Category: learning

Getting Serious

It’s time to stop being casual when it comes to my various so-called ‘side hustle’ endeavors. I relaunched my Etsy shop several months ago and hoped that my bracelets were pretty enough to sell themselves. That’s not how it works.

In my job as a social media specialist (whatever that means), I have been tasked with learning how to buy advertising on Twitter and Facebook. It’s a little confusing, but in the end, it’s not rocket science.  It doesn’t have to be expensive either.

I made a little video featuring the bracelets in my shop using Quik.  I made it a promoted post on Instagram. You have to switch to a business account to do this. Traffic to the shop increased only slightly. Then I spent $50 to promote the video on Twitter. I did this with the “Quick Promote” option, so the run was short and didn’t do much for me.

My next effort was to do a promotion directly on Etsy. I got one sale, but I’m not sure what did it. I’ll need to do some research before spending any more on advertising.

Next, I downloaded an audiobook called How to Sell on Etsy with Blogging. The book mentioned an Etsy plugin for WordPress. I’m going to see if I can get that installed.

The next thing to address is my inventory. My bracelets might not be trendy enough, so I bought a few magazines about jewelry-making to see what’s going on in that world.

I have a lot of work to do if I want to have a successful jewelry business.




A Clearer Path? Maybe from 12/25/15

It came to me like. flash. A flash? The flashy notion was that I can use this blog to document my creative journey. I want to be an artist. No, I shouldn’t say that. I will say that I am  an artist! I have something to express. Something to share with the world. I have the passion, now I need the skill. I need to learn how to use those tools I’ve purchased.

Okay, I know that in a previous post I said the blog was going to be all about jewelry. That was a good thought, but now I’m thinking bigger. The concept may get bigger still. It may shrink.  We shall see. The important part is that I keep posting.

I was going to talk about a few things in this post, but instead, I’ll keep it short.

I will give a preview of what’s to come. Not necessarily in this order.

  1.  Learning how to make wrapped wire loops.
  2. Digital to physical mixed media.
  3. My next dance solo.
  4. Working with my new DSLR camera.

We’ll see how things go.

Bird mixed media painting/photo print, Nikon DSLR, wire wrapped bracelet

Learning: Wrapped Loops

Making wrapped loops is a wire jewelry fundamental. With a wrapped loop you can securely connect your jewelry components. I had a difficult time understanding how to do them until I took a Curious course from the O’Neil Sisters, DIY Beaded Jewelry. Here’s something from them on YouTube.

I have made a few bracelets using wrapped loops.My technique needs some work.


Bracelet Crazy

I went on a bracelet making spree. I wanted to master the multi-strand bead cone design. It started out kind of bad, but it got better. I’m not a master yet, but I’ve got some experience under my belt. Making these two bracelets took about 12 tries. It was all about getting the length right, crimping correctly, and achieving quality wrapped loops.

Continue reading “Bracelet Crazy”

Learned Another Thing

My MS flare-up means taking a steroid drug called Dexamethasone. Its side-effects include upset stomach and stomach irritation. My stomach is upset and irritated. It was okay yesterday I think  because I’ve been drinking Citrucel at night, and I was a bit careful of what and how much I was eating.

Today I threw a bit of caution to the wind. I decided to see how fries from Wendy’s would treat me.

Illustration of French fries.







I had some jello pudding. I had a couple of waffles with syrup in the morning. I ate Wheat Thins hoping they would settle my stomach but probably had too many of them. I’m sure there’s something I’m leaving off.

Tomorrow I take it easier. I will think before I eat.

Here is something pretty.

Tulips manipulated with Reflection app and Dreamscope app for iPhone.
Tulips manipulated with Reflection app and Dreamscope app for iPhone.



Not Quite Real and a bit of Tech

I realized today that the pill I’m on for nerve pain is causing drowsiness. It makes me feel like I’m not quite in this world. Could it be that I will wake up to find that this MS thing was only a dream?  That’s a silly thought I guess, but I enjoy thinking of reality as being plastic.

I want to finish my position paper for class, but my head seems too foggy. In the paper, I’m arguing against a British guy who thinks libraries are over. They are not!  It will appear on my learning blog this week hopefully. 

I started to upgrade my iPhone 5s to the 6s plus online today, but the ship date would have been late April. So hubby and I will head to the AT&T store tomorrow. I’m getting the biggest phone! I probably should wait for the 7, but I just can’t.

  • I’m using technology to help manage my health. I downloaded an app called MS Self that let’s me easily record how I’m feeling each day. 
Screenshot from MS Self app
Screenshot from MS Self app
  • I’m using a biofeedback type of relaxation software tool called HeartMath.
Screenshot from HeartMath
Screenshot from HeartMath
  • I’m going to make better use of Evernote to organize my digital and real life.


Screenshot from Evernote notebook
Screenshot from Evernote notebook
I need a big phone!

We decluttered our kitchen medicine cabinet tonight. It’s really amazing how many duplicate expired over-the-counter medications we had. We have wasted a lot of money over the years!


Mini meltdown before going down that path

I’ve mentioned here before that I need a degree that is not a dance degree so I can get a full-time job as something other than a clerical worker.  I have begun filling out the application for the Masters program in Instructional Systems Technology at IU.  I am registered to take the GRE in December.  It would seem that my ducks are lining up nicely.

Today I decided to start thinking about preparing for the GRE. I’ve never had to take it. I’ve made a point of avoiding programs that required it. Today I did a Google search for GRE preparation resources, and I came across a site that had some sample questions for the quantitative part of the exam.  I had been telling myself that I can do the math part of the GRE.  It might be a struggle, but I can do it. After today I’m not so sure. After attempting to understand those sample questions I had a mini meltdown. I think I was nearing an actual panic attack.

So then I decided to leap to the conclusion that I cannot do well enough on the test to get into the program. I then decided that I will never be able to get a full-time job that I enjoy. I thought that I might as well just give up on any and all of my dreams.

Then I thought, I could just get a certificate in Instructional Systems  Technology.  I would learn a lot, it would take less time, it would cost less money, and I wouldn’t need the GRE. Would that look as good on my resume? It would not. Sounds like a bit of a cop-out to me. Besides, I really want to delve deeply into the discipline. I want to find a way to make a mark. I want to be a serious scholar. I need to get over my fear of math. I need to believe in myself.

After my little freak out episode, I took Dad to campus so he could take some pictures. I managed to take a few pictures while worrying about my future. Here’s one I took that seems to symbolize the path I’m travelling to get to my distant future.

Wooded path on IUB campus.
The long path to I’m not sure what.

A slight reconfiguration of my digital life

Here’s the deal. I’ve decided to shut down my “Look What I Found” blog. The blog was supposed to be about my journey into content curation, but it takes a lot of work to really curate properly.

I don’t have that kind of time, so I’ve got a new plan. I will use Learnist  to satisfy my curation penchant. With Learnist, I can gather and organize content without having to worry too much about adding my own extensive commentary.

As for the content in this blog-I’ll use this as a digital scrapbook of sorts. If something interests me, I’ll write about it here. I’ll also  repost the content from “Look What I Found” until I run out of posts to repost.

Gotta keep reminding myself that when all is said and done, this blog is for me.  If anyone else reads it, well, that ‘s just a bonus.


Storytelling-It’s All the Rage

(Repost from June 16, 2013 on “Look What I Found”)

Why Storytelling Is The Ultimate Weapon – By: Jonathan Gottschall

Why storytelling is the ultimate weapon title and image from video.

Jonathan Gottschall is the author of The Storytelling Animal. He says that there is science behind the notion that storytelling is the best way to communicate a message. In this article Gottschall talks about Peter Gruber’s book,  Tell to Win. There’s a short animated video with  the article as well.

Should we be suspicious of stories? on Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds


Reynolds asks if we should be suspicious of stories because of their incredible power to persuade. He links to a Tedx talk by Tyler Cowen, and offers his opinions on what Cowen has  to say about storytelling.

The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains by Leo Widrich on

Diagram of emotions and parts of the brain

Leo Widrich is the co-founder of Buffer. When he began to market his product through stories, sign-ups increased dramatically. In  this article, he talks about the brain science behind why storytelling works so well, and he gives some practical storytelling tips.

5 Stories Every Entrepreneur Should Be Able To Tell  by Leah Busque

Page in typewriter

Lea Busque is the Founder and CEO, TaskRabbit, Inc. Some of the stories she believes you should tell include the story of  your company’s origin, and the story of your vision for the company’s future.  She also suggests telling a story about a failure you’ve had, and how you learned from it. This one is a nice quick read.

The Moth and  Risk!

The Moth Podcast risk

These podcasts feature storytelling performances. Risk! is a bit edgy.  A lot of the stories are about sex, drugs, and other not so family friendly topics, so parental discretion is advised. The Moth is tamer, and perhaps geared more for the over 40 crowd than Risk!  These shows are an  entertaining window into the intimate moments of other people’s lives.

Go to my “The Idea of Storytelling” Pearltree to find more resources for this topic.

My Way

I have to find my own way. I really do.

I had a job interview today and it made me realize that I know what I really like to do. I like dealing with information. I like sharing content, mine and that of others. I like using the word “content,” even though it’s probably one of those overused buzzwords. I like writing blog posts. I like creating videos, and taking photos, and making visual art. I like being immersed in all of the neat stuff the world has to offer. When I say world, I mean the real world as well as the digital one.

I must find my own way, and I must do it now! How am I going to do it? I think I have a plan.
I’m gonna make a list of the things I want to write about in each of my blogs. I’ll attach a schedule to that list. Then, I will get to work.

Time is running out!