Pictures of my recent work

A back view of the reversible necklace

Close up of the front of the brass reversible necklaceResin pendant includes scrapbook paper and watch parts in Amate pendantwatch face embellished, bronze ParaWire viking knit -- 22 ga


Making it again

17 Apr 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve been making pieces for the last month or so that incorporate things with personal meaning to me. For instance, my necklace for the bead challenge and now the piece I completed today. It contains vintage beads and button, brass pieces and things I’ve been collecting for a while. I’ve also been viking knitting, so I used some of my leftover pieces from the bead challenge in a vk choker as well. I used an old latch as a clasp. It’s not practical, I’ve discovered, but it looks cool. Now that I’m not teaching and longer days are in the offing, I hope to get more designs in the works. I’m dreaming of the Bead and Button show, which is now less than 50 days away.

So much has changed

07 Apr 2011 Leave a comment

Imagine that. Me too busy to write. I have been teaching almost every weekend and creating as well. I did quit Michaels because it was my most boring teaching gig. I finished there at the end of March. I had a lovely evening on March 28 teaching the Grand River Bead Society members how to Viking knit. And of course, last week was our first Flirt Fling. I had an amazing group of students there.

I’ve been into making pieces with resin, so will get some photos of that up here. In the meantime, here are pics of two pieces I created for the silent auction at the Parkdale Community Development Group’s SYNTHESIS gala fundraiser which was held on March 25.












And I’ve been working on my Bag o Beads challenge piece for the TBS reveal night on April 13. Here is a sneak peek!

Technical difficulties

29 Jan 2011 1 Comment

I’ve been unable to sync both my iPhone and my iPad to the laptop for the last few weeks. So the great photos I’ve been taking have stayed locked in my phone. And I’ve been insanely busy every day of the week and weekend for pretty much the whole month, so I’ve neglected the blog. But a big part of my “busyness” has been teaching and creating.

I had a commission this month, to make a necklace for my highschool friend Monica, to go with a dress she’s wearing to a wedding. I had a swatch of material and a photo to work from. So I went for pearls, copper and some copper teardrop charms to riff on a Marilyn Gardiner necklace design I keep going back to over and over.

Necklace for Monica

Then I wanted to make a necklace for my mother for her birthday, which was Jan 27. And I used the same concept in sterling silver with big white pearls and I added a filigree heart.  It came out beautifully and she loves it.

Mom's birthday necklace -- sterling and pearls

I also bought some resin and decided to try filling a component and complete a necklace kit I bought from Susan Lenart Kazmer in June at Bead and Button. I loved the results so much I decided to riff on it and make a whole bunch of versions of this necklace. Here are the results:

Here they are ganged all together.

And here they are separately.

A festish ornament on this one from SLK's Industrial Chic line.

Brass wire and charms

Mixed media copper

Finally, I wanted to post some photos of my classroom and class projects.

Michaels classroom - Wilma and Maria

My students at work

Crocheted wire choker

Crystal stones wrapped necklace

I will do a separate post featuring my Kate McKinnon and Amy Waldman-Smith ring.


11 Jan 2011 Leave a comment

So I’m at home feeling under the weather and I reached over the side of the bed and my hands fell on the Bead and Button Show catalogue. Registration starts today. I have this feeling that the classes I really want to take will fill up quickly but I can’t register until I confirm all the details of our trip when Laura and I meet up on Saturday. (We’re taking a trip to BeadFX in the morning to get some supplies to make a little something for her.)

Going through the catalogue, I am most attracted to classes that are mixing metals, using resin and metal clay and of course wire. So I will just have to wait a few days and hope the classes that fit into our schedule and are top picks for me are still available.

I also posted on Facebook a photo of a ring I concocted from a variety of handmade components I bought from some very creative artists. Way back in June at the Bead and Button Show I bought a ring shank from Kate McKinnon. I think it cost me $21. Made from silver metal clay, it has a shaft attached to the top which allows you to put a bead of your choice on it. For over six months I’ve held onto it, trying to decide what to do with it. Then last Wednesday night at the TBS meeting I was, as usual, poring over the lampwork beads of Amy Walman-Smith and she was having a half-price sale. I picked up and put down a lot of different beads but kept coming back to one of her hippy dippy flowers in black and olive tones. I thought it would look great as a spinner bead on the McKinnon ring form.

Last night, I tried a few things to get the bead to stay on the ring. First I cut the shaft on the shank shorter. Then I pulled out my small torch and tried to heat the end of the shaft to see if I could then, while it was warm, tap it out with my hammer. That didn’t work. Then I started thinking that if I could find a bead with the right size hole in the right size, in black glass or silver, I could glue it to the end of the shaft and leave space for Amy’s bead to spin. Searched through my stash but found nothing that satisfied me. Then I found a silver tube bead that  was fluted on both ends. Kind of shaped like an hourglass. It almost fit, but not quite. So I got out a rasp and started filing the shaft of the ring down until the silver bead fit onto it comfortably. I put glue on the shaft, put the silver bead on it, but was still unhappy with it since it stood up really high and I thought it might get caught on things. So out came the hammer and I hammered it down. I am very happy with the final results.

Check out the photo here.!/photo.php?fbid=188843974474617&set=a.165030660189282.43663.100000470465727&pid=658736&id=100000470465727

Odds and Ends — forgetful is my middle name

10 Jan 2011 1 Comment

I had my biggest class yet at Michaels on Friday night. There were seven signed up. Five were on hand. I did the crimp necklace. And of course, I was so rushed there that I forgot, again, to take pictures. Saturday, I led another birthday party. This time, 13 year old girls who were Beiber-crazy. Then Saturday night I made another sample for the three strand necklace class I’m teaching this Friday night. Of course, I didn’t take a photo. I have to remember to take one this Friday.  When I dropped it off on Sunday, they had all my samples displayed on black velvet busts on a table in the jewellery section. Apparently, the crochet wire necklace is getting the most attention now.

From Christmas

I made a sterling silver viking knit necklace for Shawna, but left the camera I took a photo of it on at Brad’s. But I did take a picture on my phone of the pretty amethyst wire viking knit necklace with a Unicorne bead and copper findings that I made for my great-niece Hailee.

Viking Knit necklace for Hailee

I also completed a necklace from a kit I bought from Susan Lenart Kazmer in June at Bead and Button. I decided to buy some resin finally and I embedded parts of a petal from a rose I received in a bouquet for my 50th birthday. The rest is charms that are brass wire-wrapped  and include glass beads, pearls and brass charms. I changed it up a bit by wrapping the rubber cord with a heavier gauge wire that was pounded flat and a lighter gauge brass wire with other charms on it. I think it has more of an organic look, like vines or tendrils.

Detail of necklace from Susan Lenart Kazmer kit

Family history

04 Jan 2011 1 Comment

This is a transcription of an article that appeared in the Strathroy Age Dispatch on June 20, 1940. I am printing it for my family, especially Crystal and Linda who have shown interest in our ancestors. I am scanning for more info (Denise had collected a lot of this, including pictures, which I am also trying to sort through.) My middle name is Elizabeth, by the way. There are terms used in this article such as “Indian”, “Squaw” and “papoose”, but I left the language as is, since the article is 70 years old and it was a different time…

Early Toil Rewarded By a Long Life, Metcalfe Pioneer Believes in Her 91st Year: Miss Elizabeth Goldrick Had Plenty of Hard Work in Her Youth When Her Irish Father Broke New Land

By Myrtle E Home

Miss Elizabeth Goldrick, who will celebrate her 91st birthday if she lives until August 24, declares that hard work never kills: in fact, she can account in no other way for her advanced age than by attributing it to the continuous struggle which pioneer days demanded of every woman as well as man.

Only two years of age when her mother died, she and her sisters Maria, Nancy and Margaret were early initiated into all kinds of household tasks. There were meals to be cooked every day for three brothers, Edgar, Edward and Gilman, and their father and the equipment for such cooking was of the most primitive kind. Miss Goldrick recalls that at one time there was a period of six weeks in which they had no bread whatever, the mill at Alvinston, where their flour was usually ground, having broken down. She does not remember what they ate in place of bread, but they managed to exist. She also recalls a family living five miles distant who had absolutely nothing to eat for the same period of time excepting what the cows ate. To avoid using poisonous herbs, they followed the cows to the woods, and what they ate the family gathered too and cooked it, and on it subsisted until their crops were harvested.

In her early days the Indians wandered through the forests surrounding her home, and it was no unusual sight to see 25 ponies with squaws mounted on them go by, the Indian braves on foot. Always the mother carried the papoose strapped on to a board, the board strapped to her back. One time when the family was alone in the house three Indians came in drunk, and one was so “beastly” the children were terrified. These Indians wanted to stay all night, and they were told they might do so if they would sleep in the barn. In the morning, when the boys went out to do the chores, they found the cattle and stock all fed and the Indians gone. On another occasion, they had a piece of meat in the kettle cooking over the fireplace, when an Indian named Black Hawk came in, took a fork and removed the meat from the kettle, and walked off with it without so much as “by your leave.”

Miss Goldrick, who now lives with her nephew, James Goldrick, and his family on the old homestead, is the last surviving member of the family of Edward Goldrick, who as a young man of 19 came to this country from the neighborhood of Dublin, Ireland. For a time he taught school. The, with the money he had saved, he bought a block of 85 acres in the heart of the forest, about a mile and a half from the present village of Napier. Presently came a chance to sell it for the sum of $20, after which he took up a farm adjoining it, (the Goldricks still own this land, but it is separated from the homestead by a road).  The purchaser of Mr. Goldrick’s farm cut down trees and put up the framework of a log house. The next year, meeting Mr. Goldrick one day, he said, “If I had my $20 back again I’d make better use of it.” “Well, here it is,” said Mr. Goldrick, handing him the money. And so the property became once more Mr. Goldrick’s, and has ever since remained in the family. Miss Elizabeth’s father then completed the log house, which, measuring 18 feet by 24 feet, boasted three rooms downstairs and two upstairs. The big logs (with much of the bark on) forming the outer walls of this pioneer home are still standing as a memorial to the energy and good craftsmanship of these early builders. As a matter of fact, this first house was lived in by the Goldrick family – one brother and two sisters always remaining here – until the present home was built by the nephew, James, who has worked the farm since his uncle’s death.

After the death of his first wife, the pioneer Mr. Goldrick bought the store and hotel in Napier from Mr. Winter, and here the family lived for some years, going to the Napier school, where, Miss Elizabeth recalls, her first teacher was Miss Toar, and another was Alex Leitch. In that early school there was a long desk down the middle of the room with benches on either side for the pupils, the boys occupying one side and the girls the other. There were large families in those days and Miss Goldrick remembers when Miss Campbell had 120 on the roll at one time. This teacher later married Mr. Dunlop, who owned and operated a sawmill in the village and made cheeseboxes.

When Mr. Goldrick remarried they moved back to the farms again, and the children then attended the Yager’s school (SS No. 5). For several years after her father settled here there was no church and services were held once a month in the different homes by a visiting minister. Then for a time the Rev. Hutton preached in Yager’s school. When the Presbyterian church was built in Napier the family attended there.

Miss Goldrick remembers well when the Napier road was chopped out. The first man to undertake this job gave up in despair, and the work was completed by Jimmie Denshaw and his mother. The first man to drive over it was Thomas Winter, grandfather of George and Lee Winter, who owns the farms neighboring the Goldrick farm.

There were many hardships in those early days according to Miss Goldrick. She recalls that her father took a bag of maple sugar on his back and walked through the woods to Kilworth, a distance of 20 miles. There he sold it and with the proceeds bought his first logging chain. Settlers walked this distance too carrying a bag of wheat to be ground at Woodhull’s mill at Kilworth. Their grain was taken by team and wagon to market at St. Thomas. Before the Goldricks had horses and implements, however, haying and harvesting were laborious tasks. The hay was cut with a scythe and raked up by hand. Then Mr. Goldrick went into the woods and got four poles, two long ones and two short ones. He fastened the short ones across the long ones placed parallel; then he and his wife, each taking an end of this improvised rack, brought the wheat into the barn. The grain was cut with a sickle and threshed with a flail. Then, Miss Goldrick further recalls, there came a time when her father and four other men went to London and bought the first threshing outfit in that section. It was the old “spike” type and was replaced in a few years by a more modern outfit. With the early wood-burning engine that succeeded these, sparks often caused fires. As an emergency measure the engineer always kept a tub of water handy. On one occasion, when but a little girl watching the machine, Miss Goldrick was held up by the engineer and told to pull the string, which she could just grasp. She did so, and was so astonished and frightened by the raucous whistle that she fell backwards and landed in the tub of water.

One other day the roof of their barn caught fire in some manner and, the men being away, her mother undertook to save it. She climbed on to the roof and pulled off three blazing boards but in doing so fell back into the barn. She was not seriously hurt, however, but the barn was destroyed.

In this neighborhood in the early days dancing provided the merriest times, “Old Dan Tucker” proving the most popular dance, although the settlers varied it with “Two Sisters”, Scotch Reels and “French Four.” Before fiddles came to the district Miss Goldrick’s brothers and another man would take turns in singing for the dancers. One can imagine that for these two at any rate a dance was not altogether a time of pleasurable relaxation.

Although almost 91 years old, Miss Goldrick has retained her faculties to a remarkable degree, her eyesight alone being impaired so that she can no longer enjoy reading and knitting, lifelong hobbies of hers.

Elizabeth Goldrick 1850 – 1949 – died of skin cancer

Inscription I took from the Goldrick family gravestone (we did rubbings in 1975 before it was taken down and the graves moved from the small plot in the middle of a field)

North side – In memory of Edward Goldrick, died Sept. 7, 1882 aged 67 years, 5 months and 7 days.

Why do we mourne departing life,
Or shake at death’s alarm.
Tis but the same that Jesus said,
To call them to his arms.

East side – In memory of Elizabeth, wife of Edwd. Goldrick, aged 40 yrs., 1 month and 16 days.

South side – In memory of Albert Goldrick. Died March 13, 1864, aged 4 yrs. Annie aged 10 days.

West side – In memory of Caroline, wife of Edwd. Goldrick. Died April 2, 1864, aged 29 years. (She obviously died shortly after Albert and Annie. I had read somewhere that Caroline died of consumption.)

Archie, Ray, James, Harold, Bruce and Doug Goldrick

Napier School

James and Edward Goldrick

The Goldrick farmstead

The Goldrick farmstead

Children of James and Ida Goldrick

Sample sale

03 Jan 2011 Leave a comment

Well, I was taken aback when I received an email the other day from my contact at Michaels demanding that I make a new sample of the crimping fundamentals necklace project since they took my sample right off the wall and sold it. So I emailed her back asking for clarification on why and how much, but all she said is it is standard store practice to sell samples. Other instructors tell me that’s true, but not until the class is no longer being offered.

Truthfully, the reason I was most put out about this is that, so far, I’ve received zero marketing support from Michaels to promote my classes, so my beautiful samples have to do the talking for me when it comes to selling these $30 classes. And the sample they sold (and god knows when) is for the class I’m supposed to be offering this Friday. So I trekked up to the store, took materials for “store use” and brought them home. I spent four hours I won’t get paid for because I didn’t make them in store (well, that’s because they don’t even have good tools for me to use there so why would I? Plus, I would rather do it in the comfort of my home where I could watch a movie and relax too…).  Then I trekked back up there this morning to drop them off and put them out, making my own sign to promote this Friday’s class. I have no idea how many people are signed up, but at least I believe several of the store staff will be taking the class. My contact says that’s so she and one of the associates can make their own samples for sale as well. Hmmm. I could be commissioned to make pieces for people. Ideally, they should be encouraging people to take the class and make their own. And I would only get $8 an hour for these samples too. So my time is greatly undervalued.

The upshot: here is a list of my upcoming Michaels classes and events. I’m not scheduling anymore unless things turn around and there’s more organization and support shown.

Friday, January 7, 6:30 – 8:30 pm Fundamentals of Crimping

Saturday, January 8 — private birthday party — knotted bracelet

Friday, January 14, 6:30 – 8:30 pm Advanced Stringing (a 3-strand necklace)

Saturday, January 15, 2 – 4 pm Bead Clinic which will take place in Bead Corner

Friday, January 21, 6:30 – 8:30 pm Fundamentals of Wirework

Saturday, January 22, 2 – 4 pm Fundamentals of Wire Crochet

Friday, January 28, 6:30 – 8:30 pm Advanced Wire Wrapping

Christmas making and baking

15 Dec 2010 1 Comment

Well, each day is speeding by so fast I fear I won’t manage to get in all the fun visits with friends, my day job, my teaching, my baking and, most of all, my jewellery-making. This time of year, I devote my time to making Christmas presents for family and friends. I’ve got a few more Viking Knit necklaces to make. And I’m still waiting on a shipment of end cones and sterling wire from Artbeads (it supposedly shipped two weeks ago so I’m checking with them on Friday if it doesn’t appear.)

Back to designing in January when — hopefully — long weekends stretch in front of me with nothing else to do.

Oh, and I’ve been knitting with wool on the large round looms, making circular neck warmers that I have in the washing machine right now, hoping they will felt. I will embellish them with beads, to make presents. I promise to post photos if they turn out. I loomed about 10 inches of candy floss pink wool in a 10 inch diameter tube, then, after I cast it off, I took more wool in chocolate brown and wove that through a section of the tube in an interesting pattern. If it comes out nicely, i will either bead it around the top and bottom edge, or sew beads into the brown wool I wove into the pink, once again in a random, starburst pattern.

What I really want to end today’s post with is a recipe. I started making Peanut Butter Balls when Ethan was 2. To him, and to my baking partner Laura’s 12 year old son Justin, PB Balls = Christmas. People love them, they are no-cook and the hardest (and funnest) part is dipping them. As my gift to everyone, I’m sharing the much-coveted and -requested recipe for Peanut Butter Balls. Make some and enjoy the creativity you can unleash while baking!

Peanut Butter Balls
For the filling: combine in a medium bowl 2 c icing sugar, 2 tbsp butter or margarine (at room temp), 1 tbsp milk, 2 tsp sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Then mix in 1/2 c creamy peanut butter.

Line a pan with wax paper. Roll heaping tspfuls of filling in 3/4″ balls and place on pan. Refrigerate for 2 hrs until firm.

Melt one bag of chocolate chips (I prefer dark chocolate, but you might be different) with 1 tbsp shortening in the microwave. 3 min max usually does it. The mixture should be very smooth. Spear about 6 of the balls on toothpicks and dip each one, shaking the ball until there is a nice, even coating of chocolate on it. Return the ball to the wax paper, gently remove the toothpick and decorate. I like to place a nice salty cocktail peanut on top, but some people use silver dragees, others put sprinkles. Be creative! Let them set for a bit in the fridge then pack in containers, wax paper between the layers, and store in the fridge up to two weeks. Believe me, they won’t last that long anyway!

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!


12 Dec 2010 Leave a comment

With the name Cindy, the word sin is an irresistible pun that even I take advantage of. But I’ve had sinners on my mind lately, even though I don’t believe I’m much of a religious person anymore, at least in the organized, church-going way. I do believe that people get what’s coming to them and what you send out you get back: karma, if you will. Mitzvahs piled up if you’re a good person. Those of you who are FB friends will know I’m on an uncharacteristic vendetta against someone who’s claimed what is rightfully mine. That story will play out and karma, or whatever you call it, will bite that witch in the ass. Mark my words. But enough of family feuds…

What I’m getting to is that I’ve committed the cardinal sin of a blogger — not posting for two weeks. I will apologize right now, but also pile on the excuses. I have a new job and have had meetings and events virtually every night. So when I do get a few minutes, I want to just catch up on some tv shows, continue making Christmas presents and relax a bit.

But some of my precious time has been taken up with teaching. Last Sunday afternoon, I had a class of two at Michaels to teach them the basics of knotting — essentially a macrame knotted bracelet. It went well, and I gained a new acolyte. Then right afterward, I threw myself into the eye of the hurricane known as a 10 year old girl’s birthday party and taught them the same technique.  It was crazy, but mostly because of the disorganization of the Micheals people. I’ll be doing another party in January and have learned some valuable lessons that should make the next one go well.

I am just on my way out now to teach the final of the four fundamentals classes, Wire Wrapping. A pair of delicate earrings will be the outcome, so I hope I have students. If not, Laura and I can get on with the creativity of our Christmas baking extravaganza. And we realized it’s our 10th year of baking together. We have that art down to a fine science. As with jewellery techniques, practice makes perfect results, but we can’t resist experimenting with something new every year. This year, Guinness Gingerbread. And it was a success!

Talk soon.

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