Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Urban Tribal Romantic Decay Industrial Recycled - errm - goodies?

Ok so I can't quite figure out what to call this range! The materials I have used have a sort of urban/industrial feel but the style is sort of tribal. I used some pearls and shiny bits which always makes me think Romance ... Ah well have a squizz and see what you can come up with!

This pendant is made from an assortment of beads, tin, cogs and beach finds. And a little birdy bone. I did not eat the donor. Promise. I found the bone all bleached and smooth washed up on a beach. Truly.

I used bronze wire that I formed into a ring to string them on. The pendant hangs from a leather and chain necklace. I made the bail from recycled pewter.

Next up, some ear-rings.

I only had a skerrick of this lovely old rusted tin so I was treating it like a precious metal. I have used recycled pewter to add some strength and pearls provide a nice contrast whilst picking up on the gentle colours in the tin. Mmmm - rust is purdy ...

Something non-rusty. I cut the discs from reclaimed brass and bashed them about and patinaed them. Using chips. That is a dear little amozonite bead swinging from the bottom.

Back to the rusty, distressed gear ...

Again I have used pewter to provide a sound sub-structure for the old tin - great colour huh? Again I couldn't resist the juxtaposition of the pearls - just teeny freshwater ones this time!

So there you have the bare bones of a range I hope to grow. I guess the rusty ear-rings are not for the feint-hearted but they are stylish nonetheless. I think. Aren't they? (arrgggh - I hate it when the Inner Critic sits on my shoulder and whispers doubting doubts in my ear ...)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Thrifting Goodness

 Seems the thrifting stars were aligned for me this week 'cos I hunted up some lovely treasures ...

This gorgeous pearl necklace is in its original case. The op shop lady sold it to me for three bucks because it was broken - apparently it was in one piece when they got it but someone tried it on and it broke!

All the stones on that amazing clasp are intact - woo hoo!

A lovely stack of very sweet doilies - all between 10 and 20 cents each - unheard of these days!

Aren't they pretty - and they have handmade lace edging too.

 Without doubt this is my favourite find - half of an old pair of specs. The lens is seriously magnifying and the case is all rusty and crusty - gorgeous!

Creamy, dreamy old buttons ...

Creamy,dreamy mother-of-pearl buttons - yummo!

A collection of beady bits and pieces that are clearly not vintage but have some potenial for remaking.

That big silver ball by Tiffany and Co has a sterling silver stamp on it (925) and the necklace has a hallmarked tag but I am not really sure if they are real. I looked up the brand and it seems to me there are quite a few knock-offs. Doesn't matter overly to me - I only discovered the tag when I got home - I just thought that the metal beads would come in handy and were well worth the dollar I paid for them.
Joining in with the gang over at Sophies. Did you get to the oppies this week?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Art in the Barossa

A little while back the Barossa Regional Gallery challenged artists to create work in a 2d format that celebrated the regions' food and wine culture. They offered  decent prize money for the winner plus the winning design would be used on tea towels to be sold as souvenirs throughout the region. The winner was to be announced at the Opening Night. That was tonight!

There was a good turn out and a really good mix of artwork. There were well known artists like JoJo Spook and Julia Wakefield , a great space for school kids (although they were not entrants) and all manner of artists in between.This one was my favourite kids entry - just love the colours and wonkiness! This artist was just 8 years old.

The curators added a few nice touches to the space with displays of vintage kitchenware and the lovely Barossa Cookery Book that has been in print since 1917. Sales of the book directly benefit the Gallery. After some catching up with lovely artists, a glass of regional wine and a nibble on some of the Barossa's yummy cheese and produce it was time to announce the winner ....

And the winner is ...

Ellen Schlobohm with her amazing papercut!
Yep that is my girl!

I know this is a pretty frightful photo (blame the glass - or maybe the wine ...) but it does give you some idea of the detail of the work. It is cut from a single piece of paper. There is no glue involved. I know, right? In her artist statement about the piece Ellen talked about drawing on the folk art traditions of Germany (this area was a German settlement) and the age old craft of Scherenschnitter to create her piece whilst giving it a contemporary slant. She composed the poem as an invitation to visitors to share the splendours of the Valley. As a young adult who has seen a bit more of the world she has come to appreciate the beauty and unique culture of the place. Cool. Proud Mamma here.

Woo hoo - "winner winner chicken dinner!"

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A riddle for you ...

When is a cake stand not a cake stand?

When it is a pair of earrings of course! Haha hee hee!

epns tableware, amethyst, peridot, sterling silver

epns tableware, amethyst, peridot, sterling silver

epns tableware, amethyst, peridot, sterling silver

Listing on etsy tonight!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Of course I could have been making jewellery ...

but instead, I was surfing the Net and polishing off the remains of the Pringles. My predilection for this kind of activity (or non-activity depending on your point of view) could well explain the rapidly expanding horizons of my arse and a certain lack of productivity in the studio. However let it not be said that I lack creativity because as I gazed mournfully into the now empty Pringles tube (oh puh-lease - like you have never finished off the Pringles without sharing!), I was struck by what a handy-dandy container it was. I managed to haul myself (and my expanding arse) off the chair in front of the computer to bring you the "I-reached-the-bottom-of-the-Pringles-can Utensil Holder". Enjoy.

Step 1. Eat Pringles - or if you are virtuous give them to someone else to eat. Pfft.

Step2. Cut tube to desired shape. I made mine a bit higher at the back 'cos I intend to keep brushes in it and that way the shorter ones won't get lost.

Step3. Fish out some paper/images etc from the folder that is bursting with all that stuff you tear out of magazines and can't bear to throw away. Alternatively, use giftwrap or something.

Step 3. Cut the paper to fit and give the tube a good coat of glue - I love glue sticks 'cos they are not as mesy for clutzy people like me. Stick the paper on.

Step 4. I chose another image to go on top of the patterned paper. See above note re burgeoning folder ...

Step 5. Edit image if necessary. (That really just means cut it out to your liking.)

Step 6. Glue image to front of tube.

Step 7. Run a strip of self-adhesive copper foil around the top edge of the container so that you can fold it over to the inside. Use a Paddle Pop stick (yummy - love the banana ones) to burnish down the tape.

Step 8. Run solder around the tape and patina . So the whole copper tape/solder step isn't completely necessary but it gives some added strength. You could do the same with duct tape or masking tape and colour it in ... A coat of varnish is a good idea at this point.

Step 8. Plonk utensils/brushes/pencils into container and bask in the satisfaction that comes from the kind of save-the-planet recycling that involves eating Pringles!

Step 9. Give in to craving for Banana Paddle Pop and nip to the deli for one.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Flea Market Finds

Thrifting goodness. Joining in with Sophie.

Seems beady stuff was the order of the day when I stopped by the op shop this week.

Great sage green enamel ear-rings - way too heavy for ears but I think I can re-purpose them into some kind of necklace.

This astonishing neckband - probably from New Guinea according to the op shop volunteer who knows the donor- is just amazing to me. I won't be dismantling this one!

Okay so I have never been a big fan of those weird bead-in-a-tube-of-fabric necklaces but I really love these wicker beads so it was worth shelling out a buck just for those!

Cool huh?!

I think beads from natural materials are fantastic - a connection to both nature and the historical signifigance of adornment. These are called "Job's Tears" and are among my favourite natural seed beads. I like their soft grey colour and pearly sheen and I buy them whenever I come across them. They are also used for food and making musical instrument like shaker gourds as well as jewellery.

Apparently Mother Teresa's  favourite rosary was made of Job's Tears.

These beads are made of dyed bone though I have no way of knowing what kind of creature they hailed from. Lots of pretties waiting for me to deconsruct and reconstruct. Strange how sometimes the oppies bring you stuff of the same ilk - beads one week, vintage fabric the next. Whatever - it is precisely that unpredictability that makes thrifting so much fun,

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Anatomy of a Necklace

It all began with a watch case ...

I removed the innards and gave it a a bit of a scrub with the brass brush. Note to self: protect glass before attacking with brass brush.

I applied a patina , wiped it off and then lightly sanded the whole thing. This gives the aged appearance I was hoping for.

Next I made some coils using a whizz-bang little tool - that I hardly ever use, preferring a knitting needle as a mandrel - it was very quick and neat!

Just look at these tidy coils! They have been brushed and cleaned up ready to attach as decorative elements to the watch case.

To attach the coils I have drilled holes through the watch case and threaded wire through them and the coils, finishing with a wrapped loop at the top. This provides the hanging mechanism.

Making links from steel wire is a pretty grubby process so I made these before I started playing with the "pretties" - that is the beads and crystals I had in mind to use.

Here I have combined beads, pearls and other bits and pieces with my links to form part of the chain that the watch case will hang from.

I have riveted a piece of chandelier glass to metal to create an interesting element for the chain.

 The watch case has been filed with charms and beads that move around freely. I decoupaged some paper from an old book onto the back of the watch too.

 A dangle added to the bottom and it is all done!

I have used a long piece of ready-made belcher chain to join the bead chain that I have made so the necklace is very long. It dangles to the waist. It looks so much lovelier 'in-situ' on a body than it does in these photographs!