Monday, 31 August 2009


We have had a really busy weekend, we went all the way up to the Blue Mountains, to make sure we got real cold. I bought new red canvas shoes from K-mart for 8 dollars cause my feets where freezing.

As I assume you understand the above photo has nothing to do with the Blue Mountains, but I'm so very tired as I've worked untill now (9 pm) preparing for a presentation, so I can't come up with anything clever to say. So instead I'm showing a ring I made for A:s niece...

The silver bead swivvels...

Now, project runway, tea, chocolate and a sleep

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Be Square

Or rectagular..

Setting square or rectagular stones are far more complicated then setting round ones. When you sett a round stone, if the stone is small enough you only need to have one drill called a burr shaped either like a ball or like a conical shape to drill out the setting for the stone. If the stone is bigger, then you have to move the drill around the setting for the stone. But you can still use the drill (the one called a burr).

When you set square or rectagular stones, or any irregular shape like a pear drop, triangle, trillion or marquis shaped stone, you need to really work it. You basicly have to remove the inside of the setting at 45 degree angle using a hand saw or a file. This takes time and effort and results in saw cuts in your fingers...

But for some reason the result is always worth the work. Don't you think :-)..

This is the latest ring I set tonight. It's sterling silver with a Sky Blue bezel set Topaz.The stone is 8x6 mm big, and the ring is a size 7 1/4 (US), O1/2 (UK), 17.5(SWE). For any of my sisters this means it is way way to big.

With a little help from my friends..

When I lived in London Saturday night during the autumn what a holy night, it would almost always be huge amounts of white wine and food with my girls and perhaps a late night outing to a wide variety of diverse drinking locations. But first and foremost it was X-factor. It was X-factor with wine and food and social interaction. The night would start civil and then we would quickly escalate to a what was he/she/the band thinking, that is a horrible song, they can’t sing anyway, what are they wearing, are they bling...Ohhh I love this one, it’s my favourite song, oh and they are killing it.

Now X-factor is going strong again this autumn and I’m not there, I would assume that the Saturday nights with wine,food and X-factor is not that different.

Here they have Australian Idol instead. It’s on a Sunday, which is a bad night for a food, wine and bad mouthing the contestant session. And it’s no fun to be mean about people that can’t hear you if you are on your own, and A really doesn’t have the right mean streak to get real nasty.

I must say so far in this year’s Australian Idol the level of skill of the
contestants this year it’s rather abysmal. I’ve seen it before where the Australian contestants have shat all over the UK version. I thought I would be all over for the UK version of the competition...

Then I saw this guy.

The actual singing starts at about 1 min 35 sek. Well worth the effort.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Bizzi Lizzie

My sister asked in her blog yesterday if it’s better to have a job one likes but aren’t busy at and therefore bored or one that is not as likable but keeps you very busy.

I would say one that you like but aren’t busy at. This is because I believe that we put too much value in being busy. I’m very bad at not being busy; I get very little enjoyment in doing nothing. I do not have the attention span for chilling out. But my kind of being busy just means I am not good at sitting in the sun with nothing to do, I prefer to bring a book or plank to put nails in. I’m not very good at watching TV without at least doing something with my hands, eating, embroidering or just filling away at my nails. So that I guess is keeping busy.

At the same time I hate it when other people are continually stressing how busy they are. If I meet up with a friend and they tell me how busy they are, what is my reaction suppose to be. Am I supposed to be grateful that they took 15 minutes out of their schedule to have a coffee with me? I do not want to have friendships or relationships with people to whom I am suppose to be grateful for deigning to spend time with me.

Our culture is so based on keeping busy, our value as individuals is so linked to how busy we. I guess this is because it’s a metric of our popularity, a faulty metric but a metric all the same and humans like to quantify things. Hence the measuring of your worth as person in how many people wants to hang out with you.

The main failure of this metric is that it’s fully possible to spend most of your time with people who you don’t like and that do not like you. I reckon that is common if your jobs is being an account manager or in a high level sales role.

It’s a little like having 700 friends on Facebook and 690 of them are people who bullied you in high school. Why would you do that? Well people do that so that they have a high number of friends on Facebook and therefore look popular.

To summarize. It’s better to like your job but not be busy at it, because being busy is not a measure in how important you are, or how important your work is. If you get bored cause you do not have so much to do, go on an online language course in Mandarin. That will keep you occupied.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Happy B'day at last

I finaly finished my sisters birthday rings. As she and all my other sisters (3 in total) have the smallest fingers and she didn't really specify what size she was. Eventhought I've asked a houndred (well 3) times.

So I made one that is slightly to big for my pinky finger and one that is slightly to small for my pinky finger. I know her size is somewhere in between there.

I also added the other little heart ring for my niece.

The stones are 3 mm rhodolite garnets with a strong dark pink/red/purple colour.
Rhodolite garnets are one of my favourite coloured stones, they are not nasty barbie pink like some pink topaz and not to dark red like some almandine garnets. They are strong and hard to scratch and they are quite reasonable priced. So all in all, a really good gemstone

So happy Birthday sister K, it's just a 2.5 months late. I'll post them tommorow.
Now I'm gonna watch project runway, drink tea, eat chocolate and then complain about my unexplained weight gain.

Rimma Simma Dimma

Me and A went swimming on Saturday morning as we do, in Pool opposite our house. It’s a good but over chlorinated pool.

As I was coming to my last lap in my pyramid of laps A decided he was going to swim it next to me. Now, at this point I have been swimming 1200 meters and these are my last 50, and he has been resting for 5 minutes or so as he is finished with his paltry 800 meters. At this point I am tired and my shoulders are hurting as I am unable to use my legs for swimming. At this point my lungs are feeling like they are filled with metal tasting mush.

So A is swimming next to me. As I come up from my last 50 meters he says

-“It’s so strange, when I swim in my normal pace I feel like I am swimming really fast, but when I swim in your pace it feels like I’m hardly moving forward at all!”


It’s like when my older sister and I and our friend Susila was talking English before we had actually learned any English. It goes something like this.

-Rudshi, kudshi, rady bady, Baby, Love, Yeah, Baby Love, Ice Cream.

Anyway, we were talking away in our pretend English as you do when you are 7 years old and think that English is the height of sophistication. My sister then says in a very determined voice (my sister was a very determined child)

-“Maria, When I speak English it sounds like English, when Susila speaks English it sounds French, but when you speak it sounds like Finnish”

Which we all know is the height of insults. Sounding Finnish. If you are a 7 year old girl in Sweden trying to speak English, sounding Finnish, really is the failure of everything. As all Swedish school children know, Finnish is the ugliest language in the world. ( I’m sure as an adult that is a very unfair statement and as an adult all I can actually say in Finnish is Moi Mukulat, which is loosely translated as Hi Kids)

I have since found out that when I speak English I sound South African and when I speak the little Italian I remember I actually sound Finnish .

But back to the Swimming...

Just to let you know Matey Mate.

At least I go swimming. Moving forward or no moving forward.

Edit Post: 13.30: I would like to state for the record that A is the person who has spent a huge amount of time teaching me how to swim. So this is not meant to make him sounds like a nasty person. Just to show that I'm not the only one in my little house that has a competitive streak, he pointed that out that he was refering to how fast he swims, as I swim fast...and then He would swim super duper fast. This is not true. I don't swim that fast.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Imaginary turtle

Yesterday was our first anniversary. Me and A have been married for one year and I was trying to “analyse” what had been good and bad with that year. You know take Stock, see what you can improve (If I start to put my breakfast bowl in the dishwasher in the morning I think A would be a very happy man) and what we could do more off.

I don’t think this year can be seen as representative of an average year of if that is going to be the case I’ll be a nervous wreck before I’m 35. We have done a lot of things, we just got married when I got my Aussie visa, then had major hip surgery, just starting to recover from that when I cashed in my bonus and resigned and moved to the other side of the world.

It’s a lot of things to do in one year. I’m just starting to god at the walking again. Sorting out all the other things that come with a new life in a new place, well I’ll just hope it will all fall in place in time.
As the first Anniversary is supposed to be represented by Paper I was given paper products. I got some writing paper, and pretty silver pen and HUGE family calendar. A got tickets to Ben Folds playing with the Sydney Opera house Symphony Orchestra in the Sydney opera house.

The calendar has place for up to 6 peoples different schedules, me and A, we are just 2 people so we won’t be able to fill the calendar.

So my plan is to create an imaginary friend with a very busy schedule. I think it will be an Imaginary Turtle. Then I can fill the calendar with Turtle play dates, gardening outings and veterinary trips

I will call him Turtle Turtlesson

Friday, 21 August 2009

Hot -Cold Issue

At work at 4 pm ish. There is beer and I kind of forgot about the beer and just made a cup of coffe.

So now I have one cup of hot coffe and one cold beer.

So what shall I drink first. What is less tasty, warm beer or cold coffe.

This is an issue.

I'm solving it by taking alternate sips.

Coffe Beer, not a bad taste.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

4 am

Got up at 4 am, went to the airport, watched the sun rise over Sydney as the plane took of for Melbourne.

Spent the day in a very long meeting, took lots and lots of notes, that I can't really decifer.

Got out building, went to Melbourne Airport, flew in as the sun was setting over Sydney.

To tell you the truth, it's not an ugly city this one that i'm currently living in.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Working away in my little studio

One thing with not knowing so many people in a town is that I don't get tempted to go and socialise at night during the week. The people we do know here are very busy people with either family or high power jobs. This leaves me time to faff around in my little "Studio".

This is what I've been working on, a sterling silver crown ring with a white fresh water pearl.

As you can see it has a very high design. I like the impact of the height. It makes it a very visible ring. Not a little shy wallflower ring this one.

I've also worked on a little order I got. This is pendant I call "Huvudfoting". It's inspired of the painting my niece gave me when I turned 30. When children start to draw they draw stick figures with arms and leg attached straight to head. Often the facial features is one big group of round lines. In Swedish these stick figures are called "Huvudfotingar" = Head Footings.

You can also refer to small children who learn to ski as "Huvudfotingar" as the helmet is so big for their bodies they look like huge heads with skies.

So this is my "Huvudfoting" pendant. I'm quite pleased with it. But I can decide what would be most suitable. A matt pendant or High Polish. I'm a High Polish girl at hearth, but I'm thinking maybe I should venture out and try out new polishes, be a little crazy. Well as crazy as you can get from polishing.

I added time

I added some little clocks so I can see what time it is in all the places in the world where I have have people that I like and might want to talk to on the phone.

Just so that I can avoid the 4 am texting sessions


I’ve started to swim, to learn to swim properly. Not breast stroke. I’ve been able to do good breast stroke for most of my life, no I’ve been focusing on front crawl. The type of swimming that ruins your hair and gives you funny looking googly eyes afterwards.

Swimming at this point is good for me I think; I’m a little freaked out and stressed about my job as I’m feeling a little out on thin ice. But I can’t think of that when I’m swimming. My brain is filled up with the concept of breathing. I just have to remember to breathe and move forward. Breathe and move forward.

I guess that could be a good look at life really, when you are panicking about your life just remember to breathe and move forward. Four arm strokes head to the right and breathe in, three strokes breath out slowly and on the fourth again head to the right and breathe in.

Swimming for me is working; I can’t compete with people around me. Cause I can’t see them. It’s also the only physical activity I have been able to do for years where I can push myself to my outmost limit but not hurt myself. That is not to say that swimming doesn’t hurt. My shoulders are killing me right now as I’m not able to kick with my legs and therefore only use upper body strength to swim.

Also I have found that just trying to swim faster leads to sinking; I have to focus on Swimming Better, with a higher quality in my technique to move faster. This is a totally new experience for me who have always been able to go faster or further in anything by just pushing harder. I can’t do it now; there must be a combination of trying harder and trying better. If I am just trying harder, I can’t breathe.

So I guess, I started the day by not panicking when I had my head under water, I just breathe and move forward and I will just continue to do so for the rest of the day. Four strokes head to the right and breathe in, three strokes breathe out slowly and on the fourth stroke head to the right and breathe in.

Breathe and move forward. This is all going to work out fine.

No sinking.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Due to my failure to saw straight the ring for my sister B'day became absolutely tiny. So tiny that not even her that have the smallest fingers in the world would be able to wear it I think. It's size F (UK), 3 (US), 14 (Sweden). ( Why can't they have one size scale internationally.

Since I am a waste not want not kind of person I decided to use the opportunity to play around a litte. First I added some texturing with a hammer, but I don't like that I realised.

Never have really, again it's the organic deconstruction that doesn't work for me. So i filed that all off, then I did some grinding to get a another surface texture with my dremmel. But I didn't like that so I filed that all off. All the while the ring was just getting smaller and smaller..

So I was thinking who do I know that has smaller fingers then sister K...well I would assume that would be sister K:s oldest daughter. So I put a little heart on it or one could almost say it's a butterfly, cause I think she likes them. I know she used to like snails, but I couldn't cut one out that looked nice.

So Sister K, if I polish it up real nice, do you think my niece would like this ring, it could be a present cause she is such a good big sister and don't hit her little sister. Just like her mum never hit me, even thought I deserved it. Much appreciated.

In a straight and orderly fashion

I’ve been working on a belated birthday present for my Sister K. It’s a ring. She knows it’s a ring so I’m not running the surprise here. However, I’ve been working on it since Saturday and I’ve been unable to make a single straight cut into the silver. It’s like my straight line gene has disappeared. Which for me is a huge deal as most of my designs are very straight and orderly. I’ve never had the ability of making things look organic and deconstructed without making it look really unmade and nasty.

There are many designers who excel in the organic, deconstructed and unstructured look but not me. I love straight stocked shelves and storage. I get very excited when I go into a shop and everything is perfectly lined up. I think that is why I like supermarkets. I love clever packaging; square boxes that can be used for holding products but also can be used as good display.

So straight cuts are of massive importance to me. With every wavy cut I make into the ring it gets smaller and smaller. K, I think this ring will turn out to be like that children story where the tailor ends up delivering only a thumb from a huge piece of cloth.

“Det blidde en Tumme”

Friday, 7 August 2009

Keeping up

I used to read the Swedish newspaper everyday online.
I’ve realised in the last few years I’ve stopped reading the Swedish news. I don’t feel like they apply to me. Which is funny cause I will still vote, or I would, maybe, I Don’t know, I probably wouldn’t, but I could, if I wanted to.
But today I checked and to be honest, there aren’t that much news from Sweden in the papers and the news that are from Sweden where so sad.

So I decided not to read it anymore.

Thursday, 6 August 2009


Get’s a bad rap. Just the word medallion makes you think about hairy 1970:s chest with large gleaming chunky gold coins depicting some iconic figure. Iconic as in The Madonna not iconic like Madonna.

But I have been thinking lately; I think it’s because I am reading the book Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts where the leading character (the author himself) wears a gold medallion around his neck with the Headman of the Bombay mafias name on it, so that if he ever ends up in trouble he can show it and people will leave him alone.

This is the power of a medallion, even a normal one without the head mafia guys name on it, there are probably not so many of those pendants; and I personally find it hard to see that I would be in need of that kind of protection.
But it does not take away the fact that the purpose of a medallion is to protect its wearer from something or someone or to commemorate something memorable. I kind of like that. Sometimes we everyone need a little bit of extra protection. I think this will have to be worked in together with my ideas for jewellery for super heros.

I have a necklace that was given to me by my little sister J on my wedding day. On the day I sew the pendant into my handbag, but I wear it often now. It’s one of my most treasured possessions as I got it from her and the meaning it has for us due to its original owner. It’s a large round gold coloured pendant. Almost like a medallion. It feels like it’s got extra power of protection. I think it might be the weight. The weight makes it feel important.

So I expect that I will be trying to make some medalliony kind of pendants. But not make them old school medallions. I will need some new symbols for protection.

Anyone have any suggestions???

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

View from my window

I've spoken about the winter sky here before, it's so blue it almost scares me. I'm not used to this vivid blue colour.

The above picture I took from my seat at work this afternoon, this is my view from my deks. The photo is taken at around 2 pm with my mobile camera. Just wanted to share some of the sunshine and the blue sky that we have been having for the last 2 or 3 weeks.

A is leaving me...

for London for one week, he is going to tomorrow and is coming back at the end of next week.

I have never been good at being on my own, I have very little need for alone time, actually my preferred alone time is being alone together which is basically two people together doing their own thing in the same room without talking. That is as alone as I need to be.

Really my mind leaks all sort of rubbish when I’m on my own, especially if I’m on my own with nothing particular to do. I start out being all good and happy but can quickly talk myself into total despair. This obviously is a problem as I will be alone a lot in the coming week.

It actually worries me a little bit these days that I’m so bad at being on my own. It seems to be such a treasured thing for people to be on their own, having alone-time. That seems to be the “buzz word”. I guess it sounds better if someone asked what you did on the weekend, you weren’t lonely you where having alone-time that you really treasured. A bit like Oprah saying “I am not alone, I am with myself”.

Well let me tell you, Me, Myself and I are not great company for each other. We really go on each other’s nerves. I get energy from people around me, not from my “inner being”, my “inner being” is really loud and moody; I need others peoples noise to drown that out.

I know a lot of people who thinks this is a weakness; some have even said that to my face. Which is fine for me, I prefer if people are being honest (about most things, not everything, do not tell me that you think my clothes are rubbish, there is never a need for that. Just say you don’t like the colour)

I just know I’m better at being on my own then I used to be, I used to rather go for coffee with people I don’t like then to be on my own. Now I rather go for coffee and eavesdrop on other people’s conversation then go for coffee with people I don’t like. It’s a step forward.

Quite far away from going on silent retreat with just myself as company, I know, but it’s upwards and forwards.

Anyway, I think I might be able to keep myself fairly busy as I’ve bought a bench grinder.

Everybody needs at least one bench grinder.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

New Things

I started making some new jewellery last night. Just to try it out. I haven’t been making anything for since May and boy do you notice. Somehow your hands get unfit. It does not move naturally with the metal anymore. It’s like the synapses in the brain needs a wake up to remember how to make sure that the metal doesn’t turn the wrong way when you are turning up a ring.

I have some new ideas for some of the stones I’ve purchased in the last couple of months. But as always I get to attached to the stones and I don’t want to make things with them. I just want them to stay in my nice display box so I can look at them and go

-“OHH...My sparkly”

I am a natural accumulator, I do not like waste, I like to save things. I get enjoyment of seeing my savings account increase, I hate throwing things out even when I can’t use it for anything anymore. I do this with stones all the time, I buy them for something that I’m going to make and then never think the design is good enough for the stone so I don’t do anything with them. I just keep them and look at them and they make me happy.

But I have decided the 8 Cushion cut topazes I bought in South Africa will all become rings. Wether I like it or not. Or maybe at least 7 or maybe 6, yeah 6 rings and then I can keep two of them cause they are so nice and so sparkly..they are my most precious.

Actually my most precious super stone that I love more then the others are a Mauve Spinel that A bought me and a multi coloured Tourmaline that I bought. Cause it's hot pink and teal...beat that.

Monday, 3 August 2009

New Life – New Brands

When you are moving somewhere new there are a lot of new things to take in, new tax systems, new sides of escalators to stand at, new medical systems, new recycling systems. But the new things that create the most confusion in the beginning are all the new brands.

There is some sort of innate safety in brands, always buying the same washing powder, type of coffee or toilet paper. It’s because we know what they are, how they work and how they taste. We don’t have to think in the super market.
It’s also very hard to get people to change their purchases for certain products. I know for a fact that no matter what my parents say their coffee is not the best in the world. It’s the coffee they have almost always bought and they know it and they like it and they are not going to change.

Now, when you move to another country you need to find your brands again. I think this is why global marketing works so well, I might not know the local brands of toothpaste but I know Colgate. So I buy Colgate. I’ve used it before, I know they sell it in my home country; hence it can be that bad.

The issue I have here is with coffee, I’ve never seen any of these brands before really. I don’t know what they taste like and coffee is very important so you don’t want to buy something nasty. Which we have done since we got here. We bought something that tasted like chlorinated water, we bought another type that didn’t have any strength in it, we bought another type that was to strong. So finding the right type takes time. And it requires testing many different types. This is time consuming and expensive.

I suggest that someone should make a worldwide conversion chart for food.
Colgate – The same everywhere
Bla Mocca Coffee – not to dissimilar from M&S own brand dark roast – have yet to find a similar type in Oz.

And this list could be done for everything, everywhere and then you would easily know. So then you could concentrate your time and money on tasting and trying the specialities of that specific country. Which here means Vegemite and Tim Tams and then I could stop wasting time finding laundry detergent and toothpaste.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Things we own

I have a clothes hanger from Nisses Herrmode in Trollhattan in Sweden.

This hanger must have come from a previous boyfriend I had when I was 20 in Skane, down south in Sweden. So this hanger has moved from Trollhattan to Skane, from Skane to Stockhol, from Stockholm to London and now it has moved to Sydney in Australia.

It is truly a very international and well travelled clothes hanger.