OK, my last blog post was back in February. That was like over 8 months ago… But I say I have good reasons for this prolonged absence. They are (drum roll please…): a new job and a move back to the States. Yep, that’s right — I and my shop are now in the Steel City: Pittsburgh, PA. To say the last few months have been hectic would be a gross understatement. I am in a constant state of amazement — how one’s life can take a new course when one least expects it, how strange it is to live far away from family again, and just how much stuff I have (a huge portion of it would be, of course, bead supplies…). Anyway, now that I and my beads are all settled and unpacked, my shop is operational once again. And, if you’re in the US, this new location means spiffy fast delivery! I have a few new things to list too, so please check later. And one last time — woo hoo, Pittsburgh! Maybe I will even come to love this city as much as I love Philly. Time will tell…
As some of you might know, I play a “computational linguist” during the day. And if you’ve noticed that I’ve been neglecting my shop lately, that’s because I have been working … ’tis the season for conference papers. (And there’s this threat of losing my job if I do not publish at least two papers this year. Just leave it up to us Koreans to institute this very no-nonsense approach to the “publish or perish” maxim. Ha ha.)

Anyhoo, my current work is about developing an automated proof-reading tool for non-native speakers. Specifically, my system targets errors in preposition usage. And I need your help in evaluating its performance! Basically, when my system makes this recommendation:

      “My friends are good [in] soccer, too.”
      ==> [in] should be changed to [at]

a human then needs to review it and judge whether or not the machine’s decision is correct. And that human could be you! What I will do is send you a text file containing 100 system output samples like above, which you can edit and send back to me. It shouldn’t take too long for native speakers of English. And in return, you get:

So, what do you say? You can help me by flexing your grammar muscles and get fabulous jewelry for yourself! I need 4-5 volunteers. If you’re interested, email me at email image or leave a comment here, and I will get back to you. The time frame for this is between now and 02/20. Thanks everyone!
As new designs roll in, my older listings are looking a bit, well, old in my Etsy shop. Some of them are even nearing expiration dates! It is time for them to leave my shop for a nice home — so I am having a CLEARANCE SALE.

Starting from this Saturday, some of my older stock items will be put on a 15-20% sale. You can find them all in my shop’s Sale section. Supply is limited, and the sale will be on for a week only, so get ‘em while they last. When they are gone, they are gone!

… And there’s more! Since my last blog entry about new designs, I churned out a few more new pieces. Once I got into it, I found it impossible to stop. :-)

There are 6 pieces this time around, 3 of them featuring lapis lazuli. Why lapis lazuli? I got into this stone only recently, rather late in the game, and I was lucky enough to acquire excellent quality stones. I have been playing with them for a while, and I think I am getting the hang of working with the unique beauty and quality of this stone. Besides lapis, there are new renditions of my old-time favorite pompom earrings. Detailed photos and descriptions below, so please check them out! ( continued… )

As some of you might have noticed, my Etsy shop was closed from late June — mid July, during which time I was on a tour of the US. Almost literally. Check out my itinerary:
  1. San Francisco, CA
  2. Columbus, OH
  3. Chicago, IL
  4. Philadelphia, PA
  5. Princeton, NJ
  6. New York, NY
  7. Monterey, CA
  8. San Jose, CA
Let me just summarize by saying: many old friends were met, many new born babies were met for the first time, and some new girl/boy-friends and fiancees have been introduced. :-) And the photo is of Center City Philadelphia, which shows the city’s newest landmark Comcast building, looking totally like a USB thumb drive, next to the now ex-highest Liberty building.

Now that I’ve come back and gotten over the worst jetlag of my personal history, my Etsy shop is open again, although it is looking quite empty with only 8 items. I am producing some new designs, it’s just that the process of taking photos and putting them up on the web is such a painful work that I’m procrastinating getting into it. I do need to unload my old stock and plush my new stock out there. I will get to it soon, I promise!

I looked over my last post and realized: it’s been over 2 months since my last blog entry. Some of you might have noticed that updates have been sparse in my Etsy shop as well. So what’s been keeping Rae away from her fliers and wire spools, you ask?

Well, classes. I began to teach my first college classes in March. All two of them. And they have since completely taken over my life. I had this vague notion that someday I will teach all throughout my graduate school years (all 9 of them). Teaching, now I realize, is an entirely different beast than I had previously imagined. For a 3-hour class (as commonly offered in Korean universities), I have to make at least 30 slides, which take up to 15 hours to make. There is reading up, there is grading, there is… oh I don’t know, many other little duties to fill. And I get paid $120 a week for all these efforts and hours.

Not one of the greatest deals around, but I am not complaining. For the most part, I find teaching activities invigorating and rewarding. And my friends tell me that it gets easier as time passes (I hope they are right). In any case, teaching has finally done something that I did not think was possible: tearing my attention away from jewelry making. For my customers there’s always summer, when I will be class-free; I hope I will be re-acquainted with my fliers and flush cutters once I am done with giving out grades. That moment is eagerly awaited!

It is time…! I have long been promising myself a SALE, which I kept putting off. Well, I’ve been distracted lately — after a long break from work, I have recently found a new job (hurray!). It is a research position, but I got some teaching duties too so here’s keeping fingers crossed that it won’t distract me too much from making lots and lots of jewelry. :-) Anyways, the time is right for me to have a sale! It’s been a couple months since I made my last email announcement to my mailing list subscribers, and apparently that got some folks wondering “Is this thing still on?”. So if you’re a subscriber, watch out for an announcement in your box — it will be there very soon!

If anyone’s noticed, I have kept my ebay store all this time:, although it has been left empty with a “I’m moving” notice in front. I pulled all the listings late last year with the intention to focus on my Etsy shop, but I couldn’t dare to let go of the store. Etsians love to hate ebay (as evidenced by frequent bashing in the Forums), but I still love ebay for the monster of a marketplace that it is, and I did not want to let that store address go as I am aware that there are other designers operating under similar names. And yes, I’ve been paying up the $16 monthly fee all this time.

Then I suddenly came to a realization — I COULD have BOTH Etsy and ebay stores up (duh!). Filling my ebay store isn’t going to be too much work, as all my item descriptions and photos are already ready… So, I have begun to replenish my ebay shop. It is not meant to be as full as my Etsy shop, and it will mostly have higher-end items. I do not have high expectations for it either — I probably will keep my items in the “store” area and not do the eye-poppingly expensive “send to auction” thing, which means my visibility will be (severely) limited. I am hoping that I could sell a piece or two a month, just enough to cover my ebay fees. I already did recoup some cost — a necklace was sold the other day, which was a pleasant surprise.

Where did the summer go? It’s officially fall, and here in Seoul the raging summer heat suddenly vanished. I had a wonderful, lazy summer, but I suppose it is time to get back into action.

Back in May, I was pondering the possibility of switching venues in the fall, as announced in this post. Well, the cool new season is here and it seems that my shop will be continuing on Etsy.

Etsy is not without faults, but it is still the best vehicle around for me and my jewelry. Of all the flaws and foibles Etsy boasts, I find its saturation problem most troubling. Back on August 10th, the jewelry category passed the 200,000 listing mark. (I made a rather excited post in the forums with a wrong title.) Today, the count is at 214,701. In just 3 weeks, the number of listings increased by 7.35%. According to my quick and dirty calculation, the jewelry category will reach another monumental number of 300,000 in about 15 weeks from now, just in time for Christmas. 400,000 will come even more swiftly: just another 11 weeks down the road.

( continued… )

32 brand-new designs of mine will go on sale soon in my Etsy shop. 3-4 new designs will be posted in my Etsy shop daily, all between July 11th (Wed) — July 18th (Wed).

I know, I am supposed to be closed till October, but just had to roll out my latest summer jewelry collection just in time for the vacation season. :-) Please scroll down to see the whole lineup.

Bought an item, but want to see what else I list before making a payment? No problem. You can make individual purchases, wait and see, and make one combined payment when you are done shopping. Just email me and ask for a combined invoice when you’re ready to pay!

A free pair of Thai silver post earrings! Two designs are available: leaf-stamped buttons and flowers. I was very excited when I found these — for some reason, post-style Thai silver earrings are very rare. They are super cute, and they match perfectly my bracelets and necklaces with Thai silver, which is pretty much everything. :-) The details:
  • Flower earrings for purchases of $50 or more
    Leaf earrings for all other purchases (totaling $49 or less)
    ( continued… )
Ever since I changed my blog address about a week ago (explained in this post), I watched curiously and anxiously as Google blog search lose sight of my blog. I waited, re-submitted my blog address and even pinged, yet Google kept stalling, failing to index my new posts.

Today, I decided to read up on the art of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and made an eye-opening discovery. Well, apparently, a subdomain and a main domain are treated as separate entities by search engines. This means that my main domain ( and my now-former blog address in a subdomain ( are seen as unrelated for indexing purposes! I am not sure if this is the direct cause of my blog’s Google search woes, but I have a feeling that this is a bad thing for me regardless.

So, I have once again moved my blog address, and for the last time this time. It is now located in a subdirectory of my main domain: I have to ask you once again to update your blog feed, if you are subscribing to my blog. It will be the last time, I promise!

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