Sep 26, 2011

Sunday Theme - Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice

That's what little girls are made of! Following on from my theme last week I am showcasing some more children's items from the fabulous BrisSTyle team in honour of the BrisStyle Mother and Child Market coming up on the 8th October. This time I am focusing on items that are especially for little girls:

Sep 21, 2011

Lemon Chrysoprase and Sterling Silver Earrings

Most of the time when I am working with cabochons I use them to either make rings or pendants. So I decided it was about time I made some more earrings with them. I had this gorgeous pair of lemon coloured chrysoprase and decided they would fit the bill perfectly.

As when making pendants, I securely wrapped the cabochons in sterling silver wire, bringing the wires up to the top of the stone. I then made a small bail from which to hang the stones, and then gathered the wires on one side to sweep around and fan out across the stone.

Of course the major difficulty with earrings, as opposed to pendants, is that you need to make two the same, or at least, two that are a mirror image of each other. Trying to get the stages exactly the same in terms of sizing etc. can really be a challenge and use of the ruler is unavoidable. Actually that's probably why the earrings don't happen as often as the pendants!

So anyway, there you have it, my Lemon Chrysoprase and Sterling Silver Earrings.

Sep 18, 2011

Sunday Theme - Baby

I was delighted to hear this week that my assistant from work had just given birth to her first baby, a fine baby boy. Therefore it seemed only fitting this week to have 'baby' as my theme in their honour.

I'm sure that many handmade items can be found in relation to babies, even though my own jewellery doesn't fit this theme. The BrisStyle street team that I am a member of actually have a Mother and Child Market coming up in October which will be fill of handmade goodies all geared toward mothers and their children.

Since my theme is baby I have chosen a few handmade goodies made by members of the BrisStyle team that are specifically geared towards babies:

V Style Crazy

After previously only ever having had two or three of my V style earrings available online, partly due to the quick turnover I have with them at the markets, I decided it was time to get my whole available range uploaded - so for a quick preview - here they are! This full range will be uploaded over the next few days but if there is a pair you fancy in the meantime then please let me know.

Sep 15, 2011

A to Z of Crafts - Z, Y and Z

Okay I admit it, these letters stumped me. I did think of Yarn for the letter Y, and of course there is plenty of handmade yarn out there. The trouble is the actual craft of making yarn is called weaving.

So, after failing to come up with crafts representing these letters, I instead decided that a fun way to end the series would be to instead come up with three handmade items that quite literally represented the letters.

So here they are - the letters X, Y and Z:

Sep 13, 2011

A to Z of Crafts - W = Woodworking

Woodworking is the process of building, carving, or making something using wood.

Along with stone, mud, and animal parts, wood was one of the first materials worked by early humans. Since Neolithic times carved wooden vessels are known. Examples of Bronze Age wood carving include tree trunks worked into coffins and wooden folding chairs. Germany provides fine examples of wooden animal statues from the Iron Age.

Two ancient civilisations that used woodworking were the Egyptians and the Chinese. Woodworking is depicted in many ancient Egyptian drawings, and a considerable amount of ancient Egyptian furniture has been preserved in tombs.

Historically, woodworkers relied upon the woods native to their region, until transportation and trade innovations made more exotic woods available to the craftsmen. Woods can be sorted into three basic types: hardwoods typified by tight grain and derived from broadleaf trees, softwoods from coniferous trees, and man-made materials such as plywood and MDF.

Here are some great examples of woodwork that I have found:

Sep 12, 2011

TIME Fashion Show

I was thrilled to be asked a few weeks ago if I would be willing to take part in the TIME Fashion Show on the 28th September. One of two jewellery designers taking part, along with several fashion designers, my jewellery will be featured in one "scene" of the fashion show, modeled by six models who will all be wearing black in order to showcase the jewellery.

TIME is a charity set up by medical students at the University of Queensland - it stands for Towards International Medical Equality. It is a student run organisation, established in 2005, that is committed to the promotion and establishment of equitable health care at home and abroad. Please visit their website for more details.

The Fashion Show is held as a fund raiser for TIME while at the same time promoting local designers. Details of the event can be found on the facebook page, and tickets are available here. It would be great to see as many of you as possible!

Yesterday was a pre-show photo shoot held at the Botanic Gardens in Brisbane. I was able to meet the organisers for the first time and see my jewellery being modelled by six gorgeous students. Unfortunately I missed seeing the actual shots being taken because by the time I was handing out the jewellery to the sixth model the first was handing hers back. I'm therefore now eagerly waiting to see some of the photos and will try to share one or two when I can.

Sep 11, 2011

Sunday Theme - Violin

After having included violin makers in my 'A to Z of Craft' series, and being a violinist myself, it seemed a good choice to have a violin craft theme this week.

I started to play the violin when I was eight years old, beginning with lessons at school and then moving to private lessons when I went up to high school. I went through all the music grades of violin exams finally getting my grade 8 when I was 18. Learning to play the violin gave me a really good introduction to classical music. This was especially the case when I started playing in orchestras. I started out in the junior orchestras and then played for several years in two amateur orchestras, first back in England and then in Brisbane.

As with many items, the violin is a theme often used in handmade arts and crafts. A great example is the print pictured above - "Wild Gypsy Air" by Emily Balivet. I am the proud owner of one of these prints, having fallen in love with it as soon as I saw it.

Here are some more great violin themed items:

Sep 9, 2011

Friday Favourites


A to Z of Crafts - V = Violin Making

As someone who not only plays the violin and owns a violin that was made in London in 1900 by a German violin maker, but who also studied the history of the violin as part of my college course, this topic held special interest.

Making an instrument of the violin family may be done in different ways, many of which have change very little in 500 years since the first violins were made. Hand made violins, called "bench-made" instruments, are made by a single individual, either a master worker, or an amateur working alone.

The violin first emerged in Northern Italy in the early 16th century. From 1530 the word violin appears in Brescian documents and spread all round north of Italy. while no instruments from the first decades of the century survive, there are several representations in paintings.

The oldest confirmed surviving violin, dated inside, in the "Charles IX" by Andrea Amati made in Cremona in 1564. Of course, the most famous of the old 'master' violin makers is Antonio Stradivari, although there are also several other "old masters". These days, many violin makers use the outlines of one of the old masters when crafting their violins.

Here are some current examples I have found of handcrafted violins:

Sep 6, 2011

A to Z of Crafts - U = Upcycling

Okay, so maybe I've taken a bit of poetic license on this one but given the huge variety of handmade items that are available, all upcycled items, I believe it is a valid "craft" to include.

So what is upcycling? Upcycling is defined as the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality. This is as opposed to downcycling where the new products are of a lesser value than the original. The term recycling covers both.

The first recorded use of the term upcycling was by Reiner Pilz of Pilz GmbH in an interview in 1994. Talking about the impending EU demolition directive he stated "Recycling - I call it downcycling. They smash bricks, they smash everything. What we need is upcycling where old products are given more value not less".

So here are some great upcycled handmade products that I have found, all made here in Australia:


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