Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Commissioned Stuff

I had so much fun crafting this up, because I was told to go 'regal'.

The royal blue of the lapis lazuli, the gorgeous banding of the faceted fiery carnelian, the sexy sheen of the tiger's eye, and the faceted amethyst accents, all come together in this lavish number titled "Of Grace and Goddesses".

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Jeweled Pendant and Filigree Beads

Here are a few more pieces from my Metal Clay course.

This one is a pendant with synthetic sapphire, ruby and cubic zirconia. The design of the pendant was first drawn on to baking paper, then we used a metal clay-filled syringe to create the frame, before embedding the stones into the design.

These are also done with the syringe, but this time, we had a go with cork clay as well. What we had to do was shape some cork clay into the shapes we wanted for beads, and then let the cork to dry. After that, we basically syringed clay all round the hardened cork. During the firing process, the cork is distintegrated, and we are left with this gorgeous randomly filigreed hollow ball! I polished the disc-shaped beads to a shine, and left the balls with a matte silver look.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gratuitous fabulous jewelry pic

The latest Frey Wille bangles, from the "Ode to Joy of Life" series.

Super thing is, they also have collections inspired by Claude Monet, Alphonse Mucha and Gustav Klimt. All very, very yummy. You have been warned.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Must Fit Flat Feet

When I started suffering (quite badly) from aching knees a couple of years back, I went to see an orthopaedic surgeon about it. The nice man told me it was due to the irreparable damage done to my knees from the misalignment of my ankles, knees and hips due to my flatter-than-flat feet.

Yes, my feet are so flat, they make a curious bell-shaped footprint in the sand. I have painful bunions, zero arch, and my ankles collapse so that my knees are pushed outwards and my hip joints, inwards. If I don't do something, I can look forward to being grotesquely bow-legged, and not quite mobile, in my twilight years.

To operate would be a waste of time and money because I am a naturally super-flexible person, and if I were to have corrective surgery, my feet would just flex to a flat again. The only way is to provide constant support to the bed of my feet and try as much as possible to keep the ankles, knees and hips aligned. Basically, what I needed to do was wear Birkies 24/7, in and outdoors. I was to only remove them when I go for a swim or take a shower. ;S

Since then, I have been religious about my indoor and outdoor Birkies. But right now the knees are acting up again. And for the life of me, I cannot figure out what it might be. I am sure it's not because of the live-in help leaving, 'coz I haven't been zealous about keeping clean. The only thing I can think of is the fact that I got rid of my old Birkies and got new ones.

Now the new ones are exactly the same brand and exactly the same size. (I'd be silly to stray.) But I'm thinking I might still have to wear them in a bit, after reading a rather serious message at the Birkie website on what to do when you bring your Birkie home (!). I say "serious" because it has quite specific instructions like "don't wear your new Birkies for more than a few hours for the first 5 or 6 times." I got my new Birkies on Thursday, and was in them whole of Friday, and the entire weekend. "Uh-oh" is a veritable understatement.

And with that, I anticipate my new Birkies to last me another few happy years like the last one did. Once my flat feet get used to them.

(pic via birkenstock)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On A Break

This morning I am off to do some things I have to do on a want-to-do basis. Which includes collecting some cheques, meeting up with good friends for lunch, and hanging out at the bookstore (which is particularly exciting because I shall be stocking up on magazines!)

Since being without live-in help, I have half the time to do what I need to get done. And though it could end up being stressful, I am realising that I have become more efficient with how I spend my time. At the end of the day, I seem to have gotten more things done than I have ever before.

Whether it's work-work, or home-work, or even time-out, I find myself using whatever time I have more wisely. And that 's what makes life (however short) so much more meaningful. :)

(pic via icanread)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Leaf Pendant

This is another project from my Metal Clay course.

What we had to do was wet our clay into the consistency of paste, and then use a paintbrush to dab the paste onto a leaf. This particular leaf was from a bougainvillea bush just outside the classroom.

So we had to let one layer of paste dry up, then apply another. And then let that one dry, and then apply another. Until the leaf-plus-paste is sturdy enough not to be blown away by the hairdryer. Then we fire it up, give it a brush, and then there you have it - a 99.9 fine silver leaf. The actual leaf is distintegrated in the firing process.

I love the juxtapose of an organic subject with such a glorious pure silver sheen. Our instructor also gave us tips on how to embellish the silver leaf's surface with bling. I think that would be SO interesting and absolutely gorgeous!

Friday, March 19, 2010

On My Lust List...

The Sylvia ring from ermadid at Etsy. How super-cool is this? A wooden filigree cocktail ring that's bound to be a conversational piece. ;D

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Commissioned Stuff

A good friend wanted a super-dramatic turquoise number. And this is what she got. ;)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Makes Me Drool

Yep, still dreaming of a lovely, inspiring, conducive workspace. As soon as I get this part-time help sorted out, and Those Two are back to their usual school schedules, I will organise my worktable. Now that my repertoire has increased (with the metal clay course), I have an entire extra tool box and work area to find space for...


(pics from the nest)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Featured by Angelolli

I'm ever so honoured to be featured by Elaine of Angelolli. She is a prolific work-at-home-mother-of-2 who hand-makes gorgeous contemporary quilts and buntings, and runs a beautiful blog full of inspiring ideas and recipes for the work-at-home mom.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My First Ring

I started my Metal Clay course and this was what I made - a solid 99.9 fine silver ring with a synthetic emerald. :)

So this metal clay stuff is just absolutely amazing! It starts out like grey Playdough, and you just shape it the way you want, put it under the hairdryer for 10 minutes, then over the stove on a little grill for 2 minutes. Give it a brush, and voila!

OK so the basic principles are easy-peasy, but in reality, it does involve a lot of fine motor skills, and if you have a nice design, it requires a creative application of the various techniques on how to manipulate the clay.

So although the design of my ring is a little dated and I'm not a fan of green, this was one that the entire class had to do in order to grasp the basics, and understand the nature of the clay. Also, the need to remember that only synthetic stones are able to withstand the heat involved, and that green stones (even if synthetic) NEVER takes to heat, oddly enough. So this emerald was set only AFTER the ring was baked and polished.

I have 4 more lessons to go, and I can't wait to see what else I can come up with. I am already getting rather ambitious-looking pieces in my head, and working backwards as to how it can be made from an unassumingly unimpressive little lump of clay...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Lesson

There is nothing quite like the violation of having your house help steal from you. On one hand, you feel sorry for them, and on the other, you think "WTF?!" As such, I am a tad fragile at the mo...

As of today, I am done with having live-in help. After all, Those Two are more independant, and are away at school half the day, which gives me some time to do my thing. In fact, in the 2 weeks' interim without help, Those Two proved to be excellent little helpers themselves. Who knew! We wouldn't, had it not for Olive (bless her) wanting to go back to the Philippines to get married and settle down.

For the past 3 weeks, we had new help. 3 days into her stay with us, my husband had money missing from his wallet. He said he was 99% sure about the missing 10-dollar note. He decided to give her a stern warning, and give her a 2nd chance.

Then 2 days ago, I had 10 dollars missing from my wallet. And I was 100% sure. So today, I told her to pack up and leave. I am sure between my husband's 10 dollars and my 10 dollars, she must have pilfered here and there from piggy banks and the coin pool too... oh well.

At the end of this whole experience, I am pretty sure of not ever having live-in help. Plus, I am positive it's going to be a better life perspective for all of us.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

March Monthly Giveaway Result

Maya channels Frida Kahlo this month to pick the winner of the giveaway.

I told her Frida never smiled too much because her teeth were really bad from all the smoking she did...

...but Maya couldn't keep it up for very long.

And the winner is...

Congratulations, Dee! 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!


Maya wants everyone to know that the earrings she is wearing in these photos, is made by her. (Sort of... she wrapped the beads, and Mummy did everything else.)

Friday, March 5, 2010

New stuff at Nuroots

I have been at it with the ever-popular Chic and Uniques, and I'm gonna give them a go at Nuroots at Great World City. These will be available from tomorrow afternoon. 'Coz the morning will be taken up by Maya's ballet lessons and Ruhi's taekwondo lessons...

Nuroots is having a major sale at the mo, and regular items are not on the shelves. But you can ask for these over the counter if you like. ;)

On Maya's Lust List

Maya has been trawling through Etsy with the keyword "dog", and this doggy pendant from CuteAbility was left in my Favourites.

Yes, it is cute. In fact, maybe a little too cute...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New (Commissioned) Stuff

A fun and fabulous number for a super client every designer dreams to have. Of vermeil, turquoise, coral, yellow jade and amethyst, with charms of freshwater pearl, onyx, carnelian, and a 14K gold plated Lucky Cat. I named this piece "Fortunista". :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Makes Me Think

And that is why I am investing in a Metal Clay jewelry making course. I'm going to learn how to craft up sterling silver jewelry, mainly rings, bangles and cuffs.

I really can't wait. I have always wanted to be able to create rings with stone settings, make uber-cool cuffs, and set stones in ultra-dramatic bangles. And come mid-March I will learn how. :D

Which means April's giveaway might just be one of my more successful experiments... ;)

(pic via icanread)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monthly Giveaway

Up for grabs this giveaway is the turquoise clovers that are currently up in the shop. I haven't had time to experiment with anything new, 'coz I have been stupid-busy with a custom project, my new collection, and a Mothers' Day collection...

Anyhoo, these lovely turquoise clovers are woven together with non-tarnish silver wire, and hang from long rhodium kidney ear wires. They measure 6.5cm from the kink in the ear wire to the bottom of the turquoise clover.

Just leave a comment at this post if you are interested in receiving these for free! The winner will be announced on March 7th's post, so you have until then to leave your comment... Good luck!