New From Alison

Okay, hands up everyone with a solid colour wardrobe. You are not alone. Many of us have pushed prints to the back of the closet or left them on the sales rack in an effort to look professional, elegant and modern. And now, many women have no idea how to put colours together. I see and hear about this often when doing wardrobe consultations. So, while our mothers and grandmothers could pull all the colours for an ensemble from a print, that isn't an option for many women today. And you want to look pulled together and interesting. So what do you do?
Well these necklaces are just the thing to get you started.

Designed to sit just inside the collar or neck edge of your shirt they add colour and interest. As for what colour you should have - if you like it - buy it. Odds are it will go with what you have on. It really is that simple!

Available in bright, muted and neutral colourways, these easy to wear necklaces close with a sterling silver toggle clasp. The feature beads are glass, stone or ceramic. Plus sizes are available and custom requests are welcome.

I've also made a few for little girls - scaled to fit and with a magnetic closure. Because every woman regardless of age likes to feel special and pretty!

For more designs, check out my website!


New From Stephanie

My watercolour painting has now turned into a mixed media piece. I have added paper flowers which I have painted and written on. I still don't know for sure how it will look when it's complete. Here is what I have so far.

I am really pleased with the layers. I think it gives the piece depth. The writing you see on the petals is a little bit of my own thoughts which I will reveal when the piece is complete.

Until next time~


Girls' Night Out

Alison Ruth                                                     Julie Prescesky

Girls' Night Out at The Wild Flower Restaurant turned out to be amazing.  We attracted our target market at our very first event!  It was a cozy setting and we all had a great time chatting with the guests. This was our 'coming out' event, and we definitely learnt from it, but on the whole, it was a great way to introduce ourselves to the public. 


The crowd that showed up was there specifically to see what we had to offer, so it was motivated.  We all received great feedback from them, and just being able to meet our customers was wonderful, since we all have online stores where we don't have that opportunity.

Martha Heise                                                                   Erin Snow

In our excitement, though, we forgot to take pictures!!! Julie managed to snag a few at the last minute, but we were all taking our stuff down by then...

                                   Liz Heise   

One of our top sellers, GracieJewellery, doesn't even have a pic, since she had already dismantled her display by then...but do check out her latest work!

Our display areas were small, but the venue was a restaurant, and for that it was fantastic.  For our next event, we hope to focus more on marketing.


Artist Profile: Alison Ellett

Fonthill resident Alison Ellett describes herself as "an emerging textile artist on a mission to make getting dressed fun." She launched her custom clothing and accessories business, Alison Ruth Designs, in 2008.

Setting up her own design business was the culmination of a long-held ambition for Alison, who has been sewing and embroidering for as long as she can remember. "Growing up, we were not allowed to watch TV unless we were doing something else at the same time," she says. "I still have my first piece of embroidery – a toaster cover I stitched when I was six. My mum used it for over 20 years."

When she was 12, Alison attended sewing lessons at the local Singer sewing machine store, and after that she was hooked. "By Grade 10, I was accomplished enough to tackle the Grade 12 tailoring project. I made a wool suit, fully lined, pleated skirt, welt pockets, notched lapel and all. When I got to Grade 12, I made my brother a corduroy sports coat. Fine by him until he discovered he had to be in the school fashion show...

"It all just grew from there. I’ve been sewing, knitting, embroidering and generally messing about with fabric and thread for over 35 years now. In the fall of 2008, I decided to throw caution to the wind, leave the corporate world and pursue these creative endeavours full-time."

Highlights of Alison’s artistic career include having her designs featured in Style at Home and Fab Magazine, seeing good friends light up when they put on the wedding dress she created just for them, and selling to celebrities through Etsy.

At Who Knew? on April 29, Alison will be selling a selection of her wearable art pieces, which are intended to have presence but to be lightweight, easy to put on and take off, and to move with the wearer.

"Embroidery and beading are integral elements of my work," she explains. "I'm inspired by the textures and colours I find in the fibres, stone, glass and wood of my raw materials.

"There's a strong graphic element to my work. This is felt as you’ve never seen it before!"


Artist Profile: Liz Heise

Lighting is essential for creating a great atmosphere. Candles can give you an intimate and cosy feeling. Liz Heise uses quality soy wax to make clean-burning candles, adding fragrance or essential oil to create fabulous aromatics. Princess Buttercup Soy Candles are hand-poured with love in small batches at Liz’s workshop in downtown Port Colborne.

"I started making soy candles as a craft project with my son when I was on maternity leave," explains Liz. "I was aware of the difference between soy and paraffin, and I wanted to stay away from soot-producing paraffin candles.

"My friends and family adored my work. Hearing positive feedback from the people around me helps me move forward."

Liz adds that soy candles have a slower burn time, giving you more for your money. They are also environmentally friendly: renewable and biodegradable. Being soot-free, they don't pollute the air. If wax is accidentally spilt, it's easy to clean up with just soap and water.

"Soy is also a sensible choice as it creates economical growth for farmers. So keep on burning!" urges Liz.

Meet Liz and eight other local artisans at the Wildflower Market Restaurant in Fonthill this Thursday, April 29, from 6:30 to 10 pm. Tickets are selling fast, so buy yours today!


Artist Profile: Martha Heise

Ridgeway-based Martha Heise started making her BAGS by Martha three years ago and has sold over 150 at craft shows and open houses.

Describing her product range, Martha says: "I create three sizes of tote BAGS, two sizes of hobo BAGS, and children's BAGS, which are great for taking in the car. My one-of-a-kind BAGS are fully lined, have interior pockets and look just as nice inside as they do outside.

"All creating and sewing is done in my pet-free, smoke-free home. My sewing studio is filled with a large assortment of fabrics, from upholstery fabrics to quilting cottons, bright and bold prints to more subdued prints and solids, and smooth to textured fabrics."

Martha grew up as one of five daughters in a family of seven children, so her mother spent a lot of time making dresses. Martha's interest in sewing started early, and by Grade 8 she had sewn several dresses for herself. Home economics classes in high school further stimulated her interest in dressmaking and fabrics.

"At age 19, when I was engaged to be married, there was no question about my wedding dress," says Martha. "I was making it and that was that. This prompted me to take the little savings I had and purchase my own sewing machine. When our two children were small I sewed many little overalls and dresses."

Martha's passion for sewing was rekindled three years ago when she saw a piece of fabric that intrigued her. Thinking it would make a great BAG, she went back to the store, but the fabric was gone.

"This put me on a search for interesting fabrics. I started creating a few BAGS for my daughter, daughter-in-law, a few friends and myself. These wonderful ladies encouraged me by saying, 'You could sell these BAGS!'

"They were right! A BAG makes a lovely and unique gift for your mother, daughter, sister or friend, for her birthday, Mother’s Day, Christmas or just because."

More recently, Martha has added APRONS to her store. Be among the first to see these lovely additions at our event this Thursday, April 29. Click the button at right to buy your ticket.


Artist Profile: Julie Prescesky

Under the Jules Mae Clothing brand, with its memorable tagline, "Heavenly style, sassy as hell," Julie Prescesky from St. Catharines creates one-of-a-kind handmade apparel using recycled, repurposed and ethically sourced materials.

Julie has been sewing and designing for as long as she can remember. As she explains, "I grew up in the sleepy countryside just outside of Vancouver, BC. My mom was our community seamstress and often made elaborate gowns for proms, weddings, beauty pageants and the like. My love of garment construction and design most certainly comes from her.

"I've spent most of my life in pursuit of creative adventures. I'm a DIYer, which means I think that almost every challenge has a solution. I just need to find it. And with that comes the inevitable challenge of almighty TIME."

Rising to that challenge, Julie is currently working on a project called Moo Moo 100, which, as the name suggests, will see her design and produce 100 moo moo dresses. You can follow her progress on her blog.

Besides working on her clothing line, Julie is in the process of finishing up her "long lost" Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. "I'm pretty excited about that," she says. “I've studied a myriad of techniques and gained a mindset which naturally bubbles into most areas of my life."

Explaining how she manages to balance the multiple roles of artist, student, wife and mother, Julie says: "I do my best to stay focused on the task at hand and see it through, and then move on to the next challenge. I love figuring things out. I was always attracted to puzzles of all sorts as a child, and I think that has helped me find creative solutions to whatever may be facing me and needing attention."

Come out and meet Julie, and eight other talented artisans from the Niagara region, at our exclusive, ticket-only event on Thursday, April 29. The event takes place at the Wildflower Market Restaurant on Hwy 20 in Fonthill from 6:30 to 10 pm. You can buy tickets online (button at right) or by calling Alison at 905-892-6424.