Thursday, September 30, 2010

Giveaway - to good homes of course!

I think having over 50 Followers is cause for celebration and to do so I am having a giveaway - right here in my little  bloggy part of the world. I had intended to do this earlier in the week but I started having a poke about my workroom and - well, one thing led to another and before I knew it, I was transforming this disaster ...

... into this organisational yumminess!

No wonder I was distracted - it took an age but the result is very satisfying. Anyway I truly do have a giveaway, leave a comment to join in and I will draw 3 winners next week. This is what is up for grabs ...

It is Spring and love is in the air so I have made for some romantic jewels in keeping with the season. The pretty bracelet has pearls and glass and a little handmade tag.

Yummmm! I love freshwater pearls and these ones are a lovely colour - not quite as coppery as the pic suggests though. I have woven them onto a wire and added a chandelier crystal, teardrop pearl and some sparkly bits for a bit of extra pizazz!

Soft and romantic aren't they?

Finally a pearly necklace with a bit of an edge. A bunch of different pearls, a blackbird and if you look closely, a little handmade charm that says 'free'. The black beads are all acrylic so whilst it looks fairly chunky, it isn't heavy at all and the velvet ribbon is so soft on the neck.
I think this one would look great with a cool top and jeans but would also swank up a vintage frock if that was your thing. Leave a comment fora chance to have one of these sent to your place. Happy Spring and a big thank-you to The Followers!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Back in the workroom - at last!

Today seemed to be an ear-ring kinda day ...

In celebration of Spring - little birds that I made and some pretty 'flowers' Thr bottom beads are actually a soft violet colour but for some reason they look like moonstone here.

I chopped up a small Selangor pewter bowl today and used some of it to make these. I textured the discs with my new you-beaut texturing hammer then patinaed them for a yummy charcoal colour. The copper was from the tray I found at the op shop and I riveted it on with a brass rivet.

These were also made from the pweter bowl and I textured this one too. These are very simple but I think they are rather stylish.

The delicacy of the pattern looks a bit like fabric to me. It felt good to be back in the workroom for sure!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Flea Market Finds

This week one of my darling girls has been home for a visit which means plenty of opportunities for op shopping. She found some really nice clothes -  all in fab condition (some unworn!) and we scurried home to add the odd dart and bits of lace - they all needed to be updated with a shorter hemline but her wardrobe has been well expanded for a minimal outlay so she is delighted. I wasn't up for clothes shopping myself so I just did the usual, books and crockery and a sniff around the manchester "department"! This is what I found :

A good selection of 50 cent books - I had to dig in a great big trolley for these - I am sure there were other treasures but I just got over it once the blood started rushing to my head as I was bent over trying to fish out a book near the bottom ...

This hymn book has an inscription inside the cover - it was a Christmas gift in 1944! It was worth the head rush to me, but I am not sure the view from behind me would have found an appreciative audience given the ever expanding girth of my butt!

This was a great find - a large shallow dish - made of copper. Yes you guessed it, I am planning to cut this baby up!
Just look at the texture on the thing - heaven!

This is a small side plate - just couldn't resist the sweet Parisian scene ...

This next plate I plan to give to my little great-nephew. It can be his "special" plate. He is nearly two so I think he will love having his very own plate from Auntie Sue.

It was my intention to use this next piece in a smash up session and turn it into jewellery but now I am not sure - it has kinda grown on me ...

It is only tiny so it wouldn't take up much space (insert wheedling tone here) so maybe I should just hang onto it for a bit?
And here is the first of what I hope will be many pieces from that shallow bowl!

I wanted to create something that looked like it had been dug out of the desert - something a little bit ancient. The texture on the bowl was perfect but I wanted some jewel-like colour - afterall, maybe it had belonged to a Bedouin princess?! I torch fired some enamel onto the discs using a very light hand so that some of the copper remained exposed. Add a little patina and then a final polish up and voila . The little row of beads are a yummy red colour - I used poppy jasper and there are little flecks of green running through the stone.

I think it has a certain weathered look don't you?  Hope everyone has had fun sifting through the op shops - see what treasures have been found over at Sophie's.I have just realised that I now have fifty lovely followers so to celebrate I think I will have a give-away! Check back on Monday or Tuesday for details.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Garumph! (that's my cranky noise!)

At art school,the whole idea of "design by making" is not all that welcome. Sadly, as a largely self-taught artist, this happens to be my most oft used modus operandi. Generally, I like the way a piece evolves as it is made and because I am often not using expensive materials, I can afford a few mistakes. Of course not designing a piece on paper has its drawbacks - it is hard to repeat and when you make just one cut too many after several hours of creating - well lets just say that the expletives that fill the air of the studio would make a rap-artist blush! The fact is I am driven by the materiality of the stuff I am working with and although I will make some rough sketches so I have some idea of what I am trying to achieve, more often than not, I will write and draw the 'how to' after the event. I do see the sense in what my teachers tell me and I do try (sometimes) to design first. Today I was reminded why drawing the design first is a good plan - especially when you are making ear-rings - sigh - it seems they are supposed to match. I started out with a bit of old tray that was lurking about and thought "ho ho this could be something fun" ...

.. and  turned it into these ...

I didn't start out with a drawing or even a clear idea and really I just kept hacking about until I had something passable - of course trying to make the second one the same was impossible so whilst these look ok, they are far from uniform. I like the one on the right but just look at the dodgy one on the left! It seemed no amount of filing was gonna make that one  pair up! ggrrrr! Usually, I am pretty cool with asymmetrical and 'organic' but really, these just make me a bit cranky! Perhaps I should only make ear-rings for one eared people - I could call it my Van Gogh range! Never mind - back to the drawing board for me  - literally!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Goya Gold

Yesterday I was afforded a wonderful opportunity. My Art history lecturer had arranged for our group to visit the SA Gallery study room to view some Goya prints from their collection. Associate curator of Drawing,Prints and Photographs, Maria Zagala chose some prints from Goya's los Caprichos series - what a treat! To view these prints outside of a frame is nothing short of magic.

This series was all about what Goya considered to be the foolishness of men and women. Some pertain to the inquisition too.They contain strong elements of social comment of the time but what is amazing to me is the quality of the printing and the tonality that has been achieved. The man was a pioneer in the way he used aquatint to create every tone from a light grey to a strong charcoal. The plates were made of copper and the line work in these etchings is really impressive. Even in these pics you can see how white the white is - that takes some skill let me tell you!

I was surprised to learn that the prints the Gallery owns are from the first edition - that is pretty special I reckon. Whislt the images I have shown here are not all that crisp, in real life they are as crisp and clean as the day they were made. Imagine that, they were printed in 1799 for Heaven's sake! Maria showed us 14 of the 80 prints and 2 prints from the Disasters of War series - they are too grim to reproduce here though! I am still amazed that I could get up close and personal with these prints - imagine that!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


This week-end I had the surprising opportunity of a roadtrip with my daughters - and I didn't have to think about it twice! We set off on Friday night for Ballarat. After 8 hours of driving ( including a stop for Chinese!), I looked a little bit like my dashboard friend here -

It was cold, dark and very late when we arrived but the lovely cottage we were staying in was warm and toasty.

Also beautifully decorated and with really generous breakfast provisions! I would highly recommend a stay at Oaklyn.

We felt right at home there! On Saturday we hightailed it to the train station (conveniently just down the road!) and headed to Melbourne where we went to see -

Loved, loved, loved this! What a brain this talented man has - and he is an amazing archivist of his work too - there is so much stuff here I am surprised they were able to fit it into one building! If you get the chance to see it do go - the experience is well worth it. Allow plenty of time and if you are going in the school hols book your tickets online to avoid the lengthy queue! The main reason we headed over to Ballarat was to see a friend in their graduation performance -

One of my favourite Shakespeare plays and done with a really great twist. Our friend was brilliant (of course) as Leanarto and we laughed ourselves senseless and still gasped in horror when the lovely Hero was accused of being a tramp! Gotta love Shakespeare - still fresh and able to stand up to a 2010 sci-fi treatment involving clones and Outer Space!

Here are the girls tissying up getting ready to see the performance!

On Sunday morning we packed up and headed to Daylesford for a quick trip round the markets. Nothing really took our fancy (apart from a really cute puppy for sale!) and it was very cold. Most things were fairly pricey and the weather didn't really encourage rummaging 'cos that would have meant taking our hands out of our pockets! We warmed up with lovely pastries and cakes from the bakery before setting off home. I was completely shattered by the time we hit Adelaide and stayed over at my daughters' place as I had Uni on Monday! We had a blast - the roadtrip was, at times, screamingly funny and of course we pretty much solved all of the worlds problems somewhere between Bordertown and Ararat!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Flea Market Finds

Amongst my travels this week I found some pretty china ...

and a rainbow of - bless my heart - a whole stack of anodised aluminium beakers - for the princely sum of two bucks! They are a bit dinged up but I have some jewellery making plans for them so I am not gonna be drinking from them. Pop on over to Sophies to see some other great finds.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Spring is well, erm, springing in my neighborhood.

But all my sorry excuse for a garden seems to be bringing forth is a veritable sea of these ...

"Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!"
  Thomas Blackburn

Monday, September 13, 2010

Topping up the madeit shop!

Wow, I have just spent an absolute age photographing and posting some new things to go on my madeit store. Here is a peek of what you will find there if you care to wander over that way!

Earrings with Swarovski blingage.

A very happy Buddha!

One of my new favourite components.

Part of a large Eclectix necklace featuring some hand shaped vintage china.