Friday, August 03, 2012

I'm Back :)

We're back from our Far North Queensland 4 Wheel Drive Adventure. It was full of fabulous sights, scenery and people - but more on that later.

I've waited to blog this as it was a gift for my daughter, but now her Birthday has come and gone I can blog away and not ruin any surprises!

In June, my friend Jane & I enrolled for a two day workshop at Fremantle Arts Centre, one of my favourite learning places. We were fortunate enough to be taught how to make Sterling Silver Spoons by the marvellous George Lucas, a renowned and very well respected Silversmith here in Western Australia.

Here's the results of my class efforts.

The spoon was made in 3 parts, the top was sawn from sheet, shaped and hammered. The middle was from thick square wire and the bowl also sawn from sheet and domed to shape.
That was the easy bit - the fitting it all together and soldering was a bit trickier.  A bit of precision sawing was involved in getting that top bit to fit the mid section but we all got it in the end under George's watchful eye.
Fortunately George had a jig he'd made which we used to hold the bowl and the handle together when we came to soldering those parts together.  Jane was clever and soldered her spoon together without the jig - smart move really because if we ever want to replicate it at home we'll all be jigless and have to do that!

I made the little custom gift box because next to making jewellery I love messing around with wrapping and papercraft.
Hopefully, one day the spoon will get handed further down in the family as a little heirloom  - in the meantime,  I was pretty chuffed when my daughter (who'd seen it after day 1's class when it was in 3 pieces and not cleaned up in any way) on receiving the finished spoon said "Mum, you can't see the joins!"  WooHoo!

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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Certificate 2 - Yay!

I finally applied for my certificate and now I have something to show for my time attending Tech College last year. And yes, I am going to frame it and hang it on a wall! 
This was a big deal for me, I left school the first time 40 years ago! (oops showing my age now!) so going back into a formal learning environment definately challenged me and I was often out of my comfort zone. 
I'm so glad I did it though :) 

We're heading off to Queensland this week for our 4 wheel Drive holiday that I wrote about earlier.
As it's a charity drive they'll be some fundraising auctions along the way. I'm donating the jewellery below - hope it gets some bids ;)

We'll be in some remote areas so I doubt I'll be blogging - I'll update when we return.
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Friday, May 18, 2012

A little exposure goes a long Way!

I've had an Etsy shop since 2007 and a Made It shop since 2009. My sales have been modest in both shops to say the least!
I understand how these things work (except for SEO that is - does anyone understand that?) and that my lack of sales is due to the fact that I don't put the any effort into promoting the shops.
In my ideal world the buyers would magically find my shops and start spending extravagantly. But sadly  reality is a little different ;)
Instead I send stock down to Behind the Monkey and fortunately the customers there like my work and buy it - well most of it anyway :) Despite bricks & mortar success, I still get the frequent urge to list things in my online shops - I'm not sure why though, as the lack of sales & views invariably leaves me doubting my work/prices/designs and I end up depressed/fed up/frustrated. 

That all changed this week when I got an email saying I'd been featured in the Made It Newsletter.
How exciting! I secretly hoped it would result in a sale......
Well, my expections were exceeded as I sold the featured pendant, then got an order for another which I just filled and mailed today, and I am currently emailing another possible customer re a potential order. WooHoo all because I was lucky enough to get featured in a newsletter.

So I have changed my expectations - Now, in my ideal world I would like to be featured regularly on front pages and in newsletters...
" Oh no" I can hear you all groan,  however, please allow me the pleasure of my unrealistic expectations. (grin) Pin It

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Going Dotty!

 I seem to have a thing for dots lately. First my recently updated 'dot style' blog and now it's crossing over into my jewellery making :)

Just experimented with punching out some holes in cardstock with a hole punch. I ran it through the rolling mill with a brass disc and this is the result.

I was pretty happy with it, so I have filed it in the "must try that in silver next and experiment some more later" part of my brain.

As usual it suits my non fussy, minimalist style.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Some earrings finished!

Hey, I actually made something! 6 pairs of Sterling Earrings :) 
These are heading down to Behind The Monkey.
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Friday, March 30, 2012

Just 4 kids

My husband won a holiday! We were pretty excited. I had visions of sipping cocktails around a pool with the palm trees rustling in the gentle breeze.
Those thoughts soon turned to "How the hell am I going to get up off an airmattress every morning with my dodgy knee" LOL - the holiday we won was a "Tag a long" 4 wheel drive camping adventure holiday.

No matter :) we are off to Far North Queensland in July to discover Cape York Peninsular and will venture as far as the most northern point of the Australian mainland. It's something I think we wouldn't have ventured out to do alone, travelling over rough roads and tracks in this remote area, so this type of tour and travelling in a convoy is an opportunity too good to miss.

The tour organisers have an agenda other than making holidays happen, they raise money for Aussie Kids..... and along the way during the tour they present cheques from their fundraising efforts to the communities in the local areas.
As part of this trip we'll be involved in the fundraising efforts too, so I'm kicking off my fundraising by making jewellery to sell so I can donate the proceeds.
I've just listed this little Sterling Silver Crossed Heart Pendant in my Made it shop. I'm donating the materials, listing fees, time, etc etc, so that 100% of the purchase price can be donated to the Just 4 Kids Childrens Charity. 

Hope it sells quickly so I can make some more - I've got the bucket below to fill with money!

Buy the necklace here within Australia....or here If outside of Australia

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Irregular Pendant

I've been meaning to make a silver version of the chunky copper pendant from my last post and I finally had a chance to do it.
This time I've used Sterling Silver Wire and it's on a smaller scale - The largest link is around 5cm x 3.5cm at it's widest points. (2 inches x 1 1.2 inches) Still, thats a pretty decent size for a silver pendant.

I like that you can rotate the shapes around in the jump ring bail to give it a different look. The top pic shows it in a uniform order then underneath it's pictured in a more haphazard arrangement.

My current quest is to create from the supplies I already have rather than buy in more materials. I've plenty of this Sterling Wire, so I can see some more of these coming on, maybe even earrings too!

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Saturday, February 04, 2012

Get Coppered?

No it doesn't have the same ring to it as "Get Silvered" does it? But lately I've been playing around a bit with copper and Brass.  What about "Brassed off"? Lol - no I think I'll stick with Get Silvered.

M. came in from the shed the other day and gave me a stack of nice thick copper wire. Each wire almost 3mm thick in 30cm lengths! Score! He salvaged it from work - it was a sample piece of Industrial cable that was going to be chucked out! There I was, thinking he was hiding in the shed playing with his fishing lures and reels when all the time he was stripping wire for me :)

We've had days and days of heatwaves lately with temperatures in the high 30s and even getting as high as 42 degrees (that's 107.6 degrees farenheit for the Celsius challenged!) Obviously, that's not the weather for soldering in a tin shed, especially when there are total fire bans.  So I waited patiently and courtesy of Cyclone Iggy out to sea further north we've had rain and even cloud cover and cooler temps in the last day or two. Of course I seized the opportunity to light up the torch -Here's the before and after shots. It's nice and chunky - The largest shape is around 8 x 4cm.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Tiny Treasure Pendant



This pendant was inspired by those gorgeous cylinder shaped Bali Silver Prayer Boxes. I've admired them for a long time.
For my pendant I used some copper pipe from the Hardware store, and used the same techniques that I used with my trinket boxes. I've plenty of spare pipe leftover - it was a 1.5 metre length and the pendant is only about 4 cm long. Overkill?? HaHa maybe! Anyway, I hope to experiment some more with the leftovers! I may try etching the next one, and I want to try out some kind of safety catch...and... if I get really adventurous I may try out a hinged version and....Oh well .....we'll see how I go.........     :) Pin It

Friday, January 13, 2012

Success or the opportunity to try again.....

How are your resolutions and goals going?
I'm on target so far - My housekeeping schedule is getting organised and I decided that as the house was spick and span that I'd treat myself to a day of metalwork today.

My plans nearly didn't happen as the postie delivered my late Christmas pressie to myself! I must say I have excellent taste when buying gifts for myself....

This is an awesome book with instructions for making all kinds of boxes and lockets as well as the hinges and catches. There's heaps of jaw dropping gallery pictures to inspire too!  But instead of sitting in the airconditioning reading all afternoon it inspired me to finish my second trinket box that I started last year at Tafe.

I had a few many soldering issues, then torch issues, but remembering Tim McCreight's comment in the book that there are only two outcomes - "success or the opportunity to try again" - I pressed on - trying again and again.......and again... until I finally got it right, all the while, ignoring my urges to go with third option which he never mentioned in the book which was to chuck the whole lot through the nearest window!
Heads up to my friends too - Carolyn for providing the copper pipe I used for the box and to Jane who suggested I check my torch tips for blockages. It did the trick!

Ta it is:
 and opened:

and with my first box:

Specs for those interested: Copper & Sterling Silver - Its about 5cm (2inches) high including the dome and about 3.5cm (11/2inches) in diameter.

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Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy 2012!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season! Ours included a lovely day with most of the family and a Christmas lunch at our place, followed by a Boxing day lunch with our youngest who was away at work on Christmas day. The lead up to the New Year has been good, we're on hols from work, so eating leftovers, reading books, catching up with friends and general lazing around has been the focus.

Now the New year has arrived it's time to think about being more productive. I haven't made any resolutions but I have some loose goals and ideas I want to achieve so putting them down here makes me a little accountable.
  • I've decided not to go back and start another Tafe course this year, so the extra time at home will be spent creating and making more metal jewellery, so that the skills learned last year become second nature. I hope to devote at least one day each week to my metalwork! 
  • I'm happier when my house is in order, so I'll continue with my ongoing decluttering and try and establish a cleaning routine that will work for me. I joined Flylady a few years back and although I don't subscribe now, I've adapted one of their cleaning plans to suit my house and I'm going to follow that to keep on top of things. I just revisited the site and it really does have some great ideas there.  
  • Last year, one goal was to sort out the many pre digital family photos, it didn't happen so that's going to roll over to this year. 
  • No suprises here: to address my health & fitness! I'm not doing too badly but the body could do with a little more exercise and a little less calories.
  • "Being Happy" is a bit vague, so I'll be working on specifics for that one - I'm pretty sure it'll include finding more time for connecting with family and friends but all of the others above will contribute to that too I hope!
Happy New Year Everyone - Hope all your wishes and dreams come true in 2012. 
What are your plans?

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