Thursday, January 3, 2008

SwirlinWhirl new look for 2008

Happy New Year.

Here is a gift I have created for myself this new year.

I love the way it matches my funky bag.

Take a look at the material I have used to create this design. They are copper wires from an industrial spool. Where else can you find copper wire? Take a look at the electrical and telephone cables in your home. Now you know what you can do with those wires if you are re-wiring or going wireless.

Have I used electrical wires before in my creation? You bet!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Getting out of proverty with paper beads

The repeated civil conflicts in Uganda since the 1970s left many women maimed, raped or war widows. During the early 1990s, when HIV prevalence peaked, pregnant women who are infected with the disease exceeded 30%.

Some of these women would have continued to live in fear and poverty if not for the beautiful beads they are able to create out of recycled paper and the support of BeadforLife Founders, Ginny Jordan, Torkin Wakefield and Devin Hibbard.

So how can you support them?

Other than donation, purchase of paper beads or hosting a party to sell them, you can also learn to be an antipoverty advocate. BeadforLife wants you to understand how your personal actions and government policy in the developed world affect poor people worldwide.

Bead inspired and take action.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A ray of hope? Found in jewellery.

Have you heard of crystal healing? It is a form of alternative healing by balancing your aura with a quartz crystal or your birthstone. That is how my friend, Mee Yuen, creates her jewellery; with thoughts of replenishing, revitalizing and realigning the energy of the wearer by studying the individual chakras.

You think that is horcus porcus? Imagine that you are seeking a solution to matters that are beyond your control... The thought of being able to "take an action" could well be your source of consolation and the desired ray of hope that you have been yearning for.

How else can jewellery provides someone a ray of hope? Try incorporating Kazuri beads that are fired from clay and hand painted in bright colours of greens and greys, browns and ochres, reds, yellows and blues. Kazuri in Swahili means "small and beautiful". These are beads handmade by women from villages around Nairobi in Kenya. The women are mainly single mothers widowed or abandoned by their men and desperately in need of a livelihood by creating and selling these beads.

Making jewellery can also become a meaningful and exciting experience, especially if you are able to create your own glass beads. The Cunningham Foundation have sponsored trips for beadmaking instructors to Ethiopia to teach women and students how to make their own glass beads. They are then taught to use them to create limited edition, beautiful bracelets to support Project Mercy.

Request from HOPE Bracelet Project for beading supplies has inspired lampwork beadist, Kim Miles, to post a challenge. Bead makers can pledge to make 100 small bracelet beads for the HOPE Bracelet Project, and send them in before May 1st, 2008. More details about it can be read at The Kim Miles Challenge - 2008.

Now imagine that you are someone who have been overcomed by a health condition that you are aware of but you are not conscious enough to provide coherent information about the medical attention you need. Wearing a piece of Medical ID jewellery could well be the ray of hope you have for survival.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Handmade jewellery. What's right for you?

I am an optimist. I believe that things happen for a reason and no matter how bad an incident may look to me right now, one day I can look back and say, "I am glad that it happened to me".

So, what has that attitude got to do with my handmade "Swirl in Whirl" jewellery? I like to cut my wires into measurements of 3s, 6s, 9s, 8s, 13s, etc, that sound optimistic in my Asian culture. And, of course, the same applies to the configuration of my creation. Yes, life's a swirl and I am glad I can see lucky twirls in my whirl when I am wearing my Swirl in Whirl.

In that respect, I like adding elements, like principles of Feng Shui, that will bring luck to me or the wearer. If you think that is an old fashion concept, superstitious and silly, than, it is most likely that you have not heard about the research carried out by Dr Richard Wiseman about luck factors. Form his research, he has concluded that, "Lucky people, without even knowing it, think and behave in ways that create good fortune in their lives".

I like exploring other ways to create my jewellery. I also enjoy working with new material and I am happiest when I am able to make use of stuff that would otherwise be discarded.

If you are interested in creating your own handmade jewellery, it would be best that you study how others are making them and adopt a style that you appreciate. You definitely do not want to buy expensive beading tools to realise that it is not something that you would like to pursue after all.

I will be sharing with you ideas that I have come across in my search for new ideas and inspirations.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

565 for a templet. What luck!

When I chose this templet for my SwirlinWhirl blog, I did not notice that it comes with a lucky number by Asian standard. I just like the way my photos blend in with the theme colour.

You are confused? Did you not see the number "565" on the header at the left hand corner of the blog? If you are still confused, then I guess you have not heard what the local Cantonese speaking Asians like to do with their numbers. For someone who has lived in Singapore before, I like to mispronounce it in Cantonese to sound auspiciously good, "Fi Loh Fi". This translates to mean, "Fast! Moving fast!"

Would like to read more about our strange Asian behaviour? Then, pop by this link:

Playing With Numbers for a Living!

My SwirlinWhirl lucky creations

When I was working, I love wearing accessories. As I love to match what I wear, and could not find costume jewellery I wanted, I decided to learn to create my own. The hobby stopped when I conceived my second child as it is an Asian taboo to use cutting appliances or carry on twisting wires while you are pregnant.

The hobby was revived when one of my friends wanted to set up a community hall in Bandar Sungai Long for the residents in the neighbourhood and would like me to teach it as a craft. These are the first batch of bracelets I created to show them what I can teach.

I was encouraged to use crystals in my work and that is how my SwirlinWhirl sets consisting of bracelet, necklace, earrings started. You want to know how I sell them too?

When I sell a full set in a new design, I will name the creation after my customer and provide a free website. I have decided that I will create blogs instead as it will be easier for customers with no programming background to update. If you think you have no use with a blog, take a look at this website I have created for a mother with young kids and love for high end product:

Zawati's Swirl

Love4Fennie is for one of my students with 2 young daughters. Obviously she loves crafting too:

What are my themes? My creations are influenced by Dr Richard Wiseman's quote , "Lucky people tend to do things to bring them good fortune". I love incorporating my designs with Asian mystic flavours with some Feng Shui enhancement support based on numbers, colours and shapes.

Amanda's Abundance was created for Zawati's young daughter. I looked at the little girl and see a child filled with love and all that her parents could wish for her.

Amanda fell in love with a piece made up of seed beads that I have been wearing for years , so, I created "Amanda's Whirl" for her. It's her mother's gift for her; "I cannot give you the world but you can have "The Whirl".

You can see the design of the earrings to match the above piece in the following picture. The set was recreated for my student, Elaine, with changes in colour and arrangement of crystals. The bracelet is in a flora design.

Bored with the full set you have purchased from me? Do not discard your set, as I encourage recycling, you can return the full set for a new necklace only design. You will have to pay for any crystals used in the creation and the cost to return old set and have new necklace delivered.

Do I teach? Yes, I do and I am willing to create a blog for my student too. This way my students will have a personal record of their progress and creations. When they are ready, they can also upload their own creations to sell on their blogs.

Here is a blog I have created on my first student's request.