IT IS TIME FOR WINTER TO BE OVER!With the last days of winter bearing down on us here in the eastern USA, my heart and efforts have moved into spring! My spring has sprung so to speak! Traditionally many home-makers use the spring to deep clean their houses and gardeners use it begin indoor plantings while preparing the outdoor areas on the nice, sunny days. Students, children, Mothers, Fathers, and office workers alike tend to begin showing the signs of "spring fever", with their actions becoming more and more rambunctious as the dreary days progress. As an artist I tend to excise my cabin fever by planning for the spring. I search the jewelry makers catalogs looking for new cuts of pretty stones, good deals, and interesting new combinations of stones. I "plan" to buy ones that are pretty, ones that strike my fancy, and ones that I haven't worked with for a while, if ever. I compile a "wish list", even going so far as to write down the item nubers and costs. I never total up until I have spent hours and hours shopping, and until I know that I have listed every possible desire of my heart. Then I move on to cretaing my "wish list" for my Unique Garden line. I spend hours scourering the web, comparing the prices of oils that I must have, while noting the few places that sell the exotic (read expensive here!) oils that I covent. I then make my ultimate wish list of ingredients, again not paying attention to the cost, just listing ALL my wants. No w this part really is an exercise in futility because I know full well that I will not order from a lot of these companies. While I am sure they are good at what they do, I have not delt with them, therefore I will continue to order from the places that I always have. Why mess with a good thing, right? Inevitably I will consider purchasing from some place new, but in the end I always go back to my tried and true. When you are spending so much money you expect and need high quality, so I'd rather pay the extra money to KNOW what I am getting, In the end I think this actually saves me and saves my work. I'd hate to have to spend time, money, and aggravation to return an inferior product. So this is how I have dealt with the last weeks of winter doldrums, and I have to say that I have had an especially great time compiling my lists this year! Not only did I find some interesting jewelry components, but I decided to do something that I usually don't do.........I purchased the majority of my lists! While I did cross off some of the most extravegant wishes, I kept almost all of the items I wished for! I am so jazzed! Now I am awaiting the largest material/ingredient shipment that I have ever made at one time! When they get her it will be like Christmas all over. I have to admit that I am blown away by my own boldness! lol. I convinced myself that it made more sense to make a few large purchases than to make smaller ones over many months. Afterall shipping is very expensive, you know? Lol. The endorphin rush that came as I made my list, and then as I made my purchases, is enough to keep me going through the next few dreary weeks of winter. And, after I get my boxes, I will of course have plenty of jewelry to create and lots of new recipes to whip up in the kitchen. With spring craft shows just around the corner, I think it is safe to assume that I will be able to keep busy and avoid most of the pot holes of spring fever!