Friday, October 29, 2010

Cosmo and the Universe

On the heels of what can best be summarized as a full out fucktacular month, Yael Rose returned from the mailbox of doom on Monday with this little guy; skinny, filthy and cute as ever!

I took him in, fed him and started the obligatory, "Is this your furry friend?" sign. Our neighbor, a dog owner-told the Favorite Guy that our visitor had been in and out of his yard teasing his dogs for a couple of weeks. Hmmm...The kids pooled their resources and off we went for ear mite cream, flea shampoo, a de-wormer and of course, a pretty little collar.

After much, much debate about names: Bennie, Vishnu, Comet, Pizza, Greyson, Theophilus, etc. we settled on, "Cosmo". Cosmo however has yet to settle down-at all. Much to the dismay of our three older, fatter, lazier rescued feline friends.

With two craft fairs and the busiest shopping season of the year approaching, he is proving to be somewhat of an occupational hazard for Pretty in Peace.

But, who can resist the cute?

Thank you Universe for allowing me the opportunity to give shelter to another furry friend in need. See, I'm being gracious, now can you ease up on the fucktacular please. My beer budget is TIGHT.
Peace and critters

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The NEW!

Peace Dreamcatcher necklaces

Leaf and Pod charm ring

Athena bracelet

The Castle Key necklace

A few of the pieces I've completed over the past week and into the weekend. Things continue to move at a rather intense pace here at Casa de Mercado, I'm equal parts excited and frantic about it all.

I'm still feeling really good about what I've been churning out design-wise. The discovery of the feathers at the bottom of my bucket o' brass findings has inspired a small collection of crunchy, Bohemian pieces, that I hope to build into a larger line for Spring based on how they're received this quarter.

The Castle Key necklace and Athena bracelet are more elegant, Holiday Collection designs. They're the tail end of my Finer Things Collection and will likely remain one of a kind pieces. This collection has been a blast to create, I've had fun stretching my imagination beyond the confines of my own flip-flops, jeans and obnoxious tee reality, but I feel a change comin'.

Being in the red has forced me into a deeper shade of green with regards to my booth displays for Coffee, Cookies & Crafts 2. I'll be posting more about the process in the next few days. I literally have a current budget of $0. (That is not a typo.) I do however, have a glue gun and access to free child labor, until Halloween. Winks. To be continued...


Thursday, October 21, 2010

My busy week in review...

Also known as excuses for blog slackin' when I shoulda' been blog mackin'... (Somewhere my friends are wincing at yet another failed attempt at being hip.)

Last Friday I cut my own hair...I "fixed" it on Saturday...I haven't combed it since.

Studying...well, sorta. This is stupid week. Are you familiar with stupid week? Well, I have a week when I just can't seem to get anything to make happens every month. The last time I had woes of the monthly variety I had the culprit excised by a nice man in a very cold, well-lit room. There were drugs, it wasn't so bad. This time however, I am not so lucky, so deal I must.

I study with the television on for background noise-it helps drown out the voices in my head that beckon me to do other, more fun things, like eat more empty carbolicious calories. Only this week the television beckoned me to find the names of cool songs from Subaru commercials via Google and then purchase said cool songs for my 5pod, but only after watching them on YouTube thrice and "singing" loudly. Note: I only actually know the 30 second snippet of lyrics featured in the commercials.

Here's my favorite one:

A pox on dude who pulled the doughnut out of his pocket. I had to double take...with one hand on the phone...thumb on the number 9... Please tell me you saw it too.

What else? Oh, despite what I look like in the photo above and now as I type this, I'm a rather astute businessperson, and have spent a better part of the week sounding great in type and on the telephone as I negotiated (read: whored) my way into some pretty exciting ventures for Pretty in Peace. More on those later...

Today I completed a few NEW! pieces for my Holiday 2010-2011 Collection, and managed to squeeze in a few, simpler everyday-wear pieces for a local craft fair. Spins in chair, and giggles as cats run for all of their lives. I made it! Woot!

I saw a good movie...Canadians are um...Canadian. See for yourself, it's called, "Les Sept Jours du Talion" (Seven Days). It's an impressive take of the madness of a vengeful heart...or the heart to avenge madness. You'll have to let me know what you think when you watch it; It's on Netflix streaming.

I wore purple. I bought more Halloween treats, clear nail polish; taught more math and discussed The U.S. Constitution.

I watched a docu-news-something-or-other on Andrea Yates and yelled at the television, my husband noticed something was wrong with me. Hmmp!

And, here I am...on the verge of once again wishing you all a wonderful weekend. I'm going to comb my hair tomorrow, and take pics of all of the new designs I've completed...promise.


Friday, October 15, 2010

On my way to bed...

I yawned one of those shaky-kneed, arms outstretched, "Oxygen please rescue me from the grip of lethargy" yawns with the sing-songy sigh finale. You know the type, yes? [If you answered no, beat it. If you answered yes, proceed to paragraph two.]

Well, my sing-songy sigh finale sounded JUST like the hook of this song. Instead of going to bed, I had to sing the song, "aaa-aa-da, aaa-aa-da, set'ma somethin' somethin' youuuuu"...Until... "Ha!", I exclaimed with my eyes. "PM Dawn...I remember them!" Yes, I was still exclaiming, clearly I was very excited. It would however be short-lived- intense, but short-lived nonetheless- as the only other person um, musically inclined enough to appreciate the song was asleep.

So, I went to bed with the song on my mind. Today, I figured I'd share my story just in case you found yourself someday, yawning one of those shaky-kneed, arms outstretched, "Oxygen please rescue me from the grip of lethargy" yawns with the sing-songy sigh finale, you'd know-unlike me-that, you are not alone. Oh shit, what have I started?

Have a wonderful weekend, all!

Peace and music

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Random Thought Thursday

A Happiness Project

As someone who lives with clinical depression, happiness can oftentimes feel as elusive as calorie-free cake and world peace. There's an overwhelming idealism about the concept, an expectation of something far from reach, something far from real, something incredibly intangible.

Lately, I've been working to change the way I measure my personal happiness, both as a choice and a recovery goal. Stigma to the flames, I've been acknowledging, accepting and treating my illness. Unsurprisingly this decision has and will continue to make some people sick.

In the way that diabetics ration sweets, as a depressive, I've had to restrict my bitterness intake. Chances are I've taken a pill for you, if you've called in the past couple weeks with some suck in your teeth, some roll in your neck, and/or low octave levels in your voice. Not because I don't love you, but because I can't, "nunh uh", not right now.

Y'know, I've never really been much of an emotions juggler. I'm far too feeling for that sort of mental-tasking. Once it's in my hands, I hold on to it, usually far longer than I should. So, for now, I'm giving it back, putting the onus on the owner, banning the bitter, foolery is forbidden-I'm sure there'll be much more where that came from, as I get better at this.

It's only been a few weeks, and it already feels like something I can do. Not like daily power walks or eliminating sugar from my diet, but like, real-life adjustments for real people. Laughs.

It's Thursday, and that's my project. What parts of yourself are you working on?

In a word,"peace".

Shop Talk: Retail Tales & Craft Fair Game

L to R: "I Do" choker, $24-NEW! earring tags-Plume dangles, $20

I peck this post dry-eyed and caffeinated to the point of impending nausea, I have a meeting with a stockist in a few hours. This is not just any stockist, but my first and in many respects my favorite, Frances Vintage. Peep the [shop] and the [blog]. Local. Awesome. Cool.

The past couple weeks have been an exciting-sarcasm rolls from lip and drips into tepid cawfee-mix of student, sweatshop employee, and quality control specialist for me. As much as I love what I do, there is a level of tedium in the production process that makes for a most unsparkly me. So, guess what I did to combat some of the tedium of mass manual production. Give up?! I'll tell you what I did, I spread myself thinner than the jam on my orally hyper-sensitive person toast. I applied for a spot at a local craft fair!

This is when you say, in glee club like harmony, "Oh Tameka! Why, pres tell?" And, I -after giving the question much consideration- reply, with shrugged shoulders and a quizzical gaze.

Now that it's done, as I await my fate from the judges I've started to mentally prepare myself for the uppercut, roundhouse of rejection, all whilst working on designs and display solutions should I be chosen. I'm retiring the ticket earring displays for a more cost/waste conscious, sophisticated tag. They've been hand-cut from recycled, patterned, metallic holiday gift boxes.

Oh, did I mention the craft fair is to be held the week of final exams, and Jordan's 19th birthday? Fun times.

Peace and preparation

Saturday, October 9, 2010


This was the first take in what would become a good 10 mins. "laugh attack".

That's me in the mirror looking every bit of as absolutely insane as I feel each week whilst recording myself signing for my ASL class. Take upon take, either cursing at the camera having fumbled my finger spelling, or laughing later whilst viewing the video, witnessing my psychopath-like absence of affect. This whole experience has been pure comedy.

Alas, I have a new appreciation for sociolinguistics as a science in and of itself, and a regard for body language cues that even an avid people-watcher such as myself had yet to fully grasp. You'd think- being a histrionic, er I uh mean- animated New Yorker, I'd have no problem communicating sans verbalization; why, I "flip the bird", roll m'neck and eyes at least a dozen times a day! What gives American Sign Language?!

This week, I'm buckling down and committing to an additional hour of practice daily, either I'll ace this course or rip my hair clean outta my head! How about you? What's the most challenging thing you've done, recently?

Peace and practice

Friday, October 8, 2010

Moroccane Magic

Last month I entered blog friend and talented artist, Kate Tracton's contest to name her new line of wares. The designs in the collection are made using her polymer clay canes, the resulting aesthetic very closely resembles that of Moroccan textiles. When I saw the pieces, I immediately thought to capture the technique and inspiring influence, so I joined the contest and suggested Moroccane Magic. The rest is history.

Photography credits: Yael Rose, age 11

I received my earrings just in time for The Favorite guy's monthly gig at Nakama, a local sushi bar and lounge. I absolutely love them, and they're just the added hint of class and color my mostly blue jeans wardrobe needed. You can see more of Kate's polymer clay designs, as well as her incredible bead-weaving in her Etsy shop, Kate Tracton Designs. She also has a fan page and gallery on Facebook.

Peace and magic

Monday, October 4, 2010

Talking Shop: September

Coming soon:
Asymmetrical wave choker $24

I can't believe it's already October! Moreover, I can't believe I've been in my NEW! digs for two months. Admittedly, I've been in a state of perpetual motion, balancing school, homeschooling, our label, label appearances, and Pretty in Peace. Don't ask how I'm doing it all, as I haven't had the time to wrap my head around the process, myself. What I can tell you however, is that I am doing it!

September saw a 450% increase in revenue from August. This kind of exponential growth was expected given the 600% increase in visibility that occurred throughout the first month of business (Aug. '10) as a result of some pretty heavy promoting. I promoted less aggressively in September and felt it. Grimace. My hits dropped just a little under 6.5%, but the breadth of traffic increased overall. In short, fewer hits albeit from more sites/locations. That being said, I managed to gross 26.5% more in Internet sales than I did in September '09 on Etsy, where I'd been settled and selling for the better part of 2 years.

The greater part of September's sales came from new customers, this eases some of the angst I initially felt about standing alone. It also has me thinking about incentives to lasso in my previous customer base. This could prove tricky given Etsy's strict customer contact regulations-more commonly referred to as spam.

November 1st: Holiday 2010
Limited Edition Collection

For October, I'm going to focus on tweaking the site-okay, actually finishing the site. Tweaking is an understatement of sorts, it's pretty bare bones over there-but, I'm working on it. I've also been twisting and beading away at a quaint, little holiday collection which hits the shop November 1; a dozen one-of-a-kind pieces with a little extra something that says, "special occasion". In addition, I have final exams, costumes to make, a costume party to attend, and trick-or-treating to squeeze in there...somewhere in there. I guess I should go now, huh?

Peace and progress

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