Thursday, 22 June 2017

Woodstock Agricultural Society Quarter Auction FUNdraiser TONIGHT!!!!!

Woodstock Agricultural Society Quarter Auction FUNdraiser

Woodstock Auditorium at the Fairgrounds
7:00-9:30 p.m.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. 
This is a fundraiser to support the FREE ADMISSION to the Fair in August in Celebration of Canada's 150th!

Doors open 6:30 pm, Auction 7 - 9:30. 
$5 admission includes your first paddle
Paddles are $5.00 each 
Two paddles for $8.00 or Three for $10.00 

Light refreshments and a cash bar will be available.

BONUS!!! Refreshments available: Todd's Dogs will be there and a cash bar with wine, beer and possibly coolers. Come for dinner and bid on really great items.  

This is your chance to get great items for a 25-cent bid, also do some relaxed shopping from the farmers market vendors themselves -- and no getting up early on Saturday morning! (But you can still come in your jammies if tonight's event is past your bedtime).
I will be one of the vendors and have lots of exclusive new items to bid on or buy. Grad is fast approaching and there are birthdays and Christmas to shop for.
See you TONIGHT!  
at the Woodstock Auditorium on Nellis Street.

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.

Monday, 20 February 2017

2,300 Pinterest Saves To Date -- Crystal Suncatchers

Crystal & copper suncatchers on Pinterest and here on my blog.

I can't believe how popular these little suncatchers have been. I still have lots more for sale at the Woodstock Farmers Market every Saturday morning. They're so easy and inexpensive to make: use up scraps of wire and stray beads.

I'll be teaching you how to make these and all kinds of dangles, ear wires, chain wraps, my class:

on Saturday, March 18th

at the

Hyatt Regency Ballroom
King Street West, 

Class size is limited, so sign up early. Bonus: you get free admission for all three days of the show when you sign up for any class. Subscribe and get up-to-the-minute info by email on everything Gem Expo: vendors, classes.

I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Gem Expo Classes are Posted...

The Gem Expo 
Toronto Hyatt Regency 
King Street West
March 17th, 18th & 19th, 2017

Sign up early! 
Take any class and get three full days' admission!

Questions about my classes, 
please email me 
or ask below. 

Totally Addicting Stretch Stacker/Mala Bracelets

Tools, Tips & Tricks

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

March 2017 Gem Expo in Toronto... & Class Info...

Yes, it's confirmed -- I WILL be at The Gem Expo at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on King Street in Toronto March 17th, 18th and 19th. Hope to see you all there. It's on the final weekend of March break when everyone -- well, a lot of you -- will be back from holidays, Sign up for any class(es) and get free admission for all three days.

In addition to all the usual goodies at my table, I'll be offering two classes:

Totally Addicting Stretch Stacker/Mala Bracelets

The Totally Addicting Stretch Stacker/Mala Bracelets class is intended for complete and utter beginners, but it'll still be an interesting and informative class for anyone of any age who wants to learn a new technique. I'll supply beads and Stretch Magic in the kit and there will be plenty of beads to buy, but participants are encouraged to bring their own beads and findings -- and there's a whole ballroom full of vendors with beautiful beads, too.

Class size will be limited to 8 participants, so sign up early. 

Wire Tips & Tricks

My Wire Tips & Tricks class is for not-so-beginners to intermediate students. You've already taken some classes, maybe you're new to wire or looking to improve your techniques to attain a more professional, finished look to your jewellery, or maybe you're ready to turn your hobby into a business and need to develop more efficient production skills.

We'll walk through an overview of tools, different wire and findings properties: features to look for, what's good for what, what to avoid, where to buy, the pleasures and pitfalls of buying online, how to buy wholesale, etc. If you're curious about what's involved in selling at craft shows or store/consignment venues, we can talk about that, as well.

Because you're a not-so-beginner, I want to move fast through the yackety-yack in order to get to the making part of the class.

I've been an artist most of my life, and have made and sold wire and semi-precious jewellery for about ten years, Since I'm a production person by nature and because time is money, I figure out the easiest way to make something and then I get really fast at it.

I'll show you techniques I've developed so you can quickly and consistently make your own ear wires, dangles and other findings, wire-wrapped beads for earrings and chains, and we'll cover some very basic wire-weaving tips and tricks.

Please feel free to bring a project with you for either a quick critique or help if you're stuck.

Class size will be limited to 8 participants, so sign up early. 

I'll let you know here and on my Facebook page when the classes are posted. Subscribe to The Gem Expo to get discount coupons, vendor list and info on the other classes being offered.

If you have further questions please ask below, or email me.

In the meantime, see you every Saturday morning at the Woodstock Farmers Market. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Good Bye 2016... Hello, 2017, Year of the 2Daycation...

2016 was a miserably painful year on so many, many fronts. Good riddance, I say.

My Christmas Tree table at the market this year:

My new invention is the 2Daycation wherein I leave home around noon on one day and leave Toronto the next day noonish, to get back late afternoon or early evening. Gone only 24 hours or so, but straddling two days, it feels satisfyingly substantial.

Tuesday after Christmas I checked into the HI-Toronto Hostel on Church Street  (yep, with three roomies, bunk beds, etc.) and proceeded to have myself a very, very nice time.

The great thing about this hostel is that it's walking distance to just about everything I wanted to do. I met up with Ruth and Christopher, for whom I was bringing lots of fetishes, a few blocks away at the St. Lawrence Market, we did some oohing and aahing over all the bead and crystal goodies, and then Ruth and I went to The Jason George for dinner. It was so freakin' GOOD and very relaxing. Knowing I didn't have to spend three hours driving home in the dark afterwards like I'd normally do, a 1/2 pint of Alexander Keith's was involved.

Wednesday morning, I hung out at Pusateri's in Sak's for an hour or two drinking cafe latte and watching all the people speedwalking through the underground tunnels to work. There's something so mesmerising about watching people go to work when you don't have to. Stocked up on goodies (vanilla bean paste, in particular) at Pusateri's, then on beads and findings when the wholesaler opened at 10:00, then met Ruth at Little India on Queen West where we had another fantastic meal, and then headed home -- in daylight.

I highly, highly recommend the 2Daycation concept to anyone who is going more than a little nutso with whatever pressures they're under but with little time to vacate.

In the interest of escaping further, even for a few hours, one morning after New Year's Lianne the Vintage Lady and I had breakfast at Burger Barn on the Six Nations Reserve south of Brantford. Fabulous, fabulous food, all locally sourced, and super high octane coffee.

Yesterday -- because 2017 has hereby been declared The Year of Being Nice to Me -- I decided that the grey hair had to go and tried out Allanti, a school here in Woodstock that I had never heard of before. Such a beautifully renovated old barn, and they do everything from basic hair cuts and colours to mysterious spa thingies. Allow (a lot of) extra time for your appointment because these are students, after all, but they really do a fine job and for very, very reasonable rates.

Five hours later...

My face was kinda frozen here, it being outside and all, but I'm doing a happy dance inside.

Happy New Year to everyone, and pleasepleaseplease let 2017 be a much better, if not absolutely great year for us all. I promise to make more and post more, too.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Just to let you know...

Due to an unexpected family emergency, I am unable to go to the Gem Expo this weekend. I apologise to those who had planned to see me at the show to buy beads or to take my classes. Please don't hesitate to contact me by email to order beads, and I hope to see you all in March.