Saturday, 18 January 2014

Reflections of 2013...looking forward for 2014....

Boy last year was tough for me and filled with the highest highs and the lowest lows...
Such an awesome day at the beach with Blockie
Steve (Poppy) and our Granddaughters.
The highs included some wonderful quality time with my family and the wonderful camaraderie I have experienced with my friends from Set up Shop.
I decided to suspend my jewellery biz for a while so I could regain my energy and devote my time to the essential things only.
I have found that I was taking on more than I could possibly manage with poor health, thinking at the time that "I would be well tomorrow" and things would be back to normal. Well that didn't happen, so thus the decision to prioritise my activities.
I couldn't ignore my farm responsibilities nor my part time guest house bookings job, or my grown children, grandchildren, husband, siblings or my frail and ageing parents.
So I have made the heartbreaking decision to keep the jewellery biz on ice until I know I am ready. I will be making sporadic posts here and on my face book page and may even list some jewellery for sale. But no pressure, no hurry...

solar powered farm shed powers the irrigation system

I would like to spend some of my time reading and studying anything and everything that takes my fancy. I want to enjoy making again and letting my creativity take its natural course once more.
I so enjoyed making this silver and cube set as a gift
oops should have flipped this - oh well!
some of the copper and bead wine glass initials I made for loved ones for Christmas

blockie Steve working in new kitchen (sneak peak)
We are still in renovating our kitchen mode so I will be posting some before, during and after photos soon. It is now fully functional and just needs a few finishing touches. I love, love, love my new kitchen!
We have had to break from the kitchen lately as this time of the year we are gearing up for the grape harvest, with keeping weed, pests, diseases under control as well as frequent irrigation with a week of above 40 degrees Celsius putting the vines under particular stress.

One think I can say, our life is never boring, and I am so blessed to have such an awesome family.
I wake up every morning and see the rabbits hopping about and as the sun goes down they are always lots of kangaroos around (even though they knock our drip irrigation lines out of place by lying on them LOL).

I am not expecting Big things for 2014, but hoping for small accomplishments along the way and enjoying what life brings me. I do hope you can take time sometimes to just absorb and appreciate the precious moments and also be excepting of the less enjoyable things too as it is all part of the tapestry of life.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

One Stage ends and Another Begins....

What a month it has been, the Set Up Shop course was a real eye opener and has really opened my eyes to the prospects of a fantastic career as a jewellery artist.  The bonus in all this is the camaraderie I found with the other girls in the course, its a kinship I haven't felt since I was a girl swapping clothes and having make-up afternoons and just giggling for no particular know the feeling.
Well no time to rest on my laurels, blockie Steve and I are off to Adelaide this week to look after our adorable little granddaughters while our daughter Natalie and her hubby Stuart go on a well earned holiday for 10 days. Some of you may remember this time last year they had a horrific house fire which left their beautiful artisan built 1950's home burnt almost beyond repair.
Their home is not yet finished due to many pitfalls and poor management of the rebiuld process. Hopefully all will be well soon and they can then begin healing.

We are so looking forward to celebrating Chantelle's 4th Birthday and feeling hers and Eliza's cute little arms around our necks.
My little cuties love dressing up
So my jewellery biz will be taking a back seat for a bit, although I will take tools, wire and beads to fill any orders that I will receive while I'm away. With technology at our fingertips dealing with emails will be a snap with my laptop, ipad and iphone.(how could we manage without these things now!)
all packed with all the bits and pieces to make these and more

Friday, 26 April 2013

Reflecting on What a Week its Been with the Girls from Set up Shop

Hi y'all, I have been super busy again this week, but busy doing my crafty biz course and just loving it.
I don't think I have ever been so mentally tired before, but enjoying learning all the tricks of the trade with a bunch of fantastic, talented girls from all over the world. We have shared out fears and triumphs and even had a virtual Friday night drinkie or two or three. (I think some of them are still partying LOL).

Jess deserves a mention of course as she is the clever crafty gal who is teaching an mentoring us
The Hand Made Directory has now been moved to its own section click below or navigate there from the bar on the right

Friday, 22 February 2013

Harvest time Sale

Phew! I haven't been posting lately as it is that time of the year again - harvest time on our fruit block and I have been as busy as a bee...I will take 20% off all items in my store! Get yourself a lovely hand made piece at competitive prices.

                                               Harvest time Sale 20% 0ff everything in my Shop

Thursday, 17 January 2013

What Value can be put on Hand Made?

I happened upon this blog entry from Simone Walsh, who is a very talented jewellery artist in South Australia. It is well worth a read. So many hand made artists and designers are under valued and under rated. We can not compete with the mass made industry and rely heavily on our customers appreciation of uniquely made items which are not available elsewhere in the same quality or design.
Please read on....

What it means to truly support indie designers

Handmade sterling silver jewellery pieces (unfinished) - by Simone Walsh.
Handmade (but unfinished!) sterling silver jewellery
pieces fresh from the bench.
Recently I read an article about handmade jewellery which indicated that a price of $19 was ‘decadent’ for a pair of simple handmade earrings.
It made me think about how designer/makers who are just starting out very often don’t have a handle on how to price their products to work towards building a successful and sustainable business.
I also thought about how some non-designers simply don’t appreciate what goes into this sort of business, particularly when they are so used to buying very cheaply made mass-produced imports, many of which are created in pretty terrible circumstances.

A decadent pricetag?

I did a rough calculation based on that ‘decadent’ pricetag of $19. I factored in very conservative overhead costs, a rough estimate of material costs and a margin to sell the design at wholesale. Designers of course need to earn a living as well as cover their costs, so I added in the average Australian income (which even designer/makers are as entitled to earn as anyone else!).
What I came up with was the fairly staggering figure of 100 sales at retail or 200 sales at wholesale every single week to simply cover costs and make the average income.
Someone in a one person business who handmakes what they sell would surely not be able to keep up with that volume of sales, even if they were able to attract enough customers. Probably the only option would be to outsource work to a country where labour costs are vastly lower … which of course significantly changes the nature of the business and takes away a large part of what made it special in the first place.
Apart from showing that $19 is really not a decadent price for even a very simple handmade item in Australia, it’s also a good illustration that making very basic designs which are assembled from mass-produced components is very unlikely to build a successful indie business.

Celebrating and supporting local makers and designers

While the article I read praised the ethics behind buying handmade and encouraged readers to support Australian designers, the writer undermined this by having an expectation of pricing which no Australian designer could possibly make a viable living from.
Being truly supportive of independent designers means embracing the fact that that they need to generate enough income from their businesses to get by in their local economy – otherwise they will simply have to find other work and these businesses will disappear.
Such designers should be celebrated for their skills and knowledge, the uniqueness of their products and for keeping these sorts of creative, micro businesses alive in your community (and all of the benefits that come with doing so).
Celebrating cheapness instead will ultimately kill off indie design businesses. Please don’t do it.

Monday, 14 January 2013

2013 it's time to look Ahead!

Christmas and New Year is now a distant memory - how quickly the cogs of life turn!
Valentines Day is but a month away and inspired me to release some new fun heart jewellery and some old heart jewellery in honour of that special day for the romantics!

Cute Alice inspired ceramic jewellery  great to wear for Valentines Day

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Ghostly wire dress tutorial

 I came accross this captivating garden sculpture and hunted around for the creator, hoping to find a tutorial, well I found it - this following link for the tutorial is the basis for the wire dresses...
I would love to have a go at this tutorial myself and enlist on the help of my creative son James...
It would be great to hear from anyone who does create their own version of the ghostly dresses.