Thursday, December 29, 2011

At the bench ...

Today I unearthed some old spoons - there are souvenir spoons, teaspoons, soup spoons and just about every other kind of spoon you can imagine in my collection.

I had planned to make some simple charms but as chance would have it, my simple charms grew into slightly more complex and layered pendants.

That is okay though sometimes you just have to go with the creative flow!

This one started life as a very pretty spoon but a few good whacks with the hammer soon pounded it into a nice flat piece of metal - just right for the addition of a pretty image and a flower.

I spent some time before Christmas cleaning out my magazines and mined them quite thoroughly for nice images. This owl was one I saved - he is pretty cute and fitted perfectly with the piece of glass I had to hand!

I captured this bit of a vintage doiley behind glass and thought it would make a nice component in a necklace, but then, as I was playing around it just kinda grew into a pendant in its own right! The bird and the twig are both made from reclaimed pewter that I have cast. The paper behind the lace was also saved from my magazine destash!

I am still most fond of "Alice" images - I just can't help it. This pendant is made from a teaspoon, mica, a funny old brandy label and another larger spoon that when flattened ended up in this neat shield shape. Add one vintage key and voila - a pendant is born!

This picture gives a better view of the layering . I haven't sat at my bench for a while and my shoulders are feeling the absence tonight - I am out of practice! I am working towards creating enough work to take along to a makers market that is being run in conjunction with Grampians Texture - I am attending some workshops and maybe the market stall might help pay some of my accommodation costs? It is good motivation to get back to work and stop doo-lallying about .... mind you, I don't plan to overdo things - there are still cocktails to be slurped (I mean sipped!) on balmy Summer evenings ...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

          Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a shiny, bright New Year full of love and laughter!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve.

Well Christmas is really here! This morning I had a quick trip to my favourite oppie to wish the ladies there a very Merry Christmas ( I also found some goodies which I will share with you later!) and then spent the day puddling around in my kitchen making preparations for tomorrow. It was rather lovely - I had Angus and Julia for company and a celebratory Margharita and lots of lovely smells wafting about ... Originally we had planned to just have our twiggy tree - very low key - but then when my daughter and I were dropping stuff to a local thrift store, we eye-spied a snazzy looking tree on the freebie table! It was white and silver and rather sparkly - I think all that shininess in the Summer sun went to our heads and as you have no doubt guessed by now, it came home with us! We have dressed it bright, fun colours and are both feeling pleased with ourselves. My daughter, bless her cotton socks sat and stitched some very sweet felt birds for our "new" tree.

She made a bunch of these sweeties in lots of colours. They are quite tiny - about 8cms from beak to tail, so she stitched them up by hand. Isn't it lovely to have handcrafted decorations on your tree? Speaking of which, the very thoughtful Christina sent me the dearest little Santa that I have seen in a long time.

How cute is this little bloke? Thank you to the multi-talented Christina - it was a wonderful surprise and he looks just right on our thrifted tree!

So now the presents are wrapped, the tree decorated and the food prepared all that remains is to share a wonderful day with family and friends. And maybe sip on a cocktail or two ...

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Just one more ....

Ha - I totally remember seeing these guys  at Adelaide Uni with my  brother - I was all of 14 and completely stoked to be experiencing live music with my crazy big bro! Classic Aussie rock!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Strange bedfellows ...

Question:  What do an aluminium cake pan

an old decorative tea tin

and some 'pearls' from the op shop have in common?

Answer: They make really pretty Christmas decorations!

They catch the light for a bit of Christmas twinkle and add some colour to my rather monotone tree.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

So indulge me ...

I am not just strolling down Memory Lane with my 'new' record collection, I am hurtling back ready to face-plant it in 1975. Join me ...

All My Friends Are Getting Married - Skyhooks

Lay Your Love On Me - Racey

Baby Its You - Promises.

Oh I so wanted to be the chick in that last video - I had the jeans, I had the braces, I had the moves - so what happened? Ok so I didn't have the boobs or the talent but still ...  What were you doing when these classics were hitting the airwaves? I was busy being YOUNG! If you weren't born when these songs were released please don't bother commenting. (only kidding - sort of - no really - that is just my middle-agedness talking, comment away!)

Flea Market Finds

I had a fun stroll around a local oppie on Saturday - I haven't been for ages and it was good to see lots of new thngs had arrived since my last visit.

Bearing in mind that Christmas and the obligatory, celebratory cocktails that go with it, is just around the corner, I was dead chuffed to find a little jigger thingamy - no more using the medicine glass to measure out accurate shots. Mind you as the day progresses accuracy goes out the window but at least we can start off with a little class! The set was apparently part of "The Corporate Collection" (according to its label anyways!) and there is a handy champagne sealer, a wine stopper and what appears to be a bit of a dodgy "waiters friend". All quite useful and for the grand sum of one dollar, much too tempting to resist. I found some silverware that will eventually be cut up for jewellery although the tea tin is rather intriguing.

It is really heavy - definitely NOT tin but rather some kind of silverware. It is a facsimile of a tea tin really and I wonder if it was for some kind of comemeration - there are no dates engraved on it though. Perhaps it is someones metalwork project? Part of an engravers training? It has me stumped and I would love to know what you think. The score of the day has to be awarded to a bunch of old LP's. I resurrected my record player recently and so I was looking to add to my collection.

This lot include some British pop music (Manfred Mann, Dave Clark Five, The Hollies etc), the very lovely Sade, The Black Sorrows and believe it or not a Patsy Cline album.

What record collection would be complete without The Eagles Greatest Hits? As a child of the 70's I had to have Mr Stevens and those compilation albums featuring such greats as Disco-Tex & The Sex-O-Lettes (Get Dancin"), Sherbet, and Kraftwerk. I also picked up an old looking LP that is sung in French. I thought I could play it when I am cooking and get in touch with my inner Julia Child. Hope it works for curries! I spent all of Saturday afternoon spinning my discs and inflicting a "proper" musical education on the younger members of the household!
To see what everyone has hunted up in the oppies this week, head over to Sophie's.
And just in case there are holes in your own musical education or you simply want to stroll down memory lane, let me just share this little gem from "Whopper Original Smash Hits" 1975 - "The Hustle" by Van McCoy. Oh yeah - I challenge you to sit still!

Not sure if this will take off on "So You Think You Can Dance"! but you gotta love the cheesiness! No wonder feminism took off!

 And if you want to know a little more about the phenomena, watch this!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pop Ups and Presents

Whew what a month it has been ! Makers who sell all know what a crazy time of year this is - it pays to make hay whilst the sun is shining so no complaints but ... well I am glad to be having a bit of a break now! The Ethel and Girty pop-up shop was great fun and I need to thank all the wonderful people who came and visited on the day. It seems everyone embraced the idea with fervor and we spent the day chatting, sipping champers and daintily nibbling the beautiful cupcakes.

Prettiful things on display ...

Audrey Harnett's beautiful sterling silver jewellery.

Paper cuts by Ellen and prints by the multi-talented Audrey.

Some of Ellen's paper-cuts in reclaimed frames. Aren't they gorgeous?

A handmade Christmas tree festooned with white birdies and guarded by two colourful reindeer.

Calorie free cupcakes stitched with love (and lots of patience!) by Audrey.

Outside everything was set for tea ...

Just look at these beauties - all baked by the amazing Lucy and Amy duo - now nominated as the Cupcake Queens!
Just when I thought the day couldn't get much better, the lovely Melissa turned up bearing beautiful gifts for us!

Isn't that a treat! I am a morning person so Melissa chose this great doiley to include in mine!

This was an amazing experience - Audrey opened up her home to host our show and it was a beautiful setting for a wonderful gathering. I think we were tired but beaming by the end of the day!

Thanks Girty!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Flea Market Finds

Well it has simply been an absolute age since I have joined in with Sophie's meme. There hasn't been too much thrifting going on of late but this week, to celebrate the end of the Uni semester, I took myself off to some favourite haunts.

With the long Summer holidays in mind, I picked up a bunch of books - I love that people donate their books to charity so that we can share the love! I couldn't really go past the retro gorgeousness of the tea-pot - I love the exuberant colours. 

 That little spaceman is actually a fridge magnet bit I think he could become a brooch ...

This cute little critter is actually a vase - I love that this fawn is channeling its inner Miranda Carmen and chomping on some cherries.

Just look at that face - who could resist!

These dear wee beasties were especially lovely to find as I had, as recently as Friday, been chastised by The Denouncer for even contemplating the purchase of new woodland critters in Bauhaus. Mwahahah ... - not one but two sweet woodland critters unearthed in the oppie!

Clearly this fawn is delighted to have found a home in my studio - that face is a veritable study in delight!

Finally this very smug looking cat was rescued from the dusty thrift store shelves. I liberated it because it is an old Avon bottle and because best of all - its head comes off!

Ha ha ha - not so smug now Kitty! All in all a really fun fossick. I hope you have all had a lovely rummage in the op shops this week and found things that make your heart sing.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Beachy Peachy Christmas!

The very best part of the Christmas Season is the effort everyone makes to catch up and acknowledge the year that has passed - especially as the years seem to pass so quickly  these days! The besties and our menfolk had a wonderful get together by the ocean in what must be the quirkiest and cutest cafe in all of South Australia. The lovely Judy who owns the place cooks the most divine food - home-cooked tucker with flair - would probably best describe her style. Her Mum, Nancy is "front-of-house", acting as maitre de, waitress and yarn spinner - at a sprightly 80 years old mind you! The view of the ocean is unadulterated and you get to experience the beach first-hand when Nancy ushers you off for a walk between courses ("of you go - keeps you young you know!" - who can argue with that coming from an 80 year old who looks like she could run the London Marathon and then go out dancing for the evening?!). Of course we also opted for a little champagne on the beach...

Honestly, we ate all day - literally! There was seafood that Judy's husband had caught, local meats and home-grown vegies and fruit. My dessert even featured mulberries from my friends' garden!

This place is luxurious in the truest sense of the word - there is no rush, you can linger and chat and meander on the beach pretty much to your hearts content. One fellow diner stretched out on a thoughtfully provided couch on the verandah and caught a few Zeds in the afternoon sun! If the breeze gets a bit chilly, there are crocheted rugs to keep your toes warm. Add to that your waitress not only delivers yummy and very generous serves of food, she also dispenses pearls of wisdom and funny stories collected over 80 years of a well-lived life. Truly this is Heaven!

The garden is a riot of herbs and vegies and an eclectic assortment of plants. Despite the soil and proximity to the sea, everything seems to grow - perhaps it is because everything this family does seems to be done with love and care. (would this be the appropriate time to mention that Nancy is also the "unofficial" carer for her 91 year old neighbour who lives down the road?!). Judy is a a bit of an op-shop hound so all the crockery and tableware is a mis-matched assortment of vintage and retro stuff. We were all so relaxed after our day together that we could barely keep our eyes open but then Melissa presented us with a pressie each, and our eyes nearly popped out of our heads ....!

This has to be the most beautifully made bunting I have ever seen - isn't it gorgeous?! Bunting is always festive, but to have dedicated Christmas bunting is a bit extra-special I think! All this was a timely reminder that as we hurtle towards the close of the year and our focus is drawn inextricably to all our must-do-before-Xmas lists, the most valuable and important thing in life is the people you share it with.
And Moet.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Steampunk Renos ....

Well my lovelies, it has certainly been a long time between posts - apologies for being such an absentee blogger. I won't bore you with the details - suffice to say it has been pretty hectic around here and as always the first sacrifice on the pyre of busy-ness is blogging! I have been playing around with some quasi-steampunk jewellery over the last few days and today I decided I wanted a point-of-sale display for my jewels that has a quasi-steampunk aesthetic! I had a rummage in the shed and a quick dash to the oppie where I unearthed these treasures ...

I also fished out my paint supplies and a skerrik of really lovely mulberry paper. Firstly I stripped the exisiting paper lining ( it was pretty shredded already!) and gave the case a coat of black paint.

After the black, I slapped on some red - a really cheap brand which in this instance works in my favour because the cheap stuff doesn't have as much pigment as the good stuff so it can be great if you want a sort of translucent colour. Which I did!

Painted up and ready to deal with the inside. I had to do some careful cutting because I didn't have a huge amount of paper but I made it work ...

Above you can see it all papered up - then I started arranging elements for that steampunk appeal ...

Hhmm - something is still missing - maybe a splash of colour behind the big key?

Yep - that is just what it need! I dismantled the ice-bucket I had purchased at the oppie and used the outside vinyl as well as the "coat-of-arms". I should fess up and tell you that at this point everything is just hanging together with double-sided tape - I really wanted to get an idea of how it would work before I commit myself to epoxy and nails!

And here it is housing some of my latest bits and pieces ...

I think it will work a treat don't you? Now for an up-close squizz at the new jewellery!

This piece has been made from a watch face, key plate, vintage key and the bunny is made from pewter that I have reclaimed and cast into a mould I have made. I had to make the little "cog" too because I didn't have one to suit! I riveted the vintage shell button to some brass as a dangle from the bottom and if you look at the very top part of the first pic you might be able to make out a sweet little vintage ear-ring that just seemed to beg to join this piece.

 It seems I haven't gotten over my "Alice" phase yet. This piece is made from old teaspoons, some kind of doo-hickey brass thing, and a watch face. All cold connected. I stamped "seek" on the doo-hickey and altered a small religious medal that you can see joining the chain in the top pic. This was great fun to make as it required quite a bit of ferreting about in various corners of the studio to find just the right doo-hickey!

I also made a couple of much simpler pieces. These are made from old spoons, reclaimed pewter that I have cut and etched and some watch bits. Again all cold connected. Oh wait a minute that is not quite true - I soldered the jumpring to the top of the heart ... I think they are pretty.

Finally, this watch case reliquary - it has a pretty vintage image and lace inside, along with a pearl and a mother of pearl button. Other components include that lovely chunk of rough quartz, a handmade chain and a vintage chandelier crystal. It is rather romantic isn't it?! Well that is my little lot for now. I am hoping to Be a Better Blogger from now on ...