Friday 15 November 2019

Latest Skullish Designs...

I've been remiss in posting for a while -- okay, over a year -- but I've been BUSY!!! Here is a small selection of my latest skull work that I've been displaying and selling every Saturday morning at the Woodstock Farmers Market and The Gem Expo in Toronto, plus doing tons of custom work, crystal healing bracelets and custom (non-skull) designs.

Lately, I've been teaching myself chaos wire-weaving from YouTube tutorials along with keeping up with making a steady stream of skull-themed leather chokers, skull, lava and crystal bracelets and earrings.

Find most items I make posted each Saturday live on my Facebook pages, Artefaccio and, for healing crystal bracelets, Chakraluscious.

As always, if you see something  you like, or have an idea for something you'd like to have made, please EMAIL ME at, or come to the Woodstock Farmers Market every Saturday morning, 7:00 a.m. 'til 12:00 noon. For you early birds, I'm usually there by 5:00 a.m.

See you at the Woodstock Farmers Market tomorrow and every Saturday. See you in Toronto the first weekend in March at The Gem Expo! Email me for more information or to chat about your ideas at

Sunday 4 November 2018

Tools List for My November 2018 Classes at The Gem Expo!!!

I don't know why, but Facebook doesn't like me at all today and none of these posts are... well, posting.

Here are pictures of the tools -- IF you have them and/or IF you're planning on buying them -- that will be used in my classes. I only have a few tools to share because yes, they can be expensive.

The Totally Addicting Stretch Bracelets for Beginners course on Saturday morning, November 10th, is easy in terms of supplies -- if you have one, bring a bead board (available at Michael's) which will make your life so much easier choosing and placing beads, and a pair of sharp, pointed thread scissors or sharp, pointed wire cutters, see picture below. The point being -- okay, yeah, bad joke -- you need to get in and do fine, close cutting, and big scissors will just make your life harder.

These are my go-to wire cutters now, and they're perfect for getting in close to the knot on the bracelets.

If you'll be adding dangles to your bracelets, you'll need pliers to open and close jump rings. This is my go-to minimum set of pliers which are what you'll need for most jewellery-making anyway. I only have a few extra tools, so please bring tools if you have them. If you're going to buy tools anyway, spend as much as you can afford on jewellery-making tools. Your hands will thank you. Those red-handled "sparkle" tools in the middle are 10 years old, and are still doing okaaaay, although I am slowly upgrading to more ergonomic tools, such as on the left.

The above tools are the minimum required for wire work, in particular, and if you are taking the Nifty Tips & Tricks class on Sunday afternoon, please bring these tools if you have them as I only have a couple of each to share. L to R: Bent nose, chain nose (opening/closing jump rings, holding wire), round nose (for making loops) and pointed wire cutters.

Also for the Nifty Tips & Tricks class, we will be hammering wire, and these also are the minimum tools if you decide to carry on at home. If you can bring at least a chasing hammer (with the flat head) and a rawhide or plastic mallet that would be great. I will be showing you what these are for. Also necessary is either a square, 4" by 4" bench block, or a anvil. A planishing hammer, with a slightly convex head, is also very useful.

Top to bottom: planishing hammer, rawhide mallet (or with a plastic head is fine, about 1" diameter head), chasing (flat head) hammer (7/8" to 1" head is fine), anvil and bench block. A 4" square bench block is probably more useful for this class (and I have several to share), but I like my anvil. It's extremely useful.

There are any number of different, useful tools, gadgets and gizmos on the market, many very specific to one technique or another, but these are generally what I've found essential and use all the time.

Where do I buy tools? These are just a few of the retail outlets that I know and buy from in the Toronto and southern Ontario area. in St. George, Ontario, between Cambridge and Brantford. You'll often see them at gem and mineral shows with a huge selection of tools, findings and beads. You can also buy dead soft copper wire by the ounce and pound from Robert Hall. Dead soft copper wire is what we'll be using in the class. out of Ottawa. They do a lot of bead and gem&mineral shows in the Toronto and southern Ontario area, as well as by mail. Located in the basement of 55 Queen St. East, Toronto, across from St. Mikes. Retail and wholesale professional jewellery supplies.

Michael's is everywhere, and in Toronto, just two stores off the top of my head -- the list is endless. Most bead stores do sell at least some tools.


If you have any other questions, PLEASE EMAIL ME at

Monday 16 July 2018

Make A Bracelet, Necklace and Earrings Like These!!!

Take my three Friday nightSaturday morning and Sunday morning classes at The Gem Expo and learn the basic techniques to make the components for this style of bracelet -- or anklet or necklace -- and earrings. 

The richness comes from layering what are actually quite simple designs. Like just about anything, it's so easy once you know how -- and lots of practice, of course. In the classes, we'll break steps down to their component parts, discuss materials and tools and what they do, techniques and when and when not to use them. 

Learn to make any of these hammered designs on Saturday morning. (NOTE: the Saturday morning wire class is for experienced beginners.) Same hammering technique as in the bracelet above, but with different materials and different wire lengths you get totally different looks:


There's quite a different effect depending on which way the dangles are facing:

Who would think that pearls and copper would go together so well???

Come and play at The GEM EXPO/METAEXPO Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 27th, 28th & 29th at the Hyatt Regency, King Street, Toronto. Lots of great courses -- and you get free admission all three days with any 1-hour or longer paid course.

Can't make it this summer? We'll be back in November: Friday to Sunday, 9th, 10th and 11th.

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you next week!

Sunday 15 July 2018

More Market Goodies...

Yesterday was a strange day at the market, it was very quiet, didn't seem to be as many customers as usual, but it's the summer and people go away. Our loss is other farmers markets' gain.

Slow markets give me a chance to catch up on making new items and also chat at greater length with passersby.


Stretch 4mm orange calcite 
& faceted rainbow moonstone bracelet 
This bracelet is particularly beautiful on and while orange is often a difficult colour to wear for a lot of people, it's such a purely luscious orange that just works. You have to try it on to believe it. In this case, I made the bracelet first, then looked up the meaning. This combination turned out to be a totally accidental, cosmic one-two punch with orange calcite radiating positive energy powered by the sun while the rainbow moonstone deflects negative energy.

Tumbled chevron/dogtooth amethyst adjustable chokers 
Various prices. I also have some simple pendant chokers with no decorative brass for $5 each available at the market.

For those who make their own jewellery I have lots of these pendants as well as other drilled  beads and pendants and undrilled stones and crystals available. If you're looking for anything in particular, please let me know as I have bins of beads at home, plus I'll be in Toronto at the end of July buying more crystals, beads, silver and gold.

Stretch blue Hubei turquoise, orange calcite & 90-year-old Kuchi .900 silver bracelet

Stretch larimar nugget, black labradorite (with blue flash) 
& Bali silver bracelet 

Adjustable rectangular agate & quartz druzy 
leather chokers 
These three have been sold, however I have lots more agate pendants at the market, all different.

Chinese brass incense burner
Bought myself a present to use as a display piece at the upcoming GEM EXPO/META EXPO at the Hyatt Regency on King Street in Toronto July27th-29th. Brass incense burner with lid, nicely patinaeing (if that's a word) in this humid weather. No idea how old this is, but it's got dragons on it. That's all that matters to me. 

See you at the market this coming Saturday, July21st, then I'll be off to Toronto for a week for the GEM EXPO/META EXPO and lots of fun, back again at the market Saturday, August 4th.

Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. I will be teaching at the Gem Expo Friday night, Saturday & Sunday mornings. Sign up and get free admission to both shows!!!

Saturday 30 June 2018

Today's Market Production...

I'm in the midst of sorting and packing for the Gem Expo/MetaExpo at the Hyatt Regency on King Street in downtown Toronto coming up fast the last weekend of July. Three and a half weeks to go and -- gasp -- I'm already getting ready, not leaving things until the last day like I usually do...

I've been unearthing orphan pendants and odds and ends of beads, and this morning I played around and made these three adjustable leather chokers. They've all sold, but you can always come to the Woodstock Farmers Market at the fairgrounds on Nellis Street every Saturday (except when I'm at the show in Toronto) from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Tons of beautiful artisanal foods (and crafts), most is organic -- or as good as -- and locally grown/raised/crafted.

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you next Saturday!

Friday 29 June 2018

New Chakraluscious Chakra Bracelets...

Here are my two new Chakraluscious chakra bracelets ready for the market tomorrow at the Woodstock Farmers Market at the fairgrounds on Nellis Street. Come and see these bracelets and more between 7:00 a.m. and noon tomorrow and every Saturday morning.

Both are stretch bracelets with genuine moonstone, garnet, carnelian, gold rutilated quartz, nephrite jade, lapis lazuli, iolite, amethyst and labradorite beads, finished with either white rabbit jade or black lava beads and brass findings.

I make custom jewellery to fit your budget. I also do simple repairs: replace clasps or earwires and restring items.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you tomorrow. Happy Canada Day, everyone!

Wednesday 27 June 2018

Chakraluscious Chakra Bracelets...

Design your own custom Chakraluscious chakra bracelet with crystals that are meaningful to you. At the moment I have almost 200 6mm crystal beads to choose from with more added every month. Prices will vary with the crystals used. Please contact me for a quote based on your choice of crystals.

Contact me here to order yours, or come and see me at the Woodstock Farmers Market at the fairgrounds on Nellis Street every Saturday morning 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

Simple, pretty, well-made with quality findings and stretch cord... And every one as individual as you.

Chakraluscious Chakra Bracelet
Bali silver, lava, shungite, 3 quartz crystal, 3 garnet, 3 sunstone, 3 citrine, 3 malachite, 3 aquamarine, 3 iolite, 3 amethyst, 3 quartz crystal, shungite, lava.

Chakraluscious Chakra Bracelet
Bali silver, 3 quartz crystal, 3 amethyst, 3 iolite, 3 blue apatite, 3 nephrite jade, 3 citrine, 3 sunstone, 3 garnet, black tourmaline, shungite, lava.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Classes are now posted for the JULY GEM EXPO, TORONTO!!!

Go to The Gem Expo/MetaExpo and sign up for all kinds of classes (especially mine!!!). Don't forget, you get three days' free admission to the Friday Gem Expo and the TWO SHOWS (Gem Expo and MetaExpo) on Saturday and Sunday in two ballrooms with your paid class(es).


The Hyatt Regency Toronto
370 King St. West, Toronto, On M5V 1J9

July 27-29, 2018
Friday 11:30 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Friday only $6.00
Saturday & Sunday Pass $10.00
This gets you into both shows - The Gem Exp PLUS the MetaExpo

Kids 12 and under are always free!

See you there!!!

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!