Sunday was a big day for two reasons: Ravenswing, and the 100th day of my 100 Day Challenge.


Sunday morning started off bright and sunny, a perfect day for an outdoor show.  I got downtown a bit early so I grabbed a coffee and watched all the runners start their races. The last weekend in May is “race weekend” in Ottawa, and lots of streets are blocked to traffic while the runners are going.

Once it was time to set up, I found my spot and got my new tent up. I made another trip to my car and by the time I came back, John and Maryam, of Sing for Icing, were there. We set up our tables, chatted, and waited the fair to start.  I think my jewellery went smashingly with the cupcakes and dessert loaves, and we had a lot of great visitors through the day. I got to try some of John and Maryam’s cupcakes and cookies, and they were delicious!

Drakestail Jewellery and Sing for Icing, all set up at Ravenswing!
The new tent partially set up, Drakestail Jewellery and Sing for Icing, and Drakestail all set up at Ravenswing!

It really was a perfect show. The weather stayed nice, and we got a warm breeze later in the day. The music was fantastic and there was a performer doing spoken word poetry. In the afternoon I got the opportunity to walk around and see the eclectic mix of artists, artisans, and vendors. There was everything from art to puppets to seedlings to notebooks and paper crafts. The organizers also had several workshops through the day, meaning that people coming for a visit got to be crafty as well.  Once again, Ravenswing also gave voice to The Clothesline Project, a beautiful and haunting installation of t-shirts decorated by survivors (and their supporters) of domestic abuse.  The t-shirts tell the stories and experiences of those who have faced domestic violence, and they are a testament to the strength and resilience of the women who have survived their experiences.

Ravenswing was a huge success yet again, and I want to give a big thank-you to the organizers for putting together yet another seamless and fun fair.

Views of the crowd at Ravenswing 2014
Views of the crowd at Ravenswing 2014

100 Day Challenge

The other big deal on Sunday was that it was Day 100 of my 100 Day Challenge. I certainly didn’t plan for it to fall at Ravenswing but it was a neat coincidence. I made a ton of jewellery over the past few months, and finished it off with a gorgeous Tree of Life pendant.  To take a look at all the sparkly glory, why not go back to Day 1?

The challenge has given me a great opportunity to reflect on my craft. The rules were to post a new piece every day, and to use only materials that I had on hand. My plan was to use up some of the beads that I have bought and hoarded. I’m terrible for buying beads because I like the colour or style or shape, without having a plan in mind for how I want to use them. Having to come up with a new design each day forced me to take a good look at the materials I had on hand, and put things together that I might not have otherwise.  It also pushed me to be a bit more adventurous with my designs – I couldn’t just lay out some beads and stare at them for a few days.  I had to make something NOW.  The time pressure meant I had to go with my first instinct and really try to make it work.  I have some pieces that I like more than others, but overall I am happy with this “go with my gut” method.  I feel, too, that this has honed my personal style and made my work more recognizable.

While I still have lots of beads left, I did manage to use a lot that had been in my stash for a long time, and have made a considerable dent in the collection.  I have also made a list of things that I *do* need, mainly a variety of spacers and some different gauges of wire.  I think I will celebrate my accomplishment with a little shopping trip.


100 Day Challenge by Drakestail Jewellery,
A sampling of some items made during the 100 Day Challenge.  What was your favourite piece?