Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Solid gold....

Mmmm..well almost. These last few days have been anything but solid gold - the internet server has been haywire...I have not been able to post, AND I lost out on the most beautiful pair of vintage boots on eBay because the server would not connect. I am more than a tad annoyed...and not quite over the loss yet. ;(

I am making, making, making like a mad bench monkey..and today, I bought my own Gold Plating equiptment, {the huge OUCH!! as I paid for it was heard echoing around the world} which should speed things up and make life easier...{I take all the pieces to have them done by someone else at the moment}...so, lots to do, and the things to do them with. No excuses now then ;)

Link for today is to the site Actions Words which is a brilliant social project that's motto is 'actions speak louder than words' and encourages you to incorporate good deeds into your life on a daily basis...just what this world needs I think!!..enjoy.

I am off to saw, and saw some more!!..fuelled by tea and a ginger biscuit {or two}.
Take care, xox

Friday, September 22, 2006

Autumn Inspiration - Saltwater....

Fist off...thank you to Selvedge magazine for planting so many seeds of inspiration in my mind over the last few days.....

For my last day of Autumn Inspiration week...I have been exposed to, and filled up with, the beauty of Saltwater clothing - a small designer brand that has been slowly building in popularity over the last 8 years and have recently opened their first shop at 98 Marylebone Lane, London. As well as the divine garments that Saltwater has produced for Autumn/Winter 2006, what I am especially inspired by is the styling, and photography for their delicious campaign which was styled and photographed by the amazing and talented Kristin Perers {see her work by clicking on her name in the sidebar}....who is perhaps best known for her work for Toast. The hues, colours and contrasts Kristin has created in this campaign are just perfection....so evocative of Autumn in every way. I even love how the images have a slight grainyness...that clear crisp mist that Autumn brings that makes everything so clear it becomes blurred in a mixture of colour and texture {does that make sense??}....mmmm.

I have really enjoyed this week...just looking, and letting my fancy explore. Inspiration is never as far as you think..that's my lesson for the week. I hope you have enjoyed it too!!

Happy Friday! :)

ps:: I have a few more quick links for tomorrow as well.....just to kick start the weekend you understand, so see you then ;)


Jewellers at Origin - on Whip-Up....

I have penned a little post on Whip-Up profiling some of the great jewellers who will be showing at Origin this coming October. Read all about it here .....

ps...the last installment of Autumn Inspirations will be later tonight :) xx

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Autumn Inspiration - Petra Borner....

blueberries and pomegranate tree

poppy print, for cacharel

Swedish summer {papercut} :: growing hand {embroidery}

Oh the joys that come from Sweden!!;) - I found Petra Borners work through Selvedge Magazine...and was enchanted by her amazing work that she showcases on her delightful website...it is one of the most fun sites I have seen for quite a while!! Petra was born in a small town in Sweden, and now lives in London. She graduated from Central St. Martins in 1999 {textiles}, and now has a huge range of clients including Cacharel, Selvedge, topshop and elle decoration.
What I love about Petra's work is the variety of medium she uses...that she works in textiles {both for fashion houses} and in stitch, creating amazing embroidered illustrations. I just love her prints and drawings which have more than a hint of Scandinavian folk influence {love, love, love that!!}....and how she interprets these fluid illustrations and mark making into the most beautiful paper cut patterns, that are part repeat pattern and part free formed image.
"I like making illustrations and patterns from paper because it's hands-on and kind of technical playtime but, the best thing is that it lends time to think....." {petra borner}
I think you can see this strong sense of process in Petra's work...the way she allows a natural evolution of form, line...idea. Just lovely. Do visit her site as it is more than worth browse {and a bookmarking!!}

Autumn Inspiration - Aiko Machida...

Aiko Machida's work with leather {folded, formed and pressed} in the form of 'bags and accessories' really blows me away. I adore the processes and materials she uses, and the considered and inherent perfection of the construction { her placement of them for photography purposes and her sense of space is divine}....I have seen Aiko's work though coverage in Elle Decoration magazine, and also in the exhibitors list for Origin....and am so inspired by it!! I am very much looking forward to seeing her work when I visit the show!!..in fact, I can't wait :)

"I make bags for wearing, not so much for carrying things in. They are as aesthetically perfect as I can make them. Clothes have to fit, but accessories don't. I see my accessories as clothes that don't have to fit, which will suit all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons...." {Aiko Machida}

I really love Aiko's thinking here....how accessories occupy this special ground where they don't really have to be functional - but can be acceptable {and desirable} purely on aesthetic or decorative grounds. I think that's nice...sometimes something being stunning to look at is more than enough. Have a look at her website and prepare to fall in love, and be in awe.....

xox happy Wednesday ! :)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Autumn Inspiration - Maiko Dawson....

Oh how I love Maiko Dawson's shoes!!! - her wholly hand-made forms and subtle detailing really make the work quite sublime and unique.....these shoes are made for walking { I couldn't help myself ;)}.

I first saw Maiko's shoes two years ago at Chelsea Crafts Fair in London..and am delighted to see that she is showing again this year at the new craft fair Origin in October. Maiko came to London in 1994 to study footwear technology at the Cordwainers College after graduating in Home Economics from Japan's Womens University....

" My inspiration for design has always been the shapes, forms and colours found in nature"....and I "thought there was a lack in the market for quality shoes that were actually comfortable and good for your feet".

....do have a look at Maiko's wonderfully quirky, and beautiful shoes on her website where you will see a much larger selection of images of her designs. Many of my favourite items are there..but I was unable to download them - but seeing as how I love them all anyway - I probably would not have been able to choose if I tried!!Just how perfect is Maiko's colour pallette for the coming season??

..enjoy :)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Autumn Inspiration - Philippa Robbins....

Clogs on a cushion cover Karvol Capsules

Okay m'dears..get set for a week of simple inspiration! I will be posting things I have found on my travels in the last wee while that have stirred my soul and blown my mind!!...when I said linky goodness, I meant it ;)

Today, the amazing artist Philippa Robbins whom I found a few weeks ago via her flickr photo-store. I was firstly moved by her wonderful paintings of knitting....the detail and quality of the work is just sublime..by the time I found the images of her tablet works I was hooked { I am especially enamored with the image above of Karvol capsules which were my best fried as a child when I had a cold!!}...and then I was love struck with the painting {top} of the clogs. *wow*. It is the quality of image in Philippa's work I really admire, the technical brilliance of her observational painting..her style. I would love to live with some of these, to own one....{maybe one day!}

To find out more about Philippa's beautiful work check out her lovely website...:)


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Smile - if you can....

...this old postcard {my all time favourite} always manages to bring a smile to my face, even during the hardest, toughest weeks. That was/is {?} one of them....and I have not been able to get myself in gear to update this dear wee blog with any sort of goodness to amuse the masses - so sorry dear friends for the unexplained absence. I am just so tired.....not sleeping very well, and with so much still to do....tiredness is the topic de jour. {not that I am going to really explore the theme....}

I have been saving up linky goodness galore, and my favourite autumn inspirations..which I hope to be able to get around to posting next week...not tonight though. I have been out for a big shop today {food}, so have spend the last hour and a quarter preparing a huge big unctuous beef casserole/stew to have with mash tonight. It is a double batch....so the house has a wonderful rich aroma about it.

Tonight, I will just be relaxing on the sofa and reading the new issue of Vogue, and am looking forward to the return of one of my favourite dramas....Spooks!!! { a brilliant MI5 spy -type thrill trip of a show} whooohoo ;)

Happy Sunday my dears - hope you are having a good one!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

two long weeks...

Hullo friends...So - three collections in two weeks. Two long weeks...no days off {ugh}. Am feeling more than a little tired, and having just finished today - I am very much looking forward to a long lie tomorrow {new clean sheets on my bed..so I am hoping for a good sleep!}...and a bit of an easy day.

This week I will be preparing some tutorials for Whip-Up at long last {see sidebar....html is beyond me tonight} on how to make your own jewellery findings {earring hooks..jump rings etc} - so there is to be a good clean down of the ol' bench and out with the close-up lens!

Mmmm..confronting these images, aren't they? {self portraits always make me cringe a bit}. 'Tis me in the workshop {Mav's flickr challenge}...note how cheery I look ;))))
till tomorrow, xox

Friday, September 08, 2006

Inside the Cover {part two}...

Book number two is :: Josef Frank├é¦ Textile Design :: distributed by Svenskt Tenn.....and it is a delight as well!!
Every time I see a pattern design book which has images of the original wood blocks used to print the fabric, I am sold - there and then. I am really obsessed with wood blocks, and use them as inspiration for the construction of my pieces {thinking, if this was a pattern...each layer would add it's own motif to the print, creating the whole}....I often want to have a go at cutting my own blocks {I have the tools..I use them to carve the ivory, so it's kind of similar} too. The two pages in this book {middle images} that showed the blocks for Josef Franks' textiles just blew me away..hope you like them too.
------- {I included the pumpkin one as an ode to Autumn ;)!!}---------
As promised here and here you will find some snaps of some of the jewels I got at the show on Wednesday......much more still to source!
I am going to be working through the weekend again...getting work finished to go to Diana Porter {gallery} at the beginning of next week. Would you believe this is the first of my Christmas shows going out already...crazy right!? I am betting it's going to get crazier :)))) ---- I am trying to decide whether to get my own gold plating equiptment or not? I think I need to make things simpler and do it myself to avoid all the problems that occur with involving other people *sigh*
wishing you all a good and restful weekend.
hugs, xox

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Inside the Cover...{the return of}...

My actually buying a new book {or two..you'll see that one tomorrow} means the return of Inside the Cover!!....I found this book :: Accidentism - Josef Frank :: on my travels yesterday and decided to treat myself.

So, yesterday....I decided last minute to nip down to London to catch the last day of a big jewellery trade show at Earls Court with the hope of buying stone, bead and pearl stock for all the work I have to make in the lead up to my Christmas shows. A 20 hour day started at 4.45am......and I arrived at the show at 12.20. To be honest, I didn't get as much as I had hoped {although I got some really good lemon citrine briolettes I will show tomorrow} as the dealers simply didn't have what I was looking for {nothing wildly out of the ordinary - what I would call basis stock....good quality pearls for example and some smokey quartz beads}, but I have made some new supplier contacts, so will follow those up to try get what I need over the next month or so...

By 3.00 I was well and truly knackered, and had seen enough and bought enough...so decided to call a halt to the show. I had a mere few hours before heading back to the airport so headed to Mecca..;) {aka Liberty} to have a quick dose of soul-soothing. A pot of Assam tea, and piece of their amazing carrot and pineapple cake perked me up enough to look around the store in earnest. On the third floor I found a jewel of a new section....Svenskt Tenn have opened a store within the store, bedecking one end of the gallery with Josef Frank pattern design a-plenty...heaven. So, although I absolutely cannot afford it, and had already given the ol' credit card a bashing and a half at the trade show....I just HAD to get the two books on Franks {one on his textile designs, and the other..seen above...on his architecture}. They were v, v pricey..but beautiful and I have never seen them before in the shops. 'Accidentism' has a printed fabric cover *melt*....and is a joy to behold.

....needless to say the day ended with the hell of the airport {Stanstead} and to be honest, chaos. The security queues took over an hour {just to get through the scanner - not including check in} and we had to listen to people verbally abusing the staff for the delays {blame our government people!..their policies lead to terrorism!}...it was a long day.:)))))

I would say that yesterday London kicked my ass...it was one of those dirty, irritating days with horrid cab drivers and rude folk everywhere....but thank goodness for the goodness at Liberty and the grade-A genius of Josef Frank. They got me through.

till tomorrow, xox

Monday, September 04, 2006

Is it really Monday??...

Happy Monday everyone.....I personally can't believe that there has actually been a weekend at all as I was working right through it, but I am assured that this is indeed a new week...any comments to the contrary people?? ;)
Anyway, I said I would show you a picture of the piece I was making based on the new drawings I did in France....here is the necklace {there are also earrings so far..} taken from the leaf shadows that I hastily shot {hence the iffy photo} before parceling up and racing to the post office. As I mentioned at the end of last week I was contacted very short notice about an opportunity to show some jewels in a very exciting place..........Kyoto, Japan!!!
There has recently been a new gallery for contemporary jewellery opened at the Kyoto National Museum and one of the project directors saw my work at the Glasgow Print Studio and asked me if I had some jewellery she could take over with her when she flies to Japan this week. Eeek *beam*........so! I got busy and got some work made {as I had no stock whatsoever apart from two big pieces} which I just sent out today {she is based in Edinburgh}..phew. I am so excited to be part of this project and hope it to be just the beginning of my adventures with Japan!
Well, after a LONG weekend, and an even longer Monday {??!!} I am going to depart having just shared that little jewel of a tale....I have a date with the sofa!
hugs, xox

Friday, September 01, 2006


Hello Friends! Friday already.....what a week it has been, I have rarely known faster. After returning from my break I had a collection {12 pieces} to make and get away {due for arrival sept 1st}..so I got that sorted and out, and also had a request yesterday for some work to go somewhere VERY exciting, very short notice. I will tell all next week...and show you what is going *beam*.

Above are some little studies I made in my Moleskine {actually bought in a little Librarie in Nyons} which I got as a little surprise on my birthday. It was the last full day of the trip..so I didn't get much done really, but it has sparked some ideas already for new jewels..some of which are already in production! What is it about Moleskines? They make you want to work, and make you feel creative...so yummy they are.

...Oh yes, have also taken to wearing a pea-green beret I bought for 10 euros...I *love* it so, and am more than happy Autumn is on it's way now. {always to be honest}

So, just much work in store for me this weekend..but it will be worth it {you'll see}. Wishing you a wonderful one yourselves...a big holiday in the US right? Have fun chums.

hugs, xox