July’s brooch // ahhhmazing


July’s brooch is a darling handmade sewing machine from the gorgeous Liz, aka Betty Jo Designs.

I have had a little crush on Liz’s style since I first came across her profile on Instagram. So, naturally it was a pleasure to ask her a few quick questions. 

How long have you been making your own brooches for and what started it?

I have been making brooches and other types of jewellery since I majored in Jewellery Making at Uni.

 I first started my label Betty Jo Designs in 2005 when I began playing around with vintage linoleum. I had found a piece of 40’s lino lining the cupboards of an old kitchen dresser and I fell in love with its beautiful designs and decorative potential.

My earliest brooches were simple circular and flower shapes adorned with retro buttons. After that I designed a selection of woodland critters for my first range called “LIno Forest”. Since then I have dozens of designs in my collections, and am still creating new ones.


Do you have formal design training or just a creative person?

 I was always pretty creative growing up.

I have a Bachelor of Education in Art and Craft and taught art in High Schools for several years. While studying I discovered it was fun to use recycled materials in my designs and have never looked back.

These days I’m happiest fossiking in op-shops or salvaging secondhand materials from skips. If there was a degree in gleaning I would be a star pupil.


How has creating and sharing your unique pieces affected your life?

 Creating my little jewellery business has transformed my life. I was lucky enough to be able to make it my full time job in 2007 and since then it has opened up loads of opportunities to create and make like minded friends. I began a blog that year called Lino Forest http://linoforest.blogspot.com.au/ and still regularly update it with pictures of new designs and general Betty Jo chit chat.

Maybe the biggest thing that has come out of my creative meandering is my decision to open a bricks and mortar shop in 2011. Gleaners Inc. is a cute emporium of handmade and secondhand treasures situated in the historic old Perruci shirt factory at 2 Ballarat St. Brunswick {just off Sydney Rd.} 

It is such a delight to be able to show case wonderful products by Aussie designers and be surrounded by colour and loveliness everyday. I also blog about our shop happenings at http://gleanersinc.blogspot.com.au/


Do you have a studio so to speak? If so, what is it like?


 Since beginning Betty Jo Designs I have progressed from the kitchen table to a small enclosed verandah at my house. Then, as I grew the business I moved into a warehouse art studio in Brunswick and now I have a studio attached to my shop which is perfect as I can work all day when I’m not doing shop girl things. The only downside is I have to keep it a bit tidier than I’m used to!


if you could collaborate with another creative, who would it be and why?

 I would love to collaborate with the amazing Melbourne artist Louise Saxton. http://lousaxtonartspace.blogspot.com.au/

I was lucky enough to meet Louise when she submitted some work for our Doily exhibition held at Gleaners Inc. last year.

Louise creates exquisite work from vintage embroidery and needlework and I would be happy just to pass her scissors or sort her extensive doily collection.


Thank you so much to Liz for sharing some insight into her creative background and the makings of such unique brooches.


Liz has offered to make a custom sewing machine for the luck winner in their colour choice, now how lovely is that!?
So for your chance to win one of these cute brooches just post a picture of yourself on Instagram with your favourite brooch, entries can be submitted on any Friday from now up to and including 26th July with the hash tag #noveltybroochfriday and we will announce the winner (randomly chosen) on Monday 29th July. Open to everyone, you can enter as many times as you like either new or vintage brooches.
Each month Claire and I will take it in turns to showcase those sellers of vintage brooches and designers we admire and love to wear ourselves.
*If you are a designer or sell vintage brooches and wish to donate a brooch for an upcoming month and have your shop showcased, please contact me at eaenglish@gmail.com .
Peace and Lino.
E. xx

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