Love is All Around

Valentine’s Day may have come and gone, but we can still find love anywhere we look, if we try hard enough!  Currently, I’ve predominately focused all my creative energy into my Asian-inspired handmade jewelry line at MaJenta Designs, however, I definitely want to get back into photography someday.  I just love taking photos of scenic and natural landscapes, and recently have wanted to start searching for things that are heart-shaped, after being inspired by my 2009 calender from the “American Heart Association.”   However, I found some great Etsy sellers that already have amazing photos of hearts found in nature.  Below, are just a few of some of my faves! 

“Bleeding Heart” note card by Nezaphoto

“Heart in the Clouds” by Fineartphotomom

“Heart of the Palm” by Heart of Nature

“Heart Rock” by Kjnosal

Happy Lunar New Year!

(photo of decorations for sale during my trip to Singapore in 2006)

Most of us celebrate the new year on January 1st, counting down until midnight, singing auld lang syne, and making resolutions to lose weight, particularly all the pounds gained from all the holiday feasts with family and friends.

Well just around the corner is the Lunar New Year, which as you can guess, is based off of the lunar calander; therefore the date changes year to year, but this year, it will be on January 26, 2009.   In Mandarin Chinese,  you will often hear people greeting each other with “Xin Nian Kuai Le, Gong Xi Fa Cai!” which translate to “happy new year” and “wishes that you be prosperous”!  

Its a time to wish each other a happy new year that will be filled with good fortune and blessings! Wikipedia lists out many of the exciting traditions in details, but one of my favorite traditions of the holiday is when elders give the younger children lucky red envelopes “hong bao” with money inside! I find it a great concept, to wish that prosperity would come to your loved ones, and literally to give them some money to kick start the year!   In addition to the envelopes, you are sure to see everything decorated with red and gold, including lanterns, auspicious sayings postings on doorways, etc. because Chinese view red as symbolic of good luck and ward off evil, and gold of course to symbolize fortune.

Another thing you might see during this holiday is the Chinese character 福 (“fu”) meaning  “good fortune”, sometimes you might even see it upside down!  The reason for it being upside down, is Chinese love play on words! The Chinese word “dao” (3rd tone) for “upside down” (倒) sounds similar to the word for “arrived” (also “dao” but 4th tone: 到). Therefore, the word upside down is also symbolic to mean “fortuen has arrived”!

This a great holiday that brings generations of families together and eat traditional foods that are also symbolic of good fortune for the new year, like fish, oranges, noodles, sweet sticky cakes, and much more! 

cow1Also, it being the new year, brings on a change in the zodiac as well! This year will be the Year of the Ox/Cow!  The ox is symbolic of being hardworking, patient, with a logical mind.  I am trying to put out new pendants in my Etsy shop that you can purchase to give to all your friends who’s Zodiac symbol is the cow! (i.e., anyone who will be turning 12, 24, 36, etc. multiples of 12. )

 

~Best wishes to all of you in the new year, and that despite the state of our economy, I hope you all will be blessed with good fortunes to come!~

 (Glass magnets with 4 Chinese blessings of long life, health, good fortune, and peace)
 

 

Photo of Paradise – Featured

My “Sail Off to Paradise” 8×10 photographic print has been featured in an Etsy treasury!

This photo was taken in Phuket, Thailand, one of the areas that got hit the hardest during the tragic Tsunami of 2004.  This photo was taken in Phuket almost exactly a year later, with its resilient community still thriving.  The beaches in Thailand are lined with soft white sand, warm ocean breezes, and crystal clear aqua tinted water – truly paradise!

This print can be purchased at my eboutique at www.majentadesigns.etsy.com.  The photo is listed here http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=7887703 but feel free to browse all my other items as I sell handmade jewelry and houseware as well!

My First Craft Fair!

I did my first craft fair this weekend, it was definitely not how I expected it to be, but it was still fun and I cant wait to participate in more!   The show went alright, I did gain enough to cover the booth fee at least with a bit of profit, but as my business boyfriend points out, for the hours put into creating the items, sitting at the craft show, etc., I’m technically probably in the negative!  Its ok though, it was a great way to get my feet wet.  I felt my items definitely catering to a different crowd though, as the majority of the fair goers were retired elderly, some of which thought my items that were $2.50-3 were too expensive, despite the hours it takes for me to make each item.  I thought I did have a good variety given some were more youthful jewelry and others were tea canisters and gift tins for all ages, but it was hard getting any buyers.  I did meet some nice crafters though who were very encouraging about my first show and said my items were very reasonably priced and well-made which made me happy, though I wish they pitied me enough to purchase something though! 😛

I definitely felt prepared for the craft show by bringing:

-spare change/bills

-mirror

-extra inventory

-variety of inventory with variety of prices

-mailing list sign up

-knucklebuster, receipts, and laptop to process credit cards

There definitely are some things I will remember to do for the next show though!

-iron table cloth!  perhaps buy a larger table cloth too

-prop up my magnets

-have more display trays and levels to my booth

-I need to remember to always offer business cards to those who drop by

-bring something to do, e.g., origami so people can see me creating as well as gives me something to do during the lulls in traffic

-different sized gift bags

Travel Quote

“Human beings are more alike than unalike, and what is true anywhere is true everywhere, yet I encourage travel to as many destinations as possible…Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples laugh, cry, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try to understand each other, we may even become friends” – Maya Angelou

~~~~~

I read this quote in one of my textbooks but I thought it’d be great to share as I love inspiring quotes and I love travel! Its so true, the more you travel, the more you realize that we have alot more in common with each other than you originally thought, and have more understanding of each other too! I am getting antsy for my next travel fix, but no vaca time in the near future though!

FYI: The photo above was taken in Gwangju, South Korea, nearby their Democracy Memorial. I love finding these “May Peace Prevail” polls whereever I travel. You can see the collection I have in my Etsy Shop.

“Lovers’ Embrace” Photo Card

This Photo card was featured in the Etsygreetings Blog!

Location: This was taken inside the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. This is one of my favorite statues, its of “Psyche & Cupid”, the legendary tale of how Psyche’s beauty was drawing more attention than the Goddess Venus, so Venus sets out to punish Psyche. Venus orders her son, Cupid, to make Psyche fall in love with the ugliest man on earth. However, Cupid ends up falling in love with Psyche, which then causes lots of drama and almost losing each other…but in the end, they end up finding each other again, giving a message that love will always triumph in the end.

This photo has Sepia tones and a special soft glow effect so that the focus is just on the two lover’s embrace. This card is great for Valentines Day for anybody who loves fine art, photography, travel, or a great love story (or anybody looking for a card that isnt pink, red, or with hearts).

FOR SALE: This card can be purchased in my Etsy shop here http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=9116842

But be sure to peruse the rest of my shop, as I sell jewelry, accessories, as well as other photographic prints. http://www.majentadesigns.etsy.com

My First Notecards Sale!

My Etsy shop is quite the eclectic mix of things for sale, from jewelry to household items to photographic prints to notecards. I havent had any success in selling my photo notecards, that is until yesterday! One lucky buyer swooped up 3 of my notecards yesterday! I was so happy!

These photographs all have some great stories behind them. The first 2 photos are taken in South Korea, where I got a Fulbright Grant to teach English and be a cultural ambassador for a year. The first photo is of a Buddhist temple in Gwangju, South Korea during autumn. I just love the vibrant colors of the building against the brightly colored leaves too. The second is of Naijangsan in South Korea, an area famous for people to flock to during Autumn to check out the Japanese maples. And finally, the last one is Springtime at my Alma Mater, Mount Holyoke College. A restful spot for someone to recline and nap out on the green or bring their books out to study.

OPINIONS: I wonder if its worth it to try to relist these items or not, if you’re reading this, please let me know!

SALE: Also, today is the LAST DAY of my 20% off sale! so please check out the rest of my Etsy for more items! http://majentadesigns.etsy.com