Monday, December 13, 2010

oh yeah...

..and I cleaned up the blog a bit. I had switched things around when we were away, as the video windows were getting cut off, and I had been posting pix.  and well...I'm not doing that so much any more.  so back to a nicer, cleaner layout.

...out of shape...

My arms are SO tired and sore from all the metal polishing I've been doing today!  Those 6 months in England has taken tolls on me in ways that I did not expect!  Who knew that my polishing "muscles" would have gone away!  (who knew that I even had polishing muscles???!).  Weird!

Monday, November 29, 2010

First Look at Baby!...oh yeah, and I'm back to work now too

So this past week has been a whirlwind.

We flew back into the U.S. last Sat night.  Rested all Sunday.  Monday-Thanksgiving has been unpacking/cleaning/laundry.  We had my family over here this past weekend.

And then this morning Josh and I went to take a sneak peek at baby Midge!  (our nickname for the baby).  The u/s went well..and was followed by an appt with the dr.  everything is look great with both baby and me.  I'm 10 weeks along, and Midge is measuring 10 weeks and 1 day.  "she's" got a strong heartbeat of 168.  My official due date is June 27th....yes, this will be impacting my work.

But this afternoon, I'm working like mad to answer all those emails I neglected over this past week.  sorry customers.  I still love you..just trying to readjust to being back in our house, after being in the UK for 6 months.

Anyway, here is the first (of what is sure to be many dozens) picture of our baby!
I'm going to keep making as many crowns as I can while pregnant..but a few styles will have to be ruled out becuase of time/labor/chemicals.  Thanks for understanding if I tell you "no" to any crown requests!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Heading back to the US!

Hey Crown folks!  The time has come where I need to face reality:  it's time to head back stateside.  Josh and I are flying home in a couple of days.

Our six months in England (for Josh's work) has been incredible...and we're flying home with the future crown lady:  I'm pregnant!  (yes, I'm convinced it's a girl, and yes, I'm assuming she'll want to make crowns for a living..who wouldn't?!).

I didn't keep up with blogging and posting pix.  I know.  For that, I am sorry.  but seriously, I was having too much fun to keep myself tied to the reality of the computer.

And my business didn't completely fizzle while I've been away.  My parents have been amazing...and it was mostly my dad who did the work.  Yes, we had a few shipment mix-ups.  Yes, a crown or 2 arrived with some 'issues', and I had a few grumpy customers.  But you know what, that may have happened whether or not I was at home.  So I'm feeling pretty good about everything.

and wait until you see what I have planned for 2011.  Yes, new crowns..but how about some coordinating hair accessories for bridesmaids and flower girls.  How about some veils and hair pieces that coordinate and integrate perfectly with crowns?  I'm hiring my mom on part-time to help me develop these new lines.

And no, just because she's my mom, doesn't mean that she's automatically qualified.  But let's face it, who do you think taught me what I know about art and creating?  I'm working on the "about Peggy" page to tell you more about my mom...but in the mean time, take a look here.

And I have not forgotten about Crown cases.   Give me some time to get back in town, and I'll have some answers about case progress.

Ok, so all these new grand a baby on the way create a bit of a space concern.    I'm considering taking out a business loan to remodel the attic and turn it into workspace.  You can bet that as soon as I can, I'll be pulling down the attic stairs and crawling my way to see if there is actually room to make this worthwhile.  There should be.  The real trick is building the staircase up to the attic without taking up too much garage space.  we shall see!

So my apologies for not keeping the blog up to date as we traveled all over the UK...but I did upload a few new pix to that slideshow for your entertainment.  I'm actually looking forward to getting back to our home in Indy.  I loved the life we had before going to England.  and I loved our life in England.  and I thoroughly intend on loving my life even more with our return.

Thanks to all those customers that grinned-and-bared this weird time in our lives.

Friday, July 9, 2010


I finally bit the bullet and booked a holiday. all in an effort to celebrate Josh's 30th birthday.  his birthday is the 14th, but we won't be leaving until the 22nd because of his work schedule.  and I'm flying him off to Menorca Island, Spain!   found a cheap place to stay for 3 nights (the cheapest i could find, which is actually dirt cheap, thankfully.  came in under the budget i had set for this.  and yet we're still ON the beach, in a decent, clean place.  in a quiet spot of the island). 

I think josh and I remember our Spanish pretty well.  i think i'll grab a book at the library, though.  just to help us brush up.

August, our 'big' trip for that month will be to spend several days in East England, which incorporates attending the wedding of one of my customers!!!  I'm so excited about this.  A Bishop will be officiating alongside the bride's father (a priest).  Fortunately, they purchased my favorite crown set...and the crowns arrived to them safely.  good to go!  Now to find a dress...

September, we'd like to look into going to Greece.  I'm working on my Greek via Rosetta Stone.

October....depending on how we're doing budget-wise, my DREAM place to visit is Morocco.  I got Josh to agree that we could go to Marrakesh if I can get the other trips in under a certain budget.  Really need to work on my Arabic.  All I know are cuss words, church/religious phrases...and random foods, animals, and objects.  Trying to decide if I should go all out and get Rosetta Stone for that too...hmmm.....


but right now...waiting on a plumber to show up to fix the silly washer..again.  waiting for my dad to get back to my house, so that we can ship out everything from this past week.  Hope everyone enjoyed their 4th of July Holiday, and thanks for being patient with our shipping holiday!

Monday, July 5, 2010

almost a half century.

 This past Saturday, we went for a long bike ride.  We utilized the National Cycleway Network, following route 68

We left Derby and headed toward Ashbourne.  Our ultimate plan was to pick up the Tissington trail in Ashbourne, and go to the end of the T.T. and then just double back. making for like a 63 mile ride, or something like that.

However, once we got to the Tissington Trail head, I crashed and burned. (Lots of dogs, people, little kids.  yeah, i totally lost control and slid right into a little girl.  she was fine.)  I bent the heck out of the rear derailleur hanger, and was really, really, embarrassed.  Tons of people just stopped and stared.  no one offered to help me up. 

I limped off to the side, Josh managed to get my bike going again.  and seeing just masses of crowns pouring out of the trail, we opted to just turn around and go home.  We realize that if we had kept on going, that crowns would have thinned out.  but um, we weren't really in the mood.  so we had a quick snack and doubled back home.  All in all, it made for a 40-something mile ride. (and that almost 5 hour  trip-tick includes out snack and sight-seeing stops, we're slow, but not that slow)

It was a hilly ride.  still getting used to all these darn's the profile. (elevation is determined by barometric pressure on our gps unit, so as you can see, the pressure changed during the the halves aren't exactly symmetric.)

So we were shy a few miles from doing a full 1/2 century ride.  that's ok.  we'll get there.

And of course we saw a few neat things along the way...
one of the cattle corridors we had to cross through on the route.  The route took us on some gravely trails, some paved trails, and some sleepy 1-lane farm roads (with lots of blind turns and cars that, then they're present, whip around those corners like you wouldn't believe.


there are more kinds, styles, flavors of yogurt out there than i ever imagined possible.

today's flavor: Champagne Rhubarb. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Stonehenge Saturday, beach Sunday

We decided to start taking advantage of josh's allotted days off...and noticing a string of gorgeous days out here, we took off to the South of England for a long weekend.

We left Saturday morning, and keeping with our tradition, we were able to stop for our typical "Start of a car trip McDonald's Breakfast".  (The McD's out here don't have biscuits (as biscuits mean cookies out here), so egg McMuffins are served on "English" muffins.  They don' have McGriddles...It's a bagel instead.  So damn healthy!)

We started off driving slightly South East toward the city of Leicester (sounds like Lester).  Near that city is the Kirby Muxloe Castle .  While there, we signed up for an English Hertigae Membership, as it allows us free entry to all of their properties, and discounted entry to National Trust sites. (English Heritage seems to own most of the Ruins, whereas the National Trust seems to manage most of the still intact castles). 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

This past weekend

Ok, So i'm just copying and pasting the email Josh wrote to family, and posting the pix.  sorry if things don't correspond.

[Note: As Saturday's activity involved both bikes and beer, Josh is writing this one...]

Hello everyone,

This past weekend, we finally went out for our first bike ride in the UK.  Our primary goal was to travel on the public bridle path we discovered on a previous hike and ride across the English countryside, hitting up Kedleston Hall (a proper English "estate home") along the way. 

I'm attaching a couple of pictures from the GPS software that shows the route we followed.  After getting through Markeaton Park, we went on the bridle path, which was amazingly beautiful.  It is just a narrow stretch of dirt that cuts right across a private farm, but because it has been used for hundreds of years, the public still has the right-of-way on this path.

a couple of weekends ago

Ok, I've been super lazy about posting pix of our adventures from this past weekend.  Why?  Because I wanted to show a lot more photos than what I had edited to email out to family, and I had editing photo sizes.  But Josh and I just got back from an awesome little pub.  I've got a couple of pints in me...feeling pretty relaxed and ready ready to catch up on my posting.  That, and we've got a big adventure ahead of us this weekend...can't get too far behind,

And actually, I'm just realizing that I'm a couple of weekend's behind.  I'll do a couple of posts.

So back on June 12, we drive a half an our or so to Ashby-de-la-Zouch to tour the castle ruins there.  It was amazing!  We spent quite a bit more time there than we expected, which was totally fine.  but also means that it was the only thing we did that day.

This castle is managed by the English Heritage group..and they put together a really great audio tour (that's what those things are that we're holding up to our ears in many of the photos).  The audio tour was quite cheeky, but gave the whole history of the castle.

They had signs in each room to show how the castle would have looked, etc.  and those are the photos that still need to be edited down.  but you know what, i don't feel like doing it. so i'm just posting pix that we sent out to family.

Ashby-de-la-Zouch Castle

Thursday, June 17, 2010

BBC News

For a time, each morning, BBC news has a signer relaying the morning news.  They 'shrink' the main picture, and have a guy standing in front of the screen to the lower right, and he stands there and signs the full news line-up.  It's amazing!  I've ner been able to just watch sign language this long before!  makes me wonder if they don't have Closed-captioning.  I've not seen little notes about that on their tv.  so maybe not.  not sure.  interesting.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Friday, June 11, 2010


People are here are already drunk, in anticipation of the World Cup match between England and USA.  Wow.  lots of loud singing going on outside our apartment...

Summer reading list

Ok, I like to read...gotta read every night before bed.  Just before coming out here, I finished up the book "Salt"...essentially a world history as pertains to salt.  I found it incredibly interesting..a very good read.

ON the way to England, I started in on "The Secret History of the World".  Unfortunately, I'm really not all that thrilled with it.  Too wordy...and it comes off as an infomercial in many places "and what I'm about to tell the next chapter...well you just won't believe the hidden meaning behind it.  It will change your world" and then he skirts the issues, and then when we get to the the "secret"  it's really not all that secret.  Eh.

So I was pretty excited yesterday when i got to go ahead and check out a book from the central library here.  I decided to go with something cute, easy to read, and all about Britain.  It's essentially a book about what it means to be British.  So far, pretty interesting..but the authors crack a lot of jokes.  so that's mildly distracting, but I like the information thus far.  Just a coupla chapters in...but it's a quick read...a nice distraction from the sllloooww pace of the secret history of the world.

Personal tour!

Yesterday was a pretty good day here, despite a drizzly start.  I took off to the art museum and library.  The one large building houses both.  The nice, but modest library occupies the ground floor.  and I was SO happy to be able to be able to go ahead and sign up for a basic library membership (can check out 2 books at a time).  Once I have address verification, then my membership will be upgraded and I can check out more books, cds and dvds.

After that was done, I headed upstairs to their art gallery/museum.  it was an interesting mix of both...started out as a museum, with a great mummy display.  And I ended up getting a personal 30-minute tour from the security guard on duty!  Super cute guy, who goes around to area schools talking about mummies..he's also an aspiring screen writer--so he's a guy who likes to tell stories.  It was really, really cool.

So after the mummies came fossils and minerals.  I skimmed that and when in to the rooms with some art.  A decent collection.  One really neat thing they had was a working orrey model.  One of the main paintings featured an orrey.  And back in the 90's, someone built a model for the museum.  very cool.

Then came there was a war exhibit.  Then artifacts from the Roman era found in and around Derbyshire.  then a HUGE display of Derby china.  The Crown Royal china company is located here...can't want to take a tour of that facility!

The I met Josh for a fantastic lunch at a place called the "Fat Cat Cafe and Bar".  it's one of those places that rarely closes, as they're open for breakfast all the way through the wee hours of the night for their bar area.  We had a fantastic flat-bread sandwiches, served with a lovely and tasty salad and chips (fries)....for 5 pounds (About $7.50)!  We thought that was a pretty good bargain, seeing as you can't get a full meal most places for less than 10 or 12 pounds a person.

And then yesterday evening, we drove about a half-hour out to Licfield to pick up a bike for me.  We won it off of ebay.  So now both joshy boy and I have bikes, and we're ready to tour!!

Oh, and yesterday, I found the post office and got a letter mailed off to Grammers....and it so happened that i received a letter for her the day before.  nice timing!

This morning, one of the other American wives and i went on a nice long run.  It helps she and i are about the same height, so we had a similar stride.  so it was an enjoyable time...not too competitive! 

On that for the rest of the day:  walking into town to get Father's Day Cards.  and the when Joshy boy gets home, we've got to get to the bike shop before it closes to pick a up a full size pump (our travel one ain't gonna cut it), a water bottle cage for my bike, and a couple of bottles.  and the sun is out today, too!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New format

Ok, I think I've got things set up so that the you tube videos aren't getting cut off, and that way i can post the larger panoramic shots, too.


I don't like that the embedded you-tube videos are getting cut-off...I'm going to play around with the layout...


For our first real weekend in the UK, we decided to tourist it up and hit nearly every touristy spot in Central London in a single walking trip on Saturday.  We ordered first class train tickets from Derby into London for dirt cheap by buying online on Friday, and then spent some time that night laying out all of the spots we wanted to hit.  and the good news is, we didn't get lost once!

Here are the pertinent stats from Saturday's trip:

  • 7:00 AM departure from Derby Station
  • ~10 hours touring Central London
  • 12.5 miles covered on foot (plus 3 mile round-trip walk to/from the Derby station)
  • 9:30 PM return to Derby Station
  • 4 incredibly tired feet

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    a little over a week in...

    we've been in England 1.5 weeks now.  It's required a bit more adjusting than I was anticipating...and not that that is a bad thing, just not quite what I was expecting.  I am also trying to figure out a schedule for myself while Josh is off at work.  (and his work is going really i'm glad we're out here for this opportunity for him). 

    But I'm getting a bit frustrated at not being home, in control of my business.  So if anything, this is a really good lesson in letting go of control.  Frustrating, but good I'm sure.  As burnt out as I was with making crowns day in and day out, I really kind of miss it and am not real sure of what to do with myself.

    I've been going on lovely long walks during the day, walking to the market, and just popping into cute shops.  With the conversion rate hovering at about 1 : 1.4-1.5, everything is inherently 1.5X more expensive than at home.  So stuff is expensive, and we're trying to save our pennies for weekend excursions.

    I had been toying with the idea of getting a little sewing machine while I'm out here...found a few shops that carry them.  but I'm not sure if that's too extravagant to go and do, because I'd also have to buy all new scissors, thread, patterns, pins..etc...

    There are a couple of local colleges, and I looked into taking summer classes...but since they're small colleges, they don't have much during the summer (what they do have is tractor driving and falconry.  They had some really neat gardening classes...i could have gotten my certificate in organic gardening!!  But those classes are only offered in the fall (Sept)...for 15-32 weeks....and we're leaving in Nov.

    I did purchase Rosetta Stone-Greek to learn Greek better for work...I purchased that a few months ago in anticipation of doing that while I was here.  I haven't had the motivation to use it yet, though.

    We did take the train in to London this past Saturday, though.  that was a lot of fun..I'll post those pix and videos in a separate post (working on uploading videos to you tube now)

    It's a really rainy day out here maybe i will pull out rosetta stone.

    In the meantime, here are a few fun photos from the past week.

    Around Derby:

    This is an old Theater, named Zanziabar!  I loved the name so much that I named a stuffed kitty I found (to help fill the void without my 2 kitties here) Zanzibar.

    Cheese dinner...having fun trying locally produced foods
    Lots of fun London pix coming up.....

    Friday, May 28, 2010

    We Made it!

    We are settled into our new Home...for the next month, at least.  Not quite sure what my feelings are about being here just yet...sleep will help.  But I am up for an adventure, so i'm still happy we came here.  And we had some fun on the way here:

    At the Indy Airport (earlier I told family it was the Philly airport during our layover, but I was also sleep deprived, and not sure of what happened, when), the Indy airport while waiting to board our flight and trying to relax after realizing I left my cell phone in my in-law's car, Josh and I had just ordered a couple of beer.  While waiting on our alcohol, we couldn't help but comment to the guys sitting next to us.  One had just come back from Zimbabwe.  He had a whole stack of money:  20 million dollar bills, 100 million dollar bills....and this, a fifty billion dollar bill.  Had to get a pic of Josh holding that kind of money.  It's really just pennies on the dollar...not worth much at all..but just seeing that value on money....very fun.

    And then this was definitely at the Philly airport during our layover.  we were chugging across the airport to get to the int'l terminal, and saw a lego liberty bell.  we're lego fiends, and had to stop for a quick pic.

    The flight from philly to Manchester was a lot more painful than i was expecting...our flight got delayed after we were already on the tarmac, so that added an hour and a half to the cramped quarters of our unexpectedly down-graded (size wise) plane.  Thunderstorms in the area.  But we finally took off, but we never did get very comfy for the flight, so we were and still are exhausted on the drive from the airport to our apartment.

    We were shocked to lean the name of our driver:  John O'Hare.  A very well known football player in this area...and he even played for a team in Dallas back in his heyday.  He played for the famous/infamous football manager, Brian Clough.  Clough is a very common name in England, but pronounced "Clouff", rather than how Josh's family says it "Clo".  So we're Mr. and Mrs. "Clouff" here.  Watch the movie "The Damned United" tells all about Brian Clough and John O'Hare (although the movie too quite a bit of creative liberties with the truth.  Made for a very interesting conversation in the car.)

    But the one last photo to show you before I zonk out for the night:  I just really like the side panel for this milk container (part of a few welcome items in our Kitchen).


    Friday, May 21, 2010


    serviced housing for the 1st month.  then we have to move.  i'm not going to be annoyed about the fact that we'll have to pack up all our stuff just a month after getting there...and having to move 1 month is better than 5 months in when we're certain to have acquired more things by then.  and i get a nice reprieve from having to clean house for a month.  not too shabby!

    Thursday, May 20, 2010

    a place to live...

    Ok, so we're still waiting on apartment/address verification for our new diggs in Derby.....

    Way back in Nov, when we were ramping up for our original departure date of early Jan., we had put in our preference for a fairly new complex, right on the edge of the City Center area (downtown).  So i would be within walking distance of everything during the day while Josh was at work.  (I won't be covered for driving over there, but the company covers Josh..he even gets driving lessons :) ).

    And to back peddle just a wee bit, we actually originally requested an apartment in a super nice complex that a coworker stayed in during a month long stay..also right on edge of the City Center.  We were told that we couldn't live there because that was "serviced housing"...i.e. a weekly cleaning service went in to clean the place.  People who are there for a month or less get put up in serviced housing, as it's cheaper than a hotel.  But it's waaaay more expensive than just a regular ole flat. 

    Well, we find out today, that part of the hold up with getting us an apartment is that, that um, they ran out of available apartments that the company has rights to.  yeah.  There are so many Americans (and possibly employees from other countries, but we've heard from a lot of Americans already) over in Derby right now that they ran out of apartments!

    So guess what.  It looks like we're getting put in the swanky serviced housing complex.  (well, according to online pix, it looks pretty swanky)

    But its more than likely that we will get moved out of serviced housing once a regular apartment vacates.

    the one thing that would be pretty upsetting is if they try and put us in an apartment complex on the outskirts of town.  I guess those apartments are pretty nice, but you have to have a car to get anywhere, or so we've been told by some couples currently staying there.  and so we keep repeating that i won't be able to drive while we're there, so i need to be in walking distance of downtown.  it will be interesting to see what happens.

    the anxiety of all of this is starting to manifest itself.  not feeling so great the last couple of days.  having a hard time finishing up my work from the nausea.  ugh. 

    my mama is coming into town on Saturday to help me get the house in order for Pops.  I'm looking forward to having my mama all to myself for a day.  and hopefully we'll be assigned an address tomorrow!

    Wednesday, May 19, 2010

    Now we're cookin!

    I just received out Visas!! Already have scans emailed off to josh's company.  plane tickets were reserved yesterday.  now, just waiting to hear what our address will be to finalize the last of the details!

    We leave Indy next Thursday afternoon!

    Tuesday, May 18, 2010

    crown count

    well, i just got done packaging, weight and inventorying  the crowns made thus far.  only 125 crown sets.  that's well below what i wanted to have in stock before heading out.  I do have a handful of other crown nearly ready go, that I abandoned in order to just finish up what the 125 that were already done and needed to get boxed up.  I did want to have 200 sets.

    but frankly, those 125 sets take up quite a bit more space than i was expecting, so there's not much more room for additional boxes.  I'll be inventorying the candle sets tomorrow.

    me again

    yes, i'm doing all sorts of Blogging these days!

    anyway, i was just getting around to adding tags to all my past postings.  and i just noticed that i had a few comments on some posts--FUN!  i hadn't noticed the comments before, and I'm sorry for not actually responding to them before....many of them from my beautiful friend, Diana.  :)  

    And an incredibly helpful comment from someone about phone services!

    Anywho, I know to keep a better eye out for comments now, lesson learned.  back to work now.  really.


    alright, the Visas have been granted.  They're on their way to us right now.  should have them in hand tomorrow.  and josh is working on booking the flights.  looks like we'll be flying into Manchester, even though we preferred Heathrow.  Hopefully, the airport will stay open  (it was closed Sunday from the Icelandic volcano plume).

    I'm getting all the crowns packaged up today.  tomorrow i'll do candles.

    and lots of errands to run today!

    Monday, May 17, 2010

    finally, a pic

    When Josh came home from work today, he started laughing at how many crowns I had out on the table and kitchen counter (don't worry, I haven't cooked anything in about 2 weeks now, the counters are clean :)  )

    So we took a pic of what things looked like this evening...Pardon the funny spot lighting off to the side.  that's my make-shift photo set-up, as my usual crown photo spot has been torn down to make room for inventory storage.

    Oh, and today was not our lucky day either.  Maybe we'll be granted the Visas tomorrow?

    maybe today

    OK, we weren't lucky on Friday....the consulate hadn't released our Visas by the close of business Friday.  Maybe today!

    Thursday, May 13, 2010

    waiting game

    Ok, we overnighted out visa applications to a company in chicago who aids in rush visas.  but we had a delay, because we only included one photo, each, in our original application.  turns out we needed 2 photos of each.

    josh about hit the roof when I told him (yeah, i got to field all those emails).  so we got new mugshots taken (ugh...end of the day, tired, can't even show a hint of a smile...yeah, not very pretty).  overnighted those.  chicago got them.  our applications are at the consulate.  so now we wait....until they hopefully grant us which case, they will then be overnighted, with all our originals-hopefully.    so there is a slim chance we will have everything back tomorrow....or Saturday....or Monday...

    We had to mail josh's actual ph.d diploma (he was not happy about that), a full 12 months of pay stubs, our original marriage license, our passports, multiple applications, copies of all of that...and rights to our first born child.


    i have given myself only until the end of this week to finish making stock.  i need to post photos of the stock..but i'm so overwhelmed, i don't even feel like transferring photos off my camera!

    i will soon, though.. josh has taken some pretty amusing photos of all the crowns.

    ok, back to work.

    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    On the record...

    Well we just got back from having our biometric info taken.   It was at the immigration office here in Indy--so that was pretty neat to get to see people who are going through the naturalization process.  But i didn't have much time to do any people watching (a favorite pastime) as they called us right back.  but when we first went to the proper room, right after getting off the elevator, you get it's just an intimidating way to start the fairly benign process of scanning fingerprints. 

    The finger-print scanning thing was pretty cool, and then it was just a quick photo--like for a driver's license.  We were under the impression that it'd be one of those cool 360 degree style photos.  not so much.  It took all of 10 minutes, plus $5 for parking.

    so we're waiting on Rolls Royces Global HR office to submit a letter certifying employment....and then once we have that, we'll be overnighting our huge application packet (including josh's ph.d. diploma (Oy!)) to the uk embassy in chicago.  we'll be employing a company to help rush the process along, so that with any luck, we'll receive the Visas within 3 days after they receive the application.

    Then we can book the plane tickets.

    Almost there......

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    Really feeling the stress...

    But i really can't complain, as things are chugging along pretty smoothly.  The reality of being away from home and my kitties for 6 months is starting to set it.  Starting to feel nervous about all the work stuff (my work, not Josh's).

    My car is due to come off its lease while we're away, so we just made arrangements to buy out the lease early.  So need to go sign papers at the bank soon.  On Thursday, we go downtown to get our biometric info taken.   we got out passport photos taken that have to accompany the visa application. (don't worry, we already have actual passports).  but thursday, after our appt, we'll be overnight the application to the UK embassy in chicago.  Many of josh's coworkers have received their visas in as little as 3 days.

    once we have the visas, and scan a copy to the right people with josh's work, then we'll finally be allowed to book plane tickets....and we'll actually get the rest of the relocation info.

    A recliner, to help my dad feel more at-home here is being delivered any day now.

    my dad will be here for several days next week.

    I'm about 1/2 way done with the amount of crown stock i want to get made...and don't talk to me about the candles.  ugh.

    I have mass quantities of photos i need to post on the site....but i do have a new laptop (well, new to me, it's a refurbished lenovo (IBM)) that will allow me to do some good work on the go.  I have my new camera already.

    we have all our dr's appts taken care of before we leave...we just need to stock up on a few things we want to take with us (contact lens solution), and stock up on goodies for daddy (kool-aid and m-n-ms) and i guess we're good to go.  I'm freaking out that we really only have about 3 weeks until we back to work.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010

    Now we're getting somewhere!

    On Monday, Josh got the last of the info we needed to be apply to start the Visa application.  He started the application process online...And next Thursday, we have to go into an office here in downtown Indy to have our biometric information taken.  (apparently, they'll be scanning our finger prints and taking one of those 3-d/360 degree head shots).  once we have that info + some additional passport photos taken (for the visas themselves), then it looks like we actually just mail our application to the UK embassy in Chicago.

    Part of what has made this process so confusing is that, over the last 3 years, UK immigration rules have be continually changing..all in an effort to make the process more efficient/streamlined.  And with the latest changing having been rolled out April 5th of this year...well, that has really made our application process very, very confusing.  But we feel like we have a really good handle on things now.

    My dad was here last week, and we went over shipping.  seemingly no problems there.  (cross your fingers).  we have a to-do list & to-get list all written out on a my work white-board.  a huge calendar hanging above it for the month of May...gotta keep ourselves on track!

    Work has really been causing me some sleepless nights.  I have work dreams, and then wake up in a panic at 4 am most mornings,  so I've just started getting up then..going right to work...and taking naps later.  this morning was a 4 o' some decent odds-n-ends done.  The trick with working this early in the morning is that the garage is still cold from the overnight i can't make all the noise i want, since joshy-boy is still in bed.  But he gets up i'm ok right now.

    so on that note, i suppose i'll go do some more work!

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    crown dreams...getting closer to moving.

    well, after dreaming about work for another night in a row, i'm happy to say that we're finally getting closer to our move to England being official.  All of our info was submitted to get the COS# from the company (certificate of sponsorship)

    Once we have that COS#, and the "Ok to go" from a couple of bosses, then josh and I will be off to Chicago to go to the UK embassy to apply for our Visas.

    We're also attempting to get ahold of the lady who is organizes the move to help ensure that we've done all that we need to do...and to see if we're forgetting any steps...oh yeah, and making sure we have a place to live (minor detail).

    So we're getting closer.  and We're at about T-minus 5 weeks from our goal departure date (tickets won't be purchased until after visas are received).  the jokes at josh's work about how the trip may be delayed due to Iceland's volcano are getting really old.  Josh has accurately been telling everything that, the trip had better not be delayed any, otherwise I;ll lose it and got ballistic on someone there....that or I'll make Josh swim us over there, with me on his back.  That usually get's a good laugh...but it's true!

    Ok, so status update about work:  My daddy will be here later this weekend, to start learning the shipping steps.  josh is getting stuff configured so that, From England, i can print to my printer here in Indy!  So I'll be printing of the shipping labels, and daddy just has to stick them on the right boxes!

    and speaking of boxes...Wow.  Yeah, i'm a little hesitant to show photos of our living room right now.  mass of inventory boxes stacked waist high.  unorganized.  Ribbon scraps everywhere.  stacks of crowns out in the garage that need to be polished and/or attached with ribbon.  gettin' closer.

    i will start posting pix of this whole process...but then it's hard to find the time to post pix.  eh.  excuses, excuses.

    Friday, April 16, 2010


    So, I'm having balance, sensory, depth perception issues right now!  And that that's not good when working on crowns:

    I was just working on making a bunch of new textile crowns.  and to make these, I drip a few holes, put 1 rivet, then go back and drill the 2nd  hole, for the 2nd rivet.

    So I was doing just that, and I guess I wasn't paying attention, and as I started to drill the 2nd hole in a crown, it got ripped out of my hand!  and because of a backerboard i have on the press, and with how fast the drill was turning, the alminum crown just completely wrapped itself around the drill bit!  and even though it was fabric covered, it got ripped out so fast that it cut up my hand as it wrapped itself around the drill press.

    So after bandaging myself up, i went to the fridge for
    some Soda-pop.  (diet coke always helps me pull myself together).  and i went to take a drink, and I spilled soda all over my face and the floor.  Today is NOT my day!

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    new crowns, and more are coming

    So I'm almost finished with the custom orders, but am also well into making stock. there boxes and ribbons EVERYWHERE!  I'm finding it a bit overwhelming to make up the stock.  I thought i'd be fine, and just chug my way along one design at a time.  but i'm also filling orders at the same making all the coordinating candle sets for the crowns...well i just kind of feel like i'm here, there, and everywhere.  I think that if i can keep up my current progress for a couple more days, that I should be doing a lot better organizationally come Monday.

    And as far as out travel to England goes, well, we're quite a bit closer.  Josh is working on his "certificate of sponsorship" from his work.  once we have that, we get to go stand in line at the UK embassy in Chicago to get our Visas.  And once we have those, then we get to book the plane tickets.  we're at T-6weeks.

    We went out today and got a bunch of extra copies of the house key made to hand out to family, in case of emergencies, and someone unexpected needs to check in on our kitty-babies.

    We also got a couple of cheap clocks: One will be set to Indiana time, the other will be set to England time, so that my dad doesn't try calling us at 1am, when he things it's only dinner time.

    I also found a local person who has the same font as my logo for her embroidery machine..and i ordered in some fun blank polos and such, and will be getting some nifty things made up.  I did a bit of shopping with my sister over the a few articles of clothing that will be nice to England.

    the biggest "thing" has been deciding how to handle bikes...whether to fly with them, ship them, or buy some over there.  After sooo much talk and back and forths...i think we're going to ask the company to reimburse to ship them.  (we have a 2 hour train ride from the airport to our apartment..and we're already going to have like 6 pieces of luggage...can't really manage all that plus 2 large bike cases.)

    and so in an effort to gain a sense of control, i tried staying up late this evening to post mass quantities of things on the site.  well it's 2 am and i'm tuckered out, and tomorrow is another long day. so i'm off to bed!

    Friday, April 9, 2010

    friday morning surfing

    i zone out on the computer for a while each morning as i'm waking up....and today, through a series of websites...I ended up here:

    I thoroughly enjoy this.

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010

    Looong day

    Oofda!  I've been soldering crowns since before lunch time today.  and I'm tired...and I have a lot more work to do before I can call it a day. 

    And Josh just called.....Some guys from the Derby, UK office are in town right now, and a bunch of people are going out to dinner.  And since Josh will be working with these guys in just a few short months, he was invited along.  So I just got a call 'asking' if it'd be alright if he went along.  Of course it is!  Just eat a decadent dessert for me!!

    Last time he went out to dinner on the company's dime, man oh man, was it a fancy dinner.  They had gone to a Brazilian steak-house...let's hope they don't go there again, since it's still Lent!!!  So I'm curious to hear about where they're going to go...he wasn't sure yet when he called.  and last time he did this, he didn't get home until almost 9pm.  So while he's off schoomizing and enjoying fine dining, I'm going to go polish some silver until I look like a chimney sweep, then I think i'll partake of a lovely frozen, veggie, organic meal.  mmmm.  tasty.

    (it actually really is.  I just like to tease).

    Oh, and then I need to bead 2 crown sets.   And get ready for my dad to visit.  He's coming to town tomorrow night to be able to offer some help around here on Friday.  I need help with the whole stocking up on 6 months of inventory.  I need boxes out the wazoo!!  So he'll be taping up all the shipping boxes, and doing all the misc. organizations jobs that need to be done so i can really rock-n-roll.  (you know, all that stuff that I could be doing now, rather than typing this...but it's more fun to make daddy do it).  I'll post pix :)

    Monday, March 8, 2010

    April 5th Deadline

    Alright, so to inform those of you who aren't sure of what is going about 10 weeks, my husband and I are 'moving' to England for 6 months. While I am away, YOU MAY STILL ORDER ANY CROWN YOU SEE POSTED ON THE SITE! The trick is, you will not be able to customize any of the crowns. I'm currently working on making up crown, candle, tray, and ornament/cake topper stock. My dad will be shipping things out for me as orders come in. But everything will still have been made and packaged up by me. And when you email with questions--it's still me you're emailing.

    But because of this move, and the need to build up as much stock as possible (and get my household ready for the move), I have to close-off all customization requests at some point. and that date is April 5th. UP TO AND INCLUDING MONDAY APRIL 5TH you may still request to have your crowns and trays engraved, and you may specify your ribbon color/attachment style.

    After that, you'll have to deal with the ribbon color/attachment style shown with the crowns on the site. (you always have the option of changing the ribbon color on your own). I do apologize for any inconvenience this may cause anyone!

    You may be happy to hear, though, that while I will not be doing name engravings after the 5th, I will continue to make crown sets that feature engraved designs (such as the peacock and St. basil crowns). And many crowns can be engraved after the you can always mail your crowns back for engraving at a later date.

    Sunday, March 7, 2010

    Price increase on some brass and copper crowns

    well, the world is a small place.  The terrible Chilean earthquake that took place a few weeks ago is creating major waves in the precious metals market...specifically the copper market.  and since brass is an alloy of copper, both copper and brass have been dramatically affected.  My prices just increased by a full 50% for these materials.  this is not an increase that I can just absorb.  So out of necessity, I need to raise prices a bit to help the increased cost in materials.  one way to look at the price increase is that suddenly brass and copper are way more valuable/great investment.  as we have all seen with the recent spikes in gold and silver, too--price INCREASES are always quick and sharp, while precious metal price DECREASES are always very slow and steady.

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    New shipment from India...

    I love it when I receive shipments from "my guys" in India!  It feels like Christmas morning when I get a new package full of goodies:  I can barely wait to open it up and see what's inside!!!

    This time around:  Finally!  More "Helen" fabric...Navy blue, a sage green that is a litter limier than i was expecting.  and a lovely brown. 

    Monday, March 1, 2010

    Customization cut-off...but I do have new crowns....

    Alright, So this past week was the last week to place your order for anything really-really custom.  I'm absolutely still doing engravings...designs, names, dates...that kind of thing.  But no new crown designs (i.e. anything that differs greatly from what I offer on a regular basis.  But as I prep to leave for England, you will see a variety of new crown styles being added to the online galleries. 

    I have so many neat materials on hand...and I want to try and use everything up!  A lot of the designs will be metal...and I have a lot of really awesome engraving designs that I drew up over the last few weeks.  My engraver has been running non-stop today, and will continue to do so until we leave!  There will be a whole new variety of crowns from which to choose...all different sizes, too.  I'll be posting things as quickly as I can, so as to not keep you in suspense.  Additionally, I have a bunch of new tray styles arriving this week!!

    sleepless night...

    It's late Sunday night/entering the wee morning hours of Monday.  I have a big week coming up.  And I can't sleep.  I'm feeling pretty worked up about everything I need to get done in the next 11 weeks.  I know I can and I will get everything done that I need to and want to get done.  But still...I'm stressing out a little bit tonight.

    part of the reason for my stress is my new line of Crown Cases that I've asked my Father-in-law to make.  He's done an amazing job with helping my vision become a reality.  And we are SO close to having the perfect product.  but I just thought of a detail "thing" tonight, that I CANNOT get out of my mind.  and I won't feel better until I talk with Alan about this detail.  So i need to wait until a reasonable hour to give him a call....and discuss...and then i'll be fine.  But until then, I just can't turn off my mind!

    Thursday, February 25, 2010

    Cleaning house!

    So today, I woke up...and looked out at my office and felt frustration.  I have work-out-the-wazoo to do...but just couldn't face my office.  So i just got done doing a thorough cleaning.  sometimes you just have to take time to put your workplace in order...even creative spaces fall into that rule of thumb. so i just got done with that.  even organized paperwork.  feeling pretty good now.

    and only 'pretty' good, because i had to re-stock on lots of materials today....which means having to spend lots of $$$.  but that's the cost of business sometimes.

    So now i guess i'm ready to go to work, to make some $ to pay all the bills that will be arriving with all the new materials next week!

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010

    travel/customization update

    Hi all....Depending on how much time you spend looking around on this site, or this little companion blog, you may have caught wind of the fact that my husband and I will be headed off to England at the end of May.  We will be there until the end of Nov.  During the time that I am away, my parents will be shipping out orders as they come in.  So my job right now to is to fill not only the normal incoming orders, but to also build up 6 months of stock for my parents to ship while we're away.

    In light of the fact that it's the busy season---filling lots of custom order for Spring weddings, plus all the stock i'm needing to make for when we're away...well, I'm getting pretty busy around here.

    As such, I am needing to curb the amount of custom work.  I am just fine continuing to do no problem on that kind of customization.  But, STARTING MARCH 1st, I'm going to have to say "NO" to any crown requests that are much different than anything you currently see for sale on my site.  I just don't have the time needed to really dedicate myself to brand new-custom-crown designs.  I'm still willing to modify designs currently on the site..but can only do so to certain extents.  I apologize in advance for any disappointment or inconvenience this may cause...but your understanding of the situation is very, very much appreciated.  as always, call or email with questions!

    Monday, February 22, 2010

    Fun new Material?!

    Have you ever paid much attention to the sign boards/trophy plaques that sign/trophy engravers use?  Well i have any have always found myself quite envious of that beautiful 2-tone look you can get.

    And while I can get gold coated silver to achieve that awesome 2-toned look when you engrave, it is ridiculously expensive.

    The majority of these 2-tone trophy materials are plastic...but there are coated metals out there.

    So, after calling, and calling.....and calling.  I finally found a trophy engraving supply place that was willing to mail me some metal samples.  and turns out I can purchase the metals in sheets large enough for crowns (just need to have them cut down into strips like I have all my other metals cut). 

    So here are some test pix of these samples.  What you are seeing are various colors of lacquered aluminum.  I can also get lacquered brass.  I was most interested in the "metal" coated aluminum, copper coated.  But I also got a "color"....white.

    Pretty good "metal" finishes, huh??!  I was very pleasantly surprised!

    Close-ups of the "copper"

    Shiny Gold, Matte Gold

    white and shiny "silver".  The shiny silver differs from just plain solid aluminum (like what I normally use) in that you get a much more uniform grain to the metal...and it's more reflective/shinier as well.  

    The white coated aluminum was actually really difficult to engrave.  I have to use a cutter first, and then i go back over it with a 90 degree bit to kind of emboss/shine up the aluminum, so you don't see rough cuts.  The diamond tip bits I use on everything else just can't get through the plastic uniformly (see that really messed section on the white??!).  But doing an initial pass with a cutter, and then putting on the diamond bit works really well. a little extra work, but it's worth it for that pretty of a result.

    So..I think I'm going to have to order in several sheets of this material in a variety of colors and start making crowns out of it!!!  so be on the look out for some really awesome 2-tone metal crowns! (no, I haven't set a price, yet.)

    Monday, February 15, 2010

    Travel reminder

    Just a reminder that I am going out of town this Wednesday and will return late on Saturday. Any orders received after today probably won't ship until next Monday. I'm very sorry if this causes any inconvenience!! I will still be in email contact, and you may still call me during this time, and place orders and all that jazz. I just won't be shipping/making anything during my time away.

    and on a fun, personal note. I just ordered Greek language lessons from Rosetta Stone to brush up on my Greek! More and more of you are requesting Greek engravings, and I'd really like to be able to fully understand all the language rules for the Greek language since I'm doing so much writing in it. And being Syrian/Lebanese, I didn't go to Greek school as a there are times where I literally have no idea what I'm engraving on some of your crowns! I figured it was about time I learned!

    and i guess I should confess that my upcoming travel is a fun personal trip too...Man, I indulge my whims way too much :)  But I'm going out to CA to visit some very, very good friends (this couple is responsible for introducing me to my Josh!).  And they welcomed a sweet little baby boy into their family last summer, and I have yet to meet him!  So I'm going out to visit the Allen family!

    And when I get back home to Indy, It'll be crunch time to start getting ready for England.  I'll have about 12 or so weeks to get 6 months worth of crown stock finished up, along with filling all the normal order.  But it will be so worth it. I'll essentially have a 6 month vacation for the time we're in England, and I certainly can't complain about that!

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    a couple of links...

    several months ago, when I was still taking the time to also maintain the news update over on my glass website, I posted a link to this awesome house site. I'm posting a link to the house site on this blog because, well, I want to!  I just love some of the houses that are on the front page of the site today.  I visit this site often, and daydream of future modern of these days.....

    and one more link for you.  Since I brought up my Clo Glassworks business above... I sell my signature "Melting Heart" pendant to a local gift shop.  And the local newspaper, Indystar, recently went around to local gift shop to select items for their gift-giving guide for the upcoming Valentine's Day holiday.  and apparently, my little Melting Heart necklaces caught her eye, and are included in the suggestion list....and a picture of one of my hearts is on the home page of the newspaper's website.  Look down below the main article...that row of thumbnail pix.....the third picture is a heart...that's mine!  click on it, and you'll be shown a little photo gallery of gift ideas.

    What I find a little funny is that I haven't had a chance to make hearts, let alone take more stock to this gift shop, in MONTHS!  The Crown business has become the equivalent of about 2 full-time jobs.  Just not enough time in the day to also getting to make glass beads and pendants!  And I'd rather be busy than bored, so no complaints out of me....but I do find it ironic that my little hearts get noticed locally right at the time that I have 0 time to make more!

    Happy Wednesday!

    Wednesday, February 3, 2010

    Milos Crowns!

    The Milos-silver crowns are in demand right now---I just got done making 3 sets, and thought it might be fun to show those crowns in progress. 

    I've already got the crowns constructed and coated with "liquid silver"

    I airbrush on the silver finish and allow it to dry. 

     Then, I spray on a sealant, to prevent tarnish

    Once the sealant dries, I just need to attach connecting ribbons onto each set, photograph each set and email them to their rightful owners and ship them off...One set is staying in the US, one set is going to Canada (and they're getting married in Cyrpus!), and the 3rd set is going to the UK.

    And it seems like, along with the Milos crowns...all metal crowns are in demand at the moment, so here's the mess that I call my silver-smithing table at the moment.  I have about 5 different crown sets in progress on that table.  Plus that whole pile on the floor!  Looks like I'll need to clean/organize the weekend, huh?
    And my garage is still cold, so yes, that's a space heater.  I've been listening to a lot of Stevie Wonder while working, the crowns have a nice jazzy aura!

    ok, back to work!

    Monday, February 1, 2010

    Upcoming travel

    Hi Everyone...Just wanted to let you know that I will be out of town starting Wednesday Feb 17 until late in the day Saturday Feb 20. Since I will be out of town, nothing will be shipped during that time, so please plan accordingly!!

    I will be back to work on Monday Feb 22...and it will be business as usual until Josh and I leave for England at the end of May (more details to follow about that 6 month trip).

    Friday, January 22, 2010

    Fun new phone

    So now that I have all my phone numbers resolved, I'm finally receiving all of the new hardware to along with the new phone plans  So the work number 301-237-5858 stays the same, but Josh found me a great set of 3 cordless phones (refurbished).  So I can walk around as I speak with customers.  I can set a phone down anywhere, but still be close to another one, since there are 3 handsets.  Perfect for me! and in case one handset breaks, or gets covered with paint, glue, solder, and who knows what else, well, i have a couple of back-ups. 

    And I Just got in my new cell phone for my new, personal cell line (this is a new thing for have work life and personal life separated via phone.  very exciting).  Again, I purchased a refurbished cell phone.  But it's so cool: It obviously came from someone in India, as the calendar is set with all the many Indian holidays and festivals.  And it came pre-loaded with some really awesome bollywood-type ring tones!!  :)  It really doesn't take much to amuse me these days...just fun music, apparently.......

    Oh, and the phones arrived with UK chargers as well as US chargers, which is awesome, since well need those UK ones in a few months.  So feeling happy that we have that part of our lives resolved. 

    My dad has been staying with us the last several days.  He's had many dr appointments over here in Indy, so we convinced him to stay with us in between appointments.  So I've been having fun with my dad...but also not getting a whole lot of work done.  he's leaving this afternoon, so I'll get back to work soon, I promise.

    Monday, January 18, 2010

    Phone Issues Resolved!!

    Feel free to call away--I now have a working phone again! (but still, no calls during the overnight, please).

    I always had problems with my previous cell phone carrier, and went through so many models of cell phones thinking the phone itself was the problem. After this latest round of problems, it was the last straw and we switched carriers altogether. We went to T-mobile and signed up for their @home hot spot service. It's a wireless router that allows us to plug in a standard phone. I was able to transport my 301-237-5858 number to that line...and so now suddenly my work phone line is a VOIP phone line, rather than a cell phone. What this means is that I have better International calling capabilities...and MUCH more reliable service (My cell phone wouldn't always ring for incoming calls)

    And now, I get to have a cell phone that is for my own personal use, not business, AND it is a local number to Indianapolis (317) not my old stomping grounds of Maryland (301). And my new cell phone is an "unlocked" cell phone, which will allow me to use it when we go to England this Spring (previous carrier did not support unlocked cell phones).

    I am already SO pleased with the customer service (not to mention the pricing)with T-Mobile. Yay!

    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    Phone problems

    My cell phone (business phone) is broken!  Very annoying.  May not have a replacement phone until Monday. 

    The screen went out...and the phone can tell me that i have vm's, but won't let me call out.  So I'm very sorry to those of you who have left me messages, that I have not yet returned your calls.  I'll get back to you as soon as I can.  Please feel free to email me!

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    Monday, Jan 11

    Well, I'm closing in on the end of my work day...still a few sets to finish up and photograph before i can call it quits. And then several emails to send out tonight...that's good after-dinner work.

    Tomorrow I will be in Ft. Wayne for most of the day. but should be able to tend to emails in the morning and evening, at the very least.

    I did a test plate of all my new font capabilities on my engraver the other day:

    It took a couple of hours for this all to engrave!

    These are the fonts shown UNOXIDIZED

    I've got the reverse of this plate on the engraver right now...I'm putting in the exact same thing but will be OXIDIZING that side.

    Fun, huh?

    Alright, I need to stop procrastinating and go finish up my work so that I can run to the grocery and still get to the gym tonight too!

    Thursday, January 7, 2010

    Snowy weather, plan change

    Well, I was supposed to be going out of town today....but I changed my plans...It's snowing all across Indiana today--accumulations of up to 6 inches here at my house...and more in other places. I figured, eh....why risk crazy drivers on the highway if I don't have to?

    So I'll be at home most of the day today (still have to run out and do some errands). I am actually looking forward to a good snow covering, as that really helps insulate the garage. Right now, it's just above freezing out in my workshop (garage workshop). Not very pleasant at all. I've been bringing as much of my work indoors as I can. I have a little space heater out there...I really need to get a better one. Yesterday I was able to get the temp up to 43, which, with a coat and gloves on is bearable. I have a lot of engraving work that must be done today....and that can't be brought indoors. So I think I'll just have to grin and bear it.

    We added a whole extra layer of insulation to the attic area over the garage this past fall. And while that has helped keep the garage warmer, it hasn't really kept it at a comfortable temp. Our Garage door is about 2 inches too tall for the opening (previous owner had driveway repaved...raised the level of the garage the door doesn't fit now) we have a lot of gaps...that's why it gets so cold out there. So what do you do? completely bust out a decent driveway and have it re-poured at the proper height? cut down a perfectly good solid wood garage door by 2 inches...that will suddenly be 2 inches too short if the driveway is ever redone. No real easy fix. There could be worse things in life to put up with, though....

    Sunday, January 3, 2010


    One other change to everything is that I'm going to start charging for shipping. I's no fun to have to pay shipping. But I just can't afford to continue comping the shipping costs any longer. I held out as long as I could...

    It seems as though I'm in that middle-ground of growth where, I'm too large/have too many expenses to be able to continue the free shipping feature, but not yet large enough where I have enough cash flow to be able to afford the mounting costs of shipping.

    Currently, shipping will be flat rates as follows:
    Domestic (all US states and territories) $10 flat rate
    International $30 flat rate.

    I ship via USPS (international) Priority Mail.

    But maybe this will cheer you up in case you're feeling annoyed about the shipping costs: I just got an update to my engraving software, and I have dozens of new fonts!!! I'll be creating a new test plate to photograph and post on the engraving page this week.

    New Year, New site features and news

    Happy New Year, everyone!

    I have so much to report, let's see if I can do this in an organized fashion:

    1)Tomorrow, Jan 4th, will be my first day back to work. So, Thank you to everyone, in advance, for being patient with me as I catch up on emails (didn't stay nearly up to date on email correspondence over break as I had planned). I'm also recovering from a really bad sinus infection that set in the day after Christmas(which is why I didn't stay up with emails), so please bear with me as I get back up to speed on everything. (also, I will be out of town most of the day on the 7th)

    2)New website features:

    My husband Josh, (Today is our 6 year anniversary!) is finalizing some new website features for me (how romantic!). The website will now feature an integrated cart/check-out system. I'll probably be staying up late tonight to ensure that the site is fully up to day and functioning, so that as the updates goes "live" there won't be any confusion.

    3) OK, so bear with me on the wedding candle page--I still have a ton of pix to post.

    call or email me with may still place orders over the phone (301-237-5858), please excuse my nasally voice from my cold.

    I really look forward to seeing what the New Year brings for! And once I feel I'm all up to speed on work and website functionality, then I'll work on adding some pretty pictures to this blog!