Sunday, October 12, 2014

Demo at the Salmon Festival

We had a full day last week at the Salmon Festival helping out at the Artisan Market and doing a demo.  We met a lot of tourists from various parts of Canada visiting along with some from the U.S. and as far away as Australia.

Artisan Market tent with demo out front
Table with clay items for demo

Dave and I later discovered this photo prop and were goofing off a bit.  That was Dave's Yogi the Bear pose (I think?).  lol

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sockeye Salmon Magnets at the Salmon Festival

We made our first visit out to the Salmon Festival since it started to replenish some stock that sold.  The artisan market is even more impressive this year with a wide range of salmon themed artwork from other local artists.  The market is in a tent this year which provides plenty of room for the large amount of tourists passing through.

This is Connie who is heading up the market and has done a terrific job so far with everything being so well organized.

We made more sockeye salmon magnets again this year in both the sculpted technique as well as our "stylized" ones.

These were created from texture sheets we made from clay using my original drawing.  They are  flexible so we can run them through our pasta machine to make a deep impression.  Mica powders are then applied to give the shimmering color.

If magnets are baked in the clay they can lose their strength so they need to be glued in after baking.  To increase the strength of the magnet as well as maintaining a strong hold so it won't come out, we embedded a metal washer (A) in the back.  Another layer of clay was placed over top with a large enough space to glue the magnet in after the pieces are baked.  In this case we found that an apoxy clay worked really well.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

New Items Now at Intwined Fibre Arts

We are finally almost caught up with our fall orders for the yarn and quilt shops.  Some new items we added this year were our stitch markers and covered crochet hook handles.

Intwined Fibre Arts is one of the stores in our area to have these items for sale along with a nice selection of our buttons and other novelty gift items for the knitter.  They have been busy creating some new and fun projects.  I love this family of owls made from sock yarn and how they used our "Color Wheel" buttons for the eyes!  Aren't they adorable?!

We love seeing how our work is used in unique and different ways like this.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Salmon Everywhere

The Salmon festival started yesterday and our display rack at the artisan market is all filled and ready for the more than 200,000 expected tourists to come through over the next 3 weeks.  We will be out several times to view the spawning salmon in the river as well as replenish the supply of our handcrafted ones.

As part of the artisan market gift shop, we are to take our turn to help out and demo our work.  We will be taking our first shift this coming Friday (Oct 10th) and are looking forward to it.

To get into the spirit of things, we are seeing salmon themed shop windows like in the Intwined Fibre Arts store in Salmon Arm who have some of our salmon zipper charms for sale.

Chum 'N Luba's Unique Boutique here in Chase is selling our salmon jewelry which go really well with some of the new fall designer dresses they have in stock.

This dress happens to have a front zipper and the salmon zipper charm looks like it was made just for it!

These are a couple more of their dresses with a salmon necklace that go really well!  I absolutely love this dress and could see myself wearing this!  I love the hat too and is handmade from Nelson BC.

The red dress here was in the shop window so was difficult to capture a good picture.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How to Make an Adjustable Slider Bead for a Necklace Cord - Tutorial

Our sockeye salmon pieces are packed and ready to be delivered to the artisan market at the Salmon Festival tomorrow which starts this Friday.  One of the salmon themed items we have created to sell there is a pendant strung on the softglass cord.  We wanted the necklace to be suitable for both men and women as well as adjustable so we created a slider type bead that also has our signature logo stamp on it.

This is how to make an adjustable clay slider bead for softglass or buna cord:

Step 1:
To find the correct hole size, we matched the cord up with a pair of knitting needles that were the same thickness.  For example, the photo below shows the olive green softglass cord as the same  thickness as size 12 knitting needles where the copper buna cord is thinner so the same thickness as size 14.

Step 2:
Make a clay bead by rolling a medium thick sheet of clay and then doubling it.  Cut a 1/2" circle from the clay sheet and then roll into an oblong "ball".

Step 3:
Holding the pair of knitting needles together, poke a "double" hole into your clay bead by going straight down into your clay ball.

Step 4:
Carefully remove the knitting needles and flip your clay ball over.  You should see two indent marks that were made from the knitting needles.

Step 5:
Holding the knitting needles together and lining them up with the marks, insert them straight down into the clay piece the same way as in step 3.  You can go all the way through the clay bead to make a double hole by twisting one knitting needle at a time being careful to not distort or stretch the hole any larger. 

Step 6:
Leave the clay bead on the knitting needles as shown below for the next step.

Step 7:
You can stamp a pattern onto your bead at this point.  We like to texture one side and add our signature logo stamp on the other.  This is done by placing the clay bead onto a texture plate or stamp and pressing down slightly.  Another texture or logo stamp (shown here) can be pressed down on top.

Step 8:
Carefully remove the knitting needles from the clay bead one at a time by gently twisting them.  Bake the bead for at least 40 minutes.  After baking the cord should slide in through the holes but not be too lose.  If you find that your holes are too large, then you may need to go with a size smaller pair of knitting needles.

Step 9:
To prevent the bead from coming off the cord, a crimping bead can be added to the ends.  Here we used some fold over cord crimps and cut the loop off the end.  You could always leave the loops on and add a decorative bead dangle to each end if you prefer.

Step 10:
Cut your cord so that it is long enough to fit over your head with the slider bead extended to the end.  The cord on the necklace shown here is 26 inches long.  Slide the cord through the pendant and then through the slider bead.  Attach the fold over cord crimps to each cord end the same way as in our other softglass tutorial here.

One last tip:
If you do not want your cord ends to be a shiny metal, that can easily be changed by adding a bit of Gilders Paste.  Here we added some black to the silver ends which gave them more of a gunmetal look and blended in with the black cord so they weren't so noticeable.  I like Wendy Orlowski's tip she shared (click here) on marking the outside of her tins with the color so they are quick and easy to identify without having to open the lid each time.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

It's All in the Package

Now that our sockeye salmon pieces are done, we have been busy packaging them all.  Sometimes it seems as much time and work go into this part as making the items themselves.  We design and print all our own labels to accommodate each item.  It takes a bit of work setting up the original templates and then afterwards they are ready to print anytime we need more.

The switch plate cover was a little tricky to figure out how to make and took a little bit of engineering on our part.  We wanted to hang them on our pegboard display but also show them off nicely.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sockeye Salmon are Coming!

It has been an unusually busy summer for us as we have the Salmon Festival coming up in October which happens only every 4th year.  The salmon are already arriving but the great event starts October 3rd and will run for 3 weeks.  This means we have had to work on creating our salmon pieces in between our regular shows and filling store orders.

In order to do this, we had set aside several hours each day to work on our salmon fish pieces.  So far we have made more than 1000 clay "fish" which are then attached to various findings and made into items such as key chains, zipper pulls, cell phone charms, necklaces, earrings, tie bars, fridge magnets and even switch plate covers.

Salmon earring beads ready to bake
Finished salmon pieces