Personalized earrings say Brianna in Japanese katakana

These fun earrings say Brianna in Japanese katakana (yes, we Westerners casually call it “Japanese kanji” – the term katakana is actually more accurate). These are one of my favorite new shapes (and so far, my customers that have bought this new style, darling girls that they are, seem pretty happy with them!)

personalized kanji earrings say Brianna in Japanese katakana

This cornflower blue color can be changed, of course – you can request whatever color you like best. And for that matter, you can choose your own name in kanji.

But you knew that already 😉

Pansy earrings. These are clip-ons :-)

Pansy earrings have been among the most popular earrings I’ve made the last few years. I’ve got several styles, in white and pink and purple…. and I’ve got some pretty ones on my new clip on earrings page.

purple and white pansy clip on earrings....made with lacquered paper

And though I am not supposed to say it, I really like them too 🙂 They’re feminine, they’re big enough to be seen and have a bit of design impact (a bit over 1″ long), but they’re not gaudy and showy. And of course they’re comfy. And since they’re made with lacquered paper, they’re great for that first anniversary gift you guys are looking for.

I think I’ve mentioned this before. Flowers. Jewelry. Paper. First anniversary 😉

Independence Day

Hey everybody, just a quickie – have a safe, happy, fun Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July

And if you’re not in the U.S. – *still* have a safe, fun and happy Fourth of July 🙂

Yeah, we’re broke – but we’re rich.

Don’t get me wrong, we struggle with money like most everybody. We scrape to pay bills, we do without a *lot* (cable is a goner and actually I don’t really miss it. Well, except for Jon Stewart). My car is 6 years old. We just got a used lawn mower. Our fridge is getting ready to die.

But also: we’re rich. I am so not a do-goodie type and I moan and bitch with the best of them.

But: we’ve got running water. And heat – and the spring is coming so early, we’re lucky, we’ve got AC too! I have to watch the food budget all the time but we eat EVERY SINGLE DAY.

We have our own house. Well, us and the bank. I have a sometimes-self-supporting at-home job. My DH has a good job though it’s tough and hard on him. We’ve got trees and grass and two happy dogs. We’re mostly healthy, knock wood.

Did I mention we eat every single day?

You tell me that’s not rich? Ask half the people in this world. More than half. A lot more.

Oh yeah. We’re rich.

Getting off the little soapbox now. But think about it.

Happy Fathers Day, Guys :-)

Just a tip of the hat to all the dads out there – they’re usually unsung heroes, yknow?

Dad working on the car - and teaching
Dad fixing the car – and teaching his kid 🙂
(Photo courtesy of classicvintageautos.com, thank you!)

Happy Dad’s Day next week, guys!


P.S. If you haven’t thought of it yet, go grab a funny card – or send a gift – or make a note to CALL him. It means a lot!

Happy 2011

It’s a brand new year! I’m hoping for…

More beach time!

Fort Myers Beach
Curious local resident at the pier at Fort Myers Beach
Sunset from our rental house at Fort Myers Beach

Halloween Costume – Love the Men In Black idea!

I was just looking around for some new (to me) Halloween costume ideas. Something that hasn’t been done to death, something that’s not hard to do, and something FUN.

How about your own Men in Black costume? Like these:

Men in Black - Halloween costume
Men in Black Halloween Costume

This link takes you to The Instructables where you’ll find lots of other great costume ideas (makeup too).

And here’s more MiB costumes:

Men in Black Halloween Costumes
More Men in Black Halloween Costumes

I found this at Coolest Homemade Costumes which has got to be the greatest site ever for costume ideas.

But hey – Men in Black? For one thing, I love the Men in Black movies. And they’re making a new MIB movie right now (or about to start it) so these are going to be “new” again. (and besides, yay, they’re making a new MIB movie!)

This idea works for anybody – men, women, kids. Take a black suit, a white shirt, a tie, the all-important sunglasses and presto: you’re “V”, or “B”, or whatever name you want to use.

Have some fun this Halloween!

Toy Story 3

I know, there’s a ton of hype and all, and come on, what do I care about cartoon or animated movies? Not so much. But.

Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3 – read more about it at imdb.com

I have to say it. This is a great movie. This is a movie about toys! How could it be moving, entertaining, gripping, romantic (sometimes), hysterically funny (sometimes), surprisingly sophisticated (sometimes)? But it is!

These guys are GOOD. Not only the actors – even more, the writers, the Pixar staff, the animators, all of them. They made me care. They practically had me on the edge of my seat. I knew the good guys would win, I mean, come on, it’s meant for kids (maybe), and it’s Disney, and it’s about TOYS. The good guys have to win. And they caught me up and all right, maybe there was one tiny tear or two.

Not surprisingly, the cast is terrific – but you knew they would be. Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Michael Keaton – Michael Keaton! wait till you catch his character! Wallace Shawn, Ned Beatty, and I know I’m forgetting some of the good ones. How could they not be good?

It’s really funny. It’s really interesting. It’s really good. Go see it.

Costuming a la Project Runway (sort of!) Shosuro Jim-en by Kankywompous

Now you know how I love seeing artistic creativity, especially when it’s original work, and especially when it’s budget-friendly. This is fabric creativity, not paper, but it’s right up my alley all the same.

The artist is Kankywompous – see her work here. Her project – that reminds me of Project Runway – was to create a Japanese kimono outfit (kimono, obi and haori) for a small contest on the following Saturday. To find the fabrics, do the cutting and sewing of all the pieces from Wednesday to Friday (night) – and oh yeah, there was a “real” job during that time too – I’m applauding!

And check out the result!

Shoshuro Jim costume and Shoshuro Jim with Mask

See the detail:
Costume - Lining Detail et extravagant!

And they won first place! The artist mentioned, “I started cutting and sewing about 11am Wed and stopped at about 10pm that night with both the Kimono and Obi finished at that point.

The Haori I had less time to work with, as I had work in the morning, so after I got back on Thurs, I started the cutting and sewing of the jacket. The Haori is lined with the same print as the outer layer, but in a brighter color to add a nice pop.

At the event, which is part of a two day CCG Event for Legend of the Five rings, it placed 1st in the costume contest (out of four placings).”

You have to admire that kind of creative rush (and can I add, I absolutely love that lining!)

Working out of a Cardboard Box – No, Really

And it’s not what you think. At least, if you think it means carrying a box of stuff to wherever you are that day. Nope, this is more of an inspirational piece. These guys have an office with all their furniture (and etc, it looks like) made from cardboard. And it’s fabulous.

Cardboard Box Office - 1
Cardboard Box Office - 1
Cardboard Box Office - 1

The office is in Amsterdam. Is it my imagination, or is there a LOT of inspiration and innovation coming from that corner of the world?

I haven’t tried to post all the pics here – go over to The Fast Company Blog to read the full article. And check out The Little Green Blog which is where I learned about this cool office. Little Green Blog is going on my check-it-a-lot list – there are so many green ideas over here. Not only green – but useful and practical and sensible.

I’m not expecting we’re all going to go out and build our offices out of cardboard. But looking at these pics (and there’s more links to visit for ideas) it reminds me that ordinary materials can be turned into something pretty special. And it makes me want to figure out ways to use cardboard more. In layers, bonded together, cardboard is strong. And it can be – well, you know. Reused, rethought, and recycled 🙂