Pendant Image Contest…

Leila Cools Fused Glass PendantsMy image pendants are my most popular these days. I often get requests for custom images, or images that I hadn’t really thought of. Sometimes it results in a lot of work and sometimes it results in new designs that I may not have gotten around to otherwise.

Last weekend at Trinity Bellwoods Outdoor Art Sale, part of QWAC, I received some cool image requests…but I want more…and I want help finding great images…so, I am starting a CONTEST!

The requirement: send me an image.
The prize: The winner will receive a pendant for themselves and for a buddy.
The deadline: Oct 31st, 2010.

More details…

1. Send me an original (not copyrighted) jpeg of at least 200 pixels in width or height, but no more than 1000 pixels (width or height). It could be a doodle, a photograph, out-of-copyright clipart, etc. Simple, high contrast is best. Try looking at a very small version of your image and see if it is recognizable. (If you are not sure, send it anyway…I may be able to convert it into a line drawing or silhouette etc.)

2. I will choose my fave image from all the entries, and the person who sent it in will receive two original pendants in their choice of colors, made with that image, with free worldwide shipping for both pendants, plus a 25% discount on all future pendants with that same image.

Note: by sending in an image, you are giving me permission for full use the image on future pendants if it chosen as a winner. I will not use non-winning images without permission.

Not sure what I am talking about? Check out my current designs and images at my Etsy shop.

……How do you get the image to me? Send me a message with IMAGE CONTEST the subject line or message body using the contact form on the sidebar of this blog, or here, and I will reply by my email, and further instructions, if needed.

Thanks! and Good Luck!

Art in the Park…

Queen West Art CrawlOne week later I am finally unpacked from last weekend’s Queen West Art Crawl. Thank you to everyone who visited my booth! I don’t do many shows but the Trinity Bellwoods Outdoor Art Show is practically in my back yard and is new enough to be exciting and established enough to draw a serious crowd. It’s a also a nice place to spend two days. This year I saw a lot of people walking away with what looked like serious fine art purchases. Toae watch out!
But the highlight of the show this year? Besides the weather, which was fantastic, and besides the beautiful guitar music…it was the food. I am still thinking about the pulled pork sandwiches from Lou Dawgs, and the yummy dumplings and egg rolls from another food vendor. I want more!

The Workshop Collective’s Artisan Holiday Sale

Please stop by our artisan market on Queen Street in Parkdale next weekend!

1380 Queen St W.

Sat Dec 5, 11-6
Sun Dec 6, 12-6


Saturday Dec 5th:

Ahara Holistic : Natural Skincare Products and Super Healthy Baked Products
more info…

Amita Sen Gupta : Gift size paintings, larger paintings, art cards

Leila Cools : Fused glass jewellery, photography
etsy shop

Vintage Baby Revival : Classic kids knits with an old school feeling made especially for baby.
etsy shop

Sarah Smile Creations : Handcrafted Eco Felt Cushions

Shanelle Smith : Handcrafted Jewellery
etsy shop

Sunday Dec 6th:

Ahara Holistic : Natural skincare products and super healthy baked products
more info…

Amita Sen Gupta : Gift size paintings, larger paintings, art cards

Leila Cools : Fused glass jewellery, photography
etsy shop

Claire Manning : Handmade embroidered and screened tea towels, hand printed greeting cards

Jeanie Schlegel Jewellery : Vintage, romantic style jewelry

Coco Boudoir : Distinctive and interesting accessories using beautiful, exotic materials including feathers, blossoms, and vintage jewelry.


I was walking home from my wall at the Gladstone Hotel this afternoon, having replenished my supply of postcards, and made a detour through local alleys for photographs of the latest alley-art and finds, when I passed by an art show that I could not pass up. The venue, the empty shell of an auto garage with the front completely open, was already inviting. The sign board on the sidewalk was the clincher. It was a print of one of Jon Reed’s paintings-an interior of a Toronto streetcar. I love the everyday and overlooked made special. My favorite is a painting of “Toronto’s Ugliest” apartment building.

Jon Reed : Day Dream Moments at Rolly's Garage

Jon Reed : Day Dream Moments at Rolly's Garage

a little busy

Oh my…it’s been awhile. I had hoped to document my every move over the last few months, but I got a little too busy.

I finished up the year at school. The final project was a group video using paper. I haven’t really showed it around, but it’s kind of fun.

Pieces of a Lonely Day

I had also been very busy preparing for a photography show for the CONTACT Toronto Photography Festival 2009. It was the first time I had an entire wall to myself. This wall being a beautiful space on the 2nd floor of the Gladstone Hotel.

The hard part is the long list of decisions to be made about presentation. It went on for months. I was about to order custom mounting, when I saw an example of a glass-less mounting that I really liked-I always prefer images without the glare of glass-and I embarked on the unthinkable by doing all of my own mounting and making the frames from paint panels with less than 3 weeks to go.

There were so many ways in which things could have gone wrong but I was careful to always have back-ups..and someone stepped in and helped me through the entire hanging process. In the end, I think the wall looked great for a first timer.

EXPOSED 2009, at Gladstone Hotel, for CONTACT

Exposed 2009 Images

Now I’m off to list some new pendants on my Etsy shop. I need to pay for all of those art supplies!

My latest Etsy treasury

For my latest treasury, I thought I’d peruse Etsy for men…there are men on Etsy right? But they are definitely in the minority..and I always think that the handcrafted world can always use just a bit more male energy. First I wanted to make a treasury of Etsy Men Sellers (which I will do soon), but got sidetracked when I started looking at their favorites. See, I found more male Etsy non-sellers and was so curious what they were up to, where they were hanging out on Etsy. So, here is the first Edition. Please check it out!

Men's Choice Treasury

getting serious


I’ve finally decided to start a proper blog about my work, but I’ll have to digress a bit..maybe not all the way back to 1990-something when I made my first sale…or is that 1980-something?

Maybe I’ll start with Etsy, because that’s what’s made the biggest difference to my artisan career in the last little while. I joined Etsy in 2006, but I didn’t really get involved until this last Autumn.

What did Etsy do for me? Well, I’ve been a serious full-time working artisan for sometime…selling my jewellery on-line and locally, with websites and all, but Etsy forced me to look closely at the amazing work others are doing all over the world…and to see my work alongside it.

Usually, I look at others’ handi-work in small doses, and it never really gets easy. I might think “Oh, why didn’t I think of that?” way too much. But now that I’ve been on Etsy almost daily for about 3 months, I’m feeling stronger and almost immune to craft-envy.

There are a lot of talented artists with tight work and fantastic photos on Etsy….and I’ve been pushed to 1. improve my photographs, 2. improve my marketing skills, and, most importantly, 3. seriously evaluate my ‘work’ on a regular basis.

I’m a bit of a starter…I love to start things. The challenge is follow-through. Like, I wonder how many posts I’ll get onto this blog! So, to deal with such tendencies, I try to think in terms of ‘projects’. However, I can still have perhaps a tad too many projects on the go at one time! If you’ll look at my jewelry today, on my website, or on Etsy, you’ll see a lot of different styles going on. I don’t know if I’ll ever give that up…that’s what keeps it interesting…experimenting, problem solving new-techniques. But, being somewhat overwhelmed with all of the interesting and varied things that people are doing on Etsy, is helping me to gain some focus with my work. I’m happy to have enamelling and felt-work on the back burner for now. And I need to really prune the selection that I put on Etsy.

It’s kind of like when I walk past an amazing find left out on someone’s curb. That sweet old table-chair-fondue set-crutches-cat scratch pole-fill in the blank- might be a very useful items that do still have value, but they don’t have to end up in my home. Someone will find them. I am learning to keep on walking!