Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Socializing Social Media?

What’s on the Desk! My desk has been pretty empty lately between cleaning, assessing goals for the year, and miscellaneous end of year office duties, my Muse has sat patiently waiting for me to quiet and listen.

As most of you know I taught my son Alex how to weave a cross. He was in the process of weaving one and decided he just didn’t like it. I tried to convince him it was a very nice cross but he wasn’t having any of it. So I took it and attached it to a filigree and hung that from a choker I’ve had sitting here that I wasn’t thrilled with. Shhh No I don’t know where he gets it from!! Wait, it’s his father, yup that’s it he gets it from his father! Believe me? Stop laughing! HE is just as bad as I am! Poor kid, between the two of us he didn’t have a chance!

Getting back to the choker, I just adore the copper bale, found a pin on Pinterest and knew it would be perfect for this piece, I whipped one up right away and was not disappointed. While this isn’t a first collaboration for Alex and myself, it is the first one we'll be selling. It’ll be heading to the shop sometime later this week. Along with another piece that I’ll be telling you about next week - the first of my 25 sketches!

As I mentioned and you’ve been reading, I’ve been assessing my goals for the coming year. After looking really closely at my posting habits I haven’t been very sociable as Wind Dancer. I’ve been posting in groups and such but as myself not Wind Dancer….sigh

socialize verb

interact, converse, be sociable, mix, mingle, get together, meet, fraternize, consort; entertain, go out; informal hobnob.

ooooh hobnobbery! I like that!

One of my New Years resolutions/goals was to start using my social media in a more consistent and well, social way. I used to spend a lot of time posting to Twitter, Facebook, here and boy I could hang out on Pinterest! But then I discovered I could feed the blog into Facebook, and feed Facebook into Twitter, and Twitter into Linked in. Whoa what a time saver! But far less social and all duplicate posts, and it dawned on me I really wasn’t posting much about what I was doing as Wind Dancer anymore and I sure wasn’t being social. Oh sure my weekly posts here on the blog are pretty much uninterrupted but Wind Dancers Facebook page and Twitter have gotten quite dusty.

Rebel Mouse does a wonderful job of compiling what I’ve been doing out and about on the interwebs but I still haven’t quite learned how to use it to my advantage yet. I know it all feeds into my Mouse and I can post from it too. I’m thinking maybe what I need to do is unlink all the feeds and use the Mouse as command central to post to all my media so my posts aren’t identical anymore an SEO no no and I can hopefully become more social again. I considered Hoot Suite for this reason but the idea felt slightly off.

Next up on my list then is a regular media schedule, I already post to the blog on Tuesdays and was considering Treasury Thursdays. I still need the rest of the week filled out …….. photography Fridays? photos for the blog, Facebook and listings. Does Twitter still do Follow Fridays? Master Monday….mastery…. Map it out Mondays …mapping out the week, blog theme, what I’m working on , need pics of etc etc. Ok now I’ve got Map it Monday, Blog (talk lol) Tuesday, Treasured Thursday and Photography Friday. That leaves Wednesday…… Wow Wednseday? hmmm whatever wows me? Sharing something someone else has done that wows me? A color scheme, a photo just whatever wows me. I like that!

My media schedule - sounds too official doesn’t it?! ahem
My Schedule of Hobnobbery is as follows:

Map it Monday
Talk Tuesday
Wow Wednesday
Treasured Thursday
Photography Friday

I like that, it gives me prompts of a sort of topics to post on and a routine to follow so that you my awesome followers know you can peek in on any given day to see whats new on that topic. That way it doesn’t really matter if Monday provides a theme for the week to follow or if I’m being completely eclectic. Mondays will always provide a what to expect, Tuesdays will always have a blog post to read, Wednesdays will always have a little eye candy etc etc. It also allows me to post in whatever media I choose AND be social. Did you notice? I gave myself the weekends off. That allows me time to just be me, with the family or online. Or even get a little ahead from time to time.

It may take me a little to get the whole thing pulled together. New habits and all but I’m optimistic and off to a good start I think.

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to share your social media routines here too. Maybe together we can make it less trudge and more fun! I seem to recall a time in my life where social actually meant FUN not work and I’m sure you do too.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A New Year, A New Old Strategy

I read somewhere that you can only keep so many balls in the air…… actively keep up with x number of friends, businesses you like or hobbies, work, and family. I’d say this is the modern take on you can only keep so many irons in the fire. But I have to say I think it really is true. The actual number may vary from person to person but I know that personally, for myself, the more I use social media sites, the older forums I used to visit get less and less attention. The more groups on FB I become a member of, the less I use Wind Dancer’s page. And if by some wild miracle I do manage to keep up with all of that, my family misses my face.

I like my family, my kids are on that verge of taking flight and I don’t want to miss out on what little time I have left with them in our little nest. So I’m thinking a little streamlining is in order. Not so much a cutting of anything... I Like, REALLY like, the circle of friends, family and acquaintances I have managed to surround myself with.

I just need to get back into the habit of managing my time a little better. I had a pretty good routine going for awhile and I seemed to have slipped back into old habits - actually, I think I overloaded my plate a little and haven’t quite figured out how to juggle it all. I need to categorize and prioritize and schedule. Oddly enough (or Coincidentally?) I’ve had several e-mails arrive lately touching on this very subject. I know it’s January and I usually do this in late August or May, I’m either early or late but that doesn’t really matter. What needs doing, needs doing. And as evidenced by my recent e-mails, doing in January just means I have lots of company in the doing, right? Right!~

It wasn’t that long ago - or maybe it was - my morning was cup of coffee, get the kids off to school, hit the gym, second cup of coffee, quick pick up around the house and THEN e-mail etc. Book keeping and Errands before picking kids up. I could sit and make while they did homework and we could talk about our day.

Look at how productive that was! I’m pretty sure a very large part of all that productivity had to do with all the energy I had from morning work outs….. not to mention the set schedule.

The nice thing is when we built the house we included a gym - once I finish cleaning up my studio (I still have several items that need relocating) I am moving on to the gym! I've managed to fit in some morning work outs. It’s been awhile but it has really felt good to get moving again. As does that little burst of energy that comes along after a workout. I think I just might have it back on track in no time!

To reinforce what I had just typed - serendipitously, this showed up in my e-mail…….

5 Morning Rituals to Keep You Productive All Day Long

Most of us work long hours: 40, 50 or even 60 hours each week. But chances are, given distractions like online entertainment, office snacking habits and ill-designed time management, we're only churning out high-quality work a portion of each day.

Here are five practical steps to incorporate into any morning routine to optimize your time at the office and maintain productivity all day long:

7 minutes of exercise. Yep, not 10 -- just seven. Why? It's short enough that it won't impact the rest of your morning routine and long enough to shake off any residual sluggishness from the night before -- including that extra glass of wine.

There are endless fitness routines to turn to, but the one I like best is called the 7 Minute Workout (and yes, there's an app for that). In just seven minutes, it works all major muscle groups with 12 total exercises.

Start your day out green. Sure, we've all been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it's pretty easy to reach for a bagel, bowl of cereal, egg sandwich or cup of yogurt to get your metabolism going.

While all of these options are fine choices once in a while, you'll be shocked at the morning lift you can get from a green smoothie. And healthy juicing requires less time in the morning than toasting a bagel and slathering it with low fat cream cheese.

I go quick and easy, blending (for about a minute): one apple, one banana, one orange, a handful of spinach, half of a cucumber, any juice or coconut water on hand, a few cubes of ice and some flax seed. It's cheap, easy and energizing.

Pick 3 wins for the day. While you're waiting for that smoothie to blend, get ahead of the evening's conversation with your significant other -- you know, the one that starts, "How was your day?"

Decide on the three things that you'd like to accomplish in the next 12 hours in order for you to feel like the day was a success. Sure, not every day will be an epic win, but strategizing in this way will help to move the ball forward.

Block your calendar to achieve wins. One of the most common mistakes people make at the office is not turning to-do lists into time-bound, effective project lists. I've found that people who have mastered this hack are far more likely to deliver tasks on time.

It's simple: For each of the big things on your list, block off the amount of time on your calendar that you estimate the task might take -- and then add 33% more time just to be sure.

If a project is multi-day or has dependencies, break it up into digestible chunks. Use one block to plan and a second or third block to accomplish.

This simple method will help hold you accountable and immediately help you refocus on the tasks you've prioritized when you do get distracted. Too often, we let one distraction steamroll an entire morning -- now you don't have to let that client email derail you from your winning plan for the day.

Power up after lunch. Take the 15 minutes right after lunch to refocus on the day -- a kind of professional meditation. Get away from your computer, turn it off, go sit in a conference room and determine what you have on tap for the rest of the day.

Think about how the list you set in the morning is shaping up. Are you ahead of schedule? Behind schedule? You'll find that these 15 minutes help you identify how you got derailed, what's causing you distractions and help you to rediscover a rhythm to be productive all day long.

Give this simple formula a try for a week and I think you'll be pleased with the results. Here's to a more productive 2014!

I don’t remember who posted it or from what group/subscription it came but here’s the link:


Have a great day, Week, Month, and Year!

Thanks for stopping by today!

See ya next time!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It's finally my turn!

I truly am blessed, my circle is a wonderful one. My family is loving and supportive, everything I could ask for, and so many of my friends are of the talented variety. Many of whom have been published in magazines and books and I just couldn't be prouder! A couple years ago I made the decision (actually resolved to - yup it was a resolution) to put myself out there as well, I started blogging, actually joined a blog hop and started sharing the jewelry I was making. When I was in my 20's this would have been a natural extension of who I am. But as I've gotten older I seem to have coccooned myself up here on my hill. It's safe, warm and comfy - it is my comfort zone and I like it here. I had almost forgotten how to put myself out there and it was scary but I finally did it.

While I had resolved to put myself out there it was my friend Jean Yates that got the ball rolling. I really didn't have a clue as to what to do, but she encouraged me and had me contact a few people. Resulting in some of the nicest rejection letters I could ever receive! Your work is beautiful, just not what we have in mind, please keep submitting we'd love to see more.

Finally I got the are you still interested e-mail and I definitely was! A Designer Challenge from Bead & Button. We were all given the same wonderful beads from A Grain of Sand ( I have actually been drooling over their website for some time now )and were asked to create something using the beads we were given. I LOVE this type of challenge and knew it was going to be so much fun! Psst! the issue is available on the newsstands now!

Once I received the beads, I got to work designing several pieces. I had came across the term parure and knew immediately that was what I wanted to create. A suite of pieces designed to be worn together or separately as the mood strikes.

I created a pair of earrings that matched the tassel on the main piece. A multi strand brass, crystal, and pearl necklace. A single strand of small pearls on brass. And of course the main piece with that gorgeous Mabe pearl and embellished RAW. The focal was my interpretation of an Art Deco piece I found while researching. I also made a multi strand bracelet featuring Vintaj filigree as the connectors/clasp. I love this set!

Close up of the connectors I made for the multi strand that was chosen for the magazine.

So there you have it! My first!! published piece. It's been several months since I was first contacted and I have to say I am still just as thrilled as I was the day I got the e-mail. I think I may have to keep putting myself out there, I had forgotten how fun it can be!

Thanks for taking a peek!
We'll see ya next time!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Garnets and Orchids

I had in mind for this blog post something along the lines of resolutions for the coming year, you know try some new moves, try some new foods, drink more tea, shop more Etsy. But I already told you how I planned to use my sketches so a resolution post seems kind of redundant.

I don’t have anything On the Desk at the moment as I’ve been cleaning up the studio/office while I wait for my cabinets to get painted. Alex promised to paint a pair of cabinets we have sitting in the basement for me as part of my Christmas present! I saw a pin on Pinterest awhile back that had this wonderful work area of cabinetry and shelving and I’m going to put together a similar system using what I have - 2 x 12’s and cinder blocks for shelving plus the cabinets. The hubs doesn’t like my idea, I say he can fine tune later, I need something NOW.

For Christmas, I bought my hubs some tools he had been wanting but for some reason or other wouldn’t buy, which seemed to give him the to ok to buy some more tools he needed but never bought. As a result, I’m finally getting my pantry!! YEA!! I am sooo looking forward to that!

So have I done ANYTHING at all jewelry related? Sure I have. I’ve created a new banner for my FB page and rebel mouse. And I’ve been playing with color in a couple treasuries.

Pantone’s color of the year is Radiant Orchid, so I pulled together a few shades of orchid.

and January’s birthstone is Garnet. So I pulled together a treasury filled with Garnet reds.

I really enjoyed the birthstone treasury and am considering making it a regular thing - I could play on that theme a little on FB too. I do need to utilize the page a little differently than I have been. With all the changes being made, I’m down to a handful of views per post. I’m hearing crickets, and if that’s the new norm then the least I can do is try to orchestrate them and turn them into a symphony. Ok no more punnys, I just couldn’t resist {grins}

It’s sleeting again, so I’d better get out there and feed the horse before it gets icy. I’ve only just gotten healed up from the fall I took last ice storm. sigh…..
Since it seems appropriate here, I'll leave you with a couple Garnet pieces from my shop.

Thanks for stoppin’ by! Stay warm out there!!
See ya!