Archive for October, 2011

ruffled pants, baby frilly knickers, frilly knickers, funke pants

1. Tell us briefly about the person behind the scenes at Shop Funke Designs  e.g. who are you? Where are you based? How did you arrive where you are now? What is most important to you in your life?

My name is Leslea, I live in outer Melbourne with my hubby who has been in the Royal Australian Air Force for 34 years, so we have moved around a bit and lived in many cities and towns. I have two wonderful children – my daughter Jamie still lives at home and has her own business; Jamie Beloved Photography & Design, and my son Ben and his girlfriend live and work in Foster N.S.W.

Sewing was second nature to me.  It was a wonderful hobby to keep me occupied whilst constantly settling into new communities.  I loved sewing for my children and I my work would grab the interest of family and friends who would ask me to make or design for them.  I got hooked!! I had found a hobby that I could work with no matter where we were posted. Markets became a great place to meet people in our new locations, and the extra financial assistance was a great help when paying for the myriad of hobbies and sports our children loved!

So after twenty years of trudging off to the markets early, encountering wet days, hot days, windy days, you name it…my daughter told me it was time to get on the World Wide Web. With her help I jump in, and that’s when it all change. I now receive emails from all over the world requesting my products. I send Funke Pants, fairy and flower girl dresses all over Australia on a regular basis.

I feel like I have my second wind at life and I love it, all thanks to my beautiful daughter.   Markets are still the place I come back to as that’s where it all started!

2. Shop Funke Designs is…

a place for Mum’s and Grandma’s to purchase that something special for their little princess.

3. Do you have a personal mantra that you love…that gets you through the day?

Coffee and Chocolate must have…

4. What is one of the most challenging aspects facing you as a working mum? How do you try to overcome this?

When the kids were little it was finding ‘me time’ as I am at my best when my brain is designing something new. With my hubby away a lot you learn to run the house hold as if you are a single mum so time management was important.  It was also important to teach the kids that helping out was not a chore but being part of a family – everyone helps out, things get down, and then there is more time for fun. But now they’re grown up its easier to balance family, part time work at the local boarding cattery and my home business. I have always put family first and always will – life is to short not to.

5. Finish this sentence – I’m at my creative best when…

I have coffee and chocolate in my hand – this is so me!

6. Time out and relaxation is rare for working mums.  If you can steal time to have break what are your ultimate forms of relaxation?

My hubby and I love to go antique shopping – finding that something special is priceless.

7. What are your dreams…where would you LOVE to see YOUR BUSINESS in 5 years’ time?

I hope I will still be bringing delight and joy to little girls as they put on one of my outfits.

8. OK – your work travels to Kununurra, in the remote Kimberley region of WA…where it is loved!!  WITHOUT Google or any other assistance give us 5 things you know about Kununurra or the East Kimberley!!

Let’s see, it’s too hot for me, big croc’s, a big lake…I visited there when I was about 13 years old, I wish I could remember more about that trip. It’s near the border (as the crow flies) and red dust (lots of it).

9. If you were able to hand deliver a delightful parcel of your products to Kununurra – what 3 places would you like to visit (OK now you can Google)?

I think 3 places is too hard to decide – I would like to see it all again if that’s OK!


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dichroic glass jewellery

You might have seen our stunning dichroic glass pendants which have been handcrafted in Kununurra by Caren Burns of Caren’s Creations.  Each piece is an original and because it is handmade, cannot be reproduced exactly.   That means no one else will ever be wearing the same piece of jewellery as you.

I know you have been amazed by the colour and design of Caren’s dichroic glass pieces but you might not know much about what dichroic glass is and how these pendants are made.   There really is a lot of technique involved in the process.

dichroic glass, glass art, boabs

So what is dichroic glass?

Wikipedia says “Dichroic glass is glass containing multiple micro-layers of metals or oxides which give the glass dichroic optical properties”.  Dichroic means that the glass actually splits the light into different rays which affects the colour you actually see.  It looks like one colour until you move it and see it in a different light and then it changes completely.  The word ‘dichroic’ comes from the Greek word di-chroos or (di) two  and (chroos) colour. 

Dichroic glass has been in use since at least the Roman times but more recently NASA refined it for use in their space program.

dichroic jewellery, dichroic art, ancient rome
Lycurgus Cup and Ancient Rome – photo credits http://www.frogheart.ca/

Dichroic jewellery is made with layers or hand cut glass.  First a base layer is cut.  That is often a black or dark colour so that the dichroic colours will shine out clearly.  Then the artist needs to cut the pieces of dichroic glass into shapes to use in the pendant and lay them out into the final design. They are stuck into place so they don’t shift.  When the artist is happy with the design, they place the clear sheet on top and it’s ready to be kiln fired.

Of course, there is a lot more to it than that but now you know a little bit about the jewellery that you love so much.  If you’d like to see some being made have a look at this clip.

(http://youtu.be/OFB2Ls6tZ0I )

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