July 24th is international self care day, a day to remind ourselves that our health and well being need to be a priority. Here at Drakestail Jewellery we believe this is extremely important. We are three women who juggle full time jobs, this business, parenting, as well as numerous activities. I know I often drop the “taking care of Roxy” ball amidst all of that.
Placing greater importance on my overall health is something I have focused on greatly in the last few months and I have set some exciting goals for myself for the month of August, which I am sure I will share with you sometime later. All of that to say, today, and everyday I’d like to encourage you to eat healthy, exercise, get good sleep, take some “me time” and try to stress less about the things that are outside of your control. Make caring for yourself your top priority. It isn’t selfish, it makes you better able to handle all the fantastic challenges life throws your way!
Well I moved into this house in April 2015 and have been struggling with how to properly set up my jewellery making space. Finally last weekend I think I got my office set up the way I want it! I am so excited by this. I will admit it took me awhile. I tried a couple different configurations and furniture/storage options before I got to where it is now. I am always bargain hunting for furniture and feel each space needs different pieces to make it work. I often buy and sell on sites like Kijiji or Facebook Buy & Sell groups.
My home office is a small space, about 2.3 meters by 2 meters and I run two businesses out of it so I had to be strategic about what was in there. I had this 1950s dinette set from my old apartment that doesn’t fit in my current kitchen but I love it immensely and I recovered the chairs myself so there was no way I would part with it. That instantly became my desk. It gives me a nice big surface to work on and also extra chairs for any consultations I might need to do.
Last summer, on Kjiji, I found this stunning 1900s era printers cabinet, tiny narrow drawers, perfect for jewellery supplies, tools and stones storage. That came home right away and helps me keep stones, wire and tools are neatly organized. My sweetie had a small black 2 drawer file cabinet that he needs to keep so that became the printer stand. To jazz up the old cabinet, I displayed some jewellery on top.
Two weeks ago, thanks to my cousin and IKEA I found the missing piece! Two shelves with a bar and some hooks. I believe this is meant for kitchens but right away I saw it fit into my home office. On the shelves I have displayed jewellery that I still need to photograph as well as some of my favourite nick knacks and reference books. The hooks hold some bags that I need in my other business with Arbonne and also my camera bag. You can also see my “printer stand” in the bottom right corner.
Having the pieces I haven’t photographed out and on display helps me in two fabulous ways. First it keeps them in view, every day so the task of photography doesn’t get forgotten. Second, seeing the pieces I have designed before helps my creative process. New design ideas often feed off of previous ones. Before I set up this shelf I had all my completed pieces stored away in my carrying cases and I’d only see them when I brought them out to art shows or to sales. Now I see them everyday and I love it.
I believe all I need now is a cork board (I’m in the middle of making myself one). I plan to use it for story boards. Fashion photos or colour palette displays that help inspire me. The contents of the cork board will change frequently as I use up 1 idea and move onto something new. I also need a short 2 level book shelf I can use for books and some paper materials I need in my other business. I haven’t located that perfect short double shelf yet, but I have no doubt I will!
Since Roxy lives in Winnipeg and Trish and I live in Ottawa, we do most of our chatting over Skype or Facebook messenger. This past weekend, however, Roxy visited Ottawa and the three of us got to meet up in person!
After stuffing ourselves silly at breakfast, we went to Carleton university for a photo shoot. We went for a lovely walk around campus and took advantage of all the green space and shot some team photos. Since this was the first time the three of us were together since Trish joined Drakestail, we needed some pictures of the three of us together.
Of course, us being us, the day wasn’t completely serious…
And I did get side-tracked by a loon swimming on the Rideau Canal behind us. It got nick-named “jerk bird” because it kept diving when I’d line up a shot.
But we had a great time, talked about business and about life, and got some great photos of the whole team together.
Perhaps it is my love of fairy tales and all things mystical and magical but when I saw the add seeking sellers for this upcoming Winnipeg craft sale I simply could not resist sending in my application! I will be setting up shop for the day on Saturday May 7th with the lovely “fairy girls” and hope you will pop by and check out the event. Between 12:00 & 5:00 PM at 955 Mulvey Avenue in Winnipeg! This is your last chance to snag that perfect something for Mother’s Day 🙂
A couple months ago my friend Jenn asked if I would help her make custom order bracelets for her husband’s birthday. I immediately said yes and we talked about the materials and colours she wanted to incorporate. I looked through my existing stones and found many options for her that could work. I also took a small road trip out to Jacob’s Trading Gem & Mineral show to pick up a few extra options just in case.
We had a meeting to go over the materials, she selected the stones she wanted to use and planned out each piece. She picked out stones, colours, shapes, and textures she felt sure her husband (Ryan) would like. She called what she made a mix of “able to pass off as professional rockstar” and “hippy chic”. We then got together another evening after our day jobs and Jenn set to work.
I sat across from her and watched her work, gave tidbits of suggestions on design where needed and instruction on how to assemble and close off the bracelets when the time came, it wasn’t a hard job and it was a lot of fun to play a small part in the process of gifting between two people I love dearly. One very special element was the addition of a Canadian dime to one of the bracelets. The story behind this is that when Jenn’s gradnfather was stationed in England during the war he had a bracelet made for his wife with a British 10 pence piece in it. Jenn wore that bracelet on her wedding day. She wanted to create a bracelet for Ryan with the Canadian 10 cent piece to emulate that gift. I absolutely LOVE working on custom orders that incorporate re-purposed items and the story behind this was is so touching. I’m honoured I played a small role in making it happen.
In the end Jenn made a total of 5 bracelets for Ryan which she gifted to him on his birthday. You can see the other 4 bracelets pictured below. Thank you Jenn for asking me to help with this lovely project. It means a lot to me and I really enjoyed watching your creative process unfold!