About sheelaj

Author Archive | sheelaj

Customized design

New design! A mom requested a necklace for her 16-year-old daughter. After a few emails back and forth, I created this design for her. Can be found in my shop!

necklace

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Something other than jewelry

Ooopppss…hadn’t realized a whole month has passed since writing my last post. This year’s cold/flu season has wreaked havoc on the family. All of us have gotten more sick than usual, but thankfully no flu. In between I’ve been keeping busy with other creative endeavors. The blanket I’m knitting for my new nephew is almost done (post will be coming soon) and I’ve also been making some homemade creams. I’ve always enjoyed DIY projects but limitations of time almost always push those to the side. Making creams and lotions is less time consuming, and I’ve always wanted to put more “pure” products on my skin. As I age and my skin gets drier, I’ve been challenged with effective body creams that really do the trick.

This weekend I made more body cream. My first few attempts over the past few weeks were not so great—the cream was gritty and hard to spread on the skin. I tried a method that uses a blender to emulsify the oils and water. The results are far superior. I love the cream—it is a bit silky and very creamy, thus easy to spread on the skin. It initially feels greasy but in a few minutes gets absorbed into skin. Mixing oils

The first step is to melt all the oils with a bit of beeswax in a double boiler. I used olive, coconut and avocado. The next step is to pour the mixture into a blender and wait for it to cool. Final step involves slowly adding some warm water as the mixture blends. And voila! You have yourself some cream!! CreamIt has no preservatives so I’ll be using it up within a few months. Not difficult given the amount of dishes I wash and the gardening I do!

Next batch might have some essential oils and I’ll be replacing the water with some rose hydrosol.

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Lotus

Gold lotus with ss disc peridot main

I created this for my neighbor. She was going through a rough time and wanted a necklace for every day wear, to remind her to breathe and slow down. After a bit of discussion and looking at various designs, she came up with this. A vermeil lotus charm sitting on top of a half inch sterling silver disc.  I like creating personalized pieces that have meaning for the individual. For me this design has a peaceful vibe–the delicate gold vermeil lotus sitting peacefully upon a sterling disc. Like the flower sitting on top of its leaf. Can be found here in my shop.

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Baby blanket

My brother had a baby almost 4 months ago. His first. A beautiful boy. I knitted him a newborn hat a couple of months ago, and had plans to also knit a blanket. I finally made a trip to our local yarn shop. I’m not into gendered colors so I’m a bit embarrassed to show the yarn I bought is blue. But it was the only color of that particular yarn (combo of cotton and superwash wool) that appealed to me. So here it is. Baby blanket yarnI’ll post a photo of the blanket when I’m done. Hah…lets see how long it takes me!!

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Hand stamped ring

A new design in my shop: hand stamped adjustable aluminum ring. The ring can be customized but I stamped shanti on it, which means peace. The metal is very light (and a little soft compared to sterling). It is made from food grade aluminum.Find it here in my shop.

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Resolution?

I’m not one for New Year resolutions. I haven’t made one in years as I figured that if you want to resolve to do something, then it can take place any time of the year.  But this year feels different. I’m thinking of resolutions as a way to place intention, focus and energy in areas of life that I’d like to change.  So, I’ve made one for this year. Just one. I haven’t started it yet, mainly as I’m recovering from a bad cold. It’s to start running….or rather, jogging….OK, maybe a fast walk? Just kidding. Running. I’d love to be in a place that I hear about from runners—where they need to run everyday or a few times a week as when they don’t, they don’t feel right. They feel stressed and anxious.

I’m starting out in manageable steps. Get out two times a week and run/jog for 20 minutes. Doesn’t have to be a solid 20 minutes of running. Alternate running with walking until my body/lungs adjust. That’s the plan. When I feel I’m ready for more, I’ll increase it to 30 minutes and maybe even 3 times a week. I’m not one for early morning exercise before the day begins. I plan on using my lunch time to get out. I have a field behind my office that provides the perfect surface for running.

OK, I said it. The resolution/intention is out to the universe. I trust I will start running, but keeping it up is always the more challenging part. I have all my “equipment” ready—good pair of shoes, clothes as well as my ipod shuffle. I cannot run without music! Wish me luck!!

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Heavy heart

Today passed by in a blur of grief. Trying to focus on work but distracted by the shooting at the elementary school in Connecticut. I cannot fathom the grief that the parents of the children must be going through, and the children of the adults who died. As a parent of two under the age of 10, this has hit me hard. We do the right thing by taking our children to school everyday in the hopes they learn, play, thrive and enjoy their time there. We never expect to lose them one morning, after we’ve dropped them off with our goodbyes and hugs.  My heart is so utterly heavy with grief.

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Flowers for the winter

While a chunk of the country is experiencing winter with snow and all that it brings, the Bay Area’s winter brings rain. Most of the leaves off our trees have fallen, but we still get to grow some flowers that will last till the spring. Introducing pansies!

 

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Resin jewelry

Last month I took a resin jewelry class at my local bead shop. I’ve played with resin in the past but almost always had problems with bubbles. Although I’ve had limited experience with resin using it in your art or jewelry seems to offer plenty of creative possibilities. I love the look of domed bezels that can seal almost anything you can think of. This is one piece I worked on. Sealed the patterned paper into the bezel, poured some BUBBLE-LESS resin into it, added some seed beads and waited for it to harden. At home, I had some oxidized copper chain and strung it through the bezel. The bezel is about 25mm—larger than I’m used to working with, but I like it! I’ve worn it many times and have received a few compliments. I’m hoping to have some similarly looking necklaces in my shop soon!

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Hand made bowls!

Hand made bowls! Thrown on a wheel! I finally did it. I’ve been drawn to ceramics for years—loved the idea of getting my hands into clay and creating something functional out of the clay mass that sits on a wheel. I found a very affordable ceramics studio run by a nearby city. I’ve been going for a few weeks now and am loving it. Instead of formal classes, there is open studio time on Monday nights.  The leader provides some instruction but a lot is left for playing and learning by oneself.

These are the first few bowls I made. I have a couple of plates waiting to be glazed and a few more bowls! Me thinks that one can never have enough hand made bowls!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The purple bowl is for my daughter who has loved the color purple ever since she could name them. The pooling of the glaze at the bottom and swirl created as a result was purely accidental.

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