Friday, October 31, 2008

My Friend Is Back!

My best friend just called me! She came back from China a couple of
days ago, and she is coming to my house this Sun to drop off the
package my mom sent to her house! How exciting! She also bought me a
pair of earrings, which was made with some new technique I never heard
of. Cannot wait to see it. We went to the same graduate school here in
Boston, and became best friend almost instantly, because we share very
similar personality. Now whenever we are together, we talk about our
plants, earrings, andoccasionally our job. And she is going to pick up
some plants from my house. I made some jasmine cuttings for her over
the summer, and they are doing great, even bloomed recently. And I am
giving her an orchid, I think it's called "twinkle" (oncidium). The flower spikes came out before she left, and the buds
are still not open yet. Now she can have something else to look forward
to after her hugexmas cactus finish the spectacular show. Yeah, that
was the first thing she saw when she came back. It was like a huge
bouquet, with no green showing! Told her to take some pictures. You
will see later.

Feeling so tired these days. I have been
working very hard every night. I normally come home from work around
7pm, then cook for about an hour. At least DH love to wash the dishes
and clean the kitchen, so I probably can get down to my 'craft studio',
a.k.a. the basement, around 8:30pm. Then I will have about 3 hours to
create something beautiful. I am those kind of people who can only work
on something they are in the mood for. Lucky I have both jewelry making
and sewing. So, when I am sick and tired of tying knots, I will start
cutting fabric and sew something new. If I am tired of both, I can play
with the camera, and try to get some better pictures for the store.
Always something to do. But after several months of living this way, my
body is getting tired. I definitely need to squeeze in some exercise
time. My muscles are tight all the time, from the typing (my full time
job is a computer programmer), and knotting. I have to start using our
exercise room, the other side of the basement, after all I worked very
hard to paint those walls and the floor. Have to go to bed earlier
today, immediately after the trick-or-treaters left. Will remember to take some pictures of them, and post here. Those kids were always super cute.

And here are some of new earrings I am going to post online. They are sterling silver with semi precious jem stones.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Christmas Cactus?

Or shall I say Halloween Cactus? My Xmas Cactus opened the first flower for this season yesterday! I never like to force plants to bloom at certain time. They will bloom when they are ready. If they decide to bloom around xmas, that is great. If not, I still have lots of orchids in bloom. So, no big deal. I got this baby about 7 years ago, at student center in my school. It was tiny and didn't bloom for years. Apperantly it really like this house, it has been blooming very nicely for the past 3 years, even though some big branches kept rotting and falling off. It bloomed last Oct, and then this past Feb again. I kept it on the sunning deck, under a little table, so it didn't get much sunshine or water. I was ready to throw it away and get a new one, because it looked really bad, that's when I saw the tiny flower buds. OK, guess it's just not ready to die. Tough little plant.

Oh, one of my favorite Etsy seller, Elizabeth Scott Designs was Etsy Featured Seller yesterday. I love her designs so much, probably because she gets her inspiration from nature, and I love flowers, leaves, trees, and I love silver jewelry. Her jewelry is so well designed and carefully crafted, no wonder her store is doing so well. She sold more than 3800 pieces over two and half years! Amazing! Take a look at these two, you will know what I mean. Oh, I really like the way she display and package her jewelry. These colorful background makes the silver really stand out, and you can see every single details. Great pictures.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Etsy Find Of The Week

Forgot how I found this shop, but aren't these pillows lovely and refreshing? I love the flowers and birds in my garden, these pillows remind me of that. What a great way to bring outdoor in. The prints are "silkscreened on solid color cotton". Sounds simple, but I have no clue how that works. Anyway, I am keeping this shop in my favorite list, so next spring when I redo the living room, I will know where to get pillows.
Or wall arts.
She also has lots of cute cards.
Don't just listen to me. Go check her out at

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nursing Cover Fabrics

Have been really busy recently, so almost no time to play or blog. This one will be a very quick one. A couple of friends want to buy some of my nursing covers. I couldn't bring all of them to work to show them, so I took some pictures of the fabric combinations I have, uploaded them to my flickr. This way they can check them out online, and just let me know which ones they like. Just hoping they won't choose the same one. I don't have enough remnant fabric to make one more copy. Oh, once I figure out how to take a decent picture of the finished cover, I will be posting them in my shop soon. Here are just some samples.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Still Here

I am still here, just have been really busy for the past couple of days. Will catch up on posting this weekend. Here are some of the new items will be posted onto my shop.

I made some cute pin cushion a while back, but pictures all came out wrong. I think this batch of pictures look fine and true to the colors. Here are the first 3 going to the "Sew Tranquil" section in my shop.
And here are some of the new keychains.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Skunk Problem

Remember I found a skunk home under my deck about a month ago? I thought it left after I filled the hole up with water for several days. We got a big surprise when we got home yesterday. We live in a townhouse, share a wall with our neighbor on our right side. They stopped me as I was entering my home. Apperantly their home is filled with skunk smell. At first, they didn't know what was going on, and thought something might be burning. I guess they never smelled skunk before. Anyway, they searched the entire house, including the attic and basement, and finally located the source, a tiny hole on the basement wall, near the ceiling. The smell came in through outside. And when the husband went out to throw out the trash, he finally found the real source. There was a skunk hiding under their stairs! It was not moving! He took some pictures with their big camera, so they could zoom in on it. He said even though the skunk was not moving, its eyes blinked. They called animal control, but they said if it was not an emergency, they won't come in the dark. So, when I got home, it was still there. He showed it to me, we used flashlight on it, it was not moving at all. And none of us want to get closer to look at it. We noticed its belly is huge, thought the poor thing might have been having trouble giving birth. We really wanted to help 'her', but she just won't stop spraying. So we went back inside the house, had our fingers crossed for her. Since she kept on spraying, the smell in their house and basement got stronger and stronger, and it came to our side! I guess there must be some holes or gaps on the common wall. We couldn't open the windows and doors, and the smell kept coming in. So you can imagine how well we slept last night. I woke up several times because of it. And this morning, when we open the front door, that smell hit us right in the face. Just hope the animal control will come today and take it away. What a night! And what a 'smelly' way to start a day!

I put the pink earrings, the red button knot keychain and the blue and yellow button knot bracelet in my shop yesterday. The pictures are in yesterday's post. And here are the ones I am going to post today.

Monday, October 20, 2008

More Photo Processing

I managed to photoshoot most of the new bracelets, keychains, and earrings last night. But there is no way I can finish processing them all together and post them all up. I will try to do several a day. These are what I got done for today, and the pink earrings are in my shop already. Oh, I used my new earring display this time. In the bracelet pictures, I think the white background can be blinding sometimes. What do you think? I will probably play with some colorful background tonight, but then I have to be really carefully not let the background overwhelm my piece.

And here are some pictures I took around Boston on Sat. The weather was picture perfect, and the colors were intense. Oh, the last two pictures are my street and my neighbor's dog. We love her so much.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Cleaning

Is there such a thing called "Fall Cleaning"? I guess if you are a gardener, this is one of the most important thing to do. I didn't have time or the energy to do the entire fall cleaning this weekend, but I did managed to dug out the plants I wanted to save before this year's first frost, which will be tonight. Way too early! :( So, all of a sudden, my indoor plant collection got much bigger! I cleaned my Cymbidium, Elephant Ear, and our favorite Norfolk Pine. It was lots of work, especially with the Norfolk Pine. I put it out in the front yard every summer, right underneath the oak tree. I know it suppose to get full sun, but since it spends 6 months winter time indoor, with partial sunlight, it gets burnt easily outside, even after the hardening off period. I actually burnt it earlier this year. So, it stayed under the tree for the whole summer. Anyway, it loves to be outside. It grew pretty fast, now it's almost 6-ft tall, and more than 4-ft in diameter! If it keeps growing like this, I am afraid we have to give it away. And as you can imagine, it's quite heavy with that big pot. I tried to keep the pot dry while washing the tree, otherwise it would be impossible for me to move it. So now, my dining room is a jungle again. And the shelf in the small bedroom upstairs is 2/3 full. It was almost empty last year! I have to give some duplicates away, otherwise, I will be running out of space in no time. I have a problem with killing a plant, or throwing away a cutting after pruning. And I tend to keep some of my favorite annual indoor for winter as well. I know, not very smart, but I just don't have to heart to let the winter kill them. Ok, back to 'fall cleaning'. It was too cold to wash the pots outside, so I put most of them in the utility sink in the basement, soaking in bleach water. I love that sink, I am so glad Richard and "Ask This Old House" show installed it for me. I cannot imagine what I am supposed to do without it. That's the end of my 'cleaning' outside. As I was washing dishes, I caught this little guy dining on the last of my cherry tomatoes. He/she was so cute, even posed for me and waited several minutes for me to grab my camera.
And does anyone know whether the root of the sweet potato vine is edible? I was throwing away the green and purple sweet potato vine I had in the hanging baskets and window boxes, and found all the big roots. They look like those sweet potato you see in the grocery store, just different colors. The root of the green sweet potato vine has dark pink skin with white inside, while the purple one has white root inside and out. I left them outside for the little above, but just a little bit curious about them. Have to remember to take some pictures of them tomorrow.

Friday, October 17, 2008

It Worked

Cannot believe my eyes! I just tried Nicole's tutorial, and look at the difference!

This is the original picture. I played with the tungsten white balance on my camera, just like Nicole recommended. I tried -3, 0 and +3, and I think the colors looked more natural and accurate in the +3 picture.
And here is the result picture, exactly followed Nicole's tutorial. I think it looks wonderful. This is the best white background product picture I ever made! What do you think? Is it professional enough?I used GIMP on my Linux machine (at my office) for this one, but will try use the PhotoShop on home computer this weekend. Hope I can get similar results. I guess I can finally take some decent pictures for all the new pieces I made recently. I am a happy girl now. Thank you so much, Nicole! You rock!

And here is another great tutorial for you to try! GalleriaLinda from Gallerialinda Showcase posted this wonderful tutorial about how to make beautiful earring cards. I thought about buying them from VistaPrint, but after read this, I probably make my own. I have tons of scrapbooking paper and cardstock, should have some fun with them.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Excellent Tutorial

Lovely Nicole Balch from Making It Lovely just posted this wonderful tutorial on how to take a great product picture against white background. I will try it out tonight. Have to figure out this soon, I made so many items for the holiday show next month, but couldn't list them in my shop because of the bad pictures I have been taking recently. Need to work hard on that. Thank you so much, Nicole!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Beautiful Evening

This is what I saw when I got off my train yesterday evening. The moon was so big and round, it was absolutely perfect! And look at the color in the second picture. I actually stood right in the parking lot for several minutes, just to enjoy it. We, modern day people, are way too busy everyday, don't have time to stop and smell the roses, or in this case, enjoy the moon! What are we doing? We all like to watch those National Geographic shows, but totally forgot there are beautiful and amazing creatures or views around us all the time. So, I'd like to ask everyone of you to stop for a second today, forget any modern technology, just look at a plant, a baby, a dog, a bird, a pond, etc. For this one second, let go all your stressful thoughts. I guarantee you will feel much better afterward. I know I did. And here are a couple of pictures of my friend E's den. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Two New Bracelets In The Shop

Just posted these two gorgeous bracelets in my Etsy shop. Made lots of new stuffs recently, but didn't have time to photograph them all. And some of the colors still came out wrong. These two looked ok, so I uploaded them.

Sent out the package to Australia this morning, and it was not hard at all. I filled out the custom form yesterday, just needed them to weight it. It was 2oz, like I thought, and only costed me $2.20! Plus the cost of the packaging, it was not even $3.00, so I refunded my customer the overcharged shipping fee. Trying to be fair here. And I was told that it normally take about 7-10 days to reach the destination. How wonderful! Since US is in financial crisis, it's time to attract some international business.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Sweet J from Australia bought those 3 keychains over the weekend. So today I walked all the way to the post office nearby to send out the pacakge, but only to find it is closed! What a surprise! I don't have the day off today, so it didn't even occur to me that I have to call or check their website first. Well, guess my customer just have to wait for one more day. At least it is a beautiful day outside, and I got to take a walk and away from the "ghetto", our nice window-less office. I really enjoyed it, got to see all the flowers and sell the relatively fresh city air. I actually stole some leaves from some of the annuals in those huge pots, there are lots of them around the college buildings. I like to put them in the books, and dry them up and maybe one day I will use them in my scrapbooks. They are going to die pretty soon, this way, as least part of them will be perserved. I conside this is part of "recycle". Who buys dried leaves from crafts store? Not me!

I went to Fabric Place over the weekend. Wow! Almost all the notions are sold already. And several ladies were buying huge bolts of fancy fabric, I overheard their total, $700 something! The sales is bigger now, so don't wait for the end, there won't be a thing left. I will go get some more fabric for the nursing covers later. But I have to figure out where to get more D-rings. They were sold for $1.59 (4 D-rings) per package at FP, but they don't have any left. I checked A.C.More the other day. First of all, they don't have the size I need (1"), and they are more than $2. Too bad last time I only bought 10 from FP, I should have bought all of them.

We planned to drive to White Mountains to see the foliage yesterday, but we left the house late. The sun was so warm and we just had lunch, we both got very sleepy. So, we stopped at Manchester, NH, did some shopping instead. But I did take lots of great pictures of the foliage around the mall and along the highway. They are not as magnificent as the White Mountains, but it still counts. Oh, that last picture was taken inside the Mall of New Hampshire in Manchester. I am way too big for the ride, so sad! :( And these are the fall color in my garden. Aren't they gorgeous?
And this is how my peony looks like, just 3 weeks after planting.