Wednesday, December 28, 2011


                                             Christmas Eve, and no, they're not all mine!

...From far too much food. Sigh, I feel like a stuffed sausage ;-) The girls are having an awesome time playing with their gifts, we've been swimming at the Y pretty much every day so far this week - but today, it's just far too cold to even consider heading out of doors. 
This is why - Last night, the first snow of the season fell....Then it froze. It's -8 with a windchill of -17, that lovely snowy scene is now a big pile of solid ice.

I think I may just entrust the kids to hubby's care, and have a little playday in my studio. We'll see, i'm not entirely motivated yet to do much more than drink some coffee. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pre Holiday Blowout Sale!

                                                                                      Source: via Chandra on Pinterest

Hey folks, it's time for the super fantastic pre-holiday blowout sale. The shop will close at the end of the sale (Monday, December 12th) for the holidays, and I'll be reopening in January with all new goodies. New Year, New Beads! Save 25% off EVERYTHING including all of the lovelies in the clearance sale. Nothing will be renewed during the sale including the made to order beads. Once it's gone - it's gone!!  Thank you so much for your support over the years. I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas planning

I started making my shopping list for the seemingly million and one folks we need to give gifts to this year. I know, I make it sound like a terrible thing - but when that list is hitting 30 odd people, it gets more than a little scary financially! :-) Not that those wonderful folks don't deserve gifts - they do!!!

I then of course remembered that I have a good supply of soy wax in the basement from when I was making soap and candles before my health problems got in the way. Candles! Perfect gift for just about everyone. I just ordered some gorgeous glass apothecary jars from a local supplier, so I should have these by next week. I also picked up some of those new wooden wicks, and I think I'll hit the local thrift shops for some pretty teacups like these:

And looking at these, maybe I should have skipped the apothecary jars and just went with this idea:

A perfect handmade Christmas!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I've become a morning person

Weird...and I'm not entirely sure I like it. The older I get, the harder it seems to be to stay awake at night. Late evening used to be my most creative time - I could do a huge multitude of things between the hours of 11pm and 3am. Now, I can't stay awake much past 11. If I am awake, at best I can get some reading in. Lately, 4:30 am comes along - a cup of coffee later, and I'm raring to go.

This morning I packed up half a large order of these beads. I just loved how they looked all together, and thought I should take at least a couple of shots of them before they go off to their new home.

I'm off to torch - a few more beads to go, and then I'm done!  The holiday sale is still active on my etsy site, probably until tomorrow sometime. I still have to edit all of the tags and descriptions to remove the sale notices, and I just won't have time til later tonight.  

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Busy weekend ahead

My wonderful hubby has cleared his schedule so that I can spend the entire weekend in the studio. This happens ever so rarely, that I'm just brimming with excitement. Holiday shopping can wait one more week - and with luck, I'll get a few gifts made as well.

The holiday etsy sale continues as I post new items, plus a bunch of goodies that were sadly forgotten about. The kilns are full, and I'm enjoying my 3rd cup of coffee with a break to upload new goodies to etsy and here on the blog. Don't you just love these mornings when at 9am you've already manged to get 3 hours of work in? I feel so blissfully productive. :-)

These and more are in the shop, with heaps more to come!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

To my American friends. Of course, being Canadian, our Thanksgiving was in October, and I'm in full Christmas mode - planning my holiday baking, making ornaments with the kids.

Making a small ton of lampwork beads thanks to Christine!

And planning a little (and hopefully big) update for the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping weekend. I'll be updating the etsy site starting tomorrow evening - and to continue to update throughout the weekend. Save 15% off all weekend by entering the code 'facebook' upon checkout. As an added little bonus - if you spend more than $50 (after discounts) I'll even throw in free shipping to the US and Canada!

Be on the lookout for new lampwork beads, new metal clay components, some earrings, and other assorted goodies.  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sniffle, wheeze, cough

Yup, I'm still alive....sorta. As you know both kids got sick, and I thought I was in the clear. Ahhh, nope.  I've doped myself up on cold drugs, and for the moment feeling just fine. ;-) My ability to actually do anything other than veg out on the couch, cuddled up in layers of blankets is questionable.

Of course the worst part of all of this, is that my creative juices are flowing very freely, but no abilty to execute any of them. Hopefully, my notes on things I want to experiment with will be sufficient to keep things going once I start to feel better.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Holiday Decorating

Being a Canadian with our Thanksgiving already long past - I have no guilt about heading full steam ahead into the Christmas season. I'm determined to decorate this year for a couple reasons. 1) My kids are still quite angry at me that they had the least decorated house for Halloween. The night before, my 8 year old dug out some decorations from the basement and proceeded out the front door to 'do it herself'. Man, the guilt. ;-)

Okay, that's the only reason - but it's certainly a big enough one for at least a couple points.   This week is perfect, as I really have no excuse not to work on at least a few ornaments. I can't get too much done in the way of actual work. You may remember from my last post that I was home all week with a sick kid. Well, kid number 2 has now come down with the exact same thing. My guess is that she'll be home all this week.

 I'll choose some easy projects that can be done in the family room while the little one cuddles on the couch.

I came across a listing of over 100 handmade ornament tutorials - More than a few are absolutely fabulous. I've already wasted about 2 hours today just looking through all of the links.

Have a good week, and hopefully I'll be back with some actual beady stuff next week.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Community Gardening

Long ago, when I was quite little, my mother would rent a plot of land in a hydro field somewhere in Scarborough to grow her vegetables. At the time, we lived in a town house with about 2 square feet of garden space. Just enough for maybe 2 tomato plants. The patio space wasn't much bigger, and basically fit our picnic table and hibachi barbeque. Container gardening on any decent scale wasn't really an option either. Now that I'm older and have my own house, with considerably more potential garden space, I'm still looking at the community garden model as an alternative. While my backyard isn't huge - it's not completely tiny either. We do have a pool though, and that pretty much takes up the entire backyard.

I've been talking with a few other mothers at my children's school - we're hoping to get enough like-minded folks together to organize a community garden somewhere within walking distance of the Whitby Shores community. What a wonderful opportunity for the local kids to learn about gardening/healthy eating/sustainable living/volunteer work.  This weekend, I'll be visiting the Ajax/Whitby community garden in the north end of Whitby. I'm hoping to put aside some time in the new year to volunteer over there at least once a week. I suspect that even if we are able to find the space and raise the funds necessary to start one here - it will be quite some time before we can get our hands dirty.

In other news, it'll be a while before I get a chance to post anything remotely beady - Maya, my oldest has come down with what I suspect is Pneumonia. :-( Tomorrow will be her second doctors appointment this week.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lazy Sunday

                                                                                                     Source: None via Tara on Pinterest

I love these kinds of Sunday's. Nothing much going on. I'm caffenating myself, listing new resin pendants on etsy, and at some point we'll head out for a walk in the woods, a swim at the Y, play with the kids, and then head down to the studio to fire up the torch. Bliss.  I hope you enjoy your Sunday as well!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! This week is going far too quickly. Monday was a holiday, but I really could use the day back to complete everything that needs to be completed this week. I've got a whole whack of disorganized projects on my desk:

components I haven't figured out what to do with yet

pendants waiting for resin

And a bracelet that needs to be taken apart ... again (for the umpteenth time). Did you know that brass and copper wire  look VERY similar when you're working at 3am watching old television reruns, and the only light is the eerie glow from the TV? Of course, in the light of day - it's quite obvious that they are not. sigh. You can't see it in this pic, but it's very, very obvious under the clasp. Still needs lots more futzing. I may just give up, and rethink the whole design.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Heber Down on Thanksgiving Day

Can you believe it? Shorts and T-shirts on Thanksgiving! Maya, my 8 year old, and budding photographer took most of these shots. I gave her a brief lesson on how to use the macro setting on our little point and shoot camera. She's completely hooked. I think our weekends will be taken up finding interesting places for her to photograph.

I think Santa will be getting a request for a camera of her own this year. ;-)

studio waterstone

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I have this:

And this:

And this:

                                                               Copper Electroforming

And this as well:

                                                                   Copper Etching

Can you stand it? Ohhhh, the excitement. I'm ready to banish my family away for a weekend vacation without me - just so I can play.  I should mention, before you hate me too much - These aren't actually mine - meaning I can't keep them forever. I'm testing them for beadFX, and when done, I'll have to sadly return them. I have gone ahead and ordered my own copy of The Painting with Fire book, since it's fabulous. The other equipment I'll be ordering for myself at the first opportunity.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fast Fire Bronze Clay

I have a love/hate relationship with bronze and copper clays. I love the colours, the affordability, and especially the freedom to create larger pieces without restraint. (compared to silver metal clay) I do however have a hatred of the firing process. I have not been one of the lucky ones when it comes to firing this stuff. Sometimes it works, othertimes I get brittle pieces that crumble to dust. That outcome is always the most annoying, as a second firing is not an option at that point.

Lately, I've had success with Fast Fire Bronze. In fact, I've yet to have an unsuccessful firing! Still, I'm always a little on edge as my pieces are firing. The picture below shows 300 grams of unfired Fast Fire Bronze. Hedgehogs, acorns, clasp components, connector rings, and flowers which will hold resin in the centre. Fingers are crossed, the goodies are about to go in the kiln - although this will take at least a few firing sessions. I have the large pan, but I have not yet ever had successful firing in that one. It's cursed. ;-) So, the small pan it is.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sneak Peek

Am I done? I'm not sure...I think I'll sit on this one for a bit. Maybe some patinated leaves?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

About to participate in my first challenge

I have long wanted to participate in the various challenges I've read about on other blogs. Especially the monthly challenges on Art Bead Scene. It's now October, the kids are in school full time, so I really have no excuse not to!

This months challenge is based on the work of artist Giovanna Garzoni

A Hedgehog in a Landscape, 1643-51 
9¼ x 15 in. 23.5 x 38 cm. bodycolor on vellum
by Giovanna Garzoni

                                              And the colour palette we need to work with.

Deadline for the challenge is October 26th, however, I'm hoping to finish up mine by the end of next week. This week I'll work on creating various beads and components out of glass, and metal clay. Next week, I'll work on the design.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Delicious Autumn

Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.  ~George Eliot

This one needs to remain mine, at least for a time. It feels wonderfully natural on - comfortable even, with lots of little bits to fiddle with. Incredibly long, so long in fact that there is no clasp - perfect with a cozy warm turtleneck sweater. Preferably handknit in a sumptuous silk. Dreaming.

Oh, Hello There

Happy Friday. Enjoy a small dose of cuteness.

                                                                                         Source: None via Marissa on Pinterest

                                                                                        Source: via Marissa on Pinterest

                                                                                          Source: via Marissa on Pinterest

                                                                                         Source: via Marissa on Pinterest