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Opening up commissions soon!

Halloween 2015 Commission Info Coming Soon!
Halloween 2015 Commission Info Coming Soon!

Hello friends! I’m already getting quite a few requests for custom work for Halloween. On that note, I have good news and bad news:

* The bad news (just to get it out of the way) is that commission slots will be very limited this season. My apologies in advance, but I’m taking on several new commitments this fall, and I know that I’ll need to be protective of my health and sanity if I’m to accomplish all that I hope to!

* The GOOD news is that I’ll start accepting custom orders again very soon, and past customers will get first dibs on those commission slots. If we’ve worked together before – and especially if we have already discussed your idea – your project will have priority.

Stay tuned, as I’ll be posting more details soon!

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Halloween 2014 Shipping Deadlines

I’m getting lots of panicked emails and phone calls asking if masks will make it in time for Halloween. The abridged answer is:

Maybe – it depends on where you live and how much you want to pay for shipping…

US customers should be fine for Halloween delivery, as long as you order by Sunday October 26th and you select priority mail. If you’re on the west coast, you can probably even push that to Monday the 27th. If you’re overseas, or planning to order after that, I strongly suggest upgrading to express mail.

I ship very quickly, via USPS. This is an approximate outline of transit times for their different tiers of service — they’re usually pretty good about these timelines, but express mail is the only service that offers a guaranteed delivery date:

  • 1st Class Mail typically takes 3-7 days within the US, and 10-30 days internationally
  • Priority Mail usually takes 2-3 days within the US, and 7-10 days internationally
  • Express Mail takes 24-48 hours within the US, and 3-5 business days internationally

Last but not least, I’m sorry, but I’m not able to accommodate custom orders at this time (my deadlines for Halloween commissions were in September this time of year really is that busy). Similarly, I have disabled all “Made to Order” listings until after Halloween 2014. Selections are now limited to in stock items only. On the plus side, I have some great items in stock and I’ll continue to add new and wonderful items all the way through this weekend. Orders will be mailed very quickly, via the shipping method of your choice, and I am happy to help if you have questions — just ask!

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Thank You!

Sugar skull fascinator © Andrea Adams 2012

Whew! Another Halloween has come and gone, and man was it a whirlwind. I had a lot of fun, and met some truly amazing people. For whatever reason, “serendipity” seems to be the keyword in my transactions this season, which makes me incredibly happy.

I have been doing this for many years now, but I still learn something new each time around. This year had quite a few lessons, and there are several things that I intend to do differently — hopefully, better — next year; but overall, it was quite a successful Halloween. Many, many thanks to my fabulous customers for that!

Entries for my annual costume contest are due tomorrow. If you haven’t already submitted a photo, please send it soon! I’m excited to see everyone’s costumes, and to be able to give a little something back (the winner gets a $50 credit at my Etsy shop)

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Season’s close…

Wow, what a great Halloween season! I know it sounds weird to call it a “season” since Halloween is really just a “day” — but I prepare for this far in advance, so it feels like a full season to me. 

This year, I got to work with some of the coolest customers ! I also learned a lot. I’ve been doing this for well over a decade now, and there have been quite a few years where Halloween kicked my ass and totally wrecked my hands, too. I love the flurry of sales, but it’s still harsh when I’m bandaging my wrists and alternating heat and ice packs on my hands by the end of October; and of course, my family doesn’t enjoy seeing me babbling incoherently amidst a pile of leather scraps and glitter. They may find it amusing, but they don’t enjoy it.  I guess I can get a little mean…

With that said, I was determined to pace myself this year. For the most part, I think I did a pretty good job — as evidenced by the fact that I am even capable of writing this. There’s still room for improvement,  and I see several things that I can do differently next year. So there was a learning curve, but it wasn’t as steep as years past. I’m extremely happy about that.

My customers were amazingly positive, patient and encouraging, and I cannot express my gratitude enough. The closest I can come is to offer you all a 15% discount off all orders in my Etsy shop from now through Friday, November 4th, 2011. To take advantage of this offer, simply use the code “thankyou” at check out.
 
I’ve posted a few of my awesome customers’ costumes here. If you’d like to see more, please visit my 2011 Virtual Costume Contest on facebook (don’t forget to vote for your favorites by “liking” them!) 

Now that Halloween is over, I think I’ll take a brief respite from mask making so that I can focus on hair accessories and beaded jewelry. My beads have been calling to me for months now, and I’m more than ready to listen. Beadwork is slow and meditative — perfect for winter, and for unwinding after the bustle of Halloween madness.
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Fall Flurries

My world has been crazy busy for the last few weeks! The pace is intense, but I am grateful for it — and for the most part, I actually enjoy it. Over the years, I have had to learn to pace myself… while a truly bustling Halloween season is great for my wallet, it can be murder on my hands and my stress level. So despite the flurry of activity, I am trying to be conscious to take time out to relax and take care of myself too.

Today is a movie day with my sweetie, and if I can talk him into it, maybe a drive to the country to enjoy the fall colors. I’d love to say that I’ll take the whole day off, but that’s unlikely. There are a few custom orders that I’d like to peck at, as well as some fun designs that I want to play with… More bat wings, more sugar skulls, and another variation on the headdress pictured here. Yeah, that’s a slow day at Casa de Beadmask this time of year 😉

Oh! And I’ve also created a new Artfire shop, just to check out what that venue is like. I don’t have a whole lot listed there yet, but I’ll probably add more stuff in the coming week. Cause y’know, I just don’t have enough on my plate already 😛

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Virtual Costume Contest!

photo © JLHaberman 2011

Autumn is my favorite season. I love the changing light, the changing leaves, and the glorious colors of fall. I also love the fact that my business kicks into hyperdrive this time of year.

The pace can get a little (read: incredibly) intense, but I really enjoy it. My customers are amazingly creative people, and I have so much fun helping them to actualize their costuming ideas! Every year, I am blown away by the bizarre, clever, beautiful and amusing ways that people incorporate my masks into their costumes. In doing so, they create new persona (or reveal hidden ones) tell stories and incite mischief. Simply put, they create magic 🙂

This year, I thought it would be fun to share a bit of that magic, so I’m celebrating my incredible customers with a virtual costume contest. The winning contestant will receive a $50 gift certificate to my Etsy shop. You can enter any time from October 1st – 31st, and the winner will be announced on November 15th. Hop on over to my website for entry details — and please consider joining in my little celebration! 🙂

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Happy Halloween!

I am deeply grateful for the support of my customers, family and friends, who have helped to make this another wonderful mask making season! It makes me realize how very blessed I am, so I’d like to pay a little bit of that positive energy forward…

The last mask that I created this Halloween was this “Day of the Deadheads” calavera skull mask, which I’m going to donate (along with a couple of others) to be auctioned off at EPIC’s Annual Dinner and Celebration. The proceeds will go to their campaign to help save the old growth redwoods in Richardson Grove. Fellow treehuggers can check it out on Friday, November 5th 2010 at the Mateel Community Center in Redway, California.

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Madness takes its toll…

It’s exactly one week till Halloween (home stretch!) and I’m definitely feeling the effect of the last 2.5 months of non-stop mask making. As this photo suggests, my studio is feeling it too! I typically work within a certain degree of controlled chaos, but at this point in time, any semblance of “control” is long gone … my workspace is just flat out chaos. I had to clear a path just to get this shot.

That said, I’ve decided to slow down a bit. We’d considered setting up at the Fremont Sunday Market today, but it was pouring rain this morning and R is just getting over that flu bug. So instead of doing the show, I’ll get my studio in order and put finishing touches on a few custom orders.

If I have time and energy, I may mess around with those dark faerie wings that have been sitting on my worktable for the last few months … or possibly the sugar skulls that I started, but haven’t had time to complete. There’s also a raven queen mask that’s just begging for final details.

Yeah, this is my idea of  “taking it easy”. Fortunately, I love what I do so the majority of today’s to do list is relaxing and enjoyable … well, except for the cleaning up part 😛