Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ready, Set, Launch!

I am very excited and proud to announce that it's here. My website a.k.a. my main storefront has swung its doors WIDE open and invites you in! The shop is fully functional, and check back often as I will be adding stock daily as I create.

The payments are completely secure - I use PayPal Pro which is safe and easy, using a widely known secure server. No, you don't need a PayPal account to pay! You can pay with any ol' debit or credit card.

I ship using Canada Post and rates are listed on the site. This is a timely, safe and reliable method of shipping as it comes with insurance, a tracking number, and arrives in 2 days to most urban centers across Canada.

I am so excited!! Please send me your thoughts - I really would love some feedback from users. I know I like it, but do you? Is it easy to navigate? Do you like the layout? Am I missing any FAQ's?

Also check out my friend Tara's blog - she was the diva behind the design and layout of the site! Sparks and Co. is her company and she has tons of inspirational and creative ideas!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Silversmithing In My Studio

I spent the evening yesterday forming clasps, jump rings, and different sized and shaped rings to incorporate into my jewelry. I had Allan take some pictures of the process so you could have a peek at all the fun steps that go into forming the one of a kind findings that are combined with recycled beads to complete the ecocessories jewelry I sell!

I've formed a bunch of hoops, and now I want them soldered shut! I start by painting the seam with flux, which protects the silver when heating. It also helps hold the tiny piece of silver solder in place! Using tweezers, I place a tiny rectangle of sheet solder on the seam.

I sneak up on the hoop - if you move too quickly, the tiny piece of solder jumps off! It's very annoying. Moving the flame from my torch around the solder on both sides distributes heat along the ring and when it reaches it's melting point, the solder flows. Then, I dip the ring into cold water to quench it - a very important step! The metal is now extremely hot, and it is tempting to eagerly want to pick up the soldered piece right away.

Finally, I put the soldered hoop into a crock pot that contains heated lemon salt and water, which removes the discolouration that occurs from the flame. The silver piece will come out with a matte finish, and to create a shiny finish it then gets tumbled for a few hours.

It is a lot of steps, but I love every minute of working with metal and giving my jewelry that much more of a handmade touch!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Comment on my blog and win FREE jewelry!

One of the best parts about having a blog is that I get to communicate with my readers. But I feel like I'm doing more talking than listening these days!

As an incentive I am having a contest. Everyone who comments on ANY blog post before December 15th, 2008 gets entered in a draw to win a free necklace!

To make this work, you will have to email me at if you make a comment. This way you can still be anonymous with your comment on the blog if you want, but I need to have your email address to contact the winner! Simply email me and put "Blog Comment" in the subject!

I want to hear if you agree or disagree on my article about fair trade, what you think about handmade clasps, and really anything that pops in your head when visiting my site!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Human Dignity Initiative

Today I volunteered for an incredible organization called the Human Dignity Initiative. There was a conference of a group of visionary university students who are recipients of the Millennium Scholarship, and they were participating in a weekend of networking and thought-provoking workshops. I was the facilitator of a brainstorming session on different marketing initiatives HDI could consider when getting the message out!

The first project that HDI is undertaking is bringing solar power to war torn countries. This will be accomplished by bringing solar powered flashlights to communities that currently don't have light. This is awesome because it will empower the women and children, who spend the most time at home, to extend their working hours beyond daylight. Women who are striving to support their families through economic projects, including artisan crafts, will now have light to do their work by!

This amazes me. I honestly can say that I take light for granted, and when I think about not having light to make my ecocessories jewelry by, it is pretty unimaginable. However, this is the daily struggle of very many women! These flashlights will be durable, and easy to use. They will provide 360 degree light to fill a room, and will be a sustainable and healthy alternative. Currently kerosene lanterns and fires are used for lighting which both produce harmful air pollutants and cause injuries. In fact, 2.5 million people are burned every year in India from overturned lamps. Also, the World Bank estimates that 780 million women and children breathe in kerosene lantern fumes with the harmful equivalent to 2 pack of cigarettes a day!

All of this is staggering, and I am just happy to be getting involved in something that I can relate so easily to. I love running a creative business, and the tools that I use to operate are so valuable to me, but honestly none of it would matter without having the light to work by!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hand Formed Earring Wires

I've been practicing making all my own findings for my jewelry now! Everything that I sell from now on will be made using hand formed earring wires, jump rings, and clasps. Once I start selling again that is - if you've noticed, I am kind of on hiatus until my belated site gets launched. We are still working through details, details, DETAILS!! At least it will be perfect when it does launch, so I hope you are being patient with me!

Anyway, forming my own findings just makes the jewelry I sell that much better. It is higher quality because these findings have been meticulously formed, filed to precision, and in some cases soldered for maximum strength. They make each piece of ecocessories jewelry that much more unique, handmade and one of a kind!