sihayadesigns: (Me: Illustrated)

TL;DR: my shipping is running 2-3 days behind schedule as we continue to deal with the fallout from the Ellicott City flooding disaster. Our house was, as expected, affected by the floodwaters.

For more information, please visit the Sihaya Designs facebook page:

We saw our house.

By way of more information, the basement took on 7 feet of water. The backyard is TOAST. We no longer have koi. God bless the lovely, now-demolished fence that saved the deck from a six foot thick tree trunk.

We don't know what's going to happen with the sale. There's a lot of info that needs to come in. I am still committed to buying if it's financially feasible, but Jason is pretty shaken up. I expect he'll be slow to make any decisions, although I've made my own thoughts clear. We'll see.

We did go to get eyes on the house yesterday to meet our new potential neighbors and bring them cold beer and cookies, much appreciated after a long slog day. Hearteningly, they were all totally not panicking. They were working together to clean up, and due to the way our unit was built, no flood, even this one, ever touched the first floor of any of the homes. It was all very "yeah, this happens sometimes, although this is by far the worst." Everybody was very calm, and had a "let's get this done" mindset. Which is one I admire and share. They told us about past floods that had affected the houses up the hill, the most recent of which was Irene in '11, in which the basements took on some water but, well, they had time to prepare and it wasn't the so-called "storm of the millenium" that happened Saturday night for which there was absolutely no warning.

This week, the bank is going to assess repairs, and we have early signs that they will be paying for them. Which is good, because honestly, if they didn't, that'd be game over and they'd have to start all over again with folks who are NOT as invested as we have been. After repairs, we will have to do a second round of inspections.

So. My heart is still in Ellicott City. I share the non-panicked realism of the locals. I want to move there and help people rebuild. I might not get that chance if Jason objects and decides he does not want to deal with the reality of living on a flood plain. IDK what happens then, in a lot of different ways. I guess we'll see.

Side note: please do not tell me what you would or would not do in my situation. It is not as helpful as it is intended to be. It only stresses me out and makes me testy. We're the ones with eyes on the situation, and will be making our decisions once we have gathered all of the relevant data. Thanks from the management.
sihayadesigns: (True Blood: Terry & Lafayette)
So. Ellicott City. The town we are (were? not sure yet) buying in. It's basically gone now.

Ellicott City Gets Rainfall Expected Only Once Every Few Hundred Years

This video was taken by the husband of the woman who owns Still Life Gallery, who was to carry my work.

A massive storm & resulting flood took out most of main street. These photos are 1/4 mile down from the house we're buying. It's utterly horrifying. All of the places we love are gone. One person has died, two more are missing. The photos of the wreckage look like a movie set, not a place I have spent so much time.

We won't really know the status of our home until mid-week. We might be able to get eyes on it before then, but obviously, there needs to be structural checks done. I keep telling myself that it was built in the 1800's and has a solid rock foundation. It survived Agnes and can survive this. But I've only been able to see pics from a few blocks up from us (totally fine) and a few blocks down (cars piled up on top of each other). So it's really anyone's guess.

Jason and I are just... kind of in shock. The rental company we're currently with has already started to show our unit pending our moving out at the end of August. If we can't buy this house, I don't know what happens next.

Going back and forth between numbness and crying jags. The cynical part of my brain says, "well, at least this is where rich, Republican-voting people live, so Hogan will be more motivated to care." He's already declared it a disaster area, and has requested FEMA assistance. Rebuilding will be slow, and many of those buildings may have to be torn down.

I really need 2016 to knock it the fuck off.
sihayadesigns: (Me: Illustrated)
Last night I posted 45+ new items, and they're all included in the sale until Sunday night!

Strigidae in Quartz
sihayadesigns: (Sense8: I lost a flip flop)
Right now, my life is a bouquet of stress. Many different varieties of stress.

1. My little brother got married this weekend. It was a pretty good trip, despite the long, long, long hours in the car, and the fact that there is nothing my digestive tract hates more than traveling. Doubly so now that I've been on a relatively low-carb diet for two months. All of the rich/carb-y food of traveling/the reception have been wreaking havoc on my stomach. Not to mention, it cost us $500 to travel to the wedding. I was glad I went, but we are buying a house right now, and that's $500 I didn't really have.

2. Did I mention homebuying is expensive? Jesus christ. And the paperwork. The paperwork has given Jason a whole swath of new grey hair. We are going through a CDA loan because it gives us an extra $5,000 towards closing costs. Unfortunately, CDAs are bonkers. We have had to file paperwork to certify that money transfers from one spouse to another do not constitute "gifts," but rather "here's my half of rent/BGE/Verizon/etc." They are going over all of our finances with the finest of fine tooth combs.

3. Our being away apparently threw the cats into tailspin. Nox puked everywhere. Olive poo-sploded the second we got in the door (which was not later than her usual bathroom time). Mim developed an acute UTI, and we have a vet appt for her at 4:30. She's currently unhappily chilling out in a crate with a tiny little litterbox, and peeing tiny dimes of pee every five minutes. I caught it relatively quickly-- the behavior started about two hours ago-- but still. More money. At this point, I am resolved to never again leave the house, because inevitably, one of the cats requires a vet visit within 48 hours of my return.

4. It's a good thing I had a sale pre-set to go and began advertising it last week. So far, it's been modest, but assuming I can actually get some work done this week amid a stream of constant interruptions (not even exaggerating a little), I will be putting up 40+ new pieces and that should be nice money if some of them sell.

movingsale copy

20% off of everything at Sihaya Designs, and 20% of all candles at Sihaya And Company. Yes, there are deals for combined shipping if you want candles AND jewelry. Yes, there are deals for combined shipping if you want earrings tonight and a pendant on Friday. Details are here.

5. I also had to unexpectedly buy a new computer battery & charger, because mine straight-up died last week. JFC, I feel cursed.

6. In the realm of cool-ish news, last week, I was dealing with the kind of insomnia that left me greeting the sunrise. So instead, I channeled it into a project: The Black Tapes Mysteries Resource. It was really neat when The Black Tapes tweeted it out to their followers. I've gotten a fair readership in a relatively short time.


I think that's all that's fit to print. I desperately need a shower, so I'mma go do that before I lose my ever loving mind. Or cry. Crying is becoming more and more of an option.
sihayadesigns: (Magic: Luna)
Hey all! Since I'll be moving in the next two months, I'm going to have to suspend custom work very soon-- only temporarily, though! In the meanwhile, I'm having a 15% off sale for all custom wings at Sihaya Designs!

Design Your Own Wings Sale
sihayadesigns: (Star Wars: Han omg!)
My favorite coffee shop in all the world. A French café. Two chocolatiers. A wine store that carries Crabbie's. Artists' studios and shops that carry local artisans. A well-reviewed hair salon. Sushi. Tapas. Tacos. Amazing crab soup. Walking trails. High tea. A comic book store. A farmers' market. Yoga if I decide to learn. Awesome womens' clothing stores. Monthly celebrations that come with free drinks and discounts. Outdoor movies played on the sides of old buildings. Antique shops as far as the eye can see. A three-story fairy-themed store. Outdoor theatre. Pure Wine Café's chocolate pot de crème, which is potentially my favorite dessert of all time.

All within easy walking distance. In one of the most haunted towns in America. That has BEAUTIFUL tree-lined walks that are especially amazing in Autumn.

Y'all, we're moving to the promised land.
sihayadesigns: (Magic: Luna)
I haven't written much lately because I have been SUPER BUSY. Yesterday was packing day for all of the Sihaya & Co. Summer boxes, I just finished a big wholesale order for Twig the Fairy, I'm starting another for Faerie Mag, and it's wedding season, so we've had a different nuptial-related thing to do every weekend for the last few.

But. News. Exciting news.

The bank accepted our offer on a house we REALLY WANTED. If all goes according to plan, we will be moving to historic Old Ellicott City by summer's end.

The house is a 1/2 mile walk from all of my favorite places: my favorite date spot, my favorite coffee shop, a teahouse that specializes in high tea, and tons of little artists' shops that could carry my work. Oh, and a wine store. :)

We still have to do inspections/closing/etc all that jazz, but house is honestly so great. Doesn't look like much from the outside-- it's a townhouse built in the 20's, and the front could use an update. But it's 3 br, 2 bath, brand new carpet (which, sadly, we'll probably end up pulling up-- in my studio for sure, but likely in most of the rooms within a few years because there is hardwood under it that just needs to be refinished). The bathrooms are teensy, but one has a tub WITH JETS. It does lack closet space, so organizers are definitely going to be necessary for my studio space. But the backyard? Has a giant, new-looking deck and a frikkin' KOI POND.

I seriously cannot wait to live in a place a) that I love, b) where I can walk to things (!!!), and c) where I can grab a hot latte and ogle really pretty Autumn leaves and historic buildings.

sihayadesigns: (Magic: To the surface)
First up, BIDNESS.

Sihaya & Company Summer Box


Arcana Perfumes & Soaps will contribute an exclusive 5ml perfume oil.

Cherie Anne Designs will contribute a 2 oz package of her famous glittering tea! She creates teas that actually glitter in your cup using special sugars. Truly magical!

Dreaming Tree Soapworks will contribute a duo of moisturizing delights. The first will be a 2oz lotion in one of her best-selling scents, and the other an exclusive tinted lip shimmer balm!

Leesha's Lacquer will contribute an exclusive full size thermal color-changing nail polish! Themals are like mood rings for your nails!

Merle Pace Arts will contribute a trio of art cards (with envelopes) for all of your note-writing needs!

Sihaya Designs Jewelry will contribute a piece of magically-inspired hair jewelry.

I'm also releasing SEVEN candles for pre-order, which can be ordered individually, or added to a box purchase. Scent description under the cut. )

In other news, I just got back from Spoutwood. Three days of intense vending work, dancing in the rain with Transcendence, being damp and cold, and hanging out with Charles Vess, Twig the Faery, and the Faerie Mag crew.

Twig the Fairy in her Sihaya Designs Faery Wing Earrings

Twig in her Sihaya Designs wing earrings.
She's fan. SQUEE.

The Inimitable Charles Vess

The inimitable Charles Vess and Stardust.

Pics of me/ my makeup / my outfits under the cut. )

As for the festival itself, I was so busy, I didn't see too much of it this year. The weather was damp and cold, so I was swathed in many layers of wool by the end of it. I danced Transcendence's sets barefoot, midriff out, on two days where my breath fogged. I was very grateful to not have camped for the weekend, and for the small mercies of a hot shower and a warm bed at the end of the day. This year's roommate was Lisa/Trinket, and it was good fun getting to know her better.

As for purchases, I kept them spare, because mama is on a financial planning budget. I got a small rune pendant and two growlers of ginger beer.

Favorite food addition: hands down the grilled cheese place. They had one called the Mad Dash that was AMAZING. Cheese + ham + apple butter + mustard. It doesn't sound like it'd work, but it worked SO WELL. I also got my annual Busy Bee glittery cupcake.

This was definitely a year that it felt more like work than fun for me, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I made money. That's good. I strengthened friendships and business contacts. I tried to handle frustrations gracefully, with varying degrees of success, but that's a post for another day.

Overall, it was what it was, and it wasn't bad. Just-- some what dampened.

This week going forward is custom orders & getting unsold talismans on the site. And then making more!
sihayadesigns: (Default)
Everything currently in the shop is 20% off until Sunday night. There will be a small update next week of stuff I made for vending but have not yet photographed.

Spring Sale

Otherwise, I'm hard at work on the new Faerie Mag stuff that needs to be delivered next weekend. Being sick for almost a full week has put me seriously behind, so I'm hard at it!
sihayadesigns: (Autumn: Autumn's blooms picked)
It is a moody, foggy day, and the woods behind my house are particularly beautiful.

Woods in Winter
sihayadesigns: (Magic: Flowers on her collarbones)

...and now I will ease up on the promo.
sihayadesigns: (Default)
So, thanks to [ profile] kita0610, this is a thing I am doing:

There are former LJers who would like to return, but their friends lists have been deserted.
Let's all welcome them back with open arms and show them that LJ is very much alive!
sihayadesigns: (Default)
I have been a busy lady. Juggling an 80 pc wholesale order for the mag, my own custom orders, and getting Sihaya and Company off the ground. I have a really awesome group for our first box, Soft Awakening.

Sihaya and Company Spring Box

After some consideration, the box is going to be full size and demi-sized products. I know this drives the cost up, but for a 4x a year box, I'd just rather not deal with single-use samples. My idea has always been an indie-focused version of the Popsugar box, as opposed to, say, Birchbox, anyhow. Half of the stuff I got in my Birchbox ended up in a drawer anyway.

Pre-orders start next week. I'm a bit nervous because I don't know what to expect. On one hand, I have amazing brands I am really proud of involved. On the other, $75 is not an insubstantial chunk of change for a lot of people. So I guess we'll see.

In non-work news, there's not much to report. We hibernated through the snow storm. My brother is flying in from Hawaii this weekend, so I get to see him. And also try on bridesmaids dresses, which I'm less thrilled about, because I just don't want to face my winter weight gain yet.

But overall, things are good. Knock on wood.
sihayadesigns: (Default)
Sihaya Designs Earring Club

Check out the details at the Sihaya Designs Facebook Page or in the individual listings on Slots are limited!
sihayadesigns: (Default)
Be forewarned, there are lots of spoilers under the cut.

sihayadesigns: (Default)
A Winter Sampler

It's got stocking stuffers and fancy labradorite! (And it's going fast.)

sihayadesigns: (Magic: Luna)
Whoo. SUPER busy weekend.

Thursday was the day of Two Dinners. One at my mom's, and one at Jason's dad's. I ended my day feeling like Jabba The Hutt, shamefully waddling home. I ate way, way too much. The day was pretty uneventful, except for my nephew running-full speed and faceplanting into a credenza. Scared the piss out of me, but he got up with a swollen face and a cut on his cheek. Thankfully, no concussion, which I fully expected, considering the force at which his face struck. Children are resilient, man.

On Black Friday, Jason and I went with [ profile] twelvepetals and her wife Jen (and their cousin) to get a little Christmas spirit. After a truly tasty brunch at Atwaters and some shopping at Belvedere Square Market (truffles, plum and vanilla bean preserves, triple ginger muffins), we headed to Valley View Farms to gawk at all of the Christmas displays and pick up some decorations or our house. There were lots of pretty things to look at, omg. If we didn't have animals, I would 100% carpet my home in glittery poinsettias. Ended up grabbing LED candles for the mantle, some peppermint ornaments, and a slew of hot chocolate mixes. After that, it was on to the Amish market, where we picked up cheeses, apple bread, and other sweet treats to stock our pantry. It was a good day of pumping money into the local economy and small businesses.

Saturday was PACK ALL THE ORDERS! day. I've been having a Black Friday - Cyber Monday sale, and it is going well. I spent most of my day chiseling down a mountain of orders. Jason took five XL grocery bags of packages to the post office today.

Yesterday, I got to work making new stock (and some custom work). I'm selling so well at the sale that my stock is running low, especially on wirework necklaces. I'm vending on Thursday, so I need a few fancier pieces to show. So it's nose to the grindstone to get some new shinies done. I need a full day to make tags, hooks, and general prep, so I only have two more days. Gotta get to it.

I bought my tickets for A Longwood Christmas next Saturday. Very excited.

In the evenings, Jason and I watched Jessica Jones. We're alllllmost through the season, and MAN I have lots of things to say about how the villains are essentially different aspects of toxic masculinity, but I'll save it for when I'm finished the series.

But for now: more work.
sihayadesigns: (Default)
Candles, labradorite, moonstone, earring wardrobes, Sylvan Leaves, the lot of it!

On Ice Cyrstal Pendant to start packaging the preorders!
sihayadesigns: (Default)
1. Nox started eating again, hallelujah. We're not entirely sure what it was that finally broke his hunger strike-- in the past month, we took him off chemo (which doesn't generally make him nauseated, but seemed like a good idea), started a stomach-coating med 30 mins before mealtimes, put him on (and then weaned him off) an anti-nausea med, and started an appetite stimulant. Nothing had an immediate effect, but regardless, earlier this week, he started eating again! Our plan is to hold to our current regimen for another week and then see if adding his chemo back in changes anything. I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off my chest. I wish to god we knew why this happens every Autumn.

2. Special Effects, maker of the best crayola hair dyes in the world, is experiencing another one of their production hiccups, and they've been out of my regular dye for MONTHS. I am officially out, and my roots are kinda bananas. So. I guess I'm going to have a purple-to-pink ombre for awhile. Honestly, I really would like to do teal, but at this point, I don't think I could strip enough pink out to get a nice teal going, so. Meh. I was thinking I might try Punky Colors, but all of the reviews say it's got a 2 week bright stage in the hair... I've gotten spoiled by only having to do my hair every 5-6 weeks. I'm just not willing to do a touch up every other week.

3. I just bought supplies for my winter run of candles. I let people vote on my company FB page, and I'm doing preorders for my friends. I don't actually make much profit on the candles, but I like making them. It's a fun creative exercise. Part of the lack of profit is because I do my own scent blending, rather than just adding one pre-fabbed fragrance to the wax. So each blend I do usually has at least 3 notes in it-- all of that adds up. Plus the glossy labels and the candle glitter... but they are super pretty. The blends that I'm making for sure are:

a) An evergreen and ice blend - something that smells like cold air whipping through a snowy forest.
b) A rich, sensual spiced amber. The idea came about from the "candletime" idea that I've seen floating around social media in response to holiday madness. It's all about taking time to snuggle up with candle light, a mug of something warm, and a good book. My brain translated that to rich, spicy resins.
c) Santa's Visit - cherry pipe tobacco, a burning hearth, and subtle tree notes.
d) A classic garland-- a realistic tree scent with spiced pomanders and some cranberry notes.

There's also a secret blend I'm working on partially as a joke-- I came across a fragrance oil called "ESSENCE OF JESUS" that made me go "ohhhhh myyyyyyyy," particularly as it's composed of notes one would usually find in pretty sensual blends. So I'm going to make a VERY limited number of candles in the vein with frankincense, myrrh, precious spices, and a little bit of a vanilla patchouli base to round it out. I've sold 7 already in preorders, which means batch one will have 5 left. I suppose if I like it enough, I can always rename it and add it in.

I also got some other notes to do experiemental holiday blends... I'm envisioning a roses-and-pinecones scent, but I've been having a hard time finding the right rose for the scent I'm envisioning. I want a really crisp, greenery-fresh rose note like PBSW's Roses In The Snow or BPAL's Rose Red. I swear, I have sniffed at least 10 rose scents in my search. And they're all very nice. They're just not... the one.

ANYWAY, the 8oz candle tins are going to sell at the usual $11/each, so if you're interested in a preorder, LMK. I'll make the greenlit candles at the end of next week, to ship Thanksgiving week.

4. Speaking of Holidays... I am going to be that person that puts their tree up way too early this year. We're decorating this weekend. I need the light. We're also planning a trip up to Valley View Farms sometime soon, not that we need any new ornaments. It's just a tradition. That, and a meal at Atwaters, yumm. Jason also really wants to go up to see the Christmas display at Longwood, which looks really nice. I've never seen the holiday display.

5. I'm not sure how big the Sihaya Designs holiday retail collection will be this year, but I've started working on it. It'll be the usual mix of stocking stuffer earrings, earring wardrobes, and fancy wirework. At least, it will if I can power through this weird wire slump I've been in for the last few days. Everything I've made has either looked like a uterus or a Very Fancy Penis. Paging Dr. Freud...
sihayadesigns: (Default)
Jason and I got back from Salem last night around midnight. Much more successful attempt at a vacation than this year's trip to the Outer Banks. There were a few down notes, but overall, a good time was had. The trip. )

Most of my pictures from the trip are up at my Instagram! Holy cats, we did a lot.

As for other goings-on:

-- I made it to Faire once this season. I had a better time than expected (since I've been in a weird headspace lately), and it was nice to not be scrambling from one show to the next. Mostly, I wandered. It was exactly what I needed, along with good times with fun friends (Jen & Laura).

-- I attended a Witches' Tea Party at [ profile] damejenn's, which was EXQUISITELY decorated. The refreshments provided were well-chosen and delicious. The company was delightful. I made fun cupcakes. Again, pics at Instagram.

-- I've been working on getting a handle on my situational depression and anxiety. I only had one anxiety attack the whole time I was in Salem. Part of that was knowing that the kitties were in excellent hands. Abby is a godsend. But Nox is a bit thinner than I'm used to seeing him, and he's due for a vet appointment in a week, so I'm trying to manage the anxiety that comes from that. We had a great snuggle earlier today, and he's still eating, even if he's being a super fussbutt about it. Good thoughts appreciated.

-- The next two weeks are going to be mostly me completing the next FaerieMag order. It's smaller this month, probably because they ordered so much stock last month that they're still working through. This batch is mostly holiday stuff, and, for the most part, not as work-intensive. Which means I might be able to put out a small holiday retail collection this year, huzzah.

-- Transcendence is headlining the All Seasons Hafla on Sunday!
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