Friday, May 30, 2008

A fun way to select colours for Jewellery Design

Most of us at one time or another have trouble coming up with new and exciting colour combinations. Of course one way to get out of trouble is to use seasonable colour charts many of which are accessible on the net; one such site that comes to mind is Fire Mountain Gems who are actually a bead and finding supplier in the USA and you can check out the 2008-2009 colour forecast guide on their website.

Alternatively you can raid the paint charts and chips which are also seasonal and available at your local hardware store, but one of my favs is to use fabric or a piece of clothing out of my very own wardrobe.

Here's a piece of jewellery I designed around colours in a new blouse I bought in the summer. It was a combination of deep violet, white and rust tones.
I had been saving a luscious strand of violet dyed large fresh water pearls to make something for myself. I teamed these with sterling silver, and various swarovski crystals to match the colours in the fabric.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Summer time Bracelets

This is one of my favourite bracelets. I adore the colours of the Swarovski crystals and pearls together, but the big feature opalite bead in the centre to me seems to capture the essence of summer from within.

Guess I'm just trying to remind myself that summer will reappear again in a few months. Today its dark, gloomy and cold outside. Rain is forcast along with a possible storm. Maybe a good thing we could certainly use some rain and goodness knows my garden would love it to.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Something not quite right

Last week was a stinker of a week. It started off well enough, then on Monday a dust storm hit without warning. No ordinary dust storm, this one was man made. Let me explain.

The property behind our house was sold a few months back and now seems bought by someone intent on pissing his neighbours off before he even moves in.

The house was "demolished" on Monday with no warning, after being delivered a letter to say the house would be "removed" on Saturday. We naturally assumed that the house would be removed on the back of a very large trailer around midnight with a police escort as is often the case with old Queenslanders in our area. But, at 6.30am on Monday morning we were all rudely awakened by an excavator crashing about, smashing roof tiles and basically creating havoc and unsettling years of dust, which I might add managed to find its way over my back fence, showering my upper and lower outdoor entertaining areas including the pool with dust and filth. Took me four days to clean up the mess which wasn't easy when we're not allow to use more than 140 litres of water per person per day here in Brisbane because of our drought and so called lack of planning by councils and Government.

On Tuesday to add insult to injury and whilst I was at the vet with Remy, all the vegetation was removed including a large Jacaranda tree, more noise and more dust. These clowns also managed to wreck a section of our back fence whilst trying to remove a very large Cocos Palm. That fence also encloses our pool area. Enough was enough. Over I went and let 'em have it. Normally I'm a very patient person and will put up with all sorts of crap, but not anymore.

They proceeded to tell me that there wasn't that much dust. "Well how come then, that guy over there is wearing a mask", I said. Some very sheepish looks and a promise that they weren't fly by nighters and would fix my fence that evening. Well yes they fixed the fence, in dark. Needless to say the job was pathetic, tonnes of bent nails and unsupported work that had to be ripped out and put right on the weekend by Hubby.

I'm sure this is not the end of trouble. I can hardly wait, I would rather have continued looking at a very green if somewhat unkept backyard that provided tonnes of privacy.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Another use for a Bear

Couldn't resist snapping this pic. Here's Remy fast asleep using his bear as a pillow. Funny when he's had a big weekend, he spends the whole of the next day fast asleep.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Winter is here

Its not even the 1st June yet, already its starting to freeze. Can't wait to head north even if just for a short period. Nothing better than a warm sunny day with a cooling breeze, sitting under a tree on a stunning beach...sigh..roll on.
Why do the days before you go holidays always drag by?

I started to pack my suit case weeks ago, am I keen or what? I'm struggling with what to pack. Should I pack a wrap for evening just in case? Been working though my to do list before I go and its slowly getting shorter too. Spent the last two weekends pulling old palms fonds out of the garden and putting them through the mulcher, as well as repotting/planting, prunning etc. We got a really heavy down pour on Saturday night and I could hear the garden yelling out its thanks whilst it greedily tried to swallow up as much of that refreshing aqua it could.

I lost my prized double red standard camilla during this hideous dought. On the weekend we finally dug it out, added some sweet new compost to the spot where it had been and planted a new double flowered white one tinged with pink on the edge of the petals. Hope it survives. At least that nasty possum that had been eating the other one has now disappeared. We found him with his head stuck under the back garden fence, silly thing if it had turned its head slightly it would have been able to release its self from what was to become its nemesis. These critters eat everything in sight. I'm told they have no taste buds, hence I guess the reason they strip my chili trees bare of fruit, leaves, the whole lot. Am hoping that the new pots I planted full of herbs, cherry tomatoes, chili, mixed baby lettuces and egg plants survive long enough for me to harvest them for dinner. Well I guess I'll let you know how that goes.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Yes Indeed the Proof's in the Pudding

Two engineers trying to fit a new bicycle in the back of a 4 wheel drive, they lay one side of the backseat down (the other side is in use) proceed to slide the bicycle in handlebars first, find it doesn't fit as the back doors won't close.

So they take the bicycle out and decide to take off the front wheel, only to find that they can't get it past the brake pads, no tools...hummm....what to do?
Fiddle about for a while talking amongst themselves.

Meanwhile onlooker with other places to be says "Why are you doing that, put it in back end first, so that you can maneuver the handle bars around and the door will close"

So they do as suggested and it fits perfectly. What does that prove?
That an x officer manager (me) is a far more logical thinker than two Engineers (Husband and Brother-in-Law) put together.

Yup and I won't let em' forget

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Another photograph, this time of a storm brewing out at sea off Heron Island. Heron Island is a little coral cay off the Queensland coast near Gladstone.

It's that time of year when most of the resorts are offering cheaper holiday deals as its coming into the winter season here. I was reminded of Heron having seen a recent add for cheap holidays, although this shot was taken in the month of February a couple of years ago.

I must admit I loved it. Great snorkeling, fishing and diving, but just as wonderful for doing nothing and lazing about the beach reading. A word of warning however, as beautiful as the place is, October through to February is nesting time for Black Noddy's and they are everywhere. My best suggestion is to wear a hat, even on the walk to the restaurant for dinner. Believe me, no-one is safe from being blitzed by bird droppings.

You can also see Turtles hatching in Feb. I was lucky enough to see hatchlings run down the beach to the water right in front of me. It so happened that it was a bright sunny day, when suddenly the sun become covered by a cloud, and practically turned day to night. This was followed by a scampering of little flippers in an urgent rush to get to the water before the sun returned. That indeed was an amazing sight.

Friday, May 2, 2008

2008 Swarovski Creative Beading Awards

Its on again. Check out the 2008 Swarovski Creative Beading Award Entries at Vote for your fav each month until the end of the comp when the offical judges pick the final 25, and of course the winner. As usual great prizes up for grabs, terms and conditions of entry can be found at

All in the Family

Was looking through some of my photo albums of various holiday pics and came across this one. Taken at Melbourne Zoo a couple of years ago now, how cute is that?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Emerald - Birth Stone for May

Emerald, the stone of Love.

This stunningly beautiful green stone belonging to the Beryl family, was mined from as early as 3000BC and it is said the Egyptians took them from a source near the Red Sea that was later to become known as "Cleopatra's Mines". These mines were thorougly exhausted of any gems by the time they were rediscovered much later again in the 19th centuary.

Cleopatra, herself was known to adore the jewel. Well if that's the case all I can say is the woman had darn good taste in stones, but not necessarily in men.

Down through the ages the Emerald has been worn as a sacred talisman, been worshipped by the Aztecs and Incas and carried by Montezuma himself, while its name derives from the ancient Greek word smaragdos, meaning green gemstone.
Pliny also commented that green gladdened the eye without tiring it. Personally I never tire at looking at green, particularly those amazing sea greens.

The Emerald's colour is said to symbolize spring and rebirth, whilst the stone has strong ties to Love; probably because the Ancient Romans dedicated its colour to Venus, Goddess of Love.

In the middle ages the Emerald was used to predict the future and protect against evil. It is the stone of inspiration and infinite patience and is supposed to bring domestic bliss and loyalty. It keeps a partnership in balance. But beware, if it changes colour it may be signalling unfaithfulness. It is helpful to those who suffer from claustrophobia, but more importantly, it is the stone of wisdom.

Nearly all natural emeralds are found with inclusions, this give them a soft mossy green appearance which is known as jardin, meaning french for garden.
Jardin however does not necessarily detract from the stones value. Stones with good colour can sometimes be the most included; as long as inclusions do not run so deep as to cause weakness in the stone.

Emeralds are precious and therefore must be treated with care. They are not be immersed in detergents, so remove them when washing up. Nor should they be cleaned in ultrasonic cleaners. They must also be professionally re-oiled every few years, because they are normally treated with oils and resins whilst being cut and polished. This process fills any cracks thus producing a nice neat finish.

Best places to wear your Emerald are on the little finger, the ring finger, over the heart or on the right arm. However, do not wear it constantly or it may trigger negative emotions.