#28daysoftshirts – Day 14 at the halfway mark

My most difficult to read t-shirt

I have to admit, I kind of forgot it was Valentine’s day today. Although in retrospect, I’m not sure what shirt I would’ve worn instead. This shirt is romantic, because my husband who loves me brought it back from Gencon for me?

Anyway, this is the last of the Tolkien tshirts in my wardrobe (I think). I have to remember when I’m wearing this tshirt, because it’s difficult to read which means that a lot of my colleagues spend an unusual amount of time staring fixedly at my chest trying to work it out, which can be weird until I remember I’m wearing *this* shirt.

I love this shirt.

Color: Forest green
Fabric: Stiff
Text: (in Elvish font) If you can read this I found your ring

Jeweled Dreams

Labradorite, flourite and jadite necklace
Labradorite, flourite and jadite necklace

This week of the year is an excellent one for projects. Like 80% of the other people in my company, I took the week off. I hied to my mother-in-law’s house, where I’ve been royally spoiled. So here I am, with my brand new camera, and a promise to my mother-in-law that I would help her get her jewelry online. If you’ve met me in person, you’ve likely seen some of my mother-in-law’s jewelry. She spent about 30 years gathering beautiful things from around the globe. Now she is putting them together into works of “wearable art”, and is ready to sell them.

Carved jade with rough unakite and coral beads
Carved jade with rough unakite and coral beads

If your mother-in-law had gorgeous hand-crafted items for sale, where would you tell her to sell it? Of course. So we set up an Etsy store for her called Jeweled Dreams. She’s got about 12 of her items up now. And I’ll have you know that while I helped her set up the store, she’s done all the posting all by herself! I’m very proud.

Jade pendant
Jade pendant

But then comes the great labor. So…. I have this brand new camera I’m learning to use. She has about 75 completed necklaces. And heaven help me, I took pictures of each and every single one of them. Practically, I think they look pretty good – at least up to standards for Etsy. It was also frustrating. The second day, I simply couldn’t get the lighting right. I know enough to mess up the settings on my camera, but not to make it obey me. I can see progress on the photography, but I am also starting to see just how far I have to go to accomplish what I want to. On the other hand, it was probably excellent practice to take a gazillion images of beautiful jewelry for practical reasons. With the number of pictures I took, she should be all set to make postings to her store for months.

So I am feeling very proud of myself and very accomplished. I’m also feeling like I have a lot of room to grow. Finally, I’m really really hoping she actually sells something at her Etsy Store. She says she needs to sell them to make room to make more. I thought she was exaggerating until I had to take pictures of all of them!

So… if you know someone (or are someone) who loves beautiful, exotic, one-of-a-kind jewelry, consider browsing through her store (or pictures). Valentine’s day is only like 6 weeks away!

Carved turquoise and silver
Carved turquoise and silver

Tax day

So today is sacred to the Doing of the Taxes. I have to admit, taxes are super-un-fun for me because we often end up owing money. Very large chunks of money. Amounts of money that could be a lot of fun in other circumstances. So I have all the joy and happiness of doing taxes just so, at the end, I can have the thrill and fulfillment that come with writing a Very Large Check to the federal government.

So imagine my chagrin and disappointment when I logged in incorrectly to my tax website (which I use, you know, once a year) too many times and they told me I’d have to wait 20 minutes before logging in again. Oh, horrors! Despair! And I was so looking forward to it!

On a completely unrelated note, I can’t figure out why it takes me all day to do taxes, can you? Nope. Boggles the imagination.

So for today’s offering you get a completely unrelated and random grab bag of Stuff I’ve Been Thinking About. All of which may or may not get written in 20 minute interstices between incorrect logins.

Thing 1
So for several weeks now, my husband has been talking about his “Secret project”. He’s had this box that he works on that I’m not allowed to see. He spent many an evening in pursuit of his secret project. I was getting the distinct feeling I was about to be seriously outclassed on Valentine’s Day. Desperately, I bought some Hazelnut Lindor Truffles and hoped for the best.

Well, he gave me half a dozen red rozes, and a box of chocolates from Fine Chokolader.

Here are the roses:

A lovely bouquet!
A lovely bouquet!

A closeup:

Yes, those are origami roses
Yes, those are origami roses

Aren’t they lovely? I was taken completely by surprise by his hard work and the gorgeous outcome. Then he showed me the rest of the box — all these practice runs and different flowers. It was hours and hours of effort. It is gorgeous. And best of all, these flowers won’t wilt or fade. Thank you, love.

Thing 2 – the Olympics in Vancouver
When I was young and still learning how the world works, my family took a trip to Vancouver BC for Expo 86. (Funny, I could’ve SWORN it was Expo ’88, but the internet must know better than I!) This was a huge deal to my young mind. I remember distinctly the amazement at having my passport stamped by all these countries (or, er, their booths as the case may be). I remember the robot taking a picture with us. It was hot, I recall. And Vancouver was this mecca of excitement — the most important place on earth at that moment! (Or so it felt.)

I suspect my opinion of the importance of the World’s Fair was greatly affected by growing up in proximity to Seattle. If you heard about he history of Seattle, which I did rather ad nauseum growing up, you couldn’t miss the importance of the 1962 World’s Fair in taking a provincial town and turning it into a world class city proud of itself and its accomplishments. It was for the ’62 World’s Fair that Seattle built the Space Needle. My father was a Boy Scout volunteer for those games. It was, and still is, a Big Deal.

Finally, for the last couple years my husband and I have vacationed across the straight in Victoria. Which, for the record, is totally not like Vancouver. But I have a sense of fellow feeling, of “I’ve been there!” that makes the entire thing even more fun to watch!

OK, the tax software has finally let me in, so I suppose I should have at. Watch this space for more procrastinatory dialogue AND/OR bonus whining about having to pay more than was withheld.

(Note: I’m actually philosophically delighted to pay taxes. I generally think they’re a great idea, although my confidence in the system has taken a bit of a hit lately. However, that doesn’t prevent me from whining about it.)