Sunday 27 May 2018

Customer request...

Hard to believe, but some people don't like skulls... I'd made these a few weeks ago...

...and got an email at the farmers market yesterday morning via a pal: could I take the skulls off and add crystals of some kind?

This was the result: tiny powerhouse Herkimer diamonds with lots of flash and fire:

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday 20 May 2018

Saturday Morning Market Production...

I made these adjustable chokers yesterday morning at the Woodstock Farmers Market. Then it got reeeeeeeeeeeeeally busy. Love long weekend Saturdays at the market. All the people who do NOT go away are in a party/barbeque mood.

I'm always amazed at how a simple bead and jump ring combination can look so spectacular. In this case I used gunmetal beads in a two-three combination with stainless steel coloured jump rings. I was able to use three jump rings to form the bail on these pendants. Using more than one makes it more stable, and enhances the design. And if one or three pendants look good, five repeated in sequence is even better.

Here is an experiment using glass pony beads, copper and gunmetal. Not quite as effective as above.

When designing anything, making mistakes is invaluable because that's the only way to see what works and what doesn't -- and also to come up with happy surprises. I think here the combination of beads distracts from my using different pendants.

These cords are 1.5mm, and I scour bead stores and online for big hole beads precisely because this is an inexpensive, fast and easy-to-change-out way to bump a simple pendant up to stunning.

These are made with silver-plated wyverns, dragons and bird skulls, glass, copper and variously plated beads, all on adjustable leather cords. Prices range from $25 to $45.

Hope to see you next week IRL with hundreds of semi-precious, pewter, metal and silver jewellery and crystals at the Woodstock Farmers Market, at the Fairgrounds on Nellis Street, Woodstock, 7:00 a.m. until noon all year round. For you early birds, I'm almost always there by 5:00 a.m.

Thanks for stopping by!

Heads up -- The July Gem Expo & MetaExpo are on their way...

...soon, soon, soon. Both shows will be held the last weekend in July in Toronto at the downtown Hyatt Regency Hotel on King Street. TWO BALLROOMS full of gems, minerals, crystals, jewellery, findings, holistic and metaphysical practitioners... plus plenty of courses by experts in their fields to learn about crystals and jewellery-making.

If you're an absolute beginner to jewellery-making you've come to the right place. I will be teaching the two most basic jewellery-making techniques -- how to open and close a jump ring, and how make two kinds of loops -- on Friday evening, time TBA. Learn to make a rosary chain loop, aka simple loop, and a wrapped loop. Everything flows from this.

You will have a pile of pendants, glass, semi-precious, metal and lava (aromatherapy/diffuser) beads and findings to choose from. Take home a mixed metals and beads necklace and earrings. Materials and class notes are supplied and included in the course cost.

Since I only have a few tools, if you have them, please bring the following four tools. If you need to buy them, the easiest way is to use Michael's 40% and 50% off regular priced item coupons. Generally speaking, pliers and jewellery-making tools are items that rarely if ever go on sale. Hardware store tools and pliers are not suitable, nor are the travel-size sets of small pliers.

Basic jewellery-making tools L to R: Bent nose, chain nose, round nose, and angled flush cutters (with the really pointy ends). Note the pliers with blue handles, those have cushioned, hand-friendly ergonomic handles. The ones in the centre are Michael's "sparkle" pliers. They're fine to use, but upgrading those is on my shopping list.

Go to The Gem Expo website or The MetaExpo website, subscribe and get immediate notification when the classes are posted. One admission gets you into both shows.

Got questions about this and my other classes? Email me here.  Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday 3 May 2018

Trip to Toronto...

I was supposed to leave Woodstock by 7:00 a.m. on Sunday to the Toronto Gem & Mineral Show at the Don Mills Arena, but ended up tossing, tossing, tossing and packing and moving until 2:00 p.m. downsizing from a 2-bedroom house to a tiny room in a shared house. Okay, and a storage locker for all my show and market bins -- all of which are on large wire baker's rack type shelves. System works great.

People laugh at my 30-inch wide bed but it's super comfortable and I can store lots underneath. I gave away tons and tons of stuff, but still have too much. 

I stayed downtown at Hi-Toronto on Church just north of King, and my current fave place to stay in Toronto. The common kitchen/dining area has been renovated -- took out a dividing wall, and despite losing counter space, it's made a huge difference. The room is now filled with light. I've always loved the mismatched wooden tables and chairs look. Took this picture at about 6:00 a.m. but in the afternoon/early evening, it's really beautiful. Plenty of fridge/freezer/food prep space. I bring my own coffee for early in the morning.

All I did was eat, and walk and eat some more. We had lunch on Monday at crazy-good KoJa Sushi in the Liberty Village neighbourhood with Ruth. The plates are works of freakin' fresh and goooood art.

We headed to an artisan co-op stores on Queen in Parkdale, but found Curiosa in its place, full of Harry Potter paraphernalia. Magical place. One of these days I'll binge read/watch the Harry Potter books and movies. Then we went to the Lakeview Restaurant on Dundas at Ossington for dinner, my second time there. Walking up Ossington and taking the streetcar along Dundas, there are so many little restos and so little time -- and money. More money and more time would be good. The key of course to all this good food is a whole lot of sauntering. Five-plus kilometres each day. The next day we went to the Bus Terminal Diner on the Danforth at Coxwell, another great time warp, diners being a current theme.

Very sorry I missed Karma's Kitchen on Gerrard, but I got to Toronto too late Sunday evening to consider it. Dim Sum Plus on Spadina is new, tried it on my last visit, and I would've liked to have gone back there. Three more weeks to wait...

Meanwhile back here IRL, Mother's Day is May 13th. Two more market shopping days: don't forget to come and see me and all the other great vendors at the Woodstock Farmers Market every Saturday morning from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. We have great gifts, and great food for your BBQ or party. I'm there by 5:00 a.m. for anyone who wants to stop by on their way to work.

See you there!