Where Have I Been?

30 05 2011

Some Changes Going On…

I usually keep my blog focused on jewelry making activities – creativity, my classes, tips and projects, and the business side. But today, I’m doing a quick write up about some changes going on.

It has been extremely difficult to realize that as much as I love creating, designing, and teaching classes, jewelry making is not a way for me to make a living. Even though I no longer live the style I used to as a corporate manager, I still need to pay the bills and feel comfortable financially, so I had to shift gears a bit, and look elsewhere.

What a Very Cool View!

A few weeks ago, I took a trip to Florida for a class I took (so nice to be a student for a change!), and this was the view from my seat… I love this picture! The class wasn’t about jewelry making – it was for a totally different business venture of mine that I have been involved in for the past 6 months, which is about to be launched.

In about 2 weeks, I will be opening up a store (brick and mortar), called “Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More of Mountain View” and I was in Florida to attend my business training at FrogU (really!).

I had been looking at franchises for a while. I had a pretty extensive list of what I wanted, and after a few years of looking, the Big Frog franchise opportunity got before my eyes. It pretty much meets the key elements of what I was looking for in both a franchisor, and a business – a fun place, focused on customers, with potential to use both my creativity and my marking backround. So… I jumped into the pond, and I am now a Big Frog!

This is why I’ve been posting sporadically… I’ve always wanted StudioDax to remain mostly focused on jewelry – not my personal life, and not my Big Frog activities. Like so many others, I started StudioDax as a natural extension of my jewelry making hobby. StudioDax will continue – I will maintain my StudioDax Shop on Etsy, where I will continue selling some of my jewelry, some great jewelry tools, and of course my bead crochet Jig/Tutorial. I will continue developing and creating new designs because I love to design jewelry!!

AND – I will continue to post here on my blog, keeping the focus on things that the jewelry community will be interested in Although it is no longer the way I make a living, it is still a big part of who I am!

If you are interested in seeing what has been my focus for the past few months, you can check out my Facebook page for Big Frog of Mountain View. And I promise – my next post will be on something bling bling!

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Death of a Printer

9 05 2011

(… and it wasn’t pretty!)

It started with a simple “5200 ERROR” – nothing I couldn’t handle. Just unplug the printer, wait a few minutes, plug it back in and power up while holding the reset button. But when new errors started showing up once or twice a week, I feared the worst…

Eventually, the message “WASTE INK ABSORBER FULL” showed up, and I knew it was time to get professional help, so I perused the “FIXYOUROWNPRINTER” website. If you own an older printer (or one that is worth less than a service call!), you need to check out this site. Non-techie types of people post questions about their printer problems, and wonderful technical folks respond, providing help and advice on how to fix their issue.

So… I learned how to clean out the waste ink absorbers. And I learned how to set the ABS-M and ABS-P LEVELS to zero (I have no idea what that is, but it helped…!). I cleaned the cartridge contacts, the underside foam buffer pad, and weird little plastic combs that collected huge amounts of ink. And I got very, very, dirty…

Not My Best Look...

But it seemed to work – my printer was printing, and all was well. And then the black ink  gave out, so I changed the cartridge. Nothing new about this – done it many many times. Except now the printer says “INK CARTRIDGE JAM” – so I go thru all the steps to clear errors, and the red alarm light goes off, and the error goes away.

Until the next day. Now the error is “”PUT IN CARTRIDGE,”  so I do what all the expert advice says to do – I remove the entire cartridge, turn the printer off/on, replace the cartridge, and reset. It doesn’t help. I unplug the printer. I get into maintenance mode in the menu, and reset all the user controls. PUT IN CARTRIDGE. PUT IN CARTRIDGE. PUT IN CARTRIDGE…. the friggin cartridge is in – I swear! I disconnect everything, and unplug it, and leave it for 2 days. I try again. I get the same message, so I shut it down, open it up, and re-clean all contacts. I try again… PUT IN CARTRIDGE. PUT IN CARTRIDGE. PUT IN CARTRIDGE….

I Killed the Printer!

I confess… I went a little crazy. I pulled up the platen and ripped the ribbon cables right out of it. I tore the plastic front plate off with my hands, and I pried off plastic bits with a screwdriver. Then I dropped it on the floor. Several times.

Sometimes, the frustration is just not worth the effort. And tomorrow, I get a new printer….