On sale!

I’ve just come across a little treasure trove of older pieces of handmade jewellery from my range and have decided to add them to the sale section of my shops.

The jewellery includes brooches, necklaces and cufflinks.

   

These pieces are heavily discounted and are only available in very limited quantities – I only have one on hand for some designs and am very unlikely to make them again … so get in quick!

You can find the sale in my Australian handmade jewellery shop (prices in AU$) and my international handmade jewellery shop (prices in US$).

   

New items on sale!

I’ve just added some more handmade jewellery to the sale section of my shops.

These Japanese-inspired sterling silver etched pendants and earrings have been very popular over the years.

But to make way for new designs, I’ve put a number of these pieces on sale with generous discounts.

Note that there is only a very limited number of each design available – some just one piece.

I am not intending to remake them … so get in quick!

Visit my Australian sale section (prices in AU$, delivery to AU or NZ) or my international sale section (prices in US$, delivery everywhere).

Special handmade jewellery deals!

Handmade poppy pendant photograph.To celebrate having moved into a new studio and also the fact that Mother’s Day is looming large in Australia, I’m offering a couple of special deals to Australian customers in particular, but also to all blog readers and Twitterers, wherever you may be!

If you’re in Australia, I’m running a deal for just a few days to coincide with the lead up to Mother’s Day in my Australian handmade jewellery shop.

The deal runs from today until midnight on Monday 3 May 2010. During that time, all Australian customers who make a purchase of over AU$50 will be upgraded to Express Post delivery for free! This will help you ensure that your gift arrives in time for 9 May.*

In addition, to celebrate the move to my new studio, all blog readers can get an extra discount in either my Australian handmade jewellery shop or my international handmade jewellery shop of 15% if they use the code moved. This code is valid until 4 May 2010.

So get in quick!

* Once your item is sent, delivery will be next business day when using Express Post in Australia, provided your delivery address is within the ‘guaranteed next business day delivery network’ from postcode 2783 – learn more. If you are not in the guaranteed area, I find that most Express Post items still arrive the next day more often than not, but otherwise should arrive the following day at the latest.

I’m moving!

Just a little note to let people know that I am moving both my home and my business over the coming few days. The boxes are out and the packing has started!

I’m not moving far away at all, but of course I still need to pack up my entire personal and business life, have it all moved and then unpack it all again.

Customers should be aware that it might take 1-2 days longer than usual to turn around handmade jewellery orders. I do have all regular items in stock at this point in time, but only in very limited quantities. I will of course endeavour to post things as quickly as I can, but at some point my packing gear, printers, etc. will be packed!

Made to order items (such as rings) are likely to take longer than normal to be made as my studio will be packed up as of today and is unlikely to be functional again for approximately a week.

Also be aware that I’m slow in responding to emails and other messages at the moment as there is just so much going on! But I’ll do my best to catch up on that tonight and to keep up as the move progresses.

I hope to have some photos of my new working spaces to share with you soon.

Vote for me in the Poppies!

Sterling silver butterfly wing pendant by Simone Walsh.I’d love it if you felt so inclined as to vote for me in the first ever Poppies – a series of indie design awards being run by the lovely Jan at Poppytalk blog.

You can vote for my handmade jewellery right here.

Just scroll down to check my name and then a bit further down to click on ‘vote’ … and that’s it!

I’m thrilled to be in the running and have my fingers crossed for a happy outcome! Winners will be announced on 5 February 2010.

Good luck to everyone else in the running for a Poppy too. View all of the award categories and get voting for your favourite indie designers!

Earlybird holiday discount – get in quick!

Mock orange blossom brooch - sterling silver.Even I think it’s still a tad early to start shopping for the festive season! However, as someone running a micro business I can tell you that having everyone go shopping in the last few weeks tends to result in a Christmas day where I’m so exhausted I just want to fall over!

Not that I’m complaining of course, but I thought I’d offer people a temptation to get shopping in earnest a bit earlier this year.

I’m offering a 15% discount across my entire range of jewellery for purchases made before 28 November. Just enter the code earlybird09 when you checkout to receive your discount.

Feel free to pass it on to friends and family – especially if you’ve got your eye on something for yourself, of course!

Also make sure you check out my new range of handmade jewellery. I’ve added a few more pieces in the last couple of days.

Note that this discount is valid in both my international handmade jewelry shop and my Australian and New Zealand handmade jewellery shop. It is not valid in other outlets.

Green jewellery

Native Australian iris pendant with recycled gold.Finally today I’ve managed to do something I’ve been meaning to organise for ages – I’ve written an environment and ethics statement for my shops, plus I’ve added a carbon offset contribution which buyers can purchase along with any jewellery they buy from me.

Every business has an environmental and ethical impact and a micro business run by an indie designer is no different. Don’t believe anyone who claims that an indie business is somehow green or socially responsible by default purely because it’s indie!

Of course buying handmade and from indie businesses does come with a number of plusses in terms of moving away from mass-production, but there’s a lot more to it than that.

My business makes its mark on the environment in terms of having a web presence, an internet connection, hardware, tools, materials, shipping, chemicals, lighting, paper … and more.

Of course being a jewellery maker comes with its own special array of environmental issues, such as in relation to the mining of precious metals and gemstones (both have serious ethical issues as well), the use of sometimes very toxic chemicals and so on.

I do what I can to minimise the impact of my business on the environment, but there will always be something to offset when it comes to greenhouse gases. Given that customers ultimately have to pay the cost of such offsets (a business has to pay for itself, of course), I’ve decided to be transparent and give my customers the option to contribute voluntarily.

So there is now a small carbon offset available for purchase in both my Australian handmade jewellery shop and my international handmade jewelry shop.

The contributions I collect will be donated quarterly to Carbon Neutral, a non-profit carbon offset organisation operated in Australia.

I’ve also written an environment and ethics statement to outline how I try to minimise the negative impact my business might have on the environment and the world in general.

Plus I’ve now identified the handmade jewellery I make which is specifically designed to help me recycle some of the scrap silver which is leftover from other pieces, meaning that only small pieces are set aside for refining. View my recycled jewellery.

More new handmade jewellery

Yesterday I redid the jewellery photographs that I’d taken the previous day and I’m much happier with the results. So I’ve started listing more new work in my handmade jewellery shop.

Much of this work I had previously started but not resolved – some over a year ago! So I made an effort to go back to the pieces lurking around my bench and finally got them completed and ready to put into production.

Small ironwork pattern pendant by Simone Walsh.

This ironwork pattern pendant is a smaller, redesigned version of the ironwork pendant I have been making for some time. It is based on an antique ironwork pattern and has been intricately cut out of sterling silver.

The pendant is 1.6cm (0.63″) tall and wide and is suspended on a blackened sterling silver chain with handmade findings.

Ixora flowers pendant.   Ixora flower earrings.

These ixora flower pieces were inspired by the gorgeous bunches of ixora flowers in vibrant yellows and oranges that I saw in the lush tropical gardens of Bali.

The flowers are made in a metal called shibuchi. This is a Japanese alloy of 75% copper and 25% silver. Its colour varies from an golden-pink through to a light copper colour, depending much it has oxidised, meaning the colour of the pieces will vary over time as you wear them – and can of course be quickly cleaned of tarnish in silver dip to get back to the original colouring.

The ixora flowers pendant features five flowers suspended from a narrow oval of sterling silver so they hang in a cluster which changes depending on how the flowers fall. The pendant is on my favourite simple sterling silver chain with handmade findings.

The ixora flower earrings feature one flower per earring suspended from handmade sterling silver ear wires. They will swing as you move.

Damask cufflinks, sterling silver - by Simone Walsh.

I’ve also added two new pairs of cufflinks to my jewellery for men range. The above damask cufflinks feature my favourite damask-style pattern. The pattern has been blackened and then the piece has been tumbled to polish the entire cufflinks, but also to give the pattern a gunmetal grey type finish.

The other pair I’ve added have a very 1960s looking circles pattern on them. Visit my jewellery for men section (also in my Australian shop) to see more.

There is more handmade jewellery already listed and more yet still to come. For now you can check out everything that’s new in my handmade jewelry shop (prices in US$, delivery everywhere) or my handmade jewellery shop (prices in AU$, delivery to Australia and NZ).

I’ll post about more new pieces soon.

New: handmade rings

I’ve just added two shiny new rings to my handmade jewellery shop. The rings each feature beautiful deep pink lab-grown rubies. The tube settings that the rubies are set into are connected to the ring shank by loops at the back, meaning that each setting moves freely around the ring.

Handmade ruby rings.

One version is a two settings ring with one stone larger than the other. The other features a single ruby setting. Of course both are also available in my Australian handmade jewellery shop.

Quite some time ago I made one of these rings for myself and I love wearing it. I particularly like the way the stones move as I do – and of course I can’t stop fiddling with it when I have it on!

Handmade ruby ring with two settings.   Handmade ruby ring - single setting.

The choice to use lab-grown gemstones is partly down to the fact that they are identical on a molecular level to a mined gemstone, but are flawless and beautifully coloured, while also being a lot more affordable. But also they are a more ethical choice given that there is none of the massive environmental damage that mining can cause and none of the other issues such as mistreated workers or gems being used to fund wars.

Photographing jewellery

I took the photographs of the rings today – the first time I’ve photographed my work in my new home, so it was a bit of an experiment. I’m not thrilled with how the shots I took today (including of a number of other new pieces) came out so I think I’ll have another go at them soon.

Part of the issue was down to wanting to make better use of natural light in my much brighter home, but only finding the time to take the photos on a very windy day with clouds coming and going, meaning the light level changed constantly – not ideal! But also I think the spot I chose just wasn’t quite right. I’ll see how I go in another location as soon as I get a chance.

On sale!

Photograph of Japanese etch pendant on red silk - chrysanthemums.Just a note to let you know that I’ve just added a number of pieces to the sale section of my handmade jewellery shop to help clear the way for new work.

Some of these pieces have never been sold online before and for many there is just one remaining in stock.

So stop by the sale section and take a peek! I hope to be adding more in the next little while.

PS. Australian and NZ customers can visit the handmade jewellery sale in my Australian dollar shop.

Christmas is coming!

I seem to get in a panic about Christmas earlier every year! But the reality is for many indie designers, the festive season is generally insanely busy and difficult to keep on top of. Early preparation is a must … but it can be hard to find the time to do it earlier in the year too when you’re running a micro business.

Photograph of handmade jewellery findings.

Yesterday I had my first ‘OMG it’s almost Christmas!’ moment of panic. This year part of the issue for me is having just taken on a major web project which will tie me up for much of the next six to eight weeks … and then suddenly it will be October and handmade jewellery sales are likely to already be picking up considerably and things probably won’t really slow down again until around March.

To try to ward off the panic I decided to make findings! I handmake most of the findings I use and always see making them as being a bit of a chore. It’s a major pain to run out of them – even more so during the busy season when there is so much else to worry about. Also making them in very small quantities is really inefficient so a chunk of time needs to be set aside to make a pile of the things.

And above is the outcome of my labour – fresh out of the tumbler this morning. It’s of course nowhere near enough to see me through to the end of the busy season, but it’s a start. I think I need to set a bit of time aside regularly to keep adding to my findings stash from here on in.