Making: Jewelry for Etsy

The only reason I’m doing it now is because the store is back up.

I’ve been trying to sell jewelry as it’s been a fun hobby and something people told me to try. As well, I thought it was something I was good enough to do for a price.

Lately, the jewelry has consisted of earrings, necklaces, and recently, keychains.

I tried my hand most recently at waist beads. However, they broke pretty quickly, so I have to figure out a new method or material. I have also tried a new weave earring set, that didn’t work either.

Another point of this repertoire is to learn. While I do new things, I’ll be learning, experimenting, and failing. Success will come with practice and perseverance, but for this week it’s been nothing but failure.

And that’s okay.

Research Everything

Let me tell you guys something that happened recently:

I’ve been watching GQ interviews about actors and their ‘iconic’ roles (a debatable word, but okay). One of the ones I watched not long ago was Cillian Murphy, best known for his work as the Scarecrow in the Nolan Batman trilogy and Mr. Thomas Shelby in Peaky Blinders among other things. As a theatre person, I really enjoy learning about the process some actors have for acting, what people are like on set, and some behind the scenes info. It’s fun for me.

Well, I mentioned to a friend, let’s call them Danny, that I really enjoyed hearing Cillian’s natural Irish accent. Rather than agree or even disagree, they just state that Cillian’s a weird guy and that he’s a heavy alcoholic. First of all, that wasn’t where the conversation was going, and that’s an issue to bring up another time. Second, that information doesn’t sound…correct.

So, I researched.

I look into IMDB, Wikipedia, various interviews, and a bunch of articles, and I found nothing. What I did find was that Cillian Murphy prefers a quiet, non-fame life, he doesn’t take pics with fans but would prefer a handshake and a chat, he hikes and runs, he’s vegetarian (well, he was until he did Peaky Blinders), he drinks the occasional beer (he is Irish after all), he’s been married for 17 years with two sons, and he’s active in charity work. If he is an alcoholic and needed rehab, it was quiet and no one in the public would’ve known that, much less Danny. Nothing about him seems ‘weird’. But, after all, aren’t we all weird?

Where did my friend get their information?

Once I finished, I brought this to my friend, in which they said they must have been thinking of someone else. We had a good conversation about it, and I have no ill-thought to Danny. But I want to talk a little more about the importance of doing your own research.

With me, and I think with everyone, research comes first before accusation and judgement. I don’t want to base fact on something I can look up for myself. And not just when it comes to actors, but with everything else. Someone told you about a world event? Look it up and see what’s happening. That’s how I found out about the Indian Strike. Political beliefs? Definitely look into facts before choosing one way or another. That’s how I was able to determine my vote. You saw some scandalous musician gossip on TikTok? Read up on it so you know you can correctly ‘cancel’ a person and not support them. That’s how I learned to stay away from certain celebrities.

Am I saying to agree with everything? No. Gather an opinion from facts first. I don’t agree with everything I look into. Honestly, nor should you. If we operated on fact alone, we’d be so cold. Opinions second, facts first (in my opinion, lol).

It never hurts to look it up for yourself, and Google is free.

Research the tracks and maps before you jump on the train. Because you might end up going the wrong direction.

And now I know what to do if I ever meet Cillian Murphy in public.

Hugs

Alexandra

Veterans Day

A recent assignment of mine involved going through an archive of an organization of Spanish-American War veterans. Coincidentally, Veterans Day is today. So, how about a little education, now that I’ve got veteran brain:

Veterans Day was originally Armistice Day. That’s because it celebrated the armistice with Germany at the end of World War I. In the 40s and 50s, those who fought in World War II wanted to expand the holiday to all veterans, not just those who fought in World War I. Congress changed the name in 1954, about 35 years after the original Armistice Day.

The reason it is celebrated on the 11th of November every year is because World War I hostilities formally ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. There was a time in the 70s (or 80s, but I’m pretty sure it was the 70s) where they tried to have it on the fourth Monday of October, but it only lasted a couple of years before they went back to 11/11.

Maybe some of you are confused about the differences between Veterans Day and Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day, etc. Let me explain: Veterans Day celebrates the service of ALL US military veterans, Memorial Day honors those who died in service, and Armed Forces Day honors currently serving military. Each military branch also has their own day.

So, if you know someone who served or is currently serving, today is the day to thank them for their service and remember that they can kick your ass.

Jokes aside, I have family who served. Some were POWs, some came home with hella trauma, some didn’t come home at all. It’s an important day in my family as we remember what they went through. We appreciate them and honor their memory.

Happy Veterans Day

Hugs

Alexandra

How the Shop is Doing

If you didn’t know, I opened an Etsy shop about a month ago. I started selling earrings and necklaces that looked like the witchy potions or gave off a Dia de los Muertos vibe. I set it all up to the best of my ability and…

Nothing.

So, how is my shop doing? Not good. Haven’t made a single sale.

Now that a month has passed, I’m thinking to myself, ‘what can I do to better this situation?’

So I looked into it. YouTube tutorials, Pinterest advice, asking friends on Facebook, and Google searching as much as I could. Here’s what I found:

  • Utilize social media, especially Pinterest
  • Up the number of listings
  • List with free shipping
  • Remain active on your shop daily
  • Update your photos
  • Optimize SEO
  • Use e-rank

So, I’m gonna be trying out a few things for the next month and a half, and at the end of the year we’ll see if it helps.

I’ll give an update at that time.

Hugs

Alexandra

P.S. Link to the shop if you’re interested: https://www.etsy.com/shop/FromMyMindandHeart

Quotes part 3 – Creator Extraordinaire Edition

I have more. A lot more.

Recap: I collect quotes and quote books. I like to share them with people and I use them in journaling, decor, writing, everything. For this part, the creator extraordinaires are people who’ve done incredible work for good purposes. So, let’s start with…

Mr. Rogers

  • Discovering the truth about ourselves is a lifetime’s work, but it’s worth the effort.
  • Who you are inside is what helps you make and do everything in life.
  • Music is the one art we all have inside.
  • Real strength is neither male nor female.
  • Understanding love is one of the hardest things in the world.
  • One of the most important gifts a parent can give a child is the gift of accepting that child’s uniqueness.

Bob Ross

  • We don’t make mistakes, we just have happy accidents.
  • Friends are the most important commodity in the world.
  • You have to have dark in order to show light.
  • Sometimes you learn more from your mistakes than you do from your masterpieces.
  • The secret to doing anything is believing that you can do it.
  • It’s the imperfections that make something beautiful. That’s what makes it different and unique from everything else.

Dr. Seuss

  • Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!
  • The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.
  • There are so many things you can learn about. But…you’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.
  • There’s no end to the things you might know
  • I am lucky to be what I am! I am what I am! That’s a great thing to be!
  • Of all the shapes we might have been, I day, “Hooray for the shapes we’re in!”

Hayao Miyazaki (of course)

  • Any woman is just as capable of being a hero as any man.
  • Reality if for the people that lack imagination.
  • You must see with eyes unclouded by hate.
  • The creation of a single world comes from a huge number of fragments and chaos.
  • We depict hatred, but it is to depict that there are more important things. We depict a curse, to depict the joy of liberation.
  • Always believe in yourself. Do this and no matter where you are, you will have nothing to fear.

Until next time with even MORE quotes.

Hugs

Alexandra

Creepy Stories and the Creepy Life Podcast

If you were unaware, I like creepy things. My hangout spots of choice are cemeteries and spooky places, Vladimir can’t count how many skulls I have in my room (and I lost count at 30), Poe is my favorite author, and I enjoy learning about killers and creepy phenomena. So, I’m gonna share some of my favorite creepy stories.

Richmond Vampire (also known as the Hollywood Vampire)

This one is close to home since I’m from Richmond and Hollywood Cemetery is my favorite place. According to an urban legend, the mausoleum with the name W.W. Pool holds the remains of a vampire. In 1925, a tunnel collapsed which ‘awoke an ancient evil’. Rescue teams found a blood-covered creature with jagged teeth and skin hanging from its muscular body crouching over one of the victims of the cave-in. The creature then ran across the James River and took refuge in the mausoleum.

The Water Babies of Massacre Rock

The story goes that in Pocatello, Idaho, rather than subjecting their children to famine or starvation, mothers would drown their babies in the river. Some stories say that the babies survived by growing fins and gills, and seek revenge by luring people to their deaths in the river. If you sit by the river at Massacre Rocks, you can hear the sound of babies crying.

Walking Sam

This is almost like a mix of Slenderman and Pillowman (if you know what that is). Walking Sam is a seven foot entity on an Indian Reservation in South Dakota that calls to teenagers and tries to convince them to commit suicide. In a six month span, there were over 100 suicide attempts on the Reservation.

Cropsey

This one caught my attention after a documentary in which it turned out to be real. Basically, it’s a man who stalks sleep-away camps (he was a popular campfire story) or children’s hospitals in New York, has a hook for a hand, and kills children who are wandering alone at night. According to the documentary, Cropsey was a convicted child kidnapper named Andre Rand.

Kuchisake-onna

This is a Japanese urban legend of a lady spirit whose mouth is slit from ear to ear. Some stories say it was punishment from her samurai husband for cheating or an attack because someone was jealous of her beauty. She’s vengeful. If you encounter her, she’ll have a weapon (most popularly big scissors) and a mask covering her face, then she’ll ask you if she’s pretty. If you say yes, she’ll take off her mask and ask again. If you say no either time she will kill you with her weapon.

Kuldhara

In 1825, the entire population of the village called Kuldhara disappeared. A thousand villagers abandoned their homes overnight and left without a trace. No one knows why they left, where they went, and no one saw them leave. The village remains abandoned since according to legend, anyone who tries to settle will die shortly after.

Randy Steven Kraft (also known as the Scorecard Killer or the Freeway Killer)

This serial killer is creepy and less talked about than Dahmer or Bundy, but I don’t know why. He brutally tortured (sometimes beyond recognition) and killed at least 16 confirmed young men between the ages of 13-35, though his victim count is believed to in the 60s, in the span of over 11 years. He kept a scorecard of his murders in his car, and dumped the bodies by the freeway, hence his nicknames.

{Reminder: I don’t condone any of these actions; it’s just a fascinating study}

Anyway, the reason I bring up these creepy stories is that my friends Thomas and Sparkie have created a podcast called Creepy Life podcast. They go over some creepy stories including the Mandela Effect, Indrid Cold, the Wineville Chicken Coop Murders, and even the finger in the Wendy’s chili (that one is a weird rollercoaster and I love it). I enjoy their podcast and listen to it all the time at work. Link to their social medias and where to find the podcast: https://my.bio/creepylifepodcast

If you find creepy stories fascinating, let me know what some of your favorites are, and give Thomas and Sparkie a listen. They’re good people.

Hugs and creeps

Alexandra

Trying TikTok Trends

Because I apparently can’t write enough about it. (And have future plans for a few more, bear with me!)

Recently, I wrote about how TikTok has been becoming a minor obsession (the post is here). A list of trends come from there, so I wanted to try my hand at a few of them. And I mean a very few. Some include Never Have I Ever (which was taken down, so I’ll have to do a new one), filters, and reacting blind to something. There are plenty of trends I have yet to try, like dancing, cosplay, or book tags. However, the key word is YET. I actually have plans to do those kinds of TikTok videos (yes, even dancing when I suck at it).

But until then, here’s a few of my attempts:

Yeah, we all know I’m not great. But I have fun. (Also, I was unaware how big they were going to be in this post…oh well). And I’m learning new things, which is most important, as you know from my life philosophy of always keep learning.

Use it for fun, use it for some information (but remember to do your own research), and use it to be inspired.

And know the algorithm is wack, but we do our best to find what is important to us.

Hugs

Alexandra

…And Stuff I’ve Learned From It

Last post was about my downward spiral into TikTok. Now, I’m going to share some things I learned from TikTok. I’ll also put their TikTok @s if you have TikTok and want to check them out. (Also, how many times can I type TikTok in one paragraph…)

  1. How to get past Snapchats back (@alana.rubin)
  2. Soda can help your anxiety attacks (@dr1ven8)
  3. How to dust fanblades without mess (@cleanthatup)
  4. How to sign ‘brown chicken brown cow’ (@prettyhandy)
  5. Where to shop for cute big girl sizes (@angelinamontoyaa, @brightbabyblueeyes)
  6. Death Note was almost a Broadway musical (@maris.mp4)
  7. There is now a Coronavirus nursery rhyme (@animullen, @chaoticcreator)
  8. How to make huge decisions and how to figure out what to do with your life (@johnhoyos95)
  9. If you sell products, have great packaging to make it an experience (@diamondcrustshine)
  10. Denim Day – look it up at their website denimdayinfo.org (@ms.thriftyy)
  11. I’m probably not a vibe ._. (@danbanbam)

These are just a few of many things I’ve learned on TikTok. Let me know what you’ve learned if you have an account and if you want to see what else I’ve learned with my new obsession.

Hugs

Alexandra

P.S. My TikTok @ is alexandratgtv

Nervousness (aka Write Your Ideas)

So…I plan my blog posts ahead of time so I can write ahead of time so I can stay on schedule. Ahead of time.

When I planned this out, all I had was the title ‘Nervousness’. Then I sat down to write, looked at my plan, and…had no clue what I was thinking about when I wrote it.

Fam, I sat there for about two hours and could not think of a single thing to write under that title.

So, some advice for you: when you have an idea, write all the details you can in that moment. I’m sure I had more of an idea than just the word ‘nervousness’, but if I had taken just another minute to write the idea I had, I’d actually have something to give you.

But maybe my mistake can help you learn in the future.

Write your ideas in as many detail as possible.

Hugs

Alexandra

Why Phone Calls Terrify Me (and Some Research About It)

It seems to be a stereotype amongst the Millennials and Gen Z to be afraid of phone calls and making calls. And it seems to be true, in terms of my own self.

I hate making phone calls/answering phone calls. It gives me real anxiety and it truly scares me. So I wondered, where did the stereotype come from? Or why are people my age so scared of answering/making phone calls? I decided to look at a couple of articles, and here’s what I found:

According to a survey done by BankMyCell, who talked to more than 1,200 Millennials, the main reasons we avoid calls are as follows: time consumption, work responsibilities, being heard on the phone in personal surroundings, and the ‘person’ factor. The ‘person’ factor, as I call it, are the neediness, annoying, whiny, confrontation-y part of the phone calls. Someone else made a good point, saying, “It’s simple: if you text or email someone, they can respond on their time. But if you call someone, they need to respond right now on your time. It’s just inconsiderate.” (Andy Meek).

Another article had an example panic monologue that went something like this:

“Wait, what if she asks me a question I don’t have the answer to? What if I try to explain things using my hands and nothing makes any sense without my excellent hand gestures? What if the connection dies mid-sentence and my incomplete thought makes me sound like I hate HR? Oh no, what if I have to leave a voicemail?” (Peter Du)

The fear of embarrassment seems to be heightened amongst the Millennials as well, which may contribute. (And when I tried to look up some articles about that, all I got were articles written by people that said they were embarrassed to be a Millennial, so that didn’t help). This I understand. Phone calls are in the moment, and the last thing you want to do is say something wrong.

I did look into other articles, but the problem became the hostility toward Millennials being glued to their phones yet are cowards enough not to answer it. They’re precious little babies that whine about everything. (Obviously, I don’t agree, but that’s what the articles summarized). Rude.

So, to conclude the first half, Millennials tend to be fearful of phone calls because it’s time consuming (which is inconsiderate), they can get confrontational, and embarrassment may happen.

Now, what about me? When I say I’m scared to make phone calls, I mean I could get a panic attack from it (great, considering making phone calls is 65% of my current job). It gives me so much anxiety! Why? Well…

It hearkens back to my undergrad college when I had a job at a call center. I was already an anxious bean, but phone calls weren’t the worst thing ever so I thought I could handle it. Until I actually worked there. Two reasons: the callees and the coworkers. The callees were a special kind of rude because, while we were not selling anything, we were doing political surveys about candidates and hot-button issues like gun laws. I’ll allow you to use your imagination, but I was in a constant state of fear or sorrow.

My coworkers were something else. You had no choice in your hours, bathroom breaks were ordained (and you only got one a shift), you couldn’t take a break from calling because your computer would automatically call for you and you couldn’t stop it, and the supervisors were ruthless. They always listened in on your calls and would tell you everything you did wrong during your call. If you didn’t reach a quota (because that’s totally your fault), your pay was docked. You couldn’t socialize with anyone around you, as proven by getting bad marks for saying hi to a castmates son who worked there too. And here’s where it became very obvious that they didn’t care: I got very sick and lost my voice, which means I couldn’t talk on the phone. When I let them know, they just rolled their eyes and said I can take a day but that’s my only day off I’m allowed (because one of the rules was that we were only allowed one day off in nine months).

TLDR; I’m terrified of phones because I was traumatized. I’m scared people will yell at me, I’m scared people will treat me like garbage, I’m scared I’ll do something wrong, I’m scared that I’m not allowed to do anything else while on the phone because it’ll royally mess me up.

Anyway, I’m screwed over when it comes to calls.

And yet I have to do it every day because income is more important than anything else.

Dammit.

(DISCLAIMER: I have a good job, and being on the phone at work is getting easier because I just use a character, ‘White Collar Alexandra’. I was very aware when I was offered my job that I would be very involved with phone calls)