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This kind of weed is legal

I put this necklace off for ages because it seemed like a whole lotta work.

I was right (so many edges and points and corners!), but I’m glad I finally did it because while it was tough going, it ended in far less frustration than I had expected.

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A little stalk of fireweed for your neck. Well…not for your neck. Not this particular one anyway. This one sold at Halifax Crafters (to the same lad-ay who bought my Twin Otter necklace! I’m pretty psyched these two pieces will get to sit beside each other in her jewellery box), but I’ll make more.

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Hand-sawn brass hung on more brass.

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a dog walk to enjoy before I hit to the nines at White Elephant tonight. I need a dress for the Hamilton Arts Awards, where I’m nominated as the emerging writer alongside established Hamilton poet (musician, composer, educator, and on and on and on…) Gary Barwin.

I don’t want to count chickens out of school, but I THINK WE’RE GOING TO WIN.

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Send in the brass

It’s been a long time since I’ve had full days to spend in the studio, so today was A-amazing.

Part of the reason for this is due to the fact that I started sawing some brass and everything turned out better than I expected (especially after such a long break). I still have to drill holes in these bad boys to string them up on chains, but here’s what we have so far.

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A little prairie homage – here’s some grain elevator/barn action.

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And to fill the endless skies overhead? I imagine my friend Rachel flying a de Havilland Twin Otter from her bush pilot job in Watson Lake to visit me in Hamilton!

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This is also the plane I took into Ivvavik National Park in 2010. I think I’ve documented my hatred of flying pretty thoroughly on this website, but I will confess to a crush on this mini-passenger plane. It was quite the thrill to fly in and beautiful to stare at.

I’m going to try to post Sean’s rudimentary instructions for my jeweller’s bench tomorrow because it performed perfectly today and if you can put one together yourself, I suggest it. It’ll save you money and its portability means you don’t have to devote a huge chunk of space to it – you can lean it against the wall at the end of every night, which has the added bonus of ensuring you clean up after yourself at the end of the day!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to practice what I preach and start doing just that.



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Encrusted Saxifrage – you find this blue-green beauty at the top of the Giant in the provincial park of a similar name.

Sean and I spent a good six hours hiking up there at the end of a day (probably too close to the end of the day since we saw only wolves and no other people on the trail) during our stay last summer.

These little cups have been carved from thick tooling leather and hand-painted.

Strung on my favourite – an antique brass sequin chain.

And going into the shop sometime tomorrow.

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A few noobs and a few old designs with new, thicker feathers…

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Necklace Love

Here are some of the necklaces I’ve been working on recently.

First up is the Lovebug Necklace – a sapphire blue pincher bug on a vintage copper chain. I’ve been trying not to sell things lately (genius marketing strategy, no?) because I want to have a load of stuff for Hillside next weekend, but I think I’m going to put this guy in my Etsy shop today. It is, after all, almost Valentine’s Day and people will be looking for all things lovey and dovey and heart-shaped and…insect…ridden? Why not? Entomologists need love too!

Below him the the Bookworm Necklace. This is all vintage brass – from the chain to the pendant and embellishment. I made one of these with a green feather back in the fall and book nerds like me loved it up. So here’s another!

Lastly is another Deer in the Headlights necklace on my favourite vintage chain. A couple new things here:

1) I applied a resist to the young buck’s head to make it stand out.

2) I used a much thicker leather for this than I was using a few months ago. Actually I’ve gone back and re-made a lot of the necklaces and earrings I pumped out in the early days of Shoot From the Hip because they were made of the thinnest leather. Upside is the thin stuff is way easier to cut into tight corners and turn-arounds. Downside is it starts to cup after a while. There’s not enough backbone to hold a nice flat shape in the long term.

So I started doing finger crunches back in September and now I have hand strength fantastic enough to cut the crazy thick leather.


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