Wednesday, 27 May 2009

The Patter of Rain on a Tin Roof

As I type this I hear the patter of rain in the background. Rain against a tin roof - there's nothing like it, especially when you really need it! Australia is such a big country - and while the central part of the eastern coast has been literally submerged in wet weather we have remained dry. Living on a farm makes you attuned to the weather and what it can do - and the lack of grass is having an effect, with the need for supplementary feeding. Changing the stock into new paddocks is more to give the cows a change of scenery than more feed! So, I am enjoying the raindrops for as long as they last and wish those affected on the coast could blow some more this way!!

Have you ever looked at where your web visitors come from - I've been watching my blog visitors lately and its amazing the way they find you, the most random searches - albeit for me it is something to do with either gemstones or jewellery. And the locations! There are some places I've never heard of (which I actually find rather embarrassing!). In the last week I've had lots of visitors from the UK, whereas my visitor list is usually dominated by US or Australian locations. I wonder why? Where do most of your visitors come from?

I must thank Anne of The Tall Poppy for a recent award - the Welcoming Blogger Award! She reckons I'm always popping up and welcoming newbies along and I must admit that I do like doing that - after all, you never know who you could meet!

Of course I've been doing the rounds of my arts/crafts online buddies and this week I must draw attention to two outstanding artists.

The first is Carol of The Blue Cat. Carol stumbled on my blog a few months ago, followed me over to Creative Bloggers and has been a stalwart supporter there. I love popping into her blog and seeing her gorgeous artwork - she has an affinity for our feline friends and imbues such personality into them that they are just adorable! She sells on various online marketplaces and they're certainly lucky to have such a talented artist on their books!

The other talented woman is Sayo - a fellow maker of jewellery and I just love her big silver rings with a lovely big fat natural crystal! It really appeals to the gemmologist in me I guess!!! Do check out her blog where you can see her great work - bet you buy a piece ;)

I would also like to urge any ladies downunder to join the marvellous Connect2mums network - I have already made some wonderful friends there and I'm sure I will find a lot more. It is so wonderful to have such a network for those of us down here in Australia as usually our only option for such camaraderie is based overseas. Of course, in true spirit of my above award I'm welcoming everyone aboard!

OK, I had better include a picture of something I've made recently. Ah yes, a torsade. I only make these occasionally as they are very time consuming - getting the colours just right and not just the combination, but the percentages of each colour. The last one I featured here on my blog sold the first time it was seen in real life, so I decided to make another. This one is a little more subdued in the colour, but very delectable! Made with freshwater pearls in sage, bronze-copper and cranberry, rich red garnet and some sparkling smoky quartz.

Till next :)

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Blue Diamonds and less momentous things!

All across the gem news this week was the sale of the 7.03ct rectangular cut internally flawless vivid blue diamond over the past week? Extracted last year from the Cullinan mine in South Africa it went under the hammer in a Sotheby's auction held in Geneva to an undisclosed telephone bidder. The price hit a new high (per carat) for any gemstone sold at auction, eventually selling after some harried bidding at 10.5 million Swiss francs ... that's almost $9.5million USD or $12.2million AUD! Wowsers!!! Apparently the new owner gets to name it for prosterity as well. (Well, you'd like to get some sort of kudos for paying that much for a stone - albeit one of the world's rarest gemstones).

This led me to read about other blue diamond sales. I found that London jeweller, Laurence Graff, paid just under $5 million for an oval vivid blue diamond of 3.7ct in mid 2008. He followed this up at the end of 2008 by buying the 35.56 carat Wittelsbach diamond for $24.5 million! The really interesting thing is that he outbid the Bavarian government!!

Well, back to reality and even though I have a sizeable stash here, no blue diamonds I'm afraid, not even a little one *sigh*. The closest I have would be blue topaz - so above is a picture of some blue topaz and aquamarine earrings. They're still pretty, even if they're not diamonds!

Onto other things.... I wanted to tell you about two jewellery artisans that have really taken my attention lately. Andrew of Chainmaille by MBOI makes some amazing chainmaille pieces and he photographs them so beautifully as well!

The other is Jenny of J. Mack Gems, who I recently met through Creative Bloggers. She has made some outstanding beadwoven pieces - check out this piece call Gladiator - isn't it extraordinary! I just love it!!

I know Mother's Day is past, however slow little person that I am, found this great gift that would be appropriate for any work at home mum from the Business Mums Network.

Now I have been very remiss in not putting up the recent blogger buddy award I was honoured to receive from Jenjen at Gotta Love Mom. I love sitting down with a cuppa and catching up with what she has been up to (and admiring her wonderful pics), so really appreciate her giving this award to me!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Scone Roundup

I had a brilliant day at Scone last weekend - the day was fair and bright, the breeze was low and the people numerous! Who could ask for more!? It was great to catch up with some previous clients who I haven't seen for a whole year. And although a little sad, to part with some really gorgeous pieces (like the necklace I featured last week - it went within an hour of opening!) My helper Trista was superb, as usual and I couldn't have done it without her :) Here is a picture of our set up at Scone:

I have my last booked event until spring (for the time being at any rate!) this weekend at the Tamworth Handmade Market in Peel Street on Sunday 17 May. Its always an early morning, having to leave in the cold and dark, however its all fine after set up and the first caffeine hit of the day! I will be helped out by Kasia, a Tamworth girl who makes some pearl jewellery and am planning to catch up with my net-friend Melanie from Armidale who is coming with some of her jewellery! I'm looking forward to the whole day!

I always have time to check out some blogs and found some funny quotes from courtrooms on the EP Designs Blog - they're good for a giggle. And on the Liv'nGood Jewelry Blog there was a great article on successful blogging - well worth checking out with tips for everyone.

Needless to say not much else has been done in between packing, unpacking, finishing orders and running a household and yes, its the dreaded Thursday run-around tomorrow LOL.

A new bracelet, however, is pictured - lustrous pale blue freshwater coin pearl and iolite gemstone two strand bracelet.

Till next :)

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Thursdays, an interview and Gold Month

What a busy week. I can't believe its already Thursday!

I've come to the conclusion, after today's experience, that I don't really fancy Thursdays. Why? Well Thursday means I go into my local town 25km away and do all the jobs that need doing eg. pay bills, banking, post office, library, groceries, pick up farm needs, check on stock on display, deliver orders and so on (since I only go to town once a week), and then running three children back and forwards between piano and dance lessons over a two hour period! See what I mean?

We've had a cold snap here over the last week and the fire has been lit. Typically, I just get in the groove of chopping wood, keeping the fire alight etc., and the cold snap finished and we're back into mild autumn weather. I must admit, I'm having trouble keeping up!

Recently I was asked for an interview by Wandering Educators. I feel honoured to be have been selected the month's featured artisan and they have put my interview and lots of my pics up on their site. Do check it out and have a look at the other talented artisans and artists they have featured!

I found out that May is "Gold Month" while reading the bilingual (French/English) blog Mademoiselle M by fellow jewellery-maker Marie-Michele. Gold Month is a promotion run by the World Gold Council and is principally for higher karat gold (above 14ct)and where the piece is mostly gold rather than stones - which none of mine are ever going to be, since I love the stones more than the metal!

However, in honour of Gold Month, my picture this week is a scrumptious mixed gemstone and pearl torsade I've just finished which has the colours of green, raspberry, red wine and burnished bronze-gold. It contains freshwater pearls, peridot and garnet. I will hopefully have it up on my website soon!

This Saturday I will have a booth at the Scone Grammar School Fete so if you're in the Upper Hunter Valley, do drop in and say hello!

Till next! :)


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