The Whimsical Blog

Many of my students have been on Pinterest for quite awhile and many of them regularly bring their iPads and tablets to show me images and share inspiring images with their peers.

As many people will know I'm not a huge fan of social media! Whilst I enjoy being able to make contact with my customers and interact with them regularly, I believe that in some ways social media is taking over and is affecting our personal relationships. As with everything in life, a think balance is key.

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There has been so many wonderful workshops here at The Whimsical Bead and so many more planned. I have always loved classes and workshops. I guess I am one of those people who have a 'thirst for knowledge'. I am also someone who loves a hearty chat and a good discussion too.

These days it is easy to get caught up in the hype of the internet and social media and we can forget how great it can be to actually physically attend a workshop. There is so much information online now - tutorials, e-books, webinars, pinterest, Facebook, YouTube videos....the list goes on. This is fantastic for those of us who live in remote locations or for whatever reason cannot attend workshops but for those of you who do have the option of a physical workshop does this overload of online media prevent you from attending physical workshops?

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After the excitement of Christi Friesen coming to visit, we had yet another international artist on their way to the studio. The amazing Melanie Muir.

Melanie was due to arrive at the studio on Friday and spend the weekend teaching a very excited group of ladies how to create her rock cuffs and pendants. I had already completed Melanie's online rock cuffs class so I  knew that what we were about to learn was going to be GREAT!

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After a wonderful day claying with my buddies on Saturday, I spent Sunday preparing for clay guru Christi Friesen to arrive and  left late Sunday afternoon to pick her up from her previous destination.

I remember having such a great time with Christi last year when she visited, but I forgot exactly how great Christi is. I've never met a more generous, funny and informative tutor. Christi really is 'the whole package' when it comes to tutors and is an amazing lady personally too.

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After a lot of persuasion, I have finally put The Whimsical Bead on Facebook!  I am still learning all about how it works but we're there and it's certainly a start. All the latest news from the studio will be posted there - new products, updates, workshops etc. - just give me some time to get into the swing of it all!!

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Today in the studio we had a Metal Clay Play day with Lara Le Reveur.  These days are held every 6 weeks or so and are becoming very popular.  You can come and use our tools and equipment to create your own metal clay piece/s.   The great thing about this day is that you have a highly experienced tutor/artist on hand to help you with your designs plus you can interact with other metal clay artists, and get some ideas for future projects. 

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If you're a polymer clayer in Australia, unless you were hiding under a rock, you would know that the extremely talented, wonderfully quirky, US clay artist Christi Friesen has just wrapped up her tour here in Australia. Christi visited Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney and Adelaide as well as our studio here in Healesville, Victoria. 

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Last month, in addition to our monthly newsletter, I also sent out a short survey to my customers.  Thank you so much to those of you that participated. It has given me a bit of an idea about where to go from here, what you all like and what you'd like to see happen in the future. 

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At the beginning of the year I presented my students from various venues with a challenge. Beginning a new year, I think we all lack a little direction and sometimes a little motivation as we wonder what the year will bring, so I gave my students the option to participate in this challenge as a way to combat these issues.

The theme for this challenge was 'Dreamscape'. Students were asked to interpret this theme as they saw fit. Entries could be wearable or sculptural with the only limitation being that they must contain at least 75% polymer clay. Other materials could be whatever the student chose - glass, acrylic, wood, found items......you get the idea!

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This year, The Whimsical Bead is not only supporting the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, we are also collecting funds for this worthy charity.

This appeal is one that is close to my heart and something that we have always supported on a personal level, but this year I wanted to get the business involved as well.  Even though the Royal Children’s Hospital has recently moved into it’s new premises, there is still a lot of work to be done and a lot more specialist equipment that needs to be purchased.  You can read about this on their website www.goodfridayappeal.com.au

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