Monthly Archives: November 2011

Cozumel Mexico Trip Report

First for the morbidly curious — weather forecast of constant thunderstorms were wrong and we had wonderful weather for the entire trip. All in all, it really was one of the best trips I’ve taken. You can continue after the break (assuming that you weren’t linked here directly) for a real mountain of photos and a little bit of writing.


Off to Cozumel!

Alright, in an hour or so Caitlin and I are headed off to the airport to meet up with Nefarious and then fly to Montreal on a brutal over-night stopover and then on to sunny rainy Cozumel! Crazy how cheap vacations are these days — if you don’t care where you end up you can pretty much stay at inclusive resorts for less money than living in an apartment in Toronto. The weather forecast looks dubious, but it did for the Cayman Islands when we were there too and it was actually very nice, so fingers crossed. Not that I have a problem being under cover and reading comic books for a week. I’m excited and looking forward to it either way. I also got some very exciting news that a stylist wants to use some of my jewelry for a Vogue magazine shoot, so if that happens I will be beyond thrilled.

And remember — giant sale over at my Etsy shop until the end of the month. Details in the entry below but the short of it is that you get half off if you enter “COZUMEL” as a coupon when you go through the online checkout. See y’all when I get back in a week. Hopefully by the time we get back they have the furnace at our studio building fixed — I kid you not when I tell you that the heat has not been turned on and the furnace is currently in pieces!!! It’s nuts…

Shop Updated, Insane Sale (Gotta Pay For My Trip…)

So I added all those items to my Etsy shop that I have been posting about and I finally had the sense to photograph them properly as well. I feel bad because the pictures I’ve been using for the shop… well… frankly they look like crap. It’s definitely hurting my sales. But today’s stuff I photographed with my old Canon Rebel XTi which even though it’s six years old is much much better than even my newest (months old) point-and-shoot. When I get around to it I’m going to go back and re-photograph all the old stuff but at least these new ones look right.

And better than that, I’m running an INSANE SALE until the end of the month. It’s just for people who read this blog so I’m not posting it anywhere else. If you enter the coupon code “COZUMEL” on checkout it will knock 50% off anything you buy. I’m going to run this until the end of the month, which is when we get back from Mexico (thus the code of course) and I’ll ship everything that’s been ordered. I’ll probably run a lesser Christmas sale but it won’t be this crazy.

As promised by the way, the prices on the rat skull are crazy reasonable. During the sale you can get them for $20! I’m sure I’ll come to my senses on that price soon enough so take advantage of me before I do… I’m going to make twenty of them and then after that I may retire the mold.

PS. When I get back I will also start trying to add a broader range of cheaper items… I have lots of stuff still that I haven’t added but mean to, and plenty of non-jewelry stuff as well.

Skulls, Gems, and Raw Vegan Cakes

For quite a long time I’ve had a rat skull — a real one, not a plastic fake — lying about here, not really sure what to do with it. Yesterday I finally got around to plugging all the holes in it, gluing the jaw to the cranium, and then designing and creating a — what if I do say so myself is rather clever — two piece silicone mold from it. It’s pretty fiddly and fine detail but I’m pleased to say that now having poured a quartet of metal copies, it turned out very nicely. After pulling the metal from the mold, I finished them by drilling out the rear where the spine would attach and then adding a second hole (if you look carefully at the one in the bottom left of the picture you’ll see) so that they can be hung from a necklace, attached to a keychain, or just be left as is.

I’ll add those to the shop tomorrow. I also recently got some more practice on gem setting. Some of the stuff below is for the shop and some is already gone and committed to customers.

Finally, a couple days ago — as part of my marathon of walking, which has included as much as 10km per day, rather remarkable for me and I’ll write more on my theories about it and how it interacts with both pain and my genetic disorder when we return from Mexico — Caitlin and I ate at Rawlicious, which finally reopened it’s newly renovated Bloor West location a short walk from our studio. I started with a nice salad but for desert I had my favorite thing they serve — “cheesecake”.

Now maybe you’re thinking that looks a little odd for cheesecake, and maybe you’re thinking, “why did he put ‘cheesecake’ in quotes?” Well, that’s because not only is that vegan cheesecake, but it’s also entirely raw, as is everything at the aptly named “Rawlicious”. I looked up some recipes online for raw vegan cheesecake and it’s actually quite simple, the crust being crushed nuts and dates, and the filling being a coconut oil and agave base. Pure calories! Bet you didn’t think a raw vegan diet could keep you chubby? It’s worth every calorie. So delicious.

Showing my stones

I promised some people that I’d show them the gemstones that I currently have pairs of (turns out I only have singles of rubies right now… gotta make a mental note to pick some up) for them to choose from so here is a photo of that. The skull rings in the background are all from my new mold but on the middle one I just cut the jaw off, and it has some unusually orange-toned citrines in the eyes, and the left one has a pair of peridots. I’m 100% self taught this stuff so today I experimented with a new method of mounting the gemstones. I drilled out the eye sockets from behind and dropped the stones into place from the inside of the ring and then melted the metal back into place, filling the hole around the stone to hold it solidly in place. It seemed to work nicely and it didn’t require any careful sculpting to avoid damaging the shape of the face so I think I will continue using that method until I think of something more effective.

That can be zoomed for a closer look…

As I updated below I woke up at about 5AM being punished for yesterday’s prideful ambition. Youch. I could barely make it across the room, but for some stupid reason that I haven’t figured out yet I decided to walk the 4km down to Dufferin Mall and back to have a snack of some seaweed salad at the sushi place and some fresh squeezed orange juice at the juicer kiosk. I guess I am trying to figure out what my limits are. Well, I’m definitely butting up against them because I pretty much can’t walk now. To my surprise the worst of it is my hip joints and my shins. My thighs hurt so much all the time that whatever additional pain they’re in just isn’t registering, and I suspect the reason the hip joints hurt so much is that I have such a terrible “unorthopedic” (is that a word?) gait from the muscle damage, but I’m not sure why the shin muscles would be so wrecked. Tomorrow I’m going to try and spend the afternoon walking around the Royal Winter Fair, and I think after that I will have to call it quits. But I really want to know how hard I can push myself on vacation because I hate letting Nefarious see too much of my condition.

Other than that, we have a bit of a mouse problem here in this building, so to amuse myself I squeezed out a silly critter out of some wax remnants and hid it in the cupboard next to Caitlin’s coffee… This morning I eagerly waited for a screech, but unfortunately she is too used to pranks from the Larratts she has lived with and I did not get my cheap thrills.