Monday, September 19, 2011

Not For The Faint-Of-Heart!

I spotted this on DeMilked and thought it is one of the coolest things I've ever seen.  It certainly could be quite overwhelming for the claustrophobic.  But if I were to have the opportunity to experience this, I would pop a Xanax and take the dive!  And when dining, I think I will order turf and skip the surf - let's not anger the natives....

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Say It Ain't So!!

Unfortunately, it was SO, so.

I was a complete couch potato this Sunday.  I'm finally sitting at my desk, thinking about my tasks for the week ahead and groan inwardly at the amount of tv binging I did.  Hubby was out of town on business and a girlfriend of mine came over this morning, bearing two, fresh baguettes and some burrata cheese and we binged on carbs, fat and Harry Potter dvds all day.  It was lovely!  But there is a little bit of guilt setting in right now, so I'm going to make a big, fat list of to-dos as penance!

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Big Ups!

I hate waiting for deliveries.  I am one of those people who will sit by the window all day, looking out, if I could.  Every time I hear the sound of a truck passing by, I will pop right up and out of my seat to see if I can spot a glimpse of brown and yellow.  Will the package come?  WHEN will it come?  Will it get sent to the wrong place?  Will I be in the bathroom and miss the knock of the delivery man?  What if I wait all day and the package doesn't come?  And then on top of all that, I get grumpy at feeling like I've been held hostage all day to the house, waiting for something.

Our "fancy" little neighborhood is not immune to crime.  Last year, I had a package delivered while I was out of town for a night.  The UPS man tossed the box over the metal gate.  By the time I got home, all that was left was an open gate and empty box.  Since that experience, I religiously track shipments and arrange my schedule so that I'd be home when I'm expecting.

Today's package is a doozy.  I ordered some new equipment and materials.  Going to take a step into the metal clay world, with options in bronze and steel and copper working.  Yes, there is a small kiln that is due today.  I am so excited and so nervous.  First, about the delivery.  Second, everything else after that. I think I think too much and that's part of my problem.  But that's one of the many things I do and I just can't help it.  Nor can I help how rambling today's post is.

I think I hear a truck.  I need to go check...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday's Meow-Mix

via: The Cherry Blossom Girl
Sometimes, you just want to slow down to a walk, instead of trying to keep up with time.

Are we really almost done with August already?  I've only recently started writing "2011."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Time Intensive, Cost Intensive.... and skills gained: priceless.

Last Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I took a fabrication 1 class through the Revere Academy in San Francisco.  I have this weird thing, that no matter what kind of class or workshop I attend, I get tremendous stage-fright.  Will the teacher like me?  Will the other students be nice?  Will anyone talk to me during breaks?  Will I pass or fail the class?

Obviously, I have some unresolved school-day issues.

I shouldn't have sweated at all!  The teacher was fantastic and the class filled with people who WANTED to be there and who were professional and earnest and wanted to learn.  It was a funny mix of people; some of them even signed up for the class because they needed a "vacation" from their regular day job.  Some people just had free time.  Others, like me, were interested in learning skills that would be applicable to their work.

So, for three days, the class went from 9am to 5pm.  It was INTENSE.  I was so pleased to find out how much I knew and how many things I had been doing incorrectly.  I left the workshop on Sunday night, feeling much more confident and inspired.  This week, I am "remodeling" my studio/workspace to resemble more of what I had been working in at Revere.

I also splurged and picked up some pretty tools...

Knew Concept Saw frame.  Was a pricey item, for a saw frame - but lightweight and easy to use.

Dead-blow mallet.  This little beauty has a hollow space between the two plastic ends and is partially filled with steel shot.  This allows you to exert more force on the item you are hammering, with less energy on your part.

Last but not least; my new Foredom flexshaft handheld rotary tool.  Happiness.  This beautiful piece of American machinery will allow me to drill, buff, polish, etc., et., to my heart's content.  I am looking forward to improving my use of this and to cut down the amount of time it takes me to finish pieces.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday's Meow-Mix

Last Friday, July 15th, was the official 1-year anniversary of Hsu-Lee Designs.  I had a little celebration and it was a brilliant evening filled with love, pride and the faces of so many people who believed in me and supported me.  Hubby gets the the biggest shout-outs; my going into business on my own and doing what I want to do was in fact, his idea.  There were friends at the party that I haven't seen in as much as 4, 5 years.  These people have seen me grow and develop my style and technique for making jewelry.  It was a pretty emotional evening.  I am happy to be doing what I am doing.  Isn't that one of the most important things in life?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Monday's Meow-Mix

Tanaka Who

Wait, is it really Wednesday already???

It's been a busy and happily-productive past couple of weeks.  I got to do a check-in with all of my stores, design ideas are popping into my head and I would love (like most of you all) to have an extra 10 hours in the day to do things.

But apparently my body has a different idea.  It seems like this year has been the worst year of allergies that I can remember.  And last week, though happy busy, was tinged with enough stress that it brought on another mild case of shingles.  That freakin' virus just won't let go!

So how do you balance being busy, productive, creative and "resting"?  I want to have years and years of creativity and productivity, so it makes sense to take care of my body as best as possible.  But when you're bursting with some energy and thoughts, you don't want to stop just because it's so late and cold at night that you can practically see your breath in the air...

AND - I don't even have a kid!  (besides my lovely husband).  It's just me + 1.  (a very special 1).  So, here's a little prop to those of you with kids, doing what you do.  No complaining out of me!


Thursday, June 30, 2011


I recently heard about a left-coast artist - Jim Denevan.  His work is beautiful, meditative and humbling.  Creating ephemeral designs in sand, ice or earth, these images are short-lived at the cycle of nature.  To me, it's humbling.  I love working with metals because I feel that they are lasting, to a degree.  The tangible nature of a piece of jewelry declares a permanence, that is until they are altered or destroyed by man.  The idea of creating art within the boundaries of what nature provides, with the knowledge that nature will take-away, speaks volumes about the acceptance of how life IS both permanent and impermanent.  There is always something more powerful than you and despite how controlled you may be in the minutiae of daily life, you will always bend to the will of nature.

But enough of my meandering.  Here are some images for you to feast on...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I'm back!  Well, I've been back from vacation for almost three weeks now.  But of course it's been hectic and busy and I've fallen out of the blogging routine.  Taking a moment to read all the blogs I've missed reading while out of the country and it's a humbling fact: life goes on and on.  Even when I'm not around.  = )

It was a fabulous 1-week in London (my first time) and 2-weeks in France (Loire Valley and Burgundy).  I've been terribly behind on processing pictures.  Primarily because they don't make a lot of sense.  See, I'm not one of those people who will capture images of all the "sights" because sometimes I don't even visit all those sights.  I'm a touring, anti-tourist.  Hubby is way more diligent about seeing the sights and attractions, whereas I'm more of an indolent, meanderer.  But I WILL get to those photos at some point.  In the meanwhile, here's an image that makes me miss France terribly:

lovely house on the outskirts of Sancerre, overlooking vast stretches of vineyards

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


it takes BIG talent, to create art this little...  (i don't know who the artist(s) is, these images came in an email from a dear friend.  these are just too lovely NOT to share!)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday's Meow-Mix

Ick.  Feeling not so good this Monday...  And travel coming up.  Ugh.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I am going to have a big yard/garden and I will have chickens.  And I may have found the perfect coop for them!  Check out these awesome Nogg coops by Matthew Hayward and Nadia Turan

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday's Meow-Mix

Happy Monday.  Happy to finally have my wireless internet back!

Tanaka Who

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Works in the Works...

Working with a lot of brass lately.  Many suppliers market it is NuGold (aka: poor man's gold, jewelry bronze, merlin's gold).  It's a lovely, matte gold color and as the name of it implies, used as a gold "substitute."  I've been noticing a higher demand for gold-toned jewelry here on the West Coast, which is unusual since gold jewelry is more common and often associated with the East Coast.  Of course today, gold has also hit an all-time high.  It's not very affordable or practical to play with and design with.

I'm getting used to working with brass.  I want to learn how to do some soldering with it (I have to brush up on my soldering skills in general - and I'm a jewelry artist!!!  Shhhh - don't tell!).  But it's beautiful.  It polished differently, it shines differently.  Heat brings out different lovely warm shades and it also patinas differently.  Also, wounds inflicted by brass heal much more slowly than silver.  Hmmm.  It's beautiful, tough and rough!

I also feel like I'm growing into a third generation of jewelry style.  I've created a few new pieces that have yet to be named.  I like the general category titled "MMA" for Mixed-Metal-Arts.  My husband argues that it will remind people of MMA as in Mixed-Martial-Arts.  I think I like that, though.  Rough, tough and with its own particular beauty...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday's Meow-Mix

Busy times.  Busy times....

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mt. Tamalpais Hike

Hubby and I went for a little, oh - 7mile hike this past Saturday.  May not sound much to some people we know, but it created a bit of soreness for me the following day.  The weather was made-to-order; lovely blue skies with a slight coolness to the air.  We hopped in the car, stopped in the Marina to pick up some sandwiches and water and made our way to Kentfield.  We ended up parking a mile away from the main entrance of the park (yes, that is factored into our 7miles!) and proceeded to trek through lovely hiking terrain.  There were beautifully mossy trees, wildflowers (including an abundance of goldenrod that perfumed the air, along with the bay trees).  We saw little lizards and happy, fat bumblebees.  It was glorious!