Thursday, September 30, 2010

SATeam Challenge

Every month the team has a challenge in which we create a piece around a set theme.  For the month of September, the theme was Back to School as in the Northern hemisphere the students school year begins in September.

It was a tricky topic but those who participate created beautiful works.  Here is a link to the forums blog to see all the entries.

As I'm in the Southern Hemisphere, our school year begins in Jan/Feb each year.  I decided to do a twist to the school theme and made my piece around the 1967 movie "To Sir With Love".  This is one of the original movies about a teacher who overcomes many obstacles to assist his students.

Here is my challenge piece.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Melancholy Musings - Mighty Tigers (Mon, 27 Sept)

It only seems like the other day that we were kicking off to another year of football - for my international friends who may not be aware, here in Oz there are a couple of codes of football which incorporates soccer, union, AFL and as far as I'm concerned - the best one which is "League".  The season has not been without controversy but for my team, the Wests Tigers - an exciting one.

They made it through to the Finals series and last night was the play-off to the Grand Final next week.  Although gallant and playing a magnificent game which had you on tenterhooks right until the end - one point was the difference at the end of the 80 minutes of a hard, tough game.  Notice I didn't say lose - as they didn't lose the game - they fought a tough battle and it was a close one right through to the dying seconds ...

So the mighty Tigers, you may not be there physically next weekend but in spirit you deserved to be ... bring on 2011!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Blog Carnival - Using Recycled Materials (Sun, 26 Sept)

I can't believe that its been a month since the last SATeam blog carnival!  The subject for this month is how we use recycled materials in our creations.

Traditionally a silver girl, recently I have been playing with brass, copper and bronze elements in my work.  With old is new again - I have much pleasure in visiting second hand stores for old jewels to pull apart and recreate into new pieces, ramaging through recycling shops for components I can use and even the hardware store is a good place to go.  There is nothing better than pulling apart a piece and using the materials to create a unique piece of jewellery. 

Here is a piece I created with the chain and Swarovski crystals coming from a necklace I picked up in a second hand shop and the wire used to wrap the leaves was picked up in a recycling shop.  They were the perfect component for the leaves I made from bronze and copper clay.

I found this piece of rubber the other day whilst visiting a recycle shop - my plan will be to use this as a base for a choker necklace.

These off -cuts of leather ...

... will be used to create anoter cuff

So in this day and age of the disposable society - beauty can be found.

Check out what some of my friends from our team do with recycled materials.

The FamiLee Jewels

Danagonia Enchanted Jewelry

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Artist Profile - Phil Goatcher (Thursday, 23/09/2010)

Within the myriad arcades winding throughout the streets of Melbourne enfolded within the historic architecture is one arcade called "The Block".  Originally built in 1892, architect David C. Askew created one of the most beautiful arcades in Melbourne - complete with lavish fittings from the mosaic tiled flooring, wrought iron finishings, timber shop fronts, elaborate leadlight windows and glass canopies, this historically significant building is a testament to the Victorian mannerist style.

In 1907, scenic artist - Philip Goatcher decorated the ceiling of the Singer Sewing Machine premises. The paintings were lost until "The Block" underwent renovations and the paintings were re-discovered!  Philip Goatcher is my children's Great, Great Grandfather (on their fathers side) and I recently visited a beautiful dress shop "Chelsea" within "The Block" which are the current hosts of the "Goatcher" paintings. It was a pleasure watching my daughters face as she discovered the talents within her heritage.

Here is an example of his work on the ceiling of Chelsea within "The Block".

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tool Time (Tuesday, 21 September 2010)

Start by doing what's necessary
Then do what's possible
Suddenly you will be doing the impossible!

This sums how I feel when I sit at the bench and start to create a piece - I'll start with what's necessary and as it is usually wire work - I'll be using my trusty pliers!  I can't do with out them ... my round nose, bent nose and nylon tipped pliers are my favourite!  I have multiples in all of these. 

Then I do what is possible - this is usually wire wrapping those tiny Swarovski or natural stone beads, or create  a chain using the round nose pliers after wrapping each bead and then connecting it to the chain.  Each pearl in this necklace was hand wrapped and then attached to the chain - this piece consists of nine rows of chain and attached to a cultured pearl clasp.

Suddenly I'm creating the impossible - now my pliers are now used to their full capacity as I'm putting together all the pieces which will complete the design.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Melancholy Musings (Monday, 20 September 2010)

... and the winner is Sid-en-ney!!!  These famous words were spoken by the late Juan Antonio Samaranch in September of 1993.  I was there at the Sydney Opera House with thousands of others and I can still recall the silence of anticipation as we stood in a huge circle listening to this tiny portable radio - followed by this deafening cheer of jubilation and celebration.  I've never seen a city come together as Sydney did that night with strangers smiling and hugging each other and cultures were united.

The spirit of the XXVII games continued until the summer of 2000 when 10 years ago, on a spring evening - the Games of the New Millennium opened to the sounds of cracking whips as a reproduction of the Man from Snowy River came thundering into the main arena.  On Thursday, we reminisced as the 10 year anniversary dawned - so many wonderful memories of not only a city and country united but the world ... if only we could capture that spirit globally once again.

We cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening our own. -- Ben Sweetland 

The Main Stadium

In the crowd!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday Stone Review - Mookaite

The Australian Mookaite is an amazing stone.  It is named after the area that it comes from – Binthabuka more commonly known as Mooka Creek.  This is a sheep farm of around 700,000 acres located approximately 100 miles inland of the small coastal town of Carnarvon in Western Australia and is surrounded by the Kennedy Ranges.

Ron Butler put in the first mineral claim over the stations Mookaite deposits around 1964 which is  still managed by members of his family.

A Dutchman by the name of Dirk Hartog was the first known Westerner to land in the region in 1616. European settlement began in the 1860's with pastoralists enticed to take up leases for grazing of sheep. The town of Carnarvon developed as a port for shipping livestock and wool and took its name from Lord Carnarvon, Secretary of the State for the Colonies in the 1870s.   Its streets were made wide enough for the Afghan camel teamsters to turn their teams of thirty camels and wool wagons.

High numbers of sheep grazed the area around the Kennedy Ranges until the late 1930s, when drought, depression and overgrazing caused many businesses to crash, however the area today is semi-developed . One of the best times to visit the range is the months after good winter rains when the usually dusty red landscape changes to rich, vibrant hues.

The landscape is transformed by Everlastings, mulla-mullas, rich herb fields, native cornflowers and other wildflowers flourish, carpeting large areas of the surrounding plains.

Mookaite is found exclusively in Australia.  Windalia Radiolarite is the Geological terminology and it has been described as chert, opalite, chalcedony or combinations of the three and on occasions has been known to contain traces of fossils. The colours of this gorgeous stone reflect the environs it is mined and range in shades of red, purple, tan, white and pink.

Metaphysically, it is believed that Mookaite is a healing stone, a nurturing stone which supports and sustains during times of stress bringing peace and a feeling of wholeness. Mookaites Element is Earth and is aligned with the lower Chakras of Root, Solar Plexus and Third Eye.  The astrological sign of this wonderful stone is Virgo.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Funny Friday (17 September)

Has there ever been a time when you need that ready fix, that easy solution to make something work.  Whilst making jewellery you will often come up to situations where you need to be innovative and use your creative side.  However, in every day life you often see people using that creative side for other purposes, check them out!

Don't have a spoon but have a paper cup handy!

Satellite not working problem  - just can't get that reception right but have a spare umbrella hanging around???


Nothing worse when your display rack's leg break and you need a substitute in a hurrry .....


So what have you used as an emergency substitute???
Happy Friday all :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sundays Treasures (12 September)

I'm in love - I found a new chocolate shop and my taste buds have been savouring the delights of a rich, dark and smooth Belgian chocolate.  So this Sundays Treasures are from the wonderful members of Sateam who have an array of mouth watering chocolate goodies for you to enjoy!

The Blue Dress

Feathered Gem

The FamiLeeJ ewels


Willow Branch

Monday, September 6, 2010

Melancholy Musings

We've all experienced those moments where your flesh tingles with goose bumps as all of your senses are heightened and alert ... I had one of those split second encounters whilst attending the Titanic Artefacts Exhibition in Melbourne (Australia) recently.  The exhibition features items recovered from the oceans depths, and its incredible to believe that some of the items had been laying dormat for 73 years until being re-discovered.  The more delicate items were hosted in temperature controlled glass cases however some items were displayed within the actual cooled environment of the Melbourne Museum.

The moment that reality struck, wasn't whilst viewing the first class rooms or even the third class quarters, the boiler room certainly gave you an appreciation for the working conditions of the men who laboured the massive engines however, it was the ice wall ... it was a replica of the environs that those who had survived all else, would have tolerated - I placed my hand on the wall for a total of 40 seconds - in that short space of time - I started to lose feeling in my hand - it was difficult to even begin to fathom how those survivors could endured such conditions.

So did I survive?

Each "passenger" is given a boarding pass upon entering the exhibit and at the journeys end, you can view the wall of survivors as well as those who sadly perished and see what happened to your passenger - its an unusual way to finish an exhibition ...

... my passenger was one of the survivors.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Artist Profile

There are so many talented artists and the wonderful world of technology has allowed us to explore and discover new artists on an almost daily basis!

Fortunately - I don't have to go far to make this discovery as my family has many hidden talents.  My sister Nicolle's creativity transforms a blank canvas into a magical journey.  Each work of art enthralls your imagination and leaves you wanting more - the attention to detail, the colours, the lines - her themes range from the spiritual and enchanting to mesmerising portraits of those whom she captures within her brush strokes.

Below is an example of Nicolles beautiful works.