Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Show Season

Thanksgiving is over now in the States, which means the holiday season is in FULL SWING! If you've been living under a rock, there's tons of art and craft shows going on to get you all set and make your holiday shopping easy! The SF Etsy Team has been busy to gear up for the holidays from Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts and perks.

One of the big shows going on as usual during this time of year is Bazaar Bizarre which is being held at the Concourse Exhibition Center here in San Francisco December 1st & 2nd. The SF Etsy Team will be there promoting the team along with a Pop Up Shop! I'll be there helping out and you'll find my photo greeting cards for sale along with several other members. We'll also be handing out information about our team and also a map showing where you can find other team members who are selling at the event that weekend (over 50!).



Be sure to stop by this weekend and do a little shopping!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Black and White

A few black and white photos from the past couple weeks.


Union Square from Macys


Ferry Building Marketplace


Muni Platform


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Photos at the STUDIO Gallery in San Francisco

I have several photo pieces up at the STUDIO Gallery here in San Francisco! The opening reception for "tiny" was just this past Sunday where a couple of us SF Etsy members are also being featured in the show. All pieces of work are no bigger than 7"x7" so there's a A LOT of pieces in the studio. Over 200 artists! I walked into the gallery for the first time since the show started on the 8th and saw a red dot next to my piece. How exciting! Below are some photos from the show ...





Dani of The Recoverie , Jen co-owner of the gallery and Eko of Eko Jewelry Design


Debbie of Bluehour Studio


Me next to my sold work

If you happen to be in San Francisco, be sure to pop by the gallery! Work will be up until December 23rd. For more info, check out the gallery website.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Showing off packaging

On Friday, a couple members of the SF Etsy team came over for our business meeting focusing on packaging. If you're like me, you can spend hours looking at packaging samples because I love being inspired and seeing what creative ways people present their products.

My packaging is currently a work in progress. I'm trying to come up with ways to present my prints (I sold one for the first time this month!) so the customer doesn't just get a print in a cello bag.

Below is what I've come up with for packaging up my individual photo greeting cards and the other is a mock up for how I packaged up the print to a customer.


Some of the feedback regarding packaging for my prints is to use a sticker, larger stamp (possibly my shop name/logo) and also including a note that says how to care for your print. It was also suggested to include frame sizes for the print ordered or mat sizing. Things I hadn't even thought of! Really useful information.

Megan of Vantastic Vintage said that she is going to step up her packaging again because before she used to wrap things up nicely, sometimes include a little freebie, but after ordering vintage items from other sellers on Etsy, she thought she was doing too much. She's said that everyone has pretty much tossed the item in a bag, slapped the Paypal label on the envelope/box and shipped it off. We all gasped!! What, you mean the seller didn't put in a note saying thank you, no tissue paper ... nothing?? YUP! OMG!! After seeing all our packaging she said she's gonna totally bring back her extra touch because it makes her stand out. We all thought that even though she sells vintage, it doesn't mean it you should just toss it in an envelope. Just a food for thought vintage/clothing sellers!

Eko, Even, Cristiana and Audra all sell jewelry and have similiar packaging of using boxes. Eko does awesome packaging and of course, I totally failed to get a photo of it, but we all were "oooooo-ing" and 'awwwww-ing" at it. She puts some serious care into packing up her pieces, even including information on how to care for the pieces when the customer receives it.

Even's packaging (L), Cristiana's packaging (R)

Overall, it was a great meeting. I loved seeing everyone's packaging and the suggestions given.

What are your favorite packaging tips? How much does packaging make an impression on you when you order something handmade?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dinner anyone? Part 2

Oh boy it took me 2 days and several hours to go through all those pics. Here's some more to entertain you. This time, it's of the staff prepping for the evening.









Friday, September 21, 2012

Dinner anyone?

I had the awesome opportunity to photograph a restaurant earlier this week. I mainly focused on the kitchen which I must say, was quite calm! I photographed Alexander's Steakhouse located in the SOMA District in San Francisco. It's near AT&T Park and the Caltrain Station.

I did this project purely for fun to try and photograph something I normally wouldn't think of photographing. It was also a great opportunity use the various modes on my camera. I must say it was pretty tricky with all the different lighting!

I'll be posting some more photos of my experience, but the staff was awesome!! It's made me really appreciate the amount of work that goes into getting food on the table. So be nice to those who serve your food to you!

The staff totally let me photograph them as they were working and I don't know about you, but I probably wouldn't want anyone photographing myself working, but then again I work at a desk most of the day. I loved it, they were even saying, "Did you get a picture of that, that's where the action is!" Awe yeah!

So here are some of the food shots ... I'll be posting more over the next week or so. Sorry if it makes you hungry.








Thursday, September 13, 2012

Beautifying the City

I was on my way home after doing some errands at Church & Market here in San Francisco and as I was waiting for the N-Judah, I noticed several of the utility boxes had been painted and were now covered with beautiful flowers. I glanced over and saw a guy talking to a woman who was standing at a utility box painting it. It took me a few minutes to get that the woman was the one who painted the other boxes. I decided to head over and get a better look at the box. Here, I met Mona Caron. Whatever she was painting looked interesting, but I didn't really get it. So she told me to stand at the left side corner, facing Out of the Closet looking towards Safeway. Below is what I saw:


Cool, huh? She in fact painted the mural you'll find behind Safeway. And I don't know how many times I've seen that mural wondering who the heck painted it, and here I was talking to the artist herself! Mona's a super sweet woman.


A man was walking by who stopped to look at what she was doing and just had to take a pic. Then another man was walking by who lives in the neighborhood saying how much he appreciates her work because she's beautified his home. How nice, huh?


She's painted other murals all over San Francisco, including a mural in the Tenderloin, Dolores Heights, Noe Valley and the Mission. She also has work in other countries such as Boliva and Switzerland. I must say it's a beautiful thing to see a blank space being transformed, however big or small it maybe. And I also realized that she, like many artists, is sharing her work with the world and leaving her mark for thousands and thousands of people to see and enjoy as they go about their lives. Whether they're heading to the store, meeting up with friends, whatever it maybe. It's work that everyone of any walk of life can enjoy and appreciate. Thanks Mona for beautifying San Francisco with your beautiful art! You can find her website here and go like her Facebook page!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Baking up a storm

The other weekend, I decided to bust out the Kitchen Aid Mixer my family bought me for my birthday this past May. I'd been going on and on about how much I wanted a Kitchen Aid Mixer for several years, saying if I ever got engaged that it would be the only thing I'd ever register for. Whelp, I finally used it and I love it! It's magical!

I baked up some gluten free brownies and oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies (which I've made before and posted on here). I was curious how the brownies would turn out and I was surprised, they came out pretty good. A bit on the chocolaty side for my taste, but my coworkers gobbled them up.

So if you're in search of some eye candy for your day ...






Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"What are you listening to?" Photo Project

What are you listening to? I figure that's a better title for my photo project.

On my way home last week, I decided to approach a guy who was seriously grooving to something on his headphones while on an express bus. I was pretty scared to ask only because it was a full bus and the last thing I wanted was everyone hearing what I was saying and taking pics. I was thinking "oh my goodness everyone's gonna STARE AT ME!" Well the bus ride was almost done and I was running out of time to get my next possible person for this project. I mustered up the courage yet again and asked "Can I ask what you're listening to?" He got a little worried and asked if he was singing too loud. Yes, he was THAT into his music but I'm down with that. If anything, it made my commute and others ride home a bit more entertaining after a long day.



Name: Adam
Listening to: "Revolution Rock" by The Clash

Adam was rocking out to The Clash because anything that makes the commute home go faster is great. He said that the song made him feel empowered like he's gotta get out of the house and do something. It gave him this antsy, rambunctious feeling. Plus it made the traffic home a bit more bearable.

We chatted a bit about music and I thought it was interesting that he said normally people listen to certain songs on an album, but he listens to an album all the way through. That's rare nowadays, or at least I rarely hear of anyone listening to albums all the way through. He keeps it old school which is cool in my book because we people have the shortest attention spans nowadays. I know I do, I'm the station hopper in the car.

I ran into him again today on the way home so we chatted it up again, talking about photography and the local bakery which apparently has really great pastries. According to him, well the coffee needs a bit of a makeover, but the pastries and sandwiches are worth the trip. Making mental note!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

New photo project

One of the projects I've always wanted to do was to photograph folks who are listening to music, or plugged into some type of audio while out and about. Since the ipod came out, I don't think I've ever seen more people walking around with earphones on. It's crazy! I dare you to count the next time you're out, especially if you ride public transportation.

To do this project, this requires me to talk to strangers. HUH? I have to talk to people? People I don't know? Yes, it requires me to invite myself into their world in hopes they won't bop me on the head or go ballistic on me if I ask to stop to ask them some questions about what they're listening to and to take their photograph. I'm usually OK talking to someone I don't know if I'm asking for directions, but this is different. In my quest to get over my fear and actually do this project that's been shelved for oh, maybe 5 years or so, I decided to bite the gun and give it a go this weekend.

After my first "I can't, I'm in a rush to get to xyz" and not letting the rejection totally kill my goal, I was able to grab a woman named Sara's attention. Yay!



Name: Sara

Listening to: Esther Hicks, a San Francisco seminar


When I stopped her to ask what she was listening to (I thought music), she said she was listening to an audio (speaking) track. I thought "What? Ooooh, audio. Huh. I didn't think about audio." She said she was listening to inspirational speaker Esther Hicks. She had attended the seminar in person and was listening to the seminar again while she was out. She said that she found herself listening to more audio/speaking tracks instead of music. The speaking tracks help her keep her focused and positive. Awesome!

She had a great personality and was easy to talk to. We chatted about self-improvement stuff and things we've dealt with and the power of letting things go. I told her how funny it was that the first person that stops to talk to me is tuning into self-improvement, self-growth work which is what I've been doing the last several months and she said that we attract what we are.

I asked her what the Esther Hicks track made her think about, what mood did it put her in. She said, "I was listening to it because I wanted to manage my anxiety and to get in a place where I could find better feeling thoughts. Life is supposed to be a mantra." I love it.

First person down, many more to go! I can just imagine the folks I'll meet along the way by doing this project. See, you find out a lot about a person by what they're listening to.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

In search of peace

Taken last week at the Land of Medicine Buddha in Santa Cruz County.







Monday, August 13, 2012

It's been too long, I know

Hola!

My goodness, I'm getting back in touch with the internet world. I was off Twitter and Facebook for just over a month. It was time to detox. I was going no dairy and no sugar and boy it was hard, but I survived!! I have to say it was nice to disconnect from the "busy-ness" that the internet is. I was in awe what a time waster it can be.

My diet's been going well! I feel so much healthier and have gone down 12 lbs since I've been seeing my dietitian. So nice! I'm sorta falling off the wagon, so I need to get back on and focused.

I've been working on my photography for the last several weeks. Instead of doing photography every couple ... err months that the only way it can get better is to do photography every single day. Even when I really don't want to. When I stopped putting up a fight and complaining about it, my photos got better and I'm in awe at the fact that my "photo" eye is coming back. Yay! It's definitely helping me come up with possible new cards and prints to set up in the shop.

I'm also in the process of doing an action plan for my shop. Boy so much to hash out! I'm excited though because the possibilities are endless.

So things are going well! I'm happy with how things are coming along right now in my life. Yay!

I promise I'll post at least once a week. I'm going to write it down! I'm learning to make commitments and stick to them, just like my healthy eating, daily photography, meditation, etc. Need to start somewhere and stick to it. Plus I miss my blog world!!

What have I missed since I've been away? Has a bunch of amazing stuff going on in cyber space??

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Got food?

Hola!

It's been so long. Things have fallen off my plate of priorities, need to learn to balance things better. So much has gone on over the last several weeks so I'll do my best to slowly get back up to date on things.

On the home front, I went to see a dietitian for the first time ever this morning. Granted I've never been on a diet, but considering that I've more or less struggled with my daily diet (what can I say, I like food!), even when I've lost weight I never was able to figure out how to properly balance my meals. I mean if you do a search on "diet" or anything food related, you'll get over 50 million results via Google. We get so overwhelmed with dieting, what to eat and not to eat, how many calories to consume, what to do if you have health problems ... it's just out of of control and you don't know what to believe or follow.

I figured, it was high time to finally sit down with someone who is clinically licensed and is properly educated on diet who could give me recommendations based on me, my particular eating habits, etc. It isn't cheap and of course health insurance doesn't cover which seems stupid. It's a preventative!!! It should be covered!! They'll only consider covering it if I'm getting or have had surgery or something. LAME!

After meeting with her, she suggested I look into working on a slow carb diet. Focusing on slow carbohydrate based foods. It's supposed to help keep your blood sugar more balanced through the day so it doesn't spike (no bagels, cereal, white flour stuff), but eat veggies/fruit, protein and carbs at each meal. Diabetes runs in my family and at the moment, I'm realistically healthy (no serious health issues), but I'd like to get on a better health path.

It sounds quite similar to the "4 Hour Body" book/diet out there and a low glycemic diet. The first is much more restrictive where as the low glycemic diet is a bit more realistic.

I'll be visiting her in about 3 weeks and tracking what I'm eating and making note of how I feel about it all.

Have you followed a diet of sorts? They always seem temporary and a number of them, dangerous.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

EstyGreetings Wedding Blog Hop

Wedding season is gearing up again and as part of the EtsyGreetings Team Wedding Blog Hop, several members are posting a wedding themed greeting card from their shop!

On Your Wedding Day


I like this card because it's simple and would be great for a bridal shower, a same sex wedding or just a congratulations on your engagement card.

Check out Cisne's pick who's next in the blog hop!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

TLC for yourself

When's the last time you did something nice for yourself? Considering how busy we are day to day, how we fill our days with everything and still feel like we didn't get everything done, we often put ourselves last. I know I do!

I did a couple searches for ideas on how to take better care of myself and put ME first and the funny thing is the ideas I came across are SO simple! Remember whether you're running a shop, have a day job, have a family to look after or have a lot of other stuff going on, you can't be of much use to anyone unless you take care of yourself first.

Here's some ideas to get you started on giving yourself some TLC today. Best part? They're FREE!

* Find and notice something beautiful every day
* Write thank you notes to those who have touched your life and inspired you
* Dance around your house
* Eat something unhealthy AND enjoy it without self-criticism or guilt
* Schedule a day of no schedule
* Watch cartoons
* Lay in the grass and watch the clouds
* Sit and people watch
* Say no
* Listen to your favorite music
* Naps
* Draw a picture like you did when you were a child
* Try out meditation- no pressure
* Start a journal – gratitude, your personal story, an art journal, use prompts, whatever works for you – get writing and creating

Sunday, April 1, 2012

SF Etsy Business Group Meeting

I've been sadly neglecting my blog. So sorry! I've been busy with everything going on. Plus this weather's throwing me off, oh and then there was the time change ... crazy!

One of the things I started in my shop was adding prints! Yay! So not only will you find photo greeting cards, but prints. I also made a small version of the toilet paper roll (which ended up on regretsy.com last month) in case folks want an unframed version of the print that can fit in any tiny bathroom or a small space. I'm looking forward to adding more prints and possibly listing those photo magnets I had started on about a year ago.

In other news, today I hosted an SF Etsy Business Group Meeting at my apartment! I reconnected with 2 previous members (Eko & Korie) I had met when I first hosted the crafty afternoon event a few months ago. I also met 2 new SF Etsy members, Terrie and Conor which was fun. Korie discussed SEO for our shops and it was really informative. She went through sorting out our keywords and then how to use them throughout our shops. Can't wait to start trying out her tips and suggestions.

We're hoping to make our group a monthly event and hopefully tackle topics such as photographing products, promoting through social networking, how to sell outside of etsy and just even checking in to what people are doing right now with their work.

I have to say it's extremely helpful getting to meet other local members. It really keeps me motivated and inspires me to keep working on my shop and creating new products. Can't wait till our next meeting!

What keeps you motivated and inspired?

Friday, March 16, 2012

11 Random Facts

THE RULES

one Post these rules.
two Post a photo and the eleven random things.
three Answer the questions provided by the one who tagged you.
four Create eleven new questions for the people you tag.
five Go to their blog (or Facebook or Twitter) and tell them they’ve been tagged.

Facts:

1. I still order Bubblegum ice cream if I'm at a place that offers it. Same with chicken strips with bbq and fries. I'm still a kid a heart and I'm nearing ... well you don't need to know. But I'm not 8 years old!

2. I like orange juice and pineapple juice, but I won't eat the actual fruit. The actual fruit makes me want to gag.



3. In college, I was radio & tv broadcast major. For a media writing class we had to start writing the script for a TV show. I picked Seinfeld. Jerry was dating a woman who was blind but for some reason kept suggesting going to museums or movies for their dates and he was trying to figure out if she really was blind. George got into a kerfuffle getting on a bus to go to a job interview and had a fight with an old woman because he wouldn't give up his seat ... let's just say the old lady shows up later and George freaks out at his job interview.

4. I'm obsessed with penguins and if I had the money, I would totally go to the Falkland Islands to see them in person.

5. I really dislike shopping. Mostly for clothes, shoes, etc. I find it draining. I like to get in and get out as quick as possible. I only really shop when everything is falling apart, it's quite sad really.

6. I have naturally curly hair, but it wasn't till in Jan 2011 that I really started to accept it. I had been blow drying it straight for a couple years. I blow dryed it straight for the first time a few months back to see how it'd look. It looked horrible. I'll stick with my curls, thank you very much.

7. I rarely, if at all, listen to the radio. I used to listen to the radio a lot when I lived back home with my parents because I drove around a lot. I don't have a car in San Francisco and when I do get a Zipcar, I plug in my iPod instead.

8. I had a segment produced on TV back in ... 2003 or so. I was an intern for the cable network TechTV. It was on blogs oddly enough. It was a fun experience.

9. When I was a toddler, the first language I spoke was Spanish. Now English is my primary language and I'm far from being fluent in Spanish.



10. I used to want to be an architect when I was a kid. I loved drawing homes. Then I realized you had to be good at math. I suck at math. That dream went out the window. I still like to drool over homes though.

11. At my previous job, I got to speak to James Spader, Fran Healy (UK Band Travis), Roberta Flack, Conan O'Brien, Andre Rieu (yeah, I know), Paul McCartney's band, Max Weinberg (Bruce Springsteen's drummer, Conan O"Brien's former drummer for his show) and Cary Elwes (Westley from the film, The Princess Bride).

Bonus: I'm a bit obsessed with the UK. Love music from there and enjoy their TV ... Only Fools and Horses, Hotel Babylon, IT Crowd, Goodnight Sweetheart, The Office ...




Questions from Heidi at Row House 14 who tagged me:

1. Where is your favorite place in the whole world?

I don't really have a favorite place. Sometimes my bed, on a cold day or the lawn chairs that over look Moonstone Beach in Cambria, CA at the Cambria Shores Inn. They serve goodies throughout the day for their guests and you can watch the Pacific Ocean with a cup of tea and a warm cookie.

2. Do you call it soda or pop?

SODA!

3. What is your favorite song of all time?

I don't have a favorite song either. There's too many songs and for various reasons why they rock. Some songs on my iTunes that have had the most plays are Coldplay's "Death and all his Friends" and Duncan Sheik's "The Dawn's Request". I also like other stuff like Robbie William's "Come Undone" and Goldfrapp's "Happiness."

4. Do you prefer cooking or dining out?

I really like cooking when I'm in the mood or I find a cool recipe. Then again I'm a Taurus and I like a fine meal. I'd like to eat out at some fine establishments, but my bank account would be much more drained. I'm the type of person who will wait in line to eat a good meal and I'm not talking about the Cheesecake Factory either. San Francisco has too many restaurants that you're bound to find something to awesome to eat.

5. What 's the best experience you've ever had in your lifetime?

Best experience? Hmmm, no idea. One cool experience I had was getting a massage in the water at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland in freezing temperatures. It was a stormy day (it was the dead of winter) and lightening and thunder was probably less than a mile away from us. It started hailing and raining while I was lying face up getting massaged in the water. Very cool. Don't worry, everyone was asked to get out of the water for our safety. Couldn't have had that anywhere. It was so nice to get back into the warm water!

6. Any pets?

No, no pets. I've had fish when I was a kid though. I wish I could have pets where I live because I'd get a dachshund and name him Sir Duncan the Great. Yup, that's what his dog tag would say too.

7. What's the most important part of your day?

Probably breakfast time because if I don't eat, I'm thrown all off the rest of the day. If I eat too late my schedule is a mess. Or I get to work and I'm starving then I gotta scramble for some meal.

8. Favorite artist?

Yikes, again no favorite. Too many musical favorites, I have Etsy favorites and others to narrow it down.

9. If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

It might be fun to be the person who comes up with the fun names for make up, or crayons.

My questions:
1. What's your favorite word?
2. What's something you do only when you're alone?
3. What's a book that you'd recommend to someone that they should read?
4. Favorite quote?
5. If you had to deal with a natural disaster, would you want to deal with it annually (such as tornado/hurricane season) or not know (earthquake) and not have any time beforehand to prepare for it (pack up and leave)?
6. What's your favorite way to relax and unwind?
7. When are the times you are most inspired, most motivated, most charged up?
8. Do you keep up with the trends going on in our culture (do you get the latest gadget, read latest book, etc.)?
9. What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
10. Favorite comfort food?
11. For fun, if you were a hotdog and you were starving, would you eat yourself?

I'm tagging ... Lisa, Kimberley, Annie and Emily

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lightbox project

After taking lots of product photos and continually being annoyed at how my images come out, I finally broke down and made a lightbox.



Now because I'm extra lazy and cheap I didn't want to have to go buy extra lamps. I have one lamp that's bendy, but all the other lights I have are stationary. I cut up a box, but of course it was way too small. I don't know what I was thinking. But I found a larger box, used some tissue paper and ta-da, a lightbox.



Lighting the darn thing was another issue. With a few props (yoga blocks, DVDs, DVD remote) and laying some lamps down on their side, I had a decently lit box.



I spent the evening taking pictures (over 500!) and popped them into Photoshop. Auto corrected the levels and the end result is below.


I have to say I was really surprised at the results. I wish my lights were better as there was some glaring, but overall I'm pretty happy with my box. I only spent 99 cents on the poster board from Walgreens. Have you made a lightbox?