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Since COVID started, what's happened?

I've never been great about starting that newsletter I always wanted to do to keep in touch with our customers, but I always figured my best contact was in-person and talking to people. When the pandemic really took it's grip on Washington in 2020, I still thought it would be over quickly and we'd be back to meeting and mingling with customers by the end of summer. Well, now we know better.


But why talk about the pandemic? It's 2021. COVID is old news. Let me say that my family and I have been healthy and safe throughout all this craziness. If any one has any concerns about our products, do rest assured that we always have stored our jewelry in plastic zip closed bags to prevent tarnish and dust, therefore our products have been tucked away safe.


 

Personal Growth


Around June/July 2020 when it became very clear all hope was lost for any event season, I decided to undertake a Master in Business Administration (MBA) program. I realized that in order to advance in my daytime career as an accountant, I'm going to have to go to the next level in my education. Barring any setbacks, I expect to finish my program this July/August 2021.


In other good news, the business I work for was deemed essential, so I have maintained my full time job and able to continue to provide for my family. We never even ran out of toilet paper!


 

Littlest Boss


Can't talk about Tapphire without talking about its namesake, Tabitha, aka Tabby, aka Littlest Boss. Tabby is turning 14 this year and she is as tall as me. She likes to think she is taller but not according to her last wellness exam. HA!


Tabby has been taking a step back from designing jewelry as of late. Don't worry, when events and craft fairs resume in fullness she will be in attendance. She knows I depend on her too much to abandon me before she goes off to college. She still gets an itch to get creative with beads once in a while, but I've been doing more of the designing as of late. And she'll always have the moniker of Littlest Boss to me.


Tabby has been spending nearly all her time (when she isn't working on schoolwork and doing remote learning) developing her incredible art skills. She is becoming a very adept graphic artist. I can't wait to have her permission someday to share her art here. She doesn't mind showing her work off to friends and family, but she maintains that she is not yet ready to share her work on a wider platform or offer for sale yet. I promise you I am not biased in saying her work is amazing.


One piece of our relationship we both value is that I am able to offer critiques and she is able to listen and absorb. This is one of the blessings from Tapphire Creations and a story I am fond of sharing to those who will listen is about some of the first designs Tabitha created. The first pieces Tabby did were... in need of some editing. Unfortunately my comments were taken more harshly than intended and I made 9 year old Tabby cry. Five years later, she now comes to me first with her drawings and asks me "What do you think?". She has told me several times that she appreciates my honesty and while her friends might give feedback of "Oh! I like it!" she says these aren't very helpful and she appreciates me saying "My focus is immediately on this spot. Is that what you intended?" or "This details is getting lost because of ..." or "Those knees and feet are in a pose God never intended a person to stand. They are not anatomically possible unless bones are broken severely." Ok, I've never QUITE said that last one except but for perhaps comedic affect.


Regardless, her work is stunning. Currently she is focusing on anime type drawings but did an AMAZING free hand accurate rendition of a wasp for an art class in school that the teacher swore was traced until he saw the video of her drawing it as proof it was her work.


Proud mamma too much? She deserves every ounce of praise! She has also taken up acrylic pouring too. You may see some of her paintings on display at our next event (whenever that is) if she's ready to part with any by that time LOL!


 

Tragedy


I save this last part for last because I do have some sad news as a final bit. In February 2021, we found out my mother has lung cancer and that it is advanced. I did make an emergency trip with the kids (I have a son turning 16 very soon but is rarely mentioned due to lack of interest in shinnies) to see their grandma in Illinois. We had a wonderful (and safe) trip and I'm very grateful we were able to spend time there and also see family I haven't seen in more than ten years. I'm working toward being able to make an extended stay a little later this year if I can make it work financially.


So, in closing, I leave you with my favorite pictures of our visit. One thing my mother mentioned to me mid-COVID was that because she has been unable to get to the salon, her hair, which she has colored for probably 30 years, is finally growing out all the color to full silver and she will finally be able to try some fashion colors. Well, by the time of our visit she still hadn't been to the salon so we got some hair chalk from Amazon and let Tabby have some fun. We tried to color my hair as well, but it's just too dark (just wait... I see those grays popping up).



I love you Mom and I hope to come home to see you again really soon!

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