Friday 29 November 2013

Christmas Made by Hand Show

This Saturday I will be in Hamilton, participating in the Christmas Show and Sale.

The show is being held at the Hamilton Convention Center, Summers Lane, Hamilton and runs Saturday 10:00 – 5:00.  You can find me at booth 53, in the middle aisle straight forward from the left side of the middle entrance doors.  What a great spot!

Come visit me and save on your purchase with this coupon:

There will be 110 vendors selling Canadian Hand Made products.    We are all looking forward to seeing you.  

Directions to the show:

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Rotary Arts & Crafts Christmas Show

This weekend I will be in Stratford, participating in the Christmas Show and Sale.

The show is being held at the Stratford Rotary Complex, 353 McCarthy Road and runs Saturday 9:00 – 5:00 and Sunday 10:00 – 4:00.  You can find me at booth 9, along the right side wall. 

There will be 120 vendors selling Canadian Hand Made products.  We are all looking forward to seeing you.  Stratford is a pleasant drive from Toronto so come out and spend some time in this very pretty town.

There’s even an online coupon you can download to your smart phone for an admission discount.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday 3 November 2013

Work in Progress

I’ve been busy working away on some metal based jewellery pieces.

I’ve already made a large number of cuff bracelets with patina.  I went a little darker in the effect this time.  I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone thinks of them.  I’ve also added some etched bracelets in different patterns.

The biggest project is the charms and focal pieces for necklaces and bracelets.  Here’s a sneak peak at some work in progress.

There’s still some cleaning to remove measuring marks, holes to drill, protectant to apply, and gems and chains to add.  Just a little bit of a challenge…

If all goes well, several new items will be available this weekend in Stratford at my booth in the craft show.

If you are looking for a nice weekend diversion it’s a nice drive.  There’s even an online coupon you can download to your smart phone for an admission discount.

Hope to see you there.  

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Fall Made by Hand Show

This weekend I am participating in the Fall Made by Hand Show, at the International Centre on Saturday, October 19th, from 11:00 to 5:00.  The show is located in Hall 6.

There will be over 150 vendors selling Canadian Hand Made products.  You can find me at booth 64. 

Purchase tickets online and skip the line ups.  Mention Bijoux Gems Joy when you order so they know I referred you.

Here’s what you can expect to find at the show:
  • Original artwork
  • Baby/toys
  • Body care and pampering products
  • Candles
  • Clothing
  • Ceramics
  • Fashion accessories
  • Jewellery
  • Photography
  • Knitting
  • Pottery
  • Paper goods
  • Wood
  • A range of gourmet goodies

Hope to see you there!

Thursday 10 October 2013

Mannequin Redo Times 2

Earlier this year I purchased a pair of wire frame mannequins for my booth.  They started out pink but I wasn’t fond of that and sprayed them black.

They were too airy though and the jewellery did not show well against them.  See what I mean?

The picture is a little fuzzy but you get the idea right?

I decided to “make” dresses for the girls as I call them.  One kept her curvy form and the other I gave a fuller dress.  The curvy one has a strapless dress while the second is sleeveless with a simple scoop neckline.  Funny how the second one looks so much taller.  I think I need to take the waists in a bit though.

Sunday 25 August 2013

What a Garden!

I have to admit, I’m not the greatest gardener.  I handle the flowers and perennial plants while my husband takes care of the vegetables.  A few years ago I spent the summer completely tearing apart the old flower bed in front of the house, changing the shape (much smaller) and putting in new plants.  It looked great for a while…but that’s another story.

Like I said, my husband takes care of the vegetables.  Because of the size of our back yard we had 2 huge leaf compost bins, just made of chicken wire in a circle.  A huge circle!  One was taken out when we got a mulching attachment for the garden tractor.  Last year he threw the Halloween pumpkin seeds in.  This year he grew something unexpected…

We have 4 pumpkins growing in our garden.  Here’s the smallest:

This gorgeous flower opened in the morning and was gone by midday.  At its peak the flower was over 12 inches wide.  It has already started to close here.

The colour reminds me of some of my favourite jewellery pieces:

Lucite Flower Bracelet (Sold)

Orange Fire Drop
Orange Fire Pendant

Fiery Agate Earrings withSterling Silver Drops
This pair sold. Find a new pair here

Sterling Silver Necklacewith Peach and Green Aventurine and Smoky Quartz

All of these pieces will be available over the next few days in my online store

And, in case you were wondering, here's what the garden and leaf bin looks like with these giant pumpkin vines growing all over:
Vines on the other side of the leaf compost bin

Vines snaking across the garden

Saturday 10 August 2013

Kempenfest – What a weekend

Another weekend, another show!  This time it was Kempensfest in Barrie.  A fantastic show, and all consuming.
It started with booth set up on Friday, in the middle of one of the biggest downpours we’ve had this year.  And that’s saying a lot!  And then it cooled down on Sunday.  Many folks did not appreciate the temperature, especially after Saturday’s sweltering highs.  Overall though, it was a great show.

I introduced some new designs at this show also, equally as well received as the etched metal bracelets.  Here’s my take on large hole bead bracelets.  These are reminiscent of the highly popular Pandora line but are not a copy.  I have used a hand woven chain as the base.  Some of the bracelets have handmade toggle clasps and the remainder use up the stash of these clasps that I had left.

Cluster of Large HoleBracelets.  Lots of colours

A pretty blue

Woven chain detail

Sunday 14 July 2013

Goderich Play Time

Last weekend I was in Goderich Ontario, participating in their Festival of Arts and Crafts.
As I mentioned in my last blog this is the town that was devastated by a tornado in August 2011.  And yes, they are on their way to recovering.  In fact the festival was held in a beautiful new park, Lions Harbour Park, created in memory of the resident who perished in the tornado and to commemorate the spirit of the townsfolk.   
I used the show to introduce some new designs, which turned out to be quite popular.  Several sold right away!

One of my new products is etched metal bracelets, with the etching method soon to be expanded to other pieces.  I had so much fun making the bracelets and am very happy with how they came out.  Along with my patina enhanced copper bracelets, in the amazing blue colours, they were best sellers.

1 inch Wide Etched Brass Bracelet
1-1/2 inch Wide PatinaEnhanced Copper Bracelet

Monday 24 June 2013

New Look – In Development

The first show of the season was a couple of weeks ago.  I’m prepping for the next one now, looking forward to participating in the Goderich Arts and Crafts Show on July 5th to 7th.
If you remember, this is the town that was devastated by a tornado in August 2011.  They are on their way to recovering, still lots of work to do.  Why don’t you come out for a visit, support the town and check out their charming craft show. 
Show hours are 12:00 – 8:00 Friday, 9:00 – 5:00 Saturday and 10:00 – 4:00 Sunday. 
 Now, on to the new look!  I mentioned a few posts ago that I had purchased a new tent.  Here is how it looks after  set up for the first show.

At the Fairy Lake Artisans Festival
It is so strong and sturdy!  I’m very thrilled with the tent.  One thing though, it’s definitely white, more so than the old tent.  I think I need to look at a backdrop to bring some more colour in.  I love how this picture makes my tablecloths look so bright and cheery.  They really are not that light in colour, and are actually a deeper royal blue.  I kind of like the shade here though, maybe slightly lighter and less opaque for a wall backdrop?  I’ll give it some time to noodle on.
 I also want to place the wall grids vertically, preferably using supports to stand them from, and just tie them in at the top to secure in place.  And, I need to get a lot more hooks.  Would you believe there are over a hundred in this picture?
More hooks makes for more jewellery to display.  Fun!

Thursday 6 June 2013

Prepping a New Season

I have been busy the last few weeks, getting ready for upcoming shows.  The first craft show that I will be at is the Fairy Lake Artisans Festival, in Newmarket.

I’m very excited as this is my neck of the woods.  The show runs Saturday June 15 and Sunday June 16 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm each day.

A New Life, Upcycled Glass Pearls, Lampwork Beads

 You will need to park on the north side of Timothy Street or other local parking.  Vehicles will not be allowed into the park during the festival.

The park at Fairy Lake
Here are maps of routes to get to the park. 
Newmarket’s Davis Drive is undergoing a lot of construction for the new rapid transit bus lanes.  I recommend very strongly that you use a different road!

Coming from the West

Coming from the East

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Sunday 19 May 2013

Spring Pretties

Last year at about this time I wrote about how much Mother Nature had been enjoying the weather, and, how much I was enjoying the flowers she put forward.  Well you know what, it’s more of the same.  The weather’s been unpredictable, just now finally getting nice.  The flowers?  A knock out display again!

 Tiny little Forget Me Nots (I think) blooming in the back of the yard

I didn’t know Primroses could survive the winter!

I think these are called Elephant’s Ears.  The leaves are huge by mid-summer, the spring flowers?  Tiny

The only repeat from last year’s blog, Solomon’s Seal.  One of my favourites because of the almost heart shaped flowers

Two years ago, this gorgeous apple tree was fighting for its life.  Blight, insects, scabby fruit!  I was ready to give up on it but after a little tender loving care look at how my husband brought it back to light.  Huge growth spurt this year.  It actually does reach all the way up to the top of the photo

Mother Nature provides beauty in other forms too.  Here are some that I’ve turned to wearable beauties

Beaded Beads Necklace & Earrings Set

Amethyst Pendant with Turtle Jasper, wrappedwith Sterling Silver

Wednesday 1 May 2013

A New Tent = A New Look For My Booth

Last year was my first full year selling at craft shows.  Not knowing how it would work out, I decided to start with a basic, entry level tent.  It worked well enough but I had issues fairly quickly.  By the end of the last show some of the roof struts gave out.

They do say you get what you pay for but it did look pretty to start with.
Booth Set Up at my First Outdoor Show – It’s come a long way since!

My new tent?  A lovely Ez Up brand tent, the Eclipse II model.  In keeping with standard craft show requirements it’s white again.  Show organizers are very specific on what they want their show grounds to look like and white tents are the standard.  The advantage to a white tent is that the inside can be decorated however the artisan would like.  Plus, a white tent does not change the colour of the products inside, a very important advantage!

Ez Up Eclipse II

Here’s a picture of what the new tent will look like.  Not much right?  It’s the bones of the tent that make the difference.  No more bent frame, no more zipper issues, and no unwanted plastic windows.

This is going to be fun!

Monday 29 April 2013

Class Fun Part 2

A couple of blogs ago I spoke about a Metal Clay class I had taken, mentioning at the end that the piece for a bracelet was part of what we made during the class.

It wasn't ready yet as we ran out of time during class but I promised a picture when it was ready.  Well, I finally completed it and here it is.  For a first try it came out not too bad.

The gemstone is a Rainforest Jasper rectangle.  I made the gemstone caps, tube caps, toggle and toggle bar from copper clay.  Even the loops for the toggle and clasp are made of copper clay.  The tubes were bent with a pipe bender and handmade 3 mm copper beads were used to get the best fit.

I did not quite do enough smoothing around the handmade beads caps and didn’t get my toggle square but otherwise pretty good.

I decided to add some slight texture to the curved tube.  The texturing is very light so it doesn't detract from the bracelet appearing. I found that the curved tubes originally were just too shiny as is when compared to the remainder of the copper pieces.   They have naturally aged since the pieces were first made making the difference less obvious by the time these pictures were taken.

Sunday 14 April 2013

Jewellery Playing – but First Tax Time

We all have to do it but I don’t think most of us really appreciate it. 

Tax time = File tax returns.  I file tax returns for 5 people, both my parents, my son, my husband and myself.  This has kept me busy over the last little while and I’m still waiting for some of my son’s info to finish.  Computer problems a few weeks ago did not help but what do you do? 

In the meantime, here’s a few jewellery playing “experiments” for you to check out.  What do you think?

Lariat with Rectangular Glass Beads, Round Wood
Beads, Aluminium Chain

Choker with Glass Heart, Silver Plated Beads
and Wire, Stainless Steel Neck Wire
Early flowers have started coming up in the front and back yards.  I’ll be looking to them for inspiration.  Should be fun!

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Class Fun

Last week I took a 2 day course on working with Copper Clay, specifically Metal Adventures Copper Clay.  What a fun 2 days! 

We were a class of 8, led by Wanaree Tanner, an amazing young woman from the US.  Wanaree is a metal clay master and not only produces some of the most stunning and fascinating jewellery and works of art.  You can find out all about Wanaree here!

Amazing product lines!  Tiny bits of metal are mixed with a special organic binder, formed into different shapes and items, textured, and then fired…heated to the point where the organic binder is burned off and the molecules of the metal bits are aligned together. 

When everything works out the final product is beautiful.  Metal Clay comes from several manufacturers and many types of metals.  I’ve been working with metal clay silver, copper and bronze.  The items made in this class are the best by far.

Here’s the bail I made for a kinetic pendant.  The gemstone captured in it is Bronzite.  Wanaree created the instructions for this bail, and I chose and made the overall shape and pattern applied to it.  The bail is made in a way that allows the gemstone to spin inside it.

The second item is a lovely bracelet.  We learned how to make all the components and how to put them together.  Unfortunately we ran out of time in class so I still have to put mine together.  First I need to do some polishing on the individual parts to remove a little bit of scale (something copper develops when it is fired) before I put it together.  A picture for this one will come soon.

Sunday 31 March 2013

Computer Improvements

So my computer problems last Sunday turned into a goodbye.  My baby was not salvageable.  My personal geek squad son came home for the weekend and gave the verdict.  He took her apart, cleaned things, moved thingamabobs, dohickeys and whatnot’s around, looked the motherboard up and down searching for the problem before pronouncing the verdict.

Since baby had been having problems for awhile I had put funds aside, just in case.  After chatting about how I use the computer and what my needs are, he and I went out on Saturday and bought a nice laptop.

The rest of the day was spent transferring data from baby’s hard drive to the laptop and playing with the laptop and new programs to learn how everything works.  I’m using a 30 day trial version of MS Office Pro right now.  It’s taking a bit to adjust.  I use Office 7.0 at work but my home PC was still running on XP!
With all of that, I have not had much chance to work on a new subject so more to come in April.
Now, for a good name for the pretty little thing!

Sunday 24 March 2013

Computer Challenges

Not a happy day for me!  My computer has decided to pick today to act up.  Except for the light turning blue, nothing happens.  My baby won't start up!  Nothing will run, not a single little bleep or code line.  No blue screen of death - does that still happen anymore?

The biggest problem is that most of my files are still stored on the hard drive.  I forgot to do a back up to our external hard drive!

And here I'm trying to get the last few applications for fall and Christmas shows out the door...arghhh....

It looks like I may be without my own computer until at least Thursday.  That's when my personal geek squad, my son, comes home for Easter.  Hopefully it will be something minor and he can fix it.  If not it looks like it'll be bye bye baby.

So, no pretties to show, no info to pass on, no news.  I hope your weekend was good though.

Tuesday 19 March 2013

More Silver Shine

My last post was about cleaning sterling silver with a baking soda bath.  For some folks this is a lot of effort or not feasible.
Here are some other ways to keep your jewellery looking pretty:
Resealable Plastic Bag
Plastic bags with a zip lock – Already mentioned in my February 17th blog, this is very effective.  It’s also an easy way to keep jewellery tangle free and to avoid scratches caused by different pieces
Anti Tarnish Cloth
Anti Tarnish Silver Polish Cloths – These cloths are impregnated with a special cleaning compound that removes the tarnish.  The only issue is they also can remove a thin layer of metal, especially silver.  Use sparingly
Anti Tarnish Squares
Anti-Tarnish Strips or Tabs – Mentioned in my March newsletter, these do a fantastic job of avoiding tarnish.  They last about 6 months so buy a good supply and keep the extras in a sealed plastic bag until you’re ready to use them
Silica Gel
Silica Gel Packets or Cylinders – These were also covered in my March newsletter and are as effective as the anti-tarnish strips.  Depending on the type of silica in the packets these continue to work even when full of moisture.  These can also be reactivated.  Check the web for instructions but be aware of the cautions included on the different sites.

Other options – Chalk, Charcoal, and Uncooked Rice all do the job too.  Wrap some up in a paper towel or light cloth bundle and place in your jewellery box.