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Whatever rings Mel's bells

Archive for August, 2011

Out of business?!?

I told you a couple days ago that I opened an Etsy shop for the Bead and Bean, to sell my beads and findings.  I did not mention (I don’t think) that since I wasn’t happy with the photos of some items, I only listed a few things.  And since I only had a few things listed, I didn’t publicize the new shop yet.

Well, a funny thing happened.  The next morning I woke up and checked my email – and found I’d sold almost everything I had listed!  Holy crap!!!  I had multiples of two of the items I sold, so after I relisted those I had a grand total of 3 items listed for sale.  I didn’t have time to take photos today, but lo and behold when I checked my email this afternoon I’D SOLD ANOTHER ITEM!!  Out of a nearly empty shop!!  Holy crapola, Batman, I think we’ve hit the freaking mother lode!!

I’m not entirely sure why this is happening all of a sudden…  But I sure am glad it is!  At any rate, I’ll be finding time tomorrow no matter what to take more photos, so by tomorrow night I’ll have a respectable selection for sale.

I just find it really funny that I’ve been successful enough in my first week that I sold myself out of stock.  Too funny!

Websites, websites everywhere…

It’s amazing to me how much goes into setting up an apparently seamless social media array.  Twitter, Facebook, personal website, and throw in an Etsy shop and maybe even ArtFire, just for kicks.  What do you get?  One stressed out Mel!

But it’s (slowly) coming together.  I’m converting my Mel’s Bells Etsy shop over to just finished goods, and moving the supplies over to the brand new Bead and Bean shop.  I also set up my Bead and Bean website to automatically redirect to my Mel’s Bells site.  Because I’m lazy.  Or pressed for time.  I let you decide.

At any rate, I can now hand out my biz cards without worrying that someone will actually look me up.  Yeah, I did.  Damned shortsighted actions…

Next steps are 1. finish and distribute flyers for home parties (kids and adults), 2. hook up with churches and community centers to teach classes and do projects, and 3. set up a REAL website for B&B.

Actually the next step is to go to Tacoma and celebrate Tuck’s birthday.  But who’s really keeping track?

The “other” Mel Dalton

For various reasons, I chose several years ago to adopt a stage name for my music activities, which is Mel Dalton.  It’s short, easy to spell, good for country music, and not in the phone book, so the drunk guys at the bar can’t stalk me as easily.

I just found a YouTube video of a gentleman named Mel Dalton who played jazz saxophone in West Michigan for 45 years.  He passed in April of 2008 of cancer, in Grand Rapids.  What irony!  I spent eight years in that town as a music major, maybe twenty miles from a jazz legend who played with the likes of Bobby Darin and the Everly Brothers – and I never knew he existed until tonight.

There’s some vague recollection in the back of my brain of doing an internet search of the name and finding some old guy…  But I didn’t think much of it at the time.  WHY didn’t I check that out?!?  Sure, I don’t so jazz, and he apparently didn’t do country.  But wouldn’t it have been cool to meet him, to hear him in person?

Read this article archived from the Grand Rapids Press, then watch this YouTube video and tell me he didn’t kick ass.  I really wish I could have met him, he sounds like a heck of a guy.  Makes me wonder, though; if I had met him, would I have still picked the name?

Bremerton Farmers Market

Did you know that the Bremerton Farmers Market has expanded?  Not only are they open on their regular Thursday afternoon from 4-7 at Evergreen Park, but now they’re also doing a Sunday Market downtown on the waterfront!

That’s right, you can come down Sunday from 11 to 3 and enjoy local food and crafts, live music, and fresh produce twice a week in Bremerton.  (Not counting the every-day availability of fresh produce at the FreshLocal store on 4th…)

So take the foot ferry up from Port Orchard or drive down – there’s 1- and 2-hour free parking spots nearby.  Enjoy the parks, the museums, and the other sights, and support local goods and growers.

Get details at which is updated at least twice a week.

Busy, busy bee…

Albert’s dad came up last week to visit us, and will be staying till the 24th or so.  Can I just say I love this guy? He’s awesome!  I can tell where Albert gets his charm.  Am feeling pretty good about meeting the rest of the family; everything’s been good so far.

They’re probably heading to Portland to see Albert’s cousin mid-week; I’m not sure that I can go with them, I have a meeting on Wed before family dinner.  So we shall see.  But I’d like to meet Gabriel, and it doesn’t seem that he will make it up here.  So the mountain must come to Mohammed, as it were!

At any rate, I’m running about frantically trying to pick up the pieces of my business idea and put them together in a fashion that will actually work.  So between that and my regular obligations, I’m quite the busy little bee.  Which, of course, is exactly how I like things!

Etsy Treasury

Woot-woot!  I just got a convo from Anna Mursin of the teamcatholic Etsy team – one of my rosary bracelets got selected for a Treasury!

Don’t worry if half of that sentence is Greek to you, I fully intend to explain.

Most of you know that Etsy is an online marketplace similar to eBay, except that all the goods are handmade or vintage, or crafting and art supplies.  You join Etsy and set up a shop, list your items for sale, and check out other people’s stuff.  There’s a bunch of tools to interact with each other, one of which is creating Treasuries.  A treasury is a group of themed items curated by one Etsian (the official term), and when one of your items is chosen for a treasury, it can get you a LOT of publicity!

So I’m really excited about this!  I could get a few sales out of it, or at least some more potential future customers.  😀

Mutant cats with opposable thumbs

Hey, remember that time I wrote a story about this girl who ends up with a litter of kittens, and they turn out to be mutant kitties with opposable thumbs?  Remember what a great laugh we all had about how that could never happen for reals?


So my niece comes home several weeks ago from hanging at the Coffee O with friends, and she has this adorable little kitten with her.  And this little kitty has extra toes on all his feet – polydactyl is the technical term.  Two extra on each of his front feet, one extra on each of his back feet.  Aww, such an adorable little fuzzy thing!  We watched him pouncing on their other cats, we watched him playing with everything in sight, we watched as he got bigger every week – “He’s huge!” – “Holy crap, look at him!” – we played with him and kept him off the counters and chided him for harassing the other cats and laughed when Aubrey told us how he ate half a serving bowl full of cooked broccoli (?!?) and … now … he’s kind of taken over.  He steals food from the other cats – AND THEY LET HIM.  He pushes the other cats around – AND THEY LET HIM.  Well, mostly.  But he’s definitely becoming the alpha of the group – and he’s just a baby still!

I think this little mutant cat is really going to take over the world!  Planet of the Apes?  Not hardly, we’re about to see the Planet of the Cats!  “You damned dirty feline!”

Putting it off again…

Today I got some pretty lousy news.  I’m not going to be able to open my store this fall.  (Insert weeping and gnashing of teeth.)

Before I can open, obviously I have to have the store ready – in particular I need to have the cafe area prepped, which will likely include plumbing work.  This, of course, requires a permit from the county, and these are running at least 3 weeks behind.  But before I can even start that, I need the lease, for which I need the funding.  And the funding is taking a couple months.

So…  On to the next plan.  Unfortunately, I’m going to have to bite the bullet and do house parties, classes at community centers, events at churches, etc.

This is all very disappointing, but it will put me in a better position to get funding in the spring; I’ll have a longer history, some funds set aside already, and a proven, not just prospective, customer base.  With all that, I’ll be a much more attractive lending prospect and should be able to get the financing I need faster and with better terms.

That is, if the economic system hasn’t been completely toasted by then.  Fingers crossed!

The bottom line is, look for the Bead and Bean to open spring of 2012.

The next step

So it’s official.  Well, semi-official…

Tuck and Jan are moving in October no matter what, so after September, No Baggage will be no more.  *sad face*

This is turning out surprisingly hard for me.  I feel like I should have seen it coming, I know myself well enough to know that it would bother me.  But I guess I keep forgetting that I can’t tamp down all my feelings all the time.  “It’s all good” isn’t always the case.  Sometimes we have to work through our issues, not just get past them.

I’ve been trying to figure out why this is so hard for me, and I’ve come to a confusion, as Grandma Dalton used to say.  It’s big because this is the first time I ever really felt like I belonged on stage.  The other bands I was in, I never got that comfortable.  But playing with Tuck has been so easy, so comfortable from day one, and that’s a lot of why I’ve been able to grow so much as a performer in the past year.  When you aren’t worried about drama, when you trust that your partner will tell you when something is a problem, and will cut you some slack when it isn’t, you can focus on what’s really important: getting the next shot of Fireball.  No, wait!  I meant putting on a great show for the audience.

So now I get to go out and start all over again.  I was just getting used to the way things were; I’m not ready for this to change yet.  I had a whole list of his songs that I never took time to find backup vocals for.  I never did figure out that other C chord in Stay so I could play it with him.  I didn’t even work on the guitar part for Amy/Falling that he showed me.  *le sigh*

But the world turns with or without us, and there’s no going back.  So forward it is.

He told me last night that he knows I’ll do great.  He said I’m ready for this.  I sure as hell hope he’s right (he was drunk at the time).  Because right now my world is being shaken around again and I’m not sure how I’ll get everything put back together neatly.  Between this and the store…  Wow.

I am determined to look at it positively, though.  One chapter ends, another begins.  And I know it will be a great one, no matter what.  Plus, if I can hold it together and make it all work, I’m gonna feel SOOOOOO good about myself!!!