Sunday, 25 November 2012

Meandering thoughts

Licorice Earrings

It is getting busy in the lead up to the holidays - must say, am really looking forward to a couple of weeks at home hanging out with Sasha and Kevin, warm weather and having more beading and sewing time.  I recently reinvigorated my sewing side by buying a new Singer machine - lots of fun but does eat into the bead time - need to rebuild my skills before I will share any creations on that front!

On a totally different front, have you read the book "The Dalai Lama's Cat" -? It is such a sweet story, very light, all fiction, telling the tale of a Himalayan cat who is saved from the streets of Delhi and learns Buddhist lessons -  thank you Ingrid of The Conscious Cat who posted about it.

Here are some newer earrings using enamel components from Suebeads and Gardanne.

Doily Earrings

Sunday, 21 October 2012

A Sale and Recent Pieces

A dear friend, Alice turned 30 last week, so I made her a special necklace. Her style is minimal, but with lady like flair.

 The Japanese bead by by Australian ceramic artist Natalie Fletcher of Peruzi, paired with some simple wooden discs and Elaine Ray's red beads were a perfect fit.

Puzzle Bracelet

This new bracelet in lovely neutral tones with a gorgeous mix of artist beads has been added to the Etsy store. 
Use the code BRACELET20 to get 20% off any bracelet on the Etsy store -  code is however valid for bracelets only. Limited time only, so it is a great time to stock up on gifts.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Travels in London

Continuing my travel related posts, here are the London Highlights of the Forbo tour.
The London Design Festival was huge - I wish we had more time (and energy!)

The V+A Museum alone could have taken up two or three days! Highlights at V+A were the art installations, the Heatherwick Studio retrospective ( Thomas Heatherwick and team are multi skilled designers responsible for the Olympic cauldron and the new London Buses), and the Ballgowns exhibition, which had many designer gowns from the 1950's to now.

Art Installation at the V+A Museum Entry

We also visited two expos. The first was an interior design and architecture trade show, 100% Design at Earls Court - it was a fairly standard trade fair, much better than its Australian counterpart and the entry was certainly a highlight.

Entry Installation at 100% Design
 The second was called Tent, and was primarily furniture, accessories and lighting from more up and coming designers, although there were some oldies there too, like Bernhardt. The lighting was great. The venue was a disused Post Office on New Oxford Street - it was a fabulous raw space, with 3 levels of goodies.

 We ate very well (she says, with a tight waistband - must get that gym thingy going). Our hosts took us to a groovy Christian Liagre designed Asian restaurant,  Hakkasan. Stylish and expensive food, we were way under dressed and definitely not cool enough but we had fun ! I could not take photos - it was sooo dark, and seemed a bit of a no no to be photographing, so I have only got a photo courtesy of the Word of Ward's blog , but it will give you the idea.


After the Forbo trip, I visited my sisters who both live in London with their young families. As they both hold down full time work, I had a few days to visit the shopping areas (my credit card took a bashing at Liberty, Paul Smith and Harvey Nichols), the Tate Modern, the amazing art of the Wallace Collection,  the modern works of the Serpentine Gallery, and of course time to source some goodies for beading.

VV Rouleaux is a wonderful trimming shop - it was under refurbishment, so had moved to a smaller temporary site - the selection was somewhat reduced but the ladies who work there were so helpful. I stocked up on striped ribbon and tassels (not sure what I will do with it all....).

All in all, a great trip, with huge thanks to David and Sam at Forbo.. ....  better start planning the next holiday!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Travels in Amsterdam and London Part 1

Typical Amsterdam houses

A work colleague and I were very lucky to win the Forbo award trip for a flooring design using marmoleum. The prize was an all expenses paid trip to Amsterdam and London for a week, to visit the Forbo factory,  have architectural and design tours, plus visit the London Design festival.

Forbo's Krommenie Showroom

The Forbo team looked after us very well, and we had a wonderful and hectic time, lots of food and great conversation, plenty of galleries and design talk, and a wee bit of shopping!

Fold Deluxe Mid
My new shoes from United Nude
Found an amazing shoe shop in Amsterdam, called United Nude -the store fitout was very cool, and the shoes are totally architectural, amazing colours, perhaps some not so great to walk in but very sculptural- I played it safe, I am an older chick, so bought 2 pairs in more muted tones, with relatively sensible heels, but will no doubt visit their on line store in the future as they ship to Australia.

Restaurant De Kas
We ate at a unique restaurant in a greenhouse in Amsterdam, called Restaurant De Kas. The design is by reknown Dutch designer Piet Boon. The food is all seasonal and sourced from the Netherlands - there is no menu, you eat what is on for the day - the produce is all fresh, with some grown on the site. A wonderful meal. Amazing tomatoes - we don't have tomatoes that taste like tomatoes in Australia! A must visit place if you get the chance.

I am still recovering from the dreaded jet lag, thank goodness it is a long weekend here!. Watch out for the next blog post regarding the London trip in the next few days.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

A good weekend

How has your weekend been - did you watch the Olympic opening ceremony? I loved the Queen with James Bond, probably the best part of the show for me!
It was our 5th wedding anniversary yesterday, so on a crisp sunny winter's day we went for a long lunch down by the beach at Balmoral at the Public Dining Room (strange name but great food), a wonderful restaurant with  a casual fitout  of oak flooring and original Eames chairs.

Here are a few new beaded pieces.

The first is a partner to the Snowgum bracelet, and has beads by all the fabulous ladies, such as Gardanne, Bo Hulley, Elaine Ray, Shannon Levart and Pip's Beads.
Snow Gum


I must say those owl beads by Pips Beads are sooo sweet. They did not need much but a splash of colour and some wire.

The bracelet continues my obsession with Elaine Ray's ceramics.

Sasha says "Have a great week!"

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Slowly Healing

Hi there, sorry it has been so long between posts. I've been making only small amounts of jewellery of late, and have been trialling my new light tent to take photos, with mixed results - it can get very dark at our place during winter so I finally gave in. The egg bead featured below is by the lovely Vero of Narrative - what a talented artist she is.

Egg Pendant

On a personal note, the loss of Main Coon Max cat three months ago left me with not a lot to say for a while blog wise- he might have "only been a cat" as non pet people say, but to my husband Kevin and I, he was a vital part of our lives, and we were not prepared to say goodbye after 4 short years. Sasha, Max's sister, still looks for him every day which is somewhat heart breaking. This all has resulted in a fairly low key frame of mind as we move through our grieving time - time heals, as they say, and we are slowly mending  thanks to the love of friends, family and the sweet nature of Sasha.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Vivid Festival: Creative Love

Hi all, it's been a while -  I hope you are all well. Thought I'd share some creative love.
The Vivid festival in Sydney is a celebration of light and all things creative. The city gets new colour as wonderful light shows are projected on to some of our most prominent buildings, and there are all sorts of talks regarding the creative process held at the Museum of Contemporary Art.  These photos are just a minor sample of what is there. (excuse some of the photos quality - it was so crowded this weekend - it felt like new years eve in the city last night!)

The Animated light show at Customs House was amazing

Customs House by day
A giant Swarovksi Chandelier over the harbour

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Bracelets 3 ways

I'm not sure why I make so many bracelets- they are not that popular with Sasha +Max customers, but I can't help myself - I love making them! Here are 3 versions using wood, filigree beads from Gardanne, and a variety of closures. The red one uses some beautiful bright lampwork beads from my new discovery, Australian artist Marji Darling of  Marjoram Hot Glass. I have given them Australian names in honour of today which is ANZAC day, the day when we remember those who lost their lives at war.


Red Centre


Monday, 2 April 2012

Ceramic Necklaces and a thank you

Back at the beading studio this weekend.  Here are some new pieces using Round Rabbit pendants, and my first use of silk fibre.


I've struggled to get back to the bead table as I am now missing my creative partner, maine coon cat Max, who loved to hang out with me and check out the beads. Max lost his battle with kidney sickness at the young age of 4 years and we had to let him go - we are all devastated. Sasha, his sister, is puzzled and is looking for him all the time, and our home is very quiet without the gentle giant. We were very privileged to have him in our lives.

Thank you for your kind messages over the past couple of weeks - it has meant a great deal to us.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Maxy Cat

Sweet Maxy, one of our main coon twin cats (furr kids) after whom this blog and the jewellery shops are named has been very ill over the last few days. We are on an emotional rollercoaster, he is only a baby at 4 years, and has just pulled through major kidney surgery this afternoon. We are hoping and praying that he survives the ordeal.  If you can say a prayer or send some healing karma our way for Max that would be wonderful.

Thanks, Vicki and Sasha (and Kevin, my darling husband)

Monday, 27 February 2012

New pieces using Elaine Ray beads

Bronze Age necklace

Bronze Age necklace
A package arrived with lots of Elaine Ray's ceramic beads. I really love the rustic and unique style of her work - you can see that hand made nature, yet she adds very slick finishes in gloss, metallic effect and punchy colour glazes.

Linked Necklace

Sunday, 19 February 2012

The end of summer

Secret Garden Bracelet
fern earrings
Freckles pink earrings
As winter soon draws to a close in the Northern hemisphere, summer in Australia ends February 29. It's been a very wet summer in Sydney - more humid rainy /overcast days than sun. We Sydneysiders hate wet weather - there's been lots of grumbling. So I made some pieces that reflect nature -  the carpet of green and the flowers that describes Sydney after all this rain, and as a preview for the long anticipated spring for our northern friends. These pieces will be added to Sasha + Max stores over the next few days.

Mist earrings

Sunday, 29 January 2012

All things Japanese

Empress Necklace

The crescent shaped feature piece by Elaine Ray was rediscovered in my beading stash. It is a beautiful piece that I bought a long time ago - I have a bad habit of ordering bits and pieces with some fantastic beading project in mind, only to forget what I needed it for by the time it makes its way from the US to Australia which usually  2 -3 weeks. Sketching and notes would be a good idea!

The result is that this necklace is rather bold - she will need a creative and strong willed woman to own her, hence the name, Empress.

I want to say many thanks to Zara, a new customer from the Blue Mountains who has bought 8 of Sasha+Max Studio's Japanese necklaces this week to sell in her new gift store.

Here are some other recent pieces, all part of the continual Japanese collection. Aieko features a Chinook pendant, and Maya is a longer style to balance the size of Round Rabbit's pendant, with a lacing detail.