Sunday, September 26, 2010

Breast Tests & Breast Screening

"The Z-Bra: Love the Skin You're in" by Melissa Player

When I was in my early 20's I lost an Aunt to breast cancer and saw first hand the devastating effect it had on her family & friends. Ever since then I have been very conscious to ensure I was tested on a regular basis. For the past 25 years I have had regular breast ultrasounds because there really is NO excuse not to have this simple breast screening procedure done on a regular basis. When I reach a certain age I will go from breast ultrasounds to mammograms.

Sadly, too many women ignore getting regular checkups and tests done because of a number of reasons or excuses. I know that one reason this simple procedure is often neglected is because many women are uncomfortable with their bodies or the "skin they are in" and thus they feel too embarrased to get these checks done (you know who you are!!!)

I put in over 50 hours of work in the "Z-Bra: Love the Skin You're In" to try to inspire and encourage you to have these simple screening tests done.

If you haven't had one before...or if it's been a few years then please make an appointment this week to see your GP to get a referral for either a breast ultrasound or a mammogram - don't ever think it can't or won't happen to you.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

OPRAH Channel 10 Australia exclusive interview

It's been said that Oprah loves a good hat...she'd certainly look amazing in this one:

You can see this exclusive interview with Oprah and Angela Bishop here:

Friday, September 17, 2010


As most of you know Oprah Winfrey will be winging her way downunder to AUSTRALIA in December along with a very joyous and excited selected studio audience from one of her recent shows.... who can forget the looks, tears and sheer shock on their faces when Oprah announced "WE are going to AUSTRALIA"- several times!!!!! Whilst here they will be doing some touring around Oz and also filming a couple of shows from the Sydney Opera House.

Oprah is coming to Australia ....let's give her a bit of sparkle friend in the US (Diane Whiting) has created a Facebook page for a Swarovski Crystal Akubra hat that I recently created called AUSTRALIANA for the 2010 Creative Beading Swarovski Competition here in Australia. We decided it would be FUN to see how many LIKES we could get for the hat and then maybe Oprah staffers would be receptive to the idea of Oprah wearing the hat during one of her shows from Sydney - it's just brimming with Australian wildflowers!

Oprah is coming to Australia ....let's give her a bit of sparkle

So us out with this social media exercise and "LIKE" the hat then forward it onto your friends.

Oprah is coming to Australia ....let's give her a bit of sparkle

Thankyou so much....Melissa

Monday, August 23, 2010

SWAROVSKI Crystal FERIDO Treasure Box by Melissa Player

I wanted to use up some of the shells in our collection box so I went in search of a little wooden treasure box which I finally found on ebay! Anyhow...I have finally covered this cute box in sparkly Swarovski Crystals & Pearls, Sterling Silver Sea Creatures & lovely seaside shells that my boys have collected over the years when we go on family holidays. Using Ferido in Aquamarine I went about hand setting all the Swarovski flatbacks, pearls, coral twigs and the beautiful big AB Seashell. The colours are just beautiful and the contrast of the organic shells against the glistening crystals makes for a wonderful effect.

So...I give you Treasured Seaside Memories which was made for the 2010 Creative Beading Swarovski Competition

Saturday, August 7, 2010

SAFARI by Melissa Player

Many thanks to Australia's Creative Beading Magazine for featuring me as the profiled designer in your recent edition (Vol6 No2). I had no idea how much work goes into writing an article for a magazine, getting the photographs right, getting the copy right etc,etc. I really have a whole new level of respect for such processes.

Pictured: SAFARI - Hand crystallised Leather Corset, 2009 - 3rd Place Creative Beading Swarovski Crystal Competition


For the last few years Creative Beading - an Australian based magazine has been running a fabulous competition with Swarovski being the major prize sponsor. This year they have added a cool new category where you have to design and make an item using only Swarovski crystal bicones in any size.
A couple of years ago when I was visiting Kristallwelten (Crystal World in Wattens, Austria) I couldn't resist buying a few rings blanks. Up until recently they have been sitting in boxes awaiting inspiration. So, whilst lying on my couch a few months ago starring at one of my favourite prints called Pele's Whisper by the world renowned landscape photograper Peter Lik I was struck with inspiration!!
Many hours of colour matching & wire twisting later my Volcanic Eruption was born - so thanks Peter Lik (an Aussie lad) for not only providing amazing photographs to adorn my walls but for also providing the inspiration for this unique wireworked ring.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Crystal Brilliance:Making Designer Jewelry with Crystal Beads

Here is a copy of the review I posted on the Swarovski's Community website in July 2010:

Crystal Brilliance

Firstly, I'd just like to say a very big "thankyou" to Admin for sending me Crystal Brilliance to review. I have thoroughly enjoyed browsing through the pages and viewing the delightful treasures that Anna Elizabeth Draeger has set out before us. Now... to be honest I rarely ever make anything I see in a Beading Magazine or Book but I have to say that there are a number of projects & techniques in this book that have seriously caught my attention!!

This book is 95 pages in length and is essentially geared to the crystal enthusiast who likes to use a needle and thread! For those of you who have not stitched before this lovely book with concise materials lists and instructions will certainly have you on your way in no time at all. Projects are designed for varying levels of skill and competence.

What I loved about this book include:

  • An insight into the artist Anna Elizabeth Draeger and her inspirations
  • Several pages in the front and the rear of the book which cover all sorts of jewellery making tips & tricks, crystal information, stitching basics and jewellery making basics (ie opening/closing jump rings, the plain loop, the wrapped loop and crimping)
  • The projects have been divided up into 4 main categories being: CLASSIC, ROMANTIC, GEOMETRIC & ORGANIC
  • Each project has a design option which helps many of us with our ability to think outside of the square

I loved many of the designs in this book and will be really looking forward to trying these projects from the following sections:

  • Victoria - CLASSIC
  • Antique Lace - ROMANTIC
  • Curved Branch - ORGANIC

So...for all of you out there who haven't yet embarked on a stitching adventure with crystals I would certainly recommend this book as a terrific way to inspire and motivate you into creating your first project.

For me...I have previously stitched with seed beads and added a few crystals into the mix but now I will look forward to making a treasure trove of stitched sparkling creations with charisma and confidence!!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

DUSK - Swarovski Elements

Recently I underwent a challenge to design some beautifully sparkly jewellery using only Swarovski crystal bicones (up to a total of 200). I managed to produce three pieces but I think these chandelier earrings are by far the most glam!!
I think that often the hardest concept of design is finding inspiration so I love to flick through glossy fashion magazines until I find an item of clothing or a scene backdrop that just "pings"with me!
The colours I used in these Swarovski earrings
reminded me of that visually stunning time of the day called DUSK.

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Selling Your Handmade Jewellery

When it comes to designing and making jewellery I'm sure you'll all agree that there comes a time where the supply far outweighs the demand for your creations and you are left with boxes of beautiful beaded treasures just "waiting" for new owners.

I know that many,many people just LOVE to make jewellery/jewelry for either their own pleasure or as a potential career! When we first start out we are so excited about our beautiful unique handcrafted items that all our female (and male) friends & family members seem to receive jewellery for the various occasions that pop up throughout the year.

After a while many of us decide that making jewellery/jewelry would be the pefect dream career and we set out searching for ways to try to become proficient in making, marketing & selling our designs. Now, as many of us can confirm this can be an extremely competitive industry and if you take a look at the handmade jewellery/jewelry categories on two of the worlds largest platforms being Etsy & Ebay then you will find that selling jewellery online is not for the faint hearted - it really is hard work and it takes many hours of dedication for often very little monetary returns.

However, on the bright side there are numerous other ways that you as a jewellery designer or small business operator can source productive and lucrative ways of selling your handmade jewelry/jewellery items.
Recently I came across a fabulous idea of creating a jewellery shopping service for potential clients. Essentially it involves setting up a business model where you are the personal shopper for your clients using your own handmade jewellery as the main product. Sounds ideal doesn't it!

The other benefits of this model include:
  • You'll be selling directly to your clients at full retail prices, so you won't be paying any booth fees, shop commissions, party hostess incentives, wholesale discounts, etc.
  • You'll have very low sales-related expenses because there's no "middleman". Nearly 100% of the proceeds go directly to your business.
  • And, you'll be able to find high paying quality customers that will love your customized products, personal service, and the way you take their problems out of their hands.

So...if you're ready to take your handcrafted jewellery to a whole new PROFITABLE level then I recommend your read more about the benefits and features of this business model from a lady who is in the jewellery/jewelry design business and who can teach you her proven steps to a very successful and profitable buisness.

I'd love to hear of your own personal success stories...

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Last year I noticed around the traps a newish product called Ferido. This groovy product is a 2 part resin that when kneaded together in equal parts works just like a soft clay before setting rock hard in just a few hours. It comes in a number of colours and can be used to set a variety of objects such as crystals, stones, shells,pearls, fibres,buttons,metals etc. The Ferido website states that it can be "machined, drilled, tapped, turned, filed, sawn, sandpapered and painted" can also bond to "wood, brick, cement, metals, concrete, plastics, glass etc". I'm sure you'll agree that these features will allow for a multitude of uses in the jewellery and design arenas!

After doing a bit of research on the product and seeing some of the lovely work that Lisa Pavelka had been doing with this product I decided to give it a go for myself. So with less than one pack of black Ferido I managed to create this piece.

The above necklace "Coco Goes Seaside" recently won 10th Place in the 2009 Swarovski Create Your Style Creative Beading Competition held annually for Australian & New Zealand residents. I essentially encrusted a large Swarovski starfish using Ferido with an assortment of small Swarovski crystals and pearls - I have to say that I was very pleased with the result! The inspiration for this multi strand beaded necklace came after watching the movie "Coco Avant Chanel" at the cinema.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


This is going to be brief (cause it's already midday and I'm still in my pj's figuring out all this blogging stuff!) but, I just wanted to wish all my friends a very happy & enjoyable Valentines Day. Being a beaded jewellery designer certainly has advantages...I've made myself a little something special!!!

Swarovski Crystal red siam heart earrings adorned wire wrapped drops in an assortment of summer berry colours...hmmm, good enough to eat!

Is BLING your thing?

Ok, it has to be said that being an active forum member in the wider beading community certainly has both its advantages and disadvantages!!! I'm sure that those who have participated in any type of forum will agree that there are some wonderful stories of special friendships and opportunities that have evolved from the daily chit chat on forums and then again there are some horrible, hellish tales of nasty cat fighting and behind the scenes (private messaging) backstabbing....meow!!!!

What I love about the forums I belong to is that I get to discuss, learn, participate and grow in an area that I am passionate about...and in my case it's beads and jewellery. Sometimes I think there really needs to be a 10 Step programme for all of the bead addicts around the world - I know I could fund a small community in Africa with some of my bling and I truely feel guilty about this sometimes! To give me some peace of mind I have set up a regular contribution to World Vision which has certainly been a valuable & worthwhile activity for our whole family. But, until such a time that I can work out a way to curb my obsessive complusion to buy all things shiny & sparkly I thought I'd share with you a couple of forums that have been incredibly supportive in my beading career to date.

Beading Forum dot com dot au is an Australian beading forum but there is large membership base which spans the globe. It's an amazingly supportive place to belong to and there are some incredible designers that create inspirational jewellery from scratch with impeccable skill,artistry & precision that would blow anything commercially produced right out of the water .

This is a picture of Caroline Fung's award winning necklace 'CINDERELLA"

Another forum I'm proud to be a member of is the Swarovski Create Your Style Community - there are many, many international jewellery designers that frequent this forum and who post their creations in the design section. Of course if BLING is your thing then Swarovski leads the way in shiny, sparkly beads - in my opinion there is simply no better quality than what these incredible elements lend to a designers palette.

There is also a special Ambassadors section where you can read reviews, receive tips & tricks, see new designs & learn a variety of techniques. Such internationally famous designers include: Margot Potter, Diane Whiting, Val Hirata, Lisa Pavelka, June Beach, Lilian Chen, Jean Campbell, Linda Hartung, Brenda Schweder, Leslie Frummin...and several more.

See link at the bottom of this page....

And here is a picture of Diane Whitings Award Winning "CRYSTAL BOW PURSE" with over 10,000 hand sewn Swarovski crystals - WOW!

I hope you have enjoyed my first "blog" entry and I look forward to sharing my beading world with you. I know how frustrating it is when starting out to find good information, reputable sites to buy bead goodies from and places to go to get a bead-u-cation!

Thankyou & please feel free to leave me your own personal comments, forum stories or areas that you would like to see covered in this blog....