Thursday, February 21, 2013

EtsyJapan Team!

One of my recent projects! Helping to build up and promote the Etsy Japan Team.
We are a small group of artists joined together through Etsy and either based in or basing theme on All Things Japan. Some of our efforts include:
-- A cooperative Facebook Page (in the process of being set up)
-- A cooperative Blog
-- A cooperative Pinterest board
-- A cooperative Flickr group

And I'm sure more will be coming! At present we are working to unite our logos/titles/efforts across the board, as well as hashing out details and preparing for a cooperative table at the Design Festa in Tokyo this May!

One of our members who is gifted with graphics, created our new logo:

Stay tuned for further news about efforts, projects, inspiration, interviews and contests!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Twitter Charms

Most of my work is by commission, and I love it! Working with customers to figure out a pattern, color theme, stones to use, it's a fun part of the creative process.

I was recently asked to create a set of chokers for 4 sisters with onyx bases and using the Twitter Charm. The birds were included as a symbol of the sisters, and each choker had one raw emerald stone worked into it in memory of their mother. Each charm itself contained a faceted onyx stone, a howlite, and one accent stone chosen by the sister who would wear it. We ended with an orange carnelian, pale blue lace agate, magenta tiger eye and purple amethyst. I made each choker with a double closure in case they chose to wear it as a bracelet, and of course, the 'W' tag is on each one!

I have to say, these really were a fun set to work on creating!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day! In Japan!

Japan celebrates Valentine's Day! I think Meiji and Ghana chocolate companies caught on that this would be a fantastic way to sell a TON of chocolate! And they're right, it is! They decided to promote this day to the women, which was even smarter, cause women get into these things, and to keep it all organized, decreed that Valentine's Day was when women would give men a gift (basically...chocolate).

Then of course there is the Obligation Gift, otherwise known as GiriChoco, office workers give every single guy in the office some small gift, girl students bring all the boys in class something special, this is a BIG production.

But...girls got smart! They also realized that 'Hey...I can BAKE! And baking cookies for 15 guys is so much cheaper than buying each one a box of chocolate!!' So, girls bake up brownies, chocolate cookies, homemade truffles, chocolate cupcakes, whatever, as long as it has chocolate, wrap them up in cute little heart bags (pack of 15 at the 100-yen shop!), wrap a ribbon and there you go, gifts for the guys!

And the poor guys have been totally suckered into a very expensive day, for them, because in precisely one month, the chocolate companies decided to re-invent their success, and declared it White Day! Just so the girls get something back for all their hard work! But, problem is, poor guys, most of them don't bake, or have a clue where to start, so they end up purchasing their Obligation Gifts for all the women in the office who gave them some cookies a month earlier. And since they have to buy the gifts, they end up spending maybe 10x as much as the women do.

So, true story:
My daughter melted down 3 chocolate bars, added some cream, poured the chocolate into little tins, sprinkled on some cute topping, wrapped 2 up in saran wrap, added a ribbon, passed them out to all the boys in her class. Total cost? Under $10.

A month later she comes home with a huge bag full of gifts from each of the little boys she had given chocolate to...90% of it purchased: cookies, candy, handkerchiefs, who knows what else, and some homemade stuff where the boys got their moms to help them bake. Boy did she luck out!!

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Off on a Whim is finally getting around to a newsletter! I  hear these are the way to go for connecting with people and sharing information, diving in to give it a try! Surely I can come up with one short newsletter a month, right!

The signup form can be accessed by clicking the form on the right where it says 'Newsletter Signup', or at my Off on a Whim Facebook page by clicking the 'email signup' box at the top, or following this signup link. And I promise promise promise not to write you more than once a month!

Of course, this month's newsletter will be based on the beautiful and rich amethyst stone!