Posts Tagged ‘jewellery’

A Parcel in the Post

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

This morning a mixture of disrupted sleep, general grumpiness, a touch of homesickness, and an extreme lack of desire to go to work meant that I was sitting on my couch at 10.45am hoping coffee and a dark chocolate digestive would bring me out of my funk. It wasn’t working. Then out of nowhere, completely unexpectedly, catching me off guard and unaware, came the piercing shriek of the door buzzer and the postman announcing he had a package for me that was too big to fit in my letter box. But my recent stingy spending habits have meant that I haven’t ordered anything online for months. This could only mean one thing – SURPRISE PARCEL ALERT!

I ran downstairs, made small chat with the friendly postman (he didn’t look anything like Postman Pat weirdly) and then dashed back to my apartment and coffee. The handwriting was clearly that of my best friend, Gill, and her request for my address around the time of my birthday meant only one thing – SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PRESENT!

Birthday present

It’s a present!

And wow. What a present. Inside was a card with tear-inducing words and two pieces of Dinosaur Designs brilliance. Not only were they beautiful and from my favourite Australian jewellery designers, they fit my hand and wrist perfectly and they complimented the jewellery and outfit that I was already wearing that day. Gillian is a GENIUS. Or she just knows me well.

Dinosaur design jewellery

Oh it’s lovely.

Perhaps it is bad that I need to receive amazing gifts in the mail to be reminded of this, but every now and then I become aware of how lucky I am to have friends and family members all over the world who continue to think and care about me despite my nomadic lifestyle. Sometimes the distances seem immeasurably far and I dream of the day when teleporters become available and I can simply transport myself to the other side of the world for a hug. But that’s not how life works and they are still working on that technology. But it has reminded me of how important it is to make small gestures to tell people that you love them and are thinking about them. So on that soppy note – thank you, Gill, for knowing me so well, and for bringing me out of today’s funk. I am wearing my new bangle and ring with the necklace my mum surprised me with when I was living in Paris. Three items of “I am thinking about you.” I’m smiling now.

Super Mega Fun Birthday Crazy Times!

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

I am now officially closer to being old. Luckily my inner 12-year old lives on and she was particularly disappointed this morning that my birthday has been and gone. Why does time speed up on birthdays? The injustice.

Yesterday was my 29th birthday and my lovely boss, Myself, gave me the day off work to pursue the pleasures of being the Birthday Girl. I am particularly good at being a Birthday Girl and greatly annoy everyone around me by constantly reminding them of my elitism. Luckily it is only for 24 hours (if you don’t include the count down period and the week-long extended celebrations I like to undertake.).

Sir Pubert Gladstone was my elected chaperone and slave for the day and what a day it was! I slept in! Amazing. Breakfast and present opening involved delicious homemade muesli from Dad, stewed damsons from my friend Hannah, and opening a little white box containing one of the best looking black resin and pyrite rings that I have ever seen in my life. Pubert had clearly picked up on my previous blog-inserted hints and had sourced a ring from one of my favourite local jewellery designers, Jade Mellor. It is a truly beautiful object and it is sitting proudly on my hand as I type this. Fabulous work, Jade, and thank you, Pubert.

Designed and made by Jade Mellor

Designed and made by Jade Mellor

After completing a few errands, Sir Pubert took me for a weirdly timed meal (at 11.30 it was neither morning tea nor lunch) at Teacup where I had my first piece of cake for the day. Slightly dry but still quite tasty, this pear and almond cake sat nicely in my birthday belly.

Pear and almond cake from Teacup

Pear and almond cake from Teacup

Then there was Skype and present opening time with the family back home. I am becoming very experienced at not having my family at my birthdays, however no matter how frequently it happens or how old I get, it is still hard to not get a hug from my Mum, Dad and bro on the Most Important Day of the Year.

My family in electronic form.

My family in electronic form.

So to cheer me up, Sir Pubert and I decided to expand our minds by visiting the Museum of Science and Industry for the Hadron Collider exhibition. I had won two tickets to see the exhibit so was looking forward to learning about particles and Higgs Bosons and what exactly happens in that giant doughnut. To be honest, it was a little disappointing. We entered not really understanding much about what goes on in the collider and we left with just as much confusion. At no point do they really explain what the Higgs Boson is, despite it being a fairly significant finding within the whole collider-building-thing. I learnt a lot about how the collider works but I did spend most of the visit with an “I don’t understand…” frown on my face. Any additional wrinkles on my forehead are due to this confusion and not old age. So if anyone would like to explain Higgs Boson particles to me, please do.

Whoa, technology.

Whoa, technology.

With our tired brains we headed to the twenty-third floor of Manchester’s tallest (and essentially only) skyscraper to the Hilton hotel’s Cloud 23 bar. This swanky, overpriced and poorly decorated bar offers some great views over Manchester and the surrounding countryside and I had been wanting to come since moving to Manchester. The scattered cloud yet relatively clear sky produced some excellent views and Sir Pubert and I slowly drank our expensive (yet tasty) cocktails while staring out the window. It was Monday night and the bar was practically empty, so my Cloud 23 experience was better than what I had been told by some friends who had been before. Definitely a great place to watch the sun set on my birthday.

Goodbye, sun.

Goodbye, sun.

But the day didn’t finish there; MORE FOOD was needed so Pubert and I went to one of the reasons I moved to Manchester – Australasia. I love this restaurant. The decor is stylish but not trashy, the staff are friendly and know what they’re doing, and the food is just damn good. We shared salmon and black rice sushi, yellowfin tuna, goats cheese with beetroot, and seared teriyaki beef. Oh and the boy wanted chips.

Seriously tasty yellow fin tuna with sushi rice and just enough chilli

Seriously tasty yellow fin tuna with sushi rice and just enough chilli

Salmon wrapped in black rice

Salmon wrapped in black rice



Cheese of goat.

Cheese of goat.

But even the chips were the best deep-fried pieces of potato that I had ever had. It was well crafted, beautiful and delicious food and it made me very happy. What made me ecstatic was the chocolate soufflé with chocolate sauce and raspberry sorbet that I had for dessert. It was sadly a little undercooked and therefore a bit eggy, but it was rich, gooey and choc-tastic. The raspberry sorbet added the perfect amount of tang, while the tiny pile of vanilla salt added absolutely nothing.

Hello chocolate soufflé

Hello chocolate soufflé

It was a seriously good day and I really was sad when it all came to an end. Now I have to wait another 364 days until I can do it all again. I wonder where in the world I will be next year and who will be coming to my 30th birthday party…

Jade’s Jewels

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

This afternoon I attended a Collection Bites session at the Manchester Museum. Run once a month, these are one hour discussions about items in the museum’s collection. This month it was hosted by Jade Mellor, a jewellery designer based in Manchester who uses natural minerals and stones incorporated into resin rings, pendants and bangles. Jade is inspired by items she has seen in the museum’s collection such as asteroids and ancient stones. I randomly met Jade about a year ago while listening to a talk at the Manchester Art Gallery. She then invited me to the opening of the new space within the Manchester Museum despite only knowing me for half an hour. Jade is one of those people who is just SO NICE. She deserves an award for ‘Being genuinely lovely.”

Jade's jewellery along side the artefacts from the museum that inspired her

Jade’s jewellery along side the artefacts from the museum that inspired her

Jade’s work is just as wonderful as her personality. Her rings are my kind of jewellery – big chunky pieces that fill your fingers and could act as a weapon in desperate times. The way in which she mixes colours and natural materials is organic and seamless – she manages to make large chunks of quartz and pyrite appear naturally embedded in the resin structure. Not normally a fan of shiny things, Jade brought in samples of pyrite and I am now in love with bling. This amazing substance, also known as “Fool’s gold,” naturally forms in cubes (or cuboid crystals according to Wikipedia.). It’s amazing. During the talk we made faux pyrite by sticking gold gift-boxes together. Bee-u-de-fool.

Pyrite is awesome.

Pyrite is awesome.

I am now trying to choose which ring I want to ask Jade to make me for my birthday. Jade’s black resin rings with pyrite are currently top of my list. Yes, that’s a HINT.

Lovely Things

Monday, December 13th, 2010

There are so many lovely things in the world. I keep finding beautiful jewellery, crafts, ceramics and all sorts that I really want but my current thought process of moving to Paris in 49 days makes me rethink my spending-spree. I have just come across the website Udessi which sells Australian craft and design and is full of beautiful things. Should anyone be currently thinking, “Oh but what on earth should I buy Jess for Christmas?” here’s your answer:


A Heatherkeiko red felt necklace


Little Sitting Bird by Sharon Muir

So lovely… I’d like to be able to make lovely things like these one day.

Good to See

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

We're here! Yay!

On the weekend I attended Unwrapped, the fashion and jewellery market held every few months in Perth. It is a great opportunity for local designers to get their work on show and hopefully sell a few pieces. I ran into a old school mate of mine who has developed a range of jewellery. I’m slightly jealous that she has achieved what I’m slowly (very slowly) working towards but I’m mostly happy for her. Mostly. Check out Niina’s work on her website, N.Blogs.

Niina's jewellery

Some of Niina's very pretty earrings.

Make the Most of it

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Holy moly, shock horror! Something interesting is happening in Perth! Who would have thunk?
As part of the Fashion Festival comes Popsicle – a pop-up container store in the “Cultural Centre” on James Street in Perth. From 9-15 September we will have access to emerging artists’ wares! THIS IS AMAZING! Go, support, buy, encourage it to happen again! It is brought to us by OnWilliam who I love and adore. A group of people who are keen to see Perth become a vibrant place. One day I will work on/near William Street and I will join them and wave banners that say “Stuffed animals and wacky arty stuff are cool!”

Let’s Resin

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Exciting times in the Zaum house. I have just removed my latest resin pieces from their moulds and my attempts have been successful.

Resin pieces

Look at that resin! So resin-y and red.

As you can see from the image above, I have very well shaped stars (so pointy are those tips that I’ve already scratched myself with them), another Z, a round thing, a ball thing, 2 rings and a bangle! I had tried to experiment with colours by combining 2 different reds. It has SORT of worked but not quite how I wanted it to. Still, that’s what experiments are for!

Resin rings

Resin bling.

They all need a good sand and polish (particularly the rings which I made by creating a silicone mould of a plasticine version. The plasticine makes the surface of the final resin version very matt and I need to remove the top layer of resin to get to the shiny goodness on the inside). So that’s tomorrow’s task! At least they fit my wrinkly fingers!

Resin star

Shiny and pointy!

So a successful resin week this week. Now I just need to make them beautiful, work out what to do with them and then sell them for millions of dollars!

There’s Resin A’Brewin’

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Last Friday I made 3 new silicone moulds – 2 rings and a weird blob thing (I had excess silicone). Today I filled them with resin! Tomorrow, if all goes to plan, I will have another bangle (I filled my first mould to about half way so it will be a thinner bangle), 2 rings, 4 stars, a Z, a red round thing, and a weird blob. I’ll keep you posted! I have a feeling they will be FULL of bubbles due to the resin being too cold when I mixed it. I’m glad I don’t live somewhere where it is actually COLD. No resin fun for polar bears.

Resin activities

Not a great photo but there's not much to see yet anyway! Just wait until tomorrow! Then BOOM! Pure resin brilliance!

Sewing Wizard!

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

You won’t believe what has happened in the last 3.5 hours! I went to my sewing wizz of an Aunt’s house and she helped me whip up a top that I have been thinking about for ages. I thought I would just go there with the material and she’d help me cut a pattern and 3 weeks later after a lot of swearing and unpicking on my half I would eventually get a semi-ok top – but no! Instead we worked out a pattern, cut out the material and jumped straight onto a machine and in less than 3 hours I had made this (which is a long time for a jacket that is supposed to take 30 minutes but still… I work at putt-putt speed):


It is the same shape as the hair cut I got this morning!

Look at that! AMAZING! I never thought I’d sew a new top in such a short time but I did! And it is overlocked and everything so people will think I bought it from an expensive store in Claremont. In fact, it cost me $4 as I used the piece of material I bought at the S2 sale. Brilliant. And yesterday I finally had time to sand and polish my bangle to a wearable standard. It has a few bubbles in it and I had to really stand down the inside so there are still a few scratches but I don’t plan on selling it so I’m quite content. I call them the beauty spots.

Finished bangle

Ooh shiny!

So all in all it has been a very successful creative week. In fact, it was a great week in all aspects! I did some work, made some products and had some fun! I put it all down to the fact that the sun was shining all week and my swims at the beach in the morning were absolutely beautiful. Ahhh… Good times.

A New Idea

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

An art technique that I had never considered before has opened up before my eyes thanks to a very cool friend! Who would have thought you could melt crayons and turn them into something BRILLIANT like these rings by Timothy Liles:

Crayon rings

They're just too cool.

Clearly Tim did. But I think I may have to steal his idea and give it a go. I saw a ‘How-to’ on a blog called Pin and Paper and it looks so easy. I’d say the tricky part will be making the final crayon material wearable as crayons tend to give off! Perhaps some sort of sealant will do the trick. But it is so much faster than resin and imagine the range of colours you could make. I suppose the tricky part will be sourcing lots of crayons of the same or similar colour. So if anyone has some old crayons lying around that they’re no longer using, send them my way! It’s time to experiment!