Friday, October 19, 2012

Handmade Harvest Craft Show - 2012 Swag bags

The Handmade Harvest Craft Show Holiday 2012 Edition is just around the corner, Saturday November 3rd & Sunday November 4th, 2012. The Almonte Old Town Hall will host the 2 day event with approximately 40 different vendors of all sorts each day. Crazy Fox will be participating in the Novemeber 3rd show! This is the best show I’ve ever participated in. One or I should say two of the reasons are Emily Arbour and Colleen Hewitt, they select, organize and market this show like no one else. Another reason is the swag bags, which will be given out to the first 50 Saturday & Sunday shoppers. People line up early in the morning to receive these bags and they hold some of the coolest items. Oh, the show also has the best door prizes, maybe you will get lucky and win yourself a basket full of unique indie crafts!

I have been busy getting my swag bag items completed. This year I made feather brooches. I love and collect feathers, I once spent $185.00 for feathers at an auction (my husband, almost killed me). These feathers were from a milliner (hat-maker) and dated back to the Victorian period. Over the years I have made hair clips, earrings, necklaces and now brooches with these feathers. I hope you think they are cool and I hope you drop by the Handmade Harvest show. Christmas is just around the corner, why not start your shopping and visit the best craft show going!

feather brooches for Handmade Harvest swag bags

Wear these feather brooches, on a hat, purse or a belt

Perfect fall accessory for your coat

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Finnegan's Flea Market and Animatch

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself. Josh Billings

I always say I'm going to go to Finnegan's Flea market once a month in the summer and it never seems to happen. However this last Saturday, we finally got to Finnegan's for the first time this year. Finnegan's is such a beautiful spot located in Hudson, Quebec. You can spend endless hours visiting all the booths hunting for treasures. This time I did not find too many items, a couple of old tins, which will soon be turned into bracelets, some keys (as seen below), some vintage jewelry (normally I find more, but it is the end of the season) and some really cool vintage medicine bottles, which will be great for backgrounds in photographs. All in all it was a great day, however the real reason I wanted to go was to say Thank You to Animatch. We met Wally, our Norfolk terrier last year at Finnegan's at a "Meet and Greet". Once a month, Animatch brings 3 to 4 dogs to Finnegan's so people can meet these amazing dogs. Each dog has their own story. Animatch finds "forever homes" for every dog that comes through their doors, however long it takes and they do a great job! So thank you to Animatch, my life is so much richer with Wally in it!

Finnegan’s market is open Saturdays from the first Saturday in May to the last Saturday in October. Located at 775 Main Road, Hudson (Trans Canada Highway exit 22) east of Montee Lavigne (Trans Canada Highway exit 17). 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tapestry Dreams

Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern; it will come out a rose by and by.  Life is like that - one stitch at a time taken patiently and the pattern will come out all right like the embroidery.  Oliver Wendell Holmes

When I find a piece of beautiful embroidery it brings me back to my childhood, when I would sew daisy chains with my mother. I would sit for hours trying to get the stitches perfect. My mother had so much patience with me and I'm sure when I went to bed at night Mom would fix my work because every morning my work looked better than the evening before... Over the years all the pieces I had embroidered have disappeared, but my love for the art never has. I often wander flea markets in search of "Tapestry Dreams". I look for table cloths and runners with stains and holes and come home with these treasures and turn them into repurposed items like bracelets, purses, pillows, lamp shades and more. Endless hours have been spent embroidering these pieces and I think it is really nice to honor their beauty and their story. Try some of these ideas yourself, maybe you have a piece of embroidery from your Grandmother waiting to be transformed into a unique one of a kind item!

 And check out some great ideas on my Tapestry Dreams pinterest board

Crazy Fox Bracelets
An amazing moth made with vintage embroidery

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Custom initial jewelry with repurposed items

A mother's heart is a patchwork of love.  Author Unknown

I love working with my customers to create unique one of a kind pieces for them.... I worked with Kim to create this wrap charm bracelet with the initials of her three girls. Forever "K" initial wrap bracelet is made from vintage, repurposed and found items. Four letter "K" initials to represent Kim and her three daughters all with the same first letter to their names. An antique typewriter key K, vintage cuff link K, a script K and hand-stamped K create this one of a kind bracelet. "Forever" and "XOXO" is hand stamped into copper and represents Kim's love for her children. This bracelet wraps around the wrist twice and has its own unique story. Copper, brass, metal, pewter, glass repurposed vintage beads, hearts and more. This bracelet can also be worn as a necklace. Two pieces of jewelry in one! and it was a joy to create this for Kim and her girls...

If anyone would like a custom piece please drop me a line and we can talk about your own original piece of jewelry. The bracelet can represent your children or grandchildren or any of your loved ones. A new take on the traditional charm bracelets. Maybe you have a piece of jewelry from your Grandmother or Mother that could be incorporated, a broken necklace or rhinestone brooch. Or maybe a quote that means something to you, "Forever", "Lovely Girls", "With Love"... I made myself a wrap bracelet with the words "With Grace" after my sweet dog Gracie who, passed away last year. I like my pieces to tell a story, a story of love, hope and happiness.

Created for Kim and her girls

Made from copper, brass, metal, pewter, glass repurposed vintage beads, hearts and more.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Peculiar Children

Believe in love. Believe in magic. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don't, who will? Jon Bon Jovi

I was so inspired by the book "Miss Peregrin's Home for Peculiar Children", that I went searching for my own peculiar photos and created unique, magical pieces of jewelry. The novel is centered around vintage black and white photographs that Ransom Riggs actually found in private collections. These early photographs used tricks in order to create optical illusions - levitating girls, a double reflection in a lake, anthropomorphic...  In the book Riggs asks the question, “What if these weren’t optical illusions at all?  What would the stories behind them be?” I found that to be so interesting and magical, what if the Snake Charmer actually could hypnotize snakes by whispering sweet songs to them. What if Chicken Boy was a chain smoker and his pet chicken could talk... And what if Twins cat girls were really half cat - half human... The imagination is a wonderful thing and I choose to believe.

Peculiar Children Necklaces/Brooches

This book is just that, peculiar. It's also one of the best stories I've read all year. Combining a fantastical, creepy plot with actual vintage photographs that he's integrated into the text, Riggs' dark tale should appeal to a wide range of readers. Teen Jacob Portman thinks his grandfather's implausible stories about his stay at a children's home on a remote Welsh island were just stories, but when he travels to the island with his father, he finds that there was much more to his grandfather's life story than he could have ever guessed. This was a very suspenseful, intriguing tale of unusual friendship and I loved it! Pick it up this summer and enjoy the magic. And rumor has it that Tim Burton has signed on to direct the movie adaptation! I think it would be a perfect fit for him, and I can easily picture Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Peregrine. Hmmm, but who would Johnny Depp be? Jacob’s dad?


Chicken Boy

Snake Charmer

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Vintage Tins

One person's trash and another person's Treasure...

As you know I love anything old and found. These treasures to me hold a story of yesterday and a simpler time of life. So, I'm always on the hunt for new material to create something unique and wonderful. We just started to create jewelry out of vintage tins and the older the better. I love the rusty faded tins. I search old barns, attics, damp basements, flea markets and garage sales in search of these treasures. My husband hand cuts the tin, then grinds, then files and sand the all edges then seals the tin for added protection. I add on the pretty decorative pieces that turn them into bracelets, earrings, rings and necklaces. All these tin pieces are made from repurposed vintage tins and have beautiful aged patina to them and that is what makes them so different! They are not perfect but each one does have a story. Tins were one of the earliest marketing forms of advertising anywhere from biscuits, candy, coffee, cigarettes, condiments, gasoline, medicinal items, motor oil, tea, tobacco, etc. The initial attraction of these tins is the advertising, colorful graphics and lithographs. Our new jewelry are great conversation pieces that have a touch of old world charm.

Vintage Tins, that will be turned into jewelry

Vintage Tin Bracelet - Talcum Powder Tin - SOLD

Vintage Tin Bracelet - Mr Peanut Tin - Cocktail Party $26.00

Vintage Tin Earring - Biscuit Tin - Faded Blooms $8.00

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Williamstown Parade

I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him. Abraham Lincoln

Williamstown had a parade! The parade was to celebrate the Bicentennial of the Williamstown Fair which has been serving South Glengarry community since 1812. The fair grounds are nestled in the quaint village of Williamstown surrounded by beautiful large pines and is right across the road from our house.  The Fair has maintained it’s country charm and throughout the years continues to be a local hub with it’s roots deeply committed to rural life.

The whole village came out to support and watch the parade go by. The theme of the parade was 1812 and the floats were decorated with period pieces and costumes. The parade started and ended with pipers, which in this community, rich in Scottish traditions is a must! As the pipers walked around the bend in the road towards the village I got a lump in my throat and as the second float approached I started to cry (I know crazy!). The second float belonged to good friends of ours, who have been farming in this area for years. The little house on the float was used in another Williamstown parade. Jennifer Vogel was just one years old when she sat on her mother’s (Cyndy) lap in 1984 and rode along the streets of Williamstown. Now, Jen had her two daughters (Margaret and Morgan), along with her brothers and cousins on the float with her. I can only imagine how my friends felt watching as their children and grand-children passed by, 4-generations of farming, still going strong. 

Today, on Canada’s Day there are more events planned for the Bicentennial, a family picnic, games and maybe we will get lucky and have some fireworks tonight. I am so proud to be part of this village, where history, family and friends create this wonderful community. Happy Canada Day everyone!

Margaret peeking out from the window

Vogel family - Carry-On Farms

Jennifer and her daughters - floats, pipers and history

Vogel family - Carry-On Farms won best float

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Refreshed Studio

Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work... Ralph Marston
I finally have finished my huge cleanup and painting my design studio!  Our house dates back to 1900, over the years renovations have been done but overall the rooms are small. I use two small rooms in our home as studios, one for my design and illustration work, the other for my Crazy Fox jewelry. I'm in this 10 x 13 studio day and night and while it looked great before it was time for a change. The walls went from a pale robin's egg blue to Behr "Celery Ice". I love the new color, it is very refreshing and cool and looks green or yellow depending on the time of day. My cupboard (which you cannot see in these photos) has book shelves and two filing cabinets in it and was filled with tissue drawings, proofs, samples, books and more - almost everything was recycled, it was time to let go and renew. Of course I picked the hottest day of the year to paint with the temperature over 39 degrees C, but now as I sit in my clean studio it is all worth the mess and heat. Next week I start the jewelry studio, which is a bigger mess! One day I hope to have one large studio until then I'll be happy in my refreshed studios!

Refreshed Studio, with Wally, supervising

before and after

Monday, May 21, 2012

Discovery Centre at Fort Wellington

On Saturday May 19th, my husband and I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening of the new Discovery Centre at Fort Wellington. About a year ago I worked on illustrations of Johnny and Sue, conservators that help tell the story to visitors of the history of the gunboat and how they have found evidence that this gunboat dates back to 1800s. These two characters are aimed towards children who come to the Centre and are supposed to be fun/friendly and help children be interactive with the display. It was a great freelance job and often when I work for Parks Canada the locations are far from home so I never see the final product. So this was a real treat! The illustrations were done in watercolors and merged with photography and text in photoshop by a Parks Canada designer. She was very clear as to want was needed, roughs were done first, then revised (if needed) then done in color. The whole job took a couple of weeks on my part. What was really wonderful was seeing the whole job come together, many different artist, were used to create this new Discovery Centre, all with different skills. And I'm happy to say that I was part of this project.

Entrance to gunboat display Johnny and Sue, conservators

Clue Panel

Clue Panel

Clue Panel

Poster outside exhibit, children can take their photo in uniforms

Ice Cream for sale

Prescott, Ontario, is home to Fort Wellington, built during the War of 1812 to defend the St. Lawrence River shipping route between Montreal and Kingston from possible attack by the United States. It also is the home for a new themed exhibit that will feature a preserved British gunboat hull. Preserved wreckage of an early 1800s British gunboat hull was discovered in the waters of Brown’s Bay, near Mallorytown Landing, in the 1960s. At just over 50 ft long, the remains of this gunboat are an important artefact from the War of 1812 period. The relocation of this gunboat provides a unique opportunity to engage visitors and help tell the story of the role that the British military played in the defence of Canada along the strategic St. Lawrence River during the early 1800s.



Sunday, May 6, 2012

Handmade Harvest Show - Thank You

Every time we remember to say “thank you”, we experience nothing less than heaven on earth.  Sarah Ban Breathnach

 Yesterday, May 5th was our 2nd time participating in the Spring Handmade Harvest Show and it was another huge success.  Emily Arbour and Colleen Hewitt  put together a great show and are all about the details... People were lined up at the door at 8:00am and the show does not start until 10:00 am, and it was cold out! Everyone was lined up for the wonderful swag bags. All the vendors donate  5o items for these bags. It can be anything from earrings, magnets, soap samples, brooches, hair clips or discount couples, you name it and the more creative the better! These bags add up to more than $200.00 so they are worth the wait even if it is cold outside. Almonte is called the friendliest town in Ontario, this show has the nicest people shopping and volunteering. It is such a pleasure doing this show. The Hall is so bring and sunny with lots of room and space to wander and visit the vendors.

Vintage Tin Cuff Bracelet

SOLD OUT! Vintage Tin Cuff Bracelets

Crazy Fox display at Handmade Harvest Show

This year we had some new items that were a big hit and SOLD OUT!  Our vintage tin cuff bracelets and earrings were snapped up within a couple of hours. These one of a kind bracelets are unique and fashionable.  I will be making more for our etsy shop and our next show, Idle Hands in Ottawa, June 9th. 

Another sell out was our leather wrap bracelets, made from repurposed leather and vintage items. These wrap bracelets can also be worn as necklaces or anklets, three pieces of jewelry in one. Each one has hand stamping on them. "Once upon a time" "Dream Big" "Into the Woods" "Make a Wish" and each one tells a little story. I did not even get any close up photos of these. Once again, we will be making more of these for our etsy shop and next show.  

It is great for me to get out and do these shows. The feedback is wonderful and an important part of the creative process. My husband and I make it a rule to always have fun at these events. So thank you, Emily and Collen. Thank you, Almonte for being the friendliest people in in Ontario and maybe even all of Canada! And a BIG thank you, to everyone who purchased an item from Crazy Fox, you guys rock!!!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

With Grace

Grace comes into the soul, as the morning sun into the world; first a dawning, then a light; and at last the sun in his full and excellent brightness. Thomas Adams (1612-1653)  

Last summer the day after my birthday I lost my best friend Grace, a 15 year old boarder collie. She was my muse and my best friend and my constant companion. It took me weeks before I could tell the rest of my family and friends that she was gone, it felt like a part of me disappeared. We were lucky to have another dog, Boo also is a boarder collie. However, Boo was not the musing type and was very independent. My heart ached for another muse but I was not ready for another dog. I knew when I was ready one would show up. And luckily one did find his way to me and our family. Animatch an adoption site was having a "meet and great" at a popular antique market (Finnigans, in Hudson, Quebec). It was love at first sight and I have to say everyone was surprised with who choose us. He was not a boarder collie or a big dog which has always been my first love, but a small, feisty terrier. Wally is a Norfolk terrier and is a perfect muse. It has been a couple of months since we got Wally and my heart is full again, while I miss Grace everyday, I am so grateful for for the time I had with her. She is never very far from me and I think she would approve of Wally's attitude and most of all his ability for musing...

Wally musing...

Wally (who is never more than 2 feet away from me), making sure I do a good job

Wally helping with photography

Copper Cuff Bracelet - Chimera

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring has Sprung!

Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.  Rainer Maria Rilke

I've been really busy with my regular job which is a graphic designer and illustrator. I'm working on some interesting projects but, I can't wait to get back to Crazy Fox. We have a couple of shows coming up towards the end of spring and I need to get working on that! Crazy Fox makes my heart sing and I can't wait to get creating again!!!! The weather here in Eastern Ontario has been incredible. This is the warmest spring that I can remember ever having and we are breaking all kinds of records. Normally the temperature for spring is from 3 to 7C (41 degree F) and this past week we have been hitting 24 to 26C (78 degree F). This is our normal summer weather! Needless to say it is hard to get anything done when it is this nice outside. This weekend, I'm taking a break from my regular work, hopefully the weather will stay warm and I can get some new photos up on etsy. Have a GREAT weekend!

Lacing Cat - Spring 2011

Monday, March 12, 2012

Where does the name Crazy Fox come from????

There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid.    L. FRANK BAUM, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

People often ask where the name Crazy Fox Came from... In the spring of 2009 we noticed a fox cub in our area. The tiny fox was always by itself so we assumed it had been orphaned. This little fox was starving and searching for food. We would see him all over the village night and day which is unusual for foxes. We saw him running through hay fields, chasing bugs, sleeping on porches and even on the steps of our local general store. One day we went out our back door and he was in the garden, my husband held out his hand, the fox walked up, checked him out then leapt after a butterfly. He had no FEAR. We started calling him “Crazy Fox”. Every time I went out the house I would look for Crazy Fox, he stayed around all summer and into the fall. In January 2010, I opened an Etsy shop and wanted a unique name, a reflection of how I felt. Crazy Fox Studio was the obvious choice, to me it meant to move forward without fear, even if some people may think you are a little crazy!

Top Right: Boo and I on our daily walk. Bottom Right: Wally

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gypsy LOVE

"Those who dance are called insane by those who don't hear the music." Eddie Vedder

I love everything Gypsy! Gypsies draws inspiration from  nature, texture and color. Gypsies have had a glamorous image for writers and artists, evoking ideas of freedom, passion, mystery, and a life close to nature. I try create this imagery at Crazy Fox.  Bright colors, embroidery, textures, textiles and romance. I hope the Crazy Fox inspires other kindred wanderers to dance to their own beat, follow their own hearts and set their own trend lines to a place where fashion and passion unite.

Embroidered Cuff Bracelet - Boho Gypsy

Gypsy Love - Pinterest

Thursday, February 23, 2012

This little Piggy went to the market....

I never post work from my full-time job as a designer/illustrator but I was out shopping and I spotted these puzzles I did in a store and forgot about how much I liked them. Often when I'm working on a freelance job there are tight deadlines and I end up rushing and when the job is done I never really give it much thought. Mostly because production is done overseas and it usually is 8-10 months before I see the end result and also because I'm working on the next RUSH. These puzzles were done for Pierre Belvédère a toy company based out of Montreal. I love working for them, they are the best clients in the world. I hand sketched these first then did the final illustrations in Illustrator.

Little Red Riding Hood

3 Little Piggies

Goldilocks and the 3 Bears

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pinterest - Dream Studio

Imagine flipping through a magazine and seeing a great picture of the perfect studio, the perfect shade of blue or the next craft you want to try! Pinterest lets you pin a picture of something you're interested in on a virtual wall and it is addicting!!!  Think of it as a digital scrapbook or bulletin board to post pictures of things you love. If you find something interesting on someone else's Pinterest page, you can "repin" it, which is the equivalent to Facebook's "likes" or Twitter's "retweets." You can also comment things others have pinned on their walls.

you can find these images here

This spring, I plan on redesigning my studio, I'll be posting images of the process on this blog. Here is the first step of my "Dream Studio"...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Don’t Lose your Marbles...

Kids have been playing marbles for thousands of years. It’s likely your parents and even your grandparents were playing marbles when they were young.

The first marbles, used for play, were just small pebbles or balls made from natural clay. The succeeding materials used for marbles were china, real marble, and glass. They were all handmade until the year 1848 brought the invention of the marble scissor by a German glass blower, which made production much easier.

The 1950’s saw the marble extravaganza. Also, the cat’s eye marble was created by injecting colored glass in a regular marble. Various effects were achieved with the use of different colored glass and different shapes or swirls.

These days, marbles have become such an important part of culture that they are not merely toys but also miniature art pieces. Regardless of where they began, marbles are a simple yet fascinating toy that brings out the child or collector in many of us.

All the marbles used in Crazy Fox necklaces are vintage, they may even be the same marbles your grandparents played with.

Vintage Marble Necklace - Skye - SOLD

Vintage Marble Necklace - Rain