The Business Chat – HST Part Two

There seems to be some confusion about this HST stuff so I thought today that Iโ€™d take another kick at it. The government has several websites with all the appropriate information on them. They are clear as mud. I have had very good luck with the people manning the phones at 1-800-959-5525. Just press buttons until you find a human, they know what theyโ€™re talking about. On a bead forum the other day there were several discussions about collecting tax. Let me say this loud and clear: artist made goods are NOT exempt from HST or in provinces without the …

Store Closed Monday

Just to remind you – the store is open regular hours Saturday and Sunday but closed Monday for Simcoe Day. However, as usual, the ever vigilant computers will remain alert and attentive and await your shopping pleasure on the Monday. Store closed, online open for the Holiday Monday. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Inspiration Fridays

I swear I haven’t given up – really! I meant to work on the post last night, but with kids, and soccer, and that pesky little necessity called sleep – it just didn’t happen.  Now, I’m off to take the kids to the Science Center for the day. My post will be late again – But I DO have stuff to show! ๐Ÿ™‚

Widening the Bead Horizons – CHA

I’ve just come back from the Summer Craft & Hobby Association trade show in Rosemont IL. This is a 3-day exhibition which is not open to the general public, but only to designers, store owners, magazine publishers and professionals looking for the latest and greatest in the craft world. There is nothing to buy here – it’s strictly an exhibition. In fact there are rules against selling any item in the booth. It’s also an enormous show. Probably at least double the size of the CreativFestival. The overwhelming impression that struck me was how much scrapbooking has taken over as …

What I’m missing out on this week

There are two big industry conferences happening this week.  I’m really sorry to have had to miss the ISGB Gathering this year – mainly because it is for the first time so very, very close. Rochester!  Even if you’re not a beadmaker – The Gathering hosts an open to the public bead bazaar. See up close and personal some of the best beads from your favourite artists. Road trip anyone? ๐Ÿ™‚ The other big happening is the CHA – Craft & Hobby Association conference. Anyone who owns a craft related retail business should be there. Lots of educational opportunities, plus …

Special Sneak peek (without the pics)

As some of you may know from a previous blog posts – I have a thing for all things crafty. Especially resin, and paper. I became obsessed with making those little glass tile pendants…The obsession is starting to wane a bit, but they are so popular in the store,  I keep making them!  Many of you have also been begging us to carry those little tiles. Marg came through as usual, and found some VERY nice quality tiles. Not only in squares, but also in other shapes as well. This week, I’m working on some samples, plus I’ll have a …

It’s Almost August…I know

But cheer-up, there are loads of old and new classes this August that will help you forget that it’s almost time to go back to work, or school, or whatever the slowly approaching end of Summer usually brings for you. On Saturday August 7, Marilyn Gardiner will be teaching two classes:Earrings and PendantsThis is a class for beginners, and all levels of beaders alike. Beginners can learn how to make simple and elegant jewelery components. Celtic Vision Bracelet/NecklaceThis class requires a bit of experience with chain mail. You get to choose if you want to make a necklace or bracelet. …

Wire U Talking Like That: Terms to Describe Wire

So choosing a wire is about picking the best balance between strength and workability – as is most appropriate for your project. Workability – hardness vs softness or “hard to bend” vs “easy to bend.” We refer to wire that is easy to bend as “soft” or and wire that is hard to bend as “hard.” Sterling silver wire can be annealed – heat-treated – to make it “soft.” The softest grade is referred to as “dead soft” and the hardest to bend is “hard” – nothing mysterious there. There is a medium grade too – called “half hard.” Hard, …

Support for your metal clay in the Kiln: Vermiculite, Fiber Blankets, or Alumina Hydrate….Things you may want to consider

Kiln firing metal clay, at times, requires that curved or shaped piece be supported during the firing process to help them retain their shape. Metal clay, at times may slump, flatten or warp as gravity acts on the metal while it sinters. As a precaution to this problem a supporting medium is used to ensure successful firing. There are a variety of materials a metal clay artist may use: a fiber blanket, alumina hydrate or vermiculite. My substance of choice is vermiculite. Below I will summarize the three major firing supports.Disclaimer: Below is information I have gleaned from searches. In …