Friday, April 30, 2010

The guards of Morcore

I'm starting to list the first new pieces in the shop- it's a bit exciting! The usual method of accompanying my work with a famous quote of fragment of poetry has been replaced with writing of my own original creation. I think this an excellent way of developing my hobby of writing science fantasy- dungeons and dragons, sword and sorcery. It's something I want to put more time into and something that for the past 2 years has been neglected due to Etsy. Most of the descriptions of my new work will be fronted with encyclopaedia like entires taken from my character notes.

The Guards of Morcore woods are known to be the most feared warriors in all of Pesgore. Though small in number, it is said that what they suffer in numbers they make up for in battle lust. Known to cut down 5 men at a time, the guard carry with them huge round shields of intricate design, which they use to shield their bodies and conceal broadswords of the strongest dwarf-forged iron. It is also said their strength comes from the tree folk they protect.

It's my hope that in a few months time I can look at a full shop of work like this, and visiting my Etsy will be akin to visiting a museum exhibition wherein lies the collected relics of another world, and a lost age.

Queen of the Brownies

If you're not careful, Treasury East could easily become the thing you spend the most time doing.

Monday, April 26, 2010

the twilight that surrounds

Thank you so much to everyone who commented on 'the big one' yesterday- it has meant so much to me to hear from people going through similar times. As Riki said- we must follow our bliss.

I also wanted to pop in and say...

If any of these darlings are on your favourites list, better grab them while you have the chance, or they might well leave town! Who knows, at any moment I could pull any of them down and re-construct them. If you're bridging till payday, I can reserve things for up to a week.

new in the shop- the purple mist - hammered earrings of recycled metal

He loved the twilight that surrounds
The border-land of old romance;
Where glitter hauberk, helm, and lance,
And banner waves, and trumpet sounds,
And ladies ride with hawk on wrist,
And mighty warriors sweep along,
Magnified by the purple mist,
The dusk of centuries and of song.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The past is a prophecy of now

The time has come to post my 'big' post, the one I've been tinkering with for nearly 2 weeks.

This post.

It contains no great transformative thing, but the gathered fruit of much thinking. In a way I suppose it is transformative. It's changed much since the time I started writing it. It's been mellow and well-paced. It's been frantic and emotional. It's been nothing but images and nothing but words. Now finally the balance has been set.

April has been a strange month for me. For the most of it I went away to the city, visiting my best and most supportive friends while I worked through what I thought was just a few days of shadow. Familiar readers to this blog know that I fight (I will not say suffer) depression and anxiety, and April's beginning contained an inordinate amount of the down days.

Rather than tread water alone I went to the city to stay with my 2 best friends (who also happen to be married- so handy!) who keep me distracted and entertained and generally energised to be able to fight the good fight. I hadn't expected it to last as long as it did, it has been some time since I've been so muddy of mind, but I was there for almost 2 weeks. I came back here expecting to 'get on with things' but that wasn't to be. I was still deep in thought. I updated the shop out of duty, but I felt no love for it.

I did quite a lot of thinking and assessing my work and my life -which tends to be my habit in these down times. Art should feed the spirit I thought, and the spirit should be fed by art. Yet I felt so low on fulfilment from the higher powers I was near dry. I will not mince words, my fellows- in those past weeks I've been near to giving the whole thing up. Sell all the fabric, all the buttons, all the beads. I felt the time had come to stop making jewelry.

I've always had two paths with my art- at least as far as my inner source is concerned. One is the kind this blog tries to focus on, what I call my Dickens dust- black and white and charcoal greys, dirty dingy and musty dusty things. The other path is what was featured in my shop The Dark Woods- my raggle-tag faery side with jewelled deep colours and natural themes.

While writing in my diary one night and thinking about these two paths, I suddenly drew a line down the middle of the page and wrote along the top 'how I feel when I do what I do.' One side was labelled 'dickens dust', the other 'faery rags'. Here's what came out:

For my Dickens work- " This work makes me tense and anxious after a time it drains me. I get distant and shut off from my friends both in the real world and online. I beat myself up trying to enforce a strict set of aesthetic guidelines, often failing and wanting more than I've achieved. No matter how much information I soak up I can never get my work to look right. All in all it's a world of constant exhausting mental work. When striving for the look I want I conjour up and soak myself in the emotions reflected in it- loneliness, cold, isolation."

For my faerywork I had written "When I work on faery stuff for two weeks, I open up inside. I feel grounded, contented. I think of my friends and make the effort to pay more attention to them. I make things that gives me pleasure when it's done, it's lovely to look at and serves no function for me other than being beautiful. The colours and textures make me feel rich in spirit and connected to the earth- relaxed and safe. When I conjour up the emotions needed to produce the work, it is warmth, contentment, strength of connection and the pleasure in beauty."

When I'd finished writing I looked over it. All this was stuff I'd noticed vaguely before, but seeing it there side by side on the paper, one so tense and anxious, the other so relaxed and calm, it was a bit of a shock. I never expected myself to write those words about my Dickens side, but the acknowledgement of it shook something inside like an earth tremor. Everything fell into place. I'm happy when I work on my faerywear. Of course I love my Dickens dust as well, but it's obvious that too much time working in it gives me a disquiet because it comes (without being too dramatic) from a wounded place in me.

Recently fancifuldevices (ever the one who without knowing it, holds a mirror up to me) did a post in her blog about my old work from the little brown sparrow shop. Scrolling through all those images of my past with her words in between, I was struck with a wave of what I could only call a sort of marriage between homesickness and heartache. I pulled up the folder on my hard drive and slid my eyes over the old images- how rich and vibrant everything was, how full of life. And I missed it all so terribly. And how wonderful my photos used to be, the textures and intensity of dirt, stone, wood. Shots in the garden, on old picture frames, on the cracked leather of a favourite chair...

This has led to some profound visions. I realised that I was split inside. I decided once and for all to choose a path and stick to it, knowing that every day I choose the wrong path is another day I have to back track and make up for it, and trying to hold on to two paths is like putting sugar in the creative gas tank- it just won't go.

I've spent my time re-arranging my art space, sorting through my treasures, de-stashing, tracking down a list of artists who's work makes my spirit sing, making treasuries that speak to the soul, re-decorating my bedroom and studio, watching films, reading, writing, thinking. Thinking thinking thinking. All one big slide puzzle, shifting bits from here to there.

As you may have guessed by the images illustrating this post, I have chosen the path of the faery rags. Ideally I'd like to produce what I did for the Dark Woods shop, with a bit of metalwork, soldering and wire-wrapping thrown in. Whatever the details hold there will always be raggedy bits of antique things, but there will be no more of the isolated and barren hearted, no more dreary ink-stain blacks and broken-spirit grey. There will be colour, and curving lines; hearts that shine and faces that smile.

To be quite truthful, I don't think I will make jewelry for much longer, at least not as a focus. What I'd love to do given the space and materials is printmaking and ceramics as well as metalwork jewellery -and maybe some doll-making too. I realise however that there's plenty of time for all that, but I've dreamed and schemed and planned and am making starts on path that gets me there.

So yes- that's where I've been hiding. I remember going through similar time during my future tribal period, but this has been much deeper, much more...archaic. But above all things it has been growth, and growth of any kind is always welcome.

Friday, April 23, 2010

lovin' you is easy cause you're beautiful

vintage 1950s cat's eyes glasses

It's not much of a chore to sell supplies lately, because they're all such lovely creatures.

supplies surprise

I've resolved to put more energy into my supply shop. This is largely because I'm freaking out about not having any money for England I need to get rid of some stuff and it feels good to purge.

What I came here to tell you though is something I've been meaning to do for a while now- I'm selling fabric packs! Only one in the shop so far, and this is by no means a good example, I just had the images on my computer and thought it might kick start me to make more if I listed this one. In the future I'll be listing packs that are just fabric scraps, and also packs that will make a complete wrist cuff like the one above with the addition of a tutorial on how to put them together!

I'm slightly invisible around here lately I know- I've been going through some changes this month- I'm slowly putting together a blog post about it as I gather my thoughts and decide on my path. But I do want you to know gentle reader that I think of you often and am trying to keep in touch as best I can while the storms ride high.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Do forgive my absence, gentle reader- I am deep in thought and introspection, another great planetary shift has come into my art world and I'm thinking thinking thinking...

...with path-changing and very healing results. All will be revealed in time. I'm still here, just...napping.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Eccentricity - salvage bridal wrist cuff with vintage and antique lace

I've been informed by a few people that some of you are having trouble leaving comments on my blog. If everything seems alright and it's not showing up, don't worry- for some reason the comment system I have installed here is putting most comments aside as spam, and I have to go to the site and approve them. I've fixed it now I think, but if it comes down to it I'll just remove the Intense Debate system. Which is a pity, because I really like being able to reply to you so easily!

If there's some other problem you're having with it, if you could send me a private message to sparrowsalvage at gmail dot com and let me know, that would be wonderful.

I've also posted a massive post on my house blog about the Thrift-o-rama I had today. Go see what I scored!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Shop Updates

crimson beam

I'm settling in nicely to this Mori girl period- the Elizabethan ghost ideas are keeping the pieces from becoming too cutesy.

sunlight breaking

I want a delicate feeling but at the same time I also want to make something that's quite strong.

The relics of mankind

I'm trying something new with my photography as well, since the dark backgrounds I was using were starting to blend in with the jewellery.

I've been noticing Mori girl crop up in my thrift shop scores lately as well- most of this pile is stuff I scored a few days ago- from one thrift! It was the first time in ages that I found so much I could barely carry it.

Lastly, I was recently in this beautiful treasury by luxmarleyprod - she really is the queen of exquisite treasuries. It features my crowcall wrist cuff:

famous time

The lovely Angela from Poseymoe wrote to me last week and asked if I'd be interested in being interviewed for the handmade Q+A section on her blog, and of course I was!

PP: Tell us a little about your background.

SS: I grew up in a poor but large family in the Australian countryside, with my parents and grandmothers, lots of uncles and aunts, two brothers and countless animals. I was taught from a young age to be crafty. Having my dad and his brother's natural skills as builders, carpenters, mechanics and cooks, as well as two grannies who had both seen war and the Great Depression, meant that whatever we needed we usually had the talent between us to make ourselves. It was a shock to me after leaving home, that some people lived without a good portion of handmade in their homes! It still shocks me now if you really want to know.

You can read all the interview here. Thank you Angela, I'm so pleased with how it turned out!