Going Au Supernatural Part Deux, No Bathroom Issues, and the Joy of Epiphanies

Down to the Wire - Jewelry by Jodi Zulueta

Well hasn’t this been quite a weekend…I ventured over to the Hanover Marriott, located in Whippany, NJ, to vend at the Salute to Supernatural Convention.

I never did an event of this scale before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  One thing for sure, I didn’t expect Misha Effing Collins coming over to check out my wares.

The below photo: My starstruck daughter, Raven is beside me, my 8 year old son Phoenix is next to Misha, and my unimpressed husband, Merrill, is standing behind Phoenix.  Said unimpressed husband did ask for, and receive a fistbump from Misha so that he could walk around saying he was “touched by angel.”



I was very fortunate to have the best vendor neighbors, hence, no bathroom issues (refer to previous post).  One of my neighbors was a fabulous gothic horror writer, Ms. Eve LeStrange. (Her husband, George, was gracious enough to…

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Decisions, Decisions. Which Type of Jewelry to Make?


I have been creating jewelry since May of 2012. It began when I would go into the big name craft stores and feel this euphoria as I per used the beads and other goodies located in the bead section. Next thing I know I am purchasing beads, bead mats, findings, tool, anything I needed to create beaded masterpieces. I then came home and began researching beading techniques and ideas on the Internet until I was planning my own designs.

I then went into the big name craft store about 4 months later and my eyes were caught by the skeins of copper, silver, and colored wire. Ah, Ha! Well, you can imagine that I pushed my beads to the side and began the research, practice, design process again, just with wire wrapping.

Two months ago, I began noticing polymer clay and have since purchased a clay roller and some clay.

I think the main reason I have been so fickle is because the sales in my etsy store have been lackluster. Hopefully sales will pick up soon and I will see which type of jewelry my customers are drawn to and which designs they like best. Until then, my house will have at least three different crafting areas in which I will continue to create.

Here are some examples of my polymer clay, beaded and wire work:




Medical Professionals Should Speak English

This morning It finally happened. I was on my way to work, driving the same one hour commute I have been driving for the past 5 years. I have often become groggy during this commute, but have usually been able to keep myself awake with some Montain Dew, coffee, loud music, etc. But this morning, my eyes would not stay open. I drove into the median strip and beyond. My car went into the grass and I was able to slow down and recover control. As you can imagine, my heart was pumping a mile a minute. I composed myself and called work to tell them that I was returning home.

About two years ago I spent the night at a sleep Doctors office with hundreds of wires connected to my body. This test resulted in a positive diagnosis for sleep apnea. The bills for this procedure were high, despite our having good insurance. I am thankful for our insurance, I realize that many don’t have any. However, I did not know that I now had to go back to the Doctors office and spend the night again in order to set the C PAP machine that would help me get better and more quality sleep. At the time, I was trying to recover from the shock of the medical bill for the first night I spent in the office. I could not even fathom doing this again.

Flash forward to this morning and I almost get in a very dangerous accident. So, I call the insurance company to ask some questions about how much this sleep doctor visit and C PAP machine is going to cost. The woman on the other end is speaking to me in a language I have never heard before. She is speaking quickly and it is very obvious that she could care less if I understand anything she is saying. I am trying to take notes about what she is saying and her annoyance is palpable. I told her that I can’t understand what she is saying, and she asks if I want to connect to the office of my doctor, because she can explain it to them with me on the line. OUCHHH SO, YOU DON’T HAVE THE TIME OR THE PATIENCE TO EXPLAIN THIS IN A WAY THAT THE CUSTOMER CAN UNDERSTAND IT. It is easier to explain this to someone who works in medicine.

Why can’t medical professionals take the time to bridge the gap between patients and themselves? I then called the sleep doctors office. I made an appointment with the doctor. I have no idea how much it is going to cost. I have no idea how many more appointments I am going to have to make before I get this C PAP machine.

What do you think? Is there a resource that I don’t know about that can help me understand medical jargon?
Why do they get so annoyed with reasonable questions?

Why I Love NPR

Why I Listen to NPR

I am an avid listener of NPR ( National Public Radio). If you were riding in my car, it would be very odd if you were to hear music. My commute to work takes one hour each way. So, as I am cruising I fill my ears with the sounds of NPR voices. They share information about the world, and entertaining stories.

My radio has not always been stuck on my local NPR station. I was captured two years ago while driving on route 17. A story came on and I literally pulled my car over, out of traffic. I remember my desperate search for a piece of paper and a pencil, but could not locate either. Perhaps, I was supposed to remember it the way I heard it on that day only.

I remember that the story was focused on the symbolism of the Confederate flag. An entire Southern black church’s congregation turned the Confederate flag into a symbol that they were proud of. They took its’ hurtful power and turned it into something positive for them.

Since I have heard this story on NPR, I believe that I am hoping that I will be able to listen to other stories that will make me pull out of traffic. I am glad to say that I have done it several times.


Laura Shoup
Laura Shoup Jewelry

How to make garden markers

Last year I would visit our garden and think, ” That plant is growing well, I wonder which plant it is. I did not label any of the plants I sowed. This year I am determined not to let ” The Case of the Mystery Plants ” be written.

To begin with, as we were planting I used a great application on my ipad to help me make a diagram of the garden. The program is Noteledge. I love this program for many reasons, but for this particular project I was able to draw a rough sketch of the garden, then take a picture of each seed packet and insert the picture into each row of the garden on my sketch. Now I know exactly what was planted, including the exact seed packet picture. All of the important information at my fingertips.

I now would like to go out to the garden and know the type of plant that is planted without going into my ipad to check. So, with my polymer clay and a stick of wood, I created garden markers. Here is a picture story of the process.




























Bake for 25 minutes in a 275 degree oven if you use Sculpey III. Follow manufacturers directions for other clay brands.

These are a lot of fun to make. I used Sculpey III Polymer Clay and skewer sticks. Hope that you get a chance to make these. But, if you are stretched for time and would love a set, they are available at http://www.laurashoupjewelry.etsy.com.

Until next time,

Yours truly,