Tuesday, October 13, 2015

and yet another adventure...

Here is a Craft Show problem I never thought about: laryngitis.  I had it bad for 3 days out of a four-day show.  I had a cold last week that went away but left me with a frequent cough.  I coughed so much that I developed a severe case of laryngitis and was unable to speak above a whisper.  Because polymer clay is unfamiliar to most people, I need to be able to explain it, plus I like engaging with potential customers, something I think helps me sell my products.  To explain my mute condition, I made a little sign explaining that I had laryngitis which caused people to giggle and/or commiserate. And for some strange reason, when I whispered "Hello," folks would whisper back to me.  I didn't sell as much as usual, and I think it is because I couldn't communicate.  That, and the fact that some people thought I must be contagious and hurried out of the tent.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Another adventure in Craft Show Land

If it's not one thing, it's another.  This time it was dust.  Lots and lots of very fine dust seeping into every nook and cranny of every display and piece of jewelry.  I didn't realize how bad the dust was until someone purchased one of my pendants.  When I lifted it out of the display box, there was a white spot left where the pendant had been!.  I suddenly realized that everything in my tent was coated in brown dust.

The show in question was located in southern Ontario in a lovely setting with lots of trees shading the tents.  The problem was that the grounds were dirt covered with a kind of mulch.  As the thousands of people marched through, clouds of dust arose and floated all around.

It took me almost three days to clean up my displays and jewelry.  Every piece had to be washed or at least brushed off, and all the black velvet busts and display forms had to be vacuumed.  Don't think I'll be doing this show again.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Adventure at Kempenfest

Kempenfest is a very large, three-day craft show and fair held each year in Barrie, Ontario right on the shore of Lake Simcoe, and it seems that every year there is some form of bad weather.  Last year it rained so hard there was flooding, and this year, my first time to do the show, there was a severe thunderstorm with high winds and hail and even the threat of tornadoes.  With over 300 vendors, there were a lot of tents that needed to survive the night.  Not all of them did.

I didn't sleep well in my hotel on Sunday night because of the thunder and lightning, and a bit because I was worried about how my tent would fare in the high winds.  I raced to the venue early Monday morning (a civic holiday) and was delighted to find my tent in perfect condition.  Many others were not so fortunate.  There were the remains of tents scattered all through the venue, and at least a couple of vendors who had left their inventory in their tents overnight, arrived to find that they had lost everything.  Some vendors just abandoned their tent frames and the piles of "bones" made me think of the elephant graveyard from the Tarzan series.

I am glad that I made the large investment in a heavy-duty, waterproof rather than water-resistant, tent.  My husband and I also did a very good job of securing the structure with stakes on each leg, stakes and guy wires holding down the top at each corner, and 40 pounds of cement weights on each leg. Setting all of that up was a lot of work, but it was worth it.

A collapsed tent next to mine

A "graveyard" on the other side of my tent

More remains

The setting by the lake.  These tents almost landed in it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Back to the Wrap

My very first jewelry pieces, years ago, were wire-wrapped stones, but silver wire became very expensive so I turned to other media.  Once I discovered polymer clay and the ability to make my own colors and shapes, I was hooked and focused almost exclusively on clay.  In the last year or so, however, I've been doing more with metals, wire and stones, and I've fallen in love with copper.  When I found some beautiful Jasper stones, I decided to wrap some of them.  As you can see from this example, I like simple wire shapes that expose most of the stone.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I'm published!!!

My first "how to" article was just published in Easy Metal 2015, a special issue from Step by Step Wire Jewelry.  The design is a brooch made from copper sheet and polymer clay.  The paper edition should be on magazine shelves soon, but a digital version is available now from the Interweave online store.  I'm doing my happy dance.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Working with stones

I've been very busy preparing for my spring shows.  The Toronto Knitters' Frolic went well, and I have the Milton Farm Craft Show this weekend, the 2nd and 3rd.

The Milton show will be my first opportunity to show off some of my new jewellery designs.  One thing I've been working on is making necklaces with beautiful Jasper stones.

The necklace above features a big Jasper stone and handmade bronze wire links.

This necklace features a beautifully colored stone, bronze bars woven together with copper wire and an antiqued copper chain.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A little bling

I didn't design this bracelet but Malliga Nathan, a talented designer who works at my favorite bead store, BeadFX, graciously gave me permission to reproduce it for sale.  It is made with metal beads and Swarovski crystals in a right-angle-weave technique and is placed on a leather strap with magnetic clasp.  I'm fairly new to beading so learning this stitch was a challenge.