Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Not The Year For Blogging

I really haven't kept this blog updated very well have I??

Truth is, I don't really think about it so much these days.
My girls both had their birthdays in May. The eldest now 7 and the youngest now 2!
I don't have a whole lot of time on my hands for 'me' anymore. And blogging has taken the last spot on the list for now.

Not a whole lot has happened since my last post in March.
Though I have been back at my bench a lot more. I feel that dabbling in Pottery somewhat helped me back to it. I definitely feel at home with jewellery making. Pottery is great fun and I do intend to keep up with it, but right now I just don't have the time.

With jewellery making you can begin something and then leave it for a while to see to the children, or dinner, or answer the phone etc. But with throwing clay, you have to be there for the duration and you have to see the project through and you can't leave the wheel - you must be really focused and almost fixated on the clay or it just doesn't work out. And I rarely get that kind of time, at least not until 10/11 at night and by then, I'm spent and ready for bed.

Here are some pictures of what I've made on my wheel at home:

So they are just a small part of what I have thrown on my wheel at home. My pottery teacher says I am ready to move onto glazing now, or I can continue to learn how to throw - I haven't tried to join two pots together or to make a teapot and so on. Right now I feel to move onto glazing would be the ideal thing. So that will be happening in the near future I hope.

I've noticed being at my bench certainly feels very comfortable for me and so I have been trying to spend a lot more time there - which means being there when my little one is running around. I have set up a blackboard/whiteboard in the garage where I work so she can draw whilst I try and get little things done. It never really works for long, but I try :)

Lately I have decided to try and push my designs further and I am constantly on the quest to be learning/teaching myself new things with jewellery techniques.

Pictures below are of things I have made in the past month or so:

The Turquoise piece above was for a giveaway I recently had on Instagram, which I will be sending off today if I get the time. Again I am playing with backgrounds for my jewellery. It seems to be something I can never settle on and am constantly changing, but I can't help it. I am probably going to change it again soon..........

I think we are looking to move again very soon. I would love to move to a single level home to make life simpler. There are definite postitives to having a double storey home, but there are many negatives too - especially for me. The one problem is getting a good home within our budget that has all the things we require and being able to be in a good area too. I love change, but I'm not a fan with all the work that comes with moving.

So that's what's been happening in my neck of the woods.
Sorry that I am not really here much anymore. It can't be helped right now.
Off to have a nice hot cup of tea - yes! it's actually a little cold here now!!  :)

Em ♥

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hello there!!! (long post ahead!)

I am still around folks!
Not as much as I'd like to be, but time slips away from me these days faster than ever. Leaving little time for blogging.

My little girl will be 2 soon. She is gorgeous, but gets into absolutely everything!! And so I am kept on my toes day in and day out raising her. I haven't been at my bench much at all this year. For some reason after teaching myself a new technique, things just sort of dissipated and I stopped making anything. At all.

There are a few pieces waiting for me to finish - but I just don't want to. Don't get me wrong, I still think about making something daily, but whenever there is a little bit of free time, I don't gravitate toward jewellery making. So for now, I am just finding other ways to express creativity.

Below are the last pieces I made using the new technique I spoke about in my last post:

I love what I achieved here. It was challenging and great to add a new technique to my small group of skills.

It is still SO HOT here and we're almost a month into Autumn! Over it! I want the cold weather! Please!!

Okay so since I haven't been at my bench much, I have to put my creative side into something new. Sometimes this helps me get back to metal smithing. (though so far it hasn't!) I had a kit for candle making stored away, that I'd bought just before falling pregnant in 2012. And a little while ago I decided I would get it out and get making - one thing lead to another and I somehow ended up wanting to make bath bombs and then soap! Soap! Of all things! I don't even use bars of soap for goodness sake. (I'm a liquid/shower gel type of gal)

Anyway I researched my butt off and got making it. Below is a picture of the second batch (small 3 bar batch) of cold process soap I ever made using my own recipe and it was sadly the last.

To cut an extremely long story short - to set up the legal side of things (in order to sell said soap at markets/etsy/anywhere really) for insurance and registration for using a chemical, it was going to cost me a lot of money. Well over $1000 aussie dollars. And that was before you pay for the actual ingredients and tools you need to make the soap.

So unfortunately I had to put that idea to bed. Which really sucked. I really, really, was excited about it and I felt I could still pair it with jewellery making.

Well this got hubby and I thinking about what I could do instead of soap making that wouldn't cost me anything to pursue (outside of the obvious costs of supplies etc) and he came up with Pottery.

And this folks is where I have been resting my creative head for the past month.

Before I go, here is a picture of my little boy Tookie.

I lost him a week ago to an open cage door. Unfortunately the little door inside the main sliding door got stuck and he got out. I stupidly tried to grab him and he flew to 3 other places in our garden and each time I tried to grab him. Didn't have my thinking cap on - I had my panic cap on and he got away. Didn't hear him until that afternoon, he was up a very very tall Gumtree he could see me, I could see him. But he wasn't going to come down.

I put out his cage on our front lawn with food and packets of human snacks and he still refused to even try. Personally I don't think he wanted too. At least not enough. He was enjoying his freedom with his full flight feathers and he wanted to explore, but was too scared to at the same time. We tried to hose him out of the tree (I should have tried this before he escaped our back yard!!!! It would have worked 100% - of that I am sure!) but it just made him fly further up to the top of the gum tree. And if you know those trees, you will know just how tall they are!

Night fall came and we didn't hear anymore noises. The morning came and we couldn't see or hear him anymore. That was over a week ago......

I got him on our honey moon over 14 years ago. He was a little bit loco. But I loved him and I miss him. The main thing that hurts is not knowing if he is okay and alive and hoping with all hope that if he has passed on, that it was swift and with no suffering. And mainly that it's my stupid fault. I knew it was going to happen one day, because of that bloody door getting stuck sometimes. I can't change it now. I have to just get over it. I love him and hope he had a little adventure out there in the big bird world.

Where ever you are little Tookie boy, you'll always be part of me and my memories x x

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Almost The End Of Another Year.

And I have really let my blog slide. And my Etsy shop for that matter. Sure, I've the perfect reason (little Miss 1.5yr old) but I would have liked to have achieved a little bit more in 2014.

Before the year is out though, I am endeavouring to get one new technique under my belt. I have been gathering the materials needed over the past week and hubby has gifted me for our Wedding Anniversary (today!) - a new Drill Press, which was a part of the 'materials' needed wanted to make this technique go well. I hope.

I really really am excited to try this 'new to me' technique. The more I can do, the more I want to do and I'm hoping with the excitement of this new technique and using a new tool, it will bring me some much needed motivation to pursue all the ideas in my head.

It has been really hot here lately - more humidity than anything else. Summer only arrived here today and I'm not looking forward to another 3 months of heat. Though the past 3 days have been quite alright heat wise. My husband noticed this particular street whilst at work and we took a little drive out to see it as a family and I got a heap of pictures of it:

Yes, it looks this bright and vibrant in real life!
It's such a nice drive through this particular street as these Jacarandas all hang over the road and the green and coral red are spectacular together.

These trees are planted everywhere in this suburb, but this was the best street we could find.

They make an absolute mess when in flower, but who cares when they give the most fabulous shade and colour!

I'm currently working on a custom order, it's actually the 3rd time making this particular piece - using PMC. I finally got to my bench to make the pendant and fire it last night, as it was not too hot and I could use the torch.

Next year I am hoping to invest in a Little Smith torch set up with the oxy/acetylene set up. I want to do pinning and the only way I can see this happening, is if I add this torch to my workshop. Though I am kind of scared to have a 'proper' gas set up if I'm completely honest. Having bottles of gas around makes me a bit uncomfortable, especially with children in the house.

Can you believe I have been doing smithing now for 5 YEARS?!!! Yes! Damn that has gone fast! And I have been blogging here for that entire time too.

There is probably much more I could blog about, but I'm going to leave it here, hopefully I will be able to post again soon.

Take care
Em ♥

Friday, November 21, 2014

Around The World Blog Hop - Little Cherry Hill

The idea behind the Blog Hop is for creative bloggers to write a post based around a few questions.  Their answers offer an insight into their creative thoughts and processes.  The blog ‘baton’ is then passed on to another artisan and so the trip around the globe gathers pace.

Kristen has passed this 'baton' onto me to continue the hop around the world :) I have been following Kristen's blog for sometime now and love to read her posts on her latest jewellery making ventures. She makes gorgeous pieces of wearable art and has some great wire designs incorporated into her work.

So lets start with the first question:

What am I working on?

I have several pendants on my bench at the moment - some only just beginning and another almost finished and some enamelled earrings.  I'm also working on a giveaway for reaching 500 'likes' on my facebook page. But seeing as the weather is so awfully hot here (early might I add), I am struggling to get to my bench to make anything - way to hot to wield a torch!

How Does My Work Differ From Others in it's Genre?

This is honestly a hard question to answer. When I look at my work, I want it to be easily recognised as my own. But there are so many of us out there with similar taste/style, that it makes coming up with fresh new ideas to represent my own style all the more difficult.

Being self taught means I can only go as far as my skills have and there are many other skills I want/need to learn to help my style grow.  This journey I am on is one for the long haul - my children/family come a solid first and so it takes me a while longer to get new skills in. So that being said - I am still trying to grow my 'style' and this will come with time - something I wish (don't we all) I had more of.

Why Do I Create What I Do?

My style when growing up, was always large statement pieces. Bags, shoes and accessories. I favoured things that no one else had, that were memorable, fun, stylish, but a little bit different. Perhaps pieces that were bold, pieces that others might not choose to wear themselves.

When I began Metal Smithing, it was for a means to an end. I needed to learn to solder to complete what I was working on at the time. But as my skills with soldering grew, I wanted to make those 'large, different, statement' pieces for myself and I have been enjoying trying to do that ever since. It doesn't always work out, but when it does, it's a real buzz!

How Does My Creating Process Work?

99% of what I do, comes from my imagination alone. I don't sketch - unless I absolutely must. I'm terrible at drawing. 

Most of the time I begin with the stone/s, I will choose the best type of bezel setting for it and from there the design will grow. Every now and then I will have a definite idea of something I want to make and I will try my best to execute it as close to how I've imagined it to be. 

Other times, it is just 'go with the flow'. I think for myself half of the fun is playing around with all sorts of components to see what I can come up with and if I can make it come to life. 

The picture below is a perfect example of that:




I hope you have enjoyed reading my little blog hop post and now I would like to pass the 'baton' onto Mossy from Silver Moss Jewellery :)

Emma ♥

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Still here....

though it seems to have been a few months since I last posted (boy is time whizzing by!).

My new found interest (make up) is still with me and I am slowly getting back to the bench a little more consistently.

Below are the latest additions to my shop:

I've a few things on my bench that I am working on.
And I am back playing with enamels a little, but this time on silver.
The one thing I didn't realise, was that some opaque enamels do not turn out on silver like they do on copper.

Here is an example of a pair that went wrong:

 I began this pair with a colour called 'Clover Pink' - which on copper looks like a deep musky pink, but on silver, it became a green with pink blobs. So then I applied 2 coats of Marigold - which is an orange/yellow colour and it fired a yellow with lots of grey flecks.

This pair however were just fine:

They were fired using Mint Green and I love the colour against the silver.

Because I don't have much experience with enamels on Silver, I never thought to do the sample pieces. I have a board with all my colours fired on copper discs so I know just how they will turn out before I bother making them. So now I need to do the same with silver.

This is what I have sampled so far apart from the above, 2 opaques and 2 transparent.

I have a whole lot to go through, but on the Metalclay US site there are a few that have been sampled on silver, so I know of a few now that won't work, the rest I have to try out for myself.

In the picture above you can see the opaque Sapphire - it looks absolutely gorgeous on silver and next to it is Bitter Green and that is almost a neon green and it looks nice and bright against the silver.

Right now my youngest is napping, so I can't prepare any earrings as it means making lots of hammering noise and I'm also waiting on a supply of earring posts. I could make my own, but I can't be bothered.....

Hope everybody who reads this is doing well and having fun in their craft!
Em ♥