Monday, December 29, 2008
It's been a while since I updated with the holidays and what not but I was spending most of my time filling a huge order for my cousin's Asian college club. Chinese New Year is around January 26 if I'm not mistaken and they wanted 100 ox and cow inspired magnets as party favors. First I created multiple designs and his peers would weigh in on which two were the best and took in their suggestions. In the end I had my two designs and now I had to make 50 of each. I went to many stores but none had the cow print I really wanted so instead I made the cow print myself. I took Chinese Calligraphy Black Ink and basically just stamped random designs and it came out pretty well.
After about a day of basically working non stop, once I get an order I want to finish it ASAP. I set the magnets fifty to a board and spray them with thin coats of acrylic spray to make them water resistant and wear and tear resistant. I let them dry and when I look at the huge board of cows and oxes I wondered how I even managed to do so many in such a short time.
I packed all 100 to go in this nice black box and yeps ready to roll. I hope they are a great hit up in his University. I did wince a bit when one of his friends said "I could do that" but then again... would they really spend the time to do so? I find myself saying that every so often and I stop myself because whoever did the work actually did it while the only thing I did was spout about how I coulda, woulda, shoulda but did not. So writing this post I'm pretty bushed... phew...
Until next time... Happy Holidays! And don't say you coulda, woulda, shoulda... if you won't...
Monday, December 22, 2008
SO... since it was sooo cold I decided to post this Teddy and Me ornament because she looked absolutely so warm and cozy with her fuzzy teddy bear. Personally I don't have teddy bears or dolls because I'm somewhat allergic to them and my skin gets itchy and red. That doesn't stop people from giving them to me and now I have a rather large collection. Teehee. Also since I had no school or work today I spent the whole time wondering what to give to my boyfriend of many years. He knows I'm a major art person and he loves oil paintings of landscapes btw he has not one creative bone in his body unless you count how creative he gets with burping. So this year I spent the better half of the morning about 3 hours painting the forest painting above.
I grant you this is the second time I've painted with oil paints and there was something about oil painting that didn't agree with me... I rather preferred pastels and charcoal but I don't think it turned out too bad. At first I really disliked it but now looking at it from afar it was growing on me and now I want to hang it in my living room. I got a lot of help from well.. YouTube.. they have these great tutorials on "How to draw a tree" or "How to draw the sky" of course it really does take a lot of practice. When I get enough space so I can pull up an easel and all my supplies I'll try it some more.
Until next time... Keep warm! (and for you people living in summery weather... let's switch places... eh eh?)
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I also love it when customers give me their ideas and I really enjoy interacting with them to make the perfect little ornaments. I tell you it's all worth it. I love seeing their reactions when I send back pictures of the completed item but it's also soooo nerve wracking. Would they like it? Is it accurate? Did I make them right?
If you don't do custom orders please please do! It opens up a great new opportunity and you get to met some really great people! Also look in the Custom (Use to be called Alchemy) section of Etsy ... you can find people that request custom items and you can also make a request if you can't find something online.
Until next time... create... create... and oh yeah... CREATE!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Speaking of gifts... there are few things if anything that are more precious then the gift of friends and friendship. Well yesterday was the work holiday party and I brought salad (btw I had no idea how to make salad) and it went great. We had the people of our department come and everyone brought something from homemade curry rice, baked ziti, chicken fried rice, THREE cakes!! YUMMY! Chips, drinks, candy. It was great! My coworkers while I was stuffing my face had prepared a birthday cake, a scrumptious strawberry shortcake for me and my other coworker and great friend Yan. Our birthdays are 7 days apart. To be honest I was floored. I had zipp-O clue that they were going to do this. So they caught me with my face full of ziti and chips and took a nice picture.
Yan whose also a craft partner in crime she has a B.S in Studio Art but studying to be a nurse now brought me ta-da! This fantastically warm and fluffy blue/purple yarn and large purple knitting needles. I had complained many times that I lost my grandma's four golden needles and was very upset. Of course immediately I started knitting. She taught how to cast on which was different from what I usually do but it made a lot more sense.
And after an hour, I'm quite slow I made about two feet? That's my scarf above. Though I might give it to my sister or my mom since they're always nagging that I make so much stuff yet nothing for them. So now they can quit complaining. LOLOL.
Everyone chipped in for the wonderful whimsical card and since they couldn't think of a big present they just gave me money. I may be hard to shop for but I was super pleased with my knitting equipment! I don't like expensive items either nor do I think I really need that newest phone or the coolest computer. I like Old Chugga my computer and my crappy phone.
Cha-ching! I didn't realize how much was in it until I came home and it was a whopping 95 bucks. That is A LOT. This would go into my funding my next craft fair fund! Woot! I'm not very emotional person so I was so touched by what my coworkers did. It's only been a year at this job but I do love my coworkers. They're all so cool. Every time it's someones birthday we always chip in to get something for someone. I chipped in for Yan's new Mac Book and J.C's Ps3. I never thought of getting anything in return. But wow... such friends and coworkers are hard to find.
Until next time... Cherish your friendships
Monday, December 15, 2008
For the ground floor I used two long boxes that made the perfect little shelf for my little origami. I just spread out and displayed my other flat items.
I've heard it was good to have several "tiers" so people can look. I made this nifty hanger for my ornament out of cardboard and pushpins. It didn't turn out half bad. After preparing everything I set off with my boyfriend in tow. Teeheehee.
I got there around 9am and set up along with many others. There were about twenty vendors and the area was a long hallway. It was fairly roomy and I was way too shy to really talk to anyone which I now regret since they all had wonderful items!
I meet naokosstoop there. I did not even know she had an etsy store until she convoed me this morning. She is absolutely very polite Japanese girl and so very nice! She has these fantastic whimsical prints that sold like hot cakes. I can see why. She was right across from me so I got to see her pretty booth all day. It was very simple and her charming smile was so very cute. =D
Being the extremely extremely shy person I met other etsy people but didn't get their names I know there was a wonderful jewelry maker from the NEWNEW Team. Ah ha. I found her! Alicia from LinguaNigra. She makes these fantastic jewelry out of this metal that has all the sass but none of the weight since they are so light. She was also extremely nice and friendly unlike me.. doh... lolol!
It was very fun and I made 3x my table fee which I'm extremely happy about! It's a small step but hey I had so much fun. I met a lot of people and many people who looked at my origami said they were so cute and laughed at some of their silly expressions. I liked it when they pointed at one and said it reminded them of some one. I plum sold out of my magnets and half of my little dolls. I noticed most people looked at what was on my table not on my stand. I wondered what was up with that. I'm happy nevertheless. Next time.. yes there will be a next time... I will work on those social skills.
Until next time... you don't know until you try...
(I'm glad I did!)
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Yep... you heard it... I was invited to a small juried craft show in SoHo. Click on the poster for more info! Yep my first craft show will be at the Hello Zen! Holiday Market 2008 in New York City. It's on December 13th at 10:30am - 6pm. It's located at 588 Broadway between Houston and Prince on the 11th floor.
I am completely floored and excited and overwhelmed! I'm going to be sharing half a table 3ft x 3ft. Yeah it's small but I can't fathom anything bigger. I've been reading as much information about preparing for one on the forums and blogs and on the net. I'm kind of worried... about my items.. and my self and the whole thing. I'm naturally very shy and when it comes to criticism about my own work I take it to heart. I have so much to do like business cards, how many items I should bring which is I don't have too much (my cousin took 1/4 of my inventory to show his fraternity and propose that they can sell them on Valentine's Day with their usual roses), display, prices, money, etc... I'm printing up some cards but I personally don't know how many, right now I'm just doing 200... I'm also afraid if I can get along with my tablemate... ah.. so many things to think about...
About my etsy shop I was wondering if I should just put it in vacation mode because most everything I make is one of a kind. sighsigh... so many things to do and no time!
I'm set on doing it though.. it's a great opportunity and I just can't ignore this slice of pie that life has smacked me in the face with. So I'm going to do my best, smile and be thankful that I have this great chance and experience!
Until next time... wish me luck!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
On a brighter note I just had my first international order! From Spain! Oh my goodness... I've never thought someone so far would love my items enough to buy it. I'm actually really excited even though I never been to Europe having send my little guys over is like a piece of myself traveling there. One of these days I will visit Europe... I found the lovely picture below of Spain I picked up from National Geographic. They have wonderful pictures and really good information for both travelers and people interested of many countries!The first picture is "Madrid’s Kio Towers, also known as "Europe’s Gate" are inclined skyscrapers at the edge of Plaza Castilla." It looks absolutely wonderful such a blending of modern art and ancient art. One of the things I truly love is how people are able to blend both modern and ancient art to make these wonderful mixed art.This one overlooks the city of Barcelona. It looks beautiful and you can even see the hills in the background.
This picture is of a bullfight in Pamplona, Spain. I remember my junior high school Spanish teacher was from Spain and she loved everything about Spain especially bullfighting. I admit it's pretty darn brave to go out there dance with an angry bull.
Looking at all these pictures there are places and things I want to do. For now I can just look and dream. Dream about the Great Wall of China, pyramids of Egypt, Mayan and Aztec Temples, Shinto Temples of Japan, all the wonderful Greek temples actually anything ancient. When I was young I seriously considered being a Archaeologist and a Paleontologist.
Until next time... never stop dreaming of all the places you want to go and all the things you want to do...
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Although I don't believe that there's an old man up there tying us to our destined true love, I believe in something called a soul mate.
Until next time... there's someone for everyone.
Friday, December 5, 2008
On to lighter news... The above ornament that took a better half of the whole evening just because of the brainstorming and the tiny details I made to donate to charity. There was a silent auction in a hospital and they needed to raise money. I know it's very very small gesture but it's the best I can do in my lack o' money situation.
Also I saw the most interesting reality show called Secret Millionaire where basically these rich people dress down and live for a week on one social security check in some of the worst neighborhoods and meet the people there. In the end they decide who to give a check ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 to people they feel deserve that uplifting break. For example one couple went to somewhere in Louisiana where Hurricane Katrina basically blew most of the town away. They met a pastor that was finally rebuilding his home after spending two years working on other people's home and their church. Among them were people who lost their homes, everything they ever owned, even the school was basically a shell of it's former self. The couple donated $50,000 to the pastor and another $50,000 to the high school football team to make new lockers, fields buy what they need. I'm not a big fan of football but I know that team sports in small towns and big cities alike brings a sense of community even though the rough stuff.
Even though I know anyone chances of that happening is slim it reminds me that in any situation whether economical, emotional, medical etc. there are people out there who realize how lucky they are no matter their own situation offer helping hands. Even though we cannot hand over $50,000 to someone we can do little things like offer a hot meal to those that need it, a place to stay, volunteer and what I think is most important is offering a bit of ourselves, our time and our sympathy.
Until next time... offer a hand to someone in need because one day someone will offer their hand to you in your time of need...
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I also made bookmarks of my ACEO images and hand colored them. These are also available in my shop. Right now I made a little key chain type thing that I sprayed with three coats of Kyrlon Acrylic Spray and carrying it wherever I go to test the durability. I'm a bit iffy on laminating and resin which I hear stinks to high heaven!
I've also been working hard on some art I'm getting ready to put up in an art auction next year in July. I know that's really far in the future but I want a good variety of art since it takes me about a week or so to make each one from the pencil drawing to outlining in pen to scanning it and getting it on photoshop and another week or two weeks to decide on the paper and place to print them. The first one I print I do more designing by hand adding to it's uniqueness. The one above is the black and white version of a piece of art I sold last year but with my new photoshop I'll be recreating it and also adding some extras.
Until next time... create what your heart desires.. =D
Monday, December 1, 2008
Okay I opted for a piece of white construction paper that I had left over from doing something else and cheated a bit by folding it in half.
Okay now loosely trace the outline of your photo.
Now you can cut with an exact-o knife or scissor. I cheated again here by folding it in half and cutting a rectangle about a quarter of an inch smaller then the actual size of the card.
Now apply glue on the penciled side 1/2 inch to 1 inch from the border but do not glue the top. You will be sliding your photo in from the top or if you want from the side but the top is much better. Now wait for that to dry.
You know that rectangle piece of paper you cut before you can fold it at one end in the shape of a triangle.
Spread it open like above and add glue to the diamond.
Anchor the diamond about halfway down the back of the frame making sure that the end points the opposite way of the opened top.
Here's a close up. Now let that dry. Now what was the point of this?
Why it makes the perfect prop for the frame. Now you can slip the photo inside and it props up all by itself. What's even better is that you can fold the prop to the side and lay it flat and reprop it anytime you want.
Here's the back! This is really great to do with kids and parents alike. Also a great idea for teachers and young kids. I use to work as an Arts and Crafts Teacher Assistant where the teacher for some reason was never there so I ended teaching the class of 2nd graders to 6th graders. Also next time I'll include one of how to make a more advance version of this frame!
Here's a couple more ideas... you can stack these up to make a big frame of little frames just use studier paper/wood whatever. They're easy to decorate and if you really want you can glue a clear plastic behind the rectangle opening so it offers protection against your photos. Also you can chain them to make a row of frames and don't be limited to just rectangles... make hearts, stars, squares.... the sky's the limit.
Hope everything is clear from the pictures to the descriptions! If you have any questions or whatever just drop a comment!
Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Rain Rain Go Away...
come again when I don't need to go out and I can sleep late ... day...
Until next time... wish you all sunshine and lollipops =D
Monday, November 24, 2008
No it's not one of those medieval torture devices though I suppose it can be used that way. It's my new rack for my origami. It can be used to hang so many different things and it took about half an hour to make. All you need is a good piece of wood, doesn't have to be super thick, maybe 1/4 of an inch thick and a whole bunch of straight thin nails. Now just space out where you want the nails to be and start hammering away. Also hit the nail so it bends up a bit so if you hang something it won't slide off. Either drill two holes on the top or have a looped screw to hang where ever you want. So I hung all my finished origami and it frees up tons of space on my desk for me to craft more and its great to organize your stuff. The beauty of this is that it lies fairly flat depending on how the thick the wood is and how far you hammer the nails in. The one above is hanging on the back of my door. Another great thing is that it's completely customizable. You can choose the size of the wood, the spaces between the nails. Heck you can make it like a long rectangle with thicker nails or wooden pegs to make a darn coat rack.I was looking though the web and found this nifty tutorial from about.com on how to make your own pretty boxes out of shoe boxes and whatnot. The instructions are very simple and you can easily transport your stuff from home to craft fairs or whatever and use it as a display because it's so darn pretty.I really love these foldable boxes from Ikea. I love the simple designs and the fact that they are mesh like and come in a variety of sizes. It's about 8 dollars for 3 boxes. I'm a very big fan of any storage boxes or bags that are foldable so it saves a lot of space when you don't need to use them right away. There are tons of such items on Etsy and on the web or your local store. You can always find them on sale ever so often, so check it out. I know the extra bed drawers underneath my bed are a life saver I put all my heavy sweaters and hoodies there. Whenever it gets chilly it's right there and ready to be taken out and worn.
Until next time... don't get stressed over that mess =D
Saturday, November 22, 2008
The original recipe is Grilled Chicken with Yogurt- Herb Sauce but my family doesn't like yogurt so I cut the Yogurt- Herb sauce part. Below are the ingredients I used for it.
Sprinkle generous helping of salt and pepper on the chicken. As I didn't know it's best to slice the chicken fairly thin because it makes cooking a heck of a lot easier. I used two large chicken breasts that I cut into thin strips about half an inch thick give or take. I diced the leaves (make sure you wash them first) and mixed them with the diced garlic, honey, cayenne pepper and olive oil. I just mixed them as well as a I could. The actual recipe asked to puree it in a blender which unfortunately I had no idea where it is. I marinated the chicken in the mixture and put plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. You're suppose to marinate it for no more then 24 hours but me being extremely hungry after going shopping and just finding the kitchenware decided to whip one up.
Here is the chicken in the mixture. I'm not a big fan of overpowering basil flavor but this had a slight fresh aroma which surprised me since when I was chopping the basil it made my fingers smell all funky and basil-ly. Oh at least something came from me watching all those cooking shows. If you stack teh basil leaves and roll them together. You can slice it and it makes it much easier.
Here's another thing I had to improvise. I had no clue where the frying pan or grill was so what did I do? I used a wok. If you don't know what it is. It's a Chinese type kitchenware used to stir fry stuff. I set the heat on low and dipped one of them in and man did it sizzle! I love the sound of sizzling... don't ask me why. I cooked it around 3 minutes each side or until it was tender. I was paranoid and even cut them in the thickest part to make sure it is fully cooked. Even though i don't like overcooking things I rather not take my chances with getting some kind of bacteria that would wreak havoc on my digestive system. Here are the results!
Nice and golden brown and all those little things on it were the pepper and leaves. I ate some very cautiously though I've never had problem with food no matter how bad. My friends say I have an iron stomach. You know what it actually tasted good! It was moist and even though it was browned it didn't have that brunt taste! The pepper and cayenne peeper give it a extra punch making it a bit spicy but not overpowering. The basil and the parsley blended to make the whole thing taste very fresh with hints of both, again not overpowering. I cooked the rest for my family and they were pleasantly surprised too! Not to toot my own horn by my dad and sister are harsh critic and won't hesitate to tell me that my cooking stinks. The most surprising thing to them was the flavor. Since in my home 99% of everything we cook is Asian cuisine and normally we don't use basil or really even black or cayenne pepper. My mom commented that she loved the unique flavor and asked me to make more. I said... next time.. surely I will try more stuff.While pouring the extra virgin olive oil or (EVOO) I recalled listening to those cooking shows and health shows about which oil is best for your health. We don't want to clog our arteries with fat and cholesterol and what not. So I went around snooping for the answer. Here's one take on which is best.
Making Oil Choice: Top 3 Picks
If you have room in your pantry and a wallet for only 3 oils, this trio offers health and versatility.
This flavorful, heart-healthy oil is unrefined thus high in antioxidants and polyphenols that are a tonic to cardiovascular health. Less expensive, but so-called "pure" olive oil (not extra-virgin) is refined and more tolerant to heat but also less nutrient-dense. Don't bother with "light" olive oil; it has virtually no character and even fewer polyphenols. Use extra-virgin in low-heat cooking, baking and dressings.
High in omega-3s, this practical bland oil with a relatively high smoke point can be used for sautéing and baking. Most canola oil is highly refined to extract as much oil as possible from the seed. The resulting inexpensive version has a long shelf life. Some consumers choose to pay more for less refined organic canola oil. The organic designation guarantees that the seed was not from genetically modified plants.
This specialty oil sports a higher price tag, but along with its rich, nutty flavor comes omega-3s and vitamin E. Close runners-up in this category include toasted sesame, pumpkin seed and almond oils. We chose walnut as a top pick for its relatively long shelf life: 3 months when refrigerated. Use it to dress salads, especially those containing flavorful cheese and nuts.
I got this from Eatingwell.com. There's loads of places to find out more information I'm only citing one source.
BTW I give major major props and kudos for all the people that cook!
Until my next cooking adventure... good day and eat well!