Sunday, 25 November 2012

Artist books

Some days as an art teacher are more rewarding than others. Today was definitely one of those special teaching days. I have a beautiful Year 10 art class who have been working on artists books or altered books this term. The concept is Essence, so they can basically explore any topic, but I aim to push them away from cliche responses and towards a more sophisticated visual literacy. The results are always fantastic but today yielded some extra-specially exciting works. 

This altered alphabet book is a treasure. On some pages the student has crossed out or circled every single chosen letter, on others she has stitched, or ripped, or overlapped letters. But I particularly love the cut out cover of the letter A which reveals beautiful stitching. 

Every page of this altered book was a delight so it was difficult to choose the pages to feature. Consequently these images are only a glimpse of what this wonderful book contains. The work journeys from a dark and depressed state into hope and happiness. This student has displayed a very sophisticated aesthetic for someone that is only 15 years of age.

I really don't think these images do this work justice. I love this book so much, I am trying to convince the boy to sell it to me. Every page instills wonder and delight. It is playful, instinctively sensitive and just a totally beautiful response to the concept of doorways/journeys.

There are many more wonderful books from this class and I have another Year 10 class to collect work from tomorrow. I must acknowledge the fantastic work that my student teacher Gabrielle Morosini did with these students. It is a pity she was not here today to see the results of her hard work. 

Cutest giveaway

Have you discovered the adorable soft creatures created by the very talented Olga Wassupbrother from Russia. I am such a huge fan and am excited to discover that she is currently having a giveaway. You will have to be quick though, because the giveaway ends in one day!

Check out her work on Etsy or follow her blog for great progress pics.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

GOMA Markets

This Saturday I will be selling my work at the  Gallery of Modern Art Christmas Market in Brisbane. I have been attending this boutique market for a few years now and always leave with unique Christmas gifts for family and friends. It is such a privilege to have a stall for the first time this year. 
 I will be keeping company (from 9am to 4pm) with my dear friends Erin from Erinswindow 
and Kylie from Paper Boat Press.
If you live in or around Brisbane, I highly recommend the GOMA Christmas Market. It is located outside of Brisbane's incredible modern art gallery along the banks of the Brisbane River.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Etsy Feature

There has been some frantic tinkering going on at the bench in my lil' O bliss studio, thanks to a
In Etsyland being selected as Feature Shop is a big deal. How admin selects sellers is a mystery and even after going through the process, I can offer no insight.  But somehow I managed to catch the attention of the right person and for this I am incredibly grateful.

In preparing for the feature I was challenged to improve my packaging. For a while I had that niggling feeling that my packaging was not up to scratch but it took honest feedback from a trusted friend to finally facilitate change.  I think that my new packaging now reflects my shop's aesthetics.

In the midst of the craziness of the last few weeks I did find time to list some new designs. I have been wearing the prototype for these paisley earrings for a while and am excited to finally have them in my shop. 

Paisley sterling silver post earrings $60

These 'mushroom' studs were created for a customer. They are now also available at O bliss jewellery

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Tasmania love

So it has already been 2 weeks since I reluctantly returned home from a wonderful 6 day holiday in Tasmania and I have finally found some time to sit down and update my blog. I think I will rely on the the pics to communicate just how glorious Tasmania is.

Just a few pics of Grace and Phil's idyllic property. I could easily have spent the whole 6 days here.

Exploring convict ruins (isn't my daughter beautiful!)

and of course MONA did not fail to blow my mind!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Etsy Stalker feature

I'm loving this feature on O bliss over at Etsy Stalker. 
Check it out and find out how you can enter the draw for the earrings below.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Counting the days...

Australian Native Flowers Cards by Trees4thewoods

I am counting down the days until my long overdue holiday to Tasmania. Our flights were booked over 20 months ago but had to cancelled when my brother-in-law's house went under in the Brisbane floods. Our holiday was instead spent cleaning away mud and providing shelter for a displaced family of 6. 
Well it is now spring school holiday time (although it feels more like summer on the Gold Coast) and I am itching to visit Swallow Nest Farm on the Tasmin Peninsula. Grace is an mother of 5, an artist and grows native Australian flowers with her husband on their glorious farm in Tasmania (her lino print cards are pictured above). We visited them during winter in 2008; as a family of 5 we drove for 20 hours before boarding a ferry for a 10 hour sea voyage and finally a 4 hour drive to their property at the end of a dirt road! That was a memorable family adventure to visit our dear friends. Four year on, the boys are 19 and 17 and have plans of their own. This time around it will just be my husband, daughter and me so we are enjoying the luxury of flying down. 
We will also be visiting other close friends who joined the migration from Queensland to Tasmania earlier this year. They have just purchase 90!!! acres in the Huen Valley - double the excuse to go!!!
Also on the must do list, is a visit to MONA - a major new contemporary art gallery that I am desperate to see (and take my budding artist daughter to).

I will be sure to share pics on my return or you can follow my travels via my Instagram feed - username: breema

Saturday, 15 September 2012

A giant giveaway!

Jahje from Baby Jives is a very deserving finalist in Martha Stewart's American Made Awards.  She creates one of a kind, adorable mobiles which decorate nurseries and children's bedrooms worldwide. I am thrilled to be part of Jahje's giant giveaway featuring my own work and a long list of  products from some of my favourite Etsy stores. It is so easy to enter - all you have to do is vote for Baby Jives to go into the draw. The more you vote, the more chances you have to win. With $395 worth of prizes up for grabs, it is well worth taking a moment each day to vote.
Click here for a list of prizes and more info on how to vote.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Printmaking - The real deal

Following a successful printmaking unit with my Year 10 student’s, it was such a treat to spend the morning in a real printmaker’s studio, surrounded by machinery dating back to the 1800’s. My friend Nicole is a printmaker/designer and is fanatical about typography.  Her collection of old printing presses are a sight to behold and the beautiful quality this equipment brings to her work is unrivalled by modern processes.  So I was super excited to commission Nicole to create formal invitations for me. This will be my 4th year as Year 12 Formal Co-ordinator and each year I have lovingly spent hours hand-making the invitations.  But I think I love these invites the most – they are sophisticated and professional looking while still maintaining a handmade quality. Nicole kindly invited me to participate in the print run. After an awkward start, I got the hang of operating George  (a Gordon Franklin Press made between 1867 & 1869). I truly felt transported to a bygone era.

 Check out Nicole's fantastic graphic prints at her Etsy shop Nicoleap

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Today in class

My Year 10's had a fun afternoon printing linocuts, resulting in some great Pop Surrealism art. The students were asked to combine a famous artwork with something from popular culture.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Busy in the art room

It is a very busy time of the year in my art classroom. While the school year is just commencing in America, in Australia we are about to go on our spring holiday. My senior students will soon graduate high school and have just submitted their final major bodies of work (top left and bottom right). This has meant many weeks of late nights for some and a last minute scurry to produce a reasonable submission for others. As usual, the talent, creativity and insight of these 17 year olds amazes me. But my younger students have also been delighting me with their achievements. The Year 9's (14 year olds) have been working on realistic tonal studies of celebrities. The images top-right are progress photos and capture just a small glimpse into the talent of the students I am privileged to work with. I can't wait to see how they develop as artists in the coming years. Likewise, I have taught some amazing Year 10 student's throughout 2012. They are currently completing a surrealism printmaking unit. The image bottom-left is just one of the beautiful etchings produced. 
The photos above are such a small representation of what is happening in my art classes. I have students working across such a diverse range of media, including digital photography, video art and installation art. I love the fact that senior students can choose their preferred media and develop individual responses to a given concept. The beauty of art is that meaning can be visually communicated in so many forms.  

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Mamma's Market

Mamma's Market's is coming to the Gold Coast this Saturday. I'll be there with new work and my most popular Etsy items. If you live nearby come along and say hello. I am sharing a stall with my friend Nicole from Nicoleap

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

A new Etsy purchase

Resistance was futile when I stubbled across this mixed media figurative portrait by Marina on Etsy today. I was actually working with a Year 12 student, looking for inspiration for her artwork (Etsy is such a great place to send art students). The two of us were ogling at Marina's breathtaking work and I decided "Tomas" must be mine. I just love buying art through Etsy!!

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Z ring

I made this ring set for my niece, Zoe. Another set with an 'e' (for my son's girlfriend) is in the tumbler at the moment. I think I might give them a go in my Etsy shop.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Mamma's Markets

I am currently in mass production mode (well it is mass...ive for me) in preparation for a market in a few weeks. It is many, many years since I last did a market and I am both excited and a wee bit scared, as this will be the first time selling my jewellery face to face. An Etsy shop is very non-confrontation, unlike markets. 
 So if you live nearby, please stop by and visit my stall at: 
August 18th
 2pm to 6pm
Mudgeeraba Memorial Hall
Railway Street 

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Finders Keepers

My dear friend Erin from Erinswindow will be at The Finders Keepers Market in Brisbane this Saturday and Sunday. Here is a sneak peak at her stall.
As you know, I am a fan and keen collector of Erin's charming sculptures and paintings. 
She has been working like a trouper to prepare for this popular and exclusive market and the results are exciting indeed. 
Don't you just love the little porcelain chairs!!

Saturday, 30 June 2012


A visit from a dear friend yesterday resulted in a little re-styling of this shelf.

Fresh wattle from the garden - love!!!!

A view through to my studio.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Giveaway Winners



- the winners of my first ever O bliss giveaway

Thank you to everyone who followed this blog and my Facebook page.
I had so much fun that I will definitely run another giveaway in the near future.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Puppy love

Yesterday my eldest child celebrated his 19th birthday. 
Oh.... and we bought home our new puppy!!! 

Meet Scarlett - a Blue Heeler (Australian cattle dog)

Scarlett and her siblings with my middle son - the boy needed a dog!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Artists I love on Etsy

There are so many wonderful artists to discover on Etsy - something for everyone really.
 I am home sick today so I guess these picks reflect my mood.

'Hallway' by Franca Garrels from petitshop

'Rising Cloud XIV' by Lucky Hemlock from Lucky Hemlock

'Nantucket' by Kat Hannah from in a pale place