Friday, April 30, 2010

On My Lust List

Patkas is a lovely line of bags and clothing, lovingly handmade from scratch by its namesake designer Patka. She is a devoted mother-of-two, and works solely on her own from her home studio in Poland.

I am quite completely in love with these simple yet gorgeous leather bags. So elegantly casual, and good to have when you have more than just wallet and lipstick to carry around (read: monster wallet, hand sanitiser, chocolate bar, notebook (lined), notebook (plain), pens, hair clips and elastic bands, phone, lip gloss, mirror, Barbie doll (or teddy bear, depending on Ruhi's mood), lightweight shawl...). Aren't these just perfect?

To see more of her gorgeous stuff, click here to go to her Etsy shop.

To read more about her and her creative process, click here to go to the Etsy article.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Commissioned Stuff

Remember the chunky bohemian-luxe multistrand turquoise choker? Well, here is its glamorous cousin...

So it hangs a little longer than the turquoise number, because I feel an onslaught of gorgeous freshwater pearls looks oh-so-elegant that way. This piece even has Swarovski bling thrown in... ;D

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Full Moon Mayhem

"Starry Night", Vincent van Gogh, 1889

Oh no, it's a full moon tonight. Which means I can look forward to a debilitating migraine all of today and tomorrow.

I get Full Moon Headaches. Strange, but true - I swear. I've googled it, and I am not alone.

You see, there are aero-ion particles in the air we breathe. And these aero-ions can be negative, or positive ions. Ion scientists have been researching for years, and have since discovered that an imbalance in the ratio of negative ions to positive ions in the air we breathe has profound effects on our mental and physical states.

When there are more positive ions in the air, we tend to be lethargic. (In my case, lethargic with a solid, pounding migraine, and some nausea thrown in.) When there are more negative ions in the air, we're good. Because apparently, negative ions have no bad effect.

We are all sensitive to these ion imbalances, though different people in varying degrees (of "lunacy" I suppose). That's why some enterprising fella out there invented negative ion generators, and is now making good money from those things being sold all over the world.

The positive ions in the air does something to serotonin levels, and that explains the irrationality of it all. Frankly speaking, anything to do with hormonal change can justify whatever stupid behaviour there is. No? :S (Hmm... van Gogh himself did some pretty silly stuff. I wonder if they were done on full moon days...)

And so, I shall try and accomplish as much as I can today. Because tomorrow I shall be rendered immobile, lying on the sofa the entire day in foetal position, occasionally pinching my eyebrows and pounding at my forehead, in a bid to hammer the headache away.

Having said this though, there is just something about the full moon. Despite the "just let me die now" state I get into, I am so in love with it - the way it looks, the magical light it gives, the sense of The Bigger Picture it persuades me to keep.

So even if I suffer like hell from having it around, I am reminded of the days that I DON'T have these horrible headaches, and so get on with It like the Happy Camper I should be. ;)

(pic via wikipedia)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Happy Monday!

And just like that, we're nearing the end of April. I tell you, time really flies when you work from home, with two kids, and no help.

So I am back with a full plate. (Oh let's face it, when is it ever even half-empty.) The housework alone is "endearingly" neverending... "broken record" would be an understatement, because you could still pull the plug on the goddamned player... But dishes and laundry? Only if you're willing to wear the same clothes and eat off the same plate a few days... ;S

If I sat at my worktable with work-work 24 hours a day, at least I'd be churning out pieces and creating different designs.

But 24 hours of home-work is EXACTLY THE SAME STUFF. That's what drives me nuts. Not the physical labour, but the repetition-with-no-chance-of-change. Gawd forbid if a spanner is thrown into the works: someone questions your laundry tactic, someone complains about the food, near-dry laundry gets wet in the rain, the dog pees on Ruhi's bed from a thunder scare (yep, happened 2 days back)... Argh! Or would that be a welcome change...? 0_0 Yes, it's official: I am losing my mind.

Anyhoo, life is such. Or as my mother-in-law (bless her), who is a dedicated and accomplished stay-at-home mom (I don't know how she's done it), would say, "Life is like that only." So yes, it will be a happy Monday after all. :)

This one is for you, Ma! :D

(pic via Anne Taintor)

Friday, April 23, 2010

It's Amazing What Doing Nothing Can Do For You

Today, I did nothing. Not counting the sink duties and laundry. No vacuuming, no cooking, no washing up. So that's no home-work (sort of).

And no work-work either. The computer did not come on until now (11pm), and I didn't touch a single bead or wire.

All I did today was lie around and read my book, until it was time to take Those Two to ballet.

Nice. :)

(pic via icanread)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

"Don't Stop Believing" Then and Now

I just bought a copy of the sheet music of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" for the piano.

I am hoping to either practise it myself, or get Maya to start liking it. So she can play, and I can sing. 'Coz I can't play and sing at the same time. :S

This is one of my all-time favourite songs. Yes, even before Glee. Here is the original: Journey performing the song live in Houston, way back in 1981. What a super classic.

And that hair, that T-shirt, and those jeans... Strange. But true. It was, afterall, 1981...

I must admit, though, that the Glee version is not too shabby. Maybe I'll use this updated tweeny version to get Maya to like it... ;)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The MAYA & RUHI Frida Kahlo Collection

I have always been a fan of the unique style of Frida Kahlo's work. And while reading into her life, I discovered that she was a real "staunch character", who created her own world, her own style, her own visual vocabulary for her work.

As a public figure, she was strong, fiery, full of colour and passion. But inside, she was also terribly fragile, and always expressed this vulnerability in the most capable of ways.

I have had immense fun working on this collection, and only hope it would have done Frida herself proud. Here, in celebration of her life and work, are some pieces from the MAYA & RUHI Frida Kahlo Collection.

Clockwise from top:

"Adriana" earrings - named after one of Frida's sisters.

"Tina" earrings - named after Tina Modotti the famous photographer, who was Frida's close friend, collaborator, and rumoured lover.

"Cristina" earrings - named after Frida's sister, who later on had an affair with Frida's husband, Diego.

“Self Portrait with Necklace”, 1933

This painting was done during her stay in America with her famous painter husband, Diego Rivera. She had suffered a miscarriage, and was finding comfort in her work. Here, she depicts herself as fresh, yet delicate, in a very soft and feminine light.

"Today & Tomorrow" choker

Today & Tomorrow” is an updated and blinged-up version of the necklace that Frida wears in the above self-portrait. It is named after a gritty Diego Rivera mural depicting the Revolution, in which Frida, her sister Cristina, with her two children, posed for.

"Mirada" earrings - "Mirada" means "gaze" in Spanish. These are gorgeous slices of amazonite, with natural mottles, full of character.


"Lagrima" earrings - "Lagrima" means tears in Spanish. Lovely pieces of royal blue lapis lazuli, with flecks of gold.

The "Viva la Frida" earrings.

Frida Kahlo, sporting one of her signature chunky pre-Columbian pieces, with her husband, Diego Rivera.

Viva la Frida”, or “Long Live Frida”, is my tribute to Frida Kahlo’s passion. The earrings are my signature Chic and Unique hoops, decked with Frida-esque colour combos, while the chokers echo the organic look that Frida so loved.

The "Viva la Frida" chokers.

In carnelian, sodalite, and dalmatian jasper.

"Self Portrait with Necklace of Thorns", 1940

"Necklace of Thorns" choker

Self Portrait "Time Flies", 1929

"Time Flies" choker in faceted onyx and pink agate.

"Time Flies" choker in turquoise nuggets and pink agate.

The form if these chokers are directly inspired from the one Frida wears in her painting “Time Flies”. This was a relatively early piece of work, and as an artist, her sense and style of realism was already quite established. This necklace she wears is one of her favourites, and is depicted several times in other paintings. There are also quite a few photographs of her with it.
Frida favoured the dramatic organic look of her pre-Columbian pieces of jewelry, which had an archaic air. I have adapted the form, and have updated the look, pairing the faceted onyx and smooth turquoise, with the raw look of the pink agate.

"Self Portrait with Cropped Hair", 1940

“Self Portrait with Cropped Hair” was done during her divorce from Diego Rivera. In the painting, she has cut off all her hair, symbolic of womanly beauty, and has donned a dark and heavy man’s suit. She was renouncing all the feminine attributes that she felt Diego loved so much of her.

"Pelo" earrings, in pink, champagne and black Swarovski pearls.

“Pelo” means “hair”, and the “Pelo” earrings look very much like the ones Frida wears in this self-portrait. I also love how the inflections in the rutilated quartz look like wisps of hair.

"Self Portrait as a Tehuana", 1943

This self portrait, Frida is in traditional Tehuana dress, which Diego was very fond of for her. It originates from southwest Mexico, and is a matriarchal society in which women play very dominant roles. The image of Diego on her forehead shows that he is constantly in her thoughts. The roots from the bouquet on top of her head branches out in a spiderweb fashion, suggesting that in her wish to “trap” Diego for herself, she is in actuality herself trapped.

"Tehuana Thoughts" choker

The “Tehuana Thoughts” choker is directly inspired by this painting. I love how I stumbled upon this batch of uniquely shaped banded amethysts. So gorgeous! And it is as if it’s kismet. The shape, and even the colour tone, is so complementary of the painting.

Frida relaxing on the patio of The Blue House, 1950

“La Casa Azul”, or “The Blue House”, is Frida Kahlo’s family home. She was born and raised here, within its humble and comfortable walls. It was here that she had a happy childhood, and here that she convalesced after the accident, and discovered her passion for painting.

After her father died in 1941, Frida and Diego (who had by then remarried) moved into The Blue House to set up studio. Towards the end of her life, Frida had to conduct art lessons from here, because she was in too much pain to travel to the University where she taught.

Frida died on 13 July 1954, in The Blue House. Diego Rivera, later in his autobiography, wrote that the day she died, was the most tragic day of his entire life, and that he realised too late, that the most wonderful part of his life was his love for her, and vice versa.

When Diego Rivera died in 1957, he bequeathed The Blue House to the Mexican nation. Today, The Blue House is a museum of Frida Kahlo’s life and art. Many of the things have been left as they were and are kept in pristine condition, a vivid reminder of who Frida Kahlo was, and what she was all about.

"The Blue House" choker

“The Blue House” choker is of a stunning piece of blue banded agate, wrapped in a signature Chic and Unique way, with luscious faceted phantom glass. I am particularly proud of this piece because of from where it is inspired. The Blue House was Frida Kahlo’s from the beginning to the end of her life, full of pain, passion and beauty.

Earrings are on a VERY limited run, and chokers are all ONE piece only. 'Coz now I am busy working on the next collection! ;) If you are in KL, you can contact Rachel for more info on availability.

And one more time, all together now...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Gratuitous fabulous jewelry pic

Platinum and diamonds with a carved charoite skull. From the 2009 Dior Joaillerie "Reines et Rois" (Kings and Queens) Collection.

I die. 0_0

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sneak Peek at The Frida Kahlo collection

Right now, I have tonnes of work-work to complete, so I shall go into the details of how some of the pieces have been inspired by the great Frida Kahlo, in a later post.

This lot is just some of the stuff that will be on it's way to KL this weekend. I shall leave it to Rachel with the details of its launch and availability. ;)

Friday, April 9, 2010

No Time To Think

Since having most of the housework to myself after the going home of my live-in help, I have become ten-fold busier, and a hundred-fold less interesting. You can even see that in my blog posts. Gone are the lengthy prose on personalities and things of interest. Instead, everything now borders on rickety ramblings of a person with too little time to do, let alone say, anything vaguely interesting.

Why that's so, I will tell you. Because I have far less time to sit and look at my magazines and books, far less time to sit and scour the Internet for stuff of, well, interest.

On top of that, I am busy. Here's what's on my work-work plate:

1. Custom piece for L (dramatic multistrand necklace)

2. Custom piece for T (fancy wraparound necklace of lapis lazuli, turquoise and carnelian)

3. Custom piece for J (fancy wraparound necklace of coral, turquoise and amethyst)

4. Completion of the new collection for KL (which includes itemising, pricing and invoicing)

5. New concepts down pat, but to make more pieces for colette (also includes itemising, pricing and invoicing)

6. Replenish stock at Nuroots (ditto)

7. Stop ignoring the Etsy shop (the "what" shop?)

8. Start thinking about new collection for KL (suggestions, anyone? Must be art/history-related...)

9. Metal Clay course (next week is the last class, but I am very tempted by the advanced course in which we get to play with real stones...)

10. Make blog interesting (a bit like what I am trying to do now)

On top of all this, there is the house-work, which include the physical nitty-gritty of laundry, sink duty, watering the plants, sweeping the floor, cooking, washing up... And then the home-work, which entails the daily moral training, academic monitoring and chaperoning to the various activities of Those Two. So you see, I have, not ONE, not TWO, but THREE jobs. ;)

I need to sit right down and get one of those posts going. Those "This is..." ones. I find them thoroughly exhilarating to research and write about. But for now, while I try to find some kind of routine, things could get slightly less "happening".

Though, the coming posts will probably get a lot more showcase-y, coz I have all this new stuff to complete...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April Monthly Giveaway Result

Ruhi does the honours this month...

... while Maya tries to get some air-time.

And the winner is...

Congratulations, Char! Please email me your mailing address, and your prize will be on its way! :)

Thank you so much everyone for playing! It has been really good fun. Hope to see you around the blog AND at next month's Giveaway!