Dreaming of Success!!!

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Oprah is awesome!!! Yes, still!!

MY wonderful childhood friend shared this interview with me after seeing my blog activities, and boy did it come at a right time. Oprah says everything I want to say in this interview, and thanks to her fame, she reaches more people, and leaves a bigger impact. YAY! Go Oprah!! Anyway.. if you don’t believe me.. watch her.. and trust Oprah, she has lead a truly wonderful life. She is successful financially and spiritually! What else could a person want from life? hehe..

So here it is, if you haven’t seen it!

Writing is fun too!! :D

Haven’t had a chance to make videos for the past two days, mainly because I haven’t been able to write my magic pages (aka morning pages from The Artist’s Way), but I was reading my entries from 3 years ago, and was filled with pride for having had the idea to create this blog!! hehe.. props to me..

No, but really, I am happy to have this record of what it takes to start a jewelry studio, and the journey I took, and being able to compare my state from a year ago to how I feel now. I highly recommend keeping a journal, or a blog.

I think many times when we are going through challenges in life and we are struggling, it feels like we are the only one. Everyone around seems to be just fine, and, well, the thoughts that come to mind are “what’s wrong with me?” and “why am I the only person that is struggling with this thing?”, but the fact is that others are struggling, you are just not in their heads to know what they are struggling with, so it looks like they are fine with everything.

I made this blog to let anyone who might be going through similar struggles as me to know that s/he is not alone!! I hope it helps to know that.

If you go through life’s motions, without giving it a thought, you might feel that everything is OK, and maybe it is, but if you ever happen to accidentally step back from the constant “doing” and examine it for a second, then you’ll notice that it becomes very hard to be satisfied with “OK”.

Which, maybe randomly, brings me to these questions: What is happiness? What constitutes a happy life?

I know they are cheesy questions that you have probably heard a million times, but have you really thought about them? Have you wondered if you are happy? (You may want to look and see if you have any destructive habits, or external escape routs, like pills, alcohol, over eating, etc., before answering this question!)

If you feel annoyed, uncomfortable, and uneasy by the questions, you are having normal reactions, because the thought of having to change in anyway is scary and uncomfortable. We rather swim in a sewage that we know well, than to step into a clear turquoise blue ocean that we are not familiar with.

If you are ready for clear waters, watch the videos, subscribe, and read on, you might find a way there from here. 🙂

Whitehaven-Beach

Jealousy, not that any of us get jealous or anything!

Perfectionism!

Kick Start Your Dream….

“Pen to Paper: My Imaginary Friend” Children’s Book

I absolutely hate that it takes me so long to come back to write again. I always have so much that I want to tell you and so I always wait for the perfect time when I can sit for a couple of hours and just write.

Well, it’s just not practical, so I am resorting to a little posts, but hopefully more frequent.

I am writing to tell you about two websites that have just baffled my mind. Actually I have to say that what shocks me more is that I had not heard about these sites sooner. When I learned about these two sites I felt the need to tell everyone I know immediately, but then when I started telling people, they weren’t so shocked, in fact they knew about it all along.

Anyway.. I hope I didn’t built up your expectation too much…

So the sites are:

Kickstarter

and

Indiegogo

The significance of both these sites is that it is where YOUR creative amazing ideas can get funded. Everyday people helping each other reach their dreams and goals.

Ok… say you have a brilliant idea, like making 500 pairs of earrings for a gallery show, to donate, or to give as gifts. You have the talent, but, you don’t have the money for the materials, tools, and to hire help, so at this point, maybe you get discouraged, and you think “oh well, it’s never gonna happen” or you ask a few friends and family, and they love the idea, but they can only help a little bit, which wont nearly cover the entire cost.

What Kickstar and Indiegogo both do is they connect your brilliant idea to your social network and beyond, giving people who love your idea a chance to support it. As simple as that.

You don’t have to pay any money to put your project up, there is no starting cost. All rights to your ideas are yours, they don’t become share holders, they simply donate. Of course, you can increase their incentive to donate by providing a “reward” such as a handmade thank you card for a donation of $5.00 or a handmade pin for a donation of $20. I think you get my drift. Those who run the website get 4% of your money when your goal is reach and you have received it.

This is the point where my beautiful, wonderful cousin pointed out that people can and in fact do lie and can just take the money and do absolutely nothing with it but fund their indulgences.

This is definitely a possibility but it is an amazing thing that, despite this, projects are being funded everyday, which means, in the face of the darkness that exists, people are willing to take a leap of faith.

Now differences between the two site:

Kickstarter has more restrictions on the type of projects that can be presented (there are no projects saying “please help me pay my loans”!), and because of this the site seems more reputable and legitimate. However, a big downfall of Kickstart is that if you do not reach the exact amount of your goal (which you set for yourself) you don’t get any of the money.  Your donators don’t get charged until you reach your deadline (which you also set for yourself (30-60 days)), so if you only reach $1500 of your $2000 goal by the end of your deadline you will get $0.

Indiegogo is much more liberal in what can be funded, and hence has those people who are looking for funds to “pay for their sick child” or “pay for their educational trip to Paris”, but believe it or not even those “projects” are being funded. A great perk of this site is that it has a “flexible” plan, which means that you can keep what ever amount you manage to raise in your given time even if it’s way below your set goal. The site however takes 9% of your total if the goal is not reached completely and 4% of it if it’s reached.

So there you have it!! Isn’t this amazing?? I really think that something like this should be shared!! There is plenty of support to go around to everyone, so share the love and tell people!!

And now that you have no financial excuse to hold you back, the two things you have to think about are…

“What is my passion calling me to do? and What is stopping me now?”

These are the questions I am contemplating on!

ps. so much for a short post!!!

The Bench

I am pleased to say that after what seemed like an endless search I have found my little bench. Like I said before I was looking anywhere I could for a used bench since the price for a new one starts at $200. A & A jewelery supply had one that was $175 but it has been out of stock for a while. I have to say that if you are looking to buy a new one, I found that from all the places that I looked including riogrande.com and ottofrei.com, A & A has the lowest prices.

This bench is the least expensive one ($199) they have and it seems pretty nice:

However, it’s important to include the price of shipping, gas (if you are picking it up), rental truck, or whatever it might be in your total cost before you make your decision. Also what is important to realize is that somethings become more expensive when they have a particular label. For example a Jeweler’s Bench is much more expensive than a regular sturdy desk with a clamped or screwed on bench pin. Same thing with the torch, if you buy a torch from a jewelry supplier as a “Jeweler’s torch” it’s much more expensive than if you buy it from a welding supplier.

If you are looking for a used one my advice is be patient and check everyday on all possible sites. I checked Craigslist everyday and for a week or two there were no new posts that had anything to do with Jeweler’s bench, and suddenly one day two postings showed up. Also when you are searching type in many different key words for the search, I typed in “Jeweler’s Bench”, “Jewelers Bench”, “Jewelry workbench”, and so on  and although a lot of times the same things would come up, there were a few times that items I had not seen before would appear when a different key was put in.

The first bench I found was a watch maker’s bench which although it was old looked pretty nice with many drawers and what looked like a large work surfaces for $150. I checked on riogrande and found one similar to it for around $500, so I decided to check it out. The lady selling it made it sound like there were people waiting in line to buy it so I felt like I had to get there fast.

My boyfriend asked a friend of his for his Van and we headed out to Seal Beach to see the bench. It was a lot more beat up than it looked in the pictures. The legs had huge cracks in them, causing the bench to wobble. The lady was willing to bring the price down, but since I am not a very handy person when it comes to fixing things, I decided to keep looking.

That same day another lady named Barbara, whose bench I inquired about called me. A very interesting old lady who was a little grumpy and somewhat demanding. I was a little hesitant to meet with her but the bench she was selling seemed to be in a good shape. Having learned from my first experience, I asked Barbara a few questions about the sturdiness of the bench and whether it was in a good condition or not. After the interrogation, I was convinced that this time I would not be disappointed.

My boyfriend and I decided to go with his 1989 Ford Bronco, which burns a lot of gas and leaks oil, but we had no other option.

Barbara had the bench stored some where in Crescenta Highlands, which is about 28 miles away from me. It cost me about $40 for gas and oil and the bench was listed for $165. After my boyfriend helped her move a chair, she was guilted into knocking down the price by $20, so at the end the bench cost me $185. I was feeling a little upset at first, thinking I should have tried to bargain with her a little more, or waited for a better deal, but a little live music in the car performed by my boyfriend

and I was feeling much better.

Barbara had said that there are some things inside the drawers of the bench that I could have. Among all the goodies in there, I found about an ounce of silver scraps, 6 inches of silver tubing, about 3 inches of 14k gold wire, and a small wooden mallet.

I concluded that the findings compensated for the overpricing. Needless to say I am pretty happy with my bench.

Word of Advice: Take someone with you when you are going to meet someone from Craigslist or anywhere else on the internet, you don’t know what kind of person you are meeting.

I will show you pictures of my bench soon along with pictures of my studio. Also stay tuned for The Torch Story episode 2! 🙂 Thanks for reading!