Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Giveaway Winner & Life Updates! (with new handmades thrown in)

How was everyone's Christmas? What goodies did you give and receive?

I had an amazing time with my and the bf's family. We had dinner on Christmas Eve all under one roof, and it was AWWWWWWWWWWWEsome. We had tons of good food and laughs together... all in all, it has made me wish that we had more downtime in the year. We need more Holidays!!!

I have also moved again! The bf and I rented a house along with our ex college roomies, and since we are all working in the same area, we decided that it'd be nice to pool our resources and finally get a nice home to stay in. I will post house photos later-- we also have 3 kitties now which are loving the extra play room. And finally, I have an amazing kitchen to work in. I will be creating more delectable goodies for devouring.. I am excited. Once we all settle in, all will be well :)

These last two weeks have been tiring for me-- aside from moving, I have been clocking long hours at work. However, that hectic period is behind me (I think...) so I will be able to dedicate more time to blogging....

First off, please allow me to catch up on what I was supposed to announce earlier this month; the winner of the 2011 Holiday Giveaway..
... Congrats to LILLY!
Please email me your full name and address! heqicrystaldesigns@hotmail.com -- Thank you!

I made some Brass/Copper earrings today:

The leaves and flowers are painted with nail polish-- the colors are VERY subtle, but provides something very unique :)

They also come with NIOBIUM hooks-- niobium is many times more expensive than gold/silver. It is an inert metal that is hypoallergenic-- safe for even the most sensitive (mine included!). I made the decision to include niobium in collection to broaden the color range I can work with (brass!!!)

Also made some baroque clusters:

As I have a real job now, I can splurge more on gemstone earrings... so I am in the middle of purchasing a bunch of gemstones. These Rose Quartz are beautiful, and very, very clear with lots of facets for more shine:

The following two earrings contain beads purchased (by me!) from the Forbidden City in Beijing, China when I visited a few years back.

I finally decided that it was time to part with them now :)

I have a 3-day work week this week, whoohoo!
Then, a 4 day weekend, WHOOHOO!

More time to spend with loved ones, to cook to eat, to work out, to sleep.

What are your plans for the New Year? I'd love to hear about them!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Macarons and Sparkles PHOTO HEAVY!

Everytime I whip up a batch of good looking macarons, I am ecstatic.
I am so ecstatic I actually squeal a little every time I take a batch out and the top are smooth and the feet are high and pronounced.

... and it happened this time!
And it so happened, that I was entering these into a desert contest at work. A macaron was to sit atop some Tiramisu...

So I aged my egg whites, and 2 days after letting them sit, I whipped up a batch of macs and crossed my fingers.

Here are photos of my progress in case anyone is interested...

I always fail to remember to take photos of me piping them, sorry :( Next time!


Nice high feet profile, smooth shell. Bliss.


Happily sandwiched.

And just because this picture is amazing:

I find myself happily admiring the aesthetics of the macarons that I completely forgot about .... how they're actually food....

... so two days later, after they had fully supposedly matured, I took a bite.

(and another photo here because I can't get over how cute they are)

.... the horror. They were hollow. They had extremely strong shells, BUT THEY WERE HOLLOW. They are NOT supposed to be hollow.

So it was, despite being beautiful, a macaron fail in the end. Again, wish I had snapped photos of those darn hollow shells..

But... they still looked good sitting on the tiramisu, and I ended up getting third in the bake off and I am very happy :)

From a jewelry perspective, my hands have been busy these last two weeks!

I also decided to bring back my... "Vampire Desire" series :)


You guys overwhelmed yet?
I know it seems like a lot, but seriously, I get times of OMG I HAVE TO MAKE SOMETHING NOW OR ELSE I'LL NEVER RELAX moments.... which generally means that whole night after work will be dedicated to creativity. ...

... but the main reason why this update was so photo heavy is because I've really sucked at blogging as much lately.

.... and I will keep the excuses to myself because in the end, excuses are really just excuses, and who cares? The bottom line: I have not been blogging, I'm sorry. There's so much I would like to share, but finding the time to sit down and convert thoughts into words... I need to work on that.

So I leave you with a life update:
The house is awesome.
I resolve to do a house tour.

We're moving back in with my awesome college roomy and his gf. It's going to be amazing because we've already lived with each other.

... and also, big kitchen.

You know what that means. More delicious food and baked goodies.

Till next time, when I will announce the winner of the He Qi Winter giveaway!