Friday, 29 February 2008

Leap Year & the shows in Australia

Well today is February 29 - yes that one day that only exists every four years. I have been doing a bit of reading on leap year and its all rather interesting. The reason it exists is that the solar year is almost 6 hours longer than our calendar. So, it's easier to make those hours up with an extra day every four years. BUT to keep things on an even keel (because we're still out by a little bit- remember its ALMOST 6 hours each year), they say that if a year is divisible by 100 are NOT eligible to be a leap year UNLESS they are also divisible by 400. So that's why 2000 was a leap year, but 2100 won't be. After exhaustive calculations experts believe that by the time about 8000 years passes we still will have lost a day so there is a plan to honour the year 4000 with an additional leap year.

On a lighter note, did you know ladies that traditionally today is the day that you can propose marriage? I'd love to hear from anyone who has actually done this!!!

My week has been very busy so far with lots of lovely new jewellery made :) Feels great to be properly back in the groove I must say!! My first show of the year is on next weekend too - on 8th March 2008 at the Jazz in the Tops festival at the Coolah Tops National Park. I look forward to catching up with the lovely people who attend this festival regularly and sincerely hope that the weather is fine (last year it was glorious - sunny, warm and mild).

I was looking through some favourite blogs and found that fellow jewellery maker, Michabella Creations, is going to an event called Shecky's Girls Night Out. I had a look - wow, we really need something like this regularly in Australia. Wouldn't it be a blast to attend something like this - either as an exhibitor (me) or an attendee! We really lag behind a lot in shows/events in Australia it seems - although our smaller population spread over a large area would account for some of it I guess. *sigh* Ah well, I live in hope!

I've included a pic of a recent piece as I haven't taken pictures of my brand new pieces yet. It is pretty funky, isn't it! The stone is "dalmation" jasper and I just love it speckled appearance - it looks so much like an animal skin! Wear it with white to make it POP!!!

Have a great day :)

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Age old dilemma: time desired vs. time available!

Sometimes I just want to sit at my bench and create. But last week it was destined not to be - for the majority of it at least. There was always some other call on my time that seemed more immediate. I have promised myself a far more creative week next week though!

One thing I DID do, however was finally upload some new items to my store. I just wish it didn't take an eon to do it. I really must try and do it a bit more frequently - I tend to get a slew of emails from clients when I finally take the plunge of sitting for hours in front of the computer to upload new pictures!

What do you think of today's stones? Aren't they gorgeous? Stunning quality crazy lace agate, but with very angular patterns instead of the standard rather orbicular ones, they are intriguing and completely unique. Very unusual colourings in the stones too - think butterscotch, forest floor, autumn berries and even a Japanese painting! I decided elegant was best with this muted assortment. Matching with simple rondelles of sterling silver - the combination has created a contemporary classic.

By the way, did you know that February is "Doing Business in Your Bathrobe Month" in honour of those of us who work from home. Gee, I wish I would have read this post on Small Business Diva about three weeks ago - I could have been in my PJs/robe without being guilt ridden!! Ah well. I guess I will wait until next year.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Back at the Bench

I'm back at my bench this week and have so enjoyed the creation process once again. It was hard to sit back down after a rather lengthy break, but now that I've overcome that hurdl, I can't wait to get back there! Of course, too many family and social obligations are still to be met and so I can't seem to get back there fast enough for my liking!!

How did you fare on Valentine's day? Did you get a card or flowers, chocolates, jewellery as a gift? I often find the card offerings are a bit boring and in my search for cards, came across a brilliant history of cardmaking on Jenni's Papercraft Designs.

Do you like today's picture? It is a feminine necklace of rose quartz and rock crystal quartz which has been sandblasted to a matte finish with then a row of facets along the rim which sparkle beautifully. Although the stones are quite large, there is a balance of delicacy brought by the fine silver twists in between each stone. It is actually a long necklace which can be doubled as that is a way I love to wear mine, giving it an air of casual elegance.

Till next!

Sunday, 10 February 2008


I just love jasper. With a veritable feast of varieties and the amazing patterns it is a difficult stone to resist!

Jasper is basically a chalcedony although sometimes its grainy structure means it is separated from other chalcedonies. The name Jasper comes from the Greek and means 'spotted stone'. Often containing up to 20 percent foreign materials these additions determine the appearance.

As it is relatively common, jasper was often used in ancient times and appears repeatedly in myth and lore.

Moses was apparently given jasper as one of “The Stones of Fire” which were said to possess the power to summon angels. He then had these stones mounted into a sacred breastplate for his brother, the high priest Aaron. Additionally, jasper is one of the twelve gemstones set in the foundations of the city walls of Jerusalem.

Red jasper was sometimes used by the Egyptians in place of carnelian as the "Blood of Isis" and as the "Buckle of Isis" on the throat of the dead. Likewise green jasper was often used in place of jade by the Chinese in the mouth of the dead.

Black jasper was believed to assist in the capture of cities and fleets and mottled jasper was used as a protection against drowning. Reportedly some Italian farmers still use jasper as a protection from lightning.

Modern day crystal healers believe it is a nurturing stone, bringing tranquility and wholeness and unifying all aspects of your life.

The stones used in the necklace I have photographed above is called in the trade "leopardskin" jasper and is a combination of "picture" and "pop" jasper (which has orbicular patterns). From a metaphysical point of view, picture jasper contains a message from the past within its pictures for those who can read it and brings comfort whilst jasper with orbicular patters helps you to accept responsibility and instills patience.

I was very attracted to these particular stones - I love their shape, colour and patterns and from a design point of view they needed little additional adornment. So that each stone can be appreciated and doesn't overwhelm, however, I spaced the larger nuggets out with smaller rounds of the same stone and added a touch of delicacy and shimmer with the addition of small 12ct gold-fill balls.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Back to school bliss

Ahh, the children are back to school after the summer holidays *bliss*. This has meant that a few hours of each day have been free to get "organised" in my workshop. I still have a couple of days worth of tidying/moving around until I feel completely comfortable but am really looking forward to getting back into my normal routine.

The children have jumped back into their school routine surprisingly quickly - although its early days yet, so I think a week or so and they won't want to get up in the morning! They have also started back at dancing and in my travels around my favourite sites, I saw the most gorgeous little ballet boxes featured on My New Shiny Shoes. Mmmm, they would be right up a budding ballerina's alley!

The world's weather seems really out of control lately. I am hearing of absolutely ghastly weather in the USA and UK and here in eastern Australia we have had unseasonably cool weather for most of summer. We usually have extended periods of daytime temps in the 40s (celsius) / well over the 100 farenheit mark. This past week though we had some brilliantly clear and hot days and so instead of posting a pic of jewellery, today I thought I would post a pic from my front verandah. Do you like it? It is showing our typical brilliant blue summer sky for all of you on the other side of the world experiencing masses of rain, snow and wind.

Of course, this type of view is rather inspirational, although it could lead me to make MORE green jewellery (and you know how easy it is for me to be sidetracked down the green lane *giggle* )


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