Wednesday 31 October 2012

Melon-cut quartz rondelles...

Yay, found out that it was probably buggy software that caused my camera to crap out on me. I bought a card reader and that has done the trick very neatly. I like the camera just fine -- Kodak -- but, uh... yoo hoo, guys? Your software is buggy as batshit and the fact that there is no way to get hold of you is not a good way to conduct business.

BUT... I am back in my business. First photo of first beads. I got melon-cut quartz rondelles at the bead show on the weekend. Only two strings, alas, so I will be selling these by the each -- and coming soon in a necklace or earrings or bracelet near you. Seriously, they are cute little things.

Interesting -- you can see the cut lines better in the reflection -- a nifty little photography trick I thought I'd pass along... especially given I just now invented how to do this.  
Yay to the guy at Staples for helping me out and explaining things so I understand. I also made his day -- he'd never heard of the things my camera was doing. My computer guy says the same thing: whenever I come tearing in in a major panic, Anibal tells me he learns something new he never knew before about computers because mine is always doing something completely different.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Some Bead Show pictures...

Emphasis on the word "some". My camera has decided not to download pictures to the computer. The computer does its "ka-dunk" sound and the camera turns itself off when I try. It worked fine yesterday morning to get these pictures off the camera, but the pictures I took for over an hour yesterday afternoon of all the matte lapis, Afghanistan and Tibetan turquoise and coin silver beads that I bought there? Still locked in the camera. Maybe I'll scan some pictures and at least give you an idea of what I have. Sigh............ back to primitive pre-digital camera technology. So much for cameras worth hundreds of dollars. Maybe that's why, when I bought it, the guy talked me into a 2-year repair/replacement warranty -- in fact he said, "Oh, we don't repair cameras anymore. We'll just give you another one." It's only 18 months old! This is madness, the world we live in now.

Anyway, back to the relatively sane world of bead addiction. Pictures from the Grand River Bead Society Bead Show in Guelph:

Lynn McLean, visual merchandiser, working her magic on my table. She's also trying to organise me at home. This is her business and she's GOOD. In fact, I was told by one of the show organisers that my table looked a whole lot better than last year. Uh... thanks, I think.
Me. Sleep deprived to the max and doing things I should have done weeks ago.

Next year, I want to use risers to get the table level up.
On the other hand, that means that it will be difficult to get at the beads on the grids.
Lynn didn't stop tweaking the table the whole two days.
Kalimantan glass beads, old chevrons and African sandcast beads.

Kingman boulder rondelles, rounds, Kingman blue rondelles and rounds, Sleeping Beauty nuggets and large blueblueblue Kingman nuggets...
Chinese saucers, Hubei rounds, Ma'an Shan nuggets, Campo Frio, Pinto and Castle Dome,
more large blueblueblue Kingman nuggets...

A display case of large turquoise nugget strings.
The postcard photo shows the young man with a joclaw at the bottom of his necklace.

Another show done and gone. Now to get everything online. Once I get a functioning camera I'll get the new pix online. Email me if you see anything here you're interested in.

Thanks for looking!

Friday 26 October 2012

GRBS Bead Show This Weekend!

I'm getting ready for the Grand River Bead Society annual bead and jewellery show tomorrow and Sunday, 27th and 28th of October, 10am to 5pm both days at the Guelph Place Banquet Hall, 492 Michener Road, Guelph. Find us just north of Hwy 7 as you come east into Guelph from Kitchener or, conversely, you're heading west out of Guelph on the way to Kitchener.

I have a GREAT selection of turquoise -- pounds and pounds from all over the world. I'd be interested to know if anyone sells a greater selection. In fact, I'd love to meet them!

As per requests, I have broken up a lot of the full strings to make the pricing more palatable and will have many of the beads available singly. Please ask if there's anything you'd like as a partial string.

Note that my turquoise is genuine. It is NOT dyed howlite or magnesite.

Persian: turquoise and sterling silver pendants
US: Sleeping Beauty, Kingman, Castle Dome, Pinto
Mexico: Campo Frio, Nacozari, Campitos
Chinese: Hubei, Ma'an Shan, plus...

I have hand-carved turquoise skull beads! Great for guy jewellery.

Other goodies that will be on my table:
Pewter pendants:
Northwest coast Haida style
Maori style
Southwest/Mexican/Milagro style
Miscellaneous animal, fetish, dragon, star, moon, sun
These are especially great for guy-style jewellery, solid, with good heft.

Fair Trade African and Javanese recycled glass beads
Old Padre trade beads
Old and new chevrons

And of course, my own PMC pure silver leaves and flowers.

See you there!

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Show & Tell: Skull Pyjamas...

I was going to get the pants with dogs on them but then I saw THESE... game over. My life and work are now perfectly coordinated.

The bathrobe is new, too, and fuzzy inside and out -- and so WARM. Once my excitement dies down I will wear them separately with plain black. I do have some taste. Not a lot, but some.

Turquoise is on its way.

Sunday 21 October 2012

Kingman Boulder Turquoise Rondelles, Chinese Saucer Beads, Shell Birds

Finally motorvating on the turquoise. The colour is pretty accurate in these photos: I've also described the colours. Prices follow the pictures in each section.

Kingman Boulder Turquoise Rondelles

10mm rondelles - 1/2 string $36.00; 1/4 string $20.00; single bead $1.25
  8mm rondelles - 1/2 string $32.00; 1/4 string $18.00; single bead $1.00
  6mm rondelles - 1/2 string $23.00; 1/4 string $13.50; single bead $0.75
  5mm rondelles - 1/2 string $21.00; 1/4 string $11.50; single bead $0.60

"Boulder" refers to turquoise with a defined, rich brown matrix. As you can see in the bins of individual beads, some of the full strings came with generalised matrix across all the beads, but blue/blue-green predominating; other strings were graduated from mostly brown to mostly blue/blue-green rondelles. This has a bearing on the prices. I have duplicated the graduating as much as possible in the respective 1/2 and 1/4 strings.

10mm Chinese Turquoise Saucer Beads

10mm diameter: 1/2 string, $19.50; 1/4 string, $10

These look to be colour-washed which is typical of much of the Chinese turquoise, but are a lively greenish blue with a light mix of black or brown matrix and some brown iron staining.

White Moonshell Bird Beads

The birds are hand-carved and vary from 3/4" to 7/8" or 16mm to 19mm in length.
String of 25 birds, $8.00

Pink Luanes Shell Birds

The birds are hand-carved and vary from 3/4" to 7/8" or 16mm to 19mm in length. The beauty of these is they are carved so that the delicate pinkish-orange layer forms their wings.
String of 25 birds, $8.00

General Notes: Please email me for availability. Postage is extra and will need to be calculated on the total order weight and insurance you choose. I take PayPal and Interac/email bank transfer.
Thank you for looking!

3rd Annual Trucking for a Cure

Better posted (sorry, couldn't resist) later than never, last Saturday, October 13th, Jan and Jim Post of Caravan Candles and Crafts invited me to share their table, cold pavement and intermittent rain -- the pavement and rain won, btw -- with a number of other vendors, trucks, of course, the OPP Golden Helmet Precision Motorcycle Team and hundreds of bipedal supporters at the Trucking For A Cure / (more info) breast cancer truck run that ended at the TA Truck Stop off the 401 in Woodstock.

Why reinvent the wheel? John Tapley, Sentinel-Review reporter, told the story just fine.

All the trucks were decorated in pink, and many of the guys I saw wandering around were wearing "Keep 'Em for the Long Haul" pink breast cancer t-shirts, as well as pink feather boas, pink underwear -- yes! -- over one guy's jeans, pink hats... My stupid camera batteries crapped out on me just after I took my first picture of Jim, number one patron of all the food vendors -- man, those hotdogs were good, eh? I was starving by the time I got there -- and I didn't get pix of the other guys. Too bad, they were all pretty cute. Next year.

Bought some regular batteries inside the truck stop and carried on. Jim and Jan Post...

Great hotdogs and hamburgers courtesy of Arrow Truck Sales. Not to worry, they were just setting up here. There had to be a constant lineup of 20 people once they got cookin' -- and I was first in line, of course. Me 'n' food -- until they ran out. 

Great music by Kerosene Creek...

And of course, lots and lots of trucks. Damn, those things are big -- and pink -- when they're rumbling on by five feet from the table...

Jim and Jan will be selling their candles at the Woodstock Farmer's Market in mid-or-so November. They make candle pies, tarts and muffins that look and smell so realistic they've almost ended up being heated up for dessert. You'd swear the jars of jam are edible. Jim makes large skull candles, three of which he sold on Saturday. Order early for Christmas.

I guess I should add a couple of pictures of the earrings I made especially for this year:

I have one pair of these earrings remaining, although I can make more. Swarovski crystal butterflies ride on top of pink enamel ribbons, sterling silver earwires. Only $12 plus shipping. Please email me if interested and for availability. FYI, I can make larger orders for your fundraising, too. There are quite a number of ribbon colours available in this line of well-made enamel ribbons.
See you at the truck stop next year!

Saturday 20 October 2012

Hallowe'en Display, Skull Sales To Date & The 2nd Annual Bridal Bonanza Coming Up...

This is my Hallowe'en market table display -- picture taken at home. I had hung my good bud Skully (Dollarama bargoon two years ago) from a small black earring stand with my red and black feather and pewter skull earrings. It certainly attracted a lot of attention. Almost sold the blue skull earrings, but in the end the customer went for a skull bracelet and a chakra skull choker.

Here is another plug for Nelson Jewelry & Gemstones: speaking from a business point of view, in skull jewellery sales alone I have more than made back my investment in two bead orders. Joanne went out of her way to bring in more howlite skulls in different sizes and colours just for me. All the other semi-precious stones I ordered at the same time are gravy now thanks to the skull sales. Thanks, Joanne!

People laugh out loud at all my skull stuff -- I do also realise they're laughing at ME. Whatev. Seriously, a chakra skull choker? However, in the past month or two I've sold at least 40 of just the howlite skull bracelets, chokers and earrings alone to both guys and girls (and their mothers and grandmothers -- pssst... I know what you're getting for Christmaaaasssss) and I've completely lost track of the number of bone, semi-precious, turquoise, pewter and sterling skull items I've sold in the past year or so. It really is unreal.

While at the market (such a slooooow day today, no exaggeration), and on a more serious front, I put together a dozen or so pairs of Swarovski earrings for the 2nd Annual Bridal Bonanza at the Quality Hotel & Suites in Woodstock, Ontario, 6-9 pm, Wednesday, October 25, 2012. I'll be at the Let's Eat Cake table with Rene Hoelscher and crew 'cause I make all of Rene's cake jewellery. In fact, TODAY my cake jewellery is on two happy brides' wedding cakes. Rene had everything under control when I was in the bakery earlier this afternoon around 2 p.m. -- one cake finished and delivered and she was putting the finishing touches on the second cake.

Now to get working on those long-promised TURQUOISE PICTURES. Yummmmm.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday 19 October 2012

New Kingman Turquoise... almost

Here, to whet your appetite, are just some of the stunning Kingman turquoise strings I've been pricing and splitting up into more palatably-priced half, third or quarter strings. Those rounds you see are 8mm bronzed turquoise. Just gorgeous. In some lights the bronze looks gold, in other lights copper. I'll post detailed pix of all the strings tomorrow with pricing.

Part of my shipment of colourful skulls from Joanne at Nelson Gemstones -- turned into a haul of dyed howlite skull bracelets and chokers for tomorrow's market...

And dyed howlite earrings...

In one short week from now I will be at the venue setting up for the Grand River Bead Society show in Guelph (October 27th & 28th, 10:00-5:00). See you there! But now to bed -- 3:30 a.m. will come far too early as always, then off to the Woodstock Farmer's Market -- yes! we have a Facebook page! I sure hope it's stopped raining by then.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Yikes! 2.5 weeks until...

...the Grand River Bead Society Show on the 27th and 28th in Guelph! Check out the classes here.

I'm busy pricing my new shipment of Kingman turquoise. Please let me know if you want half or one-third strings of these or any of my other turquoise (Sleeping Beauty, Nacozari, Castle Dome, Hubei, Ma'an Shan). I will also have a small selection of individual beads to choose from. I will be posting more pictures as I split them up and I will be happy to reserve them for you to pick up at the show.

Kingman blue mini-nuggets and 5mm blue heishi...

Kingman boulder barrels and rondelles...

Tube heishi (unknown provenance), Kingman blue and green heishi...

Sleeping Beauty, 1/3 string, 13 beads, $35...

Sponge coral, various sizes, shapes, prices...

Thanks for looking and see you at the show!

Tuesday 2 October 2012

Organisation progress & turquoise nuggets bluer than the sky...

As of 9:04 a.m. today I'm at 9,998 page views! I'm so thrilled that people are reading me and looking at my pictures. Thank you, all!

As I've mentioned, I've been typing like a mad fiend for months now -- sometimes I wish it would stop, especially yesterday when I got in my breathlessly awaited for turquoise order AND I got all my bins labelled and sorted. Here are a few pictures of both events... sigh heaved on both counts. My way of living is to have all manner of projects going at the same time, but unfortunately that is always at the expense of cleaning up as I go (honestly, does anyone really do that???) which means I finally reach the critical tipping point of finding myself living in... a tip. Is that the etymology behind the Brits calling a dumpster a tip? Mebbeeeee.

Just needs a good sweep and then the mop. I do have one... somewhere.

Stacked and labelled...

La Maestra (aka Lynn, Visual Merchandising and Cleaner Upper/Organiser Extraordinaire) at work...

This is what that corner used to look like...

The next corner to tackle -- note my still unused Foredom drill hanging precariously from a brass lamp. I had/have great plans for that Foredom.

I know it's self-evident to many, but for us packrats learning to stack like items with like is a huge step. We can still have our junk -- I mean, important papers -- out in plain view because for us "outta sight" means we go shopping for more of exactly the same thing. Do you know how many packages of 4mm crystal AB bicones I have now? I have to write down "bring list" on my list...

But here... oh, here... here are the beauties I've been waiting for.

Somewhere between the following three pictures lies the true colour -- I cannot for the life of me capture the perfect blue of these nuggets. No matter what camera setting, it always just misses. They are gorgeous, like holding the sky in your hands. Chicken Little must have lived in Arizona.

Stay tuned. Email me if you're interested in any of these. They will be priced by weight and I will post more pictures sooooon. (Nagging me via email to post pictures also works.) Come and see me and all my turquoise at the Grand River Bead Society Show in Guelph, 27-28 October.

Thanks for looking!