Sunday, December 28, 2008

Goodbye, Dawanda

Well, my Dawanda experiment officially ended today, when I e-mailed support to cancel my account. I know that some will say that 4 months is not a long time to experiment with a venue, but I need the time to concentrate on my own website and my Etsy shop. Especially my website, which has been seriously neglected for a long time. Dawanda is probably a pretty good venue for those who can list and communicate in French and German, as their English site is known for not getting as much traffic as the others. I appreciate the fact that they had selling/traffic stats available to individual shops, as well as the ability to use a previous listing as a template for a new one (helpful when listing new colors of previous items), but the overall store and site just were not right for me.

I may choose to branch out onto another selling site sometime in the future, but for the time being, I will be staying on Etsy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

100 Items!

Yes, I've finally achieved that long-time Etsy goal of having 100 items listed in my shop. This is the 100th -- a set of my origami crane star ornaments in silver with green.

I still have several items to list before the month is over, though. I have at least 3 items finished and photographed, but not listed, and I have 1 finished item that isn't photographed yet. All of them are art pieces. I plan to complete a few more sets of Christmas ornaments in different colors -- those should be ready to go up into my shop next week.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Experimenting with Shop Sections -- Again

It doesn't seem all that long ago that I revised my Etsy shop sections. At the time, I had two art sections: Framed and Unframed. Later, I added an ACEO section.

Recently, it occurred to me that this might not be the best way for customers to be able to find things in my shop. So I changed the Art sections to reflect the subject of the pieces. Now, there is "Animal and Nature Art," which includes my ever expanding origami zoo, and then there is the "Kanji Art," which includes all of the different kanji characters that I've done so far.

For the time being, because ACEOs are often searched for by their size, they will be staying in their own section.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Crane Trio, Lime Green

Three cranes strung together, mixed with beads. I used faux pearls and Czech Fire Polished Half-Metallic glass beads. I made a few of these last year, but I'm adding a few new color combinations this year. I admit I wasn't too sure about using the lime green color, but I've seen a lot of people saying that they're decorating their entire Christmas tree in this shade, so I thought I'd try it out.

Building a New Light Box

A few weeks ago, my light box that I had constructed out of pieces of white foam board finally collapsed on me. The interior was badly scratched and warped. I had known it was on it's "last legs" for a while, so I saved the box from my miter saw purchase earlier this year with the intention of building a new one with instructions acquired through the internet. You can find the complete instructions here.

This is how the box looked when I started:

Then I measured, marked and cut out the openings as instructed:

I lined the interior with white poster board, and used another sheet of poster board to create a curved backdrop:

Finally, I used thin white cotton fabric to cover the sides and top to finish the box. This is what it looks like:
It's a little smaller than I sometimes need, but it works well for the majority of my photos.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

83 Items and Counting!

This is the most recent "new" listing in my shop (not counting the renewal that came after it.) Just 17 more new items to reach my longtime-Etsy goal of 100 shop items...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How to Create a Web Image Ad

I've touched briefly on this subject when I wrote a post on how to make a website banner using MS Paint last year. And though I've happily used the services of a professional when it came to making an ad, being able to make a basic one on my own means I have that much more available in advertising funds.

There are two places that I know of that will help you place an image ad: Project Wonderful and Google AdWords. Project Wonderful is generally less expensive, and is considered to be a good starting place for those who haven't done paid advertising before. The down side is that a lot of the more affordable ad spaces are for blogs or websites that don't have a great deal of traffic -- you really have to choose wisely. Plus, the sites there tend to be less well-known than the ones on AdWords.

AdWords used to be only for text ads, but now they also place image/banner ads as well. I used their text ad service before and didn't do so well, I think with my work it's a lot easier to get clicks when people can see it -- either that, or I'm just not much of an ad-writer. I also like their new "placements" option, where you can choose the sites your ads appear on.

These are instructions on how to make a square ad (125x125 pixels for Project Wonderful, or a 200x200 pixel "small square" for Google) with a single photograph as the image. I'll be doing another post on how to do the other size/multiple photo ads as soon as I get a little better with the technique myself.

1. After opening Paint, go to Edit, and select "Paste From." Choose the image you want to use for your ad and click "open."

2. Move your cursor over one corner of your image until you see a diagonal, two-pointed arrow. When you see this, this means you can resize, rather than just move the image around.

3. Resize your image. As you move the cursor, you will see the dimensions displayed at the bottom of your screen. You can leave the image slightly larger than the size of the ad you're making, for example, when I was making a 125x125 ad, I sized the image to 127x127. Do not click away from the image during this time, otherwise it will be set at whatever size/position you were in at the moment, and you will be unable to make any corrections without deleting the image and having to start all over again.

4. Using your mouse, drag the image over to the top right corner of the page, next to the menu. If you don't do this, when you resize the overall file, you could potentially "lose" your image.

5. Click on "Image," then choose "Attributes." Make sure that the "unit" selected is pixels, then enter the size you want in the width and height boxes.

6. To add text to your image, click on the text button (the one that looks like an "A") and use your cursor to create a box where you want your words to go. Two new buttons will appear on the side of your screen. The first is the "Draw Opaque" button -- it has three shapes, with the green square appearing on a white background. If you choose this option, your text will appear on a white cut-out over your image. The second button is the one that will allow you to type text onto your ad, but keep the image you've uploaded as the background, rather than reverting to the white screen. Personally, I like having the background showing through, so I choose that second option. Select the color and font style of your type and add the words you want to say. You can also create text areas in other portions of your image if your words don't fit in the original space, and if you want to avoid having text over certain areas.

7. When you've finished click on "File" then choose "Save As." Type in a file name, and select the ".png" file type. You may also want to check under "Properties" to double-check that the size of the finished file is within the limits of the ad-placement service you're using.

The only drawback to using Paint as compared to a fancier program is that your choice of fonts/font colors is pretty limited. Also, you can't create animations, or add special effects. But for a basic web ad, I think it's a pretty decent -- not to mention, free -- option.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cleaning Up My Inventory

I have decided to a little "house cleaning" of my inventory by adding a "Sale and Clearance" section to my Etsy shop. The first design to go into this section is shown above. It's the kanji character for "Seimei," meaning "Life."

Although I've always liked the way this particular character looks, the majority of my customers have asked for "Long Life" rather than just "Life." I am still in the process of researching the new character, but I have several copies of the current design in my Etsy and craft show inventory.

The regular price was $34 (without frame), and I marked it down 20%. The new sale price is now $27.20 plus shipping.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New Additions to Shop

Finally uploaded a couple of things that have been on my to-do list for a long time. One was this bouquet, which I've named Midori, the Japanese word for "green" or "spring." It also happens to be the name of a couple of my favorite relatives... I came across these paper colors while searching for a "honeydew" paper for a custom order. Though the order itself never was finalized, I liked the look of the two different shades of green, and that was how this bouquet was born.

The other item I've uploaded recently is the "Seahorse." It contains 95 cranes. It's one of the few designs I've done that was mostly "freehand." In other words, I didn't create a sketch for this one until it was absolutely necessary. The last time I used the freehand method was with my hammerhead ACEO, which I wasn't really happy with and ultimately ended up pulling out of my Etsy shop.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Blue Treasury

A big thanks to LDPhotography for including my "Ready for a Close-Up" ACEO in her blue-themed Treasury! We 'met' in that never-ending thread in the forums that inspired my earlier blog post: "A Whale Tail and a Monster Thread." Oh, and that thread, by the way, is now
almost triple the size it was at the time of the original blog post. It's now 892 forum pages long!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Preparing for the Holidays

How many cranes?
Originally uploaded by origami3d_cranes
Yes, it is "only" August.

But it's time to start building up my holiday season inventory. That means buying supplies in bulk (you should see the 25lb. box of glue sticks I just bought) and lots and lots of folding. This bag alone contains over 600 cranes.

I hope to hit a minor milestone in the process -- having 100 items in my Etsy shop. They say that more variety in a shop helps with sales, but I don't want to repeat last year's mistake, letting my shop become overwhelmed by Christmas ornaments. I haven't added a lot of new art designs or wedding bouquets lately, but I plan for that to change.

Dragons, seahorses, and the Year of the Ox. That's just a tiny hint of what's on my mile-long "to-do" list for the next couple of months.

Only time will tell what will actually be completed...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Evolution of an Idea -- Part 2

These are the mini sunflower vines I mentioned in my last post on this project. I originally intended for them to be exact replicas of the larger sunflowers in the bouquet, complete with green cranes between the center and the petals (as well as on the backs of the flowers), but to do that, the "mini" sunflowers would have ended up much too large. So I made circles out of green scrapbooking paper instead, topped with slightly smaller circles of gold foil., and used my smallest gold cranes, folded out of the 2-inch paper, for the "petals."

Coming up soon: Part 3, which will cover the actual arranging of the different elements of the bouquet.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


A "yakudoshi," in Japanese culture, is basically a bad-luck year in a person's life. There are actually three, but for each gender, there is one year that is supposed to be particularly bad. For women, it's their 33rd year. If you go by the lunar calendar (which apparently considers you a year old on the day of your birth), it starts on your 32nd birthday. That's the traditional version. But since I was raised with the Western style calendar, I thought it was going to be my 33rd -- this year. I'm not particularly a superstitious person, but seeing how a friend of mine went through a real streak of bad luck during her 33rd year -- I guess I wasn't that surprised when I had my own unlucky streak starting from around my birthday.

My mother took me to a Shinto shrine in Nuuanu, where she used to go with my (paternal) grandparents every New Year's, and we picked up this "omamori" or good luck charm for my yakudoshi.

Monday, August 18, 2008

International? Me?

Yes, I've finally "gone global." Though I've been offering international shipping in my Etsy shop for a while, Etsy itself is still a U.S.-based site. So last week, I opened a shop on Dawanda. It was originally created in Germany, and like Etsy, is focused on handmade. It has three different sites, one in German, one in French, and one in English(shown as their "U.K." site) and sellers have the option of which of the sites (either one or two or all three) they want their items to be displayed in. A lot of Etsy sellers who also have Dawanda shops often say that the best one to be on is the German site, but since I don't know German, and have heard less than spectacular reviews of the online "translation" sites that are available, I chose to stay strictly on the English site, at least for now. I would hate to list something in a language I'm not familiar with -- even if the online translation was done for me -- because it would give the customers who use that language a false sense that I would be able to communicate fluently in their language should a problem/question crop up -- and I wouldn't be able to do that.

I must admit it's a little strange seeing the price for my work in Euros. I used an online currency calculator, to figure out my pricing and I guess I'll be watching the exchange rates regularly from now on.

My main focus will still continue to be my Etsy shop, because that's where I'm most comfortable with, but with the weakness of the U.S. dollar lately, it would be foolish not to reach out to the international market as much as possible. Besides, it's really not wise to leave all of one's eggs in a single basket...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I love Picasa!

Once again, thanks to the Etsy forums, I found something useful for my shop. I downloaded Picasa2 -- a photo editing software from Google -- about 2 weeks ago. I had noticed how dark the photos of some of my "expired" Christmas ornament listings were, especially when viewed on a different computer than I normally look at them with, so I decided to try it out.

I've only done a few photos, I'm slowly working my way through the bunch, but here's an example of the difference.

And After:
Now, I just need to get to work on the rest of the photos!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Hawaii Bridal Expo -- July 2008

I wish I had more time to prepare for this -- but then again, I say that about every show I do.

I ended up taking two complete displays (my cascading bridal bouquet and my large rose display) to the expo, along with one display that was a work in progress. I've found that working on projects will often draw attention to my booth.

Unfortunately, there wasn't much of a crowd. I don't know if it was the time of year, or all of the news about local companies going bankrupt, etc., but I was told by repeat vendors that the show was unusually slow. And we noticed that a lot of the people were "window-shopping" instead of seriously looking. Makes me think that budgets are tight -- they still want to get married, but things like cranes and d.j.'s and other "non-essential to the actual ceremony" things are pretty low on their list of priorities.

Overall, though, I gave out a lot of business cards and flyers, and received quite a bit of favorable feedback on my designs. Hopefully things will get better economy-wise and people will still remember me when it does.

One good thing about most shows, even when they're slow, is the chance to make contact with other people/businesses. I was lucky enough to have some great booth neighbors, but the ones who definitely stood out was the booth directly across from mine, belonging to Paper Island. Not only was the staff friendly, but their invitations were really eye-catching, especially the ones that they had collaborated with Hawaiian Moon to create. Hawaiian Moon creates beautiful Aloha wear that a lot of people choose to outfit their bridal party with, and Paper Island created invitations that matched specific print designs. Wish I'd remembered to bring my camera with me...

The ultimate show-stopper of the whole expo, though, was a booth in the next row over from mine, belonging to Showtime DJs and Grand Finale Productions. They not only provide music for wedding receptions, but do performances as well. Their dance demonstrations were absolutely amazing, performed by Phillip Duong, Natalie Ho, and Teley Brandon. I'm not an expert on dance styles, but I think they did some Salsa, and others... though the move that took everyone's breath away was when Teley would spin with Phillip balanced on top of his head. Yes, I said on his head! The first time I saw the move my heart literally stopped as I was sure he would go flying off into someone's display, or worse, end up face first on the hard floor. But every time it was performed, it was nothing but perfection.

All in all, I'm glad I did this Expo. It was definitely a good experience for me, business wise, and I definitely have ideas on how to do it better next time. I know that the size of the crowd is part of the gamble I take every time I do a show, so that won't be much of a factor in my decision when it comes to the next one.

Besides, all of my fellow vendors told me that the January expo is much better than the July one, crowd-wise. Hmmmm.....

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Is it real?

Stuffed or not?
Originally uploaded by origami3d_cranes
I was planning to do a long overdue update to my work-in-progress series. Plus I wanted to write about my experience at the Hawaii Bridal Expo last weekend. But this was such an unexpected sight this morning that I had to share it.

I let my dog out into the back yard, when I noticed this "owl." I knew that there were owls in Hawaii but this looked like one I'd seen on Animal Planet recently (in other words, not 'native.') It didn't move. At all. So I started to think it was fake.

Took some photos. Posted them on Flickr, then started an opinion thread on the Etsy forums. Went back outside to try to get a better shot.

It moved.


Yes, it is real, after all.

I'm thinking it's time to make an owl-themed piece for my work. What do you think?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Evolution of an Idea -- Part 1

After I finished my first "1001 crane" bouquet, I started looking for another bouquet idea that would also use the same amount of cranes. I knew I didn't want to do roses again, so I chose to do sunflowers. Since it was ultimately supposed to be a sample, and that anyone who ordered it would potentially be the one folding the cranes, I had to make sure that any papers I used would be readily available to the general public.

I designed another cascading bouquet, with two different sizes of sunflowers. The main flowers would be the "regular" sized sunflowers I already made to be sold on the stem. Mini sunflowers would be featured on wire "vines" branching down from the base of the bouquet.

I had created these gold foil sunflowers for the 2006 Holiday Season, and I decided that they would work for this particular bouquet. The "petals" were made from regular gold foil paper, the "center" was made from a textured gold foil paper, called "Hosoyo." I liked the contrast of the two different types of gold, but since the Hosoyo was lighter than the regular gold, it never quite seemed to look right. And I couldn't switch the colors around, because the Hosoyo paper wasn't available in the larger size that was needed for the "petals."

The first change from the original design for the bouquet was for the sunflowers themselves. I decided to go with only one type of gold foil paper, adding a mostly hidden band of green foil cranes so that the center could be distinguished from the petals.

That first alteration made me realize just how different the final product may turn out from my original sketch. Which is why I've decided to document the progress of this project here on the blog.

Next Step: Creating the mini sunflowers on the wire vines.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thinking Outside the Box

ACEO Shadowbox Set
Originally uploaded by origami3d_cranes
Alchemy: A section on Etsy where buyers can request custom handmade items that they are unable to find anywhere else. Sellers "bid" for the job by describing how they would fulfill the request, and the buyer selects the one that best matches his/her wishes.

My very first "bid" on Alchemy was definitely out of the norm for me -- it was a request for three ACEO-sized shadow boxes. Though I'm mainly an origami person, not a woodworker, I had just finished a similar shadow box for the ACEOs in my shop. I wrote up a bid, and was fortunate enough to have it accepted.

I routed out the bottom edge of lengths of 1/2 inch by 1-1/2 inch fir, to create a shallow rabbet (so that the bottom would be completely "flush" with the sides). After putting the boxes together using miter joints, I cut pieces of 1/4 inch plywood to fit into the space at the bottom of the box. The customer requested that they be unfinished, so I didn't stain or paint, only sanded them.

I have to admit, I really enjoyed making these. In fact, I'm now looking for excuses to make them again...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bitter-Sweet Memories

I normally don't like to put anything personal in this blog -- this is a business blog, not my personal diary. But something happened recently that made me realize just how tightly intertwined every part of my life is.

I recently was asked to do a wedding bouquet for a very special young woman I'll forever only know as Wendy. A 20-year old battling cancer, but still determined to go forward with her wedding plans, even if she had to be married in the hospital. Her friends and family were working together to fold 1000 origami cranes for her, and a friend of her aunt had come across my work. She asked me to create one of my origami crane bouquets in Wendy's wedding colors -- cobalt blue and yellow. I was very moved by the story, and excited about working on the project. I thought it was such a beautiful combination, and I couldn't wait to see how it turned out.

Unfortunately, Wendy would never get to see the bouquet. Less than a week ago, I received word that she had passed away, just a month before her wedding.

It hit me hard. Not because I knew her, or would ever know her.

It was the memories.

You see, it was a very near case of deja vu. It was 12 years -- almost to the day, it seemed -- since I'd heard the same news about someone I knew. Yoshio Lamansky was my high school classmate, and an almost-friend. Though we were never close in any way, we had many of the same friends and acquaintances. He plays a starring role in many of my memories.

Yoshi was less than a month away from his 21st birthday when he passed away. I was told he had a brain tumor. Like Wendy, he was engaged to be married at the time -- his fiance was one of the many people he'd left behind.

I have to admit, when I first heard about his passing, I felt guilty. It's funny how the first memories that came that day were the guilty ones -- I used to kick him under the table and helped another friend of mine pick on him during our seventh grade English class. He never got mad, just laughed it off.

He was so shy and quiet back then, but not for long. Going through my memories of him is like a watching a slide show of a flower bursting from being just a dull bud into a dazzling display.

I remember the time he was the one of only two boys at a party. It was the summer before our eighth grade year. When he started cracking jokes about our adolescent experimentations with make-up, we dared him to go through the same kind of makeover, and to "do it better." We did him up in full drag, fixing up his hair, put on lipstick and eyeshadow and all that, and wrapped him in a bed sheet to serve as his "dress." Then we presented him to the parents of the party hosts.

I remember watching his ears turn red when I teased him about his trumpet solo he was going to perform in a concert --- just before we started playing the song. I was a trombone player, and we sat in the row right behind the trumpets. The song was, "Through the Eyes of Love -- The Theme from the movie 'Ice Castles.'" I still can't hear that song on the radio without thinking of him.

He taught me how to read a book for the "good parts."

Then there's a few other stories, stories that would have turned our parents' hair pure white back then if they'd only known. Like that one particularly memorable game of "Truth or Dare" at Leadership Camp . . .

He made so many of us laugh when we were nervous or scared. As the years went on, he seemed to have a knack for finding just the off-beat thing to say to throw us off-guard. Though the outside had become outgoing and almost flashy at times, I think at heart he was still the same guy who took every obstacle in stride, never getting mad. Always viewing life with a laugh.

Yes, I still miss him on occasion. Though I rarely run into classmates (we seem to have dispersed pretty far and wide), part of me keeps thinking one day I'll turn around and he'll be there. I know logically that he's gone -- I attended his funeral -- and yet he really isn't gone.

I think the people who are taken from the world so young, like Yoshi -- and Wendy -- are ultimately like shooting stars. The time we see them is all-too brief, yet their brilliant beauty will stay etched into our hearts and memories forever . . .

Friday, March 21, 2008

My "Official" Clumsy Crafting Day

"Ma'am, put the glue gun down and step away from the paper."

No, there is no "crafting police," but sometimes I think there should be, if only to save me from myself.

Less than an hour into my workday, and I was feeling as if I'd acquired the crafting equivalent of "two left feet." You know, when I'm more likely to glue my arm to my ankle than to attach the crane to the desired spot on the work-in-progress.

I did glue my fingers together. Twice. Hot glue and unprotected skin do not work well together.

Every mistake I made, I only made worse when I tried to fix it.

So, it's time to change gears. Work on something else. But not on my picture frames. Oh, no. Bad idea.

Power tools (aka my router) plus today's clumsy mode could result in blood. And a trip to the emergency room.

Definitely not good.

So I'm thinking today will have to be a bookkeeping plus internet promotion and advertising type of work day. After all, I can't hurt myself or anyone else by just sifting through receipts and sitting in front of a computer.

Or can I?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Do What Scares You

I've admitted several times that I was intimidated by MySpace. It always struck me as a type of exclusive club where you had to know everything about it before joining, but the only way to learn was to join. And I have to admit, seeing some of the wild messages friends and family have received on their pages definitely scared me. (Um, who in their right mind offers to send naked photos of themselves to someone they don't know? Especially to a married man whose space is covered with photos of his wedding?)

However, I've always heard of Etsy sellers using MySpace to promote their shops and find new customers. Yes, some of them had some pretty wild "message" stories, too, but it was beginning to seem like the good might outweigh the bad. But it was a forum post created by BattleMaiden-- who has an Etsy shop for her fantasy illustrations -- on how to use MySpace as a marketing tool that finally gave me the push I needed to take the leap into that world. It was very detailed on exactly how to get started, something I definitely needed to keep me from feeling quite so lost there.

So, a little over a week ago, I created a MySpace page. I quickly found how easy it is to get wrapped up in the little details, plus it's just as distracting as some of the Etsy forums can be. It's easy to get sucked into just checking out page after page... So I had to put a definite limit on my MySpace time, otherwise I'd never have any new work to show off there and in my Etsy shop!

The first two days, I spent about 2 hours each. Most of that was figuring out what background I wanted, as well as uploading pictures and my Etsy Mini (similar to what I have here on my blog, showing the latest items from my shop.) Almost every day since I've set aside at least an hour to join groups and search for people who I want to add. I try not to do this randomly, I choose people who have an interest in my type of work and/or are local business I'd like to network with. Especially wedding businesses. I wanted to focus more on weddings this year, and less on craft fairs.

Only time will tell if the decision to jump into MySpace was the right one . . .

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Whale Tail and a Monster Thread

Whale Tail ACEO
Originally uploaded by origami3d_cranes
One of the things I've always loved best about Etsy (besides having the things I make seen all over the world) is the community in the forums. Yes, like any forum, it can get nasty at times, but for the most part, it's supportive and entertaining.

One particular forum thread I have been participating in started on January 26th of this year, and yes, it's still going strong. It was supposed to be a discussion among ACEO artists about what sells on Etsy, but has since evolved into a place to ask for advice or critiques on anything related to ACEOs, as well as to show off our latest creations, and for motivation among its members. There are now nearly 300 forum pages to this thread. A monster, indeed...

It was this thread that renewed my interest in creating ACEOs. The first result was my new ACEO title "Whale Tail." The second was that I finally finished one of my long overdue shadowbox frames for ACEOs.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, ACEO stands for Art Cards, Editions and Originals. The only requirement is that they be limited in size to 2-1/2 inches by 3-1/2 inches. They originally evolved out of Artist Trading Cards(ATC) -- cards that artists would trade amongst themselves like baseball cards. But when, due to request from non-artists, people began selling them, the term ACEO was coined to differentiate them from the ones that were strictly for trade.

So, what else will that monster thread inspire me to produce? And just how long can it become? We'll just have to wait and see...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I'm in a Treasury!

Woohoo! And I've finally learned how to take a screen-shot of a web page, too.

Big thanks to birose, one of the terrific Big Island based members of the Hawaii street team. There's a lot of beautiful things in this treasury, and I'm definitely flattered to be a part of it -- that's one of my bridal bouquets in the third row.

The Treasury is one of the cool features on Etsy. It's a place where members can create lists of their favorite items. Often, the curator of the particular Treasury will choose the items by theme -- in this case, by color. I've also seen them done by medium(art), inspired by famous -- or infamous! -- people, by members of the many Street Teams on Etsy to showcase members of their team. The possibilities are nearly as endless as the virtual line of people waiting to make one. They're supposed to be limited to only 333 lists, but if a whole bunch of people pounce on an open slot at exactly the same moment, the number of lists often shoots up much, much higher. Especially since a Treasury is how the Etsy admin find the items featured on the home page... they will choose a list that catches their eyes, and it will be on the "front page," giving great exposure to both the artists featured as well as the curator of the list.

Friday, February 29, 2008

"Happiness" is in the Eye of the Beholder

kanji, fuku, silver
Originally uploaded by origami3d_cranes
I've received multiple requests to add the character for "happiness" to my shop and craft fair inventory. When I was doing the research, I found several different versions -- some with completely different kanji characters from the one I've got here. So I have no idea if this is the one that people were actually looking for.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year

Nezumi, gold
Originally uploaded by origami3d_cranes
2008 is the Year of the Rat in the Chinese Zodiac so I decided to make some pieces representing the new year. This kanji represents the Japanese word "Nezumi" which means mouse, or rat. I ended up doing this character in both silver and gold. I also made an ACEO (art cards, originals and editions) of a little mouse for the same reason.

To kick off the new year I will be at the New Year's Ohana Festival at the Japanese Cultural Center in Moilili. It will be held on Sunday, January 13th. This will be my third year there. The craft fair is actually across the street from the Cultural Center, on the large baseball field, and they will also be having food booths, kids' activities, and a stage -- they usually have dance performances, mochi pounding demonstrations, and taiko drumming.

It's a lot of fun. Last year there was even a shuttle that ran between the Center and the University of Hawaii, because the parking structure next to the Stan Sheriff Center was open to festival-goers, which is great because the street parking in the area is pretty limited.

If you're in the area that day, stop on by and say, "Hello!"