Christmas deliveries

The best advice when shopping online for Christmas is to not leave it until the last minute!

That way you can be sure that the handmade jewellery designs you want are available and your order will arrive in plenty of time.

Bearing that in mind, here are my suggested Christmas order cut off dates:

  • International post: 10 December 2013
  • Australian standard post: 15 December 2013
  • Australian Express Post*: 21 December 2013

Last minute orders should be placed by 5pm AEST on these dates.

After these dates we’ll continue to post orders as quickly as possible, but the later you order the less chance you have of your delivery arriving prior to Christmas.

* Express Post is only guaranteed next business day delivery to Adelaide and surrounds. Other locations may still receive Express Post deliveries the next business day, but it’s not guaranteed – to be safe order earlier.

After Christmas:

Orders will be sent as usual after Christmas Day, but allow a little more time than usual for delivery given the number of public holidays at that time of year.

Festive season bestsellers

Here are my best selling pieces of handmade jewellery (and more!) so far this festive season:

Christmas pudding coins - pure silver.   Victorian leaves open locket with ruby.

Left: Christmas pudding coins – pure silver
Right: Victorian leaves open locket – sterling silver and ruby gemstone

Handmade chain in sterling silver.   Sterling silver stacking rings.

Handmade chain – sterling silver
Stacking rings – set of 3 – sterling silver

Rose pendant with ruby gemstone.   Rose post earrings in sterling silver.

Shapely rose pendant – sterling silver and ruby gemstone
Rose post earrings – sterling silver.

Blossom earrings in sterling silver.   Japanese etched pendant on silk necklace.

Blossom earrings – sterling silver
Japanese etched pendant – sterling silver and natural silk thread.

Tulip earrings in sterling silver and copper.   Tulip pendant in sterling silver and copper.

Double tulip earrings – sterling silver and copper
Double tulip pendant – sterling silver and copper.

Be a Christmas earlybird!

Christmas for me always gets increasingly hectic as we get closer to the big day, especially as a lot of customers leave their Christmas shopping until the last possible moment.

So to encourage you to shop early this year here’s a super special 15% discount code: earlybird13.

But be quick – the code expires this Sunday, 17 November!

Visit the handmade jewellery shop.

Handmade jewellery designs by Simone Walsh.

Christmas pudding coins back in stock!

And they’re bigger and better for 2013!

Handmade Christmas pudding coins in fine silver.

My sets of six handmade silver Christmas pudding coins are always very popular in the lead up to Christmas. Last year I really struggled to keep up with demand and it took months for my poor hands to recover from all the sawing and filing!

So this year they’ve been redesigned to be bigger, rounder – and less taxing on my hands to make. Plus I’ve started making the coins early this year to ensure I have plenty of sets available.

What are Christmas pudding coins?

In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s an old tradition in Australia, the UK and other Commonwealth countries to put silver coins or tokens into Christmas puddings, with the idea being that if you find one or more in your slice of pudding it will bring you good luck in the new year – particularly in relation to money.

Once decimal currency was introduced in Australia in the 1960s it became more difficult to keep the tradition alive as modern coins are made with base metals and aren’t safe to use in this way.

As my own family’s stash of vintage silver coins began to dwindle I made a set of handmade pudding coins in pure silver for my Mum to use. I then had requests from friends and family to make more sets. Eventually I started selling them through my handmade jewellery shop and now they’re one of my most popular items each year.

About the sets

Each heirloom quality set of Christmas pudding coins comes with six handmade coins in pure silver, which are each etched with a different vintage illustration. Accompanying the coins are my family’s recipes for an unusual but delicious (and accidentally vegan!) Christmas pudding and very indulgent (and not remotely vegan) brandy sauce.

The coins come packaged in a sturdy white box made from recycled card, which is tied with a festive red and white grosgrain ribbon.

Have a look at the Christmas pudding coins. If they are sold out then click to join the notification mailing list to be the first to know when they’re back in stock.

Christmas pudding tokens

I’ve just relaunched my Christmas pudding tokens (coins or charms) for the 2012 festive season!

These are always one of my most popular items at this time of year, however, this year they’re being featured in the Christmas issue of House and Garden magazine, which is out in early November.

So if you’d like a set I suggest you get in early as I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up with demand, given the sets are all handmade!

Christmas pudding coins, charms or tokens in pure silver.

What the tokens are for

If you’re wondering what the tokens are for, in Britain and various commonwealth countries it’s been a long-standing tradition to put silver coins or tokens into Christmas puddings, which are then served to guests on the big day. The idea is that if you find one or more tokens in your slice of pudding, it will bring you good luck for the following year – especially in relation to money.

In my family we used silver sixpences and threepences when I was growing up. However, this tradition started dying out when real silver coins were replaced by modern coins made with base metals, which are toxic to use in cooking.

So I decided to make a pure silver set etched with vintage Christmas illustrations for my Mum to use in her puddings. I got a lot of great feedback about them, so decided to put them into production.

About my tokens sets

My tokens come in a set of six which are accompanied by recipes my family’s easy to make Christmas pudding and delicious brandy sauce.

View the Christmas pudding tokens.

Last minute Christmas deliveries

Elizabethan etched and gilded teardrop earrings.Well it’s been a very busy festive season for my handmade jewellery shops!

But there are still a few days to go, so here are some delivery details for those last minute purchases.

If you are in Australia then you still have a few more days for pre-Christmas deliveries.

However, I strongly suggest you use the Express Post delivery option when you checkout from here on in.

My suggested cut off for Christmas deliveries by Express Post in Australia is midday on either 21 or 22 December, depending on where you are.

22 December should be okay if your delivery address is within the ‘guaranteed next business day delivery network’ from postcode 5241 – learn more. If you are not in the guaranteed area, Express Post items still arrive the next day more often than not, but it’s best to allow an extra day in case.

If you need items delivered outside of Australia for Christmas, you’re pretty much out of luck at this point – there is only the smallest of chances they will arrive in time.

For orders which don’t necessarily need to arrive prior to Christmas, I will be posting them out as normal. However, be aware that there are a number of public holidays at this time of year in Australia which may slow down post-Christmas deliveries.

Season’s greetings!

If I don’t get a chance to post here before the big day, I wish all of you a very happy festive season!

And a big thanks to everyone who has supported an indie business this year.

Come and see me in Canberra

Are you in Canberra or know someone who is? I’ll be selling my handmade jewellery at the Undercurrent Design Market at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra later this week.

Handmade rings and pendants with gemstone settings.

You’ll find market only prices and market only jewellery pieces, so be there or miss out!

This is the first market I’ve done in many years and it’s taken a massive effort to get ready for it (which is still ongoing!). In the last two and a half weeks I’ve made around 100 pieces of jewellery – something I wasn’t even sure was possible!

Above is a photo of just a few of those pieces – rings with etched circles and rhodolite settings, plus some matching pendants (not yet on a chain) which are not currently available online (one pendant has a citrine setting).

I hope to undertake a small number of design markets over the next 12 months. After Canberra I may possibly do another pre-Christmas market in Adelaide. I’ll keep you posted!

If you are able to come to the Undercurrent market in Canberra, it’s on Friday 25 (5 to 9pm) and Saturday 26 November (10am to 4pm) at the National Portrait Gallery. It would be great to see you there!

Christmas pudding tokens now available

Christmas pudding tokens, charms or coins.One of the most popular handmade items in my shop at this time of year are the Christmas pudding tokens I make.

I’m happy to say that they are back in stock ready for the festive season!

The pudding tokens are all etched with a variety of vintage Christmas illustrations and are made using pure silver, so they’re safe to use with food.

The tokens come in a set of six, along with a copy of my family’s Christmas pudding recipe (which can be made on the day!) and delicious brandy sauce recipe.

The tokens come in a padded box so you can keep them safe when not being used.

You can find the tokens here:

Endlessly making jewellery

Well, it feels a bit like that at the moment!

I’m spending very long hours every day at my bench as I prepare for upcoming markets and the festive season in general. I currently have a scarily long list of pieces to make!

I thought I’d share some photos of incomplete pieces and scrap, so you can see what’s been happening on and around my bench.

Saw pierced sterling silver.

Above is a saw-pierced piece of sterling silver with several designs ready to be cut out, including medieval arabesque earrings, the front panels of two Elizabethan cage pendants and a flannel flower earring.

Below is another sheet, also with designs ready to be cut out, including an art nouveau pendant and butterfly wing earrings.

Saw pierced sterling silver.

Finally here is a photograph of the sterling silver scrap I have accumulated over the last few months.

Scrap sterling silver.

Once this box is full of scrap which cannot be used in some other way, it will be sent to be refined and recycled into new silver sheet and wire, ready to be used all over again.

Be a festive season earlybird!

Handmade sterling silver chain by Simone Walsh.It seems unbelievable to me too, but Christmas is almost upon us once again!

Things get rather crazy for my business the closer we get to the big day. To encourage you to shop early I’m offering a 10% discount across my entire handmade jewellery range!

When you checkout, enter the code earlybird11 and the 10% discount will be applied to your order.

The code can be used in either of my shops:

Be quick!

The discount code is only valid until Wednesday 9 November 2011.

Findings, findings, findings

In the lead up to Christmas I always do my best to make sure I have plenty of handmade jewellery findings – the components used to finish pieces of jewellery, such as ear wires and clasps.

Handmade jewellery findings.

I tend to go through them at an alarming rate over the festive season, so it’s always good to try to stock up beforehand.

Almost all of the findings I use in my jewellery are handmade – and handmade by me rather than by someone else! This means I’ve been spending a lot of time forming, hammering, soldering and finishing a variety of findings recently. And I still have a lot more of this work to do!

So I thought I’d share some images of some of the findings I’ve been making recently as I build up my stock levels.

Handmade jewelry findings.

Looking forward to 2011

This post is part of Epheriell Design’s blog hop: A Creative Odyssey. My blogging partner for the day is ReArtingDotNet.

I have to confess that I’ve had a difficult 2010 for a number of reasons. At one point a few months back things were looking quite bleak indeed. However, as the year draws to a close I’m finally feeling more on top of things and I’m full of ideas for moving my life and business forward.

It’s nice to be feeling positive about the next twelve months instead of just pondering how to keep my head above water!

Handmade jewellery by Simone Walsh.

It probably seems natural for most people to be thinking about a fresh start as a new year commences. But in my business the start of a new year really does feel like starting anew: business is flat out until Christmas and then suddenly comes to a stop (well, mostly) until a little way into the new year.

So I always feel that once the celebrations are over, I truly do have some headspace and time to so some serious planning and research and get new ideas moving along – as well as taking some much-needed personal time.

What do I expect I will be working towards as 2011 gets underway? Well, lots of things really! And here are a few of the business ideas I’ve got in mind as one year moves into the next:

Great Big Giant Top Secret Indie Project

Oh yes, that old thing! Well it seems old to me in some ways because it’s something that’s been bubbling away in my brain for years. But in other ways it seems shiny and new all over again!

As well as having lots of fresh ideas for it, I’m feeling like I’m ready to make serious progress on this project in 2011 to see where it takes me. And I also feel like lots of external factors are coming together to make it an idea whose time has come.

But it is BIG – it will require a lot of work, a lot of liaising with a partner or three and a lot of figuring out.

As for what it is, well if I tell you I would have to kill you! And then where would we be?

But it is indie design related and if I really am able to get it off the ground, then I’d say you’ll almost certainly know about it sooner or later. All I can say for now is: watch this space!

A new range in a new direction

One of the issues that crops up repeatedly in my working life is that my handmade jewellery business is limited in a major way by the amount of work I can physically manage to do myself.

Every piece I make is handmade by me personally, including most of the findings I use. Of course I love that this is the case and definitely have no interest in stopping making things in this way.

Blossom patterns cut out in paper.
Thousands of little paper blossoms; the remaining patterns after having cut out thousands of blossoms in sterling silver, each one by hand.

However, my business has to be sustainable – in terms of my physical and mental health, plus in terms of my financial well-being (especially as I get older!).

As a result I constantly come back to this catch 22: I cannot grow my business unless I personally work harder and I cannot possibly work harder than I do already!

Having thought about this for a few years now, I’ve come to realise that there is no solution unless I change the business in some way.

So in 2011 I’m planning on researching and hopefully launching a new range – perhaps under a new label or brand – which is a bit less reliant on me personally in terms of physical labour.

The range will be created using my own designs of course and at this stage I envisage hand finishing pieces. However, having a manufacturing process involved will enable me to increase my output and help to make my business more personally sustainable.

I intend to continue my existing range as it is – all handmade by me – whatever happens with this second range. And there will be a clear distinction between one and the other.

But for now the most exciting aspects for me are learning about new processes and materials. And I’m especially excited about getting started on some new design ideas which I can hopefully take in quite different directions.

So for this project, you’ll also need to watch this space!

More time to be creative

My hope is that the new range and a few other life changes will free me up a bit more so I can spend some quality time designing, experimenting and enjoying some different creative pursuits.

Rings, sterling silver jewellery and making notes on my bench.

I’d really like to have the time to push my jewellery designs further and be able to work on acquiring some new skills (or refreshing some old ones I’ve not used in a long time!).

In addition I’m really itching to get back to drawing again! I’ve not done any serious drawing (other than design sketches) for years and I’ve been missing it. I’m hoping to be able to make some time for drawing on a regular basis – just for the sake of it!

Bring on 2011!

So those are my thoughts about projects for 2011. They’re a bit hazy in a lot of ways, but – trust me – they’re all bubbling away frantically in my brain and are filling up notebooks as I scribble down plans and ideas!

In the next few weeks I hope to be fleshing out one or more of them and making some good progress on some of these plans.

Here’s to a good new year for all of us! I look forward to sharing my journey with all of you (and sharing in your journeys in return).