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Thank you for visiting my blog. If you like what you see, why not follow me and drop a line to say hello. I hope to share with you what inspires me during my day to day life. Please do visit my 'Shop' or 'Glam Jewellery' page to view my jewellery collections and my 'Craftiness' page for all things crafty. I hope my creations inspire you and you are welcome to translate it into your own designs, however I do ask that you give me a mention. I look forward to reading your comments. Thank you and enjoy!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Hold back the Paparazzi!

First up, last week Fanny from my Jane Austen collection was featured by the fashion blogger Anita Wheeler of Sunday Girl. I was so proud to see one of my earrings being written about by another. If you have not already read the 'Jkhoo Designs' Amazing Earrings' post, here it is.

Then today I received a very exciting email letting me know that the submission of my Green Envy and Blue Envy Sari Wraps collections have been selected for the IJL 2014 runway shows. International Jewellery London (IJL) is the UK's premier jewellery event and has been operating for 58 years, this year being their 59th year.

Green Envy Sari Wraps
Green Envy

Blue Envy Sari Wraps
Blue Envy

I cannot put into words the feelings that shot through me when I read that email. I was so overjoyed and proud. I rang the organisers for some technical queries and it turns out I had to be a stand holder/exhibitor at the event for them to use my collections ... which needless to say I am not. I will be attending the show as a visitor though. What a disappointment to go from such a high to such a low.

BUT you know what ... this says alot about Jkhoo Designs. My designs were good enough to have been selected in the first place! Maybe next year for their 60th anniversary show, I will have a stand at IJL 2015 and then I will have my pieces strutted on their fantastic fashion runways. First I need to find a sponsor ... any takers out there?

Until next time...

Today and everyday ... is an adventure!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

It's a Ring thing!

A 17th century Posy ring with engraved poem from Les Enluminures
A Ring Presented to Julia
by Robert Herrick

Julia, I bring
   To thee this ring,
Made for thy finger fit;
   To show by this
   That our love is
(Or should be) like to it.

 And as this round
   Is nowhere found
To flaw, or else to sever;
   So let our love
   As endless prove,
And pure as gold for ever.

Men and women alike have worn rings throughout recorded history. Rings are mentioned in Greek mythology and in the Bible. They have been discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs and early burial mounds. Rings were particularly popular with the Romans, used as symbols of wealth, power and status – even Roman slaves wore rings.

The very earliest rings recorded were made of gold, silver, iron or bone and were usually unadorned. Early rings set with a stone or engraved with a decorative motif were initially less common but quickly became the norm.
A 19th century 'Papal' ring , Italian circa 1830

Rings have been used as signatures in the form of a seal or signate; they have been used as symbols of rank or devotion or to advertise the membership of a select group. The Scriptures tell us that priests wore rings and today Bishops and the Pope still wear rings symbolising their consecration. Nuns who have taken final or "perpetual" vows indicate their status by wearing a simple silver ring on the left hand.

Rings have even been used to carry coded messages and even to conceal a draught of poison!

Rings conferring magical abilities are often mentioned in fairy tales and fiction.

In many ancient cultures, the circle was the symbol of eternity, with no beginning or end. The hole in the center of the ring also had significance. It wasn’t just considered a space, but rather a gateway, or door; leading to things and events both known and unknown. To give a woman a ring signifies never-ending and immortal love. Today in most religions a ring is worn on the finger on which it was placed during the wedding ceremony as a symbolic declaration of eternal love.

Gimmel Ring. Germany, circa 1600-50.
Victoria and Albert Museum

That being said, rings are of course principally worn as decorative items. The wearing of a ring allows its bearer to make a statement of wealth and fashion style – from delicate decorative ornate pieces to chunky ‘rapper style bling’ and everything in between!

Baby rings and two-finger ring
Fourth to fifth centuries, Roman and Byzantine,
Photograph by Les Enluminures
It was not unusual for a wealthy lady to wear more than one ring on each finger. Rings have been worn traditionally closest to the main hand but can also be positioned just before the knuckle joint and even on the tips of fingers. There are also early examples of double rings worn on two fingers simultaneously. The wearing of knuckle rings and double rings is experiencing something of a comeback recently.

St. Blaise wood and gilt reliquary at Braunschwieg
Rings in former times were not made to fit any specific finger but would rather be worn on the finger on which they best fitted. In Tudor England there was even a fashion to wear a cord around the wrist tied back to the ring if it was too large for the finger and also perhaps to protect against theft. Fortunately today jewellers can make a ring to suit a client’s specific finger!

Interestingly, this concept has now evolved into the modern ‘Slave Ring’ where a ring is connected to a bracelet. The term ‘Slave Ring’ in no way refers to actual slavery but to the fact that the ring and bracelet are linked and hence are slaves to one another. It is very popular in Asian communities especially for brides to wear the 'Hathphool' or 'Panja'.

Panja - a central stone linked to five finger rings with chains
Hathphool - a bracelet linked to a single finger ring with chain

Through time, the style and finish of rings have changed in keeping with the evolution of fashion but the function and concept remains. Some modern day rings ...

The Jens Hansen Movie Ring

Rouelle GISELE Cuff Handpiece

I found it fascinating digging into the history of rings - as you can see it is a Ring thing! I hope I have inspired you to think Rings next time you accessorize and be proud of the history it carries with it. And if you need a ring fix now, check out our Ring collection here.

Jkhoo Designs

Until next time...

Today and everyday ... is an adventure!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Wimbledon 2014

As Dr Sheldon Cooper (aka Jim Parsons) might say ... 'I possess the DNA of' ... NICK KYRGIOS!

I am over the moon to have received this Wimbledon 2014 towel used by Nick Kyrgios himself at Wimbledon this year, and I just had to share it with you.

Nick Kyrgios Wimbledon 2014

This year Wimbledon has been very exciting for me. Not only was there big news on the courts, big seeds being knocked out, new up and rising hot tennis players ... then my Sari Wraps got seen by the entire world at centre court worn by Nick's sister Halimah! ... and then to receive Nick Kyrgios' towel! A very personal and special momento to treasure.

Thank you Nick! You are one shining star to look out for on the courts next year and my money is on you!

Until next time...

Today and everyday ... is an adventure!

Monday, 7 July 2014

How to verify your Weebly website for Pinterest

So I decided it is about time I set up Pinterest for Jkhoo Designs. I set up a business account and everything went smoothly and then ... verify your website! I followed their instructions and got no where.

I love the internet! There is almost nothing you can not find out there. I found this post ...


... and voila my website is verified! Clear and easy to follow.

I thought I would share with anyone out there who is struggling to verify their Weebly website for Pinterest. I hope you find this information useful.

Until next time...

Today and everyday ... is an adventure!

Jkhoo Designs makes it to Wimbledon

We are delighted to share that Halimah Kyrgios, a professional musical theatre performer, chose to wear our Sari Wraps torque whilst cheering on her brother Nick Kyrgios at center court during his victory match against Rafael Nadal. This was captured on worldwide television!

Halimah Kyrgios wearing Sari Wraps
You can see Nick's winning match point here (BBC Sports - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/28118239).

Check out her interview here (Today - http://youtu.be/NNemGrgK6Sk).

You can also follow Halimah Kyrgios @halimahkyrgios on Twitter and at Starnow.

Maybe one day you too could be caught on camera wearing a Jkhoo Designs piece! Do let us know when that happens, we would love to spread your fame.

Until next time...

Today and everyday ... is an adventure!

Saturday, 28 June 2014

One Step!

I thought I would post something inspirational today.

An ancient philosopher Lao Tzu once said...
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
Or is it 'with a single step' or 'begins beneath the feet'? As with anything, through time and translation there exist variations to the original. This popular phrase comes from Chapter 64 from the Tao Te Ching.
When it is peaceful, it is easy to maintain. When it shows no signs, it is easy to plan. When it is fragile, it is easy to break. When it is small, it is easy to scatter.
Act on it when it has not yet begun. Treat it when it is not yet chaotic. A tree thick enough to embrace, Grows from the tiny sapling. A tower of nine levels, Starts from the dirt heap. A journey of a thousand miles, Begins beneath the feet.
The one who meddles will fail. The one who grasps will lose. Therefore, sages do not meddle and thus do not fail. They do not grasp and thus do not lose.
People, in handling affairs, Often come close to completion and fail. If they are as careful in the end as the beginning, Then they would have no failure.
Therefore, sages desire not to desire. They do not value goods that are hard to acquire. They learn to unlearn, To redeem the fault of the people. To assist the nature of all things, Without daring to meddle
(source: www.Taoism.net and Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths in 2006)

The gist of that phrase is - To achieve your goals/challenges in life, one has to take action and start somewhere.

However, one could also interpret it as -
  • Big task, baby steps,
  • Where you are right now is because of the step you chose to take,
  • Getting started on anything is the hardest.
There are so many useful ways that you can try to interpret those wise words and if you look at the chapter as a whole there is more. I get the following messages from it (in no particular order) -
  • When things are good and running smooth, life is easy. Like cogs in a wheel, they must be oiled to maintain everything in good order
  • Prevention is better than cure
  • When you do not work at it, it becomes a monster and to tackle it you start from the bottom and build a strong foundation
  • Do not rush and do quick fixes as the result will not be good
  • Balance and harmony
  • Do not complicate matters, keep it simple one step at a time.
Like everything in life, start by building a strong foundation, maintain your structure and life is good.

How true is that in life?

I think back on my life and it has gone through many mountains and valleys but there is not one thing that does not start with that one single step. Every path or destination I take has been a choice. A choice to take a step backwards or a choice to go forwards.

Take this post for example, the big task I have set myself is to blog (something I am not too comfortable with blogging at the moment). So I thought I would do something short and sweet like a picture with an inspirational quote that is meaningful to me. Did exactly that and the next thing I knew I was researching deeper and deeper into the phrase and viola! - an epic blog post.

I am no philosopher and in no way wanting to be one. However, I do have certain values in life that I hold close to my heart. So every now and again I get the urge to dig deep and meaningfully.

So, what do you see from Chapter 64?

Until next time...

Today and everyday ... is an adventure!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Mooka Links

It has been too long since my last blog post. Thanks to 'Julie & Julia' the movie for inspiring me to reblog. Sometimes in life we get thrown so many hurdles and too many frogs to eat, they will always be there. Well, no point looking back and beating yourself up about it, just do it and look forward.

I will try to blog more frequently even if it is only a few photos on new designs and hopefully I will post other things in my life that inspire me. Do let me know if you particularly want me to write about something of interest to you that falls within my realm, I would love to hear from you.

To start us off, today I will blog about my latest inspired collection. I called it Mooka Links. Inspired from my recent trip to Australia for my daughter's graduation. I am sure some of you might have already seen some photos on Facebook ... which reminds me I have quite a few more to process and upload!

Mooka Links set

Most people think of Opals when they think of Australia, for me I think of Mookaite. Mookaite is a form of Jasper with beautiful earthy colours which is only mined in Australia from Mooka Creek in Western Australia. 'Mooka' is an Aboriginal word which means running water. Mookaite is sometimes referred to as Australian Jasper. Mookaite is a powerful healing stone that provide stability to one's perspective of life, helping make the right decisions based on objective knowledge, (Reference http://www.healingcrystals.com/Mookaite_Jasper_Articles_16.html)

The 'Links' part of the name symbolises my personal link back to Australia as well as describing the Byzantine chainmaille linking the gemstones. I lived in Australia for nearly twenty years and most of my immediate family are there - I therefore have many fond memories of the country. Hence my inspiration for focusing on an Australian gemstone.

Mooka Links Earrings
The set is made up of a pair of Byzantine Earrings and Bracelet. What beautiful gems these are - every stone is different and unique. I just love how nature makes colours work together - who would have thought mustards, browns, terracottas, taupes, pinks and whites would harmonise so well.

Mooka Links Bracelet
The Necklace features a stunning oval golden Tigerseye (which is reversible) as the focal pendant and has an extendable back cleverly incorporated into the design in order to allow the necklace to be worn at Matinee or Opera lengths. The gemstones are carefully colour graded to draw the eye to the focal point and each gemstone is linked by a Byzantine chain to create interest and texture.

Mooka Links Extendable back
Mooka Links Necklace
Mooka Links Tigerseye Pendant
I hope you are inspired and enjoyed reading about my Mooka LInks ensemble. The techniques involved are pretty straight forward, however if you would like details or have any questions on the techniques used, please do leave a comment or send me an email. I am more than happy to share and help where I can.

You can view more details on the entire Mooka Links ensemble here.

Until next time...

Today and everyday ... is an adventure!