Tuesday, August 26, 2008

DC trip

I had to go to Washionton DC at the last minute to apply for a visa to Hong Kong.Conclusion: Do not ever drive when you go to DC. The traffic is terrible, the roads are confusing(maps don't help!) and there's no parking at the hotel.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Storque Interview--"Quit Your Day Job"

My storque interview was published today.I am so excited!In fact, I am more excited than seeing my jewelry in Figure Magazine, because I was able to share my business experience with other sellers on Etsy in this interview.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Caroline again

It's so amazing to see a baby grow.I still remember the day when my god daughter Caroline was born, and now she is already walking....

brand new

3 months

6 months

12 months

Saturday, August 9, 2008

1400 items sold

I have just sold my 1400th item on Etsy, and also have my name added to the Top Sellers list on Etsy Wiki. Just a few months ago it was still hard to imagine myself becoming a "top seller", and all of a sudden I am already part of the list. : )

Friday, August 8, 2008


I finally bought a tripod last week.while in general I would say I have pretty steady hands when taking pictures (my little trick is hold the breath when I press the shutter),every once a while I do have trouble getting a very steady shot.Then of course I reached my limit and decided to get a tripod.So many Etsy sellers know they should use the macro setting on the digital camera, but I guess not many of them realize why the macro setting fails on them.If your hands are not steady, macro setting won't help you.If there's no way you can get your hands steady, then you need a tripod.
My old Sony camera didn't have a tripod mount, but my new canon does.I was new to tripods but they were apparently easier to operate than I thought.It was not very easy to get the exact angle at first, but once I got the right angle,I could take continuous steady shots.Here's some of my first pictures with the tripod.

more rubber stamp..bookplate

Last night I received the rubber blocks I ordered in the mail, and decided to make a bookplate that I had always wanted to do for my father, who is a renowned scholar in Taiwanese Literature. He has been a continuous inspiration and supportive force for my artistic development. A book-a-holic himself, he believed the best way to encourage his only daughter's creativity was to feed her with tons of books.He was the person who introduced me this thing called "book plate"(mind you I grew up in Taiwan and we don't have such thing) and I was fascinated by the concept of claiming the ownership of a book by stamping on it. He asked me if I would design a bookplate for him, who owned hundreds of thousands of books and is always growing his collections, and I immediately liked the idea.
I never started that bookplate.Instead, I left my country to pursue my dream to be a musician. Years passed before I picked up the hobby of stamp carving, and another few months passed before I thought about carving more stamps.I recalled my promise, and I knew exactly what that bookplate needs to look like."I must carve that stamp," I thought.
The carving set was a gift from my father over 15 years ago(yes,I have carried it with me all these years). I needed one for my art class, and I remember vividly how I was laying in bed from a fever when my father handed me that dream carving set ("wow!this set must cost at least $10. $10!!!!"). When I went to the art class the next day, I was one of the few kids that had such a gorgeous carving set ( "it was imported from Japan too!"). I must also be the only one that is still carving stamps after so many years.

Since dad is a patriotic scholar, we must have the map of Taiwan on the bookplate.I also decided to highlight four cities(those little black dots on the island) that have special meanings to him.From north to south--

Taipei-where he received his college education
HsinChu-where he corrently resides and teaches
Tainan-where he grew up
Kaohsiung-where my mother grew up

The five Chinese characters read "This book belongs to Wan-Yi Chen"

And here is the progress of the stamp making.I started with the Chinese characters(the most difficult part) and finished with the decorative border.

By the way, it happened to be the Father's day(8/8) in Taiwan when I was carving the stamp--Happy Father's Day, dad!

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Smile A Day Makes Your Sadness Go Away

Today I received an email from a customer, who just got her package.She told me that she has been having a tough time recently and the smiley faces in the package cheered her up.I was very moved by her email.
I started doing the "smiley tag" with my packaging a few weeks ago to confirm the ring size with customers.Then I came up with this silly idea to put a smiley on the tag.When I pack the jewelry,I make sure the smiley faces up so customers get an imaginary smile from me, the seller that they cannot meet in person.
It means so much to me to know I can make someone happy.And it's an amazing feeling to know a very small action can make someone happy..I thought I'd share my packaging with you--

The jewelry comes in a small box with my logo stamp hand carved by me :)
There's a tag with a smiley face on the ring..

jewelry care instruction is included..

Turn the tag over and it says the size of the ring..

Along with the box is a business card with my hand written thank you note on the back.

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