Well, its happening this week. And boy has it crept up on me! I'm moving! Yep! Bye, bye Melbourne... and hello country Victoria! A tree change away from the hustle and bustle of the city suburbs, to fresh country air! Can't wait!
But of course, since all my jewellery making bits and bobs will be packed away for a little while I've had to close my etsy and madeit stores. I'm hoping that once I set up internet access again I'll be right to reopen mid to late May. I also look forward to getting involved in the local markets and having a stall monthly or something. Will also be on the lookout for some funky country stores who might be interested in stocking my stuff. Ahh, its all exciting! I just have to get through this stressful the packing and moving stage first!!
It was my Birthday on Sunday so I had a really nice relaxing weekend (even though my little boy was run down with his first cold and feeling pretty miserable!). The family and I went for a picnic to a local park, it was a bit brisk but we were all rugged up so it was fine. It does seem like Autumn has turned into Winter prematurely here in Melbourne though!
The cake my hubby made for me... it was a lemon, lime, coconut + white choc mudcake! Mmmm...
And although it wasn't a Birthday present as such, I was so thrilled to hear I'd won some gorgeous sterling silver earrings by the lovely Michelle from wing by sea. I recieved them in the mail yesterday and they're even prettier in real life! Can't wait to wear them out on Saturday night! I've already picked an outfit AROUND the earrings! It just so happens I got a nice black singlet and a silvery sparkly bangle for a present from my sister. So I'll be wearing the three together :)
Michelle makes heaps of gorgeous sterling silver jewellery - make sure you drop by her stores:
I am notorious for starting projects and then never quite finishing them, much to my husband's disapproval (as there seems to be lots of unfinished projects lying around the house!) but I can happily tick one of them off my list. What started about 18 months ago as a "quick little mosaic pot" dragged on and on.. but this weekend I finally got around to finishing them off. And heres the finished product (still a little dirty in the pics and no plants in them just yet, that's another 'project' to do at some stage I suppose!)
Looking forward to popping some succulents or some annual flowers in them... not sure which yet!
I have always been fond of pampering my hands, putting some nail polish on my nails and making them look all pretty, but more often than not, I seemed to succum to 'broken nail syndrome' where I'd finally get my nails looking great, then one or more would break, leaving my pampered manicure looking uneven and sad, or "peely chipped syndrome" where my nails were so weak they would bend and peel causing the nail polish to come off and end up making the whole manicure look drab....
So you can imagine my joy during pregnancy when I was totally blessed with strong healthy nails that did not seem to break, peel and just get longer and longer (in fact I had to keep cutting/filing them to ensure they don't get too long and talon like!). I'm thinking my luck was either due to one of those natural pregnancy advantages some people get or the fact I'm taking more vitamins than normal. Who knows... I just know I certainly wasn't complaining.
So while I had the best nails of my life, I therefore decided I had to keep doing them during pregnancy, but for obvious reasons I wanted to avoid any of the harsh toxic chemicals that some nail polishes contain, the most concerning being: Formeldehyde, Toluene and Dibutyl Phlalate. Formeldehyde is a known carcinogen, Toluene is a human reproductive and developmentmental toxin and (to think it couldn't get any worse) dibutyl phlalate can cause birth defects in the developing fetus. It's amazing what is still used in some products today.
In my search for less-toxic alternatives I came across a number of nail polish brands that do not contain these ingredients and whilst there are some top-end brands, it was nice to know some of the cheaper brands have also removed them from their formula.
Here are some brands which I've found do not contain the three worrying chemicals: Zoya, Face of Australia, Chi Chi, Savvy, butter/LONDON.. and if you want to avoid chemicals altogether there are these: Suncoat Water-Based Polish, and Honeybee Gardens Water-Based Polish. These harsh chemical ingredients seem to be getting less and less though so you might find that there are heaps of other brands that don't have them either. It's always wise to check the ingredients list though before you buy as some specific colors or formulas may contain them.
Anyway, once you've found yourself a beautiful, toxic-free nail polish - time to put it on! ... here are my tips for the perfect manicure:
1. Before you paint your nails dab them with some nail polish remover (this removes all the oils and dirt that stops polish from sticking!) Just rinse your hands afterwards with water and soap, and use a nail brush if you want.
2. Always use a base coat. It will help the top coat stick, meaning your nail polish will last longer.. and will prevent your nails from being stained from some of the darker polishes.
3. Do at least 2 thin even coats. Don't spread the polish on thickly as it will not dry properly and will chip off. Give yourself plenty of time where you don't have to use your hands, and do two coats, allowing 5-10 mins between them.
4. Don't worry about getting some polish on your fingers around the nail. Don't wipe off. Wait til your nails are dry and when you take a shower, just lightly rub the skin where the polish is and it should come off easily under the hot water.
5. Always do a top coat (clear) which will seal the colored polish. Wait a while before you do this coat though (I usually do it a couple of hours later or the next day). Just make sure you wash your hands to get rid of any oils that might be sitting on the nails before you do the top coat.
6. When you're completely finished. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! And continue to do so. Keep your hands and cuticles nice and supple and soft, and it will help your nails remain strong and healthy.
7. Every so often, strip your nails and leave them 'naked' without polish for at least a few days to breathe. During this time use a cuticle oil (Solar Oil is a good one) or vitamin e oil (just prick a liquid capsule and squeeze it on!) on your nails, and moisturise your hands with a quality cream.
Took a walk to my local op shop yesterday for a bit of a browse, and naturally I did not come out empty handed. Here's what I got....
Some vintage doilies, a cute vintage deer ornament, gorgeous aqua glass vase/jug and sweet brooch!
I'm going to use this as a prop for my market stall displays, its the same color as my logo/business cards etc.
I just couldn't leave this cute little deer on the shelf all by itself. Not sure what I'll do with him yet, maybe he can sit on my market display too... or on my desk (when I finally get a new work studio area set up!)
Isn't it so cute. I'm definetely gonna keep this one for me!!
I was very honored to be part of the amazing DUST team when a fabulous store was opened to raise funds for the devastating floods recently in QLD, Australia. Naturally I jumped at the chance to donate a couple of items, and I can gladly say they both sold and are off to new homes :) Thank you to the lovely buyers for supporting such a great cause! I also bought a gorgeous fox screenprint donated by magicjelly and it is sooo beautiful, I love it.
The store has so far raised over $5000 with a mindblowing 400+ sales, all donated items, and 100% of proceeds going directly to charity!
Here is a pic of the Bottle Top Necklace and Owl Earrings I donated;
There are still a HEAP of fabulous items, goto http://www.etsy.com/shop/AusDisasterRelief to do some shopping, whilst also supporting a worthy cause!! And if you need any inspiration, here are a few of the goodies up for grabs! (click on the image to go to the listing, or to go to the donator's shop click on their name)
I've had a few people I've met recently, who, when I've mentioned I make jewellery - ask if I have a business card, and unfortunately I haven't! D'oh! So realising I'm missing out on easy potential extra marketing, and not wanting to spend heaps of money geting some printed, I decided to DIY some. Using illustrator and publisher I made a fairly simple design based on my banner/logo with all the important info, and printed out a handful on photo paper. Being on photo paper they are not as thick as cardstock but they aren't too bad. I'll pop a few in my purse so I will never miss out again! I'll also send one out with each order too....
Also, some new things in store.. firstly here are some earrings....in purple and pink
Happy New Year everyone, and as always - thank you for your ongoing support!!
It's time to say thank you to all my facebook likers, as I am holding a big clearance sale on Facebook, starting Thursday 13th January 2011 at 8pm. If you'd like to see what is up for grabs, head over to my facebook page and check out the clearance photo album!
There will be everything from rings, to brooches, necklaces and earrings.. all heavily reduced.
Don't miss out! It's a great chance to get some handmade jewellery bargains!