Monday, May 25, 2015

Lots of Fun Stuff Arrived

A lot of fun stuff arrived in the mail today.  Is exciting to get all the new goodies but also means lots of serious claying ahead.  Of course that also represents fun -- especially when we get to make something new.  Our first item arrived earlier at the door with the Fed-Ex guy.  They were our rare earth magnets.  Was happy to find the ones we wanted from a Canadian supplier (thanks to Helen Breil for sharing).  Yes these have a hole in the centre which works perfectly for our new brooches in our interchangeable "Snap Decisions" collection.

Along with our usual Kato clay, these are some goodies that arrived from Shades of Clay.  They have so much stuff that is aimed for the polymer clayer and is nice they are here in Canada.  Some of the items here are Helen Breil's new silkscreens.  We have been experimenting with silkscreens and looking forward to trying these new ones out.

The Sculpey blade set is a present for Dave.  He was admiring one that someone had at our last Okanagan Polymer Clay guild meeting and loved the handles on it.  Now he has his own set and I am jealous as it is better than mine!  I think he will share with me so we're okay.

Also got some fun stuff that Wendy had on sale and clearing out getting ready for her new website.  Some Luminarte paint (one is a gorgeous purple color) and some fabric paint pens.  I am working on something this summer that involves fabric and painting so these should come in handy.

The sharp pointy tool should also come in handy as well as the little Kemper clay cutter.  I couldn't find it at first as it was so small and then discovered Wendy had attached it to our pointy tool.  The round cutter is just the right size for some special buttons we are making.  Did you know Shades of Clay has all sorts of these in different sizes?

The other item is in that foil package on the left.  That is a surprise that I will be sharing with you a little later.  It is a new product that Wendy sent us to play and experiment with.  We will give it a whirl and let you know what it is and what you can do with it soon.

Lastly, the long awaited interchangeable crochet hook kits arrived after being on back order for nearly 4 months!  We have some customers waiting for theirs so will be making some up as soon as we can get at them.

We are still waiting on more goodies but all this should be enough to keep us out of trouble for awhile!  After spending a whole week in front of the computer working on our new website it will be good to get back to the studio to clay!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Photographing Outdoors

The weather here has been really fabulous lately.  With the midday being so hot we are thankful for the central air conditioning in our home but the morning and evenings are perfect for sitting out on the patio.  We needed to photograph some of our scarf jewelry for listing on our new website and noticed the lighting on our patio under the shade of our large umbrella was perfect for this.  My set-up was quite simple which was a white tablecloth draped over a garment rack.  We have several of these racks for displaying our scarf jewelry at shows and now found another use for them.

While taking my pictures a few little visitors on our patio caught my eye -- they were the baby chipmunks that live underneath our deck.  I managed to snap a photo of one before he scurried away.

And here are a few photos from today.  These items will be available on our new website very soon.

Faux Red Turquoise Stone Scarf Necklace

Bargello Scarf Necklace

Pink & Purple Scarf Necklace

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mother's Day at the Historic O'Keefe Ranch

We were asked to take part in a Mother's Day Fibre Fashion 'N Tea at the Historic O'Keefe Ranch last Sunday.  We normally don't do outdoor shows but we thought this one would be fun and so glad we did.  It was a lovely day and the sun was a little warm so we were thankful for the tent that was provided.  This was our display where we had samples of our many items sold in the local yarn shops.  It was nice talking with people who came by and recognized our work.  Some even shared with us about what items of ours they had used on their hand knit or crocheted project and even shared photos of them with us.

We did polymer clay demos throughout the day where we would show how we make a "cane" and then sculpt a flower from it.

We also had our "Snap Decisions" collection available.  Customers seem to really enjoy picking out their different "snaps" to create their interchangeable jewelry pieces.

This is Althea and her sister of Intwined Fibre Arts in Salmon Arm.  They were set up next to us for the day and were busy spinning.  The selection of fibres and wool they had were in such yummy colors that were hard to resist.

The Historic O'Keefe Ranch had many other activities going on all day such as sheep shearing, pony rides and stage coach rides which passed by us on a regular basis.

The afternoon tea was really done up old fashioned style with the old style teapots and teacups and home baked goodies.  There was a fabulous fashion show hosted by A Twist of Yarn.

My camera wasn't cooperating too well to keep up with all the models so I managed to get one to pose for me.  Here she is wearing a gorgeous red hat and infinity scarf and with our maple leaf shawl stick.

It was a fun day and for a show like this was actually quite relaxing.  It was a nice way to spend Mother's day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Mother's Day at Historic O'Keefe Ranch

We are going to be at the Historic O'Keefe Ranch this Sunday for their special Mother's Day event.  They are hosting a "Fiber Fashion N' Tea at the Ranch" together with A Twist of Yarn.  There will a lot of demonstrations including sheep shearing, spinning, weaving and wool dying.  There is even going to be a fashion show which will also be featuring some of our handcrated items.  We will be there with a wide range of our work and will be doing two polymer clay demonstrations at 11:30 and 2:30.

They are predicting nice weather this weekend so should be a great day.  If you are in the area, stop in and say hi.

Monday, May 4, 2015

After Craft Culture

We had a fun but exhausting two days at the Craft Culture show last weekend.  We are constantly asked by our customers what other shows we are in so they can find us again but truthfully we do very few shows and even then, only select ones.  We find them very exhausting as there is so much preparation work beforehand in not only preparing enough product to sell but also working out a proper display so everything is well presented.  Then there are the long hours during the show and then the take down and packing up process at the end and then usually a long drive home afterwards.  We are finding doing shows more and more of a challenge to do and so instead we are currently working on a new website for selling more of our product which should be up and running soon.

One thing we like about doing shows, however, is meeting our customers in person and seeing the happy look on their faces when they leave with their purchase in hand.  We also had a more complete line of our interchangeable snap jewelry collection available and received lots of feedback with more ideas of what our customers were looking for.

One thing about this show was that there was plenty of live entertainment with everything from music performers and gardening tips to cooking demonstrations such as Chef GIULIO PICCIOLI of  One Big Table shown here.

The other thing we enjoy is talking with other vendors in the show.  This is Marzio who was our neighbor and was really great getting to know him.  He is an excellent cartoonist who does caricatures and also has a great sense of humor as you can see in the ones he did of Dave and I.

Another artist that was across from us was abstract painter, Graciela Blancarte,  Graciela is originally from Mexico but now lives here in Canada.  She is so sweet and the colors in her paintings are so intense and beautiful.  You can visit her website here to see her work. 

Marzio also did Graciela's caricature that she is holding.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Flower Frenzy

The flowers in our studio are blooming like crazy -- our sculpted clay flowers of course.  All of these flowers have genuine Swarovski crystal centers and a special snap embedded in back so they can be easily added to our different necklace components.  They can be arranged in different color combinations or pop one onto a hair barrette, bracelet or ring.

We wanted to have a good supply of items for the Craft Culture show this weekend so have been putting in long days.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Cool to Live in Chase, BC

We moved to our little town of Chase in the province of British Columbia (Canada) more than 6 years ago and really love it here.  We have lived in small towns before but this place is special.  We are surrounded with so much beauty and nature right on the shores of beautiful Shuswap lake.  We love the people here and have made quite a few friends and gotten to know most of our neighbors.

We just learned this week about another cool thing about our town.  The Haldane Elementary school (our only elementary school in town) received an award and was designated by national non-profit SEEDS Foundation as the greenest school in Canada.  The students in the school had completed 10,000 environmental projects and is the first and only school in the country to achieve what is called an Earth X status.  To read more about this and listen to an interview with the students click here.

Shuswap Lake

Chase Creek Falls

Mountain sheep in our yard

Mountain sheep coming down the hill behind our home.