Sunday, February 27, 2011

Flea Market Finds

I really like typography. It is that simple - if a piece of artwork includes letters and text, chances are I am gonna like it. I practically drool over the amazing collection of letter-press stuff housed in the printmaking studio at art school. So, you can imagine my delight when I found a bag full of letters - lovely wooden letters- and a few numbers ...

They are an odd assortment but all in primary colours so I am guessing they were from alphabet puzzles originally. I think I will be creating some kind of arrangement with them. For now I just like looking at them piled up on the table!

They are beautifully worn - there is even evidence of the odd tooth mark where a kindy kid has decided to have a taste. People collect all sorts of stuff and you can see more over at Sophie's.

Friday, February 25, 2011

It must be love, love, love ....

"How does he love me? Let me count the ways ...
  1.  He blames all unreasonable behaviour by me on external factors (eg. the weather, stupid drivers, menopause) instead of viewing it as a character flaw.
  2. He values my artistic endeavour (even when it goes unrewarded financially)
  3. He brings me cool stuff out of the skip at his work!
Needless to say, it is number three that is perhaps one of his most endearing traits! Lookee, lookee at this latest bit of gorgeousness the man found. He had to deal with nasty old palm cuttings and assorted winery rubbish in order to rescue it and bring it home to ME!

Isn't it just lovely? It has been made from an old fruit crate or somesuch and is actually quite lightweight.

Somebody cared enough about it to line it with tonally matching paper - maybe it was a picnic case?

It has a clasp that looks like it came from an old kindy case. I just love things that reflect the ingenuity of re-use, that using of materials that are at hand. The dear man presented it to me with great excitement - and no wonder, he knew it would mean more to me than a lavish diamond (although I should add that I am quite fond of them too - just in case he reads this!). I do adore this box - I will use it for carting tools to Uni I think and I will feel very special balancing it on my knees in the train and feeling oh-so-smug 'cos everyone will be casting longing looks at it and wishing that their man would battle spiky palm fronds and dangerous industrial crap to rescue a sweet wooden case for his beloved!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Flea Market Finds

I had the good fortune to stray into several oppies this week in the company of my daughter. We were dropping things off after the mammoth wardrobe clean-out so we were being very strict about any purchases. We did find some genuinely lovely stuff that simply couldn't be left behind ...

Our box of goodies - glassware, crockery and beads.

My daughter couldn't resist the cheerful promotional glasses and wants to start a collection and the SouthPark mug? Well, oldest daughter and son are fans so they can slug it out over ownership!

What is it about red beads? It is like they have  a siren call that I just can't resist! These are ceramic and the ones in the background are seeds - probably from some tropical clime!
A lucky strike - these pretty pastel cups, saucers and plates ...

They are reminiscient of evry country Town Hall and CWA rooms across Australia ...

In such places they are usually accompanied by yellow ones and are often Johnson Bros Australia rather than England. I think these may well be gifted to someone - I have so many cups and saucers - they are very sweet though ... To see what the rst of the gang is collecting,  head over to Sophie's.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Oh dear, oh dear!

It has been a month or more since my beads have spoken to me and beckoned me to come and play. This wouldn't be a problem if money grew on trees and electricity and food were free. They aren't. Last night I did  the grown-up thing and sat myself down at the beady table and said sternly "Work!"
I had an idea for an epic, exotic bib-style neckpiece. What I ended up with was an epic fail.

 Ugh -it is heavy and clunky and no matter how I tweaked it, the beads would not fall nicely. It was destined to be one of those necklaces that you fiddle with when you wear it because it twists about - no, no - just not good enough. I left it overnight hoping that by morning it would miraculously appear to be the perfect necklace.

No significant changes were evident this morning -jumprings not closed properly and beads just refusing to play along nicely ... there was only one thing for it ...

It needed to get the big chop - I loathe remaking things but it was clear that this piece was going nowhere fast.

Chopped up and ready to re-string ...

 OMG - the second attempt was even worse than the first! Bletch! I was beginning to hate these beads ...

However, Round 3 gave me a simplified and far more wearable design and although it is well removed from an exotic, epic bib, I am pleased with its elegance.

It has a few exotic touches like the belly-dancer coins and the bauble that jiggles about - hhmmm maybe one shouldn't use 'belly-dancer' and 'jiggle' in the same sentence? In the end all the piece really needed was a change of colour, style and concept. Oh and a complete reworking - meh - bib necklaces are over-rated anyway!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Creative Space

I am trying to boost both my creativity and my desire to create so I am joining in with Kirsty in the hope it will spur me on! So, today my creative space presented me with the following ...

and in the end I had a necklace ...
It is long and luscious and very, very pretty!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Heartfelt -grab a tissue if you are sentimental ...

I had planned to share this on Valentines Day but - well I can't wait! I met an old bloke the other day who, like many of his vintage, fancied himself as a bit of a storyteller. He shared with me an enchanting love story.  This is how it went ...

Once upon a time, a boy and a girl fell in love. They were teenage sweethearts really. They held hands when they rode their bikes down the street. They thought they would be together forever. Sometimes though, life has other plans and the pair lost each other when one left school and one changed schools. No Facebook or mobiles to help them keep in touch and just like that the soulmates were destined to be apart. Several years later the boy, now a young man saw his beloved walking down the street and his heart lit up. But when he saw that his girl, now a young woman,was pushing a pram he guessed that she had given her heart to another and he didn't approach her. So they lived their separate lives. When the woman was just 30 years old Mr Death knocked on the door of her house and when he left, she was a young widow. Love came and went in the woman's life but it never seemed to stick. As the woman approached her 64th Birthday, she reluctantly accompanied a friend to a party. She stepped into a room full of strangers but to her surprise there was someone in that room she recognised and who recognised her - immediately. It was of course her long lost love. Their hearts sang and they laughed madly to be together again after so much time. The man though was ill. He told the woman straight away "I am sick and they say I only have  a few years to live. Please come and share the last of my life." The woman agreed and for 2 years they stared down Mr Death but in the end it got down to the very bone and Mr Death could no longer be quelled by the strength of their love.
Ten years later, the storyteller met the woman. His heart sang too for he was smitten. They became friends but one day he confessed his feelings and asked the woman to be much more than a friend. He wanted a romantic attachment. The woman refused - she said that she had had the very best that love had to offer and anything else would surely be a disappointment. The storyteller was sad and told her that she had locked up her heart and bound it with memories. She made him promise not to try and pick that lock. He agreed for he is a gentleman. Besides he knew that she alone held the key to unlock her heart. Still, the storyteller has learned a thing or two in his 75 years and I am sure he plans to woo her. Afterall, his final words to me were "I am a patient man ..."

Well, as you can imagine that I had a tear or two as this chap was regaling me with this story. It is so beautiful - full of  love, loss and hope. I was very moved and trotted off home and immediately started a piece of jewellery in response.

The pervading theme was the idea of a locked-up heart.

I added an inscription in French that means "love's memories".

A vintage key - to represent the hope that one day the heart will fly open ...

The pendant which is made of recycled pewter and brass is strung on a handcrafted sterling chain and some vintage chandelier crystals. I will be revisiting this story to create a more elaborate piece - this one was my immediate-have-to-make-something piece! Now I am mulling over all sorts of design elements so I hope I can pull of something that does the story justice.

Friday, February 4, 2011

So, that was January...?

Oh I had such wonderful plans for January. There were to be tidy cupboards and sorted files and a satisfying pile of  well crafted jewellery. Alas, alack it would seem that my motivation plummeted in direct correlation to the rising Mercury and I have done nothing. That is right, a big, fat ZERO! Nada, zip - nuthin' ! Hence I have had little of interest to share as I have without doubt become the-most-boring-person-on-Earth. I am even bored with me! The sooner Uni starts and I am under the pump with assignments  and work the better I think!
A while back, I dragged out the sewing machine and set up on the kitchen table to sew some softies for this worthy cause. Well, the machine didn't grow legs once I was finished and walk itself back to the cupboard so it has remained perched on the end of the table all this time. Finally, I grew tired of its silent reproach and thought I may as well set to and use the damn thing since clearly it wasn't going anywhere fast. These are the result of some petulant poking through scraps and an extremely half-arsed effort at tidying up ...

I have patched together some leather scraps and kimono silks.

Then I did a little free-hand embellishment - inspired by the lovely Ro whose work I admire greatly.

These cuffs are lined with leather and I have used vintage buttons as closures. I call them "Collage Cuffs"

I hope this means that my mojo is returning and that I will be motivated to get my arse off the couch before it becomes permanently attatched  - at the current rate of butt expansion due to lack of movement, it won't be long before my arse is a bloody couch ....