Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Givin' it up

And here we are, time to announce the giveaway!

Thanks to Mr. Random Number Generator, the winner is... Bri!! Congratulations!

In her comment to the giveaway post Bri says "My favorite color is dusty blue. I love how it is a bit silvery, a bit mystical. It is one of the colors of the sky at both twilight and dawn too, my two favorite times of day."

(Redux of the first 'proper' photo I ever took with my camera.)

Which was oddly apt, because the brooch was about twilight though I didn't say (mostly because that word has been temporarily corrupted by a certain trashy sparkly vampire thing that we shall not speak of.) I agree with you Bri- those times of the day are a bit mystical.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the giveaway- don't forget there's another one coming up on my other blog on the 4th, when the faery shop launches! Oh dear it's looming now...I'm stitching and stitching!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Gifts of a different kind

In the charmingly self-involved enthusiasm for my one year anniversary I completely forgot to tell you that the lovely Sophie over at Her Library Adventures has awarded me her Beautiful Blog of the Week award! I was truly bowled over! Thank you very much Sophie, dear!

I also have two other awards under my belt these past few weeks that I keep forgetting to mention-

The creative award again (never too flattered to get tired of it though!) from Emma, and this very poetic number that strikes me from Merle:

"This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandisement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this clever-written text into the body of their award."'

Finding 8 people to go with this one was a daunting task, to pick people who not only move me with the 'vibe' of their blog but with their words as well, real word-weavers that make me think, or transport me to somewhere else. Unfortunately I'm also sick with a sinus cold at the moment, and as I sit here deep into my 4th day of ickyness, I can't brain for the life of me.

Yes dear readers, I have the dumb.

The old head is packed full of cotton wool and nothing's coming out except a headache and an awful lot of green stuff (better out than in Mum says...) so instead I've decided to share with you what I've been doing these past few hours instead of doing something productive- sifting through lovely foreign blogs.

It's a funny irony- I was supposed to find blogs that move me with their words, but these ones are really the opposite- I can't understand a single thing (without Google translator) but it doesn't really matter; their beauty remains just the same.

1. Hannas Form
2. Betty's Torpliv
3. House of Atmosphere
4. LundagÄrd
5. Knut & Svea
6. Det Mysiga Heestrand
7. Min Lilla Veranda
8. Romantiska Hem

The most wonderful thing about all these blogs is that they all have links to other just-as-gorgeous blogs down their side! You could spend all day...not that we ever have... ;)

I did get something done today before the dumb set in- thrifting! A knee length brown cardigan, worn down much by it's previous owner so now it's soft as butter; a doily trimmed singlet (as if I'd made it myself!); some jewellery to take apart and re-use, a great red glass and metal ring that is so Elizabethan and tribal at the same time, and the cream of the crop...an antique French dressform! She's been badly mistreated with a hole in her shoulder and a coating of sickly mauve paint sometime in the 80s (even on the polished wood stand!) but I can bring her back with a can of black paint and some tender care.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Gifts and giving

And the sale is on!

In addition and as advertised previously, there will now be a giveaway!

Three things there be- a brooch hand made by myself, a page from a vintage board book with Wee Willie Winkie on it and a marvellous owl print by the wonderful Jon Carling. All you have to do is leave a comment to this post telling me your favourite colour- and why!

*cat not included. :)

There will likely be a few more things popped into your package as well, you never know what I'll come across. The winner will be chosen via the random number generator in 48 hours. Good luck everyone!

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Big Day

Well, here we are. One year of selling my work on Etsy! I can't believe it's been a year, and then at other times it feels so much longer. I've actually been on Etsy since November 07, but I didn't start the shop till the next March.

It's been a wonderful year. Finally having the freedom and the validation to make what I've always wanted to make. The friends I've made, the artists I've discovered...a whole world of wonderful. Thank you so very much to every single person that reads my blog, everyone who ever bought something from me, or hearted my shop, or linked to me from your blog, or faved my Flickrings, or even just dropped a line to say hi. You're all a part of a woven web of true happiness.

Anyway- enough of the mushy guff- let's have a sale!

As the tiny type reads, the sale runs all week, till 9pm on the 4th of April Melbourne time. You can find out Melbourne time here.

Co-incidentally, the 4th of April happens to be my 35th birthday, and will also be the launch day of my faery shop! In celebration of that (and my birthday) the first 13 orders in the faery shop will recieve a free packet of organic incense! This is really good stuff, made in India by traditional methods from all natural ingredients.

If that's not enough, I'm having a giveaway here on my blog today, and I'll also be having a giveaway on the faery blog on the 4th!!

So mark the dates!
+ 9pm tonight till 9pm on the 4th - 25% off in the shop and a giveaway on this blog!

+ 4th of April- faery shop opens, free packet of organic incense for the first 13 customers and a giveaway on the blog!

Golly goshness, the giving just doesn't stop. :D I'll be back at 9pm my time to announce the sale and giveaway.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Stray from the path...

I've set up the faery shop! Shiny new banner, nice matching avatar, all the categories set out...I've even started a new blog for people to view behind-the-scenes and inspiration!

I wanted to have two blogs in order to keep the two worlds separate- this blog is my serene, austere, Dickensian world of dusted blacks, muddy colours. It's where I show my 'proper' art.

The other blog is my diversion, my relaxation. My place of fiery colours and earth-bound glitters. It's where I create beauty for it's own sake, a place to wander in and rest my head when it all becomes too much.

The faery shop will not be your average hot pink and silver tinsel place, it will be a more fantasy-driven extension of what I do here. Froudian forest of earthy colours, winter trees, autumn leaves and toadstools. Croaking frogs and fireflies...or are they will o wisps? Don't stray from the path...

..oh go on then, just a bit. ;)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

the rain washed me clean

The one year Etsyversary is drawing closer, only 2 days left! I don't know if I'm going to get my 100 sales before then (only two to go!) but regardless of that, in honour of the occasion I shall be doing something special. I shall be having my first giveaway! It will be quite special, a piece of jewellery, some vintage paper scraps, fabric pieces...who knows. I haven't even made the decision what's going in it yet! But it will be something.

I've received two awards this week for which I thank the givers very much- I shall post with them when I have some time to sit down and choose others to send them along to.

I seem to be very busy lately, juggling custom orders and making stock not only for little brown sparrow but for the new shop as well, and faery things on top of that! I do get myself into these pickles...working hard, always pushing myself to do more than I know I'm capable of.

Is it a natural part of the artist's brain, to always want blood from our stone?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Traveller, there are no paths...

...paths are made by walking. So sayeth Antonio Machado.

This past week has been a bit of a blur, haven't had much time to sit in front of a hot needle and thread at all! But what I have done is very exciting- a breakthrough in construction methods to top them all. Here's a (badly-photographed) sneak-peak:

What's most exciting to me about it is not only is it what I've been looking for, but it also manages to link my faerycraft and 'proper' craft in a way that makes them both 'mine'. Before now I've had trouble with the distance between them and it's hampered things.

I like making what I otherwise do, it's cathartic in a way- well it's art, and you're always plumbing the depths of the psyche when you do it. Faerycraft for me is a bit of a holiday from the brain- it's a chance for me to relax and just make something beautiful without thinking too hard about it.

In view of this, I think I've decided- I'm going to have a faery shop on Etsy.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tempus Fugit, Salvage style

New arrival in the shop.

The 27th of March will mark my one year Etsyversary, and with only 5 items away from 100 sales I couldn't be happier. But I have been thinking...what's in a name? You see, originally I wanted to call my shop Sparrow Salvage, but I didn't realise that when you sign up to Etsy, your username is your shop name and it can't be changed. So I stayed with little brown sparrow. I named my blog sparrow salvage and left it at that.

But travelling along, I find I connect more with Sparrow Salvage as a name for what I do. Little Brown Sparrow I have become accustomed to as a name for me, since it has been my alter-ego moniker for some time -it's my Native American name, given to me by my mother at birth when a fat little sparrow alighted outside her hospital window moments after I was born. I'm not Native American, but it was a trifle of my mother's fancy and it stuck.

I registered the name sparrow salvage about a month ago, when I started to think about moving shops. I set up the new shop with categories (to represent a much expanded range) and a banner...and I intend to move there in the winter. About July, I would say. I only wish I could take my hearts and feedback with me, but alas!

I will still keep Little Brown Sparrow though, as a place for my art and photography...or as a faery shop. I'm as yet undecided on that.
This is the new logo (possibly) for Sparrow Salvage. I wanted the logo to be modern but ancient; Victorian, Medieval, rustic and simple all at once. I chose the winged hourglass on a bit of a whim...these past months I've been thinking about the idea of time- how we always seem to be wasting it, running out of it, killing it. The moments in your life that have passed you will never get back.

Me (on the left- nice pants!), my brother and my Dad. We're all so colour co-ordinated! Forget time, this is something you'll never get back- Dad in a purple cardigan.

I have an inner obsession with time- I'm terrible at managing it and can while away an hour in my head and have it only feel like 10 minutes. I'm always on at myself to stop buggering around and do something with my time, I'm never happy with what I've done with my day, always chiding myself I could've fit in more. I do get so easily distracted...

Anyway- I originally intended this graphic as a tattoo, but the more I look at this hourglass like a logo, it makes sense. I use remnants from time in my work (focusing on those which have the most markings of the Old Father on them), there will be a stage where I'll run out (antique textile is not in infinite supply!) and the wings are of course, the sparrow.

Tempus Fugit, kids. Go do something before it fugits out the window for good.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Once more 'round the park, Jeeves...

Sometimes when I work there often ends up being little piles of things on the desk, as I shuffle around for things and try out different options.

This is a great way to work as I often find inspiration in these little random piles of 'cast offs' .

Their colours can inspire new combinations I hadn't previously thought of.

Even how they sit together can suggest a new piece.

Below is one of my 'new direction' pieces, I'm still not 100% sure about it -I think it might work better a little shorter.

But I do love it and I am confident that I'm going in the right direction. Even if I'm not quite sure I'm there yet, every step is a journey.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Seven wonderful things

Deb Holien has very kindly passed the kreativ blogger award onto me! I think this is the 3rd time now, and I did forget to post it the second time, so I've made the effort to post it this time around.

The rules are to list 7 things you love and then pass the award on to 7 "kreativ" people, but I don't like to do that so I'm just going to share 7 people with you all. That way we all win. :)

Seven things I love- for interests sake I've tried to pick 7 things I may not have mentioned before, because you need to know everything about me.

1. This short sketch by Stephen Fry. It makes me feel good every time I watch it. I adore Stephen.

(union flag rug by Vivienne Westwood)

2. The Union Jack, or the Union Flag, which ever you prefer. it's always been a favourite thing of mine, not just for what it invokes to me (Britain) but as a marvellous piece of design. It always looks fresh.

(image found long ago via Google.)

3. Things with skulls on them. it's been done to death (harhar) and I still love it. I prefer these medieval-style realistic ones to cartoony graphics though.

(The Gherkin)

4. The way ultra-modern buildings sit in ancient cities as if it's just landed from space. And I'm really looking forward to seeing this one in person when I go to the UK!

(image by Kat Bret.)

5. Steampunk. Something that's very quickly becoming mainstream, I've loved it since I was in High school ( a criminally long time ago) and I didn't know it's name. I prefer a nature-based occult leaning to my version- or WWII. There's something about WWII design that is rather sexy.

(image as result of Google search.)

6. Prince of Wales tea. (I'm pretty fond of the actual current Prince of Wales too!)

(image found via Google a long time ago.)

7. 1950s and 60s style Victorianism- there's something wonderful about the way the 60s illustrators took Victorianism's design essence and simplified it- the background in old Disney cartoons are a great example.

Seven wonderful people:

1. Spirit Cloth
2. The Rustic Victorian
3. Bohemian Hellhole
4. Lucy Harvey
5. The Snail and the Cyclops
6. Forest Bound
7. Haute Macabre

And an eight wonderful person, this man has bought and intends to renovate the cottage from Withnail and I! We need more ordinary heroes like this.

In studio news, I've been busy trying out new ways of doing things in my work. I'm ready to evolve again and have been feeling the wonderful feeling that is just creating for the sake of it- experimenting with different things and not concerning myself with how it turns out, rather thinking about the idea of it and letting everything take it's own direction.

I've completed some necklaces, one of which will be listed some time this week, the other will be kept for the new shop opening.

Yes, new shop. Details next update, I've done enough on this one!