Posted on

Red stickers

Banrock Station wine bottles were used to make the beads for this necklace!

Asymmetrical necklace - handmade glass beads, made from a Peroni Beer Bottle

Some people would say that the success of an exhibition is measured by the number of red stickers on the wall.  And while I agree that red stickers are lovely, I don’t think they are the only measure of success.

For me, the real payoff for an exhibition is in the creation of new ideas and new work.  The pressure of the deadline certainly helps to push my creativity.  And the confines of the concept help to contain the creativity.  Looking for new ways to expand (or contract) my practice is the aim.  Concept, design, creation, display.

I’m never going to feel disappointed if there are no red stickers on the wall.  There can be so many reasons for this, only one of which might be the actual work!  It can also include: not enough promotion, wrong customer base for my work, too many other things going on (SALA, Fringe), heat waves, rain, economy etc.  A lot of those things are out of my control, so it doesn’t help me to worry about them.  I just have to accept that there are many reasons why my work might not sell.  But at least I have done the work.

Here is an example: I designed a collection of new work as part of a SALA exhibition last year.  The beads were all etched, and there was a huge variety of pieces for people to choose from (and colours).  I found the exhibition sales were OK, bits and pieces sold, and I was happy with that.  BUT.  Then I took the leftover jewellery and displayed it in some of the galleries that sell my work.  I had some in one particular gallery that was seen by the manager of another gallery.  I got a phone call about the work. “We want some of that in our gallery.”  It went on to be the best-selling pieces over Christmas for that gallery and for me!  So, the number of red stickers at the exhibition, did not match at all the success of that range of jewellery.

That is why, when I am happy with the work that I have created, that is when I feel successful.  It may not translate straight away into sales, and I’ve learned to be OK with that.

p.s the necklaces pictured above have SOLD as part of the Resonate exhibition, showing at Gallery M until March 8.

Posted on

Good timing

Custom Red/Black/White necklace for a customer

Part of being a member of the Textile and Arts Collective (T’Arts), involves doing a shift in the shop every 4 weeks.  I love my day in the shop (I think I mentioned this before).  I take my beads, I take my tools, and when it is quiet, I make things!

Saturday was my turn to run the shop, and it was so quiet, the quietest day I have had there for a long time.  It was also very hot, hence the lack of customers.  But that was OK, it gave me a chance to dust and tidy up, and when that was all done, it also gave me a chance to make some jewellery.

Early in the afternoon a man came into the shop, and I asked him what brought him out on such a hot day.  “Looking for a birthday present,” he said, and he seemed to be familiar with T’Arts so I just mentioned that I was there to help him if he needed any help.

After looking at lots of different items, he ventured towards the front counter.  “Does AussieJules have any other necklaces anywhere?” he asked.

I giggled.  “Um I do, what were you interested in?”

He thought it was great that I was actually on duty, and so we started talking about what he was looking for.  I told him to give me an hour or so, and I would be able to make something for him.

I spent the next hour putting together a couple of very different necklaces.  He chose the one above, and I forgot to take a photo of the other one.

It was such a lovely way to spend part of the afternoon, making a special necklace for a special birthday present.  I felt really lucky that I was on duty that day.  Can’t wait to do my next shift there.

Posted on


Classic red/black/white necklace, with handmade glass beads by Julie Frahm

This week I found some leftover red/black/white beads in my collection, and I just had to put them all together because I love this combination of colours.

Some of you may know that quite a few years ago, I decided that I would only ever wear red/black/white clothing (that’s how much I love these colours).  Well, these days I have added bits of grey to the wardrobe, but this necklace would work with everything I have in there, no doubt!

I can honestly say I am not unhappy with the result!

Of course I should say that I am very happy with this necklace, and after a few days of feeling a bit below average on my happiness scale, I am also pleased to say that I am returning to a happier place.

Posted on

Feeling blue…

Stunning necklace, made with a selection of handmade glass beads by Julie Frahm

Sorry about the melodramatic title!  I’m referring to the necklace.

Yes, I have also been feeling a bit blue.  And for some reason, this is the week when my kids have been at their funniest, and I have found myself giggling with them over really silly things.  With Ciara it has been giggling about *poo* and *fart* jokes (sigh)!  With Finn it has been all about the tickles.  He has discovered much joy in trying to tickle me.

Posted on

Expiring Soon


There are some items in my Etsy shop that are expiring soon, and I won’t be renewing them, and they are really the lowest possible price!

I am changing my mind on what I want to sell in my Etsy shop, and I would rather sell these listings than let them just expire.  But honestly, if you like these green earrings, for example, but you would actually prefer them in a different colour, just let me know!  I’m happy to do that for you, as I have to custom make each item anyway.  Changing colours is not going to be any trouble, you just have to let me know in the comments to seller.

Here is the link to my shop!

Posted on

Highs and Lows, Ebbs and Flows

Gorgeous red and purple handmade glass bead necklace by Julie Frahm

So, you would think that at my age, life would be pretty even-keeled, and while certainly not boring, I would like to think that things were pretty smooth sailing.

And then something happens that makes you feel like you are back in high school again (oh dear, NOT again), and you start wondering….about everything…what is wrong with me, what is wrong with them….and why now?  When I was already feeling pretty down and out, why did they have to choose this week to smash me into a million pieces?

So, that happened this week!  I’ll spare you the details.

But I still got to make some beautiful jewellery, and this is just one of the necklaces that I have to show for it.  I’ll show some more over the next couple of days.

Anyway, Saturday marked 2 years since my older brother passed away, and I find myself crying about that just as easily today as I did that day, and I’m not sure if that is normal, but I think it’s OK.  And it was so nice to hear from his friends, letting me know they are also still thinking about him.  He certainly made an impact.

Even knowing that life can be short, I have found it really hard to bounce back this week.  I am looking forward to returning to my usual cheery self, but for now, I think I will let myself feel this, and then I’ll move on.  The Supremes sang “You can’t hurry love,” and I am pretty sure you can’t hurry grieving either.

Posted on

Recycled Glass Drip Necklaces

Glass beads made from a Banrock Station wine bottle - upcycled, recycled

Recycled glass bead necklace - beads made from a Kronenbourg beer bottle

Beads made from a Bombay Sapphire Gin bottle

These necklaces are a lot of fun to wear, very dramatic.

The top necklace is made from a Banrock Station wine bottle.  The middle necklace is made from a Kronenbourg beer bottle.  And the bottom necklace is made from a Bombay Sapphire Gin bottle.

They are featuring as part of the Resonate Exhibition at Gallery M, which officially opens Friday 20th February at 6.30pm.  Wine and nibbles provided.

Posted on

Drip Bead Necklace – Coopers Ale

Recycled glass bead necklace, I used a Coopers Sparkling Ale bottle to make these beads, and embellished with gold leaf Recycled glass bead necklace - Coopers Sparkling Ale bottle was used to make these beads

Now this is not only a Statement Necklace, but also a Conversation Necklace.  I think I like that term, conversation.  Because that’s exactly what this necklace does, it starts a conversation.  I imagine the conversation would go something like this:

Person: “Wow, that’s an amazing necklace.”

Me: “Thank you, it’s actually made from beer bottles!”

Person: “Beer bottles?  What do you mean?”

Me: “Well, I smash up beer bottles, and then make glass beads.  These beads have also been decorated with gold leaf.”

Person: “Oh, that’s incredible, I love it.  Do you use other glass?”

Me: “I can, definitely.”

Person: “Fantastic, I love it.  I have this champagne bottle that I drank at my 50th birthday party, it was a very special bottle, and a very special occasion.  Do you think you could make some beads from that, and a necklace like that for me?”

Me: “Of course I can, it’s what I love to do the most, make special jewellery for people.”

Now, that’s actually the shortened version of a real conversation I recently had with someone, admittedly I was not wearing this exact necklace, but I imagine it could start a similar conversation.  What conversations could you have if you were wearing this necklace?

Person: “Wow, that’s a beautiful necklace.”

You: “Why thank you, I love wearing it, it’s actually made from beer bottles.”

Person: “Beer bottles?”

You: “Yes, the person who made it makes the beads from beer bottles.”

Person: “Oh wow, that’s awesome, and very eco-friendly.  What a cool necklace to wear.  You have excellent taste.”

You: “Thanks.”

(Sorry, that’s a little bit silly, but a necklace like this would definitely be noticed)!