Monday, December 14, 2009

Go neutral

For those of you who responded to the request in my last posting, thought you'd be interested in seeing the results of your design feedback. I stuck to neutrals mixing natural stone with the marbelized polymer clay pendant and disc beads. You can get the full view on the Necklace slide show on my Buy Bling site (click here or on the icon to the left).

I've updated all three catalogues for those who like to browse. There's a series of new cuff bracelets and I've also now added earrings to the other accessories selection. Quick tip: it's easy to increase the size of each individual page. Simply move your mouse over the Google Docs tools to select the option you want -- go forward, go backward or see a larger version of the page. Makes it easier to see the details and read the type. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fresh ideas

It's been a busy few weeks since my last posting in October. The same week the Buy Bling site became operational, I also held my first jewellery party.  You invite in some friends, who bring a few of their friends to an open house-style gathering where they can see and try on stuff. Fun way to shop or to sell since it's relaxed and a pleasant way to spend a few hours. Enjoyed it tremendously and I'll be repeating the experience at someone else's home next weekend. For those interested, I've updated the necklace catalogue today with a half dozen new offerings to replace some of the stuff that's been sold. Reminder - just click the Buy Bling box on the left side of the blog to go to the catalogue site
I've also been busy experiementing with new materials like what you see in this photo. Polymer clay has great versatility -- takes shape & colour well, and once it's baked, is hard yet light to wear. All in all, an ideal material. These are some early samples of marbling, a combination of black, silver & ecru which look somewhat like a greyish agate. I've also played with different fnishing techniques, using wire wrapping to create this five-piece set. But now I'd like to get a fresh perspective on how others think these pieces should be combined. There's enough here for a necklace of at least 22" or 55 cm. length, provided a few other elements were added. Would love to hear your ideas both in colour & other materials you think would work well. Especially, if it's something you think you could see yourself wearing. Look forward to your feedback.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


It's taken more than four months but I'm finally able to announce that MY CATALOGUES ARE ONLINE.

Look left for the BUY BLING icon. Click on it to go to the separate Catablog site where you can browse the collections -- necklaces, bracelets &other accessories -- to your heart's content. And if you feel like shopping, hopefully you'll find it easy.

But not to worry if you don't. I chose to segregate the two sites for that reason alone. Some people would just prefer to read the content and have a look at what I've been up to. Now that Buy Bling is launched, I trust I'll be able to get back to a more regular schedule of posting.

Please note that my email address has also changed. You can now reach me directly at imc accessories

Sunday, September 20, 2009


It's been a beautiful last weekend of summer.While the nights and mornings are now cool, the days can still be warm and sunny. Took advantage of the good weather today to move around some lilies and peonies, tidy the vegetable beds and tie up the tomato plants that still need to give up fully ripe fruit. Yesterday I picked the first monster tomato I've ever seen -- weighed a full kilogram! (For those interested, the variety was Hawaiian Pineapple, an heirloom variety that I've grown from seed before but never with this type of result.) Picked it partially green since it looked to heavy for the rest of the plant. Expect it will be ready for a taste test by week's end.

Took a well-earned coffee break about noon and decided to finally take a picture of my patio buddy. This blue butterly was an early experiment in garden accessories. It's been floating in part shade over top of a hydrangea bush for the last few months -- love the way it sparkles when it catches the sun. Thought you'd enjoy it as well.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I rarely take holidays but last week I treated myself to a "staycation".
I took a five-day course in "Basic Silver Jewelery" offered by our local community college so from 9-4 I sawed, soldered, filed, sanded, set stones and learned about finishing techniques.
At the end of 35 hours I'd made several rings, pendants, earrings and a pin plus had a new respect for the skill and patience it takes to work with metal. Enjoyed it tremendously but I doubt if my nails will ever come clean again.
Here are a few of my class projects.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Good intentions

So much for posting on time. Over the last weeks I've been busy creating a series of new catelogues (see more on this later). I've been doing some experimenting with a new wire tool I picked up early May and photographing my collection for future display. But I wanted to share this project with you now.

I picked up the pendant focal piece at a local bead fair this past weekend. The fact that it's not real amber doesn't matter to me -- I thought it was striking. Trust you'll agree. It will be added to the necklace catelogue when it's ready to be posted.

Here's the commercial message: I'll be setting up separate bracelet, necklace and other accessories catelogues to make it easier for you to review my work. Once payment mechanics are in place, everything will be published so you can start shopping. If you have any suggestions while the system is being built, please feel free to pass them along. Feeback is always good.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Learning curve

Well that was less than successful. There were only three responses to the poll I posted last week concerning online purchasing. Guess I have to take partial responsibility for the lack of results -- anyone who's part of the "blog feed" process only sees the latest posting, not the full blog. To get access to the survey, they would have had to go to the url. Live and learn.

Bottom line, I think I'll have to keep researching. If you have any suggestions, I'd welcome your feedback. Feel free to email me directly if you don't want to post a comment on the blog. BTW, I've completed a few projects using a new tool I picked up several weeks ago. Should be able to post some new pics within the next few days. Enjoy the warmer weather.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Feedback time

I'm looking at different ways to make it easier for everyone to buy my accessories. To help with the research process, I've added a simple survey --- please scroll to the bottom of the page. Would love to get the feedback of the people who have been visiting my blog. Response is anonymous so don't worry that participating in the survey means you've made a purchasing commitment. The survey will be up for a week until May 22 and I'll definately share the results with you. The questions are pretty basic but if you have additional remarks you'd like to make, please feel free to either to comment on this posting or email me privately.

Thanks in advance for your help. Look forward to hearing your views. Enjoy the Victoria Day holiday weekend if you're in Canada.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lessons learned

Haven't done any posts for more than a week since I've been busy a) writing an exam, b) finishing 2008 tax prep, and c) on the Bead Bop tour. The last activity was definately the most interesting: five local (Ottawa Valley) independent bead shops worked together for a nine-day event to generate new traffic for their businesses. For a nominal fee, partipants each got a "passport" a map, various free gifts, and the chance to participate in door prize draws as they visited each location. Most of the shops had "make & take" activities or special visiting artisans as an attraction. The two pics I've included today are what I made from the bags of beads each location gave to this year's boppers. My Bead Bop bracelet has about 100 grams of beads -- and I only got to four out of five locations.

This was a great idea, actually, and as a hobbyist, I hope they plan to repeat the exercise next year. Not only was it a good opportunity for exposure to some new ideas, it was also a learning tool about smart ways to do business -- or not. While price is a consideration, it's not the only factor that determines where someone shops. Treat a customer with respect and they'll likely be back. Treat them with contempt -- what do you think?

What impressed me most was how one shop used the opportunity to earn my business. I've already been back once after the initial visit and will continue to do so in future. On the flip side, I'll probably avoid the location where staff was cold and the bead giveaway was "inappropriate". (Tip for the organizers: It's better to give nothing at all than something that leaves an negative impression. Filling a bag with wire scrap, broken beads and other trash says something about your attitude to potential customers.)

That's all for now. Happy Mother's Day to all.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Like riding a bike...

The forsythia is in bloom and the rose cones have been removed from the garden. The neighborhood cats are starting to frequent the large waterlily pond, hoping for frogs. I get nostalgic for things old and familiar this time of year and thankfully, I've been able to revisit an old craft I gave up years ago.

Thanks to repetitive strain injury -- aka carpal tunnel syndrome -- I no longer knit. Even though I had surgery for the right hand almost four years ago, I was warned it's possible to re injure yourself so I stopped. But I saw a knock-out of a necklace a few weeks ago and I tried wire crochet. Went surprising quickly and it was fun to do. Here is one of the first ones I've made so far.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Yes, I read ads. If I didn't, I likely wouldn't have found a new book by Irina Miech so quickly and you wouldn't be seeing this picture.

The earrings and pendant were inspired by Beautiful wire jewelery for beaders and are the second and third projects I tried from the book. The first, the freeform aluminum beaded cuff in my slideshow, coincidentally was the project featured in the ad.

Aside from the wealth of instructional materials you can buy, I've been lucky to find artisans who will freely share advice and technique for the love of the craft. Two such individuals are Jane Christie, who introduced me to wirework, and Vicki Green, who continues to amaze me with her bead expertise. Thanks to you both.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Saving spring

I was reminded yesterday of how magical is spring. We woke up to 4 cm. fresh snow. By evening it was gone and spring bulbs were none the worse. Below is my attempt to capture the feel of snowdrops, our first blooms every year.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Never realized the right way to finish this choker until I found this Kirsty Naray lampwork poppy bead late last month. With a few false starts, I was able to adapt it as part of a copper wire closure. May not be as polished looking as I'd like it, but it works. Have a look below for a closeup of the bead -- it's absolutely gorgeous.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Learning about self-control

I know it sounds like a strange title but it will make sense when I explain that I visited the Toronto Bead Oasis show for the first time this past weekend. For anyone who enjoys beads, jewelery and/or the challenge of creative possibilities, what a WONDERFUL place to go. You want everything you see, hence, the title of my posting.

I purposely limited my purchases to the actual cash I had in my wallet and was proud -- at the time -- that I still had money left. Thinking about it now, I wish I'd bought more. Did come away with some beautiful items I haven't used before and once I've made some new pieces, I'll add them to my picture gallery on the blog. Also came away with a pocketful of business cards for future reference -- thank goodness for websites.

One of the things I was most excited about was finding a solution for a beaded choker (Russian spiral stitch) that I hadn't quite decided how to finish. Inspiration came from a poppy lampwork bead made by artist Kirsty Naray. What I most appreciated (aside from actually finding the perfect piece) was how generous she was with her time and advice. Will be sure to include a photo of the necklace once it's completed.

You have to start somewhere

Q. When does a hobby stop being a hobby?
A. When you no longer continue the activity for pure enjoyment.

That being said, I’m a hobbyist who enjoys creating. My current interest is mostly jewellery – glass beads, metal, natural stone and minerals. I get a kick learning a technique or working with a medium I haven’t tried before. The problem is what do I do with all the items I’ve made. My solution is this blog.

I’d rather see the bracelets, necklaces et al find a home with someone who will enjoy wearing them as much as I did making them. If I can cover my costs as well, then I can afford to keep trying new projects without going broke. Sounds good in theory. Hope it works.

Look forward to hearing from you by email if you see something you like or have questions.