Thursday, February 25, 2010

Surviving Chinese New Year, in-laws and out-laws

It has been busy busy busy for me this Chinese New Year.  In fact, the lunar new year has not ended yet - it lasts for 15 days and there are a couple more visits and eating sessions to go.  In between the cooking, eating, visiting relatives and surviving 5 painful mouth ulcers, I managed to find some time to make this bracelet for my good friend Carol.  I made them with the lovely lavender freshwater water pearls I bought a while back. I just couldn't resist buying these pearls coz the pearls had a lovely lustre and shape. So organic!

Aren't these pearls beautiful?
Handmade spiral links and clasp

It's on its way to you now, Carol. I hope you like it! And thanks for organising the office Christmas sale for me.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My first Etsy sale!

This is definitely worth blogging about.  I had my first sale from my Etsy store!  Hooray for me!  I am thankful to God and of course to the dear buyer who ordered a custom beaded ring for me.  It is just such a good feeling to have finally made a sale after all these months on Etsy.  Pray there will be more to come.

Hooray for Pass in Chinese!

My dear son has been struggling with Chinese since school started more than a month ago.  We are mostly responsible for his poor grasp of the language as we seldom speak Mandarin at home.  It's funny how the national education system here labels Chinese his mother tongue.  The truth is, English IS his mother tongue since that's the only language he speaks!  lol!  Well, as a Chinese in Singapore, you have little choice but to take up Chinese as your second language. So we have been plodding along since, amid much frustrations and tears.  He recently failed his Chinese spelling test. Poor chap was feeling a little down after that (for all of 10 minutes). Sonny and I resolved to work hard to pass the next test.  And so we did work very hard all week to recognise the Chinese characters and pinyin.  Our efforts paid off!  He passed this time. Hooray, son!  We did it!  The celebration is short lived as we will need to soon hunker down to prepare for the next weekly test. :(

Monday, February 1, 2010

History and Meaning of Birthstones

Birthstones, both precious and semi-precious, have a rich history spanning many cultures and centuries. According to the book of Exodus in the Bible, Aaron was ordered by God to create a breastplate with twelve gemstones, each representing one of the 12 tribes of Israel. During the eighth and ninth centuries, Christians also assigned stones to represent the twelve apostles.

The modern birthstone list that is widely used today was officially adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912.

To me, using birthstones can be a colourful and fun way to personalise your jewellery for yourself or your loved ones.  I have all the Swarovski crystal birthstones and also freshwater pearls in my shop. Swarovski crystals are quality Austrian crystals that are both beautiful and easy on the pocket.
Here is a list of the modern birthstones by month and the meanings associated with each. Of course, this list is not exhaustive and there are many other meanings associated with gemstones. Although I do not subscribe to the mystical powers some believe the stones have, I think the values each stone represent can be something that we all can strive for in our lives.

January - Garnet
Faith, Loyalty, Perseverance

February - Amethyst
Sincerity, Peace, Wittiness

March - Aquamarine
Purity, Happiness, Courage

April - Diamond (or Swarovski Clear Crystal)
Innocence, Love

May - Emerald
Faith, Courage, Fidelity

June - Pearl (or Swarovski Light Amethyst)
Purity, Nobility

July - Ruby
Strength, Devotion, Integrity

August - Peridot
Dignity, Truth, Love

September - Sapphire
Serenity, Love, Mercy, Wisdom

October - Opal (or Swarovski Rose)
Hope, Creativity, Happiness

November - Yellow Topaz
Fidelity, Providence, Friendship

December - Blue Topaz (or Swarovski Blue Zircon)
Piety, Courage

Click here to learn more about gemstones on the International Colored Gemstone Association website.