Thursday, 7 June 2018

Get The Look For Less -- Chakraluscious Crystal & Lava Stretch Bracelets...

These are the first in my new line of inexpensive Chakraluscious bracelets using mostly lava beads to keep the prices down around $30 to (occasionally) $50.

Fitting a loose medium, they're great for stacking. Contact me to order your bracelet here or to order a custom size or with particular crystal beads. Note that in the 6mm beads I have almost 200 different crystals to choose from.

The following are just some crystal properties. Meanings change, amplify and alter depending on other stones they're with.

Garnet & Lava:
8mm beads, $30.
Aids in turning visions into reality; regeneration, energising, balancing, protection, strengthening; removes and transforms negative energies.

Orange Calcite & Lava:
8mm beads, $30.
Integrates the spiritual realm with the physical body; enhances creativity; helpful with emotional issues; directs positive energy into will and sexuality. 

Golden Tiger Eye & Lava:
8mm beads, $30.
Releases fear and anxiety; aids in harmony and balance; make decisions with discernment and understanding unclouded by emotions. 

Malachite & Lava:
6mm, $50.
Warrior stone; manifestation, transformation; guardian of the heart; absorbs negative energy, pollutants; brings balance, abundance. 

 grounding; providing strength, courage and stability through times of change; 
reducing anxiety. 

All of my bracelets are strung with Stretch Magic, a silicon stretch cord. Customers have come back a year later to show me that even with continual wear their bracelets have still not stretched out. Need repairs or resizing? Has your favourite choker gotten all gungy? I sell replacement leather cord, and I do different types of repairs from replacing earwires and broken clasps to resizing and restringing necklaces. I charge $5 to restring bracelets.

Shipping depends on your location. You can pay via Visa, MasterCard, Interac eTransfer (in Canada), and PayPal. Cash works, too! Don't forget, I'll be at The Gem Expo / MetaExpo in Toronto at the end of July.

Come and see my new bracelets, sterling silver, skulls, crystals and tree of life pendants and more at the Woodstock Farmers Market every Saturday morning from 7:00 until 12:00 noon on Nellis Street at the Fairgrounds. For you early birds, I'm almost always there by 5:00 a.m. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 1 June 2018

Quiet Break in Toronto...

Highlight for me was on Monday afternoon going to the Gardiner Museum where we saw the Yoko Ono exhibit (photos not permitted) in addition to the permanent displays.

I'm a big dragon and phoenix fan and I got to see lots of those.

What I had never seen before were comparison examples of porcelain and painted designs beginning with the original Japanese designs, then Chinese riffs, and subsequent British interpretations. Of course, I didn't take a picture of them. Next time.

I find all museums and art galleries to be enlightening, even when I'm not particularly interested in the subject matter, the Cosmodome north of Montreal being a case in point some 20-plus years ago during an ice storm. I fell in love with ceramics at art college 30 years ago and it's hard to believe I'd never been to the Gardiner before now. 

Ambled over to the Duke of York by the Bedford exit at the St. George subway stop in the Annex. I used to go to the Duke pubs in the '70s. The food was always good then, and it's truly amazing to find that 40 years later it's still good. Scary realisation: I was going to the Dukes long before any of the current wait staff or management here were born. Yikes.

In terms of food selection, sure, it's the same old pub grub; however both our taste buds say the Duke just does it better. The battered fish were extremely good and the beef burger sliders were intensely beefy. 

Bonus, we finally tasted a Moscow Mule. I've tried the Kettle brand Moscow Mule potato chips -- yummers, love anything with lime -- but we didn't have a clue what the drink would be like. So freakin' good -- and icy, icy cold in the copper mug.

Tuesday was another slow amble through the downtown. I finally saw the dog fountain on Front Street in action. Previous trips, it was either under construction or turned off in the winter. It's two blocks from Hi-Toronto where I usually stay, and worth spending a few hours under the trees, people and dog-watching and reading a book.

Then finally, came home to my not-so-green-anymore tomatoes from Mike at the farmers market. Love the natural green-to-red graduation because they all started out uniformly green. I'm eating them one at a time, really good, sharp, acidic tomatoes.

Lots of vendors are moving outside tomorrow -- see you at the market!

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Customer request...

Hard to believe, but some people don't like skulls... I'd made these a few weeks ago...

...and got an email at the farmers market yesterday morning via a pal: could I take the skulls off and add crystals of some kind?

This was the result: tiny powerhouse Herkimer diamonds with lots of flash and fire:

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Saturday Morning Market Production...

I made these adjustable chokers yesterday morning at the Woodstock Farmers Market. Then it got reeeeeeeeeeeeeally busy. Love long weekend Saturdays at the market. All the people who do NOT go away are in a party/barbeque mood.

I'm always amazed at how a simple bead and jump ring combination can look so spectacular. In this case I used gunmetal beads in a two-three combination with stainless steel coloured jump rings. I was able to use three jump rings to form the bail on these pendants. Using more than one makes it more stable, and enhances the design. And if one or three pendants look good, five repeated in sequence is even better.

Here is an experiment using glass pony beads, copper and gunmetal. Not quite as effective as above.

When designing anything, making mistakes is invaluable because that's the only way to see what works and what doesn't -- and also to come up with happy surprises. I think here the combination of beads distracts from my using different pendants.

These cords are 1.5mm, and I scour bead stores and online for big hole beads precisely because this is an inexpensive, fast and easy-to-change-out way to bump a simple pendant up to stunning.

These are made with silver-plated wyverns, dragons and bird skulls, glass, copper and variously plated beads, all on adjustable leather cords. Prices range from $25 to $45.

Hope to see you next week IRL with hundreds of semi-precious, pewter, metal and silver jewellery and crystals at the Woodstock Farmers Market, at the Fairgrounds on Nellis Street, Woodstock, 7:00 a.m. until noon all year round. For you early birds, I'm almost always there by 5:00 a.m.

Thanks for stopping by!

Heads up -- The July Gem Expo & MetaExpo are on their way...

...soon, soon, soon. Both shows will be held the last weekend in July in Toronto at the downtown Hyatt Regency Hotel on King Street. TWO BALLROOMS full of gems, minerals, crystals, jewellery, findings, holistic and metaphysical practitioners... plus plenty of courses by experts in their fields to learn about crystals and jewellery-making.

If you're an absolute beginner to jewellery-making you've come to the right place. I will be teaching the two most basic jewellery-making techniques -- how to open and close a jump ring, and how make two kinds of loops -- on Friday evening, time TBA. Learn to make a rosary chain loop, aka simple loop, and a wrapped loop. Everything flows from this.

You will have a pile of pendants, glass, semi-precious, metal and lava (aromatherapy/diffuser) beads and findings to choose from. Take home a mixed metals and beads necklace and earrings. Materials and class notes are supplied and included in the course cost.

Since I only have a few tools, if you have them, please bring the following four tools. If you need to buy them, the easiest way is to use Michael's 40% and 50% off regular priced item coupons. Generally speaking, pliers and jewellery-making tools are items that rarely if ever go on sale. Hardware store tools and pliers are not suitable, nor are the travel-size sets of small pliers.

Basic jewellery-making tools L to R: Bent nose, chain nose, round nose, and angled flush cutters (with the really pointy ends). Note the pliers with blue handles, those have cushioned, hand-friendly ergonomic handles. The ones in the centre are Michael's "sparkle" pliers. They're fine to use, but upgrading those is on my shopping list.

Go to The Gem Expo website or The MetaExpo website, subscribe and get immediate notification when the classes are posted. One admission gets you into both shows.

Got questions about this and my other classes? Email me here.  Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Trip to Toronto...

I was supposed to leave Woodstock by 7:00 a.m. on Sunday to the Toronto Gem & Mineral Show at the Don Mills Arena, but ended up tossing, tossing, tossing and packing and moving until 2:00 p.m. downsizing from a 2-bedroom house to a tiny room in a shared house. Okay, and a storage locker for all my show and market bins -- all of which are on large wire baker's rack type shelves. System works great.

People laugh at my 30-inch wide bed but it's super comfortable and I can store lots underneath. I gave away tons and tons of stuff, but still have too much. 

I stayed downtown at Hi-Toronto on Church just north of King, and my current fave place to stay in Toronto. The common kitchen/dining area has been renovated -- took out a dividing wall, and despite losing counter space, it's made a huge difference. The room is now filled with light. I've always loved the mismatched wooden tables and chairs look. Took this picture at about 6:00 a.m. but in the afternoon/early evening, it's really beautiful. Plenty of fridge/freezer/food prep space. I bring my own coffee for early in the morning.

All I did was eat, and walk and eat some more. We had lunch on Monday at crazy-good KoJa Sushi in the Liberty Village neighbourhood with Ruth. The plates are works of freakin' fresh and goooood art.

We headed to an artisan co-op stores on Queen in Parkdale, but found Curiosa in its place, full of Harry Potter paraphernalia. Magical place. One of these days I'll binge read/watch the Harry Potter books and movies. Then we went to the Lakeview Restaurant on Dundas at Ossington for dinner, my second time there. Walking up Ossington and taking the streetcar along Dundas, there are so many little restos and so little time -- and money. More money and more time would be good. The key of course to all this good food is a whole lot of sauntering. Five-plus kilometres each day. The next day we went to the Bus Terminal Diner on the Danforth at Coxwell, another great time warp, diners being a current theme.

Very sorry I missed Karma's Kitchen on Gerrard, but I got to Toronto too late Sunday evening to consider it. Dim Sum Plus on Spadina is new, tried it on my last visit, and I would've liked to have gone back there. Three more weeks to wait...

Meanwhile back here IRL, Mother's Day is May 13th. Two more market shopping days: don't forget to come and see me and all the other great vendors at the Woodstock Farmers Market every Saturday morning from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. We have great gifts, and great food for your BBQ or party. I'm there by 5:00 a.m. for anyone who wants to stop by on their way to work.

See you there!

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Mother's Day earrings...

New for the cool moms on Sunday, May 13th! 

Silver-plated bouquet of flowers and bird skull dangle, sterling silver earwires, just $25. $30 if you want sterling silver leverback wires. Out of town? Shipping & handling is extra. 

I'm at the Woodstock Farmers Market every Saturday 7:00 a.m. to noon; for you early birds, I'm there by 5:00 a.m. setting up and making items.

Want a Chakraluscious healing bracelet? I have over 150 different 6mm beads, and a large selection of bracelets ready to go, or contact me to make a custom bracelet just for you. They are truly beautiful and you'll fall in love with their stunning colours. Please email me directly to order or for more information.

Thanks for stopping by, and see you at the market on Saturday!

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Adjustable choker production from the Saturday market...

I made all these pendants in between customers at the market yesterday -- and one customer bought them all before they even hit the table. These were mostly made from new beads that I bought in Toronto last week from a hole-in-the-wall store I've walked by countless times. Now I need more... more... MORE!!! The eternal question: why oh why didn't I buy several packs while I was there???



Learn to make this lava diffuser pendant at my Friday night class at the GEM EXPO in Toronto on March 16. Sign up HERE. Checkitout: there are lots of great classes all three days of the show.


Don't forget, you get FREE 3-day admission to TWO SHOWS with any class: 
The Gem Expo, 
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 16, 17 & 18
the brand new two-day 
The Toronto Holistic & Metaphysical Show 
at the Hyatt Regency, King Street, Toronto 
in the second ballroom on Saturday and Sunday, March 17 & 18.

Thanks for stopping by -- and see you at THE GEM EXPO and METAEXPO!! Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter and get $2 off your admission.

Friday, 16 February 2018

March 2018 GEM EXPO Classes have been posted!!!

Sign up early as many of the classes are now filling up within a week or two of being posted. Don't be disappointed by waiting until you get to the show. Class sizes are limited to allow the instructor one-on-one time with each student.

When you're asked to bring tools to class if you have them, these for me are the four essential tools.

L to R: Bent-nose pliers; flat nose (or chain nose -- next on my list to buy); round nose, flush cutters (with the pointed ends).


1. Unless you will be doing a lot of travelling, do not buy the small travel or kid-size tools and pliers. They aren't meant for constant use, and they don't work as well as full size pliers because they'll make good results more difficult to achieve.

2. Hardware store tools are NOT suitable.

3. Buy the best pliers you can afford and if you have a choice of padded/ergonomic handles like the blue ones on the left and right, those are preferable to the red-handled pliers in the centre of the photo.

4. Beadalon and Eurotool are both good starter brands.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Learn to Make Diffuser Bead Jewellery at the March Gem Expo, Toronto...

These are just a few of the endless pieces of jewellery you can learn to make using four basic tools, some wire, findings and beads and a few simple techniques.

The four basic tools I used...

L to R: bent nose pliers, flat nose (or chain nose) pliers, round nose pliers, pointed-end flush cutters.

Proper tools make everything easier, and jewellery-making is no exception. Buy the best quality tools you can afford, pliers with padded grips being the better choice. Even though they're usually sold in a plastic package, try to close the tool and see that the tool closes evenly all the way along the working surface. Do not buy the smaller, child-size pliers that come in sets, they're fine for travel but not to learn with as you won't get the gripping power and stability you need. make these... 

...using the following techniques...

1. Understanding and choosing the correct wire gauge, temper and materials (copper, brass, silver, plated metals);
2. Practise making a rosary loop and a wrapped loop, what the difference is and when to use them;
3. Opening and closing jump rings;
4. Learn about head pins, eye pins and ball pins. If there's time, I'll show you how to make your own head pins and eye pins;
5. See how simple findings such as accent beads and bead caps elevate your work.

Bring your own beads, pendants and findings to the class. I'll have many different sizes and colours of diffuser/lava beads available to choose from. I use leather cord to make adjustable chokers and necklaces. Many show vendors have sterling and plated chains for sale.

Please subscribe to get the latest information plus $2 off ticket prices. Classes will be posted soon. By booking any class lasting over one hour, you'll get free three-day admission to the show. Reserve your place early as class size is limited and often fill up well before the show begins.

Thanks for stopping by! I'm looking forward to seeing you at the show, just over a month away now.