Friday, 26 September 2008

My back, ouch, my back!

My back is 'out'. OUCH. There I was, basking in the afterglow of a great show in Merriwa... I leant over to get something out of my handbag and it got me. A great big pain in the lower back. This isn't something that happens very often although it has been known to be a bit sore for a day or so. But this is ridiculous. Makes me really want to do situps to help protect it. But of course I can't. I can hardly sit down, bend down, lie down .... sheeeeesh. Anyway, it IS improving so fingers crossed by next week I'll be fine and dandy (and able to do some of those situps....)

Merriwa was fantastic. The weather was beautiful (if even a little hot) and there were lots of people who had travelled for the centenary celebrations. As I left on Saturday evening there were people piling into the showground and utes, trucks and akubras everywhere you looked. It seemed the whole community had turned out. The ladies pavillion had a few more exhibitors like myself too - Chris Mathews, a colour and image consultant from Dubbo was next to me and was on a mission to get the ladies into red lipstick (of the right tone of course) and day 2 even I, rather shyly, tried it too!

I saw lots of clients and familiar faces from last year and the committee always go out of their way to ensure we had everything we needed and were as successful as they could manage.

A question I often get asked, and of course, was asked at Merriwa, is how long does it take to make a piece of jewellery. I saw this article on Heart Harmony entitled 'it takes time to create quality' and this is so true. Even though the article is on photography, which is often seen as even more instant than jewellery, the idea is still the same.

For me, there is the time to find the stone/pearl that will feature in the piece plus the time it takes to get to me (often weeks). Firstly I weed out anything that isn't the best it can be (eg. too many inclusions, surface marks etc.) Then the creation process can vary from minutes (if lightning strikes / the stars are all in alignment lol) to days. The construction can be straightforward (under an hour) or it can be very labour intensive (hour upon hour). The piece then has to be checked to make sure it sits correctly, has the right 'look' I was after etc. before it is completely finished off. Sometimes it's not right and has to be redone. My pieces aren't churned out - each is one of a kind and I take alot of time to make sure the item is of the best quality.

Today's piece is one that inspiration was relatively quick to take but execution took a while to get the look just 'right'.

This necklace is extra long and can be worn wrapped twice or three times around your neck. Wear it at different levels or the same for extra looks. It looks particularly stunning as a choker and longer length. The smoky quartz gems in the piece are smooth clear orbs of smoky brown colour, the mother of pearl discs have a wonderful sheen and the peacock freshwater pearls have a gorgeous lustre. Lashings of 12ct goldfill balls were added in various sizes to add a richness whilst not taking away from the gems and pearls. Do you like it?

Well, the children are now on holidays for a fortnight and spring has most definitely sprung. Trees are in blossom, flowers are budding and lots of green, green grass in evidence everywhere you look. Once my back is feeling better there is lots of work to do and I'm steadily working on my website too (heee heee - so excited to unveil it shortly!).

Till next :D

Friday, 19 September 2008

Quirindi last week, Merriwa this week...

I feel a bit like that old saying about tours "if it's Tuesday it must be Rome" LOL. Although I'm not quite going to such exotic locales, doing two, two-day shows a week apart is surprisingly tiring - I keep feeling like I've forgotten something and my to-do list never seems to finish!

Last weekend was Quirindi and I had such a wonderfully warm welcome from the organisers and lots of ladies I met on my recent appearance there in July. I was tickled pink when one woman told me that she saw the advert for the Quirindi Show - it mentioned 'jewellery' and she had hoped it would be me! :) There were only a few other exhibitors selling items that were non-sideshow alley and they were lovely, friendly people.

Lots of beautiful pieces (a lot of them new, including the piece featured in my last blog post)have found new homes where I am sure they will be loved!

This weekend I have Merriwa Show and get to see all my lovely clients from that district and maybe some new faces too. This is the 100th anniversary of the Merriwa Show so it promises to be a big weekend. I hope the weather holds out! Once again I will be located in the Fairfax Pavillion so come and say hello if you're at the show.

I am very behind on my blog reading however I was doing a scan of the Small Business Diva's blog and found a wonderful quote I would like to share: “Really big people are, above everything else, courteous, considerate and generous - not just to some people in some circumstances - but to everyone all the time.” Thomas J. Watson, 1874-1956, Founder of IBM. Something we can all aspire to.

I must also say thank you to Elaine from Commotion from the Ocean of Life blog for her award (received while I was on holidays thus my tardy response!). This blog is a great read and one that I love to catch up on. Thank you!!!

The rules of this award are:

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you’ve nominated.

So, in the interest of sharing the love downunder, I've picked some Aussie blog favourites:

1. Tickiboo
2. Ickle Kids
3. La Toriana
4. My Day Off
5. Marnie B
6. Small Business Diva
7. Australian Women Online

Ooops, almost forgot today's jewellery picture! This is a beautiful banded agate and freshwater pearl bracelet that tinkles as it moves. I've used Argentinium sterling silver to help prevent tarnishing and keep the silver wonderfully shiny. A timeless combination of black and white means this one will be worn for many years to come!

Till next :)

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Back from vacation

Well, I am relaxed, recharged and raring to go!!! What a wonderful holiday we had ... the weather was gorgeous, lovely warm sunshine and a couple of days light rain (but not cold) in the middle of our holiday to relieve that monotonous sunshine ;) The children had a wonderful time and spent their time darting between the house, the beach, the house, the playground, the house, the beach.... you get the idea, I'm sure!

I was also very productive and managed to make lots of beautiful jewellery inspired by the beach, the rather tropical feel and the warm, lazy days. Even though I spent some days 'working', being able to do so in comfort and still hearing the waves crash on the beach was very special.

It was marvellous to see our house again (once a year really isn't enough) and even though we have been there a few years running now, the number of kangaroos that hop around your yard, the street and even the beach is a bit amazing. We had a rather large male almost come into our garage and you can routinely get within a foot or so of them before they shy away. Of course, getting that close isn't really recommended as they are wild creatures, so its better to sit back and just watch! Although I had heard of them being on the beach, this was the first time I had seen it as this picture shows a couple of them that had been nibbling the grass on the dune in front of the beach! I can't understand why they don't promote Woodgate Beach a little more to our overseas guests who would love to see the 'roos hopping around the little town.

I am just about to start my spring show season - nothing like jumping right back into the thick of it! This weekend (13-14 September) I am off to Quirindi Show on both Saturday and Sunday and will be located in Pavillion 2, so if you are planning on attending the show, please drop by and say hello! The following weekend (20-21 Sept) is Merriwa Show and I get to catch up with all my lovely clients from that district. Luckily there are school holidays in between those two and my next 2 day event at the Coolah Spring Garden Festival on 18-19 October.

I was working on my website just before going on holidays and fingers crossed I may even get to work on it a little next week as well. I can't wait to unveil it all to you and am still so thrilled to have found the wonderful Emma of Morris Bear who created it for me. As I mentioned before I have looked and looked and looked for web designers and really had trouble finding anyone that could do what I was after at an affordable price! Well, I was pretty chuffed to see that there is another Aussie woman doing web design templates (not specifically e-commerce) at very reasonable prices - Jenni Markham Designs. She also creates the cutest stationery! Well worth a look if you are in the market for something like this.

The piece I've picked for today's pic is beautiful teal coloured, highly faceted jade (treated of course) which is incredibly sparkly. Would you believe the lovely sterling balls in between actually calm the sparkle down to a managable level? It's summery, shiny and sparkly - everything you need to wear against your skin or summer fashions.

It's great to be back although I'm still a bit behind on responding to comments... but I'll get there!!!



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