One lovely sunny afternoon I photographed these cute little safety pin necklaces….my favourite time of year has passed when the days are sunny but not too humid and the evenings are a little cooler with a breeze. Now it’s mostly hot, all day, all night, hot to the point that sweat runs from your eye lids….but hell at least I’m not sitting in the snow back him in minus 10°C which is not exactly the Easter everyone was expecting. So whether you’re hot or cold Happy Easter everyone!!
Short Gold Safety Pin Necklace – $15
Long Gold Safety Pin Necklace – $15
Long Silver Safety Pin Necklace – $15
Chúc Mừng Năm Mới…Happy New Year of the Snake!! My blog is two years old, I remember my first post was also around TET and the celebrations of the lunar new year. And today is also Valentine’s Day. I have been enjoying some relaxing time at home, only working mornings this week and I could certainly get used to this part-time thing!! Alas the busy tourist season is upon us and I will soon be super busy again.
I have been making little bits of jewelry here and there but I just haven’t had the chance to photograph it or post it. I’m hoping to get some posts sorted soon. So I shall leave you with a piece of jewelry that I didn’t have to make and something that will stay with me forever….my wonderful boyfriend decided he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and we are now very happily engaged. I sense this year will be another good year!!
Here is a picture of my super sparkely ring!!
Well it is Christmas Eve already, not sure how October, November and December seem to have passed so quickly, in a blur of work, parties and a real lack of sleep. And here we are with Santa coming to visit us tomorrow…well he’s obviously only coming if you’ve been good!!
This year I am escaping to the beach for Christmas, avoiding the ridiculous amount of food that is usually consumed and generally being horizontal and truly relaxing for the first time in months. I’m on day 2 of the beach break, it’s a little cloudy but I have assumed the horizontal positioned and I’m nearly in holiday mode.
But of course not Christmas would be complete without some Christmas jewellery, so here’s my festive addition for this year….holly shaped beauties.
Merry Christmas everyone xx
It’s been a little while away from all things jewelry….struck with yet more illnesses and too much work. Plus I have spent quite some time in the kitchen recently on a bit of a health kick, so there’s been lots of recipe experimenting taking up most of my elusive spare time!!
This little project is from inspiration whilst browsing through the internet, the hours I spend trawling through pinterest, just one more pin and I’ll leave….but then 2 hours have passed and I’ve lost more sleep than I care to think about. So back to leather, I have tried a few other things in between, but who am I kidding I LOVE working with leather, it’s so easy and fun, the possibilities are endless.
This cute little necklace comes in Purple & Pink and Black, Red & Grey, each piece costs $28 email me for more details…firstname.lastname@example.org
Purple & Pink Leather Circles
Black, Red & Grey Leather Circles
This month has been named “sick month” in my house, having survived the flu-bug (which I kindly shared with my boyfriend) I have now been struck down with laryngitis and a another fever. For years when my Vietnamese colleagues got sick they would blame the change in weather, cue the foreigners rolling their eyes and asking “what weather change?” I am now totally blaming the weather for these illnesses, perhaps a sign I have been here too long!! But it has been raining for what feels like forever, typhoons have brought relentless rain our way, everything has been damp. Sunny Saigon has not been so sunny, but it’s better now, it broke on the weekend and blue skies have returned. So here I am sofa-bound again wallowing in my own self pity this week, silent wallowing though as I obviously can’t speak!!
I have been dreaming about making these little vile necklace for ages, literally AGES, but the viles cost a fortune on websites from the UK or USA especially with shipping to Vietnam and the gamble as to whether they will arrive!!! So you can imagine my joy when I came across the bottles in Hong Kong tucked away at the back of a store…..this must have been a year ago, so as you can see these really are a labour of love.
I set about making some unique fillers, I have seen this necklace style before but frankly the fillers have been fake blood or fish set in resin….which isn’t exactly my cup of tea….so I created some slightly more interesting bits to pop inside for a cute and fun necklace. More fillers to come as I find miniature things that fit inside….
Heart in a Bottle
Flowers & Four Leaf Clover
Well the last couple of weeks have been rain rain rain….it’s that time of year, September and October are always very damp in Saigon but seriously it does get a little tiresome. Usually I drive to work in sunshine, beautiful blue skies but the last week or two were horrible, wet, gloomy, rainy mornings. I got so drenched last Friday that I had to sit on tissues to try and absorb some of the wetness from my jeans ha ha
The rainy days have lead to a little more creativity with hours trapped at home. Following on from the bling necklace I made with the large transparent beads, I have made another version with a chunky gold chain and a purple tie. It’s quite fun and hangs a little lower than the other necklace.
Purple & gold Bling Necklace
Following on from the lace earrings…..I carefully dismantled some more of the crochet collars to find what pieces I could salvage. This particular piece was just the right size and shape for a necklace and with black lace going so well with so many outfits it’s a real winner. It’s got a vintage feel to it and I am totally in love with it. This necklace costs $24 and you can purchase it directly in my Etsy store.
Once again it has been AGES since I wrote anything on my blog and yet again it is completely unrelated to jewelry. I seem to be struggling recently to find a minute to do anything jewelry related, work has been busy with groups, inspections and a few too many nights in random hotel rooms. I have ants in my pants and there are far too many distractions for me to sit calmly and make something pretty. After successfully importing my boyfriend from Singapore in June, he is now a full-time-live-in-boyfriend, we have been doing all things housey the last few months, decorating, buying furniture, installing furniture and generally being homebodies….it’s a whole new experience for me, all very grown up!!
We are still trying to find a rhythm with our work/life balance, he gets home earlier than me but we both go to the gym and cross paths. I still get a little shock on a weekday morning that there’s someone in my room, then I remember he is a permanent installation now ha ha!! So in the spirit of my new grown-up-ness I have been cooking, baking and generally making yummyness….my freezer is filled with all sorts of wonderfulness. I am also determined to lose the extra 2kg I have been holding onto now for longer than desired after quitting smoking, I am sick of eating crap and have taken to the kitchen to make my own healthy options. I figured I’d take some pictures to prove I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth and once this little nesting period has settled I will be back to making pretty things again…but for now here’s a selection of my yummy creations…..
Homemade falafel….apparently canned chickpeas are too moist as I discovered the hard way, a little flour and overnight in the fridge was the trick and these little balls are crispy on the outside and soft and flavourful on the inside.
Tomato & Cheese Tarts….well tarts or quiche or flan, not sure what the difference is with the name, but they are without milk just egg and cheese for the mixture. The round one is tomato, red onion and goat’s cheese and the square one is tomato, roasted peppers and sheep’s feta cheese…both are quite delicious and my homemade pastry was really quite simple, even in this humidity, it does mean you have to act pretty quickly and keep putting the pastry back in the fridge to cool down and go again, but a success all round I think…..my boyfriend and mum agreed, perhaps a slightly biased audience but hey you gotta get the positive feedback somewhere right??!!
And to round off any meal is a sweet dessert of course…my sweet tooth is probably the cause to the additional 2kg I can’t seem to shift, I could quite happily substitute all my savoury food for sweet but apparently that isn’t a balanced diet. Again homemade pastry but this time filled with apple and cinnamon, I made some larger pies and also a few little mini open top pies……yum yum yum……now off to the gym ha ha!!
Every year my company goes on a weekend away, a team building trip that is eagerly anticipated by most of the office, if nothing else it is 2 days out of the office. This year’s trip was to Côn Đảo, a beautiful island, well actually 16 islands that are truly under-developed and quite pristine.
The main island, Côn Sơn, was used as a prison during the French and American wars. This was the famous “Tiger Cage” prison used by the French to torture the prisoners. The Americans built new prisons which were apparently more “humane” but then I guess that’s a matter of opinion…..what is amazing is how well they have been preserved. There’s no space issue on the island, no one needs the land so all the buildings are mostly still standing. Plus the local people tell stories of ghost as so many people died in the prisons so I think it will be a long while before the land would be used again…
We also visited the cemetery, which is much bigger than I thought. Hundreds if not thousands of people are buried here and it felt like quite a spiritual place. Võ Thị Sáu is buried here, she was a young supporter during the revolution against the French and was captured and executed when she was only 19 years old. She is held with high esteem by the Vietnamese, she fought and died for her country and apparently everyone learns about her at school. Seeing her grave was quite a special moment and my colleagues all lit incense and said a prayer to her.
Now the islands are mostly a national park, with many of the areas protected to help develop the wildlife. I’m not sure how well this will fare as the number of tourists inevitably increases….but for now, it is a lovely peaceful island, with beautiful beaches. Sadly for most of the year it seems the sand flies are a real issue, the bites itch like crazy so for me it would be more of an adventure/drive around break rather than beach time relaxation!!
It literally was perfect views across the island, here’s some deserted pictures to demonstrate the peacefulness…
And to finish the weekend off nicely we had a little rain shower at the Six Senses Resort and a beautiful double rainbow…
As I have previously written, lace is a big trend at the moment, I keep seeing it everywhere, lace dresses, lace tops, lace shorts, just lace everywhere really. On one of my little adventure days finding jewelry bits in Saigon I came across some interesting lace-style collars, I guess they are crocheted rather than actual lace. There was a whole selection and it gave me the opportunity to practice my colours in Vietnamese…..after over 4 years here I have decided to have another go at Vietnamese lessons, I find it saves my embarrassment when people discover I’ve been here a while and then marvel at how good my language skills must be……at least now I can demonstrate my desire to develop myself, even if my pronunciation is horrific and no one understands me.
But I digress, so there I was hot and sweaty and trying desperately to get the young sales girl to understand me. I bought several bunches of the collar style designs in a range of lovely colours and designs. I separated some of the collars so I had two matching pieces which I then fastened to earring hooks. I added a little chain with the more triangular shapes, I found this made them look like mini-chandeliers. They are quite a statement I guess but I like big earrings so for me they are great and many of my friends have complimented them!!
Here is a selection of the pieces I have made so far, there is definitely more to come as I gradually take the collars to pieces….each pair costs $15 please email me for more details; email@example.com or stop by my Etsy store to see what’s still available…
Blue Chandelier Lace Earring – Silver $15
Blue Chandelier Lace Earring – Gold $15
Green Chandelier Lace Earring $15
Black Flower Lace Earrings $15
Purple Flower Lace Earrings $15