Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lily Got Skunked ------- Again!

Yep, you read that right.  Only a few weeks ago she got skunked while my hubby was out of town, and guess what?  He left again today for the weekend, and voila' Lily hit the stinky jackpot once more.

This time is was earlier in the evening,.  Since the hubs wasn't around for her 9pm walk, I took her out in the yard to let her run off some steam and do her business.  She ran over into the next yard as always making these huge sweeping circles as if she knows this is her only chance to blow off that steam for the night.  Suddenly she comes racing into the back yard and doesn't come back to the front where I am waiting for her.  I wait a moment, call her, and hear this scuffling coming from under the back deck.  Sure enough, she's under there with some kind of animal, I don't hear anything but underbrush being torn apart,  and I can't see anything because the motion light on the back corner of the house doesn't throw enough light to see under the deck.  So I call, and call, with promise of cookies and treats and still the noises continue.  By this time I'm thinking the lack of noise means it's probably a rabbit, and I'm visualizing it trying to dart past or around her.

My thoughts were quickly proven to be wrong, however, when that familiar stench began filling the air.  Lilly came running out from under the deck and started rolling in the wet grass, digging her face in it to get the spray off of her.  Of course, like an idiot, I didn't replenish the hydrogen peroxide I used the last time this happened, so I'm standing there wondering what the hell I'm going to clean her off with this time.  After one more attempt to get at the skunk, I managed to get her into the house.  I now have a headache from the smell.  I managed to find some oxyclean under the sink, so I used a washcloth and wiped her face , neck and chest off.

I guess she smells a little better, my nose is stuffed up now so it's hard to tell.  I'm sure my olfactory nerves have also gotten used to the smell.

I'm thinking now, since this has happened twice since my hubs has gone out of town that he is responsible for this.  He probably figures I have wild sex parties while he's gone and he'd throw a wrench into it by letting a skunk out nearby, knowing my dog would have a run in with it.  The dog would stink, the house would stink, I'd be preoccupied and not in the mood for a party so it would wind up not happening.  Pretty smart man.  What it really ruined was my 3 favorite program's season premiere episodes tonight.   I'll get him back though, I'm going to let her sleep on his side of the bed while he's gone, under the covers and use his pillow.  He he.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I Wonder What People Are Thinking

when they come into a selling site forum and ask people how to make the things they sell, because ostensibly, they want to make it themselves for a gift.  They email specifically the people that make these items and expect them to just give them that information?  And they wonder why no one responds to their query?  Really?

Do these people not understand that Etsy, although a great community (at times, and under some circumstances) but it is a SELLING site, and most shops are in the business to make money off their creations.  Whether they are selling for pennies to replenish their craft supplies, or they need to live off the profits, I don't think anyone purposely is there to sell at a loss.  And as helpful as people can be toward one another, I believe there is a line in the sand you just shouldn't cross.

And where does the mentality come in that people think they can just pick up a given craft and with a few instructions and little to no practice, produce a pleasing and quality product?  Most crafters have worked long and hard developing their techniques and establishing a skill base upon which to build.  People dabble in other mediums, this is most apparent when perusing the jewelry category when you notice crocheters and paper crafters, and others whose main craft is totally unrelated to jewelry, making simple bead earrings by the boatload.  But, they excel in a particular area, mostly because of the time they've put into it,.

Think about it this way.  You have 2 people who know how to remove a gallbladder.  One is a surgeon who specializes in it, the other a lawyer who took a class and learned how to do it.  (aside from the fantasy and lack of legalities in this scenario)  which one would you want performing your surgery?  The surgeon, who has spent years not only learning how to take out organs, but what to do if other organs fail while they're doing it.  They are trained to recognize things that may not belong (like tumors), and they are capable of treating you for other things afterwards.  Now, the lawyer may be very skilled at that one task, removing a gallbladder.  He may have had several successful operations.  But he is not equipped to handle a situation if you should go into cardiac arrest on the table.  He doesn't have the experience built upon years of learning and honing his craft.  And there's the difference.

There's a difference between someone asking about a certain aspect of a craft they they've been trying, but not getting, and someone who wants it all laid out in a neat, pretty package with all the work done by someone else.

But I keep wondering what it is about Etsy that gives people the impression that we crafters and artists, who are trying to sell our things, will just hand over our suppliers, techniques and 'how-to's' to anyone who asks?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tags on Etsy

are a joke.  The flagging system is a joke.  I have purposely not used the word 'Etsy' in any of my later posts because I refuse to give them any more advertisement because they sure as hell don't do anything for me, but I'm hoping google picks up this post and they read it because I'm fed up.

I'm fed up with people using Etsy as a place to unload their personal stash of jewelry. I just happened upon 2 shops that I know for a fact are doing this.  I have found one of the rings they are selling at and flagged and supplied the link.  The fact that their 'handmade' stuff is at such a basic skill level and then they have these metalworked rings with stampings in them, no less, is very telling, but the items remain despite the proof.  I found someone who is selling stuff from  Seriously folks, if you want a spider mood ring, buy it there and not from this seller, it's only $4!!!!!!!

Someone else is selling a cast iron 'animal' that they pulled out of their yard.  A little rusted, but you can use it in an easter basket.  It's in supplies.  They also have little cardboard houses they claim to have made themselves and the same ones are for sale on .  sure, you can buy kits and make them, but why not sell the kits?  The finished product is not a supply, and it barely passes as handmade as far as I'm concerned.  Any monkey can put a kit together.  The problem with shops like this is that they do have legitimate stuff in their shops that either really are a supply, or handmade stuff, but then they add these other items that are agaist TOS and there is nothing we can do but flag.

I didn't go looking for these infractions either, I just clicked on a category and there they were as plain as the nose on your face.  No one but us monitors the listings and if they are so backed up with flags, what does that tell you?  That maybe there is so much on the site that doesn't belong that it's a problem?  Or so much is miscategorized or mistagged that it's a problem?

And then there's alchemy.  Where you are supposed to be able to request a special item to be made for you.  Something that isn't already offered on the site.  Not knockoffs of other people's work for a cheaper price, not knockoffs of precious name brand jewelry or clothing because you can't afford the 'real thing'.  It's not supposed to be for 'what can I get for my boyfriend's sister's BFF for $3 including shipping'.  You aren't supposed to advertise your business there.  You aren't supposed to request supplies or vintage items there.  I saw someone looking for scrabble tiles.  There are dozens of shops that sell them.  Contact one of them if you are looking for a specific letter.  I don't look at alchemy too often, I'm busy enough with custom work, but sometimes if I'm bored I"ll look.  The other day, in 3 pages I must have flagged over a dozen of requests for flagrant violations.  Another dozen were 'what can I get for' or requests for knockoffs.  The problem with no one monitoring this section is that they get bids, so by the time it's removed (if it even is) they've already gotten what they're looking for.

The whole site is just a free-for-all.  do what feels good to you and the hell with everyone else.  The problem with that is it screws up the site for those that follow the rules.  I'm sure some of the ones who would never dream of abusing tags or categories are now finding that joining them is much easier than trying to change it.  And those that have no clue that their abusing tags and categories?  Sorry folks, you get lumped in with the ones that do it purposely, because ignorance is no excuse.  Just because you don't know something doesn't mean it's excusable, it's your responsibility to know the rules of the venue you are selling on.

And don't get me started on SEO and google base.  I may not be able to post in the forums, but I sure read them.  What a clusterfuck those issues are.  I have no faith that Etsy will get either of those right the first time.  Or the second, or third time.

Ok, rant over for the moment.  You can all go back to your regularly scheduled rainbows and cupcakes now.  Thank you.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Favorite Things - Lighthouses

Those familiar with my taste in things will know that I am a lover of lighthouses.  I'm always looking for things related to that and decided to do a little searching on Ehtsee to see what I could see.  And I found a treasure trove of beautiful things and thought I'd give them a little boost in my blog.

Latimer Lighthouse - An Original Watercolor Painting by David Young

If money was not a concern, this would be mine.  Yesterday.  What a beautiful painting by a very talented man.

18 X 12 Ceramic Tile Mural Lighthouse Ocean Nautical Lighthouses Rocks 

(ok, not the greatest title, but I'm not here to criticize!)


So vibrant and beautiful I could really see this in my bathroom.

16x20 OLD FRIENDS..Original..Ready to Hang

This is a little different style of painting, done in acrylics on canvas, but I think it captures the serenity of a calm summer night.  The moon and the lighthouse, guardians lighting the way for sailors for hundreds of years.

Manistee North Pierhead Light Original watercolor 

This watercolor is exceptionally well done.   The artist, Brenda Thour has a beautiful selection of well detailed watercolors. 


14 Karat Gold Lighthouse Miniature Sculpture 

A little something different.  The lighthouse is
cast in 14K yellow gold. The lighthouse, dock and rowboat were carved in wax, then cast. These were in turn assembled to the stone base, with the oars and rope hand fabricated.  The entire sculpture is then mounted on a mahogany wood base with a glass dome cover for dust protection.  This is definitely for the serious collector, and a beautiful study of textures and color.

Lighthouse and Sailboat Suncatcher 

Beautifully hand cut stained glass.

I am no art critic, and I'm always at a loss for words to describe the feelings I get when I see things I love, and I rarely do them justice.   All I can say is that each and every single item I've featured here has struck a chord within me and represented one of my favorite things so well that I had to show them to you.  I hope you enjoy them and check out their shops to see more, because even if lighthouses aren't your thing, I can guarantee you that they will have something that strikes a chord in you too.




Friday, September 04, 2009


I should probably start with Raz, our other cat, since we got her first, but finding Loki in one of his typical poses with a camera handy was the determining factor in who got blogged about first.

We got Loki as a kitten from a friend of my daughter's.  She brought him home late one night after a graduation party.  Mind you, we already had a dog, a rabbit and another cat and my husband was vehemently opposed to adding another animal to our zoo.  Since we only had Raz for a short time, and they are both black, we actually got away with my husband not noticing we actually had 2 cats for awhile.  One evening after dinner, both cats happend to run into the kitchen while the hubs was sitting at the table.  The jig was up!  He picked Loki up, gave me that look, sighed and said "I guess we have another cat?".    For all his gruff and bluster, the hubs is really a softy when it comes to cute little animals, so Loki was officially made a member of the family.

Loki is a polydactyl, meaning he has 6 toes on each front paw.  His front feet look like catcher's mitts. 

Loki is Lord of the House.  There is no place that he doesn't belong and he insists that we accommodate him no matter what we are doing.

 In fact, he can be downright stubborn even if I am trying to work.

And this is probably his favorite pass-time..... playing dead.

I actually had to look very closely to make sure he was still breathing.  And of course, he can't do this after I've vacuumed.
He also likes to monitor my computer activities.  I have a side table that was supposed to be used for working on projects while I surf, but Loki figured it was for him and makes darn sure that anything I put on that table is pushed off onto the floor and therefore in the dog's domain.  Sometimes I think he jumps on the kitchen table just to push stuff off for the dog to chew.  You'd think I'd have learned,  but sterling silver omega chain had it's clasps mysteriously chewed off, and just last night Lily walked past me reeking of Little Black Dress perfume.  I later found the bottle, intact with the plastic top chewed to bits under the table.
Anyway, here is Loki monitoring my computer activities:

Did I mention I love this cat to bits?  He's just so self assured and regal.  Even our vet called him handsome.  And lovable, and so good natured.

Now if I can just get the elusive Razzy to pose for some pictures, I'll tell you all about her next!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

I don't get it.

So E rolled out a new feature enabling each shop to rearrange their items.  I know it was a feature some people wanted, maybe even I did at one time, but I have to say 'whoopdedoo' on this one.

Have I become so jaded that nothing E does is good enough anymore?  True, one doesn't need to renew items in order to put them together on the first page of your shop anymore, and I understand that some people really want this and find it useful.  I don't.  I dont' have it yet, so maybe that's part of it, but it looks to me like how you would rearrange a treasury.  To make 'aesthetically pleasing' pages.

Maybe I'm not 'every shopper', but I rarely look at the aesthetic of the shops I buy from.  The photos do matter, but not how they are arranged in one's shop.  Categories are a good thing to have, what I really wish is that we could have thumbnails for each of our categories along with a place for a description, and those could be your front page thumbnails.  That I would find useful and be all 'thanks E for all your hard work!'.

As far as I'm concerned, this was a feature that should have been part of E since the V2 rollout.  It shouldn't have been something that people begged and pleaded for for years so that when they finally did get it they fell over themselves in gratitude.  Sheesh, it literally makes me ill to read all the gushing people do.  I guess I am jaded.

Now, how about fixing those SEO issues?

Our Vacation

Ok, so I've been slacking in the blogging department.  Sometimes I have so many ideas about things I want to write about, and I have half a dozen drafts of things waiting in the wings but this blogging business isn't as easy as it looks.
Anyway, in August, we went to Wellesley Island up in The Thousand Islands to the state park to camp.  Camping for me is a 27 ft trailer with running water, electricity and an indoor bathroom and shower.  I've done the tent thing, and trust me, there is no glamour in tent camping.  And it's a darn good thing we didn't camp with a tent.  The first night we were there, there were torrential rains and further on down our row of camp sites, the poor tenters were flooded.  I wish I had gotten pictures of that, but I felt sorry for them.
So, it was a 5 hour drive for us.  We invited my husband's sister Bonnie and her Significant Other, Joey.     They also have a large trailer, and our sites were diagonally across from each other, close enough to be together, but not close enough to "be together", if you catch my drift.  I love Bonnie and Joe with all my heart, but in small doses.  And dang if I didn't get pictures of them, or our campsites or any of that stuff.  Come to think of it, I didn't get a lot of pictures, except of the scenery, which is worth it in one respect, but not so great in the story-telling department. Oh, did I mention that Bonnie has a fear of bridges?

Oh Bonnie.......did you see the view from the bridge?

My daughter Kayle brought her friend Cassie along.

We arrived and set up camp around 3pm.  My husband, with his years of truck driving experience, backed into our site on the first try.  Joey, on the other hand, even with my husband directing him took about a half hour of back and forth, in and out to finally get situated.  The first night is kind of a blur, we ate, it rained, we watched TV, yes, my husband bought a new flat screen TV and hooked up satellite dish for our convenience.  Yes, I am spoiled.

The next morning, the sun shone and we headed off the island to Alexandria Bay.  It's a neat little town filled with tourist shops and restaurants, and you can also take river excursions and visit Boldt Castle, situated on an island.  We didn't do the castle tour this time, we did it years ago when my daughter was in a wheelchair with a broken ankle, thanks to her older brother.  That's another story though.  Suffice it to say, once was enough.  The memory of pushing that wheelchair all over the island, in and out of buildings is permanently burned into my brain as something I don't want to relive, ever.  However, I did take some pretty spectacular pictures of the island with Boldt Castle on it.

It was "Bill Johnston's Pirate Days" during our visit.  Bill Johnston was a renegade after the patriots war, who blew up the British steamer, Sir Robert Peel, hid among the 1000 Islands, and was hunted by both U.S. and Canadian authorities. The annual Bill Johnston's Pirates Days celebration commemorates some of his exploits.  There were all sorts of things going on, reenactments, a pirate ship and people dressed in pirate garb all over the place.  We didn't really see much in the way of entertainment, but we managed to catch the pirate ship.

We walked through the town, and Kayle and Cassie bought some cute t-shirts, we ate ice cream and just kind of soaked in the sun and enjoyed the day.  Bonnie found some wine glasses for Joey's collection to commemorate their visit.  I didn't buy anything, my favorite thing to do their is just sit by the water and take in the view.  The islands dotting the St Lawrence are just so beautiful, and I love to imagine what it must be like to live on one.  Bonnie wanted a picture of one of the ferry's that gave tours, so here's one for you sistah:
When we arrived to the campgrounds, we noticed this huge, huge nest atop a power pole.  My hubs and Cassie went back to take pictures:
WE thought it was an eagle nest, but later learned it was an osprey nest.  I don't know much about this bird, but luckily there was a sign with some great information right there!

While hubs and Cassie were investigating the bird nest, they decided to take a look around another part of the Island.  Well, the hubs decided and Cassie went along for the ride.  They found a boat dock area (how exciting), and thought the approaching sunset was photo worthy.
And then discovered Eel Bay, and took another picture of the sun setting.
 All in all, we had a nice little vacation.  I really love our new trailer, and I look forward to using it again, most likely, next summer.  I think though, I'll plan a little earlier next time, this was kind of a spur of the moment getaway for 4 days, and it would have been nice to be able to stay a little longer.

To end this blog post, I'll leave you with a beautiful picture.  I have no idea where it was taken or who took it, but it is a fitting tribute to the beautiful area we visited.