Monday, 31 March 2008

A sophisticated black and white necklace

I have featured a very sophisticated necklace for today's post - I just adore it. And really, how can you go wrong with black and white!? I think the lucky new owner of this piece will wear it day in and day out - after all it will go with any colour you can throw at it and will dress up or down for any occasion. The black is onyx - done in a wonderful, tactile matte finish - smooth and velvety. Matched with white quartz in a funky yet complementary cut and a groovy sterling silver clasp reflecting the shapes of the stones. The stones are separated by argentinium sterling silver balls (argentinium is tarnish resistant so will keep its shine with very little (if any) maintenance).

For once I have actually loaded a picture and put it on my site at the same time - so you can check it out in more detail here. Don't forget my free worldwide shipping too!

A bit quiet in the jewellery stakes this week, but there are things percolating on my bench so I'm happy to have things just mosey along ;)

I can't believe my son is going to be into double digits tomorrow! Yes 10 years since my life changed irrevocably and husband and I became a "family". It is great to see the excitement in his eyes when he thinks about his birthday tomorrow and his party on the coming weekend. I think tomorrow will be fun, but I'm not so sure about the party - keeping a keen eye on lots of children whilst they are madly running around is usually pretty exhausting! I was looking at Tonic Gifts recently and Michelle has such wonderful taste in prospective gifts. She is pretty cluey with kids gifts too having categories for babies, children, tweens and teens! I found a great book called 52 Cool Tricks for Kids - which would be perfect for boys around the age of my son.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Rose quartz 'charm' bracelet

Here is another bracelet in the "charm" style ... this one has the underlying structure of rosy-pink rose quartz linked together to form a handmade chain of argentinium sterling silver. The "charms" are vibrant purple freshwater pearls, glowing white freshwater pearls, peridot the colour of new grass, icy rock crystal quartz small nuggets and dark amethyst balls.

To add some extra interest I have added Karen Hill Tribe (handmade in Thailand of high content silver) charms. Near the clasp there is a little elephant, then a cute decorated moth, a horseshoe for luck, a jolly looking turtle, a rose bud and a fan. The colours are inspired by the season of spring (even though we are in autumn here in the southern hemisphere) as we could always do with a little lightness and brightness in our lives.

Rose quartz is a perennial favourite - its soft pink glow flatters most complexions and it is universally considered a stone of love. For a great read on the metaphysical qualities of rose quartz, visit the The Modern Goddess at her blog post here.

Till next :)

Aerobatics, a bracelet and Etsy considerations

How was your Easter break? As planned we spent ours at Parkes, with our faces pointed to the sky watching aerobatics. My face is sunburnt with "airshow" face as we call it in our house LOL.

Here is a pic of hubby in his plane as he is getting ready to take off. Nice plane, heh!? Its a Giles 200, the prototype in fact and it goes FAST. A high performance aeroplane that hubby is still getting used to!

Not much achieved in the jewellery stakes, although I DID take some bracelets to make whilst I was sitting around and waiting. I set them all up before I left so I didn't have to think - just do! I have included a picture of one of them at the top of the page. Following on from my last blog post, I tried to let a child's creativity out - throwing some colours together that I wouldn't normally try and I think it works in a slightly eclectic way! The main structure of the bracelet is dark navy dumorterite balls, which have been linked together with argentinium (tarnish resistant) sterling silver into a handmade chain. Then 'charms' of lilac coloured freshwater pearls, dark amethyst, dusky pink rhodonite and pale green aventurine. Finished with a little sterling silver toggle clasp. The combination took a while to get 'right' - I didn't want the green or pink overwhelming the rest of the bracelet, but on the other hand it was too plain with the blue/purple combination. The actual 'making' took about two solid hours, so these style of bracelets are pretty time consuming to do. I was completely out of this "charm" style, so I managed to get a total of three done over Easter. I will post pics of the others over my next couple of posts.

I have been seriously considering opening an Etsy store. I reserved my store name waaaay back when Etsy first opened, but I just haven't had the push to do it since I already have my own webstore. I always get busy and then it goes back to the bottom of the pile! I know of lots of people who have stores there, and they report varying degrees of success. There is so much talent there, I guess it may be easy to get lost unless you regularly put up new stock. Cigarboxbeads, an Etsy seller herself (she creates incredibly detailed beadwork), is currently featuring some of her Etsy finds on her blog - it is a great place to get an idea about the huge range that etsy offers without getting overwhelmed!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Nuturing creativity

I am off to Parkes, in central NSW, this weekend. My husband is competing in the National Aerobatics Competition, and we are all attending as his little support/fan group. I expect it to be hot given the recent weather and no doubt we will all get sunburned faces from gazing up into the sky for hours each day.

To get the official stuff out of the way - I won't be processing any orders until Tuesday 25th, so please be patient if you don't hear from me straight away.

On a fun note, I found this post on Creative Clown. This is a great little blog about art and nuturing your creativity and makes really interesting, even inspiring reading. I absoloutely loved her idea - drawing a picture just for the fun of it and then looking at the picture as an adult and talk to/nuture the child who drew it. What a brilliant way of unlocking the child within. You could take this to another dimension and make something crafty instead. I know my daughter's revel in their creative abilities and sometimes its "interesting" but other times there are real flashes of brilliance. But the best thing is that they enjoy the whole process - they rarely say "I don't know what to draw/make" as the inspiration is just spilling out of them. Don't we all wish we could replicate that as creative people?!

I think I may indulge my creativity - put some colours and shapes together that I may not necessarily first consider - and see what I come up with! Have a great day :)

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Trinny and Susannah

Its hot here in central NSW. Yes, following our coldest February in years, March has been the hottest in years. The result is that I'm feeling a little weary - repeated hot weather has this effect on me...I just wind doooowwwwwnnnn. LOL.

My current tiredness could also stem from falling ill late last week with a nasty cold bug that gave me the sorest throat I can ever remember having, and for the longest time! I didn't want to do anything remotely connected to swallowing, so eating was out of the question (although I did manage to eat a lot of frozen berries as they kind of felt nice sliding down my inflamed throat.) Anyway, all better now.

One good thing that comes out of these types of short term illnesses, we usually lose a couple of pounds, and I am no exception. I feel quite willowy at the moment! But given the amount I have eaten over the last couple of days, I might need some of those you beaut "magic knickers" that the brilliant duo, Trinny and Susannah have recently released. I love watching their show and used to be glued to the tv everytime "What Not To Wear" was on. Then they did some shows on giving couples a makeover, the rules of dressing, revamping uniforms, identifying the main body shapes of men and women and how to dress those shapes. All great viewing and some really great information too. I was reminded that the girls are currently in Australia by Anne at MyDayOff. It's one of those few times that I get frustrated living out here in the country instead of near a great big shopping centre where they might just be!!! Ah well.

Not much on the creation front the last few days, but I have received in some beautiful stones including lemon citrine (in abstract shapes!), some vibrant green hemimorphite, beautiful purple chariote, and some fancy new jade (serpentine) that has been carved into leaves ... I already have something in mind for the latter but it may need some refinement first!! Keep your eyes peeled for the new pieces to come!

A piece pictured for today - matte carnelian which is an unusual finish for this stone, and it gives it a muted cast - with 12ct gold fill. Simple and elegant. Do you like it?

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Jazz, a picnic and a Poshie

Well, what a lovely few days I have had!

Firstly I was up at Jazz in the Tops, our local jazz festival with the most amazing performers - the Bogalusa Strutters wandered around the natural arena in and out of groups of friends and playing some great jazzy music; Adam Rennie (almost a local boy) amazed the crowd with his beautiful voice and had many people asking for more (I met his mum and aunt and they were so proud of him!); George Washingmachine is a crowd favourite and he had Julie O'Hara singing, a small girl with a big voice. The Royal Australian Air Force Jazz Ensemble were brilliant and we're getting spoilt as they really are always wonderful. Also playing were Gypsy Jazz Hour, Howler's Cotton Club and the Aaron Flower Band, but I was a bit busy to hear them!! To break up the music a little they also had wildlife displays and guided bushwalks.

It was great to catch up with some past clients and I must say there was a rather strong presence at my booth, of gentlemen buying for their ladies!!! Well done boys! Lots of new stock was sold so the first outing for some pieces were their last under my guidance! One drawback - the yellow canvas I was placed under was too much for my lights to combat ... it made some of the jewellery look rather 'interesting' to say the least. By the way, the tent looks rather low in the photo above, but my tables are just very high (waist height), so you could actually get in without too much ducking!

The following day the family attended a farewell picnic for some neighbours and settling in under the gum trees in a paddock was very relaxing! Do your picnics look like this?

I also just received a message to tell me that I have won a "Poshie" for March. This is awarded by the ladies at the great social networking site for mums, called Posh Mama. I am feeling rather chuffed at the moment! :D

On a lighthearted note, I saw a link to the Blog Readability Test on the Working Solo blog (I really must read more of this blog - there is some great technical information there - which I could certainly do with learning more about). I did the test and this is what it told me about my blog:

blog readability test

Why don't you try yours out and see what it says! Let me know how you go :)

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Necklaces are back!

Wasn't it great to see the Oscars recently - I love watching the guests sashay up the red carpet. And thankfully, some of the world's most stylish actresses have realised (after many years of bare necks) that necklaces can be a great accessory and even a feature! I noticed Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Laura Linney, Jennifer Garner and Keri Russell had all donned a necklace. There were still ladies hanging onto the bold bracelets but the tide is turning!

I also saw this last week and jotted it down, although I can't find WHERE I found it apart from a notation that it was New York, so apologies to the author...
"In a sea of delicate barely there chains and charms, the dramatic singular statement necklace makes a comeback this spring."
So, all looking good from my end, since statement necklaces is often where I'm at!!! :)

Speaking of fashion and glamorous evenings, I found this gorgeous looking product called Diamond Dust on one of my fav sites Beauty Banquet. Think a sweeping long black dress with halterneck and slightly plunging front and shimmery shoulders.... yum!

To go with that image, how about the necklace I have pictured above? This is amazing matte black onyx in various petal shapes, dotted with little gems of peridot, garnet, amethyst and citrine, looking like tiny fruits nestled amongst the foliage. As the front of the necklace is so dramatic it is connected to a sparkling silver chain which would make it perfect to wear with a dress whose neckline is close fitting around the sides/back.

Well, I'm ready for a night out, how about you?

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Aquamarine and Finding your Niche

Identifying your niche market can be a huge task which can sometimes seem insurmountable. But I came across a link to a magnificient Niche Workshop by Tad Hargrave on Ingrid Cliff's Small Business Ideas blog. I would highly recommend this workshop paper to anyone in business that feels like they are wallowing around a bit finding their target market. I am fortunate that I know my target market...women just like me LOL!

So, being a woman, just like me, I hope you like my piece for today! I was fortunate to acquire some amazingly beautiful aquamarine smooth nuggets and made this rather stylised pendant and I really like it, although it might be a tad too modern (or even tribal) for some!

Aquamarine gets its name from the Latin 'water of the sea' and I picture the Aegean with these nuggets! Aquamarine is a type of beryl and quite a hard stone although it can be brittle, so I wouldn't recommend it for bracelet or rings unless it is well protected. A lot of aquamarine comes from Brazil, Russia, Australia, Myanmar, China, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the USA.

For many centuries, oceanic energy was believed to be contained within aquamarines. Legends say that it is the treasure of mermaids, with the power to keep sailors safe at sea. Amulets were made of aquamarine and sailors believed that it would instill them with bravery and the ability to overcome even the most terrible storm. It was also believed to have a soothing influence on land, especially on married couples, and to counteract the forces of darkness. Should you dream of aquamarine it meant that you would meet new friends.

I feel a strong desire to "own" this stone, and when I read that aquamarine is a stone of courage, with calming energies that reduce stress and quieten the mind, I now know why! It also harmonizes its surroundings and protects against pollutants as well as healing sore throats and swollen glands and calming the immune system.


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