I’ve had a fun couple of weeks, taking some time off from my day job to be with family and to have some “me” time as well. I had fun taking my toddler daughter to the park, out shopping, and to the Museum of Nature (she loved the animals and the dinosaurs, but the highlight was the elevator. Toddlers!). We went out to visit some family, both close to home and further away. It was lovely to get away from the office and focus on the more important things.
I had two fantastic events on my kid-free vacation days. I went with a friend to a local hidden gem called the Wallingford-Back Mine. Formerly a major feldspar and quartz mine, it has been closed and abandoned since 1972 and is open to the public, via a rather rocky and challenging road. We hiked around the top of the hill, taking loads of photos and taking a few samples of the gorgeous clear quartz and other local minerals. We then went for a chilly swim in the mine itself, which was well worth the cold for the view of the cathedral-like cavern inside and the brilliant turquoise-blue water.
I also had the chance to learn a new jewellery technique at one of my favourite local bead shops. A friend and I signed up for a class in pearl knotting. We were given a kit with some cute mushroom pearls, which are a little bit flat on one side, meaning we had to be careful to have them all face the same way. I got off to a rough start, making a tangled mess of my first knot, but I caught on pretty soon after and now have a gorgeous necklace to show for it. I’ve picked up some more silk thread and all the parts to make more. You can never have enough pearls.
Well from September 26th to October 13th, I lived my life as a travelling jewellery maker. I left Edmonton early on a Thursday morning to head to Winnipeg and prepare the launch of our Vintage by Drakestail Jewellery line at The Foxy Shoppe. I met some fantastic new friends, we got a large list of custom orders and the new line was very well received. I had the opportunity to work with Dano Tanaka Illustrator on our catalogue pictures for the new line. Once again, he made our pieces look amazing! All in all I can’t complain one bit about that trip.
After that I made my way to Ottawa for 13 days of vacation. I enjoyed a wonderful family dinner for my Mom’s 60th birthday, visited our cabin by the lake, spent lots of time with friends, spent lots of time with Robyn talking about the future of our company and where we want to take things.
I also really enjoyed taking in the views. There is nothing quite like the Fall season in the Gatineau Hills around Ottawa. It’s breathtaking, and also inspirational to this jewellery designer. I expect lots of Fall colour inspired pieces in my future.
I’ve been home now for almost 2 weeks and I have to say it’s still challenging to get back into a groove with work, volunteer projects and Drakestail. I always seem to have so much on the go. All in all, my trip inspired a lot of thoughts about my future, it nurtured the gypsy in my soul and although I had to fight my cat to reclaim my little work station, it’s great to be home again.
This has been a busy week for the both of us. Roxy has started a fantastic and well-deserved vacation that has brought her one time zone closer to me. And what is she doing with her time? Relaxing, and beading of course. She brought her tools along and has created a mini work station for herself.
She has so far made 6 necklaces, 1 pair of earrings and 1 bracelet. The only slight snag is she forgot ear wires but she tells me that just means she’ll have to finish off her sets when she gets back home to Edmonton next week. Here is a preview of a few of her great new pieces.
As promised, I’ve started posting the memory wire bracelets. I’ve called these the Little Flower series, inspired by the adorable, tiny pewter flower spacers scattered throughout each of the bracelets. Memory wire is a lot of fun to wear, particularly because it doesn’t require a clasp. The bracelets simply wrap around your wrist, and will actually resize over time to fit their wearer.
Of course, five new bracelets (and a couple pairs of matching gem chip earrings) means a lot of photography. Good thing we’ve been having such great weather here, as I love getting out and taking advantage of natural light.