Thursday, March 31, 2011

My online store is open

At last, dear friends, my online store is open for business. I have just a small amount on the store at the moment, but will be adding to it regularly. I have begun with pearl jewellery (of course) and matte black onyx. There is also just a little amazonite available with more to come.

I have begun adding some 14ct yellow gold to my designs. It doesn't come cheap, but I am not one to use gold plating. If you see a design you like and would like a quote in silver, I am always happy to oblige.

Soon I will be adding Mexican sterling silver rings and some other stock remaining from my shop in Brunswick, such as iCandy greeting cards. Once my metalsmithing studio is up and running properly again, my own rings and silver/gold designs will also be available.

I've also been in discussion with some local stockists, so watch out for announcements about my jewellery in Tasmanian shops!

One more thing: I will soon be moving my blog to Wordpress under my own domain name: The wordpress site is already up and running as Bella, however I'm having some issues with the front page doing weird things (you'll see if you go and visit ...). It's all part of learning to make it work.

That said, feel free to pop in and sign up or subscribe via RSS. This whole site has been imported into Wordpress, so you'll find everything that's here already over there. I like the look and feel of the new blog ... well, when it works like I want it to!

There is so much more to come! As always, happy and exciting days ahead :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another preview

Billie bracelet

My photography has begun in earnest. It's certainly a very time consuming task and I'd simply rather be making jewellery. But the business side of things calls and I must get my store operating!

I am going to release my jewellery in stages because the photography is going to take a while.

Stage one will be a selection of freshwater pearl jewellery (no surprises there!). Yesterday I photographed black pearls and a few other items. Today I work on uploading them and keeping my fingers crossed my store will work as I wish it to.

As you see, there's another sneak preview at the top of this post. I've named the bracelet Billie, because apparently we have to give our jewellery designs names (not codes, which they have as well). It is made with 8-9mm black and white pearls with sterling silver rondells on foxtail chain. It features a teardrop pearl at the centre. The pearls are drilled to slide around the chain. It's a very sweet piece of jewellery.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A trip to the city and new pearls

I returned home last night after an enjoyable and exhausting few days in my old home town of Melbourne. I had a ball and inbetween shopping for new supplies I caught up with wonderful friends, with whom I ate, drank and was generally merry.

Most of us who have flown would have seen a sunset from up high, but last night's was gorgeous. A crazy cloud formation in the distance added to the fire in the colours. Couldn't resist a few snaps.

Sunset 10 minutes flying time out of Melbourne

After seven months of country Tasmanian life, however, it only took a day in the city to find myself longing for the trees and horses and chooks and quiet of home. Not bars, pubs, cars and trams and noise. It was refreshing to realise this, as it was my first visit back since moving.

The primary reason for my Melbourne visit was, as mentioned, to go shopping for supplies and to touch base with suppliers. It's always good to forge positive relationships with one's suppliers, so it's nice to do the face to face thing and have a chat (rather than over the phone).

One supplier who I haven't purchased from before, but whose wares I have long admired, is Luke the Akoya (and Tahitian and South Sea) pearls man.

Luke imports directly from pearl farms and I was fortunate to be the first to look through his newest arrivals from Japan. After much deliberation I chose two strands of fine Akoya pearls.

My new stunning white Akoya pearl strand for jewellery making

The pinkish-white pearls are slightly baroque, about 8-9mm in size and have such a deep lustre that they glow in an almost metallic fashion in all kinds of light. Stunners. Pure, beautiful stunners :)

The other strand is a black strand of around 8mm again. These pearls have been treated to create the black colour (the only true black pearl is the Tahitian pearl), but once again they are deeply lustrous, of slightly baroque shape and gorgeous too.

Both new strands of glowingly beautiful Akoyas

I'm now deliberating whether to simply knot the strands with an 18 carat gold clasp (which will be rather pricey!) or to break up the strands and make earrings and pendants. They are truly special things and a bit of a test for me, as I've always used the more affordable freshwater variety.

No doubt I'll make a decision very soon, as I'm really excited about using these new, high quality pearls.

I also purchased two perfect pairs of 6-7mm white Akoyas, which I'll use for dainty little earrings.

On another note, it's lights, camera and action very soon. I have the lighting set up now, so now it's just about removing my designing and making hat and getting on with the business of photographing and uploading. It's going to be a big job, because as well as my own jewellery I also have a range of stock left from the shop - Mexican silver rings and greeting cards amongst the mix.

I'm very excited! I hope you are too.