Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Disaster Struck... I won't be at the Gem Expo this weekend...

I'm so very, very sorry, but a lethal combination of no work for a month plus a dodgy truck caused me on Monday night to have to pull out of The Gem Expo coming up this weekend. A zillion apologies to anyone who goes to the show looking for me. You can always email me if you're looking for particular beads and I can ship them out asap. I'm 99% sure Ruth and I will be there in March, though.

Meanwhile, the truck is now okay, but it takes being in low 4 to get out of here. I do love 4x4ing. Work? Ewchh. That's very troubling and a whole 'nother story. Keeping my toes and eyes firmly crossed that something comes flying over the digital transom sooner than soon.

Stay tuned. New goodies arriving shortly.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Nephrite Jade, Carnelian & Black Cinnabar Necklace & Earrings...

Hah -- with reference to a discussion with Lisa Yang two posts ago, I had to take apart old jewellery to get one more carnelian bead for the necklace and then, while I was at it, tore apart an unsold bracelet to get two 6mm beads for the earrings. I figured I should make earrings now because the long bicone shape of the jade will be difficult to ever find again and typical customers in my mind's eye do like earrings.

'Scuse also the bad colour -- these really are a dark and dullish jade on the yellow side of the spectrum and the carnelian is a deep orange: not this Christmassy. I will try rephotographing tomorrow.

Necklace is 25.5" long. $125 for the necklace and earrings. I take PayPal and Square. Shipping and handling extra. Please email me for availability.

The inspiration to make this necklace was pure procrastination -- a highly underrated tool, at least in my creative arsenal -- and which came about as I was restringing and pricing bead strands for The Gem Expo. Hard to believe, in seven days I will be packing my truck for the show, and one week tomorrow, unless the forecast changes, I will be driving through snow and whatnot to get to Toronto. I'm really looking forward to being in Toronto. The drive? Mmmm, not so much.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The Last of My Flowers...

...still budding and blooming. I picked the last few stems off this morning before storing the planters for the winter. Each morning I think I'll have woken up to a white world. Figured picking and bringing them inside would give them a little longer chance of survival. I've never ever had flowers last this long. Maybe my eternal black thumb has finally turned green. Does that mean I'm officially old now?

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Necklace Design Evolution...

...from a serendipitous combination of beads, through the design and finding a buyer, and then altering it a couple of times to fit.

Back in July, while gathering up beads for the Gem Expo, these beads - hand-carved matte Afghanistan jade, dyed serpentine lotus flowers and watermelon tourmaline slices -- magically came together almost by themselves.

I finally got around to making the necklace in late September. Part of my internal debate was whether to go with gold or silver/pewter spacers and clasp, but I dunno, the greens are all on the cool side and I use very little gold and/or brass in my jewellery anyway.

I sold the necklace within weeks. However, it needed radical shortening because the new owner is so tiny -- quite apart from the overall length of the necklace, she was drowning in all the large beads. I lopped off two of the watermelon tourmaline slices and used them in the earrings which, silly bobo me, I forgot to photograph.

I also noticed when Gizella tried on what ended up being a too-short necklace that those narrow spacer beads weren't working between the tourmaline slices. There was such a sharp curve at the bottom of the necklace that the coin slices weren't able to lie flat. I needed to use round spacer beads for the wire to transition more curvily between each of the tourmaline slices.

Something else to consider with this particular design was Gizella's delicate bone structure. Because her collarbones are quite prominent I had to figure out where the longer beads would lie, both structurally and for comfort.

Here is the finished necklace, the second restringing with round spacers. I recommended she wear it a couple of times and different necklines to see if the necklace is now too long.

Speaking of The Gem Expo -- it's ONLY ELEVEN DAYS AWAY! See you there!

Something really cool I just heard about: Chris McGyver, owner of Honeytree Apiaries in Burgessville (aka B-ville), Ontario, just won Grand Champion Honey plus other awards for his honey and beeswax at this year's Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. Chris sells his honey and beeswax candles every Saturday at the Woodstock Farmer's Market and Sundays at the Stratford Slow Food Market.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Beautiful Carnelian from Afghanistan...

Just got these in this morning from Afghanistan, first photos...

18-inch strands of mixed carnelian beads ranging in colour from white, yellow and orange through to deep carnelian reds and browns to black. These strands are mostly rounded tube-ish shapes from 7mm wide x 7-10mm long. There are a couple of strings of oval beads,10-12mm wide x 12-15mm long. Plus there are six strands of matte bicones, 10mm wide x 8mm in length, pale orange to medium red-orange.

Online blog price each: $60 plus shipping. Email me and I will send you a picture of exactly the string(s) you will be getting.

Note that I will have these at The Gem Expo in Toronto at the Hyatt Regency on November 21st, 22nd and 23rd. Get your discount admission tickets by subscribing to their emails.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Another New Table Setup...

'Tis the season: today all the vendors came in from the cold... except it was really balmy and mild out this morning, looming black clouds not only holding off on a massive dump, they eventually blew away, and it's now a gorgeous sunny late Saturday afternoon/early evening. Almost springlike. My flowers are budding away -- snapdragons, geraniums, bacopa and pansies. Just hope the first hard frost holds off for a few more weeks.

More seasonal disruptions: I'm doing a two day craft show in Vittoria on November 15th and 16th and then the following Friday the Gem Expo opens in Toronto. Both will mean new table setups on the fly.

Here is my new setup at the farmer's market where I'm a little jammed up. Started out with two 8-foot tables, but they left me no room to leave my little nest to help customers, nor for customers and friends to come in and sit for a while and play with beads. Had to drop down to two 6-foot tables and an 8-footer and ended up with one table along the railing on the ramp, which is actually kinda cool, being able to stand leaning on that, observing and commenting on items on the table from a lofty/ier perch.

Doesn't look so bad from this angle...

BUT there's barely 12 or 14 inches of space between the vegetable display and my table.

The market manager stole two 6-foot tables from another vendor (they'll never notice). Let's see how this works out.

It makes it faster to set up, knowing how the table cloths work. I started out with the riser at the back, but then nobody would be able to look at the earrings and pendant boards way in the back.

Moved the riser back to its usual position, with the earring carousels and boards. These are all my inexpensive items and I figured to continue keeping them up front and centre, if only because this is mostly a cash-only market and I get a lot of kids -- and grownups -- who will have a spare $5 or $10 or $20 in their pocket, but not $100 or $200.

Front and centre, all the usual suspects -- skull bracelets and necklaces, crystal, seed bead and semi-precious bracelets, sterling pendants...

On the table along the railing are all my better necklaces and pendants.

Next week for sure: LIGHTS!

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Red Leaves & Pansies...

I still have pansies and geraniums blooming even though we've already had a couple of frosts...

Thanks for looking!

Friday, 17 October 2014

More Stretchy Stretch Magic Bracelets...

This morning dawned colder, darker, windier and wetter: a perfect day to stay home, sit and play with shiny things.

I've signed up for a Christmas craft show down near Lake Erie in Vittoria, Ontario, on November 15th and 16th. Details to come when I know more.

These are part of my new line for Christmas -- stretchy party bracelets that will make great gifts for moms, aunts and grandmas, especially great for those who in particular suffer from arthritis and/or for whom clasps are impossible to fasten. Don't forget Secret Santa gifts for co-workers. The bonus is I'm making these in medium and large, making them more wearable than the default tiny "one size fits all" (when do they ever???) commonly available in stores.

Here are a few of the colourful, glittery bracelets...

These and more will be available at tomorrow's farmer's market in Woodstock. Prices start at $12.00.

Do you have jewellery that you love but can't wear any more? Bring it in and I'll see if I can repair, restring or remake it.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Carved Wooden Skull Bracelets...

I finally found some decent elastic that doesn't immediately stretch way out and get floppy -- the brand name is Stretch Magic and I got mine at Lacy Tools in Toronto -- and after a number of false attempts very early Saturday morning remembered how to tie a knot that holds. There's a good video here on how to tie a surgeon's knot using Stretch Magic. The surgeon's knot is a very handy knot to know about for any type of cord. I noticed also that I can't pull the first half knot too tightly, otherwise the beads get jammed up. As always, there's finding that sweet spot where the beads sit just right and the bracelet has just enough structure. 

Hand-carved wooden skull beads with assorted copper spacers, jump rings and coils from Africa, carved bone dice and/or matte black seed beads:

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Roman Glass From Afghanistan...

They're here! It's all wonderful! Sneak peek!

I'll get individual pictures up ASAP, but if you see something you think you might be interested in, email me.

Thanks for looking!