Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Adventure at Balls Falls

I just completed the four-day Balls Falls Thanksgiving Festival (Canadian Thanksgiving) and it ended up with an unusual adventure.  After three beautifully sunny but cold days, it rained on Monday and turned the grounds into a muddy mess.  Around 3:30pm, a very large van tried to exit the area and managed to slip and slide right into my tent!!!!!  The guy had tried a couple of times to get through the somewhat narrow opening between my tent and the cars parked along the side, and each time his bald tires let him slip closer to me.  Finally he hit one of my tent poles.  I screamed at him to stop, and fortunately he did.  There was no way he could go backwards or forwards without sliding further into my tent which was staked firmly into the ground.  The only solution was to take my tent down and hope that the pole wasn't damaged.  With some help from the show personnel, I packed up all my inventory, broke down the displays and emptied the tent.  We removed all the stakes and weights and when the tent was free of restraints, we picked it up and moved it about a foot and a half away from the van.  This was my first time to use the tent, and I had worried about all kinds of things except getting hit by a van!  It turned out that the tent pole and zipper were fine, so now I just have a couple of muddy side walls to clean up.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mokume gane pendants and earrings

I'm preparing for some shows this fall and these pendants and earrings are some of my new works. They are in the Julie Picarello style of mokume gane technique.  For those who don't know, you make a stack of different colors of polymer clay and poke holes in it.  Then you take shavings from the stack and use them to make your objects.  It's a fun technique because you never know quite what you will get.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My new tent

Some of the best shows in my area are outdoors, so I have made the investment in a tent.  Not just any pop-up for me.  No, I splurged on a LightDome tent that is actually waterproof instead of merely water resistant.  My one experience with a typical pop-up tent supplied by a show organizer was disastrous - it started leaking profusely as soon as it started raining.  My husband and I put the tent together for the first time yesterday and I'm happy to say there was a minimum of yelling and swearing.  The tent is quite tall so hubby's 6'6" height was a major advantage.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Flower Shawl Sticks

I've been away from home for about three weeks caring for my 90-year-old mother.  While I was at her house, I did manage to do a bit of claying and here are the results:  shawl sticks which can also be used as hair sticks.

The pansies or violas are colored with Genesis Heat Set Oils and the flowers below are colored with soft pastels.

This is the display I will use to show them off at craft shows:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bummer of a show

Well, at least it wasn't just me.  The first three days of the Jazz Festival turned out to be a losing proposition for the artists with handmade goods in the Artisan's Village.  The crowds were far below the numbers from last year - rumor has it even the festival itself is losing money - and there was competition with vendors selling stuff from Africa and Asia.  Even they weren't pleased with attendance.  One Canadian jewelry maker said she did so well last year over four days that she signed up for eight days this year.  She is not happy now.  And to make matters worse yesterday, there was a sudden downpour.  Turns out the tents provided by the festival aren't the least bit waterproof.  Mine started leaking so fast I didn't have time to cover things up.  Fortunately, nothing was damaged by the water.  I did sell four rainbow items, but the Pride events were taking place in another part of the city so we didn't get many folks coming through the Jazz Festival location.

I decided not to do the fourth day that I signed up for partly because my car "check engine" light came on and I'm worried about having car trouble and partly because thunderstorms and wind were forecast.  I discovered that my lightweight plastic earring display stands are not suitable for use in a tent because the slightest breeze knocks them over.  I've got to re-think how to display my earrings.

All I can say is that it was a learning experience.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Pretty scraps

I had a lot of multicolored scrap material left after making my rainbow earrings, so I mushed it up and put it through the pasta machine and ended up with some lovely striped sheets.  This pair of earrings was made from the scrap.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

More rainbows

Here are some rainbow heart earrings.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Rainbow Earrings

I'll be a vendor at the Toronto Jazz Festival later this month which coincides with World Pride Week, so to honor the occasion, I made a rainbow cane and produced these earrings.

I hope people like them and the other versions I plan to make, because I made one big mother of a cane!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Fun Earrings for Spring and Summer

I've been making some colorful earrings for Spring and Summer.  Some of them are color blends (Skinner blends) and others are single color.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Polymer Clay for Beginners

I've decided to start teaching a full-day workshop on the basics of polymer clay.  No prior experience will be required, and I will provide the clay and the use of all the tools in my home studio.  Students will learn about the different clays, how to properly condition and bake them, what tools are really needed, how to use texture sheets, mica powders, sealers, and how to make Skinner blends and what to do with them once you make them.  A 12-page handout full of information will be provided as well.

Because my orientation is toward jewelry, the first project will be a pendant and earrings made with texture and mica powders and the second project will be a convertible brooch/pendant using a Skinner Blend and inlay techniques.  As time allows and depending on student interest, we will look at mokume gane or some basic canes.

If you know of someone in the greater Toronto, Burlington or Hamilton areas interested in learning about this versatile medium, tell them to contact me at cynthiablantonstudio@gmail.com.  I'm located in Oakville convenient to the QEW and Third Line.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Terrific Knitter's Frolic

I had a great show at the Toronto Knitter's Frolic and sold lots of my shawl pins, scarf clips and buttons. Despite the fact that the major freeway leading into Toronto was closed in both directions all day, the crowds were plentiful and definitely in a spending mood. It was probably my best show ever.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Toronto Knitter's Frolic

I'm busy getting my inventory of shawl pins, scarf clips and buttons ready for the Toronto Knitter's Frolic sponsored by the Downtown Knit Collective.   Here's the poster for the show:

Friday, March 21, 2014

Silk Screening on Polymer Clay Workshop

I'm really excited about a workshop I'm signed up for this summer.  It will be all about silkscreening on polymer clay which is a technique I've been interested in for a long time.  The teacher is Karen Woods and she is quite talented in a variety of media.  The information follows:

Karen Woods

So excited to be teaching silk screening on polymer clay this summer at theTouchstone Center for Crafts July 27-Aug.2! If you are within driving distance of southern Pennsylvania, (or fly into Pittsburgh!) come join us! Learn to design screens, make them, and use them in so many ways, not just on polymer!

Sign up by May 1 for a 25% earlybird discount!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Back in the studio

At long last I am back in the studio making inventory for my next show.  I will be at the Toronto Knitter's Frolic on April 26, so I am busy making shawl pins and scarf clips.  My latest designs are of scarf clips using a spring-type clip purchased from Shades of Clay.  A big thank you to Carolyn Good of 2GoodClaymates for her free tutorial on how to attach the clips to polymer clay.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

It's been a long time

A lot has happened since I last posted.  My speech to the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters' Guild went well but then two days later I got a call in the middle of the night telling me that my father had passed away.  He was 94 and in the hospital for a minor infection, but otherwise healthy, so it was quite a shock.  He outlived all his friends and family except for his kids, so there was no funeral or service of any kind.  I finished up a couple of craft shows in late October and early November and then drove down to Florida to wrap up his affairs.

Since then I have been taking a vacation from jewelry making and instead focussed, pun intended, on a couple of photography projects.  I edited and optimized my digital photos from trips to the Thelon region of the Northwest Territories of Canada and also from a trip to see the mountain gorillas of Rwanda and produced two hardbound books of my photos using a print-on-demand service called Blurb.  You lay out your book and then upload it to Blurb and they print and bind it and mail it to you.  Very cool.

You can actually look at my books online.  I had no intention of trying to sell them, but I discovered that Blurb automatically puts them online with the price to produce them, so I'm using it just as a feature to share the books with friends.  If you go to this link, click on the book and then click on the full screen icon (the little box with outward pointing arrows) and you can page through the book.

For the Rwanda book:  http://blur.by/1dWgVuA

For the Thelon book with photos of musk oxen: http://blur.by/1fuRCzE

Thanks for looking.