Tag: MAC Fair

It’s MAC time again!

Once again, we’re heading in to one of our favourite Ottawa shows: the MAC Fair.  Clear your schedule this Saturday, December 3rd, because Drakestail Jewellery, along with over 100 other local makers, will be showcasing our fabulous wares.  MAC Fair is strictly handmade, and there’s definitely something for everyone on your Christmas list.

mac-fair-2017

10 Questions with Heather Bryce: MAC Fair

MAC Fair, my first craft fair of 2015, is coming up in less than a week, and I wanted to learn some new tidbits about this fantastic show.  It’s one of my favourites, and one of the best in the Ottawa area.  I love how well it’s organized, so I went to the organizer, Heather Bryce, and asked her a few questions.

 

1. How long have you been involved in MAC Fair?
It’s been five years since we started with the Christmas event, and this is our third Mother’s Day event.

2. When do you start planning for the Fair?
I’ll take a month off after this one, and then jurying for Christmas happens in June.  The heavy work starts up again in September till December.  For our spring fair, jurying is in February.  It takes about 9 months of the year in total.

3. How many volunteers are involved?
That depends – we had 8 students groups benefitting from our Christmas event – so roughly 80-90 students, our Mother’s Day event is a bit smaller and we have 4 groups benefitting – so about 40 – 50 students.  There are also about half a dozen other staff who help with setup and are there on event day.

4. What is your favourite aspect of the Fair?
I love seeing out students step up and help out, and the way that they interact with the guests and artisans.  I love hearing our guests and artisans rave about our great kids here at MAC!

5. What is the most challenging aspect of organizing MAC Fair?
Not buying everything!  Being part of the selection process, and then promoting the artisans year year round, I am constantly looking at fantastic handmade items.
About a week before each week, I can’t sleep because my head is swimming with details and when I do sleep, I have nightmares about nobody showing up, or event day coming and realizing that I haven’t set anything up.

6. Share a favourite story/anectode about a past Fair.
It was on my mom’s bucket list to make it out to MAC FAIR, (she lives out of town) and she finally made it here last Christmas. I had shared with the artisans that this needed to be our best event yet, and it was heartwarming to see how many of them made the effort to introduce themselves to “Heather’s mom.”
For our first two events, I lost my voice, and now for a couple of weeks before each event, I get emails from our veteran artisans teasing me and asking if I still have a voice!

7. What’s one thing that people should know about the Fair that they may not already know?
That when it started, I knew absolutely nothing about craft fairs, and that is has grown and expanded through listening to the feedback and suggestions from the artisans who really know their stuff.  Our goal is not just to raise funds with this event, we want to ensure that it is profitable for our artisans and becomes one of their favourite events to attend, and that our customers feel the same way.  We try to really think about the needs of everyone involved.

8. What’s new for the 2015 edition of MAC Fair: Bloom?
We are having a DEMO TABLE, where our artisans are running mini-seminars on their craft.  Some will be run as an info session, and others will be hands-on where you’ll actually make something under their guidance.  We’re pretty excited about it!

9. If the sky were the limit, what would you add to the Fair?
A bouncy castle, a traditional high tea for Mother’s Day and a huge light in the sky like the bat signal!

10. How do you see MAC Fair evolving in the future?
It’s becoming a pretty well-oiled machine.  I hope it will become a top choice for local artisans.

I hope you enjoyed that peek into the MAC Fair!  Visit the Fair on May 9th, 2015, and pick up a unique and handmade gift for Mother’s Day, or splurge on yourself.  I look forward to seeing you there!
-Robyn
MAC Fair Poster

Christmas Craft Fair Season and a Fundraiser

This past Saturday I was at the Heart, Home, and Handmade Indie Craft Fair. Located at the gorgeous Glebe Community Centre, there were over 50 vendors and I had a lovely time looking around and picking up a couple Christmas presents. I even had a lovely visit from a friend I hadn’t seen in a while.

Drakestail at Heart Home and Handmade Indie Craft FairI have only one more show until Christmas. I’ll be at the MAC Fair on December 6th. Regular readers and fans will recognize the name – I’ve participated in the MAC Fair Craft Fair at Immaculata High School for a couple years now, and it’s one of my favourites. It’ll be spectacular again, with over a hundred vendors, all local artists, artisans, and bakers. I always end up buying lots of gifts, and I’m counting on clearing off most of my list there.  🙂  I’m looking forward to closing out the Christmas craft fair season with a bang, so come by and check it out!

In other news, a local dog rescue, Sit With Me, is holding an online silent auction to raise funds. I’ve donated a necklace (you might recognize it as Day 74 from the 100 Day Challenge), and encourage you to visit the auction and make a bid or two. There’s quite a variety of items up for grabs, and it’s for a fantastic cause.

Sit With Me shelter dog rescue-Robyn

Fall into Drakestail Jewellery

Maybe it’s just us but the leaves seem to be changing colour a couple weeks early this year. Fall is definitely here. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to summer: the long, warm days, the fun vacations, lounging on the patio, there’s so much to love about summer. Now we’re trading it in for cool, cozy nights, snuggly sweaters, brilliant foliage, and pumpkin-flavoured everything. It’s not such a tough trade after all.

While we may have been quiet for the past little while, we’ve been keeping busy! Roxy’s had some great business travel, including a trip to Ottawa. It was fantastic to catch up and we are both counting the days until her next visit back. Robyn started training for the Ottawa Zombie Run for Humanity, a 5K-ish run in support of Habitat for Humanity. She may not be the fastest runner yet but we are sure being chased by zombies will add some good incentive.

On the Drakestail front, we’ve been planning lots, too! In Winnipeg, the Exchange Uporium was such a great success over the summer it’s been extended through to the end of the Christmas season! After a few short days to move out old vendors and move in new ones, Exchange Uporium re-opens on Friday October 3rd from 5:30-9 PM for Winnipeg’s exchange district First Fridays event. Our vintage inspired Swarovski crystal pearls can still be purchase at The Foxy Shoppe, also in the exchange district in Winnipeg.

In Ottawa, Robyn is gearing up for the Christmas craft fair season. Yes, we said the “C” word, but it takes a fair amount of planning to be ready, and with three shows coming up, she has a lot to do between now and November! Drakestail will be at the All Saints Christmas Craft Fair on November 1, at the Heart, Home, & Handmade Indie Craft Fair on November 22, and the MAC Fair Christmas Craft Fair on December 6th. You can find all the details for each show by clicking on these links, by clicking in the Event Calendar to the right, or visiting us on Facebook. The All Saints and MAC Fair are perennial favourites of mine, and the Heart, Home & Handmade show is completely new. It is an exciting mix of shows!

Elsewhere in Canada, for our Alberta friends, Rowena, in Edmonton’s trendy Whyte Ave neighbourhood, still carries our line of vintage inspired Swarovski crystal pearl jewellery. We highly recommend you visit their store if you’re in the area, and if not you can order online via their webstore RetroglamHeaven Scent Flowers in Gimli, Manitoba carries our tree of life pendants.  If you find yourself near Gimli, stop in and say hello to Lenore.

On Etsy, we’ve got some gorgeous fall colours for you, including our Autumn Maple Tree of Life pendant. Favourite autumn gemstones include carnelian, citrine, amber, and tiger’s eye, which all capture the fire of fall. Browse our shop sections, and watch for lots of new items coming. Check back often!
-Robyn & Roxy

Tree of Life - Autumn Maple
Tree of Life – Autumn Maple

Checking in

Spring is finally here in Ottawa.  I am relieved to finally start seeing some grass under all that snow.  I’d almost forgotten what my lawn looks like.  While it has been cold outside, I’ve been busy in the cozy, warm inside.

I’ve been taking a look at some new busts and display items.  Roxy and I have been doing shows for several years and our display has evolved a LOT.  Lately I’ve been feeling like my display needs to be freshened up, so I’ve been scouring Pinterest for inspiration.

My table at the MAC Fair, in November 2013.
My table at the MAC Fair, in November 2013.  Not bad, but I think I can do better.

With two shows coming up, the MAC Fair and Ravenswing, I have a lot to do to get ready.  The Challenge is helping me stock up, but I have some administrative tasks to tackle – completing my inventory list, tagging all my new pieces, and picking up any new displays that I need.  I have a snazzy new tent for Ravenswing, since my last one bit the dust, so we’ll be covered, rain or shine.  The administrative work is nowhere near as fun as creating, but it definitely makes everything work much more smoothly.

I’m amazed that I’m already halfway through the 100 Day Challenge.  As of today, Day 54, I have created 22 necklaces, 10 bracelets, 23 pairs of earrings, and 2 hair accessories.  That’s a pretty fantastic amount of jewellery!  What is your favourite piece so far?  What do you want to see more of?

100 Day Challenge: Day 4

Today’s project departs from the earthy magnesite and steers right into bling territory.  I got these chandelier components from the same online shop as the magnesite beads.  The loops are spaced quite close together, making me feel like some fairly small beads would hang best.  I chose 4mm Preciosa crystals, picking a bright, spring-inspired green.  The colour choice was deliberate…

I recently applied to a great juried show, the MAC Fair: BLOOM, and found out I was accepted.  Woo hoo!  They’ll be holding a raffle and these will be my donation.  The show has a spring theme, and is the day before Mother’s Day, so a cheerful, verdant green seemed perfect for the occasion.  Check out the details in the link above or in the calendar to the right, and come check out what will be a great event!

Green crystal chandelier earrings
Day 4: Green crystal chandelier earrings
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