Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Agate chokers

I love, love, love how all of these turned out. I had stumbled along these strands of agate slices in Shanghai, and though they looked a bit banged-up and crazy hanging in the supplies shop, I saw how they could also be thoroughly 'vogue'.

So what I have done is simply put in tiny 24K vermeil spacers, to luxe it up without affecting the organic fall of the piece. So that when worn, it sits on the collar in a gorgeous leaf-fall formation.

How super is this? I love how this dramatic blue piece happens to have an Evil Eye as a centrepiece...

... how the colour and leaf-fall of this fuchsia- pink one is uber-chic and organic at the same time...

...and how this black one will look so 21st-century Katherine Hepburn with a simple white button-down shirt.

These will be up in the Etsy shop by coming weekend.

**Update, 30 April: All of the above have found loving homes... :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Festering mess

This is the spillover mess from my workspace. It has been such hot days, and I have had to position myself in the middle of the sofa, directly under the ceiling fan (which is also conveniently smack in front of the TV) to do my crafting.

It's terrible that there is one seat less on the sofa. I am not proud. It worries me that I have absolutely no control over my burgeoning work area/clutter.

On a happier note, I do tend to be more productive. I am comfortably sunk into the sofa, cooled by the fan, and entertained by a continuous stream of the Style Network's usual fare. Last night I managed to complete 2 chokers (if you look closely you can see the blue one lying there) half-watching Dr. 90210, Kimora, and Peter Perfect (...riveting stuff). Pictures of them gorgeous agate chokers shall be posted tomorrow. I shall go photograph them now... :)

(See? That's how I end up not ever getting round to tidying up... There's just so many more fun/important things to do!)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

29th Top Etsy Seller in Singapore

According to an unofficial Etsy poll at Etsy By Numbers, MAYA & RUHI is the 29th Top Etsy seller from Singapore. Good to know. :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

New stuff

Actually I have a version of these art nouveau-inspired pieces at the Etsy shop right now, in a transluscent ocean teal crystal. It's been selling relatively well, so I have decided to try it in other colours, and it has turned out pretty excellent.

This one with cherry Swarovski crystal is so bold and sexy, while the other one with amethyst Swarovski crystal is moody and elegant. I love how these turned out. I will be listing these soon.

As for this one below, I found these gorgeous coin pearls when I was in Shanghai recently, with a glorious sheen and lovely iridescent pink lustre. I thought I should just let it shine pretty much on its own, so I left it simple, with this long 14K gold plated ear wire.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Benjamin Franklin

Best known as one of the founding forefathers of the United States of America gracing the US 100-dollar bill, Benjamin Franklin was also an accomplished scientist who invented the lightning rod and bifocal spectacles, a political theorist and satirist, a key figure in the thoughts that shaped the Age of Enlightenment with his documentation of the history of physics, and a wise, quotable individual who famously said:

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

"Amen!" to that.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Oye! Puttar!"

Waris Ahluwalia on the streets of New York a few days ago, snapped by The Sartorialist, Scott Schuman, most celebrated and way-cool fashion blogger-guy. Anytime you're feeling uninspired, his is the go-to blog.

Good vibrations

Yesterday, I had the pleasure and honour of accompanying a friend to a diamond jewelry boutique to help her pick out her engagement ring.

Now, there some things you should know about me before I go on. I don't wear jewelry unless I have to. Ironic as it may seem, seeing that I am a jewelry designer and craftsperson. But I feel that too much jewelry might make me look over-decorated, because as is, I have quite a bit to look at on my skin. Even the clothes I wear are pretty monochromatic so as not to detract from my tattoos.

So here I am, sitting in a diamond jewelry boutique for the first time in my entire life. And to make up for all this time of having scoffed at these ridiculously-priced little shiny rocks, I find myself succumbing to the glorious bling of all these diamond rings, and relishing it, big-time.

I will not lie. It is FANTABULOUS. There is just something about women's weakness for shiny little things. It is not a myth, that diamonds are a girl's best friend. I swear I kid you not.

Rows and rows of the most gorgeous, gorgeous little things I have ever been in the company of. Even the simple solitaire just sitting on a plain band made me want to cry. For the first time, I find myself in selection mode over diamond rings.

The very kind lady (I guess they would all have to be since people are coming in to spend thousands) asked if we needed assistance. My friend told her she was looking for an engagment ring, and the lady picked out a few classic designs, which included the 3-stone ring, and the Eternity ring. My friend tried them on, and boy did they turn her into a million dollars in a split second. The diamond ring is the most amazing look upgrading tool if I ever did see one.

We basked in all that diamond glory for about half and hour and in the end, she picked this out-of-this-world gorgeous oval-cut number. And I went home with a tingling sensation all over from all that diamond-vibe, that lasted well into the evening.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's Earth Day!

On My Lust List...

Handy little handsoap (pun SO intended). Would you say these are disturbingly cute, or cute in a disturbing way? Amputated baby hands, or little dolly soap? In any case, I love it for its freak factor and how it is sure to be a conversation piece among houseguests. These are available at foliage.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Waris Ahluwalia

This is Waris Ahluwalia. Born in India, and raised in Brooklyn. Don't know him? That's alright, because he is the most famous un-famous celebrity. By 'un-famous celebrity', I mean someone who is known by the inner circles of alternatives, a brotherhood of artistes who worship the out-of-the-ordinary, a collection of thinkers known for their out-of-the-box ways and work. Besides, the first thought in the minds of people who don't know any better is "What is this Sardar doing here?". In other words, he's no mainstream rockstar.

Waris Ahluwalia is a jewelry designer. His House of Waris line is high-end, available at the esteemed Bergdorf Goodman, and at Colette in Paris, known to showcase groundbreaking fashion art and artists.

His work is simple yet atypical, opulent yet understated. In an interview with fashion journalist Diane Pernet, he explains that, to him, luxury is an intangible, immeasurable aspect and amount of "soul" put into each piece of his jewelry. The client is not only buying the value of the precious rocks, but also the indeterminable romance of the will and talent of an expert craftsman breathing life into the raw material. Interesting thought, and expert marketing to the soulless super-rich, I must admit.

You see, for 6 months of the year, he spends his time between Rome and Jaipur, designing, and then directing and overseeing a team of expert craftsmen working on his line. And then the next 6 months, marketing his collection, networking, partying, hanging out with supermodels and actresses... yes, all the occupational hazards of a jewelry designer with a luxury line.

And then, when he has the time, he stars in his buddy, Wes Anderson's little film ditties, quirky independent masterpieces such as The Darjeeling Limited and The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Rumour has it that his deadpan good looks and subtle character studies so impressed Spike Lee, that Lee tracked him down and asked him to be in his thriller The Inside Man.

So essentially, Waris Ahluwalia is best known for his bespoke jewelry, his bit-parts in classic cult movies, his looking like a fish out of water at red carpet do's, and his undeniable underground rockstar status. Now that's what I call "genius".

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I need some art

There are 2 artists' work that I so love, I fantasize about one day having their work grace my home. And they are both local Singaporeans.

Manjeet Shergill is a prolific artist, who has a studio in Holland Village where she works from, and conduct the occasional painting workshop. I have thought many times about signing up for one, but never had the guts to. I just will be so in awe of her and her work I will hardly be able to squeeze any paint out of the tube.

I love her Modigiliani-esque shapes, and the honesty and crispness of her subject's presentation. I also love how her work is so 3-dimensional in effect despite being so 2-dimensional in form, you know what I mean?

Shergill's "Village Woman"

(Fact is, I have tried to emulate her work, but as you can see, it is a rather poor and very immature version.)

My "Indian Aunty" :/

The other artist I cannot get enough of is Desmond Sim. He is another prolific artist, who actually started out his artistic career as a poet and playwright. His renderings and interpretations of Peranakan culture is captured so gorgeously it's amazing. From the detail of the ornaments and intricate designs of the sarong kebayas, to the little saucy smirks and nuanced glances of the subjects. It evokes a whole sense of identity that is, really, eroding.

The Peranakans are a dwindling lot, and a rather curious phenomena, simply because you can't be quite sure what makes one a Peranakan. Is it the pidgin language (actually they call it Peranakan patois now) that you speak, or is it the cross-cultured traditions that you keep? 'Coz it's definitely not a race-thing, which essentially makes it hard to define. Mainly Chinese who speak quirky-accented Malay with a smattering of Chinese dialect, the Peranakans are seriously, neither here nor there. And so they decided they would be One. Which is really quite cool. :)

The Peranakan Museum in Singapore is a colourful tribute to this very hodge-podge culture, with fantastical Malay dress infused with Chinese elements and super-superstitious traditions, of a loud exuberant people. Highly interesting, and things so wonderful, that every time you look at it again, you see something new. Just like Desmond Sim's work.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mental diahorrea

So, I have all these ideas in my head.

I have endless visions about my hoop/disc earrings every time I am idle for more than 2 seconds. I do imagery gymnastics, if you know what I mean, because I imagine how and where the wire will bend and go, and then how things could or could not fall into place, what combination of stones, and how they will go on... and on... and on...

Another idea I am playing around with is to have all my old stock sold off at a discount, with much of the proceeds going to charity. That would work well no? I have a friend, Tania, who founded a sick children's home in Beijing, Blue Sky Healing Home, and I'd like to do this for her. It would be one of these home jewelry parties I think, 'coz she has quite a few contacts, and it would be so nice to have an intimate air with a homestyle-tea-party type of thing. Anyone interested, do drop me a note, I'll send you an invite and the address when the time comes...

Yet another thing I am toying with in my head, is to have a monthly giveaway at this blog. I'd like to stay close to my customers, and would love that we become friends. It just makes it all the more fun. Don't you think?

OK, so let's see when these will materialise... first to do so is probably the hoop/disc earrings, which you will get to see... soon... we hope. ;)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My very own bangles

I have invested in a pair of sterling silver bangles from Silverwood, from enjoying the sound of Ruhi's bangles.
Aren't these pretty? I love the organic detail of its asymmetric form. And I am so looking forward to enjoy the jingle-jangle of it while I am at work. I can't wait for them to arrive! :D

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Yes, I have been productive...

... and if I dare say so myself, pretty prolific.

'Coz right now, I am moving on from these bangles and rings, to experimenting with a completely different form - hoop earrings that're more like discs... Nyes, it probably looks better than it sounds... I'll post a pic as soon as I deem one presentable. :)

But for now, here are the fruits of what I have been up to the past week or so. Many thanks to my Dear Ole Dad, who tried his best to help me figure out how to polish up on the crafting of these bangles.

So, I have lost my fingerprints and there's a feeling in my fingerjoints that's somwhere between "dull ache" and "numb".

But these ARE yummy, aren't they? ;)

Vivienne Westwood's ANGLOMANIA

Woo-hoo! I just got tickets to go to the show on May 10. Very, very exciting for me. I have been an admirer of her and her work since I was about 12.

Throughout her career, Vivienne Westwood has been the go-to designer for out-of-the-box, street-savvy looks, whether casual or couture. She does punk and high fashion equally deftly, and in both very different genres, you can see the Vivienne Westwood-ness of it. Her style is ultimately rebellious with a streak of whimsy, outrageous without being inaccessible. The mark of a true fashion genius.

In her seventies now, Westwood was awarded a Royal Honour in June 2006 for her contribution to the arts, which makes her now Dame Vivienne Westwood to you and me. She received her award from Prince Charles in a no-nonsense 50's-style black dress with, blue eyeliner and matching blue eyebrows, hair accessories of silver devil horns, and, as usual, no underwear.

The Vivienne Westwood ANGLOMANIA show is the closing show of the Audi Fashion Festival 2009 in Singapore. Other designers showing are Marc Jacobs, Ashley Isham and Christian Lacroix.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Peace from Ruhi

Ruhi has been wearing these bangles lately, and I have noticed how she is enjoying the jingle-jangle of them - when she moves about, especially when she makes a mistake with her writing attempts and "has to" use the eraser.

Another thing I have noticed is how refreshing that jingle-jangle actually is. I like how it "clears the air" for those very few seconds, literally a kind of music to the ears. It snaps me out of a mental treadmill anyway. It's a refreshing momentary peace, a nice shot of Here and Now.

Thanks Ruhi!