Haberdashery Hop

Hi! This is my first blog hop, and I’m super excited for this reveal!

First of all, thanks a huge bunch to Melissa Trudinger, the organizer of this hop and blogger over at Beadrecipes.

This was a rather big challenge for me, as I’ve only ever worked with beads and charms for my pieces. I guess this is why I really wanted to join this hop!

Now over to my piece~!ūüôā

I wanted to create something that was inspired by summer, and looking at this charm bracelet, I guess I took a lot from the gorgeous scenery here in Hong Kong, particularly Tung Chung. I drew from the bright colours of the flowers and leaves, and I’m pretty happy with its¬†summery vibes!

I also added a simple macrame bracelet for an added pop of colour~ I really wanted to have mint in this piece (it’s the colour of the moment… I think it will be for a while); this was really the only way I knew to work it into the bracelet.

I’m glad I’d joined the hop, somehow it helped me try to work beyond my usual style~¬†and¬†I learned how to do macrame!

Do check out the other amazing blogs that took part in this blog hopūüôā

Melissa Trudinger                                           http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com

Ann Schroeder                                                 http://www.beadlove.wordpress.com

Tammy Adams                                                http://www.paisleylizard.com/blog.html

Amanda Wacasey                                           http://mandyinmystic.blogspot.com

Dolores Raml                                                   http://craftydscreations.wordpress.com

Divya N                                                             http://www.jewelsofsayuri.com

Michelle McCarthy                                         http://www.fireflydesignstudio.BlogSpot.com

DiYana Brooks                                                 http://agapecreationsjewelry.blogspot.com/

Robin Kae Reed                                               http://willowdragon.blogspot.com

Andrea Glick                                                    http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/

Karin Grosset Grange                                     http://ginkgoetcoquelicot.blogspot.fr

Mitzie Crider                                                    http://needfulluxuries.blogspot.com

Janine Lucas                                                    http://www.esfera.me/travel/blog/travel-stories  <Рwill post on Sunday

Rosantia Petkova                                           http://bairozan.blogspot.com/

Susan Kennedy                                                http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com

Leithleach Alainn Seodra                http://alainnjewelry.wordpress.com/

Kathleen Breeding                                          http://99bobotw.blogspot.com/

Shiraz Biggie                                                    http://secretsongdesigns.blogspot.com

Chris Eisenberg                                               http://www.wanderware.blogspot.com

Heather Richter                                              http://desertjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com/

Lennis Carrier                                                  http://www.windbent.net/

Rebecca Anderson                                         http://www.songbeads.blogspot.com

Jenny Kyrlach                                                   http://anafiassa.blogspot.com

Rita Toltec Jewels                                          http://www.JewelSchoolFriends.com

Mischelle Fanucci                                           http://www.micheladasmusings.blogspot.com

Karen Mitchell                                                 http://overthemoon-design.com

Carol Briody                                                     http://Cbriody.blogspot.com

Karla Morgan                                                  http://TexasPepperJams.blogspot.com

Carolyn Lawson                                              http://Carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com

Lori Anderson                                                  http://www.prettythingsblog.com/

Jami Shipp                                                        http://www.celebratinglifewithdamamashipp.blogspot.com

Lili Krist                                                             http://pcbylik.blogspot.com/

Evelyn Shelby                                                   http://raindropcreationsbyevelyn.blogspot.com/

Raissa de Guzman                                          http://www.abloro.com

Niky Sayers                                                      http://silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk

Keren Panthaki                                                http://vasdea.wordpress.com

Out and About: Tung Chung

Hey guys!

It is excruciatingly hot these past several days; this Hong Kong summer has been unrelenting!
But of course, with this kind of heat, one can expect lots of sunlight and great weather for photographsūüôā

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I went on a little afternoon adventure around Tung Chung about two weeks ago or so, when it wasn’t scorching hot.

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I’ve always loved it here in Tung Chung. The air is relatively fresher compared to the Island side, and the view is absolutely breath-taking. Just check out all these colours!‚̧

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It was a very random trip; I was originally headed out to pick up a book I’d reserved at the library close by. For those who are curious, it’s Custom Cool Jewelry by Melinda Barta recommended by mtrudinger from Beadrecipes~ read all about the why’s at her blog post!
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But I digressed! To be quite honest, my outdoor timeout inspired a lot of color palettes I would love to use in my jewelry making this season.

Here’s one where I get to model my bracelet with a forest-dweller vibe:

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Grab it on Etsy!

You can see the rest of the photos I took on my Instagram; I’ll be uploading them over the next few days.

I hope you’ve enjoyed all the pictures here and are as inspired by them as I amūüôā

Raissa‚̧

10 Questions With Meredith O’Connor

Like many others, I’ve always loved stories that inspire and help us reflect on¬†how we can do more good things, not just for ourselves but for people around us as well.

Not so long ago, I had the privilege of getting acquainted with Meredith O’Connor, a singer, songwriter and activist. Her journey began at the tender age of eight, when she discovered her true passion in performing. Like many of us, she had issues with self-image while growing up, and unfortunately, was on the harsher end of bullying.

Having dealt with these issues first hand, Meredith uses her perspective to not only tell her story (like with her new music video, “Just the Thing“) but to empathise and most importantly, give hope and inspiration to those who are currently experiencing them.

Today, headstrong and hitting the stratosphere with her success, she continues to be the voice for those who have none.

Read on for our Q&A; “10 Questions with Meredith O’Connor”

About Meredith

IMG_34761. How long have you been a singer?
I have been a singer for only a little over a year. Once Celebrity went viral, it was the start of the whole thing. I never expected it to become what it is today, but I¬†couldn’t be more excited.

2. What inspired you to become a singer?
When I was 8, I started acting in small community plays. I realized that being on stage was my passion, and from there I joined various theater companies as a child.

3. How did you start out?
Working in the New york theater scene as a child got me on stage acting and singing in a group, and thats where I learned everything. It was hard work, sometimes eight shows a week, but worth it! Later on, around the age of 14, I was scouted to be a model. That became my new job, andeventually led me to meet my manager Rick Galvin, at a womens cancer benefit fashion show.

4. What was the turning point for you?
The single “Celebrity” was testing the waters, but the response locally, and globally was much bigger than we even anticipated. Australia, middle america and of course my hometown, (Long Island, where I grew up) shared and supported the video, helping it become well known amongst young kids, especially preteens. The song that started out as something we were just trying became the anti-bullying brand and movement that is is today, overtime. Having seen success from that song inspired myself as well as Rick Galvin to write “The Game” which became the anti-bullying anthem that I went on tour singing.

About Just The Thing

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5. What prompted you to write ‚ÄúJust the Thing”?
Just the thing was co-written¬†by Heather Holley and [I], who has also written with Christina Aguilera, and just like her song “Beautiful” we applied concepts of accepting yourself for who you are to the song “Just The Thing.” The song is about finding¬†someone that you not only accepts you for your differences, but admires them, and is attracted to them. It¬†isn’t just intended for a couple, the song could be for a best friend, or someone in your life that loves what makes you unique.

6. What do you hope for people to take away from the song?
The lyrics are intended to show girls who might be feeling insecure, that they should embrace their quirks. I used words like “Weird” and “strange” because thats how others might react to those who stand out, but when you find someone who is a true friend,¬†they will¬†appreciate it.

7. How did you prepare yourself for the song? You were bullied before; how did you prepare yourself mentally and emotionally to present the song to the public? It’s not a topic that is easy to talk about, how did you cope?
After¬†releasing the song The Game, I felt that the people who listened to my music,¬†weren’t just fans, they are in a way like friends, because they knew the narrative thats so close to my heart. Coming out with just the thing was exciting because I knew there was¬†a lot of¬†anticipation and I am I a point where I am comfortable enough with myself to revisit issues that were once so¬†challenging for me. I was bullied throughout elementary school and middle¬†school. It was everyday, and even when I was young it was intense. I was called Spider legs, because I was tall and thin, and yes, bullying others for being too¬†thin is also a thing¬†apparently haha. But it was also¬†vulgar slurs, violent and just horrible treatment that no kid should ever¬†experience¬†growing up. Its enough to tear apart someones self esteem to say the least, and my goal with this song,¬†similar to the game, was to help kids everywhere realize that they¬†aren’t alone, like I felt I was.

8. Tell us a little more about the 2 moms that you are helping out with ‚ÄúJust the Thing‚ÄĚ
75% of the proceeds for “Just The Thing” are¬†going to two mothers with stage four cancer. Cathy Marino, and Diana Polinco. They are two amazing women, and represent¬†strength that mothers endure all around the world facing¬†similar battles. The Carol Galvin Foundation is the foundation Rick Galvin runs on the side, in name of his mother who passed when he was 11 due to cancer. The goal is to help women personally, and inspire other¬†families to stay strong as well.

For the readers

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9. Any word of advice for people struggling with bullying or self image?
My¬†biggest advice to victims out there is to¬†realize that you have done nothing to¬†deserve it. Thats hard to¬†realize when you are a young child, but bullying is unfair and completely random at choosing victims. Don’t let it ever bring you down. Its a hard task, but looking to the future will help. Have faith that it gets better, because I¬†promise it does if you stay strong.

10. Any message to the fans? 
Thank you for your support! I love you guys! Cant wait until the album comes out

 GIVEAWAY ALERT!!

It’s simple! Answer this question in the comments below:¬†What is the name of Meredith’s latest¬†single?
The lucky winner will receive a beaded bracelet from Abloroūüôā

 

As always, thanks for reading!‚̧

Love, Raissa
Photo credits: http://www.laceysmithphotography.com
Special thanks to Meredith for the interview!
Check her out below!
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/Meredithter
Instagram: @meredithoconnor
WWW: http://meredithoconnormusic.com/
Link to her new single on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/just-the-thing-single/id843495558?ls=1

DIY Up-cycled necklace

We all have that small collection of bits and bobs of jewellery that are too old to use but too sentimental to throw out.

The other week while I was clearing out my jewellery stash, I found some bracelets that I could not, for the life of me, bear to part with. That being said, I can’t remember, no matter how hard I try, when it was I last wore any of them. They’re still pretty, in their own rusty kind of way (I meant that literally). But they’re so old, I’m afraid I’ll get some form of skin disease just putting them on.

And so I thought, to solve my dilemma and ‘clear’ them out somehow, I’ll up-cycle them!

Here’s a picture of what I was able to make from the beads I up-cycled from the bracelets above.

I’m especially fond of this DIY because not only do I keep something of sentimental value, but I also do my part in recycling/ repurposing things. It starts with the little steps!

Onto the DIY!

You’ll need…

‚óŹ Old jewellery to disassemble (pictured above)
‚óŹ Round nose pliers
‚óŹ Long nose pliers
‚óŹ Wire cutters
‚óŹ A pack of eye pins
‚óŹ Some bead caps
‚óŹ Toggle clasp
‚óŹ Some beads from your bead stash

Step 1: Disassemble

1. You’ll want to keep your standard jewellery-making tools nearby so you can¬†remove the headpins and eye pins without damaging any of the beads, especially the glass ones.

You can either:

1) Snip the head pin/ eye pin/ jump ring to free the bead like so:

2) Just open the loop that holds the bead with your round nose pliers.

I find it easier to just cut the wire, though there are some circumstances where you’ll want to cut the wire a bit away from the bead to prevent any nicks and scratches on the bead surface.

Wipe the beads down with a piece of cloth or paper towel to remove the debris and other nasties.

Step 2. Admire your loot!

It’s important to take a step back and just love the new addition to your stashūüôā

Step 3. Make a bead soup

If you don’t have enough beads to make your desired jewellery, now’s the time to use your bead stash to ‘fill in’ the missing pieces. This is, of course, optional.

In my case, however, I wanted a lighter pink tone than the original bluish tone that my previous bracelet had. So I took some glass pearls and Czech beads to add to my bead soup. I also used some purple electroplated glass beads and fire polished beads in this one.

Here’s what I had to begin making my new, re purposed necklace:

Step 4. Assemble

Instead of stringing the beads on tiger tail wire like I usually do, I opted to link them together using eye pins.

I did this for all the beads on the necklace, and added the clasp.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial as much as I did in writing it. Stay tuned for more DIY goodies!

Love,
Raissa

Instagram Weekly Diary Vol. 1

I had a lot of fun with my last Instagram blog post that I’ve decided to start tracking my gallery’s improvement, as well as a weekly feature of some great artists and inspirations out there.

So last week, here’s an approximation of my gallery’s slightly sad state:

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I hadn’t been paying much attention to¬†my gallery’s composition,¬†and it was really only after I saw @helloemilie ‘s¬†gallery that I started seriously considering investing more time in taking better, less potato-quality pictures.

Here is my current 9×9 gallery.

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I’m happier with this, though of course, there’s tonnes of room for improvement. I think it’s the variety in the warmth of the pictures that’s bothering me now… warm + cool doesn’t seem right to me. But¬†maybe I’m just nitpickingūüėõ.

I don’t like the idea of restricting what I deem ‘nice’ to share, just for the sake of keeping a cohesion in the pictures I put up, though I guess that’s one of the sacrifices? I don’t know. I guess only time will tellūüôā

Weekly Feature

@wanderandhunt idalaerke fosterhunting
kararosenlund betti_zjewellery butchersclubhk
5ftinf jasminedowling brightonkeller

¬†*Please note that I am in no way affiliated with the users featured above- I simply adore their galleriesūüôā

 

Love,

Raissa

Giving back: Hong Kong Dog Rescue

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A few days ago, I went to Hong Kong Dog Rescue over at Tai Po with several company friends for community service. It was a pretty emotional trip for me; I love dogs (I have two, both chilling on the couch at the moment), and it was also my first time to volunteer at an animal shelter.

So needless to say, I had my own assumptions and expectations for the facility. And again, needless to say, I was sorely disappointed and heart-broken. Not because the people at the facility lacked in giving care to the animals; on the contrary, they are probably amongst¬†the very few people, who are extremely passionate about what they do, that I’ve ever had the privilege to meet in my life.

wpid-20140611_173523.jpgI was disappointed to see how ignorant and heartless people (that is to say, the dogs’ previous owners) can be- many of the dogs were abandoned, perhaps even abused. There are dogs as young as 8 months old, sitting at the shelter,¬†homeless; given-up¬†by their ex-humans who had purchased them as puppies and grew overwhelmed by their furry companion when they grew much larger.

The worst part is, some owners actually give their dogs up right at the shelter. How can you, after seeing the state of the shelter, the amount of dogs in it, the very few number of volunteers there are to care for them, knowing the sorry state they will be in, still have the heart to leave your pet behind? Maddening! Just how?!

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Anyways… I would prefer to see the bright side in all this. On the same occasion, I was able to meet some of the most¬†selfless, kind and definitely patient people there are. They were more real, more concrete than the people¬†who had once been a part of the dogs’ lives. The dogs couldn’t be in better hands, given their reality; though they could really use a forever home. One of the volunteers told me that, to date, there really are only about 5 to 6 regular volunteers at the shelter. So despite all the love and care for the dogs, the fact remains that the same love is often spread too thin.

wpid-20140611_172727.jpgI also got to meet this darling husky named Baldwin. He’s a pretty smart dog, gorgeous thing. I’d have loved to adopt the fella on the spot if I didn’t have two dogs that he would have potentially turned into snacks.

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It’s an unforgettable experience. I would definitely recommend people with time on their hands, the will to give back and much love in their hearts to go out there and spend time with these beautiful creatures. And if you have neither of those three, well… you might just find it there.ūüôā

 

Love,

Raissa‚̧

 

DIY~ The Greek Escape Earrings

One of the pieces in¬†the¬†set that I contributed to the giveaway I mentioned in my previous post, is a pair of light green quartz earrings. I’ve always loved mint green~ especially in the hue of the green quartz I used in this piece. It’s a very versatile piece; you can pretty much wear it with any outfit.¬†And I do think that I’ve used my prototype pair more than the other earrings I’ve made so far (and I have made a lot!)

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I’ve been itching to share this tutorial for a while now, so let’s get diggin’!ūüėÄ

1. You’ll need…

Materials:

  • 2 13mmx13mm Light green faceted heart-cut quartz briolettes, top-drilled
  • 2 gold-toned bail clasps, open-loop, to to fit the briolettes
  • 2 gold-toned half-dome earring posts with closed loop
  • 2 gold-toned earring nuts

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Tools:

  • Round-nose pliers
  • Pliers (Choose the ones without ‘teeth’ as it will mar the metal otherwise)

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2. Attach the bail…

Use your pliers to open up the bail so you can attach it to the briolette beads. Make sure you secure the beads onto the bail by pinching it close with your pliers.
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3. Open the bail’s loop

Using your round-nose pliers, gently open the top loop on the bail. You won’t need to open the loop like you would open jump rings, as you only need a bit of space to attach the earring post in the next step.

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4. Attach the earring post

Slide the closed loop portion of the earring post to the bail’s opened ring, and close the ring with your pliers.
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5. Complete the other earring

Repeat the steps above for the other earring, and you’re done!

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Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and have fun with your elegant Greek Getaway earrings!

Till next time~

Raissa‚̧