Monthly Archives: June 2009

Purse Party anyone?

Summer is here and this is the perfect time for me to try new designs, find new fabrics and do some research for Melinda Mae. It is also the perfect time for me to set up Melinda Mae Purse Parties!

What is a Melinda Mae Purse Party? A Melinda Mae Purse Party is where I come to your house and bring all of my purses/handbags/totes/clutches/wristlets to you and your friends! You can invite anyone you’d like and can be a great time for you to hang out and catch up with your friends. At the purse party, I can also bring swatches of all the fabrics that I have so your friends and family can place custom Melinda Mae handbag orders!

What makes a successful Melinda Mae Purse Party? 1) Be sure to invite your friends via evite/emails a few weeks in advance so they can make plans to be there. Make sure to send reminder emails so they don’t forget! 2) Provide light snacks/appetizers and refreshments. Who doesn’t love to eat and shop? 3) Have fun!

How much does it cost for me to host a Melinda Mae Purse Party? It is FREE! Who doesn’t love FREE? heheh Just set up a date and time with me and I will come to you!

Why would I want to host a Melinda Mae Purse Party? Not only will you be setting up a fun time for your friends and family to shop for Melinda Mae bags, you will also be providing a great networking and social setting for them. Also, as the host of a Melinda Mae party, you will receive a FREE Melinda Mae handbag of your choice!

How do I set up a Melinda Mae Purse Party? Simply contact me at info@melinda-mae.com and we can discuss the location, dates and times. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact me.

Please also visit my website at www.melinda-mae.com to see new products, upcoming shows and links to other independent small business owners!

Here are some photos of past Melinda Mae purse parties!

Melinda Mae Handbags on display

Melinda Mae Handbags on display

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Satisfied Melinda Mae customers!

Satisfied Melinda Mae customers!

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I heart Wong Fu!

I’m sure you have already heard of Wong Fu Productions. If you haven’t, where have you been? haha jk Wong Fu Productions is a group of three extremely talented and creative guys (Phil, Wes & Ted) who have been making amazing films, shorts and music videos. They have a huge following and have been chosen to show their films at Cannes Film Festival and various independent film festivals. Luckily for me, I actually met Phil when I was in college at UCSD. Through Phil, I then met Wes and Ted. I am so proud of these guys and they really are the most humble fellas you will ever meet. About a year ago, I gave them one of my Melinda Mae handbags and to my surprise, this is what they created.

I was and still am so honored to be a part of one of their shorts. And I have had many people contact me to see if I still make that bag…and YES I do…so please let me know if you’re interested in it. =)

I can’t say enough about these guys. They continue to amaze me with their creativity, humor, talent, attentiveness to their fans and sincerity. They have also been working with FarEast Movement to put on the International Secret Agents (ISA) concerts to highlight other Asian Pacific Islander artists, dancers and musicians.  I attended their 2nd ISA concert at the Palace of Fine Arts this past March. I was so excited to see the sold out crowd and enjoy FarEast Movement, Jin, Project Em, Paul Dateh, Passion and a preview of new Wong Fu shorts and videos.

ISA Concert - March 2009

ISA Concert - March 2009

Jin - ISA Concert March 2009

Jin - ISA Concert March 2009

They’re putting on another ISA concert in LA soon so look out for that or check out their website: www.wongfuproductions.com You’ll also find all of their videos, t-shirts, merchandise and their blog. Here are just some of my favorite Wong Fu shorts:

This one is my favorite because it has all three of the guys (Phil, Wes and Ted) in it and I love Phil’s facial expressions. haha

So if you haven’t watched any of their shorts, films or videos, set aside a few hours to view some of them. I love all of them!  And Congratulations to Wong Fu Productions for being interviewed by KTSF and CNN and being featured as one of the 30 Most Influential Asian Americans under 30 by Angry Asian Man!

OMG! Is that Phil admiring a Melinda Mae handbag? =)

OMG! Is that Phil admiring a Melinda Mae handbag?

Like I said, these guys are super humble and I am glad that I still get to hang out with Phil once in awhile, even though we are inevitably interrupted by an adoring fan. And of course, he is always willing to take a picture and thank them for being fans.

Lots of love and respect for Wong Fu Productions for always being so supportive of other small business owners, designers, artists, musicians, actors/actresses and others pursuing their dreams while staying true to themselves. What more can I say, I heart Wong Fu! =)

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Sewing Machine #2

So since my first sewing machine decided to rain metal pieces everywhere, I went on a quick hunt to find a replacement sewing machine so I could make all my bags for my recent Japantown Craft Fair. I ended up picking up a Singer sewing machine. My last machine was a Brother sewing machine that I bought in 2002.  So 7 years is pretty good but let’s see how long this one lasts.

the new sewing machine!

the new sewing machine!

I started using this one on Tuesday night and I have already broken 4 needles. =( This machine seems a lot more fragile than my old machine and sews a bit slower. There is also a tricky automatic needle threader, which I haven’t decided if I like yet. But it did do well in letting me make my last few bags for my Japantown show on Saturday.

JCYC Craft Fair and Island Jam

JCYC Craft Fair and Island Jam

It was a beautiful sunny day in SF on Saturday! The Craft Fair took place in Japantown San Francisco and there were vendors selling t-shirts, jewelry, artwork, dog apparel, hand towels and other handbags. It was great to be next to my friends at A Hui Hou Hawaiian jewelry and I made an awesome trade with the Fat Rabbit Farm folks. Look at the three shirts I got! I love them!

Fat Rabbit Farm!

Fat Rabbit Farm!

I met some really nice people at the fair and had some friends stop by my booth! Thanks to Danny, Uvan, Mona, Annalyn, Jared, Holly, Jenn and my family for stopping by! And special thanks to Steven for keeping me company ALL day! So after the show, we headed to Tanpopo for ramen since we hadn’t eaten all day long except for a piece of sushi that I accidentally dropped on the floor after one bite. =(

Tanpopo Ramen

Tanpopo Ramen

yakiudon with calamari

yakiudon with calamari

Then we headed to the Japantown Kintetsu Mall and wandered around for a bit. We bought some Taiyaki from the food court and browsed into the new Sanrio store and Kinokinuya.

mmm...taiyaki

mmm...taiyaki

Speaking of Taiyaki, there is a place in San Mateo called Sweet Breams that has really good Taiyaki and the packaging is really cute.  I haven’t been there since December but have been trying to make a trip out again soon. I really love their store because there is artwork displayed from local artists.

Sweet Breams...indeed

Sweet Breams...indeed

The taiyaki at Sweet Breams are smaller than the ones in Japantown but these are deliciously bite-sized and you have your choice of chocolate, nutella (my fave!), red bean and more! The store is located in downtown San Mateo so stop by if you get a chance.

yummmmmmmmm

yummmmmmmmm

So back to the Japantown fair, it was a good day to showcase my bags, meet some nice people, hang out with friends and eat some yummy food. =) Here are a couple pics of Melinda Mae handbags showcased at the fair:

Umbrella Clutch

Umbrella Clutch

Yuzu Medium Handbag

Yuzu Medium Handbag

Let m know what you think! =)

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my sewing machine hates me =(

Like I told you all in my last post, I have been getting ready for the Japantown show which is this coming Saturday, June 20th. So I set today aside to work on making Melinda Mae bags all day. I’m not sure what was wrong today, but my sewing machine decided to give me problems all day today. First, the stitches were not coming out right, so I studied my manual and was pretty confident that I fixed it. Then, as I changed the thread in my bobbin, the cover fell on the floor. When I picked it up, I noticed that a few of the plastic pieces broke off when it hit the floor. So I busted out the glue and thought that was fixed. As I sewed more pieces, the stitches started to look messy again. So I studied my manual again for a couple hours and kept trying different things to fix it. Finally, I was so proud of myself because I thought I finally fixed my machine. Shame on me for being overly confident. =/ I was about 2 inches from finishing a bag, when the needle snapped and metal pieces all around the needle fell from my machine. All the metal pieces were broken and bent and I had no idea where any of it came from.

my unhappy sewing machine

my unhappy sewing machine

So…as I stared in disbelief at my machine, I realized that I am going to have to buy a new machine immediately…as in, NOW. So I am researching new machines now and hoping that it will not blow up on me like this one just did. I have had this one since 2002 so I guess it’s had a good run and has made over 200 Melinda Mae handbags. But my mom’s sewing machine is over 20 years old and runs more amazingly than my machine ever did. sigh….well wish me luck in getting a good one. =(

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JCYC Craft Fair & Island Jam

I have been busy these days getting ready for the Japantown Craft Fair & Island Jam, which will take place at the Japantown Cultural & Community Center in SF on June 20th.

upcoming_craftfair2009My room is a mess and there is fabric everywhere! I really want to make a good selection of bags to bring to the show and to show off my new wristlets. I’ve also purchased a ton of new fabric so I hope everyone will love the designs as much as I do. Here are swatches of some of my new fabrics:

umbrella...ella...ella

umbrella...ella...ella

Yuzu

Yuzu

orange sherbert

orange sherbert

jungle

jungle

I am excited to see what people have to say about the wristlets. I have been testing one out lately and found that it is perfect for my snacks, checkbook, make-up, feminine products (sorry guys) or pens. It is also fits a digital camera, cell phone and ID very nicely. =) I can make the wristlets in any fabrics that I have. So if you see a fabric you like on the Melinda Mae website, you can order it in any fabric you fancy.

2009 Melinda Mae Wristlets

2009 Melinda Mae Wristlets

Let me know if you have any comments or suggestions.  I would greatly appreciate the feedback.  Any other designs that you want to see?

Hope some of you can make it to the Craft Fair on June 20th. There will also be hula performances across the street. My friends from A Hui Hou Hawaiian Jewelry and Fat Rabbit Farm will be there too! Be sure to stop by their booths for beautiful Hawaiian jewelry and really cute chubby rabbit tshirts! =) And if you come for the fair, you have to go by and grab a crepe at Sophie’s crepes or ramen at Tanpopo…mmmm….now I’m hungry again!  =P

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Oh so soulful…

 

Paramount Theatre - Oakland, Ca

Paramount Theatre - Oakland, Ca

Last night, I was fortunate to see Musiq Soulchild and Anthony Hamilton in concert at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland. The Paramount Theatre is breathtaking and there is not a bad seat in the place. I arrived early because I heard that Goapele was opening and she did! How amazing to watch three great soulful artists, one after the other! Goapele was beautiful, as usual. Unfortunately, she only played for about 30 minutes but I was still giddy since I wasn’t expecting to see her. Musiq Soulchild performed next and came out in a nice slick white outfit and had the crowd singing along and dancing in their seats. Besides the distracting back-up dancers, I enjoyed Musiq’s performance and was excited to see what Anthony Hamilton was going to do. Anthony Hamilton was also great! Unfortunately, he had hurt himself a couple days before so he spent the whole time limping and using a cane. I felt bad for him because you could tell that he really wanted to dance while he was singing!  Anthony Hamilton also had people dancing in the aisles and his voice was so powerful live. Listening him sing “Can’t Let Go”, “Point of It All” and “Charlene” was extremely moving. I had to just sit back and admire his soulful voice. He finished his set with “Cool” and had the crowd on their feet and singing along with him.  Wow…what an amazing concert. Hmm…who should I see next? =) 

 

 

Anthony Hamilton groovin' with the crowd

Anthony Hamilton groovin' with the crowd

Playing in SF =)

 

i heart SF!

i heart SF!

 

This past week, I was lucky enough to hang out in San Francisco, partly for work, but also for fun! It was cold in the city but still great to roam around the city and take some shots of good food and explore. I threw my camera into my Melinda Mae bag and I was ready to go! 

Britex Fabrics: I made sure to stop by this fabric store on Geary in Union Square. I was hoping to find some good deals to make some nice Melinda Mae bags with, but I was unable to find any good deals. The store is four stories high and has a variety of fabrics. There is even a whole floor with just notions! Unfortunately, I left empty-handed. =( 

 

mmmm...Golden Gate Bakery egg tarts!

mmmm...Golden Gate Bakery egg tarts!

 

Chinatown: Of course I had to stroll over to Chinatown for some yummy cheap food! I stopped by Golden Gate Bakery for some delicious egg tarts. I can eat egg tarts all day long! We also picked up a ridiculous amount of dim sum. We grabbed the dim sum to go and ate it in the park on Clay, where all the older chinese men are playing mah-jong in the park. We ate pork buns, sui-mai, ha-gow, deen-doi, fried chicken wings and anything else that was greasy and good. We didn’t finish it all…so we had yummy dim sum as snacks for the rest of the trip. We also had congee one day…mmm…congee with roast duck is so good. =) And if you have ever had a chinese donut, you’ll know that thing is leaking with oil, but it’s so good!

 

Fisherman's Grotto

Fisherman's Grotto

Fisherman’s Wharf: I also headed down to Fisherman’s Wharf and enjoyed crab and a clam chowder bowl! mmmmmm….amazing. I just wish my stomach was bigger so I could eat more.

 

mmm...clam chowder in a bread bowl

mmm...clam chowder in a bread bowl

Japantown: I love Japantown! I also love the yummy crepes that you can get at Sophie’s Crepes. Mmm….they have a wide variety of combinations which can include nutella, strawberries, kiwi, banana, ice cream, eggs and much more. I always get the strawberries with vanilla ice cream, whip cream and chocolate. Amazing! 

ooo crepe goodness

ooo crepe goodness

If you’re in Japantown, stop by the Kinokuniya bookstore. There are a lot of really unique books and toys. 

Academy of Sciences: Who knew the Academy of Sciences was so hip? I love the Academy of Sciences, especially the aquarium. But I have never been to the Academy of Sciences NightLife, which is their Thursday night series of DJs or live bands. There were so many people there, all dressed up like they were at a club/bar. And it was weird seeing people holding alcohol as they looked at all the exhibits. haha Next to the Planetarium, there was a DJ playing house beats and a guy drumming next to him. It was so awesome and everyone was dancing and having a great time. It’s only $10 to go on Thursday nights and $8 if you are a member. Unfortunately, it only goes until 10pm but it’s still worth it to see how hip the museum can get. =)

IMG_1522

IMG_1494 I was also able to see my favorite things at the aquarium. I love two animals just because their names make me laugh: lumpsucker and the nudibranch. =) Makes me laugh every time. 

Well, hopefully you’ll get a chance to head out to SF and check out these great spots. Oh and make sure you go on an empty stomach. =) I’m sure I’ll be heading up again sometime soon to get some more good food. Next time, I’m buying a dozen egg tarts!