LiPeony Shop

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Cause to Fight for

I mentioned my sister many times in my posts over this blog's duration and yes she is one terrific gal. In many ways we're opposite... I'm short and petite, she's well stout and tall, I'm an introvert, she's an extrovert... she is one of my biggest supporter and has said to me that opening my etsy shop and creating has definitely made me happier. I don't doubt that. So it's my turn to support her cause.

For the summer my sister is volunteering at the New York Asian Women's Center in NYC. Basically its a place where battered and troubled women can turn to for safety and a helping hand. She's in charge of a fundraising section of a dinner party hosted by them and other groups. Truth is she may have the hardest job. I see her emailing and constantly calling big and small companies to donate something for the cause. She deals with a lot of rejection and it was really depressing to her as she felt like she failed in her cause... then out of the blue Barnes and Nobles replied they could give out two $20 gift certificates. It was small... but it was more then enough to make her giddy and renew her confidence.

I've been on the other end where people ask me to donate and I always wish if I had enough money I'd donate to them all. One cause is not better or more worthy of money/time/attention then any other cause. People generally donate towards a cause that has hit close to home like a certain medical condition or disease or situation. In this case it was something that hit close to home because our mom was subjected to years of mental and physical abuse to our father who she thankfully divorce and lives far away from. She doesn't say much about it and I don't blame her. I'm donating 150 cards of a special design to their raffle bags. I have no money to donate but I do have my time and skill... it is small but it is something...

If you're interested or want more information you can email her at

Until next time... helping one is the same as helping all...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Changes are a Blowing!

Yep! The winds of change are definitely blowing though my shop... as my summer internship winds down (next Wednesday is my last day) I'm going on a frenzy to change and clear up some things in my shop and blog. I've made a new little banner and avatar that I'm so in love with. Also I'm introducing my new line of Kawaii Cards!The one above is the first of my blank cards! I got this idea from looking at those sushi restaurants I go to and they always have a huge colorful poster of little sushi and their names in Japanese and English. I think it looks super cute and I've sold a couple of these already at the Brooklyn Indie Market and Otakon. I have many other simple kawaii-licious designs in mind too! It's always great to continually introduce something to your shop! I hope everyone's creative juices are flowing!

Until next time... what are you working on?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Market Wrap Up!

This has been one busy busy weekend. On Saturday I was vending at the Brooklyn Indie Market. One of the things I had trouble with was how to make simple, cost efficient but unique packaging. I had brought various brown paper bags and large envelopes to put my prints and other items in. I just had a great idea. Not too long ago I brought some custom stamps with my logo and name on them from an awesome etsy shop Drumchick99. The communication was great and it came to me in no time. I've been using them to mark my envelopes when I mail them out. So... I decided to do the same to the other envelopes and brown paper bags. I admit that paper bags aren't the biggest jazz thing around but they're recyclable, simple, holds your stuff and basically does what it does. By stamping both sides with my logo it added a bit of that personal touch. Above are on the envelopes. I like doing it on the corner.This is on the brown paper bags. Simple and unique to my shops. When I was selling people noticed my logo on the bags. I remember one that said in delight "oh so cute the bags even have your logo." Usually if I see someone sort of look unsatisfied when I pulled the paper bag to put their stuff in I'd say "I prefer paper over plastic... it's recyclable and great for the environment!" Now no one can think it's bad because heck it's for the environment. =D Traveling to the market was a hassle because on the weekends the trains run all kooky in New York City. We went to the F train to wait as it "supposedly" goes to the stop we need to go to. My wonderful sister Anita pictured above was with me and she's awesome but shh don't tell her I said that! The little wagon I brought from Daffy's also had a chair with a back that you can unfold. So when you're tired wa la! Chair! We had quite a few people curious about where I got this chair and we did some unexpected advertising for Daffy's. It's a good investment at $30 and it's actually made of metal rods not plastic ones.

Anyways turns out the F does not go to our stop so we had to switch to the G. It sounds simple but me and my sister had to lug two of those wagons up and down stairs. Boy were there quite a number of them. Once we got out the red and white tent was right there! It was small but yet very roomy because there was about 12 vendors. The great thing was that it had two openings to get in, there was a linked fence that allowed people to look in to see what was the commotion about. Another was that there was great music and lights and electricity. This was my set up and I found for prints when I put them in a binder for people to flip though, people liked that. I can also put in many different prints that wasn't displayed. on my large frame. All the little things like the pocket mirrors, felt pins and cards were onto one side as I noticed people liked to go to that side to rummage at the little things I had. The foot traffic was good with it's ebbs and flows. The people were mostly into kind of laid back, down to earth people. It was good mix of families, shopping gals and tourists. I made back my table fee and a bit of profit that I used to treat my sister to lunch. There's an awesome taco place a block or two down.

My sister was great at talking to people as she works in a boutique in SOHO so she's got those great skills. I on the other hand was either too quiet or when people asked about my process and why, when I started I would just go on and on. I meet a lot of great people! Many asked me about what I do, how and why and when. Very friendly! Many people from the NewNew team where there too! Of course I am always not the friendliest person >_>. SIGH!

I'm thinking of doing this in the fall maybe October or Early November but that all depends on y work and school schedule.

Until next time ta ta!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Otakon Wrap Up!

Warning heavy number of images in this post!
So Otakon was simply AWESOME! This year the crowd was much much bigger though I spent most of my time in the artist alley selling, I still saw some pretty neat stuff! Unfortunately no one is allowed to take pictures at the artist alley or the art auction to protect the artist's work from being photographed and copied. So no pictures of my cosplay or my table =(. Though people didn't know who my character was except for one guy many took my picture because I was simply a "kawaii maid character". Fine with me. =D The above picture was taken when we were lining up to get our badges (my bf, his cousin and roommate)

This is the front entrance of the convention hall and you can faintly see the huge line of people, the line wrapped around the HUGE convention hall talking about at least 4 - 5 blocks and winded in a long snack on the opposite side. The weather was wonderful! Not too hot, not too cold and NO RAIN!
Here are some cosplays the one above is from Spirited Away a fantastic movie that the whole family can enjoy! Also in the art auction a beautiful art piece of Spirited Away was sold for $800 in the live auction! I did fairly well in the art auction and only one piece was not bid on (the one i worked the hardest on) yet the one I spent ten minutes fetched a rather high price. That shows you never know what people like.They also had a model contest in which people built replicas, painted them, posed them etc where they are judged and auctioned off according to certain standards. This one above was $10,000 not including shipping. You can see it was very large and the details are right with the show Big O robot it was modeled after.

King Boo from the Mario games was also there! Looks like a cute little marshmallow to me! =D Though some had much more elaborate costumes that looked like you would be sweating like mad inside. Others were so delicate and detailed it really took your breath away. These pictures are taken by my bf and he has a quirky sense of what appeals to him.
There's always some oddball cosplays like this guy who did the Sham Wow guy apparently punching a lady. It was all in good fun and unfortunately I didn't leave the artist alley and they usually have mass gatherings of cosplayers that post for group pictures.

I did fairly well in the artist alley though not too many people were gung ho about cards but I made twice my table fee. The people next to me who did mostly fan art and prints were selling like mad. The reason why I didn't do fan art and such was I've seen some of the artist's work and they are amazing makes me think a bit less of my own skills. However next year I will be trying to sell and this time with my art. My bf got me the Bamboo Tablet I've been drawing and creating like mad! I'll post some pictures next time.

Otakon was full of win... had a super blast and so so so so wish I was back there again! I'll be selling at the Brooklyn Indie Market this Saturday July 25th 11am - 7pm so stop on by if you're in the hood.

Until next time.. Otakon 2010 or bust!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

All Work and No Play...

Makes one go crazy! I've finished about 83 hand cut cards and 32 felt pins. Use to be 33 but my sister was showing off the stuff I was making and one of her friends totally fell in love with the bat one and well I love giving it to people who really like it. It might not be enough for the 2 days of vending at the anime convention Otakon but right now I'm making pre cut materials that I can work on during the convention. People love to see an artist at work =D. So now I'm not too worried... tonight and tomorrow I'll be putting on the finishing touches on my Mahoromatic cosplay. I've opted not to get my bangs cut or get contacts as I want to be as comfortabl as possible and dry itchy eyes is not something I want. As for the bangs I want to cut my hair very short after Otakon so paying for two haircuts is not really worth it. =D

Until next time.. work work... then play... XD

Friday, July 10, 2009

Break Time!

All time for a blog break! I've been working during any free time I have to make inventory for my artist alley table at Otakon. If you're in Baltimore or going to Otakon hop on by! Since I was taken off the waiting list two weeks before the venue now I must furiously work work work and I have no idea where my table is >_> or when they will give me that information! Above is one of my little images for the cards I will be selling. Link from the beloved Zelda series is one of my favorites! I think this is perfect for him and me. =D

I've made about 10 or more designs that showcase my love for anime, games, kawaii and quirky ideas in general. I opt to make cards because to me you can do more with a card... if you like it you can frame, if you want to you can send it someone, you can hang it anywhere and it comes with an envelope. Multifunctional art =D! I won't be putting these up in my shop until after the convention.

I've also been making tiny felt pins and right now I have 24 completed and 9 cut out and ready to be stuffed and sown together. I'm very nervous as I don't think I will have enough inventory since it's for 2.5 days... there's always the chance that they won't sell but I rather be safe then sorry =/.

One drawback with having a table is that you miss roaming around looking at cosplayers, panels and other entertainment. I'm grateful to my significant other for staying with me at the table even though I told him he can visit other things if he wants to. Some of the panels I'm interested in going to is the ones about cosplays like "how to make/photograph/make up" etc and the crafting ones like "how to make kawaii" etc. I think those would be very interesting! I also want to see some of the special screenings of anime like the hyped up Evangelion 1.0 I think that's what it's called.

Anyways going back to work work work!

Until next time... hasta manana!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Prepare for DOOM! =O

Ahh! SO I got my table at Otakon but since it's last minute I have to pay at the con and do my paper work too. I'm really excited to sell at such a huge venue! The problem with this is well it's two weeks away and I'm not prepared at all. I have my art for the art auction up and I tell you they look fantastic. Courtesy of I printed 11 x 14 of some very detailed works. Though people consider them prints I'm not planning to ever print them that huge so in essence they're limited editions. I've also decided to make 8 x 10 limited edition copies of some art and they're all printed on this wonderful metallic paper. The one above is a scan of one of my original art that is 10 x 25 very unusual but I like it.

In the artist alley most anime conventions sell prints that are either fanart (recreating of an original artwork using someone else's character) and their own art with their own made up characters, pins, kawaii items, handmade accessories and clothes especially lolita. Lolita is sort of like a Victorian baby doll fashion that actually goes well with Steampunk. It's very popular amongst the anime crowd and you can see tamer examples of this design in many teenage to young adult stores. Above are examples of a type of lolita called "sweet" there's also the ever popular "goth" amongst other types. The anime/manga community highly promotes DIY and crafting in general as people are more impressed by people who hand make their own items (including artwork). Cosplay is a big part of that... which I am just about finished with just need some cheap lace socks. Anyways since I don't have enough variety of prints to sell just as my sole inventory for about 3 days I decided to make handmade cards like the one above with quirky messages that an anime or gamer would find funny but general enough that newbies would get a hoot out of them. Problem is I have to go buy more blank cards, cello sleeves and xyron refills. Another problem is how much to make. Note that I have a craft fair the next weekend. SO whatever doesn't sell here I can sell there or put it on my etsy shop. I have about 8 designs if I do ten of each then that's inventory of 80 but is that too little or too much o_O? Should I make more designs as I come up with them? Can one never have too much o_o?! What if my stuff doesn't sell? the usual questions... sigh.. guess I'll just make and bunch and go with the flow =D

Until next time... ahh so much to do and so little time! =(

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Friendly Reminder

Peace Crane Card at Meekiyua

So... it's been a month into my internship at the hospital and I've been learning a lot but working for long hours day after day has started to wear down on me. Yesterday I was getting my usual soup and chips at the cafeteria and spotted a large table that was fairly empty except for a lady that was leaving and a doctor that was enjoying his lunch. As I got closer I noticed the lady struggled and dropped her finished tray of food a few times on the table. I realized she was leaning heavily on a cane and she could not balance herself and hold the tray. So I opt to throw it out for her. She was very grateful and flashed me a shy but thankful smile. That was when I saw her I.D badge... she was a volunteer. As she slowly made her way down the hall... it amazed me that she was more then willing to help others without expecting anything in return despite her own everyday struggles.

I just sat there and it dawned on me why I decided to go into a field that had long hours, little pay and little acknowledgment. I wanted to help too. Thank you madam for reminding me.

Until next time... have a great day and take a breather. =)

Oh the Darn Trial and Error Process

SO it's a little more then two weeks before Otakon (the largest anime convention on the East Coast) and I've created some new works inspired by it. Above is my to be released tonight Ninja Love card... I thought it was a funny idea and the concept was simple enough but the process to make the card was much harder. I had brought some very nice recycled blank cards and envelopes and thought it would be a simple task to just print on it. Alas... it turned out much harder and I tried every which way to center the image... and the way the ink showed up on the card paper did not satisfy my standards. So... I brought out my matte photo paper printed it out... cut them by hand and ran them though my beloved Xyron create-a-sticker machine. I swear this machine has saved my butt more then once. Seriously though if you want to try a hand at stickers the Xyron is very good... I got the 1.5" sticker maker and with all those coupons for Micheal's and AC Moore the machine and refills are relatively cheap.

The reason is that the regular glue I used warped the paper and I did not want to use glue stick or double sticky tape as I feel from my own personal experience is that they flake off quite quickly or didn't even adhere to the paper. By making the images as a permanent sticker it made the sticky quality cleaner, permanent and it allowed me to adjust the image right on the spot instead of on the computer. They turned out very nice! I'm planning to whip up some more to sell on July 25th at the Brooklyn Indie Market. Come check it out. =D

I also made some biology inspired cards that I had the outlines kept in my folder for a while but it was only now I got off my lazy caboose to do it.This one is taking a note from Blood types... there are three common types A, B and O with AB being the universal recipient and Type O being the universal donor. This shows the two types and the line "Universal Recipient of my Love." Yes a bit lame but I think it's quite funny and people know know may get a hoot out of it especially those in the medical and biology field. And I've tested my blood and I'm Type O meaning I'm a universal donor... so whoever needs a blood transfusion my blood is A-Ok for YOU unless your Rhesus negative but that's a whole other story. (no germies or any bugs at the moment).

Until next time... what drives you?