Saturday, March 13, 2010

This is how it all began

with the work of Alison Bailey Smith.

I first met Alison when I was 15 through a local boutique called Punch Gallery. I had just finished work experience with the shop and Alison was working there part time. I remember being fascinated with all of her pieces, made from recycled materials including television wires and lollie wrappers.
My mother bought quite a few pieces of her work including 2 amazing hats. One being a smokey blue and copper viking hat and the other an ethereal 1950's style hat made out of knitted thin television wire and adorned with quail feathers (and a matching fan). At the time I never fathomed that jewellery could be fashioned out of such things. Her items truly are wearable art. Every twist, loop and link will take you on a sculptural journey of discovery. I love the concept of creating something beautiful and unique out of thrown away materials that are usually discarded as already serving their purpose.

Flower brooch from rubbish by abscraft
A beautiful flower brooch "grown" from toothpaste tubes and other packaging

abscrown052 by abscraft
One of Alisons crowns

Hat by abscraft
Detail of the "Fisher Queen" hat

Wire hedgerow necklace by Abscraft by abscraft
"Hedgerow" Necklace made from recycled and bought wire

*All images are from 'Abscraft' Flickr and show the beautiful work of Scottish artist Alison Bailey Smith

Soon after getting to know Alison and her work she moved back to her homeland of Scotland and I stayed on to work at Punch Gallery. Before she left she handed me a big pink plastic crate full of television wire and said "see what you can come up with". I made bowls, ornaments and even tried my own crown (I failed miserably). I started to try my hand at brooches and introduced beads into my work. It was through this process that I developed a love for creating jewellery.

One of my wire brooches

I credit Alison for all that I do. She was such an inspiration to me and still is. You MUST have a look at her work. Her blog is called ABSCRAFT and it gives you an insight into Alisons work and her sense of responsibility towards recycling (one that I think we all can learn from).

You will be blown away.

Alisa x

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Winifred Clara Whitaker (nee Knight)

Happy Birthday to my darling Grandmother who is 95 today. I love you so so much!

Alisa x

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Done! well, almost.

I now have to sort through all the crap that was covering my desk (which is now covering the playroom floor). That will take FOREVER. I wish I wasn't so messy. I always vow to keep it tidy and organized but sure enough it becomes chaotic again. At least I have an outdoor studio space that I use for storage. Otherwise It would be completely out of control!
I wonder why it is that some people are so organized and others aren't? I think my problem is that I can't find any good storage solutions for my things and that I'm not disciplined enough to keep things tidy. Would any of you have any suggestions? I see how lovely other peoples workspaces are and I long for them. What do you do? Is it really as simple as putting things away once you use them?
I feel like such a hypocrite. Here I am trying to teach my girls responsibility by cleaning up after themselves while I'm just as bad. If not worse!
I just have to do it don't I? It's time to pull my socks up and get organized. If not for myself then for my family, who are so wonderful to put up with me and my loopy ways.

Heres to a fresh start!

Alisa x

Another day of re-arranging

Oh my. What a job I have started! I have to move my workspace from the playroom into the office. This venture was triggered by a haircutting incident which involved Haidee climbing up onto my desk to obtain the tools of torture then hacking into her sisters golden locks while she slept. So now I have to swap spaces for the desk and spare bed. Joy.

I hope you're having a nice Tuesday :)

P.S The piccie is part of my kitchen mantel. I just wanted to show off my new (well, new addition) No.8 lawn bowls sign. It has nothing whatsoever to do with my mission of the day.

Alisa x

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lauren Ferry "okt-ober dee"

The weekend before last my hubby and I went away to Geelong, Victoria. We spent our day walking everywhere. I noticed a little board out the front of an arcade inviting us in to have a look. The name of the shop was "Herman Huckleferry and the oddities factory" which was enough to grab our attention. Well, it was a real find! I fell in love with everything in the tiny shopfront. Gorgeous handsewn owls (one I dropped as I was so excited, a little embarrassed by that one), Stunning silver necklaces with pencil shaving charms and the work of Lauren Ferry. She's the owner of the little shop and has her own label "okt-ober dee". This gal is AMAZING. She was in the process of packing up goodies for Life Insyle which included her bespoke bags, so scrummy!!!

I had to get something. I desperately wanted one of her birdie porcelain saucer cutouts (they were to die for) But I was drawn to this little fellow......

Isn't he divine? (Yes he is a boy, I have named him Wentworth). Check out the way he was wrapped up for me. So simple and so lovely!

Now the funny thing about this post is that when I sat down with my cuppa to read my blogs this morning, I noticed that Lisa from the red thread had written about Lauren too! How funny! Lisa's blog is a treasure trove of inspiration and truly is a must read. She's an extremely talented artist and more importantly a wonderfully kind soul.

I was so happy to be able to meet Lauren, even though I behaved like a giddy schoolgirl. I'm sure she understood! I get so excited when I see beautiful handmade goodies. I can't really explain why. I suppose it gives me a sense of security. That there are plenty of us flying the handmade flag and that I'm not alone (something that I feel sometimes living out here).

Anyways, have a look at her website. I'm sure you'll love it!

Have a lovely day, it's raining here at the moment and the smell of wet grass is flooding my playroom. Love it!

Alisa x

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What I got up to this afternoon

This bookcase was sitting in the shed when we moved up. It had no backing, was wonky and filled with rusty old paint tins. It was also home to ALOT of daddy long legs spiders. So of course I though it'd look fabulous inside he he!

Today I did a bit of display work of some of our family treasures. We've hung an old printers draw up as a little display cabinet for items the girls find (these include feathers, a toy lamb, some of my bits and bobs and lots of pebbles). They love having somewhere to put their little discoveries! They also love helping me pick flowers from the yard to put in little jars around the house. Haidee helped me today. The crystal lamp was my paternal Grandmothers. One of two things left to me.

I was lucky enough to discover an entire collection of Arthur Mees Childrens Encyclopedias at the local tip that I bought for $2.00. I can't figure out for the life of me why someone would turf them out. I guess it's a case of one persons trash is another ones treasure. And a treasure it is. There are 10 volumes filled with the most delightful illustrations and colour plates. Some of the pages house pressed flowers and leaves that I imagine a child put there years ago to cherish a certain memory. I love flicking through these books and have spent hours soaking up all the knowledge they exude. Just so lovely!

The Gypsy doll was made by Sophie Buttner. An artist who made things for a Gallery I worked in years ago. The book sculpture was made by local lady who spends hours folding pages of books to create different shapes. I have another one mounted on my lounge room wall. The little camels were brought back to Australia by my husbands Grandfather as a souvenir from fighting in Tobruk in WW2. They're sitting on a vintage copy of "The Last September" by Elizabeth Bowen (I loved the pattern on the inside).

I've always had a love of old books. I love reading from them. they give me a sense of nostalgia. They also look lovely on a bookshelf.

So, that's what I did this afternoon. What did you do this fine Autumn day?

Alisa x