The Next Big Idea!


It's not everyday that I find something new and think..."Whoa! That's absolutely brilliant!" Why didn't I think of this! These adorable and innovative thought bubble and bright idea barrettes are handmade by Mel Bell and could be the next big idea. So cute and so many much to say and a novel way to make a statement! I think Mel Bell's ingenious and artsy hair accessories are worthy of Donny Deutsch's Big Idea show, or Oprah's search for the next big idea. You can see more of Mel Bell's creative felt barrettes HERE at her Etsy shop . Who know's...maybe you're next big idea is just a thought bubble away.

Photos and designs copyright by Mel Bell.

Holy Moly!! That was a Close Call

Yesterday, I was sitting on my couch with laptop on my lap answering an email. There was NO indication a storm was coming. Suddenly, in one instant there was a huge BOOM and then a GIANT white flash of light in my lap... my laptop cord shot out of my laptop and whipped and singed my arm....the laptop flew across the room onto the hard floor...the lights went out...and I was buzzing from a large shock that seemed to last a few seconds and i was screaming this horrid deep-throaty scream. After the shock, the left side of my body felt like I had it on a hot stove and I was shaking like crazy. I think the lighting hit a nearby transformer, went thru the plug, thru the surge protector, to my cord, and laptop.

I thought to check my pulse and my heartbeat was really irregular, so I drove myself my nearby physician just to get checked out. My irregular heartbeat calmed down and became regular after about 45 minutes. My blood pressure was high but they sent me home anyway. All ok.

Amazingly, my laptop still works! However, my shift key came off and I can't get it back on. I never realized how much i needed my shift key. I called Gateway to see if there is a trick to getting the shift key back on and they said they have to replace the WHOLE keyboard!! Luckily, I purchased additional insurance to protect me against accidents like spilled coffee, drops, crases, and well, things like this. So, Gateway is sending a computer tech to my home to replace the entire keyboard this week and bring me a new cord. Sweet!

Wow, all in all, I feel really lucky as it could've turned out a lot worse...and I think 'someone' trying to tell me to not to spend so much time on my computer.

Shepherdstown, WV Streetfest July 30th, 2007


I will have a booth at the Shepherdstown Streetfest on June 30th, 2007. The streetfest is located at German and King streets in downtown Shepherdstown, WV. There will be a lot of other artisans and vendors set up along the street as well as the cute and quaint shops and restaurants that Shepherdstown is known for.

For more information and to see what other vendors will be participating, check out this site:

I hope to see you there!

Craft Show Hell - Part 2

June 16th 2007 -- Church-Sponsored Festival/Craft Show - Charles Town, West Virginia

The night before the church-sponsored craft show, I completed 18 Christian-themed glass pendants, only to have tripped the moment I took them out of my sandblasting cabinet and dropped them all out on the concrete. I managed to salvage one. Could this be bad Ju-ju?? Is God trying to tell me (a non-church goer) to stay away from the church-sponsored event? I mean, I was condemned by a catholic preacher once, but that's another story.

I arrived at the church grounds at 7:00 am and began set-up. All was fine, even though I realized many of the booths were not crafts, but were flea market (dollar store type items),used household items, and baked goods. A nice local landscaper occupied the booth behind me and was selling hanging plants and shrubs. They not only provided more shade for me, but lively colors, and a nice fresh flowery scent.

Another seller close-by had some used lawnmowers and started them up periodically to show that they really worked. There was also the "Right to Life" booth but I never went near there to see what they were selling. I did notice the presence of security near their booth quite often though.

Things started to pick up and I made a few sales (enought to cover booth fee, gas, and still be able to give 15% to the church) and all was good, until about the last 10 minutes of the festival. There was a dunk-the-Deacon booth full of kids and as the Deacon was trying to shut it down, about 50-60 kids started chasing him with water balloons. The Deacon ran thru the craft show area, up and down and hiding between the booths while kids chunked water balloons everywhere. I saw an elderly woman get hit in the face. I was just trying to protect 3 tables full of my glass wares from flying water missles!!! Aaaaugh! I immediately started packing up and ducking for cover.

The last thing to do was fold up my brand spanking new craft show tent that I purchased 2 days prior for about $200.00. Some helpful church volunteers came over to help me fold it up, but I wasn't quite ready as the stabilizer bars were still attached. I'm underneath the tent while these people are pushing and I'm politely yelling "Wait, please! I have to unhook these and put these down!" Well with 4 people pushing this thing together and telling me it's just stiff because it's new and I'm saying "NOOoo!! Please wait just a moment!". One person said "heck, I know what I'm doing, I just closed up 4 of these things". Sigh. The next thing I see underneath is the frame bending and snapping and it completely broke in 4 places!!!! NOoooo! I was speechless! I was soooo bummed! One person said "that's not supposed to happen, it's defective, take it back!" Some really nice people offered to help me pack my jeep and I politely declined...."I've got it, thank you". I mean, they were really trying to be helpful. But....grrrrrr.....
I politely donated my requisite 15% of my sales and went home to an empty house.

Craft show hell - Part 1

June 10th 2007 - June Jubilee, Martinsburg, West Virginia

The June Jubilee is a local town event that includes a car show, craft show, kiddie events, and an abysmal petting zoo. I was super excited to set up my booth for the first time. My boyfriend Eric helped me the entire time which was absolutely wonderful. I had a great space, and I thought my display looked really nice. The show started at 11:00 and at 11:01, I had made my first sale. Things were good. However, that was also my last sale. I wasn't really all that disappointed as I did give out a lot of cards and brochures as I was trying to drum up some custom orders for glass etching.

The food concessions made a killing selling enormous sugar-coated funnelcakes, giant sodas, greasy sausages, and the usual festival fare to thousands of already unhealthy looking people. It is disheartening when someone approaches passing a greasy turkey leg from one hand to the other and then handling your hand-made items with the leg hanging out of their mouth...or kids dripping blue colored snowcones all over your display....

The biggest draw or main event that I could see was a Ronald McDonald clone on a trailer telling really bad jokes, performing mundane magic tricks, and making balloon animals. Other kids jumped their way to nauseousness and vomitous in the oddly shaped (you be the judge) space shuttle airjump. The silliest and most annoying of the attractions was the mini plywood-constructed train apparently powered by a riding lawnmower that transported young and old paying riders around the park.

The so-called petting zoo was the worst I'd seen and begged for animal activists to come in and save the animals. There was a pot-belly pig that was most unhappy in a very small enclosure. I never saw him move. A goat kid was placed in a small plastic poorly made enclosure which I saw a 2-year old lean over and fall into, thus collapsing the enclosure, bumping his head on the ground, and nearly crushing the baby goat. Then there was the rabbit in a tiny rusted bent-up wire cage without water. In another rusted bent wire cage were 2 ducks sitting in a tupperware bowl of filthy water. Two "fuzzy" chickens occupied another cage and pecked at the dirt ground..although I didn't notice any seed there. Parents paid money to let their kids ride miniature ponies around in a circle, led around by seemingly uninterested animal handlers.

I did meet some nice sellers there and I know they didn't do well there either. Hopefully their next shows will make up for it. Personally, I don't think I'll try next years June Jubilee.