Sunday, 25 January 2015

Look What Followed Me Home Today!!!

I reeeeeally want to keep them.


The brown lines on the turtle-backed reindeer are made of tiny little pine cones. The detail in all of them is really great.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Two Pyrite Chokers Today...

The market was actually busy today. The temperature being around zero C certainly helped. Never fails, in the dead of winter we get a day like today, even without the sun, sales will be good. Combination of mild temp AND sun? = a great day for sales.

This is what I made today: two chokers with some new 10mm pyrite heishi that just arrived. The simpler one I used dull coin silver spacers with a pewter skull in the middle. Still wondering if the skull should be larger. But... for now, I like it. The second choker I used brass spacers and threw on a brass Tibetan Om and skull pendant.

These items are both for sale, email me for price and availability. I have plenty of pyrite and other semi-precious beads and if you have a variation you'd like to see, just let me know.



Thanks for looking!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Earrings...

Finally finished a month-long typing marathon at 9:40 on Thursday morning. Deadline was at 10 a.m. I like to cut it very fine. All I've done since is sleep. Finally, this afternoon I started making earrings... I'm trying for more colour. Sigh. Not especially good at putting colours together I must say, but V-Day is quickly approaching and I always end up surprised on the Friday to figure that the next day will be the last market before the big day. Ditto Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas Day... You get the picture.



Thanks for looking!

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Jasper Fans...

I finished an aqua terra jasper fan necklace this morning for a customer. I tore my place apart looking for 6mm round beads that matched this particular blue. Everything I thought I had was either the pale greenish aqua terra, or the navy blue, or purple or fuschia/red. Arrrrggghhh...

Then I remembered that I'd made a necklace a year and a half ago that I think I remembered I hadn't yet sold, but to get to it I had to completely tear apart my market bins. Then -- ta da! -- I found a crocheted bracelet from, oh, at least three years ago, with the perfect 6mm rounds. Turns out I'd used 8mm beads on the necklace, anyway.

I had originally planned to put the rounds between the fan segments but that spread them out too much. This  necklace is very short -- only 16" in length, with a 1" extender. It might have worked with 4mm beads, but lacking those, I decided to only use the 3.5mm antiqued Bali daisy spacers to just give a titch of pop. The customer had already picked out the pewter clasp, so I couldn't really go for copper. I also didn't want to use something that would change colour radically.

And seed beads. I have bins and bins of seed beads. Do you think I could find the right blue? Phhht. Then I found a single string of handmade beads, can't remember when I bought them or even why, but their colour variation perfectly matched the variations in the fan segments when you held the necklace next to your skin.



Thanks for looking!

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Two New Turquoise Stretch Bracelets...

Beautiful chunks of turquoise and old chevron beads from Nepal, one bracelet with added copper and pewter bead caps, the other with pewter beads. I still have to tweak the one as there is too much of a gap between the turquoise and the pewter beads. I'll post more pictures later on after I've done the tweaking and figured out a price. Let me know if you're interested in one of these. They're so comfortable (fit about a 7-1/2" wrist) and the colours are spectacular.



Thanks for looking!

Friday, 26 December 2014

Hairy Christmas To All...

Quincy, AKA Mr. Q, joined me yesterday for an afternoon of reindeer squeaky toy chasing and a romp and poo or two on the umpteenth tee of the golf course behind my place. (Yes, we picked it all up.) My jewellery pal Brenda and I had a homemade veggie stir-fry for our Christmas dinner and Mr. Q ate off the floor. He will only eat crunchies off the carpet and paws at them to separate them out so he can eat them one by one. He's ecstatic when fed by hand.




My goodness, look at how the vegetables match the plate. Can't get any more colour-coordinated than that!


I hope your Christmas was as nice and easy as mine. Even the sun came out for a bit.

Talk to you in a few days.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

New Bracelets going into the One of a Kind Antique Mall, Woodstock, TODAY...

Apologies for not posting more, but I have been doing nothing but typing for almost three weeks, and it has NOT stopped coming in. That's good, right? Well... not when I'm having to turn work down, it ain't.

Meanwhile, I'm having great fun with Stretch Magic, my new fave material. Remember those stretch crystal bracelets I posted a few weeks ago? They're almost all gone. 

These bead soup bracelets, along with some necklaces, are all going into the Antique Mall (showcase 800 over in the showcase area to the right of the cash desk) in Woodstock, Ontario, later this morning. (FYI, the Antmall will be closed December 25th and 26th.) They are all one of a kind. If you see something you like, I can drive there and get it (if it hasn't been sold in the meantime). I can't guarantee that it will arrive before Christmas, but... between Canada Post overnight service at megabucks per package, ya never know. (Or you can pretend you're Italian and you have until January 6th to give gifts!). Please email me for availability and handling/shipping costs. Right now, it's ***around*** $5 regular surface mail in Canada and ***around*** $10-$15 to the US for small thick envelopes and/or parcels. 

As an FYI on shipping costs, if it's shipped in a flat bubble wrap pack and fits through that plexi "mail slot" gadget they have at the post office, it's not too expensive to ship, $3-ish for Canada, BUT it ends up being "automatically" sorted which means it goes through umpteen rollers in the mail plant, so fragile beads or wire-wrapped work could get squashed. Upgrade to a thicker wrapping or flat box, and you're in the $10-$15 range for regular shipping, but the parcel is hand-sorted and you might have to drive to your local post office to pick it up. My price to mail includes the cost of the envelope/appropriate packaging, and trust me on this -- it often takes as much time if not longer to pack and drive a purchase to the post office than to make the item in the first place. Each time I see "$25 shipping" even for a tiny package of beads coming from the US, oh, man, it hurts so, so much! -- but I do appreciate all the work that goes into packing items and getting them to the post office, often within hours of me clicking on "Buy Now". 

This is so pretty. 



Note that the citrine is not that richly yellow. It's just my crappy photography.


Roman glass bracelet with aquamarine rounds and pewter daisy spacers.



Brilliant peacock blue titantium-coated hematite:



These bracelets are comfortably loose on me, so would fit about a 7-7.5" wrist. As always, if you see anything you like but you need a custom size or want to commission a custom piece, please don't hesitate to email me. 

On other fronts I've signed up for The Gem Expo coming up on March 13th-15th and booked my hotel. I WILL be there this time with lots and lots of new turquoise including some beautiful hand-carved skulls and buttons. I'll have a great selection of Roman glass, matte lapis and really nice hand-cut carnelian in unusual colours: yellows through yellowy-oranges and reds to almost chocolate purple colours from Afghanistan, plus different sizes and shapes of old chevron beads from Nepal and some great Dzi-style beads. If you have anything on your wish list, I will try to find it for you and bring it to the show. 

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Prototype Leather Cage-Wrapped Skull...

This was a fun project. Like, not. Eeesh. This very slippery carved skull of wood or something -- but very nicely done -- has two holes at the jawbone, but if I tried to put wire or leather through that, the skull would of course hang upside down.

My customer is very, very particular. Doesn't like frou-frou-ey stuff, doesn't like shiny, doesn't like large. But he does like a backstory. While I was first playing with the skull and test-wrapping various wires and leather around it it reminded me of those medieval cages that criminals and such were hung in to starve and get their eyes picked out by ravens; essentially to be rendered down to a facsimile of what I was holding in my hand. Hey, I get up at 3:30 in the morning to go to the market. I'm allowed.

Here is the prototype. He can play with this and try to make the skull fall out, and then when/if the design is approved I'll probably redo it a little more tidily.



I hammered the 1.5mm Greek leather to flatten it...



...to keep the three layers of leather as flat as possible, which I then wrapped with 24 gauge copper wire. I probably would've used 26 gauge, but I didn't have any, and if I do this again I will make that weaving a few rows larger. It looks pretty cool.



This is the back of the skull, again, should've used 26 gauge. Even though this is dead soft wire, it sure hardens fast. The resulting lumpiness kinda reminds me of brains. And I really like the self-bail, how that turned out.


I mentioned my customer doesn't like shiny: this wire will tarnish very nicely after a while. After I took the picture, I used my pliers to make waves in the wire and tighten them up a bit.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, 5 December 2014

It took me two days...

This is the mess I've managed to create in just two days. I spent several hours yesterday sorting tax receipts into quarters, and then my pal Brenda arrived to learn some wire-wrapping techniques, so the receipt piles all got shoved to the back against the wall. Who knows how long they'll remain there as I just got a pile of typing in.




This is the pendant I wrapped with dead soft copper wire and which will be going on my market table tomorrow morning. No idea what the stone is. Reminds me of snowflake obsidian, but this doesn't have the opacity, and it's dyed. Most of the beads on the table in the above picture will end up wrapped. You can get some really cool examples of beads on multi-strings for next to nothing. I got mine from Arton in Toronto a year or two ago.



Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Buh-bye, faithful fuzzy green couch...

Max's old "dog bed" just left to go to its new owners Quincy and Brenda, thereby making way for MORE space to pile beads.




Any bets on how long it will take to pile this table high?



New scores destined for Booth 800 at the One of a Kind Antique Mall in Woodstock:

A bone china teacup and saucer, hand-painted in a lily of the valley design, Nippon. I've never seen that style of foot -- is that what it's called? -- on a teacup, and look at the translucency!





Anne of Green Gables doll sitting in a wicker rocking chair...



Two sets of custom/gallery-made gold-painted wooden frames...



...aaaand a shaggy puppy cement doorstop/garden ornament.



Email me if you're interested in any of the foregoing items (except for Quincy; he's definitely NFS). Thanks for looking!