Archive for December, 2011
Well as you may have been able to tell, it has been a number of days since our departure from Brisbane to India and I have not been able to make a post until now! No internet. But that can be expected. We are now in Agra and have visited the Taj Mahal and have finally arrived at a hotel that has internet access for a fee. We have a lot to show everyone of our trip thus far so we have purchased the 24hr access. I am hoping though that this does not take the 24hrs to show you sone of the fantastic photos that Alex has been taking.
Arriving in India, we defended into thick fog, or at least what I thought was fog but have later discovered is a combination of fog and smog mixed with the smoke of the rubbish being burnt on the streets for the poor to stay warm and to also get rid of. Everything gets burnt here – leaves, plastic, dung, it just doesn’t matter. You see people sitting around the fires with black thick smoke billowing into their faces and wonder what the hell they are thinking. Then you realise that they know no different.
This should give you an idea of the amount of fog and smog we have been seeing. This photo was taken about 11:30am, almost the height of the day and
there is a thick romantic light oozing over the city.
One thing you realise soon enough with everything in India is that everything is on a grand scale. The architecture is amazingly huge and you seem to pale in comparison to anything else. These are mostly religious buildings that you will come across, if not they are for the kings of history and they are truly immense! You neck ends up hurting you only because you are constantly looking up at these grand structures, and when you think about when they were built and by whom, you really do have an air of amazement at their construction.
Take for instance the main columns at most of the religious temples. They are built on an angle of approximately 2-3% so that if there was to be an earthquake these massive towering structures would fall away from the main temple and not towards it. Clever!! Not being an architect, I find that quite amazing!
Religion is everywhere and although you or I may not be religious, or then again you may be, there is a grand amount of faith in this country. Hindu, Buddhist, Christian all in a melting pot all in the one spot. Faith is a powerful thing, but the best part about our experience thus far is that nobody has rubbed it in our faces without our consent. I say consent as we go to these places, relics and monuments, entering the realm of another culture or religion and should expect that we are there as their guests. If they choose to talk about their religion or faith whilst we are there then we should respect that and not “poo-hoo” it because we do not believe. I am not a believer in religion, but that does not mean that I don’t have faith, or have a moral code that I follow.
We visited the memorial of Ghandi. A man who managed to change the beliefs of many people within a nation. He inspired many people and changed the thoughts of the world as well as his nation. I say his nation only because he is now referred to as the grandfather of India. The man who changed the way a nation thought and challenged their system of beliefs. It was an honour to visit this monument and be in a place where history has been acknowledged and is cherished.
We have had many god guides. Some people may find the Indian people a little gruff, but I think they are just trying to get by like the rest of us. The only difference is that they have 1.599 billion other people to try and get ahead of. A bit of a struggle but we all make our place in the world and there are places for all of us. Some of us are just a little more driven ton succeed more than others.
Our guides have been very helpful most of the time. Our guide today for instance was one of the best and he will be getting a tip tomorrow – despite company policy. He passed on a lot of knowledge and was very good at conversation. He helped us throughout the Taj Mahal and made the experience a lot more bearable, especially when there are hundreds of people around!
Of course, the most expected sight to see in India are the colours. Colours, patterns, textures, and sparkle are everywhere in India and this is what it is known for. Festivals where colours are thrown all over one another, elephants are painted in bright colours and most of the transport have all the colours of the rainbow painted all over them, you expect to see bright Sari fabrics and brilliant colours all over the place. There is also a lot of browns, creams, beige, and dust! But hey, who’s arguing!
Colour comes in many forms. Not only as a visual stimulation, it can also come in the form of taste, and oh my god!!! The flavours that we have both tasted in the last few days have been amazing. I think I have had the most unusual and most sensational flavours, and I have had the best vegetarian that I have ever had!! Sensational! I will definitely be getting an Indian cook book when I get home, if not on my journey!!
So I will now leave you with some of the other photos that Alex has taken and will write more when we have internet.
So here we are sitting in Changi Airport in Singapore waiting for our flight through to New Delhi. We have been flying for several hours and have arrived to find out that we will be waiting a few more hours as our flight to New Delhi has been delayed a further couple of hours and will not depart until 1am. This will mean that we will only get into Delhi around the 3-4am mark! Tired much!!!
This state of almost delirium is not going to be helped by the fact that we have been drinking all the way here. I think we have had the equivalent of a bottle of wine each and 4 Bloody Mary’s – which are always a good way to start a holiday. Although Qantas are not the best at mixing these, after a bottle of wine, who really cares! We have always started off our holidays with a bang and this is no exception. There was that time last year when we flew Malaysian and that really sucked! Trying to get a drink was like trying to get blood out of a stone! But this has definitely been a lot easier!
Our meals were very nice. We had the choice of either Chicken or Pork and we were served by cabin crew wearing Christmas hats in various forms. This was nice and made a pleasant flight even more enjoyable. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood despite the fact that they would not be getting home for the next 6 days as they started the bunny hop from Singapore to Perth and back again. An interesting flight pattern for the crew, who, as I have already mentioned, seemed to be very chipper about the whole expedition.
Alex’s headphones broke on the way over so he has now invested in a pair of Bose noise cancelling headphones. Any excuse to upgrade and Alex will certainly grab it with both hands! Let’s just say that he could have gotten away with it for a lot less, but that’s Alex for you! As long as he is happy then that is all that counts. After all, we are on holidays!
So we are sitting here looking at each other, looking at our watches, then looking back at each other, wondering what we will be doing for the next few hours while we wait for our flight. My dibs are on trying to stay awake for the remainder of the wait so that we don’t end up missing our flight. We have been sitting next to an electronics store for the past hour and they have been playing the same song over and over. I feel that it may be time to move on just for the change in music. Amazing how something so trivial can send you over the edge when you have to wait for a few hours and are tired ! I believe the phrase is “going postal”. Not quite at that stage just yet but I am sure it will not be long!
Oh gosh, a saving grace!! That bloody song has been taken off repeat, only to be replaced by another drone of a song! Joy! At least there is a change!
It beats the ticking of the clock!
HAPPY NEW YEAR
To all my clients, friends and family, I wish you all the best over the Christmas and New Year period. If you are going away, safe travels! If you are staying in, be safe and have a blast!
The studio will be closed until the 15th of January!
Enjoy your holiday period and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!
A sister of one of my clients came to me on the day of the studio sale on the 4th of December with a single earring that she had. The other half of this pair had been stolen when her house had been robbed and she did not know what to do with the other half.
My suggestion was to make a pendant bail and incorporate one of my flower features as a hanger. A suggestion that was met with quite a bit of enthusiasm.
A suggestion of a coloured gem in the centre of the flower feature came about and we started discussing colours and size of the said particular gem.
It was decided that we would go for a dark Amethyst which would match a ring that she had recently bought to replace another piece that had been stolen. There were 3 princess cut deep purple Amethyst in the centre of this ring. Beautiful colour.
My mission then became finding a stone that would match these beautiful gems in colour, or at least in depth of colour! Luckily, a short trip to a gem supplier in the city saw me with a large deep purple 6mm gem that was virtually identical to those that sat in the ring.
So, I set about creating this sweet little pendant which utilised the existing earring (which had 3 white stones channel set into one side), and setting the Amethyst in the centre of the flower, and this is the result:
Heat treating the silver meant that I was able to bring up the fine silver on the petals of the flower, which are recessed. This then means that this surface is protected from any scratches and wearing. This is only a surface finish and any scratch on this layer would mean that it would scratch off! But in a protected area like this it will be perfectly protected!
The main thing is that I have a happy client leave the studio and one that is happy to wear the piece I have created for them!! I am always happy to create something that will be appreciated!
Although the day started off a little slow, it soon picked up and there was a rush of people buying bits and pieces!
It quietened down for a couple of hours before once again picking up with 15 people in the studio having a look at everything and making their purchases. Thankfully I had Alex and Elaine to help out with keeping people entertained and serving, processing orders!
The day is now finished and the results are in. A good amount of commission work for the next couple of weeks in the lead up to Christmas and a lovely amount of sales which keeps the accountant happy and me happy.
Thank you to all of those who came and bought pieces over the last two days, your support is greatly appreciated, especially in these difficult financial times and I hope the presents you bought bring joyous smiles to the faces of those you bought them for!!