Pink Parlour Festival at Santa Anita park 2011

Wow, this show was so awesome! This past weekend my cousin, my husband and I went to this show.  Our intent was to check it out and maybe talk to a few people.  In general to get an idea if this show would be one we would like to try and vend at next year.

We arrived a little late (work had to be finished first) so when we arrived it was going on 3 in the afternoon and the show had begun at 11 in the morning.  The first thing we noticed was that the parking lot was packed, a good sign.  Then as we walked in the gates we found that there were multiple things going on.  So, maybe there aren't as many people here as we first thought.  There was a food and wine event (looked yummy) and horse racing of course.  We were at a race track after all so that was expected.  Turns our our tickets gave us access to the show and the track and free race programs, a pretty good deal for five dollars.

To get to the Pink Parlour area we had to walk thru the middle of the food and wine group and thru the betting window area.  We already had our wrist bands when we got to the entrance so we were able to walk right in.  People who were there just for the races were buying tickets at the door to get in too so I think they probably paid more.

Right away it was sensory overload, pink everywhere and music playing pretty loud.  If you don't like music and crowds this isn't the show for you because it was pretty packed.  This was exactly what we were hoping for, lots of people most important, people buying.

Lot's of Steampunk but there was plenty of variety so if Steampunk isn't your thing don't be worried.  

From the ladies of 

There was everything there from jewelry to handmade soaps, reproduction vintage style dresses, children's toys and clothing.

JM Tolman 

We walked the whole show and overall the vendors seemed to be doing brisk business.  There were a couple of areas that were not as ideal but I think these could be overcome with the right eye catching displays.  I did take the opportunity to speak with a few of the vendors and everyone was very nice, definitely people I would want to be next to at a show.  We did note that there were some spots open, we were not sure if that was because vendors had to cancel or the spaces didn't sell.

Similar to any show these days there was a lot of jewelry but there was a good variety and every table was different.  I didn't notice any ceramics but I could have missed them because it was pretty busy and I did pass by some spots that were really packed.

One booth that was surrounded both times I walked by and I just had to get a photo of because it was so nicely done.  I'm sure they were wondering what I was up to with the camera.

I was holding my camera up overhead to get these because there
were customers surrounding them the whole time I was there.

I bought rosemary infused gluten free almond brittle from them.

Absolutely, this is a show we want to vend at.  My head is spinning with ideas.  We have a ton of work to do before we can work a craft show.  It's a good goal for us though.  Craft shows like this one are not your grandmothers craft show.  It's a whole new rock and roll world of crafting.  I love it!

I'm happy to answer any questions you might have about this show, just leave me a comment and I will answer as soon as I can.  You can also find a lot more photos of the show here  photos

If you happen to be one of the vendors in the photos let me know if you would like me to label the photo with your store info.

Donating feels great!

I just have a short post today.  I am so happy to share that the pendant we were offering for sale and donating the sale amount to the Red Cross for Japan sold yesterday!  We made the donation last night and are sending a copy of the receipt for the donation to the buyer.

I was so surprised to wake up this morning to find that the Red Cross in San Antonio had tweeted about our pendant.  Wow.  Unfortunately that one was already sold.  So a quick conversation with my husband and we agreed to try and do more.  We aren't in a financial position to donate the full price of every sale because we would be in negative numbers and finances are hard enough already.  After just a little discussion we decided we could donate 25% of each sale we make until 4/3/2011.

If you could pass this along anywhere you can think of we would really appreciate it.

We listed this pendant today.

link to pendant here

Yesterday we attended the Pink Parlour festival in Santa Anita park in Southern California.  We took a bunch of pictures that I plan to share in the next couple days.  Next year we hope to be a vendor at this show.  Watch for more details soon.  Also coming this week is my review of the new uv resin we're trying out.

The good and the bad.

I'm going to start with the bad.  About a week ago I posted about some fun kimono fabric pendants I was working on.  I got some awesome copper plated bezels and I added some really pretty showa era kimono fabric to them.  Right away I liked the colors and how the copper high lighted the vintage fabric so well.  

It normally takes a day or two for these pendants to completely dry and set up but this time it was taking much longer because of the dampness in the air from all the rain we've been having.  As each day was passing I was noticing a distinct darkness beginning to appear around the edges of the fabric.  At first it wasn't too bad and actually was adding a pretty antiqued feel to the pendants.  I should have known right away that this was a bad sign.

Here we are now about a week later and the pendants are a wash.  They have discolored so much that I can't sell them.  I don't know how much more the discoloring would have continued.  This photo was taken about one day after the discoloration started.  Two more days later and the pendant in the middle was dark all the way across and you could no longer tell it was flowers.  Huge lesson learned.  I think the delay in the glue drying caused the copper to begin to patina and stain the fabric.  Copper is a fickle metal to work with.  I think in the future I will use chiyogami paper in copper.

the weird blue tint shouldn't be there, middle one is the worst.

The good, well good but scary.  I got approval today for disk replacement in my neck.  I was so worried that insurance was not going to approve surgery without an appeal.  Surprise,  I guess after almost two years of pain, failed physical therapy and spinal epidurals they decided it was time.  I am so glad because I have gained about 30 pounds from the steroid treatments.  I don't think I could handle doing any more of those.

Facing this surgery is terrifying but at the same time I am relieved and looking forward to the surgery day so I can get back to being me.  I don't normally post about things this personal but it feels a little great to get it off my chest.  My surgeon and my regular physician both think I am an ideal candidate and that I will recover quickly.  I can't believe the expected down time is only a week.  Fingers crossed that I will actually recover that quickly.

Relief for Japan

The beautiful textiles of Japan gave me the idea to start Re-Purpose History.  The amazing history and culture of Japan has inspired me in so many ways.  

We have been completely absorbed in watching the news and reading everything we can since the devastating tsunami and earthquakes.  The footage of the tsunami is like a nightmare we are watching over and over.  Yet each time we see or hear a reporter speak with the survivors, we are witness to the courage and strength of the Japanese people.  The road ahead of them to heal and re-build is going to be very difficult.

We don't have much these days but we would like to try and give something.  We have a listing on Etsy for a pendant I made.  We are going to donate the proceeds from the sale of the pendant to the Red Cross for Japan aid.  My hope is that this will actually be the first thing we sell from our store.  It just feels right.

click for pendant listing

The pendant is a piece of Showa era kimono fabric under glass with a dragonfly charm.  We chose this particular pendant because of the dragonfly.  In Japan the dragonfly is a symbol of courage, strength and happiness.  

New pendant designs and comic deadlines

A couple weeks ago I received some new bezels and today I stole a few minutes to shoot some quick photos of the work in progress to.  It was nice to take a look at these through the a lens, I think they photograph well.  

I am using Japanese Chiyogami papers and I really love the way they look.  The woodblock designs and screen printed colors are so beautiful and vibrant.  Next step is to add resin to the unfinished pendants and then decide if I should add any crystal accents.

And now I have to get back to finishing up tonight's DC Comics pages for Rebels #27.  We'll be pulling a all night shift to make this deadline, which means no sleep for us tonight.  I will try to post a sneak peak of one of the Rebels panels tomorrow.  Stay tuned...

These just need bails and chains

Wondering if I should add some crystal accents to these?

Waiting on resin

We were included in our first Etsy treasuries

A special "thank you" to the curators of these treasuries.  These were the first we were included in.  You made my day :)

Playing Catch-up

There has been lots of activity in our little studio. Did you catch that?  I said "we".  I am so excited that husband is joining me in my little venture.  We will be adding our art to the mix and I can't wait to get something up for you to see. We're keeping to the theme of re-purpose history and every piece of art will have a historical twist.  I'm so happy to be drawing again.

More supplies for the fabric art side of things have been arriving.  Like these two amazing wedding obi fabric bolts.   I was in such awe when I first saw these in person.  They are both ivory silk with gold, silver and ivory embroidery.  The motifs in the embroidery of cranes and phoenix are commonly found in Japanese wedding textiles.   I have some wonderful plans for these two but I will save the surprise for later.

Wedding obi bolts

Green embroidered obi silk

Most important, I've completed some new purse designs.  I really like this little bucket purse.  I added a flower from the distressed obi to the front.

We're really starting to have fun with the styling for the photography.  We are finding ourselves looking at catalogs for our favorite stores in a different way.  There is some amazing merchandise styling going on.

Now we just need to figure out how to balance the flood of ideas with the limited number of hours in the day.  Making sure to leave some quality time for each other.  I see the necessity for date night coming back into our lives.

What's new and re-commiting to my blog.

I'm not living up to my own blogging expectations.  It's much more difficult then I ever anticipated to blog and design and keep up my with comic deadlines.  Today I am re-commiting to myself to blog at least once a week for the next month.  It feels like a good goal.  I actually started this post just about a month ago so I am going to finish it up and write another.

Supplies are arriving.  A Uchikake (formal wedding kimono) and Fukuro obi got here quickly.  I purchased both intending to re-purpose them. When I opened the package I quickly noted that the kimono and obi were much more damaged then described. I could also see that the obi was not whole.  The fabric in my beautifully wrapped package was only part of a fukuro obi.  Descriptions are subjective and I don't think these errors were intentional, I just think the seller didn't know what she had.

To explain a little, a fukuro obi is a formal to semi formal obi and often has the decorative fabric only in the places that it would show when worn and the rest is plain.  The entire back was missing and the fabric that I held in my hand was horribly ragged.  There is a dark frayed badly stained crease down the the length of the fabric from use with more frays and little tears all over.  From the ad photo it appeared to be golden color and silver but in person a very dirty gold and silver with sort of a brown or tan color base.

I think the photo was lightened so it doesn't reveal the damage. Photo copyright owned by seller

Immediately, I though I've nothing to loose.  Into the bathtub with warm water and Meyers laundry soap it went.  Yes, I put silk in water again.  I thought it might fall apart but it was completely unusable in the condition it arrived. I began soaking the fabric around 3 in the afternoon.  Every few hours I would change the soapy muddy water.  I was on an all night coloring deadline so I was very patient with the soaking.  Each new soak revealed a new fabric.

I now realize the fabric is actually woven with gold and silver metal wrapped thread and an equal amount of light tan silk.  It's very interesting in texture because it is metal and now behaves like metal.  I think the original fabric was over-dyed brown by someone along the way to try and cover the stains and damage.  It is far too fragile to use for a garment, instead I am going to make some kanzashi tsumami inspired flowers for accessories.

close up of the poor condition
damaged wedding obi extreme closeup
A couple petals of my first Kanzashi inspired flower

Finished hair comb with a vintage button

I'm really pleased with the find and e
xactly what re-purposing history is all about.