Let’s talk about over 40 skincare!

I am doing something new today here on my blog…..  If you are a regular reader of my random postings here on this blog, then you know most of the time I really only update with things related to beads, supplies…  hehehehehe….

 

So yes, this is new….  I am going to share a beautiful skincare that I had found!  And it needs to be told!!!

 

Since my move from Asia back to US, the drastic changes of humidity as well as temperature sure is not helping with my usual skincare routine!  Truth be told, I’ve not paid much attention to my skin in recent years….  aside from the usual skincare routines.  I am not one of those that’s obsessed with skin, looks…..  I believe in doing enough, eating right, and lots of liquid (including alcohol HA!) and exercise.  All moderately!  Then we should age gracefully, right?  Now being a klutz is a whole other subject and we shall save that for a later date….  *cough*

 

Anyway, all I am saying here is, you need to try this!  It’s called Baie Botanique Rose Renew, comes with serum, face cream, and a face wash (which is missing in photos since it’s still enroute!)  I am in my mid 40, and I’ve been using these for the past 3 months, and I have experienced total turn around with the condition of my skin!  Aside from minimized pore, I am seeing that glow that I haven’t seen on my skin since I hit 40 years old!  And I do not live a sheltered life, I wake up early to take son to school, worked the whole day, house works, laundry….  the usual daily duties.  This regiment is so simple yet so effective that I really feel this need to share!  And the best part is, it works just as great as some of the big names that I’ve tried through the years, yet costs like drug store brands!  Unreal…..  but totally works!

And….  drumroll, here they are!

I have been using these morning and evening, and keep in mind, I am usually generous with skincare, so the serum lasts about 3 months, while I think the cream should still have another month or so in it…..  I have just ordered my 2nd time, and will likely use these for as long as they’re available, and as affordable as they are now!  HA!

 

Yes their main ingredient is Rose, and yes it smells like rose, but in  totally natural way and nothing too pungent to irritate…..  as much as I love the smell of flowers, rose is actually not one of my preferred scent, but hey, it’s been used for generations, and I do believe in its benefit though just never found a product that I actually enjoyed using, until now…..

 

I have always been a fan of holistic or even botanical or even organic skincare!  But as most of us who had tried these, most of the time it takes some time to see the difference.  But, aside from an Italian skincare line that I’ve tried with certified organic olive oil and argan oil (but had trouble finding it again sadly….), these are by far the best that I’ve tried!

 

So yes, I highly recommend these to anyone who’s looking for new skincare regiment that’s simple, yet extremely effective!  Oh oh!  And I think they’re coming out with eye cream and toners in early 2017 too EEKS!!!  Then I’ll be totally happy hahahahahahahaha!!!!

 

This brand is available in many international locations, I got mine from Amazon in US.  Here’s their website: http://www.baiebotanique.com/

 

If you do try it, do let me know how and if you like it?

 

What Is Your Worst Experience? Part 2

First off, I really really would like to thank you all!  For voicing your concern and giving me so many words of encouragement!  Through this whole incident, you have all made me feel strong by never doubted my doing!  Though really…..  from my previous post , I cannot say there had been much positive progress for my part, so this whole incident is still on-going unfortunately…..  I have tried to put an end to it but was turned down…..  not once, but twice now.

 

I know many of you are following my updated either on my Facebok page or else my Crysallis Creations Jewelry on Facebook  , though some incidents has happened since my last blog post, but there’s still not much I can disclose just yet since, well….  it is not officially over, and frankly, I do not know when it will!  But here are some updates with the whole situation, along with some observation for your consideration.

 

I have come to the decision that I should enforce my Store Policy due to her threatening contact of reporting me to sale site. 

~ Contacted sale site’s Support ever since I’ve realized that I would like to cancel the whole transaction.  And I kept Support up to date with each contact that she had made.  I was advised that since each store is different and has its own store policy, it is best to follow and make my own decision since each situation is different.  And that’s what I did.

I have asked her to cease all contact with me through sale site message system.

~ She sends me a few more message through sale site, and I’ve forwarded each to sale site’s Support.  My last message to her was to inform her that I’ve issued refund, based on my Store Policy as advised from sale site’s Support, and please cease all contact with me.

I have issued refund (minus the initial Custom Order fee), but was refused payment through PayPal because she states that she cannot accept in this currency. (USD since that’s what she paid through sale site)

~ Since I’ve already submit cancel transaction process since I’ve issued refund, so I contacted Support again to let them know that I have no intention of cheating, and it is out of my control that she refused my refund.  Support noted such incident and states that the site will not hold this against me.

I received an EMAIL from her asking me to reissue refund.

~ had to do some transferring around, with help of a friend, so I have the full amount in my account to issue this refund via direct transfer instead of e-check done through my Bank which may takes up to 5 days.

I RE-Issued refund, 2nd time, with equivalent of USD to the currency used by her Country, then she refunds me back, with no given message this time.

~ Within hours of issue refund, she returned my money again!  Once again I informed sale site’s Support of this incident.

I received another message from her through sale site’s message system, TELLING me that I cheated her of her money, this transaction cancelled because I cannot get her ring size right!  That I should look into my heart, may My GOD forgive me!

~  oh no darling…..  this transaction was cancelled NOT because I cannot make the right sized ring!  But because YOU gave me the wrong size to begin with!  And then YOU chose to NOT wanting me to make another ring to fulfill my original commitment, but instead, YOU asked to be compensated with another piece that’s priced at 75% of the total cost / budget that you’ve given me for this Custom Order, for ALL THE TROUBLE that I’ve caused!

 

What I’ve learned through this whole thing is that even though I’ve been an online seller for such a long time, people will still surprise you!  So the phrase “Customers are always right!”  is totally utterly bullshit!  I know how hard it is to create a ripple in this vast ocean of Artisan Jewelry, it is a gamble in a lot of ways, hoping and wishing that we will expose our creations long and hard enough so they will be seen by the “right” people……  then we do everything we can hoping that they’ll stay…..

 

That was me, because I’ve made a commitment.  I’ve promised that I will make it work!  Which was hard to do when the buyer opted for some unreasonable compensation instead of looking back at what she’s done!  And to put icing on the cake, she still insisted that I plotted to cheat her out of that initial down payment for Custom Order, which was 1/3 of total budget that she had given me.  Not for a minute had she thought about my labor + time + materials that I used, postage that had cost me, time spend to communicate, or postage!

THREE attempts of making wire-wrapped ring with 14kt Rose Goldfilled wire.

THREE sessions of 2 hours minimum EACH to make or remake the ring.

THREE times that I had to sort and pick out gemstone beads to be used on the ring.

ONCE via Registered Airmail, ONCE via EMS – Express Mailing Service.

TWO of the postage incurred when she had to ship my ring back to me, yes I’ve compensated her for both return shipments.

ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY+ of messages back and forth, and I do not know how many minutes of my time that translates into……

I was even ready to pay PayPal fee to refund her money just so she will receive the full 2/3 for the Custom Order that was cancelled.

 

Thoughts?  You think I get paid minimum wage here?  For keeping that initial Custom Order fee?

 

I certainly hope NO ONE will ever experience similar situation, but please, learn to respect what you do and DO NOT EVER compromise and bend your own rules just to please and make a sale!  I have a feeling that this was NOT the first time that she has done this to others!  And she has gotten away with it since most sellers were afraid that she will really file that report!  IF you are doing everything you can, everything that you are able to, I urge you to stand your ground, because NOT EVERY CUSTOMER will be reasonable, or ALWAYS RIGHT!

 

Trust your own instinct, believe in your self and your creations!  Do Not let anyone else take advantage or take your joy of creating, your joy of offering great custom service, or your abilities to make their dream into reality!  That is ALL YOURS!  And shouldn’t be in the hands of your buyers!

 

I will create to my own heart’s content! I will try my best to please my customers!  But please do not take me as a fool, because I insert a whole lot of heart and soul into each and every piece that I make!  And I deserve proper RESPECT for my time and creation!  And it is MY CHOICE and MY DECISION whether or not YOU deserve to own my pieces!

 

And THAT, is what I believe in!

What is your worst experience?

What is your worst experience?  Either as a buyer, or a seller……  let’s not name names here but care to share yours?

 

I’ve been an online buyer and seller for well over 10 years, I’ve always been a very understanding buyer, I understand that once items are within the postal system it is really not possible to trace, so I count those as my own lose, never had I claim with sellers for those items.

 

Yet as a seller, if I can replace the item I will!  I love nothing less than a happy customer!  I tend to go out of my ways to please in fact!  Because that is my job!

 

And I understand those “real life” incidents, as long as communication remains open, I am extremely understanding too…..

 

Now with that said, I am going through one of the WORST experience as a seller that I’ve ever had, through all these years of selling online or in person!  Which has seriously made me reconsider if I should just forget about offering Custom Order, and stick with creating to my own heart’s content, WYSIWYG thing…… *sigh*

 

Here’s the whole story!  Since this is MY BLOG, so I can talk about it!  Though still, no names will be revealed.  And I will leave it up to you to judge!

 

The background story…..  this is not the first time that I dealt with this buyer.  Earlier this year I received a conversation ( from here on will be referred to as “convo”, a message system used on an online selling venue, where I’ve been a seller since ’06 ), with a question of whether or not I can size down one of my wire wrapped ring, I was able to by adding more wire to ring shank, so I resized it and ship it off to her.  When she received the ring she said that the color combination is not flattering on her finger, so I’ve agreed to her returning this ring, but will deduct wire cost since I had to use a few feet of 14kt Rose Goldfill wire for this resize.  She blew up on me.  After I explained further she finally agreed to the very minimal cost of wire to be deduced from her purchased price.  So that is taken cared of and transaction cancelled, refund issued.

 

We’ve kept in touch for the next few months because she states that she still would like me to make her a ring similar to the one she returned, though from previous experience I’ve pretty much put this on the back bench, I really should have listened to my own gut feeling….

 

A few months later, she approached me with a Custom Order for a special event that she’s planning on attending.  After a few convo back and forth trying to pinpoint what she wanted, and photos of clothes that she planned to wear, we’ve settled on a design that I’ve made, except all pieces will be made with 14kt Rose Gold filled wire, ladden with gemstone.  I can still remember trying to make her understand why I needed a deposit to start this Custom Order, alas, that was purchased so I started on this order.  We’ve decided to make a necklace with a matching ring, she states that she’s US ring size 5.

 

I was really rather pleased with the outcome of this set!  And I have to be honest here, it went over the budget that she gave me!  But I am perfectly OK with that since….  well I want to make pieces that will make me proud, which I believe will also make my buyer happy!  So I shot some photos of the set then forward to her for approval.  Then proceed to set-up another listing so we can complete this transaction.

 

I received a convo from buyer a few weeks later when she received these pieces, but oopsy!  The ring doesn’t fit.  So I send her a ring sizer, and she convoed me back stating that she received the sizer, and she’s a US ring size 5.5.  OK……  so I proceed to remake the ring, without questioning her about her previously provided ring size.  Reship this ring, she received it, and it’s still too small!  Then she returned this ring, along with one of her other purchased wire wrapped ring from I do not know who, as well as the ring sizer.

2013-08-09 11.43.42

yes as you can see, it is not even US ring size 5.5….. still, I did not question, since really, it is entirely possible to have moved during transit right?  So once again, I remade another ring……  Oh and she purchased a set of my stacking ring at this time too!  And for those who has any experience with stacking ring, you know that we need to size up slightly to make it wear more comfortably right?  So I’ve made one in US ring size 6.25, while the other 2 in US ring size 5.75.  And I shipped via EMS because it is cutting really close to the original deadline of that event that she’s attending.

 

And once again, she received it, and still too small…..  and asked me why the stacking ring set fits while the one she was really waiting for did not.

 

Then here comes the kick.  Please keep in mind that at this point, I am as discouraged and disappointed as any artist can be!  I want to please!  Because that is my JOB!  She said that she fell out of interest of having me make her a matching ring, then pointed me to this item that I have listed in my shop, which was the inspiration of the Custom set that I’ve made for her….

DSC05878 small file

She states that since I’ve screwed up with my “contract” at this point, so I should compensate her with this, which is listed in my shop.  I replied with detail of how much I would list her necklace for since she is please with that, and I am not really making money anymore at this point, of the very little that I’ve charged.  So how much does she think the ring is worth?  I’ll be more than happy to deduct that amount from the listing price.  Sounds reasonable?

 

She comes back with a bill to a ring that she HAD to buy locally to match the necklace that I’ve made, and shipping cost that incurred from returning those 2 previous rings (which I’ve already deducted from when she purchased the stacking ring set), oh and my stacking ring set that she had to purchase, totaled at $410 USD.  And I should just compensate her “trouble” with this cuff.

 

It took me about 24 hours to compose a very professional convo with help from my friends, but even before I replied she sends another convo asking why she hasn’t heard from me, so I replied, stating that at this point I would like to cancel this whole transaction, and I will even refund her for shipping back to me with proof of shipping.  She blew up, again!  Stating that she will now bring this case to the sale site Support.  Then a day later, she convo me again, stating that she will just return my goods and cancel transaction, as long as I refund her the full amount.

 

And here I am, thinking that I can finally end this unpleasant experience!

 

And a week later……  no proof of shipping, no contact……  and I’ve done enough waiting, all the while in the known…..  I have to take the control back since….  well I know she asked for this Custom set to wear to an event, so I sat and came up with a Rental Clause…..  it’s been a week since she stated that she will ship my items back to me, and I am giving her another 24 hours to ship my items and provide proof of shipping, otherwise I will be starting to deduct 10% of total cost of items as “rental fee”.  Does this sound unreasonable to you?

 

Of course, she blew up again!  Surprise surprise!!!  States that she’s had enough, and will take this to the sale site support now.

 

You have any idea how happy that I am at this point?  That I can almost see the end of this??

 

So now, once again, I am sitting here, waiting……  again…..  but I believe I’ve done and said all that I can.  Have I missed anything that I haven’t done?  To provide good customer service?  I really would like to know what I’ve done so wrong through all this!

 

Now….  if you read cards, care to do a deck for me?  LOL  I really would like to know what I’ve done to deserve this….

 

Until next time!  And hopefully I will have some good news by then….

Can’t please them all can we?

Sometimes I go through those moments, wondering why I spend so much time to learn new things, to perfect my creation.  Check then double-check for loose ends of wire, making sure that it’ll withstand tugs and wear…..

 

yet time and time again, as I complete a new piece, I was reminded of how much I enjoy doing what I do!  Creating wearable pieces of Art makes me happy!  And to make it all worthwhile ( though truthfully, most time very much underpaid ), it is always a THRILL for me when someone is willing to pay with their hard earned money and wants to own a piece that I’ve made!  I don’t think anyone can really relate to this, unless if you’re an artist.

 

Yes I think of myself as an artist!  Not just an assembler, or a crafter.  Because everything that I make, I go through the process of plotting the proportion, planning materials, color palette, and a lot of times I dream about them!   I have to have that “vision” in my head before I can start!

 

And all these happened before I can start any projects!  It really is very close to living a dream….  as I’ve always been someone who needed to be involved with creativity!  I needed the stimulation!

 

then there are times, when I feel so discouraged and doubt myself…..

 

and a lot of times, I wondered why I kept going with this while the reward is so little!

 

But I kept on going!  Hoping that I will be able to share this music that I have in my head with people that can hear!  That is what it’s all about isn’t it?

Summer!!

I know I know….  been a long while since I’ve last updated here!  And here are my reasons…..

Shek O, Hong Kong

Shek O, Hong Kong

That’s a good reason right?  LOL  I’ve been fully enjoying this Summer by spending time with my 2 boys, catching some waves!  Or simply just hang out…..  yes we’ve experienced quite a few typhoons already, but nothing too bad so far…..  lots of rain, so this blue sky was a thankful sight!  I am glad that I get to spend this much time with my little family!  🙂

 

What have you all been up to?  I hope I will be back to to my wire and beads real soon….  I do miss playing with them and create!  But…. Have to catch the moment as it comes right?  Work can wait…..

 

Until next time!

brief update

So what have I been up to lately you wondered?  Well…..  I’ve been trying to finish some things that I’ve been working on lately, though no decent photos of finished products to show just yet.  But the latest thing that I am so excited about is that I finally received my wax seal stamp made with my business name!!!  How cool is this?!?!?!

Wax seal with business name

Wax seal with business name

 

 

I am not sure how I am going to work this into my current packing or packaging just yet, but I plan to!  And I was afraid that it’ll be hard to use but after this first imperfect attempt, I think I know how to work it now……  Hopefully I will incorporate this into every mailing that I make from now on in a tasteful fashion!  Regardless…..  I am so excited to have this!!!  HA!

Until next time!  🙂

Chinese New Year Holidays 2013

Holiday Notice

Due to Chinese New Year Holidays, all shipping will be delayed due to Post Office holidays here at Hong Kong.  All purchased made after February 8th, 2013 will be shipped when Post Office resume service on February 14th, 2013.

So get your orders in before February 7th, 2013.  Thanks for your understanding and support!  Here’s looking forward to a prosperous Year of the Snake for us all!

‘Til Next time!  🙂

New offerings in my Etsy shop!

So about a week ago, one of my customer approached me to ask if I can make just singles of my post / stud earrings.  And she gave me a few center stones that she would like to have, then I set off to work on those for her!  While doing these, I thought maybe it’s a good idea to offer them as singles instead of a pair, since there are quite a few out there that enjoys assymetric look, or else just wanted one stud for alternative piercing.

So here are 3 new listings that I’ve added to my Etsy Jewelry Shop

Pastel Rainbow stud

Rainbow stud

Southwest stud

Oh yes I am always up for custom combination that you may prefer!  As long as I have materials on hand I can certain give it a try!  Just contact me either through here, or through my Etsy shop!

Until next time!  🙂

Raw Diamond Post Stud Earrings

ever so popular Rough Diamond Stud Earrings

ever so popular Rough Diamond Stud Earrings

It’s been just over a year since I started to make these little post / stud earrings, and to my surprise, these had quickly became one of the best seller in my online shop!  This particular style is the first and only item that I ever offered repeatedly, since most of the time I enjoy creating One Of A Kind items intead.  Same method, but lots of variations, different combination of gemstone with different color of Rough Diamond beads.  I am certainly happy that I found my little niche of success, and these had quickly became one of my stable offered items in my Etsy Jewelry Shop

 

Yet, with the concept of “nothing new under the sun”, it is true with Artisan crafted items as well…..  in the past year I’ve experienced quite a few encounter of others trying to take advantage of what I’ve came up with, but I see these as the most despicable form of affirmation, and truly believe that only the best will prevail, and kept on going with what I know I can do….  time and time again these were put to the test, and I am confident to say that with the same attention to details, these remain my original design!  And I am extremely thankful for those who supported me along the way!  So Thank you!  For your good common sense, respect, and support to my original design.

 

And with that said… and with recent rise in cost of materials that I use for making of these little raw Diamond post earrings, it’s inevitable that I have to raise my listing price of these (which truthfully had been lower than wholesale pricing) to a more appropriate price range.  At current pricing, and as effortless as these may appear to you….  after calculating my cost of materials (i.e. rough / raw Diamond, Sterling Silver or Goldfilled wire in assortment of sizes and length, Sterling Silver or Goldfill friction clutch), I am only getting less than minimum wage for the time that I put into making each and every one of these.  I can tell you that it’s NOT easy working with these raw / rough Diamond beads, and if you have experienced working with these you probably know what I am talking about too……  Sometimes I put in almost ONE Hour of time for ONE of these post earring, so that’s almost TWO hours for ONE PAIR of these studs……

 

Mozambique Red Garnet with Pearl and Raw Diamond

As suggested from a few of my respected peers (you know who you are! XO) I’ve decided to share a bit more details of how these were made.  Yes there are hammering involved, and yes there are pliers and cutters involved.  The setting in these posts are of my own design. They’re made from Sterling Silver or Goldfill wire and constructed by “weaving” these stones and beads with wire onto this setting,  that makes them very sturdy and almost solid.  A lot more fiddling work than my photo shown, which is how they’re meant to be!  The “behind the scene” construction should be kept behind the scene!  As a jewelry enthusiast myself, it pleases me so much to be able to create a piece of jewelry with just Wire & Beads!  Yet they will wear just as any piece of jewelry made with faceted gemstone and metal sheets, no glue (gasp!) or fire involved.  I cannot stress enough how much attention I paid to the making of each and everyone of these little precious studs.  And each one is made COMPLETELY out of wire!  And this is the creativity and quality that I offer.

There are quite a few “similar” items listed online, but they are NOT the same….  . By selecting a pair from me, I promise you all the 10+ years of wire manipulating skills and knowledge that I have, along with all the attention to details that I give to EACH & EVERY piece that I made!  I am PROUD!!  Of what I can do, so the same will apply to each and every pair of these precious little studs that I’ll make for you!

Moss Amethyst with Rhodolite Garnet.
Rainbow Moonstone with Aquamarine.

 

I’ve also start to play with the idea of offering some alternative choices instead of just with raw or rough Diamond.  And I think I might be able to keep the cost of these lower due to materials, but in another way, I am tempted to offer them with more precious center stone too!  And that’s still in the works, but here are some that I’ve made up to show you what might be available soon!  And here are a few pairs that I’ve made, which very likely will be Limited Edition due to available materials.

 

 

 

So stay tuned……  And Thank You!  For all those that had supported my design of these over the past year!  I am looking forward to sharing these joyous creations with you if you’re not yet familiar with these!  And yes I can always work with you for a custom pair too since….  well these are actually quite lovely as birthday jewelry as well, I can offer them with combination of birthstones as well!  Just let me know!

 

Oh and last but not least…..  These had been popular as some will request to have sets of Trios made…..  matching pair of post earrings with a pendant charm as a set!  And here are some that I’ve made upon request.

Trio of Post Earrings set with matching Charm / Pendant

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!  Feel free to contact me either through   Crysallis Creations on Facebook    or else through Conversation on Crysallis Creations on Etsy

Until next time!  🙂

 

Weekly Feature: Etsy’s Best Kept Secret Team

As much as I enjoy people, but sometimes due to “real life” duties, I just don’t do too well in any interest group too well….  a lot of times there are way too many weekly commitment that I’ll need to achieve or even take part of, which in term is what they consider “active participation”.  Sometimes it’s just not possible……  I am a mother, a wife, and a designer, and a business woman.  I have enough daily duties in my life that I have to pay attention to….

So!  When I showed interest with an Artisan Team and realized quite a few of women that I already admire are taking part in it, I had to find out how to get involved….  and I was lucky that I was welcomed with open arms!

Etsy, as I’ve mentioned before, is a site that famed for promoting Handmade good.  There are currently over millions of hundreds of thousands of registered sellers, while due to some predetermined “criteria”, a lot of times smaller shops with minimal listings will get overlooked.  Which is a whole different story when work as a team.

I can’t even start to tell you how lucky I feel, to be part of this great group of talented women, who work with all different media to create mostly jewelry.  Here’s just a little intro to what this team offers….  Etsy's Best Kept Secret

Here’s our latest Weekly collage, of all the items that we’ve created during the past week!  For more details of each photo included here, please visit our Team Blog to find more details in reference to each alphabet, and in which shop you can find these pieces!

I will feature in more details of each Artisan that we have on the team!  Stay tune!

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