It's already February 2009 and I just noticed the last time I made an entry on here was in October of 2008! Where'd the time go? I've been so busy with the business and the kids that aside from my facebook addiction, I haven't had much "down" time.
From September to December, business was very brisk with shows and custom orders. I wrapped up the year with my 2nd annual Hillcrest Jewelry Design Holiday Show & Sale. I was so grateful to co-host the Holiday Show with my favorite Tastefully Simple rep. We did a show together during the summer and it was such a hit that I asked her to return for the December show. Bonus: I didn't have to prepare any food!! That show was a great finale to the year as it was record setting for show sales to date.
During this time I was also very fortunate to get new show bookings for 2009. Currently, my schedule is booked full until the beginning of June! My intention was to keep the month of January free to build up stock and gather my records and take inventory for tax preparations. Custom orders have continued to come in though which has delayed inventory but I'm very grateful for the business, and really, I'm not looking forward to counting all those little beads.
The kids continue with sports and extracurricular activities which makes time management in the "studio/office" critical. Zach and Caitlyn are finishing up the basketball season. Zach is playing for the high school JV team and Caitlyn is playing for the middle school JV team. The middle school varsity team has asked her to play in several of their games and tournaments as well. Caitlyn continues to play soccer year round and currently plays indoor for her premier soccer club. Zach and Caitlyn are both very involved in several clubs at school and somehow manage to keep getting straight A's in all their subjects. Miss Zoe has turned into a little Diva. Oh Miss Zoe. The things that come out of her 5 year old mouth amaze me. She doesn't miss a beat. She continues with ballet and gymnastics but prefers gymnastics and doesn't mind telling you so. She's so good at ballet and keeps up with the teacher but finds it to be "boring". If you met Zoe, you'd understand...the child is rarely still. If she's not spinning, she's up-side-down. And then there's little Aeryn. I can't believe we just celebrated her 2nd birthday. She did not care for us singing happy birthday to her. She shushed us and then began crying. Could it have been my off-key singing? Anyway...she is learning so many new words and stringing them into sentences that only I understand. She likes to sing songs that I do not understand but they make her happy so I bopp along with her. Oh and she already has a love for books. She always wants to be read to and if that's not an option she'll sit down w/ a book and turn the pages and babble to herself as if she's reading--too cute.
At Christmas hubby had an issue with his eye. It was actually quite scary as he had limited vision and considerable pain in his eye. The eye issue is improving slowly but as it turns out we found out he has a rare form of rheumatoid arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis (AS) which explains the years of chronic back/hip pain that he has been experiencing. The uveitis that he had with his eye is a symptom of the arthritis. He plugs away though, not ever letting the pain interfere with coaching the kids in soccer, baseball and basketball over the years. I must admit, I am terrified for him as this condition can lead to the spine fusing. He thinks he's invincible though and refuses to let the AS keep him down so for once, his stubbornness (if that's a word) will pay off (hopefully). It could be worse. It just gives me a lot to think about and a lot of what ifs to worry about.
So other than that, in between the doctor visits and general kid issues, I've been working on the spring collection. I have also been working on the Four Heart Collection, of which, 20% of sales are donated to the American Heart Association. This year I've decided to create individual Four Heart pieces that are truly unique. New pieces will be added as they are completed and will continue to be added throughout the year. With regard to the spring collection, my goal is to create a diverse collection to suit many styles and occasionally I will go a little further out on the limb but it is out there, swinging in the breeze that I, as a creative soul, am truly happiest.