Thursday, December 21, 2006

Take care of your weather beacon or you will perish

The MLC Weather Beacon has been controlling Brisbane's weather since 1958. Though since the Hitachi takeover a couple of years ago, people have been noticing that the bulbs are not being replaced. And now the new Brisbane City Council building has obscured the beacon from being able to transmit it's weather instructions. Hence we are sitting in a rain shadow and quickly running out of drinking water. To heighten awareness of this issue, I have created weather beacon brooches - available from MoB Store. Your choice- sunny or rainy, sterling silver with swarovksi crystals twinkling away like the real thing.

There is plenty you can do about the climate crisis besides buying my jewellery. Why not join in for Lights out for Xmas?

This Xmas eve, give the earth a present by switching off your electricity. Unplug whatever you can in your house. Decorate the tree by candle light, sing carols, tell stories, take a stroll through the neighbourhood, spend quality time with family and friends, but without electricity and greenhouse gas emissions.

At 7pm on December 24, join with others in your neighbourhood, state and around Australia in creating a voluntary rolling blackout as a protest about our government's inaction on climate change.

Tell others that your are switching off for Christmas Eve. Brought to you by the Walk Against Warming Coalition (Ph: 07 3217 8693) and supported by Friends of the Earth - Brisbane.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Xmas at Chez Wrecker

You might think from this photo that a wrecker xmas is all about decorating the bunya pine with Florence Forrest origami Xmas decoartions while Mr Accordian plays a piano tune.
Well it's not. It is about struggling to finish the JMGQ newsletter, fighting for computer time with said Accordian, trying to finish commissions and really late orders, not having posted ANY xmas packages to friends/family interstate/o-seas, not having done ANY xmas shopping, eating too much haloumi and making myself sick and waking up with the dreaded lergy. Yeah it sucks alright.
Go away XMAS.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Why I Heart Librarians

You may not think it, but this necklace is the jewellery of choice for one sassy librarian I know. Nothing surprises me when it comes to librarians and their desire for personal adornment. With rockstar librarian Nancy Pearl in BrisVegas, (love the action doll), I thought it timely to discuss the topic. During a past life spent working in libraries and even growing up in library culture (father was a librarian) I have been able to study them and develop my own market research theories. You've basically got your 3 archetypes - I'll ignore the male variety as the population sample is too insignificant for analysis - Buffy's Giles is really all you need to know here.
  1. Lifestyle Librarian. A passion for books, knowledge, databases, cataloguing, internet etc.
    Navy cardigans and sensible shoes are the unofficial uniform here. These come in 2 main categories:
    a) Conservative on the outside while groovy on the inside proving once more that you can't judge a book by its cover. These ones are politically and socially enlightened and may surprise you with their dance moves. They are a good market for brooches - on their navy cardigans and small neat earrings with strings of beads.
    b) Conservative on the outside, conservative on the inside - somewhat of a stereotype I'm afraid and definitely a minority group in the throes of extinction. These are the ones that perhaps should have gone to police academy but somehow wound up in library school. Noted for an overzealous approach to enforcement of library rules and lack of sense of humour, they have no use for unecessary adornment which only gets in the way when they have to tackle misbehaving library patrons.

  2. Liberated Librarians. These are the stylish and/or geeky ones out to prove that being a librarian does not exclude one from excercising the personal expression of weirdness. Who knows what they do in their spare time but don't be fooled by the strange garb and hair colour- these ones really know their stuff and are the prime target for contemporary jewellery and designer/unique clothing. From afar they resemble flocks of brightly coloured parakeets chattering away and sharing information and style tips. Anything goes and they like to outdo their colleagues - something that the savvy jeweller can use to their advantage.

  3. Lipstick Librarians. Avoid these women. You can normally hear the approach of their trashy stilettos (*clik*clak*clik*clak*) although they may engage stealth mode on carpeted surfaces. They are generally to be found in sections of the library called 'Corporate Services' and are characterised by an all consuming lust for power. If you do see one approach, the best course of action is to ward them off with dusty printed matter which acts like a form of kryptonite, weakening their powers. As potential jewellery clients, don't bother. These women have no class and are only looking for ways to conspicuously display their power and status.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas With Nana Mouskouri

I tell you, it broke my wrecker heart. Listening to this beautiful LP record of Nana's Xmas songs in the knowledge I was about to put it to the blade. Big fat tears rolled down my cheeks as Schubert's Ave Maria began to play. It was definitely not your usual Xmas musak I can tell you. Very light on the falalalala-ing. Heavy on the love, compassion, longing. Which is why I have decided to share it with the world in a wearable format. For only $50 you can own your very own little piece of it, quite literally. Go to my purchasing page and you will understand.

There are 12 brooches in this very limited edition, each one is named after one of the 12 memorable tracks on the album and each is sold with a certificate of authenticity containing a fragment of the original record sleeve.

And if you do want to buy the original uncut version you can get it on cd it here. I think I may have to succumb.

Thanks to Felicity of Mullumbimby who found this very magical record in an op shop down there.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Lucy Goes to Manhattan

My Lucy Goes to Manhattan range of neckalces, earrings and bracelets is inspired by the dazzling lights and Art Deco skyscrapers of Manhattan. I imagine a young girl chasing her dreams into the big smoke. The series was first began as an ironic gift for blue eyed innocent girl called Lucy joined the cultural drift from Brisbane to Melbourne a few years ago. As far as I know the metropolis has not yet gobbled her up!
The Lucys were launched in Glam-r-Us, and available in MoBStore from last thursday and have been walking out the door with some very glamorous ladies and popping up at gala events around town.
Made from sterling silver and Swarovski crystal.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

New shop opens in BrisVegas!

Plastic Girl and I took the art world by storm last night as guests of honour at the galah opening of Brisbane's super new GoMA, Asia Pacific Triennial opening and the revamped QLD Art Gallery. Arriving in our pumpkin coach from the suburbs we joined the thronging celebs - a veritable who's who of Brisbanian society. I could definitely see why we'd been invited.

Was it fun? you bet.

Did we drink alot of bubbly? oh yah.

Did we sit in the drought effected dry water feature eating noodles and chatting with Barby and Mal? mmm noodles + jewellery talk...

Did we walk straight past the Art to get to the GoMA Store to check our product and all the cute stuff to buy? maybe.

Were we disappointed? No way!

But the real breaking news of the night was from ceramicist Mel Robson that she has started a blog - she told me what it was called - after a german biscuit/substance but the bubbly seems to have wiped it (along with other stuff I am sure) from my mind. So hopefully she'll leave a comment and tell me!

Other news:

  • New outlet Pomme in Victoria has my Threads Revisited and Sea Jewels- love this gallery website!
  • Jewellery party this Sunday at QUT Art Museum 2 -4. An opportunity to stuff ya gob with yummy cakes, buy jewellery directly from myself and Liana Kabel and see some live Wrecker action. I'll be selling domestique themes: Neo Luddites, Flatliners, Bombay sapphire Sea Jewels/shardies, Hoopies and Nana Mouskouris.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Umbrella Day

Before I became involved with the Umbrella Collective (we had our fabulously successful inaugural fair on Saturday - see photos above), I had no idea what bunting was. It was discussed rather intensively at one of our planning meetings and I was left scratching around in the dark trying to figure out what they were all talking about with such passion! Because I did not own up to ignorance in the beginning, I did not feel I could confess my lack of understanding later in the conversation so it was not until I got home and did a google search that I discovered what it was all about. Buntings are the gorgeous flags (see above) that Kylie J made to decorate the buildings with. Not quite the same as the plastic ones used to decorate a car yard. They looked great with the gorgeous signs she made as well.
It was a really great day- thanks to everyone for helping especially the volunteers - we love you! More Umbrella Events coming soon!!!

Saturday, November 25, 2006


Well that was the BESTEST BIRTHDAY EVA!

The highlight, apart from my mother singing happy birthday to me on the phone (all the way through) was that I received another piece of original DadArt. This year, a self portrait. The man is caught in the teddybear frame of domestic trivialities - a powerful allegory for the modern male. Where to next for masulinity begs the question? Previous examples of DadArt in the Wrecker collection are the Duchampian inspired Dysfunctional Toast Rack (for bread found in the bottom of supermarket bags) 1998 which takes aim at the sickening debauchery of western civilization and the The Mango Pup, 1996 an obvious woof in Koons' direction and self reference to Dad's own New Zealand origins.

I usually love it when people make stuff for me and this year was no exception with such talented fronds. I got my very own Majic Cat Tangram from Florence Forrest:

And from multiskilled plastic girl, some fab new STRIPEY knitwit chunky knit bangles and a nautical themed b-day cake (delicious - did not taste like plastic at all!). Now I have 8,9,10mm set of nauticals and am ready to set sail on a a new year of Wrecking.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Wrecker Birthday

On this day one year in the early 1970s the baby Wrecker slopped into the world, baby hammer in hand ready to take on the mean streets of Papakura.

The flame trees always remember Wrecker birthday. This one planted outside the front door never fails to draw comment from a landscape architect friend.

LAF (incredulously): IS that an Illawarra Flame Tree you have planted there?
Us: Yes
LAF: do you realise how big they get?
End of converstation.

Then later, out on the backyard

LAF (incredulously): Is that a Blue quandong emerging from the Wayneforest?
Us: Yes
LAF: Do you REALISE they grow to 40 metres?

What can I say? We are jungle people.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Delightful Things Preview

I've been going bananas trying to make sense of all my jewels for the Delightful Things Umbrella Collective craft fair on saturday. I don't know why I thought I would not have enough work! At the moment it is all on my bed waiting to be priced and put into some sort of order. Unfortunately I have been at a xmas party this arvo and am in no fit state to do it though it must be done in order for me to go to sleep so there was a strategy here at least! I am drinking coffee and psyching myself up for a long night ahead.
Here are some of the promo cards I've made for it:

Friday, November 17, 2006

Nautical Week 5: Sea Birds

Coastal Birds toys: Florence Forrest
Photos of Birds: Wayne Kington
Sandgate artists Florence Forrest and Rachel Arthur have collaborated to create a wonderful Coastal Birds series of soft toys. They are available (unless they are all sold out which I suspect is a strong possibility!) until 25 November in the Furry Friend's exhibition in Surry Hills, Sydney.

Florence has interpreted the evocative drawings and paintings of Rachel's so cleverly. It is of great releif that she promises to work on the series more in 2007. They capture so well the pelicans and segulls that Wayne Kington has photographed on a recent trip to Amity (shark) Point at Stradbroke Island (thanks Wayne). The mother of pearl sky is a strong feature of the landscape in Moreton Bay and the soft toys bring to mind the pearlescent watery light.
Heading Out After the Storm: Rachel Arthur
And thank Florence for showing me the work of Rachel Arthurs. I am particulary drawn to this painting (oil and graphite on printed cotton) above. I love fishing boats and tales of the high seas and am reminded of the little ditty Dad used to sing to us:
You shall have a fishy
In a little dishy
You shall have a fishy
When the boat comes in.

Dance for your mama
Sing for your papa
Dance for your mama
When the boat comes in.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Nautical Week 4: Happy 60th Birthday Mrs Wrecker!

Today is the day that my wonderful mother, Mrs A. Wrecker to you, turns 60.
I know, hard to believe with my youthful looks.
Here she is both as a darling beach baby and later as madame lash at the WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER, her favorite stomping ground as a young lady. This is the flimsy nautical connection I am going to make- in fact both shots are taken at the beach, mum's favourite spot to flaunt herself in a succession of teeny weeny bikinis and floppy hats and visors during the 70's and 80's, much to my small-minded embarrassment. Though not as much embarrassment as when she did bikini clad gardening in our suburban front yard in Brisbane. In fact, Mrs Wrecker never misses a chance to soak up the rays that she has been deprived of during a grey English boarding school childhood though blessedly she has now converted to a one-piece.

Mrs Wrecker is where I got my sense of fair play and determination as well as my great body! And she probably had no idea at the time, but the macrame years were very formative for me and I have fond memories of visiting craft shops and trying to get her to buy me all sorts of materials while her focus would have been more on the next owl or plantpot holder.

Although I seriously let her down on the netball court and generally showed the sporting prowess of a wet sandwich, my competitive sporting mum continues to take pleasure in whipping 18 year old boys on the squash court. What she does off the squash court is her own business.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Nautical Week 3: Ayumi Horie

I adore the work of this US potter, Ayumi Horie.
She also has a wonderful website where you can purchase her work and see her pots in action. Does anyone else from Brisbane want to be in on a shipment of her work to cut freight costs?!

The whale and bird cup is my favorite and reminds me of the Tom Waits/Kathleen Brennan song from Alice:

Fish and Bird

They bought a round for the sailor
And they heard his tale
Of a world that was so far away
And a song that we'd never heard
A song of a little bird
That fell in love with a whale

He said: you cannot live in the ocean
And she said to him: you never can live in the sky
But the ocean is filled with tears
And the sea turns into a mirror
And there's a whale in the moon when it's clear
And the bird on the tide

Please don't cry
Let me dry your eyes
So tell me that you will wait for me
Hold me in your arms
I promise we will never part
I'll never sail back to the time
But I'll always pretend you're mine
Though I know that we both must part
You can live in my heart

Monday, November 13, 2006

Nautical Week 2: I love crappy ship paintings

From the Wrecker collection. Or really the Accordian collection curated by the Wrecker. He started collecting these dodgy ship paintings (I did worry about the symbolism - was he preparing to leave?) and I had to hide most of them they were so bad. But these I like.

I love the blue one with its thickly applied impasto paint- you can almost imagine the assembly line heirarchies of palette knife wielders over brushworkers. It is a great bathroom painting. Foggy and mysterious. The yellow/green one tones rather nicely with the lounge and gives the living room a touch of the exotic east.

Thanks to Handmade Life whose velvet painting collection gave me the idea to blog this.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Nautical Week 1: It's so hot right now

You don't have to attend an exhibition opening with Matthew Bacon wearing his sailor suit to realise that nautical is the new black this season.

And it is very easy to get the look. You will need 3 things:
Blue - navy blue, royal blue, Howard blue
White - you know, the colour of the current Australian immigration policy.
Red - radioactive red, Robespierre red, wrecker red, commie red, take your pick.

Now the current fashions do stick with the Tricolore but strictly speaking there is a 4th nautical colour (used at sea for markers, flags etc) and it is Yellow. P'haps not everyone's favorite colour although worth noting as Craft Victoria are having a yellow Xmas retail bonanza soon.

So sticking with the 3 colours (Craft Vic can keep the yellow), I was under the impression from the Kieslowski 3 Colours films that each colour of the French flag officially related to one of the words in the slogan from French Rev'n:

Liberty: blue
Equality: white
Fraternity: red

But apparently this is a load of steaming Beasley according to this and this -the colours were really just chosen by happenstance and some other bogus reasoning was made up after the fact.

Now why am I reminded of my own conceptual methodology?

It does bring me to my new nautical range of threads revisted made from vintage beads. Aren't they lovely?

And to get into the naughty zone (about as risque as i get), I even painted my toenails with Revlon's Robespierre Red nail polish mum got for me back in 1989 for my school formal, being the Bicentenary of the 1789 French Revolution. All this nautical frivolity and jewellery order avoidance compelled me to have a dress rehearsal for the QUT jewellery party in front of my long-suffering cat. All very top secret stuff so I can only tell you that I will be wearing a floor length gown in an intense radioactive red, the hue of which has not been seen in dress shops since the mid 1970's. I think the skills and knowledge to make such a red has been lost to mankind, like the fine gold granulation produced by goldsmiths of the ancient world.
Or maybe they just banned the chemicals.
You may wish to wear eye protection if you are planning to be in the vicinity.
By the way, as a means of avoiding my overwhelming resposibilities, I am going to do a nautical week. Because I really, truly would much rather be at the beach right now. Please join me.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Badge Ladies

It can be hard work sharing the limelight with a feisty Tupperware Lady. The high drama, the hot air, the plastic fumes. It can be very competitive at times. Not so much in the Jana Pitman/Tasmin Lewis sense as in the Jana Pitman/Tasmin Lewis sense.

So in the upcoming jewellery party at QUT Art Museum as a sideshow of La Femme Domestique,

Plastic Girl is going to come dressed as a real life Tupperware Lady - the badge, the hair the frock, the makeup, the shoes, the accessories. Which leaves me precisely where? I could come in drag as her boring husband (not that she has a boring real life husband!). Or should I come au-naturale (not nude) as Rebecca-the-Wrecker, with hammer badge, king gee overalls, tool belt and hammer dangling from hammer strap. Or would that be stupid?
Any costume suggestions?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Hair Doerupperas in the News

I was sooo excited last Thursday that I might be in the Sydney Morning Herald that I could barely sleep the night before. Everytime I closed my eyes I kept thinking about how wonderful I was. I sprung out of bed at crack of sparrow and we headed to (S)Lutwyche Village for arancinis and muggacinos. Long-suffering Mr Accordian dutifully went and purchased the SMH for me.

Again and again I went through the paper and could not find anything about myself. Lots of stuff about other people, horses, dogs, footballers but not about me. Desperation set in as I combed the business and sports sections while the accordian applied himself vigorously to some Ekhart Tolle. I swung from hysteria to logical reasoning about what could have gone wrong. Then I realised we had the wednesday edition being sold a day late in Brisbane. Of course we are always playing catch up in the deep north and it's not just daylight saving I'm talking about.
So hurray for designspotter who set the ball rolling. Some of the press that I received from listing my Neo-Luddite Hair Control System in designspotter included Sydney Morning Herald cutting above (Thurs 2 Nov) and below groovy blogs.
Style hive
This Next

I also was recently in the Canadian Green Living Magazine print and online and Modamuse.

I was so pleased with myself that God had to punish my hubris with a weekend away camping in the rain and I returned wet and humbled to a full inbox of orders to make.

So does anyone have some more old computer keyboards for me? Or how about prising some keys off for me and popping them in the mail? I'm running out of ctrl, alt, tab, insert and end keys. Calling all office workers...wanna see the boss lose ctrl?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Stern word

So pretty bad news about the environment and all in the Stern report.
Not only will there be huge waves of human deaths and mass extinctions of lesser species, but it might end up costing us rather a lot of money. And the way our politicians are running around trying to fix it all fills the heart with hope and joy that someone else elected them.

But it doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom. I was reading a terribly helpful article on the weekend all about how you can be a super conservationist around the home. It’s really all about consuming a whole new range of products. You might think you live green but you’ll find that you really need lots more stuff to show you really care about the environment.

It was along these lines:
1. Fill the dishwasher before you turn it on. Do not under any circumstances do the dishes by hand as believe it or not, this consumes more energy.
2. Keep your summer air con at 25 deg, no lower. If you do not have an air conditioner yet, what are you waiting for? You know they benefit the environment.
3. Dry 2 or more loads of laundry in rapid succession in your tumble dryer. That’s right, your dryer. Because although you may be using the SUN and the ATMOSPHERE to dry your clothes now, it is actually proven that using an electrical tumble dryer is more energy efficient.
4. Fill your recycling bin as often as possible by purchasing items which contain excessive packaging. Filling your recycle bin will demonstrate your commitment to the environment to your neighbours and the community.
5. Buy a plastic cover for your pool and a plastic watertank. We all know that in the future any ancestors around will really appreciate these large broken plastic objects that take 1000s of years to break down. They may even provide homes or flotation devices for future lifeforms, human or otherwise. If you don’t already have a swimming pool, you should install one immediately – water is such an important part of the environment and pools are the cornerstone of the SEQ Level 4 water restrictions.

Gives you hope for the future.

Beware of the Man-Bunny

Happy halloween.

It's a shame that a bloke can no longer dress up as a white rabbit and play tea parties with children without us cynically wondering whether he has a current blue card. I wonder if children are any safer in this climate of moral panic. The only people who seem to be having a good time of it are the suburban vigilantes, tabloid media and fear-mongering politicians.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

We Organised it Ourselves!

Sometimes you just have to organise it yourself. As Shannon Garson says, Guerilla Craft activites can be a refreshing antidote... So we have all banded together with the lovely Kylie Johnson to become the Umbrella Collective and our first craft fair is on this November 25. Hope you can come! Bring ya mates!

saturday 25 november 2o06
9am -3pm

delightful things direct from the makers

st francis theological college
233 milton road milton
entrance via baroona rd

parking available
cash or cheque only
refreshments available

sarah bowe red felt flower
florence forrest flying star toys
shannon garson porcelain
kylie johnson paper boat press
liana kabel plastic girl jewellery
rebecca ward jewellery

Monday, October 16, 2006

Glasses ID'd

I learned all about the different glass patterns that I use when I recently visited my glass guru with a bag of little swatches for him to identify. He obviously had more important things to do and a business to run but I insisted that he give me his attention as I tried to explain the Nana project.
Knowing the names of the patterns is going to help classify the different textures I use in Nana Glasses and be a valuable marketing tool for me. Soon I will be releasing "Sparkle Nana", and "Medium Hammered Nana" on an unsuspecting marketplace. It would have been nice to do this releasing thing on Friday 13th Oct (Nana's 72nd b-day- shivers went up my spine as I was BORN in 1972!) but I couldn't get my packaging sorted out in time. In this day and age who would have thought it would be so difficult to get recycled cardboard boxes made? And with Mr Accordian on the computer 24-7 making his WOFO (Wayne's Orchestra of Found Objects) how does one find the time to put stuff for sale online, fiddle with photoshop and dreamweaver and deal with the clamouring of customers DESPERATE to own some Rebecca Ward jewellery!? Well, most of that is true.

I felt a bit bad buying the last perfect piece of antique blue florentine to break up into jewellery but it tones so well with Bombay sapphire and I wouldn't want it to end up in someone's horrible suburban leadlighting project so I probably did the right thing.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


East meets west.

Effluenced by my guru, Kath Day-Knight and her absurdist piece, "Waiting for Telstra" made from a Yeppoon pineapple and chopsticks.

What's yellow and sings?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Trash Art Find of the Week

I just got back from hols with Mr Accordian, a Noted UK jeweller/metalsmith and one of the Messrs Bad Samaritans of Brighton. We spent some sunny and joyfilled days among granite in the Great Aussie Outdoors and some smoky and accordian filled nights in cabintopia.

While passing through a somewhat claustrophobic small town(Woodenbong), we chanced upon a craft shop and met Big Mal, the famous country and western singer and his agent/wife/crafter. She was definitely the little woman behind the big man. She also makes linaments and herbal remedies for such ailments as boils and pimples and offers free advice on how to suppress grey hair (brown onion skins steeped in boiling water and rinsed through one's hair on a regular basis - if the smell bothers you just add parsley). Apparently brown onion treatment would have your grey old hair looking like my tomato sauce mop. The UK jeweller looked frightened. I cannot say I use onions (red, white or brown) in quite this way but kept mum. My English friend whose glorious grey curls are her trademark, took the advice quite well under the circumstances, but is not likely to be found with parsely in her lovely locks or ponging of onion.

Casting around for some small token to purchase I found these $3 Bundaberg ginger beer bikes made by the crafter's son to raise money for the local nursing home and I just had to have one. Feeling much like little insects trapped in a sundew forest, we backed nervously out the door past the table of watchtower back issues and received a blessing from the Lord.

Meantime I got the great news that several of my Nana pieces had been purchased by Toowoomba Regional Art gallery. So I guess I was touched by some Woodenbong magic that day.

I got home, looked at Mr Accordian's photos and had a GANGajang moment: This is Orstraylia.....

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Flash Trash

Flash Trash officially opens Sunday 17 September at Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery and continues until 22 October 2006. I have made new work from old vinyl records collected from Toowoomba Dump and mentioned this work before on my blog here and here. Strangely enough it is through my blog that the idea grew when I followed one of those white rabbits down a hole!

Nana, Nana, Nana is made from 15 old vinyl records found at the Toowoomba Dump Lifeline store and zeros in on one of them- the ‘Delightful Nana Mouskouri’. I used this one Nana LP to reflect on the transience of technology, fame, and culture that once held value but are discarded and forgotten by the each new generation. I was influenced by the buried headstone fragments that I found at the dump, black polished granite memento mori poking from the compacted dirt! The similar blackness of the vinyl records is mournful, its message lost especially after I have worked it. We are reminded that our daily competitive struggles for status, fame and recognition are insignificant in the vastness of time and meaningless in the face of imminent death after which we are dust, our achievements forgotten. This is something that was bought home to me in the books of Alain de Botton who suggested that the way that Romans and Victorians used reminders of death and time as techniques to moderate Status Anxiety could be useful for some of us in our daily lives. I took a lighthearted approach though with this Nana project.

Nana 1. The records that I found were most likely taken to the dump by relatives of a recently deceased person.Perhaps a Grandmother- Nana or a Granny. I thought about the cathartic practice of frisbeeing old records at the dump. Getting rid of the clutter and material possessions of the past generation. Though these records had not been frisbeed. They were in good condition in their original sleeves. Each was respectfully listened to by me prior to destruction and a few were even salvaged.

Nana 2. Nana Beads. One of the records was of Nana Mouskouri who was my 1st pop culture idol. At the age of 3 I loved to dress in my long string of large wooden beads that my own Granny helped me to make and dance to a record pretending that I was Nana. So this is personal nostalgia in making the beads as long as the floor length beads that I wore long ago. Nana Beads were made by hand sawing circles of vinyl Nana + other records and heating them in the oven on glass sheets at various temperature and various lengths of time to create the different effects. Even though I cut perfect circles and filed and sanded them all neatly, they all distorted in different ways. Each record is different- has a different melting point and reacts differently to the heat. So the process was quite organic and interesting. Some shrink and thicken up more than others. I was interested in making them pod-like as if they contain a youthfulness and range of possibilities that is part of my nostalgia when imagining being 3 years old.Nana Beads is what we call the cheap plastic beads as often worn by senior women- the thread in them is glued to the bead itself- Liana Kabel and Mark Vaarwerk have both used them creatively in their innovative plastic jewellery. I used this idea as wordplay for the construction of the work which has more of an organic look than mass produced plastic bead look to it. I was also interested in Art Deco plastic jewellery of and have adopted some of these design ideas with the red and black colours and the style of catch.

Nana 3. The thick black-rimmed rectangular trademark glasses of Mouskouri. I have heat-imprinted different heritage glass patterns on the sawn out shapes of Nana’s glasses. Another wordplay pun here but also referencing the transience of human objects through the old decorative coloured glass which, like vinyl records is no longer manufactured on the same scale or in the case of the glass, to the same quality as in the past. Initially disappointed that I did not find any heritage glass at the Toowoomba dump to work with, I was pleased to find a way to use it in my Flash Trash work.The pins are made from brass and melted skim milk bottle tops imprinted with the decorative glass patterns.I have made 50 frames of different sizes to represent next year’s 50 anniversary of Nana’s professional career.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sea Beans

I just finished a seed necklace design that I can only ever make about once every three years when I have collected enough of the seeds from beaches for one. At times like these I try not to ponder the economic logic of my practice! I collect various hard shelled bouyant seeds that have arrived on the ocean currents. They bob in on the plastic and pumice flotsam tide and are quite rare on beaches near me. The smaller bean seeds are more plentiful and actually grow in the headlands behind the beaches.
After watching The Wrecking Season about flotsam and jetsam along the Atlantic Cornish coast (recommended by Rebecca Crawford), I realised that these same tropical seeds wash up on beaches all over the world - they are longshore drifters of the bean kingdom and even have their own fan clubs with a great Sea Bean website and a symposium every year on the topic of sea beans.
Now some of the beans I am finding in QLD are probably from Far North QLD - where they are called Burney Beans, Mucuna gigantea - you can rub them on stone or together until they are very hot and burn people. A useful bean indeed. And the larger matchbox bean is also one I find alot, sometimes encrusted in coral. But others like the nickernuts Caesalpinia bonduc sometimes called sea pearls, may come from further afield and have had many past uses including as currency in South America.

There is some frightening sea bean craft out there so be warned but I discovered some exquisite sea bean jewels in the Kew Garden Economic Botany Collection.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sea Jewels Wrecipe

I've been going quietly insane making sea jewels earrings, my cow money.
Yeah it's repetitive and time consuming but I do love finding new colours and textures of glass and different shapes and pulling them out of my tumbler. Then trying to find matching pairs is especially therapeutic. I wouldn't miss the drilling and polishing though.
I also love using the labels I made for them.

They remind me of the original photo - a super holiday with friends doing some synchronised swimming...

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Best Banana Cake Ever

It has been a weekend of activity at wrecker central. Mr Accordian has bought a new instrument called Hammond and has been filling the air with melodious meanderings and I have been going silly in the garden and kitchen. So today I am publishing a coupla wrecker recipes.

BecNana Cake
Don't you hate it when you walk into a room and someone has a bigger banana than you? This happened to me, believe it or not, when I had a recent banana harvest and then saw some other cheatin bananas on steroids at the Ekka. How demoralising.
Left with a heap of small manky looking bananas getting riper by the day, I knew I had to take some action.

You will need about 10 finger-sized drought dumps (bananas) or 2 normal ones or one banana on performance enhancers.
1. Peel the nanas and cut out the bad bits. Let the wrecking begin- you may choose to use a fork for the smashing.
2. Put 125g butter (not margarine for heavens sake) and 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar (the one with a hint of molasses is best) in a bowl and beat until fluffy.
3. Add 2 eggs, one at a time beating in until mixture goes mousse-like.
4. Add the smashed bananas.
5. Add 1 & 3/4 cups - 2 cups of self raising flour.
6. Mix lightly with a slosh of milk until combined.
7. Add a handful of chopped walnuts. You could also add pecans or dates.
8. Bake in a cake tin in a moderate oven- 160degrees c. for 1/2 - 3/4 hour until golden brown on top and cooked in the middle.

Melodius Meandering Mulberry CordialMy lovely friend, Tipi-Laura gave me a little mulberry bush years ago and it is now a colossus.
Thanks Laura.
Normally the fruit bats get most of the harvest and spray our house and car in purple poo. Making me glad we chose to paint the house in 'mulberry desire' anyway and that Mr Accordian bought a car in the same colour.
I don't really like to eat mulberries on their own because of the stalk but have made sorbet with them and now cordial, inspired by the Cascade Rasberry Cordial (yeah okay it's red cordial) we are addicted to.
You will need a bowl of fresh picked mulberries.
1. Wash the berries and put them in a saucepan and cover them with water.
2. Add a cup or so of fine white sugar and peel of half an organic lemon - use a vege peeler.
3. Simmer for one hour mashing the berries every so often.
4. Strain and cool. Pour into a bottle and refrigerate.

Drink with soda water, ice and garnish with mint for a cool summer drink. Add gin or vodka to taste... Arrange your extra mulberries in a Shannon Garson native violet dish and take in Mr Accordian's melodious meanderings.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Window of Wonders

Today Liana and I installed our joint window at Craft Queensland to officially mark the launch of our websites tomorrow.
We each made some fabulous new jewellery for it- I have created louvreite swingers and shard necklaces, pendants and earrings using sea green, blue and clear tumbled glass from Bombay Sapphire bottles, louvres and heritage window glass. It is all for sale of course!

Go to my website 24 August 2006 to enter my competition and join us at Craft QLD 24 Aug from 6pm for the opening of the Pathways exhibition.

Also, I am speaking on Friday at CQ for Meet the Makers with Sharon Muir, Liana Kabel and Taryn and Elise Eales.
- everyone is welcome. I must say I'm not much of a performance artist, so I'm hoping that the others hog the limelight!
Date: 25 August 2006
Time: 10am – 12noon
Where: CQstore, Craft Queensland 381 Brunswick St Fortitude Valley Q 4006 T 07 3215 0808 F 07 3215 0802
CQgallery and CQstore hours: Tues-Sat 10am-4pm

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Glen Rocks 2: Interior/exterior

Some more photo arranging here. Ironbarks and Glen Rock and kangaroo grass and through old screened hopper windows looking out onto a close cropped yard. Thanks Wayne Kington for the photos.