Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's a Day of COLOR - 2nd annual Challenge of Color Blog Hop

Hello dear friends,

A week or so ago, I mentioned that I was going to be participating in a Challenge of Color Blog Hop, hosted by the lovely Erin from Treasures Found blog.
Erin has used 12 colour palettes in her own design challenge...take a look...they are stunning!

Just to re-cap what we did - all participants chose a color and were then allocated a colour palette by Erin which came from Jessica at Design Seeds. Jessica has some very unique colour palettes...take a peak; they are gorgeous.

I chose the colour Gray and was allocated "Paw Tones" It is just so soft and pretty...I love it.

"Paw Tones"

As soon as I saw the palette colours, I knew I had the perfect focal bead for it. My friend, Georgie, gave me this wonderful lampwork owl bead and I have been saving it for just the right piece - and this was it. 
The gorgeous greenish base of the focal bead is made with glass from CIM, called 'Kryptonite' which has been etched giving it that soft beachy-type of look.

Owl bead focal.

In the past (not that I have done many!) I have challenged myself by learning something new for each  design challenge. This time, I added a partial coil 'frame' to the bead to give it some weight for hanging purposes and to add additional depth and colour to the area. It also ties in with the use of copper throughout the necklace. Shaping the coil was a little tricky as you can see the bead is irregularly shaped. But I am happy with the result.
This is the first time I have made all my own copper elements from head pins to clasp, coil  and tag.... so I feel I have been true to my own design wishes.


I added Peruvian Opals, glass daggers, Gray Quartz in light and dark gray, small, matt labradorite beads, tiny metal beads and gray Sari silk. (This is the first time I have used Sari silk ... I am loving it and know I will be using it again.)

This shows the interesting glass daggers that I bought recently...  they reminded me of feathers on the owl. The triangular design on them is silver. I love the variation in colour in the Peruvian Opal. One colour was a little darker than in the palette range, but I left it in as I felt it gave an added colour depth that was needed.

Sari silk and hand-made copper hook and eye clasp. All the copper was darkened with Liver of Sulphur.

I called my necklace "Owlet" as the little owl on the bead really reminded me of an owlet about to leave the nest. (I made a little copper "Fly" tag, too ... yes, a bit corny, I know, but: Oh well!

So that is the story of my palette challenge.

Below is the list of all participants .... have fun blog hopping.

18 Tari Kahrs ~ Orange ~ Citrus Tones
35 CJ Bauschka ~ Teal ~ Teal Air
41 Jenni Connolly ~ Gray ~ Paw Tones
53 Kristen Stevens ~ Pink ~

Goodnight (yep, night-time in Australia)


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Virtual Craft Show - A Give Away from Sally Russick

Hello again,

Told you there would be more posts about the The First Annual Craft Show.

And now here is a lovely give away and discount offer from Sally Russick at Wire Worked. It's a good opportunity to start early Christmas shopping. Buying hand crafted is the way to go in my opinion.

So, head on over for a look at Sally's lovely Christmas ornament and discount offers in her  etsy shop.

Good luck to you all,


Virtual Craft Show - A Give away from Kristi Bowman

Hello dear friends,

Just wanted to tell you about a great event starting today. The First Annual Craft Show...where 70 artists over a 7 day period are GIVING AWAY 70 hand crafted  and related items. Amazing isn't it.
I am not a participant of this wonderful event ( I thought you had to have an etsy shop to participate....!

Anyway, while not being a participant, I am going to support the event by blogging about all these wonderful  give aways...and probably drive you crazy with the posts!

First one I have read about is Kristi Bowman Design.

These are her gorgeous copper clay component earrings with Pink Jade briolettes.
Head on over to her blog for a chance of a giveaway...good luck to you.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Challenge of Color - A Sneak Peak

Hello dear friends,

Thought I would tempt you a little with a quick "sneak-peek" of my piece I made for the Challenge of Color Blog Hop hosted by Erin from Treasures Found.

Please come back for the Blog Hop reveal which will be on NOVEMBER 30th.

Cheers for now,


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday - Perseverance is Required!

Hello dear friends,

It's a gorgeous sunny day here in Melbourne. There has been so much Spring rain recently, my garden is running rampant. So, today after this post..that's where I will be...trimming and weeding, cutting and planting. Sounds like fun...yes I love it....although have to pace myself as my back doesn't!

This week I have continued my love affair with copper...bashing and beating it...and doing my best to solder with it. (You Tube has been a great learning tool in this regard...years ago, I did a little bit of soldering..but have really forgotten how to approach I refreshed my memory on can look anything up there these days!)

Here are a few attempts.

I love my bird house which I textured with hammers etc, however when soldering the second roof line...the copper edging moved. There was actually meant to be a bigger gap where the roof line crossed and I had planned to put a jump ring in there so I could hang it on a cord or chain.....foiled with that idea! So, I drilled a hole...but really, the hole is too far down in to the body of the roof....will have to try it again I guess....patience and perseverance is required!

I am loving this leaf..."smooth and rough" I am calling it...I believe I was  definitely thinking about life  and all it's variances when making this one.

It still needs a bit of Liver of Sulphur Patina...and hopefully, I can drill a hole in the little stalk at the top.
I like the rustic effect of the torch-fired patina in the first leaf I made (Top photo) but it looks more like a pair of lips than a leaf!!

I have also been attempting to learn how to do tube rivets, can see some extremely bad examples in the first photo.....lots of practise and patience required to improve there, I think!
Perseverance required for all.

Part of my front garden and lush Spring growth.

Today I am linking up to  the Flickr site of Bead Table Wednesday..... hosted by Heather  at Humblebeads. You can check out what other people have on their bead table's this week.

Cheers for now,

Monday, November 21, 2011

Swap Beads from Singapore.

Hello dear readers,

Lori Anderson, of Bead Soup Blog Party fame, has organised yet another wonderful beady delight in the form of a mini- bead exchange. Participants are paired up and swap...about ...a cup full of beads with their partner.

I was paired up with Viv from Vi Ve Creation in Singapore.
Vivian has a wonderful blog and shop. She sells beads and supplies and teaches workshops in Polymer Clay and jewellery making techniques. I love the fact she teaches children, too. So good to start the beading addiction early!
I was thrilled to be paired up with a polymer clay artist...something very different for me.

I picked up my parcel this morning and was a little shocked at how weighty it was! have spoiled me with these lovely beads...I think there is way more than the cup recommended..but hey...I am not complaining...thank you so very much!

Here are some photos of the lovely beads Viv Sent me.

Lovely tag on Viv's package - and it matches my flowers on the table!

Sweet, sweet polymer clay flowers - these look good enough to eat. Can't wait to use these.

Resin cabochons - these will be a challenge for me, but aren't they gorgeous!

Lucite dainty and delicate. Love the soft colors.

These are just a few of the gorgeous metal elements Viv sent.

Gemstone these colors.

Well that's it. Viv did send some seed beads and more metal components which I haven't included.
Thank you again, Viv.

Cheers for now,

Enjoy your day,

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I Heart Macro- A Different Era.

Hello dear readers,

Welcome to my Sunday post of I Heart macro - hosted by Lori from Studio Waterstone.

Did you guess what it was?

Just noticed there is a dead spider attached to the ribbon!

Partially exposed on the left is my computer wireless about juxtaposition of old and new!

This lovely old typewriter has seen plenty of work and love over the years, and remarkably, still works.
No, it was not mine...but a gift from an elderly friend.

I did once learn to school.....and I was terribly bad at it.
The teacher, in desperation put paper over the keys so I wouldn't look at them! That worked well!
I then typed total drivel...and still didn't remember where the keys were located. I just don't think my heart was ever in it....and I still type with 2 fingers and look at the keys to this day!

My father was a journalist and I remember the constant tap-tap of the keys at home....he had one like this was much quieter when he became all modern and purchased an electric typewriter. I missed that re-assuring sound, but I think my Mother was glad to hear the end of it!

studio waterstone

Please head on over to Lori's for a peak at other photos by those who love macro and close-up photography. Click on the picture logo above and it will take you straight there!

Hope your weekend is a good one.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Challenge of Color Blog Hop - my colour palette and information.

Hello dear readers,

To challenge myself to make an article of jewellery ( something I am gradually improving at...but still very slow at !) I decided to sign up for the Challenge of Color over at Erin's blog, Treasure's Found.

Participants nominated a color preference and were then assigned a colour palette created by Jessica Colaluca of Design Seeds that included their chosen colour.

I chose particular reason apart from the fact I am just loving the shades and tones of gray at the moment. ( I even went so far as to install a gray glass splashback in my kitchen renovation recently!

I love grey so much I also created a board on Pinterest for those who are interested, called In Love with Gray

So, here is my pretty palette assigned by Erin - "Paw Tones." Thank you, Erin.

Paw Tones

Isn't it just the sweetest!! I am loving all the colors you see in this palette.

Please drop by on Wednesday November the 30th, to see the reveal and do a bit of hopping through the list of participants.

Until next time,
Have a great weekend,


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday - My Sari Silk Order Has Arrived!

Hello dear readers,

A lovely package arrived today...some beautiful sari-silk that I purchased online from Design Talent on etsy. She has a wonderful shop, so go and take a peek!

I have seen lots of wonderful designs using sari silk and really can't wait to give it a go. First up are wrapped beads, which I have learnt how to do in the last month or so and  really want to elaborate on the very basic ones I have made.

Just look at these gorgeous colours!! I chose mostly colours with an antique-type of appeal. My very generous supplier, also included a few extras for good measure. Thank you Lashell! I actually love the grey, olive and blue you sent as an extra.

How gorgeous are these colours!!

Don't you just want to pick them up?

The beautiful pile.

Hope you are all having a good day...I am off to my bead table... sari silk will be spread far and wide pretty soon!

Today I am linking up to Bead Table Wednesday - Please click on the Btw picture logo on my blog sidebar and it will take you straight there... you can check out all the delights on the bead tables there!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Patina Experiments

Hello dear readers,

You all know by now, that I am developing a bit of an obsession with copper.

I think it is a natural progression to want to start playing with the effects that copper can give - particularly the 'patina'.

Actually, the meaning of 'patina' is really something that results from usage or corrosion over time, usually a greenish layer (basic copper sulphate) that forms on copper or bronze. So, technically, some of the patinas I am about to show you are more of a chemical reaction than a patina ... but none the less, they look great ... so please come and take a look.

Copper dipped in vinegar, sprinkled with course salt and sat on a bed of paper towel wet with cloudy ammonia. Left, covered, for 24 hours.

As above, (no vinegar) but suspended in a coffee can on a wire above a 1/4 cup of liquid ammonia - result shown after 24 hours.

As above, after 48 hours.

Colored effect after heating with a soft torch. Do a section at a time. When you see the color emerge, dip it in cold water and then move on to another section until you get the result you want.

The copper was covered with flux on both sides and then heated to a dark red glow on each side.
Immerse in water and repeat.   The photo shows the result after two coatings.

The reverse side. I may have over heated this piece as I do not think it is really meant to go as black as this.

The copper was coated with a thin smear of Gilder's Paste, Patina.

Color using Liver of Sulphur.
 Top row: L- rich brown, R- some "oil" type effect.
Bottom row: L- Dark grey, almost black. R- Dark coloration left in an imprint after removing some patina  with fine steel wool. 

As you can see, I have had a bit of fun with this. If you try it yourself, just make sure the lids on those containers seal well ... the ammonia is very strong .... have good ventilation or go outside when opening the container/tin. 

As you can see the patina effect on the first 6 photos is a little crusty ... I will need to lightly brush it off a little more and then seal it with a spray for it to be usable in jewellery
See also Patina Experiments no. 2 for a different batch of patina colours .

That's it for today, folks,

have a good day,


Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Heart Macro - Bead Love.

Hello dear readers,

A few days ago, I went to the Melbourne Bead Expo. This annual event is one of two annual bead shows held in Melbourne, Australia.

This particular show is run by the Bead Society of Victoria.

There were lots of bead suppliers from around Australia, many locally talented lampworkers, classes  available and a wonderful exhibition of jewellery items as part of the Challenge Exhibition. ( all competitors had to use the same beads as part of the challenge)

I was fairly restrained in my purchasing this year, mainly buying strands of smaller  beads and gemstones that I could incorporate with a few pieces I am working on for Christmas presents and on-line beading design challenges.

The blue ones are Peruvian Opal, coloured pearls, Hessonite Garnet, and Grey Quartz to name a few.

Wonderful glass daggers...fabulous aren't they?

Today, I am linking up to I Heart Macro. Please click on the photo link below to take you to see other 'I Heart Macro' photos at our host, Lori's site - Studio Waterstone.

studio waterstone

Cheers for now,

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I Heart Macro - Book Love.

Hello dear readers,

It has been a week of "firsts" for me...a 'first' at making quite a few metal jewellery components......this has been a stimulating, exciting task for me..I am loving it and can't wait to make more!
I find I wake up in the night thinking about it...planning designs and thinking how to achieve that design. I haven't been that excited about jewellery making since I started glass bead making years ago.

Another 'first' has been reading a book on my iPad. I have read articles before but not a full was 'The Help'...for those who want a good read...lots of human drama, humour and sadness mixed in with this one.

The next 'first' is I have downloaded on to my iPad an audio book to read while I make jewellery.
It is a lengthy historical saga recommended by a friend... thanks Belinda.
I hope I like it as there are 140 hour of listening time on it!! I will let you know how it goes.

I know there are many people who stoically refuse to embrace books downloaded on to e-readers. That's o.k. I do understand the reasons. I have been a book lover my whole life and see the iPad as just another way of accessing a good book. I will never give up my 'real' book favourites. And I do still buy hard copy books, too.

Here are a couple of old books  from a collection I have on my bedroom mantle shelf.....some were old ones that had belonged to my parents, some were mine. They are a thing of beauty in a way that e-books can never be!

Beautiful patterns on the spine.

Titles...remember these ones?

An old family bookend.

Today I am linking up to I Heart Macro...Up Close Photography for Macro makers and the Camerologically Challenged. 

Click on the photo link below to take you to Lori's site at Studio Waterstone to see  other participant's photos.

studio waterstone

Cheers for now,


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