Wednesday, December 26, 2012

stepping stones

Oh I'm no good at this bloggin' thing lately! I've been busy you see. December has been a month of making choices- well, initiating choices I made the previous month. A few weeks ago I moved from Hurstbridge to my Dad's house, for various reasons including a need for peace and quiet, to spend time with me Pappa, and perhaps get some volunteering done down at Coal Creek. That's a big maybe, I have to look after myself first and foremost.

Packing things always takes a little longer than it should for me, because I like observing how the things build up in the tin or box, then I take their photo. I never curate what goes in there, but somehow though they always end up complimenting themselves. 

It's made me realise I miss doing found object photography, there's a peace and harmony to taking photos of little things next to other little things. Most evident in the fact that I only took pictures of little things in tins!


Of course, once you pack, sooner or later you gotta unpack.Which is the bit I like the best, because I get to re-discover all the lovely things I have (yeah I pack them for a week and I forget I have them) and lay claim to a room. Nesting is important for peace and contemplation- I'm at a point in my life where I have  A LOT of things to contemplate.

Trinny's taking it easy on the bed while I do all the unpacking. Models are such divas..! She's a bit annoyed at me because I took her picture without her wig on. She don't like it when I do that.

Though I've only been here a few weeks I've already come a long way in terms of peace, both inner and outer. I've planted up a herb garden, discovered the local salvage yard, had a market stall (I plan to have more), established which thrifts are good and which ones aren't worth the walk more than once a week, reorganized Dad's kitchen and made a huge pile of things to take to the junk meet in town next month.All of which have given me a great dose of contentment and satisfaction.

What I haven't done a lot of is make things! My work desk isn't set up properly, and I guess cause it's been about 3 weeks now it's not a priority for me. I'm updating the shop here and there (there's free shipping worldwide in there till December 31st!) but I'm taking the path of patience with that one. It'll come when it's time, I'm in no rush. Which of course means I'll probably be crankin' it out in less than 24 hours!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Junk n stuff

New ponies in the stables...

Self Reliance - vintage textile wrist cuff - vintage lace - antique buttons - quartz crystal

dusted moon - ragged doily brooch - vintage hand dyed crochet - antique button

Got a bit fancy with the composition there.

Gentle Hunter - cluster charm necklace - bone beads - romantic tribal sci fi

Lookit! This is maybe the 3rd time I've dared to use a bead wire and crimps. When this one sells I'll probably have some kind of panic attack in fear of them breaking and the buyer hating me forever.  The first time I took up jewelry I strung a necklace and then just as I was adding the last crimp, the whole thing broke and beads went everywhere and I swore a lot and didn't pick it up again for 8 years. See I was reading something or talking to someone not long ago, and it turns out you need special pliers to set the crimps! I KNOW! I was just squashing them with the regular pliers.

Bear Clan - mismatched artisan earrings - antique bone - ancient glass - driftwood - shoulder dusters

My therapist called me 'hyper-responsible' the other day. I initially thought it was a compliment (and it is in a way) but he was trying to point out how I think everything around me is my job, even if it isn't. And I can find ways to make something my fault or my responsibility, it's like I'm constantly expecting people to say 'look! Look at that! That's your fault, why don't you do something about it?'

cradle of life - romantic rustic earrings - vintage metal bone and Czech glass - primitive artisan jewelry

Which is very tiring. Because not only do I try to do everyone else's job, but I actively look for things to take responsibility for, and that includes the people I live with- who are perfectly capable of looking after themselves. Oddly enough when it comes to my own needs, I tend to ignore them constantly. Other people always come first. I'll be fine- I'll deal with it, I'm flexible, I'm water.

Nazca - rustic artisan earrings - reclaimed brass - quartz crystal - Tibetan mala

When I do take time to look at myself, it's critical. Making note of what I do wrong rather than what's going right. I feel the compulsive need to push myself to always be doing something to help me get where I want to go. Self-improvement, efficiency, organisation, responsibility.

Dawn of Heaven - rose quartz earrings - antique buttons - artisan made - salvage bohemian bride

Dawn of Heaven 

And the funny thing is...I don't feel like I ever achieve any of it. Always the sensation of running in circles.Wasting time. I don't know where I'm going with this- but I'm supposed to share this crap and it feels rude to have a shop update post with no words in between, so...conclusion.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The light and the dust

Cave Sister - artisan earrings - hammered metal - smoky quartz - primitive modern

Cave Sister

Not a lot of action over here lately- making things, photographing things, listing things. I'm doing a lot of thinking and exploring, trying to figure out what I want my world to be. I have a feeling next year will be so very, very important and amazing and I am compelled to make sure I'm ready for it.

prarie seeds - romantic rustic earrings - mother of pearl bone and wood - primitive eco friendly jewelry

prairie seeds

At the very least it will be better than this one, which started with me coming home from hospital to a world I no longer recognised...and that theme has rather stayed. It is astounding the sort of things one can learn in counseling- though we've not discussed the accident much at all, we have plumbed deep the abyss of my life and found some amazing, eye-opening things.

Mars and Venus - rustic artisan earrings - eco friendly pink and red hoops - every day boho style

Mars and Venus

Ocean Relic - artisan earrings - found objects - mismatched style - eco friendly - salvage bohemian

Ocean Relic

I'm a big of a geek for psychiatry, I had a mind to study it once not long ago (I'm fixated on wanting to know why in so many things). Most people go to their therapy sessions rather begrudgingly- I go with a cheer! Every session is another window open, and the light pours in. (Which is nice, even if it shows up the dust.)

Crystal Archive - antique lace wristcuff - amethyst slabs - modern bohemian - tribal sci fi

Crystal Archive

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Savage Silence

Further to the ecalyptus leaves ruminations in my last post, I've been tinkering more on ideas for my exhibition-level art (ie stuff what goes in a gallery). I've been wanting to get back into it for some time now, the abstract level allows me to toy with weird notions in a way that you can't translate into jewlery without looking like a pretentious onanist. Which is a fancy way of saying- lookit what I did the other day!

I originally planned to make something more simple, even more painterly. I had some rusty tin I'd painted pale green on the other side and was merrily cutting out leaf shapes for something or other (just had to do it, you get me). I went to trim it down slightly on the edges and the tin snips were too blunt, so they just folded the metal instead. 

What initially had me swearing turned out to be a boon- I continued to fold the sides down then hammered them and smoothed the lot with sandpaper, removing rough edges and bringing out the shiny exposed steel where the green paint flaked off from hammering.

I punched a few holes here and there, it gave them a more realistic bug-chewed/cinder-burned appearance. 

When I started out, I meant for this green side to be the front, but once the folding happened I realized the rusted side was more apt- it's like two sides of this landscape, reflected in the symbolism of eucalypt trees- on the one hand you have this lush green flora which makes you feel all cool and refreshed, then bush fires spring up and boom, ash and burning. Duality is a strong theme in my work, I've noticed- polished vs raw, fragile vs strong, romance vs reality.

 I wrapped some edging from the tin around the steel hoop to keep everything from sliding off- I like to put a 'make do and mend' overtone to my work, and that's exactly what I did- I needed a solution to bulk the design and keep the leaves in place, and the tin strip was right in front of me. Reminds me of haphazard fence construction around here, where gaps made by livestock have been bound together with what ever's laying around.

So yeah. That was pretty left of centre for me too, really- I mean it's still jewelry (I'll put it on a simple leather cord) but I'm not usually one to look to Australia to inspire me. It's still a strange notion.

One more thing- you'll find my shops on vacation- it was a sudden decision, but I needed a break. My post-traumatic is settling in nicely, making sure that every now and then I find the most ordinary of tasks too difficult to cope with. I have to make a conscious effort to be nice to myself now and then, so I'm using the next week or so to get a few things organised that will make my life easier. Most of which involve cleaning- oh I hear you groaning! I seem to be the only person I know who actually likes cleaning.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


A few days ago I was tinkering around in the shop doing some petty work (shipping adjustments, price changes, photo swapping etc) when suddenly I found myself working on my About page.

I'm very proud of it! It was amazing too, for me to write all that out and suddenly see common threads, to see ideas I knew I had rambling around somewhere in there but hadn't quite realised how solid they were. But- explaining that takes a post that's very deep and long thought about, and I've not time or mental capacity for that right now- I need dinner! I wanted to blog quickly though, partly to separate the long stretches of shop updates.

Here's a pair of earrings I made for Star Tribe this morning. I had no intention of working on ST stuff today, or even this week- but as it's habit is, I usually find myself making things for that project at times I least expected to, What i wanted to do this morning was list supplies in Fagin's! Managed both, as it happened, but these were a surprise none the less. 

Thoughts of henges invaded my mind while I made them. The idea of wood and stone; crystal as a memory storage device... something vague in there about my own memories of England being mostly metaphysical. The driftwood is from English beaches- that was important.

 While all that was going on, I was also trying to use colours of the landscape here, more specifically the creek in my own backyard (literally- our house backs on to crown land and the fence line is ambiguous). 

 I had thought about painting some white and gold petraglyphs on them, to make them look more ancient alien like, cause I'm a bit mental like that...but it didn't feel right, it's not an element of the story. Then I got distracted photographing them, how aligned they were to the little collection of coloured eucalyptus leaves I've gathered this week while thinking about ways to connect my Australian presence with my English spirit. 

 And just as I finished writing that sentence, the local Kookaburra gang perked up with a good session of laughing. Yeah yeah I know- me connecting to Australia, what a laugh!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Bombs away

Light beam - eco friendly jewelry - artisan earrings - pink metal - painted wood - rustic romantic

Light beam -  pink metal and painted wood

Pink and yellow, my favourite colour combo! I love the contrast of soft wood and shiny metal.

prosperity - shabby romantic necklace - antique button - vintage fabric scraps - eco friendly jewelry
prosperity - shabby romantic necklace

A bit of a return to the old ways with shabby textiles and antique button.

Venus of War - rose quartz and citrine glass earrings - artisan jewelry - feminine primitive
  Venus of War - rose quartz and citrine glass earrings

 dark relic-like metal and pretty feminine rose quartz.

housekeeping - vintage skeleton key necklace - rustic assemblage - feminine primitive
 housekeeping- vintage skeleton key necklace

I resisted using keys in my stuff for a while cause I don't like to jump on the 'everyone else is doing it' bandwagon, but you know- sometimes these things crop up and I think 'ta-hell with it, I'm doin' a key.'

Willendorf - primitive romantic earrings - vintage beads - tribal rustic
 Willendorf - primitive romantic earrings 

Put these together in an attempt to be minimalist- they remind me of round ancient fertility statues.

Cloud Sister - artisan earrings - hammered metal - stone beads - primitive modern
 Cloud Sister - artisan earrings

These are a great example of how you can transform ordinary elements. I'll show you that in my next post.... ooooh mysterious.

By the way- some of you who have automatic subscriptions to this blog may have seen a very short post recently that's since gone. It was a draft for an upcoming article about the ethics of handmade jewelry- I hit publish by mistake! Think of it as a very short preview. :D

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


I've been listing like a mad fiend again! 

 Iron City - assemblage metal earrings - tribal sci fi - primitive modern
Iron City

Mankind - modern primitive earrings - chandelier crystals - driftwood - 18k gold

Remember the old days when you'd get 3 or 4 a post? Not any more! I'm making almost as much as Fanci now (though not quite, because I need sleep).

Early birds - romantic rustic earrings - pink hammered metal - crystal quartz - tribal sci-fi
 Early birds - pink pink pink!These might be more pink in real life than they are in the photo...hmm.

All flowing waters - cluster charm necklace - mother of pearl - tribal sci fi
All flowing waters - I like these delicate pieces with the cluster charm thing; I tried doing those great big heavy ones but they weren't feeling right - don't worry, they'll show up at some point, possibly as custom made-to-order listings.

World's End - rustic labradorite earrings - modern primitive
  World's End - amazing huge labradorite beads in here

And now, as previously talked about--- cuffs!

firelight - slim vintge textile cuff - vintage bangles - stacked bracelet set
 Firelight - I've had this thin one half-done forever so I finished it as a nice little bangle stack, simple but with plenty of texture.

Wallflowers - salvage textile wristcuff - vintage lace - vintage button details
 Wallflowers - I think this one is my favourite, I love the floral prints and the over-repaired stitch work. Must make more of these.

 Dust of ages - salvage textile wristcuff - vintage lace - ceramic button detail
 Dust of Ages - featuring a seriously pretty button by the lovely Birgitta from Lejonklou, who sent me a few things in the mail a very long time ago because she's a sweetheart.

 On the Moon - vintage paper collage - astronomy poem - book page altered art

I've also re-listed a few collages and photographs that were previously in my old shop that I'd completely forgotten about until I cleaned out the bookcase (yes, I throw away books! I think I'm the only person I know who doesn't think books are some kind of sacrosanct. I mean they're nice n all, but you CAN have too many. ie what don't fit on the bookcase, goes.)

Trophy - curated still life - natural history - limited edition - 8X10 photographic print
 Trophy - a popular print in the old shop, I actually didn't realise I had any left! But I found 4.

Lovers - 5X7 unmatted photographic print - dried plant - nature portriat - ONLY ONE

Lovers - only one of these left! ONE! This is because I don't print my photos off like a vending machine, I prefer to have limited runs so they're more special.

On the Moon - vintage paper collage - astronomy poem - book page altered art
I like the poduct shot of this one perhaps more than the collage! Which is saying something because I looooove the collage. Love love.