Sunday, November 30, 2008

our thanksgiving feast

Our Thanksgiving gathering at Tom and Peggy's house was full of family, laughter, beautifully set tables, delicious food and the telling of several "famous" family stories. To look at the pictures, you'd think the men in the family did all the work, but we women know that wasn't the case. They were just the best photo subjects!

Tom whipping up his famous potatoes

Allison's boyfriend, Keith, creating one of several yummy vegetable dishes

The resulting feast

Cousin Jay, stylishly dressed for KP duty

Aren't those guys something?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

turkey day is almost here

We're off to Tom and Peggy's house for Thanksgiving in a couple of days and my cooking assignment is pretty easy - cranberry/orange relish and rolls. Thank you Danny Wegman!

But one woman who really puts on a Thanksgiving feast is The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. Our daughter, Katie, told me about Ree's website, and the woman really is a wonder. She writes, she cooks, she takes gorgeous photos and she puts it all together in a fun and very readable package. She shares tidbits about her family, husband Marlboro Man and her 4 kids. Everything she packs into just one day would exhaust most women, but she makes it sound and look easy. Here are some of her Thanksgiving food photos - you can almost smell the food cooking. Go ahead and drool. And Happy Turkey Day!

PS Here's a closeup of that turkey with the Taylor thermometer showing:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

another first - calling the cops

What a week - first big snowfall, first time having to call the cops.

Today was the fifth time the same teenage boy has come into the store. Since his first visit this summer, when he claimed he was looking for a certain kind of jewelry, until today, when he walked in carrying an 18" icicle, he has always been aggressive, rude and very full of himself.

One time he walked in and then fell on the floor. A couple of weeks ago he came in saying he needed to use the phone for an emergency. Each time he has had other kids with him, but never the same kids. Today it was a girl who also had an icicle.

I asked them to take the icicles out of the store, as they were dripping all over the floor and the cases. He went outside, raised it up and then smashed it on the carpeting in the entranceway, screaming at me the whole time. Then, amazingly, he came back in the store.

I had had it. I reached for the phone and he said, "who are you calling, the cops?" Once he realized that, yes, I was calling the cops, he and the girl ran out of the store. I was full of adrenalin and shaking like a leaf.

A patrolman and a sergeant came to the store and took a report. I kept shaking long after they had left. There's something a little off with that kid and I sure hope he doesn't come back again, just to get even.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

holiday open house this weekend

Downtown Canandaigua will host its annual Holiday Open House this weekend. Scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, there will be decorations galore, free wagon rides down Main Street, a holiday drink/recipe contest, a chance to enter a drawing for a $1000 shopping spree, free stocking stuffers and an elf on Main Street distributing "Canandaigua Dollars," to be used as free money at participating shops and restaurants.

We'll be serving warm Apple Cider Wassail, both with and without the added kick of light rum and we'll have copies of the recipe available, so do stop in for some holiday cheer.

PS Did I use the word "free" often enough? There really is a lot going on that doesn't cost a cent!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

first snow

Winter weather has arrived.

We've had snowflakes in the air and a dusting on the ground already this season, but today we had our first significant lake effect snowfall. The cold air passing over the warmer Great Lakes (both Erie and Ontario) can lead to some interesting winter days: whiteout conditions one minute, bright blue skies and sunshine the next.

Today I had a meeting scheduled in Rochester, 35 miles away over mainly country roads. After 10 minutes of driving I turned around and went home. I couldn't see in front of me and the road surface was waaaay slippery. I like looking at the scenery from inside the house, rather than from down in a ditch.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

stunning and sparkling new arrivals

New pieces have arrived from Gretchen Gray, who is actually two women who design jewelry together. Robin and Mia have been long-time friends who are now business partners. They travel together to find great stones, which are then put together under their direction in their studio.

The words glam - sparkle - statement - unique - unusual and breathtaking all come to mind when you see their work. We've just received several Gretchen Gray necklaces in time for the holidays: silver keshi pearls, citrine paired with green baroque pearls and whiskey quartz, an asymmetrical combo of coin pearls, sunstone and aquamarine among them. Their signature sterling silver GG clasp is a design wonder and is featured on each necklace.

Here's a photo of their triple-strand necklace of peridot, freshwater pearls, aquamarine and iolite. It's even more stunning in person.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

windex to the rescue

We had a customer try on a ring today - right size, she thought...but definitely the wrong fit. After she struggled a bit and had a teensy look of panic on her face, I brought out the Windex bottle (what jewelry store isn't well-equipped with glass cleaner?) and gave her finger a couple of squirts. The ring came off with ease and she was smiling again.

That Windex - hasn't failed me yet.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

happy birthday to Q

All my family out if Francie starts to sing! It kinda sounds like a sick, howling cat. But today is our grandson, Quinten's, third here goes:

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, dear Q,
Happy Birthday to you!

Now that wasn't too bad, was it?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

it's mine and i love it!

It's been a crazy weekend - summer weather Friday and Saturday, Art Walk in downtown Canandaigua, Christkindl Market (100 craft vendors) at the Granger Homestead and the Fine Craft Show at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester.

The weather turned today, so I made the executive decision to keep the shop closed and drove up to Rochester to check out the Fine Craft Show.

One of the first people I saw there was Charlotte Herrera, whose idea it was several years ago to hold a juried show of fine crafts as a new MAG fundraiser. Char and I have become good friends and she was a wonderful source for me when I first thought about opening a jewelry gallery. And then I became a source for her, when I introduced her to Kerry Bogert, one of our first and most favorite artists at JOOLZ.

Kerry makes lampwork glass beads and incorporates them into unusual and exciting pieces of jewelry, often using sterling silver wire and other embellishments. She's done trunk shows at JOOLZ and has brought her torch with her, demonstrating for our customers her technique for making beads.

And this year, for the very first time, Kerry is one of the 40 artists participating in the MAG Fine Craft Show. I just had to make time to go visit her there. Not only is Kerry exhibiting her work, but she is also doing a demonstration of bead making today...and she was featured in this morning's Democrat and Chronicle. Here's a shot of her in her booth at the show:

Kerry's sister, Bonnie, was helping her out during the show, but disappeared when the camera came out!

Of course I couldn't walk away empty-handed, and was thrilled to snag a piece I had seen earlier on Kerry's blog, her "Strength in Numbers" necklace:

And it's not part of our JOOLZ inventory - it's mine and I love it!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

liz brown trunk show

Artist Liz Brown spent the day at JOOLZ today, bringing with her a wonderful selection of earthy, organic necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Liz is not about bling, but has found her niche working with stones that attract her with muted colors and tactile smoothness. She loves turquoise, red bamboo coral, moss agate and aventurine, along with many others. She also searches out well-made and unusual sterling and pewter findings, beads and clasps, incorporating them into her finished pieces. The combinations are just striking...and we have selected a few of our favorites to keep at JOOLZ. We hope you'll come see them, along with her fun, retro bottle cap earrings.

Thank you, Liz, for being with us today. We loved it - and hope you had fun, too.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

ho ho ho?

We are located in the Finger Lakes area of New York and our weather can be spectacularly gorgeous or spectacularly terrible -- sometimes both in a 24 hour period. We've already had snow in the air and on the ground. We've had a couple of hard freezes and the leaves are mostly off the trees.

For the last few days, however, we've been having summer weather - blue skies, temps in the lower 70's and a need to turn on the air conditioning at the store (black ceiling, lots of lights -- it gets HOT fast).

But the kicker is that we need to be decorated for the holidays -- the semi-annual Art Walk starts tomorrow afternoon and goes through the weekend. So the trees are up and lit, the red glass ornaments are shining throughout the store and Joolie, our inanimate shop dog, is wearing her holiday bow. However, I just could not start playing the holiday music yet - Michael Buble crooning on the iPod was as close as I could get. Am I nuts, or did the kids trick or treat less than a week ago?

Monday, November 3, 2008

holiday art walk and trunk show this weekend

Canandaigua's Holiday Art Walk is this weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We'll be flying the new Arts flag, as will many of the other participants. Additionally, the Granger Homestead's Christkindl Market is also scheduled for all three days this weekend - big tent on the lawn, craft and food vendors, musicians, Santa and Mrs. Claus. Lots to do, and a shuttle bus running the loop between downtown and the Homestead, so no parking worries.

JOOLZ will have a special guest on Saturday from 11am - 4pm. Artist Liz Brown, from East Rochester, will be bringing a trunk show of her work and will be with us to answer any questions from interested customers. Liz found JOOLZ through word of mouth and approached me about having her work at the shop. When I saw it, I knew immediately that it would fit in nicely and would appeal to a large cross-section of our customers.

A second grade teacher by day, Liz is a passionate jewelry maker when not at school. She loves organic stones, earthy colors, interesting silver and pewter adornments and combines them all with a distinctive style. And it turns out that she is almost "family" -- I learned after she was part of the JOOLZ mix that her grandfather was my childhood pediatrician and that of my children.

Canandaigua's going to be bustling this weekend - hope to see you then.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

pearls, pearls and more pearls

If you read our October newsletter, you know that Judi McCormick of Manchester, VT is an artist whose work is new at JOOLZ. Discovered by my sister-in-law, Peggy, during a trip to Vermont, Judi is a former clothing designer who now uses her eye for color and design to create delicious handcrafted jewelry.

Judi loves pearls - any shape, any color, any size. She has sent us necklaces featuring big, fat, white freshwater pearls, rose-colored keshi pearls, chocolate (unfortunately, not the edible kind) pearls and a 51" necklace of silver freshwater pearls that can be worn doubled or tripled.

She also works with vibrant gemstones, most rough cut, and often combines them with pearls. The combinations are stunning. These are just a few samples of what we have. Come in to see the whole collection - it will take your breath away.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

this is the place!

A woman came in to browse this morning. She said she had been in before and only had a few minutes to look around. She tried on some earrings and then took a phone call on her cell phone: her husband was waiting out in the car for her.

She tried on a few more earrings and then said, "I really have to go - he's waiting for me."

About 3 minutes later she returned, this time accompanied by her husband. She tried on a few pairs of earrings for him and said, "If you ever want to buy jewelry for me, this is the place!"

I think they'll both be back.