Monday, July 28, 2014

Novelty Brooch Friday - July winners

This month I was so lucky to have Hayley from Synergy Glass Art donate a cute iced biscuit brooch to one lucky winner of Novelty Brooch Friday, ask her a few questions about her work and her shop and get to know her a little more.  That's one of the reasons why I love organising Novelty Brooch Friday giveaways every month.  There are so many generous, creative interesting people out there and it's my pleasure to share their stories with you.

Now Hayley offered this cute brooch to a lucky winner, BUT! There are actually 2 versions of this brooch to be given away this month.  The round one and a square one WOOOHOOO! So without further ado the 2 winners (randomly chosen) are: 

Congratulations Vintagelaura and Sallysparrowpinup!!!!!  If you could email me your postal addresses to we can then forward you your prizes. 

* please note I try to be as fair as possible, I use the random number generator App and attempt to take out the shops that have started posting items from their shop to sell.

On Friday I will be announcing August's brooch maker and the brooch you could add to your collection. I'll give you a hint:


Until then keep brooching xxx

If you're a brooch maker/ designer or vintage seller that would like to donate a beautiful brooch to our giveaway and have your shop featured, please email me with a little info about your designs and shop and hopefully I'll get you a spot on the calendar.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My brooch collection

Today I took down my brooches from my felt covered cork board, the sheer weight of them all (all 82 of them!!!) I didn't realise I had that many.  So to get a good look at them I put them on a large A1 sheet of paper and in my typical organisational style proceeded to group them together by subject, and then by materials, and then by handmade, and then by well I could have gone on and on grouping them, it really made me appreciate each one again.  I hope you enjoy looking at my collection and you might have some of the same in your collections.

I find a lot of my brooches on Etsy, eBay and local Op Shops and Markets.  Some of my favourite Etsy shops to buy from and brows are: Broesj, Lucky Patina, Luxulite, Demure Couture, A Little Vintage Store, Each to Own and Curious Pip

Below I have grouped them together so you can see them a little clearer.

This is the group of animals L to R: Cockerel, poodle, frog, cat, bear, dragonfly, starfish, cat, cat in dress, wooden cat, fur cat, snail, penguin, bird, hummingbird, owl gold, owl purple, boy and girl bunnies, ladybird flat, ladybird tortoiseshell, sheep, skunk, cockatoo, scotty dog, sloth, deer, fox, lion.

This Avon duo are a couple of my favourites.  When I got them I decanted the solid perfume, 'cause it was really funky smelling.


You must have your initial in brooch form: Left is a Sarah Coventry 'C',  Middle is a Pierre Bex 'C' and well the end one isn't technically a 'C' but I thought I'd include it in this set 'cause it's pretty.

I have a few women's heads (and 1 man for measure) L to R: Clara Bow by Curious Pip, Inuit, Enid Coleslaw from Ghost World by Kate Rowland, Frida Kahlo by A Little Vintage Store, 1920s swimmer, fruit carrying lady, ceramic brooch by Min Lee (shop Minini), Ice Follies skater, Beci Orpin face, My Perfect Beau by Sophie McPike, Lady with flower.

Lately i've been collecting flowers, leaves and plants

Lots of fruit and a little veg L to R: banana (Broesj), strawberry by Sarah Coventry, apple, carrots by Demure Couture, sparkly cherries by Luxulite, pineapple (Lucky Patina), cherries by Sarah Coventry, Watermelon by Pixels and Picas, a Heinz pickle, cherries & apple & strawberry and biscuit brooch by Synergy Glass Art, ginger bread man by Avon.

The below brooches are bought direct from the maker and quite a few have been contributors to Novelty Brooch Friday L to R: Clara Bow by Curious Pip, Beci Orpin face, carrots by Demure Couture, cherries by Luxulite, biscuit by Synergy Glass Art, Rainbow by Curly Pops, Freddo Frog (can't remember the stall holder), 3x fruit by Synergy Glass Art, girl's head by Minini, My Perfect Beau by Sophie McPike, Frida Kahlo by A Little Vintage Store, Love by Gemma Jones, Bear and blue bird by Each to Own, Watermelon by Pixels and Picas.

As you might have noticed I have a weakness for certain makers of brooches, I love so many of Sarah Coventry's brooches, they are not expensive either which is a bonus, simple design and some of my favourite themes.

Lea Stein is a sought after brooch but these are expensive, I been lucky enough to receive these 2 as gifts from Ed.

For a cheaper but similar theme as Lea Stein you can't go past Erstwilder, a Melbourne company that makes stylised animals, fruit, people etc.

Its not just the subject that I look out for in the brooches I collect but the materials, I love wooden brooches from the 1940's, Bakelite and celuloide (which on the whole are a little out of my budget).

So there you go, my brooch collection which is always growing, always on the look out for something different, substantial and in a colour I don't already have. 

Do you collect brooches as well? If you have posted about your collection leave a link below as I'd love to see.

Don't forget #NoveltyBroochFriday, the hashtag that is my excuse for continuing to enabler ;)


Friday, July 4, 2014

Novelty Brooch Friday - July

Welcome July! 

My favourite time of the year because there are a lot of birthdays in my family, and who doesn't love a bit of cake and Hoo Haar!

This month I am so pleased to introduce to you something sweet, not just the brooches but the wonderful Hayley of Synergy Glass Art.  In that special kind of way you organically come across people on Instagram, I came across Hayley's work.  Bright colours and novelty subjects, I was naturally drawn to her work and was so happy Hayley agreed to answer a few questions about her work and offer one of her brooches to be given away this month (I have one similar).

Thank you Hayley and I loved reading your answers, to me personally your answer to the last question really resinated with me.

When did you start working with glass and start your glass art business 'Synergy Glass Art'?
In 2009 I returned from a yearlong backpacking adventure and found the transition back to normality really difficult to adjust too. I discovered a certain therapy in throwing myself into short course, classes and well, pretty much anything creative. I learnt mosaic, pottery, jewellery making, and Leadlight. And in Leadlight I found this incredibly magical world of colours I didn’t know existed. It ignited in me the desire to become consumed by glass. I wanted to know more about it. I enrolled in a course to learn fusing and slumping (melting glass in a kiln to form shapes such as bowls, plates etc). This was completely different to Leadlight. One thing leads to another and I then completed a weekend workshop in bead making on the flame torch.
It was only then that I finally realised this fascination wasn’t going away. I needed to do something with it. It was no longer just a hobby but something I could turn into a business. Ta-da! Synergy Glass Art was born!

What attracted you to working with glass?
In one word it would be… colour! The way a single piece of glass could change colour depending on the light behind it was something that gave me tingles inside. A blue could be moody one day and then vibrant the next.
I was also fascinated in the science behind it, which in turn, made me want to learn more. I have since had the honour of learning in world-renowned glass institutes such as Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York, and Canberra Glassworks.

When creating a new design do you start with a colour, design or something else?
Usually I start with the colour rods when it comes to making my necklaces and bracelets. But with my brooches I let my creativity run wild and am quite often inspired to create when I’m not even searching for inspiration. I look at everyday objects and think “hmm, I wonder if I could make that using glass.” A perfect example of this is with my Iced Biscuit Brooches. Farm animals, food, fish, flowers, you name it, I’ve probably attempted to make it in glass!

Is there a technique you haven't tried with glass that you would like to explore?
Yes, definitely glassblowing. I’ve dabbled in glassblowing whilst under the instruction of a much more experienced artist but I really am very far away from mastering it. It is so much harder than I expected. I’m happy though because it’s an excuse to enrol in another workshop!

Is there any advice you can give to people wanting to start their own business?

Be patient. Success doesn’t happen over night (if it does then woohoo! Congratulations to you!) but through hard work, patience, determination, lots of ups and downs I am now seeing rewards that I never even dreamed of. I honestly can’t believe it’s been over 4 years since I was first introduced to glass. There were tough times were I thought I would hang up my apron and call it a day but to be honest I don’t think my life is complete with out glass!

So what is the cute brooch you could win this month? This cute biscuit brooch could be yours if you take a photo of yourself with one of your favourite novelty brooches on Instagram using the hashtag #noveltybroochfriday on any Friday in July (up to and including 25th).  The winner will be announced on the following Monday, 28th July. 

So what are you waiting for? Get those brooches on, it doesn't matter if you wear the same brooch 2 weeks in a row, just get them out.

*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