Let’s Play Catch-Up!

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Since the last time I blogged about myself, a lot of things have happened. I have been introduced to many new doctors and a few new tests. Thanks to Dr. Vera at NOVA, I am on some new medicines for ME and Fibromyalgia (which have practically gotten rid of my brain fog!) We are still experimenting with dosages to see if more improvement will be possible. (Fingers crossed!)

A dear friend who needs a place to stay will be moving in shortly. Lots of planning and packing going on between the two of us. Living in Florida will take some getting used to on her part. It took me two years to feel like I belonged here.

She will be arriving on Thanksgiving. The holidays will be particularly meaningful as we share the joy of being a family, as I consider her a sister. Very excited! (Also, can’t wait for her to see my jewelry studio!)

And speaking of jewelry…I have been keeping myself busy, designing and repairing pieces on commission. Here are pictures of some of my work…

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New pair of earrings made to replace old earring with missing partner. Used Swarovski crystal, freshwater pearls and gold-filled chain.

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Necklace made for opal and blue topaz pendant, supplied by client. My plan was to honor the pendant, not overwhelm it. Used agate, sterling silver beads, Japanese seed beads and Swarovski crystals. The client was trilled with the results and has ordered earrings to match.

 More pictures to come in the future.

As for my Kraftycat Creations Website, I am in the process of revamping – adding new, exciting products! This is a wonderful part of my life. I consider it therapy for a happier, healthier Fern. The “new and improved” Kraftycat Jewelry and Creations will be ready to view shortly.

My Middle Name is “Little Toot”

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Okay, so I did not have the best of weekends, but it was not the worst either! I did manage to make the jewelry for my custom orders and my customers were very happy with the results!

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As always, my jewelry photography leaves something to be desired, but it could be worse:

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I can look forward to making some more jewelry soon! (I think I can, I think I can…)

Thought for the day:

Everyday the same old thing – Breathe, breathe, breathe!

Not Slaying But Accepting My Dragon…

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Well today I will actually do some of my own blogging. As you may or may not know I have ME, so I can never tell from day to day what I may be able to accomplish.

When I started Kraftycat Jewelry and Creations, I had done it for myself. I found jewelry designing and creating to be very therapeutic and wanted a way to share my creations (and yes, perhaps sell them!) I am aware that there are a lot of jewelry websites and I am an ant in a forest of anteaters. Does this worry me? No.

Within the confines of my life, I cannot do all I dream of doing. I know all will be done in time, but that time may be longer than expected by others. How does this tie in with Kraftycat? I had visions of making jewelry and other items for every holiday. Have I accomplished this? Again, no.

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Besides hanging in there with my day job, I have been kept busy with some custom orders and love doing them! Thankfully, my customers, many who are repeat, are understanding and willing to give me a little bit longer to make them a piece with their specifications.

Tomorrow my dream is to complete more custom orders. If able, I will make additional items for my website. Whatever I do get done, I am thankful for the ability to still be able to do it.

Till tomorrow then…

Coming out of the Medical Closet

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Hello. I am Fern and I have ME. For those of you in the “know”, this is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

It is a devastating illness, one which I and over 1 million US citizens are fighting. I am one of the luckier ones who still can hold down a job during the day. This uses up almost all of my energy, but I fight to get other things done (like my love – creating jewelry for Kraftycatcreations.com) when I can.

I also enjoy blogging, but it is difficult to do as often as I wish. I decided to tell my followers why, hence today’s blog.

There was an excellent article published by Buzzfeed and written by Dr. David Tuller. Everyone should read it to understand this illness. It seems that the link to it has been deemed dangerous by facebook. Many readers of this article had tried to link facebook pages with it, to no avail. Please go to http://www.buzzfeed.com/davidtuller/chronic-fatigue-syndrome and read it there. It will open your eyes and help you understand ME/CFS.

I will answer any questions you may to the best of my ability. Thanks to all of my loving friends and family for all of the wonderful, heartfelt support!

About the Garnet – January Birthstone

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From my previous blog, “A New Year-A New Lesson-and Some New Ideas”, I received a request to give some information about the garnet and amber. I was all prepared to write up an article about the garnet, after collecting much information, when I happened to run across this excellent video by birthdaygems.org! It is a read-a-long, but tells the story in much the same way I would have.

There is so much to learn about different gemstones! I hope you find it as interesting as I did!

In honor of this January birthstone, I have included pieces created with garnet on the Kraftycatcreations.com site, along with several other new items. I invite you to check it out.

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Now, to research amber!

A New Year – A New Lesson – And Some New Ideas

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Let me start off with a very Healthy and Happy New Year to all!  Healthy first, because that is so important – for so many reasons! Reasons I will go into at a later date.  Happy needs no reasons!

When Kraftycat Jewelry and Creations re-launched just after Christmas, Iittle did I realize that some items on the website still needed tweeking! As I have said previously in this blog, this is a learning experience and learning is something I am certainly doing! Just by the fact of not knowing about these “glitches”, and knowing how it may have effected some customers, taught me never to expect a smooth landing when starting up a business – and I sincerely apologize for any and all inconvenience caused.

A very patient customer contacted Kraftycat by phone with some questions. The both of us went through a sale together – her on her computer, me on mine – and my eyes opened to the fact that the site needed to be more user-friendly!

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I thanked the lady profusely and quickly emailed tech support about several of the issues, two of which were as follows:

 1) If using a gift voucher or a discount code, it can only be entered in the “shopping cart”. Therefore, if one was to bypass the “shopping cart” and go directly to “checkout”, there would be no place to enter either of these!

 2) For “method of payment”, it stated to “pick your method below” and only showed PayPal for your choice. Definitely confusing!

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Upon receiving a reply the next day, I learned another valuable lesson – there is no such thing as a perfect program. The issues I brought up could not be fixed within the confines of the program “Open Cart” – they could only be fixed by my own brand of patching – writing explanations where and when possible!

So in the future, discount codes and gift vouchers will state how to apply it for a purchase.

The “method of payment” section of the “checkout”, now sports an explanation of how to use the “secure PayPal portal”, where you can use any credit or debit card, without having a PayPal account.

And if any other website lessons need to be learned, I have no qualms about my customers teaching them – after all, the customer is always right!

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And new ideas are always going to evolve. I have a couple to share today.

– I will be writing about different gemstones, many of which are used in the creations being designed for Kraftycat. In the next blog I will focus on the color, healing properties and other information on a stone of interest – my interest or yours. I invite you to pick a gemstone to learn about. Please use the comment section below.

–  Find happiness every day. If you look, there is always something that brings a smile to your face, even if it is only for a fleeting moment. Take that moment and study it, amplify it, make it the center of your day. That fleeting moment suddenly grows bigger and brighter as you take the time to contemplate it. In no time at all, you recapture that feeling of happiness!

Try, Try Again!

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Have a very Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!

Thank you to all who alerted me to the fact that my website was, in fact, not running properly. I had to work hard and re-build it, as I found out the hosting company did not have the proper backup. A big surprise that was!

At last check, it is now looking as it should! New creations will be added as they are made and I felt confident in re-launching it! Please visit Kraftycatcreations.com and let me know what you think. I hope to put a smile on your face as you look through it. Feed-back is always welcome, as it always helps to know what others think. Please – only G-rated responses-there are kitties around!

Again, Happy Holidays! And a big wish for peace and happiness in everyone’s lives!

Better Late than Never! We Have Launched!

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First, I want to announce that my website, kraftycatcreations.com is now up and running! This is exciting for me on many different levels!

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Putting up this website has taken a lot longer than expected, but, it was well worth doing! And I never doubted that I could do it!

This was a learning experience – the set up, the photography (as talked about in a previous posting), the juggling of time (daytime job, website, making jewelry, and the inevitable cooking and cleaning.)  Along the way there were other unexpected trials and tribulations. No matter what, every bit of this experience was fun, as it was all my choice to do this! There is a great feeling of accomplishment, knowing I found my passion and am able to share it on the Kraftycat website!

And I was not alone in this journey. Thanks to my family and friends who have been there for me whether in person or in spirit. Their love and support helped greatly along the way.

A big “Meow” to my cats, who inspired the “Kraftycat Jewelry and Creations” website in so many ways. They make me smile and laugh everyday. Laughter, next to my jewelry business (lol), is one of the best things in the world.

Please visit kraftycatcreations.com and let me know what you think. I think it is special and hope you do too!