Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Bead Soup ( no. 6) Partner.

Hello friends,

As many of you will know, the sixth bead soup blog party has finished the sign ups... and the first reveal is now due on the 28th of July.
This time around, Lori has organised 3 different reveal dates... which meant that everyone that wanted to participate can do so. There are 399 participants this time! Huge! Lori you are amazing... thank you for taking on this mammoth organisational task!

My partner this time, is Tania from Moobie Grace Designs. Tania is a polymer clay artist. She also does some great metal spoon jewellery and some awesome metalwork. Have a look...

Fabulous clasp with polymer clay and lots of wire.

Beautiful polymer clay lentil duo necklace.

Love all this yummy wire work with the red..beautiful!

Tania and I are actually showing our finished pieces in the second blog hop reveal which will be on the 11th of August..... yes, ages away I know... don't worry I will remind you again when we get a little closer to the date!

But until then please do check out Tania's, Moobie Grace Designs etsy shop.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bead Table Wednesday - A completed chain.

Hello friends,

As you know I have been working on an S- link chain for the last couple of weeks. I am pretty slow at this jewellery making business... good thing I do not rely on it for a living!

However I finally finished it this week and I do have to say..I am totally thrilled with it.

I learnt a lot during the process. The repetition of making the same links was indeed a good teacher....
Usually I battle against this kind of repetition.... thinking it a little too "production line" for my taste... however the familiarity with each new link allowed me to refine and understand it just that little more.... to reduce the amount of solder.... to make sure the torch was not too close to the silver... to be aware of that little flash of solder and pull the torch away quickly, etc!

My daughter loves the chain...it looked lovely on her when she wore it to work yesterday...it is busy in design but because of all the spaces..it looks  gentle and delicate.

The clasp (far right) is the same as the links.. but just not soldered on one side.

Completed chain on my model, "Collette" ( I finally named her!)

I am linking up to Bead Table Wednesday, a Flickr group hosted by Heather from Humblebeads.

So tell me...what is on YOUR bead table today?

Have a great day,

Monday, June 18, 2012

Winner, winner! - Clasp and links give-away.

Hello my friends,

Many thanks to all who dropped by, left a comment and linked about my recent clasp and links giveaway.
I was thrilled to see so many people drop by and to see a few more people become followers... thank you and welcome to my blog.

The winner, as chosen by the random Number generator is..... Maple Girl.

Andrea, could you please contact me (via contact page on my blog) with your full name and address and they will be winging your way very soon.

Thanks again to all,


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Quote for the day

please go to this previous post.

I will be drawing the winner next Monday 18th June.

Hello my friends,

This quote follows me around from indoor to outdoor studio work space, Summer to Winter. Up it goes on the pin board.

In fact, I have had it so long, I don't really think about it any more... although when I purchased it years ago, it really spoke to me. Do you know what I mean!?

So today, I am looking at it again... and once again, I hear it. Now off to my little green outdoor shed I go...

Have a great day everyone,

Monday, June 11, 2012

My First Give-away.

Hello my friends,

I do not know quite why I have waited this long to do a give-away... probably because I think the things I make are not good enough or something like that. I have a very bad habit of being too critical about the things I make ...

Anyway... my first giveaway consists of collection of different hand-made clasps, closures, links etc.
As a lot of you will know, I have over the course of the last year or so, participated in some on-line classes with Deryn Mentock. I have quite a collection accruing and I know I don't need them all!

Most of my giveaway items were made while participating in Deryn's classes... some have been made while I was experimenting.  The textured corkscrew (no 6) is made from instructions in Handcrafted Wire Findings by Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson. The soldered S-link (no 5) is from taken from the book  Making Silver Chains by Glen F. Waszek.

The small collection awaiting the winner.

Up close... shibori and beaded wraps links.

A different view.

If you wish to take part in the give-away.... please become a follower if you are not already, leave a comment on this post and, if you blog/facebook about the give-away, then you will be given an extra name in the hat! Please leave me your link in the comment box if you have done this.

I will draw the winner's name next Monday the 18th of June.

For those who are worried about being a follower.... like I once was..... 'following' a blog allows you to comment on a blog post if you wish. It also allows me to get to know you a little through those comments and that is something I certainly like to do.

It is still astounding to me that people from all over the world visit my little blog... it would be so nice to 'meet you' through commentary... please think about it. Understand that I do not send any emails etc unless it is a thanks in response to a comment. Now might be the time to come out from lurkdom......!!?

O.K then... let's hope I get some interest?? 
Hope you are all having a great day... whatever you are doing,

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I Heart Macro - "Titania"

Hello friends,

It's a wild and wonderful world out there. Crazy weather! No opportunity for "I Heart Macro" outdoor shots for me today. Instead I have...

Tempestuous seas....

winds whipping the world apart...

and rivers running down the streets.

This is "Titania"

Not the delicate fairy queen ...or the largest moon of the planet, Uranus.... but this wonderful limited edition glass paperweight from Caithness in Scotland. Gifted to me by a friend now departed, thank you dear Jo.

studio waterstone

Linking up to Lori's place...head on over for the show. Click on the flower box and it will take you there.

Enjoy your day.. wherever you are,

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Polaroids from Dubai

Hello dear friends,

I have been playing with PicMonkey again ... and while I do not want to sound like a broken record.... seriously you must try it! ( See my first attempt here )
These two little photos took me about 3-5 mins each to make... and that is only because I was having fun trying all the options.

To edit the brass pot photo... I warmed  the colour up a little, added a texture, frame and font...  and much the same for the school desks except I added a texture that had writing on it. This is SO simple and SO quick and easy. I just had to share this fun with you!

These two photos were taken in Dubai last year.

Gorgeous old brass pots... these were about a metre or more high.

This was taken in the old part of Dubai ... in an old school. This was part of a museum  complex located in a restored house originally owned by the Maktoum family who still rule Dubai today. 
If you wish to read a little more about Dubai on my travel blog, please go here.

Yes, the photos are meant to be on an angle like that!  That is the charm of the 'polaroid' style.

I hope you are having a great start to your weekend, I know I am.

Cheers for now,

Friday, June 8, 2012

Win a spot in "Boho Bliss"

Hello dear friends,

Well, those who read this little blog, know I am a fan of Deryn. I love her style... particularly all those gorgeous gems mingled with hand made copper and silver elements...

I have participated in a few of Deryn's on line workshops and found them truly valuable.They have been full of techniques and both easy to look at and understand. Deryn also answers any questions promptly and is involved from start to finish. She is a very caring teacher.

Chatting to other participants has been a great source of extra information and the camaraderie has been a wonderful plus.... as I live in Australia and can't attend in person, on-line classes are a wonderful option.. and one I am becoming quite fond of!
The videos are freely available and you can look at them any time of day or night.. in your pj's if you wish!

I am sure this current online course Deryn is offering will be more of the same.

This week, Deryn is offering 2 free places in her Boho Bliss on line class.
So, if you have never participated in an online course before and want to give it a try... head on over for your chance to win a spot... I know I am going to!

Just look at these beauties... photo from Deryn's blog

Cheers for now,

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Playing with Picmonkey - collage fun.

Hello dear friends,

I have spent a little time today playing around making a collage which is mostly made up from photos taken from my daily photo.... Project 2012/develop.

This is the first time I have used the editing program Picmonkey and I have to say "I love it!"
It is really easy to use... and has this wonderful collage making facility which I really like a lot. I will definitely be spending more time using Picmonkey. There are also great frames, textures and text, editing options and much more, to explore...

I  know I will be visiting often!

Hope you are enjoying your day, whatever you are doing,

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Glass Love - Fishing boat floats.

Hello dear friends,

Most of you by now will know I love glass. I collect interesting bits and pieces of glass.
I have a collection of glass paper weights, a small but steadily growing collection of sea glass found on my local beaches and of course, beads that I love made by master glass artists (as well as the glass beads that I make myself).

Last month, I spent some time with friends at McCrae, a beachside locale on the Mornington Penninsula, near Melbourne.
While we were there we had a day trip to nearby Flinders and it was here that I came across these little beauties.
They are Japanese glass fishing floats. They were once used by fishermen in many parts of the world to keep their nets afloat.
I wish I could say I found them washed up on a beach, but alas, I bought them in an art gallery!

After doing a bit of further research about these fishing floats, I came up with the following information....

- they were traditionally handmade by a glassblower using recycled glass... often sake bottles. After being blown, a 'button' of glass sealed the hole. Sometimes a Kanji symbol was put on or near the sealing button to identify the float for trademark (sadly I have none on my floats).

- Glass floats have now been (mostly) replaced by aluminium, plastic or styrofoam.

- There are glass floats, which were once attached to nets, still drifting in the ocean today. They are often stuck in a circular pattern of ocean currents in the North Pacific. Currents beginning off the east coast of Taiwan flow past Japan, travel east across the Pacific before slowing down in the Gulf of Alaska. The currents then head south, and then are pushed northward to continue their circular pattern.
Although glass float numbers are decreasing, any that are washed up are likely to be on beaches that are close to these areas of ocean currents.... mostly the beaches of Alaska, Washington, or Oregon in the United States, Taiwan or Canada.

- It is estimated that floats that wash-up on Alaskan beaches are at least 10 years old.

- they do come in other colours - amber, amethyst and blue and the more rare and collectible red or cranberry hue. Other brilliant tones such as emerald green, cobalt, blue, purple and yellow were primarily made in the 1920's.

I find it amazing that these little glass floats are still just bobbing around out there.

I also came across this very interesting blog, The Glass Float Junkie, whilst researching the history of Japanese fishing floats.
You MUST check it out.. fascinating! You will be amazed when you see some of the photos, including bear tracks next to glass floats on an Alaskan beach! Scary!

The Glass Float Junkie also has this etsy shop if you are interested...

Well, that's your lot for today,
Hope you have a good one,

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I Heart Macro - The Chinese Pot and the Fiddleback Fig Tree.

Hello dear friends,

I am back today for "I Heart Macro"... hosted by Lori at Studio Waterstone.

I love indoor plants. Yes, I know they have gone out of fashion... I don't have very many these days.
I have struggled at times to find the best place for them in this house.
It is now Winter here in Australia... heated homes play havoc with indoor plants... I hope I can keep the few I have going through the season... and beyond.

These photos are from a pretty, hand - painted pot which was gifted to me by my sister in law. I love the sweet design on it and the mix of colours. So cheery to look at on a dull Winter's day.

 Are these Peonies?

 I love the cute butterfly on the pot. It appears to be smiling, I think.

 The Fiddleback Fig Tree is in the Chinese pot... this plant is one of my current favourite indoor plants. Mine is still only little... about a metre tall.

This is how I wish it to look... one day.

 Or like this! Here is another beautiful fig... not to mention a gorgeous room.

 This plant is so beautiful against the white walls... I love it!

These last 3 images are from House Tweaking and were found on Pinterest. If you wish to see more of my pins they are at Jenni's boards on Pinterest.

( There are also some amazing beads and jewelery-  inspiration pins for all my jewelery- loving friends)
 I have 75 boards now.. so lots of beautiful photos from many talented people! But look out... it is quite addictive!

Today I am linking up to I Heart Macro for those who love close-up and macro photography.
Head on over for a worthwhile browse, just click on the photo link and it will take you straight there!.

studio waterstone

Cheers for now,

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Kefir - the "champagne of milk"

Hello my friends,

I don't usually talk about food or recipes on my blog, as they are really not my forte... however I thought I would talk a little about this super food I have recently been exposed to ..."Kefir"

Have you heard about it?

I had not, until a friend, Belinda  (This is her jewelery site... she makes beautiful rosary bead necklaces amongst other things....her site is nothing to do with Kefir) put me on to it a some weeks ago.

Kefir is a one of the oldest cultured milks, having its origins in the Caucasian Mountains.

It is made into a thickened drinking form by soaking a starter, called "grains" (actually a mixture of casein and gelatinous colonies of micro-organisms that are grown together symbiotically), in milk (any kind) in a proportion of grains to milk 1:5.
The container with milk and starter is left at room temperature for about 18-24 hours. The milk slowly ferments and thickens into a rich, creamy non-alcoholic liquid.

It is then strained and the living kefir culture is kept for the next batch.
The strained liquid is a delicious drink ... with a consistency similar to that of 'drinking yoghurt'.

Kefir is purported to have a multitude of health benefits including...

. providing beneficial bacteria to our intestines which aid in the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
. Aids in digestion
. Improves immunity
. A wonderful calcium source
. Reduces cholesterol and helps alleviate allergies.
. It is believed to restore the intestinal flora of people recovering from a serious illness or being treated with antibiotics.

Here are a few photos of the Kefir making process which I use at home...

This is what the starter (grains) looks like... a bit like cottage cheese in consistency.

 As you can see here it is thickening up... soaking in milk 1:5


Liquid for drinking, adding to cereal etc.

I really love the drink that is produced and I have two or three drinks a day... my calcium levels must have improved! 
I can't get any family members to try it yet .. still working on that!

I also make my own yoghurt... I love the fresh, clean taste of both of these home made products.... as there are no added sugars etc, both are a little more tart in taste than the commercial varieties.

There is a lot of information on the internet about kefir. I have no idea if it is really doing the things it says it can do... but I like the flavour and feel it must be doing some good! ( or will in time!)

Here are some links if you wish to read more about it.

The starter is available via the internet.

Goodnight for now,


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