Friday, 18 April 2008

Ironfest preparations and pyrite

Ironfest is only a week away....and I'm in my usual spin trying to think of everything I need to take (I need to switch off the creative part of my brain and start making a list! lol). Today is my personal deadline for creating new items that will need to be ready to go with me so I have some bench time planned for the balance of today - children allowing me of course (yes, it's school holiday time... AGAIN!)

I had a long chat with the woman I am sharing my booth with at Ironfest, planning how to do the set up and display and what we would need. Last year we received many compliments on our set up but of course I want it to be even better this year! I am a big fan of Hilary Johnson's blog and was particularly impressed with her set up for a one day event, which she featured in her blog recently. It looks so chic and attractive - I'd want to wander over and have a look!

Today's picture is of a new piece - a simple necklace, yet it has a wow factor - simply in the gorgeous pyrite stones. I love the green/gold gleam of pyrite as well as the slight patination with the black host stone peeping through. The pyrite has been perfectly complemented by the green/gold small baroque freshwater pearls. Interestingly a gold clasp looked awful - it clashed with the pyrite tones and actually weakened the whole necklace's appearance! However I found a brushed sterling silver clasp worked in brilliantly - it doesn't overwhelm and with the satin finish it isn't competing in the shine department.

Lots to do here so I shall sign off for now. Have a great day!

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

A productive week

I have had FUN the last week - lots of lovely new pieces made with such varying stones as sodalite, bronzite, carnelian, brown zebra jasper (looks just like a chocolate milkshake LOL ... really, it DOES!!), pyrite, glaucophane, rough and super smooth rock crystal quartz, chrysocolla, amber and sunstone.... Yep, pretty happy with my productivity this week :D

I finally got around to sending a newsletter out to clients too - I am so slack in that department! For some reason I think they are following my blog, but I am sure most of them don't even know it exists!! I have already received some contact from people who have received the newsletter, so it was definitely worthwhile. I need to get over the feeling that I should leave people alone - I know I need to be reminded to have a look at my favourite sites occasionally, so I'm sure others are in the same position and perhaps even welcome my contact!

I have subscribed to the RSS feeds on a lot of my favourite sites and blogs - it makes it so easy to keep up to date with them. (Both this blog and my website have the option either on the page or via the IE toolbar to subscribe to updated content through the RSS feed). My favourite shopping referral site is My New Shiny Shoes. I check my RSS feed for this store at least every second day and Michelle always has something worth looking at and investigating. She also has a free service that will help you find you that evasive, long searched for item, in an online store. As I live fairly remote from shops, I have requested and received help two times (and I have just sent off another request as well)! She seems to know HOW to find things - whereas I just seem to spend hours and hours searching and all to no avail!

I haven't taken pictures of all my new items yet, but above is a bracelet I made a couple of weeks ago, whilst in a very purple mood! Made with amethyst discs that have been linked together to form a handmade chain with argentinium sterling silver (fantastic material - it's tarnish resistant!), then adorned with little charms of purple freshwater pearls (also on argentinium). The easy to do up/remove toggle clasp is sterling silver.

OK, back to the bench for me.....have a great day!

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Autumn, the Great Art Grid and a quiz for every day

The cooler weather is here and I can see my loungeroom being re-arranged very soon so that we can access the fireplace! (We have a 'summer' set up where the lounges face outwards to look at the view and a 'winter' set up where we turn away from the cold and face the fire. Does anybody else do this?)

I have been busy making things for Ironfest which is rapidly creeping up on me. I have received some new stones lately too which are proving to reveal themselves as very one of a kind pieces of jewellery :). I have included one of them above - it is grossular garnet and is a beautiful deep green with sections of the cut stone falling away into crevices where the skin of the crystal shows through. A very 'honest' piece in its rather natural state, it looks like it has just been found on the bottom of the ocean where some goddess or nymph happened to drop it. Matched with some beautiful, glowing, olive green freshwater pearls, it is truly a bold, statement necklace.

Lots of things have happened in the last few days - I have taken on a new 'bonus partner' Dream Candles. The idea behind this is to provide little gifts and items for each other's customers, so I am looking forward to receiving Michelle's little packages soon. I have also joined the iCraft community and set up a little shop there to make me a little more accessible to those on the other side of the world! It is a similar idea to Etsy with lots of very talented artisans already populating its pages.

I must tell you about a great idea that Corinne from Day Dream Art Studios has going. She is currently creating a "Great Art Grid" of small pics of fellow artists/artisans work and her aim is to get to 100 - she is well on her way to her goal. The grid is very beautiful to look at and should you be an artist or artisan, why not participate!?

Of course, even though I have been pretty busy, I always manage to find some time to 'surf' around my favourite blogs. I noticed a post on the Tall Poppy blog that asked what sort of goddess you were with a link to a site to find out for yourself. Well, what a treasure trove that link turned out to be... it looks like there are hundreds of quizzes there on all sorts of topics. One of my favourites was Are you right or left brained? (I'm 40% left (organised) and 60% right (creative) which explains a lot about my workspace!!!) There are so many fun ones to do, I bet you can spend quite a bit of time there trying them out. Have fun!

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Ironfest 2008

A few weeks ago I featured a piece of matte black onyx leaves with little gemstones dotted through it, like little glimmering pieces of fruit nestled amongst the leaves...well, it sold and because I just love these matte black onyx 'leaves', here is another piece using them. This one is matched with small nugget shaped freshwater pearls in their natural pink/mauve colour. The pearls have a brilliant lustre which is emphasised by the flat black onyx and the pearls continue in a twin strand once they have left the onyx. It is very glamorous and very one of a kind. Do you like it?

I am starting to get ready for Ironfest at Lithgow which is on in three short weeks time. Going for three days, this festival celebrates all things metal with a heavy presence of blacksmithing arts, as well as being a medieval fair with quite a few people dressing up for the occasion. The Australasian Jousting Championships are held over this weekend, there are battle re-enactments and the odd cannon blast reminds you where you are! Lots of street performers and entertainment and a good range of artisans showing their work. As we did last year, I will be sharing a booth with a friend who makes predominately Swarovski crystal jewellery and beadweaving so we present a complementary front. Here is a pic of Michelle at our booth last year.

If you plan to be in the vicinity, please drop in and say hello! Ironfest is on 25-27 April 08 at the Lithgow Showground.

Have you ever heard of Everything Skwiggle? It's a support site dedicated to artists and designers. We often work independently of others and networking with our peers is something that we SHOULD do, but rarely actually DO it. Everything Skwiggle provides a place where you can go and chat about things like getting exposure and advertising and get general support and advice from people just like yourself along their own artistic journey.


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