Category: Spotlight

Spotlight: Women In Business Ottawa

Women in Business Ottawa (WIBO) is a Trade Show & Sale that was organized to help Ottawa-area women with at-home businesses to promote their products and services.  Vendors predominantly hail from the Ottawa-Gatineau region, and cater to Ottawa-area women and families.

Created and organized by Angele Villeneuve, WIBO had its first trade show in the fall of 2010.  Since then, it has expanded to include vendors from farther away.  The show has grown since its inception, expanding from 60 vendors in the spring of 2011 to around 100 vendors this October.

As the organizer, Angele participates in the event with Norwex and Gold Canyon products.  She started this event after attending an Orleans trade show as a vendor and realized that there were no such events organized for the Kanata/Stittsville to central Ottawa area.

Entry is free of charge; however, donations are collected upon arrival for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.

Event location: Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Ave, Halls A & B, from 9-3pm.

The website (currently under construction):

Tip: caring for your jewellery

Here’s an eco-friendly idea to help keep your jewellery looking great: Keep those packets of silica gel that you find in shoe boxes and other packaging.  Tuck them in your jewellery box or anywhere you store jewellery.  They absorb humidity, which helps prevent tarnish.  Re-using silica gel packets keeps them out of the landfill, and working for you.

Of course, make sure they’re tucked away where youngsters won’t get at them, as they are dangerous if ingested.

Fun fact: Amber

Amber is a beautiful material, ranging from from rich orange, brown and umber colours to a striking yellow-green.  It is not actually a gemstone, but fossilized tree sap.  This makes it very lightweight.

Not sure if your piece of amber is real or a clever fake?  Try this test: Find a container large enough to submerge your amber in.  Fill it with water, and put in as much salt as you can dissolve.  Stir until the salt! crystals are completely dissolved.  Then, place your piece of amber in the salt solution.  If it floats, it’s real.

Spotlight on our friends: Basement Artists

When we started making jewellery in 2006 we didn’t know many local artists and artisans.  It was a hobby we both enjoyed and we decided to participate in some local art shows and craft fairs for fun and to see how people responded to our work.

We enjoyed the first few shows and kept at it over the next few years.  One of the things we found difficult was trying to decide in which shows to participate, not knowing the communities or organizers, it’s always a bit of a gamble.  About a year ago, I was introduced to Marcus Lamoureux through a mutual friend and later found out he is the founder and organizer of Basement Artists.

When Marcus founded Basement Artists, he wanted to dedicate himself to the promotion and showcase of local Ottawa musicians and artists.  Being an artist himself, he felt this type of group could really benefit the local community.  With some time, hard work and personal effort, Marcus created a type of art show unique to the Ottawa community.  His shows bring in people from all around the area, local artists as well as art lovers.  These evenings of music and art give musicians and artists the opportunity to reach a much larger audience then they would otherwise be able to.

In September 2010, Basement Artists celebrated their 50th music and art show at the Mercury Lounge in the Byward Market.  Each show combines performances by talented local bands with displays of impressive local artists and artisans.  This combination allows audiences a glimpse into a world of underground art and music that isn’t always readily accessible.  The shows take place at a variety of local venues and occur at least once a month.

Drakestail Jewellery had their first show with Basement Artists in the summer 2010.  We’re very happy to be a part of this local group of artists and musicians.  This helps us to reach a larger audience which is, of course, important but even more important is the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals, to network with them and to be a part of a community that is larger then just ourselves.  We feel very fortunate to have joined Basement Artists and to have met Marcus, as well as the other wonderful and talented people who work with Basement Artists.

Our next Basement Artists show will be on Saturday, January 29th at Babylon Night Club in Ottawa, starting at 7:00 P.M.  We’d love to see you there!

If our post has piqued your curiosity about the organization, please visit their website here:

Or learn more about them by watching their interview on Rogers TV here:

Spotlight on Turquoise

Turquoise is a popular gemstone that has been used in art for centuries. Egyptian and Aztec artists and artisans first used turquoise in jewellery, sculpture, and mosaics. Found in light blue to green hues, it may also be flecked with pyrite, or have white, brown or black “marbling”, or matrix. Iran, Egypt, and Arizona, USA are the current top producers of turquoise.

Traditionally, turquoise is the birthstone for December. This honour is now shared with modern December birthstones tanzanite and blue topaz. Believers in the healing power of gemstones believe that turquoise is soothing and grounding, and a great stone for meditation.

This relatively soft stone rates a 5-6 on the Mohs hardness scale. Because turquoise is naturally soft and porous, soemtimes even chalky, it is treated to enhance its colour and durability. Traditionally, turquoise was lightly waxed or oiled. A simple heat test can prove if this treatment has been used, and purists generally agree that this treatment is acceptable. More commonly, plastic and water glass treatments are used to “bond” or “stabilize” turquoise, and these treatments are more permanent and stable. It is up to the individual purchaser/wearer whether to purchase treated turquoise.

Because of its porosity, some care should be taken when wearing turquoise. Its colour can be affected by perfumes, body oils, cosmetics, and even strong sunlight. Store it in a location where it won’t be scratched by other items, and clean gently with a soft cloth.

Because great-quality turquoise is in such high demand, there are plenty of imitation and simulated turquoise items out there. Some common look-alike stones include dyed howlite, and magnesite, both of which are naturally white. These can often be identified by inspecting the beads – the inside of the drilled hole should be the same colour as the stone. If it’s white, it’s fake. There are also plastic and glass fakes, which can usually be identified by their feel/texture, and by the potential presence of bubbles. Plastic can be identified by introducing a hot item to an inconspicuous spot to see if it melts.

Find some great gift ideas for yourself or your favourite December birthday!

Turquoise and Moonstone necklace and earring jewellery set

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