I have launched my handmade adornment line at last. LaLaLouBelle. Named after Lucy, my muse and inspiration, LaLaLouBelle marks a long awaited re-ignition of a smouldering ember, a little ‘yearning’ of the sensory kinetic realm to ‘hand craft’ reinterpretations of fascination. Since childhood, I’ve loved little things that held associative wonderment. I collected bus tickets, buttons, jewellery discarded by mum, coloured paper, odd shaped rocks and pebbles, driftwood, shells etc. Thirty years ago, I began to collect beads and semi-precious stones wherever I travelled. I amassed quite a sizeable collection of bits and bobs gathered from parts of Europe, the UK, China, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and home in Singapore. Thanks to a very generous old friend, I have in my collection some precious pieces – vintage handcrafted glass beads from around Europe, Johnson & Matthey silver findings, wire, tubes and plates, semi-precious stones and rocks from the Natural History Museum in London – which formed the foundation for subsequent additions along the way.
I’ve also started a little Etsy shop with the same name: LaLaLouBelle. My prices on Etsy are modest. In fact, I’ve priced them far below their original monetary value, and even further beneath their innate worth, because I know that most people will not fully grasp even the extrinsic cost, let alone the subtle and gentle intrinsic significance that forms the soul and spirit of each dynamic living entity. Yet, I do not mourn this gulf: I have come to a point of grace in my journey, largely thanks to Lucy and in part to my loyal friends, where the processional dispensation of beauty is a joy in itself, which no price tag can properly describe.
LaLaLouBelle is meant as supplement for Lucy’s wellbeing and sustenance. All proceeds will go into a bank account for Lucy. She has been dragged through so much during the four years of our tumultuous nomadic existence, yet, just like a mystical charm, Lucy has contributed such brilliance and inspiration to each moment, no matter how excruciating, making every adventure full of beauteous wonderment. Each time, as I held her close and tried to comfort her in her suffering – especially during the nightmare stretch which began in November 2015 when she lost part of her elegant tail in a sickening preventable act of callousness, heralding a subsequent two months of trauma, then ungraciously losing the roof over our heads at the beginning of 2016 just four weeks before my PhD submission, completing my dissertation in the midst of moving from one place to another, thereafter enduring months inside sensory hell in filth and squalor, and finally a two-month-long separation – I repeatedly vowed to Lucy that someday I shall give her a better life. “Hang in there, my Beloved, someday, mumma will give you a better life than this. I promise!” became my spoken mantra to her.
The time is now. Home with family. Safe abode. After thirty years of collecting and carrying the little flame of hope around, the moment has arrived, and Lucy is the catalyst. What will become of this venture, I have no idea. But it is ours – mine and Lucy’s – and inside this realm, we continue to spin our narrative, here in silver, gold, leather, glass, semi-precious stones, old treasures and new contemplations.
And so… tada!!!… Lucy and I proudly present LaLaLouBelle!