Leah Balaam has always loved making her own jewellery. But after dabbling in the pastime simply for fun during her younger years, it wasn’t until more recently that the Gillieston Heights woman decided to turn her passion into a part-time profession.
Almost a year-and-a-half ago Leah launched lily+ted designs as a way of channelling her creativity into a format that could be enjoyed by others. Under the label, she creates and sells a range of handcrafted jewellery, art and homewares, with her distinctive designs showcasing her love of colour and nature.
“I have always had a love for creating,” Leah said. “When I was younger I enjoyed beading with my friend, and in my early 20s I dabbled in some more jewellery making, but it wasn’t until after I had my children that I began to pick back up my love and need to create, with not only jewellery but art and homewares as well. “
Lily+ted designs was started one year and four months ago - the name is actually the name of my two dogs as I found it catchy and the names work well together.
”What also works well is Leah’s eye for colour, with her resin and acrylic based creations providing a stunning statement piece for the home or eye-catching accessory for setting off any outfit.
“I make statement stud earrings (20mm), mini stud earrings (10mm) and pendants. I also do resin and acrylic flow paintings and homewares including serving boards and trays, trinket trays, wall art and clocks,” she said.
“I love that the designs and colour combinations can be endless and I love the feeling it gives creating something yourself and that it may make someone else happy also. “I’m particularly inspired by the simple things in life like colour, nature, emotions and letting my inner creativity flow.
I am especially inspired when people enjoy my products.”While asking an artist to pick their favourite work is like asking a mother to pick her favourite child – an impossible task – Leah said she did have a soft spot for her statement earrings.
“I particularly like my 20mm statement stud earrings that are madeusing laser cut wood as a base then I do a fluid painting onto them and coat with resin, making each earring unique,” she said. “I love bringing colour and beauty into the lives of my customers"
With plans to expand her line to include dangle earrings, additional pendants and more artworks this year, Leah is sure to have plenty of exciting new surprises in store for customers both old and new.
You can check out her work at her Facebook page @lilyandteddesigns or by stopping by her stall at the Handmade in the Hunter Markets, which will return to Kevin Sobels Wines from 9am to 3pm on May 12 and 26. ■