Sunday, March 30, 2014


Mojo (noun): a magic charm, talisman, or spell.

A drawing I did this morning in marker.

Since my dad past away in 2010 things just haven't been the same.  I don't mean specifically his presence is just gone and things aren't the same (although that is certainly significant) but I mean how it has impacted me and the way I cope with life.  Or actually fail to cope.  Don't get me wrong, I've been getting by, but that's about it.  It's almost felt like I've been going through the motions of the things I'm supposed to do but am not actually connected to the things I want to do, things that are me.  It's been evident in the simplest of things: what I talk about, how I dress, how I spend my free time.

 Since Nov 2013, things have been changing.  I've been doing more than coping.  I've been starting to live my life again. 

I realized today, I am a different person than I was 6 months ago. 

I am thriving creatively.  I've done more creative projects since the beginning of 2014 than I've done in the last 3 years.  I've written things down and started taking pictures again. I am not as short with my family or as worried about life.  And I find myself craving time with friends again.

Work is starting to fade away.  Don't get me wrong, it's still crazy and unrealistic in regards to expectations, but now, it's become just a job.

I remember going through my divorce in 2005 and overcoming years and years of depression.  One thought that got me over my slump was owning my misery.  Taking full responsibility for my happiness and my misery.  Sure I had a few rocks thrown at me but it was how I chose to deal with those situations that I owned.  And I got better.  I got significantly better.  So much better that people sought me out.  I firmly believe that when people are being true to themselves, they become more attractive to others.

I haven't dealt with my loss very well.  I haven't dealt with the fall of the economy very well. And I think I'm about over it.  I think I'm ready to be accountable for my own happiness and am relieved to be getting my mojo back.

Thursday, March 27, 2014



1. Going on day 3 of no voice due to dreadful Kansas allergies.
2. Allowing my sweet pup to lay in bed with me because sometimes I just need to cuddle my dog.
3. Sad that WSU basketball is over for the season.  It was fun while it lasted.
4. Needing to buy a new car but so not into car shopping.
5. Working on building my online store when I have time. And trying to find suppliers - how could it be THAT hard?!?!
6. Playing with my new bamboo drawing tablet and pretending I'm an artist.
7. Needing to book our family vacation but struggling to commit to Disney World (again) or come up with something better.
8. Saw the movie, Divergent - surprisingly good as the book.
9. In need of a haircut and brow wax... badly.
10. Wanting to make my own Boba Tea.  Even with all the ingredients at home, still not motivated enough to spend the time.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Side Business

I've been a bit hesitant to post about this topic, because well, I have a lot of side business ideas, even full business ideas, that never happen. I mean for them to take off but I get distracted.  I'm often like an ADD kid in a toy store.   Since this last December, I have been toying around with the idea of starting a Kawaii store -- both online and at a physical location in Wichita.  To open a physical store is quite a big leap and requires leaving my job, making myself 100% committed towards building the best business that I can.  And to be honest, I don't even know if people in Wichita would really shop at a Kawaii store.  It's one thing for the girls and I to be into all of this, but would other people in Wichita be as interested?  So before I take any drastic steps, I have been taking a series of baby steps towards the goal of a store.

My work thus far has been focused on where I can purchase from wholesale and determining what kinds of products I would want to carry.  As you've probably noticed, my girls and I are a little nuts about Japanese candy... so that's a given.  Japanese snacks are included as well.  Next is Sanrio and San-X products including stationary, bento supplies, plushes, squishies, etc.  There are some other licensed products I am still exploring including some of the Manga and Anime stuff as I think that could draw in more business as well.

The next step that I am moving towards is the online store.  It has smaller risk and I can run it while still working full time.  One of the concepts of the online store is the idea of a Kawaii gift basket. I think a gift basket full of Hello Kitty and Japanese candy is just the kind of present I would love to receive (Valentine's Day - heck yes, Birthday - uh-huh, Christmas - wouldn't complain at all), but would other people?  I am testing the waters with the basket idea as I think this is something I can build online, which would be the next small step forward.  I have just ordered the products for a first basket and am probably going to do an Ebay sale on the first basket to see what kind of interest I get. I've sold quite a bit on Ebay in the past so it would be an easy place to start.  The targeted customer base would be US customers as most of the products I would sell are not easily found in the states and thus more desirable.  

In the next few weeks I should have an update on the basket and a link for those of you that may be interested.  It will be full of Japanese candy and have a Rilakkuma theme.  Rilakkuma is a teddy bear character by San-X shown above and very, very popular in Japan.

So fingers crossed that I'm able to keep the momentum and others will find value in what I'm selling.

Saturday, March 8, 2014


In my pursuit to get back into hobbies and crafts, I have recently started drawing again.  For Valentine's Day I bought my daughter a "how-to" drawing book called I Love Drawing Moshi Monsters and have been helping her learn to draw.  She's really into Kawaii art (Moshi Monsters is a DS game she plays often with a Kawaii look) and asks me to draw her things all the time.  I started thinking about how I used to like to draw and have been getting back into it myself.  I've never been one of the those people who could draw a mural or a portrait, but I was always pretty good at doing abstract line art. 

I like the Finish-style line art that I sometimes find on tea towels and note books.  It reminds me of what happens when you start doodling and it turns into something special.  I'm also a huge fan of silhouette paper cutting which I'll save for another post.  While researching an artist that I do like, Lisa Congdon, I found that this month she was teaching an online class through Creativebug.  Creativebug is a subscription ($9.95/month) site that has how-to videos for all kinds of crafts.  I signed up for month of March so I could take her class and did the first one today.  I attempted to replicate a drawing that she did in the class and think it turned out pretty well - what do you think?

This next drawing is a work in progress.  It is a series of doodles that have gone wild and turned into a jungle of twisted shapes.  I haven't decided what I'll do with this but it was fun to draw either way. 

Lisa Congdon has her own Etsy shop where you can purchase things with her art designs.  She's also written and collaborated on several artsy books including 20 Ways to Draw a Tulip, Just Add Color: Botanicals, and Art Inc.  

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Cozy Weekend

By the time March rolls around, I'm over winter in Kansas.  Don't get me wrong, I love snowy days and being stuck inside; I'd just prefer to do it in December, January, and February.  Wichita was hit with blistery cold temperatures, freezing rain, and snow over the weekend.  We did our errand running early and then made it home just as the roads started getting slick.  Since we were stuck inside we were able to spend our time crafting, watching movies, and cooking comfort food. 

I finished another hat on my knitting loom.  This one was made with a multi-color yarn consisting of pink, gray, black, and white.  Tori has already claimed it as her own.
I did pick up some new colors to do a nautical gray and white hat (for me), black and yellow to do a WSU hat (for my cousin), and orange and blue to do a Broncos hat (for Josh).  I'll be trying a finished edge to the WSU and Broncos hat since they are for the guys.  I've started on my own hat but am not sure that I'm happy with the yarn I selected.
The girls did their Moko Moko toilet candy that we ordered from Japan.  They have been asking for this one for awhile and I've held off because... well it's toilet candy!  Eventually I gave in.  The kit was pretty straight forward.
Moko Moko Toilet Candy

Pop out the toilet parts, that's a toilet tank on the right.

Snap together the toilet and decorate with stickets.  2 power flavors, cola and ramune flavors.

Add the power to the toilet tank and put 2 scoops of water using the toilet tank lid to measure. 
The contents begin to foam in the toilet bowl.  Use your spoon to suck up the flavored foam.
The girls had fun with the assembly and decorating process but the candy wasn't edible. Both flavors were very strong and the girls couldn't eat it.  They said it reminded them of cough syrup, and in fact, cough syrup tastes better.  They've both decided that they'd like to keep their toilets and make them into mini planters.  At the very least, they can add them as fixtures in their doll house.
I watched Stuck, a documentary about the challenges of international adoption.  I always thought that I would adopt a child at some point in my life and the discussion isn't off the table.  This was a good documentary but incredibly emotional.  I sobbed at several different moments.  The thought of children being kept from happy homes because of government bureaucracy is so sad.  And to be honest, the families that experienced the challenges covered in this film seem stronger than I think I could ever be.  If you've ever considered international adoption, I suggest checking this film out.
We did a good amount of cooking this weekend.  We had cinnamon apple muffins for breakfast on Saturday, Josh's homemade philly cheesteaks (so so good) Sat evening, and homemade lasagna for Sunday dinner.  It was a comfort food weekend.
I ordered a few new books and movies from Amazon that should be coming this week so I'll have some reviews shortly.  We're starting next week off with a snow day, hope you're staying warm!