Ode to a bird

Nearly 7 and a half years ago, I was sent a photo in work. My hubby had bought two zebra finches, and named them Mocha (fawn coloured female) and Latte (white male). Mocha was his, and Latte was mine…

Latte was bought as a girl. He had no colouration, and could only “eep” – he didn’t have a song. As soon as I got home from work, I immediately said to Michael, “Latte’s a boy”. He had exceedingly faint coloured cheeks, and I could see that his beak was slightly brighter coloured than Mochas.

I gave him months and months of attention, singing my best male zebra finch song to him, and eventually he learned it.

Now Latte was a stupid bird. He truly was. He couldn’t sing (no male influences), he could barely fly, and he was so skittish. Whenever we let him out for a “wing stretch” (yes, we let him fly around the house), he would start ‘clicking’ and ‘eeping’, as if he was asthmatic. He would panic over nothing.

We lost him down the back of the Welsh dresser once… Pulling that heavy thing out was a nightmare, and I was terrified that Michael was going to accidently hurt – or even kill him.

About 3 years ago, we had to separate the birds. Latte had attacked poor Mocha, and almost killed her. The blood, cuts and feathers were unbelievable, and I honestly thought she would die… Thankfully, she recovered perfectly.

I bet you’ve got to the point where you’re wondering why I’m writing such a long post, over a bird? Well, Latte was the first ‘big’ thing that my hubby had ever bought for me. Latte died tonight. Rest in peace, my little man. You can now fly free ❤

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Day 14 – Dreams

As with every Monday, Mr. Gning stays at my parents house for a ‘change of scenery’, and to bring a little bit (more) noise to their house.  I say ‘more’, because I can hardly say they live in a quiet house.

Mum likes to watch her TV, but dad.  Dad is another matter all together, ha ha.  He likes the TV loud, his CD’s/Mp3’s loud, his amplifier to his guitar loud, his keyboard loud, his speakers on the PC loud…  I think you can safely assume that he likes things loud.  And no…  He doesn’t suffer with his hearing.

I’m the same though.  I like my music ‘blaring’ out of the speakers; sometimes as loud as I can get it.  Especially if it is a song that I love; or if a bagpipe piece comes on.  Yes.  Bagpipes.  I still get goosebumps when I hear the ‘Massed Pipes and Drums’ at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and when I hear Highland Cathedral played, my heart melts.

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I’m digressing…

So, we have a cupboard, in the kitchen, that is LOADED with booze.

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(No, this isn’t my cupboard..  Although that would be nice, haha)

You see, we have bottles of wine, Martini (Rosso), Bacardi, etc. bought for us for Christmas and birthdays, however we don’t drink.  Normally.

I say normally, because I cannot say that we never drink.  We drink ‘sometimes’ at birthday parties.  Maybe at Christmas, we’ll have one or two glasses of whatever at Christmas.  Occasionally, like two or three times a year(!), we have something at home…  But when we have something at home, we always make the most of it.  Like last night.  We drank a full litre bottle of Martini Rosso between us.  Probably not such a good idea, but it was at the time.

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(Remember…  Drink responsibly!!)

The worst thing about me is that I drink the aforesaid like wine.  Fill my glass up to the brim..!

Let’s not digress any further.  This post is actually about my dream last night.  Or would I call it a nightmare..?

So, as soon as my head hit the pillow last night, I was gone.

There was the three of us in my dream.  The little man, hubby and myself…  We were all in the very first house I lived in, and for some reason, there were people ‘after us’.  These people were no good, and we knew we would have no chance in surviving should they ever catch up with us.  I don’t know what we had done for these people to be hunting us.

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We knew that we would never be able to return to the house once we left, so we were in the process of stuffing as many things as we possibly could in to every ‘secure’ bag we could find.

At this point, hubby had rushed out with some bags to the car.  Little man had followed suit, which I had wanted, as I was finding it incredibly difficult for him to stay quiet.

I had just finished stuffing, and zipping up a grey backpack, and I found my black ‘Gothic’ trolley bag (both bags, I actually own).  There was still plenty of room in the black bag, so I went to pick it up when…

Knock, knock, knock, knock…

I froze…  My eyes wandered, but I didn’t move a muscle.  Silence.  No one kicking at the door, no footsteps…  I didn’t hear anything, so I picked up the bag…

Knock, knock, knock, knock…

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I snapped wide awake as hubby jumped out of bed.  The knocks were real.

I thought it was the postman, but hubby said it was some *travellers* asking if we wanted our hedges trimming.

That was it.  I was now wide awake, and even though I was in the comfort of my own bed, I didn’t feel right.  I was actually afraid.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve had a bad dream, but even saying that, this was so ‘real’.  Whenever I normally have a bad dream, it has monsters…  The type of things that you would expect, but I have no idea what brought this on.  Maybe it was the alcohol..?  But every dream has a psychological meaning, huh?  I’d be interested to hear if anyone can interpret my (not so nice) dream.

((PS//  No headache/hangover, haha))

Homemade Hell

I’m sure I’ve mentioned, in previous posts, about my hand made jewellery and accessories ‘mini-business’, Treasures and Trinkets.  This post is about the little highs, and the oh-so-many lows that I have suffered since starting crafting.

I was trawling through various pages on facebook one day, when I saw a page that a lady had made, showing off her creations ready to sell to the users of facebook.  Although the items were impressive, I told myself that I could do that; I could make that; I’m sure I can make items better than that…  And that is how I started.

I bought some beads, wire, fixing and findings, and then I made a page on facebook.  I chose the name of the site immediately.  Treasures would be the earrings, bracelets, anklets and necklaces; and the Trinkets would be any accessories that I would make, such as keyrings, bookmarks, mobile phone charms, etc.

The items that I had bought came through fairly quickly, although I was missing a few vital tools to handle the fiddly bits.  I rushed out to our local DIY store, and bought a set of pliers!  The set had three different types of pliers.  One was a wire cutter, one was a flat-headed pair, and the other was a needle-nose pair.  Just what I needed, and they were only £2.99!

I began with the basics.  I made a pair of earrings, with parrot charms.  The next pair I created had beads and a charm…  The more I made, the more ideas I had.  I then stretched out to created bracelets with wire, but I could never tie the knots to strength, so I tried my hand at using earring findings instead.  All of my items were beautiful, and my husband, mum, and other family members agreed.  However, the test was now to come.

I found a neutral coloured background, and I photographed all of my creations to put on facebook.  Uploading, typing descriptions, sizes, working out costs, etc. for each item was painfully long and dull.  It was wonderful to think that a pair of earrings that I had made, could be sold for £1.50.  I thought I worked out the prices beautifully…

I joined several networking pages, and I started to promote my page.  ‘Likes’ and fans started dotting here and there…  Eventually, I had over 800 likes!

Then all of a sudden, I received a message…  “I came on your page to wish you luck with your new venture, but I’ve seen that all you’ve done is copy my items…”  Several messages, threats and nasty comments started appearing on my page over the next few weeks…

I had done nothing wrong.  I hadn’t copied a single item of the questioning competitor.  I had checked all of my items against all of hers, and what I saw astonished me.  I had uploaded a photo of a pair of earrings two weeks before the messages started; on the page of my competitor was exactly the same pair of earrings (her own work), with a date stamp of just four days after I had uploaded mine.  She had copied me!

I did not rise to the insult.  I simply deleted all of her comments and messages, and I blocked her, and her page, from accessing me and my Treasures and Trinkets.

Right now, I’ve had my page open 20 months.  How do I know it to be such an unusual amount of time?  Well, I started it when my little man was a tiny tot.

Anyway, besides the torment of an envious person, how’s the business?

Two words.  A nightmare.

I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say that, over the past 20 months, I have made two sales.  One pair of earrings, and a ‘wish bottle’.  The two came to a total of £3.50.

How much have I spent on my ‘mini-business’?  Probably about £150 over the 20 months.

Personally, I think that it all depends on what you’re selling as to whether you will get your sales on facebook.  I’ve seen other jewellery and accessory pages have less than a hundred fans, and yet there are comments after comments on their pictures, asking to buy their items…  It’s not that their jewellery is any better than what I make, or that they’re selling it for cheaper than I am, it’s that their jewellery is so different to mine.  They do ‘wire work’, fiddly beading, etc.  And their prices are so much higher than mine!

So let’s stray away from the dreaded FB.  I have been to three craft fairs with my items.  Two fairs were a complete and utter flop, and one was highly successful.  The two fairs that were a disaster were professionally organised by a craft / produce fete company.  The successful fair was a church tabletop sale!

It really make me wonder why I bother.  I’m feeling really let down that I have so many ‘likes’, yet so little sales…  I know it’s quality, not quantity, and I know that out of the quantity of people who like my page, there are probably only one or two that are quality.  It’s really sad to say.

Anyway, that’s Treasures and Trinkets.  Or, that ‘was’ Treasures and Trinkets.  I’m contemplating shutting the page down, but I have a few people tell me not too because my work is beautiful…  If that were true, where are my buyers? *sigh*