Tuesday, December 11, 2007

So we meet again


Hello again. It's me.

What do you mean you don't remember me?

Anyway, I thought I'd give a brief run down of my activities over the past few months. In September I started my last semester for my M.Ed. (Master's degree in Education). In October I went to a local art fair, which took a lot of preparation. I've been teaching in Mankato quite a bit - a couple weekends a month. In November I applied to the U's Ph.D. program in Sociology. Other than that, I've been mostly working on my final two projects for school. Here's an excerpt from my Professional Objectives statement from my Sociology application explaining the projects:

The two independent projects that I am completing this semester elucidate the direction in learning and research I wish to pursue as a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology. One project, an independent study to complete my certificate program for Talent Development and Gifted Education, focuses on why such a disparate percentage of minorities are present and successful in Gifted and Talented programs. While it is primarily an extensive literature review helping me define the state of the question, my synthesis of the literature suggests that, by developing cost-effective web-based multimedia to help teachers differentiate education more efficiently, it is possible to increase expectations and achievement for each student. Hence, teachers and parents will have better data with which to measure potential gifts and talents, and students will become better prepared for further academic rigor in whatever form it takes. What my analysis of the literature reveals is that education decisions are more grounded within psychological than sociological data, even when examining differences that have a strong correlation with race or socioeconomic status. Sociological investigation would help educators better understand what success looks like to these students, what tools they lack yet need to achieve success, and how to connect with these students in a more holistic way.

Other than that, let's just pretend I've been traveling ...










Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New Research and Interesting Finds


Information- and enlightenment-wise, the last two days have been very exciting for me. Once in a blue-moon-ago I found a podcast in the iTunes library from MAKE magazine about how to ... er ... make things. Yesterday, after attempting some product research and a web-related effort to make one of the project pdfs available to my electronic-engineer-brother, I started browsing over the MAKE site http://makezine.com/ and HOLY COW, is it SWEEEEEET! What's more, in the spirit of sharing information that they embrace, they also had several links to other amazing artists and engineers. Oh, the fulfilling flury of frontal-lobe-stimulating words and images. I was swept away.

Words are both too much and not enough to describe the experience of my recent web-browsing, so with annotations to let you know how I was led through this landscape of learning, I'll let you browse some of these exciting links yourself.

  • MAKE Magazine
    On just the page of this link alone you'll find links and project ideas for a GPS logger, uses for a vibration motor and PSP touch screen and newly-reduced-in-price accelerometers, USB wall charger, Cyclean - the pedal-powered washing machine, and plush irradiated sirloin (microcontroller nightlight), and MORE!

    There are some great links ahead, but this might be one of the greatest web-finds of my life! Truly, there is something for everyone on this site, the whole spectrum from crafty to truly techno-dweeby.

    In one of the many links available at this site I was led to a Boston Globe article about a philosophical/artistic movement called Steampunk. If you remember the Will Smith movie "Wild, Wild West", then you've seen it - truly modern inventions done to look or behave as if they are fresh out of the 1820s. That led me to other wonderful pages ...

  • Datamancer, AKA Rich "Doc" Nagy has fabricated a number of wonderful old-timey-looking objects some of which look to become available for purchase in the near future. Definately a very interesting renaissance man. A friend of his is ...
  • Jake von Slatt of the Steampunk workshop. On this website, he actually shows you how he makes things, which led me to ...
  • Cedric Green and GREEN PRINTS: etching metal without acid. This website actually brought me full circle as I had spent most of the morning yesterday looking for a supplier of Ferric Chloride to etch copper and bronze for some pendants I wanted to try. It was my frustration with not being able to find a vendor locally, since anyone who had to ship needed to charge an additional $20-25 HazMat fee, and I needed a mental break and decided to check the MAKE magazine link from the pdfs I uploaded for my brother ...

    It's so interesting the way some things turn out; the way that unexpected things are very much related!
  • Tuesday, August 14, 2007

    Teaching Craft Classes


    Teaching a new class is always a learning experience for me. The hardest part is remembering, often after the first unsuccessful attempt to explain something, everyone is at different places in their knowledge of craft techniques and, partially because of that, have different abilities to acquire new knowledge quickly. These classes are being offered on the premise that the students in the class will learn a technique more quickly by seeing how something is done rather than reading about it. I do, of course, have detailed class handouts with text and images that I ask the students to read over before we start - to prime the pump, so to speak - but sometimes it turns out the technique is so out of the experience of some students that none of it sinks in. This, in turn, makes the demonstration a more critical component of their learning process. There are some things, unfortunately, that are very difficult to show. Other things, so seemingly obvious to me - things I didn't anticipate having to explain, require backtracking and demonstration before we can move on to the main project. Strangely, my students always tell me they had a great class and learn a lot. But my experiences in my last two classes made me wonder whether they were just being kind.

    I should first explain that I teach classes in a bead/accessory/clothing/gift store about an hour-and-a-half away from my home. I write up class proposals with a draft of the class instructions and submit them to the owner. The owner schedules the classes and purchases the materials I listed in the class proposal.

    Two Saturdays ago I taught my first torch soldering class. (before this point I had primarily taught projects requiring a kiln). It went well - in that by the end of class everyone had successfully soldered some joints, most people finished their projects, and everyone reported learning a lot.

    With soldering, it is crucial that the joints in question touch as completely as possible. This project required making our own rings out of copper. You wind the wire around a dowel, remove the coil, then cut the rings. Once you cut the rings the ends are a wire-width apart since they were once part of a coil. To close the gap you (just) need to grasp the ends and apply some pressure to the ends in the opposite directions.

    While this may not be something that is common knowledge, it is perhaps the first thing that anyone making jewelry should learn. It turned out there were some students in the class that had never made any jewelry. After approximately fifteen minutes of unsuccessfully soldering joints the students asked for my help. Because they had been applying heat to the metal, it had expanded, and the joints were no longer anywhere in the vicinity of touching. This meant that making the ends touch required even more finesse than usual and required much more explanation than how to (simply) close a new jump ring. We got through the hurdle, but it made me stop and think about other basic techniques that were integral to the project that didn't even occur to me as necessary to explain.

    Last night I was teaching a class on the Byzantine Weave.

    This is another jump ring project. After my experience with the soldering class I felt compelled to explain closing and opening jump rings. The image above was, in fact, a part of the directions this time. Of course, this time everyone laughed that I felt I needed to explain that.

    I am a licensed 5-12 Social Studies teacher and am a project away from completing my M.Ed. For all of my classwork (in which I did very well), I still feel like there are a million things to learn about teaching. Perhaps I'm worrying too much. The students do genuinely seem to enjoy the classes and come back for more. They leave with projects well-started, if not finished. Yet, they pay me to facilitate their learning of something new and I feel I owe it to them to make it as simple and painless as possible. Is that silly? Should I be able to anticipate their any learning need? Is it enough to provide basic information verbally? Should I have everything available on a handout? Should I have prerequisite skills in the class blurb, or rely on the staff registering students to gauge student readiness for the class?

    Perhaps, in the end, lack of perfection as a craft teacher instills more confidence in the student's own lack of perfection in technique. If the teacher isn't perfect at everything, but can improve with practice and thought, maybe the student can do the same.

    Tuesday, July 24, 2007

    Bead Stores


    Today I made a jaunt to my nearest bead store in Osseo, MN. I needed some 18 and 20 gauge craft wire for some mock-ups I want to make (trial-and-error projects). To be honest, this store has a lot of supplies other than beads, but their stock and prices aren't really competitive with my online sources. The only advantage is that I can get something I want the day I want it ... if they have it.

    In this case I was looking for at least 40yards of wire for my projects. They didn't have it. The most they had was 4 yards of 18 gauge and 6 yards of 20 gauge (the bigger the number the finer the wire. 18 gauge is about the thickness of a toothpick, maybe slightly less.) I bought a 6"x6" sheet of, what I believe is, aluminum (its composition wasn't labeled) for less than $3. The two packs of wire were a little more than $4 each (more than I wanted to pay, but I needed it. I got a really good deal on a sterling silver charm of the Eiffel Tower for less than $4 (less than eBay). So, over all, I was happy with my finds.

    What I am not happy with is the lack of a local store I can go to to look at some really innovative materials, I don't know, like wire mesh, a variety of metals in wire, sheet, and tube form that I could shape, form, and embellish to my heart's content; different paints, glues, finishing agents like acid; fibers of different shapes, colors, and textures. A place where I could have the opportunity, perhaps, to have some workbench time to workshop with other artists. A place with an impressive and inspiring variety of examples and projects that would make the most accomplished artist stop and take a moment to process, admire - not just things someone could look at any of the projects for 3 seconds and understand completely how to construct because (s)he had been doing that and more for ages. Someplace Sean could go, too, and not become insanely bored in less than two minutes.

    Local stores are good for different things. Some for prices, some for variety of materials, some for specific materials. Is there someone that can do it all? With so many bead stores closing in the Twin Cities (SO many!) - where are the innovations in the existing stores to prevent their downfall? Do they truly believe if the others close that their customers will just come to them? With the increasing availability of internet vendors, that is not a logical assumption. In fact, there is are really wonderful vendors in my links section that demonstrate there are already sources with great prices and selection. Again, one must really exploit the advantages of a local brick and mortar store such as making everything a jeweler could dream of available at one location, to be able to touch, feel, and imagine wonderful things. To make the trip to the store worthwhile for people from everywhere in the region.

    You see, my five year plan is to open a bead shop of my own. Trying as I can to be innovative, to shop around and get the most for my money, to play with traditional and unique materials in new and unexpected ways, to expand my boundaries, I want my store to embody that. It may be selfishness on some levels - wanting to get a really good price on the materials I want to use in my designs. However, I also want to inspire people to expand their boundaries. The best online vendors have pretty expensive shipping and you have to purchase a lot to make it worthwhile - so if I have a more broad selection, If I have people with expertise available for advice and conversation, I could still compete. More than the financial rewards, however, I want to do my part in reminding people of the power and viability of living as an artist, the spiritual, intellectual, and emotional renewal that it offers one and all. I want people to know the power of holding a hammer in hand and know they have more than one option for the nail they have in front of them and have the opportunity to give creativity a chance. Once you are given a glimpse outside of the box, no matter how creatively challenged one might feel, it will become easier to see the possibilities - not just for metal, glass, wood, fiber, but for the world. This is what a bead store should do. This is my dream.



    Wednesday, July 11, 2007

    Geez, I'm AMAZING!


    So, today has been a busy day. I've been making beads, doing logistics - figuring out supply amounts and costs for upcoming classes, writing class handouts for new classes, polishing up my web page, pondering ideas for a book on the applied psychology of similarities and differences that I started outlining, took photos of Sean for his passport application ... and it hit me: Geez, I'm totally and completely amazing. So, why haven't I put a harness on this raw talent and ambition to conquer the known universe ... or at least this corner of Minneapolis?

    Since I have heard that making a plan public can help you stick to it, I will share my little plan for world domination here with my loyal readership. It might botch the whole advantage of surprise, but I'm confident, should that happen, that my overwhelming charm and intelligence will steamroller any incident obstacles.

    Step One: Taking Over The Neighborhood.
    Sean and I live in a little rental townhome community in the "rough" part of Plymouth. It's like we're a little camp of gypsy vagrants camped in the courtyard of princes. Don't get me wrong, these are nice people, but their children ... now that they are free of school with parents at work ... Ugh! These kids scare me. They break each others' cell phones and launch firecrackers off of people's cars. Let's forget about step one until we have more resources and gloves.

    Step Two: Community Action!
    Actually ... as I try to ponder possibilities like buying off the local community advisory board, distributing propaganda around local community centers, buying a professional wrestler and a construction crane, my mind is wondering off to the cool fruity iced tea I have in the refrigerator. Oh, sweet, peachy tea!

    Step Three: Hire Nicaraguan Freedom Fighters
    When in doubt, bring in the mercenaries. I'm not sure what the target will be yet, but I feel strongly that paying some third-world hard-working people a living wage with some benefits is the right thing to do. It's time to make the world economy global!

    Hum ... Other than the slight lack of continuity and breadth of vision that may be indicative of my lack of world (or city) power to date, I think it's a great start. If nothing else, I'll have the freedom fighters stage a cage match with the wrestler in a crane-suspended ring of some sort and the people will embrace me for my deep understanding of popular culture. How's that sound?

    Tuesday, June 19, 2007

    My Hot Boy Sean


    Having previously discussed my finances several times in this blog, I think it’s only fair at this point to answer the question “Aren’t you married and doesn’t he have a job?”

    Well, “Yes indeedy” to both. In fact, my darling husband is a successful software developer at a company called Open Access Technology International, just a few miles away from where we live. The main problem is my own overwhelming desire to avoid this “real world” that everyone is always complaining about. After all, if it sucks so much, why bother if you have any other options at all? But, that’s just me. The only problem is that it doesn’t pay quite as well as many (but not all) “real-world” jobs, which seems like such a paltry detail … except that rent and utilities in Plymouth aren’t inexpensive.

    I should also make clear, so that I don’t have to sleep in the spare bedroom, that Sean is a software developer (or software engineer), and NOT a programmer. Programmers, who can work with a two-year degree, apparently have an aptitude somewhere in-between trained monkeys and retarded monkeys. (Sean also informs me that I’ll probably get in trouble with saying “retarded,” but that’s an official psychological term for very-low IQ, so I’m sticking to my guns.) I, for one, cannot program like monkeys at all. My programming skills (other than for web-related purposes) are more like those of a dead rat – a smelly one.

    Since I’m on my Soap Box of Praise, I should also list Sean’s other sterling qualities. He is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, two section tests and a year away from his second-degree belt. He can also play video games like nobody’s business. (Bleed FF12 monster, bleed!) He hardly ever beats children or animals (translation of sarcasm: he’s uber-amazing with them). He knows the band/singer of almost any song on “good” radio stations (Drive 105 or 93X) after a ridiculously few number of notes. He can also quickly deduce complex conclusions from an amazingly little amount of information, usually on topics that took my classmates and I several class periods to discuss. He makes up wonderful words combining two banal words, creating such classics as “fun-tastic,” “food-tastic,” and “sun-tacular.” (Just kidding, he really does do that, but those lame examples are my own.) He will also watch “girl-movies” with me; he’s such a sweetheart! Plus, he’s totally hot, and he doesn’t force me to get a “real” job, supporting me in my jewelry-/teaching-related efforts.

    Just so you aren’t too jealous, I’ll also mention some of his shortcomings. He has very soft and girly feet for a boy in TKD. He says he’s going to make me get a pedicure so I don’t make him look so bad. (It’s not my fault he has to wear shoes all day.) He also does not process information visually, which means that I (with my tenuous grasp of left and right) am the navigator when driving if we want to make it home alive. He won’t wear the jewelry I make unless he can wear it like a tiara. And, lastly, he thinks (“knows”, he asserts) that I’m a bad person. Well, that may be the case, but I don’t know why he thinks I need reminding. One should embrace one’s gifts. I wonder if I should tell him that it takes one to know one?

    In conclusion, I have a totally great boy who keeps us out of debtors prison when my hard work does not earn immediate economic benefits (even if he does have pretty feet).

    Monday, June 18, 2007

    Finances and Kittens


    In my previous entry (two months ago) I discussed the economics of bidding on eBay. It presents an appropriate segue into today's discussion.


    As the one person who checks this blog noticed, my server was down for about a month. For the past few weeks I have been low on funds, having just finished finals (and not having had time to substitute teach, or put anything on eBay) so I found myself needing to assign priorities to a pile of financial desicions regarding my business.

    Server People: "Muwah wah var ruh tummh scurrp."
    Julie: "Yes, I'm aware that my yearly server subscription just expired."
    Server People: "Puuuurh carh furt dong."
    Julie: "Ah. I see. You shut off access to my site. The 'Forbidden' is quite daunting!"
    Server People: "Yuxx miam purt fewd fawl."
    Julie: "Can I pay you in kittens or cardboard?"

    As you may guess, the present economy has a slight bias toward paper currency, not kittens or cardboard, so I was forced to let my subscription lapse for a bit. I think they just hate kittens. As important as reinstating my website was (and eliminating that very scary 'Forbidden'), unfortunately I also have a dirty little desire called indoor plumbing that seemed slightly more pressing at the time. I need cuter kittens.


    Yesterday evening I put another beadbox of orphans on eBay, starting at $100. Within 12 hours it received its first bid. Hooray. With about four-and-a-half days left it just has one person watching the auction, but $100 keeps us out of the poor house for another day. At least we don't have to feed those ugly kittens anymore.

    P.S. We don't actually have kittens. I'm sure they would have saved me if we did.

    Sunday, April 8, 2007

    The economics of bidding on eBay


    I sell glass beads I've made on eBay. I'm sure that's a point that anyone who might be reading this blog might know, but the point I want to discuss today is related.


    BACKGROUND:

    About three days ago I placed a set of "orphan" beads for auction. In the eBay lampworking world, the keyword "orphans" means a large set of random beads. Compared to some beads which can sell for ... an unlimited amount per bead depending on the artist, demand, size, color, and such, orphans beads normally end up being sold for approximately $1 per bead - a steal in the lampworking world.


    THE POINT:

    On eBay, in which sellers have the option of selling items off to the highest bidder, there is an option where you can enter a bid for the highest amount you are willing to pay for a set of beads. The bid does not automatically go to that value, but will trump the bid of anyone else that comes by and bids less than your total amount. The rules of economics that are at play here are what interest me. As I've said, normally, these orphan sets sell for approximately one dollar per bead. In this case I'm selling 197 beads in a renovated cigar "bead box" that holds the lot. The total retail price is $580. I doubt I'll get $580. In fact, at this point with 1 day and 22 hours and 30 minutes to go, the bids are only up to $48.77. Several of the people who have bid have bid more than once and have, indeed, entered a "highest" price that they subsequently raised by re-bidding.

    I understand the short-term economics at work here ... sort of. The value, to the customers of this kind of item, is contingent on the demand for that object. The aggregate demand, as stated over and over, suggests quite a higher "highest bid" than the highest bid these customers have been entering. However, it is almost as if they are hoping, perhaps, by bidding so low, others will be convinced not to bid, thus keeping the price low; saying, so to speak, "I don't really care about these and neither should you." This notion of bids and competition on eBay is very intriguing to me. I'm sure there's an official economic theory behind it and if you know what it is I'd love to understand. But, for now, I'm mostly just befuddled.

    Sunday, March 18, 2007

    Today I Made Beads


    I wish I could tell you the last time I had time to sit down and make beads. It was at least two weeks ago, despite the fact that this previous week was my "Spring Break" from school - which was, instead, filled with compositions of cover letters, resume editing, searching for job postings, and subbing at Wayzata Central Middle School ... 'cause, you know, we need to eat, and stuff.

    Sean looks at our bank account in disappointment, like I enjoy being poor; not that I blame him, but I feel the frustration, too! At least he has time to play video games when he's not at work. I'm always working, studying, trying to pay some attention to Sean ... So, today, I made beads. I wish I could say it was a joyous occasion, given the lapse in time it's been. Instead, it was a reminder that, apparently, no matter how hard I work, it's not enough. There are days I question my dismissal of living as a hermit more than others. The harder one strives to break away from social constraints, like the dreary life of a 9-5 job for 50 weeks out of the year with someone telling you what to do, the more the invisible hand of the masses pushes it into your face as if to say "you think you can live your dream of enjoying the thing that earns you money? Think again!" The 9-5 doesn't look more appealing, quite yet. I'm certain I would begin some very anti-social behavior in short order. However, my frustration with the financial success of others with their comparatively less effort and ambition, compared to my poverty with great efforts to the contrary, is beginning to wear on me.

    So, if anyone has any thoughts of bitterness they wish to share ...

    Sunday, March 4, 2007

    The Dormant Blog


    Humm ... I'm not very good at keeping up with this, am I? My good friend, let's call him Andre (again, protecting the names of the innocent) an impressively intelligent Ph.D. candidate in his final year at Ohio State, has brought this to my attention. At least I can legitimately argue that I'm consistently bad in all forms of electronic communication :)

    So, what has kept me from posting? School mostly. Trying to create and gather the items I want to list in my new (but completely empty) eBay store - slightly. Paying attention to my husband - quite a bit. Feeling exhausted - tons. When my mom learned about my blog and read the first posts she said: your readers want to know about your creative process. I wish I could say that it was a mystical combination of meditation, application of visual design theory, and inspiration; mostly it's the manifestation of frustration and borderline insanity. It's whatever comes out, as the creative process is my release from a cycle of increasing tension in the rest of my life (as well as the more business-related aspects of the creative process). In some small way, by buying my work, one could say that you helped save my life, as each piece is part of ensuring I don't completely abandon myself to the deep end.

    I have a related-but-unrelated point about electrical wiring in rental properties. I recently purchased an oxygen concentrator so I wouldn't have to keep buying tanked oxygen to run my torch. (The torch is to melt the glass rods with which I make my beads, or the small jewelers torch with which I solder sterling silver components.) The concentrator, of course, runs of electricity, as does my kiln. (the kiln is on at 950 degrees F while I make beads, into which I place finished beads, to ensure that stress fractures, caused by too-rapid cooling, do not develop in the beads. When I'm done with a bead-making session, my kiln is programmed to run through an annealing cycle, which eliminates any stress points that developed while I was making the bead.) If I want to make elaborate beads, which is often the case, both the kiln and concentrator need to be running at the same time. I get about an hour, maybe two, before the fuse blows, unless every other item on the circut, including lights, are turned off - impossible when Sean is home or it is getting late, or I need my computer on to check posts for my online classes. Being in a townhome where I cannot rewire has turned the convenience of an oxygen concentrator into an inconvenience, which is extraordinarily frustrating! GrRRRRrRRRRrrrr!

    Finally, today is my half-birthday! For those of you unfamiliar with half-birthdays, it is the day exactly between your last birthday and your next birthday, or the day you get to say you're something-and-a-half-years-old. Happy half-birthday to me! I want my half cake!

    Wednesday, February 7, 2007

    Sean Gavin


    I wouldn’t say that I had any enemies, or archenemies in High School, but I can’t deny that there might have been one or two people that I annoyed in an inchoate, ambiguous sort of way. Let’s call this person Sean Gavin (names of the innocent are changed – though I tend to be rather strict in my definition of innocent). At one point, a mutual friend, let's call him Enrique, asked Sean, “Why do you dislike Julie so much?” and Sean’s reply was, “She’s just so … so … JULIE!”

    Well, I never!

    For me, the most memorable moment was when I was playing Friday afternoon football with the guys. Yes, I was the only girl, and yes, several members of the football team were there, so the boys were hoping for a fairly rigorous game, but so was I. I like the physical challenges football presents: kicking, catching, running, dodging, and twirling, twirling, twirling your way to freedom. Sean Gavin was convinced, however, that I was there to ruin his Friday afternoon football game. Apparently a smoldering rage had been building up because about halfway through the game, after his team had gotten a touch down (I had been in the play on defense), he came up behind me and, literally, picked me up and threw me into the end zone. Needless to say, I landed hard on my butt. I’m pretty sure I exclaimed some sort of explicative. I don’t remember his response. Can anyone explain that to me?

    I can only speculate that, coming from a rather large, traditional, upper-middle-class, Catholic family, that Sean had some rather particular ideas about what a girl should be – and what she shouldn’t be. I came from a smaller, traditional, lower-middle-class, Lutheran family; somehow I doubt that the expectations for a girl were quite the same. I was smart (though, to be fair, I’m not sure he had a problem with that, exactly, more just the way I liked to use it playing devil’s advocate), I was independent, I liked to flirt – basically, yes, I just liked to be me. I guess, maybe, Sean had part of it right.

    The funny thing is, Sean and I had quite a few friends in common (yes, he was actually nice to others), took many of the same classes … in fact, I kind of had a crush on him. Maybe Sean was a lot more like me than he was prepared to admit; both of those things would probably still send him into a frenzy of frustration. Nonetheless, in a strange, masochistic way, I sort of miss being around Sean, where I could so completely annoy someone with so little effort. That kind of power never ceases to amuse me, even if it does lead to my being occasionally tossed into the endzone.


    Tuesday, February 6, 2007

    Why It Does Not Pay To Be A Stalker


    Okay ... so I don't actually know the answer to that from personal experience. It was something snarky, that I thought was funny, that popped into my head as a response to a challenge I encountered today for articles. One of the many things I've been up to today. (as an aside: if you are a writer, looking for a forum, check out the article challenge at http://weebls-stuff.com, which also has spectacular flash animations.) If they do not publish it, I may publish it here eventually; it has something to do with garbage, pickles, and GPS locators.

    Today has been the second big day of web updates. I got my own little flash animation to work. I am so proud. (Stupid "file" where it wasn't supposed to be, grrrrr!) I am, however, supposed to be doing homework. I have two online classes: both educational psychology, one on gifted and talented education and another on knowing, learning, and thinking. Both interesting, but both requiring time to do homework. Alas. I suppose there's always the vague and distant hope that I will, someday, learn to take on a manageable amount of projects. But, until then ...

    All of this is leading up to my launch of (and procrastination surrounding) my very own eBay store. I had, at one time, harbored visions of selling things directly on my website, and I still may, but this seemed like the more practical way to get more people to view the items and to forestall the anticipated pain that will be adding a checkout system to my website (which, I'm sure, will turn out to be just as easy as adding this blog.)

    So, for those of you who are looking for it, waiting for it - it is coming and when I become an internationally famous jewelry and lampwork designer, just remember that it does not pay to be a stalker.

    Monday, February 5, 2007

    New technology put ... ME ... off?

    I have always been the kind of girl that would go out immediately to try the newest technology. I had my first webpage in the early 90s, I had DVDs when there were just a few titles out and speculation about whether they would go the same route as 8-tracks. But a blog ... I have to admit, I've been putting this one off. I'm not really sure why. The setup for this took less than a minute, including the search for free blog software. And here I am typing away.

    This has been a learning opportunity for me. Not so much about the ease of setting up a blog (if a teen can do it ...). It is more about gaining a better understanding of why people in the older generation are often slow to try new things. I'm sure there is a certain percentage that is scared, stubborn, or traditional, just as I'm sure a greater number of people have a lot on their plates. New technology often saves time in the long run, to be sure, but it often involves setup time, a learning curve, and in a world of to do lists and deadlines, the investment of time acquiring knowledge about new things can be risky.

    So, yay blog, and yay that I have not yet become one of those 'old people' who have 'better things' to do than to start a new blog.

    If you want to leave a comment, just click on the comments link just there .....