Thursday 24 September 2015

Turquoise At The Grand River Bead Society Show & Sale...


See me at the 
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday, September 26th & 27th
Kitchener, Ontario

The van is almost packed. Okay, well... it's getting there. Hallowe'en is coming up fast, and I'll have lots of skull beads and finished jewellery for both ladies and men with me,

If you check out the Bingemans website, there are a ton of things going on this weekend, so the bead addicts among you can come to the bead show and then catch up with your friends or family later on.

Look forward to seeing you this weekend!

Monday 21 September 2015

Five More Views & I'll Hit 50,000 Page Views!!!

Thanks, everyone!!!

I'm typing all day today, but this week I'll be posting about getting ready for a bead show. In the area next weekend? Please drop by:

Saturday and Sunday, September 26th & 27th
Kitchener, Ontario

Here is a picture from a few years and Grand River Bead Society shows ago:

Friday 18 September 2015


Picked up Sarah Thompson's book last night from my mailbox. It was shipped from Tuesday morning and got here in the day's mail south of the middle of nowhere Thursday afternoon. Not bad!

I'm severely dyslexic when it comes to understanding written directions and even photographs, in particular when it involves continuous sequential movements like the various wire weaves (or oil painting, say. From a practical standpoint, I still don't know what an underpainting is and how one uses it to get to a finished painting. It's a completely baffling mystery to me.) Given that, I became happier and happier that I subscribed to her video at Craftsy, and watched it straight through first to get an overview, because I would've become very frustrated if I only had the book -- again, that's just me. The biggest difference between her video and the multitude of others on YouTube is that most of them that I've seen assume you already know the basics (but you don't know that when you start watching them), and Sarah anticipates every question as it occurs to you as a first-time viewer.

Now I'm working my way through the video again -- slowly -- from the beginning. Well, this first weave at any rate. Yikes.

I'm using 18 gauge for the base wires (three) and 28 gauge to do the wrapping. For what it's worth, about 2 feet of wrapping wire does maybe an inch of this modified soumak weave I'm starting with.

Not the most exciting picture in the world, but... it's a start, and shows just under an inch of weave.

One of the things Sarah advises in the video to use are kumihomo bobbins to wrap the longer lengths of wire. Not having bobbins, I tried wrapping wire around a pill bottle and taping it with painter's tape, but it quickly fell apart. The pill bottles are actually kind of heavy. Then the wire got too kinked so I had to cut it. I think it will work for now, but need to use more tape. Don't cheap out: it's not expensive.

Now I'm wrapping with about four feet of wire in total. I'd started in the middle, but with only four feet of wire I wouldn't really need to do. She gives very clear instructions on how to seamlessly incorporate new wrapping wires into the weave.

I have no idea what I'm actually going to do with this other than wrap a pendant, but I want to add some hammered twiddled paddles at the ends, so I did cut the base wires extra-long and will use this as a play piece.

Thanks again to Pearl at Beading Gem for turning me (and a lot of other people) onto Sarah's video and book.

Thanks for looking!

Monday 14 September 2015

Wire-Weaving Course by Sarah Thompson...

Wire-weaving is my latest passion in my ever-evolving style and this particular combination of thick and thin hammering, exquisitely symmetrical and layered wire-bending...

...combined with wrapping revs the machine-like precision-monster in me like nothing else. I just now bought Sarah Thompson's 3-hour video course via Pearl Blay's Beading Gem blog and I cannot wait to start working my way through this tut.

Go to Pearl's blog, make a comment and enter the draw to win the free video tutorial. For me, I'm too impatient (and not reeeeally very lucky) so I clicked the link on Pearl's blog and -- whoo hoo! -- bought the course for half price at Craftsy. I'm currently mulling over buying Sarah's book... but I probably will.

Thanks for looking!

Setting up an antique show display table...

Well, another Nostalgia Show is done. Seems like the morning stretches forever, especially getting up and getting there by 6:15 a.m. Then time gallops and all of a sudden we're packing up to go home.

Do you go to art, craft, bead or antique shows and wonder what's involved? It does get easier and faster to set up the more often you do antique (or bead) shows. Fewer crucial things get forgotten: there's nothing worse than driving for 3 hours and starting to set up when you realise you've left the box containing all your jewellery at home! Luckily with this show, had we forgotten anything, we were both ten minutes away from our respective homes.

Between us we had two vanloads full of boxes and larger items, all of which had to fit on, under and behind an 8-foot table. And up. Always think in terms of UP. We used a wooden ladder (thanks, Pinterest) and added two 5-foot shelves. Next time, we'll bring my  2x6-foot grids and display all the frames and mirrors behind the table on that.

First, empty the van(s) of everything. Dollies are indispensable. Get one with big tires, rather than piddly little ones. You may think you're saving money, but you'll be amazed at the weight you're going to be piling on. Bigger tires = more maneuverability. Another thing to note is that parking lots will be full of holes, gravel, snow and ice -- or puddles. Or in the summer you're going to be trying to move loads on lumpy grass fields or along cobblestone or brick streets. Don't cheap out. Also invest in a bag of assorted bungee cords especially if you're on your own and don't have an extra pair of hands to hold things in place as you're pushing and shoving the loaded dolly around on bumpy surfaces.

The other thing is pack as many things in bins or boxes so that the lids can be closed and you can stack them on the dolly. My bad habit is lumpy items sticking out of boxes.

We arrived at 6:15 and unloaded both vans, got coffee and breakfast from the snack bar. In between chatting with other vendors we got everything piled in front of and behind the table and tried to avoid piling items on top of the table. The cover was the first thing to go on. Normally, many shows require you to have a cloth that covers the front to the floor, but in this venue we can display a lot of larger items on the floor underneath the table as long as they don't creep into the aisle itself.

7:23 The table from the back. Note our primo location conveniently across from the snack bar.

7:23 View of the front of the table:

7:55 Emptying the boxes. Shelves are on the ladder which has been moved to one end of the table. (Watch in the background of these photos how everyone is using shelves on their tables to go up):

8:43 All items are on the table, boxes and dolly are back in the van and we've started to roughly place items:

10:05 Open for business:

This applies to virtually any show you do: bring lots of smaller risers and a variety of plate stands for plates, platters, or display boards for jewellery and smaller silver items. Clear plastic boxes are great to vary the heights of items and because they're clear they let ambient light shine through. Group like items with like and, within that, keep similar colours and patterns together. This show doesn't offer electrical outlets, so Nancy brought a battery operated goose-necked clamp lamp which helped to spark up the jewellery and silver which we'd grouped together.

How did we do? Wellllllll... not so good. The loon decoy (up on top of the ladder) is winging its way to Hull, England, and I sold a green dragon and phoenix pendant (to another vendor) and a key. Lots of people were looking, but...

A lot of these items will be going to the One of a Kind Antique Mall this afternoon, and the rest to an online auction. But I will keep refining what I buy and what I offer -- and hope to see you at the next Nostalgia show in November.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday 9 September 2015

Getting Items Ready for the Nostalgia Show...

I've been busy researching and pricing items for the Nostalgia Show.

10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Sunday 13 September
Nostalgia Show & Sale
Woodstock Auditorium
875 Nellis Street, Woodstock, Ontario

Here are just a few of the items we'll have for sale.

1887 Calendar in a wood & metal frame, "The Sacrifice of Isaac":

EP Copper Creamer & Sugar:

Handmade blue-painted wooden tool box, dove-tailed joints:

Handmade black-painted wooden tool box:

1920s bakelite Star Turn Hardness Comparator:

Vintage (1940s?) wooden magazine caddy:

Old wooden sap bucket:

Well worth coming to with over 225 vendors from across Ontario and Quebec. After the show you'll still have time to head over to the One of a Kind Antique Mall on Wilson Street by the train tracks, open until 5:00 p.m. Nancy's and my booth number is 800/847, also check out my showcase (800) next to the cash. We still have lots of goodies there.

Hope to see you at the show!

Monday 7 September 2015

Hammered & Wrapped Copper & Dyed Green Coral Pendant...

I tried to make something with paddles that I thought would be fairly simple to wrap. I'm working towards making wrapped frames for pendants using paddles because of that zen-y/calligraphic look they have.

You do not want to see my first (abandoned) attempt. But you know how in all the directions they tell you not to cut the wires too short? To wait to do all the trimming and tucking of raw ends at the end? Ahem.

Effort number two. I'm obsessed with twiddles. I added one to the wrap I did a few weeks ago, and this one was an extra hammered paddle.

It'll be about 2-1/2" tall once I put a jump ring on it.

Got chased inside all of a sudden at 7:15 by nasty biting critters who came out of nowhere, but this is where I've been reading, eating dinner and working for the past few hours. It's been windy all afternoon, but as soon as the sun started going down the wind dropped and the bugs showed up.

Close-up of my new cat, a rusting heap of nuts 'n' bolts, rescued from my mother's garden.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday 6 September 2015

Baroque Pearl Pendant to go with Jenny Wren Farthing & Pearl Earrings...

This was actually the first time I'd handled the pearl under good lighting -- it is truly gorgeous -- and I thought it looked like a cross between an Alphonse Mucha Art Nouveau lady and the Gibson Girl pendant I got a few weeks again from the Uncanny Artist. 

Speaking of pearls, I sold my Eiffel Tower pearl necklace and earrings yesterday at the market.

The original necklace had large faceted pewter beads on the ends of the "Eiffel Tower" dangles the same size as these pearls, and I had made a pair of standalone earrings with the pearls just to see what they would look like. My customer had been yearning after the original necklace for close to a year when a month or so ago her friend spotted the pearl earring variation that I'd just put out, and that swayed her into ordering the necklace with pearls instead.

Now that I have my new van, I can start making plans.

Upcoming Shows & Sales:

Nostalgia Show & Sale, Sunday, 13 September 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Fairgrounds, 875 Nellis Street, Woodstock. Nancy's and my table will be right in front of the snack bar in the auditorium. Along with small furniture items, china and glass, we will have collectible beads (coin silver and Roman glass beads from Afghanistan, old glass chevrons from Nepal, collectible turquoise) and vintage jewellery finds.

If you still didn't find what you were looking for, you've got a couple of hours to head over to the One of a Kind Antique Mall on Wilson Street before it closes at 5:00. Both our booth and showcase 800/847 are located on the main floor near the front cash.

Grand River Bead Society Bead Show & Sale, September 26th & 27th, 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Bingemans Conference Centre, Kitchener. Turquoise, lapis, Roman glass, powder glass, pewter pendants and skulls.

The Gem Expo, November 20th, 21st & 22nd, Hyatt Regency, King Street, Toronto. Turquoise, lapis, Roman glass, powder glass, pewter pendants and skulls.

As always, I am at the Woodstock Farmers Market every Saturday morning, 7:00 a.m. until noon, but I am usually there at 5:00 to start setting up.

Hope to see you at one of the shows and, as always, thanks for looking!