What I’ve Done Archives

New Things

Sorry it’s been so long since I updated this.   Over a month, wow.

Anyway, I haven’t done much in that month but I have in the last week.  I published a new lens on Squidoo about how I’ll adjust this year’s Halloween costume to be awesome next year and finally published my bio lens on there.

I also started a new blog tonight.  Do I need a new blog?  No, not really but it will serve as an external source of motivation to redo my Etsy store.  It’s been nearly a year and I’ve barely touched the store, let alone made any money from it.  I hope to have it ready to market ( meaning something I’m proud to show off and even willing to advertise) by the new year at latest.  It also could give me a blog to try various blog marketing ideas for while I work on my store.  I don’t plan to keep the blog up very much once my store is set up but I may add a tip a week or month, depending on my traffic.  However, the blog is a free way to keep all my thoughts and tips in one place without buying another website or notebook I may loose in my house somewhere.   It may also help other store owners get better or store owner wannabes take that final leap to their own store with confidence.   Combining Etsy business with online business is something I’m interested in and will be working in for a long time, I hope.

I also signed up for the SATs in January.  I found out that Kansas University is still accepting applications and looks like just what I need.   I may get into college next fall yet.  First I need to apply and take the SATs though.  We’ll see how that goes.


Speaking of the SATs, I decided to set myself some goals: 500 typed words everyday (means I get something done or started each day and teach myself to type correctly instead of with one hand), a half hour a day each of ESWAS and studying for the SAT, and 10 minutes a day of working out.  It looks like at least my old chief will try to keep me accountable for a month (the amount of time I’ll post it on my facebook page) and hopefully I’ll get things done and start checking things off my to-do list soon.  Well, I got my words typed, the work out done, and half my ESWAS studying done.  Now for more ESWAS and SATs.  “Night

September 16, 2012

What have I done this week?  To be honest, I’ve been lazy again.  Work has been stressful since there are too many people who decide which one of us does what.  We also had a room inspection of my main space and I had to move my stuff and then help clean up after the rest of the girls who had to move as well.  By the time I got done, I was in a very lazy mood, which is no excuse for not working.  I did enjoy working with some clay this week.  I decided that while waiting to get a convection oven to bake my polymer clay that I would practice on regular children’s clay bought at my local toy store.  It’s designed to not dry out too quickly, unlike the Japanese modeling clay I’ve been using.  This way I can get more comfortable working with clay before making permanent items I’m not so proud of.  My mermaid was pretty good for a first time project in clay and acrylic paint but it would have been better if I had thought to use children’s clay to practice on first.  I created a small dragon to try out the clay with the image in my mind.  I was hoping for a perfect sculpture of a dragon about to fly.  Instead I found the clay too heavy to support that and created a cute thing with a long tail, diamond eyes cut into the face and wings barely attached.  However, it is obviously a dragon and I got ideas on how to create the basic body of a dragon for my next attempt.  I still have a lot of work to do, but I’m getting there.

I also finished my two part blog post on General Halleck, the man Lincoln called “little more than a glorified clerk.”  I was surprised that while he was a weak General-in-Chief to the Union, his time as the first Chief of Staff of the Army is credited with being a huge part of Grant’s victory.  Halleck worked as a translator between Lincoln and Grant as well as being Grant’s voice in DC while Grant was on the field.  Halleck’s ability to supply the variuos armies of the Union allowed the Union to wear down the Confederacy which couldn’t supply their troops very well as the war continued.  I also looked into my next post which will be about the riot in Baltimore in 1861 and it looks interesting.

I hope you have a delightful week and I’ll write again next weekend.  May God bless you all this week.

September 8, 2012

I’ve had an interesting week at work.  We pulled back into home port and are preparing for the ship’s version of home renovations so I’ll be cleaning, grinding paint off metal and repainting a lot over the next few months as well as working out and trying to finish my big certification before my vacation.  I’m having trouble finding time to force myself to study now that I have no restrictions to the internet and have my time back at night.  It is amazing to have my own space again without worrying about interrupting anyone or someone calling me to fix my system or do something else work related at any hour of the day.  Now I just need to find the motivation to organize my house again after moving in and study for my certification as well as keep my blogs up to date when I have the distractions of possible craft projects as well as computer and internet usage whenever I want.  Yeah, I’m having trouble staying on track with that.  Last week I was reading a blog post that said the key to one guy’s success was priorities.  He decided each day one thing that HAD to get done that day and forced himself to get at least that one thing done.  I tried that and it worked for a few days.  Then we pulled in and I got distracted and forgot.  I think it’s time for me to remember and set my priority again.  I made one goal for work (usually studying for my certification for a set time) and one goal for work.  I need to get back to that.

I had thought about creating another business topic this week.  (I would say blog but I was going to start with socail media before starting the blog)   I had thought to start a fan page to encourage me to work out daily.  I need to pass the run in early November and need to cut minutes off my time in order to do so.  I had thought that a daily comment on what I do would help me do things daily.  If I combined it with reviews of what I’ve used, I may even make money off the endeavor.  However, it came to my attention that my motivation level is pretty low and adding a daily post or more, plus the time to write reviews would be another distraction from the blogs I already have trouble maintaining.  Therefore I will post any milestones I need to tell people about here or on one of my fan pages I already have and turn any reviews I write into articles.  No one expecting any deadlines means less stress on me and that my goal stays a hobby instead of another stressful duty.  I do look forward to turning my research into weight loss and healthy living as well as runner’s tips into articles when I have the time so stay tuned for those to be announced.

I did manage to write the first post on General Halleck today.  This post is about his resume before the Civil War when his men called him Old Brains.  He should have been an adviser rather than a General In Chief but he made an awesome Chief of Staff, which I’ll talk about next week.  History may view him as a joke of a soldier but his organization abilities allowed General Grant to be out on the field leading the men rather than dealing with politics or supply issues in Washington like the previous generals had to.

It’s getting late now and I picked up a magazine of things to do with clay.  I want to try something before I go to bed and I hope it turns out like I want.  I hope you all have a delightful week.  I’ll talk to you again soon.

September 2, 2012

Unfortunately the internet has been down all week, or extremely restricted and will be down all weekend as well, so I don’t think I’ll be able to post anything on my blogs besides this update.  I finally finished the book I’ve been reviewing on my writing blog for the last few months.  I’m working on the last few blog posts for it and a review article for the book and hope to have something up on my writing blog next weekend.

I’m also enjoying resaerching General Halleck, a union General-In-Chief Lincoln refered to as “little better than a first-class clerk”.  He was a genius on paper but had no ability to control his subordinates.

My work certification is finally getting started.  I got five walkthroughs done this week, which leaves 11 to go before the oral board infront of ten experts on ship.  I’m glad I finally found the motivation to get started.

August 26, 2012

This week has been rater productive, at least compared to other weeks lately.  I posted a blog post on my civil war blog about Philip Kearny, a man who loved battle and war but quickly got restless without fighting.  He died during the Civil War and his legend is that of a valiant fighter, not the restless soldier that wanted to marry a society daughter while still married but separated from a high ranking soldiers sister.  His legend is inspiring but his personality was demanding of anyone who actually knew him.

I also finished typing up the series I’m on at the moment on my blog for those starting a business online.  The current series goes through the beginning of September on how to create the foundation you need for a successful online business.  Now I have time to read a book on branding online to redo that part of my various blogs and shops.  I’ll take notes as I read and type those into my next series on Lydr’s Thoughts.


I finally got the names for my first fiction series decided.   I’m still working on creating the world and story lines but I put a background scene on my Li’l B’s Works blog since I have it in my head.  The series, starting on my Lydia’s Magical Kingdom blog in December, will be a “journal” of a girl and the story of her brother through a Court Season as they set about revenge on a man that ruined their lives.  I’m enjoying creating their world and their stories as well as practicing a few techniques in writing and storytelling.

August 19, 2012

This week has been rather disappointing, professionally.  I did get a few hours in to study my ESWAS and I wound up watching a number of television episodes to keep my spirits up but all in all, I haven’t accomplished much.  I’ve done research on my next civil war blog post on the “One-Armed Devil” of the Union which I will try to post next weekend.  I apologize that my blogs are so sporadic but I have limited access to the internet this month and I need to study a lot for my qualification to get that out of the way.

Basically: I’m sorry but no news to report this week as far as my blogs.


August 12, 2012

My American Civil War blog this week is about Samuel Colt who not only revolutionalized gun making in America but also revolutionized how marketing was done and helped improve the telegraph system with his invention of underwater cable.


My craft blog this weekend is links to 2 stores on Etsy that sell origami jewelry that I think is rather impressive.



Lydr’s Thoughts this week continued my series on how to start a business online.


August 5, 2012

My American civil war blog this weekend will be about Samuel Colt.  He designed the Colt revolver which was a very popular and common weapon during the American Civil War and the American wars after 1800.  The main factory was in New Jersey which is my subject for a few weeks.  I was worried about finding any information on New Jersey’s contributions to the war since Wikipedia basically said it was the only free state to never vote for Lincoln and they sent a lot of soldiers for that state.  However, a little bit of digging got me a few topics to discuss, including the Colt factory and products which I will write about today(Japan time).

This week’s post on My Ramblings is about a different type of vending machines: cigarette vending machines.  I find it unusual but I pass one on my way to work everyday and have seen others around.  They aren’t quite as common as the drink vending machines I spoke of last week but they are rather common, at least where I live.

My craft blog this weekend shows that I finally finished all those “Easter lilies” I started folding in the spring.  It was interesting how much of a pattern I got into as I folded them and decided to add more to my little bundle.  Once I got through the first few origami flowers it wasn’t hard to make a few more.

My writing blog for this week will also be published today (Japan time) and will be a descriptive scene of what I see and feel while sitting on one of my ship’s bridge wings at sunrise.

My online business blog, Lydr’s Thoughts, started a month-long series on how to start a business online.  I plan to go from the idea to the completion of the website before I start another series on branding.  It’s a part of online business that I’m horrible on and I plan to write my thoughts and tips as I read a few books on the topic.

July 29, 2012

I’ve been wondering for a while now what to do with this blog.  As you can see, I have only put 4 posts here in the months since I launched this website.  That is because I have too many blogs on the web to keep them all for business.  Therefore, I decided that this blog will be a weekly summary of my other blogs so family and friends can decide if they want to read which blog posts or articles I write each week.  It will also help me keep everything straight as I go through my week.  It’s hard work keeping up with everything as well as having a 50 hour plus a week job and studying for the major certification (ESWAS) that I need to get by the end of the year.  I’m hoping to get most of my current blogs written through August so I can use the month to focus on my ESWAS, get it done, and start writing the story for LMK.com which I plan to turn into a fiction blog with the story starting in December.


My American civil war blog this week finished up the series I wrote about Robert E. Lee.  This was his post-war years as the president of Washington College which was renamed Washington and Lee University.  I found it interesting that two of his horses were buried at the college with his family and did some digging.  I wrote an article about his five horses here.


Last week I launched my new website for Li’l B’s Ramblings with the story of my trip to Hong Kong Disneyland along with a Flickr photo set of the trip.  I like the WordPress template better than the old Blogger template since I can add more pictures directly into the reading post instead of having five or six photos clustered at the top and having my own site means that there is a wider posting area to tell longer stories.  Yesterday I posted about a huge part of daily life here in Japan: the drink vending machines that are everywhere.


My craft blog this week shows my clay mermaid which I finally finished.  I’ve been staring at her for months saying I’ll get her finished and although I know she isn’t professional, I think she turned out well for being my first sculpture and my first time using acrylic paint.  (The picture doesn’t look to bad but cameras can hide a lot of imperfections, like the huge crack in the rock from the drying clay.)  Next month I’ll be focusing on learning origami and I’ll look for an artist in origami that will answer my questions for an interview post.


I opened a Cafepress store this last week.  I have two pictures I took in Australia on the way up to Kuranda that can be bought on various products.  One image, Australian Waterfall, was taken out the train window on a small waterfall we passed while the other one was taken of the hills (does Australia have mountains or was it just steppes?) from our ride down the mountain in a small glass basket.


My writing blog is starting a new series, of sorts.  Starting next weekend I will try to post a scene a week of some sort.  Next weekend it will be a descriptive scene from one of the bridge wings on my ship at sunrise one morning to help me learn to be more descriptive.  Other weeks it could be a flash fiction scene probably written in a half hour sometime during the week or a scene designed to teach me a skill such as emotion in writing or dialogue (which I’m horrible at).  I’m sick of having a blog for my writing that I’ve barely touched in over a year.  In fact, I’ve written no fiction besides story ideas in over a year.  It’s time to get back into it.


I updated the images in my jewelry store on Etsy as well as adjusting the descriptions I made.  I have a few ideas for new necklaces and earrings as well.  However, my store will be closely linked with my fictional story on LMK.com which won’t be starting until December so I don’t plan to add a lot of pieces until November.  I do have a few possibilities for things to go up in September but I’m still working on those.


My Writer’s Journey blog has been going through the book Power of Myth lately and this week’s summary of the fourth chapter talked about how mythology evolved as cultures interacted with each other.


LydiasMagicalKingdom.com (LMK.com from now on) started out as a blog for my jewelry but as you may have noticed, I haven’t created too many pieces of jewelry.  In fact, I haven’t added anything new to my store since I opened it in January.  So, what could I do to give me more ideas for jewelry and magical creature creations (I’ve wanted to create sculptures for a while) that would have a story behind it?  I decided to create my own land, an island where fairies, humans, and dragons can play with any number of creatures from myth and ancient lore for me to depict.  So far I have a lot of general ideas and a basic plot line.  I’m still working on names, setting, background, culture, and story lines but I’m looking forward to creating this world to tell in blog form starting in December with a story of revenge set in a Regency-like court.

Big Ideas Need Solid Plans

Big changes are coming to my various blogs.  I’m going through all my current projects and creating business plans for each.  I’m nearly halfway done with my major certification in my job and I still hope to be done with it by the middle of June.  Once that is done I’ll be redoing at least one of my blogs and publishing an e-book.  I hate to wait to start my new ideas but I need to plan things out ahead of time before starting and getting confused halfway through my projects. I’ve learned that if I don’t have a plan ahead of time, it’s easy to lose motivation under what seems to be a lot of planning.   Besides, I have so many projects started already that I need to get at least one thing (the certification) finished before starting another project.  Jotting down my ideas now while I finish my certification allows me to brainstorm now and tweak my plan for new projects later.  Then I have a better idea of what direction I want to take when I have the time to commit to a new project.  I have so many blogs going right now that I’m having trouble keeping them all up to date while working on my job.  I started them all on a whim without planning them out and now can’t keep them going along with my certification.  That’s why I’m taking a short break from most of my blogs to create business plans and get this huge certification off my to-do list.  I’ve learned that business plans, or at least some sort of long term direction, should be done before every new project is started.  If you already have projects in the works, it is never to late to create or tweak your plans again.

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