Monday, 25 January 2010

Click, click, click, where will you end up?

Don't you just love how surfing the internet can lead you to the most extraordinary places? Places you never PLANNED to go to and in some cases didn't even know existed?

I will often click on a link, then another link and another and another. By doing this I have come across the weird, the ho-hum and the beautiful! And have you noticed that some sites (blogs particulary) can have the oddest sort of names that you wouldn't normally dream of reading further, yet when you visit them you see that they're doing a brilliant job :)

Some inspirational pictorial sites I have found in the last couple of weeks are Bush Belles (she found me actually and left a comment. I always like to return the favour and found a lovely blog that I now follow). Through Bush Belles I found a link to The Bottom of the Laundry Basket that I now follow as well... and then through there I clicked a link to Bright Bold & Beautiful and now I follow there too! Bloggers aren pretty amazing at spreading the word, aren't we!?

Today was another case of ending up in an unplanned but inspirational place. I was looking at the very pretty key fobs at Bags by Melanie. I ended up doing a little cruising around while I was there (well, that ALWAYS happens when you're on Etsy - it's never a stay of just a few minutes) I saw some things I liked, read that shop's profile and visited their blog. Then I clicked on a link of an Australian store doing upcycled tote bags. They were donating a bag to Hearts for Haiti which I clicked on to find out more. We are all aware of the terrible earthquakes that struck Haiti less than 2 weeks ago. I have already donated funds in the Hope For Haiti Now fundraiser but I wanted to see what this Etsy store was doing.

In this case the wonderful Etsians have banded together and in a few short days have already donated over 2000 items to this Etsy store with all proceeds (less Etsy and Paypal fees) being forwarded to DoctorsWithoutBorders (MédeçinsSansFrontières) specifically for Haitian relief. When I looked this morning the shop had already raised over $16000USD! I can't donate an item as I no longer have an Etsy shop, but I did buy a couple of things :)

I would love to insert an etsy- mini here to show off some of their items, but I have no idea how to! (Yes, I AM technologically challenged.) So click here and visit their store and check out the wonderful things you can purchase and by doing so, send some money help the relief effort in Haiti.

Needless to say, I haven't achieved an awful lot today (surfing the net does that to you!). The children do return to school later this week and although the end of my week is going to be frantic, I have high hopes for the following week when hopefully the dust has settled!

Luckily I was productive on the weekend so the week is not a total loss. At top is a photo of a necklace made with the most gorgeous 'v' or branched freshwater pearls. I assume that they started as two 'stick' pearls and having been moved around by the mussel, they sat next to each other and the nacre built up, joining them together at one end. I think they are fun, a little funky and definitely different.

Till next :)

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

A typical day during holiday time

I can't believe how fast the days are flying past. Our days seem to be jam-packed, even though we're not necessarily going somewhere or achieving much! And I'm sure last holidays I got to just sit back and relax, read a few books and so on.

Take today for example. I got up at around 7am, put a load of washing on, got everyone up and dressed and breakfasted, cleaned up after brekky, encouraged the children to practice their scales, hung out the washing, put all the recycling in the car, picked some roses and headed off to town. I'm basically immobile for almost two hours while I wait for piano lessons to be done and have a quick chat to the teacher. Then off to the garbage tip with the recycling, down the street to pick up a few groceries, a quick visit to some acquaintances that are moving next month, the obligatory chat with people you know that you see in the street and home for a (late) lunch. Half an hour later, my neighbour drops off her 6 month old little boy for a couple of hours of babysitting duties while she takes her toddler to swimming lessons. After he went home I chatted to a friend for a while on the phone, chatted to hubby about his day and then it was time for the dinner, bath, bed routine.

See what I mean?

I must admit, I have also learned about fibreglassing this week and spent a half a day this week helping hubby in the shed. But that's about as much as I have to show for the week! Time is just slipping away and I hate to say it, but roll on school so I can get back into some sort of routine!!

The daily babysitting for the last week or so has been enlightening. I didn't realise how much I had forgotten about children being babies! Rex is a lovely little boy, very content and easy (except for today - but apart from admitting he threw up on me, dribbled on me and grizzled or cried for the whole 2 hours, we won't go there!). I've got back my confidence in dealing with little ones and have also realised that I'm rather glad that stage is over for me!

I started a wish list of things I should have if this babysitting lark continued and the most important one I think is a splat mat! I remember my children having them and they were invaluable to keeping the floor in some semblance of cleanliness! I found some lovely ones at Your Cheeky Monkey. Personally I prefer this one, but I don't think Rex would be too fond of it - this one is more up a boy's alley!

For other things I would probably head off to Swap it Baby, a site I found through the Business Mums Blog. It seems like a great idea for swapping all sorts of child related goods.

Oh, and I guess I must also confess to spending a couple of hours checking out the red carpet at both the Critics Choice and Golden Globe awards ceremonies in the last week. Strapless and one shouldered gowns abounded (again) and earrings, earrings, earrings! So, pictured above is a pair of earrings from my creative time last week - citrine trillions on goldfill chain - delicate but gorgeous :)

Till next :)

Friday, 15 January 2010

School holidays whizzing past...

The school holidays are going by so fast and unlike last year where I felt as though I had a good rest, this year it feels like I've been very social and haven't had much time to just sit back and chill.

We've alternately had hot hot days or a drop or two of rain in the last couple of weeks. Here's a pic from late afternoon last week - although it looked promising it actually didn't rain much here at all. Maybe next time?

I've been productive at my bench at least with a lovely bunch of high quality gem earrings, pearl earrings and some pearl necklaces, classic and funky, made this week. After I've been away from my bench for a couple of weeks it's so lovely to sit down and let the creativity flow and enjoy the beautiful gems. The top photo is of a pair of fat, white freshwater pearls topped with a cluster of multi coloured tourmaline. Aren't they scrumptious!?

Keeping the creative juices isn't so hard when there are great shows that support handmade. I noticed on Elena's EP Designs site a great show she's attending tomorrow (16 January) in Oakleigh, Melbourne - the Handmade Show. The sub header states "supporting local crafters, keeping the love of creating alive". What a great aim and I hope they do really well. I still hope (in vain!?) for a show like that to come up near here... waiting, waiting.... LOL.

For a little smile, enjoy the following that I found on Jill's Liv'n Good Jewelry Blog Line 'em up boys :)

Till next :)

Friday, 8 January 2010

What the stars wore to the People's Choice Awards

A new calendar year means the Awards season has started again and lots of opportunity to see the gals in the spotlight glammed up - to check out their fashion and their jewels!

This week was the People's Choice Awards held in Los Angeles.

Fashion: Solid colour dresses in either bold brights, black or white were the in the clear majority. Styles fell into two main categories - long or short with very few in between. Both were fitted, the longer styles featuring more draping. But it almost became repititious - oooh, there's another strapless dress - and another one shoulder gown. And another strapless and another one shoulder... Obviously strapless or one shoulder gowns were the flavour of the day!

Jewellery was pretty low key overall. Some chose beaded embellishments on their gowns instead of a necklace - in fact necklaces were noticeably absent. Two necklaces that did jump out though were 1) Demi Lovato with a large, draped, diamond and gold detailed piece that almost looked like a lace cut out from a distance and 2) Sofia Vergara whose large gold and silvery-grey pebble style necklace certainly grabbed the eye.

Earrings of course were abundant as they have been for a few years. Big, long or chandelier style, mostly in white gold/platinum and lots of sparkly diamonds. Of note, Taylor Swift wore long drop snowflakes, Mary J. Blige showed off white and brown diamond long geometric drops, and hostess Queen Latifah wore a pair of rose cut diamond silver and gold earrings and then after a costume change appeared in round diamond and platinum drop earrings which were a blingy 20 carats each!

Bracelets were mostly cuffs or bangles. Gold was more noticeable in this department but diamonds were more in evidence - from simple diamond bracelets to diamond mesh cuffs. Multiple bracelets were also worn by some - Mariah Carey and Jessica Alba happily layered them. There were also a few big cocktail rings - Taraji P Henson's gemstone ring was huge!

Oh, and the men looked just fine too ;)

Today's pic - well, just because the stars didn't wear a necklace last night doesn't mean I wouldn't! Perhaps I'd wear something like this since I just love sky blue topaz.

Till next :)

Sunday, 3 January 2010

A lovely start to 2010

Can you believe we're into 2010 already!?

Did you have a good Christmas? I hope you got lots of presents that you wanted/liked and had a joyous time with your family or friends! How about New Year? Did you celebrate with parties and fireworks or had a quiet night in?

I like the idea of staying up to see the new year in, but I inevitably get tired trying to stay awake and am really far better off sleeping! This year was no different. We dined with friends but retired about 10.30pm and although briefly awoken by firecrackers going off when I assume it was midnight, I dozed straight back off. Still haven't made any resolutions either. Have you?

Of course, my girls' (twins) birthday is New Year's Day and it would be a bit rude to party the night before and not on their birthday. Well, that sounds reasonable at any rate! So, this year, they had a small party hosted by our ex-neighbours who now live on the coast. There were two other little girls who they have known since birth (plus all the boofy brothers LOL). One of the mums bought them all big glittery flower hair clips and I love this pic of them line up waiting to get to the food ... a veritable garden of flowers!!

The best news of all for the past week is that we've had rain, and not just a token sprinkling. But good, decent, soaking rain that went for days! Brown paddocks are already looking green, dams are almost full and the lawn that we had been desperately trying to water to bring back to life a couple of weeks ago is so long that it will be a job and a half to mow it! Our tally for the year's rain is still far below average for 2009, but we've had a nice start to 2010 - let's hope it continues throughout the year! From a farmer/grazier's point of view, it would be so nice to have a good year!! Here is a pic I just snapped from our verandah of our nearest dam... it's almost full :)

For today's pic (top) I don't usually make these, but a client requested some hair vines for her upcoming wedding. Made with swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls and gold plated leaves, I still have a couple of matching hairpins to finish before sending these to her - but she is thrilled with them so far. Someone else who is stepping sideways slightly from traditional jewellery making is Dana who makes gem trees. She has a great pic of a partially made gem tree on her blog. I love seeing the things we get drawn in to - is it by accident or design!?

I hope you're all either still enjoying holidays or recovering well from the partying! Till next :)



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