Wednesday 26 October 2016

Gem Expo Classes Are UP!!!

Sign up soon! 8 students max in my classes. I have three classes to choose from running back-to-back on Saturday, November 26th, but there are many more on offer all weekend. Book your classes online.

A class would make a great Christmas gift, too. Come with a friend, plan a day at the show and then take yourselves out for a leisurely lunch or dinner before the Christmas/New Year's time crunch starts. Learn a great new skill, and make some new friends around the table.

Leather Wrap Bracelets: 
These are so easy-peasy: if you can tie a knot, you can make these bracelets. Bring your own beads (1mm+ holes) and coloured leather to supplement the black leather and beads in the class kit. Add length to the leather to make a necklace. These are super easy to make and because they are somewhat adjustable would make wonderful Christmas gifts for everyone. Dress them up or down.

Just a few of the endless possibilities:

Jewellery-Making Tips & Tricks for the 
When I started out making jewellery ten years ago, many people would ask me, "What are you working on these days?" I'd show them, and then they'd say, "Okay, then you need to know this." Now it's my turn to pass all those "thises" along.

This class will move really fast. Learn about different wire, tools and hammering techniques, crimping and stringing tips. Make your own earwires, decorative headpins, connectors and dangles in the class. Learn where you can save money for your customers. Bring your questions or a project that you'd like help with.

If you have a bench block and hammer, please bring them along with pliers and cutters. We will be working with copper wire of various gauges and tempers.

Totally Addicting Stretch Bracelets: 
Super quick and easy to make bracelets for kids and grownups to suit all tastes and budgets. Great for Christmas gift-giving.

If you buy beads to use in the Totally Addicting Stretch Bracelet class, make sure they have minimum 1mm holes to slightly larger. Stretch Magic cord is provided in the kit, and more will be available for sale. If you want to bring your own, make sure it's Stretch Magic, 1mm diameter.

If you have any questions about my classes, please email me for the quickest response.

Don't forget: book any class and you get free admission all three days of the show. Look forward to seeing you at The Gem Expo the last weekend in November!

Sunday 23 October 2016

Taste of Poland at the Woodstock Farmers Market...

Yesterday the vendors moved inside the market, officially marking the end of summer. But... to make us all happy, there was a new vendor running the snackbar. Taste of Poland from Hamilton. They were giving out free samples of perogies and cabbage rolls. Holy moley -- soooooooooo good. I am not normally a fan of cabbage rolls but these were fantastic. Everyone was raving about the samples.

If the thought of perogies is a bit much so early in the morning, they have some good-looking breakfasts, as well.

I bought a bag of frozen perogies, fried up some Miedema's bacon and onion, splurged on a tub of sour cream, and a few minutes ago had myself a little Sunday orgy here at the computer...

On other fronts, I am already booking custom orders for Christmas. There are tons of gift ideas from food and craft vendors (several new vendors) in two large rooms. Come to the market on Saturday morning, get all your Christmas shopping done and done early!

Saturday 22 October 2016

Copper Curl Pendants...

One of my favourite sources for wire weaving tutorials is Oxana Crafts over on YouTube. I watched this tutorial yesterday, and then this morning at the market tried making it from memory. Let's just say that overdue library books aren't the only things I've not been remembering lately.

My first attempt was an epic FAIL, if for no other reason than I ran out of wire. The bead doesn't look very good with it, either -- white stripes, not blue like in the photo (blame that on my idiotPhone camera):

2nd attempt turned out the best -- it has two distinct layers of wire as one side tucks in behind. The copper looks good with the red glass:

3rd attempt is okay-ish... maybe:

Comparing mine with the original design here shows I really need to tighten up my twirls. My beads are a bit larger than the one used in the original video, and I found that 2 pieces of 30-inch 20 gauge gave me enough wire.

Well, that was interesting exercise... but definitely back to the drawing board. Do check out Oxana's tuts. They're very easy to follow.

I've been told the November Gem Expo classes will be posted later this weekend. Sign up at the Gem Expo website and you'll get an email notifying you as soon as they're up. Lots of fun classes and you get a three-day show pass with your class fee. Where? Downtown Toronto at the Hyatt Regency on King Street the last weekend in November.

Thanks for stopping by and see you at the bead show!

Sunday 16 October 2016

Playing with Leather Wrap Bracelet Designs...

These are four bracelets I made yesterday morning at the market. I've been working on asymmetry lately. For the bottom two bracelets I used randomly selected beads from my bead soup bin. Well, okay, sometimes I specifically choose the beads but they're so wonky it's virtually impossible to find two beads that look the same so I'm forced by necessity into asymmetry. I think these beads might be from India. There are a zillion shapes and such rich colours -- and I love the wonkiness of them. They also for the most part have large holes which makes them perfect to string on leather.

I'm also trying not to think too long and hard about the end result -- just tying knots, playing with buttons versus clasps and seeing what happens, except what often happens is I've cut the leather too short for some great idea that's evolving and I have to start over. Back of mind is always wearability, do-up-ability and adjustability. These all are adjustable to about an inch either way, so in that regard they'd make great gifts (Christmas, birthday, grad...) without being too-too worried about fit. The recipient could loosen the knots, move them a bit, or remove beads (as in the case of the top bracelet), retie the knots and/or cut off a too-long tail.

These and other bracelets are available for sale, please email me for prices or to order a custom design -- or try them on in person at the Woodstock Farmer's Market any Saturday morning, 7:00 a.m. until noon.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday 2 October 2016

Fab news...

The Gem Expo in July was a total hoot, met lots of new and returning customers and friends -- and the class I taught went really well, so much so I plan to offer two or three different classes at the November Gem Expo. Stay tuned for advance announcements on that front, and I'll give you a heads up once the classes are posted. This time, though, the classes will be capped at 5 to maybe 8 students, so don't delay in registering. If we know far enough in advance that there is sufficient demand additional classes can be scheduled.

In fact, think about giving the gift of learning to a friend as an early Christmas present. There are jewellery-making classes at the show for every skill level and interest. You'll definitely make new friends and jewellery buddies in the classes, as well.

My fab news is this summer I sold the smaller copper swirl citrine pendant and the wire-woven Sleeping Beauty turquoise nugget ring. Then yesterday I sold the larger swirl citrine pendant.

Aaaand... three weeks ago I sold the double-sided dragon-skin/crackle agate Backside of the Moon pendant.

People who know me know that I am a big fan of more is more, which means my market tables are usually crammed with stuff. Well... the past few weeks I've been experimenting with putting on the table just one or a few items in a style instead of the five, ten, dozen or more that I have... and it seems to be working. There is breathing space now between each item and sales seem to have picked up. There might be a little of the "uh, oh -- there's only one left, I'd better buy it now" scarcity strategy going on, too... maybe.

We also got new lighting in the market building a few weeks ago thanks to a grant. Makes a HUGE difference, so much so that I don't have to put up spotlights all over my table. Instead of walking from sunlight into a dim and depressing building, it's like walking from sunlight into sunlight. It's quite spectacular, actually, and all the jewellery across the table looks ten times better instead of the spotlit puddles I had before.

This summer I acquired some really great crystals and unusually-shaped tumbled and raw semi-precious stones. I'll be posting pictures when I get them made up into pendants. Meanwhile, you can always contact me here or by email for special orders, and you can find me at the Woodstock Farmers Market every Saturday morning, 7:00 a.m. to 12:00.

As always, thanks for stopping by!