Wire crochet necklace and drop earrings
Have you ever visited a bead store or show? A visit is like drinking tequila straight out of the bottle – intense and discombobulating. Unlike jewellery stores where sparkle is the first impression, bead stores deliver colour so intense the eye does not know where to look. Bead shows are bead stores on steroids.
March 10 and 11, 2012 at The Conference Center Niagara Falls, New York, there will be an Innovative Bead Expo. Innovative Bead Expos is a company out of Chestnut Ridge, New York that mounts bead shows around the USA. The Niagara Falls show is offering classes. You can day trip to Niagara Falls to attend the show, but you have to pre-register for classes.
Bead Show Newbie Hint: Just like visiting a casino, set a limit, and don’t over spend it!
Bead shows are all about the raw beads. If you do not want to make your own jewellery then the day trip you need is an artisans show. A group of beaders share a space for a few days. They display their work, and sell it. Richmond Hill Beaded Art Gallery is mounting such a show, April 20-22, 2012. The artisans have booked a historic property – Boynton House at the Richmond Green. The space is open from 10 AM to 6:30 PM each day. From 7 PM t 9 PM beading workshops are offered. This is a cash only event.
Michael’s – the craft store giant – is hosting what may be the biggest beading event ever offered, March 3, 2012. Call your local store for exact times. Michael’s beading instructors across North America will be available to answer questions about classes. If you have always wanted to learn to bead, Michael’s Bead Design Academy is a safe place to start. If you register for a class or a series of classes during the event, you’ll save 25% off the course fee. I’ll be at the Woodbridge Michael’s in the Greater Toronto Area from 1 PM to 3 PM, March 3. I look forward to meeting you.
A couple of hours each week are spent teaching jewellery making at a large Arts and Crafts chain store. Last night while trying to show a customer how to restring a necklace, I was overrun by parents who were assisting their children with end of term school projects.
It wasn’t the first time. Since September there have been regular sorties in pursuit of the elusive A. The interplay between parent and child is always the same – negotiation 101. Bigger, better, more dramatic. “It is got to be good,” says the kid. Mother or father adds up the cost of supplies in his or her head and quakes in fear.
Like school trips and theatre outings, projects are an unfunded cost of education that are often overlooked. When you have three children in school at the same time, end of term can be very expensive indeed.
There is a positive side to project creep, parent and child bonding. Fathers come in with sons and daughters seeking supplies for volcanic eruptions. I have watched as the principles of production are dissected and discusses. Last night a mother came in with her son who knew exactly what he wanted - a tube of cerulean blue acrylic paint. Cerulean was the only blue that would do. The tube he wanted was the most expensive in the store. I watched her internal struggle play across her face: Pay the price and lose the A or ask him to choose an affordable blue.
I wonder if teachers take into consideration when they assign a project the financial impact of their assignment?
Candle jewellery par moi
Bruno Pelletier‘s voice is floating from my iDock singing songs of the holiday season. My favourite Christmas album of all time takes me back to a dark, snowy street in Old Montreal. I was surrounded by friends walking toward Notre Dame while the holiday lights twinkled. The highlight of the evening was a performance by Bruno and the Montreal Symphony. He was doing two gigs – recording both. Eventually they became the album that is now putting me in the holiday mood. Two unforgettable evenings. Two outstanding shows in a beautiful setting.
Those moments are the inspiration for the candle jewellery I’m making. The completed set of 4 LED candles will become my holiday centre piece this year. I’ve guests coming for dinner at the end of the month so my table must say, “Welcome friends. I have missed you.”
I do not recommend dressing a traditional candle. The jewellery becomes a fire hazard. LED candles have become very sophisticated, covered in a layer of wax so that they fell like the real thing. They run on batteries, and because the “flame” is created by an LED bulb, a grouping of candles doesn’t produce heat. Great for entertaining.
Select your candles. Measure their circumference. Choose a ribbon that is wide enough to make a statement, but doesn’t overwhelm the candle. Cut a piece of ribbon about one inch longer than the candle’s circumference. Also cut a piece of cardstock the same length. Using double sided tape, stick the cardstock to the candle within the top third. Using your glue gun, glue the ribbon to the card stock.
Now you get to do the fun part. Cut a piece of ribbon for the bow. You’ll want to wrap some wire around the centre of the bow. Cover it with a piece of ribbon once you have twisted the wire ends together at the back of the bow. Attach 3 pieces of chain of varying lengths to the bow with the twisted wire.
After, attaching to the chain some charms or beads, use your glue gun to attach the bow to the ribbon you wrapped around the candle. That will hide the wire and the ends of the chain nicely. Be careful. Don’t let the weight of the chain and charms drag the bow off the ribbon. You’ll have to weight for the glue to dry, before you can set the candle upright.
Repeat with each candle. Et voila – a bejewelled candle centrepiece.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas began playing. Bruno’s timing has always been impeccable.
Joyeux Noel mes amis.
The right and left brain battle it out for supremacy every day. Your job may demand more from your left brain than your right. Or vice versa. Family demands can keep your left brain overpowering your right too.
My work around – or should I say my integration – of the left vs right brain challenge is to work on a right brain project while pondering a left brain problem. That’s why I enjoy making jewellery. My hands are occupied. My designer’s brain is satisfied. That lets the pragmatic me ponder my way to a solution.
Last night’s epiphany, however, was the result of the whole brain. I was at the store leading a class in knotting. That’s macrame for the 21st century. Instead of making 3 foot plant pot holders that suspend from the ceiling like I did in the 70s, I make hipster bracelets for the androgynous.
Not anymore…last night I finally figured out how to make a bootlet. I’ve been wanting to dress up my plain black knee boots. I can’t leave well enough alone.
Now that I have the design figured out. I made a prototype which will be on display at the store. I’m going to build a wardrobe of bootlets, so I’m ready for the week the temperature hovers around 12C every afternoon. That’s the week I’ll break out the boot polish and the boot jewellery.