how to create a jewelry stand

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   In a city filled with cold, harsh stone, one section offers stark contrast to the rest of the prison many called home. Filled with trees and foliage, it is beautiful in it’s nature and serenity. In a clearing on the edge of sector six, among all the trees, is a tall structures that do not belong. Mushrooms, hundred times their normal height, tower tall over all those who are brave enough to venture close. There are many of them, all of them meeting in a broken circle. The gap between two rather large mushrooms however isn’t a failed design or empty placeholder for more shrubbery, but an entranceway. A large wooden sign welcomes many others who freely walk into the fairy ring, embraced by the sounds of laughter, wonderful smells, and the colors of spring…

             Welcome to the Flower Festival

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Hello

Anonymous requested: Hello, gorgeous. Do I know you? With Simon D please. Part of my prompt request series.

It felt like every other day at the shop, except today felt exceptionally slow. You’d sterilized all the instruments twice, double checked to make sure all the pigments were stocked, swept and mopped the floor, and wiped the windows down twice. It was your fourth time in an hour polishing up the display; you swore there was a possibility you could rub the glass until it was practically invisible.

Only a few people came in for a consolation. The usual questions of if you were hourly or if you charged by the size of the piece. If you could draw something up for them to see before they gave the deposit, which was always a swift no. Each potential client leaving to go, “Check out other shops,” making you feel like Ji Joon had made a mistake in taking you on as his apprentice.

You were mid-swipe when the ungodly sound of the door chime let you know you had company. A silent grumble dying in your chest as you strained to put on a smile as you looked up. A genuine one replacing it immediately once you saw who came through your door.

“Jay!”

“Whoa, you usually aren’t this excited to see me. What gives?”

His voice was light with teasing, but the curiosity was hard to miss. You shrugged your shoulders as you placed the Windex back behind the counter, and tucked the rag in the back pocket of your jeans.

“Boredom has me bubbling with excitement.”

“Should’ve known,” he chuckled. His arms extended out to welcome you into a warm hug.

“What brings you in? Are you getting a tattoo?” A sharp gasp of excitement left you as you pushed off of his chest. “Are you finally gonna let me do a tattoo on you?”

He patted your head playfully until you knocked it away. One of those heart stopping smiles spread wide across his face.

“Not today, baby girl. I’ll wait a few more months until you get a little better.”

“Rude-”

You were stopped mid-sentence when you finally caught sight of the person who’d chosen to accompany him today. Usually it was Hoodie or Loco, but today it was Simon. You’d only briefly met one time before, and that one brief moment was enough to leave you wishing for more.

His smile was smooth as it changed into a lopsided smirk. Dark eyes alive with mischief as he stuck out his hand for you to shake.

“Anneyeong, Y/N.”

“Anneyeong, Simon.”

The minute his long fingers wrapped around your hand your breath hitched, the urge to pull your hand away something hard to miss. The smirk only seemed to raise his lips impossibly higher; temptation alive in one look. He broke contact first and you were quick to pull the towel out of your back pocket. Your body finding shelter a few inches away behind the glass display.

The whole time you sent nervous glances in his direction, a heated blush making your cheeks burn as you realized he never stopped watching you. Jay silently took in the exchange. A tongue flicking out to cover up a smile as he moved towards Ji Joon’s back office.

“Right well, I’m gonna go see Ji Joon. You two don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

You wanted to snap back, “What was that supposed to mean?” but grumbled instead as you continued to clean the already pristine glass. Your gaze shifty as it darted up to look at Simon and back down. A part of you wondering if you could get away with sweeping the floor just to create some distance between the two of you.

You were so caught up in planning you didn’t notice he was now standing on the opposite side of the display.

“I’m not sure whether I should take you as a diligent worker or if you just don’t like me.”

The richness of his voice jolted you to look up. Simon’s body leaned coolly against the glass as he waited for your reply. Your tongue darted nervously out across your lips catching his attention. Was it just you, or was he shamelessly staring?

“While I am a diligent worker,” you replied softly, “I can promise you that I don’t like you.” His eyebrows went up in shock and he started to move away from the glass. Your own brain running slower than a snail as you realized what you’d said. “Oh god, no! That’s not what I meant. I meant to say I don’t dislike you!”

Simon seemed to be the only one enjoying the awkwardness that was you at trying to fix your worded mistake. The blush no doubt bleeding down your neck until you probably resembled a tomato.

“Aw, look at you. All flustered,” Simon cooed.

His hand reached out between you until his palm cupped your chin, his finger pinching your cheeks together. You were sure you looked absolutely ridiculous, but Simon appeared to love it.

“Hello, gorgeous. Do I know you?”

You tried ignoring his cute use of English, trying to scoff around your squished cheeks, but your open pout only caused spit to fly out instead. Your eyes widened in embarrassment, while Simon moved back, laughing, too keep out of range. He wasn’t paying attention and his elbow connected with one of the standing display cases, knocking it over and spilling the contents out all over the floor.

“Damn it,” he huffed.

His lanky frame bent down to pick up the stand, hands and eyes roaming over the plastic making sure it hadn’t broken from the fall.  For a moment you stood there, dumbfounded, as you watched him try and figure out how the jewelry had been layered. His sexy facade now broken as he scrambled around to clean up a mess you’d both created.

You moved from behind the counter and bent down to start helping him, trying your best to ignore when his hand skimmed over yours.

“I’m sorry for the mess, Y/N. I dirtied your pretty clean shop.”

“It’s no big deal,” you offered up with a smile.

The action making Simon stop completely. His lips in a soft smile as he openly stared at you.

“What? Do I have drool on my face or something?” You questioned, your hand moving up to check.

He stopped it short, his hand taking yours to hold in his own.

“Have lunch with me. I mean, if you want too.”

The sincerity in his voice left you weak. A soft smile replacing the awkward one you’d had moments before.

“Yea, I want too.”

Trophy Season

Despite what you’ve heard, not every kid gets a trophy. But why not?

The end of the school year is awards season, when students of all ages are herded into auditoriums and cafeterias and cafetoriums to sit and listen to adults read off the accomplishments of a select few classmates. Sometimes the crowd is instructed to hold their applause until all the recipients have received their award, and if they forget, they are told, sternly, not to clap yet. By the end, every hand in the room hurts, and the kids who get their awards last get hardly any applause. The winners take beaming pictures with their certificates.

I recently attended one such elementary school award ceremony. The children, who are students of mine, cheered for each other. Everyone seemed to have a great time, and afterwards, kids were leaping out of their seats to give speeches to the crowd about the year’s end. Fifth graders expressed appreciation for their teachers; a first grader told a joke. A kindergartner (who had won several awards) took the microphone, turned to his classmates, and shyly announced: “If you didn’t get an award… don’t cry.”

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I’m with him. I worry about the kids who don’t win. Because – and I can report this first-hand – not everyone gets a trophy. If there’s one thing that young people are told when there are trophies to be had, it’s that not everybody should get one. Millennials have been told it’s the thing that ruined our generation, and the ones after us, and the ones today. Adults have very strong feelings about kids’ feelings about trophies.

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