Monday, July 28, 2014

Feeding Your 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?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

New in the Shop - Wonderland Lace Agate Pendant


Perfect for all your adventures, tea parties and games of croquet!

Tumble down the rabbit hole with this delightful blue Lace Agate Pendant. This unusual cabochon cut gemstone has been set in a handmade sterling silver six claw setting, and features three long stemmed flowers saw pierced by hand in the back plate.

In the store now.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Taking Stock

Some days are easier than others. Today was one of them. :) #grateful
Happy Friday! We are off to Ikea to look at light fittings and Spotlight to look for a weaving loom. What are your plans for the day? And if you are working, what would you rather be doing? #giftedhomegrowncitrus #happyfriday
I brought neither lamp nor loom on our morning venture. But I did bring home a frame so I could add @studiocockatoo 's Frieda to the picture shelf above my bed. Isn't she beautiful? #studiocockatoo #friedakahlo #kateissotalented
'20 ways to draw tulips and 44 other flowers' by @lisacongdon arrived in the mail, so tonight I have been line drawing tulips in my sketchbook. (I can't bring myself to draw IN the book like you are supposed to!) #makemarksdaily #linedrawing #20waystodraw
Seriously. The cuteness. #liftingthatheavyhead #seriousbusiness
Conversations with a five year old: Dave's aunt told Cohen that her cat was in heaven. He asked where that was, and she told him it was in the stars. So he drew a picture of her cat and asked me how we could get it to "Kevin the the stars." #loveit #haveb
This little one has been trying to smile. #babygazing

Drinking: Lovely big hot cups of tea. I am quite sure tea tastes even better in Winter.
Waiting: With anticipation for the 'Intro to Modern Calligraphy'workshop I shall be doing
Looking: Still baby gazing as a certain 6 week old grows before our eyes
Missing: My twin sister dearly - there is a Fiona shaped hole in our weeks
Grateful: That it's not as cold in Brisbane as it has been in Canberra
Working: On custom orders next week, after a week off the bench following Brisbane Finders Keepers
Dreaming: About hand making spoons and having an exhibition
Wanting: To take a ceramics course once the baby is a little older 
Wondering: About going back to Uni to do my Masters in Jewellery and Small Objects
Enjoying: Sitting on my front deck in the sun
Making: Marks every day (well, nearly everyday)
Liking: My new book, '20 Ways to Draw a Tulip' by Lisa Congdon 
Giggling: Because I am drawing in my sketchbook and not IN the book, like you are supposed to
Excited: About the second book I ordered, '20 ways to draw a tree' by Eloise Renouf
Loving: My new Freida print by Studio Cockatoo
Rearranging: All my collections dotted around the house
Knowing: Sometimes a change is as good as a holiday
Pondering: What to make with all the homegrown oranges and lemons I was lovingly gifted
Pondering: The amount of laundry produced by five people and whether we need a dryer
Marveling: At the amusing things that come out of my five year old's mouth
Wearing: Oscar in a sling - his favourite place to be
Awaiting: The GOMA Winter Design Market next weekend (19th July)
And: The Harvest exhibition at GOMA 
And: Ipswich Gem Show 2nd August 
Admiring: All the Brisbane creatives who are heading to Melbourne for Finders Keepers
Sorting: And culling the toys - my how they accumulate
Buying: A weaving loom to play with
Bookmarking: This weaving tutorial on 'A Beautiful Mess'
Feeling: Mixed emotions about the end of school holidays

Thursday, July 10, 2014

New in the Shop - Artist's Palette Glass Beads

Van Gogh

Inspired by the colour palettes of Modernist painters, these beautiful tri-coloured glass beads are part of a limited number of hand knotted necklaces designed and made by Christina Lowry. 

Each necklace features thirty-three 6 mm beads of each of the three rich colours, which have been knotted between every third bead, in a modern take on traditional pearl threading. These gorgeous beads are designed to add artful colour to any outfit.

In the shop now.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Finders Keepers Wrap Up

My table

Yardage Design
Foolhouse mini art, Beneath the Sun cushions, behind the scenes on my table - the necessities (tea and dummies)
Beneath the Sun, Sharon Muir, Surfing Sloth

Now that I have three napping children (!) and a cup of tea, I can write about the Brisbane Finders Keepers market this past weekend. My intention to write this post yesterday was abandoned as I caught up on chores and took Oscar for his six week immunisations. My boxes from the market still have not unpacked themselves however...

Finders Keepers was just as lovely as it always is. There was so much creative energy packed in to each of the three rooms that you could have powered a small City for a year. The crowds weren't as thick as they are at the November market, which made it easier to see all the goodies on show and chat to the stall holders. I fell in love with several hundred items and started following several new makers on Instagram, ready to purchase in their online shops when birthdays and special occasions come around. I managed to do the stall holder wander in the last hour on Sunday too, and brought myself some goodies.

So many lovely people came and visited my stall too. I could do these markets for the compliments alone! It was a lot of fun and dear little Oscar was content to be a market baby, so long as he was well fed and had a clean nappy. He surprised more than a few people when they saw him stirring in his rocker behind the table as he woke up from yet another nap. It was great to be able to meet the people my jewellery pieces were going home with, something that doesn't happen with online sales. I left the market with lots of inspiration and ideas and look forward to working on them in the coming months.

In the meantime, new designs that debuted at the market will be making their way into the store in the coming week. And as an extra thank you to those who visited me at the market, and those who would like to have come but couldn't, I'm offering free postage in my bigcartel shop for the next two weeks. Just enter 'FINDERSKEEPERS' at checkout.

Thanks again for all your support, kind words and purchases! Because of you I can continue to stay at home with my children and work creatively, and that means so much to me. xx

*Excuse the dodgy iphone photos. I ran around on the second morning and snapped a few pics in the third room before the doors opened. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...