Sunday 27 April 2014

Annual Visitors of the Feathery Type

About 9 years ago we bought our house, mainly for the backyard.  The house itself needed a lot of work, still does but hopefully will just right for us, eventually.  I’ve shown bits of the yard before.  Here’s a shot of the far back of the yard, taken last fall.

Right in front of those two pine trees is a small pond that we made a tiny bit bigger.  Well I guess that tiny bit was enough as we have had feathered visitors every year since.

This beautiful pair of mallard ducks has visited every spring, starting from when they were juveniles and he was first courting her.  The first two years there were actually two males vying for her affections.  Eventually this guy won out and we didn’t see the other male again for a couple of years.  They stay around just long enough for the babies to hatch and then the whole family is gone.  We never actually get to see the babies before they all go down the stream behind us to the local lake for the summer.

Last year the second male brought his own mate and we had the two pairs staying for the spring.  He haven’t seen the second pair this year, at least not yet.  These two just showed up yesterday which is about a month behind schedule, which matches everything else around here.  It has been a slow spring between last winter’s nastiness and the cold spring, we’re hopeful the second pair will show up soon.

We have never tried to “tame” them, though we do provide corn every day until they can find sufficient food on their own.  You can tell from his watchful eye that we are tolerated at a safe distance.  If we get too close they complain and move away.  Even though we are familiar to them they are still cautious and that’s what we want them to be.

We’re happy they found our yard to be a safe location to nest every year and also happy to enjoy them while they are here.

Sunday 20 April 2014

Destash – Jewellery Stands

In my ongoing effort to organize I can see progress.  Here’s how my work bench looks now:

I have also decided to do some clean up to the supplies and stands used in my booth.  I am selling off the display stands, bought when I first started doing shows.  Last year I acquired some very compact stands that I can take apart.  They take very little room in storage, making for a lot less to carry.

Here’s a peak at the lot that I’m selling:

They are available with my ad on Kijiji, value of $110 new, for $50.00. (Now sold)

Update May 5:  These are now sold.  Thanks everyone

Friday 18 April 2014

My Take – We’re All Ears, April Challenge

In my last post I mentioned Earrings Everyday.  This is a blog site I found a month ago, managed by a group of interesting artisan editors with different types of styles.  Their mandate:

“Earrings Everyday hopes to inspire those who make earrings
and adorn those who love to wear them!”

On the first Friday of the month an inspiration photo is posted and everyone is invited to design some earrings using the photo as inspiration for the design, colours, shapes and materials.  The reveal in on the third Friday of the month.

Here is the inspiration photo for April:

The sweet little skylark is so special.  Unfortunately I did not have the right colours on hand to do it justice.  The earrings for this blog hop are made of gemstones and copper; gemstones because they are what first pulled me into the world of jewellery design, and copper because it just went so well with the colours in the inspiration photo.

And here are my designs:

Skylark Inspired

This first pair, Skylark Inspired, started with the square Serpentine beads.  I thought the colour matched the mint leaves.  I paired the Serpentine with Yellow Jade, honoring the colour in the bottom of the glasses.  As a finishing touch I encircled the Yellow Jade with woven links of antique copper, which bring in the texture and colour from the twisted rope placemats.

Skylark Dreams

I call the second pair SkylarkDreams.  This pair also has Yellow Jade, this time large carved ovals.  I matched Turtle Jasper beads to the colour of the napkin at the top of the photo and the olives nestled in the bowl on top of it.  The Turtle Jasper beads looked a little wimpy beside the larger Jade beads.  I decided to make some copper domes with open centres to surround the Jasper.  I gave the copper a very slight brushed texture and left it natural so that it will patina over time.  And then I accidentally removed most of the brushed texture while making the domed shape.  Oh well, a skill to work on…

Sunday 13 April 2014

Jewellery Bench Mess

I have been at arts & crafts shows for the last 2 weekends, with several days prior to each one where I was busy finishing up new designs and replenishing stock.

 Today, I thought I would play a little and try my hand at designing a set of earrings based on an inspiration photo from Earrings Everyday.  It is one of a number of blogs that present inspiration ideas and regular challenges.  You may have noticed the link that showed up on my blog’s home page in the last few days?  More about that another time.

So, after spending a few minutes picking out the right colours and components, and placing my selections on my bench I realized…I have no space to work!

Remember all that organization and clean up I spoke about before?  Looks like it’s time to start over again – or to at least get into the habit of putting one project away before starting the next.

At least I figured out what happened to the one hand model I could not find last weekend...

Thursday 10 April 2014

Another Peak – A New Series

I’ve been having fun this week making more of these little charmers. 

I introduced my Thumbelina’s Garden series of jewellery last weekend at the new Barrie spring show to great reviews.

Here are some of the earrings and a necklace that will be available at the Made by Hand Spring show on Saturday from 11:00 – 5:00 at the International Centre, Airport Road in Mississauga.

Go online here to get $1.00 off admission.  I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

Monday 7 April 2014

Made By Hand – Spring Show this Saturday

My second show for this spring is coming up this Saturday.  I will be at the International Centre in Mississauga for the Made by Hand Spring Show. 

My booth is number 90, located just a few aisles from the entrance, middle of the aisle.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Thursday 3 April 2014

Sneak Peak at New Work

I thought I’d give you a quick peak at some of the pieces I am bringing to this weekend’s Barrie Spring Arts & Crafts Show.  These photos are just quick shots but I think they feature the essence of some of the new designs I’ve been working on.

Sparkle Rocks (Sold)
Quartz Crystal Electroplated with Titanium
SwarovskiCrystals, Sterling Silver

Archaeology Series - Fine Silver Pendant
Sterling Silver Bail, Stainless Steel Wire

Flying Saucers (Sold)
Copper and Lapis Lazulite Earrings

Tinted Moss (Sold)
Handmade Lampwork Pendant
Copper, Carnelian and Fire polished
Glass Beads, Silk Cord

Climbing Vine – Copper,
Lapis Lazulai, Leather (Sold)
Sparkle Rock (Sold)
Quartz Crystal Electroplated with Titanium,
Pewter Bezel, Silk and Satin

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday 1 April 2014

This Weekend – New Show

I will be participating in one of the newest arts & crafts shows this year, the Barrie Arts & Crafts Show.  It’s this weekend at the East Bayfield Community Centre and runs Saturday from 10:00 – 5:00 and Sunday from 10:00 – 4:00

Come visit me at booth 175.  Print this ad and get $1 off the admission price.

I’m looking forward to seeing you there.