Archive for March, 2011

It’s shaping up to be a very busy week.  The big thing we’re doing is appearing at the Stratford Spring Home show. They’re doing a few cool things this year that made us take part. The main one is that there is a brand new section called “Artisan’s Alley” and it is just for us artsy types. To qualify you have to be the person actually making the goods and they also have to be made locally. They are giving this section a great location in the first building and it’s nice to have booth sizes that are better suited to artists rather than the huge ones most companies need. I’m not sure if this is something they will be continuing to do , but it was too good an opportunity to pass up. The other fun thing thing that’s happening this year is that there will be a mini “Antiques Roadshow”  going on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. John Sewell is going to be there appraising people items as well as a trio of fellow Shakespeare business owners.  Peter, From Land and Ross, Carl from Glen Manor and James from Jonny’s antiques will all be helping people find out values. It’ll be just like I’m still at the store. While I’ll be there through the week-end, the shop will still be open since Mother will be holding down the fort. It should be a great time and I hope to see you there!

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Earth Hour 2011

It’s Earth Hour tonight, The 8:30pm start time means it’s after hours for the store, so it’s not really affected.

current bush, March 2011

At the house, we’ll have the lights off and probably end up playing some cards, just like we did last year. Whatever you end up doing to celebrate, we hope you have a good time!

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Spring snows

There was more snow. Wednesday was a day of heavy, blowing snowfall.

pine tree, March 2011

They closed most of the schools, but the highway stayed open, even if it’s conditions weren’t ideal. It was somewhat comforting to know that it we weren’t the only ones getting hit with the white stuff, but a big chunk of the country was in on it too. I know I should stop whining about the weather but, there is just so much stuff to get to work in the garden that it feels especially frustrating to have Spring dragging it’s heels to get here. At least the past couple of days have been bright and sunny, if not warm. The sun is melting some of the snow, but it’s cold enough that it re-freezes. That’s how these icicles formed on one of the trees in the east lawn. It is pretty, and I’ve been feeling inspired about working on my “Winter King” mask but we’re more-than-ready for the colours of spring to replace all this white!

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This time of the year seems to be a good hunting period for Mother.

antique gold pince nez eyeglasses

She went out and found me a whole stash of vintage eyeglasses! It’s a mix of things ranging from some assorted pince nez spectacle pairs through to sunglasses from the sixties. I figure we’ve got over a hundred years of eye-wear history represented. I’m working through getting them all photographed and listed but a couple have already found homes. One of them is being kept by Dad. The lovely gold spring bridge spectacles shown, were sitting on my desk as I worked on their write-up and he tried them on. Apparently the prescription is right on what he needs for reading glasses! (I had noticed that they have very fine bi-focal lenses) The fit is also good and comfortable, so he’s claimed them for himself. I still have to get around to making him a cord for them but I think they will work well. He’s had trouble with the regular ones falling out of his pocket when he’s doing any sort of stuff that involves bending but these will hang around his neck, as well as being lighter, so they should be a better option. I’m rather amused that they also qualify as the “formal-wear” glasses, but it’s good when things are multipurpose.

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The mask making is something that feels limitless.

wolf mask, "Dief"

There are always so many new things to try that I don’t always get to things as quickly as I’d like. One of the casting bases I made a number of years ago was a wolf, but I’ve never done that much with it. I think the main problem had been that the forms are so detailed that they are much harder to cast than most of the others. It also hasn’t helped that most of my vintage fur stash was in a harder-to-reach section of storage. For whatever reasons, I hadn’t done one in a few years. Once I got caught up with a few other styles, early this year, I thought it was time to get back to the wolves. This is a the first of the new breed. I’m calling him “Dief” and he was done using a combination of vintage salvaged mink and wolf fur with some also salvaged leather around the eyes and nose. He’s turned out a bit more cute than I expected, but I am quite fond of him and he’s up for sale.

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Much as I love making things with old clock and watch parts,

vintage ladies watch pendant

I also find it fun to see what other people do with them. Recently I made contact with a certified watchmaker named Rudi and he showed me what he’s been doing with some beautiful old watches. Watch and clock repair and restoration is his main business but he also does some re purposing. Ladies watches used to be these very pretty, but tiny things. I’ve had quite a number end up in my stash and they often have great sized faces for incorporating into jewellery, but they are so small, most are not a style woman want to wear on their wrists these days. Since so many people have ones around that came down through the family he offers a way they can be converted into a wearable, working pendant! The photo is of one of his pieces and you can see that he does a beautiful job of making them shine. I just love the idea of them being able to continue on as working watches in a way that fits a more modern style. (and genuine heirloom, steampunk is also a good thing ) He’s not on-line, but if you want to talk to him about a watch you have, contact me and I’ll give you his number. We can also arrange for pick-up/drop-off through the store since that may be more convenient for some.

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The last two Januaries, we’ve waffled a bit on what to do with some of the Christmas

painted glass St.Patrick ornament

ornaments. Last year, they all went away, but this year we decided to leave out just a few of the vintage glass ones along with a few other special pieces. Partially because we sell vintage, and most people don’t have the time to go hunting for decorations in the season, and also because we always bought holiday decorations when we travelled. It was a fun way to have a souvenir, without ending up with too much clutter and we wanted to give our visitors the same option. Of the pieces we’ve kept, out this is the biggest. It’s a beautifully done, hand-painted glass statue of St. Patrick. He’s almost 8” high and the detail is just lovely even if I’m fairly certain he was done in the last 10-15 years. It’s one of those things that could easily be displayed all year round but is, of course, especially perfect to have out today! (I’m all for decorations that work for more than one holiday a year)

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We are so very, very tired of snow. Friday morning we got up to find over a foot

snow, March 2011

of it on the ground, and the cars, and the house, and the store… It was so icky I had to take a picture of Dad, digging out a pathway from the house to the store. (yes, I was helping, but took a moment to snap the pic) I shouldn’t whine, since it is only weather, but waiting for spring to actually start feels endless. Having the blog isn’t making me feel better since I was able to see that this time last year there were big daffodil sprouts in the current bush and no snow. Ah well, I had to smile

rabbit prints in snow, March 2011

a little when we came out on Sunday morning and in the freshly fallen (and thankfully light) snow, we could see that our resident rabbit appreciated having a path to hop along rather than having to travel through the thick wet whiteness. (I had been a bit concerned about having a bun-bun around, but this one has left my peas, beans and lettuces alone and simply seems to only occasionally appear and look cute, so we’re fine with it hanging out in the area)

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Here is the last of the recent necklaces using some of my antique mother-of-pearl buttons.

necklace with vintage key and antique button.

The central piece is a large antique skeleton key. It has a a great oxidized steel surface, without any visible rust. The top has an impressed “4” on both sides and one side has a “G” on the lock insert. (I think it might have been a hotel key) Accenting the key is an antique mother-of-pearl button as well as a burgundy glass dangle and a faux metal “one penny” British coin. The chain is a dark oxidized brass colour and is broken up with sections of assorted linked glass and metal bead groups. (the beads and chain, while they have a great vintage look, are modern) The clasp is a modern silver lobster clasp that will clip anywhere along the last length of chain so the length is adjustable. This is a pretty and striking piece with a terrifically vintage feel! The key is large enough to have great drama and impact without being overpowering.

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I did another on-line interview about my masks recently (it is the season, what with Carnival )  and I just realised that I never posted the link. Eek! It was by Jewelz Creatives on her Artfire blog. Check it out!

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