Operation Cash My Stash

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We have a rule amongst my sisters. As soon as a drinker spills her drink, she’s cut off from any more alcohol.

The rule used to be as soon as the drinker hit the floor, she was cut off. But by tightening up the cut-off time, we’ve saved ourselves from most further drinking injuries.

I was trying to finish some more Christmas cards for the craft show, and took a big chunk out of my finger while cutting ribbon. New rule for crafting: If you’re bleeding, you’re done.

The craft show was a huge success. That is, if you don’t count how much money I made versus how much time I spent making jewelry and Christmas cards. Not to mention the cost of the materials.



But that’s okay! Even though I downsized my craft stash before moving to Costa Rica, I still have waaaay too much stuff. That’s why I launched Operation Cash My Stash.

I sold a necklace, about 8 pairs of earrings, and 4 packages of cards. That’s $134 dollars for Operation Cash My Stash. We (the royal plural) are pleased.

And yes, one of the first things I did at the craft fair was spill a cup of coffee on my display, which consisted of jewels on white cards, sitting on a white table cloth.

And yes, No.2 Sis (so grateful for No.2 Sis offering to be my helper) immediately cut off my coffee supply. Rules are rules.

Meanwhile, the cottage is quite a disaster, since I’ve been so focused on creating stuff for the fair.

Sigh! Back to doing dishes, vacuuming, washing clothes, mopping floors, and scrubbing toilets. Retirement is so glamorous!

Stay tuned…

P.S. A special thank you to my niece S2 (No.2’s middle daughter) for donating the table fee for the craft show! Hugs!

Chicken Water And Craft Fairs

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Colder weather has arrived here in Minnesota, and you know what that means.


I made a batch of chicken soup from a grocery-store rotisserie chicken carcass. It was a two day process.

The first day, the chicken was stewed 8-10 hours in the crockpot with garlic, onions, and miscellaneous veg (I actually only had celery). That made the stock.

Day 2, I pulled out all the bones, skin, and old veggies. Then, after going shopping, I put fresh onions, garlic, carrots, and celery in the crock, along with the chicken meat, broth, and plenty of spices. I let that stew for another 8-10 hours.

And voila! After two days of cooking, I had a big batch of chicken water. I mean soup. The blandest soup ever made.

It was very audacious of me to think I could have any sort of culinary success without a tried-and-true recipe.

Anyway, if cold weather means soup, then soup means crackers, and crackers mean cheeses. I love cheeses. After making the grocery store veg run, I made a cheese run.

cheese and crackers


The other thing cold weather means is Christmas craft fairs. My niece, S2, e-mailed and asked me if I’d like to participate in the craft fair her kids’ school is putting on.

At first I said no, since I’m retired and it kind of sounded like work. But then No.2 Sis (S2’s mother) pointed out that I have a whole room of my apartment stuffed with craft supplies, and I could possibly turn some of those supplies into cash.

Hmm, was that brilliant or what? I started thinking of the room of “The Vault” instead of “The Studio.”

So I signed up for the craft fair at Nativity of Mary School in Bloomington, Minnesota, which will be from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 9th. And yes, this is a shameless plug.

So far, I’ve made 90 Christmas cards, 40 pairs of earrings, and 3 necklaces. I’ve got almost 2 weeks left, so I’m sure I can get those numbers higher.

My goal is to run out of Christmas paper for card-making.

I’m sure I have too many craft supplies to run out of most of the other card and jewelry components. And remember, this is what I have left after a considerable amount of down-sizing! It’s a little embarrassing.





hand-made Christmas cards


Stay tuned…



WAC 2015, September

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The Women’s Adventure Club 2015 had its second outing last Saturday. September’s adventure was planned by No.2 Sis, and we met at my house before-hand.

From there, we went to Perkins for breakfast, and the adventure was revealed amid coffee and pancakes. All adventures should be revealed amid coffee and pancakes, in my humble opinion.

We drove down to Lakeville, Minnesota, on the very southern edge of Minneapolis/St. Paul and attended the Lakeville Art Festival. There were over 70 artists displaying their wares, and we made sure to visit every booth.

WAC 2015, September

I won’t name any names, but some of us were doing MAJOR jewelry shopping! Four pairs of earrings, each one from a different artist.

I ran into “A”, my co-worker at The Company, and she showed me a Steampunk style necklace she had bought. Hah! I pulled my only purchase out of my purse, another Steampunk necklace from the same booth!

Steampunk necklace

Eventually, we wandered away from each other, singly and in small groups, as some people moved faster than others. We naturally re-formed as a group in the food vending area. You know what they say, “Deep-fry it, and they will come”.

The weather was perfect for an outdoor adventure, 70 degrees F, and sunny. I’m looking forward to whatever No.1 Sis is planning for next month!

Stay tuned…

p.s. I shared this at Chic on a Shoestring.

Earrings and the Virgin Mary

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I should be cleaning the house, doing my weekly maintenance, but I’m making jewelry instead. A girl woman queen has to have her fun.

I bought some beads in Stillwater several weeks ago, and ideas for jewelry have been percolating since then. I got some silver, shell, and unakite beads, and a Virgin Mary pendant.

Beads purchased in Stillwater

I bought the shell beads to go with the necklace shown above. I have no idea why I bought the Virgin Mary pendant.

Shell earrings-1

I added hematite dangles to the shell earrings.

hematite earrings blue chalcedony earrings 2

I put hematite dangles on one pair of the silver earrings and blue chalcedony dangles on the other.


unakite earrings

And I dangled the unakite beads from vintage chain.

As long as I had the jewelry tools out, I repaired a broken necklace. I just used a round-nose pliers to open the loop on the crimp, and slipped the chain back in. Then I closed up the loop. Easy-peasy!

Necklace repair

Got any ideas for me regarding the use of the Virgin Mary pendant?

Stay tuned…

p.s. I shared this at Chic on a Shoestring.


Brainstorm- How Can I Make Some Extra Money?

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No.3 Bro is a salesman extraordinaire. He’s been to all these sales technique and marketing seminars where he learned how to brainstorm, among other things. Then he taught it to his family. Brainstorming is just throwing out every idea you can think of to solve a problem. No judgment is allowed.

For example, Mom had lost her car and trailer home in her second divorce. She wanted to brainstorm ideas on how to get another car. She came up with:

  1. Buy a car.
  2. Rent a car.
  3. Build a car.
  4. Steal a car.

Well, it just so happened that No.1 Sis was buying a brand new car, so instead of trading in her old car, she gave it to Mom. That wasn’t on Mom’s list, but the brainstorming was still the impetus for getting a car. It worked!

I need to brainstorm about earning some extra money. I earned over $100 extra in November selling my hand made jewelry. I “earned” over $100 extra in December by cashing out my change jar.


Here are the brainstorming ideas to earn over $100 extra in January.

  1. Work extra hours at my job.
  2. Get a second job.
  3. Sell jewelry on Etsy.
  4. Sell stuff on E-Bay instead of donating it.
  5. Sell lamp and dining room light fixture on Craig’s List.
  6. Do tarot readings on-line or at a psychic fair.
  7. Win big in Las Vegas.
  8. Don’t gamble while in Vegas, and save the money currently set aside for that.
  9. Find over $100.
  10. Steal over $100.
  11. Print over $100.

NOW, comes the critique of each idea, which should help me narrow it down to a plan of action.

  1. Overtime hours have to be at the request of management, and they have not currently made that request.
  2. I’ve found some on-line work, but so far it seems to pay about $1 per hour, or seems to be a scam where I actually lose money.
  3. It could take a while to get customers on Etsy.
  4. I don’t have $100 worth of stuff to sell on E-Bay, but it’s a possibility for earning a lesser amount.
  5. This is a strong possibility. I paid around $400 for the dining room light fixture and $250 for the lamp. If I could recoup even one-fourth of that, I’d still make over $100.
  6. I’d have to set up the on-line readings and try to build a following. That’s more of a long-term project. I’d have to find one or more psychic fairs, but that’s a strong possibility. I should make a new sign, though.
  7. Win big in Vegas? That’s always my goal, but it’s out of my hands and in the hands of the Fates.
  8. Saving money by not gambling in Vegas doesn’t actually “earn” me any money, but even though I’ve already resolved to cut my usual gambling budget by half, I’d come out further ahead by budgeting $0.
  9. 10. 11. I just threw those in as an homage to Mom.

So it sounds like Craig’s List is the best idea. Meanwhile, I’ll research some psychic fairs and make a new sign.

I’ll also remain very, VERY open to the Universe letting me win big in Las Vegas.

Stay tuned…

p.s. I linked this to Cozy Little House, and Chic on a Shoestring.



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No.2 Sis called and asked me to bring my jewelry making tools and findings to her house on Sunday. She has a piece of jewelry that needs a little modification. No problem, I believe the jewelry making supplies are on the bottom layer of the deeply buried dining room table. I spent an hour or so on Saturday digging through the mess.

Dining room, before it got even worse.

Dining room, before it got even worse.

I didn’t take a picture right before tidying up, because I remembered I had this “before” shot. Now that I look at it though, I realize the piles had gotten much deeper by the time I started clearing the table.

Improving, but more work to do.

Improving, but more work to do.

I can’t say that the dining room is now clean, but I managed to sort everything into piles and boxes. I was able to find everything I needed to make a lovely little tool kit. I feel like an old-time doctor, going on a house call with my black medical bag.

Jewelry repair kit

Have tools, will travel.

And I found this. Ewww! If I can remove the lime buildup, I’ll donate it. If not, it goes in the garbage.



I also did weekend maintenance in the Queen bedroom: 10 minutes to put away laundry and pick up.

I filled 2 bags of recycling. That brings my count to 228.

Stay tuned…


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Thursday night, Bella Cat flipped my teacup onto the off-white carpet. The hot tea splattered everywhere and the tea bag burst. I cleaned it up as best I could, yelling at her the whole time. Yes, I’m a bad cat-mom. Bella just sat a little distance from me and calmly watched, as if to say, “Are you over your little tantrum yet?” As soon as I stopped yelling, she was back on my lap, purring.

I stopped yelling because I remembered this:

Cats plot revenge.

Cats plot revenge.

On Friday, I saw that the tea definitely stained the carpet. Instead of being a dark brown, raggedy edged splotch, it’s a light brown, perfectly circular stain. Thanks, SpotBot.

Later, I brought my jewelry to No.2 Sis’ Mary Kay open house.


Open house display.

I sold 14 pairs of earrings and 1 necklace. It was a good night!

Saturday, I was totally lazy.

Sunday, I unloaded the jewelry stuff from the car (except the table and chairs in the trunk) and broke down more boxes for the recycling pickup tomorrow. So, I was mostly lazy, with just a little spurt of activity.

The cardboard was 3 bags worth, so that puts my bag count at 222.

I’m looking forward to a three day work week. Happy Thanksgiving!

Stay tuned…