First show of 2012 – Ravenswing DIY Fair

Ravenswing Logo

We’re excited to announce that we’ve just confirmed our first appearance of 2012.  We will be at the Ravenswing DIY Fair in Minto Park on May 27th.  The show runs from 11am to 4pm, and includes great local crafters, authors, and indie musicians.  There will be raffle prizes and free workshops.  Ravenswingn also supports The Clothesline Project, an organization devoted to ending violence against women.

We will be sharing our space with John Leclaire, local purveyor of sweets known as Ugly Kitchen Creations.  Not only will we have beautiful handmade jewellery, there will also be handmade chocolates, flavoured oils, and other delicious goodies.  Can’t wait!

If you use Facebook, add Ravenswing to your Events!  We’d love to see you there.

Ravenswing Logo


The Top 5 Gemstones to Beat Winter Blues

It’s March.  Spring is around the corner.  By now a lot of people are feeling the effects of cabin fever.  I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for winter to be over!

Many people believe in the healing effects of gemstones.  Whether it’s metaphysical properties of the gems, or being inspired by the myriad colours, textures and sparkle of the stones, they certainly seem to have an effect on us.  So without further ado, here’s my top 5 list of gemstones that will help kick those winter blues. Click on any of the images to link to the matching Etsy post!


1. Citrine

Citrine "Sun Drops" necklace
Citrine "Sun Drops" necklace

Beat seasonal depression with bright, sunny citrine, November’s birthstone.  Citrine attracts positive energy, and is a stone that fosters joy, optimism, and hope.  As a bonus, citrine is also known as the stone of prosperity!




2. Carnelian

Carnelian and Amber "Pele's Tear"
Carnelian and Amber "Pele's Tear" on Etsy!

Carnelian is said to encourage initiative and stimulate creativity.  It boosts inner concentration and replaces negative energy with positive.





3. Lapis Lazuli

Lapis coin earrings
Lapis coin earrings on Etsy

Suffering from a little cabin fever?  Lapis lazuli is reported to release stress and bring inner peace and tranquility.





4. Garnet

Garnet and Smoky Quartz necklace
Garnet and Smoky Quartz necklace

If winter leaves you hiding inside, try wearing some garnet, January’s birthstone.  Garnet negates loneliness and isolation, and is the stone of passion and courage.  It also helps bring out your best qualities for others to see.




5. Aventurine

Aventurine Tree of Life pendant
Aventurine Tree of Life pendant on Etsy!

Feeling irritable?  Try wearing soothing aventurine.  This soft green gemstone relieves anxiety and calms the emotions.  It is also said to draw opportunities to its bearer.





Sending all our love to you – revamped shipping costs

After uploading some new items to our Etsy store and then taking a look around, I noticed that the shipping costs on all the items were pretty inconsistent.  I’m pleased to say that I spent a bit of time this morning and straighened that out!  All of our items will ship worldwide, and buying multiple items means significant savings on shipping costs.

While we’d love to meet all of you and say thank you face-to-face, it’s impossible to jet around the world to do so. (I wish!)  However, if you live in the Ottawa/Gatineau region we’d love to do just that.  Use the coupon code LOCAL2OTTAWA and we’ll hand-deliver your purchase.

Tree of Life pendants - through the seasons

Tucson Gem Show forgeries

$1 dollars-worth of counterfeit brand-name jewellery was siezed at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Wholesalers show a few days ago.

I love going to the gem show in Ottawa each September, and I always come away with a few bags of goodies.  Often I buy from local vendors that I visit here in Ottawa anyway. However, I do love the opportunity to shop the items that other vendors bring from shops outside of the area.  I’ve always wanted to make it to one of these massive gem shows, and Tucson’s is about as big as it gets, from what I can tell.  Lots of demos, hundreds of vendors, and more sparkly minerals and gemstones than you could shake a stick at.  My credit card shudders at the thought.

That said, with so many vendors, and so many gems and other goods, how possible is it to verify the stock of the vendors?  How can a shopper tell whether the stones or materials are genuine?  There are tips and tricks to checking the authenticity of some things (pearls should feel gritty if you rub them against your teeth, for instance), but without a lab assistant following you around it’s impossible to check most things.  It boils down to trust.

When I shop, whether for jewellery supplies or anything else, I love to ask questions.  It’s fun to learn what I can about a piece of fashion or the features of a new cellphone, and I hesitate to drop a lot of money in a store where staff don’t know their product.  When it comes to buying gemstones, I ask about what I’m buying.  Is it stabilized or colour-treated?  Where does it come from?  I’ve learned a lot about gems and minerals since I’ve been making jewellery, and I’ve taken a class in gem identification , but the store staff should be knowledgeable about their product.  I shop at places I trust, and I’m always happy to pass on my knowledge to curious customers.

Fortunately, fraudsters like those at the Tucson show are few and far between.  My experiences at shows and local events have been positive ones.  The next time you’re at a handmade craft event or art sale, ask lots of questions.  Artists and crafters love to talk about their craft, and are happy to show you of the quality of their product.

Treasure Hunt – using Etsy treasuries

I’ve been using Etsy for around a year and a half, and have been enjoying playing around with some of its features.  There’s a great one called Treasuries, where users can collect images of favourite items and show off these collections to the Etsy community.  Treasuries can be created by anyone – shoppers, sellers, and general Etsy fans alike.  Anyone with an Etsy account can create them.

Treasuries will usually have a theme.  Some will revolve around items of a certain colour.  Others will be seasonal, showing Christmas- or Valentine’s-themed items.  Still others involve themes like movies, or nature, or a time period.  The Etsy user collects up to 16 different items to fit the theme.  Add a great title, a description, and some tags, and you’re officially the curator of a treasury!

Curating (Etsy’s word for making a treasury) is a lot of fun, and a great excuse to window-shop and see what’s available on the site.  I’ve found plenty of great vintage and handmade items while hunting for things to include in my lists, and I’ve even ended up making a few purchases, too.  I particularly enjoy the challenge of coming up with unique and unusual themes.

To see some examples, peruse the list of treasuries that I’m curating.  Give it a try, it’s a lot of fun!

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