Friday, November 13, 2009

Surprise! WE'RE MOVING!!


Nick and I have found ourselves on a lightning-fast search for a place for us to really settle some roots, and our good karma has landed right back in our lap - we've found ourselves a beautiful 2-bedroom open-concept apartment, just outside of downtown Brampton!  Hardwood floors throughout the entire apartment, kitchen with new appliances, and closet space galore!   (Plenty of room for all those shoes, my father would say!)   We'll be setting up the second bedroom as a workspace/music studio that both Nick and I can share, where I can be surrounded and inspired by a menagerie of musical instruments, and Nick can finally have the space he's always wanted to make his music flourish!  

I haven't any pictures right now of this beautiful space, but certainly will very soon!  My 365-Make n' Tell Challenges will mostly be revolved around decorating our little piece of planet Earth we call home, as well as organizing my jewelry workspace, while incorporating a shared space with Nick and his home studio for music recording.

Oh man, is he good.  I might be slightly biased, and I don't care; I know talent when I see it!  I know I show off enough with my own stuff all over this blog, so here's a chance to show off the love of my life doing what he loves to do in life!  This is Nick in his former band, Dali Circus, and a little taste of his guitar prowess. 




'Butterfly fingers', no?

See you in the new place!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Handmade Christmas Cards

Yes, yes, yes!  More holiday cheer!

I've always loved receiving handmade greeting cards.  The sentimentality of receiving a gift that someone has put lots of tender loving care into its creation says a lot more than a store-bought gift.  For someone on a holiday budget, it's the perfect option to give a token of love!

I thought I'd take a try on some handmade Christmas cards, since I love the art of 'cut n' paste' since I was a kid.  My talent has become quite refined since childhood, and I'm rather happy with the result!  Let me take you on a walk through what I had been doing over the past few days ...

Shooting Star card in red/yellow

 
 

Friday, November 6, 2009

'Bead People' Accessories

You know when you get started on a project that get you hooked?  Like, really, really in love with an idea, you just want to milk it for all you can get?  Well, that first custom order I got for the holidays had me going on an idea that just couldn't quit - bead people!

I had made one for myself to wear as a necklace, and a few more as key fobs, and two more that require more 'surgery'.  Check 'em out!

Bead People necklace

 

Bead People key fobs
 
 
 

These two are still on the 'waiting list' for 'donor parts', so to speak.  I've got a little more diving to do into my stash.


 
This little project is also a great way to use up those oddly shaped beads you may have in your stash and you have no idea what to do with them.  I have quite a number of these kinds of beads myself that I was considering donating, trading or destashing on my Etsy shop, and now seeing them with a fresh new project in mind has reinstated their 'value' amongst my most treasured.

So I guess you could say, 'a beader's trash is another project's treasure!'

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

MORE Handmade Christmas Ornaments!

The holiday season is upon us!  Well, it's a month and a bit away, and the perfect time to start preparing was a month ago for artisans like myself!  I've been working like wildfire making a whole slew of Christmas goodies, kicking it off with my first custom order of the season.  I snagged these felt cutouts from my local dollar store when my imagination went wild with the ideas these little wonders gave me!  (I've already used them as part of my Christmas gift wrap!)  These ones can be hung from doorknobs, tree boughs, rear view mirrors, or anywhere else you'd like to enjoy these lovely holiday fineries.  I even had time to list them in my Etsy shop, with more fun holiday stuff to come!  You'll find it all in the d b c H O L I D A Y section in the shop.

Star of Light ornament

 
 

Monologue Writing

William Shakespeares' "The Tragedy of Julius Caesar", Aquila Theater Company, New York City

I had sent this email just this evening to a friend of mine on Twitter who was having some trouble with a university project, which required her to either write a monologue or a two-part dialogue.  (She considered the dialogue to be a 'cop-out', so we know what her decision is!)  I had sent her this email, hoping to inspire her, and to approach it at a different angle.  Here's what I wrote to my friend:

Okay, so you want to write a monologue.  It's not as daunting as you think, when you apply yourself to it. 

I'd been doing theatre all my life, and I love the acting craft.  I have so much appreciation for everything having to do with breathing life into words on paper, flushing them out into moving pictures and beyond talking heads.  I think one of the big misunderstandings about the words in the script is that the playwright must been a keen observer of the human spirit, psyche and nature to compose such natural dialogue.  Boy, I wonder how people speak themselves, if it isn't in natural dialogue?

That's the big hurdle - making sure it sounds natural and not contrived.  The only way I could ever find my way around that was to write about something I felt passionate about.  I say 'passionate', because it could be something I truly love, or deeply despise, or desperately yearn for, or something that's cut me deep.  The moment could be of pure clarity in making an important decision in your life, or a tyrannical rant when your last straw has broken.  You could be confessing your love for someone who doesn't return it, or declaring your disgust after being witness to something you stand against. 

Saturday, October 31, 2009

You're Never Too Old For A Costume!

We had a great time today at Long & McQuade Brampton for Halloween!  We were already in the spirit with our window display, so a bunch of us decided to dress up for an exciting work day on Saturday, with some pretty fantastic results!  See what me and my workmates were up to!

Here's Shayna's tribute to Sailor Moon!

Will rotated costumes from Rorschach from The Watchmen ...
 
... to Drew Carey hosting 'The Price Is Right!'

I'm a Giveaway Winner ... Again!

Karma is such a wonderful thing!

Remember the Black Kitty scarf from RosaleenDhu Designs I had tweeted about earlier from Ms. Modern's Halloween Giveaway Extravaganza?  I won the giveaway!  I couldn't believe it!  Just look at this cute scarf!


I plan to wear it in tribute to my newly adopted kitten, Edward, who just happens to be a black cat.  Thank you to RosaleenDhu for the scarf, and I shall wear it proudly!

When I had entered this giveaway, I had noticed at that time that there was an open space available for anyone who'd like to participate in this month-long giveaway.  Well, as you had probably seen previously, I had offered up the Spider necklace, no. 2 as a prize for a lucky winner.

Who wouldn't want to win this?  I mean, I don't mean to 'toot my own horn', but it took a lot to separate myself from this necklace.


I am happy to announce that this necklace will be in a happy home with Cathy, our lucky winner, in Pennsylvania, US!

Wee-haw!  This is a testament that it is great to give - and receive!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Handmade Christmas Ornaments!

It's a special Make n' Tell today, kids!  Yes, the holidays are upon us artisans!  And I've already finished some custom orders!

This custom order just finished is for my best friend's mum, Phyllis.  She had asked me to make her four Christmas tree ornaments, similar to the ornament that I had made for her last year. 


I called this ornament 'Carolers in the Snow'.  I fashioned these singers out of glass beads and a lot of jumprings individually attached.  (That was a lot of work.)  Faux pearl beads represent falling snow, a paper crane out of sheet music flies overhead.  This is all put on a lightweight chandelier earring frame.

This ornament, albeit I ended up with calluses after this one, was loads of fun to make, especially making the singers; experimenting with bead sizes, styles and colours to make 'outfits'.  I relished in the opportunity to make four more of these monsters.  The next few days were dedicated to furnishing these custom pieces for Phyllis to give to her family!

Carolers in the Snow, no. 2

 
 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Giveaway Extravaganza, Hosted by Ms. Modern! (CLOSED)

You need to check this giveaway out!

I do apologize for the delay of posting this, but I have been fortunate to be involved in Ms. Modern's Halloween Giveaway Extravaganza!  There's a giveaway a day, and guess who's on Day 21?  That's me!

Get a chance to win this showstopper Spider necklace, no. 2, from my Etsy shop, amongst other very, very cool things!


You'll remember this necklace from a previous Make n' Tell Challenge, and thought this would be the perfect way for it to go to a great home!

To get yourself in the draw, pick your favourite piece from my Etsy shop and leave a comment on this post on the Ms. Modern blog.  There are many other ways you can earn bonus entries, too!  Visit her blog to find out more.

But that's not all from me!

I've been keeping track of everyone's favourite picks and I've put them on sale!  The 'Ms. Modern Sale' at Design by Cassandra will end on November 1st!  So pick your favourite piece and enter the draw - and keep an eye on my Etsy shop for your item on a great sale price!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Swarovski Elements with Artbeads.com!





Ladies and gents, this is a very special edition of the 365-Day Make n' Tell Challenge, because I have been chosen to be part of a blogging team for the spectacular one-stop bead website, Artbeads.com!

I'm really excited about this particular Make n' Tell, because I have, in my hot little hands, some lovely Swarovski crystal pieces I've chosen from the vast catalogue available on Artbeads.com.  As soon as Nick told me at work that they'd arrived in the mail, my hands were itching for the rest of the day!

Since being chosen to be part of the blogging team, I had poured over the pages and dabbled over a few design ideas, sketching them out.  I was always hesitant to work with Swarovski crystals, hearing of their 'high-maintenance care', associating their brilliance to gaudy costume jewelry.  I could never get away from that image of Dallas-like jewelry that was just too flashy, too gaudy, and tooooo big ... at least for my taste.  I like character in my jewelry, but I had consciously tried to stay away from anything that had a literal 'sparkle'.  With that in mind, and the desire to 'expand my vision', I was really, really careful in what I picked, wanting to mix these beads with 'natural elements', like rough cut gemstones, shells and wood beads.  (Well, that was the idea at first.  You'll see what I mean later.)  I was so happy to find a rainbow and beyond of colours available, in all shapes and sizes!  It sent the little girl inside me skipping through a fantasyland of glittery trees, and sparkly flowers in windowsill, and gorgeous butterflies sparkling in a mellow yellow jonquil sun with their amethyst wings and olivine eyes fluttering through a sapphire sky ... that was fun!  You get what I mean ... but you should really see it for yourself!

Happy Halloween from Long & McQuade!


Oooooh, did we have fun with this window display at Long & McQuade Brampton!  The original idea we had was to make scarecrows in the likenesses of Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon and the like, but the task was rather daunting (not to mention Courtney Love might sue us for turning her dead husband into a scarecrow).  This idea was just as equally cool.  We found some guitars only the demons of rock would play, added some spider webs, laser lights and a fog machine ... and don't forget that huge spider!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

This display has to be one of our favourites by far.  I'm looking forward to Halloween (being it on a Saturday!) when the wee ones come in with their cute costumes!  I have my Indiana Jones costume all set, just looking for the right things to add into my messenger bag ...

Off to work!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Long & McQuade Field Trip: Cosmic Bowling!

I love where I work; not just because Long & McQuade is a great place to work, it's the people I work with.  We consider ourselves like a great big family, and treat each other the same way.

So, picture your family with about 15 or so big brothers, all musicians.  Yep.  That's my 'family'!  And I couldn't ask for a better one.  It helps that we all like each other, which makes coming to work that much more fun.

We just came from a recently planned social event, an evening of pizza, beer and Cosmic Bowling!  It also just happens to be the day before my birthday!  (Of course, wanting to keep this a low-key birthday, I was glad there wasn't a lot of attention brought to it, just a couple of 'Happy Birthday, Cassman!')  We had a great time, and a lot of 'goofballs' and 'gutterballs' toboot.  Nick won the game on our team, and was primarily behind the lens taking these great pictures.  I'm sorry I didn't get any of you in action, honey!

My bowling shoes, burgundy and pink.  Oh, the inspirations!


Nick's enjoying the space-age swivel chairs.


Jenna has joined us after her climb up the CN Tower for cancer research!  She was just a cheerleader for the evening.


Graham and Beej, 'nuff said.
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