Rising To The Challenge

I have several friends in the SCA and I’ve been hearing for years that they think I’d enjoy it, thanks to my background in theatre and my love of cosplay.  I’ve never really looked into it though.  But now I live with someone who is very involved with her clan, have other friends I see on a regular basis who are members, and my SE calls himself a “camp follower” so it was inevitable that I’d be dragged along to an event.  Of course, by “dragged along” I mean “go quite willingly!”

So Saturday I went to a private clan gather.  I borrowed some garb from my roommate because I didn’t have time to sew anything (though I did manage to get out the fabric and patterns for three outfits, my ferret-brainness didn’t get me any farther).  Unfortunately I didn’t think to take my camera so I didn’t get any pictures, but the SE and I looked pretty good.  I had been told I could take some of my necklaces to offer for sale, so I packed up two small tubs full and a bag of supplies to work on a few more if I got the chance.  We arrived at the event, said hi to the people I already knew, and the SE introduced me to a few of his friends that I had not yet met.  It was a fairly low-key, informal event so I we just hung around and chatted with people.  I sat down at the table where my friends were playing cards and worked on a couple of necklaces, and even managed to sell two of my Simple Charm Necklaces.

Now, you’re probably wondering where the title of this blog post comes in, as I doubt you see much of a challenge in what I’ve described so far, other than that of a socially awkward person going into a new environment with lots of unknown people.  Sure, that is a bit challenging for me, but after attending ten different schools (1st-12th grades), I’m kind of a pro at it.  I’m still pretty shy, but I’ve learned to work through it.  Of course, those that know me well will laugh at the notion of me being shy, as I am anything but around my friends!

No, the challenge I’m speaking of was issued to the clan before I arrived.  In the wee small hours of the morning, the hall was decorated with Mardi Gras beads and they were challenged to create a piece of art from them.  I learned later that the challengers were expecting something along the lines of a mosaic, but the clan had other ideas.  Knowing that I am a designer who works with beads, my help was enlisted.  The idea?  A beadkini.  Yes, a bikini made out of Mardi Gras beads.

It took me about four hours, but in the end I had created a bikini top using gold and purple Mardi Gras beads.  I joined the design together with the jump rings I had brought with me (thank goodness I’d thought to bring that bag of stuff to work on and my tools).  My “partner in crime” attached strings of beads to a piece of rope to form a sort of loincloth.  Once I’d finished, my model was brought in and I tied her into the thing with pieces of string and decorated her with more beads.  We covered her with a cloak and preceded out into the main hall for the unveiling.  I was introduced as the main artist and the model was introduced as our canvas.  Needless to say, when we removed the cloak there was quite a bit of surprise!  And cheers and applause, of course!

Now, I don’t have any pictures of the model wearing the outfit, but I was given the beadkini to take home with me.  Here’s the top:

Mardi Gras Beadkini Top

Mardi Gras Beadkini Top

 

My first SCA event, and I’ll probably go down in clan history.  I’ll forever be known as “the one who made the beadkini.”  I suppose there are worse things to be known for.  And I heard that at least one person was thinking they should commission me to make a belly dancing outfit after seeing what I could do with limited materials in a limited time frame.  I am happy to do custom work, and can make something much better with the right materials!  Feel free to email me with your ideas!

And yes, I will likely be attending more SCA events.  I’ll need to come up with a persona and garb of my own.  Just what I needed, another project. 😉

The One Hit Wonder Project: The City of New Orleans

Since tomorrow is Mardi Gras, I wanted to do something along that theme.  So today’s entry is based on The City of New Orleans by Arlo Guthrie.  Check it out!  And don’t forget, you can get 10% off anything in my Etsy shop or store with the coupon code FEBRUARY10 through the end of February.

Black and Gold Moon and Jazz Music "The City of New Orleans" Necklace - Part of The One Hit Wonder Project

Black and Gold Moon and Jazz Music "The City of New Orleans" Necklace - Part of The One Hit Wonder Project

The One Hit Wonder Project: Gonna Fly Now

And here it is, last Friday’s entry in the One Hit Wonder Project.  This necklace is inspired by Gonna Fly Now, a song by Bill Conti, which peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1977.  And now that I’m concentrating on what I have accomplished, I’m certainly gonna fly now! 🙂

Clear Crackle and Silver Wing "Gonna Fly Now" Necklace - Part of the One Hit Wonder Project

Clear Crackle and Silver Wing "Gonna Fly Now" Necklace - Part of the One Hit Wonder Project

What Have I Done?

You may have noticed that I didn’t post a new One Hit Wonder Project for Friday.  It’s been a pretty hectic week and many things have kind of fallen by the wayside.  I’ve been beating myself up for not getting more accomplished and feeling like I keep falling further and further behind.  I don’t usually succumb to negativity, but it’s been eating at me a bit.

Then I read a post by my friend Teresa Noelle Roberts on her blog. She’s participating in something called the Independence Day Challenge which is, as she puts it, about “living a more earthy-crunchy life in a very practical way,and it’s mostly but not exclusively concerned with food.”  Now I don’t garden or cook, so I was about to just say “Oh, that’s nice for Teresa” but then she shared the words of Sharon Astyk, who initiated the challenge: “the whole idea is to get the positive sense of your accomplishments – it is easy to think we haven’t done anything to move forward, but in fact, we all do, almost every day.  We just think of accomplishment as a big thing – a whole day spent putting up applesauce or a hundred tomato plants.  The Independence Day project makes us count our little accomplishments and see that we are moving forward.”

Whoa.  Now there’s a thought.  What *have* I done?  Well, the necklace for Friday’s post is finished and photographed.  I completed the Treasury that goes with it.  It’s really just a matter of putting the listing up and the pages together.  Monday’s necklace is almost complete and I am done with the Treasury for that one too.  In fact, I have the necklaces completed for the posts through February 27th, and the songs picked out through April 16th.  I picked up supplies today to complete some of the pieces I have in mind, and have more supplies on order.  I have templates set up to make the postings easier.  The project is well in hand, I just have to do the research and put everything together.

I’ve been beating myself up over not getting more things listed on Etsy and in my store as well, but I have at least two dozen necklaces photographed and ready to be put up on Etsy, dozens more completed and ready to be photographed, and it’s just a matter of clicking a few boxes on the 80 or so listings I have imported to make them live in my store.  I’ve been trying to get all my inventory cataloged and accounted for, and I found an awesome application for Etsy sellers to keep track of it.  Between Etsy and my store I have over $10,000 worth of inventory already listed!  That number is kind of boggling, as I have just a fraction of my completed items up, and many more in the “ooh, I know what I’m gonna make with this!” stage.

Today I had planned to work more on inventory and get yesterday’s One Hit Wonder Project entry up, but you know what they say about the best laid plans.  The mouse for my desktop computer is on its last legs, and I mentioned wanting to hit up the President’s Day sale at the local JoAnn store, so my Spousal Equivalent and I took a jaunt over to Keene.  He wanted to pick something up at the natural foods store, so that was our first stop.  Then of course we had to stop at the candy shop.  We noticed that the thrift shop we always walk by on the way to the candy shop was actually open, so we had to go in and browse. I picked up half a dozen patterns and two sets of comfy flannel pajamas.  The patterns are for when I expand into clothing designs, and the pajamas are to wear while I’m working, so those are business-related purchases, right?

Our next stop was the JoAnn store, where I found what I was looking for to use for the February 29th One Hit Wonder Project, as well as other supplies to use in the future.  We then headed to Staples to find me a new mouse, but it was near the Dollar Tree so we stopped in there first so I could pick up some straws and the plastic boxes I use for sorting and storing my supplies.  Now, taking me to a thrift store, a craft store, and a dollar store is sure to test the limits of anyone’s patience with me!  These are my three favorite types of stores and I can browse forever, but my Spousal Equivalent was only showing the beginning signs of mild frustration with me.  So we stopped into the pet store so we could squee over the adorable critters and recharge his batteries a little, since he loves animals of all kinds.  We cooed over a dwarf hamster that had just gorgeous coloring and markings, so I might be able to convince him to get one when we have a few hundred extra dollars to spend on all the cool hamster cage accessories. 😛

We finally made it to the Staples and got my new mouse, stopped for a bite to eat, then headed home.  All that fresh air and exercise was a bit much for us hermits, so we laid down for a bit for cuddles and ended up taking a two-hour nap.  Then I got caught up on my email and social media and now I’m writing this blog post.  So while I didn’t accomplish what I had originally planned, I did accomplish quite a lot, including seeing just how much my SE will put up with me when I’m shopping!  We got out of the house, which we hadn’t done a lot of in the last few weeks as we’ve both dealt with the evil snot monster that took up residence in our heads.  I got everything on my list of things I needed to buy – and things that weren’t on the list but isn’t that always the case?  And I spent a lovely day with my SE, which is really the most important thing on my Massive To Do List.  All in all, I’m feeling pretty accomplished!

Why not try putting away the Massive To Do List and make a new What I Have Done List?  Count all the little things… and see just how much you’re moving forward. 🙂

The One Hit Wonder Project: Tainted Love

Hectic day, so today’s entry is late.  Sorry!

This necklace is inspired by Tainted Love, a song by Soft Cell, which peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1982.

Red, Black and Silver Heart and Skull "Tainted Love" Necklace - Part of the One Hit Wonder Project

Red, Black and Silver Heart and Skull "Tainted Love" Necklace - Part of the One Hit Wonder Project

The One Hit Wonder Project: Heart and Soul

Squeaking this one in under the wire… if I post before midnight it still counts!  Today’s entry is inspired by Heart and Soul, a song by T’Pau that reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1987.

Purple and Silver Winged Heart "Heart and Soul" Necklace - Part of The One Hit Wonder Project

Purple and Silver Winged Heart "Heart and Soul" Necklace - Part of The One Hit Wonder Project

Words of Wondie and The One Hit Wonder Project: Money (That’s What I Want)

As mentioned previously, I postponed the posting of the Friday, February 10th entry because it was my birthday.  I’ve had a fairly relaxing weekend in celebration of turning yet another year older, so I’m just now getting to posting the project I had chosen for Friday.  My inspiration is a song by Barrett Strong that reached #23 on the Hot 100 in 1960, and also answers the question “What do you want for your birthday?”  Money (That’s What I Want).

Rainbow and Gold Dollar Sign and Money Bags "Money (That's What I Want)" Necklace - Part of The One Hit Wonder Project

Rainbow and Gold Dollar Sign and Money Bags "Money (That's What I Want)" Necklace - Part of The One Hit Wonder Project

I generally have a hard time answering the “What do you want for your birthday?” question.  I love gifts, don’t get me wrong, but I tend to be rather pragmatic and ask for something I need or just say “You don’t have to get me anything.”  And this annoys people who want to get me something fun and frivolous, something I really want, rather than something I really need.

But here’s what I really want, more than anything: a successful business where I can be creative and do what I love.  This isn’t something that can be wrapped up, tied with a bow, and handed over to me.  This is something that I need to work on and build up and operate myself.  What I really need to make it all happen is money.  I need to pay for listing fees and website hosting and advertising, just for a start.  I want to take my items to conventions, which requires money for booth/table rental, travel, hotel, and displays.  I want to expand into other products, which requires money for supplies and tools.  It seems like everything I want, requires money.

I’m thinking about trying some Crowdfunding, but I’m really not sure what to offer other than products or gift certificates.  I’d be interested in getting a business loan but I don’t have anything other than my inventory to offer as collateral, and at least the one bank I checked with needed more than that.  I’d love an angel investor but I don’t want to give up any equity and my type of business is of no interest to the usual venture capitalist.

So how do I get more money?  Well, sales would be nice. 😛  Have you looked through my Etsy shop and main store?  Don’t forget the coupon code FEBRUARY10 will get you 10% off your purchase in either one!  I also am happy to do custom work and I am always adding new products, so if you don’t see anything you want now, you can request a custom order or purchase a gift certificate to use later (or give to someone else).  Or if you just want to throw money at me, you can Chip In if you have a PayPal account.

If you’re in the same no money boat as I am, but still want to help out someway, here’s an idea.  Go through your old jewelry, clothing, craft supplies, small toys, junk collections, etc. and send me what you don’t want anymore.  I may be weird, but a box of “junk” is a fun gift for me!  I love pawing through it and seeing the possibilities.  Speaking of weird, one thing I’d really like to get my hands on is a bunch of the metal pieces from hanging file folders.  I have a use for them, honest!

And here’s an idea that won’t cost you a dime: share links to my products, website, blog, etc.  The more people who see my products, the more chance I have of making a sale.

I want to thank everyone who has supported me as I’ve gotten this venture off the ground once again.  I’ve received a great deal of encouragement and I am eternally grateful to everyone who has stood by me and cheered me on.

Oh, and yes, I did have a good birthday.  My Spousal Equivalent took me out to dinner and when we got home,  my roommate had purchased two birthday cakes for me, because she couldn’t decide on just one (one was Black Forest, the other was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup).  I spent the weekend alternating between being lazy and getting some work done, sleeping in, taking naps, and playing a new video game that I’m really excited about.  I had an amazing outpouring of birthday wishes on my Facebook and other sites I frequent, and my phone was going crazy with calls and text messages.  I love my life, and the people in it!

 

Today’s One Hit Wonder Project Postponed

Sorry folks, but the usual Friday posting of the One Hit Wonder Project will be postponed until later this weekend because today is my birthday and I’ve been lazy all day. 😛

I had meant to have more things set up in advance, but this cold has really kicked my butt.  I’m feeling much better today but I did indulge in a nap.  I’ve done some work on today’s entry but my phone keeps ringing with people who want to bring me some birthday cheer and that’s much more important, don’t you think?

So I’ll get it finished up sometime this weekend, and will get back to the regular schedule on Monday.  Thanks for your patience!

The One Hit Wonder Project: Love Song

Less than a week to go before Valentine’s Day, so I’m keeping with the “love” theme.  Today’s entry is inspired by Love Song by 311, who is a pure one hit wonder.

Pink Hearts and Silver Music Note "Love Song" Necklace - Part of The One Hit Wonder Project

Pink Hearts and Silver Music Note "Love Song" Necklace - Part of The One Hit Wonder Project

The One Hit Wonder Project: Open the Door To Your Heart

It’s Monday!  Time for another entry in The One Hit Wonder Project!  Today’s entry is Open the Door To Your Heart by Darrell Banks.

Don’t forget you can get 10% off everything in Rewondered’s Etsy shop and main store with the coupon code FEBRUARY10 during the entire month of February.  I’ve been busy adding stuff this past weekend and have a lot more I’ll be adding throughout the month, so check back often.

Heart Lock and Key 'Open the Door To Your Heart' Necklace - Part of the One Hit Wonder Project - Your Choice of Colors

Heart Lock and Key 'Open the Door To Your Heart' Necklace - Part of the One Hit Wonder Project - Your Choice of Colors

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