Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Things That I find Really Tedious About Running a Business

The things that make me yawn and push me to be lazy about my business are mostly 'bookwork' related, ie. doing my tax stuff especially, even though I have a great accountant, I still have to have all my paperwork in order.

Now in addition to that paperwork, I have been closely monitoring the Australian Dollar, as it has shot up and for a while has been pretty much one-on-one with the US$.....so.................

I have needed to change my US$ prices in order to accommodate our Australian costs... ugh what a pain!!! On top of that making stocklists with all the different prices and costs... I had done paper & pen ones, but decided that i must update them into my computer as they will be much easier to alter & keep track of...

So out comes Exel and a New List is born... Hurray!! At least I've started... BUT since I'm on the computer and not doing an all nighter filling wholesale orders, I have to distract myself to blog since it has been a while since I have put words on the blog...

Well, I had better get back to the business of keeping track of the business side of the business....
Exhausting... I much prefer just being in the studio...

And the worst thing is the price of Gold AND Silver has gone through the roof.........

Monday, 20 September 2010

Etsymetal Charm Swap #6

It's on again!! One of my favorite swaps. I'm a member of Etsymetal, which is a group of Metalsmiths who have stores on Etsy.com.

A few times each year (or maybe that's only twice a year) 20 of us (the group is much larger than 20) sign up for a Charm Swap. There's always a mad scramble to sign on, as there are so many extremely talented metalsmiths whose work we all  would love to have. The Charm swap ensures that each participant gets to have 19 marvellous pieces of work (plus your own = 20 pieces in total) in a small form which  can be placed on a Charm bracelet/necklace. Since this is the third CHarmswap that I have participated in, I already have quite a hefty charm bracelet (so far there are 40 charms on mine, and I anxiously await the next 20, one of which is mine). Here are some shots of my progress so far.

This is what I was toying with,  as I came in to the swap late July, which didn't leave me much time. Some one dropped out as I was lucky enough to be one of the stand bys, so I was in!! YAY!!
A decision was made and I started on the Kikuchi Kamon Charm for the swap. I have now almost finished all 22 of them. We each make 2 extra Charms so that we can make up one bracelet to sell in our etsymetal store on etsy and one single charm to sell in the store as well.

These are the progress shots of the Kikuchi Kamon Charm that I am working on.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Artists That I have Always Wanted To Collaborate with

Firstly,  I have to say that I would be happy to collaborate with Furniture Makers, Industrial Designers and Metalsmiths/Sculptors and Lighting Designers.....

Here are some the Artists That I would Love to Collaborate with:
Joey Roth - Contemporary Industrial Designer (fabulous TeaPot & Ceramic Speakers!)
Akira Isogawa - Amazing Japanese Inspired Clothing
Ross Lovegrove - Wonderful Lighting Works
CYDWOQ - Fabulous Footwear.... I love footwear and have always wanted to make shoes...

I would love to collaborate on some home 'accessoires', detail on some "frocks", Lighting  and Footwear.
I am waiting on replies for permission to use their photos, so this post will be upgraded.
Meanwhile, please check out these wonderful blogs and you will find out bout more collaborations:
Andes Cruz - http://andescruz.wordpress.com/
Lisa Hopkins Design - http://lisahopkinsdesign.blogspot.com/
ceeb wassermann aka howlindoggie: http://mettledesignstudio.blogspot.com/
Rickson Jewellery - http://www.ricksonart.blogspot.com/
Purified - http://purifiedart.blogspot.com/
Susan Moloney - http://susarto.blogspot.com/
nanopod: Hybrid Studio - http://www.nanopod.tv/
Enjoy the Links!

Friday, 25 June 2010

The Newest Member of our Pack

Introducing Rocky! He is a Great Dane X Cane Corso. We adopted him about 6 months ago when he was 8 months old...

He loves his 'brother' sparks..
as you can see in this video..

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Heavy Rains....

We have had massive rains for ages now and I almost forgot that before it all got started we had a neat looking twister on the horizon. I saw it as I was getting in the car out front of the house. Please excuse the quality of the video, but it was taken quickly as I didn't know how long it would appear. I think it just went up the coast and a week of bucketing rain followed.

Friday, 14 May 2010

One of the Items I Most Treasure By an Artist

Ever since College, I have always had a soft spot for a jeweler/sculptor turned industrial designer. The fact that he attended the same college probably plays a part in it. I must say, his designs were all outstanding. He did some work for alessi for a while. His name is Marc Newson.
My most favorite piece of his is the sleek aluminium Lockheed lounge. He has done so many interesting pieces that it is always difficult to choose only one.

I would love to have it in the studio! I gather that a collector already owns it...

It was one of the early pieces. I have always treasured this "lounge" and have always wanted it for my studio.

check out these blogs for their most treasured pieces:
Andes Cruz - http://andescruz.wordpress.com/
Jewelry by Natsuko - http://jewelrybynatsuko.blogspot.com/
Tosca - http://www.nanopod.wordpress.com
Susan Moloney - http://susarto.blogspot.com/
WATTO- http://www.wattoonline.blogspot.com
Ceeb Wassermann - http://mettledesignstudio.blogspot.com/
Beth Cyr - http://bcyrjewelry.blogspot.com
Rickson- http://RicksonArt.blogspot.com
Tamra Gentry http://jewelrydesignchronicles.wordpress.com/
Purified Art - http://purifiedart.blogspot.com/
HandMade Division Blog http://handmadedivision.wordpress.com/

Thursday, 6 May 2010

A free Gift With Purchases from any of my Webstores

I thought that I would like to say thanks to all my wonderful customers who read my feeble attempts at writing on my blog. This goes out to all of you who buy my work and read my blog. So, wherever you may buy my work, for any purchases US$60 and over, you will receive a pair of rustic sterling silver dangle earrings on hooks. You have a choice of either lapiz (a dark blue) or labradorite (a greyish stone with rainbow colors through it, very pretty)
Here is a pair of Labradorite Dangle Earrings:

So, please mention that you have read my blog and tell me which pair of earrings you want with your purchase upon checkout.

There are only a limited number so this offer is only valid until stock runs out.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Capsule Hotel In Tokyo

While we were in Japan earlier this year, we had thought about staying in a Capsule Hotel for a few nights for a couple of reasons:
a. for an adventure, as we have never stayed in one before
b. we wanted to be in the area for the next day.
Unfortunately for me, I broke my wrist and so it made it extremely difficult for me to climb up into one of the capsules. We decided not to do it this time.

Our friend Kirsty stayed one night in one. It was a very large capsule hotel that had one floor for women only. Kirsty said that the women's floor (on Level 9) was empty when she checked in at about 10pm. It was a bit creepy as she was the only one there for a few hours. The lockers were very small, so if you had a very large bag, it would not have fitted in. Also as it was in February, the heating was on full and it made it difficult to sleep in a very small space.

You get given a towel, pyjamas and slippers.

For privacy there is a small blind that you can roll down. There is also a TV which costs extra.
Kirsty didn't think that it was really worth the money, as it was almost the same price of a Ryokan (if there are two of you as they charge per double room at a Ryokan, so it's almost the same price as a Capsule) but worth it for the adventure for one night.

If you're thinking about staying in one here's a link:

Monday, 29 March 2010

Family. I found some that I was looking for....

Whilst in Japan, I was looking for some of my relatives, as my mother's side of the family is Japanese. With the help of a great Japanese friend of mine (I've named one of my pieces after her: Moeko) we found one of my cousins. She still lives in Tokyo in the same building that I remeber going to when I was 13!

It was just wonderful meeting her again after such a long time. It was a very emotional experience for all of us.

All of this, plus our Japan trip, my broken wrist and the inability to use my right hand AND having to ask for help has made me think about where I am at this point in my life. So I have started to reorganise parts of my life that I feel need to change. Those parts concern my business.

That's all for now. My next post will be about Tokyo Capsule Hotels

Monday, 22 February 2010

Beauty Around the Emperor's Palace

So much beauty everywhere. We had to keep looking down and up and around... a visual feast. Firstly these gorgeous manhole covers. Theses are different than the others on a previous post.

These two square concrete covers(I think they are also some type of hole cover) And can you belive it! They have inlay!!! In different colors...

All the trees around the Street area surrounding the Emperor's Garden had these gorgeous Sakura pattern around them.

It was just so wonderful to walk around a find so much beauty everywhere......

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Tokyo Disneyland

My Daughter really enjoyed Disneyland. She went on every ride that was open an as not all rides were open due to the winter season, we just managed to cover what she wanted to see, with the exception of "Haunted Mansion", that was closed for renovation.


The Tea Cup Ride was a favorite for her. I just stood and watched as I had my broken wrist in plaster

The Entrance


We knew which rides were for smaller kids, as they had "Pram Parking" out front.

Haunted Mansion

We managed to spend the whole day there, which gave me lots of brownie points for Gallery visits and Museums and the Emperors Palace.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

The Japanese and their Things of Beauty

I am always amazed at the beauty I have found in Japan. Even on the ground, the Manhole covers have a wonderful beauty and design sense that can only be truly Japanese.

Each different design is from a different area. As I so love things of metal, I was really inspired by these! Wouldn't they make beautiful stepping stones in the garden, or better still, a path to the studio...

The next post will be on the Emperor's Garden ...You should see the manhole covers aroud near the Palace...

Isn't it just wonderful that something we usually step on without thinking, is a thing of beauty in Japan.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Days 4, 5 & 6 - Sapporo, Hokkaido

Here we are in Sapporo.
We were having such a fantastic time, as there was stacks of snow and the apprentice was overjoyed with finally being in "real"snow.

So, on that first day, as we were returning to our Hotel, as my luck has it, I slipped on this icy road and fell backwards onto my wrist and broke it.... Lucky that it was my wrist and not my head & back, although they are very sore also. I went by ambulance to one of the hospitals and was most impressed by the speed and great way they handled my injury.
the icy road

So, injury aside, we decided to go to a "snow adventure park" instead of trying a one armed ski or an unbalanced snowboarding session at a large resort, as i was only capable of hobbling around...

We ended up going to "Northland Resort", which is just a tad north of Chitose and is a snow fun park for children.

Here is the apprentice doing a bit of 'cross country' while I was sitting watching with a hot cup of coffee.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

I have a broken Wrist

My apologies for not updating our Japan Trip, but I have a broken wrist, and, as I am right handed, I am very slow at left handed typing.

So to all of you who have been reading lately, please be patient, i will update when I am on the plane home and as i have to rest, i will be slowly blogging...

So please keep coming back and checking..


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