Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Show Season update

We have been enjoying the rush and excitement of the Christmas Arts/Crafts Shows in the region for the past couple of weekends.

The Prince Edward Island Crafts Council provided and exceptional show at the Confederation Centre in Charlottetown. The entire team, all PEICC members, that worked on the show were very warm and welcoming. It was a delight to back on the island after not having been there for several years.

In Halifax, we had an outstanding show at Pier 23, the home of the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council's Christmas Market, again, beautifully organized and produced with outstanding results.

Thanks to everyone, including our regular and new clients who helped make these enjoyable events.

BTW, the music was relatively good both places.

We have three smaller one day events coming up, a 'men's night' at Viktor's Blue Rose Salon in Woodstock on Thursday, a sale at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre on Saturday and then back to Viktor's on the 6th, whereupon we will depart for Ottawa and The Originals Show for the 11th-21st of December. I am looking forward to Ottawa this year. The booth location is in the first isle towards the upper end. Our new booth design which we tested in the spring and has worked well for us at the Council shows should be ideal for this venue. We are also looking forward to reconnecting with old friends in the area and remeeting so many of the fabulous folks from last year's shows.

See you there!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Patterns and Colour

The late fall offers a range of patterns and colours that can be easily missed in the more flamboyant early fall and the garish summer.

This morning is a brisk, but not cold, overcast day, one that compelled a walk with camera in hand for a close look at small beauties.

Tiny cups and saucers are suggested by some of the fungus and the colours of quickly approaching Christmas in the other.

The growth on this decaying log seems to suggest that there is a whole micro-cosmic world of possibility in the small forest. For the insects that run rampant through it on warmer days, I am sure there is the same quest for food and shelter, lust and love, a battle of wills and stories of battles and survival that haunt our larger human world.

Bark always presents interesting colour and patterns and this is of a hole started by Pileated woodpeckers in a large hemlock. It has beat away the heavy bark layer and is now starting to peck away at the wood underneath. This is fresh activity because the wood is still very bright. The woodpeckers hunt for ants and other boring insects.

The slender branches of the wild cinnamon roses are a deep red and the leaves are surprisingly still on the bush, perhaps only now for a few more short days.

Fungi are perhaps some of the most interesting things to be examined. I particularly enjoyed this one that was growing on an old beech tree stump.

It is a banded and cascading thing of subtle beauty.

And perhaps the loveliest of the late fall blooms is the spidery yellow of the Witch Hazel. It waits in ordinary green leaves for the entire summer, and fades to autumn brown before breaking into a dynamic show after the first hard frost.

The hazel is like some people, it must first grow, and appear bland, then with the cruelty of life, the hardening in cold times, they burst open, blooming, exposing themselves for their real self. Colourful but hardy even if delicate in appearance.

For other images from today:

© Cynthia Ryder 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fun With O-rings

Once in awhile there is a custom order that really is fun to work on. There is both enough guidance and enough freedom to play and experiment and it is different enough that it shows new possibilities in other items.

Frankly I am not much of a chain person, but I like this one, nice large 18 gauge square wire for the links. It has a nice smooth feel to it. Alternating links have been oxidized creating a soft grey-black effect in the links. The somewhat too tightly linked weave that served as a prototype is my new bracelet. I really like the weight of it.

I have been making these knotted fine gauge sterling silver spheres for a couple of years now as those of you that follow my work know. As above I am back to figuring out a series a links to bring these time consuming little monsters, measuring 8-10 mm each, together into a chain. I am also a hardware/automotive store shopper in that there are good tools that can modified for the bench, and various bits of hardware that are really cool to look at. Bought an O-ring kit sometime in the past year and the a-ha moment happened...

And of course, the left-over rings from the first project had to be used somewhere and the mid-sized O-rings are just so tempting and combined with hematite, both open-eye linked across the O-rings and caged... great earrings.

© Cynthia Ryder 2008