Beads, Recipes

Looking forward and looking back

I cannot believe 2013 is over and 2014 has begun! What a whirlwind 2013 was—between my family, a very part-time job and the beads (oh the beads!)—I feel like I barely stopped for breath!

Some of the jewellery-making highlights of 2013 include

  • the multitude of blog hops I took part in—they stretched my wings and challenged my muse
  • selling my jewellery at The Handmade Show, a lovely, and local to me, show with a real focus on handmade products
  • starting a Facebook page, which has introduced me to many new people, and of course
  • getting my Etsy shop up and running!

Here are a few of my favourite designs from the last 12 months:

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Sand and sea necklace collage DS

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AJE blue orchid necklace Collage boho owl necklace

Luna Park collage

Dark Heart Necklace collage IMG_6654

turquoise heart collage

I’m going to spend the next few weeks entertaining my kids during our summer holidays, so I don’t think too much jewellery-making is going to happen. But I have a few things to get photographed and uploaded on Etsy, and I want to take some time to play. This is one of my Christmas presents …

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… a set of uppercase, lowercase and numerical stamps, some fun design stamps, a stamping hammer and small metal block! I also got a handful of stamping blanks in brass and copper to play with.

Another project for 2014 is bead making. Mum and I are going to work together on some ceramic beads and pendants. She’s got a new (old) smaller kiln which will allow us to play a bit more easily. I’d also like to play with polymer clay a little bit more, maybe take another class or two. And I’ve taken a few metalwork classes over the last year or so, so I’m looking forward to combining the techniques I’ve learnt, and perhaps add some new ones.

On the business end, I need to work out what markets I would like to do in 2014. It’s probably not going to be as many as I did in the last few months as I am not finding them to be particularly profitable for me. I’ll be doing my best to keep my Etsy shop well stocked too. I’ll make sure to keep everyone up to date with my activities via my Facebook page.

Finally, I’ve got a few blog hops lined up already, starting with the December Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month, which I will be posting tomorrow. I’m also signed up for several of Lisa Lodge‘s blog hops, starting with the Into the Forest blog hop on 11 January. It’s more than likely that I’ll take part in more than one of Erin Prais-Hintz‘s blog hops as well as Lori Anderson‘s Bead Soup Blog Party. I’ll do as many of the Art Bead Scene monthly challenges as I can. And I’ll keep taking part in swaps over at Bead Swap-USA. So there’ll be plenty to blog about!

Foodwise, I’ll keep posting recipes I come across that I think are worth a mention. It might be once or twice a month, it may be less often. But I did get a lovely stack of cookbooks for Christmas so I’m hoping to find a few keepers!

I’m looking forward to sharing my adventures with you in 2014! In the mean time, Happy New Year!

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Beads, Markets

Last market for 2013 is tomorrow

The Handmade Show button

Tomorrow’s table at The Handmade Show is my last one for the year, so if you live in Melbourne, come on down and finish off your Christmas shopping! I have loads of pairs of earrings, necklaces and bracelets, and even a few pairs of cufflinks for the sharply-dressed man in your life!

The market runs from 10:30am – 3:30pm and there are stallholders selling all sorts of handmade goodies including candles, cards, clothing, children’s toys, Christmas decorations and more. Activities for the kids include free face painting and a lolly-guessing competition. Cafe Handmade does a mean bacon and egg sandwich, among other delicious offerings. Musical entertainment will be provided by Marisa Rae Quigley. And there’ll be giveaways for market shoppers, including some for the kids.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday 14th December
10.30am – 3.30pm
St. Anthony’s Parish Hall
164 Neerim Rd (cnr Grange Rd), Glen Huntly
Beads, Markets

It’s less than 10 weeks until Christmas …

… are you making your Christmas list yet?

I’ve got a few markets between now and Christmas if you want to do some Christmas shopping.

Tomorrow is the first of three stalls I will have at The Handmade Show, at St Anthony’s Parish Hall on the corner of Neerim and Grange Rds in Glen Huntly. I’ll also be there on 16 November and 14 December. New to this market is the ability to pay by EFTPOS, through special arrangement with the market organisers. If it looks like a good option for me, I’ll sign on for my own EFTPOS setup.

Bowl of earrings

On Sunday 3 November, I will be at the Fitzroy Lions Market, which is at the Fitzroy Victoria Bowling and Sports Club, next to Edinburgh Gardens. I don’t know much about this market, but hopefully it will be a good day with lots of happy shoppers.

Summer colour challenge

And on 24 November, I will be back at the Bend and Snap Market behind the 1000£ Bend Café on Little Lonsdale St in Melbourne CBD. I didn’t have a great day at this market last month, so fingers crossed next time the Christmas crowds will be out in force!

bracelet collage

It looks like my girls’ school will have another twilight craft market in late November or early December, and I will do that one this year too. I’ll be selling jewellery appealing to the primary school set, as well as some easy and inexpensive Christmas stocking stuffers like earrings and cufflinks.

Cufflinks

And I promise my Etsy shop will be open soon! I have just not had enough time to work on it recently! In the meantime, if you see something you like, drop me a line via my Facebook page.

Beads, Markets

Something new for The Handmade Show

I’ve got a table at The Handmade Show this weekend and I’m busy getting a few last minute things ready for it (earrings anyone??). As it’s Father’s Day in Australia at the beginning of September, I thought I would make some cufflinks.

I had some antique brass cufflinks with round bezels and some silver-plated square bezel cufflinks. At the craft show I went to a few weeks ago, I bought some Japanese paper in various colours and patterns, which I cut to fit and set in resin. All in all I have made 8 pairs for the show, enough for a trial anyway! I think they turned out well. (if you’re wondering what the black grid is, I used a baking rack to hold the bezels flat while the resin was setting!)

cufflinks Collage

I do have one small problem though, I have no idea how to display the cufflinks on my table. Any suggestions?

If you’re in Melbourne this weekend, think about coming to The Handmade Show. It’s nice and warm inside, there is great entertainment from crooner Frank Lee Darling, facepainting for the kids, plus 30 stalls packed full of great handmade stuff. And me, of course!

Saturday 17th August
10.30am – 3.30pm
St. Anthony’s Parish Hall
164 Neerim Rd Glen Huntly, Melbourne Vic

PS: this is my 99th post. Stay tuned for something fun for post number 100!!!

Beads, Markets, online shop

Boho Bird Jewellery is on Facebook!

I finally got a page for Boho Bird Jewellery up and running on Facebook  a couple of nights ago, and I’m astonished to see more than 60 likers already! It’s made me realise that I need to get an online shop going, so I need to really get my Etsy page up and running.

In the meantime, you can buy anything in the albums Bracelets, Necklaces and Earrings on Facebook, simply by commenting SOLD under the item you want to buy, or by sending me a message. And you can like my page directly from this blog, using the LIKE button on the right hand side of the page.

I have just put my application in to have a stall at The Handmade Show again in October, November and December—fingers crossed! I didn’t sell a lot at last week’s show, but I did sell a few pieces and made a small profit after the stall fee. There was a slow trickle of people through the venue, and hopefully that will improve over time as the show gains traction.

Here is a picture of my table this time around. I was quite pleased with how it looked and I got quite a few compliments from shoppers as they browsed the stalls.

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Beads, Markets

Some new jewellery for The Handmade Show this weekend

The Handmade Show button

A quick update to show you some things I’ve been working on for The Handmade Show, where I have a stall again this coming Saturday. Hopefully the wintery weather won’t put people off coming, it’s inside and it’s warm! If you’re local to me, come along and have a look!

THS sneak peak collage

The two pendants, in case you’re wondering, are from Peruzi. And those lovely luminous round beads are cultured sea glass, which seems to be all the rage in the jewellery world right now. I love the combination of turquoise and lavender, might have to make something for me along these lines I think!

I’ve got a variety of earrings and a bundle of bracelets for the show too. Here are just a few …

earring collage

bracelet collage

This Sunday is the Summer Elements Blog Hop, and I’ll be posting a set with a real summery feel to it. Pop back in to have look.

I’m planning to get an online shop of some kind set up in the very near future. I’m not sure which way to go, though—should I set up on Etsy along with what feels like millions of other jewellery designers, try one of the lesser-known marketplaces, or use one of the emerging Facebook e-commerce platforms? Advice, experiences and suggestions would be welcomed!

(And finally, apologies for sending a half-completed blog post out into the world yesterday! Hit the wrong button and off it went … eeek!!!)

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Markets, Swaps and exchanges

Bits and bobs

I’m working up to another market in mid-June, not sure what it will be like as by June it’s pretty cold and wet in Melbourne, which could drive down the numbers a bit. Still, as long as I can sell a few things, I’ll cover the costs of being there.

I recently took part in a swap through Bead Swap-USA with the talented Lennis Carrier of Windbent. Our swap was to be a finished piece (or pieces) of jewellery with a woodland theme. I think we both laughed when we opened our respective packages and found we had gone down the same woodland path. Lennis made me this necklace:

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I love the mixture of metals—copper, gunmetal, brass and that wonderful rusty iron pendant—and the eclectic mixture of glass beads (see the owl bead?). And there is a coordinating pair of earrings there too.

Here is what I sent Lennis. See what I mean about sharing inspiration?

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The pendant is from Peruzi and I chose a mixture of brown and green beads to go with it. I also made a cute sari silk and copper wrap bracelet for her. It’s long enough to wrap twice around her wrist, and works as a choker necklace too.

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In the next couple of months I have a few challenges and blog hops coming up. First up is at the end of this week, the second round of the History Hop, hosted by Leah Curtis. Then I’ve got Toltec Jewels’ Summer Elements hop in mid-June and  Lisa Lodge’s Seasons Blog Hop in early July. Mid-July will see Lori Anderson‘s Bead Hoarders blog hop, and in late August there is the Summer Colour Surprise blog hop, also hosted by Lisa Lodge. You can see buttons on the sidebar for most of these hops (a few of them haven’t had official sign-ups yet). All of that should keep me on my toes!