Monday, March 16, 2009

Pistachio and Walnut Cupcakes

I love baking cupcakes (though this is my first attempt in 4 years). I love eating this particular cupcake, having tasted this at Stop&Shop. My interest in baking this recipe was rekindled recently when my sister and I treated ourselves to one piece. Here is my version. Pardon the burntness - it does taste good though.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Baking? Steaming Siopao

I've a hankering for steamed buns (siopao) with sweet meats inside. Right now, I'm here at my sisters' place. But when I come home, that is what I will be doing -- trying out these recipes with salted egg. yummy.

On the beading side, I've just visited jewelry making forum monitored by Ms. Tammy Powley.

Checked out my facebook site, and found one handmade lampwork jewelry artist who has bought advertising space - is it effective?

I'm wondering. . . .

Perhaps, I should surf over at about to see if there are topics on artists paying for online advertising and if -- it is worth it.

abangan (in Pilipino speak) or to follow. . . .

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Studio - Sounds Grand.

It sounds pompous (at least to me) but I can't help feeling good each time I say this. I used to have a huge table back in the Philippines. But transplanting myself has led to my tools and materials being moved from place to place.

To finally, get plenty of rich sunlight, a big table that looks like it has seen better days. To have the kind of tools I now have - from Beadsmith (pliers and cutters) Xuron (flush cutters), my own Lortone tumbler (hooray!!!), soldering torch, firebrick, stamp, the prerequisite hammers, and steel blocks. To have my selection of semi precious beads and precious metals right there, instead of packing and unpacking.

What a luxury. . . . it all seems to me. What a necessity -- I think because it is the kind of worklife I am aiming for. What a blessed life I live.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Beadsmith Pliers

From right to left.
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what these are from left to right:

3. Beadsmith "La Femme" Ergo Pliers, Flat Nose (I use it for straightening wire kinks, and holding it. doesn't bruise provided you don't gripe too hard).
2. Beadsmith "La Femme" Ergo Pliers Round Nose (As a wire wrapping artist, you will always need one.) I'm happy with this, but maybe later on. . . .
1.Beadsmith "La Femme" Ergo Pliers, Side Cutter

I'll keep this blog short and sweet. I love my beadsmith pliers. For three good reasons ( I love using the nice wholesome number of 3 goes with the short and .... philosophy I have). First of all, they are ergonomic so they adhere to the shape of my fingers and how I handle them. A close second reason is -- their reasonable prices because let's face it for a a beginner wirewrapping jewelry artist you can lust after Lindstrom or other high end jewelry tools but it makes sense to pick mid-range priced pliers and I can't say I would consider moving up to Lindstrom. As it is, these smooth yet pliant handles have been good to my fingers.

Third reason - they look pretty and I like pretty:-).

NOTE TO SELF: Check the handles, common sense should have made me realize that if the handles aren't that smooth, don't buy. For iff you spend a lot of hours using these pliers and the handles aren't smmoth or ergonomic, your fingers will hurt and in the past it did.

These pliers work for me -- very well. I bought them at at an average price of 7.00 dollars each.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wear Jewelry - wear Art!

My odessey (fancy word for journey) towards becoming a handmade, wired jewelry artist is a fascinating, sometimes frustrating, challenging but almost always a pleasurable one.

I don't regret one second of the times spent learning, even if the mistakes have been costly at times. I soon found out that learning the lesson worked out to my benefit.

I have always enjoyed the flow of silence whenever my hands and the rest of my body are gainfully engaged in creating something of value out of my hands.

I used to cut and sew my dolls dresses when I was 7 years old. I remember being firmly dissuaded from becoming a dressmaker because I was supposed to pursue a college degree.

I remember in my 4th year in high school placing "cosmetologist" as the primary career and the guidance counselor telling me that I was better suited to becoming a lawyer.

Wanting to design, and create -- I have it running in my veins. My maternal grandmother, my paternal grandmothers' elder sister, and a favorite cousin of my mom (Auntie Raquel) were not only well known dressmakers, they certainly were successful in carving out a career in this field.

I remember -- in college just wanting earrings that were "me". So, when I saw a pair of shells at one of the beaches, I cleaned this. Painted it gold and attached studs to the inside of the shells. I felt special, whimisical and free.

I love the feel of metal as I twist, turn, hammer, cut, and file it away. I love creating combinations and seeing a design I have become wearable art.

I am fascinated by the different combinations of beads and colors. How a design becomes elegant, or organic looking just by hammering it a certain way.

This blog details my present journey. . .

I will be sharing my buying experiences of how and where I bought my beads (yep,, yep, and firemountain

The best prices I have gotten for metals. My fascination with these and other aspects of my business I go on to learn, and reap the benefits.

I am so excited in the journey I am currently in.