Thursday, 5 February 2015

Wood & String

 Last year I was asked to sit with the neighbour's lovely girls for the day, and as a craft activity I showed them some little glass bottles. They were so inspired, filling them with tiny seed beads and wrapping the tops with wire or writing tiny notes on tea-stained paper and rolling them up to pop inside. I've made some more bottle necklaces for the shop, I love the sciency look of them, and the idea that anything that fits inside can become jewellery. When I was at school I had a collection of jars with creatures in metho, these days I am a little more practical but the fascination is still there.

When I was a schoolkid I went through a macrame phase and made several pot hangers, owls, and even a halter (i had a little obsession with horses). 
It seems quite difficult to find appropriate materials for macrame - cords and ropes can be quite costly and fairly large quantities are needed. So when I found some nice fat white acrylic at the op shop, I excitedly matched it up with a beautifully sun-bleached gum branch and some wooden op-shop beads for a lovely seaside wall hanging.

I strung a tatted doily on an embroidery hoop with knotless netting to make this dreamcatcher. There is a wire nest which has a brass bird searching for it.
These beautiful frames made from recycled timber are begging for some gentle, natural artworks. I've started with a deer which has been on the table unfinished for some time now. I will get them done at some stage but if they turn out very, very pretty I might have to keep them. :-)

I should mention that I no longer have a shop at JindyAndy Mill. Any remaining stock is now at Huskisson in the Bayside Emporium.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Happy New Year!

This is just a quick mish-mash update on what's been happening with Pebbles and Pods! 

In November I was offered a space at Jindy Andy Mill, which is in Pyree, East of Nowra, in charming green dairy land. Such a beautiful location, and alongside JindyAndy Antiques and Lisa's The Store. How could I resist? The offer meshed perfectly with my moving house and having several, somewhat "homeless" pieces of furniture available to use as display. The environment is very serene and the people are delightful. I have currently joined forces with my old neighbour, Susan, who has truckloads of baskets, desks and vintage mirrors she's been collecting for years. If you're in the area, stop in and have a coffee at Greenfields cafe. Susan and I sat outside yesterday watching a sweet little swallow in a nest built on top of a light fitting. 

I made a wedding gift for a loyal customer for "J" and "S", something quite different for me. 

I met the recipient of a commissioned painting I completed about 12 months ago. She was very pleased with her gift, and it was really something special to meet her and also to be reassured... it's an ugly, gut-churning, insecure feeling when you send off a portrait, hoping in your heart of hearts that it is well received. (I think of the movie Napoleon Dynamite - laughing!).

Moving house has been an epic upheaval, as it also involved separating from the lovely Andy with all his birdly wisdom. But I'm building my own nest now and enjoying avian freedom :-). In my new garden at Sanctuary Point I miss the little finches and wrens, but I love the Lorikeets and Corellas, and the kangaroos that lay outstretched on front lawns or barrel into our backyard and gawk at us through the back windows while they comfortably scratch their bits.

We've adopted 6 hens from a local family who are moving far away. I just love hens and their gentle, homely natures. We had applied for ex-battery hens, but then these ones came up - and needed to be taken right away, so I had to work fast to get their space ready, setting posts and swinging a gate, adapting the two-hen-house to suit 6. 

My daughter has a range of jewellery at the Huskisson store, look for the shipping tags with the vintage gorilla stamp. She's got a great eye for quirky, cool pieces, and she's raising money to buy herself a little 2nd hand car.

The Emporium in Huskisson is crazy-busy at the moment which makes for a great, bustling atmosphere! Please be patient with the staff, we aim for friendly service to customers but unfortunately our system is not designed for fast turnaround. Bring a coffee from Kiosk across the road and take your time ;-)

Playing with display ideas on my kitchen bench! I just wanted to share this because I think it looks super pretty. Found dollhouse, vintage silk flowers, made nest & wreath. Can be seen at my 2nd store at Jindy Andy Mill. 

More sketch book covers. One has a repurposed horse cross-stitch and shoelace 'rope', the other is made from a cushion cover with a broken zipper.

No pencils included with these ones but they still have a pocket inside the front cover.

A commissioned wedding horseshoe for the lovely Maree of Tricky Words

The letters S and J made from beading wire are stitched alongside a bow & key.

Cutout card made as a gift for the wedding couple.

Going through my photos I realised that this image explains everything I love about grasses. There are no adequate words. It's a couple of streets down from my new house, by the water in Sanctuary Point, early in the morning.

Near the boat ramp at Sanctuary Point, just back from the saltmarsh, looking along a creek. So inspiring, this pretty place!

A pair of bedside tables I've doozied up for Jindy Andy. The drawers are lined with the prettiest paper, too. Why did I not photograph the drawer liners??

An octagonal terrarium table. So pretty, this old thing. I gave it some love and put it in the shop at Jindy, and it has sold already.

This guy turned up at the back door or our new house, as if he'd seen an "open" sign.

The result of a workshop with the lovely Robyn Broughton in her elegant garden. My first dreamcatcher. This one sold the morning I hung it in the store at Huskisson.

Some little birds fashioned from fencing wire. I made these a long while back, but put them aside, as I didn't consider them a proper, completed product. But when I went through all my craft things I rediscovered them, and I think they're like 3D sketches and are quite appealing, so they are now in the shop at Husky.

Lamp with shade made from sticks. The lamp base is slightly off-white and has a gentle crackle effect in the glaze. The sticks are cut from my vast supply. I also made some more jar-stick vases. Our new house has at least 6 very large gumtrees, so there is no shortage of sticks. In fact, my dream of building a giant nest may be achievable from my own trees alone.

Swan sketch-book cover, repurposed longstitch, hessian, and vintage linen.

Pocket detail inside front cover - vintage linen. And a feather from the swan :-) [this one is sold already]

Doily dreamcatcher. This guy is hardly much different from the doily wall art things I make, but I've decided it's ok to put the dangly bits at the bottom. Some of the tassels on this one are made from homespun wool which is delightfully crimped- looking.

I added some macrame for good measure.

Another sketch book cover - salvaged cactus cross-stitch, salvaged yellow frog closure, and fabric remnant.

Calico and salvaged embroidery, cotton lace tie. This is one of the prettiest bits of embroidery I've ever seen, the petals and butterfly wings are 3D, and I think it's done on silk. The lining and pocket are made from vintage linen.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Spring Holidays!

Stone herb labels for the garden, hand-painted in white ink on local river pebbles.

A portrait of a boxer in acrylics on canvas, finished this weekend & mounted up today.

Rogue Gallery in Culburra. My wrens and some watercolour flowers for sale there.

The windows of the Bayside Emporium in Huskisson. Painted in white, with 8 "re-" words, relating to spring, and lots of decorative, spring-themed illustrations in acrylic on glass :-)

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

So much more awaits!

So claims an email message to me from The Universe, "There'll come a day when you look back and call these your 'warm up years' ". I love the idea that a junkyard collection of everyday experiences takes some solemn order in the eyes of a fantasy future-us looking back on it all. 
But for now we stumble along...

I finished a bunch of things, which feels really good. Like cleaning my house - though it needs doing again by now - it helps with feeling on top of things. I created this deer piece on a board that's been waiting a long time and which once held the letters spelling "bat  room". The deer is all brown and earthy, and the flowers looked a little bright so i painted them over with tea, and drank a cup myself. How happily it sits on the dining room floor with my yummy bag collection, ready to head to the shop. 

Thie blackboard originally had poorly-drawn dogs  painted on it. I love the little heart-pegs and wanting to tie in birds and hearts I painted a folky design thing.

These bookends have been waiting forever in a box, in bits. Today I got my new sander onto the timber and glued the little ceramic children in place. They are way wonky and naive. Somewhat deliberately, but also because I'm just not very good at wood work.

The teddy bookend just needed a couple of coats of paint and a hit with the sander.

I finished a wardrobe for Jindyandy Antiques (this is a dodgy iPhone pic of the bottom half)

Also finished another sign for Revival Wares on MDF painted with chalkboard paint
and mounted on an old trestle.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

New Things at the Emporium

Ever since I saw Pauline's (of Pauline's Natural Crystals at the Bayside Emporium, Huskisson) Moon goddess charms, I have been thinking about peaceful faces, and drawing them, and looking for reference images, and thinking about how faces have been a theme in my work for many years. 
Travelling is such a luxury - to be away from the musts and shoulds, to completely mix things up so that there's no normal, and be gifted with time to process the crazy world we live in - reassess what's important, or exciting or meaningful.
Very soon after arriving home I needed to ready some new products for the Arts Centre, so I went into a crafting frenzy for a few days and some pretty random things came out of it, I'm dying to work on some more when I've cleared the mounting pile of to-dos. 
The draining heat of Cambodia has made me appreciate the brisk, clear air of Huskisson, days of infinitely-blue skies and the sun so warming. Perfect for bundling on your boots, big coats, scarves and beanies, have some coffee or soup, or a chilli con carne pie from the Husky Bakery. Go for a solid walk in the eucaliptus-scented bush or along the weed-drenched bay shoreline. Then come in to the Emporium, out of the icy wind and be inspired by all the lovely old and hand-crafted things! 

Fair trade products from our trip to Cambodia now available!

Hand-cut leaf bookmarks with bead dangles

Denim buntings made from old jeans

Recycled doily pendant necklace

Clay doily-press pendant necklace

Moon goddess face hand-sculptured &
wired with beads

Moon goddess face, hand sculptured
with feather charm

Wire pendant with glass beads, adjustable velvet choker.

Arts Centre Restock

watercolour painting

butterfly bookmarks

hand-cut watercolour feather bookmark

local pebble adjustable necklace

timber trivet bead adjustable necklace
New stock for the Nowra Arts Centre who are doing a huge makeover of their shop, doubling shelf-space, as well as a massive web page redesign which will better promote local artisans. There will be a much larger card display, which will be great, as I have around 20 different cards available and they seem to be well received.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Sunday Drive

The most beautiful winter's (solstice!!) day yesterday, I had my pretty learner driver take me through the dairy lands and coastal villages of Pyree, Callala, Culburra, Greenwell Point... all the while a chest of drawers teetering over in the back and resticting the rear view. We delivered 2 signs to the boys at Jindyandy Antiques, which are now displayed in their fabulous new store there. So many beautiful old things in there, we decided the white rabbit chest, with it's poorly functioning drawers, was not a good display piece for my art-furniture. I bought some fabulous old postcards.
Then on to a new gallery in Culburra, "Rogue", where six pieces of my work are now on sale.
Then, sadly, to Callala tip where we left the White Rabbit to find itself a new home.
We finished the day at home with a fire in my new birthday brasier and cooked delicious roti on the hotplate.

A couple of other little projects this week was a wire lamp I made to light my crockery in at the shop. And a frame I embellished with a faded vintage print of native plants.