Saturday, September 1, 2007

Saying goodbye to my dear Samsung, while going on I. VAC.

I am going to go on a I.VAC. for the next few days. but before I go....
Today I became sad at the thought of my cell phone/mobile phone. Why you ask? because I no longer have service on my mobile phone :( I can't afford to keep it right now. I know this is a little superficial, however I had the same mobile number for years, and I had finally settled with a company I like; you know the one that features that Welsh actress as their spokesperson. (Ok clearly I am talking about T-Mobile in case you didn't catch that)
[Conversation with cell phone provider: me-"But if you leave how will I cope? What will I do?" cell phone provider-"Frankly W. we don't give a d*#!mn"]
I really didn't abuse my phone usage either I would use it mainly for emergencies, and I would talk long distance with some friends, but I wasn't the type of person you see on the cell phone talking about nothing. I hate to hear this conversation: "Hello?" "Nothing, I'm in the store (on the bus, at the library, in class, at the movies, having dinner with a friend, at work)" This is followed by a five min. conversation about nothing, and then the recipient hangs up, only to repeat this conversation again 2 mins later with a new caller. Or my favorite conversation: "Hello?" "Nothing I'm in line at the store" *1minute of silence* "say something!" *3 sec. pause* "No, you say something"
Oh and my personal favorite is the type of people I encountered when I was working my other retail job. The type who wanted to run a conversation on their phone, and complete a transaction with you at the same time. Then five minutes later they want to come back to your line and refute something on their receipt that you told them was not on sale while they were having their conversation on the phone. But of course even though they nodded their head that they understood, in reality they were too preoccupied with the phone conversation.
Well that was not me. I was a responsible user :) Nevertheless I won't be any more, at least for a while until I can get on track. *sniff* I'm going to miss you my dear little Samsung *sniff Ok as I said this is a bit superficial, but I am not really a superficial kind of person, so please grant me at least this one moment...
On other note... I am trying to make a video interview with some ordinary folks that I will eventually put on Yahoo Videos GOD-willing, the topic of which I will mention later if I ever finish the video and editing it. Don't expect great things out of this though, because I am not some bigshot movie-maker or anything, or even a wannabe one either. The problem is some of the folks that I have interviewed so far are not giving me detailed honest answers. why do I say this? because I have talked with some of them off camera and they have made the complaints and things to me, so I thought I could capture some of that. I haven't so far but I am hopeful someone will give me the gritty truth.
I will refocuse my attention to my bags this week and I have a couple of other obligations regarding sewing promises I made to other people. So i will bid adieu....

Downfalls of being poor: Episode 1---No Health Insurance

Some of the downfalls of being "poor": DOWNFALL #1.

You can't afford health or dental insurance--- a few years ago I burned my foot by spilling a big pot of boiling water on it-ouch...and I went to the emergency room they cleaned it up gave me some ointment and told me to come back in two days to make sure that it was healing fine. I returned 2 days later and the doc looked at it and told it was healing nicely :)....Do you know how much this two day spa treatment cost me? $USD 1000.00 :S I had no health insurance and to pay it all out of pocket, while I was still in school and was making about $6.00 an hour. It took me a couple of months but eventually I paid it off. When I made assistant manager at the old retail job, I decided too get the company health insurance, even though I was making only a little more and really could not afford it, but I decided to bite the bullet and sacrifice that extra $130.00 a month but I soon found out that the deductible was much more than I could afford with what I was making so the insurance became an extra deduction out of my paycheck. Then the dental insurance was completely useless, it would not even cover my extraction of a wisdom tooth that had become abscessed, and I had to go to the emergency room because the left side of my face had become swollen. The emergency room doctor told me that I had better get the tooth extracted, because the abscess infection could spread to other parts of my body--pretty scary. Then he told me I should just stop spending my money on frivolous things and pay the money to have my tooth extracted lol I wanted to hit him for that comment. I didn't have the money to spend on things I needed, never mind frivolous things.

I frantically tried to think of an idea to come up with the money, and finally I realized I could take out $500.00 from the mere $750.00 I had in the 401K that I had at work. Just a year before the incident the company elected to open a 401K for me, because I had been there for over 5 years and reached the required age of at least 21. They deposited a little money for me, so I thought why not put a little money like 5% of my paycheck into the account every payday. Big decision for me; not making too much to begin with. But I am happy I did because I was able to take an early distribution on the money (paid a $50.00 fee for that when I did my taxes) and get my tooth extracted.

Emergency room visit for abscessed tooth: $USD 300.00
Antibiotics: $USD 80.00
Fee for early distribution from 401K: $USD 50.00
Cost of procedure: $USD 500.00
Feeling alot of the pain of my tooth being extracted, because 5 shots of numbing med. did not numb me until 5 minutes after procedure was over.....priceless.

I am not that stupid; I am not that smart

Warning: Easy questions ahead (email me for an easy tip concerning this link, before taking this quiz)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I want feedback....

...and you can give it to me at the "Let's Play--meme" new blog site. Play games, have your say and let other bloggers know what you think, http://tag-your-it.blogspot.com

What's is financial freedom really??

I came across this video today and I thought wow this is true financial freedom! This family may not make alot of money by society's standards, but they are truly wealthy. They are living debt free and are able to afford the basic necessities, even with a large family. The problem is for most people in America with are living with some form of debt (excluding mortagage!). So the real key to financial freedom is being debt free. aaahh what a feeling to be debt-free... Link

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

About Vera Bradley & Others

Vera Bradley I believe is one of the designers who really helped pioneer the use of fabrics other than vinyl, leather, and leather-look in making handbags. Her bags are mostly quilted cottons. She has allowed people to understand that a nice quality handbag can be made out of many different textures. Other designers who use odd materials to produce interesting handbags: ~Whiting & Davis for their use of metal mesh in their handbags ~Ecoist for their use of recycled materials such as candy wrappers. They have some really cool bags. ~ Wendy Stevens for her use of sheet metal and leather combination, her bags look like works of art you want to display them in a museum. (You can purchase one if you can afford it ;) at www.guild.com If you like to do your part whether it is helping the environment, helping tsunami victims, or helping African women crafters make an income, these are some companies whose products benefit these causes: http://www.ecoist.com/ www.eco-handbags.ca www.laga-handbags.com www.lucuma.com www.ethnicsupplies.co.uk/

Too much hype? Maybe, but don't sweat the technique.

I just figured I would say this. When someday, hopefully soon, I am able to start selling some of my designs online, I am not predicting that I will be the next Isabella Fiore. Not everyone will like my designs. That's why there are so many designers out there, because different people like different things. I just hope I will have enough people who like them, that want to buy them, so that I can make a little extra money on the side. I am humble in my aim, and if it turns out better than I expect, then that is great; if not then I know I have tried to succeed at least.

Breaking Free

Every since I was about 12 years old I have kept a sketch book with designs of clothing I wanted to make, but my idea to start designing and producing handbags started in 2002. I saw an emergence in the handbag industry where alot of stay-at-home moms and just regular women were producing whimsical looking handbags and the consumers were loving it; being able to buy something that was quirky,that only a few other people owned, or maybe no one else owned it at all. I saw some people making good extra income doing this, and I also saw people who made it their sole-source of income, and became quite successful with it too. The problem was, some of the results were not that appealing, while there were some skilled seamstresses out there, some sewers' bags looked homemade and others lacked originality and designer quality. People figured if they picked a cute fabric, that was all that was necessary. Nothing set their bag apart from the next person's. I would see some people who would purchase Licensed and Trademarked fabrics, such as Philadelphia Eagles, or Mickey Mouse, and make a bag out of it; nothing special just a sack with the logo all over it and turn around and sell them online. Not only was this Trademark infringement*, and if caught you can be subjected to various penalties, but the bags were, in my opinion boring, because they lacked any design elements. I decided that I wanted to get in this market too for extra income, but I wanted bags with a uniqueness all my own. I wanted different designs etc. so I started sketching; anytime the mood struck me; whenever I saw something that would inspire me, I would sketch it quickly; on receipts, candy wrappers, you name it. I did not want to lose the idea. Eventually I started keeping a miniature sketch book with me just for my handbag designs. But alas as I said back then I was stuck at my main humdrum low-paying job and I was always trying to work as many hours as I could to keep afloat (although it wasn't working). I just ended up burnt-out, still in debt, and still could not afford to go back to school. So my idea of having a side business...was pushed aside. Turning Point: Last year after being fed up with our old neighborhood, but realizing how hard it was to be able to move, I kept telling my older sister (who was visiting at the time) "SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE, SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE" I repeated this to her several times. I felt so completely suffocated. That is when I heard 2 things that made me start taking action. The first thing was something I was always familiar with but somehow I felt Like I was hearing it for the first time when I actually listened to it. There is a Canadian singer/songwriter named Dawud Wharnsbury Ali and he has a song that tells a little about some of the lessons learned from the story of Yusuf (arabic translation for Joseph) in the Quran (sura/chapter 12). One of the verses from the song goes: ["The words of Allah* are clear to the world, With Hardship Will Always Come Ease." "The beautiful story of Yusuf has so much to fill our lives." "A lesson in forgiveness and brotherhood we cannot compromise." "The power of patience and the fire of hope, must burn in the hearts of the wise."] ---After listening to this song once again it was like I had finally heard what he said at that moment. I actually paid attention to the words. The second thing was as I stated earlier in a previous post, I went to a business seminar with my mom and one of her co-workers, and the speaker asked the audience " Why are you working to make someone else dreams come true? Because when you go to work for someone else, you are working to acheive their dreams." It was like I was being hit in the head with a big "Duh!" sign. After really reflecting on these two things, I started to slowly make changes, I pursued the post office job, and after letting that go, even though everyone told me I was crazy for doing so (see earlier post "How did I get to this point?" for my reason), I decided to get more serious about my handbags while still holding down my job at Wally World, and while I am not progressing at a rapid pace, I am making movement, which is something I have put off for awhile. I am emerging-slowly but emerging nonetheless... Note* most Licensed and Trademarked logo fabrics, state that you are only allowed to produce goods for home and private use and not for resale. Allah--arabic term for the creator of all existence. Can be loosely translated into the english term GOD

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Not Your Ordinary handbag/What's in Your Closet?

Be & D handbag USD$695.00 Be & D handbag USD$3300.00 Bottega Veneta USD$2780.00 Isabella Fiore handbag USD$625.00 Isabella Fiore handbag USD$655.00
Some handbag designers I like are: Le Sportsac, Whiting & Davis, Moschino, Be & D, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Lulu Guiness, Cole Haan, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bottegga Venata, Micheal Kors, and Paul Frank.
Two other more notable designers are Liz Claibourne, because when I was growing up my mother would always mention her as a designer, she has very classy items that are not as extremely expensive as some other well known designers. But my all-time favorite designer whose work I think is the most innovative and orignal is Isabella Fiore. She combines folk-style, class and an artistic vision that can be a little over-the-top for some designers, but she pulls it off nicely. I think that these designers are some innovators in their field.
*Disclaimer---Since, as I have stated previously I am not rich, I have never purchased any of these designers' bags (with the exception of Liz Claibourne), and any that I may own were given to me. Even if I were rich I hope that I would not make it a habit to spend thousands of dollars on an article of clothing or accessory, when there are so many other worthwhile causes that I could spend the money on.

It's all relative really

I received an email from my cousin the other day; in it she was trying to convince/encourage me to press forward and do the things that could turn me from worker bee to employer or at the very least successful employee. I told her I was not quite decided about the financial advisor thing and she asked me what was I working on right now, that I could not give the program a try. I told her I was trying to work on my handbags (even Vera Bradley* started small), so she emailed me back and told me to get started and she wanted to buy one so that she could help promote them and give me feedback. I was actually going to give away a few of them to some family and friends so that I could get word of mouth advertising. My cousin thinks she is being persistent, and she is right she is. I am glad for that, because I actually have someone to encourage me to do better and finally pursue my goals, because sometimes I get mentally setback and discouraged when I think about everything I need to do and how I will pay my bills etc. Growing up I never really had any direct first cousins who I grew up with. My cousins were second and third cousins; my mothers cousins and their kids. I was raised around my mother's sister (my aunt Deborah- didn't have kids) who she spent most of her life growing up with. I always knew however that on my Mother's side I had two more aunts; one on her Mother's side and one on her Father's side. My Mom's Mother died when she was still a kid and her other sister by her Mother (My Aunt Janice) stayed with their Mother's relatives, while my Mom and my Aunt Deborah lived with their Father. When they became adults my Mother and my Aunt Deborah did not keep in good contact with my Aunt Janice and my Aunt Darnelia, not because they had bad relationships or anything, but because unfortunately sometimes when relatives move away they are bad at keeping up with other relatives once they start their own families. So I never really had contact with any first cousins. A few years ago my cousin through my Aunt Janice, got in contact with my Aunt Deborah and we have been able to meet each other after all these years. She is a really sweet person and loves her relatives. It would have been nice to have grown up with her. Now she is trying to persuade and encourage me-that's cool. I think I do need to get back on track because I have put the production process off to the side for the past week and I really do need to get back on track...Press forward, keep moving, race towards the finish line! *Note: Vera Bradley handbag designer-signature style= quilted handbags of paisley and floral persuasion

Monday, August 27, 2007

How to be dissapointed when viewing e-mail from contacts

Well I came home at two o-clock this morning, because I was on my hour break, and I checked my e-mail because everyone was sleep and I had nothing else to do. I had some good mail from contacts that I had not communicated with in awhile, and then I saw it, I knew the news would not be good just when I saw the name of the sender. If she wanted to give me the bad news, she could have called me. I considered the idea of not opening the mail at all since I knew what the message was..... "We regret to inform you that you are no longer under consideration for those positions at this time, as other candidates have been chosen to move forward in the selection process." In a nutshell I did not get the job :(