Welcome to my blog. I work full time and creating is my sanity. I like to use many different mediums and was a finalist in the Fire Mountain Beading Contest in 2008. I am a passionate blogger, and a promoter of handmade goodness.

I love : my husband, my fur kids, family, music, sunshine, creating, chocolate, handmade soaps, the DUST Team, gardening, friends, Triple J Radio and photography. Comments welcome, I hope you enjoy the adventure with me.

Please respect my copyright and that the original ©photographs and ©text published on this blog remain the property of ©Maddabling (Samara). Please do not reproduce, crop or alter my original photographs.

made with love.........................maddabling xox

proud member of the down under street team

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Friends - Dusty Divas - Bella Moon

TGIF. Seriously. I started back at my old job this week and the transition is exhausting. I feel like I am back at school - so much to re-learn. Last week's mini holiday (well an 1800km-ish round road trip) to surprise my little sister for her birthday seems all too long ago now. It was a fantastic surprise for her, almost a candid camera moment in fact, as she truly had no idea we were coming to visit. I am stoked that we made her birthday one to remember. Anyway, enough of my grizzles and reminiscing, I have a new Dusty Diva & Friday Friend, an amazing artisan to introduce this week !

Meet the marvellous Marti

of Bella Moon

As with all of my featured artists, I research, have a good nose around the online shops and websites, so that I can share with you why the artists I feature are so wonderful.

I find Marti's techniques quite fascinating. You should really pop on over to her blog to read the story behind the creation of this shell pendant :


And, I would love to share two more pieces of Marti's that caught my eye

the gorgeous piece Ginger a hand crafted sterling silver pendant necklace with pearls

and a fresh new take on the classic pearl earring - Cha Cha in White

Now lovely blog readers, indulge yourself by browsing the luxurious creations of Bella Moon, is there any girl out there that doesn't love a beautiful piece of fine handcrafted pearl jewellery ? Have a read of Marti's story, read her inspirational blog and relax for a while. Happy Friday everyone xo

The Blurb on Bella Moon

Who is Bella Moon Jewels?

Bella Moon is the jewellery brand of designer and maker Marti Cuatt.

How and When did your handmade journey begin?

I began making jewellery in 2004 after putting together a very simple necklace for my niece’s 21st birthday. My husband and I had wanted to give her something unique and we went into a bead shop in Collingwood to see whether there was any way we could make her something. I saw endless strands of beads and something in my head went crazy – I could picture finished jewellery. I went back the next week and bought some little freshwater pearls and red coral beads, plus some basic stringing tools, was given some basic how-tos, then went home and started making.

I learnt by just reading heaps, trawling the internet for instructions, tips and tricks and watching You Tube videos. I did loads and loads of research!
In 2008, frustrated with just beading, I did a basic silversmithing course, which taught me enough to set up a little home-based metalsmithing studio and start to vary my work. I was then able to add hand made metal pendants, earrings and rings to my range.

Around this time I was coming to the end of my tether doing senior corporate communications contracting. I had worked in short to medium term roles for almost ten years and the lack of stability and real career building was burning me out.

While I loved the robust mental challenges my work gave, it lacked true creative expression and I had needed to take a break from it for a while.
I guess being a contractor is a bit like being a temp – you’re the short-termer so the expectations of you are so much higher than those in permanent roles. My last contract, a senior advisory role in the Victorian Government, completely did my head in. But that’s another chapter. Back to jewellery.

I opened a shop in Sydney Road, Brunswick towards the end of 2009 and did quite well, however the chore of being a shopkeeper was distracting me from why I opened the shop – to design, make and sell my jewellery. When I was offered the chance to leave the lease early (one of my landlords’ friends wanted to set up in my space) I took it.

Six months later, in September last year, my husband and I sold our house in Melbourne and packed up and moved to Tasmania. This year I’ve started making and selling online again. I sell quite a bit of jewellery to people who see it up close, but really want the online business to get started. I also have some galleries interested in my work. So things are moving along again.

What inspires you?

Great design. To me this is a combination of balance, style and excellent crafting. I love all sorts of design – from architecture to fabric prints and even the designs mother nature offers – clouds, shells patterns in a stone or on a piece of tree bark. There’s something to inspire me every day.

Creating custom designs for my customers also inspires me. One of my favourite things is sitting with a client and working out his or her style, then making jewellery that they love and they know it’s created just for them (or the person they’ve bought it for). I used to do quite a lot of custom design work in my Melbourne shop. I guess I could always Skype a design meeting these days.

What mediums do you work with - do you have a favourite?

I adore pearls.

The fact one can open a shell and pop out something so naturally beautiful that doesn’t need cutting and shaping and polishing is just gorgeous.
Of course I love gemstones too. Once I clear some of my current jewellery range I’m embarking on a new blingy, higher end gemstone and pearl range. But that’s going to have to wait a little while.

What kind of things do you make?

I have rather an understated, elegant style and use that primarily in necklaces and earrings. I’m working on developing a bolder, more risky range, but I do find that difficult. One thing about my jewellery is that it’s very wearable. I just love making something different each time I sit down to work, but am working on designing a limited collection. And I do need to make some bangles and bracelets. Dangly earrings are a particular favourite, as are necklaces that are strung on silk, they have such a luxurious feel to them.

I love working in metals, but my skills are still so limited. I persevere though and keep getting better at it. I’ll be adding handcrafted rings soon. There’s a particular style of ring I’ve made in the past that I’m going to do again that people just go mad for. That makes me feel really good.

Do you have a favourite piece that you have made?

My current favourite is my Japanese Akoya pearl and 14K gold knotted necklace.
It’s a classic design, a perfect size and is total luxury. I wore it to a wedding in Melbourne recently and received several compliments for the way the pearls glowed. Yum.

Apart from that, I like everything I make – if I don’t I pull it apart and start again! I couldn’t offer for sale something I wasn’t completely and utterly happy with. My jewellery needs to be out there being worn, as it was when I had my Sydney Road shop. People traveled across town to buy my jewellery and I had a lot of repeat business. It was a great testament to my work.

What are your future plans/dreams/aspirations?

First and foremost I want Bella Moon to actually earn me a living and I need to get my jewellery physically into real shops and galleries. That’s step one. As for steps two, three … I’ll keep you posted.

Want to see more ? Check out these links :

Explore Bella Moons website at the Website Home page :


follow the Bella Moon Blog :


buy Marti's creations at her Etsy store :


catch Marti's sweet tweets on Twitter :


or become a follower on Facebook :


No comments:

Post a Comment