Thursday, February 25, 2010

Custom Mother's Jewelry Review & Giveaway

At Christmastime, Heidi and Michelle put it into my head to make and sell custom Mother's jewelry with birthstone-colored crystals. I think this is a great way to to interest mother's and grandmothers in my jewelry. Of course, these are custom made, so I can make them for anyone in whatever color(s) they like!

Right now I have a listing available for a custom bracelet, but depending on the response, I may be making other custom birthstone jewelry as well.

To coincide with this new addition to my shop, I have been reviewed by Deal Wise Mommy, who is also hosting a giveaway for a custom bracelet for one of her readers. You should go check it out, and make sure you poke around her site - there are so many coupons and deals to be had!

So thanks to Heidi, Michelle, and Anne for helping me get this off the ground!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison, The Way We Were

I have been mesmerized by figure skating for as long as I can remember.  What little girl can watch those spins, jumps, and lifts without feeling complete envy? I suppose some of us grow out of it, but I never have. There's just no point in watching the Olympics if I can't watch the figure skating competitions.

Today, everyone is talking about Yu-Na Kim's record breaking score in the Ladies Short Program. The day before, it was about the competition between Canada and the US for Ice Dancing gold. The Russian Ice Dancers had, not one, but two controversial outfits. China took gold and silver in Pairs. But for me, the most memorable part of these Olympic Games so far has been the Free Skate by Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison for Canada.

Dube and Davison finished in 6th place, their skates having less "oomph" and difficulty than the top pairs. But it's not always about power and footwork for me - I like to watch the emotions. Jessica Dube blew me away with a touch of her hand to her partner's face. (No one on the internet seems to have captured this on film...)

You see, they were dancing to the title music from the movie "The Way We Were." Hearing the music brought back so many memories. The mood of the film was captured perfectly by the expressions and movements of the skaters. About half way through their performance, an unexpected duplication of detail: she touched the side of his face in yearning, as if to brush back his hair.

In the film, Barbara Streisand's character has a habit of reaching out to brush the hair out of Robert Redford's eyes. In the final scene, a chance meeting years after their breakup, she once again reaches out. And stops short. The love and regret is palpable in that moment. It is truly an unforgettable moment in film.

So cheers to Jessica and Bryce, for recreating such an exquisite scene of old lovers wishing they could recapture their past, if only for a moment.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Alexander McQueen captures my Devotion


Alexander McQueen, a British fashion designer, died yesterday at the age of 40.

It's not a huge surprise that I had not heard of McQueen before - I don't follow fashion closely (although I'm addicted to Project Runway). So now that I've Googled my way through some of his most famous looks, I am blown away at his talent, frustrated that I didn't see his work sooner, and very saddened that the designer is gone and the man was so depressed. His designs are very dramatic, always perfectly fitted, gorgeous colors, and predominantly futuristic versions of retro looks. Here are some of my favorites:


So many of his looks are over the top, and so busy it should be distracting. And yet, I find most of the oddest pieces irresistible. Search online for his hats, his shoes, his ready-to-wear collection that looks like haute couture (and impossible to imagine hanging on a rack!). I'll leave you with an example. Call me crazy - I would never wear them - but I find these boots both mesmerizing and terrifying:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How to Start Your Own Business in Washington State

Today I came across a post on Craigslist asking for help to set up a simple LLC (Limited Liability Company). Since I have done this twice in the past three years, I decided to send a note letting them know just how easy it is to do for themselves. Don't waste your money on an accountant for something so simple that can be done over the internet! I realized after the note was sent that hey, maybe other people could use this information too! Seriously, setting up a small business (sole proprietorship or two-person partnership) in Washington state is blissfully easy - it only takes two steps!

You will need: the full name, address, and Social Security number of both individuals; internet access, a Credit Card to pay the fees

1) Get a WA State Business License
more doing business info:

2) Get a City Business License in whatever city you will be working from AND the cities your customers are in (not all cities require this, but Seattle does)

You're done!


3) Find out if you have to charge your customers sales tax
It should be a no-brainer that a retail business will have to collect sales tax from their customers. But some "service-oriented" companies do as well, while others don't

4) Set up any Trade Names/DBA's (Doing Business As) - the official name of the partnership is the names of the two partners, while the sole-proprietorship will be registered as your full name - probably not what you really want to name your business. When you are applying for your State License, there is a section to list any trade names you would like, at $5 per name. You can also add them later, but this requires refiling the license and paying the basic licensing fee again.

5) Pick up a book at the library or book store for more general "how to run a business" information
My favorite: Small Time Operator (subtitle: "How to Start Your Own Business, Keep Your Books, Pay Your Taxes, and Stay out of Trouble!" by Bernard B. Kamoroff, CPA

There is a ton of information out there for free on the internet or at your library, so go for it, and good luck!