Sunday, October 27, 2013

Working Again!!!

After a week with no ornaments I am back at work.  I just posted 3 new ornaments to the store, an orange and gold, a reversible red and white, and a white and gold.  They are getting some traffic, but not nearly as much as my made-to-order chrysanthemum in spiral setting.  I was actually thinking of taking the section down, but with as much traffic as its been getting lately, I will keep it a while longer to see what it does.  I have only ever had 1 person order from it in 6 months, so not really sure if its worth the money to keep it up.
I am definitely on the waning side of ornaments.  I don't have the passion for them as I once did, and that means a different hobby for a weekend.  And since I am about to be kanzashi inspired, it will probably mean back to a new piece.
I am meeting kanzashian for coffee today! I hope for good things, but I am overly eager and I hope I am not being overbearing.  I get like that when I am excited about something new.

I have one new ornament ball I finished recently that I need to wrap and I have started a new purple with butterflies, but I think that will end up being my last one. Then I will work a few kanzashi pieces and then go back to sewing again as I have a project I MUST FINISH by the end of November.  Its the gifts to my nieces and nephew living overseas.
Here's a pic of what I just posted to the store this week.
Make sure you follow me on FaceBook cause I post everything there first.
Oh, yeah, and I am thinking of a black Friday sale from black Friday to cyber Monday.  Good idea? Bad idea? Let me know what you think!!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sprained Wrist = No Work

Short Version: 3 new balls coming and then nothing for a while.  Maybe a custom order.  November should be more productive, after my wrist heals.  Going to meet another kanzashi artist soon. 

Long Version:  So if you have been following me on facebook, you will know that I managed to sprain my wrist the other day making ornament balls. These new pins (I just bought in bulk off amazon of course) are complete trash.  They are dull, thick, and difficult to work with.  I managed to sprain my wrist Thursday night, and by Friday it was very painful.  I have a brace for it, to keep me from making twisting or pinching motions or to lift any objects over 3lbs.  Which is just horrible since I am a mother of 2 young children and its my right wrist (obviously right handed). Even driving is difficult at times. But I keep the brace on and a steady diet of ibuprofen, and it is getting better. But it is still easily stressed so no ornament balls for a while. :(

Enough complaining, down to business.  I had a custom order inquiry today, and that is ALWAYS exciting. I also still have 3 balls to wrap with ribbon and photograph and list, so I am still working on something at least.  But I had to take the entire weekend off just to rest my arm.  I am not even certain I can do kanzashi properly since I have to use a pinching motion with tweezers to make the petals.  But I am not going to pass up a custom order, I enjoy working with real people way too much.

My fellow kanzashian has agreed to meet me for coffee! So INCREDIBLY excited! I am totally going to learn her spider mum design that she has offered to teach me.  I can't wait to learn how it is constructed so I can adapt it to my own wire wrapping techniques.  And she has excellent dying techniques I hope I can learn as well.  I love learning and adapting new techniques, and I hope I can share some with her, too! Not to mention, it would be so nice to have a friend that can just craft with me. I don't have many people around that share my interests. I am so eager, I am positively bursting with exuberance.  YAY!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Going......Going.....Ok seriously, I'm gone.

I'm headed out of town for the weekend. Which is a shame really, because I have 3 balls (working on #4) to wrap and photograph and sell.  But it might give me some time to work on more balls themselves, I will just have to hold off on the wrapping and photos until Tuesday. 

Got a lot going on this coming week. My son's birthday is Monday.  Its also his first day of school.  He is 3 starting special education for preschoolers. He goes half day in the morning, and then to daycare in the afternoon. It will be a major change in my life.  I'm still looking for at least a part time job, and I am concerned I have missed my window for real employment with the holiday season hiring spree already over.  I've got the most experience in retail, that or being a barista.  I'm an artist.  No in demand skill set. And I am not in what most would consider the best of health. I have a lot of demands with my kids, and a difficult schedule.  But all that is just excuses for to hide the real issue, I'm terrified of having no time for the Temple.

Sold another ball this morning, I am thinking of remaking it or at least one that is similar.  I keep selling all my ornaments to the same person, and I can't decide if she is reselling them or giving them as gifts to people, A LOT.  But honestly at least someone is buying them.  It gives me drive to make more.

Which I have been doing.  A LOT.

 I made one alternating red and white, one gold brocade and white highlight, and one orange brocade with gold highlight.  Right now I am working on magenta brocade with gold highlights.  After that I am making a few more blue and white winter color ones.  Eventually I will get to the purple with butterflies, and then remake the tea rose ornament and the blue and silver ornament I just sold.
Busy Busy!!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Misc. Info.

The new ornament balls are up and boy are they looking good.  The pictures came out great, the collages were easy and a nifty new feature for me to show more photos. I have really been getting into those for the first photo, since Etsy has changed the layout of the picture viewer, and the first photo is the most important.
I will be gone this coming weekend, out of town visiting family for my son's 3rd birthday. This will only really effect Saturday shipping, as we are leaving Friday afternoon.  Any sales will be shipped Monday the
21st. During this time I hope to complete at least 1-2 ornament balls a day.  HOPE. I have so many colors I want to try out, orange, magenta, purple, brown, and of course I have to redo a few that I have already sold.
I am actually going to meet my fellow kanzashian! Will keep you posted on that as creative details emerge.
I feel good about what I am doing now.  I was stuck on that tiara for way too long.  Not only are the ornament balls popular, they are bringing new customers to the shop and introducing them to the world of kanzashi and Japanese crafts. Plus I REALLY need some new pieces for my kimono to get back into doing conventions. And books.  Always need books.  There is a $90 book on ebay about how to style the maiko hairstyle and where to place kanzashi and how it fits together. Want it sooooo bad, even if it is in Japanese, it has great step by step pictures.And the kimono deals I have had to pass up lately would make you want to cry. But maybe I can start moving forward with some of that, if I can get some of these balls to bring in more customers. 
So on with the ornament balls for now, at least until the Christmas season is over.  Then I am going to take some r and r time with Final Fantasy 14. Then, in February, I will get back into kanzashi in time for the spring wedding season.
Oh, and my son starts school next week. I will be childless every regular school day from 8am till 3 pm.  Lots of time to get things done and maybe more work on the store.

Friday, October 11, 2013

New Ornament Ball on the Way

Ok, so I have completed 4 new balls that need ribbon, and working on a 5th.  Heading to the store tomorrow to get a yard of white satin, some new ribbons, and anything else I happen to find.  I also put in an amazon order for 2 boxes of 800 count straight satin pins, but ordering the foam balls online at 7.50 a pack vs getting them down the street at 4.00 a pack is a major difference when you are getting as many packs as I do.  I am also temped to try doing a wall mounted piece, with half of a 6 inch sphere.  I thought about doing smaller ones, but I worry about logistics and using as many straight pins as this task requires into a smaller ball.  Plus the smallest pin I can find is 1 and 1/16 inches long, and an 1.5 inch ball isnt going to work.
I am starting to develop calluses while my leather thimble has just about worn a hole in itself. 
But the plan is tonight I finish my 5th ball, tomorrow I shop, tomorrow night I wrap and trim, Sunday I photograph and edit, and maybe Monday or Tuesday I can get everything listed. Not to mention somewhere in there I am going to have to chop fabric, to the point that I really want a rotary cutting machine.  Urgh.  Tired of cutting squares.  But I am almost out of gold and silver crepe back satin, I have been using it so much lately.

Fall into Place

SO!  Lots of stuff happened recently.
I've been working ornament balls like mad. Have three that need ribbon, and I even managed two of those in one day. My fingers hurt, but its worth it.
I heard from my fellow kanzashian! She is totaly happy to meet me and exchange ideas, and maybe even let me show her around town. So excited to get some new fresh input and methods and just meet someone who knows what a kanzashi is without having me explain it.
My model came back and told me I had time to finish the tiara, IF I chose to start over.  Which I might after this ornament ball rush is done.  So there might be hope for that project yet!
Ok, so that's it for now, I have some light house cleaning to do for the day before I delve head first back into ornament designs.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


That's right.
It's the failboat.
Cause the tiara is officially failed.

So I'm wrapping the wires right, not that the wrapping is actually sticking to the wire, and as it comes undone for the second time in a row, I am pulling it off to start over, AGAIN, and the freaking wire comes off the flower. The glue wasn't strong enough to hold it in place and now all the flowers for the tiara are compromised.  I am going to have to start over.  And I can't.  I just can't do it anymore.  This piece is making me never want to work a tiara again, and I can't let that happen.  It's just another setback due to inexperience.  But this is a two week minimum setback, putting the project technically back another month before shipping. And I just can't do that to my customer.  She has waited so patiently I just can't make her wait any more. 
Still no word from our fellow kanzashian.  Which hurts as well.
I'm taking a kanzashi break for the rest of October.  I need to focus on other things, other projects that have been left idle for too long.  Ornament balls are going to get a real push.  And origami.  I might even get to that Kanzashi How To section I never finished.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Or, Maybe Not

Holy heck those things went fast.  Sold 3 ornament balls in one day.  So much for those!
But it does mean one thing, I am going to be focusing on that instead of origami.  Which is a shame really, because I had already started practicing a bit.  I still enjoy the ornament balls, or I wouldn't  be making them.  But with Christmas coming up, and the holiday decorations, I had better start making them now.  I even went craft supply shopping today (With the kids i might add), so I can get started asap.  Or, in other words, after the tiara. 
Which, I know, I know, I KEEP saying. 
I attempted to reach out to another Kanzashi artist that just moved to the area. Not sure what they will say.  I could really learn from them, if they are willing to teach. Just depends I guess.  Really trying not to get my hopes up just yet until I get a reply.
Have a busy week ahead. Tonight is wire wrapping, and hopefully Tuesday night will be frame and mounting.  Man I hope this goes well.  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ornament Balls are Up

Well, it has been a world full of setbacks this week, but I finally squeezed in some time and got the photos of the ornament balls I made (mostly while I was trapped in a hotel room).  Two were found stored in a box that I had kinda forgotten, and two were finished and trimmed a few nights ago. But they are photographed and listed, which believe me, is more work than you would think it to be.
And of course I am having computer issues, mostly storage capacity, and frankly I need a bigger hard drive to accommodate the photos and edits of my inventory.  So I am stuck using my back up laptop, which is kinda slow.  Especially since I don't have a mouse hooked up to it yet.
Next week will be crazy too, since my children are off of school Monday and Tuesday.  I doubt I be able to work much until the evenings.
But it is getting there.  Tomorrow night its back on the tiara, where I will begin the thread wrapping of the wires.  Then I can begin to fix them into small bundles and lay them out in a final design for mounting on the frame.  I still have to create the frame, and figure out the correct size because all I have to go from is a child sized pattern, and my own head. Still lots of work ahead, but a lot of work already done. I can see the light at the end, which is good, cause I have almost hit kanzashi burnout.
Oh, and before I forget, top hats will be coming back soon as well! My order is complete for the base hats but I have yet to pick them up.  It will probably be more like november before I start working on them, since I am definately taking a break after this mega 3 piece set.
And look forward to some origami scenes soon, because I will be focusing on that after this tiara  if I can ever finish it. Picked up some black and gold print washi paper the other day, great for making little Japanese boy clothes!