Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Et la gagnante est... And the winner is...

My husband just drew the winning name for the Sakura so Bright necklace, and the winner is... (drumroll please...) Lorelei, whose blog you can see here. Congratulations, Lorelei!!!
I'm having a sale in my Etsy shop until Thursday - you can find great gifts for Mother's Day or birthdays ☺ Take a peek, just a little peek...
Now I've got to go and get a bit of work done before "Dancing with the Stars" - yes, I admit to being an avid follower. Love it! Will write more tomorrow...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Hey, there's a SALE going on!

Yup, I'm having a sale in my Etsy shop - Buy One Get One for Half Price!

Great time to shop for Mother's Day gifts and any other gifts you might need in the coming months. Even my sale items are included in this deal, but the gift certificates and custom orders are not. *Thanks to Sherrill for being my first customer on this sale. I think she now has every style of sushi necklace I've had in my shop ☺

Don't forget to enter my 100th blog post giveaway, for your chance to win this necklace. Simply add your comment(s) and email address to the post on Friday April 25th and you will be entered for the draw that will take place on Tuesday April 29th, at 7pm! One entry per person please.

Gotta get the coffee going and get to work!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Press conference photos...

Here are a few photos from the press conference we did this past week, to launch the tv series Arashi Daiko (the taiko group JF and I are members of) is featured in, called La Symphonie du Nouveau Monde. Photos are all clickable for detail, taken by Marie-Loic Senamaud (merci beaucoup!).

Welcoming in the journalists... (that's my big mouth)

Jean-Fran├žois and I on the odaiko, or "big drum". Note JF's "taiko face."

Truly an honour to perform with these amazing musicians (and all wonderful people too!) from Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chad and Morocco. I had a lump in my throat every time H'sao, the four siblings from Chad (next to us in the front row), would start to sing. Musical director Luc Boivin is in the middle, right in front (dressed in black) - he's the best!

We're looking forward to a live show we'll be doing on May 25th, with musicians from all 12 episodes of this tv series, which will be filmed and broadcast as the 13 and final episode of the series. La Symphonie du Nouveau Monde, or From the New World, was composed by Antonin Dvorak in 1893, who was greatly inspired by the Native American music and African American gospel music he heard while visiting the U.S. from 1892-1895, as well as the cultural diversity he was witness to.

The very cultural diversity celebrated in this symphony is the theme of this television series, reflected in the musicians and types of music featured. Everyone is so talented! Nervously looking forward to May 25th ☺

Don't forget to enter my 100th post giveaway! Just add your comment about my Etsy shop (what you like, what needs work etc...) on Friday April 25th's post, and you will be entered to win the Sakura so Bright necklace. Easy-peasy! Winner announced at 7pm on Tuesday, April 29th.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Yay! My 100th post GIVE-AWAY and Friday Cat Blogging

I never thought I'd make it, but here I am, writing my 100th post on my blog! Woo hoo! For a nostalgic look back, here's my second post, which includes a photo of one of my earliest works.

What I thought would be a once or so weekly little smidge of blabla about my life and my work and me, has turned into a habit. It has its down side since the first thing I would do in the morning, pre-blog era, is do my e-mailing and update my Etsy shop. Now I also have to get my blog post in there too. Sometimes it's after lunch before I start working in my studio, which is why I often take my work in front of the tv well into the evening too. But it's all good, I love what I do, my husband supports me and I've got a pretty happy life. Je ne peux vraiment pas me plaindre (I really can't complain)...

On the up side blogging has been great since it's something I seem to be sticking with, largely due to you all, the lovely people who are actually reading my blog :) Whether you choose to leave comments or not, no matter - I truly appreciate you all stopping by!

☺ Thank-you from my bottom - that's what one of my Japanese friends once said, when he meant to say "Thank-you from the bottom of my heart." ☺

My first blog give-away:
To celebrate my 100th post, I'd like to offer one my readers this necklace, one of my favourites, a Sakura so Bright pendant on your choice of the coral pink leather seen here, black leather or silver tone ball chain.

All you have to do is have a peek in my Etsy shop, and leave a comment here on anything you particularly like, or think needs improving; a favourite piece, the photos, are there too many things/sections in my shop; etc. Please leave your email address so that I can contact you if you're the WINNER! One give-away entry per person please, but feel free to leave as many comments as you like ☺

The draw will take place on Tuesday April 29th, at 7pm, so get your comments in before then!

Friday Cat Blogging: Lucky Barney
Our friends, Mary and Rod, share a cat named Barney.

One cold winter a few years back, Mary and Rod's neighbour saw a big black cat in a park forest; the cat was very friendly and was probably lost, so as many of us would do, the man left him there thinking he would be found or picked up by his owners. When he returned to that same park the following winter, there was that same cat, friendly as ever, but a little worn and a little thinner.

Barney the cat went home with this man, an airline pilot, and quickly adapted to a warm, well-fed life with him. When the pilot would go to work for days at a time, Barney then discovered Mary and Rod across the road. He now lives a good life in both houses. While Mary and Rod are down south for the winter he lives with the airline pilot, and when Mary and Rod are home, Barney is usually with them. He is the sweetest cat you could meet. I think he's just happy to have two loving homes to hang out in.

Here he is, posing for us last summer, sprawled out in a favourite spot.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Been a busy few days, so I'll catch up with a few tidbits of what's been going on...

The press conference yesterday went really well and both the producer of the television series and the channel broadcasting the show seemed quite pleased with the musical performance we put on (read about the rehearsal here). We found out for sure that the episode on our group, Arashi Daiko, will premiere on ARTV on Saturday July 5th at 8pm, and re-broadcast the following Tuesday at 9:30am and Thursday at 7pm. I'm looking forward to each and every episode though, and not just ours!

ARTV is a French language pay tv channel here in Canada, so I'm not sure how many of you would actually be able see it. We actually have to ask someone to tape it for us since we don't have cable. Did up some quick articles for our community newspaper this morning, to make sure everyone will be watching... ☺

I have to thank Charmaine aka High Desert Diva, for sending me a beautifully packaged gift to thank me for simply helping her a little with her blog layout. Of course I have no photos of the initial package since I tore into it like an excited 6-year-old on Christmas morning. Inside was this wonderful assortment of cat beads and a beautiful note in a little handmade accordion book! You are too kind, Charmaine. Thanks so much!

JF made bread the other day, and instead of letting it cook in the bread machine, he took it out and formed loaves. Aren't they lovely? Great texture on this bread, I must say. And not weapon-like & dangerous, like the other hard and heavy loaves he made a couple weeks ago.

Got another wholesale order to work on from a jewellery boutique in California (yaaaay!); gotta get this out on Monday to give Mother's Day shoppers time to shop ☺

I have a few new items up in my shop, and have to get more uploaded since I will be having a sale this week-end. Woo-hoo!

I also have to get my stock up for a show I'm doing on May 10th in Canada's capital, Ottawa, the Westend Artisan Crafters Market.
And... tomorrow will by my 100th post! I made it!!! Who'd a-thunk it? I will be having a give-away to celebrate, so stay tuned...

Monday, April 21, 2008


I redid some of my photos yesterday, using the white balance adjustment. What a difference. Embarrassing I didn't do this sooner! This is the exact same pendant and the exact same background paper. The one on the left looks fine if you don't know that the background is supposed to be the vibrant mossy green that you see on the right. The pendant colours look warmer too and just a little more bright.

I decided to put some items on sale in my Etsy shop, to keep my stock rolling. These items are marked down by 20%! I'll be having a Mother's Day sale starting this week-end too, as well as a give-away for my blog readers!

Lots happening this week, and the coffee tastes particularly good this morning...


Thanks to everyone who wrote to me or commented on my Friday post, regarding my mom. I hope that wasn't too "out there" and uncomfortable to read; it might have been a rather selfish thing to do, since it was kind of like a mini-therapy to get it out of my system, but I really do feel different.

My heartfelt appreciation to you all

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Rehearsal for a press conference

Some of you may know that my husband, JF, and I went to Japan last fall, to film part of a documentary on our taiko (Japanese drum) group, Arashi Daiko. It will be a one-hour episode in a full 13 episode series produced by Mixed Media Productions, to be broadcast on ARTV and Radio Canada. Montreal musicians from around the world were the focus for this series, along with visits to 12 different countries - Madagascar, Morocco, Vietnam, India, Chad, Bolivia to name just a few. Quite an experience for us, and I'm really looking forward to the entire series.

Yesterday we had to rehearse for a press conference this coming Wednesday that will introduce this show to the media - our chance to "pitch" the series and garner as much interest in it as possible, and hopefully lots of coverage in the media.

Musical director and percussionist extraordinaire, Luc Boivin, led 22 musicians in a modified version of an excerpt of Antonin Dvorak's "From the New World" (La Symphonie du Nouveau Monde). In four hours of rehearsal he managed to assemble us all in a piece that allows each group to shine in their own way. I think we'll have to tone the taiko down though, since we were too loud. We're always too loud.

This rehearsal session was also being filmed for the final episode of the series - that's me and JF on the upright taiko. Patrice Massenet, carrying the camera, was filming us in Japan as well. An amazingly talented cinematographer.

Here are some of the other musicians going through their parts while we took a bit of a break. Luc seemed pretty happy at the end of the day. Here's hoping that everything goes well on Wednesday! You probably already know I'll be giving you an update ☺

Just a little add-on to Friday's post... My sister in Edmonton emailed me after reading that post and then I wrote back to her last night in a veritable weep-fest, pouring out a bunch of stuff that I've been clutching onto for two years. I know now that I've been hanging onto so much pain around my mother's death because it's all tied into the negative feelings I have about myself. Hmm, that sounds worse than it is. I don't hate myself! But I am hard on myself. And this may not sound like a revelation, but it is. I feel better. Another wee step...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Moving a step forward while Friday Cat Blogging

It's been two years since my 19 year old cat, Jerzy, died. This was the photo I used for his 18th birthday party invitation.

He was the scrawniest kitten at the pet store (and had a crusty, puss-filled eye to boot), which is why I chose him. He grew into quite a fat cat who believed I was his mother; I think he was just so grateful that I brought him home with me. I got Oliver on the same day at a different pet store (I was 19 years old and didn't think to go to the SPCA) and they bonded immediately.
Oliver died at the age of 7, and I wondered how Jerzy would be afterwards. He lived another 12 years, all the more attached to me; he'd even sit on the edge of the sink waiting for me to come out of the shower.

Three days after he died on March 22, 2006, my mom had a massive stroke that would keep her in hospital for three months. Mourning the loss of my friend, Jerzy, was over pretty quickly, as my focus shifted to my mother. I love this picture of the two of them, when she was looking after him while we were on vacation; notice how his flesh squeezes out between her fingers!

This might appear to be a strangely blended post, but since my mom was such a cat and animal lover, I know she wouldn't mind sharing space with Friday Cat Blogging ☺ Please bear with me.

Although the past year has been better, I still get stuck in feelings of guilt and sadness over the loss of my mother - feeling like I should have and could have done more and that if only that was accomplished she would still be here. I still have moments of seeing her last months through her eyes, even though I cannot possibly understand or know what she was really thinking or feeling. But it still makes me wince.

Maria Shriver was on Oprah (yes, I admittedly still watch Oprah from time to time, depending who's on) the other day and this brings me to my "step forward." She was talking about what a big influence and the major role model her mother, Eunice Kennedy, has always been in her life, always pushing her to be active, pro-active, and ambitious and leading by example. Those are good things, but only focussing on this makes for a pretty frenetically-paced life where value and self-worth are found in what you do and accomplish rather than who you truly are as a person. Shriver recently found herself looking after her mom who had suffered several small strokes and she said she liked herself as this kind and caring, gentle person. She was being the mother now.

I know I kind of felt like I was mothering my mom while she was in hospital, and I was grateful for having that time with her; I considered it a gift. But after listening to Maria Shriver, I realized that just a slight shift in thought, in perception on my part, would reveal that it was not only the time spent with her that was a gift, but the opportunity for me to be kind and caring and motherly to her was the biggest gift; if I can allow myself to accept that I am a good-hearted, caring person, then that's something, since I'm constantly dumping on myself (don't we all do this?). I don't know how much sense that makes, but I know a bell went off in my head listening to this interview.

I had another major revelation about my relationship with my mom while watching this interview, but I think I'll save it for another time. I'm a little weepy now, so I think I'll go and clean myself up :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A day with my niece

Today, I took the day off and my niece, Amy, came over; for her birthday present from me and JF, she asked to spend the day with us! How flattering is that? I was quite surprised when she agreed to write today's post, so heeeeere's Amy...

We started off the day going grocery shopping to make a pizza and muffins. Then we got to the counter to pay for all the items and Auntie Sandra noticed that she forgot her credit card and all her money. It was quite embarrassing. When we finally paid we went home and Uncle J-F started making the pizza by making the dough. He put it in this machine that made it spin like a disgusting hairball! Meanwhile, while the "hairball" was getting ready, Auntie Sandra and I made some muffins.

It wasn't difficult at all and it ended up DELICIOUS! Then with the candy I got (I was in the hospital to get my appendix taken out and got a humungous bag of candy), we made a few names with the coloured candy.
After, we played a game of RACK-O. She beat me in the overall points, but I'll tell you that I could have beat her very easilly! After all the fun, the dough for the pizza was finally ready.

We shot all the vegetables and cheese on the dough. While Uncle J-F and I covered the pizza, Auntie Sandra took many pictures.

Then, when it was finally finished we put it in the oven, and watched the 15 minute show. The cheese on the crust was breathing!
Later, we ate it.
It was GREAT! We watched the movie "Enchanted" after that, with ice cream!

Both JF and I loved "Enchanted" and Amy restrained herself from reciting all the movie's lines. We later played RACK-O again, this time with JF, who is not nearly as competetive as we are - Amy and I play to win. We had a quick dinner, did some computer stuff and watched a bit of tv before my sister came to pick her up. It was a chill-out, inside activity day since Amy is still recovering from her surgery. JF and I had as much fun as she did!

Monday, April 14, 2008

In the end, it's all good

Yesterday's fundraiser that I mentioned last week was for a cause that is near and dear to us, the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada (as some of you know, JF has colitis). And I'll just say that for first-time organizers who wanted to support the CCFC, it was a good effort.

It was admittedly quite a mish-mash though, of flea market items (sunglasses, mass-produced tshirts, used dvds), services (photographers, author/motivational speaker, beauty salon), and handmade crafty/artisan types (yes, I'm in that lot!) tossed in here and there. I must say, this was the oddest event I've ever sold at.

Here's part of my display. Sorry for the yellowness - did I even learn about adjusting the white balance (hey, where's my manual!)?

Sales, needless to say, were quite pitiful and I didn't win any raffle prizes despite my prize-conjuring hexes on our tickets, but there were plenty of baked goods - that dessert table was, hands down, the most successful "handmade goods" table.

And there was live music, which was one of the highlights of the day. There are several pubs in Montreal that host regular live sessions of Celtic music and a few of those Montreal musicians kept us perky and awake over the lunch hour (as opposed to droopy and nodding off). We were happy and surprised to see our friend, Fred, who is an amazing drummer/musician and was also JF's bodhran (Irish frame drum) teacher. Here they are:

Another highpoint of the day was meeting other crafty sellers, and two of them are also on Etsy! Lianne of BabyBurrito makes baby slings, blankets and bibs in the most gorgeous fabrics, for hipster babies and happening parents. Elizabeth of BodhranBabe makes lovely Celtic inspired jewellery - her display is wonderful. I met a few other sellers last year too, so I think an Etsy meet-up might be in line sometime soon ...

What was great as well was that I didn't get stressed out about this event; I didn't frantically make last-minute stuff or get cranky and barky. That's a good feeling, for both me and JF. I must've somehow sensed it was not going to be a hotbed of wild craft fanatics grabbing at my must-have items ;) I tell ya', my instincts are becoming almost cat-like. It also means that all the jewellery pieces and cards I made over the last week, can now come with me on the road to Ottawa for the next craft show on May 10th. Yaaay!

More coffee please... Here's to a good week ☺

Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging... Etsy Cat Lovers' Faves

As many of you know, I am a cat person. And I won't go on about Chibi or Ebi today.

There are so many great things on Etsy. Great things in general, yes, but it is a veritable treasure trove for cat lovers like me. I'll see how long I'm able to hold off on these items. You can click on any of the items to see them a little better.

The Clever Kitty T-shirt, that you'll find in Cathy's shop, along with her wonderful kitty artwork and bunch of other kitty tees.

These adorable maneki neko earrings, by finestimaginary. Now which colour is my favourite?

I know my cats would love this catnip mat , and there are so many to choose from in a shop called stuff .

GenObata makes these amazing sets of photo cards starring Lilly the cat in various vacation spots. They make me smile every time I look at them.

Felicia has a cat lovers' section in her Maid of Clay shop and if you click on her sold items you'll find a whole slew of kitties who have gone to deserving homes. The faces on these cats (and all her animal creations) crack me up; you'll find yourself clicking on certain ones and letting out an audible, "Awwwwwww!"

... And here's one live cat for this edition of Friday Cat Blogging. The taiko, or Japanese drums, we play in our group, Arashi Daiko, do sustain some damage from living in a climate that cycles between dry and damp (Japan is consistently humid year-long). One of our group's members, Manon, has been avidly learning about taiko making for the past couple of years, and has been graciously repairing our drums. Last week-end she took home an okedo that had cracked, likely from the dry heat in the storage room, and her cat Fripou was giving her a hand. He's especially handy with his nifty opposable thumbs. Go ahead andclick on the image :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Whenever I have a craft show coming up, I think of how great it would be to have a photo album of my work, in case customers would like to see more of what I do. Up until now, I've never gotten around to actually doing it.

And then just awhile ago I read about an idea in the Etsy forums, of making a photo book of your work, a catalogue or portfolio of sorts. I went online right away, to look for a book maker. And here's the finished product:


Some chiyogami pieces

Other jewellery

Craft shows and my work space
To print my book, I had decided to go with Future Photo, since I wanted to support a Canadian company. Although everything was easy to set up and my book was fun to make, I'm sorry to say I would not recommend ordering from them. You may not be able to tell here, but the photo quality is poor and inconsistent. When I received my book a couple weeks ago, I contacted them to let them know I was not satisfied with their product, and they promptly ordered another one for me. I assumed that since a complaint was made that they would be sending me an improved second version. Not so. I now have two books that aren't so hot, but at least I won't be so stressed at losing them or having someone walk off with them at a craft show.

I am going to try http://www.blurb.com/ for the next one. I've read great things about them, and wish I had found them first! Oh well, live and learn.

My second cup of coffee awaits...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


After the white balance revelation yesterday I tried to take some photos of some chiyogami earrings in progress this morning, but they are all hilariously blurry. Using a white balance adjusted camera means having to press down on the shutter longer, and I am a bit of a wiggly photographer. Plus, I cannot seem to stop laughing while taking photos today. So you may have to wait awhile to see the fruits of my "discovery"...

It was my birthday last week and I didn't post any birthday photos, did I? So here I am with my birthday cake at taiko (Japanese drumming) practice last week-end with Arashi Daiko, my second family. If you click on this photo, you'll note youngest member, Calvin, staring intently at the cake.

And... this was my 9th birthday party in 1976. That's me holding Barbie on a bicycle (easier to see if you click on the pic). Roxanne is holding Olympic Ken, whose head, at some point, I stuck in the boiling kettle spout to see what would happen - his hair and eyebrows peeled off , but they were just painted on anyway. And no, I can't remember why I did that. Probably the same reason why I hacked off another Barbie's hair - and just so you know, a pixie cut is a no-no for Barbie since her roots look like hair-plugs.

The only boy I invited was my cousin, Mitsuo, in the white shirt in front, who is also a taiko player in Alberta, with Edmonton's Kita no Taiko. I was the only girl at his party that year too.

Coffee is almost ready and then back to work...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Manual, schmanual!

I hate reading instruction manuals and I admit I don't usually do it. I've gone through my life grudgingly skimming through booklets for the bare essentials on how to set up electrical equipment and luckily for me now my husband is a cover to cover manual reader. I did read the manual for my precious French press (stop laughing) coffee maker, which told me to wash it before use. I can handle that.

We bought a digital camera in 2005 before my first trip to Japan and although I didn't take the majority of photos on that trip, I've been the main camera user since I've been setting up my Etsy shop, taking pics of my jewellery and cards. I've really enjoyed developing my own photo-taking style (so to speak) and experimenting with different backgrounds and layouts.

Some people have even complimented me on my photos. I usually give credit to the camera's macro feature, absolutely essential for taking crisp pics of small objects like jewellery, or details on larger items.

When my computer crashed last month, I discovered when my photos were recovered (phew!), that I had over 6,000 photos of my jewellery and cards alone, and almost 4,000 other photos taken over the past 3 years.

10,000 photos taken and I had never read the instructions on how to properly work the camera.

Now, if you're taking pictures to post in your Etsy shop or online somewhere, you may have heard about the all-important "white balance" so that the colours in your photos are represented acurately. I've been wasting time and energy, manually adjusting the colour of my photos, when all I had to do was set the white balance to correspond with the lighting I'm under - or do a custom setting.

Here are some bracelets I've made over the last couple days, the first shot with no white balance adjustment.

And here's the second with the proper white balance.

Yup, this is the real colour of the background paper and the bracelets. Umm, could someone slap me please? Maybe slap me with the camera instruction manual.

I'm very tempted to go and reshoot so many of my photos of my Etsy shop items. I don't think I will do all that (maybe just some), but my future pictures will be better than they have been.

So all this to say, learn to use your camera's features to bring out the best in your work. Photos are the way that internet customers can get a true feel for your work, without being able to touch it and/or try it on.

It took me a few thousand photos to learn this lesson - please don't wait that long ☺

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Could it be Spring?

Just a quick little post on a lovely Sunday, since I've tended to be a Monday to Friday blogger.This was the situation on Friday afternoon - we got a couple inches of wet, sloppy snow.
This photo was when it had just started.

... And this morning, Sunday, it's 6 degrees (Celsius), yay! So sunny and the birds outside are chirping like mad. We've yet to put in our window screens, and JF found Ebi in a prime spot soon after he had opened the window.

Chibi is a much smaller cat and I nearly had a heart attack when I saw her leaning half her body over the window ledge to get an extra sniff of those sparrows two floors below. Needless to say the window is now closed and our screens are going in today after we wash the windows!

Looks like it might be the start of spring. Maybe.

JF went out today so I have the entire afternoon to myself :) I'll finish up some chiyogami earrings from last week and get started on a new batch of pendants, since I have a craft show next Sunday. First things first, off to make my second coffee of the day!

Friday, April 4, 2008

This and that, and a wee bit of Friday Cat Blogging

Got my order of shipping supplies a couple days ago and today I'm waiting for a sterling silver order from Indonesia. I love looking at all my lovely little beads and findings when they arrive, although I'm always shocked at the customs fees and handling charges that accompany such orders. Even with all the extra fees, though, it is still less expensive to go directly to the source in Bali than buying them here in Canada, and definitely worth it since the silver is so beautiful.

Now that I've reserved Fridays for cat blogging, I don't have anything to say about my cats.

Well, I do have this photo of Ebi trying to look small and cute in a Uline delivery box when my order arrived the other day.

To mark the winter that is ever so slooooowly leaving us in Montreal (still hanging on!), here is my brother Doug (Dougie, back then) pulling me down the street in 1972 or so. The mounds of snow we had this year were the norm back in the '70's. In the spring, Doug would sometimes ride me to school on his bike and ride right into the schoolyard to drop me off, and my friends would be so impressed at my big brother (some said he looked like Bruce Lee - heee!). Maybe I'll turn this into Friday Cat and/or Family Blogging.

And I love my little map from whosamung.us (see right hand column, just under my profile). So much fun to see who's been reading your blog - I've had readers from all over the US and Canada, and in the UK, Finland, Poland, France, the Netherlands, Japan and Australia! Try it out, it's free!

Ok, gotta be heading off to the post office soon and then working on some jewellery for the day. Taiko practice tonight ☺Have a good week-end!

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Yippee for orders that arrive a day after ordering them!

Now that Uline has a warehouse here in Canada I can order shipping supplies at great prices and the shipping fee to my home ends up being reasonable too (helps that our dollar is still pretty high). Yes, even receiving orders of shipping supplies makes me happy. You can see Chibi likes the boxes too.

I was particularly excited because I wanted to try this out... This little slab of cardboard is the solution to what, up to now, has my biggest shipping problem.

Since I’ve been selling online, I’ve been shipping many of my jewellery pieces in a cotton-filled jewellery box inside a bubble mailer. Very secure, looks good, and easy. Rather costly for me though, and shipping is pricey for my customers since Canada Post considers any parcel thicker than 2cm a parcel. Crazy but true. They charge a flat rate of $6.45 anywhere in the US and between $7.80 and $8.20 internationally, for a small jewellery box in a 4"x8" envelope. And what makes even less sense, is that it’s even more expensive to ship to many parts of Canada – my own country ($11 to Vancouver)! Sheesh.

I recently switched my earrings and chiyogami pendants over to just bubble mailers, thus reducing shipping costs on those; I was envisioning frustrated, unionized mail carriers jamming them into tiny mailslots, but I'm careful to wrap them well before putting them in the envelope, and all is fine so far.

I’ve kept my sushi pendants and larger necklaces in the jewellery boxes though, for the added protection, until this piece of cardboard... that folds into this wonderfully flat cd mailer. ♫♪ Ta daaa ♫♪
And when folded up, it's all ready to address and send. All this protection and 1.2cm thick - take THAT, Canada Post! There are a couple things, like my taiko (Japanese drum) pieces, that are too big and will have to continue to be shipped in a jewellery box and mailer, but I am thrilled that I can now use these for the majority of my jewellery pieces. I have peace of mind that my things will get to their destinations safely and the customer pays less in shipping. A win-win situation ☺

If you'd like to try these out yourself, you can find the cd mailers at Uline Canada and Uline USA .