I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK.
They know me here...


Monday, December 6, 2010

The Gifted Gecko - craft of a different sort!

One of the things writers need to do is keep their "creativity well" topped up. Often that may involve getting away from the laptop and pursuing a hobby or craft or an interest.

I have a number of hobbies, some I indulge in (or take more seriously) than others. One I enjoy whenever the urge strikes (and I have my camera ready) is photography. Many of my photos are framed and on display around my house. Most tend to be of nature or animals, although I have done portraits and, for a time, I had a weekend job as an semi-professional wedding photographer.

More labour and time intensive is my love for patchworking - there's something so absorbing about creating patterns with different shapes and pieces of material. When I have an hour or so up my sleeve I like to get out in my garden (which mostly tends to fend for itself, thank goodness) and potter about.

Today, I have Robyn Styles, a professional artist and personal friend visiting the blog to share her passion for art. She and her husband, Darryl, have a number of specialised skills under their belts (some I'd never heard of until they introduced me to them) and this is something they've turned into a business over time.

Robyn, thanks for joining me here. Can you tell my readers a little bit about The Gifted Gecko?
Thanks for having me Kylie.
Robyn - owner of The Gifted Gecko

Firstly, The Gifted Gecko actually started out as Robyn's Crafty Celebrations but when I had sooo many women tell me that their husbands would put their foot to the floor if they saw the word craft as they drove through the village, I knew a name change was in order.

I was looking for something catchy & I love geckos, hence The Gifted Gecko, where unique handcrafted creations are born. 

I know you and Darryl are the artists behind many of the works displayed in The Gifted Gecko. Can you share your stories about how you both ended up in this business and your experience with the art you produce?
Long story short, I had a job then didn't have a job. Work in the area is almost non existent, and the government said I had to look for work.

Having family members with serious health issues meant I needed to be flexible to fit in doctors visits, hospital stays & the like. So, the only option I open to me was to work for myself. So, I turned to what I knew best. Craft.

I've always enjoyed some form of craft and most of it I've learned from family members, was self taught or from a course I attended (ie. leadlighting). My love's are leadlight, woodwork & paverpol (garden statues made from fabric), but I do lots of other craft as well (knitting, recycled art, crochet etc.).

I'm always learning something knew & I also love to share what I know. I can honestly say I am never bored, it's just a case of which craft.
Darryl's been doing woodwork in some form or other most of his adult life. He's taught me so much & together we learned the art of scroll sawing. His health does not allow him to do much, however, the business gives him the opportunity to poke around in the workshop producing beautiful pieces of work for the shop.

Do you display your art anywhere besides your shop?
I've just spent four days at the Coonabarabran Arts & Craft Expo selling my work & demonstrating various crafts. I've also attended the woodwork festival in Tamworth and gone to some markets.
I list where I'm going to be on the CLASSES & EVENTS page of my website.

I've also organised craft activities for bus & school groups (bookings essential) in the shop. There are some interesting things to see & do within the local community while you're here - the Diprotodon Walk following the sign-posts around the village, the look-out over the Liverpool Plains at the top of High Street, visit the oldest war memorial in Australia in the local park, just to name a few. 

I've spent quite a few hours having a cuppa (among other things) and chatting with you at The Gifted Gecko. It's also the place I sometimes go to nut out plot points and character motivations (must be the caffeine)! It doubles as a tea-shop, doesn't it?
Yes, it does, Kylie.

The Gifted Gecko is located in a small village on the Black Stump Way, a major highway through inland NSW, & I thought most people travelling through might like the idea of stopping for a cuppa and a browse, so I've made The Gifted Gecko a tea shop as well.

The menu is simple, healthy and tasty. My specialty is a delicious pancake with fresh fruit, ice cream (low fat) & syrup. 

Where can readers find The Gifted Gecko online?
The Gifted Gecko website, my blog or page on Facebook.

On the website I have divided the products into categories to make shopping easier. Simply copy & paste the product code & description (which can be found when you click on the photo) onto the order form & send it to me I will then email you with the total including postage & payment details.  

Where can travellers find The Gifted Gecko and when can they drop in?
You can find the The Gifted Gecko in Tamba Street, the main street that runs through the middle of Tambar Springs. The shop is painted black and white, you can't miss it.

The village of Tambar Springs is situated between the townships of Gunnedah, Coolah & Coonabarabran on the Black Stump Way in NSW, Australia. So, you can say "it's in the middle of somewhere!" LOL

Normal business hours are:
Wed-Fri 10am to 5pm
Sat & Sun 10am to 2pm
(or by appointment)
ph. +61 (02) 6744 2445
* Any closures, planned or otherwise, are put on my blog. 

Robyn, thanks for sharing with us your passion for your work. I hope everyone else has found it as interesting as I have. 

As a bonus, Robyn has generously donated a dozen mini-scroll worked angels as a give-away.

All you have to do is drop over and visit her website and leave a comment about what you like to do to relax or take time out from your busy schedules. It can be a craft or hobby or an activity you like doing to unwind. 

We'll both announce the winner on our websites on December 13th.


  1. I'm a crafter and writer also, and a photographer..These things seem to go hand and hand with writing. I'd love to see the shop, but since I'm in California it's unlikely right now. I love the name! Good luck with your business,Kylie good luck with your writing. It's a wonderful creative world.

  2. WOW what fabulous art/creations. I totally get the filling the creative well part of our lives. Over the last couple of years the well was dried up but i pushed on and on and on- not recommended! The best thing i ever did for me - was to STOP and take a bubble bath. My creative break is scrapbooking, but i absolutely adore interior design and and while away far too many hours reading glossy magaiznes and moving furniture around- hubby believes he'll come home one day and go to sit down and they'll be no chair where it was the night before!

    Happy relaxing everyone.
    Jane Beckenham

  3. L.A.Lopez - it is interesting how these skills seem to go hand in hand. All very left brained activities that require creativity in some form or other. As for not being able to visit the Gifted Gecko, makes you wish for a transporter (like they use in Star Trek)!

    Hi Jane, thanks for popping in! Robyn does have some great craft & art in her shop. I've never really seen scrapbooking, but what I've heard of it sounds interesting.

  4. L.A. Lopez- Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. You never know when you will get over to Australia in the mean time you can always visit my website.

    Hi Jane,I totally relate to the rearranging of the furniture & my husband will agree with yours as well. They say a change is as good as a holiday.
    I love interior design stuff I get to play with this when I create a new doll house or miniature room. At the moment I am working on a kitchen setting inside a roll top breadbox.

  5. I'm a crafter too. I like to knit little things and make handmade cards. There's something relaxing about making something you can touch.

  6. Ahh, Robyn and you would go well with the knitting and handmade cards, Julieann! Robyn & her daughter, Alicia, make all sorts of cards - birthdays, anniversary, wedding, general purpose etc.

  7. There is something special about a handmade card isn't there. To know that someone has taken the time to craft a beautiful card is special. I tend to keep those forever. I am like you Julieann, I knit small things. Mostly scarves & scrawls.Not that I have done alot lately.