Saturday, December 17, 2016

Thinking about others this season!

I love the holidays! I love shopping for gifts for others, I love spending time with my family and this year I love that I am creating new traditions with my daughter.

My baby is far too young this year to understand what we are doing and will be for some time but I want her to grow up with empathy and understanding that not everyone is in the same position in life and kindness from strangers can make a difference to their lives.

I have really tried to integrate these thoughts into my life and have done so in ways that feel right to me. So below are a few things both Jewel Envy and me have tried to do for people this season.

1. Jewel Envy is holding a jewellery drive for the month of December for Dress for Success Toronto. We asked our customers to donate any work appropriate jewellery they had sitting around and we will clean and fix all of it before dropping it off in January. Dress for Success Toronto helps disadvantage women reenter the workforce with training, mentorship, and office attire. A polished look can help with confidence and jewellery is a luxury item many would not splurge on for themselves so we're helping with that. Our customers have been very generous and we look forward to dropping off everything along with a cheque for some extra help. There is still time to donate to this so please drop off by December 24th at 4pm!

2. The Shoebox Project. I just learned about this, this winter and this is the one I want to do with my baby every year. You decorate a shoe sized box and buy gifts for a woman of items she may not treat herself to. These are collected throughout the city and go to women's shelters. An important part of this is to write an inspirational card to show you are thinking about their well being and wish them well.

3. Individual donations. I helped a few people directly that I thought could use a lift. Groceries for a local homeless person, contributed to a kitty to buy craft supplies for a kid, and money in the hand of a few that needed it. This one is easy. Just pick a day you want to do good for someone and keep your eyes open for who needs it on that day. I can't help everyone every day but I want my daughter to learn kindness is an every day thing and we should help people even if they don't ask if we can.

4. Global donations. I always try to donate to a few causes when something terrible in the world is happening. I specifically like it if a large organization is matching funds as I know my dollar goes further this way. This year I tried to give to both local disasters and distant ones. The world can be a scary place but I want to teach my baby to reach out and extend a hand, even when she doesn't know the people.

All the best this season!

Gillian

Student Work!

 









Sunday, December 11, 2016

SPOTLIGHT ON JUDITH NOLDIN!!!

 

As I write this, the weekend is sadly coming to an end. Luckily, I have some beautiful pieces by Judith Noldin to turn your sad frown upside down, and brighten your dark winter night.

I actually thought these were bookmarks - very glad I asked Judith because they are little forks! Beautiful and special forks, when you want to impress your guests as they dine on your delicious appetizers. Also a wonderful gift for someone who loves entertaining, don't you think?! 
Solid sterling silver $180

I love these rings. The colours and shapes are very unique, though they work perfectly together as a collection. The ring on the left is sterling silver with an 18KY bezel and the stone is black flint for $410. The centre ring is also sterling silver with an 18KY bezel, and the stone is a green and red lakeshore gem for $410. The ring on the right is my favourite (because I love the pink, salmony colour the most), and it is sterling silver with 14KR little accent balls on the either side of the pink lakeshore gem for $380. *full disclosure I don't know what a lakeshore gem is, but I will ask Judith the next time I see her! **UPDATE!!! A lakeshore gem is a stone that Judith finds while walking along the Lakeshore!! Amazing**

Judith makes very unique pieces that have the most interesting shapes, colours, and textures. I am always surprised (in a very good way!) by all the different elements she brings to her craft. She is also a whiz at doing repairs and redesigns and of course custom work, so if you're looking for a real conversation-starter of a piece, ask for Judith!

Stay warm out there lovelies! xx

Sunday, December 4, 2016




Dear Friends, 

We had our great 10 anniversary party last Friday!  

Thank you very much for showing up and a sincere thank you to the many members of our community for their donations for Dress for Success Toronto.

We gave the SWAG BAGS to our guests and the three Raffle Packages with some pretty special loot. 




Special thanks to Jewel Envy’s team too! We come from the four corners of the world,  China, Korea, Germany, France, Canada, Colombia. The melting pot of cultures, backgrounds, languages, and more, make us the unique team that we are! Your support makes it possible for us to keep doing what we love the most, jewellery.


Helena

Sunday, November 27, 2016



Happy Sunday, readers!

Jewel Envy is celebrating our tenth anniversary this year and marking four years in our lovely studio/classroom/retail space on 151 Marion Street.  It’s taken a lot of work to get here—not only tenacity, hard labour (see the crazy pictures of our many renovations below) but the dedication of two very smart and talented women, Gillian Batcher, owner, and goldsmith and Alexis Kostuk, manager and goldsmith.  Everyday when we walk into the big blue house—which is not only a retail space, classroom and working studio but also a home—we can see evidence of Jewel Envy’s dynamic duo.


Most often we will see Alexis behind the counter talking to customers, at her bench making incredible art jewellery ( find her at Glacialegoldsmith.com) or training her formidable problem-solving skills to make sure the space runs smoothly for all of us.  Thank you so much Alexis for making the space a great place to grow, for giving Jewel Envy the best you have, for your uproarious laugh that keeps us going, and for being wonderful YOU!









In Gillian words, when she started the renovations of the Blue House “Alexis was there to help, as she always is, every step of the way. I couldn't ask for a better manager or friend! “

Alexis have been working with Gillian at Jewel Envy for many years, she knows the business better than any one, she loves what she does, and she is a big part of this ten years that we are celebrating next Friday!

Many thanks Alexis for making Jewel Envy a great place , for given Gillian the best you have, just for been YOU!

Lovely pic of Alexis and Gillian more than three year ago at the renovation site.




Congratulations to Jewel Envy and to our incredible team! in these tenth anniversary.

Helena





Saturday, November 26, 2016

Trip to Stars Hollow

Last night I took a trip back to Stars Hollow. Thanks to Netflix's revival of the show Gilmore Girls. I had intended to try and stretch out my viewing experience over four days, but that's not what ended up happening. Oh man. Those four words.

I think what struck and will stay with me is each Gilmore Girl's dealing with the change in life perspective that goes along with grieving the loss of a close loved one. Each character struggles in their own way even if it wasn't on the surface all along. It is a beautiful evaluation of loss and tribute to Edward Herrmann who played Richard Gilmore.

I still have Gilmore Girls on the brain so today while scoping through inventory I couldn't help but think about what I would choose as gifts for each of them. And I gotta say, I am sentimental for the type of ending the revival of Gilmore Girls gave me. I love to be left questioning things afterwards. -Alexis

For all those crazy dreams Lorelai keeps having I would give her Pash Jewellery's Dream Catcher Necklace. 

Emily needs some modern pearls from Hyewon Jang - she did after all get herself a pair of Keds!

For Rory. Well, I couldn't make up my mind.
BONUS! Luke Diner Pin, click here!
   

Friday, November 25, 2016

Countdown to our Holiday Party

Can you feel it?!  There's party in the air!!  The countdown is on here at Jewel Envy: 7 dys until our Holiday Party!!!

And you know what that means, the SWAG BAGS are lined up and waiting of our FIRST 50 GUESTS to take home some pretty special loot. There's jewellery, coupons, art work, and much more to be given away.

You know the saying "it takes a village, to raise a child?" Well it takes a village to throw a party.  We have been very lucky to have many members of our community donate to our swag bags. One of our special contributors is a new retail store in Roncesvalles Village: Earlybird and Worm.

Early bird and Worm are a kids' concept shop--art +fashion+function at 169 Roncesvalles.  We thank them for their generous donation to our swag bags.

Check out their instagram account @earlybirdandworm to get clues to what our first 50 party guests may find in their swag bags!



Sunday, November 20, 2016

Happy Movember!


It's that time of year again - Movember! To be more specific, we're about two-thirds of the way through that time of year. I'm sure you've noticed the normally-clean-shaven-but-currently-mustachioed men, sporting the extra facial hair in support of prostate cancer research, but perhaps you haven't seen too many ladies with staches.


Well this is Amanda Henderson. She has an Etsy shop called Sassy Septum Rings, which specializes in mustachioed septum rings for those who are follically challenged, but still want to show their support. She donates a percentage of every purchase, so go ahead and support a fantastic cause!

Here is the link:
https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/SassySeptumRings

  Amanda also does custom work through the studio, so if you have a specific mustache in mind, get in touch with us and we can help make it happen!

Go for the 'mo!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Gearing up for December 2nd!

Happy Saturday Readers!

I have spent the last couple weeks collecting items for our event swag bags and raffle packages (with all proceeds going to Dress for Success Toronto).

We're trying promote all of the local businesses that are supporting our event. Today I want to thank the Village Juicery and Imelda for their for their donations to one of our raffle packages.

The Village Juicery is the first certified organic juicery and if you didn't know everything is made fresh daily. They believe in keeping things local from the produce they use to the locations they serve. Actual nutritionists and chefs develop their products to ensure both quality and taste!

Now that we have talked about body health lets talk about psychological health in form of some good shoe therapy. On the day we had our opening party on Roncy four years ago I ran out around 1pm with the knowledge that I had a fantastic dress to wear for the night but no shoes. Well I had spotted Imelda in the weeks leading up to the party but with the haze of renovations had neglected to go in. I was hooked from that first step into the store and was able to immediately narrow in on the perfect pair of shoes for my party. Imelda is always there for me when I need some shoe therapy and if you win the raffle package with the gift certificate from the store, they can be there for you as well!

The Roncy local businesses have been so generous and we are blessed to be part of this wonderful community.

Stay tuned for more notes on our sponsors!

Gillian


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Hello Sunday readers,



I would like to highlight today the amazing work of Sasha Oda of ARCHERADE one of the goldsmiths in the studio. Her work  is bold and fearless and her designs are fresh and young. Sasha works with Sterlium, Bronze and Gold.

One of her pieces that speak volumes of her design sense are these three rings.

Each ring has a strong shape that really accentuates the attention to detail. They are heavy, but very comfortable on the hand.  Sasha does custom work, so she can make one just for you, too!








Sasha tremendous talent and dedication can be appreciated in this lovely necklace in Sterlium with a drop a lapis lazuli in an intense blue.






Be sure to come and check out these and other fabulous pieces by Sasha this Christmas season.

Have a great day!


Helena












Saturday, November 12, 2016

Strange November

It's a strange November this year. I can't recall a year where by this point it hasn't snowed even once. Yet here we are mid way through the month and not a flake has stuck to the ground. I hear people starting to talk about the holidays and feel like they can't be around the corner yet the calendar tells me they are!

What's bringing the time of year into focus is that our customers have started to ask about holiday orders and our timeline to make custom work. Our usual timing is 4-6 weeks but we'll rush orders at this time of year as we approach gift giving deadlines.The earlier you come, the happier we will be...hint hint ;o)

In past years I have worked Christmas Eve to have something special ready for a last minute shopper. But alas those crazy work nights are over for me as it will be the first Christmas/Hanukkah with my little one this year and I plan to spend it with my family.

Maybe next week we'll have a blanket of snow but for now I'm still enjoying the last hint of fall before the craziness of the holidays can't be pushed out of mind. I'm still enjoying the distraction of leaves falling and seeing the wonder in my babies eyes as we watch them come down around us.

Gillian


Sunday, November 6, 2016

SPOTLIGHT ON.... ALEXIS KOSTUK!!!!!

Happy weekend everybody!

It's a beautiful day - the sun is shining and there is still some warmth in the air. Basically, a perfect day to come inside and try on some jewellery, haha! But actually it is...

You all know Alexis, studio manager extraordinaire, and I'm sure you've seen her work before. I just thought I would gather some of my favourite pieces that she has here on display. There is quite a wide range of techniques that she uses to create her collections - she really is an artiste:)

 
The 'Whoops' pendant is enamel, set in a sterling heart. 
The gemstone stud earrings, and the oval floral pin, are also enamel.
The shark pendant is carved and cast in sterling, with green tourmaline eyes.
The two wedding bands are sterling silver, with nickel silver polka dot inlay for contrast.
The three bands in front are also part of the polka dot collection, also with nickel silver polka dots but with gemstones for added colour. Choose between blue tourmalines, black spinel, or green tsavorites.
The beaded tassel pendant has a periwinkle blue enamel centre, with a small oval onyx set above it.
The initial pendant (which can be customized in a variety of styles, for every letter of the alphabet) is carved by hand and cast in sterling silver.

Stop by today and try something on! We're open until 6pm this evening, see you soon!
 
 

Friday, November 4, 2016

 Dear Readers,

In 2008, David Segal and his cousin Herschel Segal founded DavidsTea in Montreal, and opened its first store on Queen Street in Toronto the same year,[1] followed by its first Montreal store in 2009.[2] In 2010 it had stores located across Canada, opening its 50th store in Waterloo, Ontario in 2011. In November that same year it opened its first store outside of Canada in New York. Fed by a growing tea boutique industry,[3] by 2012 it had expanded to more than 75 stores across Canada and the United States. Since its inception, DavidsTea offers over 150 varieties of teas, numerous tea accessories, and seasonal offerings

We are very honored and grateful with David’s Tea on Roncesvalles for their support in our ten anniversary party this December. We will all be enjoying their variety of flavors and the opportunity to share our party time with one true Canadian company.

Have a nice day.

Helena

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

At Jewel Envy I have a lovely and talented collegue who wears all of her jewellery while working!!
Rings and bracelets with charms on , I counted 27 charms.




Helena loves pearls she works into big chains and ear rings ,  perfectly matching.

Wonderful accessories for the bridal festive outfit !

Check her out
Helena Perez Lafaurie
at Jewel Envy in Toronto

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Artist Spotlight on Gillian!



Happy Sunday readers!

We are celebrating our tenth anniversary this year—a milestone for Gillian E. Batcher, who is not only the owner operator of Jewel Envy but also, a woman, a daughter, a friend, a goldsmith a wife, and a mother.

She opened her first jewellery studio ten years ago in downtown Toronto.





She has a degree in Psychology, and graduated with distinction, from The University of Western Ontario. After completing her degree, she went to George Brown College and completed the three-year Jewellery Arts program, graduating with distinction.

Next she went to Florence, Italy to study an intensive jewellery course, focusing on textile techniques in precious metals, and she participated in a three-year residency in the metal studio crafts studio at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto.

Gillian has been running with great success her business, congratulations to her, to her husband Matthew, and her gorgeous baby Everly, for these ten years of growth in this incredible, competitive and difficult career.

We, the resident goldsmiths at Jewel Envy are very proud of being part of this achievement.

Helena (resident goldsmiths)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Gem Colour Combos

I recently created a couple pieces of jewellery with a gradation of gems. What I found is that it is difficult to come across a full range of colour when searching for gems or to come across the saturation of colour that I love. I have purchased a few boldly coloured gems that I have yet to use, but keep going back to sketches to try and mix in new colour combos. I recently dove into Pomellato's website to oogle their wares and share with you some of their stunning colour combinations. I can only assume that they create custom cuts of gems for their creations and they don't shy away from combining bold and beautiful colours together. Check some of them out just below and follow the links attached to the images to Pomellato's website. -Alexis


CORAL & GREEN
http://www.pomellato.com/wx
Coral with emeralds/coral with peridot.



PINK & BROWN 
http://www.pomellato.com/wx
Amethyst and brown diamonds/Smoky quartz and rubies
  


TURQUOISE & PINK/PURPLE
http://www.pomellato.com/wx
London blue topaz and rubies/turquoise and rubies/ceramic turquoise and amethysts.







Sunday, October 23, 2016

Artist Spotlight Long Gao

We are very happy to welcome a new goldsmith to the Jewel Envy "crew"!

Welcome to talented Long Gao!

Long was born in Beijing, raised in Vancouver and educated in Toronto where he majored from OCAD with an Industrial Design and double minor on sculpture and as well as Jewellery Design and Goldsmith.

Most of Long pieces are amazingly intricate and unique expressing an emotion and reflect his life experiences.

You can check more of his work at: http://www.longgaogao.com/

 Working hard at the bench today, creating really cute rings!



Saturday, October 22, 2016

MADE




http://www.vwjewellery.co.uk/peony/
http://www.vwjewellery.co.uk/rose/http://www.vwjewellery.co.uk/139/
 


Recently I've been obsessed with all the great work that has been featured in MADE London Design and Crafts Fair. Last week while scrolling through my Instagram feed, I stumbled across a piece by Victoria Walker who is currently showing her work there. Victoria makes mind blowing fine kinetic jewellery inspired by nature. My favorite is her Peony Locket. Hand made in 18ct yellow gold and 9ct rose gold, it has a total of 34 individually hand pierced petals that open and close.

You can find more about her work on her website here:
http://www.vwjewellery.co.uk/

I would also highly encourage you to check out all the great work in the MADE London Design and Crafts Fair here:
http://www.madelondon.org/

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Artist Spotlight on Zef of Radi Brothers Jewelry!

Zef is our featured resident goldsmith this week!

Zef is one half of Radi Brothers Jewelry, growing up in a jewelry family and learning from his father, a filigree master. He is inspired by nature, with birth and energy being strong symbols in his work. Filigree is a technique used since ancient times to create intricate patterns with wire. Below are some examples of Zef's intricate work.




-Tam

Saturday, October 15, 2016

oh, rats!

This morning while sweeping the studio I came across studio mate's Micheline missing glasses, fired up the kiln, and after adding inventory sat down to do some internet reading.

Glasses found! pic of me wearing Mish's glasses. Damn girl, you blind!
I was catching up on the latest blogess and went off on a google search tangent for taxidermy in Toronto...

You guys......

There is a Taxidermy class available in which you can create your own anthropomorphically posed rat. 

https://www.instagram.com/ankixa/
photo of Ankixa Risk's work

The teacher, Ankixa Risk teaches around various locations and even creates taxidermy jewellery:

https://www.instagram.com/ankixa/
Ankixa's taxidermy jewellery, click the picture to check out her instagram!

What better month to track down wonderfully weird handcrafted items. And if you're a keener like me you will be obsessing about how you would like to pose and dress your soon to be rat after signing up for a class! -Alexis

More of Ankixa's work.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

watch

Today a friend of Jewel Envy who repairs watches came in with a vintage watch housing that needed to get soldered .

It was made from brass with a heavy layer of rose gold plating,
and a piece of sentimental value.

Soldering went better than expected and after a good polish the watch looked really pretious.

And an interesting and challenging experience for me.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Spotlight on Haydee

Hello Readers!

Today I want to talk about Haydee's work as it calls out for attention. She focuses on scale and I picture her pieces as perfect for runway shows and cocktail parties as they are show-stoppers. Just look at the scale of this citrine ring and image every time you wore it how much attention it and you would receive! Pair this will a simple monochromatic outfit and I guarantee everyone will be commenting on your fabulous taste and secretly thinking they wish they had the guts to wear such an unusual piece.

All of her work is one of a kind so you can feel secure in knowing once you buy no one is going to show up with the same piece and you will always own the one and only piece of its kind from her.

If you are drooling over this look, come down to the shop and try her pieces on to find the right one for you!

-Gillian

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Show time forTammy MacClennan

Hello Readers!

Our AMAZINGLY talented metal smith Tammy MacClennan  is having three on going exhibitions around this time.  I am happy to share her exhibition information and her gorgeous works here.

1.  Craft Ontario :   Materialize
     Art Gallery of Burlington : SEP 23 - NOV 28
     craftontario.com
                                    
                                                             Component Necklace #2


2.  Carmichael Canadian Landscape Exhibition :  Tradition Transformed
     Orillia Museum of Art & History : SEP 29 - NOV 12
     orilliamuseum.org
                                                       Spoon for Returning Baby Bird to Nest


3.  Headwaters Arts Festival
     Alton Mill Arts Center :  SEP 26 - OCT 10
     headwatersarts.com
                                                                 Tomatoes , Halved

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Splurge vs Steal! Hand painted enamel gemstones!

Hello Readers!

This weeks Splurge vs Steal features hand painted enamel pieces made by Jewel Envy's manager and resident Goldsmith, Alexis Kostuk. This necklace and earrings highlight the beautiful facets and sparkle of gemstones using a hand painted technique in enamel.


Alexis' designs often incorporate bold colours and intriguing design elements making her pieces a must-have for jewellery lovers!
Visit us at the studio to see more of Alexis' designs!

-Tammy

Sunday, September 11, 2016




 Mia Simiao Shen


It’s a great pleasure and privilege to be able to write some words about Mia Simiao Shen

Mia is-- as every single one at the studio--not only a goldsmith, she is an artist, in the most unbelievable way

In her own words, "I explore the power of visual beauty and utilize basic visual elements such as, line, colour, shape, texture, direction, and dimension in my jewellery work."

Her work uses a combination of traditional metalsmithing techniques with an industrial-looking approach to design, going from hand production methods to machine-aided production. using laser to cut the wood she added among many other materials to her pieces.

 

One of her incredible pieces is this brooch pictured below.




Untitled, Brooch, Materials: Sterling silver, Indian rose wood. Technique: fabrication and laser cut. 7.5cm h x 7.7 cm w x 3cm d.



This second brooch, in Sterling silver, and wood demonstrates the pinnacle of her design and fabrication technique.










Untitled, Brooch. Materials: Sterling silver, wenge wood. Technique: fabrication and laser cut. 6cm h x 8.2cm  w x 2.5cm d.



The last one of her pieces pictured on the blog today is the Magnetic Bracelet.






Untitled, Brooch. Materials:Steel, Sterling silver, magnets, acetate, and wax.





I call these untitled pieces, Beauty 1, Beauty 2, and  Beauty 3

 Wikipedia defines the experience of "beauty" often involves an interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being. Because this can be a subjective experience, it is often said that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”


Dear Sunday readers, I leave you here, a piece of imagination and creativity that I hope will enrich your mind.

Helena