Saturday, November 19, 2011

The vigor returns.

The recovery time after a craft fair is shockingly long.  I have slowly come back to my bench in the last few days, and focused my energy on doing something.  But it has felt forced.  Today, however, the tides have turned, and I feel invigorated by new ideas and inspirations.  I happily blame this on the snow that was blanketing the world when I awoke this morning.  (Just yesterday I bought new winter boots!)  The crispness of the wintery air was exhilarating.  After spending the morning working on jewellery, it was out into the world we ventured.  First to The Bookery which was having another 30% off day as it slowly (sadly) fades into nonexistence.  Snapped up a novel and book on owls that I can't wait to settle down to read.  Then on to Devon House to partake of the open house event accompanying the opening of the Comfort and Joy ShowVery neat Kitchen Party scene in the works of Kevin Coates carvings.  Just a few carvings in the "kitchen" just now, but as we draw nearer to Devon House's 20th anniversary, more carved figures will arrive to share in the celebration.  Drop by between now and then and have a look, and even place a bid on this exquisite silent auction collection.

Home again and back at my bench I got to work making fleece for a new flock of sheep pins, since I sold out of the last (and first!) ones at the Craft Fair.  It's nice to have hit a popular nerve with this idea.  I've got plans for turtles next...  and squirrels and foxes and owls and and and..... !

The excitement of fresh ideas is tempered somewhat by the news of Nova Scotia College of Art & Design's struggles as of late.  Although I've never attended (yet!) it is shocking to think that an institution that offers such a diverse range of professional art and craft skills training could be in jeopardy.  If you value the vitality that a growing community of local craftspeople brings to your community, please take the time to sign this petition to help governments understand that these hands-on programs are valued in our post-secondary educational system.  keep-nscad-university-intact-and-independent

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fine time for a trip to the Fair!

think I'm ready!  The Craft Council's Christmas Craft Fair starts on Wednesday and runs until Sunday at the Arts and Culture Centre.  Tomorrow is set-up day.  I was working on the last of my jewellery until about 2 hours ago.  My Mom is flying in again to give me a hand, and I'm sure I'll need it, as this year the fair is a marathon five days long!  This year is also the first year there have been booths on the first floor.  I'm on the first floor, and I'm a little leery about that, but my fingers are crossed that people will find me down there.  (My booth can be found halfway between the box office and the children's library.)

The hours of the fair are as follows:

  • Wednesday from 12-9pm,
  • Thursday from 10-9,
  • Friday from 12-9,
  • Saturday from 10-9
  • Sunday from 10-5 
 Pictured here are some of the new things I've been madly creating for the fair.  I'll still have a wide selection of the more familiar line of botanical silver earrings I've developed over the past year, but I wanted to work on a selection of more one-of-a-kind pieces for this fair.

At the top are four brooches. You may recognize the crystalline cabochons by Alexis Templeton, this time shaped with mountain horizons.  The lower portion of these pieces are sterling silver with 14k gold rivers trickling down from the peaks.  The back of each brooch is bronze.  It was interesting working with gold and finding ways to highlight it against the silver.

I've also been obsessively making cuff bracelets.  Each one has a different etched pattern.  I've made
them in copper, bronze, and sterling silver.  I hope these prove popular, as I'd sure like to keep making them!

Awhile ago I had etched curly-cues on a piece of silver to test a pattern, and decided it would make a great design for a series of sheep pins.  And so my little flock emerged.

I posted the first of these pearl rings on my facebook page.  Now I've made more in a variety of sizes, and will take orders on other sizes.  I'm so pleased with the elegance of them, I just had to keep one for myself!  I may try making this design into matching earrings as well, but will have to see if they would be too tangly in long hair.

So that's a snapshot of what's kept me busy this last while.  Although it's hectic preparing for the Christmas Craft Fair season, I feel lucky to have more ideas than I have time to explore them, rather than the other way around.

An aside:
I'm loving the new sprout mix that I got for my birthday (at right), the little round balls bursting with life contrast nicely in my mind with the beauty of dogberries at the end of their season (at left).