaces and 13 pair of earrings. I'll be at this all day, but I'll have a table full by the night's end.

Until next time: Pay it forward. -- Jill

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Taking It To the Streets!

Sometimes when work in the office just doesn’t work – we take it to the streets and that’s what Lee Weal of New Jersey has done.

Lee, who just happens to be, like me, in the “late summer of her life,” seems to have done most of it: she’s been a webmaster, an administrative assistant, a parent, a devoted partner to Abel, a doting daughter to an elderly parent, and, now like many, a member of the ranking unemployed. But this has not gotten her down. Oh No!

The Bead Bug bit while Lee was walking through a craft store. Lee has always adored earrings and decided to buy some beads and findings and tried her hand at making some. Abel said to her: “I think I can sell these to friends at work.” Abel was right. She kept making the earrings. Abel kept selling them. One thing led to another and, next thing you know, Lee had a business.

She named her business “Five To Nine Designs” because that was the only time she could make jewelry: after work hours. Then the big “BOOM” of being laid off. But that did not slow her down. She purchased a professional tent, took it to the streets and now does street sales, craft events, school sales, church bazaars, and she consigns at BOHEMA, an artisan and vintage boutique in the Philadelphia area. In addition, one of her earring designs was featured in Bead Trends March/April 2008 magazine. Lee also has a website (, and blog (

Lee says her goal is to make money, yes, but her biggest goal is to have fun in the process. “The money is the perk.” she told me in our recent interview. “I want to make money and have an income, but to interact with customers at my booth and enjoy the sales process is really so much fun. It’s what keeps me going.”

Be sure to visit Lee’s blog and see her website I have linked here for you. She is an incredible artist, making a line of unique, OOAK earrings from gemstones, Brass Bouquet vintage-aged brass, sterling silver and other delicious findings!

So -- Who's Next??? Let me write an article about you! I'll give you that 15 minutes of semi-fame you want and deserve! Write me at Tell me about yourself, your jewelry, how you got started. I may just write you and want to do a story about you for my blog. There's a $20.00 gift certificate at the B.B. in it for you!
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and until next time: Pay it Forward. -- Jill