Monday, January 18, 2010

more sewing projects!

Another update on my new sewing projects!

After a few card cases, clutch, heat pads and coasters, I decided to try something a little more challenging.I have been wanting to make some file organizers to hang on the wall, and since "they don't look very hard to make",I decided that would be my next project.There was no pattern for me to follow because I already knew exactly what I wanted it to look like.

It turned out to be a little harder than I expected.I spent two nights making this thingy....

Hmm...overall I'm pretty happy with it.The stitches on the canvas are not quite straight, but I think they look pretty good on the two front cotton pockets.I'm not quite sure why I don't sew very well on canvas.Maybe because the fabric is thicker?Or maybe I was a little sleepy when I made it.

Overall the bias binding tape looks good too.I'm still not very good at doing the corners, but I'm getting a little better.

After I finished this file organizer, the book I ordered from Amazon came, so I was ready to move on to the fun stuff -- baby booties! My mom told me on the phone that my 6-month-old niece's hair is not growing evenly.Traditionally (Taiwanese tradition) when this happens, people believe if the babies are gifted booties from their aunt, their hair will start to grow evenly, and their teeth will also start to grow sooner (If you read Chinese,you can check out this link about "姑姑送鞋").So, I have a mission to accomplish.I already read through the pattern many times and the booties didn't look hard to make, so I thought maybe I could whip up a few pairs before I fly home next week...

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I didn't expect to spend 5 hours (!!!!!!!) on these tiny booties --

Alright alright, maybe I exaggerated, but I swear it took me AT LEAST 4 hours to make them.This is probably because I also made some mistake because I was confused about the pattern (I get confused very easily and when I get confused I would think really, really hard to understand why I'm confused..). But I never expected certain steps to be so difficult! For example, machine stitching around the top of the booties means super small and tight corners.I was very nervous about stitching the top shut so I moved very very slowly. I HIGHLY recommend this book "Making Children's Clothes" for sewing beginners who are learning to sew for babies and small children.It includes 25 full size patterns and the instructions are overall pretty easy to follow.

I'm pretty proud of how they turned out.Mike decided that my next project should be a fleece jacket for him.That doesn't sound too hard -- probably just another 10 hours...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Arrivals and 10% off Sale

New in shop -- initial necklace in gold, available in heart and round shapes.Great as Valentine gifts!

This tiny Tornado necklace in gold matches my popular tornado post earrings.

and these freeform hoops. They are available in two different sizes, but if you prefer a different size, or like them in gold, just let me know!

I will be away from 1/25~2/16 for my younger brother's wedding and Chinese New Year, and nothing will be shipped during this period.If you need to order Valentine's gifts or birthday gifts, please order in the next few days.I will ship out all orders placed by 1/23 before I leave.

From now through 1/23, mention coupon code "happy10" at checkout to receive 10% rebate** on all jewelry orders.Buy more, save more!

**the discount amount will be refunded to your paypal or credit card AFTER you submit the payment.If you don't receive it within 24 hours, please email me!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

my first sewing projects

If you have been following my blog, you may stll remember my other handmade adventures. I am a craft junkie and have tried many, many, many other crafts -- soap and candle making, stamping, scrapbooking,glass bead making,metal smithing,polymer clay,to name a few.Usually I would get very addicted to one hobby for a while, spend tons of money on supplies, and then all of a sudden move on to the next hobby. In the winter of 2008, I tried to learn to crochet. After a few long nights and three crochet bunnies, I put all my yarns away and haven't touched them since.

I had been wanting a sewing machine for a while,but when I was living in an apartment, there wasn't any spare corner for it, so now that we finally moved to a house, Mike finally got me a Brother XL2600-i for X'mas. In the past three weeks I have been in and out of the fabric stores to buy sewing supplies and bookstore to check out sewing books.The fabric store was having an after X'mas sale so I got some canvas and linen-like fabrics at a great price.

My very first project was a cotton body pillow case.It's very boring so I'm not going to show it here.After that, I got more comfortable with my machine,so I made a cute pillow for my niece who was just born a few months ago.

Then I made some card cases,a journal cover and clutch.I really like this "vine" stitch on my Brother, so I used it to add some interest to my card case --

Then comes the heat pads...

After making these projects, I decided(just like what I found out with my other hobbies) sewing was too time consuming and expensive and it's easier to buy what other people sew than do it yourself.So I bought some pouches from J Pat Purses. :) When I told Jenese(JPat) I was learning to sew, she generously spared me some of her super pretty scraps, so I used them to make these coasters--

I love them! Thanks Jenese!

I still have something else to show you, but we'll save it for next time. :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tutorial -- How To Pay With Credit Card Through Paypal

(written by Mollie Chen at Mu-Yin Jewelry)

You don't need a paypal account to pay for a paypal invoice. If you receive a paypal invoice but would like to pay with a credit card, here's a step-by-step tutorial.

Your invoice would be a separate email with a subject as "Mu-Yin Jewelry would like to be paid through paypal".Open this email, and click "Pay Now", and you will be prompted to the payment page.

This page describes what you are being charged for.Review the charges and click "continue"

Ignore tha big "log in to paypal" box on right of the next page. Instead, you will see a small link on the left side of the page next to the credit card logos that says "Continue" .Click it.

Here's the page where you fill out all of your credit card info(left side).After you fill out the details,click "Review Order and Continue" to finalize the payment, and you're done!

This is a very secure way to pay for your online purchases.It is more secure than giving your credit card number to the vendor over the phone or in person, because the vendor will not see your credit card info when you pay through this method.Also, even if you have a paypal account, you can still use this method to pay with credit card.

I hope you find this tutorial helpful!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Fungus - D90 image test

fungus nikon D90 image

Mike and I went out to the country where his father has a lot on the river.He talked to his dad and the neighbors while I walked around looking for interesting stuff to photograph.So here are the results of my little practice.These pictures of fungus were taken with my new +4 close up filter and the 18-105mm kit lens.They were only slightly edited in Picasa to increase the contrast.

fungus nikon D90 image

fungus nikon D90 image picture

fungus nikon D90 image

fungus nikon D90 image

fungus

fungus

Another image I really like was this bridge.Hopefully I'm starting to get more used to my new camera.

bridge

Thursday, January 7, 2010

a good start..

I still cannot believe another year has passed and that I have been a self employed full time jewelry artist for 1.5 years. After a very successful holiday season, sales have slowed down enough for me to take a breath, so I will (finally!) be listing a few new designs in the next two weeks.

But, before that, I have to tidy my studio first so I'll have room to work and..uh..walk around.What you will be seeing next is a top secret so please do not share it with anyone else ;)

This is my "cubicle".And you're wrong, this is not the "before", but the "after photo.

I know, it still looks like there's tons of stuff everywhere but at least most of the trash is off the floor now.This may look funny to you, but I actually sit on that computer chair when I make jewelry.I would constantly turn the chair to check emails and orders, and when something is ready I print out shipping labels(my little dymo label printer is right next to the computer), and put it in the bubble mailers, which are right behind the computer chair.Everything is within reachabledistance--yes, I'm that efficient(or you can also say lazy).The pile of paper at the very front of the photo is actually my other lazerjet printer(well, under the paper)

Did you see that world map on the wall?I use it to mark the countries I have sold my jewelry to.

You just saw the right side of the room, and here is the left side -- crafting books,jewelry supplies,packaging supplies(above the tall book shelf)

Believe it or not, I didn't realize I actually have a business until after I sort of organized my studio today.I am still trying to make this tiny office more organized to facilitate my work,so I may be putting some more tables in the office.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My New Nikon D90

nikon D90 image photo pictures

Happy New Year!

I finally bought my dream camera Nikon D90 after X'mas! I'm still trying to figure out all of the settings, but I'm excited to see the camera already literally "automatically" takes much better pictures for me even tho I have never used an SLR.Here's some photo comparisons

My old Canon Powershot SD950--

Nikon D90--

nikon D90 18-105mm lens image photo pictures

I have had my Canon point n shoot for two years now and have really loved it.However, like all point n shoot cameras, it has trouble taking photos under low light (and my house is always dark like what you see in these pictures..)Here's another example

Canon SD950--

Nikon D90 --

nikon D90 18-105mm lens image

I'm still having trouble taking photos of my jewelry with D90.Even when I zoomed in to the maximum and use the macro setting, the jewelry still looked awful small in the pictures,too small to see any details, and a lot of the time the lens did not focus well, whether I used manual or auto zoom.With my Canon Powershot it was so much easier because I set the digital zoom to 2x(but I don't think I can change the digital zoom on D90?). Because I'm so new to DSLR, I still don't know what the problem is, but I'm guessing the lens I'm using now (18-105 mm) is not the best lens for jewelry, so I may need to get another lens and some macro lens filters.If anyone out there can help me with this little photography question, I'd really appreciate it :)

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