Thursday 29 December 2011

Crocheted bracelets

I can't believe it's taken this long to write another entry. Time is flyin'. I was typing a ton and making lots of jewellery right up until Christmas. I sold about half of my feather earrings, and bought lots more colours on Monday from The Bead Boutique in Kitchener. For those living in the southern Ontario area, be sure to get up there this week. I left a few things for everyone else to buy: lots of beads, findings and especially chains are on sale and Jess said there would be lots more hitting the shelves and walls as the week progressed. Check out the new website -- lots of cool pix. Yay, Jess!

These are just a few of the last two days' creations. I've been meaning to try making crocheted bracelets for quite a while. Lots more to come plus necklaces, which could also be worn as multi-wrap bracelets or even anklets. I ran out of buttons last night and I'm off shortly to get more, plus some hair extension doodads to make long feather dangles. Dunno how many of those I might sell at the market on Saturday. I have hopes as it's New Year's Eve Day and time to parrrrrrrr-day, but since the market demographics skew somewhat towards the geriatric end of the age range... I dunno about that!

Pink frosted handmade glass beads, base metal button closure,
chocolate brown cotton cord -- $10
Butterscotch browns, ambers and red frosted handmade glass beads,
base metal button closure, chocolate brown cotton cord -- $10
Rainbow of frosted glass beads, base metal button closure,
chocolate brown cotton cord -- $10
Old handmade blue & red chevron glass beads, base metal beads and button closure,
chocolate brown cotton cord -- $30
Dyed jasper beads, base metal beads & button closure,
chocolate brown cotton cord -- $20
Variety of bone, amethyst, sponge coral, glass & base metal beads, base metal button closure, chocolate brown cotton cord -- $20 
I'm using mostly frosted glass beads for now. But if I can thread the waxed cotton through them, every type of bead I've got will eventually be incorporated. Got a request? Email me if you want to order something in your size -- I'll need your exact wrist measurement -- or if you want a particular colour combination. Specify also waxed cotton cord colour: black, chocolate brown (shown), medium brown and beige. Prices will depend on the type of beads used, but for now, the plain glass bead bracelets will run about $10. Packing and shipping starts at $3.50 to the US and Canada. 

Check back here or for more pictures.

Monday 5 December 2011

Plans toward getting on a summer market circuit

Glenn, author of, is my lodestar at the moment.

I am currently in the research phase of acquiring... something vehicular; research consisting of hours of virtual tire-kicking, scrolling through hundreds of pix on Kijiji for ideas, because of course, things I wouldn't want are equally as important as what I would want, and there is always the chance of discovering exactly what I need, but don't know of its existence yet.

Do I go for a travel trailer as my first beast and keep the Blazer to tow it, pretty much reborn given the thousands I've poured into it, or ditch the devil I know and buy and renovate an all-in-one and completely unknown devil? Or do I hold my nose and throw dog, duvet and cooler in the back of the Blazer as is and head out on a practice run this winter to points south and west? My aunt has issued a somewhat standing invite to visit in Miami (if she were ever home!), I've always wanted to see the Florida Keys, and it's been a dream of mine forever to see the Southwest. What's holding me back from that is where and how I would work. Acquiring a laptop and Internet stick, or doing my file downloading at WiFi points is the easy part. I've been contemplating rigging up something desk-like on the passenger side of the Blazer to enable me to be able to sit for hours typing using a footpedal.

This clean and non-claustrophobic layout is very interesting to me -- -- although how to get Max along with me, both of us with crappy knees and backs, up into that loft is beyond me. And up, and down, and up, and down... all night given that both Max and I have to... nevermind. Nah, I think we'll be hunkering down on the couch. My main question of myself, given my particular plans, is how important is having a fixed shower and/or toilet stall? I saw this slide-out porta-potty unit on one website. I know from years spent camping and driving in BC and the Yukon that parking in a campground with shower and laundry facilities every three days and using restrooms to slosh in in the interim keeps me socially acceptable. 

What I really like on the above unit are the two doors at the back, my market idea being that I can drive into a spot, set up my canopy off the back of the van and then open the doors which will have the display grids already built onto them which I can then fill with curtain rods of preloaded strings of stones and finished jewellery out of a couple of bins. Having been caught in a tornado with monsoon rains once was enough: in a similar situation, when it rains or is otherwise crappy I can close the doors in seconds. I might lose the canopy, but everything else including myself will be safe and dry.

Meanwhile, here are pictures of my new market table display as of two weeks ago. My innovation to reduce setup time by literally hours each time was featured here: 

The entire table

The goal is to get all the necklaces hanging off the grid and all visible

Another angle. That's Peter, baker and coffee guy. Location, location, location being what it always is, being beside the coffee pot means everyone waiting for their turn at the coffee pot has to stand still for at least a few minutes either looking at my table or at a mini-mountain of raisin bread.

The curtain rods in action

The loaded curtain rods currently live in a bin wedged in by boards of finished jewellery and protected with pieces of 1" foam. I have to keep weight and heavability in mind, but I will be cutting slots in a taller bin that the rods will rest in, allowing for free dangle into the bin; plus cutting slots will allow the bin lid to be used, very handy for dust/rain/snow/sleet-proofing.

I've since put all my necklaces on another two curtain rods. The turquoise rods are back in the corner up top, and the finished necklaces go here. I also hang more necklaces on the hooks in front of the rods, and I am using longer hooks on this grid so I can spread out the necklaces and they stick out further towards the customer.

For Christmas I have fairy lights twining around the top of the grids. I haven't taken pictures yet because it's been so busy -- yay! --at the market these past two weeks. The setup is getting faster and faster -- it takes about 45 minutes now to unload the truck, bringing everything into the market, and get everything on the table in place. If I've made a lot of new stuff during the week then tweaking and shuffling items takes another 30 to 45 minutes.

I have to do something about the feather earrings. I'm trying to figure out another way of displaying -- and storing -- them that doesn't require putting them out one by one and away ditto while still keeping them up at eye level.