Sunday, December 30, 2007, Beading Gem, Meez

Hey all you metal jewellery makers come join us over at
If you're into Chainmaille or Wire or Silver clay etc a little community is starting to gather there. Set up your own Profile and Gallery, join the forum discussions, make new friends and maybe meet up with some old ones too.

If you're wondering about the Avatar on this post, I created it a while back at (don't you love the Tiara? I'm wearing it was a sarong and flip flops...LOL) and was reminded about it by a post made by my forum friend Pearl, The Beading Gem.

Check out Pearl's blog, a very interesting read, some amazing stories, jewellery creations, featured designers and history. Gotta say, this blog has kept me entertained for hours. Check it out at

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Never work with Animals

That's what they say. I had so much fun shooting those pics of Rem. He is just so hilarious and an absolute character. For Xmas my mum and dad gave him two stuffed teddy bears - a brunette and a blond. Not that he needed any more bears, he's got a trunk load of them now. But the first thing he has to do when he picks a new bear up is give it a good shake. I always tell him "No, its already dead, shaking isn't necessary". We name all his toys too, so he is able to distinguish which is which. I can't believe how he manages to remember who's who. We have Baa, (a sheep), Hoggy (a Hedgehog) Teddy Xmas (dressed in a a red and green jumper) Honey Bear, Brown Bear, Bon Bon, Frizzy, Rudy, etc. and he plays with them all. I laugh when he goes to one of his two toy boxes and rifles around in the bottom and pulls something out we've not seen for a while. Today it was a teething chew bone, now that one hasn't surfaced since he was really little.

Speaking of presents, I scored well too. CD's (the new "Tina Arena" one) "Richard Clapton" - an oldie but a goodie, I've always loved his songs "Deep Water" and "Girls on the Avenue", this CD has all the old fav's. Lets see where was I, oh yes, Xmas goodies, a summer dress, a new handsfree phone duo with answer machine (one for the kitchen and one for the dining room) gardening gloves and a subscription to "Burkes Backyard", a great Bromeliad plant with a gorgeous towering red flower, (my garden is a tropical one, so I have heap of these in all sorts of colours and am always on the lookout for different species) a Chile plant in a lovely window sill pot, some cash, a gorgeous Vanilla Candle in a Gold and etched glass holder along with matching drink coasters, a unusual shaped tray, some gel frogs - the type you can stick to windows or shower recesses -they're really cute, a resin kookaburra (looks like the real thing) hubby has attached him to the court yard fence, chocolates, a rock tumbler, I think that's it. Gosh, I did well didn't I?

I had 10 people for lunch, yep ate everyone of them....LOL, well no not really, 10 people came to lunch, all family, some of them are vegetarians, so it makes my life really interesting at times. We had Turkey, Ham, Smoked Salmon, Prawn and Mango salad, Sun dried Tomato and Spinach Frittatas, Cheese and Herb filo triangles, Antipasto, White Cherries, huge Lychee's, Fattouch salad (which I must add was really yummy, so I'll be making that one again, Roast vegetable Cannelloni, Trifle, Rum Balls, Fruit Mince Pies and German Xmas Cake and of course a few bottles of Bubbles. I'm thinking the variety of food was very multinational. I cooked for two days, got up at 5.00 am Xmas day, prep'd the final things, ie salads, set the table, all red, green and gold this year and collapsed at 7.00pm in front of the telly. A great day was had by all!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Merry Xmas and a very Happy New Year

This is likely to be my last post for a few days now. Got to get ready for the hoards about to descend on me for Christmas lunch. We've just had a nice long weekend away on the Sunshine Coast with my brother and his family. Rem had an absolute whale of a time, swimming, playing fetch, chasing his soccer ball and generally having fun with my niece Samantha. I think he's a little tired today, not surprising really. He and my hubby swam a couple of hundred metres and back out to a little sand island in the middle of the Noosa River. We found a little spot that is sign posted as a dog exercise area off one of the main swimming beaches. Still a beautiful spot, but recently ruined by a large flood. Lots of trees uprooted along the banks and now only a very small sand beach. Gorgeous blue water and little sand banks here and there. Have a great Xmas and New Year.
PS.. The Pic is of my nine month old Border Collie, Rem, doing his Rudolph impersonation. Isn't he just the cutest boy?

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Simple things in Life

Another piece that I've recently completed for myself. These 10mm freshwater pearls have a gorgeous luster, whilst the faceted rubies catch the light like little sparkling diamonds.
The clasp which is 925 Sterling silver is also stunning and huge, but I think its a nice feature. I do however wish the Postie would hurry up and deliver the sterling silver fittings I need to complete the earrings. I guess its always the way at this time of the year. Its like waiting for a pot to boil.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Xmas Present to Me.... hehe

That the good thing about being able to make jewellery, one can reward oneself anytime and as often as Amazingly, I don't make that much jewellery for myself. I've have however been eyeing this bracelet off for a few months now and since its not sold, I'm claiming it as mine, 'cause I adore green and I just love these lampwork beads. Oh, the earrings I made this morning out of the two remaining beads I had in stock, so now I have a matching set. (I've sold a few of these bracelets in the past year some in different colours, red, black, pink, and two in green similar to this....sssshh, don't tell anyone....) So that leaves three in stock, one blue and white, one black with pink roses and green leaves and last but not least one in black and silver.
Here's what's left, if you want one get in quick!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Am I an Artist?

This is one of my recent paintings which I named "Moulin Rouge". I've been messing about with mixed media and wanted something bright and eye catching to hang on a feature wall, that over looks the back deck in my home. I used gold leaf, arcylic and artist pens for Fx's.

After seeing this piece a guest at one of my recent jewellery viewings has now commissioned me to paint 3 large canvas panels for her newly decorated apartment. How exciting is that? Well I just might be an artist afterall.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Highlights of 2007

Yes, I know its been a few posts since I wrote about anything to do with Jewellery making.
I've decided to wade back through some of my earlier work during the holiday season as I won't be making anything new till 2008 at least.
This little number which reminds me of Coconut Ice, is a very girly piece. It contains lots of "left-overs". A good way to use up all those beads you have no real use for. There are freshwater pearls, glass beads and semi precious stones. The chain in Sterling silver plate. Of course all the wire wrapping does take time, but I think its well worth it.

Monday, December 3, 2007

End of Year Party Display Pics

Saturday was my last party for this year, not sure what I'm doing next year, as I hope to work elsewhere part-time or full-time depending on what pops up. So it could be my last party ever! Thanks to all those who RSVP'd and rolled up. It was indeed fantastic to see all my old workmates, friends and some new ones as well.
Frankly I was wrecked by the end of the day, having started at 6.00am with food prep and ending around 9.00pm after cleaning up. So pretty much most of the week was taken up with organizing, setting up said display, food and drink shopping etc. Think I earned my money this week. My websites and blog will continue to run and of course I'll still be making jewellery for anyone who asks.
Thanks also to Steve and Michael for their great Bar work and keeping the guests entertained. Congratulations to the lucky door prize winners. One of the prizes not sure what it was - am guessing earrings, was donated by Virginia S Jewellery and of course the beaten wire sea creature bookmark came from me.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Free as a Bird or I will be soon

Gee I haven't posted here since Tuesday, how bad is that?
Well I do have an excuse, been a little busy getting ready for this week-end as I'm hosting my annual Xmas party. Of course then there's the family Xmas lunch that I'll be once again having at my house... well that'll be another post. I've still got to work out the menu, shop and run around again.... Oh fun, Oh joy, Oh Humbug!

I've spent most of this week running around organising food, drinks, jewellery displays, of course I had to enlist the help of my loving husband, who very graciously moved furniture, riffled through the under stair cupboard for folding tables and our camping esky. I hate going it there, its like going underground, dark and mysterious and you never know when a Christmas Tree might lurch up, grab you by the leg and drag you back to its lair, kicking and screaming... uhhh don't mind me, you should have the picture by now!!

I'm starting to wish I had a bigger house. Those that know me will laugh at that, because I already have a big house. Two storey, 3 verandahs, heaps of cupboard space, which always seem to be full. Reminds me of that advertisement on TV, you know the one, where the garage door gets opened and out pours all the bits and pieces stored in there. This morning I got sick of my Tupperware cupboard and had a bit of a purge, now the rubbish bin is overflowing, seems I can't win...

I'll post some pics of my jewellery display when I take the dust sheets off the tables. With the weather as is it here in Brisbane, ie drought conditions, we're now on Level 6 water restrictions, everything gets dusty so quickly. I seem to be forever cleaning.

The pic on this post is one I took at Wivenhoe Dam on the way to Toowoomba. We decided to check out the water levels a few months back and have a family picnic whilst we were out in the country. I always love photographing birds and animals. This little guy I managed to photograph just as he was taking flight. Hopefully in a few days I'll get to be free like him and have a short break. Well here's hoping. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Speaking of Pearls

Just realised that I don't have much in the way of Gold Filled earrings so made a few pairs up whilst waiting for Hubby to come home for dinner last night.
These are all around $20 per pair. Ummmm like them all as they are all fairly classic designs, and would look great for any occasion.

What a Pearl

On the weekend I was visiting my mum as it was her birthday. The whole family always gets together to celebrate birthdays. I happened to be looking at all the photographs mum has on display, one in particular I've always loved. The photo is of my beautiful mum Lucy when she was around 19 or 20 years of age and bridesmaid for my Aunt. The dress was made by the Brides sister. I did however forget to ask about the Jewellery she was wearing as I love the look of that long strand of pearls knotted at the throat. Just goes to show that Pearls never really go out of fashion, regardless of what people think. They're classics and will be around, I hope, forever.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Land AHoy...

A few weeks back I was madly sewing costumes for a party, well finally the big night arrived and I must admit to being very excited about getting dressed up just for the fun of it. I wore a hair piece with curls and false black and glittery eyelashes too. The eyelashes alone took me half an hour to fix in place, not an easy feat. I'm definitely getting myself some fold down eye magnifier glasses. Guess I'll be searching Google tomorrow in order to do some shopping...

Our lovely friend Jaclyn whose birthday it was and who is indeed a "Wonder Woman" (check out the photos) underwent a complete heart and lung transplant a couple of years back. That's yours truly on the right.

Anyone know this scary looking guy?
If I were that parrot I would indeed be
He (not the parrot, folks) even managed to win best costume and promised to share the bottle of champagne that he won with me; and so he should. I was afterall the brains behind his winning

I took this next of shot of the two of us using the timer mechanism on my camera and with the camera attached to a tripod. I don't tend to use the timer and had to look up the instruction manual on how to get it to work. This camera, as much as I love it, has so many functions, that not even I in a whole lifetime will get to know them all off by heart.

More pics coming...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Customer Commission

I just finished this piece which a customer commissioned a little while back.
Her brief was for something pink, but when she looked over my Swarovski stash, it was decided that pink, white and crystal were to be the embellishments.
The fine wire wrapping took me approximately 4 hours, but that was ok, as I occupied myself by listening to the American Music Awards on Fox 8 at the same time.
I really don't mind wrapping wire, its actually rather therapeutic!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My Challenge Winner

You may have notice a little blue and white challenge winner badge over to the right of my blog. Recently I decided to try my hand once again at another challenge on the Australian Beading Forum. The theme was "Masquerade". Great theme. Of course lots of ideas later and a bit of doodling on paper, this mask which I named "Venetia" is what I came up with.

It now also features on my new business cards. I plan to frame the piece in a 3D photo frame too, so I can hang it with my certificates etc from previous competitions.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Medieval Queen

I made the base of this piece a while back, then left it sitting in a box, forgetting all about it whilst I got on with other things.
One of the reasons I put it aside was because my original idea for embellishing it didn't really workout, so I figured inspiration would hit sooner or later.

My idea for a recent Wire work/Chain Maille Beading forum "Medieval" challenge was for a gold headdress littered with gems, Pearls, Rubies, Emeralds and Diamionds, as was popular with Kings and Queens of the day, but in my case I used Swarovski crystals and pearls.

Decided to add the basic chain maille in order to fit the period, not that I've actually been able to find any headpieces of the day with CM dangling in this manner, so it's just my take on a theme. Its worn with the chain down over the forehead sort of like a circlet.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Chained Butterfly

I made this set yesterday morning. I picked the colour scheme from some fabric that I have, which is white, mauve and copper toned. Really happy with the way it turned out, really does make a bit of a statement. The large FW pearls are a deep mauve and I added some white opal AB swaros to add a glint of colour. The Butterfly is Hilltribe Silver, plus I also used up some bits and pieces I had lying around including the chain. Matching earrings complete the piece. For sale on my website.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Copyright or Not

Just recently I had the unfortunate experience of some-one try to copy one of my wire Tiaras.

I spent hours perfecting this particular design, won an award for it and placed highly in another competition for a another model only to find my absolute thrill taken away by a non thinking individual.

That brings me to question copyright laws, I studied these closely. If you happen to see unauthorised pics of my wirework floating around on the net or copies of my work in shops, please let me know. These individuals are probably breaking copyright laws.

Please respect the work of Artists, ask permission before copying anything and if permission is granted, reference the orginal Artist. Play nice.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Izzy Liz Pics

For those of you who know Izzy Liz, my friendly backyead Eastern Water Dragon, she had an accident recently and lost most of her tail.
These pics are for the lovely folk on forum who have helped answer some questions for me regarding her recovery.
Thanks very much for all your help guys it is very much appreciated

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Some pieces for Moi

Here a few things I've whipped up for myself recently. These are my fav earrings of the moment. The Lampies came from the USA and I've teamed them with my favourite Swarovski crytals in tones of Green.

All these amazing colours reminded of the tones found in the ocean in the tropical north.

I also have some gold tone Lampies in the same style and waiting for inspiration to hit.

The next set I whipped up to wear to a concert this weekend. My outfit is a Black and Cream pattern knee length dress that I plan to wear over black pants. I named this set "Redee or Not".

The Red lampies are from another of my friends Bev Butler from northern New South Wales. I teamed them with Black and Red 5000 Swarovski Crystals, beaten artistic wire and Sterling silver chain.
I adore the earrings, the hooks came from the USA.

Here's another pair of my favourites. I made these to go with a jungle print top that I often wear with Jeans.

These are glass, teamed with Swarovski Crystals. The hooks are 925 silver.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Back home safe and sound

Argyra's Crown my award winning Bridal Tiara arrived home safe and sound yesterday from the Sydney Bead and Gem Show co-ordiators (Conference and Exhibition Organisers).

I also received my certificates and prizes along with a lovely letter encouring me to enter again next year. The standard of finalists entries was very high this year, so will certainly have to come up with something even more amazing next year. Already have a few ideas about what I'd like to submit.

This piece "Cooper for Cleopatra" was also a finalist at the 2007 Sydney Bead and Gem show.
But as I'd entered it the 2007 Creative Beading Awards of Excellance and it was selected amongst the Top 25, I couldn't send it for judging at the Bead and Gem show.
But its all good, "CC" is currently doing the rounds of the Craft and Quilt Fairs in Australia and New Zealand as part of the Swarovski Creative Beading exhibition which is great exposure.
Check out the Craft and Quilt fair website for dates and locations.

Friday, October 26, 2007

More Beach and Sea

Been a few days since I posted here.

Yesterday I went off to the Craft and Stitches "Bead Fair" at the Brisbane Convention centre. Had a great day, fossicking amongst the beads and chatting to people.

Also checked out the Top 25 entries in the 2007 Swarovski Creative Beading Awards of Excellence. Baffling thing was that none of the entries had been tagged with the designers names or locations. Go figure!

Some brilliant work on display. Pity, the best pieces didn't even place in the Top 5. Don't get me wrong, am more than thrilled with my 12th placing out of 300 entries.

Aren't designs supposed to be original? Are the judges living under a Rock? Give up yet? YES.

As for the photography, it doesn't even rate a mention. Heck I can do better than that and I did. Talk about disappointing. My advice, find a photographer who is experienced at shooting Jewellery and give those truly talented Australian designers the recognition they so deserve.

Whilst I was at the Fair I picked up a few bits and bobs to finish off a couple of projects I had on the go. I finished both these today. I must say that was a marathon effort.

Two more pieces ready for my upcoming Jewellery Party....Phew!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Sea's Treasure Chest

Here are a few strands of Pearls that I've been working on.

I love the colour of the Pearls in the pic above and have teamed them with a Hilltribe Silver Star Fish clasp, the last one in my captivity for the moment and some beautiful Blue Zircon Crystals.

Just perfect for summer or maybe a beach wedding.

These round pink pearls are gorgeous too, a very soft pink and fairly large.

I decided to make them unique by finishing off the strand with a a couple of coin pearls in the same shade.

These will look fabulous on and a just perfect for summer as well.

These coin pearls were described as Steel Grey, but they're shot with rainbow tones. green, blue, pink and copper. I added the Indocolite Swarovski Crystals to capture the blue tones in the pearls and the Paua Shell Clasp

All these and more can be found on my Bridal Jewellery site. See the links at the bottom of the page.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Beach Flower Shimmer Earrings

Finally got around to making the matching earrings to the necklace of the same name.

Now I've run out of Jonquil and Turq Swaro's, looks like I'm going shopping later this week, because I still have the matching bracelet to finish.
Today I decided that I needed to do something really simple. Out came the boxes of pearls and in between a visit from a customer this morning, I've managed to string up a couple of designs. Still got another 4 or 5 to do, but as its getting late in the day, not likely to get them finished or shots taken before tomorrow.
So stay tuned for those.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Think I've got RSI

More from me. Been just a tad busy the last couple of days, churning out more new glitzy jewellery pieces.

I positively adore the Art Glass beads in the pic above. The colours are really gorgeous and very Summery, whilst the beads themselves are smooth and silky to the touch.
Blue, Brown and a touch of Lemon. Each one has been individually wired with a Sterling Silver Spacer then joined with Sterling Silver Jump Rings. The pattern on each alternate bead reminded me somewhat of the spirals found inside cone shells.
There will be matching earrings and as I have enough beads there may even be a matching bracelet still to come. I've got more of these beads on order, different shapes and colours, so am awaiting their arrival in order to come up with a couple more interesting designs. I have one in my head and it involves a large Hilltribe Silver fish.

Seems I've gone a bit Lemon mad the last couple of weeks as it's not a colour I use very often. These cute little crystal and enamel flowers caught my eye on a website the other day, so I bought a few to see what they were like. They were a good match for some Carnelian I had. but then I didn't have a suitable clasp.

Decided to use the last two to make my own clasp and with the addition of some of my favourite silver Artistic Wire am very happy with the end result. This set includes a little pair of matching faceted Carnelian Barrel bead and Swarovski Bi-cone earrings. Hooks are 925 silver.

The next set has some stunning sea green/blue tones and is a real sparkler.

What was that saying back in the days of old?
" Blue and Green should never be seen"
Can't imagine why, those are my two most fav colours when teamed together.

Comes with a matching set of earrings, Hooks are 925 sterling silver as is the square Box Clasp on the necklace. Measures 45cm approx.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Design Award - 2007 Sydney Beading Extravaganza Comp

Finally the wait is over for one competition.
The winners of 2007 Sydney Bead and Gem Show Extravaganza Juried Competition were announced today and I got a phone call around lunch time.
My entry a free form Bridal Tiara embellished with Swarovski Crystals and Pearls was placed Third in the Finished Jewellery category.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

More More More - How do you like it....

Ahhhh, sounds like a cue for a song....but alas... more earrings actually.

I loved these earrings, a little inspiration from the garden. Now that we've had so much rain the last few days, my grass as turned the colour of those Emerald Swarovski crystals almost.

These are all sterling silver

One more pair, similar design, but a shorter drop.

When you're on a Roll..... keep rolling!

More from me today, I've been really productive the last few days and still have heaps to do.

This set was an absolute pain in the you know what, to put together, and no, it wasn't the fancy wired feature or even the hand beaten clasp that I had to make because its almost impossible to buy decent sized copper clasps... it was the simple act of stringing.

First I missed beads and it didn't hang properly, then I accidentally caught the copper crimp cover in the wire when I closed it, not good because this would eventually cause the wire to break and yep beads would be all over the floor. I then had another go at restringing the whole thing and didn't pull the wire up tight to the crimp...... Enough I said, what now!! Thank goodness that's over.

While I was at it, I made a little pair of matching earrings, the hooks are fine quality Anodized Bronze Niobium with a 2mm Copper bead and are totally safe for sensitive ears (hypoallergenic) and the colour is permanent. I've made earrings for myself with these hooks and I can vouch for that. The set contains Black and Copper glass, tiny Czech Copper glass Rondelles, real Copper beads and Copper Artistic Wire.

"Venetia" - Masquerade Ball Beading Challenge

I've been busy working on a piece for a beading challenge on an Australian Beaders forum that I belong to. I finally finished it last night. I used all the pink toned Swarovski crystals (Light and Dark Rose, Rosewater Opal, Pink Alabaster, and Fuchsia, along with some baby pink Swarovski pearls) that I had in my collection. Non tarnish Silver Artistic Wire was used to make the form and for the fine wire wrapping. I found some stunningly beautiful organza ribbon in baby pink and Fuchsia, in my local embroidery shop to add a bit of fullness and Sterling Silver enamel spray paint I bought at Bunnings to coate the dowel to which I attached the Mask.

Edited: 19th Nov, 07 - Won this Challenge, how exciting is that!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Silver Rose - Secrets in the Garden

One of my favourite combinations is Silver and Rose Quartz. I don't know they just seem to go hand in hand.
I've always loved the soft pink tone of Rose Quartz, looks great in summer with a tan.

Recently, I found some lovely faceted Rose Quartz beads hidden in my bead storage cabinet and decided that they couldn't stay hidden forever.

Then I remembered I had purchased a few lovely Hilltribe Silver Rose Pendants at the last Brisbane Bead and Gem show. The pendant I ended up using is the biggest one I had, at least 40mm, so its a real stunner.
There are tiny Sterling Silver ball spacers separating each bead and the clasp is Sterling Silver. All strung on Beadalon 19 strand for strength.

The necklace sits nicely on the decolletage and is around 46cm in length. Earring drop from top of the hook is around 3cm. Hooks and fittings are all 925 sterling silver.

Here's a close up of the earrings.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Coral Charm - More things from the Sea

As you may or may not be aware, I love the beach. One of fav past-times is fossicking along the high tide line, often I take pics there and then of things that I find, arranging them into pleasing patterns.

I once found the tiniest pieces of red coral whilst on Holidays on Heron Island off Gladstone on the central Queensland coast, mostly broken, but still a vibrant red. That is something we don't see along the beaches here in the southern parts of Queensland.

Here's another new set of jewellery I made last week using vibrant red coral and sterling silver. The necklace can be worn with the feature clasp to the back of the neck or on the side for a different look. I added some Dark Red Coral 5301 Swarovski Bicones for just the tiniest sparkle. I love this set. The Bracelet is Plated Sterling Silver and has some handcrafted silver spirals that I hammered flat using my new chasing hammer and anvil. These pieces will be available for sale at my pre-christmas jewellery show.
Here's a close up of the earrings in the set.