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DIY Jade at Lu-Fung Jade Workshop, Hualien, Taiwan

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My mum and her auntie pattern. Haha.

Lu Fung Official Website
Address: No. 91 Zhongxiao Street, Shoufong Township, Hualien, Taiwan.
Email: lufung97@yahoo.com.tw
Tel: +8863 865 2323

After Jade hunting at Baibao creek shared in the previous post, we went to Lu Fung Jade Workshop (如豐琢玉工坊) nearby to have our raw jade made into accessories. If you didn’t bring your own Jade, you can also pick some rough ones at the workshop to try DIYing your own jade accessories at a fee. You get to take them home.

This workshop is funded by the government to retain the heritage of jade booming industry back in the 1920s – 1940s. Back then, Taiwan jade was mined by the Japanese and was extremely famous around the world. In the town where Baibao creek is, many families survived on Jade crafts and the town was prospering. But after years of prosperity, the town got complacent and the industry died. In order to preserve this part of the history, the government support Lu Fung Jade workshop which allowed visitors to learn more on Jade processing.

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Above is a quick recap of what we picked!

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Here’s how to differentiate a jade versus a rock, jade allows light to penetrate!

There are five steps in the process.

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Step 1: Cutting them to reveal more details and characteristics of the raw jade. In the above picture, the raw jade is huge and that is the size you will pick when you go after Typhoon season!

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Remember the big green one we picked? The Jade craft master cut it into half to reveal the jade inside. Isn’t it amazing? What looks like a rough rock revealed the beauty of the jade inside! The master advised us to keep the jade as per the way it is. After cutting it into halves, it looks like a rugged jade mountain paperweight.

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Step 2 & 3: It involves the designing and cutting of the rock to the desired shape.

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Step 4: Smoothing out the jade using sand paper like material. This is really tough! While trying it out, I hear my fingers getting scratched!

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We are not very good students. We really suck at it. Haha.

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Trying hard to focus on it but still sucks.

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Gave up and got the master to do it!

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Step 5: Polishing and Buffering the jade using horse skin. This step we left it entirely to the master as it requires great technique and tolerance for heat!

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Step 6: Assembling and adding finishing touch.

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That’s my final product! A teardrop shape keepsake! The transformation is amazing! There is a Chinese Proverbs which goes

“玉不琢不成器,人不学不成才” which is translated as “Jade must be carved and polished before it becomes an ornament, man must be educated before he can achieve great things.” and yes, isn’t it true!

Review of Twistband Hair ties

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A while back, I spotted these Twistband retailing at Watsons and couldn’t resist buying one of them! I hate it when my hair has this HUGE bump at the back whenever I let down my hair after a day of tying them up in a ponytail! I tried those hairbands that looks like springs but it wasn’t tight enough for me. So when I came across this, it was a godsend.

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It claims to not create any dent when you tie your hair and it was founded by a mother in the states. Here’s a little history about Twistband which is extracted from their site.

“Like all great inventions, Twistband was born out of necessity. After having a baby, Jessica Frandson grew tired of having her hair tugged by the little one and quickly learned the least painful hairstyle for a new mom was a ponytail. She made sure to always have her hair up and kept a second band on her wrist as a backup. Traditional hair bands hurt her head and her wrist, so she twisted a soft piece of elastic trim to hold back her hair, thus creating the first Twistband. A few weeks later she was looking to write down a phone number and in the absence of a notepad, she wrote the number onher Twistband, and the custom message Twistband was born. In 2009 she officially launched the Twistband brand and began selling the product at retail stores nationwide. Jessica serves as the president of Twistband, overseeing all aspects of the emerging brand.”

– Source: Twistband

It doesn’t help that it comes in these pretty prints!

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The only and major setback? It is too pricey and is definitely overpriced! The printed ones is priced at SGD 10.90. But I had to buy them to try it on my own! So I got the basic ones at SGD 6.90!

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I tried it, had my hair tied up with these for five hours and there is still a little bump. But probably five times smaller than the usual bump! I still love it! I will be using them whenever I have a dinner date or an event which requires me to let my hair down!

I did a simple googling and found this posts which teaches us how to DIY these twistbands by using Fold-Over Elastic (or FOE) material! It is incredibly easy if you manage to get the material, you can probably find them in Spotlight or Chinatown! Also, I will suggest burning the ends of this band to prevent it from fraying!

So will I pay for it? Yes I guess but I will buy one pack and use it preciously and try to see if I can get FOE to make some on my own! If it is cheaper, say SGD 3, I will buy plenty to use it every other day and save the trouble to DIY!

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This is how I keep my favourite and frequently use tote and sling bags! Converting a hole in a wall into this! How about you?

Review of Silver Jewellery Making Workshop by JDMIS

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Remember a while back where I shared about a Groupon deal by JDMIS to make pretty silver jewellery? I can’t believe there are not many online reviews about this workshop! I went for the 3 hours class during the Easter weekend and enjoyed the class thoroughly! I always wonder how people in Etsy create pretty and customisable jewelries and am really excited to learn this new type of precious metal medium – Art Clay – where creating jewelries is almost as easy as messing with Playdoh!

I got to take home three pieces of fine silver (999 silver) and not just regular sterling silver (aka 925 silver). Fine silver is generally softer and more malleable than sterling silver and some people are worried that it will break. But we tested the silver by throwing it around and it is still intact.

Here are some pictures I took during the class. My phone died midway so I didn’t manage to take the entire process.

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The tools we used and no we can’t take home the tools in the Groupon class! We only paid SGD88!

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The ring I created. A rope knot ring.

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This is the last picture I took before my phone died. A pendant for my sister and a pendant for myself. After moulding them into shape like a playdoh (just that you got to do it very quickly!), you will have to dry it, trim it, fire it, and scrub it before it turns into this! Ba bling!

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Am I talented or what! Haha.

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In the class, you are able to make at least one ring and one pendant out of the 10 grams of Art Clay provided. But because I made a thinner ring, I had excess Art Clay to make another pendant! As for the design of the ring, it is really up to your creativity as long as it is rounded and follow a certain guideline. THe way you twist and turn it is up to you! As for the pendant, you can also either use a mold or a clay cutter (like those cookie cutter).

Two days after the class, I received a call from JDMIS (Jewellery Design and Management International School) to ask if I am interested in taking their Certificate in Creative Silver Modelling Techniques! Of course I’m interested! I had so much fun in the Groupon class but I’m broke. I can’t believe the certificate class is $2,500! If it is say $800, I will sign up for sure! That being said, the class includes all materials and tools! I’m so tempted, so so tempted. But I am also very broke.

I may really consider it if I ever become a stay home mum. This route is tough given my situation now but oh well. Selling customized jewellries on Etsy sounds too fun! But would I sign up again in the future, yes! Just for the fun of it! Will I recommend this class to my friends? A huge YES!

Perhaps I can get a scholarship for this new found interest? Haha. Any kind souls out there who is willing to sponsor this course for me to turn this interest into hobby and possibly a new business? Haha.

Temporary Tattoo on Various Surface

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I’m hoping to use Dottinghill’s temporary tattoo to make something like that, on a wood surface! Some people stick it on eggs! So pretty!

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Source: Young House Love

Dottinghill gave me some sample tattoos and if they don’t work, I might just stick it on me just for fun! Haha.

DYMO Embossing Labelmaker

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Source: By My Old School

I’m not sure about your era but during my childhood days, this gadget is very common in households or offices. If you find this familiar, we can probably guess your age! Haha. I remember we once own a DYMO in our family (and now I totally regret throwing it away because I so digging vintage now!) and we would label everything with this! Water bottles, pencil case, books, you name it, we got one on it! My sister and I had a lot of fun turning the wheel, clicking away and sticking random embossed labels in the house.

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Source: Here
It started with an all metal labeller.

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Source: Here

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Source: Here

DYMO is an American company that manufactures label makers among other things and it was founded in 1958 to produce handheld tools that use embossing tape. Over various decades, the company changed hand a couple of times and this manual labeller is slowly being faced out with electronic labeller. I would love to own a vintage DYMO one day!

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For now, I am just satisfied with my new gadget, a modern DYMO from our popular bookstore! I chose this because it looks more hardy and the additional wheels with cute fonts are hard to resist. It is three times the price of a Motex, another popular embossed label maker from Korea. This will be perfect in labelling Polaroids and doing random crafts and scrapbooks! I can’t wait!

Cloth, thread and buttons!

People’s Park Centre has always been known for having a wide range of cloth supplies but on top of that, there are also a simple sewing supplies store and a buttons store!

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Love everything polka dot!

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Granny prints can be pretty too! Wondering what’s my next sewing project after my Plush Fox Dolls!

Lye Nai Shiong
People’s Park Complex Food Center
#02-1018A, 32 New Market Road, (S)050032

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This store is tiny but it has got all that you need for a sewing project! The store owners are kind, friendly and genuine elderlies who are helpful too!

Sin Hwa Hung
32 New Market Road
#03-1104 People’s Park Food Centre S050032
Tel: 65350547

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Full metal ones which are heavier and pricer.

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They have metal, plastic and cloth buttons!

Another store that I like, a button shop! They carry a wide range of buttons and I especially love their gold vintage looking buttons. Apparently, these buttons are from Japan! I wanted to fix the buttons from an old jacket and have bought some brass buttons from Esty earlier (which I will share when it’s here!) but the store owner (not exactly friendly) shared that if the cloth is too light, full brass buttons may not hold up and may even tear the cloth over time! So I bought some light metal buttons at a cheap price just in case! I cannot resist gold. Hah.

If you are looking for sewing supplies, People’s Park Centre is a good place to start!

DIY: Hot Air Balloon Mobile

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If I have a kid, I would dress up the room with gender neutral decors. Isn’t these hot air balloons lovely! Looks like they are getting popular these days! Here’s the tutorial to make the above hot air ballon mobile!

Additional Plush Fox Doll

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I made a third plush fox doll for my granny! A big and fat one! I still owe my sister one but I got so tired with hand sewing the entire doll! J is buying a sewing machine for my birthday! Any recommendations for beginners? The last time I tried using a sewing machine was back in secondary school days during home econs. It was a disaster.

DIY Plush Fox Doll

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I read A Beautiful Mess regularly and I simply adore their DIY projects! One particular project caught my eyes in March and I had to bookmark it! Now I’m a proud creator and owner of two adorable Plush Fox Dolls! I picked up cotton fabric with vintage looking (aka grandma’s PJ prints which I love!) cloth from a random curtain shop in Clementi and two bags of polyfill stuffing! The cost price is cheap, with just under $30, I can make 3 fox toys but the labour is intensive. I don’t own a sewing machine and hand sew every stitch! It took me almost a day to finish one! Heh. A Beautiful Mess’s original fox toy looks better and mine just look like their long distance relatives. Haha. So far, only Jason and my sister likes it! I am going to make a third one for her, just because I love her. HAHA.