Bespoke Press TV

A while ago I received an email from Bespoke Press TV who were doing a call-out to creative businesses who might want to be featured in one of their videos. I went to take a look and I loved their work. I watched EVERY SINGLE VIDEO they made. I did not, however, respond to their call out, because I’m a chicken. I also don’t know how much time they could spend filming my coffee table and my desk, as this is where I do most of my work. ( I’m pining for for my own space to work in though.) One day I will email them back. In the meantime, if you want to see some really inspirational footage and get an insight into some other creative businesses, I suggest you go and check them out. logo


Fun Stud Earrings I’m liking

paper plane rare indeed

Paper Planes by Rare Indeed.
I might have to buy these. You can still have them too. They make them to order!

red lego studs Gumboot

Red Lego Studs by Gumboot.
Possibly the thing I liked most about these was this in the description: “perfect for weddings or the pub”. Also, lego!

squirrel when adam met eve

Squirrel and Acorn stud earrings by When Adam Met Eve.

What are you liking?

Jewellery Tool Collection

I’ve enjoyed my silver smithing class so much that I think I’m going to have to arrange a permanent setup for it at home. I’m thinking a little spot at the end of our tiny garage, but there will need to be some serious organisation/ebay-ing going on in there before that happens. I’ll let you know how it goes, maybe a before and after of the setup?

My tool collection is growing…


Current stash of tools

  1. Set of needle files (for filing in tricky places)
  2. Rawhide hammer (for shaping rings around a mandrel)
  3. Micro torch (for light soldering work)
  4. Insulated cross lock tweezers (for holding pieces while soldering)
  5. Jewellers saw (for… sawing things)
  6. Saw lubricant (better for the saw, better for the result)
  7. Chasing hammer (Can be used for flattening, riveting and texturing)
  8. Two half round files: a 0 and a 2 cut (we all know what files do right?)
  9. A beautiful, Italian made ring mandrel that I justified buying because the cheaper option had no ring size markings
  10. Round nose pliers for bending things, usually wire, into a rounded shape.
  11. Sanding sticks… actually they are paint stirrers from a hardware store, but they have that great little ergonomic dip on either side which makes them great to use. Each stick is covered in a different grade of wet and dry. When I wear it down, I just rip off that side and I have a fresh strip of it!
  12. Bench pin: This is what I use to stabilise my pieces when I’m working on them

Y’know, there are few more pieces of equipment that are not in this pic. Some pretty crucial ones actually! So I’ll mention them now, but maybe they’ll make an appearance in my before and after setup post? They are:

  1. A ceramic tile
  2. Magnesia soldering block
  3. Cutting compound
  4. Polishing compound for giving things a nice buffed finished
  5. Polishing cloth
  6. A Dremel drill! I can’t wait to polish up Ivy’s ring (with it’s tiny, hard to get at spots) using this , but I’ll need to go and buy a few new bits for it first. (Must do a WIP post for that!)

I’ll let you know how the setup goes!

Things I’m liking…

The rain… even though I have washing to do.

The fact that both kids are having a nap.

That I have 5 minutes to post before I sit down to watch a dvd with my husband.

And these…


London Organic Cotton Cushion Cover by My Bearded Pigeon.

origami lamp shade

Origami Lampshade by Fiber Store

Fairy Tale Skirt

Fairy Tale Skirt by Made With Love by Hannah

Silver Smithing Progress

A while ago I mentioned that I was going to start a silver smithing class. Now I only have one class left and I’ve really loved it.

So far I have made three rings: One for Shawn, one for Ivy and one for myself.
3 rings

Mine is a plain, half-round ring in 100% recycled sterling silver. Shawn’s ring is made from the same wire as mine, but it has been hammered to give it texture (although his is hard to see at the back of this picture).

Ivy's ring WIP

Ivy’s Ring – A Work in Progress… and in the background a pendant I’m working on too.

Ivy’s ring is plain like mine, but it isn’t finished yet. Above you’ll see a little flower resting against her ring. I sawed this from some sheet sterling silver, but I need to perfect the edges and finish this weekend. On Monday night I’ll anneal it (heat it, which will strengthen it), dome it so that the petals curve up slightly, then inside I’m going to put a small silver ball that I’ll make by fusing some of my scrap silver together. (When you heat up your scraps they ball up. It’s very cool to watch.) Once that’s done I’ll solder the ball on, then solder the flower to the ring. It’s going to be so freaking adorable I might need one for myself when I’m finished.

I just hope it goes according to plan. Wish me luck!

Creative Advice

I could sit here and give you unsolicited creative advice ALL DAY. Really, I could. I also suspect that I should sit down and give this one some thought before posting away. So what I might do, is share this with you in the meantime. I have shared this on facebook before, but I like the idea of having it embedded in my blog too.

This gem of wisdom is from Ira Glass. He is a bit awesome. If you are not yet across it, you should also check out his (deservedly) wildly popular podcast: This American Life. Trust me when I say you should not care that this is American if you are not. There are themes in this that we can all relate to and are just plain interesting.

Anyway, here is the bit you really should listen to…

Life inStyle Sydney – February 2013

Life inStyle is a design trade show showcasing lots of eye-candy from stationery, linen, shoes, jewellery, kids clothes and toys and lots more.  I’ve chosen to just focus on 4 exhibitors, because honestly, there was so much to look at and so much great stuff that I couldn’t possibly cover it all and I really wanted to spend some time just absorbing.

The first exhibitor I approached was Yumi from and O design, based in Melbourne, Australia. The thing that attracted me to her work was actually the porcelain brooches she had tucked away at the back and her gold and silver coated lustre pieces, but she also seemed to have her own take on the “round bead necklace” (you know what I mean, everyone has a version). I googled her and discovered her Etsy shop. Oh my!  I already liked her work, but this was a bit of a revelation. She was immediately favourited. My husband will be directed to my Etsy favourites on the next gift-giving occasion! The Japanese feel of her work really shone through. Yumi keeps her eye on current trends, but isn’t a slave to them and I love that she references her roots. (I should add a slight disclaimer and say that I have a thing for Japanese design and my own work even reflects this a little).


Beautiful Ceramic Jewellery from and O Design

Next up was Amy from Kookery. Her aim is to help you “Quirk your kitchen”. She has lovely linen teatowels in neutral colours, printed with witty kitchen related fun. She can also sort you out with prints for your kitchen, market totes and cards for all the foodie gifts you give. My favourite is: “To brie or not to brie. That is not a question.” So true!


Kookery – Giving you a laugh in the kitchen.

I then wandered along to chat to Rachel and Ishak from Milk and Masuki. This gorgeous couple were generous with chatting to me about the details of their beautiful and eco-conscious baby products. The fabric they use is 100% organic cotton, the designs are created and screen printed by hand, by them. Did I mention that the design is very cool too? I don’t know why so many brands think we want to dress our kids in cheesy frou frou, not here though. I loved the colour, patterns and illustrations that they use. Let’s face it. That’s what attracted me in the first place. Have a look!


Lovely baby products by Milk and Masuki

Lastly, I have to mention the great booth design from Down to the Woods. Their booth rained trails of colourful pom poms. I kind of just wanted to hang out there! I’m also big fan of their freckle rugs, hello, arrow and cloud signs, felt ribbon, mushroom lamps and other dreamy childhood themed objects.


Pom pom rain at the Down in the Woods booth.

Ah, design heaven.

Etsy Love

It’s been a pretty great couple of days for me and I think most of this good news stems from Etsy. I’m not sure whether to go with the most exciting news first or wait until the end!

Ok, most exciting first. Out of the blue I was contacted by Etsy PR in Germany (!) asking for a high res image of this card of mine (!!), because a German magazine with a rather large circulation (!!!) wanted to feature it!


Happy Birthday (to you) – Pink and Black Stars

I’m thinking it must be for a shopping page and in with a bunch of other stuff, but that’s still very exciting! I’m just really hoping that they use it. They said they needed it really quickly, but due to timezone incompatibility they wouldn’t have received it until the following day. I should really stop being so chicken and actually pitch to some magazines here! (Advice on how to not be chicken is most welcome.)

Next. A friend I met on Etsy, the lovely Anastasia asked me to come to the next ABCD meetup at Life InStyle. So I joined the group’s mailing list and registered my interest. This has resulted in me having a media pass for the event.  This means I get to bring my camera in and take lots of photos of goodies from great Australian designers and share them here on the Paper Ivy blog with you. Unless you are trade or press you wouldn’t be seeing all these goodies in one spot, so I’m very excited to introduce you to lots of new and exciting design.

What else? This week I have had items on the Etsy Australian front page twice! I had my “Thinking of you” card in green in this lovely treasury: “Green is Good” by Deb Ritchie


My blue wave cards were then on the front page in this beautiful treasury: “Sure as I’m Sittin’ Here” by Marisa.  I also have to do a shout out to the very kind Nicole from Red Elephant Creative who spotted this for me.


A big thank you to all the Etsy curators who include my work in their treasuries.

2013 The Year Ahead

At the beginning of the year I like to think about what I’d like to achieve for the next 12 months. I wouldn’t call them resolutions exactly, it’s more a planning phase. I thought I’d share some of these with you.

The first (as my newsletter subscribers will know) was to have a rest! Actually, I should say this one wasn’t planned so much as it happened organically (read: I pushed myself too hard and my body pretty much told me to ease up). This explains the month-long silence on the blog. I really needed to do a little nothing for a little while. Just to sit and watch an episode of something on TV without sitting there making something became unheard of and I think I needed to just sit still for a while and enjoy some family-time and some me-time.

Extend My Skills
So, after going on about resting, it really didn’t last all that long because I’m now doing a course in silver-smithing, on top of everything else. I’m so excited about it though and very curious to see how or if it changes the way I make jewellery… aside from it updating my personal collection. I did minor in jewellery and object design at uni, but I want exposure to other techniques. Wish me luck!

List All Current Stock
I have a lot of laser cut jewellery that I haven’t added to the shop yet, so I need to allocate lots of time to photographing and listing them all. This brings up yet another listing point…

More Occasion Items
I really want to offer a bigger range of options for people interested in special occasion cards. To start with, I have two Valentine’s Day items in the shop: a heart pendant in walnut (the first pendant offered in the online shop!) and a matching heart grid card.


Of course not everyone is a heart-pendant-wearing type, so don’t forget that other styles of brooches and earrings are available too.

More Single Cards
Traditionally I’ve offered occasion cards as single cards and art cards as packs. Now I’m starting to list all cards as single cards, but the art cards will still be available in packs of 6. A couple of single non-occasion cards have already made their way into the shop, like this one!

Update the Website
I need to do some housekeeping with the website and add a few nice visual things to make it a better experience.

What Else?
I do have some other, slightly grander plans, but I don’t want to jinx them. I’ll let you know further down the track!

Merry Christmas

A big thanks to everyone who went to the last market, especially to anyone who bought things from me and a shout out to my wonderful and talented stall neighbours  Martina from Humble Creations and Rowan from Frank Ideas. Markets are so much better when you have great stall neighbours.

Thank you to all Paper Ivy customers.  Thank you to those who believe in me.  Thank you to the creative community for the support and invaluable tips!

Such a busy time, but the presents are all bought and wrapped, gift tags written and applied to gifts, cards and photos have been sent (a little late!) and tonight (Christmas Eve) will be spent with family.

Next I’m going to put the shop in vacation mode, but I’ll be back in a few days.

Merry Christmas.