Category Archives: Observations

Tea and Tunes

It has been one busy day today! I ‘sewed’ the inseam of a pair of pants while at work today, only to find that I’d forgotten to thread the needle. Thankfully, that was my only time consuming mistake and easily fixable. We also went to vote today. As expected, my desired candidate got shoved aside for Vile and More Vile options. Ugh…I really hate politics.

As John and I wait for our tea to steep, we’re winding down with these tunes. I really need them today. I hope you enjoy them!


Coffee and Tunes

It’s been too long since I posted tunes. I keep reblogging to promote other awesome bloggers I enjoy following, and it helps to let y’all know I’m still alive. I will post tunes this morning but I’m not going to post regularly here. I’ve decided to create a schedule because I just can’t keep up with /everything/ that’s on my plate right now. With the holiday season bearing down heavily upon me, and knowing that I haven’t put together anything we really need for those holidays, or for the upcoming events we are planning to attend, I have lots of work ahead of me. I’ll be posting at least once a week, probably on the weekend. But for today, here’s your selection of tunes to listen to with your coffee (or tea). I hope you enjoy them.

A New Look

I updated my blog today. I decided I needed something fresh and new here, as well. I hope you’ll enjoy the new blog. I hope /I/ enjoy the new style. I’m going to try posting different ways to see how the posts show up.

"East Or West, Family Is Best" ~ photo by me ~ These are my most important people, the people who have my heart.
“East Or West, Family Is Best” ~ photo by me ~ These are my most important people, the people who have my heart.

Implementing Some Changes…Because Change Is Good, Right?

Well, these changes will be good, I believe. I’m still going to post tunes most of the time and words from time to time. But I’m going to be reblogging more often. This is something that I’ve been failing at as a blogger, I believe. So to all the bloggers I’m following, you have my humblest apologies and I will try to do better from now on. Since this my personal blog, mostly centered on music and family, I’ll reblog things that I feel belong in those categories here. All the other reblogs will show up in my business blog. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read!

I like to call this one Mr. Awesome Album Cover, because my husband has a shirt that says 'I'm Awesome!' and this photo really does look like an album cover to me.
I like to call this one Mr. Awesome Album Cover, because my husband has a shirt that says ‘I’m Awesome!’ and this photo really does look like an album cover to me.

It’s Time For Words

I normally post music because music makes me happy, generally. Music doesn’t talk about me behind my back (though that says more about the talkers than it actually does about me.) Music doesn’t have an opinion about my work. I don’t have to rely on it, nor does it have to rely on me, except for it to be heard. There is a point to all this. I’m glad I already posted music today but I may have to post music again to calm down after I vent.

Facebook and small business…*head shake* It’s a really terrible match. Small businesses really have to fight to be seen on facebook, and small businesses like mine and my husband’s are like ants in New York City compared to some of the other ‘small businesses’ out there. Or at least, that’s how facebook makes me feel. Maybe I should post this on my business page. And I might later. I don’t know. But it’s a rant, so perhaps it’s best to keep it here on my personal blog.

When Kittles Family Artworks was still a business (our family business, including John’s photography and my creations and our children’s creations), we started a facebook page. Almost immediately, I could see it was going to be an uphill climb. I had to fight to get my own friends and family to like the page. And then I had to watch and wait and rejoice over each random like, just like a dejected puppy waiting for a pat on the head. Well, guess what facebook, I’m worth more than that. And my time is certainly worth more than that. I don’t have time for your social experimentation shenanigans. I have work to do and it’s good work, real work. And it means something to me, even if I mean nothing at all to you. If I have extra money, it is poured into my business (Unchained Emporium) or my husband’s business (J.D. Kittles Photography).

I work a part time job. John is working full time as a professional photographer. John and I both teach our children at home. We are even involved in community things, and I still find time to promote for others, comment on others’ creations, like and share others’ posts. I believe in helping each other out! I believe in promoting artists and musicians you like! I know I’m not the only one out there. I know there are others.  I have no extra money to spend on music or artwork, myself right now but I can tell others the works are out there and available to those who /can/ afford it, who can help small businesses by making purchases with them.

I won’t ask for sponsors because that doesn’t sit well with me. It’s a personal thing. And I won’t ask my friends and family to buy my jewelry or artwork if they don’t like it. My jewelry really is targeted at a certain crowd and, being totally honest, it’s going to be difficult to get it out to them, since I have to vend for that and vending costs. Steampunk, SCA, Renaissance Faire, all kinds of cosplay and costuming events would be appropriate settings for my jewelry, as well as for the quirky few who wear what they want, when they want, no matter what anyone says. *chuckle*

When people say, “Do what makes you happy!” or “Follow your dreams!” or “You’re so great at that! You should do it for a living!” I have to wonder if they really understand what they are saying and who they are saying it to. Are they taking /me and my family/ into account? What about our obligations? It is more frustrating than ever to be told, “People pay big bucks for that stuff online!” when you first have to pay big bucks to make that particular item and then have to pay big bucks to market that product to the “right people” who can afford to pay for that product. We are still functioning on a very, very tight budget. I don’t mind that, but I would like to make mine and my husband’s businesses work well enough that we didn’t have to sweat it out at the end of each month. We’ve managed without going back to food stamps, even though we probably qualify. And we’re doing our best to avoid having to go that route. One day our business will succeed and we will continue working toward making them successful, viable businesses but right now, the only way to get our names out there is for others to share our things. If you can’t buy from us, share our pages! Like our stuff! Bump up our numbers to help us be seen by those who /can/ purchase from us. And don’t just do it for us. Do it for every small business you think is worth your time and the time of others you know.

Are you ready now? Ready to help us out? Because please don’t follow me at these places if you have no intention of sharing any of the items I have that you think others may like. Please don’t hold me in that kind of utter contempt. You can find me (Melody) on Flickr, Etsy, facebook (personal), Instagram (personal), deviantART, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. You can read my business blog by clicking the link in the third paragraph. I have a special board where I share John’s photography since he’s not very active on Pinterest. John’s photography can mainly be seen at his blog (see link in paragraph 3 and check out his similar post), facebook, Instagram, deviantART, Twitter, Google+, Flickr, and Tumbler.

Don’t ask me about LinkedIn. No. Just no. I have enough to handle with the above mentioned sites and I’m getting ready to add another one. Besides that, LinkedIn is too intrusive.

So please, if you check out our stuff, and you like what you see, please pass it on! Please give us feedback. We don’t know what you like or don’t like if you never say a word to us. Rant over.

For those that have been supporting us with likes, shares, reblogs, feedback, encouragement, and your business, we appreciate you more than you know! Thank you for being there and cheering us on each step of the way.

Now. It’s time for tea and tunes…so stay tuned, please!

Now Listening To…

As I went through this week, so many thoughts about myself, my attitude, my perception of things around me, swirled around in my head. One thought popped up and stuck with me. We recently felt it was the best thing to move out of the church we were attending and search for another. We had (and still have) nothing against any of the people attending the church while we were there. But it was a church I grew up in. I’ve always been the type of person to avoid confrontations at all costs. While my non-combative, introverted behavior was good for that purpose, it was bad for other reasons. I realized this week that my behavior habits were also why I couldn’t really function at my maximum potential in this congregation. I always felt like I needed to be better, do better. And this wasn’t because of the people there. It was because of my own perception. I always seemed to revert to “children should be seen and not heard” when I walked through those doors. So now I have a reason for why I felt that way, a tangible, clearly worded reason. And I guess I needed that in order to move on. I don’t know for certain. All I know is I need to keep moving forward, keep growing, keep learning, keep reaching for my goals and dreams, keep reaching towards that maximum potential that I know is inside me. Sorry to get so wordy on a somewhat heavy topic. On with the tunes!

And here’s today’s long mix…

A Friend Lost

Words can’t express the confusion when one day you visit happily with a person and somehow, between that time and the next time you visit with them, you’ve somehow offended them. And you don’t know what you did because you were never informed. Because apparently, they were worth more to you than you were to them. Well, that’s where I am today. That whole kind of situation is sucky, but when you weren’t the one who put up the wall, not the one who didn’t express the bothersome thing to the person who spoke or did it, then there’s not much you can do. It’s a very sucky place to be indeed. The bad thing is, I know I don’t always express myself well. I say what comes into my mind the way I understand it and not everyone processes thought the way I do. I just…wish people would talk to me when I say something that bothers them, or do something that bothers them. It’s never my intent to be purposely annoying. Making people think is what I’d really like to be doing with my words and actions but I’m not even sure I’ve been able to do that very well. Anyway, a tune or two for saying, “Goodbye”.

OK. So this next mix doesn’t have much to do with saying goodbye but it’s nice, at least as far as I have heard. I hope you enjoy the tunes.


Now Listening To…

This morning was rough. I deal with a lot of stuff on the inside, mostly dealing with how I perceive things. It’s sometimes hard to convey all that and sort it all out. So when it does come out, it’s most often like the proverbial hall closet door opening to spill out all the things people have stuffed inside. I read this post from Carrie Hilgert’s blog and it was all at once like looking in a mirror and being very afraid…denying that it really was my own reflection. I have to thank her, though. It’s really nice to know you are /not/ alone in the things you deal with, or the way you see things. Being able to create things (costumes, artwork, jewelry, repurposed/recycled crafts) that help or inspire others is a great way to calm my emotions. But sometimes the creative well is combating a dry spell. Music is another outlet, and really the most helpful, non-human thing that soothes and calms my emotions. Having my husband by my side, willing to listen and try to understand helps  a lot, as well. My faith in a Heavenly Father who loves me goes quite a long way to helping me. Enough about me… On with today’s tunes.


News and Tunes

It was not my intent to skip posting on any days this week. After my birthday, things got really hectic. I am finally getting Unchained Emporium (my business) up and running. Today was the first day I was able to get a table out at our local Farmer’s Market. My husband and our daughters made a few things they wanted to try selling as well. I’m happy to say we all made a little bit of money. It was definitely worth our time. I wish more people would come out, though. The folks who grow veggies and fruits and make the baked goods, do all that work and sometimes they don’t sell but one or two items. It’s really sad if that hard work goes to waste! My items will last a while but fresh fruits and veggies and baked goods won’t. And some of the vendors are disabled or retired and need that extra income to help them make it through the month. Please support your local artists, musicians and small business owners and definitely support the folks who are willing to fight with a garden so others can have good food to eat.

Didn’t mean to be a downer. I did have a wonderful time out at the Farmer’s Market with my family and the other vendors. It was a beautiful day with a nice breeze. I had a lovely date with my husband. We got to watch some fantastic cloud formations and lightning today. And my business/creations blog is all refreshed and like new. All in all, today was a win! So here are some nice tunes to end a beautiful day.

Only one video but it’s a nice, long chill mix. I hope you enjoy it!

OK. Brutal Honesty Time…and Tunes

It’s been months since I’ve had time to mull over my own experiences lately. And to be honest, most of the time, I’m a really nice person with very little to say on any topic except those that truly interest me. But today has been rough. And I need to get some stuff off my chest. So bear with me for this post. And those easily offended, just pass this by and certainly pass on listening to the song because I chose the uncensored version on purpose. For those that do not read my blog when I post actual words, I don’t believe in censoring music because that is the equivalent of butchering someone’s art, someone’s form of expression. You have a choice. Just don’t listen if you don’t like the music. So…on with the rant.

First thing I’d like to vent about is Twitter followers who are so desperate for numbers, they’re willing to follow you, wait for you to follow back, speak knowledgeably about their product or topic of choice, only to unfollow you in less than a month. Really? You or your product sucks so terribly that you have to get followers that way? Is it so terrible that you just have to make sure that your following number is lower than the number of your followers so that you look and maybe even feel more important? Hmmm…maybe you need to do a self-check or an emotion inventory or something? Don’t expect me to continue following a person who has unfollowed me for whatever reason. Also, don’t expect me to follow you if I’m not interested in what you have to say or offer. It’s nothing against you but I don’t want to clutter up my timeline with posts that have no appeal and make me miss all the ones I really want to read.

The second thing I’d like to discuss is this: blog giveaways. I realize the whole point of the giveaways is to build your blog numbers. Fine. I understand that. But I do not understand why it’s necessary for me to follow you on /every/ social media website to even get a fair chance of winning when you don’t have the courtesy to follow me back. I’m also trying to make a living here. In the last 6 months, I’ve followed more bloggers on more social media websites than I can count and I can count on one hand the number of them who have actually had the courtesy to follow me back. So I’m cleaning house.

The third thing I want to rant about is something I also fight with. So don’t think it’s aimed at any one person. This is a general annoyance, the rant on it being sparked by conversations that took place at work. How miserable do we as humans have to be to nitpick about someone’s shorts? Seriously? It’s Monday. We’ve just had to go in to work after a weekend of sleeping in and resting. And you want to start the day off with conversation about someone who looks terrible in shorts and wears clothes that you feel are inappropriate? I’m saying this to me to, who died and made us gods? Who are we to say who can wear what? If we don’t like the way someone looks in something, we can be rude and tell them we don’t like it. We could play like little gods and tell them they shouldn’t be wearing that stuff at their age. Or we could just be mature adults and shut the fuck up. Yeah. It’s that serious to me. If I can’t find something more real to talk about than the fact that someone looks terrible in that dress, then I have a damn serious issue that I really need to get rid of. I can’t stand people being made fun of, so that, I do not do at all. Gossip irritates me and I am guilty of doing it from time to time. I need to stop. It makes my work day three times longer and harder than it should ever be. We’re not in high school anymore. Let’s grow up a bit, shall we? Or maybe grow down a bit to the age where it didn’t matter what so-and-so wore or what color their skin or hair or eyes were. I dunno but I do know I want better things for my life. And if you went ahead and read this post in spite of the disclaimer in paragraph 1, and you find yourself offended by what I had to say here, feel free to unfollow my blog, my fb, my Instagram, my Pinterest, whatever. I’ll choose quality over quantity anytime. If that makes me a terrible person in your eyes, then you don’t need to be following me anyway.

And probably less offensive to the masses but just as truthful…