Friday, October 1, 2010

Member Interview

Hi there, Uyen of Asianexpressions.

Please tell us about yourself.

I sell custom made to order kimonos, fabric origami butterflies, cranes and kazashi flowers. I've always love crafting. I make all kind of gifts for my family and friends. I do craft fairs and such. My daughter told me about Etsy after I retired from the Post Office. My husband came up with my shop name. I opened my Etsy shop without any idea how to sell on line. My first customer was a Canadian. I did not have my PayPal account set up to accept foreign currency. It took 3 days, many emails and phone calls to PayPal for the transaction to go through! 
HOPE Fabric Origami Crane Ornament
My life story is an American story. I emigrated from S.E. Asia to America in 1975. Like many immigrants, it was a very long journey for me. Like many immigrants, I live in two worlds.

I've been living in Helena, Montana since 1975. I am married. My husband is my knight in bright and shining armor. I have one daughter whom I love dearly.

My ancestors migrated from China and settled at Sa Pa, Lao Kay, a northern highland region in Viet Nam close to China's border. All handcrafts and customs were handed down from my people through generations. My mother taught me how to make hand sewn fabric butterflies, cranes, flowers and other ornaments to decorate our home during the Holidays just as she was taught by my grandmother.

Kanzashi Flower Barrette Hair Clip - Brooch - Indian Blanket
When I was 12 years old, my father bought me a sewing machine and 9 yards of fabric and sent me to a sewing class. I managed to ruin all the fabric! Back then, I didn't know about "measure twice, cut once." Lesson learned!
Cranes in Flight Cotton Robe Kimono
My craft room is a home away from home. It's cluttered with sewing machines, a serger machine, fabric, yarn, thread, all kinds of craft supplies, books, music, photographs, quilts... It is my own little space, cluttered but comforting.

My craft room connects my two worlds. In my very typical American home, I am able to carry on the handcraft of my ancestors, which I am honored to share with you. I hope you enjoy them.

Asian Zodiac THE HORSE Fabric Origami Peace Crane Ornament
Western Zodiac CAPRICORN Origami Peace Crane Ornament
How did you learn about Etsy Project Embrace?
I was reading the Storque one day and saw the article about Etsy Project Embrace. I can totally relate. I've lost my in-laws, relatives, friends and my son-in-law to cancer. I've seen their battle and their suffering that they had to endure during treatment. If I can help even in very small way, I hope someday the cure for cancer will be found
Of your creations, what is your favorite?
I love to create, I knit, crochet, quilt, sew... I like making origami the best. I've been making origami since I was a little girl.
Origami Butterfly Fabric Ornament
What is your favorite possession?
My most cherished possession is a scrapbook I made with all the stuff my daughter brought home from school when she started from kindergarten.

Is there something special you collect? 
I don't really have a special collection of any certain kind. I have many gifts from my husband and my daughter that I cherish.

Where do you hope to be, and what do you hope to be doing, 10 years from now?
I hope to stay healthy enough so I can still create. I love to travel, there are so many places I'd like to visit. I went back to Vietnam last year to see my brother and my sister. My husband and my daughter went with me. We had a wonderful time. My daughter and I are going to Paris in October. I can hardly wait!

Lotus Flower Pincushion


  1. I am so glad to find out more about you and your beautiful treasures, Uyen. Thank you for letting us in your world.

  2. Wonderful interview and creations! Have fun in Paris with your daughter!

  3. Awesome interview! I love learning more about your life and creative path, Uyen. You work is wonderful!

  4. What a lovely interview, Uyen! How delightful to read about your "two worlds" and see more of your work and story. Bon voyage.

  5. Love this interview! Nice to see your space & face. Fun getting to know you.
    Have fun in Paris with your daughter. Sounds heavenly. xo Suz

  6. O, BTW, I know you and your daughter will love Paris. Take lots of pictures and share them with us.

  7. Wonderful interview highlighting a wonderful talented artist -- we love you, Uyen...I am excited to hear about your trip to Paris!

  8. Thank you so much for your kind words! My daughter Helen is living in San Francisco and works for a marketing research and advertising company from London. She's been to Europe many times. She'll make an excellent tour guide!


  9. Great interview, wonderful to know you Uyen :)

  10. I so enjoyed reading this interview, and your work is just lovely! Thank you for sharing.

  11. What a beautiful and inspiring interview!

  12. So wonderful to get to know you a little better, Uyen!! I love, love your cranes!

  13. Uyen... what a pleasure to get to know you better! Your art is AMAZING and so are you! xoxox~

  14. I love this interview. It was a joy learning more about you, Uyen. I have always admired your beautiful creations.