Sunday, 4 December 2011

New Designs with New Gems

 Here are some new designs I made this weekend with an awesome new assortment of gems I received last week. The rainbow tormaline wreath is my favourite! Will be listed soon :)

 Rainbow Tourmaline, Tundra Sapphire, Moss Aquamarine and Garnet Wreath Necklace

Peach and Grey Moonstone Sterling Silver Necklace

Sunday, 20 November 2011

New Design Goodness

I am feeling guilty for not posting for a while on actual 'theori' related activities, so i thought I would post some of my pendant making experiments (i'm brainstorming for my wedding jewellery!). These gorgeous improvised gem encrusted goodies were made this weekend from sterling silver and gemstones. I am not sure if I will list them as pendants or as finished necklaces... 

Oooh also, I have just placed an order for new gemstones and metals that are looking to be awesome! Can't wait to start designing new jewellery with new gemstones!

Amethyst, Moonstone, Citrine, Prenhite, Champagne Quartz, Clear Quartz and Glass Bead Large Pendant

Chalcedony, Apatite, Quartz, Champagne Quartz, Moonstone, Labradorite and Glass Bead Pendant


Saturday, 12 November 2011

US Holiday Part 1

Thought I would upload some pics of my holiday to the States that I went on in October! More to come (I took over 500 photos!)

 View from Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park - where I got engaged!!

 Rock formations in Yosemite!

Nevada Falls as viewed from the John Muir Trail in Yosemite

 Gorgeous Fall colours on the Mist Trail in Yosemite

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Spring Garden - Blueberries!

More plant photos! This time of my Pink Lady Apple blossom and blueberries on the bush (still have a few weeks to fully ripen) in my garden. I am so pleased with the amount of fruit that I am going to get from the blueberry - beats paying $5 for a 200g punnet anyday!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Just Because

I thought I would share a photo of my cute little succulent that has recently flowered! Makes a great photo prop, don't ya think? :)

Friday, 16 September 2011

Guide to Buying Gemstones Online - Avoid the Fakes and Fractures!

Gorgeous Microfaceted Rose Quartz teardrop briolette and small rondells in a theori necklace

No one likes the sinking feeling you get when open an online purchase that you have been looking forward to only be disappointed by the quality, quantity or some other aspect of the purchase that was overlooked when you hit that 'order' button. As I've made a few boo boo purchases in the past from gemstone/beads sellers, I'd thought I'd pass on my accumulated knowledge to those who are browsing and are not too sure if what they are looking at is legit. Basically I have a few steps that I take to avoid disappointment when buying gems (which are mostly common sense, but have been overlooked by myself when distracted by the shiny pretties!)

Search and buy on legitimate websites and/or from credible online sellers
  • Read feedback or testimonials (google is your friend on this one) - search for negative and neutral feedback to review. I am pretty picky and will only buy gems from sellers with perfect or very near perfect feedback
  • Does the website look professional? Do they have a secure shopping basket? Could you ring them by phone if you wanted to? Is the address listed?
  • find out about them. Do they have experience with gemstones? Do they have an updated 'about me' page? Do they blog, tweet or facebook (add them and you could get discounts!)?

Carefully read the whole listing
It is easy to be captivated by a gorgeous photo of eyecatching gems or a bargain. It's times like these when you are distracted that you can be caught out by not carefully reading the listing (oh shiny!). Reading the listing carefully is important for all purchases, even if it is from a trusted seller (see above), as you don't want to be caught out about size, quantity etc.
  • How many beads are in the lot? A full strand?
  • Are these the EXACT beads, strand, etc you are receiving (if so refer to 'Closely Scrutinise Photos' below)?
  • What quality does the seller describe the beads as? AAA, AA, B, Exceptional, Stunning? This can be misleading as (to my knowledge) there is no recognised 'scale' of semi precious bead quality.I generally tend to buy from sellers that are brutally honest in their descriptions, and will tend to spend more money at shops where they are, as I am more likely have a better understanding of what I am actually spending my dollars on.
  • Is the drill hole size big enough/too large for the wire/material you are planning on using? If this isn't specified - ask!
  • Have a ruler handy to measure the diameter of the beads as described and compare to other beads you may have. 
  • Do they recommend a gauge of wire to use?
  • What colour do they use when describing the gem? Monitor resolution can change colour shades, so it is useful to refer to this description as well when determining the colour

Closely Study Photos

theori necklace with a rough cut Apatite gemstone that has indistinguishable cleavage but conchoidal fracturing (shaped like chips out of glass)
  • Closely study the photo and ALL the stones in the photos. The ones front and center are typically the best stones on the strand and you are not guaranteed to get these unless stated.
  • Does the stone look like a typically described specimen? Check out for clarity (inclusions), colour (labradoresence or Schiller), cleavage or fracturing (for rough cut gems only! How the stone 'breaks' or cleaves). If you are unsure, do a bit of reading or ask an expert (search on the Etsy forums for lapidary etc).
  • Are the drill holes positioned evenly through the gem (how do the gems 'sit' on a strand - do they drop straight down or are they lopsided)? Are they the same width for the entry and exit? Do the two sides line up?
  • Is there any visible cracking/chipping on the drill holes?
  • Is the faceting even and uniform?
  • Are the beads the shape they should be (onion, round, heart etc) and the same size (if they are listed as so)
  • Has the photo/s been noticably 'photoshopped'?
Nice even drill hole in a citrine focal briolette from LiciasBeadVault

Read Shop/Site Policies
  • Do they have policies? I won't purchase from people who don't.
  • If you aren't happy with your purchase can you send it back? Who pays for postage?
  • How long will it take to reach me?
  • Can I get extra insurance/tracking for large or expensive purchases?
  • How does the seller deal with lost packages?

If it's too good to be true, it normally is. Unless you are buying direct from the gemcutters or supplier ( and they can be determined to actually be what they say they are), you are unlikely to get a super cheap bargain at face value. Price is something I use along with other information to determine if a gem is suspicious, does the photo look strange, there is a limited description AND the gem is cheap? Hmmm...

Ask and You Shall Recieve
If a seller is committed to having you as a customer, they will respond to any queries that you have. If you are unsure about anything, or want to know more drop them a line and ask!

Have I missed something?
Do you have any other tips that I haven't included here? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Holiday Preparedness Part 1

I think people are classified into two groups. Those who pack early and make sure they have absolutely everything they may need and those who don't (or the last minute 'I only need a change of clothes and a toothbrush and i'll get everything else some other time' person).

I am the former. I think it is because I get so excited at the possibility of going somewhere new or out of the ordinary that I want my trip to be awesome and not worry about having to wash clothes or that I have forgotten some important 'OMG I can't believe I forgot that' item.

Sooo having said that... I have already started packing for my 3 week trip to the US. It's in 4 weeks. Eeep. But at least i'll be able to cull all the stuff that I don't really need and have super streamlined luggage that i'll be able to fill with all my wonderful purchases! Hoorah!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Sewcapades - Camera Pouch

I have rekindled my on and off again relationship with my sewing machine (and also started to add to my fabric horde again...) as I am making useful pouches and bags for my upcoming holiday to the US! Below are some photos of the 1st (orange vintage fabric) and 2nd (green vintage fabric) attempts at my own design of a small camera pouch. 


I think I may restitch the orange one as I hand stiched it and it hasn't come out exactly as I wanted (it also needs an iron!). I really like the cute print of the fabric and had been wanting to use it in a project. I have several other fabrics cut out ready to make a few more so I can get it absolutely perfect.

I'll be posting some more about my sewing escapades as I try to make the perfect travelling cosmetic pouch/makeup brush holder. Stay tuned... :)

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Winter Garden

Took some photos of my awesome cactus that is growing quite happily in my backyard! This particular species can grow quite huge, and I hope to have him for many years to come! 

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Where are We? Branding Your Biz

You may wonder if you are indeed in the right spot when you first see the new banner and title of the blog. Never fear, you are indeed reading my awesome blog and yes you are in the right place if you came to read 'The Artful Scientist'. What has prompted the name change you may ask? Well I read this post from April at Blacksburg Belle and it clicked: I need to create a cohesive theme throughout my online presence! So I created a new banner and link buttons with the script I use in my etsy store and changed my name to also reflect my etsy store - because after all that's why i'm doing all this! 

Monday, 6 June 2011

Long Weekend Veg Out Brekkie

It's a long weekend over in my part of the world and it's been rather rainy and dreary for the whole 3 days. This give me a great opportunity to get busy in the kitchen and cook some yummy food! I made pea and ham soup yesterday for dinner and it filled the house with the most yummy aroma all afternoon while it was cooking. 

I've been trying to eat a bit more healthily lately, and whilst browsing Pinterest I saw this nommy pic of a increadibly stunning looking, yet healthy, breakfast.

I was particularly taken by the cute looking little fritters and thought I could make some as well! I decided to add poached eggs as they are my ultimate favourite way to have eggs (especially with hollandaise - drool). 

Grated a zucchini, a carrot and three small potatoes (skin on)

Squeezed the mixture to get rid of excess moisture.
Added some finely grated parmesan, one egg yolk, lemon pepper, salt and thyme
Mixed up again with my hands
Squeezed handfull sized balls together and fried in a pan with Grapeseed oil until golden

Poached an egg (with yolk still soft)
Stacked three fritters on top of each other
Placed egg on top, peirced yolk
Sprinkle of pepper

Nommed it all up!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Weekend Project: Table Runner

We recently bought a new dining table - dark brown wood with dark brown pleather chairs. It was looking very dark and brown all by itself so I used some spare fabric to make a table runner. Seeing as this was my first table runner and I didn't use a pattern, I don't think I've done too bad a job. Excuse the bad quality photos, the light isn't too great in my place!

I'm thinking of replacing the brown chairs with a lighter coloured ones to break up the dark silhouette. We are eventually replacing the gross beige speckled carpet with wood laminate flooring and painting the walls a very light grey/white. 

Don't ya just love succulents! I got this cute little potted arrangement from my local hardware store. I love the cute periwinkle blue/lilac glazed pot.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Procrastination - Yes We Can. Maybe. Later.

Alright, so i've been a bit lax updating my blog.

I know it looks unprofessional, but I just can't seem to find the motivation to sit and write a blog article. There are all these amazing ideas floating in my head, but not enough ooomph to push them out into my fingertips and onto the keyboard...

So I have decided to 'pull my finger out' and get cracking with a goal to write one blog post a week.

Just one (and this one isn't included as it's more of a rant than actually being productive). Planning to post on Sunday's so if there isn't one here by Monday - you know to come and tell me off on twitter or facebook!

Also I think I may be addicted to Pinterest. Help.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

New Cookbooks

I have one of those awesome credit cards with reward points and have racked up a few points due to my online shopping adventures (some might call it an addiction pffft whatever...). I was looking through the catalogue and saw some awesome cookbooks that i have being eyeing off for a while so decided to get them for FREE with my points yay! 

I purchased '30 Minute Meals' by Jamie Oliver and 'Food Safari' by Mauve OMeara (food from the awesome show of the same name). I spent a couple of hours on the couch with a cup of tea looking through the books and I must say I am spoilt for choice for what to make.

Jamie's '30 minute' recipes have copped a bit of flack for supposedly taking over 1.5 hours to make, but he does say that it may take a bit of practise to get really efficient in the kitchen. Watching him slice mushrooms and onions in the food processor in about 2 seconds has convinced me I need one! I think i'll tackle the 'Wonky Summer Pasta, Herby Salad and Pear Drop Tartlets' next weekend (will have to go to the gym that day for sure!). 

I loved watching the Food Safari show on SBS and am looking forward to making authentic meals from other countries. If only I could get decent sushi grade tuna here in Kalgoorlie...

Check out what looks like a super omnomalicious Tiramasu recipe from the Food Safari website. 

Sunday, 1 May 2011


The last week has been a bit of a shamozzle for me as I was away for Easter and came home sick, hence why I haven't blogged for a while. Also, my camera is still being repaired so I haven't been able to do any more product photography. I spent today creating some new peices and have a few that I am chomping on the bit to shoot so I can get my new designs out in the big wide yonder! Good news though, my camera should be fixed and home by mid next week. 

I've also discovered Pinterest (or more correctly, I was invited) and am loving it! Search for theori  (or click the link) to see my profile and some of the prettiness and inspiration that I have found on this awesome site. Such a fabulous idea for brides, event planners, interior designers, fashionistas etc. LOVE!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Style File - Retro Office

Seeing as I am going to be away for Easter, I thought I would post my 'Style File' a bit early this week! I love the retro pin up look and I think this version is just understated enough to wear to work (if only I didn't work at a mine site!)

Vintage Dress by thrush

with vintage jacket by newwavenatives

Vintage frames by vintage50seyewear

Shoes at
Earrings by onegarnetgirl 

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Caring for Your Succulent or Cactus 101

Succulent Fairy Wreath by Fairyscape
I have an Environmental Science degree majoring in Botany, hence I know how a plant works. Even so, I still manage to kill what some might say is some of the hardiest plants out there - succulents and cacti (i am going to put it down to too much love; ie, too much watering :P).

In order to keep my funky little plant friends alive, I did some research and thought I would share a few pointers (adapted from The Succulent Garden).

Like good photography, plants need light to live - it's their food! Even though succulents and cacti live in the baking desert sun, you need to introduce them slowly to direct sunlight in the warmer months (mistake numero uno for me), 1-2 days to start. Most often, good quality filtered or diffuse light is enough for your prickly pal.

The amount of watering you will need to do depends on a few factors; size and type of pot, time of year, type of plant, amount of sun etc.

Obviously, they will need more water in the warmer months and less in cool months. Try to water in the morning as leaving a plant with wet, cold roots over night isn't too good for them. If you have your cacti in a tall pot, remember that they only have shallow root systems and overwatering can cause diesease as fungus and mould grow in the bottom of the pot!

Don't be too concerned with fertiliser as these types of plants don't generally need alot. If you would like to give them a helping hand, look for one with a low nitrogen content.

Mealy Bug (appearing as small white fluffy balls on the leaves towards the inside of the plant) and Aphids (tiny black insects, often on the flowers) are regulars on succulents and cacti. A regular spraying with a plant pest spray during the warmer months will prevent insect damage.

I hope you enjoy gardening with the very beautiful and versitile family of succulents and cacti - I know I have!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Style File - Relaxed Wedding

I love planning outfits/makeup and hair for events so I thought I would start a little feature on Fridays for showing you my styling for various events.

This week I'm imagining attending a relaxed/casual summer wedding (it's coming on to winter here so I can dream!).


With the caplet to match (both from rattamatatt):

Don't forget the hair peice (Mandizzle)!

Ooooo Shoes! Practical and Cute! (FollowMeMoon)

Jewellery to round off the outfit


Fruits of the Garden - In Miniature!

Lemoncello with Mini Lemon!

I was watering my garden this morning and notice that my new lemon tree had produced a tiny little lemon! And when I say tiny, it is about 1.5cm long! Lets hope the tree perks up soon and produces proper sized fruit (I won't say anything too loudly around the tree - it might feel inadequate - hehe).

Please excuse the photo - it was taken with my iphone!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Cocktail Hour - Tuscany Lemon Drop

A few weeks ago I went out for Friday Date Night with my man to a local restaurant. The food was to be desired, but my mind was blown by the cocktail that I started my meal with - the Tuscany Lemon Drop. 

Some may be sceptical about a cocktail with rosemary in it, but it adds a special something to the drink that really works! It's basically vodka, lemoncello, lemon sour, sugar syrup and a rosemary sprig in a rosemary sugar rimmed glass. Bliss!

Read the full recipe at Culinary Fool.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Time for a New Lens Me Thinks

New 'Over the Rainbow' necklace shot before 'The Incident'
So I was doing some product photography today and I was pretty excited as I had some cool new designs I was looking forward to listing. I am still getting used to my new tripod and pushed a button I shouldn't have. Next thing I know, the quick release was disengaged and my camera goes plumeting to the ground. It fell only about 2 feet, but it must have hit the lens just on the right spot as now it makes a very sad sound when it is trying to focus and the focus ring doesn't move any more. I was pretty bummed and I still had a few photos to shoot, not to mention all the other photos I will need to shoot in the future. Sigh.

I am going to check out my warranty as the camera and lens aren't that old. Either that or I can try and get it repaired. I was thinking about getting a new macro lense anyway...

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Treasury Thursday...?

Time has whisked me away this week like a bowl of egg whites and I totally forgot about my Treasury spot on Tuesdays! O well - better late than never I suppose!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Studio Tour - The Beginning of the End

I've always wanted a dedicated crafting space - a room to create a little jewellery studio with spaces for crafting, photography, packing and computer work. Alas at the moment I am working out of our 2nd spare bedroom/junkroom/study. As you can imagine, household ephemera builds up over time and if I don't tidy up every few weeks, it gets rather messy...

I am slowly working on redecorating the room (along with the rest of the house) with painting and reflooring to be the next two big projects to tackle. In the mean time, I have mixed things up a bit by rearranging the furniture that I currently have with plans to upgrade to a larger and prettier desk in the future! 

So far, the room looks like this:

Photography/Computer Desk

  Crafting and Computer/Printing Desks (also cat nap area!!)
Postage/Product/Supply Storage

I'll be posting updates on the progress of my 'studio' revamp over the next few months as I get my act into gear!