Sunday, December 9, 2007

What's New? How is the world treating you?

Earth Goddess, originally uploaded by Soul of a Starving Artist.

Somehow Frank Sinatra and winter go together in my mind...

I had two great sales these weekend, one at Bard College and one at the Hawthorne Valley School. Both are wonderful places that I recommend you all visit at some point! Not only are they beautiful locations, but the communities and the individuals are incredibly welcoming. I had a great time!

I wanted to let everyone know that I added about 20 new items to the shop today, so there are lots of new things to see! I also wanted to remind you that I'm up for commissions! If you're not quite seeing what you're looking for just drop me a line. Many of the items listed can be adjusted or modified, or if you've got something completely different in mind I'd be thrilled to work with you to create something just as you'd like it! Please remember that if you'd like to have your order by Christmas and it needs to be mailed you should place it by the 15th.

The secret code of the week is "Winter Wonderland" in honor of the lovely ice storm we're experiencing. Drop me a line at RobinMarie at soasadesigns dot com with the code in the subject line and get 10% off your purchase! As always, shipping is free for purchases over $30.

Stay warm!

Robin Marie

One Drop, Two Drop

knitting 006, originally uploaded by Soul of a Starving Artist.

I cannot believe I finally got my Ravelry invite! I nearly peed myself with excitement! This, of course, marks the resurgence of another addiction. Lovely, just what I need. It's just in time for all my Christmas knitting though! I'm very excited about that!

The picture above is of my modified version of Robin Dodge's One Drop Scarf. As you can see, mine is a Two Drop Scarf:)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hello World

My website, Soasa Designs is finally up and about! It's still in a beginning stage, but it's fully functional and raring to go. Check out the Gallery to browse what I currently
have available, or visit the Previous Work page to see some of what I've done in the past. As many of you know I've been busily running about selling my jewelry at various events all year. I'm having a wonderful time, and I'm learning more than I ever imagined possible. This website is the next step.

I'll also be vending at a few more events this season. You can find me at Bard College on
December 7th and also at the Yuletide Fair at Hawthorne Valley School on December 8th.

A couple seasonal shipping notes:

If you'd like your items by Christmas please place your order before Dec 15th so that I can be sure that they arrive on time! Of course, if you're local to me we can always work something out later than that.

Also! Shipping is always free for orders over $30!

For an additional 10% off simply e-mail me at RobinMarie[at]soasadesigns[dot]com with the subject "Hello World" when you place your order!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I've realized that in being single I've become a lot less patient, and a lot less gentle in my confrontations. It's like after years of tip-toeing around someone else's emotions I finally let myself say what I feel. It's not that I've become mean, but if someone is bothering me I tell them so, and I tell them why. Somewhere in our relationship I stopped voicing my opinions as strongly in order to avoid the emotional fall-out I knew would follow. The result is that nothing changed. I find myself absolutely not missing having to compromise or let things slide. I have no real desire to start and foster a new relationship.

What a refreshing realization this has been. Maybe some day I will have the time and energy to be in a relationship...but right now I don't even have enough time for me.

Also I've realized that I'm not a Republican. I have no idea what I am...I think I'm screwed.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hello world, it's me, Princess of Overwhelmed Island

Why am I such a terrible blogger? I have lots of excuses. What it really boils down to is that I'm so busy doing the things I'd like to blog about that I never actually find the time to blog about them. Oh the tragedy!

So here's what I've been up to, the abbreviated version.

Making tons of jewelry
Breaking down in ghetto car
Trying to get less-ghetto car into the shop so that I can get some heat in there!
Working my tush off in the studio, good in some ways, not so good in others
Stressing about course registration
Meetings about registration
Lots of time spent online trying to make registration happen
Showing and selling!
Spending time with the family
Feeling guilty about spending time with the family instead of spending it in the studio
Working at the bead store
Habitat for Humanity
Sleeping, occasionally
Photographing work
Uploading work
More classes
Work for classes
More work for classes

That about sums up the last 7 days. As you can see, nowhere on that list does it say "blogging".

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Haha, so NaNoWriMo? NoMo'

I can't even begin to wrap my brain around the possibility of having time for something like that. I thought it would be a relaxing exercise, challenging but ultimately of no consequence. Except it seems I'm easily obsessed! I keep thinking about it and wishing I could work on it, and as a result I get stressed out.

I spent today doing things I actually need to do. No one was home all day, so I had the kitchen table all to myself. I really wish I had a studio of my own so that I had space to spread out all the time. I got so much work done!


This is for my first consignment deal. A woman approached me at one of my events last month and asked me if I would be interested in working with her. Why not? We'll see how this goes!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Write a 50,000 word novel between Nov. 1st and Nov. 30. Why?

Because I'm insane, that's why!

1312 / 50000 words. 3% done!

What possess me, I do not know, but I'm writing a fairy tale. I'm having a blast, and I highly recommend this to people with no free time. It's perfect to put you over the top!

Just kidding. It is forcing my imagination wide open though, and I'm experiencing a bit of that nerdy bookworm high I used to get in middle school.


Maybe I'll post some excerpts from time to time!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

So let me share with you...

What I've been up to!

All month I've been doing events, and they've all gone excitingly well! I'm making a ton of jewelry, and busting my butt in school. I love being busy, but I'm relishing this weekend of quiet to spend with my friends and family.

Last weekend I attended the Sheep and Wool Fest in Rhinebeck, NY. Except I didn't know it was Sheep and Wool, I thought it was a Gem and Mineral show. Turns out it was both, and my wallet hasn't really eaten much since we got back.

I got this lovely Drop Spindle, and learned how to use it! I've been wanting to learn ever since I was very young, and I finally have! It's addicting, and wonderful!

Additionally I got this adorable Tumbler to use with silver! I'm hoping this will open up some possibilities in terms of maximizing my time, and I'm really pumped about it!

Happy Birthday, darlings.

Yep, Wednesday was my second dready birthday.

See my time line and read all about how I'm feeling about it over yonder at Get Up Dread Up.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Don't Go Towards The Blue Screen!

Yea, it happens to everyone. Including broke, busy, frazzled college students like me. This week was supposed to be chock full of exciting posts about how much jewelry I've been making and all the sales I'm going to, but those are going to have to wait.

You see, on Tuesday morning, 30 minutes before my assignment was due, I booted up to write said assignment only to find that the momentary freezing I'd been experiencing the week before had morphed into a full fledged, deep-freezer freeze. And each time I rebooted in the following 10 minutes it got worse until my computer could only let out a pathetic whimper and a single white line blinked at me. Dead.

An hour on the phone with a very sweet but not so English-friendly tech guy and I reached the conclusion that my trusty old Dell had gone on to a better place. (Read: it's been riding around in the front seat of my car, monitor and all, since Friday, because I can't bring myself to take it to the dump)

"How are you writing this blog?" you may ask. Well, in true college student form I ran around frantically and took out a couple more loans. So now I've got a slim, sexy Toshiba laptop. Very nice. It's still going to take my a few more days to get back to reading and writing around these parts because, as anyone with a new computer knows, it takes a solid 24 hours of downloading and poking and prodding to get the system running the way you like.

I cried. I admit it!

R.I.P My dearest Dell

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

As my thoughts return to New Orleans...

I'm not really the type to revisit old journal entries, but I was looking for early images of my dreadlocks, and came across this post of a journal entry I wrote while doing relief work in New Orleans in 2006. It seems like centuries ago, and I look at these images and can't believe I took them. As I may have mentioned before, as of recently I'm the fund raising chair for the New Paltz chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and our spring Collegiate Challenge is in New Orleans.


Originially posted on Robin Reads in February 2006, upon my return from New Orleans:

Note: This is my personal journal. Typically I wouldn't share writing like this with you all, so please keep that in mind. I've typed it up exactly as I wrote it. I feel like this is something I'm obligated to share with you all, it's an experience that needs to be shared.

January 23rd, 2006

“What others have said is incomplete.” (Writing prompt) Their stories lacked the tangible disbelief one must feel upon viewing this catastrophe. Part of me is angry, feeling foolish for not being prepared, angry no one told me what to expect. I understand that they tried, even now I can’t put to words the horror and disgust I felt watching my classmates rooting about, exclaiming over something they’d found, surrounded by people’s scattered, broken lives, yet still able to laugh and interact. All I could do was cry. I didn’t want to; I wanted to be able to look on this situation as one looks on to a car accident, with morbid curiosity. I wanted the blessing of being able to distance myself from these people, these sights. I was granted no such thing. Instead photos were peeled apart, salvaged, though destroyed, from a heap of mud and scattered memories. “My grandchildren” she said, bringing me back to an earlier conversation with a 4th grade girl. “Where’s your favorite place in the city?” I asked. “My grandmother’s house, before it was destroyed.”

I’m finding it difficult to hold on to thoughts. I can’t keep my mind still long enough to capture what I think and feel, and writing about it takes the mental strength of a wrestler, pinning words to the page. I lack the graceful ability to mold prose into exactly the phrases I mean to express. It is a terrifying experience to be completely at the mercy of my emotions.

Hundreds of unoccupied FEMA trailers: Bureaucracy at its best.

Flood Damage as far as the eye can see.

Dirt and rubble piled along the streets.

Crushed by debris and water.


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Hallelujah! + Tom Waits Obsession

I poured my silver ingot (First try was a success!) and today began the process of hot forging a sundae spoon! It's thrilling, and supremely hard work! I found it thoroughly therapeutic and I think I'll be hitting metal more often. I'm going to end up with a ton of silverware, I fear!
By the way, this is what you get when you YouTube search "pouring silver ingots":

And the moon's a silver slipper
It's pouring champagne stars
Broadway's like a serpent
Pulling shiny top-down cars
-Tom Waits

I think it's lovely! I think I'm going to be obsessed with Tom of now:)

I wish I had some pictures of my ingot (read: first-born child) but alas, I've misplaced the cord to my camera and the charge is dead! I have to find it or I'll be in trouble.

My business cards arrived today, but I won't get to see them until tomorrow and the suspense is killing me!!! I must distract myself through other means such as finishing my Taoism paper and watching The Office with The Girlies.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

It isn't stress....

And this post is not professional, it's just honest. Really this blog isn't professional, because if it was I'd never write in it because I'm a human being, not a corporation.

I'm extremely busy. Unforgivably so, I think, though there's no one to forgive but myself. I've taken on the roll of Fundraising Chair for the New Paltz chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and we've just purchased 15 spring break plane tickets to New Orleans. The total was a bit over $5000, which really isn't bad until you realize that I've just signed myself up to figure out how to fundraise some $6000 total by early February or else we're all going to get stuck with the bill. And 14 other people are depending on it.

This on top of a whole lot of school work that came up quite suddenly. (None of us, professors and students alike, quite realized it was midterm)

I love projects, and generally I'm thrilled to be busy and not have time to think about my emotions but this week they're creeping in when there's nothing I can do to stop them. I'd forgotten how it felt to be lonely, and now, surrounded by people ending relationships (seriously, 5 in the last week and a half) the reality of it is coming back pretty quick. On one hand I'm wishing I could lock myself away and not face it, cry a lot and mope about, but on the other I know that I'm too devoted to my life to stop doing what I love, and I would only hate myself more if I neglected myself.

What's getting me is the anxiety. Am I capable of another relationship any time in the near future? Will I ever stop being anxious about being capable of another relationship? Will my anxiety about being anxious about being capable of another relationship prevent me from being capable of another relationship and thus will I forever be anxious about my abilities? Is Caleb okay? Will I always be scared of men? Why do I care if Caleb's okay? Realistically I know that it will all be okay, but anxiety doesn't work that way, it doesn't follow logic, nor does it respond to it.

Where do you find energy in a time like this? How does one overcome anxiety without the meds? That's the point of this post. Not to angst and whine, I just genuinely need some advice.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Up All Night

So last night, after the girls left, I couldn't sleep. I think I ate too much chocolate because something kept me up tossing and turning and thinking double-speed. Just as I began to allow the anxiety to overcome me, I had an epiphany! My website design, which has been driving me mad for over a week now, appeared, popped into my head all laid out for me to see! That's not the end of the story, however, because my ability to render anything in Photoshop is nearly useless. Or so I thought. Somehow it all came together fairly easily. I think I was just so determined that I didn't allow myself to get frustrated, I just kept plugging along, looking things up when I couldn't figure them out myself, and starting over when I needed to. There was nothing to distract me because it was 3 in the morning, and I didn't have the brain capacity to be distracted.

I got it done! And when I woke up in the morning it wasn't crap!


I ordered my new business cards this afternoon, and I bit the bullet and got the 7 day shipping (Vista Print totally skims their shipping rates, that's obvious.)

I also updated my banner and avatar on Etsy! This is so much motivation! I'm thrilled to get back into the world of online selling.

Oh! New banner here on the blog as well! Also, Gemma made the whole thing was much easier by introducing her blogreaders to which I utilized to the fullest! Thanks for that!


Friday, September 28, 2007

Here's looking at you, kid...

I always kind of had trouble with having people in my house. It felt invasive. But my goodness, when it's the right group and the right number it's wonderful. Tonight was fabulous. Everything fell together perfectly! I love to be a little hostess when everyone is laughing and eating and having a good time.

It was girls' night, you see, and the girls, Amanda, Elizabeth, Sara and Joanna, were over, and I set up a little picnic-like area in the living room with our fabulously square coffee table, and served cheese fondue with fresh veggies and bread, and the most stellar chocolate fondue with fresh fruit! Despite New Paltz's supreme inability to sell Fondue forks anywhere it was delish, and we topped it all off with some yummy wine, fabulous conversation, and Casablanca.

This is to become a tradition, we have decided, and since I made such an excessive amount of chocolate fondue we'll be eating sundaes next time! Old movies and classic games, topped with good food. We'll be experimenting with different recipes and having a blast! If anyone has any recommendations we welcome them!

I could gush all night long about how happy I am to have really wonderful friends and such good company, but I have to get up hella early for a Habitat for Humanity build, so I'm signing off!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tourmaline Swizzles

Aren't they fun? All these images you're seeing will soon be posted on my Etsy site and hopefully my shiny new website too! I'm experimenting with less practical jewelry, and quite enjoying it! I like gorgeous things, not just every day things, and I hope that my shop will reflect that.

In that same vein (gorgeous, this time being the body I wish I had), but totally different, I've started swimming a couple times a week with my housemate, in an attempt to keep myself active. So far we're pretty loyal, which I'm proud of! Every time I get in the pool I feel like I'm swimming in a giant pot of pickle, which is really funny to me:) I'm not really hoping to lose weight doing it, just hoping not to gain any of the weight I've already lost back. It's good for me, I think, to exercise. I've always wished I was one of those people who's addicted to the gym because it seems like one of the best addictions ever! Second only to jewelry. Of course. A word of caution though, drink lots of water before and after swimming, because it dehydrates you soooo fast. And eat lots of bananas! I really miss playing water polo, and I'm thrilled to be back in the pickle pot.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Interweb!

So I've got two folks on my side, a graphic designer, and a programmer, and between the three of us I'll hopefully have a sweet website in the very near future! My biggest responsibility is photos, which kills me. This is all way over my head, but really exciting none-the-less! I'll be premiering my new, very tax-official name, Soasa, and a ton of new jewelry, I hope. This means new business cards, new signs, new everything!

Right now I'm looking for examples of simply designed product websites you feel are especially effective. Any ideas?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

What's Really Happening...

With my Etsy shop?

It's not dead, at least, I don't think it is. It's been resting for a while now.

You may or may not have noticed but I'm destashing pretty hardcore right now, and it's excellent! You should all check it out, and pick up some stuff for dirt cheap!

Why would I sell awesome stuff? Primarily because I own such a ridiculously large amount of beads that I'm feeling suffocated by it all. I need to slim down a bit in my bead-hoarding. I'm a binge-buyer, and I'm not proud of it. I buy in excess, and often. PLEASE take some of these beads off my hands! There'll be free gifts for anyone who lets me know when they purchase that they came from this blog! Seriously...I don't even know what to do with all the beads I have.

As for what I'm selling, it's really a mix of things. I have tons of brassy-toned lobster claws, focal pieces, and delicious semi-precious chips.

The future is a bit uncertain right now, meaning I have no exact dates for when I'll be posting new jewelry, but once I get a sense for how much time I have I'll try and work out a plan!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Death and Taxes

This past weekend I officially registered myself for a tax ID. I feel...watched.

I also feel like I'm going to spend a bazillion dollars on wholesale glitterzzzz!

On a less federal note, I'm doing a bunch of events this fall that I'm really pumped for! I'm at the point where failure isn't so scary, having lost a ton of money and dealt with the rain on several occasions, I'm beginning to just let it roll off my back. Ahhh letting things go, a glorious feeling.
So far my season looks like this:

Oct. 6 Hillsdale Farmer's Market, NY
Oct. 6-7 Warren Harvest Fest, CT
Oct. 13-14 Hudson High Craft Fair, NY
Oct. 20 Hillsdale Farmer's Market, NY
Green Meadow Fall Fair, NY (Probable)
Nov. 4-5 Taconic Hills Craft Fair, NY (Possible)
Dec. 8 Hawthorne Valley Yuletide Fair, NY (Probable)

Additionally, I've got a foot in the door with a couple shops in town, so I'm going to be running my work by them soon.

October 20-21 is also the weekend of the Rhinebeck Gem and Mineral Show which I will be attending as a glitter-lover.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Switched it up on ya, what now!

So to some it may not be a big deal to move sidebars from right to left, but for me it's as relieving as a really long hot bath, or something equally pleasant. My balance is, well, balanced!

That's all I really have to say for now, I'm going to go balance my apartment now. I love it when I feel all sorts of productive like this. Also, I have business news. I'll save that for tomorrow.

Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite!

P.s. check out the piece by Wired in my "What I'm in love with" bar. It's absolutely gorgeous!

One of those moments that makes you say "whoaaa"

Are you ever walking a walk you've walked a hundred times when the reality of your existence in that place hits you and you have to stop and say "whoaaa"? I live for those moments. Those are the moments when I realize a shift has happened. The Robin Marie that used to walk that walk is gone, and in that moment I recognize a new self. It may be the most minute shift, but it's a shift none-the-less, and that means adventure!

The biggest reason this shift is exciting is that I've been really down, and this may mean an end to that, for the time being.

Additionally, someone should really buy me a copy of Be Here Now because it would make me exceedingly happy.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My apologies, I have been remiss

But I have excuses!

Actually, just one really. I haven't posted in nearly a month because that's how long it's been since Musefest. Every time I think "I want to blog about this" I realize that I have not yet addressed Musefest, and as it was a big event for me I can't simply neglect it. But oh how I wish I would. In order to continue blogging I must simply clench my teeth and bear the pain for the moments it takes to write this.

Musefest. Absolutely disastrous, in my worst nightmares it couldn't have gone much worse. It started out fine, we arrived way earlier than necessary on Thursday, had the booth set up by about 5pm, and a ton of time to kill. No biggy, I made a ton of jewelry and the kids went exploring. The people were pleasant, the site was nice, and the rain we'd seen on our way in cleared away. I had high hopes, and we all went to bed with pleasant anticipation for what was to come.

We awoke to find that the electricity still wasn't hooked up, and we would be eating chips and salsa for breakfast. We were assured that the food vendors we were so counting on (as it turned out the site was much, much further from town than expected) would be electrically wired and cooking by 10. No problem. 2pm rolled around, no food, tummy's grumbling, and no fest folk had arrived. Music wouldn't be starting until 5pm, and everyone on site was hungry and grouchy. 5pm rolled around, the band went up, not so hot, and a few people trickled in. Drunk people.

After a long slow evening I began to realize my mistake. This was not a family fun festival as I'd been lead to believe, this was a chance for all the druggy kids of Ithaca to network, get high, and act like morons. There was no money to be made, and no ATM on site to facilitate spending. I resigned myself to a really slow weekend, hoping for $500 to cover my expenses and maybe enough profit to put towards another booth fee somewhere else. It was not to be. We stuck it out as long as we could Friday night, then went to sleep, arising relatively late in the morning to find there were still very few people around, and even less with any money. We were reassured that Saturday night would be a great night for vending because there would be more people, more families.

This too was not to be. It had been off and on cloudy and scorchingly hot all weekend, and around 8:30 that evening the clouds rolled in in earnest. The sky turned black, and beyond it was a pink glow I initially believed was the sunset, as the clouds were moving incredibly fast and I thought perhaps they were blowing right over. As that pink expanded and began to turn a muddy brown I reconsidered. Instantly the wind came up and I grabbed my tent, trying desperately to zip up the walls, screaming my head off for the kids. the rain hit like an anvil, coupled with the wind, ripping the walls from my hands. The kids ran up to help and we got three sides zipped, but couldn't see enough through the buckets of rain in our eyes to get the forth. I clung desperately, trying to hold the sides together as the sky turned a brilliant chartreuse green, and wind whipped through the tent, knocking all my carefully laid out displays to the muddy ground. Somehow in the hubbub my thumb had been sliced open, and as I fought with the wind, soaked to the bone, bleeding all over my nice white tent, all I could do was hope to got that a tornado didn't come ripping through. I didn't know what I'd do if the kids got hurt.

The storm died almost as quickly as it came up, and at 9:20 we stood calm, looking around at what was left of my jewelry. Not much. Earrings lay trampled in the mud, bent, broken, or simply gone. Everything was soaked through and we were all shaking with exhaustion and freezing cold. I have honestly never been more miserable. I called home and told them we were on our way, and we crammed all our stuff into my car, amazed we fit it all, and limped the four hours home, freezing cold and defeated.

Musefest was an incredible loss for me. Literally hundreds of dollars. I missed classes for it, spent all my free time preparing for it, and didn't make back my booth fee. One good thing did come from it and that is that the few things I did sell were designs I'd created specifically for the festival crowed, so at least I know those were spot on. There simply weren't enough people.

That is my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A profitable weekend, a busy day.

Saturday was crazy. The farmers market was a near disaster, several people lost their tents to the strong wind, and I, forever fearful, took mine down just in time. After three long hours of standing in the freezing wind trying to keep my jewelry on the table, I was ready to give up and move to our second site of the day. I had made all of sixty five dollars, frozen my butt off, and bent a display piece. I was not a happy camper. Then one of those customers came along who
can completely make your day. A customer with great taste, and a flexible budget. I was five minutes from packing up, and frustrated that this man seemed to be looking at everything but not buying, when suddenly he called his wife over. I realized she was the woman who'd been eying my mushroom piece the last three markets. He asked what she wanted and there was no hesitation. Off went my mushrooms! I was sad to see them go, I was close to running over and telling her I wanted them back, that they weren't for sale, or something equally childish, when she came over with a camera and asked to have her picture taken with "the artist". Well, shucks! She was wearing them with her very practical red sweatshirt. I know they won't go in some box in the back of her closet. I'm thrilled.

My mom came ten minutes later and helped me pack up and move two miles down the road to Community Day. It started out slow until the rest of our row was established and then people came:) It was a good afternoon, not really busy, but comfortable. I met a few interesting people and was happy to have time to talk to them. I cut my day short (after a solid 9 hours of standing in the sun) when I was informed that I had a terrible sunburn. Boy oh boy was it bad. I managed my whole beach vacation without a burn, but put me in a field in the freezing cold for 9 hours and I look like a tomato.

It's seriously crunch time for Musefest. We leave Thursday morning, ready or not! Today I visited AAA and got some reliable directions, spent my second to last day at the bead store churning out cell phone charms, and this evening mocking up what I can of my booth in the living room. Barring rain tomorrow I'm going to re-waterproof my tent, (that's a story and a half, that I haven't told you yet) set up in the dark to test out my lighting, finish mocking and mapping and labeling and pricing and packaging, and try and fit everything in my car. That's all after work, mind you. At work I'll be making as much jewelry as I can humanely manage. Wednesday I've reserved for laundry, figuring out lighting if I need more, packing for school (I'm supposed to start classes Thursday, but I'm going to try and be back in time for my Monday classes, don't ask how) and all the other little details I know I'm going to have to deal with. I also have a class that evening. My life is absolutely insane right now, but if all goes as planned this should be worth it.

I know there's more news from these last few days, but I can't quite grasp it right now. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

She Has Pictures!

Yep, finally had to unload my camera, and I'm actually much happier with what I've got than I expected. My chances to take photos at the market were aways rushed, so I thought I'd sold a lot of pieces that I'd never see again. Turns out I have some pictures! These here are my mushies, I love them very much. I don't really expect to sell them, they're easily the most expensive and strangest piece I have displayed, but I like to show them anyway and see and hear people's reactions.

Tomorrow morning my brother and I are off to Falcon Ridge for a weekend of fun and adventure! I'm taking some jewelry and supplies with me to keep me busy in the blistering heat of the afternoon, but next year I'm hoping to vend there legitimately! My new pavilion (the brilliant one) is coming with us, so we'll have some shade and a really sweet campsite! We're called The Hip Ship:) When my brother and younger cousin were about 13 they made a raft and named it the Hip Ship, with a little peace sign flag and everything. So we've designed our campsite in memory of. We're also doing a Free Hug campaign at the Ridge, which my mom is less than thrilled about, but we're all excited for!

I'm stressing big time about Musefest because I'm not ready! It's all I can do to keep myself stocked for the Market, but Musefest falls on the first week of school, the weekend between two Markets and the same week I'm moving into my new apartment! I'm bugging out! I just placed two giant orders yesterday, one with Fire Mountain the other with Lotta Displays and they should be here next week. Then it's just production production production, not to mention figuring out how to use the lanterns and sidewalls I just ordered!


In any case, the bead store is still wonderful, so far this summer I'm almost making profit with my jewelry, and I'm having a load of fun! As you can see I don't know a ton about formating these pictures (I only just found out you could upload directly!) and I'm just going to leave you with one more of a section of my booth. Perhaps I'll post more later:)

Peace and love!

Hip Ship Crew Mom

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Neeeeeews

Alrighty, an update! Tomorrow, pictures! (I'm not sure where my cord's gotten off to.)

The farmers market was yesterday. It rocked pretty hard. The first two hours were sheer misery, and then suddenly there were so many people they were bumping into each other. Just had to wait it out I guess. I got the guts up to invest in a decent tent and let me tell you that made all the difference. I got the EZ Up Express II. Anyone looking to invest in a pavilion this is THE one. I love it, and will post pictures soon.

I'm thrilled because all the new designs I'm trying out are selling like mad. The only down side is I don't think I've got pictures of half of them, and don't know how the pictures I did get will turn out! Here's hoping I have something to shop for myself!

I'm exhausted, just home from the Dunkin' (I only wanted to cry twice tonight, which is a record) and Harry Potter 7 is waiting for me in my warm snuggly bed:)

Peace out folks!


I'm looking for a housemate, so if you know anyone looking for a home in New Paltz, I've got one! $333 a month!

Additionally, anyone coming to Falcon Ridge best be stopping by The Hip Ship, located in the Lower Pasture, to make signs and t-shirts and participate in our Free Hugs campaign. We've also got free veggies compliments of my mother:)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Dunkin Donuts...A big freakin' rant

This post is entirely unprofessional, and I'm aware of that. I tried really hard to only complain to my mom about this, but the poor woman's asleep right now, and she deserves a break anyway. I need to rant.

So, as if I wasn't already stretching myself a bit thin, the boss lady at Dunkin' is taking next week off. Which means that every day is going to be like Sunday, which means that for any self-respecting worker (there are only a few of us) there are hours and hours of too much work ahead trying to keep the place from crumbling down around our ears which will be filled with the whines and sighs of lazy teenagers who're only having a hard time because they won't lift a finger to do anything they aren't explicitly ordered to do.

I work at what must be the single most poorly run Dunkin' Donuts in the country, and as one of those poor souls who still believes in the value of work and cleanliness, I spend a lot of time cleaning up after people and resisting the urge to tear my hair out.

Last night I came home in tears. From Dunkin' Donuts. That shouldn't happen. They left me on my own to close with a kid who's only working night shift because the manager doesn't want to deal with him or fire him so she put him on the hours she doesn't work. That means my hours. That means I have to share a building and tips and work with a bitchy kid who can't get over himself and do a halfway decent job at anything. It isn't because he doesn't know how, it's because he's a lazy piece of worthless angsty teenager crap who has never worked an honest day in his life. So as I sent him home last night after listening to him promise he'd done everything I needed him to do I looked around and burst into tears realizing that if I wanted the place to look halfway decent before I left I would literally have to redo everything I'd asked him to do all evening. The floors were streaked with muddy water, the donut cases were still covered in gobs of frosting and jelly, powdered with a more than fine layer of sugar, and the coffee display was in shambles.

I turned around and walked out. I forgot to punch out, I forgot to lock the drive-thru window.

I hate you Dunkin' Donuts, more than anything. 13 more shifts and I'll be done with you. I swear I'm never coming back. I never thought a stupid job would make me feel so shitty.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Today was wonderful

Today was the first '07 farmers market, and maybe 070707 is a lucky day, maybe not, but it was a PHENOMENAL day for me. I paid off my loan today, in one fell swoop! That's amazing. Anyhow, I'm feeling really great about it, and people bought a lot of things I didn't think they would, both for reasons of price and uniqueness. It was wonderful! People who bought from me last year complimented me many times on the maturity and growth they saw in my work, presentation and manner, and there were times when people actually had to stand in line to see my tables! And they waited, just to see my work! I even had a man show up before I was set up and demand to buy one of my more expensive pieces because he was certain someone else would get it in the ten minutes it would have taken for the market to officially open. I'm thrilled, flying high! All my guilty pleasure pieces I've been making at the bead store (the ones you have to price really high because you pay retail for the components you've "just gotta use") sold, no arguments! Photos tomorrow, sleep now! (I know I keep promising photos, but I think I really have some this time.

Monday, July 2, 2007

I LOVE the bead store

I had an overwhelmingly busy, glorious day at the bead store. I love love love love it. I'm also really incredibly excited for the farmers' market. I ALSO promise to post pictures soon. I swear.

I love being single, I love being busy, and I LOVE making jewelry and friends! I love spending time with my family, which I finally have time to do.

I hope everyone is doing well. I'm sorry this has been so insubstantial lately, but I wanted you to know I'm happy!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Inventory check, and why I'm suddenly almost sane

There are two major breakthroughs that have just occurred and made my life a lot less stressful.

One, strawberry season is over. While this means I won't be making as much money, it also means I can drop down to two or three days a week on the farm, instead of six or seven. Thank the lord, because the weather is heating up, and the farmers market is kicking into gear.

This brings us to two. The first farmers market is on the 7th, and I was sorely afraid I was unprepared. Having since mocked up my booth and taken inventory, as well as spent several long evenings and mornings and free moments churning out pieces, I finally feel that I have more than enough. And I still have more than a week left!

I'm working on a whole bunch of different styles that I've experimented with in the past, and I must say I love wire.

I still have no pictures, but I promise I'll post some as soon as I do! Also, new listings on Etsy will have to wait until after the market. Check out what's still in my shop though, and if there's anything you particularly like grab it now, because I can make no guarantees for what will be left after next weekend.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Help Amanda Have Some Fun: a plan.

It's 95 degree and humid here, a rare, disgusting occasion, and I only lasted an hour and a half picking berries today!

I finally, finally finished the dreadlock sleeve I was making for a lovely guy named Jared. It turned out to be much more extravagant than planned, and the poor guy had to wait a while. He's been very sweet about it though, and I think the piece I sent will be well worth the time! Of course, in my excitement I mailed it out without taking a picture. I also mailed out a bunch of books for the BookSwap community I'm part of on, and some little bundles of beads to my friend Amanda.

Speaking of Amanda, I have a plan. First, back story.

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That would be Amanda in purple, laughing at me:)

So, this girl is absolutely the most wonderful young woman I have ever met. She's the best friend one could imagine. She tells you if your jeans make your butt look fat, and she's always up for a long, rambling conversation (which I love). Aside from that though, Amanda gives more of herself to the world that anyone I've ever met. She's an avid fighter for the rights of the homeless and she devotes much of her time to Habitat for Humanity. Despite it all she remains completely down to earth and welcoming, never looking down at those of us who (cough) don't spend our time as generously. Here's the thing. Amanda had plans for the summer, to work and save for school, mostly. However, upon arriving home from a Habitat build in Hungary, she found her grandfather was in a state of immobility, and unable to care for himself. Amanda has dropped everything to spend her summer secluded in the house in the mountains where her grandfather lives, without a car or Internet, and certainly no job.

Here's the thing. I want to give Amanda a weekend away, a chance to relax and have some fun this summer. We're young, after all, and summer is still important to us. My plan is to drive up and get her the third weekend in July, and bring her home to my house so we can go to Falcon Ridge Folk Fest. The problem is that tickets are expensive. So my plan is this. 50% of whatever I sell on Etsy in the next month will be going to the "Help Amanda Have Some Fun" fund, and I'm putting some of her jewelry in my booth at the next few farmer's markets!

There you have it folks! If you'd like to help this girly out check out my Etsy Shop. and see if anything catches your eye, or stop by (if you're local) the Hillsdale Farmers' Market on either July 7th or 21st!,

Monday, June 25, 2007

Long overdue!

Hello world, it's me, Robin Marie!

I've been swamped with work. Completely and utterly overwhelmed. Juggling three jobs isn't always physically challenging (though being on my feet or bent over in a field picking strawberries all day is) but it's certainly an emotional challenge. At night I dream of work, and in the few hours I'm not working or sleeping I'm remembering to eat. Very little in the way of jewelry is getting done, a fact that terrifies and frustrates me. Terrifying because starting the 7th I'll have my booth set up in town every other weekend, open to the hordes of New Yorkers that frequent this town. I'm not at all ready this year. Once or twice a week I get to indulge in the calm quiet of the bead store. Those 7 hours are what keep me sane. Last week I made 40 pairs of earwires, 11 pairs of earrings, and a gorgeous necklace. This week I have a custom peyote sleeve to finish.

I've taken today off, away from my other-life jobs in order to attent to my life. I'm mocking up my brand new booth, about 10 million times improved from last year! I'm doing my laundry, I'm taking stock of my jewelry and supplies, blogging, cleaning my room, and sitting down while I eat.

Pictures of my booth (assembled in the living room) will follow shortly!

Peace, love, and an oasis of free time!

Robin Marie

Monday, June 11, 2007

I'm not dead

I'm just really, really busy.

I'll be back soon I hope when I've got more of a handle on things.

Until then!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

All that imaginary money...

Today was my first day of training at the bead shop. Let me tell you, I'm glad I'm not relying on this job as a big means of income. In my head I've already spent at least half my paycheck, and I was only there for three hours! I just kept seeing things and mentally adding them to a list that won't stop growing. I need help, seriously.

Yesterday evening I spent some time working in the garden with my mom, and I took some photos of her fabulous flowers that I thought I would share.

Right now, among other things, we've got some beautiful irises,
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some wild poppies,
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and some brilliant pink lupines, which are my mom's favorite!
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As for my flowers, I've got these available at my Etsy Shop.
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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Off the Beaded Path

Yes indeed. My favorite bead store ever needed part time help, and there I was! I'm working at the bead store all summer! I foresee my paychecks going straight back into the business, but I don't feel the least bit upset about that. Plus, I get to take classes!

Additionally, this is my new favorite design. I'm in love with briolettes, absolutely taken with them. I doubt I'll ever be the same!

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This lovely piece is made with two sweet little New Jade briolettes and a smattering of Swarovski Crystals. It's for sale on my Etsy page, you can find it Here!

Saturday, June 2, 2007


For the record this isn't the sort of thing I generally share with the public.

I made a life altering decision yesterday. It was a long time coming...weeks and months of unhappiness culminating into one final push. I didn't want to do it, but I know that I needed to, that even though it's causing me pain now, in the end it will prevent much more. I hate hurting people, I hate breaking promises, as naive as they may have been. Forever wasn't as real then as it is now. I hate leaving people behind. I don't want him to feel pain, struggle, abandonment. If there was a way to end something without losing anything I would take it. All or nothing is a hard bit to swallow.

I don't know exactly how I'll react to this in the long run. Today I'm scattered, trying to involve myself in projects, books, work, but I can't hold my attention steady for long. You may see a huge burst of activity from me, attempts to immerse myself completely in my work and not think about what I've lost. You may not hear from me for a while. I don't know. We'll see.

Goodbye my one. Here's to memories and dreams of eternity. I truly wish they could have been.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Safely home...

and a TAG from Cassie of ShopClementine!

Now I must list 7 random facts about myself and then get 7 other people do the same. As Cassie mentioned it'll be a challenge to find people who've not been tagged yet, so leave me comments so I can find new people!

1. I really like turtles.
2. I grew up without TV, and I'm very grateful!
3. I'm a total bookworm/snob but I love trashy romance novels.
4. When I walk around living my life I often carry on a running dialogue in my head between trees, squirrels, rocks, or anything else that might catch my eye. Most commonly I create relationships and personalities for the cars highway. I am not crazy...
5. I love independence, but secretly I love my room in my parents' house so much that I never want to move out.
6. When I was little one of my favorite snacks was cream cheese, jelly, and yellow mustard on rice cakes. It's not disgusting. It looks disgusting, but I think most people would love it if they'd just try it.
7. I have a completely irrational fear of snakes coming out of the drain in the bathtub. Always have.

I had a pretty good weekend, I got to relax a bit, danced my tushy off, and hung out with some cool kids. I'm exhausted though, so I'm going to take a nap!

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Strangest Creek in all the Land!

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Yes yes, I'm off for some summer fun before work really swings into gear. Strange Creek is an awesome little fest in the town of Greenfield, right near my old prep school. How I managed to live there for four years and never hear about it is beyond me. Anyhow, now I know, and I'm heading up tomorrow morning! I'm taking some of my double-posted earrings with me, like the one below, to see if they generate any interest. When I get back I have a ton of new things to post on Etsy and I'll be a busy little bee getting that done.

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Just a reminder, there's a ton of jewelry marked down in my shop right now to make way for summer products. Please feel free to stop in!

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I got my grades for last semester. Here's the breakdown:

Drawing: Visual Think 2     A            
Integrtd Design 2:Forces A
Basic Metal A
Art of Western World 2 A
Composition II A
Elementary Spanish 2 A-

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Cleaning Up Shop!

I'm noticing a significant shift both in my style and in the materials I am using. As a result I am working on cleaning out my shop to make room for my newer designs. Please check out the "Cleaning up shop" section of my Etsy Shop, as a lot of items will be marked down and moved there. Here's what's up. I'm making the shift from base metals to sterling, from stringing to wire and solder (note, there will always be some stringing, I do love it so), and just in general moving in a different direction with my designs. Many of my earrings are now hung on handmade sterling earwires with handmade sterling headpins. They're elegant, let me tell you. I'm working on cleaning up my older work to make room for my new designs. Take advantage!

Here's a peak at some of what's on sale!

New Shipping Rates Revealed!

I did some sleuthing today, by which I mean I took some packages of different weights down to the post office and made the poor lady explain to me exactly how the new rates work. I hope this is useful for those of you mailing smaller packages like me. The information is all out there, but it's a lot to sort through. Here's the deal:

The "Size" Issue:
I use 4" x 7" Duck brand bubble lined envelopes. Because I sell primarily jewelry and it always fits in these mailers, they are what I took to the post office. What I learned is this. Due to their thickness (over .25") these envelopes will always be considered First Class Parcel Post, regardless of their weight.

The Domestic Issue:
Domestic prices are as follows:
1 oz - $1.13
Each additional oz - $0.17

The International Issue:
"How many International pricing zones are there?"
As it turns out, only three.
The Rest of the World

The rates for Canada and Mexico for packages 1oz - 5oz range from approximately $1 - $3.
The rates for the rest of the world are simply $0.90 an oz. A 3oz package would cost $2.70. Not bad, eh?

The Weight Issue:
My biggest problem was that I had no concept of how much my pieces weighed, so I got an example of each weight category weighed up in the envelope. Here are the results (and please excuse the quality of these pictures):

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Bubble envelope with light wire and stone bracelet, 1oz, $1.13 domestic.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Bubble envelope with stone chip strand and pendant necklace, 1.7oz, $1.30 domestic.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Bubble envelope with multi-strand stone chip and round necklace, 3oz, $1.47 domestic.

I hope this was helpful to you! I'm off to my Etsy shop to sort out my shipping prices.


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