Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Puces Pop!

My niece, Janice, emailed me yesterday, "You haven't blogged in a while. I'm just saying." Understood. So here I am, my obedient, guilty self.

I started my metal working classes. I guess it is actually an intro to jewellery making class, which is what it's called in French. It's sort of an overview of lost wax cast technique and basic metal construction. I just did the one class but I have a new-found admiration for the work that jewellers do. Very precise, unlike me - I am actually very impatient and lazy when it comes to certain things like measuring, which is extremely important in jewellery making.

In our first class we started working on a ring, which will be a silver band. I ended up carving a wonky hole into my block of wax since the centre wasn't in the same spot on both sides. You can see the double outline is thinner on the bottom part; when you flip it over, it's thinner on the top. Sheesh. It's ok, I'll make do (instructor said she'd help me fix it). I have this same "meh" attitude with sewing too, which is why I don't really sew. I have to sketch out a design to carve into the surface of the band for this Friday. Hmmm. I'll bring my camera this time and take some pics in class.

I'm getting ready for the Puces Pop Marketplace this coming week-end!

Pop Montreal is an annual music festival that features alternative, hip hop, folk and indie rock, and it also hosts a crafty marketplace with over a hundred sellers. Happy to be among them this year!

Finally got around to making a few round pendants this time. They sort of look like some kind of game tiles or buttons. What do you think?

Gotta get back to work now... I'll be back.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

So excited to be taking classes!

It's been a couple years now that I've been wanting to take some classes to expand on my jewellery making but I always end up cheaping out. Time goes by so quickly too, and before I know it, the busy holiday season creeps up and I have no time for classes. But I've put it off for too long.

So I've registered for some classes this fall in metal work and glass lampwork - yahoooo! I am so excited!!! And I'm really looking forward to being able to offer some new designs to my customers - that probably won't be until well into next year though, but that's ok. I'll be taking my metal working classes at l'École de joaillerie de Montréal, which has an excellent programme for a college diploma, as well as a very thorough adult education programme.

I'm also taking a lampworking or flameworking intensive course at Espace Verre, which includes an intro to glass beads, small sculpture and glass ornament making. I've written about my glass obsession in previous posts that has gradually swelled over the last year or two. I am totally fascinated with "regular" lampwork beads, but I'm also really interested in the idea of making mini sculptural beads too.

Oh, the possibilities! I already have ideas of designs I'd like to create in silver and in glass, but then I don't want to disappoint myself - I really should cool my jets, since I don't even know if I'll even be any good at any of this. I'll be producing as usual for this holiday season, although I'll have a few new designs available, but then hopefully in January I'll be able to rent some studio time and practice my new techniques. And I have to be realistic, if ever I'm no good at the metal work and flameworking, I'll just have to work harder on some new and original designs in clay and challenge myself in other ways, right? Right.

Ok, now to the studio for some organizing! I've got a show coming up on October 3rd and 4th - Puces Pop Montreal - tell you all about it tomorrow!

Friday, September 4, 2009

She's a shoe lover and a cat lover...

This girl likes to shop. But since this girl hasn't had any to spare in the last couple years, she hasn't done any major shopping. And that's totally ok.

Enough with the third person thing. The girl is me. And although I like nice things, they are nice things often only to me, but that's ok too. I am definitely a shoe person, so when I come into a bit of cash - like having a couple of good summer craft shows - I start researching and tracking down the shoes I must have.

The clogs that I wanted are from a Spanish company called El Naturalista, and are pretty difficult to find here in Montreal. Ever since I saw a friend's boots made by the same company a few years back, I got a little obsessed, looking for them on the internet and hoping that somewhere they'd go on sale. Just a couple weeks ago I found a store in NDG (Notre-Dame de Grace) that had a few left, at 50% off! So across the city I schlepped and got these babies in the most lovely shade of apple green. Very happy, and they even match my mug (^_^).

A week goes by and I'm happily wearing my clogs and I realize they comfortably accommodate all my foot problems... so I should call the store and see what else they have in my size. Isn't that what anyone would do?

After finding out they have another pair in the same style, but with closed backs and in a neutral brown, I schlepped back out there yesterday, yaaay! And I'm now all set for fall. Look at my happy wide feet.

And... it's Friday, so it's a Cat Day.

Still on the topic of shopping - and yes, this fits in with the cats! - I saw this top while on av. Mont-Royal the other day and it's now in my closet. The version I got is sort of a taupey-grey, I love it! This company, Yumi, makes some really neat tunics and dresses/tops; a lot of it is pretty frilly, but there's some quirky kinda odd/kitschy looking stuff like this that I think is really neat.

I'll stop with the brand endorsements now.

Now for the REAL cat; this is Gyoza, my cousin Judy's cat (photo below by another cousin, Kathy). He slapped me on the face last week-end because I tried to pick him up (and he didn't want me to). Just like that - no claws, but paf, a paw across the cheek. That's what I get for getting too fresh. He's a very good cat, Judy claims, even though he hissed at a couple people while we were visiting. I know he has every right to be testy with so many strangers in his territory, but we were just chuckling at Judy who kept saying, "He's not usually like this..."

But WHAT a cutie!