Monday, February 25, 2008

Store of the Day

I am trying to promote other Etsy shops as often as I can. Here is one of my favorites, Janine King Designs ( Janine King is an established designer of fine quality, fun and unique fabric handbags. Check out their shop, you will know why they are so successful and why I love them so much. The clean and efficient design, absolutely devine! And the color combination! Just wonderful!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Lazy Day

A lazy, and very slow day for me! My computer at work has been driving me nuts all day! It's so noisy, I cannot stop hitting it. And everytime I called the help desk guy over, it just quites down. This makes me madder, and want to kick it you know where. I think it's the fan for the power supply, I have to turn it off and wait till tomorrow to call the guy again. So, I got some free time before leaving for home, and we have a computer lab next door. Convenient! I got my excuses not working now, because I cannot use my own computer where all my softwares and programs are. So, more time for chatting, and checking out my store. Oh yeah, I can read more forums now! Great!

Cute Earrings

I posted some new items in my shop yesterday. Here are some of the cute earrings. I love the colors, and they casual, but some of them can be very dressy too.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Yummy! Scallion Pancake

The weather is absolutely crazy today, heavy rain, 61 degree! In the middle of the winter? I guess this is really New England weather. Anyway, I loved it. Didn't have to go to work because of the President's Day. I opened all the windows and doors to let the fresh air in, my house smells like spring time. I was so happy that I made some scallion pancake for lunch. Yummy! Here is step by step instructions.

Step 1: Make the dough with all purpose flour and water. Take a piece dough and roll it to really thin pancake. Pour oil at the center, and some salt and five spice power.

A little tip about spreading oil, salt, and five spice power evenly on the pancake. Lift the side and fold it towards the center, and repeat all around. That's it.

Step 2: Now sprinkle some finely cropped scallion all over the pancake, and roll it to a rope shape.

Step 3: Now twist and roll the rope into a donut shape, and push the end into the center.

Step 4: Roll it to a pancake as thin as you can, but be careful the oil and scallion squeeze out sometimes.

Step 5: Add some oil into a non-stick pan, fry each side until golden yellow and crispy. Now you can enjoy your scallion pancake. It tastes better when hot, the outside is so crispy, while the inside is still soft. And lots of layers of fun too.

And one more secret, more scallion means better taste, and more oil in step 1 means more layers in the final pancake. Go cook yourself some pancake now!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

See what I found tonight

After uploading some new pieces to my shop, I went to read the Etsy forums. Love to chat with other people there, always something new and learned a lot about running Etsy business. And take a look at what I found. This shop called BeautifulJewels (at, and the pieces are so gorgeous, and the pictures are very professional. See how the crystal sparkles, yet you can still see all the details. Wonderful pictures. Just want to share this with you. I am a big fan of things that sparkles. =) It's a girl thing!

Spring cleaning?

Since I bought the gardenia, my new favorite, it finally reached the point that I have no more space on the shelves. So, I had to rearrange everything. I am so happy that I bought this metal shelf unit (from BJ's). This unit is so versatile, can be put together as a 6 feet tall unit or as two 3 feet units. And has 4 casters, so can be moved freely. The best part is all shelves can be set at different level. Since my jasmines were just too tall, there was no way I can fit them into the shelves with the trellis. So, I ended up using only half of the shelf, and already blocked entire sliding door. I had my tall plants on the top shelf, medium height ones on the second, and small ones on the bottom shelf. So I kept the other half of the shelf in the basement, and felt so guilty of wasting it. Now I am more than happy to set it up in the small bedroom on the second floor, right in front of the sunny window. I moved all my succulents and dry loving plants to the second floor, and kept all orchids, jasmines, and humidity lovers on the original shelf. I washed all water trays and wiped off the mineral buildups from the outside of the clay pots. Quite a workout!
But I am so glad I did all these. Because as I was cleaning the pots, I noticed the last smell you want from an orchid plant, rotting smell. It is my yellow Oncidium, which finished blooming a month ago. I didn't pay too much attention to it, because it was re-potted last year, and even though the bulbs are so wrinkled, it bloomed nicely, and grew a new baby. And the roots hanging in the air was very healthy looking. Now I understand why AK said orchids sometimes can fool you. When I was re-potting it, I saw all the roots that were inside the pot are totally rotted! How dangerous! I trimmed off the dead roots, and washed off all old medium, and started over with a new pot and new mix. I have to be very careful not to over watering it again. Just hope it can survive. Here is a very nice tutorial about re-potting orchids. Hope it can help all the orchid lovers out there. Don't make the mistake I made.
Here is the result of 'spring cleaning'. The big metal shelf is right in front of the dinning room sliding door, the old bathroom space-saver shelf is on the right side, and TG's favorite, Norfolk Pine Tree is on the left side. They all look very happy now. The last pic is the other side of the dinning room.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day, Honey!

My hubby, TG, took me out for dinner last night, and he bought me a gardenia, which I wanted for a long time. I was so happy, and when he offered help to carry it, I was like, "No! This is mine! I will hold on to it." I hold it on my lap all the way home. I watered it, put it on a water tray away from my other plants, all 50+ of them, for quarantine. Even though I checked it very careful in the store, I cannot say I didn't miss anything. Two years ago, I bought a mini rose. It was so beautiful, but brought aphids into my house. I had a disaster that winter. I learnt my lesson the hard way. Anyway, back to my gardenia. I am very happy to report that two of the flower buds started opening up before I went to bed. The smell was wonderful. And the flowers are big too. I will take some pictures once they fully opened. I know gardenia is very hard to take care of, even for the experienced gardener, and I killed a baby one before, but I am willing to give it one more try. Another friend of mine, Em, is great with gardenia. She has several huge ones in her house. I will try to talk to her and ask for some advice. So excited! Am I lucky or not? I got Em for gardenia help, and AK for orchids and everything else. It's great to have friends who share your passion.

Oh, another wonderful surprise last night. As I enjoying my gardenia, I suddenly noticed my 'Winter Wonderland', Odontoglossom, opened up quitely. I posted its picture earlier this month, the white one with burgundy color dots. I didn't think it will bloom for me this winter, since the baby was too small. I left it on the bottom shelf, pretty much ignored it. But I guess it was happy there, the baby grew very fast, and reached mature size before winter. And now it's blooming! I know it only has 3 flowers this time, last winter it had 4, but the flowers are still quite big, and the plant is healthy. Another baby is about 3 inches tall now, it will give me flowers next winter. I love it when my orchids give me surprises.

These days I have been busy making some custom orders. A girl asked for my help, she bought a Chinese QiPao dress, very pretty, but didn't have jewelry that matches the style. She loved the little dangling button knot earrings, and wanted me to match the color for her. I finally got the picture of the dress from her, and just finished making the earrings. I think it will go great with the dress. And one of my friends want to buy some bookmarks, but they were sold out. I have to buy more papers, and start making them again. And for her, I will not use any beads, just chinese knots, so they will be even more unique. She loved the idea. Here they are. Unique, huh?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cute choker necklaces

Here are some choker necklaces I made recently. If you want to see more pictures of them, you have to go to my store. I just love them. They are very cute, and look great with casual clothes. And any age group can wear them. The one with a matching bracelet was customly made for a 5-year-old little girl. And the dark green one will look fine on a girl or guy's neck. I have to make more of them since there are still lots of cute designs in my mind.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Updates on my Cymbidium

The flowers on the second spike of my big Cymbidium just fully opened. It's so beautiful, I cannot wait for the 3rd spike to bloom. Here are some new pictures.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Dumpling time!

Right now is Beijing time the morning of the 5th day of the Chinese New Year. In my city, we eat certain food on a certain day during the 15 days of Chinese New Year. And the most important days are the New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, 2nd day, 5th day, and 15th day. Every Chinese person will try their best to go back home, spend the new year's eve with their family. We make dumplings together, and cook a table full of delicious food. And we have to boil the dumplings and eat them at exactly midnight. And of course, there are the fireworks, and new years parties on TV. On the New Year's Day, people normally stay at their parents house, and if you are married, you should stay with your husband's family. Then on the 2nd day, the young couple will visit the wife's parents, with hand full of yummy cookies and deserts, and lots of fruits, especially oranges. Normally the wife and kid will wear some red clothes, traditional or not. And all the husbands want to impress the in-laws, they all call the taxi. So, you will be very lucky to be able to grab a taxi on that day. This is so funny, we call it "son-in-law's Day". And the 5th day is very special too. We make dumpling again, but this time, you are not supposed to use food processor. You have to chop the vegetable and meat by hand, and everyone in the house should do it, at least the adults. You knot those Chinese knifes are huge, and heavy sometimes, not safe for kids to handle. The meaning of this is you are actually chopping up all the 'bad people' you are going to meet in this entire year who's going to bad mouth you and stopping you from reaching your goals. Since none of us want to deal with those type of people, we all participate. And you also should use a stick to hold a rope of firecrackers, light it up, and swing it around you, so you also kill those 'bad people' from all directions. For more about Chinese New Year, read this:
Enough with the culture education, I just want to tell you that I made dumpling for dinner today. If you love dill, you should try this.
The stuffing are a mix of finely chopped dill, some scallion, ground pork, (you can use any meat you like), and a couple of egg. Then I added Chinese cooking wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, five-spice powder, chicken stock, and sesame oil.
The dough is very easy to make too. Just mix all purpose flour with water. That's it. But you should make the dough harder, and the more elastic the dough is, the better the dumpling will taste. You take a piece of the dough, roll it into a rope shape, and cut into smaller piece with a knife. Press a small piece of the dough into a pancake shape, then roll it out with a rolling pin. Now you got a dumpling skin.
Hold it with one hand, put some stuffing in the center, fold and press the two side together. Now one side at a time, pinch about 1/3 of the opening together, then the rest. Ta-dah! You just made a dumpling. See, not hard at all.
To cook it, heat half pot of water to a boil, and put in your dumplings. Be careful, don't splash yourself. Then use a spoon or some other utensil gently push the dumplings around, don't let any of it stick to the bottom. If some dumplings leaked for whatever reason, don't worry about it. You now have not only dumpling, you also have the dumpling soup, very good. =) When the water come back to a boil, add a cup of cold water. do this twice. I was told this will make the dumpling's skin taste better.

You can buy those dumpling sauce from Chinese town, but I prefer dark Chinese vinegar. The one in the last picture is my all time favorite. Now, sit down and enjoy. Yum!! Wish you can taste it too.

Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Two more sales!

A girl just bought two pairs of earrings from my shop. Good morning to me! Here are the pictures.

And I got lots of responses on the Etsy forum about tax issue. These people are so helpful, and knowledgable. I am glad that I can get help from these experienced people. Thanks to germandolls and knitwit4ever.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy Chinese New Year!

I am so happy that year of pig is finally over. So many things happened last year, some were good, but some were really bad. I cannot wait to start over again. So, Happy New Year to my family and myself! This year my parents decided to spend the new year with my sister, so they are in HongKong now. They are very happy there now, with my sister, her husband, and my super smart niece, 5-yr-old Iris. Iris was so cute, she always trying to make me jealous by telling me what they were eating, and then she will laugh at me and say "You cannot even taste it!". TG, my hubby, and I ordered in last night. Lazy me! But I did cooked some veggie, and a nice soup. And I set up the table, romantically, with beautiful crystal candle sticks and traditional red candles. We don't drink at all, so some cranberry juice in the special glasses. Still very nice!

Chris1808 left me a really nice feedback a couple of days ago. I knew people would love my way of packaging. I used those beautiful white jewelry box, put the item in there with some cutton cushioning, and then wrapped the box with some nice scrapbooking paper and a piece of ribbon. I also sent out another package to Chris today, same style packaging. She is such a nice buyer.

And I got some custom orders today as well. A necklace and bracelet set for a 5-yr-old little girl! This will be fun. I got her measurements, will try to start designing tonight. Cannot wait to see how it looks like on her!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Check out my Etsy store

I just uploaded 4 new items last night. And got a big surprise! I sold 6 items yesterday! Yeah, I know, chris1808 bought 4 items this time, I probably should count it as one, which means I had 3 sales! Still pretty good. Mailed out the necklace and the keychain this morning, and waiting for the payment from Chris. She is such a big shopper, she has been on a shopping spray for 3-4 months on Etsy now, and bought tons of stuffs, and got 211 feedbacks already.

I started running the Chinese New Year SALE last week, buy matching necklace and earrings set, the earrings half off. Hope this will boost the sale. Two of my favorite shops on Etsy are MStevensonDesigns and Sudlow. I check out their stores everyday, and they both are doing great, selling average 5 items per day. Very impressive! Wish I can be that great one day! Good luck to myself! These two are my new favorites in my shop, a red PanChang knot keychain, and a jade fish necklace. I will try to post pictures of my new favorites once a while. If you are interested and want to see more, just visit my store at

Oh, tomorrow is the Chinese New Year Eve. I should cook something nice and traditional, to celebrate. But I am kind of lazy. So, if I did cook something, I will post the pics. Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Some of my plants

I am very lucky to have AK as my friend. He is such an expert on gardening. Every plant he touched grows much healthier than before. He loves to rescue sick or ignored plants from the stores, and he will give them away after they recovered. He likes to share with other people, so lots of my indoor plants came from him. I didn't know anything about orchids or jasmine at first, but after lots of online researching and learning from AK, I am getting pretty good with it. Here are some of my favorite plants, and so far I had 6 orchids bloomed or blooming right now, and 1 more to come. I am a very happy gardener now. =)