Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday Maker - Nu4U

Today we interview Fashion Designer Jo from Nu4U.

Well first we would love to know were you creative as a child Jo?

I have always dabbled.   Sketched, painted and I made my own clothes.

Both my parents actively encouraged me. 

How would you describe your work?

At the moment, a little bit quirky with a dash of individuality.

How has your work changed and grown since you started?

It's evolving as I evolve as a crafter.  I'm working in several mediums simultaneously and discovering that over time, I'm starting to merge them together.
My newer necklaces are probably a good example of that.  They combine my previous jewellery making with my basket weaving, recycling and use of natural fibres and seeds.

How did you start selling on Etsy?

A friend suggested it.  When she saw my jewellery pieces she suggested Etsy as she thought it married well with my style.

Where does your inspiration come from Jo?

Mother Nature!!! ( LOL ) I know it sounds a bit 'out there', but a lot of the materials I use come from nature. I love taking something and reusing it in an unexpected way.
I enjoy making banana fibre into string or adding blue quondong seeds to my necklaces. Each seed or piece of vine dictates how I use it, so I figure Mother Nature inspires me.

Are there other ways you reduce, reuse and recycle as part of your creative process?

My whole philosophy is to reuse and reinvent.
I try to use recycled material as much as possible in my pieces. If it's not recycled it's made and processed by me using natural materials.
These include pandanus, banana or lamandra into string, 
Wonga wonga vine into baskets or included in my necklaces, 
blue quondong seeds in necklaces or baskets, 
material from silk shirts r dresses into my neck cords and necklaces.
Glass and crystal ware are recycled into table lamps.......I'll even recycle wire and findings for my jewellery if I can.

What's your studio space like?

I have a workshop under the house. I LOVE it, especially now that it's got A/C!!!

What is your favourite thing to make?

LOL - It changes all the time. I enjoy making all the things I sell.

How did your business name come about?

I wanted a name which reflected my philosophy of reusing and recycling materials into useable and new pieces. 
During a brainstorming session with a friend and my daughter, my friend came up with 'Nu4U'.
I thanked her by making a special table lamp out of some crystalware.

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?

I honestly don't know. I'm just enjoying the journey at the moment. I think so long as I can sell enough at any time to pay for my journey, I'll be happy.

Do you have a top tip for others wanting to break into the handmade market?

Love what you do and work from the heart.

Can you describe a typical creative day for you?

Once I am in the zone, I lose track of time, look outside and realise my husband has come home from
work, it's dark, and I can hardly see what I am doing because  I haven't been aware enough to turn the lights on. 

Do you have a favourite quote?

I have two!

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" - Marcel Proust
"Be silly, be honest, be kind." - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Do you like to listen to music while creating?

I actually enjoy listening to birds in our garden.

Do you have a favourite handmade item that you have bought?

Yes, a necklace made locally near where I live.

Where can we find you online? 

How long have you been a member of BrisSyle?

I joined in the middle of 2016, so I am still a new member,

How did you find out about BrisStyle?

By doing an online search for nearby markets and groups.

Why do you craft Jo?

It has always been my therapy where I can tune out.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday Maker - Ace of Swords

Hi Melissa,

Thanks so much for sharing a little about yourself.

Were you creative as a child and do you come from a creative family?

I was a very crafty child in more ways than one. Ask my Mum! I have always had a wild imagination and constantly made crafty projects all my life.  
My mum made all our clothes as children and was the handy one around the house. She was very clever, I watched her make things and was definitely inspired.

How would you describe your work?

I would describe my silver jewellery as mystical and magical. 
I wish I could live in Middle Earth. 
I draw inspiration from spirit animals, ancient symbols, fables and  cultures.
I think my work is very talismanic,  I like to invoke a dialogue between the wearer and jewellery piece.

How has your work evolved since you started?

Funnily, the themes in my work go around in cycles. 
I have been making swords for two decades. 
The moon is always present, goes with my Lady of the Lake obsession. 
Technically, I think the quality of my technique improves as my practice continues.

How did you start selling on Etsy?

I started selling on Etsy about 10 years ago. At that stage I was running Metal Club, a silversmithing school for teenagers, as well as the Federal Village Gallery. So, I was not putting a lot of effort into my Etsy store. 
I am now silversmithing full time and put consistent effort into my Etsy store with great results. 
l love being part of the Etsy community. Living the dream with thanks to Etsy.

Who or what inspires you?

Ancient times inspire me, a time when life was less complicated with a slower pace and a focus on quality craftsmanship.  
Vali Myers, Australia’s own Queen of Bohemia inspires me endlessly. Vali was an artist and a true creative spirit, she lived isolated in nature with 100 animals and 2 husbands.  
I met her a few times and her advice to live my wildest dreams has always stayed with me. Please look up her art and life, she is an unrecognised National Treasure.

Do you reduce, reuse, recycle as part of your creative process?  If yes, how is your art/craft eco-friendly?

I try to use sustainable materials wherever possible. I always use reclaimed sterling silver and I only use reclaimed gold, as I have been up close and personal with a heap leach gold mine, its an extremely destructive process and has ruined many a river from source to sea.

Describe your workspace for us?

I would describe my workshop as a Bohemian Paradise.  A shed crossed with a curio store and a temple. 
It's a regular Woman Cave, lots of hand tools, crystals, specimens, embroidered wall hangings, trinkets, old boxes, antique family heirlooms, beads and metal all over the place.
I need a rich collection of colour and forms around me like a cocoon when I work. 

What is your favourite thing to make?

Rings are definitely my favourite thing to make, they are mini sculptures.
I can’t stop making them.
I also love a commission job.  Designing a special piece for someone pushes my designing beyond its usual Lady of the Lake meets King Arthur.

How did your business name come about?

The Ace of Swords hit me like a thunder bolt at my workbench one day, I wasn’t even thinking about a business name at the time.  The Ace of Swords is a Tarot Card, it is associated with focused energy, victory, determination, strength and power. 

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?

I see myself continuing down the path of silversmithing forever.  
In  the next 12 months, I see myself building more loyal customers who love handmade jewellery and  sending my jewellery all over the world.

What’s your top tip to others wanting to break into the handmade/creative market?

My tip for other crafts people trying to break into the market would be : 
Create don’t imitate.
Clear your mind, open your heart, and make what you would like to wear, people will respond to your authentic style. 
Also, don’t give up, sometimes it seems like you are not getting anywhere, but push on through these moments of doubt, success is waiting for you, it is your birthright.

Describe your typical creative day?

My typical creative day starts with a walk through the coastal bushland and beaches of Byron Bay with Little Dog, my mini foxy. 
I spend time appreciating the birds, trees and nature and just soak it up. Its my recharge time, being out in nature is a must.  
I then enter the workshop for 5 - 10 hours.  I snack on vegan food all day to keep my energy levels up.

What kind of Music do you listen towhile creating?

My favourite music whilst working varies, its mostly reggae, but could be ambient electronic, goa trance or Indian classical.    
My fav Australia artist of the moment, is Nattali Rize (former of Blue King Brown)  I am always listening to her work. I made her some stage jewellery because I respect the meaning and power behind her music. Check her out, she is a star.

What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?

My favourite handmade item that I have bought would be a tree of life hand embroidered wall hanging.  It has a white background with multi colours and mirrors.  I bought it from the maker in a small village in Gujarat, India. 

Where can we find you online?

My work is available only through me at present. I am a regular stall holder at Byron Bay Beachside and Community markets, Bangalow Market, Gold Coast Creative Market, Vindie Markets and BrisStyle markets.
You can view my creations on Instgram and Facebook and purchase online through my Etsy Store.

How long have you been a member of BrisStyle?

I have been a member of BrisStyle for 18 months or so. I love being part of a community of creatives.

How did you find out about brisstyle?

I found out about BrisStyle online whilst looking for handmade markets that I could sell at.

Why did you become a member?

I became a member of BrisStyle because I was so impressed with the level of effort and organisation that BrisStyle achieves whilst remaining grass roots and friendly. I felt welcomed and supported straight away. It feels so good to be part of such a crafty organisation.

Why do you craft?

 I craft because I love making sheets of silver come to life. 
Creating quality jewellery that has its own personality and journey.  
I love the idea that my creations are treasures that will get handed down. 
My work will outlive me and will continue to float around the world for generations.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Elise from Elise Heather Designs is Today's Monday Maker

Elise is not only one of our shiny new BrisStylers but also our last Monday Maker interview for 2016. Where DID that year go?

Hi Elise and firstly, a big warm welcome to BrisStyle.

Elise, we'd love to know a few things about you and your creative journey.

Were you creative as a child?

From stories that I have heard I have been making my whole life. 
My mum remembers that I use to make ponies from lego, torn up tissues and paddle pop sticks. 
As a kid I could always be found tying something together with string, drawing, nailing chunks of wood together, crocheting or redecorating my room.

How about your family, are they creative too?

My dad was a fantastic drawer when he was younger. 
I remember flicking through old sketch books containing some of his drawings. 
He designed and drew all the plans for my parent’s house. 
I think that’s pretty incredible since he’s got no architectural training.

How would you describe your work?

As in I don’t believe I have a particular style, I just make what feels right at the time. 
I do find myself drawn to more neutral colours and I do like the flowing tassels and boho feel so try to emulate that in my work.

How has your work improved since you started?

I have developed my own techniques and have gained confidence in my own ability to design my original pieces. 
The more I work the more I develop my own designs. 
What use to need a lot of thought now comes naturally.

How did you start selling online?

Family suggested it for a long time. 
One day I just looked around my house and saw it was overflowing with stuff I’d made so I bit the bullet and opened my Etsy store and Facebook page.

Is there someone in particular who inspires you?

There is so much online. I can spend hours and hours on Instagram and Pinterest just scrolling through all the beautiful images. 
I do particularly love Justina Blakeney from the Jungalow, Emily Henderson, Tammy Kanat, Shelly Sazanoff, Maryanne Moody and Emily Katz.

Do you reduce, reuse or recycle as part of your creative process?

I use a mixture of new and old in my pieces. I like to scour op shops for old frames, cotton, beads and yarn to use. 
People have given me vintage yarn and macramé cord but I tend to hoard it all instead of using it. LOL! 

Can you describe your work space for us?

I work in one of two places. I have a mini studio downstairs at my house with a work bench and shelving. Upstairs I make the majority of my wall hangings. I find it more comfortable on my couch. I tend to paint and make labels and business cards downstairs. 

Do you have a favourite thing to make?

Simple flat weave wall hangings or ones with extra extravagant tassels are generally my favourite things to make. I am enjoying macramé a lot at the moment though. 

How did you come up with your business name?

My sister and I brainstormed names because I really suck at naming things. (Took me a week to name my dog!) 
Elise Heather, my name, seemed like the logical pick. 
I originally went with Elise Heather Creations but it was one character too long for a shop name on Etsy so it got changed to Designs.

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?

Hopefully more custom work and expanding the number of markets and events I will be attending. 
I am also working on holding DIY classes with the ladies from Triangle House in the new year. 
I started a Diploma in Business in November so I feel I will be pretty busy, but in a good way.

Do you have a top tip for others wanting to break out into the handmade market?

Give it a go and don’t back down. There are going to be times when everything goes wrong and you could end up spending more than you earn but as long as you are doing what you love it will be all worthwhile!

Can you describe your typical creative day?

I like to potter around until inspiration strikes then take my time, making sure everything’s how I want it to be. 
It could take me a day to complete something or a month. Depends how excited I am to be working on it. I have been known to throw out half complete pieces because I couldn’t stand to look at them any longer.

Do you have a favourite quote?

“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. 
While they are deciding, make even more art.” – Andy Warhol

Do you like to listen to music while creating?

Usually I like to have the TV or YouTube on in the background but if it’s been a hectic few days I work in silence.

What is your favourite handmade item you have bought?

My bathing lady from Laurie Melia. She’s awesome and has pride of place on my duchess in my bedroom.

And where can we find you online?

I have an Etsy store ( ) but I get lazy when it comes to updating it. I mostly connect with customers via Instagram and at the markets. 
I take custom orders and offer postage or pickup from Toowoomba.

How long have you been a member of BrisStyle and what made you join?

Just joined! And am loving it already.
I attended the inaugural Ipswich Rail Museum Twilight Market and thought it was run spectacularly so I wanted in on the action.

Well thank you Elise and WELCOME.

That's our final Monday Maker for the year, let's see what 2017 brings.
Happy crafting!

X anita (Myclectic)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

BrisStylers Making for Good in 2016

Make For Good is a fantastic initiative developed by Etsy Australia and New Zealand and Plan International Australia, inspiring Etsy sellers to create items which relate to, 'Creating Brighter Futures'. As part of this campaign, sellers are to donate at least 20% of proceeds to the Because I am a Girl initiative; empowering girls to learn, succeed and achieve, creating brighter futures for themselves and everyone around them.

To find out more about this fantastic cause please visit the following [link].

If you are a BrisStyle seller please feel free to join in, you can still register [here].

BrisStylers have absolutely nailed the brief for this campaign, creating a beautiful range of items which interpret the 'Creating Brighter Futures' theme.

Please take some time to visit these awesome sellers, favourite their items, share the love on social media, and even do a bit of Christmas shopping - remembering that funds raised go to creating brighter futures for girls around the world thanks these sellers, Etsy Australia and Plan International Australia.

1. Alma B - Makeforgood Children's Rainbow Wall Art - Educations nursery art colour chart

2. Celebratink - Love Print - Limited Edition Gold Foil Art Print - A3 size - #makeforgood

3. Each To Own 
Limited Edition / Pilgrim Hodgson X Each to Own Acrylic Laser Cut Wall Hanging / makeforgood
makeforgood / Hexie Lush Glitter Pom Drops / Each To Own / makeforgood / Laser Cut Glitter Earrings

4. Fluturi - Woodland Fox Pink Ruffle Scoop Back Dress Size 3 #MakeForGood

5. HappyPuku (left to right, top to bottom) - many more make for good items in store
- art print - makeforgood - hand printed original screen print, wall art, wall art decor, limited edition art, art quote
- Hello Yellow | Cushion, Pillow, Round, Handmade, Screen Print, Pom Pom, Decor, Kids Bedroom, Gifts for Kids
- Screen printed Decorative Baby Pillow - makeforgood - Nursery Cushion, Kids Decor, Gifts for Kids, Gifts for Babies
- Baby Play Mat - makeforgood - Baby Blanket Quilt, Baby Shower Gift, Baby Blanket, Gifts for Babies
- Canvas tote bag - makeforgood - screen printed tote bag, summer beach bag, shoulder bag

6. Kazzycaboodles Creations
- MADE TO ORDER: Raw Tiny Australian Opal Stud Earrings, makeforgood, Blue Flash, Sparkle, Natural Opal, Mineral, Unique, Stainless Steel
- Raw Australian Opal Cabochon Studs, Stainless Steel, Natural, Mineral, makeforgood, Glow in the dark, Resin, Unique, Handmade
- Raw Australian Chalcopyrite Cabochon Studs, Stainless Steel, Natural, Mineral, aqua, metallic, makeforgood, Resin, unique, Handmade
- MADE TO ORDER: Set of Two Vintage Star Sapphire Postage Stamp Bobby Pins, Hair Slides, Blue, Metallic, Handmade, Geology, makeforgood

 7. LaLaLaDesigns - MakeForGood Elephant soft toy / plush toy for baby in pink and gold geometric pattern

8. laurajdesigns11 (left to right top to bottom) - many more designs available in store
- makeforgood / Summer Days Necklace and Earring Set / 12mm / Adjustable / Polymer Clay / Laura J Designs
- makeforgood / The Lis Glitter Earring Set / 12mm / Polymer Clay / Surgical Steel / Laura J Designs
- makeforgood / Peacock Teal Polymer Clay Double Drop Earrings / 43mm / Laura J Designs
- makeforgood / The May Necklace and Earring Set / 12mm / Adjustable / Polymer Clay / Laura J Designs

8. myclectic (left to right top to bottom) - many more items available in store
- Makeforgood, Leather tassel, bracelet, adjustable
- Leather Tassel necklace, makeforgood, turquoise leather tassel, red, purple
- Makeforgood, Tassel necklace, pink, lime, orange, leather tassel necklace
- Makeforgood, leather tassel necklace, in pastels pink, blue, lime

9. purecute (left to right top to bottom)
- makeforgood Halter Flamenco Dress in Gold Ombre; Make for Good
- makeforgood Girls Golden Pure Linen Head Wrap; Make for Good
- makeforgood Girls Pure Linen Headwrap in Silver

10. sybellaShop - clutch purse - brighter days - etsy make for good - 8 inch metal frame clutch purse - large purse - girls - kisslock

11. TLHinspired (left to right top to bottom) (more designs available in store)
- Ray of Hope; Shine Collection Mixed Metal (Copper & Sterling Silver) Pendant; Handmade Jewellery; makeforgood
- Copper Cuff Bangle Bracelet; mixed metal; makeforgood; Cabochon; patina; restic; adjustable; unisex; minimalist jewellery; retro; pattern
- Ray of Hope; Shimmer Collection Small Mixed Metal (Copper & Sterling Silver) Stud Earrings; Handmade Jewellery; makeforgood
- Ray of Hope; Sparkle Collection Small Mixed Metal (Copper & Sterling Silver) Chime Dangle Earrings; Handmade Jewellery; makeforgood

12. wiredfusiondesign - Elegant Turquoise & Navy Beaded Earrings

Please feel free to share with us what you've made or bought for the #makeforgood campaign!