Thursday, August 27, 2009

Announcement About My Etsy Shop

Hello everyone,

After much thought, I've decided to close my Etsy shop for a month starting September 1st. Don't worry, it's not a bad thing at all! I need the time off to make lots of improvements to the store!!

I'm thinking about reworking some of my pieces, as well as making lots of new designs. I also have a couple of other projects that I've been wanting to get to! I will keep you posted on my progress right here in my blog.

My biggest project of the month will actually be potty training my son! But with Grandma and Grandpa visiting in the middle of September, I wouldn't be surprised if I'm not successful with that one! :)

Hopefully, without the obligation to go check on my Etsy store once every couple of hours, I would get a lot more work done. Because in all honesty, I spend way too much time doing absolutely nothing on the computer!

Friday, August 21, 2009

金曜日は日本語で - Japanese Friday 野生動物版

我が家の息子は窓の外を眺めるのが大好き。 トラックが家の前を通り過ぎていくと顔をガラスにピッタリとくっつけて見えなくなるまで動きません。 またリスや鳥が来ると目を輝かせて教えてくれます。 そんな我が子をを見ているとアメリカに来てすぐの頃の私を思い出します。 My son loves looking at things out of the window. If a truck passes by in front of our house, he'll plaster his face to the glass and won't move until it is well out of sight. And when there's a squirrel or a bird outside, he'll inform me with his eyes twinkling. When I see him like that, he makes me think of myself just after I had arrived in the U.S.

日本でごく普通に見る野生の動物といったらカラスにすずめ、それから鳩とツバメぐらいでしょうか。 ブルージェイのような青い鳥やカーディナルのような赤い鳥はおとぎ話の中でしか知りませんでした。 ですから、アメリカでよく見られる野生動物の豊富さには目を見張りました。 我が家の庭に動物が現れる度に母に嬉々として報告に行ったものです。 ガーデニングが好きな方達の話を聞くと庭を荒らされたりしてちょっと害虫的な存在みたいですが、我が家ではリスは大歓迎! よく窓のすぐそばに種をまいてリスが来るのを待っていました。 In most areas, all the wildlife you'll ever get to see in Japan are crows and sparrows, along with pigeons and swallows. I had only heard of blue and red birds, such as blue jays and cardinals, in fairy tales. So, I simply couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the variety of wildlife commonly found in America. Every time an animal appeared in our yard, I would report what I saw to my mother with absolute delight. Although some gardeners seem to view them as pests, squirrels were definitely welcome at our house! We used to leave some seeds right by the window and wait for them to come stuff their cheeks.

他にも蛇はもちろん、オポッサムなんかを見つけたこともありました。 ちょっと木が多いところに行くと鹿までいて、高速を走りながら家族皆で「あ!鹿だ!今の鹿だ!」とよく大騒ぎをしていました。 さすがに今住んでいるスタッテンアイランドで鹿を見たことはありませんがリスは本当にどこでもいます。 グランドキャニオンからニューヨークのど真ん中にあるセントラルパークにまでもいて、反対になぜ日本にはもっとリスがいないのか不思議になるぐらいです。In additon, we found snakes at our house as well as an opossum once. You can even see a couple of deer if you go somewhere with a little more trees. I remember my entire family often screaming "Oh, a deer! That was a deer!" as we drove down the highway. I can't say I've seen a deer in Staten Island, where I live now, but squirrels literally seem to be EVERYWHERE. I've seen them at Grand Canyon as well as in Central Park, right in the middle of New York City. It actually makes me wonder why we don't see squirrels more often in Japan!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Newbie Monday - Forum Finds

A little over a week ago, I came across a forum thread in which newbies were helping and encouraging each other. It helped me find some great sellers, so I thought I would share a few of them with you all.


PicksAndPosies is the OP of the forum thread, and she gets a feature for being the one who started it all. Seriously, from what I can see, quite a few of the newbies has gotten a sale from this thread (and I think I might be able to count myself in), so a heartfelt “Thanks” to you!

She has some lovely wreaths and bird houses in her store, many of them perfect for the upcoming fall season. I love this vibrant Color Me Glad wreath made out of Crayola crayons! It’s just the thing for back-to-school, but I can also see it hanging year-round in a playroom for a little one.

I also like The Lavender Lovenest, an adorable little birdhouse to make your home feel all cozy and romantic.


TheQuiltedHouse has some truly unique items in her store! I really love this Tic Tac Toe Anyone, which folds up and has pockets for you to store the Xs and Os, so that you can take it anywhere. A perfect item to bring along on long car trips with kids, and as she points out, an eco-friendly option to paper!

I also have never seen a quilted greeting card, whether it says, Thank You, I love you, or Happy Birthday! If you want to make a statement, then these cards are definitely going to stand out from the rest.


My final newbie for this week has the cutest T-shirts for little boys and girls! Being a mother of a little boy, I very much appreciate the great selection of boy's shirts, which tend to get completely outnumbered by girl's in most cases!

I had a hard time deciding which item to feature, but finally settled on the Mr Roboto Tee. It has a bit of a retro feel, like many of her other products. Some of the T-shirts even come with a matching toy, like the Retro Rocket Set.

Her softies, which she calls Lovies and Friends, are also very cute and can't be missed. The Rotkappchen is my favorite out of the 5 currently for sale.

If you are a newbie, be sure to check out the critique thread. It's a great way to get some constructive criticisms as well as a fantastic place to connect with other newbies!

Friday, August 14, 2009

金曜日は日本語で - Japanese Friday ヤクルト版

数週間前ニュージャージーにあるミツワに行った時の事をお話ししましたが、そこで毎回買う物の中にヤクルトがあります。 飲むヨーグルトともまたちょっと違うヤクルトの味はアメリカの商品ではまだ出会った事がありません。 私も小さい時たまに買ってもらって飲んでいたので、懐かしくてつい手が出てしまう品物です。 Whenever I go to Mitsuwa, the Japanese grocery store I mentioned a few weeks a go, Yakult is always among my "must buy" items. Slightly different from other yogurt drinks, I have yet to encounter an American product that equals the flavor of Yakult. My mother used to buy it for me when I was little, so it's something I grab out of nostalgia more than anything else.

もう数十年はずっと変わっていないパッケージにつられて買ってしまうヤクルトですが、実際息子に手渡す段階で必ず、なぜもっと飲みやすくしないのだろうかと不思議になります。 あの銀紙のふたを破らずに、そして中身をこぼさずに剥くのは親でも結構大変ですが、 チビチャンにはなみなみと注いであるヤクルトを口に運ぶだけでも至難の技です。 ヤクルトが無事に口元まで届いても一気飲みは厳禁。 慌てて飲むと上唇がどんどん吸い込まれていって、赤い丸ができちゃいます。 Although I get lured into buying Yakult by the familiar packaging (it hasn't changed in decades), I always wonder why it's not easier to handle when I'm about to give it to my son. It's pretty hard, even for a parent, to peel off the foil lid without tearing it or spilling the contents, but for the little one, just moving the bottle to his mouth is an impossible task because they are always filled to the brim. You also have to drink it slowly, or your upper lip will get sucked into the bottle and you'll end up with a red circle on there.

それならコップに注いであげちゃえばいいのでしょうが、やっぱりラッパのみできるのが魅力の一つのようで息子はコップいらないと言いますし、私もなんとなく味気なくなってしまうような気がします。 With all that, you might think I should just pour it into a cup, but part of the appeal is being able to drink straight out of the bottle! My son always refuses the cup, and I, too, think it somehow diminishes the whole experience if it's poured out.

ちなみに写真に写っているのは本物の(アメリカ専用)ヤクルトと1/6 サイズのミニチュアヤクルト! ヤクルト一本だけだとちょっとさびしかったので一緒に写真を撮ってしまいました...。 カバヤこぐまキッチンのお子様ランチセットの一部です。 By the way, take a look at that 1/6 size miniature Yakult right next to the real Yakult in the picture above! I had to include it in the photo since the real Yakult was looking a little lonely when it was by itself... FYI, it was part of the Koguma Kitchen Children's Lunch Set by Kabaya.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Simple Pleasures

When I was younger, I used to think that the parent-child relationship was a one-way street. They were the givers and I was the taker. Whether it was an advice, an order, or an assurance, I took whatever they offered me.

Now that I AM the parent, I know better. I take away just as much from my son as I try to offer him.

Just the other day, I made Tidmouth Sheds out of wooden blocks for my son's Thomas and Friends collection. You have no idea how happy that made him! He gave me the brightest smile ever and jumped up and down with delight. I, in turn, was filled with joy to see him get so excited over something so simple.

And it was also a great reminder that instead of getting all caught up in the pursuit of happiness, we should be taking delight in the simple pleasures that life has to offer.

In a way, he is the greatest teacher I've ever had.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Newbie Monday - All Dressed Up

This week’s Newbie Monday is all about getting dressed up! Whether you are just attending a party or hosting one, here are some great items from etsy newbies!


Once you’ve responded to a party invite, the next big question usually is “what should I wear?” But instead of heading straight to your closet, why not pick out an eye-catching accessory first? Like DesignduJour’s Yellow Silk and Black Velvet Purse - The Georgia.

Sometimes, approaching a problem from a different starting point can help you put together an outfit that you’ve never thought of before.

My other favorites from her store are the classy Mikado and the gorgeous Maxine. Both designs are available in different colors, so be sure to browse around her store!


If you are the one hosting the party, it’s important that you dress up your pad as well as yourself. And likedeco’s gorgeous lanterns are just the thing!

Just take a look at these Magical Night lanterns available in red, white, and black. They’ll create an amazing atmosphere, perfect for an evening party! She also has some free-standing stainless steel lamp shades that are absolutely gorgeous. I really love the one she calls efflorescence. It's sooo beautiful!


If you are attending a pet-friendly event, do make sure your best friend is dressed to impress too! This Playtime Frock in green and brown will guarantee that your cutie pie will melt everyone's heart.

Lots of fun and colorful collars, adorable toys, and some ingenious “Doody Bags” are also available from PuppyWillow. The store is definitely worth the time to browse around if you’ve got a pampered prince or a princess at home!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Newbie Monday - Pounce

Pounce, Pounce, Pounce! How I love to Pounce! For those of you who are not familiar with it, Pounce is a neat little etsy tool that lets you find fresh shops with no sales so far. I find it quite addicting, clicking the “Pounce again!” button over and over. And yes, I do 10 rows at a time! To tell you the truth, Pounce is the reason I started doing these Newbie Monday posts. I kept finding amazingly talented artists and was always left thinking, “How are they not getting any sales?”

So, I decided to go back to my original love this week, and share some fabulous shops that I found on Pounce. And boy, am I excited about this week’s newbies!!!


Now let’s start things off with a bang, shall we? Or with The Big Bang (Music of the Spheres), rather. Ghitta, a photographer from London, has these bold, colorful, and whimsical photographs that you can’t help but love.

But they are sooo much more than that! These works are visual representations of scientific theories, based on NASA recordings and other scientific data!! The series she currently has in her shop is based on “the notion that each cosmic body is singing its own unique song as it spins in the vastness of space.” How cool!!

She only sells prints in her store right now, but I would love to see those images used in other items like greeting cards, magnets, and notebooks. I think they will do really well in the Geekery category. Don’t you agree?


My next newbie also hails from the UK, and she also has bold, colorful, and whimsical items. True to her name, her felt creations are cheerful and oh, so dear.

I’m usually drawn to blues and greens, but I can’t take my eyes off of this Orange Leafy Bird Brooch. In her short-but-sweet description, she eloquently emphasizes that “A ridiculously orange bird nestles in a star of leaves and a zingy flower.” What a perfect choice of words to portray this colorful adornment!

CheeryDeary also makes flower and owl brooches, and is branching out to greeting cards now. If you are having a cloudy, gloomy day or simply need a little pep to start off Monday on a positive note, check out CheeryDearyDesigns! She will certainly add some color to your day!


My last seller for this week is from Portland, Oregon, but as far as being bold, colorful, and whimsical; I say check, check, and check!

Ok, so you’ll probably notice after browsing around that this is her second shop, and therefore, she’s technically not a newbie. But I just couldn’t pass up the chance to highlight a fabulous artist like Hilary!

The sculpture in the photo is titled Pablo, after Pablo Picasso. It’s from a series called Heroes, which is a collection of these abstract sculptures that are named after artists she admires. I had fun browsing through the sculptures trying to guess which artists they were named after! And be sure to look at the 5th picture in the listing, because I don’t think you can fully appreciate the beauty of these sculptures unless you see them clustered together in a group!

Also, don’t forget to visit her other etsy shop, Bunny with a Tool Belt!