Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Universal Language of Mankind

Music is the universal language of mankind. - Longfellow

My beloved piano has been moved into the house for more than 3 months now, and I've made pretty much no progress as far as beautifying the den. Right now it's storage space for our many instruments as well as any books that don't fit on the bookcase in the living room.

Note the damaged door. One of our pet degus got loose. Our dog chased him and proceeded to crash into (and nearly destroy) the door to the utility room, then dug up part of the carpet. Our pets are lucky they're cute!

As you can see, this room isn't very aesthetically pleasing. Which is a shame. I wanted the left side to be a nice little music area and the right side to serve as a library/reading nook, with some additional shelves and a cozy recliner. Instead there's a bunch of random stuff on the bookcase, a shot glass chess set on the floor and a roll-top desk that we can't seem to get rid of taking up unnecessary space (any takers???).

Today I saw the following post on Apartment Therapy:

Suddenly I feel inspired to whip the den into shape. :-)


Guess who just spent 3 hours trying to figure out where she went wrong in her record-keeping?


The amount of cash I should have according to the records I kept of revenue and expenditures didn't quite match up to the amount of cash I actually have. Lovely.

I had to go through aaaaall of my receipts from the past 5 months and recalculate all of my expenses and it still didn't match up. Which wouldn't be a problem except I didn't really do a good job of setting up my spreadsheets to track expenses by individual receipts. Makes it kind of hard to reconcile things.

Needless to say, my records for 2010 are no immaculate, but it seems I went wrong somewhere in 2009 and I suspect it has something to do with me paying cash for something and losing the receipt.

Lesson number 1: ALWAYS pay for things with my credit card so I can follow a paper trail. And earn rewards. ;-)

Lesson number 2: Keep records by individual receipt (instead of just throwing the numbers from each expense category into the corresponding month) on an Excel spreadsheet that ties to my cash flow statement so I can more easily reconcile my expenses each month.

I have not yet posted new stuff on Etsy like I said I would last week. Nor am I anywhere near finishing my Schedule C for my 2009 taxes. And neither of those things will happen tomorrow because a) It's 12:30pm and I need to be up in 6 hours for work, which means I will be a bit of a zombie tomorrow, and b) I'm going to see this guy at Lafayette College tomorrow night!

Neil deGrasse Tyson is giving a public lecture a mere 10 minutes from my house!!! How freaking exciting is that?!?! Totally takes precedence over doing my taxes. ;-)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mike O'Malley: Olympic Curler?

Anyone watch curling tonight?

And if so, does anyone else think John Shuster bears a remarkable resemblance to Mike O'Malley of Nickelodeon Guts fame? (Or perhaps a bit more recently, Glee?)

John Shuster looked a LOT more like Mike O'Malley on TV tonight, but these two photos were the best I could do... but even so, aside from eye color and the fact that Mike O'Malley's something like 20 years older, there's a pretty strong resemblance, right?

And while I'm on the subject of Nickelodeon stars from the 90's:

I'm off to take care of the critters. And maybe watch a few episodes of "The Adventures of Pete & Pete." ;-)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wish List

One of my favorite places to buy jewelry supplies is Fire Mountain Gems. Among the reasons I like it are the tiered discount levels and the $5 flat rate shipping. The disadvantage to these is that I can only justify ordering from them if I need at least 15 items (that's how many you need to order to get a discount). It's been kind of awhile since I've ordered from them, and I still have pretty much in the way of supplies so I don't foresee placing another order for at least a month, but I thought I'd share some items from my wishlist.

Seriously, how gorgeous are these beads? Labradorite is one of the stones I can't seem to find at any local stores. Unfortunately, all I have to work with is Michael's and Hobby Lobby, which are fine for some things, but not surprisingly I have yet to see any labradorite in either of these stores, and the last time I ordered from Fire Mountain I couldn't justify spending $20+ on a 16" strand of beads.

Also on my list, and for similar reasons:

This particular strand is not very expensive, but lapiz lazuli can get pretty pricey depending on the quality and size of the stone. Again, have yet to see any in Michaels or Hobby Lobby, and again, I'm not surprised.

Again, typically pricey and not something I've seen in a local craft store. I have some glass beads that look quite a bit like peridot and I've made some gorgeous pieces with them (hoping to post one of them on Etsy sometime soon!) but I've love to get some of the real thing.

And in preparation for summer, I want to get some more shell beads and pendants.

How adorable are these turtles???

And this might very well be one of the prettiest pendants I've ever seen. I might need to buy two. One to sell and one to keep. ;-)

Maybe this summer I'll focus on using lots of these round shell beads instead of my usual stone or glass, to give my necklaces more of a beachy feel.

I could go on and on, but I'll leave it here for now.

I've already broken my resolution to post at least one new item on Etsy each week. My goal for this week is to catch up on that! I've been busy making some new stuff, but haven't even gotten around to pricing it, let alone photographing it!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I'm so well-rounded

I decided to take advantage of a relatively quiet afternoon to sit on my butt and read for awhile.

I went over to my nightstand to pick up a book and saw this:

Yup, I put Dostoevsky right on the same pile as my most recent Glamour issues. At least you can't say I am limited in my reading material!

I wasn't really sure why I felt the need to read Russian literature, but my husband, observant guy that he is, suggested it was because of all the snow we got recently.

Not nearly as much snow as some other areas got, but definitely the most we've had so far this winter. Note the track our dog made between the tree and the porch from running in circles around the house.

In jewelry-related news, one of my wonderful cousins is designing a new webpage for Mischievous Kitty, so keep an eye out for that in the near future! :-)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

March Craft Shows!

I'm planning on selling my wares at 2, possibly 3 craft shows in the Lehigh Valley in March. I'll post details once things are definite.

So far I think my biggest challenge craft-show wise is figuring out which shows are worth my time and money. I've only done two so far... One had a good turnout and I made a pretty decent amount of sales, but another was not very well-publicized and didn't have much of a turnout, so I just barely made a profit for the day. Hopefully after this first year I'll have a good feel for which shows are good and which are not so much.

My biggest challenge overall? Taxes. Filing tax returns was SO much easier before I started a business. There are advantages and disadvantages to the fact that I'm selling a physical good, as opposed to some sort of service.

Advantage: I can claim use of my home office for business purposes, because I store all my inventory there.

Disadvantage: Because I store inventory, I find myself wishing I'd paid more attention during my accounting courses in college. When I got to the part on TaxAct about inventory valuation, I went huh? I remember learning about it, but it's not something I've had to use for more than 5 years, and it didn't even occur to me that I'd have to figure out the cost of goods sold. The only thing I remember about inventory is LIFO and FIFO.

Thank goodness for the IRS website and its Tax Guide for Small Businesses. Sure, it's incredibly tedious, but if you're considering starting a small business and want to make sure you do things right, it's a must-read.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Making My Office Pretty

It took me 9 months in this house to finally tear down the wallpaper and paint in my office. Another month and a half later and I just now got around to putting up curtains.

A definite improvement. The window is so big, and it looked so sad and bare before the curtains.

My desk, however, is a complete and utter mess. There are so many things on it that just don't belong there. Piles of junk mail I haven't thrown out and IRA and bank statements I haven't filed... a box of green tea, a candy cane (gives you an idea of how long it's been since I cleared off my desk), expired coupons, a box of emery boards, a bunch of beads, chains, and clasps that I wish I could say I just bought... but they've been sitting there for weeks, unopened.

I dread sitting down to pay bills lately, but it has more to do with facing this mess than parting with hard-earned money. I think I have a new goal.

But I'll save cleaning my desk for tomorrow. Now it's time to drive my husband out of the living room with "Ghost Whisperer" and "What Not to Wear" while I wait for the snow to come. ;-)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Returning a Favor

Since my wonderful husband has been shamelessly promoting my jewelry business on Facebook, I think I'll return the favor.

If you're in/near New York and have no plans for tonight, come to the Gotham Comedy Club's New Talent Showcase at 8:00 and hear him tell funny jokes! :-)

Monday, February 1, 2010


Just a friendly reminder to head on over to and enter to win one of my necklaces!

And when you're done with that, check out Diana's Etsy shop! :-)

On a completely unrelated, but adorable, note:

Here's a picture of my dog, Elvis Costello Tickle, curled up on the couch with his monkey this past weekend.

If he looks sad, it's because (a) something had just scared him (no idea what, that poor dog is scared of everything!), and (b) my husband and I were about to leave him home alone on a Saturday afternoon and he is INCREDIBLY codependent. ;-)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...