Monday, June 29, 2009

etnic roots

As I was looking for inspiration for the EST challenge, Kraplap told me I could also let me inspire by the traditional clothing of the countrys were my adopted kids were born.
She did not have to ask me twice, I admire the etnic roots of my kids!Flower Hmong
My eldest daughter Maia Dinh Thi Phuong is born in Hoa Bhin in Vietnam, situated in the mountains not far from Hanoi. As most of the Vietnamese have the ethny Khin, my daughter was originated from the Hmong, a minority Ethny who live in the mountains. I am very proud of that :-)

Noted most among their many crafts, their embroidery is stunning. The H'mong are among few people left in the world who, for the most part, still make their own clothes independently. Even if they buy the yarn at a local market, they still typically weave and embroider the fabric themselves. Many H'mong, though, still cultivate and dye, using local indigo plants, the cotton and hemp from which they make their clothing. From newborns to the recently deceased, the H'mong are dressed in finery. Other noteworthy crafts include the silversmithing and bronze making of jewelry. Indeed silver acts as a bona fide currency for them.

The eaarings are already available in my shop.

Flax flowers from my homeland....

This time it was not so easy creating for the Challenge with the theme: Let your entry be inspired by the traditional costumes of the country where you were born .This challenge is hosted by Kraplap. find her blog and the other entries here.

I did not find much information about traditional clothing in Belgium, I am sure there must be, but I had not the time to do much research!

So, I know Flanders was well known for it's lace (especially Bruges) and I learned making lace doilies when I was a child, so I have the skills to make myself a piece of lace, but all material lays stocked up at my mothers and I really hadn't the time to hop over there!
But I thought of something I also have a connection with: linen.

My parents almost grew up between the flax fields and both my grandparents were working in the flax agriculture. When I was young , the flax industry was in a crisis as cotton and synthetic fabric (which were much cheaper) became more important.

But nowadays increasing worldwide demand for linen makes it again important. Flax is one of the few crops still produced in Western Europe, with nearly 130,000 acres under cultivation annually. Climatic conditions in this region are perfect for growing flax!
Here you can find more about the huge work it is from Flax to linen.

Linen is crisp, clean and comfortable. Soft, yet strong and durable. The more it is used, the softer and stronger it becomes. It can absorb up to 20% of its weight in moisture before it feels damp, and easily releases moisture to the air to remain cool and dry to the touch. Flax remains colorfast and launders beautifully. It has the additional advantage to be non-allergenic. Flax requires considerably fewer pesticides and fertilizers than other crops. The fibers are recyclable and eventually biodegrade.

So I found the material for my challenge entry: something typical for the region where I was born: linen.
I used a dark grey linen fabric and combined with light lilac (the color of the beautiful flax blossom) sugulite stones and dark lilac ribbon. The silver chain and hoops go very well with these colors.
Available in my shop.

Friday, June 26, 2009

COOL hot summer!

Hot days here in Belgium. Well, it was about time!
Within a week the it's summer holidays for the kids: two full months!!
And what can be more fun then playing outside with a lovely sun and a coling breeze! Yay!

Maybe these hot temperatures made me create some more 'cool' stuff, don't know, just want to show my new designs here, they are are already in my shop!

- Silk Lady necklace 29 USD
- Organic earrings 22 USD
- Japanese garden earrings 19 USD
- Silk twin necklace 29 USD

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My creative workspace today

I am on paper mode today!
All my teapot cards are gone, so time to make new ones!
All I need are my little scissors and a pile of papers, I can do this on my terrace outside with a yummie glass of smoothie near me!
Don't you think they look lovely all lined up?

Hop over to Kotooyo's blog to find out other creative places.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

eating 'Petit Beurre cookies' and getting crafty!

Ok, I agree, we are all cookie monsters here!!!
And there is one specefic butter cookie that is loved by everyone here in the house. It's Le Petit Beurre, a cookie that I know since my childhood and to me it stays one of the best butter cookies ever!
I was surprised to find out that the founder of 'le Petit Beurre' was a Frenchman, I always thought it was a Belgian recipe. I am sure you once have seen the beautiful advertising posters of the Lu cookies, the original ones have now become collectors items as they were made by famous artists like Mucha, Foulon, and Bouisset. Nowadays this yummie cookie is American as it was sold to Kraft Foods.
Find here (English) and here (Dutch)more about 'le Petit Beurre'

But what I wanted to point at, is the packaging of this cookies.
After all the 'Petit Beurre's that have been eaten here in the house, we have a pile of cute white ribble paper, and as I never throw these things away, the crafting can begin :-)
This is not a step by step tutorial, it is more a moodboard with tips and ideas .
just click on the pictures to enlarge them.
Cutting cute hearts out of the ribble paper and using them as a little tag on gift sacs.

- ribble paper - ribbon - sacs -

'thanks you tags'
- ribble paper - cardboard - vintage wallpaper - hemp cord - lillte wooden beads - abc stamps

'Happy Birthdaycake cards '
- ribble paper - all sorts of red and pink paper scraps - paper cake doilies - little felted balls

'Happy Birthday crown-card'
ribble paper - all sorts of red and pink paper scraps - paper cake doilies - little felted balls

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy Feet

1. sitting, 2. Untitled, 3. harlequin_clutch, 4. bla bla

Just back from biking to the postoffice,
the weathers is so nice and it gives me a happy feeling!

It made me make a Happy Feet flickr collection today!

I am happy:
- because it's almost summer holidays
- these schoolyear went very well for the kids
- that I don't have to take the car to go to my work, just bike to Post Office!
- with my new collection 'Colliers de Papiers' that I made lately
- with all the new ideas bubbling in my head...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Arty Gardens en nog meer 'colliers de papiers'

Het seizoen van de open tuinen is weer aangebroken. Ik blogde hier vorig jaar al over.
In de buurt gaan we zeker op bezoek naar de tuin van Paul en Erna, een landelijke tuin van maar liefst 1 hectare groot, vele schaduwrijke terrasjes, een heuse bloemenweide, kortom, een tuin om in te vertoeven en tot rust te komen en bovendien te genieten van het keramisch werk dat Pascale Verstraeten voor de gelegenheid tentoonstelt.
Termstraat 9270 Laarne

Vandaag is ook de tuin van Isabelle een bezoekje waard. Dit weekend stelt Isabelle haar 'papier'werk tentoon, waaronder ook papieren juwelen. De Vuurkorf organiseert workshops rond allerhande papierplezier. Het maken van eigen handgeschept papier (recyclage en vegetaal), afgedankt papier recycleren door te bewerken tot sierpapier (marmers, collages, orizomeishi, nat in nat technieken, ...). Met de produkten van deze workshops worden eenvoudige hedendaagse boekbanden gemaakt. Neem even een kijkje op haar website.
De Vuurkorf, aalbessenlaan 21, 9032, Wondelgem

Intussen werkte ik verder aan mijn collectie 'colliers de papiers' :
Halssieraden gemaakt uit een mix van glaskralen, halfedelstenen, vintage knopen en handgemaakte viltkeitjes en papieren kralen.
De papierkralen zijn gerecycleerd uit tijdschriftpapier, wat ongelofelijk veel kleurmogelijkheden schept. De kralen kregen een dubbel laagje vernis waardoor ze vochtbestendig zijn. Je begrijpt dat geen enkel tijdschrift hier nog de deur uit gaat!
Een kleine collectie van deze halssieraden kan je vinden in de winkel van Karwij en binnenkort op mijn webshop.
I've been working on my 'colliers de papiers' collection. They are a mix from glass beads, semi precous beads, vintage buttons, and handmade felted pebbles and paper beads.
The paper beads are made out of old magazines and given a varnish.
I sell them in this shop and also in my esty shop.

Friday, June 19, 2009

EST Challenge - weekend deals in my shop

Only this weekend I give 15 % off all my textile jewelry in my shop.
Enter 'summer jewelry' when you purchase and I'll refund you the discount.
You imy textile jewelry here.

I managed this week to participate with the Challenge hosted by Amadayu. The theme was 'pastel'. hm, not really my piece of cake, but therefor it's a challenge ;-)

I made a pair of earrings and a ring, maybe a necklace will follow...

I had these beautiful rose wooden beads for a while, I am glad they fit perfect with the pale pink sakura glass flowers.
The ring is made of a vintage button (I found a a flea market in Ghent) with a little Japanses lily cabochon on top of it.
These pastel creations are already in my shop.
You can find the entries of my European EST friends on Amada's blog.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My creative space today - Colliers de papiers

Recently I am working on some new eco-friendly necklaces :-)
The eco friendly part is the fact thath I use paper beads, made from old magazines.

I seal the paperbeads with two coats of varnish to make them sturdier and keep them free of dust and dirt, and to make them more water-resistant (not water-PROOF).
I combine them with the felted pebbles (that I love so much to make) and in this case with beautiful amethyst stones.
Well, they have to wait a bit on my workdesk today, because I am off supply shopping in this tempting shop. Antwerp here I come :-))

In the last pictures you see an already finished necklace. find more pics on my Flickr account.

Hop over to Kootoyoo's blog to find more creative spaces!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

More felt, more turquoise...

I can't help it, turquoise seems to be one of my favorite colors.
From my last color scan, I learned that there is turquoise with a yellow shine and turquoise with a blue shine. Well, to make it easier: there is warm and cold turquoise. I am for instance an autumn colortype , so what matches the most with my skincolor is the warm turquoise.
For jewelry making it is important to combine the cold turquoise with silver and the warm turquoise with copper.

The word turquoise was derived around the 16th century from the French language either from the word for Turkish (Turquois) or dark-blue stone (pierre turquin).[4] This may have arisen from a misconception: turquoise does not occur in Turkey but was traded at Turkish bazaars to Venetian merchants who brought it to Europe.
The colour, however, has been employed extensively in the decorative tiles adorning Turkish places of worship and homes for hundreds of years, beginning with the
Seljuks, or was derived from the colour of the Mediterranean Sea on the southern Turkish coast and the association quite possibly has caused the name to take root.
Find more about the turquoise stone and color here.

so far this turquoise thingies :-)
I just wanted to show a beautiful shawl I bought from a very sweet Russian Artist: Janebofelt
The package took only 5 days to arrive here in Belgium, and it was the first time the postman delivered something from Russia, Moscow. (well, that was what he said) :-)
I's a beautiful nuno felted scarf with some crochet doily details handmade by the very talented JaneBo. Don't hesitate to buy in her beautiful shop, the payment transaction goes very fluently and shipping is very fast! Check also her beautiful blog.

Mermaids jewelry

I made some felted pebbles yesterday, I let me inspire by the beautiful semi precious turquoise stone. I had idea to use these pebbles as a kind of cabochons for a ring. But I also like them just the way they are, a handfull of soft stones...
The big felted ring is already in the shop!

Flickr Favorites

1. colourcirkel 001, 2. Red Flower Power Brooch, 3. su mm er, winter?, 4. loyal loot collective makes amazing log bowls

The weather is so awful these days here in Belgium , it don't feels like summer! Maybe this is why I made a mosaic with happy colors and a sunny feeling.

Find other gorgous Flickr finds on Artminds blog.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

shopping offline

Shabby Chic paper roses to decorate my packages

little craft enveloppes

Chocolate boxes for my rings

A new blouse (70 % off) a bargain!

A cute little porcelain tea pot ring

Off-line shopping
If you are a bit used to shop online, then you can find the most original things (especially on Etsy!) The shipping cost is mostly eligible and you daont have to count with things as weather or parking possibilities and shopping online is time-saving!
But when the weather is nice, then nothing is as pleasant as shopping in the city! afterwarts you can enjoy a little drink on a cosy terrace too!
This week I was in Ghent going after some package thingies.
I found these awesome paper shabby chic roses, some craft paper sacs and little chocolate boxes: great to use as boxes for my big button rings!
I stumbled upon a shop (well I actually go there for years), but now I saw they were closing because of the retirement of the shopping owner. I bought this great blouse for a very little!!!
(perfect tomathc with my jewelery , for the pictures for my shop :-))
On Saturday I went to the 'Kunstsuperette' with Veerle (Nevousinstallezpas)
The 'Kunstsuperette is a 'handmade' market at a nice place in Ghent where 50 flemish designers show and sell their awesome creations. Check out these awesome Belgian shops: de vlijtige Liesjes, Littleplush , Juffrouwthea en Violent knitting Femmes.
I couldn't resist some cute rings. It looks like Veerles ring addiction (she blogged about it) has affected me too. Veerle told me she tries to wear a remarkable ring that fits with the rest of her outfit, a great idea,!! so I started a collection too! (but that is for a later blogpost).

Off line shopping
Als je een beetje de weg kent om online te shoppen, vind je de leukste dingen op Internet. In de meeste gevallen is de verzendingskost verwaarloosbaar, je hoeft geen rekening te houden met het weer of parkeermogelijkheden en het spaart je ook heel wat tijd. Bovendien wordt je aankoop thuis geleverd en een pakje krijgen met de post is altijd heel leuk!

Maar niets is zo gezellig om de stad in te gaan en te gaan shoppen als de zon van de partij is. Je kunt bovendien ook nog een terasje meepikken!

Deze week was ik in Gent ,vooral op zoek naar verpakkingsmateriaal voor mijn sieraden.
Bij AVA vond ik heel leuke 'shabby chic' roosjes.
en praline-doosjes (ideaal voor mijn grote vintage button ringen),
maar ook mooie kleine craft-papier zakjes (ook leuk om bijvoorbeeld oorhangertjes in te verpakken).
Heel toevallig kwam ik voorbij Nathalie E, een tof winkeltje in Oudburg, een adresje waar ik al jaren langsga, maar niet voor lang meer want de eigenares gaat op pensioen, je kan er dus hele toffe dingen op de kop tikken voor een prijsje! Tijdens de Gentse feesten verpatst ze ook haar wintercollectie aan dumpingprijzen, noteren in de agenda dus! Ik kocht er een leuk bloesjevoor een een apple en een ei!
Zaterdag ging ik met Veerle (nevousinstallezpas) naar de Kunstsuperette: een kleurrijk en vrolijk stadsevenement met eigenzinnige creaties van teen 50tal ontwerpers op een unieke locatie in hartje Gent.
Heel leuk waren de vlijtige Liesjes, Littleplush , Juffrouwthea en Violent knitting Femmes.
Ik kocht er twee heel leuke ringetjes. Veerles ringobsessie heeft me blijkbaar ook te pakken.
(zie haar blogpost hier). Veerle vertelde me ooit dat zij probeert bij elke outfit een aangepaste opvallende ring te dragen, Intussen heb ik ook al een toffe verzameling (waarover ik later wel nog eens blog!) Als teepotten-freak kon ik dit teepotringetje niet laten liggen, het is gesneden uit een vintage porseleinen bord.

Friday, June 12, 2009

My creative workspace : too much time....

The kids just left for a day trip with school, that means a have a full day for myself in front of me.
Pffff, too much free time;....don't know where to start,....
Maybe first take some pics of my latest creations, in my little photostudio: on my workdesk next to my laptop!
Then making some packages that have to fly out all over the world! I try to go green as much as possible and reuse the bubble envelopes I got some days ago (from supplies).

After that, mixing and matching some more rings and brooches with my vintage button collection and Japanese lucite flowers.

If you want a similar brooch , just lat me know!
ok, I keep you updated about my day,
it's already lunch time now and I spend too much time in front of my laptop!!!!
f you want to see more creative workspaces, just hop over to kootoyoo's blog.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Busy bee

Sorry, I neglected my blog lately, being busy with all kinds of stuff.

- hubby and I spend a whole afternoon on plannings for things that have to be done:
several check ups and appointments with doctors, summershoe-shopping for the kids, 'end of the year' meetings with teachers of the kids, buying a new (special)bike for Mies, filling in the taxes form, ...
busy times, these days, .....

- I was also busy rereading and rewriting an interview by Vadjutka for a feature on the Est Blog, I rewrite several times and now I have the feeling I wrote too much!! :-) and I blush when I read all the sweet comments my team members gave! :-)

- But I did manage to find time to grab a treasury and it made frontpage!!!

- And I made some new creations lately , seems I am in a purple red mood these days.....
but turquoise is never far away!
The purple linen ring was already is an older creations (well old, A few weeks I think), but I had the feeling it fitted very well in this mosaic!
All these creations available in my shop.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Gift idea for teachers

A sweet gift idea for your teacher or the teacher of your kids: a flower brooch! My brooches flower up your jacket, dress, bag, tote or even lampshade :-)

Special promotion till 25 of June: all brooches 13 Dollar/ 9 euro
(Flat worldwide shipping rate of 3 Dollar / 1,5 Euro)
The brooches come to you, ready for gift, beautiful packed with a little note card.
Find some brooches here in my shop.
Not all the brooches are in my shop, just send me an e- mail : and tell me which one (s) you want from the collection I show below:
(Belgische en nederlandse klanten kunnen ook per overshrijving betalen)

green - turquoise

lilac- honey

fuchsia - purple

turquoise - lilac

cream- yellow

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wild versus Elegant: my creative workspace

We had some holidays, these last few days, so the kids were home. The weather was beautiful, and they played outside in the garden in our little plastic swimming pool :-). I was thinking of what to do outside too. It would have been an option to just read a book in the sun, but there was a new EST challenge theme, and ideas were spinning in my head. So I took my felting stuff and enjoyed making felted pebbles. (I have no pictures of me playng with felt outside, but a picture of the sorting and knotting of the beads: as you see I use often a felted plaid to keep the beads on their place)

The result is my entry for the EST-challenge hosted by Vilte.

You can find her shop here. and the other challenge entries on her blog.

find some other creative workspaces on Kotooyos blog.