Friday, 26 October 2007

Gemstones - I want MORE!

I'm slowly getting back in the groove from Lovedale. It always takes me a few days to catch up - to unpack everything, to remember where I was up to (and to catch up on the housework!) and to finish of orders from the show. Its so easy to sit back, sigh and just do nothing (*guilt guilt guilt* lol).

My stock has dwindled considerably over the shows held in the last couple of months. I need to get in and make some more pieces in readiness for Christmas showings. And although I have quite a stash of stones to still make up, I have the 'need' to buy some new ones!! After all, thats why I do all of this - so I can get my hands on more pretties ;).

I was looking at the Modern Goddess blog and saw this brilliant article about Kunzite. I really want some now but have to find some pieces that call out and grab me. In the meantime I have a blue thing going and seem to buying all things blue.

The pic for today is a delicate little bracelet of boulder opal and freshwater pearls linked together with 12ct gold fill. Pretty, isn't it? The opal is hard to photograph nicely so that the colour is visible but there are gorgeous flashes of red, yellow, blue and green shining through the ironstone.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Spring has Sprung!

Spring has well and truly sprung. It is wonderful to see all the lush growth in those areas that have had rain. Anne on her My Day Off blog has given some great recipes for springtime scents :) Unfortunately for me, spring also means hayfever, so I may just have to hide inside for a little while and make some more pretties for summer! (Pic above is of a bracelet that has already gone (!) and I only made it last week. Vivid purple, hot pink and lime green freshwater pearls with peridot, amethyst and rock crystal quartz.)

Well, the Lovedale Craftfest has been and gone and it was a really enjoyable weekend. I travelled down to "wine country" as they call it, on Friday. Found my accommodation - the Abernethy Guest House, where my hosts, Vicky and Imanz were welcoming to their 1920's period hotel. After a quick tour and dropping off my bags, I raced back to the Ogishi Craft Centre where I started my set up. Of the 12 artisans in attendance, 9 were well underway in their set up and so I needed to get started quickly! A brief hello to my fellow artisans and Setsuko showed me my exhibition space where I busily started my display. After moving things around (and around and around!) I was ready in plenty of time for the artisan's gathering which was followed by the opening night.

Some of the artisans I already knew from the Lovedale Limited Edition Expo last year, but I hadn't got to chat to them and see their work closely. I was located next to Alison Green, a very talented and bubbly lady who does incredible silkscreens of Australian fauna and flora. She makes her pieces accessible to the average person by printing on tshirts, tablecloths, cushions, tea cosy's etc., as well as prints for the wall. Alison and her husband Max, kept me laughing during the show and kept our space very happy indeed!

Kay Faulkner is a master weaver and creates the most amazing patterns - both plain and in colour with her wraps and scarves. They almost seemed computer generated, but of course they are not! Kay was a lovely calming influence throughout the whole show.

Robin Phillips creates the most amazing silver, gold and enamel jewellery. My husband admired her work last year so I made a point of looking closely and it is indeed beautiful work. Robin is friendly and warm to everyone and there is no surprise that she has dedicated clients everywhere. Her enamel cloissonne is just brilliant. I can honestly say that if I was to buy a piece of jewellery from someone else, she would be my choice!

Lynne Taylor was near to my booth last year and like Kay she is a calm beacon amongst the swirling humanity. Her display this year was beautiful. I managed to look at her amazing collaged fabric garments and if you wanted to feel amazing for a special day or evening, one of her jackets would fit the bill!

Mark Jones is a lovely, appoachable man and his handbags are to die for! This man's work is soooo desirable and I'm not even into handbags that much! I KNOW I will be recommending people to his work for years and years.

Nicky Coady is a studio potter and her work is amazing. I surely haven't seen work like hers and can see why she was so popular. A great personality as well - fun and laughing all the time.

Barbara Stephenson was new to the Lovedale scene and I love her slumped glass work. I didn't get to chat to Barbara but I did meet her husband (called "HELPER" on his tag lol) who was obviously proud of his wife's work.

Lance Hennessy is a quiet chap who creates amazing ceramic sculptures - I didn't get to chat with Lance for more than a minute unfortunately.

Robyn McGain is also new to the Lovedale display, but her incredible quilts were greatly admired. Robyn is friendly and chatty and as a local was a great asset to the event.

Setsuko Ogishi of course does the most beautiful glass work - true works of art were scattered throughout the gallery. Setsuko and her husband Yutaka are quiet and welcoming and they organised Craftfest brilliantly.

I met some lovely people from all over the Hunter Valley, some from Sydney, a great family from Warren and even a little group from Germany. All in all a wonderful, busy weekend :)

Monday, 15 October 2007

I'm back!

Ooooh, I think I'm addicted to the internet. I missed getting my emails and checking out my favourite sites soooo much! But I DID cope okay ;)

We all had a great time - the beach was gorgeous, the weather sublime and I took some jewellery to work on (and even managed to do some of it), the kids were out of control, but it was a holiday so I didn't get too stressed about it! This pic was taken one afternoon when the tide had gone out and left a channel in its wake with some groovy patterns in it.

I landed back in reality a few hours ago. The car is unpacked, the bags are halfway there. I have jewellery all over the floor and all over my bench! New supplies arrived in my absence - I LOVE getting parcels! - and all is go, go, go. I even had a client come over this afternoon among the disarray and managed to find her something perfect to go with her new dress. I have to get back into gear and get organised for Lovedale, so 3 days to go.....arrrgghhhh........

A simple necklace to show today - musky pink rhodonite and big sterling silver balls.

I'll report back after Lovedale :)

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Holidays here we come!

Woohoo! Its THAT time of the year for us - our annual holiday. We have had such a busy year, I am really looking forward to it! The stresses of last week have faded and even though I still have a mountain of things to do before we leave, the end is in sight!!

Last year we bought a house in the small village of Woodgate, just above Hervey Bay in Queensland. We went there for our holiday this time last year - we had friends in Maryborough and Bundaberg and wanted to stay in a place mid-way between them, so I pulled out hubby's maps and looked for beachside towns. Woodgate was one I found, along with a few others. Some quick research on the 'net showed that it was a small village that still showed signs of its beach shack past, had reasonable rentals for the holiday season and was perfectly placed.

We rented a house across the road from the beach and it only took a day or two to fall in love with the place.
We spent a good proportion of our holiday looking at houses for sale!

By the end of the week we had bought a house!!!!! Some things are meant to be. It is an older house, one street back from the beach, two storey to catch the sea breeze and quite lovely inside. We flew up for the settlement and spent a week painting, getting it spick and span and ready for holiday tenants.

When we bought it:

After our week sprucing it up:

So, it has been 10 months since I have seen it and one of the reasons I am really looking forward to the holidays. Of course it may mean more painting and work, but its so nice to work on something that is all ours (well, ours and the bank's!!!!)

No posts for me while I'm gone, but as I come back and get caught up in a swirl of going to the Lovedale Craftfest, I am seriously thinking about taking some bits and pieces with me to work on :)

Catch you on the flip side!


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