Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Art of Innovation

I read The Art of Innovation book. Tom Kelley talks about how people innovate. One example he mention in the book is about redesigning grocery cart in 5 days. How? They sent people to the grocery store and observed shopper behaviors. At the end of 5 days, they came up with grocery cart with removable hand baskets within the cart. explains innovation as:
1. Something new or different introduced: numerous innovations in the high-school curriculum.
2. the act of innovating; introduction of new things or methods.

As a person who used to work for Arthur Andersen Business Consulting, I'm always challenged to innovate. How to make things better, cheaper, faster.

So when I read this book last year, it just click to me. How can I innovate? How can I make things better. So, I challenge all artists, designers, business owner, anyone... the next time you design, make a thing, ask yourself a question. Do you innovate?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Valentine's day something sweet and naughty gift idea

Still can't decide what to give your sweetheart for Valentine? How about this? A little naughty and sweet? It's a sugar affair!

Lacie started her hobby because he couldn't find a cake she likes for her son's birthday. A SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of 3 boys decided to bake one herself.

She loved decorating cakes so much that she started doing friends kids cakes and family cakes and it branched out from there by word of mouth. Then she got into decorating cookies. " All my cakes and cookies are custom; from shape, designs, colors used and flavors".

To learn more about her cookies and cake, you can contact Lacie at A Sugar Affair website.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Valentine's day gift idea for moms: Reminder bracelet.

Who is she? She is of the most important factor in my designs. She is the inspiration for the reminder bracelet.
Around this time last year, in the cold Wisconsin weather, she was born with Jaundice. I have go wake up every 2 hours to breastfeed her... For the next few weeks, "sleep deprive" was my middle name. When hubby asked me, "When was the last time you fed the baby...." I was speechless. I couldn't remember a thing... I need to innovate a tool to remind me.
We created a reminder bracelet.

Here's how it works.

The bracelet is like a clock on your wrist. There are pointer beads (to point 12,3,6,9), hour beads and minute beads with 15 minutes increments. In this picture, four cube beads at the beginning of the bracelet represents 12, 1 bead represents 3, 2 beads represent 6, 3 beads represent 9. You can move the time marker or the charm accordingly. The charm could represent anything you want.
Because there's no numbers on the bracelet, you can wear it as a designer bracelet, while you are keeping track of something. I wore mine beyond nursing, just because it's beautiful. Great gift for moms or grands.

To learn more about how to use this bracelet as a breastfeeding reminder bracelet, please visit
"Nursing Bracelet How To" or you can visit my homepage, and click on Nursing Bracelet for more bracelets...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Introducing Klaudia Rosalia

I met Klaudia Rosalia Al-Halawani from I believe she has the most creative idea in working with felt. When people mention "felt", the first thing pop in my mind is hat. Rosalia, however, she took the felt out from the box. She made bracelets, decorative items, dolls, sculpture... Here's a bit of our conversation:

BigiB: Can you tell me more about yourself?
KR: My name is Klaudia Rosalia Al-Halawani and now it becomes funny: I am also an Architect and I have two children (9 and 13 years old). Two years ago I opened my own studio where I produce, show and sale my crafts. It is not far away from my house and so it is easy to me to handle children and work and I can plan my time how I like.

BigiB: When did you start and why did you choose your medium?
I started wet-felting 12 years ago. When my children was very small I used to make them toys, dresses, shoes from felt. Now I use to create other things from wool how you can see in my shop.

Also I give workshops in schools, kindergarten and also in my studio for adults and children and I create Waldorf-dolls and fairies for the seasonal table.
Still now I am fascinated how easy it is to create unique items: I need just wool , olive soap, water, my hands and much time. The felt is like clay: if you know the way of felting you can bring it in any form you like.

BigiB: What would be your next project?

KR: My next bigger project is a garden exhibition in this summer. I will show there sculptures from felt. It is a very interesting show with other artists. I have so many ideas but my time run always away for all these little things which you have to do when you have family (even if I will never miss them)

To learn more about Klaudia Rosalia store, please visit

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Valentine's day jewelry gift idea

How can a piece of metal sheet turned to a "Capture my heart" necklace? Well... add 2tsp of creativity+ 2 tsp of finesse +2 tsp of passion and.... voila..!
The idea inspired from Santiago Calatrava's Milwaukee Art Museum. It's one place I love to visit during summer other than Summer Fest. A piece of metal sheet is cut, then pierced and domed. The heart is made of PMC (Precious Metal Clay). PMC forms like a clay, my daughter says like a playdoh, but a very precious playdoh. Then after PMC is formed, fired and cleaned, it turned to be a pure, 99.9 silver. Then I put the heart in the center of the metal sheet, sandwiched between the "cable". The heart is floating. If you shake, it moves. The pendant dangled on 49 strand nylon coated silver plated steel wire.
To learn more about this product, please visit http:// store. To get a direct link, please go to

Monday, January 21, 2008

Valentine's day pampering gifts idea

It's snowing now... may be 4-6 inch. Tomorrow morning, I have to wake up and shovel the snow... Hmm don't you think it would be nice if I could snuggle up and pamper myself... ?

Talking about pampering, I met Jussara through Etsy, owner and creator of Spa Therapy Works.
She has been making her own skin products for over 16 years. "Having a massage therapist/esthetician as a mom, the desire to work creating products to pamper, relax, and rejuvenate for an at-home spa just came naturally, and so Spa Therapy Works was born" she said. To guarantee the freshness of the ingredients, she only work in small bathes. "Only pure essential oils (most of them are organic) and high quality fragrance oils are added to my products. Organic dried herbs, clays and spices are used to add color and exfoliation".

Here's one of the product I found that surely will pamper your Valentine.

To learn more about her spa products, you can visit

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Packers VS Giants Game today...!

It's -3F this morning and about just -18F wind chill. It's bitterly cold where I could feel my face is cracking and my ear is freezing. The good thing is, today is Packers VS Giant game at Green Bay. So, I have an excuse to stay inside, cuddle in front of our TV.

Which reminds me about my trip to Door County, which is just a hour or so from Green bay, last December. We stayed at Sister Bay (Scandinavian Lodge) where we met John and Kathy from Joe Jo's Pizza, John and Diane from Ellison Bay Pottery, Claire from White Gull Inn and John Mayberry for a sleigh ride from Lautenbach's Orchard in Fish Creek.
We were there with 2 kids. We did some activity at Hands On Pottery, which is great activities with children. Other than meeting new friends, we enjoy the quietness of Door County and great views.

I will tell you more about John Dietrich and Diane McNeil next time. In the mean time, enjoy the picture I took in snowy Door County and keep warm...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Custom Hand Stamped Round Sterling Silver Necklace

I met this very nice lady at Brookfield Market and More last Summer. She was inquiring on my personalized necklace, whether I would do a custom order for her. After few emails, she decided to order one for her mom surprise birthday gift. Since I won't be at the Brookfield Market and More before her mom's birthday, we decided to meet at V.Richards.

The minute I parked my car, I saw another car pulled over next to mine. I saw a lady with a cute hat, having a great conversation with the person who sits in the passenger seat. I stepped out the car and met them. It's Georgia and her mom! They really impressed me. They are the most fun, loving mother and daughter I've ever met. I had the best conversation with them. Then, she let her mom went to V.Richards so she won't find out about her surprise gift. I made her a round sterling silver disc with custom hand stamped names and birthstone.
She's very thrilled. She even left me a message about her mom who really loves the necklace in my voice mail! Thank you so much Georgia. I'm glad she liked it.
I wish I could meet them again... just to have a nice chat. Hey...I still have her email...

Pearl First Communion Bracelet Custom Name

Few people already ask me about First Communion or Baptism Bracelets. It has been one of popular items I made especially during March-May.

It's made of fresh water pearls, sterling silver spacers, findings, strung on 49 strand nylon coated steel wire. You could also put a custom name, custom birthstone or just a plain bracelet with cross charm. The sizes would range from 5"-6.5". What is so special with my design that I always use extender and lobster clasp, which would add security and flexibility of the size. To learn more, you can contact me or visit my website at Free first class shipping in the US when you order online. Locally, you can find my bracelets at Whimsikidz - Elm Grove.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Something New

New Year 2008, new resolution. In addition to my own website,, I decided to start a blog. What will I talk about? Well, these are the topics I have in mind so far: jewelry, art finds, gifts, innovations. How about this for a start?

Buy Handmade
visit my bigib store at etsy