Monday, June 21, 2010
SO SORRY, Blythe...
I DO miss you.
Please don't be mad at ME!
It won't be until NOVEMBER before I have time OR energy to knit.
At least you're getting a sneak peak at the masterpiece I have been working on since last winter.
I am a fast knitter but this blanket will take at least 60 skeins of various yarns and maybe two more years until completion at the rate I am going.
priorities are priorities AND I have to be a grown up about things.
After returning from Bead and Button, I've been tackling special orders and requests. I should be all caught up by Tuesday then move forward to prepping for August shows. There are many back to back shows, so I better be good and not indulge in my other "hobbies" as I had wanted.
Looks like I won't get to bead either since my special project deadline has been extended. There is no rush to design "yet".
So it's just me and my glass for the next month... all July.
I've been playing with new limited color rods I got the other day, experimenting with even more color mixing possibilities, for the Botanical series.
I absolutely LOVE playing with color in ANY medium.
Next post, I promise to talk more about the new Botanical colors introduced at the Bead and Button show. And, I actually introduced more colors than I originally thought but also four colors were recently "retired" or discontinued due to running out of the respective limited production glass color(s).
Aaaaah... but those are the breaks!
Makes things interesting as well as frustrating if you like a color a lot!
Life remains VERY busy for this girl.
I stay out of trouble when things are busy for me.
THIS IS GOOD!
P.S. You are not imagining, I can write shorter posts and the blog does have a new look thanks to Blogger's new template designer.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
This is the first tomato that came out of our garden.
Before leaving for the Bead and Button show, this perfect tomato was the first of several to be vine ripened.
For the gardeners and those with green thumbs out there, you may laugh at me for making such a big deal out of one small tomato.
But this first perfect tomato was the MOST delicious I have tasted. It was split in half and shared with my husband who was the one really responsible for the TLC required to make it the best tomato EVER.
You know I have to say this because he was kind enough to share HIS first tomato with me.
I know you are salivating as you look at these wonderful tomato pictures. (wink)
It's okay, go ahead and salivate.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Don't ask me why.
See the above wrap?
I will be introducing this fabric only in the larger toolwrap size. They are very limited so if you are attending Bead and Button (BnB), you get first dibs.
I am tempted to save one for myself since it is purple and have cherry blossoms. What's not to like? Can't go wrong with that combination!
What else was I suppose to write here?
(Lisa is thinking....)
I intended to also post about the new Ginkgo and Serenity leaf colors I will be introducing but although I snapped the photos earlier yesterday, I am TOO exhausted to work in Photoshop.
I will also be introducing six new Botanical colors. This brings the current available colors to a whopping FIFTY-FIVE colors. There are two to three limited edition colors that will be discontinued soon due to the rods are no longer being produced. I'm always working up new variations to the existing color selection. So don't worry, be HAPPY.... more colors are coming.
I will write a blog post about the new Botanical colors when I return from Bead and Button.
I'm not taking the laptop on this trip but will have my Dell mini to check in now and then.
If you don't read from me on this blog or Facebook, then it's because I'm having a fantabulous time in Chicago... in Madison... or in Milwaukee. I will have a great time because I'll get a chance to visit with friends I haven't seen in months, beaders who are excited about creating, thunderstorms to run through, etc.
So anyways.... why do I not sleep more than 24 hours before leaving for a show?
I am NOT a last minute kind of person, this is just my modus operandi.
Why ask why?
I just like STRESS. It makes me feel like I'm working extra hard to reach a goal.
(You know I'm kidding, right?)
I NEVER sleep the night before an impending trip because of the fear of waking up late and missing a flight. So I just stay up to work and have just finished packing because earlier in the day I was still cleaning beads. After the beads were cleaned, they had to be strung and priced. There is also a trick to packing the beads compactly so they don't break.
But no matter how well I pack, I always get stopped and searched. My beads are small and piled on top of each other separated by bubble wrap so the airport scanners can't readily detect what's inside. At least that's what TSA agents tell me each time. I'm so used to it, its just part of traveling and not a big deal.
Where am I?
Who am I?
Where are you?
Why am I here?
(Lisa rubs her eyes...)
Well I'd love to continue typing to you but I'm a bit exhausted and I fear writing something here that I may regret later. I better go before my fingers start typing on their own.
These fingers, they misbehave at times. But since they have a mind of their own, I take no blame for what my hands, these fingers type.
I AM BLAMELESS!
Until next time, I'm gonna have a grand time in Chicago, my first stop. I'll take you along with my photos on Facebook upon returning. It'll be like you were with me but in reality you are NOT really and Rebel is there with me. Rebel is always with me.
Oh it' time to get up already?
Where is my cup of coffee?
Geez look at the time... I am CRAZY. I'll have to get some shuteye on the plane. I hope I don't snore!
See everyone soon in Milwaukee
But before then, time to have a few days of FUN first
Fun First, Work Later
Friday, June 4, 2010
I often use vintage beads, Swarovski crystals or high quality semiprecious gemstones in my beadwork, so the feasibility to recreate certain designs was not economical to some.
Many of you have asked me for kits, especially since my book Bead Romantique was published in March 2008.
I was and have been listening.
I was not ignoring your cries.
But I have also been very busy with MANY projects and focusing on my glasswork. Most of my time is devoted to ensuring my preparedness for each show which I have many each year. I am only ONE person and do not have a team of little ants working for me. I do everything from photography, web design, procurement, advertising, packing, shipping... etc.
You get the idea!
I didn't have enough hands to work on developing kits, until.....
I had a wonderful discussion with my friend Pamela Maxfield (owner of Bello Modo) in Tucson 2010, where I was attending as a designer this year instead of the glass beadmaker. Bello Modo was also representing my Botanicals at the Whole Bead show. And after some brainstorming in Tucson (Feb 2010), discussing further in Santa Fe (March 2010) and MANY emails later, I am very EXCITED to be able to offer you my exclusive collaboration of LIMITED EDITION kits with Bello Modo.
The first kits are based off of THREE designs featured in Bead Trends Magazine's June 2010 issue. In the feature I designed 7 ensembles inspired by Victoria's Love Story. We will be introducing these limited and numbered kits at the Bead and Button show next week. You will be able to view the originals at my booth, #818 and then walk down to Bello Modo to purchase alternate colorways at booths #838 and #840.
And we haven't forgotten about those who can't attend Bead and Button, so the kits will be made available on Bello Modo's website soon. I'll add a link here and on my website when Bello Modo launches the kits on their website. Different colorways will also be developed on popular designs overtime. Remember these are limited edition colorways so if you like a color get it soon as some of the components are hard to restock.
The kits will come with full instructions and a nice photo of the finished design for your reference. All materials to recreate the respective design is included, EXCEPT the standard tools like chain nose, round nose and flush cutters which most beaders have in their tool stash already. I used the Professional Precision Tools for all my wirewrapping and should you need a kit, you can find them available on my website or the kit is also available at my shows. I will have a limited quantity of the tool kits at BnB and an optional upgrade with a small fabric toolwrap!!!
ALL crystals are guaranteed to be Swarovski and ALL antiqued brass findings are Vintaj. You will note their respective logos on the kit packaging.
Here is a sneak peak at what is in store at Bead and Button and soon on the Bello Modo site.
The photos below show the actual colorways being offered currently:
Capture Thy Heart (Necklace and Earring Kit): The thought of finally seeing Victoria after several weeks of absence quickened his steps. He scuffled through fallen leaves and pushed aside the ivy vines that hid the pathway into their hideaway, careful not to make too much noise. He wanted to take her away and start life anew but that was not immediately possible. He still could not believe that he was able to “capture her heart” nor could he fathom that she loved him as much as to risk her father’s antipathy.
Water Lilies (Necklace Kit): Victoria sat at one edge of the pond in the Secret Garden, a special secluded hideaway from prying eyes. Water lilies floated amongst several frogs, hopping from lily pad to lily pad whilst sunning themselves in the afternoon sun, croaking loudly in unison. The noise did not bother her as she drifted dreamily into thought, feeling rapid anticipation for the late evening. She smiled contently.
Note: Waterlily colored baroque crystal drops were unavailable but will be offered in the future. There will be many other colorways to select from later.
The Damsel & the Dragonfly (Necklace Kit): Victoria, “The Damsel in Distress”, is represented by the large oval rhinestone wrapped by the orchid filigree. The filigree symbolically frames the contours of her face while the two small drops represent her earrings. It has been several weeks since she saw her Love. Arriving early to the Secret Garden, she waits longingly for her “Knight in Shining Armor”. A dragonfly dances playfully below her face. Dragonflies are symbols of courage, strength and happiness.
Note 1: The large jump ring that attaches the filigree wrap to the dragonfly dangle requires to be carefully added from the back, slowly and precisely. It will be snug but as you can see in the samples above, it will work. Also, the original design used a vintage oval Swarvoski crystal. In the kits we will be substituting a similar shaped Czech or German oval crystal due to the obsolete Swarvoski crystal. This changes the crystal link counts on both necklaces but with no material changes. The kit instructions have been revised to reflect this change.
Note 2: We are working on issuing the earring kit separately. Due to the vintage nature of the stone I used, we are seeking some alternate sources.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
This time I am flying to the Midwest with a few days in Chicago and Madison to enjoy before the show starts.
This will be my THIRD year exhibiting at BnB in my THIRD booth assignment!! My booth has THREE numbers!!
You may know the significance of the number "three" to me.
I have had many good associations with the number three this year and so far so good, so I hope the momentum continues!!
There is a forecast of thunderstorms again this year. Last year, the attendees were held up on the show floor because of tornado scares. We even lost electricity several times. This is definitely an exciting show full of energy from the attendees AND many days of thunderstorms!
So if you are in the area or are attending the BnB show, here are the nitty-gritty details that you'll want to know.
If you want to see what goodies I am introducing at the show then please read the posts in the next few days.
Show Location (NEW name but same location):
Frontier Airlines Center
400 W. Wisconsin Avenue
June 10, 2010 - 4 PM to 9 PM
Private Shopping Preview
Exhibit halls open to registrants ONLY
June 11, 2010 - 10 AM to 8 PM
Bead and Jewelry Marketplace
Exhibit halls open to general public.
June 12, 2010 - 10 AM to 6 PM
June 13, 2010 - 10 AM to 4 PM
Daily tickets are available at the Frontier Airlines Center box office at 9:30 a.m. each day, but the Bead Marketplace does not open until 10 a.m.
Click here for a daily $2 Coupon.
For MORE info on the show schedule, visit the Bead and Button Show website.
Lisa Kan Designs Booth is located on the 800 aisle. You will find me at Booth #818. Look for my banner and showguide ad. We are in a new corner booth but just one booth over from last year.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Original article by Peggy Jo Donahue
Commentary by Lisa Kan in RED is meant to be humorous. If you are a customer of mine and one of my Facebook "friends" DO NOT take any of what I have typed personally.
Let's continue forward to the sage advice from MJSA industry leaders. (MJSA = Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America.)
Many Facebook novices worry about negative comments marring their social networking pages. But experienced networkers in the industry say nearly every online personality or brand has endured negative comments-and lived to see another day. The ones who have handled it well have even won praise.
You can please some of the people, some of the time, but you can't please all of the people, all of the time. If you get stuck on some negative person's comments to bring you down, get under your skin or ruin your day then they'll just keep on doing it. The better way is to stay positive and get rid of anyone who gets in your way. Remember sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will NEVER hurt you. So hurl around some "sticks and stones" and maybe they will hit the perpetrator.
"I welcome it as an opportunity," says Daniel Gordon of Samuel Gordon Jewelers in Oklahoma City. "In the past, people who were unhappy would go away without saying anything-and never come back. At least now I find out and can do something about it." The key is handling it constructively.
Is Daniel Gordon for REAL??? How would any one welcome a negative comment as "an opportunity". I think most people these days WILL tell you they are unhappy with you on Facebook by either saying it on your page or just canceling out on the "friend"ship. The key is to be on top of things and continuously monitor your Facebook page. Make sure everyone behaves and ONLY say nice things about you. Fortunately for me, no one has been rude enough to tell me they are unhappy with me "yet". But then again, you wouldn't know if they have... (wink)
If you get a negative comment from a customer, follow these guidelines for responding:
• Think before you act. It’s hard to react positively when your company has endured what might be an unfair attack. "First, take a minute before you react, so that you can craft a positive response," advises Ann Arnold of Lieberfarb, a manufacturer of bridal and anniversary rings who is active on social networks.
I would just get rid of the person and disconnect them from your Facebook page. I thought about it for one second too long and they are GONE. There's the big "X" to cancel them out of our relationship. Who needs negativity in your life? Read my Happiness post from March 3, 2010 Get RID OF THEM! ;o)
• Let your fans come to your defense. Waiting a bit before responding has a second purpose. Fans may quickly come to your defense-before you even need to say a word. It’s one of the reasons that Veronica Wei Sopher of Ben Bridge in Seattle takes the time to create a give-and-take bond with her connections in social networks-even on non-jewelry issues. "Sometimes a co-worker will ask, ’did you really need to ask that customer about her headache on Twitter?’ The magic of all that is realized when a negative voice shows up," says Sopher. "If I’ve done my job well, the strong and supportive community around the Ben Bridge brand will speak up and drown out the negativity."
Waiting will allow more people to see the negative comments, Veronica!!! By deleting the comment immediately, you can avoid having to explain the situation to the rest of your Facebook friends or fans. The key word is the Fans "may" quickly come to your defense. I'd like to bet on a sure thing. I'd like to know the negative person is gone before anyone else gets hurt. Besides what if you don't have a "Fan" page. Now why would a "Fan" provide negative input anyhow? You would not be a "Fan" or a "Friend" of someone or company on Facebook if you felt negatively towards them right? UNLESS... this negative person is just trying to infiltrate into your positive energy.
This is the reason why it is safer to have a regular Facebook account. Yes, Fan or "Like" pages as Facebook calls them now, allows you to have endless contacts but it also allows free reign for anyone to join thus later say absolutely anything on your page. With a personal account, you can "accept" whom you want and "ignore" whom you don't. There is a lot of maintenance involved but there is something I like about having control over MY own Facebook page. So I would NEVER wait. I would instead handle this the Lisa Way!!
• Apologize publicly. When you’ve given it a little time and thought, there’s a way to respond, say experts. A quick "so sorry you had a bad experience," is the first step. Then, get it offline quickly, says Sopher. "Ask: ’Can I communicate with you directly, so that we can discuss all of your purchase details?’"
There must be something wrong if a customer, who is a "Fan", is contacting you to resolve an issue on Facebook and YOU have to APOLOGIZE publicly. By the time it reaches Facebook, you already have not done your job. Why are you in business anyways? Why wouldn't you communicate on the phone or email before the situation escalated to this point? I think if it does reach this level of negativity then the customer just wants to send bad vibes on your "Fan" page. I for one would not stand for this type of retaliatory behavior. What happened to "forget and forgive"?
Another reason why you should not have a Fan page. A regular account will allow you to have up to 5000 friends. Unless you are a big humongous company, do you really need to have a news feed of more than 5000 people typing to you? How could you address the needs of 5000 people effectively? You would need to be on Facebook 24/7 monitoring each of their behaviors. Also, NO ONE needs to see how you handle these sensitive situations in a public forum. What I would do is to send a private email to the customer and then delete their public comment. That is what Lisa would do. And she would do it IMMEDIATELY before any other evidence is left. (wink)
• Don’t hit "delete." Though there’s a temptation to erase the offending remarks, it’s the worst thing a business can do. "A personal attack or one that’s vulgar, absolutely, you can get rid of, but otherwise, it’s better to engage publicly with a response," says Carrie Soucy of Miamore Communications in Providence. Companies that delete all negative remarks risk being branded as inauthentic and controlling, two qualities least likely to win you more fans. Worse, the complaining customer could spread the news throughout his network that you ignored or silenced him. Nothing makes social networkers angrier.
I'm not too sure about not hitting "delete". I think the complaining customer who is acting as a "Fan" coming to a business page to complain is up to NO good. Why should this person hold all the cards? There are moderated newsgroups and chat forums, why can't a Facebook page be moderated too. What's controlling about this behavior in wanting to maintain proper decorum by deleting improper posts? And what constitutes as an "improper post" is determined by ME!!! I'm in control here, right? If a customer is complaining this incessantly to have their negative comments reach Facebook, then maybe you should be OUT of BUSINESS!!! I think anyone taking bad experiences to a Facebook page is going too far and they should be canceled out of the relationship. They are not a "friend" or a "fan". These instances should be handled with gloves.... (not kid gloves)... but gloves as in "I'll meet you in a boxing ring" type of gloves. Challenge the complaining customer to take care of this like a man.
(Uhmm... but I'm a lady!! Maybe this won't work in my case. Nevermind.)
These are some tips from jewelry industry leaders on Facebook etiquette. You can take their advice or mine. It's your choice.
But... IF you do it MY way, the Lisa Way...
tell me the story later and we'll both have a good chuckle.
If you want to setup a "Fan" or "Like" page as it is known on Facebook these days, here's another article you may want to read up on from the experts. The info may be a bit outdated since Facebook just changed a bunch of settings June 1, 2010!!:
but if not...
then at least you had a good laugh
The Night Owl
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Due to the magazine format, I could not share the story behind the designs. I want to take this opportunity to share with you the love story that was not printed along with the seven ensembles so you may understand my inspiration for each design.
The designs are listed below in the order of the storyline with the cover design, Blushing Blossoms, as the "finale" to the story.
Enjoy my little fairytale romance.
This is Victoria's Love Story...
Project 1: Victoria's Spiral
She stepped into the ballroom in a flowing black gown trimmed with all the finery of golden threaded lace. She searched the room with its multitude of unfamiliar faces cautiously. The room grew silent as attention spiraled towards her walking down the last few steps of the grand entrance. Then out of the corner of her eye she spied him as she greeted her father. There he was with a silly big grin greeting Victoria with a wink. Did anyone else see this? Her heart skipped a beat.
Project 2: Water Lilies
Victoria sat at one edge of the pond in the Secret Garden, a special secluded hideaway from prying eyes. Water lilies floated amongst several frogs, hopping from lily pad to lily pad whilst sunning themselves in the afternoon sun, croaking loudly in unison. The noise did not bother her as she drifted dreamily into thought, feeling rapid anticipation for the late evening. She smiled contently.
Project 3: The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden was a place of magical possibilities where Victoria came to dream, escape reality and to pretend to be just like any other woman, not the privileged daughter of the Duke. Here is where she came to meet Him with the belief that although they came from two different societies in life, they were equals within the walls of this garden. She had to maintain this inner strength to continue the façade. No one must know, least of all, the Duke.
Project 4: The Damsel & the Dragonfly
Victoria, “The Damsel in Distress”, is represented by the large oval rhinestone wrapped by the orchid filigree. The filigree symbolically frames the contours of her face while the two small drops represent her earrings. It has been several weeks since she saw her Love. Arriving early to the Secret Garden, she waits longingly for her “Knight in Shining Armor”. A dragonfly dances playfully below her face. Dragonflies are symbols of courage, strength and happiness.
Project 5: Capture Thy Heart
The thought of finally seeing Victoria after several weeks of absence quickened his steps. He scuffled through fallen leaves and pushed aside the ivy vines that hid the pathway into their hideaway, careful not to make too much noise. He wanted to take her away and start life anew but that was not immediately possible. He still could not believe that he was able to “capture her heart” nor could he fathom that she loved him as much as to risk her father’s antipathy.
Project 6: Midnight in the Garden
The hour is just past midnight. He is late again! Where could he be? As soon as Victoria thinks this, she hears leaves rustling, followed by the noise of someone walking towards her direction. Could it be her Father, her Love or just the night wind teasing tauntingly at her? She sat nervously still as her heartbeat quickens in anticipation. She hopes it is He but she better hide, if not.
Please note: The rivoli bezels are created following instructions from my book Bead Romantique (pages 26-27) with two additional beaded rows. Only the two additional rows of beading have been written for the Bead Trends article.
Project 7: Blushing Blossoms
So the story ends here with a grand finale, a blushing bride wearing a Blushing Blossoms necklace. Is this just one of Victoria’s dreams, that she ran away with her Love or was she really able to break away from the confines of her duty to family and her father, the Duke? We can only hope that love conquered all and everyone “Lived Happily Ever”.
Please note: Reference my book Bead Romantique (page 42) for additional tips on creating a balanced and graduated dangle bracelet/necklace design.
Recreate the romance for yourselves...