Being a Student Again

 

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Just this week, I finished taking a three-week wax carving class at the Bloomfield School.  These are two new rings that I made, by first carving them in wax and then casting them into sterling silver.  What a fun medium to work with!  I love the malleability of wax.  As you can see, one of my rings is very precise in shape and texture.  The other one, on the contrary, is left very raw and organic.

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I highly recommend the Bloomfield School.  They offer multi-week and same-day classes across a number of disciplines, from wax to soldering to patinas and even stamping.  The instructors, Kerrie and Melissa, are tons of fun (and infinitely patient!).  Check out their own jewelry sites here!

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On Creativity

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I first saw this quote while wandering about a jewelry store in Vietnam.  What a perceptive take on creativity!

Innovation has become such a celebrated buzz word and a goal that all companies seem to strive for.  Yet at the heart of it, being creative is really about embracing your passion with childlike joy and fascination, ignoring the shoulds and shouldn’ts and having fun!

I like how Leandra Medine describes it: “Contrary to the old adage that you’ve got to feel deeply tortured to create, my best work is done when I’m not trying to sweat out misery, but am instead using what makes me happy as a reflective surface.”

How do you stay creative?

P.S. How idleness breeds creativity

{Photo via: Social Media Gang}

Black and White Saturday

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Lately I’ve been drawn to black & white photos.  Somehow, when the colors are removed, the details can become more vivid.  Here are some pics I snapped while out and about this afternoon.  Bonus footage of my two cats hanging by the bedroom window!

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A bizarre dumping ground of old and used bathtubs, right behind the local Lowe’s parking lot.

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A child’s stool outside a thrift shop, with a comforting message.

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Tables brimming with used baseball gloves.

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Husband…and cats. 44eeennnnnnnnnnnn (Luca just typed this)

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Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

 

 

Mountains Beyond Mountains

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While on our backpacking trip, we both read the book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”  It is one of those perspective-changing books that is philosophical and comforting at the same time.  One of my favorite passages from the book is this:

“Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire…then when you’re no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn’t just a means to an end but a unique event in itself. This leaf has jagged edges. This rock looks loose…these are things you should notice anyway. To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow.”

The quote spoke a lot to me, because it captured what I felt was lacking in my life:  Peace of mind that stems from being present and fully engaged in the moment.  I’ve always been a pretty goal-oriented person.  While it’s good to be self-motivated, I’ve come to realize that it’s not healthy to define accomplishment solely as that final check mark.  It’s better to do fewer things but do them well, to allow each process be a fertile ground of learnings, to savor and appreciate every moment and detail, and to enjoy myself.

If you have read any books that have helped shape your view, please let me know!  I am currently reading this fascinating book.

Have a great Monday!

{Photo: Taken of the horizon while riding our longtail boat into Railay, an island in Thailand}

Summer Wardrobe

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I recently read this fun book called “Lessons from Madam Chic.”  It’s written by Jennifer Scott who studied abroad in France and learned quite a few important lifestyle lessons from her host mother.

One of these lessons has to do with owning fewer, better things.  It helps unclutter our wardrobe, our time and our minds.  The idea is that for every season you own a capsule collection of 10-15 versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched to produce many different outfits.  Let me pause a moment here: Imagine waking up in the morning and spending 5 minutes to figure out what you’ll wear?!

I love this style philosophy, especially after traveling for 3 months with nothing but a backpack of essentials.  After we returned to the States, I tried to put this to practice by cleaning out my wardrobe.  It is amazing how much stuff I own that have not been worn for more than a year!  Now my wardrobe is much more streamlined and I’m also able to better appreciate what I already have.  Shopping also becomes more enjoyable because it requires more deliberation and I am able to work with a bigger budget.

Here’s a round-up of some of my favorite finds from companies that focus on timeless style and quality.

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From top to bottom: Maxi Dress, Silk Tank, Chambray Dress, Black Shorts, Leather Tote, Bikini
{Photo: one of my style icons Charlotte Gainsbourg}

Spring in Brooklyn

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Our new place is now about a 20 minute round trip from the nearest post office.  To put that in perspective, our last apartment was one block away.  My first reaction was “Oh no, what a hassle!”

But after a couple of trips, I am fully appreciating the experience.  Walking outside in the weekday feels like a surprisingly luxurious experience. I mean let’s face it, it is so easy to stay glued to your work desk and forget to even look out the window. And look at all that we’re missing out on!

My favorite bits of my neighborhood walks are the scenery and the people.  These are some of the photos I grabbed on my phone while out yesterday.  I mean, just look at the colors! Brooklyn is blooming from tip to toe.  I especially love the contrast between the bright greens against the brick reds.

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I also enjoy people watching (don’t we all?). I like to imagine who they are, what they do and what’s the most exciting thing happening to them today.

Do you take walks outside? What is your favorite part of it?

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