Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Skein of Life

This Thing Called Life

I realize that a person like me cannot take on so many responsibilities because often times it can become overbearing. I mean think about it; you are only one person. There are only 24 hours in a day. A good night of sleep is considered to be a minimum of 6 hours. But who gets that these days?  Is it even possible? Who has time to sleep?
If it isn’t one thing, it is another. There always seems like a lot to do with so little time. We can say no to projects and just keep it moving, but when we think we can handle it all, we attempt it all and sometimes we might accomplish our ultimate goal but other times we might cause our bodies harm.

A Skein of Inspiration  
I walked into the office one morning and before the official start time of work, I saw a co-worker of mine engaged in the art of crocheting. It was always an interesting art to see; especially since my wonderful mother would always make us the most beautiful sweaters by hand when we were younger.  After seeing my co-worker doing that same very thing every morning before work would start, I became interested in learning, and so she taught me and I caught on pretty quick. But when there is so little time to do everything we want to do in life, time can be lacking to get into the practice of it to become more skilled in it.
Then it happened. I woke up one morning and the side of my jaw hurt me; a lot. All of a sudden, the side of my mouth started to get inflamed just from drinking water. I was diagnosed with the mumps and was obligated to stay home for the week ahead. Not fun having to lay in bed all day feeling sick and helpless. So instead, I would sit up and crochet.
With every hour that passed, a new hat was made. I had a large supply made in so little time and decided to take a notch at marketing them. In my first two weeks, I sold so many hats to my peers that I was able to have a nice amount of pocket change to take with me on my trip to Los Cabos, Mexico.
A few months later, I became interested in crafting costume jewelry and in record time was able to build a large supply that had people picking up many pieces from me and also ordering other unique designs. Based on that, I decided to pursue it as an officially recognized self-business. That’s when I started Hand-Made Originalz, a company of hand made accessories designed and hand made by me. The road beyond that became very interesting.

HAND-MADE ORIGINALZ
   I would take orders from peers and make the items they requested overnight. I showcased my product line at street festivals where many would stop by and purchase items. One day, I had a table at the Flatbush Frolic on Cortelyou Rd in the Kensington section of Brooklyn. I displayed both my hats and my jewelry and created brochures with pictures of different items I made just in case people wanted something that was not featured on the table.
A man stopped by my table and was so impressed with my hats that he asked me if I made them in bulk because he wanted to purchase some to display at his store on W 8th Street in Greenwich Village. The man asked me to make fifty. With surprise, I said “sure. When do you want them, I can have them for you in a couple of weeks.” He said, “No! I want them by Friday.”  It was Sunday which meant I only had 5 days to create fifty hats plus a few more pieces I had to make that other passersby had ordered.

Sleepless in Yarnland
What an interesting five days. I had a 9-5 and couldn’t decide not to fulfill my obligations just to make some hats. So instead, I would make them on my way to work, during my breaks, on my way home, and all through the night. That was one of those weeks that I didn't get any sleep at all.  I was producing a hat +/- an hour. Amazingly, I was able to make all fifty by Friday.
On that Friday, I traveled to his Greenwich Village store and the man was so pleased with my work that he purchased all fifty and asked me to make fifty more for the next week.  I never did so much work in my entire life. It didn’t even seem like I did even half of the amount of work  when a store in Harlem, NY on Fifth Avenue picked up 150 pieces of my hand-made jewelry. Check out my hats and jewelry at my hand-made website http://melodiaz.0catch.com/hand-made.html  that I created using HTML, CSS, and Java Script.
I thought I had my share of heavy workloads, even though I am still young; but nothing can compare to the work that I am putting in today for school.  I thought to myself, “Self, you’re strong and can handle full-time employment, being a union shop steward for the Local 153 division of OPEIU, full-time school, singing in two bands, and directing a choir all at the same time while also doing various showcases of my hats and crocheted items. But school never seemed to have me so drained. When people say that school is a career, they are not lying because there is so much to do. Especially with quality teachers like my Technical Writing teacher Professor Needle who might make me have to start walking around with a suitcase filled with assignments I have to turn into him. LOL! But if my mind is not being challegend, I get bored, so a teacher like him is exactly what I need.

Putting My Crocheted-Thinking Cap On
My education which is very important to me made me make a few very important but sad decisions in my life.  For one, I start work in the morning at 8 AM which means waking up before 6 AM. Work ends after 5 and then I have school at night and then sometimes after my class, a gig with one of my bands, a rehearsal somewhere, or obligation to ready myself for rehearsal with my choir.
If I had a gig after class, I wouldn’t reach home until after 3AM in the morning with only two hours to sleep. But I would let nothing keep me from getting up and doing what I had to do the next day. After a while it became overwhelming when I found myself often doing homework and/or studying during the band breaks at our live performances. All my life I wanted to sing, but had to make the decision to quit my band for my education. My load became tremendously lighter.  Check out some of my live performances posted on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/sj1and0?feature=mhsn

Just A Motif Of The Granny Squares
As I come closer to completing my education for my degree in English, it seems like the work load becomes more and more but intriguingly challenging and definitely upward building towards the greater goal.  Sleep is still something I do not get often, but when your body gets tired, there is nothing you can do to keep your body from shutting down and telling you, it is time to sit down and relax for a minute. Even if it is twelve-hours of sleep that you never expected to take. But that’s life; meant to live it to the fullest possibility which I am trying to do. Yet, this is simply a skein of mine with a lot more crocheting to do before I complete my three score and ten blankets of life. Until then, life will still always be, a learning experience.   

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Addicted to the Lines

It was in Seventh grade when my teachers would be at the board teaching a subject, and I would be at my desk writing my heart away in the back of my notebook. Decades later, my attitude has not changed. I love to write.

Imagine my relief when I came across Associated Content. Associated Content is a platform directed at writers where they can write and share their work with other like-minded individuals. You can write articles, poems, recipes, songs, videos or even sideshows that are representative of you, and share it with the on-line community. The best part about this website is that you receive an incentive every month. Imagine, getting royalties for something you love to do. If you like to write just as a hobby, then you get a little something for doing what you love and the opportunity to get reader feedback to find out how you can improve. For me, it is a big help to know how effective my writing skills are and how I can improve them. To me, that makes it all worth it. If you love to write as much as I do, you definitely should join this website. It is so cool. Join the excitement by visiting this link: https://contributor.yahoo.com/join.html?refer=56521 or clicking on the following icon Join the Yahoo! Contributor Network.

If you have the time, read some of my articles and poetry at http://contributor.yahoo.com/user/56521/stephanie_jeannot.html.

That's not the only website geared towards writers. Epinions.com is such a cool website. We all use different types of products and services and often need to know information on someone else's experience. It is important sometimes to do research on a camera that we see for dirt cheap in a circular before buying it and finding out that it was not the best product you could have used your money to buy. Epinions is that site for individuals interested in writing about their experiences and earning a monthly incentive. Other like-minded individuals or others looking for information can access what you have written and rate it. So you don't only write, you get feedback on how your presentation was written, which is really cool for up and coming writers like me.

I would be honored if you would check out my epinions page at http://www0.epinions.com/user-sj1and0/show_~View_Profile and if you like what you see, join the community. It is fun and it pays; Literally. Hope to epinion with you soon.