Saturday, January 28, 2012

Jewelry Display Case

Selling my beads at the Tucson Gem and Jewelry Show is my main focus, but I have always brought jewelry too; and surprisingly I have sold quite a few pieces.  I usually display my jewelry on the usual purchased necklace and bracelet and earring displays; but I only allot about 25% of my space to jewelry so you really can't show a lot without it looking too crowded.  This year I will be displaying some jewelry in a wonderful handmade display case that I purchased on Etsy.  It is 16" high and when opened is 44" wide. (in a past life it was a printer's drawer)  But the neat thing about it is that it hinges closed to just 22", locks, and has a handle to carry it.  When it's opened you can angle it and I plan to place it at the end of the table.  It is sturdy and it holds a lot.  (I know that for a fact as I have been working like crazy to fill it).  So if you want to see more of these go to BlueBirdHeaven's shop on Etsy.  If you want to see mine, visit me Jan 29 - Feb 3rd at the To Bead True Blue Show at the Doubletree Reid Park in Tucson, AZ.

Friday, January 27, 2012

More To-do.. Priorities

So if you have read my previous posts you know I am in an organizational frenzy particularly my to-do list.
So I’m still using outlook for the everyday personal tasks that need to get done.  But I purged all of the note like to-dos and put them in Evernote.  (Which I continue to love and blogged about last week)  But I still needed something to help me with my artistic projects.  It wasn’t enough to just have a to-do that said “make a necklace to enter into the ISGB show”.   That item was a project with lots of specific tasks, and I needed a way to break down the project to manage each task until completion.  Also I never work on just one project, so I had to find a way to track several at once.  So… if all else fails ask a friend.  And my friend Mickey recommended the app “Priorities”. 
I downloaded Priorities to my iPad and my iPhone (and they will automatically sync).  I haven’t looked for a PC or MAC version, but I don’t feel I need one right now.  What I instantly liked about it was its simplicity.  Priorities uses “pages”; and you can create different pages for different aspects of your life.  My first page I named “Desert Bloom” for my business projects.  Then I could create the priorities which for me were the projects.  And under each project you can have nested priorities which for me were the individual tasks to get the project done.  You can place all sorts of reminders and alarms.  And everyday I could look and see all the priorities for all the projects that had to get done on that day.
I have been using it for about 3 weeks now and it has really kept me on track. You need to plan out the project and think through what needs to get done and then list everything and assign it a date, but then it really works to get you where you want to be.   I am setting up for the Tucson Gem and Jewelry shows tomorrow and am happy that I completed everything I wanted to.  First time I went off to a show feeling this good.  I you are in Tucson stop by and say hello.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Keeping Track of my notes

In my last post about my to-Do list I stated that I wanted an app that would help me organize my notes.  I have used the notes section in Microsoft Outlook, but had trouble with them syncing properly to my iPhone.  I think that has gotten better, but in the meantime I found EVERNOTE.  And it is just wonderful.  I have the program on my PC laptop, and I also installed the app for my iPhone and iPad.  I can create a note on any device and they all sync via iCloud.  Magic!!
Of course you can keep track of more that the written word; you can add pictures and links and websites.  I think I am up to about 50 notebooks so far.  And this program has really helped me to trim my to-do list.
There are many ways to customize Evernote to work for you…  check out this blog.
Here’s a snapshot of one of my notebooks…..

next...  my projects organizer...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Getting Organized - The ToDo List

I love to-do lists.  I will admit that I have even added a completed task to my to-do list just so I can cross it off.  OK, stop laughing.  But last year my to-do list really got out of control.  So the first item on my to-do list this year was to create a better to-do list.
I use my computer for everything; so naturally I want my to-do list to be on my computer.  Plus I have an iphone and an ipad so it would be nice if it would sync there too.  I was using Microsoft Outlook and that program is still a good place for specific tasks that can be completed right away – go to the post office, pick up dog food, schedule a massage.  But I found that my list contained items like – “make a necklace to enter into the ISGB juried show” or “the shibourigirl shop on etsy has great silk to hang pendants on; can I incorporate this in my jewelry line?”   At the end of December my to-do list had over 100 items all scheduled on one day and when only 3 or 4 things got done it took me valuable time to attach new dates for all the things that didn’t get done.  My todo list was out of control.
I examined the todo list closely and realized that some of the todo’s were actually notes or bits of information that I needed to keep track of.  It was not an immediate action item and I didn’t know when I wanted to act on the item, but I wanted the information to retrieve later.  I needed a program to track and organize all of these notes. 
Other items on the todo list were projects.  I couldn’t complete the “make a necklace for entry into a juried show” quickly, so it got pushed down the list and consequently never done.  I missed deadlines and opportunities.  I needed a program that would take each “project” and break it down into doable items each of which could be realistically scheduled until the projects were complete.  I could even work on multiple projects at the same time!
Okay, I have identified two action items to help me achieve my better todo list.  I need a note app and a project management app.  Check back later for my choices….

Monday, January 9, 2012

Petroglyph Beads

So I started tube riveting the bead caps onto my hollow beads today....  for the Tucson Gem and Jewelry Shows.  These are some petroglyph beads.  I applied the drawings with an enamel "ink" that is cured in the kiln after the bead is made.