A Shoot in the Garden

Last weekend, Tito and I took some of our favourite pieces out to the Toronto Music Garden to shoot what, in the advertising world, we call ‘hero shots’. We had a lot of fun arranging the work, hanging things on trees, and generally trying to place the work back in the context of the natural materials that go into the jewellery. I wanted to make each element look like something that could have grown, right alongside the flowers, while still standing out as a cool piece of jewelry. Some of my faves are below!

PS – If you check out the shop you’ll see that I’ve added an ‘upcoming events’ link at the top – this is where I’ll keep up-to-date information about our show appearances, if you live near the Niagara region, come check us out!

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Woven Poncho/Cowl/Neck Thing

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I had an idea, for a quick, easy, versatile poncho, and daringly decided to test-drive my idea using my Lucky Penny Wrap. The basic idea, is that you take your woven wrap (18″ x 65″ in my case) fold it in half, and attach three, evenly spaced fastening snaps to it, with space for a neck opening.

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The result is pretty cool, but I’ll say right off the bat that I don’t think the snaps are the right solution. They are hard to open and close, and place a lot of strain on the weaving. I will be looking into a few alternative options. In terms of the wearability of it though, I kinda like it.

My next approach will be to sew buttons on one side, and crochet button holes onto the other side. If that doesn’t work I’m considering reinforcing the weave with small iron-on canvas patches and adding leather strips to cover/decorate the area under the snaps. If you have any other ideas for how I can make this happen, send em my way :) I know there is a perfect solution out there!

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Resin in the Sun

One of the reasons Tito and I love selling at shows so much is that the jewelry looks lovely in the sun. In person, our work is lovely, and heavy and shiny, and seeing all our pieces spread out has a very candy-shop type of appeal. All the colours and details really shine in different kinds of light, check this out!

The first one I have to show off is our latest sterling silver piece. This one is heavy and highly polished with red Queen Anne’s lace inside.IMG_9957 IMG_9963

And this lovely set has metallic blue paint underneath the flower arrangements.

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Here’s a set with metallic green;

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And of course, pieces that are completely see-through really shine…

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And just one quick shot of some pieces ready to mail to a customer. We finally got our new labels and business cards in, and the Blue Brick is feeling more and more like the cute indie business I want it to be :)

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New Resin Goodies, and summer show schedule

Had to share a few snapshots of the work we’ve been up to lately, along with information at last about our upcoming art shows! Tito and I have been accepted to:

Frogpond Farms Organic Winery, Art in the Vineyard, June 20-21
Niagara-on-the-Lake Market, July 11th & 18th
Art By the Lighthouse, August 1-2

We are super pumped. We love art shows because we get to talk to people about our work, explain what goes into it, what flowers are used and why we chose certain shapes and colours. It’s a far more gratifying experience for us than selling online. We’ll be selling jewelry, accessories, shawl pins, possibly even some woven wraps and infinity scarves, and of course copy of my Resin Jewelry book for folks who feel inspired, but would rather learn to make their own creations. If you’re in Southern Ontario, and you feel like a bit of a road trip, we’d love it if you came out!

New on the resin front – experiments in white resin. I love how it pops the colour on flowers that are normally too thin and delicate for the resin. Flowers that turn transparent in clear resin show up beautifully on the white background.
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New earrings, a custom order from someone who found us via Instagram. Copper rings with naturally white Queen Anne’s lace flowers under a perfect, glossy resin dome.
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Egregious, or awesome? This is a resin hemisphere with a perfect little viola inside. I’ve sanded out a concave section of the back and resined it directly onto a curved piece of etched and tarnished copper. Add some leather straps and a chunky copper clasp and you have an adorable bracelet!
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A little more work in brass, at last. Tito and I have been very copper-heavy on our inventory so far, but I’m really loving the colour of brass, and the colour it turns when we add the patina. Blue baby’s breath and red begonias decorate these pendants, freshly cured.
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And shawl pins. Lots and lots of shawl pins. Pink and purple tulips, blue hydrangeas, nigella, birch bark and violas.
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Last, but definitely not least, more of our work in sterling silver. We ordered up a lot of it, and the sheer cost of working in silver made it intimidating to really get started. This is only our second sterling silver ring, completely handmade, with turquoise resin and natural, white Queen Anne’s lace flowers under a high resin dome. I’m claiming this one!
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Horseplay

Nothing much to write, except that my lovely friend Leslie finally got her pony up to Canada and we got to meet her on the weekend :) Much horse love ensued. I can see why they make great therapy animals.

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Sweater Rookie No More!

I’ve finally achieved sweaterdom. Clearly, I am rubbish at gauge, because all I’ve had in this department is Fail.

I bought 6 gorgeous balls of MadelintoshDK in a colour called ‘Filigree’ a few years ago, bent on creating my first successful sweater. My first attempt was the Effortless Cardigan. I got this far, realized it was sized to a rhino instead of to me, and frogged it.

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Attempt number two was the gorgeous Sous Sous sweater. I decided I would whip it off while driving from Toronto to Newfoundland (first sign of madness; there is no such thing as ‘whipping off’ a sweater). It too turned out to be a gauge disaster, and got frogged. I could have wrapped my entire body in just the front.

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Attempt number three (third time’s the charm, right?) I started a Honeytree vest by Tanis Fiber Arts. I swatched, I washed, I pinned, and I asked the advice of a few knitters on Instagram. I was on my way. Ravelry project page here.

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Only mod (other than going on a bit longer to create a tunic length):
I added a pretty panel to the back with a super simple stitch:

Cast on a multiple of 5+2
Row 1 (RS): p2, *slip 1, k2, pass slipped stitch over k2, p2* Repeat from * to end
Row 2 (WS): k2, *p1, yo, p1, k2* Repeat from * to end
Row 3 (RS): p2, *k3, p2* Repeat from * to end
Row 4 (WS): k2, *p3, k2* Repeat from * to end

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And success! The pattern is very well written and extremely easy to follow. My only change, were I to knit it again would be to give myself a wider band of ribbing in the front, to compensate for my broad chest. The sweater fits perfectly in the back, but it’s never going to close, even with a belt.

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Though the weather is finally awesome, this is a great layering piece for cool evenings when you don’t want to resort to a jacket, but want something nicer than a hoodie.

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Random shot in the car. I am casting off the sweater, and demonstrating the correct use of the cup holder ;)

What are your favourite sweater patterns? Has anyone tried CustomFit by Amy Herzog? I’m super curious to try a sweater with her!

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