Saturday, February 27, 2010

Homemade Taffy Fail , Some randoms, New monthly giveaways, new HQCD

I've been wanting to try my hand at homemade taffy for a while now. I figure, since I can make caramels, taffy shouldn't be hard.

Boy, was I wrong.

Taffy is meant to be cooled, and then pulled vigorously. Nowadays, machines have the job of pulling and I know why! It's darn near impossible.
I soon discovered that you need some big guns to pull taffy. I honestly have NO IDEA how people hand-pulled taffy-- what's the TRICK?! So... hot... and hard, and my skin feels like it's being burned off :( You can't let it cool much since it gets hard quickly....

Here's my complete, utter fail:

mm I'm sad... look at those poor little taffy turds :\

BTW, I put in BLUE food coloring, and my taffy turned out looking like JADE, hahaha. FAIL.

The only upside? It was delicious. There's no way sugar and sugar can taste bad, lol.
A random link I wanted to share:
I love this charm!


For those of you interested in some reading about pricing handmade goods, here's an article I came across today:

An exerpt:

Pricing Etiquette
Yes, Virginia, there is a polite way to price.  Here are a couple of common pricing faux pas to avoid:
  1. Changing your prices too often: yes, you should absolutely market-test your prices, but don’t just throw numbers out randomly to see what sticks.  Focus on testing one or two products at a time, and try to do it at a live event like a craft show, where you can gauge customers’ reactions directly.  Changing your published prices too often (like the ones on your web site) will make repeat retail customers think they are overpaying, and will make your wholesale customers struggle to keep their prices current.
  2. Pricing just to maintain your hobby: I think it’s lovely that you make so many beautiful things that you’ve run out of people to give them to.  I also think it’s great that you sell your extras in order to support your hobby.  It’s selfish, however, to sell a fair-isle sweater you knitted for just the price of the yarn.  Your customers might be thrilled, but underpricing devalues creative work and makes it harder for creative professionals to make a living.
Sadly, there is no magic formula for pricing, but with some research, careful thought, and a little finesse, you can find the sweet spot that makes your business the most successful it can be.

I get a lot of questions on lowering the price of my work, etc. And #2 kinda answers it. I'm trying to run a business, not just maintain my hobby and passion. When I sold mainly on the forum, there would be gals popping up here and there selling for just materials price, maybe $1-$2 higher than that. I wish I could do that, as well. But when you're doing something like this to pay for rent, food, etc, there's no way you can survive without making profit. I also know that the reality is, those who don't do this to maintain a lifestyle will just always sell at a lower price, even if it makes it harder for others to make a living out of this. It's just the way it is, and we just have to work harder around it. Hang in there, my fellow independent crafters.


This week has been uber busy for me on the school front. The quarter's coming to an end, and all my midterms are done. Finals are in two weeks! I'm not doing as well as I'd like to do, unfortunately :(. I feel like I need to learn how to study smarter, not longer.

I decided to take it easy today and spend the whole day at home, with Brian. He programmed for class all day:

While I made jewelry, and played on this:

What a way to reward myself for doing poorly in class, right? With a PS3? -_-
I know I'm late, but Brian and I finally saved up enough money for a PS3, woohoo!

Here are SOME fruits of my labor for Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010

^ This took well over an hour, lol. A customer of requested a dense cluster with a violet theme. This one's for you, Erica!
My cluster bracelets (like THIS ONE) have been selling REALLY quickly (within hours/days).  Is there a cluster bracelet trend around that I'm missing out on? I really need to get on catching up with fashion... after school ends.... next year... haha.
I really wish I had more time for work like this, but I just don't! The bracelets are SUPER loaded, and every single link has a bead on it.

^ I sold a pair of these to a 7-yr old cutie at a craft fair last year. She had to beg her mom for them. Ahh memories.

^ My first NON Swarovski piece. Turned out quite nice =) Yay for quartz and freshwater pearls!

I'm trying to buy some AAA quality gems (the best, most opaque/clear). They're about $30/pair just for the stones. Pretty intense. I've been saving to treat myself to some London Blue Topaz.

Only ONE of each unless otherwise noted in the listing!

HQCD's New Monthly Giveaways
(First prize will be given out at the end of March). 

Be a frequent visitor of HQCD, drop me a few lines every once in a while (I honestly LOVE hearing what you have to say, whether or not it's jewelry related!).

I haven't been updating and posting as much lately, but I want everyone to know that I appreciate every single person who visits! I think this will be a great way to say "thanks" to people who often visit! I'll get to decide how many prizes to give out, etc. Could be one, or even 10! You never know =)

.... to celebrate the beginning of this new promo, get a 10% off HQCD coupon just by commenting on this post by leaving your name, location, and email address! Coupon expires in a week.

This doesn't mean that I'm stopping my regular giveaways! I'm still going to have those larger, long term giveaways. =)


I have some Alice in Wonderland charm bracelets coming in soon-- be on the look out! I'm excited for the movie =)

Always feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments, or just to say hi!


Katie Ngo said...

Hey :)


Katie Ngo

Esther said...

I lol'd at the taffy turds. I was thinking why would someone make their taffy green.. makes me think of Flubber. It's funny how the blue turned to green though.
I really like the last necklace! It's so pretty and classy. :D
Esther - Virginia -

Elana said...

Hey there! I LOVE your work! My friend gifted me a pair of your earrings (Wings with moonlight swarovski hearts), they were so much more gorgeous in person! I think your work is well priced, there are a lot of other jewelry makers out there who use similar materials as you, but charge much more, I think your prices are just right. Keep up the great work! Ah school can be a bummer sometimes can't it? Heh

Elana A.
New York


Grace Wong said...

thanks for the updates, I love all the new jewelry!

MeiBelle said...

OMG I was just playing TEKKEN 6 maybe we should play CO-OP sometimes ;), I am in love with the game. I also just got my earrings today in the mail and I am absolutely in love with them! It makes me so excited that they are one of kind too!

Stephanie C.

Anonymous said...

Don't be sad, Lisa. Taffy is difficult to make..I believe the Taffy makers use a hook to pull it continuously.

Cute wood charm!

Best wishes for Midterms!!

Oh, I love all of your new pieces! If I was a rich girl..hahaha!

Angela said...

x.x need to save up to buy jewelry! =]
alice in wonderland bracelets =O deff excited for that movie =D

Pennsylvania, philly area

Karen said...

At first glance, I thought the taffy were frogs! Hehe. XD

I like the gold leaves + pink flower and green leaves combo. The colors look great together! <3

I can't believe finals are coming up already. Time flew by REALLY quickly.

DP said...

Danielle P.
New York
my name at

zel said...

I give up, I'm buying those second to the last earrings lol! Your jewelry gets better and better!

If I knew how to wire wrap, I'm sure I'd be making more stuff, well that and if I had time...

I tried to make taffy once when I was a kid. It turned into colored glass sugar... glass. I was sad lol.

Its Marie by the way. I'm on my book blog account. I'm too lazy to switch accounts lol!

Jade Melody said...

I'm excited for the Alice in the Wonderland movie too!!

Name: Tammy Chang
Location: Washington
Email address:

MJ said...

i'm excited for the new alice's themes!!

name: Meng Ju Mac
location: Texas
email addy:

Anonymous said...

I appreciate that your pieces are actual designs rather than just a crystal attached to a chain, which I see a lot from other jewelry makers recently. You reallly deserve all your success. I'm not a jewelry person at all myself, but I'll definitely be buying a piece for my mother for her birthday.

xoladiihoneyxo said...

Taffy does seems hard and LOL!!! It does look like jade.... SO ASIAN!

hmm, I know I won't be able to get anything this week so no point...

strapya world!!! lol. I get my phone charms there. I purchased over $50 just to get the free shipping. Pretty good actually if you think about it. Stock up for gifts? lol. Cute phone charms are not cheap! Have you seen the clovers one with 4,5,6,8 leaves? I don't know if it's still there, I purchased mine over a year ago. lol. I obviously don't use it all on my phone but like random things (usb flash drive, random purse, hanging from the ceiling/lamp/flower, dsi, etc)

I love julu jewelry and yours =[ sooo pretty!!!

Lara said...

The 'non-swarovski' pendant in really beautiful.

Stacey said...

I like the cluster bracelets as well ! So cute and eye-catching!

Kagoshima, Japan

mingyenhuang884 said...



Pauline said...

LOL! I looked at the first picture, and I said to myself, "How is that taffy?," cause it looked like gunks of random green things. But looks doesn't matter when it comes to food, it just makes it more appealing!

I love the new cluster bracelets! I want to get one, but then, I feel like I'm spoiling myself too much by buying your jewelries too often, which I'm planning to do after my shopping ban is over :x

Pauline said...

Ack, forgot to leave my name + location.

Pauline L

Saving Capulet said...

your jewelries are so beautiful!

Shiseiten said...

Taffy sounds like it would ve hard to pull on your own. But I love how you like making sweets! hehe. I'm an avid baker myself. Can't wait for your Alice bracelets. I just recently bought a cute "drink me" necklace that's Alice themed off Etsy. :) Love the new earrings. Your earrings are always the most grand looking. I haven't been able to buy much lately, but I'm waiting for that piece that I will see and say, "I need that in my life" right away. haha. Thanks for the pricing tips! It'll be helpful someday when I want to sell my artwork. :) Good luck with midterms!

Liana said...

wow your jewelry is absolutely gorgeous! i am a new follower so i haven't had time to go through all of it yet, but from what i can see you are very talented! keep up the great work!

~Lisa said...

I'm not going to get to 10% coupon but just commenting to say Heyy!! LOL

I'm quite jealous of your talent actually! >_< Every piece of jewerly you make are so beautiful!! I love that Eiffel Tower one you have at the bottom of your post (;

Emmeline L. said...

That caged bird necklace is too cute! But I see it's not on the site anymore - too bad! >< I can't wait to see the Alice in Wonderland bracelets though :)


Anonymous said...

Gosh. I know what you mean about making taffy. I had to make some in class one day and my hands felt like they there on fire! So hard. Lol. But the colour is really cool anyway, even though it's supposed to be blue. Haha.

I love your cluster bracelets though and the one you linked is absolutely beautiful.

Your necklaces are way pretty too. (:

Oh, and I really can't wait for you Alice In Wonderland charm bracelets. I'm definitely gonna get one of those and I'm really excited for the movie too! ^^


Susan said...

I love the calla lily earrings and the silver flower/leaf earrings!! Too bad about your taffy. I wish you the best on your finals!!

Susan said...

Forgot to Thank You for sharing the site for the wooden charm!! Those are really CUTE!!!

joey said...

i love the flower earrings and the little cage necklace!!!

i just tried to shop at heqi and ecrater said they had a scheduled maintenance so the site was down

today was the day i was going to buy the bridal necklace i had been bugging you so much about!!!

i think your pieces are incredibly wellpriced
they arent to the point of extravagance like some others where i simply cannot afford it, but they also are at the point where i feel like im buying very good quality

thanks lisa!
and good luck on future taffy attempts

alberta, canada

Renee said...

just got my order today for the ring and necklacke =) thanks for the minigift! please email me for the coupon

doodlegirl said...

i love the birdcage necklace and i can't wait to see your alice in wonderland bracelets!

ontario, canada