Monday, April 25, 2011

Stamped With Love - Ettie & Ottie

I am in mourning.  
Our garage resembles a Babies R Us store, 
with highchairs, prams and bouncers piled together, ready for sale.
Our family is complete and its time to make room for our life ahead.
To say it hasn't been easy, is an understatement.
There have been tears.
I know it is just stuff, but it is more than that.
It means that this chapter of our family life is closing.
No more swollen pregnant belly.
No more hearing and seeing that little heart beating for the first time.
Naturally there are some consolations.
I can now  look forward to a life without morning sickness, and maybe even a little sleep?
Hubby wants to put the money from the "Baby Sale" towards the credit card.
Of course this would be a great idea, but I have other plans....
Perhaps this is a moment to celebrate and not mourn.
To cherish what we have,  two precious miracles.
With Mother's Day around the corner, and now the sale of our baby items
what better way to mark the occasions with
a piece of Jewellery!

Followers would know by now that this means the research started.
After a long online search and facebook shoutouts
I found it....well them....

and then, in there store, was a stunning piece of jewellery, with my name on it, literally!

Ettie & Ottie, named after owner Charlotte(Ottie) and her sister Georgette (Ettie), is an online store which also sells on etsy and made it.  At first I was attracted to their handstamped jewellery but a sneaky peak into their Facebook albums revealed a treasure trove of delights!

Handbags, purses, hair accessories, earrings and children's art folios  
(bags kids can take out with them to keep themselves amused with spots for everything,  complete with crayons or texta’s and a drawing pad, there’s even a pocket to store their DS!)

Funnily enough the piece I chose was inspired by Charlotte's own favourite design!

Simple, classic design with just a hint of elegance with the pearl in the middle.


 How did  "Ettie and Ottie" evolve?
Initially I started fiddling around with beads and ribbons about 4 –5 years ago, then started making so many bracelets and necklaces and earrings that something had to be done with them – there were too many for one person!  I had a couple of ‘jewellery morning teas’ to show my work to the mums from school and I got orders from there and off it went.  It eventually evolved into more hands on ‘hand stamping’ jewellery as I feel like its something that I have created especially for the person.  Its actually a skill I wasn’t sure I was going to get as it was pretty wobbly at the start.  The more I did the better I got.  I also like the fact that the majority of my work is one of a kind – I like to know that I can create an individual piece with someone for them or their gift recipient that will love it. 

What a great baptism, communion, or confirmation present!

How do you "hand stamp" and what products do you use?
Hand stamping is done with individual steel letter stamps that come in a variety of different fonts that are stamped firmly into (in my case) Sterling silver, 14 kt gold fill and copper disks, washers or other shapes.  These are cut with a disk cutter from sheet silver or gold or copper.
The piece is then filed and sanded – then stamped with the names etc , then polished to a high shine.  Additional dangles are sometimes added, whether it be sterling silver or gold filled puffy heart charms, pearl dangles, or birthstones.  Anything really!  I’ve also made bookmarks and keyrings.

next one on the list!

Do you have a favourite product?  Or do you wear a particular piece?
My favourite piece that I wear everyday is the large gold filled washer on the thicker chain, that I wear with a very large pearl pendant that I was given for my 40th birthday, that I put on with it on the night of my birthday and it accidentally ended up hanging in the centre, and it just stayed that way! I just love it!  This is where the inspiration came for the large gold filled washer pendant with the swarovski pearl and the thicker chain.  I also love that people are buying the gold washers and wearing them on really thick belcher chain necklaces that they already own.  They look fantastic on chunky chains.

What does a day in your life look like?
A day in my life?  Busy!  I am the mother of a 7 year old daughter,  Madeleine  so it's getting her off to school first, and then I begin my "work" day – anyone working for themselves at home would be in the same boat – there is no 9-5.  I tend to work at home during the day with the occasional appointment with customers, then before you know it its time for school pickup, spend a bit of time with Maddie,  then dinner and back into the work again!!!  I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it!

What would you like the future to hold for your business?
I would love to continue making beautiful items for people to cherish, to continue to receive such wonderful feedback from my wonderful customers and to continually be able to grow and scratch that creative itch!  

So while I ease my sorrow as this part of our family's journey closes,
we will celebrate everything we have and
I will treasure my own little piece of "Ettie and Ottie" a symbol of our families circle of life,
a little piece of family, stamped with love, to cherish forever.



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