Thursday, January 10, 2008

Blythe Photo's - New Series

You may already know about my Blythe addiction/obsession, but if not... it's very intense.
I have been taking loads and loads of photo's of my Blythe doll, Beatrix, since she came to me last year. I have a few different outfits for her, with plans to make many more. I also have several wigs for her, to change her look, depending on her mood (or mine ;-). I have made several of the photographs into greeting cards, and listed them Dawanda, HERE, and on Etsy, HERE. The images themselves are also available for sale in various sizes.
I took some of the cards I made along to the Melbourne Craft Mafia Night Market to see if they would sell, and they were a hit! I was so happy :-)
So that has inspired me to take a whole lot of new photo's of my darling Beatrix (and sent me searching ebay for another doll to keep Beatrix company :-)
Here are a few of the new series of pictures. I'll be adding more as the days go on, so stay tuned :-)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Melbourne Craft Cartel Night Market!

The Melbourne Craft Cartel Night Market is held at Section 8 Container Bar in Tattersalls Lane, Melbourne CBD on the first Monday of each month, from 5pm til late.
I had a stall at the very first market, which was in December 2007. And I was lucky enough to be able to have another stall at the second night market which was Monday 7th January, 2008.
It was a real success, with LOADS of people coming through, most staying for a drink or two, while they browsed the wonderful wares.
I shared a table with Angelica of the famous Jellibat label, which was great as it meant I had someone to keep me company, discuss business ideas with, and to hold the fort while I went and admired all the other amazing things for sale at the other stalls.
My stall consisted mainly of rings, earrings, hair accessories, brooches and necklaces, as well as some of my Blythe photo cards.
I sold a lot more than I had anticipated, so it was fantastic! And that also meant that I could go and buy some delightful things from other stall holders :-)
The great thing about selling at a market (as opposed to selling online) is that you are face to face with your customers, and you get immediate feedback about your items, and you also get to hear stories from your customers about why they like something, why they're buying what they're buying, and who it's for. It makes me feel good when I know the things that I put so much effort and time and love into making are going to good homes :-)
I'll be at the next Melbourne Craft Cartel Night Market, which will be held on Monday 4th February, so if you're in town, pop by and say hello!
Also, if you would like any info about the market, or having a stall there, don't hesitate to contact me via the blog or via my etsy store which is HERE .
You can also see the Flickr group HERE.
Okay, it's farewell from me for now, take care out there :-)
x Shara

***PLEASE NOTE*** This market is no longer running!! But thank you to all the lovely folks who have contacted me with interest about the market :-) I think we all wish it still existed...

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Welcome to 2008

Ah... yes... it's been a while since my last post. Please forgive me :-)
The holiday period got a little bit crazy, with unnecessarily hot weather, hiccups at the Post Office, orders coming in from all angles, and my Birthday (complete with excellent party with even more excellent friends!) in the middle of it all. But I have come through to the New Year relatively unscathed. Phew!
I hope everyone else had an enjoyable and relaxed Xmas and New Years Eve as well :-)

So here we are in 2008, and I thought it was only right to start off a new year with a new medium. RESIN. It's something I have been eagerly interested in for several years, as a new medium in which to realise my jewellery design ideas, but until now I thought it was out of my league.
Late last year I quite seriously considered doing one of the several Resin workshops in and around Melbourne, but the price tag was a little prohibitive. I wanted to be really certain that it was a creative journey that I was willing to embark on, so I did a bit of research (I love you Internet xox) and found 2 books that seemed to have some pretty good reviews and purchased them (at bargain Basement prices!!) from Amazon. The first is: "The Art of Resin Jewelry" by Sherri Haab (ISBN 0-8230-0344-2). It's a really great book if you know nothing about Resin, but are interested in finding out all the basics and getting some ideas for projects. The information is very clearly written in a simple to understand way, that isn't an insult to your intelligence. The instructions are also quite clear. Not all the products used in the projects are available in Australia, and as of yet I haven't been able to find too many U.S. websites that will ship a lot of the stuff internationally (which I think is due to the potentially hazardous nature of some of the products). However, if you have your wits about you, you should be able to figure out something that is a suitable alternative which is readily available in Australia.
Although I did really enjoy this book and all the hints and tips, I do have to admit that some of the projects are incredibly ugly (which is of course, simply a matter of taste) so I'm sure that the projects in the book that I think are beautiful, others will find to be hideous.
Despite this, it is an EXCELLENT introduction to the world of Resin jewellery. I can highly recommend it :-)
The second book I purchased is "Resin Jewellery" by Kathie Murphy (ISBN 0-87349-619-1). This is a slightly more "high brow" publication and is probably directed more towards people who have a bit of previous knowledge in jewellery design. It gives an excellent history of resin and other plastics, which gives you a great insight into how and why different products react in a certain way and how they can be best utilised. This book also gives you lots of information about different products, techniques and standard safety tips. But I think the best thing about this book is all the photographs of some seriously STUNNING and amazing resin work by artists and designers from all over the world. I found the images to be of great inspiration and made me DESPERATE to rush out and buy all the things I needed to start making my own Resin masterpieces :-)
So I can highly recommend this book also.
I have seen both these books on several websites where resin supplies are available, and they are both extremely over-priced. For example one Australian website is selling the Kathie Murphy book for $57AUD, and it is currently available on Amazon for approx. $5.20AUD. I did a lot of searching around and Amazon was by far the best place to purchase both the books (even with the crazy postage prices :-)

So far I have made a few smallish beads with the EasyCast 2-part resin I purchased, and they have been quite good. I used a purpose made polyurethane resin mould, also from EasyCast. The shapes and designs of the mould which has several cavities are quite good, however the resin really does pick up EVERY minute detail which meant that some of my castings came out with unwanted impressions that were left on the mould during production. I tried to gently sand this away without success. So I am in the process of making some of my own moulds using a "pour and mix" type of silicone rubber.
I am quite keen to see the results of this. I am making moulds for several different rings and some bangles also. I have so many ideas racing around in my head and I can't wait to post some photo's of my creations on here for you all to see :-)

Okay, I'm heading back to the studio (a.k.a spare room) to start casting some more of my ideas.
x Shara