Monday, January 31, 2011

RoboTech! The series that started me on this path!

Let me take you back to 1985! Back to the anime that started it all. ( well, close anyway, I actually became a fan with Starblazers.) Back to Robotech! The Macross Saga. The small, little library in Wellman got a gem when someone donated the entire series of Robotech to the library dvd collection! All three series: Macross, robotech masters, and invid invasion are all there! Over the last few days, I have been skipping down memory lane with Cheryl by my side this time. It's fun! Even SHE is now looking forward to the next volume. So, it is true that the animation is dated, and the story is pretty simple to follow, but it is a very interesting world that was created and very elaborate! ( The narrator constantly keeps you up to date with the latest situation because it was an afternoon program that you might have missed) If you can get past the dated quality, you may just enjoy it enough to get addicted and have to watch the entire series. Check it out online at And enjoy the ride!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cupcakes to warm up the cool Iowa Nights

Cheryl has , once again, decided to focus some of her creative energy on making cupcakes. Who knows?! One day she just wakes up and says," I want to make some cool cupcakes!" After purchasing a few from the store, she decided that she could make better. But, as with everything, there is a small learning curve. That is to say, they never turn out perfect the first time around. But I'm not complaining! Because I get to eat all the mistakes! Nothing tastes better than a disastrous cupcake slathered with frosting with a cup of coffee on a cold Iowa night. ( Ok, Maybe one of my granola cookies....but that will be our little secret) In other blog news ( because I blog "so often" I have to put several news worthy items on one post) The Japan store that carries some of our items has opened up their web store! It's pretty cool! If you don't speak or read Japanese, they at least you can look at the cool pics! Cheryl is quite impressed that they make our stuff look better than WE do! Check it out here! Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

YEAH! Our First button sales!

It's true, even with a years experience, you still never know what will happen when you start up a new shop. Or make a new product change for that matter. ( i.e. book finding vending machines to carving to sewing to product supply.....etc) But today the ice was broken by our first sale. I has only been three days since the shop was first put up. And the sales are not HUGE...but they are the beginning and that is good enough for the moment. At least we now know that people are looking and our shop is set up right. By the way...have you seen the weather? Glad we are not in Michigan at the Ah well low batter at the laptop tells me that I need to make this post brief. Hope everyone is having a great week so far.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Buttons Arrive!

Happy Monday everyone! As of the last blog post, we were waiting for buttons to arrive. And, as luck would have it, they arrived that afternoon. So basically, Cheryl and I have been sorting and organizing buttons all weekend. And, today, we got our button shop up and running on Etsy. It's still in it's rough phase, but we will continue to work on it as we sort more and more buttons. Right now, we mostly have them sorted by color. There are lots of very cool buttons we have yet to sort and that will also come with time. Other than that, we tapped into a new Iowa Popcorn. It's pretty cool. It's the white it is light, fluffy and soft. Judging form the looks of it as it pops up, I'm assuming it is the butterfly variety. If you happen to see it in your local store...give it a try.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Waiting for wholesale supply

Ever wonder why certain things cost so much at stores? It's because they have to deal with wholesalers....Cheryl and I have been waiting for two weeks to get some supplies from a wholesaler and it has been very " interesting" so to say. Well, hopefully things are wrapping up now and we should be getting them soon. Hopefully they will arrive today! It leads me to also understand the wholesale mentality when it comes to dealing with customers. They probably do not want to be bothered with every nickle and dime order that comes around...nor do they want to deal with customers complaints or demands. That is what the retail store is for. Speaking from experience, I know what it is like to deal directly with the customer...and sometimes it is just not worth the effort. I would rather take a hit on the profit if I can deal with a store that purchases several dozen ( or millions ) of items at a time. Ok, Enough of my rant. Hope everyone is having a great Friday! The weekend is Upon us and hopefully you will be able to take full advantage of it. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New works from Allenbrite Studio

So Cheryl finally came up with a few new ideas that stray a little bit from our traditional wristlets. She has been experimenting with purses and finally we have enough to open a new shop and show them off a bit. Check it out at Her next project might be a little different, but we still have to get our supply shop up and running. I'm not sure when we will have the time ( or the inspiration) to get both of those things up.....In the mean time...check out some of her designs. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

So what types of Popcorns....?

As mentioned in a previous blog entry, We have been experimenting with the various Iowa popcorns. It is rather interresting, because I did a little research prior to our popcorn adventures and found out a few interresting facts. Basically there are two types of corn: Mushroom and butterfly. The mushroom pops up like a ball or mushroom shape and is rather leathery in texture. The Butterfly looks like( you guessed it) a butterfly with long fragile wings. They are rather delicate and melt in your mouth. The mushroom is good for the carmel flavoring because of the tough texture. Whereas the butterfly is good for the dry add on flavors, like salt, butter, cheese, etc. Now...which one is which? Well, I I believe that the yellow popcorn, also called the big and the mushroom kind. I know that there are differences in each one, but from what I have tested so far...that is my deduction. The white popcorn, also may be called ladyfinger or “gourmet” or “hull less” is the butterfly. It is tender and tasty. It pops open fairly complete so the hull is almost completely “shed” and all that is left is the white starch. I must admit that I'm new to this, but so far, the Iowa corn is the best we have tested. I personally like the white stuff...Cheryl likes the yellow. We trade on and off so we each get our favorite. We purchased some yellow from South Dakota and it is STRIKINGLY different from the Iowa stuff. To give you a tastes ( and smells) like bird seed. Not to say it is bad, it just has a strong flavor. There is also the black, or purple stuff, but in my opinion, it is more similar to the yellow than the white. Well, I may post later what various brands we have tested to give you a critique of them. Have a great day everyone...and Happy Popping!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Movie with Popcorn and Drinks!

What could be better than watching anime on your big screen TV with Movie style popcorn and beverages? NOTHING! hehe! Before Christmas, Cheryl had her heart set on a popcorn popper from Target that looks like a real movie style popper. I was reluctant, but with the scarcity of Jiffypop, And a all the Iowa types of popcorn out there to try, I decided I would tag along and see how it went. Well, the popper is pretty cool! Fresh popcorn with some butter salt is the BOMB! Not to mention that there are a number of gourmet popcorns out there with different flavors and textures. I'll have to blog about them Cheryl is currently using the computer to update the shop. Sorry I have been slow to blog....that Cheryl loves to monopolize the computer for"important" stuff...instead of letting me blog...what could be more important than that?! My readers look forward to every post after Well, Hope everyone has a great week. and I'll see if I can set up a new link to the new shop. See ya soon!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

More Snow in Iowa

Just when all the snow left us, it snowed again last night. About 4-6 inches. It's not too bad because it is still rather warm out compared to last week. ( No biting cold wind) Well, at least it makes the country side pretty. And it keeps the crowds down at Panera. Hope everyone is having a great week this week. Cheryl and I have been pretty much staying at home trying to come up with our next big thing...after stockings. Not much luck so far, but we will continue to work on it and hope to get hit by some form of inspiration.

Monday, January 10, 2011

School Rumble.. The Complete Series!

It's ours! Another Anime is now part of our collection. IT's a very funny anime and it makes high school look so much more fun than I remember it. If you want to check it out. They have episodes on you can sample. Every episode is pretty good and you definitely need to watch them in order to get a feel for the characters. So...If you have time and are looking to get into a new anime. Check it out online for free! At!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The latest from Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood!

In case you are not aware of it, the third installment of Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood is out now and Cheryl and I were one of the first people in line to purchase it. It's pretty cool! I would recommend it to anyone who has read the Manga and ever wanted the Anime to be true to it...but I'm still spoiled on the Original Full Metal Alchemist. IT seemed to be a little more thought out than the Brotherhood series. It's just my opinion. I have to at least applaud them for attempting to improve on perfection! FMA original seemed to be the best anime ever...and even when it was still wanted more. Now if ONLY they would redo Claymore! True to the Manga....then I can be one of those Otoku snobs that insist the manga is better than the Anime and mean it. Anyway...if you haven't checked it out can see the English dubbed on Go check it out! It's still a great Anime. Oh! And Olivie Armstrong. (Major Armstrong's Sister) Is introduced. She is A general that runs the Briggs Wall. Next to Hawkeye, she is one of my favorite female characters. ( I can't help it...she so sexy...)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Forged! What a great word! I love this word because it instantly generates a picture of a man covered in sweat and ash hammering a strong piece of steel in a fiery room. The Idea of shaping a substance that is strong and unyielding in such a way as to not break it but ultimately will bend to your imagined design. The process is slow and laborious but in the end the iron will look, feel and do what you want it to do. And so when you use this word to describe things other than metal smithing, it brings with it a number of images that are similar. Like forging a friendship, a life, and allieance. With that, I like to use the word forged to describe our new life in Iowa. We forged ahead when the outcome often looked doubtful. However, we stuck with it and slowly, over time, it became a reality and we are now quite pleased with the results. We also are in the process of forging a new business. Very similar to metal smithing, our business ideas have had their ups and downs, their cooling and heating processes. Each time we were able to shape it a little more into the shape that we desire. And with each blow of the hammer, we make it a little more resilient and strong. I'm not sure how long this current business idea will last, but hopefully we are able to move from the bronze age into the iron age...and perhaps beyond....

Monday, January 3, 2011

Building an Ikea Sofa! With the Great Ethan Allen...

I know most of you are wondering how Cheryl and I got that cool sofa home when we do not have a truck....( that is..if you knew we did not have a truck and did not pay for shipping....) Well, the cool sofa looked sad all alone. So Cheryl had this Awesome Idea to get another one that matched it. So a quick trip to Ikea and here we are! Three boxes that easily strapped to the roof of the Subaru! assemble: You first have to open the box and assemble the pieces. Then you cover the cushions and the arms with the colored fabric that is in the smallest box. ( they come in several colors that you can buy and interchange if you choose) then you assemble. It's easy! Only 4 bolts hold on each of the arms and the back for a total of 12 bolts! Even Cheryl can do it! the end...with the "help" of the cats and Cheryl. We were able to put it together in our living room and recline on it in less than an hour. Pretty cool eh? And! It is pretty comfortable and durable ( I'd like to think I'm an expert at furniture quality after building several pieces of my own, and being a furniture mover for several years) Cheryl now has her eye on a leather one ( it's VERY nice and affordable) but that might have to hold off for a few more months.....the trip to Ikea was rather exhausting for me ( the driver!) Hope everyone had a great holiday season and are looking forward to 2011! 2010 was quite the roller coaster ride for us...and that is putting it lightly. Hopefully I'll get back to blogging at a routine pace again. I miss blogging on a regular basis. Have a great Monday!


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