Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mini peps - adventures in tiny crochet

I tried to make a tiny peppercorn in brown but the yarn ended up fuzzing uncontrollably and it just looked like a blob. Here's a much nicer effort in mercercized size 8 cotton.

 It's about 1 cm wide. Less than a dime.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tale of the peppercorn: crochet jewelry explorations

I don't know how but it came to me that the pepper(corn) has a great interesting shape that'd be perfect for crochet. The little bumps on the shell lend itself to the bumps of crochet perfectly. AND I had a perfect linen chocolate brown yarn in my stash (my ever-growing stash... le sigh). Maybe I'll do a spice series. I'm planning to redo this with the yarn split and with a smaller hook so I can get a teeny peppercorn necklace which I think would be delightful.

What the heck is a Champaka?

Well! A champaka is a flower native to southeast asia and it's the base (and I believe only ingredient) in the most expensive perfume in the world, Joy. It grows in China, where I was born, and I still remember street hawkers running up to our car with little clusters of the blossoms strung together with red thread. I would always beg my mom for them and we'd twist them up in one of our shirt buttons and luxuriate in their completely intoxicating scent all day. 

There was a champaka tree growing outside the Chinese cultural center when I lived in Hawai'i. It was well over 60 feet tall and I could just reach the lowest branch to pluck a single flower when they were in bloom. The tree was guarded by a grumpy old Chinese man, who glared at me with hands on hips the whole time I was doing it. The next time I visited the center the lowest branch had been hacked off. What a jerk!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Watch my baby kitty Hermes play with his PakaBall - an all natural kitty toy made by yours truly :)

Hermes playing with his PakaBall on Youtube! Watch his video

I'm creative, promise!

I've been trying to get this etsy store situation to happen and been trying to scrounge up the ole' creative juices. I consider myself a crafty/creative person but in the aftermath of moving, all I can find are dirty socks and endless numbers of Ipod cables. That is, until I found this - yay! It's a pair of earrings I made for my sister in law while I was in Hawai'i. I'm not sure I'll ever find a great set of labradorite like that again. I hope she's enjoying them in on the island :). 

I've also had a bit of a conundrum picking my favorite photo for my etsy banner. These three are the finalists and I've temporarily chosen the last as the final winner. Preferences, anyone?
PS: how do i add a banner to this blogger site sheesh!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

First Post

Welcome and thank you for visiting Champaka, a blog about inspirations, lovely things and projects. I'm taking a break from my heavily academic career to focus on healing and beauty, to create honest and delicate things with my own hands. 

~ Karen