Category: editorial

Team Meeting and a Photo Shoot!

Drakestail Team photo

Since Roxy lives in Winnipeg and Trish and I live in Ottawa, we do most of our chatting over Skype or Facebook messenger. This past weekend, however, Roxy visited Ottawa and the three of us got to meet up in person!


After stuffing ourselves silly at breakfast, we went to Carleton university for a photo shoot. We went for a lovely walk around campus and took advantage of all the green space and shot some team photos. Since this was the first time the three of us were together since Trish joined Drakestail, we needed some pictures of the three of us together.

Of course, us being us, the day wasn’t completely serious…

Drakestail photoshoot outtakes

And I did get side-tracked by a loon swimming on the Rideau Canal behind us.  It got nick-named “jerk bird” because it kept diving when I’d line up a shot.

The jerk bird.

But we had a great time, talked about business and about life, and got some great photos of the whole team together.

Drakestail Team photo

Happy Mother’s Day!

To all the mothers, would-be mothers, soon-to-be mothers, step-mothers, mothers-in-law, grandmothers, once-were mothers, and the wonderful women who love you so much they’re just like a mother, we wish you all the love that you give and then some.  Happy Mother’s Day!

Having a child quote

A Very Special Custom Birthday Order

A couple months ago my friend Jenn asked if I would help her make custom order bracelets for her husband’s birthday. I immediately said yes and we talked about the materials and colours she wanted to incorporate.  I looked through my existing stones and found many options for her that could work. I also took a small road trip out to Jacob’s Trading Gem & Mineral show to pick up a few extra options just in case.

We had a meeting to go over the materials, she selected the stones she wanted to use and planned out each piece. She picked out stones, colours, shapes, and textures she felt sure her husband (Ryan) would like. She called what she made a mix of “able to pass off as professional rockstar” and “hippy chic”. We then got together another evening after our day jobs and Jenn set to work.

Jenn focused on the task at hand!
Jenn focused on the task at hand!

I sat across from her and watched her work, gave tidbits of suggestions on design where needed and instruction on how to assemble and close off the bracelets when the time came, it wasn’t a hard job and it was a lot of fun to play a small part in the process of gifting between two people I love dearly. One very special element was the addition of a Canadian dime to one of the bracelets.  The story behind this is that when Jenn’s gradnfather was stationed in England during the war he had a bracelet made for his wife with a British 10 pence piece in it. Jenn wore that bracelet on her wedding day. She wanted to create a bracelet for Ryan with the Canadian 10 cent piece to emulate that gift. I absolutely LOVE working on custom orders that incorporate re-purposed items and the story behind this was is so touching. I’m honoured I played a small role in making it happen.

Red cats eye chips, malachite chips and a Canadian 10 cent coin

In the end Jenn made a total of 5 bracelets for Ryan which she gifted to him on his birthday. You can see the other 4 bracelets pictured below. Thank you Jenn for asking me to help with this lovely project. It means a lot to me and I really enjoyed watching your creative process unfold!

Wood rounds, darker wood rondelles and turquoise accent chips
Wood rounds with bone focal bead and small bone round accents








Tiger’s eye chips with jasper rounds
Snowflake obsidian large ovals with hematite chips


Mini Road Trip For Some New Supplies!

At the end of March Jacobs Trading in Beausejour MB held a Rock and Mineral Show for 3 days, of course I HAD to go!

My handsome fiancé came with me for the short road trip from Winnipeg. He picked me up from my office right at the end of my muggle work day and even brought snacks and drinks for us. Does he know how to road trip or what? 🙂 The drive was just about an hour long and we got there just a few short hours after opening on the first day.

I have arrived!
I have arrived!

I took the time to walk up and down each aisle, table after table of every stone you can think of! It was a rock girl’s heaven. We saw stunning samples from extremely small opals to amethysts almost as tall as me (not that I am very tall at 5’4″).

Amethyst is a favourite so these just blew my mind!
Amethyst is a favourite so these just blew my mind!

Forgive my dirty boots in the above image, it was a sloppy muddy day out. As you can see, I was wallet in hand, ready to shop! Citrine, Opal, Amethysts, Ammonites, Megalodon teeth and many many other things covered the tables all around us. It was very hard to decide what to choose but I was on a budget. We came to the far end of the room where I spotted my goal – what will be my future – equipment!


One day, these will be mine and I will have a full workshop in my basement where I can tumble, polish and drill all my own stones so that I can create even more stunning and unique pieces for our customers. I often find “the perfect stone” but it is drilled the wrong way for what I’d like to do with it, having my own equipment will take care of that! Alas, equipment wasn’t in my budget this time around so I walked away and went about finding supplies.

I was looking for something special for a custom order as well as some different materials I hadn’t worked with before to inspire me. I have to tell you I was very happy with my finds and quite impressed with the pricing! I found what I wanted, paid and we left for the drive back home. If you want to know what I bought, you will have to read my future posts because for now, it is top secret!

A huge shout out and thank you to Jacobs Trading for organizing such a great event!

Tips and Tricks – Natural Silver Polish

I had my first art sale in over a year last month and when I took all my jewellery out to prep it I noticed the silver had tarnished. This is, of course, to be expected but I still had a brief panic about what to do. I do not like using harsh chemicals, all products in my home are natural so I decided to google natural silver polish options and found numerous articles about using baking soda.

My fiancé ran out to grab a soft toothbrush for me while I got everything ready. I laid out all the pieces that needed polishing on some microfiber cloths, set aside another cloth for drying afterwards. I prepared my baking soda paste (baking soda and warm water) and got started!

Ready to get started!

I was skeptical at first that it would do a good job, but with just a little light scrubbing…

Scrub scrub scrub!

Turns out I was very happy with the results! It didn’t scratch or damage the silver in any way, which was a concern since baking soda is abrasive. I polished up all my silver pieces in no time and got everything rinsed, dried and packed up for the next day! I’m always so excited when I find natural cleanser and options for household products so I thought I’d share this one with all of you!

tips and tricks
Polished on the left, still waiting to be done on the right!


Secret Love Notes: A Great Valentine’s Gift

I’m always excited when people ask us to make special items as gifts for people.  A few weeks ago we received an email asking for us to make a custom necklace.  Our client wanted a variation on our Vintage by Drakestail Jewellery line, using our gorgeous Swarovski crystals, and as soon as I read the email I was excited to get started!

Our client explained to me that any time he texts with his wife, he always ends the conversation with XOXO.  He wanted to put that into a Valentine’s gift, and came up with the idea of using XOXO in Morse code, -..- — -..- —, spelled out in pearls.  After discussing colour options, he picked Rosaline pink to represent the dashes, and lavender to represent the dots.  He chose light gold for the rest of the necklace.  As soon as he made his picks, I got to work, curious to see the end result.

The Morse code was a great idea and the necklace turned out great.  I tucked in one of our signature stardust beads, which he loved as well.

XOXO Morse Code Necklace with Swarovski Pearls

Want to send a secret message to someone?  We’d love to do more Morse code pieces!  What would you want your jewellery to tell the world?

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