Thursday, 25 June 2009

Organisation and Mookaite Jasper

It's a dreary, grey winter's day today - brrr. Its hard to get motivated when the weather is so dull and cold. Overall though, Australia has it so easy in the winter stakes. Imagine having snow and ice for months each year! Whilst we would all say, oh, but wouldn't it be great to have snow.... I think we'd tire of it pretty quickly as the numbness from the cold set in! So, even though this is a mild winter by some standards, I'm not planning on getting too far from my fire today :)

I must admit that I am feeling the need to organise my life again. It's really not as drastic as it sounds. It's just that stuff tends to build up - how do I aquire so much "stuff" anyway!? Then before I know it, I'm digging under stacks of papers looking for that form that had to go back to school. Or I'm moving piles of things around trying to make space to write out a note. Whilst in general things aren't that bad, some areas are getting a bit TOO random for my comfort zone!

Our study for example is a multi-purpose room. It is where hubby and I do our bookwork and work on projects, have the computers and store textbooks, trade magazines/books, accounts and papers associated with clubs we're involved in. I also can't bear to throw out packaging boxes etc - they always get used (evenutally) so I have a cupboard full of those. Plus I store my display materials for jewellery shows which gobbles up quite a bit of space. The room is quite large (a converted garage) and the children love to play in there too.

This is the room that probably bothers me the most but I have to think of a plan of action before just launching in and getting in a bigger mess LOL. Maybe I need to take some pointers from the Organise Your Life Now blog!

I don't seem to have had a lot of time for checking out my favourite bloggers this week - will have to remedy that soon. I did come across a funny post by Amanda at Household Six that shows you do have to be rather careful of your language around young children :)

Today's picture is of a gorgeous necklace of big slabs of mookaite jasper, large freshwater pearls and deep red garnet.

I love the rich colour of this mookaite - a light heathery-purple through to a rich maroon. Mookaite is an Australian jasper (actually radiolarian siltstone) found under the Mooka Creek bed in the Kennedy Range in Western Australia and is often spelled in a variety of ways - eg. mookite, moukaite and so on. It often comes with a mustard-yellow combination but these ones are all in the purple tones (except for just a touch of yellow on the stone right at the very end if you look closely). Its a jasper that you don't see all that often which only makes it all the more special.

Till next!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Nurturing Creativity in our Children

Where has the last week gone? I know I've been busy but I don't seem to have an awful lot to show for it! It has been one of those weeks that has required lots of time out and about, and whilst I enjoy the social aspect, it isn't too good in the 'getting things done' department.

My son was selected by his school with three other children to attend a creative arts workshop in Mudgee this past week. His strong point is DRAWING - so he ended up making a SCULPTURE! LOL. Oh well. His teacher was rather surprised as well.

Whilst there I attended an interesting parent's workshop on nurturing gifted and talented children and it brought home how important it was to encourage their adventures in whatever fields they are interested in (not just creative arts, but all areas - scientific, mathematical, leadership and so on).

Whilst I always dabbled in arts/crafts I was never really encouraged and it took until I was in the last half of my 30s before I was able to explore this passion and change direction somewhat. Were you encouraged in your gifts, talents and interests as a child?

In my usual trawl around my favourite blogs I came upon a post by Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey. Monique makes gorgeous baby products and her blog mentions some great artisans. She posted about the Aussie Handmade Giveaway blog which I had never heard about. As the name suggests, this blog features giveaways by some of Australian artists/artisans/craftspeople and I fell in love with this week's featured giveaway - Leanne from Rainbow Revolution. Leanne is a colour therapist and her colourful wraps and scarves are completely uplifting!

Then I popped over to Casto Creations. I've known Megan's work for years and I just love her Wilma necklace - its right up my alley!

I've talked about studios and creative spaces and I see on Kim's blog The Polka Dot Press she has photographed her VERY neat studio. I could settle in there quite happily!!

There are so many wonderful and beautiful things in the world to admire, isn't there!

Today's pic is over a fun pair of fairly sizeable earrings! Big 12mm button shaped freshwater pearls and 14mm red sponge coral. Add a bit of colour to the dull and boring winter wardrobe here downunder, heh!?

Friday, 12 June 2009

The trauma of being offline

Arrrggghhh. I've been offline for over a week with my satellite dish going 'fizzzzzzz....kaput'. Now, I know I've had trouble going on holidays (read that as "away from my computer" but I've had time to get used to the idea beforehand, and of course, lots of activities to keep me busy while away. But this was awful.

I could use the computer but couldn't CONNECT with anyone. It really made me realise how many acquaintances I've met online and while I may only briefly touch on these lives, how important they can be! So I'm feeling very out of touch and in a flurry to catch up.

Of course, it was great on the creative front once I stopped staring at the no connection icon ;) I made some great new pieces and the orders didn't stop just because I was offline, so some are already gone! I was doing a tally the other day and realised that almost every piece I've featured here on my blog has gone, usually pretty quickly!

Today's piece is from my 'week off'. A prime example of how simple can be totally stunning. Big overlapping discs of poppy jasper - chocolate with raspberry overtones. Yum!

In my short time of catching up I notice more and more people are turning to twitter. I know a bit about it but can't devote the time that I know it would take, as with my personality (the all or nothing type) it would become totally addicted! I did see a great how-to article on getting started with twitter at Tilda Virtual Services, for anyone who's ready to jump on though!

Catching up with my artisan friends I see that Teri of S&T Creations, who I feel like I have known online for years is tackling a big re-organisation of her studio. I can sympathise, although in chatting to a friend the other day I realise my left and right hemispheres really battle with one another - if I'm feeling creative then chaos HAS to reign in my studio. However if I need to do some bookwork for the farm, then everything has to be neat and tidy so that I can think logically and not get sidetracked. Consequently my studio is alternately neat or chaotic depending on what I'm doing LOL.

And I really want to mention the most wonderful fibre artisan - Sara of Woolies. This woman makes THE most adorable handmade and knitted toys. I'm totally in love with Raspberry, the knitted teddy. Don't you just want to take him home!

Till next :)

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Ahhh to be in Paris...

OK, it's my birthday week and I've decided that I'd like to be in Paris. This, of course, is not possible when you're situated in the middle of rural NSW, on a farm, with cattle needing to be fed daily and children caught up in the daily school grind. So I will just have to dream that I am there instead.

Why Paris you ask? Well, this week - tonight in fact - around 75 of the most prestigious galleries will be open, as they do annually, for the Nocturne Rive Droite. This is an eagerly awaited evening event by collectors and art lovers to go into some exclusive galleries and view antiques, paintings, furniture, sculpture, tapestry, jewellery and objects d'art. As well as the opportunity of mingling with art professionals and experiencing their enthusiam for their field. A worthwhile experience, don't you think!?

In my reality though, I have to admit that life just keeps getting me sidetracked from what I want to do!

I saw a great quote on fellow Creative Blogger, Coco's blog - by William Wordsworth - "To begin, begin". Great advice, but all artists and crafters suffer procrastination! Amber at Yellow Flower has had start her packing in preparation for her imminent move. (Love the pics she has taken on her blog of her little knick-knacks around the house that need to be packed by the way.) I found a new art-crafts blog Konstant Kaos and Margaret there has been yearning to learn screen printing. She needs to take Wordsworth's advice too!

About today's picture - I made myself a black and white version of this and it gets such great feedback when I wear it I made another - this one in black in silver. The contents of each vary considerably just the overall design is similar. This one contains, lava, faceted onyx, agate, hematite, silver and peacock freshwater pearls and sterling silver.

It's definitely a statement necklace but not as heavy as you would think for a big piece. Maybe it would be suitable to wear with a little black dress in Paris for tonight's event!?


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