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!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Jade, Serpentine & Mouthwatering Watermelon Tourmaline Necklace... & I've Moved Showcases...

Yes, I'm starving -- and typing "mouthwatering watermelon tourmaline" hasn't helped -- I just spent FOUR hours at the AntMall aka One of a Kind Antique Mall tidying up the booth, as well as moving from the old showcase at the main floor entry to a great spot around the corner and a few steps down the aisle.

First things first:



I had originally discovered this bead combination as I was getting ready for the July Gem Expo, but only yesterday got around to stringing them together. Wow, yes, the photo really does show up the fact that one lotus flower is quite noticeably larger than the other! Honestly, in real life, one looks a bit larger, but not to this degree. Take-home being, if you can't decide how something looks, take a photo. If you still can't figure out what's bugging you, flop the photo. Works every time.

Faceted matte Afghanistan jade, (probably dyed) green serpentine lotus flowers, watermelon tourmaline slices, with pewter bead caps and spacers and silver-plated zinc(?) flower clasp. This is about 19-1/2" to 20". I'm going to restring it, though. If anyone is interested, the blog price just for you is $95 plus shipping. Please email me to confirm that it's still available and what the shipping cost will be. I take PayPal and Square, and if you're in Canada I can accept an Interac email bank transfer (or whatever they call it now).

Okay, that's the purty stuff. On to the work part of my day. The AntMall has added another cash register so it's getting really crowded up at the front of the store with people lined up to pay for bulky goods and friends are standing around waiting. The dim lighting wasn't helping me, either. Last week, I was asked if I minded moving around the corner and down the aisle a bit. If nothing else, the new showcase is very well-lit. Bonus is it's across the aisle within laughing distance of my pal Brenda who sells high end semi-precious, silver and gold jewellery for incredibly decent prices in Booth 861. You really need to check her out. In particular she has lots and lots and lots of sterling rings for both men and women -- men's watches, too.

Buh-bye little showcase. From here...



...around the corner...



...to here...



Another angle, from Brenda's booth:



Took a good three hours to empty the old showcase and get this one loaded up. Tried putting Nancy's blue breakfast set on the glass "island" tray. Nah... don't think so...



Works for me for now:





I will be loading up the showcase with lots of new goodies in the next few weeks, PLUS -- sneak advance notice:

Nancy (Vendor 847) and I (Vendor 800
are having a 
15% OFF SALE 
for the entire month of October

That's everything in this showcase, as well as any items with our vendor numbers in the booth -- that's the booth with the blue walls directly across from the ladies washroom on the main floor just down from the cash desk.  

Thanks for looking!


Sunday, 14 September 2014

Two Orange Acquisitions...

Carrots in loooooove...


...right down to their toes. Organic carrots from the Bentum Family Farm, found every Saturday morning at the Woodstock Farmer's Market. Yesterday at the market I treated myself to a Philly Cheese Steak hamburger from the Butcher's Blend (I'll report back on that later when I cook it) and a couple of Chives & Cheddar mini quiches from Sweet Revelations. I've been a serious quiche aficionado since forever, and trust me, these are excellent.

And... I got myself a little present from Lianne the Vintage Lady to remake into something spectacular (no-brainer alert -- likely involving turquoise): some really old, really cool hand-carved graduated carnelian beads, each one a tiny world of craftsman's art and mystery ...


Both yummy. Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Cree Snowshoes, Turquoise Skull Beads & Indian/Buffalo Head Nickel Button Covers...

Whooeee, what fun. I've been learning all about snowshoes these days. I had no idea of the range of styles and lengths, design driven by purpose and place/terrain and, of course, the type and depth of snow. Given the weather in Calgary yesterday where they got about 4 inches of snow, maybe I should send them out there. Looks like someone could use a pair.



These are Cree snowshoes, 33.5 inches in length, characterised by densely woven rows of babiche -- note the distinctive bound round bits where the boot lacing/harness would go -- and from my research these date from the 1870s-1920s. Those red bits are the remains of pompoms, dyed tufts of possibly caribou fur, the red colour indicating the Cree Nation. The purpose of the pompoms is that animal fur would mask human scent, and ideally one would craft the pompoms using fur of the game animal one was primarily hunting. You can see an almost identical pair on the Vintage Winter site, where I found (okay, swiped) this information.




These snowshoes are in remarkably good condition, except for one bit of damage as shown here:


The snowshoes are currently on a wall in Booth 800/801/847 at the One of a Kind Antique Mall, along with a pile of new goodies, including a large Arkansas stone in a custom wooden box with screw holes so the bottom part of the box can be securely fastened to a workbench, as well as the items that were in the picture from the other day.



My new turquoise skull beads that I scoured the Internet looking for landed in my mailbox yesterday, but I was typing all day (yay!!) so couldn't pick them up until today. The three small ones are just over 3/4 of an inch high and the light green one at the top is 7/8 inch high, and the matrix patterns and the colours are beautiful. They all have flat backs. My dilemma is do I try to sell these now or hang onto them for The Gem Expo coming up in November. They're all so cute.



I have only ever heard of Indian head nickels, never seen any. These have been glued onto heavy-duty covered button thingies, but the dates are clearly and somewhat visible, respectively: 1926 and 1925. I just had a look-see online to see what these years were worth undomed and unglued and, well, not very much: a couple of bucks. BUT... I did discover that these have a buffalo on the other side (of course hidden by the button thingies), that three to four Native men were used to produce the portrait, and that the buffalo was named Black Diamond (or maybe Bronx), lived at either the Bronx Zoo or the Central Park Zoo and 1.2 billion coins were produced between 1913 and 1938. The things you can learn on Wikipedia.



I have registered for the November Gem Expo and booked my hotel, so mark your calendars: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 21, 22 and 23. See you there.

Thanks for looking!



Friday, 5 September 2014

My Favourite Newsletter from Robert and Sara Genn...

Ostensibly for visual artists/painters, but good for any creative endeavour, as well as just plain living and looking in the moment:


I found today's newsletter to be particularly relevant. It's been a topic of conversation recently around here with pals. For me, getting up early in the morning (usually 5:00 to 6:00 a.m.) is made infinitely more desirable than extended bed-lolling by good Italian cappuccino (Lavazza Crema e Gusto) made Italian home style in a cafetiere with filtered water, plus about a 4-inch chunk of Ace Bakery baguette sliced into three pieces horizontally, toasted golden and slathered in butter and homemade-by-me-with-almost-no-sugar jam. Sundays are devoted to breakfast with friends (or by myself with an interesting book) at the Chuckwagon, preferably after an early morning look-see at that day's estate sale and/or at the very least followed by going to the Antique Mall around 10:00 or so and cleaning up and rearranging the booth and showcase. 

Having written the above extolling getting up early, I have been known to go back to bed around 9:00 for a 20-minute nap. And naps around 3:00 or 4:00 are not unheard of, even when I'm working. It's that pesky brain fog that rolls in regardless of my state of mind or any inclination otherwise. Everything shuts down. Twenty minutes eyes closed and horizontal, I'm good to go. 

Actually settling down and doing artwork/making jewellery? Well... after a lifetime of devoted creative procrastination and bed-lolling 'til noon or until I'm guaranteed to be late yet again somewhere usually involving a job I loathe, I'm still working on that, but I'm getting better. The trick there has been to find work of as equally sustainable interest and intrigue as getting up for the above-mentioned coffee, toast and jam/diner breakfast.

My latest trip to Toronto and checking out stores (Lavish & Squalor, Queen between McCaul and University, ab-fabulous) has added another theme to my fairly scattered buying (lack of) focus. Expect more targeted Gothish/Edwardian/steampunkish finds/looks. These latest goodies will be arriving in Booth 800/801/847 at the One of a Kind around 1:00 p.m. this afternoon:



For those who are interested, I am still waiting for my Roman glass shipment to arrive. Should be any day now. More goodies for the November Gem Expo in Toronto are landing in my mailbox weekly, so mark your calendar and see you there. My hotel is booked -- whew! Even now, in early September, rooms are hard to come by for late November. Another habit I need to develop is "book room for next show while checking out of current stay". 

Thanks for looking -- and get yourself motorvating!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

S&P...

No, not Standard and Poors, but Salt & Peppers. I have to admit to a fondness for them and have restrained myself from collecting them... again. But then I found these and fell in love.

The ghostly duo...




...who love each other.




Love to jive...



Once I've stopped playing with them, they're destined for the One of a Kind Antique Mall, Showcase 800, some time in the next few days. If you're quick, you can email me here if you're interested in acquiring them.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Sneak Peek of New Bracelets, A Trip to Toth's & A Stunning Turquoise Score...

It was a really busy weekend. No Saturday market at least for the craft vendors, bread-sellers and meat guys because of the fair... and here I thought I could sleep in. Silly bobo. Somebody forgot to inform my internal clock, because, yeppers, I was wide awake at 3:30 a.m.

First, it was off to breakfast at 9:00 a.m. at the Chuckwagon with Brenda (a pal at the One of a Kind Antique Mall: Vendor 861 with crazy good prices on semi-precious and sterling silver jewellery, watches and doodads) and her brother Richard to fuel what became a four-hour marathon of oohing and aahing at Toth's Fossils and Minerals in Ingersoll. Even after four hours, we still didn't see everything.

You can see great pictures of the store itself on Geza's website, but here are pictures of our exploration of the backyard.













I didn't buy a lot... "only" some killer turquoise. Now, this is what really interests me: it was labelled as Pakistan Turquoise. Okay... I didn't know turquoise came from Pakistan and assumed that these beads may have been originally Chinese turquoise subsequently acquired in Pakistan, hence the label. On coming home, I did some research, and it turns out there are vast copper deposits in parts of Pakistan being fairly recently developed (also in Mongolia there huge copper and other mineral deposits being mined, with turquoise being found, as well), and some websites do mention turquoise along with the other semi-precious stones for which Pakistan is well-known, but no information is readily available on the exact location(s) of any producing turquoise deposits.

Flattish puff oval turquoise beads, some with 1mm-2mm holes:



Quartz geode in the back, two pieces of chrysocolla rough, and the most spectacular (to me, anyway) of the turquoise beads:



More puff oval turquoise beads.


Is this Pakistani turquoise or Chinese turquoise from a Pakistani dealer (in Tucson, actually) who originally acquired it in Pakistan? No idea. It bears a strong resemblance to Hubei turquoise from China, but this looks older and cruder (i.e. more "tribal", which is always a good thing!) than anything I've ever seen in my admittedly very limited experience. If anyone out there has any information, I would love for you to get back to me. I'll group, price and photograph the rest of the beads soon.

Meanwhile, on more domestic fronts, I made strawberry peach jam late on Sunday afternoon. Guess who in the background? Couldn't resist at one of the estate sales.



Yesterday I finally sat down and made a pile of seed bead bracelets and anklets for the market. For some reason this summer there was a run on all my seed bead and chip bracelets I'd made over the past three years.




I'm beginning to hate Blogger again: for some reason it wants to import photos in any view it wants to, so long as it's different from the way it was saved. This photo is upside down.




And this photo is sideways:


I'm preparing a little tutorial on how I do crimping which involves using two sizes of crimping pliers since a few of my pals have been asking. Stay tuned for that.

Thanks for looking!