Monday, August 31, 2015

More Ornaments on the way

There are actually 4 more on the way, I have a blue gradient that I am working on as well.  When that one is finished it will be time for trimmings and listings.

So as you can see I have one remake of the pink lady, cause I have sold her more times than not.  I was going to redo the mauve one, but went with the brighter fuchsia at the last minute.  The green one I finished probably a year to 9 months ago and just getting around to putting trimming on it. It just sat on my desk, waiting until the time was right.

I'm probably going to run with ornaments a few more weeks.  I have a 1/2 lb box of pins on the way from amazon, lol. And I still have at least 25-30 foam balls still.  I should be set for a while.

I also put in that order a nice sized container of Nori Paste, or rice glue.  I could make it myself, but honestly, I don't have the energy or drive for that, and it often molds.  Plus this will get me to makeing kanzashi sooner than later. I am pretty excited about the prospect of using real hand dyed silk and the traditional method.  Especially seeing as Elizabeth Comer is the one who dyed it and sent it to me!

Please remember all this is for charity.  Every sale goes toward Elizabeth's Medical Fund. Click the link to donate directly.   We are still hanging out steady at $625.  I was hoping to break a grand before the end of the month.  So, back to work for me!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Back to Ornaments

Ok so these two babies got sold to a sweet lady from Canada.  Honestly, the pink lady on the left has been sold 3 or 4 times now, so I am remaking her, once again.  I want to do more like the one on the right, but we will just have to see.  I have a couple new fabric options I want to try out, and a full supply of foam ball bases.  I just need another pound of pins, considering I am down to 3-4 balls worth max.  But I KNOW I need a kanzashi break.  Just for a little while. Plus I sell more ornaments than kanzashi. But with this purchase we are up to $625! And $375 I raised myself! SO happy! Remember, you can go to GOFUNDME to directly donate! 

Now that school is back in session, I will have more time to work on ornaments, sitting in the car line for 30 minutes a day during the weekdays gives me plenty of pinning time.  So look for more of those upcoming! 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

New Listings Again

 It has been an interesting turn of events today.  Friday I got a suggestion from a close friend of mine, that the texas theater would let me rent the place for about $250, and hold a benifit in Elizabeth Comer's name.  They would run a movie which I can have someone provide, and all ticket sales would go to her. I just don't know if I could raise the money for the rental much less get people to show up.  It's risky.  

I did photos saturday night, and surprising to say I don't like the way many of the shots came out.  Many of the backgounds look yellow to me, especially with the white petals to compare the backdrop against. 

The rounded petal kiku's photographed especially well. 

I listed all the double cherry blossom style separately.  It seems easier that way since many of the ones with print are expensive.  It made the rounded petal kiku's much more costly with the extensive use of patterns which are WAY more expensive than solids. 

One of the pieces is missing, however, the thyroid awareness double cherry blossom started to unravel at the base, so I have to fix it.  That and I went through and re-organized my inventory, pulled a few pieces out to chunk in the trash, some of my originals that never sold.  Not even in clearance.  Not that I blame you guys, I mean, I kinda sucked in the beginning.

Anyway, I made a sale today, one of the balls of course.  The pink lady has been sold once again.  It's quite the popular color scheme, not sure why.  Guess this means I will have to go back to remaking a few balls and putting the christmas ones on the backburner until after October.

I want to do some pointed petal kiku's eventually, and balls will come back since school is in session for my kiddos.  Sitting in the car line with half an hour to spare means plenty of time for stitching and ornaments.

The Elizabeth Comer fund is up to $600 with today's sale. Hopefully these will take in a little more.

Elizabeth is doing well in recovery and depending on results may not have to have radioactive scans.  

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Another Thyroid Awareness Piece

So this is piece 7 since my last photo shoot, it's time for another. I need to finish one more piece before that happens, but it is 50% completed. So either tonight or tomorrow night I will set up for another shoot. Hopefully I will have everything listed before the weekend.
I recieved news on Elizabeth Comer's status! The surgery went well, she has been released from the hospital,  and staying with family in Little Rock until she is well enough to travel. But that's not all!
The doctors also believe that the cancer had not had a chance to spread, and therefore has been completely removed!
The wonderful girl is do thoughtful, she sent me a box of supplies before her surgery last Friday!  Hand dyed silk, stamens, an assortment of hair pins (the 4 inch kind with the loop on top) and cording. I am not ashamed to admit I cried. A lot.  But next month when I have some money again, I will pick up a jar of rice paste to use with the silk. Frankly, I am too lazy to make it by hand. Then maybe some spider mum kanzashi, which I have wanted to make since Elizabeth gave me instructions when we first met.
I am also happy to announce that we have made over 10% of the gofundme campaign! Click the link for a direct donation, or make a purchase in the shop and all sales go directly to the fund until the end of the year. This includes custom orders! 
October is not long away, so get your orders in now so it will be in hand/hair for your upcoming costume party! I have a full supply of yellows, oranges, reds, white, black, and greens. And several prints in yellow, red, black, and blue.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

New Pieces and New Thyroid Cancer Awareness Product Line

Well, I finally seem to have a handle on the rounded petal chrysanthemum swirl pattern.  Even though it is basically working backwards for me, it seems to have come out ok.  I particularly like the one with leaves.  She has wisteria purple, hazy cherry blossom print in pink, and pearl for the bulk.  The other has kelly green, white, and a patterned fabric of white and green.  Both have brass/gold colored accents and the new hair forks (which I need practice with).  Both are thread wrapped in white with gold filament thread, which is the same thread used in the shidare. 
Then there is this piece, which takes some explaining.  So as you all must know by now, I am fundraising for my friend Elizabeth Comer's thyroid cancer surgery.  She's ImlothMelui on Etsy or  EruwaedhielElleth on DeviantART.
So the colors of thyroid cancer awareness are aqua or teal, pink, and purple, hence the theme for this piece.  After some digging I rediscovered those silver butterfly charms that I have at least 30 of and haven't used in the 2 years since I purchased them.  The butterfly is also symbolic of thyroid cancer awareness since the thyroid itself is a shape that resembles a butterfly.
I'm planning a while line of these.  I have my double cherry blossom down, next would be a kiku, but I think I am going to move on to some small blossom clusters since I am kinda getting sick of the kiku.  Maybe I can figure out how to make a tricolor swirl pattern, when I am ready to get back to those.

But next up is more photos.  I am up to another 6 pieces or so that need photographs.  Eventually I have a feeling I need to call my photographer buddy to do another shoot.  All the backgrounds for these pieces look yellow, even though they are a white surface. And I can't ever quite seem to get them bright enough.  Stupid camera phone, lol.  But it's all I have.

Keep checking back for new pieces and don't forget to donate to Elizabeth's campaign HERE.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Next piece attempt

I couldn't wait to give it another go. I really pushed to finish this part tonight. I had originally planned to use a pink variant, but didn't have anything pre-cut that matched. The purple matched so well, and i wanted to try with different colors. 
So in the end she's a mix of wisteria, pearl, and pink cherry blossom print. Soon she will have matching leaves and a shidare of course.
The wire technique to attach to the new hair pins is getting easier. I worry though. It's not a refined, finished look, like the previous were.  But they fit, and are far more comfortable.
I want to work a few smaller pieces next, some tri-blossom pieces with a simple shidare, or even a rotational bira bira. I haven't made one of those in some time. Just trying to break up the monotony of my product. I've been needing  to expand my selection for some time now. I have been pushing myself outside my normal technique with several of these new pieces. Now if I could just land some sales!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Rounded petal kiku swirl base complete

Well, I finished it last night, and the shidare.  You can see the rotation, but it is more noticible with the solid colors than the print.  I think next time I will try solids only or a very dark print.  Otherwise it came out ok.  I am not completely stunned by it, but it is good enough to make it in the shop and maybe make a sale for Elizabeth Comer and her cancer fund.

All this pretty lady needs now is a hair fork and a thread wrapping.  The wrapping color I went for was the white with gold flament.  A little larger gauge thread than I normally use, but still effective and matches the piece well.  It's also in the shidare, matched with brass bells. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Rounded petal spin

So, umm, yeah, couldn't wait for the weekend.  I started this one last night, and you can just barely  see that I have started to turn the pattern by moving the petals over one slot.  So far it seems to be working, but I only have two more layers to go so I am not sure it will be all that noticeable.

They moved up the date of Elizabeth Comer's surgery to August 14! Which is just awesome! This is to remove the malignant nodes around her thyroid.  Her parents need at least $5,000 to cover medical expenses.  So far I am up to $325.  Better than nothing but a long way to go!

I have taken down a few pieces while I make some room for new inventory.  A couple of the clearance pieces I have deactivated.  They just aren't worth the 8 renewals I have had on them.  That's 2 years old. They weren't that great a color combination anyway.  One of them was a kiku swirl set, the goth pink one.  Yeah, stale.  The other was made at the same time, a 3 blossom stick in the same colors.  Just need better photos or better product.  I have come a long way in 2 years. 

I am hoping this piece will be the start of a new design. Hopefully I will finish it off tonight and update tomorrow after it dries.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Three New Pieces

Things are still going well so far, I finished another three pieces in 3-4 days.  Manic much?

I really like the green one best.  The pink ones are polar opposites so they could be used as a set or purchased as a stand alone.  It's just something about green on white that I just love.

I have just enough of that green waves pattern left to do a chrysanthemum, so I will. But I'm not sure how to plan it out.  Pointed leaf is much easier to swirl because you work from the top and move down.  But to move from the bottom and go up is much more complicated for me.  I am still planning it out, but it will be two sides of white, one of the kelly green, and another of the wavy pattern.  Heck, maybe I even have a nice center to finish it with somewhere around here, lol.

These are finished with the new hair forks as well.  I am going to have to use only lightweight 22g brass wire for mounting. It's the only thing strong and yet flexible enough to hold up a base without it jiggling all over the place.  I don't know how well it will hold a large kiku, that could be a real problem.  I want to make a few more big pieces before I am done with my drive.  Probably another like the one I sold so quickly with the leaves and buds and such, and another bouquet.  Truthfully, my store is lacking many simple blossom sets.  I know I need to add those in, too, and I need to get off the double cherryblossom kick. I think these are the last of this style I will make for a while without a custom order request.  WHICH IS STILL OPEN BY THE WAY......HINT!

My friend Elizabeth Comer will be going into surgery soon to remove the cancerous nodes around her thyroid. I am hoping to at least raise $500 by then.  10% of the total we need.  It would be nice to send her a check. We are at $225 now.  So not much further to go.  But I haven't had a sale in months, so I don't know what else to do except scrape, beg, and push as hard as possible.  And beg.  And advertize.  And mention it over and over and over until people are sick of hearing of it and just send me money to shut me up.  That works, too.  LOL!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

New Pieces Listed

Six pieces up and photographed, edited, watermarked, listed, and broadcast.  I am pooped.

And yet I am still planning more pieces to work on while I am on this fundraising campaign.  Nothing as intricate of course.  Maybe a few more kiku in the pointed leaf style and maybe a bouquet with a bira bira.

My new hair forks came in yesterday, they are stainless steel and have tapered ends to not snag hair so much, but the loop I use to tie off my pieces is gone.  It will take some practice to tie off without that support.  And they do not have as nice of a finish as the old ones did.  I am just going to have to work with these and see how it goes.

Other than that setback, I feel like I am getting back into a rhythm.  My energy is coming back after the surgery, and being driven by the campaign, I have finished more pieces in the past two weeks than I have in the past 4 months.  Hopefully I can keep this drive going since I am serving a purpose other than myself.