Thursday, December 9, 2010

My year in status 2010

Here's a fb apps that's worth playing with. Check out My Year in Status which helps you combine all your status descriptions in a year (you can select if you have too many to display on one sheet) into a nice design, all in a few clicks.

I think it's a rather eye-opening process to look at my status in a year all together. Somehow I have a different perception of myself from what I wrote. Granted that I left out some details but the combination of Debbie Liu and Deb Bunnynikisha (my shop fb acct) tells a story. I have to say on a personal level I really didn't achieve much. But professionally (if you can call that), I moved ahead far along.

Maybe that's how things are supposed to be, when you hit mid-30s. Romance plays hide-and-seek sometimes. And when your mid-life crisis moment comes, a drastic change happens.

To me, it's in my career development. Honestly, I feel like I have not done much but just quit. But no one can reap without sowing. And from my status I feel like I'm doing ok sowing. It's probably just not time yet for the harvest.

The feeling of lost sometimes is hard. Time is not stopping and you need to somehow hang on. Even facing a huge performance improvement seems nothing if there is no actual results. It's not like when we are kids we have 20 years to learn, test and trial :( And since the world we live in now is so complicated, there is no scorecard to say "you are A". It's easy to wobble a bit when you have no sales, and you think, maybe I'm just not that good. And then the savings goes down, and you feel the heat.

When I'm feeling down I would be reading My Year in Status, and tell myself this one line I quoted before that gives me strength again now:
"It's easier to learn to do without some of the things that money can buy than to earn the money to buy them." - Dolly Freed.
(oh but don't get me wrong, I still want $!)

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Coming soon - Rose Bracelet by Harlequin&Lionhead

OK, here comes another design for Harlequin&Lionhead! The last big rose received a lot of compliments but as I'm still working on bringing it to the commercial world, I thought it may be easier to introduce one that carries small roses like my current collection.

Turned out, this is hard! I spent a whole day making this bracelet and at one point the blue wax got really soft the bracelet broke into 4 pieces and it was almost impossible to put it back together. So after a few melt downs and fixing, the bracelet somehow changed shape to whatever it is now. And it finally stablized. I guess the roses didn't like how they looked before? I do though :(  oh well...we'll see how this looks when it comes out from casting!

So someone asked me this question earlier. How come the wax shown in my previous posts are different in colors?  Green is the hardest wax, followed by purple, blue and pink. I use green mostly to create structural piece, like the little roses or rings. The blue ones are mostly used to make models out of molds. Today I use the blue wax as well for the base of the bracelet as they are more flexible to work with (which is also why it broke so many times ~_~). We usually use purple wax for carving. Pink as sheet wax.

I'll post an update of the final product on later!

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Monday, November 29, 2010

My very first treasury!

Turned out making treasury is so much easier now on Etsy! So here is my very first one devoted to anything that relates to Charcoal (not my bunny boy though :P), Walnut and Maroon. Happy Winter!

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Thoughts from my trip

After 3+ weeks of vacation, I'm finally back in US though I'm giving myself one more day of rest at home today :P

During my vacation, I stopped over at Tokyo airport and snapped some interesting product shots of Kitkat. I went to Taiwan and visited my little aunt and my baby cousin. Hopped over to Macau and saw Dragone's "The World of Dancing Waters". Met up with a lot of friends and my family in HK...It's a great trip though tiring.

I realized now that me and my friends are all in our 30s, we are really talking about time in the unit of decade. Pregancy, children and marriage has overtaken love relationships and our stupid jobs as key areas of focus.

Coming from an advertising background, a career more suitable for young people, a few of us actually found ourselves wondering at the onset of a mid-life crisis, how our diligent effort in the past 10-15 years have not really provided us a job that we can see ourselves doing in the next 10-20 years. And that we are facing a question of either a career change, or a desire to run our own business, so we can have more control over how our work fits in with our ever-changing lifestyle stepping into middle age and a totally new stage of life where our priorities are drastically changing.

Very soon, our topics will probably move onto mortgage and parents' health. It's really a very odd transformation that you can probably only spot when talking to old friends who grow up with you, and have not seen you for a long time.

The most important lesson learned looking back at my trip is how we cannot take everything for granted - the dislusion of things will not change, or that we have control over everything, and we can plan everything before things happen. It is pretty scary to see that some of these "security" blankets that kept us happy growing up are lifted from our lives. Now we worry all the time and not a lot of things can give us that same carefree safety feeling even when things are looking rosy, because we know it probably won't last, or that they don't come easily. I would say we learn to treasure life more.

In a person's life, say if you live till 80, only 20 years at most are times when we don't need to worry about reality. And within that, we bumped around the world being adventurous but at the same time rebellious and depressed. Life is truly too short to be carefree and happy. I wish children of the world could be happier, and seniors can be healthier and receive more love. Meanwhile, we can only keep trying and keep hoping that we have done everything we can for our kids and parents...

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

I'm going on vacation!

Yes, I'm going away for a few weeks. So Bunnies Can Dream will be on vacation mode. Come back to my shop on Nov 12. I'll be back by then. But nothing can be shipped before Nov 15 though. I'll probably be out on jetlag :P

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Here are my 2 little photoshooting assistants!

So you may have seen the latest lookbook of the Harlequin&Lionhead Fall 2010 Collection, and you saw my earlier post of my photoshooting booth. But you have not seen my assistants! Well they are not the harlequin or the lionhead, but they are 2 rabbits indeed. They are the cutest vintage rabbit-banks my hubby got for me earlier and they turned out to be very useful besides being super cute.

This is one of the pictures assisted by them. Maybe we should give them some carrots after a full day of work...?

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Update - The BIG rose!

So it's been awhile since my last post regarding the big wax rose. Well here is the final product in silver!

I'm very proud indeed, though I still need to add the bangle to finish this statement rose bracelet. Will post pics when it's ready. Unfortuantely, this rose cannot be replicated in mold so each time the rose will need to be made from scratch. But it will be unique every single time. The problem is that it takes about 4 hours to clean the rose after it comes out from the casting process. And it's not light at all (good quality sterling silver!) So I've decided that I will not sell this bracelet afterall.

Now don't be disappointed if you like it a lot. I can make this in a smaller scale on request so it's both manageable for me and affordable for you. If you are interested, just email me, convo me, or leave a comment with your info here. This will be available only through Harlequin & Lionhead ;) More pictures there too so check it out!

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Another feature on Etsy - 4 in one week, yippee!

I cannot be happier! This is the 4th feature on Etsy this week and 1st for Bunnies Can Dream in a little while. A good way to end September. Let's hope more to come...

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

3 features in 1 week - way to go Moldycupcakes!

Moldycupcakes - my cute shop featuring gifts of $10 or less, is just a playhouse for me. I play with fabric and make really adorable packages of cuteness for anyone who's in for the game. So it really pleases me that I got 3 features this week. Everyone loves colors! :D

So here are the features. Click to visit them on Etsy.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Debute of the rose collection (finally) and behind-the-scene of the photoshoot!

Following the last few postings of the carved wax sterling silver rose collection, finally the finished products are available for preview!

This new collection is going to be launched under a different brand from Bunnies Can Dream. The new brand will be called "Harlequin & Lionhead". If you are more familiar with rabbits, you would probably notice that these are two specific rabbit breeds. Yes, they are the breeds of my 2 babies, Toffee and Charcoal.

Similar to Bunnies Can Dream, this line of jewelry is also inspired by nature. The main differences are that the focal material is sterling silver, and more than 90% of each piece of jewelry is fabricated entirely by myself in the studio. Another characteristic of Harlequin & Lionhead is that most pieces are "sculptured" from various materials instead of an integration of different elements, making its collection organic in nature.

The new collection will be available in a new Etsy store in November. But I can accept pre-order right now. Just email me and I'll provide you a quote. Currently, custom-made designs are not available but I could do that probably from Spring next year onwards.

Click on the picture below and you will be redirected to the blog of Harlequin & Lionhead, where you can see more pictures of the whole collection. I will be posting more next week on the new blog so stay tuned.
Full Rose Ring, Harlequin & Lionhead
This blog will continue to exist for Bunnies Can Dream, and as a more personal blog for me, the designer of Harlequin & Lionhead (because I just love dreamy bunnies and what this blog represents!)

Here is something for you readers exclusively - a quick behind-the-scene of my product photoshoot.

This is actually my little photoshooting booth for both brands. I use it for product close-ups. It's basically my bedroom dresser top with a specific photoshooting light set up, color paper backdrop, and specific props or tabletop. I don't use it as much for Bunnies Can Dream because it's a brand more of natural sunlight and colors. But this would be a must-have for Harlequin & Lionhead moving forward!

I do all photoshoot by myself, including the ones with model. And yes, I am always the model (a struggling designer has no capital to hire expensive fashion models!) To help me shoot, a full body mirror or a small hand mirror is important so I can see how the shoot looks like on the camera.

That's how I did the latest photos of Harlequin & Lionhead. A stark contrast is added to the picture to take out the background of my bedroom, leaving only the pale skin, black hair and black background.
ok, that's all for now! Come back soon for other stories ;)

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Behind the scene of the upcoming sterling silver collection

You may remember my earlier posting on the wax rose, well, it came out really nice but I'm working on the finishing so you'll see it soon. Meanwhile, I'm giving you a sneak peek into my workstation and the rest of the rose collection, debuting October! I work with wax to create models for the silver pieces. And my survival tools are 1) tile (as the tabletop), 2) alcohol lamp, 3) 1-2 key dental tools, 4) wax. That's it! Then it's skills, patience and imagination!
My collection is all about details. Except for the full bloom rose bracelet, the other pieces are made of small roses. Each rose is probably about quarter inch wide.
The roses are put together to form different pieces. The lower bottom of the little case is a pair of 3-rose earrings that can be worn along your earlops curving up, or hang down from your ears. It's an elegant piece.
The most stunning piece is probably the full rose ring. It showcases 15 or so roses in a full circle.
I also made another ring that is adjustable with the opening on the front that is part of the design. It does not look like an adjustable ring at all. In fact, I like it more when it's opened up!
This last piece is a rose wreath pendant made of 6 roses.
I'll be posting the sterling silver pieces in the next posting. It's going to be available in store in Oct but pre-order can be accepted! Stay tuned ;)

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

My business page on facebook is up and running!

After 2 years of stalling, I finally jumped onto the fb business page wagon! It is called "Bunnies Can Dream - Jewelry by Nikisha on Etsy".

Well, hopefully it will make things easier for me and you and everyone. I promise I will not go crazy with the updates.

Click here to go to my page. Click "like" and you'll get free shipping on your first purchase! Of course, your repeat customer discount will still be valid (yes, it can be combined!)

Pass the word ;)

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Fashion trend and Etsy finally connects - Part 2, SS 2011

Following the Part 1 featuring Fall/Winter 2010 women fashion trends, here is the Spring and Summer 2011 forecast.

Spring/Summer 2011

Phew, time flies and it's almost 2011. I am still lingering in the memories of summer. Looking ahead into Spring/Summer 2011 is rather quite exciting in the shadow of the cold and bare winter time...So instead of starting of with the themes, why don't we start with the colors this time!


Lenzing Fibers released it's Q1,2011 forecast! Click here to see the full story or click here to download a PDF version of "Lenzing Color Trends 2011".

Remember "Soften / Energize / Excite" as your keywords when it comes to color selection early next year. It's all about being uplifting.

1) Celebration of the revival. It's all about richness, sparkles and passion!

2) Abstraction - colder colors that work with architectural and industrial designs and fabric.

3) New Classic - nothing loud but just unexpected pairing of colors, design and fabric.

4) Aqueous - as the color suggested, the floating coolness

5) Perleage - Luxe in pastel

Regarding the themes of SS 2011, it's FW 2010 less the jackets, coats, and the roughness. Let's see what the authority of trendspotting, the French trend agency NellyRodi has to say (These are themes that apply to clothing and accessories). I've captured the concept boards here for you. Click here to download the PDF of the full descriptions.

1) Tiny Pleasures. Keywords: "Sensitive, Romantic, Poetic, Timeless, Spirtual"

2) Exotic Junk. Keywords : "Wild, Anti-establishment, Neo pirates, Disobedient, Dazzling"

3) Elitist Elegance. Keywords : "Charismatic, Off-beat, Seducer, Precious, Aesthetic"

4) Color Therapy. Keywords : "Frugality, Simplicity, Joy, Sharing, Durability"

The story of colors and themes are coming together. Cannot wait to see what's in store for us next year!

I'm still working on getting the Etsy treasury together that goes with the trend posts. Hope to have that ready next week! Stay tuned.

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