Thursday, August 28, 2014

Introducing Monograms

I do believe a laser engraved monogram is the perfect touch for a 'History Class' signet ring! This little darling will soon be travelling to Canberra to honor my twin sister's amazing achievement, as she prepares to submit her Phd. I am so proud of her!

I have added personalised engraving to the listing in my shop. To purchase, add a ring and the engraving to your cart and leave me a note at checkout. I will email you a proof of the monogram before proceeding. And as I am partnering with a local workshop, I am pleased to be able to offer laser engraving inside of rings too. Contact me for a quote.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Staying True

Those flicking through the Sunday Mail today, who spot a jeweller in a yellow cardigan? That would be me. The lovely Carly interviewed Nic, Kate and myself on staying true to your design aesthetic. :)

From the Studio - Rethread

I recently re-threaded these beautiful vintage Bakelite beads for a client. When she sent them to me they were too long for her and one of the beads was damaged. It was a great feeling to bring them back to life again by sourcing traditional silk in a perfectly matching colour, altering the length and removing the damaged bead. The result is a really lovely strand of beads ready for years of wear.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

From The Bench - Custom Ring

In progress

I made this stylish 'Travelling Poets' ring yesterday for a client. She spotted the design in my shop and wanted one of her own, made from her recycled silver. She posted me with a small collection of old, unwanted pieces of jewellery, from which I removed the gemstones, melted down the metal and rolled it out. From there I handmade this solid hammer finished ring with a beautiful polished comfort curve finish inside. 
And there is still enough silver leftover to make another piece.

A lovely ring, and a great way to save money and put unwanted jewellery to better use!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fellow Brisbane-ites!

Yes, I am excited to announce that I shall be setting up shop for the first time at the lovely BrisStyle Indie Markets in Town Hall, on the 20th of September! Write it in you diary, circle it on your calender, make a note of it on your fridge.

Come and say hello, try on my jewellery and take advantage of market only specials. 

I look forward to meeting you there!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Yarn Along

Well fancy that, a finished project, a pile of books, and an inquisitive cat who once belonged to my sister and was known as Oscar. That was until she moved states, and we gave his name to our baby. He now goes by George. Though five year old Cohen has christened him Mr Nosey Head, which is actually rather accurate. I still haven't gotten used to the re-name and generally manage to call him 'Ossgeorge'. He doesn't seem to mind.

But I digress, distracted by a cat. A ta-dah is in order, for this scarf has been some time in the making. My hands have been quite busy with other creative tasks, like making jewellery and drawing in my sketchbook, and my knitting has been waiting patiently in the back ground. 

I packed this woolen scarf on our weekend away to New South Wales recently, and fended off the wind and rain with it tied around my neck. There aren't really that many woolen scarf days to be had in Queensland, so I like to think of it as my travelling scarf. I foresee it being packed in my old blue suitcase many times in the future, while the cats are left in charge of the house.

Joining in with Ginny.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Margaret Olley Art Center


Homeward bound from our weekend away, there was only one thing on my agenda - visiting the Margaret Olley Art Center. However, by the time we arrived at the Tweed Regional Gallery in Murwillumbah there were three sleeping children in the back seat of the car. My loving husband dutifully stayed with them and allowed me to soak in as much of a the exhibition as I could in a small window of time. 

What a delight it was to stand before the golden framed Olley's. What a thrill to poke my head in to the reconstructed rooms full of her eclectic treasures. What a joy to gaze out gallery windows at caramel coloured cows grazing on rolling meadows. I snapped away on my iPhone camera, trying to preserve my memories of the place, despite my rush. I brought three books at the gallery store, wanting to further immerse myself in Olley's work and life. I started to send Dave a message, "I never want to leave", but he called with a crying baby before I could hit send.

Oh, lovely gallery. I shall return.

Monday, August 18, 2014

'North Coast Mud Trail' Collecting

Images 1, 2, 4, 5 Pinky and Maurice's studio. Image 3 Pebuku Pottery pieces. Image 6 in Lucy Vanstone's studio and gallery.

There's a mountain of laundry from our weekend away and a sink full of dishes waiting for attention, but the kettle has just boiled and the children are occupied, so I'm taking this moment to write. 

This past year I have noticed my fascination and appreciation for pottery has grown and grown. I remember seeing a gorgeous photo in Bridget Bodenham's Instagram feed a few months ago, of Kylie's pottery collection, and it made my heart sing. Practical and beautiful. I had a sudden urge to fill my shelves and cupboards with pottery and swear off mass produced serving ware. Oh, the allure of beautifully handmade, useful everyday items. 

While I love 'stuff' - vintage sewing baskets, antique teapots, and interesting bric-a-brac - there is only so much 'stuff' I can handle before it feels like clutter. My chaotic mind needs several clear surfaces in my home in order to feel at rest. I can't handle a table or kitchen bench covered in 'stuff', but I adore a set of shelves filled with items chosen one at a time for their individual beauty and merit. And so has begun my collection.

This past weekend we called a cabin home as we explored the north coast - in particular the Mud Trail, where potters generously open their studios to the public. I visited Catherine Lane, Pinky and Maurice, Pebuku Pottery and Lucy Vanstone. It was wonderful to peek in to the artists spaces, chat with the makers and even see them in action.

And add a few more items to my collection... 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

8 Ways To Be Kinder to Yourself

Surrounding myself with beauty - $6 well spent at the grocery store I think, for this potted Kalanchoe. :)  #flowersmakemesmile
Feeling grateful for chubby baby cheeks perfect for kissing, vegetable soup on a cool day, my favourite outrageously orange thrifted cardigan, blueberries growing on the deck, and the prospect of sitting quietly with my knitting and a cup of peppermint te
Asked by the lovely @mooseandbird to share one #fromthecuttingroomfloor Windowsill ephemera that caught my eye last week. Want to join in too? @harrietbyhand @belyndahenryart @evie_barrow

Do you ever take a step back and look at the cycles that keep reoccurring in your life? Like the continual cycle of finding balance, maintaining balance, loosing balance and finding balance again? I've become aware of several such cycles lately and by paying attention to them, I have been making progress on changing the things I can change, and trying to accept those things I can't. One such cycle for me revolves around my expectations of myself. When things are running smoothly I expect a lot from myself. As I meet these expectations I expect more, and more, until I have put so much pressure on myself that I hit a wall. Then I have to stop, lower my expectations and be kinder to myself. I found that wall on Monday. As a result I have been reminding myself what being kind to myself means, and I think we all need that reminder sometimes.

Eat right, sleep right, exercise right
We all know it, but it's the first thing that tends to get out of balance when we are busy, and it's the thing we need to get right to feel rested, energised, and mentally and physically healthy.

Cut yourself some slack
It's time to lower your expectations, take the time frame away from the to-do list, prioritise the things that matter and practice self-compassion. Ask yourself, does 'this' matter to anyone else but me? 

Let down the mask and others will too
It's easy to think that everyone except you has it all together, but the moment you open up about your perceived failings, you will find that others are experiencing them too, or are faced with their own struggles.

Take time to talk
To your partner, your family, your friends, and even strangers. A problem shared really is a problem halved. Turn off the tv and talk about your day, meet for coffee and discuss parenting tactics that are working, go for a walk and reminisce about happy memories from the past. Talking helps us feel understood and supported, and it often helps us work through what's troubling us, and find solutions.

Practice being in the moment and quieting your monkey mind
Mindfulness. Meditation. They are both ways of calming and focusing your mind. My mind goes 100 miles and hour and is full of to do lists, anxieties, future plans and a whole array of random thoughts that my brain presents to me unbidden. The mind is a machine that never stops working, not even when we sleep. So trying to quieten that machine is difficult, and I am still learning. But taking a few moments each day to really focus on a task you are doing, or sit quietly and focus on your breathing while recognising your thoughts and letting them go again can help you better manage stressful situations.

Stop comparing 
Comparison is the death of happiness, so stop comparing yourself to others. You can't have everything, do everything or be everyone, so be you. Everyone has different priorities, different goals and a different path. Keep working on finding your own. If someone has something, or achieves something, that makes you jealous, ask yourself if it's because you have that goal too, and keep working towards it.

Cut out the negativity, without and within
This is such an important one for me. If you surround yourself with supportive positive people, you will have a happier time than being surround by negative or toxic people. Take the time to recognise this people and let go of them from your life. I have also cut out watching the news, as it is filled with negativity and new horrors daily, and now I curate my own news content by reading the news online. Most importantly, question your inner dialogue. Negative thinking, negative fortune telling and beating yourself up will undermine all your hard work. Your monkey mind will throw all sorts of ideas at you, but you can ask yourself - Is this true? Is this helpful? Is this something I can change? If not, let it go. Don't forget to praise your own achievements.

Modest splurge (I learnt this from The Happiness Project)
Be kind to yourself by treating yourself to a modest splurge. It doesn't have to be a financial splurge, it might just be allowing yourself a time slurge, to do something you enjoy. It might be that you give yourself the night off from cooking and use that time to knit instead. Perhaps you want to take yourself out to a movie, get a massage, enroll yourself in a class, or shop for new shoes. I love modest splurges on things like stationary and books, because I don't feel guilty about having nice pens to use, or good books to read.

So here's to being kinder to ourselves, and in turn, kinder to those around us.
I'd love to hear what you would add to this list. xx

Month In The Life - Sketchbook

I love a simple sketch book. I've carried them to and from school, university, Gold smithing classes and workshops. They've been tucked in to back packs, shoulder bags, suitcases and nappy bags. They are full of ideas, sketches, notes and designs. I have

I love a simple sketch book. I've carried them to and from school, University, Goldsmithing classes and workshops. They've been tucked in to back packs, shoulder bags, suitcases and nappy bags. They are full of ideas, sketches, notes and designs. I have an antique metal trunk that's filled with them. 

Do you keep all your old sketchbooks too?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Month In The Life - Raw Materials

Supplies of sterling silver. The metal in the smaller dish is new silver sheet, bar, wire and bezel wire. While the metal in the bigger dish is scrap silver left over from making Jewellery, and old silver Jewellery (and even a small trophy) I've been given, which I will then melt down and re-use. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Month In The Life - Work In Progress

I went down to the bench last night and finished off these sterling silver and laser cut wood drop earrings. Two pairs are already spoken for, while the other three pairs are now in the shop
Next up, a custom signet ring. 

Month In The Life - Hands

As a Mama and a maker my hands are rarely empty, or idle - which is exactly how I like it.

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.)
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