Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fight or Flight

The best and the worst thing about the internet is that once you put something out there, it's there forever.  You can delete it, but in fact it's still there as back-up on the server level, and also often there are other trails that are easy to follow if anyone is actually interested.  That's why it's standard advice these days that kids be made very aware of what they are posting so that later, when they try to get jobs, what they are saying now is not held against them.

In addition, if you are using the internet, you can and will be found if somebody wants to know what you are saying and where.  It's not hard, and no blocks or filters can keep anyone out who is determined to peek into your life.  That's a fact, and you don't know who's looking, or for how long until they choose to expose themselves.

I have learned just how powerful and dangerous this tool called the world wide web can be.  Things written in innocence can be misconstrued and opinions can be formed about who someone is when you, in truth, really have no idea.  You only see what they write, and most people take on a persona of one sort or another when they are in a blog, on Facebook, or wherever.  You can't really know what the person is really all about until you get to know them in person, and sadly - for today's generation, most of their social interactions are over the computer and they really don't know who they are playing with!

There's another aspect, though, too.  As I mentioned above, the internet is forever.  The internet is accessible.  You cannot hide on the internet no matter what you might think.  If you don't want your friends - or enemies - to find you, you shouldn't be putting it out there in the first place.  But it's also a sad statement about somebody's personality that they feel that they need to even hide what they are doing!  What's so terrible that they can't stand up and let the world see?  Are they criminals?  Are they doing something outside of the social moray?  Are they just cowards?

I, for one, don't hide.  I don't block people from my accounts, I don't run and hide.  I am not an ostrich hiding my head in the sand.  I've learned some hard lessons from the internet, but I've faced them and stood up to them.  I continue to do so, and to take responsibility for my words and actions.  I don't always like what I've learned - about myself or others - but I know that to be sneaky and serrupticious is the hallmark of those who are not self confident; are not really interested in growing.... learning... changing, and I always want to do all of those things!

I pity those who can't come to terms with who they really are and feel the need to hide rather than stand up and be seen with pride. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Picture's Worth 1000 Words!

Right from the start, I struggled with taking pictures of my jewelry.  Step by step, I went through levels of discovery and started to put out pretty decent pictures.  But all of that changed about a week ago when I finally figured WHAT the different settings on my camera meant and how to use them effectively.  I'd keep writing but instead, I'm just going to share some older pictures (like a month ago) vs some I took today.  Amazing, the difference!!!!!



I was so pleased with these pictures when I took them.  But look what I achieved today!


Colors brighter; image sharper without any digital intervention at all!
Then:


Today:


Colors sharp, and you can see the depth of the focal bead!

Then:



Today:



You get a feel for the variegated colors within the focal heart, and also of the thickness/substance of this focal bead.  Also, this picture shows off the beautiful filigree bail effectively.

This quantum leap did not happen on it's own.  I am a huge believer in continuing education; not necessarily formal but steady and from a variety of sources.  I take classes, I get together with friends and compare notes, I look at You-Tube and other "how to" sites, and I subscribe to magazines.  The magazine that helped me the most with my photography was "The Crafts Report" which bills itself as "The Business Resource of Artists and Retailers."  It's a small magazine with a minimum of advertising and articles that seemed too simplistic as I first received this publication, but over time have come to appreciate the straight-forward information on a variety of subjects within the artist's world including how to set up displays at shows, pricing, success stories, and a number of other "departments" including my personal favorite of the moment, CRAFT Photography by Steve Meltzer.  The information is so easy to follow, the tips so simple and yet so profound, and the accessories he suggests to improve pictures are all so do-able that it was only a matter of time after I understood he was there that my pictures moved forward.

The only issue with this entire learning curve is now I am dissatisfied with many of my old pictures and hate to take the time to re-shoot jewelry.  On the other hand, the pictures I take will be of items not moved, and who knows if it was just because the colors were not good or they weren't sharp enough that they did not sell.

Oh, but to have 48 hours in every day!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our turkey's in the oven, most of the side dishes made.  Now I'm starting to prepare the vegetables for my prize-winning "Chicken Pot Pie Soup" and will make it using the leftover turkey instead of chicken, as soon as the table is cleared.  It will make a wonderful meal tomorrow!
 
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!!! 
 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

And the Winning Bunny Cage Is....

Trixie Natura 3 Story Rabbit Hutch

Item#: TXE013 


Ordered today; it's scheduled to deliver on December 5, FREE SHIPPING!

Since Gigi lives indoors, we've already decided that the best way to handle the open bottom is to get some floor tiling; enough to set the cage on top, and then cover it with a rug of some sort.  Since Gigi has proven herself to be fully housebroken, we don't anticipate any issues if she decides to use the bottom as her bathroom.

We're very excited to see how she likes her new home, and if the ramps don't prove to be too steep for them to climb, we will consider another of the same for the Guinea Pigs!  I would love to see side-by-side town homes - lol!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thank Heavens For Little Girls!

After Janet passed away,  since she had lived such a short mousey life, I decided to take our Vet's advice and bring Miles Robo Hamsters home as his new pets.  They are very tiny, weighing in at only 2/3 Janet The Mouse's highest weight of 36 grams.  They are fast, cute, and very funny.  But they are not holding types of hamsters.  They're more of a view and be amazed kind of pet.
It's amazing that I even got this one clear picture.  I must have taken over 100 of them... all grey blurs.  That is, when the hamsters were in the lens at all by the time the mechanics of the machine worked and the aperture opened up.  Yes, they really are that fast!

They didn't work out so well for Miles.  First, after the initial excitement wore off, he was sad that he didn't have pets that were slow enough to hold.  Additionally, Ralph-The-Cat was able to get hold of one that escaped it's cage (that's a story... the cage was locked up tight and there was no place for that hamster to escape, but I have my theory as to how it got out which will remain internalized until such time as I have some proof) and we were down to two.

Miles wanted a different kind of hamster... one that was slow enough to hold, and after we finished the Pizza Party for his Little League Football Championship Game, we went next door to Kahoots to look at the animals.  We looked at lizards and snakes, mice and rats, and finally the hamsters.  Even the birds.  But Miles was drawn to the pen that held the bunnies and Guinea Pigs.  He was particularly transfixed by a very sweet Lop Ear Rabbit, and that's when he announced that he would rather have a bunny than a hamster.

I thought that was actually a good idea, and told Eric so!  Bunnies are bigger and tougher than small rodents, and if you get the right breed, they're friendly, fun, and interesting.  They can bond as well as a dog or cat, and again, if you get the right one, they will be housebroken and use a litter pan in their cage for their business.  So Miles was estatic as we agreed that he would have a rabbit as his next pet, although a little disappointed that we would not buy him the lop.  But as we saw it, there was no reason that we could not go to the animal shelter and get a rescue as soon as we bought it a house.  We decided to look and see what they had at the store... and were astounded by this model:

Available at Kahoots but also on Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/Super-Pet-Rabbit-Hutch-2-Story/dp/B004E8MEDK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322009014&sr=8-1
Thank goodness for our I-phones, though!  We were quickly able to see that they charged too much for this particular model, as much as we were taken by it, and decided to pass at that moment.  Miles, devastated, kept a stiff upper lip, but was shocked when I said that there was really no reason that we couldn't go to the pound and rescue one right away anyway.  And even Eric was surprised at the solution.  

We had found a wire dog crate at the side of the road in our neighborhood quite some time ago, and had never even finished cleaning it.  It has been laungishing at the front of our property, and every time I saw it, I had a pange of regret and guilt because it was a wonderful cage that just needed a little TLC, and also it made the front yard look messy.  I suggested we could quickly clean it up and it would make a fantastic temporary house for a bunny until we could settle on a final choice, and with that, Eric took Gabby home while Miles & I headed directly for the West Valley Animal Shelter.

They had about 20 rabbits there, and Miles was mortified.  After all, he is very sensitive and was quite aware - without prompting - that to take one of them was to risk the rest of their lives.  He had a very hard time choosing one out, but finally made a 1st and 2nd choice.  As soon as we learned that choice #2 had already been spay and could come home the same day, he changed his mind, and that's how Gigi came to live with us!

She is an English Angora bunny, which means that when her hair grows long, she will make a great fiber source for the spinning that I thought I had given up.  In addition, they are very quiet and friendly bunnies, bred to be handled for their wool, and large enough to have a fighting chance against Ralph, who has become quite the hunter since his initial success.

We are being very careful with Gigi, but we let her outside of her cage to play a couple of times a day when the dogs are outside and the cat is locked up.




The funniest thing is that she is quite curious about her neighbors, the Guinea Pigs "Charlie (Manson)" and "Jeffrey (Dahmer)" - because anything that cute and sweet and harmless needed to be named after mass murderers, and the Pigges are curious about her too.




Miles is delighted by a pet that can play on it's on as well as be held and cuddled.
...and for the cage issue?  We've found that the crate is working wonderfully as a temporary house while we consider our options.  Gigi turns out to be fully housebroken and hasn't had an accident since we installed a littler tray in her house.

And we're puzzling over which house to buy her.  We did some exploration on the internet after we came home, and knowing that she is just fine where she is at for a while, we're taking our time in making a choice for her permanent abode.  Some of the homes which we are considering are:
http://www.amazon.com/Ware-01517-Premium-Penthouse/dp/B001AT9P2Y/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1322009014&sr=8-4
http://www.amazon.com/Trixie-62321-Natura-2-Story-Rabbit/dp/B000WFFZCG/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1322009014&sr=8-7

Advantek High Rise Rabbit Hutch

http://www.amazon.com/Advantek-High-Rise-Rabbit-Hutch/dp/B004FN4AFO/ref=sr_1_21?ie=UTF8&qid=1322010488&sr=8-21

Ware Premium + Bunny Cottage

http://www.amazon.com/Ware-01535-Premium-Bunny-Cottage/dp/B002QT8I5W/ref=sr_1_55?ie=UTF8&qid=1322010727&sr=8-55

Expandable Hoppity Habitat Rabbit Cage

http://www.amazon.com/Expandable-Hoppity-Habitat-Rabbit-Cage/dp/B002J697IE/ref=sr_1_1?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1322011099&sr=1-1 and yes, if we go this route, we'll get at least two to connect together and maybe three.

There were even more cages of interest, but they were just too big because we also need to re-house the Guinea Pigs and we have limited floor space available to all these animals.  But who knew that there were so many options?

If anyone has any opinions of these different houses or better yet, has used one or another, we'd love to hear from you about it.  And, of course, we always love hearing from you anyway!


But for now, Gigi already thinks she has hit it big, but doesn't have a clue what is in her future.  :D

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