Cultivating Patience

3-Strand Byzantine Rose Necklace and Bracelet

As an engineer and Maille Smith, you’d think I’d have enough patience to last a lifetime.  I thought so too, but then I started on this necklace.  It’s a triple strand necklace of byzantine rose in 20g sterling silver and yellow gold filled.  20g rings are tiny.  Seriously tiny.  Then multiply that by 3 plus a bracelet.  Oy.

I came up with a system to work on this without losing my mind (mind you, I was in the last stretch of pregnancy so my mind was already extremely far gone).

Step 1:

Close silver rings and make gold roses.

Step 2:

Attach 3 pairs of silver rings to gold roses.

Step 3:

Weave chain and b-r-e-a-t-h-e and note how easy it was to construct once I got to this step.

The best way to weave it was to break it up by my moods.  When I needed my brain to calm down after fretting about the baby not coming, how tired I was, how itchy I was, I would work on Step 1 and make a giant pile of closed rings and roses and then walk away.  Coming back, I would work on Step 2 until I finished up the pile of roses.  Then I would either walk away again (come on, I have a toddler running around), or continue on to Step 3 and finish that bit of chain.  Lastly, I would attach it to the main group of chains and step back to admire my handiwork.  Breaking up such a daunting task was the best idea I’ve come up with yet.  If apply this method to other aspects of my life, I think I’ve found a great way to avoid procrastination.


At First Blush

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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!



How to Be Chic

The quickest and simplest way to being chic is to wear tri-colored metals.  Silver, yellow gold, and rose gold.  It’s timeless and goes with absolutely every outfit you own.  All the big jewelry houses are doing it… Cartier, Tiffany’s, Van Cleef & Arpels, etc.  Rose gold adds a unique touch of 1920’s Victorian romance to the traditional landscape of white and yellow gold.  According to Wikipedia, rose gold was popular in 19th Century Russia and called “Russian Gold” for a short period of time.

I discovered rose gold when I was visiting Hawaii for the first time and my dad made it a tradition to buy me a piece of jewelry from Na Hoku each trip we made to the islands.  I fell in love with the islands and spirit of Aloha so much that my wedding rings were also from Na Hoku and in rose gold.  Eventually, I was able to get my hands on a very limited amount of 14kt rose gold filled jewelry supplies, as well as chainmaille supplies.  My heart was singing as much as it was earlier while I was putting together those earrings this morning.  There’s something magical about rose gold, which is why I’ve wholeheartedly embraced it in my jewelry designs.  My hope is that this is what makes me stand out as an artist as well as solidifying my branding… Hui Hui Designs = chic or something to that extent.

I sold another pair of tri-colored barrel earrings and the matching necklace is being saved for.  I feel quite accomplished this week.  Again, I seriously need to stockpile this set like no tomorrow.

Holidays 2013

The Laguna Beach gallery sold this necklace last week.  I’m really excited at the prospects of the future with this gallery.  It’s called Orange County Creatives and I’ve linked a Google Map to it for any locals who would like to check it out.  The owners are also excited about their future because they’ve only been open since the beginning of November and it’s been going well so far.  They’ve joined the Art Walk Association so they’ll be getting a trolley stop at the January 2nd and all future Art Walks.  Tourist and wedding season should spice things up a bit as they get in contact with the surrounding hotel concierges.

I’m really looking forward to where this venture ends up going.  One of the owners told me the straight up chainmaille and the chainmaille with my favorite glass beads get the most attention.  That makes me happy and scratches the itch to do nothing but make beautiful chains.  Now that we have a TV, I just need to find a good lap tray to do just that.

I also sold these earrings while I was there on Saturday doing a live artist demo.  A lovely Beaumont couple was spending the day on the coast and the wife was very happy to know I knew where Beaumont is.  These earrings are certainly my favorite pair ever.  It’s a perfect blend of 3 metals and 3 different sizes of barrels.  Perfect for everyday wear, dressing up and dressing down.  I need to make a whole bunch more of these just to keep them in stock.  And keep a pair for myself.

Allison and I got a ton of stuff done last week, so I can somewhat enjoy the holidays that are coming up.  I have a few projects to work on and get to her soonish, but it’s nice to cross off most of the things on the to-do list.  2014 is going to be an exciting year and I hope I can keep up with it all.  I haven’t checked in on XCVI, but I’ll wait until after Christmas.  Hopefully all goes well.  I need to start cranking out more jewelry to restock when needed.  Yup, lots to do and lots to be thankful for.  I’ll do a yearly recap before New Years.

A Hui Weekend

It’s been a good weekend. I’ve been itching to make this necklace for a few years and finally got around to it. I’m almost finished with just a few more sections to go. It feels good to be chaining like this again. It soothes my soul when I need to zone out from the world. I had forgotten this feeling of zen and it’s been so nice to recapture those feelings. Actually, I started making this bracelet first, then finished it and moved onto the necklace. Yay for being inspired! The rings there there and I needed an escape. Yes, this is a smaller gauge than the necklace pictured above and in yellow gold instead of rose. I had never made the smaller version, so I felt compelled to do so. Yay for spontaneous design! It would be a lovely necklace as well. Hmm… 😉

The weather has finally calmed down from the massive 2 week heat wave that blistered Southern California, so it’s easier to spend more time upstairs in the studio. Jesse has been under the weather and he said we need to get a TV soon. Eh, it would be good to fill up more of the loft, so I’m not objecting it. I feel the need to start moving furniture around once he’s feeling better, though. I love rearranging furniture. 😉

It was a good weekend, one of the best I’ve had for a long time. I had a chance to go to a friend’s birthday party at a goth club, so it was fun dressing up in my goth gear. Hui.1 was totally phased when he saw me in my makeup at first, then giggled at me. I think he approved. It was really nice to get out on the town and the come home to my nice warm bed and husband. The rest of the weekend was spent at home, cleaning, making jewelry, and finishing up the final season of Merlin. It was such a sad season because the myth was coming to an end and you knew Arthur was going to die but you never want the main character to die. The last few moments he had with Merlin about being a sorcerer was so sweet. The scene with Merlin’s father telling him that his magic isn’t superficial and no one could ever take it away from him resonated with me a lot. I can’t find a YouTube clip of it, but the message is clear: Believe in yourself, no one can take away who you are, etc. For me, my life has been different, trying to balance all the duties and roles I need to perform, but I do it and succeed. I have more jewelry stuff to write about, but I’ll save it for another post. Here’s what I caught Hui.1 doing Friday night. He was so happy and quiet… no wonder!


Quickie Update

I finished this 14″ choker and Hui.1 is modeling it.  Isn’t he such a tough guy? 😉  I looooooooooooove this weave.  It’s a Spiral 6-1 with half round rings.  Gorgeous!


I’ve been working on the floor this week. I just figured out why. Hui.1 is trying to roll over but he hasn’t quite figured out how to roll over from his back to his tummy. He can sometimes roll from his tummy to his back, but he has to be in the right mood for it. Since he’s either on the floor or playing on his gym, he’s down there and I need to be down there next to him too. So I’ve been working on the floor. I feel like a little kid again. I also had Jesse.1 lounging all over the apartment floor for the week she was here, so that also has something to do with it. 🙂

I’ve been diligently working on my Rock on a Rope collection. I feel that this is the year of “understated elegance”. Something that can be used for both causal, lazy days and that extra bit of something special for more dressier occasions. We’re busy women, taking over the world and taking care of everyone but ourselves. Some women can’t afford a huge piece of bling and I get that. That’s why this collection is so dear to me. It’s just enough femininity and practicality rolled into a tiny package. And those modern day rock hounds can appreciate my love of obscure, rough stones. 😉

So come on, get your rock on. 😉