Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Blues....

Hello dear friends,

It has been a gloomy and rainy day here in Melbourne.
I couldn't finish painting the fence or get into the garden.....
Beads could  have been made but it was too windy.....
The studio needed tidying but I just couldn't get the energy to bother...

You know how it goes...!!

So what did I do...spent a good part of the day on my recent obsession....Pinterest

What is pinterest?
Well, Pinterest  is a virtual pinboard........... a place where you can 'take' photos and 'make a board' of your own.
"Why would you wan't to do this"...I hear you say -

Organisation and planning.

All good reasons.
I am still learning and working my way around it.

So far I have put together 16 boards with 52 photos that I like...just a beginning really.
They cover all, home decorating, photography, fashion, cooking... ...just select topics you are interested in and way you go...!

I have come across some blog friends from the beading and photography communities... and linked in to some of their boards. Which is really nice and part of the whole process and fun of it really.

I am yet to 'take' a photo from a website and repin it...pinterest allows you to do that.
Any photos you use on a blog, need to be acknowledged, of course.

Anyway, here a few from today.

I LOVE this fabric...would like to put it on a real board and use the covered board as wall decoration...grey and yellow seem very popular at the moment. ( this picture is from Pinterest (Joel Dewberry) I put this one in my 'Style for the Home' board.

This wonderful necklace is originally from Birgitta Lejonklou.  (Birgitta was a recent Bead Soup participant...see my picture link at the top of my blog side bar to read more about this wonderful event) There is an amazing story behind this necklace....
This photo, of course is on my 'Jewelery and Gem Inspiration' board on Pinterest. I might have to separate these in to two  separate board categories eventually.....there are way too may beautiful jewelery pieces and, separately, lovely gems to have them together on the same board.

So far, the only difficulty I have had in using Pinterest, is that some photos, when attempting to transfer and enlarge them in size on my blog, are very pixelated with resultant poor quality and image. I am not too sure how to get around that...choose other photos, I guess!
( I actually had a few more  photos to show you...but came across this problem...any hints from those more experienced than I at using Pinterest would be welcome)

If you wish to check out Pinterest for yourselves, click on the red Pinterest Logo on my blog side bar. This should take you to my boards where you can see a little about it. ( I THINK you can look without signing up...although not entirely sure..anyway give it a try...and then let me know!!)

Cheers for now and


Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Heart Macro - Calligraphy brushes and box

Hello dear readers,

It has been a busy week.

I have been steadily working my way through the very large list of Bead Soup participants blogs...I think I am up to  no. 111 on the list. It is a massive task...but I am determined to visit each of the 362 participant's blogs. I have been working my way through the list.....slowly but steadily. There is an awesome amount of beautiful jewellery to see. Come and take a look if this is new to you.
(If you missed out this time...take a look at the Bead Soup link, above, and you will notice the 5th Bead Soup is due to start in January....all the particulars are there.)

My partner and I are no. 82 on the list is my submission and here is my partners submission 
I have been reading the Bead Soup submissions at night, as I have been busy in the garden during the day.

Spring is here in Melbourne and the days have been glorious, so I have been trying to get some work done in the yard. There is always so much to do in a garden at Spring time!

Over this last weekend I have painted a paling fence which divides my property with a neighbour. In keeping with the grey that I have painted on my new deck surround, I have painted the fence in a charcoal colour.....and it look awesome. There is a lot more to do and of course, once you start you need to do all of the fence...both sides front and back will be tackled throughout the week.
Then of course, there is the selection of new screening trees, herbs etc... and so the list goes on!

Needless to say, I have not been the most prolific blogger this week!

I do, however, always love to link up to I Heart Macro ( No matter how busy I get!!) and here is my submission for this week.

These are the handles of the two calligraphy brushes I own. The lower one could possibly be a carved  Jade...not too sure of the top one...but I love it anyway! I just love the hint of green with the speckles.

Close up of the brushes.

This is the sweet little antique Japanese box, which I was told is a calligraphy box. The little drawers were used for storing the ink stone..the larger drawers were used for the papers and brushes.

For joining in with all the 'I heart Macro' fun, please click on the photo below to take you to our host, Lori's site.

studio waterstone


and goodnight,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I Heart Macro - Lily Love

Hello dear readers,

Time for a little macro love....
As per usual I am linking up to Lori at Studio Waterstone today for I Heart macro: close up photo fun for macro makers and the camerologically challenged!

Come along and join us for all the fun...there are a lot of interesting photos on I Heart Macro.
Or come and join in...It is not hard and you do not have to be a fantastic photographer to give it a go!

My contribution this week is a collage of lilies photographed over a 6 day they arrived in my home in tight bud....until they opened in to full bloom.

I absolutely adore lilies, they are one of my favourite flowers...apart from the annoying brown stamen which stains if you get it on your clothes, etc. I have been known to cut them off, but I do find the flower then looks a little strange and naked.

Does anyone else do this to their lilly stamens??! I left them on for the photos..they do look better in their natural state!

studio waterstone

Click on the link above to take you you there...

Cheers for now,

Saturday, September 17, 2011



Whoops!! I do apologise...scheduled my soup post for saturday 17th my time here in Australia and totally forgot about time difference! I should know by now! Didn't mean to jump the gun. Apologies Lori.


New Books

Hello dear readers,

Last week I received in the mail 3 lovely books. Here is my quick 'review' of each of these outstanding books after a first read-through.

1. "Handcrafted Wire Findings" by Denise Peck ( Denise is editor in chief of Step by Step wire jewellery and has also written three other books) and Jane Dickerson ( also author of Chain Style: 50 Contemporary Jewellery Designs)
I am totally loving this book! The many step by step photos with each project are clear and just so easy to understand... I know I will be using this book a lot to teach myself how to make jewellery components like clasps and connectors etc. I already have had a small attempt and made the Tumblweed french ear wires on page 34 (plus assembling Jennifer Jangle's ceramic beads for my bead soup project - see previous posting).

2.The second book  is "Jewelry Designs from Nature"... woodlands, gardens and sea by Heather Powers. This too is just so inspirational. Gorgeous, interesting projects combine with great art beads and really different components at times, making this book a visual feast. Full page photography with each project and interviews with artists make this a must-have book for anyone interested in jewellery.
A sources list for each project at the back of the book for all those lovely art beads could be positively dangerous to my purse!

3."Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry" is a "workshop in painting with fire" says Barbara Lewis the author of this book.
I have never done enamel work with my torch before, but thought I might try it. This book gives lots of step by step details in how to do exactly that and much how to cut metal discs and shape them, how to knot cord and incorporate fabric into your designs, to name just a few of the many and varied techniques in this wonderful book. I can't wait to give them all a go!

Hope you enjoy them too,



Soup's up! "Spring Sampler" necklace.

 Hello dear readers, 

Well today is the big reveal…this is the day of the Bead Soup Blog Hop organised by Lori

There are 362 participants from 21 countries (and 5 continents)

We each were paired with a partner. My partner is Jennifer aka, Jennifer Jangles, a talented ceramic artist.
We exchanged a focal bead, clasp and other co-ordinating beads.

Just to remind you, these were the beads Jennifer sent to me.

Bead Soup ingredients.

As you can see, Jennifer's beads are fun and playful, colorful and funky.
I decided to (try and) find my inner child, buried deep within!

For me, one of the personal challenges of the Bead Soup participation is to challenge myself to not only use different styles of beads, but also to learn and apply different techniques to my piece (s) as well.
My wire working skills are pretty basic…so I felt that this was a time to teach myself a little more....
So, with the help of a good book or two (more on that to come) I coiled, twisted and wrapped and added these extras to Jennifer’s beads.

I called the result "Spring Sampler" (see below) - because it is now Spring in Australia and Jennifer's ingredients were bright, cheerful and inspiring, just like the Season.

The full necklace -" SPRING SAMPLER"

I  added a pale aqua etched lampwork disc made by myself and a silver (soldered!) ring which I wrapped purple and silver wire on about half of it..
I also used suede cord for the first time  and was delighted to find this gorgeous colored suede amongst my supplies.

Coiled Para wire connector, lampwork etched disc and little 'white heart' glass beads.

I included a few little (old) 'white heart' African, aqua glass beads which were a perfect match to the dots on the flower focal. I was originally going to use these at the back of the necklace…….. but changed my mind at the last minute! Coiled purple wire loops provided the attachments to the suede cord which was then connected to the ceramic clasp.

Purple Para wire wrapped around one of Jennifers beads and a blue free form wire 'cage' bead.

I paired the necklace with a pair of earrings using Jennifer's lovely purple and blue ceramic barrel beads. Hand made “Tumbleweed French Ear Wires" (from the book "Handcrafted Wire Findings") were fun to make and very easy even for a novice.

The colored wire is 'Para' wire which was fun and easy to use. (I was a little disappoiunted with the pale aqua wire…it seemed to come from the coil in varying color strengths – I am not too sure if this is normal for that color or just an aberration.) It also did not look uniform in color on the roll or in the coil on the necklace. Oh well…

I also do wonder still if I should have stuck with my original idea (beads rather than suede) as I do find there is a cohesiveness about repeating elements….what do you think is best …..beads or suede cord?

So, that’s it from me…

There are now 361 other blogs to look at!  Here is the (massive) list!

BSBP Partner list

The Hostess, Lori Anderson and her partner, Manuela Wutschke

19. Anna Sabina­­­­ and Erin Siegel

82. Jenni Connolly [YOU ARE HERE]
        and Jennifer Heynen [MY PARTNER]


Have fun hopping and I will see you soon.




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