Archive for April, 2012


April 29, 2012 | Filed under: Uncategorized

We were in Fort Myers, Florida for the past several weeks. April is not a usual month for us, but since it was so cool here, and hot there, we were glad to have been away. When we left Dundas, the temp here was 14 and it felt really balmy. I have to say I wondered why we were going. It turned out to be perfect weather in Florida….sunny and temps in the 80’s. When we returned to Dundas the temp was again 14 but it felt so cold. Acclimatization is an interesting condition.
One of our daughters and her family holidayed with us, as well as my mother who is 86. There was quite an age span with a grandaughter at 6 months and a great grandmother at 86 years. We ate in most of the time which was a different experience. Not as much fun as finding interesting restaurants for dinners but it worked reasonably well. Food can be very cheap in the U.S. but if it is, the quality is usually not good. It is possible to get large amounts, for example, Publix (a large grocery chain) offered a whole roasted chicken, with a salad side (cole slaw or macaroni with lots of mayo) and a gallon of iced tea for under 10 dollars. Pretty bad! The chicken with a green salad would have been healthier but with the offered accompaniments…….not a good choice.
On our way back we stayed at a Best Western in Georgia. Probably one of the least appealing places that we have been in for a while. But it was later than we normally stop, so it had to do. Usually we find Best Westerns pretty good but this motel needed upgrades in bed linens particularly. It seemed clean, so that was a relief. It offered no breakfast of any sort but that was because there was a restaurant attached called City Diner. And this had an interesting vibe. It was quite busy with locals which can be a good sign. We only had salad and soup because it was late but the menu offerings and the food that went by looked very good. What was particulary interesting was its desserts. There were at least 30 cakes on offer that were huge. From cheesecakes to chocolate to carrot and so on. Beautifully decorated….one was a canoli cake with chocolate icing and the top decorated with canolis. A slice was 6 dollars but it was huge and enough for 3 of us. Someone had a good idea that worked. The layers tasted and look like cake mix, so not a cake from scratch but the decorations were quite something. People were coming in and buying 2 or 3 slices to take away. But now i think that I have had it with fast food and restaurants. Good old beans and toast will do.

Studio tour is coming up May 26th and 27th. Have to get to work. Found some ruby zoisite. A good thing.

Posted by Stephanie @ 10:18 am | Comments


April 8, 2012 | Filed under: Uncategorized

These beautiful coloured things are 30mm. cotton pearls. First produced in Japan in the 1940’s, pieces of cotton were formed into balls and then coated with a nacre type finish. If you find vintage cotton pearls, you will discover that they are very expensive.
The colourful batch that you see are from Germany, and only made to order by a small company there. I purchased them at Beads of Colour, a local beading store in Dundas.
They are a lot of fun to wear, are very, very light and come in many colours. I will soon be getting natural looking cotton pearls in different shapes. You will see a selection of these in jewellery that I will have ready for the Beyond the Valley Studio Tour at the end of May.
I plan to pair them with sterling silver, and/or large gemstones. I also have vintage pieces that I think will spectacular with these beauties.

Posted by Stephanie @ 5:49 pm | Comments


April 4, 2012 | Filed under: Uncategorized

This pile of gemstones consists of a good quality turquoise on top
with lavender amethyst coins, some green keshi pearls showing, as well as korean jade towards the bottom, which is a greenish colour with purple jade under it. The brown stones on the left are a particularly fine tiger eye.
And the fuschia colour is a treated jade. The black to the right is onyx, one of my favourites to work with. Did you know that natural onyx is variegated and that most black onyx is treated? The colour of green onyx is achieved by heat treating. Most stones are treated in some way. If the tag doesn’t say natural, then most likely the stones have had some process applied. Quite acceptable now as long as it is transparent.
Blue topaz which is often seen in rings and earrings, is actually brown topaz that has been irradiated.

Posted by Stephanie @ 9:13 am | Comments


April 4, 2012 | Filed under: Uncategorized

Yesterday was my day in Toronto visiting my suppliers. Train in and train out….great way to travel.
I usually buy basic sterling silver components online, but I like to see and handle gemstones, pearls etc., and try to get anything that I think is unique or unusual. I wanted to get ruby zoisite again, but was out of luck. This paricular gemstone is a combination of red and green. The red is actually ruby and the green is zoisite. Very attractive. When I first saw it, my thought was that it was too Christmassy, but with a few careful choices of components to complement this stone, the pieces turned out very well. (this reads like a very convoluted sentence???)
I also did a lot of walking while in Toronto which is my favourite way of getting around. But did have to give up as my bag got heavier and heavier. Which is a good thing, as I found some really lovely pieces.
My niece, who is a U of T student met me for a coffee break and we went to Starbucks on Bloor between Avenue Road and Bay. May I say that the wrap I had was totally unpleasant and definitely tasteless.
When choosing a food place, my niece said that there wasn’t anything good around in the cafe line. Would this comment be made in New York City or Paris? Toronto is a big city and we were surrounded by high end stores. There are some fine restaurants in the area, but perhaps a good cafe or 2 would be a nice addition.
I finished my day at the Library Bar in the Royal York Hotel. A great way to wait for the train home.

Posted by Stephanie @ 9:08 am | Comments


April 2, 2012 | Filed under: Uncategorized

These 2 orchid necklaces, I think are unique…….real orchid petals that are treated with resin. The green one is completed with Korean jade and a light sterling silver chain. The orchid itself is quite light, so this is a very comfortable necklace to wear in warm weather. The purple orchid has a chain of faceted amethysts plus sterling silver. If you love colour, you will love these.

Posted by Stephanie @ 10:52 am | Comments


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