Capitol City Visit

Capitol City Visit
Madison Wisconsin

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Scenes from Western Wisconsin





Enjoy this Wordless Sunday Post with Scenes from Western and Northern Wisconsin!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Rudeness Factor....Growing.

Well, it's only 7:30am in Western Wisconsin on a cold, gray Saturday morning and I have my shackles up! I am soooo tired of what I call the rudeness factor! This post about is what ticked me off this morning. Rudeness!

After dropping my high schooler off for a forensics tournament, I stopped by our local grocery store to get a pound of coffee (I've been out of my regular coffee for a few days) and figured I'd get some donuts. I was in a cheerful mood. I grabbed the coffee and went around to the self-serve donut display. Efficiently, I was selecting my donuts when a Mom and her son cam down the isle.

They stopped at the donut display, also. Now you've got to understand.....I was standing to the side of the display with one of four doors open. I was not blocking the donuts in any way. The mom started telling her (I'm guessing 8 or 9 year old) son which one to select for his father. A "Persian" located on the shelf below the frycakes that I was selecting. Well, I stood there with the door open, to the side, trying to let the boy know he could go ahead and get the donut his mother wanted him to. Then, I realized the door to the Persian wasn't open... and I laughed and said, "Oh, here I was thinking that I was holding the door for you and it's not even open!".

Nothing. No smile. No thanks for trying. Not anything! I closed my door and let the mother open the door to the Persian (it could have been open while my frycake door was open). Now, they stood there deciding what to get, while I couldn't get to any donuts. Basically, they moved in on me until I was pushed aside. No apologies, no I'm sorry we are in a hurry (which I would have understood), nothing. No common courtesy, at all.

You know, I just don't get this type of behavior! From adults, no less. What are they teaching their children?

One of the things we loved about moving to Wisconsin from New York over a decade ago was that people seemed nicer here. Life was less hurried, less stressful, there was more politeness and common courtesy. Unfortunately, as our community has grown, so has the rudeness factor. This is sad and unfortunate. It is also very irritating!

So, to all you rude people; yes, even in my Wisconsin hometown, please think of using your manners! Think of what you are teaching your children when you don't! It will help all of us have a better day!

Thanks for listening! Have a great Saturday! I'm off to have my donut and coffee!
~Carol~


Friday, January 28, 2011

Custom Orders!


Check out one of my custom orders that I've recently finished! I'll be photographing and posting some others today! Oh, and that Green Bay Packer jewelry got finished last night! So, stay tuned! Thanks for visiting! And I hope I see you back!
Have a fabulous Friday!!!!
~Carol~

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Car Washes and NPR

Yesterday, I decided that no matter what, I needed to get my car washed! I had previously tried 3x in the last week but the line were long and I, being in the midst of errands, did not have the patience to wait.
So, yesterday, I grabbed my novel and decided that I just had to wait. On my way there, I was scanning through the radio stations and landed on NPR. Something the announcer said about a feature on "how to write a sentence" came up. I stayed on that station, hoping for more, since I like to write and lead a group of 3rd graders in a writer's workshop each week. But, before I heard the sentence writing segment, I was lucky enough to hear the announcer interview 2 speech writer's on what they thought President Obama would say in his State of the Union speech. Lucky?!

I typically don't like politics. My voting record is all over the board, typically voting for the person I feel would do the best job, despite their (or my) party affiliation. But, I said I was lucky enough to hear the speech writers' interviews. One thought Obama should open with a joke. His reasons for this made sense. Another thought that it was a wonderful opportunity for the President to speak of mistakes made while in the economic crisis mode and what we can do differently now. Both wanted him to come across as human! All in all, it was an interesting, well spoken, and thought provoking 15 minutes without bickering! Wow. It was good to listen to!

Oh, and I did get to hear the author, Stanley Fish, speak about the skill of writing sentences well. Somehow, he reminded me of my old graduate school professors picking apart what I'd written in my thesis. But, I did get a couple of good pointers that I can use with my third grade writer's circle.

Thanks, National Public Radio, for a stimulating 30 minutes while I got my car washed!!!
Finally!

Have a great day and don't forget to stop by my shop. I am adding things on a daily basis and will be in my studio today producing more! http://carolsjewelryorchard.etsy.com
Carol

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Caught up in the Frenzy!!!

Hello!

I am finding that I am caught up in the football frenzy for the super bowl this year! Well, living in Wisconsin; I suppose that is not unusual. Almost everyone is a football fan here! What is unusual is MY being caught up in the frenzy!

Sunday, while the NFC played their championship game we were on our way home from our cabin in the Wisconsin North woods. Due to having my eldest son's girlfriend with us, we listened to the game on the way. Needless to say, by the time we arrived home, my youngest boy headed straight to the TV to catch the fourth quarter! Shortly after that, my husband and I, not football fans by any stretch of the imagination, were glued to the TV to watch the game; alternatively cheering for both the Packers and the Bears!!!

What?! Well, we were sucked in by the excitement to watch! You know the rest of what happened....if you follow any football. Green Bay won and they are on their way to the Super Bowl! Wow! I am happy for all the Green Bay fans. Happiest that a new quarterback will take them there!

I have to admit now that since for two days, we have heard on every news broadcast about Green Bay going to the Super Bowl and all the products that are being prepared for sale that I will jump in to the frenzy and try my hand at some Packer Earrings!

So, stay tuned. Watch for my Green Bay Packer Earrings! I will be working on them tonight! Stop by my shop to see when they are posted!

From an inspired Wisconsin non-football fan,
~Carol~

(Hey, you have to give me a break......I grew up with the Buffalo Bills.....no wonder I don't care about football)! But, I'm glad a lot of ladies will be wearing Green Bay jerseys in two weeks!

Monday, January 24, 2011

24 Hour Necklace Sale

Good Morning!

Welcome to my 24 hour Necklace Sale. January 24th -January 25th from 8am-8am!

Save 20% on any NECKLACE in my shop.

Just enter the coupon code; necklace20sale at check out!

Just click on 24 Hour Necklace sale title of this post to take you to my shop!

Happy shopping!

~Carol~

Monday, January 17, 2011

Purple Velvet Celtic Trinity Knot Necklace - Paua Shell Line.

Here it is!!!! The newest piece of jewelry from my shop, completed yesterday! This piece combines my Paua Shell Jewelry Line and Celtic Jewelry for a fabulous, one of a kind piece of Spring Jewelry. Please read yesterday's post (1/16/11) about the significance behind celtic symbols and the color purple!

Visit my shop to see more of my handcrafted jewelry creations at;

Thanks!
~Carol~

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What's the Story......Behind my Celtic Jewelry????





What's the Story.......... Behind my Celtic Jewelry???????

Some of my best selling jewelry is that with the celtic knot symbol on it. I have sold earrings, bookmarks, and necklaces with versions of celtic knots and trinity symbols. This morning, I have been busy putting the finishing touches on a piece that combines my paua shell pendant jewelry line with the celtic charm jewelry. It also happens to be a rich, purple. I am hoping this piece may appeal to those that love celtic piece and/or those that love the color purple. Both the celtic Triquetra (trinity) and the color purple are rich in meaning.

The Celts, an ancient pagan society, has a complicated, but well-known use of symbols in their history. The celts honored a lunar goddess who was a 3 in 1 persona exemplified in the phases of the moon and goddess faces.
Some meanings of the trinity symbol for the Celts were;

Mother, Father, Child

Past, Present, Future,

Mind, Body, Spirit

Father, Son, Holy Ghost

You get it, I'm sure. I am not espousing the pagan celtic belief system, but seeing similarities in what they saw in the triad in what we see today. Families, Longevity, Life, Complete Well-being (the YMCA), and Christianity all have ties to the use of a trinity. So, I made this beautiful piece of jewelry in hopes it would have mass appeal.

The color purple also has some interesting interpretations. This piece is almost entirely purple, so the meaning of the color may be valuable to some! I could not believe the amount that is written about the symbolism of color. Purple is associated with many significant meanings.

For the Celts the color purple was associated with enlightenment.

Purple has long been a color associated with Royalty and Power. This may be because the dyes used to make the color in ancient times were rare and expensive, making the association of the color with wealth. At specific times in history, only certain (powerful) people were allowed to wear the color purple.

Purple is symbolic of the season of Lent and Advent in Christianity.

As you can see, there are many symbols left open to interpretation. Many are filled with mystery. I am hoping that no matter what your personal belief system may be, you will find my celtic jewelry beautiful and fun to wear! I certainly enjoy making it. And that's the story!

The following websites were consulted in the writting of this blog;
www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/color-purple.htm
www.whats-your-sign.com/celtic-symbol-for

Thanks for stopping by,
~Carol~

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Counterfeit Money......????? Yeah, They all laughed at me!

Hello!!!!

Well, yesterday I was the had the bank tellers laughing at me! This is what happened............

Over the weekend, I sent my 11 year old into my wallet to see how much money I had before we went out for errands. Truth be told, he was looking for himself, as he got a gift card to a certain electronics store for Christmas and couldn't find anything to buy there. I had told him that I would "buy" his gift card from him ($25) and he could spend the money where he liked. Of course, this was following a conversation about being careful about which store he would ask for a gift card from in the future. Indeed, I did have enough money to make the exchange for him.

However, while he had my wallet emptied, he noted that I had a $10.00 bill that "looked weird". I just said, "okay" and went about my business. Several minutes later, my teenager walked into the kitchen and said, "What's with that $10.00 bill? It looks weird."

That got my attention. Within minutes, we were all closely examining this bill. My teen, digitally adept with his ipod-touch was already on some website that was telling us what to look for with possibly counterfeit money. Well, we were left undecided, but I sure as h.......
wasn't going to spend that money, until I took it to the bank!

Later, my husband got home. The kids were all excited and the first thing they told him was about this suspicious ten! He thought we were all nuts!!!! "It's just an old bill", he said (noting that it was dated 1995).

Well, to make a long story short, I took the $10 to the bank yesterday and had them look at it. After 3 pairs of eyes rolling at my request, they took the bill and did some kind of "special pen" test on it. "It's just an old bill", they said mimicking my husbands comments. "Okay", I replied.

Man, did I feel dumb! But, if I had to do it over again, I would! Now, I can feel safe about spending my $10.00!!! Everyone, including my entire family and the bank staff, had a good laugh about it! I wasn't too happy about being laughed at; but then, again I am teased quite a bit by my family; so it turned out to be just another day!


Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget that I still have a sale going on in my etsy shop at;
Use pinkandred20sale for the coupon code at check out and save 20% on your purchases!
Shop now! The sale is for a limited time only!

Carol

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Valentine Red and Pink Sale going on Now!

Valentine Day Sale Going on Now!

Save 20% with any item that has the color red or pink on it!

Just enter coupon code; pinkandred20sale at check out!

Click here to go to my shop;

Happy Shopping!!!

Please note that the sale is for a limited time only! Shop now to take advantage of the savings!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Carol

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Those Cool Venus Fly Traps!!!!





Good Morning!

This week I taught my perennial lesson to a group elementary school children on Carnivorous Plants! I have taught this lesson for the last four years! There is no doubt about it; those Venus Fly Trap Plants are sooooo cool!

This year's lesson was different in a number of ways! First, my Venus Fly Trap plant recently died! Now, having read extensively on these plants to prepare for this unit, I know that the demise of this plant was not unusual. However, I was extremely successful in keeping it alive for FOUR years! From what I've read, keeping a Fly Trap alive for one year is considered a success! Buying a Venus Fly Trap (VFT) plant in Wisconsin in the winter is impossible! So, I taught the class without a real live plant!

The second difference was that I used the internet and a smart board to project photographs of REAL Venus Fly Traps and other Carnivorous Plants for the children to view! This was immensely helpful. Although I consider myself a jewelry artist, I am not that adept at drawing. Usually my rough drawings of plant parts get me by, but I really wanted to start incorporating technology into my garden club presentations! The photographs were from the Botany.org (Botanical Society of America) and can be reached using this link;

I also found a cool video of a VFT plant actually trapping an insect! This video takes only seconds to watch but is cool to see because even if you own a VFT, you might not witness the plant capturing the flies! The link to view this video is found at;

So, I will leave you today with some cool facts about the Venus Fly Trap.

- The scientific name for the Venus Fly Trap is Dionaea muscipula.

-The plant is indigenous to the boggy areas of North and South Carolina.

-The leaves form a rosette shape.

-One set of leaves on the VFT can only trap an insect a finite number of times (3, from what I've read) and then those leaves die.

-The most common meal is ants, not flies!

-If a trap closes falsely (one something it can't eat), the leaves will re-open in 24 hours.

-The plant should be kept moist and grown only in peat or sphagnum moss.
(Mine did great in a terrarium).

A great place to view Carnivorous Plants is Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. The above pictures are from my last visit there in 2009. You'll note that there are other carnivorous plants in the pictures.....just as cool as the Venus Fly Trap!!! Maybe, I'll tell you about those next!

Thanks for stopping by!
Carol

P.S. Please visit my etsy shop as I am adding new creations daily! I also have a HUGE sale section where pieces have been marked down by 50-60%! Thanks!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ready for Spring???? Etsy Treasury!

Happy New Year to All My Loyal Readers!

I was just greeted by finding out one of my Viking Goddess Rings is featured in a Spring (yes, spring!) Etsy Treasury!

Take a look and enjoy! Clicking on the title of this post will take you there! If you are unfamiliar with Etsy Treasuries, they are an awesome way members can pick and show off their work or the work of others! The person that curates the treasury has so much to choose from, it is always an honor to be included in a treasury! It definitely promotes a sense of community and inter-artist support! Take a peek. Once you go to the treasury page, you can click on any of the items and it will take you to that etsian's shop!

Thanks for looking!
~Carol~