Monday, November 27, 2017

Work Coming Along And Vacation Announcement!!!!


I have decided to close the shop temporarily after the shipping deadline for Christmas mail out (middle of December) and stay in vacation mode until late January. Lots of reasons why, but good reasons this time.

Firstly, I have a lot of personal stuff that goes on during December besides just the holidays (my extended family has a lot of birthdays, too) and in January I have girl scout cookie business.

Secondly, I have plans.  The store and product desperately need a revamp.  I am still deciding if I am going to take the store off Etsy entirely, and start my own website.  Etsy has been stale lately, but I do enjoy different aspects of it, like vacation mode and not having to deal with credit card payments.

Third, I need to re-do a lot, A LOT of my product.  It's not the flowers themselves, it's the mounting job.  Most of my early work is pretty terrible when it comes to attachments.  I have learned so much in the past year with regards to mounting and thread wrapping, it makes my old product look terrible. Not to mention I have product I haven't listed much less photographed. I also have several projects that are half finished, like washi jewelry, kumihimo, and ornaments.

So its going to be time for a big update.  Not planning on changing graphics though.

Now its time for work updates :)

Almost finished!! YAY!!!
So as you can see, this piece is really coming along.  I have finished mounting the frame for the bira bira and the shidare (you can kinda see the four spokes of gold wire for the shidare) and 2 of it's falls.  They are going to be an identical, repeating pattern of white on red, white on purple and white on white.

None of this part of the work is easy.  Mounting takes a strong grip that wears out the muscles in your hands, often leaving to cramping since I haven't done this in a while.  Also, its a lot of wrapping.  It took like 2 hours to wrap just the left side.  I also have to finish the wrapping on the right side which needs to come down another couple of inches.
The shidare part is the part that, I find, to be the most difficult.  Getting the petals to come together over a thin piece of nylon twine, without getting glue EVERYWHERE, and still managing to cover the high contrast colors underneath the white so they don't show down the's a lot to handle.  But these two I have managed pretty well.  I find the double layers are bigger and easier to deal with than the singles, so I went ahead and did that since it would give me a chance to lightly add some color, while keeping the white prominent.  (Her kimono is mostly white)

When it't done, though, it is going to be FANTASTIC!!!!  I know she will love it, although it is very delayed.  Like a month overdue.

Also, if there is anyone reading this who likes Facebook, I strongly suggest you check out the Immortal Geisha group, the Immortal Geisha Marketplace, and the DIY kimono group.  The Immortal Geisha people are AMAZING, I have grabbed some INCREDIBLE finds off the marketplace, and the DIY kimono group has some really great ideas for alterations and work arounds for wearing kimono!!!!  They are wonderful, caring people, and I don't say that often about people in groups.

Lastly, I am still collecting donations for Dimitri Conde to help his parents afford the burden of his Leukemia ALL diagnosis.  The local community helped her restore her house after it flooded with sewage, 3k in damages total.  But because of Demitri's condition, they have been back and forth to the hospital on many occasions, the last one requiring a two to three week stay in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Both parents are working minimal hours to provide around the clock care for Dimitri.  Please, please help in any way you can. :)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Getting Back to Work (Attempt Round 2)

This is yet another painfully overdue update.  But I have some good stuff to report.

So this is the custom order I have been slowly working on.  Very slowly, but thankfully she has been incredibly understanding of my medical predicament (which I will go into later). 

There are three big kikus, several smaller filler pieces and a new dragonfly (which I have never attempted before).  All in all, the bouquet has come out amazing (she loves it), and the rest is falling into place.  I have this half mounted to the headband, and will continue the wrapping to the other side of the band (it's only about halfway right now, just to get the bouquet in place).
I also included a close up of the thread wrapping job, the stems are the usual 40w machine embroidery thread, with the headband wrapping being the nylon crochet thread I use for heavy jobs, and shidare.

wrap job
only halfway wrapped
 So the next part is the bira bira and the shidare frame, which will come down and be wrapped to the bottom half of the piece.  It's probably going to stick out a little bit so it doesn't get tangled in hair fibers and brushing against the ear. But I have to say since this is my first time doing a headband, it's coming out really well. 

Some of you may have noticed that the TZArtisan project hasn't been mentioned in some time.  It has been stalled for a while, and has officially been disbanded.  All the sites have been taken down and my unsold donations have been returned to me.  I feel really bad for my team leader, Ariel, who has simply over committed herself, and can no longer hold a mantle of leader, and no one else has the ability to take her place. I am very sorry to see it go, but in the end, I was not surprised. 

On another note, I have found a group on Facebook that I have fallen completely in love with.  Immortal Geisha has taken their forum community off traditional forums and onto Facebook Groups!!! They are the sweetest, most informative, dedicated group I have ever met.  I love it!!! And if you love kitsuke as much as we do, by all means, JOIN!!!!

Speaking of kitsuke, I have another kimono I have added to my collection!

I found this red lovely on an Etsy shop, and fell IN LOVE.  I have always wanted a red kimono, and though I thought it would be more bright red than this darker rust red, that actually makes me love it more (darker reds are more my coloring).  I have a gold obi to pair it with, or the new green with gold and orange to red stitching, an "orange as orange can be" obiage, and a red silk round obijime.  I also bought a yellow one, but it's really too dirty to use.

I am now on the hunt for a proper nagajuban, but with a 25 inch sodetake, or sleeve length, it's not going to be easy.  I might have to suck it up an alter one. 

The rest of this is personal business.

So I have been sick, and among my various diseases, we have discovered along the way that I am in fact a Type 1 diabetic, I have Autism, and my reproductive system is screwed.   I seem to be always sick with something at some time.  I recently had a reaction to one of my mood stabilizers, forcing me to stop taking it.  Anyone with a mental health history knows what a difficult time this can be.  When I had last written a blog post, I was starting to do better.  I didn't thing the fight would be as long as it has been.  I had been ramping up on a new medication and it really seemed to be working, until I got to the final dosage, at least the actual regular dosage.  Then I broke out in hives all over and realized I was allergic.  2 months of telling myself it would get better, lying to myself. 
Then we tried two more medications, both were a bust.  I am currently on something I have taken before, and it's helping, but I still have side effects, and I don't know how long I have until I have to change on this one, too.

Mental illness is a never ending battle. I will never be cured, and I will fight my extreme emotional reactions, like my blood sugar, the rest of my life.   There is no cure, and there is barely help.  We have made more progress with Diabetes in the last decade than with mental health or women's health.  And while I am very glad to be off of shots and on an insulin pump, I still feel like I am out of my mind, and I never know if it is hormones or Autism. 

I wont go into great detail what I am like when I am sick. Just trust me, I am no fun to be around.

So while I have been sick I have been unable to work.  Which means I am behind on everything. I haven't done my photos, or Japanese Embroidery, or any embroidery.  All I have done is work this custom order and do house chores when I can.

I am going to keep working for now, that I am able.  I plan on putting on the bira bira frame today on that headband order, and after that I will be working on updating inventory for the store.  I might even shut it down and move it to my own hosted site.  Maybe next year.