Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where does the time go?

Well, I know it's a cliche but today I'm reflecting on where the last 31 years have gone!!
They've certainly gone quickly. Today is our wedding anniversary and there's no excuses for either Murray or I to ever forget the date, given that we were married on Remembrance Day.
As I look back, I certainly hope Murray's been as happy as I've been. We have two gorgeous kids to show for it and lots to look forward to together in the future.

Here's a pic of two younger, slimmer, less wrinkled people who have yet to acquire double chins, on their happy day. Oh, hang on - that's us! Note Murray's beard, well I actually liked it at the time but it didn't last that long after the wedding. Mind you, I have never seen my husband with out his moustache and I'm not sure I want to! Who knows, maybe that's one of the things I have to look forward as our journey continues - seeing my husbands top lip for the first time ever!

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Monday, October 26, 2009

The Results

Well, all the stock was prepared and the display all organised - here's how it looked on the coffee table the night before:

Here's how it looked on the day:

And here's the lovely (but shy) Miss Dot in front of her display :)

I ended up with a trestle table to my self which we arranged in an L shape with Planet Lime's awesome resin creations on the the other table. It was a lovely day, in a gorgeous setting with good company topped off with good sales. Lotta, and her husband, Warwick were on the stall next door and Annie was across from us, Ali J & Renee from Cocoapod were a few stalls down. These are all people I've met via the on line Etsy community.
It was also great to catch up with my Friend Jane (a different Jane!) who I haven't seen all year, we'd done 3 Fremantle Bazaars together, the last one being in 2007.

While, I don't have plans for any more Craft Fairs at the moment, all of the above lovely people can be found locally at various shows around Perth in the Christmas Lead up, particularly the Made On The Left Fair at The Hyde Park Hotel on 14th & 15th November. Perth Locals - please check it out :) Pin It

Friday, October 23, 2009

Knowing when to stop!!

OK, enough's enough! Yes, I know it seems like I'm overdoing it with this pattern but I do like it. Even so, I realize that my display is going to get a bit busy looking if I don't show some restraint, so I promise these are the last thing I'll make with the damask patterned paper roll.

These are empty straight sided tin cans (baked beans & beetroot!), covered with the paper and topped with black felt. I wanted a few risers to add a bit of interest to break up the flatness of table surface.

I've pretty much got most things organised with my display,packaging and pricing now. Going to spend tomorrow making a few more pieces. I've got my mock up display on the coffee table and when all my pieces are finished I'll take a pic and you can judge for yourselves if I've overdone the pattern or stopped in time :) Pin It

Friday, October 16, 2009

Display Directions 2 or can you tell I love Double Sided Tape?

I'm still working on my display for the Craft fair I'm doing that I mentioned in my last post, - my friend is giving me a corner of her table to sell my work.
Because Jane's done many craft shows, her table always looks marvellous, with eye catching, innovative displays to attract people to her wonderful wares. So I thought I'd better make an effort to have a half decent display myself so as not to drag down the high standard on the day!

I've always loved double sided tape - it is just so useful on so many occasions, and in so many crafts and activities, not to mention gift wrapping!
Well despite this, even I thought I was going a bit overboard when I picked up about 12 rolls of the stuff for about two bucks at one of those discount stores, pretty sure I'd never have to buy any again in this lifetime!

Today I used a whole roll, I cut a piece of gift wrap that fits in with my theme to A4 size. I completely covered the back with the double sided tape and applied a piece of white card stock to it. I punched out heart shapes with a paper punch I had and hey presto - 36 heart tags. Only took about 20 minutes.

These hearts are going to do double duty. I'm going to have a little bowl of earrings all going out at the same cheap price. I'll attach each pair to one heart so they stay together and on the back on the white card side I can write what stone I've used. Then I thought I'd use the rest as seals for my paper bags. Of course to make them into seals, I'll have to put more D/S tape on the back - gosh that stuff is so handy ;)

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Display Directions

As most of my creations go down to Behind the Monkey I haven't done any craft fairs since the FAC bazaars. My friend Jane is doing the Subiaco Rotary Fair late October and has generously offered a corner of her stall to display and sell my work.
This has got me thinking about displays etc. Sometimes I think more time is spent on this sort of thing rather than actually producing the work!
I bought this vendor apron a few months ago from Yoopers, just the thing for stall holders, with nifty pockets for pens, keys etc and a hidden pocket for takings (hopefully that'll get some use!) and I really love the black and white damask design:

With this as a starting point to my "theme", I spent today messing around in Publisher and Photoshop and made these custom earring cards to fit a second hand rotating stand that I picked up a while back.

I was able to fit 3 earring cards onto a 17.5 x 12.5cm print (5x7")size template and had a couple printed out at Big W as test prints to see if it all worked.
Well, I declare it a success :)

I have no idea of commercial printing costs for a limited short run but at 12cents each these cards will do the job just fine. I was thrilled with the glossy professional finish.
I still need to tweak the design (the text is a bit pixilated) but hopefully a quick ( I wish!) play in Photoshop when I get the chance and I'll get that sorted. I'll also try out a matte finish too as although the glossy finish looks great - it's attracting fingerprints and dust.

Now I just have to make some earrings to put on them! Pin It

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

When good rings go bad.....

I like to make rings but getting the sizing right seems to be a hit & miss affair most of the time. Occasionally I manage to finish one that actually fits me!
When I started this one, the three wires were to form the ring shape and pass over each other at the top in the same way as when you first link your fingers if you're going to pray.........Did you just try that?
That idea came to an abrupt halt when I was joining the wires at the base of the ring and the solder ran all along the seam lines and joined the wires together at the point where they should have been separate and intersecting. Darn!
After playing with the pliers I formed the ends into little scroll shapes instead and salvaged my disaster.
The ring reminds me of a water spout but I'll call it my "fountain" ring 'because that sounds so much more elegant. And it fits me - Yay! Pin It

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Meanderings in wire.....

Not sure why, but I had an urge to play with wire yesterday, and that urge was a lot stronger than the urge to vacuum dust etc. which is what I should have been doing!

Fortunately it was a productive day creatively and I made these pendants. I used a heavy gauge Sterling Silver wire which I hand formed with pliers free form style and finished with a hammered texture. Soldered in places to give structural strength.

I did end up wasting a lot of wire in designs that didn't work though so I've plenty of silver scraps to melt down later.
These are the ones that I was happy with, and they're quite large, the triangle is about 8 cm (3inches) long. The Rose is the smallest with a diameter of about 4.5cm (1 1/4 inches)

While I was playing around I got a nice idea for a ring which I hope to attempt this week too.

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Monday, August 03, 2009

Thinking like an artist........

I'm trying my best to do this in future and push myself out of my comfort zones.
Thanks to a workshop I attended at The Art Gallery Of WA last weekend I'll be making a start.

David Walker facilitated a Design Workshop which I attended on Saturday. First up, we we're privileged to be shown his exhibition - Anatomy of the object, by the man himself, who generously shared his inspiration, design and thought processes behind many of the works in his exhibition. Later we were shown a slide presentation which included his recent large scale installation works here in WA.

When we got to the part of actually creating, I suffered a little from "Workshop Block", even so, I had fun experimenting with wood and plastic, and I came away with lots of ideas, but the knowledge that David shared with the class was invaluable.

It was a challenging but inspirational day, and I am in awe of David's body of work - contemporary jewellery, and silversmith works which spans from 1961 to present day.

The exhibition is running at the Art Gallery until 18th October 2009.

Space frame 12 (three ring bead pendant) 2001
This is a scan of the front cover of my exhibition catalogue.
The exhibition runs until 18th October at The Art Gallery Of WA

I attended the workshop in good company with friends. Here's my friend Lotta's blog about the day.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Shameless Plug for Talented West Aussies

I know I've mentioned the upcoming Made on The Left Markets before but that was last month and I don't want any Perth people to miss out on this fabulous indie shopping experience at the Hyde Park Hotel next weekend - 25th & 26th July.
Perth obviously has lots of talented artisans and crafters because the market will run both days with different vendors each day.

Come along both days - check out this page for a look at the stall holders. Don't let the wintery weather deter you - it's in the hotel premises, all warm and cosy and there's plenty of parking and even an ATM machine! .... And yes, the bars are open - this may well be the only craft fair in Perth that the fellas are happy to attend ;) They can prop up the bar while you shop till you drop.

I'll be there on Sunday, I'm not selling my own work (I'd have to actually get productive & make something to do that!) instead I'll be helping out Jane from Planet Lime on her stall, so stop by to check out her fabulous resin work and say Hi!

Here's a little sample from a few of Sunday's Stallholders.

Top Row: Polyclarific, Cocoapod, Planet Lime
Middle Row: Princess Lotta, Annie Rawle, Tea For Bini
Bottom Row: Odd Girl Out, Ali J, Little Mo
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fresh out of the kiln.

The New Kiln Firing Up.

Since the kiln arrived I've been reading up on the instructions, and to be honest I found it all a bit scary! That and reading my enamel book, and researching the internet and magazines and I think I'm suffering from information overload.

So, this morning I decided that today was the day! With all my safety gear on the ready and my supplies and equipment nearby I wheeled the kiln to a spot by a window where I couldn't burn the house down.
Big Red Leather Welder's Gloves not shown!

Four or five hours later and I've made one small pair of earrings - yes that's all but I have learnt a lot. I've learnt:
  • If my glasses steam up it means my dust mask isn't tight enough!
  • Until I get some more practise -Stick to making pendants - it's hard to get two things exactly the same for earrings.
  • Don't counter enamel with the same colour as the front. A few layers down the track I couldn't remember which side was which or how many layer's I'd done.
  • Even though the books say don't apply a layer too thick - I think I can be a little more generous!
  • Practise on larger items - I thought if I messed up I'd waste less materials with little copper components but the truth is they are fiddly - I'd be better off with larger pieces until I'm a bit more experienced.
  • Find a better spot to use the kiln - preferably near the sink and near another power point where I can plug in the pickle pot - still hopefully where I won't burn the place down.
  • Try and get a production line thing happening - it was very stop start today. I seemed to be forever taking the leather gloves, goggles and mask on and off, depending on what bit I was doing.
Anyway, I had fun, I didn't get hat hair but did get goggle & mask hair instead - glad there were no unexpected visitors! And...........Ta Dah! Here's the results of the day's efforts :)

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Where Oh where is the fedex man?

,I recently purchased a kiln to use in my jewellery making and it's due to arrive today. It's being shipped direct from the manufacturer and I've been tracking it's progress on it's journey.

It's taken a rather long way around to get here, it's on Aussie soil now, in fact it's in the delivery truck now as I type, but first it went from Texas, to Tennessee and then to Anchorage Alaska. That bit surprised me - I wouldn't have thought Alaska was the most direct route from Texas to Perth but (?) ..... It then had a short stopover in Singapore before hitting our shores.

I had to rearrange the delivery, as it was initially due to arrive yesterday and I was at work all day. Then at midnight when I checked it's status before bed (as you do!) it said it was ready to be picked up at the depot. I was on the phone at 7am today as I was pretty sure I didn't organise to pick the thing up myself on the other side of the city. The call centre chap said to check the status again after 9am to see if it was still at the depot or on the truck as he couldn't tell either!

It's now 2 pm and it's been on the truck since 9 am. I'm anxious, although I know I shouldn't be, but the anticipation is killing me, will I hear the door knock? (very likely as the dogs will go ballistic so pretty much pointless worrying there!)

This morning the people across the road missed a delivery - I watched from the window as a delivery man took out his trolley, went to the front door, returned his trolley to the truck and left a card in their letterbox. I spent the next hour worrying it was really my kiln in that truck and they'd attempted delivery at the wrong house. Actually I haven't stopped worrying about that yet!

It's very wet and cold today but I've got the front door wide open, so that I'll hear the sound of the truck - I've got a security screen by the way! I have to move fast when I hear the truck to lock the dogs in the bedroom - that way I can open the screen door and allow my kiln - all 18.6 kgs - to be wheeled in on the delivery trolley without the dogs making their usual bid for freedom or jumping up on the poor fedex man.

Ha Ha, the stress of it all ;) - wonder what people did before online tracking?

Update: 3.24pm The Fedex Lady delivered my Kiln - All my worrying was for nothing :) Pin It

Monday, June 15, 2009

Made on The Left

Image by Helena Tay, courtesy of Made on the left.

Back in 2007 a group of Perth Crafters & Artists found each other in the Etsy Forums.
Excited to find like minded, local people on an international site, social meet ups were arranged in "real life".
It was from these meet ups and the online discussions in the forums that the seeds were planted and in 2008 "Made on the Left" was founded with a view to supporting Local Western Australian Independent Designers.
And support it has, in this past year or so, The hard working Made on The Left committee has organised two successful Art/Craft Markets; one here in Perth and the second in Bunbury.

They are now organising their third market at The Hyde Park Hotel, running over two days on the 25th & 26th July. Showcasing different work each day, this will give more artisans the opportunity to offer their work and promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Applications are being taken for stallholders now until 20th June, so get in quick - More details here and if you're one of the many Perth "Indie Handmade" lovers, then mark those dates in your diary.

Visit the Made On The Left Website
Visit the Made On The Left Blog
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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Up, Up and away .........again..........

Sterling Cast Ring - plane cast from son's old Micro Machine Toy

Barely a month home from our holiday in Broome and I was back in the skies again flying to Singapore!

This time my daughter choose me as her travelling companion for her very first overseas trip and treated me to my ticket to Singapore for Mother's Day. It was a quick trip of just 4 1/2 days away, to fit in with her R and R from her job in Port Hedland.

It was great to spend time with her and we had a fantastic holiday, saw as many sights as we could cram into the time there, and when we weren't sightseeing we were shopping...well I'll rephrase that - she was shopping and I was keeping her company while she parted with her hard earned cash although I did pick up a pair of shoes or two for myself :)

Planes and airports play a big part in my life it seems, Husband and daughter are both "Fly in, Fly out" workers, so I'm doing the airport runs on a regular basis, I could pretty much put the car on "auto pilot" and it'd find it's own way there.
Early June - back out at the airport - International this time, to see my son off to London.
He's doing the backpacking thing around Europe for the rest of the year. Pin It

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Texture Time!

I took some jewellery down to the shop last week. I had Mother's Day in mind when I made these. I'd been playing with my rolling mill and loved the effect that glass paper made on the silver. Very glitzy I thought, and I added a simple freshwater pearl to most of the designs, because, well.... Mums like pearls :)

The first corrugated design made me think of crinkle cut potato chips, not in real life but I couldn't help noticing it when I was resizing the photo. Maybe it's because I'm obsessing with food right now as I've cut out junk food and every time I walk past the pantry I see the chips in there calling out for me to eat them! No doubt about it - I'm tempted :(

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Beautiful Broome!.

In April we went up to Broome for a five day break. It's a couple of hours or so on the plane North of Perth.
Broome is just magic and has everything I love about our State's Northwest, I just love the colour of the ocean, the colour of the rocks and the pindan (red sand) and the fascinating plants! Here's some pics.......

From the plane as we crossed over the coast descending into Broome.

and the view from the veranda of our room at The Cable Beach Club - our own personal rainbow!

A neat twisted tree - have no idea what it is...

At Gantheaume Point - my favourite spot at Broome - loved this cool rock!

The beautiful Cable Beach

and finally can't go with out a Broome Sunset - taken from the Sunset Bar while enjoying a glass of wine!

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

No stopping him now!

While I was at work yesterday, Murray did more foldforming, he made a few more leaves and this cuff from nickel silver.
and............he made dinner too.... I'm happy - I didn't have to cook and got a new bracelet. (LOL)

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Darn, Now I'm going to have to share my tools!

Murray works away and when he's home he's here for 6 days in a row. Yesterday, he decided that cooking meals for his loving family was not enough to occupy his time at home and he needed a hobby!
Armed with my metalwork book Foldforming by Charles Lewton-Brain and some of my sheet copper and brass he took off into the shed. He emerged triumphant with these two leaves :)

First one in copper - the oxidisation is from the torch and he left it as it was to add to the rustic appeal:

Second one in brass, again heat oxidised - I made a Sterling Neckwire for it:

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Friday, April 03, 2009

I'm a winner!

No longer will I be able to say "but I never win anything" Why?.................
Well, I just won this cool Heart Brooch from ReRead Design.

I'm now the proud owner of two pieces of ReRead's designs. I purchased the little bird brooch pictured below back in January and now I've won the cute heart to add to my collection!

ReRead upcycles old vintage books to construct her brooches in cute silhouette shapes, covering them with the intriguing images & Text, then it's all protected with a smooth glossy finish.

A great touch is the packaging. My brooches were carefully wrapped in a page from an old book, then another page was used to make the handmade envelope.
Not often that I experience such a visual treat when collecting the mail from the letter box - certainly makes a pleasant change from window envelopes!

Check out more of ReRead's cute brooches at her Etsy Shop Pin It

Friday, March 27, 2009

In the Press!

I was very excited when my rubber and Sterling Silver earrings were featured in the current issue of Local Lifestyle magazineScoop.

Here's the cover- click on the images for larger versions of the pics:

and here's the feature - I love the styling:

And a close up...

The earrings are currently in stock at Behind The Monkey

In the middle photo you can also see a Rose Necklace which is also available at Behind the Monkey and was designed by talented Perth Local, Sarah Gazia. Pin It

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Ghostly forrest?

Well that's how I see it......

These are actually the results of my last casting class at Fremantle Arts Centre. I was only able to stay at class half an hour before I had to dash to an unavoidable commitment, so luckily my friends Jane & Lotta stepped in and melted my silver and poured the castings I'd prepared the week earlier...Thanks girls :)

The "snow" on my trees is the remains of the investment (heat proof plaster) that forms the moulds. As Jane put it "their love for me did not extend to cleaning up my castings" Ha Ha - they only wanted to do the fun bits, like playing with fire and molten metal!

Tempting as it is to keep these ghostly little trees as they are, they are destined to become "branch necklaces" similar to the one I posted last week. Pin It

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Branching out......


In casting class I've had the most success with my twigs that I turned into little bird necklaces.

Last week instead of the single twig, I cast a twig with multiple little branches. I was really happy with how it turned out and I've made it into another necklace. I've attached it to a long chain which just slips over my head with no clasp. I've resisted the temptation to add a bird or other forest creatures -I did contemplate a squirrel, but decided the tree shape was impressive enough on its own.
Soldering the rings on for the chain was a pain that's taken the best part of the morning and I did a bit of a dodgy job on it, but undeterred I'm going to try casting another "tree" at next week's class and incorporate the jump rings into the casting. Hopefully that will work better :)

I don't always cast twigs though. I've also got a little aeroplane and a dinosaur head which turned out well enough to make into this space.........

Photobucket Pin It

Friday, February 13, 2009

Oz Bush Fire Appeal

The Etsy Community have pulled together to support The Oz Bush Fire Appeal, following the recent and ongoing tragedy of the fires in Victoria Australia - news that has shocked and saddened us all here in Australia and touched people all around the world.

The DUST Team led by Emma have opened up a shop (with Etsy's permission & support), and proceeds are being donated to the Red Cross Bush Fire Appeal.

Check out the shop here - lots of wonderful items have been donated and are available for sale by talented artisans from all over the world. Free international shipping is offered on all items which will be shipped from the individual artisans. Pin It

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Productive Few Days

It's been pretty hot and humid here but I did manage to drag myself out into the shed and do some soldering. I finished another one of the cast twigs that I made at my casting class a few weeks back. I made it into another necklace but this time I've laid it out vertically instead of horizontally like my first twig necklace.

Also, played with a heavy gauge wire to make these swirl earrings. No soldering involved - just forming, hammering & polishing.

I have to be a little considerate these days with my hammering. Our house is surrounded on 3 sides by houses that have babies. I shut my self in the spare room and close the doors, hoping it's not too loud for the neighbours! I haven't had any complaints so far! Pin It

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Turning a negative into a positive!

First I pierced (hand sawed) a rabbit design from a sterling disc to make this pendant:

Then I soldered the little cut out rabbit onto another Sterling disc to make a second pendant here:

The negative space in the first pendant makes the rabbit look slightly fatter than the actual cut out on the second, that's because I domed the first pendant which enlarged the space. Pin It