Found on Pinterest – Artists Synchroblog

Found on Pinterest – Artists Synchroblog

Pinterest kind of reminds me of YouTube – there’s lots of oddball stuff, and you can do almost any kind of obscure search and find something.

So it wasn’t really a surprise when I recently did a search for “white board ideas” and found dozens of diy applications.

While working on MAGazine, my white board was my best friend – all of the various sections and articles got listed, and it was easy to add and subtract notes as I thought of new ideas, or finished working on a page. Unfortunately though the one I was using was old and heavy and had a nasty habit of crashing to the floor. Eventually the poor thing was so completely bent out of shape that it wouldn’t stay on the wall.

Knowing that buying the same type would only end up with the same problem, I was happy to find a peel and stick version from Martha Stewart at Staples. Three 12×12 inch squares now form a customized wall next to my computer. The package contained 4 squares, and the last one wouldn’t fit my space. I didn’t know what to do with it, but didn’t want to throw it out.

Then a few weeks ago, while organizing myself for my class in Haliburton, I saw this white board backed iPad case on Pinterest. (Original source.)

That inspired me to take my spare square with me and use it as a portable and reuseable sketching space when I’m explaining things to my students. It worked brilliantly:

White Board

Because I was able to draw out a much larger-than-life version of the vernier calliper, teaching this segment was a breeze compared to what it’s been like in the past. The students were able to see exactly what I was referring to, and as a result were able to instantly use the calliper for their project. Since I don’t always have access to a blackboard or chalk, it was a perfect tool for sitting with students and helping them work out design problems.

This is definitely forming a permanent part of my teaching kit from now on!

The Artists Synchroblog is a group of bloggers who post every other month on the same topic, sharing our experience or perspective. On alternate months we undertake a Pinterest Project where we each take inspiration from a Pinterest picture, create something (art, a meal, a DIY project, etc) and then post about it.  You can read more about the Artists Synchroblog here.

Please visit the other synchrobloggers this month and read their Pinterest inspirations!

YOJ09-25 Netted Pendant

YOJ09-25 Netted Pendant  (2009) YOJ09-25 Netted Pendant (2009); Fine silver, sterling silver; L 4.0 cm x W 2.5 cmNetted Pendant (2009)
Fine silver, sterling silver
L 6.0 cm x W 2.5 cm

I’m running a bit behind with my YOJ postings, but I have been keeping up with doing the pieces.  My focus has been on preparing for my class, which starts 9 days from today!  This netted pendant is one of the projects for the class.

The good news is that I will get all of the tutorials done.  The bad news is that I have no idea if my wire is going to arrive in time!

Getting the supplies for these classes has really tested my patience. Back when I worked in the mining industry, the gentleman I worked for always reminded me to prepare for Murphy’s Law.  I’ve been reminded of that over and over in the last few weeks…

I do my best to support Canadian companies, partly because I believe in buying locally, but also because that way I don’t have to deal with the extra hassle of shipping, customs, duties and fluctuating exchange rates.

But some suppliers really make it a pain in the ass to deal with them.

Case in point:  John Bead, a trade-only wholesaler and beader’s heaven.  They would be an ideal Canadian supplier if they actually had the things I needed IN STOCK!!!  Three weeks ago I went to JB – my first visit in years – and I was reminded why I don’t bother to shop there unless I absolutely have to.  The warehouse is a frustrating jumble of aisles and bins.  Just finding things is the first challenge.  Then the flat nose pliers I wanted were out of stock.  I had to settle for a cheaper, lighter weight version.  The round nose pliers – every style – were out of stock.  The only pliers they did have in stock were their own house brand – at $20 a pop.  They didn’t have enough spools of 26 gauge copper wire, so I had to buy half of them in brass.  No 1.5 mm antique copper chain in stock.  Barely any 2 mm copper beads in stock.  This is a wholesaler, remember, with several thousand sq. feet of showroom space…

*If* they had had the pliers, I would have been well over their minimum purchase requirement.  As it was, I ended up having to visit their Swarovski room and buy a bunch of Swarovski crystals I didn’t really want or need to make up the difference.  And even there, the stock on some of the common colours was patheticly low!

So, if you’re in Canada, looking for wholesale Miyuki, Swarovski or Preciosa, John Bead is a go-to supplier if you can meet their minimum.  As for me, I think next year I’ll deal with the shipping costs, and customs charges, and just order from Rio Grande…

And increase the cost of the kit…I’m dealing with a very tight budget here, so that makes sourcing reasonably priced supplies problematic.

Thankfully, I found another supplier for the round nose pliers – Habsons Jeweller Supplies in Vancouver.  They had the quantity I needed in stock, and they had them packed and shipped the day after I ordered them.  This is the second time they’ve come through for me on a hard-to-find item.  Last year I bought a half dozen wooden ring mandrels from them – impossible to find elsewhere in Canada, but they had them.  I love these guys.  Great customer service.  Actually, maybe I’ll order from them first next year…

Next was the still-ongoing misadventure with the copper wire.

There are NO suppliers of shaped copper wire in Canada.  So, ordering from the US is required.

I placed my order in mid-June, with expected delivery in 10 business days.  The time came and went, and when I followed up this last week, I found out the supplier missed something on the paperwork.  The package had been returned and had sat in their warehouse for a week before being sent out again.  So now I’m sitting here hoping the package will arrive in the next few days.  If it’s not here by Tuesday, I have to re-order the whole lot (US$900+), and have it sent up here by express overnight courier.  Cost of the courier:  US$102.  *gloom*  And I have to re-source the cabochons because I cleaned them out of their 22×30 mm with my last order.   And then I’ll have two complete sets of the wire I need for the classes once the other order finally does arrive.  The owner is doing her best to be helpful, even taking time out of her vacation to deal with this for me.

In the meantime, I’m beavering away, working on tutorials, putting together what I can of the kits, and trying not to stress out…

“The Vik-Knit 3000”

In preparation for my class at the Haliburton School of the Arts this summer, I asked my beloved husband to prepare some tools for the viking knitting segment.  My older son, Thumper, was very keen to help.

Thumper has recently become complete fascinated with machinery.  I’m not sure if this is a reaction to the movie “Wall-E”.  Anyways, he’s been drawing fantasy machines and coming up with all kinds of interesting names for them, most of which end in some denomination of 1000.  “This is a Cheese Grater 2000!”  “This is a Hopping Frog Truck 3000!”.

vik-knit3000.jpg So, of course, he was very interested in what Daddy was constructing.  It’s just simple dowel holder, which gets clamped to a work surface.  Thumper decided it needed a name.  After asking what it was used for, and being told “viking knitting”, he said “Let’s call it the “Vik-Knit 3000!””

I keep trying to come up with a “Ginsu Knife” type infomercial to go with the name.  “The Vik-Knit 3000 will make your viking knitting a breeze!  Clamp it to the desk and you’re ready to go!  It will practically do the knitting for you!  But wait!  There’s more!  Order the Vik-Knit 3000 now and you’ll get two – count ’em – TWO! different sizes of dowels!”

LOL.  Anyways, it was just too cute not to share.