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

February Goals

Busy doesn’t even describe how busy I’ve been since my last post.  The photo above is from a market run to Fresh and Easy at 7am before hubby went to work.  I have to say Fresh and Easy is my new favorite grocery store for their bagged lettuce, 6am opening time, and exclusive front-of-store parking for families with children.  Hubby wouldn’t care, but for us frazzled mothers, it’s seriously awesome.  And yes, I’m stockpiling on the fabo chocolate wine my sister-in-law discovered.  Yum yum!

It’s already February and I have no idea where January went.  It ran off faster than Hui.1 crawling and he crawls fast.  Oy.  I am at least happy to say that I am working diligently on my website and some new collections will debut as soon as the model photos are finished being post-processed.  I’m very proud of this collection, especially since Allison has been trying to drag it out of me for most of 2013.  But life happens and I’m a perfectionist so it’ll be the first new collection of 2014.

My goals for February are fairly simple since it’s a shorter month than we ever realize.  For the sake of accountability, I thought I’d share them here:

  • Finish website – I’m mostly done tweaking and just need to sit down and crank it all out.  There will be a lot of fine tuning to make sure everything works, but it’s going to be done before the end of the month so I can focus on other things like making more jewelry.  I’m getting antsy.
  • Spruce up Etsy – This goes hand-in-hand with the website because I want all the available jewelry to be accessible via Etsy.  Duh, that’s the whole point of having a website, right?  Yeah, my artistic whimsy usually overrides the practicality.  Oops.
  • Plan out the rest of 2014 – Let’s face it; I’m having another baby.  I have to plan at least up until June and then probably take maternity leave for the most of the summer.  Honestly, it’s not looking so bad.  I plan on making a stockpile of chainmaille bits that can be turned into 95% of the new collection and I’ll send hubby to the post office whenever necessary.

What I really want to do is nest and make jewelry.  But of course, sometimes the business stuff needs to come first.  While I’m working diligently on the business side of things, I’m researching IKEA bookshelves and tiny coffee tables to spruce up the studio (a.k.a. Hui Hui Nest).  I’m 99% ready to buy them the next time we go, but I need to measure the short wall where the roof slopes down.  An engineering guess says that I have enough clearance, but I will double check later.

We’re going to Yosemite for hubby’s birthday.  That’ll be a fun trip.  A bit nippy, but fun since I refuse to jump on a plane while pregnant.

A Cozy Place Called “Home”

There’s something magical about my studio. With the addition of the TV, Jesse and I have been bonding over watching the Big Bang Theory consecutively from Season 1. It’s been fun and Hui.1 enjoys the theme song very much. Hui.1 learned to crawl forward in this room, a week before we got the keys to move in. And just last week, he decided to start walking up here as well. I always knew my studio area would be magical and kid-friendly, but I never dreamed it would be like this. It’s quite a mecca of cozy and how home should feel like. Hui.1 also loves to get his hands on everything he could possibly get, so I need to spend more time tidying and finish unpacking.

Pictured above is my new easy chair. My mom said it’s very me, unless she meant the Snoopy rag quilt I love to huddle under. I expect to spend a lot of time in this chair in the coming months. Jesse has dubbed this room as the Hui Hui Nest. Yup, Hui.2 is on the way, making his debut sometime in the early throes of summer. And yes, another boy.  Fear not, I’ve been keeping myself busy with perfecting my website so I can get my online portfolio up and running. Part of my nesting process means getting that streamlined as well as stocking the new collection that will soon be released. I’m really excited for the debut. It’s one of the super duper epic projects Allison has been trying to crank out of me for the past couple months. This past Saturday was our model photoshoot and now it’s just waiting for the proofs and photo edits.

Maybe I am biting off more than I can chew between the jewelry business and family. But the jewelry business allows me to be at home with my kids, which is the most important thing. Also, being a bored housewife is not what I envisioned for my life at all. As usual, the hardest part about life is finding that perfect work-life balance. Once I get the process streamlined between the website, production, and photos, it’ll be a well enough oiled machine that I won’t have to worry so much about. That’ll take longer than the 5 months I have left, but it’ll be a good start.

A Room Above the World

As the weather calms down, my studio becomes comfortable to inhabit again, without sticking to the furniture. Let me tell you, after the heat wave that smacked us the week before and after Labor Day weekend, it’s been a beautiful reprieve. There’s been a wonderful cross breeze blowing through. We also had Jesse’s family over that weekend, which was more motivation for me to unpack most of the stuff that’s still up there. I’m better at tackling small projects instead of larger ones, so scurry cleaning is easier for my brain not to freak out over the big picture. Jesse is good at taking the mess and relocating it to a designated area for putting away later. We make a good team. 🙂

Still need to get the hanging wire for my epic He-Man poster, but I have most of the stuff I want hung on the walls already. I’ve been waking up hungry and/or cold at 4:30am lately and sometimes I sneak up there to work on stuff since I’m busy during the day. But the gates on both ends of the stairs are installed and Hui.1 can only access the stairs if I leave the bottom gate open (oops) or if we’re playing and I let him go up there. He loves climbing stairs. Going down is still tricky because he doesn’t know how to turn around and start feet first. So the weather and the gates leave me no excuse not to go up there. 😉

After writing about the Emily Gilmore necklace and last week’s chaining fest (see bracelet above), I’ve realized how much I’ve actually missed making chains. Sometimes I get too caught up in the moment, surrounding myself with nothing but stones, stones, and more stones. Sometimes glass, too. Gotta love those handmade glass beads and Swarovski crystal. 😉 Eh, my style is tied together, but there are a lot of facets to it. Allison has been doing an awesome job helping me realize that, as well as streamlining and tying everything together. I’m really happy with the progress we’ve made. I can’t wait to show you what we’ve been cooking!

Renewing the Spirit

According to FlyLady.net, Sundays are for renewing your spirit.  I decided we needed to stay home today, so I took advantage of having Jesse home to watch the baby while I got some work done, as well as some laundry and other miscellaneous stuff around the house.  It was surprisingly calming, which was such a welcome change to the chaotic mess our weekends have become ever since summer started and once we got the house.  I’ve been re-visiting FlyLady to help me manage the daily chores around the house so I have everything under control.  I get easily overwhelmed by too much mess and then I shut down until I have the motivation to start back up again.  Jesse helps out more during the weekends, but we’ve managed to get the dishwasher running as soon as it’s full so we don’t have a stack of dishes piling up in the sink.  Baby steps and sometimes you really need to take it one day at a time.

Once my brain started drying out, I declared we needed to go out.  I brushed out my hair so I would look presentable and even test drove a new necklace design.  We went to Target then tried out a Thai place that was pretty good.  Jesse wasn’t sure about the coconut soup because it was creamier than he’s used to.  The yellow curry was perfect with just the right amount of spice to it so I was content.  Baby decided he only wanted to eat rice after scarfing down a veggie roll that turned out to be a tad bit spicy.  After that, he was very wary of everything but the rice.

I have been very productive between the jewelry, housewifery, day job, and everything else on my plate.  I need to collude with Allison about projects we’ve been scheming about.  Hopefully soon.  As busy as I am, I wouldn’t have it any other way because it’s boring.  I like knowing that I have an interesting life and never truly stagnant.  I just need to stay home and rest more. 😉

Settling In

What have I been doing?  Unpacking all the loads we’ve made from the apartment and packing up the apartment.  Somehow I managed to make a pair of clear crystal Can Can earrings over the weekend.  Yay!  I have more Etsy listings too. 😉  I really need to make an Etsy listing template to make listing easier and more streamline.

My father-in-law came over with his brood Saturday afternoon so we had to clean and make sure the house didn’t look like a prison.  Everyone liked the wedding photo on the kitchen counter so it stays. 😀  Jesse doesn’t like the pillows but it’s nice to have comfy pillows when you’re lounging.  He just doesn’t like frilly.  He likes streamline, neat, and all that.  We’re actually both very transitional in our style of decor.  Modern is too modern and traditional is just too stuffy.  And I have to say that the Jane Seymour line of furniture at Living Spaces is so 80’s tacky.  Ugh, I really thought she had better taste than that.  I guess not.

My little brother-in-law has finally vacated my cave just in time for my birthday.  It’s been nice to wander around up there.

I had a good, quiet birthday.  Mom kidnapped me to surprise Dad for lunch with the baby, then Jesse took me out for fried chicken and waffles.  Yum yum!  Sadly, it wasn’t filling enough so I had to get a snack and read Game of Thrones before bed.  And look at that baby face!  Oy!

I’m Alive

I haven’t been making jewelry so I’ve been posting on Etsy to feel remotely productive while I get my house into order.  Click on the photo to shop. 😉  It’s really hard not to be in production mode, but I’m making the best of it.  I keep telling myself I need to start working on stuff, anything really, but getting settled is more important right now.  Heck, I haven’t even brought over my tumbler from the apartment yet.  Both of them.  Yup, the joys of moving and nesting.

My studio is actually coming along really well.  Jesse had the great idea to rotate my desk 90 degrees to maximize wall space efficiency and so I’m not staring at the wall.  We decided to buy my sister’s 60″ TV, so I’ll be watching a lot of Gilmore Girls, He-Man, and Teddy Ruxpin again.  Whoo hoo!  But first, I’ll have an Ironman marathon.  I love me some Tony Stark. 😉

I think this how I’m going to store the rings I use the most, but I haven’t had time to properly sit down and figure it all out.  Baby wants to play with the drawers full of Mommy’s rings and that’s not a good thing for him to play with.  I’ll babyproof after I get all my ring containers inside my desk.  Again, need more time for that.  At least the kitchen is settled.  We’re pretty settled too, now it’s just putting things where they need to go.

Krill came for a quick visit on Sunday.  Hui.1 was so happy to have another baby around.  He was so mesmerized.  Krill has the cutest baby butt because it’s just so big.  Hui.1 still has the proportions of a nerd. 😀

Here’s another Etsy listing.  Click on the photo to shop. 😉