Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Novelty Brooch Friday - July

I am so happy to say welcome to Novelty Brooch Friday for July.  

Both Erin and I were overwhelmed with the interest on Instagram and had so much fun seeing all of the fantastic brooches everyone was wearing and also the new creators we have all discovered. 

Our Novelty Brooch creator for July is Liz Jones from Betty Jo Designs, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Erin asked Liz 5 questions about her business and the development of her studio and shop, which I hope you find interesting and inspiring.

Thank you Liz for donating your time and one of your lovely sewing machine brooches to be given away for July's Novelty Brooch Friday.

How long have you been making your own brooches and how did you start? 

I have been making brooches and other types of jewellery since I majored in Jewellery Making at Uni. 
I first started my label Betty Jo Designs in 2005 when I began playing around with vintage linoleum. I had found a piece of 1940’s lino lining the cupboards of an old kitchen dresser and I fell in love with its beautiful designs and decorative potential. 
My earliest brooches were simple circular and flower shapes adorned with retro buttons. After that I designed a selection of woodland critters for my first range called “Lino Forest”. Since then I have dozens of designs in my collections, and am still creating new ones. 

Do you have formal design training or are you just a creative person?  

I was always pretty creative growing up.  
I have a Bachelor of Education in Art and Craft and taught art in High Schools for several years. While studying I discovered it was fun to use recycled materials in my designs and have never looked back.  
These days I’m happiest fossicking in op-shops or salvaging second hand materials from skips. If there was a degree in gleaning I would be a star pupil. 

How has creating and sharing your unique pieces affected your life?  

Creating my little jewellery business has transformed my life. I was lucky enough to be able to make it my full time job in 2007 and since then it has opened up loads of opportunities to create and make like-minded friends. I began a blog that year called Lino Forest and still regularly update it with pictures of new designs and general Betty Jo chit chat.  
Maybe the biggest thing that has come out of my creative meandering is my decision to open a bricks and mortar shop in 2011. Gleaners Inc. is a cute emporium of handmade and second hand treasures situated in the historic old Perruci shirt factory at 2 Ballarat St. Brunswick {just off Sydney Rd.} 
It is such a delight to be able to show case wonderful products by Aussie designers and be surrounded by colour and loveliness every day. I also blog about our shop happenings at Gleaners Inc

Do you have a studio so to speak? If so, what is it like? 

Since beginning Betty Jo Designs I have progressed from the kitchen table to a small enclosed veranda at my house. Then, as I grew the business I moved into a warehouse art studio in Brunswick and now I have a studio attached to my shop which is perfect as I can work all day when I’m not doing shop girl things. The only downside is I have to keep it a bit tidier than I’m used to! 

If you could collaborate with another creative, who would it be and why? 

I would love to collaborate with the amazing Melbourne artist Louise Saxton. I was lucky enough to meet Louise when she submitted some work for our Doily exhibition held at Gleaners Inc. last year. 
Louise creates exquisite work from vintage embroidery and needlework and I would be happy just to pass her scissors or sort her extensive doily collection.  

So for your chance to win one of these cute brooches just post a picture of yourself on Instagram with your favourite brooch, entries can be submitted on any Friday from now up to and including 26th July with the hash tag #noveltybroochfriday and we will announce the winner (randomly chosen) on Monday 29th July. Open to everyone, you can enter as many times as you like, either new or vintage brooches.

Each month Erin and I will take it in turns to showcase those sellers of vintage brooches and designers we admire and love to wear ourselves.

*If you are a designer or sell vintage brooches (worldwide) and wish to donate a brooch for an upcoming month and have your shop showcased, please contact me at


  1. Ohhhhhh these look amazing! I better win this month! :P

    1. He he he well you've got to be in it to win it, I look forward to seeing your brooches this month xx

  2. Replies
    1. very cute and love the patterns on the lino - nothing like my hideous lino that needs replacing :)