Monday, December 31, 2007

Palm Springs Event

Well, I spent the weekend in Palm Springs...
There was a West Coast Swing Competition and My Aunt Susan invited me to tag along and showcase my Floral pieces at her table. She thought that there was suppose to be a huge Salsa Convention there as well and they would LOVE my flowers!
Unfortunately, the Salsa convention was canceled.
To the dismay of all the vendors we ALL took a HUGE HIT because of that.
I met a wonderfully nice gentleman named Chuck Molter that was there all the way from Arizona. Poor guy drove 5 hours, took 7 hours to unload and set up by himself...And I'm SURE spent a good chunk of change to simply stand around and chat with ME! He said out of the 10 years he has been doing this event it was the WORST ever! Thank Goodness he has a fantastic on line business! He runs like 5 sites! REALLY COOL STUFF! Here is the link to one of his sites! TOTALLY Check it out! "USA DANCE SHOP" at (there's a link on the right of my page)
I definitely recommend everyone to check them out. He sells a lot of retro 1950's stuff. Saddle shoes, Poodle skirts, Bowling shirts, Leather Jackets, Vintage Metal signs and all sorts of 1950's Accessories. REALLY FUN!!! Totally cool guy! Plus, from the looks of some of the designs that he showed me of silhouette dancers he made in to totally COOL stickers...he's a kick ass Lindy Swing dancer!!!
If ANYONE likes that era YOU MUST check out his shop!!!

Ah, but back to my the end, I'd say I was LUCKY making a whopping $10.00 out of the entire ordeal~!

Well, the BEST part is that I met a couple REALLY COOL people and sold 3 flowers!

It was a learning experience.

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Friday, December 21, 2007


I recently came across this talented artist named Mark Poulin. He makes the MOST DELIGHTFUL pieces! Being that I have ALWAYS wanted to know how to metalsmith and such, I am always in deep admiration to those who do it and do it well!
I have absolutely fallen head over heels in love with his little creations. Curiously cute with their stylized designs and expressions I can see how his pieces are loved by everyone at any age!
There is almost a childlike element to his Sterling Silver pendants. There are SO MANY that I want...I particularly am fond of the "Bandit" raccoon and "Prince" lion.
I recommend to visit his Etsy shop to see all of them!
You should also check out his personal site as well which has sketches and photos...and of course more jewelry.

*ALL photos have been borrowed from Mark Poulin's Etsy shop*

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Alice Pleasance Jewelry

Alice Pleasance Bakery is my new FAVORITE place and I won't put on a single pound from her delicious treats!
If you are not familiar with this talented lady across the sea somewhere in Italy, then you MUST be introduced.

"My name's Anna, I'm 27 and I'm from Italy. I love childhood and fairy tales...they're my first inspiration and they're always in my mind when I design and make my funny and original jewelry. I love little toys, lucite and glass candy beads, briolettes and sparkling details and everything tiny, yummy, kitsch and cute. Miniature food is my obsession, as you could see!"
(from her profile)

I have seen many of this type of product (I'm Japanese and we're obsessed with miniature foods and things) however, Anna's pieces are truly extraordinary. Her attention to detail shows in her designs. My mouth waters seeing her little treats! I am amazed that they REALLY are NOT the real thing when I look at the photos of her work! They hold something special that can't be written and I think you will agree when you see them. They really are a stand out from the others! No mere slices...YOU get THE WHOLE CAKE!
Cakes, cookies, SUSHI, tarts and other fun items will be found in her shop!
Thank goodness for Etsy and my accidentally finding her!
I HAD TO SHARE her with the rest of you!
...*thinking*..."it's lunch time and I am craving sushi..."

PLEASE take a moment to visit her shop:

She also had a very fun Blog: The Cup Cake Diary
Both can be found at the right of my page in my recommendations.

*All photos are borrowed from Alice Pleasance Shop*

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Atelier Kanawa

Atelier Kanawa

"Where you can find The Truly Authentic Japanese Handcrafts evolved by Certified Kimono Consultant of All Japan Kimono Consultant Association.
As a top quality artisan with the Expertise of Kimono, Geisha/Classical Japanese Dance, Tsumami Kanzashi, and Bingata/Katazome Dyeing Kimono techniques, I handcraft Particular Traditional & Modern Japanese pieces from the highest quality materials."
(from her shop announcement)

One of my FAVORITE Tsunami Kanzashi designers I have ever come across! Truly an AMAZING artisan I have wanted to share her shop and designs since the moment I first came across her products earlier this year. All I can say is that when I look at her pieces I see why She has the reputation that she does.

Below are excerpts from The Storque Interview.
To see the entire Interview please check out this link:

"Today, there are ONLY 15 acknowledged Tsumami Kanzashi artisans in the whole world. Most of them don't have successors to carry out this beautiful traditional art, so it is RAPIDLY dying out. I was blessed to be accepted as a private pupil by one of them in this summer, even though my master does not train anybody anymore due to serious illness. That meant so much to me that my master passionately taught me everything, because he wants this authentic art to remain in this world. I can not even put in words how much I was honored to inherit my master's spirit.

Today, I deeply regard my ancestors who were in Kimono business. I passionately strive to pass this "disappearing culture" on to the next generation throughout the world. I will be very happy if you enjoy my authentic Japanese art work."

Being a fourth generation and VERY Americanized Japanese American I am in AWE of such talent and dedication to keep this important part of our history alive. Atelier Kanawa designs are pieces that you will cherish for a lifetime and I imagine you could pass down generation to generation. If you haven't taken the time to check out her shop PLEASE do. I also HIGHLY recommend to read her entire article in The Storque where there are photos and videos as well.

I am blessed to see such beauty being created for all of us to enjoy.


*All PHOTOS have been borrowed from Atelier Kanawa's shop.*

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Monday, December 17, 2007


I'm SO EXCITED to have found a new site called "weddingtulle"
As you know I have been venturing into the bridal arena for a while now and this is the perfect PUSH! If you haven't already visited this site it has a wonderful blog as well as a BEAUTIFUL SHOP. You can click over to them in my recommended blog/shops to the right. Even if you are not a bride it is such a lovely place to peek in and take a look.

I was thrilled to see a little post about my "Blushing Hue" flower!
I STILL get SO EXCITED when I see anything about my products! Just the thought that someone liked something of mine enough to share.

I am hoping to be one of the designers offered in her shop!
This is going to be very exciting.
Of course, I will be offering my most popular and beautiful Wedding floral designs to sell in her shop. Don't worry, I'll still do custom pieces as well.
It REALLY is such a PRETTY set up I couldn't refuse to want to be a part of it.

So, anyone even thinking of getting married or knows someone who is?!
I say check out regularly in the NEW YEAR!
"Wedding Tulle...for the uncommon bride."
Recently featured in Modern Bride August/Sept 2007.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Even When The Sun Goes Down Treasury

There's my Amber Lights bracelet in the top right corner.

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Orangy Goodness Treasury

There's my Autumn Fire on the top right corner.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I was so excited to show off my new necklaces that I completely neglected my new bracelets! So, fair is Fair!
Here they are!
...I told you I have been BUSY!!!!

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For the last 3 days ALL I have done is make jewelry, take pictures, fix pictures and post pictures!
I'm tired!
I was on a inspirational roll!
Have to take advantage of that when I have the time!!!!
This evening I have been playing catch up.
Internet business is SUCH A CHALLENGE! I mean, I don't have the big bucks to do the monster $$$ Addwords and internet keyword search stuff. That literally goes into thousands of dollars! Being that I hardly have that...going to do it the ground roots kinda way. One by one. Little by little. I figure, every place I touch is one more possibility that some one new will see my work.
...and Everyone that is in the same place as me knows, it's a heck of a lot of work!!!
So KUDOS to all of you Independant artisans out there!

*as I stand up with my right fist raised*
Don't give up!

...ok, not really, but that was great for dramatic effect huh?

Here's a few pictures of some of my new pieces.

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Saturday, December 8, 2007


Take advantage of EXTRA SAVINGS on everything in my shop!!!!

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Friday, December 7, 2007


Just want to give everyone a heads up for this weekend!
I am offering 10% OFF EVERYTHING in my shop ALL WEEKEND! (gift wrap excluded)
(Other promotions are not eligible to be added with this promo)
This is the perfect time to get some HOLIDAY SPECIALS at even a BETTER DEAL!!!

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Nikon Comes through...

Ah, so my Nikon is still under warranty and they are going to fix my camera!!! Hopefully I should get it back by Christmas. At least I still have my old camera. I have to do this whole song and dance with that one now...but it works! So, I am HAPPY!
Man, is it COLD!
I got my light box in order just in the nick of time! It's raining and cloudy dark outside!
I'm going to try the true test today! JEWELRY! Yikes!
I still have to photoshop my pictures but I am AMAZED at how well the colors are turning out.
I will surely post some pictures as soon as I have them done!

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ALL I have to say is, "TRUMPET BULBS ALL THE WAY!!!!"
My life is changed forever due to my purchasing of TRUMPET BULBS!
I ordered them online for like $14 something each. I am telling you they are worth every penny!
...I took less then 10 pictures when my BF basically BROKE my less then 6 months old $700.00 Nikon camera. I was freaking out! There was a black pepper something on my lens and I asked if he could take it out. Next thing I tell him is that the cloth that came with the camera leaves particles on the outside lens. I see him open up the camera and I tell him again thinking there's no way he's going to stick the cloth inside there to clean it after what I just said...yup. Next thing I hear him saying is, "Shit, there's stuff on the lens!" So he finds the air blowing thing and carefully tilts it away and the tube thing flies off splattering something at the camera. I thought I was going to have a heart attack! ...So, basically in a nutshell, My camera now makes a clicking sound and won't take pictures...ALL BECAUSE there was a speck of black on my lens that I wanted cleaned off.
Geeze, I REALLY HOPE this doesn't cost an arm and a leg to fix!
I am soo broke it isn't even funny. That camera was like the one and only investment of my year and then some! I'm sooo bummed! I need it for work!

WELL, So, I HAVE TO SAY , " Anyone wanting to take good pictures indoors NEED to get Trumpet Bulbs!"

Here are a few pictures I managed to take with my camera before it broke.
All taken in my DIY light box! These were particularly difficult colors to photograph by natural light even and I think they came out really great!!!

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Keeping Busy

Here's a photo of my new piece. "Flight of Fancy"
I LOVE this piece and am very proud of it. It's one of those pieces I made that I don't want to sell. Ah, bit I know someone else will adore this too!
As you can see there is still a lot of distortion with the colors. My light box needs better lights.

I have been working like crazy!I have a couple of custom pieces that I want to get finished so I may get them in the mail!
I just got these beautiful Dogwood flowers and RED Orchids in the mail! Of course I want to smother them in Swarovski crystals. I'll post some pics when I get them finished. I wish I could figure out how to take pictures of them and show just how much they SPaRKLE! I was looking at some new lights...I should get my Trumpet bulbs tomorrow. Then , it will all about the light box AGAIN! I wasn't satisfied with the end result of photos I took the other night. 5 hours of disappointment. So, $70.00 later I hope to take better pictures!
...I'm starting to think I should have just gone to the store and purchased a light box there!
I saw a set on line for almost $300.00. It was pretty nifty though! Since I am literally BROKE now, that's NOT an option. All the more reason I HAVE to make this light box thing work!

I have been trying to figure out more ways to get my name and products out there...
I joined Indiepublic. Everyone is soo pleasant and friendly.
I also added more products to my Mindt shop.
I submitted another item to Indiejewelry.
After seeing others on there I added a few items on Craig's List. Hey, why not if they let me?!!
I figure you never know?!
My Etsy shop will always be my favorite and most important...until I finally get my personal site up. Then it will be my favorite public site.
I have neglected my Myspace...Do any of you do well there?
I see a TON of designers on Myspace. I have browsed through your pages...I don't know if it really does anything if you're not soliciting "actual friends" of yours. What do you think?

I'm always tired but I feel like there just isn't enough time in the day to get what I want done!

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

DIY Light Box

Well, let's just say the results were NOT what I expected! I used a large shipping box and cut out the sides and top like in the DIY Light box posts I have seen on line. (I wanted it a little bigger for Busts and larger objects.) Used tracing paper over the openings to filter the light. THis was EASY and looked like the photos on line...close enough any way.
$37.44 later...( I purchased lights and the fixtures from OSH)

Thank GOODNESS there were A TON of people that gave me GREAT information in the Etsy forums...let me thank "mambetsy" she was awesome!
I am thinking it comes down to the lighting that I am using!
They all told me about the "white balancing" thing, which I can only change in manual. My Nikon D40 does it auto in Macro which is what I learned I need to be in when I shoot, I'm a bit confused. Meaning, I can't change it in Macro so, it's still dark and off color.
Thanks again to "mamabetsy" she hooked me up with this awesome bookmark...I gotta find it and I will post it!
Now, if I can just make it work WITH this information!
I ordered 2 Trumpet Top bulbs..yes, I spent MORE money...But I figure I NEED to figure this out. I can't always work my life around the sun and when I can take pictures!
I have come to the conclusion that my lighting is off and this is why my color in my photos is off.
Uh, yeah, that's it.
I currently have 3 lights.
I purchased 2 reflector dome shaped ones at OSH and I am using my drafting lamp. I am thinking as long as the bulbs are correct that should be fine.

(If anyone knows better PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LEAVE ME A comment/POST ON ANYTHING to help me take better pictures!) :P

I am wondering if I need 2 more lights? I am still getting shadows, so I was thinking to put 2 on the sides, one on top and 2 in the front on each side?

All I know as of right now, my pictures look decent on the taupe/gray background I have already been using but that kinda defeats the purpose to me...LOL...I want a white "white" background. Plus, the colors are still a bit distorted.
This afternoon I took a few photos in the light box using the natural sun coming in my windows...I'll have to see how these came out.

I will be writing more on my light box experience.

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Been trying to shake this bug...for the last 3 weeks!
I literally slept all day and just got up after 5:00p.m.
Ah, having a cup of veggie soup.
Unfortunately, nothing new to show!
...and STILL trying to get lights for my lightbox!
Any suggestions are WELCOME PLEASE!

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