Thursday, May 31, 2007

Consumers and the Customer Service Representatives that Love Them.

Well, we had a blast in Philadelphia last weekend, more on that later. Right now I just wanted to share this. My husband had an issue with a computer monitor he bought from Office Depot (it was a long "Customer Service Battle"). After using a "technique" he found on the Consumerist blog, the issue was resolved so he shared his story with the Consumerist and they posted it here and called it, "Office Depot Executive E-Mail Carpet Bomb Scores Direct Hit." It's worth checking out, especially if you've ever had a "customer service issue" (and, who hasn't?!). Until next time, be light, Bekki

Friday, May 25, 2007

Jam on the River

we'll be at jam on the river this weekend in Philly with our dancin' shoes on! (Insert the Fresh Prince theme song here)! Pictures to (possibly) follow...

Happy Memorial Day weekend!
Take it light,

P.S. I've put a bunch of wonderful items ON SALE for Memorial Day! (Most of the sale prices end on Tuesday).

Monday, May 21, 2007

Releasing the Fear...

(I know this subject may seem cliche, but perhaps my writing this will help my personal effort to "travel light").

As I walked to work last week I had a million thoughts running through my head as I listened to some STS9 spin through my headphones.

One of the strongest thoughts was about fear. What is this fear? Well, for starters, it boils down simply to the fear of some unknown future. Fear that the actions I'm taking now will have a variety of consequences in the future which I will not be happy with. I don't want to ever regret anything I've done, nor do I want to regret things I didn't do. It is here that lies the gray area and my fear.

I realized (and perhaps have known this but was suppressing it) that maybe I am acting out of fear...I get up everyday, drink my green tea, and go to work at my regular 9-5 job (which I enjoy, don't get me wrong) and keep PinkBird Creations as a sort of "side job." But, basically, I'm working two full-time jobs, since PinkBird does take a great deal of time and energy. I think my fear is that my artistry cannot sustain me. (Or that I want it to as there are so many things in life I want/love to do).

As I walked, I passed the river that flows behind my house and I admired all the fresh growth along it's banks--all the beautiful green leaves and wildflowers. It wast then that I told myself what I must do. Release the Fear. But how? I contemplated this for awhile that day, and even mentioned it to some co-workers. I did feel a bit lighter after talking about it and after "release the fear" had been running like a mantra through my brain.

I know that in the end things will all be worked out the way the Universe has planned. I know that I will be able to distinguish between what I have become used to and what I actually want to do. As Paulo Coelho said so simply in The Alchemist, "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it..."

Then, on Saturday I posted a blog to which "OmGirly" commented--causing me to read her blog. To my surprise she was discussing a similar fear issue. Her suggestion is to let her fear guide her. That makes so much sense to me.

Maybe it's not so much about "releasing" the fear but in "using" it. (Not to be confused with being motivated by fear). Using all the fear up could be the same as releasing it.
When it's gone, it's gone, no matter which way it went.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Can you tell me what this says?

So, for Christmas, my super awesome friend Melissa gave me this shirt:

(She was helping me prepare for my trip to Japan...) Though I have worn it more than a few times--it's so cute with my brown Bermuda shorts--every time I slip it on I wonder, "what does this say?" Any help?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Origins of Some Selected Creations:

I have always thought it was important to wear things (like jewelry) that had meaning. Most of the time when someone complements a piece I’m wearing I reply with something like, “oh, well, these beads used to be on a pair of earrings that belonged to my grandmother,” or “oh, I found these great beads at a little shop in Australia.” While talking to my mom recently about a necklace I’d made her for mother’s day I started really thinking how every piece really does tell a story. So, I figured I should share some of these stories with PinkBird Creation’s friends and customers so that if you have bought a piece (or are planning too) you could know some of its origins. Here is just a very small sampling which will be added to in the future.

My paternal Grandmother loved owls. She collected them; so I am also
drawn to owls. I found this large pendant at a tiny vintage shop in Park Forest, Illinois.

Again, more owls. This necklace and earring set is made with a colorful owl charm surrounded by beads my mom actually bought and sent to me.

This Buddha on a Lotus Gemstone Necklace was one of the first pieces I made that was independently reviewed by a website/blog. It is also one of my favorite necklaces (and of course is a one of a kind and has been sold). It has a mix of beads I bought at a bead show in Honolulu, Hawaii as well as some beads that my mom sent me. (My mom often finds and sends me fabulous beads). The Buddha on a Lotus pendant is beautiful; it is made (not by me!) using a powdered glass enamel decal, which is fired onto copper.

The one of a kind (and also sold) “Vintage Pink Rock Candy Necklace” is another that is one of my favorites, in part because I love the color pink and more so because this necklace was reworked from a necklace that belonged to my paternal Grandmother. The pink, purple, and white cube beads are layered, and they are perhaps supposed to look like precious stones. One of my best friends, Jennifer was planning to buy it, but then a wonderful PinkBird customer beat her too it—but, that’s the nature of one of a kind creations!

I called this necklace “Sunset” because of the beautiful colors of the gemstones. It is strung entirely with a mix of red agate, garnet, tiger's eye, and red jasper gemstone chips as well as moonstone and quartz beads surrounding 3 quartz crystal points. Much of this necklace is two separate stands of gemstone chips woven together. I acquired these gemstone beads in different places, some are reworked from pieces I already had; some I bought in Hawaii, others in southern Illinois (while on a road trip to visit a friend), and some I bought online.

This is another of my favorite items. I actually made a similar necklace for myself, but I used blues and greens (rather than oranges and browns). I wear it quite a bit and for some reason every time I’ve been to Maui I’ve worn it. There must be something about Maui that makes me want to adorn myself with lovely crystals and gemstones. Plus, I always get heaps of compliments on this necklace!

These next earrings are funny to me because they are so “HOT!” (Corny, I know!) But, seriously, I reworked them from some decorations that were set up at a New Year’s Eve party we went to in 2006 (at a bar in Chinatown, in Honolulu, HI). It was actually my husband’s idea. He really liked the peppers as jewelry!

I made this Goldenrod Dichroic Glass Necklace (as well as a blue version for myself) after going to the 2005 Summer Camp Festival with some friends (best friend, Janine, and her then-fiance, now-husband, Angelo) at Three Sister's Park in Chillicothe, IL. I was inspired by the amount of lovely Dichroic and hand-blown glass jewelry I saw people wearing. I am usually partial to gemstones and crystals and had kind of forgotten how beautiful glass beads can be. Here we are at Summer Camp, I'm on the far right. That was fun. I love my friends.

These super cute friendly food earrings are made with awesome charms I bought while we were in Tokyo, Japan. They seriously have all the best stuff in Japan! It was hard not to spend all my money on cute beads and charms. The Ice Cream earrings were also mentioned in Madie Jane's blog.

I call this next piece the “Sylvie Necklace” after one of my best friends. Not only is that her guitar in the photo background, but I had made her a 3 stranded rose quartz necklace like this one. See, she was going through a lot of transitions in her life and I thought she could use a little dose of Rose Quartz (said to be the stone that is unequivocally associated with all types of love; enhances creativity, opens the heart to beauty from within and without. It is also said to be calming and helps to increase self-confidence).

I made Sylvie a necklace similar to the one here and this is what she said about it, “I was wearing this necklace over a year ago the first day I met my now boyfriend. My hair wasn't fixed, I'd been in the car for two days traveling and looked awful and probably because I had this beautiful necklace on it didn't matter what the rest of me looked like. Thanks for the boyfriend Pinkbird!” (By the way, as a quick plug, her boyfriend maintains the awesomely helpful site Unknown City).

For more on gemstone meanings you can check out some of my favorite gemstone meaning sites here and here.

Well, that seems to be quite a bit for now, but have tons more pieces that have fun stories behind them, so I will get to those another day! Until then, Be light, BEkki

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

I've added some new items to the shop:

And, here's a cute picture of one of my cats, Japhy, lounging on a pillow/pillowcase I embroidered (with a pattern from Sublime Stitching) with the phrase "tuck, tuck, tuck."

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Shipping Rate Increase....

Well, in case you missed it, the US Postal Service (which we use to ship our orders) has raised it's rates again. So, their rate increase requires us to also increase our shipping rates. The new standard flat rate shipping on any PinkBird Creations item is now $6.00 (up from $5.00). If you'd like to learn more about our shipping policies click here.
This is it in a nutshell:

Shipping Rates
$6.00 - US & Canada
$7.00 - Austria, UK, Germany, France, Ireland, Belgium, Holland/Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia & New Zealand

Orders $5.00 and under shipping to the US have the option of using USPS First Class Mail for $2.50.

Anyway, I apologize for the inconvenience, we aren't making money off of our shipping, we charge enough to cover packaging materials, postage, and tracking.

In other, unrelated news, today is Laurel, Maryland's annual Main Street Festival, they close the street and describe it like so: " 3,300 feet of Fun, Food, Arts & Crafts and Entertainment! Parade Starts at 9 Sharp!" Since we only moved here last July, and live on Main Street we will be in attendance, this will be out first Main Street Festival, so we can only imagine what kind of hoop-la this will be! Perhaps next year (if we're still living in the area, though I'm not holding my breath) PinkBird can have a booth there!

Ok, well, have a great weekend,
Best wishes, jellyfishes!