Have a warm and safe holiday season

Have a warm and safe holiday season. I'll be hibernating with my family for the rest of the year. See you in 2011 :-)


This weekend: Make your own music box & the Wandering Winter Craft Show

I'll be running a workshop today to teach 5 or 6 people how to build a real mechanical music box using my DIY Music Box Kit. No flimsy paper strips here, this is the real deal with a mechanical wind up movement at its core. This happens from 2-3 PM at the City of Craft event. If you miss the event you can also pick up a kit at one of my favourite shops, the Wise Daughters Craft Market in the Junction at 3079 Dundas Street West.

 do it yourself music box kit - supplied by Tuned Teeth Music Box Supply Company

THEN on Sunday December 19th, I'll be doing my last gift show of the year at the Gladstone Hotel Wandering Winter Craft Show. The Wandering Winter Craft Show happens from 10-4 PM.This is just down the road from City of Craft and happens at the same time, so it's a good chance to hit two excellent craft shows at once if you're in the neighbourhood.


after packing up and heading back

 After packing up and heading back to homebase when the show was done, instead of relief I felt strangely sad. I think it was like the very mildest sense of 'empty-nest syndrome", because I had worked for months up to the night before preparing to do this show, and when it was done and the laughs were had, the crowds were met and friends made and my little display was finally taken down and carted home, my craftoholic heart said "what next?" And the answer was not "plan, plan, panic, make" - it was "take a rest, the show's over!" I had to recalibrate.

The best part is meeting other creative vendors who I know have been working day and night like myself in putting our stuff out there. It was nice to meet Susan J in person and I do believe I saw the founder of Bust Magazine moseying around. Although I could tell attendance was down, I had a lot of fun at this gig and hope I get a chance to do it again. The Bust Craftacular gets a thumbs up!



My pretties

Here are some brand new pretties that I'm preparing for the upcoming Craftacular.

pretty floral hair combs ~ www.mysecretmusicbox.com

pretty floral hair combs ~ www.mysecretmusicbox.com

an array of musical pendants ~www.mysecretmusicbox.com


as earth turns in her winter sleep

"Will she EVER update again?" you wondered.

I just got some vendor info about the BUST Holiday Craftacular in my email. It gave me an unexpected rush of nerves. It's very exciting -- this is my first time at this event and I've heard about it for years. I wonder what to expect. Doing all I can to make it a good experience...

Me and my musical jewellery will be at table #46 on the first floor. I also learned that me and Mr.Man will be sitting across from puppet makers, which is just, one our favourite things in the world, besides squirrel monkeys

Some new woodland items and one old favourite

Some of the newer woodland music box pendants I've been working on. I quite like them all (of course!) although designs number 2 and 3 can be customized with a favourite tune from this list and this makes them special in a different way than the others for sure.

For the uninitiated, my music box pendants are now available at http://www.mysecretmusicbox.com



The Lil' Swami

This is an adorable music box I'm cleaning up.
A mystic cat monkey rises up to reveal secrets from the unknown in the swami's crystal ball. The music box within this cute little toy plays Luck Be A Lady.  You can see it in action in the video below.

Lil' Swami video (linked until my embedding tool agrees to work again. Okay and it's sideways. If anyone knows how to fix that, please tell me!)


December, already?

Getting things back in gear again after the Danforth East Arts Fair, which was such a great show.

I got a "no" from City of Craft (again) so yes that was very sad, but later on the same day - a big ole "we are happy to announce" from the 16th annual CBC show so that was heartening. I was so relieved, I was able to get all philosophical about it too. It's important to find the right show for your particular product and the jurying process usually helps with that step, though it may not feel that way at the time.

I saw the vendor list for the CBC show and recognized a few other names, including two whose wares I had my eye on at the DECA show last weekend; Kynk Natural Hair & Skin Care  and Coy Clothes, so I know it's going to be great. There are 62 vendors in total, plus a fair trade market.

Oh and in honour of Dec 1st World HIV/AIDS Day, vendor fees and a day of donations at the CBC Craft Sale will go to Unicef and directly to Child Protection around the world, which includes testing and prevention for mothers, babies and children.

December is going to be so busy, and it all starts now too. I'll also say, although it is only almost official, that though I won't be a vendor at this year's City of Craft, my little supply shop is in plans to be one of the sponsors, and I'll have the opportunity to spread the word about how fantastic music boxes really are.


Aging, Changing

I'm intrigued by this blog - http://thefemininetouch.blogspot.com which appears to be a long meditation about female beauty and age. It's almost entirely devoted to posting portraits of young female celebrities (artists, actresses etc.) alongside images that show how their appearance has changed after adulthood.

Some of the posts veer off in a slightly different direction - a recent post is about "vintage" celebrities famous for their beauty, alongside modern look-a-likes; another one is about how they've been seen through painter's eyes vs photographers, the rest seem to be entirely about youth, age and what can be perceived as beautiful.

I've been thinking a lot about aging recently and watching my mind and body change.


Changes come with autumn

This month marks the first anniversary of my two little shops - in between the sites of New Mexico and Brooklyn and the hazy hot days in Toronto this has been a good month to evaluate both their progress and a good year of meeting other wonderful creative women in business.

Changes are coming to both shops - big changes and I'll be hosting a few announcements and small giveaways in the next few weeks to bring them in, so watch this space, and let me know what you think of them.


Things so far...

It's a little intimidating to blog after a longish break. During my blog break business has been chugging along steadily like a cheerful train.
I visited New York City - I saw the sites of Coney Island from the dizzy giant Wonder Wheel. Mr Man won me a bear. We lost track of gravity and our senses on the roller coaster and watched the lovers still in love dance on the boardwalk.
I've made plans for the future of Tuned Teeth Music Box Supply and Clockwork Fantastica and I've been making plans and decisions about my allotted time in this world. I'm enjoying my life. 


Steampunk Music Box by Devil's Jewel (and 5 questions)

I've always seen a connection between the mechanical music boxes that I'm smitten with and Steampunk fantasy. Devil's Jewel (AKA Elaxir) is a designer on Etsy who saw the natural connection too and has made it a reality, creating tiny, exquisite musical boxes inspired by Steampunk. I was graciously obliged with answers to a few of my burning questions about these perfect little marvels.

Why did you choose to integrate music boxes in your work?

A music box is a machine, made of metal, something we are used to seeing as heavy and industrial. However this machine can create music, and this music is unique due to it's mechanical origins. I love when science and mechanics meet art and creativity. Music boxes and vintage analog watches are the best examples of this science-art relationship.

What is the most challenging step in your creative process?

The most challenging step in creating unique items is plenty of small metal parts that need to be firmly attached together. Glue is not always an option, so sometimes I need to use a gas torch and soldering iron, working with them can be tricky.
When do you know a piece is finished?

In most cases I simply rely on my creative intuition. Sometimes I have a clear concept, draw a few sketches and follow it till I'm done.

Do you have a favourite piece?

Yes, my favourite item is actually the first one I've created. A "Happy Birthday" music box for my girlfriend.

Where can we buy your beautiful things?

You can check some of my items at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Elaxir
or the full collection on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bat-Yam-Israel/Devils-Jewel/123368157681667?ref=ts


World Cup Mural - The 32 Teams

When I got out of the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York I saw this phenomenal 32-part mural on the outside wall in honour of FOOTBALL WORLD CUP.

There's a frame for each participating country with a painting illustrating the heroes, power & secret weapon behind each country's team and it's all told with anachronistic game history, myth and legend. Good stories - here are some of my favourites - you can see all of them at: The 32 Teams


Renegade Craft Fair and What I Saw and What I Bought

Keep your cool, love thy neighbour, and never underestimate the power of a man who knows how to secure a tent - all's I can say is it would have been a very different scene this weekend without the help of Mr. Man at my booth, keeping the entire tent on the ground, literally! After standing alongside the artists that attended the fair in Brooklyn this weekend I respect all of them even more than I already did before if that's even possible. I used my break time to go around part of the track to visit some of the other makers.

  Meow Meow Tweet
Meow Meow Tweet. I came around to this side of the track very late, long after I'd spent my allotted pocket money. So their soaps are now on my wish list - especially the Grapefruit Mint with the adorable packaging. He was undefeated on Sunday even when he had to do away with his tent because of the gale winds. He's also a lovely person.

Ferdinand Home Store
Ferdinand Home Store - another shop on my wish list. The tee-shirt I'm in love with has a squirrel playing drums. (I don't know why I like it so much.) There's also a stag with dragonfly wings and they both come as onesies too.

Orangy Porangy
Orangy Porangy. They were across from my booth and must have caught me looking covetously at the pretty skirts that they make and sell.

Buttafly Unlimited
Buttafly Unlimited. I hope you can see the tee-shirts that the artist is displaying on the table in this shot. They say I HEART MY HAIR. I heart her for making them. They are available in a few different designs too and on very high quality, soft material. I have my eye on the scoop neck jersey 
EDIT: Kissa just sent me a gorgeous photo of the shirt - you can see it on the left and on her site too Buttafly Unlimited

Cherry Box Studio. We talked about doing a trade sometime later in the day, but the weather kind of flummoxed that plan. Maybe she's still up for it? Her shop is a carnival of fun by the way and worth taking a look at - you'll laugh, you'll cry! She is valiantly holding her tent down during a particularly exciting moment of Sunday's weather and smiling all the way through.

Tam Aura
Tam Aura. The maker of wicked silver and concrete jewellery. The combination is surprisingly elegant and light weight.


Artikal Millinery Artikal Millinery. A seriously down-to-earth artist. She's based in New York and we talked a little bit about her bridal line of hair pieces and fascinators  and I hope we talk some more about it soon

Molly Gee Designs
Molly Gee Designs. My booth mate! She also has a terrific bridal line of veils and hair pieces.

Olaria Studio
Olaria Studio. She was right across from Me and Molly and we kept meaning to check out each other's work - but we waited too long and the wind storm overtook us before that could happen. It's one of those things, like arriving late to school when you live next door!

Melody's Addiction
Melody's Addiction. She is actually based in Brooklyn with a lot dates set up for some upcoming markets, so you can still check out her work if you live there too - or visit her online shop if you don't.

Girls Can Tell
Girls Can Tell. It was pretty cool to see her at the fair since I started following her blog just a couple of weeks ago. There's always something interesting happening there too.

Raw Toast Design
Raw Toast Design. He was our next door neighbour for two days at the fair. As soon as I got a good look at his prints I knew I would be leaving with at least one of them. It took me a while to decide, but I ended up getting two - one as a gift for Mr.Man and one that is on my room wall right now.

Derrick Velasquez
Derrick Velasquez. He makes very beautiful hand bound and eco-conscious journals. It was hard to choose just one, but I took home a teal-blue squirrel appointed blank book. I'm not sure what it is, I've got squirrels on the brain lately.

Clockwork Fantastica
Clockwork Fantastica. I always forget to take photos of myself at these things - but the Mister took this one of me talking with Don Caine and his friend both of whom I was thrilled to see. All three of us are obsessed with music boxes so it was a very friendly meeting of minds and extremely encouraging for me. 

And this is what my booth looked like

A handy map and a coupon

(I most likely won't be blogging again until after the Renegade Craft Fair in June. Our regularly scheduled programming - stories about musical mechanica, misfits and I think an upcoming giveaway - will keep until until the ecstatic return of Tuned Teeth & Clockwork Fantastica to Canada.)

Hello Brooklyn! This is approximately where our booth with be in the track area of McCarren Park - Close to Lorimer Street. I'll be selling music box pendants, my DIY music box kits, and I might even be holding a contest for a handmade miniature ballerina music box, depending on how quickly the elves in my studio can work this week (might have to up the bribes from lollipops to bourbon...we'll see)


So, you want to visit the Renegade Craft Fair

Blah blah blah it's all I ever talk about these days, I know! The Brooklyn Renegade Craft Fair, if you missed my half dozen other posts about it, is one of the hugest independent craft fairs in the land, where 300 makers of stylish, splendid hand created wares flog the hell out of them to thousands of visitors for two days in June.

Thinking of coming by? Here are some things you should consider bringing:


Coming up for Air, and A Story

In case some of you were wondering why I haven't been posting lately, it's because I'm in full swing preparing for Renegade Craft Brooklyn in early June:

I'm busily preparing little pendants, little boxes and little kits that play music. I'm also busy getting my transportation sorted out, getting things printed etc. The fair is a HUUUUGE fiesta and you'll find me in the track and field park at booth #195

So anyhow, there's a story that's been on my mind for the past few days called Who Owns the Land?


Dance for me! Pictures of a Thorens Movement/Rotational System

I was restoring an old Swiss musical manicure kit and I wanted to share pictures of this one.

She's very beautiful, but she wouldn't spin.

Before I exposed the movement I had never seen a rotation system quite like hers. I'll share some of the pictures I took for my records although it is probably a very common Thorens system. However you don't come across a great Thorens movement very often anymore.

Happy ending: she works now and when her lid opens she dances to the tune The Happy Wanderer


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