Hello, Poltimore!

This past weekend was a ton of fun at the Poltimore Fair.  This was a special edition of the fair, being its 60th anniversary!  Drakestail shared space with Maidenstar, and we set up our tents along the main path.  It was great to see some familiar faces from last year, and to meet lots of new folks, too.  We also both enjoyed the BBQ, and got to watch some of the fun events – chainsaw competitions, magic shows, live music, and a neat-looking ride where kids strapped themselves into bungee harnesses and bounced on trampolines.

If you found us at the Fair, hello!  It was great to meet you.  And, despite the crazy weather blowing our tents across the grounds, we’re both looking forward to going back again next year.

Extreme Vintage: Ancient Jewellery

I love vintage shops, and I definitely have a taste for fashion from bygone days.  What’s not to love about a classic “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” cocktail dress or a sleek cloche hat? Vintage jewellery can be particularly fun- people have been making and wearing necklaces, earrings, bracelets and other adornments for years. Centuries. Thousands of years. But would you believe a hundred thousand years?

That’s right, archaeologists have found beads dating back 100,000 years.  The beads are small shells, and were excavated frome a site in Israel.  The find shows some interesting insight into ancient human culture and our ever-present desire to adorn ourselves with the beauty of nature.


World's oldest bead.  Image courtesy http://www.nhm.ac.uk
World’s oldest bead. Image courtesy http://www.nhm.ac.uk

Orleans Festival – UPDATE

Hi, all,

The first two days of Orleans Festival have been great so far, with lots of food, music, art and artisans and a great atmosphere. Due to the bad weather, we’ve been moved inside. Feel like coming by to say hello? We’ll be on the lower level of the Shenkman Arts Centre, in front of the bar area. We’re there from 9-3 today, so come by and enjoy some local culture!

Return to creativity

In June 2010, I was offered a job in Edmonton Alberta with one of our regional offices and I decided to accept. A short 8 weeks later I was moved across the country to a new city full of strangers, leaving my friends, family, and Drakestail temporarily behind me. There were some bumps in the road and moments where I felt lonely but overall, I really enjoyed my time out West and am so thankful for the opportunity given to me.
Despite the physical seperation between Robyn and I, the plan was for me to continue to bead and create out West, to find local art shows and to ‘grow’ the Drakestail business, as they say, best laid plans… I spent almost 2 years in Alberta and I didn’t make a single piece of jewellery that wasn’t just for myself to wear. Robyn carried the torch here in Ottawa and kept creating and attending shows. We’d discuss the business decisions via email or Skype and I was still involved in the background but creatively it seems I took a sabbatical. Looking back now, though I think it odd, I feel this was really good for me.
I have been back in Ottawa for about 6 weeks now and aside from settling into a new home with new roommates and settling into a new day job I find myself with the desire to make jewellery again and have in fact made a few pieces. I am approaching the creative and the business process of being a partner in Drakestail Jewellery with refreshed creativity and renewed purpose. I am looking forward to our summer season art shows as well as to new adventures in jewellery creation.


Third Annual Orleans Festival

We’re excited to announce that we’ll be at the Orleans Festival again this year!  Having taken part in the previous two years, We’ve seen the Festival grow from a single-day show to a full weekend event.  This year the Festival runs for three full days, June 1st – 3rd, 2012.  We’ll be there Friday from 3pm – 8pm, Saturday from 9am – 8pm, and Sunday from 9am – 3pm.

Just like last year, the artisans (including Drakestail) will be set up on the boulevard in front of the Shenkman Arts Centre.  Last year we were lucky enough to be at the end of the row of artisans, giving us a fabulous view of the main stage, also set up outdoors.  They had some fabulous dance troupes and local musicians performing, and gave the whole area a great vibe.  Inside were artists and sculptors, more music, dance, and theatre productions, and of course, local food vendors showcasing their delicious fare.  This year, we will again be performing a demonstration workshop as well.  We will keep you posted on the date and time of the workshop, and will be showcasing how we make some of our favourite jewellery designs.

As noted on the Shenkman Arts Centre web page:

The Orléans Festival was born in 2010 out of the community’s desire to promote and celebrate local creativity in the performing, culinary, visual and spatial arts in a fun, free and family-friendly one-day festival environment.

This year, Festival is expanding again and will take place on June 1, 2 and 3 to better celebrate the richness, scope, talent and breadth of the artists, chefs and artisans who will perform, display, and create their respective works in and around, the Shenkman Arts Centre, the east-end’s hub for artistic expression and community engagement. 

Join us at this wonderful festival.  Watch our Twitter feed and Facebook event page for updates.

Orléans Festival - 2011


The Tree of Life

Quartz Tree of Life pendant "Ice Storm"
Quartz Tree of Life pendant “Ice Storm”

The “Tree of Life” is a motif that has appeared in numerous cultures, religions and folklore. Typically, it appears as a leafy, healthy tree with a sturdy trunk and visible roots. It has represented a variety of concepts, including wisdom, healing, purity, and the threshold between life and death. In Norse mythology Yggdrasil, the world tree, supports the nine worlds and is the focus of numerous myths.

Around a year ago Drakestail started creating our own handmade Tree of Life pendants. Inspired by the depth of meaning and the soothing, earthy appearance, I decided to create a Tree of Life pendant for myself, initially using silver-plated wire and pale green jade chips. I love how it turned out, and wear it often. I got lots of positive comments about it, as well as requests! Since then I’ve created several permutations, using aventurine, carnelian, clear quartz and rose quartz to represent the Tree in different seasons. I’ve also worked some up with copper wire, to great effect. Using gemstone chips and twisting the trunks by hand, each pendant is unique.


Want to see more?  We have some Tree of Life pendants in stock right now on Etsy!

Carnelian Tree of Life pendant
Carnelian Tree of Life pendant “Autumn Maple”
Jade Tree of Life pendant
Jade Tree of Life pendant “Spring Buds”
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