Saturday, March 27, 2010

New Mother's Birthstone Necklaces -- Ichthys and From the Bottom of My Heart (large)

ichthys ichthus christian jesus fish mother's birthstone necklace

Just listed some new Mother's birthstone necklaces for Mother's Day!

This Ichthys necklace was an idea inspired by my little brother's wedding.Both him and my sister-in-law are devout Christians, so I thought it would be a good idea to combine the Christian fish symbol with family birthstones.This particular Ichthys necklace shown in the picture is made for my sister-in-law, but the fish frame will fit up to 6 birthstones, and I can also easily create a larger frame if more birthstones are needed.

The picture below shows a 16" Ichthys necklace(the length includes the fish), but I can do up to 19" at no extra charge.

Then, thanks to two customers who requested a larger "From the Bottom of My Heart" necklace, I finally got these listed -- in sterling silver as well as 14K gold filled.They will fit up to 7 birthstones.They measure about 1" wide.

heart mother's birthstone necklace genuine gemstones family birthstone for mothers

heart mother's family birthstone necklace genuine gemstones

Here's a size reference for the small and large "From the Bottom of My Heart" necklaces on 16 and 18" chains.

Be sure to put your order in as early as possible to avoid the Mother's Day sales rush.As it gets closer to Mother's Day, the lead time will also become longer.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Photoshop Practice - Clone Stamp

I'm finally learning photoshop slowly and loving the "cloning stamp" tool ! Dug out a picture I took for my parents and removed that annoying pole. :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

My New Car

This was my car until this afternoon--1997 Chery Cavalier.I had this car for 5 years.It had been a great car for me, but as it got older and more parts needed to be repaired, I decided to get a new car...

Here's my new car--2010 Nissan Cube SL :) I test drove it last Saturday, and Mike and I picked it up this afternoon.See those gunmetal rims?Mike loves them.

What a weird looking car.But I love how smooth it drives, and of course all the safety features,blue tooth, automatic temperature control and automatic on/off headlights are definitely bonuses.

I love my Cube :D

Monday, March 15, 2010

Nikkor 60mm Macro test

After much consideration, I decided to order the Nikkor 60mm macro lens for my D90 last week. It arrived today and I couldn't wait to test it out.This is my second lens and also my first prime lens.It also feels very different from standard prime lenses I tried before because of of its macro function, so I wasn't very used to it yet.I spent the whole afternoon practicing, and here are a few better shots I took.A few in the yard...

nikon nikkor 60mm macro

dingle berry

And here's some jewelry ..

nikon nikkor 60mm macro

I still feel very much restricted by my knowledge on DSLR and photo editing, so I am also starting to read more books on photography and photoshop.It's a lot of work --in fact, more work then I expected, and therefore I haven't been able to start listing more new designs as I have hoped. But I will start listing again next week -- with photos taken with my new lens!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Homemade Sushi Rolls in 30 Min

homemade sushi roll

Mike and I both love sushi.Since it's expensive to eat sushi at a Japenese restaurant, I started making some easy homemade sushi recently -- no raw fish, just some basic ingredients easily available at grocery stores.

To make shshi for two ...

1.cook and then cool the rice

first you need to cook 1 cup of short grain rice.After the rice is cooked, simmer for 10~15 min, then open the lid and stir the rice gently with a wooden spoon to fluff the rice so the air gets to the bottom of the pan, and the rice will taste better :)

Then, cool the rice...

2. Prepare for the "stuffings"

you can pretty much put whatever you like in it, but here are what I used...

1/3 seedless cucumber - cut into strips

imitation crab meat(same amount as avocado)

1 avocado -cut into strips

optional - fish eggs(not pictured)

optional - green onion-chopped

optional - spicy mayo -- I made this by mixing some chilly sauce with light mayo in a zip loc bag.Cut off a tiny corner and you can squeeze the mayo out easily.

3. Let's start rolling! You need a bamboo sushi roller and some seaweed sheets.

I put a cheet of cling wrap between the roller and seaweed for hygienic purposes,and it's also easier to clean the sushi roller later, if some stuffing drops onto the roller.

The first roll is spicy california roll. Spread a thin layer of rice onto the seaweed as evenly as possible.Then, line up avocado and imitation crab meat on it.Then, roll it up slowly, applying gentle and firm pressure using the roller as you do this.

Another roll is cucumber roll.Instead of Imitation crabmeat and avocado, simply use cucumber as your stuffing.

Done! Now you can use a serrated knife(one like a bread knife) to cut the rolls.It's easier to start your first cut from the center.Cut slowly and try not to squash the rolls with your fingers!Depending on the thickness of the cut, you can usually divide each roll into 6~8 pieces.

After the rolls are cut, garnish the california rolls(the ones in the back) with fish eggs and a dab of spicy mayo.The cucumbers rolls are fine just the way they are!

Top the california rolls with green onion (my favorite!), and enjoy!

p.s. use soy sauce (and wasabi) for dipping if preferred!

(Mike -- "are you taking more pictures still?When can we eat?")

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Quick DIY Idea -- Swarovski Crystal Filigree Necklace

filigree necklace Mu-Yin Jewelry

While my current jewelry lines only consist of freshwater pearls an natural gemstones, I have always had a secret love for filigrees, so I was excited to receive these amazing Swarovski crystal filigree samples from Artbeads a few months ago.I have been so busy since then and finally had time to play with these lovelies last weekend.Hopefully this will be an easy jewelry design idea for your wedding, dinner party, or a fun night out.

Here are the supplies you will need for this necklace.They are all available from Artbeads --

- 1x 38mm gold plated filigree round crystal (code 62010-GCRY)

- 2x 19.5mm silver plated filigree daisy crystal (code 62006-RCRY)

- 2x 22.5mm silver plated filigree lily crystal (code 6207-RCRY)

- 2x 27mm silver plated filigree sunflower crystal (code 62004-RCRY)

- 10" silver plated chain(cut into 2 x 5" chains) -- choose a style you like that's under 4mm

- one silver plated clasp -- choose a style you like! I used a lobster clasp

- 8~9 silver plated 6mm open jump rings or split rings to connect the filigrees and clasp.

- (optional: 3" silver plated cable chain for the extender -- choose a chain that's slightly thicker than the main chain)

filigree swarovski crystal

These filigrees are a little costly, but they really sparkle like crazy under the light! You can choose to have all of the filigrees in the same metal -- all silver or all gold.When I made the necklace,I thought it was a nice contrast to mix the metal, and I was glad it turned out nicely!

The necklace is very easy to make.Basically, you need to connect filigrees using the jump rings or split rings.I recommend using split rings because they are more secure.However,they also require a little more skills to open and close.Jump rings and split rings are very useful findings and it never hurts to keep some extra in stock!

These filigrees are very easy to work with because they have these "built in holes" for you to thread the jump/split rings through. You can also make easy and sassy matching earrings with these filigrees.the 19mm filigrees are just big enough to get you noticed, while the 27mm ones are a total show stopper!

Here's what the finished piece looks like. I added an extender so it's adjustable from 18~21"--

filigree necklace

On a party dress --

filigree necklace

On a wedding dress --

filigree wedding bridal necklace

Happy jewelry making!

Beads

Disclosure: I have received the products free of charge from Artbeads. I am honestly reviewing the products and have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.

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