Wednesday, 31 October 2012

My Creative Space - Working with Blue

I make a lot of multi-strand necklaces as I've always loved their timeless appeal and that textured, layered look.

I have a big stash of blue glass beads and I've had them out on the desk this week.

Here is a new necklace called 'Beach'.

It has a lovely oval shaped toggle clasp too -

Blogtober has now drawn to a close and I've made it!

When I started out, I was looking forward to the challenge but not really sure that I'd squeeze in the time each day to write, take photos and put together a new post. I've learnt a lot along the way, discovered some great new blogs and become more organised in the process.

Thank you to anyone who has visited my blog during the month of October.

I hope to keep up the regular updates through November as I prepare a whole lot of new creations prior to Christmas. I'm looking forward to new creative challenges.

To anyone who remembers me blogging about 'Choctober' - the intention was good and I started out very strongly but I didn't quite make it!

I'm starting again for 'Chocvember'....

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

My Studio Space

Here is a peek into my little creative studio space... my desk, books, folders and beloved purple chair.

My desk is in one corner and behind it is shelving with my supplies and stash of beads.

 As anyone who makes jewellery knows, the challenge is keeping everything organised and within easy reach when looking for a particular component.

When I first started making jewellery, I used to pack up after each creative session so my desk top was tidy and I could start with a clean slate the next day. Nowadays, I love to have my desk top full of supplies as I actually thinks it helps me creatively. I do have to stay on top of it though as it quickly becomes overflowing with beady stuff.
I have some pictures and a white board which I'll put up soon.

Almost the end of Blogtober!
Thanks for taking this Blogtober challenge with me.... 1 more day to go!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Inspiration on a Monday

'If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away'
Henry David Thoreau, 1817 - 1862
American writer

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Sunday Snapshots

For the month of October, I've been reminiscing about a holiday I had in Italy.

The reminiscing was prompted by sorting out my photos in preparation for making a holiday album.

Here is the album:

Here is a snapshot of the album in progress:

The whole process has been time consuming - but well worth the effort.

As I finish each page, I feel as if I've re-lived that particular part of the trip... and taking the time out to put the photos in some kind of order is a nice way to spend a quiet afternoon... along with a good 'cuppa' and some music playing.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

My Creative Space

I've been doing some more photography with a focus on necklaces.

Here is 'Poppies' - a long necklace that can be worn wrapped around the neck twice to form a double strand.

'Poppies' is made up of glass, resin and silver plated beads.
Some of the red beads are vintage beads which have been given a new lease of life and I'm happy they have found a new home alongside stunning green glass.

What is happening in your creative space this week?

Friday, 26 October 2012

My Creative Space - Working with Yellow

Selling handmade items online, means setting aside some time to do your photography.

I often spend the majority of my time making and playing with my supplies and before I know it, I've got a big stash of new earrings, necklaces and bracelets to photograph. They all require individual attention to try and get the photograph and lighting just right.

I made this yellow necklace a few weeks back and have been putting the finishing touches to my photos this week.

In terms of making this necklace, I had been staring at my yellow beads for weeks and knew I wanted to make something asymmetrical.

It started out as a long necklace with 2 accents of silver but developed into a double strand with a completely different look and focus. I often enjoy that type of creating the most - where ideas develop and flow without being too restricted.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

My Creative Space - Working with Colour

There are times when my work table is full of different coloured beads and a necklace suddenly comes together from playing with colour. Here is 'Colour Splash' -

It has a drop pendant with 2 brass discs that are attached to a brass clasp (worn at the front of the necklace) and features gemstones, coral, glass and wooden beads in shades of green, yellow, brown and red.

I can see this necklace looking great with a long summer dress and sandals.
It is both earthy and vibrant!
The warm spring weather in Sydney today has me thinking of new clothes and accessories.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

My Creative Space - New Earrings

Time in my creative space has been a bit tight this week. I've started a new necklace and finished this pair of earrings -

I've named them 'Blue Bonnets' and they feature sterling silver and navy blue semi-precious gemstones in the shape of teardrops. I'm itching to get some other creations started this week and I hope to return to my creative space tomorrow.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Backyard Blitz - Continues

Earlier this month I started 'backyard blitz' to minimise the amount of lawn I had to mow and to make a walk through garden with room for more plants!

Here is a progress shot - the paving stones are in and the mulching (lucerne) has started.

I've still got a lot more to do before I add some plants but its starting to take shape.
Our Sydney summers are hot so the layer of lucerne mulch will keep moisture in the soil and add nitrogen too.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Inspiration on a Monday

'He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home'   
Johann von Goethe, 1749 - 1832
German writer 

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Murphy Adventures - 'His' Park

We had a wonderful Sydney spring day yesterday and the local park was beckoning. I take Murphy out walking each day - it keeps us both fit but in Murphy's case he also has the opportunity to pursue his obsession with sniffing. Here he is checking out a tree in 'his' park and on the lookout for action.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Sights on a Saturday

The photos of Italy continue for Sights on a Saturday.

This week, the reminiscing is of the beautiful, enchanting Cinque Terre or 'Five Lands' - five little villages hugging the cliffs along the Ligurian coast of the 'Italian Riviera'.

We set out early in the morning and walked the trail between the five villages. It was impossible for me to say which was the most picturesque village as each town had so much charm and beauty.

The photo below is of Vernazza. It is the 4th village along if you are approaching from La Spezia. The town was full of narrow streets, little town squares and pink houses.

Below is Manarola - the 2nd village on the trail. I remember Manarolo for its little swimming cove, busy harbour and great gelato.  Manarola is also surrounded by ancient steep terraces of vineyards and olive trees. The pastel colour palette of the houses was a beautiful sight against the turquoise of the ocean.

I spotted a lovely jewellery shop in this town too!

Here is Via dell'Amore or 'Lovers' Lane' which is on the path between Manarola and Riomaggiore (1st village). Rumour has it that sweethearts living in these isolated little villages used this part of the path for their secret 'meetings'.

I hope to return to walk the Cinque Terre trail again one day!

Friday, 19 October 2012

My Creative Space - New Earrings

Here is a pair of new earrings from my creative space this week.

The have acquired the name of 'Iceland' - cool, crisp and full of light!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

My Creative Space - Working with White/Cream

I have been working with white and cream beads this week using lovely shell and stone beads.

 Here is 'Porcelain Lily' - it is similar to one I made a little while back that recently sold.

Here it is finished -

I can see this necklace being versatile and looking great with either a summer dress or with a casual t-shirt and jeans.

Shell beads are one of my (many) favourites - organic and fresh with their own unique glossy finish.  I had been visualising them in an asymmetrical necklace so I'm pleased with how 'Porcelain Lily' turned out.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


I have confessed to a bead obsession but realised I needed to face my other obsession - Chocolate.

I set the date and negotiated (with myself) a set of rules.

October..was renamed 'Choctober' -  resulting in a personal challenge to address my daily chocolate intake and CUT DOWN!!

Here is the current stash -

And here is the deal -

2 squares per day!!

I'm over 1/2 way through Choctober and up until day 14 - I was doing really well and sticking to my self imposed rules.
On days 14 and 15.... I.. kinda... sorta.... lost the plot a bit and several rows somehow (how could that be..??) disappeared at a time.

Day 16... almost back on track..
Today - Day 17 is yet to be conquered but I'm feeling confident I can do it... ( I think...)
I'll report back at the end of 'Choctober'.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Enjoying - Coastal beauty

If the weather is not so nice and if I'm in need for something relaxing, I often put on a DVD.

This set of 4 DVDS was a gift and I'm slowly making my way through all the different episodes.

Each episode features stories from different areas around the UK shoreline in addition to France, Norway and far north to the Danish Faroe Islands.

Exploring the rugged beauty of the Scottish west coast has been a highlight for me so far.

If you are fond of travel, history, architecture and landscapes - this impeccably produced series is a must see.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Inspiration on a Monday

'Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice'  
Benedict Spinoza, 1632 - 1677 
Dutch Philosopher 

Sunday, 14 October 2012

My Creative Space

In my creative space this week, I've been busy preparing for a jewellery party!

My little niece Emma chose a jewellery party as the theme to celebrate her 7th birthday with a gathering of some of her special friends from school.

I put together a couple of bead boxes to include a wide range of colours, sizes and shapes.

Box 1 - the greens, blues, mauves and purples

Box 2 - the reds, oranges, yellows and pinks

Next .... bringing together a selection of charms and pendants to attach to their bracelet and necklace creations.

Here is a wee sample -

And finally, little organza bags for each party guest to put their own piece of jewellery into before going home:
I'll hopefully have some photos to share of the end result too.......

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Sights on a Saturday

The reminiscing continues - reflecting on the sights from a holiday in Italy. The food, architecture, history, gardens and landscapes were all intoxicating to me.

Why the photo of the car? I even fell in love with their cars!!
I can see this little red beauty flitting through the streets of Sydney.... and taking possession of those petite parking spots that an 'Aussie' car dare not target.

The architecture and design... I stood and stared at the Rome Colosseum in awe for quite some time and just absorbed the sheer size and significance of it as a structure.

Returning from a great holiday is always hard.
My photos give me a nice reminder of the world beyond and all those things that send a tingle up my spine!

Friday, 12 October 2012

My Creative Space - New Earrings

I've been working with silver wire and doing some wire wrapping around semi-precious gemstones and glass beads this week.

Here are a couple of blue wire wrapped earrings with some coral and sterling silver pairs made earlier in the week.

I've now got a stash of finished earrings that need to be photographed and uploaded to either my Made It or Etsy store... a spare few hours would be wonderful - I'm sure everyone can relate to how quickly the time passes when you get into a 'zone' of creativity. I sometimes get so lost in creativity that the day disappears before I realise!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

My Creative Space - Creative Companion

I'm being watched!
Murphy has a little bed near my desk in my creative space and regardless of the time of day... when I look down.. there he is.. watching on...dedicated.. loyal... and patiently waiting for action.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

My Studio Space - Ideas

There are a lot of supplies, tools and books in my little creative studio space in addition to folders I have created myself that are visual colour diaries.

They utilise pictures collected from the many magazines I've either subscribed to or picked up along the way.

One of the ways I seek inspiration is from compiling a colour story. The pictures may be anything ranging from a chair to a dress to a colour palette used for make up. What gives you inspiration in your creative work?

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

My Creative Space - Working with Red/Blue/Brown

The combination of turquoise blue and red in a necklace always look fresh and summery together.... but add some brown and I think the result is extra depth and interest.

Here is a necklace made this week that has acquired the name of 'Carnivale' -

Monday, 8 October 2012

Inspiration on a Monday

'What a delight it is
When, of a morning,
I get up and go out
To find in full bloom a flower
That yesterday was not there'

Tachibana Akemi, 1812 - 1868
Japanese Poet

Sunday, 7 October 2012

In The Garden - Backyard Blitz in progress

The onset of spring has prompted me to get out in the garden and start working on some goals and execute some plans I've had in my head for months.

My dislike of mowing grass has been one of the main motivations but I also love plants and by digging up some lawn and putting in a walk through garden I will have less lawn to cut and more space for plants!

It has involved laying some paving stones - easier than it looks.....the challenge being getting them all level.... here are some photos of a work in progress.

Laying out the paving stones to get a rough idea of their spacing -

 I've recycled a range of old paving stones - by the time they are dug into the ground and surrounded by plants their different sizes wont be so obvious....
I'll take a few more photos once backyard blitz has been finished... hopefully soon!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Sights on a Saturday

Over the past few months, I've been pulling together my photos from a holiday in Italy and there has been a fair bit of reminiscing going on!

With close to 3,000 digital snaps, the album is slowly coming together as the culling process is fined tuned.  Over the next month - I hope to show some highlights as I re-experience one of my favourite journeys..........

Here are some sights from the Tuscan town of Volterra.

 We spent a few hours in the Guarnacci Etruscan Museum which features an extensive collection of Etruscan artifacts - mostly uncovered from local ancient tombs. The jewellery was fascinating and a lot of the pieces were dated between 3rd Cent. BC to the 1st Cent.AD.

Do I spot a semi-precious gemstone? Isn't it beautiful.. and weren't those Etruscans clever skilled artisans?

Despite being over 2,000 years old and made with a lot less sophisticated tools and implements, the pieces clearly showed intricate and innovative design .... and displayed our perennial fondness for personal adornment and interest in stones, silver and gold throughout the ages.

Walking through Volterra, my radar also detected hand made jewellery in small artistic studios....(loved the little black cat who sat outside the shop amongst all the patient waiting boyfriends, husbands etc).

Going through my photos has got me thinking of new adventures that await......
More Italy shots to appear again soon on 'Saturday Sights'.

Friday, 5 October 2012

My Creative Space - Working with Green

A couple of weeks ago I put my head down in my creative space with a focus on the colour green - inspired by all the beautiful new clothes appearing in stores in varying shades of emerald. The result was a couple of necklaces in completely different styles using green glass.

This week, I managed to finish photographing them in preparation for uploading them online.

Here is a peek:

The first one is a double graduated strand named 'Emerald'

The second one is a longer strand named 'Hope in Green'

They should appear in either my Made It or Etsy store in the next few days.
Wishing you a very happy Friday!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

My Studio Space - New Beads

There is nothing like new colourful beads to cause my mind to go into creative overdrive!

To me, shopping for new supplies is one of the best parts of the jewellery making process.

As I park the car, grab my bag and make my way to the door of the supplier... I'm already planning a whole lot of new projects.. but once I walk in the door... the 'kid in a lolly shop' analogy comes to mind. Can other jewellery makers relate to this?

Here is a selection of colourful Malaysian jade and chalcedony beads - some faceted to capture the light. Once priced, I often store them in small containers or plastic bags.  Keeping my little creative studio space organised and tidy through managing a gazillion small components is an ongoing challenge..but well worth it!!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

What (..I'm watching) Wednesday - Italian Inspiration

Sometimes a piece of creativity can completely absorb and capture the imagination. I received this beautiful DVD and book as a gift and it combines my love of Italy and garden design....endless hours of inspiration and creativity:

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

My Creative Space - Working with Red

I've been busy this week working with my stash of red beads - particularly using lovely pieces of coral.
Red is often associated with love, passion, sacrifice or danger.
There as so many shades of red and I often search high and low to find the right shade - strawberry, scarlet, cardinal red, vermilion, rusty red, crimson, electric red, fire engine red, maroon, burgundy or ruby!

Here is the first piece using coral, silver chain and wire -
Another piece - this time made with chunky nuggets of coral and textured cinnabar beads -

The next necklace features ceramic and hexagonal shaped coral beads -

Monday, 1 October 2012

Inspiration on a Monday

 'He is richest with the least, for content is the wealth of nature'  
Socrates 468-399 BC