Friday, May 4, 2018

The Shuswap Artisan Market is Now Open!

I am so excited to be a part of the Shuswap Artisan Market again this year.  It is actually a Cooperative with 26 artisans sharing the space and working together to create an awesome shopping experience.  It is in Sorrento but in a new location -- still on the Trans Canada Hwy but on the opposite side of the Petro-Can station and right next to Steamers Coffee.  The other exciting news is that this market will be open year round!

That is Debbie and Rose in the above photo.  They are two of the artists in the market that made it all happen.  They both have worked very hard behind the scenes in organizing and decorating the place.  They have done an awesome job and each one of us are so proud and appreciative!

The market opened on the 1st but our Grand Opening is tomorrow (Saturday May 5th).  I will be doing a demo out front and will be there at 1pm for an hour or so.  If you are in the area, stop by and say hi and check it all out!

For more info on the market, you can visit the facebook page.  There is even a video for a sneak peek of the inside.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Keeping up

Since changing my website platform to a new company I quit sending out regular newsletters from there.  I am finally at the point where I am starting up again and so if your name was on the previous list and you would like to continue subscribing, then I would suggest going to our website here and when the pop-up appears, register again.  This way you won't miss out on any new items, events or special promotions I am offering.

Another way to follow me is to sign up to my blog.  There is a button on the right hand side to fill in your e-mail address and my blog posts will go direct to your inbox each time I do a post.  Some of my special offers are for specific "groups" or promoted only through my website newsletter, however, so you might want to sign up for both if you do not want to miss out.

So speaking of a special offer.  I thought I would share this one here this time for those who did not receive our most recent newsletter.  Have a great week!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Recovering and Getting Back on Track

So I realized I hadn't posted since March and now the Fibres West Show has already come and gone.  It was a very busy time and I must say I am glad the show is over so I can catch up with other things.  Unfortunately, life does get in the way and I recently came down with pneumonia and so now trying to get over that.  I guess I was pushing myself a little too hard and I think I have learned my lesson about taking care of me better, which I now plan to do more of from now on.

In the meantime, I thought I would share a few photos from the Fibres West show and will try and post more often again to keep you a little more up to date on things.

We had a wide range of our hand crafted accessories available at the show such as buttons, seam rippers, crochet hooks, stitch markers, etc.

These (shown below) are our new line of ergonomic crochet hooks we created in my "Moonscapes" pattern.  I say "we" because my friend Linda played a large part in helping me with these.  While I love making them, the entire process can be very labor intensive.  With Linda mixing up all the clay colors for the bases gave me more time to cover and hand shape each hook and then add the  patterns.  After baking, the two of us spent days sanding and then polishing them.  I am glad to say I now have them listed in our Etsy shop and also our online store (Canadian).  They are available in every size from 2.0 to 10.0.  The colors all vary as they coordinate with the color of the hook so you can mix and match the size and color you want.

Moonscape design ergonomic crochet hooks
One of the highlights of the show was seeing our buttons in use.  I have started making custom buttons for Lynn Anderson of West Coast Color.  Her and her husband have a sheep farm here at the Shuswap not too far away from me.  We spent some time together a while back color matching my clay recipes to most of her yarn that she hand dyes herself.  This is her holding up one of her darling sweaters with my Rainbow jellyroll buttons.

And a little better close-up view of the sweater and our buttons in 2 other color combinations.

Some of you may have seen this picture I posted on Facebook and Instagram of this sweet little girl.  She is actually Lynn's granddaughter and she was wearing a sweater Lynn made for her and was the perfect little model.

The other section of our booth at the show consisted of various items from our Snap Decisions Collection (Interchangeable Fashion ... in a Snap!)  We mainly focused on accessories that worked well with scarves and shawls plus a few other items to coordinate them with where the snaps could all interchange.

The two most popular items, however, were our interchangeable shawl sticks and our "Build your own" scarf jewelry.  We basically provided a selection of scarf bails, snaps, pendants, etc. and the customers enjoyed mixing and matching to create a scarf necklace in their own style.  Most of them were knitting, crocheting or weaving their own scarf from the fibres they purchased at the show.

We already had this concept in our online store (you can see it here) but since the show, I decided to expand on it a little more.  I am busily working on adding some of our more popular items and should have a nice selection up in a few more days.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Preparing for Fibres West

I can hardly believe it is March already.  The other thing I can hardly believe is that we still have snow on the ground and still getting the occasional snow storm.  This has been a long hard winter starting a month earlier than usual and now ending at least a month longer.  I will be so happy when spring is finally here!

So I mentioned earlier that to pass the winter months I have been working with the clay quite a bit and my friend Linda has spent a lot of time visiting and giving me a hand.  We decided to take the plunge and be in the large Fibres West show coming up in just a little over 2 weeks!

So we have been busy making lots of buttons, since our button inventory was so depleted and needed replenishing anyhow.  We will also have plenty of other items such as our ergonomic crochet hooks, stitch markers, shawl pins and also a wide selection of items from our Snap Decisions Collection.

We will also have available our new chunky knits mounted on a snap.  These can be worn different ways such as on a shawl stick or as a necklace, etc.

So if you are in the Vancouver / Surrey area or attending the Fibres West show, come by and see us.

Friday, February 23, 2018

German Glass Glitter in Resin Snaps

So I have been playing with some new colors in the German Glass Glitter I recently purchased from Shades of Clay and embedding it into resin to create some cool snaps.  This glitter is lovely as it is actual cut glass and not the typical cheap glitter you find at the craft stores.  Of course I had to experiment with combining colors and creating a few blends.  In my world, mono colors are nice but mixes are more exciting.

Sky Blue (left), Amethyst (right) and combination of the two (top)
Chartreuse (left), Sky Blue (right) and Combination of the two (top)
Our huge sale on everything in our online store has been a success so far and is still on until Sunday night so don't miss out!  We do have a lot of items in stock but some items are almost or already sold out so don't delay if there is some special thing you had your eye on.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Winter Blues

Valentines day has come and gone and I have to say I survived without my sweetheart here.  We always celebrated it as our "other" anniversary because that is the day we met.  Well not really.  We knew each other for several years before then and were good friends but then went our separate ways and lost touch.  We later bumped into each other unexpectedly on Valentines day in 1986 and to make a long story short, we were married at Christmas that same year.

So I have had my head buried in clay quite a bit lately.  I find it very therapeutic and I don't feel sorry for myself as much that way.  It also helps when the weather is so depressing outside with tons of  snow to shovel along with the bitter cold.

So to beat the winter blues I decided I need to move some inventory and so having a big sale in our online store.  Right now until Sunday night, everything is 30% off.  And that means absolutely everything!

So if you are looking for snap supplies -- 30% off!
Would like some scarf jewelry or clips? -- 30% off!
Even my tutorials and buffing pads are 30% off!

Just enter the coupon code:   winter30off  at the checkout and your total will be reduced.

So get shopping and remember that our shipping is a flat fee no matter how much you buy and we also have free shipping with a $75 minimum within Canada and $100 minimum to the US.  Other countries we have a reduced tracked packet shipping rate.  (The free shipping amounts are after any discount codes are applied)

Friday, February 2, 2018

Playing with Resin

I am taking a break and visiting family for a few days.  It is nice to get away but the weather is much colder here than at home.

We now have more of our new blank snaps with a bezel frame in stock.  These are flat inside so don't need prepping with clay first before filling.  They also work well with other mediums like resin.  They are now available in 2 sizes, the larger 20mm and now also the slightly smaller 18mm.  I like both sizes but the smaller one sometimes looks nicer in the framed pendants and other findings and doesn't overwhelm them.

I have been experimenting with different ways of filling these snaps using resin.  The resin I was using before was a UV type.  I like this resin as it cures under a UV light and only takes about 20 minutes.  It does tend to get a lot of bubbles, however, and some are not visible and can later rise to the surface during the curing.  I found it is best to let them sit for a while and then pop any bubbles that show up before putting them under the light.

I recently tried the Ice Resin from Shades of Clay.  I just have the smaller size that comes in a syringe like plunger.  There are 2 chambers that pour out at the same time which makes it so easy to measure out the correct amount.  The tip seals again so you don't have to mix up the whole batch at once.  I picked up some small disposable cups and wood stir sticks from the dollar store for mixing.  The first time I mixed up very little and am glad I did as I found a little bit goes a long way.

Shades of Clay also carries some cool inclusions to go into the resin if you are looking for something different other than clay.  I just had some of the German Glass Glitter in silver which is in the red snap below.  The red color is from alcohol inks added to the bottom of the snap before adding the glitter.  Resin was added over top of that to create a glass-like finish.  The teal and green snap at the back (top) was created using the shredded type glitters and alcohol inks with mica flakes create a faux opal effect in the snap on the right.

For the snaps below I baked thin sheets of crackled clay in the bottom of the snap and then added the resin on top.

And the other day my friend, Joanne and I were playing with the clay circles cut out in the Pantone Spring colors to create various retro canes.  These clay logs shown here give an idea as to how the various colors were stacked and inserted into the extruder to create the pattern.

I baked some thin clay veneer sheets in the snap and then added the resin on top.  I love the glass-like finish on these and the resin  magnifies the pattern.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Clay Recipe Links for the Pantone Spring 2018 Fashion Colors

Here is a review of the clay recipes for the Pantone Spring 2018 Fashion Colors.  Click on the photos below for the clay recipes for those colors.  If you would like to see more clay recipes for the Pantone Fashion Colors in the past, click on the "Pantone Color Recipes" tab at the top of this blog.

If you would like some recipe cards for these clay colors, you can click here to download them.  They are ready to print out on 4" x 6" index cards (instructions included) so you can glue your baked color chips on them for easy reference.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Pantone Spring 2018 Fashion Colors Emperador, Chili Oil and Cherry Tomato

When I mixed up the two Pantone Spring colors, Emperador and Chili Oil my first question was why did they add these to this collection?  For quite a few years now, Pantone always had 10 top fashion colors for each season and for some reason they decided to have 12 this time.  In my opinion, these last two do not belong and are more suited to fall.  Due to my (prejudiced) thinking, I also left these color recipes for the very last to share with you!  The other reason was the whole time I was wondering what the heck I was going to do with them!?  lol

So I was determined to figure out some combinations that looked somewhat acceptable and I actually surprised myself!  And I only whipped these stacked mokume sheets up a few hours ago so I didn't get a chance to make anything with them yet but am quite excited to tackle it tomorrow!

So my first combination that I came up with was Arcadia, Lime Punch and Cherry Tomato.  I love how this combination provided enough blending but contrasted as well.  The colors really pop and remind me of a fiesta on a bright summer day.

As much as I liked the first combination, I decided I wanted something a little lighter, so added some of the Meadowlark.  I think I like this one even more and noticed where the red and yellow blended there was some peach peaking through that is similar to the Blooming Dahlia, without even adding any.

Finally I still had to mix up something with the Emperador (brown) and Chili Oil.  After a few attempts I finally came up with this combination that I absolutely love!  While it does not seem like spring or summer colors to me, I find it has a real Southwest or Arizona feel.  So with the Emperador and Chili Oil, I added some of the Arcadia and Blooming Dahlia.  I also played around with the thicknesses which is what I would suggest if you are thinking of trying this combination.

So here are the recipes for the last three Pantone spring colors using Kato clay.  Also, if you have my Clay Color System, then you already have two of the recipes which are noted below:

Cherry Tomato
1 part Kato Red
2 parts Kato Orange

Same as clay recipe
"Tanned Leather" # 3-6 *

Chili Oil
Same as clay recipe
"Chili Pepper" # 4-4 *

* Note:  These clay color recipes are created using Kato Polyclay.  Any of the base color "mixes" used are from my Clay Color System.

Tomorrow I will have the recipe cards ready for you to download and print out so you can add your baked clay color chips.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Pantone Spring 2018 Colors Arcadia, Pink Lavender and Blooming Dahlia

I am still playing with the new Pantone Spring colors that I mixed up but am drawn more to the brighter colors than the darker ones.  This "stacked mokume gane" blend includes five of the colors:  Arcadia, Spring Crocus, Pink Lavender, Lime Punch and Meadowlark.

 I tried other variations with only 3 or even 4 of the colors plus different thicknesses until I finally settled with this combination.  I could have used the Pantone Color Blooming Dahlia in place of the Lime Punch could be interesting.  That is the only color I haven't experimented with yet but plan to soon.

Arcadia is more like a teal green which is intense yet soft.  The Pink Lavender is a little brighter than in the photo but is light enough to create contrast with the darker colors instead of using a stark white.  Blooming Dahlia is a peachy orange so would combine really well with the Spring Crocus and Meadowlark.

So here are the recipes for the Pantone Colors Arcadia, Pink Lavender and Blooming Dahlia using Kato clay:

4 parts Kato Turquoise
4 parts Kato Green
1 part Kato Pearl

Pink Lavender
15 parts White Mix # 1-2 *
1/2 parts Kato Violet
1/2 part Purple # 10-2 *
1/8 part Kato Magenta

Blooming Dahlia
5 parts Living Coral # 5-5 *
2 parts White Mix # 1-2 *
2 parts Ecru Mix # 2-8 *

* Note:  These clay color recipes are created using Kato Polyclay.  Any of the base color "mixes" used are from my Clay Color System.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Pantone Spring 2018 Colors Lime Punch, Meadowlark and Little Boy Blue

I have been playing with the new Pantone Spring colors that I mixed up in clay to see which combinations appeal to me the most.  So far I have found several that I really like.  I haven't had time to actually create anything from them yet but I at least have some raw clay samples to show you.

Here are some stacked mokume slices combining the Ultra Violet (I shared the recipe for in my previous post here) along with the colors Little Boy Blue, Meadowlark and Lime Punch.

And my friend/assistant, Linda was busy today making lots of little clay circles in all the Pantone spring colors today.  These are in preparation of a clay day we will be having with my other friend Joanne this Thursday.  I will share the results with you later.

So here are the recipes for the three new colors using Kato clay:

Little Boy Blue

2 parts White Mix # 1-2 *
3 parts Kato Pearl
1 part Kato Blue
1 part Ultramarine # 9-2 *


10 parts Kato Yellow
1 part Kato Pearl

Lime Punch

15 parts Kato Yellow
1/2 part Kato Green

* Note:  These clay color recipes are created using Kato Polyclay.  Any of the base color "mixes" used are from my Clay Color System.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Pantone Color of the Year - Ultra Violet

I have noticed over the many years I have been mixing up the Pantone seasonal colors, that purple has not been very prominent and especially for the spring time.  In fact the last time a shade of purple was included with the spring colors was 2014 and even then, that shade, (Radiant Orchid), was leaning more towards a magenta than actual violet or purple.

Well not only is a purple in this Pantone Spring palette, it has also been declared as the color of the year!  I imagine all the purple lovers are dancing with joy over this.  I am okay with it but not overjoyed as it is a color that I cannot wear.  But by combining it with other colors like Lime Punch, Arcadia or Spring Crocus, I might actually be able to pull it off!

So I created some pieces using the Mokume Gane technique using just three of the Pantone Spring 2018 colors, Ultra Violet, Spring Crocus and Almost Mauve.  The three colors worked well together and created enough light and dark balance to make the pattern pop.

Scarf Necklace

Snap buttons for interchangeable jewelry

Whenever I play with this technique, each side of the compressed clay sheet is in two different colors -- I like to texture both sides to see which one I prefer.

In this combo, I like both sides and the two scarf necklaces below show the different results.

Just a few notes about these clay recipes.  If you have my Clay Color System, then you already have the Spring Crocus recipe.  The Ultra Violet is pretty much pure Kato Violet with a bit of pearl added.  And the Almost Mauve is white with a slight mauve tint which is obtained by adding a tiny amount of the Ultra Violet mix.  So here are the recipes for these three colors using Kato clay:

Ultra Violet

4 parts Kato Violet
1 part Kato Pearl

Spring Crocus

Same as the clay recipe
Fruit Punch # 11-2 *

Almost Mauve

8 parts White Mix 1-2 *
1/8 part Ultra Violet (above recipe)

* Note:  These clay color recipes are created using Kato Polyclay.  Any of the base color "mixes" used are from my Clay Color System.