Friday, May 12, 2017

New GoFundMe Campaign and Store Notes

New Set

So first to business.

Donate Directly Here

All new sales are going to Dimitri Conde's Leukemia ALL Medical Fund.
Dimitri is a child who is also on spectrum, and shared a class with my own son.  His mom and I are good friends, and I immediately jumped on the opportunity to run their donation campaign.

Now for store notes:

I haven't had as much time as I'd like to work, but I have been working.  With the new fundraising campaign, and the new job, and trying to sell my house, my work has gone to the back burner.
But I did manage to list all those pumpkin/goldenrod pieces, and I have made those two new kikus, of which i decided to scrap the one of them because I just didn't really like it.
I have continued the color scheme, with this two piece set, one of which will have a bira bira and one will have a shidare, kind of like the sister kanzashi set, though slightly bigger.

New Kiku
I have enjoyed doing sets like this, though I will probably be doing an orange promo set, since orange is the color of Leukemia.

I have also got my new silk embroidery set in the mail!!!  It's larger than I visualized, but that is not a complaint.  I now have all the supplies for my piece, and tools- everything!!!!  I am probably going to push classes back till June because I already have to work memorial day weekend on 6 hr shift.  At a retail store, that is 6 hrs of intense work.
Not only that but I am currently working on selling my house, which will be a 3-4 month process.
And now I'm doing this fundraiser as well.

But as you can see in the top picture I am stocking up on certain supplies.  I am expecting a mini-vacation soon where I hope to be able to work intensely on this set and a few other pieces, as to be completed by the end of May.   Then I can focus on the personal end until the Japanese Silk Embroidery lesson in mid to late June.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

So busy I forgot to post

Sold 4-20-2017!!!
Spring is here and that means things are wild at home and at work.

I have finished photographing 5 new pieces, with a new kiku made and another in the works.
Not only that but I have landed several sales lately (six of which were the clearanced ornaments) which makes more space and also let me order more fabric! Squee!!!!  Now I have 4 shades of green, 3 colors of multicolor chirimen, and a few colors for some upcoming projects. They are on their way, so I am hoping it will be here early next week.

New Kiku!!!
The pic on the right/below is one of the 2 new kikus I have made (am making).  The one not pictured is white with aqua and teal pointed petals.  This one is a rounded petal with pointed petal inbetween the rounded petal sections.  The pattern will spiral, and the section not placed is china red. I have about 3 layers on it now, and it looks awesome!

Meanwhile I have been working another set of pillowcases with crewel embroidery, all satin stitch. It's a lovely design of roses and leaves, with butterflies (a fairly commonly marketed pattern. I found it at Walmart of all places), that I picked up shortly after my surgery. I am using it to practice stitching for Japanese Silk Embroidery, which I am still hoping to start in June.  I was originally scheduled for may, but I am using my birthday money (which is beginning of may), and I don't think I can collect the necessary funds and place the order and RECEIVE it before June.  But when I get it, there will be pictures.  LOL.

I have also picked up quite the following of Japanese kanzashi artisans on instagram.  I keep finding people to follow that are such fantastic fabric artists, it's kinda shocking when they, too, like my work.  The constant positive feedback has made me delve into my work with renewed fury.  And every time I go looking through the suggested people to follow, I find more and more and more artisans.  It's no wonder I don't sell more internationally.  That and I am still improving my product, each and every time.

Speaking of which, my new thread-wrapping the hair stick really seems to be working but I need to review my glue usage. I'm not certain about the best way to glue the thread down so it doesnt unwrap.  Next up is nori, but it is SO SLOW to dry.  I also have things  like E6000, but it is hard to clean up and can be messy.  I am just going to have to keep trying before I reform ALL my previous pieces to this new technique.  ALONG WITH redoing all of my other hair forks to the new single stem, more traditional thread wrap style.

All in all, things are going well.  :)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Slolwy Working and Life Changes

First to the kanzashi notes. 

I have gone back to working in experimental methods, just focusing on making flowers than complete pieces.  I love this color combo, and by the time I'm finished with this set of pieces, it will probably be late summer/early fall, lol.

Later, when I have my tester's reports on my new hair stick mounting design, I will be fixing all my hair stick pieces.  I might even be adding a few more into inventory out of this pumpkin orange/goldenrod color combo I am currently in.

On top of this, I have a big announcement! I have finally found a Japanese Silk Embroidery Teacher! She lives 3 hours or so from my current location, and has availability for teaching weekends! She has been exceedingly helpful in assisting me with my first piece, which I have picked out and will be ready to purchase by my birthday.  Then I will schedule a weekend away from my family to take my first steps with silk embroidery.

And, simply because I am a glutton for punishment, lol, I have decided to get a part time job, one that pays real money.  I love my store, but it is a hobby that pays for itself.  I can't make real money in this niche art.  I never expected to.  And money, unfortunately, holds me back from expanding on things like Japanese Embroidery, which is very costly considering the necessary materials.  
I only mention it now because I have started getting calls back for interviews, which frankly since I haven't had a real job in 9 years, is somewhat surprising.  It's mostly retail again, which I am comfortable with, and my first callback is a clothing chain, so maybe I will get some ideas on colors and patterns to experiment with in my flowers.

But before I start I hope to have my listings updated with the multicolor chirimen pieces and the kimono pattern barrettes.  So look for new inventory soon!!!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Post-Surgery Updates!!!

So to begin this set of notes, surgery went fine, and have been recovering the last 3 weeks.  Most that truly know me know that I can not STAND to be idle, it drives me crazy to waste time.  So while on bed rest, I have been working away...

First project is some new inventory! I made at least 40 of these fantastic kimono patterned chirimen hair barrettes in rectangle and oval. These will go un-dercorated, and sold as an inexpensive addition to the Emporium.  However half of this batch will be sent to the TZArtisan shop, along with a large collection of bobby pins.

I have also begun a re-design of the hair sticks.  I have never liked the exposed tape, but didn't have the thought to test the durability of something like rayon machine embroidery thread.  For some time now I have been getting more and more comfortable with the use of rayon embroidery thread for thread wrapping techniques, and NOW I have finally applied it to the hair sticks.  The effect is a bold stripe of color underneath the flower, and if it turns out to be durable I am going to re-wrap everything in the shop.  In the mean time I have sent a few prototypes to TZArtisan for further testing. 

In addition to that, I have been working with some of the multicolor chirimen I have been saving.  I only had 2 small squares, but I managed 3 new small pieces and they are fantastic.  I am sure how to present them in the shop, to keep them as a group or split them up. 

I do have more squares of different shades of this multicolor stuff, but I am definitely planning on ordering more of the autumn colors I used to make the last momiji piece and this new pink/green/blue combination. 

I have moved all the home decor ornaments to the clearance bin, and they are still sitting there.  They will stay only until May, when the lisitngs expire.  Then it will be sent off to TZArtisan, again, so that hopefully they can make some money where I could not.  Seems the only thing that sells is kanzashi these days. 

I still have plans for chiyrogami jewelry again and the kumihimo braids that have been set aside.  Hopefully they will do better than ornaments and hair bands. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

New Stuff!!!

There is lots of new things going on at the Emporium!!!
I just finished updating the store with new inventory and several updated listings.  I haven’t started on DeviantART yet, but I have all the pictures prepared and text has been developed.  It’s really a matter of upload and cut/paste and tags. 

I also decided to get rid of the ornaments.  Holiday ornaments will remain but all the satin brocade ones are now in the CLEARANCE bin.  Every single one is 50% off, and I hope they move quickly.  Anything that remains will be sent to the TZArtisan store in May.

I also will be adding a few kanzashi pieces to the clearance as well.  Honestly I just have too much stuff right now and none of it is going anywhere. 

I managed to jump into another craft, little pendants and charms made from my left over yuzen paper I have from bookmarks and the upcoming paper fan project.  (I’m still trying to find the right sized wood from which to make it properly) But it uses many of the same materials and adhesives as the kumihimo findings so it seems to be a good fit.    

I have another big announcement, I have been signed up for another surgery on February 27, 2017.  Hopefully this will really help me get back in control of my life, but I will be out at least a week to recover.  It’s a small price to pay for my sanity and physical health.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Feeling Behind

Botan! Peony!

I have been busy lately, and feeling rather behind on a lot of my goals already. I have a list of things I have to do still, and I just started a botan piece recently.  I was going to do another multistyle, but I lost that feeling after finishing the first botan.  Red and white will be striking, and the green rounded leaves I started last night.  It's a 3 blossom maiko piecce and I was thinking about adding a bira bira but I'm not sure.

 I also managed to put the final touches on this yellow and white multi-style hana with 5 fall shidare.  It has bright green thread wrapping and a 4 inch gold hair fork. 

Multi-Style in Yellow/White

I also have the pine needle to finish, the phoenix, my 3 original hydrangea peices to fix, and a multitude of half finished hair sticks and small pieces to finish.  Then I have a photography shoot to set up, for bookmarks, finished pieces and a few other odds and ends.

Still working on kumihimo.  Looking for the right attachments for closures.

I ordered several things over the weekend for fun, like a obi-clip and a new han eri for my juban.  I also picked up some paper from The Rare Orchid during their half off flash sale!  I found the wood I need to make these fans out of washi paper, and it is kinda expensive. But I couldn't pass up 50% off!  And if I don't use it for fans I will use it for bookmarks. It's beautiful yuzen paper.

I managed to put on a kimono for the first time in months to do a demonstration for my daughter's girl scout troop.  I picked my regular komon, which is cream with a kiku/rivers/momiji pattern.  I pulled out a fukuro obi, which is probably too formal for my kimono, but my nagoya obi I had never tied before.  But the colors at least somewhat matched.  I used a cream obiage, because my only other one is bright golden yellow and would have clashed.  It was excellent practice to put it on, and only took about half an hour by myself, which means I am getting better.

I also discovered that I need a new pair of zori, since my casual ones do not fit.  At all.  And my gold-brocade ones have fallen apart, even if they are the correct size.  I have a very formal set for my furisode kimono but I am waiting to use those for a photo shoot. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Kumihimo Coming Soon!

I have been busy, I swear.

The main focus of my time has been kumihimo.  Now that I have finished my bookmark lots I have moved on to kumihimo weaving.  I have been making long cords in various patterns like the one on the right.  Now that I have 5-6 of these I can move on to making them into bracelets. 

I started another kanzashi bouquet I have probably talked about before.  I managed the shidare petals and just had to quit.  I am kanzashi-ed out.  All that is left of this bouquet is framework and threadwrapping, but I just can't bring myself to go back to it yet.

I also have a ton of individual blossoms to go on hair sticks, along with the bobby pins I made.  I haven't finished those yet either, but it will be soon.  I have a new idea of how I want to attach them, so we shall see if it works.  I am worried about durability of the rayon thread and might have to move back to the nylon crochet thread to keep it on the stick. 

Though my personal life has become another whirlwind affair, I am trying to keep up with store stuff.  I started an instagram account under my birth name, which you can also find on the facebook feed. (Virginia DePauw)  But I am having a hard time keeping up with various websites that require daily activity. Pintrest has been a huge help, and I have been spending some time on that.  It's been a huge help for kumihimo patterns and kanzashi examples.  You can find me on there under LilyAshes Emporium.