My Online Shop

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Custom Orders

 In my endeavours to focus more energy this year into my online shop, (as I get help with my health/energy/detoxing mercury) , I am making listings showcasing some of the many unique hats that I have made during my 25 year herstory of hat making, and suggesting people consider a Custom Order.
The hat shown above was bought in person, by West Australian Pam, after she'd spotted the hat I was wearing, at the Alice Springs Beaniefest, the first of my new style 'Jacaranda Crown'.

Pam, sent a message with a friend, the following year, requesting a Custom Order, in Reds and Purples. (see photos below). Pam said she wanted another as wearing the first one, had "opened doors for her, and started important conversations", during her travels.

Being able to call myself a Beanieologist, a customer recently suggested I could add in a Doctor of Beanieology ! LOL

My online selling mentors, have often said it may be harder to sell One Of A Kind works, being much easier to sell and re-list items that are the same. I concurr.

How many times have I listed a hat, only to then sell it offline?  I struggle to get product photos that 'pop out' at future customers,  spend time editing the photos, writing out individual listings etc etc.  ...... So now with the added Custom Order button in our Etsy Shops, it is even easier to 'advertise' custom order possibilities.
 Custom Orders are always wonderful as sometimes the requests are for using specified colours that I may not have thought to use, (without adding in others).

Taking your artworks to markets is often purely just promoting yourself and work, especially in this region I live in, as the craft markets are so large and very full of many diverse and colourful work, it can be very hard to be seen as it can take a long time to get a permanent site, that stallholders can begin to form a regular clientèle. ( I began my selling hats at a regular weekly market, and found that it could take a quite some time for some people to have need, or really appreciate the quality of my work, and value the time and creativity involved in each individual hat.


Some hats have sat on my stall or in my display stock for years, until the right person, comes along and is smitten by it. Often it can be a hat that I personally may not like anymore, (or at all), and I have to be careful to not 'knock off' the price just to 'get rid of' the old hats! lol


So to use my Etsy Shop, as Publicity, for my FreeForm Crochet work, is what I am going to focus on, and get my listings up !
Yesterday, I edited a heap of photos, taken back in October,
(nearly finished!)..... and I can begin to make them into listings, continuing my 'run' of new listings I managed in January !

Also I am going to make more posts in here ! (There it is written ! It shall Be !) fingers crossed. ( I now have a mobile 'dongle' and am online, down in our Artist's Co-op gallery 'Viridian', so it should be easier than at home, where I have a very dodgy connection across the main house, where the modem/router is based. ie faster uploads) 


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Spirits in the Todd River Part Two


Early one morning standing in the dry sands of the Todd River in Alice Springs, I took a photo of my favourite tree just near the hotel. The autoflash was on, the digital image appeared on the screen,  !!! half covered in white ! two more taken, the whole screen whited out !  What's going on ? Took 3 shots without the flash, holding still for the low light available,  then,  3 more with the auto flash back on .... normal now ??
Back inside, download to laptop.... Gay from next door, is in for brekky,  and when the 1st pic comes up she instantly spots a figure running across ! (Gay tells me she could do those 'Magic Eye' puzzles easily, and   media facial obscurations don't 'hide' anyone's face from her !)



That night when I got back after a big day at Beaniefest, and totally exhausted physically and emotionally(?), I noticed a sore throat, as I went to sleep. By morning I had a raging phlegmy cough !  Now I don't get sick often. Only had a Flu twice. Usually 'catch' anything before it starts. (It has taken me until today, 12 days to feel nearly better, 'tho still phlegmy!)
Anyway back to Alice,  that morning I had to drive Gay to ABC for an interview, then Penny out to her workshop at Territory Craft, after which I was free to go back to hotel and finish getting ready, shower etc. But now being daytime, I decided to hop into the hotel spa, which I checked out the first day, by dipping fingers in. It had only felt warm, and with cold nights, maybe too cold to actually hop into, but a daytime spa, might undo my tight neck muscles, the most 'likely' cause of picking up a sore throat, me thinks.
It was HOT ! and so relaxing I hopped in every night and every morning thereafter ..... Thanks to that spa, I was able to hold off the debilitating-ness of this 'Back To Front' illness I've suffered since.
One morning after 'burping out' all the knots and discovering 'Spa-flexology' up thru my feet ! Aaaaah ! .... I began work on the unfinished healing in my abdomen...trying to encourage the 'attached spirits' to  dis-engage, to flow free, out  into the spring waters, out into the ether thru the bubbles, down the Todd River ..... Back To Country ....back to Family. ........ from a very central spot  on the banks of the Todd.

Then we all went out for a short stroll into the Sunday Todd Mall market, before Beaniefest,  and just before I had to leave for my shift as Gallery attendant, I come across old friend Jabo !

Here's Jabo, a Hungarian who has been living out here in Central for decades, with his wife Naomi Kantjuriny, with a stall of some painted wooden artworks. I tell Jabo about  my Spirit Photo, then about my latest session in the spa, ..... and he then tells me I need to see a Ngangkari, a spirit healer, and I write down names and details about a book. But as I leave in two days, it's unlikely I can do anything about it this trip. On Tuesday morning I check out Dymocks bookshop, and have a quick peruse of the book, but with few dollars, and an uncertain baggage weight,I leave the purchase til later, grabbing the ISBN.

Today I begin an online search for the book, and anything else I can read online about the Ngangkari .......and found this in part from words by Naomi
 " We say wirunymankula waninyi - which means, to declare someone well and to banish the illness. The illness, or pain, can take the form of phlegm, or back pain, and this is what I specialise in.

Ahhhhh phlegm ! back pain !  how about  aching jaw ? ......  I think I now  'SEE', the cause of my 'sickness/healing'   ...... Amazing ! me thinks..... Maybe I can be my own ngangkari, as I had thoughts already..... wanting to read the book to 'refresh' my 'memories' ......Yay !..... OR a  a Ngangkari ran past me in the river ???

wirunymankula waninyi   wirunymankula waninyi   wirunymankula waninyi  begone begone begone hehe

The series of pics as taken, followed by White Balance adjustment,or in some Auto Colour adjust then Brightness/Contrast  adjusted, to'see'what we can see. Somethings I find it easier to 'see' stufff in smaller thumbnails

















 



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Spirits in the Todd

 It was wonderful to stay in the very centre of Alice Springs, during my trip to the 17th Beaniefest. It meant that I could visit the Todd River as the sun rose. The first two mornings were cloudy, after some overnight drizzle. I just love the trees and the Eastern Macdonel Range catching the light.
 The first morning, after walking down toward the bridge, I returned to just adjacent to the hotel, and found this very ancient tree, that caught my interest, purely because of the size of the original trunk, curving out over the dry riverbed.
 The second morning, after another morning walk, I met Jo Nixon down at a local car hire, to become a 'signed in' driver for this little car.
 Thursday morning and after an early morning phone call, I was back out at the Araluen Cultural Centre, to be interviewed by the ABC, after Jo.(seen here glowing about one of her favourites in the exhibition. 'Friends Meet in the Lily Pond'
 This is one of my competition/exhibition beanies 'The Spirit Within - Narradjinii' or as I heard many people referring to it 'Piccininni'..... when she comes home to me, I feel I have more detail to add around the back.
 This is my second entry, 'Family EterniTea' a Tea Cosy created out of my very first ever wet-felted hat, with needle-felting. Many people feel I have channelled my Elders, seeing my mother's face in the woman. It can still be worn as a hat.

 After the cloudy and therefore, warmer weather, Beaniefest Friday dawned clear and blue. The night before had the temperatures dropping, as the cloud dissipated away. I attended the Sustainable Couture fashion parade in the Aviation Museum, and due to my early start, while it was still cloudy, I thought not to over dress again. Luckily I had just enough with me, 'tho I was starting to get a bit chilled, using my wrap to sit on the cold metal chair. The fashions made from re-claimed fabrics were modelled by a bunch of fun and expressive people, and I felt completely at home wearing my turquoise blanket coat, made by Corinabel, here in the northern rivers.

With the clear skies, I headed out to the Todd River again when it got light, and after taking some more photos of the ancient tree, I walked out across the sand of the dry river, taking photos up and downstream.
When I turned back, I saw the old tree from a new vantage spot, and when I got closer, took another photo. The automatic flash activated, and when the captured image showed on the screen, I thought something was wrong with the camera, half the screen showing white. I took two more with the automatic flash on, and the whole screen turned white, then 3 without the flash, trying to hold the camera still for the low light, then 3 more with the flash. The last three, were normal 'darkish' due to flash and low light.
 Back in my room, downloading on to laptop, Gay from next door, in for breakfast, spotted the figure running thru the first pic.
Above is totally as captured, below has had the White Balance auto adjusted.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Beanied There.... Done (Doing) That





 After 5 years away,I am back in Central Australia ! Where all roads meet, in Alice Springs, for the 17th Beaniefest. 


 This is 'Beanie Central' where shortly masses of volunteers, (chomping at the bit!), will descend on the Araluen Cultural Centre's 'Witchetty's', to begin getting out the first of 6,000 Beanies for sale.












 Yesterday I helped out in the Main Gallery, checking that all the Competition entries, where all accounted for and on display. Giving assistance to Jo's mother-in-law Jonny, as doing it alone would take forever, and maybe not be accurate. Even with the two of us, (one reading out the barcode number, the other marking it off the list, with 4 different fluoro markers), we had quite a few boards or sections of wall needing a double or triple check ! hehe.
I was very lucky,and have had a sneek peek preview of the exhibition ! ....and the calibre of the work just keeps going up.

That's not to say there aren't some that  are quite weird and wonderful (in their own way), they certainly gave us some laughs.

One hat gave very welcome relief to 'cranky' curating/hanging' Mez, after she chatted about her 'beanie reasons' for crankiness; it shows two hands joined in friendship on the front,whilst on the back, is a hand meant to be showing the symbol for peace.

Buuuuut........

the the fingers are showing 'fingernails', meaning the they are facing the wrong way.
I 'awarded' it to Mez (in jest), for her to wear...... forwards, until any 'silly' problem enters her radius, when she can just turn her beanie around, with out saying a word, hehehe..........
Beaniefest Madness begins.....

When I arrived on Tuesday I spotted the front page of the paper on the reception desk



 Monday morning dawned with gentle winter sunshine,in the Northern Rivers, on my departure day. 


I had a moments panic, weighing my heavy case, full of crochet creations (8 wraps and about 20 extra hats, plus some miscellaneous water bottle holders, skirts and a new hand muffller/scarf/thingy. Did a minor shuffle into hand luggage.
Got to 'Check In', nice and early,and had a very nice 'fresh'  staff member let me thru with my hand luggage slightly over 20kg, ...  and offer me a window seat !!

[Gotta run now ..... Jo just rang and asked if'd let the ABC interview me! so will continue later ]

.......and then even let me thru with hand luggage weighing 12.64kg  (Thankyou universe) ...... but what would the next flight check in staff do in Melbourne the next morning ??

So after a lovely afternoon catching up with my beautiful niece, who then cooked a very delicious dinner of veggie 'meat balls' (eggplant and cauliflower),
 I spent quite some time juggling weights between case and hand luggage, and leaving behind a bag of extra yarn and miscellaneous beanie festival useful things.   I needn't have bothered, as my case weighed 19.7kg and then being near the end of check-in she didn't even bother to weigh my back pack and shoulder bag !!
The Melbourne - Alice Springs flight had me in an inner isle seat, chatting to my aisle neighbour, whilst crocheting. Amy, (a japanese or inuit woman from Quebec, was keen to find out free campsites for hitchikers, and the best places to try and visit in their limited time. She took copious notes. The two seats beside me, were occupied by two Japanese girls, who slept the entire trip ! I had to stand,with one knee on my seat, to peer out the windows, when we were flying over Central Australia.

On the flight from Coolongatta to Melbourne, I was blessed with a window seat and even an empty middle seat, to facilitate my crochet work. That is when I wasn't peering out the window, taking photos as the plane flew over Mt Warning !


 Mount Warning and some of the inner ring of mountains within the caldera. It is the largest extinct volcanic caldera in the southern hemisphere.
 The red dot in the top of the following photo is where I live, on the lower heights of the 'long mountain ridge' that continues all the way up to the top of the Macpherson Ranges, and the Queensland border.
 I am currently working on two 3D pieces, (with more planned), of Mt Warning Caldera. One is on a Wrap/Stole, the other is a hat

 So every chance to capture these aerial views, even if thru a plane window's curves and reflections, gives me greater understanding of the hidden valleys etc.

The Pinnacle extends out and down, like a ski jump between Brays Creek, Back Creek and Pumpenbil and Tyalgum, with Limpinwood Valley on the far side of 'long mountain'



 As the Skybus wisked me into Spencer Street station, now called Southern Cross, I snap one of where I used to live beneath the towering silos in Munster Terrace, North Melbourne.

An old warehouse, which we, the Jack Family renovated in the 80's. Living Rainbows Workshop - art studios, rehearsal and underground performance space, pin-pointed by the red dot.

 Then my niece Shantala, picked me up and we caught up with each other all afternoon, on the waterfront of St Kilda.
and drove me to the airport early next morning, thanks Shay !