A little girl with long legs...

You must be wondering what this is? It's made of silicon...read on and find out!

As you know, a pair of chopsticks is an essential part of growing up as a Chinese. We were taught since young to use a pair of chopsticks to eat your breakfast, lunch and dinner. My daughter is now 3 years old, so as the Chinese half of the family, I'm suppose to impart her this skill...but it's not easy to a toddler teach how to use chopsticks. Some people takes years to really master it to the extend you could pick up spherical objects. It requires some talent! Me? Yes I can. :) You certainly need patience and lots of practice or you can get 'CHOPSTICK KIDS' to help...

While I was in Bangkok, I stumbled upon this cute nifty gadget named 'CHOPSTICK kids' (chinese with ease) in a homeware store. Now that really crack me up! It's essentially a figurine of a little girl/boy made out of silicon with chopsticks attached as legs. It helps to align the chopsticks so that you can take out a little bit of frustration. So now, my daughter would use it every now and then because it's colorful and fun too! You still need a little skill to use this. The trick is not too squeeze too hard or your chopsticks will cross, which is a no-no. It's also washable, soft and foodsafe, what more can a mommy ask for? Did I mention it's great for adults too?

Her Morning Elegance

Here's an interesting music video an Israeli friend, who majored in animation, shared with me. I love how the whole video is shot on the bed...if you haven't seen it, I'm pretty sure you'll like how imaginative the creators are ;)
Her Morning Elegence ~ Oren Lavie

Life is a journey...

hello my new found old friend,
an old electric sewing machine
saved from collecting dust in a corner
you were there all along but i didn't notice you until now...

You must think I'm silly, but when I first started sewing in my teens, it was on my grandma's antique Singer peddle sewing machine, so my memory of a sewing machine was that, not something in a box that is portable.

Deep plum linen passport cover with lime green scribble design, scrunched detail with contrasting fuchsia satin lining. Personalized with hand embroidered owner's name.

And so, my journey with you started again. I've decided to make a passport cover for a special friend. A friend who gave me the nudge, to realize my dream, to start my online shop. Her name is Sara. Thank you & Happy Belated Birthday! I hope with this passport jacket, it will start you on your own journey & take you places you wish to go or never thought of going before.

Happy Trails...❤nicole

Bespoke Poppi Lace Collection

Ah...finally finished a bespoke Poppi Lace collection for a customer in UK. She's going to wear them to a black and white themed ball in October. So cool! I'm very pleased with how the cufflinks and earrings turn out. Ah I can breath now...before I rush them off to the post office...

One week or so later...
my customer received them faster than I expected...here's what she has to say:
"I received the earrings, cufflinks and ring a couple of weeks ago - they are absolutely beautiful. THANK YOU so much. I shall pass on your details to my friends and also be back in touch with you when I need some more jewelry for a special event."

THANK YOU Emma, it's my pleasure!

Colours & Patterns

I'm really excited about the prospect of decorating our new place. The first inspiration that pops into my head is this is shop which I love to death ~ Designers Guild. This London based worldwide name is establish by designer Tricia Guild, who is the brainchild of this furnishing fabrics, wall coverings, upholstery empire. I admire their ability to mix colors and patterns with such flair & ease.

We're still undecided about what theme we're going to for this time for our new home. Rock Vintage? Shabby Chic? Baroque? It's a tough choice. But I do know what I like from this shop, and I'll share some of my favorite picks with you. I'm sure their website will inspire you too!

nabucco fabric, image from Designers Guild

copacobana fabric, image from Designers Guild

lebond fabric, image from Designers Guild

tsugar wallcovering, image from Designers Guild

aliseda fabric, image from Designers Guild

jorosa fabric, image from Designers Guild


Here's a glimpse of what's to come at OpusMuse. Your lobes will never be lonely again...
I will be listing these colorful candies in my shop within the next 2 weeks.
Stay tuned!

LOVE is in the air...

Have you ever wondered how those romantic photos with colorful hearts floating on them are taken? I have. And I've always thought they were done using some photo software until I stumbled upon a website that shows you how to do it. This effect is called Bokeh, which is a word adapted from the word 'blur' in Japanese. In photography this term is used to describe the quality of the areas in the picture which are not in focus. And it can be easily done cheap and easy, with a bit of cutting & sticking plus some patience for trial & error. Really. And I'm not even a trained photographer.

The above photos in the collage is achieved using my Canon S5IS. I'm so excited I managed to get it on my first trial and I'm gonna share this with you!

What you will need:
a camera with large aperture lens
black paper
paper puncher with various shapes (optional)


Cut a strip of paper about 1.5 inches wide, long enough to fit snugly around your lens.
Cut a circle slightly larger than the size of your lens and cut any shape about the size of 15mm in the center. Here, I've cut a heart shape. You may use a paper puncher if you like.
Note: If the paper you used is not black on both sides like mine, make sure that the black side is on the inside.


Step 3
My camera was set to Shutter Speed 1/4 or 1/5 and Aperture set to the lowest your camera can go, e.g. 2.7 (mine was about 3.5) when I achieved that effect. And make sure you zoom all the way out till you don't see a card with a hole in the middle in your view finder. Then try to shoot something very far away, preferably with strong lights like streetlights, candle lights, fairylights or traffic lights, car headlights etc.

Tip: If you still see an image like the one shown in the photo below in your view finder, zoom out more, till you can't see the heart shape anymore.

Here are some examples from others using different cut out shapes, which you can easily achieve with paper punch with different shapes.

I'm by no means a trained photographer, so for more technical details, please refer to this website on how to create a bokeh.

Now go try it out and come back to tell me how it went! Have fun!


For those who are fans of Disney-Pixar like I am, you will be excited about this new comedy animation film named UP. It is a comedy adventure about a 78-year-old man who ties balloons to his house and flies away, with an 8-year-old stowaway. Absolutely hilarious! Great for the kids and child at heart. I can't wait for it to open on 7th August 2009 in Singapore! Check out the trailer.
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Recently, I was so excited to be featured on two blogs.

One of them, is by a fellow artist on Etsy, Nancy Fallon from nfall2rt Design Studio. Read about what she has to say here.

She is what I would call a multi-faceted artist. She makes whimsical, colorful and fun pieces to keep you warm, keep you organised, decorate your wall and embellish yourself and look good all at the same time! You can see her beautiful work here.

The second is by a UK based blog by fancypicnic featuring my Bunny & It's Treasure bracelet on her Saturday Shopping List. She's is an amazing textile jewelry designer. See her work here.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank them both for discovering my shop and featuring my work.

Good Morning Vietnam!

For some reason, Vietnam was never on my list of places to visit with a small child in tow. So when my other half suggested we take a short family trip there, I was skeptical but looked forward to it at the same time. I needed a break, so anywhere away from home is fine. We stayed at three different accommodation on a 4 day trip to experience Vietnam on a fast forward button. Here's what we saw...enjoy!

We were greeted with this sunset view upon check-in. Shot was taken from our room on the 19th floor, Sofitel Plaza Saigon.

Beautiful food at the alfresco restaurant ~ Quán Ăn Ngon. The concept at Quán Ăn Ngon is a one stop shop for Vietnamese street food of every region and variety. It is designed with seating in a spacious courtyard surrounding a giant central tree, with food stalls on all four sides cooking the food to order so you can also browse the stalls and simply point at what piques your interest to order. Be sure to try it out if you ever visit Ho Chi Minh City. Book early! Quán Ăn Ngon >> 138 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Dist. 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel:38257179

This building was designed & built in the early 20th century by the same architect who desgined & built The Eiffel Tower, Gustave Eiffel. It has a Gothic architectural style which I love.

Saigon Central Post Office, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

One thing worth mentioning is the traffic in Vietnam. The "synchronized" traffic formation is something which I'm seeing for the first time. And coming from an organized country like Singapore, it was a huge difference. There weren't many traffic lights, no lane markings, but everyone managed to drive without running into each other in a major intersection from all six directions, with constant beeping. Crossing the street...I didn't know where to look, but just walked straight towards my destination in a predictable pace so that the traffic could anticipate your movement and avoid running into you. It wasn't as daunting as I imagined it to be. Strangely, after the second and third time round, it became second nature.

View from the balcony of my second accommodation in District 1, Liberty 4 Hotel. About 10-15mins walk to Ben Thanh Market (photo with clock tower), similar to the Chak Tu Chak Market in Bangkok.

Walks, parks, wide footpaths, power cables & handmade paper animals.

Most of the time, you need to walk almost everywhere in Ho Chi Minh City. Public transport is not readily available, therefore the location of your hotel becomes critical.

Dinner at Ben Thanh Night Market. Very delicious & freshly cooked.

Next destination, we took a ferry across to Vung Tau, our last stop at Ho Tram Beach & Spa Resort, to get away from the hustle & bustle in the city. It was an idyllic resort to relax and de-stress, a great way to end our short getaway.

Unique ceramic hand painted wash basin, four poster bed, vibrant colored silk lanterns and plush daybed can all be found in our seaview suite.
The strong winds are not great for swimming at the beach but the locals love using this opportunity to fly their giant kites, Ho Tram Beach, Ho Chi Minh

Ho Tram Beach Resort & Spa, Vung Tau, Ho Chi Minh. Beautiful lush green gardens, koi ponds, electric blue dragonflies and trishaw rides.

Travel In Style

It's a good day today.
Something I've been looking forward to eagerly arrived at my door in the form of a postman with multiple parcels. I immediately zoomed in on the 2 larger ones...I recognize the shape...it's my order from ReadySetGo!!! A bespoke train case and overnight travel bag. Oh the sheer delight of unwrapping the parcels. After exchanging numerous convos with Rachel (of ReadySetGo) to & fro about the design, now I get to see it in the flesh. This is all very exciting for me. I think she's equally anxious to know how I feel about it too. And the verdict is: It's fabulous Rachel! I LOVE it! It's absolutely worth all the wait to own two of your fine pieces. No more boring luggages, now I can travel in style and be the envy of other travelers! Next...select destination. (But I better not check this one in, just in case...)

If you love vintage luggages, you will fall for Rachel's shop ReadySetGo & her new shop ReadySetClutch for all the upcycled fabulous traveling gear and pretty little clutches you never knew you needed. I love the fact that you can tell her what's in your head and she will turn them into works of art. The best part is, you get to personalize it and make it the one and only in this world. Perfect wedding or graduation gift! Here's a secret: look out for "Pick Your Poison" and her weekly special deals...shhhh

Bespoke lipstick red Vintage Train Case with my favorite dandelions in the wind & old bi-plane artwork

My personalized traveling companion...a handsome vintage overnight bag with a lovely doe, maple leaf, skeleton keys & cool fleur de lis symbol.

Now you'll probably need something to dress up your vacation outfit? Here are some suggestions from my shop

1. Vacation In Greece Bracelet 2. Moroccan Earrings 3. Divine Earrings 4. Foliage Necklace

Paris & Spain through my eyes...

Many years ago, I had the chance to visit Spain & France, and it certainly was a trip I'll never forget. Not that I don't like the usual Eiffel Tower in Paris or watch the bull fight in Spain. But what interest me most were the artworks out of the museums, on the streets, the beautiful architecture & heritage buildings, you certainly don't need to pay a dime to go into an art museum to appreciate art. It's everywhere. Back then, I didn't have a digital camera, so I took close to 10 rolls of film! Here are some of those old photos which I took during my travel.

The infamous...The Louvre, Paris. I had to take this classic shot while I'm there!

Metropolis Building at dawn gives a different glow.
(located on the crossing of the Calle de Alcala and the Gran Via in Madrid in Spain)

I love the opulent black and gold trimming on this building. Designed by two French architects Jules Fevrier and Raymond Fevrier. Very impressive, classic & timeless.

Spain & Paris....I will be back again...XX

Experiment & Explore

I've always loved to work with fabric. Primarily I started OpusMuse with mostly vintage beads, slowly it has evolved to include some industrial influence, some distressed finished pieces, and lately, I've started working with more mediums like fabric, leather, felt and others.

The process of discovering, exploring and learning new but old techniques and applying them to my design to make something different & unique is such a fun and enriching trip for me. I'm sure there's some machine out there now that can produce the same thing with the push of a button. But I just enjoy the fact that you can still make something beautiful and wearable with just your hands.

This is a fusion of my love for fabrics, texture and all things vintage inspired. It's named 'Nectar'. Made from silk, brass and swarovski crystal.

Nectar necklace using ruching, which is a labour intensive time consuming old sewing technique, which is still used in many high fashion couture design.

Divina cuff by OpusMuse

Distressed with industrial influence... Contour Cuff by OpusMuse

Muse Series using various hand braiding techniques.