Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hip Buckles from Gunslinger Studio

Just had to share a couple of Rogér's really cool belt buckles! He etches the copper to get all kinds of intricate designs.  Similar buckles made an awesome personalized gift for our groomsmen :)  More buckles will be available soon at  You can also order custom!

This tiger was one of three wildlife designs.

Custom buckles for the founder of The Clarity Project

Rogér made these belt buckles for Shane Rogers, founder of The Clarity Project.  The Clarity Project designs and fabricates jewelry using only fair trade diamonds and reclaimed precious metals.  Profits from The Clarity Project are invested back into mining communities,  providing education, mentoring and nutritional support to African mining schools.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Almost a Year Since we Adopted Ronin

I was helping move my best friend's sister into her dorm room last winter when I got the call about a horse that had been abandoned and was in desperate need of a home.  I'd been thinking about getting a horse.  It was more like wishful thinking, really.  I rent a house in a little suburban neighborhood in San Jose.  I have a yard the size of four office cubes, and we were already the proud parents of a 3 year old myers parrot and a 2 year old catahoula (a large, athletic dog that is meant to live on a rural farm and have a real job).  We had our hands full.  "Well, he probably won't live more than a month if he doesn't find a home." my friend was telling me over the phone, "If you want him, he's yours for free, but we'll have to go up tonight to take a look at him."  Tonight?!  I rushed home to grab Rogér and my friend who had called about the horse.  We drove to Sunol that night and hiked a big hill to find the tall, bedraggled mess of a bay thorouhgbred horse.  He was skin and bones, but he was sweet natured. 

Rogér with Ronin a couple weeks after we got him

He was supposedly 8 years old.  There were no papers. The rules I know about horse trading are: 1) The horse is never as young as the seller says it is, 2) Don't buy a horse before you try riding it, 3) Make sure the seller gets on the horse before you do, 4) Have the horse checked out by a vet before you purchase, and finally 5) there's no such thing as a free horse.  Of course, I disregarded pretty much all of these!  I made the call the next day that I would take him.  Turns out, he was only about 41/2 years old (What?!), which I found out thanks to the helpful people who keep their horses at Indian Hills Ranch in Milpitas.

It took Ronin a long time to put on weight.  We did a lot of slow exercise to build up his muscles.  For the first few months I didn't even put a saddle on him because I didn't want him to have to carry the extra lbs.  Here we are almost a year later and I can't even believe the difference!  He looks great and he's doing great!  We've also been taking lessons which is really helping me to become a better rider and helping Ronin learn what's expected of him.  He's turning out to be an amazingly good horse and he seems to be pretty happy in his new environment :)  A very gratifying success!

Rogér with Ronin about a month ago

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What's New with Bloem

Well, I'm working on getting my own business up and running.  I'm not the most savvy business woman so I'm basically plowing forward one step at a time.  Here's where I'm at with that;  Got most of what I need as far as the name, next step...applying for a business and resale license.  I'm giving myself until the end of November for all of this.  Maybe it's the engineer (my real job) in me that makes me way overthink the entire process, but I get a little confused by what steps come first.  That's why I've tried to make use of the Chamber of Commerce (Campbell, CA) nand the County Clerk's Office. Also been to a couple SCORE seminars.  All of this is very helpful.  I also forget sometimes how helpul a phone call can be, especially when you are feeling overwhelmed by all the information on the internet.

On a more fun note, I took some time the other day to update my invitation portfolio.  It was fun to display the invitations that I've worked on :)

I'm in Love

Last year I discovered what is now my favorite resource for creative materials.  It's called the East Bay Depot for Creative Re-Use and it has all kinds of scrap/used/salvaged paper and craft stuff!  You can buy paper by the inch (stacked) and find book bindings, fabric, beads & vintage jewelry.  It's fantastic and (I'm sorry to say) I don't know of any other place like it.  If you do know of other places that are devoted to reuse of craft materials, please post!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Custom Handmade Bachelorette Party Invitation - Jennifer

This invitation was on my workbench for quite some time and I couldn't wait to post it!  (I had to wait until all the invites went out)  It's one of my favorites so far. Sophisticated, yet fun.  Purple sparkle vinyl paper. Hand-cut girl silhouette with rhinestone and embossing detail.  I think it's the perfect "Glamourous Girls' Night Out" design. I never make the same custom invitation design twice, which ensures each of my clients gets something unique and special to them....but....If you like this one, I can always come up with something equally as fabulous for your special event.  Convo me through my Etsy store, bloemdesigns.

Bachelorette Party Invitation - Style# Jennifer

Style# Jennifer - Detail

Yay! New Camera!

I'm so glad we finally got a new small camera!  We tried to take our broken Cannon Elph to a repair shop here in San Jose, Kamera Korner. They seemed nice enough and knowledgeable, but the thing is, there's a $30 minimum to start, then you sign a waiver saying you will pay up to $125 in repairs, before you know if it can even be fixed!  Sucky.  Anyway, we decided the risk was too high and we went a bought this camera at Best Buy for $119!!