Thursday, July 30, 2009

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland Hand Drawn Art Wallet I have been a devoted Alice in Wonderland fan ever since my grandmother handed little-girl me two tattered, yellowed copies of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. After diving headfirst into the crazy adventures of the books, I spent hours staring in mirrors, kittah at my feet, wishing for something extraordinary to happen. Nothing ever did, but I still feel pangs whenever I glimpse a white rabbit scamper past. I can vividly recall my favorite moments from the books: painting the white roses red, the knitting sheep in a drifting canoe, the Jabberwocky poem, the tiger lilies, a river of tears. I was inspired to make an Alice in Wonderland ink drawing, which I sprinkled with images from the books and then turned into a wallet.

Needless to say, I nearly died after hearing about the Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland remake. Tim Burton is one of the most amazing modern artists and his work is IMPECCABLE. I know he'll do Alice justice. Personally, I hated the original Disney version of the book. It was crass, trying too hard to be funny, and visually unappealing. I was never a fan. The books, however, paint a magical world of fantasy and adventure which has been represented for years by various artists but never brought successfully to life in a film. What I've seen of Burton's movie thus far gives me excited chills. I can't wait until it comes out (3/05/2010)! For anyone who's ever quoted The Jabberwocky from heart... this movie, and the wallet I was inspired to create... they are for us.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ohio Girl Talk's: Omg!Lia? Interview

Ohio Girl Talks is featuring an awesome interview with me! Check it out:

Ohio Girl Talk's: Omg!Lia? Interview

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Best New Promotional Tool!

The other day, as I was browsing through my Google Webmaster Tools and searching through all the links pointing back to, I stumbled across something .... amazing. It's a site called Polyvore and it's basically the coolest thing I've ever seen! From the site:

"Polyvore is a free, easy-to-use web-based application for mixing and matching images from anywhere on the web. It is also a vibrant community of creative and stylish people. Polyvore lets you create sets composed of individual images using an easy to use, drag and drop editor. After you have created a set, you can publish and share it with your friends and the Polyvore community."

Essentially, it's a group of creative people who are interested in fashion, creating style boards using images from all over the web- including! Unbeknownst to me, users had added all of the pictures on my site with plain white backgrounds and begun using them in their fashion spreads. As an apparel merchandising/fashion design major, this site appeals to me in just about EVERY way possible. I'll be making my first spread soon.

Dark by raxa featuring Prada

Why I Find Polyvore to be an Excellent Promotional Tool:
1. When an item is added from your site, Polyvore provides a prominent link back to your site along with a price, tags, and a link to other items from your site.
2. Internal links to an item on a website are rated higher in SEO (search engine optimization) than homepage links - aka, as a result of these internal links, my site shows up higher in search engine results!
3. With just a click, your image is added to a database of thousands of members to be featured artistically in ways you never imagined! Not only is the creator of the spread perusing your items, but they are turning it into a beautiful work of art to be appreciated by thousands more!
4. Advertising potential! Using your items in visually appealing situations lends opportunities for ad copy and, with permission, even graphic design potential. For example: "Look how cute these earrings look with a lavender shirt and a pair of Mary Janes! *pic of outfit*" Once a customer can visualize your item fitting into her closet, she is already on her way to purchasing it!
5. The creators of the style board AND the owners of the items featured are both given excellent, easy-to-find, prominent credit.
This site is my FAVORITE new promotional tool!

Arguments Against Polyvore
Many on Etsy have brought up the point that Polyvore is encouraging "stealing" of images and items for an unintended purpose. For example, a photograph that is altered within a spread. My counter to that is this:
1. Your item is given a link back and is clearly named and credited to you both with a hover-over and a sidebar link. Also, I have found that commenting on a work and saying "thanks for using an item from *my site link*" is another great way to further promote credit for one's work. It is quite similiar to being featured in a blog with a link back - but much more artistic and creative!
2. Worried about your images being stolen? Sadly, images are practically free for the taking online. Most of us don't have copyright lawyers to defend our work. The solution: watermarks. Don't post an original photograph without a big stamped URL over top of it! That way no matter where your image ends up, your site is always credited - plus no one but a customer has the original image.
3. Etsy items and, as I understand it, Photobucket and Flickr items, are not allowed to be added to Polyvore. This prevents uncredited items and encourages direct links back to original content on the website of the work's creator.

Take a look at some of the gorgeous creations featuring OmgLia items! Can you find them? It's like a treasure hunt!

Are you a member? Post yours!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Worst Craft Fair Experience Ever

So, I had my first huge show this past weekend. It was a 3day music festival called Forecastle Festival and by all rights it seemed everything was going to be awesome: great music, 17,000 attendees, awesome location, good weather. However, my experience quickly soured as the three days of the festival wore on. Here is my story ....

The night before the first day of the festival, we went to set up our booth and were told we didn't have a location assigned - our first warning sign. So we somewhat randomly chose a spot and set up right next to a huge fountain by the DJ stage. The next sour spot was a runin with a festival employee. My friend - who is not from the area and doesn't know how to navigate downtown Louisville - was waiting in his car for me to find a temporary booth watcher so that I could come park for him. The employee screamed at my friend to move his car, to which my friend asked if he could direct him to a place to park? The employee said "that's not my problem" and proceeded to actually call the cops up and continue screaming insults at us as I RAN out to the car to move it for my friend! The employee continued to creep around our booth the entire day, finding things to pick at us about (for example, my boyfriend didn't get a re-entry band - because he wasn't planning on leaving - and the employee sent an apologetic coworker over to reluctantly scold us. WTF?) As far as sales, traffic was slow at the spot I chose on the first day. I barely made 20 sale or so. But no matter, Fridays are always slower than Saturdays! I remained optimistic.

Saturday morning I showed up at 12pm to the sight of my entire tent flipped over, soaking wet, my booth dismanteled, and my inventory all over the ground. My first thought was back to the employee from the first day, but I have no proof of anything. Nothing was stolen, although my tent frame was bent and broken, many of the metal chains on my necklaces were rusted, my signs were all soaked through, and I lost about 2 hours moving my booth away from the water and towards a more protected area. No one assisted our move.
No one came to apologize for the loss of our booth (although many curious bystanders asked what happened, and a few volunteers informed us that they'd fished our tent out of the water earlier that morning, Christmas lights and all). I sent my boyfriend to buy us a new tent and pocketed the loss myself. A kindly security guard told me to ask the event staff to bring us the weights that were provided to every vendor. We asked 10 different staff members and were told repeatedly, "that's not my problem." I began to wonder what their problem WAS, exactly ... clearly it wasn't helping the vendors with anything! I did see several security guards smoking pot and harassing attendees, though.... hmmm. At any rate, we set back up for the day and tied our tent down to a streetlight and a bench for security. Unfortunately, we realized that day that this was a bad location. All of the vendors around us had picked up their tents and moved. It dawned on us that the music festival was focused much more on jam bands (who played at the other 2 stages) and not electronica. There was nobody at our booth for several hours, and thousands of people milling around the other 2 stages! We decided to move our booth one last time on the third day.

My devoted friend and I moved the booth all by ourselves in the 90 degree weather, up and down 2 flights of stairs, to the more populated area of the fair. We were EXHAUSTED. We asked for help from the staff but no one would lend us so much as a ride in a golf cart (altough the owner of the festival did run me over with some tiki torches and knock several of my items off the table with his golf cart....) The location we moved to was much better traffic and entertainment-wise, too bad we only had that benefit for one day! It was enough to help me finally make a little bit of profit after my expensive booth fee, though. At the end of the 3 days, we were exhausted (8am to 2am every single day, carrying heavy stuff and little relief from the heat!) but we had fun. All of my friends came to help out and I met some great people. I am very dissapointed in the disorganization of the staff, but as an attendee I'm sure I would've had an amazing time. Not sure I'll try to do this festival again in the future, though.

What are your awful show experiences?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New York City!

Lately my family has been experiencing some financial problems, so this summer I found a really well paying internship in an office working for a website. The only problem with this otherwise ideal job is that I work everyday until 5pm, leaving me with very little time for things like socializing and, sadly, my business. I've hardly had time to update my site, much less make jewelry, all summer. And with the new relationship I've begun, has all but been pushed to the backburner. It makes me sad but I'm making more money at this job than I would be doing the site full time. Ah, well.

Anyway, turns out I'm not very cut out for office life. My stress levels have skyrocketed! So I decided to take a vacation last weekend and my wonderful father used his frequent flier miles to buy my boyfriend and I tickets to NYC. We stayed with my sister in Newark and did all kinds of awesome NYC things: we went to Hell's Kitchen Flea Market (I highly recommend it!) and got all manner of useless items (him) and accessories (me). He bought himself a pair of fake D&G sunglasses and a fake Rolex from a creepy street vendor, which made him the biggest, happiest dork ever. That's him modelling them over on the right! We saw a lot of art and went to the Museum of Modern Art, as my boyfriend is an artist. He was quite inspired by the $250,000 price tags on some gallery works. We picnicked in Central Park and stalked the elusive Naked Cowboy in Times Square, who we could not find. It was a really awesome trip and a wonderful break from the monotony of office life!

Now I'm getting ready for Forecastle Festival, a huge arts/music festival in Louisville and my biggest craft show yet! I'll be working my butt off all week, wish me luck!