Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy birthday to me! (kind of)

Right now, I am dead beat from work, with bleary eyes and a mind that has already gone to sleep.
So do forgive any errors along the way. :)

My birthday was 9 days ago. A few weeks ago, I had this grand plan of making a miniature birthday cake. As 22nd March crept closer, the grand plan shrunk to just making a tower of cupcakes.

My birthday came. And passed, and all I had made were four chocolate cupcakes. 
Undecorated, mind you.

Sigh, juggling both AiClay and a full-time job ain't as easy as I thought.


Right, I never meant for this entry to be depressing! 
Let me lift this veil of gloom (ah now I'm a poet).

Four chocolate cupcakes seemed too lonely, and so I gathered 
some miniature kitchenware and little chocolate hearts.


 Little itsy bitsy cupcake papers.

I promise the next entry would be a much happier one. 
I'll even stuff in a joke or two about char siew paus! :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

This is a personal (and long) entry.

Hello everyone. :)

Lately, I've been missing from my online sites (twitter, flickr, blog) and I don't think it's fair to just write off this disappearance with a simple "I'm busy."

For the last few months, my close friends and family would know that I've been an all sort of a emotional wreck. My passion for sculpting and miniatures had me jump in with both feet right after I graduated, and pursue the lofty dream of being a full-time miniaturist. However, reality soon turned around to bite me. I became trapped between rollercoaster emotions of being delirious that I'm living the dream, which would quickly spiral into a state of depression when faced with unpaid university loans and financial insecurity. Needless to say that I wasn't very happy these few months.

This made me think hard about what was lying down the road for me. I had to admit I was by no means, financially secured to head down the entrepreneurial road. There is a chinese metaphor, 'shou ting kou ting', which literally means when the hands stop, the feeding stops too. This is most apt to describe AiClay, and any other crafting business around. (hello etsy friends! :)) I'm not selling imported clothes, or jewelry supplies etc where I had a ready supplier to replenish stocks. I had to physically get down to planning, sculpting, baking everytime I wanted to add an additional item in my store. And of course, there comes the sometimes-long wait for the sale, and for the money to arrive.

The constant worrying for my future was eating away at my enthusiasm for AiClay as I forced myself to brainstorm for more designs, sculpt more, work harder at promoting the store. Which led me to a realisation. That if I wasn't happy working at AiClay, then all of this is basically pointless. If sculpting and miniatures were starting to feel like work instead of a release for me, then there is something wrong, somewhere.

(Yes, I know this is wayyy too long, but I'm getting to the point now.)

And so, I found a job. It would allow me to see the real world beyond my sculpting table and bedroom, and see and talk to some real humans. (Replying emails and Etsy forums aren't exactly enough.)

Most importantly, it would provide a daily income for me to repay my university loan.

Don't get me wrong, I am not giving up AiClay, and I still have great plans for it although they are currently shelved away. (till I have more money in the bank, to put it bluntly.) I would still be blogging, sculpting, sharing my favourites via Look! etc, just on a smaller scale.

So basically, what it really means for my dear readers, is that you would be seeing less (not none!) of me in the blog, on flickr/twitter/facebook etc. I would still try to write in here at least once a week though. With a 9-to-6 working schedule now, I can no longer sculpt as often. But, I am still accepting commissions, but do understand if the waiting period is longer. :)

Right, feels good to get this off my chest. :)

I shall end with two pictures I have forgotten to post, of my miniature cake stand and some miniature packaging. 

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Look! {two.}

Welcome to the second episode of 'Look!'.

This glorious Sunday, I have gathered a few shops which have not received any sales yet. It is puzzling as they have beautiful items which are just begging to be owned and loved!

Show some love to the eight shops below and be their first Etsy customer! :)



I have been wanting to feature Etsy shops which have had no sales yet for a really long time. I was sure that there must be plenty around, with beautiful inventory just waiting to be bought and loved!

However, during the few days of researching for this entry, I realised these undiscovered gems were harder to find than I thought. Shops like those featured above are really few and far between.

While flipping through the many pages of shops which have yet to have a sale, it became apparent that most of them had zero sales for glaring reasons.

As a buyer on Etsy, I honestly feel that most of the shops I've seen, commit at least one of the common turn-offs below.

A. People buy handmade because it is precisely that, HANDMADE. We like to know the real person who has knitted/painted/sculpted the item, so do fill out that empty seller's profile!

B. Having a blank avatar just shows how little effort you've put into the shop.

C. Seriously, I don't want to buy something I'm supposed to wear on my head, that you've left on the muddy ground to photograph.

D. Unless it's a lone word, like 'SALE!' or 'NOTE!', reading an entire item description in CAPS is plain uncomfortable and would get any potential buyers running out of your shop fast.

I wish all of you that very exciting first sale quick! :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

toast + ham + lettuce + toast = SANDWICH

I love food math. :)


When I was in London for a month a few years ago to visit my good ol' friend, I remember seeing sandwiches all over the city.

In specialty sandwich gourmet stores, there were carefully arranged stacks of beautifully wrapped high grade sandwiches which were going for a few pounds for a pair.

In grocery chains, there were cost-saver sandwiches at 99pence. I remember squealing at that price, because that was honestly the cheapest item I saw in London, heh.

One of my most vivid memory in that trip, was having the BEST sandwich I ever had in my life, yet. (Also, the most expensive.)

It was from Pret A Manger, and I still can taste the smoked bacon, crunchy cress and a whole lot of other ingredients which I can't name, but OH THE HEAVENLY SMELL AND CRUNCH OF IT ALL!

Sorry for the outburst in caps, I just got a bit carried away thinking about it.


(because I'm far far away from London now, and I don't see anywhere in the near future where can I get another All Day Breakfast. SIGH.)


Unless I make one myself I guess. But besides bread, tomato and ketchup, I really don't have any other of the other ingredients.

-extremely tempted to put in another sigh, but there's an overload of them in this entry already eh.

Oh, I suddenly remember that on departure day at the airport, everyone else was scurrying around to look for KrispyKremes, but not me. Instead, I was really really anxious to have my last Pret A Monger sandwich because who knows when I'll taste it again!

These miniature sandwiches, sandwiched between my fingers (HOHOHO pun!), measure 3cm along longest side (cut side) and are 0.7cm in height.

Now how can I let you go without a snapshot of this sandwich I've been gushing non-stop of.

It's the one in the middle. Shucks, my stomach is rumbling just looking at this photo.

An old snapshot at London's Pret A Manger.

I'm the one in the middle. (See, I'm fated to be reunited with my sandwich. Both in the middle, get it?)

Right, I really need to grab dinner now for my very-unsatisfied tummy!