Friday, August 29, 2014

Divine Handmade

Define handmade.
  1. made by hand, not by machine, and typically therefore of superior quality.
    "his expensive handmade leather shoes"

When we think about handmade goods, we often have the impression that it is of lesser quantity, more hours are being put into a piece of item and therefore, it is a one-of-a kind art piece.  

My love affair with handmade items started when I was a youngster, growing up in Hong Kong with not a lot of spending money.  I like browsing at the China Products Department Store in Hong Kong and admiring the arts and crafts from artisan of China.  It has been a fascinating experience and on top of that, the attractive price tag makes it possible for me to own them.  Handmade embroidery silk ballet flats, silk blouses with hand trimmed edges, delicate weaves of bamboo baskets, rosewood jewellery boxes with inlaid sea shells, hand painted fans, all so unique and special.

When I moved to Sydney, Australia, I got blown away by the aboriginal art. You have to see them with your own eyes to grasp the details and feel of it. 
I received much inspiration from the universe when I moved to Bangkok, Thailand.    This country is so resourceful and creative.  Since I love gemology, I can't help but noticed the vast opportunity of being able to get my hands on these fabulous gems at really reasonable price.
It was then that I started making my own jewellery for a past time hobby. Most people will be using plastic beads as a beginner but not me, I have to get all these lovely sapphires, rubies, silver beads, and create beautiful necklaces, pendants, belts, earrings for fun!  

Handmade might seem like a crafter's trade, but you will notice that a lot of the designer houses, like Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Van Cleef & Arpels, Salvatore Ferragamo, and the the list goes on have their own unique craftsmanship and skilled artisan who actually hand made their collection.  Each has a particular culture to their way of establishing their expectations and style.  If you own some of these labels, you will be able to tell the difference, in terms of quality, feel, and the durability of it.   It takes at least 40 hours for a master artisan to complete a Hermes bag.  It takes years of experience before a skilled worker can put together a pair of Ferragamo shoes.  It requires a particular expertise to create a beautiful Van Cleef & Arpel pendant.  I can talk about this topic forever, but all I can say is, we are in a world where everything is instant gratification, speedy output of data, quick supply of merchandise, and one thing, it is worth waiting for these Divine Handmade treasures!

Happy Day,
Anne - Bling Girl

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Four Seasons Closet

As I was sorting out my winter closet and organizing my other seasonal wardrobe, I realized that I tend to keep clothes that I do not wear as if they are vintage rose cut diamonds, and pretty soon, I created a hideous sight of unwanted items piled and taking over my closet.  How much clothing do one need in a lifetime?

If you are a fashion guru, you will be constantly introducing new ideas, designs and inspirations.  You will be the trendsetter for the world to follow.  You will lead the fashion scene without even a blink or thought of the consequence that might occur for the loyal fans' precious closet space and more.

I ponder and thought while I desire to be a fashionista (popular word), and would like to project a sassy outlook I honestly would love to avoid the continuous cycle of weeding out unwanted clothing and tiring hours of frustration deciding what to keep and what to give away.

Here is an interesting way to finish this off once and for all!  The Four Seasons Closet is a methodology for some and it could work for you.  Use the quarter system, as in the four seasons for Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.  Define the first five main colour that best suits your complexion for the year.  Notice, this is a yearly plan, your complexion will change annually depending on various situation, such as the country you reside in, lifestyle changes, aging, health, weight etc.

Set four spaces in your closet for the four seasons where you will have four pairs of pants, four dresses, four tops, four jackets, etc. in each season.  Guideline will be to have 16 pieces of basic garment to play around with.  You can also divide and share clothing across seasons, like Spring with Summer.  Maintain your own system based on your lifestyle needs.  Your collection should work for you both professionally and socially.

Build your collection with quality clothing and not disposable fashion wear.  These will be the backbone of your closet where you can rely on all the time without thinking too much.  You can say, these are the clothing that you will pack in your one suitcase if you need to get out of town in a hurry, LOL!

Try it out.  Experiment with your own unique additions and swap out clothing that doesn't do much for you every 6 months.  You will have a healthier closet after two years of seasonal adjustments.  You will also be able to manage you account better based on the frequency of your purchases for new clothing.

Happy Styling!

The Bling Girl

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Understand your Clutter

So excited about this particular topic - Understand your Clutter!  Why do people constantly have to deal with clutter.  Messy office, rooms, closets, anywhere with space.

Einstein at his desk

If you are like me, an avid workaholic, you will know that we are always on the go, working, tackling multiple tasks, and no time for small things like tidying.  As a matter of fact, we do have our own systematical way of filing our documents one on top of another on various locations of our desk, shelves, and somehow, only we ourselves know where to find them.  If anyone bother to tidy up our space for us, we will go bonkers with madness as we will be at a lost, no clue where the documents are after the place is decluttered.

Bingo, welcome to the club!  After years of attempting to keep at least one room tidy, I have decided to just keep one room untidy just to satisfy my wild side!  This is how I do it.

A.  Conquer one room at a time.  Do not try to organize your room, just start grouping things in sections.  Get a couple of large rubbish bins, throw away anything that you do not use into one and things you want to give away or donate into another.  Pile things that are in between, want and not want, confused pile.  Sort out the items of must haves.

B.  Start moving things out of the room.  Schedule your donation check point and save the date.

C.  Must have pile will be filtered, how badly do you want them.  In terms of clothing, this is another topic that will be touched upon on my other blog.   Back to the stuff, and document section.  Most of the time, we keep 90% of the things we do not really need.  Close your eyes and get rid of them.  Be fierce, just do it!

D.  Remainder of the confused pile, if you are confused, get rid of them.

E.  You will probably have a small pile left in your room.  Organize them in a box, or container and take a break.  

F.  Clear out the furniture you do not use, move things around until you see white space on walls, and unblocked space in front of windows.  This will clean up the room visually and create space even if you have the same number of furniture in the room.

Take a deep breath and pat your shoulder for a good day's job.  Schedule your calender to conquer the next room.  Keep doing this until all rooms have been organized.  What you will discover after all this is that you are able to keep your rooms tidy without much effort going forward.

I did mention I keep one room sort of untidy to balance my desire to clutter at times.  This helps a lot in terms of keeping me sane.  It is like having an occasional piece of chocolate while dieting, LOL!

Happy De-Clutter Day!  Yes, I created this day for our readers.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Chicago is beautiful and and so are you!!!  Happy Father's Day! 

When I was a kid, me and my Dad shared a lot of time together watching soccer games and hanging out on Sundays for morning cartoons.  He is the best, always gentle, and we will have conversations in a grown up manner, I was only starting to talk ... he actually recorded some of our early conversations and later on when I get older, I listened to them, it is just me babbling, with my father's gentle voice in the background encouraging me to continue talking.  That is why I grow up to be quite talkative, I keep telling my husband about it...

I remembered my father being always busy working, being out and about for business meetings, traveling, late hours socializing with customers from overseas, just never home.  To be able to spend time with my father is beyond precious.  If I have to count the hours I spent with my father, I think it will take less than a short while to figure that out.  I learned from my father the good work ethics and discipline one must have to be able to sustain in this world.

Now that my father has passed away for almost ten years plus, I felt that it is not as hard to talk about him anymore.  The lost of my father took away a large part of me and left me with a huge void.  Growing up, I always turn to my father for business advice, and will run things by him first before making any big decisions.  He is the one person that I can count on and look up to.  

The day he left, I still could not believe the fact that he has moved on and I still make the mistake of taking up the phone whenever I needed advice to call him, just briefly enough to realize that he will not be there on the other end of the line.  

My father knows that from my very young years that I have a love for jewellery, and so he encouraged that passion by giving me my first diamond ring on my 16th birthday.  I still wear it. On my 18th birthday, he gave me a strand of cultured pearl necklace, and a pearl solitaire ring.  I kept them well.  Sometimes people said a girl's impression of how their future husband should be is a reflection on their own father's personality.  I believe it is true.  My husband is gentle, kind, loving, hard worker, smart and he often surprises me with presents.  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


RED IS BACK! Red is one of those colour spectrum that can grasp the audience's attention at a glance.  Provoke emotions of passion, and beyond.  It is a fiery colour, dominant, commander of all.  It brightens the dullest assembly, and it can overwhelm tranquility.  This colour is normally worn as a sparkler for adorning a little black dress or blend in with a theme.

Recently there are lots of red on the media.  Models wear bright red lips and contrast with plain to clear make-up.  Movie artists wear different shades of red on their lips paired with casual or formal attires. Sensuous and striking at the same time.

I have loved the colour red for a long time.  My love affair with red dated back to my first lipstick application with my Mom's cosmetic collection.  It is so feminine and appealing.  I was a youngster so putting on bright red lipstick in front of the mirror when no one is around is a big adventure.  I think it actually boosted my confidence as a young girl, planted the seed of femininity, fatal attraction complex and really that is so cool!  Red brightens your complexion and draws in energy from around you.  Try and experiment with different shades of red to find the best match for your skin tone.  One tip, do not apply red lipstick together with heavy eye make-up.  It could be quite the opposite of being attractive!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

L A C Y   S U M M E R


SUMMER in Chicago, HAPPINESS at last!  Feel like singing and lounging in the sun.  I had a great Memorial Day long weekend.  The weather was lovely and I have been staying outdoor all the time.  Lots of BBQ and drinks!  Great alfresco breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I just did not want to stay indoor anymore. FREEDOM!  

Great weather and cool breeze calls for some proper attire - LACE tops, white, pink, blue, yellow, everything lace, ladies!  The Age of Innocence on steroid!  What lace outfit does to the female population is purity to the next level.  When a woman put on white lace, it pronounce femininity, innocence and oh so sexy.  

Yes, it is see through in a way, so wear something pretty inside as well.  Layer your lace on lace.  Please, do not clash the colours.  White on white, and so forth.  Keep it airy, and simple.  Match with shorts, cross-backs, show your assets and make eyes turn.

Lacy Summer is the way to go!

Stay sexy and lacy!


Useful information about the history of lace:

Thursday, May 15, 2014

STYLE PHILOSOPHY - Are Personal Stylists for Celebrities Only?

Why are more and more people hiring personal stylist?  The answer is simple!  People get buried in their everyday rut, and most of us, believe it or not, have been either pulled along by all the magazines and media broadcast of what we should wear to losing our sensitivity to what would look good on us.

Shows like "What not to wear", "Rachael Zoe's bravo show, and "Project Runway" inspired many people to look at the idea of having a personal stylist help with their image makeover.  The scope of the clientele of a personal stylist is well rounded.  We think only celebrities need the help of a personal stylist, well think again. 


Doctors who wears their white gown all day, they need to smart up for social time. They will definitely catch the attention of others by mentioning their profession, but that doesn't take them far enough to meet potential partners.

Teachers will work miracles if they will dress more chic.  Your students will see you as an example and will pay more attention to you.

Social Workers can get some style therapy besides working all day giving their best attention to others.  With all the positive energy drained, adding something cheery to their wardrobe goes a long way.                         

You might think florist don't need anything sassy with all the multi-color florals surrounding them.  On the contrary, florist needs to set themselves apart from their environment and not get lost in the shop!

Diligent office worker hiding behind the desk and the computer can spice it up with some great ensemble.  When you look good, you feel good and who cares who is looking!

There are lots of professions that can get some style makeover tips from our personal stylist and whatever you do, even a stay-at-home mom can use some extra omph to their style philosophy.

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Happy styling!