Tuesday, 25 June 2013

AUCTION for my Battle of the Beadsmith piece: "Southern Cross"!


Thanks to those of you who supported me throughout my Battle of the Beadsmith 2013 journey - it really was a fantastic two month epic!  I put my life on hold while I created this piece, "Southern Cross", and I so appreciated your patience and support, seeing as I really had to put all my other jewellery projects on hold while I threw myself into this.  It really is a little piece of me woven into this piece - a piece of my heart and my soul.  I don't regret a single moment of it!

It took in excess of 65 hours of hand-stitching to complete (over the course of 7 weeks).  I can't tell you EXACTLY how long it took, as I actually stopped counting after 65 hours, figuring it really didn't matter.  It would take as long as it took.  I can tell you though that every single hour was a joy.  This is without a doubt the largest, most intricate and most time-consuming piece I have ever made (and probably ever WILL make), and I wish I could keep it!  Alas, I have to keep the wolves from the door somehow, and so I have decided to auction it off, setting the starting bid/reserve at a mere NZ$100 (which is approximately what I spent on supplies for this piece).

So here's a little more about the piece itself:

Name of piece: "Southern Cross". As I am the only entrant from New Zealand, I wanted to incorporate something with a NZ flavour into my design. I decided to use the Southern Cross (which is the constellation on our national flag) as my inspiration. The design is my interpretation of the night sky after sunset and before sunrise.

Materials used: Size 11 and 15 Delica seed beads, Swarovski crystals (4mm and 8mm), Swarovski pearls (4mm and 6mm), Swarovski rivoli (14mm), Swarovski fancy stone (30mm), Swaroski flatback crystals, Nicole's Bead Backing, Ultrasuede, Glass Cats Eye cabachon, Crystal 6lb Fireline thread, Tulip beading needle, velvet ribbon.

Size of piece: Embroidered part: 27cm x 26cm (10 1/4in x 10 1/2in) plus ribbon so it is fully adjustable for length.

Here's how the auction will work...

* The starting bid is NZ$100.  This price includes shipping (courier within NZ, or international airmail outside of NZ).
* Place your bid by leaving a comment in the section below (you don't need to have a Google account to do this - just choose "anonymous" from the drop-down box in the comment section)
* When placing your bid using the ANONYMOUS function, you MUST leave your name so I know who you are if you win!
* If for any reason, you are unable to place a bid using the comments section, I am happy to do so on your behalf - just email me at amanda@pallinadesigns.com and advise me of the bid you wish to place.  I will post the comment for you!
* I will post the winner's name on this blog and on my Facebook page, so please check back regularly if you do not follow either my blog or my Facebook page (I won't ask for your email address here as I know a lot of you don't like to leave it on a public forum).
* Auction will begin as soon as this post becomes live, and will last for two weeks, closing Tuesday 9th July at 5pm (NZ time).  I will post regular updates on my Facebook page as to how long the auction has to run, so I highly suggest you follow that page to keep abreast of the situation!
* Once the winner is announced, they will have 48hrs to contact me to confirm their delivery address.
* Winner must pay by midnight on 14th July, NZ time.  International winner may pay by Paypal/credit card, NZ winner can choose between Paypal/credit card, or deposit into NZ bank account.
* If winner does not confirm delivery address within 48 hours of me contacting them to advise of their win, the piece will be offered to the next highest bidder and so-on.  All subsequent winners contacted will also have the same 5 days to make payment (as above).

If you have any questions, please contact me!  Happy bidding and thanks so much for your support!

** PLEASE click on the images to get the larger, detailed pics! **

Happy bidding!! xx

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Life Begins at 40!

I turned 40 on Saturday...holy hell, where does the time go?!  Seems like yesterday I was helping Mum organise my 21st!  Then came my 30th, and we'd only just moved back to New Zealand after living in Scotland for several years, so the party was just family and quite small - we were still waiting for our new sofas to be delivered, if memory serves...and the house we were renting was just big enough for the three of us (Cammie wasn't born till two years later).

I vowed that I was going to hit "mid life" with a bang!

So I had a chat with Willie, and we decided to go away for the weekend - actually, make that a LONG weekend - I took the Friday and Monday off work.  We decided to head down to Ohakune, where we'd been 3 years before for our 10th wedding anniversary, and see what fun we could have in the snow.  Yay!  A couple of phone calls later, we'd booked a chalet that slept 8, my Mum, Dad, favourite cousin, sister and her 3 kids were all in on it.  Then we started planning what to take/buy.  The kids had never seen snow before (oh the fun!) so needed pretty much everything: waterproof leggings, gloves, hat, scarf, boots...the list seemed endless, but eventually we got there.  Keep in mind, this was all decided 3 weeks beforehand, so no time to lose!

We stayed in a chalet in Turoa Village, in Ohakune.  Just an hour's drive to Whakapapa and about half an hour's drive to Turoa.  What a fantastic time we had!  We planned a rendezvous in Taupo with my cousin and my folks, and then headed down through National Park to Ohakune, where we met up with my sister and her kids (who were staying at a lodge in town).

We had soooo much fun!  I can honestly say, it was the best birthday ever!  Ohakune is a fantastic place to stay, the snow was plentiful even though the skies were sunny and clear (yay!) and the mountain...oh, that mountain.  It pretty much captured my heart, I couldn't get enough of it.  So beautiful.  It was an almost spiritual experience for me, the most amazing place.

All the kids - big and little - had a blast, and it was pretty much unanimous that we would go back next year and possibly every year from now on!  

Thanks to everyone for making my birthday so darn unforgettable - love you guys!

 This is the view from our chalet - the first thing we saw when we opened our eyes in the morning, and the reason I left the drapes open at night, so we could watch the mountain, bathed in moonlight, till we went to sleep.  Pure magic.  Mt Ruapehu by moonlight is something else...

The Chateau Tongariro, with snow-covered Mt Ruapehu in the background.

Mt Ngaruhoe - aka "Mt Doom" in the Lord of the Rings movies

The first view the kids get of snow - close-up...and Mum starts the first Snowball Fight.  Epic!

Cousins Rhianna and Georgia on the tennis courts at the Chateau :-)

Cousins Ruben and Cammie :-)

The carrot cake (with cream cheese icing - mmmmm!) that Mum smuggled all the way from Opotiki with her!  THANKS MUM!!! xxx

Georgia and Cammie head up the mountain (Whakapapa side) for some sledding fun on Sunday...

...and come back down again!  Love the look on their faces!

Cammie...the face says it all, really :-)


Doesn't this just look postcard-perfect??  "Mt Doom" (aka Ngaruhoe) glistening in the sunshine

Me and the kids with The Big Carrot at Ohakune.  Well, you just gotta, don't ya??

Mt Ruapehu from Ohakune township.  Glorious colours just before sunset.

My nephew Tairua...look at the glee in that face!

More Snowball Fight fun...this time Willie lobs a few at Georgia (I seriously think us big kids had almost more fun than the little kids!)

We wind our way up to the Top of the Bruce at Whakapapa (photo taken by Mum, who was following us)

Birthday Girl!!  I'd just come hooning down the side of the hill on this inflatable death trap...LMAO!

Willie tried the Inflatable Death Trap...and Dad thought it was kinda funny

My sis and I on the Inflatable Death Trap...!  One word: FUN!!

Georgia and I at Turoa on Sunday - less sun, more wind than Whakapapa (translation: it was FREEZING!!!)

Cammie and his Red Sled.  No further caption required!

The Birthday Weekend Gang (minus my cousin, who took the photo).

Thanks for an amazing birthday guys - I'll never forget it :)


Saturday, 16 April 2011

Looking for the Silver Lining...

I've been laid low by some mystery viral thing over the past two weeks - really laid low...as in, sleeping 16hrs out of every 24hrs kind of laid low.  And it has totally sucked.  No energy for anything, least of all the things I love, which are family stuff, beading, etc etc etc.

But, sick of being sick, I thought I'd try and focus on the silver lining in all this.  My list of Silver Linings is as follows:

1.  I've saved 2 weeks worth of make-up.  And with the cost of make-up these days, that has to be a good thing, right?

2.  I've lost 4kg.  I can now fit my skinny jeans!  Probably not for long, but still.  Good, right?

3.  I've learned that the world does NOT revolve around me.  Shocked the hell out of me, I can tell you!

4.  My family are capable of much more than I give them credit for.  Life may never be the same.

5.  I have some wonderful, supportive and caring friends.  Love you guys :)

And as for the chocolate pic above?  Well, that's for medicinal purposes.  It does nothing to fight the virus but it sure makes me feel a lot better!  (Thanks for the tip Karen - luv ya!).

I get a little stronger each day.  While I won't be running any marathons any time soon, I am about to dig my make-up out of storage *wink*.


Sunday, 3 April 2011


Inspiration is a funny thing.  It can strike at any moment, from any angle.  These past few days, I feel like I've been bombarded with it - which is a good thing (I'm not complaining!).  Just thought I'd share with you what I do when that happens.

I make a pictureboard :)  Something I can look at when I eventually get to sit down in my studio and have time to just play.  It reminds me of the ideas I had and what had inspired me to have them.  This is what my pictureboard currently looks like.

Gwynneth Paltrow in the movie version of Jane Austen's "Emma".  Gorgeous dress...needs a necklace though ;)

Gorgeous shoes...but definately "sitting down shoes" :)

Beautiful silver lacy earrings (not mine - I wish!)

Love the colours used in this bouquet

My love of pink is showing isn't it?  Such a cute fairy crown though. 

Adore these shoes *sigh*.  Not keen on the heel height in reality though (I'd probably end up killing myself if I had to walk in them).  Just as well they are "fantasy shoes" and can therefore be as improbably high as they like

Love the colours and textures in this fabric cuff bracelet *swoon*

Ah yes, the Baroque era.  Everything about this photo calls to me.  Just look at the detail on that wedding gown!  Love the flowers too.

Love the richness of colour and the detail in this dress.  And the necklace (you thought I'd skipped over the necklace didn't you?  Not possible.  Look how perfectly it matches the dress!)

The lovely Liv Tyler in "Lord of the Rings".  Decadent costumes, anyone?  Gorgeous.  Would love to design jewellery for this.

The freshness of green and white.  Nature sure knows how to do it right.

So, now that I've shared what's currently inspiring me - what's inspiring you and how do you file/note/keep track of your inspiration?  Pictorial, notebooks, samples?  Do share :)


Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Another Facebook Milestone...1500 Likers!

Thanks to everyone who entered!
The winner is....drum roll please....
Congratulations Adeline!  I will email you to get your delivery address now :)

I never in my wildest dreams thought I would reach 1500 likers on my Pallina Designs Facebook page - I'm so loving it!  Thanks to everyone who has shouted about me from the rooftops, recommended me to their friends, commented on a post or photo, made a purchase, made an enquiry or just introduced yourself to me by leaving a post on my Facebook page - thank you, thank you, thank you!  YOU are the reason I keep creating!

So, to celebrate you all and show my appreciation,  I'm having another giveaway :)

This time, up for grabs is this beautiful peyote'd Swarovski rivolli pendant - beautiful green with flashes of pink and gold within, surrounded by green and pearly white Delica seed beads and 18in silver plated chain :)  Little silver love-knot beneath the bail adds interest, too.  Don't forget - all my pieces are One of a Kind and this pendant is no exception :)

Would you like to be in with a chance to win this gorgeous pendant?  I'm happy to oblige!  Pendant will be sent to you free of charge (courier within NZ or airmail if outside of NZ) - completely free, for you to enjoy with my heartiest thanks :) 


All you have to do is leave a comment below, with your first name and email address. 


(Just makes it easier on me to try and contact you - I'm all about making things easy in these busy times!!).  One entry per person, and the lovely 'puter over at Random.Org will pull out a lucky number for me (comments will be given a number rating in order of appearance). 

The draw will remain open until midnight, NZ time, on Friday 25th March - plenty of time to get your name in there!

Thank you all SO MUCH - I so appreciate your support!

Now...get commenting - and tell your friends!


Monday, 31 January 2011

Girly Time

We've had a blast, this past 5 days, with Sarah, Rhys and Amy's visit :)  Managed to strike that great balance between chilling out and doing lots of stuff to keep the kids amused and (mostly) happy ;)

Here are a few snaps I thought I'd share with you.  We were VERY lucky with the weather - had tropical cyclones bookending their stay with us, but we didn't let THAT stop us!  We're made of stern stuff - and have plenty of Kiwi "Can Do!" attitude to fortify us!

We had a fantastic picnic lunch at Waihau Bay, watching the fishing boats come in with their loot

One of abovementioned fishing boats...just look at that sky!  Gorgeous.

Amy and Georgia at Waihau Bay - like mermaids on the rocks :) 

Random bay on the way back to Opotiki - the sea literally sparkled like diamonds.  Just another day in Paradise!

See above :)

The lagoon we swam in to cool down.  This was the second day we were there - the day after Cyclone Wilma hit.  It was considerably clearer and shallower the first time we went, but I didn't have my camera then.  Typical.

 We're quite the multi-taskers out this way ;)
Georgia and I

Managed to squeeze in time at the playground, shopping, coffee, wine, girly gossip, coffee, wine, refereeing the kids (!), walk around the neighbourhood, Hikutaia Domain (for a spot of nature), coffee, dessert-making, bbqs, watching "Supernatural" reruns, abovementioned trip to Waihau Bay...did I mention coffee?

Thanks to Sarah, Rhys and Amy for a fantastic time!  Miss you guys already! xx