Wednesday, September 30, 2009

True Love- an art story

Every now and then, not too commonly but thankfully not so rare either- two people fall in love. It's the heart they find, or the mind, or in this case... of the art.

Fancifuldevices has a shop that has made my heart thumpy-thump since the day I laid eyes on it. Almost weekly (sometimes daily), I would creep to the window sill and press my face against the glass, sighing over the complex and marvellous objects, torn as to which I should buy (first!).

I'm constantly amazed not only at the construction, but also the eclecticism of the objects she pairs together. A hidden pocket knife in a pendant, concealed with vintage flowers... pencil stubs as earrings, antique teeth as occult relics, spoon bowls as bezels, zips as cuffs...

much of the vintage assemblage jewellery market can be easily labelled as 'samey', some of it in the realm of shabby chic nostalgia, others leaning toward a junk-drawer-on-a-chain sensibility. Fanciful creates objects that are unlike any others- part assemblage piece, part sky-fallen magic, like the lost amulet of an ancient astronaut.

Everything in her shop is against 'the rules' of what an Etsy shop ought to be to do well (more about that next post). Her banner is cryptic and mysterious, her titles are secretive, her descriptions more about the stunning oddity of our universe than what the thing is made of. SEO is flung to the wind. She does not have any social networking presence- no walks in the forums, no Twitter, no Facebook- nothing...just makes things and lists them in her own amazing way. And does well!

Personally I think it's because her shop not only contains beautiful things, but also because the puzzling presentation creates a place that is more Wonderland than shop front. You feel as a traveller in a lost land, stumbling over hidden relics and forgotten treasures.


When it comes to shopping on Etsy, supplies are I can't keep out of my basket, but when I decide to purchase handmade objects I get really fussy, indecisive and generally faff about taking too long to decide, then cry when it sells to someone else.

In an effort to break this habit I marched over to Fanciful devices and purchased these remarkable earrings. Click click click, before I had a chance to change my mind for no good reason other than I'm commitment phobic.

Having done so, I felt such a buyer's afterglow that I had to write and tell her how excited I was to be getting a piece of her work in the mail. Never did I expect the reply I did- at best I hoped for a cheery thank you, at worst no reply. I'll save the details in the name of public decorum, but suffice to say she has been reading my blog for some time and was overwhelmed to think that I could think of her as such a massive inspiration, when in her mind it's me that's the amazing one!
We've since chatted up a storm, finding connections in ideas, opinions, loves (and hates!) and general wonderland-ness of doing what we do.

With the encouragement of yours truly she now has a fantastic blog, and is quickly getting the hang of it, I see!

Contacting her is definitely up there in my Top Ten Etsy moments- I strongly urge every single one of you to reach out and meet your heroes. Send a convo to all the artists you swoon over- they'll be just as chuffed as you are!

Here's a quick gallery of sold items- all the images above (except the dagger earrings- they're mine!) are at this time available. All images in this post are the property of Miss Fanciful and used with most gracious permission.

(This is one of the ones I cried over. I was too late! Oh foolish Sparrow! Such perfect candy stripes!)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ancient Rust

Another lovely treasury put together by sunkengardenbeads:

...this time featuring my Victorian Sci-fi necklace, the Secrets of the Beehive.

Seems to compliment a news story I read this morning quite well, about a man who just found the largest Anglo-Saxon treasure ever discovered. He's a metal detectorist- lucky! I've always wanted one of those.

I've come down with a bit of a sniffle as of last night. I could feel it creeping up on me as my housemates both have a really bad flu- and despite my best superfood/knockback efforts, they must've breathes on me at some point and now I'm infected. Going outside without a jacket last night probably didn't help things.

The worst part of this is that I might not be able to go see the Pompeii exhibition at the museum tomorrow. WAH! The best part about being sick is I get to stay home all snuggly warm with the spring rain pouring down outside. Sewing and TV, that's my prescription.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gorgeousness in treasury form

I woke up to find myself featured in the MOST fantastical of treasuries today, by the lovely Ozma of Odds, who has a beautiful shop, go see!

This marvel of goods features my dustbowl maiden cuff:

It's been a good morning today. The sun is out now and the sky is leaden grey with the promise of more rain. I must learn to stop maligning spring as the doorman for summer, and simply appreciate her wild and changeable heart.

But now I must pack orders (for sales are picking up- hooray!) and get myself into gear finishing the clothes I showed you some time ago. And then later this afternoon, I will be transferring all of my Little Brown Sparrow listings to my Sparrow Salvage store, for 'total browsing convenience', or something. Really I just want one less shop to worry about. :D

Inspiration- jenny klemming

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Space princess

I've been meaning to find a more streamlined and 'personal style' to my photos lately- the whole shooting it on a book thing is a bit old-hat, everyone's doing it. I have plenty of great surfaces in my collection to exploit, but I really like the lid of this Victorian box I found in the junk shop. Not the best shot in the world, but what do you think, is it just a bit too grungy? Is there a line one cannot cross when it comes to aged, grotted up stuff?

Hm. Anyway- while cleaning up the studio and things around it the other day I found a box of old half-done projects from last year; wristcuffs and brooches that are almost finished, they just need a button here or a metal snap there. I'm going to finish them and list them in my little brown sparrow store at reduced prices, just to clear them out of the way.

I have 3 new collections bubbling in my head...the future tribal Victorian Sci-fi has developed a softer, 1920s feel to become something I'm calling 'space princess'. There are lots of studs, nailheads, milk glass, pale colours and shabby fabrics...

Then there's Conan the Victorian - a blend of sword and sorcery and 19th century style which has already spawed a few pieces. Then there's 'good and evil Georgian' - simple things based on the early 19th century, with pale colours for good girls and dark metallic hues for bad girls. Don't get me started on Burlesque chimneysweep...

It's no wonder the desk doesn't stay clean for long.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Carry On Killing

I come from a WWII family. Though my upbringing was situated in rural Australia during the 1970s, inside our home it was strictly wartime 1940s. The music was listened to, the films we watched, the family politics, they were all very much of the day.

I've been raised with the Stiff Upper Lip attitude that so typified the British back then - my mother and grandmother are both English, and Dad was a bit of an Anglophile. But Dad was also a war buff, and so the whole lot came together in that wholesome wartime warmth we see in BBC sitcoms.

My grandmothers were military material- during the war one made aeroplane engines and the other was an ambulance driver for St.John's and a warden in the ARP. Granddad was captain of the tank brigade who also worked for MI5.

I've had a mixed attitude to war over the years. It's a useless and terrible thing of course, rarely justifiable (certainly not in the case of the one we're in now, though that's more an invasion than a war but I digress...). My Dad served in Vietnam and as a result was stricken with severe shell shock resulting (primarily) in migranes, nightmares and life-long depression. He was also exposed to alot of Agent Orange and this is the main cause (we believe) of my own medical problems, namely the epilepsy and depression (I was conceived immediately on Dad's return from service). Seeing my Dad go through this gave me a hatred for war since early youth.

On the other hand, I do quite like militaria- all the shiny badges and nifty uniforms. The industrial simplicity of alot of 'war issue' stuff is great too, I remember as a kid always going over my Dad and Grandmother's war stuff, admiring the simple colours and austere design. I think it's influenced me much in terms of aesthetics and design.

I remember when I was very young one of the first things I wanted to be when I grew up was a pilot of bomber aircraft. Then I was cruelly informed that 'we don't fly Spitfires any more' and I gave it up for archaeology. Even back then I was at the mercy of the visual!

All images taken from eBay shops. Don't make me spend all my money Mr.eBay!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Atlantis has fallen

An experimentation for a necklace, following on from the sculpture piece I did for the upcoming Fringe Festival (which is at the curator's house now, and I neglected to take photos of it before it went). I originally intended to wrap the lace around the pendant like I do for my clear quartz pieces, but I sort of like how it sits out like wings here. We shall see.

Anyway- this is a variation on the theme I usually use of nature taking over abandoned houses- this one is the sea, the way it takes over shipwrecks. I figure this is what Atlantis looks like now. :D

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Sparrow Returns

Here I am, back from my three weeks away! I can't believe it was that long, it really does feel like barely a week went past.

I didn't do a whole lot to be honest- looked after my Mum (she had gone into hospital for an operation), did some country thrifting, watched a lot of Who Dunnits on TV (from Miss Marple to Midsommer to Magnum PI!) and generally slopped about trying hard not to work. I'm settling in for a nice long session with my Google Reader today and I hope to catch up with everyone in the next few days.

In the meantime, I have been tagged by the lovely Sharon over at secretleaves to share ten random things about me, so here we go!

1. I'm the only member of my family to hold a university degree

2. I hate sausages, unless they're cooked on some sort of outdoor equipment (campfire, bbq etc)

3. I've had a muscle spasm in the corner of my right eye all day and it's driving me mad.

4. I literally cannot figure living a life where nothing is second-hand, antique, vintage, thrifted or just plain hand-me-down. Cannot. Will not.

5. My all-time favourite TV show ever is Red Dwarf.

6. I have trouble finding men under the age of 40 attractive. In fact if you're under 40 and are attractive to me, it's probably because you look over 40.

7. I find men's underwear to be exceptionally more comfortable, nicer in design and cheaper than girls' underwear. Hence why...I wear men's underwear.

8. When I do the dishes, I have to occupy my thoughts with some sort of childish fantasy, otherwise I get in a really bad mood. Must be something about having my hands in the water...gets me cranky!

9. I love boiled eggs, but if the yolk sets I don't want it. This is odd because I used to hate runny yolk, then this year I changed for no reason.

10. I used to live in a museum.

(images shown throughout this post are earrings I made before I went away. Some are listed in my shops, but the dice were just too good to give away and I kept them!)

oh PS- I have Twitter now! Follow me if you like, and if you have one too, let me know in the comments!