Friday, May 27, 2011

Ume the Happy Onigiri

I'd like to introduce you to another one of my kawaii friends, Ume the happy onigiri pendant.  Ume (pronounced oo-meh), is a tiny rice ball who dreams of being a famous explorer.  She spends her days reading about Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, and Ferdinand Magellan.  Poor little Ume is scared that like Magellan, she may encounter hungry humans who will want to eat her.

Ume has no legs and feet, so she slowly hops along, hoping to see the Eiffel Tower, the pyramids of Egypt, and the Great Wall of China.  So far, she's only been able to see them in picture books *sigh*  She hopes that one day, someone will adopt her and she'll get to fly first class mail on the USPS jet.

If you want to hang Ume around your neck and show her around your neck of the woods, you can adopt her here:  Food with Faces Orphanage

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cute or Cruel - Dyed Animals?

Lately, I've been obsessing over cute animals.  I came across this picture of Pikachu Cat and my first though was, "OMG I want one!!!  Brad may be allergic to cats, but he'll get over it.  I can even train it to say 'Pika!'"  But look at the poor kitty's face :(  This is no fierce, lighting bolt shooting, Pokemon Battle Stadium championship fighter!

"Mew, mew, I am a Pikachu!" - Pikachu Cat

Is it humane to dye your pets?  Are animals vain?  Do they know or care how ridiculous they look?  I'm sure that other dogs at the park look at Teenage Mutant Ninja Dog and say, "Duuuuuuuuuude, get some self respect."

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Dog.  Ewwww.

Here are more pics of rainbow colored animals:

Dog that has been dyed to look like a Panda.  This is pretty cute!

Remember, a pink butt is better than a brown butt.  Especially if you're the one who has to give the dog a bath.

Pepto Bismo cat.  She still gets hairballs *sigh*

Sherbet Sheep.

Bunny dyed with photoshop.  


Monday, May 23, 2011

In Honor of my Friend, Mochi Bunny

A tribute to one of my best clay friends - Mochi Bunny

Mochi Bunny Key Chain is stuck on you!

Brad sometimes teases me that I've "sold out," making pieces that sell well rather than the ones I want.  To a certain extent, this is true, and I'm okay with it.  I am a business owner before I am a crafter.  However, with a small lull between shows, I thought I would focus a little more on those items which I would buy myself.  My favorite piece is, and always will be, Mochi Bunny.  Why?  Because I am a sucker for bunnies.  Check out these other cuties I found on the web:

Fainting bunnies!

Kawaii bunny!

I'm coming!  I'm going to get you!

Vanilla latte bunny.

This bunny needs to drink vanilla latte bunny.

Impostor Bunny!

Cute on the outside, naughty on the inside . . . just like Brad.  So this is Brad bunny.


Prototype to Finished Product

The most commonly asked question we get here at the Bit of Sugar studio is, "How do you make that?"  While our policy is not to share any proprietary information, we did think it would be nice to show you how a product evolves from an idea into a finished product.  The idea to create a life savers ring started with the first commercial in the clip below:

The first step was to buy a roll of life savers as "research."  I must have gained a pound from sucking on life savers all day!

We initially thought we could buy hundreds of life savers, make molds from them, and then cast the life savers from resin.  Nope, nothing is ever that simple.

We bought many, many rolls of lifesavers and not a single one was perfect.  They all had little bumps, ridges, scrapes, etc.  Ewww.  So not jewelry quality.  Using a real life saver to cast a mold was sooooo not going to work.  Also, as you can see in the picture below, it was not going to fit the ring bases we stock:

Hmmmm, what to do?  Buy another 1,000 lifesavers and hope to find one in perfect condition?  Print a super-duper expensive 3-D model and use that as our master?  Spend hours and hours sculpting the perfect replica in the perfect size?  Well this part is a secret, but I can tell you that any of those options work of you are willing to spend the time and money.

This became the first prototype and also happened to be my 2011 Valentine's Day gift:

But it still wasn't perfect.  The color was washed out and the resin was cloudy.  So Brad tinkered with it over and over again until he came up with this:

As you can see, the color is MUCH richer.  I used a flash in the picture below and you can definitely see how clear the resin is in the final version of the ring.  The prototype's surface is not perfectly smooth, and you can see how the light refracts, creating a cloudy appearance. 

More shots of the initial prototype versus the final product:

Total time it took for this ring to develop from an idea into an actual piece of jewelry:  5 months

Monday, May 9, 2011

Faux Cupcakes Now Available!

We're super excited to announce that our faux cupcakes are now available online at

Cupcakes are $8 each, and we do have bulk pricing discounts available on orders of 20 or more.

Our cupcakes can be made into paperweights, photo holders, or hanging ornaments.  A couple of cupcakes sitting on a cake platter brightens up any desk! 

Faux cupcake photo holders

Super kawaii cupcake paperweight - I love pink strawberries!

Lemon colored cupcake base with grapefruit pink frosting.

"So what do I do with these cute little confections?" you ask?  Well here's just a short list of idea:

  • Name card holders
  • Favors for weddings, showers, graduation parties, birthday parties, etc.
  • Paperweights
  • Ornaments (we can make lightweight versions) - hang them from drawer knobs, door handles, Christmas tree, or your rear view mirror
  • Decorate a platter of cupcakes on you coffee table, kitchen counter, desk, etc. - so pretty!
  • Gift card holder (my favorite) - it's always nice to have a small gift to open :)
  • Photo prop

Friday, May 6, 2011

Islandwide Expo

As our fellow craft fair addict friends know, the spring Islandwide Expo is one of the hottest events of the season!  Caroline Infante  and her daughter Esme go through great efforts to make this a festive event, and it was great to see everyone's booth dressed in spring decor!  While I was only at the fair for a few hours between Kawaii Kon shifts, I did manage to snap a few pics:

Aunty Mel decorating our candy tree.

Cupcake photo holders and paperweights were a big hit!

BIG BIG THANK YOU'S! to Mama Tada and Papa Tada for stamping receipt books, making our little pink jewelry pouches, cutting our handouts, helping with beading and chains, setting up, breaking down, and working your butts off for all three day of the fair.  We really, really couldn't do it without you!  I bet you never imagined your retirement to be filled with so much pink fluff :)

- Aunty Mel, Uncle Harry, Mel S., Tiffany, Jorie, and Jennifer - thank you so much for taking time out of your busy lifes to help and support us.  We are forever grateful for all your hard work!  But the next time any of you try to actually pay for your items, we're going to make you eat it.  And trust me, clay tastes like bland poop (which I suppose is better than flavored poop . . . not that I've ever had poop).

- Mia and Allen from Sweet as Sugar- Thank you for the wonderful crack cake pops!  I swear I'm addicted to those things.  It was the perfect pick me up after having to break down two booths :)

And last but certainly not least, thank you so much to the Infante Ohana and Pauline Worsham for all the publicity we got in the Star Advertiser and the local news!  We couldn't even dream about buying that kind of press.

Time to Breathe

Brad and I just finished up two 3-day shows at Kawaii-Kon and Islandwide Expo and that meant two full booth setups, twice as much inventory to make, tag, inventory, and twice as many hours to staff.  And despite a couple bouts of nerve rash and 2-3 hours of sleep a night, it was THE BEST WEEKEND EVER!!!  We made so many new friends, reconnected with old ones, and met a bunch of uber-talented deco sweet artists.

Costumes are my favorite part of Kawaii-Kon!  This is the cutest Minnie Mouse I've ever seen.  I feel the compulsive urge to giver her a big hug :)

If you couldn't guess, I'm a big fan of the sweet lolita and hime gyaru looks.  If I were a few years younger, I'd be rocking a pink wig with Sailor Moon balls myself. 


 I love the goth lollie, Victorian look as well!  I didn't get her name, but she sewed this dress herself - so talented!

I'm glad to see the fluffy tail trend that I spotted in Japan a year ago has made its way to the US.  I really wanted one of these, but I think if I wore it,  it might look a little creepy-old-lady-still-trying-to-be-a-little-girl.

NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN NYAN!  Translation:  A few random things I spotted at Kawaii-Kon:

I nyan'ed for 200k seconds! 
This classic was stashed in a corner of the game room and got no love :(   Can't beat old school classics like Super Mario Brothers 3, Bubble Bobble, Duck Hunt, Zelda, etc!

I have no idea what this means - anyone else know?

NemuNemu booth.   I got my Nemu hat!
Love Bunny, I love you.  But if I brought you home, the other stuffed animals would be jealous.

 Now what the heck is this?  Sugar and cream and napkins and stir sticks?  What is this crap?  Well I LOVE condiments and was particularly taken with the extensive condiment selection and presentation.  Condiment porn, it's a Lei thing. 

Trina and her brother Timmy have been involved with Kawaii-Kon since the Ala Moana hotel days and really helped answer the gazillion questions we had late last year when we were trying to figure out where we fit into Kawaii-Kon. 

Trina, Timmy, Brad, and I at Trina's birthday slash Timmy's going-away dinner at Aki No No.

And finally, a big THANK YOU to my mama who came over to my "studio" to work 15 hour days, worked every hour our Kawaii Kon booth was open, and even agreed to pose for our somewhat-embarrassing mother's day ad!

Yes, she's my mother, not my sister.

And more thank you's, hellos, and notables (in no particular order):

- Cindy and Sam for bringing us yummy red velvet cupcakes (my favorite) on Saturday!  We met this super-sweet mommy/daughter duo on Friday night and by Saturday, we were trading cupcakes and phone numbers.  Special people like these two are few and far between!

- Our wonderful neighbors from Jellies - For the Horde :) 

- Chris M. and Ron K.  - I haven't seen these two guys in forever and had no clue they were such leaders of the local anime conventin community!  It's was so great to reconnect and see how well they're doing. Seeing them made me reminisce about karaoke, shooting pool, and Ron's wise words that cigarette-damage was reversible so long as I smoked less than five years.  (For the record, I quit a looooooooong time ago - yay!)  

- Leslie (Tokyo Trends), Jessica (Sahchan), Lauren (Ki75un3), and Jasmine (mizmatchedstar), and the super-sweet couple from Kauai whose names I didn't catch - it was so great to meet such talented deco sweet artists!  I'm loving the boxes, rings, earrings, hairclips, etc. that I got from you guys!

- Angelo - Tanks ah, brah.  Your ad and graphics stay solid.  Peeeece den!  *throws up my symbols*

- Dealer's room staff/volunteers - thank you for always checking on us and asking if we needed food, drinks, etc.  Hope you guys enjoyed the Peeps :)

- Other vendors in the Dealer's Room - thanks for all the tips and info on how to work the shipping/logistical end of things!  I think we're going to give it a go in 2012 and do some west coast conventions. 

So what's next for us in the anime/comic world?  We've already reserved our booth in the 2012 Kawaii Kon Dealer's Room, and we'll definitely be a vendor at HEXXP, a local anime/J-pop/Japanese pop-culture event 9/1 - 10/1 at the Blaisdell.  We hope to see all of you there!