Spring is Sprung
Wow, sitting here with the birds singing outside, the sun shining and the garden bursting with life (including the weeds!). Don't you love spring? All the bracelets that languished on my rack over the winter because my sleeves were too long to bother wearing any, are all making a comeback. Sitting here, I am wearing my copper link bracelet that was just a prototype but I love how vibrant the copper is and how comfortable the hand made links are. Those who follow me on Facebook will see the trend towards more wire work in my pieces. Every artist longs to find their own style and meme and mine seems to be more and more focussed on wire. The free form pieces that form bases for my pendants are the most fun to make and something deep in my soul loves that sinuous twining of a malleable substance which will hold it's shape and become a frame for embellishment.
Since I acquired a tumbler, more pieces are being made with pure copper, which is beautiful to work with, and when tumbled and polished, looks amazingly earthy and cool. The other big plus is that copper looks awesome with fresh water pearls, crystals and gemstones in all sorts of colours. There are a few pieces made with German Silver which is an interesting wire. It is thick and strong but actually has no silver in it, being a mix of copper, nickel and zinc, which gives it that silver colour. My German silver necklace in black has become my go to piece as it goes with absolutely everything. I wore it for two weeks in Cambodia on my latest trip and it was the only piece I needed!
As you know, recently a friend and I went to Cambodia on one of our regular trips. We started out in China ten years ago and and have travelled to Vietnam, Laos and now Cambodia. Both of us love the warm weather and the amazing food. This trip was one of mission. Our suitcases were filled to the brim with baby and children's clothes and cotton quilts for babies. Our own gear was crammed into a 7kg carry on! Needless to say, we packed sparingly. We spent two weeks there and were joined by two friends, Tim from Vietnam and Bryant from the Philippines. Both lovely young men with loads of enthusiasm for the poor and disenfranchised.
We visited a lovely Aussie lady, Katrina, who works in Phnom Penh helping young women with crisis pregnancies. She does an amazing job. They offer counselling, help with pre and post-natal health and they clothe the new babe for 18 months! Our kilos of baby clothes were mostly given here. As well as visiting Katrina again, we also undertook a few road trips out to remote villages. Each time we would buy hundreds of french breadsticks, cartons of milk and noodles. These were given out each time to kids and their families.
We visited orphanages and ministered to many over the two weeks and came home tired but feeling very blessed. One of my highlights was our nightly walk down to the river in PP for tea. On the way we would purchase a bag full of noodle cups and as we walked, we would give them out to poor mothers with children, sleeping on the street, disabled men and old people who had no recourse but to beg from passers by. Every night I was met by beaming smiles and a bit of cheeky repartee from a couple of them who had some English, including a handsome young man with arms no longer than 8 inches and only one, deformed but still slightly serviceable leg. He pushed a trolley that he reclined on, wheelchairs being only for those with cash in this society. Talk about re-fixing my perspective on life! No more will I complain over the little things that bug me day to day in my comfortable life, but rather be thankful for every small blessing that comes my way.
Now we come to the market season and all of a sudden it is very busy. Here is my itinerary for the next couple of months to Christmas:
October 26th Breast Cancer Cushion fundraiser at the Downtowner in Warragul
November 14th Rokeby Market
November 16th Lyrebird Village in Drouin
November 21st Warragul Arts Market
November 28th Open House at Buln Buln
December 12th Rokeby Market
December 19th Warragul Arts Market
March 26th Camodia again
REVIEWS: Lovely comments from happy customers.
'Your work is so fantastic it's hard not to buy it. They all scream love us we are made with love to be worn with love.'
'It's great you offer a free repair service. I've never seen that on any other page.'
'Always love your work Annie. I'd buy much more if I could.'
'Oh Annie, the bunny ring is fantastic. I am getting lots of comments from people. The necklace looks wonderful. Do you think it needs adjusting? Gosh, Annie, you make such beautiful things that I don't mind paying the postage.'