My final, finished acrylic painting, ‘Parisian Doodle,’ is the fourth entry of my collection submitted to the Westminster Kennel Club annual art contest. Fun fact: this glossy black plastic frame is $4 from the nearby Family Dollar
To be honest, I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d continue after this stage; I was uneasy over whether I should or not stereotype in an asthetically pleasing way, with the Parisian Eiffel tower and Palace of Versailles garden.
Is the ‘Parisian Doodle’ better off without the tiny delicate flecks of glossy gold Golden acrylic paint marks or not? You decide.
I always make sure to shamelessly self endorse my live painting videos on my story portion of my Instagram page, @xi_wen_c , at least three hours ahead.
The close up are on my other ‘Parisian Doodle’ Instagram journal entry. Merry we meet, and merry, we part.
Your friend, coven sister, packmate, confident, roommate, ally, business partnery,
~Xi Wen Chen/陈睎文
I’ve always been a fan of beautiful necklaces, whether they are simple rose gold chains bearing open heart pendants or large elaborate decorations with matching pendants such as this creation. What is your favorite childhood treasure? I used to have a silver locket with a compass dial made of glass stones in colors: red, orange, green, and blue. I think it broke due to my nine-year-old carelessness.
But back to this handmade ‘wearable art’, I made it with the intention of combining past and present. The ‘ling hua’ knot in the center is a flower knot that is a popular entity of past Chinese dynasty art, whether it’s carved into pottery or embroidered upon a courtesan’s dress.
What makes this handicraft look ‘modern is the open ‘hui-ling’ knot, or rather, hollow square knot. There is a order and structure, but room to grow and develop.
I had fun connecting the ‘chunky’ ceramic beads, since it was a struggle to try and keep the two halves of a half moon with an arc together. Finally, I just gave up, and taped the two rebels together. You’re bonding in the same room, like it or not.
The clasp of this unique necklace was a bit of a struggle to create as well, since I am low on both jump-links and clasps, but I managed to create something unique, with a touch of tradition and innovation.
I appreciate whomever took the time to read through the ‘crafter’s process’ if you will. If you are wishing to see how all these close-up photos relate to one another, but are unwilling to scroll back up since you think it’ll crush your scrollbar somehow, a combo picture lies right below this sentence.
The saying “Every woman should have a string of pearls in her jewelry box” applies to an elegant locket as well. While on my family vacation to Taiwan last month, my mom and I took the opportunity to visit the weekend Jade Market, located underneath the Jianguo Elevated Road in the Da’an District of Taipei City. What I love about shopping at open air marketplaces is that there are so many unique items for sale, such as coral necklaces and name chops versus the generic styles commonly found in malls. Many different items caught my attention such as hairsticks and ivory sculptures but the pendant that is the focal center of this post is my personal favorite find.
The three pairs of silver acrylic beads I used for the ‘chain’ part of this creation aren’t from a set I purchased while in Taiwan but from Joann Fabrics and Crafts. The cord I use most often for knotting is this shiny nylon cord dubbed ‘rattail.’ It’s silky, attractive, and extremely affordable; I’ve bought them before in a bulk for about twenty bucks on Amazon. With the main rattail, a chunky dark green, I made the ‘body’ of the necklace after stringing the locket pendant through and placing it in the center.
The knot patterns I made (from bottom to top) are Ru Yi (an extension of the 3-leaf clover knot), X-knot (it holds these attractive knots in place) Round Brocade, X-knot, and 3-leaf clover.
I found that while the dark green complemented the silver of the pendant it failed to bring out the shine of the moonstone on it. I chose two different colored thinner rattail cords, a lavender and a raspberry pink, with the intention of weaving it through the center portions of the knots. The first thing I did was burn two of the ends together at the stove, it forms a solid glue with minimal risk.
I then used a needle (with the sharp part covered in masking tape) to weave the cord in and out around the centers of the knots, it was a bit difficult yet fun at the same time. I decided to end it with a half-cobra knot pattern on the ‘chain’ portion and strung the acrylic beads on. The ‘clasp’ is actually a cobra knot bead that slides up and down.