Sunday, May 29, 2011

Patchwork Indie - Santa Ana

As much as I love making and selling earrings and other items, I have found that there is a point at each event where I sort of wish I was done, because it's hot and I'm tired and I have been sitting in a booth for 5 hours and I want a change of scenery. This point never lasts long, but it has happened. However - at today's Patchwork Indie Arts and Crafts Festival - that moment never happened.

I got to the space at about 8am. I circled the block probably 4 times before I figured out where to pull in the truck - I have officially moved up in the world of vendors, I now have enough set-up to warrant borrowing my husband's giant truck instead of being able to use my Yaris. I set up what I could, moved the truck, and then waited for Wi and Ken to bring their soaps and lotions for set up.

The wind was a bit of an issue - twice my new cabinet fell all the way over, taking and breaking my mirror and lightbulb in my new lamp with it. But it wasn't anything a football field's worth of 50 lb test fishing line couldn't handle!! I tied earrings to lamp, lamp to easy up, cabinet to easy up, and weighted everything down with rolls of duct tape. By the time the wind came back in the afternoon, everything just swayed slightly. woohoo!

This event seemed WAY bigger than the Long Beach one. Maybe it was because it was mostly set up in one narrow road, with a few parking-lot offshoots of vendors, or maybe it was because I was pretty close to bathrooms and a food truck and so saw more traffic - but it did seem like there was a pretty steady stream of people, dogs, and strollers going by.

I have finally started tracking what items I'm selling, because I'd like to track over time to see what trends exist for what shows. I am a little surprised at how quick my bottle-cap-resin-magnets are going!! I am almost out, and will definitely need to make more.

I have to do a little sidebar here and make a comment about how AMAZING it is that people actually stop to look at my items, and then like them enough to buy them. Part of me is not totally surprised - I think they are neat, or I wouldn't make them - but it is a totally different gratifying feeling to know other people think so too. It is especially gratifying when people who saw me at the Long Beach Patchwork show came back to my booth to buy more - or people who found and liked my page on facebook choose which earrings they want to buy and then come to the show to get them. It's a really humble feeling, and is the most encouraging one in the world.

Here's a photo from my perspective in the booth, while people perused my table...

One of the contributing factors to my not having that ready-to-leave-feeling at this event was the people watching. I have to say - there were SO MANY CUTE PEOPLE at this show. I have never seen so many adorable boots in one place before in my life. People were fun and funky looking, it was obvious that the majority of what folks were wearing were handmade, and everyone was smiling and really seemed like they wanted nothing more than to be walking down this sunshiney street in Santa Ana looking for more handmade items to buy. The street itself was cute - beautiful and richly colored homes behind us, and Bowers Museum one street over. There seemed to be an abundance of pregnant and stroller pushing mama's, and a lot of little kids. That was fun too - my earrings and magnets are bright and were at the perfect level to catch 6 year old eyes. Some of the best conversations of the day were with the kids who came to ask about crocheting.

I always like to showcase another booth in my blog after an event - and this time is no exception. This particular booth was right across from me, and I spent the whole time getting distracted by her brightly colored fused glass pendants. They are beautiful, and with a name like Sunny Scarlett, she deserves a comic book, not just a mention in a blog post. But here she is, and here are a few photos of her work:

if anyone wants to buy me a present, I want that tree pendant!!!

I wasn't ready to pack up with 5pm rolled around. It was a blast, and I am jonesing for the next Patchwork Indie.

I'll leave you with two more photos - one of the traffic jam of vendors trying to get out of the show at the end...

and this one I saw on my walk back to the truck at the end of the day.

Friday, May 27, 2011

2nd Petite Flea Market rundown!

This is a long overdue blog post, but it's been a busy week!

On May 22 I got up super duper early, loaded my stuff into Wi's car, and we drove to Costa Mesa for the 2nd Petite Flea Market at God's and Heroes Hair Salon. I had no idea what to expect - it was a last minute invitation to participate, and it all felt sorta spur of the moment.

The location was in the parkinglot in the back of this pretty nice looking building, and it seemed like the majority of the vendors were all set up already.

I have officially done 4 sales, ever - 1. Good Vibrations Homeschooling Conference in San Diego, 2. Backyard MY backyard, 3. Patchwork Indie LB, and now this one. The 1st was a big conference with a sale for a few hours. The backyard bazaar and Patchwork are both handmade-items (for the most part) - but the Petite Flea Market is definitely like art sale + swap meet...which I guess is what a flea market is.

There were probably 15-20 vendors, and only about 5 of us had handmade items. Of those five, 3 of us had jewelry. There were also a lot of vintage items for sale.

Here is a picture of my little set up...complete with earrings, handbags, ceramics and more...

I didn't have much of a chance to leave my booth, but did get to talk to the sellers next to me. Of course, Wi and her yummmmy bath and body works was sharing a space with me...

And then I met Dianna Agzour, who had a variety of jewelry for sale. She had a lot of smaller necklaces and pendants, but of course the one that caught MY eye...

If you look closely, you can see that all of that is hand-wired. Crazy!!! I grabbed her business card, but there is no website to link - so I'll just let you know that if you want to contact her, email her at

On her other side was Francis Frank, who makes striking feather earrings.

Here's a close up of one of her pieces

Annnnd on the other side of Dianna, a super friendly Kim Wistos was selling aprons and other accessories! No website on her card either, but her email address is

So I had a pretty good day - it was collllld at the beginning, but warmed up for the last part of the day. I did okay sales - and made enough that I got to buy this fantastic item, that had caught my eye at the beginning of the day...

If you are coming to the Patchwork Indie show in Santa Ana on the 29th of May (THIS SUNDAY) you will get to see this awesome lamp in action, as my brand new earring tree. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

2nd Petite Flea Market

Hi there folks,

Just a quick little update - I was just invited to be at the 2nd Petite Flea Market on Sunday in Costa Mesa. Check it out - it looks like fun, and I'll be there, so come by! Say hi!

new room set up

It's so nice to make things and have people genuinely enjoy them. I have to say - that was one of the best parts about the Patchwork show was just seeing people look at my earrings, and hearing how adorable they are. I work hard, ya know? It's nice when they are appreciated.

It's especially nice when someone goes above and beyond to take the time to appreciate them - they were mentioned in a blog! Blithe and Bliss bought a pair of the tie-dye earrings and then posted about them. Talk about warm and fuzzy feelings.

Yesterday I didn't have school or work, just one big long lazy day. I read a few chapters for my final on Thursday, did some crocheting, and then MOVED FURNITURE. I wish I had taken before photos, but you'll have to settle for these after ones.

I am super stoked - my husband and I live with one of our best friends in a 3 bedroom house in Los Alamitos. We have the master bedroom, The Guy has a smaller room, and then the 3 of us were supposed to share the 3rd for an "office." All 3 of us had computers in there, and I got the closet for my art supplies.

Well, DH and The Guy are super, super, super, crazy, ridiculously, obsessively involved with computer games. They play them constantly - it is a team game, so their brothers, friends, and friends' brothers are also playing. All day long I hear the voices coming through their speakers and headphones. They are about 1.5 hour long games, with you can usually tell when the end is near because they get louder and further away from a G rating.

DH and TG have their desks next to each other, and then I had mine in there as well. It has my school books and notebooks and filing box. It also has my business cards, envelopes, and stuff I have for mailing out my handmade items. It is a useless piece of furniture - because the boys are ALWAYS in that room and I need a little more quiet and a little less explosion to study. Also, we frequently have friends over who use my desk to, you guessed it, play the same computer game.

I've sort of relinquished that space, but realized I needed my own. So yesterday I moved all the furniture around in our bedroom to make room for my desk! I brought that in, and organized my earrings and the whole set up. I am so excited to have my own space!!

I am very excited - it has room for my textbooks up on top, my embroidery floss hanger, my earring holders, and even has actual desk space to work on.

Now the guys can have their gaming room, I have my craft/study room, and we can meet in the middle in the living room. hehe.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Patchwork Indie - Long Beach

Well, I survived my first Patchwork Indie Arts and Crafts Festival!!! It was a great experience, and I have so many things on my to-do list to accomplish before the Santa Ana one.

My day started with waking up to RAIN. RAIN RAIN RAIN. Luckily, I had packed the car up the night before, but I was still not looking forward to an entire day outside trying to sell soggy items to soggy people. My mom met me at my house and we drove to the store so I could get change and candy, and then we headed to the Marine Stadium! By that time puddles had formed, but the actual downpour had stopped, and never came back. We were setting up in a parkinglot right on the water, and there were big beautiful clouds and gusts of wind all day - the sky was blue, the sun was out, it was gorgeous.

Everything I have fits into my little Yaris (the advantages of selling earrings and not - you know, furniture or something) and so it didn't take my mom and I very long to get it out. Set up did take longer than I thought, mostly because I had never done this before and wasn't really sure how I wanted things. I was sharing a booth, like I'd mentioned before, with Wisalya Bath and Body, and so it took us a minute to figure out the joint set up. They were both super friendly and helpful though, and shared their expertise with me.

The event itself started at 11, and within a half hour I'd made my first sale. I have to say, I was incredibly nervous about whether or not I would make any money at this event. I didn't have a chance to leave my booth, really, and so I don't know what sort of other vendors were there, but several people mentioned that they had not seen anything like what I was selling. Phew!

Wisalya was doing constant business (her product really is amazing, buy it!!!) which meant that I got to talk to people all day long. My mom, dad and sister brought me a burrito from one of the many food trucks that was at the event, but that was really all the outside contact I had! haha. A few of my friends came by, and I ran into a few people I knew but didn't know would be at the show. My favorite moments were the times when little kids would come up and ask me about what I was doing (I was making earrings while I was sitting there) and I would get to teach them about crocheting.

By the time the event was done, I was pretty exhausted. I had a very unique sunburn on one shoulder, and I was ready to drink a gallon of water. Packing up didn't take that long, and I was out of there by 6. Like I said, I have a whole list of to-do's for the next show -

1. I'd like to make my table taller
2. I'd like to make a better Royaboya's sign
3. I'd like to get a short table to go on TOP of the current table so I have another level for ceramics
4. I need to find someone who can stay there the whole time with me (my mom had to leave at 12)
5. I need to make more stuff!

In the end, the event paid off and I was really glad I did it. I hope to continue to be invited to more and more events like this, because it was a blast, I loved meeting people and getting the experience. I hope folks who met me at the event do find me on facebook so I can keep in touch, because getting to talk to everyone throughout the day really was the highlight of the event for me.

THANK YOU to everyone who came out - special thanks to Sean and his family, Sea-Farin' Aaron, Bam Bam and Caitie, and my mom, dad, and Rosie. Thanks to my aunt and uncle Julie and Tim for letting me borrow their table, and thanks again to Wisalya Bath and Body for letting me share their spot!!!

Friday, May 13, 2011


I have just started using facebook for Royaboya's Beautiful Useables, and I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has visited and "liked" my page so far.

So I am having a drawing for 1 free pair of earrings to say thank you!!

Here's how it works:

1. Go to my facebook page

2. "Like" that page

3. Find your favorite pair of earrings in my photos, "like" that pair

4 Do this by Friday, May 20th

5. I will choose a winner randomly out of the people who like BOTH my page AND a photo of a pair of earrings.

Make sure you do it by Friday, May 20th! Spread the word! THANKS EVERYBODY!!!

new earring tree

When I was little, I remember my Uncle's garage being like a treasure trove, full of cool pieces of furniture and train parts and all sorts of things I wasn't supposed to play with but I wanted to explore and crawl all over. I was a destructive little kid, which is probably why I didn't spend that much time back there, but I do have some vague and very cool recollections of his collections.

Today, he is taking this furniture - mostly from a farm in Iowa, and turning it into really wonderful handmade wooden picture frames. He calls it "You've Been Framed" and they were featured at my Backyard Bazaar. My favorite frames are the ones that aren't painted, but are distressed wood. They are made from antique wood, and it's really neat to own something that a)was made from something other people may have thrown out, and b)has a history, and c)is handmade by someone I am related to.

When he started making his frames, he asked me to come help him set up an etsy site - and his daughter, my cousin, was making rings and selling them too. It was so much fun to have this in common! We started talking about my earrings and I mentioned I didn't know how to display them... and last night I got delivered to my doorstep this amazing earring tree! It is made from antique walnut from a farm in Iowa, and I LOVE IT. So THANK YOU SO MUCH Uncle John. It's beautiful, and I love it. I will be taking it with me to the Patchwork Indie festival because it's perfect to show off my earrings! It's a work of art in and of itself! I will take better pictures later, but I was so excited that I wanted to write and post immediately!!!

Last night in class I drank coffee at about 9pm, which was a mistake - because then I was up til about 2:30am working on my earrings. I'm a little weird feeling and zombie-like this morning, but hopefully will stay awake long enough tonight to go home and make even more!

I just looked down at my hands while i was typing and realized that I am wearing 3 handmade accessories and I am very pleased with that. I am wearing earrings that I made, a ring that my cousin Becky made, and a ring that my friend Dani made. It's like the feeling I get when I eat food that I grew in my garden - it's so nice to know where it comes from!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sunday Funday

Having a little bit of a rough week - staying up just a little too late, and then waking up just a little too early... I need to get some real, deep, quality sleep soon. I also found out that I did not get either of the 2 scholarships that I applied for, so I am feeling a little discouraged about that. It makes my selling my items even more imperative to be able to afford grad school!!

The Patchwork Indie Arts and Crafts Festival is coming up on Sunday. I have about 90 pairs of earrings, some coin purses, bags, beanies, and some ceramics ready to go. I am still working hard on making more earrings though. I recently got some tie-dye embroidery floss and am making new earrings with that! They're fun. :) They also remind me so much of my mom, and every homeschooled mama that gathers at conferences and camp outs.

So this Sunday - Patchwork Indie. I am sharing a booth with Wisayla LeBlanc who was one of the most popular sellers at the Backyard Bazaar. She sells lotions and soaps and her lip balm is one of my favorites.
I also just found out that Long Beach's fantaaastic Independent bookstore, Open, will be there on Sunday as well. So make sure you stop by there, and my booth - #128 also!!

The other photo in this blog is just me as a little kid. I just found it and it makes me happy, so I thought i'd blog it. That's all. The end!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

more earring photos

A few photos of my newest earrings. I'm going to be working on a neato earring showcase for them - I was at Michael's last night and just randomly ended up on the Styrofoam aisle (I did not know there was a styrofoam aisle, but there is) and saw this awesome book about gluing, cutting, and painting that freaky substance to make it look like ruins or stone and stuff. Sooo I purchased a few slabs and I am going to try my hand at that tonight!

pictures from ceramics today

Spent most of today at the Irvine Fine Arts Center, throwing cup after cup after cup! It's been a very long time since I have thrown that much...I have to admit, my right wrist is a little sore. My form's not so great anymore apparently, because it shouldn't.... It was a good day, I went through about 2 plugs of clay, and managed to just barely have enough time to put handles on them all!

I would like to start saving up for my own wheel and kiln. Boy oh boy wouldn't that be amazing...

Friday, May 6, 2011


Hi there world, it's frrrriiiday! I have had such a weird sleep schedule this week, that all I can think about it "yay, I don't have to wake up early tomorrow." Except - I am planning on going to the Irvine Fine Arts Center early in the a.m. to do some throwing. the IFAC is the very first place I ever did any ceramics work on the wheel. We went with my Girl Scout troop when I was about 12 years old. I remember being so excited to do this - I've always loved mud and clay - and I was so excited that I put a very full bucket of water on TOP of the wheel, and then pressed the foot pedal. The water flew EVERYWHERE. I was so embarrassed. Try #2 went much smoother.

The next year I enrolled in the ceramics class at Cypress College, where legendary Char Felos was teacher. Ceramics was one of those things that came as easy to me as breathing. I remember the 1st week we were learning to center, and Jim, an advanced student would come up behind me as soon as I got it, and "thump" the clay off center. He'd do this again, and again, and again - and I really think that's how I learned to center so fast.

They called me speed-demon (because of my love of throwing with the wheel going way way way too fast), copper-girl (because of my, uhm, enthusiastic use of copper powder at the beach firings), and I loved it. I grew up there. I was 13 when I started, and stayed there for years. Maybe 8? I ended up getting my first real job at Laguna Clay Co. thanks to one of the Cypress lab techs. I also ended up working at the Cypress Studio as a lab tech for one semester as well. They gave me a key to the ceramics lab. I remember throwing by myself in the studio til 2am.

I remember it in texture - how slimy lotion felt after a day throwing clay, the buttery feel of Southern Ice (drool-worthy porcelain from new zealand - translucent at cone 5), the cold gray taste of soldate 60 (how do you think air gets into bottles to make them expand?), the heat of the firey backlash from the raku barrels, the grip of the tongs when I was loading the raku kiln, the cold gritty glaze up to my elbows when I was mixing them in the big trashcans...

It's where I learned to love Tom Waits, Bob Dylan and Sarah MacClaughlan. It's where I learned how to journal thoughtfully. It's where I learned about ideal communities and personal responsibility.

I haven't seen many ceramics folks lately, although we have been reconnecting through facebook a little bit. The best friend I ever made there just had a baby, and it blows my mind. The last time I saw Char was at Jon Danner's funeral. Danner started the same semester I did, and we shared a locker for much of the time. He was one of my mentors - and could throw the largest sized vessels of anyone I knew. He married another ceramic student, and they had a baby boy. Danner always asked me to sing Adia, and made me one of my favorite tools (a sponge on the end of a long stick. haha. yes). When I arrived at the church for his funeral, his wife laughed and choked and said "oh Roya, you got big!"

Anyways. Ceramics was a huge part of my development and how I became who I am. There was a long time when I had a hard time doing ceramics anywhere else - after Char retired I was just SAD anytime I was in a ceramic studio that wasn't hers. It's been years now, and I can enjoy going to the Irvine Fine Arts Center - because I still do love the actual hands-in-clay-making-cups-in-stuff process. But there was nothing like Char's class, and never will be.

And now, for your viewing enjoyment - a picture that has nothing to do with ceramics at all (I did not make the cup in the photo). A cup full of earrings!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

new earrings!

You know, I finally got to the point where I have just as much taking and editing the pictures as I have making the actual earrings! I really think my photos have come a long way... since...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Upcoming craft fairs!

I am really excited about one of the unexpected results of holding my Backyard Bazaar - I have started networking with other local arts/crafts folk, and that has blossomed into more opportunities for selling!

I am going to be at 3 upcoming arts and crafts festivals! THREE! Super excited.

First - I'll be at the Patchwork Indie arts and crafts festival. This looks like a big one :)

I'm sharing a booth with Wisayla LeBlanc, who makes gorgeous and yummy handmade lotions and soaps. She was at my Backyard Bazaar, and I am really thrilled that she invited me!

The second one I am having a booth at is the Splash into Summer Boutique, happening locally in lakewood!

I'll keep you posted on my preparation for these two exciting festivals, I can't tell you how excited I am to be a part of this!