Thursday, January 31, 2013

Introducing Bjoux d'amour

In honour of the day of love this month I collaborated with my good friend and fellow goldsmith, Lianne of Calyx Jewellery.  We worked together to create a collection of jewellery to commemorate that special day.  Valentine's is a great time to celebrate everyone you love, whether that is a romantic love or wonderful friendship. We hope these pieces will help you to express your feelings this February 14th.  

Here is a little overview of our process...:)

Started off doing some sketches over a delicious lunch together...

After deciding on our design we made a few models in copper to get an idea of how the pieces would look...
The next step was to make wax models of the little hearts. 

After having moulds made of our little hearts we pulled waxes to cast! 

Flasks are ready to cast!

Casting Time!!!!

All done and ready to polish!

All finished - 3 different sizes!

Pendant is also the clasp with the small ring able to slip over the bottoms of the heart. 

Sweet little studs also available. 

We had such a great time working on these special pieces together and doing a mini-photo shoot at Freedom!  

Check out more photos at

Available at Freedom CC today! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Herbs, Herbs, cats!?

On Sunday January 13, I had the pleasure of attending an Indoor Herb Workshop at Fresh City Farms, hosted by the Backyard Urban Farm Company. Maybe because the weather was so amazing, we had no issues waking up super early (for a Sunday morning) and heading to the Fresh City greenhouses up at Downsview Park, a part of Toronto that looks so vast and empty, but always surprises me with the treasures inside.
Arriving just in time, we promptly took our seats and noticed that on each table were a series of planters, signifying that we were definitely going to get our hands dirty in this workshop. About 10-15 people were welcomed by Ran Goel, one of the co-founders of Fresh City Farms.

Fresh City Farms ( is a community organization that believes our current food production system is not working and strives to play a role in challenging the status quo and re-connecting people with the rhythm of farming by re-introducing it to their daily lives. They are perhaps most well known for their Fresh City Box, which delivers a box full of organically grown food right to your door on a regular basis.

Ran introduced us to the guest presenters Arlene and Marc Green from the Backyard Urban Farm Company ( who proceeded to instruct us in the basics of indoor herb growing during the hands-on workshop. The beginning of their presentation was cut off by a mischevious cat who decided to play a cat and mouse right in front of our eyes and then promptly decided to sit on my table and ask for some care and attention. This cat, in combination with the weather, made for a great relaxing feeling of Spring, despite it being the middle of January.

Arlene and Marc - whose BUFCO designs, builds, installs and maintains organic vegetable gardens - gave us a thorough and entertaining presentation on all things herb growing from seed to harvest. It was a presentation definitely geared to the beginner (me), but even the seasoned pros in the audience relished the opportunity to ask questions and get some advice from the presenters and fellow attendees.

So how did I do? Arlene and Marc provided us with soil and a wide variety of seeds to plant in our starter kit. I made the classic rookie mistake of planting more than two seeds, which Arlene stated is an almost irresistible temptation for new gardeners (they are so small!). I also forgot to label my seeds as I went, which at least adds the element of surprise when my plants start to grow. Overall, we were very happy with the workshop. It was hands on and we got a bunch of tips, from the best hydroponics store in Toronto (Grow It All Hydroponics ) to which books to read before we start building our backyard oasis.

I would definitely recommend it for the new and seasoned gardener.
- Helder Marcos