Tag Archive for jewelry

Not Dead, Just Busy ;)

IMG_0243This is probably the longest dry spell the blog has ever had, but I’ve got good reasons, honest. The cat got sick (he’s better now) the computer was in the shop for 2 weeks (it’s better now) and we’ve had our heads down every evening buried in production for the show season, which will start next month. Check out the show schedule here if you live near the Niagara region and want to check us out!

We’re really focusing on sterling silver these days. As much as I loved my older pieces, I really feel like Tito’s involvement has raised the game in a huge way. I used to buy commercial bezels, but handmade bezels make all the difference. Each piece is truly one of a kind, and I love his design aesthetic. Check out our latest goodies in sterling silver with viola, pansies, pink nigella and birch bark!

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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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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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New Jewelry in the Shop

And for those of you looking for shawl pins, I promise they’re coming! Shawl pins are a little more complex to make, and I have learned to never, ever, try to take short cuts when it comes to resin. Patience my dears! when they are ready I promise they will be gorgeous.

In the meantime, have a look at the new goodies, which include etched copper earrings, and spherical pendants :)

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What We’ve Been Up To

Actually, I’ve been up to a great deal more than this – I’m building out an e-commerce site that will allow folks to purchase patterns, books and jewelry from us, without having to bother with Etsy, but it’s not ready for release just yet :) In the meantime, here is some eye-candy of our latest pieces (including our first in sterling silver!).

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The Latest Goodies, and Musings on the Blue Brick

IMG_9150Tito and I have been extremely busy people lately, but we finally have our first confirmed art show! We will be at the Frogpond Farms Organic Winery on June 20th and 21st, participating in their annual ‘Art in the Vineyard’ show. There will be great food, great wine, and many other talented artists, so if you’re in the region of Niagara-on-the-lake then come on out! We’d love to see you.

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I wanted to show off some of the work that Tito and I have been doing together. While I still do use some commercial bezels, I much prefer the uniqueness of Tito’s hand-wrought copper pieces. We’ve even placed an order for sterling silver, so we can start creating fine jewellery with resin and flowers. We appreciate all the inquiries we’ve gotten about purchasing a piece (it’s so encouraging!) and we’re hoping very much to have a small Etsy sale around the end of March. It will be a tiny update, maybe 10 pieces or so, but we’d like to make sure we can ship in time for Mothers Day so the sale will last only 1 week.

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I have been working on a few other things behind the scenes as well, and one of them is changing the Blue Brick’s blog into an e-commerce site, with the blog nested within it.

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I’d really like to free myself from Etsy; I don’t agree with the policy changes that they made which allow resellers and mass-produced items to be sold on their site. I was one of the lucky ones, I don’t pay my rent using Etsy, but my sales did take a tremendous hit.

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I am not looking to knock the lives of factory workers. I’m sure the work is hard, difficult and even dangerous. But what system would you rather support? It may be cheaper to buy costume jewelry at Walmart, but would you rather have dozens of cheap things, or a few, carefully selected handmade treasures?

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I believe in supporting handmade, buying ethically, and when I can, locally. I do it with my choices in yarn, food, and even clothing. To me, a part of the Blue Bricks development as an Indie handcrafting business will be to free it from having to deal with Etsy, so look for some site changes in the near future :)

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Which brings me to my big announcement. The Blue Brick is officially a business! I feel very grown up. I officially own a tiny, indie crafting business and I’m proud as punch to say it. This small change has had a huge psychological impact on Tito and I, as we’ve made the transition from hobbyists to business owners. We feel inspired, energized, and it has shown in our productivity and our latest pieces. It was a huge step for us, but we felt like it was the right one, and it can only bring good things!

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