Simple Pleasures

Tourmaline Rock on a Rope

Yesterday was a great day.

Hui.2 decided to take an early nap and Hui.1 woke up late.  So we started our day around 10:30am, had breakfast, then ventured into the studio where we watched Teddy Ruxpin, cuddled, and I actually got to sit at my workbench.  Hui.2 was still fast asleep (I kept checking on him because I was paranoid) and after flipping through my stone book, I decided I needed to make myself a Rock on a Rope with a ruby for some extra vitality.  I wanted to add some morganite to it for some Divine Love, but how could I make them work together?  My favorite design didn’t fit my needs at the moment.  I wanted a single, solitary stone, but I also wanted to reap the rewards of both stones.  Hmm.

Morganite and Aquamarine

It’s still a Rock on a Rope, even though I added a single morganite bead to the end of the extender chain!  Ding ding ding!  And of course, I felt the need to make it in rose gold.  Perfect!  I haven’t made anything for myself lately, so this was a nice treat.  I also added a solitary, faceted rose quartz to hang out with the morganite.  Divine Love, romantic love, and vitality is a powerful concoction.  This strand of rubies is very special and I’ve only taken 2 beads so far, with very specific intentions.  The first one I made as a tester bracelet with some Chinese Knots and chain.  Again, a very simple design with the knots framing the stone (like most things, I need to make more and take photos).  I wore it for a day before feeling the urge to give it to my sister.  My intuition was saying the ruby did its job, and it was time to pass it on to her.

As soon as Hui.1 went down for a nap, Hui.2 woke up from his 3-4 hour nap.  So we nursed in the studio, nicely curled up in my La-Z-Boy recliner (best investment I ever made for this new baby), streaming more Dawson’s Creek on Netflix (in my defense, I’m waiting for last season’s Grey’s Anatomy and Once Upon a Time to be on Netflix so I can catch up).  It was perfect to have some much needed quality time with both boys individually, as well as having some time to truly spend in the studio.  It’s simple pleasures like these that wards off postpartum depression and gives me hope that life with two kids two years apart won’t always be so chaotic.

My new Rock on a Rope

37 Weeks and Counting

Beautiful day at Laguna Beach for a jewelry drop off at Orange County Creatives

I’m officially at 37 weeks.

Hui.1 came just as I hit 37 weeks, but before I started going to the weekly OB appointments.  I’m doing my best to take it easy and hopefully let this baby stay awhile longer.  Sunday was the beginning of my maternity leave and I’ve been keeping busy by digging back to my roots with some basic chainmaille and coming up with some new designs for the summer and fall/winter collections.  It’s true that artists and fashion designers have to keep up with their seasonal collections at least 6 months in advance, if not more.  As crazy as it sounds, it really isn’t.  There needs to be time for photos to be taken and edited before anything else actually happens.  I’m still struggling with the whole concept, but only because I know this baby is going to take up most of my summer before I can truly get back into the swing of things (resting and baby come first).  But, I have my stores fully stocked and there’s always the US Postal Service if they need more jewelry.  Photos are another story, but I will have the summer collection posted and listed on Etsy sometime in July.  If you can’t wait, go check out these new Grace Bead bracelets at XCVI Mission Viejo, as well as some awesome lariats (see photo below).  Orange County Creatives has some adorable summer earrings and I’ll be sending more in as my earring pile gets bigger (follow them on Facebook for photos).

 

XCVI
Shops At Mission Viejo
555 The Shops At Mission Viejo
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
(805) 953-9340

Orange County Creatives
761 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(978) 473-9658

For those of you who know and understand how important it is to be on maternity leave, don’t worry, I have been nesting and resting.  Check out my completed Hui Hui Nest.  I picked up the side table on Sunday.  It’s such a perfect fit.  I can even make chainmaille there now, because I’ve nested as much as possible and there’s nothing more to do but sit and wait.

And now we wait…

Hui.1 has been enjoying himself at least.  His new favorite thing to do while I’m working is sitting on my lap and turning my lamp on and off.  Now if only he’d stop poking beads and ring tins with the pliers like he’s trying to fork his food… but these are those precious moments that need to be treasured because before I know it, he’s going to feel like he’s too big for Mommy hugs and the like.  So I let him spill my rings everywhere and poke the beads with the pliers.

“Like sands through the hour glass…”

Sneak Peak!

The photo above is part of the stash I dropped off with Allison today.  If you’re interested in ordering before I get them posted on Etsy, feel free to contact me using the link at the top of this page.  I’m really proud of this batch of goodies and this is only the beginning of it.  Pieces from the top:

  • Botswana Agate Chinese Knot Lariat
  • Seraphinite Single Stepping Stones Necklace
  • Blue Sapphire Statement Necklace
  • Botswana Agate Single Stepping Stones Necklace
  • Moss Agate Chinese Knot Lariat

Really, I just want to get as much done as possible before I go on maternity leave.  I suspect it will start once the baby drops because he’s already sitting so low that once he does, general and overall movement will be even more difficult.  I’m not as spry as I was with Hui.1 at this point in the pregnancy, and I suspect once Hui.2 starts getting into birthing position, it’s going to be a lot worse.  So need to get pretty photos and Etsy stocked well before then, as well as some pieces for future collections.  Yes, I am a very busy Hui Hui.  But at least the family and I had a nice day exploring the Downtown Glendale area.  We stopped at Porto’s for a break after meandering around Brand Avenue and Hui.1 decided it was a good time for quick snooze.  I decided it was a good chance for me to play with my photography skills and take some live action shots.  The bracelet below is a special super duper sneak peek at the new goodies I’ve been working on.  I haven’t been able to take a photo like this since Hui.1 was 3 weeks old and the lighting was perfect and I snapped the photo of our hands with me wearing my Perfect Ring.  More photos below.  I feel all happy and nostalgic now.  Oy, new baby hands coming soon!  Better get working on those super duper secret squirrel projects before I get no sleep!

3 weeks old and helping Mommy sell jewelry

Baby, Mommy, & Daddy hands

Stone Sunday ~ Ruby

Rubies are awesome.  They’re one of four gemstones considered to be “precious”; diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, and rubies.  The rest of the stones in the community are known to be “semi-precious”.  One big thing I’ve learned during my rockhounding adventures is that most of the rubies in the mainstream market are treated in some way to get that rich, red color, as well as imperfections being “filled in” in some way with an unnatural substance.  That’s why I try to find natural rubies as much as possible during my rock show hunts.  My crazy pirate rock lady has had some of the finest quality rubies I’ve ever seen in bead form.  My sister has 2 gem quality strands of faceted rubies, while I have a strand or two of rough rubies with just a hint of polish to preserve its natural state.

This pregnancy has definitely had me craving more rubies.  I have a gorgeous strand waiting to be turned into a simple yet bold statement necklace.  Apparently the trend right now is wearing a short, single strand necklace because of its classic appeal to women of all shapes and sizes.  That’s great for me because that’s the kind of jewelry I strive to create.  Ruby is also my birthstone (yay for July babies!), which merely adds to its appeal.  For those of you who are interested in ruby’s metaphysical properties, it’s best associated with the Root Chakra and aids in easing menstruation and is overall beneficial to the reproductive organs (maybe that’s why it’s been so appealing to me).  Below are some photos and links to my Etsy shop for ruby jewelry:

Click on the link to shop!

Click here to shop!

Modern Armor for Today’s World

Click on photo to shop now!

In the past, before there were guns, soldiers needed protection against pointy weapons like swords and arrows.  Chainmaille was the best protection against direct blows from these pointy weapons.  Even in today’s world, chainmaille is still used by butchers to protect themselves from being cut and shark divers to help prevent injuries from shark bites.  For more information, here’s the Wikipedia link.

In today’s world, our battlefield is less literal and more psychological than anything else.  Women in particular are facing countless battles and sometimes it’s nice to treat ourselves to something special and shiny.  Once our basic physiological needs are met (shelter and food), we start exploring what makes us unique and how to express our individuality.  Clothing, hairstyles, and jewelry help us accomplish that.

The necklace shown above is perfect for a man or a woman who would like to take the power of that ancient armor and harness it for use in today’s modern world.  This is my favorite necklace when I want to make a simple yet powerful statement, either showcased with a spaghetti strap tank top or peeking out from behind the folds of a crisp button down shirt.

At First Blush

Click on photo to shop now!

Mixing metals can be tricky, but nothing screams chic more than the silvery gleam of sterling silver against a blushing hint of pink gold.  This is by far my most favorite chainmaille bracelet because it’s lightweight enough to wear all day.  I made it exclusively for my engagement photos, so it would tie together the matching necklace in sterling silver and my rose gold engagement ring.  Yes, I am a romantic at heart.

This bracelet consists of a combination pattern of 14kt Rose Gold Filled “roses” with sterling silver stations of byzantine.  Typically, the byzantine weave shows off its central connecting rings, but this pattern is flipped over on its side to shake things up a bit.  The result is a beautifully and well thought out pattern that’s a perfect addition to every woman’s jewelry collection.  Different metal combinations are also available, so don’t be afraid to ask!

 

 

The Chinese Knot Collection

The Chinese Knot Collection is finally here. /deep breath

I admit it’s taken far too long to release this collection, but it’s here and that’s what matters.  The journey from seed to tree has been long and hard, with much sweat and thankfully no blood.  Like all great ideas, it started with a particular design, the right eye to see the possibilities of expansion, and countless hours spent tweaking every design into perfection.  It makes me reminiscent of a story about a jewelry designer pulling out all the stops to make her sister a bracelet for her birthday.  The end result was so profound, the artist put away all the jewelry prior to that bracelet because it wasn’t who she was anymore.  She had ascended to the next level of her artistic journey.

This collection is the first of its kind for Hui Hui Designs.  Anyone who knows me knows I’ve never been the matchy matchy type, but a pair of earrings from this collection simply begs for a matching necklace to go with it.  But what really makes this a true collection is the versatility and freedom to mix and match the designs to make it work for your individual style.  Short earrings, long earrings, dangly earrings… you get the idea.  You can pair it with a simple Endless bracelet and call it a day.  It all matches.

It embodies my ultimate artistic goal; Chainmaille with a Hui Twist.  Okay, so the Hui Twist turned into so much more than just mixed metals and added stones.  Here, there is straight maille via the Endless pieces, then the rest of the collection breaks up into sections of knots that equally highlights both the metalwork and stone.

Wow, I’ve ascended.