Monday, November 9, 2009

New Designs & What I've Been Up To

I took some time today to make some new things:

Green agate & pearl: the inspiration for this one came from the vintage art nouveau necklace on the left

Blue agate, mother of pearl, pearl & jade: I was going for a bit of a layering effect. This was actually created by making a 'flower' of the dark blue agate and using very thin wire to wrap other beads around and around the flower base.

The only issue I have with these designs is that I love them. So I'm going to keep them for myself! This has been a bit of an issue overall lately .... so if you see me wearing a lot of jewellery, this is why!

What else I've been up to:
  • my jewellery is now in a store in Bloor West Village, Toronto (
  • my jewellery will also be on display outside the Inforum (my faculty's library) along with other iSchool artists

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Midnight Sunsitara

I've always loved this type of bead. It's a dark blue, almost black, with hundreds of little sparkles (Yes, I am a magpie). I recently learned that they're actually a glass bead - also called goldstone, it is created by melting soda-lime glass containing copper salts in a reducing (oxygen depleted) environment, converting the copper salts to metallic copper, and thus creating sparkles!
This process was developed in the seventeenth century in Venice by the Miotti family. As Venice is also famous for its' glassmaking, particularly Murano, this is hardly a surprise!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Silver Earthsea Set

So a friend of mine really liked the Earthsea Earrings & Necklace, but preferred silver for herself:

I really like how the new pendant turned out. I am always a big fan of the blue and silver colour combination.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Making Earrings

Welcome to the first ever video post!
It's pretty straightforward - click here to watch a video of me putting together a pair of my favourite jumble earrings. This pair is silver wire with silver glass beads.

The finished product!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

BIG on Bloor

Big on Bloor was a lot of fun! It's a great community event. This year we got rained out a little bit - but most of us kept on going, and the rain went away from about 4-6 so we had a good time in there.

friends at the festival

my mom and my sister came and helped out

despite the rain!

vendors living it up with hula hoops!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

BIG on Bloor this Saturday!

Sunfire Necklace: I love these bright, summery colours! They have really nice matching earrings too!

BIG on Bloor
is coming up fast, so I hope all of you in the Toronto area are planning on coming out!
I'm very excited to be a part of it this year - a 2km section of Bloor St. W is being shut down from Christie Pitts to Lansdowne for a great big craft and food festival, and of course performers!
The festival runs this Saturday from 1-9, and I look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

June Goals

Grape Bunch Earrings: are so much fun! I even have my own pair.

Let's see how I did this past month:

1)Apply to be a part of the Wychwood Market I am! Come by July 25, Sept. 19 or 26!
2)Experiment with product photography (create a lightbox or take photos outside). I've re-added this because I still want to do more with it. And see above about it counting. I've been taking all my pictures outside recently. Can't beat natural light.
3)write out my business plan. This goes back to the strategic goals - I think I'd like to have a map somewhere.
4) Get my accounts in order for 2009. I just did my 2008 taxes. There was swearing.

Not so much on the last two. I think the business plan might become a July goal for when my summer class and so on is finished! Onto the June Goals:

1)Get my accounts in order for 2009.
2)Make two new necklace and earring designs (I have some Art Deco designs that I'm dying to try out!)
3)Keep blogging and posting one item a week.

The number of goals seems to be going down as the months pass. I'm not sure if that's because they're bigger goals, I'm just lazy, or I'm being more realistic about my time. I guess we'll see in a month!

*also, I'll be posting photos soon from the Alt's Midnight Market! It was a great time.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Midnight Market this Sunday!

Black & Gold Gypsy Earrings: my favourites for dressing up

If you're in the Toronto area this Sunday, be sure to swing by the Augusta House in Kensington Market for the Alt's Midnight Market. I'll be there with my jewellery, along with some other awesome artists, crafters and performers!
It's going to be a great night of craft and dance, and it's also to raise money for the Alt Space. So mark the day, and I'll see you there!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mini Brass Jumble Earrings: don't they look pretty in the sun!

I always enjoy making the jumble earrings - no matter how many times I make them, every pair is always different, though they have a similar style. I always have fun making the first earring - and then struggle to match it for the second! I've started making the pair in stages though (one loop on one, then one loop on the other, etc) so it's become much easier to match the two.

Also, a shout out to SewMoe, who made me this beautiful dress! Not only is it gorgeous, but I gave her my measurements Sunday, and she had it done yesterday! I am amazed. Thanks Moe!
EarthSea Earrings: from a random selection of colours, that turned out beautifully

I've been working on my photography lately, as per my April/May goals, and looking at my shop, there is a clear difference between my pictures the last month and anything earlier.

I've also been experimenting with location - while lightboxes are great, they don't really add anything unique to a photograph. I've been wanting to do some jewellery photos outside, and the EarthSea Earrings and Necklace are the first. I'm really happy with how they turned out. I actually took the photos on the railing on the back deck when the sun was setting. It definitely adds a nice warm glow to the photos, especially the earrings.

I'm planning on slowly going through and re-taking pictures of my other stock, and making them look beautiful!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Red Curlique Pendant: One of my new favourites! I actually made this necklace while spending the afternoon at Le Scandinave with my family

I'm very excited about one of my new May goals to work on my photography (and actually an April goal as well), because I just bought a brand new camera! Well, partly brand new. I already have a Canon film SLR, and I just bought a digital camera body to use with the lens from my old camera. The photo above was one of the first taken with the new camera, and I'm very proud of how it turned out.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May Goals!

Blue Sunstar Necklace: the most recent item in my shop

Time to cross off April's goals and set some new ones for May!
I'm very glad to have an impetus to do this - it does give me a roadmap. You'd think with all the strategic planning emphasis in my library courses I'd have thought to apply it to my business by now!
Hmm, so, let's see how I did!
1)Apply to be a part of Portobello East
2)Apply to be a part of Store 54. Well, sort of - I actually decided that it would be too much of a demand on my time at the moment, along with working full-time. You should still check them out though! Store 54
3)Get more jewellery bags for online orders
4)Make minimum one piece of jewellery a week (this is what I usually do, but exams got me off track)
5)Blog once a week
6)Experiment with product photography (create a lightbox or take photos outside)
I'm not sure that the last one entirely counts. I did experiment with photography, just on my window ledge and not outside.

Onto the May goals!
1)Apply to be a part of the Wychwood Market
2)Experiment with product photography (create a lightbox or take photos outside). I've re-added this because I still want to do more with it. And see above about it counting.
3)write out my business plan. This goes back to the strategic goals - I think I'd like to have a map somewhere.
4) Get my accounts in order for 2009. I just did my 2008 taxes. There was swearing.

I think those are big enough goals for May! Any suggestions?

Friday, April 24, 2009

craft shows and more

Craft shows, craft shows, craft shows!
Is it the end of April yet?
I've been doing so much running around starting work and applying to craft shows that I haven't made that much jewellery recently!
Never fear, I do have a few new things up my sleeve that I will put into my store VERY SHORTLY (this emphasis to remind myself).

I'm not doing too badly on my goals so far this month - I've been keeping up fairly well with the blog anyways. There are definitely not enough hours in the day. I definitely want to re-focus a bit on the important part of this job - i.e. making things!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Book Buying Spree

I had a number of Chapters gift cards, which means – shopping spree! Among the books I bought were two new jewellery books that I’m excited to get into.

The first is a book of Art Deco designs and that is exactly what it is – there is nothing else in the book but drawings of different designs. It’s a great resource to flip through when I’m looking for ideas (like the Art Nouveau book is as well!).
The second is a Directory of Gemstones, which is a brilliant reference book. It has information about the composition of stones, different names for gemstones, types of cuts and settings, and so on … I find it fascinating, but it’s also great if you are looking to buy jewellery as well. I’m also planning on using it to provide more information about the semi-precious stones I use.

Monday, April 13, 2009

April's Goals

I'm following a suggestion from over at Modish BizTips - a monthly goal meetup! Basically, you set a list of about five goals for the month, and the first Friday of May, we cross the things we've done off the list.
So, my goals for the month of April:

1)Apply to be a part of Portobello East
2)Apply to be a part of Store 54
3)Get more jewellery bags for online orders
4)Make minimum one piece of jewellery a week (this is what I usually do, but exams got me off track)
5)Blog once a week
6)Experiment with product photography (create a lightbox or take photos outside)

I personally think this is a great idea - not only does it set some specific long term goals, and put them in front of people (hopefully forcing us to accomplish them!) but it also makes me think about what I want to do in the next while.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

ByHand.Me Feature!

I've been featured on ByHand.Me's homepage! You can see the full feature here, and be sure to take a look around at some of the other brilliant artists who make up the ByHand community.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Nouveau Creations

I am a very big fan of the art nouveau style, and I also have a book that includes a large amount of really neat art nouveau designs. I was making a custom order recently, and was particularly inspired by this drawing:

I was making a pendant with silver wire and amethyst, so I started out by making an arrangement of three flowers using small round amethyst beads. Then I made the pendant by bending the wire with my fingers to attempt to achieve a similar kind of tangled, swoopy look to the pendant. Finally, I attached the amethyst flowers to the pendant using thin purple wire.

However, this pendant was much smaller than it needed to be for my custom order (it only measures 1.25"), so I started over again, incorporating a similar design feel but dispensing with the flowers, and this was the result:
And that's how it goes!
You can check out the amethyst pendent in my store here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ah, School!

Getting to the end of term - my first year of my Masters is almost over!
I'm excited to be done one year, and also apprehensive at the same time. Soon I'll have to go out into this 'real world' that everyone always talks about.
Regardless, I have been making some new things that are over in my store, and I'll post some of the creative processes soon. Coming up: how I was inspired by Art Nouveau design!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I've been featured!

I've been featured over at Melissa of Shimmer Me Blue's blog! Special thanks to Melissa, and be sure to check it out here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Home for Reading Week

I made the ultimate mistake of not bringing any jewellery making materials home with me over reading week, and I'm going a little crazy without it! I should, however, be doing schoolwork so maybe it's a good thing.
I am also using it as an opportunity to try out some different artistic mediums - I bought some Fimo, and I'm going to try and make chess pieces. There may be some experimenting with the Cranium clay first.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I just finished making this necklace - I really like it, but I'm not really sure what style it is. I think it's closest to Art Deco, because it's made up of circles and isn't too ornate. Doing the circles wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be, either - same principle as any of the flower pendants that I've done. I'm definitely interested in experimenting a little bit more with different combinations of shapes ... we'll see how it goes!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I decided to try making a pair of my jumble earrings with some beads in them, and this is the result! I've actually done this once before, with a pair of earrings that I made for myself, and everyone seemed to like them. I need to branch out a little bit from blue/silver combinations though. I do really love that combination a little too much.

Upcoming Show!
Feb. 3rd, 10-3
(JDUC) University Centre, Queen's University
There will be many other artisans as well - be sure to come by and check it out!