Monday, 31 May 2010

start of the summer holidays

wow, this is so strange, to know that this evening i don t have to go to class.

yesterday was open door day at Bijou Moderne, a wholesaler of jewelers materials near Rotterdam, about an hour and a half s drive from Antwerp. it s totally overwhelming to see all those tools and materials in one place! and the catalog is huge!

Sam came with me, and although initially i only intended to look around and not buy anything, since i figured i have enough stuff to work with already, the demonstration of the Delft casting method ( blew us both away. casting in compacted re-usable sand just looked totally ideal if you don t have that much work-space like me. so, after some deliberation, i did buy a starter set and i can t wait to work on some ideas. and ofcourse i also had to get myself a little soldering gadget... it s so cute, but i don t know whether it works well... i do have a ring in waiting...

now i only need some time! LOL

(and some sunshine, please, it s the last day of May... will summer ever really get here?)

oh, by the way, i passed!

Friday, 14 May 2010

e-day + 2

phew, it s over.

studied, took the exam, and, yes, just a little apprehensive about the results.

i woke up yesterday morning suddenly thinking: ofcourse you don t use W15 solder to repair a white-gold ring, you use either W10 or even W5 depending on whether the piece has been repaired before!!! stupid me, that s what happens when i have to take an exam, i get my facts mixed up, and here i confused the white gold solder with the yellow gold solder hardness, i know this! so i wrote down the wrong answer which means a lost point. and there were a few other things i wasn t quite sure about. but i did answer all the questions, which is good, and if some are wrong, i will never forget the right answer again.

anyway, it s over. another two lessons, and this schoolyear will be completed.

it s leaving me feeling both happy and sad somehow. happy because i did accomplish something i never imagined i could actually do, and sad because i know i will miss the classes... until next september. oh well, i have my workbench at home, so i can keep practicing, working with what i ve learnt, trying some new techniques. and hopefully we ll have a good summer; it s always fun making my beaded jewellery at the table in the garden; quiet, secluded and warm.

yesterday Sam and i went to the seaside, about 100km from where we live, and even though inland it was cold and gray, the sun was out there, and the light was full of promise.

so, all in all, it was a great schoolyear. the main thing is that i ve realized, as the cliché goes, no matter what age one is, it s never too late to learn something new. and boy, it does make one so much more self-confident, no matter whether you make a silly little mistake on a test. the point is to keep trying, and persevere in the pursuit of growth!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

final exam this schoolyear

today is saturday... next wednesday is our final exam. i have only read the textbook twice. which means i have to really get my head down and concentrate. there is a lot to remember: which solders to use, what pickles to use, the different alloys, organic materials, the Belgian law on hallmarks, melting temperatures etc.

last time in january with our mid-term i was extremely nervous. i always get anxious when there is any kind of test i have to pass, but this time i m trying to be quietly confident, just so as not to panic... otherwise i get heart palpitations, and i start hyperventilating!

nah, just kidding, it doesn t do for a woman my age to overreact right?

still, it s quite a huge amount of information i have to absorb and never forget again.
thank god the practical work counts for 4/5 of the total... and our teacher did say all of us would surely pass because of our work during the whole schoolyear. YAY!
i will still be extremely glad when it s over, so as to concentrate on actually producing some work.

so... H2SO4 - sulphuric acid, HCl - hydrochloric acid, HNO3 - nitric acid... uh-oh, what was the formula for borax again?

Tuesday, 4 May 2010


yesterday in class, being confronted with an excercise on precision, i again banged straight into a wall!

ofcourse i ve only been doing this course since last september, ofcourse i m still only a beginner... but when my teacher showed me how to get a facet filed completely straight, i felt almost devastated! big word right, i know, but that s how it felt yesterday. i want to be able to file straight facets, i know i can, i ve been practicing long enough, but still i m worried about taking away too much, and sometimes i just need to go for it.

oh well, conflicting thoughts... that is the problem with perfectionism... in my head i can do anything perfectly, no mistakes... but when it actually comes to action, my hands won t do what my head is saying. lame excuse...

anyway, i am a perfectionist, i get upset when something doesn t go right, or as i want it to. BUT, at the same time i m pretty lazy, my house doesn t really have to shine, as long as everything s in it s rightful place and there s some order (has to be order, with all the stuff we ve got)...
i can take it easy, and just let things be... but not when it comes to something i m making, or cooking...

now, on to perfecting my style of writing (uh-oh, i REALLY need to work on this),
and my faceted ring... it WILL be done... perfectly (or quasi...).

Sunday, 2 May 2010

rainy sunday

got up this morning, jeez, ofcourse i did, but it was early, and it s sunday, and it s raining, so here i am:

Sam is working on the layout of his blog. he s a painter (did i mention that?) and he s trying to get some pics of his work uploaded but it s not going too well...
however, i should mention he s quite a perfectionist, and if something s not going quite as he wants, he becomes a teensy little bit nervous. kinda like me, i guess, if everybody says blogging is easy, don t believe them... however, maybe it s because we re both beginners and all these possibilities are still like a maze.

ok, i should be doing some housework now, and i should definitely be studying for my exams, which are on the 12th... but i would rather be working on my last practical project for school, which is a 7-sided ring for Sam (and a smaller one for myself).

oh well, a good full-time working mom (hahahaaaaa!) should be able to organize (NOT) which i will now attempt to do.

posting some pics of this project:

new beginnings

so, where to start...

a little more than a year ago i was contacted via Facebook by an old schoolfriend of mine,
YangHwa Hiroko Koh Pugsley... i remembered her only as Hiroko, she s a few years younger than me, closer to my brother, but we all went to the same grade school in Kobe, Japan... plus i hadn t seen her for a little more than 30 years, so, let me tell you, it was strange but very exciting to suddenly be in touch again...
anyways, i m not going to tell the whole story here, unless anybody really wants to know, but i m sure you don t.

ok... i d been making beaded jewellery for a few years by then, just playing around, mostly making things I wanted to wear and could never find, or was just too expensive when i did find something i liked, and i posted a few pictures on Facebook.
this got the ball rolling, YangHwa was the first to encourage me to set up a website, which i like to keep very simple, and i started studying silversmithing at the TNA here in Antwerp last september! LOVING it, totally engrossed by it, and now i ve also applied for a home course in accounting so as to be able to start up a small business.

i ve had so much encouragement and support ever since, from my partner, my son, my friends both here and via FB all over the world (what an advantage to have been raised multiculturally)!
and so, now this... my diaries... it s another chapter in my journey towards becoming a little more me.

once again, thanx YangHwa, now i ll be stuck to my pc as i said... hehehe... you better be following this too!