smart design mart 2011

i can't believe it's this weekend already!  come by smart design mart this friday! and saturday! and sunday!  i went into the space today to start setting up and i got trapped in the freight elevator for all of 4 minutes, i made 3 panicked phone calls and sent 2 text messages before figuring out i had jammed the doors somehow, and if i closed them all the way, i could easily let myself out.  not my finest moment.  

we've been blogging about every single one of our 95 participants so peruse our blog and start your shopping list!  i'm super excited about so many new vendors i have yet to meet!  le refuge pour chats de verdun is running the gift wrapping station, and all proceeds will go directly to them, and if you've ever been to verdun, you'll know that there are a crap-ton random cats running around, so make sure you get a lot of stuff wrapped.  

i will have new jewelry with me, stuff that's not even in my etsy shop yet!  so see you this weekend.  here's the facebook event.   



made friends with the fattest squirrel in the park. he's probably that fat from eating out of the kfc dumpster.  that dumpster smells mighty fine.  can squirrels eat chicken?  or is that really close to cannibalism?  i know squirrels aren't birds, but squirrels and pigeons hang out all the time, so it would be like eating your family member.  kind of when humans eat monkeys, it's kind of gross, and a little bit too close to home.  anyway, i was carrying a 6' wood plank with me and the squirrel wasn't even concerned.  i gave him my hand to sniff and he wasn't too interested, so i offered him one finger and he gave it the gentlest nip ever.  i had my finger in a squirrel's mouth, and i kind of liked it.  



floors are going in!  the floors are going in!  carbonized vertical bamboo, nice 6 foot long planks!  it's probably not the best week to do it as i'm in the middle of organizing smart design mart (that's this upcoming weekend people!  december 2-4th & we have more than 90 phenomenal artists & designers!!!) & i'm also preparing for souk@sat the following week.  but after living on plywood subfloors that you can never get clean no matter how much you vacuum & sweep & mop & gross broken glue on vinyl tiles for about 2 years, i couldn't wait a second longer.  what's a little renovation mayhem during my busiest few weeks of the year?  it's about half done at this point and i have a super handyman that i don't want to kill, so that's a new and enjoyable feeling.  poof loves playing in the floor underlayment off cuts.  pepito doesn't really care either way.  ok, time to start the late shift of jewelry making.  


what does it mean????? aka UPS THE WORST!!!

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? i shipped a package via ups on friday, and it was returned to me today, with this little yellow sticker.  "south bound" "over $500".  vague much?  ups can ship up to $50,000 per package.  so what's up?  my ups driver didn't know (& i have the best ups guy ever), we double checked the paperwork, three copies of commercial invoice, check,  nafta declaration, check, signed shipment receipt, check.  i called ups, TWICE and they didn't know either.  so now i'm waiting for a call fr/the ups distribution centre, AGAIN.  (because the first time they said they'd call back within an hour, they stood me up, and when i called them back two hours later, they had ABSOLUTELY NO RECORD OF MY 30 MINUTE call with them!!!)  this sucks extra hard because this package was a rush order for a company that can refuse my package if it's delivered late, because we have a contract.  contract, ever heard of one of those ups?  

update:  ok, so i just got off the phone w/the distribution centre, it looks like someone was messing around and stuck the sticker on my box.  EFFFFFFFFFF.  WHO DOES THAT???  the only other reason it would need to be returned to me is if i re-used a box marked "dangerous goods", which i did not.  someone, next time i need to ship something remind me to stop using recycled dangerous goods boxes, instead of the generic unmarked brown cardboard boxes i'm already using.  REALLY????  they upgraded me to overnight shipping.  but sheeesh, imagine if it was someone who saw my last name (ho) on the box and decided to make a dumb joke (southbound)????  i'm full of conspiracy theories, but i come by it honestly.  

ok, the real update:  the sticker was put on my box for a reason, ups doesn't ship jewelry or cash, so my ego has to take a hit & now have to list my merch as "costume jewelry".  shudder.  grossssss.  they need to come up with a better term.  

another update: ok, so i sent this package out last week.  it's been one week to be exact.  it was returned to me 4 days ago, i sent it back to the montreal distribution centre, i was on the phone with UPS for over an hour that day.  the outcome, my package was going to be upgraded and sent overnight to NJ.  montreal to new jersey?  not very far.  less than a 2 hour flight, or a 6.5 hour drive.  

my package is now being held in a warehouse in lousville, kentucky.  KENTUCKY.  and they have no further information.  it's been there for four days and apparently that's where they route air packages to clear them for customs.  holy carbon footprint much?  

it's friday november 25 now, i just got off the phone with UPS, and they tell me they can't track my package, because it's not in the system at the moment, and according to their notes, it wasn't upgraded,  which doesn't make any sense, because standard shipping from montreal to new jersey does not detour through kentucky.  so if they ever do find my box, it's going from kentucky to new jersey by truck aka "UPS standard".  i am sooooo beyond pissed off.  the ups lady wrote an "urgent" note to the kentucky distribution centre to find my package, but since it's friday, they have til monday to get back to me.   i asked to make sure i didn't get billed for the shitty "service" but that turned out to be a whole other ridiculous conversation.  EFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF.  happy thanksgiving, i'm not thankful for this.  

ok, so now it's monday november 28th, i'm on the phone with UPS again.  the lady i spoke with at length on friday, entered the data incorrectly, so she never did end up sending the "URGENT" message to the kentucky distribution centre to contact me.  ARE YOU KIDDING???  i'm on hold with someone right now, and he's trying to send a note to UPS U.S.  really?  really?  how hard is it to send a package from montreal to new jersey without a 1027km detour and one week delay?????  now the guy is asking me for a phone number that's right on the shipping label.  then he asked me if i've gotten a call fr/ "our kentucky buddies".  um, if i did get a call, i wouldn't be on the phone with you right now, right??? 16 minutes into our call.  i will never never ever ever ship with UPS again.  even during a postal strike.  the only reason i used ups is because the receiver asked that the package be shipped on their UPS account.  the ups "customer service" (and i use that term loosely) guy opened up a "case" to find my box.  he said that someone from UPS U.S. will call me back within an hour, and if they don't i'll have to call them back.  super.  

just spoke with the brokerage peeps, they said my package isn't registering in their system, it wasn't my paperwork but some sort of computer glitch.  glitch this a**holes.  

ugh, so because my package was upgraded to from ground/standard to who knows what, and the tracking number was the same, it created all sorts of mayhem & ups decided just to ignore the package.  so right now they've apparently found it again, and it's in the process of getting cleared through customs.  in kentucky.  if i'm lucky it'll get there by tomorrow.  if the package wins this round again, they'll send it on a disney cruise instead of new jersey and i'll be S.O.L.  

tuesday november 29th:  it's finally arrived.  but not w/o some crazy drama and a weeklong delay  and a lot of wtf. 

time logged with UPS CUSTOMER SERVICE: 

november 28:    2 minutes
november 28:    1 minute 
november 28:    4 minutes
november 28:  23 minutes
november 25:  18 minutes
november 21:  19 minutes
november 21:  26 minutes
total time: 1 hour 33 minutes


just another day

my work outfit for polishing jewelry & poor depressed pepito.  it's tough when you're a 100 year old cat, your bones hurt, you're always hungry, and your owners can't stop laughing at you when you fart in the litter box.  



ponyo rolling around in bed.  her fangs stick out when she's upside down.  


either that cat's head is getting smaller,

or she's getting fatter.  this black cat likes to hang out on my black stairs.  it's bad news for everyone involved.  especially at night.  



i love love love these little ceramic sculptures by diploo studio design based in krakow.  the ones on the bottom are called singing brownies and they're tiny little planters.  makes me want to take another ceramics class and make enormous amounts of small creatures to put all over my garden until i break some kind of bylaw.  (via jocundist)

exhibit 1

i couldn't come up with one of my usual bland descriptive names for this pendant, so i named it exhibit 1.  not descriptive at all.  

two herkimer diamonds paired with a quartz point on a silver setting inspired by mid century sculptures & design. the herkimers are double terminated quartz crystals with 18 facets, and they're crystal clear, they're both about 1/2" long. the quartz point has tiny black inclusions & is slightly opaque & cloudy, it was chosen for it's natural imperfections. 

 the setting was sculpted in wax and then cast in solid sterling silver. it was then oxidized to a deep matte black and the only the back of the pendant and the tips were polished to a shiny finish, to give the crystals a contrasting dark background.  this pendant is one of a kind.  


new stufffffff

tetrahedron triplet.  conjoined tetrahedra in oxidized silver.  

twins.  a big 1/2" double terminated quartz crystal with a black phantom suspended in it's centre & a smaller crystal twin attached to it's face.  ghost has sparkles.  in a custom sculpted oxidized silver claw setting.  

octahedron.  8 faces, all triangles.  in oxidized sterling silver.  

poof in a box

unhappy poof in a sideways box.  i really hope i don't have any customers who are seriously allergic to cats.  because there's going to be cat hair in that box.  


little skulls

hiiiiii!  this is exciting... my little skull pendant sold out during my fab.com 3 day sale... but good news!  fab handpicked it to be part of their "100+ best gifts under $100" gift guide!  it's at a special price that's an exclusive deal with fab.com, and available for just this holiday season.  so i'm about to go underground,  i've got little skulls to make.  this post is brought to you by my hands, now with more burns & callouses & significantly less fingerprints on my left index finger.  



a very small army of even smaller robots.  they look creepy when you get a bunch of them together.  

small skulls... this is what they look like after being cast & tumbled.  still lots of work to be done.   

small skulls finished & chained up.  

severed arm pendants these are about to get oxidized.  

this is a custom version of my big ribbon bow pendant, but in 14k SOLID rose gold.  it's got such a great weight to it.  i was kind of freaked out when i first started working with it because i've never really handled so much gold before.  and if i messed up, i'd be out a lot of $$$.  i kind of want to make a lot of gold jewelry now.  

been making a lot of jewelry lately.  the fab.com sale went really well & i'm getting stock together for holiday sales & other projects here & there.  i'll be at souk@sat this year, and i'm also organizing & taking part in smart design mart.  


sometimes i'm angry

a customer found this listing in my sold items.  notice the listing says "LAST ONE". i stopped making this gasmask pendant years ago, and had no intention of ever making another one.  the pendant is huge, and it's heavy, and it's really expensive to make especially because the cost of silver has gone up so much.  (double in just the last year!)  i even have to put it on a $40 silver chain because it's so heavy.  i used to like wearing this gasmask pendant, when i made it in 2006,  but i'm not so into it anymore.  you're not the boss of me, i can make whatever i want.  i try to make my customers happy, so i managed to find one floating around.   the original price for this pendant in 2006 was $120.  the price today, 5 years later is $160.  so i told the customer $140, fair enough right?  do you think maybe she means "that's an insanely good price?"... effffffffffffffff.   


vintage mart

we haven't done one of these for a while!  vintage mart is back!  this is going to be a good one!  we've taken over the bourdoor/supayana/norwegian wood/caesar pony/cheap opulence studio in mile end and transformed their amazing barn wood showroom & part of the studio into a giant walk in vintage closet.  carefully selected vintage from six sellers, including tons of guys stuff, lots of ladies stuff, i had a sneak peak at the footwear, there's a ton of vintage lace up boots oh and piles of fur accessories too.  furrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.   oh and some housewares too.  my favourite find?  an absolutely mint never been worn bombardier snowmobile suit.  fully lined in red faux fur, chunky metal zipper from ankle to shoulder, complete with hood & detachable face mask & a shoulder patch that reads 1972-73. will fit a size 4 lady.  great for skiing so you won't get snow down the back of your pants.  hate that feeling.  

stop by if you can:
5445 de gaspé #600
friday november 4th, 5-9pm
saturday november 5th 12-6pm

if you can't come by this weekend, don't fret, we'll have a special vintage mart section at smart design mart.  but you're going to have to wait a full month, and by then it'll be super cold, and you'll be regretting not coming to this vintage mart & buying yourself a fur hat.