Tuesday 29 December 2015

More Stackers...

A late start today -- and at least an hour spent rummaging through bins looking for my buttons. I distinctly remember putting them someplace logical. Hah hah and hah. Obviously not.

Defaulted to making stretch stackers. I'm finding these little seed bead guys in particular -- because of the knocked back colours -- mix nicely with hand-cut and matte bead bracelets I tend to make.

Off to Toronto tomorrow to hang out with Ruth, eat great meals and wander around Spadina and Queen, get a big bag of chocolate covered ginger from the St. Lawrence Market, more Greek leather, hit up Lavish & Squalor where I want to buy myself a skullaciously grand Christmas present.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday 28 December 2015

How I Spent My Christmas Vacation...

Some people lolled on beaches all week. In my usual fashion, after procrastinating most of the week, I finally buckled down and starting making jewellery on the 23rd for the last market day before Christmas.

One of the perks was walking into the market on the 24th to an almost-set-up table at 4:57 a.m.

While at the market, I had plenty of time to play...

...and sell. Who woulda thunk that rhinestones and bone skulls would go so perfectly together?

I did surprisingly well for the day before Christmas, considering most people dash in for their turkeys, vegetables, pies, candles, chocolates and flowers -- everything it seems but jewellery -- and immediately dash outta there to the malls to do final shopping. Me, I dashed off to the bank and then to the Charles Dickens Pub for an incredibly good ooey, gooey grilled cheese sandwich. Four cheeses on it, something like that, including Gunn Hill, which is located about one or two kilometres south of me here in the wilderness of Southern Ontario.

Christmas Day I finally got off the desktop and into the other room to make jewellery and binge watch Death in Paradise on my laptop which has external speakers.

I made all of these in two days...

Alas, the triple wrap bracelet above has sold already, but I'm getting more leather and beads in so I can make lots more of these.

Please email me for details on any of the above bracelets. I still have lots, and while some are one of a kind, some styles I have sufficient beads that I can make more, and I can always adjust the size up or down to fit you perfectly. Email me here.

I hope everyone was able to spend time with family and friends or, like me, hunkered down in restorative peace and quiet. Thanks for looking!

Sunday 20 December 2015

Swapping Bullets for Claws...

My pal Lianne the Vintage Lady next to me at the market often asks me to make stuff with bits and pieces, and yesterday I had to figure out how to wrap some bullets (real and fake) to make a choker as a Christmas gift. No idea what other people do -- I suppose I should take a look online -- but here is my effort. She says her grandson will love it. I sure hope so.

With Lianne, I'd rather swap things I'm after, like vintage chains and interesting beads, and this strangely mounted claw is what I got in exchange for making the choker. It seems to be silver-plated brass, but who cares? It looks great.

I left the warm sanctuary of the market to go to the local grocery store to return some mislabeled cheese. Instead of treating me like a criminal (or an idiot -- I can tell you stories!!!) which seems to be their default setting, Zehr's finally came through, and gave me double what I'd bought as a make-good: $40 worth of genuine Parmigiano Reggiano. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah Thanks, Bev, Deli Department Manager.

On the way back to my van, I spotted Rudolph, who'd obviously been sitting out there for a long, long time. I need to get something like this for my van. Any ideas where to buy Rudolph gear for cars?

Ick. Snow. Nope, not happy at all. But luckily, today it was sunny and the howling winds (and snow) had gone away (apparently to Arizona where it was just above freezing today!).

Thanks for looking!

New Venture: Estate Jewellery...

I've been going to estate sales for a couple of years now, and most of you know I share a booth and showcase at the One of a Kind Antique Mall. I've started to look more closely at the jewellery that's occasionally on offer, sifting through the junk for jewellery to remake, but these yummy finds are way too fine to chop up. The past few weeks I've bought fairly heavily (for me, at any rate). 

Here are a few of the items that will be offered here, as well as on my soon-to-be resurrected Etsy page (not quite ready yet on both counts, but stay tuned!).

Left to right: Joan Rivers pave stretch bangle; CIRO gold-plated, diamond dust panther shoulder pin; and a Nolan Miller enamel bird cuff:

Sterling silver and semi-precious bracelets: top, bezel-set rectangular aquamarine; lower, bezel set blue stones (topaz(?) and ??) with smaller moonstone & iolite.

Lots of sterling cocktail rings, as well, to channel your inner Joan Rivers, Dynasty and Dallas babes. 

Stay tuned!

Wednesday 16 December 2015

The Oxford County Animal Rescue Fundraiser & New Kids' Jewellery for Christmas...

It's been a crazy week and a half -- time has flown. Someone told me on Saturday there was only one more market 'til Christmas and I went into panic mode. Then I was told, no, you have TWO more markets, meaning another five days to procrastinate 'til the Thursday market on the 24th. Whew! Good news for me and good news for all those people who still haven't started shopping, and have left the worst -- I mean the best -- but still most difficult people to buy for last: KIDS!!

I gallop to your rescue: trust me, boys love skulls and fossils and girls (a lot of 'em) also love skulls and fossils... and birds and flowers and purty beads... and I have all of them and more. Lots of items under $20 and many starting at $3-$5 for little girls and guys.

Just got some brachiopods in (550 MILLION years old!!!) and adjustable chokers are $10 each:

This past Saturday I made the world's ugliest chakra bracelet. Yeah, it just kinda flops there, doesn't it?

It just did not work, but the birds I liked and I do like the individual beads, even if some of them look suspiciously edible. I took it apart and made these with small Picasso glass pony beads, $8 to $10 each:

In the summer, I'd made this chakra bracelet...

...which I ended up swapping for this!!!!

I've subsequently discovered that this bottle is available from the LCBO filled with booze. Whoo hoo! Or maybe that should be boo hoo 'cause I can't drink anymore. Stooopid meds. Spoil all my fun.

Sunday, December 6th was the Oxford County Animal Rescue fundraiser, where Nancy (Junk of Ages: Vintage Home & Garden and my booth partner at the One of a Kind Antique Mall) and I shared a table. If you're into vintage Christmas jewellery and ornaments, we're the place to shop at the market (and at the Antique Mall, booth 800/847). This show was a hoot to do, not the least because I fine-tuned a new table layout -- and this time I remembered to take detailed pictures before teardown.

Jim and Jan Post's Caravan Candles display at the OCAR fundraiser. Yah! That really is a wax skull there on the front corner of the table. They'll be at the market (with the skull candle) this Saturday, December 19th, and Thursday, December 24th. There's Nancy in front of the table.

Nancy and I both still have lots of great, well-priced Christmas gifts available for every age and interest. See you at the market...
Saturday, December 19th
Thursday, December 24th
7:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
(but I'm there by 5:00 a.m. if you want to 
get a head start on your shopping day)

I think I need to get my Christmas cards done... soon!

Thanks for looking!

Saturday 5 December 2015

Glass Pearl & Rhinestone Rondelle Stretch Bracelets...

Hah -- I started making the first one, intending these to be quick, inexpensive items for the sale tomorrow at the OCAR Fundraiser, showed them to a pal who likes bling and she ordered five plus earrings. Used up all the glass pearls I'd got from a vintage necklace. Her Christmas shopping is done, but now I have to scramble to make more bracelets for the show.

Better get at, we start setting up at 6 tonight.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Another Gem Expo put to bed...

An awful cold hit me like a freight train late Monday afternoon -- but Thursday the 19th found me bombing down the highway on a sunny day: well, first a pit stop at Peridot Hair Salon in Paris to get my hair done -- the day before I'd hacked off almost 18 inches of hair. This is the shortest it's been in almost 20 years. Now for four days of glorious freedom from typing. Wheeee!

I met Ruth at the St. Lawrence Market where we stocked up on bags of chocolate-coated ginger (really great brain food) and tanked up on hot sweet and sour soup. It seemed to help my cold, at any rate. We walked around until it was time to head over to the Hyatt Regency to set up at 8:00.

Our tables were smack dab in the centre of the ballroom, rather than the usual spot off in a corner. Location, location, location, right? Last March, I can't tell you the number of people who arrived at my table in the corner farthest from the doors only to tell me that between the doors and my table they'd spent all their money.

What with this head cold and cough (which got worse and worse through the weekend), I was pretty brain dead, but Ruth and I got the van unloaded and things more or less set up around 10:30 p.m. This was the sight that greeted me when I arrived at 8:00 a.m. Friday morning. Only three and a half hours 'til showtime. Surely we'd got more done last night????

But I methodically persevered, fueled by a second medium Tim's latte (by Saturday, I'd graduated to large lattes, anything to cut through the brain fog), and by 11:30 the November 2015 Gem Expo was open for business:

One of my very first customers at The Gem Expo two and a half years ago, Kate Laidlaw, came to visit Friday afternoon and brought one of her necklaces that she'd made with my beads.

She does such beautifully clean but bold work. You've got to check her out.

Saturday night, Ruth took five of us out to the Thai Princess for a really nice meal. I was grateful that whatever this horrible nastiness I had was, it hadn't affected my appetite. I love Thai food, and it was so nice to sit down and share plate after plate of wonderful food with new and old friends.

Meanwhile, I finished wire-weaving a turquoise pendant. I'm not too sure about it, but here it is.

I restrung a bracelet I'd given to Ruth, which needed shortening. She added some turquoise and deleted one of the skulls. Here 'tis, with her asymmetric tweaks:

I managed to drop a string of lodalite, which is a gorgeous greenish phantom quartz, and broke one of the beads, so I decided to put some with the third of my bird necklace designs. Lodalite, hand-cut Afghanistan turquoise heishi and shell birds:

Friday had dragged... but then all of a sudden the show was over.  Took a lot less time to pack up than to set up.Yes, the contents of all those bins and bags had been on two 6-foot tables and two 2x6 foot grids only one hour and 45 minutes before. I think the packing this time was a record. But then we had to find a functioning elevator...

Ruth convinced me to accompany her to the Elephant & Castle for a good meal before attempting the drive back to Woodstock. Good plan. Good food. Actually, really good food -- it cut through the brain fog and I could even taste their version of French onion soup, made with beer. Yum! Just wish I could've had a beer.

And that was it. A fast drive home. I pulled into my driveway around midnight -- and promptly spent the following week in bed. An enormous thank you to Ruth's parents for hosting me this weekend and putting up with my infernal coughing. Her mom sent me downtown every morning with jars of steeped raw ginger tea, to which I am now addicted.

See you all in March 2016!

OCAR: Crafts, Bling & Things...

.... Nancy Mac and I are sharing a table at the

Oxford County Animal Rescue 
Crafts, Bling & Things
Fundraiser & Adoption Day 

There will be lots and lots of great vendors selling all manner of items, animal toys and handmade Christmas gifts for humans. There will be raffles to enter, kittens to oooh and awwww over, gallons of coffee and lots of homemade cupcakes.

We'll be setting up on Saturday evening, so I'll try to post some pictures of some of the tables before the show.

Sunday, December 6th, 2015
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
885 Nellis Street, Woodstock
Located in the building just to the east of the Auditorium at the Fairgrounds
Lots of signs and balloons -- you can't miss us!
Tons of parking, too. 

Website and Facebook