Saturday, July 31, 2010

Off to a wedding...

As a mother, there is nothing that is quite as fun as watching your daughter dress up. Kat has many lovely vintage clothes and wears them well. Sometimes I feel like I am "dressing my doll" when she gets all foofed up, or perhaps I am reliving a bit of the me I used to be. I also love to watch her and her friends get "beautified" together. 

This is Katy and Katie (known as Kat, from her college years on, to all but her Mom and Dad). They met when they were both in seventh grade. They took one look at each other, visited a bit, and were dear friends forever after. They are loyal and true, through thick and thin, different and alike, and respecting of each other. They have a friendship that has lasted for seventeen years. That is something really special that makes me proud of both of them.

Aren't they adorable? They both have on vintage dresses, shoes and jewelry and look so beautiful. Katy is part of our whole family. She has lived with us two times and she has family dinner with us every Friday night. 

A friendship like Katy and Kat share is one of the things that really matters in life, isn't it?

-Momma Sue

Friday, July 30, 2010

Thank you...we hit 100!!!!

Thank you. Very humbly, we thank all of you who have been friends and who have become friends.We have so much to learn and started on this journey with a spontaneous gift from Kat to me. She couldn't have given me a better gift. We knew we wanted to use it to help promote our Etsy store and to share our everyday life and process. I especially wanted to have a blog to keep up with friends I had already met in this field and to become friends with kindred spirits and so many people I deeply admire. 

Thank you for your encouragement and the nice comments you left. We read every one.

We promised to leave the giveaway open for three days so sometime Monday afternoon, we will close the giveaway and draw a winner. We will post and contact the winner and talk to them about what "good stuff" should fill their box. The prize will be a box of goodies that we think that person will like.

Thank you so much. You have been so important as we continue on our way. I hope we will be able to pass on that encouragement to others.

It's a very special thing...being part of this fun and crazy blog world!!

Suz (and Kat)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

MORE new stuff up on Etsy

Check it out we've got even MORE new stuff up on our Etsy Site...

More coming into our shop soon!!

Won-hundred! Followers Giveaway

Our blog is nearing 100 people and we wanted to thank our followers... so when we hit 100 followers we will be doing a drawing and one of our followers will receive a very special personalized gift box from Katsui Jewelry!

So, if you're reading this and haven't signed up to follow us yet... sign up! We will accept new entries into the drawing until 12 noon CST 3 days after we hit 100 people!

Thanks for being a part of our inspiration!

Help us serve you better: take our Survey!

We want to hear from you and learn how we can make shopping at our Etsy site a better experience for YOU!

Take a minute to take our survey:
Click here to take survey

Thanks so much!!!
Kat and Suz

Monday, July 26, 2010

Petite Inspiration Box Swap, Paris Edition...

I think Heather (Speckled Egg) is secretly giving me the most talented swap partners. I have had incredible partners in every one of her swaps. The best part is that many have become friends. Here is my latest. I only had two partners because I signed up late but they were fabulous. 
Tricia Conlon-Perkins was one of my partners. 

She sent me this beautiful box, which is covered with the map of Paris. The border around the Eiffel Tower is copper glass glitter. There are several layers of dimension. Beautiful!

The banner and the cute round legs are covered with silver foil. The effect is most elegant!

Inside the box, there are wonderful treasures, including a soldered Paris pendant (wow, I so admire anyone who can solder this well), ecru lace, leaf-topped pins, another bitty soldered piece, a weathered key and some rhinestone-covered brass crown brads.

I also received this adorable pink decoupaged tin, beautiful stamped with Parisian scenes and full of more goodies! There are stamps and brown key fabric, an "S" pad of paper and an "S" list pad, more lace and a mega bottle-cap to play with. I love the "amore" charms and can't wait to work them into a bracelet!

One of my favorite things is a sack of crystals of many different sized. Thank you, Trisha. What a lavish 

Marian Ballog was my second partner. Her box has a 3-D Eiffel Tower (get this) covered with pale pink paper with my name beautifully printed on it! It is full of goodies...leaf ribbon (I love this!) another little decorated matchbox full of teeny tags, Rive Gauche ribbon, pink- topped crystal pins (can't get enough cute pins) and polka-dotted binder clips.

Get this. The tower opens up and has a secret drawer. Inside the drawer was an old amusement park token. The drawer itself is covered with Paris postmarks. How clever is that! (I was so focused on my "name paper" that I forgot to mention that the levels between the tower were covered with Paris maps. It tie together so beautifully.)

Look at this bunch of goodies! She sent me a ton of tags. I am nuts about tags. They were all different, some pretty, some funny, all special. See the funny queen on the one in the front? I also got two darling decorated notebooks, a fork worked into a frame (or, in my case, a Katsui card holder!!!), "S"kleenex and other special ephemera, some very old. In the front, you can barely see a white packet. That is a sugar packet with fleur de lis on it. I thought it was so funny. I laughed out loud at the package in the back. I have it boxed because the box is also hilarious. This is a Marie Antoinette action figure. Her wig and her head come off!!! I love it. How will I ever take her out of the box? Marian clearly has a great sense of humor!

She wrapped the little treats specially. Several gifts were wrapped like tubes of candy, in pink-striped fabric. Others were in black-striped bags, tied with pink and white-striped string. You can get a slightly better view of the fork to the right. Thank so much, Marian. 

This was such a fun swap. I am hooked on decorating match boxes and have all my boxes displayed. 

P.S. I am doing fine but had a little scare this week. I swallowed a handful of supplements and aspirated two. I coughed my crazy (I mean it) and one popped out right away. I didn't know I had another one in my lung but felt short of breath all week. On Friday (after nine hours of deep coughing) I popped out another. This resulted in a bronchioscope at the pulmonologist's that day to see if there were more. I have some damage from the nasty thing just sitting there which he expects will heal and I was told that only half my lung had been functioning all week. The morals of the story...don't just toss down your pills and trust your body's cues when something feels funny.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Be the Change part 2!

Next summer, after graduating from my Masters of Social Work program, I will return to San Miguel and begin a project in community service.

I want to start a project working with children in an orphanage or something like this, doing treatment with an artistic or creative bent in San Miguel. I have experience interning as a therapist with children in a residential treatment center. I want to bring this experience to my work in San Miguel and combine it with my interest and experience with creative art therapies. 

Another part of this idea would be to create work for people in San Miguel.  This could be done through interaction with one of the art institutes or through independent artists.  I think that San Miguel, a place with so many creative people, is the perfect place to realize this dream!

If you have any ideas on getting a grant to do this work, creative people in San Miguel who might want to do this with me, have a connection to a place where I could do this project, or want to work with me on this project yourself, let me know!!

Muchismas gracias, amigos, para su ayuda en hacer mis sueƱos una realidad.
Besos y Abrazos.

- Kat

Friday, July 16, 2010

New Goodies on Etsy!

Hello lovely followers of the Katsui Blog!

We know that you have been waiting with bated breath for this...

We have new stuff going up on Etsy!!!!

We are so excited to share some of our new beauties.
Here at Katsui we get much joy out of making our pieces... so much that it is sometimes difficult to part with our favorites.  (Kat has at least one piece a year that she cannot bear to part with and has to beg or buy out of the collection.)


This is why is is so important to us that they find special homes where they will be loved and cherished!

Please stop by our Etsy Shop and take a look!

And keep coming back because more is coming!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Angel Agreement...

"Weeell," said my dearly beloved one day. "We have too many angels in this house and need to get rid of some. And I think for every angel you bring into the house, you should take two out."

Oh, dear. How will I manage this? It is no secret that I dearly love all of my angels! I could never part with any of them.

Certainly not quirky Faith, who I bought at a Christmas fair. I got a similar charmer for my dear friend, Donna, then thought....oh, I think I need one myself. No, certainly, Faith could not go!

Then there is this handsome male angel. He was copied from an illustration by Tomie Di Paulo and I love his soft colors! I remember getting him over fifteen years ago, when there was a discount room at Midwest of Cannon Falls. Those were the days. No one had a clue they were getting one dollar ornaments. He will have to stay. 

This lovely pewter one...never! I know Jud rues the day that our friends, Jo and Sheryl...and I, decided we would exchange angels at each Christmas. Look how detailed she is! A whole village on her dress!

This young man (yes, it is a man) was purchased in New Orleans several months before the disaster. He has a tear coming down his face. His painter was a fireman and used a wonderful, large-stroke pointillism. I think this angel knew what was about to happen. He is here to stay. Settled. 

Look at this one...she is radiant! I love how she glows. She is brimming with spirit! Could I ever live without her? I think not.

Ah, the bathroom collection. I gave this to Jud for a present...teehee. I think he is really a cherub so he doesn't count. 

And the little angel shelf. Doesn't she contribute to the cutest bathroom vingnette you have ever seen? Why these two pieces are so special that my neighbor girl pronounced this bathroom her favorite room in the world when she was just fifteen. How can you argue with budding taste like that?

Well, Jud actually bought this one. Hate the cactus, not too crazy about the angel...maybe she could go...heehee!

And this young lady was given to Jud by a female colleague who saw all of our angels and thought we needed another one. She could go, too...haha!

So I tell Jud that I have chosen the angels that will go. The last two, which were gifts for him! 

"Hmmm..." he says. "I guess we don't have to get rid of any yet."

So, in the next few months, I am very good. I don't hide any of my favorites when the Christmas ornaments are put away. I don't tell my friends that I must have angels for my birthday. I don't just happen to bring home a cute one from the Easter fair. 

We visit San Miguel, Mexico, and I fall in love when I see this lovely trio. I sigh. I know that I don't dare suggest adding another one, much less three, to our already angel-loaded decor.

Jud surprises me that night. "Did you see the three carved angels at the store we were at today. I think they would look great in our bedroom."

My heart leaps. The next day they are ours.

I call them "The Supremes Go To Heaven." Don't ask me why. 

I think they know they have broken The Angel Agreement. When I watch them, I think I hear them snicker a little bit...right along with me!


Friday, July 9, 2010

Up North

The road "Up North" (what Minnesotans call driving almost to Canada) is a long one, especially when you are invited to a friend's cabin for a Fourth of July Weekend and everyone else in the Twin Cities is going there, too! You drive along Lake Superior for hours, and then you are rewarded. Ahhh...

The birch trees! Is there anything more beautiful? Perhaps the smell of the pines. We arrive at the "cabin" (i.e. beautiful log home) of our dear friends, Brooks and Karen and are rewarded by a "boozey drink"...well, that is, everyone but me, who is allergic to most boozey drinks. Here is our host, Brooks, clearly enjoying the 
early evening.

We are all tired and it is early to bed. We arise the next morning and decide to go visit some friends who were also building a "cabin." So we take off down the gravel road. Wait! Did you see what is at the side of the road?

Here's a better look. They are lupines! My favorite wildflower. They grow in glorious shades of pink, purple and violet. Have you ever read the children's book,"Miss Rumphius"? You must! She is "The Lupine Lady"!

We drive up a tall "hill" and here we are at our friend's "cabin." Hmmm....three levels, it is. 

It really is magnificent. After a tour, we go back to the our home away from home and are joined by Kath and Mike, also good friends of twenty years. That evening, Mike, Jud and I  entertain everyone with the songs Peter, Paul and Mary and all of the verses of "American Pie" (just kidding). 

What else do you do on a long weekend "Up North"?  We go to town to a little art fair and drink real malts. The athletic ones go for long hikes. We cook and eat a lot of great food, listen to CD's of our old favorites, relax in the hot tub, read, laugh, cry and talk of old times. We have a simply wonderful time. No TV. No computer. A wonderful time. 

Monday morning, we go down this gravel road again and home to the city. 

But before we leave, I take a long, long look. Then I carry the memory of the lupines home with me. 


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Steampunk swap!!!

I got the swap charms for the Steampunk Swap and, boy, are they awesome. To see the whole group, go to Christine Edward's site, A Work In Progress. Scroll down to July 2. Aren't they fun? I can't wait to get them all together.

We are a little overwhelmed here. Kat didn't get well quickly enough and I went "Up North" for the Fourth of July. Kat is now off to LA for a friend's wedding and I am wrapping up several other projects (aka"swaps" I can't seem to resist them this summer!) and am doing official duties as swap hostess for one for Silver Bella.

We still have a lot of jewelry to photograph so keep in touch if you are interested in looking. I imagine we will have some up later next week.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Katsui on Etsy...

We have opened our store but only have the few items that were there before. Kat came home from Mexico with a bad cold and hasn't been up to taking pictures yet.

Stay tuned!!