Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Do you have to poop when you're in a bookstore?

Here's perhaps an interesting post for you - and also a pretty personal one:

I've always adored being around books.  My father was a bit of a book collector, and I enjoyed pulling random encyclopedia volumes off the shelf and having a flick through, or looking through the multitude of wildlife books he had and copying the watercolour paintings of different types of birds in crude crayon.

I've carried on with my own trait of collecting books - first Japanese grammar books when I was learning Japanese through high school and my undergraduate degree, and those books slowly blended into anything I could get my hands on about language and linguistics.  Now it's archaeology, lots and lots of books on archaeology, palaeolithic archaeology, the origin of language, and old 19th century anthropologist books with strange pictures and stranger views on humanity.

And I've married a man who could bury me in his own book collection.  So I'm often surrounded by books at home.  And they don't make me need to poop.

In order to acquire these books, I purchase many of them online - but, of course, I also spend a lot of time in bookshops.  And a strange thing happens when I'm in a bookshop, or a library.  Without fail, I'll feel like I need to go to the bathroom.  I don't know when I first noticed this - probably in my early 20s when I was frequenting bookshops more - but every time I stepped into an Oxfam bookshop, the university library, or a Chapters or Waterstone's, I've needed to cut my browsing short or else I'll need to start searching for a bathroom.

And once I've left the premises... the feeling goes away!

I thought this was extremely unusual, and never mentioned it to anyone, until one day during a conversation with two friends about books and bookstores.

And do you know what one of my friends said?

With a shocked look on her face, she said the exact same thing happens to her!!  We were united in this strange strange phenomenon.

Years later, fast forward to yesterday, and I get a text from her that simply says "You know that strange thing we both have?  It's a real thing!  Look up Mariko Aoki phenomenon!"

Simply put, the Mariko Aoki phenomenon (Japanese 青木まり子現象) is the urge to defacate when you visit a bookstore.  It's a thing! It's named after Mariko Aoki, a Japanese woman who wrote about these feelings she had in a magazine in the 80s.  After that she recieved letters from lots of other people who had the same thing!

Here is the Wikipedia article.

A quick trip around the interwebs shows others speaking about this strange urge.  Many other articles are just posting about it because it's funny.

Wikipedia notes some theories say it is because of the smell of the ink, or the posture you are in while you look at books.  I don't think it's either of these - I'm around books all the time at home!  I suggested to my husband that it might be because I love books and it makes me excited and a bit tense - all these unread, unbought books!!  He suggests it's the smell of paper.  Hm, perhaps it could be the smell.

But I'm seriously considering starting a Facebook page so us sufferers can rally together in solidarity!  What do we want?  To poop!  When do we want it?  When we're in a bookstore!

Are there any other sufferers out there?

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Etsy Shop Closed for Summer! Reopening in October :)

I've made a drastic decision (AK!), and have closed my Etsy shop for summer :(  I'm going to be busy for the next two months at work, and then I'm off to France for a month again digging.  Once I'm back I will be moving and relocating and starting my PhD - and it's all a bit much to be able to guarantee levels of customer service I want to, and keep up with sales!

So I've made the decision to put my shop in holiday mode until October when I'm settled again :)  Which is in time for the Christmas rush, and I'll be there to make all your bookshelf necklace Christmas gifts ;)

I've never closed my shop before!  Even when I've gone away, I left it open with the message that you can still place your orders, and I'll finish them as soon as I return.  I can't do that this time I'm afraid though - so instead of not being the best Coryographies I can be, I'll have this little hiatus.  I'm a little sad :(  I love my little shop, sniff sniff!

I'm still going to be blogging, doing giveaways (like the one a couple posts below..........!) and sending out my monthly newsletter (sign up on the Newsletter tab or on the right side of the screen)!  I'll be here - just not at the kitchen table sawing and gluing as much!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Wyoming! 3 states to go until USA domination!

Amazing!  I was so happy to learn last month that I had a Coryographies order to South Dakota, since that ticks off my 46th state I've sold to.  That left Hawaii, West Virginia, Montana and Wyoming.

But look!  A lovely order has come in from Wyoming, marking my 47th state towards my treating the US like a collectors sticker book.  And it has made me very happy indeed!

Again, like many states, I'm not too knowledgable about this one.  So I've looked up a few facts and read a bit to figure out about the lovely person's state my bookshelf necklace will be sent to.

First thing I noticed - Wyoming is a square.  And it has a buffalo on its flag.  That's cool, I like buffalo.

The capital and largest city is Cheyenne, a name I've heard drawled before in Westerns.  It's also the least populated state.  Wyoming is home to Yellowstone National Park.  I had a video box set as a child of documentaries about the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Yellowstone National Park.  Nice.

Also, another point to make me nostalgic, the Oregon Trail goes through the state.  All North American children of the 90's know the perils of dysentery and drowning when fording a river because of the much loved computer game of the same name.

Wyoming was the first US state to extend the vote to women, but they have yet to allow same-sex marriage.

It was very easy to find beautiful pictures of Wyoming - it looks like it has a gorgeous and varied landscape, and an interesting unique culture and history.

I think a tour of the States in an old VW hippie van is now definitely in order...

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Interview with Anna Burnell from Miss Beatrix

Anna's life is full of handmade.  On her blog Miss Beatrix, she shares some of her amazing vintage finds (she has great knack for finding treasures!), handmade crafts (she sells gorgeous handpainted buttons on Etsy), runs a successful Post Circle, and a craft group called Creatives Unite.

I had to interview her, knowing her answers to my questions would be interesting and lovely to read about!  And they were!

Cory: What is the attraction you have to things that are handmade?

Anna: Handmade for me means creating something unique, perfect in its flaws, made with love and often for very little money at all. A handmade item is truly a special thing in a world of mass-production, plastic and consumerism. Each is a work of art!

Cory: What crafts do you like to do?

Anna: All sorts! The first craft I ever took seriously as a hobby was making doll’s house miniatures from polymer clay and household items. I’m in love with the idea of making objects and scenes I’d never be able to have or visit in the real world. As well as making buttons, which I sell, I love embroidery, being a novice sewer, baking, knitting, smash booking… and I’m just learning to crochet!

Cory: How much time do you spend on crafting?

Anna: Because I run a crafts blog, an Etsy shop and crafting is my main method of relaxation, I’d
say a fair amount of time! Sometimes it can only be for a few minutes a day, but I tend to have several projects on the go and I further them all whenever I can. As well as going to a monthly craft club I run Creatives Unite, which is a great excuse to drop everything else for two hours a week and just create. And my favourite weekends are those with a crafty friend, a stack of dvds and a pile of crafting materials!

Cory: You have an Etsy shop selling adorable handpainted buttons, where do you find inspiration and ideas for things to sell?

Anna: I couldn’t tell you where the inspiration for making and painting buttons came from as I have
no idea, but many of my design ideas come straight from nature. I love British animals and birds and so I capture them in button-form. I like to wear my passions for all the world to see, which is why tea, biscuit and knitting-themed buttons have featured in my shop before now too! I guess I just think about what I love, and hope others will feel the same way.

Cory: Do you have any advice for someone who loves crafting and is thinking about taking the
plunge and selling them? What should be their first step? 

Anna: I think you have to have ‘two heads’. The designing and making side is lots of fun, and it’s the best feeling in the world when someone parts with their hard earned cash for something you have made, but you do need to employ some basic business sense. Selling through any medium means you are a business owner, and that means being prepared to deal with spreadsheets, tax forms and being savvy about material costs and paying yourself for your time.

I’d say your first step should be to research all the scary and dull stuff like tax and insurance from the off, be honest with yourself about how much time you can dedicate to marketing your work, and put a plan in place. If you can deal with all that then you can enjoy the fun side of selling your work guilt-free! Sometimes when you make things to sell a design can go from being something you really enjoyed making for yourself and friends, to something you begin to resent making over and over to sell. If that’s the case, stop. If I painted my buttons with anything other than passion it would show and my business would suffer. Tweak your design or stop it altogether, but don’t allow complacency or boredom to kick in.

Lastly, my blog has helped my sales enormously. I don’t really blog much about the buttons themselves, but the blog helps customers to feel they know and can trust the person they are buying from. I was so grateful to be able to launch my shop into a group of supportive readers who were as excited as me. Blogging has also helped me meet loads of fellow creative souls!

Cory: Can you tell us a little bit about Creatives Unite?

Anna: Of course! Creatives Unite is an online creative club. We meet on Twitter every Thursday
between 8 and 10pm, and basically we’re all working away on crafty and creative projects
in the comfort of our own homes (with me usually in my pyjamas!) but while supporting one
another and chatting. The aim is to stop you making excuses for not making time for your
creative side… and just do it. Everyone is welcome. You can find out more here and use
#creativesunite to track our tweets.

Cory: Finally, what is your absolute favourite place to be?

Anna: Curled up in my favourite chair, just after a long walk, working on a craft project with a snoring dog and a cup of tea at my side.

Anna's blog is a joy to read, so I recommend following it and enjoying her posts!  Thanks so much for letting me interview you, Anna!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Spring Giveaway - Pride and Prejudice Bookshelf Necklace

I have a new giveaway, with a brand new necklace design! This next month, enter to win my Pride and Prejudice Bookshelf Necklace:

It's a pretty sage green, with a quill and ink and sheets of note paper on the top shelf, and a little perfume bottle on a lace doily, as well as a bookmarked book with a bundle of lavender sitting on it on the middle shelf. I also accented it with gold paint, and a gold plated chain. Very Pride and Prejudice feeling!  Perfect for any Jane Austin fan!

This necklace actually began as a custom design I created with a customer - but I love it so much, I'm making it a permanent design! We were trying to design a bookshelf necklace with romantic Victorian or Regency elements, and this is what resulted :)

The giveaway will run from today until June 12th.  I'll contact you through one of the mediums you entered by (Facebook, Twitter, email...) and post you your prize at no cost to you.  Open to everyone, anywhere in the world!

Enter here (click on the entries if you need more information):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Or, if you don't like your chances, you can purchase one here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/130583206/pride-and-prejudice-bookshelf-necklace?ref=shop_home_active

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Craft Idea Generator - I should bake a necklace out of chocolate...

Here's a little craft idea generator I made... I'm sure you'll get lots of productive ideas out of it!  

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

It always comes in waves!

Wahhhh, when Coryographies business is quiet, it's really quiet, and when it's busy it's REALLY busy!

Yesterday Etsy posted one of my bookshelf necklaces on Facebook page, along with a tweet, and my page views shot up by 1200 in an hour!  Along with that came quite a few sales, and since I was coincidentally already knee deep in finishing a wholesale order and a few others, busier than usual for April, I'm now officially BUSY!  It's after midnight at the moment, and I need to get some sleep for the 9-5 tomorrow, followed by lots of painting and varnishing in the evening.

It's nice to be busy though.  And I love spending the evenings frantically trying to meet all my order deadlines!  It makes me appreciate that Coryographies is a nice little success :)

Lots of earrings ready for packaging!