Friday, September 11, 2020

September 2020


The 2020 started of alright as I am learning about how people behave in Instagram, and I had successfully raised my follower 3 times more I had shared the trick on my last post in March 2020.  The activities were steady up until March where the French government obliged everybody to stay at home and close the main businesses. 

There were a lot of anxiety leading up to the confinement, to save everybody at home I tried to stay quiet and keep it inside. If you know me personally, you will know that I love to talk, in fact, too chatty. However, for some reason I rarely discuss about this. D would tell me about the news and I listen. I didn't want to give too much space to the pandemic. I preferred to stay silent and transfer this wave to the place where the only thing that exist is just me and my thought, through meditation and take long solitude time. In fact, now that I realise it, this is how I cope with almost all negative feeling. I used to write about it but now it is enough to just let it pass. 

Regardless of the turmoil inside, there were a lot of laughter too, there were no one day that the sun doesn't shine. I'd like to think that it is the promise from the universe that everything will be ok in the end.  It was in the springtime. The perfect time to stay at home. My husband got to realise that how peaceful it is to work from home. Me and him woke up early to have yoga up until 9 AM, then breakfast, after that around 9:30 AM he would go to his office, on the other room. There is no need to dress up to work and no commuting time. Meanwhile, my daughter would sit on the dining table and start copying text or read easy words like cat, dog, bag, etc. She is 6 years old after all. Sometimes we would go over some easy math problem. We downloaded the app Khan Academy Kids and let her hover through the lesson and choose whatever activities she wants. The activity stop at noon where we met in the kitchen for lunch, sure I I had to readjust my life, because usually the only lunch I fix is for myself, and most of the time it is just reheating the leftover. All of the sudden, fixing breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks, and dinner for 3 everyday, weekend included. 

D did the grocery, and one day he came home with 10kg of flour! I learned how to bake cake, bread, brioche, pie. My plants are all of the sudden are being taken cared of like a VIP being. No yellow leaves, watering schedule is on time, and for sure fertilised on time. 

My schedule shifted, I don't get to work since working around the house is a constant job. We keep the space clean and cluster free. I get to finish Cheryl Strayed's autobiography and listen to a lot of podcast. This is where I discover Esther Perel, Ear hustle, Criminal, London Real, etc. 

In June, C started school. For 10 days before the summer vacation start at the beginning of July. I worry less for some reason, you know if it is there then we learn to live with it. We eat healthier, we learn that life is about today, not tomorrow. I kiss my loves good night, two seconds longer than normal. Because we don't know what life will do to us. 

In July we decided to anyway go on vacation to visit D's uncle who is almost 80 years old. It was a good decision for us. We get to relax there in his house in the countryside of France, to eat the fig straight from the tree (look at the image! :)) But also spend good quality time with him. He is a retired architect, and more than that. He discovered himself and learn more about things when he is already retired. Looking at the world through his eyes, gave me a lot of wisdom.

What is next? I don't know. I can pick up pieces of what I left off and start from there. To be continued? 

Monday, March 02, 2020

How I Behave on Instagram

As a user, I like to scroll through instagram and the 1 minute clip post is a perfect length video for me to see more than just an image, and to know more about the message more without losing too much time. The first time when I click on the application is to go ahead to click on the loop icon that is next to the home and see what are the new post. I don't normally scroll through my feed because I don't like how I need to scroll through the image to see the next one.  Instagram knows what I like so it would feed me whatever it knows I like. However if I want to look for other items, I can either follow the hashtag or I do a search hashtag on top.  

Now, as the instagrammer, meaning those who use instagram to create a brand. I have a couple of tips that I had been using since this last post. I am not the kind of person who like to spend hours and hours to listen to tips and trick (oops maybe this is not good) but anyway. Last September, I browsed "Instagram trick 2019" on google and watched the first two video appeared on google search. I liked the idea and follow their lead. thus I shared the experience here.    

Back then the follower was 200ish, and now as I type I had reached up to 800ish followers. 

With this I would like to share you what I had been doing since.

1. Photography
I take photography very seriously. The ultimate most liked post had been the one took with DLSR camera, however if you have a good camera phone this is what I had been using since two months ago. 

2. Hashtag.  
Instagram allow you to use 30 hashtag to reach to the maximum audience. USE IT. but what is hashtag? It is what the instagram users use to the content they are looking for.  How to hashtag? if you click on the instagram icon, on your left screen you will see a home icon, and next the loop. Click on that. On the top screen now click on the search and type #(whatever hashtag you are looking for). In my example is #handmadejewelry and then on the drop down menu there will be a lot of hashtag that is related to my search for example #handmadejewelrydesign etc.. Then under that there is this quantity of the post. For example #handmadejewelryforsale has 17.5k posts. 
So, I read it somewhere that you should mix the popular hashtag (those that had been used more than 100K times) with the niche hashtag (those that had been used for just 100 times) that way you cover almost every audience. 

3. Story
For me, personally, I like to follow instagrammer who not only has the content that I am interested in but also who has a good story behind the image. What is a good story? Good story for me is a story that your follower can relate to. It is not easy to built a story for sure, but you need to make an effort to stand out from the others.  Think about what are the things that happened today, tomorrow, last week.  Funny stories, sad but meaningful can be amazing, story about family history or tradition, your culture difference. Be careful about telling sad story because you don't want to bring down the mood. No self pity post or I am the victim post or criticise other community, or venting about something, although it might be acceptable if you have happy ending I think. Again this is for my experience. You don't want to overshare either, like story about your wife, husband, kids can stay within your family and should not be overshared, people don't want to know about it either. But you can share about the funny story that happened that day, that involved your family, and related to the post. I have so many things I want to talk about about this subject, I might do a special post for this topic. 

4. Frequency
On my account at @lesbijouxdesiany I post almost everyday. Perhaps 6 times per week. On the other account @sianykitty it's 3 times per week. And the third account @kittystitchy it is perhaps once a month (or less than that). The more often you post the most chance you will have more people consulting your feed, thus follower. 

5. Liking and Commenting
For the post that I really like, I took time to comment. For the post that I scroll through I tend to just double click. This is my behavior as an instagram user. How do I behave as an account owner? first I take time to thank every comments came my way. (like mentioned on this post) I also comment back to their listing, and I have # that I follow that I comment almost all of the post under that hashtag. This creates community. I had made a couple of friends thank's to this method. 

And Finally, No.6. is to HAVE FUN. 
Remember life is about having fun while going through it. Finding little things that please you. Take more time to do the little things that you enjoy. 

I will finish this post by telling you a story.  Yesterday I had a job that I don't like to do. Calling people for work purposes. The inner me is screaming, "SIANY call these people already!!" I was nervous and restless. I procrastinated because my French is not that good, I was insecure, I didn't have the confident. My head kept on going back and forth asking the same question, what if I can't understand what they say? But I did something that change my perspective, I woke up early, took time to take care of my plants, because I love doing it more than anything, I decorate a little bit, and once I found the zen and peace I need, I scribbled some phrases that I will say to them and dialed the number. The job is far from being done, for I still need to call 3 people. But for that day, I consider that it was done, and I win :) 

If you have read up to this far, I congratulate you :):) and wish you have a good day :) xoxo

Monday, November 04, 2019

I Lost My Phone

I am quite careless with this thing I admit. Inside the toilet, on the entrance of the house, in the kitchen between forks and spoons and next to the fridge, there are specific places where I put my phone that I know for sure. Have checked all these places, it's not there.

Writing a note right now so I can get away with that feeling of small, lost, and disbelieve.

One thing for sure is that the phone is at home.

Because when I arrived at the front door of my apartment, I didn't took off my earphone because I wanted to finish the chapter 7 from my audiobook "Sapiens" by Yuval Noah Harari.  Got inside the apartment, fold the scooter, walked upstairs, turned the door key, got inside, put away the scooter, took off the jacket, no, I took out my phone that was on the front pocket of the jacket first, then took it off, then hung it on the coat hanger. Then what?

Then I walked into the kitchen and did my thing. I prepared lunch, the phone is not there. Then D's cousin walked in, hung out with him for little bit, while playing with my phone, or did I play with it?

Well, now it's after lunch, and I could have played with the phone while hanging out on the sofa, but here I am. Feeling, lost. Seriously.

I could read a book, I could make some jewellery, but where would this phone be?

Dinh had looked around the house, swept the whole apartment! no luck. He called my phone but as always it is on silent. Got him yelled at me a little well, my fault, I always think that if my ringer is on it will wake up my baby.  Thing is the baby is now almost 6! Even if there's a thunder she would not wake up.

I am back!!!

Ok I found my phone !!!

Earlier I typed "How to find my android that is on silent", google suggested me to go to this site and it forced the phone to ring even if it is on silent mode.

My gosh. the phone is on the sofa all this time! How didn't I know, you ask. Actually it is hidden under a Donald Duck comics belonged to my daughter, she must have read them but forgot to put them away. The comic was opened, so I don't want to screw up with the page. I didn't even try to lift it to find out. And it's there all these 3 hours time !!!

D's aunt was here too experience all these, poor lady. Superstitious as an old asian lady, she asked the guardian of the house to reveal where the phone is.  When the phone rang she came out of her room and she said,

"You found it right? I just asked the guardian of the house to help you."
"When?" I asked
"Like 5 minutes ago."

I am somewhat superstitious so I kinda thing that it's the guardian of the house who told me to look on google.

"You need to buy bananas tomorrow." she continued
"Because I promise this to the guardian of the house once he found your phone"

I bought 4 very gorgeous bananas I could find the day after.

Just out of curiousity, you believe in superstitious?

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Instagram Tips and Trick 2019

Would like to share to you what I had been doing on Instagram since last Friday.

I had 3 accounts on instagram, but only 2 have been active. The first is @sianykitty a personal account that is linked to my facebook account. The second is @lesbijouxdesiany this is where I post almost all of my jewelry creation. The idea at the beginning was to get more exposure, but after awhile I feel like it doesn't give me any purpose except for stress.

Everyday I had to figure out what to post in terms of the image as well as the caption.  This is nothing for some but for me it had given me stomachache! Worry because I have a lot of unanswered questions like: Would people like it? Who will see my post? Who are these people? Who do I address to? Should I describe the item like I do on Etsy, or talk about a completely different thing but show the jewelry? How much of a personal stuff can be shared through this platform and would they care? Who are they?

Unfortunately there is no answer to these questions yet..

Ok so what will I share then?

First, my goal is to grow this account. For the moment, forget about the whys and let's skip to the hows.

Last Friday I had found this note from etsy community that I found helpful. The writer basically gave list of tips on how to take great photos, the list that you can read it here. To make it short, the image has got to be shot with soft natural sunlight and clean background.  She also mentioned the most liked image on Instagram have been the photos with an image of an ensemble of products.

So I followed the tips and here are the three items that had been posted on @lesbijouxdesiany the hearts for the consecutive images are 55, 39, 41

The result had been positive for me because so far my most favorite image had been 39 likes, and that's a selfie. I had a hunch that those who liked them are my real friends back home who misses me and were happy to see me alive and well here in France. hehe just kidding.

Solution, I will keep in mind of the group shot every time I have a chance to do it.

Second behaviour, I applied some of the stuff that my husband @dinh did a long time ago in 2018, I know this might be a has-been but it works to find out the 'why' eventually. At least for me. read along.

Let me take you to what I do step by step.

Is to find the best hour to post, you can look at your statistic on the top right menu and click on insight. For this you need to switch your account from personal to business

Post. in my case I pick my group image, I caption whatever comes through my mind that day and voilĂ 

Pick 30 hashtags and post them in the comment right after the post you did. I linked my post to my facebook business page, so if I do the hashtag together in the caption there will be too crowded and eventually won't get full caption, so I prefer to do it on the comment. If you have other solution, or you think otherwise, you are more than welcome to convince me :) Now, how to do hashtag? for the moment I just look around on the images I like and just copy some of them accordingly. I also hashtag the name of my etsy boutique that way in case I have an old client who try to find me, they can find me through the #

Scroll through my follow list (the feed that appears when you click the icon home on the lower left) and like them, but not all! just the ones I really like.

Then after, this is when I start applying @dinh's technique. To like the images that are fresh uploaded.  The fresh post that are uploaded in less than 2 hours, the owners are perhaps still online, and will like back. You can scroll through those who like the image and start liking the image who liked the image. get it? hehe. sounds silly.

I am doing slightly different than him though, instead of only like I also leave a 4 letter comment. for example "What an amazing shot!" "I love the background of your image!" I don't do that every time though I also read the caption, respond to it, or try to answer the question if there are questions posted in the caption. Now this is there the 'why' gets answered. With leaving comments I am forced to interact with other instagram members, and if she/he read the comment and reply, it might be a start of an interesting conversation, if it's only positive vibes brought to the table, you can only reap goodness, thus friendship. Isn't this cute? After all Instagram should be a community of like-minded people.

Hearting. See who made comments on your instagram posts, and heart all of them. Reply if there are comments. Remember, 4 words minimum.

STEP 6 (optional)
You can also following other likeminded users, remember just those who you like, not all of them. I need to share you an embarrassing story, one time (actually last weekend) I had been banned from instagram from liking because I had liked too many images. oops. lesson learned. sorry Instagram god.

STEP 7 the final! finally!
Post the story. I notice that those who scroll through instagram would either scroll through the feed or story. But very rarely both. You can post the story and say that you just uploaded new image, or if you are someplace gorgeous you can put it up on the story. And don't forget to hashtag, not 30, just 1 or 2. You can hide the hashtag with a sticker. It would be amazing if you ask questions in the story, or run a poll. Some people told me to also tag a location, but I don't.


This is what I had been doing since last Friday, and today is Tuesday, I had augmented my instagram followers from 230 to 290 today.

Please note that this is my personal experience, so the result might be and will be different. But this doesn't mean that you can't try what I did. Please go out there with more tips and come back to tell me if I am right or not so right. You are welcome to say hello via instagram here or here 24/24 I love to meet new people.

Enjoy your Tuesday! ciao and bisous!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Handstamped Pouch for Jewelry

The linen pouch that I ordered had arrived, I had been using a muslin drawstring bag since forever and I never ask myself if anybody would like it. Recently a friend who love my jewelry and had bought a lot of them had brought to my attention that she would prefer that if the bag is a little bit more solid. oops. Always have room to learn, right? 

I scour the web to find a vendor and finally found the one with the best price quality ratio, a vendor from Etsy! yaay! I don't want to be bias but I love shopping on Etsy. First because almost all of the seller is always friendly, they always reply to your (even the stupidest) question, I do ask questions and ask for special requests, sorry you guys I am your choosy client.  But this also means that I can appreciate and can understand that some client of mine can be choosy and picky, because I recognise one when I meet one. hehe. And, back to why I love shopping on Etsy, since I am familiar with the platform, I know exactly where to find the terms and condition.

There are two sizes 8x10cm and 10x12cm, because some of my hoop can be too big and can't fit into the 8x10cm pouch. They came in natural color, I had imagined that it would be a bit thinner and more flexible though, but they are a bit rigid, it is obvious that it isn't washed before. But it's alright I prefer it that way. 

So just like the old bag, I want a personalised stamp on it. like on the old pouch I stamped a big red ribbon in front of every pouch. But this time I want to do it differently, so I made myself a little ribbon and a heart handmade stamp made out of an eraser. 

And here goes the result!

I had SOOO MUCHH fun doing this, and forgot when was the last time I had fun, seriously. So I made more and each one is different from the other :D 

Almost forgot, this is the ink I am using

VoilĂ . I know that I don't give you the detail on how to do the stamp, but if you are interested please ask me. I'll be more than happy to show you how to do it. Or you can also youtube it. So many tutorial about it. :) Have a good day ! 

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Colourful Stud Earrings

Sharing you what had occupied me these days. I was inspired by the basketry and the woven work that is normally done with the bamboo or rattan.  I tried to introduce the concept into jewelry making.

I know that I don't want big items, nor heavy, but I want to introduce a lot of colors into the piece.  So I take the old concept I had which is creating small and light jewelry.  I first form the stud base with thicker wire, 18 gauge maximum, hammer to harden them and then the fun part begin: scouring from the old collection of crystals, pearls, normally I already have a main beads that I have in mind then I work forward after that. Like for example the pair above, I chose this pistachio opaque green, looks like a Granny Smith right :), that I had bought awhile ago from a vintage brocanteur from Etsy, as the highlight of the earrings, then I ask myself if I want a monochrome or a contrast to go with this.   

Definitely still in the beginner phase, I don't know how far I will take the work through this into jewellery, but one thing for sure I have so much fun making them. They are available in my Etsy shop Which one is your favourite? 

Monday, April 22, 2019

Happy Easter

It's 11:10, Alexa is playing black-eye-peas, C is dancing all over our messy living room. I should be preparing lunch, finishing the basket  project, or preparing my order, but there is something more important thing to do to note to remember before I forgot everything, before the special moment swallowed by the time. 

We had an amazing day yesterday, strolling downtown Paris, witnessing the aftermath of the yellow jackets with the tags that decorate almost all of the walls all over downtown is not pleasing but other stuff is. To be able to spend time with my husband and daughter, witnessing the same thing while walking, and make little comments on the people with trendy outfits or urban rides.  Stopping whenever we found a little square with slides and swings. I am thanking God for this goodness. 

This morning everybody wakes up late. C woke up with squinty eyes finding me in the living room trying to finish my basket. I just realise that this morning is Easter Sunday. Like automatically every morning we greet each other, so I greet her with no meaning behind. 

"Happy Easter Charlotte!" 
"Happy Easter Mamma!" 

We hugs, then I go back to my basket. She said, "I want to go to hug daddy and give him my easter egg", "Not now honey he is still sleeping" he coughed during the night and it is only fair to let him sleep in a little in this Sunday morning. 

She came back to the living room and approached me, "Mamma what is Easter?" 

I stopped, looked at her. I had not been going to church for almost 10 years now, and feel more enriched than ever.  so I started.

Easter is to celebrate the rising of Jesus from the dead. 

"How did he died?"

There are a lot of mean people who want to kill him, so they forced him to go to the cross and he died there.  But then since he is God, on the third day of him in the tomb he raise from the dead. 


He died on the cross for our mistakes. It is a symbol for us to remember to forgive ourself.  

Then she stared at me with a super blank face, she didn't understand. 

I continued. "Cherie, for example, you spill water on the floor everywhere, you broke my jewelry, and you put a stain on the wall. what happen then?"

"You"ll get angry" 

"yes I will get upset, and get mad at you. Maybe I will scream and go to my room and ask you not to talk to me. But you know that after that I will forgive you. But then what happen with you after?"

"I will be sad, because I didn't do the right thing." 

"You will go to your room and be sad, because you didn't behave well, because you made me angry. Right?"

"Yes" --At this point I saw guilt on her face

"But when you go to your room, you start hating yourself because of what you did. This is where the forgiveness come. That very soft voice, that I call God, will tell you, hey little Charlotte it's alright now. It happened, don't worry about it. I forgive you, your mommy forgive you, thus you need to forgive yourself too. Now, go play. Dress up your barbie, finish up your puzzle, built your lego.. Listen to your music and dance."

I see her eyes lit up. This morning I think I know for sure that she gets what I mean.