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!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Today's Monday Maker is Robyn Stewart from Birdy and Clementine

Were you creative as a child/do you come from a creative family?
My mum was crafty and my Aunt was a painter but I only remember making mud pies.
How would you describe your work?
A little bit retro a little bit modern, feminine and complicated like me :0. I focus primarily on surface decoration as that is my first love and I like to wing it as I have a low boredom threshold'.

How has your work evolved since you started? 
I started a looonnnggg time ago with a big hiatus where I moved interstate and was the main caregiver for my gorgeous gals- they were my priority for many years. Now that I am an empty nester I can indulge my passions again . My work has changed firing temperatures and  am using new techniques but I look at my work from 20 years ago and I can still see similarities in the colour palette,the lustre used and the simple shapes although I was doing wheel work a lot more then and now I prefer to hand build and slip cast my original proto types.

How did you start selling online/ Etsy?
Ahh this for me is the big change... way back when you did art shows and sold face to face  now the online world is massive. It's great opportunity to have a global audience, incredibly exciting but alas my photography skills need a lot of work so I don't really have a presence there as yet. I have a shop.. it's rather sad only two items listed to date.
Who or what inspires you?
Colour, pattern and texture be it in the natural world or man made... life really - it's full of amazing things.
Do you reduce, reuse, recycle as part of your creative process? If yes, how is your art/craft eco-friendly?
I have solar panel assisted electric kilns which I fire predominately when the sun is shining. I prefer to keep packaging to a minimum and use recycled where possible.

Describe your studio/workspace?
I have two workspaces, actually that's a lie because if I need to commandeer the whole house I will! I have just done The Finders Keepers for the first time and I literally took over the spare bedroom and had work stations dotted throughout the house, nothing was sacred, the dining room ,the living room two verandahs... you get the picture. :)
Generally though I have a tidy area which is my studio upstairs (an enclosed verandah) where I do my hand building , decorating and lustering and downstairs where I slip cast , make a big ole mess and have my kilns
What is your favourite thing to make?
Right now I love love love making earrings. I treat each one like a mini abstract painting and enjoy where they end up.
How did your business/shop name come about?
A brainstorming session with my eldest daughter. I know I wanted Birdy (Robyn) and the Clementine was brainstormed from a bunch of 50's names as I feel my work harks back to that era (albeit in a lateral way)

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?
I have so many ideas but I am currently time poor... more tableware, more jewels. I love a good cup and I used to specialise in teapots so I would like to develop that further.
What’s your top tip to others wanting to break into the handmade/creative market?
Well I feel like I'm still doing that myself but basically you need to take yourself seriously and do the work.As boring as that sounds everyday you need to do something that takes you forward and sometimes that ain't sexy.
Describe your typical creative day?
They are often long. I have breakky then walk into the studio upstairs and depending on what I am making I could be running up and down stairs all day between work spaces. I mix it up a bit otherwise the body protests so if I alternate fine and gross motor skills I find I can work longer. I tend to focus way too much on the making and very little on the marketing.
Music or movie while creating?
I have a very eclectic taste in music so it could be anything from classic to folk, funk. grunge, alternative, world, R &B etc
What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?
So many... I  really appreciate and collect antique hand stitched fabrics especially from minority tribes in Asia.
Where can we find you online/stockists?

How long have you been a member of brisstyle?
Almost two years

Why do you craft?
Because that is the true expression of who I am. Be yourself people!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Jemica is the brain behind MeekzContemporary and she is our Monday Maker this week

Jemica and I go way back, I can't even remember the first market we met at, and we share a common interest.
Hi there Meekz, so glad I finally nailed you down for an interview.

Hi Anita
Thanks, I would love to be interviewed thanks for thinking of me :P

Well my first question is:

Were you creative as a child and do you come from a creative family?
Yes to both. I loved to do art and craft with my mum when I was little. My mum you could say is a gypsie and has been everywhere and done everything. She is very skilled in sewing, carpentry, floristry, beauty therapy, hospitality etc and has always tried to teach me everything from an early age.

How would you describe your work? 
I would describe my practice as evolving.  I love the notion that I am creating something out of nothing and that a piece of throw away metal can be turned into something beautiful and inspiring.  
Art can be anything and it is the story or journey taken that makes it rich.   

So how has your work evolved since you started?
My jewellery has evolved dramatically since I started back at university. I explored using lots of recycled materials as a source of inspiration and substance for my jewellery from plastic buttons, to hessian rope, to fabric off cuts and finally to recycled acrylic signs.   As a silversmith this gave me great excitement to explore the possibilities, but something was lacking.  

A shift and focus back to using recycled metals last year as my sole source of materials has filled the void and given me back the enjoyment I missed as a metalsmith.  I now work entirely with recycled metal from road signs, electrical wire, kitchen fittings, recycled and preloved sterling silver and gold jewellery, crockery and cutlery and other metals including recycled copper, brass and aluminium.  

The tactile qualities of working with metal and using traditional tools and techniques has sparked alive again the joy I found at university in making jewellery and given me a more fulfilling purpose in knowing that the traditional art of silversmithing is still continuing today.

How did you start selling online?
I started selling online through etsy to begin with.  This was an easy manageable outlet for me to sell my jewellery online along side facebook. 1 year later, I decided to pursue my own website, after I felt it was hard to find or locate me as at the time there were no Australian search areas on Etsy to refine your search for local designers and I felt I was getting missed.

I have now refined and changed my website 3 times as technology has progressed and with new formats, layouts, and underlying codes have changed.  This however has meant that I now have the ability to manage and edit my own website using and find this greatly satisfying knowing that I can control the entire look, feel and format of my website and don't need to pay any one else to add or change content.  

Who or what inspires you?
My fellow jewellers, friends, and family inspire me everyday.  Art in general as well as direct topics such as architecture, geometry and fashion are great influencers in my practice and help to shape the outcomes of my work.  My sketches play a big part in the design of each piece and usually form the basis of each piece.

I know you reduce, reuse, recycle as part of your creative process but can you tell us how your art is eco - friendly?
I pride myself in having an environmentally sustainable practice from the techniques used to the materials I source.  I love to recycle, reuse, up-cycle and incorporate preloved materials such as road signs, tea pots, lamp shades, electrical wire, sterling silver cutlery/crockery/jewellery as well as copper piping, hot water systems, brass kitchen fittings etc.  Everything I source is locally found.  The tactile nature of working with raw materials alongside existing forms always creates a dialogue for me and continually keeps me searching for ways to express new stories.  

Can you describe your workspace?
My newly renovated studio space is fantastic.  I now have 4 fully functioning jewellers benches by which I can hold regular jewellery workshops to teach the community about traditional silversmithing.   Made with the help of my parents the benches are all made from recycled wood including two table tops.  We resurfaced the concrete floor, added a splash of paint and dad even made me a gorgeous sign to go out the front.

Do you have a favourite thing to make?
I love making all my jewellery.  There are no two pieces that are alike across all my ranges.  
My wrapped up range - (The brightly coloured wire jewellery)  Each piece is hand weaved using my signature weave and no two pieces are ever alike.  The simple form and minimalist design of this range make any piece the prefect accessory for an outfit.  The array of colours available allow for perfect colour coordination or colour matching.

My hammer texture range explores mark making and texturisation.  Featuring nine hand forged designs along with a combination of letter, number and symbol stamping, this collection provides the most possibilities for individual, personal and custom exploration.  No two pieces are ever the same.  Colour, pattern, texture and theme are the most inspiring characteristics of this collection for me.

How did your business name come about?
My business name : Meekz Contemporary Jewellery  came about from a play on my nickname - Meeka.  Unable to register Meeka at the business registry, I changed it to Meekz and added Contemporary Jewellery as a descriptive element and hence Meekz Contemporary Jewellery was born.

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?
I would like to see myself still teaching and designing new pieces within 12 months. I would like to perhaps travel and explore maybe a residency or go on a jewellery tour overseas to see how other jewellers practice and gain some insight.  Learning and creating networks is a big passion of mine and keeps me motivated and passionate.

What's your top tip to others wanting to break into the creative market?
Be passionate, driven and self motivated.  It is a big scary world out there but if you put in the hard work you wont regret it.  
Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it and if you can ... help others as we are all in the same boat.

Describe your typical creative day?
A typical creative day of making in the studio is filled with great music, plenty of water and my mood boards.  The hours are long, the techniques and number of tools used is some days enormous but the joy I get out of creating something from nothing is priceless.  Knowing that I made a piece of jewellery that someone one day will cherish is all that matters.  

Do you have a Favourite quote?
My favourite quote is by Albert Einstein and is Knowledge is Imagination.   This to me is great and I understand where he was going with this, but as an artist I have reinterpreted this and created my own personal quote and mantra. - "Imagination is Knowledge".  If we first don't create, imagine and explore then how can we know! Knowledge can't be created without imagination and so hence Imagination is Knowledge.   

Do you prefer Music or movies while creating?
Definitely Music

What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?
My favourite handmade item that I have bought to date would have to be my original Little Brown Dog set of rectangular cushions made by the wonderful Bec Lewis.  They feature 2 guinea fowl's one on each cushion and are the perfect statement homeware in my room!

Where can we find you online?
I am on facebook, instagram and have a website.
Instagram - meekzcontemporaryjewellery
Plus I have 12  stockists at present and they include:

Perch and Pantry - Cleveland, Reverse Garbage Echoes Gift Shop - Woolloongabba, Miss Bond Jewellery - Fortitude Valley, Estelle Elliott Designs - Yeronga, KickArts Contemporary Arts - Cairns, Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery Shop - Toowoomba, Bridget Bunchy - The Summit, Erin Lightfoot - Eat Street Market/Hamilton, Nicky's Fashion Fair - Laidley, Story Tree - Boonah, 

E for Ethel - Adelaide

Zero Degrees - Thredbo

How long have you been a member of Brisstyle?
For ages now, I can't remember and don't know how to find out how long its been now.

How did you find out about Brisstyle?  
From a friend originally

Why did you become a member?
I became a member of Brisstyle to network, meet friends, surround myself with like minded people, to learn how to improve my business at workshops and discussion catch ups and to attend markets and sell my pieces while gaining recognition and get my brand out there. 

Why do you craft?
I craft because I love to make, get creative and experiment.  I am a hands on person and love to learn.

Thank you Meeks.