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Posted: June 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: art, books, editing, Etsy, jewelry, life | 2 Comments »

I’m a puzzle girl. I like putting my brain through its paces, figuring out how something goes together, knowing that there is a solution and if I’m patient enough, it will eventually reveal itself.

Even though I have a Kindle subscription to the Plain Dealer, I still subscribe to the hardcopy Sunday paper so I can get at the two giant crosswords and the sudoku. (Yes, I know you can get those online, too, but it’s just not nearly as satisfying to me to work those online as it is to sit with pen in hand and cat in lap.)

The week past and the one coming, however, are ruled by real-life Tetris. Tetris of the calendar + to-do list kind. On my plate right now are:

  • A giant proofreading project — giant, I tell you — that’s waiting for query replies from the editor. That whole thing has to be on the way out of here Wednesday, after I hear back from the editor.
  • A more normal-sized proofreading project, not due for a couple more weeks, but I still don’t want to be stuck rushing on it, so I’m trying to chip away at it a little bit every day.
  • Show prep for two outdoor shows, one of which is tomorrow and the other next Sunday. Thankfully, I was able to spend all of Tuesday up in the studio and have plenty of stock, but I still need to price the new things, double-check that everything I need is where it should be, and pack the car for a crack of dawn setup tomorrow. This is what I’ll be doing tonight instead of attending the local Etsy Craft Party — which was always kind of a pie-in-the-sky, wish-I-could-be-there-but-yeah-right kind of thing anyway.
  • E-mail newsletters for myself and for Cleveland Handmade. Nothing too complicated about either, but still time-consuming.
  • A client meeting in Columbus on Monday to discuss a kind of rush-ish layout project, which is looking to be a bit more involved that I initially thought. I have to do a little OCR experiment today to prep for that, since it looks like there are no files to work from for at least part of the project.
  • Final preparations for my class reunion, which is three weeks away, and replies to a bunch of e-mails relating to it.
  • And, the bonus: A super-rush copyediting project from a newish-to-me client I’d like to do a whole lot more for, a book by one of my favorite jewelry artists. Serendipity. The kind of project I’ve been wanting to break into for quite some time now. It dropped in my lap yesterday, and it’s due Tuesday. Yep, four days from now, with two of those days already spoken for. Fortunately, it’s not a long project, and I can find the time that has been budgeted for it if I plan carefully, move some things around, and don’t get too distracted. (Hence the Tetris.)
  • I know I can make this happen and still maintain my sanity. But well-wishes are still gratefully accepted.

    tidbits: avalanche edition

    Posted: January 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: editing, tidbits | 1 Comment »

    When I think about all I’ve managed to get done in the past month, it makes my head spin. But yay, such a great sense of accomplishment, even if I had to let a few other things slide to get here (like fully participating in the Best of 2009 Blog Challenge, as I had planned; it ends up I’m no good at zipping off five-minute posts).

    Santa brought us a fancy new camera, which I’ve slowly been learning to use, with much thanks to the camera-specfic book Santa was so thoughtful to bring along with the camera. (Turkey portrait courtesy of the fancy new camera. Through a not-necessarily-clean window. Yeah, the FNC rocks. So does Mr. Turkey.)

    No, this will not turn into an all turkeys all the time blog. When something more exciting happens than turkeys peeking in the window, I’ll let you know.

    So, after Santa brought the FNC, my dear husband got me a Kindle for my birthday. That has been a learning curve, too, although a much less steep one. I plan to sign up for the New York Times subscription (once I actually have time to read it), and I wish the Cleveland Plain Dealer were available that way. So far I’ve been (finally) reading Sense and Sensibility—a free download—as I ease into setting myself a book budget and get used to reading on screen. One thing I especially love: The case my husband got me for it folds back and lets me prop the Kindle up to make for easier reading without having to hold it.

    I ended up with three unexpected projects over the past couple of weeks, in addition to my regulars: a book about jazz, another Weird book, and a relatively short formatting project. Jazz is done, I’m just over halfway through the Weird, and I’m squeezing the other one in over the weekend. Thankfully, the other projects on my desk have long deadlines, so I can still finish them with plenty of time to spare even if I don’t get started on them before the end of next week.

    One of the nicest things to come out of these unexpected projects is finding the music of Melody Gardot. Love.

    Sometime in all that, I still managed to find time to get the registration form up for my high school reunion and finish the redesign of the Cleveland Handmade site (based on a free template, but with a lot of tweaking). One of these day I still need to get to my much-neglected professional site, poor, sad thing that it is.

    Oh, and I had four custom orders the last week of December/first week of January.

    Whew. I’m tired now. But back to the grindstone for me.

    tidbits: turkey edition

    Posted: October 9th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: art, critters, editing, life, nature, tidbits | 5 Comments »

    surpriseThanksgiving might be a little difficult for me this year.

    I took a little break from a book I’m working on to take some photos of the changing leaves for a friend who lives in Hawaii but misses the fall colors on the mainland. (The colors are just spectacular in the rain.) I was working my way around the back of the house when I turned the corner and found my turkey friends in the herb garden, snacking on some worms or bugs or something in the freshly turned soil. I was almost on top of them before I noticed them (see how they’ve got that sneaky dirt-colored camouflage thing happening?), and one of them actually started to approach me. I snapped a few pictures, then switched to the movie setting and followed them around the yard for a few moments. You can hear the low sounds they make in the video, something between a gurgle and a bark.

    They weren’t quite sure what to make of the fence; the other end of the fence by the gazebo isn’t quite so low to the ground, and they’re able to easily duck underneath down there. And it occurs to me with Halloween approaching that the clip of them near the playhouse might make a good horror film — the scale makes them look ten feet tall.

    tingeofyellowThe herb garden is right up against the kitchen window, which now that I think about it explains the mysterious knocks I’ve heard a couple times today when there’s been no one at the door. At the last office job I had, the turkeys would come right up to the window and peck at their reflections, and it sounded like someone knocking. Mystery solved.

    In other news, I have a nice stream of projects coming in, a good mix of scholarly and fun, light and bring-on-the-machetes, quick and long term. I really am a project person; I thrive on being able to work on something and then put it away as done. I don’t do so well in environments where you have to do the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Or I have to work really hard to find some way to make each iteration different somehow.

    redmapleI had a great time with the Cloth•Paper•Scissors Studio Tour last weekend. I visited every one of the stops on the tour and found something interesting or cool or beautiful or inspiring or otherwise worth my time at every one. And I found some intriguing new blogs in the process, too. (If you didn’t get a chance to take my studio tour, it’s the October 2, 2009, entry.)

    And speaking of new blogs, Chris of Copper Leaf Studios is doing a wonderful job with her new-ish blog. She has such a wonderful sense of humor and writing style, and her personality shines right through. Give her a visit if you haven’t yet.

    tidbits: extra blanket edition

    Posted: September 4th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: art, cats, editing, life, shows, tidbits | 1 Comment »

    It’s started to get really chilly in the evenings here in Northeast Ohio. I’ve dragged out the extra blankets, and I have to admit that I really enjoy sleeping with the windows open to the chill as long as I have all those weighty blankets on me. It really does make it even more difficult to get out of bed in the morning, though.

    RR_Fall_Arts_Festival_FINAL_lo2I’ve been accepted to the Rocky River Fall Arts Festival, which will be happening two weeks from tomorrow in the Old Detroit Road shopping district. This is a brand new show, and I’m hoping it ends up being a good one for everyone. A number of Cleveland Handmade artists will be there, and there are some really good restaurants within a couple of blocks; check it out if you’re in the area.

    Work has been incredibly busy. I had hoped to coast through August, but a long-awaited BIG project finally came in and morphed into a super-rush project. I’ve been nose-to-grindstone for the past two weeks, and will probably be so into next week. Thankfully, we have a very low-key holiday weekend ahead with no major plans, so I’ll be able to make some progress over the weekend and take next weekend as my very own holiday.

    Earlier this week I got notice that the Cat Lover’s Daily Companion has had such strong orders that it’s going into a second printing before it’s even out in the stores. That makes me happy. And Kristen and I talked about doing some local signings before the holidays; I’ll post info here if we get something together.

    random bits

    Posted: May 22nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: art, editing, Etsy, jewelry, life | 2 Comments »

    Oddmall two weekends ago was a bit of a bust for me, although I did meet some great people and take a few custom orders, so it wasn’t a total loss. But I ended up with a lot of inventory that I had planned on moving along. It’s been hanging out in my cases waiting to be photographed and listed, but today is the first day I’ve really had time to make progress on that. I’ve got about half the photos done, and hope to list a couple of things over the next few days before hitting it pretty hard next week.

    Part of what’s taken up my time was a slew of custom orders, one of which was a big wholesale order. See? Lots of little domes:


    Nearly 100 in all.

    personalized stamped domed sterling silver pendantIn addition, I got some great new lowercase stamps and have been busy doing custom name pendants using these beautiful new stamps. I’ve ordered another set in a different alphabet, too, and those should be in next week. Lots of whacking with hammers going on around here these days!

    Other than that, I’ve been working on a few editing projects and doing some serious gardening work. And trying to figure out how to cram more hours into a day.


    Posted: July 18th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: art, editing, jewelry, learning, wedding, WordPress, work | Comments Off on miscellany

    The weekly entertainment update I get via e-mail from the New York Times featured Mamma Mia today. I am ambivalent about Abba — it’s pretty much just fifth-grade nostalgia background music for me — but now I have “Dancing Queen” stuck in my head. It’s not good.

    I have been nose to the grindstone in an avalanche of freelance projects. A few were running late from the publishers, one was running early, and one was a peach of a rush project that I couldn’t turn down, so I started out the month with eight projects in various states of completion. I’m still trying to figure out if that was a good or a bad thing, but the paychecks will be nice once they start to come in. I slugged through it and managed to return everything on time, and even a couple of them a day or two early. It was a good feeling. I’m on the last one now, then I’ll have a bit of a breather before the next slate is due to arrive on my desk. The break will be welcome, since I have a couple of upcoming shows and classes to prepare for.

    My biggest show of the year and my favorite to do is the Avon Lake Summer Market, which is coming up next Saturday, July 26. Erin and Kristen do a fabulous job of putting together a beautiful show with a wide variety of vendors. The setting couldn’t be more lovely, and they do a nice job of publicizing it. It’s a fundraiser for restoration of the Thomas Folger Home. I hope to see some of you there.

    My August show will be the North Olmsted Juried Arts & Crafts Show on Sunday, August 10. This will be the second year for this show. They do a really terrible job of promoting it, but I stick with it because I think it has a lot of potential. I wrote a long feedback letter last year giving them some pointers for promotion, but so far they have not taken them to heart.

    This year I started teaching some classes, too. I’m teaching bead classes at Grand River Beads. The May and June classes were bracelet variations on a kit design using large borosilicate beads. On July 31, I’ll be teaching a necklace version, then I’ll be retiring that class for a while. For August, I’m working on an original design using furnace glass and crystals. I’m also teaching etching classes at Bead Q in North Olmsted (8/17) and Chagrin Falls (8/4).


    Posted: February 8th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: editing, reality check | 2 Comments »

    This seems like it would be a really interesting article on the development of punctuation:

    From Interpunct to Interrobang

    Too bad I can’t get past the myriad punctuation errors. Irony, anyone?

    the joys of catching up

    Posted: June 21st, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: editing, life, work | 2 Comments »

    I wrapped up a slew of work projects right before the wedding, and I’m not expecting the next to arrive until next week. This lull has allowed me time to catch up on other projects, a few of which have been lingering too long.

    (Of course, the minute I typed that, I got a lead on a rush work project and put aside this entry to send off an inquiry about it. Funny how these things work.)

    I am almost never “between projects,” even when I have no actual paying work on my desk. I always have some kind of personal project or volunteer project on my plate, and oftentimes more than a few. This week I made progress on a lot of them, along with knocking out a ton of manini to-dos that make up the project I call “life in general.”

    The alumni club is looking for an automated way to handle memberships to take the load off of volunteers and streamline the process. I did a lot of research earlier in the spring and found what seems to be a viable — and free — solution. After much back-and-forth, we decided to give it a try with a small test group, and I spent most of today setting up the community website and inviting our testers to sign up.

    Yesterday I spent the day completely revamping my professional website and doing the first draft of a new prospecting letter. I’m still not happy with either, but it’s more progress than I’ve made on either in the past six months. I hope to attack them again on Monday, after they’ve had the chance to stew a while.

    I’m about halfway done with creating the “just the highlights” wedding photo page for those who want a taste but don’t want to slog through all three hundred professional photos and umpteen amateur photos. With luck, I’ll finish that tomorrow before I take off for the weekend.

    Earlier in the week I spent a few hours at the old house sorting and packing more stuff. Those who know me from the olden days might be shocked to learn that I ended up with more books in the giveaway pile than in the save-me boxes. While nowhere near as hoardalicious as some people I know who shall remain unnamed, I was at one time known for my vast accumulation of books. I have (mostly) gotten over that compulsion to acquire and hold everything remotely interesting that crosses my path, and I now try to limit myself to those books that are truly indispensible or that I truly love. What a concept!

    always something new to learn

    Posted: April 24th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: editing, learning, word of the day | Comments Off on always something new to learn

    Word of the day: usufruct. 1. the legal right of using and enjoying the fruits or profits of something belonging to another. 2. the right to use or enjoy something. (MW 11)

    Obvious once you break it down, no?

    One of the things I love best about being an editor is the constant exposure to new ideas, and, believe it or not, to new jargon and new ways of using common words. Between fighting the that vs. which battle and putting “only” where it really belongs in the sentence, I reach for the dictionary at least per chapter/article. Sometimes I’m just confirming what I already know, but many times I’m looking up something new to me. You’d think that would become less common over time, but after sixteen (!) years as a professional editor, it has become even more frequent. Granted, the majority of my work is for academic books and journals, which lend themselves to having to look things up. So many words, so little time.