Whoa. Another blog post? But it hasn’t been a year since the last one! Ha. Ha. Ha.
(The Blue Box Blogger has a terrible sense of humour, if you haven’t noticed.)
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, September 21, to be precise, the Blue Box Nerd (yours truly) had another outing, this time attending the Baggins Birthday Bash, a yearly gathering of Tolkien fans in the greater LA area. Since it was to be attended by fellow Tolkien lovers, I figured it would be clever to bring along what progress I’ve made on my Company of Thorin Oakenshield Project, as well as any other Tolkien inspired pieces, including a gorgeous piece of marra mamba tiger eye that immediately reminded me of the Eye of Sauron from the moment I first saw it.
Rather unexpectedly, news came the day before the event that Sala Baker, the actor who played the physical form of Sauron in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies (as well as a number of other “hero” orcs) would be in attendance! Awwwweeesome.
Turns out, Sala is quite a cool dude, who happily chatted about art and why he thinks it’s important for actors and entertainers to give back to their fans. And, most exciting, he loved the Eye of Sauron piece and was pleased to wear it for our photo together. (You may notice that despite being the physical embodiment of the Dark Lord Sauron, he is, in fact, shorter than the Dwarf I met back in July, a fact which amuses me endlessly…)
Many, many thanks to Sala Baker for being awesome, as well as the other Tolkienites I met and chatted with at the Baggins Bash!
First things first, yes, the Blue Box Blogger has been utterly failing to keep you up to date on the happenings in the Blue Box, but since the Blogger is also The One Who Makes Stuff, I dare say the making of stuff is more important than the telling of stuff? Right? Maybe?
Anyway. We're still alive, still designing, still making, still selling. And boy have we been busy!
A couple of important things of note have occurred of late. First, Blue Box Imaginarium has partnered with Bee Loved Florist in Santa Paula, CA, which means you can now see our work in a brick and mortar store! Hurrah! If you're local (or semi-local, or just in the area visiting), stop by and check out the shinies as well as the lovely flowers.
Secondly, we're trying to have more in-home jewelry parties! If you are interested in hosting one, let us know via the contact form. While we would currently prefer semi-local areas (the Greater Los Angeles area, shall we say?), if we're travelling for a show near you, we could possibly arrange something for the same time.
Speaking of travelling for a show, that's our third big thing. We've been branching out a bit more with our shows; in October we'll be headed north to Seattle, WA, which should be fun. Earlier this month, we were at the rather epic Fantasy Con in Salt Lake City, UT, from whence comes the title of this blog post. (Beware, LOTS of geekery below the jump.)
This is day 2 for Blue Box in Tucson, attending JOGS and the various other gem shows held here throughout February. No, we're not exhibiting, but we're checking out sources and picking up supplies.
When I first started reading up on JOGS, I was flummoxed as to why any show would run for two weeks. Now that I'm here? I'm amazed it doesn't run longer. There are SO MANY different shows all happening at the same time; it would take two weeks just to walk through each one, much less stop and see things and buy stuff!
As it is, we've done the main JOGS show and picked up some rough - a few Ethiopian opals that look like decent quality (great fire!), some blue amber, and some more larimar. My most exciting moment was when my larimar supplier looked at a piece I'd brought to show him and immediately said, "I'll buy this back off you." Uhm, yeah! So I swapped him the piece for more rough, and we've discussed possibly doing more such trades since he gets people asking him for wire wrapped pieces. :-D
Today we're off to some of the other shows, hoping to find more rough stones rather than finished jewelry pieces. We got pointed to a few places to check out in particular, so those'll be first on the list.
Now I'm wishing we had more time, but alas, heading back to Cali tomorrow. Perhaps next year we'll stay longer!
(Other news: Signed up for another Creation Entertainment convention, which'll get posted on the Events page once I've returned to Cali and am not all JOGS-ed out!)
Hard to believe we're already to the last day of 2012, innit? It's been a bit of a crazy year here, what with our first convention, and our first outdoor show, and... oh yes, the really big first.
Our first Hearts for Haiti donation!
Thanks to you wonderful people, Blue Box Imaginarium has just sent off a check for $180 to Faith and Love Orphanage! It seriously took me a ridiculously long time to decide where to send the money, where it might do the most good. While I love the JCC and Bonite and the Art Creation Foundation for Children, this year I felt that perhaps F&L didn't get quite as much attention and love as those other two organisations, so for this year, they got the whole lump sum. If things expand and do better next year and into the future (as I most certainly hope they do!), I'll probably rotate who gets the donation, or possibly even have enough to send a reasonable amount to each one! Wouldn't that be lovely?
Anyway, that's the big news, the most important news. Everything else is just extras!
Wow, I've been such a slacker on the whole blogging thing. I would say I'll do better, but... I can't promise that.
However! I can announce some big news for the Blue Box. A couple of things, actually.
1) You may have noticed that our web address has changed slightly. Booyeah, BlueBoxImaginarium.com is active and is now our own domain. (Okay, I actually find that kind of terrifying.)
2) If you are in the SoCal area, I invite you to stop by the Camarillo Santa's Village Holiday... thing... after the annual Christmas parade, on December 8. Why? Because we'll be there, of course! It'll be a great time to get some holiday shopping done, and there should be lots of other fun vendors around as well. I'm not sure what time the parade begins, but Santa's Village is set up at the end of the parade route and will be open from 10 AM until 4 PM. Come visit! It'll be awesomesauce.
3) Not exactly a Blue Box thing, but I've just come back from two weeks in Africa, Tanzania, to be precise. It was a fantastic trip, even if I didn't manage to find any tanzanite lying around. I was helping teach English to students at a teacher training college, which was quite an experience. While I was there, I managed to find a few (hopefully interesting) agates that I'm looking forward to cutting open. The whole trip was amazing and sparked a few new creative ideas that I'm excited to try out in the ol' workshop!
I think that's about it from here; there's been lots of work done on geeky things this summer (Marvel's Avengers ftw!) as well as lots of progress on the Hearts for Haiti project. As of right now (if my head math is correct), the Blue Box will be donating nearly $200 to one of the groups I was working with in Jacmel, Haiti. That, my dear friends, makes me so happy. I haven't decided whether all the money will go to one group, or if I'll split it amonst all of them, so if you have an opinion, drop me a line.
'til next time,
March has been surprisingly busy for me here in the Blue Box, both profesionally and personally. Three main points of excitement, though -
1) Supernatural convention in Burbank. That was a blast; not only did I get to see some old friends, I met lots of new ones as well. It was fantastic getting out and seeing people from all over and getting some new ideas and inspiration, along with great advice from some of the other vendors.
2) As of yesterday, I've started posting items on Etsy, hurrah! You'll find us here. Please be lovely and share that link around to anyone who might be interested; there'll be more things added shortly!
3) The big personal bit of excitement, my Small Cousin got married! So there was a week long trip to Pennsylvania, where one of my other cousin's gave me a bunch of rocks out of his child-hood collection, along with some Hawaiian pumice. I'm looking forward to playing with those!
It's hard to believe we're already up to April, but there you go. Time flies when you're having fun making a big dusty mess grinding up rocks!
By again, we of course mean the Lunar New Year that's coming up very shortly.
There have been a few exciting things already this year. First, and I promise not to delve into politics much if ever again, the pulling of SOPA/PIPA from Congress. We're mostly internet based here, folks, so legislation that threatens the freedom of the internet is of the bad. (Yes, piracy = bad, but so does killing the internet.) Okay, I'll shut up about that now.
Second, the Imaginarium is all set up to head down to Burbank, CA, in March with the intent of setting up a vendor table at a Supernatural convention. Ahoy, geeks! To that end, we've been cranking out all kinds of different items in a range of prices. If you can think of anything awesome that you think geeks and nerds might enjoy, leave us a comment and we'll see if we can make it. Yeah, that's a challenge. Bring it! (Small disclaimer: we do have to worry about licensing issues, so there are things that we simply will NOT make, don't ask, it won't happen.)
Third, we received our lovely new business cards that have fun little doodles on them by Hugh McLeod of Gaping Void. They're quite fun and make this here blogger a bit giddy.
Finally, we're playing with some graphic design here. Notice our new header? It's no longer the sunset visible from the Blue Box! We've also put a nifty little graphic in with the Hearts for Haiti campaign. Thoughts? Suggestions? Love it or hate it? Either way, let us know. We take all comments into consideration and then patently ignore them. Er. Ignore that last bit. Or send us a comment complaining about it, either way. Something interesting is bound to happen!
The Blue Box Blogger sometimes has a strange sense of humour that comes out here rather than the workshop.