My Wish

Wishing all my friends all over the world a peaceful, joyous Christmas filled with love and laughter

Done & Dusted!

1. The pressies are all wrapped in their little pillow boxes

2.  I have cleaned the 'Grunge Studio' including the crapola and muck that showered down from the shed roof during a rip-snorta thunderstorm.

3.  I have cleaned all the cupboards in the caravan, including the roof and walls.

4.  I have finally completed the Owner Builders Course, bleeping internet connections not withstanding.

All I have to do now is serenely glide towards the roadtrip Christmas Day to Brisbane and the family fun, love and cheers.

More Earrings

These are some of the earrings I made for the craft show at the local gallery. Didn't have time to photograph them before the show, so some alas, I do not have a record of.

Post Show Fun

Just collected my jewelery from the month long craft exhibition at the local gallery and considering that Gin Gin is a very small town, I did very well.

To celebrate I made these . . .
Sweet, fun, quirky dangley earrings. Hand formed and torched enamel, delicious sugar plum purple ceramic round. Enameled twisty tendrils. Silver filled earwires.
Now available in my Etsy shop

Ok back to the secret squirrel Chrissie pressies. No sneak peeks, we don't want spoilers, eyes may be watching

Etsy Shop Open

Have re-opened my Etsy shop with some new goodies.
A 10% discount on all items until Christmas
The code is DOWNUNDER

From Junk to Joy

The results of hacking up and enameling some of the copper finds at the local market.

Broke 3 saw blades trying to cutting out the flower and finally resorted to tin snips. Not the dainty jewelers kind, the big blokey ones used for dismembering truck and bridges. Brutal, effective and I'm into rustic serendipity anyway.
The little buds are chinky little Christmas bells from the Dollar Shop. Enameled like a dream but fortunately killed the chink. (Tested them by bouncing them off the shed wall to make sure the enamel stayed put) 
Love the shape of them and how the really do look like little flower buds. 

More Market Treasures

More juicy treasures from the Saturday market at absolute bargain prices compared to buying new copper sheet. (DH recons he's going broke saving money)
Have already hacked a piece off one pot and it is a work in progress

Roads Less Travelled

It would seem that I must be the last person in the entire universe to receive my pre-ordered copy of the book Torch-fired enamel jewelry by Barbara Lewis

The postal service probably mistook Australia for Austria and sent it there. Or perhaps they put it on a little rusty tramp steamer that wandered all over the South Pacific from island to island until it found it's way through a passage in the Great Barrier Reef and fetched up on a sandy beach in North Queensland.
Anyway its here and I had my nose is it before the wrapper had hit the floor.

I only had a small amount of enamels that I had been playing with and while I waited for my bigger quantities to arrive I read and re-read the book.
I was irresistibly drawn to the exciting concept of the solder less bezel so I had to have a go.
The first few attempts were lopsided, in fact they look like prototypes for chameleon eyeballs, but I think I had figured it out by the last one.
As I held the pendent, I got to thinking again about the little rusty tramp steamer and its wanderings down Roads Less Travelled and a vision flashed on my inward eye.

The pendent is from a large brass round that has been distressed and textured. I enameled the bronze coin to represent a road, added some twist tendrils for the twist and turns. of a journey and suspended it from a wire wrapped arched bar.
The back however, was not pretty due to the irregularities of the beaten and dapped bronze coin so I etched another brass disc and glued it in place.

Tried various hanging techniques using ribbon and enameled links, but in the end went with simple chain with a magnetic catch (brilliant device)

Took a week to make as I tried to carefully think through each step and component and I am really glad that I didn't rush things
This is such an exciting concept, my mind is running over with new design ideas!

Gin Gin Gallery Craft Market Show

For the month of November, I have closed my Etsy shop, cos everything is in our local gallery.
(The batteries in the camera were flat, so I took the photos with the phone, hence the less than good image quality)

The bracelet display is made from some reo mesh and a piece of timber, as is the earring display.
Two MDF boards with mat clear acrylic finish stand on two small easels for necklace displays.
Other necklaces are displayed on more MDF boards that are hung on the wall.
Hopefully this will make up for the craft market that didn't happen last month.

(Off to Brisbane tomorrow at the crack of dawn. Not a pleasure trip but a sad farewell for my daughter-in-law's mother who passed away last week.)

Market Find

Found this at the local Saturday Market for the princely sum of $3.
Look at the cool texture!
A beheading, a de-bottoming and a slice through the guts and voila I see some fantastic copper sheet for me to commit mayhem upon. 
(Puts on 'helpless-female-with-power-tools' look and hands hubby the grinder with the metal cutoff disk)

Bead Table Wednesday

Some of the brooches I made for the craft show that didn't happen.

So for therapy I made a new banner for my blog. What do you think? 

What treasures are on your bead table? Go on give us a peek!

Big Girls Don't Cry

The Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery hold an annual craft show. Have never done any shows or markets so I thought it was an ideal opportunity to dip my toe in the water so to speak.
Made some jewelery and some cheap and cheerful polyclay brooches and fridge magnets. Spent ages constructing some earring and bracelet displays from some wonderful rusty reo mesh and timber collected of the ground.
Then the fates aligned to conspire against me and due to a mix up my stuff was left behind at the Gin Gin Gallery.

Can I cry now?

Bead Table Wednesday & Honey Wine

From the chaos of this
comes this    

Fill your glass with the first of the Honey Wine and toast the season's changing.

More Earrings!

What's with all the earrings already????

CONFESSION: for years I have left a trail of yellow chicken feathers. Yep I was a total scaredy cat, coward, jelly fish, wimp and big girls blouse. I have totally avoided having my ears pierced, but, last week I DID IT! I screwed up my courage and did it! What on earth was I sooo worried about? 
Now I can't wait to remove the studs and put some 'real' earrings in.
Might start with these...

Persephone in Autumn

Persephone has begun her odyssey.
The annual journey, passing from the sight of this world and slipping into the realm of the Shades, and Hades, Lord of the Underworld. 
To mark her passing, the trees put on cloaks of gold, russet and crimson and soon will become bare. Traceries against the sky. Grass withers to pale cream and brown, flowers fade. Her mother Demeter, turns her face from the world missing her daughter and the world becomes dark and cold and plants sleep waiting.

These earrings are inspired by the legend of Persephone.
The bronze discs are torch patinaed for the leaves of autumn. The dark shaped copper is for the darkness of winter. Persephone has lost the brilliance of summer, and has become pale as the sunset in the winter fog. There is one final leaf with just a hint of the green it used to be.
Be patient world, she will return.

Splash of Summer Seas

Some little starfish charms teamed with beach coloured faceted czech glass and the sweetest teeny little seahorses. Just in time for Summer Downunder.

In my Made It SHOP

Bead Table Wednesday

If I thought working with 18 gauge brass was tough, bronze is tougher.
After beating my bronze coins flat-ish (oh for a rolling mill or a close-by railway track with an obliging train) I teamed them up with some delicious raku beads from Star Spirit Studio
Love how the metalic blue and bronze on the beads is complimented by the coin discs.
Now in my Etsy shop.

Edited: a cooee to Penny from Sparrow Salvage who featured my earrings among the delightful treasures she found on Etsy. Thanks Penny. To see the treasures for yourselves visit her BLOG
What's on your Bead Table this Wednesday?

Feel My Biceps

Uncovered a very heavy package in the bottom of a chest of drawer and when I opened it there was some more "stuff-I-may-be-able-to-do-something-with-one-day"

Bronze coins that were withdrawn from circulation in 1992. That's right,19 years ago! (Anyone else guilty of squirreling that long?)
My eye lit up - and visions of pendant bases, earring disks and bead caps danced in my head. All I had to do was to hammer them flat.
A quick heat and anneal, seeing as it is bronze, a few taps with my little girly hammer on the bench block and it became clear that more brute force was needed. 
'Liberated' my husband's best hammer and tried the engineers vice. 
Now an anvil is only as good as what it is mounted on and what was under the engineers vice was definitely not substantial enough.
With my map torch, water bucket, hammer, haemostats and coins in tow I wandered around looking for something more 'industrial strength'
Found this.

3 heats and anneals and much bashing later, the inadequacies of a common claw hammer surfaced. 
Boy these coins are sure tough little hombres! Clearly the only way I was going to be able to beat these little suckers into submission was to go for the really big gun tool. 
You know the kind - one shade off cannon grey, a hand grip made from leather from really angry cows and a label on the side that says "naaa nah nah naaa nah consider yourself hammered"
All I had to do was lift it up and the weight did the rest. 10 wallops per side, no heating/annealing needed!
Here's the result.

Here is my hammer

So do you want to see my new anvil? 
It's really unique, bet I'm the only one with one, you will be soooo jealous even though it won't fit into my studio.

More Passing Shots

The President of our local Art Society is a 'Red Hot Pistol Packing Momma', although she modestly claims that she's not a bad shot with a small bore rifle.
She has a big competition coming up and urged me to make some more jewelry with the shell casings so she can sell some. The request included silver and gold.
There were some nickel casings so here are the silver batch.
Earrings with handpainted porcelain rounds.
I even made a bracelet in pink! and I am soooo not a pink girl.

Making something in gold was my next challenge. With all those bright brass cases I decided to go all out and OD on gold!
After all that bling needed something to sooth me, so resorted to my favourite - aged brass.