Op Shop Lament

Opportunity Shops, or Op Shops as they are called here, sure have changed.
They used to be run by a local charity or church and were places of wonderous treasures, but times have changed.
We now have the giant ' charity chain stores' in the form of Lifeline and St Vinnies. Now I am not begrudging the great organisational effort of these charities in becoming the largest op shops in Oz, but I lament that treasures are no longer to be found. Anything remotely antique or vintage is whisked off and sold to dealers. We have a Lifeline in our local town Gin Gin and occasionally a little treasure slip through.
The last time I went into the big smoke I made a list of op shops to visit in Bundaberg. The big two had basically nothing. The Red Cross yielded an old book. The Guide Dog shop had nothing much.
The last one I visited, the Brolga shop run for the benefit of local aboriginal people is what an op shop should be. What is donated to the shop stays in the shop.I scored 2 silver plated filigree bonbon dishes, a patterned aluminium container, a peach anodised aluminium lid, an old tin and they gave me some old broken costume jewelry.
These are from the bonbon dishes with some of the bits from the costume jewelery.
The silver plating was not in good condition so a dunk in the patina improved the colour no end.
They kind remind me of an Edwardian high tea. All starched white linen, bone china and elegant Edwardian ladies in soft pale lace.
The only piece I have made in ages, but have managed this . . . .




Home and pooped, that's me..
A week of school holidays kept me on my toes. Masses of towels from swimming, a small cluster of cyclones that opened all to doors and spread toys, pencils and other debris from one end of the house to the other. Ravenous pantry/fridge raids, fun, stories, squabbles over the use of the computer, walks through the local parkland, then all too quickly . . School.
Getting them up, fed and dressed, lunches packed, bags packed. Dropping 2 off at two separate schools and one to kindy, then doing it all over again in the afternoon.
I have walked and driven miles, cooked lots, tidied up continuously, washed, vacuumed and found 'lost' things. 
Phew! I don't remember caring for billy-lids being so much hard work when I was younger.

Vanishing Point

Ok I have been, more or less, vanished for quite a few weeks now so, your'e probably asking yourself how she could possibly vanish further. We I can.
Tomorrow morning I board a bus with members of various art groups in the district, for a trip to the Sunshine Coast for a long weekend of arty goodness visiting various galleries and studios. Really looking forward to this!

Then I go on to Brisbane for a grandma baby sitting session for 2 weeks while my son and daughter-in-law take a very belated honeymoon. 
He surprised her on her birthday with air tickets to Italy and France. How romantic is that!
I will be left in charge of (or under the collective thumbs of) a 12yo, and a rambunctious 7 yo and a 3yo, and it's school holidays 
Have mercy!
I fully intend to undermine all forms of discipline. 
Making chocolate crackles, and puddings and cakes, lots of red cordial (just before they get back) Cubbies under the dining room table, running with scissors, drawing and painting, digging in the dirt, jumping on beds, singing at the top of our voices, and dressups.
I can do this stuff because no one will ever spank Grandma.
See you in a couple-a-weeks

In the Last 2 Weeks

I have managed to make this.

And our house now looks like this and my back aches and my knees creak - steel is sooo heavy.

Non Jewelry Stuff

The last coupla weeks have been taken up with going back to our old house for some repairs and cleaning so that a letting agent can find us a new tenant. So there is no new beady stuff at-all at-all.
There is however. . .
Main house frames going up!
So shortly we will have a house shaped empty space. Bring on the flooring! 

A Lot to do about Nothing #2

AK! Blogger took to my original post and hacked out photos and other funny stuff, so had to delete and repost.
Grrrrrr now where was I oh yes. . . 

Started 3 weeks ago. DH went to our old house and picked up my glass kiln - all 1 & a bit tonnes of it! Drove back in the pouring (unseasonable) rain. Successfully man/woman handled into the shed.
Our plan was to go and get the last of our furniture the following weekend. More rain so we delayed.

2am start for the 5 hour trip. Loaded furniture crashed at son's joint for the night and left early the following morning.

Successfully man/woman handled that lot into the shed. 

Make mental note: I am getting toooo old for all this lifting, heaving, shuffling and carrying shit. Took me a few days to recover and I have the bruises to prove it.

Was hoping this week that the steel main frames for our house would be delivered and installed, but looks like next week.

On the jewelery front played with making random shaped holes in copper. Don't have a proper jeweler's saw, just a crappo from the hardware that ain't up to the job. So grabbed the hole punch pliers and nibbled an organic shaped hole. A quick rip with the file to remove the sharp bits and hmmmmmmm this could work.

Decided to do an overfired white enamel finish, but loved the effect on the 'back' better.

Now do they work with the danglies?

 or without?
Mmmmmm Dunno. . . .
But I do love the colours.

Spice Islands

Zingy spicy colours.
Wrapped taffeta, ceramic, glass and metal beads and a big pierced wooden focal.
I think this is off to the local gallery shop.

Alien Tongue

Have been reading some science fiction short stories the last few week and they have wormed their way into my mind.
It is an intriguing idea that perhaps, in our distance past, alien feet stood upon the soil of Earth, alien eyes gazed upon the landscape and alien tongue was whispered to the waiting air. . . . 
Perhaps in our distant future alien eyes will stand on another planet, alien eyes will gaze upon that landscape and the alien tongue will be ours.

Metal Stash Reveal

Looks like my creative endeavours are coming to an end for a while with the arrival of this.
More nesting material!
Doesn't look much, but it weighs in at 3.5 tonnes.
But you didn't come for pictures of piles of C, top hat section and main frame did you?
Ok ok no pushing everyone calm down. If you stand in a line everyone will get to see.
 Tears of Atlantis
Rolled kuchi charms with aquatic patina. Vintage sequins a bitta-bling and big fat glass drops

 Another bangle stack - Stella Maris

 Temporal Asymmetry
Polymer rounds, mother of pearl buttons, rusty red ceramic spacer, hammered and patinaed wire.

A Gap Week

We're having a gap week or so until the next truckload of nesting material arrives so have been able to spend the whole week in the shed.

My first bangle stack - all dusty, rusty and romantic and look PINK!
Have also had this little ladybug that has looked reproachfully at me every time I opened the box, so being on a roll, it became a bangle stack too.
 An finally my muse forgave me for freezing her fingers and turned the wire caged raw citrine into a necklace.
Will try and squeeze a few more creations in before I become Bob the Builder again

House Update

The floor bearers are up! Next the main frame

Cold and More Stuff

Sometime during the night, the first cold winter winds arrived. Sweeping around a vast high pressure area cell, drawing the cold from the great Southern Ocean and Antarctica itself. And, you guessed it, blowing straight into the shed, wherein the 'Grunge Studio' is located.

Behind the pile of boxes, crates  and other items, waaaay in the back, sandwiched between more boxes, is my little creative bolt hole.

A stitched together photo series show just how small it is. Because of the lack of 'put down space' I tend to work in chaos, pushing things to the back until there is no more workspace left and I am forced to tidy up. 
So there I sat crouched down trying to avoid the icy tendrils of wind, that snuck down my neck and nipped at my ears and nose. A beanie on my head and a ratty pair of fleecy tracky-daks over my jeans.

First came these. . .
Then these. . .

And with my muse griping and complaining about how cold her fingers were, and how hard it was to twist metal and how could you expect her to possibly handle all those tiny jump rings, came this
Not sure where I will go from here with this.
One earring?? necklace?? Will have to wait 'til my muse defrosts no doubt.
I'm off to light the pot belly stove and stir the homemade pea'n'ham soup that has been simmering all afternoon

Gainfully Employed

During the Computer Blackout did I fret, champ at the bit, winge, and sulk? (yes, yes, yes and yes)
But I had something else to occupy my attention.
Look at this, one of 40
Then there was this
Yes finally, FINALLY we have started building our house!!!!!!
(Insert wild,outrageous, outa-control happy-dance)

I even managed to squeeze these in as well
 I wonder if my muse will pour cement?

Who Turned Out the Lights?

My computer recently decided that it would no longer 'speak' to the AC adaptor. So bought another but to no avail the charger connector on the laptop had died.
Now one of the disadvantages of not living in even a small country town is the length of the line of supply. Luckily I had the service of a 'phone-a-friend' and my daughter was able to get a docking station for the Dell which arrived today. Wooohooo back in the world again.

2 Metres of Wire . . .

That's what it took to make these.
So about now you are thinking just how big are these earrings? Or, more likely, you are nodding your head knowing what is to come.
Yep these were the earrings of indecision.
Love the scarabs, especially the soft green. Love the creamy shell and sequins. Had a lovely handmade lampwork round with a spring green core and clear surround. Strung them up, and fed the wire through the scarab and made loops on the ends of the wire. Attached the top section to the loops, but the scarab kept rolling on the pin.
Nip Nip undo
Re did it with the top loop threaded through the scarab which stopped the rolling, but and was umming and ahhhing about the size of the bottom loop.
Nip nip undo
Remake with smaller loop, but dissatisfied with the size of the lampwork bead and how the whole design sat.
Nip nip undo
Discard lampwork bead and find clear glass drops in stash. Rework bottom loop so wire wrapped drop can hang. Re thread cream beads/sequins.
Make two loops in top wire, overlap loops and try on ear wires. Nope no likee that. Needs more green and the overlapping loops pull apart
Nip nip undo
Re do bottom with green glass pearls - much bedda
Re do top wire with different loops, try earwire and pearl - looking good.


Recut all wire and reshape so both earrings are the same-ish. Rewire bottom loop. Rewire top loop, apply dark patina add earwires and FINALLY satisfied.  
Whew think I need a coffee.

These earrings however, took very little wire at all.
 Source of the Nile and Silk Road both in my Etsy shop

Coupla Newies

The Barbary Coast was the term used by Europeans from the 16th until the 19th century to refer to much of the middle and western coastal regions of North Africa – what is now Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya.
The name evokes the memories of the Barbary pirates based on the coast in Tunis, Tripoli and Algiers. They attacked merchant ships for their rich cargoes and coastal settlements in the Mediterranean and North Atlantic for slaves.
Today the Barbary Coast is a romantic exotic memory full of rich fabrics, golden treasures, fabulous tales, wooden ships and iron men. 

Ur was a supercontinent formed about 3 billion years ago during the Archeon eon. In the early period of it's existence it was probably the only continent on Earth.
Ur joined with other continents over the eons to eventually form the supercontinent Pangaea.
Rocks that made up Ur are found in Australia, Africa and India.

Purloining the Pig

Green Heart Trade beads with lovely crusty bits
Tiny clay tube beads                       http://img0.etsystatic.com/il_fullxfull.300790260.jpg
Indonesian glass beads in mottled matte green
    Antique pink Indonesian glass
                      Indonesian Glass Beads - Lavender (15 pieces)
More Indonesian glass in a soft dusty mauve
All the above from geographicformations

  A humungous pile of leather pieces from Eugenia Transylvania 
Red Yak bone prayer beads

White Yak bone prayed beads

Ceramic scarabs
 Turkoman stamped squares

Turkoman buttons
All from UberKuchi

Mexican  Milagros from alamo2003 
 A bunch of silver bangles from hinic1 
Alas my piggy bank now looks like this . . . .

Back in the Swing

Take These Broken Wings - romantic rusted assemblage mis-matched tribal pewter pink gemstones earrings
Take These Broken Wings
Rust, dark pewter and pale dreamy pink.
Oh, and yes that cute little round thingy is a hammered press stud and yes you can nick this idea!

 Ghost Nets
 Edgy, gritty and definitely unhinged!
 Environmental Statement earrings.

Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been lost accidentally, or deliberately discarded at sea.. They travel the oceans of the world with the currents and tides, continually fishing as they progress through the waters. They.trap a wide range of marine species including turtles, dolphins, whales, seabirds, dugong, crabs, fish and sharks.

Marine debris is such a danger to the marine environment that it is a 'Key Threatening Process.'

These gritty, edgy environmental statement earrings have been designed from salvaged metals patinaed to look as though they have spent years in the ocean. The aqua apatite nuggets represent the sea through which the nets have trawled.

Down the Rabbit Hole . . .

That's what I feel I have done the last few weeks.
Have not made a single piece of jewelery, but made lots of messes. Then I realised that the deadline for the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery exhibition, 'Park Benches', was coming up fast so I had to get my derriere in gear.
Jenni from Jenni's Beads had a post about her visit to the garden and nursery of 'Cloudhill' near my old home city of Melbourne. She took a series of photos showcasing the garden, including this wonderful rusty garden seat.
It was just perfect for the B.R.A.G. exhibition and she graciously allowed me to use her inspirational photo.
As you can see the my obsession with all things rust took over.
OK, off with the smock and beret and see if I can get the 'grunge-studio' debris under control.

Home - Home at Last

Took some time to visit the family while my son was away on business.
Boy I had forgotten how full on a mob of little kids can be! Didn't take long for the old mothering skills to surface and had it all under control after a few days.
When it came time to come home Jupiter Pluvius decided that a torrential rain event was just the ticket and the highway home was flooded in several places.
Have spent this week catching up on stuff and photographing some earrings I made before the trip.
  The Guardian