Sunday, August 31, 2008

i heart mary carillo

I kind of miss Mary Carillo now that the Olympics have come to and end. Her "slice of life" reports made me laugh. I'm in a post Olympic funk I think. It was hard not to get caught up in all of the story lines of the Olympic hopefuls and now there are no stories to get lost in, no trimumphs to triumph, no feats to be in awe of.

I was inspired by the dedication and sheer force of will that the athletes demostrated. I wish the Olympics happened more often.

I guess it's time to get my nose back to the grindstone. Only 2 more years until the winter Olympics.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

delegates - US politics

Do you know what a delegate is? Just in case you're not sure, or that government class was a bit too long ago, courtesy of Wikipedia:


United States of America

Delegates from the major political parties are involved in the selection of candidates for President of the United States by such assemblies as a convention. Some of the officials involved in the process are called superdelegates.

Delegate is the title of a person elected to the United States House of Representatives to serve the interests of an organized United States territory, at present only overseas or the District of Columbia, but historically in most cases in a portion of North America as precursor to one or more of the present states of the union. Delegates have powers similar to that of Representatives, including the right to vote in committee, but have no right to take part in the floor votes in which the full house actually decides whether the proposal is carried. See: Delegate (United States Congress).

A similar mandate is held in a few cases under the style Resident commissioner.

  • Members of other parliamentary assemblies, such as the Continental Congress or the New York State Constitutional.
  • Members of a body charged with writing or revising a foundational or other basic governmental document (such as members of a constitutional convention are usually referred to as "delegates".

Democratic Party

The Democratic party of the United States of America uses pledged delegates and superdelegates. A candidate for the Democratic nominee must win a majority of combined delegate votes at the Democratic National Convention, to be held in Denver, Colorado in August 2008.

Pledged delegates are elected or chosen at the state or local level, with the understanding that they will support a particular candidate at the convention. Pledged delegates are however not actually bound to vote for that candidate, thus the candidates are allowed to periodically review the list of delegates and eliminate any of those they feel would not be supportive. Currently there are 3,253 pledged delegates.

Of the 4,047 total Democratic delegates, 794 are superdelegates, which are usually Democratic members of Congress, governors, former Presidents, and other party leaders. They are not required to indicate preference for a candidate.

The Democratic Party uses a proportional representation to determine how many delegates each candidate is awarded in each state. For example, a candidate who wins 40% of a state's vote in the primary election will win 40% of that state's delegates; however, a candidate must win at least 15% of the primary vote, or they win no delegates. If a candidate wins 14% of the primary election, they receive zero delegates. There is no process to win superdelegates, since they can vote for whomever they please. A candidate needs to win a simple majority of total delegates to earn the Democratic nomination. [1]

Republican Party

The Republican Party of the United States of America utilizes a similar system with slightly different terminology, employing pledged and unpledged delegates. Of the total 2,380 Republican delegates, 1,719 are pledged delegates, who as with the Democratic Party, are elected at the state or local level. To become the Republican Party nominee, the candidate must win a simple majority of 1,191 of the 2,380 total delegates at the Republican National Convention, held in Saint Paul, Minnesota in September 2008.

A majority of the unpledged delegates are elected much like the pledged delegates, and are likely to be committed to a specific candidate. Many of the other unpledged delegates automatically claim the delegate status either by virtue of their position as a party chair or national party committee person. This group is known as unpledged RNC member delegates.

The process by which delegates are awarded to a candidate will vary from state to state. Many states use a winner-take-all system, where popular vote determines the winning candidate for that state, while a few other use a proportional representation. While the Republican National Committee does not require a 15% minimum threshold, individual state parties may however impart such a threshold.

The unpledged RNC member delegates are free to vote for any candidate and are not bound by the electoral votes of their state. The majority of the unpledged delegates (those who are elected or chosen) are technically free to vote for any candidate; however they are likely to be committed to one specifically. [2]

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

tip tuesday - the War of Art

I've mentioned it before, but I thought it was worth another mention...The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

Need a little creative pick me up??? This book is just the kick in the butt you need to keep you focused and moving in the right direction!

Friday, August 22, 2008

seattle gift show - new friends: cecily ink

Alex is rad, and not just because we share the same awesome hair styling genius Susan (of Rock, Paper, Scissors) but she also makes totally rad paper goods...and I LOVE paper!!!

Cecily Ink, Alex's gorgeous stationary and other paper awesomeness is worth checking out. Her booth was really awesome, and really big! She was a blast to talk to and her designs reflect her hip, cool and fun personality.

She also has a blog, check it out. And she posted about the Seattle Gift Show and mentioned me (how nice) and has some close up pictures of my pendants on the table (don't know why I didn't think of doing that!).

seattle gift show - new friends: amy wing designs and the button girl

Portland is the best place. Full of great people and smart, sassy, creative entrepreneurs.

I knew Amy Wing of Amy Wing Designs before this show -- her gorgeous necklaces and earrings are at Cheeky B and she spends some time at the Paper Zone (which I love, love, love). I talked with Amy a little bit before the show on one of our meetings at the Paper Zone. She was very insightful and full of positive energy and I was excited to see her booth and to get a chance to know her better.
I already knew that Amy was pretty awesome, and it turns out my mom knows Amy's husband (from our small town in California -- my mom worked with his parents) weird is that? So Amy and I are coincidental cousins I decided. Amy's gorgeous work is well worth a look so check out her website:

Amy was sharing her booth with Rachael Starkweather who is The Button Girl, she makes the most fun buttons. I've met Rachael before, she's usually making buttons and selling them by the boat loads to adoring fans. It was great to spend some time with her and get to know her for real.

They were both so much fun! I loved hanging out with them and having a few laughs and some yummy crepes...Gooooood times.

seattle gift show - new friends: bath gal

Erin the Original Bath Gal makes the most scrumptious body treats. I absolutely adored her lotions. Every time I put some on my hands and arms were so soft and stayed that way without being greasy. Erin also makes sure that her product is made of the best possible ingredients and is good for you...your skin is the biggest organ you have you know.

I love her guiding priciples:
  • Produce quality products that delight customers
  • Grow responsibly; balancing environmental sustainability with business success
  • Support the community by purchasing local ingredients and utilizing local business
    service providers
  • Give back by donating a portion of our profits to charitable organizations supporting women and environmental causes
My favorite lotions were the Lavender Orange and the Mimosa, the perfume oils are totally rad as well. Try some, you won't be disappointed.

Erin is super funny and I was so happy that we were show neighbors, she was a life saver!

seattle gift show - new friends

Back in the handmade section we had a little time on our hands and I got to meet some new friends.

In the booth next to me was P. Tracey Ludwin from Portland, OR. She had awesome vintage jewelery. I really loved the vintage buttons that she turned into rings. They were super cute. Next to Tracey was Tonya Gray of Oh My Stars. I saw her at the Portland Gift Show and was inspired by her booth design. It was fun to get to tell her that and chat about display ideas.

Agnes of Boutique Unlimited in San Jose and her sister were a lot of fun. She was full of great advice and helpful information as well as sharing treats like roasted chestnuts and milky way bars! Thanks Agnes. She was selling incredible hand carved wooden handbags that were super cool and very high end.

I had no idea about all the strict rules for display either. So if you're a newbie to big trade shows make sure you read all the fine print about combustible fabric and other fire regulations!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

seattle gift show - the show part 1

The Seattle Gift show was quite an experience. It was my first wholesale trade show and I learned a lot. I made some great new friends and made a few promising connections as well. We were located in the "handmade" section, which was in the North Hall, way, way, way back there.
See the map below.

Turns out I was a bit optimistic in my projections for the show. Here is some insight into my logic. I was told there would be 10,000 retailers attending. Based on those numbers I thought I'd be lucky if a third owned boutiques, and of those 3,000 I'd be lucky if 100 of them were interested in my awesome glass pendants. So, I expected to meet 25 interested retailer/buyers per day and of those 25 I thought I might get 10 purchases of around 10 pendants for their stores. Roughly a 100 contacts total and 40-50 orders written with a total of 100 pendants being ordered/sold per day. Boy was that way off the mark. The traffic was much less than I had expected in the Handmade area and apparently the summer show is much slower than the February show.

For those of you who are contemplating jumping up to the wholesale trade show level, consider the investment carefully. As I said, this was my first show, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I'm not sure that I would consider it a "success" (despite being told otherwise) when I take into account all that went into it.

I had a few orders from awesome people (I'll be posting those soon) and one really, really awesome order. So it wasn't a bust, but it wasn't a boon either! Feel free to email me if you have any questions or would like some specifics, I'm be happy to share.

Thanks to everyone for your support and well wishes. I was overwhelmed by all of your support via phone calls, emails and texts. Like I said earlier, I met a lot of really awesome people, both exhibitors and retailer/buyers, so it was a really good and valuable experience as I grow the glass empire! I'm happy to be home now and so happy to take a little break.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

seattle gift show 2008

Here are a few photos of my booth at the Seattle Gift Show. More posts to come.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

tip tuesday - barolo ristorante, seattle

Have you heard of Barolo? The Italian Ristorante in Seattle? If you haven't been there, I'd suggest going way out of your way to get there and experience what is quite possibly the very best food I've ever had. Ever.

Now, I'm no foodie, but I know what I like and I really, really liked the food at Barolo. We loved Barolo so much that we told absolutely everyone who looked remotely like they ate food to go there. We fell in love with the Spaghetti con Polpa di Granchio (Spaghetti with fresh Dungeness crab meat, organic cherry tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil white wine and garlic) and had it each time we visited. They are also known for their Cuore di Romana grigliata (Grilled romaine heart with caesar dressing, shaved reggiano). I've never had grilled lettuce before and it was soooo good, the dressing was beyond perfection.

We went back a few times over the 5 days we were in Seattle. Each time we were treated to awesome service by Lauren over on the bar side. She added so much to the experience that we always made sure we sat in her section, she is genuine and made everything more enjoyable and we felt like we were part of the family. Everything she recommended was great (although I bet everything on the menu is to die for) and Jason, the manager, treated us so well and introduced me to the first gnocchi that I've ever liked, (Gnocchi al Fagiano -- House made gnocchi with braised pheasant) in fact, I usually really don't care for gnocchi, but of course it was soooo delicious and I'd order it there again.

A big thanks to Lauren and Jason who made the great food even better by making us feel at home and well cared for, which after a long day at the gift show was just what we needed.

Mmm. I wish Seattle was closer, I'd go there right now!

Barolo Ristorante

1940 Westlake Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 770-9000

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

mouse watch 2008

Well for those of you who are glued to your computer screen checking my blog and sending me emails about what is now being called "MOUSE WATCH 2008" the threat level: "mouse" has officially been upgraded to "mice" and so it was time to call the professionals. There are a ton of places that do exterminating, so I called a few and waited for some call backs.

I'm not sure if I can convey how elated I was when Dana Stensrud from Paramount Pest Control, Inc. called back and then showed up (in record time) and set a bunch of traps and put out some bait and assuaged my deep fear that the mice really want to eat my eyes out (especially while I'm sleeping)! Dana was awesome and if any of the rest of you Portlanders (or Oregonians and SW Washingtonians) have a pest problem give him a call (503) 288-7375 or 800-452-7243.

He checked around and found some "evidence" of activity under the stove (who knew that bottom drawer came all the way out -- eww, dust bunny extravaganza under there) and then he showed me the biggest hugest hole in the bottom of my gas fireplace that leads to the crawl space under my house. I don't have time to get into my fear of the crawlspace...but just know that it's there. And so, yes, the mother-load of a mouse super highway was found -- let's hope it's the ONLY highway into the house.

So, now it's just waiting for the mice to get caught. Ugh. I hate to be so extreme, and I hate spending money on stupid mouse exterminating, but it had to be done.

Dana also feels that it's unlikely I'll catch the plague, phew! That's all for now...I'll let you know how it goes. And no, this is not a picture of my actual mouse, mine looks similar and much more menacing. Ok, back to work!!!

2 days left

Only 2 days before I head up to the Seattle Gift Show! I've been watching and loving the Olympics as I tie up the few loose ends. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, August 11, 2008

the final countdown

The Seattle Gift Show begins this Friday (for me). I'll be heading up to Seattle early Friday morning to set up my booth, and then sell, sell, sell!

I'll keep you posted on the pre-during-and-post tidbits. I'll take lots of pictures.

This will be my first big trade show and I'm really excited. So far I feel like I'm pretty well prepared. I asked questions, did research, asked some more questions and so on. I feel like I've anticipated most of the issues, but I'm sure a few curve balls will come up...but I'm ready!

I've also created a wholesale line. Very exciting stuff. I'll post the wholesale information as soon as I can.

I'm hoping to do a lot of business and make a lot of awesome connections. So if you're in Seattle August 15-20th -- let me know so we can hook up!

new lens

I got a new macro lens to better capture my gorgeous creations! These are a test...looks pretty good!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

make a difference thursday - taking it global

I just found this great website called Taking it Global, their tag line "inspire, inform, involve". It's a great way to find out more about the things that you care about!

You can commit to a better world on their website. Here's what they say about that: "Are you ready to Commit to a better world? TakingITGlobal's Commit tool is where you can create, browse, and join commitments to making the world a better place. So far, there have been 3082 pledges, and 152 commitments. Explore the commitments in this section and share commitments you've made with your friends!

Of course, you're welcome to create a commitment too. Is there some simple action that you think we could all be taking to address an issue or soften our impact on the planet? Share it and get others involved in making a difference."

So check it out and make it happen!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

good morning america

While watching ABC's Good Morning America this morning Sam Champion did a spot on the Garbage Patch (watch the video) and the immense amout of plastic in the ocean and the damage it's causing and then later Diane was talking to Tory Johnson about her new book "Will Work From Home" and she talked about Etsy! I feel like I have my finger on the pulse! How about you?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

tip tuesday - one notebook

This is my number one organizational tip/secret. Are you ready for this one? It's one notebook.

Yes, that's right, I said it. One notebook. Imagine if you will a place that everything that gets jotted down gets jotted in one place. The kind of notebook is just as important as only using one. It has to be something you like and something you can keep with you.

I use the Moleskin Weekly Pocket Planner, I take notes, draw pictures, make plans, make lists, write down ideas, everything all in one notebook.

Now, what you don't know about me is that I LOVE notebooks. I love paper of all kinds. I have like a zillion notebooks and journals, and other compiled paper products. I also LOVE organization. Like obsessive organization, and I used to use several - one for creative ideas, one for improv, one for art, one for glass, one for business ideas - you get the idea, but I sometimes didn't have the one I wanted when I needed it and so I would cross mingle things and then when I wanted to find that tidbit of genius it took ages to find it -- or worse yet, I couldn't find it or even worse than that -- deadlines, phone numbers and other really important stuff sometimes (rarely -- but still) fell through the cracks. But with my new improved one notebook for all those things that get jotted, I'm on top of it and I know that if I wrote it down, it's in there.

So give it a try, for those of you I've converted to the one notebook system, please feel free to leave your comment. And if you try it, tell me how you like it!

Monday, August 4, 2008

a few more of the 31

seems I can only put up a few at a here are a few more

7" x 7"
kilnformed glass + acrylic
"andy's poppies"

7" x 7"
kilnformed glass + acrylic
"dwelling point"

7" x 7"
kilnformed glass + acrylic
"chance encounter"

7" x 7"
kilnformed glass + acrylic
"backyard dreams"

5 of 31

Here are a few of my thirty one! no particular order...

7" x 7"
kilnformed glass + acrylic
"close up"

7" x 7"
kilnformed glass + acrylic
"blue sunday"

7" x 7"
kilnformed glass + acrylic
"cold kissed"

7" x 7"
kilnformed glass + acrylic
"december 31"

7" x 7"
kilnformed glass + acrylic
"common ground"

Saturday, August 2, 2008

thirty one!

Thirty One was a huge success! Thank you all for being there! Check out the rad pics that Tyson Robichaud shot last night...

So many people turned out, so much art was appreciated -- the whole evening was a spectacular!

Thanks so much to those of you who came and supported the event, and for those of you who couldn' t make it, thanks for all of your well wishes, phone calls and emails.

It was fun to see my artwork up on the wall in such great company. Many of my pieces sold, and I got to meet a lot of awesome people. It was a lot of work and totally worth it. I can't wait for the next one!