Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Simply Joy Sunday, uh, Tuesday?

Things have been a bit screwy lately, but I wanted to make sure I got this post in, albeit a little late.

Scott had surgery on his shoulder this past week due to a work related injury. I've been spending whatever time I'm not at work lately helping him (and glad to do so!). My biggest joy this week was when the doctor came out of surgery and told me that all went well. I was so relieved and grateful. Scott was truly a wreck for most of the rest of the day after the surgery; quite understandably between the general anesthesia, the nerve block, and the stress of the surgery. After a nice long nap and having some food, he was much more coherent, but still quite numb. The next great, happy moment come when the nerve block started to wear off and he could start moving his fingers a little. Of course, that also was the precursor to pain so it was kind of a double edged sword. It was thrilling nonetheless that he was getting feeling back.

A few days after the surgery, we were able to take the bandages off and we happily discovered that there was no bruising or swelling and the incisions were nice and clean. Scott was still in quite a bit of pain, but feeling well enough to leave the house and get out and about for a little bit. We spent the day running errands: we didn't do anything special, but it was such an enjoyable afternoon just spending some time together. We had lunch out and he got to get out of the house for a little while.

There were some simple joys this week for Athena's Armoury, too! The first was a happy surprise to see my Artfire referral points jump up to seven. I don't know who bumped me up, so thank you whoever you are! Just a few short days later, aquariann signed up as #8 and it made me so happy. When I got to seven I thought it was going to be so difficult to get the last three, so when she popped up i was thrilled. By my count, at this point, I do have the ten referrals I need for a free account but Artfire hasn't confirmed that on my account page yet. I really hope so!! No listing fees and no selling fees and no monthly fee -- how awesome would that be?!

I also discovered this week that one of the women I work with is a clothing designer. She asked for my card to possibly include me in on some of her designs, or at her shows, or even possibly to refer me to her clients. So cool!

Around the holidays I began work on a custom chain maille purse. I was very excited to be working on this project and it was near completion when I needed to finalize a few details with my customer. She had a lot of personal things going on for a while and I finally heard from her this week. I'm really looking forward to finalizing everything with her so that I can finish it up and send it on it's way.

Don't forget to check out more Simply Joy Sunday posts at Cool Zebras.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

$7 Artfire Accounts - Only 18 Left!!

There are only 18 $7 Artfire memberships left before it goes back up to the regular $20/month. I only need TWO more of those referrals to get a free account. Help a girl out and sign up with me as your referral?

I'd also like to offer up a little incentive for those last two referrals. I'd like to offer a chain maille bracelet worth $25 to the last two people that sign up with me as their referral. Here's how it would work:

Let me know your e-mail addy in the comments below and I'll send you a referral through my Artfire account. Once it's verified, I should be able to see your username in my account and know for sure who it was that signed up. Then you get free chain maille. This offer is only good until those last 18 accounts are gone.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Get in on the Ground Floor at Artfire

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell Handmade

If you haven't heard about Artfire yet, it's time you do!! Artfire is the latest web marketplace to buy and sell handmade, vintage, supplies, even design & media services. I have been a long time Etsian (my current shop is nearly two years old & my original shop was open for about a year before that) and have always loved it over there. That said, there is A LOT to be excited about with Artfire.

One of my favorite features that they rolled out recently is the Rapid Cart you see in the right hand column of my blog. It features items from my shop and will let you purchase and check out immediately from my blog without having to sign up for Artfire account. Talk about ease of use for your customers.

Listing is SO easy. You do it all on one page and it is super quick. I love things that make my life easier and this certainly does.

Google Analytics and studio stats. Analytics has worked brilliantly since day one and the studio stats are built right into your account so you know where all of your views are coming from. Makes promoting that much easier.

They also let you link to your Etsy shop, Facebook, flickr, Myspace, and more right from your shop.

They have a fairly sizable marketing campaign in place that includes viral, social, traditional, and non-traditional efforts. They have purchased display ads in national publications, broadcast networks, web ads, as well as over 150 million views of ArtFire ads on websites such as Facebook, Mother Jones, Google, various blog sites, “green” webzines, arts & crafts webzines, and many other channels.

Here's the biggie: No listing or sales fees! They have a deal going on right now where you pay $7 per month for your membership. That is the equivalent of listing or renewing one item per day on Etsy (not counting the added fees for any Etsy sales). So, you can list as much as you want as often as you want and don't pay anything extra when your items sell. There are only 282 of these $7 memberships left. After that, it goes back up to what will be their regular monthly rate of $20.

When you lock in your $7 membership, your monthly fee will never increase, but it may decrease. If you get ten people to sign up and use you as their referral, you will get a Free Ride for Life! As long as you remain an active member of the Artfire community, you will never have to pay a membership fee again. I'm working on getting my ten referrals and am already up to six!! If you've been thinking about signing up, now is certainly the time to do it to lock in the $7 membership rate.

I know I must sound like I've joined a cult, but I really am that excited about Artfire. They have done so much already and have so much potential for even more. So, if you do decide to sign up: please don't forget your friendly neighborhood armorer and help get a girl a free membership with your referral. You can sign up using this link. And you can visit my Artfire shop here.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Simple Joy Sunday

Okay, this is only week two that I'm doing Simple Joy Sunday and I nearly forgot about it! Sheesh. Make sure you check out other Simple Joy Sunday's over at Cool Zebras.

1. I've only recently just started working out again and I've been having a hard time keeping a regular schedule for it since I work such odd hours sometimes. (Yes, I know that sounds very much like an excuse.) But the few times this week that I did cardio in particular, it kicked my ass but I felt so great afterwards. Maybe a little sore, but I noticed how much healthier and more alive it's making me feel. Talk about something great for motivation.

2. I didn't think about this until halfway into the first week of March, but March is Women's History Month. I love that. I am continually inspired and touched by so many women and their accomplishments and deeds. My Woman Warrior blog posts were actually inspired by this month and the amazing women it honors. The fierce independent nature, strength, intellect, power of will and so many other attributes that so many women possess is a constant source of inspiration for much of the chain maille I make, too.

3. We sprung ahead one hour for Daylight Savings Time today. Of course neither Scott nor I remembered until late this morning nearly making him late for work, but I digress. I love it when we spring ahead because that extra hour of daylight makes all the difference in the world after I come home from a long day at work. I savor sunlight, so even to bask in it for a few minutes at the end of the day recharges and refuels me and helps me shed any office ickies. It's energizing and uplifting and I love it.

4. I started teaching myself a new skill today: embroidery. I won a blog contest hosted by Julie from Sew It's For You a while back and she included an embroidery pattern envelope from Sublime Stitching as part of the prize. I'm planning on using the kit she gave me to make some tea towels (for me and for part of my mom's birthday present), but in the meantime I'm practicing. I got a cheapie kit from Michael's clearance section that included the transfers, hoop, needle, and some embroidery floss. Since I fancy myself a beach bum, I started practicing with a pair of flip flops. I can see where I need to improve, but I'm learning! I love learning new skills and I love how meditative this embroidery thing is. Thanks for inspiring me to try something new Julie!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Woman Warriors: March is Women's History Month

In honor of Women's History Month, I'd like to share with you:

Firsts In Women's Achievement

Ann Teresa Mathews 1715 First woman whose invention received a patent (for cleaning and curing corn) - it was granted to her husband
Mary Katherine Goddard 1775 First woman postmaster
Betsy Ross 1776/77 First person to be a U.S. flagmaker
Hannah Adams 1784 First woman to become professional writer
Lucy Brewer 1812 First woman marine
Elizabeth Blackwell 1849 First woman to receive a medical degree
Amelia Jenks Bloomer 1849 Publisher/editor of first prominent women's rights newspaper
Harriet Tubman 1850 First woman to run underground railroad to help slaves escape
Lucy Hobbs 1866 First woman to graduate from dental school
Susan B. Anthony 1869 Co-Founder of first US woman's suffrage organization
Arabella Mansfield Babb 1869 First woman admitted to the bar
Frances Elizabeth Willard 1871 First woman to become a college president (Evanston College)
Victoria Chaflin Woodhull 1872 First woman to be presidential candidate
Helen Magill 1877 First woman to receive a Ph.D. degree (Boston University)
Belva Ann Lockwood 1879 First woman to practice law before U.S. Supreme Court
Clara Barton 1881 Founder of the American Red Cross
Maud Booth 1887/96 Co-Founder of Salvation Army and Volunteers of America
Suzanna Madora Salter 1887 First woman mayor (Argonia, Kansas)
Mary McLeod Bethune 1904 First woman to establish secondary school that became 4-year accredited college
1935 Founder of National Council of Negro Women
Blanche Scott 1910 First woman to fly an airplane
Jeannette Rankin 1916 First woman U.S. House Representative (Montana)
Kate Gleason 1917 First woman president of a national bank
Jeannette Rankin 1917 First woman in Congress
Florence E. Allen 1920 First woman judge
Hallie Ferguson 1924 First woman governor of U. S. state (Texas)
Katherine Bement Davis 1929 First person to conduct national survey of sexual attitudes
Jane Addams 1931 First woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize
Hattie Wyatt Caraway 1932 First woman elected to U.S. Senate
Amelia Earhart 1932 First woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean
Ruth Bran Owen 1933 First woman foreign diplomat
Pearl S. Buck 1935 First woman to win a Nobel Prize for Literature
Hattie McDaniel 1939 First African-American of any gender to win an Academy Award (she won for Best Supporting Actress in the film, Gone with the Wind).
Linda Darnell 1941 First woman to sell securities on the New York Stock Curb Exchange
Conchita V. Cintron 1949 First U.S. woman bullfighter in Spain
Georgia Nesse Clark 1949 First woman treasurer of the United States
Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova 1963 First woman to fly in space, aboard Vostok 6.
Muriel Siebert 1967 First woman to own seat on the New York Stock Exchange
Janice Lee York Romary 1968 First woman to carry U.S. flag at the Olympic Games
Mary Clarke 1978 First woman to be named major general in U.S. Army
Ella Grasso 1978 First woman governor to be re-elected (Connecticut)
Sandra Day O'Connor 1981 First woman a justice of the U. S. Supreme Court
Sally Kristen Ride 1983 First American woman to reach outer space.
Joan Benoit (Samuelson) 1984 First woman to win an Olympic marathon
Penny Harrington 1985 First woman police chief of major U. S. city (Portland, OR)
Ann Bancroft 1986 First woman to walk to North Pole
Christa McAuliffe 1986 First woman citizen passenger on a space mission
Lt. Col. Eileen Collins 1995 First American woman to pilot a Space Shuttle
Madeleine K. Albright 1997 First woman Secretary of State and highest ranking woman in the U.S. government
Hillary Rodham Clinton 2000 Only First Lady ever elected to the United States Senate
Halle Berry 2002 First African-American woman to win a Best Actress Oscar
Condoleezza Rice 2005 First African-American woman to be appointed Secretary of State
Nancy Pelosi 2007 First woman to become Speaker of the House

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Simple Joy Sunday

I am blatantly stealing the idea for this series of posts from Amanda over at the MrsDragon blog who, I believe, in turn got the idea from Cool Zebras. Just wanted to give credit where credit's due!

Too often, we let the simple joys of life slip by. We may enjoy them for the moment, but then they are quickly gone. More often than not, people remember what's gone wrong or the challenges and hardships faced. I think it's such a brilliant and healthy idea to remember and hold onto the happiness.

I'd like to share with you three distinct moments this week that made me truly happy.

One day this week, my boss asked me to run an errand. Usually when I run a work related errand, I'll take one of the company vehicles, but this day I didn't. It was so gorgeous out, I really just wanted to enjoy the freedom of leaving the building for a little bit and drive my own truck. I had the windows open and was listening the the soundtrack to Assassins by the brilliant Stephen Sondheim. I know this may not sound like good driving music to the masses, but I am a theatre geek. I was so unbelievably happy, being out of the building, driving my truck, listening to music that I love, and enjoying the absolutely gorgeous day.

Another day at work this week, my boss had truly pissed me off. He does that sometimes and he almost always has no idea that he did (a bit clueless, he is). I got myself so upset that I literally made myself sick: I was sitting at my desk feeling nauseous and freezing. Lunchtime came around and Scott and I would normally just hang in my office and eat. Today, however, he came in and asked me if I wanted to go sit outside and eat. He had no idea how I was feeling or what had happened earlier, but his brilliant suggestion to get outside couldn't have been more perfect. It was such a simple thing and it made me so happy. His thoughtfulness (he knew I would love to be outside), being outside the building, and just enjoying the weather was just what I needed to shake how I was feeling and be happy. Thank you, sweetie.

Yet another day at work this week, a co-worker that I had never met before dropped by my office and asked if I wanted a chocolate chip cookie. Apparently, every week this guy makes a batch of cookies on Wednesday night and then wanders around the facility the next day giving them out to everyone. I just thought that was such a sweet, thoughtful thing to do to spread a little bit of happiness around. Like I said, I never met this guy before but his kindness certainly touched me that day.

Sometimes it doesn't take much. What made you happy this week?