Sunday, November 29, 2009

Customer appreciation

It makes me so happy when somebody buys something in my shop that I want to give them something extra to show my appreciation. So I’ve made some skull brooches for that purpose.

I hope my customers will like their little freebies!

Busy bee

Desperately trying to keep my blog up to date, my apartment clean, to be present at work full time, and to get enough sleep, but all I really want to do is sew new awkward creatures. It’s going slowly but new weird looking friends are still being born and today I’d like to introduce you to #41 Mimi:

Mimi is quite the perfectionist. If something isn’t done completely right, she will do it again until she feels it’s perfect. So she is a slow worker, but a hard worker and she produces quality honey. Mimi loves flower stores, colorful pens and paper and pancakes with honey. And she’s for sale in my etsy store.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy birthday Moem!

Today it’s my mother’s birthday again, she’s only turning 47 and her daughter is already almost 30... I feel she’s young and I’m old! Anyway, I’m talking to her right now on Skype, because it’s midnight at home now so her birthday has just officially started. She’s opening my gift, a hand sewn cow.
Her favorite animal is definitely a cow, I’m not sure why but she has been collecting cows forever. Now she can add a cow à la eleventh monkey complete with hot pink utters! I really hope she likes it. I’m a bit sad I can’t hug and kiss her today, so I’ll just send her virtual hugs and kisses over Skype and Blogger. Happy birthday, x-o-x-o-x!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Komeda's in Osaka

Komeda’s Coffee is a famous coffee house in the Nagoya region. Yasu and I went there once in Inuyama and it was nice but nothing really that special so we never went there again. But recently people have been telling us about something called shironowaru (white and black). Yasu’s friend described it as pancakes with ice cream and pictures I’ve seen made it look like a dutch treat filled with delicious almond spice topped with a huge amount of soft serve. It sounded interesting but not worth a trip to Nagoya of course. But surprisingly there is a Komeda’s in Osaka too!

Yasu spotted the place before and only remembered it when his friend was recommending him to try that pancake and ice cream dish (I’m holding it in the picture). Well, we tried it, but it wasn’t that special. It wasn’t a pancake (even though the description said so) and it definitely wasn’t filled with almond paste. It was basically a huge misshapen dry croissant with a heap of soft serve. Not bad but not worth another visit, their burgers are better. But it was fun to discover something Nagoyan in Osaka, next I hope to discover a Yamachan because their tebasaki are worth several visits!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Free brooches

Somebody bought a set of love skull ornaments today and she mentioned the codeword ‘aap’ during checkout at Etsy. And because she bought the third product since the sale started I sent her a gift with her purchase, a green-blue love skull brooch.

I know I had a rule about every third buyer mentioning the codeword getting a free present. But giving away little presents is just too much fun. So I’m changing the rule so that every buyer mentioning the codeword gets a free brooch.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Extra the little butterfly brooch

The sale has only just started and my best and favorite customer shopped in my shop again! My sweet mom! She’s started her Christmas shopping already and is planning to put some eleventh monkey creatures under the Christmas tree. And she was so excited about the free giveaway that I made her something special, a tiny butterfly brooch.

I’m giving away skull brooches to other customers, but I’ll be making a bunch of big butterflies for the shop as soon as I can. I hope Rosa the Bear and Mindy the Monkey make the people they’re given to happy and that the little butterfly makes my mom happy.

Sale in the eleventh monkey shop!

Everything is 33% off for a whole month (sale ends December 14)! So all creatures originally priced at $22.00 are now selling for $14.74, and creatures originally priced at $11.00 are selling for $7.37! And I’m also giving away little presents handmade by me.

This is how the giveaway works: The first buyer who leaves the codeword "aap" in the 'message to seller’ during checkout will receive a free gift with their purchase. And after that, every third buyer mentioning the codeword during checkout will also get a little handmade present. Happy shopping!

New creatures on the block

Added a bunch of new awkward creatures to my shop. Meet my new monkeys: Mel, Max, Tess and Bart.

I loved the wedding bears and I really wanted to add a few bears to my shop, I especially like Rosa with the little rose next to her ear. And I recently bought some new materials like neon-colored felt for the giraffes and loads of non-matching buttons, which were really fun to use.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The youngest certified NLP trainer in the world

Last month Yasu got officially certified as an NLP trainer. He received his certificate last Saturday and he is now the youngest NLP trainer in the world! Needless to say I am very proud of him and he’s very proud of himself too!

By the way NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. NLP is a system of alternative therapy based on the relationship between successful patterns of behavior and the (un)conscious experiences underlying those patterns. As an NLP trainer Yasu educates people in self-awareness and effective communication and changes their patterns of mental and emotional behavior to enhance professional development and personal performance. Sounds complicated I know, but Yasu is good at it and he loves doing it. And he will love it even more as an officially certified NLP trainer!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Vote for my brother!

My brother Djamo is an amazing guitarist and all he wants to do is play his guitar and perform on a stage. He has just entered a contest called ‘In Search of a Band’. An artist called Tim Vanhamel has booked gigs for 2010, but he doesn’t have a band yet and Djamo would love nothing more than be part of that band. So he has made an original video with his own music and entered the contest.

Now he’s looking for people to vote for him and leave him comments so that Tim Vanhamel will find his entry among all the others and consider Djamo for his band. You have to be over 18 to enter the contest because Absolut Vodka is the sponsor. So if you’re over 18 and you have a few minutes please help my musical brother get a spot in that band. I hope you’ll give him a 5-star vote and a nice comment!
When you click the link you will asked for your birthday first to verify your age and then you will probably be navigated to the main website instead of Djamo's page, so please find him on the Entries page or click this link again to find his personal page where you can vote for him.

Thanks so much for voting and commenting!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

No more Bon Jovi concerts for me?


I have been to many concerts and was planning on going to many more concerts. During those concerts I’ve always been able to enjoy the band from up close, mostly thanks to the privileges that come with being a member of the official fan club and some thanks to luck. For many of those concerts I had a front row spot, four concerts I was lucky enough to enjoy part of the show from a spot on the stage, but at least I’ve always been in the pit (area right in front of the stage).
Getting there usually took some effort, like spending the night in front of a concert venue in line with many other fans and a reasonable amount of money. I mean the concert tickets weren’t cheap but they were acceptably priced, and of course the membership fee of the fan club which was totally worth when going to many concerts.
Bon Jovi released a new album this week, ‘The Circle’, and they’re embarking on a 2-year world tour. I was very excited and already saving money for a bunch of concert tickets. But the money I saved isn’t even enough for one concert ticket in a spot I usually view the show from. If you want to be front row you’ll need to buy yourself a extraordinarily expensive VIP package at $3500! But hey, for that price you do get 2 front row seats, 2 autographed tour programs, 2 limited-edition numbered tour prints, 2 fan club VIP laminates, 2 fan club VIP t-shirts, $300 worth of Bon Jovi store gift certificates, a pre-show backstage tour, dinner and making-of-the-tour video viewing, and best of all you get to take the folding chairs you sat on (who needs a chair during a concert anyway?!) home. Yeah, it’s nice if you’re rich but I don’t need nor want all that stuff, I just want to see the band perform from a great spot.
So far only one concert with general admission (no seats, only standing) has been announced and it’s in Paris. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go there because I’m working in Japan that day. But at least people can get themselves to front row with some old-fashioned effort instead of rolls of cash. But tickets to enter the area in front of the stage (“in the circle”) are still $220 per person and they apply a 25% convenience fee (whatever that may be, it’s not convenient for the fans), and we’re still paying at least $50 to be a member of the fan club. So ticket prices have about tripled for general admission concerts and become inexplicably expensive for concerts with seats.
I wish nobody would buy the tickets so that the band would see how ridiculous and aggravating this all is, but of course there are always people with enough money who do buy the tickets. And next tour the prices will have increased even further.
Bon Jovi prides itself on being the band of the working man, they even have a song about it on their new album ‘The Circle’, called ‘Work for the Working Man’. They’re asking who’s going to work for the working man and they imply to want to do something about it. The song is good, but has a hypocritical aftertaste for me. They seem to have lost touch with reality... For rock stars like them these prices may be peanuts, but for us working people it’s a fortune many of us can’t afford to spend on concerts.
Like I said I was planning on going to many more concerts, but there’s a good chance that I’ve already seen my last Bon Jovi concert. So I would just like to remind myself of all the times I’ve seen my favorite band live, while I’m hoping to win the lottery to be able to afford a few more shows.
September 19, 2005: Nokia Theatre Times Square in New York City, USA
June 28, 2003: Hyde Park in London, UK
June 17, 2003: Ostseehalle in Kiel, Germany
June 8, 2003: Wellington Hippodroom in Oostende, Belgium
June 6, 2003: Weserstadium in Bremen, Germany
June 3, 2003: Amsterdam ArenA in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
May 30, 2003: Arena auf Schalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany
September 18, 2002: Shepherd’s Bush (Pepsi Stage, Amsterdam) in London, UK
June 20, 2001: Müngersdorfer Stadion in Cologne, Germany
June 16, 2001: Milton Keynes Bowl in Milton Keynes, UK
June 6, 2001: Amsterdam ArenA in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
June 5, 2001: Amsterdam ArenA in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
June 3,2001: Werchter Festival Site in Werchter, Belgium
September 1, 2000: Gelredome in Arnhem, The Netherlands
August 27, 2000: Wellington Hippodroom in Oostende, Belgium
August 20, 2000: Wembley Stadium in London, UK
August 19, 2000: Wembley Stadium in London, UK
April 28, 1998: Stadthalle Bremen in Bremen, Germany
June 10, 1997: Elysée Montmartre in Paris, France
June 9, 1996: ‘t Rutbeek in Enschede, The Netherlands
June 8, 1996: Megaland in Landgraaf, The Netherlands

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Circle

Although Bon Jovi is supposed to release their new album on November 10th in some countries ‘The Circle’ is already available, including Japan. According to the poster in the CD store the album was set to come out tomorrow, yet I bought it there today already.

I’ve listened to the new songs a bit in the store and I’m happy to report that this a rock album. I was worried that they might never return to rock after their detour into the country music world with ‘Lost Highway’. I know many people loved that album and it was very successful in especially America, but personally I didn’t like it at all. And I’m happy Bon Jovi is back to making rock music again.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Pool

There are many things I suck at but I love to do, like singing, dancing and playing pool! As a high school student and young university student I used to play a lot of pool. I always performed poorly yet it was always fun. Today I finally tried again, my first time in Japan and for the first time in this millennium perhaps?

I found out that my sweet boyfriend sucks at it almost just as much as I do! So we were quite a match for each other around the pool table. We played for three hours (it was some kind of cheap free time deal) and ended up with a 4-4 score. But I scored all my points by Yasu shooting the 8-ball into a side pocket prematurely. I never actually won a game, Yasu did 3 times. So he was both the biggest loser and biggest winner!