Beady eyed at Gakuya


Most days I am at Corinthian Gardens Clubhouse.  A designer friend of mine set up shop round the back of the clubhouse, called Gakuya, with a terrace that allows a view of the soccer field (and  Phil Younghusband et al from a distance - the Azkals hold practice games there), glints of jade and aquamarine pool water through the trees and, above the domed roof of the tennis court, a sightline of penthouses and The Medical City.

I mind the shop if my friend needs to go buy fabric or something and I help do beadwork (as mentioned and pictured in a past post).  I’m not an expert, just have a knack for putting together brilliants, plastic, stone and metal beads of every color and shape in a very eclectic mix.  It also helps to be O.C. hehehe.  

It’s a good place to get creative – lots of quiet to think deep, dastardly thoughts (wink, wink).  
Nap-friendly: the whistle of the wind lulling me to sleep in the red canvas foldout chair.  I can Facebook much and watch YouTube and UStream when there are no fittings. I like the games, dance offs and all sorts of fun activities the children at California Summer Camp enjoys with their equally perky teachers; their happy noise breaking the mid afternoon boredom.
At Buddy Tutorial Center, there’s a cute kid with a face that readily reddens when he throws a semi tantrum on days when he doesn’t feel like learning his lessons.
Over at the shop,  a highlight is having a client dress up before her event and we get to see the total look if she has her hair and make up done at Fabio Salsa, where Alex Bourbon (like the drink) works his magic.  It’s like having a preview of someone’s red carpet moment, all glam with up dos and sultry curls, smoky eyes or no make up make up. 

On occasion, Kim (the designer and owner of Gakuya) and I get to ogle the wedding party, guests, fashion hits or miss, tablescapes, and venue design (saw a lot of interesting balloon art, sometimes we diss the tacky color combinations, weird wedding cakes and screaming banquet managers stressed out over late set up and suppliers, the poor things) of countless birthdays, debuts, reception and rave parties held at the ballroom.

And, oh yes, a very entertaining squirrel. A real one! In this country! I associate squirrels with chipmunks and acorns; maple syrup and frigid weather.  I even placed one on my Farmville, at my Christmas zone (with Christmas Cafe, an Ice House, two penguins, sneezing reindeers in scarves,  snowed maple trees, and the Mole. I won’t say I am addicted to the game, I just like everything thematic hehehe.

I don’t know if it is just the one squirrel, or brothers and sisters taking turns hopping from tree to tree.  Now you see it, now you don’t, obscured by the dense leaves of the mango trees, which huge spread of branches it uses as a canopy bridge.  There was that one time it showed itself to me, making its way on a sparsely leafed arc of bamboo then staring at me for awhile.  Probably wondering if I’m a threat, that the bit of corncob it was carrying might be my kind of eats.  I sort of followed, walking along the terrace that gave me an almost level view of the uppermost clump of bamboo.  At some point, it dropped the corncob and waited if I will make a rush for it. When I didn’t do anything, it cautiously climbed down to get it then ran out of sight.  I haven’t seen it since.  I was told it lives in a clump of trees on the far side of the soccer field.


Meanwhile, I am enjoying this bit of heaven and helping create some baubles, like here. The work of not so idle hands.





And then there are these more elaborate, out there pieces: beads and glittery things gathered in a spidery brooch;
in a cascade for a statement piece;
a curving tiara or garland like for a headpiece worthy of a celestial bride;
cherry blossoms in pale pink crystals and chocolate brown bugle beads;
as accent on a velvet band to emphasize a tiny waist and complement a huge fall of tulle  ~yards and yards of fabric for a fairy princess gown.

I thought voluminous gowns would be heavy to wear but really, it was ok for a few hours of ceremony and photo op.  Besides you won't feel the weight when everyone is telling you it suits your queenly-ness!  

I once wore a voluminous print gown Gakuya made, my absolute favorite.  I walked to and fro two facing buildings at Rockwell where a friend’s wedding will take place in one and the bridal party is billeted in the other.  I was helping bring over stuff (bibles and candles and confetti canons) wearing that gown, and people would oohh and aaah over it.  One guy in the elevator even asked what I’m hiding under the skirting and I told him,  “the seven dwarfs” hahaha.  It was just billowy and gorgeous!  Of course I swept the confetti off the carpet and the ring, candle bearers and flower girls made a game of catching my "train" – the gown was fuller in the back so I could walk easy without having to kick up the front.  Sorry can't post the gown here, because I was wearing it and this is supposed to be an anonymous blog! Gakuya can make a custom one, no worries!

You have to be tall enough to get away with so much volume.  I suggest you wear tall slippers if you want something like it, so you are more comfortable. I did!
You might want these Japanese clogs called geta (the geta on here is all get out hehehe, so cool!).  Takes practice to walk in these though.  Strangely reminds me of those ship hulls that could cut through ice floes.  


And then there is the corset!  A complex and ingenious wire weave fit for a dramatic entrance or Ms. Earth candidate – representing water and ice, worn over a slinky silver gray gown.

 The corset is heavy, all those pearls and Swarovski crystals, but tolerable.  Anyway, it's a great wedding story worthy of a fierce fashionista (or bejewelled gladiator queen hahaha).
It can be made custom to fit a particular body silhouette, the beads woven just so. No two creations are alike and it is made custom for the purpose, design, how tall or petite, how avant-garde or classic the bride or wearer is.  Also, how big the budget hehehe.  Just go crazy!



Took a month to finish this particular piece and Kim did it all.  God can create the world in seven days, but I am beady eyed in 20 minutes then I take a break from being hunched up and sticking myself (often) with needle!  Someone else has to thread for me, too. Cross eyed and beady eyed is not a good look for me hahaha.

P.s.  Sorry if I don't post as often.  I hope that when I do serve up some dish, you'd think it worth the wait ; )

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