Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mainichi ♥'s Blue Caravan

I received this lovely message in my inbox last week from Kelly who bought a Digit leather necklace from my Blue Caravan shop:

Hi Dearne,

thanks so much for my divine leather necklace - it's a thing of beauty!......

Makes it all worthwhile when customers come back to you with unsolicited comments like that!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Spring is in the air

Ahhh yes it is, this afternoon we soaked up some sun outdoors. Seems like it has been forever since we were out in the garden, what with colds and flus and cold Melbourne weather. With all the colour starting to appear in the garden beds I thought I would try playing around with my new iPhone "Toy Camera" app. Lots of fun, as you can see. A little bit Lomo-esque.

So pleased the cuttings I took from my Grandma's Geraniums have kicked off, now that I've relocated them out of the vegie garden bed (which now seems to be home to Daffodils!).....

These little treasures always make me smile......

What's thriving in your spring garden?? x

Friday, August 27, 2010

St Kilda Steiner Winter Bazaar

I'll be here on Saturday afternoon, flogging my wares.....if you are near St Kilda do pop in and say hello and have a look at the beautiful setting in the St Kilda Steiner Preschool.....11am to 3pm

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Love the colour orange

When I first moved to Melbourne I had a fetish for all things made from plastic in the colour orange. I have a theory that there are times in your life when you are drawn towards certain colours, for some particular reason. I have also read that orange is a healing colour....
Anyway, I digress. Over at KID Independent they have featured a range of orange, yummy things, in their Creative Cravings feature, one of which is my felt face brooch.
Items featured are:
Sweet Alpacas Print by Happy Doodle Land

Amigurumi Ranger by Studio Llama Llama
Embroidered Felt Face Pin by Mainichi
Orange Elephant by Two Little Banshees
Best Bear Plush Doll by Nonesuchgarden
Sylvia Sock Money by Planet Monkey
Balloon of Dream Print by Hsin Ping Pan
Please pop over to the KID blog for links to all these products and great shops.

Monday, August 23, 2010

New Recycled Wood Necklaces

I admit it, there's been quite a bit of timber featuring in my new creations of late. I think this piece has got to be my favourite so far.
I could class this as a collaborative design really, because the timber pieces I have used to create only six of these necklaces was randomly cut at all sorts of angles by my very own Dad.  I've carefully sanded them smooth, added quite a few coats of Scandinavian oil, and then some wax to finish.
The wood is suspended from a piece of handmade rope, this one (which I've been sporting for about a week now, so obviously I plan to keep it!) has a rope strand created from some red wool thread that I salvaged from a skip in St Kilda.
A couple of these are now selling over on my Blue Caravan shop for $59AU - one with coral and the other with magenta coloured rope.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Earthy and beautiful

This landed in my inbox today. I had to share the image, it's gorgeous. It's for Li Edelkoort's latest Trend Union forecasting presentations entitled "Earth Matters".
Here's the link, you know, just in case you happen to be jetting off to Paris sometime around the 14th and 16th of September, and you don't have anything else to do, you might want to buy tickets.....ho hum.....

Mainichi Shop Online (Australian Dollars)

Mainichi now has a new shop over at Blue Caravan and best of all you can shop there in Aussie Dollars....YAY.....We're in great company there, with fairtrade, organic, ethical and handmade products galore to choose from. Stop by and see what's on offer. It's all good.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stinking Scams & Creepy Comments

Radiation warning sign, originally uploaded by Ernst Moeksis.
Ok this post comes with a warning.....I'm going to have a whinge. So if you do not want to hear it then stop reading.....NOW......

Is it just me or are the "comments" posted on my blog that are not legitimate or full of links to creepy, dodgy websites getting a bit tiresome????
Thank goodness I have ticked that little box that allows me to edit the comments before they appear.

However not so lucky with my email. Yesterday I received what seemed like a reasonably legitimate request for some interior design work. I responded, requesting more information, even though I felt it was a little bit on the dodgy side. The second email I got from said "client" sent the alarm bells ring-a-ding-dinging........

So if you are in the interior design business be warned, if someone emails you about a job and they currently live "offshore".....and want to pay by credit card (hello???!!!)......be very cautious......

Postscript....Blogger must have had their ears burning (or I'm very slow) but I just checked my comments and hooray they now have a spam searcher for comments and a special folder for spam comments to be sent to....yay. Blogging much more pleasant....now.....I wonder if they can do anything about "Gary" who emailed me???

Rainbow Green

Oops! This was supposed to be created yesterday, if it was to be in the correct order of the rainbow. I blame it all on the fogginess of my awful, lingering flu.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rainbow Collection

Here's the first three instalments in one of my (many) projects this week.
I'm creating a treasury for each colour of the rainbow, on each day of this week.
When I typed the title of this post I remembered Kermit the frog singing "Rainbow Connection"......
To see the treasury in Etsy click on the colour beneath.....Enjoy!


Monday, August 9, 2010

Catching up

Today it's time to catch up on some unfinished projects that have been sitting on my desk......Shinzo felt necklaces and more Mushi leather brooches above and below.

And lastly these new pieces, inspired by a piece created for the "Tale of Wood & Fish" window exhibition earlier this year.  These are plaster-cast brooches, here being sanded smooth, and destined to be painted bright colours. Hopefully that will happen this afternoon, while we are enjoying this "warm" Melbourne winter's day!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Craft Dilemma

That's me, many moons ago, with another of my former creative pursuits
Recently another designer/maker and I briefly discussed the concept of craft as a hobby versus craft as a business. And it got me thinking.

This conundrum must be as old as post-industrialisation, and especially post the mod cons of the 20th century that have made life easier, so giving us the age of leisure and time to actually pursue a hobby.

Over the years I have had many of these so-called “hobbies”. I prefer to call them creative pursuits. Whilst I was working in a corporate office environment my weeknight and weekend pursuits provided me with a much needed creative balance against the blandness of my 9 to 5 job.

When my daily work also eventually became my creative work, in my downtime I took up Taekwondo - what I consider could also be called a hobby, but some would call strictly a sport. Much like my creative urges, if I don’t get the opportunity to practice my sport/hobby I get a bit tetchy and short tempered. And that’s not just because I feel the urge to belt something (not someone) really hard. It’s more about the good vibe I get from exercising, changing my environment, putting on my uniform, tying my belt, and the satisfaction of working really hard, sweating and performing well.

In parallel to this dilemma of craft hobby versus craft business, I recall listening to a presenter at a business coaching seminar a few years back. The presenter posed the question “Who has someone available right now to answer the phone or deal with a customer (while they are attending this seminar)?” Being a sole practitioner, running my own interior design practice, I had to answer “NOT ME!” I was a little insulted by his next statement, which was something along the lines of “those who said ‘no’ don’t have a business; they are merely earning a wage…..”

This begs any number of questions, what is a hobby, what is a business, what is a sport and what is earning a wage? Are they not what YOU make of them? Anyone can tell you what they think you are doing, or not doing. But that can’t take away from the satisfaction you get from doing something you are passionate about.

So go forth and create – whatever the outcome. It’s the process that counts. And if it so happens that you make something beautiful that others enjoy AND you can sell it and make a (somewhat reasonable) living from it, then that’s great too!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Shop update!

Very excited to say that I have a new online shop in Australian dollars over at Blue Caravan. Here it is:
And this morning I was surprised (and pleased) to discover that Etsy now has the ability to display in YOUR local currency as well as the standard USD......

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Good news for Aussie Art

Australian artists and art lovers are breathing a little easier this weekend, and looking forward to a successful Melbourne Art Fair, thanks to an announcement by the government on Friday.
Yes, did you know that those who invest in art for their own superannuation funds may have been forced to offload a whole bunch of work onto the market, or stash it away in storage, in order to comply with some crazy recommendations made back in April in the "Cooper Review" into super??
Now, while I believe in buying art for the love of it, rather than purely investment (that's a nice idea though), this could have meant a whole bunch of artwork being undersold, thanks to a flooded market; not to mention the value ripped out from under our talented Australian artists.
Thankfully, for the time being (who knows what will happen after August 21) the Aussie Art market is safe!