Tuesday, November 25, 2008

STOREWIDE SALE Thanksgiving Weekend Only

This is my FIRST annual sale, starting Wednesday 11/26 and lasts until Monday 12/1. Details are posted on my Shop Announcement. I'm hoping this will add a boost to my online store, and to help everyone out in this slow economy.

Since most of my jewelry and accessories are one-of-a-kind creations, once they are gone, they are gone. For pieces from my limited editions, I will re-list as soon as I can during these 6 days. All purchases will be gift wrapped and sent by First Class domestic mail, FREE, to you.

Wishing everyone a happy and yummy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History

As I was walking around the local library today, a book popped out at me. The name is “Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History”, by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. She is a Pulitzer Prize winning author, and wrote these words in 1976.

Ulrich’s original quote first appeared in American Quarterly in spring of 1976, entitled “Virtuous Women Found: New England Ministerial Literature, 1668-1735.” The article begins with this paragraph:

"Cotton Mather called them 'the hidden ones.' They never preached or sat in a deacon's bench. Nor did they vote or attend Harvard. Neither, because they were virtuous women, did they question God or the magistrates. They prayed secretly, read the Bible through at least once a year, and went to hear the minister preach even when it snowed. Hoping for an eternal crown, they never asked to be remembered on earth. And they haven't been. Well-behaved women seldom make history."

Ulrich’s intention was not to incite behaviors like Britney Spears or Madonna, nor behaviors of history-changing women such as Joan of Arc or Rosa Parks. In her own words, she was “making a commitment to help recover the lives of otherwise obscure women.” Instead of being forgotten, she was trying to acknowledge ordinary women, calling for history to pay attention to these women and their local and domestic contributions.

Since 1976, her quote has taken on a life of its own, appearing on T-shirts, coffee mugs, bumper stickers and such. Today, many people associate the slogan “Well-behaved women seldom (or sometimes written as “rarely”) make history” with feminism. Without the suffragists, we wouldn’t have been able to vote today. Without Rosa Parks, would I have to go to the back of the bus even though I’m not Caucasian?

Can you remember the achievement of the following “Famous First” women: Elizabeth Ann Seton, Victoria Claflin Woodhull, Edith Wharton, Amelia Earhart, Shirley Chisholm, Sally Jean Priesand, Dr. Sally K. Ride, Geraldine Ferraro, Janet Reno, and Hillary Clinton.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Micro Engraving

Micro carving/engraving has 3000 years of history, in the Shang Dynasty in China. The artisans had a strong foundation in calligraphy, excellent control of their hands, worked in total concentration, and possessed unparallel eyesight. The requirements are so demanding that there were only a handful of these experts. Majority of this art were commonly seen on oracle bones, stone, wood, ivory, human hair and requires a microscopic of 100 magnification in order to read them.

Some of the better known micro engravers today who practice this art include Feng Yaozhong (Zhejiang) who carves on sesame seeds with works listed in the Guinness Book of World Records, Li Qiufeng (Shandong Province) who carved the full text of Confucius teachings on porcelain, Shen Weizhong (Suzhou) who engraves poems on pieces of hair only several mm long, and Zhang Yunhu (Shanghai) who reproduced the 300 Tang Poems of over 10,000 characters on a 3cm square piece of ivory.

To the right is a sterling bracelet where I engraved Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “How do I love thee” poem. I would consider my inscriptions as mini engravings since you do not need a microscope to read the text. Yes, it required a lot of practice, breath-holding, and total concentration. This bracelet was purchased by a gentleman for his wife to celebrate a special birthday. I love happy endings. :)