Wednesday 26 April 2017

If you fear change...

The Cavern bar/resto at the HI-Toronto youth hostel where I stayed this past weekend. I really, really like it there!

See you all at the Woodstock Farmers Market this Saturday with all my Toronto Gem Show goodies. I got lots of new beads to make chakra bracelets, as well as earrings and pendants!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday 18 April 2017

4-Daycation coming up!

Leaving Friday morning for four days in Toronto to go to the gem show at the Don Mills Arena. Staying at HI-Toronto again. Other than the show on Saturday with pals, I'm planning nothing more than a slow meander.

Here are some pix from the past few trips to Tronna.

A typical dorm room at HI-Toronto:

A traditional straw broom from Iqbal's, Toronto:

Salami d'amour from Pusateri's Avenue Road:

Totally forgot to document my table setup at the Gem Expo this time. This shows the point at which I gave up on Thursday night. The classes were held behind this table in the bay window of the ballroom. A curtain was put up between my table and the classrooms.

I've moved almost entirely over to clear plastic stacking display boxes and I was able to pretty much get two tables' worth of beads on the one table, yet all were clearly visible. Because so many of my beads now live permanently in these boxes, setup was waaaaay faster than all the other shows. And I think people rather liked the treasure hunt, poking in and around items on the table. I was told several times it was my nicest display yet.

Once again, we ended up at the Jason George for dinner. Ruth's sandwich was fabulous. The Kaiser bun wasn't one of those flabby soft things that passes for Kaisers these days. Crunchy crust!

The show was so busy I barely got a chance to leave my table, but I did buy lots of blue Afghan turquoise heishi...

...which looks gorgeous with my new raven skull pendant.

Thanks for stopping by -- and maybe see you in Toronto!

Pee Ess... Lianne the Vintage Lady will be putting out some of my jewellery at the Woodstock Farmers Market on Saturday while I'm away.

Monday 17 April 2017

Peacock Pearl Chain & Raku Scarab Flask Pendant...

A few words on selling and marketing -- Techniques? Strategies? -- and developing customer loyalty and trust. I think of it as the customer being the brains and I'm the hands, and to me this is a true collaborative partnership.

This is the fourth chain I've made in this style for Winter. One was for herself, and three were gifts to pals. This one in particular was made with tinned copper wire, peacock potato pearls and silver-plated skull beads. Winter roams the Internet acquiring goodies, and she really likes these raku-fired flask pendants.

Two raku flask necklaces that I forgot to photograph in November/December were made with copper wire and copper-coloured pearls, which also looked great. Those particular flasks had a lot of copper in the blue glaze.

Winter is always bringing me odd pendants and broken necklaces or too-short necklaces and we discuss options. I re-string, use leather, make or re-use chains and combine all kinds of different items to make her visions come true. Because she's doing all the designing and decision-making, I can give her a much better price than I might otherwise charge on something I'd spend my time designing. To me, this type of customer is a joy to work with.

Nuts and bolts: accounting for interruptions -- you know, vital things like drinking coffee, grazing for free samples, visiting -- at the farmers market on Saturday, I think this 24" necklace took me about 1.5 to 2 hours to put together, I used about 2/3 of a string of inexpensive pearls, some skull beads, jump rings and an oversize clasp. In case it needs adjusting, I make these chains in segments, joining them with various combos of jump rings.

Now back to the real world of deadlines and day job.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday 15 April 2017


Working flat out these days -- crazy hours. Managed 20 minutes on my minuscule deck yesterday in the hot sun and too cold wind to -- gasp! -- read a book and eat lunch. Then it was back to typing. I'm surrounded here by carpets of snowdrops, bluebells and purple violets.

On other fronts, I became a great-aunt a week ago... here is Etta, age 1 week. She's a cutie.

Off to Toronto again in a few days on another buying trip. Hope to see you at the market in a few hours. Check out my new skulls, chakra pendants, turquoise, lapis, peridot and citrine rings from Montreal, lapis earrings and bracelets, plus rudraksha and sandalwood beads to wear as they are or have custom made into a necklace.

The Woodstock Farmers Market, at the fairgrounds on Nellis Street, 7:00 a.m. to noon every Saturday.