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1  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Name Debacle: Should I change my brand? on: October 01, 2012 11:18:31 PM
A little over a year ago I decided to go with "Dear My Love" as my shop and blog name. I chose it because I love the song of the same title by Miyavi, and because I thought it sounded cute, but not sickly cute. I make Japanese fashion inspired jewelry and am working on my own line of skirts and JSKs. Sweet lolita, fairy kei, decora... that kind of stuff.

A little over two weeks ago I officially opened my shop on Storenvy after a year of "eh" sales on Etsy... and have been promoting the hell out of it. Every day I'm posting a different product on tumblr and linking back, I've been uploading new stuff on my DeviantArt and linking to my store, I've been pinning business cards on community boards around town... I've just been really happy with it all. I love the name, I love my logo, I just love it.

It recently came to my attention, simply just from browsing Tumblr, that a company that makes lolita/cutsey clothes in Japan has the same name... they even use a heart for the O in Love like I used to in the first version of my logo. They're not big, and it's hard to find a way to buy from them... but they're there.

I did actually do a fair amount of looking around before I chose the name to make sure there were no other etsy/storenvy shops or active blogs with the same name, and somehow I just completely missed this brand in my searches.

Part of me doesn't want to change my name after all the work I've put into all this, and I feel super dumb changing everything mere weeks after opening... and part of me is insanely guilty for not changing my name immediately upon discovery of this more established brand.

I don't want customers to think I'm mooching off of original Dear My Love's name, since they're geared towards the same people I am... But then I google "dear my love" and "dear my love clothing" and my blog and shop still appear on Google's first page of results.

I'm really at a loss of what to do. The morally correct thing to do would be to change the name, right? But I don't even know where to start. I guess it's good I caught it now while I don't have a ton of people knowing me by this name... but at the same time, it seems stupid to be like "Hahaha guys, just kidding. That's not my name!".

Help? Point me in some sort of direction?
2  CLOTHING / Shoes: Completed Projects / Pastel Fairy-kei / Lolita Pumps! on: August 12, 2012 11:02:27 AM
I posted these on my tumblr the other day and was insanely surprised at how many people liked them, so I thought I'd post them here to share some more!

They started out as black and red pumps from the thrift store. I've been itching for custom shoes lately and until I can afford to get/make some shoe lasts so I can make my own from scratch, I've resigned to just painting and sprucing up already made shoes. These were $1.50 and super super comfy, but had some problems with the fabric peeling off the heel, so I fixed that and then headed outside to spray paint them!

I really didn't like the idea of light pink on the outside and red on the inside, so I painted the inside blue even though no one will see it while they're being worn.

I regret not priming them first because it took almost the entire can of pink paint to get these covered. Silly me. Still, they looked great!

But not great enough, because there was just a little too much pink (I know, how is it possible to have too much pink?!). I was paranoid about putting painters tape down on top and spraypainting the bottom with the blue that went inside, so I just mixed up some acrylic and hand painted the bottom and sealed with some good glossy topcoat.

Then I added the cute little bow and BAM! CUTE!

The only problem is that they are starting to crack in certain spots when I wear them. I had a feeling that would happen with the spray paint (or any kind of paint, actually...), but I'm totally okay with it... because honestly, I'd rather set these on my desk and just stare at them all day then wear them out and about. I seriously love looking at them.
3  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Dark Mark Earrings : Gettin' ready for the last film! on: July 13, 2011 07:05:47 AM
So, I'm a pretty big Harry Potter fan, and I actually made these for the opening of DH Part 1, but this morning when I was putting them on for work, I realized I never took pictures of them!

They're just shrinky dinks, but I LOVE them soooo much. This is more my interpretation of the dark mark than any I've seen in the books/movies/internet, and I think I might get it as a tattoo someday.

I know you're all jealous because they're so cool.
4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Intentionally Adding Bubbles to Resin on: March 19, 2011 08:36:51 AM
So I've been casting some stuff in resin lately, my first serious try, and one thing I wanted to do was kind of make it look like those paper weights or cups that have the bubbles suspended in the glass. Kind of like this.

I've cast seven small pendants (round, about 3/4 inch diameter) two days ago and I had zero problems with bubbles in them. Many of them I didn't even have to blow on to get bubbles to pop.

In one pendant, I tried taking two different sized straws (a normal one, and a stir stick one) and slowly blowing bubbles into it, but they all just came to the surface and popped. Because of the CO2 in my breath, maybe? Should I use air from some kind of small pump instead?

Or did it not work because of the small scale? The pendants were pretty shallow, too. Or is it just not possible, for some reason, to put a decent amount of bubbles into a resin piece?

I'm using Cast n Craft Clear polyester resin, if that's any help.

(Sorry if this has been answered somewhere. I searched "resin" in this board and read though 5 pages our of 30 something of results and didn't find anything...)

EDIT: Oh poo. How did I miss the random resin question thread when I was looking through search results?
5  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / First Time Etching: Deer Beer Mug on: December 19, 2010 10:00:01 AM
I've never been very interested in etching, but I was at Dollar Tree the other day and I happened upon an etching pen/tool/whatever you call it. I said "Hey, it's a dollar. Might as well give it a try!" so I got that, and a big beer mug and decided that would be part of my Dad's Christmas present if my etching was a success.

Well, I like the outcome a lot, but I regret not practicing on anything before starting! I just dove right in.

Voila! Awesome present for only $2.14! Plus it will go great with the other part of his present: some fancy German beer!
I used this deer clipart as a reference.

Now I'm addicted to using this cheap little etching tool!! I want to etch everything I own!
*runs around apartment, looking for things to etch*
6  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Discussion and Questions / Bleaching/Lightening Angora Wool Before Dying? on: September 16, 2010 06:49:06 PM
So, tomorrow I'm going to pick up my first bunny. I've been waiting to get a bunny for almost a whole year now, but it wasn't until about a week ago that I realized I could get a cute new pet AND "free" wool at the same time by getting an angora.

The only thing I'm concerned about is that the only bunnies left from this litter are gray (Dark black faces and medium gray body). From what I've seen, harvested wool from gray angoras are pretty light colored, but I really love to dye my yarn really bright and colorful. I REAAAAALLY love the way these boys look and act, so I don't want to wait for a white bunny.

I was wondering if there's any way to treat the wool so it's a lighter color before I dye it. Obviously not using anything like cleaning bleach, but maybe diluted hair bleach or something.

I tried googling stuff "bleaching angora wool" "bleach angora for spinning", "bleach angora before dying" but nothing really helped. Most stuff seemed to be about not using bleach on sweaters, or removing color from sweaters. Obviously I'm pretty new to all this.  Embarrassed  There's probably some special keyword for lightening fibers that I don't know about...
7  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Last Minute Presents! [DS Cases] on: August 01, 2010 11:50:58 AM
So two of my cousins are having their birthday party today. They're the kind of kids who's parents buy them everything they want so I had no idea what to get them, and it wasn't until last night that I remembered they both had DS's. I wasn't sure if they still played with them, but I made them some cases for them anyway.

For a 14 year old (I think.) girl:

And a 9 year old boy:

I spent nearly 5 hours working on them last night instead of sleeping. I hope they at least find some use for them if they don't play with their DS' anymore. Even while I was working on them I felt like it was a lost cause... they're not really kids who enjoy handmade things. They want stuff from the store or gift cards.  Undecided

Oh well, I tried. I like them.

8  COOKING / Dessert / Watermelon (Guava?) Cookies! on: March 11, 2010 08:59:02 AM
I've lived in Minnesota all but one year of my life, and the weather still makes me go crazy come the middle of February. So close to spring, but still so far away. So I decided to make something spring/summer-y to keep me somewhat sane. Even though it's thundering outside right now and the snow is finally melting...

And so I created... watermelon cookies!! ... except the look more like guava cookies!

They're even slightly melon flavored. Instead of the 2 tablespoons of water the box instructed, I used 2 tablespoons of melon vodka. I kinda regret making them from a box, but it was like, 3am and I was somewhat lazy. I also wish Hobby Lobby were open 24 hours so I could have gotten some of that melon candy flavoring to use instead. Oh well, next time!

The idea came from those pre-cut Pillsbury frozen cookies with the little pictures inside them. Ya know, at the grocery store? They have them for all the holidays. I saw them at work a while ago and I thought "Well, I can do that! It's just like a sculpey cane!. But it was harder than I thought, because the dough got really melty and unweildy. I wanted smaller seeds (and more of them), but rolling the brown dough out any smaller made it fall apart. T__T

Oh well, I'm still rather surprised at how well they turned out. I think there's only three left now. Sad

I'd also like some suggestions for other cane cookies if you've got 'em! Or if you ever do your own, I totally wanna see. I'm not very good at making clay canes, so I'm sure someone out there could do better than me with cookie dough!
9  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Gir Hat for Eli on: February 12, 2010 11:24:07 AM

Eli, my lovely 42cm ball jointed doll, has an obsession with hats because his hair is unbelievably floofy. He hates floofy.

I thought his hat collection needed an update, since most are black knit or black fleece. So I made him a Gir hat!

Unfortunately, he's not really a Gir type of guy... which is why he looks so unhappy. Sad

I'm getting a little better with my crochet skills! Hopefully I'll make more silly hats for Eli soon!

Critique appreciated! (Yeah, I don't like that you can see the green behind his eyes, either. I think I'm going to put felt behind them soon).
10  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / First Try at Crocheting - Platypus! on: January 28, 2010 01:23:53 PM
Oh my goodness. This is the first time I've crocheted anything AND my first thread here.

I've had a set of hooks for nearly three years now, but I could never figure out how to use them, even after going through website after website on crocheting. I could knit in a coma, but crocheting was unfathomable!

Then finally the other day I was like "Well, I know how to make a chain. Lets see if I can just screw around and figure it out.". After about two hours of fiddling with it I must have figured it out, or did a pretty good fake crochet look somehow, because I ended up with a nice band.

Then about four hours (and a nice Castle marathon) after that, this platypus was born!

I'm pretty sure I'm not increasing or decreasing correctly... but he's not falling apart so whatever I'm doing must be working somehow! hahaha.  Undecided
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