Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Swap Present

It was a long weekend, but I had an amazing time at the Christmas Fair. Met wonderful people, both creators of beautiful things and appreciators :) Thanks so much for coming and stopping by the Jasmin Blanc stall, I loved having you there and I appreciate it more than you know...

A post on all that will follow soon, but for now I want to brag show you all the goodness that I received in the mail today. The package arrived from the very talented Cecilia from Vixy Blu, and I am not going to lie to you, for more than 5 minutes I was staring and admiring her beautiful packaging like a child in a toy-store (everything in the box was packed individually)! More about that you can see on her blog, she shares tutorials as well, so I am sure you will love it!

I absolutely love everything you sent me, Cecilia, but most of all I fell in love with your hand-painted gift tags, and as selfish as it sounds I want to keep them all for myself (which I naturally won't). Thank you so, so very much for your present, I feel like I received enough love, to last me through this very busy week I have ahead of me! :)


The Christmas Swap was organized by Revista Atelierul.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Craft Fair - Jasmin Blanc at Cluj Napoca

Those who already know Jasmin Blanc also are aware of the fact that I participate at this Christmas Fair every single year starting from the very first edition, and I can safely say it is my favorite one! The place is right, the timing is right, the people are kind and the vendors are talented! What more is there to say! Come see for yourself!

Where: Turnul Croitorilor (Baba Novac 35), Cluj Napoca
When: 11:00-18:00 15-16 December 2012


If you stop by, please come and say hello, I would love to meet you!
See you there!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Meet Bruce

Before coming to Cluj I had one last-minute custom cat to finish. A sweet little pink nosed one named Bruce!
Isn't he cute?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Snapshots from today: Workshop love

I am home! I feel clay among my fingers and my heart is overflowing with happiness...

Here are some shots from today, which marks the first day after 3 month of London, when I can hide in my workshop, listen to Christmas music and leave everything behind. When I am working with this beautiful mud of mine, I feel like floating, and especially today, I just couldn't stop smiling!


Sleep tight, sweet friends!
Can't wait for tomorrow to come! :)
Love,
Erika

Ps. Did you notice the tall cats? Are you curious? Special and oh so exciting surprise! Soon to come :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Destination: HOME



December is a busy and excitingly full month, full of all kinds of fairs and markets, full of friends, and childhood memories, full of family time and delicious cakes. And I wouldn't miss all this for the world, so I flew home on Saturday. No matter where I am in this big and wonderful world of ours, I always come home for this special time of year...
So here I am. Surrounded by the people I love.

Now it is a little harder though. Because G. has to work right until Christmas, so he will fly in just in time for Christmas (he will be my Christmas present, haha). But things are never perfect, so we will have to make the best of what we've got!

I am excited about everything and delighted to share all my joy with you!

Happy December dear friends!

Love,
Erika

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

newest member of the custom cat family

I woke way before the sun... And not without reason! I had a wonderful day ahead of me and I really was ready to embrace it all.


I had lots on my to do list, but most of all I had the pleasure to paint another custom cat pendant, and with that my most challenging one so far. But I loved it, and I am so happy to have had the opportunity. When I first came up with the idea of personalizing my mono-chromatic cat pendants I never imagined that it would be this much fun...

So meet Fiz-gig, my lovely friends! The newest member of the custom cat family!


Please note, that the listing for a custom cat pendant with sterling silver chain will be up until Thursday (29/11), and will not be available until the end of January, 2013. So hurry up, if you still want to receive yours this year!

Meow and sleep tight!
Love,
Erika

Sunday, November 25, 2012

time flies



Can you believe it is already Sunday, and we can now greet the last week of November. Not to mention, I am leaving London in 5 days. It is all so great. Minus the moving, that I had enough of over the past couple of years and I never ever though that I would actually get to say this ever, but I it would be so nice to experience something constant. A place of my own. A roof and some walls is all I'm asking for...

Enjoy November while you still can!
I know I will :)
Love,
Erika

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Newwwww in Le Petit Knit

Remember how I told you, that I was waiting for a package from my partner? Well, last Friday went to pick it up and over the weekend I managed to schedule a little shoot, so hurry up and head over to Le Petit Knit :)

Here's a little sneak peek...


Hand-knitted in luxurious and fluffy mohair yarn, they are all made in various lacy designs, in delightful colors... Perfect to wear over an evening cocktail dress or by day over your office outfit. Practical and dashingly beautiful in the same time!


Love,
Erika and Anna Maria from Le Petit Knit

Ps. To read about the makers of Le Petit Knit, click HERE

Monday, November 19, 2012

How to add fringes to a shawl (or any knitted/crocheted work)


Adding fringe to a piece of knitted or crocheted work will not only make it look finished, but can also update an old shawl or scarf and make it into something new.
Today I will show you one method to make and add the fringes to your clothing.



First of all you will need you knits or crochets, whatever you want to add fringes to. You will need matching yarn, a crochet hook, a pair of scissors and a storage box lid (or anything similar).



The object you will use to line up the yarn should be as wide as you want your fringes to be.

Then you will want to just wrap your yarn around the lid (or whatever object you are using) many many times. You could also count how many times you wrap it and then calculate how many fringes that makes, but I cannot be bothered with such math problems... It all depends on whether you are a counting person or the one who goes with the odds :)



When you have lots of it wrapped around your lid take your scissors and cut the yarn at the bottom.



Decide how thick or thin you want your fringes to be. I used 6 pieces of yarn for each fringe I made. And then I lined them up nicely, so that when I start adding them to my work I can do it continuously.


Remember that it is going to be double the size it is now, since we are bending each bunch into halves.



Then take your knit work and decide what the distance will be between each fringe.

Grab your crochet hook and from the wrong side of your knit work push it through the hole, yarn over the entire fringe in the middle, slightly pull it through and then make a knot.

And continue til the end of your work.
Curious about my shawl? Check out more pictures at Le Petit Knit!


I hope that helped :)
Stay cozy!
Love,
Erika.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Color block crochet collars

Remember these half done collars I showed you a while ago? Well now they are all nice and ready in Le Petit Knit! Go on and check them out, colorful and trendy, it makes me smile just looking at them. Joy around your neck, how sweet is that? :)


Which is your favorite?
Love,
Erika

Ps. I am excited about receiving a package from my Le Petit Knit partner (aka. mother). A box full of beautiful lacy knits, boleros and shawls, oh it gives me the happy-shivers! And I will squeeze in a photo shoot as soon as they arrive to show them to you! I am very lucky to have such a talented hobby-business partner!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

sweet detail

So I have already let you in on my little secret a couple of days ago, but the truth is, listening to Christmas music did not happen just that one time... See, the thing is, I am leaving London on the 1 of December, and Gaspar will not be home with me til Christmas (and maybe not even then, but this I don't even want to imagine, due to his job change), so we decided to, as silly as this might sound, name November as our Christmas month together this year, so we have put up Christmas-lights in our bedroom and we are surprising each other with small gifts almost every other day (which was not planned, but came naturally). So then please forgive me, if I sneak some Christmas posts in on this blog, way ahead of time... :) You will, won't you? :)

And that being said, I have a question for you! Do you have your traditional Christmas sweets, ones that you prepare each year? Or do you just gather new recipes throughout the year to make for Christmas? I would love to hear what your favorite Christmas cake/cookie recipes are... Either way, here is a bit of inspiration for you!



For more recipes check out my Pinterest board

Happy Sunday!
Love,
Erika

PS. Congratulations Julie, you are the WINNER of my November giveaway! :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

early mornings...

It is amazing what a bit of schedule change can do...
Gaspar changed jobs and he now has to wake up at 5:30 every morning. Naturally he goes to bed at a reasonable hour to be able to cope with that. So in order for the two of us to be "on the same page", I decided to adopt his schedule and work at that. I mean for me, it is all the same, I place my work hours (read: the entire day) whenever/however I want to. And I was stunned how much more effective my work is. I get so much more done in a shorter amount of time. 

I never thought I would ever say this (me, the night owl), but I love it! I feel like it makes me work smarter, not harder and more. So great!

So anyway here's some of the things I did yesterday morning. Happy weekend! Do you have anything fun planned for it?


(notice my to-do lists?)

Love,
Erika

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Natural Elements


The ever so promised new collection is finally available to everyone! I worked hard to make it happen, so you can only imagine how excited I am about releasing it!

My jewelry collection -Natural Elements - depicts the four essential elements: earth, air, water and fire. Elements, which in ancient times were considered to be the core of the Universe, and thus being the structural building bricks of human beings, and living things. At those times wise men studied nature to understand the world better, the world in which they were living in, how it worked and how they were the perfect reflection of it.

Today, most people are so far off from observing. People want to participate, to be active, to rush, to move, to be in this cycle of things happening, they are afraid of being left out of something, so they cannot take a step back...

The vital step back!




In our world today simplicity and relying on what nature has to offer, and respecting that, is often overlooked and disregarded.

Is all this a problem? Yes, in fact I believe it is a great problem today! And if you think I have the solution, then you might as well just stop reading this, because I don't. 



What I do know though is, that it is good to take that step back. The more we close are mouth and instead open our ears (read: hearts), the more we get to know about the Earth we inhabit. And the more we get to know nature, we realize that by comparing it to ourselves we will understand each other and ourselves a whole lot better. 

The four elements: earth, air, fire and water are those that stand at the core of the universe and that of human beings. The amount in which the elements are present within you always varies from person to person, and this may help us understand the uniqueness of our own individuality

People who predominantly have Water personalities tend to be emotional, intuitive and nurturing, but can at times be sensitive and moody too. A preponderance of Fire signs planets exemplify high spirits, great faith in self, enthusiasm, and direct honesty. The heavy concentration of the Earth element within you suggests that you are cautious, conventional, and dependable. The preponderance of Air signs suggest a strong emphasis on thought, ideas and intellectual pursuits having varied interests. 




The jewelry pieces of this collection are designed to inspire you in finding the way back to your inner world, to reconnect you with what is truly important.

This collection relies on the incidental and the accidental to form and deliver the message. Fusing together diverse materials and techniques, hand-sculpting the craters carefully, one by one, Natural Elements was born. This collection seeks to find the equilibrium between the meaningful, the wearable, the delicate, the fragile and the beautiful.



Timeless statement pieces to bring you closer to who you really are! 


Shop collection HERE

Pompom bracelet - Tutorial



I started out crocheting a striped collar for Le Petit Knit this morning, while drinking my coffee and then I thought, how fun would it be to make a "striped" pompom bracelet! So I did!



Here's how to:

- for the pompoms you will need: two different colors of yarn, a fork and a pair of scissors.
- for the bracelet: sewing needle, yarn, jewelry chain, split hoops, a lobster clasp and jewelry pliers.

There are probably dozens of techniques to pompom making, from handmade cardboard circles to mass produced pompom kits, but this time, you will just have to run out to your kitchen and grab a fork. Then wrap yarn around it (the more yarn you wrap, the thicker the pompom will be). Tie a piece of your yarn around the middle - at this point, you will have something like a bow. You want to tie it really tightly, because otherwise your pompom will fall apart. Then cut the yarn at each side and slide the yarn ball off the fork.


It looks uneven at this point, I know, but you can cut it into a perfect ball shape with your scissors. Enjoy trimming (this is my favorite part).


To make the bracelet, first you want to take your sewing needle and yarn, push it through all three pompoms, then push it right back, loosely, and then tie the ends together. You will have little "yarn-hoops" at each end, into which you will adjust the chain with the clasp and the split metal hoop.



Easy as that!


Hope you enjoy making this!
Love,
Erika

PS. Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Is it?

Is it ever too early to dream about the warmth that Christmas preparations hold within? I might have sneaked in one or two (three, four, five) Christmas carols among other songs I listed to today, while working... Oh I am more and more excited with each day, as we get closer to December... (more so, because I am going home on the 1st)!



Sweet daydreaming to you!
Love,
Erika

Thursday, November 1, 2012

GIVEAWAY - "Earth" jewelry set for him and her



hey friends,

I am so excited to announce this giveaway I have been planning to hold prior to presenting you the newest Jasmin Blanc collection called "Natural Elements". The prize consists in a pair of cuff links, a pair of stud earrings and a gorgeous necklace, all of them being part of the new collection.

This new collection relies on the incidental and accidental to form and deliver the message. The jewelry one lucky person will win is made in ceramics combined with fused glass; the metal components are plated with silver.

To win this amazing jewelry set, all you have to do is:

- LIKE Jasmin Blanc Boutique on facebook
- SHARE the giveaway picture on your FB wall

The giveaway is open worldwide and closes 10 November at midnight, London time (GMT)! The winner will be announced the following day (chosen by random.org), so keep your eyes open and tell your friends :) Good luck!

Love,
Erika

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween! (or, Gaspar's first Jack-o-Lantern) +DIY



Happy Halloween!

Amazing, right? I could not believe it when Gaspar told me this was the first Jack-o-lantern he has ever had and made, for that matter. We decided not to buy any kits or patterns and use tools lying around the house to carve our cute little pumpkin. It did take a bit longer, but we weren't in any rush after all. It was not only the end result that mattered, it was also a lot of fun making it!


I believe there is no right or wrong way of doing the carving, you just have to find the methods that work best for you. We didn't want to spend on kits and special tools or patterns, so we used Gaspar's penknife (which is quite sharp), but you can use any kind of sharp knife you have lying around in your kitchen drawer, a spoon, a washable marker, a thick sewing needle and a precision knife.

1. Cut the "cap" off , inserting the knife in a 45 degree angle.
2. Take the cap off.
3. Clean the cap off and take out all the seeds from the inside of your pumpkin.
4. You should now have and empty pumpkin with a lid.
5. Draw your pumpkin-face with the marker. If you don't know what to draw, just google jack-o-lanterns, that should do it! You will see really artistic designs (some really blew me away!), but there is plenty of simple inspiration as well.
6. With a thick and long needle start punching your drawing out along the lines. This will make it easier to cut the parts out.
7. And lastly, take your precision cutter and start connecting the dots made with the needle in the previous step. When you are done cutting, carefully push out each part. You could even work in sections (this is what I did, when cutting the mouth), that should make it easier and you won't have to worry about missing a tooth in the end :)

(Gaspi pretending to be a pumpkin head. Yeah! I know!)

And yesterday, when the electricity went out in the house, and it got darker outside as well as inside, we just lit Bob (because that is the name Gaspar gave to our pumpkin) and a couple of other candles and enjoyed the calm and silent time until the UK electrics arrived and fixed the fuse. :)

Have you carved any pumpkins this year? I would love to see them!

Happy Halloween!
Trick or treat?

Love,
Erika

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A pastel love story - Ceramic jewelry


It all started with a girl's (that's me!) weakness for pastel colors...
And then some gypsum hearts were shaped and shaped again, in three different sizes, and soon after, this series of pastel hearts were born. The pastel colors comes from the ceramic material itself (which I color in my workshop), glazed with transparent glaze for protection and gloss. The white polka dots come out clearly in relief, thus forming a textured feel to the touch. A true candy, wouldn't you say?



Playful brooches found HERE in medium size. Should you be one of the statement jewelry wearers out there, then you will surely love this size HERE!


Delicate love earrings found HERE
These ones have sweet little flowers on them, instead of polka dots. Very feminine and delicate. While making them, I was thinking how sweet would they look at a wedding, for the bridesmaids to all wear pretty heart earrings, symbolizing all the love that is proudly presented to family and friends by the newlyweds! What a fantastic way to celebrate that!





Then back to polka dots again. Tiny stud earrings found HERE. Custom colors available!


And last but not least, here are some glossy plain pastel hearts, a subtle feminine design for those of you ladies who like to keep things minimal...and fab! You can find these sweet hearts HERE!

For other botanical brooches and more just go HERE!

At first site, for the first time, or for the 10th time with the same man... Celebrate falling in love, ladies! 

Love,
Erika


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Chevron "penne" necklace - DIY



Hi everyone!

It is DIY time again, I don't know about you, but over in my corner of the world I prefer to stay indoors, sip hot coffee and get onto crossing out things from my to do list, which is naturally too long to finish, but I am doing quite good! But since the weather is a bummer, and you are probably looking for stuff to do, here's an idea! Make yourself a necklace from Italian penne, something your probably have in your pantry! HERE's how! (tutorial is in Romanian, but the pictures are explicit enough, should you have any questions, just leave them in the comment box bellow this post)

Happy weekend!
Love,
Erika

Monday, October 22, 2012

on my Fall Wishlist


Perhaps it would be a tad bit early to write to Santa, so therefore, dear fall fairies, I would like an Irish cottage to live in (but if you're short on money the clay miniature will do just fine), a Jasmine scented solid perfume, a cozy cardigan, the glaze recipe book written by Emmanuel Cooper, geometric stacking rings, pretty vintage shoes from the '40s, a brown dress, pottery bowls for my yummiest fall recipes, a crown ring to adorn my hands with, a citrine  necklace (since I just found out how healing it is for Gemini to wear this particular gemstone) and this stylish crochet bag from Yokoo. All in brown, tan, drab and well, the perfect colors for this magical season! Oh, sweetest fall fairies, how nice would it be...

Love,
Erika


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Jasmin Blanc - the wedding boutique

Well, you know, it all started with a little crush on making ceramic flowers, and the next thing I knew, I was putting together a whole wedding collection. Until now I was showing and selling them in my Jasmin Blanc Etsy shop, but after some thinking I decided to open up a separate shop just for my wedding items, ranging from hair accessories to cuff links, from engagement ring boxes to keepsake boxes and bridal jewelry. This all happened just right when I realized I needed a bit more consistency. Besides, it is so much fun to browse in a shop where you can find lots of amazing wedding related items. I know I love that! And I hope you do too, so head over to Jasmin Blanc Wedding and take a look for yourself!!!



Love,
Erika

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hyde Park - snapshots

sweet escape...until the weather -bless her soul- decided to switch from being moody to coming down with a torrential rain. And ironically we were the farthest we could be from any of "our" metro stations.  ...Yay!

But anyway, before the entire park had turned into a huge pond, we had a nice walk, trying to take a photo of some friendly squirles, fooling around with leaf eyebrows, kicking the colorful fallen leaves and watching a swan hurt the girl who was going to feed it from her palms.

Hyde Park is really beautiful, I just wish there was ONE time when we could take a walk in the warm sunshine instead of pouring rain...


What about you? Any fun plans for the weekend? 

Love,
Erika.

P.S. I just listed new goodies to Le Petit Knit, including a cozy striped cowl and a Minnie mouse headband! Don't miss out on the fun! ♥