Thursday, 29 January 2009

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Tool of the moment - #1

An ideal jewellery studio would have, among many things, a professional ventilation system set up over the soldering station. To purchase these from a jeweller supply shop, you would be looking at around $800 to $1500 (AUD) easily.

If you own your own home and can construct something in your studio, a budget set-up can be made from a rangehood connected to ducted hosing which would then connect to a vent/fan to extract outside.

You see a lot of items that jewellers use in their studios on a daily basis are rather toxic and can be health damaging. One shouldn't be turned off by this however, just made aware so that precautions can be taken to minimize the risk of health issues down the track.

When soldering you are dealing with metal fumes, gasses, vapours from fluxes as well as fumes from the pickle (sulfuric acid or sodium bisulfate etc, used to clean the metal after heating.)
Although these may not have strong overpowering odours, these contaminates over time can cause some serious issues.

Today I found some disposable respirators that can resolve these issues if you happen to be renting and therefore cannot put up a permanent structure.
These particular masks can be used for dust - when filing/sanding/sawing or polishing, for fumes - when soldering/pickling, using resins or plastics and they have a valve and an active carbon filter built into them.

I do own a chemical/fume mask that uses cartridges but they can get really heavy and irritate your skin after prolonged use as they are made of rubber. These disposable ones however are a light weight, soft material and have quicklock straps for easy fit and release as well as being an Australian standard certified product. They do have a shorter life but you get one dozen in a box and if you keep the one you're using in a seperate zip-lock bag everytime you take it off, it will extend it's life.

I used one all day today (in 40 degree heat too!) and found it to be great - just in case anyone out there is looking for a cheaper yet affective solution to ventilation issues in their studios.

x Narelle    

Friday, 23 January 2009

Retail madness

Happy..... eerrrr... Valentine's Easter?!!!

I have now worked in the retail industry for 20 years and I know and understand that you have to organize and plan for sales before the events come around.

Last Christmas because I didn't get back from holidays until late November I basically ran out of time to make any Christmas stock and only got to work on custom pieces. So, early January I started designing and making pieces for Valentine's Day. 

I was feeling quite proud of myself for being rather organized, even though there is now only 3 weeks until the 14th of February (I wrote the date out in full for all the males out there reading this, as they tend to forget this date!) until a week ago, I walked into the shops and saw Hot cross buns and Easter eggs!

When you work in retail it feels like you're continually wishing the year away and not taking any time to just live in the moment, if that makes sense.

I know a lot of people don't celebrate Valentine's Day but really, back off bunny and give the cupid a little time in the spotlight, coz everyone needs a little romance once in a while.

x Narelle 

Monday, 19 January 2009

Out with the old....

...and in with the new!

Okay, so this post has nothing to do with jewellery or studio work, but it is the reason why I didn't get any work done over the week-end.
You see my wonderful husband took me out to the Mazda dealership to purchase the car that I had picked out. Yay!

So, the past few days I spent my time in this car, not necessarily driving it, just sitting in it, washing it, staring at it. Seriously, I cannot get this smile off my face.

I did get emotional however saying goodbye to my Toyota as we've spent the last 12 years together. But it was starting to show its age (20 years old) and was going to cost a fortune to get everything fixed that needed to be.

So it's off to the motor oil pastures for you Dear Camry, I'll miss you.

x Narelle

Friday, 16 January 2009

Sneak peak...

Just thought I'd give you a quick sneak look at something I have been working on during this week.

I made a few of these over a year ago and received great response to them, so I made a few more and gave them out as Christmas gifts, even better response. So I thought, why not add some to my shop and offer others the chance to get their own.

They are quite petite, just over 1cm x 1cm in size, but look rather stunning when worn.

I've got a few other things on the go and hopefully will be able to get some images of those up very shortly.

x Narelle

Monday, 12 January 2009

More front page love!

Hi everyone!

Sorry I haven't been around of late, not only did the New Year bring celebrations, fireworks, and New Year resolutions, for me it brought a nasty bacterial infection. Hoorah!

It has taken me a week to pull myself back together, but here I am ready to go.

The picture above is of my 'children's charms' that I custom make, it was advertised on the front page of the "Made-it" website. They are a small sterling charm with up to three children's names, birth dates and design symbols on them.
They can also be made for anniversaries, weddings, pet tags, etc.

I will be adding these to my Necklace/pendant section by the end of the week-end along with a few other items. By the end of the month my goal is to have my shop looking pretty full with lots of goodies.

Also for international buyers I have recently opened an 'Etsy' store and will have some pieces in there very shortly.

That's it from me for now, see you soon.

x Narelle

Friday, 2 January 2009

"Happy 2009"

I hope everyone had a fabulous New Year's Eve and that the year 2009 is off to a great start.

The last few days I have been trying to get my book-work up to date (3 years worth!) and on Monday will be back in the studio ready to work hard and use my new shiny tools that I received for Christmas.

Cheers to a loving, happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.

x Narelle