Random rantings of a senile 30 something who's still a kid at heart. Music,Art, Crafting, Animals. I better get it all down now before I forget tomorrow!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward: My first ever contest!!!

One of the things I think about most when it comes to my Etsy shop is my name. Chibi and Charming. Some people don't know that I not only crochet, but I dabble in other mediums as well. When I first started the shop I had all intentions of getting into polymer clay crafts among other things, but then just kind of stuck with crochet as I really enjoyed doing it and I didn't want to clutter up my store with a bunch of different things. Now looking around at other shops, my name really describes me (short, squatty, cute and charming! LOL) more than it describes the stuff I sell. Is this necessarily a bad thing? I don't know. I honestly would love some feedback about it. I'm also posting a slideshow of some other projects that I have done on the side for fun. I would love to know if I should add any of these to my stores repertoire of items. So as a thank you I decided to have a little contest for my fellow blog followers and Etsians alike. The Prize? $20 credit to my store! This is not only including items in the shop, but I will make you a custom item as well if you would prefer. Yayz :D

Here are the rules:
1)You can either- follow my blog or Facebook

2) leave me a comment on either forum- it can be anything really! You can share some of the fun things you like to do on the side if you'd like. I also love feedback so if you want to give me support or suggestions I'd love it.

And that's it! I will take the names of any posts on my blog or Facebook and do a random drawing on the 13th of April and will announce the winner. :D

Thanks for looking and I hope to hear from you!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Getting Past the Speedbumps

It's been kind of an uneventful week this week. Having a whole week before transitioning into my new job, I would have hoped for more progress on my end. I've been feeling kind of stumped as to what to make next, so some of you may have seen earlier in the week I finished some long overdue projects.( If you haven't yet, check em out LOL----------psst, look over here-------->)
I also finished some new ones as well. Then I have some ideas that I have played around with that I haven't quite mastered yet. I want to make more cute stuff. :) I feel like my pictures are getting better, but I'd love to devote more time to putting them in environments that may be more inviting and fun. I can't wait to get used to my new schedule so I can get back into a groove. I hope to participate in my first BNR soon, which should be fun; maybe I will even make one of my own sometime :D. Hopefully once I'm all settled I'll have even more time to be more active and participate which I'm really looking forward to. I've met some incredible artists so far and they are all very inspiring! Here are just a few of my favorite things from my new friends:
roaritsally shares my love for all things small and cuddly! She makes adorable snuggle sacks and so much more.

GeekChicurumi makes by far some of the best amigurumi I've seen. I only hope to become that good at making detailed characters like this!

smokyhollow has some amazingly kawaii items in her shop. The angry headband is just too funny. :D I enjoy the items she picks as her favorites; she has a neat sense of style!

KnittingDaisies was one of the first friends I made on here. I think we can relate the most on our experiences starting out on Etsy. She's supposed to trade with me once she gets her first sale so check her out ;)

And all the crew on TeamSuperKawaiiPop are so talented!

'Head Rush' by ChibiandCharming

All kinds of stuff that i would put on my head. :)

Gothic Lolita Top Hat - Smal...

Little Lolita Headband

Flapper Inspired Black Beade...

Checkered Double Bow (a blac...

Candy and Cream Hair barrett...

80s Inspired Jem Glitter Hai...

X Eye Moogle Anime Cosplay H...

Closed eye Panda Fleece Hat

CUSTOM Pink Sweet Deco Lolit...

Kawaii White Bear Bobby Pins


Miniature 1 Kawaii wing Twis...

Little Ninja Hairpins

Cute Panda Bobby Pins - Set ...

crochet pink cherry blossom ...

SALE Kawaii Mini Hat with Ca...

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

I definitely want to feature more of my friends on here. I have a diverse sense of style myself so visitors are sure to find something they like. My next idea is to maybe do an interview with someone regarding their experiences on Etsy and how they manage being an artist in a sea of artists, and more reviews for sure. There are so many talented people; it makes me want to try even harder to get into their ranks!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Moving Forward: Shop Review

So I know initially my blog post started out a little personal. Kind of just wanted to get some things out there about me as a person. But my real goal here is to talk about things that I'm passionate about. Crochet, Crafting, my life in the Etsy Community and the things that inspire me. In the spirit of that, I am writing my first ever review. Yay!I hope people that are here already or just checking me out will enjoy. So here goes:

Momoko Ryugasaki once said, " I want to fill myself only with sweet things." I can totally relate to her, and if she was a real person I'd tell her to put SakuraCandyBakeShop's delicious fudge in her Bento box! chocofudge
I first came across Akiko's shop when she was promoting her idea to help Japan by donating our items.(see my previous post:Helping others) When I saw her listing for cheese fudge I knew it would be right up my husband's alley for sure! I am the fudge lover and we're both cheese lovers, but one of his favorite things is toffee cheese! I personally can't get into it, but I definitely got the ok to try this fudge out.
She was very helpful inputting up the listing I wanted, as she originally was going to donate a pound/two pounds but I just couldn't justify having that much in the house. If I knew then what I know now I would have gone for the two! :)
The item came quickly after my payment was accepted. The fudge came wrapped in a ziploc and looked much darker than the picture. It was a rich choclately color and I could smell the cheese as soon as I opened the bag. Yum! I actually appreciated the minimal packaging style for this. I've seen some very ornate packages for sweets on Etsy, but I have a tiny mail box as I live in an apartment so it was nice that they could actually put it in there and I didn't have to jump through hoops to get a large package. I don't know if she thought of that first, but very smart!
Also, on a side story when I did my first Etsy sale I got coordinating everything, bags, ribbons, tags you name it. I spent so much time and money on the packaging and my customer would have been just as pleased with something simple. I'd rather see Etsy sellers get their money on their work and not have to spend it on fancy packaging. So anyone else that sells to me, now you know. LOL
For me, when I took my first bite of the fudge I could taste the cheesiness right away.And the more I nibbled on it, the more chocolate taste I got. I don't know if it was a mental thing but I'm a picky eater so it tends to be how I taste things. Todd's experience was that he tasted the chocolate right away with hints of cheesiness afterwards. We both agreed that it was amazing though. It's not too rich like other fudge; it's nice and creamy which means you will probabaly wind up eating a lot more of it. If it lasts the day I will be surprised for sure, which is why I am glad she gives you the option of different portions.
Ultimately, I think this is a great gift for girls and guys. I don't know what it is about cheese and guys ( and beer) but it definitely is a conversation starter if you have some at your next event. So please be sure to check out ALL of her shops here :
RockStarHottie ( Lots of kawaii accessories)
AutumnMayaAndTheBooj ( some really cute stuff for kids!)
I think anything that is savory and sweet is something that everyone should try. I know there are some choclolate cake balls with bacon I have my eye on for the next Etsy food review. Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Journey Strikes Back

I just wanted to take a moment to say I'm taking a break from the animal biz for a while. It has been an amazing ride and I have learned so much. I've made some great friends along the way (especially the furry ones!) and it is extremely painful for me to let that go. But, life goes on and people change, and I've definitely changed. I'm ready to transition into this newer me and hopefully have the same happy feelings and pride I once had. Hopefully this will help me grow my shop rather than hinder it. Ideally I think I'd like to go somewhere where there is a community of crafters and people with like-minded interests where I can learn and grow. If I had my way I'd love to be self sufficient and spend my extra time still being devoted to the care and well being of animals. Maybe going back to where I started out ( volunteering) is where I should be when it comes to that part of my life. I'm not sure yet. I've gotten a lot of love an support lately and I'm so grateful for that. So, thanks everyone who's had my back and believes in me. It means more than you know.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pit Stop: Helping others

Last week started a busy time for the shop. I got a request from Huebner elementary ( a local school) to donate some of my handmade items for an auction/event they are having. The money will go to school supplies, field trips and such. I really liked the idea of doing something for the kids. I like kids. I don't want any, but I like em. LOL I probably could have just donated something I already have, but I decided to make a couple of panda hats in the schools colors, as well as a doggie bed ( I still gotta finish it LOL) to showcase both sides of my cuteness for people and pets mantra. What a great opportunity for people in town to see what I can do! I hope they like it...
Created with flickr shildshow from softsea.

On a side note my desk is a mess and I can't wait to get my new camera tomorrow. LOL

Later, I got invited by the

Northern Illinois Rat Organization

to donate one of my pet playsets for one of their auctions. Their goal is to raise awareness for proper care of rats and also to showcase what great pets they can be. The playsets where just an idea branched off of making toys for my friend's pets ( ferrets and rats) from yarn I had left over and recycled materials, and it just kind of took off from there. I also had rats as a child; one was named Kurt (Cobain) and the other one was named Prometheus. I really had to look back and figure out why the heck I named my rat Prometheus ( I was a big fan of Greek mythology growing up, but that's just morbid!) Both of these projects are kind of nervewracking to me actually, cause I don't have any kids to measure if these hats fit, and I don't have any rats either- so I'll be anxious if I get any feedback regarding the usability of these items.

And lastly, Japan. There is no way to sum up the devastation that has happened and is continuing to happen there right now. but, despite the tragedy that has befallen so many of them, there has been no violence, no looting that you have seen during so many other natural disasters. It's because this culture understands the value of human relationships. It's something our country could really learn from, but that's another blog for another time. I'm just glad that America is stepping up and doing their part to help the victims out there. Japan was one of the first responders to help us during Hurricane Katrina; I don't think people realize just how much money they gave us. But I digress. I wanted to do my part to help out too. So my new friend Akiko came up with a great idea for Etsians to donate made items to the cause. She is hosting a BNR ( Buy and Replace) with the proceeds going to Global Giving and possibly another charity, but all for relief in Japan. I am donating one of my hats here:

BNRAddicts FOR JAPAN donation treasury PAGE 1 OF 4

but basically anything purchased off of these pages is going straight to charity.

BNRAddicts FOR JAPAN donation treasury PAGE 2 OF 4

BNRAddicts FOR JAPAN donation treasury PAGE 3 OF 4

BNRAddicts FOR JAPAN donation treasury PAGE 4 OF 4

I totally believe in paying it forward and not necessarily karma, but that when you do good things, good things come your way, so I am glad to be a part of all of this!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pit Stop: The Best Thing

Life is full of twists and turns as they say. And we all have to stop every once in a while; get out, stretch out legs, enjoy the scenery, and pee. I try to do that as often as possible. No matter what the struggle my life has been so far and what crazy situations I put myself in, I realize just how fortunate I am.

I have a great husband. Here we are on our wedding day at the courthouse. It's probably one of very few pictures I will post of myself on here, as I'm pretty self conscious and don't consider myself a good picture taker. But this moment was the pinnacle of my life and so I share it. We were online friends at first, and while I was out working 80 hours a week and kissing frogs, he was always there when I got home. He always said the nicest things about me, when he hadn't even met me yet. He was a confidant and at first I didn't imagine he would be more than that. We finally met up for dinner and spent all night talking. A few times later, after we suddenly burst into a chorus of "Fett's Vette", I got the feeling that he would always be my friend, and we could always love each other. I know, mushy right? I don't usually talk about him in this manner because when I was single, I used to seethe at the thought of other girls "having it all". I was ready to be an old maid myself. But I'm truly happy every day he is with me and I thought everyone should know. I know he worries about how my friends see him, which is pretty sweet. I don't help sometimes when I make stupid jokes ( hey, they can't all be zingers), but that just adds to his redeemable qualities that he loves me regardless.

Speaking of best friends, how lucky am I? Some of my closest friends I have known since middle school and high school. I even have a friend that I have known since I was 7 or 8, which is pretty nice. I feel like I have to be doing something right if I'm keeping friends like mine for so long. When I was younger I feel like I was kind of a brat who thought about herself a lot. I way over compensate for that now to the point where I have become a bit of a doormat. But somewhere in between all that is the me that my friends care about. My friend Apryl tracked me down every time I moved; never gave up on being my friend no matter how many times we lost touch along the way. Lindsey stuck with me during the hardest times of my life, even when I wasn't the best friend I could be. Samantha has been a great support system ever since high school, and even when I thought at one time we would never be friends again, she is now one of my biggest fans and had a big hand in making me a better person. :*) Crap. This was supposed to be funny. Moving on.

Lastly, the furkids. I mean, these guys are freaking invincible (knock on wood). Sid was diagnosed with Diabetes in 2004 and is now insulin free. He's going on 13, when I didn't think he would make it past 6! While he was going through that I met a group of incredible animal lovers in California; they are part of the reason I wanted to give up a humdrum life and work with animals. I had a scare with Manny a couple of years ago where I thought he was going to die from a mass in his chest. He's happier than ever right now and going on 13 himself. Gabby truly must be from Krypton because she never gets sick. She was the runt of a litter that was underweight to begin with. She's 6 and she still looks like a kitten. Not to mention if I'm not careful, she'll totally drink toilet water. The worst she's had is a tummy ache! Sometimes these guys are total brats, but I friggin love them, and everyone that meets them loves them too.

So that's my sappy moment. I've been doin a lot of bitchin and worryin lately, so it helps to remember these things sometimes. :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My Journey of Self Deprecation: Right on Schedule

So I got my first custom order on Etsy. Yay! When I got the convo I was scared and excited all at the same time. I get to work on something new, but will she like what I make or can I even do what she is asking? I was unsure if I was going to be able to find the color she was looking for; I panicked, threw up in my mouth a little, and then started calling the craft stores. I found a color! Crisis averted. I wanted to take a picture of the progress and capture the color of the yarn, but my camera just couldn't do it. If my camera had a middle finger function, it would be in the upright position. Another small wrench in the process. The worst part was last night when I was attaching the ears; I decided to change the design slightly because I felt like it would make the sewing look neater. I asked my husband to look at the finished ear. "Looks good, honey". Sated, I proceed to attach the second ear. Evaluation number two. "Didn't you do these ears different before, I liked them better that way" GAH! I literally felt something break inside my brain. He continued to meticulously point out things here and there ( which BTW, my poor husband, only trying to help me-I think I broke him too!) A fix here and a fix there and by that time in my brain I had butchered the thing. I decided to sleep on it and when I finished it this morning, it looked pretty good to me. I secretly want to cut this poor hats ears off and make them the old way, but I'm going to try to be rational about this.....

This first sale is a plethora of learning experiences for me. Am I documenting my patterns correctly? Am I able to duplicate the same thing over and over without difficulty, and most importantly, how much am I actually going to make with this thing. And I'm gonna let you in on a little secret. The process that I go through to make a hat is a giant pain in the butt. Mostly because it requires a lot of walking as I don't have a car. But I enjoy making things so much, I don't factor it into how much my time is worth. If I took Paypal fees, materials, transportation costs (bus), packaging, shipping costs, and my own personal time I maybe will make $2 an hour. And if you count the time I spend picking myself apart and staring at the thing over and over again going "is it perfect? Are they going to hate it?" Well then I probably don't make squat. LOL But like I said, I love doing it. In general I like to do things that make other people smile, whether I know them or not. Once it's all said and done the satisfaction that I did something like that is very valuable on it's own to me. Don't get me wrong, as I go forward I would like to make the money. :D So here's to each experience getting easier and easier, and not causing my husband or myself to spontaneously combust.

The Bitch Slap: A Short Ass Kicking Note to Self

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My Journey of Self-Discovery....so far I've made it to the corner store.

Yeah, can I get a pack of Marlboro and a Slurpee?  Oh, hey friend! Well, I've decided to start a blog. Day 1 and what to write about. Pancakes?   Well, since you mention it, I did come up with my very own method for delicious frozen pancakes. You know, the Pillsbury boxed kind, that when you put them in the microwave you start to wonder if you put a diaphragm in your mouth, is this what it would taste like? Well since my apartment was built before Tye Dye shirts were cool, my microwave is officially dead and every time I open my oven the smoke alarm goes off. So I used the handy dandy toaster oven. On Toast!  The pancakes turned out pretty good I guess was the moral of that story. Anyways, a little about me. For a long time I've found myself to be very much like the Batman character, Harley Quinn. A little loopy,  always cracking a joke, and not really a blonde. She's pretty crafty in her own way, as am I, and she always has lots of love to give, no matter how much she may be taken for granted. As for the in love with a psychopathic clown, well you'll have to ask my husband about that. He says that's pretty accurate too. I have a lot of interests. I love love animals! (You know, platonically). I have been working with animals for nearly 5 years now and all the stuff I have learned has been pretty rewarding for me. So we'll be talking a lot about that I'm sure.  I am a big fan of anime, which I have been watching since high school. I only recently started reading more manga and listening to Japanese music as well. That pretty much started when I lived in California and went to Comic Con every year-there's a big scene for otakus there. I love all different kinds of music though. I grew up listening to a lot of punk rock and alternative bands which are mostly gone now so I mourn by listening to cutesy happy music. I find that I give way less of a crap that things don't go my way when I'm listening to Onara Hazukashikunaiyo.  (It's a song about farting). I've been into art for pretty much most of my life, all through my grade school years and college, but I never really went anywhere with it. Lately I've been doing a lot of crafting and and am obsessed with crochet!  You might literally say I'm "hooked"!  A ha ha ha ha . No? You've heard that one?  Ahem. Anyways, plans for this blog are to a) figure it out and b) not to be too hodge podgy but I'm pretty much gonna talk about whatever the heck I feel like. I'll probably have some reviews- music,horror movies, video games, books and the like. I'll talk about my current crafting projects and how I'm executing them ( by firing squad) and hopefully I'll be able to contribute something useful to society. I'm still trying to figure out my niche and at my age, I really gotta figure it out soon! If anything, I hope that you readers out there will laugh. Cause as they say, if you're going to go, go with a smile.      (Cue Doogie Howser music)