Thursday, March 15, 2018

Infatuation With Pearls

Stepping out of my comfort zone of hoops, I have been infatuated with pearls and have been wanting to create something big, oversized, but not overwhelming the space.  But rather light, modern, and airy. Geometric but also feminine.

Maybe there are plenty of you that can relate. I have always been the creator who made something with myself in mind. In every creation, I ask myself: "Would I wear this?" 

This one, for example. In the making, I adore this dusty lavender hue so much and thinking maybe I will keep this pair. Unfortunately, violet is not my color nor the yellow gold.  

Any jewelry in yellow gold is delicate, expensive, conservative, high class and feminine. This is how I feel about this pair of floating pearl escargot hoop earrings

While with the rose gold, the mood shift slowly to more modern, gorgeous, chic but effortless laissez-faire.  During this process I had been experimenting with shapes, and this came out prettier than what I have in my mind. I love how the dark pearl lies perfectly in the middle like a superstar but doesn't eliminate the existence of the ear frame.

And lastly the sideway crescent, still with peach pearl. For this shape, I chose rose gold. it falls effortlessly down your earlobe. Amplifying indeed, but only to your style. 

There are still creativity untold, and I definitely will come back to fulfil the crave. Until then, I would like to know your opinion. Do you have a preference material for a jewelry? and what gemstone do you like the most? and on a more personal question, If you are a creator, do you also think about yourself when you create something? 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Something Special for your Valentine's Days

I will not give you a suggestion of what to get for your love ones for the upcoming love day, but rather sharing what had touched me and made me visited the other form and shape of love.

It's Modern Love.

Since I have discovered it late, I have the advantage of doing the Modern Love marathon, I couldn't complain with this. But my eyes have. I cried almost every time.

These essays are sent to New York times and the editorial will choose one to be published in the column. Every week.

My favourite two are these:

1. An Empty Heart Is One That Can Be Filled  written by Lily King, author of Euphoria. 

2. A Heart Outrun. It's Collin Farrell who read this!

And here are my other favourites:

My First Lesson in Motherhood 

How the 'Dining Dead' Got Talking Again

It Took A Villain 

When Your Greatest Romance Is A Friend

No Bounds or Lanes

I Need to Woman Up

Revenge of the Friend

PS There are so many ways to listen to podcast, so in the hyperlink I just gave you plenty of option from listening to the podcast via New York Times, WBUR website, or Spotify. Depends on which application do you like to listen to better. Of course you can also read them, it is more personal, but I chose these because I love the voice of the narrator, they are doing a very good job.

Happy Love Day

Monday, February 05, 2018

Life Lesson: When in Trouble, Don't Contact Your Client

For a self taught jewelry maker, the knowledge often comes from a place I would never imagine.

Towards the end of last year I had somebody who asked me to make a pair of earrings that I would say challenging to make. But I decided to discuss with her and willing to stretch my knowledge.  After a back and forth a couple of times, she finally loved what I had scribbled for her.

I was so happy. Told her the price, she agreed and paid right away. Double happy.

But the trouble came when I had to fabricate the pieces. I had stumbled on the technical detail on the finishing.

Assumed that she would prefer the piece to be hammered like how I would do to almost all of my gold filled pieces, I didn't bother asking this detail. When the image of the final piece is sent, she said: alright I like them but the hammered look is not what I preferred.

Oops! Flustered, my heart raced so hard and was thinking but this is the only way I know to harden the metal.

There is another way how to harden a metal, with a tumbler. However I don't have any of these machine. Even if I buy it would take time since this is the end of the year, and some of the stores I know would have closed.

Went back to the customer and told her about this problem. She sounded upset. There is a possibility that she is angry. We negotiated for the price and finally gave her a big discount.

Packed the pieces, I told myself, fiuh! Almost lost the sales there.

The story is not finished. She followed the email, if you can make them in shiny finished it would be nice thought I don't have to wear them until January 19th.

Oh no!

My friend Natalka from keepityours gave me an advice to try with a plastic or wooden mallet.

I have tried with rubber mallet and have not been successful with those. So I found a piece of wood instead and did what she told me.

After hammering them with this piece wood, the earrings went hard, and it came out so beautiful, I have to admit her taste. I had a sore back but this is another thing.

Told her the good news. She was happy. Very happy I think, because she gets the earrings she likes with a discounted price.

Life lesson for me: When in trouble, don't contact your client.

After this, I have ordered two mallets online: rawhide and wooden. Preparing myself for the next war indeed.

You can see the difference of the shiny and hammered finished on the first image of this post.

Here are the photos of the hammered look which is available here.  

If you have noticed that I don't have the shiny finished available, that's because I prefer to work with what I am familiar with.

But that doesn't stop you from having them though. If you have the same taste as my previous client and want to have the same pair, please let me know that you have read my blog and would want the finishing touch to be shiny. I'll understand right away.

To end this story, I would like to have your opinion. Which finished do you like, round and shiny or slightly hammered ? 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Singaporean Chili Shrimp


Last week D bought a bag of frozen freshwater shrimp, and asked "What do you think of this for Christmas Eve dinner?"

I'm excited because this reminds me of home! However the home I am referring to was actually the place where my parents was born, whereas I was actually born in Jakarta.  Growing up, I did not have the experience of running outdoor, raising the chicken, or all the island experience out there.  Me and my brother have spent most of our childhood time indoor. We either play with my cousins at my grandparents' house, at our house, or at their house. 

Running at the park like how my daughter love to do is not what I remember doing during my childhood. However, eating is. 

Our outdoor activity is hanging out at the front door of grandma's house admiring her hibiscus tree and looking outside through the grill hoping that there will be a vendor selling es lilin, a home made ice pop, rujak, a mixture of fresh cut fruits: young papaya, mango, rose apple, jicama, raw yam on a plate with black spicy pundgy sauce. We use a lot of fermented shrimp paste in our sauce, thus the smell. 

So when D brought this home, I automatically think about the food that was served on the table when I was little.  This attempts me. 

This sauce is actually best served with the crab. But with the shrimp it is not bad at all. I do adjust some of the recipe though because normally you should use the real chili instead of sriracha.

Before cooking, the freshwater shrimp should already be defrosted. I cut off the pointy part of the head, cut open the shell on the back but leave the tail, and cut some of hard shell on the head but not all the way. Washed them with water and pat dry with the paper towel. 

750g Prawns (you might notice that I have added smaller prawns too) 
1 egg
Thumb size piece of ginger 
3 cloves of garlic 
1 tbsp of oil 
1 tbsp of corn starch (or potato starch) 

200ml of water
4 tbsp of tomato sauce
1 tbsp of child sauce (I use sriracha) 
2 tsp of sesame oil
1 tbsp of white vinegar 
Salt to taste 

Mix the ingredients for the sauce together in a bowl
Mix the corn starch with 2 teaspoons of water
Beat the egg and put it aside 
Fry the prawns for 1 minutes, scoop them out 
Sautee julienne of ginger, crushed garlic in a medium fire until fragrant 
Put back the prawns stir fry for a minute
Add the sauce into the pan and let it simmer before adding the corn starch
And lastly add the egg while stirring (to create a flower soup texture to the sauce)  

Let me know if you want to try, have tried this recipe, or if you had this somewhere in your life and if you think that I miss an essential ingredient I'd love to learn from you. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Beginning of 2018

The obsolete unpublished unfinished post I have written, that seems to be a million years ago:

"My girl Charlotte is 4 months old today. The pregnancy and the labor went well, although at the beginning of the second trimester the doctor announced that the fetus might have been too small.  They required me to lay down on the left side at least 4 hours a day. But thank God she was born normal, 3kg, 48cm long. It was quite easy to gave birth to her, to my surprise..."

She is now almost 4, how time flies.

Between then and now I have grown so much, more than I thought. Or perhaps it is for the first time I have realized that I grown mentally, pshycologically.. Evolving. Wiser, I think. I hope.

I am more comfortable with myself right now.

Have found the love of my life, not only he fulfilled me but also I am the better version of myself when I am with him. I asked myself from time to time, have I not met him, can I be the person I am today right now?

With the (early) challenge of being a mother, at the end of the day it gives me a chill to even think that what life is like without him by my side. I shared him this fear last night, he said that he would never let me be a mommy to his daughter without him by my side. This assures. For the single mother out there, your level of maturity if definitely above me.

Coming to this year, like almost every year I have written what I remember I had accomplished and what I wish to do in the future. I didn't start with checklist like years before, but instead asking myself this question.

What kind of Mother, Wife, and Woman do I want to be in 2018?

In a piece of paper I scribbled:

Wife: kind, loving, sweet, supporting, and let the husband do his stuff
Mother: no snap, no threat, loving, kind, encourage, comfort, long love, patient, soft-spoken, cuddly, cute, funny
Woman: strong willpower, achievement, wise, healthy, smart, courageous

So, you might ask, for this past 15 days, have I been the wife, mother, self I want to be? This came out harder than I thought.

I sometimes act as a mother to D (It's the initial of my husband's name. I don't mind mentioning his name, it will come out anyway, but for some reason I always refer him to D whenever I write about him). Please wear your scarf, don't forget the umbrella, here is your gloves, etc.. I thought that this is the right thing to do until two weeks ago when it had exponentially angered him.

That day we were supposed to go out and I asked if he could wear more outfits as there will be wind, he thought that he had worn enough, but I insisted.  He ended up doing what I asked him.

But it was very obvious that he was angry. We have promised C (my daughter, Charlotte) to go visit the Eiffel Tower the day before so we won't cancel this. Especially this might be the only sunshine we have for the week.  He asked me and C to go ahead and walk to the metro station while he would checked out the car. But I know that this is a pretext for we needed this space to calm down.

The selfish part of me is annoyed and think, why is he so stubborn, what happen if he gets sick again.  The other side think why would something so simple angered the man so much?

When he arrived behind us I let him walk in front of me along with C.  Confused and sad, I didn't understand his anger.

Maybe it is alright to let others take control, he has been living far longer than me and he should know himself better than me. And especially he is not my son, he is my husband.

I ran to him, at this time we have arrived at île aux cygnes and the sun was shining so brightly, I tried to hold his hand. "I am sorry.." I said. I looked at his face. Still angry.
"I have said no to you, have I?"
"Yes you did"
"Why insisted?"
"I don't know"

Before C was born we have this thing between us that any disagreement we have between us, it should resolved as soon as possible. I think this is my idea for I hate conflict, but this works for him too who is a little bit on the independent side.

Hugged him from the side. I looked at him.

"You don't need to insist when I have given you my no." he continued.

I stopped walking, and looked at him some more. Charlotte pull him away from me I think she wanted to show him something that she found. Somehow remember this scribble I wrote on a piece of paper for this new year resolution: "let the husband do his stuff.." 

I knew right away that I needed to practice what I wrote. How could something so simple involve so much of emotion!

I ran to him, and said "d'accord." means yes in french, then hugged him.

Hold his hand and he squeezed mine.

We grow because of the challenge of the daily things. If you tell me this 10 years ago I would have shrugs it off. But it is real.

I wanted to tick off this resolution but I know that there will be events like this in the future, and every time it appears, will it be ticked off or will I let my ego gets to me.

This time us win, not my ego. I hope that this means that I am closer to be the wife I want to be.

Gorgeous day isn't it? 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Do You Have Hoop Earrings?

Hello there, can I talk to you about what have filled my bench these days? (bench? I mean, well you know.) They are the hoop earrings.  In case you are completely clueless of what it is, I found an great article about it: here is an introduction on what hoop earrings is and how to wear them.  But if you ask for my opinion here it is:

Casual small, Glam large.
Mountain small, Beach large.
Street large, party larger, wedding I should say medium.
Office small or medium.
And groceries, post office, walking dog, taking kids to school, doctor visit..  Large, Large, Large..

Don't we all dream about going somewhere special and what to wear etc while most of the time it only happens very rarely. And worstly, we ignore for the fact that it is also important to look good everyday. This means going to groceries, post office, and other errand places.

Out of curiosity, do you wear jewelry everyday? I wear a small pair of earrings, and my wedding ring, everyday. Even if I don't go out that day, it is more like a ritual for me to look good and to feel good. Do you have a ritual to feel good?

I do. I woke up around 7 AM in the morning, then coffee, while waiting for it to brew I stretch, and say my affirmation phrases.  And at night before bed I pray for everybody I love. These are my ritual to feel good.


I rarely wear XL hoops, but if I do I feel so great.  At the beginning of my creation, the largest round hoop I have created then had been the one with the diameter of 1.75 inches (or 4.5 cm) It was quite big.

Then it was not big enough, and moved to 2.35 inches ( or 6 cm) in diameter, like the one below.

Then the summer came and for some reason the idea to make flower shape hoop earrings came about.  Voila it came in mediumlargeextra large in rose gold filled, and extra extra large in yellow gold filled.

The last shape I have made, just this week, is the oval, in two sizes: small and extra large.

This is me with the XL oval hoop. And while typing all these, I am thinking about should I watch The Bachelor, What is the last name of Prince Harry's fiancée, is it Merkel or Markle? and I am also listening to this.

So, Which one is your favorite? and out of curiosity, do you also multitask? 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Where Have I Been

Hello there. I feel like I am obliged to reintroduced myself because of the long missing in action on the virtual world. Well, to start off, I have no more big tummy. Even if I am still wearing my pregnant jeans. Oops. I know. These kilos decided to love me more than I love them.  The weight is 60kg for 160cm right now, and my ideal weight should be around 52-53kg. So, 7 more kilos to go. Tough but not tough. I practice yoga from time to time. I am in a search of a good yoga book, or video, by the way, if you have a recommendation on which video to watch, I am more than happy to check it out.  Because to be honestly honest with you, lately browsing free yoga video on youtube means browsing Sam Smith new songs or watching Oprah Super Soul Sunday on Youtube

I also have been back to my jewelry bench. As "bench" means three pliers, cutter, and metal nail filer, laid on a piece of cloth laid all on the floor while I work sitting on the floor folding my legs.  If not at work the "space" I used to create everything you see here is just a space on the floor.  I live 5 minutes to Paris, although far less expensive than the Paris itself, we still can't afford bigger space. Thus the workspace. 

Grateful as ever though, as nothing I posses should define my state of wellbeing. 

I have a 3 years old daughter, she will turn 4 in March. She loves to draw:

The last picture is her drawing on a piece of receipt paper from the restaurant. She is very active and get bored very easily, if you are a mom of this age group you know what I mean, so I found a pen and paper in my bag, it literally save my life. Well, I exaggerate, not life, just give me a calm moment for those time she imagined a girl watering her garden.

Last September she started her first year of school, here in France they call it Petite Section, where I drop her off around 8:45 AM and picked her up at 11:45 AM.  She stays half day because I prefer to have lunch with her and she still sleeps with her mama. 

Since the beginning of this year I have been praying and thinking of what I want to do, as a woman, not just a mom.  I still don't know, to be honest with you.  For the moment I am just continuing what I left off here, and just see where the faith brings me to.

Hopefully you will see me often here too. It is good to be back.