Wednesday, January 30, 2008

wire wrapped jewelry tutorials

I received an email asking me about instructions on my wire wrapped rings, and here's my response--

"Most of my rings are my original designs so unfortunately I can't show you how I made them.. However, I know you can find some tutorials on some wire wrapped rings here-- "

Among above links, I have found Eni Oken's website to be particularly helpful, and I have found her tutorials very inspiring. I have studied tutorials from various websites and books, but have never taken any classes.

For jewelry making beginners, I recommend the following websites--

Monday, January 28, 2008

pearl hunting & the story about my pearl fixation..

I was extremely busy last weekend because of my day job and some extra jewelry orders.I suddenly realized that I was low on certain pearl colors after having sold so many of certain dedsigns, and had to order more pearls from my suppliers.That was when I again realized how lucky I was to find the pearl colors I had.Most of my pearls are dyed. All those funky and vivid red,blue, green, silver or bronze colors are dyed through the center of the pearls, and I am very enthusiastic about finding pearls in the "right" colors and shapes.

Freshwater pearls comes in different colors, sizes and shapes, and the round pearls I use for most of my rings are called "potato" pearls.If they have one side perfectly round and one side flat, they're called "button" pearls. If they have somewhat irregular shapes but are still sorta round, they're called "nugget" pearls.

My favorite pearls are large potato or nugget pearls in vivid colors, and they are hard to find. The sweet pea jewelry uses large lime green nugget pearls, and I just can't figure out why it's so hard to find these beads.

My favorite pearl color is rich and dark red -- as rich as red wine and wild cherries-- and I like red pearls in different shapes. Two of the most popular designs in my store use small potato red pearls(see pictures).The color is vibrant and the simple design goes very well with different daily outfits.

While I was able to finally get the same green pearls for my suppliers to make more sweet pea jewelry, I simply couldn't find the same red pearls for my "cherry hook earrings" and rings.The same supplier I ordered from no longer has the same pearls-- dyed pearls are always "limited" production in some sense-- and I know it will take me at least few more days to find a new supplier. With Valentine's day coming, I was expecting to sell more of these red earrings and rings, but since the only color I have left is different, I decided to remove the listing from my etsy store for now.If you are interested in these tiny red jewelry,wish me luck, check in my store later and see if I have found new pearls for the same design.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Family Reunion

I haven't gone home for the Chinese New Year since I started my music studies overseas 8 years ago.Over the years,half of my friends have left Taiwan for advanced studies in different countries.I have also made new friends in England and the US. I've also always known that Yu-Li, a cousin of mine has been in the States, but I wasn't able to get hold of her through emails for some reason. Yesterday I was surprised to see an email in my Etsy account from Yu-Li, who said she found my website through my brother Mu-Tien's website!(hey bro,how come i didn't even know you have a website??) I was so happy to hear from her again, and also amazed by how today's technology reconnects people with each other.
Mu-Tien is now finishing his Master's degree in the Netherlands.I couldn't find any picture of his but did find a beautiful picture he took near his apartment(I believe).

Monday, January 21, 2008

400 items sold

By last night,my Etsy store had been open for 6 and half months, and I had sold my 400th item on Etsy, another small milestone for me.I also have 917 hearts,making me feel so loved.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

photographing rose quartz

When photographing rose quartz against white background,the color tends to look washed out.I tried many times to take photos of this rose quartz ring and this was the best result i got--

Sometime ago, there was a discussion on the forum about photographing rose quartz.the conclusion is rose quartz would look nicer against grey or black background.I tried it again, and here are the new results--

new gemstone rings

I love my ruby ring so much that I decided to make this design with different gemstones.Let me know which one is your favorite by taking the poll on the side bar!

ruby ring

peridot ring

apatite ring

multi-gem ring

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sales report and January Etsy goal

My Etsy sales started to pick up in mid November, and peaked at the beginning of December.The following are the numbers of my total sales in the months since October--

October: 35
November: 74 plus some off-etsy orders
December:137 plus some off-etsy orders

Now that Christmas has finished, I know sales will slow down. My January Etsy goal is to sell at least 60 items AND reach total sales amount of $1000. By now it looks like I'm very likely to reach my goal.As Valentine's Day approaches, I expect to receive a few more orders towards February.I'm also hoping that as I start to update pictures, list new items and establish my client base, my Etsy store would gradually grow like other successful jewelry sellers on Etsy.
When I recall how I started my Etsy store, everything had gone so well that it's like a dream come true. I have put a lot of effort and endless time on the website and have learned so much.
I can't wait to see my business grow, and am also eager to share my experience with other Etsy sellers.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I was on this beautiful Etsy treasury today.I'm so happpy I have to share...

Monday, January 14, 2008

new camera and new photos

I'm still learning to use my new canon SD950,but i'm excited to see some results.Recently i've been updating pictures on my website.Here're some examples of camera comparison.The first picture was taken with my old sony cybershot, and the second picture was taken with my canon.

The pearls look totally different--

other than pearls,I'm also pretty happy with the results I get on other gemstone jewelry,especially this ruby ring--
Apart from upgrading my camera, I don't think anything has changed in my photo taking skills. I would highly recommend this camera to other etsy sellers who want to get good pictures without spending over $400 on a professional camera. All of my pictures were taken indoors under natural day light(near the window, where i get better lighting) and then edited with the free photo editing software picasa.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

taking off..

The HP laptop (pavillion dv2000) I bought last April had some serious problems and I had to send it back for repair. I have been very dissatisfied with HP and decided to get a new Dell desktop Inspiron 531S to run my business on. When I came home with my new Dell two days ago, I knew I was afraid. I just bought a laptop to run my business on not long ago, and now I was buying another computer. Suddenly I felt like I was really running a business.

I know it sounds funny that the fact I am running a business did not sink in until 18 months after I sold my first piece of jewelry, but before this I had been living on my day job and never thought about expanding my jewelry business. Now a new year just started and in a few months I will be hiring an accountant for the first time to do my tax,I can no longer say this is just a hobby.

I have a few more ideas about expanding my Etsy website that I will be trying in the coming few months. Unlike most crafters who start their business with craft shows, I started mine online, and have never met my customers in person. Finally, I will be having my first jewelry party next month, and I also plan to start doing craft shows this summer. My Ebay and Etsy customers have been a great support for me. Without my little success online I don't know if I will ever be confident enough to come out of my little shell to meet a larger craft market.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

pictures of your artist

this picture was taken outside my apartment two months ago-- yes, i know you think i look like 16..they always ask for my ID when I buy alcohol..

I'm also a musician. The following picture was taken after my Master's recital in 2006--

Friday, January 11, 2008

a red Valentine

To get ready for Valentine's Day, I added a few new designs in my store.I'm especially in love with red recently, and here are a few examples of my red jewelry--

You can find more red jewelry and lots of pink jewelry in my store.

Live and Love Happily!

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