Thursday, 26 February 2009

The Glamorous Oscars

A good proportion of the jewellery world this week are talking about the jewellery that the stars wore to the Academy Awards - and in particular Angelina Jolie's amazing Colombian emerald earrings! Although her little black dress by Elie Saab (a favourite designer of mine) was lovely - who noticed it with those glowing green HUGE earrings!

My first reaction was - 'What are her earrings?' *peering closely at the TV screen* 'They couldn't be emeralds...they're too big' *squinting, nodding my head no* 'But they look like emeralds...' *eyes widening and total disbelief crossing my face*... LOL

There were quite a few necklaces in evidence, and two huge statement pieces - Amy Adams wore a vintage (1950's) bib-style necklace of what appeared to be cabachon rubies, emeralds and sapphires; and of course you couldn't miss Taraji P Henson's 19th century diamonds.

I must say that these necklaces far outshone the dresses they wore - perhaps that is why stylists pick earrings and bracelets instead - that way the designer's dresses get noticed?

The Academy Awards were a very glamorous affair overall - although a few choices were made that may not have hit the mark completely, the general feel (at least to me) was hollywood style glamour. Was there anything that stood out for you?

It's been another busy week for me. I finally finished the gemstone - facts and lore - information on my website. I added in four new pages covering jade, jasper, jet, kyanite, labradorite, lapis lazuli, larimar, larvikite, lava, lepidolite, malachite, moonstone, moss agate, muscovite, nebula stone, nevada stone, obsidian, ocean jasper, onyx, opal, peridot, prasiolite, prehnite, pyrite, quartz - rose, rock crystal, smoky -, rhodochrosite, rhodonite, rhyolite, ruby, sapphire, serpentine, shell, sodalite, sunstone, tanzanite, topaz, tourmaline, turquoise, unakite, variscite. Woohoo, that was a job and a half. Please check it out if you want to learn more about stones!

I also got busy creating - this time pieces for my winter range. I can't believe I have my first show this weekend - the International Women's Day event being held, this year in our shire at Binnaway, a sleepy little town between Coolah and Coonabarabran.

Hilary from 57 Design Studio , a fellow jewellery designer whose blog I have read for quite a few years now, is in the midst of renovations and also has a show on this weekend. Glad to know I'm not the only one who will have to change tack after a while off and get organised for a show!

On my progress around my favourite blogs I found a post on The Tall Poppy that talks about a site called Outrageously Healthly that encourages and inspires a healthy lifestyle. I know I'm still carrying a few extra pounds from summer holiday indulgences - and designing jewellery, after all, has never been the most active way to spend the day!

Today's picture was selected in honour of little black dress events the world over - a sizeable necklace with lovely big balls of black tourmaline and an asymmetrical feature of rock crystal quartz and smoky quartz. A necklace that is bold, clean and 100% impact.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Creativity and Inspiration

After an extended holiday my creativity has returned in force and I have so many new pieces from the last week. It had been hard to try and sit at the bench and create when I just wasn't ready and so I didn't push it too hard - and success is the result!

Many of the new pieces were sitting in my 're-do' pile. I hadn't been happy with how they turned out the first time round, or had grown bored with them before I'd even finished. The pile was getting a bit wobbly it was so high, so I am pleased I have decimated it now!

It can be difficult to stop yourself from repeating your first error when you are re-making a piece, so I found I had to deconstruct each one completely before looking at it with a fresh viewpoint. Some are so entirely different and I love the new looks I have come up with.

Of course as these are pieces from quite a time span the colours aren't necessarily seasonal, as I should be working on my winter collection. And there is an awful lot of green. But as I love green it was really no hardship to work with them ;) But I shall have to pull out the muted tones and rich colours soon otherwise my winter collection may look decidely spring-like!

One of my new creations is pictured above - a mixture of lime green chalk turquoise, black lava, freshwater pearls, peridot and sterling silver. All combining to make one eye-popping statement necklace!

Long term readers may know I had a 'fling' with Etsy. Sure enough, I found I didn't have enough time to do all I had to do as it was, so I haven't had any items listed there for ages. However I still SHOP there :)

A very talented maker of vintage inspired stationery, Kelly of Retrocrafted Paper Goods posted about a great giveaway she is participating in for a group on Etsy. Head over to her Macaroni & Glue blog to find out all about it - it sounds easy to enter and wow, what prizes!

Inspiration is such an intangible thing. I actually have no idea why I became so inspired over the last week (but I'm awfully glad I did!) Some people get inspiration from nature, from art, from music. I often get inspiration just looking into stones. Jenny from Assential Scrapbooking has been inspired by some new products she can use in her business and sounds as excited as me! I'd love to hear what inspires you?

P.S. I am pleased to report the bushfires in Victoria have calmed down with no further outbreaks. The cool change has definitely helped. An outpouring of generosity has been received from the Red Cross reporting over AUD$100million in donations received - now the hard work of rebuilding lives begins.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Victorian Bushfires

By now, I am sure you have heard about the devastating bush fires and subsequent loss of life in Victoria.

A lot of people (even Australians), think that the bush or scrub is disappearing. Having been fortunate enough to fly over quite a bit of Australia, I can state that there is a huge amount of natural bushland out there. Dry and hot conditions, lightning strikes from dry storms and, unfortunately, arsonists, make it inevitable that fires are going to start and someone is going to lose something to fire during an Australian summer.

Yet the scale of this disaster is unheard of. According to the headlines of the Sydney Morning Herald, this is the worst natural disaster that Australia has ever experienced with the toll of dead and wounded only exceeded in wartime.

There are many people raising funds to send to aid the communities affected by the fires. Small communities are rallying and donating the proceeds of their already scheduled events, farmers are sending hay, people from all over are generously donating money direct to the Red Cross (the official destination to send donations to). Even the small, handmade brigade are rallying by donating items - toys, blankets and other little necessities are being sent direct and other things are being auctioned off with the proceeds being donated.

Whatever we do, we can help in some small way - even the longest journey starts with one little step.

If you would like to assist you could visit the Australian Red Cross website. If you are an artisan/craftsman that wants to donate an item or if you can help by buying a donated handmade item, look at Handmade Help (all funds going to the Australian Red Cross and Wildlife Victoria).

True wisdom can create a phrase that can be applicable to many situations. I saw the following on Joliv's Weblog quoting Deepak Chopra:

Even when you think you have your life all mapped out, things happen that shape your destiny in ways you might never have imagined.

For many affected by the fires, how true.

Thankfully we have had a cool change in south-eastern Australia and the fires are being bought under control. Let's hope they can be fully extinguished soon and the recovery can begin.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Jewellery on the runway

Jewellery is making more and more impact on the fashion runways - the recent shows for spring 2009 featured lots of statement jewellery - masses of cuffs and bangles, huge earrings and a mixture of large, bold necklaces or pendants.

Some of the fashion is rather minimalist and jewellery will make or break these outfits. Maybe it is a reflection on the economy - perhaps the designers are expecting us to purchase more plain items (that will last more than a season) and our accessories will help make the look fashion forward. Even the more flamboyant designers still made a point of including bold jewellery.

Another awards event was on last week - the Director's Guild Awards - and there were a few necklaces in evidence. One that was particularly eyecatching was Marisa Tomei's chunky silver necklace. But, as has been the case recently, earrings were still the major players in the jewellery stakes.

I wanted to share a little piece of wisdom I found on the Business Mums Magazine Blog recently
A smile is a curved line that sets things straight.

How true is that! Even reading it makes you smile.

I occasionally make cuff style bracelets - and they always find a new home quickly. The one pictured above (and below) is a new one-of-a-kind cuff bracelet - delicate in colour but bold in size. Three strands of generous sized pale lilac freshwater pearls are liberally sprinkled with small faceted amethyst gems and the clasp is a discreet sterling silver slide style.

It is an unstructured cuff, however when on will sit comfortably with the three strands next to each other:

I have named the piece Hedy, which is a Greek name meaning 'peaceful' - the soft colouring is very tranquil. It will be on my website soon - keep your eyes peeled!


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