Friday, September 28, 2007

New Designs - coming soon

Spent the better part of yesterday browsing my favourite bead supply websites and jotting down ideas for new designs. Am rather pleased that I've managed at least a dozen new designs, on paper, mind you, that could change when I sit down at the design board and start putting things together.
Sometimes things just don't work out the way you'd expect and many times I end up with something so totally different to the drawing... Oh well, that's life.

I feel better today and am eagerly awaiting my supplies in the post next week.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cool Bananas - I'm offically a

Recently after some prompting I forwarded a few of my better pics to an online photography site, kind of like someone hosting your stock photos on their site and you may op to sell them.
Well they got accepted and are now available for viewing only (pics won't reproduce very well at the size they've been uploaded at) and sale at click on the words "Photo Gallery" above the pic on the first page then use the drop down list of names.

It would be great if a cereal company picked up the one of Izz, my friendly Eastern Water Dragon indulging in a bowl of muesli. Am sure their associated advertising company would come up with a great slogan, can think of a few very apt ones myself. You can also vote for Izzy's Pic on or see the link on my front page.

Speaking of Izz, she's finally come out of hybernation. I found her asleep in the pot plant on the front verandah last Saturday night when we arrived home from our latest camping trip. She usually disappears from about the end of May thru to mid September, then suddenly appears on the back verandah out of nowhere. I thought it odd, that she was asleep on the front verandah, but perhaps she'd been basking in the sun during the day and just curled up in the pot because it was there. Normally during the day she spends her time on the back verandah perched on the back of a chair waiting for a feed of fruit or what ever else is available. Her fav's are green grapes, pitted cherries, strawberries and sometimes I buy live worms from the pet shop for her, and.... believe it or not she comes when she's called.

Am a little concerned about how she and Rem are going to get on, as he's already chased her once this week. Rem's not at all like my other Border Collie, Jet, who would sit patiently beside Izz waiting for a titbit too; but then he was alot older and not a silly pup. Mind you Jet had his moments when he was a pup, I found him with a little eastern water dragon in his month once and told him to drop it, which he promptly did... smart boy. I always suspected that lizard was Izz, cause she might have lost her toe when Jet grabbed her. Now I always know Izz from any other dragons that appear in the garden, she's minus a toe.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Looking for Mr. Motivation... where are ya

Since I've been back from holidays, I feel totally un-motivated. I've been suffering from Mondayitas all week and I expect it to last well into next week. Hate it when I feel like this.

I did force myself to clean out the hallway cupboard today though and what a haul of junk I found. Anyway, I felt slightly better that I have at least accomplished one small task this week.

Working on details for the next Xmas get together now, gee am running short of Saturdays and October is already looming. Where did this year go? Heck was I asleep for most of it? Looks like the next function will be the first weekend of Dec as I have to make some new goodies yet. Invites are underway....I've got Rem working on them.

Yep I'm with Miss Izz.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Beading Project

Just been informed that my Wired Frog Pendant project is to appear in the December 07 (Vol- 1 No. 4)issue of Australian Beading Magazine. Keep an eye out for it. Yes more of Sabine's really cool froggies.

Waiting, Waiting....Excruciating

Winners and final place getters for the 2007 Swarovski Creative Beading Comp will be announced 0n the 16th Nov when the December 2007 issue 3-2 of Creative Beading hits the newsagents. The winning piece will be displayed on the cover.. Wow how exciting for the winner...!! Fairly certain winners will be notified personally before that though.

The winning entrant will be profiled for an issue in 2008 as well as being invited to judge the 2008 competition. Great prizes up for grabs 1st place is a trip for two to Austria, including airfares, transfers, 5 nights accommodation, breakfast. Airland value $5000.00. Dinner with representatives of the Swarovski design team and 2 tickets to crystal world.

Well I dunno about that, but the next 7 prizes are fantastic as well. 2nd to 8th prizes receive a Swarovski Crystal gift pack valued from $2500 - $300.
Anyway the top 40 pieces can now be viewed at, although it would be really nice to see the top 25 out of those 40.

The winners and place getters for the 2007 Sydney Bead and Gem Show Beading Extravaganza should be known around 12th Oct.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Holiday Antics in New South Wales

Just back from two weeks camping down at a little place by the name of Nambucca Heads in northern New South Wales. Its about 4.5 hours drive from Brisbane. We stayed in a pet friendly park, so that Rem our 6 month old Border Collie could experience the joys of camping and the beach. There are plenty of opportunities to experience bird life at this park.

Lots of black cockatoos, Major Mitchell's, Rosella's etc. Its very rowdy at sunrise as you can well imagine. Plenty of Pelicans too on the Nambucca river, they wait for the fishermen to clean and discard their fish scraps.

Rem was very interested in the birdlife just sat and watched as he's not seen birds that close before. He was fascinated by the cattle and sheep that we passed along the road. He probably knew he had some sort of affinity with them, but not sure what.

He took to camping like a duck to water. His beach soccer skills are amazing too and he's now waiting for a contract with a major soccer funny sight chasing after the ball and knocking it with his nose and paws. Rolls over it, ends up sitting on it, gets cranky with it and growls when it gets away from him..... we ended up having to take the soccer ball off him, as he was exhausted and still wanted to run.... typical Border. Mind you the soccer ball hasn't faired to well though. I'm surprised it didn't explode and send us all out to sea.

Overall it was still a little chilly and we had a couple of blustery days wind wise. Only one mishap, accidently sat on the sunnies and snapped both their little legs off... Good excuse for a new pair! Luckily I found a chemist shop in a little town not far from Armidale that had at least one pair of trendy sun glasses.

We visited some rather nice easterly spots in New South Wales. A couple of my favourites were Sawtell not far from Coffs Harbour, and South West Rocks. We managed day trips to Port
Macquarie in the south and Armidale in the west
which was very cold and windy...... burrr...

Here we visited the tourist info centre to get hold of some maps of the area, as well Rem had managed to break the ring on his collar that holds his ID tag so a trip to the saddlery across the road in the hope of getting a replacement didn't bring much joy. These businesses are really suffering with the horse flu outbreak. They can't take in any work and many horse transport businesses are likely to go under in the next few months if things don 't improve. After a trip to the local pet shop for a new collar and a restock of Rem 's fav doggie biscuits we headed off to explore Armidale.

I really wanted to go to Tamworth, but that will have wait till the next trip, as it was too far for a day trip. One of the highlights was the trip along the "Waterfall Way" from Bellinger, (not very far from Coffs Harbour,) very scenic part of the world. Passed some orchards once again full of birds which am sure are a pest for the farmers.

Lots of interesting Flora for camera buffs around the beaches. It's rather difficult travelling with 4 legged friends as they're not that welcome in most places, including most beaches. We found a few dog friendly beaches, but the thing that disgusted me the most was the number of cigarette butts found in picnic spots we visited at lunch time. Smokers should be banned from these places as well, as least my dog doesn't smoke, is well behaved and I clean up after him. Why on earth butt bins are not supplied by NSW councils in these tourist areas is beyond me. I guess that goes for the rest of the country too.
On the way home on the weekend, we stopped off at a little place named Woolie, sleepy seaside village outside of Grafton. I really liked this spot, lots of little holiday huts for rent as well as a couple of van parks, great little cafe on the river that makes the best coffee too.
Continuing on from there we headed home home via East Ballina the coast road where an amazing storm was brewing out at sea.

Then into Byron Bay for a little look around as its been a few years since I've been to there. Didn't recognise it.

It was a long day having packed up camp and headed off around 10.00am we arrived home close to 7.00pm tried but happy. Overall a great trip, very relaxing and a great time had by all.

Friday, September 7, 2007


This morning I awoke to find my interview with Cyndi Lavin posted on Bead-Arts (USA).
Check it out here :

I have to say it is an absolute thrill to see my pics and artist profile on an American site and it's sure as hell been one heck of a week.

Taking a few days off now, getting reading for my next Jewellery show in Nov. Last year I organized a pre-Xmas show, with food and drinks, so plan to do something similar this year by way of a thank you for my customers and very good friends.

Will be back soon.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A recent commission

A little while back my friend Simone, the theatre director, asked me to put together a piece of jewellery for Harmony, the musical director, of a play she was working on.

The brief was for something "Purple". Now I love customers who give me one worded briefs, it does tend to make the design process relatively easy. I thought about it for a while, all sorts of musical ideas had popped into my head, but I decided that a necklace wasn't where I wanted to go and that a bracelet would be better.

I contacted my Lampworker friend Sabine in Sydney and asked if she would make some purple beads for me. I didn't give her a brief, just told her my ideas for the bracelet and left it at that.

Here's a pic of the beads Sabine sent me.

The musical Simone and Harmony were working on was "Cats" plus the gift was to be for Harmony's 30th birthday. My idea was for a charm bracelet incorporating the above beads, sterling silver musical charms, the letter H - for Harmony, a crown for the Queen of music, a comedy and tragedy mask, a cat, and bunches of swarovski crystals in matching tones. Each bead was individually wrapped with sterling daisy spacers and joined with Snapeez, my fav jump rings, a girl can do with a never ending supply of those.

Here's the finished bracelet. Harmony loved it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

On the subject of Frogs

Know anyone who has an obsession with Frogs? Well me for one. A lovely lampworker friend of mine by the name of Sabine E Wilkins of Sydney, Australia, made these froggie beads for me.

A whirl or two of wire, a couple of glitzening Swarovski Bicones and ta da....this is what I came up with.

The Green one is mine, the Teal and Blue one was grabbed by my friend Simone who is a musical theatre director and loves unusal jewellery.
Check out more of Sabine's Lampwork at

Sydney Bead and Gem Show & My Logo

Thought I'd pop a pic in here of my entry from the 2006 Sydney Bead and Gem Show. I named it "Forest Frenzy" mainly because it was a frenzied effort to get it finished and photographed before the competition closing date. It made the finals, but wasn't placed.
Still a thrill for some-one who had only been beading for about 6 months and was totally self taught.
I also devised my logo from part of this necklace and did a bit of editing with Microsoft Digital Image Suite to make the edges look torn. You can see the logo to the right of the page.
Most people who know me are aware I love frogs too. So this piece came as no surprise. The frog is Pewter and is recycled from a keyring.
This pic also appeared the Gallery of one of my favourite wire working magazines in the USA. Step by Step Wire Jewellery - Summer 07 Vol 3 No. 3. I've kept the piece as a memento of my very first beading competition.

Colour Inspiration

I often like to look to nature for colour inspiration. Earlier today I was having another peek at some of my photos from past camping trips and came across this one of a dragonfly on a log.

The pic was taken in 2006 on Stradbroke Island in Moreton Bay not far from Brisbane. Its had a little editing done, mainly cropping to get a better look at the fly.

I'd never seen a dragonfly like this before, well not in those colours anyway which I might add weren't edited. Light Blue, Marine Blue, Black and Rust tones.

Am having a bit of think about creating something in those tones and colours.. Now to pull out the drawers of my bead cabinet in search of further inspiration.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hyper-ventilating now - I made the next round

and here's the e-mail I received advising I made Top 25

Congratulations Bernadine !!!

Your piece "Copper for Cleopatra" has been selected as one of the top 25 entries for the Swarovksi Creative Beading Awards 2007, presented by Crystal Park. The standard this year has shown us all how the beading community has progressed so much in the last 12 months. You should feel very proud of your achievement in reaching such a high standard.

Your piece will now be on display throughout 2008 at all major city Bead Fairs (associated with the Quilt and Craft Fairs). In the next day or so Deborah Gibbons from Creative Beading will contact you via email to ask you some questions. This will form part of our story to be published in issue 3-2, which will go on sale mid November 2007. We will send you a copy of the magazine and your certificate prior to the magazine going on sale. However, it is imperative that we receive your reply by 8th September to meet our deadlines.

Once again, I thank you for participation and congratulate you on your efforts in helping make this, Australasia's premier beading design award.

Yours in Beading
Publisher - Creative Beading

Whoo Hooooooo - Competition Update

As you may or may not be aware one of my free form wire Tiara's "Copper for Cleopatra" was nominated as a finalist in the 2007 Swarovski Creative Beading Awards here in Australia. This year there were 300 entries and I made the top 40.

I then got notified by the organisers of the 2007 Sydney Bead and Gem Show Beading Extravaganza Competition that the same Tiara made the finals of the finished jewellery category. Exciting... heck yes! but a real dilemma, well sort of. I'd already sent the Tiara for judging and it was unlikely that I'd have it back in time to send it off to be judged for the Bead and Gem show... I was mad at myself for being so silly. Fancy entering the same piece in two comps with judging so close. What on earth was I thinking??

A couple of days later, God must have been smiling down on me for a change. I was sharing my pain with friends on the Aus Beading Forum, when the lovely Anne, told me that the closing dates for the Bead and Gem show competition had been extended.. I think my heart may have just temporarily stopped beating, before I was outta my chair and on the phone to the organisers in Sydney.

"Yes its true," they said. "We were a little late in getting things organised, so the closing date has been extended". I mentioned my little problem and was told, "Yes by all means enter another piece, your work is beautiful."
To cut to the chase, I've been advised that my second piece "Argrya's Crown" has been accepted as a finalist.

Today I received an email from the Swarovski Comp organisers asking me to complete a questionnaire as they're running a feature on the finalists in the Creative Beading Magazine (usually this will appear around December or January next year). Could this mean that I made the next round of the competition? Deep breath, Bernadine....

Stay tuned for the next installment.

Monday, September 3, 2007

So that's where you work?

Just going to give you a bit of an idea where I work.

This is my little studio, where I'm surrounded by all things beady. On the other side of the room is my daybed, just in case I need a snooze.
Well you know what its like when you get old, ya just gotta have a nonna nap occasionally.
Although I call it "searching the inside of my eyelids for inspiration."

Spiral Pendants

These pendants were made for a couple of different customers of mine.

The first one was constructed using Artistic wire whilst the second larger piece was put together with Argentum and Gold Filled wire.

Both contain faceted Amethyst nuggets and were created using my own original design.

So what's with the blog then?

Well, just for the fun of it really and I love to write, so it might be a good creative outlet. Plus my friends can check out what I've been up in the wonderful world of jewellery design amongst other things.