Sunday, October 31, 2010

Flea Market Finds

Well here it is, the final day of Blogtoberfest! Many thanks to tinniegirl for hosting this event. It has been fun - at times challenging but a great way to "meet" other bloggers. I missed a couple of days but I figure that is not too bad for someone who usually runs from the room screaming when the "C" word (commitment) is flung around! There wasn't alot of op-shopping going on this week - what with dentist appointments (root canal!), Uni (aasignments!) and worst of all HOUSEWORK, but I scrounged up a few nice things! I went to one op-shop in the inner city with my daughter though and nearly died with my leg in the air at the prices! Truly, I was gobsmacked to see dresses from places like 'Supre" ticketed at $30! Madness! Anyway, from my dear little country oppies I gathered up the following ...

I scored some nice tins this week but was so eager to play with them that I deconstructed them before I took their photographs! So, you can only see samples of them here in the form of those birdies-soon-to-be-brooches. I also bought some large plates with patterns in the middle to see if I could cut and shape them into pendants. Buttons - well there are always buttons ... Some letter dice - wooden no less,and another tin. The beads are just lovely, all handmade and glazed in such nice colours. I think I will re-thread them into a necklace for myself. Well, it is time to farewell Blogtoberfest - time is marching on! Head over to Sophie's to check out everyones fun finds this week.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Up up away ...

(Blogtoberfest Day 29)

  Imagine that - just floating away ....
... and close enough that I was sure I could just leap up into the basket.
Oh dear. I sound wistful. Too much bloody housework I suspect!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Maiden Voyage.

I have just sent off an application to our local gallery to be a part of an up-coming exhibition. This is the first time that I have put my work before a selection panel. Hope they are gentle with me. We were invited to submit up to 8 pieces for consideration. I showed off my china necklace yesterday. Here are a few others.

 Okay so you saw this one on the last post - but here it is made up and ready to wear with it's sweet little freshwater pearl dangle.

I guess I was on a bit of a roll with the whole china thing...

I just couldn't take a good photo of this piece! It has chandelier crystals, bronze links, pearls, buttons and a vintage cabachon. Oh and the heart has a small piece of tin riveted within the 'window'. Tis rather girly.

Pewter and pearl ear-rings. These were made from a pewter tankard that had an inscription 'R. Weir, 1966' - a trophy or a 21st pressie maybe?

When is a tin not a tin? When it is a folksy lookin' bracelet, that's when!

Well, here's hoping the selection committee like at least some of the pieces. I would like to get to know this part of my community better so joining the exhibition would be a good place to start I reckon. I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Smashing Old Chum!

 Blogtoberfest (Day 27)

I had a lovely time this morning smashing china - it is very therapeutic. I totally get why plate smashing is such a popular wedding feature!

Once I was done with the smashing, I had to turn my 'shards' into something more presentable ...

Ah, sooo much nicer and infinitely more wearable. Shaping china is a grotty job. I wear a face mask and goggles as well as a big apron but I still manage to get fine dust on my face and all over my clothes. Seriously, I would do it naked except that I'd be too afraid that I could have a slip and do serious damage (now that is a mental image you didn't need huh?). I love watching these pieces take shape. Today, one thing led to another and before I knew it ...

a new bird was hatched! This is a first for me - by far the most ambitious shaping I have ever undertaken. It measures about 6cms across so it isn't tiny but will be great for a pendant. Smashing! As for those other pieces? Well, here is what I have made with them ...

These will are part of some work I am putting together for a juried exhibition, but more about that tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Super Summer Strawberry Jam.

Blogtoberfest (Day 26)

Ok so it is not officially Summer yet but there are masses of strawberries in the shops and I just couldn't resist them. So, I broke out the jam-making gear and got cooking!

Into the pot they go - getting nice and mushy (yes, that is a technical jam-making term!)
And mushier and mushier ...

I fished out my old jam funnel - it has been a few years since it has seen the light of day so it took a bit of fossicking!
And the finished product.
Yummo! The kitchen smelt divine for hours afterward. Doing this brought back such fun memories of a time when I had small children, living in a town in the hills where we grew a fantastic assortment of berries. In the Summer if the kids were out of eyesight I always knew I would find them flopped belly-down in the berry patches, gorging themselves on handfuls of strawberries, loganberries and raspberries. It's a good life.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Working, working, working!

I finally spent time at my workbench on Sunday morning making some things for a local shop. First up, a pair of ear-rings made of brass (from an old planter) and printed tin from a tea caddy.

These ones have been crafted from an old pewter tankard. It must have been a trophy or a 21st present I think because it had a name and '1966' engraved on it. It patinas beautifully and shows off those chubby pearls rather nicely!

These look so nice in reality - I am a bit disappointed with the photo. I made these from a copper bowl (you might remember it from here) and again the brass planter.

These are just a bit of fun really. I made some similar for my daughter and she loves them and has had many favourable comments when she wears them. Not for the feint hearted though!

These are all now safely delivered to Alabaster, along with a few other bits and pieces that I didn't get to photograph - my camera konked out. Just as well really judging by the quality of those pics! I am waiting for a new little camera that I have spent ALL my Flybuy points on. Living in a rural area, it takes an age to rack up points but I received one of those "use it or lose it" kind of emails from them so I decided I may as well use them up. Just waiting for delivery now!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Flea Market Find Of The Year.

Oh my, who would have thought choosing a favourite find would be so hard? There have been so many! I feel a bit like a Mother choosing one child as favourite over the other. I have been churning this over in my mind becoming evermore angst ridden. I decided that I was over-thinking the whole thing - duh. My choice came down to this ...

A lovely old chandelier that was in fact given to me by the lovely op-shop man so pleased were they to be rid of the space hogging object!

I pulled it apart and cleaned every little piece. And why is it my favourite find I hear you ask? Well, I have chosen this treasure above all others because I have used so many bits of it as components in my jewellery making this year. Like this ...
and these ...
This piece too ...
And another favourite ...
Something for an exhibition ...
 A really big piece ...
And something fairly recent ...

There have been other pieces too, some vintagy and pearly and some more modern and fresh. It has been a joy to re-use these components and know that I have revitalised that poor old chandelier, giving it a second life and sharing little bits of it with the new owners of the jewellery I have created. That is why it gets my vote for Flea Market Find Of The Year. Perhaps it could be our little secret. Best not tell the others - don't want all my other fabulous finds  getting jealous now do we?
To see more, pop over to Sophie's

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Walk of Shame.

Blogtoberfest (Day 23)

Or should that be "Blog of Shame?" I rarely shop at that well-known fabric chainstore  (the one that shall remain nameless but isn't Lincraft), but today I am afraid I succumbed. I had a minor beading emergency so I made a quick dash into the nearest Store-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named on my way to the city. I can't really be held accountable. It wasn't really my fault. Those tricky marketing people decided to have a SALE. Oh and not just any sale - oh no, a 50% OFF sale! What was a girl to do?

 Shameful isn't it? But there were RED beads - at silly prices. My name is Sue and I am a sale junkie. I am trying hard not to have buyers remorse - and looking at those very RED beads is easing the pain of my considerably lighter wallet!  Happily, I managed to heave my stash of goodies through the checkout and hightail it out of the carpark without a backward glance. Phew! I met my eldest daughter for lunch. We ate in a beachside cafe - although it was a  bit too windy to enjoy al fresco today. We had a lovely catch up and she presented me with these ...

How cute are these tiny handcarved stamps! Just gorgeous. She picked them up at the markets on a recent visit to Sydney. I really like them and I am sure they will get a good workout. Nice of my girl to think of her dear old Ma whilst she was swanning about in Sydney don't ya think?As an added bonus I managed a quick catch-up with my other daughter before she had to go to work. What a great day!
I am feeling a little guilty ( not just about the beady splurge!) because I haven't quite managed to blog every day or visit as many others joining in Blogtoberfest as I would like. Guess I am going to get a "could do better if she applied herself" on my report card!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Big Beady Efforts.

So this is what life is about just now - beads, beads and more beads! I have a couple of jewellery gigs coming up so I am staying chained to my workbench, making and making so that I have lots of stock for people to choose from ...

It is alot of work but those beadies sure are pretty - and fun to work with too!

Mind you, when it is all done and dusted I might just "fly" - and have a little rest!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

One lost day and giveaway winner.

Blogtoberfest (Day19)

Well rats! I was doing so well posting everyday for the Blogtoberfest - and then I missed yesterday! I could make up all sorts of excuses - the dog ate my computer springs to mind but the sad fact is I got completely engrossed in some work and the rest is history. Actually, it is rats and double rats because yesterday I was supposed to draw a winner for the giveaway - sorry folks. So, without further ado, here goes ...
First we need the names ...

And then a hat ....

 Names go in and we give it a shake ...

Hubby was on hand to - erm, lend a hand and the winner is ...

Congratulations to mistyeiz (who you can visit over here). Just send me your postal address and I will send you the book asap! Hope we get to see what you make from it! Thanks to everyone who joined in too.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Flea Market Finds

Blogtoberfest (Day 17)
It was slim pickings at the op shops for me this week (see yesterdays post!) . I did find this cute little fawn to add to a growing collection of woodland friends. Some have found their way to my dashboard but i fear this fellow is just too big. To ogle some far more spectacular find, head on over to Sophie's

Oh and you still have time to enter the giveaway for a chance to win the knitting book - best be quick though as I will draw it tomorrow!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Op Shop Lament

Overheard today ...
"We can give it a clean and put $15 to $20 on that - that's what they go for on the Internet"

Oh rue the day that the op-shop ladies got Web savvy! Seriously though, this was in a little country op shop in a little country town. A squadzillion people use and peruse the Internet - total visitors to the store - well, a whole lot less than that so why not put five bucks on it and someone will snap it up for their kids to play with? sigh  Wanna know what the item was? A phone with a dial - not so very old, the sort kids like to have in their cubby. Maybe when people sign up as volunteers in thrift shops they should sign a pledge to stay away from Ebay. I left without making a purchase. Unheard of but I felt a bit disconsolate. sigh (again - for effect!)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Zip it, zip it goooood ...

 Yesterday I was in the city with my daughter and it seemed everywhere we looked we saw jewellery with roses made of zips. Sadly, they were mostly pretty shoddy - to the point that some of the zips were not even real! I still think this is a cool idea so I decided to have a bash at making my own version. This is what I  made.

A necklace just right for Spring, with 4 "zip roses". This is what they look like close-up ...

I would like to try and share my method with you,so here goes ...
You will need a zip (duh!) - I used op-shop ones but you could buy new ones too. Now, the length of the zip determines the size of the rose. In the necklace the green and pink zips were shorties, the black one too but the orange one was quite long - probably about 35cms. Also, thread up your needle with matching thread before you start.

This is a lovely long one that I had lurking about - I am partial to the way the metal teeth look in the finished rose. Ok, so once you have selected your zip, you need to snip off the end with the stopper and remove the bit you use to close the zip.

Split the zip in half - you only use one half at a time and can join the other half on later if you decide to make the rose bigger.

Now you need to do a little folding manouvre. Fold down the top edge to create a triangle as shown below.

Then, you need to fold it over again to form a nice neat end.

Pinch the bit you have just folded together and start to roll it up, creating the centre of the rose.

To secure the roll, push the needle through the centre from one side to the other.

You can go through a couple of times to make it really secure. Once you are satified that it isn't going to unroll, start to sew a running stitch along the bottom edge.
Stop after a couple of centimeters and gather the stitches up. Secure to the centre roll by pushing the needle from one side to the other.Continue like this, gradually increasing the size of the gathering stitch and securing to the petals rather than the centre - the flower will want to turn in on itself so you need to be vigilant and add a few stitches to keep it in place.

 Nearly done! Once the whole length of the zip has been gathered up, simply finish off with a few stitches - you may see a few gaps in the petals - just catch them to another petal.


I haven't decided what I will do with this one yet - probably a necklace or maybe attached to a cuff ? I hope the instructions make sense and that you get to make one for yourself!