Wednesday 30 October 2013

My New Sales Venue...

I gotta say, I've had really bad luck with putting my jewellery in stores. Every time in the past five years that I've gotten into another store, they up and close on me. I've done okay to great for sales, but for many different reasons from the economy to health the store owners haven't been able to make it. It's been really sad.

I heard a couple of weeks ago that the One of a Kind Antique Mall in Woodstock was opening up to craft vendors, and more importantly that it was possible to rent a locking display cabinet so, today, after a great lunch at Chiba Sushi my pal Nancy and I took a look around. Good thing we did.

Long dithery story short, I am now the proud renter of an ancient -- well, fairly old, older 'n me, anyway -- wood and glass showcase in a primo location on your right just as you come through the front door on the main floor. The table presently in front there will be removed and I hope that Santa won't mind sliding along a titch.

Here's the front door and Nancy, out of focus. Nice wide aisles, too. To my right is the cash desk. Nancy and another pal of mine, Winter -- I hope! Please say yes -- will be adding items to use as props: Nancy will supply collectible glassware and oddities; Winter, exquisitely crafted and weirdly wonderful paper items and cards. These, plus my turquoise, skull and tribal-inspired jewellery? Christmas shopping, done and done.

This place is positively CAVERNOUS. They've recently opened up the third floor, making it now the largest antique mall in Canada, and it's stuffed literally to the rafters full of furniture, some kinda rickety-to-junky, yeah, but a ton of cool stuff. There were a couple of pieces I'd buy in a heartbeat if my stooopid truck brake line hadn't decided today would be the perfect day to spring a leak. Getting that sorted out on Tuesday.

This is just one aisle on the third floor in this photo; there are three aisles running the length of the building. There's gotta be 40, 50 or more feet behind me to the front of the building also filled with furniture. See how high the ceilings are? There are two ginormous black wooden bookcases behind me that almost reach the ceiling. Five grand each, but man, oh, man, are they beautiful. I'll try to get a picture posted in a few days.

I'm really lusting after this Parsons-style chaise/daybed -- and comfortable? Yummers. Think of all the bead bins I could store underneath.

Meanwhile, Nancy and I will be sorting and pricing items here on Friday. If she gets away soon enough on Friday, she will put some in the display case, but I will do most of it on Saturday afternoon. I'll post more pix.

The plan is to spend a couple of weekdays a month here, but for sure I'll be dropping in after the market on Saturdays to check on stock and chat with customers. Note that I'm still doing the Woodstock Farmers' Market Saturday mornings until noon.

Thanks for looking and please come and visit!

Halloweenies for Let's Eat Cake...

Creepy skull cupcake picks for Let's Eat Cake in Woodstock.

Contact Rene at the store -- (519) 320-9268 -- to order your custom cake picks, cake jewellery and wedding jewellery -- and yummy cakes, cookies and scones, too! Or see me at the Woodstock Farmer's Market on Nellis Street at the Fairgrounds (beside the casino) every Saturday morning from 7:00 a.m. to noon.

Thanks for looking, and if I don't get back here, Happy Hallowe'en to you all!

Saturday 26 October 2013

Triple-Wrap Kingman Turquoise & Leather Bracelet

This is a bracelet I'd made for Rene at Let's Eat Cake a couple of years ago, but that a kitten recently decided made a great chew toy. The button loop became history. Bad kitty. I restrung it this morning at the market. Yes, alas, it was that slow.

Chan Luu-style triple-wrap bracelet using 4mm Kingman boulder & 6mm Kingman blue turquoise beads
& natural 2mm Greek leather with a copper button closure

If you'd like to order one like this or using other beads or other leather, please email me for a quote.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday 24 October 2013

Friday 18 October 2013

Chains, Bones & phones...

I have been having problems with my idiotPhone. All of a sudden -- well, as of last week after having the charging interrupted twice by the power going off with no notice -- it wouldn't hold a charge. The place I bought my idiotPhone from said that the battery has a memory, to not stop/interrupt charging before the battery is fully charged, other people have said, no, phone batteries now do NOT have a memory, some people/sites say wait 'til it's low to recharge, other's say wait 'til it's at 50%, don't fully charge/do fully charge -- but no one says what percentage it should be at before disconnecting the charger: 95%, 97%, 99%??? -- and I have read copious and contradictory nonsense online about what else the problem(s) might be, AND I've had the advice to leave it plugged into the charger for 24-plus hours. Last night, after leaving it charging for 30 hours I was texting someone and watched the charge drop 3% in ten minutes. From texting. So the 24-plus-hours charge obviously wasn't working. Then I decided to see what would happen if I turned the phone off completely overnight and how much battery loss would occur.

Isn't this interesting: this morning I found that not only did I not incur any battery loss past the 97% point it was at when I turned it off last night, it somehow magically reset/recharged!?!?!?! itself to 100%. Is this possible? This morning, I sent three or four texts, I've taken five or six photos of the bead chains I've been making obsessively while obsessively watching Bones for the past three or four days -- I'm thinking the characters must have whole jewellery rooms in their screen lives -- and just now talked on the phone for a total of 30 minutes whereupon the phone is down to 84% -- all after 2 hours of on/off usage, no downloading of email at all. Is this normal?

I'm now second-guessing myself about the wisdom of having an idiotPhone, which I chose solely for its ability to use Square so I can accept credit cards at beads shows and markets (and it works great for that -- IF the phone will continue to hold a charge longer than 8 hours!) and to be reachable in an emergency.

Seed bead & mystery stone copper chains:

Another beautiful fall morning:

Now to figure out what to do with them all...

Thanks for looking!

Sunday 13 October 2013

Beads, Bones & Stones... the name of one of my favourite boards on Pinterest. Yes, I confess, I am an addict and my name is Barbara...

It's also what I'm up to today, the Sunday of the Thanksgiving weekend: making endless seed bead chains, watching Bones, and I thought I'd throw in a picture of my latest display of beads here in the dungeon... I mean studio. Rather than wrapping the grids around a table corner and then having difficulty reaching across the table for the beads, I can walk right up to them. Now to figure out how to incorporate this (three rows of beads on each grid this way) in The Gem Expo display in November. See how I cleverly work that reminder in? One part of the wall of my booth will be a pillar... not sure if I can incorporate the grid...

Have a great Thanksgiving weekend, leave some turkey, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce for me. Actually, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce is all I'm interested in...

Thanks for looking!

Saturday 12 October 2013

Pyrite & Copper Skull Choker & A Gift...

I put this together at the market today. These are pyrite skulls from Rainbow Beads that I bought at the Grand River Bead Society show & sale last weekend. I can't believe it was a whole week ago.

The customer for whom the choker was intended suggested leaving out the two skulls on the sides, so I will be remaking it this week. I often think my work suffers from being too "graphic designery", too precise and balanced. I have all these great, loosey-goosey designs in my head screaming to get out but by the time they get made end up very tight and controlled. Back to bead soup, I think. What I do like the look of and think is effective are the goldy-silvery metal tube beads with the thin copper on either side with the matte black glass beads.

And....... I was given a present today at the market that is so beautifully wrapped I don't want to open it. It's quite heavy. It doesn't slosh -- and I was assured that it wasn't chocolate -- so it won't spoil if I let it sit here being admired for a few days. The dried leaf was found pressed in a book that had been sitting in an attic for over 40 years.

Thank you, Winter, for the beautiful gift, and thank you all for looking!

Thursday 10 October 2013

Pictures from the Grand River Bead Society Bead Show & Sale...

...this past weekend (Oct 5th & 6th). I had a great time at the show. I usually do (except that one year when I had a massive toothache the whole day). Special thanks to pals Jane and Lynn who came to the show and ended up dragooned into watching my booth so I could take a break, wander around and buy more beads (it's impossible to ever have enough). If anyone else has more pictures I'll be happy to post them.

An infinitissimally tiny sampling of the 25 vendors at the show.

Beaded butterflies by Brenda Franklin Designs:

This photo doesn't begin to do justice to the colours in these beaded butterfly pendants.

World-travellers and prize-winning peacocks, collaborations by glass artist Mary Ann Helmond, MA Beads, pictured here, and seed bead artist and kit designer Roxann Blazetich-Ozols, Beadaddict.

Mary Ann Helmond with Big Blue II and the albino White Peacock

Jewellery by Marilyn Matheson, Yellow Bird Creations:

Oooh-la-la -- corsets and chain maille from Marilyn Gardiner...

...where you can sit down, relax and try on a design (the corsets are for display purposes only) before buying the kit.

Design concept by Lynn McLean of Fashion Your Space. If my own table ever looks tidier or more well-organised, it's due to Lynn's design eye and clean-upping ways. 

Waves of beads from Rainbow Beads:

My go-to guys for bulk Argentium sterling and pure copper wire... and more and more and more beads.

Salim, Blue Sapphire Beads. Blue Sapphire are the hosts of The Gem Expo!

Saw these on the drive to and from the show:

Early Sunday morning as the fog was lifting... 
This was quite something looming out of the dark mist the night before,
eyes blazing, caught in my truck's headlights.

Why are places like these never open at 6 or 7 in the morning? They have PIES. I LIKE pies and pies really, really like ME. They cliiiinnnngggg to me (see me up top there?).

Knee-deep in punkins just south of Guelph, Strom's Farm 

Man, oh, man, if it weren't for the incredibly steep stairs... I've always wanted a live-in-the-back storefront gallery/studio space. Spotted this for rent near the river in Cambridge. Wood-burning stove, brick patio in back, another patio over the garage... but stairs. 

See you at The Gem Expo in Toronto at the Hyatt Regency on King Street November 22, 23 and 24th!

Thanks for looking.  

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Matte Lapis Lazuli at the GRBS Show & Sale in Guelph this weekend...


Yikes, time is sure ticking: here it is Wednesday afternoon already, and Saturday and Sunday, October 5th and 6th I will be joining 25 vendors at the Grand River Bead Society Bead Show & Sale in Guelph. I have heard that the same great cafe as last year will be in operation, so there'll be no need to leave the show to get food and coffee. Plan to stay all day.

Here is a sneak peek of some of the natural colour matte lapis lazuli I will have for you at the show, all from Afghanistan. I will have full strings, as well as more affordable partial strings. There are tiny 2mm x 1mm saucer beads, lots of strings of 2mm and 3mm heishi, to quite large (over 2.5mm/1 inch) tubular and rice shapes both plain and grooved, and chunky trapezoids, these with spacers of Afghanistan jade saucer beads. These are all hand-cut, so sizes will vary, many beads with larger 1-2mm holes, great for stringing on leather.

Thanks for looking -- and see you at the show!

PS: I will be able to take Visa and MasterCard this year.