30 December 2010

Happy Holidays!

We’re reaching toward the end of the year. Time flies quickly! I remember last year around the same time I was busy with moving process from an old appartment to a new one. Now I’ve been spending relaxing days with my husband and kids since they’ve started their holiday. Get up late, do something that we don’t usually do in normal days, no morning rush, no appointments, have peaceful minds… It feels wonderful to have a short break like this, away from hectic daily routines, even only for two weeks.

One of my have-to-do plans during this holiday is to update my Flickr gallery and I’m glad I did it last night. Most of the photos have already appeared in this blog but I added a few pictures of recently completed designs for eye candy. Go and have a look!

To wrap up my blog entry in 2010, I would like to wish you all happy holidays and a better year of 2011.

21 December 2010

Cheer Up!

It all began with a shortage of materials. I didn’t have enough chains and interesting clasps but that shouldn’t stop me from completing a project. So I connected two types of chains and ended them with a round basic clasp. To make the end parts more interesting to look at, I added owl and heart charms.

Next, I didn’t have charms that might go nicely with the cupcake pendant. No worries! Crystal dangles would do a great job to liven up the back parts of the necklace.

What if I attached colorful crystal dangles on the front side of the necklace? They shone just enough to accentuate the big flower focal.

And what if I used different crystal shapes in colors I picked from the heart’s color combination? To me, they looked perfect.

The rest was a fun exploration of mixing and matching colors and materials. I combined two kinds of chains, scattered small colorful crystals mimicking the colors of the pendant and embellished them with Bali silver findings.

Visually light, whimsical, colorful… I’ve been making many necklaces with this kind of design. Perhaps it has something to do with the current season. We still have several months to go through snowy winter and haven’t experienced the coldest days yet. We need colors to brighten up the days and I believe the necklaces would make a sweet smile on anyone’s face.

04 December 2010

Inspirational Colors

Winter is here! Snow has poured for the past few days and everything on the ground looks mostly white with murky grey sky on the above. Not sure when I’m going to see sunshine or feel the warmth of it. I’m more of spring/summer type of person and to see gloomy spiritless scenery like this everyday, I’m beginning to look for colors. Bright, cheerful colors like this:

or this:

or this:

Last Saturday, 27 November 2010, the Munich-based Indonesian-German cultural organization Swadaya Indonesia Muenchen held an Indonesian Cultural Night (Indonesischer Kulturabend) presenting the theme of Indonesia: the Beautiful Unknown. Regrettably I couldn’t make to come to the show but the photos that are posted in here already make up for my absence. I entertain myself with the vibrant colors of diverse dance costumes. They’re so happy, lively, giving me unexpectedly some inspirations for my next jewelry projects.

All photos are by courtesy of Moriz.

No jewelry pictures this time.

19 October 2010

Autumnal Flavour

These pieces were made to cherish the current season. Copper and topaz colors are the highlights.

14 October 2010

Collector's Style 2

More of collector’s style designs.

The bracelet below is made of Ring Bead (5139), Galactic Bead (5556) and Bicone Bead (both 5301 and 5328).

This bracelet consists of Wing Bead (5590), Round Bead (5000) and Bicone Bead (5301 and 5328).

There’s always a concern about my work being copied. Swarovski products (beads and findings) are now sold everywhere around the globe and it’s easy for people to buy the same materials and duplicate my designs without my knowledge. However, I doubt exact duplications are possible since I have my own recipe to mix and match many different sizes, colors and types of Swarovski products and give them details with metal elements (and other jewelry-related items). I strive to create disctinctive pieces that depict my style and leave no room for reproductions by people other than me.

27 September 2010

Collector's Style

I’ve revisited my past bracelet designs (Amethisa, Karina and Aquatica) that feature several shapes/types of Swarovski crystals in a variety of colors and sizes. This bracelet is composed of Twist Bead (5621), Cosmic Bead (5523) and Cubist Bead (5650) – all in crystal copper color; plus Round Bead (5000) in red and Bicone Bead (the old type 5301) in greens to accentuate.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who adores the sparkle of Swarovski crystals and this kind of design is a great way to fulfill one’s wish or need to collect any shapes, sizes and colors of the crystals.

31 August 2010

Fall Party

Again… I have another project published in Stringing magazine, issue Fall 2010.

These earrings appear on one of the mag’s earrings gallery pages and I think the design is pretty straightfoward to reflect the characteristics of fall. The colors bear earthy warm tones in copper/brown, orange and yellow (not really shown in the photo) with a little drop of pink. The leaves are the ultimate sign of what normally happens in this season: leaves turn orange/red/yellow/brown and start to fall from trees.

Initially, the earrings were intended to be worn together with this necklace. Only because I didn’t have flower charms or beads that might go well with the flower-motif lampwork beads, I used leaf charms as my last resort. This minor discrepancy was I thought acceptable because leaves and flowers shared the same theme: plants. So when both earrings and necklace were worn, they would still look in harmony.

By the way, if you take a closer look at the necklace, it actually has a rich color combo. Gold, bronze, orange, yellow, copper, red, brown and pink. Perfect for a party in fall!

29 August 2010

Pink Laguna

For some people, inspirations can come from unexpected places or objects. Mine is from a photo frame.

Two weeks ago I was thinking of new ideas for this big floral focal bead and always got stuck with my search for right colors of the crystals to match. The next thing I knew I should discard the color schemes. The necklace was made for a lady in late 40s and I didn’t expect to see color combinations that fit more for little girls and teenagers (for example, some colors used in this set). Just when I was about to give up my attempt for that day, the photo frame idea came to mind. Decorated frames I'd seen in crafts books or gift shops. Imagine this: a picture in a black-colored wooden frame with a few little beads randomly glued on its sides; or a cushioned frame with stiched beads around it. The beads don't have to come in similar colors to those in the picture. They're there for the frame. So here’s my interpretation with this frame idea.

A beautiful pink lampwork focal on dark-oxidized sterling silver chains accented with Swarovski crystals and a Bali silver toggle. The focal’s colors pop. The darker shades of the crystals represent grace and dignity. The firefly toggle adds a dash of cuteness. One of a kind.

08 August 2010

Luxe Feelings

It’s always a pleasure to work with beautiful materials.

I’ve recently made some new designs with lampwork beads, Swarovski crystals and sterling silver, and this time I’ve felt a tremendous thrill to see the results. They’re full of blings and glams giving such luxe feelings to the wearers.

Many times people come to me and say that it’s sometimes difficult to find the right clothes to go with jewelry pieces I make. Well, the simplest and best thing to do is to choose soft plain fabric in a single color. To start with, try blouses, shirts or dresses in black and white as they’d be great with any colors. Or pick one color that’s similar to the colors of the jewelry for another option. Try also clothes in one color hue like blue, brown, purple, green, etc, that would coordinate nicely with the overall color combination of the jewelry. These are a few easy ways that I’ve tried for myself and worked wonderfully when it comes to choosing what to wear (clothes and jewelry); so I think they might work magic with you, too. Feel free to try!

Click here to see other designs. Some are sets and some necklaces.

23 July 2010

Funky Wonky & Purplelicious Garden

I should’ve updated my blog earlier but the summer heat has kept me away from my computer. The temperature has reached above 30 degrees and I feel like living in a big oven night and day. So hot and humid! If only I had an aircon installed in my place, oh… that would be very very nice.

So here’s the latest news. I have two necklace projects published in Creative Jewelry 2010 magazine: Funky Wonky and Purplelicious Garden.

The Funky Wonky necklace features Mallory Hoffman’s multi-colored lampwork discs which are not perfectly circled. But this imperfection is something I’d like to show off in my design. Since the discs have layers of colors and dots around their edge which make them look distinctive and interesting, I wanted these elements to get noticed when the necklace is worn. So I strung each disc on a bright silver chain and connected each chain with a jump ring. It’s a pretty simple project to make.

The other necklace is Purplelicious Garden. It's a show-stopping piece that displays a big lampwork focal bead by Crystal Brashear surrounded with Swarovski crystals and peacock-colored freshwater keishi pearls. The focal bead is particularly beautiful. I fell in love with its delicate flower motifs and color scheme even though purple isn’t my favorite color.

If the photo above isn't convincing enough to prove my word, take a look at these earrings. I've made them with smaller beads of similar floral design. Aren't they lovely?

27 June 2010

Chain & Metal Style

Chain and metal style is getting more popular. I’ve seen many fabulous designs using layers of chain and mix of metals from copper, brass, bronze, pewter and gunmetal. These non-precious metal types are favoured for their economical price and thus making them ideal subtitutes to gold and silver. Their colors ranging from brown to yellow to grey tones also add special charm to jewelry pieces.

I started to mix metal components last year when making a pair of earrings to match the Earth Dance bracelet. I needed to see how the design would look like if I attached copper pin dangles to vermeil ear wires. I avoided non-sterling silver type for the ear wires to prevent myself from getting allergic.

My first tryout wasn’t up to my expectation but I was pleased to learn that mixing brown and gold colors would lead to an acceptable result. So I moved on to another earring project featuring caramel-like colored lampwork beads. I had tried vermeil headpins to hang the beads but felt their colors didn’t really blend. Brown copper pins looked better to hang them and I let the gold touch shine from the vermeil lever-back earring wires.

Since then I’ve done more chain and metal experiments in my work. If you check out my Flickr gallery, there are a few bracelet designs that explore variety of copper findings (Ivory Swirls, Potpourri, Romantic Bloom). Other designs use more of sterling silver in different finishes: bright, light oxidized and dark oxidized. I admit sterling silver is still my preference and the different finishes of sterling silver give me wider possibility to create quality wearable pieces.

31 May 2010

Publication: Aurora Necklace

Good news! I have one necklace project featured in the current issue of Bead magazine complete with step-by-step instructions.

This Aurora Necklace is composed of four material types: lampwork glass beads, Swarovski crystals and crystal pearls, sterling silver. The bumpy dotty beads are made by a UK artist Jeanette Fletcher. The idea behind this necklace was to highlight the wonderful motifs and colors of the lampwork beads. I found them very interesting and decided to mix and match them with crystals for sparkles and crystal pearls elegance. To accent the design, I used Bali sterling silver spacers, beads and toggle. The result is as appeared in Bead magazine, issue 23, June/July 2010. Check it out!

30 May 2010

Color Study

I’ve been in a playful mood with big beads. I mean really big beads, as big as 4cm in size. The bigger, the better!

For one thing, large beads would get noticed due to their size. If they’re hung on a single chain, they’ll be a statement piece. People would see them undistracted. Then, another good thing, the presence of colors, motifs, textures, shapes and other features applied on the beads would be visibly recognized.

Recently I’ve done color experimentation with three large focals. Captivated with the multicolors on each focal, I was intrigued to make simple long necklaces based on their palette. I’ve stocked up Swarovski crystals in rainbow of colors and I thought finding the matching colors of the crystals to be paired with the focals would be a fun challenge. It would be impossible if I couldn’t find some. And yes, I was right!

There are yellow, orange, dark pink, sparkling brown, dark green, light green, red, turquoise, and white. I reflected all of them in variety of crystals except brown. Leaving out one color wouldn’t disgrace the overall look of the necklace. The complete design of the necklace is shown in here.

White, green, orange, red, blue, black, yellow… What a mix of bold colors! Here I tried minimalism. I wanted one color to play dominantly, so I picked bright red as the dominant color accented with green and blue without overwhelming the presence of the heart focal. If I used this method with other colors from the focal palette, the result wouldn’t be much different. The focal bead would still be a centre of attention. Click here to see the necklace in full.

Now I wanted to expose this focal with unmatching colors of the crystals. The variegated brown and blue give the flat-sided focal an earthy feeling and I searched different colors that bear a similar feeling. Red magma – the new color from Swarovski – is the one. When I put all the beads together, they clicked right away. See the entire necklace in here.

Most of the findings used for these necklaces are oxidized sterling silver. Dark-colored sterling silver makes the beads’ colors pop and is also a wonderful alternative to black cord.

30 April 2010

German Lampwork Beads 2

I’m a fan of lampwok glass beads. When I don’t do anything with my kids or work on jewelry projects, I take my time to marvel at the work of lampwork bead artists. Their skills and creativity to produce something wonderful and interesting in small-sized forms and assorted shapes and colors often makes me wonder: how do they make them? How does, for example, Michou Pascale Anderson combine many colors that turn out to be so irresistibly cool? I personally admire her color style. Bold, bright, eye catching. Not only is she good with colors, she also makes beads with different motifs from birds to water creatures to flowers and many more. Another example of my curious thought: how long does Silke Buechler spend to finish one bead with such a beautiful color combo and lots of fine details? I can’t help but say ‘wow’ to myself everytime I look at her exquisite work in her website’s gallery page. She sure has her own style to create one-of-a-kind pieces.

In my previous blog entry I wrote that artisan beads bear their own uniqueness. Michou and Silke’s beads prove to be like that. Unique. For me it’s become a love-and-love connection to keep checking back their work.

Click the artist’s name and you’ll be directed to their website.

17 April 2010

Changeable Earrings

Try this: changeable earrings. One earring findings for more than one earring dangle. Does it sound interesting?

This is not a new idea but it’s a smart way to wear earrings. I’m pretty happy to have found the leverback sterling silver ear wires that are specially designed for changeable dangles. Simply slide a dangle onto a piece of ear wire and clip its leverback (a closure attached to a curve ear wire) to secure. Quick and easy!

In general, flower motif beads appeal to anyone especially those who just begin to appreciate lampwork glass beads. Thus I’ve made several dangles featuring many kinds of flowers created by various lampwork bead artists. Since I intended them for everyday wear, their designs are pretty basic as shown in the next photo. Sure it’s always possible to make dangles with more delicate and more elaborate designs for the changeable earring style.

And here’s another thing. Changeable earrings are great as a gift. I usually put one set of ear wires and two dangle pairs in a beautifully-presented box for any occasion from birthday to friendship to farewell (and any other dear moments). Who wouldn’t be pleased to receive two pairs of lovely dangles in a single package?

12 April 2010

Everyday Wear Earrings

Start your day with a bit of sweetness in your ears!

Wear a simple pair of artisan work earrings and find out what other people would say when they talk to you and inevitably take a glimpse at your ears. The chances are (a) they’ll find your earrings interesting and get curious of what they are; once they ask questions about the materials of the earrings, you’d probably be excited to give them the answers and possibly end up in a friendly chat about many other topics (I can tell you this because I get into this kind of situation many times even with total strangers!); or (b) they don’t give much thought on how you look or what you wear; in this case, you just stay cool and feel confident that you look fabulous with the earrings you have in your ears.

Seriously, artisan beads bear their own uniqueness. Each artist has his/her own artistic taste and skills, and the beads that come from the artist’s hands represent his/her style. Thus, no two beads are exactly the same. The one-of-a-kind quality of the beads that gracefully hang in your ears add charms to your look.

These earrings are made for everyday wear. They’re pretty basic and light. I’ve also made a few more simple designs with flower lampwork beads, metalic lampwork beads and freshwater pearls. Check them out in my Flickr gallery!

30 March 2010

Bright Warm Days!

I realize I haven’t put much attention to my blog and Flickr gallery lately. I did update them but not as many times as I’d expected. My mood to do any jewelry-related stuff seemed to be set in frequent silent mode during this year’s winter. Seeing snowy ground and lack-of-sunshine sky in the wintry chill for more than three months was distressing enough. Rather than immersed myself in jewelry work, I opted to cook or read or play with my kids. Thank heaven the winter is now over! It’s been a wonderful warmer weather for the last three weeks and I feel I’ve got my creative spirits back. There are a few new designs completed since days have turned bright and hopefully soon I’ll post them on my blog and Flickr.

23 January 2010

When All Eyes See...

What you wear.

See more of past earrings designs in here.

01 January 2010

Hello 2010!

Happy New Year 2010 everyone!

How fast time has flown since my last post in 2009. December last year was really a busy time for me. I moved to a new place and hurried up to get things organized hoping that I could feel a home-sweet-home atmosphere within a week or two. Boy, I was wrong! There were always issues that I had to handle with great patience and that left me with no chance to update my blog until today.

Besides having a new place to live in, December 2009 also marked publication of my first earrings project in a British magazine Bead issue 19, December 2009/January 2010. The earrings showcase wonderful artisan lampwork glass beads made by Lorna Prime and paired with Swarovski crystals and sterling silver findings. When I made them, I ensured that all elements would get noticed and the design is simple enough even for a beginner to follow. Better get a copy to prove it!