A Soggy Summer Solstice

In my blog-hopping I have seen tranquil pictures of snow covered fields, trees and houses all white calm and silent.
Here in Queensland it should be hot with the sun shining and a thunderstorm or two to cool things down and keep us on our toes.
Instead we have rain, rain and still more rain.
The creek is up and we are flooded in.
Our plans to travel to our son's for Christmas have been washed away in the swift flowing brown water and it would seem that Jupiter Pluvius has not finished with us yet. Forecast to the end of the year a possible further 300mm.
Such is life in the land of droughts and flooding rains.

Would like to wish everyone a safe and merry Christmas or Summer or Winter Solstice as the case may be. May your day be filled with peace, good food and good times with all the people you love.

Oh and Santa, if you're planning to call on us, I suggest you swap the reindeer and sleigh for an inflatable flood boat with a couple BIG outboards on the back and watch out for the crocs!

What I have been doing

Well it has been 4 months since we ran away to live in our little gunyah in the bush, so I thought I'd show you what I have been working on during this time.

Here is a composite of designs. Notice the beautiful artisan made beads and pendants. See the close-ups of the artfully connected components and the beauty and colour of the beads.

      You can't see anything?

Truth is I have not done anything, unless you count blog hopping and perusing Etsy and other bead sites. I feel that I am again waiting waiting waiting and my frustration is rising. I would walk passed my boxes and read my book to see what was in them. Sometimes I would even give them a shake to see if they rattled.
I really cannot wait for the house to be built before I set up my studio.
So I looked at the shed and decided that moving some of the boxes around would give me enough space at the back of the shed to set up. So I did!

Pretty Luxurious eh?
I think I can claim that I probably have the grungiest studio going. Its dark at the back of the shed, dusty in spite of the carpet on the ground. Its hot and stuffy mostly because the breezes don't penetrate and being a contortionist and having a love for maze solving is a pre-requisite.
Still, it is my little corner and I have been re-discovering all my treasures, including the last project I had started. There were even some treasures I didn't get to open before we left. Even if I don't make anything, just being able to see and hold the beads is balm to the soul!

Beautiful Bugs

Now I have a new camera found this beautiful Hibiscus Harlequin Bug.

Wild Wednesday

Sometimes words are not needed

Quiet Beauty

The bark on some of the trees here is truly beautiful. Wonderful texture and amazing colours!


Etsy Shop Re-Opened

I have re-opened my Etsy shop.
If I sell some jewellery I will HAVE to get out all my jewellery making stuff!
Hehehe - method in my madnes

Gumleaf Tea

Can't believe we have been her 4 weeks! Seems like we have always been here and all the problems we've have all melted away. In fact we scarcely give the situation a thought.

In this time we have made ourselves a comfortable temporary nest. Ordered 2 watertanks. Booked a tree-feller to remove and mulch 20 large gum trees for the solar power system. Cleared the wattle from where the house will be built. Cleared the road down to our creek.
As this blog is supposed to be about jewellery and creative endeavours I have started another blog filled with all our adventures.
Would love you to follow as we build our new life.
Gumleaf Tea

On a very promising note, Gin Gin has a craft gallery and my approch to place some of my jewellery was very well received. I am tempted to get all by beading supplies out, but there is really no room in our little home so will have to show great restraint. In the mean time I am still visiting all my favourite blogs, but due to battery time on the laptop, don't usually comment. Loving what I'm seeing!

Voice from the Wilderness

We have arrived safely and are concentration on making our temporary nest as comfortable as possible.
Will post photos as soon as I can find the filing cabinet and load the camera software.
So far am not missing our old house - except for long hot showers.  In fact it feels like we have always been here. Peace, quiet, soft birdcalls, some gentle rain, being woken by the calls of kookaburras instead of traffic. Sitting by generator light listening to the radio, talking and playing cards. Taking the dogs for a morning walk at sunrise. I thing I'm going to love it here!

Into the Wilderness

By this afternoon all the will be left in the house will be our blow-up mattress. A lonely piece of comfort in our home that used to be filled with "us" The rooms echo with emptyness, the cupboards are bare. 
On a brighter note the place has never been soooo clean and tidy!

Our "downstairs children" have been a great help lifting the heavy stuff and are feeding us tonight.
Our new "upstairs children" will be moving in Sunday, so the house will be a home again.

We are sad to be leaving the house and all the wildlife and friends we have, but fate has dealt us this hand, and we must play it to our best advantage.

Tomorrow we vanish into the wilderness

Trailer Load #1

The 70 boxes I packed are all in the trailer.
And yes I know exactly what is in every single one of them. Most of them will not be opened for 6 months or longer so opening and going through 70 boxes to find something ain't gonna happen - not with this little black duck! Organised/obsessive/compulsive me has the boxes numbered and all is written into the little red book.
(I'm not game to tell DH how many boxes of books there are)

Doesn't look much does it?
But its a full car trailer load probably around a tonne and will keep the old Landrover Discovery honest.

Jim, accompanied by Gidgee the kelpie will leave in a few days to drop the load off in the shed.
I , aided and abetted by Jarrah the other kelpie, will serreptitiously pack all the other books, so shhhhhhhhh this is secret squirrel stuff!

Changes and Challenges

We shouldn't be here in this house!
The house should have been sold 6 month ago and we should be miles away on our property in the bush building our new house, making vegie gardens and planting fruit trees, and above all enjoying our 'tree-change' retirement. But we're not.

10 years ago while involved in a business my husband and partners signed a document, and as a result he has become embroiled in a legal dispute with a giant multi national company.
For 6 months our life has been on hold. It's like living in molasses, holding our breath and worring that everything my husbad has worked for may be taken away.
To make matters worse, we still have a morgtage and our modest income cannot cover all the payments and we have to dip into our house fund.

So I got mad!
Bugger It! I refuse to allow this multi national company to dominate our life! I refuse to live with negativity, uncertainty and fear , I refuse to sit and wait and I refuse to accept being where I do not wish to be!!!
The solicitors can all do as they will and we will deal with the outcome when it is all done and dusted.
What will be will be

So the house is rented and we are packing like mad as we aim to be out by August 21. Our tennants are 2 brothers and their partners, friends of our daughter. Lovely people so the house is in good hands.
(Deadlines like this make you realise how much crap umm valuable resources, you have collected over the years and there is some serious culling going on )

The challenges are to come.
Coping with living in a small caravan and a galvanised iron farm shed with a dirt floor. No reticulated water and no mains power. I can handle this much better than the current shit.  At least we are back in control. I own land and there is enough money to build the house to lock-up. The worst that can happen is we have to go back to work to finish it.

Boy that felt good!

Treasury Inclusions -Oh My!

Lisa from BeadsnBones put together a great Etsy Treasury of Fresh Mint and Spicy Red and included my Pivot Point necklace. There I am left hand side 3rd photo down. 
Its very humbling to be selected from all the other talented and creative people out there.
Thanks sooo much Lisa!

A Lonely Place

Continuous pain is a lonely place and the most lonesome place of all is in the wee small hours of the night. There is something about night that amplifies pain. The quietness, the empty house, the darkness all seem to fold and wrap the pain in endless layers. Such was my fate over the weekend.

It would appear that I have been very lucky and developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

As a result, I am now wearing this rather fetching quasi- steampunk wrist brace. I would much rather it was in soft, well worn, brown, hand-stitched leather with brass buckles and rows of rivets and perhaps a gear or two or maybe rows of eyelets and with leather thonging.
But I'm stuck with this. At least it's my left hand and all the pain has now gone.
*sigh*. I forsee a long road unfolding


Give Me a Hand & Lend Me Your Ear

"Display your jewellery on a live model so your customers can see what it looks like when worn"
So says all the selling advice.

A bracelet gracefully displayed on a slim and elegant hand. An earrings swinging from a shell-pink ear and a necklace artfully draped around a curvacious swan-like neck. Yep that should do it.

I tried my hand - not exactly slim and elegent and eeeek where did those brown spots come from?
The ears - well less said the better, and the swan-like neck is fast becoming more like a turkey neck, wattles and all!

Necklace is easy, lots of a mannequins available. I have one coming that conveniently hangs from a coat hanger and stores in the wardrobe.
Bracelet and earrings, hmmmmmmm  though of 'liberating' the hand of a store mannequin and briefly toyed with the idea of kidnapping some young nubile female with all the above attributes and hold her captive as my live model, but the food and maintenance bill would probably kill me so I came up with this.




Which display method do you prefer? The photo, the drawing, the kidnapped nubile young female?
It should be noted that me, warts and all is NOT being offered as an option!

Etsy Treasury - Spring Green

Had fun putting together my first Etsy Treasury!

Daisy Seeds

Czech glass rounds with picasso finish, distressed daisy charms and a tiny group of wire wrapped beads

A Little Bird Told Me

Aqua coloured agate, abalone nuggets, porcelain oval, vintage mother of pearl buttons, golden swirl glass round, a touch of silver and vintaj brass

Sweet Buds of May

Some sweet little button flowers from Natural Resources made from renewable bamboo
Czech picasso finish bell flowers and drops
Vintaj chain.
I would love to find a larger lobster clasp that is not so fiddly to do up. Not sure if I have developed 'fumble fingers' or I don't have the patience. Would love to know what everyone else uses.


16 years old and just completed a solo non-stop circumnavigation of the world! 
If there's one thing Aussies love its someone who is prepared to 'have-a-go'

I honour the determination and 'stickivity' of Jess, the faith of her sponsors and the courage of her parents in allowing her to follow her dream bravo all!

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child.

Listen to the don'ts.

Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. 

Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... 

Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”

Shel Silverstein

Flash Ya Stash!

Hasn't been a lot of stashing at the Macca household of late. Tight budget and some nasty 10 year old legal stuff happening in the background means I can look but can't touch.

 Then  I see
and the Winner is
What me? - can't be I never win anything. 
*pinch* *pinch*

Mary Ann Carol from Artisan Beads Plus had a giveaway and she picked MEEEEEEE!

Lookie what I got!

Photos do not do these beads justice. They are so smooth to touch and every way you turn them there is a variation in the glaze. She also sent me these . . . 

Some wood fired cubes. These instantly transported me back to the early 70's when I did a bit of pottering around with clay (get it? pottering around?) Everything was stoneware and amazing glazes full of texture and visual interest.
These beads are gorgeous! Smooth and glossy with all kinds of interesting glaze effects going on and in some areas the wood firing has added raku effects.

Wind Flower

Got this great vintage lucite button. The design is beautifully executed with lots of very precise detail, and the colour is spectacular!. Turquoise with greenish yellow and the whole thing changes to electric blue depending on the angle of the light.

 I dapped a brass round, filled with poly clay to match the button, added a Vintaj brass filigree round and mounted the button in the centre.

Smokey quartz nuggets, seed beads, aqua metalic pearls, rust ceramic saucer bead and another beautiful bronze lucite bead with an art nouveau pattern.

I love the way this has turned out - so rich and sumptuous with hint of darkness, and I am quite partial to the dark side.

50's Revisited

I remember the 50's - yep I am that old! 

Kidney shaped coffee tables, black and white tv's on spindley legs, teak danish style furniture, vinyl upholstery, rounded refrigerators with tiny little freezer boxes into which only ice cube trays fitted. Chrome kitchen tables with formica tops. Full circle skirts with great frothy tule petticoats, cinched in waists. *Sigh*
The thing I most remember was the bold use of colour and feature walls. My mother embraced this with gusto.
In the main bedroom she painted the walls in mauve with an orange feature wall. The bedspread and curtains were turquoise, mauve, orange and brown. We all thought it looked great - so avant garde!
The colours of these earrings remind me of this room.

Vintage turquoise lucite beads in a matte finish, orange and purple seed beads and copper rhinestone spacers, vintaj brass. Fun, fun fun

On Letting Go

Yesterday our daughter packed the last of her posessions into her car and at 3pm drove out of the drive heading for Canberra to begin a new job, the offer of which was too good the turn down.
We have been lucky as both son and daughter have worked with us for over 10 years and we have seen (and hugged them) every single day. Time and circumstances have changed and we are moving on to new places and experiences.
I know she has to go, as all children must, as it is now her time and opportunity in the world, and I would never dream of holding her back but part of me wants to keep here here safe. I will miss the sound of her car on the gravel, the way she always slammed the front door of the flat, her laughter and knowing that she is close by.
I am grateful the she is not totally on her own down there as a close friend of her brother is her new boss and I know he will look out for her.
I have shed tears and will do so again - letting go is hard

Earth & Growing

Some earrings I managed to squeeeeeze in between tiling and after I recovered from a very sore shoulder. Honestly at my age you'd think I'd know better, but I keep thinking I'm still 20 and attempt stuff I shouldn't. Pain killers and hot wheat packs and it's just about gone.
These are for Earth Day and for all the good things that grow from the earth.

Do Caterpillars Dream of Flying?

When caterpillars are snug in their chrysalis awaiting the wonderous transformation of their bodies to creatures of the air, grace and beauty, do they while-away the long days with visions of flying? Do they know what awaits them?
I rather hope the do, I love the idea.

Now that the heavy rains have gone, there are butterflies everywhere. Black and white, black and orange, tiny irridescent triangles, butter yellows all collecting the nectar from the last of the summer flowers.
Here is my tribute to these amazing creatures we share this tiny blue plant with.
Butterfly Dreaming

Change your Blog Image Sizes - EASILY!

Have been playing with the look and layout of my blog and I remembered that changing the sizes of the photos had been easy but no longer. Could only select small, medium, large and xlarge, (bit like dress sizes really) and the graphic designer side of me screamed no no no I want to decide the sizes of my pictures, so what had changed.

Blogger have two Post Editors, an old one and a new one. The new one has the preset image sizes.
So when you have finished writing your post and have added the images,  go to your Settings tab, scroll down to Global Settings and select Old Editor.
Go back to your post. 

To resize your images, click on the photo and a box with white corner squares will appear. Grab the white corner square and pull the picture up to what ever size your heart desires

(Don't forget to change back to the New Post Editor to take advantages of all the features)

All Tiled Out

Have demolished the laundry and re-tiled. Re-tiled the kitchen. Part demolished the bathroom, re-tiled, fitted new bath and vanity unit.
The only creative thing I have done the last few weeks is a new banner for the blog. Can't even remember what I had in mind in the studio, but am a dab hand at cutting tiles and grouting. Oh and holding plumbing fittings, fetching and carrying and trawling the aisles of Bunnings for brass joiners and tap bodies that they don't sell anymore.

Things that go Squish in the Night

"Houston, we have a Problem"
Those words were uttered by Number One Daughter at 4am. She had rolled over in bed and it had gone 'squish' and even in her not quite lucid state she had thought 'that can't be right' and it wasn't

A hose on the washing machine had let go. The kitchen was awash, there was an ever enlarging lake in the lounge room and the tide was inexorably approaching our bedroom door.

Every single towel, old blanket and anything else that could possibly sop up water was pressed into service.
Down stairs in our daughter's flat, water poured down the newly painted walls, dripped out of the light fittings and the carpet was akin to walking on a bed of sea squirts.

Spent last week with fan heaters drying out the carpet, which now smelled like a wet dog and watching the ceiling paint slowly peel off the roof in sheets. The upstairs floating flooring has now become the 'smiling flooring' as the boards start to curl on the ends.

The insurance assessor has been today. Have paid insurance for 20 years on this house and made 3 claims so it remains to be seen how much the insurance company will cough up.
Now did I turn that dishwasher off at the tap?

Of Rain and Martyrdom

My haunting career has been sorely tried.
I mean, the half glimpsed presence in the shady grove at twilight, the silver apparition in the damp and misty morn before the sun burns it all away or the distant figure on the windblown hillside are all very romantic.
Standing in the pouring rain in over-size gumboots with a battered and leaking umberella is NOT.
The same weather pattern that deluged us a few weeks ago, returned so I was reduced to haunting the mail box from the shelter of the front verandah. Somehow it wasn't the same.
Suddenly one morning, on the table, there IT was!
It seems Australia Post took pity on me and risked our driveway which resembled a river bed to deliver the parcel to the safety of our garage while we were out. Good job too - the sight of a very mature aged woman squeeling and throwing her arms about a young, handsome, nubile delivery man is . . . .ohhh now I've come over all hot and flushed. .

So did I rip the package apart in a mad feeding frenzy to get to the delicious contents?
I decided that as I had tasks that had to be completed that I would keep opening the package as a reward. What! shrieked my inner self, wait some more, are you barking-mad? But I resisted. I can wait to read "Enchanted Adornments"
So who else besides me does this sort of thing? Who else keeps thing as a reward? C'mon 'fess up!
Oh, and don't ya just love the smell of burning martyr?

Two Bob Each Way

Playing both sides against the middle, hedging my bets, multiple choice, preferences, alternatives.
OK OK I confess - couldn't make up my mind.

So you can have a necklet or a braclace . . . Vintaj brass vintaj brass bracelet bracelet gemstones gemstones czech glass czech glass boho boho indy indy

Dilemma - Which Way?

I made a little inlaid polymer clay ladybird and put it into a round bezel with the view of making a bracelet. (ok I admit it, I am quite hooked on the technique) polymer clay polymer clay vintaj brass vintaj brass gemstones gemstones boho boho indy indy

Now the bevel is heavy and the agate rounds i used are also heavy and although I like the bracelet, I am wondering at what point does a bracelet become too heavy. Obviously if you do not surface after falling off the wharf it is. Is there such a thing as too heavy?. Anyone got any thoughts?
I have ummed and ahhed and beginning to think that maybe this would work better as a necklace. (I know I need to make more bracelets, as I seem to have developed a preference for necklaces.)
So which do you think works better, the bracelet or a necklace?

Trivia Alert - the humble Aussie ladybird was introduced to California in the 1880's to control Cotton Cushion Scale, and has subsequently travelled all over the world munching its way through the pest. So the next time you see one say G'Day

But Wait - There's More . . . .

Had such fun making the inlaid polymer clay owl, that I though a combination of the wire and a more textural area might be interesting.
I tried making the nest from wire but it looked totally out of place. The clay nest is much more sympathetic. Reminds me of seabirds that nest on the beach.
The whole necklace.
Natural and dyed howlite, silver and bronze spacer beads, metalic aqua pearls, carved brecciated jasper flowers, Vintaj brass

A Haunted Place

We have a haunted place at our house.
It is nothing out of the ordinary. Not dark, dank or hidden. There are no cold patches or dripping ectoplasm, no disembodied voices, no clanking chain, the hair does not stand up on the back of your neck and yet, there is a presence, a female often glimpsed, waiting.
Where is this place you ask?
Its the mail box and I am the haunting!
For my birthday I shouted myself a copy of  "Enchanted Adornments"  and I am waiting, waiting .......
Woe is meeeee. Why is the rest of the world sooo far away? Why does it take sooo long for just a little package to make its way here? Doesn't UPS and Australia Post realise that this is a matter of life and death?
Every day I visit the mail box and visit again just in case it is coming parcel post but nothing.
Wait! was that a vehicle at the bottom of the drive - be right back........
No *Waaaa sob*

Hoo Goes There?

Here is what I did with the inlaid polymer clay owl focal.
Picasso finish amber faceted czech glass rounds, cracked agate, dark blue pearls, wooden saucer spacers, seed beads, Vintaj brass and a cute captive moon and window clasp.

Hooo Loves Ya

There has been a Boobook owl calling from the bush behind our house from the last few nights with the haunting sound of 'mo-poke mo-poke".
So I took the hint and made this.
Polymer clay with gold wire inlay. I think he's pretty cute. Whatya recon?

Send It Down Hughie!

It would appear that by moaning and bleating I have tempted fate or somehow irritated the universe. 
Late yesterday it started to rain. Soothing gentle rain that fell on the leaves and grass indispursed with bouts of sunshine. Just the weather to make the grass bolt and everything grow 3 feet overnight.
Lovely, we thought.
However it gradually got heavier and heavier until, by the time we went to bed, had become a torrential deluge pouring from the skies. Just to spice things up the weather gods threw the odd bolt of lightning just in case we weren't still awake.
We copped 250mm (10 inches) in 10 hours! and its still raining.
*Sigh* the garage will require bailing out and the driveway has ruts so deep you'd  have to turn the  headlights on to find you way out.The local bird are sheltering under our verandah and there is probably and Ark somewhere in the back yard.
Ya gotta love the land of droughts and flooding rains!

(A gap in the rain and just time for a few piccies)
"And All The Rivers Ran"

"Waterfalls rapids - Oh My"


It has been hot and humid the passed few weeks and DH and I have been busy replacing the verandah railing panels (some of it in the blazing sun) So by nightime all I wanted to do was veg-out on the couch and watch tv and have the odd nanna nap.
No inspiration what-so-ever to do anything,  so eventually I MADE myself do something - I played with polymer clay. There is something very theraputic about rolling, squishing and manipulating clay and its much quieter than hammering metal. Wanted to work with a cool theme and the Art Bead Scene challenge for February was just the ticket.
Now I should point out that snow and I are not on a nodding aquaintance, in fact we are not even on a wave-from-a-distance one either. Snow is something that appears on Christmas cards or came out of a spray can and was liberally applied to any vulnerable surface until my mother banned it. I have seen snow fall (briefly) twice and visited the snowfields once. Ask me about droughts, flooding rains, dust storms, violent thunder storms, the occasional cyclone and I'm ya gal but not snow.
Ended up with this.
The pattern reminded me of a tree at the bottom of our driveway a Melaleuca commonly known as a paperbark. They have the most amazing bark, like multiple sheets of soft handmade paper. Layer upon layer of soft peach, grey, cream, golden brown. 

So here are the earrings I made, which was about all my muse could handle. (She has subsequently checked the weather forecast for tomorrow, rolled her eyes wildly and bolted to somewhere cool no doubt, blowing raspberries at me as she vanished)

Beadie Packages

Everything came at once to the mail box today.
I love it when the lid on the letterbox can't close, can only mean packages! (unless the junk mail deliverer has become over zealous, but they don't do that do they)

Some cute little concave pearl buttons.......

Some cool aqua glass and crystal......

Luscious picassa finish czech glass .....

Brass bead cones ......

and finally some lovely czech glass flower beads.

TOOOOO DARN HOT to do anything but wilt here today and that includes inspiration no matter how tempting the new treasures are. 35.5 degrees C on the front verandah and still climbing *sigh* I am so not a summer person.