Friday, August 1, 2014

Month In The Life - Workshop

This month I am joining in a behind the scenes photo challenge for creative people, hosted by Jess at Create and Thrive. The daily prompts are over here if you'd like to join in too. I'll be sharing my photos here and in Instagram, so be prepared to see a little more of the tools, techniques and inspiration that make up my jewellery business.  

My and Didi's work benches, and my rolling mill and polishing bench - which is also home to my pickle and ultrasonic.

Somewhere to sit, write, draw, wrap packages, and for the children to play while Mama works.

My humble and much loved workshop, which was once a brick walled bar. My husband and I both wanted this space when we brought the house, but he kindly let me have it. (Which is one of the reasons I love him. He got a garage and shed instead however.)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Feeding You Creativity

1. u-tsu-wa exhibition at Paper Boat Press
2. My purchases
4. Practicing my letters at the Flora Lovely Calligraphy workshop at the Showroom
5. Gorgeous succulents by The Small Garden at the Showroom
6. Pretties at the Showroom

I have learnt that creativity must be fed. However, it's an idea that is easily overlooked when juggling work, family and life. It's difficult to thrive in the dark, to find inspiration in a void, or work in isolation. Rather, doing and seeing things that enrich and inspire you not only enables you to expand your skills, but informs your own artistic practice in new ways. Sometimes it's about appreciating the work of other creative people, other times it is about stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new. I had both such experiences this past weekend, visiting the fascinating u-tsu-wa exhibition and meeting the artists; as well as taking part in a wonderful calligraphy workshop. It was such a creatively satisfying weekend and I am keen to get back to work this week at the bench. 

So my lovely readers, I encourage you to visit a gallery or sign up for a workshop and cultivate your creativity too!
I'd love to hear where else you find inspiration, and how you feed your creativity.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

New in the Shop - 'Champagne and Flowers' Earrings


I've updated this earring design with the addition of sterling silver and colour, and I am so much more in love with them now!

Check them out in the shop here.

Friday, July 25, 2014

New in the Shop - 'History Class' Signet Ring

History Class Signet Ring
For those who have asked, here's a shot of a History Class Signet Ring on my grubby jewellery making hand! :) #intheshop #handmaderings

This solid sterling silver ring, handmade from recycled sterling silver, is the epitome of simplicity and charm. Following in the tradition of wax seals, signet rings have evolved to be symbols of individualism. These rings are beautiful as they are, or may be personalised with engraving or gemstones.

Signet rings became popular during the Ancient Roman Era. Emperors and the ruling elite wore rings that contained impressed symbols or signatures. 

These rings feature a weighty, brushed finished 15 mm wide, 1.5 mm thick curved disk, on a comfortable polished half round 2 mm wide band. Stamped 925. Currently available in sizes L, O and W. This design is also available for order in custom sizes - please allow up to ten days from placing order. Check your ring size here.

Gift wrapped in a white ring box, wrapped in vintage sewing pattern paper, tied with string.

Check it out in the shop here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Switching off the News

Stationary, tools, craft supply or plant shops... I can't be trusted at any of the above. :) #ilovegardening #thingsiloveaboutwinter
Unrelated photo of pretty flowers

As a child, the news was a daily routine in our house. Each night my father watched two news broadcasts and one current affairs program. This made for a fair bit of shushing of we three children, as it took us time to reign in our impulse to talk, or wait until the ads. Every now and then the broadcaster would announce that "the following images may disturb some viewers", and this was our cue to scamper off to our bedrooms until we were told we could return.

Then, as now, bad things happened 'on the news.' That's how it felt to me as a child - that these things were just happening on the news. When I was a little older I remember watching a report about the prophesied end of the world, as a religious sect filled in to a cave, convinced that this was their last night of existence. I felt fear, afraid they were right, despite my Mothers reassurances to the contrary. I went to bed full of apprehension. I had probably forgotten all about it the next day, until I saw the follow up story that night as the sect meekly filed back out of the cave again. Funny the things you remember. I've had that memory for at least twenty five years now.

As such, I can't help but wonder about the impact the news has on my children. The News seems more graphic now, more sensationalised. There's more footage, better footage, of every catastrophe worldwide. Single topics can be broadcast all day, or for many weeks, making them difficult to avoid. I know we had a no-news policy during the Daniel Morcombe trial, as the media saturation was so intense.  I find myself asking my husband so often lately to change channels while he watches the news - a note of urgency in my voice - as Cohen looks on with wonder and curiosity at yet more horrors. This past week he has heard of a plane being shot down, bodies falling from the sky, missiles in Gaza, a woman buried beneath rubble for two days. And in the aftermath we've had conversations where I try to find the right words to explain these events to a five year old, while trying to ensure he feels safe. I actually read a great article about this topic this morning - and it brings up the effect these news stories have on adults, as well as children, which is worth keeping in mind. Do we really need to expose ourselves to all this negativity on a daily basis?

My answer is no. There is too much horror for me. I don't want to hide my head in the sand, but I also don't need all the gory details and visuals. I want more balance in the content I am consuming. I want my reading to be adding value to my life or inspiring me, rather than contributing to a feeling of being unsafe in the world. Thanks to technology, unlike my husband or my father, I read my news online. In this way I have more freedom to choose which content I want to read, and which I wish to avoid. And for now at least, I will be keeping the news switched off and be encouraging my husband to do the same.

Monday, July 21, 2014


Biosphere by Tomas Saraceno

I used to love working in the City; dressing up, the hustle and bustle, the people watching, the sense of being part of a bigger picture, the constant state of flux. There was always an air of possibility, and I feel it still when we go exploring in the City. There is always so much to see and do, especially if you know where to look.

Saturday there was not only the new Harvest exhibition to discover - complete with children's activities, there was also the GOMA Store Winter Design Market, and Southbank's Regional Flavours. As a result I came home with handmade goodies, beautiful wine, roasted honey macadamia nuts (that didn't last long) and worn out children. 

Sunday we indulged our homebody-ness as we pottered around the house and worked in the garden. It was  so satisfying to stand back at the end of the day, brush the dirt off my hands and the hay off my knees, and survey the two freshly turned veggie patches, the 25 strawberry plants, 12 cherry tomato seedlings, eight baby spinach seedlings and potted flowers.

Yes, it was a good weekend indeed. 
I hope yours was too.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Creativity Abounds

Thankfully bubba loves to sleep in the sling, no matter what I'm doing. :) #sawing #jeweller #instasmithy #workfromhomemama
Dandelion clock sweetness. #suchconcentration #wholeheartedfamily
Happy Friday! Can't wait for the weekend - @qagoma Winter Design market in Brisbane Saturday, plus the Harvest exhibition, and Regional Flavours at Southbank! A feast for the sense awaits. :) #brisbane #plansfortheweekend
The best thing about today's windy weather - seeing my babes in hand knitted @typicallyred bonnet and beanie cuteness. :) #thingsiloveaboutwinter
Spent my @qagoma Market Monies on a beautiful @sharonmuir Owl vase and an oh so lovely @paperboatpress notebook. Also looking forward to the u-tsu-wa exhibition @paperboatpress next weekend. #ilovehandmade #gomawinterdesignmarket
1. The advantages of a sling.
2. Dandelion clock cuteness.
3. Collections at home.
4. Windy days and bonneted babes.
5. GOMA Design Market goodness I brought yesterday - Paper Boat Press notebook and Sharon Muir Owl Vase

It's been quiet in this space the past week as we settled back in to school routines. Good things have been happening though. I feel like I am surrounded by creativity, inspiration and knowledge in abundance at the moment. And I am endeavoring to make the most of it and say yes to as many opportunities as possible.

- I returned to the bench, inspired by a new piece, which will be making it's way in to the shop soon.
- I ordered the remaining tools necessary for my second jewellery bench to be set up - meaning a more productive work space for Didi and I.
- I've booked my ticket for a ceramic artists talk and demonstration. I'm so fascinated by ceramics.
- I'm looking forward to the Calligraphy workshop next weekend.
- The North Coast Mud Trail is coming up again! I'm hoping to visit a few studios this time, meet the artists and see their beautiful pieces, and maybe make a weekend getaway out of it too.
- I'm joining in with Create and Thrive's August photo challenge, #CTMonthInTheLife, to share some behind the scenes shots of my business, workshop and process.

What creative things have you been planning or doing lately?
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