Archive for November, 2011

PUBLICITY…..can there ever be enough?

November 30, 2011 | Filed under: Uncategorized

I was very fortunate to be featured, this past Monday, in the “Style” column which is in the “GO” section of the Hamilton Spectator, our local newspaper. Michele Steeves is the editor and has often featured the Beyond the Valley Studio Tour of which I am a member. Artists and artisans are a big part of our community and also contribute to its well being. So this support from our community newspaper is very much appreciated and in some ways immeasurable. Although, I have to say that I had a huge number of hits on this website Monday and Tuesday……much more than usual.
Jeff Mahoney, a columnist with the Spectator used to write about the art scene in Hamilton. His articles were entertaining and enlightening.
Currently he writes a column about the different members of our community, their experiences etc. An excellent read. But I do miss his articles about art.
Carmelina Prete has occasionally written articles that are art related. As I mentioned in an earlier post, she wrote about 2 of the artisans on our tour….Paull Rodrigue, who works in glass….and Scott Barnim, a renowned potter. Her writing is also excellent. Hope she continues along this vein.

It is countdown time. Just a few days to go until my Christmas Open House. On Monday, a visit to the One of a Kind Show in Toronto proved to be a good thing. Some interesting and unusual things…such as pigs made out of old propane barbecue tanks. They were absolutely great. Could be planters among other uses. Small tanks were converted to piggy banks and catchalls. (This Little Piggy). Creativity has no limits. Another person took old tin ceiling tiles and framed them.(Tin House Designs). n Just wonderful! One of my favourites was furniture made out of bicycle parts, metal implements. Sounds hokey? Well it wasn’t. Well crafted and very attractive. Phillipe Pallafray who is from Quebec had the most beautiful metal furniture. Hope all went well for everyone. I did hear some artisans say that they were swamped on the week end. Hope that we are swamped here on Saturday.

Posted by Stephanie @ 10:49 am | Comments

December 3rd & 4th…Christmas Open House Here

November 28, 2011 | Filed under: Uncategorized

Saturday & Sunday are fast approaching. But life continues to interrupt my life. Off to the One of a Kind Show today. An enormous amount of advertising has been done this year. The most that I have ever seen. And it would appear that the quality of the show has improved. I had noticed this trend a couple of years ago. We hadn’t gone for several years as we saw a decline in quality but have returned as there is definitely an upsurge and once again it is a pleasure to go. This used to be one of the premier events of the year. I can remember going during the week and facing huge crowds. I guess now with so many studio tours, week end art festivals and so on, there is a lot of competition for time and the public’s dollar. And it is not inexpensive to be part of this show. I would think that costs would go from at least $3000 and up depending on where the artisan is from. (never end a sentence with a prepositon…grammar class). Also an artisan cannot be part of another show or event within a certain radius of Toronto in the previous month. I spoke to one woman who said she brought 1500 pairs of earrings. Amazing!
Scott Barnim is having his Christmas event staring Dec. 3rd as well. Dundas could be one stop shopping!! He has 20% off in his showroom. This continues for about a 2 week period.
Now off to the show!!

Posted by Stephanie @ 9:29 am | Comments


November 25, 2011 | Filed under: Uncategorized

My Christmas Open House at my home studio is just 8 days away. I have days where I can produce so much and then days where I just wander around waiting for not only motivation, but inspiration. This can be very frustrating. But it is a fact. Ideas can whirl through my head at, it seems at break neck speed, and if I don’t sketch them out (and believe me my sketches are minimal and very rough), then they are gone. Creativity is a hard taskmaster. Sometimes very obliging and other times, well…….
Sometimes I develop a rhythym (not sure that is the correct spelling) and am happily working away when….life intervenes. And the link is broken. And it is very hard to connect again.

A young boy of about 10 came into my showroom with his mother during the studio tour in October. He looked around and then said to his mother “this place is a woman’s dream”. This young boy is going to do well. I liked him right away!!!

It is my mother’s birthday today. She is an active 86. My brother and I are going to take her lunch as she really doesn’t like going to restaurants and then we are having a family party on Sunday, with her favourite, Chinese food.
Her car was stolen and we have been making sure that she gets where she wants to go. We will get her another car within the next 2 weeks, but she has become less enthusiastic about this. I think it is because she sees us so much now and is quite used to having us around regularly. She passed her driving test which was quite uplifting for her, especially after the car theft. Lots of changes in her life this year. She is doing well.
On Dec. 10th the women of the family are gathering and my mother is going to show us how to make pyrohy (known in the English world as pyrogy). This will be quite an event.

Posted by Stephanie @ 12:00 pm | Comments

TORONTO….via VIA (also known as the train)

November 6, 2011 | Filed under: Uncategorized

As I was in great need of jewellery supplies such as silver, I decided that this time I would go into Toronto by train. I went with my eldest daughter who works there so it was an early trip in.
I had to buy single tickets as I didn’t know my return time. This amounted to over $46.00. It seemed a lot to me but then when you figure in the cost of driving and parking which alone, often amounts to over $22., then perhaps not so much. (the Go is much less at just over $18.00 return but the times are not as convenient). Since I had the whole day, my plan was to walk to all my suppliers. And this I did.
As well, I met my niece, who attends U.of T. for lunch. There I was, standing on the corner of Dundas and Spadina, waiting for her, when I get a call from my brother (her father). Now how odd is that! He was certainly surprised to know where I was. But he called to pass on unfortunate news. My mother’s car had been stolen from her parking space, that morning. It is a 2000 Honda Civic and as we found out eminently desirable. Probably because it is relatively easy to break into. My mother had just moved into a senior’s apt., a very big change for her. She does love it. Now this happened. She is due to take a driving test soon, so we will wait to see if she passes. She always has before, and in fact, is a confident driver. Then my brother and I will get her another car if hers doesn’t turn up. She initially said no, that perhaps she could stop driving now, but the loss of her independence is telling.
Back to Toronto….my niece and I had lunch at the Urban Herbivore in Kensington Market. This was great as they have bowls that have a rice or quinoa base and then 6 toppings of your choice…vegetarian of course….on top. Delicious. When I was telling my 9 yo grandson about this, he wanted to know why his cousin hadn’t taken him there yet. He is a real foodie but not so fond of meat, so this type of meal, totally appealed to him.
I continued on after lunch to several other suppliers. I had visited 2 in the a.m. and found some great gemstones…grey jade, very light smoky quartz which I will pair with black onyx and peacock blue and green keshi pearls. Look for a multi strand necklace of those. I very much liked the walking and I must say that it was an absolutely gorgeous day. The only problem was that as I accumulated supplies, the load I carried got heavier and heavier. Nevertheless I soldiered on and at the end of the day met my daughter at the Library Bar at the Royal York which is right across from Union Station. Very handy, I must say. And packed.
Oh and I forgot to mention that I also managed to buy myself a jacket which is very smart. It is amazing what can be accomplished on a day of accomplishments.
The 7:00 p.m. train home and I walked into the house at 8. And I was exhausted. I had been up and on the go since 6:15. It took another day to get over this, so somehow I will have to modify my trips…..or get younger (or as my daughter would say…get fitter!)

Posted by Stephanie @ 9:36 am | Comments


November 1, 2011 | Filed under: Uncategorized

The Beyond the Valley Studio Tour has been over for 2 weeks, I have had a rest and am now back at work. Thank you for coming out to my home studio during this 2 day event. As usual we had a lot of fun, a lot of jewellery went to good homes, and now it is time to move along. My Christmas Open House is coming up which is the first week end of December. Also I will have pieces in the Carnegie Christmas Small Works Exhibit. The Opening reception is the evening of November 4th. The Carnegie will be open every day in the month of December. Check my events page for address etc.
And do remember that I am open by appointment, so if you need a piece for yourself or a gift, do give me a call. I will be glad to see you and show you my latest pieces.
To change the subject totally……I don’t always think about jewellery……my husband and I have decided to have at least one meal in every restaurant in Dundas. We have already eaten at a number of places but not all. So we started out by having a breakfast once a week, until we run out of restaurants that serve breakfast, then we will move on to lunch and then dinner. So far we have sampled 3 restos for breakfast. Would I recommend any of them….well no….except for coffee in one. There could be a book in this. Once we are done the breakfast routine I will comment on our experiences during our morning meal.
Tomorrow I am off to Toronto to visit suppliers….time to get started on the Christmas collection.(yes, I know, I do think of jewellery all the time!)

Posted by Stephanie @ 8:07 pm | Comments


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