Saturday, December 1, 2012

Another Magical Marketplace with FABRIC

Last month's Magical Marketplace at Winnetka Tower was wonderful. It was great seeing such a large turnout from the local pagan community and I got to get back in touch with old friends and make new ones. We'll be back tomorrow for round two during this holiday season. I will be bringing earcuffs and earrings again, more etched bottles AND my stash of crushed velvet to blow out at a great price - a buck a yard! This is the really wide stuff and it comes in black, red and white.  It's great for initiates new to the craft that want to make their first cloak. Need some tips on making cloaks? I'll be happy to sit down with you and tell you what you need to know about tackling such a daunting project. See you tomorrow!

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Magical Marketplace this Sunday

I am getting back into showing at Winnetka Tower and am so pleased! Come have fun, chat with friends and shop for witchy and holiday goodies with us. It is free to attend to all.

Sunday, November 18th, 2012
A Magical Marketplace
There will be psychic readers, crafts people, Sabbatica Store, Reiki healings, jewelers, I Ching readings, hand knit & crochet wares & more!

11:00 - 4:00

Winnetka Tower
8000 Winnetka Ave
Winnetka, CA 91306

Friday, July 20, 2012

AMC Banning Moviegoers In Costume As Security Beefs Up Nationwide

Okay, I was going to keep this out of my blog – the blog I want to be a sanctuary for non-real-world stuff. The blog that celebrates cosplay and fun. But now I’m pissed.

You’ve been living under a rock if you haven’t heard about the terrible tragedy today in Colorado when a gun-wielding maniac mercilessly mowed down a midnight premiere audience watching Batman: The Dark Knight Rises. A dozen dead, 50 or more injured, including a 3-month old. It’s enough to make you want to get off the internet and take some real-world action, like protesting, skinning this sick idiot alive or throttling the parents of this murderer for raising a psychopath, or hanging our impotent U.S. politicians for accepting no blame or responsibility for what went down today and NOW everyone even vaguely connected to today’s abomination are blowing reactions completely out of proportion.

AMC, like any other entity fingers are getting pointed at, is clutching their shriveled balls and wailing, “We aren’t going to allow any guests into theaters ‘in costumes that make other guests feel uncomfortable and we will not permit face-covering masks or fake weapons inside our buildings“.

Really? REALLY?!?

This affects the community I participate in. The community I associate with. The community who’s people I dearly LOVE.

Let’s look at the facts here, people, once you stop clutching your non-existent nuts, close your mouths and open your ears and minds.

Number One – the shooter had red/orange hair. This asshole may have claimed to be the Joker, but all the Batman movies I went to, the Joker had green hair. If he was going to pull off any convincing character in his last moments on Earth, he could have at least gotten the color right. But, oh yeah, every other person I see on the street and 65% of the costumers and non-costumers I see at any and all conventions I regularly attend have some sort of tint, dye or anime type color to their hair!

Number Two – and this is a big one – HE WASN’T IN COSTUME!!! How hard, how loud, HOW LONG do I have to wail to hammer this fact into the idiots that are trying to do their own version of racial profiling on the Cosplay community?!? Dark clothes and flack gear do not a costume make! The Joker never wore them, but apparently any person who wants to survive the hordes of SWAT, FBI and police officers that are going to take him down will wear them. DUH!

Excuse me, AMC, but who are you to judge “costumes that make other guests feel uncomfortable “? I shared a post on Facebook this week of a clever makeup artist who painted large, freakish anime eyes on a girl. That weirded me out seeing it in real life, but I would never assume anyone with anime eyes was a gun-toting murderer!

Now I may have the opinion that the Batman movies of the last two decades or so have been so darkly violent they attract these kinds of people. Even Heath Ledger had nightmares due to his role as the Joker and it might have driven him to overdose, who knows? But this nutjob’s sense of couture DOES NOT GIVE AMC ANY EXCUSE TO PEANLIZE COSTUMERS FOR A MENTALLY ILL PERSON’S BEHAVIOR!

AMC, your only crime is that you left a door ajar and someone snuck in without a ticket. How were you or anyone else to know that it would be someone who would give your theater or the Dark Knight a real-life bad name?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Why you buy what you buy

I was rushing last last night/early this morning to tidy up my Etsy earring store, The Ears Have It. Seeing that the best selling items were getting buried at the bottom of items I was relisting, I created a category called, "Best Sellers". I chose the top five selling items for this category as one of the last things I did before I fell exhausted into bed at 2 o'clock in the morning.

 This morning, not particularly thinking about the store I had spent so much time tidying up last night, a thought occured to me. These Best Sellers were trying to tell me something I had been chasing after for a couple of years. They were lying in wait until I had a chance to calm down from the frenzy of creating stock and promoting them before the tapped me quietly on the shoulder and said, "Hey, you need to notice something here".

When they got my attention, they said, "Hey YOU! This is your target market!!!"

Startled, I drew back for a moment. This wasn't what I was expecting to learn. In fact, I wasn't writing this article in search of who my target market was. I had simply seen a trend of all my best sellers being items that incorporated symbols and the thought fascinated me. In fact, to diverge here for a moment, they made me proud of my customers. With all the Facebook posts and even one on Twitter recently about Gay Pride, Hate Crimes, Homophobia, etc., etc., etc. my customers are strong, brave and not afraid of these parts of their lives.

How do I know this?

Because they dare to wear those symbols that others find provocative. Peace signs, Ankhs, Rainbows, symbols that point towards one's Pagan Path, towards their sexual orientation and even their political beliefs. I dare not presume to say any one of my customers are any of these things just because they purchase them, but they are definitely enlightened individuals that dare to wear what they want to wear in a world that sadly would judge them - right or wrong, for what they chose to accent their couture.

So, because our outer selves are a reflection of our inner selves,  I ask you to ask yourself and your customers why do we wear what we wear? Dig deeper than the "it's pretty" or "the colors match my outfit" excuses. Why are they not afraid of other's base (and sometimes ignorant) reactions? The answers might lead you and them to a journey of self discovery and help you serve your customers better in satisfying their need to stand up and out in their world.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Before there were parasols, after there were earcuffs, there were bottles

I am a Bead Whore going WAY back. Every since I first saw tiny little beads as a child. But what was I doing before my recent, adult ventures with parasols, an Etsy earcuff store and my full-on obsession with Doctor Who? My beaded bottles. What are they for? What do you put in them? This s a question I get a lot when I wear them. You can use them for perfume, for holy water if you are a vampire chaser *grin*, or for holding essential oils. I've done the first and the latter, but haven't chased vampires since my story writing days, so I leave the holy water to someone else, though I have been known to carry Moon Water in it. My favorite thing is to tell people to put an eyedropper in it so the contents can be taken out easily without spillage. Their eyes usually light up at that.

Though I haven't put needle to bottle in a couple of months, I know I will take up their cause at some point when I run out of new ideas for parasols, an Etsy earcuff store and my full-on obsession with Doctor Who. I want something that will take less time, but still look elaborate and beautiful. Something in a lower price point for those who long to possess these little goodies, but can't spare the cash for the big items yet.

[caption id="attachment_55" align="alignnone" width="164" caption="Autumn Leaves Beaded Bottle"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_56" align="alignnone" width="162" caption="Autumn Leaves Beaded Bottle - closeup"][/caption]

)O( )O( )O( )O( )O( )O( )O( )O( )O( )O( )O( )O(

This one is my favorite. My artistically talented friends think so too, and that is a great compliment. They love the colors and they are REALLY FUSSY with that in their own work. I got them just AWESOME is that?!?

[caption id="attachment_57" align="alignnone" width="169" caption="Pink and Blue Iris Beaded Bottle"]Pink and Blue Iris Beaded Bottle, Kristine Cherry, EarthDaughter Arts.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_58" align="alignnone" width="225" caption="Pink and Blue Iris Beaded Bottle - closeup"]Pink and Blue Iris Beaded Bottle closeup, Kristine Cherry, EarthDaughter Arts[/caption]

)O( )O( )O( )O( )O( )O( )O( )O( )O( )O( )O( )O(

My first experiment with doing this type of beadwork came about with this bottle. The colors symbolize Rosemary and all it's attributes. Rosemary is a "warm, fiery" herb (symbolized by the red beads). It's appearance is like an evergreen in the year-round, slim, dark green leaves (hence the green - I even found beads that mimic their appearance perfectly!). The flowers are the same color as rosemary flowers, recreated here with small bunches of stone chips. I've received a lot of compliments on the perfectly stitched pattern of white and red beadwork on the body. That was a joy to do and I'm really proud of how it came out. The challenge was in creating the strap. That required several redos and nearly made me tear my hair out, but perserverence paid off.

[caption id="attachment_59" align="alignnone" width="156" caption="Rosemary Oil Magical Bottle"]Rosemary Oil Magical Bottle, Kristine Cherry, EarthDaughter Arts[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_60" align="alignnone" width="161" caption="Rosemary Oil Magical Bottle closeup"]Rosemary Oil Magical Bottle closeup, Kristine Cherry, EarthDaughter Arts[/caption]

If you are interested in getting a custom bottle and want to know what I can create for you, please send me an email via my business's main page at KC Dragonfly. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Angels are at Denver Comic Con

Little Weeping Angel @ Denver Comic Con

Last month saw the first Denver Comic Con with a healthy starting attendance of nearly 20,000. There was a strong presence of the Doctor Who community in cosplay, attendees maxing out panel rooms and queueing to see a full-size Tardis. It is encouraging to see Colorado get their crack at getting some Who love in their own backyard. Thank you, Heather Maloney, for covering this and bringing it to the attention of the Doctor Who community on Twitter. You can read her full article here in the If you aren't connected to her on Twitter at @DrWhoHeather, you just aren't getting enough Who coverage in your life.

10th Doctor and Rose Children's Cosplay

During the dry spell between series of Doctor Who, I am determined to keep myself busy with all things Who happening off telly. If there is something cool out there, I'll bring it in here and we can all squee over it, enjoy it or politely clap - whichever you feel inclined to do.

With this in mind, I hit paydirt today in the form of some beautiful cosplay featured on the Doctor Who Cosplay Livejournal forum. I just couldn't pass these up...

[slideshow custom=1]

Amy Pond Cosplay Gathering - Gallifrey 2012

The peeps who brought you the Amy Pond Paradox at DragonCon are at it again! They are organizing another photoshoot for Gallifrey One 2012. Costume/outfit choices are going to be on a first-come, first-serve basis. They are also looking for a photographer since the one at DragonCon won't be there for Gally. If anyone knows one who will be attending the convention that would like to do it, please contact me and I'll put them in touch with you. It is tentatively set for Saturday but at this point the date has not yet been finalized. Stay tuned for more info as it comes in. (photo by Christa J. Newman)

Live Journal link for this thread

Gallifrey 2011 - Day 2 photos

Tardis Girls...OMG are they cute or what!!??

The ribbon whore as of Saturday afternoon.

The Grapes of Wrathalon

Would you believe this is his first convention and first costume? Great job!

Beautiful detail on the Masters robe.

Gallifrey 2011 - Day 0 - LobbyCon Pictures

Hmmm...they must be writers. When we first saw them, they had drinks in their hands. We could tell they were writers from that and the English accents, but in case you missed those clues, well, they wanted to make it easier for us to spot them. They were very friendly, by the way.

Where the hell did this woman get so many ribbons already? The convention hasn't even officially started yet!!!

My Tonner doll has already found his TARDIS...proof that the Doctor can find it anywhere in the universe.

The first costume we saw coming into the convention. Very nice and proof that Dr. River Song drinks.

5th Doctor & Captain Jack Harkness cosplayers. Very nice.

Gallifrey One: Blackjack 21

Gallifrey One Blackjack 21

Dennis and I always love this convention...oh my goodness. How could I not adore it when I met Peter Davison (my favorite Doctor) in 1995 at The Six Wives of Gallifrey One? Getting the chance to talk to him, one-on-one, for several minutes while no one else was around, launched my interest in finally sitting down and taking another go at understanding a show that had left me very confused and disinterested when viewing it back in my childhood.

Okay, yes, this used to be embarassing to admit, but I didn't understand British humor until I was in my 30s. It was only because Peter was so incredibly nice and sweet and gentle that I got intensely interested in watching the show. He was so much like my husband, Dennis, that the instant linking to the persona behind the 5th Doctor was completely natural.

That was why I wasn't worried at all about his beautful daughter, Georgia Moffett, being anything but a reflection of her father. This being her first convention, she said in the closing ceremonies that she had a marvelous time and the fans were wonderful and awesome and fantastic and she thoroughly enjoyed her first Gallifrey experience. Between Dennis and I, we have wonderful memories of her relating her experiences of being the daughter of parents who were both actors, (Her father: "You will always be broke and starve if you become an actor."), which she said gratefully has not been the case thus far. When acting with her father, upon the director wanting her character to be more flirty with Peter, she replied, "I can't do that...he's my father!" Good for her! And two of the most touching things he said to her were, 1. about being in Doctor Who, "It's your turn now, kiddo.", and 2. when acting with her, he said he doesn't always see the women she has become, but sees, "his little girl". This is the beauty in the heart of the man I have come to adore as my favorite Doctor, that place challenged only by David Tennant, and then, it is a neck-and-neck race.

This being the case, you can only imagine my glee and joy when the Children in Need special, "Time Crash", aired. If you haven't seen it, or are wondering who Peter Davison is and was he a good Doctor, let me answer those by directing you to this YouTube video of that very special special:

An awesome Gallifrey this year, with great costumes of Timelords:

Doctor Who Time Lords

A fantastic cosplay of Sally Sparrow and a Weeping Angel from the Tennant episode, "Blink", a HUGELY popular and scary episode, ranking among the cream of the best of the crop of his era so far:

Doctor Who Sally Sparrow and Weeping Angel

Am soooo looking forward to next year's Gallifrey when Peter Davison will be back and we have had the first year of the new Matt Smith Doctor. We also got to preview the brand new trailer for his era:

He already looks promising, though the outfit does look like he mugged a schoolteacher...*sigh* Guess they all can't be dressed as hot as David Tennant.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

So You Want to Sell on Etsy

I get this question from time to time, so I thought it was high time I sat down and composed my thoughts on the matter. Etsy is great for selling handmade jewelry - that's its purpose. Whether you are successful depends on; 1. how much effort you put into it and, 2. having a plan. There are some important marketing rules I tell anyone who asks. With these, you have a better chance at having great sales.

1. Make something that is unique and STANDS OUT. If you do a search for "jewelry" on their website (like I just did right now), there are 3,201,217 items. Designers have to have something unusual that stands out from all the millions of other pieces of jewelry on Etsy or they will get lost in the crowd.

2. Take GOOD photographs. It is already game over if you don't follow this rule. If you aren't sure what constitutes a good photo, take a look through some Etsy listings. It is an eye-opener. Basically, they need good lighting, to be in focus and not blurry, minimal but nice backgrounds that don't distract the viewer from the piece being sold.

3. Price to your market. Not too much, not too little. Look at what the competition is pricing their pieces at. Do expensive pieces not sell? Too cheap won't sell, either. Look at how much a store sells. If it's a lot, they're right on the money for the audience you want to attract.

4. Clear, concise, attractive verbiage on each listing. Again, look at the competition. What are the high sellers including in their descriptions? Follow their lead.

5. Marketing. It is NOT a "build it and they will come world". The market is too saturated to rely on that type of strategy. Once you have a nice store, lots of stock and beautiful pictures, a whole new set of rules kicks in surrounding marketing and everyone on the planet wants to sell you advice. The only rules that apply no matter what you are selling is this; 1. Find your target market, 2. Upload/relist stock often and ON A CONSISTENT BASIS (i.e., every Tuesday, every other Friday, etc.), find out where your target market hangs out and post notices of your listings ON A CONSISTENT BASIS and of course - DO NOT SPAM...EVER!!!! Spamming gets you kicked off social networks, your internet provider bans you, your email client bans you and your fans HATE YOU if you spam. Remember, your fans, once you get them, will account for up to 85% of your future business because if you give them good service and quality products, they will come back and buy more.

6. Are you enthusiastic about your product? Silly question, but your love for your craft gets translated into the product through the energy you spend in making it. This may sound a little way out there, but it is a fact. If you don’t love what you’re doing, how can you market it? How can you convince someone they can’t walk away from your store or table without buying from you? Through some contagious, enthusiastic interaction with the customer. Just beware, too much enthusiasm and you’ll look either fake, desperate or that you’re trying too hard.

If you are an Etsy seller and have any tips to add that have helped boost your sales, we would love to hear them. Please share them with us in the comments.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Daily Om: Overachieving and Overreaching - A Sign of Imbalance

Today's Daily Om really spoke to me. As with yesterday's article, my comment centered on the importance of balance in one's life. Western society (and now, many other countries) do overglorify careers and pushing onesself to the limit and beyond. While it's good and healthy to have goals, it does need to be tempered with the needs of the body, soul and spirit. I really appreciate when the article said, "If we find that we cannot allow ourselves to experience and enjoy the present moment, putting pleasure off into some distant future, it may be a sign that we are being driven to achieve more than is truly necessary." It is a good strategy for rebalancing ourselves when we are too close to the source of the instability to accurately judge when we're going too far. Peter is right in that parents need to guide children until they learn to do this themselves, instilling in them the need to have this skill.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Daily Om: A Stress-Free Home

I have always loved the daily articles from this website. They are a wonderfully positive way to begin the day. Today's article on a stress-free home speaks to me so much because of what we have recently gone through this year in moving. When I was going to business school, I learned the lesson it teaches today, that we must "Consider that homes are the outer reflections of those who live within." It not only is a reflection of us, but of our current state of being, our attitudes, our inner stresses, our inner peace. If we want to change our outward environment, others reactions to us, we must first change our inner selves. What is it that is stressing us? How can it be remedied? If it cannot be changed, how can we change our reaction to it? This is a great key to inner peace, for there is much in the world we have no control over, except our reaction to it.

Go here to read the full article on The Daily Om.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Intergem this coming weekend

Intergem is back in town at the Santa Monica Convention Center off the 10 freeway. If you are interested in going, you can order tickets at $5.00 online here. I have been attending this show for 20 years and while I prefer the Pasadena Bead & Design Show more these days, Intergem is still good for picking up items inbetween my new favorite venue in the hills above Los Angeles. Here are the specs on Intergem for the weekend:

May 18-20th, 2012

Santa Monica Civic Auditorium
1855 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Show Hours:
Friday 12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Sunday 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Tickets: One low ticket price good for all three days! Tickets are $6.00 per person. You can purchase tickets at the show. [Cash only] or online! Click here to receive a discount coupon. (Please note that this close to the venue, it may not be possible to get the ticket in time unless they are sent via email.)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hack Your Wedding - An Etsy article that's great for planning brides

If you are an up and coming bride who's in the planning stages for your wedding, you want to check out this article on Etsy. Even the comments have great suggestions on how to keep yourself in budget and still have your dream wedding. Like the author, I had never heard the term, "wedding hack", but in this age of computers, it is amusingly appropriate. Don't let the big, bad wedding industry take all you money and leave nothing for the honeymoon. Plan ahead and buy from Etsy dealers who specialize in making your day one you will never forget.

Even though our wedding was way back in '89, the principals of wedding hacking were the same then. We looked at our budget and worked with what we had. Sometimes an unexpected expense comes up when you hack. Our wedding was at a local historical Rancho outside of Los Angeles and we didn't expect the need for a public gathering permit from the city (which I would warn all local brides about), but if the venue is below your budgeted cost and it doesn't kick it over, you still have a win in picking it. They had a beautiful rose garden and a building to move the ceremony into in case it rained (though in May, the chances of that were way out there).

Another interesting thing I have noticed recently is that the big wedding shows are suffering. I helped out at a local wedding show in Orange County, CA last November and attendance was pathetically small even though it was at the Anaheim Convention Center (a HUGE venue) and the wedding dress fashion show was done by a major dress retailer. More and more brides are going the route of their budget and are becoming wise to those who want them to part with all their money and have nothing left over for the wedding. This is good for us Etsy sellers, so be sure to do the best for our customers and give them the beautiful wedding they deserve while still coming in on THEIR budget, not our sales goals.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cosplay Bliss in the Halls of Asgard

Cosplayers are a wonderful breed of people. Adults, teens and kids who are not afraid to dress up as their favorites heroes/characters/icons and go out in public for all to see. Costuming is not new - people have been doing it for thousands of years and yet it still amazes me when they get stares from the "mundanes" around them (mundanes being those who neither costume nor understand why other people costume).

This past week, I had the privilege helping a costumer achieve her dream, even if only in giving encouragement through the creation stages of her outfit and crash space while she was out here from New York. I shook my head as she told me the sad tale of her significant other's subtle yet poisonous attitude towards her efforts of creating her latest, greatest costume and of her desire to meet her idol, Tom Hiddleson, the wonderful actor behind the devious and handsome visage of Loki, God of Mischief in last year's movie, Thor, and its follow up story, The Avengers, set to open in the U.S. May 4th.

The tale is doubly sad as her naysayer himself used to costume in days gone by, but now feels it is too much of an effort  for no payoff. I HATE when I hear tales of this sort and it is a lesson to all non-costumers to beware when you tread on the dreams of others. “Lady Loki” appeared on's live feed of the Hollywood red carpet premiere of The Avengers as she was interviewed by Marvel themselves, so impressed were they with her costume. She also got to meet her idol, Tom, and give him a present of something he is well-known to treasure - a gift of music.

It can sometimes be too easy to give up on your dreams. You have to want something so bad it is a driving force to be able to manifest it when the odds are against you, but rest assured that when you do want something that badly, it will come to pass. Like many of us in science fiction/fantasy genre fandom, Lady Loki has a large support group in the Tom Hiddleson fan community, but they are more than just a bunch of fans. The emotional involvement and camaraderie of the cosplay community is not unlike an extended family – Gallifrey One and its Doctor Who community are the ones special to my husband and myself and have been for over 25 years. For Lady Loki, she has discovered this as she and they support each other in hard times as well as rejoice with each other’s personal victories, such as when one of them get to meet their mutually-admired actor in the flesh. At a premiere where there were thousands of Marvel fans lining the streets of Hollywood Blvd., the philosophy of following your bliss played out beautifully as a single actor met a single woman, reaping the rewards that will never be realized by those who do not believe in the power of dreams.

Lady Loki's Marvel interview can be seen here at time code 1:16:15.
She can be reached via her Facebook page and Twitter handle of @Lady_of_Misrule.