the blog of jewelry designer

April 27, 2011

Bangkok Trip

I just returned from a product development trip to Bangkok, Thailand. While Erin (my operations manager) and I were super-busy every day finalizing my Fall Collection (which I CANNOT WAIT to share with you..not now..but soon!!), without much time to explore the city, we arrived early enough to have a day of reprieve from the long flight(s) and the 12 hour time difference.

We had a yummy lunch at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, which sits on the Chao Phraya River--this is probably my favorite hotel in Bangkok. Here is a photo of the beautiful flowers of Thailand creatively suspended from the ceiling in the lobby of the hotel. If you have never seen the flowers of Thailand they are truly amazing...stunning really

While at lunch I asked to be served a salty snack that I had noticed when we walked past their bar--while they quite possibly might not look appetizing to you in this photo, it's my new favorite yummy crunchy salty snack...they are fried and salted lima beans!! I later bought a little package of these little treats at a 7-11 near our hotel (you should see the huge difference in food and drink items between an American 7-11 and a Thai 7-11).

Here is Erin above (after our lunch) standing in front of the Chao Phraya River, which is a very popular area to visit when traveling to Thailand. We left this area to go to the Chatuchak market--which is a weekend shopping market with 8000 shopping stalls on 35 acres...needless to say, we visited just a few booths.

On Monday, we started working. Here is one of our Thai artisians making our Simone hoop in chrysoprase along with a photo of chrysoprase in its rough form.

The next picture is mother of pearl in its raw shell form--pretty cool, huh? We use a very thick piece of white mother of pearl for our large Simone Hope Star earrings, so as you can see, not many of these earrings can be made from one shell because there is only one part of the shell that's thick enough from which to cut this shape.

What looks like chopsticks are actually setting sticks used to set these tiny Simone-shaped stones into the Simone stacking rings.

This is lavender chalcedony rough...seeing gems in their rough form always reminds me of how my jewelry comes out of the earth, and then I just add a little design to it! Beautiful, isn't it?!

This is right outside of the building where some of our stones are cut, carved and polished. It's a great representation of how many people have a motorcycle in Bangkok--it seems to be the primary mode of transportation, and there doesn't seem to be any law about how one can drive a motorcycle...believe me!

Erin and I had to book a horrible route for our return from Bangkok, as it was during the Thai New Year holiday, thus good flights were hard to get with how late we booked our tickets. Therefore, we took FOUR FLIGHTS to return with a 6 hour layover in Korea in the middle of the in preparation for this long 32+ hour journey, we scheduled a half-day of facials and massages on the morning before we departed. Health Land (pictured below) is a spa that I typically go to at least a couple of evenings per week after a long work day--you can get a Thai massage there for about $20 for 2 hours! I have discovered less expensive options, but with Health Land, I know that I am always guaranteed a good massage therapist.

And because she belongs in every blog entry... this is my sweet dog Whitney on the morning of my departure for Bangkok...she knew what was going on...and very unhappy about it. But she is always well taken-care-of and loved on while I am gone!

It was a fabulous and successful trip to Thailand but it is always good to be home! Until next time....xoxo Elizabeth