Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's Almost Christmas!

Wow, what a crazy Winter season this has been!  I can't believe it's almost over!  (I am exhausted!)  We are going to be closed from Friday, December 23rd thorough Monday January 2nd.  (You're just going to have to brave the malls this weekend!)

Thank you for all the orders!  We hope to see you at one of the shows in 2012 or online!  Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

   Daniel, Cynthia, and Val  (Cameron says 'Hi')

Friday, December 9, 2011

One Show to Go... but who cares! Go Angels!

Just a reminder that we have one show left this year and it is A Time for Sharing at the Gardena Elks Lodge #1919.  http://www.clayvision.com/craftshows.htm  It's not a big show, so you can leisurely shop at all the booths and finish off (or start) your Christmas shopping.  We will have the last of our big journals, new ornaments, sale ornaments, giftpacks, and the last of our photo holders.  See you there?

I woke up early yesterday with a bunch of text messages on my phone.  (Who's texting me this early in morning?)  So, I read the texts and say "What! No Way!  That must be a mistake.  I must still be dreaming..."  We signed the #1 hitter in Albert Pujols and the #1 Free Agent pitcher in CJ Wilson.  Our owner, Arte Moreno, just dropped over $325 million dollars on those two.  If we can win just one World Championship, it will all be worth it.  If not, at least, Arte tried and that's all we can ask of him.  Needless to say, I'm looking forward to baseball season!  Go Halos!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

3 Shows to go...

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.  I, once again, overate.  (Stuffing, rice stuffing, and pumpkin pie being the main culprits...)  We have 3 shows to go this year and two of them are this weekend.  ImaginAIR is on Saturday from 10am - 3pm at the Torrance Civic Center and Krafty Delites is on Sunday from 10am - 4pm at the Carson Community Center.  (Our final show is the next Sunday in Gardena.)

On Thanksgiving night, we drove by a Toys R Us, since they opened at 9pm.  We thought we could sneak in there and pick up a few gifts and then sleep in the next day... we were wrong.  The line was around the side of the building all the way around to the back of the building.  (I can only imagine how long it would take to check out.)  So, we decided to head to Target the next morning around 7am.  This was a great move as there was nobody there and we were in and out of there in 15 minutes.  (All the crazy shoppers were long gone!)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Leftover Saturday?

Wow, what a crazy weekend.  This past weekend featured shows in 3 different states, two sick parents, and a downpour during clean-up.  It's always an adventure.  This weekend, our website will feature free shipping and I will try to post more sale items on the Specials page. 

Do you watch the Xfactor?  Normally the results shows (like on American Idol) are rather boring and they draw out the whole hour just to boot somebody in the last 10 seconds.  Well, I hope you watched last week's episode as it was a Justin Guarini classic.  Astro, the little rapper, had done a great job throughout the competition and had become somewhat likeable.  (You can tell that someone told him to act more humble).  Well, that all went out the door, when he found himself in the bottom two.  His true colors came pouring out as he pouted and acted like a spoiled brat.  I was happy to see the judges lay into him.  (Even his coach, LA, criticized him!)  Astro just lost himself a lot of fans and if he wanted to become the next Jay-Z, he just lost that too...  I don't know how he can ever rehab his image... ask Justin.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Four Shows this Weekend!

The Winter Show Season is at its peak this weekend with 4 shows.  Two out of town shows and two local shows.  We will be at Koi Krafters this Saturday in Alhambra and at Beary Best Friends this Sunday in Buena Park.  Our new ornaments, giftpacks, and sale items were sent to Seattle for Ayame Kai this Saturday.  You can also see them if you happen to be in Salt Lake City this weekend for the Salt Lake Dharma School Show on both Saturday and Sunday.

Here are some pictures of our 2011 ornaments.  I hope to get them on the website later this week, but no promises as (thankfully) the order load has picked up considerably.  These ornaments are probably going to be special order only, so let me know if you are interested.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Show Update, Daylight Savings, and Somebody's Birthday!

There are two shows this weekend.  We will be at Arlington Elementary tomorrow from 9am - 2pm.  On Sunday, we won't be at the show in West Covina, Kiku Crafts and Food Faire, from 10am - 3pm.  Food available at both shows, so be sure to bring a shopping bag and appetite.  Also, on Sunday, don't forget to fall back for daylight savings.

Today, we have to wish our son, Cameron, a very happy 3rd birthday.  We took him to Disneyland on Tuesday and he got to ride a bunch of rides as it wasn't crowded at all.  (We took him to Ralphs and Trader Joes today, Woo Hoo!)  Tomorrow, he will be coming to the Arlington Craft show in the morning and Sunday will be going to his cousin's birthday party.  (Which is why we won't be at the West Covina show.)

He likes to come to work and help us!
(You can also see his large feet in this pic, size 10 1/2.)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Just a reminder that our next show is in Torrance at Arlington Elementary School this upcoming Saturday.  Also visit the Kiku Craft Show in West Covina on Sunday.  (We won't be there as we have birthday parties.)  Check out our craft show page, http://www.clayvision.com/craftshows.htm, for all the nitty gritty details.  Krafty Delites was somewhat crowded in the morning.  (I think the December show is going to be really crowded.)

Anybody see that awesome Game 6 of the World Series?  That may have been the greatest World Series game of all time!  (Not to mention that the Angel's rival, Rangers were on the losing end.)  It's good to know that good hitting can not make up for bad pitching, even worse fielding, and bad managing!  (Although, it almost did!)

We took Cameron trick or treating and let him pass out the candy at Grandma's house.  I still can't tell which one he liked more...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Crafty Foxes Recap and a No-Show weekend?

We always enjoy going up north for Crafty Foxes.  There are so many friends we get to see and talk to.  Unfortunately, we bring so much product that we couldn't bring Cam with us.  (Unless we stuffed him in one of our boxes.)  Hopefully, next year we can make room and bring him.  (As it seemed like everyone kept coming over to our booth to see him.)

We took Cam Trick-or-Treating at Disneyland on Tuesday night.  What a surprise... he loved it!  (What doesn't he love?)  I want to say that we came home with close to 10 pounds of candy and healthy treats.  (None of which he can eat with his allergies.)  Cam finally had enough of the candy gathering around 10pm and promptly fell asleep on the way back to the car at 10:30pm.  (Only 2 hours after his normal bedtime!)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Up Next... Crafty Foxes in Saratoga/San Jose

The pancake breakfast in Norwalk was delicious and the weather was excellent.  The turnout seemed a lot better than last year.  (There must've been something else going on last year on the same day...)   Off to the San Jose area, Saratoga in particular, for Crafty Foxes.  It is still only one day, Saturday.  We will be bringing a lot of our new journals, mini journal gift packs, and sale ornaments.   We're looking forward to seeing all of our friends up North.  (I guess I should probably make our hotel reservations soon...)

Cam spent over half the day at the Norwalk show, mostly in his portable crib playing with his Leapad.  (He only gets to play it at craft shows.)  I wonder if that's why he gets so excited when we tell him we're going to a craft show?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

No Travel This Weekend... Show Saturday in Norwalk.

We had a good time with Cameron in San Leandro this past weekend.  (Or should I say that he had a great time interacting with all the customers and vendors!)  Another long drive home on Saturday night for the second straight week,  (See last week:  Sacramento) but we had to get home for the show on Sunday.

This Saturday, our show schedule takes us to Norwalk for an early, early show.  (I think it opens at 8am as it features a pancake breakfast.)  We don't have to travel, but do have to get up very early in the morning to set up.  By the way, Cam will be joining us at the show.  (He gets really excited to go!)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Up next... Double Show Weekend

We had a lot of fun at the show in Sacramento.  (as usual!)  They attract a lot of customers.  I guess it's the one of the only show they have up there.  The weather was 98 degrees on Friday, but dropped to the high 80's on show day.  That was great except for the tornado, (well, high winds) that hit the area when we were trying to pack up.  The lids of our boxes were flying all over the parking lot.  We usually don't drive home after the show, but we did this year... that's one long drive home!

This weekend, we have the Eden Craft Show in San Leandro on Saturday and the Kokoro Craft Show in Los Angeles on Sunday.  Looks like another long drive home on Saturday night for me.  We're also bringing Cam to San Leandro, which should be a lot of fun.  (He loves running around the craft show and saying 'Hi' to all the vendors.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Up next... Jan Ken Po in Sacramento/Elk Grove

We had a lot of fun (especially Cameron) in Clovis, this past Saturday.  I hope we did well at the show.  (We don't count our inventory anymore to estimate how we did.)  Cam enjoyed seeing all his craft show Aunties and Uncles at the show.  (He hadn't seen them in a few months.)  He also got to play with his brand new Leap Pad.  (It's like a mini iPad. It just came out and they are going to start marketing it soon for Christmas.) It might be the hot toy for this Holiday season!  (Maybe we should sell those at the show!)

Sacramento, well Elk Grove to be exact, is up next this Saturday.  Too bad we can't set up the night before as it makes for a long day.  (For us especially, as we take a long time to set up.)  The Jan Ken Po Gakko show is always crowded and now they serve food!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

One down, 19 to go...

We had a good show at Midori Kai in Mountain View last weekend.  Hopefully, this weekend will be the same.  We will be road tripping with Cam up to Clovis for Saturday's UJCC Craft Show.  Check out our craft show listings page, http://www.clayvision.com/craftshows.htm, for more details.  Our best sellers were the new ornaments, last year's ornaments, big journals, and more big journals.  Here are some pics of our newer foodie designs.  (We sold out of all these designs in a hour!)

We made more and will bringing them to Clovis this weekend!  I don't suppose the weather will be lower than 90 this weekend?  (Yahoo Weather does show the high as being 87 on Friday and Saturday!  Fingers crossed!)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Show Season is here... 1/2 Marathon is over!

This Saturday, we will be kicking off the 2011 Winter Season at Midori Kai in Mountain View.  We will be debuting our new ornaments featuring kids, animals, and food designs.  (We now need to figure out how to display them.)

We finished the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon again this year.  (for the 6th straight year.)  I guess training once a week worked out okay.  (Maybe next year I can train every other week... probably not a wise move.)  I couldn't believe how long the lines were to take pictures along the route with the Disney characters.  (Phineas & Ferb and Darth Vader had the longest line of runners pulling off the route.)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

1 1/2 weeks to go...

Free shipping on the website will be good through Labor Day.   Midori Kai is our next show on September 10th in Mountain View.  We're not ready...  Need to make more ornaments, more journals, print more brochures, put gas in the car...

Disneyland 1/2 Marathon is this Sunday!  Ahhhhh!  I really didn't train too much for it.  (once a week)  I just want to finish and get my medal.  Hopefully, I will be fully recovered by Midori Kai.  I will try to post my Nike Race results to Twitter and Facebook.  (no guarantees)

Monday, August 22, 2011

2 weeks to go...

Time is running out on us.  The new ornament is in mass production mode now.  (We hope you will like it!)  I hope to have a preview picture soon.  I guess I better get started making all of our hotel reservations for the Winter season!

We got a new app for our iphone, the Nike running app.  It tracks our time, distance, and calories burned.  (How much extra can I eat today?) It uses GPS to show you the route you ran and how fast you ran different areas.  I can post the results to Facebook and Twitter.  I'll definitely try to post the results of our half marathon.  (I'll hopefully post a sample run if I get time to run this week.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

3 weeks to go...

Wow, is summer coming to an end already?  We are trying to make inventory of our new ornaments, but time is running out.  (Speaking of running, only 2 weeks of training left for the Disneyland Half)  We'll probably be set on ornaments for Midori Kai and then have to scramble from week to week.  (same as every year... we try to get ahead, but fall behind right away!)

We took Cam to San Diego this past weekend for his first trip to Sea World.  He had a blast in the kids area riding the rides, climbing the huge jungle gym, and bouncing around the kids inflatable area.  (He wanted to ride the big roller coaster, Atlantis, but wasn't tall enough.)  We watched the Shamu show and dolphin show, which he enjoyed.  (for about 10 minutes, then got restless)  The weather was great, the food prices were high, and we got to spend some quality time with some friends and relatives there!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

4 weeks to go...

Is my calendar right?  4 weeks until show season starts?  (3 weeks until the half marathon... Yikes!)  Well, we're doing our best to crank out new big journals and new ornaments for this year.  (while chasing around Cam and his cousin...)  Look for the 2009 (frame) ornaments to be on sale this season.

Storage Wars was great TV last week.  (I haven't gotten a chance to watch this week's episodes.)  I don't know why I like this show so much... I guess they have some interesting personalities and I always want to know what's in the locker!  (Not to mention the bidding is a whole psychological game onto itself...)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Show Season coming fast... 1/2 marathon even faster...

I thought Christmas just ended a month ago?  Show season starts in a month in Mountain View.  We get to drive up North five of six weekends starting the weekend of September 9th.  (The drive isn't fun, but the shows are!)

But before we get too worked up for show season, there's the little event called the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon standing in our way.  (Training is the least fun part of August!)  Labor Day weekend will mark our sixth straight year of running this half marathon.  I love the course... mostly flat, run through Disney, run through Angels Stadium... what more could I ask for?  (Good weather like last year!)  See you out there?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Free Shipping and a Griffith Park Outing

Free shipping technically starts tomorrow, but it's been on the website all weekend.  Hope everyone is having a great weekend.   The weather has been pretty good here in SoCal.

Well, we decided to take Cam to Griffith Park this Sunday.  We've been to the zoo before, but we did some of the other activities that are located throughout the park.  (Who knew?)  We went for a mile train ride and a pony ride near the front of the park.  He wasn't scared of the ponies in fact he was singing away while riding on one.  Then, we headed for their (fast) merry go round and had a picnic on the grass area.  (I was getting dizzy watching that thing go round and round.)  Next up was the Travel Town Train museum.  Another mini train ride followed by going into some real old time trains.  (He loved it!)  Best thing of all, free parking & free admission to everything!  (You do have to pay for the rides and merry go round.)

Friday, July 29, 2011

What are you doing this weekend?

I am currently trying to rework the website a bit.  Getting rid of items that we don't have any more.  (Like clip holders and some of our older ornaments.)  Hope to make it a little easier to navigate...

Speaking of navigating, it is Fleet Week in San Pedro.  Sounds like a great outing, getting to walk aboard a Destoryer and an Aircraft Carrier for free!  We thought about taking Cam down there, but the kids have to be 8 years old to board the ships... Boo!  Maybe we'll take him to the beach.  Our weekends are numbered as show season is only a month away.  (Show season = goodbye weekends) 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Special - Free Shipping

This summer has been really hot around the US.  Here in SoCal it has been pretty mild so far.  I think we've had only two days in the 90's, which is unusual.  We will be offering free regular shipping for the month of August (and the remainder of July).  Use Priority Mail, though, if you need your order in a hurry.

Football is back... Basketball is probably going away for a year (at least)... and Baseball is Baseball.  (My/Our Angels continue to play okay, but what can you do when you win 2 out of 3 and continue to lose ground in the standings?)  Did you watch the Women's World Cup soccer tourney?  I was very amazed at the US and their unbelievable late game wins.  However, it was heartwarming to see Japan win the tourney as their entire country needed that after the disasters earlier this year!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer Vacation

Looks like our next show is in September, giving us a month and a half to build up stock on our new items and ornaments.  (I'll post pictures of our new ornaments once we finalize them.)  The new ornaments do feature more handmade clay by Cynthia!

Anybody else watch the World Series of Poker Live coverage.  I loved it!  (They didn't show you player hole cards until after the hand was over.)  You got to see how the pros play real poker as you try to guess what hand each player is holding.  (Plus you got to see every hand!)  Even pros take bad beats... I thought it was just me!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pasadena Obon and Shave Ice

This weekend is the Pasadena Obon at the Buddhist Church in Pasadena.  We won't be there because of some family commitments, but go there and enjoy the great food.  (Especially the Chow Mein)  Shave ice never hurts when the temperatures are in the upper 80's.  (or in the 90's in the gym!)

Speaking of shave ice, we did get a chance to go to the new "Get Shaved" shop in Torrance.  A long line, but it only took fifteen minutes to order... and then a 45 minute wait to get the shaved ice!  (I saw high school friend, customers, and relatives while waiting.)   The shave ice was super fine and it was great with ice cream on the bottom!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Did you Survive Carmageddon?

This weekend, the 405 was closed from the 10 to the 101.  We stayed away from anywhere north of us on the freeways.  (Looks like most people did the same.) We watched it on television.  (It was like a countdown to New Years!) 

And then, did you see the car chase on Saturday night?  With everyone staying off the freeways, the driver had clear freeways to lead the police around on.  (He did a complete tour of the SoCal freeway system.)  Unfortunately for us, he drove around for 3 1/2 hours (of which, we watched the last 2 hours) and he finally ran out of gas in the Grapevine pass.  The helicopters could not go into the Grapevine because of darkness, so we didn't get to watch the conclusion! Boo!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pasadena Obon and Sneaky Verizon

We are not going to be able to make it to the Pasadena Obon this year.  Some family obligations have taken a priority.  (I'll change the website tomorrow)  I just realized that we've been doing the Pasadena Obon for a long time now.  Close to 10 years!

I got my iPhone with the unlimited data plan in late April, mainly for work as I run all of our credit cards through it.  In late June, rumor had it that Verizon was ending their unlimited data plans and would now start charging a tiered plan on usage starting July 7th.  (We went to Best Buy to confirm it, but they had no idea what we were talking about.)  There was nothing in the news about it until July 5th!  Only those that had grandfathered in the unlimited data plan before July 7th could have that plan for life.  Well, good or bad, we got an iPhone for my wife and my best friend.  (and now we all have unlimited data for life...) 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Venice JCC and Angels Game Recap

The Venice JCC Arts and Crafts show, last Saturday, was a little slower than usual.  However,  it was nice to see a lot of the vendors that we haven't seen in months.  I think our summer vacation, (aka time to get to work!) begins with the Winter season only 2 months away.

We went to the Angels/Mariners game on Friday.  Great game!  Lots of Rally Monkey segments!  Angels tie the game in the 7th and win in with a walk off HR by Mark Trumbo in the bottom of the 9th!  The place was going crazy!  Follow that up with a Friday night Fireworks show!  Oh yeah!  And I didn't even mention the free Angels backpack!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Venice JCC Craft Show

We will be at the Venice JCC Arts and Craft Show this Saturday from 9am to 3pm at the Venice JCC.  They'll have food and shade for you there...  We'll have lots of sale items and our new journals. 

I just finished watching the Voice on NBC.  It was an interesting show.  (not sure it was better than American Idol.)  In the end, the two (pretty) finalists were the ones who prevailed.  (Maybe they should've kept all the finalists hidden until the finale.)  Christina Aguilera (trying to overcome her botched National Anthem and divorce) came across looking ditsy and selfish... not good at all.  However, Blake Shelton was the big winner.  He took his contestants under his wings and treated them like they were his kids. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy 4th of July Weekend & New Sales Tax

Hope everyone has a safe, fun 4th of July weekend.  We will be Closed on Monday and Tuesday of next week.  Our next show will be on the 9th in Venice/Los Angeles.  Starting today, there is a new sales tax for us (who live in California) and it actually went down 1%!  (But how long until they bump it right back up?)

My/our Angels are playing a lot better as of late.  They finally made it back to .500!  (Even though they have 3 regulars in their lineup that hit like pitchers...)  I might actually get to go to a game this year... next Friday night against the Mariners. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

West Covina Obon Recap

At the outset, our sales were rather (really) slow at the Obon, however things picked up at the end of the show.  Their entertainment program ran (really) late and kept the captive audience in the gym well over an hour past the normal end time.  Not to mention it was (really) hot outside.

I ate a mixed plate of chow mein, gyoza, fried rice, and cha-shu at the show.  I then washed it down with two tamales with chili.  (Funny, how tamales are a staple of Japanese festivals...)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day Recap and Show this Saturday

Our next show is this Saturday, the 25th, in West Covina.  They are having their annual Obon with dancing, entertainment, crafters, wonderful food, and fresh fruit and vegetables.  (Including cool mixed veggie bags!)  I believe it starts around 2pm and goes throughout the night.  (I think the craft vendors are only there until about 6pm.)  Come out and have some fun and good food.

Father's day was quite enjoyable.  (Burgers, shrimp, pie, family... )  It's a strange feeling being a Dad now as this day was always about my father and father-in-law, never about me.  Thanks Cam!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Father's Day Weekend and Amazing Japan Recovery Pictures

Hope everyone is planning for a terrific Father's Day weekend.  Our next show is next weekend in West Covina as Obon season begins.

Here is a link to some amazing Japan recovery photos.  Before and after pictures.  I can't imagine any other country that can work together as well as their citizens do.

Recovery Article

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sansei Wrap-up and More (Good?) Memories

Thanks for all the purchases at the Sansei League Closing Ceremonies.  Great weather helped too!  Another memory of mine from Sansei League was sitting on the bench and the coach asking me to start warming up.  We were getting pounded, so get the next pitcher ready... right?  (Well, except for the fact that he never had me practice pitching before.)  I think I threw about 3 pitches on the sideline and then he goes to the mound and waves me in...  (Great, I'm not warmed up, I've never pitched in a game or practice before, and I am very nervous!)  He gives me the ball and says not to worry about the runner on first, just let him run.  (Luckily, thanks to all my baseball knowledge, I tell him that I can pitch out of  the stretch position and we can hold the runner on.)  I think I gave up a hit and got an out, before one of my friends came to the plate and blasted one over the left field fence and off the roof of a house.  Fond memories...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Show Sunday and Storage Containers

We have the Sansei League Closing Ceremonies on Sunday at North High.  Hopefully the weather will be nice!  It's scary that all of our friends that we used to play with in the league now have kids in the playing in the same league...

I can't get enough of watching "Storage Wars".  (The TV show where it shows people bidding on abandoned storage units.)  I happened upon it one day and watched the bidding.  But, then I had to keep watching to see what they actually got out of the unit.  It's interesting seeing what people leave in a storage unit and even more interesting watching people fight over it.  (They have some interesting personalities...)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sansei Baseball Closing Ceremonies Craft Show this Sunday

We will be at North High in Torrance from 11am to 2pm for the Closing Ceremonies of the Sansei Baseball League.  (That brings back some memories.)  I remember playing softball against the girls on that last day.  I was the second baseman and they all kept trying to hit the ball at me.  (Not because they liked me... that's how out of place I looked playing sports!)  Girls will do anything to win...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Luau Recap and Picnic Preparation

We/I had a lot of fun at the JAO Luau on Saturday.  Great food and entertainment made for a great evening.   Our new credit card swiper worked great indoors!  (Everyone likes signing on the screen.)  Now, we have to get ready for the Sansei League Picnic this Sunday at North (Torrance) High.  I guess we'll have to restock on our new big journals, which did really well on Saturday.  (The winner was the Saimin journal!) 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thursday Already? June Already? Show Already?

When did it become Thursday?  I guess the holiday really made the week go fast.  When did it become June already?  I thought it was still mid May!  (I guess I better pay some bills.)  Show on Saturday?  Looks like it's time to pack the van for another show.  JAO Luau on Saturday night in Downtown LA.  (And I'm goin' solo this time...)

Cameron had his first dentist visit last week.  You should've seen all the assistants (I think, 5) they had in the room to hold him down... although, they weren't needed.  (I guess some kids really put up a fight!)  Everything went well, no fights and no cavities.  (I guess that peanut allergy has one good use: it keeps him away from almost all sweets.)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

GoPayment & Idol Finale - Better than expected!

If you've been to any of our recent shows and paid with a credit card, you've seen our new credit card swiper.  It attaches to our phones (My excuse to get an iphone) and processes the payment immediately through the Intuit Go Payment system.  The fees for us our low (no monthly service charge) and it has worked well... so far.  All of our shows have been outside, so we'll see if it works for a show where we are inside.  (Luau next Saturday)  I will probably be processing all of our online orders through it (on my new iphone) as well!

Despite there being no drama as to the winner of Idol last night, (the judges tried to create drama by proclaiming Lauren the winner the night before, but we all knew Scotty was going to win.) it was a fantastic finale.  I thought they did a great job with all the performances and Scotty capped off the night with a great finish.  (hugging everyone was a great way to end the season.)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Post Hickory Recap and Doomsday averted?

It was cold at Hickory Elementary on Friday night!  (The winds were blowing...)  However, there was a strong turnout from kids, staff, and alumni to celebrate their 50th Anniversary.  They had lots of food (in addition to the In-n-Out Truck) and 4 or 5 monster slides, a jumpy house, and games for the kids!

Well, we survived the latest Doomsday, May 21st. (Although a Lauren vs. Scotty Idol finale may be doomsday for American Idol's ratings.)

And, hooray, they may have caught one of the suspects in the case of the beating of a Giant's fan at Dodger Stadium.  (Let's hope they catch the second guy too!)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hickory's 50th Anniversary and Idol Boredom

Just a reminder that we will be out on the Hickory Elementary School playground tomorrow night from 5pm to 8:30pm.   We will be helping them celebrate their 50th Anniversary.  They'll have lots of games for the kids and last time we were there, they had a few giant slides!  (Not that I have time to wait in line to ride them.)

Can we just give Scotty the trophy on American Idol and end this season already?  The judges are of no use whatsoever... (They think everyone should win... except Haley)  Nobody has a bad performance and everyone just kills it and is in it to win it. (except Haley)  The judges are just there to sell their new songs and new books without pissing off any potential fans.  (except Haley)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Another show this... Friday???

We will be at Hickory Elementary in Torrance this Friday from 5pm to 8:30pm for their 50th Anniversary Celebration.  Expect many games for the kids and some food booths.  There will be an In-n-Out Truck at the school, but for preorders only.  (and no french fries!  Boo!)

Anybody still watching American Idol after last week?  Are you a country music fan, because it seems like we're headed for an all country finale.  The producers probably want a Scotty vs. Haley finale now that James is gone.  (Is Haley the villain?  The judges make her out to be one.)  You'd think that the producers would've fixed the results for a Scotty v. James finale, because that would've been huge ratings.  A Scotty v. Lauren finale doesn't have any drama to it.  (and a Lauren v. Haley matchup will be a ratings disaster.)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Children's Day tomorrow, AI, and 2 1/2 already?

Tomorrow, we will be a late addition to the Children's Day Festival in Japantown in Los Angeles.  The Chibi Run is early and we will be there from 11am to 4pm.  (7am if you count set-up... we have to get there before the run starts!)  Lots of food, kid crafts, and entertainment.

Surprising that James got the boot on American Idol.  I would think the producers would've wanted a James/Scotty finale.  I am not surprised that Haley survived as the judges kept picking on her on Wednesday.  (Great way to incite her fans and make them vote twice as hard.)  It could be an all Country Music finale...

Cam went to the doctor today for his 2 1/2 month check-up.  He now weighs a little over 30 lbs and is almost 37 inches tall.  (No wonder he can reach so many more things on the counter...)  By the way, his shoe size is now 9 or 9 1/2.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day... Bye Bye Lakers

Happy Belated Mother's Day.  Hope everyone had a great day with their families.  We just got invited to Children's Day this Saturday at the JACCC in Downtown LA.  (They weren't going to have vendors, but changed their minds at the last minute.)  I'll tweet and facebook the details later this week.  Children's Day has the Chibi Run and basketball tourney along with food vendors, kids crafts, and at least one craft vendor... us.

Speaking of basketball, how about those Lakers.  They get swept out of the playoffs (which is okay as Dallas was the better team right now), but go out looking bad.  (cheap shots were inexcuse-able)  Kobe was hurt, but what happened to Pao Gasol?  (Reports had him breaking up with his fiance before the playoffs began.)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo y Boys Day

Happy Cinco de Mayo and Boy's Day.  And did you know that Mother's Day is this Sunday?  Isn't it usually next Sunday?  (We need to go shopping, Cam...)

Who's going home tonight on Idol?  (I think it is time to say goodbye to Jacob.)  Right now, the final should be James v. Scotty.  Although, Lauren could sneak into the final...  (Sorry, Haley.)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Nikkei Matsuri Review

Great weather in San Jose. (unless you have bad allergies)  We also got to try out our new credit card swiper that we hooked up to our phones.  (Thanks to all our patient customers.)  I hope to get it all streamlined by the Winter shows...   We were all pretty exhausted considering we had to set up (and break down) 3 tents, 10 tables, 8 racks, and a whole day care center in the back.

Cam survived the long, real long, outdoor day in the tent.  (He even took a short nap)  He got to eat a grape shave ice that he devoured in minutes.  (And didn't spill it all over himself.)   I think he was the only one with any energy left when we got to the hotel...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

San Jose, here we come...

Clayvision will be at Nikkei Matsuri this Sunday, 5/1/11, in San Jose.  We will be bring all of our sale ornaments, new journals, sale items, and kids to the show.  Please drop by and say hello!  In Gardena, we have left some items behind for the A Time for Sharing Show at the Gardena Elks Lodge.  That show is also on Sunday.

The latest Cam (almost 2 1/2 years old now) exploit would be finding him in the bathroom standing on top of the bathroom counter getting his toothbrush out of the medicine cabinet. (I guess that show good oral hygiene...)  I'm not sure how he got on top of the counter as there was nothing near the counter for him to climb on to get up there.  (His new nickname is Spider-cam!)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

New Journal Covers

Hope everyone is having a great Easter weekend!  Here are some more pictures of our new journal covers.  I finally got around to taking them...  These are available at the shows.  If you want to order one online, you'll have to email us...

On American Idol, you can just about pencil in Scotty for the final.  He had a so-so performance in the worst possible position (having to sing first) and still wasn't in the bottom 3.  (Almost every performer going first falls into the bottom 3 because by the end of the night, their performance is forgotten.)  Looks like Jacob and Haley are in the hot seat now.  (Although Casey hasn't impressed since they used the save on him.)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Nikkei Matsuri in two weeks

We will be traveling up to San Jose in a couple of weeks for the Nikkei Matsuri festival.  (We have the same location as last year.)  We'll probably have our normal 3 tent set-up.  (Two for products and one for the kids.)  It should be interesting this year as Cam is fully mobile and vocal.  (I was thinking of posting a babysitting sign up sheet... any volunteers?)

On American Idol, it wasn't too shocking to see Paul go... especially since the shock of Pia leaving was still there.  (Unfortunately for him, he went first and was forgotten by the end of the show.)  I personally thought that Steven Tyler should've been voted off.  (He seems to be there only to make friends and talk to fans.)  He better be careful, as he is making Paula look like a decent judge...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Krafty Delites Recap & Who got voted off?

Krafty Delites surprised us and the customers as they were not taking credit cards.  (I had to run home to get our credit card swiper)  Looks like for future shows, you can pay the individual vendors with credit cards, but cannot pay for everyone's items with plastic.  (Hope that made sense...)

On American Idol, how is it that Pia was voted off?  Now, I know she didn't have the best personality, but she had one of the best (if not the best) performance on the show last week.   The judges wasted their save on Casey, who has done nothing since the save.  (And deserves to go...)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Krafty Delites this Sunday in Carson

We will be at Krafty Delites this Sunday in Carson from 10am to 4pm.  The show is in the Carson Community Center and we will probably be in our normal spot.  Look for lots of sale items (like candles, ornaments, and giftpacks.) and for our new big black journals.  (with new covers like sushi, bento box, and donuts!) 

Tonight's theme on American Idol will be songs from the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.  James should shine tonight, like always.  Only 9 contestants left and most seem to have their niche of singing style down.  Also, Extreme Couponing premieres tonight.  (Got a feeling that it will show up on our TiVo.)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Fundraiser in Torrance on Sunday

We're donating a rack of gift items (mini journals, key chains, cell phone charms) for the Japan Fundraiser this Sunday, 4/10/2011 at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center.  Admission is free and 100% of the proceeds will go to the Japanese Red Cross.  There will be Japanese food booths, vendors, and entertainment.   Please come out and support this great cause!

Torrance Cultural Arts Center
3350 Civic Center Drive
Torrance, CA
(10:00am - 3:00pm)

For more information, email charity@bridgeusa.com

Friday, April 1, 2011

So-Phi's Fashion Show on Saturday

We will be at So-phi's Fashion Show tomorrow (Saturday) from 9:30 to 3:30 at the Anaheim Hilton.  (I think we have to get to the loading dock at 7am... ugh!)  Look for more of our new big journals and we will have a bunch of sale items like ornaments, pins, and more...

Did you watch the results show last night for American Idol?  I was sad to see Thia go, but she was just too young to compete with the more seasoned contestants.  (Also, she never had that one moment that everyone remembers...)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

eBay Charm Auction Japan Donations

We just listed some of our charms on eBay with 100% of the purchase going toward Japan.  I'm going to list some more tomorrow.  Here's a link to our listings:


I know it's nothing compared to the $1 million dollars celebrities have been giving (like Ichiro, Sandra Bullock, Demi Lovato, etc...), but every little bit will help.

American Idol features songs from the 80's tonight!  I'm looking forward to that!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Stand and Spin?

Toddler Tales:  Cam is almost 29 months old now.  He is running all over the place getting into everything.  We've been getting him toys that help him burn off his energy, like one of these... (I had one of these when I was a kid, but I thought you were supposed to sit in it...)

Cam just effortlessly climbs up on it.  (with nothing to hold onto to help him up.)  And even scarier is that he will carry this around the house to climb onto higher areas.  (Even though it is bulky and a little heavy.)  I guess you have to admire his resourcefulness...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Luau Food and New Journals

I ate too much at the Luau last Saturday.  Great Hawaiian food from Our Daily Bread and excellent entertainment.  We debuted our new big journal cover designs.  Here is a picture of some of them.  (No sushi design as it sold out on Saturday.)

Yes, I had to stand on a table to get this picture.
We'll have more available at all of our Spring shows (even more sushi covers).

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nisei Week Luau This Saturday

Clayvision will be setting up a booth at the Nisei Week Luau this Saturday in Los Angeles.  You do need a dinner ticket to attend.  We will have tons of sale items for sale with 10% of sales going toward the Nisei Week Foundation.  For a full list of our show listings, visit http://www.clayvision.com/craftshows.htm

American Idol returns tonight as the contestants sing songs from the year that they were born.  (I'm going to start feeling real old as they will be singing songs from after my high school days!)  Also, March Madness begins tomorrow.  Fill out your brackets and call in sick for two full days of basketball.  (32 teams get eliminated on Thursday and Friday alone!)

Let's hope they get those nuclear reactors under control in Japan.  A lot of astonishing video and heroic tales coming out on the internet.  Our prayers are with them!

Monday, March 14, 2011

March Madness? Luau Show? No, Japan...

You'd think that today's post would involve our first show of the season this Saturday.  (Nisei Week Luau)  Maybe some March Madness predictions or excuses to skip work on Thursday and Friday. (So you can stay home and watch all the games.)

Instead, I can't help but think about all the people in Japan.  We have close ties to the country and feel for all those that have family and friends over there.  I can't imagine the damage and all the casulties.  Not to mention what the survivors have to deal with... (no food, no water, no home, freezing temperatures, all the people and places you know, gone!)  It will take quite a while for the country to recover from this... our thoughts and prayers are with them!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Japan 8.9 Earthquake

I am currently watching the tsunamis hit the Northern area of Japan.  Let's hope that people were able to evacuate.   The pictures from this disaster are unbelievable!  Watching the water and debris move across the countryside and flooding everything... taking buildings and cars with it...  It looks like it is moving in slow motion, but they say it is moving really fast if you are on the ground.

Our prayers are with those people in Japan...

A tsunami warning is in effect for Hawaii.  (the wave is scheduled to hit around 3am Hawaii time, hopefully not a big wave.).  No tsunami warning for California... yet...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Refrigerator Cam

Just got the Krafty Delites application.  Their Spring show will be on April 10th in Carson.  Mark your calendars.

Cam update:  He is now a very active 28 months old and likes to climb everything.  (and tightrope his way across the back of the sofa.)  The refrigerator used to be safe, but now he is strong enough to open it on his own.  ("You can't drink your milk out of the carton... come back here with that!") 


Friday, March 4, 2011

American Idol-ing

Are you watching American Idol?  We're down to the final 13.  The next few weeks will be spent getting rid of those contestants that don't have a shot at winning.  (Unless they pull off a performance like Pia did this past week.)  The early favorites are probably Casey (the bass player), Jacob (crazy voice), and James (the rocker).  I'm not sure what girl will make it deep into the competition, maybe Pia (if she can find some more performances like the last one) or Thia Megia (She is really young, but has the best sounding name)

In honor of American Idol, we will have our music note zipper pulls on sale for $2.00 each!  (half price!)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oscar Winner! ? !

How did everyone do in their Oscars office pool?  I did horrible... (But then again, I only saw one movie this year, the Social Network, before I made my picks.)    However, I did win the pool... maybe because I'm the only person in the office.  (Hey, that makes 12 consecutive wins!) 

I did see Inception an hour before the Oscars started.  (That explains the headache I had while watching the Oscars...)  The show was really good, except that Oscar's host, James Franco, was stiffer than the giant gold statue in the background.  (Making him look even worse was Billy Crystal, when he came out to present.  Billy was at home and so comfortable on that stage!)

Speaking of statues, I'll put our lone figurine on sale tomorrow morning for a three day sale.  Matsuri, regular price $28.00, will be on sale for $15.00 through Friday morning. (about 47% off, kind of like my Oscar win picks)  http://www.clayvision.com/specials.htm

Friday, February 25, 2011

Picking up at the Freezer, err... Warehouse

We don't have a retail shop, but you can pick up orders at our little warehouse in Gardena.  Just let us know what you want in advance and we can have it waiting.  (If you want to look through an item, like the purse holders, not a problem.  Just let me know in advance and I'll have them waiting for you.)  You will need to set up an appointment as we are in and out of the warehouse during the day.  (Usually, early morning works best.)  Also, the warehouse address is different than the one on the website.  (The address on our website is our mailing address to our post office box.)

Dress code for the warehouse:  If it's cold outside, it will be 10-20 degrees colder in the warehouse.  If it's hot outside, it will be 10-20 degrees hotter.  Example:  today it is about 60 degrees outside, a little cold for SoCal.  However, in the warehouse it is...

That explains why I am wearing 3 layers of clothes and need to hop up and down every so often!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

All Star Weekend

Did you see the slam dunk competition on Saturday?  Some great dunks (like two baskets side by side.), but Blake Griffin jumping over a car was great!  (Especially all the dramatics of driving the car in and having a choir sing "I Believe I Can Fly")  Good thing he made it to the final round, or that Kia would've been left in the backroom of the arena.  (With some unhappy sponsors!)
In honor of that dunk, we will have our Blake Griffin, err... basketball boy pendant key chain on sale through Thursday.  (Car not included!) http://www.clayvision.com/specials.htm

Friday, February 18, 2011

Super Bowl Recap (with corrected video)

I know it's kind of late, but here is a quick Super Bowl recap.  (plus a link to our halftime show that didn't work in the newsletter)

Highlight:  Volkswagon Darth Vader commercial
Lowlight:  National Anthem

Highlight:  It was a close game that went down to the end.
Lowlight:  That the game had to come to an end.

Highlight:  Super Bowl food!  Nachos, wings, etc.
Lowlight:  Having to work out twice as hard to burn it all off!

Highlight:  Our Halftime Show... not the one on TV...

My apologies as this link didn't work in the newsletter!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Feb 14th: Happy Vacuum-times Day

We've been punching out the holes in the paper for our new journals at home.  (We'll have some new designs for the covers like our big journals we had this past Winter.)

Ever since, we've been doing this at home, Cam has suddenly started coughing at home.  (Could he be allergic to all the paper particles in the air?)  We vacuumed and moved the paper to the garage, but he's still coughing...  I think our ancient vacuum cleaner isn't doing the job.  (It was made before there were things called allergens.)   So, we spent our "special" day at two Walmarts with all the last minute shoppers buying their flowers and candy.  (Do this many people really not prepare or did they all meet someone special that day?)  By the way, neither Walmart had the hepa-vacuum we wanted, so I had to order it online. (Sorry, Cam, let's hope that vacuum cleaner comes soon...)

At least Cam got an awesome, Valentine's Day bento!
"Thanks Mommy!"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Feb 9th: Nikkei Matsuri already?

I just sent in the application for Nikkei Matsuri in San Jose. This year's show is scheduled for May 1st in downtown J-town at the intersection of Jackson and 5th Street. It also features a concert, entertainment, food, and a 5K.  (I'd run the 5K if someone could set up the booth for me... set up starts at 5:30am... let me know if you're interested!)

You could work here... before the sun rises!

Did you know that the more tenure you have as a vendor, the closer you move to the center of the intersection. We're just a few spots away from the corner... (Have we really been doing it for that long?)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Feb 7th: Bungle the Business?

I was trying to think of some new ways to market our website and products.  We've tried some non-traditional, low cost options and have had some success.  (Amazon = excellent, eBay = okay, Etsy = not so good.)  Then, I was watching the start of the Super Bowl...

Grammy winning artist, Christina Aguilera, botches the national anthem. (It's not like this is the first time she has sung the anthem.)  I think botching our National Anthem is going to get her more publicity than if she had nailed it...  (Not that I would want to do something bad to get publicity for the business.)  Just sort of funny how that works.

By the way, if you bet on the National Anthem, I believe the over/under was 3 minutes 14 seconds. (One sportsbook clocked it at 3 min and 13.7 seconds.) Wow, those odds makers really know what they are doing. (Some books paid the over and some paid the under... it was that close.) Meanwhile, people on the losing side claim that their wager should be disqualified because Ms. Aguilera flubbed the song.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Feb 4th, 2011: Super Bowl Free Shipping

It's Super Bowl weekend! Who's going to win... who cares? What are we going to eat? Super Bowl is another excuse to pig out. I'm thinking chicken wings, nachos, and some Marie Callendar's $7.99 pie... however, what can Cam eat? (Probably some gluten free pizza and gluten free chips.)

Please enjoy some gluten free shipping this weekend!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Feb 3rd, 2011: Happy Chinese New Year... unless you're a Rat

Happy Chinese New Year! It is officially the year of the rabbit! A rabbit is kind, sweet, cautious, and pessimistic. They get along best with pigs and don't get along with rats.  (Hey, my boy is a rat!)  If you're expecting a kid this year, let's hope you don't have siblings who are rats.  (Like the kids aren't going to fight with each other anyway...)
"It's not the size of the rabbit in the fight,
but it's the size of the fight in the rabbit!"
"I think you got that quote wrong..."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Feb 2nd, 2011: So-phi's Fashion Show

So-Phi's Fashion show is April 8th in Anaheim. You'll need a ticket to attend the fashion show, usually hosted by one of our famous Japanese American television stars, like Tamilyn Tomita, David Ono, or Rob Fukuzaki.  (Rob usually sings, yes sings, when he hosts an event!  He doesn't give a sports report.) However, you can attend the craft show without a ticket, but you will have to pay parking.  (You can also walk over to Downtown Disney after the show.)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Feb 1st, 2011: Our First Show and Bobsled Ride

Looks like our first show this year is on March 19th, the Nisei Week Luau in Los Angeles. You will need a dinner ticket to attend and enjoy the entertainment and great food. (I've already forgotten how to set up our display...) 

Today, we took Cam for his first ever ride in a bobsled... on the Matterhorn at Disneyland, that is. (At the request of his cousin) He couldn't really see over the bobsled and the ride was rather bumpy and dark, so I'm not sure how much he enjoyed it. (I did not particularly enjoy it... it wasn't as much fun as I had remembered.  I know, I know... I'm getting old!)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Jan 31st - Newsletter to Blog

Welcome to our new blog.  I am going to be doing the blog on a more daily basis rather than doing the big newsletter twice a month.  (Don't worry, you'll still get the show updates, newsletter (now blog) specials, and my baby updates)

With the Cam, now a toddler, my time is a more limited to do big newsletter updates.  (Now that his new activities include climbing on the kitchen counter, window sill, and roof.)