Monday, 21 June 2010

Pre-show frenzy, the piano arrives and a pretty paua bracelet

I'm in full headless chook mode (aka running around trying to be productive but not really making it!) as I try and get ready for a three day show this weekend.

Out of character, I have committed to an outdoor event, it's currently cold and wintry and the thought of leaving my tent up for three days in possibly gale-force winds is not comforting. If you have any hints or tips on outdoor events, particularly in reference to tents and keeping them down, please comment NOW! All will be very gratefully received!!

The battle with the elements is one of the reasons I prefer indoor shows. However, I was asked by a client to bring my jewels to this event (it's the Gunnedah Showjumping Festival) and how could I say no when she told me others like her would be there!

Although only a few years old it's already a fairly big event in the Australian showjumping circuit with over 200 competitors booked. Add on their support crews / families / friends and of course other people just coming for a look and you can see its not a small get together. When the ladies are tired of the horses and associated products they can come and refresh themselves with looking at some pretties! So, fingers crossed it is successful for me as well as the festival itself and the wind and rain stays AWAY for the duration of the show!

As you know, the search for the perfect piano (well, as perfect as it could be within financial limitations!) was pretty consuming for a couple of weeks. It all culminated in it's delivery on Saturday afternoon and we celebrated by having the piano teacher and her family over for lunch so she could check it out and hopefully tell us we did OK. (We did! *phew*)

There was much excitement as they brought in the pedals, then the legs, then the lid and finally wheeled in the piano.

Hubby had taken the railing down off the verandah and their truck had a ramp that could be raised or lowered to various heights so it rolled out with hardly a worry (well a small delay as it inched forward as it only just fit between the ramp and the roof of the truck).

They put it together in minutes, moved it slightly to the desired spot and it was all done! Ahh, the joy of professionals!

The children drew straws as to who would get to play to first and they were followed by the teacher :) Here is Langdon trying it out:

And here is the teacher, Telly. She is really the one who deserves a grand piano rather than our children in their current stage of musical ability, but hopefully having a good instrument will spur them on to greater achievements! If you want to see a very short video of Telly playing it, you can see it on my facebook page. (20 seconds of her playing Ballade Pour Adeline). Her fingers just FLY!

Needless to say the children have been fighting over who gets to practice on it first. If its not one thing, its another....

Before I go back into my frenzied mode in getting ready for the weekend, at the top is a photo of a bracelet I made yesterday (before the headless chook mode struck and post piano excitement) with sterling silver, paua shell and freshwater cultured pearls in blue, green and purple to reflect the glorious colours in the shell.

Annette :)

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The long weekend, a blue necklace and some favourite photography sites

Well, I ended up running so late last week, some things just had to give and the blog post was one of them. But I'm here now :D

The long weekend passed in a blur, as it does when you have three children running around driving you crazy. I really don't know where they get their energy from but they're constantly on the go. They compete for the spotlight as far as attention goes (from anybody - not just me!) and the uneven factor (3 verses 2 or 4) means that there is often one trying to be painful to at least one of the others. *sigh* Hubby went off to the Queensland Aerobatic Championships for the weekend so once again in my guise as Farmer Piper I took the reins. All fine though - short bursts of farm responsibility are OK :)

I've also been dragging myself out to the gym every couple of days. Obviously I'm too far from town to pop into the gym but in my garage I have a step machine, rowing machine, bench and free weights that have just been collecting dust for months. The time has come however - I've obviously taken it far too easy since summer (first because it was too hot, then because I was too slack) and need to clear the cobwebs and get some reasonable level of fitness back. It's hard work (even though they're only short workouts so far) but I'm sure I'll feel better for it soon. Well, perhaps once the muscle soreness goes away!

On the positive side, this past week I had a creative burst that lasted days (it is usually only a day or maybe two) so I have lots of lovely new finished jewels scattered around my bench plus a couple of orders I'm still working on.

Today's photo is one of the new pieces. I was in the right place at the right time to get these beautiful royal blue ultra smooth kyanite ovals :) They're not big, but the colour is absolutely spectacular! It's easy to think they're really sapphires in the most desired blue. I've made them into a fine silver chain with the addition of some gorgeous tanzanite that I've been hoarding for a while. Tanzanite has always been a favourite of mine with its delicate periwinkle blue colour. Yummy!

I'm a big fan of lovely photos - I have quite a collection of macro photography books weighing down my shelves, but I love great photographs of all sorts of things and find them very inspiring. I follow quite a lot of blogs that have gorgeous photos although most are photos that others have taken - they present them to a theme or idea and they are wonderful to look at.

But if you like to look at original photos too, check out these few sites - most are professionals but there are a couple of amateurs included. Maybe you'll find one or more that you'll love too! (I've got my eye on one of Clark Little's amazing wave photos for our beach house!)

Where I live
The Satorialist
Clark Little
Deceptive Media
Creative Outlet
Jeff Lynch

OK, enough getting distracted at those sites... I'd best get to these orders!
Till next :)

Friday, 4 June 2010

Pianos, a creative burst and a birthday!

Another busy week, but at least I feel like I've achieved more than my usual level recently.

We went and looked at the baby grand piano but son wasn't too fussed. It wasn't in as good condition as we were led to believe and son's lack of interest meant we needed to keep looking. We spent all the next day in Newcastle looking at every grand piano that was for sale. Typically all the children loved the best (aka most expensive) one we saw. It was three times the price that we originally set out to spend so we didn't say 'yes' on the spot. Consequently I've spent a few more restless nights dreaming of pianos and more time on the phone - to Sydney this time - to find out what is available down there. Naturally we have to go down there to actually see and try out what is available so I guess we'll get there eventually!

I also have had the dubious honour of turning 45 this week! The day before this momentous occasion I took the dye bottle in hand and got rid of all that grey hair that was pulling me down every time I looked in the mirror. It's amazing what a little bit of colour can do. ( I feel so much better as a brunette rather than a brunette with a badger streak!) Hubby took me to town for the day (big town - not the local village!) and we had a very pleasant day going to a couple of coffee shops, visiting some friends and doing a spot of shopping.

On the jewellery front I'm glad to say that the creative streak came out in full force and for one day I hardly moved from my bench from 11 in the morning till 12.30am that night. I could have kept going but I knew I wouldn't be able to function on any level the next day if I didn't go to bed then!

The weather has been constant cloud and drizzly rain so I haven't got the camera out yet to take any photos of the new pieces. There is a nice mix of bold colours (black, white, red, silver), soft greens and muted pinks coming up though! Instead, since quite a few people have wanted to see the farm where we live, I thought I'd show you a photo (above) of our house taken from the next paddock.

This is a more distant shot - taken from the same spot but without the zoom on, so you can the setting a little better. Rather peaceful, don't you think? (Well it is when the children are at school and there are no cows over my back fence!) So when are you coming to visit!?

Before I go, if you have little ones, why not pop over to the Australian Handmade Cooperative 4 Kids who are running a Mega Giveaway. Mon at Your Cheeky Monkey gave me the heads up on that one - she is super lucky when it comes to winning in draws that it would be a good idea to follow her around!

Till next :)


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