Sunday, December 13, 2009

On the Road with Mr. D. Duckie

from the travel Diary of Mr. Devil Duckie:

Arrived at my hotel room after a harrowing drive. It took almost three hours to get from PA to VA; the entire first hour it was raining so hard the world looked white and I could barely see the car in front of me. I made it safely in any case, so I am settling into my room.

I have chosen the firm pillows, and I am glad to see they were clearly marked by the courteous hotel staff.

There is also a mini fridge with a coffee counter, which is nice but will not do me too much good since I can't stand coffee.

Oh, well!
I guess now I will take a bath and go find something for dinner. I have a big day tomorrow!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Oh No She Didn't! Chibi Wings!

Oh yes she did!
I have created the ultimately adorable chibi-stlye feathery angel wings!

For those of you who do not know, chibi is a term used in reference to anime charaters that have been simplified into a child-like or diminutive style.

So here is Cherubial!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Introducing Odette!

This is my newest small fairy wing design which I have dubbed Odette (as in the Swan Princess). It is actually a minaturized version of my very popular Bella wings.

Adorable!!! This is number two, done in magenta and navy.

I was updating my facebook profile a few days ago and I had to pause at the favorites section. Can anybody possibly pick just one favorite movie or book or band that they adore above all others?? I know I can't. They don't give me enough room to mention all my favs so I usually just end up writing too many to mention.

I actually rotate through a random list of "go-to" band of the moment when it comes to music. Sometimes it is new, sometimes it is old, but always fantastic. At the moment my Go-To Bands are Ra (Black Sun) and Muse (Origins of Symmetry).

Monday, December 7, 2009

New Mask: Monarch

I am beginning to include some animals and insects to my mask line, so here is the Monarch:

I was going for a stylized butterfly that would work for either a light or dark charater. The design is both carved and painted and the antenne are made with non-tarnishing gold artistic wire with glass crystals dangling from the ends.

In other news, I finally dragged myself to the hairdresser on Saturday and put my hair through the ringer. I have very thick long hair that tends to friz more than behave, so out of desperation, I got the Kerasmooth treatment. It is like a perm that straighens instead of curls, if you have never heard of it, and this one is formaldehyde free-big plus in my book. After they wash off the chemical goop, they straighten your hair with a flat iron and you can't wash it for 72 hours, so at the moment, my hair is poker straight and kind of jaggedy-looking.

Anyway, I like to have music or movies playing in the background when I work, so yesterday I turned on Rurouni Kenshin (guilty pleasure! don't laugh!) and sat down to finish up some new wings. After a few minutes I realized that my hair looked just like the cartoon characters. If you have ever watched any anime, you will see that some of them have a very specific way of treating hair: it is usually stiff, straight, jagged or spikey and continues to move sometimes even after the charater has stopped. Which is exactly what mine is doing now! I have anime hair!

Too bad halloween is not for another 10 months!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Upcoming Event! The Rock Bass Rainbow Fest!

Mark your Calenders! Update your Blackberry! Block out some time in Outlook!

I am going to be at the Rock Bass Rainbow Fest on Saturday December 12th!!!
The place is 2424 Studios - Philadelphia/Fishtown's newest workspace and gallery!
The event is sponsored by the Cohoquinoque Crew and Skybox Productions and there will also be a food drive for Philabundance during the festival.
So stop on by from 10 am to 6 pm!

In other news, I am making updates to my UftA website! (finally right??)
I added four new wing designs yesterday:
and Selene (sorry no pictures yet, but they will be coming soon).

And today I spend several hours building products under my Bejeweled catagory for customizable crowns, mini-crowns, tiaras and hair combs. I need to finish editing the pictures and create swatch pages for all the crystal and bead options, so they are not active just yet.
So stay tuned-more lovelies on the way soon!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Deep Thoughts about Personal Labels

"Security is mostly a superstition.
It does not exist in nature,nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable."
~Helen Keller

I was having some deep thoughts yesterday, something that has been happening more and more frequently of late, and I came to the realization that I spent way to much time labeling things. Society conditioning has convinced most of our race that every one and thing must be neatly labeled and placed in appropriate boxes. Look at relationships for example: there are a progression of labels that help people figure out how to relate to each other, particularly in social situations. They include acquaintance, friend, best friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, partner, spouse, ex, and so on. Each of those labels is applied to attempt to define how you relate to each other, and can be changed if the relationship changes.

I have friends in my age group (pre-30 but getting scarily close!) who are getting very upset because their label of "single" or "girlfriend" has not changed to "wife" yet, but it occurred to me that this is just another label tragedy. Shouldn't the most important thing to focus on be your connection, not what you call your relationship?

So what if there were no labels? What if you related to people based on who they actually are, not how you are attempting to define them?

There is societal security in labels: it is an easy way for people to relate to you and define you. And it is really sad because that label, if you buy into it, stops you from exploring who you are and lets you place other people in limited categories as well.

How can life be a daring adventure if you spend your time trying safely categorize and label the people in your life?

Revel in our interconnectivity and let the adventure begin!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hello December! Good Bye Christmas!!!

So you know what time of year it is: the twinkle lights are out in force, Christmas trees are on sale and holiday trappings are everywhere you look begging you to buy presents for everyone on your list. I actually thought it would be a really cute idea for a while to put a picture of our cats wearing Santa hats on the Christmas cards this year. The cat's didn't go for it. And they still have not forgiven me for trying to make them wear hats.

In any case, for those of you that know me, I am so not into the whole holiday thing.
Would it offend you if I told you I really did not feel like celebrating a bastardized pagan holiday mainstreamed by a religion I have no connection to and savagely commercialized by companies so desperate to turn a profit that they pepper your every waking moment with advertisements that belittle you for not emptying out your bank account to buy presents for anyone and everyone you have ever met?

So I've decided to give up Christmas and start my own holiday!
This year I am going to celebrate HAPPY BAKING HOLIDAY!
That's right! The only true delight of the holiday season is in the crumbly sugary goodness of the all the baked goods and confections created and consumed with relish (and guilt!) from Thanksgiving to New Years Eve!!! So while you roast your turkeys and dream of sugar plums with presents stuffed under your ornament laden trees, I will be in my kitchen, whipping up endless batches of chocolate chip wonder cookies, lemon coconut angels, Magnificent cocoa brownies, coconut marvel balls, truly evil pound cake, vintage spice cake, cheesecakes, sugar cookies, peanut butter blossoms, peanut butter Tandy cakes, oatmeal chai spice cookies, butter creams and peanut butter bull eyes (just to name a few).

And what better way to celebrate Happy Baking Holiday than to share these treats with all of your friends and family so they can enjoy the sugar high while silently cursing you for contributing to ever expanding waistlines since everyone knows you can't just stop at one!!

That being said, since J still wants to celebrate Christmas, so we will have the tree and presents as usual. *sigh*

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wohoo! New Arrival!

It's here!
My lovely new laptop has arrived!
I spent half of the day yesterday and most of today loading up software and files so I can get myself up and running again. It is so exciting because it is ridiculously faster than my old desktop.
I have a bunch of photos to take so I can start to post my latest works, so hopefully i can get started on all that tomorrow. For the moment, here is a picture of an absolutely darling tutu I made for a lovely woman in Australia, and my kitty Ringo decided to ham it up and pose in the photo as well!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Whew! Where did November Go?

I can't believe Thanksgiving is just two days away!
What happened to November??

My new laptop has not arrived yet-I am seriously bummed and irritated because i have tons of stuff i need to do and no computer to do it with. ETA is the 30th so here's hoping!

I have progressed a bit on the workroom rennovation in the mean time. I bought a giant bookshelf and filed away my supply stashes in neat boxes, so things are starting to shape up a bit. In the process i realized i had way more fabric than i thought i did, so a lot of it is still in piles all over the place. I was able to straighen up a lot though, and moved my main work table to the side so now most of the floor is open. I found a ton of little project that i started and never finished, so i am working on clearing some of them out of the way to make more space. Sad to say, i had to throw away the Giant Daffodils that Ate Philly. I just don't have the space, so i am trying not to regret it too much.

I am also going through my clothes to alter and update to go along with the 24 pounds i have lost in the past few months. Yay Weight Watchers! I still have a long way to go, but i am thrilled with my progress so I guess that is what counts!

I have been working on a few new projects here and there, including a brand new wire crown or two, but at the moment I am trying to concentrate on Christmas presents for family and friends. So new pictures will be available once my new 'puter arrives!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Oh there is a desk under that pile of paper....

New computer is on the way!
This is my first laptop so I am excited to investigate my new desk freedom.

Incidentally, this incident has made me realize what a god-awful mess my desk is. Really, it is overwhelming. I have boxed up all my Matrix figures (*sigh* all three movies worth) and they are now living in storage. I also boxed up a few years worth of magazines and pulled out all the circulars to paw thru at a later date for clothing/costume ideas. I will probably box up the rest and re-set up my desk to accommodate the new computer/docking station (since I still want to use my lovely monitor). I was also thinking about getting rid of my battered sewing desk, moving my sewing machine and serger to my main desk and getting a giant set of shelves so I can store my supplies/paperwork, etc. I will have to take some measurements for that, but I had my eye on a nifty set of shelf's at ikea that might do the trick.

I also need to get rid of some of my old art projects from college. I threw away my lovely old piece "Bury the Hatchet" which was a men's suit jacket in black that I stretched over an old canvas with wire shot up the arms to keep them outstretched and a axe sticking out of the back i made from aluminum flashing along with a giant splattered blood stain made from polyester casting resin with red glitter suspended in it. I already dismantled and threw away one of my bride sculptures and my black widow dress. I am keeping the "Shotgun Wedding" dress for now, although that may change depending on space. I am however seriously considering getting rid of my Killer Daffodils of Philly painting, since it is a serious space hog. it is about 4'x4' and it has three massive screen and wire daffodils careening out of the frame over a silhouette of the Philly skyline. It is hanging over my sewing desk, and would have to go if I went with the shelf idea. I don't know, I just hate parting with it since it took so long to make. I would not say it was one of my best pieces, but maybe i could do some work to it to make it a bit better...

I am way to embarrassed about the state of my work room to show any pictures right now, but maybe I will post some after all the moving is done.

In other news, I went to the Geminara Rock and Gem show on Saturday in Exton, and spent way too much money on fun rocks, minerals and gems for jewelry making supplies. I have so many new fun ideas, I just wish I had time to do something with them!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Epic FAIL!

My computer died a sad and final death last night.
I knew it was on it's way out, but I was hoping it would last a little longer-like until I picked out and purchased a replacement. Oh well, I am grateful for the 5 years of service despite the plagues of two failed hard drives, two burnt out power supplies and a busted video card, and the inability for the system to recognize my scanner no matter what I did to it. Fortunately, I had most everything saved to a second hard drive so the only thing I may have lost with this motherboard meltdown was some emails.

SO now I am shopping for a new laptop!
I am very excited about the space saving potential (and if you saw how crowded my work room is, you would be exited for me too) and portability. Not to mention having a processer that does not start screaming when I try to run photoshop!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Deviously Planning

Soooooo, there went October!!!
This was a most amazing Halloween season for me, and I would like to thank all my wonderful customers for their love and support. I lost count of how many wings I made for custom orders, which was just overwhelming for me that so many people wanted to wear my creations.
Thanks so much!

I took the day off yesterday to recouperate, and in a day or to I will hopefully have some pictures to show you so I can tell you about MY halloween (which was awesome despite the rain!).

For now, I am turning my concentration to my AMY BROWN FAIRY COLLECTION, and a potential show I may do in December.
More to come!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

On location: the Media Food and Craft Festival 2009

Wall to wall people! So I could not even get a good shot of my booth, but here I am at the Media food and craft festival! We had a blast-the weather was gorgeous, the people were friendly, the food was amazing!

Here is a better view, taken by Joan Miley Stanford, budding photographer (and my Grandmom!).

I committed the cardinal sin of running out of business cards and buttons by 3pm. (eek!).

At the end of the day, I left half of my remaining stock at Earth&State, so if you are near Media, come check out their amazing store!

Friday, October 2, 2009


Yes, I am plotting your demise.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's Here!

It's Here! It's here!
It's finally here again!
My favorite month of the year that contains my favorite holiday!
Halloween is bigger than Christmas for me. I love going to costume parties and the Reniassance Faire and getting all costumed up in general!
Past costumes have included Trinity from the Matrix, Jessica Rabbit, the Corpse Bride, Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Death, and last year a Fallen Angel.
This year I am going to be helping my sister with her scary front yard setup. She and her husband go ALL out: last year featured a fake fence and colored lights, a life-size realistic skelleton hanging from the tree, a troll popping out of a little casket and a pair of hydrolic legs that kick like the poor man had been half buried under the house. This year he is adding a full size casket, that I believe has some fun functionality to it as well.
It sounds like they are going to be zombies; J wants to be a zombie as well although he wants to take it a step further. He wants me to make him a collar to which he will attach a chain so he can run at the fence and pretend he is going to attach the kiddies seeking candy. He is so bad!
I am going to be a Grim Reaper this year. It is based on my death costume from a few years ago, but this time the cloak has been modified to be worn with a pair of my massive black feather angel wings. I also orders a sycthe on ebay which is about 78" tall-it looks so awesome! I may think of a way to stylize it to be a little more creepy, although a 6 1/2' pole with a giant blade on the end seems pretty darn creepy to me.
I am also going to have to design myself a nifty mask for the event. When I was death, I had J paint my face to look like a skull but most of the grease paint had worn of by the time we got to the party-even with the setting powder that stuff just will not stay on my face.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Treasury Feature!

Huge thank you to 4eva for including my Raphael Feather Wings in this absolutely amazing treasury!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Treasury Feature!

Thanks so much to Kiamichi7 for featuring my Raphael white feather angel wings in her lovely angel treasury!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Treasury Love!

Thank you MiniMade for this wonderful fairy inspired treasury!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Gabriel Black Feather Small Angel Wings

This is the first of 4 new small feather wing designs I am working on. Gabriel is 29" across and 12.5" high. Four medum feather wing styles will be soon to follow!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Starting a Small Business: Types of Business Entites

FIRST, and before you do anything else, you need to choose what type of business you want to have-this effects how you will register your company with the government.

There are four (4) main types to choose from in the US:
1. Sole Proprietorship: this is the simplest form of business type. They are inexpensive to form, easy to dissolve and generally have no tax aspects, since profits and losses of the business are simply part of the owner's personal income and the company is disregarded for tax purposes. However, since legally the company is nothing more than an individual using a trade name, you are liable for the company's obligations. On the death of the owner, the company immediately ceases to exist. Highest Personal Risk.
2. Partnership: relatively inexpensive to form, and can be as simple or complex in structure and administration as the partners want it to be. Partnerships are formed by two or more persons who make an agreement to share profits and losses. Each partner has what is called joint liability to the partnership, which means either partner can be made to pay the entire debts of the partnership, regardless of what they contibuted. Partnerships have pass-thru taxation, which means the partnership itself pays no taxes; it is only required to file an informational return to the government to report what the profits and losses of the partnership were and how these were split between partners. A partnership ceases to exist at death or bankruptcy of a partner; or if they decide to end the partnership. Medium to High Personal Risk.
3. Limited Liability Corporation/Limited Liability Partnership: this is a hybrid of corporations and partnerships, combining the features of both. LLC's are extremely flexible, and can be used for a very wide range of businesses. The members (equivalent to shareholders or partners) can, but do not have to, have limited liability. LLCs can, but but do not have to have, managers (equivalent to directors and officers in a corporation) and can elect to be taxed either as corporations, or as partners (if they have two or more members) or be disregarded for tax purposes like a sole proprietorship. Like partnerships, LLC's can be as simple or complex as the members desire. Depending on state law, an LLC can have the same limited liability for members as a corporation, or have some members with limited liability and some without limited liability (like a limited partnership), or even have no limited liability for any members (like a general partnership). Unlike corporations, some States require that their LLC's designate a date in the future at which the LLC will automatically dissolve. Some States also require that if a member dies, goes bankrupt or meets some other calamity the remaining members of the company must either dissolve or vote to continue. LLCs are more expensive to set up, and although a lawyer is not required, one would be very helpful in guiding you through the process. There are more fees involved in set up, and the main partner/officers must pay a registraton/renwal fee every year. Medium to Low Personal Risk.
4. Corporations: much more complex than partnerships or sole proprietorships, in that a new legal person (entity) is created. A corporation is an entity that is separate from its owners, so that regardless of what happens to shareholders, the corporation continues until it is legally dissolved. Depending on state law, a corporation can be owned by just one person and have just one director and officer. The owner(s) of a corporation are known as shareholders. The shareholders elect directors to set the policies of the corporation and represent their interests. The directors appoint the officers of the corporation to manage day to day operations. Corporations are legally required to follow more formalities than any of the other entities, including annual meetings of the shareholders and directors, as well as board approval of most significant acts by the corporation. Because a corporation is separate from its shareholders, for example, even if one person is the sole shareholder/director/officer, that person cannot just take company funds for him/herself without documenting the reason and entering a board resolution into the corporate records. Taxation of corporations is much more complex than sole proprietorships or partnerships: depending on the number of, residency of and type of shareholders, a corporation can elect to be treated for tax purposes as a if it were a partnership (an S corporation) and therefore not pay taxes itself, or it can be treated as a taxable entity (a C corporation). Definitely consult with a lawyer before forming a corporation. There are many forms and fees that will need to be filed properly. Low Personal Risk.

Choose your business entity based on your current needs as it can be changed as you grow: a sole proprietor ship can choose to form an LLC or C Corporation, a partnership can become an LLP or C Corporation. A C Corporation can elect to become and S Corporation (usually for tax purposes).

Notice to those planning to form partnerships: please but keep in mind that partnerships have a higher failure rate, usually based on lack of unity in vision and goals. If you choose to form a partnership, have a lawyer draft an agreement that assures all of your partners are liable for exactly what they put into the business and that you have an exit strategy (a plan for how one or both of you can get out of the agreement).

Most artists can set up a small business as a sole-proprietor with a minimum of labor, and it is probably a good way to start out, since you can always change to a LLC or take on partners as your business grows. Just keep in mind that as a sole proprietor, your business finances directly effect your personal finances.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Starting A Small Business: How Up from the Ashes was Germinated

I recently sent a friend some information on starting a small business. I realized while I was typing up the information, that some of this could be useful for artists who are looking to break from the studio and into entreprenuership. I have spent oodles of time and energy researching how to make our business a success, so I thought I would take some blog space to share what I have learned and present resources for artists and artisans to use to start their own businesses.

How Up from the Ashes was Created in a Trial by Fire:
I graduated from college with my degree in fine art and no practical knowledge what-so-ever about how to start and run my own art career. Typical of my former self, I jumped in feet first and realized I had no idea how to swim.
A dear friend and I created Up from the Ashes in 2004, based on our mutual desire to create amazing and magical products to sell, and the hope that one day we would be able to have a booth at the PA Reneiassance Faire.
I'm not kidding, that was our goal.
Our only discussion about business structure was that since there were two of us, we should form a partnership. And the business plan? What is a business plan? Do we need one?
So we sent $70 to the government and filed our ficticious name. We applied for an EIN and a tax resale number. My dad suggested we get a website, so we registered for a domain name. We had business cards printed with our charming new logo designed by my long-suffering boyfriend, Jason. He also pasted up our first website, which was not much more than a convoluted description of our intentions pulled from our EIN application and some pictures of things we made. Yes, they were horrible pictures.
We applied to some fairy festivals and craft shows, and surprisingly were accepted to some considering our level of disorganization. We learned the hard way that some craft shows one of us would sell great and the other would sell nothing, thus generating some tension, since both of us were spending money on the fees and travel.
We both worked full time and my partner was earning her masters, so we had very little time and energy to contribute to our fledgling company. We had no practical experience or backround in management, and had no idea who to turn to for help. I think, that if it were not for my obsession with making things and then having to find places to sell them because I was running out of room in my tiny apartment, we both would have given up after the second year.
We made all the usual mistakes: we spent waaaaay too much on supplies (well, I did at any rate-my credit card still hates me), we had no set goals or plans about where we wanted to go, we did not do more than basic research to create the entity, we underestimated how much time we would need to devote to the cause, we did not create an exit strategy in case on or both of us wanted or needed to get out, we did not properly track our finances, we did not perform market research, we did not spend enough time developing products-new and old. And we have not even made it to the Reniassance Faire yet. We both, at one point or another, wanted to give up.
At the moment, our little company is five years old, and finaly starting to make a little profit. My partner is taking a break while she works on getting her doctorate, so I am working hard to continue getting our name out there. We have a long way to go, but the road is starting to look a bit less rocky.

That being said, here are some things to think about if you are thinking about starting your own small business:

(these are things to look out for so you can prevent failure)
Statistic: According to Dunn & Bradstreet, 88.7% of all businesses fail due to management mistakes.
1. Mistaking a Business for a Hobby.
2. Asking Friends and Relatives for Advice: unless Uncle Joey actually successfully runs the type of business you want to have, ask a professional-they have the experience and they answers (Lawyer, Accountant, Banker, Insurance Broker are the Big 4)
3. Asking Friends and Relatives for Money: Big no-no because relatives and friends are emotionally involved, and if the business fails, it can ruin good relationships. This is what banks are for.
4. Mismanaging Money: Your Accountant can help with this or you can take courses to learn what you need to do online or through small business associations. Also, don’t go first class from the start as overspending is a serious problem for beginning companies-if you are not making money yet, that $2,000 suit and first class plane ticket could be a nail in your business’s coffin. Allocate your limited start-up resources to where they will make the most profit.
5. No Business Plan: the business plan directs your focus and establishes your goals. You need to have your focus written down before you can get to work.
6. Inadequate Pricing: you need to charge the going rate for your services from the start, so know your competition, your clients, and know how you do things better.
7. Inability to Manage Growth: this actually is a major issue; if you have a surge, you need to be able to plan to meet demands.
8. Lack of Commitment: you are gung ho now, but that may change as pressures increase and you get worn out from working all the time. You need to be sure you are committed to your business success, and find new ways to recommit if you feel yourself lagging.
9. Failure to Set and Revise Goals: this is where your business plan comes in. Once you set your initial goals and get to work, you may realize that your focus needs to change to a different aspect or you need to broaden your horizons; this is not only okay, it is a very good idea-revision ensures you are directing your focus to make your business the biggest success it can be.
10. Inability to Develop and Monitor Financial Statements: Financial statements monitor the pulse of your business. Banks use them to evaluate what type of funding they will give you. You need to track all of your incoming and outgoing funds, and this can be done with simple programs like quickbooks or peachtree.
11. Inability to Balance Family and Business: think of this business as your baby; you need to be prepared to care for it 24/7. You may be working 12 to 16 hour days during the start up phase (which can be more than a year based on the type of business and product you have) and you and your family need to acknowledge the drain and strain this will put on you. You can work from home if your office needs are small, but you need to be able to work without interruptions.
12. Underestimation of Time Requirements: this goes with the previous. Many small business owners think that if they hang up their shingle, customers will come running to partake of their services. In reality, you are going to need to be marketing yourself and your product 24/7, and always be thinking of more ways to get your name out there. If you plan on doing this full time, you may actually be working those 12 to 16 hour days. You will get tired, but you need to prevent burn out to succeed.
13. Lack of Market Awareness/Poor Marketing: you can’t buy a product you can’t find. KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER: it is a complete waste of time and resources to market your product to someone who cannot use it or pay for it! Be sure your product is ready for your customers before you start marketing it. Know how much of your product you need to sell to stay in business and make a profit. Understand that it will take time for you to show a profit and make back your start up money.
14. Failure to Research Industry Norms: If you have no experience in field you are planning on jumping into, check with professional associations to find the statistics for the industry. This will help you know what to expect from the economy, your competition and your customers.
15. Insufficient Startup Capital: It can typically take 2-3 years before most businesses begin to make money. You need to plan where your funds are going, and you need to make sure you will have enough to cover expenses until that profit begins to arrive. IF you have employees, make sure you can pay them (this includes your own paycheck).
16. Over-Reliance Death Trap: DO NOT have one good customer that makes up 70-80% of your business. This may make you money short term but you will be screwed if they fold or choose to go with another provide. Change your marketing strategy and re-evaluate how you are getting your clients to avoid this.
17. Entrepreneurs that Fall in Love with a Product that Does not Sell: if you are not getting a return on a product, no matter how wonderful you think it is, scrap it and move on to something else if you want to stay in business.
18. You Will Make Mistakes: it is call being human, so get over it. It could be your lack of focus, it could be your pride, it could be that you spent all your petty cash on widgets: it is part of your entrepreneur experience, so take that information, file it in you mind, learn not to do it again and move forward.

This list came from a class I took about starting small businesses (oh, about a year and a half or so after we started our comany!)-the list is from the class, the comments are mine. ;)
More to come!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Custom Luna Moth Wings

Just finished this gorgeous pair of Luna Moth wings for a lovely lady in Canada to wear to Faeriecon this year. Lunas actually have reddish purple veins and outer edges, but I made them navy blue this time to match her dress.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Custom Strapless Fairy Wings

Just finished these gorgeous wings for a custom order. This fairy is going to pair these wings with an exquisite teal gown for her Halloween costume this year.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Midsummer Nights Masquerade Treasury

Many thanks to JKarnos for featuring my Puck Leather Mask in this Awesome treasury!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fit for a Queen Treasury

Many thanks to ThisYearsGirl for including my Titania Crown in her beautiful treasury!!!

An interview with Rick Malwitz/Malwitz Surfboards

An interview with Rick Malwitz/Malwitz Surfboards

Posted using ShareThis

Check this out! This is an interview with my seriously talented cousin Rick who makes handmade surfboards!!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

For My Princess: Pretty In Pink Treasury Feature

HUGE Thank you to lachiffonniere for including my pink and black Ceres fairy wings in her pretty pink treasury!!!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Just Finished: Customized Small Fairy Wings

This pair of small fairy wings in my Hilary design were customized for a little girl to wear to her mother's wedding. The white edges are a little unusual for me, since my standard is to paint the edges a darker color for contrast. This time, I painted the inside and left the edges the white of the fabric.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Instant Faerie Kit

I made this gorgeous little outfit as a charitable donation for a benefit one of my friends held this month.
The "Instant Faerie Kit" includes a pair of small fairy wings (this is Anorra #14), a matching tulle tutu, a feather wand, a glitter fairy dust necklace, and a tiny sparkle tiara.
It turned out so darn cute I may have to start making them to sell, or at the very least start making order forms for sets in custom colors and sizes.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Black Fox Mask

Here are a few pictures of my Black Fox mask.
As you will see, I was not paying attention to the other side of the leather when I cut this one, and managed to get the pricked id right across the face (something the manufacturer does). Oh well, that just means I get to keep it!
I wore this one for two days at the Maryland Fairy Festival, and it was very comfortable, and stood up well to the uncontrollable sweat from the heat on Saturday.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Treasury Feature!

Huge THANK YOU to fundamentalfindings for including me in her bewinged treasury!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Treasury Love!

Many thanks to Danagonia for featuring my little blue Annora Fairy Wings in her beautiful treasury!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Product: Crystal and Glass Wand

And here it is, the new product I mentioned a few days ago that was unveiled for the first time at the Maryland Faerie Festival: my first Soldered Crystal and Glass Wand!The shaft is a black 12-13mm dia. moretti glass rod. The stones include two large quartz points - one on each end, a baroque labradorite cabochon with wonderful shiller (the blue flashes), and a collection of tumbled quartz and hematite. It was composed with silver back copper foil and lead free solder holds it all together. This is a solid construction and weight more than it looks like it should. As my very first soldering project, I am quite pleased with the way it turned out.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Maryland Faerie Festival 2009

The 2009 Maryland Faerie Festival was a blast. The weather was cooperative (for the most part) this year, with a bit of rain Saturday and Sunday morning but clearing up for the rest of the day. Saturday was gorgeous and warm and the fae creatures were out in force. I saw dragons and trolls, tons of sprites, fairies and pixies of all sizes, even a parade of greenmen blessing the faire.
I remembered to bring my camera, and took some pictures of happy customers to share with you:

On Sunday, I loaned my Fire Fairy Tiara to a charming young Faerie Queen named Sophie so she could preside over the day's festivities in regal style.

In all, I would have to say it was a very good event. The attendees braved the morning gloom to frolic in the afternoon sun and I was thrilled to see several fairies bedecked in my wings from previous years flutter by to say hello.

I just realized that I don't have any pictures of myself, but the night before I left for the festival I made a black fox mask to wear with my furry black fox tail. I *may* have scared a few children, being accidentally mistaken for a wolf. I will post pictures of my mask and a few other new ones once I finish unpacking.